A Movie Or A Measure

This afternoon, we had a break from normal November weather. I went outside to mail some postcards and found Andie wielding a shovel, a hole in what passes for our front lawn.

Tata: Whatcha doin’?

Andie: Nothing!

Tata: That looks planny. Planful. Plantastic.

Andie: Plantastic. I’m stealing that.

I walked about 40 feet to the mailbox on the corner. When I got back, some planters were empty, some plants had new homes and some soil had relocated to new places. Andie, working in a t-shirt and jeans, twirled that shovel like a like an extra in a Jackie Chan film. I headed toward the basement to avoid friction and rotor wash.

Yuck yuck yuck

New Brunswick has a rubber duck race every year. Unfortunately, one finds stragglers. Speaking of stragglers, some runoff elections are still up for grabs.

Feeling overwhelmed and under-enthused? Try writing some Postcards To Voters.

Ordinarily, by this time of year, I’ve finished blankets and toys for the cat blanket project and moved on to other projects, but the postcards had hard deadlines, which also kept me from blogging consistently. I crocheted blankets here and there to rest my hands, so there’s more to do. But I’m really close.

The finish line is in sight.




Us What They Wanted Was

Man oh Manischewitz, I hate those year-end lists. Ten worst cheese platters! One hundred one best missing planes! Seventy-seven hams to wear before you die! Thing is: folks sent me art supplies. This is what I did with them.

cat blankets These go to Georg or to a shelter with which Georg is in contact.

baby blankets A hospital near me has a baby blanket project. A friend coordinates. I try to make blankets early in the year or if I have a long car trip or a lengthy illness. You know: if I’m sitting, I’m knitting and I buy special yarn for this.

scarves There are a number of projects that ask for scarves. I send or deliver them all over the place. Mostly, I buy yarn for this that I think will be fun and soft to wear.

hats Several agencies ask for hats for infants, children and adults. Infant hats are quick to crochet, but I’m still learning adult hats. Mine are still a little odd.

In 2014, 51 blankets went to animal shelters, bringing us to 255 total knitted and crocheted blankets.

Three baby blankets went to the hospital project.

Twenty scarves went to the men’s shelter. Whew! I thought my fingers would fall off!

Eight hat/scarf pairs went to clients of the unnamed university’s annual community outreach project.

Two hats went to the Purple Hat Project.

Along the way, there were other requests for help that surprised me. I turned out a thing here and something else there, but forgot about them immediately, which means I will have the nerve to be surprised again next year. The soup kitchen in New Brunswick asked for scarves, hats and gloves for all kinds of people. I ran out of time and didn’t get to that in 2014, but in the next few weeks, I’m hoping to narrow down ways to contribute and when that would be useful for them.

Thanks for sending yarn and trusting me not to knit car cozies. In new news: I now have a sewing machine but not much skill. Auntie InExcelsisDeo gave me bags of fabric scraps. Making cat blankets is excellent practice in sewing straight lines. I’m terrible at it! Cats don’t care!

To Take You Away, Leaving Today

Before the murder of twenty little children, I would not have imagined President Obama speaking to the nation while wiping tears from his eyes.

Call your representatives. Tweet. Write. Demand action on assault weapons. Talk and talk and talk. Demand the NRA release its grip on us.

Refuse to let this go.

To Have Fun With Anyone

Here in New Jersey, you can’t go three feet without someone mentioning relief efforts because it is no exaggeration to say whole neighborhoods and a few towns along the New York and New Jersey coasts have been damaged or destroyed. We’re cooking or shopping or moving things from donor to donation center or looking for something specific. There are benefit concerts, dinners and drives. This is our life now, perhaps for some time. In related news: cats love reusable bags and Drusy is sometimes a cat.

Chances Are Your Chances

The tiny town is staging a benefit for Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. I baked carrot cakes and even got over myself enough to make cream cheese frosting with orange juice, which is goddamn delicious and annoying. New Jersey and New York were badly damaged by the storm and recovery will take a very long time and a metric buttload of bake sales.

If you are of a mind to volunteer in New York City or donate money or supplies, please consider assisting the ferocious efforts of the Occupy at Occupy Sandy.org. They are delivering food, heat, shelter and medical care to the people of Lower Manhattan and Queens and you can help.

She Took She Took A Little Sip

This interesting object that resembles a urinal but isn’t one was installed a couple of days ago in the unnamed university’s library just outside my office. It is a water fountain and water bottle filling station. I’d heard they existed and the unnamed university even had some up and working – somewhere. No one seemed to know precisely where or even what they looked like. Ta da!

These contraptions serve as water fountains for the passing thirsty, but also also the more stationary thirsty to refill bottles of all portable sorts. A bottle-bearer holds said bottle up to the sensor – the round thing that looks like a camera lens – and a stream of water pours from just above. The green screen keeps count of how many bottles of Poland Springs were not harmed in the refilling of this bottle. Outside my office, that number currently reads just about 30. I’ve refilled my quart Ball Jar three times and explained to anyone who’ll listen why this is great, great news.