Monday, May 07, 2007

Right in the middle of house hunting the transmission on my little car gave up the ghost. Since the car is 10 years old and has almost 200,000 miles on it, we wanted to replace it. We may still repair it, but we didn't want to have to trust it exclusively. Guess what that meant? Yep, a Sunday spent car shopping!

We ended up purchasing a 2007 Nissan Xterra. It's a bit of a gas guzzler (we're getting 20 mpg) and I know I'm supposed to be "green" and all that, but damn it, I liked this one! It's easy to get in and out of, it sits up and I can see over the cars in front of me, and it's solid. When you shut the door it makes a satisfying thunk sound.... it's definitely not an aluminum can!!

We are supposed to be closing on the house this Thursday and getting the keys that day. Then all the major moving begins. I have several loads of boxes all ready to go and WAAAY more than that to sort and pack still! The garage needs to be cleaned out and sorted with lots of stuff going to the dump, Goodwill, and freecycle. The weekend of the 19th/20th we'll be moving the larger furniture and washer/dryer, then the last week of the month we'll shuttle back and forth, doing painting and cleaning here at the rental house.

It's going to be a busy 3 weeks for us, so don't look for a post anytime soon. Once we're moved in I'll take some pictures of the new abode and put them here!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Wow, it's been a loooong time since I posted! Sorry about that, life got away from me for a while, and is going to get away from me again shortly.

On a crafting note, I've done nothing! Well, I've done a bit but not much. I finished up a baby quilt for a friends baby shower. It came out well, just a basic irish chain in baby boy prints. I don't know if I got a photo of it, but if I remember I'll look for one and get it posted.

I'm up to the waist shaping for the Emerald sweater, which is probably about where I was the last time I posted! I admit that it's fallen by the wayside as a project, but I do hope to get back to it before fall.

I picked up two skeins of Sea Silk on ebay a few months ago (what wonderful stuff!) and I cast on for the 1 skein scarf whose pattern was included with my purchase. It's lovely yarn to work with and I've got a few repeats done, but again, nothing to really brag about!

On the life front, things have been really hectic. I've been working, babysitting my grandson, reading a ton of books (fiction, not nursing thank god!), and just living. However, during that time, Rick and I took the plunge and bought our first house.

Yep, we're quite a bit older than your normal first time home buyers. We are both divorced and "owned" homes with our exes, but his was a combination home/shop that was on a seller contract, and mine was a mobile home on a park on a seller contract. The point is, this was the first time we've dealt with the realtor/mortgage broker system.

And what a system it is! To be honest, we have some credit issues. I've been out of work for 8 years and in school for 4 of those years, and my older kids keep moving in and out and having their own financial issues that we end up helping with. Anyway, we couldn't qualify for a regular fixed rate mortgage. Countless time was spent applying with different brokers trying to find one that could help us find financing.

We did find a broker, but let me tell you... think long and hard about this decision. If you use alternative financing you're going to pay a lot of interest on your loan, plus you're going to pay a premium price for the house you end up buying. Since we feel that within 2 years we will have improved our credit score enough to refinance with a fixed rate mortgage we decided we'd go ahead and pay the price now. At least we'll be building some equity instead of tossing it away on rent!

The broker introduced us to a realtor. The first one did NOTHING for us. I got 2 total emails from him in a month, with no suggestions of homes we could purchase. (I should add that with our financing, we couldn't just buy any home. We had to find one where the owner was willing to carry a 2nd mortgage). Anyway, we finally got a new realtor who was awesome!

End result, we bought a house. We're closing this week and starting to move in as soon as we have the keys. Much packing and sorting has been going on, revealing an embarrassment of fiber/yarn/fabric riches! I have a prodigious stash of stuff (as I've stated before) and will do some stash revealing when I start unpacking in my new craft room! The house is 2500 square feet with 3 bedrooms, 3 bonus rooms, 2.25 baths (with the plumbing stubbed into the 1/2 bath for a shower), living room, huge family room, tons of storage, 2 fireplaces, a gazebo with a hot tub, and a large playhouse for Damien!

More on this later, along with the surprise purchase we made in between house shopping!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Finally, a meme I have something to contribute to!!

Look at the list of books below:
* Bold the ones you’ve read,
* Italicize the ones you want to read
* Leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in.

1. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)

10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)

14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)

19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)

22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)

25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)

33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)

36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible (although I will admit, I probably haven't read every single word, cover-to-cover style)

46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)

53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)

59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According to Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte's Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)

94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)

98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

Not bad, I've read well over half of the books on the list, and there are several I plan to read. In fact, there are several that are on my bookshelf! On the other hand, there are several on this list that I've started and didn't care for. I do love to read, even more than I love to craft...but if a book doesn't grab me in the first chapter or two I rarely persevere and finish it.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

This working for a living stuff has seriously dented my knitting/spinning/quilting time! I haven't done a stitch of crafting since I started work :( I think I'm having withdrawals! The good news is that starting Thursday I'll have 5 days off in a row, so perhaps I can at least knit a bit more on the Emerald sweater.

