Week 17: A couple dishes, some yarn from stash
I know, I’m a day late again. No de-clutter drama this week to discuss, and no de-hoarding fireworks either. I gave my mom a couple pyrex dishes with cracked rubber tops that we had replaced with new ones recently. So it wasn’t exactly an exodus, considering I gave away two dishes and ended up with four new ones. But at least I didn’t keep the old ones too! I also took a glass frying pan (!) out of the cupboard to put into the Goodwill pile. I’ve used it maybe six times in the past 10 years and R. Darling didn’t even know it existed until I showed it to him to make sure he didn’t want it before I chucked it. Baby steps!
Onto more exciting things…..
Here at Chez Funkytown we have a new obsession: The Backyard. Every morning now I wake to Knittymunchkin chanting Outside! Backyard! Outside! It’s adorable, but here in the Pacific Northwest it stays cool in the mornings most of the year. Sometimes even downright cold when you’d least expect it. Even the most scorching afternoon may be preceded by a dawn filled with frosty condensation pouring from your mouth as you chase an active 2 year old in the yard. All I really want to do is curl up on the couch in my pjs with a hot cup of coffee. But like a good Mama, I try not to squelch his desire for fresh air and the great outdoors. This morning found me freezing my keester off in the early dawn as a bundled up Knittymunchkin careened around the yard and I tried not to shatter my teeth with all the shivering I was doing. I managed to find a really old (we’re talking circa 1991) pair of fingerless gloves that my parents sent with me when I went off to college in Upstate New York. I put them on and they were scratchy as all get out. This would not suffice. That means I need some good fingerless mitts to keep my digits toasty, but my fingers free to accept cups of sand “coffee” and plenty of “pretty flowers” (dandelions).
I’ve never actually made myself a pair of fingerless gloves before. I’ve made a bajillion (it seems) as gifts, but never any for myself. I checked my queue and there were only three patterns in there, two of which I deep-sixed back to my favorites. The only worthy pattern remaining was Commuter Fingerless Mittens from Knitty, First Fall 2011. Good thing I have a ginormous stash to “shop” from! I pulled out some Berroco Ultra Alpaca that had been gifted to me a few years back by my good friend Kathy (blog-free; the one I made the squares for here). I am a few rows in and I am loving this yarn! Where have you been all my life? In my stash, actually. Just waiting to be discovered.
I forsee more of this in my future. Both the Ultra Alpaca and the frosty mornings outside…
April 27, 2012
Week 17: A couple dishes, some yarn from stash
April 19, 2012
Yes, that’s right. My precious angel has recently infected me with the crud and both our noses are dripping like your favorite ice cream cone on a sweltering summer day. I guess we’ve been pretty lucky. It’s April after all, and this is our first bout of the year. Of course Knittymunchkin is made of rubber and you can hardly tell that he probably feels terrible, between his cold and the last two teeth that are trying to push through. If only I could be so cheerful. I just want to lay in bed watching trashy movies and sleeping for, oh, the next week. Not happening.
Anyway, it’s Thursday again. I have missed the last two (three, if you count my pass week). But just because I haven’t posted, doesn’t mean I haven’t been chipping away at my goals. I think the exercise of trying to write about it once a week has done its work, without me actually having to go so far as to bore you with my tales of semi-reformed hoarderliness. That doesn’t mean I won’t continue to write about it, I just may not wax as poetic about it as I have up to this point (you don’t get off that easy, puh-lease!). The emotionally charged items I expect to give up now and then will still get their due, but things that go by the wayside more easily will hopefully receive a little more brevity on my part.
