Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Guest Post - New House!

I am out of internet connection right now, so mom is graciously writing this for me in 1st person.

We closed on our house today! Tony was so excited last night he could barely sleep. I was so nervous, I thought I could throw up. Today I was telling Mom, "Well, we got married, and that was a grown-up and responsible thing to do. Then we had kids, and that entailed even more responsibility. Then we bought a car, and that was an obligation. But buying a house! You can't get any more committed than that. From now on, if the a/c breaks, there is no calling the maintenance man. The buck stops here, with us. And that makes me kind of nervous! You can't get any more independent than that!"

To which Mom replied, "Well, you could start your own business and then prosper or starve depending on your own efforts." Wow, that could be worse. And the thought was strangely comforting.

So anyway mom and 5 of the kids (my oldest brother still at home works full-time) packed up painting supplies, ladders, buckets of paint, primer, snacks, Mtn. Dew, and water and hauled up to our house.

Veronica, Diantha, Josiah, and I stripped wallpaper in Jeremiah's room completely, and in the living room. Still have to peel the base paper off there.

The bathrooom was deep turquoise. Hannah's room was tan.

Mom cut in around the bathroom and Hannah's room with primer.

Then Diantha rolled the walls with primer.

Meanwhile Tony and Artemas started in on the false, drop-ceiling in the Living Room. The original plan was to paint it. Nope.

Like the deconstruction crew boss said in the movie classic The Money Pit, "Those guys are ANIMALS, I tell ya!" We watched that movie a lot when I was younger, because my parents bought The Money Pit. Twice.

By late evening though, the ceiling panels were all down, the black aluminum supports down and carried out. Tony and Artemas went to the local WM to get Great Stuff to fill in the holes someone made in the ceiling plaster to put in the supports for the drop ceiling. The plan is that tomorrow Tony will spackle over them and then we will give the ceiling (which someone at sometimes painted dark gray) two coats of good ceiling paint. Lovely.

Meanwhile, while the primer dried in the bathroom and Hannah's room, mom mixed a lovely shade of lavender to paint it with. Then while Diantha started on the primer in Jeremiah's room, mom went for a gallon of white paint and some pizza.

Between Diantha, mom, and I (with some marginal help from an occasional munchkin wanting to try to paint), we managed to get Hannah's room walls finished completely, and her ceiling cut in around with a pale blue. I am going to sponge clouds on her ceiling and Jeremiah's. We also got the bathroom completely painted, in nice bright white. Our towels are all bright jewel-tones so we need a bright and neutral backdrop.

We also got the ceiling cut in around and painted completely in Jeremiah's room (Tony helped), the same light pretty blue.

While we were all painting and destroying things, Veronica, Josiah, Jeremiah, Beverly, and Hannah played, mostly running around upstairs in our huge empty bedroom.

It rained today (of course) so there was no going out into the nice backyard.

Veronica helped sweep up, Josiah picked up trash.

Even Hannah helped move paint buckets (repeatedly).

Unbelievably, we painted everything so far (and Jeremiah's walls tomorrow) with only purchasing ONE gallon of white paint.

My dad, a packrat of epic proportions, never throws anything away, even paint, so my parents had gallons and gallons of it, in almost exactly the colors we needed.

And I am BEAT!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Shrug for Hannah

I really have not fallen off the face of the earth, it only just seems like it.
Originally we were supposed to close on the house on Tuesday the 21st but paperwork didn't come thru and we were told we'd close on Friday the 24th. Tony and I came down with the flu, along with half of my family so on Monday we just about killed ourselves moving boxes into a storage unit so we could be out of our apartment by Tuesday night. Tony had to work Monday so it was up to me, Mom, Dad and Artemas basically with the kids thrown in there for good measure. Tuesday Tony took half a day's vacation and he and Artemas moved the rest because I was too far flu-gone. We went to stay in my MIL's little 1 bedroom appartment, thinking it would be until this weekend or the middle of next weekend max. Noo.. noo no. FRIDAY, after we'd already left the house to do the final walkthru we found out we weren't closing because our mortgage broker got the date messed up. Okay, we all make mistakes, no biggie. Tony had taken the day off to move (or at least paint and start tearing down walls) so we drove around and priced things like dishwashers instead.

