The Knitting Journeyman

Gathering Up One Thread At A Time As I Weave This Web Of Mine.....

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Day After Christmas Update, Right!

Is it not about time for an update here?
So many things have happened the past few weeks.
Where to start? Where to start?

First, I am going to complain, because, well, I can....
I got my hair cut. I am happy with the woman who cut it this time. BUT...the guy who cut it the time before? Not so happy....
Let's back up. I get my hair cut/trimmed roughly every 3-4 months. Not this time, not the last time, but the time before that--the woman who cut my hair was AWESOME...she totally got my curly hair and what I was attempting to accomplish w a layered cut.
I went back to the same place...she wasn't there...and we had a time schedule to keep. I was thinking--it's just's just a bare minimum trim...there's no way to screw that up, right?
Wrong. The dude apparently whacked the snot out of my under layers...leaving me with a long overcoat and a long undercoat--and a butchered middle. Which explains why after he cut it I could never really get it to do what I wanted it to do--most unlike the chick that had cut it before him....
So, I go in to get it trimmed and see about re-organizing my layers and the wonderful woman who cut it this time--told me what had happened and we made a plan of action to fix things. No. She is not at the same place as the other two, mostly because I won't be going back there again (duh).
Basically, I am trapped in layer hell...waiting for my layers to grow out. In the mean time, we managed to salvage some length, but mostly we made do with what we have until the middle layers grow out and are, well, usable again.
I kinda feel like...well, someone I shall not name, a dead rocker from the 80s....think, big hair metal type dude and that'll suffice.
Since it is the middle layers we wait upon now, and since the lady trimmed and layered what she could of the top and removed all the mess at the bottom, I get to do what I did as a teen-ager again--I get my Pebbles 'do back.
I wasn’t going for the Pebbles 'do, just the layers....but, in order to save my sanity, the Pebbles is back....for those who remember me from high school--same thing--minus the big lace bow....this time, it's just a little octopus hair clip.
At least it’s a fun ‘do and the hair feels healthy again. It is simply too weird, knowing that technically all of my hair is the same length. I find myself flummoxed every time I wash my hair, and every night when I put it up before bed…it’s just…odd…even for me…

Second, the house, right?
You want to hear about it? Don’t you?
I want to talk about it, so it seems fair.

We made it in. Of course, we moved on the first really frigid and rainy day of the week (was it really just last Saturday?) Seems Mother Nature waited until She knew we were moving the last of everything and then decided, let’s make it frigid, and damp. We didn’t actually get rained on. Plus, as weird as it seems, it was a good thing that it was so cold—we didn’t have to deal with mud. We did not get a vehicle stuck in the mud. We did not track mud all over the place.
We did, however, end up making two trips, rather than the hoped for single trip…but the only things we took apart were the beds…and nothing else…and we filled the truck up twice and everything went where it was supposed to, mostly.

I am most grateful to the ex and his sister’s family. R and I had the kids Friday night and we dropped them off on Saturday morning. Then we went to eat…before picking up the uhaul…and making two runs.

E and I had made a multitude of runs the week prior. We had rented a cargo van from enterprise…alas, enterprise was out of cargo vans as FedEx had them all…so we got a dodge grand caravan sxt thing. Both kids thought this thing was most awesome. Two back doors that open via remote. Folding captains seats for all in the back. More than enough buttons to keep E occupied for hours while I loaded and unloaded said van. You will NOT believe how much STUFF this thing can hold. I was totally impressed.
No. I do not want to own one. If R had called me ‘soccer mom’ one more time, I might have really hurt him. It’s nice to borrow one, but I would not want to drive one every day. It’s too big. It has too many buttons. It has too many accessories that I deeply despise (I care not for being tracked 24/7—although we had the GPS w us all week—and that little thing is a god send for someone as easily lost and confused while driving as I am)
Yes. I drove. Not only during the day, but also after dark. It got dark about 4-430p –and I refuse to drive during the 5p rush hour traffic (or the 8a rush hour for that matter). We averaged two runs per day, starting at roughly 10-11a for the first and the second was usually 6-7p. Although there were days when we accomplished three runs. We got some shopping done in between runs as well.

