May 30, 2008

My bovine WIP

I have stitched a bit this week. Not lots, but a bit. So, I'm posting a picture of my progress on "Texas Longhorn."

May 28, 2008

Ippity Blippity Bleepin' BOVINES!

We love our new property. It is a beautiful country setting. We're surrounded on all sides by pastures. However, these pastures contain...COWS! We have a pond at the back of our acreage that is apparently very attractive to cows. So attractive that they have pushed down the fence to get to it. This results in cows all over our property and LARGE AMOUNTS OF COW PATTIES.
In Texas, the livestock owner is responsible for maintaining the fencing in order to keep his livestock on his own property. So...we had to chase down the property owner. He no longer works the cattle as he is elderly and lives in Houston, but his nephew oversees his cattle. His nephew has a day job. So the nephew sent out his handyman (another elderly gentleman) to check it all out. Turns out the handyman lives down the road and is a neighbor. And the fence will be fixed this weekend.
In the meantime, I'm still chasing cows off our front lawn and watching where I walk. :-)

May 25, 2008

Summer is here

Our new house has only window units for air conditioning (AC), and only one works. We haven't been using it while we've been out there working. And DH's shop has no AC either (yet). So after spending all day sweating like the proverbial pig, we came home, showered and went to bed early only to discover that the AC in the rent house was dead. *SIGH*
After a sweaty night, DH went over and told our landlord this morning about the dead AC and he got someone on it right away. Our landlord lives in the house to the west of us, and the AC guy lives to the east. The AC guy said the only reason he came out on a Sunday on Memorial Day weekend was that he didn't have to drive to the job and he likes our landlord. (And I got to stitch more grass in my "Texas Longhorn" design while it was being worked on.) Anyway, it's fixed and we're cool.
So, we went off the the new house, and worked and sweated like pigs again until supper time. DH ripped down the ceiling in the bedroom and bagged up six trash bags full of old, torn, damp fiber glass insulation. YUCK! I'm very thankful for a DH who will tackle nasty jobs without a whine or a whimper. He says he's glad he has a wife who will paint just about anything without a whine or a whimper.
Here is DH's shop. The yellow/white color scheme is what we will use for the exterior of our house as we get it renovated.

May 24, 2008

I hate it when...

...I run out of paint before I run out of project. Since DH hates painting with a passion, I am painting the bare wooden floor of his shop. I a-l-m-o-s-t got it primed today, but ran out of paint. Phooey.

We spent the day out at the new house. DH began work on gutting the bedroom down to the studs before the contractor comes out in about ten days to start the addition to it. Here are before and after pictures of the back wall where the addition (a closet and bathroom) will go:

I stitched about one row of grass (DMC 503) on my "Texas Longhorn." At this rate, I'll be finished with it by December.

May 22, 2008

Held captive by two guys with toolbelts

Well, if that ain't an attention-getting title, I don't know what is! Anyway. Yesterday, I spent the whole day out at the new house.

When we lived in Oklahoma, we had a large detached garage with room for all of DH's woodworking tools. Here at the rent house, DH's tools are crammed in the carport shed and are mostly inaccessible. This makes him whine a lot and heave great sighs. It would be like a stitcher with all her stash packed away. So, when we bought the new house, we also bought a 16' x 20' workshop for DH (and his tools). It's a Tuff Shed we bought from Home Depot. We priced lumber and time for DH to build one himself, and then checked out the Tuff Shed. They deliver and build it on site in one day. It was a much better deal than DH doing it himself.

The only thing is, you have to have an adult on site while they build it. So, I spent my day cleaning the kitchen more, putting shelf paper in all the upper kitchen cabinets, and pulling up the moron-installed tile floor in the kitchen while two guys built the Tuff Shed. I was there from 9:00 a.m. until 5:15 p.m.

The guys worked like well-oiled machines, each doing a specific task to erect the shed. I never saw them speak to each other. I wondered how many sheds they had built and if they could build one with their eyes closed. One guy never spoke to me at all, the other guy only spoke 11 words - three "yes, ma'ams," a "sign here, ma'am," and a "thank you."

I'll post a picture of the shed tomorrow. For now, here is a picture of a part of the railroad tie beams that frame the kitchen doorway. DH and I are not amused by these and plan to remove them ASAP. In the picture, you see "natural wear holes" and fake moss stuck in these holes for ambiance, I guess. I think it is silly.

