Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Nifty Day or So

After a few days of feeling somewhat blah, today was a really nice day.

(I should add that a break in the blahness was a leisurely visit with a friend and former colleague on Sunday afternoon.  She was in town on family matters and came by to visit and to see the house.  It was great to catch up on things and to visit with her.  Friends from work are the thing I miss most about my profession.)

Last night, I unknitted. A few years ago, I knitted a blanket from Ecowool that was basically a big doily. I discovered that I didn’t like round blankets and that it did not stay blocked like a doily would have. It was ok. I learned about lace knitting from the process, but I stored the blanket and had never used it. I found it in the move, and last night I ripped it all out. That is nice wool to use on another project or two.

Knowing that “weather” was coming in this evening, I zipped out as soon as the stores opened this morning and did a little bit of garden shopping.  As in indoor garden.  I bought a snake plant, or as I always knew it, a mother-in-law’s tongue-to go by the front door.  The side windows practically call for one of something on each side, but I know myself well enough to know that if I go for symmetry, I will be bugged to no end when God does not grow two plants identically.  So for right now, I bought one.  I am pleased to say that he rode home quite happily in the passenger floorboard:

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I also bought a really nice windowsill plant tray that was a better fit for the décor than the one I know I have packed somewhere.  I got a couple of philodendron to go in it for the time being.  I would like to have something flowering, but even though this is an east window, it is on a porch that is several feet deep, and when the morning sun is low enough to get under the porch, it is going to be partially blocked by the houses across the street. 

After the plant excursion, I met up with my daughter and her younger daughter at the Don Harrington Discovery Center for a little while admiring the exhibits I had not seen, but mostly admiring little M interacting with the exhibits.  C and I had a nice but brief visit as well.

This afternoon, I read, cleaned the kitchen a little bit, took a comfy nap in the recliner, and, most importantly, waited impatiently while the shower enclosure was repaired.  Now all the tempered glass has been replaced.  I’ve vacuumed the carpet in the hallway and bedroom and the bare floor and shower stall, reinstalled the freshly washed bath mats, and I’m ready to go tomorrow with the rest of bathroom organization and some more work on the master closet.  My dear husband’s taping job was good enough that they got the shattered window out without having it come apart all over the place.  Tomorrow should be a good at home day because it’s snowing again right now. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Finally!

About 7 or 8 years ago, I bought a vintage stained glass window on eBay to hang in my kitchen.  Other projects intervened, and I never got it done.  In fact, the window remained tucked behind some shelving at our store, where UPS delivered everything in those days.  When we sold the business, it took up residence in the back of my SUV for some months.  Then it ended up in the back room of our house.  Now it is proudly hanging in the kitchen window of the new house, thanks to the efforts of my son.  I just finished remaking some panels that I had on hand but really, really like to hang in the gap on each side and draw across the window when needed.  The sill is deep enough for some small plants.  Inspired by something I saw on Pinterest, I used a tension rod between the cabinets to give more stack back room for the curtains to leave more of the glass exposed.  However, I was unable to get a picture that really shows the colors in the glass, which are quite lovely as I sit and look at them—gold, blue, green, and a purply-red in the center of the heart.  The wavy clear glass is attractive as well.  I suspect I need a better fill-in flash to counter the effect of the bright outside light. 

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Having grown up in the “perfect pinched pleats” generation, it took a little bit of thinking to persuade myself that the more casual clip ring application was going to be ok, but I think it suits the kitchen.  I tried some white lace panels, but they were too cottagey to suit the rest of the room.  The tension rod came from Penney’s because I caught a sale—the small clips, which are harder to find than the big ones, came from JoAnn’s.  The rod is oil-rubbed bronze to match the kitchen, but I had to settle for black ring clips.  From the floor, you can’t tell.  This installation has been so long in coming that I feel like throwing a party!

The tempered glass for the shower enclosure replacement is supposed to arrive tomorrow.  They are going to replace all the remaining glass in the enclosure, not just the broken part, on the theory that there may have been something wrong with the original tempering process.  I will be glad to have that done so that I can more or less finish up in the master bath and bedroom area.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Tomorrow Will Be Another Day

Sometimes days don’t work out as we planned—but they turn out ok, nevertheless.

My plans for today included unboxing the one remaining box in the master bedroom, putting those items in the closet, and then using the box for some items-to-be-donated that I have stacked in the bedroom corner.  It was sort of a twofer.  (May I add that I really appreciate the luxury of living where one can phone a number 24 hours ahead of time and request porch pickup of the donations instead of having to drive them 70 miles?).  Alas, it was not to be.