We did not stop to organize or to sort or to put away. We moved from one house to the other, boxing and loading and then unloading….I had much packing left to do at the old house as we were loading the van…right up until Friday when we had to take the van back –Friday is when I finished packing everything for the final big truck move.

So, R and I did not really have all that much to do, once we got to the old house—other than figure out the best way to get everything left into the truck in the most optimum manner possible.

I am still really ticky about the fact that R thought I would give out on him at any point—I have never done that before, not to my knowledge, and I hate to think I am being confused w anyone from his past…which tends to be an issue w the ex’s in my past—they got me confused w someone else… At worst, I can be accused of staying out of the way while someone is trying to decide the best way to do things…this time, it was never an issue…it never came up.

R did get a new dryer…my old one, since the new house has both washer and dryer…and my old washer, well, there’s a trick to making it work…so I left it behind…the dryer is in terrific shape, and R’s dryer has sucked at least for the past nine years…so I got him a ‘new’ one…and it matches his washer too, believe it or not…both are the same make and model and series…I did good there…I kept threatening to get him a new dryer! This time I came through…

Unless we install a plug especially for it, I am not using my lovely happy electric stove at the new house…and I am not a big fan of cooking w gas either…so my own stove sits in R’s basement…the fridge, for which we had bigger plans, would not fit into his basement…so we have to store it out in the shed for the time being…until we rethink that plan or we buy a rental house that needs a fridge in it.

Believe it or not, after last weekend, the kids and I didn’t really do all that much work/unpacking at the new house.

E’s room is probably in the best shape it will ever be. That girl went to work and really busted her hieney to get her room in order, to find all her clothes and unpack them, to set things up the way she wants them and the way she likes them. She does have a dresser this time—she also has shelves in her closet (removable ones this time)…and she has a huge closet too. She’s been terrific this entire time.

N has his little dressers that go with his bed, which may actually need to be replaced here soon, because both kids want new beds. That’s the main reason I haven’t asked R to put N’s bed together yet. N wants a bunk bed set in his room. E wants a loft bed. R left for his ski trip today, so no furniture shopping as yet for us. Although I have too many ideas here anyway—and waiting to see how things coalesce is a good thing w us. We’ll have to see what happens w N and his room after we get the other bed in and together.

Now, we know we are going to be putting N’s twin sized water bed up in the basement, as in setting it up, once we get his bunk bed in…the cool thing about the water bed is that the kids love to play hide and seek under it and everything—it’s better than a tent…plus, E wants to have sleep-overs and all sorts of things, and what better place to have a sleep-over than the entire basement, where nothing they do will really bother me and there’s not much they can hurt or disturb there…

It’s one of the ideas I have been testing…an extra bed downstairs, not just for the kids to play on, but a place for someone to spend the night. I have also considered setting up the other full sized bed down there as well…but that won’t be until after I get a new mattress set for my bed…both my bed frames are supposed to be full to queen. R swears my current bed frame –which came from my dad—is full to king…I keep pointing out that R and I sleep together in the middle of the bed…so size there doesn’t matter…and he then points out it does matter when that third squirrel slips into bed with us every morning about 3 or 4 when he stays over…

There is nothing more heinous than my having to sleep between two empaths. And as R also points out, there is not a lot of love lost between these two when N is asleep. Even in his sleep, N will push, poke, prod, nudge and kick anyone who touches me, be it R, or E, or the dog, any dog. It doesn’t matter. I belong to N and that’s that. Always so much fun w those two.

N has issues at school. He is a big BIG boundary pusher. Well, R establishes his boundaries and he doesn’t budge. It is really interesting—pitiful at times---but interesting—to watch what N will come up with every week to try to get a rise out of R and to see how long it lasts.
One week, it was calling R a name. R called N on it every single time—until N began to do it just to get a reaction from R. Then R began to ignore him. N had to come up with something else.
Then it was physically getting in between R and me whenever we were close to one another—which is most times w us. We are quite touchy feely.
Lately, it’s sad to say, it has degenerated into N coming up and whomping R – or poking him- or whatever N thinks he can get away w…just to see R’s reaction.

