You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘ravelry’ category.
Where do I even begin? I have started this post 3 times now. Our lives are in such a state of transition lately that there are times when I feel overwhelmed and just want to bury my head under the pillow and stay there all day. Baby steps, right? Okay then.
Things are going great. I am 27 weeks. The baby is finally moving around all of the time. I am just starting to get to the “almost” uncomfortable stage. I started Prenatal Yoga and love it. No, we are not having an ultrasound to find out the gender. In fact, there are many tests that we are electing to not have. Either because I am not at risk or because we feel it is too stressful for me & BTH #2 (gotta think of a better blog moniker for it).
This guy is amazing. Everything is so new, and every day is a learning experience. It is amazing to watch. His vocabulary is expanding, as I said before. He loves to say, “Sure Babe,” “Are you kidding me right now?” “Are you sure about that? I’m sure of that,” and his favorite swear word (at least I think that is what he is saying) is “Damn it!”, but he puts a “b” at the end of “damn” so it sounds more like “Damb it”. It is all I can to do tell him that isn’t something that babies say before I have to look away while biting the inside of my lower lip to keep from laughing. He loves to sit and play with his blocks and little toys and chatter away to himself, and he absolutely loves being read to. He has a pretty good collection of books and we go up and read books in his room once during the day to pass time, then he gets a book read to him before his nap and at least 30-45 minutes of book reading by either me or Papa before bed at night. I hope hope hope that he turns out to share our love of books.
It is gorgeous here. Chilly, but gorgeous. They already have snow in Fairbanks and have had snow in Anchorage. It is only a matter of time before we get it. And judging by the rate it is covering the mountain, it won’t be much longer…it is slowly making its way to lower elevations.
(I took this picture this morning while standing on our back deck)
Little things in life thrill me. Like last week when pumpkins arrived at the grocery store. I promptly picked out two to sit in the rocking chairs on our front porch. DH grabbed one of them and proclaimed that it wasn’t big enough, and replaced it with a bigger one. Because we lived overseas for the past 3 years, we haven’t had pumpkins and this just thrilled my little heart to be able to have them once again. And seeing frost on said pumpkins when we get up in the mornings, a sure sign that winter is indeed on its way.
The animals are having a hard time adjusting to the chilly weather though. They are all from Guam, so they are used to tropical temperatures. One kitty spends 85% of her day laying thisclose to the monitor heater in the main living room. The other one hides somewhere warm and cozy until about 10 pm when she comes out for some attention right before we go to bed, then she settles back in her cozy spot for the night. The dog though…oh boy. She refuses to go outside until almost 3 pm. When I open the door to let her out to pee, she runs the other way. And she is snuggled into her bed for the night by 7pm. Her name is Lady and I have started calling her “Old Lady”. We used to let her out right before we went to bed, but lately, she just barely opens an eye in recognition of us talking to her and offering her one more chance to pee for the night. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that she is fine after being shot by a porcupine. She really only had a half dozen or so quills or whatever they are in her face (one in the gums, ouch), so she was lucky. She let us pull them out with a pair of pliers. This is the culprit as we caught it sneaking under the fence.
This is the part that is the most worrisome.
When we bought the house, we knew that we wanted to make major improvements. The carpet throughout the house is old and repulsively stained. There was question as to the pellet stove insert’s ability to work. The vinyl flooring in the foyer looked original to the house (built in 1967). The exterior doors are dusty rose-pink. Almost every room needs a new coat of paint.
Then there are things that aren’t exactly necessary, but would make it how we want it. Like remodeling 2 of the baths to update / or add a bath tub. Expanding the back deck covering to extend the length of the deck to increase its functionality. And add a rail around the deck. Tons of re-working the yard and landscaping. Changing all of the exterior locks & doorhandles from cheap-o brass ones to more decorative ones that all match. Finishing off little things in the kitchen that were skipped when the previous owner remodeled it. Repainting the garage. Having an energy survey completed and acting on the recommendations. Painting the oil tank outside.
So far, we have:
1. Repainted the guest bedroom from deep lavender with plum trim to a warm sunny yellow (Warm Sunshine is the name, actually). They had even painted the ceiling lavender. It is now white. And all of the trim is white. Much, much better.
2. Painted the kids’ bedroom from a light peach color to a green hue…darker than celery, but lighter than pea soup. It is called Primitive Hedges. White ceilling also.
3. Purchased paint for the rest of the rooms.
4. Replaced all of the exterior door handles and locks (there are 5 exterior doors!).
5. Painted the exterior of the french doors off the dining room and the exterior door off the laundry room from dusty pink to forest green (we have light yellow siding).
