Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ten on Tuesday

10 Things You Want To Do This Summer

Can it be 100? Because I can think of so much I want to accomplish. One of the best descriptions of living with MS I've ever heard was how you might have a list of 6 things to get done, but you can only do two. That is how the summer is starting to feel. Especially since the rotavirus stole a good week of time away from us. 

But here is the list on out....I'll attempt to be realistic.

  1. Paint Little Dude's room- He's turning 5 in the fall and outgrowing the toddler bed. It's time for a big boy make over. He's picked the color (Dynamic Blue) and I have the paint, though it's not tinted yet. After our road trip this is happening. 
  2. Accomplish the Great Bed Switcheroo- Part of the room make over Little Dude is getting a new bed. His convertible crib (which goes from crib to toddler bed with rail, toddler day bed without rail and full size bed) will become Little Miss's bed. Her bed only goes from crib to toddler bed with rail to daybed without rail. She's on the verge of climbing out of her crib and ready for the bed with the rail. Also we will be switching to our new mattress. I didn't want to put it into our room until I painted.
  3. Paint our bedroom- In progress at the moment. 
  4. Finish quilts. 
  5. Day trips on kids' vacation week- Daycare closes down for a week every summer. I really want to make the most of it this year. We have a few ideas and it seems like their favorite Uncle (my younger brother) is going to visit. 
  6. Make jam. My son eats PB&J everyday. I prefer to give the kids jelly that is sweetened with juice which is crazy expensive. He loved the blueberry jam I made last summer. I'm hoping to put up a year's worth this year. Which means I should be picking strawberries at this moment. 
  7. Continue the household clean out- We've had the first garage sale. I've a bunch of items for Craigslist and then plan on another sale in the fall. The house is in a complete state of chaos but we are really making progress. It feels so good. So very good. 
  8. Get a jump on stocking the freezer- I'd like to get a stock of homemade meals in the freezer for when I go back to work. I know the first few weeks will be rough as I get back into the swing of working all day and I'd rather not have meals suffer. 
  9. Start making bread- I've been led to the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day series and I'm hooked. I've not started yet but it is on the list for after the road trip. I borrowed these from the Library. I have a Kindle gift card and think they will be my purchase. Just the thought of fresh bread daily is making me drool.
  10. Knit 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

WIP Wednesday

Not much knitting here at chez Gothknits. I've manged to put several rounds on Little Dude's sweater and it's up to about 6 inches now.

Mostly my days have been filled with changing diapers, emptying buckets, spraying everything with Lysol, doing laundry, second guessing whether or not to give water, or Pedialyte or food, changing sheets and towels and pajamas and movies and generally trying to calm them without getting the plague myself. I think I was successful in that last goal. I'm still wary and not eating anything I wouldn't want coming back up. This was Little Miss's first true stomach bug and it hit her hard. She was having issues with letting things just come up and go into the bucket and I think her stubborness helped prolong it. Not my Little Dude...he's old pro at this game. At one point he quietly got off my lap, walk over to an available bucket, stuck his head in and let go. My poor babies....and Little Miss had a round of teething on top of it. Last night was a scream fest from her. But I think minus the teething, my minions are back to themselves. I saw the true Little Dude for the first time in days last night before bed. My husband is still recovering but I think he's over the worst of it now.

I'm just waiting to see if it gets me. In the meantime my body has said: 'Since I'm fighting off this big bad dragon, I'm just gonna let this little guy through'. The little guy being another UTI. Man I hate these things...but I hate puking more.

Through this whole thing I've decided that Lysol needs to make house bombs, just like the flea bombs. Get everyone out and set those puppies off. When you come back it's sanitized and you can go back to normal.

In the midst of all this my parents came to visit and we made sausage and had a garage sale. Needless to say I'm on the verge of insanity. But we made 10 lbs of sweet Italian sausage, 10 lbs of breakfast sausage, and $80. My garage looks fairly neat at the moment. We've two piles out there: one for donation and one for Craigslist/fall garage sale.

So much of the work in progress has been in the house. Furniture has been rearranged and the kitchen functions much better now. Though we're still going the wrong direction to throw out trash and get silverware. I'm continuing to empty out cupboards and drawers and everything. I think I may have found new dishes. Playing nurse for the sick ward has set me back a few days in my painting schedule. I'd had hope to have our room done by now. Not so much. That is what I am trying to prep for at the moment, between bathroom breaks and spraying things people have touched.

Hopefully more progress (and pictures) tomorrow. Back to it.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ten on Tuesday

 Hello. Welcome to the plague house. Everyone here has been sick....except for me. Though I'm on the fence right now if I am coming down with it, or just normal medication side effects. Time will tell. But on to happier things, (I'll save the plague notes for another post).

Ten Favorite Backyard Games-
  We really don't get outside enough. And now that we're adults it's mostly to do yard work and make sure the kids don't wander off or get killed while we are doing yard work. It's time to put the fun back in to the back yard so here's a few. 

