Friday, April 30, 2010

A Case of the Crazies...

Things are a little frantic around here today with house related business. Good frantic...a bit stressful...a bit crazy...but in the end we could have a plan...and dates...and the green light to start making concrete business and school contacts. I'm trying not to jinx things by sharing too let me just ask if you could ask the universe to be nice to us today. A little sunshine from above in the form of good luck could do a lot to burn away today's rain clouds.

Many, many thanks!


Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Things are starting to pull together!

That door propped in front of the garage is the screen door waiting for the insert section and the door frame to dry so that it can be re-hung.

Our next focus...that ugly yellow-tan peek.

Little by permitting...we're gonna get this job knocked out.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010


The fact I suggested we stop to take a picture of this, combined with the fact that Scott did it without a second thought, might be some indication of our general level of maturity at times. (And why I love that man more and more each day.)

(Come on, admit it...your laughing too.)

We saw this sign driving around on our house hunting trip this weekend. It was a fun morning of exploring. I love poking around old houses and unknown neighborhoods. However by the end of the weekend I think both Scott and I felt like we had come to a few speed humps in our decision making process.

Bigger community with more to offer in terms of services and activities but a further commute for Scott, more likely than not a bit higher cost of living and, at least to this point, no yoga business connections.


Quiet smaller community in which I have already made some great business related contacts that offers a shorter commute for Scott but which doesn't offer very much in terms of basic retail offerings.

Both have good schools from what we can tell...which is a huge relief. This community shopping business is so much more difficult when you have to figure in kid related stuffs into the decisions.

Regardless I think we have decided to put the house hunting on hold for a bit. I think it will help remove one layer of complication to our decision making process that is unnecessary at this point. We can always RENT until we make sure we have chosen the right community, have ourselves established in said community, and find the RIGHT house for our family. Sigh.

Then there is the big speed hump that's slowing us down from making any decision...the fact we still very much own a house here in Grinnell. Our few showings in the past 2 weeks haven't resulted in any potential part we found out yesterday thanks to our occasionally (mostly during the spring rainy season) damp basement. Well now...what are we gonna do about that?

Speed humps.

On a COMPLETELY unrelated note, some of the crafty bloggers that I follow are participating in Knitting and Crochete Blog Week inspired by Eskimimi Knits. I had really hopped to join the fun, but I'm already a day behind. I'm pondering taking the time to catch up so I blog about something besides speed humps and house selling/buying woes. Stay tuned...


Friday, April 23, 2010

Flickr Goodness...

Originally uploaded by cowdogs3

I love when my Flickr gadget throws up a picture that just makes me smile. Like this one. I mean how can you not smile at that face? That hat?


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hurry and Wait...

Hurry up and get the house cleaned to get it on the market...wait for a buyer.

We had our first two showings last week...we are still waiting for feedback.

The house transformation is moving forward. This weekend thanks to my fabu hubby, his Aunt Pam, and our friend Evan, Helen (our house...yes we are those annoying people that give inanimate objects with it) got the first part of her face lift.

The drab dingy yellowy tan is a thing of the past, replaced with a nice warm "winter wheat". Honestly it's a bit darker than I had envisioned, but it feels so fresh...and as Scott has pointed out there is no changing things now! This weekend starts trim work. Bright white trim to make it all pop. I can't wait!

While I didn't get in on much of the siding painting, I did give our house numbers and mail box a little spray of flat black paint to match our light fixtures. Lovely. Fresh. (Why didn't we do this 6 years ago?)

I think one of the hardest parts of this whole hurry and wait roller coaster that we are on is not knowing WHEN we might be moving. It's hard for me to be patient as I'd really like to get moving on not only finding a new home for our family...but also a new home for my work. But after today I think we are a bit closer to knowing WHERE we might be moving! Brea and I went community shopping today in Indianola. In addition to nice neighborhoods, affordable housing, good schools, thriving local businesses, great parks, a small liberal art college, and recreational activities...the coffee shop ROCKS!

Coffee shops, in my opinion, say a lot about a community. Our coffee shop is always a bustle. I can always count on finding a friendly face there whether I'm popping in quick to grab a treat, or settling down for a sit. It's about way more than just the coffee and yummy treats...though let's be honest, that's important too! Today we were greeted by tables full of chatty customers and a GREAT latte at Uncommon Grounds. The ladies were very friendly and suggested places in town we should check out during our exploration. Brea really enjoyed her home-made gingerbread man. (It was DELICIOUS...I had to have a little know, for research purposes.) The atmosphere was bright and warm and had lots of natural light from the big front windows. I really enjoyed feeling like we could make Uncommon Grounds our new home town coffee stop.

