The kid: "Mommy, is knitting your thing?" Ann: "Yes, honey, knitting is my thing."

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1. Finishing site design
2. MAKING PHONE CALLS--propane installation people
3. Signing up for decent, cheap web hosting
4. Painting bathroom
5. Accounting for project expenses related to city house and adjust bank balance dramatically downward
6. Searching for last (?) box of checks

The WeatherPixie


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much ado about knitting
Friday, August 01, 2003  
Done. is up and appears to be functioning pretty much as intended. I will be copying archive pages there soon, but if you have this site bookmarked, you may replace that link with See you there!

9:29 PM

I've talked myself (thankfully) out of going to Home Depot. I realized that my dear one will have to work a shift before coming home, so I will be able to pick up the rest of the tiles in the city when I'm there tomorrow, bring them home, and finish installing them.

So today, I've said to myself (in the words of the boy), "I'll make you up a deal..." every 45 minutes of cleaning this place up gets me 15 minutes of time to finish working on the site. Let's see how much progress I can wring out of this artificial motivational construct...

11:03 AM

Things I should definitely, definitely know by this point in my home improvement career:
1) Measure twice (thrice?), buy once.
2) Never, ever trust my husband's judgment of what scraps are worth saving without careful examination of same first.

Yes, I am probably going to Home Depot again tomorrow. I would rather drive two hours than leave the job in the near-done state it is in. Since my man has been home once, for a few hours, during the month of July, I really want him to have a good impression of the little improvements I've been chipping away at here while he's been slaving away over there. And a 3/4 done job on the bathroom floor isn't going to bolster that impression any. It also drives me to distraction.

In better news, it should look very nice when complete, and dear husband found a babysitter for dear boy for Saturday afternoon so that we can do the big final cleanup push at the old house. Our old neighbor, the electrician, and her daughter are really fond of him and vice versa, so he should have a fun day.

2:31 AM

Thursday, July 31, 2003  
Well now, that was one fun ball game. And I learned that I will never again venture into the ball park without a nice vial of ibuprofen in hand. I think it's a combination of going from an altitude of 3000 feet or so to sea level, plus the noise levels, plus different subsets of allergens--but in any case, it results in one monster headache and there are no painkillers to be purchased anywhere at the field. (Not legally, at any rate.) Yow. But fun, and my kiddo got a game ball from the bench coach. I don't get to indulge my inner baseball geek often enough.

If I hadn't driven 175 miles today, I might be done with my site. (Well, as done as a site driven by a blog will ever be.) As it is, I'm not, quite, and I'm going to take a break and go lay down some tile in the bathroom. Before driving home this a.m., I stopped at the Home Despot to pick up a few more tiles to go along with the 1/2 box left over from the kitchen job. I like doing this kind of thing at night--it's always fun when there's something for the little guy to discover in the morning when he hops out of bed.

I gotta say, this whole house sale thing has put a serious dent in my knitting time. Usually when we go someplace, my husband drives and I happily knit. But he's been in the city since the 1st, so I've been doing all my own driving. Send my chaffeur home soon!

11:11 PM

Wednesday, July 30, 2003  
Just spent most of the evening dealing with a certain item on my procrastination list. I should be able to upload my new site (not complete, but close) in 48 hours or so, thus sayeth my web host.

Baseball game tomorrow. I should double-check the start time, as I have to drive 90 minutes to get there. (Never mind; it's 7:05.) As far as I know, the park isn't selling Not Dogs, but maybe the kiddo will go for the garlic fries. We'll be right behind the dugout, so I can keep an eye on Edgar. It's only a little crush, and since we don't have television service, it's only rarely indulged. My kiddo is more interested in this member of the roster... Something for everybody, I suppose.

I've been poking around our house recently, trying to figure out the hows and whys of the dropped ceiling in the living room. Tentative analysis: it could be removed--there would be hassle involved and the east and west ends of the room would be lower than the middle, but we would gain 8-12" in height over most of the room, and, more importantly, I wouldn't have to paint the damned thing. Additionally, a troublemaker got me to wondering what was under *our* dining room carpet. (What is it with carpeted dining rooms, anyway? To make matters worse, ours is cream and tan.) I'm not positive, but it looks like floorboards (as opposed to plywood underlayment) underneath, and the carpet pad wasn't glued to them. Clearly, this is not the time to bring this up to my husband--he has been struggling with the floors at the other house for over a week. But we have successfully refinished floors in the past. (He just consciously skipped a step this time and is paying for it dearly.)