Man oh man, I do not envy this child’s teachers, not one bit. The things they have to put up w in order to get through to the little punk…I can so sympathize. I have an in with the little creep…I’m his mother, so I have more leeway with things than they do…and I am not above bargaining w trips to McDonald’s or ice cream or m & m’s or whatever it takes some days…I love my boy. He really is a brilliant little mind…but that orneriness? Oh, do I so know where it comes from…it’s terrific…part of my mother’s curse did come true…woe unto me…but I wouldn’t have it any other way… I love the little creep… things are just never boring w that boy around.


I had NO idea how much holiday stuff we bought this year…or how much we already had…E had totally forgotten the 3 ft white tree from last year (which I think is still here at R’s—we gave him our fiber optics lit tree since he didn’t have a tree…not that he ever got around to putting up his decorations this year—which is all my fault—he was too busy helping me and getting the house ready for me…I freely admit it!)
So, we have a MOST bedazzling tree, full of birds (you have no idea how many) and butterflies and snowmen and all sorts of unique and interesting things. This year is the first year I got to put on some of the decorations my dad gave me eons ago---it was so stunning a thing to do…I had no idea it would be so emotional.

The kids got to decorate the little 1 ft trees. Each child has their own tree, because normally each child has a tree in their room. This year, both the little trees are in the living room, since no one’s room was really ready for a tree when we were putting things up –there is a tree on each side of the tv right now…they decorated the trees together…it was so cute. Especially after N got tired of E ‘re-arranging’ his stuff, so he just sat back and told her where to put things on his tree…ahhh…co-operation!

Basically, until we dropped the kids off last Saturday before we did the ‘big move’, about all I got done was the very basic of basic stuff at the house—mostly that means we got the tv and the dvd player hooked up and working—and then I fought the fish filter—which the duck weed was having a field day clogging and jamming…a problem I think we have vanquished, mostly because the filter has eaten the remainder of the plants that the fish and snails have not yet eaten…

Today, I finished the main pantry. I finished most of the kitchen. Laundry is done…and in need of folding. R has already picked on me for having the bed at the new house in the same state as the bed at the old house—covered w laundry in need of folding…at least right now I can honestly say most of the laundry sits there waiting for me to find a place to put it away after I fold it.

The kids’ bathroom is done…my bathroom, for the most part, was already done…

The mattress is officially on my bed, even if the bed is not made…I haven’t unpacked my sheets yet—the kids’ sheets are a lot easier to find—since we have more twin-sized sheets than full sized ones…

The hall closet is set up and the coats are put away. My grandmother’s outfits are all hung up in the other hall closet. We have a coat closet behind the front door. Which is cool. And then we have a coat closet at the end of the hall between my room and E’s room. E’s bride’s maid dress is in that closet, and Gg’s outfits that are now mine (and are now looking really warm and comfy too, buddy—and amazingly enough, I am betting that my 5ft 4in Granny’s pants are going to be plenty long enough on my 5ft 11in frame! Something that stuns me to no end, when finding things that are plenty long enough is hard enough as it is…)

I re-organized the clutter in N’s room, set all the pieces of his bed against the one wall.

All bedrooms now have their own lights—although N is stuck w the light from his old room—which is in need of the twisty thing to turn the light on and off—he has a habit of trying to turn the light on, backwards, and when the light doesn’t come on because he is turning the thing in the wrong direction, he untwists the thing til the switch comes off—so…we have to get that fixed for him…but E has a new floor lamp in her room—as do I.

I am pretty happy w my own bedroom. I am by no means done with things, but I am having a pretty good time. Apparently, all my stones and crystals needed time to heal and reset…because now I can have them out and use them again.

There is a new energy with which I am handling a great many things this round. I feel very good about things.

I had assumed I would put up either set of my rose sheer curtains in my bedroom. Alas, no. I put up the chocolate and crème curtains, chocolate sheers on the outsides and the crème ones in the middle. The walls here are currently blue, but I still want a red hue when I get around to painting. Which may not be in this house.

The altar in my bedroom…it’s very different from 1 what I normally do and 2 what I would expect to do…but it feels good and it feels right….