But first we must wait...


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Some of Life's Lessons...

Apparently with some children a warning to the dangers of Silly Putty and one's hair doesn't quite drive the lesson home like direct experience.

She was a trooper while we worked on saving as much of the involved hair as possible. The offending Silly Putty, has been introduced to the trash can.

Ah you make me laugh.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spring Stitches...

With all the work on the house we have been doing over the past 6 weeks it feels like it's been FOREVER since I've had any knitting news to share. Most nights, if I do have a few moments to sit down before falling into bed, I'm lucky to have the energy to stare effortlessly at the knitting left unnoticed because picking it up would require SOME effort and focus. HOWEVER, spring break proved a great chance to reconnect with my needles...and of course acquire a bit of new wool.

I've wanted to make my Mom some sort of snugly morning coffee and newspaper reading wrap since I first caught the knitting bug. In February, even though I already had my sweater on the needles, I cast on for a basic moebius wrap with one of my favorite yarns, Knit Picks City Tweed, in the color way Toad. Then because I got bored with just green, I added some stripes in the color ways Tabby and Cottontail because I happened to have them on hand.

I thought I would have no problem finishing it by the time we packed for our trip, but I found myself feverishly working to get through the 2x2 ribbing and the longest bind-off EVER the first couple of days of break. I personally think it ended up a bit big...but my Mom loves it...and really, that's all that matters.

Of course no trip home would be complete without a visit to the Brown Sheep Co. factory store. It was a big day for my knitting life actually...meeting Marie from Permission to Unwind, getting the chance to get to know better Donna who oversees the BSC yarn shop (who is also a knitting designer and teacher, a fellow yogini, and has a blog of her own, The Art of Yarn), and of course stocking up for some upcoming projects!

In this pile is superwash wool for socks like I make my Mom for Christmas; red bulky wool for a cabled bag (a design of Donna's) Lexi fell in love with during our visit; cotton/wool blend in bright cheery colors for circular shrugs for my girlies; and some bulky felting wool for making moebius baskets. (Thanks Mom!) Being as my knitting time is limited at the moment, AND the fact I'm kinda a slow knitter anyway, I should have no problem making it through the next 6-12 months, during which Scott and I have decided to observe a spending freeze in relationship to expenses not necessary for day to day existence OR house upkeep, before my stash needs a little new enhancement.

My Italian February Lady Sweater even got some love during break. I've finally started the lace section of the design.

It's a good thing I had the Olympics to help me get through all that stockinette! I'm really enjoying the lace pattern as it's simple enough to still be able to carry on a conversation while knitting at the coffee shop or while watching a TV program...and I love how opening up the fabric makes it seem like you're making progress twice as fast! While I think this sweater would have been a perfect addition to my wardrobe for spring, I'm sure it will be just as nice to have it wearable by the start of fall. (Because let's be this rate it's not going to get done much sooner than that!)

How about you? With the start of spring, sunny days, and warmer weather what do you find yourself knitting (or not knitting) these days?


Monday, April 12, 2010

Because it's unlikely you will ever see it this clean in person...

Our Realtor came over this morning to take pictures of our house for its listing. (The reason for the Mega Cleaning Extravaganza that went on around here this weekend.) I couldn't resist snapping a few photos myself to both show off all our hard work and have some visual records of our first home.

First off...the living room.

Look at my newly painted RED front door. Love.

I decided a few fresh flowers were deserved after our hard work.

Topping our snuggle blanket basket...the new quilt my Mom made me. Pattern name: Iowa Girl. That I am.

Heading on into the kitchen.

One of the most exciting things for me about owning my own home was FINALLY being able to paint my kitchen RED. I love my tiny red kitchen. The paint swatch is tucked away in a safe place as this is maybe (in my opinion) the perfect shade of red. It WILL find it's way into our new home.

Our tiny bathroom.

Our quiet nightly sanctuary.

A room full of energy and fun.

I LOVE how the girls' quilts made by Grandma Shirley look on their new bunks!

The orange closet. When we moved into this house Lexi had just turned 2. We asked her what color she wanted to paint her room. Her We talked her to yellow...with a little orange in the closet. Can you imagine a whole ORANGE room?

When I showed people the paint swatch for our 3rd bedroom I got a lot of funny looks. No body thought painting a small room such a dark color was a good idea...boy am I glad we didn't listen. The "Raisin room" (named for the paint color) has always been one of my favorite places to hang out regardless of it's purpose at the moment. (It has served, craft room, junk collection room, guest bedroom.)