6. Purchased the tile for the foyer. Pulled up the vinyl and particle board in the foyer. DH is working on getting the floor level, then the tile project will be fast-tracked.
7. Had the carpet guy come out and measure the entire upstairs for carpet. Picked out carpet and ordered carpet. Should be here and installed by the end of the month.
8. Bought hardwood flooring for the main living room (we have 2 living rooms and this is the big one at 375 sq ft).
9. Had the pellet stove insert cleaned professionally. Learned that it may not be functional and if it is, it will require repairs and updating to the chimney to make it efficient and use-able. The repair guy is on his way here as I type this, keep your fingers crossed that it can be fixed and for little $$.
Now comes the worrisome part. We bought the house for $50k less than the original asking price. It had sat on the market for over a year. We bought it with the intention of making an investment into our future. And we knew that we would rent it out when we left, as long as we could get a tenant in here that would cover the majority, if not all of the mortgage. We figured that in the 4 years that we would be here, we could get these things done and have time to enjoy our first home.
It is not to be.
We got word recently that DH made the cut to advance in rank, which means that we will be transferring again next summer because there isn’t a position available here for him.
It is fabulous for DH professionally. He has a sort of timeline of goals that he wants to achieve in the next 3 years and this is the first step. I am so happy for him. We didn’t expect him to make the cut this year, and it definitely puts a kink into our home-remodeling plans. We are going to continue on with the things that we have to do, and the things that we have already purchased (paint, flooring, etc). But we will not be doing all of the landscaping we had planned, nor expanding the deck covering, or remodeling the bathrooms.
Hopefully we can get a nice family in our house that will love it and take care of it for the time of their lease. We plan on buying another house where we go next as well. Speaking of, this is the list that we will be submitting. Basically a list of where we want to go. Keep in mind that we don’t get to “pick” per se…it is always up to the Detailer ultimately. This is just what they call a “dream sheet”. I am so keeping everything crossed that we don’t end up back in Guam. Because it is open again. Ugh. Anyway, in order of our personal preference:
- Tie between Anchorage, Alaska and Portland, Maine
- Paducah, Kentucky
- Duluth, Minnesota
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Cincinnati, Ohio
- Buffalo, New York
- Seattle, Washington
- Louisville, Kentucky
- St. Louis, Missouri
- Detroit, Michigan
- Wilmington, North Carolina
- New Orleans, Louisiana (which I would love to move back to someday)
We are putting many Midwestern stations on our list so that we can be within driving distance/short plane flights from the majority of our families in northern Illinois. We just found out that Portland, Maine is on the list today and have yet to discuss if it will be #1 or #2. I dream of living in the northeast almost more than going back to south Louisiana. If south Louisiana got snow regularly, it would be even more of a competition between the two. Anyway. We have to submit our list by the end of the month I think. And if we are staying in Alaska, we should know before Christmas. Otherwise, we probably won’t know until spring where we will be calling home next. They say that you should put as many choices on your list as you can…you have a better chance at going somewhere on your list if you submit 12 vs. if you only submit 5. Good thing that we are pretty flexible.
But damn you, Murphy, and your stupid Law. Just when things were going great.
When my life feels like it is going in a million different directions, I tend to not focus on what needs to be done now and instead daydream of crafty projects. So, it isn’t a wonder that in the past week I have started 2 pairs of socks and a basic hat for charity. I still have to finish my Clapotis and BTH’s longies made from the yarn that I thrifted and dyed.
I decided to participate in the Through The Loops “Mystery Sock KAL” (there’s even a Ravelry group) for Socktoberfest…
I also started another pair of Monkey socks…
These are a long overdue present for a certain someone and I had to shoot it in black & white so that said person wouldn’t know by seeing the colors of the socks. Although she probably knows anyway since I have asked her about her foot measurements. I meant to do the no-purl Monkey version, but totally spaced it out when I started and only remembered when I was about at the second repeat of the lace pattern. Next time.
The longies that I am knitting for BTH are really almost making me lose my mind…
This has to be the most complicated pattern I have ever attempted (Itchy Fingers Longies free pattern). And it isn’t the math…I got that figured out just fine. It is just the instructions in general. There are parts that I can’t get my mind wrapped around. I am positive that I am making it harder than it is, as usual. So, for now they sit unfinished in the knitting bag. Plus they are turning out kinda huge looking (even though I measured BTH and did the evil gauge swatch), AND a little more pink-y than I wanted them to be. *sigh*
Did I ever show you my finished Monkeys? I don’t think so.
