Tuesday, October 29, 2013

They're here!!!

The new washer and dryer was delivered and installed yesterday. I didn't get to take a close look at them because Tucker and I had to leave for obedience class shortly after the install was finished. They look nice. Are quiet running (install test run). Not sure how I feel about them right now. I'm missing my old set.....as silly as that may sound. I'm sure I will come to love them in time.

I know. The laundry room looks small with a washer and dryer in it. It's not a very big room to start with. Kinda long and narrow. It was the one feature of our house that I was never crazy about. I won't complain though. At least I have a laundry room and the machines aren't in a closet off a hall.

Update on the remodel: you'd think it would be done now that the new washer and dryer is in place. It's not. Although it's real close. There is still a few more pieces of trim that needs to be painted and put up.....and the new floor needs to be put down in the hall. The cabinets in the photo will be taken out and new ones put in. The new ones aren't as tall and will go from wall to wall. A shelf will also be put in under the new cabinets. My hubby assures me that this can easily be done with the new machines in place. 

Finally found the perfect light fixture. It is now in place and so pretty. I do wish that I was able to finish the laundry room completely before the new machines arrived. At least the bulk of the remodel was done. What little is left can be done at a more leisurely pace. After all, I couldn't have kept doing our laundry outside like I was. The temps have dropped considerably the last couple of days. Our lows are in the teens and we are lucky to reach the low 40's for daytime highs. There is snow in the mountains already. It is only a matter of time before we wake up to a white landscape.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Day 8 of Remodel

If you are wondering what happened to Day 7, well....that would have been yesterday......which was spent in town picking up trim, paint, and other miscellaneous things. You wouldn't think it would take so long to pick out trim....but it did. And I won't even get into the paint. Who knew there would be a plethora of white paint to choose from?  I ended up choosing a shade of white with a hint of blue-gray. Really pretty actually.

Today was spent painting trim and getting trim put in place. Got quite a bit done, although there is still lots left to do. It's amazing how time consuming painting trim is. The floor in the laundry room is as done as it is going to get for now. I decided to carry the floor in the laundry room out into the hall. I think it will make a very pretty (and seamless) floor.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Another Foggy Morning

While I do enjoy the ethereal beauty of a foggy morning, yesterday's foggy morning had a hidden beauty that I've never really noticed before. Who knew pine needles could look so pretty? All those drops of condensation from the fog delicately hanging onto the tips of each needle......

Off to get my list together for today's trip to the local home improvement store.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Day 6 of Remodel

After close to 3 hours of measuring (using templates), scoring, snapping, and laying flooring my body finally said "enough is enough". I hurt in places I didn't think you could hurt. The kicker is this....there is maybe 3 square feet of floor left to do before it is finished. Hopefully the Advil will kick in real soon and make things quit hurting long enough for me to finish that floor. 

There is only 3 days (that must be the number of the day) left before the new machines will be delivered. Besides finishing the floor, trim still needs to be done. Of course I will be losing a day running into town to pick up trim and paint. The one disadvantage to living so far out of town. Even so, that would still leave me 2 days for trim just as long as the floor gets finished today.  I much prefer re-doing a room at my leisure and not being on a deadline.

My first time putting down a floating floor. Much easier than I thought, although rather physically demanding.....at least for this 40-something fluffy person.   :)

Nearly done!!

This is what's left to do...

For those of you who may be wondering.....yes, I'm doing this on my own. Between school and work my hubby isn't home much these days. My oldest did come out for a couple of hours and help with the base coat of paint. It was nice.  :)   This will be the 3rd room that I have re-done. The other rooms were a bedroom and a bathroom. I actually enjoy it. Just wish I was a bit better at it.  :)

A Bit of Fall Color......

