Friday, April 17, 2015

Orange you glad to see me?

Progress, we're making progress. We've made an offer on a house here, and had it accepted. We had an inspection yesterday, and found that there are issues. Sigh. The next step will be to go back to the owners to see if they will work with us on the problems.

I must say, though, walking through the house with the inspector, I kept thinking about our Saginaw house and imagining what would be said about our lovely antique. Yikes.

We're living in an Extended Stay hotel. It is not a Residence Inn. We have two rooms for less than sixty dollars a night. (Hey, we're working with engineers here, it's all about billable hours.) As I continually relocate stuff so I can cook (on two burners and a toaster oven that we finally broke down and bought two weeks ago), I keep reminding myself that this is a First World Problem, and that I am blessed that I will have somewhere else to go in just a few weeks.

Mostly I'm writing to let you know that Step Three will be delayed until next week, hopefully by Tuesday. I have worked through the block to make sure the numbers work. I still have diagrams to make and words to write.

The upside is that you'll have a bit more time to catch up on any missed steps before the cost goes up. Just click on the link to my Craftsy store in the side bar to get the pattern downloads.

Meanwhile, here is one of my favorite tips for saving time while piecing.

I am sure that I'm not the only one who has carried a neatly organized stack of units to the sewing machine, somehow twisting them when setting them down. Unfailingly I don't even notice the mistake until I've sewn all the repeats.

What I do to help avoid this (my engineer hubby says "idiot proof" is impossible, the best we can hope for is "idiot resistance"), is sort out my units onto a ruler. If it's tough to tell right from wrong side, I take a moment to make sure all of the pieces are right sides up.

I use assembly line sewing to keep my units organized. By not cutting the thread between the units I can carry the lot over to the ironing board and back without losing any pieces, and everything stays in order.

When it comes time to sew the cross seams, the connecting stitches act as my pins to help get those perfect intersections. I think you can see that there is hardly any thread, maybe one or two stitches between the pieces,

For many years, all of my adult life really, I have hated orange. I was scarred by an early burnt orange and brown quilt incident, a story for another day. Now I love it. It's so cheerful!

But brown, still not so much. And yet practically every house we've looked at in Green Bay is decorated in brown. The house we are buying is painted deep, dark browns, even black, inside. I wonder if there was an ordinance or something. The Green Bay Packers' colors are green and gold, so I suppose it could be worse. Still, the paint mixer at my local hardware store is about to become my new best friend.

Friday, April 3, 2015

My week as a statue

That my work week started on April Fools' Day should have been the first clue. I woke up a little muzzy headed, so I made a bee line for the coffee maker. We have a Keurig thingy, and I knew that I was down to my last precious two pods of coffee. I popped in the pod and pushed brew, hoping I could make it to the end of the cycle before doing something really stupid.

Nope. I forgot to put in a mug to catch the one thing between me and a day of mental missteps. That it took me a second or two to remember what a mug was and where to find one in just testament to my dire need of caffeine.

Finally, the remaining coffee was delivered to my cup. Knowing that I only had one pod left, I decided that I would pour the missed coffee from the tray into my mug. It was then that I knocked the coffee cup off of the counter and down my right leg.

Still lacking that first dose of mind clearing coffee, it took me another second or two to realized that the coffee was damned hot and I really wanted to be out of those pants. I was actually busy wondering how I might gather up the spilled coffee. As I dropped my drawers I wondered if I would break any teeth if I tried to lick coffee up off the counter. I decided against it.

After applying a cool, wet towel to my scalded leg, and finding a clean pair of pants, I managed to make, and consume the last pod of coffee without further bodily harm.

We've finally figured out that we can afford to buy a house in Green Bay without waiting for the house in Saginaw to sell. It will be a stretch, and we won't be having any fun until the other house is sold, but it will be better than living in limbo. So now house hunting has gone into high gear.

While out and about on Wednesday, the magnetic phone holder in my car dropped off the dash board. We live and die by GPS around Green Bay (we just can't get our bearings). And the one day that I spent running around town, where I would really rack up the steps, I realized that I'd lost my Fitbit.

After rummaging through the car, and ransacking our tiny little apartment for forty-five minutes, I realized that I had changed jeans twice after the coffee debacle. The Fitbit was tucked in the pocket the pair of jeans I changed out of after I changed out of the coffee incident. And then mourned all the missed steps that would never be counted. (Kent and I gave each other Fitbits for Christmas. He's down 26 pounds and I'm down 16. It's working for us when nothing else did.)

House hunting is not fun. Suddenly all of the houses we've been considering are being rapidly sold to someone else. We feel a little panicked. We're hoping for a similar rush in Saginaw, but, always being able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, we are certain we are doomed to wait until the zombie apocalypse for the house to sell.

I'm hoping that April is done messing with me. I've given her more than her designated day to play her pranks on me. Since I'm still out of coffee pods, and there is a very busy road between me and the nearest coffee source, I'm not at all certain that I'm in the clear.

This week's motto:
Sometimes you're the pigeon and sometimes you're the statue.