Monday, May 26, 2008

Why I Haven't Returned Your Calls & Emails

Hooray! We are homeowners as of this past Friday!

I know I haven't yet returned your calls and emails. The reason can best be summed up by the email I just penned to a friend:

I hope Nebraska is being kind to you and that your training is going well. Please come back soon so we can be Real Friends.

We haven't yet heard from Andy but I'm sure he was enjoying his holiday and we'll hear from him tomorrow. I'm sorry you were away instead of relaxing by your pool. I appreciate you calling him.

So this is sorta funny: After I got off the phone with you, we did, in fact find the realtor sign. He
[the previous owner] had chucked it, and more debris, on the far side of the garage -- but he had nailed the gate shut so we couldn't go back there during the re-inspection or walk through. Ha ha on us! We spent the day sorting the debris and found all kinds of things -- including old pipes, a camping grill* (complete with a can of kerosene! How safe!) a huge pane of glass, enough storm debris to build a forest and the contents of the compost container they had at the back of the yard (gee, thanks!) At one point we dug up a huge Something and we both said "Is that a skull?!" Thankfully, it wasn't. Then one wall of the tool shed fell over, ending the debate as to whether or not we should take it down. By 6 pm we had successfully sorted what was the 5 1/2 foot wall of debris (excluding decomposed compost) into four piles: Rocks and Cinder Blocks, Branches and Leaves, Nail-studded Boards and Building Supplies, and Bizarre Garbage (*see above). Now we need to figure out how to get rid of it.

The floors are coming along, albeit, two days behind. The sanding took
[MrKnotty] a lot longer than he anticipated (tool issues) and we were up last night until 4 am staining the floors trying to stay on schedule. [MrKnotty] forgot to wear his respirator and when he started babbling about Snow White and laughing hysterically, I said "Oh, my God! The fumes!" at the same time he said " I think the floor is moving..."

We went back to the house to finish the floors this morning but, due to the rain, they are still too wet. Ha ha on us -- the Sequel! That's when we decided to work on the yard and discovered another of the
[previous owners'] parting gifts (see also:Broken Picture Frame in the Oven, Broken Toilet and, Stealing the Shelves from the New Bathroom Cabinet Because You Never Know When You Might Need Them).

Several neighbors came by to say hello -- and one who reported seeing
[the previous owners who claimed to have already be in Little Rock and therefore absent at closing] driving by the house several times on Saturday. The neighbor wanted to know what they were doing and thought it was odd. Hey, us too! Perhaps they miss their garbage.

Anyhoo, we have fans running all over the house in an attempt to dry the sucker out. Please keep your fingers crossed so that Toby, the electrician, the cable guy and the security guy don't stick to the floors or have to learn how to defy gravity.

Really, I know I sound grumpy but we are happy to have a home -- just wish the previous owners weren't so, well, I don't know the word for it. I have no idea what they were thinking.

Please pray for low humidity!!!!!

Take care!


So, that's it in a nutshell, folks. The stolen/broken list which began with All the Curtains and Curtain Rods in the House continues to grow. We had all the locks changed before it could get any worse.

It really is a pretty house. But we're in the middle of an exorcism of the previous owners right now. Wish us luck and I'll be in touch soon.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My bootie -- and berries

I went to Gene's Baby Bootie class at Loops last week. It was his first official Loops class (yay, Gene!) and he did a great job. These little stinkers are so easy. And so cute!

The buttons are functional and Gene has a lot of examples of really cute color combos with whimsical buttons. This is the same pattern that he used to make these.

You can get the free pattern here. Gene had some variations on it for row 25, but it's a really easy pattern to follow once you just sit down with the needles and do what it says. You know what I mean? How some patterns look complicated until you just start knitting and you get that ohhhhhhh, that's what they meant moment?

Now for the berries: MrKnotty came home with two pounds of strawberries for me last week. He's sweet that way. So for our Friday night dessert, I made KnottyLady Strawberry Tart. I had to wing it, because all of my cookbooks are in boxes, but I think it turned out great.

KnottyLady Strawberry Tart
1 pre-made pie crust
1 package of cream cheese
1 can sweetented condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pint strawberries
handful of mint leaves (optional)
drizzle of honey

Bake the pie crust, following the directions and then let it cool (I put mine in a tart pan -- that's why the sides are fluted). Combine the cream cheese, milk, lemon juice and vanilla. Beat until it's as smooth as you can get it. Pour it into the pie crust and let it set. Wash the mint leaves and dry them with a paper towel. Set them on top of the filling. Wash and slice the strawberries. Set them on top of the pie. Drizzle with honey. Try not to gorge yourself.

You could make two pies using the filling -- it's very rich. But if you like that kind of thing, go for it.