.......and another foggy morning. We usually don't have a lot of fall foliage around the house. One reason being we live in a coniferous area......and two, the deer tend to eat anything deciduous. By this time of the year they have pretty much stripped the leaves off of anything with bark. By January they will have stripped my flower beds clean of anything that remotely looks like a leaf. They aren't shy, that's for sure. They have even eaten the pumpkins that were set out for the holidays right on the front porch. Needless to say I don't do that anymore.  

Enjoy my small bit of fall colors....and another foggy pasture photo.

Day 5 of Remodel

Does this seem a bit redundant? It seems a bit redundant to me. Or maybe I'm just getting a bit wore out from spending so many hours in the laundry room. Or maybe I just need some fresh air because I've been inhaling paint fumes for too long. Whatever the rationale....really doesn't matter. The end is getting close. Finished all the painting yesterday. Okay, almost all. There is still the trim to do....which I've decided to do in white (just need to buy the paint). Anyway, majority of the painting is done. Now to put the new floor down......which is today's task.

(That's a clear ruler with yellow markings leaning against the wall in preparation for putting down the floor. When I first looked at this photo it looked like there was something wrong with the wall,)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Day 3 of Remodel

Yesterday was spent finishing up the mudding and sanding. A large part of the taping was done as well. The rest of the taping will be finished this morning so the painting can begin. Today's goal is to have all the base coat painting done so I can do the sponging tomorrow.

Today's photo:  floor samples on my vintage featherweight machine. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Day 2 of Remodel

Didn't get near as far as I was hoping. Spent the day mudding. There was more to do than I realized. Doesn't help that mudding and sanding is not one of my favorite things to do. I hope to finish that up today as well as get it all masked out ready for painting. Still haven't quite figured out what color I want to paint the trim.....

Leaving you with photos of yet another foggy morning as the sun is starting to burn through.

Forgot to bring in the towels I had washed yesterday. The washer is outside connected to a garden hose. At least I can still do laundry. I usually hang quilts on this line to dry. Looks very pretty with the trees in the background.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Day 1 of Remodel

As the last of the day's sun kisses the top of the trees I am finally calling it a day. Floor is clean. All the wall paper has been removed. The old trim is gone. The laundry room is ready for a bit of mudding, touch of sanding, and masking out. Come Monday morning I should be able to start painting.

The carpet in the hallway was pulled up. To my surprise there was linoleum underneath. All the furring strips were removed and the newly revealed floor cleaned with the steam mop. While it's not perfect it is something I can live with until the new floor is ordered, arrives, and installed....which will happen just as soon as the laundry room is finished.

Off to play with the sock machine for a bit.

Get Ready, Get Set, Go!!!

Paint. Check. Brushes and rollers. Check. Painter's tape. Check. New flooring. Check. That's what it was like yesterday at the home improvement store. List in hand, going from one aisle to another, watching the cart slowly fill up.....and thinking the entire time, "I am so not ready for this." Of course there was the slight panic attack when it came to picking out the new floor. "Will this go with the lower part of the wall?" With samples in hand it was off to the other side of the store to find something similar to see how things would look together. I even picked out new flooring for the hall. It was decided to pull up the carpet in the hall and replace it with a faux stone floating floor. Should look real pretty when it's done. Ahhh, the decisions that are made when standing in the middle of the flooring aisle.

Next stop was the appliance store to look at washers and dryers. It went much better than I had anticipated. Wasn't real sure I would find something that I liked. You see, I'm rather attached to my old set. Love everything about it, except the leaking all over the floor thing. Turns out I did find something I liked and I didn't have to look at a bazillion different machines. The set that talked to me is a GE top loader with an agitator and a stainless steel tub. Has all the same features as my old set plus a few new ones that I think I will enjoy having. The new dryer is going to be amazing to have. It has a steam feature that I'm real excited about. I know! Who'd have thunk it? Getting excited about a new washer and dryer. Silly right. Probably but I'm looking forward to the new machines. Delivery has been set for next Monday. Gives me a week to get the laundry room done.

