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Sunday, October 22, 2017

Letting The Dust Settle

We were trying to remember when exactly we officially moved into this house - we had bought it before we sold the other one, but it sat for a while before we did anything with it. I was surprised that we have lived here for about two months, it seems so much longer than that. David has been moving along at lightening speed, but it's a bit disjointed. When you move into a gutted house you don't work on it room by room - you do what you have to to make it habitable, then you keep going back as you acquire supplies. David did half the bathroom and only one of the sinks is hooked up right now, then he started the siding. He spackled the living room, added the deck. Found the perfect tub (in Terra Alta WV), back to the bathroom,  finished the dining room, added steps out front, garage door. It will be a few more months before we fully unpack. 

Buying an older home is always a challenge, you become very creative with storage as there is usually only one or two closets in the entire house. Back when this house was built there were no Calphalon pot collections, you didn't have wardrobes, no Sams Club or Walmart, you had only enough to get by. Most older homes had no bedroom closets but hooks  on the walls, maybe one small bathroom closet if you were lucky and a few kitchen cabinets. David and I had seriously decluttered before we left the Mapletown address, I cannot count how many bins went to Goodwill and yet.....
there is still more. 

I have not switched over to my winter clothes yet but as we were moving stuff around (the Ikea has TONS of drawers between the underbed and dressers) and I got rid of more stuff. As I've said in the past you have to be careful not to go overboard and throw out everything only to have to re-buy it a month down the road. David cut out the walls upstairs into the eaves and added doors since we do not have an attic and the basement is already cramped with construction supplies and overflow. 

The other issue is the dust and the dirt - never ending! We sweep and sweep, mop, dust, vacuum, wipe down,scrub and by the next morning you cannot tell. We track plaster dust, sawdust, mud and dirt, grass, leaves - I have not vacuumed out my car in a month because it's pointless. This will end in a couple of months and then it'll be like we've lived here forever. We have the main living area pretty well put straight and once he gets done with the outside (before the weather turns) then we'll focus on the inside. I would like my front stairs done though so we can company!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Making Room

So, one of the problems with moving into a (not quite) half finished renovation is there is literally no where to put anything. David is currently trying to get the outside of the house done before the weather turns, then will have a few months to concentrate on the inside. Except for the floor and the walls in the kitchen part of the diningroom/kitchen area that is fairly finished so we could put away that stuff, and the bedroom needs a new ceiling and light fixture (the bare bulb, cut-rate motel look of the current one is just not doing it for me) so that's not bad. The rest of the house is Spackle, bare studs, or old walls. We did put the livingroom together for now, upstairs is pretty much storage. We'd put off buying new bedroom furniture since we pretty much got rid of everything we had at the last house, however, we are tired of sleeping on Dog Level which gives the posse full access. David has woken up just about every night being spooned by hunting dogs so it was time to step up our game. 

We had been using my grandmother's furniture temporarily but it's so old now I really don't like to use it. We'd been looking  but could find nothing that met our needs - one of the big problems with an older home is there is very little storage so anything we purchased needed to be utilitarian. And you know what that means...

Ikea. 

There's a store up in Robinson so we went Saturday, got there a bit early and  decided to have breakfast. David was not thrilled with the sausages but I did remind hm we were eating in a furniture store, not Bob Evans. I've been to Ikea, but never really bought much, David's never been and you never know how he'll react.
He loved it. 
I thought I would end up dying there we were there so long. I have to say I enjoyed it, they have the displays so you can really sit or even lay on the product before you invest. But David does indeed shop like a teenage girl at Hot Topic when it comes to furniture of building supplies. Long discussions with the sales clerk as they looked at every color, back and forth - I actually left for awhile to explore the store and came back only to find we went from Black/Brown to Natural Oak. We were no longer looking for just a bed and maybe a dresser - bed, underbed storage, two dressers, nightstands, shelves......and a bath mat since someone was getting a little crazy. 

