Friday, August 30, 2013

7 Quick Takes (Vol 226)


Welcome from Crazytown where we are still swimming in boxes although we have finally made it to the shallow end of the box pool.

Even though it is a holiday weekend the rules still apply. When you are done rolling in the revelator blather you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of the biohazard team pulling up to my door (see #2), over to Conversion Diary to see what everyone else is up to.

Blather produced as a labor of love.

I had the chance to stop by OCK this week to pick up a couple of things that were left there. It isn’t as if we can actually USE the Invisible Fence apparatus here at Chez Knit Deux. But we paid a boat load of money for the thing when we installed it 12 years ago and we might need it again some time in the future (and by then it will be out dated) and really, we just didn’t want to leave it stuck to the wall in the garage. How unsightly! So I went over and disconnected it and left just the wires hanging there. It looked like something out of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”!!

And I had a chance to talk to the new owners (or at least the wife part) and she actually took me around in the house. Man it was REALLY strange to see someone else’s furniture in the spaces that we inhabited.

And I didn’t feel one qualm or pang of regret that OCK was no longer our home.


And Nichol’s MiL was there washing the windows and cleaning the grooves with a TOOTHBRUSH.

You can bet your life I never did that.

There are piles of boxes here, stacks of furniture there. That is what you might expect when you move. And on Tuesday I just couldn’t stand anymore coming down to my work area in the basement and seeing the chaos that reigned on the other side of the “finished” portion of the basement. Furniture all in disarray, stacks of boxes. And so I figured I would just put some order into that space.

Which I did.

And as I did I had occasion to move a set of shelves that had been set down by the movers against a wall. I moved those and I set about moving a stack of boxes. And that is when I discovered it……

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At first I thought that somehow I had missed red paint splatters on the wall. But I am pretty observant about that kind of stuff. And as I came closer I realized that it was blood splattered along the wall.

Folks it looked like a crime scene. And the reason why I hadn’t noticed it before was because the movers had kindly placed a piece of furniture in front of it. How convenient considering it would have been the movers who actually bled on my wall in the first place.


I took pictures to document. I cleaned the wall as best I could (it is now stained). And then I called the moving company to report it. The fellow in the office was rather nonchalant about it and said that he would get back to me the next day, after he talked with his “guys” who were out on a job.

And I didn’t hear back on Wednesday.

And I didn’t hear back on Thursday.

So I have sent an email. Not flaming but stern. I come from a tradition of deadly email writing skills.

And I put Big Red in front of the splatter so I don’t have to look at it every time I go by that wall.

Yesterday I finally managed to find the time to check out the library in my new town. It is smaller that what I am used to but still really nice. And there are some things that I am really going to like.

When you request a book and it comes in you can go and find it in the “requests” shelves and then go through the self check out lines. I LOVE this. For all the awesomeness of the Twinsburg library you still have to go up to the check out desk, ask them to find your book, wait and then have them check you out.

The smallness of the library itself and therefore the smaller number of books really isn’t an issue as that branch is part of a much larger library system and it is very easy to request books from any other branch and have them sent to Brecksville.

Just another reason why I love the Frozen Northeast Ohio.

Well all except for January and possibly February.

Now if I could just find some time to read.

I am still getting some produce from the community garden because LL is such a nice gardening partner. But let’s be honest about this….

I pretty much abandoned her, and the garden, in June when it became obvious that we would be dealing with a move as well as a wedding. I have a lot of energy but not that much. And in my mind I really consigned all the produce to her after that point because I have not put one little lick of work in out there.

And we all know that it is a lot of work.

But she still sends me produce. Enough beets that I canned five pints of pickled beets yesterday and two quarts of Bread and Butter pickles. And HHBL won’t eat either of those things so MORE FOR ME!!

But I also produce all the pizza sauce and tomato sauce that we use around here over the course of a year. Last year was a BUMPER year for tomatoes. But not so much this year for me. So yesterday….

I picked up a bushel of Roma tomatoes from my favorite produce stand. She didn’t have any when I stopped by on Monday but I gave her my name and told her that I wanted 4 pecks (which equals one bushel) and would she hold some for me if she got any. And she did.

They aren’t quite ripe enough for canning yet. I think they will need to sit until Tuesday or so. I guess that next week I will be making pizza sauce, tomato sauce and who knows what else.

Well, I discovered this week that our dishwasher is not working. That wasn’t a pleasant thing. At first I thought that I had just not loaded the soap in the dispenser correctly, although that isn’t rocket science. But then it became apparent that it wasn’t my fault, that really it was that the dish washer was malfunctioning.

I do not mind doing dishes actually. I find it rather soothing.

But not during canning season.

There is, however, a home warranty for Chez Knit Deux and I am waiting for a call from the appliance repair company so that we can see if it is fixable. Our realtor keeps telling me not to say anything about our having a home inspection as that might classify a non-working dishwasher as a “pre-existing” condition which the warranty company wouldn’t cover. I won’t mention it but if asked I am not going to lie and say we didn’t have an inspection.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It covers both gays in the military and home warranties. Who knew!

For now, however, I am washing dishes.

Next to the front step at Chez Knit Deux there is a rather large hydrangea bush.


I love hydrangea bushes. But mine looks rather spindly and like the landscaping company had, for some unaccountable reason, decided to trim it back…..badly. I couldn’t figure out why they would have done that to my bushes but not to some of the other, rather spectacular looking, hydrangea bushes in other parts of the development. See all those spindly, ugly stalks? Not good. I almost went out and enquired of the landscape crew earlier in the week but then forgot to do it.