I was going to include a photo of the laundry room, but it's in shambles right now. So I will end this post with photos of the alpaca in the fog.....

Thursday, October 17, 2013

What a day.....

......yesterday was. And not in a good way. Went to enjoy my morning "walk" on my Bowflex only to discover that it wasn't working. Apparently the computer needs to be calibrated. Fine. Headed out to do chores and spend some time with my animals. That went well and I was feeling much better. The little birds were coming into the yard so I thought I would put some seed out for them. The deer had been in and emptied all the bird feeders. Opened up the seed only to discover that it had gotten wet and was starting to sprout. The container it was in broke as I was moving it.  ={

Went inside and decided to work on a pair of socks and get some laundry going. I ended up doing the same sock 3 times before it came out right. While I was working on the sock my puppy, Tucker, came up and nudged me with his nose. He needed to go out. No problem. As I'm heading towards the back door (which is in the laundry room) I notice my socks are wet.....and am wondering why......until I get to the laundry room. There I see water. Lots and lots of water. So much water that the all wool runner in there is floating. The washer broke. Perfect. Just perfect. 3 hours later.....after pulling everything I could from the laundry room......the water is cleaned up and fans are blowing on the hall carpet to dry it. The machines still need to be pulled from the laundry room and moved outside so the linoleum can be pulled up and disposed of. Yes water got under it and a new floor needs to be put down.  ={   I was planning on re-doing the floor in there eventually. Just wasn't planning on doing it now. So it looks like this weekend will be spent buying paint (might as well paint), new flooring, and new machines. It would have been nice if the washer would have given me a sign it was going instead of spewing water all over the place. 

And I won't even mention the grass hay that was delivered late yesterday (which was probably a good thing) or how it isn't as green as I prefer. And I won't mention that's because my hubby turned down first cutting opting to wait for second cutting because the barn was still half full of hay from last year. And I also won't mention that second cutting was left in the field too long due to all the rain we had and that it didn't hold up to the hard frost as well as my loving hubby thought it should have. Or that all the morning fog we've had lately made it hard for baling because it wasn't getting enough time to dry out.....which is why hay was delivered yesterday and isn't as green as I would like. On the plus side....the animals like it. Even Casa, my fussy alpaca (who would rather eat tree bark than alfalfa), was out there with his head through the fence nibbling on a bale. At least I know everyone will eat all winter.

On a positive note....Tucker is doing well in his obedience class. He picks things up quickly. The class instructor wasn't real keen on Tucker being in a harness (he hates having his collar pulled) until she saw how well he responded to me. The thought was that I wouldn't be able to handle him in a harness. I understand why she thought that. He is a big boy weighing 83 lbs. at 5 months of age. Just wish she would have listened when I told her that he responds beautifully in a harness. Oh well. Sometimes people think that big dogs need to be on choke chains, short leads, and man handled and just don't realize that this isn't true. 

Hoping for a better day.....

Sunday, October 13, 2013


The first hard frost of the season.....

Friday, October 11, 2013

Another Foggy Morning

Perfect for enjoying some quiet time knitting with a fire going in the wood stove. I decided to pull out a shawl pattern that I've been working on for some time. Pictured here is my "swatch". I knit this just to see how the lace patterns would play together. It's knit from small skeins (samples really) of hand spun Shetland wool. The larger version I'm currently working on is also being knit from hand spun Shetland wool. A worsted weight. Most of the shawl is done. I'm working on the lace edging. After the worsted weight version is done I plan on knitting yet another one using fingering weight yarn. Then I will go through the pattern making sure it is as close to error free as I can get it and release it, hopefully, sometime before Christmas. I'm definitely not one of those prolific designers who release multiple patterns on a monthly basis. I enjoy the entire process to much to rush it.  :)

There were some pleasant surprises outside today. Like this:

And this:
And this:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tinking.....again. :(

