Monday, September 27, 2010

Shop Vacs Rule

So because The Jr Boy got An Amazing Job in The Wicked City, relocation was required. He's been "relocated" (living at NFA - thanks be for friends with couches) since the end of August but relocation doesn't mean dealing with The Stuff. This weekend was Stuff Dealing.

I'd thought I was going to escape most of it, having a seminar and all, but the leader of the seminar had some immigration issues and, by the time I got back from the local farmers' market + additional errands, TJB was almost in town and it was Game On at the flat formerly known as his. Here are some things I learned:

1. Feed The Jr Boy. First and then at regular intervals. The Sr Boy was the same and I got into the same sort of trouble by forgetting. Bottomed out blood sugar is not pretty.
2. Funny smells in flats are not a joke. Seems that there is a leak somewhere and TJB is well out of the place.
3. Liquor store boxes rule as cheap packing cases.
4. Check open hours for bottle returns. Clue: Sunday is not an open day so one will have to unload bottles in one's own garage for delivery on Mon/Tues/Wed.
5. Going to the market on packing day is not a waste of time especially when it coughs up a buyer for a futon.
6. My 28 year old built-in vaccuum hose fits a 10 year old house.
7. TJB has an awesome friend complete with flat bed trailer (will be selling the utility trailer imminently as he offered "any time" - silly boy!) and useful sized muscles.

and, last, but not least:

8. Shop Vacs Rule.

I found this out yesterday afternoon after waving TJB au revoir and giving Trout II-the-RAV the fish eye. No rain, no wind, all the junque out, seats slid fully forward and back - and that magic machine simply kept on sucking. JOY!

Still breathing

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Yard Work

There are consequences to building a new deck to replace the Walk of Terror. The grass disappeared under the wheels of bobcats, contractors' trucks, and a supposed load of topsoil fetchingly deposited like a mini-Mt Fuji smack in the middle of the former front lawn. Further, although the load of gravel which the bobcat guy did an awesome job of spreading about on the driveway looked really good, it was too bad about the slope on it. All the water from the past week's rain accumulated into a large pond - migrating geese were circling and preparing to land on it - on the former front lawn. And the bricks along the top of The Great Wall of No Inheritance for The Juniors were placed so that they faced outward towards the gully which made sense when the wall was done but not once the new deck was built - I do not want to look at the backside of textured block when I am walking up to the new deck.

These consequences have had some attention: Mt Fuji is diminished significantly and would have been completely but I ran out of daylight; the front yard is quite a bit more level; and the six 55 pound (holy smoke! I knew they were heavy but I had to look that up to see how heavy) bricks are turned.

I'm just a little tired. A little tired and wishing I had filled and turned on the hot tub.

Still breathing

Monday, September 20, 2010

Best deal of the day

was the $75.00 I paid the gutter cleaner to do his job. Gutters that are a very long way from the ground on all sides of this house. Gutters that had small clumps of grass growing in them. Gutters that are now cleared out and down which I can hear lovely gurgles of water running.


Still breathing

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wedding Socks

The Wedding of the Year in CR, as previously mentioned, has taken place. As both bride and groom had long-term establishments of their own (none of this living together stuff before marriage for them), it was firmly but politely suggested that presents were not expected. If people couldn't stand that, there was the liquid option: Wine? Sure. Whisky? Of course. I got around this fol-de-rol by having a brainwave about last January and actually acting on it so I was golden. Golden, that is, right up until about three weeks before the wedding when The Groom told me that he was wearing a made-to-measure kilt and The Bride said, "But he needs socks."

I laughed. (I would have laughed and laughed and laughed but it was the day after her whaddayacallit? Stagette?? Bachelorette??? It was 10 women who'd been on a boat for 3 hours leaving 10 empty champagne bottles behind and going on to dinner and further imbibements. I was feeling a touch delicate.) Yes, I knit and yes, I knit socks. Mostly on 2.25cm needles with matching size yarn and mostly while talking on the phone or reading blogs or watching British tv. Kilt Hose. Hahahahahaha!!

I got home and looked up patterns on the magicalness of Ravelry. There are a lot of pretty amazing patterns out there but here's the thing:

The Groom is 6' 4.5" tall and his legs go up to his flipping armpits!

Do you know how many miles of yarn it would take to knit him socks?? Let me put it this way: the fairly simple pattern I looked at suggested about 750 - 800m on 4mm needles. Well, that didn't seem too bad. So, with less than three weeks to go, I cast on some lovely cream wool and started knitting.

