Friday, May 20, 2005

Tagged!

*Warning-- personal post, no knitting news.*

Woops, CJ tagged me a while back and with everything that's been going on I completely forgot!!

Please list 5 things that you may or may not have done before that you would like to learn or try again. This may just get you to try them or give you some renewed interest!

1. I would love to learn how to crochet.
2. I would love to learn how to cook (without burning, undercooking, or setting off the smoke detector.)
3. I would love to learn how to deal with hubby being gone all the time.
4. I would love to learn to become more independant and stand up for myself more often (successfully.)
5. I would love to learn how to become a GREAT mom instead of the "regular" mom that I am.

Not the most "funny" thing I've ever come up with... but those things are all things I really would LOVE to learn.

Well, in moving news... my mother in law had offered last week to come up and get me, since I no longer have a car to drive to Kentucky. I e-mailed her on Wednesday and asked her if the offer was still open. She polietly pushed me off. And tried to tell me that she was busy for the next several weeks. She then also mentioned that "we might need to find a plan B for your cat [the one she agreed a month ago to watch for the next 5 months.] we will be using our house for meeting with clients, and since I don't know how well he and Kato and KC will get along, we definitely do not want to run into problems at this point."
So needless to say I am less than thrilled with her. This "meeting with clients" thing she's refering to is a new business her and her partner opened. Hmmm.... I'm thinking when you open a business it's something you've been thinking of and planning. Certainly she would have known about this the last time she talked to Nick. Which was Sunday. How convienient for her to wait until her son is away to break it to the daughter in law that she's a complete fake that makes promises without intentions to keep them. And by the way... what's this "WE might need to find a plan B?" I seriously doubt that she's going to help in ANY way with finding a home for Yoda. UGH... can you tell I've just had enough???

Maybe my next post will be a little more upbeat. Forget it today!

Posted by Melanie at 11:25 AM 1 comments

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Warm The World

Well, I joined Warm The World and started this:
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The pattern can be found here. (Thanks Jen). It's funny. I try to get these pictures during the day... when I have a tiny bit of daylight in my poorly lit home, and then at night when I go to blog I think, "Man, I'm already a lot farther than that." This blanket is going quickly though. Easy project, and great for a charity knitting project. Considering I got an ENTIRE garbage bag FULL of yarn (picture to come) I think I'll need to make the majority of these projects simple or else I'll be knitting up this yarn until I'm 60. And trust me-- I'm young... 60 years old is a long way off. ;-)

Here's an update on my sister's boyfriend's scarf:
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And finally... here's Christine's Clappy-- marching right along.
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And in summary.... I'm still dealing with the insurance company from hell (sounds like GUY-CO). They claim to have a 97% satisfaction rate. My guess is that the 3% that are unhappy are the ones that have to put in some sort of claim.
Since they have yet to receive my police report in the mail (it's in transit) which says that the fire was NOT intentionally set they are still treating me like an arsonist. The first proposed settlement they sent me was $7,011.00. As I've mentioned the kelly blue book is worth $8,200. Upon arguing with her on Monday about the "monetary value" of my car I explained to her several things that I've already mentioned about how well I kept it, how it's virtually irreplaceable in my heart but not replaceable money wise for $7,000. I told her how I took excellent care of the car, etc. Her response was, "Well, there was obviously something wrong with it. It went up in flames." I wanted to stick my hand through the phone and pull out her heart. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME???? I responded, "the fire was a flukey thing. It is not in ANY WAY reflective of how I took care of it." She then counters, "well, I'm not settling with you right now." I ended the conversation, "Well, that's fine, but I'm just letting you know, I will not be taking your offer. Have a nice day." [click]

I've had enough. I'm not trying to run off with a brand new Ford Mustang... I just want what my car is worth, and I just want to be able to replace it. I can not replace it for that. I understand that they're a business, but they don't understand that we are a one car, one income, military family. This car needs to be reliable, get me from point a to point b and have NO mechanical problems. I have VERY few people to call if my car breaks down on the side of the road while Nick is not in port, and even fewer resources to collect on/in to help pay for any sort of damage while Nick is not in port. Give a girl a break.
Nick could make TWICE as much at a civilian job, yet he wanted to serve a few years in the military and do something for his country. This is the country that my husband is working for? A dishonest, unloyal, cheating country?? I'm so discouraged right now. Maybe the whole country isn't that bad but this to me, is theft. I paid good money for my policy, I paid extra money each month to have my low deductible to protect me in a case like this. Some protection I'm getting. They haven't even sent me a dime for the rental car I've had for 1 week and 3 days (that's $300.00 out of my pocket for those that are counting.) Let me tell you how much I DON'T have $300.00. Actually, no, I won't tell you. I'll leave it at that.

