Sunday, July 29, 2007

Saturday Field Trip!

The Hubster, RT and I tackled the PA DMV yesterday (success! We have licenses! Well, RT doesn't, but ...) then drove up to Akron. A good friend of mine is playing for the Akron Racers and some other friends had come in from the left coast to visit Caitlin. I only took one ballpark shot, Caitlin is on the left, below

The Racers lost, but it was a good day, ‘cause I got to see Caitl, Zap and Ani. I missed the awesome group photo they took on the field (with another Racer who was Ani’s catcher in college) because I ran into my old boss from my days at Akron and we were chatting for quite a while in the stands after the game.

Since our favorite Racer had a team function post-game and the younger set was (probably) going drinking and we’re a bit too old for that, the Hubster and I grabbed a late lunch at one of my favorite restaurants from when I used to work in the area. Still yummy!

Then, we decided that since we were in the area and they didn’t close until 8, we’d visit

The Pro Football Hall of Fame! They had lots of stuff already set up for next weekend’s induction ceremonies. I would not want to be anywhere near Canton next Saturday. It’s such a zoo! We had fun at the HOF.

RT with Jim Thorpe. My Great Granfather played against him, then did some officiating in the very early days of the NFL.

Knitting content! The “Red” Grange mannequin was wearing a very obviously knitted jersey.

My most vivid memory from my first HOF visit (when I was a schmoo) was how freakin’ big Bronko Nagurski’s championship ring was. The fake hand in the case is “normal person size.” I think it’s still the largest ring that company has ever made. Yikes!

Every current NFL team has a life-size photo of one of the most prominent players in its history with the current helmet in a plexiglass case and “team stats” plaque on the side. RT got his picture taking with “The Bus”

And the Hubster and I are wondering how soon the HOF will pull the trigger on taking Michael Vick off of the Falcons display given his current legal situation.

Since this is the 75th Season of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the HOF has a special exhibit on the history of the team. RT got his photo taken with the shoes Franco Harris wore in the “Immaculate Reception” game. (BTW, Mr. Rooney was in the elevator at Three Rivers Stadium when Franco made the catch and the Steelers won the game. He was in the locker room waiting to give the “it’s OK, boys” speech when they came in happy. The panel from that elevator was also in the Steelers exhibit, as well as a piece of the Astroturf from that day)

RT posed with the Steelers five Lombardi Trophies. He wanted to remind everyone that he’s a natural Steelers fan, since he IS black and gold!

With all that time watching the softball game yesterday, I got a good chunk done on Jaywalker #2. Everything past the ribbing happened yesterday. I have a sore spot on my index finger that could possibly be a blister … I’m not sure yet. But it does mean I need to knit on bigger needles for a while!

Today was spent putting the office together, once and for all. The best side-effect from that adventure was that I found this awesome little penguin that my friend Lori gave me on one of my last days at my old job. I knew I had put him somewhere safe, but as you can see, he’s so small he was easy to lose track of. He’s now living on the mantle with many other penguin family members.

Off to knit something, hopefully while watching The Queen!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Of This and That

I’m a week behind.

It’s nearly midnight on Friday night, and I just finished The Half-Blood Prince. As much as I want to pick up Deathly Hallows right this minute, I need to restrain myself. I need sleep, since tomorrow will be a bit of a “big day.”

The Hubster and I will start with the adventure of the Pennsylvania DMV first thing tomorrow morning. We have an inch-thick manila folder of … paper. Hopefully enough paper to convince the DMV that we have a residence in the Commonwealth, and would they please be kind enough to let us get rid of our icky California drivers licences and acquire shiny new Pennsylvania licenses.

On a side note, I anticipate a day at the DMV tomorrow that will be a tiptoe through the tulips in comparison to the CADMV. I doubt things here have changed drastically since I last lived in this state, and since we don’t need to take tests, it shouldn’t be too awful. However, getting new license plates? That may be the most bass-ackwards system I’ve ever heard of. Believe it or not, the PA DMV doesn’t handle that. AAA does. Yup. Once we have our shiny new PA licenses, we troop over to AAA with that stack of papers and hope we have everything blessed appropriately so we can drive around with “” tattooed on the back of our cars for the next many years. It has been a real adventure to get to this point, since NOTHING on the PADMV site says that this is how you have to do it. It just says that the only DMV processing center for license plates is in Harrisburg. Gee, that’s helpful!

