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Thursday, April 16, 2015


The Plaidman has just one job relating to our finances: he must prepare the tax return.  Last year we made quite a few changes, and actually drew funds out of my retirement account -- a lot of funds!  All in a good cause, getting the crackerbox house paid off, and getting a good down payment for our new digs.  So we had more paperwork this year than last, but had it all collected in one place & ready for Plaidman's perusal by the end of February.  Guess when he finally decided to work on the taxes -- it was just Tuesday, the day before the filing had to be sent!  Our extra funds put us in a higher tax bracket, and we owe many dineros.  We'll be paying on the installment plan, and eating lots of beans for the next six months.....good thing I've learnt to like beans.....
Disco has been following up on her employment offers, and we're crossing our fingers that at least one pans out for her.  If she could pick up her insurance and student loans, that would relieve some of the $ pressure on us old folks.  She tried to tell me that she would have to "save up" for a while before she could start paying on those things -- so I'm pressing her to find out what she's saving up for, as I know she doesn't want to move away.  Yes, she needs to start saving for retirement, but honestly there's very little else she needs that we aren't providing.  I don't want to take her entire paycheck, but feel that we're owed the lion's share!  Disco, if you read this please comment & let me know what you think.  I am open to discussion.

Monday, April 13, 2015

THERE you are!

I've been looking all over for you!  And if you believe that, I know where there's a bridge for sale, real cheap. 
Firstly, the Knitting Knews:  I have just 9.5 rows left before binding off my Honey Color Affection!  Woot!  Not sure if I posted when I bought the yarns for this wrap, but it was sometime early last summer.  I'd been eying the pattern for a long time, not sure if I liked it or not.  Bought it last spring, and had to mull over what colors.  The point is that I had these yarns in hand lo-o-o-ng before we bought our new house, and the new furniture for the living room.  Our new living room has ivory carpeting and pale grey walls (super neutral, we haz it).  The sofa is a medium grey, and came with extra cushions that are grey on one side and a print of grey, ivory, tan, black and caramel on the other.  The coffee table and end tables are a medium warm wooden stain, close to the caramel color of the cushions.  About a week after the furniture was delivered, we put an afghan over the back of the sofa, in light orange/dark brown/ivory ripples.  Well, the Honey Color Affection coordinates with all these colors.  I guess I won't bother putting it away in a drawer; once it's blocked, I'll just drape it over the sofa or the drapery rod.  "Instant" (HA!) decor.  If my camera ever decides to come out of hiding (seriously, I've been looking for it for 3 months!), I'll put up some pics.  I have cell phone pictures, but they are blegh. 
Next, we'll discuss the silliness that is the Plaidman.  About 2 weeks ago, he broke a molar.  That was on a Friday night.  He thought it was just chipped, as it didn't hurt.  Over the weekend, it started hurting.  He was able to get in to see a dentist just around the corner from the house, and got the bad news: that molar was cracked top to bottom, and had to come out.  It came out in pieces.  At about this same time, Plaidman's diverticular disease started flaring up.  The dentist gave him an antibiotic script, to make sure there'd be no infection in his jaw.  Well, it also sorted out his diverticulitis!  He's much better, back to eating anything at all -- so we won't have to wait too long for another episode. 
On to my favorite topic, DiscoDame: the handmaid that won't do housework.  The whole point of getting a place with the third bedroom was that she would keep house for us, in lieu of rent.  She did get some employment "nibbles" recently, and I hope she'll follow up -- if she's not doing housework, she needs to pay rent!  I had to do the dishes last night, which would not be so bad except the dishwasher hadn't been emptied in about 3 days, nor had any dirty dishes been put through the cycle.  We had so many dirty things on the counters, after fillling the washer, that I had to fill a sink and wash a bunch by hand.  But it was all clean, even the counters, when I was done!  Disco, if you're reading this you need to stop reading & go do some work!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