So. The Update:
Week 13 (March 29, 2012): Pass from Week 7′s massive offload
Week 14 (April 5, 2012): Candle & Bath stuff brought out of stash & put to use, pre-pregnancy jeans with hole in goddess grotto (ha ha) thrown out, 30 minutes of declutter every Tuesday established
Week 15 (April 12, 2012): 10 balls of yarn sent out via RAK, almost 1 lb. of dishcloth cotton scraps sent out via RAK, stickers sent out via RAK, sweater pledged via RAK underway, book mailed out via Bookmooch
Week 16 (this week): Book to Bookmooch
I’ll admit it. The jeans were a little hard to part with. I loved the way they fit when I was skinny; key phrase: when I was skinny. Realistically, as much as I would love to fit into them again, I never will. It’s a sad day when you feel defeated by your waistline. My brain raced with reasons to keep them: the hole’s not that big, you can hardly see it, you could wear them to garden, you might fit into them again someday, they’re so cuuuuuuuute. I gulped and threw them in the trash. Immediately I felt the irrational urge to fish them out. Instead, I walked away and found something else to occupy my mind. And then…. I totally forgot about them. Huh. So that’s how it’s supposed to work!
That same week I was reading an article in SHAPE magazine written by the experts who counsel the people on “Hoarders”. There were lots of tips in there on how to cut down on your clutter and get more organized. I was particularly struck by the one that said you should set aside thirty minutes on a specific day each week to de-clutter. It sounded like a great idea. Now that I have a lot less structure in my days, being that I report to Knittymunchkin instead of a 9-5 workplace, I find it a lot harder to focus and get things accomplished. You’d think somehow it would be easier, with all that time in my day, but it really isn’t. Time with a two year old vanishes faster than you can say “Elmo”. So scheduling specific organization time seemed like a great idea. I chose Tuesday evenings for my new plan and so far it has worked really well. Thirty minutes is long enough to get something done, but not long enough to feel like you are chained to a specific task. The first week I could actually see the top of part of my desk again after just one session. I’d realistically like to do this more than once a week, but for right now one session is about all I can commit to. Still, it helps!
I mentioned that in Week 15 I pledged a sweater via the Random Acts of Kindness Group on Ravelry. Every month you can post a wishlist and this month I posted on my wishlist that I needed a knitting recipient. I had two kits for the Little Bubbles Baby Set from KnitPicks, and I never got around to knitting them for Knittymunchkin. Now that he’s too big for the biggest size, it’s kind of a lost cause to make it for him. So someone answered my request and I’m knitting this for her 5 month old. Hopefully, by the time I finish it it will be the perfect size for her :) The colors I have aren’t sold anymore (or shown on the pattern page) but I love them. Knitting this makes me wish I’d had more time to knit things for Knittymunchkin before he was born. Oh well. Maybe I’ll save that second kit for the grandchild I may have one day. I know that’s planning pretty far in advance, but it would be worth it to have it when the time is right. Uh oh. Maybe I really haven’t made any progress!
Off to sniffle in bed with a book for a while. Hope you are all staying healthy & happy!
March 15, 2012
Week 11: Odds ‘n Ends, i.e. total lameness!
I’d love to be able to tell you that between this Thursday and last, I got my sh!t togetha and cleared all the clutter out of my entire house, knit 4 sweaters, 5 pairs of socks, and a dozen hats. Or at least that I took a bad-ass vacation to the beach. But alas, none of those things occurred. The weather was beyond bleak. Several days Knittymunchkin decided he needed to wear his “jammies” all day and while the rain pelted, the snow fell, and the wind buffeted, we cranked up the heat and watched just a little too much Sesame Street. It was one of those weeks. I felt about as forlorn inside as the weather was outside. But I did manage to read and recycle two magazines, gift four Martha Stewart magazines to my friend John, and use up a laundry detergent sample that has been sitting in the laundry room exactly as long as we’ve had our washing machine (circa 2008 or 2009). I also used up a deluxe sized sample of Philosophy Purity Made Simple that I received years ago (2007?) with a Sephora order. I’ve been keeping this wash in my travel stuff for years now because it’s such a nice portable size, yet there is always enough for several days. Well with my skin freaking out lately, I decided to try anything I had in my sample stash that might calm things down a little. This seemed to do the trick, though Troy bought me some Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel that I positively adore, so it’s not so bad that I finally used up the Philosophy stuff. I also pulled some yarn out of my stash to knit another square for my friend Kathy that I mentioned last time. Not much to be said for this week, but I’m chipping away at things slowly. Ever so slowly…..
