I'm a fifty-something woman, trying out blogging, having failed at an online journal. I'm interested in almost everything; there's no telling what an entry might be about. As a sign my mother once gave me says, "Stay Tuned. I could say something BRILLIANT at any moment!"
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Moving On (10) and Knitting Content
Things are moving right along on the moving front.
A few days ago I mentioned all the planning I’ve been doing to some of my online friends. One of them (the mother of five, so she has some experience in this area) suggested a couple of books and that perhaps DS ought to be doing some of the planning.<g> (I can’t imagine why she’d think that!)
Actually, DS is planning. He’s allowing me to provide guidance and I’m loving it. I did, however, order four books for DS. They are as follows:
The first has lots of advice about things like budgets (which we’d like to provide ourselves, except his eyes glaze over and his ears physically grow soundproof covers when we try) and the last two include easy recipes and all sorts of parental-type advice. I was expecting to find these books at Borders. After all, this is the time that kids go off to their first year of college; surely such books would be in high demand! Well, not so much. So I ordered them and expect them any day. DS seems to think they’re a good idea, too.
In fact, DS is being so agreeable that I’m beginning to wonder if he’s been replaced by a pod person. So far I’m not sure that’s a bad idea. On Saturday he not only got his electricity account set up, he called the phone company and the cable company to get their prices. Tonight we decided that probably it’s best if he bundles the cable, Internet, and phone service together. I’m not entirely happy about it, but it’ll save him $50 for four months and $25 after that. And, as DH pointed out, if the phone goes out because the Internet goes down or the electricity goes, he *does* have a cell phone, which we’ll still be paying for. So he won’t be without the ability to call for help.
Also on Saturday, DS continued to work on finding the floor of his bedroom and packing up stuff he wants to take. Without me reminding him, I might add. In fact, when I suggested he do a bit more work, as he didn’t do any on Friday, HE ACTUALLY DID IT! WITHOUT WHINING! OR EVEN WHINGING! I swear this is not my kid.
Today he and I took the grandbabies to the vet. They didn’t get any shots and the vet agreed with m, that rechecking them for FeLV is unnecessary, since the first time we had Texas A&M do the definitive bone marrow test. Other than running a slight fever (which I think they normally do), they are rather incredibly healthy. However – and this is a big shock – they had *fleas*. We have no idea where they got them. They haven’t been outside the house since like November and we don’t seem to have fleas in this house. In fact, we have the house sprayed for pests quarterly. Plus, DH regards fleas with the same welcoming spirit with which I greet large hairy spiders or great big cockroach/waterbugs. As in screaming. Well, to be honest, DH doesn’t scream, exactly. But he hates them with a great deal of purple passion. If there were fleas in the house, he contends, he’d know. However, they combed fleas off both cats. So we got some Frontline for them and for their favorite playmate, Simba, and dosed them tonight.
The vet also recommended some chicken flavored chews for the babies to help keep their teeth in the wonderful condition they’re currently in. So this evening we presented them with one each. They feel like paper to me, and the babies *love* paper, in a destructive, shredding way, but these chews do not seem to the babies to be food. I’ll try them on the big cats, but I suspect the chews will be going back to the vet.
The babies were incredibly good. There was no screaming in the car, even though the cat carrier is now officially not quite big enough. It’s also old as the hills and missing some of the screws meant to hold it together, so it will need to be replaced. Tempe was a bit concerned about being put in the box, but it didn’t bother RayRay at all. In fact, the only thing that bothered him was that Tempe was lying in the very center of the box and taking up about 2/3 of the space, somehow. However, RayRay is not always stupid. When we got in the examining room, he declined to exit the box. Not as firmly as Tempe, who wasn’t coming out even when the carrier was turned 90º and you’d think gravity would insist. (But of course, none of our cats believe in gravity, anyway.) Still, there was very little noise from them and other than them insisting on sitting on my neck with their claws out, it was pretty uneventful. They also didn’t complain about the drive home. Amazing!
Speaking of the babies, DS went out on Sunday and bought out a lot of PetSmart for the babies’ birthday and moving presents. The big purchase was a small version of Simba’s tree. He’s calling it the Shrub. It’s a two story carpeted affair, with a flat sleeping tray up top and a tunnel underneath, and includes a dangly toy with a bell and catnip. They took to it with great, great glee and have taken to both sleeping on the top tray. (This is amazing, in one way; the tray has a hole to go through. Ray proved that was its purpose when he first lay down in the tray and his rear end went, ungracefully, through the hole. Tempe would have been embarrassed to have missed the fact that there was a great big *hole* there, but it didn’t faze Ray. He just scrambled back up and found a better position.) DS also bought them new beds (which I suspect they’ll completely not use), catnip toys, a new litter box (covered, to cut down on the throwing the litter out of the box and the pulling of non-litter objects into the box), new food bowls, and some adult canned food, which they think is just the best thing in the world except maybe the Shrub.