Made a side trip to a local hobby shop with a wooden Thomas the Tank Engine trainset/table where Jeremiah LOVES to go play and had been asking every day for several weeks. 5 minutes after arriving he wet his pants in the form of a HUGE puddle on the floor; ironically while Tony was in the bathroom. Tony, who did not hear me say there was a puddle, shooed us out of the building. We were then stuck in the middle of knoxville with a kid covered in pee and no change of clothes. So into Target (the nearest store) with Jeremiah riding in a card on a plastic bag to gather new shirt, shorts, underpants and shoes and then into the bathroom where I had to strip him down and wash him from the waist down with wet and soapy paper towels, rinse with wet towels and then dry enough to stick the new clothes on him. Then lift him up and wash his feet and hands in the sink so he could put the new shoes on. What an adventure. Combined with the stress of not knowing for sure until 4:30 that we weren't closing, it was a heck of a day. We were glad to finally get back to Cheryl's and lay on the couch in the A/C in front of the TV.

I find a have a lot of time on my hands the last couple days, which has been nice in a way. I've gotten to lay around and try to get over the flu. With all but a couple duffle bags of clothes packed in storage I've had more time to read and knit. In the last week I've read The Missing Ink, which is a tattoo-shop based murder mystery. Pretty good, nice easy read. I also read Don't Look Down which was by the same people who wrote Agnes and the Hitman. Agnes was FUNNY and Don't look Down was not, still good, but with a lot more sex. So not a kid book but good enough for a beach read.

I also took some merino that I dyed and handspun a couple months ago and I've knit Hannah a shrug for this winter. It's size 18-24 months. I used a lavender acrylic to do the ribbing around the opening since I figure it will get the most wear. I have enough left of the handspun to make her a matching hat and I think I can do the cuff on mittens and use the purple acrylic for the hand part of the mittens. She LOVES it! She kept trying to put it on while I was still knitting it and pulled it off the needles a couple times. Don't know what I'll knit next but since we're set to close in 2 days I probably won't have time anyway. : )

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Moving Sucks

It's now Thursday and we're still not 100% sure we're actually closing on the house on Tuesday. I blurred the lines of comunication and scheduled an appointment to write our homeowner's insurance policy tomorrow, saying that Tuesday is the date we'll write for closing. All true, but not definite. I couldn't help it, I was being shaken down by my insurance agent. This waiting crap is starting to get on everyone's nerves. It's like, come on already! Let's sign papers, let's handover money, let's be done with this packing NONESENSE!

We have to be out on Tuesday too so we were planning on moving this weekend while Tony's off 'cause t made more sense than to move on a work day. I inlisted my family's help yesterday in packing almost everything, including any food that wasn't cold and wasn't being used in the next 2 days. Still have my bedroom and bathroom to do. I rearranged the livingroom this morning so I could clean toys out from under furniture. My brother Artemas spent the night so I made im help; he's also gonna make sloppy joes's for dinner and help with laundry. He just doesn't realize it yet! Snapped a couple pics last night of the mess we were making of the house and of Mom making brownies though she looks a little ticked off at the brownie batter. Yes, that must be it.
I just finished pieceing together a healing quilt top for a member of N2Quilting. Def. applying the gallopping horse principle to this one as some of the blocks were smaller than others. It's pretty cute I think!! Now I can pack up sewing stuff and not have to worry about the block layout getting messed up. I have the backing too so sometime in the next week or so, hopefully, I can get batting and get this quilted and on its way to its new owner!!

I meant to pack sewing stuff a couple days ago but just couldn't! I needed some sewing R&R the other night and threw together this awesome pizza themed small tote bag and this really feminine pink batik bag. Both are listed in my Etsy shop which BTW is having a FREE SHIPPING sale until 7/31!! And all recycled jeans purses have been marked down, top!

