My Love, My Hate, My Knitting

It is a beautiful, windy, fall day, my sweet sunshine just went down for her nap, and there is only one thing I want to do–knit.  Before you start imaging me to be one of those chic, Stitch n’ Bitch kind of knitters who makes cool stuff like fingerless mitts, complicated socks, and clever hats, let me disabuse you of that notion.  I am a terrible knitter.  I have been taught and re-taught how to knit at least ten times since I was eight.  I rarely finish anything because I make mistakes constantly.  I have exactly zero of the qualities that make a good knitter (I mean, I’m not even shooting for great!).  So, after reading this intro, one might wonder why it is that I bother knitting at all.

The odd truth is that I knit mostly to defy myself.  That probably sounds a little crazy, but truly, according to all known laws of man, physics, the universe, and my knowledge of myself as a person, I should not be able to knit.  Knitting calls for patience.  I have been known (perhaps on more than one occasion) to actually throw knitting in the fire and watch all of my mistakes melt when I’m too frustrated to unravel and try yet again.  Knitting calls for careful attention to each detail and anyone who knows me at all can tell you in no uncertain terms that I am not good with details! I mean, we’re talking about a girl who forgot to get her own marriage license for goodness’ sake!  So really, it’s not even just the little details I often miss, it’s the big ones, too. And finally, knitting demands excellent organization skills while I am loosely held together chaos at my best.

In short, everything I’m not is what is required to knit anything at all.  And yet, the challenge of it is irresistible to me.  Not to mention, the fierce sense of accomplishment when I do happen to finish something, knowing that I have battled my inadequacies and risen the victor.  No matter how often I put it down swearing I’m done (or just swearing), I come back again and again.  At this point, I think it’s safe to say I’ll be knitting for as long as my fingers will cooperate . . . at least as much as they’re cooperating now, anyway.

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Awkward Girl: Flies

Good morning everyone!

I’m writing today to let you know that I had a run in with Awkward Girl yesterday and, as per usual, hilarity ensued.  It all started a couple weeks ago when I was offered a very part time gig at a farm near our house that sells BBQ on the weekends.  They needed a hand taking orders, and Lord knows I’ve needed to get out of this house, baby-free, for some grown up time.  It was a win all around!

That said, I was also nervous.  I get nervous about things like this.  My last position was about as far from taking orders for BBQ as you can get and while I’ve had lots of customer service roles, nothing quite like this before.  Also, Carl and I are still working on building a life here and I wanted to do a great job and hopefully make a few more local friends.

I showed up about a half hour before the BBQ pit opened so I could get a little tour of employee areas, grab a farm shirt, and get some training on the (thankfully very easy) point of sale system.  It was just as that training was beginning, that Awkward Girl opted to make herself known.

Picture this, the BBQ pit is a very small area with a roof, a fire in the center, cooking and prep areas at the back, and three registers across a counter at the front.  At any given moment, there were roughly 8-10 employees working in this small area and, just then, there were about five people gathered up front, waiting for the work to begin.  We decided to do introductions since I hadn’t met anyone but the person training me.  Everyone gave their name, then the supervisor started to tell me about something and one of the ladies I had just met, looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Jesse, come here.”

That in and of itself was a bit awkward, but I crossed through the center of the group and leaned in, at which point she informed me that my fly was completely down.  When I glanced, not only was it down, but my hands were in my pockets, which meant the zipper was WIDE OPEN revealing a good portion of my most large and comfortable blue and pink flowered granny panties–a leave over from my biggest pregnant days.

Feeling completely mortified, I looked up, flashed the group a grin, and did what any self-respecting mother would do–I blamed my daughter/mom brain.  But you, dear readers, know the truth, that’s really  just how this Awkward Girl rolls.  It’s okay, it won’t take long for everyone in Massachusetts to catch on.

The upshot is that all of my nervousness completely melted away and I had a blast!  Seriously, how nervous can you be after an intro like that?

Happy Sunday, everyone and don’t forget to embrace the awkward.  : )

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Mac n’ Cheese Manor: The delivery guys who didn’t deliver and why is the toilet water hot?

The weather was rather uncooperative this past week so I have no updates on my adventures in learning how to make old, ugly furniture new again.  That said, we still accomplished plenty!

My first update relates to the plumbing.  The new septic is in and the company that did the work even re-seeded our lawn!  On their last day, while they were still cleaning up, Carl and I made ourselves mimosas and went to the side yard to chat while his mama was in the shower.  As we came around the corner of the house, I noticed water just bubbling up out of the ground!  At that time, we both thought they may have burst a water pipe with their heavy equipment, but no, in fact, it was a very old school system in which the grey water was piped into the yard and ONLY toilet water went through the septic system at all!  Ew.