Then we headed to the Marketplace which is a giant warehouse and you got down your list of Aisles and Bins. You have to be careful to read them because a lot of the items come in more than one package, we ended up with two of those flat carts  wandering around with other people with flat carts piled. You have to just about put blinders on because you keep seeing stuff you Really Need or Isn't That Cute or I Bet That Would Look Perfect In The Home Office I Don't Actually Have But I Might Some Day. We got through the check out only acquiring the aforementioned bathmat and a multi plug - David went and got the van. When we went to load they have a  staff member outside who asks if you need help, David said no thank you I don't need help and I said Oh Yes You Do - he said I Do? , Yes, You'd Love Some Help I replied   and then he told the kid well, I guess I need some help then. David got both the dressers put together, he'll do the bed and night stands tomorrow but it already looks much better. We've been moving furniture upstairs which will make the renovation a little harder upstairs, but not impossible. I'm ready for bed!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Sliding Into Fall

The weather cooled, then got hot, cool and now it's back to warm and very humid. I had thought about swapping out to my fall clothes, David had pondered taking the small airconditioner out of the bedroom window - we have done neither. I'm hoping things calm down a little bit more and we can hopefully get back to our regularly scheduled programming. I went to a festival a couple of weeks ago up in Saxonburg that was a revolutionary/colonial sort of thing with Ye Oldes and so forth. Not my usual cup of tea, but I had a reason to be there - the Alpaca ladies as they are known have hung up thier spinning wheels and will no longer be producing my beloved lace weight yarn. I had emailed them (twice) and Sharon told me she was bringing everything  - there is no better way to sell things then to tell someone it will never, ever be available ever again, is there? Some poor soul was trying to purchase a pair of socks while I piled skeins and then put them back and got another one, decisions, decisions. I finally bought 7 skeins (they are all about 2500 yards each) and left, texting my knitting group with pictures. I was back at the tent as one of my friends asked me to buy her a couple of skeins too....

We have been to the winery across the road - Thistlewaite Winery - I got home a little early one evening as my client was close by. We drove over and Rick, the owner met us out front - it is a really beautiful, high end establishment. We did a wine tasting and they have a lovely variety - they grow the grapes there and produce the wine on the property, hopefully at some point we can get a tour of the rest. Rick gave us two bottles of wine as a welcome to the neighborhood gift, how generous. One of our other neighbors Jane comes over to see (and report) the progress David has made. From what she and the other neighbors have said, they were very relieved when we bought the place with the intention of fixing up instead of patching it and renting it to low income. The neighbors continue to drive by and beep and wave - when we get to the point you can get in the house without having to navigate the mud and so forth we will start entertaining. The dining room is almost ready and the lving room is not looking too shabby.

Work has been very busy, we will be opening the new office in the next few months and I will be working much closer to home - that I'm really looking foward to! Right now it's not too bad, I found a nice back way and it's about 20 minutes - and 20 miles closer so my drive is not only 45 miles which in my head is reasonable. If you add it up I'm actually driving 200 miles less a week - I can live with that. I've been reading a lot, I got my new Kobo H20 2nd Edition which I've been waiting for -forever or at least 3 months. Which felt like forever. I had a little issue with it connecting to the internet but returning it would have been annoyingly difficult and if I have to confess -I do not want to do without it so I've decided I can live with it. I've been working on my Day Lily shawl and today am now on the last of the three rounds of 40 rows, hopefully I'll finish before I expire!!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Flip Flop

When I tell people we flip houses they usually respond they've thought about it and would like to get into it. I noticed when I mentioned that just the other morning while getting ready for work I found a roach happily bumbling around on my bedspread or when we discovered the funny smell in the basement was a leaking septic pipe the enthusiasm seems to dim a bit. People freak out when they find we paid $40 for the door they paid $1500 for or that my bathroom vanity only cost me 300 as opposed to the retail price of $1300. You can do it too, if you're willing to spend every weekend digging through the clearance pile at the local home store, culling Facebook Marketplace and then driving to points unknown to get the perfect claw foot tub. 
We're very excited about this house because we have managed to collect what we like. But it has taken days and weeks to get it. And you can't be picky or a perfectionist - if you are you need to find something else to do. Just about everything we buy is dinged, damaged, returned or used. The beautiful front door with the leaded glass has a crack in the corner of the glass. The cherry oak entertainment system has a chunk out of the side. The claw foot tub is a bit rusty, the big bathroom vanity has some scuffs and a door that needed glued. My entire kitchen? Was someone else's kitchen once upon a time, we still cannot get the light to turn out in the oven but it makes a good night light! When David hung the chandelier (originally $300, returned and we bought it for $50) we had to laugh because it hung 10 inches above our dining room table! But he was able to remove the pole and chain and it's great now.