1:32 AM

Tuesday, July 29, 2003  
It is, as they say, 95F in the shade. I took the kiddo to swim lessons this a.m. and never bothered to take off the top portion of my swimming suit. Trying to spend as much time as possible in the bedroom with the a/c.

I did finish the neck and shoulder shaping on Cashel last night, and not only did I remember what I was doing when converting the bound off to be sewn shoulders to short-rowed shoulders ready for three-needle cast off, I also learned a new decrease: slip slip purl. I'll need to refer The Knitter's Book of Finishing Techniques for awhile, but I love learning anything new.

On that note, choosing a very easy Alice Starmore pattern as my first aran attempt seems to have been a very good move. Controversy about copyrights and trademarks aside, her patterns really are beautifully written, and the charting system she uses is very intuitive. Now I merely have to make two more sleeves and then sew it up.

I think I'll go droop, wilt, and work on my website. I don't have to move much to do that.

5:17 PM

I am going to quickly recreate a post I just lost. I'm actually kind of happy about it, as *I* lost it, which is much easier to swallow than Blogger's routine vanishing act.

Since I've been painting instead of finishing my site, and therefore have no pictures to document my lovely new room, I'm taking you on a verbal tour of my favorite things. I'm not sure when I established the theme, but for some time, our bedroom has been the repository for beautiful handmade gifts. Seeing them all together, evidence of so much talent, careful artisanry, and love, makes me very happy.

Beginning with the bed. Right now, it's sporting the summer quilt, a crazy quilt crafted from garage sale and thrift store finds, bordered with photo transfers of my husband and I at various points of our lives. The main body of the quilt also incorporates photo transferred excerpts of our correspondence--we courted from afar for about 8 months before we lived together, and carried on a platonic exchange for many years before that. The quilt was a wedding present from our friend Wendy

When the cold winds howl, we'll switch to our beautiful winter quilt, thick purple and red flannel backed with polar fleece, made for us by my loving sister-in-law. Never will you meet someone with so much talent and such a generous heart. She also embellished a series of heart-shaped pillows in a very rich Victorian motif--think velvets, brocades, beadwork, embroidery. One graces our bed, another (with a deeply fringed lower edge) hangs nearby, and a series of three is suspended above the closet.

There's a window above the bed, where I've used an inexpensive curtain rod and brackets from IKEA to drape some old handkerchiefs passed on to us by my great-grandmother (my knitting Nana) and my husband's grandmother. There are nine of them, layered, and curtain rod is about 1 1/2" in diameter, giving the whole affair some depth. It's a little like the mantel pictured here.

Also next to the bed is a quilted wall hanging, a wedding gift from my dearest and oldest friend, made by her and her mom almost eight years ago.

On the bookshelves, there's a lamp with a round metal base and a metal arm that arcs from the base up to the socket. It once had a cerulean glass shade, but when my husband shattered it, I made a new shade from red, gold, and bronze glass seed beads and wire. The bookshelves are also home to two bears I owned growing up, passed along to my little dearie.

Atop the dresser is a family portrait taken by my brother-in-law. It's a terrific black & white shot, very funny. My husband is looking at the camera, rather seriously, I am turned toward him, speaking and laughing, and the boy is on my knee, also looking at the camera, but making a very silly squinched up face. There's also a brushed steel clock acquired with a gift certificate given my husband for his 40th birthday.

On the wall to the left of the door, there's a framed cross-stitch of the Shaker tune, "Simple Gifts." My aunt made this as another wedding gift, and not only is it a nice design, I'm extra appreciative because I know that she realized she'd made a major error when she was almost finished and started the entire piece over.

On the floor, an area rug crocheted from strips of torn fabric, a gift from another aunt. I'm looking forward to the day when I have a keen enough grasp of crochet to understand how this was wrought--it's very cool.

And last, not a handmade gift but a beautiful fabric a friend brought home from India, and which she used to wrap a nursing pillow for our baby shower. More red and purple. It's been pressed into service as a curtain camouflaging some built-in shelves.

I'm really happy with how the room looks now. The furniture arrangement has to be fairly static, but painting the canvas behind all of these objects a calm and peaceful blue, adding a bookcase, and generally spiffing things up has made it a better space. I'm declaring it another one of those crazy ideas that worked out.

2:25 AM

Monday, July 28, 2003  
Just noting that I am over myself. I'm thinking I'll just post clipboard with a list of things that actually *do* need to be done next to the water shut-off :~P

On with the day.