Once we’re through that maze, we hop on the freeway and make our way to Akron. One of “my kids” from the softball team at my old job is in her second season playing for the Akron Racers, and since one of her college teammates is in town to see her play, we’re trekking up to visit the whole group!

I’m very excited to see both of these former players, just keep your fingers crossed that they don’t get rained out. You see, last year the Hubster and I made a special trip to Akron to see this same person play, and they got rained out. There’s a nice solid 30% chance of rain all day in Akron tomorrow. Let’s just say that I’m taking my sock. HP7 is not making the trip, since I figure I’ll be doing just about all of the driving, and it would be rude to read during a rain delay when I can be catching up with friends in the stands. But you’d better believe that Jaywalker #2 is making the trip! My Collinette tape sweater may jump in my bag as well. I haven’t decided yet.

In other news, since I last wrote, we had a pretty good dump of a rainstorm yesterday

The water was coming down the driveway in waves. Literally

The TiVo is connected both upstairs and downstairs (and with the wireless network on both of them, I can move shows from one to the other AND program either/both anywhere that I have internet access! How freakin’ cool is that?)

And I really didn’t get much else done. Entirely pathetic. *sigh*

I know I’m quite late to the party, but I have been listening to a whack of Lime & Violet podcasts and am enjoying them. I think that they are at least partly responsible for my newfound lust for sock knitting, not just sock yarns. After I finish Jaywalker #2, I have a “find my sock groove” plan ready to roll.

My next pair of socks will be knit in the Yarn Harlot style with this lovely skein of Fleece Artist. Inspired by her Knitty Gritty step-out sock hell. Top-down, probably on DPNs.

After that will be the WendyKnits generic toe-up recipe in this well-marinated green Koigu. Since I’ve done one fairly vanilla toe-up sock with DPNs, I plan to bust out the two circs for this pair.

I’m collecting bookmarks of sock patterns to attack my sock yarn stash once I’m through those two pairs. Now it’s just a matter of finishing Jaywalker #2 and figuring out if all of these socks are going to be for my feet or someone else’s feet. Wish me luck … oh, and here’s hoping I can force myself to sleep once I start Deathly Hallows. It has been an unproductive half-week in Pgh house-wise. I need to kick ass around here starting Sunday. Ugh.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Busy as a Hive of Bees

My days are really off.

You see, I’ve been walking around all day thinking it’s Monday. Of course, that’s probably because I didn’t come back from the Lake to Pittsburgh until last night.

I really enjoyed the extra time at VBP. Very minimal beach time, but I almost have my Picnic Plaid quilt finished (it needed a little extra quilting). I did a little more knitting on my Collinette Tape sweater. Mom and I watched Flags of our Fathers. And, last night, Mom and I took a class at Quilted Memories in Dunkirk (no website. Sorry!).

It was the Positively Pineapple class, and it was quite fun. We constructed a lone block, and our homework for the next class (in two weeks) is to get all of our cutting done. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far

Our fearless leader recommended that we do one block at a time, but I think my brain will work better if I chain piece/do all of the remaining 19 blocks in each stage simultaneously so I can whack them all the same. Anne? Sandy? Any suggestions?

Class went until 7:30. I’m sure this will shock all of my left coast quilting buddies, but I was the last one to get packed up and out of the store at the end of class. Fortunately, we didn’t end at Midnight with the store folks toe-tapping for me to get out. :) Hi, Mary Ellen!

Mom and I were both hungry, so we stopped at the White Village on the way back to the cottage. Good food, stupid-slow service, but you know that going in. I got on the road at 9 pm and got home at midnight.

I was up at 7 this morning to take my car in for its 80K service. Then I drove an extra half-mile south to Bloomin’ Yarns (no website yet) in McMurray. Oh. My. Gawd. I love this store. It really reminds me of Beach Knitting, and Michelle (the owner) reminds me of Joan and Karen at BK. There were a stupid number of things in the store that desperately wanted to jump into my shopping bag. They carry Louet Gems, which I had never fondled before but now understand why I’ve heard so many good things about it. They also carry O-Wool, which I had never heard of before. I LUUURRRVVVEEE the O-Wool Balance, and once I clear my backlog of sweaters, I will most definitely be makin’ me a sweater out of this tweedy goodness.

