Thursday, September 14, 2017

And Vacation Is Almost Over............

Okay--so it's time to admit that I'm NOT going to have all the boxes unpacked before going back to work, but that's okay.  I've made progress, though, and some of the time we can even find stuff.  It's worth it, though.  About 2 weeks ago there was a wreck at the intersection leading into our old subdivision because of the crazy school traffic, and the only surprise is that it didn't happen sooner.  And that's before the new subdivision of overcrowded homes has gone in.  Even if the F35s are sent elsewhere, it's great to be out of there. 

I took yesterday off to sew AND get some pictures of my sewing progress.  I'm very proud of this:
I have no idea what I intended to do with this fabric--especially since there wasn't enough of it to do most patterns--so since there was no emotional stake here, I convinced myself to embroider the bottom edges of the sleeves. 
With embroidering, there's always a chance it won't work, and I didn't have enough fabric to cut out new sleeves if it went badly, so I did the sleeves first, so I wasn't throwing away a half-finished shirt.  It's a bit stiff in the picture because I used tearaway stabilizer, which is a bit stiff, but will soften up and come out. I'm thrilled with how it looks and excited for cooler weather.  I also finished the microsuede pants, and
have embroidered the pocket of the next shirt!  I don't have all the pieces for this shirt cut out yet, partly because
 
the kittens have discovered sewing.  Also house plants, ankle biting, bubble wrap, and the joys of sitting on keyboards.  Theo is doing better with them--sometimes  even playing with them, which is fun.  Sometimes he walks off muttering under his breathe about those pesky kids, but we think he likes the company--at least when Milo isn't pouncing on him.  We're very careful to give Theo time without them, because they are exhausting and he's 11. All 3 of them in the sewing room can be challenging, but I did manage to sort out some fabric to donate:
It's only 2 1/8 yards, but admitting that I'm never going to do anything with these was very freeing.  Let them find a better home, while I move on to fabrics I really want to play with, like these:
I watched a video making tumbling blocks look fun and relatively easy, but partway through I decided it was a bit monotonous with just three colors.  Luckily a humongous fabric stash has its perks, like providing lots of options if you can find them, so I added a few lavender blocks scattered throughout the quilt:
Because I have space now, I was able to add a design wall, which has been SO helpful with this project!  I love it.  I played with the layout a lot, and now I'm sewing everything together into strips and it's keeping them straight for me.  I'm not sure what I'll do to quilt it yet, but I'm thinking either a variegated blue/purple thread or purple thread.  The darker blue print has shades of purple in it, so I think it will be a nice accent and a bit of a creative stretch for me.  I can get a bit hung up on whether or not something will work, but having just moved my fabric stash, I keep reminding myself that I have an INCREDIBLE amount of fabric, and if I mess up a project, I can just start another one from stash and it won't really matter.  Maybe I should paint that on the wall in the sewing room.......I have a lot of fabric still to get through.....:)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

There Has Been Sewing!

And a LOT of unpacking.  We've made progress, and I've already emptied one more box this morning, but there are so MANY!!!  The sewing room is especially hard because I left behind all my wonderful shelving, so there is literally nowhere to put things as I unpack them.  I did run across my rope stash, so the first project in the new house was a large storage basket,
and I could use a bunch more.  I'd saved a bunch of Andy's old jeans to make hanging storage for his old closet, and since I found that box, I've been cutting the denim into strips and I'm trying a new idea:
twisting the denim strips into rope AS I sew.  The beginning was a bit rough and the bottom is puckering a bit, but as it's just for storage I don't really care.  I could be wrapping the denim around rope, but I was worried about how heavy that might be, and if this works, it's a great way to use up denim.  Besides, the rope stash has been commandeered:

I also found my Easter fabrics, so Theo and I have been working on a Christmas present

with a new layout
and I have to admit, this one was much more difficult to keep straight.  I'm pleased with how it turned out, and didn't even sew anything the wrong way round.  I saved that for the small runner for us with the leftover triangles,
and a layout I've used before and should have been able to do without incident.  Should.  Ahem.........