There are many more plants in my bedroom this round, which I always love and adore. Once it gets warmer, I am going to buy more draping plants (philodendrons and pothos), as well as more bamboo, for the house, not just my bedroom. My baby (I forget her ‘official’ name, but she’s a rosy colored philodendron of some sort) made it through the move without an issue and is now in my bedroom. She is very happy—that’s all that really matters to me. I lost one philo when the kids broke in to the other house. The remains of that one I stuck in water to root out—she’s not doing all that well. I am unsure if she will make it, but I am hopeful.

I have a window in my bathroom—and I quickly removed the flowery curtains in there. You have to think about this. The wall paper—which is going to take some real effort to remove, unlike the kids’ bathroom wallpaper, which came right off for the most part—is 70s pink, yellow and white daisies, m’kay. Now, throw in country styled flowered curtains in various shades of pink and red—and even my deranged sense of color is offended. Of course, I put up white curtains w blue trim along the edges, but hey, it’s mostly white and they do work. And if I have my way, that bathroom will end up more blue than pink anyway! I haven’t been curtain shopping yet—and then again, once we are settled, I may just make my own…but still. I love the window in my bathroom. There is a windowsill where I can stick plants—so I did. I have a window full of bamboo. It’s awesome.

The kitchen has a little window w a sill as well…and my abused and angry peace plants are in absolute heaven there…and next year, I foresee a planter of aloe up there as well.

My drapery plants (the remaining pothos and philos) are on the shelf above the sliding glass back door, part of the household/kitchen altar there. They are very happy there. Very happy.

My poor abused snake plants, however, all got jammed together in one pot during the move. Now, I found out that hibernating millipedes? Centipedes? were what was killing my snakes—they were eating the roots apparently. So before we left the Western Woods house, I dumped out all five or six planters. Got rid of the dying and dead plants. Removed all the old soil from everyone. Chucked all the living and as healthy as we could get plants into the same planter (which is not a bad thing for snakes)—and then used the only clean dirt I had on-hand. The dirt was frozen. Literally. Those plants may have been inside—right on the fireplace hearth (which is almost as good as outside when the wind starts blowing—really) –but the dirt was outside and even though it was protected in the carport—the dirt was rock solid. That worried me. It was either shock the already sickly plants—or leave them behind to die…

I chose to shock them. They actually seem all the better for my having done that as well. They still are not 110% up to par—but they aren’t dying or wilting or withering anymore either. I am thinking they are going to go in the basement once I get the basement more settled…

Did I tell you how well-insulated the house is? Well, it is even better than we thought.
The old thermostat was just that—old. We were planning to replace it—already had the new digital one ready to install—except we weren’t installing anything like that until after the inspection, because it required some spackling of the wall and we didn’t want to spackle or paint just before the inspection…we were willing to wait.
Well, while we were waiting for things to even out, the first gas bill came in, and it was a mite high too. Add into that I had put up my clock that tells the inside temperature and we quickly found out why the gas bill was so high. The old thermostat was broken. The inside temp was nearly 70.
So, R turns the furnace off. Takes off the old, the bad thermostat (which may have been reset by someone in order to keep the older woman who lived there warmer while not letting her know that she was being taken care of that way—I’ve seen much worse things done in the name of keeping a cheap elderly parent from killing herself in the name of saving a penny or two)—quickly wires in the new one, while spackling the wall and all that happy stuff.
He does this in the early evening of Wednesday. He programs the new thermostat. Gets everything set up and ready to go. I wrap holiday presents.

I am not proud to say that we missed three holidays now. Usually we do St Nicholas Day—and Solstice—and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, when we are all together…we did nothing as yet…well, the kids had Christmas w the ex’s family—like last year. I miss them and I hope there are good pictures to be had…before like next Halloween or so. But, the kids are together and that’s what matters most to me, that they grow up close and loving one another and part of one another’s lives. If it means I have to step back now and then and let them have their time together without me, so be it. I still bought the presents for St Nicholas Day – we get books then. Solstice is more of an artsy holiday, with different handwork projects and art supplies. (not that any of us need much there this year…). And of course the commercial buy-out of Christmas….so N gets his blue camera and E gets her BFC doll (don’t ask me—I have no clue—I just bought the darned thing—it’s an American Girl knock-off from what I can see…all that means to me is I should have plenty of knitting and crochet patterns to pull from!)