11:30 AM

Apparently, I have been relieved of responsibility for turning off my own watering system. A couple of days ago, I just flat out forgot, and realized the following day that one of the neighbors must have discreetly turned it off. This afternoon, I turned the soaker hoses on before starting on some electrical repairs, and 60-90 minutes later, when I was finished and went outside to turn them off, only the hose to the front beds was still running.

Based on past actions, I assume that either pair of next-door neighbors could be responsible. Sometimes I wish I could sort through the BS and call them on their perceptions of us. I don't know. Maybe I'm reading too much into the dynamic, but I really wish they could take a longer view of things and realize that while I may have a big weedy mess of a lawn right now, this summer, it won't always be that way. Don't panic. And yes, I have an extremely gregarious, intense child who is not always the picture of social grace, but we have been talking about *solving problems* every day of his life, presenting him with the conviction that it's always possible. And when my lazy husband is finished fixing up the other house [while working two consecuitve 60 hour weeks], he'll be back to help whip things into shape over here.

Ugh. I shouldn't let all this get under my skin. Too much speculation on my part.

On a happier note, I finished painting, and am about to put the room back together. A few changes here and there, and a new bookcase to replace the plastic bin of kids' books, but the color is the main difference. Our bedroom is filled with beautiful handmade gifts, and we can't rearrange the furniture too radically at the present time, but erasing the ugly color and carefully returning all of the special things is enough to make me very happy. Practically enough to make me forget the silly nonsense of which I was just writing.

I'm hopeful that I'll be able to pull off a quiet morning to work on the neck and front shoulder shaping for Cashel. Lately, by the end of the day, I'm far too exhausted to take on thinking knitting. A few rounds on my sock is about all I can manage, and given my ribbing technique, even that's a stretch at times.

12:16 AM

Sunday, July 27, 2003  
The truest thing:
Well, if you want to be happy, you have to make me happy.
My kid, age 4

I would modify that slightly, substituting "help me be" for "make me," but he's basically got it. And this makes me very happy, because it's true, and he knows it, without ever having been told so. And it wasn't something said to be manipulative; it was just an observation.

Something my husband said to me a couple of weeks ago when we were working on the other house: "The thing is, you have these crazy ideas, and for some reason they usually work out." Which is something I didn't know he thought. I hope he is pleased with the bedroom (not that I think painting a bedroom pale blue qualifies as a "crazy idea")--I still have to put a second coat on the alcove and the ceiling, but it's perfectly lovely. It's like dissolving the roof and being surrounded by a twilight sky.

One nice thing about the amount of time it's taken me to get him to acquiesce to my color schemes is that by now, I know what color the rooms want to be. My office is a pretty lavender, and has been the only colorful room in the house for over a year. (The time to paint it was my birthday gift two years ago.) It's cool and serene during the day, and takes on an ethereal glow at night. The bedroom, also on the second floor, wanted cool tones as well. The blue I chose is a light midtone, tending toward violet. The living room will be caramel & crimson, the kitchen celadon & crimson, the dining room wants more celadon, and the bathroom whispers, "cantaloupe." My boy's room wants fancy, and I'm hoping his dad will paint him a mural next time his dearies jet off to the Midwest for Grom & Gromps' extended stay luxury hotel.

The bedroom needs a second coat of paint in the alcove and on the ceiling, a bit of touch up here and there, and then it's done. I was hoping to finish tonight, but I've been sleeping five hours at the most lately, and then working hard all day, pushing my bedtime nearly into the territory of the normals.

Unrelated to anything else, I was trying to remember my Myers-Briggs type, and couldn't (IN??). So I retook the mini-test at, and was reminded that it's INFJ. Two profiles of my type are here and here.

Okay, I'm off to sleep in the non-fume-y downstairs bedroom. Actually, I'll read a bit more of The Dive from Clausen's Pier first, then drift off. I know, I'm supposedly reading the Leif Enger book, but I started this at lunch the other day when I didn't want to go find Peace Like a River, and I got completely sucked in.

12:19 AM

Saturday, July 26, 2003  
Taking a break from my painting for this brief rant on paint companies:

1) Hey, Dutch Boy--the new Twist & Pour container is nice, but where's my other 4 oz. of paint??!

2) And you, Behr, FYI, your flat interior paint "with improved scrubbability!" isn't flat--it's EGGSHELL.

Back to the coal mines.

11:16 AM

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