Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Have You Had Your Memes Today?

In case you have not met your meme quote for the week:

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Gloves Are Off

If you had any doubt about ow the world works today you need to watch this:

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Crawling Around on the Cape

This weekend was the first, and I hope annual, Cape Cod Yarn Crawl.  Six yarn shops ended up participating and it was a blast! We printed out our passports form the Internet here, and visited all of the stores to have them stamped. Full passports were dropped off at our last stop to be eligible for prize drawings. I had not intended to go because I had visited a nice shop the previous weekend in an field trip with my knitting group, but when Pat suggested she'd like to go I agreed and I was glad I did. It's a measure of how successful the promotion was that everywhere I went it was just too crowded to take pictures, so you'll just have my general impressions.

I had to go to work at 4:00 pm so I left the house in my work clothes and we drove out to the farthest shop first. That was  the Yarn Basket in Eastham, which shares a building with a hardware store. The Yarn Basket is a smallish shop in area, but their stock is fairly comprehensive and the owner is super helpful (even when the throngs were there!). Their selection of sock yarn is very good - I couldn't resist some Regia Blitzcolor that looked exactly like Virginia Tech colors.

We proceeded on to A Stitch in Thyme in Orleans. This is a beautiful shop, with some really stunning special yarns. Their classroom was especially appealing.  I bought an Interweave publication about traditional crochet and resisted the siren song of some gorgeous yarns. By this time the knitters were beginning to recognize each other and a party atmosphere was taking hold.

Next stop was Adventures in Knitting in Harwich Port. They have a great selection of Noro and Frogtree yarns and some really lovely samples on display. This is where our paths crossed with some knitters from our very own Stitch & Bitch of Cape Cod (hilarity ensued!).  They also have a good selection of knitting books, so if you've been thinking about a book purchase this would be a good place to get a first hand look at the one you want.

We pressed on to Ladybug Knitting shop in Dennis. After  brief stop for lunch we popped in to check it out. I think Ladybug has the best pattern selection on the Cape. They not only stock loads of books but also have a fabulous selection of single patterns (including the famous Lobster Sweater) This store is also the source of the popular yarn magnet for your car.  Here I picked up a set of Addi Turbos to replace the second set destroyed by The Worst Dog Ever. Ladybug Knitting also has a super selection of reduced price yarns if you are budget minded.

Then we drove down 6A to Black Purls in Sandwich, which I had visited last week. I succumbed to a beautiful skein of blue sock yarn here. Black Purls has gorgeous yarn, and a particularly tempting assortment of laceweight and fingering weight yarns. My opinion is that you get more knitting fun for your money with these finer yarns, but of course YMMV.

I was unable to go on the Sage in Falmouth - I just barely made it to work on time, but Pat took my passport to be validated and I'll be visiting there soon. It was the first yarn store I ever visited on the Cape and I stop in there every time I go to downtown Falmouth.

In all I think the crawl was a great success. The knitter were in a festive mood and the owners were happy and friendly. If you've never visited a particular store or you'd heard they were unfriendly this would put that idea to rest. The weather was perfect, the drives scenic - couldn't be better.

My finished sock picture is the Schoppel Wolle Zauberball socks that have been going to Stitch and Bitch with me lately. I'm hoping they end up on my own feet because the last pair of Zauberball socks I knit ended up as a gift.

Friday, September 23, 2011

My Energy Audit

Long before we moved in Shana had made an appointment for an energy audit from Cape Light Compact. It's a pretty general organization which does all kinds of things to help in energy issues for consumers on the Cape: energy audits, consumer advocacy, information. We had a team of two engineers come out at no cost to us to look around and see what we could do to control our energy costs.  Roxy was thrilled because not only were there two men to sniff around, but they came with lots of bags and equipment she could investigate.

They set up equipment to see how tight our house is; our house is nice and tight due to good modern windows and appropriate sealing of openings. They went all around the attic recommending additional insulation on the floor if we did not need to use the attic for storage and pointing out the need for more air circulation in the attic in the form of soffit vents.

 They tested our refrigerator for energy efficiency and pointed out that there are government rebates for the purchase of energy efficient units. A new refrigerator would save us enough energy to pay for itself in 10+ years. I think we'll keep our unit for a while. There were also other recommendations: raise the dehumidifier up at least 12 inches, add window treatments and use the microwave as much as possible. In addition to that they replaced every single one of my incandescent light bulbs with CFLs, including good looking spots that will work with dimmers,  and 3 way bulbs for lamps. I probably got a good $50.00 in free light bulbs guaranteed for 1 year.