But now I know…..

The Deer are here too!!

DAMN! (sorry).

Even here, in the middle of Brecksville, I cannot escape the four footed marauders from the woods deer. There are five in this picture and that doesn’t include that two that you cannot see outside the frame. Folks, they came right up to my door, looked in the window for the LOVE OF PETER, PAUL and MARY, and then munched on the bushes! That is how we knew they were there because they were looking in the window and munching on the hydrangea and Max just about lost it.

I guess I shouldn’t have left the stinky deer spray for the new owners of OCK. Now I have to go and buy some to spray on my hydrangea bushes.

I bought yarn this week.

I KNOW, I KNOW!! Just what I need is more yarn.

I am about to start a big project and I had all the yarn that I needed for it but…..when I bought the yarn for this particular project, about 18 months ago, KnitPicks had discontinued one of the colors that was needed. So I substituted. But when I got the yarn out this week to start the actual prep for it I realized that the color of that one skein just wasn’t blue enough.

But you see the thing is that if your order is over $50 you don’t pay shipping and handling. And I only had one skein to order. I could have (should have) sent out a Rav post to my Knit Sibs asking if anyone needed to order anything. We often combine orders. But then I got to thinking about fall and sweater knitting and Knit Picks Wool of the Andes…..

And I ordered enough wool for a sweater. As well as the ONE skein that I needed for Nonna’s Garden Shawl.

Yes, I am an idiot.

But I can hardly wait to cast on for my red sweater.

You know what Monday is?

It is Labor Day!!!

Get ready for an orgy of animal posteriors!!!!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dirt The Household Chameleon.

I have come to a terrible realization. It has become obvious to me that at OCK I did not wash my kitchen floor NEARLY as often as I should have.

Not. Nearly.

How do I know this? Oh it is simple. I am doing some of the same cooking and canning chores that I had been doing at OCK. Nothing new or different here at Chez Knit Deux. But here at CKD I have a white tile floor that extends from the kitchen and eat in area all the way to into the laundry room.

And it seems like it is CONSTANTLY in need of vacuuming and more often than not mopping as well.

Folks I am vacuuming that area EVERY DAY. Sometimes twice a day. And it still seems to want to be cleaned. I can see the greeblies and spots of unknown substance that has fallen from the counter as I am cooking. I walk into that area and see a spot and want to clean.

Imagine what it looked like this morning when I canned 5 pints of pickled beets!!! It looked like a crime scene with splatter everywhere. No one said that I was a neat cook. I like to experience the whole process and sometimes that means that stuff is flying all over.

I look down.


My floor is filthy dirty.

Must vacuum!! Must mop!!

And it occurred to me this afternoon, as I was running my nifty little stick vacuum over the offending floor space and wondering if it was too soon to mop (it was, I still have pickles to process), I realized that I didn’t wash the hardwood floor at OCK all that much. And when I mean not all that much I really mean like maybe once a month….if I remembered…and there was obvious dirt. And if there was obvious dirt then I have to think that there was also a vast ocean of unobvious dirt.

STOP SCREAMING!!! I know, I know. I am a terrible housekeeper. I should have thirty lashes with a wet noodle.

I just think that the dirt, like a chameleon in it’s environment, blended into it’s surroundings. Fooling me into thinking that I wasn’t as messy when cooking as I obviously am.

I am totally skeeved out at the moment at the thought of how gross and disgusting that floor actually probably was. No wonder Max the Magnificent loved to spend a large amount of time licking along the baseboards.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Shoe Queen and Slim Jim Get Married

Oh goodness, I meant to write this earlier in life. But then that pesky move got in the way. But it is now almost three weeks post celebration orgy and I think I had better let all of you see what an absolute blast we had that day.

We worried a bit about the weather. You see, the wedding ceremony was scheduled to be outside. I KNOW!! We are wild and crazy people who raise our fists at the sky and exclaim…

DO YOUR WORST! It’s August and there won’t be any rain.

{{{Insert Dope Slap Here}}}

And for a time I thought that the sky and the weather might actually win. It rained on Wednesday. It rained, a lot, on Thursday. The ground where chairs were going to be set up and where the bridal party would need to stand was, shall we say, damp. And when I say damp what I really mean was that when you stepped on it the water welled up around your shoes like the crude that Jed Clampett found in the Beverly Hillbillies. We were worried. And even on the morning of the big day, when we had to go over to the venue early in the day to drop things off and set up some flowers….it was misting. But Ken, the owner of the venue, assured me that if we could get a bit of sun then the ground would dry and all would be well.

By noon the sun was out and the grass was drying off and we were on countdown for a 6p ceremony. Well, almost.  There were some minor glitches. When the DJ’s came to set up at 3:30p they couldn’t get into the venue even though I had been told (by the owner) that they could. And we couldn’t get in either to do some last minute set up. But Rebecca, my “worry woman” (wedding coordinator) took control of all of that and I didn’t have to worry and Shoe Queen didn’t have to worry. There was supposed to be electricity at the gazebo where the DJ’s needed to set up for ceremony music….but it wasn’t working. So Dan and Tony (our AMAZING DJ’s) improvised with strung together extension cords…which at least one bridesmaid tripped over.


Can I just say, as an aside, that one of the BEST BEST BEST BEST things that we did was to hire a day coordinator for the wedding.


Becca’s mom is an old and very dear friend who for many years was a wedding coordinator so I knew that Becca would know her stuff. And she did. If it was a problem that needed to be handled on that day or something that needed to be done I handed it to her.

