Saturday, November 29, 2008


Packing sucks.

Countdown begins: we're moving one week from today.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Baby Shower Gift for Darwin

Baby Shower Gift for Darwin - Mosaic

I took the above to a baby shower this afternoon. The card was on the inside of the package, but the mother (Hi, Mel!) recognized my particular style of wrapping. It was a lovely afternoon, with good company. Bonus: I won the first contest and was directed to the gift I needed to select; it was an acorn cookie jar! I saw them at Joann Fabrics awhile back and wanted one, badly, but didn't get one b/c of the move. So, yay!!! (I'll get a picture of it and the acorn salt & pepper shakers that were inside later.)

Then, home to pack. SIL C came over for a couple of hours and helped me pack and sort the fabric and sewing area that is currently in the dining room. Later, her dad brought over a pile of boxes. We may actually get this done!

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LP Cover Meme

Aw, this was too fun! You need some photo editing software to make the cover or you could just list your results.

Step 1
The name of the article is the name of your band.

Step 2

The last four words of the last quote is the name of your album.

Step 3
The third image, from left to right, is your cover art.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I Hate Doing This

I have no choice but to sell the spinning wheel. I've never used it, am not convinced I'm coordinated enough and have an arm injury. Plus, I could use the money.

wheel1Specs as I know them:

  • Ashford Traveller, made in New Zealand.

  • It's a little dusty, but that's it. To the best of my knowledge, it was purchased new by the previous owner, used just a little (a couple yards' worth), then came to live with me. (All the stuff on the second bobbin is pencil roving, not spun yarn.)

  • It's a single treadle -- I guess double now comes standard.

  • Includes 4 bobbins, Lazy Kate and threading hook.

Sorry I can't ship it. I can meet the buyer within a reasonable distance.

Asking price: $295.00
Retails for ~$440

More pics.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Status Report, etc.

The house thing is still on, but the move is being delayed until sometime in December. We'd tried to get the closing scheduled early, but it's not happening. I understand that they can turn around and ask us to do it early, but they'll keep on wishing. All it really means is that we have longer to pack, will possibly be moving in the snow, and won't be able to entertain for Christmas. I was kind of hoping to do that, because it appears that I'll actually be in the spirit this year. Not the end of the world, just a disappointment.

Snip snip snip
All that hair is gone! Pictures to follow.

File under WTF:

Notice that this guy is actually starting to sit down when the judge calls his name, so he stands back up. (He most certainly took his time at the beginning, for local political reasons, but was being seated when the judge flipped out.) He's in jail now, for 93 days (3 counts of contempt of court b/c the judge said "sit down" 3 times, plus 3 days for the original violation). Talk about an abuse of power.

The whole thing is over a couch that the guy's tenants had in their yard. He's kind of an abrasive ass sometimes (I've listened to his podcast), but geez. (A spectator also had his very dangerous wallet confiscated on the way in, and it was empty of a large sum of cash when he got it back. But, oh. He videotaped it all, and when that was revealed, the $3,000 was "found" a few minutes later.)

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Some Actual Knitting Content

darwin socksFor an upcoming baby shower: itty bitty socks, knit on size US2s with Dream in Color Smooshy (Happy Forest colorway). Just about actual size, nickel for scale.

Pattern here. They're smaller than I wanted, but I promised the mother socks out of this yarn, and this is the size socks the pattern produced with the yarn and needle combo.

This is a nice pattern, but I've now knit 3 pair (almost) with it, so it's time to find another one! (The third pair stalled when I ran out of yarn (the leftovers from my first pair of socks). I may finish them off with the teal from John's sock (below). Or frog 'em.)

john sock1After pausing to knit up the pair of itty bitty socks, above, I returned to my Christmas knitting. I hope to finish 2 pairs of socks. There are a couple other things I'd like to make, but with a move coming up hard, I'll be lucky to finish the socks, so I 'm not setting any other goals!

This is a pair of socks for John. Yes, he reads this (Hi, honey), but he already knows I'm planning them for Christmas. I'm too much of a newbie when it comes to socks to trust chance on the sizing and he's had to endure several fittings as the first sock progressed. (Can you imagine all those stitches (size 13 feet), only to find out they didn't fit?!)

Based on the first two pairs I knit using the same book (Ann Budd's Getting Started Knitting Socks), which are too big, I measured John's feet then knit the next size down. Result: one perfectly fitting sock. (The toe is open because I wanted him to try on a sock before I finished it off. I need to add a row or two for a bit of clearance, but otherwise, they're perfect.)

Needles: US2.5
Yarn: Nestucca Bay Yarn Handpaint, Frothy, custom (charcoal and teal).

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New Hobby?