Don't insure with GUY-CO. That or if you do, make sure you never, get in an accident, have a window break, and for goodness sakes please don't let your car catch on fire. Basically... become God so that you can alter fate. Then you can stay with GUY-CO, the company that claims to support military families and their service.

And to top everything off... I said goodbye to Nick this morning. There's a chance I won't see him until Thanksgiving. Great day ALL AROUND. BAH HUMBUG!

Posted by Melanie at 9:16 PM 4 comments

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Fire Update

Well, we've got our rental car. A nissan sentra. I miss my car already (Which to answer someone's question is a 2000 Pontiac Grand Am.) It's still sitting in my driveway. And actually the shock of everything is getting worse. The adjuster came yesterday to check out the car. Said he doesn't suspect arson. DUH- If I were gonna set a car on fire it would have been the one I just sold. And if I were gonna set this one on fire I certainly woulda moved it away from the house and just let it burn. We wouldn't have extinguished the fire.

The guy said there's water damage, it would need a whole new dashboard, windows (all around), the ceiling burned so would need replaced, which would probably mean the sun roof would need replaced, and it needs a new driver's side door. He said he couldn't tell what the electrical damage was but imagined it would be extensive. And to top it off he said the smell would never leave that car. My neighbor's husband opened up the door yesterday to check it out since he wasn't home on Sunday and after 5 seconds of it being opened my neighbors across the street could smell the fire/smoke/soot. To anyone that's been through a fire... they know... the smell is dredful.
Anyway, he opened the hood and checked all the fluid levels, the transmission fluid, and the checked to see that the oil was clean. The guy remarked how great the exterior and engine looked and was shocked that the oil was so clean. (I had just changed it 2 weeks ago.) I have always taken great care of this car and I think that will help when the time comes to cut the check. So, let it be a lesson learned. Those guys really pay attention to that stuff. So try to keep your car as clean as possible... you never know what may happen. And with the way insurance companies try to get away with as little payment as possible, you don't want anything to give them that says, "I don't take care of my vehicle." I did learn that in CT, this is considered a fire loss and my deductible is waived. Nick was smart and had us at a $250 deductible so we weren't going to loose that much as it was, but it's nice to know we'll get that much more.

There are still now two depressing thoughts. Kelly Blue Book says that the car should be worth $8,200. Upon looking on-line cars that are exact to mine with milage that is similar are only going for between $7,000-$7,500. And I have a feeling they'll offer me less than that. But let's just say this will not be an easy settle for them. I want to replace that car with something comparable. I'm not downgrading since this is the family's only car and since I just got out of one loan I'm certainly not upgrading and getting another loan.

The second depressing thought is that we discovered yesterday that Zander's car seat is ruined. For some reason I was fine all day, and just moving on, but last night as I was trying to scrub the soot and spray the foam lining with febreeze I got very upset. Like I have the money to buy a new car seat. Right now I have to pay for the rental car until insurance re-imburses us. We are a one income military family that lives pretty much paycheck to paycheck. Luckily thanks to the world of FREECYCLE. I was able to post a wanted ad and had a car seat (delievered to my house by the wonderful woman) in less than 40 minutes. People can be so helpful in times of need.

Well, time to get on the phone. I called my claim person yesterday morning at 8:30 and NEVER heard back from her. I should have known that when she has a message that says, "Please don't leave duplicate messages" that she's flaky. If she doesn't call me back today I will call my un-named insurance company. (GUY-CO) and request another one. I can't stand that crap. Just do your job. This is what you're paid for.

Knit some for me. And thank you thank you thank you for all the kind e-mails comments and knitting-chicks posts. You guys are really terriffic.

Posted by Melanie at 8:04 AM 6 comments

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mother's Day to Me :-(

Well, I was outside with my dog this afternoon and heard a pop coming from the driveway. I turned my head and see smoke coming from the hood of my car. I called into the house where Nick was working on my Mother's Day Dinner. I said (calmly at this point) "Nick, something's wrong with the car." I turn back outside to look at the car and now smoke is POURING from the hood. Stick my head back inside, (Frantic this time) "Nick, hurry the car's on fire." He is out of the house in a few steps. He runs to the driver's side and throws open the driver's side door. I see flames pouring from the doorway. My feet are literally frozen to the ground. Thank God my husband thinks in an emergency. He is back to the front of the house, throwing on the hose and yelling at me to call 911. I can't move... it's like everything is taking minutes to process. I call 911, and tell them that my car is in my driveway on fire. They put me on hold. (YES... ON HOLD.) Then they pick back up and I'm yelling my address out to them and telling them my car is on fire. "One moment ma'm we need to tranfer you to Groton Emergency." (YES... I'M ON HOLD AGAIN TO BE TRANSFERED.) They pick up again, And I have to tell them that the car is on fire again. Finally the fire department gets there, but thank god hubby already had the fire out. He turns his head, glances over his shoulder and says, "Happy Mother's Day."
Here is my car in it's current state. This is the windshield... that's the "pop" I heard:
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Here's the view from the passenger side:
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and:
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And this is the real good stuff here...
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You can see that the fire started in the fuse box right there. Every window is black, the driver's side seat is ruined, the whole dash and driver's side door is ruined, the ceiling, and who knows what wiring.

