Thermostats and Steam Vacs

I was all set for being complain-y today.  I was gonna tell you how some piece on our toilet broke over the weekend and flooded our carpet and we had to rent a steam vac.  I was gonna say how we had a mini-sleepover and I was driven slowly insane by children who don’t listen, argue about everything, and have terrible table manners.  I was gonna complain about my mountain of laundry that needs washing before this weekend and last night in the midst of the mountain, the washer made a weird grinding sound and now won’t drain.  I was all set for complaining.  I was.

Then I happened by Facebook and read my sister’s status.  This morning she had a busted pipe that sprayed onto her furnace and ruined some electrical panel thing that connects to the thermostat.  She had to call a plumber and whoever the people are that fix thermostats.   And do you know what…she didn’t complain at all.  Not even a little.  She was thankful to the people who came and fixed everything.  She even had a “praise the Lord” in there.

So…

I am thankful.  I’m thankful that the carpet only flooded in a few places.  I’m thankful that my husband knows how to turn off water valves.  I’m thankful that since we live in an apartment all the maintenance doesn’t cost me a penny. Praise the Lord!

It’s good to have an older, wiser sister to help you keep things in perspective and have a good attitude.  Thanks Sister. :)  (Did you see how I threw “older” in there?  You’re welcome.)

I am also thankful for yarn, which rarely causes me as much angst as water-related appliances and plumbing.  

I’ve got a granny square infatuation going on right now, and these little guys are made with my leftover scrap yarn.  I will have to crochet a billion of these before they become a blanket.  It might take years.  I kinda like that.

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I’m also working on a big, black neck thing for the husband.  He uses public transportation because it’s available, and he braves the cold daily.  He deserves a big, warm, cushy neck thing.

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He doesn’t like animal fibers so close to his neck, so I’m knitting it out of Bernat Softee Chunky (which is acrylic).  I’d rather be knitting with a lovely, natural fiber, but I am thankful that this stuff doesn’t break the bank.  Now I can keep the  yarn budget for myself.

Well… if I had a yarn budget. ;)

One Big Party

This week has been cold here (like in many places), and it’s gone by fast.

This time of year always goes by fast, and I feel like I have to run to keep up with it.  It starts with Halloween and then….boom…school stuff intensifies, holidays become something to start preparing for, and it’s Tilly’s birthday (not today, but really, really soon).

I always feel under-prepared for Tilly’s birthday.  I spent the week trying to deal with the cold and getting everyone into coats and snow boots that fit (it seems everyone’s grown since last year)…

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My son and I have the same size feet at the moment. He commandeered my snow boots earlier this week, so I had to buy myself some new ones *sigh*… *giggle*.

 

…and I have neglected my baby girl’s birthday.

Not to worry though, I spent the day getting pizza and cake and a very pretty outfit and we even took treats to school this morning (not homemade, but satisfactory for an almost 7-year-old).  We blew up balloons this morning too, and Tilly wrote herself a note:

captured_by_snapseed_44_1And I’m treasuring this moment that she’s still 6…and her spelling is pretty terrible, and she made herself gag blowing up balloons, because it really does go by too fast.  Kids are just such new people, and it’s amazing to see what they can do.

Love.  Just so much sappy love.

If you didn’t come here for the sappy ‘mom’ moment, but you came for the knitting, I have something to show you.

captured_by_snapseed_40_1It’s a finished “Elemental Linens” place mat, and I love it!  Doesn’t it make my sad, lonely, lemon look elegant?  I think so too.

I also finished a hot pad thing (trivet?) I’ve had in my “to finish” basket for a while.

captured_by_snapseed_43_1It looks homemade, which is what I was going for here.  I think kitchens need a little kitsch.

captured_by_snapseed_41_1Hope you all have a Happy Weekend!  We’ll be partying like we’re 7!

Oh, and a big congrats to my friend, Kelli!  She’s welcomed a beautiful baby boy into the world.

I’m Only a Little Horrible

I’m slurping down soup before I head out the door (again)…in the cold, cold, freezy, coldness.  It’s not really lunch time yet, but I don’t care; I’m eating soup and no one can stop me.

I’m also sitting here listening to the faint sounds of my son’s pet gerbil chewing up card board. Every once in a while a waft of gerbil essence drifts from the kids’ room to mine, and I’ll admit something here that will make me sound like a terrible person (really, really terrible):

I have contemplated gerbil murder.