The first thing to pay attention to is that one knits an awful lot of hose as a turned over cuff. And then a lot of that is hidden under the cuff being the part of the sock that the cuff is turned over - sort of like knitting twice to get to the starting point. Now I can live with that and I can live with the mounting anxiety that knitting in the round laid flat can raise in one. Let's face it: how big around are your calf muscles? Now divide that in half and lay it flat and see if it doesn't give you pause? I knit and I knit and, by gum, the sock (note the singular) got longer and longer. By ten days before the wedding, even though I had already used up 600m of yarn, it looked like I could maybe make it. Then came the phone call.

"Sorry we haven't gotten back to you about the socks but you haven't started yet, have you?"

Pause: it is here that you need to know that The Bride really is a darling and I love her to bits but she doesn't know much about knitting. After all, she thought I could whomp up a pair of kilt hose in three weeks.

"Actually, I have, and I'm almost done one!" (slight exaggeration there but I was close to the heel and that counts as almost done. Well, I was about 3" from the heel and his foot is 10.5" long after that but it was still more than half-way.)

There was a silence. Then, "What colour are they?" I wonder if this is a trick question. "Because The Groom can get white socks when he picks up the kilt but he really wants green."

Green. Green? Gentle Reader: Take a few minutes and entertain yourself by looking at all the different colours of green you can see just from where you are sitting!!! My mind started to scrabble: I could dye them, right? with KoolAid, right? and get the correct colour the one that would exactly match the one in his kilt which would need to be an exact match because although lovely in so many ways he is a bit of a stickler for things like that, I could do that, right???

So I have one kilt sock mostly made because I am stubborn like that and I decided I needed to make a prototype anyways (most people call it swatching but we all know swatches lie). On their way to the airport, the newlyweds stopped in for a quick visit and The Groom obligingly put on the sock.

It is




At least I didn't knit two of them and he didn't have to not wear them for his wedding.

And I'm golden for Christmas knitting - as long as I can figure out what colour green he really wants.

Still breathing

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Not even going to apologize

I've been busy.

Wedding of the Year in Campbell River, BC, has successfully been held despite the lousy weather. Apparently, there are photos of a moose head and several people on bar stools but I'd gone to bed by then. There were heartfelt promises by two people who have some idea of what they're talking about. (I am more and more a fan of second marriages - the vows have some semblance of experience backing the sincerity.) There were kilts (Best overheard kilt moment: "What do you have on under there?" "My sweetie's lipstick!") and bagpipes and champagne (lots which was also enough) and cousins and rock'n'roll floor-clearing jiving and much, much joy. Yah and also HOO!!

Prior to that there was the sudden removal of The Jr Boy to the wilds of the wicked city for The Job of His Dreams. Sudden = 3 weeks from 'oh, what the heck' flingage-in of application to start date. Currently, he is couch-surfing and trying to figure out how to get back here to empty out his flat. I've got dibs on the empties and am charging 10% for everything I can sell for him. Anyone need a futon? a couch? a small carpet? All lightly sat upon.

And now I find myself a true empty nester. While The Jr Girl has been outtahere for several years and The Jr Boy has been living on his own for a couple of years, in my mind it was, hey, he's in town, y'know, and it's not like he was gone to Australia or Kalamazoo or Toronto or Lebanon. This is different - despite the facts that he essentially left town with two suitcases, a computer bag, his work tools, and a full iPod, and that he will come back to sort out his flat, he's gone. Moved. Away. Not Coming Back to Live Here in This House. It's a bit of a facer - on the one hand, I am thrilled beyond words for him on the other, it is really pushing me about Where I Want to Live MyOwnSelf.

I am mostly coping with this new thinking by going to the beer&wine stores and getting boxes. Empty ones! (stop sniggering you there in the back!)

By Christmas, I hope to have nothing in this house that is Someone Else's Stuff. So far, there have been 2 trips to the local thrift store, an overload on garbage day, several funny text/emails ("Do you want...?" "Hell, no, oh wait maybe..."), a call to a local shredding company and 9 boxes of SES packed out to the garage and waiting a trip to the storage locker (which SES pays for) on a day that is not p*ssing rain. (Srsly, September: you are NOT cutting it weatherwise and the local wineries and I would like you to get ON it! Of course, the irony of my kvetching about rain after the last post is not lost on me.)

The big challenge will come when I have to start dealing with My Own Sweet Stuff. Let's see, how many sofas does one small person need??

Still breathing