The Saturday Update: Weeks 35 and 36, 2021

The heat is hanging on and the cats and I are totally over it at this point. Yesterday we set a new heat record in my state: 99 degrees Fahrenheit. The sun is a sullen red ball in the sky and the sky is slate white with smoke from the west. The heat is unrelenting, there has been almost no rain, and fire season is still going on, and on, and on… Should summer be ending soon?

“Not yet!”, say the plants and wildlife in the yard. The cats have been busy chasing late season houseflies and the trees are abuzz with pulsing cicada sounds. There seems to be wildlife everywhere all of a sudden as the lawn and garden recover from the intense sun (but not the heat) of July and August. I even had to chase a little garter snake out of my garage yesterday! Summer is being especially tenacious, but I am seeing some hints of fall as flocks of geese fly over my house and the first leaves on the trees are turning.

The baby bunny is now hanging out in the front yard entertaining the cats as they watch from the front door. Do you see all of that debris on the sidewalk and street in the picture of the bunny? That is the mess being left by the squirrels as they harvest the Russian olives off of my neighbor’s tree. There is a really cute squirrel with an exceptionally fluffy tail digging holes under my trees to stash food for later… not nice, little squirrel!! Speaking of fluffy tails, look at what is happening to Mateo’s tail!! This kitten is getting a lot fluffier than I thought he would…


Everything that is pink is just flourishing at the moment.

My Autumn Joy Stonecrop is just covered with bees and other plants in containers on the deck have decided that they want to bloom too. Even the roses by my driveway have decided to get a last bloom in. For some crazy reason it is all of the pink plants… even the hydrangea is putting out some new blooms with pink edges. It makes me happy to see all that color coming back even if it will be drowned out by all the fall colors in the trees and shrubs in a week or two.


I had several quiet days following my right heart catherization procedure last week (okay, I also slept a couple of days afterwards) and I ripped right through the next clue on the Snark-O-Meter. If you haven’t been keeping up with all of the snark, the Snark-O-Meter is the latest MKAL shawl by Sharon from Security (Casapinka) and I am having a blast this time.

It is getting too big to show off the fun stitches in this project in one picture so I settled for shots of each clue. The top left is clues 1 and 2, the bottom left shows clue 3, and the picture on the right is clue 4. Look at all of those great and interesting stitches and use of color!! I’m going to get a ton of use out of this shawl.

Since I finished the shawl in just a couple of days after the clue was released, and because Sharon is taking a week off to let people catch up on their knitting, and since I was admiring all things pink in the garden, I pulled out my new Rock It Tee that is being knit in a pinky/rusty colorway called Cinnasizzle. The actual yarn isn’t quite as hot pink as it appears in the pictures, but it is full of clay, pink, and rust colors that are just too fun to ignore. I’ve been binge watching Billions on Amazon Prime and knitting like crazy this last week with a nebulous thought that if I really apply myself I can get this sweater done before Sharon releases the next Snark-O-Meter clue in another week. Ha! This is clearly impossible, but that never stopped me before! To try is all. I’m below the armholes now and it is just knitting in the round for the next 15 inches or so…

Mateo is now 5 and a half months old. Isn’t he getting handsome?

I’m still waiting for my cardiologist to contact me with the next steps in the ongoing Blue-Lipped Zebra project. Things are really slammed right now in the health field as there are lots of Covid-19 patients and Covid long-haulers who need help, and my cardiologist is pretty overwhelmed with the case load at the moment. (How do I know? My pulmonologist, who is also slammed, told me. I feel so bad for them.) It is a little hard to be patient and to wait my turn, especially since some of those people who are bumping me back in the health-care line are the unvaccinated.

Last week I was mocked in public by someone for wearing a mask. Umm… retired high school teacher here. I called him out on it and he immediately stopped.

But still, it’s a little shocking that it even happened.

This is the 20th anniversary of 9/11. What a sad, horrible day that led to unpredictable outcomes that were far beyond my imagination at that time. How sad it is to reflect on all that has happened, and continues to happen, in America.

I plan to knit my way though the reflection, waiting, and sadness this week. You all be safe out there!

