New Digs

Talked to dh after the meeting with the insurance guy. I'm supposed to find temporary housing. I would say yippee, but it's not all that yippee considering it's Christmas, but it will be a different Christmas and I hope it is a very special one.

Smoov (Stacy) posted a comment about what the victims of Hurricane Katrina must have gone through. First there was a smaller area in the closet downstairs that flooded - maybe 4 x 6 area. My wedding dress was professionally packed and in that closet. When there was the first puddle, it barely missed the dress and then it dried up again for hours. Later, I checked the closet and water was gushing in like a stream and there was no way to shut it off and the thought occurred to me that this water could go through the entire house. It flooded the whole length of the closet - probably 4 x 15-ft area and this time, the wedding dress box got wet. Thankfully, the inner box was fine. I had no clue that there was going to be more flooding or I would have moved it in the first place. After that, I started moving important things to higher ground. But my mind did drift to the victims of Katrina and the utter helplessness they must have felt. I get to find temporary housing nearby. There was no temporary shelter nearby for them. I can't imagine what they went through. We are so blessed and frankly spoiled rotten. When I go whining again, please redirect me to this post. We have our health, seven beautiful children, food, insurance. Life is good!


More Whining and a Little Fun

Plumber came yesterday and today. Yesterday's visit was useless since the guy didn't bring the right size camera and basically did nothing. Today, we had a proficient plumber who found at least part of the problem and a big one at that. The main line has to be replaced which means taking up carpet, Pergo-type flooring and going 2 feet into the concrete foundation. We're still trying to figure out what insurance will and will not pay. Whatever it is, I did not like the first estimate of $6,900 (which only covers the plumbing, not replacing flooring). This is going to be a long process. Everybody is booked for at least 2 wks. The plumber said I can run the washing machine at half-load. I just did a load and the walk-in closet started flooding again. I'm afraid to run the dishwasher. The insurance adjuster who was supposed to come 2 days ago is finally coming tomorrow. I've got some issues to bring to his attention:

1. Will you pay for us to move into temporary housing while this is being done (demo and/or installing new flooring)? We've been living in stench for 6 days now. The stench is not going away because each time we do laundry or dishes (which is often with a family of 9), water floods back into the room.

2. We have children who have been exposed to bacteria on the carpeting, wood flooring, etc, and a baby who only knows how to crawl. This is a health hazard.

3. The carpet in the family room appears dry now, but 1/3 of the carpeting was sopping wet from this waste water as well as underneath the cabinets. The carpet must be removed because it is a health hazard and how can we verify that it is dry underneath the cabinets? We do not want to deal with mold as we have mold allergies.

4. We homeschool, how can we continue schooling with all the work being done and the stench?

5. We are concerned about the water line from the laundry room down - this part was not looked at with the camera. The walk-in closet was flooded with only a half-load of laundry after pipe was supposedly cleaned out.

Back to the plumber - he said that the pipes could have corroded from powdered laundry detergent and highly recommended that I switch to liquid detergent. Have you heard of that before? I use maybe 1/4 cup per load because I've noticed it doesn't make a difference when using more. He said the damage could have been from the previous owners.

Knitting sanity: Tonight I left the children downstairs watching Green Acres (what a weird show) went upstairs to peace and quiet (and no stench) and started working on a Christmas stocking for Bunny (4-yr old). I ordered a kit and love it. The kit uses Bartlettyarn from Maine. Bartlettyarn was one of the first yarns I used when first learning how to knit and living in Maine. The rich lanolin smell brings back great memories.

On a much nicer note - this baby is such fun. Here he is only 9 months old and his favorite pasttime is to climb on the wicker rocking chair. He loves to stand on the chair holding on to the back while rocking back and forth - b . . i . . g rocking, not little rocking. He smiles and hums while rocking. He's like little Tarzan.


Big, Bad, Bummer

Somewhere there is a leak in our house - we think from the foundation. On Friday, we noticed that water had soaked about one-third of the carpet in the family room (where we primarily hang out) and underneath the 20+ foot wall of built in cabinets we had installed. This morning, J told me about a bad smell in our extra room. There's something - mildew/mold - that smells bad on the other side of the house where we store sleeping bags/suitcases. Thankfully, the floor is just concrete there.

All weekend we have soaked up the carpet with towels, put it in the washing machine's spin cycle, put back on the floor, etc.