I'm starting to feel like I'm actually going backwards instead of making any forward progress with the warm shawl. Picked it up to work on it for a bit this morning. Spent more time tinking than knitting. First I ended up knitting the same row twice even though I looked at both my chart and my row counter to see where I was. Tink, tink, tink. Then I turned the piece into two-sided lace by knitting the next right side row instead of a wrong side row. Tink, tink, tink. I did manage to knit the next few rows with no mistakes but am finding the piece rather stressful to work on. I'm constantly double checking myself now. Did I count that right? Did I knit the right row? Are things lining up right? Are they where they're supposed to be? Seems like the harder I try, the more I screw up. This is a relatively straight forward piece of lace. I honestly don't know why I'm having such a hard time with it. I know I should just set it aside and work on something else for a bit. Clear my mind. Come back to it with fresh eyes and a new outlook. I feel obligated to work on it until it is done simply because it is a test knit (although the pattern has already been released and there is an ongoing KAL for it at this time). So frustrating!!!!!

I'm going out to work in the barnyard and pasture for a bit. At least I can vent some of my frustration while cleaning up camelids piles. Who knows? Maybe a few of the sheep will come over for some loving. It always makes me feel better to see their tails wagging when they are enjoying a good scratch. 

Aren't they cute? Cable caps for my Hi-ya Hi-ya interchangeables.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My "boys"

There was a comment on my last post about how having a special bond with a dog makes life so much better. It got me to thinking about the other "boys" that share my home and my life. The bond with each one is different....which is not necessarily a bad thing.

Let's start with the oldest...Rudy. Rudy is a golden retriever mix that we adopted from the pound when he was five weeks old. He is now 11 years old and doesn't get around as well as he used to. He has really bad hips that don't always work like they should. Rudy is my farm dog. He's always with me and is incredibly patient. He will wait for however long it takes me to do something even in the worst of weather. He is devoted to me and I would be lost without him. He is the reason I got Tucker. It is my hope that Rudy will teach a Tucker how to be a great farm dog like he is so that one day Tucker can take over allowing Rudy a well deserved rest.

Onto the miniature dachshunds. There are 3 of them. Two of them my loving hubby brought home. Ratt was the first one he brought home. Ratt was a rescue. He was in a very abusive living situation (as was my oldest but I won't get into that). He was very timid when he first came to us. Skulked around and cringed at any loud sounds. Ratt has been with us for four years now. He is very trusting and very affectionate. His favorite place to be is in my hubby's lap being loved on. Ratt is the dapple and tan in the photo.
Pictured with Ratt is Dexter. My hubby brought him when my youngest figured out that she simply couldn't give him all that he wanted and needed. Dexter is a very demanding dog. When he wants something he wants it now and will let you know. He is devoted to my hubby. Loves him to pieces. He spends his days waiting for my hubby to walk through the door. He does love the spinning wheel. Loves to hear the soft "whirring" noise it makes. He will get as close to the wheel as he can (sometimes using the treadle as a pillow)  and fall asleep with a smile on his face. (Yes, they do smile. Super cute to see.)

The last of the dachshunds is Harley. He is the smallest of them all. He is my "little piece of chocolate". He's never far from me. My hubby gave me Harley during a rather difficult time. My miniature schnauzer wasn't doing well and we knew he wouldn't be with us for much longer. My hubby thought that Harley would help ease the pain of losing my miniature schnauzer....which he did. Harley and I have a very close bond that is a bit hard to put into words. He's always with me. When he's not with me he's watching me. He always knows where I am.....and hates having a closed door between us. He is very protective of me. Sometimes I feel as though my miniature schnauzer told Harley that it was his turn to watch over me.....as silly as it sounds. My miniature schnauzer was the same way Harley is. 

Why or how each dog found their way to our home isn't really relevant. They have each created their own unique place here. Each of them has blossomed (or is still blossoming in Tucker's case) into the amazing individuals they are. While I may not have that special bond with each one, that's okay. There is still plenty of love in the house. There is always someone there who will cuddle with you when you are feeling blue. They all feel safe, secure, and happy. When it's all said and done that really is the only thing that matters.