It was a good mail week though! I received back yarn from two different swaps and I can’t wait to add them to my Beekeeper’s Quilt. It’s always nice when there’s something to look forward to in the mailbox. Here’s a few of my favorites from the Sweet Georgia Swap in the Blankiemania Group on Ravelry. I sure wish I could join Round 2! These are just lovely….
March 8, 2012
Week 10: More RAK’s!
Thursday again, and I’ve officially procrastinated at least an hour before writing this post. I think I’m getting a little burnt out on my project. Not so much engaging in the new behavior of getting rid of things, but the documenting of it all. When it’s just piddly things here and there from week to week, it’s still progress, but it’s not a story. While that’s fine for getting myself organized, it’s not much fun for blogging.
So, I’ll keep my weekly accounting short and sweet and then move onto better subjects. This week I sent out three more RAK’s and it felt really good to be able to make someone else’s day! Technically, I can only take credit for two of them. I sent off a needle gauge, some extra cable needles, and some stitch markers to a beginning knitter in Massachusetts. She has since received them and seems thrilled with her new goodies, which makes me smile inside. The second RAK was mailed off to a super sweet gal in Canada and consisted of a bit of my stationery odds and ends. I probably have enough stationery to write letters until I’m 110, especially now that very few people send real correspondence anymore. She and I have conversed a bunch between my initial contact and the actual mailing of her gifty and she was kind enough to gift me a couple patterns in return. I think what I love best about RAKing people is that I get to meet some really nice knitters along the way and have the pleasure of getting to know them and chat with them. Knitters are so awesome!
The third RAK really belongs to my super knitty pal Troy. When we went on our super-fab knitty weekend to Seattle in mid-February, he dumped a giant bag of sock yarn at my feet and told me to take whatever I wanted. I might have pinched myself a little to make sure it was real. And then of course, I got high on yarn fumes and ended up taking ALL of it home with me! That’s something you all don’t know about Troy. Not only is he one of the most generous people I know, but he also buys super nice yarn! And then he doesn’t become unnecessarily attached to it. Except for the really good stuff ;) Anyway, I felt a little guilty taking all of it and told him I’d be sure to send some of it off as RAK’s. So this was me making good on that. I sent a starving college student (in microbiology, no less!) some very pretty red sock yarn in honor of her birthday this month. So here’s to you Troy! Thank you for making two people’s days!
And now….. Some actual knitting!
My generous and kind friend Kathy (blog-free) who I have been “virtual” friends with for quite a few years now, is turning 50 this month. And to celebrate her birthday, she is doing something completely and totally awesometastic! She is collecting squares in black and bright colors to put together into a blanket which she will then donate to Pine Ridge Reservation. How wonderful is that? She kindly asked if I might be able to make her at least one square and I gladly agreed. How could I say no to both helping my friend celebrate her birthday, and to doing something for charity? The pattern I used is the Checker-Square Garter Dishcloth and it’s free. Not only that, there’s no purling! And while you do have to pay attention to what row you are on, it’s only for every other row, and it knits up quickly. I hope I can make at least one more before Kathy’s deadline on March 22. I think I can :) I’m sure Kathy could use any squares she might be able to receive. If anyone reading is interested in contributing (and is a Ravelry member) you can find the details of her request here in the Amazing Flying Squirrel Karma Team Group on Ravelry. Happy Birthday Kathy!! Here’s to 50 amazing & wonderful years, and many many many happy returns!
March 1, 2012
Week 9: All about yarn!
Yeah, so somehow it got to be March 1st already. And somehow it is also Thursday again. It keeps creeping up on me and I keep thinking I’ll be prepared, or at least a little excited about having something to say. Nope. Still have the blog-writing blues.