I adore them. Blue Moon Fiber Arts, thank you immensely for giving the world your medium weight Socks that Rock yarn, it is fabulous. And to my friend, Phoe, thank you for introducing me to this heavenly yarn. (By the way, check out Phoe’s new blog…I dare you not to love the header and the fabulous pictures.) I try to wear them at every possible moment and think that everyone should have some nice hand-knit socks. That means that everyone needs to learn to knit, my queue is full : )
Well, the pellet stove guy is here and I should really pay attention to what he is doing & saying, so ciao for now.
I had forgotten how hellacious it is to be sick. Oy vey. I felt like I wanted to die. Thankfully, I am much much better today. I have even eaten something more than just applesauce and wheat toast. That alone is a huge accomplishment.
Well, the week from hell is over. This is our last week in the house. Everything went pretty smoothly last week except for Bella baby (orange kitty) taking off one day before her appointment with the DLNR Vet for her final sign off on the Health Certificate to fly. I forgot to capture her and keep her in the spare room, so we were kind of stressed, but she showed up right after we got home from the appointment with the other two pets. So we popped her in a kennel and off we went, back to the clinic. I think that she was trying to say, “Neener, neener, neener. The appoinment is over already, so I don’t have to go.” Sorry sister.
I think that the pets have winged their way from Saipan to Japan and are now in Minneapolis where they will spend the night at the kennel before flying to Chicago in the morning. There is a limit as to how many hours per day that a pet can fly. And there is a ban on pets flying in the summer months…seems like we got in just under the wire. *whew* My Dad & Father-In-Law are picking them up in Chicago and taking them home with them for the time being.
The garage sale was a giant success. Much thanks to Harry’s radio station and their “Bargain Basket” announcements and the Saipan Garage Sale website. We still have the brush cutter available, so if you want a brush cutter, let me know and I can get the info to you. Plus, I have lots of plants that I would like to find new homes for. These are plants that I have rescued, saved, divided, repotted, nurtured and loved. I am not sure if our house is going to be rented out quickly or not and I would hate to have my lovelies croak from lack of water or too much sunlight. We can’t take them with us, otherwise I would. I am giving them away. If you want some, let me know via comments.
I received an awesome package this weekend. I participated in a pin cushion swap on Ravelry. My partner did a fabulous job on a pink ribbon pincushion for me and I love it! It will have a special place in my new sewing room when we move. She even included lots of tawashi’s for me and a cute little lion puppet for BTH. He carries it around making meowing noises at it.
We didn’t get an updated MLS listing this weekend from our realtor. Not sure what is up with that. He hasn’t answered our last few emails either which is making us nervous. Is this a precursor as to what is to come? I hope not. But, I have totally fallen in love with this house…
It is on Douglas, the island across from Juneau. Love the fact that from the front it looks like a little cabin that could be sitting on the river. Even DH is yapping about this house and he hasn’t yapped about a house on his own for a while. Fingers crossed that it is perfect in person and still there, waiting for us on August 1st.
Here are some questions for you, my lovely readers…
1. Anyone own a Honda Odyssey? We are looking at model years 1999-2004 specifically. Your experience please.
2. We have talked to the bank about pre-approval for our monster mortgage. It will be good for 90 days. How long does it usually take to get pre-approved?
3. On average, how long (in weeks/days) does the house buying process take from the time of offer acceptance to closing? (We have asked the realtor this but he hasn’t replied yet)
4. Anyone have furniture from Pottery Barn? I am really liking their eco furniture (what am I, a tree hugger?) and we will be buying all new furniture for the new house. Just wondering what other people’s experinces have been with their furniture. We figure that furniture should be bought with the idea that you will keep it for at least 10-15 years, therefore we don’t mind spending the extra $. Most of our furniture was hand me down stuff that I got when I moved out on my own a long time ago. It is time we bought our own.
Okay, that is enough from me. If I am scarce this week, it is just because we are busy. And not the drive-you-insane-following-appointment-times-and-other-people’s-schedules either. Just getting stuff organized for the movers when the come on Monday. Squee!
I feel so incredibly uninspired lately. I know that it is partly because we only have 27 more days until we get packed out and move to the hotel and there is still an unbelievable amount of things to be accomplished. I know that it is because I am so completely tired lately, you know with producing another human being inside of my body while chasing after a wild 16 month old every day. And the other part is that last week was hard. Mentally. I am trying to get my brain wrapped around the fact that when we go home in 37 days, Mom won’t be there.
I keep going over how it all happened in August and September and I find that I am forgetting things. For example: Who picked DH up at O’Hare when he flew in? If I was the one, I certainly don’t remember it. And if it was me, why can’t I remember it? Little things like that. I know that it was a whirlwind of events that transpired and nobody on the face of this Earth thought that it would happen so fast.
