The weather has taken a definite turn in my little part of the world; the days are hovering in the low 80’s with a bit of breeze (a great improvement after weeks of high 90’s plus), while the early mornings & evenings are showing a decided chill. We even had a decent rainfall on Saturday, the first we’ve seen since May or June. All this, combined with the calendar’s gentle reminder, has spurred me on to do my seasonal redecorating on my page (the house, well, that will have to wait a bit longer.)
The past few days have been filled with an assortment of nesting activities for all of us; nothing earthshaking or profound, just tying up the loose ends & rattling shutters before winter is upon us again. It’s funny how a change of season seems to trigger certain urgings in almost everyone.
b Chris spent his day off Friday getting things settled with the old car. It has been parked on the lot at his work since we had towed from Jessica’s in June; the final verdict was a minimum of $1800 to maybe repair it. Nope. So, Chris arranged to donate it to one of those outfits that take old cars, since they will come to tow it away, but had to make sure the DMV paperwork was in order. Unfortunately, he couldn’t locate the title in the safe deposit box or the files at home, so he got to spend a good couple of hours with the good folks at our local DMV office. The rest of the afternoon was employed digging up hidden & forgotten sprinkler heads that were buried by encroaching sod, & beginning work on the next section of fence to be replaced in the backyard.
b I started Saturday morning with an ambitious “To Do” list that included a visit to the nursery for the annual “Quilts in the Trees” show & a bulb workshop, both of which I attended last year. First was a trip to the gym for some time on the treadmill & weight machines (I told you- I have to get serious about losing this weight!) & a brief visit to the Farmer’s Market for apples, tomatoes, & a pie, all in the pouring rain. This didn’t bode well for the quilt show, but I figured I take a chance anyway; sure enough, it rained buckets all the way over to Livermore, but as soon as I pulled into the parking lot, it stopped. I spent a pleasant couple of hours, looking at the quilts (which had been moved inside the buildings & under covered walkways), putting together round terracotta pot of layered spring bulbs topped with violas (I bought extra to redo the square planter I did last year), & picking out supplies to refresh my raiser vegetable bed. I’ve decided to try a winter garden this year; it just makes since here since our area rarely gets below freezing & almost never has snow. I picked up a few bags of compost, iron sulfate, gypsum, & organic fertilizer to refresh the soil, & then chose some broccoli & cabbage bedding plants to start out. I’m also going to put in some more carrots, lettuce, & try some radishes. I was also surprised to learn there are now “Cold Weather” tomatoes, heirloom varietals from Russia & the Baltic’s that will produce in cooler temperatures, less daylight hours and higher humidity. The grower, Steve Goto, was there with a large supply of ten varieties & was giving an informal workshop; I ended choosing two plants: Sasha Altai, which produces medium sized meaty fruit, & Stupice, slightly larger then cherry-sized fruit & high yield. I’m looking forward to seeing how this turns out & possibly surprising people with fresh tomatoes at Christmas.
b We had our first “House to House” dinner with our new group; we did a potluck Italian meal of gnocchi, salad, mixed veggies, bread, & peach cobbler (that was mine). It’s a varied group- a couple of 20-something newlyweds, a couple with two toddlers, & two couples in their 40’s with young adult children. I have hopes of less friction this time around; you might remember there was one woman, C, that try as I may, I just could not learn to like. I wrote about the strained dinner at her house; the following get-togethers didn’t fair much better. At the dinner hosted at my house (on my birthday) I was sharing with another woman the recipe for my super-cleaner, which uses a little liquid dish soap, when C piped in, “Well, that explains why your carpets are so dirty- dish soap attracts the dirt.”(her husband own a carpet cleaning business) I replied- politely- “My carpets are stained because they are 12 years old, I’ve raised 5 cats, 3 kids, & a husband on them, & they haven’t been professionally cleaned in a while.” The last dinner in May, we were discussing various ministries we had all served in through the years; C became highly indignant that Chris had been a deacon at our previous church. “The Bible says an elder must be the husband of one wife,” she stated (her husband had recently been elected to the board); I pointed out that Chris was- he has only been married once, to me for 19 years. Her reply? “But by choosing to marry you (a divorced woman), he became a partner in your sin, so he shouldn’t have been allowed to serve in leadership!” After a moment of silence- I was flabbergasted that someone would actually say something that rude out loud- I said, “Well, I guess the board wasn’t bound by legalism, or chose not to count my forgiven sin against my husband’s desire to serve.” Grrr! It is sanctimonious attitudes like that make it hard for sincere Christians to be taken seriously.
b One of the ladies in my knitting group hosts a knit-in open house every 3 months to welcome the new season. We each bring a seasonal dish to share (I brought the apple pie I got at the Farmer’s Market) & spend the afternoon knitting, talking, or perusing her vast library of pattern books & videos. Sunday was another beautiful day, sunny & cool, & we had a lovely time just relaxing. One of Chann’s four black cats climbed into my lap while I knitted; she minded her manners, only giving the yarn a cursory glance & occasionally gently batting at the set of hanging needles (when I knit small items in the round, like socks or mittens, I use two sets of circular needles.) She eventually fell asleep, purring soothingly, which kept me seated & working on my projects. I completed Sam’s fingerless mitts (that's my hand, not his)
& then finished up a washcloth that has been hanging around in my bag all summer- what a great feeling! When I got home, I went up to my yarn stash in the study & pulled out the supplies for the felted clogs I planned for myself & bought last year. I cast them on that evening & have been working on them while we watch the new Ken Burns series, “The War”; I’ll probably finish them by next week, just in time to start the Ravelry Mitten Swap. This seems to be my most productive time of year, possibly part of the seasonal nesting urge.
That’s all the time I have for updating right now; the next episode is coming on soon & I really need to eat something. Hope you all are having a great week so far & I’ll do my best to make the rounds by Thursday.