Monday, November 28, 2005

Sewage II: Electric Boogaloo

Or, "Away Go Troubles Down the Drain: in Praise of Specialized Labor" Got a second opinion on the whole sewer business today. This time we called, well, you can probably guess who, but a company that is known for cleaning out pipes (that sounds rude). 25 minutes and $85 later, the sewer line is clear! $3000 indeed! I should have known when I saw suggested sales pitches in the binder the other guy was looking up prices in that we should have run screaming for our lives. So, that was good news Chez Bitter.

Still no pictures. I am developing a growing bitterness toward the whole Kodak Easyshare enterprise, but I will forgive them in the spirit of Festivus. They disappoint me with the repeated tri-code error messages that they have yet to catalog. There. Grievance aired. I know it's a bit early, but, hey, they aren't coming to dinner anytime soon, so...

Knitting is moving along. Nothing really exciting to report, except that I FINISHED ROGUE. Finally. Wore it on Turkey Day. Pictures before the turn of the decade (there's a promise I should be able to keep).

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Riding out the S#!* storm...

Ah, old houses. They often come with old trees. Lovely, majestic, towering wonders of nature. Digging their mighty roots into your sewer line, their activity apparently unabaited by any former owners of the property until they insidiously block up said line and it all falls on, you guessed it, the Bitter family! The $340 to auger the line seemed bad enough, but when the guy's equipment got stuck and he couldn't actually completely clear the line, explaining that in order to fix it so it's not something that happens (by it here I mean the back-up) every couple of months or so, will cost $2700! OUCH! The one small giggle I got from this whole fiasco was the DH thinking that the guy meant 27,000. But, really, at this point, once you get beyond a hundred or so, it's all the same to us financially. Which is to say, impossible. We're checking around for second and third opinions and estimates, but this whole mess of sewage issues is hovering over our travel plans for X-Mas like a cloud of, well, sewage. It stinks. I never thought I'd say this, but I f-ing HATE trees! I don't, really, I just hate what this particular tree is doing to my life right now.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Gettin' off my High Horse

I just realized that in all my kvetching about the neverending siding (it's still not done), I still haven't finished my Rogue. Well, I finished the knitting months ago, finally blocked the pieces in October, and have yet to sew said pieces together. In other words, I should just shut the hell up about taking forever to finish something and get out the ole tapestry needle and turn the pile of knitted stuff into a garment already. Sheesh! I got the yarn back in March and finished the knitting in April. Last time I checked, sweaters do not need time lying around in pieces to gestate or anything. My mom once told me that if you hate someone, you should look at the reasons. Those reasons will turn out to be things that are true of yourself. I guess the same goes for getting irritated and impatient with people. I certainly don't enjoy the part of me that just can't seem to finish what I start. With that, I'm off to transform pile of knitted stuff into a lovely hooded sweater! I promise.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

You sank my Battleship!

Well, the yard is now plotted out in a grid, much like a big ole lead infested game of Battleship. They are taking more detailed samples because the whole yard can't have 400 times the safe level of lead, can it? The latest idea is that to save on costs, they will have the lead people oversee landscaping (including installing a sprinkler system) instead of digging out the existing soil and replacing it. Apparently, this will cost about 1/3 of what the lowest bid for removal was. It's still not a go, and nothing will happen until spring, but it is kind of an exciting prospect. And, just so you all know and can hold me to it, I am never again buying an older home without a full lead report.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Oh, yeah, and this.

Your Birthdate: March 20
You are a virtual roller coaster of emotions, and most people enjoy the ride.Your mood tends to set the tone of the room, and when you're happy, this is a good thing.When you get in a dark mood, watch out - it's very hard to get you out of it.It's sometimes hard for you to cheer up, and your gloom can be contagious.

Your strength: Your warm heart

Your weakness: Trouble controlling your emotions

Your power color: Black

Your power symbol: Musical note

Your power month: February
What Does Your Birth Date Mean?

So, basically, I'm moody as all get out and you best get out of my way should I start to frown. Hmm. Probably more accurate than I'd care to admit.

A Thought...

Is it just me, or did a young Conan O'Brian play Jane Banks in the movie Mary Poppins? Think about it!

Spooky, huh?

I Licked all the Houses

But I licked my house best! The siding is, well, okay, it's STILL not done, really, but here is a photo of its lickability.

My photo software still won't load, so no pics of knitting, either finished or otherwise for a while yet. The socks I'm making for DH are on their second incarnation. The lace edging I'm making for my grandma's pillowcases is about 1/4 done, I have one of DH's Fuzzy Feet knit, a pair of mittens (one pair of two, of course, who could those be for?) done and lovingly hand fulled.

