Archive for the ‘family’ Category

Christmas Highlights

January 6th, 2013 by knitnzu

I should have posted this a while back, eh?

Zuzu was sniffing around the tree early, and she discovered a toy wrapped for her. She started dragging it out, ready to open it. We said “Hey, you, we need to wait for the teenager“.

Photo 9 - 2012-12-25

We managed a posed pic of the girls,
Photo 10 - 2012-12-25
Zuzu has her paw in the air… it’s her “I want something” pose.

Teenager got up around 8:30.
Photo 8 - 2012-12-25

Gravy immediately caught some excitement, ran over to the tree, and randomly grabbed some package and started opening it. “Hey, you, wait a minute, that’s not yours“. But she got to help open all the gifts, and had the best time opening Don’s.

Photo 3 - 2012-12-25

Even though he’s 17 now, the boy still enjoys the packaging too…
Photo 5 - 2012-12-25

And clearly loves his fleecy socks,
Photo 6 - 2012-12-25

Don loves the hat I made him… from leftover yarn from that striped mushroom sweater. He’s goofing off here, but he does like it,
Photo 1 - 2012-12-25 Photo 2 - 2012-12-25

Photo 1 - 2012-12-26

It’s the Cathedral Hat from Bill Huntington at Hope Spinnery. Project details on my Ravelry project page.

I’ve started knitting the sky, but I think that needs its own blog post!

more broken black, and a bit of xmas

December 19th, 2012 by knitnzu

I haven’t been able to capture the color of this yarn! It’s darker than it shows here. I should swatch some up, try some beads on it… see if the 6/0 or 8/0 beads work better.

wiltons 009

wiltons 010 wiltons 011

Stuff just keeps getting in the way of knitting, busy season and all, and I think I’m coming down with a cold. I manage to get home from work, get dinner together, and then I’m pretty much done. I’m horrified at the piles of things all over the table (the table that still has the tablecloth from Thanksgiving on it, but with an addition of glittery sparkles from writing the xmas cards).

Clutter. Nemesis.

We finally got the tree decorated. Mostly I just took ornaments out of boxes and got boyo and his friend to do much of it. And my girlfriend. Who I plied with martinis.

They did a fabulous job! Even boyo’s friend, who tells me his mom won’t let him decorate their tree, because he breaks too many ornaments.

tree (40)

It’s a shitty picture, I know. But I think I took maybe 25 pictures, and this was about the best. I have lots of favorite ornaments. These, in particular, amuse me. I’m pretty sure I paid 10 cents for them. They even came in their original box!

tree (4)

We did a bit of shopping this past weekend. Nice thing about having a 17 year old who is interested in getting more clothes? You can go shopping with him and tell him “this will go under the tree, yaknow” and he’s all fine with that. (and yes, he did drag me into Wal-Mart, first time in several years… I had to take a deep breath when we walked out, and blather about surviving the ordeal).

shopping (1) shopping (2)
(he poses with the villain, I pose with the tacky xmas decoration… and then I went out and immediately bought a bunch of silver tinsel garland to make one of these… maybe I’ll do it for Friday’s work party).

We have a new thing at work! The conference room on our floor is gorgeous (as is the rest of the floor), but it is terribly echoey. All that glass, hard floor, 3 windows, hard walls… it was fairly painful to sit through a meeting in here sometimes. We started to think about getting some acoustical ceiling tiles, and then I said “wait a second, historical rehab here, maybe we should ask somebody“, and sure ’nuff, we shouldn’t just paste the things to the ceilings.

So, several months after starting this process, and working with an architect with the state, we have this drop ceiling thingamajig. It lets most of the light through (it is darker) and also doesn’t interfere with the sprinkler system. We had a smallish meeting in there today, and the echo is better. Not gone, but better. We probably need a rug, but we are resisting that notion.

acoustic solution (1)
(there is usually a huge central table composed of 6 small rectangular tables and 2 end pieces, and chairs).