Can I come to your house and knit instead? I'll be nice and quiet and you won't even notice me. Oh, I do have to bring my baby along, but he's a good baby. Everybody says so. I'll even make some of that pecan/chocolate chip pie I made the other day. Anyone?

Updated: We now think the problem is a broken pipe. After I posted the above, the storage room filled with gross-smelling sludge. Then water poured in through the corner crack where the concrete slab meets the wall. This is a big nasty mess - not one anyone would like, but especially with a 9-month old who only crawls.

Appraiser is coming out today or tomorrow and plumber should be here between 2-4 today. Five days of replacing wet towels on the floor every hour or so is getting very old.

I miss normal boy chaos. That was easy compared to this.


Before and After

She's been waiting a long time for this. Do you see? Here are the before and after shots:


Thanksgiving at Our Home

We had a rare treasure - a Thanksgiving all by ourselves. As much as we love having people over for Thanksgiving or going someplace else, it's an especially nice treat to work together as a family to prepare our special meal. The children helped with meal preparations and decorations and that is always a precious time together.

Our decorations always start with these little figurines I made probably in 1992:

Next, we have our favorite menu items - not necessarily ones that I had growing up, but ones collected from the various places we have lived during our 20+ years of marriage. Here's our favorite sweet potato casserole from my friend Martha in Georgia:

Dh always does the bird and stuffing and there are always little "helpers" gathered around testing samples.

Hugs are always a pleasant interruption. The pies can wait one more minute in the oven.

What it looks like at our dinner table minus baby and 19-yr old picture taker.

And we topped it off with pies. This year we had pumpkin and pecan pies. The pecan pie was especially good. I revised my favorite recipe by adding just a bit of semi-sweet chocolate chips. I think we have a new favorite.

We have much to be thankful for. Thank you, God for all your blessings to us! We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones.



I started this pullover last week: Child's Placket-Neck Pullover. It is from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. I just googled to make sure I had the title right and look what I found Corrections for Child's Placket-Neck Pullover

Whew - I'm glad I hadn't gone too far in this project. The corrected version has me casting on 123 stitches and the other version has 122 for the 1-2 yr size. That's an easy "fix". I am making this for my brother's first baby using Blue Moon Worsted Wear 100% Superwash Merino, colorway Bronze. This yarn is wonderful to work with and I love the colorway. I purchased it at Farmhouse Knits in Beaverton.


Stocking Ornament

Finished this felted Christmas stocking using red Galway yarn. It seemed to be missing something, so gold star nailheads were added. I found the pattern on eBay.


Sometimes motherhood is just not fun

Last week, dh and I were taking a nap when our 9-yr old woke us up saying that PJ was hurt. We have a child's gate at the bottom of our stairs. When PJ is sleeping, sometimes we use a bungee cord to keep it open (because it's a challenge to open). The door was closed and the bungee cord was just hanging and PJ crawled over to it. He's at the stage where everything goes in the mouth and he put the end of the bungee cord into his mouth . . . . and . . it . as in the hook, yes, the hook. . got. . . stuck, . . .very. . . stuck . . inside. . . .his. . . cheek (yes, like a hook caught in a fish). I'm shivering just thinking about it. When we got there, my 19-yr old had finally gotten it out, but it nearly went through his cheek. He would not let me look in his mouth. I pried his mouth open and could only see one place where it was punctured, but the following day, I found a gouge and the roof of his mouth was pretty raw, too. I watched him like a hawk for the next couple days to make sure there was no infection. You can see the bruise on his left cheek - the bruise is coming from the inside of his mouth. Poor baby. Bungee cord is no more. I am too old for this . . . really!


Flop #1 and Flop #2

I got this cute bonnet pattern from a book I checked out at the library. I'm kicking myself for not remembering the title. Anyway, this was a quick knit, but I don't like it. The garter stitch ribbing on the bottom does not work well. It should have been written to knit with smaller needles on that part or pick up less stitches. I was hoping to make my baby's head fit into it, but it really looks funny on him. I think I will actually rip out the whole thing. Ho-hum.

Flop #2: I thought I'd make PJ a helmet because he has been pulling hats off his head. I have a vintage pattern and made Size 4. My baby is 9 months, yes he was born quite large (13 pounds), but still, one would think Size 4 would fit. It didn't - it was way too small. F.R.O.G!


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