The Saturday Update: Weeks 33 and 34, 2021

The end of August, and things are still hot here. The lawn struggles in the heat and the cats go to ground in the coolest parts of the house during the day. The smoke is gone, however, and I’ve been going out in the evenings to water and do some yard work almost every day. Someday, soon, autumn will come, but so far it doesn’t seem to be in much of a hurry…

The kitten is 5 months old today!! He and Hannah are pretty inseparable now.
Except in the worst heat of the day. Then it is every cat for themselves around here.

Covid-19 has exploded in the US over the last few weeks, mostly the Delta strain of the virus. I have always been careful since there was some concern that the vaccine wouldn’t give me good protection because of one of the drugs that I take to control my systemic sclerosis; now I rarely leave the house and when I do walk into a store I am double masked. Since I am hanging out at home I’ve been on a “one little thing” cleaning campaign that is really rewarding in small ways. Each day I target one little project: wash the upstairs windows, clean out a drawer, weed out a flower bed, or sort and dispose of old stuff in the garage. I still have bins of teaching materials from my days in the classroom stored away… well, I used to. It was hard, but most of that is now gone. Every week my trash cans are stuffed full and things are nicer in the house. The Covid situation is bad outside my little home, but I am soothed by the gradual improvements that are happening in all of my drawers and rooms as the clutter and dirt disappears.

Every cloud has a silver lining, people!

Garden

My baby bunny is gone. Here he is in his last picture before he moved on the the larger world outside my back yard eating a dandelion leaf.

When the new fence was installed I was pretty sure that the bunny would find his way out of the yard as there were a couple of new gaps under the gates. I can see a new bunny-shaped gap under the new boards that sure looks like there has been some squeeze under the fence action; happy days little guy. The cats will miss you but it is good to move on to greener pastures (and not eating my lawn!!) as you grow up.

Knitting

I am deep in the world of the Sharon from Security (Casapinka) MKAL Snark-O-Meter. I knitted like crazy for several days to get my shawl through the first two clues.

I am through the first two clues (clue number 3 arrived this morning) and I am really happy with how things are going. My problem is that once I finished the clues I had some free time on my hands, so…

I cast on and started another shawl. I messed up the color sequence on this second one, so it has some major Sharon Snax going, but I love it anyway. Now my dilemma is whether to continue with shawl number 2 until I have caught up with the first one, or to charge ahead on the black and red version so I can see what the colors will look like. There is a change in needle size involved so I may keep going on #2 until I get to the lace section at the top that I can switch the needles between the two shawls.

I also feel like I need to knit a little cat, too. I’m cleaning a lot of shelves and I want some more knitted critters to fill in the gaps. 🙂

Quilting

It has been a long time coming, but now that I’m cleaning things up I decided to finish up a small quilting project that has been ignored for years. This quilt has been on the wall by my indoor garden but I was lazy and didn’t hand quilt the lettering in the blocks.

I hate hand quilting, but these little sections of lettering will look so much better when I am done!

There are several blocks on this quilt with different gardening themed images; each has a cute phrase that needs to be quilted to make it stand out right. Then maybe I will add some more quilting to the outer panels of the quilt. Ugh. I am doing a little bit every day as an extension of the “one little thing” campaign. Hopefully it will be done and back up on the wall before the cold weather arrives and I bring in the plants from outside for their winter indoors.

Have a great week everyone.

Read a little, knit a little, and garden like your heart can’t live without it.

Author: Midnight Knitter

I weave, knit and read in Aurora, Colorado where my garden lives. I have 2 sons, a knitting daughter-in-law, a grandson and an exceptionally spoiled kitten. In 2014 I was diagnosed with a serious rare autoimmune disease called systemic sclerosis along with Sjogren's Disease and fibromyalgia.

20 thoughts on “The Saturday Update: Weeks 33 and 34, 2021”

  1. Your knitting is looking great. I love seeing the cats together too. Delta is scary. We mask and are vaccinated, but my parents still got it. Luckily it is mild, but it is something I do not wish to mess around it.

    1. I have caught the flu twice since being placed on immunosuppressant drugs and both times I was pretty darn sick but managed to stay out of the hospital. There is no way I want to try Delta on for size, that is for sure!! I hope that your parents recover quickly!

