29 September 2008

The Lab

So, this house was built in 1935. We have lots of windows and the sorts of things that were important in that time, including a canning kitchen. Next year I might even be able to use it for that purpose.

However, it's much more fun to call it what the Wiz has dubbed it: The Lab. He says we'll practice recipes down in it instead of up in the real kitchen. It's a good place for them to make regular cookies, because I can be away from the flour, if anyone in this house ever makes regular cookies again. It's also good for so many other things, too. Like sewing and making things with the boys. It's a pretty open room, made for messes, and clean up is easy since there is a sink in it. However, the lighting stinks. I need to find a way to add more lamps to the track.

That's enough talking. You want to see the pictures, I'm sure!

25 September 2008


Before: Picture courtesy of the Wiz.

After:Picture courtesy of the Collar. (Who said: "I actually took a good picture of you!")

23 September 2008

Knit Happens

...while I am monitoring my classes.

Currently, I have 4 active projects. One is a bath mat for the basement bathroom (no pictures, it's slow going because it hurts my hands to work on it too much), one's a pair of socks that lives in my purse, one is the Spey Valley Socks from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush. I'm working on the leg now--the cuffs of both socks are now finished. This is the same dye lot but so far the socks don't even look related. Maybe soon they will.
I'm knitting them in yarn that my mother gave me because someone gave it to her, but she doesn't knit socks or things that require small needles. These are really small needles, too. I'm knitting these socks on size 0 needles, or 2 mm for non-Americans. They are basically just ribbed socks, but the vikkel braid was fun.

I wanted to start something that 1.) needed larger needles and 2.) was more complex than various types of ribbing or plain old garter stitch. So I started this: a Christmas stocking with fair isle or stranded knitting. It's my favorite technique. I've finally gotten to the fun part, too. :) I love what is on this one, too. You'll see when I've knitted it.

I rode my bike this morning. This time, I made the whole trip, with NO flats. New tires and tube apparently fixed the issue. I was kind of slow (12-14 mph) out by the wheat fields (wheezed a bit) and was fast (17-20 mph) before and after the wheat fields. Maybe it's a wheat allergy--it's happened every time I have gone out. What I really need is to find a route that's not near wheat fields. That's highly unlikely.

22 September 2008

Lazy Sunday?

Not usually.
Yesterday, we went to Mill Creek to hike again. A different weather pattern has come through (we had rain off and on all day). We went out any way.Some of us decided to chase the ducks. (They knew she had no chance to catch them.)
All of us walked. We saw all sorts of signs that summer is still sort of here, but fall's coming too. There are still blackberries ripening. The Wiz approves. I'm not sure how many more afternoons we'll be able to go out and do this, but we're going to enjoy it while we can.

20 September 2008

The Wiz's Room

Yesterday, we cleaned his room. This is as good as it gets, so I'll show it to you now.Wanna see? Of course you do!There are still five rooms left: Game Boy's room, which will never be clean; our bedroom; the living room; the family room; and the lab, aka the canning kitchen. There are also 2 bathrooms and the hall/nexus upstairs, of which I have pictures, but haven't posted.

16 September 2008

The Most Important Room

At our house, that's the dining room. We eat dinner there and often do homework there. That is where we talk and play board games. The Wiz loves to eat, so it's one of his favorite rooms. Game Boy is learning to cook this year, so it's one of his important rooms. The walls are painted one of the Collar's favorite colors. I just like the room.

For your viewing pleasure our dining room, complete with color commentary.

There are more pictures, but I can only post 5. Later, when I am done taking pictures of the whole house and labeling them with my sagacious commentary, I'll probably make a whole slide show, for anyone who's bored enough to look at someone else's new house.

13 September 2008

Things are Different Here

It really is different here.

One nice thing is our electric bill has dropped. Electricity is actually more expensive here, but we're using much less, because it isn't 95 degrees with 90% humidity. Even when it's hot during the day, the family room can be cooled off with a fan. (Basements are GOOD.) At night, the temps drop a lot (why being in the desert is good), so fans that bring in cool air from outside work really well.

Our water is much more expensive though. The desert strikes again! I nearly had a heart attack when I saw what our water bill this month. Of course it also includes recycling fees and garbage collection, but still...

School mornings are much more pleasant. We get up at 6:30 (except for the Wiz--we go in and wake him at 6:45, but often he's already awake) and have time for breakfast. No more of those breakfast sandwich things for the boys. There is time to play for the Wiz, and time for Game Boy to pace and ask if it's time to go yet. Game Boy even has time for a shower in the morning. He decided that he's going to do that from now on. It's hard to believe that this is the boy that just a few weeks ago needed to be commanded to take them.