It was while free-motion quilting the runners that I discovered that the lowering mechanism of the sewing table doesn't really work for me.  I wasn't positive it would, and I was really just interested in it for the side drawers, to be honest, so
I don't know what this board is actually from, but it's doing a nice job holding up my sewing machine.  We're running into lots of mystery objects as we unpack.  We tried to be really good during the moving process to get rid of such things, but once you get toward the end of packing, those last just-dump-the-drawer-into-anything-open boxes are always challenging.  It's my suspicion that this is REALLY how Jimmy Hoffa disappeared.  Some mobster was moving, and just got down to those last few boxes that are never really labeled and that one never gets around to unpacking......

You might think that with EVERYTHING that we've done this year, I'd have given up on my 100-projects for the year goal, but it's only September and I only need just over 60 projects to go, and I have an embroidery machine.....

and I was able to locate both fabric AND pattern for a new microsuede shirt,
as well as a microsuede shirt/pants set, which is Theo's favorite:
When these are done, about 8 yards of fabric will be out of the stash, and I'll have some new clothes for my new job!  Funnily enough, for all the applications I've filled out and resumes I've sent, I got an email from one of my favorite clients from when I sold phone systems saying that if I were ever looking again, they had a place for me.  We've met a couple times, I already know several of the people there, and the NEWEST salesperson they have has been there 3 years.  The one I know has been there 18 years.  So, I join them on September 18!  Over the years I've sent them referrals, so I know they treat customers well, treat employees well, and I already like the people there.  I was going to wait and start the first of October, but I'm ready to go to work and REALLY ready to do something besides unpack.  :)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Thanks Everyone

Thanks for your kind thoughts everyone.  Callisto wasn't always the nicest cat, but I had her for 13 years and when she wanted to be, she was funny and charming and used to hide in my closet and the only way I would know she was in there was when the closet started purring when I walked in.  Theo has taken to sitting on my feet, so I think we're both missing her.

We knew she wasn't going to last much longer, and after watching Theo searching the house for her, we decided to find him some friends.  Meet the latest additions:
Venus and Milo are settling in well, and so far Theo mostly isn't interested.  We're introducing them slowly as recommended, but Theo wasn't showing the least bit of interest in them through a closed door, so we've let him get a few glimpses of them here and there. It's been a pretty eventful time for him, but luckily he likes the new sewing room,
including the view, and sometimes I find him up there without me.  There hasn't been any actual sewing yet, but at least it sort of LOOKS like a sewing room.
Although with all the liquor boxes everywhere, maybe the sewing room of an alcoholic.  The temporary desk Andy build for me years ago survived the move better than we anticipated, especially since we never had any intention of taking it apart and moving when he built it.  Funny to realize we weren't even THINKING about moving at this time last year.

Unpacking feels like it's going slowly.  Last week I didn't break down any of the boxes as I unpacked them just so I could see some progress,
but when we stopped being able to get through the house, we had to haul them to recycling.  There's another truckload almost ready to go again, so I must be making progress--whether or not it feels like it. 

My plan for unpacking in the sewing room is to examine everything as I unpack it to make sure I really want it.  These
didn't make the cut.  I don't even know what I intended to do with it, but 405 yards out of the stash is what I AM doing with it.  A few books and magazines have followed.  We got rid of a lot before the move, but a second look can't hurt. And maybe a third and fourth......... 
Save

Monday, August 7, 2017

Callisto

Last night we had to have Callisto put to sleep.  She had been declining but she LOVED the new backyard so we had given her as much time out there as possible, but Friday night we couldn't find her, had one glimpse of her Saturday, and then nothing.  We were worried that she had crawled off somewhere to die, but last night she came staggering onto the patio and was in such sad shape that Andy whisked her off to the emergency vet to put an end to her suffering.  I wish we could have taken her sooner, but all her life, when she wanted to hide from me I have NEVER found her, and I'm sort of proud of her for maintaining that to the end.
Theo is wandering around the house looking for her, in spite of the fact that she was never really nice to him.  There may be a trip to the shelter to find a friend for him, but for right now, there are extra cuddles for all of us.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Well, It's Over