We deal with leaks, mold, bugs and things that go bump in the night in stride. When I found the roach no one screamed. David found his glasses and we Googled Roaches in Pennsylvania - it turned out to be a wood roach, not a cock roach. We live in chaos for months, today I rearranged the bedroom again and it finally no longer feels like we're sleeping in a supply closet. The box spring is on the floor and will remain there until we find the furniture we really want. Until then I'm using my grandmother's dresser and David is the using the one we used to store sheets. If you look at my pictures they tend to be of the kitchen, dining room and living room because everywhere else is piled with boxes and building materials. But that's ok - as each room is done we unpack and rearrange and by January we should be ready to have guests. 

Some people can't do that and it does get to me once in awhile. But it does not last long and it's a temporary situation, sometimes a very funny one. We've slept on floors, eaten using a cooler as a table, washed dishes in the bathtub and chased cows out of our yard. As hard as it can be, in the end it's a great feeling to step back at what used to be an eyesore and marvel at what it has become. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

CBR - Not In My House

I recently attended a conference and one of the topics was related to CBR - Conscientious Based Refusals. What this means is if you are, say Pro-Life and you have a patient that has an infection related to an abortion you can refuse to take care of them. If you're a born again Christian you can refuse to take care of a child of a gay couple. The speaker didn't offer any solutions, but went over the problems and there was not time for discussions, but it was honestly, a bunch of crap. I get tired of hearing about the clerk that refused to authorize marriage licenses because it went against her religion. Or the orthodox Jewish men that claim they cannot sit next to a woman on a plane, the Muslim stewardess that refused to serve alcohol.....two words people - GO HOME. Especially the health care professionals - I'll take you out myself. 

Shining example - I do NOT like ultra-conservative Roman Catholics. In my opinion that is a misogynistic religion that encourages and shields pedophiles. Love the churches, but the fact that they continue to steal money from the masses to fund the "priests"  perverted lifestyles and then give over their children to be raped is beyond belief. Hopefully, they'll all rot in the hell they're forever trying to send everyone else to. I find them reprehensible, disgusting and I don't think they should even be allowed to breed. So, would it have been OK with you if,when I worked on the surgical trauma I refused to take care of your grandmother? Or speak to you? 
Hmm. That probably doesn't sit too well and it shouldn't. I am a health care professional, "professional" being the important part of that statement. I should not- and nor should you - ever refuse to treat anyone, even if it's hard. Because once you start that CBR stuff, where does it end? Can I refuse you on the basis of I don't like the way you live your life? One of the things working in a state university hospital I learned is it is not my job to judge anyone, ever.

When I worked in the hospital years ago we had a man on our floor that came in, his stony faced wife at his side who made it clear she was there to sign paper work,nothing more. But then we found out he had come to us from prison. And his wife let us know he had been incarcerated for brutally raping their friend's 12 year old daughter and threatening to kill her if she told - and he was still blaming the child. He was a needy, whiny thing - saying he had just "made one mistake" - and there we were having to take care of that mess. Some of the staff flat out refused, all of us beyond disgusted. The manager took us into the conference room and said if anyone refused -they could go home now. It was understood we obviously did not approve of this person,but we did not come to work to approve or disapprove of anyone. We were there to do our job, to take care of the patients and that was it, judging other people was not part of our job. And you know what - we did not like it, but we did it. It did not mean we had to engage this person in conversation or even speak to him beyond medical conversation but we did have to do our job. 
And that is how it should be - if you take a job you should be willing to do it. If you can't you should find some other profession that you can follow your religious or moral constraints and leave the rest of us alone. And as for me - I still do take care of everyone. I've cared for alcoholics, pedophiles, members of Aryan Nation, illegal immigrants, criminals. I do my job and keep my opinion to myself, because my job is being a nurse, not your judge and jury. 

