Monday, July 20, 2009

Other people's hobbies

Really, who am I to comment on other people's hobbies. I knit. My neighbor: well, he builds nuclear power plants. Yes, you read that right. He is building his very own nuclear power plant. Thankfully I am moving in two weeks

I am knitting on the Girasole as a house warming present to myself. If I do something wrong. No one is going to die. My new neighbors should be grateful.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

So, I talk so much about the house, but do I post pictures? Here is the house. Exterior insulation is up. Oh, so pretty! The 2/6 trim is around the windows. Furring is going up now. Today I am installing the treated plywood for the rock work. (yes, I will post photos of that as well) Here is the furring on the back of the house. Parker or Isaac cuts, while the other runs the board to me. Do I feel nervous with 12 and 13 year old cutmen? Heck yeah. Hey kid, let me show you how to use a miter saw. Heck, they are learning angles and measurements better than any math lesson at school, right?
While I am was working last week, one of the contracting jobs was completed. Oh, so pretty facia and soffits. The almond color matches the windows. It is so odd picking out all of these color choices. I never knew how many decisions are necessary for home building. Everything is a compromise or a suggestions, or an opinion on how it should be. Mark and I have gotten very, very good at coming to agreements. (or just keeping our mouths shut if the other is firmly committed to something).
When the floor was the radiant floor tubing, it was SO hard to walk around. Especially at 20F when we were worried about the tubing cracking because of the cold and pressure stepping on it. I was wearing my bunny boots, so there was a softer cushion if I hit one with my big feet.

Finally, we were able to get a contractor in and pour the floor. It has been so much easier walking around!
This is a view from the garage entrance into the back of the kitchen. You can see the island in the middle of the picture. Just past that is the main house entry (not that we will be using that at all, I assume we will be coming through the garage 99% of the time). On the right is the stairs to the second level.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Again, with the stupid Blogger

This damn program messes with every formatting option I choose with photos? Seriously? Would someone tell me how to make it work? It took two hours, and this was the best I could get from it? How the heck do they expect me to fix that? hello? *text, picture, line break, repeat from * ? AHHHH!

Friday, June 12, 2009

long time... no talk

Wow! I have had some serious life events since March when I last posted. April happened and now June.

Long story, short: The company that I have worked for, for 15 years, since I was 19 years old, transferred their Alaskan assets to a newly created company run by what was then our competition, now supposedly our teammates. Some of my coworkers lost their jobs outright while the rest were fortunate enough to keep what mangled wrecks were left of their jobs by transferring into the new company. Unfortunately, I was excluded from both of those groups. After 15 years of loyal and dedicated employment, I was called at 10:30am on tax day, April 15th and told that the property that I was managing was sold to a local small family business and I would be offered employment with them. So long, good luck, may we have our cell phone back, please?

All I can say is that there was NO sensitivity training of management on how to properly handle a merger, or terminations, or release of work. Harsh. Harsh is the only word I can think of that wouldn't burn your eyes reading it. Harsh.

I have worked almost two months for my new employer only to come to the conclusion that the changes are too much "not in my favor". Since Fairbanks is too small a town to burn a bridge (and I sincerely do not wish to slander their reputation), I merely have chosen not to continue my employment. 'Nuf said.

But... with that cat out of the bag. That means come August 1st, I am: 1) homeless, 2) carless, and 3) jobless. Truly a painful trifecta of lifestyle carnage.

1) I will be homeless. Right now we live on company property and are building a house (see previous posts). Said house will not be livable come the end of July. Not a chance in hell. Maybe we can live in the garage. Maybe we can buy a camper. Maybe we can live in a wall tent. All these maybe's, but one definite: we will be homeless. Renting is pretty much out of the question with 5 boys, 2 adult, and 2 dogs. A short term lease would make it so we would have no cash for building supplies. One of the boys has pretty much moved out of the house already anyway. He will be 18 in 2 weeks and has graduated from school already. So that cuts down the responsibility by one. I am totally not worried about it. We still have over 6 weeks to figure it out. The thought of living in an RV scares the hell out of me. It isn't the RV that is the scary part. The scary part is the husband LOVES the idea. Love it like he loves food, and air, and... well, shelter. He loves it as much as I hate it. I hope we can get the garage finished. Oh please, Gods of the Drywall, hear my prayer.

May your trowels be smooth, may your mud dry fast, may your skill and professionalism be a testament to your craft!

