Jul 30, 2008

A mellow day

Yesterday was mellow. Mostly. Our landlord continues to show "our" house in his efforts to rent it after us. It's like selling a house; you always have to be ready for it to be shown. So I had to spend a bit of time having a cleaning/tidying frenzy as it was shown twice yesterday. Er, as well as you can tidy with huge mounds of boxes everywhere.
I started painting the bedroom last night out at the new house. I got most of it cut-in and today I'll get the primer coat rolled on everything and will probably do the first paint coat on the ceiling. I'll also crank up my trim molding painting factory. I like to paint the molding before it is installed, then all I have to do is spackle/caulk and touch up paint the nail holes.
DH spent his time last night working on the new wiring. We're rewiring the whole house. Right now, DH must connect all the new wire to the old breaker box (the one the electrician we consulted with said was no longer listed by UL because it would never trip when it was supposed to). He'll install a new breaker box, but not for about a month, and we need power to the bedroom now as it's hard to work in the dark after the sun goes down.
But best of all, I got to stitch for about an hour and a half yesterday! That may account somewhat for my "all is right with the world" outlook.

Jul 29, 2008

Warning! I have two X chromosomes and I know how to use them!

Very heavy sarcasm on. "Hypothetical" situation to follow.
Three people are standing in a room. Two of them have both X and Y chromosomes. The third person has two X chromosomes. When two or more XY people are together, situational deafness occurs. This renders them pretty much unable to hear, understand, or implement anything any XX person says to them.
The XY people are about to begin a very messy job that will get stuff all over the floor. They do nothing during their preparation for the job regarding protecting the floor. The XX person suggests several ways to protect the floor and offers to fetch the appropriate materials which are nearby. The XY people do not acknowledge this information and continue on with the messy job. The job is very messy and involves a form of mud and copious amounts of water.
Fast forward to the next day. The XY person wants to proceed with the next phase of the job, which is painting. The XX person wisely states that the previous job's mess must be cleaned up first. The XY person (who is now able to hear most of what the XX person is saying) says that it can wait and it shouldn't take too long anyway. The XX person insists.
The job of cleaning the mess takes six hours and involves tediously scrapping and both hand- and rotary-sanding the floor. Water damage is discovered and noted by the XX person; this damage is seen and acknowledged by the XY person. During all of this time-wasting cleaning brought on by lack of proper preparation, the XX person remains mostly calm and doesn't speak. The XX person doesn't speak to prevent the loud and probably strident voicing of many, many bad words.
After the cleaning job is finished, the XX person informs the XY person that starting now, no job shall be started unless it is properly prepped. Such prepping must be approved for effectiveness by the XX person before the job is allowed to proceed, especially if the job is to be done by one or more XY people. The XY person accedes to this decree, thankful to still be among the living and not duct-taped to a wall somewhere.

Jul 28, 2008


We've been wearing ourselves out working at the new house since Friday. (But I did sneak in a little stitching - picture later this week!)
On Friday, DH and Billy got the last of the sheetrock up.
On Saturday, Billy began taping and bedding like mad. The man is speedy! At work, DH says everyone calls him "a gerbil on uppers."
Because it was SOOOOO hot (over 100 degrees) this weekend, the mud dried at warp speed and Billy was able to get it finished by Sunday afternoon! Normally, it would take four to five days for this!
So we were able to begin texturing! We are using the "stomp" pattern. Billy demonstrated on the ceiling for us and then taught us to do it on the walls.
We all took turns "stomping" the walls and got all finished by 4:30 p.m. on Sunday! Today, we prime and paint one top coat!

Jul 24, 2008

DH's boss is...