(Very) Short Stories

How's about another blog prompt, via Rebecca Bee Designs?  The 8th prompt is Crafting in Public Stories.  I don't mind working on my knitting in public, but I don't seem to generate the crazy responses some crafters get.  I will work my magic in the doctors' offices, and in parks.  Since I now drive everywhere rather than using public transport, I don't often get to knit while traveling.  Side note: I don't want any haters going on about how I should support public transport.  I rode the buses absolutely everywhere for so many years, before we moved way out to the boonies of northwest Davidson County.  Out there, there was no such thing as public transportation.  If Disco wanted to get to the library or look for a job, I had to let her ride into town with me.  Now, we're within walking distance of a bus line, the library, the grocery, about 4 restaurants, an eye doctor, a dentist, and a beauty salon or 3.  But the logistics of getting the 10 miles from my door to the office by public transport would be nightmarish!  You can't there from here, unless you start out the night before.  Public knitting:  I've "done" the WWKIP thing a few times, most notably in a tiny town square not far from Nashville.  That was fun!  I've WWKIP'ed in Centennial Park once, and at a Panera Bread restaurant once.  I think I much prefer to be in public indoors, as it's usually pretty hot here around that time. 
Moving on, the next blog prompt asks for "your least favorite thing ever made".  Goodness knows, I've made a few fuglies in my time.  I have a shawl (crocheted, acrylic!) in a sort of maple-bronze Lion Brand Homespun, alternating with black boucle stripes.  It's semi-fugly, but I don't wear it much because my wardrobe changed colors.  Then there's the bobble knit hat, in a frowsy eyelash yarn -- bright red! -- which truly looks like a cow's afterbirth.  Just exactly what the smart knitter wants to wear on her head, yes.  I think that one might take the prize for least favorite, since I can't even frog the stuff.  Then there's the socks I made for my sister: actually quite lovely, lacey, terrific color -- but after spending lots of time knitting them, they just disappeared into her purse.  I've never seen them worn.  So those socks were heartbreakers, even though they were pretty.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

It's too pretty

Our weather has finally decided to change over to "spring-like", temp was 65F earlier with almost no clouds in the blue blue sky.  We have these odd paper cell shades in the living room, which were here when we moved it.  They are really rather nifty, as they'll adjust up from the bottom, or down from the top.  We had light without sacrificing privacy, an important consideration in a housing development!  Alas, the middle one had a complete failure last night, coming unglued from the top frame.  Plaidman & I went down to a local home improvement store for a replacement, although we have not a clue who made these.  We did find paper cell shades, in the right width, but without the nifty feature of the ones we had.  And we could have as many of those shade as we wanted, as long as we wanted them in "champagne" color -- which looked rather dark to me.  They only had one shade in solid ecru (ours are a lighter base color with a print of fine lines).  The clerk thought they'd have more in store in a few weeks, so we brought home the one they had.  But I didn't even want to come home!  It's too pretty outside to be cooped up inside!  While we were shopping, we picked up some nice drapery rod sets, so we can hang the drapes & sheers we bought (two months ago?) at another store's sale.  That's entailed hanging the rods, and figuring out that we need one more bracket for the living room.  Lordy, my man has lint in his head.  He was getting all upset about that extra bracket, saying the store was unlikely to open up one of the drapery kits just to get us one bracket.

ETA: Well, that was last weekend... and I never did come back to publish it.  I've been thinking about this post all week (when I wasn't too frazzled to rub two thoughts's been a WEEK).  I was interrupted right there in my story about our lovable goofy Plaidman, when Disco told me he was on her phone.  He was calling from the home improvement store, with a problem.  Seems he opened the trunk of his car to look for a tool, setting his keys down in the trunk,  When he had the tool, he closed the trunk with, you guessed it, his keys inside.  Thank goodness he had his phone.  So he called & I had to run out to the store's parking lot with spare keys; which would probably have worked a lot better if I'd remembered to take the spares with me.  Grrr...turn around, run back home & get the keys, back to the store.  All this to hang sheers that I've decided are a) too dark and b) too short for the living room windows.  And I guess he & I are two of a kind in our modest goofiness.

In the Knitting Knews, I'm still working on my Color Affection, elebenty million garter stitches relieved by M1L, M1R, and short rows.  I know why I have such a hard time with large projects: I have a life outside my knitting!  Yep, working full time sure cuts into the knitting time.  I'm forever finding sweaters or shawls or afghans on Ravelry, that I'd really like to make if it wouldn't mean spending months on each item.  I call this Glacial Knitting, as that's about the speed of it.  And I've been so sorely tempted by yarn sales lately; this is usually the first sign of startitis so I'm resisting the urge to spend on yarn.  However, I'm still buying magazines:  just bought some back issues of one mag, and re-upped my subscription to another.

