Thursday, July 31, 2008


I was planning a photo update of knitting (or lack there of), but realized that my camera is sitting in the new house waiting for charged batteries. So, no knitting today.

We've been working our asses of in the new house. Things we've done:
* Ripped up all flooring except the tiled kitchen/dining/addition
* Primed the addition and hall bath
* Painted the addition/dining ~ Coconut Creme yellow
* Painted Ant's room~ Waterfountain (pale blue) top/ Ultra Marine (bright blue) bottom
* Painted living space/halls ~ Caribbean Walk
* Attacked wallpaper we didn't know existed in the kitchen (still need to finish)
* Spent 3 days attacking the wallpaper border covered in layers of paint in my craft studio
* Replaced locks/knobs
* Cleaned toilets
* Purchased laminate floors (need to be picked up)
* Ordered eco-friendly carpet (made from corn) for the other two bedrooms

Our carpets were supposed to be paid for by the bank due to the flooding we found at our final walk through. Well, the stupid listing agent who was in charge of that did NOT have her act together. The money had to be paid to Home Depot, not us. She claimed the bank needed to see photos of the carpet work done before they would pay. Home depot can't even order the carpet until they are paid! Catch 22, people! We went back and forth with her. She was talking in circles. She'd act all sweet and kind and then turn all bitchy in a flash. I got our realtor involved and she really put the pressure on the other agent. Then the crazy woman would call Randy and give him a completely different story than she told me or our realtor. Ooooooh. She was too much. Even sent me a super long email about how there are no bad guys, we need to act professional, blah blah blah, she's on our side (even tho' she told randy 5 other people were interested in our house), all woe is my, i'm working so hard, blah blah blah. WHAT-EV-ER!

Yesterday she called and we finally got our check, paid to Home Depot. And, rather than being for the original $885, the check was for the ENTIRE amount of our carpet bill. Woo Hoo! That does not change my attitude toward her. When I met her at HD, she was all bubbly and sweet, giving me hugs. She acted like everything was a big joke and even played down the coversation she had w/ our realtor like they were best pals. I forced the kindness and rejoiced when I got my receipt and she was long gone! Happy to not have to deal with her EVER again!

So, there's the update. I go back to work next Friday. I'd like to be excited about that, but we're so busy at the house that the thought is only causing me more stress.

Monday, July 21, 2008

We Did It!

We're finally homeowners! I was beginning to lose hope. I was in DC all week. Every time Randy called me it was a different issue.

It started w/ a voice mail from the insurance agent saying that our policy was denied because of the age of our hot water heater. We got that all fixed and ended up w/ a better policy for less money. Hurdle one cleared!

Friday, our realtor calls Randy and explains that we're missing the HUD-1 closing statement. She emails me an addendum w/ a closing date extension "just in case". Phone calls back and forth, the statement was coming from Miami, not here in Tampa and supposedly their system had gone down around 3pm. We did finally get our closing statement mid Saturday afternoon.

Sunday evening, we have our final walk through. OMG! HELL! Randy was checking the back yard while Ant and I went w/ our realtor inside. Our first though was that it was awfully cool and something sounded as though it were running when our electricity should haved been shut off the last day of June! Ant takes one step in the hall and we found a 1/4" of water all througout the hall and in the bedrooms, the bathroom was even worse! The hot water heater busted! Since it's on well water and the electric was on, the water kept pumping! We were aghast! We didn't even have 24hrs to close and here we are w/ a flood!

Many, many phone calls today. We were supposed to close at 11:30 am. That was NOT going to happen. The seller (Countrywide bank) came back w/ an offer~ replace the hot water tank, have everything cleaned and dried up, pull up all the floors, and throw in a home warranty covering all appliances/pipes/ac. Our agent explained that they really wanted to close today so we tried to push our luck. We retorted by asking that they also add the $2k that they overestimated for closing costs so that we could replace the floors. Got a call a few hours later and they agreed.

Oh, but that was not the end of course... We then get a phone call saying the lender is not going to approve of us getting not only our $2k deposit, but an additional $2k for the floors. Option #2, lower the cost of the house by that amount. Okay, fine. Minutes later, another phone call. Nope that's not going to work. Since it's an FHA loan, all the paper work would have to be redone and ran through FHA. That would take at least a week. Option #3~ be given a credit for said amount to use through a contractor to replace floors. FINE, ets just get this done!

We get to closing and had to wait for all the extra addendums and a new closing statement. We were surprised to see that our realtor and the title co. rep were the only other people there. The seller's agent was not there, nor was our lending agent. Then we run into another problem. They overestimated the damage of the floors, they'll only reimburse us $885. Sheesh. One thing after another.

We get everything signed, leave, end up at the house which is a good 3o min from the title company, to check up on the cleaning/water heater process, and then the phone rings again!! We had to turn around and go back, they had just gotten the updated HUD statement and had to sign all the new ones. Grrrrr....

But, it's over. We're all signed. The flooded mess is being taken care of and we're moving on! We're happy that they're replacing the water heater and giving us money for the floor, even if it's not the amount we'd asked for. We were already going to replace both of these things immediately anyway, now we don't have to spend the money on it. Always a good thing!!

Tomorrow And and I will go measure and start primering the rooms that weren't affected by the flooding. We went to Home Depot (where are floor credit is) and looked at carpet for two of the rooms. I found an eco-friendly yarn that wasn't overpriced and I think we'll go with that~ GO GREEN! Our room and the living/dining area will be wood laminate. We brought home bamboo samples only to find that the ones we liked and could afford were too easily scratched. Also, it needed the glue which in and of itself is quite $$$. The wood laminate just seems more realistic, even though it's not as eco friendly. I tried.