Just down the street from our new house is an apiary. I've been itching to try my hand at brewing something, even though I'm not a great drinker, and do believe I'm going to attempt to make some mead next year. I found Storming the Castle: Mead, which has demystified the concept somewhat. Does anyone reading this who has done so have any advice or links to share?

While looking around, I found a recipe for non-alcoholic mead, which I thought I'd pass along.

I'm actually a much bigger fan of hard cider, and may give that a try as well, but don't believe I'd be able to make the style I actually prefer to drink (sweet and a little bubbly).

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Monday, November 10, 2008

Going out on a limb...

...and announcing that we have a house! I posted some pics in this new Flickr set; these are ones that John took during a tour.

We're pretty lucky. There is not a lot that must be done immediately. A couple of small things on the inspection report and some obvious cosmetic fixes, but nothing major. So, if anyone is free the last weekend in November (right after Thanksgiving), and wants to help, let me know! (We'll be packing and making small trips all week, too.)

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Did You Ever...

...decide you wanted to watch a movie, badly, then not be able to get your hands on it? If so, then you know how frustrated I was this afternoon when I came downstairs to grab The Homecoming DVD off the shelf and it wasn't there!

When I examined my memories, I don't exactly remember ever buying it on DVD. I distinctly remember getting it on VHS, because I joined one of those stupid clubs just to get it (pre-Amazon). (I like the Waltons. So there.)

I was 6 when it came out; although I probably didn't see it immediately, I know that I was near enough Elizabeth's age to connect with the character for that reason, although I probably had much more in common, personality-wise, with Mary Ellen. I loved Mary Ellen's fit about the nest in the tree, and hated the charity lady but loved ME for having a verse at the ready for the kids. I didn't understand the whole thing about "the recipe" for the longest time. Don't ask why, but I got the biggest kick of the them acknowledging/using the toilet -- it didn't happen on TV when I was a kid. Heck, the Brady kids' (started later than the Waltons) bathroom didn't even have a toilet.

I will remedy this next payday, but I'll admit to being agitated. It's a Christmas movie, but I always associate it with Thanksgiving - I think because that's when they showed it around here during my formative years. I don't even get into Thanksgiving (painful memories associated with my mom's death), but there are some things that have to happen during the holidays, and this is usually one of them, whenever the mood strikes (I have certain Halloween movies that I watch whenever that mood strikes). I will likely be packing and moving this year when T-day rolls around. Basically, I was in the mood to watch it. No tears were shed, no tantrums thrown. John suggested a different movie (completely different: Twister), followed by my pick, Goonies. (I don't think he actually likes Twister; he must have picked it because he knows I like it.)

When Christmas gets closer, in the mood or not I have to watch: A Muppet Christmas Carol, Scrooged and Mixed Nuts. Usually, It's Christmas Charlie Brown is in the mix as well. If I'm really in the mood, A Christmas Story and Miracle on 34th Street get watched too. One movie that never gets watched in this house, for different reasons: It's a Wonderful Life. I've never seen it, and plan to keep that record.

What are your must dos/don'ts for the holidays?

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Friday, November 7, 2008

The Old Recipe Box

My old recipe box isn't this cool-looking. Actually, I used to have one like this - wood, no lid - but somewhere along the way the cards were transferred to a hideous blue plastic box, also without a lid.

In it were some treasured family recipes, only a few of which I'd managed to type up and save on my computer. I say "were," because it disappeared some time ago. This was devastating to me. I knew it had to be around somewhere, but resigned myself to losing some of the recipes forever.

A couple of weeks ago, John was cleaning off a shelf in the computer room and found the box. There was nothing missing, not really, but there were recipes I'd imagined having that I really didn't. But there were some treasured old friends there as well, and I set about typing them up on Google Docs, figuring that if something happened to the box AND I had another hard-drive crash, I wouldn't survive.

I've managed to upload 27 files, only two of which have multiple recipes. I have recipes for my paternal grandmother's pumpkin bread, potato dumplings & potato pancakes. I have some of my mom's recipes: "six-week raisin bran muffins," taco salad, and Millionaire Pie. I even have what I believe is my maternal grandmother's biscuit recipe. There is no name on the card, but there is a space for one which has been cut away. Sounds like something I'd do.

This is good timing, since we had an offer on a house accepted. A house with a large kitchen! I haven't baked in years, and I can't wait! The inspection is Monday, and we expect it to pass without any surprises, since it had already gone through all that with another potential buyer whose financing fell through. If all goes well, we'll be moving around Thanksgiving. I'm not quite sure how we're going to manage that, but we'll figure it out.