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Onward

We are onto week three which is usually the week you discover additional problems and then some fun things. The furnace actually DOES work - David hooked up a thermostat and we fired that baby up - here is what we found:
A) It came on with no problem at all

B) it is way too powerful for this house. This is a cement block house that had single pane, aluminum windows and no insulation to speak of so I'm sure that's why it will blow your socks off. We turned it up to 72 and it was like being trapped in hell. The fan blows up the vent so hard you could actually do a re-enactment of the subway grate scene that Marilyn Monroe did in The Seven Year Itch. David demonstrated in a tee shirt and sweatpants last night.

C) it scares the absolute Be-Jesus out of Reuben when the fan comes on. Every time it came on last night he got a squirrelly look on his face, tucked his tail and went upstairs to hide on the futon. No amount of comforting helped and he would not eat his dinner with it running. He actually started eating, the fan came on and he disappeared upstairs and had to be coaxed back down, until it went off again - it took him 3 hours to eat! He will either starve this winter or we'll have to wear parkas between 5 and 6 pm.

We were going to wait til spring to see if we really wanted to replace it but I think it will go sooner than that. It's an older, not very efficient furnace so we have to replace anyhow, better soon than later.
The upstairs bedrooms are not as bad we had originally thought - the floors in two of them just need some minor repair where David had to take it up to install the beam (he had taken out a support wall). One of them is bare wood and I think with some linseed oil it will pretty cool. The middle bedroom  David plans on using as a home office so he can do whatever he wants with the floor and the rest of it. We have the phone situation figured out, we did end up with a land line but it's only $15 a month and that's cheaper than a 3rd cell phone. The no cable thing is also working well, most of the stuff we like to watch is on Hulu or Netflix and I don't think we've even noticed this week.

We DO have a bit of a dampness issue in the basement, when it rains you can really see it. But I've been running the dehumidifier and it's completely gotten rid of the musty odor. When it rains we just run the fan on to dry it out faster so we don't end up with mold for now. It will be an easy fix in the spring I think and it's not so bad it's ruining stuff. It's really just one end of the basement, the rest of it is as dry as a bone. And this house is closer to my office than I had originally thought - if I take the back roads it's only 45 miles. And I say only because I was driving 64 from our house in Garards Fort - that's 40 less miles of travel a day for me. The dogs are getting used to the place this week, they have been off their game as it's a big change for them, but soon I think it will be like we've never lived anywhere else. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Breath

So, we're going into week 2 and things are starting to move along. Today, I just cleaned and mopped. And mopped again. I have two of the bedrooms upstairs in some sort of order and honestly, they're much bigger than I initially thought they were. The nest that was peeking out of the ceiling I tackled first - it was much bigger than I initially thought too. I pulled handful after handful, when I thought I'd gotten most of it I started pulling down the rest of the ceiling tiles. And down came the rest of the nest all over me. Eww. It was not as bad as the septic pipe that broke, but it was worse than the pile of wet stuff under the sink. I would give it an 6. It was so huge it filled a trash bag and I have no idea what built it in the first place. But I got it all down and cleaned up.

David mowed the horse pen in the middle and it's pretty awesome. We've let the dogs run it a few time for a few minutes so they can learn thier boundaries. The only issue of course is the barbed wire, which Boo ran into the right off the bat. I was like seriously? You've got almost 4 acres to bounce around in and you head right for the the fence. But they're loving it and it was nice for them to get a run in, it's been a couple of weeks since they've gotten to kick their heels up. Bob the cat has been going outside for the past few days during the day and seems to adjusting well. We had one incident with other cats but it was short lived and hasn't happened again.

