Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The fruits of labor

So, fortunately for me, I have 2 community garden plots here at work. The wet beginning of summer was rough on my little cucumber plants, and their stalks are white and cut open. My boss thought maybe I had cutter worms. But today--YAY--I spotted cucumbers. AND zucchini on my big plant. Hooray!

I also have some peppers and tomatoes. So all is well, so far!


House news: Still no house news except pushed back and pushed back. We just pushed it another week. But our mortgage guy says we're "real close now". I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop, and all this aggravation was for nothing.

Speaking of aggravation: I have mothers acting like children. I have a MIL who guilt trips my kids when they don't want to stay at her house. I have MY mother who yells at my youngest daughter (who, as you know, is a handful) and then tells her to tell me to text her. While I was at work. That was IT! I said to my 10 year old that grandma damn well knows my number, and she knows how to text. And I am not dealing with this at work.

Knitting news: Working on my stranded sock. Also working on the amulet shawl from the Shawl society.  I am so excited to get to the bead part. But I'm not there yet--lots of back and forth knitting the same two rows to go (which is actually just what I need right now).

Amulet Shawl

 So that's my life here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

And life goes on...

Sometimes you find yourself in places you never thought you'd find yourself. back at your mom and dad's house?

Our first date for our closing was May 13th. Then it was May 31st. Then June 10th. Then June 17th. Then June 30th.  FINALLY, the painting was complete, the FHA inspection was passed and we were ready to go.  And then....

Then Quicken Loans threw us for a loop. If I can say one thing that anyone listens to, it is PLEASE DON'T GO THROUGH QUICKEN LOANS FOR ANYTHING.

They were stringing us along for a lot of things...asking for the same documents over and over again. My friend gave us some money, and they wanted the gift statement. And her bank statements. And her other bank statements. And then a letter that we drafted saying the nature of our close relationship and why she would give us this money. Just ridiculousness.

Then they pulled Brian's credit report again (Because the "process was taking so long"), and his score had gone down. Because we had been using the credit cards and leaving money in the checking account, like they told us to do.  When Brian said, "Well, it went down because of usage. I can pay down the balance, and the score will go back up." the response was "We're not credit counselors". When Brian asked if they ever use common sense, the response was, "I've been in the business for 11 years, and I've never been allowed to use common sense."

We ended up calling HUD to have them call Quicken to get us out of our loan, mostly because we felt like they were stringing us along to make us pay fees. Within an hour of our call to HUD, Quicken called to say they were "Not continuing with the loan".  We went online and found story after story just like ours.

In the meantime, we had to be out of our rented house.  So we moved everything we own into storage.  We are staying with our parents and commuting back and forth to work-no small feat, as my job is 2 hours from there.  BUT:

We are hoping it's temporary, as our realtor "knows a guy" who has started the FHA loan process. Fortunately our appraisals/inspections are maintained in the government database (See? Not all government databases=unmarked helicopters), but the bad news is it probably won't be until July 15th with the July  4th holiday in there.

So I am trying not to lose my crap, wondering when that is going to happen, and being really grateful for my desk at work and my little plots of garden, because they are mine.

TL;DR=Quicken sucks. We lost our financing and are nomadic, but we have new financing and hopefully will be in our house by July 15th.

Anyway, here is a flower from the garden at my hopefully-soon-to-be-mine house to make you happy:

I am knitting, sort of. I will take a picture of the sock I am test knitting when I get home and get it up here. I also have some DELICIOUS looking yarn from Jesseknits to start a MKAL, sock knitting style. So excited about this, but it's a surprise, so I can't show you pretties yet (Soon!)

Thursday, June 2, 2016


OK, so I haven't written in a while, and I wanted to make sure to do a small update. I have been (get this...) CROCHETING!  And it's frustrating.  I am trying to make this:

Cute crochet jellyfish, FREE pattern! |

Absolutely adorable, right?  I even figured out the magic circle (sort of...anyway, it works). But I can't seem to get the counting right. I keep ending up with one extra. I might just do the tails first, because I have attempted the head 4 times now and it just isn't coming out right.

We are in a holding pattern on the house, and we are stuck here with our terrible landlord. At least until June 19th, when we can't be here anymore. The original closing date was May 13th. Then May 31st. Then June 10th. Now "On or before" June 30th. Let's just say I kind of lost my crap on the latest addendum to the closing. I made the selling realtor cry. Which was not exactly what I wanted, but I needed someone to show me that they gave a crap that I'm terrified I'm going to be homeless.  The house has all the electricity on, and nothing is leaking as far as we know. But the house needs to be painted, and of course it's been raining for weeks. And when it's not raining, there's no painting going on.  So frustration and stress seems to be the story of my life.