Remember when we bought the house and the shower door shattered?  Well, at 1 a.m. this morning, I was roused by a boom, followed by a sound that at first resembled dripping, splattering water.  After groggily determining that the sound was coming from inside the house, I staggered to the bathroom and turned on the light, only to see this in progress:

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That is tempered glass, shattered into thousands of tiny cubes.  It was in the process of completing its fragmentation when I flipped the switch.  The previously shattered door is at the left, intact.  This is the stationary panel between the door and the wall.  I assure you that we have treated that enclosure with extreme care since the previous incident.  I can also assure you that I did not appreciate the attitude of the glass company, with the repetition of, “We’ve never had glass do that before.”  This house is under warranty, so things will be fixed one way or another, but I’m rather disgusted.  There is also one more stationary panel to the left of the door.  I’m holding my breath.

I woke up my dear hubby, and we managed to use box tape to tape the window in place.  I’m not sure how long it will hold, but it gave me time to get essentials from the bathroom.  Unfortunately, the path to the master closet leads through the bathroom.  We moved toiletries and items to the hallway bath, because whatever has to happen will take a couple of weeks since the tempered glass has to be ordered.  I bought another bottle of shampoo rather than risk opening the door.  I am also determined that this time, the repair will be accomplished without dragging a glass-shedding frame through the carpeted bath and hallway.  They can wrap it in plastic or something, if necessary.  I am also keeping the bath door closed so that if it does fall, the cubes will not explode out into the bedroom.  They will be much easier to shopvac off the tile.

I also hustled out to Target this morning for a shower curtain and liner for the other bathroom.  We had just been using it for a tub when we needed one, but fortunately our son had put up the rod and rings last week.  I’m not too sure about the choice of curtains, but I was in a hurry.  It’s all rather beige, but I also have no accessories in place yet, so the room can still be brightened up.

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The highlight of the day, however, remained.  This afternoon was the 6th birthday of my middle granddaughter, who was born on the afternoon of a blizzard.  The party, at the tunnel room in the Family Life Center of the First Baptist Church here, was great fun for M and her friends and her big sister.  The cupcakes were good, and the presents were quite satisfactory.  And nothing broke!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Hat!

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This is a very badly colored picture of a hat that I’m very proud of.  The pattern is the Bend Hat, available on Ravelry.  This hat is even more attractive on a head than it is flat because the contrast between the cabled/twisted section and the ribbing is even more pronounced.  The pattern instructions are very clear and easy to follow, with both written directions and charts. I did rip back to ribbing once and start over because I was having trouble reading my knitting with black yarn at night. I started over in the daytime, got the hang of the pattern, and was able to continue successfully well past midnight! 

The color in the above picture is not true.   Dream in Color’s Black Parade is a beautiful blend of blacks.  The weight is worsted—Classy.  The yarn came from The Loopy Ewe.  I have enough left over for something. 

This hat is for my son.  I have not yet found my wool wash, so I gave it to him unblocked with directions for a soak.  I’m pleased with the pattern and with the yarn, and the fit was absolutely perfect. 

The weather forecast looks reasonably fair for the next few days, but I’m sure we’re not through with hat weather yet, so I hope it will be useful for the rest of the winter.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Snow Day!

Today began with an early morning trip to Donut Stop, followed by a donut delivery to our son and granddaughter.  This was an essential trip because I had not had a previous opportunity to admire her vastly increased Barbie collection.  Or check on the progress of the loose tooth.

After we got home, I spent a little more time on kitchen organization.  I had ordered one of these racks before moving into the house, only to discover that I needed two.  Alas, the second was backordered and didn’t come until last night.  Now I can get the flat things out of the tall cabinet without having them fall on my head!

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Then, my husband’s brother came by for a visit, and we had a cheese-and-cracker lunch.  I sat down to watch a show on HGTV, and this happened--

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In the time it has taken me to write the first part of this post, all the brown spots have disappeared.  We are very thankful for every drop of precipitation, so this snow is very welcome.  I’m going to get my warm house socks back on my feet and enjoy the rest of the afternoon!

Hat knitting is progressing with another pattern.  It is going rather slowly because this is a pattern that requires looking closely at the knitting in progress and the yarn is black. 

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

A Mixed Bag

The last 24 hours have been interesting, in a good way.

First of all, I made another run at organizing spices.  Here’s what I started with:

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A cabinet crammed dangerously full of all shapes and sizes of containers.

Here’s where I am right now:

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Obviously, not everything from the top is in this drawer.  That’s ok, because now I can find the items that I keep in large containers on the shelves.  You will also notice that this drawer has lots of empty space.  That’s because I need to restock some of my basic spices that had gotten too old.  I will buy most of them in the smallest containers like the ones in the front so that they won’t go stale before I use them.  I can move the taller jars to other parts of the rack.  This may not be the perfect solution, but it is the best one I’ve found so far.  It doesn’t show well in the picture, but there’s plenty of room on the left side of the drawer as well—more, in fact, than on the right.

Knitting—I spent this evening struggling to knit a hat for my son.  He had found one on etsy that was a pattern to buy.  I bought it, and the pattern is just not written right.  I struggled all evening.  The yarn, Dream in Color Classy in Black Parade, is too nice to waste on a crummy pattern.  I’ll break the news tomorrow and try to come up with something else that will suit.