I scrubbed down the fireplace and put some pictures on the mantle, we are nowhere near picture hanging but it makes it looks a bit more homelike. David hooked up the icemaker, the kitchen is pretty well organized. I've been using my gas stoves and you know what? There IS a difference, a pretty significant one. David has gotten almost all of the windows in downstairs and we're still working on the closet problem. We're both a bit cranky - a 3 day weekend was just 3 more days I could work, before....going to work.  It will end at some point and it's  worth the effort, I can't wait to see this place wehen it's done - can you?

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Phase Two

So, we are here going on two weeks - I always think of this as Phase 2. We've gotten some unpacking done, we have a stove, fridge, TV, lights and a new toilet. But the gild is off the lily because of course now, we are finding some things that were not as apparent as they were when we bought it. The Big One is the funny smell in the basement and the big wet area.  Part of it is we need drainage as the house is on the downhilly bit, but the other..... the smell was getting a bit stronger. David had stuff stored in the downstairs bathroom so he emptied it out and discovered that big sewage pipe. He thinks someone must've dumped corrosive fluids down it and it ate through the bottomy bit of the pipe, which caused it to leak.....Septic Hoedown. I will not go into details but it was NOT pleasant. But he has it under control, thank goodness and onward. 

On the upside David got that door opened to the outside steps - and we have outside steps! David had thought they'd collapsed but it turned out they were simply buried - He shoveled the dirt off and they're in perfect condition! He got rid of the old door and replaced it with one with a window which lets in a ton of light, that should help with the dampness. He's got both porches closed in with windows so they can be used year around and I have to tell you, here in the country it's beautiful in the morning. 

We fired up the gas fireplace, mixed results. Yes, we got the pilot on - but that was a about it. David moved the Fakie Logs and they are very weird and got it to go on, but it would not fire up past that.  So we will either have to do one marshmallow at a time or buy new innards for it. David might clean it out to see if we can get it going but like the furnace a new one would probably be safer. And the furnace is going to be replaced, we aren't even sure if it works. We would replace it anyhow, old furnaces tend not to be very efficient and they also tend to break down a lot

The electric needs done - some of it is just strange. David has disconnected the most dangerous of it and has started replacing wires and outlets. He's cleaned up the claw foot tub we bought and I can't wait for that to go in. David is a bit scattered, having to live here while he's renovating it is a bit difficult. I'd like him to get the outside part done before the weather turns and then work inside when it's cold. But we can't put anything more away  until he gets more done inside. We can't put the floors down until we paint, he can't build out the closets until he does the floors and that  cant' be done til we paint.........

And of course we need to get the phones straightened out (don't ask), change our address on EVERYTHING, arrgh!! - on and on. But this morning we paid off the last of our debt so for another couple of weeks we will actually be debt free. Don't get all jealous, it is a temporary state, we will be getting another line of credit soon and start looking for the next project. We will have more bills, taxes, flights, birthdays, etc, etc... But I'll enjoy it for now while it lasts. 


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Sleep

Ah, sleep. Remember when you were little and you would fight like a demon to stay awake? Reading by flashlight? In the summer we stayed up all night - our parents gave up. Our bedroom windows faced the neighbor's windows, The Palominos. On warm summer nights we would spend evenings hanging out the windows chatting about everything and being silly, getting occasionally shushed but we would talk til we passed out. Make us go to bed? Never!

And here I am as an adult stuck in the no man's land. I welcome sleep most nights, nothing quite as joyous as pulling up the covers and drifting off. Only to be awakened at 10. At 1. Often 3:30am finds me reading - thank goodness for my ereader which is the space age version of my old dependable flashlight I suppose. What keeps me up? Arthritis in my neck - there is nothing quite so invigorating as severe pain from lying in the wrong position, or a few spasms will make you come alive. My neck is the worst, I'm sure exacerbated by the 800 or more miles I drive each week, followed by my shoulder and knees. And then of course there's my old friend

Screaming Anxiety or as I've always thought of her, the 2 AM Girl. She shows up in the middle of the night as you're sleeping hard and cheerfully whispers such gems as "I HOPE YOU DON'T LOSE ALL YOUR MONEY AND DIE POOR".  or "DO YOU THINK YOUR KIDS ARE ALRIGHT? YOU HAVEN'T HEARD FROM THEM IN AWHILE" sometimes she paralyzes me, I can actually feel my anxiety tightening, It's very delightful. Of course when dawn comes her power fades and I realize how silly my worries - that seemed so overpowering in the middle of the night - are only small things. And sometimes I just cannot sleep. And I hate that, watching the clock, saying each hour, three more hours til I have to get up. two more hours til I have to get up.....ah well. Goodnight. I hope.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Sold.

