Little Snowstorm on the Prairie

First snow of the season on the prairie tonight. What is usually a 15 minute drive to work took me 1 hour earlier this evening. It's 15 degrees and we've had about 5 inches of beautiful, fluffy snow that sparkles in the light. If you live further north this may seem like mild winter conditions. But consider this: At 5pm Tuesday, the temperature was 71. When I went to work on Wednesday, the temperature was 56 and by noon it was 30. Yes, I live in the land of temperature mood swings, where this kind of sudden plunge is common. Not at all good for the sinuses, but keeps life exciting!

I like it this cold and LOOOOOVVVVVE the snow so I am in my element. I spent the evening curled up on the sofa with Abbie warming my feet while I knitted 24" worth of the Kureyon scarf for my SIL. Happy, happy, happy. I can't wait until I can go out tomorrow and walk around in the snow and hopefully it will pack down enough to let me make a snowman.

Chloe and Abbie don't mind going out so much as long as they can stay warm. They agreed to model 2 of the scarves I have finished for Christmas for some teenage relatives, but declined to wear them outside to use the bathroom. They told me they would really prefer some sweaters in a nice merino handspun instead. At least my dogs have good taste.

This is so not my color!


Goodbye Turkeys, Time For Christmas

This is one of the things I did over the long weekend. I started knitting a pretty blue scarf for a niece. Love the pattern but I have to pay more attention than I am used to and so have done several rows of frogging. I did finally figure out that too many glasses of Cabernet and knitting that requires attention do not mix. Duh.

The girls all had lots of turkey for dinner and took extra-long naps.

Chloe wasn't too full to pass up her nightly treat, though!

Time to get back to my knitting. The green urban camo scarf is back on the needles - the correct length this time - and 2/3's finished. I also have 2 others on the needles - a blue Tonalita diagonal scarf for one of my SIL's and the blue for my niece. Hope to have all 3 finished by next Sunday. I'd like to get 4 more finished before Christmas and I think I should be able to get this done.

We found out that the house is finally supposed to get finished. Our new (and vastly improved) project manager, Paul, said he wants to have us all done before Christmas. He has been an angel - he has really advocated for us and is making sure that we will end up with the house we thought we were getting. He is a perfectionist and has found problems we didn't even realize we had. If I can get my furniture, rugs and pictures into place before Christmas Eve, I will have gotten the best gift I've had in a long time!


True Confessions Wednesday: I Live in Chaos!

This is beyond ridiculous, people.

This Thanksgiving, I am grateful for the fact that our 1 1/2 year stretch of living in Chaosland (aka "the new house") may be winding to a conclusion. Instead of having to face this mess everyday:

Furniture piled in the foyer and dining room

Most surfaces in the kitchen covered in stuff that has no where to go

My former favorite inside knitting spot, now a giant pile of furniture blocking the TV

My office (aka "the junk room")

Note the scattered rubbermaid totes containing the stash - I long for the day it is organized all nice and neat in the closet where it belongs.

I will hopefully soon be able to finally move my furniture, rugs, pictures and tschotkas into place, look at walls that are not covered in extensive sheetrock repairs, walk on floors that do not have bunched-up carpeting, or floors full of hundreds of little holes that were not filled, or have to deal with bathrooms that have sharp tile edges that rip open a person's kneecap or commodes that make horrible burping noises before overflowing with raw sewerage onto the bunched-up carpet. In addition to the 1100 other problems we have identified and fought to have repaired since we moved into the Home of Our Dreams.

Flinging all good sense and caution to the wind, we built a new home (a horror to never be repeated, ever) and moved in at the end of April, 2005. From the start, we noticed multitudes of problems, ranging from insignificant (bad paint job) to severe (house built too low for the land, water floods the patio and all around the foundation in rainstorms) to ridiculous (the showerhead, faucet, and drain were 3 completely different metal finishes in the guestbath) to disgusting (I'll spare the details).

There have literally been problems with every household category, except the roof: drainage, sheetrock, floors, carpeting, tile, plumbing, paint, etc. And this is after the builder had to re-do the front entrance that the framers "created" instead of following the blueprints, and rip out and replace several windows that were installed by a guy who was the height of your average NBA player and put the windows in at an average height so a 7 foot tall guy could see out, but regular people would have to keep jumping up & down to see outside. After much arguing with the project manager, these were eventually fixed.

I could write a book about the pig roast that took place inside while my dining room was being constructed (I was told that it was too cold for the poor workers to have to roast it outside!!!) and the dogs that were brought to work and tied up in the basement and stairwell (where they of course went to the bathroom numerous times, leaving smelly spots that my dogs have been compelled to mark as well) and how the painters dumped 2 different buckets of paint together to come up with their own "mystery paint" which they used all over the entire first floor and then insisted it matched the paint I had actually chosen. And on and on. And it is still not over.

When we first moved in and started pointing out the problems to the "project manager" (I use the term manager with dripping sarcasm), he handed me a roll of blue masking tape and advised me to mark the problems and that they would fix everything marked. I literally went through 3 rolls of tape to do this. We have lived in a sea of blue tape on the walls, the doors, the floors, the cabinets, etcetcetc for over a year now. My niece kindly said 'It looks like ya'll have modern art everywhere." Last year we celebrated a "Blue Christmas" with our guests. At least they all had a sense of humor about it.

Click for close-up of blue tape (further proof of my OCD)

The builder finally came out to look at the problems after the project manager wigged out. To his credit, the builder has reluctantly been s-l-o-w-l-y addressing most of the problems. Sheetrock has literally been repaired on every wall in the house. After 6 months, I've kinda gotten used to the "distressed" look. The plumbing fixtures in my guest bath now match. Unfortunately, the commode is still unusable. But the carpeting has been replaced and the hardwood floors are finally finished and the floors are all now blue tape-free! Yayyyyyy!!!!
And, fingers crossed, we may actually get the house repainted before Christmas. The right color this time.
And then we can finally settle in and make ourselves at home. Where we will all live happily ever after (well, maybe not the always-grumpy BitsyBonTon) and I will have nothing else to do with my free time but knit and knit and knit. Yes, I am thankful.

But most of all, I am thankful for my family and my friends. I am so very fortunate and really, a house of blue tape and chaos is just a minor blip on the radar screen of what makes life meaningful.

So, to my nearest and dearest, and to the 3 or so people who may be reading my humble little blog, have a truly blessed and thankful day! (and thanks for the free therapy!)


Good News At Last!

You Have Good Karma

In general, you like to do the right thing when it comes to others.
Your caring personality really shines through.
Sure, you have your moments of weakness - and occasionally act out.
But, all in all, you're karma is good... even with those few dark spots.


A Charmined Life?

Ever have a day where you felt like all you did was clean up after a bunch of assholes?

Yep, that's what mine was like. A Charmin kind of day.