Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Magazine March

Hubby is getting anxious.  He can't stop thinking about the Big Day.  What to bring, what to wear, what to pack?  Will everyone he's invited be there?  Short?  Long?  Poufy?  Good thing he's got his copy of Modern Bride to help him through the craziness of planning his wedding and not letting the whole thing get too overwhelming.

HUH????  Not quite the big day that you were expecting?

We belonged to a magazine club a long time ago.  It was more of a subscription service, you paid a monthly fee and got to subscribe to a bunch of magazines.  Magazines that we really did pick out started showing up at our door, and we were pleased.  Then a scam happened where we got enrolled for a lot longer than originally stated, and we fought back.  The magazines stopped, and we were no longer charged.  The whole thing took several phonecalls and a sternly worded letter or two.  But the mission was (eventually) accomplished.

Since then, occasional magazines just show up.  For no reason.  All addressed to Brian.  We never know what's coming.  Sometimes Rolling Stone.  Or Ebony.  Surfer's Monthly, Golfer's Digest, Corvette Monthly.  All in Brian's name, now including Modern Bride!!

It's not all bad.  I'll actually read the Oprah magazine when it comes with no regularity, or Lucky.  But hey, how about People?  We've got no use for Vogue or W, but that crap keeps showing up.  Neither of us will call to stop them, out of fear of being enrolled into something again.

Sigh.  Maybe this is one of those things that just MOVING will take care of?  That would be pretty awesome.  I suppose it could be worse....it could be porn.  Now THAT would be fun to explain when we let the kids get the mail!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Good As Sold

Well, that went a lot faster than ANY of us expected!

The house went on the market last Monday afternoon.  Four showings and about 48 hours later, I get a phone call while at my knitting group's usual Wednesday night get-together that we have an offer.  It's a good one, too.  The only problem?  They need us to move out by June 4th.

Whoa.  We were planning on staying til the end of the school year, so Will can finish the year at his current school.  We counter their offer, stating June 27th as the move date.

They counter back....stating that June 4th is a sticking point.  And add a little more money to the offer.

Well.  We're flexible.  We can drive Will to school every day for the week-and-a-half left of the school year at that point.  Consider it done.

And now the mad dash to find another house....Brian and I had been looking online for two months, looking for another house in our town.  And there are NONE to be had...nothing worth having, anyway.  The prices are steep and the houses need a lot of work.  So we did what we once thought may be unthinkable (as if!)  and started looking in other towns.

Thursday found us taking a second look at a house that we had seen previously.  Thirteen years old, one owner.  Three bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and plenty of amenities.  A master suite.   A two-car garage, and my favorite, CENTRAL AIR!!  It's in the same town that I work in, so that makes for a pretty sweet commute.  We make an offer and cross our fingers.

Two counter-offers later and we're moving!   Next up is scheduling a home inspection, finding a reputable moving company and packing up the rest of our house.

Although it's been a short time that the house has been on the market and we found something for us to call home rather quickly, both of us are of like minds that we never want to buy/sell a house at the same time again!  I hope the boys love this new house,  because they can take it over when they move Brian and I to the old folk's home!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Favorite Childhood Books

While packing up the basement a few weeks ago, I came across boxes of books from my childhood.  Some of them had been water-damaged so I had to crack open each box and assess the damage.  I kept a pad of paper handy to mark down the books that were ruined because I will eventually replace them.  Luckily, I only had to replace two or three. 

The first box was chock-full of Babysitters Club books, by Ann M. Martin.  Good Lord, I loved these!  I think I read about seventy of them...I loved reading about their adventures and would voraciously devour them as soon as they came out.  They came out monthly I believe, and my Mom always got the new ones for me.  What I didn't know is that there were over a hundred!  That's not counting the special "adventure" release ones.  I believe that it's on my Goodreads list to read the last one someday.  I thought of these books late last night as I was tossing together a "kid kit" to take with us while the house is being shown and we can't go home.  I think I did the original four members (Kristy, Claudia, Mary Ann and Stacey) justice with my snacks, water and juice boxes, two toys, Uno, paper and cool crayons.

Another series I came across:  The Little House books.  I am a huge Laura Ingalls Wilder fan, even in adulthood.  I've read every biography I could get my hands on, and pored over pictures and wondered what life was really like back then.    This is one of the only reasons why I wish I had a daughter...to pass these books onto her.  But Will might enjoy them too, I certainly am going to try!  Sadly, this series took two casualties to the water damage, "Farmer Boy" and "Little House in the Big Woods."  They will be replaced someday. 