One of our favorite features of our lot...a HUGE backyard that over looks our neighbors well tended gardens. And trees. So many, many trees.

The outside of our house is getting a face lift this month. At least that is the plan. So I present to you the before view.

I'm really looking forward to seeing what it looks like AFTER!

Preparing the house for photos this weekend brought back so many memories of those first days after we took possession. So many happy memories have been created here. But now it's time for someone else to create memories in this home...and for us to find a new home in which to continue making ours!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Calm Before...

Today was a day for change.

Scott's Harley sold. Today the new owner came to pick it up. I cried when Scott went out to start it up one last time in our driveway. In fact I get a little teary just typing about it. Silly, I know. I know how much Scott really loved having/riding that bike. I'm sure in many ways it's the same way that I feel with my camera in hand, or as I'm making things with two sticks and yarn, or as I myself go cruising on my own two wheeled mode of transportation. It makes me sad to think he will no longer have that outlet. And in some ways I don't think the tears are as much about the bike as they are about what that bike least at one time.

Now two years later as Harley rolled away from our house all snugly strapped to a trailer headed to a new life, he rolled right past the newly planted For Sale sign in our front yard. A sign that signals we too will soon be embarking on a new journey. A journey so different than the one that was in the works when Harley was purchased. Not better or worse, just different. With any luck in the end hopefully a life with a bit more ease...though the road to finding that ease, I have a feeling, will be anything but easy. Between the cleaning and packing and fixing of things that need fixed to help make our house an attractive option to potential new owners and the searching and dealing and moving and settling into a new home in a new community, much work is ahead of us in the coming weeks/months. Our list of tasks for this coming weekend alone is long. Really long. I'm glad we have Advil in the cabinet long. THANK GOODNESS there is beer in the fridge long.


Driving to and from my Mom's for our Spring Break trip gave me lots of time to ponder. To work through so many emotions and thoughts that had been all collecting in a swirling pool in my head. I wrote many a blog post during those hours as we rolled down the highway. (If only I could directly hook my brain up to the computer and simply think posts...what time I could save!) Many post that will never fully be expressed here because the moment, the thoughts, the words that were spoken within are gone. Written down or not, my head feels a little more in order thanks to those long hours of contemplation.

Through this whole transition I have been waiting. Well let me clarify...since I ACCEPTED that this change was really what was best for our family and we have started taking steps towards creating it, I have been waiting. I've been waiting for the bottom to fall out of my emotions. Waiting for that little voice of doubt that normally pops up to start nagging about how things are never going to work out. Only that little voice, while it makes a short, quiet appearance every once in a while when I am tired or frustrated, has remained pretty quiet. At this point I am lead to believe my emotions are either:

A) numb and in total denial that this change is ACTUALLY happening


B) really OK.

I have yet to figure out which is the reason for my calm in the face of uncertainty. A situation that usually sends me spinning. My mind tells me A. But my heart knows that we are making the decisions we are for the right reasons...and so my heart thinks B. I'm sure the fact that every step we have taken thus far has gone smoothly helps too. House dealings on both ends (the selling of our current house and the searching for a new house) have thus far been pretty painless. (Other than the fact I have TOTALLY fallen in love with a house I'm not sure is maybe the most logical option, but for which my heart melts and my spirit rejoices and that to me blows logic all to hell. After's not just a house, it's a home! Fingers crossed nobody snatches it up before we have a chance.) The business contacts I have made seem to be very promising. Other than being nervous about moving to a community where we know no one and in which we will be looking for childcare options with complete strangers (a fact that causes just a bit of anxiety for this particular Mom), everything seems to be falling into place.

We love Grinnell. We love our friends here. Our neighborhood. Our local hangouts and frequent shopping stops. All those loves will be so hard to leave. But really we are traveling this path to better align our day to day actions with our priorities and life values...and that realization in and of itself has helped bring some peace to the chaos.

Knitting helps too.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

This One's for You Daddy...

Since Scott couldn't accompany us on our Spring Break trip this year we made sure to check out his old house for him.

The girls got a kick out of imagining he, Grandpa Bob, Grandma Peg, and Uncle Jay living there. It's so fun to get a fresh view of your past through the eyes of your kiddos.

We are home and recovering from our week away. Today it's time for unpacking, regrouping, and a visit to our summertime treat shop that opened it's slide windows for the season earlier this weekend. Dairy Barn here we come!