Finally, in my reading of various websites about what to have in your first apartment, I came across a person who suggested taking old, ratty towels – you know, the kind that have developed a fringe? – and cut them up into dishcloth and washcloth size and hem them. Now, first off I’m thinking, “Hem? I doubt DS would do that. Heck, I don’t think *I’d* do that, and I know how!” Plus, we don’t have any towels like that, really. When towels get to that point, we have a couple of ways we handle it. DS wouldn’t notice; DH would use them till they developed big holes (holes in the plural, too), perhaps cutting off the fringe occasionally. Me, I trash them and replace them. (Towels are not that expensive!)
But it did give me an idea. Among the things found in the box we packed from my mom’s stuff, there was only one set of towels and no dishcloths or dishtowels. And I’m a knitter. (Have I mentioned that?) So I went to Michaels on Monday and bought a large selection of Sugar ‘n Cream yarn. Sugar ‘n Cream is 100% cotton and pretty absorbent and is quite happy to go in the washer and drier. One ball makes a nice sized dish or wash cloth. Two would make a decent guest hand towel or a hand towel for the kitchen. And Michaels was selling the balls for about $1.29 or so a piece. It’s a fairly thick yarn (size 7 knitting needles, US), so I think he’ll still need commercial dish towels for drying dishes, but I’m enjoying making him dish and wash cloths. I think I’ll make a few for my former-daughter-from-a-previous-life, too. They’re pretty quick and fun. I’ve got two on the needles at the moment. One in the ubiquitous diagonal square pattern, using one ball of variegated white, purple, yellow, and blue, a ball of purple, and a ball of yellow. The second is a modified basketweave pattern that I’m less than crazy about in a variegated orange, yellow, and pink colorway. I nearly frogged that one when I realized I didn’t like how it looked – but hey, it’s a *dishcloth*. Who *cares* if it’s not a lovely pattern?
I also went down the way to Borders (where I didn’t find the books mentioned above) and got, among other things, the new Vogue Knitting magazine, with a bunch of stuff about socks, and Mason Dixon Knitting, which has a bunch of washcloth patterns in it. I picked colors of the yarn specifically for one pattern I knew was in there and I’m hoping to get started on that one tomorrow. (Since I don’t have the pattern memorized, I’m waiting for a day when I’m mostly home. I figure it won’t be hard to memorize, but thought a few rounds through the pattern with the book in front of me would be a good thing.)
So the sock knitting has been put away for a few weeks. But they’re sitting where I can see them and I’ll get back to them when the spurt of dishcloths is over or gets old, whichever comes first. (There may be a lot of Christmas presents accompanied by washcloths this Christmas!)
So this evening after dinner DH climbed into the attic to find the boxes we packed for DS. He found one heavy box. I suggested there were more and tried to find out from my brother whether he remembered how many. All I got from him was an argument about whether the space above our house can properly be called an attic. (Please. Like he was *ever* as picky about language as I am!) He only remembers one box.
However, DH kept looking for boxes, as I’m quite sure there was more than one. He found a heavy box (of the wrong kind) with plates in it and was bringing it down when the box broke and plates and glasses came raining down. I felt a couple of pieces of glass shrapnel hit my bare legs, but fortunately for all involved, both DH and I were unharmed. The same cannot be said of the contents of the box. A few saucers and a few glasses miraculously survived, but the rest had to be swept up off the garage floor. (DH reports that Simba was extremely helpful in that process and gave him an A+ on his work.<g>)
Interestingly, I don’t remember the stuff in the box and neither does DH. I think maybe they were his grandmother’s stuff and he thinks maybe it was *my* grandmother’s stuff. But I’d have recognized it if it came from my family. Also, we have a few extra plates that we use that came from DH’s family and there was one just like them in the wreckage. Seems like proof to me!
I opened the intact box, but didn’t get a good look at the contents. What little I did see does not match my memory. I remembered plates and silverware and such and the contents on top were miscellaneous plastic and minor cooking stuff. More will be revealed when we delve further into the box. Which will have to be tomorrow! At least some of the plastic didn’t survive 10 Texas summers in our attic – one piece of unidentified plastic on the top was both brittle and broken. I think we figured the boxes would be in use quicker than they have been!
(DS just got home and thinks he remembers more than one box, as well. Someone will be going back up into the attic tomorrow. It won’t be me – with my fear of heights, I can’t get up the ladder, plus it’s way, way too hot. But another box at least needs to be looked for.)
Tomorrow I plan to sit DS down at the computer to begin the process of getting his electricity account set up and checking into the prices for phone and cable. I also want to make an appointment for the grandbabies to see the vet for your basic well-kitten checkup and booster shots (and won’t they love that!) before the move. After the move the older cats will go in for testing for FeLV, so that I can foster kittens. That’s be just gangs and ganging of fun, too. I’ll need to get more cat carriers, as there’s no way Wilma will allow herself to be transported in the same carrier as Simba, and possibly not Angel. It may require more than one person,too.