...a really great guy. I'll explain why. No, the dog isn't ours. No, DH's boss doesn't look like a dog. I got the picture off Photobucket - I thought the dog and his name was cute.
DH has been taking Mondays off so we can spend it working on the new house. We've been spending just about every spare waking moment out there working. We have to be out of our rent house soon, and we're racing that deadline.
The next big job is taping/bedding and texturing all the sheetrock that is going up. DH and I can do all that, and do it quite well, but we both hate doing it with a flaming purple passion. So much so that we are hiring it done. We are hiring DH's technician at work, Billy, (who has done this both full- and part-time for years) to do it for us. And Billy is very fast and is a true craftsman.
Yesterday, DH's boss told him that he was giving Billy and him the day off on Friday (with pay) so that the work could get done sooner. Is that cool or what?!

Jul 23, 2008

"John Hancocking" my posts

I stole the website for generating a free blog signature from Michelle's blog. It was fun and easy to do. Here is the website: My Live Signature if you want to make one for yourself.

Knicker Knotter #4

I am one of those people who wears plain underwear. White. Cotton. No lace. My main goal is comfort. My main complaint about underwear? BUYING IT!
I hate the fact that my DH has been wearing the same size and brand of underwear since he was in the ninth grade. The underwear hasn't changed at all during those ensuing years. It probably hasn't changed in the last 100 years. He needs new underwear? He goes to the nearest department store and buys three packages of his usual brand and he's set!
When I need new underwear, I must go on a search and destroy mission to find some. Usually, what I bought last time is no longer made, or it has been "new and improved" to the point where it is no longer comfortable for me. So, then I must go to way too many stores and search the internet, buying many, many brands/sizes to find comfort and fit.
And of course, you usually can't buy just one pair. You have to buy a package of underwear. I end up sending a bunch of packages of brand-new underwear to the Goodwill store with one pair removed from each package. But once I do find "the perfect fit," I buy enough to last me six or seven years. That way, I only have to go through this on occasion. Maybe I should learn to sew my own. Yeah, right.
And I won't even begin to discuss finding a bra that fits and is comfortable; I could write a novel. And isn't the phrase "comfortable bra" an oxymoron anyway?

Jul 22, 2008

Sundry topics

Thanks for reading my blog and leaving comments, y'all! I appreciate it!
First off, let me say ippity blippity bleepin' frog! I sneaked in some stitching time this morning and was feeling pretty chuffed (as a UKer would say), when I realized I would have to frog. I found a stitch leg that I had crossed over two legs instead of one. Whee.
I'm not one who minds doing laundry. However, socks are my least favorite thing to sort and fold. Laundry in the summer is nice as there are usually very few socks as I go barefoot 99% of the time. This summer, due to the wearing of shoes while working out at the new house, I have lots of socks to fold. *grumblemumblewhine*
DH and I continue to discover just how bad our contractor was. We noticed that the new windows in the addition are one-inch higher than the new windows in the original part of the bedroom. This is due to the way the addition is attached to the house and where the bottom plate in the wall is located. A savvy framer would have taken this into account and the contractor apparently did not employ one. Now, no one is going to walk into our bedroom and say, "Hey! Did you know that the windows over there are about one-inch higher than the ones over here?" But it's the principle of the thing and the contractor's repeated lack of attention to detail.
On a happy note, we now have sheetrock on all the ceilings that needed it. We also have insulation in 95% of the bedroom walls and are ready to begin sheetrocking them!

Jul 18, 2008

WIP progress

I'm a slow stitcher anyway, but not getting a lot of time to stitch makes me even slower. At any rate, here is my WIP of the "Spring" panel from PS "Country Seasons" Book 123. I managed to sneak in a little stitching time this morning.

