Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Turkey Day!

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving in the States...eat some turkey for me, please!

Business as usual here, but it started raining day before yesterday and hasn't really let up, and no end in sight...sigh! We're surrounded in a quagmire of mud...again. Time to get serious about packing things up here...we'll move out on 1 Dec. Not sure how we will go about schlepping all our stuff out to the new shed through all this greasy mud, but I'm sure it will happen somehow.

Night before last, Alfonse, our little black cat, managed to climb onto the roof framing for the extension, in the middle of a huge thunderstorm. Lightning, deafening thunder, and constant rain. We couldn't find him at dinnertime and thought he'd come in at some point. That didn't happen, so at 10PM I decided I'd better make one more circuit and look for him. Wellies and raincoat on, flashlight in hand, circle the house in the rain and very slippery mud.

Spotted him on the roof and started calling him to come down. He meowed piteously and continuously, but wouldn't jump down onto the scaffolding. Did I clamber up onto the scaffolding, in fear and trembling, trying to reach him? Of course. Was I successful in getting him down? Of course not. He retreated to the "safety" of the roof of the house. Sigh.

Wandered around in the shell of the extension and found a large ladder, in the dark, and dragged that over to where he was cowering. Crept up the ladder, flashlight in hand, all the time thinking "if I fall on this slippery ladder, it will be REALLY BAD!", and started calling him again. He slowly crept closer and I managed to grab him by the scruff of the neck and haul him to me, all claws out and desperately scrabbling at me.

Brought him inside, where he indignantly headed for the food dish and then settled in for a nice warm nap on the couch. Grateful for the rescue? Nah...he's a CAT!

All's well that ends well. Now, if the builders will JUST finish up the garage, with its two kitty condos, life will get a lot easier!

Monday, November 19, 2007

New Sock Basket Needed

As you can see, I've managed to fill up this basket with socks for me. There are three (and a half!) pairs I've made for DH, as well, but they aren't in this basket. I've also got three more pairs for myself on the needles...I should try stopping knitting sometime soon! Here's how the slab looked when the crew finished pouring it and removed all the forming up lumber. That's the last time we'll be able to see this wide-angle view...it's now framing up and there are walls and stuff in the way. There is, however, a nice big picture window right in the middle of the wall, and French doors on either side.
Here's how it's looking today. Roof trusses are going on now. Noisy, but very nice to see. There are thunderstorms predicted for later in the week, so I know they're gunning to get at least the plywood on up there ASAP.
I actually started clearing out the kitchen yesterday. Can't tell you how TIRED I am of packing and unpacking! Plus, I managed to tweak my left lower back picking up boxes that are too heavy for me. Will I ever learn?...don't answer that!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

It's All GO in Exeter!

Can you believe the size of this rig? It needed to be able to go completely over the house! Isn't this an amazing shot? Ross thought it looked like the cement was falling from the sky, it was so foggy this morning.
The shiny part below that looks like a swimming pool will be our new living and dining room. The curved part where the guys are just starting to smooth it out will be the new verandah that extends beyond the living room. There will also be an outdoor "room" on the right hand side...cool, eh?
A mucky job, but nice and cool this morning. As it warmed up and the sun came out, the flies also came...horrendous! Any Aussies reading this will understand what I'm talking about! The blowflies here are unbelievable.So all this activity happened between 7AM and 10AM. Now it's just finishing up the smooth surfaces. I'll post tomorrow how it looks when all the formwork is down, but isn't this GREAT?!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Progress!