Today I decided I needed to proofread my translation of the charts for the Autumn Leaves Lace Socks. Good thing. On several rows I found problems. I have now counted up to 48 more than 96 times.<sigh> But I got 2 more rows knitted after that, so progress is being made.
Tomorrow evening the Cinema Club at church is showing Grease, as a sing-along. To me, that last part is unnecessary. I *always* sing along, if only very quietly. Before the movie they will be serving “real” hamburgers and hot dogs. I love that. I am definitely a carnivore. Back a few months ago, there wouldn’t have been actual meat involved, so I’m appreciating that little touch.
Today I did a little websurfing on the topic of what sorts of things one should have before moving into one’s first apartment. Well, yes, it is possible DS ought to be doing this himself, but, hey, I was at the computer and he was at work!
Definitely, before we start checking off checklists or shopping, we need to peek into the boxes we packed just over 10 years ago when we were clearing out my mom’s house after her death. I’m pretty sure the basic kitchen stuff is covered, but there are other things (like towels and such) that might be in there. Wish I could make myself believe a cute little dinette set would be hiding in there, but I happen to know she didn’t own any such thing. (We won’t even get into the fact that the boxes aren’t big enough.<g>) But a table lamp or two is not beyond possibility.
After looking at the checklists I printed and some pages on saving money when moving into one’s first apartment, I find myself feeling the need to make dish and wash cloths for the kid. (Despite the fact that he has a nice supply of towels and washcloths already and there’s an excellent chance that dishcloths are residing in the above mentioned boxes.) I have requested from a blog I’ve been reading for a while the location of the pattern for the cute washcloths she’s been knitting recently and also I bookmarked several places online with links to *lots* of washcloth patterns. And surely elongating the square dish cloths into towels is do-able. I also saw one pattern where the dish cloth had added to it a top with a button so that it can be buttoned to the handle on the oven or the refrigerator. (I think I can figure out how to do that without a pattern, though. After all, I knit *socks* without a pattern, and those not only are more complicated and have to fit a foot.)
I see a trip to Michael’s for Sugar and Cream in my future. I will try to restrain myself and not go there tomorrow, before the boxes can be inventoried.
Yesterday evening DS said about the kittens (cats, now, Grandma!) that in less than a week they’d be living in a different reality. Uh, no. We can’t even get the keys till the 24th, and I doubt they’ll move over till the 26th. Time really does move differently for him than for the rest of the world!
I’ve also been websurfing about setting him up with electricity, phone service, and cable and Internet service. Amazingly, both the phone and cable companies refuse to even hint at prices unless I’m ready to begin the process of signing up. So I guess we’ll find out more on Saturday, when I intend to sit the young man down at the computer and get that stuff started.
Oh, and he spent another 30 minutes in his room today picking up trash. This is a good thing! (DH wants to know why he’s using the small, white garbage bags. It just occurs to me that using those makes a little progress more obvious. If he had to fill up a big black garbage bag, that would take longer. I’m for visible progress.)
Some knitting progress today: I got several rows past the ribbing on the non-mindless-knitting April Fools Socks. So far I can't really see the pattern in the dark yarn. But I will persevere. I also finished the non-ribbed cuff on the Autumn Leaves Lace Sock, as re-written by me, and also finished translating the chart into written instructions. I’ve done two rows of the pattern (not enough to see if I like it, yet).
Bad news from the shelter this morning. The loving, affectionate very big cat Buzz, he of the 28 pounds, was found dead in his cage this morning. I believe that in addition to being very overweight, he was also a senior kitty, but nothing was said specifically about his cause of death. In one way, it’s sad to think he passed his last days in a cage. On the other hand, he had many, many friends in the shelter staff and cat volunteers. He was as well fed as he needed, had a cool, clean place to sleep, clean water to drink, and a clean litter box. And the cages, while not exactly upholstered lounge chairs, are not uncomfortable. I don’t believe he was unhappy or felt unloved, and that’s better than any feral cat would be able to say. Farewell, Buzz. See you at the Rainbow Bridge!
We’re in! Or he’s in, anyway. The apartment complex called late this afternoon to say that DS has been approved to rent the apartment. We are all very happy and also concerned. Because there’s a lot of work to do between now and then. (Getting electricity and phone turned on, finding some sort of table for him to eat on, finding the boxes of stuff we packed up for him when we cleaned out my mom’s house and figuring out what he’ll need that’s not in there.)
The lady actually said “of course” he’d been approved. Please, “of course”? It sure didn’t feel “of course” to us!
