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July 3, 2008

Happy July 3rd!

This morning it finally dawned on me we're about to have a three-day holiday weekend because I got an actual real bonafide parking spot at the park 'n ride lot (!!!). Right after I pulled into my parking space (!!!) another regular bus rider pulled her car in beside mine and at the same time we hollered to each other, "Oh! My! God! Parking!!" We were both so damn excited you'd thought we'd won the lottery.

Well, they say it's the little things in life that bring you joy!

So on a long weekend people usually ask what your plans are, getting away this weekend? Going anywhere special? But this year none of my friends or co-workers are going anywhere, I guess everyone is feeling the money squeeze. I'm happy to stay home and I already have a long list of things to do including wildlife photography (read: "taking pictures of the cats while they try to sleep") and cleaning the house (I have dustballs that have dustballs) and visiting my garden in the actual daylight hours. Who knows what the zukes have been up to while I was away at work!

I also plan to do a little top-secret work on this:

mccalls5137.jpg
My friend Corey said the pattern looked a little Holly Hobby-ish in the picture but I can't decide if that's part of the reason I chose it or not. Perhaps I still have a subconscious Holly Hobby fixation?

Anyway, I have no summer clothes that are cute and fit me so I have decided to make some. This started out as a budgeting grey area -- I don't want to buy any clothes but I have three weddings to attend this summer, plus I may want to actually go out one day between now and November in clothes that are cute and appropriate for the hot weather. I do have plenty of work clothes, but that's all business professional stuff and not exactly appropriate for summer weekends. And my office is cooled to three degrees above the "arctic" setting and while I'm not complaining -- I like it cold! -- my work clothes don't cut it in valley summers for weekend wear. I do have grubby clothes for pulling weeds and cleaning house (so sexy!) but nothing in my wardrobe fills in the gap between grubby and business professional.

So I decided I would make a few things this summer, as long as I was able to follow some self-imposed guidelines: only buy patterns and fabric I will actually use in two weeks' time, no stockpiling patterns and supplies for the apocalypse, and nothing with horizontal stripes... just on principle.

In addition to my sewing project, I plan to finish up a scarf that has been languishing in my to-finish pile since last November. It's a striped thing done in two shades of Paton's Rumor (to go with my mittens!) but I tried bringing it on the bus and it just sheds like crazy:

rumorscarf-shedding.jpg

So I am going to finish it up at home where shedding is the norm, and then I may try to wash it in the machine (in a pillowcase or something) in hopes of getting its hairiness down to a manageable level. Has anyone found a way to lessen the crazy shedding of this yarn? If so, please share!

I also have a cable-knit hat I made up using that same yarn and I might try to write the pattern up ... or not. I did some wacky decreases on it and I'm not sure I can remember them all! But it's a cute hat, maybe I can try to photograph one of the cats wearing it.

Also, my desk finally arrived last month and it has a file drawer still awaiting my files. I have yet to find the time to go through my files and figure out what to keep and what to trash (they're all stuck in a file box right now) and I want to sort them all out and transfer them to the new file drawer of my desk. I ADORE my new desk, though I won't mention where I got it since it was the worst customer service experience of my entire life and I plan to never shop there again, ever, As God Is My Witness, but the name contains "barn" and a word for crockery in its title. The desk itself is beyond awesome but getting it took two months, fifty-eight phone calls and finally an exasperated call (or twelve) to the district manager and finally the corporate headquarters. It really should not take that much effort to get something from a store in Woodland Hills to my home six miles away. Really people!

But now that I have my desk, I love it. I never would have dreamed of buying something this spendy, but I decided one day in a fit of inspiration that if I truly want the ideal life I keep picturing in my fantasies, then I needed to start actually walking in that direction. Meaning that if I want to one day be someone who works and writes from home and so on, I probably needed to pony up and make room for and purchase a desk I love and enjoy sitting at, just like in the fantasy future of my dreams. I used to use my coffee table or my bed as a desk-- seriously funky shui!

I tried to find a picture of my desk but I realized I only have one slightly askew image that I took accidentally while trying to photograph my first mitten. When I'm knitting I like to sit on this little two-seater sofa thingy I have in the office (it actually folds out into a single bed) and it fits me lengthwise just perfectly -- there are some benefits to being short! I can watch my DVDs of "The Pretender" on the computer and the cats like this arrangement, too, because that room has all the great windows and they get to watch the birds and neighborhood dogs walk by with their owners. Here is the accidental pic of my desk:

bad-pic-of-desk.jpg

And here is a picture of the sofamajig with my knitting and craft supervisor in his normal post by the window:

office-sofa.jpg

All this decluttering I've done is really (finally) paying off, because for almost three years that poor office room was just a repository of scary boxes and junk. I don't have a lot of pictures from that time (I was so ashamed of having so much stuff and it made me so anxious!) but here is a picture I found of what it looked like maybe a year into the decluttering process:

officebefore1.jpg

Even at that time the junk level had been brought down by a good 50%, so that gives you some idea of where I started when I first moved in. I've definitely made progress. There's still more to do but hey, if I had nothing on my to-do list it would likely be because I was already croaked! It feels good to know I've made enough space for me to take a breather and enjoy the stuff I already have and spend a long weekend doing crafty projects (room to sew! finally!) and seeing what Jared is up to on the Pretender (I'm halfway through Season Two now!) and grilling out some hamburgers and seeing some friends and enjoying a perfect, stay-in-town July 4th weekend.

Have a great, safe, fun holiday wherever you may be!

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p.s. I decided to keep the SuperCrafty.com rockin' summer embroidery sweepstakes up through the weekend. If you haven't already, be sure to enter to win and I will announce the weiners on Monday!

Posted by laurie at July 3, 2008 8:21 AM