Also I just realized I never posted pics of my completed mini quilts! The first, Tulips, was for the mini quilt swap on N2Quilting. The second, Sunflower, was a gift for a friend. They would have looked SO cute hanging together though, don't you think??

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Jeremiah!

Today was my baby son (an oldest child's) 4th birthday. I can't believe he's 4 already, but then at the same time I can't believe it's only been 4 years. I love him so much and it's hard to imagine when he wasn't a part of my life. Being a good Mama to him (and now to Hannah, of course) is the thing I try to hardest to do everyday.

He is such a bright little boy, already figuring out solutions to problems in his head, learning to recite, recognize and write his ABCs and numbers.
He was a very happy calm baby and has continued on in this low-key, easy going personality.

He has always loved cars and trains and general boyish things that make noise. From the minute we told him he was going to be a big brother he accepted his baby sister with nothing but love and wonderment. He is still so nice and loving to her, I am blessed!

Everyday I am amazed by him and blown away by how beautiful he is, with gorgeous huge brown eyes. He adors his daddy and wants to be just like him. I can't wait to see how he "turns out!" He already loves to cook too, even if it's as simple as helping make a PB&J sandwhich. He loves to paint and draw. He says this year now that he's 4 he has to learn to say his "S"s correctly, LoL!

We had a Transformer's birthday today, and even with the very poor planning on my part it was a blast and the kids had a lot of fun! Next year though, we will have it indoors (like we always have) because an outdoor party in mid July is just a little warm for my tastes!!

Jeremiah already loves going to sunday school, singing the songs and learning about Jesus. We bought him a really nice picture Bible a year or so ago and he will bring it to me and ask me to read him stories. His favorite story is about Jonah. : ) I pray that he will continue to seek the Lord and have a heart for the things He loves. I pray that the Lord will bless him with a long life and prosper him as he walks with Him. I claimed the scripture in Psalms over him that says, "With long life will I satisfy him and show him MY salvation." I pray that this will come about in my little boy's life. He means the world to me!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

2 More Stash Quilts

It has been a majorly busy weekend that I think began on Tuesday. Sigh. Yesterday and today my Mom and I had a big yard sale where we sat in the 95+ degree weaher, partly in the sun, for 10 hours each day to make what my dad does in an 8hr day indoors, in air conditioning. Sigh. I am sunburned and crispy, crinkly and sore.

We're FINALLY home and I just took the first half of Jeremiah's cake out of the oven. Yes, it is 11:30PM and I'm having to bake the cake one layer at a time because I packed my big sheet pan. Ugh. Jeremiah's birthday party is tomorrow at noon and with church before hand, I have to get everything ready tonight. Tony is out getting chips and batteries, LoL! While the first layer cools enough for me to get it out of the pan and put the second batch of batter in, I figured I'd share the last 2 quilts I finished.

Both are "stash" quilts for a sort of ongoining, year long challenge on N2Quilting--Lucy's "Liberate Your Stash" Challenge. The rules are you can only buy 1.5yds of fabric for the FRONT of the quilt (you can buy backing). Everything else on the front of the quilt needs to come from your stash. I got really lucky with these, I only bough 1/2 yard of the bright pink batik I used for the borders of the one and then I didn't even use all of it! Yay! All the rest of the fabrics and blocks were already in my stash except for the backing of the second one, which was came from Mom's stash so probably, technically she could claim it too.