Oh, and did I mention that they carry Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn and YARN PIRATE? Ugh. This is one dangerous store.

I did walk out of the store with a mini-haul.

Some Cascade 220 for the 12:01 felted pumpkin pattern

Some allhemp6 for the Everlasting Bagstopper and a kit for a second, similar bag (natural-colored allhemp6 inside, just like the pic).

No, I’m not on a crusade to eliminate plastic bags, but if I can knit something fun and economical that will help me to always have a re-usable bag on hand? Count me in!

Oh, and I was able to fondle and purchase the GoKnit pouch that I had been coveting off of KnitPicks. It is pictured here with the start of Jaywalker #2 which I cast on at the car place this morning. Those needles are being hugged by my new StitchKeepers. An ingenious device that will keep all those DPN points corralled. They are available at The Loopy Ewe as well.

Oh, did I mention The Loopy Ewe? I had a couple of awesome packages waiting on me when I got home last night. Trekkie Monster says that the Internet is for Porn, and he’s right … Yarn Pr0n! (OK, so I've also been listening to the Lime & Violet podcast. I've been spending a lot of time in my car. So sue me!)

The top three skeins are from Yarn Nerd. All three are his 900 MHz Mega Merino. From the top: Hot Dog on a Stick, Tour de France and Palm Beach. Bottom two are from The Loopy Ewe, Chewy Spaghetti in the Starry colorway and Cider Moon in colorway Casual Friday. Obviously, I need to get knitting on socks!!!

OK, so speaking of the Tour de France. I’m really sad for what has been happening to this great sport. I’ve been a cycling fan for a very long time … I knew who Lance Armstrong was before he had cancer (and have the stalker-ish action shots from the Thrift Drug Classic in the early 90s to prove it!). I was crushed when the Tyler Hamilton mess hit during the Vuelta after his gold medal performance in Athens in 2004, and was extremely saddened and disheartened by the mess that has ensued after the inspiring performance of Floyd Landis in last year’s Tour de France.

[I am in the minority because I have a hard time believing that either Hamilton or Landis is guilty, and I do believe that as critical as the drug testing system is, it has enormous flaws at this time. Hamilton was convicted on a brand new, unproven test that had gaping holes, and I can't understand how Landis could test clean on 14 stages and positive on ONE. Testosterone just doesn't function that way.]

What has happened this week with Alexandre Vinokourov and today with Michael Rasmussen is, to me, reminiscent of the Festina mess during the 1998 tour (entire team booted after a team car was found loaded with performance-enhancing drugs). It’s a wonderful sport that is accessible to “normal folk” who just like to get exercise on a bike and I find so much to admire in these endurance athletes.

I have been stalking the TDF KAL and the only reason I didn’t sign up for it is that I didn’t find it until after the starting deadline. As disheartened as I’ve been by this week’s turmoil, I will continue to watch the race through its culmination in Paris on Sunday. And I’ll watch again next year with a sincere hope that this sport can figure out how to fix what is so obviously broken. Oh, and I highly recommend the diary written by American pro cyclist Bobby Julich.

I was totally shot when I got home from errand-running today, so it was a very light work-on-the-house day. I have lots of cutting homework for my Pineapple class and a stupid amount of knitting waiting for me to dig in. It’s busy around chez DPUTiger, so I’d better get back to it!

Monday, July 23, 2007

A Quilty Finished Object!

My friend Stacey gave me the t-shirts almost five years ago, shortly after I offered to do this for her.

I got them washed and rough-cut (large) a year ago.

Fused the shirts in March. Sliced and diced in May. Figured out which could be easily cut down into 12.5” unfinished squares and quickly realized that Math was required.

Graph paper. Used for the size of the shirts and the size of the sashing of the center “motif.” Center motif on the left, "whole quilt" on the right.

I took this project to the last few Fridays in Los Angeles and finished it on my last Friday at Sandy’s house. As I was driving back to Redondo Beach, I realized that since this newly finished top was going to be quick-turned to a fleece backing, what I really wanted/needed to do was serge it. My serger had been put on the truck a week earlier, and that day had been unloaded in Pittsburgh.

So the next day, I ran a bunch of errands, including dropping at Luella’s Quilt Basket, where I begged Luella to use her classroom tables to do a quick-and-dirty pinning, and then use one of her demo sergers to put the thing together. She was kind enough to not only say “Of Course!!!,” but to offer a regular sewing machine to quilt the thing.