The house is newish (less than 10 years old), biggish (~1900 square feet = big for us), and awfully rectangular. However, it has fabulous windows, a fireplace, a media room, two full bathrooms and a steel-reinforced basement. Ah. The basement. That was interesting. We finally figured out what it was used for, but our imaginations ran wild when we saw the black walls, sound-proofed ceiling and light rails/brackets everywhere. What we missed was the faux brick wall and the satellite uplink on the roof. Wayne's World, anyone?

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Funny...and a Work Update

I have so many things to blog about, but can't organize my thoughts at the moment, so here's a sort of funny thing I witnessed tonight: I went to this little taco stand (quasi-authentic, Americanized Mexican food, not Taco Bell) and ordered our supper. While I was waiting, a woman came in and placed an order (I think -- I'm not sure she came back for the food).

Customer: How much for 1 taco?
Owner: $1.75
Customer: Okay.
Owner: You want one? (some back & forth) Hard or soft shell? And beef? So a hard shell taco with beef.
Customer: What comes on it?
Owner: lettuce, cheese, beef and tomatoes.
Customer: What about (s-sound), ss- ss- chives?
Owner: No, we don't have chives.
Customer: I didn't think so. Most places don't. What about sauce? Do you have sauce? (She tries to describe something. It doesn't sound like she's describing salsa. There is a large display case/cooler right in front of her full of salsa, so the owner figured she was looking for taco sauce.)
Owner: No taco sauce, just the hot and mild here, or enchilada sauce.
Customer: Let me see the enchilada sauce. (Owner brings out a pan.) No, that's not it. You know, I'm looking for this sauce, it has tomatoes in it...
Owner: (points at the display case) Salsa?
Customer: Yeah, that's it. I'll be back in a bit.

After she left, I said to the owner: I think she was trying to say "sour cream" back there, not chives. He got a kind of "ah-ha" look on his face. The thing is, I'm not convinced she ever actually ordered the taco.

What else? Oh yeah, the work thing
Last time I blogged, I was pretty confused about what was going on at work. I ended up talking to the usurping contract house and also asking around about them. (I had to at least get to the place where they could make an offer, so I could turn it down.) I decided that my first loyalty had to be to me, followed by the company that actually had my best interests at heart. So, I met with my boss and explained that I loved working with him and very much enjoyed my job, but my choices were between my current, good company and this other company that didn't have a great rep, and I was going to have to stick with my current employer.

The day just got weirder. I called the guy from the other co. and thanked him for his efforts, informing him that I was going to pass. It was like a sales call! I finally had to cut him off and hang up. In an earlier call, he expressed doubt/concern because I didn't have an offer letter from my current employer. "I don't need a letter. I already work for them. Nothing will change except where I go in the morning and what I'll be doing." Well, he says, I'd give you an offer letter. "And I'd expect one from you, since I don't know you or your company." I guess the offer my co. made is so rare that no one believes it's real.

I got at least one more voicemail that day, plus an email saying "how much money do you want? You are apparently crucial to this organization." (Hey, that was nice, but I wasn't doing it for the money. I guess if they doubled my salary, paid half of it up front and guaranteed an income even if this project fell through... I might consider it.) Turns out I'd forgotten to log back in on my phone (we have the same phones as they do on The Office -- you can log in at any phone), so I missed the call that went like this (all quotes are paraphrased): "Based on the information we've received, this is your last day. You no longer work at X. Friday, October 31 is your last day. Click."

I knew that my boss was going to continue to try and work something out, but I didn't count on it. I left work Friday, my laptop locked up and my badge and key hidden in a drawer. My boss hadn't been able to reach anyone to work out a way for me to stay, and my contract house had work for me, so just in case, I left everything (of theirs) behind. On my way home, I got at least 3 calls about the situation, with the result being that I reported back to work yesterday, on a day-to-day basis, while they tried to figure something out.

I've never believed it would work out, but I'm glad we got a chance to transition a bit instead of having things end suddenly. I've been trying to document all the processes for my obscure tasks and finish up a few scattered projects. When I tried to catch him up on things yesterday, boss actually said "la la la, I can't hear you."

Tonight, boss called and said that it was a no go. There are still some details to figure out, but essentially, I'm in this position until they find a replacement or my firm finds an assignment for me. I think boss intends to demand a LOT out of a replacement to push things as far as he can. Anyway, I'm there through the end of the week at least. I swear, I have NEVER in my life had two different sets of people going to the mat for me. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

The weird thing about this is how shady it all feels. Not what's happening to me personally, but the whole consolidation thing. It was done through HR, not purchasing or finance, and some kind of deal was struck so this other company could, essentially, breach the contracts that smaller firms have with X. It was just thrown at people with no notice and no finesse. It's why my third loyalty was to boss and not X, and why I wasn't interested at all in working for usurper co.

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