Thank God we had full coverage, $250.00 deductible, and rental car service. But, we just got rid of our second car 2 weeks ago. What are the chances? But on the up-side... Nick was in port and at the house when in happend. He leaves again before all this will be taken care of, but it's nice to have him here to help with all the phone calls, rental stuff, etc.

And THANK GOD we weren't in the car, or driving when this happened. And THANK GOD I happened to be outside when it happened or who knows how long until we would have noticed it.

Unfortunately I didn't get to enjoy the nice spread Nick prepared for me for Mother's Day Dinner. Instead I sat at the kitchen table and cried and felt sorry for myself and nibbled a buiscuit. But don't worry, I'm over the self-pity now. Everything will work out. I'll figure it out. All I can say is:

THIS REALLY SUCKS!

Posted by Melanie at 8:20 PM 10 comments

Easy speak



Your Linguistic Profile:



75% General American English

10% Dixie

5% Midwestern

5% Upper Midwestern

5% Yankee



What Kind of American English Do You Speak?

Posted by Melanie at 11:40 AM 0 comments

Easy speak



Your Linguistic Profile:



75% General American English

10% Dixie

5% Midwestern

5% Upper Midwestern

5% Yankee



What Kind of American English Do You Speak?

Posted by Melanie at 11:40 AM 0 comments

Easy speak



Your Linguistic Profile:



75% General American English

10% Dixie

5% Midwestern

5% Upper Midwestern

5% Yankee



What Kind of American English Do You Speak?

Posted by Melanie at 11:40 AM 0 comments

Easy speak



Your Linguistic Profile:



75% General American English

10% Dixie

5% Midwestern

5% Upper Midwestern

5% Yankee



What Kind of American English Do You Speak?

Posted by Melanie at 11:40 AM 0 comments

Saturday, May 07, 2005

My Wits End

It's been a rough week in the world of being a mother so I'm greatly greatly looking forward to tomorrow. Usually when Nick gives me a day off it's hard because I generally can't relax around the house without Zander pestering. I've decided tomorrow morning I will shut the door in the bedroom read my new book and knit my little heart out.
My new book you ask?
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Yesterday I visited my first yarn shop in Connecticut. I drove 25 minutes to Yarns Down Under in Deep River. Which is about as exciting a place as it sounds. I was pleasently suprised and impressed. The only thing I wasn't happy about was their lack of price tags. I look forward to the day when I can go into a yarn shop and pick up the yarn I want without having to question the price. At this time in my life if I can get it $.50 cheaper a skein then It is worth it to me. I didn't feel like pestering the two workers to ask them the price of every single cotton yarn I came across. Luckily the yarn I fell in love with (about 500 yards of Flash, by Classic Elite) had a labeled price. Not sure what I'll make yet, but in the world of knitting I'm not sure everything NEEDS a purpose at first. Maybe I'll make a cute cotton tank top with it. We'll see. The Yarn Harlot's book is terriffic. For anyone sitting on the fence about it, definitly pick it up. It's only $10.00. Even I can afford that.

Here is Christine's clappy as of 5 minutes ago:
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Right before I laid out the shawl I had completed row six in the straight section. 2 more rows and I would have dropped another column and the picture would give the impression that I am a lot farther than this one does. So pretend there is a 5th row of dropped stitches there.
I have also determined that I don't like laying this particular project out to photograph... it looks so deformed. The dropped stitch area looks shapely and rounded and the other end (cast on area) looks like a pointy mishap. Hense me cutting it out of this picture.
I am on my 3rd skein of yarn. It took one skein for the increase, 1 skein for 3 rows of dropped stitches. I only have (after the current skein) 2 more left. So I guess total I have 2.5 left. I don't think it's going to be enough... I'll have to go back and buy more.

I'm knitting a hat for charity:
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Not exciting. 3 row of garter stitch, the rest stockinette in Brown Paton's classic merino wool. It's for the soldiers. Can't be fancy-- at all. And has to be in army colors. So although it's not exciting to look at (or work on). I feel good knowing that some soldier is going to have a super warm head because of me. ;-)
Off to enjoy my last 25 minutes of peace and quiet before the rugrat wakes up. It has dawned on me that he is rapidly approaching his second birthday and yet he has already entered the terrible two stage. He has received 6 smacked hands already today and it's only 12:00 for not listening when I say no.
HAPPY MOTHERS DAY ALL!