You would think that as many times as we've done this it would not be  a big deal. But sleep was hard to come by last night, all the what ifs and what will we do came to the forefront keeping me tossing and turning. With not enough sleep and too much stress I headed to the closing, we got there a bit early, but not a lot. We did the closing at the house due to the request of the buyer - a very nice young man in the military who arrived in a large pick up truck with a very large German Shepard. The person doing the closing arrived after him and made the comment as she was going in that she hoped we had gotten the message to leave some chairs and a table, we certainly wouldn't want to do the closing with everyone leaning on the kitchen counters would we! Hmm.
So we did the closing leaning on the kitchen counters after a bit of commentary and the fact that we completely cleaned out the house. The buyer did the walk through while we signed - we've done this so many times we know to wait until the closer shows us where to sign, initial, date, etc... before putting pen to paper. I could tell she appreciated that too. After we got done it was the buyer's turn to start signing, and signing, and signing. He had a pad of paper with him and then he started asking a million questions, were the septic tank was, who were the utilities, did we know anyone who could mow the grass until he got a mower? His mother in law showed up before we were done - she had not had the tour yet.But she went back to wait til everyone left. I had a visit to do this afternoon, we had to get phones, David had to deposit the check, the never ending day.

So now, it's back to work for me tomorrow, I wish I'd taken off a few a days because honestly, I'm exhausted. David is working to get the house done, it will be about  3 or 4 months before he can start to look for another house to flip. Everyone is adjusting, the cat has snuck out numerous times, we let her stay out for a few minutes and then cart her squawking butt back in, The dogs are better, well, except for the random barking. Apparently their hysterical intermittent barking is all that stands between us and roaming hoards marauders. Thank goodness we have good bladder control. So tomorrow is another day, but I'm so relieved that it's over and done with. I hope the new people enjoy the house as much as we did 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

What Is That?

One of the fun things about moving into a home that is not only old, but privately built is you spent a fair amount of time peering at things trying to figure out why something is the way it is. My favorite this week is an outlet in the basement ceiling, connected to a switch which goes to a plug. Which is no where near anything plug-able.My other favorite is a pull light that when you pull it on it not only sizzles but sparks making it very fancy and sparkly. David has suggested I leave that alone. And off. My shower looks like something out of a  serial killer B movie, complete with old,peeling wallpaper and a shower head that randomly shoots off to the side. The door doesn't shut right either which means the dogs and cat can come barging it to see What You're Doing which believe me, in the middle of the night can be a bit alarming. 

We still cannot get whatever is on the wall off the fireplace off - an old friend thinks it's lime mixed with water (it's also covering one of the dining room walls) - David has tried everything but blowtorching it. He's going to just go over it, we have discovered what's underneath is not worth exposing and it will end up being more  trouble than it's worth. The other fun thing about this house is it has TWO closets. Yup. A big one in the bedroom downstairs and a linen closet upstairs, that's it. No closets in any of the 3 bedrooms upstairs at all! We are still trying to figure out what we'll do with the upstairs but for the winter we'll probably just close it off and concentrate on the downstairs. We have a bit of a water issue in the basement, nothing we  can't deal with but it makes you wonder why they never put in french drains. The downstairs bathroom will need to be just removed and replaced, the shower has been wet for so long it's just a pile of cement.