So today it will be short and simple. This week I sold a ball of yarn: 350 yds out the do’! That was a nice feeling. For about 5 minutes. And then I went and spent all that dough on a swapless mini swap. Oy. This mini business is turning into a serious problem. I’ve also been stalking the Random Acts of Kindness Group on Ravelry again. It’s been surprising me how many things I have right now that I can actually gift to people. I love the feeling of doing something nice for someone else! I’m afraid that’s a little addicting in itself, so I have to cool it. It’s not like I have tons of extra cash for the packages I’ve been sending at least once a week (between swaps, books & RAK’s). But perhaps the goal of ridding myself of something once a week has something to do with this new obsession. As a side bonus I am using recycled packaging and recycled tissue paper etc. to wrap and send everything out for the most part. A clutter-clearing bonanza! Anyway, I found a very sweet lady who was looking for some Patons Grace. I happened to have two balls in my stash, one in the “Rose” colorway and one in “Tangelo”. I loved the colors and would have been happy to use them up for something, but I’m pretty bad with one-skein projects (never can seem to find any good ones) unless they are hats or mittens. And I’ve got more than enough yarn for those! So I gifted her those two yarns as well as a straight needle roll I got as a freebie from some magazine about a billion years ago. This feels pretty great!
I did get a little discouraged earlier this week when I went on a magazine hunting expedition through the house. While my yarn is pretty well organized, my magazines are only half-heartedly so, and it is sometimes a challenge to find a specific issue of something when I want a pattern. The issue in question was Interweave Knits, Fall 2009. I have become obsessed with the Slanting Gretel Tee pattern and have just settled on the perfect stash yarn for it. I looked for it in all of my “usual” nooks and crannies, to no avail. So this meant a lengthy dig through the dark recesses of the sty that is THE GARAGE. I suited up for extended deep box-diving and held my breath. It was so depressing that I can’t even begin to describe it without maybe shedding a little bit of a tear. Boxes and boxes of stuff I need to go through. With what time? I know. It’s disheartening. But after about 7 boxes, I hit paydirt. Magazine unearthed! In the process I also grabbed about 8 fitness magazines from 2008 that were stuffed in the same box, totally unread, and unceremoniously dumped them in the recycle bin on my way back inside. So it wasn’t really sizable progress, but it was better than just stuffing them back in the box, right? A little at a time. It’s all I can do.
And because I can’t seem to find a picture of either of the yarns I RAK’d, I’ll have to leave you with a completely different off-topic shot for the day. Check out these supa awesome buttons I bought at this etsy shop recently (the shop owner is a total sweetheart)! It’s totally counter-productive that I bought them, since I have no idea what I’ll use them for, but I had to have them. They make me happy!
February 23, 2012
Week 8: Knitting from stash & some random use it up & toss it out!
I’m sitting here procrastinating, eating Dove chocolate hearts, and attempting to take the deep philosophical quotes inside the wrappers to heart. I kind of liked these two: “Discover how much your heart can hold” and “Hold hands firmly, hearts gently.” Well, it was only four chocolates, but I still found a way to stretch that out into at least 45 minutes of not writing this post. Ugh. I’m just not feeling it. I should be energized considering I just spent a fantastic 2 days in the the big city of Seattle with my super knitty pal Troy (who has a new blog by the way!) and no mommy duties for the entire trip. But more on that later.
Instead, I’m feeling exhausted. I have a teething two year old who isn’t sleeping well (thus, I am not sleeping well either), a kitchen that magically regenerates four dirty dishes for every one that I load into the dishwasher, and a bank account that seems to do the opposite. My skin is freaking out in all sorts of unexpected ways and I live in my sweats. I’m pretty sure I haven’t showered in nearly 48 hours. SO gross.
I’ve been dreading today’s post. What to say? I know I’ve made progress, but it doesn’t seem substantial. For instance, this past week I finished a hat from a kit purchased at Sock Summit last July (about 135 yds total), and a pair of slippers from some stash gifted to me by Troy in August of 2008 (about 3 skeins used up). That fits right into my plans to use up, sell, donate, or throw out something once a week. But without a picture, some good solid evidence, it seems pointless. Pictures are harder and harder to come by these days. I’m afraid you’ll have to settle for a photo of the raw yarn instead of the finished project for a little while until I can get something snapped.
