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no, they aren't mine and while I knit and crochet, that's it, no spinning etc! I don't know why the LL's have them, I suspect their little ones wanted them. They have school friends who have a farm with lots of animals, that's where they got them.
 

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Paint chips! I was looking for colors that will work best since it's the last time I'll be painting in this house and I want it to look nice. Sherwin Williams kindly sent me a handful of paint chips and a nice note that I could order them ten at a time if I needed more. When you're done choosing paint colors, they make wonderful, pretty bookmarks instead of the corners of junk mail and other bits I used to use. And they're in your favorite colors :) If you order wallpaper samples a lot of firms send 8-1/2 x 11 or similar size sheets that are just the right size to use as dividers in school 3 ring binders, they're sturdy, and again, you know you'll like the colors. I think I'm going to be able to recycle just about every sample I got, even the carpet ones because they're just the right size to use as coasters with a bit of felt or flannel on the underside.
 

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Pumpkins and decorative gourds...
At the pumpkin thump yesterday there were crates and crates of pie pumpkins you could take and "destroy any way you want." I chose to grab some and will destroy them in my kitchen to make soup and pumpkin seeds, thank you very much! They also told people to grab any rejects they wanted from the field and you could carve them, paint them, hit them with a sledgehammer, whatever, or they would drop them off the tower... but I kept one green pumpkin, one warty mutant pumpkin and 3 gourds to put out for decoration. Right now they are on the front step to replace our jack-o-lanterns, which we DID smash... :) Once I have a chance to straighten up more, I will use them for my centerpiece for my tiny, just-us-four Thanksgiving...
 

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Ok, this may be my all-time-favorite, never-to-be-outdone freebie ever (WAY better than the $130 stethoscope I got last month, which I have actually been using plus lent twice to H's schoolmate whose stethoscope broke...)

Backstory--On Wednesdays I am at a "public health clinical experience" at a new "community center." Someday it might look like a tiny version of "Call the midwife," but for now, it's only a few hours, just nurses not doctors, and mostly no-shows for appointments (which is free, so no harm/no foul.) There have been a few good moments, but those have been outweighed by the amount of politic-ing, schmoozing, "make sure to document that for our grant"... etc...

The highlight of the experience is that (completely outside of the actual building and curriculum, and much to the chagrin of my instructor) I made friends with the three homeless people who sleep in the doorways nearby. They are the only part of this clinical that I will actually miss when it is over, and I should say I have been very unsuccessful in trying to convince our "community center" to help and accept these humans as a part of the community we serve. Every time I have mentioned it, they just talk about the charity a mile away (which is good, but we are ONE BUILDING away.) So to be blunt, my school discriminates against these people who live in the neighborhood because they don't have an address. (Which ties back to documentation and grant money, TBH)

Ok, that was a bit of rant, on to the beautiful part.

The people I see each Wednesday are John, who I met my first week, and Susan and Glen, who are a couple who "moved" in later. I bring them hot breakfast and a bag of cold lunch and snacks each week. This week, because of the time change, they were more awake and talkative than usual. (Usually when I get there it is early and they are still bundled-up and snoozing, and I am frankly jealous!) It was nice to be able to hear more about them without feeling like I was disturbing them.

As soon as I pulled up, John was very smiley and told me he "had something" for me. It was very cute. And then he gave me scarf! (I should say right away that he assured me he already has one.) Some kind lady gave it to him, with the explanation that her mother makes them. I'm not sure if she makes batches for the homeless or if this was a mother-to-daughter gift that the daughter then generously gave away during the cold snap last week. Either way, John said he liked it but didn't need it, and wanted me to have it.

And I think that makes it almost the most valuable and generous thing anyone has ever given me. (The ultimate winner remains an acorn from my daughter when she was 3, but that is another story...)

When I told my classmates what had happened, they were fairly divided between "Awwwww!!!", "You took a scarf away from a homeless man in winter !?!???", and "Eew, 3rd-hand scarf, that's gross!" But I think it is a perfect example of the gift economy. This gentleman wanted to do something nice for me, and I am moved beyond words... despite the fact that I am babbling about it. It is far more meaningful than even my babbling can express!

Anyway, that's it. We can cancel the holidays, John already won Christmas!
 

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That's beautiful Zhoen. I have found in my experience it is the people who have nothing who are the most generous.
 

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Zhoen, not only did you get a lovely scarf from someone who appreciated you, you just spread the Christmas happy further! Thank you for sharing that.
 
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I got my free 'Rona booster! Slight discomfort at the injection site for a day. Then this a.m. I had a sore arm put on that side and asunder it was a swollen lymph node .... nope. I had on 2 shirts and a hoodie that I sleep in when it is cold but not worth starting a fire....they were bunched up in my armpit and I slept on that side.

Also got a really cool wooden pallet I have been eyeing for months. 10' long, only about 2' wide and it has a support on each end holding a board 3' or so above the pallet for the entire length. Maybe it was for hauling glass? Anyway, it will probably be a mini green house with some of the used plastic sheeting I have around.
 

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Box full of 10 light bulbs from the local "energy efficiency" program. Also a sink swivel aerator - I tried very hard to install it but it still leaked. Boo. And a shower head, which I don't need as I bought a hand-held shower this year.
Josantoro, did you try a bit of plumbers tape around the connection on the aerator? Sometimes this provides just enough seal to make things work when they're a tad off, and it's a cheap solution.
 
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