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 two exceptionally spoiled kittens. In 2014 I was diagnosed with a serious rare autoimmune disease called systemic sclerosis along with Sjogren's Disease and fibromyalgia.

25 thoughts on “The Saturday Update: Weeks 35 and 36, 2021”

  1. As long as the BLZ actually does receive necessary treatment, I’ll zip my lip ..
    It’s quite astonishing how the northern hemisphere is getting all the effects of climate change before we do .. but then, we have summer ahead of us .. And it’s just as well for the rest of the world that Australia has so small, comparatively speaking, an output of climate-changing shit; because our SHITTY government is not going to lift one finger to reduce any of it. The Liberal/National coalition is comprised of idiots and criminals.
    Your flowers are gorgeous. Your cats are gorgeouser. That MKAL is mind-boggling, Marilyn ! Can one do it after the event, I wonder ?

    1. I have to admit that I am a little nervous as we head into autumn and the kids all go back to school about my chances of getting my heart repaired in the near future: even though it is pretty important to me it probably is still some type of elective surgery. Still, I’m pressing forward on project BLZ to get as far as I can.

      Ha. I laughed when you said there was more effects of climate change in the north… in the winter here people point to the horrible conditions in the southern hemisphere up here. Truthfully, we have a lot of land in the north that is being impacted by drought, fire, flooding, storms and storm events. There are so many cities that are built in areas that are almost at sea level. I am not happy to be living in a time of such radical change. As a biologist I understand the problem is not the climate, although that it enormous, but the inability of life to evolve fast enough to adapt to the changes.

      Aren’t those flowers great! Little do they know there is some nasty freeze or snowstorm coming in just a couple of weeks..

      The MKAL continues as a lag-along and there are people who are just now casting on and getting started. It is almost easier to be in the lagging group as you know ahead of time what the coming stitch sections are and you can change to the placement of colors/yarns to get exactly what you want. The fun of being in a mystery group of supportive (and snarky) knitters but the joy of making the project your own. After the MKAL finishes you will be able to get the complete pattern in one chunk on Ravelry. This is the way I do Stephen West knits because he’s pretty out there in some of his designs and I hate to spend a lot of money on yarn for something that I don’t actually like.

      1. –Last first: agreed. Stephen’s what I call a “risky” designer !
        –I shall wait till the MKAL’s finished to check it out via you.
        –It’s appalling how much of our planet will suffer solely from planning mismanagement !
        –I suppose it’s that I read about all the climatic happenings up there, all the time. Plus there’s so much MORE of “up there”.
        –I read a couple of days ago that birds are evolving faster than any other animal: some of them are growing bigger beaks to spread the heat load, if I got that correct ..
        –“it probably is still some type of elective surgery” ??? SURELY not, Marilyn: that would make your health system not just wealth discriminatory but health discriminatory !!!

      2. Oh, I am going to follow your last first approach! At least one of our states has had to move to crisis level management of care of the last week as they can no longer handle everyone and will triage to determine who has the best chance of survival before getting admitted to the ICU. In an environment like that there isn’t much chance that I will get my surgery unless it is an emergency. Let’s hope that common sense kicks in soon now that Biden has lowered the boom with the vaccine mandate.

        The trick with evolution is that to see real change there has to be a lot of death. Birds have a short life cycle and are really vulnerable to environmental shifts; on the other hand it is easier for them to migrate to a new location. Good for those birds!! After all, they are the survivors of the dinosaurs and deserve some breaks now. Here where we live we are seeing animals arrive from the south that were never in our region before. Like, crazy animals from Mexico are moving up to us as the climate gets too bad for them in the south. I’ve been just crazy about the dangers of climate shift and heard just last week that the big current in the Atlantic is in danger of collapsing which would be catastrophic. Let’s hope that the people in power decide to respond in a meaningful way soon, liberal or conservative.
        When I buy a pattern that is a finished MKAL I go though all of the finished projects (well, not all of them, but you get what I mean) to get a better understanding of how different colors and types of yarn looked in other peoples adventures. So helpful for me!!
        I agree totally about Stephen. Very risky. I’ve only done one of his MKALs and that was because I already had the yarn and I joined late after I had seen a few weeks of the knitting and knew that I liked what was happening.