This one is made from blocks I got back from a "Happy" Batik Block swap last year. I made 35 more of these a while back which gave me enough for a king sized quilt, but I pilfered 16 to make this top. I'll just have to make that many again later to add to the stash for my quilt. I intended both of these quilts to make it into my etsy shop and be for sale but I have a friend who has 3 kids, 2 of which don't have quilts from me! Gasp! I know! This pretty, cheery batiky quilt is going to her newest, Savannah who is 2 months old. Her older sister (who is Hannah's age, 15 mo) Micah has one I made that's all batiks too so I thought it was only fitting. The back is a batiked flannel, I have no idea where we found it but Mom and I have both used this fabric several times. Sadly, this was the last of it. : (

This quilt is made from "Scrap Box Blocks." I throw all my scraps bigger than 2" square into an enormous(ly stuffed) rubbermaid tote and sometimes when I have some spare time (haha) I sit down and randomly piece them together to form rough square shapes. When I get them big enough to trim a 8.5" square out of them I do and tada, a Scrap Box Block. The orange and frog fabric borders were also in my stash, along with the binding fabrics. I didn't have a big enough chunk of any particular fabric that would work so I pieced it. : D This quilt is going to Savannah and Micah's older brother Riley, who is Jeremiah's age. His 4th birthday was in May and we missed it so he's getting it as a belated birthday present. I really hope he likes it! my friend says that he steals Micah's all the time so maybe, just maybe he will let his baby sister have her quilt in peace!!

This is Hannah eating leftover chocolate donought frosting out of the box when she thought no one was looking.

Then there is Beverly (my babiest sister) who is hiding from me, with her eyes shut.

And then my soon to be birthday boy (tomorrow!!) Jeremiah using the Force and being a Jedi.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

One more UFO top done!

Finally, I finished the top for a surprisingly simple UFO on Monday. I started this little wallhanging I think 2 years ago for a Weird and Ugly fabric challenge from N2Quilting. I really hate this quilt. I don't now why, maybe because I don't think my contrasts between the people and the "sand" is right. Maybe cause I just don't like it. *shrugs* That is probably why it took me so long to finish zigzag stitching down the applique. I am going to try to pin it out tonight and take it with me to Mom's tomorrow to throw a quick stipple on it here and there. I want to try to outline quilt the pieces so the scene is visible from the back of the quilt too but I think it needs some funky stars or something in the sky.

Also tomorrow I will be able to take pics of the other 2 quilts I finished this week, the last of which is in the washer as I type.

Mom and the kids came over yesterday for my Tackle It Tuesday which was packing. We got quite a bit accomplished. Veronica took down all the remaining pictures, wrapped them in newspaper and boxed them. Diantha took down all the posters in Jeremiah's room and rolled them, securing them with rubber bands. Both girls took down the remaining quilts from the walls (we had at least 1, if not 2 or 3 quilts on the walls in every room), washed and boxed them up. Mom helped me drag everything out of my lower cupboards and sort and pack them. We got most of my dishes boxed up, all the coffee mugs and everything else in/on top of the china hutch.

I have 3 more boxes and my dresser to go through this evening in preperation for the world's biggest yard sale on Friday and Saturday. Tony is working late so I should be able to tackle them and make a pan of brownies if I can keep my nose out of a book long enough. Halfway through one I really like; such a temptation!

Our fish have been dropping like flies. Apparently they've come down with "Ick" which is apparently bad. We lost 5 in the last 3 days. Panicking upon the realization of the problem (thanks Mom!) I ran to walmart last night for some more newspaper for wrapping dishes and Ick drops. Took Artemas, Beverly and Hannah with me with the plan that even though it was only a 4 mile drive both little, extremely tired girls would fall asleep and I could leave Artemas in the car with them. NO! So I grabbed B out of the car and carried her in the store, Artemas grabbed Hannah and we put them in a cart. Wandered around, got the fish stuff, M&Ms, newspaper, got in the back of a very long line and Artemas says, "There's poop on your shirt." Yes, Betsy had pooped on me and I wore it all over walmart. He says, "Probably you can hide it with the newspaper til we get home." Uh...no! So over to teh clothing department for a cheapy (yet stylish) tank top, I run to the bathroom to change and we proceed through the line and home as planned. Mom thinks it's really funny. Tony thought it was really funny too. Jerks.

