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Good Morning! May. 1st, 2016 @ 07:25 am
It's actually SUNNY today! I will FINALLY get to use the clothesline!!!!! It's been a while....of course, it's supposed to rain tomorrow....but hey! Sun today!!

Herself is having a lot of nightmares. I'm stumped - I've tried lavender, sleep meds (both OTC and prescription), no screens 2 hours before bed, no horror vids/movies/games, no gory vids/movies/games....I don't know what else to do. I finally got her dozing on the couch......Riley helped. He's a good dog.

My knitting mojo is gone, as is the sewing mojo. I'm starting to get the itch...but I just can't pick anything up. :Sigh: Ah, well - it'll be back. In the meantime, I've been reading a lot of British Good Housekeeping books - I have compilations from 1929 - 39, 1940's, 1950's, and a couple on the War Years. They are FASCINATING - I knew the Brits had it worse than we did, but I didn't realize how MUCH worse off they were. Even the ads are cool! (I'm a History geek - LOVE history! Up to now, it was all Tudor, all the time - but now? I'm devouring everything I can get my hands on that covers WWII. If you'd like to play along, look up the BBC's "Wartime Farm" documentary. It's....Awesome! And a good place to start!)

This is Goodbye Braces! week - Herself will be braces-free on Wednesday! It's been a long road for her, but it was so, so worth it!

Think that's it...I gotta go reboot the laundry. Hello, Sunshine! Here I come!! :lol:

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Well...THAT was interesting... Apr. 28th, 2016 @ 05:07 pm
Yesterday I made a few calls. 1 guy said "I want to be either the first or the last person to look at the house, because I WANT to buy the house!" :snerk:

Well. We met. I told him I wanted a little over half the tax value, but that I KNEW it wouldn't fly. He pointed out the garage wall, the floors, the probable lead paint...the den that needs to be bulldozed (at least it's on a concrete slab!), the old water heater, the roof...and offered 1/3. I said, well...I WANT 1/3 + 10 (half of the tax value, actually), but I'll take 1/3 + 8. He stopped, looked at me, and said "Deal."

So. IF the title is clear (should be - we haven't received anything from the city on the house, and the mortgage was paid off in the '90's), we will close on 5/12. (Please pray! I can't do anything TO the house to make it more salable, and honestly? This is probably as good an offer as we'll get.) (AFTER the court date. I have been told - numerous times! - that this is legal. I hope so......the thought of something happening to the house before we can sell it keeps me up at night.)

I really wish I could do more.....but honestly? Can't. The guy thinks it'll take 4 roll-off dumpsters to remove all the....stuff. No, it's not worth much - we had a "picker" come in and take a look. HE wouldn't offer anything for it....which tells you a lot, doesn't it? (I am in the middle of de-cluttering. :shudder:)

Anyway. I have hopes that this, at least, is taken care of. The title company has already sent me some paperwork to fill out, so that's good, right?

Gotta get back to dinner! Laters!

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:taps mic: Is this thing ON? Apr. 27th, 2016 @ 08:04 am
:snicker: So. How's it been? We've been good - it's Spring Break around here, so it's been pretty lazy. I have most of next year scheduled out.....well, sort of. I have History thru September, then I need to find something else. Ditto Science - we did Physics this year.....Himself's 10th grade year. We've done General Science, Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry and now Physics...where do I go from here? He's got 2 years to go......we're brainstorming.

For History, we're revisiting World History via a Great Courses course. I need to come up with something meaty for the rest of the year, though.....:sigh: We LOVED the "History of Architecture" course - it was more THRU instead of "OF", which made it so much better! Need to see what else is out there...

We're going to be doing a course called "Approaching Shakespeare", which sounds incredible. We'll see.....

And of course....Calculus. :shudder: I'm.....I'm pretty sure we'll be doing 2 years of it, like we did Trig. I want to make absolutely SURE he's "got" it. We'll start with Life of Fred, then do the Great Courses series. IF we still have time (2 years, remember?) we'll go thru Khan Academy - he's learned a LOT of Trig from them. :nods:

I need to call a bunch of vultures "we buy ugly houses" folks - I need to set up some appointments. We go to court May 10 to get me in as Executor.....I want to be able to close on the house quickly. Folks, y'all have NO idea how BAD the house is. I don't mean bad as in dirty, needs a little fixing up. I mean BAD as in the den Dad added has collapsed and needs to be bulldozed, the garage is starting to pull away from the house, the floors are trashed BAD. I'm hoping to get 50% of what the tax assessor claims it's worth - yes, that means it's not worth much, but honestly? There's NO WAY I can sell it except for this one. (If any of my half-sibs are reading this - I'm serious. I will GLADLY send you photos if you want proof - Dad refused any and all help. We tried - we even offered our almost paid off Home Improvements Visa to repair a water leak, and got told off. :sigh: I'm honestly not sure if he even had water the last few years......he says he did, but....I don't know.)