You know what. I am just going to show you pictures. And for the most part I didn’t take ANY of these. Photos started showing up in my email about 8 hours after the ceremony. And in recent days Photographer Erica (from Three Knit Sibs Photography) has been teasing me with photos.

OK, I made up that name but really that is what we are, Three Knit Sibs Photography.

Back on track Deb.

Here is what we did that day.

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I got to spend some time with someone of my favorite daughters. I miss seeing them. Please ignore my ever present double chin.

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The MOB and MOG were equally smart on this occasion and wore comfortable footwear. In other respects I suspect she is smart than I as she has a Master’s degree and a Doctorate, is going for another Master’s degree and is a college professor.

And we all know what I am….I think.

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TNG came out from NYC to meet all of us and hang around with Cartoon Girl. Aren’t they cute!!

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Everyone stood around at a distance and watched “The Big Reveal”. I can hardly wait to see those pictures!!

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There was some last minute hanging around and waiting. A time of prayer. And then it was ON!

Deb and BethThe Three Little QuiggsDottie 10Dottie 11Dottie 12Dottie 2photoDottie 3Dottie 5Dottie 4BubblesDan and BethBeth and Jim Thank YouUnexpected MomentsWedding rings

You can be assured that we danced the night away. The wedding was a reflection of Shoe Queen and Slim Jim. Simple, full of humor, perfect.

And you can also be assured that when the pictures from Three Knit Sibs are ready then I will do another post. I can hardly wait to see the photos.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Woman Cave

When HHBL and I were in the serious consideration phase for Chez Knit Deux we spent a bit of time talking about where our respective work spaces would be. Some couples can share a work space in peace and harmony.

Not us.

HHBL likes to play music LOUDLY when he is concentrating.

I like silence.

I work early in the morning.

He works late in the evening.

I sometimes need a bit of space for all the projects.

He is fairly compact.

Here at CKD we have both a second floor loft and a finished basement area. At first, in my mind, I had laid claim to the upstairs loft area with all of it’s light and sunny climes. HHBL was going to put his office in the basement area. But then he got to thinking about all of the light issues. Really, he needs more sunlight than I do. When he is working from home, especially in the winter, he needs every bit of sunlight that he can get.

Me not so much. In fact, when I am doing photo editing it is better to be without sunlight. Living in the shadows as it were. HHBL came to this realization first and made the suggestion that perhaps we could think about switching work spaces.

I balked.

I hemmed.

I hawwed.

But then, as I started to think about it I came to the conclusion that he might have a point. And when I really started to think about it I could see that the space in the basement was much better suited to me. There was more wall space. I could set up boat loads of shelves for books and cloth and I could even have all my yarn there with me.

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It has taken almost a week of working but the woman cave is almost set up. And yes, I know that the walls are yellow and yes, I am going to paint them eventually. But I cannot just hang around and not have a work space until that happens.

All is getting righter with the world now that I have the fabric unpacked and the sewing machine set up.

Now if I just had some time to actually sew something.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Chemically Induced Madness

Oh goodness. I had a good night’s sleep I swear. Switching sides on the marital bed was so right. If felt like home when I got in bed last night.

And I slept until 7a for the love of Pete! That is like sleeping until mid-afternoon for me. I never sleep until 7a. But I am sooooooooooooooooo groggy and sleepy and without energy. And my inner hypochondriac was gearing up to think that I am dying or something.

And then I remembered.

Last night HHBL and I decided to go to the Cleveland Indians vs Minnesota Twins game. Which the Indians lost by the way. But that is beside the point.

There is a point. I think there is. There was one when I started.

Point. What was the point.


Oh yes, my grogginess and general malaise as well as the fact that I would just like to rip everyone’s head off and leave them bleeding in the street.

The only thing that I can attribute it to, other than my general all around cusedness, is……

The fact that it was “Dollar Dog” night at the stadium last night. And I ate three hot dogs AND a generous helping of Cheese fries.

Just writing that makes me queasy. Why oh why oh why oh why do I do that.

Because they were delicious going down that’s why. Everyone needs an occasional dose of highly processed food. Even as I ingested the third dog, smothered in ketchup and mustard, I could feel the chemicals coursing through my system.

I feel generally like a large pile of dinosaur doo doo today. It makes me wonder if this is the way that people feel in general who don’t eat as clean as HHBL and I try to do.

Something to think about.

I think I will go and have an apple and make some homemade pizza sauce.

Friday, August 23, 2013

7 Quick Takes (Vol 225)


Well here we are again, same blather just emanating from a different location.

You know the time honored Friday tradition. When you are done harvesting and preserving the blather found herein you are to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of my rapidly decreasing pile of unopened boxes, over to Conversion Diary.

An unopened box of blather cannot be tolerated.

My poor nails. My poor, poor nails. They were so lovely and painted for the wedding. A bright, fire engine red.

And then the week after the wedding I had to pack up my house. I chipped the polish and so it all had to come off.

Have I told you that I cannot stand to have chipped nail polish. I am phobic about it. I actually blame Amy Taylor and her freshman roomie for this phobia. They taught me that chipped nail polish was not to be tolerated. One chip and I have to take all the polish off and re-do it. That must be why I never have nail polish on my fingernails. I would be painting them every day. I just don’t have that kind of time!

So the nail polish came off and all was fine and my nails were still good……and then the move happened. And the 5 bazillion trips back and forth from old house to Chez Knit, toting boxes, lifting heavy objects, cleaning the old house, cleaning Chez Knit.