Had to take a pic of the house for the insurance company yesterday, figured I'd share. AND I think that catches me up, LoL!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Trying new Quilting

I haven't blogged in a few days, but my Mom says that's okay because I outdid myself the last time by blogging 3 times in one day. I kept forgetting things, though!

Thursday my grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousin came into town. Apparently Gatlinburg TN has some big fireworks thing they didn't want to miss. We on the other hand are lazy and won't even drive into town to see them. More on that later. I snapped this pic of Mom sitting at IHOP waiting on her dinner, knitting of course.

Friday we went to Mom's for Tony to mess around more with the back porch and while he was doing whatever it was he was doing I pinned and quilted 3 smallish/lap/wallhanging quilts. I bring things that I want to stipple quilt here to Mom's because my little Singer Simple machine has a tension problem (too much caffeine??) and Mom has an antique 50's Singer like machine that does a WONDERFUL easy stipple. I always do just a random meandering pattern because it's quick, I'm good at it, and it's quick. However on the N2Quilting yahoo group I'm on there has been some discussion about free motion/stipple quilting and I thought I'd give something different a try. Of course, being the coward that I am I stayed almost in my comfort zone. One quilt I just did my normal stipple. Quilt #2 got a random, meandering stipple like normal with little loops thrown in here and there for fun. Quilt #3 got a radom meandering stripple like normal with spirals thrown in here and there for fun. The loops were difficult for me to feel like I had a rhythm. It felt like it took longer because since I wasn't used to it, I wasn't as fluid in my movements. The spirals though, were suprisingly easy.

Friday evening was the First Friday's thing downtown where I live. We raced back from Mom's and set up our "booth" with Dad's soaps, Diantha's handspuns, Mom's recycled yarns and my handbags. 3 hours of standing around because I forgot the chairs, with about 10 people walking past. Right before we left I sold one small handbag, which let me put gas in Tony's truck, buy him a joke of a lottery ticket (with which he won $3!) and buy myself a bottle of Bacardi pre-mixed Mojito, which BTW is NASTY. I had a "real" mojito at Chili's a week or so ago and it was yummy. This pre bottled crap tasted like watered down tooth paste. Ugh.

Saturday we lay around the house taking our time with this. Tony helped me do housework, we got the kitchen, living room and our room cleaned up and all the laundry done and all but 1 load put away. In between all these I sat around sleepily rereading twilight. Then we made a walmart run where we wandered about looking at things like area rugs and a Shark Steamer.
All with the hardwoods in the house we are trying to buy in mind.

Then it was time to head back downtown and set up for their 4th of July thing. They had told us we could put our booth back up, that the shops were having sales and the City was doing a celebration/fireworks thing about a mile away so they expected foot traffic. It turns out that it was an all-day thing and we should have set up about 10am. Oh well. 6 people walking past us and 2 hours later we decided we were bored and packed up. We didn't take the kids to see any fireworks, we were both tired and didn't feel like it. They saw a few from our porch and were so excited that then I was sad they missed the bigger displays.

Yesterday we went over to Mom and Dad's again. Tony wanted to weed eat, LOL! I didn't take any quilty, spinny or knityy projects; just new moon which I'm rereading now that I finished the first one last night. On my way there I stopped at the Buy 1/Get 1 Fireworks place and bought $20 worth of fireworks to set off in their driveway for the kids once it got dark. Of course by the time it was nearly dark it was also RAINING! The kids huddled under the overhang they made from the back door to Mom's van and watched as Tony, Artemas and I lit fireworks with wet lighters. We tried lighting a cigarette and using it to light them, that worked best...it took the cigarette longer to get soggy than the lighters, LOL! By the time we were out of fireworks the rain had stopped but we were still dripping. I went back in the house and very cheerily announced to Mom that I burned both my thumbs and caught my shirt on fire! She wasn't surprised, remembering the slight pyromania of my youth (that Tony says I didn't outgrow!) I'm sure. Diantha came in behind me and just as cheerily said that I also won the wet tshirt contest.