2) I will be carless. I took the management position here in 2001 and it came with the unlimited use of a company truck. I sold my 2000 Subaru Impreza Outback in 2005 because I hadn't driven it in over 4 years, after paying it completely off . I sold the Subaru, paid off my student loans, paid off a couple credit cards, and paid for a 2 week Mediterranean vacation. Rome, Greece, and Egypt were worth it. Never hearing from my stupid student loan creditors again was worth it. At the end of the month when I am riding my bike handing out resumes? Worth it? Maybe not.

3) I will be jobless. Not a stresser. It feels so damned good to be doing something new, anything new. So very, very, very damned good.

We have been working on the house every single day since the weather turned workable (over 20F above). So every day since about the end of March, we have been busting tail and have ramped up some of the construction timeline to get the ball rolling faster. Boiler is almost in. Radiant floor heating is complete. Plumbing out is done. Electrical is all installed, mapped and ends finished. I am working on the outside of the house. Ground flashing, exterior insulation, furring for siding are on my list. Siding starts in two or three weeks. Interior insulation will be blown in after we install all the cable, CAT5, phone lines, low voltage items. And then drywall. The rest is finishing that we can do after we move in. Flooring, painting, cabinetry, etc can all be done when we are living in the house. We will have a real roof over our heads, doors, windows, running water (both coming in and going out) by the end of August.

But now we are packing. Packing everything we own. Eight years I have lived here. That is longer than I have lived anywhere in my entire life! I cannot believe how much I have accumulated in eight years here. 10 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, FULL. Crap! And the best part? I didn't truly realize how much stash I have accumulated. I had to pack all of that up first so my Darling Husband wouldn't use it as packing insulation. (cause it would have made great packing insulation had I not loved each so dearly.) Seven boxes stuffed with the best fibers possible. They are all sitting securely in locked, dry storage.

I did hold back the crème de la crème for my knitting pleasure over the next 4 months. It is like the Dream Team of yarn:

#1 BMFA RSC June'09 Pepe La Plume for Fraggle socks
#2 BMFA STR Citrine #3 malabrigo sock Lettuce

#4 Sundara sock Robin's Egg Blue

#5 Madelinetosh sock Shell from Monica "editorial goddess"

#6 Fireweed Studios Handpainted sock Gold Dust Woman for Buttercups

#7 Karabella Gossamer Brown w/Copper for Stardust, Knitty winter07
Fairbanks Fiberistas KAL Summer Sweater-a-thon
#8 Cascade Eco Alpaca Straw for FF KAL and a Loopy Ewe KAL
Girasole worsted weight blanket, my second Girasole

Friday, March 27, 2009

My orchid was lonely

Welcoming in the morning with snow. I love March 'cause you never know what you are going to enjoy from Mother Nature. Today she blessed us with snow. My cup run'th over.
My orchid was lonely. I bought her a friend.
Grocery shopping at Safeway is dangerous for me. I fear that I will always come home with more flowers. The other grocery stores segregate their food and flowers, but not Safeway. You can't walk to the bakery without stopping to enjoy the floral department. Smart move, Safeway!
My orchids friend is more like a little sister. Small and sheltered under her bigger sister.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Starting to replant

During the "Great Dredge Freeze-Up of 2009" all of my plants died. Frozen solid in their glorious state. Plants that I have had for years. All dead. The real kicker is I couldn't replace them in a snap. It isnt like I can just go to the store and pick up new houseplants. The devil is in the details. Store temp is 68F. House temp is 70F. The temperature between the store and the house is NOT. The air "shocks" most plants when you walk from the store, to your car, to your house. I have bought gorgeous plants in the winter, only to have all the leaves fall off when I get them home. This is why I was so happy when Mark walked in the other day with a gorgeous flowering Orchid. I love the mossy bottom. After it finishes its flowering, I will repot into the old orchids nest. I love the gorgeousness of the pink, the deepness of the red in the center, the blending of the orange to the yellow of the petals. I just love this color. Love it so much that they were my wedding flowers. It just grabs me. I walk into my changing room and just stare at them, and how the sun filters through the delicate petals. I'm lucky to have such a wonderful husband that takes hints so well. Hints like, "hi honey. I am calling from Safeway. Guess what they have in the floral section? Orchids! Orchids like the one's in my wedding bouquet." And yes, out of the many colors of Cymbidium orchids they had in stock, he brought the right ones home. I guess I will have to keep him. And since I am in a pinky-red mood, I finally jumped into my next Unoriginal Hat, mocked-up by the Yarn Harlot herself; Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Using the destashed, discontinued Blue Moon Fiber Arts Leticia in Brick, I knit this up in less than one day. (dont mind the bathrobe. I called in "under the weather" and refuse to get dressed today unless someone wants to meet me in town this afternoon for knitting.)
Unfortunately one skein was not enough, and with the discontinued yarn, I had the choice of frogging it to: 1) knit tighter, 2) skip two rows {row6 & row8 can be omitted in the second repeat without altering the design}, or be lazy and 3) continue on my path and pick it up with another yarn.
Welcome: My Unorginal Sunny Hat! I am just "beaming" with delight! And my Rockin' Sock Club January 2009 shipment of My Blue Heaven: Queen of Beads complete. Bring on March's shipment!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Who knew?