I didn’t have time to stick around and take her up on the quilting offer, and I had high hopes that I could get this quilted before I took off for Pittsburgh, but the fates conspired against me and I never sewed another stitch (by machine) in Southern California.

After getting as much quilty stuff organized and unpacked as I could over the last few weeks, I brought a whack of stuff up to the Lake this weekend in anticipation of Tuesday’s Pineapple class. And after “the boys” (my dad and the hubster) took off for Pittsburgh (where they have “real jobs” to attend tomorrow), I finished reading HP5, then set up my Brother 1500 and started ditch quilting.

I took a good picture of the quilt in my office building at UCLA (above), where I was able to pretty much take a straight-down shot. I didn’t take a new photo tonight, but trust me. It’s quilted and ready to send to Stacey, along with the baby quilt for her son, who was born on D-Day.

Oh, and I took a break for Sunset. Enjoy!

Since nobody even guessed, the "leetle less than half an hour" quote the other day was from The Princess Bride and the "Baby Ducks are cute, I hate cute!" line is from Bull Durham. Those are two of the "five movies I'd take to a deserted island" so it's quite disappointing nobody even guessed!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I’m an Idiot

To prove that I actually still do knit, here’s a picture of my first finished Jaywalker.

Wanna know why I’m an idiot? Well here’s the thing. This stupid sock has been hanging over my head. For quite a while. But I’m itching to knit on some different sock yarn, so I decided that while we were watching The Departed tonight, I’d work on the sock. And I finished it. And in my best effort to avoid Second Sock Syndrome, I dug straight into my knitting bag to cast on for that dratted second sock.

And the ball of yarn wasn’t there. It must be in my Bagsmith bag in Pittsburgh. CURSES! I’m up here until late Tuesday night. Just means I need to find the darn thing ASAP when I get home so I can start the sock during the 1.5 hours I plan to wait for my car service appointment on Wednesday morning. GRRR!!!


Today was a “Chamber of Commerce” day here at VBP. The shot above is of my kick-ass view while I was reading on the beach.

RT joined me on the beach this afternoon. We both enjoyed a little HP5. We’re boycotting any/all Harry Potter mentions until we finish reading 5 (I’m about halfway through), re-read 6 and get our paws on a copy of HP7. I have one reserved in Pittsburgh. We’ll see if it’s still there when I get back south.

About five years ago, my mom drafted a quilt pattern she wanted me to make for her. It’s her beach quilt and I presented it to her at my rehearsal dinner four years ago. I’m quite happy to see it in use, like today when mom joined me on the beach.

And I’ll leave you with a sunset shot. I’m sure the colors kept getting better and better as it got darker, but it was also getting pretty darn cold outside (well, I was wearing shorts. That probably had a pretty good amount to do with it). Enjoy!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Sort This!

It's late, and I'm not writing a "real" post.

I'm also not attending a Harry Potter party tonight

But I did get sorted. I find it interesting that I was 84% for Ravenclaw, 83% for Hufflepuff and 82% for Gryffindor. Let's not mention the 45% for Slytherin.

The sorting hat says that I belong in Ravenclaw!


Said Ravenclaw, "We'll teach those whose intelligence is surest."

Ravenclaw students tend to be clever, witty, intelligent, and knowledgeable.
Notable residents include Cho Chang and Padma Patil (objects of Harry and Ron's affections), and Luna Lovegood (daughter of The Quibbler magazine's editor).

Take the most scientific Harry Potter
ever created.

Get Sorted Now!

Lots of reading, beach time and sewing slated for the weekend at the Lake, and the first ITT (Individual Time Trial) of the Tour de France is tomorrow, so I'd best get to bed so I can be rested up for the big day. Later!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

It’s Comcastic!!!

OK, so I know LOTS of people who are quite unhappy with their Comcast cable service (especially after the recent takeovers). But I have TV. For the first time in a month. I even got to see Willy-Buns at the end of PTI today. I haven’t seen PTI in a month. I think that’s the longest I’ve gone since the show premiered!

RT was happy to watch a little boob tube as well.

Skip this if you are easily bored.
After 4+ years as DirecTV customers in LA, we were originally scheduled for a July 3 installation here in Pittsburgh.

