The Saturday Update: Weeks 39 and 40, 2021

The days are still warm, dry and sunny, but the nights are finally getting a little cooler. I spend my afternoons in the swinging garden chair on the deck, reading and knitting in the strange silence that has now descended on the garden: no more crickets, cicadas, migrating geese, or even the pit bull next door. All are now gone, and the only sounds I hear are the squirrels racing through the trees and the occasional drifting fall of leaves. The maple tree out back, usually a blaze of red color by now, is slowly turning a golden brown with a few flashes of red. Seriously? This is how you are going to finish up the year? Figures.

This is as good as it is going to get this year I guess.

The ground is covered with dead leaves as these sorry examples of autumn glory drift off the tree. We never had a freeze, and I think that these brown leaves coming down are the result.

The baby bunny of the summer has found a mate.

Over the last weekend I noticed lots of digging in the yard from the bunny, and then one night the flood lights revealed that there were two bunnies in my yard! My little guy was not all alone any more! Now my bunny, all grown up, is gone.

Next week we will finally get colder weather and perhaps some rain. There will be snow in our mountains and all of my leaves will be gone off the tree.

Summer, truly, is finally over.

Knitting

I finished the second Rock It Tee this week!

Can you see how I blended the three skeins of yarn from light to dark as I alternated them through the sweater? The lightest is at the top.

I am now down to only one knitting project left, the second Snark-O-Meter that I am rapidly finishing off with lots of cat help.

I finished up clue 4 last night and will start clue 5 today. This baby should be done in just a few more days of knitting.

Yesterday I cleaned out my little project bags, sorted yarn in the stash, and organized myself for a prolonged sweater knitting campaign. I’m tempted to start the Stephen West MKAL (Shawlography), but as I sorted I realized that I had the yarn to make several sweaters all stocked up and waiting to go. It isn’t all that cold yet, but eventually sweater weather will get here and it is time for me to switch over to sweaters and to start working my way through the stash again.

I also, through great serendipity, located a community knitting group last week that makes hats for patients going through chemo at the infusion center where I used to go to my (old, kicked to the curb) rheumatologist’s office. I know that center, located between oncology and rheumatology, as I used to sit in that waiting room every rheumatologist appointment. Why is the infusion center next to rheumatology? Because, little known fact, many rheumatology patients (along with other people struggling with autoimmune disease), receive chemo and infusions of biologic drugs. I know, only too well, what a struggle it is to control Reynaud’s Phenomenon while hooked up to an IV in air conditioning. I’m joining the knitting group and will be knitting as many little fingerless mitts and arm warmers as I can for drop off to the center along with the chemo hats.

There. Knitting plans for the rest of the year all worked out. πŸ™‚

Garden

This is ridiculous, but all of my mental energy is focused on planting all the potted plants into the gardens (Where should I put them? This is a big decision.) and making an indoor home for the jade plants that have been outdoors all summer.

This plant tripled in size over the summer. I moved it to this large pot, but now it is… large.

I recently discovered that jade plants are poisonous for cats. Oh, no. I have had jade plants in the house for years with my cats, and never had an issue, but now that I know I’m worried about a cat/plant interaction. I have an indoor garden shelf system established to keep the plants indoors over the winter, but this pot won’t fit now. I’ve decided to use chicken wire to keep the cats away from the shelf with the smaller jades, but this one plant is going to be challenging. Ugh. I can move shelves to create more space, or I can build a cage to put over the plant, or… these are the days when I miss the greenhouse I had in my biology classroom.

Books

This is an amazing book!!

I loved, loved, loved All the Light We Cannot See, so when I saw this book was coming out I preordered it right away. When it dropped into my Kindle library I forced myself to take a break from The Murderbot Diaries to read this. Holy, Moly! Best decision ever. Cloud Cuckoo Land is a book to read and savor.

So you probably have already guessed that I am really enjoying this book. It is the tale of a ridiculous comedy written by an ancient Greek author that is preserved over time and that connects people separated by centuries who are caught up in the jaws of history. Sounds improbable when I write it down, but this works and it is really good! I don’t want to give out any spoilers, but the story moves right along at a perfect pace, going back and forth between the characters and the Greek tale in a way that links them together and brings meaning to their lives and the Greek comedy in an unforeseen manner that eerily connects to my life also. Owls are a recurring element of the stories in the book: as I read in the night it is to the sound of booming “who-who’s” from the Great Horned owls in my neighborhood. (Bunnies: make good choices tonight!!) I read on in this book that is essentially about the power and of legacy of books as I consider which of my books to leave in one of the community Little Free Libraries next week. The power of books, the legacy of lives, the preservation of who we are: a big message contained in a book that immerses you in a powerful story.