I'd like to say everything went smoothly, but the moving company managed to be a HUGE nightmare--making mistakes, scratching up a lot of our furniture, breaking things, leaving our things in a hot truck in a hot parking lot leaving us forced to rent a Uhaul truck for everything we DIDN'T want baked into oblivion, and charging us almost double the written estimate--but again, Idaho doesn't license moving companies either.  I almost admire the consistency with which the nightmare movers worked.  If you see a large stack of boxes, the bottom one is guaranteed to be marked fragile, and if we carefully marked "this side up," they had a 100% rate of putting it any OTHER way than the way we marked.  If you're reading this and you're in Idaho, if you are ever foolish enough to consider hiring Peasley's Transfer and Storage, have a reliable friend lock you up until such a foolish impulse passes.

The pod has been delivered, emptied in extreme heat, and returned.  This means everything we own is with us, but now we can't park in the garage.  Oops.

However,
the new backyard is quite fabulous.  We still have some traffic noise, as it turns out there isn't any place one can get away from that, but it's at a distance so more of a "white noise" than at the old house.  We've been out there almost every night since we moved in.
I've even gotten in some knitting time!  And the walk through the neighborhood this morning was like walking through a park. There's a bike lane, lots of shade, and unlike our old neighborhood, the people out walking their dogs were all picking up after them.  We met our first neighbors when we locked ourselves out of the house (maybe our 5th night here), and have met several since--all quite lovely.

Of course, the interior of the house remains a complete box-filled disaster.  I do have one machine set up in the sewing room
on a sewing table I found on Craigslist for $50.  I had hoped to fire up the embroidery machine, but we couldn't find the dongle for my embroidery software.  Yikes--I started having nightmares about trying to find a replacement, but luckily I found it this morning and might even find some embroidery time tonight. Hope!
Save

Monday, July 24, 2017

Whatever

As it turns out, the buyer's inspector is so awful that he doesn't come back for the walkthrough unless he is PAID to do so, so we were spared his nonsense today.  (Really, one wonders why on earth these fools think he's so great) We guess the closing went okay, but it's not recorded yet and we ran into a bit of a snag with what to do with the proceeds for 3 days that won't cost us some sort of fee.  How weird is THAT?  Then there was a problem with our new purchase because our home owner's insurance agent was slow to get his stuff to the lender and almost cost us the closing date.  AND our movers--whom I had used before because I knew the family that started I but have unfortunately gone SERIOUSLY downhill as most family businesses do when family members who shouldn't be hired or promoted ARE, so they are the reason we are moving on Wednesday instead of Thursday and NOW I can't get a response to how they will be storing our things on Thursday which is supposed to be 100 degrees or hotter, so I have contacted another moving company on the off-chance they can bail us out.  AARRRGGGHHH! 

Oh, and Ness-the-crooks started today.  Two little guys showed up at 9:30, put down visqueen, said there's no water actually IN the crawlspace, set up a blower, didn't bother to plug the blower in, and left by 11:30.  Oh my goodness--our buyers certainly deserve whatever these incompetent clowns do to the crawl space.  What a total scam this Ness Restoration company is--I wouldn't hire them to rake leaves.  I guess at least this scam isn't running up our power bill while the utilities are still in our name.  :)

Aside from all that, not much else is happening.  Because in those 4 hours we're sleeping..... :)

Friday, July 21, 2017

Down to the Final Week

A week from today we move into our new house!!!!!!!  We are so ready to be done.  And we're HOPING to never, ever have any dealings with our buyers after Monday, because we're certainly not meeting them.  They're doing their walk through on the day of closing, and I've asked our realtor to be there for it.  Usually that isn't necessary, but their home inspector lied about several things, so we don't trust him and what the inspection is for is to inspect the requests they made--NOT all the stuff he missed the first time.  And of course the buyers wanted to make US drive 15+ miles away for the closing because--as we know--they are the centers of the known universe and no one else matters, but by this point our realtor's assistant is ready for them at every turn as we all now know to just expect problems.  We're almost done....we're almost done....we're almost done....