They didn’t show up during the 8-12 window. The guy showed up at 1 pm, but that timing wasn’t gonna work. (flashback)

So we rescheduled for Monday, July 9. But over that weekend, the Hubster spent two hours (yes, TWO HOURS) on the phone with a DirecTV “retention specialist” who attempted to make amends by upgrading us to an HD box, gave us $150 in credit (to that point) on our account and scheduled an install for the afternoon of Thursday, July 12.

Which they didn’t show up for. And they didn’t call. At all. We spent another 90 minutes or so on the phone with a retention specialist. And got another $100 credited to our account. And were promised that we’d get a call from a supervisor. The local person said that they didn’t show up because they didn’t receive their shipment of HD boxes and they wouldn’t (not couldn’t, wouldn’t) do a “partial install.”

I actually did get a call from a supervisor the next morning, telling me that this was a lie … that they had actually assigned the install to a guy who hadn’t been working for two weeks. Nice, huh?

He gave me his specific name and direct phone number and promised that his best guy would be here on Monday to do the install. Monday morning there was a DirecTV guy here at 8:30 am. A different guy than was supposed to be here, but a guy nonetheless. He came in and looked at the two spots where the TVs were to be installed. Noticed that we did not have an HD-capable TV in the spot where we wanted that receiver. So sue us! We just moved and haven’t had time to get the plasma we want for the space … it’s a tricky room … Anyhoo, he then asked where the wires to the dish were located. When I said we don’t currently have a dish, he got cranky b/c we were down as an “upgrade” not a new install. Then he did a few laps around the house and told me my only option for putting a dish on the house was to bolt it to the aluminum siding on the FRONT of the house.

Not gonna happen. I told him that I needed a phone call from his supervisor, who he was going to call on his way out. I called the dude I had spoken with on Friday, told him the name of the installer and what had happened and the name of said installer’s supervisor. He said I’d get a call back pronto.

I never heard from another human being who works for DirecTV. I got three, yes THREE calls from a computer, confirming an appointment for the afternoon of July 19. But I refused to confirm something that no human being had ever set up with me, so I hung up on the computer. Hung up on it again when it woke me up on Tuesday morning. And when it called again yesterday, it told my voice mail that they’d see me Thursday afternoon. Whutever.

After Monday’s SNAFU, I called Comcast. They set me up with a Thursday afternoon install window (12-4. What’s with these people?). Which they missed. I called at 4:01 pm ready to blow my top. They said they’d check with the tech and get back to me. I started to feel sick. I was also pissed that they were unwilling to acknowledge a missed window until 4:30 pm. I mean COME ON! You miss a FOUR-HOUR window, and you need 30 extra minutes of grace period? That’s just obscene.

So I got a call back at about 4:15. The tech called at 4:30 saying he’d be here in about 20 minutes. As soon as I hung up with him, I called Comcast and insisted on my puny $20 credit for the missed appointment. Hey, it’s better than nothing, which is what we've had for way too long.

The tech showed up by 5 and was out of here by 6. Once they were here, he and his supervisor were extremely nice and very efficient in their work. And yes, I now have TV at my house! Woo-Hoo!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming!

So the other big event today was the return of the Boomerang Furniture. Exciting stuff! There were several pieces I knew were coming and another group of pieces where I was fuzzy on the details. Here are the highlights.

This was my tack trunk for probably the last 5-6 years I was doing the horsey thing. It lived at the barn and held all of my stuff. It’s a great piece of furniture, though, and I really want to use it for storage. I figure I can put a lot of my plastic storage in there … mostly my knitting stuff rather than my quilting WIPs. Then I opened it.

Ruh-roh. I can get rid of this stuff, but this is primarily horsey stuff and smells appropriately. Any un-smell-ify stuff anyone can recommend? It’s not BAD, but it makes me hesitant to put yarn or fabric in there before I’ve done something to at least air it out.

I know this isn’t much different from the pic from the other day, but we have a desk! And I unpacked the printer! Woo-Hoo!

The room with the biggest difference is the previously almost empty living room. It needs a little organization, but this is pretty much the furniture we’ll be moving around.

This is the back window of the living room. Overlooks the back yard. The loveseat will probably stay where it is. Chairs will probably move to the opposite end of the room.

And this is the couch that’s going to live in this spot.

There are more pictures, but I don’t want to bore you, so I’ll save some of them for tomorrow night, from the Lake. Have a great evening!