I also broke down and joined the Rockin Sock Club for 2007. I know, I know... I said I wasn't going to join but how could I resist when they extended the payment deadline? I can't wait to start getting STR in the mail!

Work is going really well. The people are helpful and supportive, the patients are (for the most part) fantastic, and I'm really enjoying being a nurse! Of course, the paychecks are pleasant too... ;) I finish my orientation at the end of next week and will be officially "on my own". There are still tons of things I need to learn more about, but that will happen when patients with those types of issues come in. I just feel so lucky to have found such a fantastic place to work on my first try! The benefits are A+, I even get 9 or so days of vacation this year, and with the way my schedule works out, I can actually take over 4 weeks off using just those 9 days. You can't beat that!

At any rate, I will do my best to be more productive craft wise and post more often here. Maybe I'll charge the camera batteries and even have pictures! hahaha
Hope you're all doing well and enjoying life!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


My cousin is dying. She's a beautiful person who has only been on this earth for 47 years. She has been battling cancer for several years but now she is losing the fight. We haven't been particularly close since we became adults, but as a child I always looked up to her since she was the oldest of us. I wanted to be just like her, I was envious of her looks, her personality, her "perfect" family, etc. (yep, I was a bratty child/teenager)

Shannon always wanted a large family but was unable to have children. She and her husband adopted two great kids from Korea and have been outstanding parents. Their youngest child is developmentally disabled and requires a lot of care. Both she and her husband have been incredibly devoted to their children and their faith, donating uncounted hours of their time and money to their church mission.

I know that she believes she is going to a better place where she will be with her mother and grandmother, both of whom she loved dearly. I also know that she will be missed every day by those she is leaving behind. Your thoughts and prayers for her family would be much appreciated. ***edit: She passed on 2/22/2007 around 1:45pm PST. Funny how even when something is expected, it can still knock you for a loop. This is the first of my generation of family that has passed away and it has left a hole in my life that can't be filled.***


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

This will probably be a long rambling incoherent post but bear with me... I had my orientation for my new job today. Lots of paperwork and a short tour of the unit I'll be working on. I also had my picture taken and was presented with my new badge. Wow! What a feeling, to see that badge with my picture and name, and there below my name in bold letters it says RN. I think the sight of that badge finally brought home the fact that I am a nurse. I'm expected to be knowledgeable, caring, compassionate, sympathetic, and empathetic. I'm the advocate for these patients. It's my responsibility to ensure they are receiving the very best care they can get, and to deliver a large part of that care.

Part of me wants to run screaming, saying "WTF was I thinking? I'm no nurse!" and another part of me wants to put on my scrubs and stethoscope and dive right in. Of course, the evil part of my personality wants to get notarized copies of my badge to send to all those people who never thought I could do it..... :)

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm terrified/excited/exhausted/terrified/elated/(did I say terrified?). I feel almost bipolar, with really big highs and fairly low lows. Now, this may all be partly due to the fact that I'm trying to change my sleeping schedule to up all night, sleep all day... and so far it's not working too damn well! I can make it up till 1 or 2 with no problem, but then I'm wiped out. Last night I fell asleep sometime after 1am, got up at 6 to get Alex off to school and get ready for my appointment. I left the house at 7:15, drove to the county Health Dept. to pick up copies of my immunization records (what happened to my copies is what I'd like to know!) and then to the orientation. From there I drove to a friends house and gave her some advice on studying for the NCLEX, (along with some online window shopping and visiting with her dogs), and got home at 2:45. After homework supervision, dinner making, grandson sitting and American Idol watching it's midnight... and I'm tired now dammit! But, no rest for the weary, at least not until 2am. I have to be able to sleep tomorrow!

Ok, enough whining. I can do this and it will all be fine. I'll relate my first few days in a post as soon as I have some time. Wish me well!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

No pictures today, sorry! Someone (ahem) needs to charge the camera batteries. I never think of it until I want to take a picture....

I've done about 7 inches on the Emerald sweater, 4" or so of 2x2 ribbing and 3" of stockinette. This thing is already heavy! It does hurt my wrists somewhat (all the weight hanging off the needles) so it's going to be slow going, I can only knit 4 rows or so without taking a break. I love the way the colors are turning out though!

Also, I start working on Thursday night and work a lot of days in February. Posting here may be VERY hit and miss for the next few weeks. Of course, by the time February is over I might have some sweater progress for you! I have a feeling that working nights and sleeping days will severely curtail my crafting time, at least until my orientation period is over and I begin working my regular 24 hour a week shifts. But just think of all the stash enhancement I'll be able to do with those paychecks!

And in football news: Hooray for the Colts! I didn't want to see the Bears win (since they beat the Hawks), and I was really happy to see Peyton Manning finally overcome his post season blahs and show what he can accomplish.

That's all for now, folks! (insert pig noises here)