All of my lovely nails have been sacrificed to the moving gods. They are all raggedy and ugly.

Thank goodness I am not a hand model.

When we were wandering around in Chez Knit Deux, kicking the tires as it were, and thinking about moving here I noticed a strange black knob located on the side of one of the kitchen sinks.

How odd?

Hmmmmm, Insinkerator?

It sounded like something to do with garbage disposal but that just didn’t make any sense. And then I read the words on top of the knob which told me that if I twisted it to the right or to the left I could get “nearly boiling hot water instantly”.


Nearly boiling hot?

Why the heck would I want that?

And then it occurred to me yesterday to look at the literature to see how hot that water actually can be. The factory setting is 200F but you can bump it up, which I did. Folks that is really hot water. And THEN it occurred to me that I didn’t need to boil water with my kettle in order to make my cups of tea and my vats of morning coffee. I can get it right out of the tap.

Works perfectly.


For all of our 28 years of married life HHBL and I have slept in the same places on the bed. If you are sitting in bed I am on the right and HHBL is on the left. Every apartment and every house that is where we have been. When we stay in a hotel or with family. That is what we do.

When we moved into Chez Knit Deux last week HHBL and I decided to shake things up and switch sides on the bed.

I know! We are so wild and crazy.

But now that experiment is done and we will be switching back to where we have been for the last 28 years. He hasn’t been sleeping very well and his right shoulder (his pitching arm) has been very sore. I have been sleeping OK but in the morning my left hip is extremely sore, it being on the side that I have not traditionally slept on. Plus I am wondering if the whole change in sides of the bed is also contributing in a strange way to my issues with my carpal tunnel/numb hand.

I generally like to sleep by the window because I need a bit of a cooler temp at night but I can also just have a fan that blows on me.

And to be honest, I am waking up at night totally disoriented because I am on the wrong side of the bed.

It is the little things.

We are back to having cable AND our couch is positioned so that we can actually enjoy watching TV. I am not sure which I am more excited about. It might actually be the positioning of the couch.

You don’t understand what I mean?

Let me illustrate.


See how the leather couch is positioned in relation to the book shelves? The TV was housed behind the doors there just beyond the couch arm. That is how the room was positioned for almost the entire time we lived there. If you turned the couch the other way so that it was better for watching TV then you lost the open feel of the room and cut off all thoughts of communication with the people sitting in the wing back chairs by the fireplace. And if you had a party then you needed to move the couch. That couch is a BOOGGER to move. So most of us, when watching TV, would actually sit on the couch facing backwards, all scrunched up in the corner.

Not comfortable but that is what we did.

But now, in the family room, we have the couch positioned properly and we can sit on it and actually watch TV in a position that seems normal.

I almost don’t know what to do.

Of course, I don’t watch much TV these days anyways but it is nice to be able to sit in a normal fashion when I do.

AND I can now watch 20/20 in bed as we are back to having a TV in the bedroom that actually works. But our rule is that we don’t generally turn that TV on. Before we deep sixed cable last year I had the bad habit of getting in bed at night and routinely turning on the tube and mindlessly watching whatever.

But tonight!! 20/20 in bed!!

TMI alert. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Remember when I told you about my bra buying experience before the wedding. Well one of the side effects of the whole expensive bra ownership is that the little(or not so little) darlings need more TLC than I have traditionally given to my Mammary Minders. In the past I threw them in with the regular wash and then, if I was lazy (all the time) I would toss them in the dryer.

Don’t yell at me!! I know that is bad.

But now, with the gold plated bras, I pamper them with a gentle wash in mild soap, in a lingerie bag, on delicate cycle. And then I lay them flat to dry gently.

Usually I like to lay them out on the drying rack outside so they smell all fresh and clean.

Which is what I did yesterday.

And then I realized that the landscaping company is still working on the revamp of the irrigation system in the development and all these young guys are still walking through all the back yards and side yards….

And there were the bras on display.


It is going to take me a bit to get used to the whole living with people all around me thing.

No more walking through the house with no clothing on I guess. Not unless I want to give Syliva next door an unpleasant shock.

Wednesday HHBL wasn’t going to be home for dinner. And I didn’t want to cook for myself. So…..

I placed an online order for Chinese take out from Yummy Yummy Express.

I waited 15 minutes.

I walked out my front door, around to the main road, took a left, walked 5 minutes…..

And picked up my order.

Man I love living close to the center of a town.

AND yesterday I had to have some screws to put together a desk (the movers stripped the screws taking it apart). I was able to go to the local hardware store, also a 5 minute walk away, and have an actual PERSON help me.

For those of you who have enquired, Max the Magnificent is adjusting fairly well to the new surroundings. He has quickly picked up on the whole “I get THREE walks a day” routine. He has also adjusted fairly well to sleeping on his memory foam mattress bed rather than going into “his house” at night.

However he still seems to need to be in fairly close proximity to me most of the time so I am thinking that there is still some uncertainty there.

And I do wish he would not feel the need to bark at the workmen in the back yard at all times of the day.

He has reverted to his normal bedtime though. Around 9pm, as he has done for most of his life, he puts himself to bed.

I think 9p is a perfectly acceptable bedtime.

That is when I went to bed last night.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Feeling Kind of Carpal Tunnely

I had forgotten how hard on the body it is to move.

Or maybe it is just the fact that the last time I moved I was 40 and now I am…..not 40.