But we are getting there. I spent all day yesterday mowing through the kitchen,bathroom and dining room, mopping and putting everything away. Last night we ate our first home cooked dinner at the table, I really felt accomplished! We found the towels and washclothes, the washer and dryer work (after a couple of false starts) and I ran my first dishwasher load las night. The TV works fine, we have decided to try a year with cable to see how that goes and we are switching our phone serivice next week so we can use a third line as a house phone. We have to finish cleaning out the Garards Fort house today, there's just one more load of odds and ends and a final sweep through and we'll be ready for tomorrow - which I hope goes smoothly! 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Moving and Shaking It

So, we are finally almost here, we've been in the house since Wednesday and the rest of our belongings are almost here. Due to how fast we had to move the house is pretty bare bones - there's wires sticking out of the ceiling in the living room, a nest dripping out of the upstairs bedroom. Boxes piled, mysteriously we can only locate things we don't actually need right now. We found the dog's towels, but not the good grey ones. Coffee pot is here, the basket for the grounds is not. But the TV is on the washer and dryer work and we have inter net. David changed our mailing address today, we will be getting new phones next week. We continue to carry box after box, but it has gone from a wave to a trickle. I have the kitchen fairly well put away, I had to rearrange it but it's workable now. David cleared the porch and the living room so we have somewhere to sit - for two days we are not doing too shabby.

I still have not seen all of our property, we are not entirely sure of where it ends. I followed the barbed wire pen tonight along the road - I walked, and walked, walked more, kept going - holy crow! We own a lot of land now! Six acres to be precise. Part of the problem is I can't take the dogs with me until I figure out where we can go - and where we can't. The dogs have to learn the property too and that's yet another project. Bob the cat is under house arrest for now but has snuck out a couple of times. She is pretty stick close to the house, but you never know, do you?

So, we are exhausted. It's like it never ends and since we've done this like four hundred million times we both know it wont' end soon. And the details! We order pizza every Friday night just about. Tonight David asked if I wanted pizza and I was like - from where? So we ended up going to the little local restaurant which we both really like. The food is good, everyone is nice - I ordered a Reuben without the corned beef and have now marked myself for life as the Woman Who Ordered A Reuben Without Corned Beef which amused the kitchen to no end as per our waitress. But it was very good, the waitress meant it to be funny and she got a good tip. So tonight I'm relaxing for the moment, tomorrow back to the salt mines. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Floating On A Sea Of Flotsam

We're getting down to my least favorite part, we are surrounded by odds and ends, this and that, bits and pieces. We find things that we don't recognize but you're too afraid to toss it. You know the best way to figure out if something is important or not? Pitch it, within two days you'll discover it was the most important part of something. We have mismatched glasses that we keep simply because we like them, gloves that I'm sure the other one is here. Somewhere. Even if we don't use it, we know someday we will and somehow that greeny-brown outfit will look good on me too. 


We've rented a small UHaul moving van so we can bring it all over in one shot this weekend. Part of the problem is we usually have a few more months to trot everything over. When you have time you can sort through stuff carefully, put a little away at a time. David usually is further along on the house too, we are trying to figure out where to put the big furniture for now as the floors are not done, the walls are not painted. It will be camping at it's finest. And I"m working full time along with all of this too. And the Knitting class application needs to be submitted. 

I actually have that ready to go, I found the pattern I'm teaching and after some more back and forth texting with my knitting group this morning I have it pretty figured out. I am going to teach the two classes and be all brave and stuff. I of course have the yarn already too. David has been very snarky and rude by the way about the amount of yarn I have - I told him if he doesn't quit it I'll call his sister Maryann. She'll come, take the house, spend all his money and then pop his ass in the nursing home while she lives off his dime - so go ahead and keep it up Dave, I dare you. A little yarn never hurt anyone. I already have my knitting room plotted out and it will double as a guest room. If you stay at my house and I super like you I'll put you in the Yarn Room where you'll sleep amongst the alpaca lace weight skein and clouds of fluffy merino - I may sleep in there occasionally too. I'll be glad when we get over there, this has been a very, very long month. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

FaceBook 101

A friend of mine had been struggling with the Facebook question we all hit at some point - it is worth it? It's a great way to keep in touch with everyone, express your views, post pictures, etc... but the flip side is the trolls, the nasty comments, the out of control debates. One of the things if you look at my face book page is there might be some things there that will upset some people, but for the most part it dogs, pictures, babies and what ever I find  I find funny. I used to get into it with people, but no more.