Though I feel this week’s offering for Thinning The Nest seems a little insubstantial, I do notice the effect that 8 weeks of this has had on my behavior. Last Friday I decided I’d had enough of the needles I’ve been using for my Beekeeper’s Quilt. The rubber coating on the cables had slipped away from the join where the needle and the cable meet, and a little gap had developed that snagged my yarn on nearly every round of knitting. I put up with this for a good week or so in my typical grin-and-bear-it fashion. But then I decided that my Beekeeper’s Quilt is one of the only projects that I work on daily, it makes me happy, and it just wasn’t worth it to me to continue knitting with crappy needles. So I bought a new set of needles and deep-sixed the old ones. That is a true departure for me. Normally I would have either continued to knit with them until they finally broke entirely, feeling miserable the whole time, or I would have just tucked them away thinking I could use them again for something else. But I decided, no, they just couldn’t be redeemed. And just because they weren’t completely and totally busted, doesn’t mean they didn’t need to be trashed. There is no more room in my house for things that don’t earn their keep.
Ha. I’d like to think I’m that tough! But ssshhhh….. don’t tell Knittymunchkin…. I’m a big old pushover :)
I still have a lot of work to do. But I have to remember that it’s not going to happen overnight. Each small thing I accomplish is a step towards the organized life I want to achieve. Just keep moving forward.
February 16, 2012
Week 7: More Baby Stuff & More Random Acts of Kindness!
Ugh. You’ll have to forgive me dear bloggies. I feel icky, tired, lackluster, and not very chatty. With Knittymunchkin’s second birthday arrived a whole load of new behaviors that I’m finding incredibly difficult to process and try to let roll off of me. He’s getting his last set of molars, none of us are sleeping too well, and I am pretty sure I hear the word “no” at least every 30 seconds throughout each day. It’s kind of a bummer. But I promised an update every Thursday, so here we go.
This week was a big one, actually. I got rid of a ton of baby stuff (to my former co-worker again). Most of it I was fine about, but at the last minute I got sort of sentimental about one thing in particular and had to make sure to take a photo of it before giving it away. Feeling sad about giving it up made me feel weak and stupid, but there was just something about it that made me want to hang on. Maybe because I remembered using it so much when my baby was still a baby. But away it went. I knew it was pretty pointless to keep it. In addition to those 4 big bags of things, I found someone at the Random Acts of Kindness Group on Ravelry who was looking for cloth diapering items. To her, I sent a huge lot of cloth diapers that Knittymunchkin has outgrown: 8 covers with inserts, 8 extra inserts, 8 doublers, some biodegradable disposable inserts, and a sample of cloth diaper detergent. That was a great feeling because the diapers were a bit worse for wear and I didn’t think there was any way I could sell them. Yet, I didn’t want to throw them out or risk giving them to Goodwill since I figured they’d have no idea what to do with them. It made me feel fantastic to know that someone else could get a little more use out of them. I also mailed some sock yarn minis in dark colors that won’t go very well in my Beekeeper’s Quilt to a lady in New Jersey. She’s working on a blanket for her daughter who is going through a really difficult time, and had run out of yarn to use. Being on a budget, she was having a hard time finishing the blanket, so I thought it would be nice to help her out as so many others have helped me. And tomorrow night I am most likely going to be teaching a teenager to knit! So I am gifting her some dishcloth cotton, a pair of needles, and an instructional leaflet. All stuff from my stash that I don’t necessarily need anymore. I just hope I am an o.k. teacher and that she has fun with it :)
They say it takes at least a month for a new behavior to become a habit. I’d say in at least that amount of time I’ve become almost addicted to the feeling of getting rid of things. It’s so strange! But I am always looking ahead to the next thing that I want to gift or sell. I may have to allow myself a pass sometime in the future though. This week was so big that I think it makes up for at least two weeks of destashing!
And because there’s not enough knitting on here (ever) anymore, and also because Lynn is always excitedly asking for photos, here’s a teaser pic of some of the puffs I’ve made for my Beekeeper’s Quilt. I’d hoped to do a Puffrospective (Puff + Retrospective = Puffrospective) each month this year, but it’s not working out well with my lack of time for photography and blogging. ~Sigh~ Someday….