Anyway.....I need to pay bills and decide if we can grocery shop today or not. It's still the week of Matza, so I can't buy a lot of stuff - no leavening is allowed! :lol: We'll probably just pick up the necessities today, and do a full shop sometime next week. "Full" being relative....:lol:

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Hag Samech Pesach! Apr. 22nd, 2016 @ 01:44 pm
Or, Happy Passover! For all you Christians out there, THIS is "Good Friday"; tomorrow begins the 7-day Feast of Unleavened Bread, and Sunday is the Feast of First Fruits - aka Resurrection Day! (READ your Bibles - it's TRUE! What you celebrated a few weeks ago has nothing to do with reality. And yes, it DOES matter - to God, which is what is important!)

Anyway. Tonight is lamb tacos (we don't do a Seder, as it's "Tradition", not Torah). All the yeast/leavened products are out of the house.....and it's cleaner than it has been in years. Except for the floors - it's been raining, and we have *mud*. :sigh: and :lol:

Have a great one!

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Let's see.... Apr. 20th, 2016 @ 03:57 pm
spent yesterday with the grandparents. They're getting old, and starting to slow WAY down. :sigh: I keep consoling myself that at least the kids had them until their late teens. (Grannie is 84, and Papaw is 86. I think. Both are in their '80s, that I know.) We'll be going back on Sunday - they had a tree cut down, and SG wants the wood. Unless it's pouring rain again, of course. :lol:

Today we (Herself and I, and some SG) "fixed" the chicken run. It's now...well....Ugly. We had a layer of chicken wire on the bottom, then garden fencing...the chicken wire has been attacked by cats and hens and was worthless, especially around chicks. Of which we have 6 that need to be OUT there, and 6 1 week old chicks and 9 1 week old guineas (we lost 1 yesterday. :sigh:) So. Now we have a row of roof tin all along the bottom of the run. Ugly, yes - but effective. I managed to smash my left forefinger with the sledge hammer.....:sigh: Fun stuff!

Passover is Friday; next week is our Spring Break. I'm printing out all our Torah Class books for next year - we'll be finished with Joshua this Friday, and we'll start Judges week after next. We'll FINISH Judges end of August, it looks like (I haven't put in our holidays yet, so it might be a little later - but not much!), then it's on to Ruth, which will take....a month, maybe? - then on to 1st Samuel. I'm printing it now, but the printer JUST borked. :sigh: Ah, well - I have a little over half of it printed, so...that's good. I'll be dropping them into PlanBook next week.

Not much else to report - except we're waterlogged and need to evolve webbed feet. :Quack!: :lol:

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» One more....
apron, that is. This is it - for now. :lol:

This is a Japanese Cross-back Apron, made from Merimekko-esque fabric. LOVE the fabric, LOVE the resulting apron! Here - have a couple of photos:

2016 Japanese cross back apron front

2016 Japanese cross back apron back

This started as the free pattern from Japanese Sewing Books. I downloaded the adult-sized one....but I honestly don't know anyone that that would fit. Maybe Herself......I had to totally re-draft it. I added 1" in the body and sides, shortened it by 3", added 2" or 3" to the strap length, and widened the straps (not sure by how much - I just sort of eyeballed it and re-drew them.) The side seams are French - the straps are covered by the bias tape across the top of the body. (The pattern wanted you to use a facing....I didn't feel like messing with that. Bias tape for the win! :lol:)

The apron took a little less than 2 yards (but....because of the length of the straps, you *need* 2 yards to fit the pieces on. The leftovers are on the sides of the fabric.) and almost 3 full packages of bias tape. It went together very quickly - the longest bit was me trying to use my binding foot with the bias tape (it...didn't work. I need to make my own bias strips and try again; the foot will save SCADS of time, once I figure out what it wants.)(This tape is just a sketch too wide. :shrug:)

I think this is my favorite apron by far. I need to actually USE it to verify that, but.....I LOVE it. No straps to tie, no fussy adjustments to make, just pull it on (and it pulls on very easily!) and GO.

Anyway - gotta get into hyper-cleaning mode. Passover is Friday evening; we're already eating the freezer down. I did most of the heavy cleaning over the past month (thank the Lord for that!), so this week is just crumb patrol and wiping down. And trying to keep on top of the mud situation - it's been raining. Again. This time the doe barn flooded.....I think we may need to invest in an ark...:lol:

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» Shabbat Shalom!
The bedroom is "done". The closet is mostly done....I need to tackle the bathroom, then I can mark the house as CLEAN. Then on to the Studio....which is now occupied by 6 8-week old chicks and 5 1-day old guineas. *ack!*

I may have bought another apron's worth of fabric...a nice Meremekko knock-off print. Maybe. And red bias tape, too......:whistles innocently: I have a pattern for a Japanese cross-back apron that I want to do next......:lol: (Yes, I need a few more aprons. It's really nice to wear one, toss it in the washer, and have a clean one for the next day. Especially on days like today - fresh cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and challah for dinner. *I* am not a flour-covered mess....my apron, however....:lol:)

We have to take Bree to the vet at 2:30. Her hip is off, again - she spent most of the night yelping in pain. Until 1:05 AM, when I dug out the pain meds. She then proceeded to yelp her way into our bed, where SHE spent the rest of the night in relative comfort. Me? Not so much...we have a Queen-size bed. It's barely large enough for 2 humans, a Loki-sized dog (50 pounds) and a Tigger-sized dog (35 pounds). Add a wolfhound (at a very light 100 pounds - she's always been lean) and...well....she's also the same length as the bed is wide. WITHOUT stretching out. :sigh: She's only 6.....well into middle-age, yes, but she should have a few more good years left. I hope......

