Thank you. Because of my generous and amazing friends I was able to raise $3,550.00 for AIDS Walk San Francisco, and for Team Project Open Hand. We gathered early on Sunday, July 20, 2014 in Golden Gate Park to rally together against HIV/AIDS, to remember those we have lost to the disease, and to celebrate the triumphs and milestones we have reached. It was also a time to remember the leading HIV/AIDS experts who lost their lives in the crash of MH17. We walked with purpose. Mindfully, and joyously.
It feels really good to be one in 20,000 people who meet together with a common purpose. With the efforts of everyone who gave, the walk raised well over 2.3 million dollars.
During the opening ceremonies, representatives of some of the 40+ benefiting agencies made introductions and spoke a sentence or two about the work they are able to do as a direct result of the donations made:
The walk itself took about 2 hours, and I spent that time talking with one of the Project Open Hand volunteers. We were greeted by bellydancers, bands, singers, and drum corps... each offering encouragement and thanks for our work. At the end of the day, I was tired, but felt inspired by accomplishing the goal of raising money for organizations who work tirelessly to do good.
Again, thank you.
As another way to say thanks, I did a fundraising drawing for those that donated. For every $25.00 they gave, their name was entered into a drawing for a bunch of amazing prizes (which were donated by more incredible friends and businesses!)
Without further ado, here are the winners!
Schacht Sidekick and Fiber Pack
Pearl bird bracelet
Kollage hat pattern & yarn
Kollage fingerless mitts pattern & yarn
Kollage shawl pattern & yarn
Cascade 21 skein rainbow
Hand knit gloves
Really Clear digital pattern library
3 years Knitters magazine
Abacus Counter 1
Abacus Counter 2
Kaye & Sandy Luck
Oak ribbon sock blockers
Jasmine lace hat pattern 1
Jasmine lace hat pattern 2
Johnny's Sock Kit
Chiffon Arm Knit Scarf 1
Chiffon Arm Knit Scarf 2
Chiffon Arm Knit Scarf 3
Aymara Cowl Kit
Hand knit owl by Belinda Creech
Hand knit owl by Cee Cee Creech
$45 gift certificate Beesybee Fibers
The Knitster autographed book
5 skeins Rhichard Devrize yarn
The Embellished Sock autographed book
Again, thank you for your donations, and for allowing me to walk for you.
Interweave just released a new book by Amy Christoffers, called New American Knits!
The designs are beautiful, and would be proudly worn to work, school, or out on the town. The book has a thoughtful mix of techniques, and I am confident that almost anyone will find a project in this book they might want to make.
My one criticism? There are no designs for men in the collection. There's one or two hats that guys would love, and while I see the reasoning behind not adding a third model to the book (cost/etc.) it's worth noting that there's a lack of brotherly love in this book.
But... what is here is beautiful. I have a couple favorite pieces to share. First, I really like the Tanner cowl because of its bold lace pattern.
...now some people might disagree, but I think this cowl would be great on a guy. It's just enough lace to make it interesting, and the nice solid color of the yarn keeps
I have a copy of New American Knits to give away to one lucky reader! To enter, simply post a comment on this post by midnight, Monday, July 28, 2014. I'll do a drawing on Tuesday, July 29, 2014 and announce the winner!
The house has felt empty since Wink was put to sleep. I made the decision to have her cremated so that I could hold her memory in an urn in my home. I knew that at some point during the next week or so the phone would ring and I’d be notified her cremains are waiting for me at the vet’s office.
On Tuesday, that happened.
The next day, I went back and forth trying to determine when I would go pick up her cremains [this is the correct term for cremated remains, often called ashes], and today, I decided it was time. I made a plan (take public transportation to the park, and then enjoy a walk through the neighborhood to the Vet). There was something comforting about the idea of having her cremains and being able to bring my Wink back home.
I walked into the lobby of the vet and waited my turn to be greeted. It’s just after 11 in the morning, and little worried pets surrounded me, along with their concerned parents… I studied the bulletin board full of community pet-related activities and looked at the collection of photos until it was my turn at the desk:
“I’m here to pick up Wink.”
“Wink?” A look of confusion…
“Yes. Wink’s ashes.” A moment of silence happened here where she processed the fact that I was picking up the remains of my dead pet…
“Oh. Just a minute.”
She went to the back and returned a few minutes later with a little wood box and a small heart shaped ornament. The ornament had Wink’s paw print, and her name stamped on it. These items were placed in front of me.
As I looked at the box and this little ornament (which she was now explaining to me) I asked “are the cremains in a bag inside the box?” She said she thought so, but hadn’t ever opened one of these boxes before. “Let’s do it” I said… and we proceeded to unhook the latch and lift the lid.
Inside was a small clear plastic bag filled with ashes and a little piece of paper that said: Name: Claude
“Claude”, not “Wink”. Confused.
“Who is Claude?” I asked.
She glanced at the little note, gently closed the box, and said “I’ll be right back.” A few minutes later, she returned, explaining to me that Wink’s cremains were returned to the facility so that they could correct the spelling of my name on the box. After apologizing for the mix-up, she let me know that they’d be in touch in the next day or so to let me know when they were ready to pick up.
Now, I realize mistakes happen, and that things can be mixed up. I also know that this will get sorted out. The people who provide these services are obviously careful with the remains (exemplified by the name of the pet being included in the bag), and in time it’ll get sorted out.
What I don’t understand is why someone didn’t call to tell me there was going to be a delay in my being able to pick up the cremains because a mistake had been made in the spelling of my name. The service I ordered was a private cremation (which results in the delivery of your own pet’s cremains), and the encounter left me confused and unsure of what pet’s cremains will find their way home with me. I just have to believe that my name really was spelled wrong on the box, and that it’s a simple mix-up that will be easily resolved. I did a little research and found that the pet cemetery allows in-person cremation, meaning the actual cremation can be attended. Now this might be a bit morbid, but it seems to me the only way to be 100% certain that the cremains you get are of your beloved pet.
But beyond the mix-up and sadness and shock of losing her, I know that Wink had an incredibly wonderful life and gave so much love and laughter to me and my family. I was able to be with her in her last moments, and was able to hold her paw, kiss her head, and tell her goodbye in the very moment she passed.
Do I miss Wink? Yes. Every second. My heart breaks knowing she’s gone. But as time moves forward, I find myself smiling; knowing that she shared 9 love-filled years with me. I’m lucky to have had her in my life and the cremains that I receive (eventually) will take residence in the urn that will be used to remember and honor her life.