The call came while DS was in his room, putting trash in garbage bags. Yes, he actually was. He had been out running errands (Wednesday is one of his days off) and had actually been by the UHaul store and bought moving boxes. He asked me if I thought 7 was too many. (Uh, only 7?) No, dear. I suspect we will want to acquire more. But before he begins boxing stuff, he first has to find the stuff under the trash in his room. I expect that by the time the room is emptied of the furniture that is his, we will find a lot of plates and glasses and silverware we’d given up for lost. I’ve also thought about calling in the FBI, cause I believe it’s quite possible they should excavate the area for Jimmy Hoffa. Possibly also Amelia Earhart and Judge Crater.
I had suggested to him a couple of days ago that he should spend 30 minutes a day doing this sort of thing now, before actual packing has to start. (In part because I can guarantee that if his dad and I are involved in the clearing before packing, things will be thrown away that he doesn’t want to have thrown away.) It is a measure of my current value to him as an authority figure that he is actually doing this. I have suggested this method of cleaning to him before, but this is the first time it actually happened. Today two full garbage bags of trash left his room in only 30 minutes. He also uncovered his Nintendo 64 and some of the games for it. (Hence the suggestion that we may yet find Jimmy Hoffa’s mortal remains.)
Changing the subject: I did go visit the yarn store today. I did get a couple of Yarn Clams. (I had to sneak them out from under baby caps, but I can be ruthless when I have to be!) I was briefly stunned when I went to the corner where the sock yarn has always lived – it wasn’t there any more! What is this, a test to see if I’m paying attention? One local grocery chain seems to do semiannual fruit basket turnover type changes in the aisles, and there is always whining and complaining in our little family party when that happens. Their prices really are cheaper than anybody else’s, or we’d have left long ago over that! However, the owner came into the area where I was just beginning to hunt for the sock yarn, and pointed out that A) you could see all of it now, instead of having a lot of it crammed into dark bookshelves and B) it was easier to see if you didn’t know where it had been. True. It’s just the *shock*, you know.
Anyway, while I was adjusting myself to the new arrangement, she pointed out the new Trekking she’d just got. And right there was the exact right yarn I wanted for my socks-with-pink. A pink and purple yarn (and brown and white). If you look here, it’s color number 144, which this store clearly doesn’t currently have in stock. I bought two skeins of it. This yarn comes in two socks per skein sized skeins, but I’m thinking along the lines of knee socks, so clearly two skeins will be required.
I did not immediately cast on for the knee socks, as I’ve currently only got enough Addi Turbos in size one for three pairs of socks, so all the needles are spoken for. However, if I can get access to Nisa’s feet this Sunday and do a quick try-on, I think I can finish up her socks fairly quickly.
I’m thinking of just doing the ultimate in mindless knitting for the knee socks – 2x2 ribbed cuff and stockinette from that point on. I think the yarn is busy enough for that to be fine.
I promised my friend Bev to include a link here in the blog. Bev is a Muggle, as defined by the Yarn Harlot (a non-knitter), however, she found this site and wondered if I’d seen it. I hadn’t, actually, though goodness knows I’ve seen many, many charity knitting sites. Normally when I see someone suggesting knitting sweaters for penguins (no, I’m not kidding) or something like this, sending handmade bears to kids affected by AIDS, I think it’s a bit like trying to bail out the Titanic with a sand pail – not nearly enough to matter. If, however, you click on the link to pictures, it seems clear that having their very own toy bear (however culturally dissonant a teddy bear is to African children) does matter to at least most of the kids. So I’m giving some thought to sending off for a pattern. Goodness knows I’ve got enough Red Heart yarn and other such less-than-wonderful quality yarn lying around to make several bears. Perhaps I’ll get both the knitting and crocheting patterns – I’d prefer to crochet with Red Heart. Even I, a confirmed non-yarn-snob, finds Red Heart less than pleasant to work with.
Today I skipped my staff meeting (by actually sleeping through the first of it), but was otherwise feeling somewhat better. Good deal!
I haven’t done any more work on getting those charts translated, but I did go ahead and begin the first Autumn Leaves sock. I’ve got past the middle row of the odd cuff – I’m thinking of it as the perforation row – but not to the hemming row. It’s a hard, time-consuming row. Maybe tomorrow.
In the meantime I decided I needed to cast on a mindless knitting sock, so this afternoon I wound up several skeins. Boy, did I have lots and lots of help with that. Simba used to be my yarn winding supervisor, but today he slept through the process. Today Tempe and Ray were watching the whole process very, very carefully. It was clearly something that could be dangerous to Grandma, and they don’t want me to get hurt! However, I did get several different yarns all wound up, despite all the help.
Then I picked a pattern. I recently bought several nice looking patterns from The Knitting Zone, and the one I liked best is called April Fools Socks. A nice simple-looking pattern that looks well with variegated yarn. And I picked some mostly blue Austermann Step. (If you look here, it’s color #2, which they call “wasser”; I presume that’s “water”. My yarn looks both darker and more blue and less green than the picture. But then, the pictures of Step yarn are becoming notorious for not showing the color accurately. Color #10, Melba, which looks orange is actually quite pink, according to all the user pictures in blogs. Not good marketing to have bad pictures of your stuff.)