In good news, Emily and Nick are done with school today, Anna graduated last Friday (although she still has work to do this summer to finish up):

and I am only working 3 days a week during the summer.  I am also coming up with cool stuff to do in the fall with the students, so I am hoping to generate some "job security" traffic into the library.

I'm also still plugging along on the Piece of Cake sock. Still a single.  

I picked up some patterns and some cool plaid fabric from Hancock (RIP--I'm going to miss that place SO much) to make some shorts. I'm hoping they turn out great, so I can just whip out a bunch of pairs.

So I'm hoping to have some great updates after we move, and maybe a new house renovation blog as well. (So I am not clogging up my sometimes knitting/sometimes family blog here.).

Happy beginning of summer!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Business Trip? You Betcha!

So one of the new duties in my position description is to do professional development. The very first few days I started working at UWMWC, WiLs put out a call for the first "Good WiLs Ambassador" to attend the Midwest Interlibrary Loan Conference in Dubuque, Iowa. I was fortunate enough to have the chosen essay, and got to attend the conference.

Dubuque is almost a 4 hour drive, so by the time I got to the hotel, I wasn't up for sight seeing. I also chose to go by myself. A) Brian hates ILL, and pretty much everything and everyone that has anything to do with it and B) I thought about a night to myself in a hotel room with the TV, my knitting and some wine and REALLY decided driving by myself was worth the peace and quiet.

After a lovely evening, it was time to attend the conference. It was very strange that the person at the check in desk had already heard of me, knew I had to do a "report" back, and told me that I shouldn't make it boring.

Haha! I did learn some useful stuff, met some fun people (most of them from Iowa) and got to see the beautiful campus of Loras College.

And just as I was walking out at the end, I put my car into reverse and it's snowing.  Then I pull out of the parking lot and it's sleeting--in sheets, like rain!  On the way home I ran into some white-out making snow. But what can I expect on April 8th in Wisconsin?

House news: Still moving right along. They are doing the loan underwriting and we are waiting for the appraisal. Considering we are supposed to close May 13th (and we have to be out of our house here by June 5th) I'd really feel more comfortable with some progress.

So I'm working on a shawl (the one I bought from Rhinebeck), still working on my cousin's slippers, turning the heel on my Cakewalk socks and tonight after hearing a suggestion from a FB friend Lisa, I started a temperature afghan in crochet.  Every day you do 1-3 rows based on the temperature following a color key. I did find a color key here and here, but I changed it up a bit, mostly because I had Royal blue in my stash, today was 35 degrees, thus the 30's will be Royal blue ;)

My other news is that I was fortunate enough to go with my friend Genelle to see Bernie Sanders!
Our best chance!
Tim Robbins was there to give a speech imploring our fellow Dems to support Bernie

...and I got to shake Bernie's hand on the way out. They were soft and doughy, but not wet. LOL  Last Tuesday I cast my vote for him, and he won Wisconsin, taking all but one county. Emily posed with her super cool shirt I picked up for her:
So I think that's all the news for now. Tomorrow is very exciting, because I pick up my order from The Fruit Club for fresh pineapples! I also get to have a monitor meeting with Autumn and Mandy, so it should be fun. :)

Friday, March 11, 2016

Why I love Fridays

Most people love Fridays, because it signifies the end of the work week. Fortunately for me, I don't work on Fridays-So Thursday is the end of my work week.

I love Fridays because I get to stay home. Even if it's a day of scrubbing stove tops, washing dishes and clothes, vacuuming: I am still not at work. Anna is usually here on Fridays to keep me company (she works from home on Thursdays and Fridays). But she's out for a walk, so all is quiet right now.

I love this particular Friday because my pork roast smells awfully good in my crock pot.

I used my crock pot all the time when I was a SAHM, and always got to smell my meal throughout the day. Coming home from work and smelling that dinner is done is awesome, but not quite as good as your meal cooking while you are doing other productive things at home.

I love this Friday because it is warm. My phone says 52 degrees on the way to a high of 59 today. It's sunny and beautiful. This is especially meaningful since our furnace went out 2 nights ago. Our landlord (Yes, we are still renting. We have to come up with about $7000 to buy a house, so if anyone has a couple grand laying around they aren't using, please let me know) sent a guy over yesterday, who had to "order the part" would "see us tomorrow" and "at least it's not 20 below". Yes, but 25 overnight with frost on the ground make for a cold house. Walmart had heaters on clearance for $15
My house has 2 of these now. Probably good to have some just in case anyway.

