Sunday, December 14, 2014

Fish Hat Happiness

Today was our family Christmas. We had a White Elephant exchange, for which I brought a Fish Hat I made (Oscar is modeling it above.) My 25-year-old nephew picked that package and he wore it most of the day. I love it when something I made is appreciated!
Tomorrow, back to the soothing afghan project, and packing a few more boxes. This week, I think I packed a total of 10.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Update and More Unexpectedness

Things are well in hand for the move, more companies called to change over service next month, more boxes packed, more crocheting done to keep myself sane, but the car started having trouble today. Since the van was ready to be picked up, the timing was fine, as Oscar is dropping the car off for diagnostics when picking up Mr. Van. It is taking him approximately twice as long as usual to get there, as the car is not happy about being driven. If a car can limp, this one has a definite hitch in its getalong.
So, that's the update. Fingers crossed it's a bandaid type repair rather than major surgery.

(the photo is a selfie of me with some of the completed afghan squares. Not quite done after all, my hands gave up and demanded a vacation. You can see Moonie snoozing in the background)

Tuesday, December 09, 2014


I really feel so much better when important events have definite dates, amounts and tasks!

-We officially have the apartment.
-We know how much it will cost on the 15th when we sign the lease and take possession.
-We know we don't need to be out of here until January 31st, and plan to have moved ourselves and most of our stuff by the 24th (after we choose a moving company for the biggest stuff.)

I have accomplished some of  the moving tasks that make sense to do this month (arranging for electrical service in our name, etc) but life has also thrown a few spanners in the works, the most serious of which is an accident. The brakes failed on the van when Oscar was driving to work. No one was hurt, which is the most important thing, but the cost of repairing the brakes is estimated to be between $650 and $1,000. All is still on course though with help from family. (and yes, we know how lucky we are!)

An old friend will visit for a weekend to help pack stuff, Oscar's sister plans a trip down to help as well, and I can pack a box or two a day, most days. Oscar has an important test to take this month, but helps tremendously as and how he can.

I have the first anti-stress afghan blocks completed, today I will start setting them together and next will be the border.

I have another set of yarn all sorted out to be afghan number two!

So, as of today it is officially 37 days until we can begin moving our stuff to our new home.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Still counting..

Discovered our lease isn't up until January 31st.
Found a lovely (larger and less expensive) apartment in Southfield, very close to where Oscar's perambulating job is centered.
Discovered I have moving stress again, so am starting a new afghan (when the going gets tough, the tough grab a crochet hook?)
Have made Oscar a promise that when he perceives I am over doing (which happens a lot when there is a lot to be done and I am a bit stressed) he is allowed to enforce 'rest days'.  This made him feel a LOT better.
Our application is in for the apartment we want, we SHOULD find out tomorrow or Wednesday if we get it. It SHOULD be available mid January.
Worst case, it will be available late in January and moving will be a small and short nightmare.
The apartment has room for lots of stuff, but we are still being pretty darned Calvinist with our choices, we don't want to MOVE lots of stuff after all. It is nice that there will be room to work on refurbishing a barrister bookcase that my great-great grandfather made. It is in pieces and needs new glass, but I have a large work table and the back room is big enough to really get dug in and work on it. (with room for Oscar;s study area too!)
Stress is just another way of your body telling you you care about the outcome.
It helps tremendously that Oscar got stuck in and really cleaned and sorted this weekend. The kitchen looks great, the dining area is much better, and the dust rhinos vacated.
Lynnie is coming down today, a combo 'work on her website' and 'pack fragile stuff' visit.
We are blessed with our family.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

7 weeks and counting...

About 2 and a half years ago we moved in to this apartment. Rent has gone up, income gone down and lease will be up mid January. We have been looking for a new apartment closer to Oscar's not -quite temporary (6 month contract at the moment, but can be extended indefinitely) job and think we have found one that MIGHT suit. We are waiting for the door measurements to be certain my smaller wheelchair can fit where I need to go, but the layout is nice, size is good and rent about $350 less per month (and a few utilities paid, which saves even more).
It is in a secure high rise in Southfield, Michigan which is a fairly central location to where Oscar is sent to work (they tell them each evening when and where to be the next day. Not a peaceful situation, really). Where we live now is at closest 20 minutes, but more usually an hour away, especially in rush hour traffic.
I have been getting rid of things (lots of yarn sent to charity knitters up north) and have plans to get rid of more (books to a young friend and the library) but have also started making packing plans.
Oscar will clear one corner of the living room and all boxes ready to head out to our new home will live there until we move.
Os is so exhausted when he comes home that the only time and energy he has to work on sorting happens on the weekend. I can do about one box a day, maybe two. So seven weeks is not really all that much time!
I tend to fret because I cannot just pitch in and get stuff done. Last time I used all that excess energy to make two big wool afghans for our new home (they are being used on the bed this month, Winter has hit with a vengeance as I am certain you have heard) this time I think I will use up all the acrylic scraps and make an easily washed afghan to keep in our new living room for couch cuddles.
Since I learned how to tie a fisherman's knot, using bits and bobs of yarn is fun!
(photo is of one of the afghans I made last time we were going to move... this one will be a lot more eccentric.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

New Review Up on my Review Blog

I am finally getting back to reviewing for my review blog Otterwise Books. This was sparked by a request from Random House to review books for them. My first book chosen was Knitting Block by Block written by Nicky Epstein. Full review is HERE

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Autumn Update

It has mostly cooled off around here. This week's high was 79, today's high will be about 65 (Fahrenheit). Oscar has not found the right job, but the 'right now' job has gained a bit of stability. He still doesn't know for sure if he will be working all week every week, but the contract with Dell has been extended for six more months. (He signed with a 5-week contract about 15 weeks ago.) He has also learned that other workers with the same recruiting agency have scored good-paying jobs will Dell after about a year of doing what he is doing now, so there is that hope as well.
In the meantime, our lease here at the expensive apartment is up in January, so we have decided to look for a place convenient to the Dell assignments that is much less per month. As we need a fairly handicap accessible living space, this will take every bit of time we have, based on our experience moving here a few years ago.
Pursuant to that, I boxed up 4 boxes of wool yarn, and one box of non-wool yarn to head off to the needles and hooks of other charity knitters. No worries, I still have plenty of fiber to keep me busy in the meantime, but it means that much less to move in January. I have a big task ahead of me, sorting, donating and packing. I can do in a month what takes most people a week, so I need to keep pushing forward. Getting rid of that yarn has made some space in the studio to keep sorting things out.
I have stopped requesting review books. I am working on those I already have, and will still do 'emergency' reviews if asked, of course, but I want to minimize that as well at least for now. I want to spend time writing my own stuff instead of the writing mojo all going to reviews.
Oscar is focusing on work, completing an important certification before Hallowe'en and studying toward his bachelor's. He is of course also still looking for a new job.
In other news, I have lost 20 pounds since June, when I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes and put on meds. It was a great mood-lifter to know that there is a medical reason I could not seem to lose much weight despite all my effort. I also feel better physically now that my blood sugar is under control. More energy, better, deeper sleep at night etc.
I also have about 4 patterns very close to finished that I want to release in October. Fingers crossed they will do well and help the financial situation. Regardless, it will be good to tie those ends off and focus on some new ideas.