  1. Croquet
  2. Bocce
  3. Badminton
  4. Frisbee - Ultimate or otherwise
  5. Lawn Darts- illegal they may be but fun they were. Scope out garage sales to find a set.
  6. Wiffle ball.
  7. Water war- less of a game and more of an all out epic showdown. Most weapons are fair game. Water guns, water balloons, spray bottles, pump sprayers. Just not the hose, disqualified due to unlimited ammo. Have a kiddie pool for refills
  8. Horseshoes
  9. Ladder ball
  10. Cornhole/washers

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

WIP Wednesday

Really there are only two things in progress at the moment:

  1. tag sale prep
  2. sausage making prep (which is all but done now)

 Oh yeah, and one more thing.
     3. Going crazy.

See you in a few more days once the whirl wind is done, and hopefully where my freezer will be fuller, my house and garage emptier and my bank account wealthier.

I leave you with this moment of cute to distract you.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ten on Tuesday

10 Times You Felt Grateful Last Week

  1. Despite all of the crazy trouble trying to get my new disease modifying drug, it seems to be working and my side effects are rather minor. It's not to the level of my last treatment but it has only been two months at this point. But I am hopeful. Now if I can just get the insurance company, specialty pharmacy and the drug company to get their $h*t together. Do you think a chainsaw will help? Too subtle? I know...flamethrower. I have to get too close with a chainsaw. 
  2. With all the rain we've managed to keep the water in the basement to a minimum. Our sump pump is so old that we need to go and pull the float up to get it to work. We have a line tied to it that runs to the top of the stairs so in the middle of the night we don't even need to go down stairs. But there's another issue. Since it is so old it is still piped into our plumbing system. So if we don't pull out the washing machine drain hose and plug that line, the water backs up into the machine. Whatever. The big problem is remembering to put the washing machine hose back. Common sense, right? *sigh* Well, at least there are parts of the basement floor that are very clean. 
  3. That my boss made it through his total knee replacement. He should have had the operation last year. It's been hard watching him struggling this year; some days he could barely walk. I hope this fixes everything for him. 
  4.  Finding the pork for the sausage still on sale. Granted I had to go to a store in another town rather than the one right down the road, but the second store was much larger and much cleaner.
  5. When both my minions snuggled with me on the couch (without fighting). It was a lovely cozy moment. 
  6. When both Father's Day gifts were available and will arrive on time. 
  7. That I was able to get a garden plot in the town garden this year. Granted we've started late, I've gained a horrible burn working in it, and I've been stressed about the fact that I don't know what the heck I'm doing, but I'm loving it. And completely excited by the prospect of a (hopefully) successful harvest.
  8. For my parents who are coming to visit. 
  9. For our portable DVD player and it's ability to allow us to eat out every so often with some semblance of order...or at least a subdue chaos.
  10. For my knitting girls. They are fabulous and keep me sane. 

Busy bee

Now is the first true week of my summer employment. Last week I used up the last of my vacation time before I lost it. And I think it was one of the busiest that I've had in ages. Between the garden, prepping for the tag sale, rearranging furniture, cleaning, wasting hours on the phone with insurance and pharmacy, and wrangling the minions, the week flew by.

This tag sale is a long time coming. We've been in this house for a touch over 10 years. It is time to shed the miscellany that accumulates in one's abode in that time. The MS has me examining what is important to me. I'm longing to simplify things, as life can be complicated enough without the added entanglement of chronic illness. We have so. much. stuff. Sometimes it is just overwhelming. People often take advantage of the fact that neither my husband or myself like to see things go into the dumpster. We acquired much of our furniture when prop storage did the pre-move clean out. The props master and his assistant knew that if I were told "If you don't take it, it will end up in the dumpster," I would yield. We also have a habit of keeping things out of guilt; mainly gifts given by people who really don't understand our taste. I'm attempting to break that habit. Now if I can just stop some of those gift givers from shopping for us.

The other big task is to prep for my Dad's visit. My Stepmother is coming with him to coordinate the garage sale for me. But Dad and I have a mission for ourselves. Sausage making. Dad is a superb amateur gourmet. He watches the Food Network nearly nonstop and before retirement had the firehouse as his test kitchen. A few years ago he decided to start making sausage. Then I caught the bug. Last year I made some breakfast sausage patties and they turned out rather well, but we both admitted we preferred the links. In comes Dad and his handy dandy sausage stuffer to the rescue. We'll have both Kitchen Aids going for the grinding and we'll be making Italian sausage and breakfast sausage. And luckily PriceRite has pork shoulder on sale for 79cents a pound. The fates want me to make sausage.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

WIP Wednesday

And it is another Wednesday. The storms last week were rather harsh and brought some very oppressive heat with them. Heat + MS = bad things. The heat wiped out pretty hard. Saturday I ended up with heat rash of all things. I've not had that since my summer of living in West Virginia where our AC was killed by a rather intense year of cicadas. That was in 1999 (Brood V if you follow those things) and it was pretty insane. This is another story and shall be told another time...(which is the most repeated and annoying line in the novel The Neverending Story.)