There will be before and after shots at some point, so keep your eyes out.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Los Pantalones de Muertos

Oh sheesh! I thought I could pretend to be a sewer (as I unknowingly plurked yesterday). Seamstress would be the correct word, but based on my sewing skills, I really am more of a sewer than a seamstress. This 1hr pattern took me, oh, 6 hours. A good chunk of that was spent ripping out seams! I was moving along so smoothly and only had hems to finish, when I help them up to find that somehow, my patners were completely ass backwards! I have no idea what I did wrong. It was a horrible debacle! After ripping out all seems but the crotch, I managed to turn myself rightside up again. The pants are huge on the account of my not preshrinking and the suggestion of my mom to go up a size to allow shrinkage. I'm pretty sure I could fit an elephant calf in here. Anyway, here they are in all their glory. I'm going to try again in the next size under.

Monday, July 7, 2008

She's Crafty!

Here's just a quick update on some of my projects.

First up, two FO's:
A pair of Monkeys using YP Patina and a pair of Anastasia socks using YP Icicle. The Anastasia's were my first pair of toe-ups! I loved it!!

Next, my fabric haul from Jo-Ann's. I decided that I wanted to try to sew something w/ the sewing machine other than last Christmas's Dammit Dolls. I picked up these three fabrics:

The two on the left will be pj pants and the far right will be the apron, also on the right.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

My Wordle

Our Weekend, in a Quicky

Randy dropped Ant off with his mother on Thursday, so we had the rest of the weekend to ourselves. And boy, did we stay busy!

We didn't have any big 4th of July plans. We could have seen my brother perform at Tampa Improv, but didn't want to fight with the crazy crowds and drunken tomfoolery. Instead, we took Roxy to the dog beach at Davis Island. She had an absolute blast! Two hours of running, swimming, romping with the big dawgs and playing fetch. She's a natural in the water.

Later we decided to head out to Honeymoon Island, catch a good tide, and try for some late afternoon fishing. This proved to be a terrible idea. I guess we didn't take into account the holiday weekend and the fact that the beaches are insane this time of year! We left empty handed. And after being at the beach twice in one day, we were cooked.

Saturday~ I was excited because we were taking the kayaks out for the first time this year. I have no idea what we were waiting for! We went to Weedon Island and checked out their 4 mile canoe trail. It was absolutely beautiful! We brought our fishing poles and saw the fish, but just couldn't seem to catch any of them. Much of the trail is down tunnels formed where the cypress trees formed canopies. Many of the tunnels are so narrow, we had to take apart our paddles and use only half. When we had gotten to the 1 mile marker, the skies grew dark and there was quite a bit of booming thunder. I'll admit, I was a bit scared being in the water with the paddle and our fishing poles~ seems like a good lightning target to me. I felt safer when we were inside the mangrove tunnels, but there was still quite a bit of open water. Luckily, the clouds and thunder blew by without so much as a drop of rain. Then the sun came out full force. Being the smart Floridians we are, we had no sunscreen, add to that the burn we had from Friday, and you have two extra crispy beet red morons!

That brings us to today. We had asked my brother and his wife, my bf Tara and her husband to come to the dog beach. My brother had "too much to do", I think he was just blowing us off. But
Tara and Danny were game. Tara's got a Boston terrier, Booker. Booker is older than Roxy and she (or Ant) usually tires him out easily. It was also Booker's first beach trip! They brought my goddaughter Elena for her first beach trip too. Tara and Danny did not listen to me and weren't dressed for the beach! Tara had told me that Booker is afraid of the water and they have to force him in the pool. Well, all it took was one toss of the tennis ball and Booker was off! We couldn't believe it! Roxy came and went since she likes to see what the other dogs are up to. Booker was nonstop fetchmaster! He has a tiny little mouth and it took some work to grab the ball. At one point he was hitting it and hitting it but just couldn't grab it. What he did get was too many gulps of water. Danny and I watched him go down and then he didn't come up! His whole body was limp and his head was not coming up this time. Danny had to grab him and pull him out. Booker had a time out, he was a little dazed and confused, but ten minutes later he was back in the water looking for more tennis balls. What a trooper! Book really impressed us today! Then, typical Florida weather, the skies grew black, thunder rumbled, and lightning flashed. We had to call it a day.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My Inner Farmgirl....

Since it's summer vacation, I seem to have quite a bit of time on my hands. How to fill that time? Of course knitting and spinning... but then there's Plurk~ a microblog/social networking website. Through Plurk, Miss Violet started a group called The Plurkette Hencircle a chapter of the Farmgirl Sisterhood. People who know me personally may be reading this and thinking, "what the heck is she doing now?"

I have been in Tampa for a very long time, 26 years long. And while there are some small farms in the area, and even larger farms in other parts of the state, I have never been much of a farm girl. Not necessarily a city girl, either... more like a product of suburbia. I was a brownie as a child, but only for a year.My mom has always been uber-crafty and she's alway had a green thumb. Dad, well, he can cook like nobody's business and he's pretty handy with power tools. Me?? well...

I'm quasi-crafty like mom. I can't cook, but I can bake a helluva dessert. My thumb is some shade between green and brown. Since I've been living in various apartments for the past decade, there really hasn't been much room for me to grow anything other than your herbs and small flowers. BUT... we're getting a house which sits on over 1/3 acre, which is quite a chunk of land around here! My goal is to plant a vegetable & herb garden and make dishes from the plants I grow. I also have a sewing machine which only saw the light of day at Christmas time, and I'd like to put that to work. I'm always interested in making things for myself, but don't often put my interest into action. I'm hoping through the sisterhood, this will all change!