February 9, 2012
Week 6: Random Acts Of Kindness!
A long time ago, in a year far, far, away, there was a girl who had time on her hands. She knit for charity, she knit for fun, she knit whenever she felt like it. Then a little bundle of joy arrived and the girl rarely knit anymore. Neither did she blog much, or do the things she used to do. But she still collected yarn. And though she couldn’t knit it, she couldn’t give it up either. Until just recently. Don’t misunderstand. This girl still hoards most of her lovelies and you will probably have to pry them out of her cold, dead, hands long after she is gone. But she felt she could sacrifice a few for the greater good. And that is what she did.
There is a Ravelry Group called “Random Acts of Kindness“. I know I’ve talked about it here before, but it’s been a while since I was active in the group. You can post a wishlist or peruse other people’s wishes, and things are given or received with no expectations for a return gesture. I know that in the scheme of things I have more than enough of the good things in life. And not everyone is as fortunate. So I thought this month would be a good chance to give back. I’ve received so many wonderful gifts, support, and kindness from people here at the blog and on Ravelry and it feels good to put a little bit of that back into the world.
I’ve had this ball of Plymouth Sockotta staring me in the face for the last 3 (4?) years and I kept looking at it and wondering whether I would really ever get around to using it. It never even made it into my official stash, I was so wishy washy about it. I thought about adding it to my Beekeeper’s Quilt since the colors are really pretty, but after knitting puffs nonstop out of a ball of Crystal Palace Panda Silk Print that was only half the size of this skein, and wanting to scratch my eyes out after, I decided using a whole skein of something was not for me. Nor did I really feel the urge to knit socks from it. I have tons of sock yarn already that – shhhh…..it might hear – I like lots better. So I thought it could use some loves. You know, in the spirit of Valentine’s Day and all. It went out yesterday to a new home where it will be (hopefully) more appreciated than it was here!
I also found a second wish to grant this week. Someone was looking for bulky yarn to use for after school programs in which the kids learn to knit hats and things with knitting looms and needles. I had some yarn left over from a charity knitting project I did for Warm Woolies a long time ago and it has been sitting in my stash for several years now. This yarn was a prize I received in a contest for the Mystery Sweater KAL during which I made the sweater. I thought I was receiving enough yarn to make the smaller size, but apparently she sent me enough to make the larger size. So I had 3.4 balls of KnitPicks Swish Bulky left over and I felt that since it was given to me to complete a charity project with, that it needed to be used for charity. I don’t have much time to knit for charity these days (though I hope to again one day) but giving this to kids to use in an after school program felt in keeping with the spirit in which I’d originally received it. So it was mailed off yesterday to another good home. I hope the kids enjoy it!
So, another week without purging drama! This letting go business is getting a little easier each time I do it. And knowing other people will use the things I say goodbye to, makes me feel even better! Only 46 more weeks to go :)
February 2, 2012
Week 5: 10 balls of yarn!
This week’s exodus happened sort of inadvertently. As most of you know, I have a ginormous stash. And it’s sort of out of control. Well, it’s actually pretty organized, there’s just an embarrassing amount of it. I’m just a little OCD about photographing it, entering it into Ravelry and my own personal spreadsheet, and keeping tabs on yardage as well as cost per hank/skein/ball. Despite that, there are actually a few items here and there that slip through the cracks, so my entire stash is not quite up to date on Ravelry. But it’s close. Anyway, I occasionally get messages from other Ravelry folks wanting to know if something or another is for sale. Usually they are asking about my “regular” stash and I have to gently point out that the only things truly for sale in my stash are on my trade/sell page. I try to be friendly. And I wish them luck in their search. I mean, it never hurts to ask, right? But sometimes I find myself getting a little irked when someone who solicited me about my yarn has the gall to act huffy with me; like my yarn is up for grabs just because I took a photo and wrote some stash notes about purchase prices.