When I got to the Tarot Class tonight – the last class for the summer and there were all of two of us there! good thing I hadn’t planned a test! – I checked the pattern and figured out how many stitches to cast on. It’s an 18-stitch repeat. I’ve cast on 88 and will then add 2 stitches at the end of the ribbing, for a total of 90.
Then I took a closer look at the pattern. It’s an 18-stitch repeat, all right, in stitches. There are 36 rows in the stitch pattern, though! Hard to memorize a pattern with that many pattern rows. I guess these are not mindless knitting after all. I’ve about decided that if my current stitch count doesn’t work and I need to frog anyway, I’ll look for a somewhat simpler pattern. If this does work and it looks OK, I may cast on yet another pair in 2x2 rib or maybe even just stockinette. I’ve got some yarn with pretty short color repeats that really would work best that way, anyway. The April Fools Socks will turn out to be just about as complicated as the green Autumn Leaves!
I am so ready for summer to be over. I realize that there’s still a good 2.5 months left, but with school about to start, I feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel. (Course that light could just be the blazing sun.) It sure would be nice to have a winter this year. Pretty please?
No word from the apartment complex today. I have no idea if this is good or bad. I suppose if DS’s credit rating was in the toilet or they had decided for sure to turn him down, we’d have heard. But I’d sure like to know what the answer is going to be! (Patience has never been one of my main virutes, I’m afraid.) There is mental planning going on which will make it harder if we get turned down. (I actually priced compact microwaves on BestBuy.com today – the kitchen doesn’t have a microwave and I’m afraid only a compact one will leave any counter space for actual cooking. Plus, DS and I discussed possible placement of water and food bowls for the babies.)
I’m considering an actual unnecessary trip outside in the heat tomorrow. Sort of unnecessary. Since I got into a pink phase in my clothing this spring, I’m figuring I’ll need a pair of socks with pink in them for the next time we have winter. I’m actually considering that melba Austermann Step, if the yarn store has it, but I suspect yarn with pink in it will not be hard to find even if they don’t have that. Also, I think I want more Yarn Clams. Yarn Clams seem to be local to Austin – they’re a nice clear plastic thingy that you can put balled yarn into and thread it through a grommet at the top. The yarn stays inside the clam and thus both stays pretty clean and also doesn’t go running across the floor of a room when you’re trying to knit quietly and without causing any fuss. Someone told me they are some sort of restaurant to-go container, though I’ve never seen any like this. Whatever. They’re only $3 a piece the last time I bought some and I quite like them for portable knitting (like socks). When I’m using non-clammed yarn, it tends to race across floors and parking lots and leap around and is especially attracted to oily spots outside. This way, even if it does escape, it’s protected from the worst of the dirt. And if I put the clam on the floor, yarn finds it very difficult to attempt escape. The only problem is that I suspect my yarn store has trouble keeping them in stock!
Well, it’s time to take my nighttime pills and get to bed. Any minute now Angel is liable to come in here and whine at me for not being in bed where he expects me to be. He’s such a habitual kitty.
Oh, speaking of kitties – I noticed tonight that another one of the older kitties at the shelter that I took pictures of has been adopted! Sweet Carmen, who’s favorite activity is sitting in someone’s lap and purring loudly, has found a new home. Good on her! Which reminds me of a family joke. Way, way back when we were all in our 20s, DH and I had a sweet black cat named Leo and my brother and his girlfriend had a black cat named Mellon (I think that’s the spelling). Leo and Mellon were friends and liked playing together. One day my brother brought Mellon over and it made Mellon very, very happy. DB said Mellon was “purring like a banana”. He has never been able to adequately explain that remark, but it has become a family in-joke. Other cats purr like nuts or motorboats or lawn mowers. Our cats often purr like bananas.<g> Carmen purred like a very loud, very happy banana when sitting in someone’s lap. Go, Carmen!
The Rocket is on the Launching Pad! With Knitting Content
We’re not quite ready to begin the countdown to launch, but we’re close. We hope.
On Friday I wrote checks to begin the process of DS applying for an apartment. It was the second one we looked at (but has the same floorplan as the first). We liked the first one OK, although it clearly isn’t ready to be rented. At the door to the second one, DS said it had a good feel – before he even put the key in the lock. And that continued, even though it stinks of cigarette smoke. (This is fixable, we’re told.) It’s a nice enough little apartment, all things considered. There’s a fireplace, which of course is not necessary. There’s a mantel over the fireplace, which we predict will quickly become a cat perch, as one end has a good view of the window. For reasons none of us have figured out, there’s a long shelf-like thing across one wall of the living room area. It’s really too high to be useful for anything, except, of course, for a place for the cats to sit. And we’re pretty sure that’ll be its primary function. (Long white shelf thing is visible on the upper left of the picture.)
