Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Throwdown at Knit Night

About a year ago, I organized a bimonthly knit night at a local coffee shop. The response has been really good, and it's fun to get together and talk about all sorts of things while stabbing the yarn with our needles.

Last night, however, we almost had a fight break out.

Over what, you ask? The pros and cons of pure wool? Wood or metal needles? Sock knitting? Whether knitting or crocheting can living in harmony?

Nope, none of the above.

It was over whether Germany has a true socialized medicine system.

I didn't see that one coming. I thought I was going to have to take away their needles before they stabbed each other.

On a completely unrelated, and totally boring, subject, I'm getting my hair cut today. I've had the same hairstyle for a while now and have been letting it get pretty long, but I'm a little worried about this haircut. My stylist called me last night and excitedly asked how I was planning to get my hair cut, which was strange in itself because she has never asked that before my appointment. It seems she went to a Paul Mitchell class yesterday, and I am about to become a guinea pig.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Great Well Disaster - The Final Chapter

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I'll spare you the words and just give you the pictures. While there is still some more work to do to complete the job, it's all inside and under the house, so it can wait until some of the other more pressing projects are over.

Doctor, Doctor . . . I Think I Have Startitis

I have a confession. I'm a starter, not a finisher. I'm pretty sure that my family and friends have known this about me for a long time, but I'm officially telling the world. I love to plan and start projects. I hate finishing them. Not because of any emotional attachment to the said project or because I don't want to "let it go." No, I just get bored with it and move on to the next project, leaving a trail of forgotten projects behind me.

I've put myself on a yarn diet. No more yarn until January 2008.* This could be a problem since I am going on a yarn shop hop with my friend Gabriele on Saturday. However, I have a short list of non-yarn items that I'm going to concentrate on finding so hopefully it will distract me from the yarn itself.

I'm attempting to gather all my orphaned projects into one spot and have solemnly vowed that for every new project I start, I will finish two of my abandoned projects - or at the very least abandon them once and for all and put them to rest - preferably somewhere out of the house.

All that said, I recently started two NEW projects. One is a super secret project that may or may not be given to someone who may or may not read this blog at Christmas. (It's actually almost done and just needs some little finishing touches.)

The other project is this:

I know it doesn't look like much now, and I'm actually cheating by putting this photo up right now, because THIS project is also almost finished, so I'll keep it a secret until I can put the finished photo up in a day or two. I will tell you that it's pink and blue and made from cashmere. Yum.

What I really wanted to point out, however, are the beautiful stitch markers. The camera really can't capture how gorgeous they are, but let me assure you - they are.

They are from my favorite Etsy shop, Crimson Orchid http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5024847&order=&section_id=&page=1.

Check them out if you are in need of stitch markers, row counting bracelets or other little knitting do-dads. Or, you know, if you happen to know a knitter who would like it for Christmas or her birthday (coughcoughFebruary24coughcough).

*I am not bound by this if I happen to wander past a pile of yarn that is never going to be made again, on clearance, and calling my name.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

All Decked Out

We've really had very little time since Jesse left to work on the deck because of our well disaster (I have now upgraded that whole episode to a disaster status). However, Vern did get a little more done on the railing around the grill.

We're hoping to finish it before winter and all we need is one or two days of decent weather without something else breaking around here. We need to finish the top rail around the grill, the stairs and handrail, and enclose the bottom of the deck. We had already decided to let it weather over the winter and then stain it in the spring. We also want to add some outdoor lighting, replace the window, and finish the brickwork repair.

It's hard to tell just how large it is, but we already have our oval patio table, four chairs, a glider, and the grill on it. And there's still room for a square dance in the middle.

We even had coffee on the deck this week and enjoyed what is surely some of the last warm weather we are going to have this year.

I Am Woman, Hear Me . . .

moan, bitch, and complain.

Not really, but I clearly wasn't cut out for manual labor. I was raised with a pretty old-fashioned view of male/female roles. My mom's role was pretty much everything inside the house and my dad's role was to take care of pretty much everything outside the house.

However, in an effort to help get things winterized around here and to give Vern a hand while he was working on finishing the well repairs, I pitched in outdoors today.