I did get to stitch a teensy bit yesterday, and plan to stitch more today. I will post a WIP picture this weekend.

May 20, 2008

More kitchen pictures

I really appreciate the comments y'all leave for me on my blog posts. Thanks! I've found new blogs from reading your posts, too. And LoriRay, I have several blood relatives who are Baylor alumni, so I have built up a tolerance to Bears fans.

Here are the other "before" kitchen pictures we've taken. The first one is of the sink location. Note the "head-banger" cabinets over the sink (Moron!). The second is of the refrigerator and stove area. Note the drop-in stove sitting on the floor with a "lovely" brick backsplash. We ended up with a houseful of old useless appliances which are all being hauled off for scrap metal. The third picture is of the tile floor. It is not grouted in. The tiles are merely sitting on the wood subfloor. All the countertops are made of concrete and are about three inches too high from normal. As I am vertically challenged anyway, this is not good. DH and I plan to gut this kitchen down to the studs in the next year, but we do need it to be functional and CLEAN for awhile.

May 19, 2008

Knicker Knotter #2 - Paint Morons

One of my most pettest peeves is people who don't do a job right; they half do it or don't use the correct materials/methods (or don't bother to learn what the correct materials/methods are). My dad always called this "doing a half-a$$ job."

Yesterday, DH and I spent a few hours out at the new house starting on cleaning the kitchen. We filled two trash cans full of "tenant residue" and then I started scrubbing the cabinets clean in preparation for putting down shelf paper. The cabinets are site-built and the insides are all nicely painted with oil-based enamel paint (which is what you should always paint kitchen cabinets with). At some point, some paint moron decided to paint the outside of the doors and they used flat latex wall paint. Moron.

Flat wall paint on cabinets picks up dirt very easily. Latex paint painted over oil-based paint without a primer will come off if you try to clean off the dirt. Notice the lovely circle of grunge around all the cabinet knobs prior to my scrubbing. Also notice the nice window with no sink beneath it, but that's another story and the same moron.

May 18, 2008

DH was REALLY a home-moaner

Yesterday, we went out to the new house to begin work on it. It had tenants in it previously, and the former owner didn't remove any tenant "residue." So we have a lot of heavy cleaning to do among other things. The former owner also turned off the water at the main.

Now, if you've ever lived in an older rural home, you know the joys of finding out all the little idiosyncrasies of said home, especially when the home is outside city limits and city building codes don't have to be followed. DH spent about an hour looking for the water main valve. The former owner told him it was in the "corner near the fence." He just didn't say which corner and which fence. DH finally found it but only after he cut the snot out of two of his fingers looking in the wrong place. Of course, there was not a band-aid to be found. So we went home.

One of the cuts probably could have used a stitch, but it was across a knuckle which would have been difficult anyway. So, I just butterfly band-aided it and made DH tape his finger to a popsicle stick for 24 hours so he wouldn't bend it and pull the cut open. Of course, we didn't have any medical or athletic tape, so we used duct tape. Then we went off to Lowe's to buy needed supplies. Did I mention that this was DH's middle finger?

May 17, 2008

Yeehaw! We're "home-moaners" again!

Surprisingly, the closing on our house went off yesterday without a single hitch. Perhaps it's because none of the bank monkeys were in attendance. As DH likes to say, "We're 'home-moaners' again!" It was sad saying goodbye to our realtor as we've been "together" for nearly a year and a half. On the other hand, the poor man might've been glad to at long last get rid of us!

I haven't put a single stitch in my current WIP in three days, so I haven't any progress to show or report. So, I'll post another picture of Emma. This one is of her and my DH loafing on the couch together.

May 15, 2008

No miracles today

'Round lunchtime yesterday, DH got a call from the mathematically-challenged bank loan officer. Guess what? Yep, the closing was moved back to Friday because the bank lawyer "didn't get around to reading and approving the legal description." Geesh. Bank monkeys and lawyers - what a combination.

Here is a picture of Emma lying on the back of our sofa. She seems to be saying, "You're kidding, right?" and it makes me smile.