Jul 17, 2008

Men and women shop differently (long but funny)

On Monday, I had to run by a local HVAC supply house to pick up some ductwork for the new house for DH. The five-minute errand took 45 minutes and was a great source of amusement. It reminded me of just how different men and women are.
When I went in the place, the front counter had one (and only one) very grumpy older man waiting on customers and answering the phone.
Two guys were sprawled on stools in front of the counter while the counter guy - Burt - looked up something for them on the computer. Another guy was waiting to be served. Every time the phone would ring, Burt would gruffly answer it, tend to business, and then go back to his computer. It would take him a minute to figure out what he had been doing before being so rudely interrupted by the phone. Eventually, the guys on the stools left, promising to come back later in the day for their needed part. Burt said he knew they had it, he just had to look it up in the computer to find out where it was in the warehouse.
In the meantime, four other guys came in. Now with me, there are five customers waiting. This greatly concerns Burt. He gets gruffer and more short on the phone. He begins muttering under his breath at the computer. The phone keeps ringing. He begins to tell people to call back in thirty minutes as he has "ten people waiting to be helped!" At one point, he and a caller get into it, calling each other names and questioning one another's ancestry. But he still takes down the guy's order and says it will be delivered today.
I did finally get my flexiduct. If this had happened to a "normal" woman (I do not claim to be a normal woman; I have never been one and never will be), she would have been offended at hearing the belligerent phone call. She would have been incensed that Burt did not greet her when she came in the door. She would have commiserated with the guys who left without their part. She would have sworn never to come back into that place ever and she would tell all her friends not to come there, too!
The men simply waited. They all smiled or smirked at Burt's tirade on the phone. They bought Cokes from the soda machine, used the restroom, looked through trade magazines, or made cell phone calls while waiting. They did not try to hurry Burt up or organize him (they probably knew they would be beating a dead horse if they tried). Yeah, they might have been able to shop somewhere else, but this place was well-supplied, cheap, and they were already there. Venus and Mars. And yep, I shop like a guy.

Jul 16, 2008

Yippee skippy! Stash in the mail!

DH and I took the night off last night, so I got to stitch. Yeehaw! And I got stash in the mail yesterday.
One item was a leaflet I've been on the lookout for. I collect Texas-themed patterns and this one is OOP ("Texese" by Linda Jary of The Scarlet Thread) . I finally found one on eBay and it came in the mail on Monday.
Then, due to evil enabling by another blogger who shall remain nameless, I ordered my first Mill Hill kits ever. The evil enabling blogger told me she bought her kit at her LNS. So, in the interest of keeping an LNS in business, I ordered from there directly instead of ordering from Mill Hill. I actually visited this LNS - Cross Stitch Haven - once when I lived in Oklahoma. It's a very nice place with tons of patterns and fibers and fabrics. Lots of shop models, too. And the owner is very nice.
Normally, I wouldn't buy a frame as DH can make them for me. But as I foresee that he will be busy making/building things for the new house, I decided to go ahead and buy the matching frame "just this one time." Frame making will be way down on his list of "things that must get made."

Jul 15, 2008

Stitching withdrawal

I haven't stitched a lick in days. I'm going through withdrawal. I've been too busy during the day to stitch, and either too tired or too dirty to stitch at night. Oh well. At least the work on the house is getting done.
We have a three-foot tall pile of sheetrock in the new house. Our dog loves to get up on top of things, especially if it allows her to look out of windows. She quickly took advantage of the view from atop the sheetrock pile.

Jul 13, 2008

Itching like mad

I haven't stitched all weekend. Poop. DH and I have spent most of the last two days out at the new house. We had to perform TLC on the ceiling rafters before putting up the new sheetrock. This entailed "piggy-backing" over half of the joists. When you piggy-back a joist, you place another one right next to it and then nail the two to each other. We also had to add some joist and rafter straps to tie everything together. That was my job. I can swing a hammer with the best of them. Here's a picture of our wonderful joist renovation!
Now, remember that when DH tore down the ceiling, he removed the old fiberglass insulation. Well, most of it. Every single time DH or I hit a nail into one of those joists, it shook loose dirt and fiberglass fluff. On average, each joist required 40 nails to piggy-back it. Each joist or rafter strap required eight nails. ACK! I hate fiberglass! I've been scratching for two days! I will be SO glad when the sheetrock is up on the ceiling again.
After we repaired the joists, DH hung the duct work for the central heat and air conditioning that we will eventually install.