Did we ever think we would have five dogs? No. Definitely not. Does it get chaotic around here? At times....YES!!! Especially when they are running through the house playing. Do they all get along? Yes. We monitor their interactions with each other and only intervene when absolutely necessary. They all have their own unique personalities and it's important that they learn to respect each other. Would we change things? Definitely not. I can't imagine not having any of them.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Have you met Tucker?

I'm guessing not since I failed to introduce him when he first arrived (was too distracted with the new sock machine). Tucker is my five month old Great Dane/Bloodhound mix puppy. He was an "oops". A very pleasant "oops".  :)  I was given pick of the litter and chose Tucker shortly after he was born. He got to come home at 9 weeks old. Even though this was the first time we saw each other there was an instant connection. He ran right up to me without any hesitation as if he knew he was finally home.

It's been amazing to watch Tucker grow. When he first arrived he was a baby at 20 pounds. At 3 months he weighed 44 pounds and was about 20" at the shoulder. At 4 months he weighed in at 62 pounds and I have yet to get him to stand still long enough to see how tall he is at the shoulder. He has learned to manage his gangly legs and very large feet.....which makes for a very active puppy, albeit a very large one.  :)

He is incredibly intelligent. Picks things up very quickly....when he's not practicing his selective hearing skills. Very loving and affectionate. He just hasn't realized how large he is yet. He still thinks he can climb in your lap for hugs. He is very, very vocal. He "talks" a lot!!! He will let you know what he thinks about everything.  :)  He has even been known to "back talk" when he is told to do something that he doesn't want to do.  He's definitely something very special and I can't imagine life without him....even on his most trying days (and there's been a few).

Tucker at 9 weeks.

Tucker at 3 months sitting with Ratt, one of our miniature dachshunds.

Tucker at 4 months sitting with Harley, another of our miniature dachshunds. Harley is the smallest weighing in at 9 1/2 pounds. He is also Tucker's playmate. It's funny to watch them chasing each other around the yard. Harley is quick to let Tucker know when he is too rough or has stepped on him.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Pea Soup

The fog that has rolled in this morning is as thick as pea soup. Started off wispy. Now it's hard to see the outbuildings, trees, or pasture fence from the house. Wonder how long it will take to dissipate....

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


That's exactly what I'm feeling with not one, but two projects I'm currently working on. One project is a knitting project.....the Orenburg warm shawl (formerly known as the test knit). I'll be moving right along, feeling the "flow" of the lace, thinking things are great......until I do a stitch count. And find I'm one stitch off. After hours (sometimes days) of going over the piece I finally find where I lost that single stitch........10 rows down.  :(   Happened again today.  And this time the "oops" is staying.  I've spent more time tinking than I have knitting. Or at least it seems like it. At this rate one of two things will happen. It won't get finished until sometime next year. Or I will get so frustrated with it that it will be put aside and never finished.  I've got 31 out of 47 teeth finished on the first border. I'm hoping that once the first border is done the other 3 will go quicker. After all, I've been making all the mistakes in this one.....and I really do want to finish this project.

My other frustrating project is a spinning one. I fell in love with this roving. Loved the color and thought the blend would be a fun spin (darn near has everything in it but the kitchen sink). Not so much. The staple length is much shorter than I anticipated or really enjoy working with (3" or shorter). Quite a few of the "ingredients" in this roving are rather slick.....combine that with the relatively short staple length....not a terribly fun spin. At least not for me. I had started out spinning this on support spindles and wasn't really enjoying it. Thought it would go much quicker and be a bit more fun on the wheel. While it is going quicker, still isn't any fun. I'm only pushing through because I really love the finished yarn (which was spun on supported spindles). I hope I can finish spinning this up soon. I really want to spin up some Shetland. That's always a great spin for me.   :)