, and my landlord's wife brought over 3 more (including 2 of the oil radiator looking ones that I was hoping our Walmart had, and doesn't)
The landlord contribution.

so we were in good shape last night and this morning. And now the doors and windows that don't have plastic wrap on them are open. Welcome to Wisconsin!

Still working on various knitting projects. I think I will knit a pretty dishcloth for my tea swap partner. I was very excited to be in the spring swap, but I messed up and didn't fill the form in on time (even though I posted to the forum in time. Such a bummer.) so I have the card swap and tea swap again this month. It's probably a good thing, as it's so hard to knit something for someone to wear when A)You don't know the person and B)They might hate it and not appreciate it, and I hate that more than anything.

So, off to do another load of laundry. Then I'm going to peruse my cotton yarn and see what I can come up with. And time to get Nick in about an hour and a half.

Hoping you are having as lovely a Friday as I am :)

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Ch-Ch-Ch Changes....

(A little Bowie...RIP)

So a few new things since I last left you on a snow day that really wasn't all that bad, but hey! I'll take em as I can get em! I started a new job at UW-Marshfield/Wood County. I am very excited to come back to Colleges. It's a much smaller campus than Fox, so that has taken some getting used to. I miss the high school kids, but I really love my job. I gave up an 8 minute drive each way for a 50 minute drive each way, so I'd better enjoy it.

We are also looking to buy a house, and working on getting money together, getting credit in order, etc. I am currently in love with this one:

510A OAK STREET Wisconsin Rapids, WI, 54494

Hopefully it will still be on the market when we get everything in order. I told Brian that I want some land if I can't have this house-I don't want to get live in the city otherwise. (Yes I am picky, but I feel like I should be allowed to be).

Knitting, I'm working on slippers for my cousin (Yes, it's red heart. Which is why they are putt-putting along):

hexipuffs, socks that are randomly picked up and now a doll dress. I am using Guppie from Willow Yarns. It's soft, but very breaky. I am glad I am not making a big project with it, because it is driving me a little crazy. Twice I've had to cut and start anew.

I started doing swaps in the Tiny Owls group on Ravelry, which is fun. A tea swap and now a spring swap, so I will have a new project to knit for my partner. It gives me something to focus on, and I've been lacking focus lately.  I wanted to show off the lovely tea swap I received last month:

Otherwise, excitement in Rapids as the boat show AND the Home and Garden show are at the Rapids Mall on the same weekend!!!  I'm hoping it doesn't infringe on the traffic to the thrift store. And I wonder if they canceled the indoor farm market, or if there is room for all that action.

That's pretty much it. Hoping to finish most of the doll dress tonight (and make some enchiladas for dinner! Mmmmm)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Snow Day!

So grateful for a snow day today.  At first I was afraid it would backfire-the snow didn't start until 11am, and I knew if we barely got any, the school district would NEVER cancel again.  As it was, we waited until about 8pm for the district to cancel last night. I was going to go to work myself and keep Emily and Nick home. That way I didn't have to worry about how they were getting home, just about myself.

So here are some snow pics.  The first one was taken around noon.  The rest I took just now as I was shoveling, about 2pm.  There's about 2" on the ground, and it's coming down very steady now.

So what am I doing on a snow day?  I'm practicing crocheting:

And I'm knitting slippers for my cousin (who just sent me a kick ass box of handbags and purses!):

I also bought some scarf making yarn at Herrschners yarn sale.  The hot pink/black is for Emily. The other stuff I thought was too pretty to pass up for 99 cents:

Besides that, making chicken soup and grilled cheese for dinner, picking up a bit, watching TV, thinking about the house I hope we buy and the fact that starting next week, I have a new job that gives me every Friday off (and is going to be absolutely, fabulously amazing!!!!), that's about it.  Just chillin' with the kids and cats and bunny.

Have a great day whatever you are doing :)

Monday, January 4, 2016

Knitting and a Birthday

So I'm 43 today.  I don't really have anything profound to say except I'm 43 today.  Woo.Hoo.

I did get a phone call from my neurologist telling me I don't have Multiple Sclerosis (YAY!). I have a sclerosis, that will never go away, and will always give me problems, and they can't tell me what it's from except a virus caused it. But no meds in my future, so that's awesome.

I've been knitting, which is also kind of awesome. Saturday I spent the day with a friend of mine I don't get to see very often (Let's face it-I don't have many friends, and the ones I do have, I don't get to see very often). We both needed to catch up on Season 5 of Downton Abbey before the new season started on the 3rd. So we watched Season 5, had tea and scones and little finger sandwiches and knit. I started a sock, and she made cute dishcloth which she then gave me. It was one of the most pleasant days I've had in a while, and it made me "home" sick (even though it's not my home anymore.)