I got a great deal wink, wink on a new bottle of SOAK (thanks Gin), so I was able to wash all my dirty handknits and wash/block my little sister's birthday present. And get this {enter: Earth Shaking Information} Noro softens after it is washed! Who Knew? I am f-kin floored absolutely amazed. I was so giggling with glee that I ran and grabbed my Entrelac Scarf that I havent worn and Soak'd that as well. Wow, even the kureyon softens greatly. top: Entrelac Scarf by Allison LoCicero Noro Kureyon #92 and #170 bottom:Noro Striped Scarf: Inpiring photos by Jared Flood Noro Silk Garden #267 and #275 The Day the wind blew. Wow, we do not get wind here in Fairbanks and it was alarming. Fortunately the new windows worked perfectly and we didnt feel any temperature difference in the temperatures of the rooms. With the offensive old windows, the kids couldn't sleep in the north-facing rooms. New windows? Didn't even feel a breeze.
The view from my bedroom window. Let the wind blow.
And the wind blew in another eight inches of snow. My back hurts, but my rump needed the exercise.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

As the sun goes, so shall I...

I still have yet to spend my last remaining hours here on Waikiki. The plane leaves at 10pm, leaving me several more hours to soak in the sun's warmth, heartly enjoy a spicy chicken sandwich at the Cheesecake Factory, and longingly windowshop at Kate Spade's. There is so much to love about Waikiki. The next adventure cannot begin until this one is over.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Over to Oahu

The vacation part of our jaunt is over. We have to say "goodbye" to Maui. I can't think of a better couple days to spend time together. We got "maui'd" in 2006 in Makena, Maui on the south part of the island so we drove down and had dinner this trip at our reception site, the Seawatch. For appetizers and dinner the day before, we headed to the Hula Girl to listen to Ernest Pua'a, our wedding singer. It was a beautiful couple days. Born to Beach, Forced to Work Luxury ends when Mark has to go to work, so we check into our business class hotel, the Aqua Palms. Not a bad hotel (if you dont mind cockroaches). Giving credit where credit is due, the room is standard business class. There is a small lanai, free internet, huge LCD tv, and a great location. Situated across from the Hilton where DH is working (yes, we should be over there instead), a very short walk to the Ala Moana mall and only a couple blocks from Waikiki. I was on my own yesterday, so why not treat myself to a generous slice of Cheesecake Factory Chocolate Rasberry Truffle cheesecake? Sounds like a congratulatory reward for me for sitting here all by my lonesome in gorgeous Oahu. Like I need more reward? And on my walk to the Factory? What would Waikiki be without all of its high-end shopping? some bling from Tiffany? a trenchcoat from Burberry?
Just a few new bags for Spring? and some perfume from Chanel?
Maybe some shoes from Prada? Flats or heels?
We went out for dinner the first night with some of Mark's co-workers, that live here, and they had no idea where our hotel was, or how to get here. They were also laughing about all the high end stores that according to them, no one that lives here can afford them. At $12 a gallon for organic milk, I fully agreed with her. $600K for an 800 sq.ft. house and there would be no $$s left for a Gucci messanger bag or Bvlgari china. And why would I want to live here anyway, no one wears handknit socks. Freaks!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Maui, baby!

Yep, decided it was time to leave Alaska again. Hubby Mark has meetings in Oahu this week, so we decided to leave a little early and spend a couple days in Maui beforehand. We stayed at the Royal Lahaina just north of the main Kaanapali Beach. Gorgeous area. It is quite a walk to the strip of shops on the main beach, but well worth the brake in price. Good view from the lanai. And really, who could complain with a view like this? Yes, this is a rainbow ending on the top of the hotel. Pot of Gold at the Royal Lahaina? No. Good room, great price, decent location? Yes. We flew from Fairbanks to Anchorage, and then Anchorage to Honolulu (only 5 hours and 20 minutes) and then from Honolulu to Kahalui, Maui. A fair to decent amount of time to start on my Marigolds. I love the pattern because it was so simple to memorize the 9 row repeats. The only down side to the easy pattern was I used the paper it was printed on as a book marker on my newest book purchase, Knitting with Handpainted Sockyarn and left the damn book on the airplane to HNL. Dag-nammit! Fortunately I special ordered it from one LYS and bought it when I saw it at the other LYS, so I can pick it up from LYS#1 when I get home. I was hoping to start the Spot Check on the plane ride home, but I guess it will have to wait. I love the Casbah in the Hummingbird colorway. It is almost like a Muted Rainbow on Ocean. And because I lost my book and have a generous 325m of gorgeous HandMaiden I will be knitting these until I run out of yarn. Nice long Ocean socks for going back to the frozen tiaga. And again with the view. The lanai was a gorgeous place to sit and knit.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