Oh FINE! I am 53 years old. We all know that. And my 53 year old body just isn’t liking all that toting of boxes and lifting of bales and shifting of furniture. And especially not my right hand, or more to the point the nerves to my right hand that run through the Carpal tunnel.

Oh yes, I just love to wake up in the middle of the night and find that someone has grafted a piece of wood in the shape of my right hand to my right wrist. You know that feeling, when you wake up in the darkness and your hand has gone so profoundly to sleep that you wonder if it took a sleeping pill before bed and should not be operating heavy machinery. So it is back to wearing the brace at night. Which I hate almost as much as I hate waking up with numb fingers.

Whine, whine, whine.

And just when I think that I have gotten everything in place and I can relax and enjoy my new home….

I go downstairs to the basement and look at my work area.

And I see that there are more boxes to be unpacked and gone through. Are they breeding down there, making little boxes? Holy Mary and all the saints what a mess!!! I try to avoid even looking into the room that will eventually be “the media center”. In fact you cannot even walk in there at the moment because there are rugs piled there and lamps and boxes and I thought I might have seen Jimmy Hoffa’s feet sticking out from under something.


All the yarn has been released from it’s plastic bin prisons and so all is right with the world.

Now if I could just find my pens!

And that Netflix DVD that I have had for about 6 weeks.

Of course none of the DVD players are yet hooked up so it doesn’t really matter.

I have a feeling that you all are going to get really sick of hearing about the move LONG before I get sick of telling you about it.

Too bad.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Things I Learned When Moving

1. There will be tears. Especially when you stand in your kitchen amidst a sea of boxes and you cannot even get to the sink to get a glass of water. And then you realize that even if you could get to the sink you don’t know where there is a glass from which to drink. And there isn’t any ice.

2. Pack a box of essentials like drinking glasses, disposable silverware and plates, a pair of scissors and wine glasses. And alcohol. Do not forget the alcohol. Also plastic bowls for the ice cream that you are going to need to consume at the end of the long moving day. Otherwise you will be walking down to CVS at 9p to buy ice cream and beer.

3. Indulge yourself and buy packing paper rather than worrying about saving your newspapers and the newspapers of all your friends and neighbors. The expense isn’t that much and you will thank yourself. Your fingers will thank you when you don’t have to wash your hands continually. The garbage man will thank you when he doesn’t have to pick up all that recycled paper.

4. You may think that using the contents of your paper shredder for packing material is a good idea. Let me assure you that it is not. Do not do it. Having to deal with the clean up may just push you over the edge.

5. Don’t watch the movers too closely when they are handling your stuff. They don’t love your stuff as much as you love your stuff and they are going to be slinging those boxes around. Especially the young, highly tattooed guys named Chris who are more concerned with finishing the job up and getting a beer than making sure that your dishes are intact. It does no good to stand there and wring your hands.

Otherwise you might be wringing their necks

6. Remember where you packed the toilet paper.

7. Remember where you packed the sheets and towels. Better yet, make sure you put them in the “essentials box”. I did remember where the sheets were…..but the towels were more of a difficulty. And we both REALLY needed showers.

8. Remember which box marked “Master Bathroom” contains the soap and shampoo.

9. Do not pack your laundry supplies in a misc. box. That will require you going to the store to buy new laundry supplies which will then mean that about an hour after you get home from the store you will find your laundry supplies.

10. Spend the time printing out labels that tell the movers where to put the boxes. It made my life much easier let me tell you. I didn’t have to stand at the front door and look at each box as it came into Chez Knit and tell the movers where to go.

I already wanted to tell the movers where to go.

11. Remember to bring your food from the old refrigerator on the day that you move. That way, when you look at each other at 8:45p and realize you are starving, you will have something to eat. Because even though the city that you have moved to is a booming metropolis compared to where you had been living…the grocery stores still close at 9p.

12. Unpack at least one box the night that you move in. It will make you feel more at home.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Embrace the Chaos!!

The move is done.



And Chez Knit is in chaos. Not as much chaos as Friday evening, when I just stood in my kitchen and cried a big tear or two. But still chaos.

On Friday night, after Lee and his crew of tattooed mover men had vacated, it just sort of hit me.

I couldn’t get to the sink.

I wasn’t sure where the toilet paper was.

We had bread but no butter.

My Subway sandwich from lunch was barking at me.

I was so tired that I couldn’t even think straight.

I had forgotten to bring any of the food from the refrigerator at the old place over to Chez Knit.

And I had forgotten the BEER! How could I have forgotten the Commodore Perry!

So HHBL and I walked over to the center of town (a 1/2 mile away) just as all the restaurants AND the grocery store closed.

Dang it!

So we got milk and ice cream and butter and beer at the CVS. And then I couldn’t find any bowls at home OR spoons. But finally located some plastic bowls and silverware. We sat and had Cookie Dough ice cream and beer and just stared at each other.

Finally I sniffed a bit, had HHBL help me put sheets on the bed and then went to sleep. Or at least tried to go to sleep. This old body was so tired and sore that it didn’t even want to do that for a while.

The “big” portion of the move happened on Friday (and that will be a longer blog post later in the week). But HHBL and I also had to make a total of five extra trips to get all of the “little” stuff out of the old house. That is 30 minutes each way plus the gas to do it. I filled up my car on Thursday and I am going to have to fill it up again before knitting tonight.

KNITTING!!! Thank the good Lord. I need fiber therapy something fierce.