Monday, March 9, 2015

So much "No"

No, I wasn't able to get into the car, even with the Plaidman's help.  No, I did not make it to work Friday.  I emailed the boss, and had a response: come in Saturday at 5:30 A.M.  So I was in the office before frikkin dawn on not want!
Last week I sent letters to my dear ol' Dad & Baby Sis.  I hope I'll hear from one of them soon.  I'm so glad Pup has moved to the same town Sis lives in.  Now if I could just get down there without spending 2 weeks of grocery money, I'd be set. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

It's gotta end sometime.....

But winter is really hanging on!  March in Middle Tennessee is usually shirt-sleeve weather, with a sweater in the early a.m. or after dark.  I just tried to get into my car, which is encased in ice.  I beat on the door for almost 10 minutes without budging it.  So I'm back inside again.  I did get some work done on the Color Affection yesterday, when the snow was so deep.  It is nice to be warm, comfy on the couch, and knitting!  Or in Ravelry for hours....but I eventually feel the need to "do something"; yesterday I went to the craft room for CC2 (a tonal dark honey color), and stayed long enough to put some of my magazines on the bookcase.  I also tried to get to my large wooden swift, but there's just too much stuff in the way.  I did find the smaller swift, the one with the wonderful name of Almighty Reeling Machine.  That name just tickles the snot out of me.  Then I had to find somewhere to set it up, settling on the side of the drawer in the coffee table.  And wound the yarn cake by hand, off the hank placed on the swift.  I can wind a nice cake by hand. 
I've put the Gramps Cardigan in hibernation, after first frogging back to where the sleeves are joined to the body.  I've found the YouTube video tutorial for continuing the cabling while working simultaneous raglan and neckline decreases, but haven't actually sat down with a swatch in hand and followed along.  I really need to get back to that one.  Not sure I can even get in touch with the boy's grandma now, but it would be good to have it done in case she ever finds me again!

Shall we have another blog prompt, courtesy Rebecca Bee Designs?
6. Blogs that inspire you 
Number One with a bullet would have to be the Yarn Harlot's blog.  She writes so well, and is just so accessible and human.  I feel great affection for her and her whole family, because she allows them to be such a big part of her writing.  And I have a burning desire to knit Fox Paws!  Another favorite is The Panopticon, Franklin Habit's take on life, the universe and everything.  There are dozens of knitterly blogs out there, and often those bloggers have their favorite links listed.  I like to check 'em all out!  There's a Blog Hub group on Ravelry, which is a good source of inspiration too.

7. Your bad craft habits
I get startitis very easily, and take "finishitis" very rarely.  Must finish more craft work!  Knit fast, die warm!  I haven't a clue how to be "monogamous" to a project, except in the way I've been so for the Color Affection: it's the only project I can get to easily.  All my other projects are buried somewhere in the craft room.  It's a bit like having oatmeal for breakfast every day; I can only do that if there's nothing else available!  Truly, I've been known to have last night's dinner leftovers for breakfast, rather than oatmeal. 
My Dad was our breakfast short-order cook on the weekends.  One of his specialties was fried cornmeal mush, which of course had to be started the night before.  The cornmeal had to be mixed up with water or milk, poured into a bread pan, and refrigerated overnight.  The next morning, the solid cornmeal mush was sliced up, fried (preferably in bacon grease!), plated & covered in maple syrup.  YUM!!  Better than pancakes.  And now I'm hungry.  And it's almost time to go outside & try the car door again, since the sun's been shining for a couple of hours now.  One of the advantages of a black interior -- in winter -- is that the inside of the car gets warm.  Maybe even warm enough to thaw the door....I guess I'd better go check it.


The Plaidman has carried the computer hutch's drawers out of the craft room, & replaced them into the hutch!  I have enough room in the craft room now, to be able to set up a camp chair and work on getting my magazines into the bookcase. 
Over the weekend I set up my etagere in the master bedroom.  So far, it's holding my large collection of headbands, and a smaller collection of haircombs.  Decent haircombs are hard to find anymore.  The Plaidman has found that he only needs one drawer of the tall chest for his folded clothes, and said I could have all the others.  This is good, as I need somewhere to put some sweaters!  I did hang the big crocheted kimono in the hall closet; that thing would take up an entire drawer itself.