Posted by Melanie at 11:45 AM 1 comments

Thursday, May 05, 2005

What kind of key are you?

gold key
You're a little gold key, and you unlock other
people's hearts. Your kindness and willingness
to be there for those you care about lets
people open up to you knowing they will be
accepted. People will rely on you, but be
careful not to give more than you have.


What sort of key are you and what do you unlock?
brought to you by Quizilla

Posted by Melanie at 6:42 AM 1 comments

Monday, May 02, 2005

Knitting, moving, and speaking progress.

Alright, so, I'm back "home" from my trip back home. It was wonderful. I'll get to more of that later.

Knitting:
I've started a clapotis for Christine. This is the progress so far. I'm using TLC Cotton Plus. I've heard both good and bad about the yarn and so I was a little concerned on if I would like working with it or not, but I really really do! It's 50% acrylic and 50% cotton. I can't tell there's any acrylic in it. So for someone that wants a "nicer" yarn for a "cheaper" price, this stuff is great.

I'm getting ready to start dropping stitches... just 2 more rows.
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Here's a closeup of the yarn.
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Cotton Plus calls for a size 8 needle but I bumped it up to a size 9 after hearing of clappy's done on bigger needles having a nicer drape. And since Christine will be wearing this at the end of july I wanted it to be light and airy. Not heavy or bulky. What do you think? How about you Christine?

Okay, other knitting progress. I LOVE TO FELT!!!
My first felted bag is complete. It was inspired by the booga bag.
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This is a close-up:
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Here are the final bits of info on this finished object:

Pattern: Booga Bag (sorta)
Yarn: Paton's Classic Wool. 100% Merino. I rate this an A+. Already have more in my stash and will DEFINITLY DEFINITLY use it again. Except for felted objects I'd bump up the needle to 8 or 9.
Needles: Size 7 for bag size 9 for handles.
Things Learned: How to make an I-Cord & how to pick up stitches on the bottom of my work (on the cast on edge.)

I don't like the handles much. I think I will re-do them in just plain cream. But I left my yarn at my mom's house. Which leads me into my next topic.

Moving:
After 3 years of being on my own I have planned a temporary move back to my folk's house in Kentucky.
Why would I do such a crazy insane thing?

1-I don't like that my parents aren't around to see Zander grow up, and that he isn't around to see them.
2- I like being able to see my mom. We have a great relationship.
3- I want to finish school.
4- I want to get a job.
5- I will save money by living with my parents. (Fewer bills, and grochery shopping, diapers, etc. WOO HOO)
6- I will have a free babysitter for things like school and job.
As a side note. I am not completely spoiled... my parents invited me to move back in with them so that they would be around to help with things like baby sitting while I'm at school and work.
Now, the negative side. I just have no idea what I'm thinking. I'm going to drive myself mad living under the same roof as my parents. But the loneliness/bordeom of being by myself with no hubby, very few friends, and no family is starting to get to me.

So my mom is flying up May 19th and taking Zander back down to Kentucky with her on the 21st. I then will have several days to pack, clean, and enjoy some peace and quiet. And since Nick leaves again before all that it will be TRUE peace and quiet. And then sometime that following week I will pack our clothes, toys, and yarn into my car, grab my dog and cat and drive down to Kentucky. Anyone ever traveled with a cat before? 12 hour car ride traveling? Any tips/advice?

Okay, so ...
next topic: Speaking:
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Here is my little kiddo now. Hard to believe he's 19 months old. He had several amazing things happen while in Kentucky. The first is: His "sucky" (pacifier) is gone. THANK GOD! It actually went pretty well. He still has a little trouble going to sleep without it, but I was really hoping to have him broke of it this January, and then I pushed my goal to 18 months of age I wanted it gone. And about a week shy of his 19 month "birthday" we got rid of it.
It was one of those things where the anticipation of it was worse than the fight/result. It was fine. And now when I look at my son I think of what a big boy he is, and I'm so proud.
Also, he's saying mama now. WOO HOO. We had a hearing check today, turns out he's got some fluid in his middle ear. (that made me feel about "this big") so it will clear up with medication. And the audiologist seems to think that will help his speech. He should double his vocab every month once on the medication. So since he has 2 good solid words now (mama & dada) he should have 4 words by this time next month. And 8 the following month. etc etc.

Okay, gotta run. Hope I didn't bore you all too much.
Until next time,
Knit some.

Posted by Melanie at 2:14 PM 6 comments