It’s got a tiny kitchen with an electric stove. It also has a stackable washer and dryer, which is kinda cool. There is plenty of storage, with a walk-in closet in the small bedroom, a small pantry in the kitchen, a small linen closet and a small coat closet just off the kitchen. The bathroom is similarly small. In the bedroom – and this was one of the selling features – there’s a second bathroom sink and counter and under the counter, a nook perfect for a litter box. And there’s a pretty big patio, which features the other selling point – the view from the windows.
Instead of looking out on the parking lot (which does have some interest to your average cat, it’s true), this apartment looks out on some greenspace with birds and squirrels and such. Much *more* interesting to cats. Also, the patio is cooler, since it’s well shaded. Another good thing is that since the apartment is on the first floor, they’re good with DS’s waterbed. And both the living room and bedroom have ceiling fans.
(Note the little bird in the middle of the picture, demonstrating that indeed wildlife appears in the greenspace from time to time. I presume it's there for the walking of dogs, which should excitement to the whole thing for the kittens.)
Apartment hunting has changed a lot since I was last doing it, 27.5+ years ago. Back then most apartments were furnished and if you wanted one, you could pretty much have it. I knew things were different, but it still bemuses me a bit. Now, evidently, only the fancy, luxury apartments are furnished. (People without a lot of money evidently can afford their own furniture. If this makes sense somehow, I’m missing it.) And instead of picking and choosing among apartments that all want you, you have to *apply*. And they have conditions. Your income needs to be three times the rent. You need to have rental experience. You’d for sure better have a good credit rating. Etc. Right now DS’s income doesn’t meet their guidelines and of course he has no rental experience. (Where do they think he’d get the experience if no one would rent to him?) Fortunately they’ll allow DH and me to guarantee that he’ll pay the rent and so on, so on Saturday we went back there and signed various pieces of paperwork and DH presented them with a paycheck stub. We should hear something within the next week about whether they’ll take us, but in the meantime we have put deposits on the apartment and are pretty much figuring he’ll get it.
Move in will begin on August 24. Since that’s *not* one of his days off, I figure we’ll pick up the keys – I’m insisting on getting a key of my own – and move over a few things, and finish the moving on the next Saturday. DH and I are already thinking we’re gonna miss the kittens. Oh, that reminds me. They take small animals – we had to weigh the kittens – but they must be a year old. Since I assigned them the birthday of August 10, we’re good with that. Ray weighs right at 10 pounds now and Tempe is .6 pounds less. We’re gonna miss ‘em. Mostly. I’ve got a nasty, nasty scratch on my left leg from Friday night when we were administering their medication to Tempe and she didn’t appreciate it. *That* I won’t miss.
Yes, we’ll probably miss their Daddy, too. But I expect we’ll hear from him a lot as he learns to live on his own.
Oh, this sign greeted me and DS when we got to the apartment complex. Cute. We thought it was a good sign.
This evening DH and I took Simba for a ride in the car. He seemed to be wanting one all weekend. We went to a nearby Starbucks. Simba spent much of the ride in the back window and presumably provided much amusement for the people in other cars. He kept a close eye on the guy in the drive-through window, who enjoyed watching the cat watching him. When we got home, Simba happily climbed out of the car and went back into the house, seeming quite happy with his little excursion! He’s such a funny kitty.
Obligatory Knitting Content:
I began the Knit Picks Autumn Leaf sock. Very strange cuff it has. There’s no ribbing. You knit nine rows. On the next row you k2t, yo, ssk, yo till you run out of stitches. Then knit nine more rows. On the next row you knit each stitch with its matching stitch from the cast on row. This causes the whole thing to fold over with that middle row forming the top edge and the decrease stitches stick up a bit like picots. It also makes a sort of hem. It’s interesting. I’m not sure if I like it – it’s OK till the 20th row, when you have to pick up and knit the stitches on the cast on row. I do like the part, though, where the loose end of the yarn can be stuck inside the hem and forgotten.
I had translated the charts (which are printed blurry to begin with, not to mention small, which is a serious problem for my astigmatism) into written directions, so I worked on that for a bit more than one repeat of most of the charts. (Why not just one chart?) And realized that the five purl stitches between charts just looks shitty. I kept trying to convince myself that it would be fine, but I just couldn’t buy it. Besides, Chart A and Chart B are mirror images of each other – why not do A, something in between, then B on the other end of the row? Charts C and E are the same way. Chart D is the odd one – it’s 19 stitches across and 48 rows long! After some thought, this is what I came up with:
On the front side of the sock, Chart A, a four-stitch interval thingie, Chart D, another four-stitch interval, Chart B. On the back side, Chart C, Chart D, and Chart E. The four stitch interval is purl 1, knit 2, purl 1, on the first row and purl 1, yo, k2t, purl 1, on the second row, and a mirror image of that for the second interval. I’m also making sure there’s a knit stitch framing each chart. Some charts had that to begin with, but not all. Anyway, this makes each side of the sock 48 stitches exactly. That’s fairly large, but I think it’ll work fine. I’m now in the process of reading the charts again and typing them up in written form. I’m not overly comfortable with charts, but especially not when they’re small and blurry. In the meantime, the beginning of the sock has been frogged. I suppose I could restart the sock. Yeah, I think I’ll do that. I think my eyes are tired of looking at blurry charts.