(A) Leetle Less than Half an Hour*

That’s all the time it took me to get back from the Hurricane Knitters at the Waterworks Mall Barnes & Noble.

Now, there’s a theory of relativity here. When I asked my dad for a guesstimate of how long it would take me to get to Waterworks, he basically told me I should find a new place to quilt (I didn’t tell him why I was going, just where … he didn’t know it was for KnitNight). I got to cross two rivers to get over there. Bottom line, dad thought I was nuts for going up there, but it would have taken an extra 15 minutes to get home from Pasadena at midnight after a quilting night.

Now people who live in the South Hills don’t like to cross more than one bridge or traverse more than one tunnel in a single trip without a very good reason. I looped around a little bit on the way up there because I took a field trip to the lone Whole Foods in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, they didn’t carry the yogurt they were supposed to (well, they carried it, but only the really little containers and not in my preferred flavor. BUMMER!), but I stocked up on my favorite chips, granola and apples while I was there. And got a hunk of cornbread, just because I could.

Now the Whole Foods was a slightly odd experience. It was much more like the old “low-end” Redondo Beach store than like the better Pasadena, Westwood or El Segundo locations. Bummer.

Anyhoo, I got to meet Jen and SJ, whose blogs I have been reading for nearly a year, as well as Jenn and a few other women. I suck at names. So sorry! SJ left “early” and Jen (who was modeling her Dream in Color shrug!) and I had a very enjoyable conversation in the parking lot after those pesky B&N people kicked us out. Hurricane Knitters are doubling their meeting schedule, so I hope to hike up there again in two weeks for the Aug. 1 meeting.

Other activities today included laundry (ooh! exciting!) and errand running. I went to the hardware store and got: two smoke detectors, double-stick tape to install them, a bag of zip ties, a box cutter, a broom and dustpan and thumbtacks. Then to Bed, Bath and Beyond for a butter dish and a “soap dish” for our sink scrubby in the kitchen. If I remember tomorrow, I’ll post a pic, since I managed to find exactly what I was looking for, quite by accident. Too lazy to go take one now.

Then it was Best Buy for a TiVo box and home to shower and get ready to go to Hurricane Knitters. Like I said. Busy day.

Tomorrow is Boomerang Furniture Day, hopefully TV installation and I have a feeling that there’s something else on my agenda, I just can’t think of it.

Best news of the day is that we got rid of the couch, chair and ottoman from the basement, plus my dad’s old recliner. Boo-Ya! Past my bedtime. Catch you tomorrow!

*Bonus points for anyone who can ID that movie quote! It’s from one of my VERY favorite movies!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Trials and Tribulations

When the Hubster handled all of the prep work for the move, I knew I’d pay for that on the back end. But I was too busy with work to care.

Now? Yeah, I was right. Yesterday, in particular, kicked my ass.

I won’t truly get into the whole TV situation until I’m happily watching SportsCenter in my living room, but let’s just say that it hasn’t been pretty.

I also spent yesterday (Monday) making phone calls to a pair of work contacts who were both out of the office. (heard back from one today with potentially good news. Yay!), as well as spending a truly excruciating 45 minutes on the phone with our insurance company, updating our homeowners policy in California and setting up a renters policy (since we don’t officially own yet) for here in Pennsylvania.

By the end of the conversation with Insurance Dude, I was so shot that I think I gave him a “market value” on the place in Cali that’s HALF of what we’re listed for. Half. I need to check that online and call them back. *sigh*

Since by 2 pm I felt like I had been hit by a bus, I spent the afternoon finishing HP4, then tackled a puny number of boxes in the basement. All of the “K” boxes are unpacked. I want to tackle most of the rest of the Q’s tomorrow.

Hubster also had a lousy Monday at work, so we had our raincheck anniversary dinner out, then went over to my parents place to sign all of the real estate papers on our new abode. Now we just need someone to buy the damn place in Cali so we can close here!