Anyway. Have a great Sabbath, y'all!

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» Still cleaning....
almost done with the bedroom. Just have the closet and bathroom to go - so I should be DONE by Friday! Pesach (Passover) begins next Friday evening - looks like I might be on track to have a clean house by then! (The studio will be tackled NEXT week.....not looking forward to it, but it needs to be done.)

I, um, also....made another apron. :lol: It's the "Protect and Serve" apron from Decades of Style. The fabric is a nice batik...

2016 Protect & Serve Apron front

2016 Protect & Serve Apron back

I went with one of the contrast colors for the bias tape. The pattern called for 3 packages, which was all our local Wally-world had (yes, I do shop there, for small things. I refuse to do my monthly shopping there, though, out of principal. Yes, it's weird and irrational, but....whatever.) I hoped they'd have it right on this pattern - on the 1940's apron I did, it called for 2 packs but needed 3 - but no, once again I didn't have enough.

*4* stores later, I had 2 more packages. (I...wanted to be sure I had enough.) IF I had skipped the pocket I *might* have been able to eke out the trim, but it would have been tight.

Speaking of the pocket:

2016 Protect & Serve Apron pocket

It's cute, but it's in a weird spot for me. :shrug: I like the apron overall; I'm not real sure about the smock. It's hard to put on - you have to put it over your head and wiggle your arms into the "sleeves", for lack of a better term. Still, it offers full coverage, looks cute, and was pretty easy and straight forward to sew. I don't know if I'll sew up another one....we'll see. I have a few more patterns bookmarked...:lol:

Need to go work on the kitchen table. It got a bit cluttered this weekend...:sigh:

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» Been Quiet here...
thankfully. Quiet is GOOD. Busy, too - I've been cleaning like a madwoman. The house needed it...I have about 1/2 of my part of the bedroom and the Studio to go. :whew!:

I have been sewing - I made another apron. When I was a young bride, MIL told me that every woman needed at least 7 every day aprons, and at least 2 "for good" aprons. I nodded while rolling my eyes, because APRONS???? Who the heck wore an APRON? Not me, that's for sure!

Until now. Now that I've been home full-time for a while, I'm embracing my inner '50's Housewife (NO heels and pearls here, though! :lol:). Aprons are SO useful! I have 4 in rotation - 1 that MIL made me (in a cute vintage sheep-print fabric) and 3 that I've made....including this newest one:

2016 cupcake apron front

2016 cupcake apron back

The pattern is Rebecca Ruth Designs #RRD 304 (um....I'm sure those that know me IRL will figure out WHY I had to have this particular pattern. :wink:) It was an easy project - except for the rick-rack (which I now know I loathe with a passion!). I had to shorten the bib by 2".....it now fits! And it's cute, to boot! :lol:

I have a few more aprons in the queue to do...just need to find the perfect fabric. Herself has requested an over-the-top frilly one...so I need to whip that up for her. :lol:

Not much else to report - Oh! We have 6 chicks in the studio right now. :Sigh: I HATE raising chicks, but Herself asked and the feed store owner gave me a really, really good deal. What do you do? Me? I buy the stinking chicks. :lol:

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» So. Where were we?
Friday we ran out to pick up the new-to-us furniture. It's...well. It's MUCH nicer than the pictures on CraigsList showed; I was thinking it was simply 2 plain display units with a shelf. What it actually IS, is 2 French Provencial (or thereabouts) display units, with pawed feet and beveled and curved glass (the units are sort of trapezoidal. Hard to explain!) and wood shelves, and the shelf on top has fancy-smancy iron filigree. It's.....Oh goodness, it's GORGEOUS. And totally over-the-top. And ALL my to-keep books FIT in the shelves, behind the doors!!!!!!

We have all our SciFi collectibles on the shelf, with Yoda on the very top (many, many Yodas. I....kinda like the little green guy! :lol:) I'll get a few pictures when we get the artwork on the walls - right now, the art is on the piano and it looks bad. The room itself is nice and relatively tidy (but...cluttered, because I have NO place for my wheels to live. :sigh: The studio is on my list, after the Master Bedroom.)

As of right now, the public areas of the house are nice and tidy. I just have the studio and Master bedroom to go...and I'm only doing half the master bedroom. Why? Because my husband keeps saying "WE" need to clean it...only by "we" he means "ME"...and I'm tired of being the only one who cleans. He complains about the mess all the time, but won't help - well, he "helps", if by "helps" you understand it to mean "makes a bigger mess, gets tired and leaves it all until *I* get fed up and clean it up". Yeah - not happening this time. I'll clean my half - which includes the bathroom and closet - and he can do HIS half. Or not. His call.

Anyway - I need to start on MY half, then go get hay. And finish school. Laters! :lol:

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