Anywho Works In Progress

Dude and Little Dude's Shirts- I measured both of them and figured out what sizes to cut out. I never cut down my multi-size patterns. I just mark the size I need on the fabric. I was actually shamed by Little Dude into working on this. The fabric was sitting in a basket waiting to be ironed and cut, when he saw it and asked why I wasn't working on it. I replied that it was something that I needed some alone time to do. So he asked if he could go play in his room by himself. Point taken I cut out both shirts and LD's hat. Isn't that fabric fun.

    Little Dude's sweater- I worked out the needle issue and got cast on and knitted away. I ended up turning the hem on Saturday, whilst the husband and I watched The Hobbit. I even managed to impress him with how cool that whole process is. It took the whole damn movie to do it, but I was busy watching dwarves, elves and hobbits. Now there is 11 inches of stockinette stitch to do. These are the moments when I wish I could knit in my sleep.

    Painted the columns- This is a project that I will elaborate on in my painting blog shortly but I needed to show here. I have a pet peeve about bad painted marble, and I was lacking in projects in my final few weeks of work. So this:    
       Became this:

    Garden- Despite having a lovely and large yard, I have not been able to create my much longed for vegetable garden. I just don't have the sun. Our neighborhood is named Timber Village for a reason. With all the lovely trees that shade our house and keep it cool in the summer, (and keep us knee deep in leaves every fall) I have not one spot in my yard that gets full sun. Not a single one. Community Garden to the rescue. For a mere $30 I was able to secure a spot in the community garden this year. For that price I get a 20' x 32' area to cultivate from the time they till it until early November. Unfortunately between surprising late cold weather and the fact that our lives were very hectic this spring, we got a late start on it. Last month we went and checked it out, put up fencing, and started some weeding. We picked up some plants this weekend but I didn't make it to the actual garden until yesterday....where I found the weeds to be thick and about 8" tall. It being my first day out of work I went to it. I managed to weed half the plot by hand. The husband came over on his lunch break, shoveled the paths and planting areas, and we got what we had into the ground. I went back again today to keep weeding. I have been diligent, knowing my issues with the sun. I had a snack and plenty of water. I wore a hat and applied sunscreen before I left the house to drop off the kids. (Daycare is right around the corner from the gardens). And this is what I ended up with today...      
                           Yep. I've got a trampstamp sunburn. And it burns like hellfire. The really annoying thing is that I applied sunscreen to that area. We are expecting rain on Friday and Saturday, so I'll be back there again tomorrow hopefully getting the majority of our remaining planting done. And maybe this time I'll remember the camera.

    My Double Heelix socks are sitting in corner at the moment whilst I figure what bind-off I want to do. I made a few attempts at the interlocking bind off suggested but wasn't having much luck. This woman has great ideas but I don't know if it's my brain or what....her descriptions and illustrations don't help me at all. I can elaborate more on that when I finish my project and review the pattern. I found some YouTube videos but they either illustrate doing it in stockinette or in 1x1 rib. The sock is in 2x2. And I'm sure I'd get it if I could just see someone do it in 2x2. I'd do Jeny's Surprising Stretchy Bind Off, but frankly I don't like the ruffly look it creates. Especially on socks whose colors are inspired by the Incredible Hulk. I'm considering the Tubular Bind Off; I just need to spend a little more time with YouTube. Alone. Just me, the socks and the laptop.

    That's about it...the other few projects haven't been touched since last week. But I did have to show this bit of fabulousness. Whilst weeding today I received a rather cryptic text from my best friend.
    Name the source of this line: I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.
    Geek that I am, I immediately recognize and and reply that it is from Harry Potter and makes the Marauder's Map work. I think nothing more of it until I get to our knit knite and she hands me this:

    And it matches hers perfectly.

     There is a reason we are best friends.

    Well, that is all for now, and I am off. And yes, I solemnly swear that I am up to no good. Cheers.

    Tuesday, June 04, 2013

    Ten on Tuesday

    Very apt topic for today. My summer unemployment starts today (well the rest of this week is actually me using up my vacation days). It now time for ice cream. More importantly, I have the time and wherewithal to make ice cream. 10 Favorite Ice Cream Toppings (and mix in items). Hrm....better put cream and whole milk on the shopping list.

    1. Chocolate sauce- the deeper, darker the better. Heated if possible.
    2. Peanut butter- troublesome to melt and keep melted but worth it. If I could only discover the secret to Friendly's peanut butter sauce.
    3. Peanut butter cups- especially with the two above toppings. Even more especially with peanut butter ice cream.
    4. Heath bars- bonus on top of coffee ice cream
    5. Butterfingers- mmmmmm...Butterfingers
    6. Whipped cream- the real stuff. None of the Cool Whip fakery. The real stuff. The good stuff. And lots of it.
    7. Peppermint patties- again. Lots of them.
    8. Liqueurs- one of our favorites was a peach wine/liqueur that we would pour over vanilla ice cream and fresh peaches.
    9. Fresh fruit- in season fruit at it's peak, sliced and with it's own juices.
    10.  Caramel- I have some goat's milk caramel that is divine. I think it might need some butter pecan to make it just that much more fantastic.