Today was much more productive. Got an email back from one of the two work calls I made yesterday. Got my online banking ID fixed (yay!). Hopefully got the TV situation fixed (PLEASE keep your fingers crossed!). Called the chick who is hopefully going to get the basement couch and chair the HELL out of my house. Got things in the office and “back bedroom” ready for the boomerang furniture to arrive on Thursday. Oh, and mom and I checked out her favorite local quilt store. Even if the others are at least equal to this one, I’ll be golden.*

What is “Boomerang Furniture,” you ask? Well, when my parents moved out of this house in November, they took very little of the furniture from this house with them. Family in the area was given full shot at most of it, and pretty much everything else was moved over to my brother’s house in Dormont. A lot of it was always intended for the Hubster and I, assuming that we were moving back east eventually. Well, on Thursday, the same guys who moved all of that crap over to Dormont will be moving it right back here. Most of it to precisely the same spots it occupied prior to November.

But you want pictures of what I did today, don’t you?

This is basically what the office, nee “Scott’s Room” looked like this morning. And now?

Ready for what I hope will be the desk that was in my bedroom through high school. We have a list from Erin, but since I haven't seen any of that stuff, I'm not 100% sure what exactly is over there.

No “before” picture, but here’s our guest room, nee “Colin’s Room,” ready for Boomerang Furniture known as “double bed from my old room.” Exciting, huh?

Otherwise, I unpacked a box or two in the basement and washed pillows. By the way, I LURVE my new washer/dryer!

As a final note, I was lazy about posting from the Lake last weekend. Saturday’s adventure included buying a (queen) bed for our room at the cottage (YAY!) and getting fabric for my Pineapple class that will be a week from today up there.

I’m going to do a red/white/blue Pineapple (obviously). The WOW is the “background” fabric (it's a very basic grid, although it photographed as though it's heavily printed. It's not.), and I’ll have reds on diagonal corners and blues on the other diagonal corners. I’ll post pics after Tuesday’s class and drive back down to Pittsburgh.

*Attention M&Ms! The one thing that worries me about this local shop is that when I asked if they have many customers that pin their quilts at the shop, the store employee looked at me and said “pin? What do you mean?” After quickly and quietly picking my jaw up off of the floor, I said “as in pinning the quilt sandwich together in order to machine quilt it.” At which point I was informed that most of their customers either send their tops out or hand quilt. Denise, I may be in touch very soon for details on your new set-up! Advice is heartily encouraged!

Finally, tomorrow is a Big Day. Why? Because it will be my first outing with the "Hurricane Knitters, Fans of 40 Guy" at the Waterworks Barnes & Noble. Wish me luck. I don't think I've ever been to the Waterworks Mall before. I am very much looking forward to meeting SJ and Jen as I have been reading their blogs for quite a while .... and let's not forget 40 Guy!

Friday, July 13, 2007


Well, I don’t know that I’m officially allowed to use that acronym since I don’t have a “traditional” job at the moment, but it’s Friday, I’m beat, and I’m at the Lake. That means it’s a good day.

Today was a little piecemeal. Droped off the Hubster at work. Came back home. Started doing little chores around the house while waiting for my mother’s interior designer to show up. We discussed bedroom sets and office desks. It was quite thrilling.

After that was taken care of, I fired up our PC laptop to get to the Excel spreadsheet that the Hubster meticulously maintained during the packing process and wrote down the numbers of the “Q” boxes that contained the stash.

NOTE: Boxes with Knitting stuff have “K” numbers (K1, K2, etc…) while boxes with Quilting stuff have “Q” numbers. High tech and functional :)

So I unpacked. For quite a while.

Here are the bookcases with the stash mostly housed. There’s a lot more “dead space” on the shelves than I would like, so I will probably chip away at re-folding my stash on an 8.5” ruler. Eventually. Not any time soon. But the good news is that three was the perfect number of bookcases for me and my stash. I can grow into part of the third case, and meanwhile I can use that space for other knitty and quilty stuff. The cases are the perfect depth and I think my amazing packing elves would like to know that the stacks that fit in the small moving boxes were the perfect height for the new shelves. Out of the box, onto the shelf. Done! We planned it that way, right? RIGHT! ;-)

This is the left-hand case, and it currently holds Top Shelf (L-R): Random pile, Halloween, Patriotic x2. 2nd shelf: Xmas/snowflake fabrics, Bottom three shelves: random stash

For the right-hand case, I’ll start at the top and say that I’m shocked I only have one shelf of Batiks. Below that are four semi-random stacks of fabric. The 3rd and 4th shelves are flannel. Bottom shelf has WoW fabrics, a Ragg Quilt kit and a bunch of fat quarter or kit packets.

We finally got a call from a local supervisor from DirecTV, and I have been given his direct office phone number and have been promised that we’ll be installed first thing Monday morning. Keep your fingers crossed!