I know, that sounds really, really horrible, and I would never actually do it, but the smell is getting to me, and no one else in this place seems to want to clean the gerbil cage.  (I would just like to take a moment to apologize to my Dad for never scooping the cat litter box when I was supposed to…I’m sorry about that, Dad.  Please forgive me.)   This last weekend I admitted my horrible, gerbil-murderous thoughts to Ben.  I suggested maybe suffocation was the way to go.  He looked a little horrified, told me I could not murder our son’s gerbil, and then said something like “but you’d probably sew a tiny pillow for that.”

Rest assured though, I will not be harming any pets.  I will take care of Kirby (the gerbil) with love and care as always.  I may even give her some yarn scraps to put in her little nesty, den thing for winter.  She’ll like that.  Keeping gerbils and people warm is what I do.

Tilly’s got a new hat to keep her warm.

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I’d knit a hat for Kirby, but I think she would just eat it.

Monday

I’m feeling pretty excited about life right now (lots of happy things happening after a lot of not so happy things), so I decided to freshen up the look of the blog!  

A lot has happened in the past month or two that I’ve been absent here.  I’ve missed speaking about the birthdays of some wonderful people that I love, I’ve missed sharing about some pretty scary health stuff of more people that I love, and I’ve just been a little too disconnected.  

I’ve also just had too many projects going at once, and after a long while of feeling a little buried, I have now dug myself out and can breathe again.  Hyperventilating through projects is just not for me.  I love finishing things!

I finished the baby things for my friend (possible photos to come once baby makes his appearance…we’ll see), I finished sewing the bed/playhouse/fort thing just enough to hang it up for my children (don’t ask to see it…it’s terrible and shall never be seen again), I’ve sewn up a few scarves for my little family, knitted a hat for a lovely lady, helped finish a hat for a friend, finished knitting a hat for Tilly (matches the pink mittens…I’ll show you later this week), and now I’m only missing a right front on the Augusta Cardigan, which, if I ever finish, will be a miracle.

I also finally finished my Elemental Linens placemat…it’s yet to be blocked though.  captured_by_snapseed_28_1It’s very pretty and wonderful in a way that only linen can be, and I’m glad to have it in my home.  I finished it at the beginning of October, stuck it in a basket, and have been remembering and forgetting to block it for an entire month.

My brain space in October was taken up by sewing.  A very good chunk of it was taken up by shopping for and sewing Halloween costumes for my kids. I have to tell you it’s just not a favorite thing, and I have informed them both that next year they will be picking costumes from things we already have.

My son goes through phases, and currently, that phase is:  being obsessed with all things from “The Legend of Zelda.”  So, of course, he wanted to be Link, and the kids together decided that Tilly should be Princess Zelda.

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I’m just so glad the costumes got finished.  They almost didn’t, and the complaining was something awful.

I’d promise to complain less next time…but there won’t be one.

(Insert evil laugh here)

Just Me and My BFF

That’s “BFF” as in Big Fat Fail.

Two.  Two is the number of cardigans I was supposed to have completed by today.  One is the number of cardigans I have actually started knitting.  And zero is the number that I have finished.

captured_by_snapseed_351_1That is my unfinished pile of Augusta Cardigan pieces.

I’ve felt lately that I may have become a bit of a project hoarder, and it has rendered me incapable of finishing anything.  I look around, see that there is a lot to finish, get stuck, sit on the couch with glazed eyes and empty hands, look around again, and start something new.  It’s a weird cycle that I am determined to break.  Before I break this cycle though I have to confess that I’ve added two new knitting projects to the pile.

captured_by_snapseed_354_1This one’s going to be a snuggly blanket.  I don’t yet know how big it’ll be, but the yarn was taking up too much space, so it had to get started.

The other project I have going is one that I just started today (and really it’s more than one project).

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I have a good friend.  Her name is Kelli, and she knits.  She is having a baby in two months, but her baby shower is in less than two weeks.  I am wondering why I am always surprised by baby showers.  I knew her due date, I know baby showers are usually a month or so before the due date…so why is it that I never plan accordingly?  (Sigh)…who knows.

I’m good with deadlines though (when it’s stuff for others), so I should be able to pull this off.  The “this” that I’m referring to includes a pointy, elvish hat, little booties of some kind, and a blanket.

Wish me luck.  It’s time to get back in the game.

 

What Life is Like Sometimes

I’ve been a bit whim-ridden lately.  I keep starting things and not finishing them…it’s a problem.