May 14, 2008

Ranting, complaining, and a picture

Warning, long rant imminent! DH and I are supposed to close on our new house tomorrow. This is the fifth house we've bought in our 20+ years of marriage. I can truthfully say that this is the most convoluted, crazy, ippity, blippity, bleepin' closing we've ever experienced. I have no faith that we will actually close as scheduled tomorrow, but I guess miracles do occur.

The realtor has been wonderful - the poor man has REALLY earned his money with this sale/closing. The title company has done their job efficiently and in a timely and knowledgeable manner. The bank? Well, let's just say that monkeys with an abacus and a typewriter could do a better job. Neither of the loan officers we've been shunted between seems to have a clue. DH caught a MATH ERROR the second one made. A bank loan officer!! A MATH ERROR!!! And he was using an Excel program!!!! Geesh.

DH has had to call the bank nearly every day to check up on things they should be attending to. We're certainly paying them enough fees for them to do their job without supervision, but they seem unable to comprehend this. Yesterday, they told DH that we will need a cashier's check for the closing, despite having told him repeatedly that we could just write a check from the money market account where our funds are currently held. SURPRISE! Uh, gee. It takes 10-14 days for a check like that to clear our bank before our bank will write us a cashier's check. Uh, gee. It's three days until closing (another math error perhaps?). Instead of giving in to his urge to tell the bank off, DH called the realtor. The realtor told DH to have the money wired to the title company. DH called the title company. They said, "Easy peasy. We actually prefer that it be done that way. And the bank should know this." Sigh. *bangs head on desk*

Anyway, as I've been packing up pictures, I thought I'd post a few of my favorites. Here is "Texas Nutcracker" by Mosey-n-Me.

May 13, 2008

Cat and Dog

I'm in the process of taking down all the pictures in the rent house and boxing them up. I thought I'd post a picture of JBW's "French Country Cat" and "French Country Dog" all finished before I box them. I was never totally happy with the way the Dog came out. I reversed the pattern and had to restitch and "center" the word "Dog" several times. I'm mostly happy with it, but not totally.

May 12, 2008

Doors and a WIP

I never seem to have time on the weekends to post. Oh well. DH and I spent most of Saturday price comparing doors/storm doors for the "new" house. Besides our Lowe's and Home Depot, we found a place called Surplus Warehouse. My tightwad heart beats rapidly at any store with "Surplus" in the name. Indeed, we found doors were cheapest there. The storm door, however, will be purchased from Home Depot. DH wanted some new-fangled features and Home Depot had the best price on a storm door with the newest-fangled DH-pleasing features.

I did get some time to stitch on "Texas Longhorn." I got the longhorn stitched. And lest my Aggie friends think I have lost my mind and gone over to the burnt orange side, let me assure you that I think of the longhorn as a Texas steer; it is not a longhorn with a capital "L." There is not a speck of burnt orange in this design. I wouldn't have bought it if there was, much less stitched it! GIG 'EM!

May 9, 2008

Wacky Gift Exchange ornament

I mentioned in another post that I always stitch an ornament for DH's workplace Christmas party. Here's a picture of the one I stitched last year. It's from the JCS '07 Ornament issue, page 67, pattern name "Santa," stitched on 32 count latte Wichelt linen with DMC.

May 8, 2008

Orphan frame find!

I was by Hobby Lobby this week and found some more orphan frames at 90% off. I bought 16.5 linear feet of frame for $36.12. The regular price would have been $361.20.

The two larger frames had stretcher bars in them for canvas. Stretcher bars don't have rabbets on the back, but this is no problem when you have a DH who has a router. So, by pulling the stretcher bars out of the frames, I ended up with five frames. Three are nicely stained and detailed, and the stretcher bars can be painted. I just love it when that happens!

And yes, I did get to start "Texas Longhorn" last night. I'm a happy stitcher!

May 7, 2008

My kingdom for my fabric!

Well, the serger at DH's work was broken. I was gonna have him just bring the fabric home, but Georgia-the-quilting-lady offered to take it home with her and serge it. So hopefully, I'll get it tonight.