Another series that I was crazy about (but surprisingly wasn't in the basement) was the Ann of Green Gables books by L. M. Montgomery.  Reading about orphan Ann going to live with her aunt and uncle, growing up, getting married and starting a family....loved them.  Prince Edward Island sounded like a magical place growing up, with its sea and red dirt.  In 2006 I was lucky to take a trip there and it was every bit as beautiful as the books described. 

What are some of your favorite childhood books?


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

(Un)Fashionable Faux Pas

This post is several years too late, but relevant nonetheless.  I know that there are websites out there that log "movie mistakes" but I'm not going to see one out, I'd rather just jump up here and let my inner Knitting Nerd and affinity for the show Sex and the City shine!

Not that long ago, I was watching old episodes and (what else?) knitting.  I don't remember the specific episode because SATC is the kind of guilty pleasure that I don't really need to keep my eye on (and on my knits and purls instead) and still know what's going on.  Miranda had found out that she was pregnant with Steve's baby and was going to keep it.  They (sans Miranda) were flying somewhere courtesy of Samantha's new boyfriend, Richard.  Charlotte is sitting on the private jet, and yakking to the other two about how she's taking up knitting and making something for Miranda's baby. 

The camera pans over Charlotte and there she is, with her knitting needles and pattern, Prada shoes and perfect outfit, and her skein of........baby blue Red Heart acrylic.

To paraphrase another one of my favorites, "My Cousin Vinny":  "No self-respecting knitter would use Red Heart." 

Red Heart, to most knitters is terrible, hateful, unforgiving stuff.  It squeaks on the needles and is about as soft and cuddly as my kitchen cabinets.  It's kind of like buying a box of plastic wrap and fashioning it into a sweet baby sweater.  I know, I know, acrylic is washable.  Having had two babies myself, I was eternally grateful for washable baby knits.  And preemies need acrylic in the NICU's, so I of course use it.  But there's better acrylic choices out there, for not much more money if any more at all.  For babies that can tolerate wool or cotton, superwash is best since it can be put in the machine.  There *are* options.

I don't think the writers of SATC called for Red Heart, I think someone just brought Kristin Davis the yarn and she went with it.  If she's a knitter, I'm sure she was shuddering but, as professional as she is, accepted the skein.  All I can say though, after so many years later....Get Charlotte to a local yarn store on the double!!  !  This girl deserves a gorgeous skein or two of superwash wool, and Baby Brady does too.   To quote another favorite (badly):  Use the best yarn that you can afford.  Your results will thank you.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Back to Knitting

OK, enough house stuff.  I haven't had a knitting post in a long time!

Many would assume that no knitting has happened since the start of the house adventure.  They would be wrong.  Knitters can't give up just like that!  Sure, there has been a lot less.  Ten minutes of stolen knitting time, while sipping my coffee and squished between two sleepy boys eating Trix and watching early AM Disney Junior.  Having a lot of insomnia worrying about this house business, staying up late and knitting.  And I've got stuff to show for it, people!

First of all, I am "supposed" to send a box of baby goodies to Stitches from the Heart every six months.  I sent one in December, and I'm going to have another one to send shortly, mainly just to get them out of the house and not packed/stored.  My frazzled brain has really appreciated little projects lately, so I have seventeen hats for babies, and two blankets.

OH!  I fell in love with a preemie sweater and pants set, so grabbed some stash baby yarn and started that night.  Took about two weeks, and then my friend Linda kindly seamed the pants for me.  She's got a lot of experience in this stuff, she knits bears and clothes for them.  She had them seamed in one Knit Night, whereas I had stared at them mystified for several days!  Another little goodie for Stitches from the Heart.

Laodice.  Maureen and I started this on Valentine's Day.  Not that it was a race, but first I was ahead and then I put it down.  She finished hers ages ago.  Mine will remain unblocked for some time, as  I can't block it  because there isn't a big enough surface to be had in the house right now!

On the needles now:  my dang sweater.  I had to order some smaller circular needles to do the sleeves, as the stitches were sliding right off the needles and there wasn't a thing that I could do to stop it!    Also, for my "mindless" project, I started a blanket for Will that will (hopefully) cover his request for a big one that he can snuggle and watch TV with it over him.

Upcomings:  oh man!  More babies to knit for!  One friend is due in June and will be surprised if it's a boy/girl so I got some lovely sage green cotton and am going to make a hat and sock set.  The other sometimes reads this blog so my lips are sealed!

