Friday, April 18, 2008

The World's Longest Remodeling Job

We started the remodel for the family room today. It took all of about an hour to pull the carpeting up. And the primer is just about finished. It occurred to me that we haven't done a remodeling job since 2005. That was when we did the second large remodel job on the house. We completely gutted the kitchen and finished up The 20 Year Remodel Job of the "Back Room" in 2005. After that, were burned out on remodeling of any kind. The first large remodel job was in 2003, when we replaced the windows, air conditioner, furnace, and gutted the main bathroom.

I bought this house with my former husband in 1984. I found out I was pregnant with my third child the week we signed our mortgage papers. We had immediately outgrown the home. It was supposed to be a starter home. When we moved in the Back Room was a screened in porch. Because we needed space, we decided to turn it into living space. However, my former husband was great at getting things "Half Done in a Hurry" as my mother would say. He got the walls done, windows put in, and a French door going outside. The walls weren't dry walled or anything. There was window inside the room that used to be part of the outside of the house. No electricity had been run. It was essentially a walled porch. And it stayed that way. I got pregnant the fourth time. And my former husband had trouble holding down a job, so money was always tight. When I would complain about getting the place fixed up, he would say, "When I have the time, I don't have the money. And when I have the money, I don't have the time." So, it sat half done for many, many years until we divorced.
After we got divorced, I had even less money. He was always behind in child support payments. When the kids went to his place for the first weekend, I was lost. I simply did not know what to do with myself. I felt as if someone had chopped off my arms and legs. Having an entire weekend alone, I decided to work on the house with what little extra money I had.
So, I would paint because it was cheap. I felt like I was reclaiming the house as my own place. And it was fun to pick out any color I wanted. It didn't matter what color I picked. There was no one there to disagree with me. So, I painted the walls crazy colors. I had an apple green kitchen, a lavender dining room, and a green living room. If I got bored with the color, I'd paint it a different color. So, the kitchen was painted watermelon and canteloupe. I painted my bedroom blue. And then sunflower yellow. The sky was the limit. One of my friends remarked that she loved to come over to my house because she never knew what color it would be on the inside. If I had some rare extra bucks, I'd pay a handy man to work on the Back Room. First, I took the window out. Then, put in electricity. Finally it was dry walled. That's about all I could afford.
Then, in 2005, we added a ceiling and carpeting and replaced the French Door with a sliding door. The Back Room was done! Or so I thought. While on vacation about a year later, the cats had a spaz and peed all over the carpeting. Plus, the carpet color was too light. It really showed dirt. I tried to get the carpet clean, but it was ruined.

After 24 years, I hope I finally get the job done.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Here Comes the Rain Again

It's raining cats and dogs right now.
Unfortunately, I have a puppy that doesn't have sense enough to come in from the rain. It even hailed for a few short minutes, and she ran all over the yard trying to catch the hail pieces like they were popcorn falling from the sky. I'll probably be washing and drying dog towels all weekend long. Now when any hail falls, she runs to the door and can't wait to get out. Silly puppy.

I had a wonderful Glorious Night. I started out with a nice long bath, stopped off at the library to pick up some reserved books, and then had soup and salad at Whole Foods. I got my first bundle of fiber from PJ. It's hand-dyed merino. I'm a little worried about starting up with nicer fiber. I just don't want to waste it. But, I'm so sick and tired of spinning with undyed wool.

One of the gals brought me a beginning spinning video to watch. And there was a new woman that brought llama fiber to sell. I bought two sandwich size bags for 75 cents each. Another woman had made these adorable felted cows using sticks from her yard as the legs and then felted wool bodies and head. Then, she added all of this great needle felting. Another woman had completed a Baby Surprise Jacket, but she used the waist band, button band and collar of a toddler's jeans jacket. She had made oddball yarn to use for it. It was really cute. I guess the majority of the women are gearing up for a guild sale of some sort.

Strangely enough, Sam went to the doctor two weeks ago for a complete physical. This is just not like him. He explained that he hadn't had one since he was in high school. Considering he will be 40 next year, I think it's about time. The company I work for sponsors a free all-inclusive blood screening every other year, and his last one was horrible. So, maybe he just wanted to know what was going on. On his follow-up visit this week, he was prescribed high blood pressure medication and advised to get his cholesterol down or he would have to be put on medication for that as well. All of this means lighter cooking. We've been having a lot of Asian foods, fish and tofu. And, that's fine with me, I could easily be a vegetarian.

I've finished the Landscape socks. I fiddled around trying to use a new method for grafting this morning. I have never been quite satisfied with my results. But, this new method was a PITA , and I went back to using my tried-and-true instructions from The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns by Ann Budd.

I've got about 6 inches done on the second Snow Squall sock. I've been feeling kind of "meh" about my knitting lately. Perhaps it's having to finish up things and there is none of that initial excitement like when you are working on a new project. To remedy this, I cast on for the fingerless garter mitts from Weekend Knitting. They go really quick. I am using Visions Artisan Yarn that I bought at Cottage Fiber. It's a celery green color. If I get to be better at spinning, I would like to make these out of my hand spun someday.

Tomorrow, we will pull this gawd awful carpeting up out of the family room. Then, the painting begins!