The Math in the Aftermath

May 3, 2015

I have just passed the date at which the mortgage on the home my husband and I bought would have been paid off. I say ‘would have’ because it didn’t quite happen the way we planned.

We were both working hard and had planned to pay off the mortgage in fifteen years. The fifteen years would have actually been reduced by some months because when I could, I secretly added more of my personal spending money to the check to reduce the principal. It would have been my surprise to my husband. Another ‘would have’ that didn’t happen.

Officer Friendly died only four years into our mortgage. (I’m not being cold or disrespectful here), so I had to refinance and reduce the mortgage payments to what I could manage while being the sole breadwinner and caring for my granddaughter.

The loan got changed to just me and extended . . . . beyond my life expectancy, probably and my extra mortgage money went to pay for day care and life has gone on.

But when I turned the calendar to that magic date when the home would have been ours, I realized how little I care for the math in the aftermath his passing. (Still not being cold-hearted here. I miss OF, too)

The household income was reduced by more than half and the mortgage loan was more than doubled so I could reduce my monthly payments. Two became one, fifteen really became thirty-five, and the bank will make a profit on grief.

So just how does one celebrate the non-anniversary of a refinanced mortgage on a home that coulda, woulda, shoulda been ours this week?

I threw myself a ‘replace the screen on the screen door party’ , spent time in my garage with the screen door in a horizontal position while I plucked old staples out of the frame and then took myself to a movie so I could take time to remember where I hid the staple gun on myself since the last time I used it. After the movie, I unrolled the new screen on the door frame, found the staple gun, finished the task and just called it my chore for the day.

Those lines are not kinks. The indentations will work themselves out. and if the screen looks loose to you, it is. Loose is better than too tight for thermal expansion and contraction AND if  you have anyone who uses their butt to prop the door open while they fish for their keys. 😉

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I’m not sure the math in the aftermath will work in favor of me celebrating the new loan actually being paid off while I still have my own teeth, pretty good hearing, and still walk reasonably upright, but I can’t worry about it. There are other chores to do and more calendar pages to turn. ~

Happy May Day!

May 1, 2015

What a pleasant surprise for me this morning when I opened my patio blinds! A tulip has bloomed in a corner that I don’t usually see with my morning peek out at the yard.

It’s especially fun because, I didn’t plant any tulips!

Happy May Day to me, I guess . . . from a squirrely admirer perhaps?

Here’s Julie Andrews singing “The Lusty Month of May” from Camelot.

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540 Folds Later . . . Finished and Filled!

April 30, 2015

I think I have made enough May Day baskets now, but I will make my final decision this evening after work. I have time to make some more if Goodnight thinks she needs a few more.

I made one giant origami flower basket last evening. It measures 13 1/2 inches across from petal tip to petal tip and the basket is four inches deep. I seriously underestimated how much candy it would hold, so after the photo shoot, I had to go back to the store for more!

Each basket requires 60 folds from start to finish, including the handle. I made eight small baskets for Goodnight and one large one for work, but size does not affect the number of folds.

Despite declaring ‘Daisy Week’ for myself, I wanted the large basket to look like a sunflower. Let me know if you think I achieved my goal. The papers I used for the large basket were the size of poster paper, but it was still craft paper.

Below are the baskets, finished and filled. The nice thing about the baskets is that they can actually be collapsed and saved for another time.

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I have the day off tomorrow, May 1, so the large May Day basket came to work with me today and is in the common kitchen for all the employees on the floor where my office is located.

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Happy May Day!

Quick Daisy Update

April 29, 2015

Just a quick update about my daisy baskets.

I wanted some that actually look like daisies, so I folded an all-white one and then made a yellow insert for the bottom of the basket.

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I think it should be okay when I fill it with some goodies. I plan to fill the white baskets with banana taffy and/or butterscotch pieces to keep the centers looking yellow.

What do you think?  👍 or 👎?

Oh . . . and to keep things interesting for my granddaughter, I am going to offer her a cash prize if she can remember the steps to folding a basket. 😉

 

My Daisy Week So Far

April 29, 2015

 

I decided this week is daisy week for me. 

I had a chance to get several daisy-ish items done today and will have another chance to do some more tomorrow and Thursday. By that time, Goodnight will have some to take to school and I will have some to share as well.