  2. I can’t understand why anyone would ridicule someone for wearing a mask. Sorry that happened to you. Eek it sounds too hot where you live, I hope it soon cools down. It does look like Mateo is going to have a long coat doesn’t it. I hope he likes being brushed as much as he likes watching the bunny. I hope you get your treatments soon. Your projects all look lovely and of course your pallet of yarn colours are all my favourites so it’s a joy to see your projects.

    1. Well, when I finally realized what was happening and turned around to say, Hey! Are you making fun of me?! in my best teacher voice the man straightened right up and spun around so he wasn’t facing me. I saw them come out of the store as I was leaving and wouldn’t you know it, they were parked in a handicapped spot and didn’t take their cart back. There are people who just refuse to comply with community norms, and I guess those two were in that group.
      I can’t get Mateo to hold still long enough to brush him, but Hannah loves getting groomed so in time I hope to keep that long fur under control. I very specifically didn’t want a long haired cat, but he is the cutest thing and so good for Hannah that it as worth it.
      I’m so glad we like the same colors. Purple (and pink) forever, right?!

      1. Definitely on the purple and pink. I was just saying the same thing to Bonnyknits. My old cat Daisy was a long haired tortoiseshell cat, oh boy her coat…it once became matted when she had been missing for a bit and came home and they had to shave the clumps of felted fur off her and she looks a bit like a male lion. Poor thing. It’s the belly that’s the hardest…she was a softy unless you wanted to brush her belly. Hopefully Hannah will help groom him.

      2. I had a long haired cat that matted all over his tummy virtually overnight! I love that cat, but every single year I had to shave all of his butt feathers and tummy matts off while he just wailed at the top of his lungs. Poor thing! I am so hoping that Mateo’s fur is much better behaved!

  3. I am glad you have your catherization behind you. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before you hear from your cardiologist.

    I am so over these mask and vax protesters. Good for you for putting them in their place! I was sick for 2 weeks, with what I now believe was breakthrough Covid. I had a fever for 5 days. I had my Covid test done too early so I tested negative. I wish I would’ve gone back a few days later…but I didn’t know.

    Your Snark-O-Meter looks great! I can’t wait to see your finished Rock It tee. I’ve had the pattern in my Ravelry library for a while. Mateo is getting so fluffy! Your photo of him is so precious. Wow..your garden looks terrific! What a treat to get a end of summer show!

    Good luck on finishing your tee before the next clue drop.

    1. What an adventure the catherization the was! Glad it is over, so happy that it happened. I am just over the mask and vax protester, too. I heard a public official advocate for an end of the discrimination of the unvaccinated and I almost gagged. Unbelievable! What a mindset, and it doesn’t reflect well on them. I’m sorry that you got sick, but I am so glad that you didn’t end up hospitalized so I guess that means that the vaccine worked. I know someone who just got home after 35 days in the ICU and most of that was on a ventilator. She’s taking the same immunosuppressant drug that I am so I have doubled down and am double masking right now.

      I’m racing along on the Rock It Tee and am thinking about adding lace to the bottom of the tee. There is Icord on the bottom that will stabilize the bottom and then I can just pick up stitches for the lace… it will slow me down but it will be a fun add to that really simple and usable top.

      I’m wondering if Mateo is part Maine coon as he has a lot of fluffy fur on the bottom of his paws. If he starts to grow a ruff we’ll know for sure, but his face is starting to look that way too and I think he is going to be a pretty big cat. Kittens are so much fun!

  4. Your knitting projects and yard/garden are amazing, as always!!! Love the colors you chose for your Snark-O-Meter and your tee. The cats are both looking so healthy and happy πŸ™‚ Sorry for the jerk being jerky about you wearing a mask, but good for you for shutting him down. Hope you are able to get to the next steps of your treatment quickly!