Jul 11, 2008

A really cool present for a young boy

My oldest nephew is a car fiend, just like his dad - my "little" brother - was. Is. My nephew adores playing with any kind of car, but he especially loves Hot Wheels.
Hot Wheels came out in 1968, when my brother was two years old. Today, according to the Mattel Hot Wheels website, the average boy owns 41 Hot Wheels, and two are sold every second of the day!
So for my nephew's fourth birthday, I came up with the idea of sending him a membership to the "Aggieland Car of the Month Club." I made up the name for fun; there is no such club. Don't Google it, you won't find it. On his birthday, I sent him a Hot Wheels car in the mail with a fancy-shmancy Auntie-created certificate telling him he would get a car in the mail every month. He was absolutely thrilled. So thrilled that I continued it again for his next birthday. In fact, I'll continue it for each birthday until he tells me to stop.
It's so easy to do. Right before his December birthday, I go to Wal-Mart and buy 12 different Hot Wheels, making sure they are labeled with the next year's "year model." (Yep, they have year models.) I also buy twelve (#0) 6" x 9" bubble envelopes at Office Max. Then with the first month's installment, I go to the post office to get it weighed and buy enough stamps for the remaining 11 months. Then around the first of each month, I mail a car. I also e-mail my Bro so they know to be on the lookout for it. I keep the paper picture backing for each car to double-check that I don't mail duplicates. I only mail the car, not the packaging.
My nephew is funny. He always has at least one car in his pocket and loves to tell people about his "Aggieland Car of the Month Club" cars. Yep, he says the whole title each time he talks about one of the cars. My DSisIL says that the ACOTMC cars are delegated to a special Jammers box for storage. Only ACOTMC cars may park there.

Jul 10, 2008

A grumpy stitcher

I'm a grumpy stitcher, mainly because I haven't much lately. I sat down on Tuesday night to stitch, but DH was working on the lawnmower and I ended up doing fetch and find duty for him about every 10 or so minutes. I think I put maybe eight stitches in. Oh well. At least the lawnmower is fixed now.
Yesterday, I spent the day out at the new house painting a door and trim molding for the pocket doors. A young co-worker of DH's came out to pull nails out of the den ceiling for me. When DH pulled down the old sheetrock, the nails were left behind along with bits of fiberglass fluff.
It was supposed to be my job to pull all these nails down. I did the ceiling in the bedroom and my knees complained for two days afterwards. Vertically challenged people must use ladders to pull ceiling nails. Well, I started on the den ceiling and my knees REALLY complained. Plus, I kept getting bits of fiberglass fluff on me. I hate fiberglass as it makes me itch like mad. I grumped at DH, "I'd pay somebody fifty bucks to do this job!!" DH said, "Fine. I'll ask Preston if he'd like to make easy money."
Preston is a recent high school graduate who works part-time where DH does. He's a really nice young man. And he's tall. Preston had the ceiling nails pulled in about 45 minutes and he didn't need the ladder. He was fun to talk to, also. Tightwads know the value of everything, and to me, that was the best fifty bucks I've spent recently!
As DH plans to begin sheetrocking this weekend, we're paying Preston to come out and help DH hang it. I am a strong and capable woman, and quite willing to help, but I'm short. DH worries about stuff falling on me or me falling off my ever-present ladder. He won't worry about that with Preston helping.
Here's a picture of the back of the house before the addition.
Here's a picture after the addition has been added. This is our bedroom bathroom and closet.

Jul 8, 2008

New nephew and progress

Our newest nephew finally made his appearance today at 5:30 p.m. CDT. Mom and baby are doing fine, Dad (my Bro) is giddy and happy. Sorry, I'll not be posting any pictures of him. He is not my child so I don't feel comfortable doing so. However, I do reserve the right to tell nephew stories about him and his older brother. I guess after I finish PS "Summer," I'll be starting on a birth announcement.
We are making progress on our house, even after firing our contractor. Long sordid story, and no, I'll not be sharing it. You can do everything right in hiring a contractor and still end up with a dud. Anyway, here is the front of the bedroom before work started.
And here it is as of June 18th.