Things I’ve started and haven’t finished:

-Brown Cardigan #1 (Augusta).  Have finished back and two sleeves.  No fronts.  Fronts seem important.  Boobies will get cold.  (couldn’t help myself with that one…it was just right out there…in front)

-Brown Cardigan #2 (Wyeth).  Have a swatch.  No cardigan yet.  Supposed to be finished by September 24th. Still totally possible.

-Gigantic, Playhouse, Fabric, Bunk Bed Cover.  Don’t ask.  Will avert my eyes.  Possibly kick you in the shins and run away.  It’s half done.

-Tilly’s Pink hat.  Stalled.  Might be tired of pink for the moment.

-Unnamed pair of socks.  They are all the boring colors I like in socks.  They make me want to hike.  They look like this:

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Yarn: Patons Kroy Socks, Ragg Shades: Grey Brown Marl US 0 (2mm) needles, Plain Vanilla Socks Recipe

-Elemental Linens Placemat.  Almost done.  Very Pretty.

-Beer.  Shiner Oktoberfest.  Love Shiner.  They make pretty cans.  Drinking it so I can make this from the can.

-The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan.  Well written, but slow goin’s.  Keep getting distracted by non-fiction (French Kids Eat Everything, The Island of the Colorblind, Life’s Too Short to Fold Fitted Sheets, The Midwestern Table, and Home Made Winter (oliebollen, people, and fluffy pies).

-The dishes.  Dishwasher is pretending to work, but does not.  Maintenance people have not fixed it due to confusion.  I have started sporting yellow, dish gloves to save my hands.  Spent 3 hours last night doing dishes.  Haven’t touched them today.

You will all be happy to note, however, that I did finish one project today (sadly, not crafty).  I tried to share this joyful accomplishment with the husband, but he seemed disinterested….

…I organized my candles!  Ta da!  I know impressive, right?

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I kept the candles that fit with the candle-holders I have and got rid of the ones I don’t use.  I also broke some tapered ones and made two sizes of candles.  Two sizes!  For two different candle holder things!  I also decided to buy only votive candles in the smelly (I mean scented) variety.  I really don’t need giant Fall or Christmas-y candles hanging around all year.

It’s been an epiphany…truly.

And now that I have the candle situation under control, I can now move on to other projects.

Thank goodness.

I may need to get out more.

This, That, and a Frozen Gerbil

Did I mention the kids started school last week? …because they did, and it. is. awesome.

Yesterday, they had the day off though, so we journeyed over to the zoo.  We have zoo passes, so we only went for a couple of hours, and we spent a good chunk of our time in the Tropical Discovery building where we met Bob.

20140825_111608_1Bob is (I believe) an Alligator Snapping Turtle…Bob was huge.  Doesn’t he look like a dinosaur?  We’d never seen anything like him.  Love the zoo.

After the zoo we headed home and we each worked on our “projects.”  Dodge’s involved building something in Minecraft on the computer (of course), Tilly’s project involved stringing a button onto a strand of thread over and over (she was making tiny necklaces) and then leaving them all over the apartment,  and my projects are of course  BC1 and BC2, but also, something that involves sewing and is epic.

I somehow (with the help of Ben) decided that I should sew a giant playhouse, fabric, cover thing to put over my children’s bunk bed.  It’s gonna look something like this:

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Ben built a PVC frame over the weekend to hold the fabric at the top (it almost reaches the ceiling). I only need to cover one long side and one end of the bed. The tree will be a separate piece that covers the ladder. Oy.

Right now it looks like this:

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I was hoping to finish it in a week.  Stop laughing…it’s totally possible.

I also started two more “projects” because I can’t help myself.  I’m knitting a hat for Tilly to match her new pink mittens.

captured_by_snapseed_807_1And I’ve decided to start a granny square afghan made from leftover sock yarn scraps. There are lots of different ways I could’ve gone with the scrap yarn:  mitered square blanket, stripes, wool-eater, but I love granny squares…I love them like my mom loves paisley.  It can’t be helped.  It’s a condition.

captured_by_snapseed_808_1And last, but not least, I have some sad news.  One of Dodge’s pet gerbils, Pauline (the black one) has passed away.

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She is currently residing in the freezer (very well wrapped) next to the peas and frozen kale.  There will be a gerbil funeral to be held at a date to be determined.  Let us have a moment of silence for Pauline.  She was their favorite.  She will be missed.