I used an origami pattern. Goodnight and I worked together at the dining room table. I used some brightly colored printer paper for the baskets we made today. I think the edges of the baskets look like flower petals . . . daisies maybe.

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Some of the baskets are filled with candies and some will be filled with the cookies shown below. I wasn’t looking for them, but I think they were looking for me. They look nice with the papers I’m using for baskets.

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I plan to make a very large basket to take to work filled with some treats for everyone on the floor. It should be fun.

I Can Wash My Face Again!

April 25, 2015

What a busy, but fun week!

The busy part was going to work, going to lacrosse, and the chores. That’s all good. I need to work. GN needs to have activities with her peers, and the chores need to have their turn at my attention.

The fun part was my facecloth knitting, the Minnesota Wild NHL Hockey Team beat St. Louis last night for a 3-2 lead in this round of playoffs, and . . . hotdish!

Let me begin with the hotdish.

US Senator Al Franken hosted his Annual Minnesota Delegation Hotdish Competition for the fifth year in a row and the recipes are always available on Senator Franken’s Congressional website by the time the announcement is made. I always have to try a few. I do like hotdish! Browse around Senator Franken’s site and you can find the recipes from the previous four years as well. Use the search bar to type in the appropriate year to find them. I made one already and served it for Hockey Hight in the State of Hockey. Yum!

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Now the about the facecloth knitting. I only had time for two, but I only had a hole in one, so I’m one up for keeping my face clean! It’s my favorite pattern because my mother gave it to me many years ago and the border is worked along the way. If you knit, I’m sure you’ve seen it. The pattern is on the internet. It’s done on the diagonal. It’s simple, but I like it.

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Stashbusting continues next week and I have decided it shall be Daisy Week! I have had daisies on my mind ever since my Easter placemat knitting, but I won’t be knitting placemats. ;-)

About hockey . . . Go Wild!  GOOD LUCK WITH THE PUCK!!!

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Chore for the Day: The Wall of Wool

April 23, 2015

My chore for after work today was to take down a large accordion peg rack I have hanging in the stairwell. The peg rack has 77 pegs and I use it to hang some of my handknitting. There are a couple of pegs missing, but they were missing when I bought the rack at an antique store years ago.

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I take the rack off the wall, dust the wood and tighten the pegs. There aren’t too many dust bunnies or cobwebs, but they have got to go!

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I take the opportunity to wipe down the bare wall and let it dry while I work on the rack. Then I put the rack on the wall and get the hats, scarves, shawls, mittens, gloves and knit handbags back in place.

That was more than enough work for me. I got my stairs in this way too, because I had to make several trips taking everything off the pegs, then several trips while dealing with the rack itself because I needed to replace the plastic anchors for the screws. Then I got more stairs in when I put everything back in place

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The only thing that may be hard to identify would be the round item sticking  out in the middle of the side at the top of the stairs. I knit some covers for my earmuffs many years ago and I still like to wear them from time to time when it’s not cold enough for a hat.

This was a two-hour chore. The collection of knitting took MUCH longer!  :-)

 

Has It Been That Long?

April 21, 2015

I have a to-do policy of a “Chore and a Drawer” each day. That does not include washing dishes or regular tasks and rolling the garbage bucket down the driveway on garbage day does not count either. Most days, I pick the chore I want to do and then . . . sometimes the chore picks me.

You know what I mean – like that quiet chirp that wakes you from sound slumber, but by the time you’re fully awake it doesn’t happen again, so you’re not sure where it came from. That was how my day started,  but work and school are the priority at that time of day.

By the time I got home from work, I had forgotten about the morning. I sat down to relax.

I kicked my shoes off and found a comfortable position on my couch . . . directly under the smoke detector that chose that exact moment to chirp again. You know how the rest goes.

I looked up at the detector and waited for the light to blink. When it did, I looked at the second hand on the nearest clock, took note of the time and then waited for the next blink of the light on the detector. The time between blinks was thirty seconds and that is too short, so my rest period was over. It was not the battery.

I got up, got my shoes back on, got in the car, drove to the hardware store, bought a new detector and a new battery. I went straight home, got the ladder from the garage, moved the couch, climbed up to make the switch.

Of course it was not as simple as that. The plates of the old and new detectors were not the same size, so I had to climb down the ladder and fetch my drill, climb back up the ladder and drill a new hole.