I wrap all the presents…I do not use up all the paper, nor do I use up all the tape. I am surprised at myself. I always try so hard for E. I kept thinking I needed to buy her more, in order to ensure she had as much as N…blah blah blah. Turns out…w the wii games and whatnot, the chick did get more than her brother…but at least everyone got what they wanted. We’ll see how that goes when they come back and get to open presents….
So, I wrap presents. R watches the rest of ‘District 9’ (EXCELLENT and provocative movie—beware of European pacing, especially in the beginning, my American friends). We go home. Yes, we are still living w R. Funny thing is – I don’t really see that ending even after all the unpacking is done, even after he gets back from his ski trip. The fact we didn’t buy the big house and all move in together is still a big bone of contention at the moment—it’s really rankling to him. Although we are prepared and preparing to start looking again in a few months, once he has a visible viable income from this house to add to his income base—as well as hopefully having a better paying job than the one he has now…I’m not worried. I know we’re moving in together, just as I know we’ll be getting married. Timing right now does not worry me there.

Christmas Day. It started out rough for me. It’s been a rough week. More on that later. (It has to do w the miscarriage in July.) We go to my house to put the trash out for collection on Friday am (when they tell you to have all trash out at the curb by 6a here—they DO mean it). The house was freezing. I hadn’t worn a coat over, just the fleece I’d been wearing around the house. I figured it was just me feeling chilly when we got into the house. Rich wore his coat over—so he knew it was cold inside the house.

How well-insulated is my house? It stood, without heat, for roughly 24 hours, in 25-30 degree winter weather…and it was 52 degrees inside the house.
If that had been the C house—it would have been colder inside the house than outside…
This house is extremely well-put-together…for which I am truly grateful.
What caused the heat loss issue? Well, when R replaced the old thermostat, he turned off the furnace so he wouldn’t be electrocuted or anything. He forgot to turn it back on. We got that sorted out real quick.

What else? What else?

Do you know what I saw the other day?

A squirrel trying to commit suicide by Christmas light strand. Or maybe trying to steal them to light up his own nest!
Oh, it was so funny.
It was obviously a younger squirrel. It was sitting on the neighbor’s latticework. On the very top edge. It poked and prodded and pulled and CHEWED the neighbor’s Christmas lights. I watched that silly squirrel for about 15 minutes, before it abandoned its holiday light investigation and then ran off to chase bunnies or whatever else it was going to do. I had no clue where the camera was, any of them, or else I would have snapped a few pics. As it was, I simply watched and made comments about how nutty (no pun intended) the silly thing was.

When R gets back from skiing, I get to go bowl in front of a professional so that I can get my bowling ball drilled properly for me. I am sort of disconcerted by this. I’m looking forward to it though. I very much want to try out my shoes and see if they do glow in the light of the bowling alley. Lol

I have also accepted the challenge from Nano to edit my novel—which of course I must do or R will kick my butt to no end…but let me put it out here as well, so that everyone may see it.

I pledge to rewrite and to edit my book, before the July, 2010, deadline given by createspace to have my book printed up by them. It will not be a 50000 word novel by the time I am through—it will probably run a great deal longer than that. But, since my main character is back banging at my mental door, complaining that I have not been writing of late…surely it will not be a difficult thing to accomplish.

Speaking of, my wonderful man ran the phone wire down into the basement so that I can set my office up downstairs! Wah hoo. No more sharing office space in my bedroom. We also went to a computer store the other day, micro something—and R is about to build a computer from scratch—we’re not sure if it’s for me or for him at this point…depends on what I want. I am pretty jiffy where the wireless network is concerned, especially since he set mine up to be secure and all that. I have been thinking a laptop and my external hard drive would be terrific for me. The full-sized laptop would negate the visibility issues and the keystroke issues I have w the netbook. Not that I don’t love that thing and don’t bring it all over w me. But I would dearly love to drag my computer all over the place w me and not have to worry about anything while I am on calls or while I have children sick or while I have children online sucking up all the computer time and space! I am leaning far too close to a laptop. And I like that.

I think I have rambled way more than enough for one night—do you think I have made up enough time here in one entry?

A reminder to self for the next installment—the New Year…and the challenges I wish to set for myself. Not resolutions. But GOALS.

Here’s hoping your holidays were blessed and lovely.