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January 14, 2007: Gentle slopes

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There were grand intentions this weekend of tackling the mountain of recycling in the garage. But in order to get to it, we would have had to do some serious scrambling, since the recycling center doesn't open until 9, but the first haircut appointment was at 10, and it takes about 20 minutes to get there. So....next weekend. And in the meantime I shall dream wistfully of one day living in a town with curbside recycling pick up. Sigh.

Today is my mom's birthday, so there was the usual flurry of emails trying to schedule a time when all the family (in the area) could gather. Now that are are all adults and some of us have small children with busy lives, and all of us work full time and have things that pile up on weekends (recycling not withstanding), it is always a challenge to try to schedule birthday gathering appointments. Due to conflicts on all sides of the family, we ended up finally settling on Saturday lunch as the prime window of opportunity. Richard had a writer's group in Sacramento and since he is the temporary leader of the group, he couldn't skip it. But the rest of us all converged on a restaurant in Fairfield, which is the midway point between where we live and where my older sister and her family lives, and over salads and sodas and fried shrimp, we gave my mom her birthday presents. From me she got a small bag with a skein of yarn in it - a skein which I promptly took back from her after she opened it, because it (and nine of its little clones) are destined to become an afghan, as per her request, but I simply have not yet had time to start on it. People keep having babies and there was Christmas knitting last month and a short pile of other knitting (shop samples, test knitting, husbands who have been wistfully pointing to the holes in their felted slippers in the hopes of being given replacements for several months now), and so I figured the only way I was going to make room for getting this thing done was to gift it pre-knit, which would then force me (through a clever method of self-guilt) to get to work on it.

This morning was the usual swirl of recorder practice and choir practice and church. After the service, a few of us went next door to walk through the (very old) parsonage, since its last tenant moved out. As chair of the Board of Trustees, I'm responsible for everything to do with church property, and this little house needs some work. It's larger inside than it looks, and it's got that quaint victorian type charm (it was built in the 1800's), but there is no insulation and the bathroom really needs to be completely gutted and replaced, and the floors in the largest rooms are so uneven you can literally see the ups and downs, and there are people on the building committee making noises about redoing wiring and stripping off the siding, and also, quite frankly, I was really curious to see what it looked like, since it's not exactly polite to go strolling through a house, peering into closets when there is someone living there.

My parents invited us for dinner, and since it was my mom's birthday, I baked her a cake (after some quick searching online to find a recipe that would fit my dad's low-sodium diet) because everyone should always get a cake on their birthday. But otherwise, we finished off the day quietly, me manically knitting, first to finish Richard's new slippers, and then to plow through nearly an entire baby sweater in one sitting (because the best part about knitting baby sweaters is that they are very, very small).

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