Yup, I begin my 28th year on Earth tomorrow!
In celebration of the day, I took a mental health day from work. I awoke at 6 AM, feeling refreshed, and proceeded to clean my bathroom - plebean, perhaps, but necessary. I then had a gentle breakfast of salami, watermelon, and iced chai tea (sans milk / sugar). Yes, I eat strange combinations of food... After that, I watched the gorgeously blue sky unfold, as the sun had risen around 5:30 AM, and lolled on the couch, reading a fashion magazine.
I picked my friend Kris up at 8:45, and we headed to REI, where I bought several things I had been eyeing for a while. A new tent, on sale for $125, for Daniel and myself. A new uber-comfy dress for myself, for which I used my 20% off coupon. Some running shorts on clearance, as well as a pair of trail runner shoes, a combination bike lock / cable on clearance, and a new pair of eggbeater / normal pedal hybrid bike pedals rounded out my purchases. I have been eyeing these particular bike pedals for a while, because I want to ride my bike around town, but I have eggbeater bike pedals, used to clip in your cycling shoes and make your riding more efficient, which means I'd either have to carry extra shoes around to swap out every time I got off my bike, or I'd end up clomping around in cycling shoes (which have extremely stiff soles, and aren't very comfortable to walk on). With these pedals, I can have the best of both worlds and still use my bike even I am not in my cycling gear, per se.
After REI, we ended up at the Portage Bay cafe for brunch. Kris tucked into a smoked salmon hash, and I had a eggs / bacon / potatoes combo with some buckwheat (gluten free) pancakes. Portage Bay is awesome because, for pancake-type items, they let you have a trip to the "toppings bar", which today included honey-butter, maple syrup, real whipped cream, and an assortment of fresh fruits. I actually only ate about a third of my brunch, and gave Kris the rest to take home to Randy.
After brunch, we went out to Capital Hill and attempted to wait for Bliss soaps to open. They make amazing bath products, but the guy who owns it is not very good about keeping "normal" business hours. They open at 2 PM, and not usually on time. We walked around Broadway (the main drag in Capital Hill), then we went for iced tea (Kris had a beer and a doughnut) at this coffee house, and walked back to Bliss. We left at 2:30 PM, especially frustrated because not only were they still closed, but this is the second time they haven't been open long after we have awaited their arrival.
So, I came home... I then got the mail, and was totally surprised by this!
This was Daniel's birthday gift to me!!! How completely sweet and thoughtful is this?? He bought me a little teapot, with some sencha green tea that the lady in the store down the street from him in Yokosuka said was "Oishi!" *tasty!*. Then a camera case, so I can carry my camera in more than an old sock. And a cute card that he wrote "is rated PG, so we can show this one to the kids one day"...lol.... and FIVE (5) beautiful balls of yarn from a couple of Japanese yarn manufacturers! :) How awesome is he for feeding my yarn habit? I think they will become scarves or hats - I can't wait! Most of them are made by Puppy, which is apparently a large yarn company in Japan. He even coordinated with a friend of his who used to be stationed in Bremerton and is now in Japan, to send my package out for him, since he was out of time before leaving for his latest ocean assignment. What a wonderful man! :) I love you, darling; Thank you!!
Look! A new sock! I am making the Wanida sock from Cookie A's new book. This is for my friend, Priscila. I frogged the last sock I had been making her; the basketweave pattern was thoroughly annoying me, since it is not one that is easily "readable" in the knit fabric, at least for me, and therefore required too much attention. Hopefully this one will be more successful. I am using Classic Elite's Alpaca Sox yarn (60% alpaca, 20% merino, 20% nylon) for this project - it was in the stash, and the colors looked interesting. I hope she likes it! I figured the alpaca would keep her feet warm in DC winters. :) I should mention that the colors are only slightly brighter in real life (it is a combination of burnt orange, green, and plum).
I also am in the midst of spinning up a lot of stashed fibers. This is a wool / silk blend from Crosspatch Creations. There is some very soft wool, and there is some that is coarser. They also blend in a layer of silk noils, which is interesting but scary because I have to think about not spinning ONLY the noils, making sure to get some wool in there to help bind it together. I am spinning it as a single, fairly laceweight, with some slubs from the noils, and I think I am going to make some sort of scarf / shawl out of it. I am assuming there is at least 150 yards in the cake below (perhaps it's time to get a yard counter?), and I am about halfway through the batt that it is sitting on.
Another benefit to spinning up stash is that spun yarn takes up less space than the fibers do! :)
Plans for my actual birthday include Lazing About, perhaps some coffee, and dinner with a few friends at a restaurant called the Kingfish Cafe. Even though my Diet Challenge started today (!), I am going to have a drink, and some cake.