Georgia is one of the "office ladies" at DH's work. She is an avid quilter but hates to cross-stitch. I'm an avid cross-stitcher but I hate to quilt. We both enjoy looking at the fruit of the other's labor. I stitch a Christmas ornament every year for the annual company Christmas dinner and Wacky Gift Exchange. Georgia loves these and goes to extraordinary lengths to make sure she ends up with the ornament. And, when our IH35 Stitchers group needed a bunch of cross-stitched squares made into a special quilt for one of our members, Georgia took care of that for us. So unless one of her cats gets my fabric, or DH leaves it on his bench, I will be able to start a new project tonight!

It's really painful to have something all kitted up and ready to go, but not have the fabric. I didn't want to start something else, so I just whined a lot and DH took me out to Lowe's to look at plumbing fixtures. That helped some.

Here's what I'll be starting, "Texas Longhorn" by Redbird Designs:

May 6, 2008

Yeehaw! I finished DH's "Bandanna Stocking!"

Yippee-skippy! I finished DH's "Bandanna Stocking" last night. I was all ready to start a new project but didn't have the fabric. DH serges my fabric for me at work, and he was really busy yesterday and didn't have time. I could have over-edged it on my sewing machine, but that's hard to do when the fabric is still at work on DH's bench. Hopefully, I'll get the serged fabric and be able to start "Texas Longhorn" by Redbird Designs tonight.

I hope to find time to actually finish this into a stocking before we move. I have some Texas Tech fabric to back and line it with. Who would have thought I'd find Texas Tech fabric in the heart of Aggieland? But I did indeed find it at Hancock when it went out of business here last year (one block from A&M!).

Anyway, here's the stocking:

May 4, 2008

Ippity Blippity Bleepin' Frog!!

Well, yesterday was my day to go to the IH35 Stitchtogether in Austin. I took my "Bandanna Stocking" as I thought it would be easy to work on the last top border. There was a small motif that repeated itself, and I was sure I could stitch it without much concentration. Ha.
I spent half my stitching time today frogging half of what I stitched yesterday. Sigh.
Oh well. In spite of the frog, I should get the stocking finished this week. Stay tuned for a picture.

May 2, 2008

In a cabin in the woods...

Since the weather here this morning is glummy and grismal, I'm not going to even try to get a decent picture of my "Bandanna Stocking" WIP. Instead, I'll post a picture of our house-to-be. Before you say, "Egad! They've bought a shack!" remember I said in a previous post that it's spent most of its existence as a recreational cabin and needs updating. DH and I are tickled blue (You didn't really think I'd say "pink," did you?!) to get it. Stay tuned for "before" and "after" pictures. We currently live in the Brazos Valley in "Aggieland" in what I call a "country subdivision" outside the city limits. We'll be moving farther out of town within 30 driving minutes of DH's place of employment.

May 1, 2008

LoneStar quirks

I saw this meme on Kendra's blog and thought it would be fun to do. But I had never run across the word "meme" before and had to look it up. I found that it is a noun and is pronounced "meem," not "meemee" as I had supposed. It means "cultural characteristic passed down through generations.” I really think, in the blogging world, it means answering a series of questions about yourself or telling everyone about "me!”

Anyway, you are supposed to list seven habits/quirks/facts about yourself, and here are mine:

1) I hate the color pink. I won't wear it. Nothing in my house is pink. If you give me something pink, I will re-home it quickly.

2) I am chronically organized; a place for everything and everything in its place. If I come upon a situation involving a group of people with no direction, I will organize them. I don't tolerate chaos well (unless it is organized and controlled).

3) Since I live in south central Texas where it is warm or just plain hot most of the year, I am usually found wearing a T-shirt, shorts, and no shoes. I do wear shoes out in public, but won't around the house.

4) I have every Star Trek novel in print (in all genres except Voyager which I don't care for). I also have every Star Wars novel in print. And yes, I have read them all, most of them several times.

5) I don't like ice in my iced tea. If you make it and keep it in the refrigerator, then it should be already cold; adding ice just waters down the brew.

6) I was allergic to chocolate for the first twelve years of my life. I am making up for lost time. I consider chocolate a food group.

7) I am a singing snob. I was a choir rat for most of my school years and sat under several very gifted voice teachers. I was taught (drilled!) about such things as proper breath control, phrasing, intonation, dynamics, diction, etc. Most of the popular "singers" I hear today make me nauseous. What they consider "style" I consider a serious lack of training. BAH!