No more school buses for us. The Wiz rides his scooter to school, Game Boy rides his bike. I walk with the Wiz. Sometimes the Collar walks with us. In the mornings, the walk is kind of nippy (people laugh at us) and the afternoon one is quite warm.

The Wiz has early release on Wednesdays and Game Boy goes late on Wednesdays. This is very strange, and frankly, kind of annoying.

I haven't put gas in my car since July. I still have a quarter tank, too. I really do walk almost everywhere.

We have windows with no screens, and open them anyway. So far, the only insects that have ever invaded are ants, and they aren't coming through the windows. So far, no mosquitoes or other biting insects have found their way to us.

Instead of thunderstorms, we get dust storms. Both places have wild fire warnings, though.

Grocery stores carry wine. No one is embarrassed to be caught with a bottle of it either.

Somehow, even though I am only working part time, I am much busier here. Often I am teaching an overload in the fall, but not this year. Our social calendar is crazy busy.

The sun shines almost every day. Rain is a treat, rather than, oh great, here we go again.

It's been interesting to see the similarities and the differences. It's good for the boys to experience a different culture. We did love central Kentucky in many, many ways, but it's good that we love it here, too. (If you don't think that Kentucky and Tennessee are different from Washington, you'd be quite surprised.)

11 September 2008

He's got a hat on his head

and two knucks mostly by his side.

Now he has a matching hat and fingerless gloves, as requested. It's 83 degrees F outside, and he's wearing them anyway. I guess he likes them!

I now have to cast on for something else. Whatever shall I knit now?

09 September 2008

Dear Bikes,

I really enjoy riding you. I do not enjoy having you in the garage mocking me (that's you, Dew!) or taking me 7 miles OUT of town and then flatting (that's you, Dolce!) Honestly, you'd think that I never take care of you. You were both tuned up right before we moved, and this is the thanks I get.

Honestly, I have only flatted 1 time before this last week. Now I have flatted twice, in less than a week. A bent rim isn't fair when I didn't even do anything. Shape up, at least one of you.


Well, that makes no sense to most of you. What has happened is two fold. The boys are finally in school, we've done our moving, and here I am, able to run errands by bicycle and start training again. Perfect, right?

No. Apparently, the moving company (those *******, ala Stephanie Plum), decided not to just gouge our brand new dining room table and a few other things, also damaged BOTH of my bikes. (We moved 6 bicycles, so how come only MINE were damaged?) The Dew, my commuter and goofing off bike, has a bent rim on the front. It literally stops when I try to roll the bike. I'll probably need a new wheel. The Dolce had something happen to the rear tire. Last week, I tried to ride it on a ride out here. (There are a bunch of listed and mapped out rides. I'm not just making them up any more.) I checked both wheels, added air to the front, and off I went.

About 3 and a half miles later, complete flat on the rear wheel. Looking at the wheel, I determined that the stem was bent, but you could only see it from close up. I walked home, pushing the bike. I blistered my foot and had a backache, because cleats aren't made for walking. This weekend, The Collar replaced my tube. It was holding air quite nicely. I checked pressure in both wheels. The front had a problem (it popped the bead), so I fixed it by letting out all of the air, reseated the bead, and filled the tire. Then the chain popped off. I fixed that. So off I went on my merry way.

On my route, I missed a spot where the road I was supposed to be on turned into something else. That wasn't really a problem, but it did mean I rode my bike to Oregon. That was kind of cool. 2 miles later, flat. Of course, I thought at first I was out of shape. It's hard to go fast when you have a flat. Back on to the story, I was 7 miles from home (could have been worse, I guess), with yet another flat. This time the Collar came and got me. I only walked back about a mile.

It could be I ran over something, or there could be something wrong with the wheel. I'm trying to decide if I should go out again (with another new tube) or if I should go get it checked out.

So, I have now been stranded twice, for a total of 10 miles from home. Thank goodness for cell phones.

Maybe someday I'll be able to finish the loop.

07 September 2008


The poor kid was so tired he fell asleep waiting on his brother. I'm not sure how he fell asleep there, but he did. He's still light enough for us to carry him to bed, so I did.

03 September 2008

Handmade and Homemade

First, the handmade.

Knucks for Game Boy. If he likes them as much as he seems to(he's smiling in these pictures), he'll wear them out. Currently he has a thing for fingerless gloves. The Wiz wants a pair too. (I knit these on size 3 dpns, rather than size 4. The only change I made on this particular pattern.)Will he ever take them off? Time will tell.
There's enough of the yarn left to make him a hat, too. He asked for one, so he'll get one.

We bought a box of peaches. I froze a bunch, and made a gluten free cobbler. Game Boy won't each peaches, The Wiz claimed to hate the cobbler, so The Collar and I ate all of it. And it was good. With all the frozen peaches, I can make some this winter, too. It will be nice to have a memory of summer in the long dark nights.