Have a good week, everyone.

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

Mateo the CoalBear: and hug a cat!

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.

15 thoughts on “The Saturday Update: Weeks 39 and 40, 2021”

  1. Oh, definitely hug a cat ! – if one will allow it .. πŸ˜€
    You’re meant to have a jade plant at your ‘entrance’, Marilyn, to bring you good luck. So make sure one of the Great Unpotted go there, OK ? (As to what constitutes this part of your domain, Aussie Chinese say your gateway – do you have one ? Most of you live without fences, I think ..
    Lovely new colours in your second SOM !!!

    1. I used to work with another teacher who came from Jerusalem: she kept a rosemary bush in her entrance for good luck. I don’t really have an entrance that would work for a plant, but I do have a great front window. Right now it is being hogged by the fig tree but this winter it will have to scoot over for the jade I think. I do have a fence and two gates, but over the winter they will be jade free. I’m really liking the new SOM… that gold color yarn is silk and it just glows against the other colors. I’m really having fun with this one.

      1. Gold works in so many combos, Marilyn, eh ? – I just love it; and I look forward to seeing this one when completed ! πŸ™‚

      2. I feel like gold is one of those universal neutrals that makes almost everything work. I even painted my walls a nice mellow gold when I moved into my current house. I’m pretty sure I will have the shawl done by the weekend so I will be sure to show it off in the next blog post.

  2. Very pretty knitted tee! Very nice post! Have you ever knitted a pi shawl? I’m not a very good knitter, I’d like to try that type of project for some reason if I can manage the beginning of it which I keep failing at.

    1. Thank you! I have never knitted a pi shawl; you mean the kind that Elizabeth Zimmerman developed? You know, we all started out as not very good knitters! πŸ™‚ I remember that my first projects were these simple slippers and dish cloths. I wonder if there is a yarn store or knitting group that could help you get started and then you could go back every week for help as you work on the shawl. I used to belong to a group that did that for new knitters.

      1. Yup EZ. I’m just starting to crawl out of long covid and a little leary of people, just started leflunomide for RA which is an immunosuppressant, so I’m just going to wait a little longer to be around people. I can’t knit a lot because it kills my shoulders but for some reason those shawls draw me to them, but would like to work on something a little at a time. But I was thinking maybe a private lesson or two! Might look into it, there is a store nearby. Keep the posts coming!

      2. Long covid?! I am so sorry! I had a long haul of inflammatory fatigue with brain fog and I know how hard things are. I am also immunosuppressed and still wearing a mask even though I’m vaccinated because who needs more trouble on their plate right now!! I have found that knitting really is a stress reducer and maybe that is why you are being drawn to the knitting and comfort of a shawl. I started using a little Voltaren on my bad boy shoulders and that is helping a lot. You might ask your doctor if you can use it (diclofenac is the actual drug in Voltaren) too.

  3. Cloud Cuckoo Land sounds really goo,d I’ll have to give that a try.
    And I love how your tee came out, that subtle gradient is really nice. I’m with you on sweater stashes, i have probably 5 or 6 that are taking up space. I hadn’t wanted to start a big project with Shawlography, but i actually got through the first clue by Saturday, so now I don’t know…

    1. I’m coming down the home stretch in Cloud Cuckoo Land and I must say that the story is extremely well stitched together. Even the title makes total sense now.
      I wound the yarn for two of the sweaters last night and when I put the kitted up yarn back into the stash I looked around for… Shawlography yarns. It is hard to not jump right in because the projects I’m seeing online are soooo compelling and interesting. I just love I-cord!! I will learn new things if I participate in that MKAL. I should do it…
      But I have 5 sweaters with my name on them.
      No one appreciates how difficult it is to be a knitter with a huge yarn stash other then you guys!! πŸ™‚ I’ll be looking forward to seeing your shawlography.

  4. Glad you are getting nice fall weather! It is cooling off for us quite a bit. We mostly have birches, so we just get gold leaves, and that’s about it πŸ™‚ That book sounds really interesting – will have to check it out! Your tee and shawl are looking great, and always so happy to see your kitty helpers πŸ™‚

  5. I read your post last week but was having issues with commenting on blogs and now have forgotten what my rambling comment was 🀣 Anyhoo your rocket tee looks great, the autumn colours are gorgeous. Hope you’ve had a good week

    1. It was quite the week. I’m actually going to write two posts to handle everything that is going on. The first one just got published and the BLZ is getting ready to write about the newest medical adventures. πŸ™‚

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