After picking up the Hubster (after an enjoyable and fruitful stop at my new local REI) and driving up to the Lake, we had dinner at the country club with my dad and sis-in-law Erin. It was yummy, and when we finished, it was time for sunset so we stuck around for a few extra minutes. Here’s my best pic from tonight:

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Crafty Progress!

It was a long day here at chez DPUTiger and it’s only winding down now at 11:20 pm. We started with an early (for me, now) wake-up call, since the delivery window for our shiny new Washer/Dryer started at 8:30 am.

The guys from the major chain where we bought the machines were on time, courteous, funny and very good/efficient at their jobs. How refreshing! I just hope that I’m half as happy with this pair as the Yarn Harlot is with Mr. Washie (or is that Sir Washie?)

I did lots of various types of loads throughout the afternoon. So far? Me likey!

There is one little accessory we’re going to send away for (since it’s free, and all!)

The Bear Shelf! Useful in case Bear or any of his buddies needs a beach vacation … or needs to clean up after a beach vacation! :) That photo is from the flyer I have to send in.

After getting the washer/dryer delivered, installed and leveled, I hit the road. I picked up my bicycle, which had been sad and neglected all eight years I was in L.A. After a “spring tune-up” and a set of new tires, it is once again roadworthy and will probably head up to the Lake next weekend. Woo-Hoo! (sorry. Forgot to take a picture. Blog fodder at the Lake has been light, so It’ll probably get its day in the sun when I take my first ride in 9 years!)

I came home, made lunch and went next door to ask my super-awesome neighbor Gail to help me move that pesky couch. I’m really hoping to have that thing totally out of my house by the start of next week (along with its matching chair and ottoman), but for now I’m just grateful both that it is very light and maneuverable, and that Gail had five minutes to help me get it out of the way. Hubster and I had cleared a path for Washer/Dryer delivery guys last night that we wound up not needing. But better safe than sorry!!

So from that point, I started chipping away at the laundry. Ate lunch (no Diet Pepsi on the ceiling today. Sorry, Sandy!) and started moving boxes. Here is a pretty accurate “before” picture. This was the area parallel to the stairs at about 8 pm last night.

We did some minor moving around for the washer/dryer guys, but this is basically what I was staring at immediately after lunch (and Gail’s help with the couch).

After some serious box moving (and I found the necessary book and ruler for the Pineapple Class. Yay!), I wound up with a Great. Big. Empty.

And this

Yup. The bookcases. Those boxes are Really. Freaking. Heavy. Just in case you were curious. They look deceivingly small and light. It's a lie.

Now I was asked (email, not comment) why the heck I didn’t just pay IkeaDude/Dudette to come and assemble the bookcases for me. Well, I have to admit. I really kind of like doing the assembly myself.

However, there is always a point in the instructions where you need to look at the picture, say “that’s not quite how they should have told me to do it” and adjust. I didn’t quite adjust quickly enough on the opening bookcase, and this was the result.

We shall not speak of this incident again. OK? OK! You really have to look carefully in person. The flash makes it more obvious in the photo than it is in real life, thankfully.

After a long break to listen in on the Hubster’s conversation with DirecTV (our local installer sucks, and that’s being polite. We hope to have this resolved by football season. I only wish I was exaggerating!) and have some dinner, we popped a movie (Dave) into the DVD player downstairs and I tackled the final two bookcases. So now, remember that Great Big Empty?

Voila! I’m hoping to start putting some stuff (mostly fabric) into those bookcases tomorrow. Ain’t they purdy?

Oh, and where did all the boxes go?

We WILL NOT have any problems with the furnace or water heater until I get this unpacked. I forbid it! The big gray thing is the furnace. The water heater? It's blocked in behind about 20 boxes way back in that corner. Mom freaked me out with stories about how it's nearing the end of its natural life, so all the "ground level" boxes back there are either plastic storage or on some sort of plastic riser so if the worst happens in the next day or two, all my fabric and quilty stuff isn't soggy and cardboard-covered.

Plan to work on Quilt Central unpacking tomorrow, then off to the Lake. I’ll probably post late again tomorrow. Happy Friday!

Oh, and Happy Anniversary to me and the Hubster. Four years ago today was pretty damn busy around this house, but for different reasons … I still think I’ll keep him …