The rest was easy: insert the battery, test the detector, affix it to the ceiling plate, climb down the ladder and clean up after myself.

As I gathered up my tools and the parts of the old detector, I recalled that the device should have had a ten-year life expectancy. I checked the back of the old detector and saw that the date would put it as a new detector just prior to Officer Friendly’s death. That was about right! We replaced the detector before he got sick. He’s been gone over nine years now and that means my first instinct about the detector being old was right.

OF was so tall that he could have done most of that work without the ladder!

I can’t say the time has flown by, but has it been that long already?

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Stashbusting: In the Pink

April 20, 2015

I’m still scratching my head over this one, but in the mean time, my pink project is off the needles.

I was going for something pretty and useful. I guess what came off my needles fits the bill, but I should have added ‘perfect’ to my parameters, because I didn’t quite get that one.

I got the notion to knit something I could put easily over a hanger to keep a garment from slipping and yet the added bonus of some clever storage.

I knit a hanger sweater: a short little version of a sweater without armholes, complete with shoulder shaping, pockets to hold accessories, and some knit daisies for ornamentation. In a perfect knitosphere, this would be more beautiful than my prototype. It’s not really meant for the dress pictured with it in the photo below. I just felt like adding the dress.

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My head-scratching is caused by the puckers that showed up when the decreases were already going perfectly. At first glance, it looks like the puckers were caused by the set-in pockets, but they really were not the cause. There are puckers in the same place on the back side where there are no pockets.

I did the rise over run math to get the number of rounds I needed and the number of stitches to decrease. You can see that the shaping worked at the widest part and then towards the narrow part near the hook of the hanger, but that middle section is a hot mess . . . okay, maybe a warm mess.

I intend to try again. I will keep the seed stitch and actually the number of stitches and the needles I used, but I may skip the pockets until I figure put what happened right where I added the knit daisies. At the get-go, I intended to add the daisies anyway, but even better if they camouflage the unwanted puckers even a little but. The daisies turned out nicely and I got to use up another set of buttons in my stash.

The next hanger sweater will wait its turn in my stashbusting rotation. This week is facecloth week. My favorite one has a big HOLE.

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Hope you have a great day!

F.R.I.D.A.Y. – My Week in Review

April 17, 2015

Hooray for Friday!

F=Fabric

“Fabric” is hardly adequate for what I saw this week, but it is the most basic necessity for the work involved.  I attended a quilt show.

I read about it here and decided to take the time to wander around and see what other people do with their creativity and time.  I took some photos because I enjoyed all the color, but Carol E. at Giraffe Dreams has been showing photos of the quilt show on her blog, so I’ll just send you there to see the beautiful work on display. The link sends you to her home page, but just scroll through her recent posts to see several that include quilt photos.

There was the tiniest nod to knitting in one of the quilts and it made me smile. I will share that photo, but maybe Carol E. will know the name of the quilt and quilter. I can’t find where I jotted it down. I may have to go back to the show and get the name. ;-)

 

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R=Reading

I started reading “Confession” by Leo Tolstoy, first published in 1882.  It is his mid-life retrospective on doubt, despair, and religion. Some editions bear the title “A Confession.” Mine does not. I do a fair amount of work-related reading, so I thought it was time for something lighter. :-)

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I=Inert

Inert means lacking the ability or strength to move, stationary, inanimate. That’s me! I’m tired. It was long full week of work and at the moment, the dryer is humming in the background and I intend to let it lull me to sleep.

 

D=Do Not Disturb

I don’t mean my blog readers. I don’t even have a sign on my door. I just want a good snooze. I’ll wake up when I’m ready.

 

A=Art

I had the opportunity to attend the Museum of Russian Art this week. I enjoyed it very much! We had an excellent tour guide. She really drew the group in by her information. When her tour was over, there was still time to wander around and as I walked,  I overheard interesting discussions about various pieces of art.

The photo below shows a section of the painting titled: “Kursk Beauties, City of Kursk” by Vasili I. Erofeev. I was drawn to the print on the shawl.

 

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Y=Yarn

I have been knitting when I had the chance this week, but the project I’m concocting isn’t finished. There just was not enough time. If I can get it to look like what I’m imagining, I will be pleased.

For now, here’s what I have on my needles. Guess of you wish,  but what you see won’t give you even the slightest clue.

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Time for that nap before the dryer stops tumbling my clothes!

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