They left me with loads of information about energy conservation and an estimate to put in soffit vents, additional insulation, programmable thermostats for a very reasonable cost. If our income had been only a little smaller they would have offered to make the improvements for free. It's a great program that everyone living on the Cape whether rents or homeowners can benefit from.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Before and After Two

Our remodel is not complete yet, but I'm pretty close in some rooms. The guest room in particular is within "spittin' distance" of being finished because the only thing it lacks is window treatments. I'll be making roman shades for that room, probably next week. I wanted to buy them (lazy me) but could not find them for the next to nothing price I wanted to spend.  The plan is to make simple denim blue shades. The art is two seaside watercolor prints on one side and a Leroy Neiman "Moby Dick" print on the facing wall. Just enough color without being overwhelming. The picture on the dresser/nightstand is (I think) a watercolor of the Capri Market where we used to get our emergency snacks when we vacationed in Florida.

This room was originally quite obviously the boy's room. The most urgent need in this room aside from appropriate furniture was simply several coats of paint. The window in the "before" picture is the same on in the "after" shot. I think the general look turned out to be simple and restful. I can vouch for the beds being reasonably comfortable because we have slept in them several times. We did leave the ceiling fan in this room because it is rather small and white. The room is quite small and I think that guests might like the option of a fan.

Enjoy! as always, click on the pictures to enlarge and esc or back arrow to return.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day

In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day I'd like to offer a video:

a link

and a joke:

Pirate walks into a bar, and the bartender notices he's got a steering wheel fixed right over his groin. Bertender asks him, "Hey buddy, whats with the steering wheel?" Pirate says "AARGH IT'S DRIVING ME NUTS!!!"

Sunday, September 18, 2011

And Now For Something Exactly Like You Would Expect From Me

Once again a video in my bucolic fantasy vein:

On the home front: we are doing the template for the bathroom vanity tomorrow, the kitchen counter template (again) on Tuesday. This should put us at least a week away from installing those counters, which will leave only flooring thresholds, paint in the bathroom, and window treatments for the guest room, bathroom, and kitchen.

I had my heart set on simple Roman shades, but it turns out they are pretty much a custom item which would cost me close to $300 for the guest room alone.  It is going to be me and my little sewing machine for this job, because I know I  can make them for a lot less.

I'm down to three boxes of kitchen to unpack - no hurry because until the kitchen counters are in I can't get the kitchen settled. I hope the beaters for my hand mixer are in one of those boxes because they were not with the mixer! I did put up a shelving unit in the basement for the things I know will not fit into our little cupboards in the kitchen. I think this will work perfectly - we don't use all of our kitchen equipment every day, after all. I promised someone at work I would bring her brownies as soon as I unpacked my pans, so I'd better start looking for recipes.

Friday, September 16, 2011

This is the Day

Here's a video I ran across today that I thought was worth sharing:

Kind of timely for me. I have been struggling with anger and depression mainly having to do with the trials and aggravations which have accompanied our remodeling job. This week I have made a conscious effort to remember to start my day on a positive note. The one I have chosen is to say every day (out loud, because I know that I am not a liar and will believe what I say!) "This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.".

Our job is not finished (and as far as I can tell will never be finished), but we moved the last of our things in today except for two bicycles and will be living here full time. The bicycles are waiting for shed or basement space which is waiting until the kitchen counter is done so we can unpack the boxes that are clogging up those areas. More before and after will follow as we complete projects. Our guest room will likely be the next exhibit as that room lacks only shades and art. The living room will come next - we'll finish that up when our sofa comes around October 10. There is a big print to hang which we can't do until the sofa is in place. I thought maybe our bedroom would be ready to post this weekend (waiting only for art and chandelier), but we may have a little longer to wait for our light to be hung. We've owned it for months but it may be the last thing added because we will have a local handyman hang that one in his free time. The bathroom and kitchen have been the trouble spots all along and I don't have any idea when they will be done.

Random picture again - but my favorite picture of Jennifer and Logan! Click on it to get a better look.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Before and After Number 1

Several weeks ago I made my pilgrimage to IKEA for bookcases.  They've been sitting stacked up in the basement ever since, waiting for me finish painting and get ready to put them up. Yesterday I set aside a day when I had someone available to help with the assembly, so I put together five bookcases and set up my lair. I started with a very plain white basement room with no windows, and now I have a cozy yellow room full of STUFF! I had originally thought some variety of beige or taupe might look good with all the shelves and books, but after living with the cards pinned to the wall for a few days I decided it needed something a lot warmer. Then again, the ugly beige color in the living room may have soured me on all things beige. Shana and I have agreed that because our home is quite small we did not want to overwhelm the main living areas with too many accessories, but in my own private domain I believe more is more. As I acquire additional books I may have to trim down the accessories, but for now it's fun to have everything out where I can enjoy it. On the other side of the room that you can't see is my desk and a stand with my TV and printer.

And lest you forget that it is Labor Day and that I come from a long line of union supporters, I leave you with an old song:

Don't let the right wing opposition make you forget that it was the American Union Movement that brought you the 40 hour work week, freedom from child labor, and OSHA.