Sunday, December 31, 2017

Tell me something good

Katie, proving again that cats have no
concept of personal space.
Here is an idea shamelessly stolen from a friend on Facebook.

This has been a tough year, for most of us and for many reasons, and I have found myself feeling a bit worn down.  With the new year upon us, and reflecting on the past year, it can be disheartening.

But then my friend said, "Can you tell me one good thing that happened to you this year?"

Even in a challenging year, there have been amazing bright spots.

Here are a few of mine:  in October, I paid off my house.  Now we can look for a new place that is OURS.  I also worked out a way to work for myself and others without losing my mind. Mostly. I  made some wonderful new crafting friends.  I survived sewing summer camp.

So what is yours? Tell me something good.


I know, I know, the holidays are over.

But I forgot to post my favorite stocking, and a few days before Christmas I got a last-minute order for one of these.

I made my first one a few years ago as a gift for a friend who owns a small farm and has several sheep, one of whom was grumpy. It's been a pretty steady seller ever since. It probably appeals more to the grumpy than the sheep farmer; I don't know very many of those.

Here's hoping your holidays were merry and bright. If you don't celebrate, or if you celebrated but would rather not have, I hope you made it through with your attitude intact and ready to face the new year.

Friday, December 29, 2017

A.Christmas story

So this girl here has nothing really to do with our Christmas, but she looks a hell of a lot nicer than water around the base of the water heater 3 days before Christmas.

Water is never good. I've learned that over my years of homeownership.

I left a message for the plumber, hoping he wasn't away for the holidays. We spoke the next morning and he said he would be able to get to us on the morning of the 26th to replace it. That left us 3 days with no hot water. So on the evening of the 23rd, we took our last showers, dried off, and drained the tank. We were going to Mario's mom's for Christmas Eve, and I did not want to spend the entire day worrying that something would go even more wrong and we would come home to 40 gallons of water everywhere.

I really shouldn't have been surprised. The water heater was installed just before I bought the house, so that makes it just under 18 years old. The standard lifespan of one of those tanks is 10 years, so it's been on borrowed time for a long time.

As for the doll, she was a special order just before the holiday, sent out via FedEx, which cost more than the doll.  The little girl's request was, "tan skin, blue eyes, pink, blue and purple hair, a princess crown, and a pink fancy dress."

The hair was done with pink fabric as the base, and all 3 colors of yarn on top.  The crown was a piece of rhinestone trim I've been carting around for 30+ years.  The sparkly silver necklace was some novelty yarn.  And she ended up with a pink tulle wrap.  Originally I was going to use it for her skirt, but then I remembered I'd rather stick needles in my eyes than sew with her.

In other news, the house search continues. Hopefully I will have something to report within the next week.

Monday, December 18, 2017

So long, farewell

Grace and Frankie moved out on Thursday of this week.  I haven't had them for too long, but they've been down (non-laying, not earning their keep) due to molt for the last month-plus, which made it easier to come to the decision to find them a new home.

Our new town hasn't legalized chickens (yet), and between the stress of moving the two of us and four cats, plus the added stress of our recent purchase derailment, I decided that moving two fragile creatures in the middle of winter was a fairly dumb idea.

I'll bring the coop with us, and if (when) chickens are legalized in Lansdowne, I'll get a few new girls.  In the meantime, the coop can live in the garage, and we can get settled in without having to worry whether or not the birds are warm enough in their new backyard, if there's more threat of predators, etc.

The girls went to Greensgrow Farm, our local garden supply/farmers market a few blocks away.  They already have a few chickens, and a much larger space than I have, so they were happy to acquire a few new girls and I was happy that Grace and Frankie would get a few friends, a larger world and even more fresh produce (Greensgrow handles a neighborhood CSA, so any scratch-and-dent veggies will go to the chickens).

I'm a little sorry to see them go, but honestly, while I like the products of chicken-keeping (eggs and amazing manure for my garden), I can take or leave the birds themselves.  I don't find them cute or cuddly, and right now, when there are limits on my time and energy, I'm glad to not have to deal with early morning feedings, thawing of frozen water containers, and packing them up to move.

There are a few people in Lansdowne who are interested in getting the town council to legalize chickens. At some point I'll find them, and even if I decide not to get new chickens, I have a potential target audience to offload my coop, and I'll still be happy to help them work toward legalization.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Bumps in the road

Sorry for the long period of radio silence.  What I thought was going to be an easy process of finding a house, putting in an offer, getting said offer accepted and moving forward . . . turned into anything but.

And this week, on Wednesday, we received a call from our agent, and shortly after that, a termination of transaction form to sign.

The seller has many issues, not all of which have to do with us, the house, or selling the house to us.  I'm not sure what's going on, but I should have realized sooner that it was time to walk away.  At this point in my life, I would never go through this kind of gymnastics to make a relationship work: if, no matter what I tried, what I said, what I did, the answer was still no, I'd accept the no and move on.

You can't make someone love you against their will.  And you can't make them sell you their house when, every time they agree, they then come up with a new condition that throws everything into chaos.

Just no.

So we signed the termination, and I followed up with a text to my agent with a list of six more (backup) properties we're going to see this Sunday.

I'm disappointed, but I'm not upset, and I'm not really surprised.

And in the end, I feel like we might just have dodged a bullet.  Maybe the universe was trying - in every way possible - to tell us this wasn't the right house.  And maybe I have to be whacked over the head to get the message.

Message received.

On to the next.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A metaphor for 2017

Apologies for the long silence.  Things are happening, quickly, slowly, and in between.

Some good, some not so. 

Nothing to worry about.

Back soon. 

Leaving you with a photo that really seems to sum up 2017 for most people.  (Also known as my morning commute today).