A nice commenter has asked to see a picture of the socks in the Disco yarn. That’s a good idea, but it won’t happen today. However, I’ll get to that. Really. I still need to edit my kitty pictures from Friday!
Which reminds me, we didn’t get DS’s friend to the shelter on Saturday. He seemed to be at home, but was evidently asleep and wasn’t getting up. Maybe on DS’s next day off. Or maybe not. I won’t be going out of my way for him!
I wasn’t feeling well yesterday evening, sort of all of a sudden, so I ended up missing church. Again. Also missed a committee meeting. Hope there’s wasn’t anything interesting happening. (Or maybe I hope that if there was anything interesting intended for this particular committee, it happened today and I didn’t have to participate.) I hope to feel much, much better tomorrow!
My baby is buying furniture! And today we’re going apartment hunting!
We’ve been talking about this for a while. (A long white, really.) But now he’s gotten several paychecks and we all feel comfortable with him being able to live on the money, if he pinches his pennies. This is not his best skill, but we think we think he can learn.
So yesterday, one of his days off, we were gonna look at apartments. We looked at various things online and we fixing to set out, when he announced that there was some furniture he was going to buy and we needed to get it. A friend of his from his former job is moving to California and friend and fiancé were selling their furniture. Could we get it this weekend? No, they’re taking off tomorrow. Oh. What was he buying? A dresser and a couch.
A couch? Where was he planning to put it? Not in this house, that’s for sure! So he talked to his uncle, my brother, and my brother agreed to let the furniture be stored in their garage for the time being. OK. So, how was he planning on transporting this couch? Uh, he hadn’t thought of that.
Eventually we packed the dresser (and a TV and VCR that suddenly got added) into my PT Cruiser and took them over to my brother’s house. Then DS, my brother, and my nephew got in my brother’s Jeep to get the couch. I ran a quick errand and went back to my brother’s house to wait. My sister-in-law got home and we talked. And talked. And talked some more. And began to wonder what was taking so long. Turns out that when they got to the other apartment, they could get the couch in the Jeep, but then there was only enough room for two passengers. So they called another friend to come transport my nephew and they waited for B. to show up so that nephew wouldn’t be stranded with strangers. Eventually the Jeep and all the various movers ended up back at the house and the couch was unloaded into the garage. By this time we were too late to go look at apartments. (Like 2.5 hours too late!)
My sister-in-law works for a property management company, and she was helpful to DS. There was one apartment complex he was particularly interested in because they have loft apartments. He was enamored of that. However, sil advises him that it’s in a high crime area, so we’re going to look elsewhere. He’s going to not work overtime today and we’ll set out. There’s a complex not too far away (and we’re in a fairly low crime area!) with some nice looking one-bedroom floorplans that are within his limit on rent, so we’ll likely start there. There were others we saw online that would be nice, including some where he already has friends living. Although that’s not necessarily a recommendation. One friend said he thought his place was a bit expensive; another group of friends say they have trouble with the complex’s management. (They had problems with the management of everywhere they’ve lived, though.)
It’s interesting to note that although my kid is a full-grown adult and showing signs of maturity, he still finds me useful. I offered to go look at apartments with him, and he just assumed I’d go. (I didn’t assume I was welcome!) And yesterday he (mostly) listened to me while we were looking at stuff online. Once again he’s discovered that, while his mom’s knowledge of anime and starship classes is woefully lacking, there are some things I’m still worth listening to about.<g> I know that eventually this will turn around and he’ll become the caretaker – I’ve been on that end of this. But it’s nice to know I still have value.
Also, one of his friends that I actually can stand is looking for a cat. He’s been looking at cats already owned by other friends, but has found that those cats don’t want to leave the people they currently own. (Imagine my shock.) So DS plans to take Saturday (his other day off) and take B. (different B.) to my shelter. B. has now expressed an interest in kittens, which we will certainly be able to help him with. But I’ve invited myself along on the trip and I’m gonna talk to him about three of the older cats who might be better suited to what he wants. My friend Sasha, who was a very sweet kitty, is a big girl, almost full grown, who needs to be in a home without kids and without other animals. She’s a beautiful little calico and is very bright. Then there’s Carmen, who looks a lot like Sasha, except not quite so big. She is *such* a lap kitty! She insisted on sitting in my lap and just purring. (It’s a challenge to take pictures of a cat sitting in your lap!) Or maybe Boots, who is maybe about the same age as the grandbabies and looks a lot like Tempe. He’s pretty skittish, but I think the application of a little patience and a lot of loving and security will make him a happy boy. Of course, there are probably 20 or 30 kittens up there that would work just fine, if that’s really the way B. wants to go. Wouldn’t it be cool if I got one of our older kitties adopted? I really do think an older cat might be the best way for him to go!