Time for bed!

still thankful

December 9th, 2012 by knitnzu

So, it’s been 2 weekends since Thanksgiving, but I’m still thankful!

Friends visited from upstate NY, and we had a grand time together. Visiting, cooking, playing, walking around, etc etc etc. Sharing the love we have for each other.

Brian 135_sm Brian 112_sm

We ate that potato that could feed an entire family,
Brian 161_sm
V was a great help in the kitchen, and she got the chore joy of peeling that bad boy! It came from our garden.

The girls loved her and she loved them.
Brian 156_sm

Friday was off to Popham Beach. I told DH we’d probably see horses there. He said no way. Um…
popham (6) popham (7)
It was interesting watching that first group of horses (with that handsome draft mix). They’d never been to the beach before, so they balked at one of the waterways through the sand… but they went over it, and then they were fine.

popham (10) popham (14)

It’s always beautiful there!
popham (16) popham (21)

And, you know me… It’s a need of some sort…
popham (27) popham (30)
It was rather cold…

Fireworks that night downtown… they were pretty good! We walked down to the river to watch. A couple went off “badly” and ended up on the water, and that was interesting too.
fireworks (2)

Small Business Saturday meant a trip to Robbi’s open house (Maple Lane Farm in Windsor). Some pottery may have been purchased… And we visited the sheep and chickens for a bit.
robbis sheep (6) Brian 213_sm

V brought the coin kitty I made her a few years back… (the original post is so old, it came over from the old livejournal blog and half the photos are missing…)
coin kitty (2) coin kitty (1)
she still loves it!

A wore some old mittens she found, I think she said her grandmother or a cousin made them. Latvian mittens made by a Latvian woman!
old latvian mittens (3) old latvian mittens (2)
These are a simple, but lovely design. Latvian mittens can be crazy complicated… they’re all really beautiful!

We were poking about in Ravelry, and V commented on how much she liked the Shroom Hat. I had some super bulky, non-wool yarn around, and so…
shroom hat (2) shroom hat (3)
The yarn rather hides the design, but she loves the hat!

Today is all about getting that breaking black (Wilton’s food dye) experiment to work. Phase 1 failed somewhat, so I’m into truly experimental territory.

Oh, and getting the tree.

wee bit of knitting, pen1s shaped mushrooms, calendars are out!,

November 9th, 2012 by knitnzu

Aka stinkhorn,
Phallus ravenelii, looking rather disgusting after getting rained on.

These red mitts are for Mom. She says they make her arthritic hands feel better. I had wanted to finish them a month or so ago, but at least they’re done. Made of cotton with elastic in it (Fixation). The gray wool ones are for a friend’s mom in VT. I forget what kind of wool they’re made of, something I had lying around.
mitts 029 mitts 027

Remember the Calendar Girls post? Well, the calendars are out! I’m April…

bc calendar (1) bc calendar (2)

Get yours at Rocky Knoll Photography.

Election night… the dogs I was visiting were not especially interested in the results. Sid (the girls’ bro) and another friend’s pal Chester.

sid election night 2 chester election night

In other dog news… the girls got pruned today. Pics soon.

And in other family news, this boy turns 17 tomorrow.
nick nov 2012

Cripes, my photos are all a bit blurry. I think my lens needs cleaning. It’s a tiny point and shoot, Sony T77… do they have a lifespan? Or am I just getting old and shaky?

another step closer

October 16th, 2012 by knitnzu

…to finishing the back living room (aka the living room living room as named by boyo when he was 3, to distinguish it from the family room living room that we actually do the “living” in). The living room is probably the prettiest room in the house, and the least used of the downstairs rooms. We close it off in the winter with a blanket in the doorway, and it gets really cold in there.