Luckily, we noticed while the work was still in progress and once the issue was discerned, they scheduled a plumber to run all draining water through the septic system.  When he came out last week, we decided to go ahead and ask him about an issue that had been confounding us from day one:
Why is it that our toilet occasionally refills with hot water?

Now, I don’t know about you, but until living here, I had never once seen hot water in a toilet.  But sure enough, every once in awhile, we’d flush and steam would billow out of the bowl!  Also, it was hard to tell which valves were for hot and which were for cold on all of our sinks because it seemed all of them would go from cold to hot and back again!  Very strange.  And when we asked, judging by the confused/concerned look on the plumber’s face, I’m pretty sure he thought it was very strange as well.  He agreed to take a look and went on down into the basement.

Turns out, there is a little thing called a “sweat valve” that can be placed near the inlet to the toilet and if the water is cold enough to cause condensation on the tank, it will automatically mix in some hot water.  However, on our house, instead of using an actual sweat valve, there was a two-way, manual valve that just mixed all hot and all cold together for everything.  Thankfully, all it took was removing said, manual valve and we had normal, separate hot and cold water throughout!  Oh the things we are learning as we dig into this awesome, crazy, old house!!!!

Okay, onto the furniture.  : )

Some of you may recall that we bought furniture and it was delivered a couple weeks ago but the delivery guys said it couldn’t be moved in because it simply would not fit unless we took it through the window.

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Well, our ancient windows don’t just open up. I’d have to get the drill and literally remove the whole thing in order to do what they wanted.  Also, because they would not touch anything but the furniture under any circumstances, it wasn’t going to happen because even if I got the window unscrewed, I could never have safely gotten it down without another pair of hands.  I suggested we take the doors off the hinges and they said that wouldn’t work.  Needless to say, I was not impressed with them and even though I was pretty sure the furniture would fit, I decided I’d rather not have them try because they clearly weren’t interested in doing a good job.  So I had them take it to the barn where Carl and I could fetch it later.

Later turned out to be this past Saturday.  And, with just a few doors off the hinges, we managed to get both the couch and the chaise in-in no time!  I won’t say it was easy, but it was definitely easier than “Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum Delivery Services” made it out to be.  : )

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So now we have a couch!  And a chaise!  And after five months with no furniture other than a bed and a dining room table, it feels soooooooooooooo good!  : )

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The weather is supposed to improve drastically starting tomorrow, so we’ll hopefully be able to get back to sanding and painting shelves and such for the laundry room/pantry this week.

That’s all for now, happy Monday, Everyone!  : )

Awkward Girl: Makes an Entrance

We had an amazing time at the Science March last week.  It was a last minute decision with no planning involved whatsoever.  We just loaded up a diaper bag and took off!  Which made it doubly amazing because Carl and I have always loved last minute adventures and weren’t exactly sure that part of us would translate well into parenthood.  But, nothing to fear!  The little one did wonderfully well on her first subway ride and seemed to love the crowd and festivities.  : )

While we were there on the Boston Common, we ran into one of Carl’s coworkers who invited us to beers with her and her crew after the event.  Miss Baby was holding up so well, we decided to go for it and followed Jeet’s instructions the designated restaurant/bar.  As we approached, we saw that the entrance was a revolving door . . . and this is when Awkward Girl decided to make an appearance.

The revolving door was a small one, but there was plenty of room for Carl, baby, and I to go through all at once . . . at least there would have been . . . had I not been wearing my backpack diaper bag . . .

Go ahead, read this, then close your eyes so you can really picture it.  There she was, just trucking along right on Carl’s tail through the revolving door until he ran into it in the front (that’s right, this time Awkward Girl drug everyone down with her!) because the backpack got caught between the frame and the revolving door jamming it at the back.  We were all jolted to a sudden halt.  Even better, Awkward Girl didn’t realize she was the cause of the incident for several seconds, and stood there trying to figure out why the door was stuck.  Once we realized what happened, we had to shuffle backwards an inch at a time, all together so Awkward Girl could unstick her backpack and extricate herself from the door completely, thereby allowing Carl and the baby to proceed unhindered.

Of course, once inside, we saw that the packed bar was literally right next to the doors and our little escapade had about 20-30 witnesses.  Oh yeah, Awkward Girl is back in full effect.  Sadly, I have no photo of this particular moment, so this random one I find funny will have to do.  I like to imagine that this is a photo of the moment my sweet Sunshine realized her mother is also Awkward Girl.  Happy Sunday!
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