Obligatory Knitting Content:
I finished a pair of socks made from a yarn I haven’t seen reviewed on the socknitters email list yet – Fortissima Colori Disco Socka Color. It’s an interesting yarn. 71% superwash wool, 26% polymid, and 3% metalized polyester. There is a silver thread running through it. The yarn I worked with was mostly beige. Yeah, beige. Me. Really, quite my skin color. Normally I wouldn’t buy that color on a bet, but it was the best of this yarn that the yarn store had. And it is redeemed by a nice denim stripe. I’m a big fan of denim during our season known best as Not Summer. There’s also a smaller stripe of a slightly darker beige with a hint of pink. Now, normally I don’t care for the striping yarn. I like pooling in my colors. However, that’s quite a minority opinion, so the rest of you will be happy to hear there was no pooling of the denim.
The yarn is a bit stiff. I’d have thought that only 3% metalized polyester wouldn’t stiffen so much, but *something* did. There were times when the stiffness, combined with the light tan color, reminded me a lot of twine. The sort one uses to tie up newspapers and magazines for recycling. But it’s not really that bad. And I suspect it’ll soften with washing. I’m glad I bought another skein of the yarn, in a blue and green colorway. On these socks I used what I call traveling rib, which I think worked well with the striping. And I used size 1 circulars. If I could, I might try the next pair with 1.5’s, but I don’t have those (yet). And I continued my attempt to master the short-row heel. Not wonderful yet, but it will do. Especially since these socks are for me and I’m not concerned that they look like commercial socks! I had a decent amount of this yarn left over, enough so that I might could have done a more traditional heel flap heel and had enough yarn. Since this yarn comes in the one-skein-for-two-socks size, that’s a good thing!
Next on the needles is more Fortissima Socka, this time not the Disco yarn. These are for the very necessary green socks I need for my Not Summer wardrobe. Interestingly, this yarn is a bit thinner than the Disco, so the size 1 circulars are perfect. I swatched it at about 9 sts per inch.
I’ve tentatively chosen a Knitpicks pattern, Autumn Leaves Lace Sock. The problem is that the pattern is written for 56/7 stitches and it’s charted lace. 56/7 won’t by any stretch of the imagination fit my rather larger than normal leg, and it’s more difficult to alter a charted pattern. There are 5 (FIVE?) charts, and you work it Chart A, Chart B, and Chart C on the front of the sock and Charts D and E on the back. I considered just doubling it, but that was way too big. I need to add about 25 stitches per row, so my current plan is to add 5 stitches between each chart. The charts are set up to have one or more purls between the charts, so I’m hoping that adding 5 more purls there won’t look too bad. Also, I can easily make the leg smaller as my leg gets smaller by decreasing in there. Let’s hope it works! Normally I work both socks at the same time. (Not exactly the same time, but I cast on and do the cuff on one, then cast on and do the cuff on the next.) This time I want to get through the pattern a bit before I start a second sock. Somehow a second sock is harder to frog.
The color of this yarn is interesting. Inside the house, it’s got a bit of an olive cast to it. (And I’m not a big fan of olive green, especially on me. Too much yellow.) Next to some other GREEN yarn (yes, it screams green), it *really* looks a bit olive. However, I had it with me in the car yesterday during the moving-the-furniture saga, and outside it looked grass green. ?? Oh, well. Either color will work for me.
I considered continuing my experimentation with short row heels on these socks, but since I have more than enough yarn in this color (I bought three skeins), I think I’ll give myself a short break and do a heel flap. I’ve discovered I really like the look of the Eye of Partridge heel in a solid color, so I’ll likely do that. Unless I change my mind, of course.<g>
The last time I used a solid color sock yarn, I did a very complicated lace-sort-of-Aran pattern I put together from the 365 knitting stitches calendar. (Hmmm. I’m thinking that might have been Fortissima Socka, too.) Both the yarn in that pair and this yarn are truly, actually, solid colors. Don’t get me wrong, now. I love the self-patterning yarns! I love that you can look like you’re doing something incredibly complicated, and it’s all done by the yarn! But it’s nice to be able to do the occasional solid color with a lace pattern type of thing. I’m glad my favorite online yarn pusher/dealer is carrying a lot of solid colors now. I like variety. Of course, I need to work through my stash a bit, too.<g>