Work has been a bit surreal this week.  The first of the new people, who had bored us all silly with all her talk about how great she was and how much she loved cold calling, quit Wednesday and the other, whom we all really like, is giving notice today.  For those keeping track, in a team of 8 salespeople when I started 6 weeks ago, that's SIX quitting or being let go.  But it has nothing at all to do with how the company is run.  Of course. 

Callisto continues to be happy, but has declined again, so it probably isn't the coolant.  She's eating a little bit more without vomiting, and this morning surprised us with a mouse.  She's 13, and a delightful little boy from across the street knocked on the door last night to ask us if the black and white cat was ours.  My first horrified thought was that she has died and this poor little boy had found her.  Thankfully, she was just in his yard and he wanted to know all about her, and when Andy picked her up, she was even nice enough to let the little boy pet her without going ninja on either of them.  I'll board the cats for 2 nights while we're in transition, and our vet is really great--they might board her within the vet clinic instead of the kennel.   She's enjoying time in the backyard and so far doesn't seem uncomfortable or unhappy. 

Even though we are leaving, we still laughed with the entire neighborhood over a neighbor who listed their house even before ours.  We'd met them, and they seemed nice enough, but shortly after they listed their house for sale--maybe a year after moving in--they started redoing a vehicle on the front lawn. While the house was LISTED.  We were still prepping ours to sell, so we kept hoping either their realtor would step in and explain "curb appeal" or the house would sell before we listed ours.  The association president did go over to talk to them because that kind of thing is definitely an eyesore and is against the rules we all agreed to when moving in, but the neighbors were total jerks about it and said they didn't care.  So you can imagine the delight of the entire neighborhood when they got an offer which ultimately fell through because the appraisal came in too far under the selling price.   Guess white-trashing the place doesn't sit well with appraisers, either.  Of course, by this time they had moved and are now stuck with two mortgages or house payments.  Sometimes it's nice to see karma come around and slap someone.  :)  We're glad to be moving, but we have some very nice neighbors and we'd like this to remain a nice neighborhood for their sake. 

I think packing is going well.  It certainly seems like we've packed most of our stuff--at least everytime we need something and discover it has been packed.  I didn't think it would even be possible, but the entire sewing room has been packed up.  All the fabric, yarn, books, tools, rulers, machines--it's all ready to go.  We have another HUGE pile of things to be donated--that gets easier the longer one packs:  Was it nice to have?  Maybe.  Is it worth packing?  No.  The new house is actually slightly bigger than this one, so we're not really downsizing, but it's nice to get rid of things if we don't need them.  It will be SO nice to live in a one-story house.  Because we're above the city, it made sense for the bedrooms to all be upstairs for the view, but with temperatures hovering around 100 for weeks now with no end in sight and SO much traffic noise that one can't sleep with the windows open, it's miserable in the summer.  The sewing room is the only thing upstairs and we'll be changing out the existing shade for an insulating one, and the window is much smaller than the ones here.  I have loved all the windows and the natural light, but the reality is that the blinds have to be closed 6 months of the year because of the cold or the extreme heat, so we're okay with fewer windows in the name of comfort.  And the big news for the sewing room:  I have ordered a recliner to go in it!  I got the idea by browsing sewing room images on the internet (and now, interestingly enough, feel a bit better about the amount of stuff I have).  Because of my hip issues, I really shouldn't sit at my sewing chair if I'm ripping out seams or something like that but I forget.  I've never liked the look of recliners, but a big squishy chair in the sewing room is a different story, and the sewing room will have enough room for it.  And my dressmaker's dummy.  And maybe even the ironing board, although one shouldn't overlook the exercise benefits of trotting up and down the stairs to have to iron seams.  Think of the leg muscles! 

Our plants go to foster care this weekend as does much of the canning, then Wednesday the movers come and we check into a hotel for 2 nights.  Then a week from today we take possession of our new home!!!!!!!!