  2. Oh my goodness. The hot reclining cat…that is me when it is over 70°F here hahaha. It’s so great they are such great pals. Covid is really high numbers here but they’ve stopped all restrictions except face masks in shops and when you walk to your table in restaurants. I know more people who have had it/got it in the last few weeks than the whole of the rest of the pandemic. Luckily they’ve all been vaccinated and their symptoms haven’t been severe. I’m still very wary though and taking all precautions I can.

    1. That cat was parked in front of a window fan sleeping like that. He kind of epitomizes “hot” doesn’t he! I have been hearing about so many people with break through infections of Covid that I am back to double masking again. We should have realized earlier, vaccinated or not, that people need to wear masks. All the kids are heading back to school now and I am so concerned for what’s coming next. I’m so glad they let me have the 3rd dose of the Pfizer vaccine as I am heading in for a heart procedure this week. I’ve been so worried that it might get cancelled because of Covid but so far our hospitals aren’t too crowded. I can’t imagine going into a restaurant to eat right now…

      1. It is tomorrow morning. I am already packed up to go and have my ride all arranged; it is a relief to finally get this testing done for the definitive Blue-Lipped Zebra diagnosis. The only bad thing about this is setting my alarm for 4:30 in the morning so we will arrive at the hospital to be checked in at dawn. Why do they schedule surgical procedures so darn early…
        Our Covid numbers are going up here but so far we aren’t out of control.

  3. I love the one little thing every day idea. I have started working from home 5 days a week again now that Delta is spreading , and I think it would help me feel like I’m doing something other than just sitting on the computer every day. The knitting looks great! I think I would probably keep going on the first shawl and then only work on the second if and when I had time.

    1. The one little thing project has been really great for me. Yesterday I cleaned two shelves of the bookcase and boxed up some books to donate. Today I cleaned the top of the dresser to make it totally cat proofed… all the jewelry is now safe in boxes in a drawer where they can’t get it and all of my lotions are contained in a basket on the dresser. It is nice as it is just a little extra project above and beyond the normal cleaning like dishes, laundry, and vacuuming that is making a real difference as the days go by. Nothing takes more than 15-30 minutes and it literally gives me a rush of joy to open drawers and cabinets that are all clean and organized now. I need to clean and downsize anyway so this is a pretty painless and rewarding way to go about it. Working from home is hard so this also gives you some goals for the week that will be rewarding.
      There maybe should be a “cook one new thing” project for each week too, don’t you think?
      I decided to catch up the second shawl and then to go back to the first one for clue 3 which is turning out to be a great decision. If I have extra time this week and I work on the 2nd shawl too. I also have a sweater and a sock going that could use some knitting love.

      1. Ooh yes I love the “cook one new thing” idea. I get HelloFresh boxes so my cooking does have a pretty good variety already. I’ll have to give the organization/cleaning a shot this week!

      2. I keep looking at services like HelloFresh but I’m not sure my digestive tract will handle fresh veggies and it seems a shame to buy things that are going to spend 6 hours in a crockpot before I eat them. I am trying lots of fun new things out in the crockpot, however. Baked potato soup worked out well last week. Maybe next week I will make bread!!

  4. Your knit-along with clues sounds like so much fun. People come up with such clever ideas. Your kitties are so cute. I love seeing them together and marvel at how quickly they’ve become good friends. We’re catching the heat and smoke that you’ve been able to leave behind. It’s hard not to feel hemmed in by it. Between COVID, the smoke, and the heat, summer feels like a real bust. Sigh. But hey, we have cats and crafts and gardens to keep us engaged, and who doesn’t like a good clean out/clear out. It’s calming. Less really is more: more space to move, more room to breath, and the joy of finding news homes for things you don’t need while letting go of tangible, but no longer needed, parts from our past. Well done. I hope you have a good week ahead.

    1. This summer has been a bust for sure! The heat hangs on and the smoke has made its way back to my part of the state. On the other hand, I’m pretty much self contained and manage to stay busy even though I am home.
      Thank heavens for the cats!!
      I have struggled with throwing away all of the stuff from former times in my life. Most of the teaching stuff went out the door and now I’m divesting myself of all my crafting stuff that has been neglected for over 20 years. It is so hard, because of the memories, but I’m also finding a lot of stuff that I can repurpose as the cleaning project continues. I had lots of little wire bins for my classroom, for example, and now they are organizers in my drawers that are just perfect!! Once I have things out the door it is actually a relief. I’m actually thinking about getting rid of all the old DVD movies because these days everything is streamed…
      The latest knitalong clue is so cute!! I can’t wait to show it off. 🙂

      1. Life with felines is next level joy. I can’t imagine living without them. It’s great finding new uses for old things. How nice that you can repurpose those bins We parted with our DVDs long ago as well. It’s freeing removing things you no longer need, or finding a home for items that might be useful to someone else. I applaud you.