All summer I’d been noticing a faintly mildewy smell (or more accurately for me, taste) in that room, and when I’d walk by the doorway to go upstairs. It was finally time to take some action. I learned this summer that I have a slight mold allergy, and even with the dysosmia issues, I can still taste mold/mildew perhaps more than smell it. Not especially pleasant.

The beginning

liv rm project (1) liv rm project (5)

liv rm project (2) liv rm project (9)

It’s not too cluttered in these photos, but it is… Stuff just lands there. Camping gear, stuff that should go into the attic, stuff that should go in the barn, stuff that should just go away… Often there is a weight set in there over the winter and/or a bicycle in a stand. The room serves as library, laboratory, and herbarium. There’s a fireplace behind that chest, but we closed it up because of the drafts.

When the house was built, this was originally two smaller rooms. Not sure when they opened it up, but I’m glad somebody did. Now the room measures about 25 feet by 10. This is half of the downstairs of the main part of the house. The other half is the kitchen, which is open into the dining room. Open from the dining room is the ell where we mostly “live”, and where there’s a woodstove.

in progress

Two coats of paint on the ceilings took longer than I thought it would! And then…
liv rm project (24) liv rm project (34)

There was loose wallpaper around the fireplace. Yes, somebody had painted over the wallpaper. I wasn’t going to take it all down, but I had to get up that hanging, loose bit. And then it was hard to stop. And then I had a good time skim coating it (really, I did).
liv rm project (40)

Two coats behind the bookshelves, ceilings done, trim has a coat, and a coat or two on the walls…
liv rm project (46)

There are six windows in this room! When I did the back (red) wall, I just painted the window, but as I did the rest of the room, I realized that three windows needed attention, and I may as well take out and put back in the one with the sash weights so that the cords are new.

things i discovered

The window that had cords hanging from the lower sash, and pulleys at the top of the window case, doesn’t actually have pocket doors to access the sash weights. I have no idea if there are sash weights in there or not! Also, this window glass was cracked, so out it came. It’s still in the barn, waiting for a piece of glass.
liv rm project (60)
Where is the weight pocket???

painting windows pc heat gun
Painting the lower sashes and trim pieces that hold the windows in. The heat gun is a new toy; it allowed me to get the old glazing out of the window with the broken glass without killing myself or the window sash…

Two windows had the sash weight/pulley system replaced with something called a Caldwell Sash Balance. They still make these things, but they are totally different. Generically, these things are called coil spring balances.
caldwell sash balance (6) caldwell sash balance (9)

caldwell sash balance (7) caldwell sash balance (3)
They sit where the pulley goes, and there is a metal strip that comes down where the cord goes, and that open triangular hookey thing goes where the knot goes. All of mine are broken and/or rusted. And the windows need sticks to prop them open.

Do you think anybody makes these anymore? I’ve found a company in the midwest who sells them, but their sizes are a tad different than what I have. I have to call them soon. I have two other windows in the house with these things in them. Pain in the ass. Why did anybody replace the so easy to maintain sash and pulley system???

Be still my beating heart!
I think I just found them!!

I also discovered that at some point the mantel was gold. Bright, shiny, and gold.
liv rm project (66)

The stuffed chair that was in the room is especially mildewy. It came to us with some issues, and they’ve gotten worse. It’s a good chair, but it’ll be ~$700 to reupholster. I may try to do this myself… I mean, what is there to lose?

And now

liv room painted (5) liv room painted (8)
(things still aren’t quite picked up… we need to organize some of the plant specimens… and I never pulled the stuff off of this wall to paint it, but it’s totally covered by cabinets and shelves. Maybe in the spring.)

The oldest books (over 100 years old some of them, but none valuable… they’re all in middling condition or so) are going through an airing regimen to get rid of some of the mustiness… and they got sprayed with Lysol. We just need another sunny day or two to put them out again.
airing old books (1)

What’s interesting is that the wall changes color in the different lights,
liv room painted (3) liv room painted (10)

and the best part?

We’re getting a gas fireplace insert and planning to use the room this winter!