But sometimes when people ask I just happen to have been looking at that particular yarn and wondering what the heck I was going to do with all of it (I have a lot of sweater quantities of yarn). And did I really like that color anyway? That’s what happened this week. I sold a nice lady (with the same first name as me!) 10 balls of Ella Rae Silkience in “Silky Lime”. That’s 1190 yds total! And I still have 10 balls left for myself. I like to think that worked out nicely :) Lucky me! Another week without purging angst!
On an unrelated, but no less important note, Knittymunchkin turned two today. Wow. When they tell you time flies and that you’ll notice it more when you have kids, they weren’t kidding. How did my baby get to be two years old?! I’m having lots of flashbacks to all the time we spent in the hospital with him, how fragile he seemed, and how worried we were for him. And now he’s a talking, running, jumping, laughing toddler, with no trace of that fragility left. Today was low-key as R. Darling had to work this afternoon and evening. Knittymunchkin and I read books and had our milk and coffee waiting for Daddy to wake up. Then we opened presents, had cake (with disastrous results), a nap, and a visit with Grandma. A pretty regular day. Next year will be a completely different ball game I’m sure. This is our last “holiday” where Knittymunchkin isn’t wholly aware of the gift-giving business and the fact that the world really does revolve around him. I never really thought I wanted to be a mother but now that I have Knittymunchkin in my life, I know I do. I am so incredibly grateful that he is here and I have the privilege of being his mama. I am one lucky girl! Happy Birthday sweet Boy!
January 26, 2012
Week 4: A Big Down Comforter!
This week was simple. There were no massive emotional fireworks, no sentimental mooning around, no digging deep in order to find the courage to purge. It was all about simplicity.
Several years ago, when my Father-in-Law worked for Tempur-Pedic, we were able to get a fantastic deal on a California King sized adjustable Tempur-Pedic bed. We call it our “old people” bed because we have a remote that adjusts the head and feet up and down to whatever setting you desire; just like that bed on TV that allows the “old people” to get in and out more easily. I should be embarrassed to have an “old person” bed. Except that it kicks ass. And I can say I have a remote for my bed. Conjures up all kinds of crazy images, huh? It does have a massage feature…..
Anyway, the thing about Tempur-Pedic beds is that they run hot. I figured that would be a blessing considering my feet never seem to thaw out all winter long and I have been known to wear sweatshirts on a 70 degree summer afternoon. In a word, I’m cold all the time. That first winter we had it we put on the big down comforter and snuggled up underneath the covers, only to find it really did run hot and we were sweltering. Being too hot at night is nearly as miserable as being too cold. So we bought a new comforter that was a bit lighter and pretty soon I slept like Goldilocks – just right. But I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of the old comforter. Maybe we’d have a crushing winter hurricane and need to huddle under it for warmth someday. You never know. But after several years of never once needing that other, heavier, down comforter, I knew it was over. This week we gifted it to my Mother-in-Law and her husband. Things have been a bit tight for them this winter and I know they are keeping the thermostat low to save on energy bills. They were thrilled to get it and we were thrilled to help out. Now everyone is snuggly warm at night! If only every week could be this easy……
Here’s a little eye-candy just to remind you that yes, this is still primarily (supposed to be) a knitting blog. I know there’s been a scarcity on that subject here lately and I feel pretty bad about that. I’m still finding it really difficult to blog even the once a week I promised to do at this point, so Thinning The Nest seems to get all the focus. But I hope that can change sometime in the coming months. I’ve been knitting, really I have! I just need to find some time to talk about it. Don’t give up on me yet! I’ll get there, I know I will :)
January 19, 2012
Week 3: A bunch of random crap!
The last week has been amazingly, stressfully busy. We decided to re-finance our home and that means some dude has to come through here, take a bunch of photos, peer through the mess of toddler toys, paraphernalia of half a dozen hobbies, wear and tear of 12 years and 2.5 dogs, and ultimately decide if we just lost our pants on a $550 appraisal or if we will be saving ourselves $200 a month. Can you say panic attack? This is probably a non-issue for normal people. You know, people with style, no yarn hoarder in residence, and a housekeeper. But man, I cannot wait until this is over and done with! Tequila is ready and waiting. Wait, I’d better have one of those right now….