But everything is here. Not everything has a place yet (ummmm, that would be a big gigantic understatement) and I am refining the cleaning out even more. I located all the yarn and the containers are stacked in my work area waiting to be unloaded, sorted and placed in their new home. I don’t think that is going to happen until the end of the week at the very earliest. There are other action items that have more urgency.

Like getting a covered garbage can that can be specifically dedicated to canine fecal deposits.

Yes, I actually have to “pick up” after my dog for the first time in his life.

I am not loving it. Although, in the winter there might be some minor benefit from picking up, however momentarily, a steaming warm turd.

Or not.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Moving is a Pain in My Arse.

Guys I was going to do a nice, long wedding recap for you. But it just isn’t going to happen today. We are still furiously packing in anticipation of the movers arriving early tomorrow morning. We get the keys to Chez Knit today and will start taking some loads over.

And yes, I am calling the new place Chez Knit now because technically I am sitting, at the moment, in someone else’s house. We did a “simultaneous closing” on both properties on Tuesday and in the process denuded a small forest with all the paperwork that had to be signed. Heaven forbid that you could do any of that electronically and save a rain forest.

Hopefully, and I do write that with some trepidation, we will have cable and internet on Saturday morning. Time Warner Cable is “scheduled” to show up at Chez Knit at 8am. GUys we will have CABLE!! And right now I can see KnitSib Erica just shaking her head and telling me that it isn’t going to happen.

You should HEAR about the constant battle she has going with TWC. Holy moly!!

But I digress.

Can I just say that this whole “packing up my house the week that I move” is like to kill me. And it has shown me that even though I have been cleaning out and giving away for three years now……

I just have too much freakin’ stuff!!! At one point yesterday I seriously contemplated just taking it ALL to AM Vets. And there is NO WAY that I would have made it through packing all the china without the help of packer extraordinaire Kim.

There is a very long and rant like blog post coming on this.

But not today.

Today I will just tell you that the wedding was beautiful. The sun came out. And I think everyone had a good time or so they said. Look for a longer post next week.

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Taken with my iPhone because Erica threatened me with confiscation of equipment if I brought along Big Bertha.

Now back to packing.

And there will not be a 7 Quick Takes tomorrow as the computer will be packed up by late this afternoon.

Friday, August 9, 2013

7 Quick Takes (The Wedding Day Vol)



I don’t think that it has escaped anyone’s notice that Shoe Queen is getting married today. And because of that…..

These are really rather weak and unprepared Quick Takes. I had hoped to have them all prepared before hand so that I could just hit “post” this morning and check it off the to do list.

A vain hope as is obvious.

You know the rules. Ingest your weekly dose of blather like a good person and then click on the link above to be whisked, at the speed of the approaching wedding, over to Conversion Diary.

Warning! Bridal Blather ahead.

The house is stuffed to the gills with people. And we have been playing musical beds….in only the most appropriate ways thankyouverymuch!

Slim Jim was in the basement for three nights. Then he was in Shoe Queen’s room for one night and SHE was in the basement with all her bridesmaids. And then Slim Jim moved to the hotel and I quickly washed the sheets on the basement hide-a-bed because that is where Cartoon Girl’s boyfriend…I need a name for him darn it….is staying. OK, he will be TNG for the time being – The Nameless Guy. His name is actually John but you know I cannot leave it at that.

Where was I?

Oh yes. So TNG stayed in the basement last night but will be moving up to Shoe Queen’s room tonight and tomorrow night.

Cartoon Girl is in TMO’s old room and TMO and TSiL are in Cartoon Girl’s old room.

I need a glass of wine.

Cartoon Girl’s boyfriend had his flight cancelled and didn’t get into the airport until 12:40a…this morning. The rental car place closes at midnight so HHBL and Cartoon Girl drove to Akron-Canton and picked him up.

We partied and had wine until late last night. I had Pretzel Crusted Trout.

Let that sink in.

Pretzel. Crusted. Trout.

Oh my word and all the saints in heaven it was good.

And for dessert?

Everyone was served a Chocolate Bombe.


It is currently misting outside and we had a BOAT LOAD of rain yesterday so there is some nervousness resident here at Chez Knit since the wedding is OUTSIDE. It was really rather wet in the grass last night at the rehearsal.

And when I say really rather wet I mean that in places where people might have to walk there were standing puddles.

Oh fun.

Thank goodness I have an extra refrigerator because we would be up the creek without a paddle without it.

Currently the extra frig in the garage is holding, in no particular order of importance….

Extra meals from last night
The cutting cake
Extra jars of homemade yogurt (both plain and vanilla)
Produce from the garden
sports drinks
All the fresh flowers for the wedding
A bazillion cans of Mountain Dew (Slim Jim’s favorite)
pre-cooked breakfast sausage

I am wearing flip flops with my MOB dress.

Yup, you heard me….

Flip Flops.

Oh fine! They are fancy flip flops with a cute little flower on them. But that is what they are. I decided, after the whole Shoes of Eventual Phalanges Death that I wore at TMO’s wedding I went for comfort this time.

And Mombie (the MoG) is also wearing little flip floppy sandals. We came to that decision independently.

See that is what we like about each other. We think alike.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Day 127–The Links of Childhood Survival

Day 127 - The Links of Childhood Survival

Just ordinary Discovery Toy links you are thinking to yourself. A fun toy to play with. An educational toy.

No, these are the links that saved my traveling sanity and the progeny’s lives.

You know when you take a long car trip (which we did a lot when the progeny were younger) and your children constantly ask you…..