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Getting a house ready to sell is hard work.  But the hard work and the insane schedule over the past eight weeks has paid off!  Our bungalow is officially on the market.  And we've never seen "her" look better than she does right now.  New laminate flooring, fresh paint, flowers and mulch, and super-squeaky clean/de-cluttered.  If it wasn't so much work, I'd be a big advocate of a "big clean" every five years.  Because though you're cleaning the house and vacuuming/dusting on a regular basis, you're not cleaning it as much as you think.

The past eight weeks have made a big impact on the ol' Day Zero List.  I've been able to cross off #2, #41, #72 and #84, respectively.   The basement took a long time to declutter and purge, but thankfully it's done.  We hired a landscaper for most of the yard and the painting of the porch, but those flower boxes are done by yours truly. 

Special thanks go out to my brother for his hard work and trips to Home Depot.  BIG THANKS to my parents,  Mom and Dad have been nothing short of amazing with watching kids, painting, demo-ing a deck and re-surfacing it, and now, taking care of our dog while showings are going on.  I don't think we could've done all of the things that we did without their help.  In fact, I know we couldn't have made it. 

Now, fingers are crossed that our house isn't on the market for too terribly long, and that we find a great new house to call home for the next twenty years or so! 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Throw Momma Under the Bus

Don't you love it when your kids are parrots?  It can be embarrassing, but laughable too.  I however, will be more careful in the future.

Hubby took today off, to finish some more work here at the house.  I offered to pick up both kids so he wouldn't have to stop.  Now, why is it when you are running late, everyone on the road in front of you becomes a "lookie-loo" and drives like they're in a parade?  You'd think it was Leaf Peeper season in Vermont or something.  Ten minutes late, I pull into my daycare provider's street, only to be behind a teenaged couple holding hands, walking down the MIDDLE OF THE ROAD.  I mutter out loud, "C'mon Lovebirds, get outta the road!"  They heard the car and moved over, and as I drove past I was surprised to find out that it was my daycare provider's son!  I didn't mention this to my older son, but it didn't matter.  We walked into the house and Sean greeted us enthusiastically.  As I was putting his shoes on, I hear the son come in with his girlfriend, and a little six-year-old voice say "Kevin, I'm sorry my Mom said bad words about you being in the road."  I try to hush him, but it's just too late.  Luckily, "Kevin" is taking it in stride and his parents are laughing.  So I do too, and realize that it could've been much, much worse.

On the way home we have a nice discussion about how it's not cool to repeat EVERYTHING Mama says and that's calling "throwing someone under the bus."  I mean really, the occasional profanity (Sean saying "Oh Jesus" or Dammit!) is bad enough.  And when did "Lovebird" become a bad word??  You have to laugh.  :)

Monday, April 8, 2013


I'm pretty sure that trying to sell your house and look for another house at the same time is hell on one's brain.  And I am talking on the local level...I can't even begin to fathom what people who are moving from one part of the country to another go through! 

As I've said before, I've always thought that finding another house in our town would be a piece of cake, and that ours would languish on the market for months and months.  (I should just shut up right now, no use jinxing the thing)  Instead it's a weird predicament to be in....it's looking like ours will sell and finding another one is going to be like nailing jello to a tree.  I've become a stalker....I log onto MLS property finder every hour or so, scanning for new listings in our area that meet our criteria.  Not that we have craazzzzy criteria or anything. I think of people on tv shows like "Property Virgins" or "House Hunters" and their "I need a fireplace, a washer and dryer on the second floor and a view of the ocean, but I only have $200K to spend" and wonder if their realtor wants to slap them back to reality.  Our needs are simple.  And though it would make us very sad to leave our nice town, we will if we have to.  The ball's rolling, and it's not going to stop. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Insane Saturday

Getting a house ready is one of those jobs that feels like everything gets worse before it gets better.

Seriously.  You pack three or four boxes and then stop for a breather, and take a good look around.  The room looks worse than when you started.  So I've resorted to dragging a laundry basket as the "What the holy hell do I do with THIS" bin and a trash can.

From where I'm sitting, I can hear the landscapers we've hired giving my yard a good once-over.  They're going to paint the front porch too, so I'm pretty happy about that.  Add some flowers and a new welcome mat next week and this thing will have come together.

Kids are antsy, fueled on Easter candy and watching "Wreck-It Ralph" for the second time today.  My mother's  coming over this afternoon with crafts while we redeem the theater tickets we got for our anniversary in October to see Les Miserables, and then go to a restaurant just the two of us.  Totally the break that we need.

I need to keep remembering....this is a marathon and not a sprint.  Nine more days.