Jul 6, 2008

A hole 'nother obsession

If you've ever owned any breed of terrier, you know how obsessive they can get over something. They can be very dogmatic. VERY dogmatic.
Our new house previously had propane space heaters, and there is a hole left in the den floor where the piping used to be. Our dog, Emma, is convinced there is something worthy lurking down there. She will stuff her nose in the hole and sniff deeply repeatedly.
After the repeated sniffing, she will then stand motionless with her head cocked and ears listening hard, watching for "something" to emerge from the hole. Nothing ever does. It never ceases to amuse her humans.

Jul 5, 2008

Stitching and stuff

Today was my day to go to Austin for the IH35 Stitchtogether. I missed last month and so I really enjoyed today. There were eight of us there and we had fun laughing, talking, and eating. Oh, we did get some stitching done, too!
Yesterday, DH and I spent the whole day out at the house working. While I did get the second coat of polyurethane and paint on the two doors I'm working on, I spent most of the day as DH's gofer. DH is a great carpenter, but he is one of those guys who won't wear a tool belt, and who leaves his tools where he last was. So, I speed things up by bringing him what he needs from wherever he just came from to where he is. For example: he needs his tape measure while he's up on the six-foot ladder. The tape measure is across the room where he just used it while cutting a board on the compound miter saw. I fetch it. Saves him from climbing down the ladder again.
Not glamorous work, but it gets the job done. We got the door/wall framed in for our closet. We like pocket doors and they require special framing (that’s what the funky ladder-looking framing is for). DH is also putting a gun safe in the closet and we framed for that, too.
BTW, the picture I posted yesterday is not something that I personally have stitched. Someone posted it on a message board and I saved it because I liked it. It's called the "Preamble Sampler Pattern" by Jean Bess.

Jul 4, 2008

Happy Fourth of July!

May you have a safe and pleasant July 4th. Happy Birthday to our great nation!

Jul 3, 2008

Y'all didn't really think I...

...bought a pink toilet did you? Of course not. It was white.

Bowled, but not tanked, old trucks, and babies

Well, I've stitched a little bit on my PS "Spring" panel. I got the panel outline done and stitched part of a bunny butt on Tuesday. That was the last I stitched. And today isn't looking good either.
Yesterday, I spent the morning running around doing errands, including taking my DH's hospital call bag and the above knee (AK) prosthesis he fit the day before up to work for him as he left them in the Jetta. I am having to drive our Jetta as my beloved Old Faithful the '88 Chevy Truck is no longer reliable and DH won't let me drive it anywhere unless he is with me. Old Faithful burns about a quart of oil every two days, eats spark plugs on a monthly basis, has worn out springs, loose steering, and a wonky transmission. In fact, we are looking for a used "new" truck. I think I'll mourn deeply when Old Faithful goes; he and I have been together for over 20 years!
During my errands, I went to Lowe's to buy a toilet. Not just any toilet, but one that has been researched extensively as to its flushing power. Water conservation is a moot point if you have to flush two or three times to empty the bowl. Lowe's had the bowl, but not the tank. In fact, they had four boxes of bowls, but no tanks. Yes, they are on backorder. Yes, they know they should have them in stock. Yes, they know they look foolish with only the bowl in stock. Ma'am, have you tried Home Depot? No, I haven't, but I will. I did and Home Depot had the toilet I wanted (both parts!).
After my errands, I went out to the house to work. I polyurethaned one door that I stained last week, and primed another door for painting. DH joined me after work and did some more electrical work. He spent 45 minutes trying to find out why the bathroom light/fan he was wiring would "fan" but not light. Turns out it wasn't his wiring job; the light bulb he was using to test it was bad.
The whole time we were out at the house, we kept listening for the phone to ring. My newest nephew was due last week and we keep expecting him to make his appearance. I may be singing, "Born on the Fourth of July" to him if he doesn't make it today.