Even though I haven’t been exceptionally inspired, I am still crafting and knitting.
I made this pincushion for my partner on the pincushion swap on Ravelry. I think that it turned out pretty cute. She loves dragonflies. It is made with all thrifted materials. Thrifted and felted sweaters actually with a charming vintage rhinestone button on the bottom. 100% hand stitched by me.
A new pic of the new Clap. I am now on my 3rd repeat. Yay. I am absolutely loving the way the Noro is striping. I am on the 3rd skein.
A new pic of the Monkey’s. I have since completed the heel flap…on to turning the heel! If I thought that I was loving the Noro on my Clap, I am loving the Socks that Rock yarn as much, if not more. All thanks to the lovely and incredibly generous Phoe.
The other thing that has been occupying my less than abundant free time is this…
I love these books and will be sad when I finish the series. Did you see my little bookmarker thingy hanging out of the book? A lady that works with my MIL & Step-Mom makes these book markers, she calls them “book thongs” because they fit nicely in the crack. HA! I have a couple of them, this one is pretty great in my opinion…
The charm says I*heart*2Knit and has a dangling sheep. Love it. I am so easy to please.
I know, my last post was a huge drag. Sorry about that. I just have to put the absurdity (is that a word?) of the system out there every now and again. I will try to not bitch and moan about this place any more. Let’s think of happier thoughts, okay?
Happy thought #1
I joined a couple of swaps on Ravelry lately and I am having the best time. It would only be better if I had an actual yarn store that I could go to and buy yarn, for now the internets will have to make do. There are two yarn shops in Juneau, that is a happy thought for sure.
This is a picture of one of the swaps that I sent:
Silk yarn, assorted teas, stitch markers made by moi, crochet frog kit from Japan (because I realized that I can’t read Japanese), a Japanese craft magazine, a couple of bars of gourmet chocolates. My partner is in California and she can read & write Japanese. Yay, her! She hasn’t received it yet, should be there in a couple of days.
Today I got my swap package in the mail…all the way from Canada, eh.
2 skiens of Euroflax wet spun Linen, a knitted shopping bag pattern, a kick ass tape measure (little blue box at bottom), a tin of lip balm, a note pad of recycled paper, a pen from the yarn store, hair bands that function as stitch markers, point protectors for my needles, a maple sucker shaped like a maple leaf and a bag of sweet lemon drop black tea (smells absolutely divine). Spoiled much? I love love love everything! And she really kept in mind the fact that I am a tree hugger, gotta love that!
Happy thought #2
Sock knitting! I started a new pair of socks yesterday. They are Monkeys from the famous Cookie A. I am using yarn that is a dream to work with according to my fingers…Blue Moon Fiber Arts “Socks That Rock” mediumweight. I lurve this stuff. The color is sherbet and I got it from my pal, Phoe. She is a doll.
I love how they are pink on one side and green on the other. Too cool!
I have done one repeat of the lace pattern. And…this is a big and…I am following the lace chart pattern instead of the written out pattern. Always trying to broaden my horizons, that’s me.
Happy thought #3
A new Clap! I mentioned that I started a new Clapotis…
Isn’t she gorgeous? Noro Kureyon #150…I adore the way that the colors are coming out. I am on my last little bit before I start the next section, the dropping stitches section!!! I am on my second ball of the Noro. I am having a hard time switching between my new Clap and the Monkey socks. I know, poor me.
Happy thought #4
Found out last friday that our family is growing! The new BTH is expected to arrive January 6, 2009…just in time for his/her brother BTH’s second birthday. Now, that is exciting! If it is a girl, I can say BTH & STH and make it brother tree hugger & sister tree hugger. Tree hugger babies, tres cute!
I love Ravelry. Did I ever tell you that? Oh, I did. And you are tired of hearing about it? Sorry. I just can’t get over how awesome the site is. It is knitter’s & crocheter’s dream come true. If you knit or crochet, I highly recommend signing up for it. It is free, currently in beta testing, but will be soon open for everyone without signing up.
Anyway, about 20 days ago, I signed up to get the progress bar thingies that you see over to the left (scroll down). I couldn’t figure out how in the eff to get the html code to work and after getting more frustrated than a one legged pirate in an ass kicking contest, I gave up. My online time is precious and quite limited. The topic was opened again today, so I looked at the thread to see if there were new tips. There were!
And there the are (the progress bars). Yippee, I am so freaking excited, I can’t hardly stand it. If you are on Ravelry (be my friend, I am mhighfill), you can click the name of the project and whoosh, be transported to the Ravelry page.