FO February: It's all about socks!

Pattern: Bed Sock in Lemon Pattern Fancy Knit Stripe by Nancy Bush in Knitting Vintage Socks Yarn: Spunky Eclectic Super Sport in Walkabout lot# 508 and another one I can't find the ball band for right now Needle: US2 / 3.0mm 40" magic loop Started off beautifully: Gave me gorgeous detail: then ran out. I had enough to finish sock1, but sock2 was missing just the wee end of the toe. My LYS was helpful enough to order a custom dye job for one more skein so I waited. My MIL called and told DH how wonderful the sock that I was able to leave with her over Christmas was. Even that she wore it on the foot that was most cold. Oh, yeah. Pull at the heart-strings.
The new skein came in and I got right to work providing her with the other sock. We will use it as kind of a runny joke. Looks like the end of this sock got bleached! Just wasnt quite the right color. That is the joy of artistically hand-dyed yarn. Sometimes you just cant repeat perfection.
And speaking of repeating perfection, I cant remember which toe ending I used on sock one. I think I used a star toe, but I really cant remember. So not only is one toe color different from the other. There is a good possibility that the construction is different as well. Guess you really can't repeat perfection!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

New upstairs windows

In the midst of all the plumbing repair last month, the window installer called and said, "hey, I'll be out next week to install the new windows". Great. Not only do I get to learn the ins and outs of plumbing, I get to finish windows! How can one girl get so lucky? But in my heart-of-hearts, I knew this was a good thing. You see, the windows that were here in the bunkhouse were old. Not 1980's old, not 1970's old. But O.L.D. The glass was rippling, the screens were custom made and black-black-black. The screens were so bad that the one winter I took them all down they warped over the season and I had to hammer them back in for the spring. Lesson learned, don't take these out, ever. When the wind blew outside, the north side bedrooms would be 40F inside and the south side windows would be 90F. It would be the normal 68F in the hallway where the thermostat is located, but everyone else was uncomfortable. I requested all new windows on property, but because of the economic situation tourism will be in this coming summer, only half of the windows were slated for replacement. And since heat rises and the downstairs windows are boarded over, this left the upstairs windows available for upgrades. I had to keep the historical aspects the same. They needed to look the same, act the same but preform much better. The new house has all casement windows for insulative purposes (and we want tax credits for energy efficiency) but I need something historical to preserve our historical integrity. And I found six-light, sliding windows from Jeld-Wen. Aluminum exterior in historic green with a wood interior. An antique gold paint interior for the windows, with an antique walnut stain for the trim. Here are the old windows in one of the upstairs bathrooms First the trim was removed Then the new sexy windows were installed What I will miss the most is the ultra cool holding mechanisms for the old windows. The old pull pin with holes drilled into the sills so they would stay up. Not that they did, I would have to release the top portion of the window and let that one down, cause most of the pins stopped holding the bottom windows up. And since heat rises, it made sense to drop the top window. Bye-bye pins, hello sexy levers. These babies suit a dual purpose: not only to they allow me to wash the outside of the windows from get this.... the inside, they allow me to pull the whole window pane out. Fan-fuk-ing tastic! My only problem is, it is freezing outside and I need to take the panes out to paint them properly. This will have to wait until spring. I stained the windowsills these past two weeks. You can see their gorgeousness in the following blog posts. I chose an antique walnut that matches the wood walls beautifully. It took me almost 2 weeks to putty, sand, stain, and stain a second time. Twice as long as I thought it would take me. And exhaustive none the less. Most of the toilets are repaired and/or replaced. I still have three to work on. Two are only used in the summer and can wait until spring, and the last one is in the lower bunkhouse men's bathroom. Instead of being secured to the floor, it was gasketed to the waste pipe because unapparent to me, the floor had rotted and they laid vinyl over it to hid it. Lovely, just lovely.