        I’m reading in reverse, so I think I’ve seen the latest clue. What fun!

      2. The kitten got me up for breakfast really early today… that’s the only time I get tired of cats. 🙂 Other than than, it would be awful if I didn’t have them. I still have some DVDs that are hanging on, but I am seriously thinking of just making a clean sweep and getting rid of all of them. I’m reaching the point where the empty shelves are worth it!

      3. There is nothing like an empty shelf to feel completely liberated from your stuff. It’s so easy now to stream content, musically and visually. We even donated our DVD player a few years back as it no longer served a purpose.

        I’ve always loved the adage that you should surround yourself with things that are beautiful or useful, or both. Let everything else go. It’s positively freeing. I also know from working in my organizing business these past several years, that decluttering is a gift to the universe. There are so many non-profits that might benefit from items you have. It frees up your space and the time it takes to look for things. Sometimes, like last week, you rediscover and repurpose something useful. I love that! I’m the kind of person that gets excited when I find the perfect little box or basket to hold what I need, weather its a craft supply, some extra keys, or even laundry pods (I repurposed a heavy-duty glass vanity jar. It looks nicer than the container, and it’s handy not to have to open and close the packaging every time.

        Ok…sorry about that novel. Can you tell I like to organize?

      4. You are right about the repurposing! I am so happy with the cleanup and instead of buying new stuff to organize I am reusing baskets and bins that I already bought because I liked them and now they are making me happy all over again. I do need to make a run to a non-profit to donate too as there is a pile in the garage that needs to go find a new home. I have also started hunting for other things like little libraries to take books to and charity knitters that might be able to use some yarn. We have a lot of refugee families here and I’m guessing that if I start knitting hats and stuff like that it will find a good use. Lots to do once you rethink how you use and accumulate things.

      5. It sounds like you’ve lined up lots of good ideas. I know there are endless ways to turn yarn into hats for donating. There are hospitals that used to accept knitted caps for preemies. I volunteer with a woman that started a non-profit called Cozy Cap Campaign, designed to collect warm layers for unhoused folks each winter. We have a few knitting groups that donate scarves and hats to Lifted Spirits where I volunteer serving unhoused women in San Jose.

        The Little Free Libraries are everywhere now, so that too is really fun. I even took excess school supplies to a LFL in a disadvantage area when we cleaned out a closed church.

        I’m pleased to read that you are welcoming refugees to your community.

      6. I have some cute coloring book sets and stuffed animals that I’m planning on putting into the little library with some books. I have some school supplies too… I’ll have to think about how to rehome them. I have lots of stuff from the days when I taught a lot of wildlife workshops and teacher trainings. I read today that there are about 2000 Afghan refugees on the way to us so I need to contact some of the agencies in my city. We have a lot of unhoused people here and I’m pretty sure that hats and fingerless mitts will be useful as the weather cools.

        I used to teach sheltered biology, which was a language supported system for students who didn’t speak English. What a challenge that was! I had students from all over the world and relied on lots of pantomime, pictures, YouTube videos, you name it to teach biology. That year taught me to appreciate the things that I had and to be patient, really patient as I grappled with different cultural norms in my students. Those kids were just wonderful: good hearts and amazing work ethics.

  5. Your “one little thing” plan is a great idea! Good way to make progress while still taking it relatively easy. So good to see the cats are doing so well together – the picture of your boy all spread out in the heat is adorable 🙂 Your shawls are looking great! Love the color schemes 🙂 I hear you about Delta – it is pretty scary for sure. Take care and stay safe and cool!

    1. I just finished cleaning out every single drawer in the house, one little thing at a time. I go around opening them because it makes me so happy to see them perfectly organized!! Next up, the kitchen pantry…
      The shawls are getting even better with the next clue. I’m so glad that I jumped in with the second one. Now I just have to decide who to give it to. 🙂

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