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Thinning The Nest: Thursday Number 12

Week 12:  One measly book

So it’s really Friday.  Thursday blew past me in an instant and I didn’t remember I was supposed to blog until it was way past my bedtime already.  It was another lame week in the downsizing department.  I sent one book off to Bookmooch, pulled some yarn out of stash to knit my Mom a birthday present, and sent out another RAK with some sock yarn minis in it from stuff I had stashed.  Not bad I guess, but not earth-shattering either.  We did have our taxes prepared this week though, and I decided to itemize our Goodwill donations for last year at the suggestion of our accountant.  Tax season for 2009 was the first time we’d ever used an accountant (always used TurboTax and did it ourselves) and I must say, it was worth it to us to pay the modest fee in return for the advice he gave us.  Anyway, seeing the itemized list of what we gave away last year was pretty eye-opening.  According to the Turbo Tax calculator for donations, we gave away something like $500 worth of stuff.  I know I’ve got a lot more to donate for this year, so seeing that total made me feel motivated for this upcoming year.  I’ve got my work cut out for me.

Sorry for the lack of photos today, but we just got new internet service and my desktop computer isn’t hooked up yet.  So I’m using R. Darling’s laptop just to squeeze out this post halfway on schedule.  I’m also calling in my pass from Thinning The Nest Week 7 for next week.  Monday the 26th is the third anniversary of my Dad’s passing and I’ve been really sad this entire week.  I don’t expect that next week will be much better.  Every time Knittymunchkin does something adorable or hilarious, or reaches some new fantastic milestone, it breaks my heart that my Dad can’t be here to see it.  There are days where it seems like forever that he’s been gone, and others where it feels like I just lost him yesterday.  So I’m laying low, knitting, reading, and trying my best to sleep.

Until next time…..

Hug the ones you love and tell them how much they mean to you every day.  It’s really the most important thing you can do :)

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Thinning The Nest: Thursday Number 11

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….

Sweet Georgia Swap Round 1 - 2012

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Thinning The Nest: Thursday Number 10

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!

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Thinning The Nest: Thursday Number 9

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!

Sugar Skulls!