With all that in mind, I’m afraid this week’s Thinning The Nest is a bit weak. Yes we did throw out about 30 lbs. of recyclables (hooray for trash day coinciding with the clean out!), and about 6 huge garbage bags of stuff, but I don’t feel right counting that since it was mostly R. Darling’s stuff. Though we are partners in crime in getting our act together this year, I know that I need to make more of an effort than I have so far and my goal in getting rid of one thing each week was to force myself to come to terms with my own piles of crap.
So this week I did get rid of a couple small things. I chucked out a spent glass candle holder from Bath & Body Works that I was ridiculously planning to repurpose into either a pencil cup or a nifty vase. It was super cute; orange with white etched out dots. I have a thing for stuff with dots on it. But when you used the candle up 3 years ago and the stupid candle holder is still waiting around to be cleaned out and put to a good use, you start to think it’s probably never going to happen. I grew up in a family that never threw anything out. “I can use that for (insert super useful household item here)”, was our motto. Most of the time that never happened. So I’m giving it up, even if it’s like pulling teeth to throw something out that’s useful. I doubt I’ll even miss it. I just had to go through the exercise of telling myself that, and really believing it, before I could let go.
I also tossed out my trusty BedBug. I bought this at a
Crap Craft Fair in Pullman when I used to live there. It kept my toes toasty on many a cold, snowy night, with R. Darling 385 miles away. I thought at one point that I’d sew oodles of these and make lots of money and live in my pajamas in a house on the beach for the rest of my life. Or at least pay my bills. And then the Jack Russell met the BedBug. And they did not mix. The Jack (unsurprisingly) won the tussle and poor BedBug has some pretty deep teeth marks to show for the encounter. I admit. It was hard to let go. I absolutely do not know why. Maybe it just reminded me of my life in Pullman? This must be where those psychologists they always employ on “Hoarders” come in to tell me that I am certifiably nutso. Whatever the reason I couldn’t let go, it is now on its way to the garbage can. Any minute now. No really. Right.Now.
Another one of my (many) issues with stashing things is that I absolutely cannot bring myself to use things that are “too nice”. This includes yarn, beauty products, clothing, sometimes even food. I don’t know what I’m waiting for. I’m not getting any younger. I could die tomorrow. And then that something that’s “too nice” for every day would just be wasted. I need to remind myself that if I really love something, chances are I can buy more of it if I really want to. But I’ll never know how nice (or not nice – I’ve been sadly surprised on this before) something is if I never use it. Some things definitely have an expiration.
One of the things I loved about the Hazel Knits Sock Club was the fantastic swag Wendee always included in her packages. A couple years back she included this Bee Bar from Honey House Naturals. It has been sitting in my nightstand for a really long time now and I just couldn’t bring myself to use it. I’m not much of a lotion person when it comes to my hands. I hate that goopy greasy feeling and I wash my hands about a billion and one times a day so it seems sort of pointless. But wintertime always wreaks havoc on my hands and I find myself needing to at least apply it before bed to stave off real damage. This week that hasn’t been enough. So I brought the Bee Bar into the kitchen and every once in a while, would put a little across my rough, cracked knuckles. It wasn’t greasy and smelled fantastic. Knittymunchkin kept holding his knuckles out for some too – it was super cute :) I’m happy I’m finally using this! It’s a great product, it’s helping me, and I’m using it up. Win, Win, Win!
Oh and the yarn? That was a superbly generous, wonderfully kind gifty from my ever-thoughtful friend Amy! She heard I was working on The Beekeeper’s Quilt and offered to send me some scraps. Only these aren’t scraps, these are like quarter skeins or more! Thanks so much Amy! I can’t wait to use them :) And a huge thank you to Betty too for so kindly sending me some lovely yarn to add to my blanket (whole, new skeins!)! I am so excited to have little reminders of each of you to add to my project. And once again, I am blessed to belong to a community of knitters. You are all the best!