I love self striping yarn.
In addition to my sock, I started the Downton MKAL last night. I did my gauge swatch and it still came out to size 4's even on my sportweight yarn. So then I had to cobble together 4 size 4 dpn's. I'll be happy when I graduate to a circular needle.
So far, so good. With multicolored needes.

So that's all that is going on here.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Happy New Year

You know how I feel about resolutions. I did pretty well last year in my "Don't read comments on Facebook posts" resolution, and when I didn't, I really was much happier. Then I kind of backslid, and decided maybe humanity isn't all that worthy of saving should aliens come, but I'm going to try harder to keep this one.

Anna decorating herself.
Our tree in it's natural habitat, before the murder.
Christmas and New Years were pretty low key around here. We actually cut down our own Christmas tree for the first time (Anna wasn't along, or we'd have heard about murdering trees.)  It was fun.  They take you out on a trailer and give you a saw and you have at 'er.  Finding one that worked was a bigger challenge.  So we picked one.  And I said, "I don't think the trunk is straight".  And Nicholas says, "What do you have against gay trees?"  So of course that is the one we got...and it was crooked the whole time.  And man, did it shed needles.  You couldn't SEE the tree skirt, and I had to empty the vacuum 4 times to get them all up (and this was December 27th.  It's not like the 4th, as in most years).
Our decorated tree. You can't see the lean from this angle.
Emily decorating.

So we went to my parents house and Brian's mom's house on Christmas Eve and then hung out here Christmas Day.  I did get a Nintendo 3DS with Animal Crossing: New Leaf, so that is exciting.

New Years was quiet too.  There isn't a whole lot to do here (although DJ Jammin' John was at Mickey's Tip Up with Karaoke in Kellner.  Sorry we missed it.  Not.) so we stayed home and had a nice meal and ate nice snacks (although my retro fondue pot did not function.  I definitely want me $2 back.) and played Monopoly with the kids (Brian won). So that was New Years.

And yesterday-I did something I wanted to do for years and never got around to.  Thora asked me to join her in the Downton Abbey MKAL, but we are using stuff from our stash (because we can't afford another $54 on a kit...).  Of course, her stash is all documented and nice on Ravelry; mine is not.  So I went up, got everything out (that was out anyway, because I was going to at least organize the damn thing this week) and started putting my stash up on Rav.  It took hours, and I till have cotton yarn to get up there (and stragglers from the closet, under the bed, behind the door, etc etc) but it's up. I have a lot of beautiful yarn. And a lot of stash knitting to do this year, especially socks.

Going to try this for the MKAL
And I did find something to use for the MKAL-it takes 800 yds of fingering weight (and of course, all my beautiful sock yarn is only 410, and there is only one skein of each), so I am going to try to swatch tomorrow morning with my sportweight woolese and see if I can make it work. I have 4 balls (about 1300 yards) so it should be enough. Probably huge, but we'll see what I can come up with when swatching.

I have also decided that after I use up some of my sock yarn, I miss Opal and Regia and the whole "self striping without any work" thing. When I first learned to make socks, I LOVED it.  Then I kind of "outgrew" it and wanted to expand to patterns and lace and cables I see the beauty of it just being there to mindlessly knit.

Oh and the best news of all?  I found my swift and my ball winder (in two different boxes) buried in with yarn and other fiber-y tools. So I can get my winding on. Here's some other great finds:
I found misc. needles. And the first book I learned to knit with

A beaded scarf about half done. I figure I messed it up and put it back in the bag. At least I didn't pitch it in the corner.
One sock. The rest of the yarn in a bag. No pattern. Way too small for me. So I'm going to try to finish it and wing it.

Some of my gorgeous sock yarn that is undone and needs to be wound. Woohoo ball winder/swift find!
I don't know what this is. I think I bought it at IRIS. It's gorgeous and soft. And I wish I knew what it was.
And today I am going up to Appleton to hang out with my friend Shelly and catch up on watching Downton Abbey from last season and knit and just hang out. It will be nice, and I need more of that in my life. But I need to be motivated to do it, since I don't have any friends here and it's easy to get into a rut.
I'm going to knit with this bad boy today while I watch Downton

So whatever 2016 brings, I am hoping for the same prosperity and maybe in a different place. I hate change and "not knowing" and feeling like I have no control of my destiny. So it's a little stressful for me right now. I need more knitting, less video gaming. More water, less soda. And more tea. We all need more tea. :)