Last week we had wood delivered.

And by delivered, I mean "dumped in a pile in front of the shop."

Which coincidentally is no where near where we planned to stack wood this winter.

After a few hours of loading up the trailer, hauling it across the yard, and stacking it up, I managed to pretty neatly wrangle all of our wood supply into a convenient location right off the back of the deck. We'll probably need another cord before the winter is over, but for now, it's all in one place and within an easy reach if the snow gets too deep.

While working outside today, I had time to reflect. I came to the conclusion that it wasn't so much that my upbringing was traditional and old-fashioned, but rather that my mother was smarter than I am.

She would have never ended up stacking wood for the winter.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Way Ahead of the Game

It may be unseasonably warm today, and we may be having thunderstorms, but I was in the Christmas spirit. Or something like that. Maybe I was more in the spirit of hiding from the work around here that really needs to be done, like busting up ceramic tile, packing up the kitchen into temporary boxes, or scraping glittery popcorn texture off of the ceiling.

Either way, I buried myself in the task of getting the Christmas cards ready to go.

Check that task off my list.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Beans or Rice?

You'll have to pick one or the other because we got the price for our soapstone today and we sure as hell can't afford beans AND rice. Something's got to give and it's not going to be the soapstone, that much I'm sure of.

Other than that, I got nuthin'. I'm so darn borning today that I've driven myself over the edge. The most exciting part of my day was when I cleaned out the ashes from the fireplace and hauled them to the firepit outside. I looked like Cinderella when I was finished. And not the pretty version with the ballgown and the glass slipper.

(P.S. Just a tip - don't Google "Dirty Cinderella.")

Vern went back to work on Thursday after almost three weeks off. Fortunately, he was home during "The Great Well Disaster of 2007." Unfortunately, we have a half-finished deck and a temporary solution to our well. He's apparently just going to have to quit his job completely.

But then there would be no soapstone.

Monday, November 5, 2007

We Ordered our Kitchen!

I forgot to mention last week in all the misery of the "Great Well Disaster of 2007" that we placed our final order for our kitchen cabinets! That alone was enough to almost make up for the lack of water.

I don't have a great drawing of the final layout, but this is pretty close. The island will be brought forward a little bit and there will be seating for 3 along the side and in front of the range top.

The cabinets are going to be this style with a different style glass.

This is actually the exact cabinet and style of glass that we are going to go with (sorry for the crappy cell phone photo).

We will have a corner cabinet with glass and then a light box over the kitchen sink made out of this same glass - very similar to what is shown in this photo.

We met with the craftsman today who is going to do our soapstone counters. He just recently completed the Frank Lloyd Wright house that is in our area, so we're excited to see what he has done there. We also decided on a farmhouse style sink made out of soapstone also, although we opted for a slightly larger double sink.

Now the hard work begins on our part. The cabinets should be finished before Christmas and we have a lot of work to do.

Including the most pressing issue of permanently repairing our well.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

At Last

I'm happy to report that we have water. It's only a temporary solution to a much larger problem, but all that matters is that we have water. The shower is wet and the toilet flushes. I don't care that there is a big ugly hole in our yard, that our basement looks like we have buried bodies recently, or even that we have spent what seems like a year's salary on resolving this.

We freaking have water.

Vern worked long and hard, and still has a lot to do to make it all final, but he didn't work alone. The labs supervised.

Well, Jackson supervised.
Lincoln tried his best to fall into the hole. Repeatedly.

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Friday, November 2, 2007

Just like the Good Old Days

I'm wondering how good the good old days were now that we are on day 4 of having no water. Boiling water for dishes, having no toilets, and using a wash basin to bathe isn't exactly all that good if you ask me.

I'm really gong to have to find something else to write about because my daughter threatened to stop talking to me until I do, but right now, it consumes me. You just don't realize how many times you just reach to turn the water on in a day.

Vern is beyond frustrated trying to fix it. We haven't been able to get anyone out here to look at the well.

Last I heard, we may try to put in a temporary sand point well (not sure of the terminology here) so that we can pump water from the creek so that we can at least shower and flush the toilets.

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