When are we going to get there? (for the TEN THOUSANDTH TIME)

And you think that if you actually have to answer that question ONE. MORE. TIME. you are going to jump right into the back seat and bring some well deserved justice into your life.

Well, with three progeny that question was asked A LOT. And I was just about at my parental breaking point when it occurred to me that they just needed something visual to tell them. Something that I could just hold up and they could figure it out themselves without me having to use my angry words.

And if there was some math and counting involved all the better.

So when we would start out on our trip I would make sure that I had with me a chain, made of these links, with enough links to represent the number of hours that it would take us to get to our destination.

And when they would ask the dreaded question, I would just hold up the chain for them to count the links. No words were necessary on my part. With each hour that passed I would take a link off so that the count was correct.

When are we getting there?

Hold up the chain.

When are we getting there?

Hold up the chain.

And that is how I retained my sanity and the progeny retained their lives.

It was a good system.

Friday, August 2, 2013

7 Quick Takes (Vol 224)


7 days and counting to the wedding. 14 days and counting until the move. Egads it is Crazytown here at Chez Knit. When you are done shaking your head at the bilious blather found here you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of inmates lining up to meet Ariel Castro (he will WISH he had gotten the death penalty), over to Conversion Diary.

Warning! Bilious Blather ahead.

The packing at Chez Knit is proceeding, albeit slowly. Yesterday Volunteers of America was here to pick up a garage full of stuff! I have been cleaning out for THREE YEARS and I could still muster up another garage full of stuff. That tells you how much crap (oops, sorry) we had stored here in the nooks and crannies.

But come August 16th we are going to be a lean, mean movin’ machine.

I hope.

With regards to Max and the impending move. We have been debating what to do about his “house” (i.e. the crate) and where to locate it. It has been, for his entire life, in the laundry room. But we will have a significantly smaller laundry space in the new place. His crate just won’t fit under the counter in there.

And there is no way it is going into the bedroom. He makes too much noise for that.

We could put it in the basement and make him go down the stairs every night. But I hate to do that because he is getting old and creaky.


Alpha! Did you just call me old and creaky!!

So this is what we have decided to do. Max the Magnificent goes to the kennel the night before the move so he isn’t under foot that day. We will pick him up at the end of moving day and take him over to the new house. And at that time we will provide for him, under the counter in the laundry room, a nice soft bed (but no crate) for his very own. We are hoping to train him that this is his place. That will actually require locking him in the laundry room at night for the time being. Most likely that is what we will do anyways because otherwise he will just end up in our room.

At least that is the plan.

Otherwise it is the crate in the basement every night.

So this last Sunday I was attending HHBL’s baseball game. It was a cool Sunday morning (that goodness as you will see) with some sun and a pretty stiff wind.


I stake out my spot (I am usually the only fan) right by the stands so that I can have a good view of the batters box. I am all settled in and just looking around.

I look to my left about three feet….

And this is what I see……..


Hoo Boy!

You can bet your bottom dollar that I moved my chair and my bag very carefully to a spot about six feet further on. Thank goodness it was a cool morning because there would have been issues. Several people brushed past there and went to sit down just as I was saying, “Um I don’t think you want to sit there!!”. I couldn’t see all that far into the pipe but what I could see was very full of hornets.

And yes, the first thing that I did before I moved my stuff was grab my camera and take a picture.

Come on! You know that is what I am going to do. I am fully aware that if I am ever in a plane crash I will be grabbing my camera and taking pictures if possible.

So I have to tell you about what I found on Saturday.

But first I have to tell you a bit of a story.

So, last week my KnitSib Amy told the rest of us about a sale that she had found via Craigs List (does that have an apostrophe or not? I don’t know….or care). An estate sale that listed yarn as one of the items for sale. Amy went for the “pre-sale” and then rushed home to tell us that we HAD TO GO to this sale. HAD. TO. GO.

That was on Thursday. KnitSib Larissa went on Friday (twice) and called me to tell me that I HAD. TO. GO. to this sale. That is would be worth the 40 minute drive to get there. She had bought a boat load of very nice yarn and had cleaned the place out of sock yarn. But she assured me there was MUCH more to be had.

Great. Just what I need is more yarn.

But the allure was too great so Saturday morning, in the pouring rain I might add, I got in Coco and headed up to Cleveland Hts.


I haven’t seen that much yarn (mostly acrylic) in any one place outside of a JoAnn or Michaels. Bags and bags and bags and bins of the stuff. The mind boggled at the thought.

And they only took cash!!

I waded through and found several sweaters worth of good yarn, and found Melanie Falick’s Knitting in America which I have been wanting for a very long time. I was all ready to go when I turned around…..

And there it was……

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A SWIFT!!!!! (this picture was taken at my house)

I stood there for a second and just looked at it because I didn’t think it was real. And it was in perfect condition, as if it had never been used. In fact it was still in it’s plastic bag.

I looked around furtively…and grabbed it. I am not sure why I did that because there wasn’t anyone else shopping at the moment. I just wanted to be sure that someone wasn’t going to come running from some other room with outstretched hands to grab it from me.

Two sweaters worth of yarn, two books and the swift (which sells on KnitPicks for $65) all for $50.

I went home a happy girl.

Now I just need to curb the urge to wind some yarn. Must finish other projects first.


Regarding yesterday’s post about my hair.

Can I just say that I love YouTube. If you need to learn something there is going to be a video on YouTube that tells you what to do.

I have taken to watching videos to see how other people handle putting in the product for their hair.