Drama—really.  I went with my daughter and her 2 girls to the local Little Theater production, a youth production, of Charlotte’s Web this morning.  It was extremely well done.  I particularly liked the costuming choices and the versatility of the young actors, many of whom played several different roles.  The script was well written, and the elementary age audience was enchanted.  So was I.  A nice Italian lunch afterward didn’t hurt either.  (I had ham and navy beans ready to go at home, but somehow after trying so hard to help Charlotte save Wilbur, ham didn’t sound good!).

Saturday, January 05, 2013

A Picture

It occurred to me that I had not posted a picture of our completed home.  Here it is:

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Here is a picture of the current state of my knitting/sewing/granddaughter room.  It has become the dumping ground, at least temporarily, for the unboxed items.  The pile is not as big as it looks because there is a bed under it at least.  The color is not accurate—the walls are buff and blue.  I should have opened the blinds.

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Friday, January 04, 2013

Organization

I hesitate to use this word in a blog because there are entire blogs out there written by people who seem to do nothing but organize.  For me, the only reasons to organize are so that it looks better, so that I can find something, and so that it is easy to clean.  Period.  I am really not interested, for example, in systems that require me to put all my grocery purchases in decorative containers with hand-printed calligraphy labels so that everything in my pantry matches.  No thank you.  Right now, part of my pantry is very disorganized because we had a much larger pantry where we lived before, so I’m in the process of using up extras of some items.  Living where a good selection of groceries is easier to come by, we won’t. have to buy quite so much in bulk for just the two of us.  On the other hand, I am working hard to organize my canned goods.  As soon as I stock my organizers, I’ll post a picture..

I am finding that some things you just don’t know how you want until you have time to consider.  I’m glad I didn’t buy too many organizers ahead of time.  My goals for next week are to organize a spice drawer, a luxury I did not have in my former kitchen where drawers were in short supply.  I also want to organize the storage for my baking sheets, muffin tins, etc.  I am also working on the laundry room.  It is built a little bit strangely, so it will be a challenge to make good use of the space.  Today, however, I did hang a small wall “hamper” for our wool socks.  A misplaced cotton sock is no biggie, but a misplaced handknit is something else.  It is also a tragedy when a handknit gets into the hot cycle by mistake.  I am hoping this system will help.  This w/d set has pedestal drawers underneath.  I am trying to decide what will go there.  I am not going to use them for heavy bottles of detergent because the lifting will get to me after awhile.  The top of one of the appliances—too tall for a folding area—will need to also serve as a “landing area” for the garage entrance.  I want some kind of organizer for that.  Then I also have cabinets above the washer.  Unfortunately, I can only reach the bottom shelf, barely.  I am thinking of using the upper shelves for bulk paper goods supplies, which I can reach with a “reacher,” and which won’t break if dropped. 

I also need to get on with the unpacking.  There has been something of a delay due to illness and the holidays, so I’m not quite as far along as I hoped.  I really need a productive week.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Warm Cozies

It’s been months since I’ve finished a knitted project!  Here are the cozy worsted house socks for ME!  You will notice that they haven’t been blocked—in fact, they are practically smoking from the rush knitting job, and they will go directly on my feet in the morning.  Notice also that they are posing on a box, one of the number that still make up a significant part of the décor.  It is amazing, though, how therapeutic the repetitive nature of the knitting was to my moving nerves, and I definitely needed it!

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These socks are bright purple, but I’m not too sure about the monitor I’m working with.  They look more or less blue.  They are also the same size—the apparent difference is due to the shooting angle. 

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Success!

Happy New Year to everyone! 

Knitting Progress—One sock is finished except for the kitchener at the toe.  The delay is because I have to locate a yarn needle.  I put those on a stitch holder for the moment so that I can start the second sock.  In this case, second sock syndrome is less likely than one cold foot syndromeSmile

When we moved, I tried to be very organized about packing and labeling boxes; however, there were those boxes on the end with little dibs of this and that.  When we arrived, I found that I had both my Nooks, my iPhone, and my tiny MP3 players, but no chargers.  Missing was my Kindle2 and all the chargers.  I borrowed an iPhone charger from my daughter, and I’ve been looking for the others because I was, in effect, ereaderless.  With the dropping of the ball last night, my foggy memory cleared, and I remembered that I had packed the ereader bag with chargers in the laundry basket with the extra coathangers.  I hadn’t come across them because I’m not through putting clothes in the closets.  (That’s another story completely.)  I got them out this morning.  I found all the chargers except the one for the K2, but I know it is packed with the battery chargers because I hadn’t been using it right before the move.  Now everything is plugged in and charging up!  I can also return the phone charger to my daughter.  I know that I could have bought another one fairly easily, but I did not want to replace the specialized chargers for the other devices.