We've had sun for the third day in a row, and the place is a beehive of activity today. The deck that will be at the end of the addition, overlooking the dam, is being framed up. It's huge and curved, so a BIG job. In the middle you can see the new garage with its plaster on. Note the little section at the far left of the garage...that's two rooms where the kitties will live at night, or when we are away, with their own little screened in exercise yard, so they can either snuggle up in their two cozy, insulated rooms, or go outside and enjoy the fresh air, trees and birds, but still be secure. The huge truck on the left has the roof trusses for the new addition. I think we'll be seeing a LOT of work in the next couple of weeks! Hooray. The inside of the garage is looking very neat. And how about those cool stilts the taper/mudder is wearing? You can just see the kitties' two rooms behind him at the end of the garage.
And lest you think I haven't been doing anything lately, here's the evidence. This is the current sweater in progress - a Tomten jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman, on 4.5mm circular needle, knitted with Bendigo Woollen Mills Rustic in Green Tweed, with Alpaca insets in Sphere. I'm coming down to the home stretch on sleeve 2. It's a very cool design, and should be warm and cozy next winter:
This sweater was finished in time for me to wear it recently, and I really love it. It's Knitting Pure and Simple's V Neck Top Down Raglan Cardigan, knitted on 4.5 mm needles, with Bendigo's Rustic yarn in Graphite. It's such a simple classic design, I'm sure I'll get a ton of wear out of it.
And I apologize for this bad pic, but it's Phoebe, from KnitPicks, in their Wool of the Andes yarn in Sapphire Heather, knit on 4.5mm needles. Gorgeous color, but very hard to photograph. There are really cool cables running down the arms, but hard to see.
In other news, enabler Jane Ann has aided and abetted me in my interest in English paper-piecing, and I'm mulling over a hexagon quilt, maybe Grandmother's Flower Garden. Picked up the hexagon papers yesterday at the LQS...we'll see how I go!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Hoo, Boy, Am I Glad THAT'S Over!

Well, long time, no post. I have to say, I've never been in such a deep hole for so long. So glad to be back among the living after that horrible hiatus, and may it NEVER return!

So, what's been going on, you might ask (that's for the 2.3 of you who may have wondered whether I might surface again one day!)? And thanks, QuiltingFitzy and Clare, for rattling my cage and motivating me to get going.

We started on our renovation project in September, with the demolition of the garage and outbuildings. It's been a slow process from there, mainly because of the weather: lots of rain, mud, wind, muck. This picture is, I think, worth a thousand words. The garage has looked like this for the last two or three weeks, but today (Saturday, of all days!) there are workmen here putting on the outer "skin" of the garage. The weather is holding so far, today, and I'm hopeful that we'll have more clear weather next week. The cats will have two rooms at the far left of the picture, with kitty doors to an outside wire enclosure. I will be SO happy when they can move out to these new digs. Right now, all seven are living in the house...yikes!

And speaking of the house, here's how things are looking in there...warning, it's NOT a pretty sight:

All the stuff that was in the garage and the cats' house has moved inside, mainly into the living and dining room. I also had to empty a few kitchen cabinets onto the dining table so they could remove one section of cabinets when they removed the double doors to our outside screened-in porch, so the dining room now looks like this:
And instead of looking out at the lovely view through the French doors, that's been replaced by this:
And doesn't EVERYBODY have a chainsaw and whippersnipper on their dining room floor?
BTW, I wish all those boxes you see stacked up there were full of our stuff, but unfortunately they are still just full of the old packing paper from when we moved in. I need to get started packing things up very soon.

Here's the plan: in another two or three weeks the garage/cat rooms will be finished and the cats can move out there. We will then pack up the stuff from the house and movers will carry it all out to the new garage. At that point, we will move to our neighbors' cottage a few doors away for the duration.

So, that's what's up with us. I haven't been doing any quilting at all, but I did loan a few quilts to the local society's quilt show a couple of weeks ago...it was in Burradoo, a nearby suburb, and was just a wonderful show.

I've also been knitting like crazy (poor choice of words, that!): four and three quarters sweaters and nearly 20 pairs of socks since I last posted. Knitting is small, portable, and manageable, when everything around me is in chaos, for the moment. Still, it's going to be wonderful when it's finished.

I've been reading all your blogs regularly, and want to say a big thank you to you all. Your sharing of your lives has really helped keep me sane over the past three months, and I LOVE you all!

BTW, for those knitters among you, and I know there are a few, if you aren't on Ravelry yet you should be. It's a great site, still in beta so you can't log on until you're invited to join, but you can add your name to a queue and they'll let you know when you can get on. I wish there were such a wonderful site as that for quilters.

Not to worry...I'm back! And there will be more pics of the project and my handiwork, but Blogger won't let me put up more than five pics at a time.