Very instructive. And hopefully I won’t feel so anxious about it.k

I am having both an easy and a hard time seeing my furniture at the new place. Some pieces have a natural place. Some pieces may have to go to the basement for the time being.

I am not necessarily someone who moves furniture around on a regular basis. When I put a piece of furniture in place that is generally where it stays forever. That isn’t always the case but it is generally the case.

I am sure that there will be some “tweaking” as time goes on. And I am not going to be putting anything up on the walls until things are painted.

Change you are a cruel mistress.

It is amazing the things that I have been finding as I have been cleaning out.

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This is, or rather was Pentecost. Pentecost was a Vacation Bible School project some long year ago. He belonged to Cartoon Girl.

Top-303(rev 1)

Cartoon Girl on her trusty steed Pentecost. TMO on her trusty steed Buster.

Goodbye Pentecost, it was nice to know you.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Curls of Consternation

My hair! My hair!

For all of my life I have had a perpetual war with my hair. When I was a teenager I wanted it to be straight, straight, straight just like my bestie Nancy.


See! She has lovely straight hair and I….well….I do not. A day of skiing would find my hair a riot of curliness.


Then there were the “lost years”. Brush my hair? Why would I want to do a think like that? Wash it regularly? Perish the thought.

image 22-4-2009image 2009-8-25 0002image 2009-8-25 0009image 2010-5-13 0007A

Even the poodle had better grooming than I did. And lest you think that is my dog…it was NOT! That thing belonged to my piano teacher who liked the dog better than she liked me. Look, that thing has it’s paws on the piano keys. I had to wash my hands before I ever touched her sainted ivories.

Deep breathing. Deep breathing.

Where was I?

14th birthday olives

Of course there were the years where I tried every style under the sun that involved smooth, shiny hair with nary a curl out of place, neatly tucked under….

No, it never worked despite the hours and hours with hot rollers and blow dryers and curling irons.


Oh my gosh our hair looks AWESOME……

And I am guessing that mine looked that good for about five minutes, or at least until I got to the front door of Alexander dorm. This was in Texas after all where it stays nice and warm and humid into November.

Not good hair weather for someone who looks like the Bride of Frankenstein on humid days.

It’s HUMID!!!

So then I decided, after Shoe Queen was born, that I would free myself from the trapping of long hair because I was obviously not meant to have long hair.

1991_Summer__3_(rev 0)

In terms of my short hair, this was actually a longer cut. I am not even going to show you how short it was. I don’t want to scare you.

I don’t want to remind myself.

Just think of the fact that I had my hair cut every 6 weeks like clock work and she used clippers.

Yeah, that short.

And then in 2006 I decided to grow my hair out. I looked at myself in the mirror and knew it was time for a change. But oh how I hated the prospect. It was almost enough of a pain in my big fat bahookie that I abandoned the entire endeavor.


For months I looked like a crazed poodle.

And obviously in this picture my eyebrows hadn’t been anywhere near a pair of tweezers in a long time.

I was visiting Ghana for Pete’s sake! It was hot and humid. Give me a break.

But finally the hair was long. But still unruly. I still blew it dry on a daily basis…which took 30 minutes at least. And then someone clued me in that I could put some gel in it to tame the frizzy look.

And when I did……

There were curls.

Wait!!! Where did these things come from. These sproingy little curls that just appeared on their own. Could this be my hair? I…..I……I…..



So lovely. So curly. So………reactive still to humidity.

Oh yes, my curls were lovely and curly…as long as it was dry like Southern Arizona. But by the end of the day it was not so lovely. And then I would brush my hair and we would be right back to Bride of Frankenstein. One day out of three (I wash my hair every three days if you must know) days for a semi good hair day does not a happy Debbie make.

And then my friend Mandi, who is a hair stylist, mentioned that she could help me. She sang the virtues of a product called Ouidad. She used it in the salon. She was “trained” in it’s use.

Trained? You had to be trained?

She said it would help me. It would flatten my frizzified follicles. It would tame my tangled tresses.


But I am always up for a new experience so Monday found me in a foreign salon, having some young chickie wash my hair in what can only be described as a slowly pornographic way (was it as good for her as it was for me?) and then being whisked over to “the chair” to have Mandi and her apprentice school me in “The Ouidad Way”. For some reason I felt like I should stand up and shout, “Hallelujah!” as one point.

I had no expectations. I had no hopes. I had been disappointed before.

I was wrong.

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Holy cow Andy the curls were fabulosity. And the crazy thing? Well, as long as I don’t get a brush anywhere near these babies and I just scrunch the whole wad up in a bun on top of my head at night…..the curls will last for three days.

I was stunned.

I was over joyed.

I was scared to death.

I went home with a bag full of product and instructions. Yeah, this was the first time that I have ever had detailed instructions as to how to use hair care products. The whole “follow these steps exactly” nature of the Ouidad experience gave me pause. What if I didn’t do this exactly as written. What would happen? Would someone come and take away my product?

Oh the pressure!!!

Deep breathing Deb! You can do this!

Of course today was the first day that I worked with the product all by my lonesome in my bathroom. It is a bit more difficult (insert sarcasm here) than just sitting in the chair and having Mandi work on me. I almost sent Mandi a txt saying “HELP” (she would have answered. She always does). The curls don’t look quite as good as they did when Mandi did my hair but she assures me that with practice they will always look fabulous.

Let’s hope so.

But so far so good.

But the only hitch in my hair horizon is that now I have to take this stuff with me when I travel. Cuz I ain’t goin’ back sistah!