Fabric Shaver

And with the colder weather, my winter clothes have come out of summer hibernation. Usually I don’t give this clothing swap much thought. I just grab everything that I have that’s summer stuff and shove it in a giant bag (or two) and then grab all the cold weather stuff crammed in my wardrobe, and put it on my shelves. Done. It takes me all of 15 minutes.

This year, my year of Konmari, I was a bit more judicious in what I decided to save in my summer wardrobe and also what I no longer wanted in the winter shelves. Much of it isn’t donate-able quality but I donated it anyway because I have heard from a couple of sources that they recycle textiles and supposedly it’s best not to throw textiles in the trashcan. Except socks and underwear. I still junk that.

I’m still trying to figure out how to balance decluttering with waste generation. I could keep wearing my old clothes with holes and bad elastics to just keep the stuff out of the waste pile, but on the other hand how many pajamas do I need?? All my house clothes are basically demoted anything, gym wear, work wear, street wear. Eventually it’s just too much.

Here’s an example of something I decided to salvage though – I was going to get rid of this pilly brown sweater because it looked like this:
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But then I thought, maybe I can try and salvage it, so I got this sweater de-piller or fabric shaver.

Here are the results.
Fabric Shaver>

Sorry, the picture is crap, but let me just tell you, it’s far from good as new, or even good enough to wear to work, but it’s a vast improvement from how it looked before.

Winterizing

Fall lasted about eight hours this year. A couple weeks ago, temperatures dropped about 20 degrees overnight. Normally, any temperatures above 50s, I would just leave the kids outside. But because it went from 80s to 50s/60s overnight, I decided to bring them in for the winter season. They had no time to gradually acclimate to the cold.

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I hope the kids survive this winter darkness!

Leggins!

I hopped aboard the synthetic activewear bandwagon when my last gym pants gave out. Leggins were (and still are) ubiquitous when I needed new workout pants and my old school cotton capris were not so easy to find anymore. At first, I really liked my new leggings. They were so stylish and pretty. I felt like I was channeling Taylor Swift every time I headed to the gym in my trendy new leggings. But eight pairs of leggings and a year later, I have come to the conclusion that even though leggings are nice, I prefer my cotton workout clothes. I prefer exercising in pants that aren’t skintight. And nothing is more breathable than cotton. Yes sweat, but I would change out of my sweaty exercise clothes regardless of fabric type anyway. The only exercise I would prefer synthetics is probably hot yoga, which I don’t like and rarely do anyway, and spin, which I do maybe once a month, if that. I’m still of course going to keep wearing my leggings, but I won’t be adding more to the workout wardrobe. It was fun to go whole hog on leggins but alas, the fire is gone.

Fountain penning

The recent review about my fleeting artistic endeavors reminds me of my other “hobby” that I picked up several years ago. Fountain penning. How’s that going you might wonder? Well, it’s sort of stalled. That’s the thing about stuff hobbies. It’s just buying another and another. I don’t plan on getting anymore except eventually a TWSBI.
In the height of my penning, I was using the Pilot Kakuno, Petit1, and Metropolitan at work and regularly journaling with the Pelikan. Now, only the Pelikan and Petit 1 are currently inked and used. The Metropolitan was recently cleaned and the Kakuno is a lost cause. The lid cracked, the nib dries out, it spurts ink sometimes. I don’t know what to do with it. Marie Kondo would probably say, throw it away. I can save the nib and feed which also fits the Metropolitan. It does have a nice extra fine nib. Guess it was a get-what-you-pay-for situation.

So the thing about fountain pens, and pens in general is hand writing things just doesn’t happen much these days anymore. My handwriting is crap because of it. I used to try hard with my notebooks at work to jot notes neatly. You’d see at least some parts of my notes with schoolteacher writing and some notes that are rushed. Now almost all my notes look rushed.

Moon Cake Day

I’m so glad it’s finally fall. Squashes. Coffee. And wine. That’s how I welcomed fall.
Today, I stood staring at all the plants I have on my balcony wondering where I’m going to put them all indoors. You might think, just put them where they were last winter. How they went out, how they come in. Nope. It doesn’t work like that. They multiply. Or propagate or whatever. I just start propagations whenever I can as insurance. Backup plants in case the mother plant kicks the bucket. Or in case anybody wants one. Or I have an empty tomato can needing to be filled with something. I’m probably going to take a few to work. It might be the best way to ensure their survival because window real estate is tight.

And also it’s mid-autumn festival. Moon cakes festival. Some moon cakes are tolerable, but for the most part, they are dense, thick, and pasty inedible things. I imagine that’s what it must taste like for kindergartners when they dig into a jar of paste.

Ready for it?

I’m so ready for fall. Sorta. I’m ready for pumpkin spice everything! But this weekend’s all day rain situation made it seem a little too right away and I’m not sure I’m that ready.
I can already feel the days getting shorter and that’s a bummer.
This unusually chilly, wet weekend, I looked at my closet of tank tops and just felt like tossing it all in a bag and stuffing it in the back of the closet, then curling up with a glass of wine and eating something with pumpkin in it. It’s too soon though. We still have plenty of 80 degree days to contend with. So maybe I’m not so ready for it.

Piano!