I'm a huge Pro-choice, feminist, Trump hater and I am entitled to my opinion including the one where I think yours is stupid and misguided. I do NOT have the right to bring that to your attention. Either you know it already or you think my view is stupid and misguided. You do not have to address everything that comes up on Face book and before you do - what is the reaction going to be? If I post that pro-life people tend to have lower educations and lower incomes what will happen? Chances are good it will be return fire until someone is incinerated. Not to say you can't have a healthy debate, but as soon as it moves out that range it needs to stop. I was debating that subject with an old friend when someone jumped in to "defend' me with some very inflammatory statements. I called bullshit and changed the subject and made some people step down. In other words you don't always have to say anything, it is just an opinion.

My page includes 97% people I know in real life, my circle is small. If you offend me you gett jettisoned back to Facebook Land and it happens fast. I pick and choose like I do with everyone else in my life. I was friended by a former co-worker but after looking at her gay hating, Pro -life, woman hating neo nazi leanings I very nicely messaged her to let her know maybe we should not be friends which she agreed to.  My view is I have enough stress in my life with out adding it,especially from someone I dont know. So if you can read an opiinon different then yours and move on, if you can just quietly unfriend the really offensive ones (out of sight out of mind) you'll probably enjoy it much more 

Sticks and Stones

A few weeks ago I got a very surprising phone call from one of the committee members of the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival - they had seen my shawl at the Waynesburg Fiber Arts and asked if I'd like to teach a class. For those of you that don't knit this is the equivalent of being asked to give a speech at Harvard. I really went back and forth about this because I've never even been to a knitting class, let alone teaching one! I met with one of the committee members for an interview and she wasn't worried about that, she said just from our talk she felt I was a good fit and thought I should teach two classes at least. I have to say I was pretty proud of myself. Of course there's a form to fill out fill out as to what I'm going to teach (we had decided circular shawl knitting as that really is my forte!) and as I was going over it I realized I needed a more firm plan than my usual winging it.  I had my knitting group last night and decided to go a little early to the yarn shop I frequent nearby where we knit. After a long day of packing and scrubbing out closets and cabinets I certainly needed the break. 
The owner was there and I've known her for awhile - I told her I had been asked to teach at the festival and was thinking of taking a class at her shop to get an idea of what I needed to do. She also gives private lessons and I asked if she would be willing to teach me, well, how to teach. She thought for a minute and then said "no, that would be too much work for me" and then proceeded to tell me in no uncertain terms that she felt I was completely unqualified in about 20 different ways! OUCH! Did not see that coming! I'm sure on some level she was attempting to be helpful and she did have a point that I'm going straight to the big time without any practice. But I reminded her they had approached me - not the other way around. And even then, she was sort of Oh Well, Do What You Want. It was not the reception I thought I would get and it was quite the anti-pep talk. Good thing for my knitting group. 

When I got there I relayed what had happened and now I was not so sure I wanted to do it anymore. My friends of course rallied and then it was a good thing - there's a lot I had not thought of and am now more carefully considering my approach. I hadn't thought that it is only a 2 or 3 hour class so the pattern should be something teachable, but not too ambitious as it will have to finished at home. That people fairly new to knitting will take the class regardless of their experience level and since it is a money making operation it will most likely not be a small class. My friend Mary said after I get settled with moving she will take me up to the yarn shop in Ligonier, the shop owner has taught for years and will be willing to help me out. And my knitting group is planning on taking my class so there will some friendly faces (and extra helping hands) if I need them. And then I did consider (around 1 am this morning, in the dark with plenty of time on my hands) what if I do bomb? What if I get asked questions that I can't answer? What if someone stands up and yells Go Home You Big Goober! You know what - I won't die. I might want to for a few minutes, but I won't. Even if everyone asks for all their money back, I never get asked again, people throw acrylic yarn at me...... I will have at least tried it. And that's the other side of it, isn't it? The worst thing in life is all the could have beens. The things we were too scared to do and then have to wonder, what if I had done it? The regret of a lost opportunity. So from here on in we only go forward. If I fail, at least I tried. If I succeed, well, haha on you.