The girls are almost completely over their colds, which is good, and I am planning a winterizing trip to Lowe's this weekend (good siding now, but still bad windows!). A further assault on the main floor bathroom is in the works, as well, so I should be pretty busy with life, knitting, and home improvement (or destruction. Depends how you look at it.) The bathroom is currently Out of Order due to a slow leak put in motion by the former owners overtightening of the feed line to the toilet. Drywall was removed, tile was pulled up, and the toilet is sitting in the middle of the laundry room waiting for all the adhesive to be scraped up from the sub-floor and vinyl peel-n-stick to be put down. It will be a mere shadow of its former self (the tile floor was nice), but I'm not about to rent a wet saw and explore the adventurous slopes of DIY tiling, even in a tiny space!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Fates Conspire Against Me

Okay, so I wanted to post photos today. I won Fuzzy Feet battle eggplant, and have some exciting news on the felting front, but, Kodak Easyshare isn't. At least not today. After a failed update attempt, it is now a la fois non-existant and present enough that my attempts to reload fail. As I sit in front of my computer, willing it to make some sort of headway in the troubleshoots I am attempting, I did manage to finish knitting Fuzzy Foot #1 for the DH. I'd show you a photo But I Can't!

On the lead front: Saturday. They are coming on Saturday to finish the whole shebang (I, personally, will believe it when I see it). This is nice timing, since the underwriter wants to see finished photos by next Thursday (hopefully I can get the software running before then!), and they are coming to grid off the yard and take detailed samples on Tuesday. They finally found a company to bid on the job, but they don't like the #'s offered, so they are going to take a bunch of samples from many specific plotted points to see where the Really Bad Spots are, and then, maybe have those parts removed and sod the rest (by that I mean, put sod in the rest of the yard, not forget about the rest of it). Anyone out there know anything about installing drip irrigation systems? Any of the, what, three of you who read this?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Snrfle Snork!

I was going to post pics of my equine slippers and progress on the eggplants (nothing wrong with eggplant, in fact they are so purty I'm keeping them for me), but the girls are sick and for some reason, Blogger isn't currently acknowledging the existance of my blog. It lets me log in, but, if I try to browse on over, it tells me I do not exist. Hmm... Very suspicious, if you ask me.

The siding (you know, the siding I was sure would be completed in about 10 days? 20?) is still not done! We were out of town for a few days and fully expected to return to our completed home exterior makeover, only to find the scaffolding still up and just thiiis much more to go. Unfortunately, that includes the trim that needs to be replaced that the underwriter for our homeowner's is having kittens over. No workers showed up yesterday, and none today. We placed a call to warm their butts a little (that's niceties for light a fire under their @**), but if they continue not to show, I'm putting their equipment (which, at the moment, is my only guarantee they are coming back) up for sale on E-bay. Or, maybe not.

Our out of town trip was interesting. Since DH is so active with union stuff lately, he gets to go to all these training retreats. In July, we got to spend a few days up in Breckenridge. This time we were at Copper Mountain. That's about 20 miles east of Vail. Not really a place a family of four living on one teacher's salary can usually go. But, the girls got to break in their winter gear, and I managed to find a yarn shop. It was a bit dimly lit and claustrophobic (especially while dragging 2 little ones with me), but I found some pink yarn for a pair of socks I'm cooking up for DH (more on that later).

Well, I hear stuffy little voices, so, armed with tissues a-plenty, it's back to the front and the battle of the mucus!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Mr. Ed? Your slippers are ready!

Sometimes, I do things that just make me feel, well, stupid, for lack of a better word. Last winter, I made myself a pair of Fuzzy Feet. No, this is not the stupid part. They turned out well, and kept my chronically frozen feet warm, as intended. They just didn't seem to be as thick as I had expected. Well, I decided to make DH a pair last week. I checked my gauge (hadn't bothered last time). "A-hah!" I thought to myself, "Herein lies the problem. You were knitting too tight for your slippers, and that is why they did not turn out as thick." When I say I checked my gauge, I should really clarify and tell you that I checked my sts/in. I didn't bother with the rows/in. because, I was thinking, "It doesn't really matter." Unless you are going to felt the thing you are knitting, that is! So, my rows/in. was, well, way off. Undaunted, I threw the slippers into the wash. They came out with the correct circumferential dimensions for an adult, but the length of a small child's foot. Know of any horses with cold hooves? Just two of the four hooves, mind you, since I don't have any more wool at the moment to make a set of four! All DH could say when I showed him the fulled mess that was supposed to be his comfy slippers was, "Oh, no! Did they accidentally get sent through the washer?" Dear man, he tries, but the whole knitting thing is still very much a mystery to him. (But, hey, at least he knows wool doesn't usually go into the machine and has a vague idea of why, so he's a few steps ahead of many!)

So, for all the disaster and hilarity, I still love the pattern and am making another pair (this time I checked both sts/in and rows/in) for myself, since last year's have worn out. I'll still make DH a pair, but I don't think he'd care for the color (eggplant).

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


The girls loved Halloween this year, and DH and I learned just how exhausting a holiday it can be for parents. They love their costumes and are now the proud and eager owners of more candy than they have ever seen in their home. Rationing is in effect.

And now, for something truly frightening, the head of the Truly Hideous Monkey is done save for one ear and glowing red eyes. (I'm serious, the recipient indeed loves truly hideous, slightly scary, monkeys)
The girls won't go near it.

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