I always get these wild ideas in my head of dipping my toes in the art world. I bought a guitar over a decade ago. I can play 8 chords? And not even that really, since I have no sense of rhythm and can’t strum. In many ways, the guitar is both a melodic instrument as well as a percussive one. I can’t percuss. So I learned a classical guitar tune (Malaguena) and now the guitar is by the piano, currently out of tune.
I got watercolor books and paint and I do that every so often (a couple times a year?) but really, I haven’t the patience to paint. Every painting I’ve done so far has taken me all of 10 minutes? I remember taking watercolor lessons as a kid and each lesson was an hour long. Imagine it takes me 10, maybe 20 minutes. What am I supposed to do with the rest of the 40 minutes?! I just can’t stare at objects for that long!
Korg C1 Air
So on to the next new toy! It’s a digital piano. It came in a long box with a whole bunch of pieces and it had to be assembled like Ikea furniture. It plays beautifully. The keys feel like a real piano, and the sound is very pleasant. I love it and I play it every day. Haha… no. I don’t. I did for the first few weeks. But I do play it pretty regularly still. I am not a good piano player but I enjoy it and I enjoy the features of a digital and so do our neighbors, I’m sure. I can plug in a headset and only I can hear what I’m doing. It’s great, and I’m very happy I have it.

Plants at work

I used to resist bringing plants to work. I was resisting anything that would make my work space feel homey. Don’t get too comfortable, you’re not staying long. However, I’ve collected many propagation cuttings from my coworkers and even strangers I don’t work with. Imagine a rando popping her head in, admiring your plants, then asking for a clipping. Yup, I’ve done that. Most plant folks don’t mind.

I finally brought a plant in to work last year. It was doing pathetically at home and I was pretty uncertain whether it would make it through the dark winter. At the time, I didn’t have a window at work so I put it on someone else’s window ledge. He’s a plant lover too so under his care, the plant flourished.
Purple passion blooms
In fact, it bloomed. I’d never seen one of these plants bloom before so that was fun to watch. The flowers stink like feet or stinky cheese though.

After giving away cuttings to the coworkers who wanted to try growing this fuzzy plant (purple passion), I brought it home since it was finally doing well. It’s still doing great.

Recently, I got a workspace with a window and now I’m going to start bringing in some plants to work. I currently have one that belongs to someone else and another woman comes by to water it. It’s nice having it around but I think I have room for more. Lots more! Right at the top of my list are a spiderplant because my current plant finally revived this summer and gave me a couple of spiderettes, a philodendron, and a sansevieria. Perhaps a zeezee too. The spiderplant and philodendron really don’t do well in my mostly dark shoebox. Every winter, they start dying until I think they’re goners. Then spring arrives just in time for them to revive again. I’m hoping the window at work will be better homes for them. The zeezee and sanseveria are plants I’m almost always propagating. They’re such slow growers that I feel like I have to pregrow them for anyone who’s interested in taking a propagation. After one year do you see anything with the sansevieria and the zeezee takes almost two years to see something like this.
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This is actually my first zeezee propagation that I’ve seen reach this level. The rest were adopted away before they reached this stage.

Washer Dryer

After 20 years, our old stacked washer dryer gave out. The first thing I did when it broke was I called the plumber. My go-to solution. When I shared my plight with my coworkers though, they asked me why I hired a plumber. Shouldn’t you have called an appliance person? So I canceled the plumber (when I called to cancel, he then said he also wondered why we’d called them for a broken washer. Gee, thanks for telling me when I made the appointment. I guess he would’ve been happy to take our consultation money to send out a guy who would just advise us to hire an appliance guy. That’ll be $150, thanks! I think we’re gonna need a new plumbing company. Anyway, I called an appliance repair person to try and fix it but he wasn’t able to get it to work after two visits so we gave up and got a new set. My fear is, these new units aren’t made to last as long as appliances of yore. Only time will tell.
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I do really like the front load washer though. I watched it the first few runs and I feel like the clothes throwing action from raising it and dropping it cleans more effectively than swishing clothes about in a tub. And also they’re more resource efficient. And I feel like they’re gentler on my clothes. There’s less rubbing of fibers against each other. Just the falling and smacking downwards action. Also its spin dry is insane. Makes my clothes drying rack work that much faster. So overall, I highly recommend a front loading washer. This is also a 2018 purchase of the year. I can have two purchases of the year. I can do whatever I want. I’m the boss in this neighborhood. Or blog. Whatever.

Back to CA

We just got back from another visit to California as I mentioned earlier. Two visits within a year. That’s a first for me – anywhere. This second visit was to attend a wedding. By the way, my fave part of the wedding might have been the bride and groom’s choice of wedding bands. They were fashioned out of leaves from a tree in her backyard and they lasted not too long beyond the first half of the reception. For folks who aren’t jewelry wearers, it’s perfect. While there, we hit up our favorite places to eat and this time around, maybe because we’d just visited several months earlier, a lot of the places were just okay. Ippuku, I’m looking at you. And also like in the case of Chez Panisse, their vegetable entree left me still hungry. I needed more food. Cancun Taqueria was tasty and filling. I’m not sure, I think the food in the area is losing its sparkle for me. Again, maybe it’s because we had it too frequently having gone twice within a year’s time whereas before we’d only visit once every 3 years or so. So this time we ate out less frequently and made some food from the farmers market and those turned out to my favorite meals. Beans, random mushrooms we don’t get back home easily (maitake, chanterelles), fennel, dandelion, kale, fresh zucchini. Fennel grows everywhere in that region. It’s a weed! A tasty weed. Well, so’s dandelion. So my favorite place to eat there is now the farmer’s market.