    1. Thank you. Even though it is too hot right now this really is kind of my favorite time of the year as the world turns towards autumn. Those cats are so much fun!! I tell everyone when things get tough and you are struggling with life just get yourself a kitten: fix you right up!! I’m happy that the mask incident went so well; after it was over I realized that he was a huge man and I wouldn’t have called him out if I realized it sooner, but those ol’ teacher genes just kicked in and my mouth went off. πŸ™‚
      I’m still waiting on the doctor to get back to me. I know this takes them time, but it is a little hard to wait. πŸ™‚

  5. Mateo is gorgeous indeed!
    Good for you calling out that rude person! I sure hope you can get your cardiology treatment soon. Our hospitals are all so slammed with Covid patients that there are often no ICU beds available in the state. For older persons with health problems like my husband and me, it’s a really scary situation.

    1. I am so ready for some help for my heart. It is now a race with the load of Covid patients, which was why I called out that man the way I did. The decisions that some of my fellow citizens are making will directly impact me and I am completely losing patience with them over it. I am sorry that your hopsitals are slammed with Covid patients. I’m in Colorado where things aren’t too bad yet, but I know that patients are being flown in from other states that no longer have ICU beds available. What a scary turn of events, especially since it cuts into the safety net of vulnerable people like ourselves.
      Mateo is getting to be quite the character! I vacuumed this week and he bravely followed me around watching the vacuum and closely inspected it every time I turned it off. What a (gorgeous) goofball he is.

  6. Nice to find your blog. I totally wish hospitals could turn away nonvaccinated people for Covid. They made a choice, they should have to suffer the consequences. That includes various family members who refuse to get vaccinated. Thanks for the reminder of how much you have to fight for treatment from doctors here in the US. Loving the yarn for your Rock It Tee.

    1. I have to admit that I am starting to resent the unvaccinated, but it will be horrible to deny them care. It is true that they made a choice, and here I am suffering their consequences as I patiently wait for a chance to get medical care for my busted-ass, scleroderma damaged (and vaccinated) heart. Sigh. I have come to understand that as a vaccinated person it is possible that I could contract the virus (but not know it) and then transmit it to an unvaccinated person if I don’t wear a mask. To get this under control there needs to be a mask mandate, too. I do want legal consequences for people in positions of authority (ahem… looking at you Texas and Florida) who are preventing the implementation of public health measures in their states. In my opinion this is actionable malfeasance and should result in jail time!!

      The second Rock It Tee is just flying off the needles as I understood the shaping much better. I am so counting on having it to wear on the first cool day this fall.
      I’m glad you found the blog! πŸ™‚

  7. Mateo’s tail may be heading for the next zip code. πŸ˜‰ What a cute pair they are. I love seeing the bunnies and squirrels, too. I have to go several miles to find a trail so spot bunnies. I’m just delighted that you have one visiting your garden and entertaining the felines.

    So many of us feel real annoyance with those who choose not to be vaccinated. A year ago we didn’t have a choice. Now we do. People in other countries are desperate for the jab. It’s so hard to understand this selfish behavior. Good job calling out the mask hater. Good grief! Like you, we are fed up with the heat and the smoke, the poor air and the endless dry days. It hasn’t rained here in months and months. Your knitting is pure magic.

    1. I went out to water the front flower beds yesterday and there was the bunny nestled in the snapdragons. I wasn’t sure if it was *my* bunny, but once I started watering it streaked under the gate and into the back yard where it entertained the kitties chomping grass in the usual spots. My bunny, indeed. It got into the yard as a tiny youngster and has stayed with me through the summer. I do kind of hope that I don’t get a whole family of bunnies living under my deck neck year…

      What is concerning to me about the people who are refusing to vaccinate is the whole message of “you can’t control me” and any attempts to implement public health measures are seen as tyranny that needs to be met with violence. This is pretty unbelievable: anti-science, anti-authority, low level lawlessness, and complete disregard for the social norms that are installed in almost all of us at a young age. It’s like being a teacher in middle school again…
      We are supposed to get a little rain tonight. I am hopeful. Hope you get some relief from smoke, heat, and drought soon too.

      1. Yes, to all you’ve said. I have little patience left for this selfish perspective. We were raised with the golden rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. I didn’t have a religious upbringing, but I’ll never forget the basics of this simple approach to life.It’s a scary time.

    1. It is a really easy and fun knit. There are eyelets around the raglan shaping that continue on the sides of the sweater. I am leaving the side eyelets out on the second sweater and may try for long sleeves.

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