Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Feeling Like a Queen, I am!

For the past few days I've been busy working and that whole've been wanting to post. The thoughts and ideas were just running amuck through my head...yep, this morning the Smooch decided I needed to be up earlier than usual, which gives me TIME but what happens? The Big Blank.

I will tell you this though, I have been feeling like a Queen. Yes. A Queen.
It started last Thursday. It was a Gracie day and I had picked her up from school, we came back home and the post had been delivered and there was a little package addressed to me. Gracie and I brought it back to 'our' little room to open. We were both giggling.
Sweet Nikki, one of the Virginian Sweethearts, had sent me this.

I've seen these out and about in Knitbloglandia for a loooong time, I've even seen these in person and have yearned for one. Soooo cute. And see? an extra little sock for whatever mood I'm in. Gracie was especially delighted with these tiny socks...she gave a side-long glance at the Smooch and wondered out loud if maybe Smooch would like to try these socks on! Oh, I think not, Granddaughter...... This card is lovely but what tickled me was the note inside...evidently, according to Nikki and I quite agree, the photographer was a bit slow in taking the photo, as there had been a whole flock of sheep there just moments before. Nikki, Thank You So Very Much! This means SO much to me, your kind thoughtfulness and downright sweetness. Nikki also has two of the funniest cats ever. The blue/green sock is Tofutsie, the Autumn coloured sock is Koigu. Again, Thank you, Nikki, I love it!

I received 2 more surprises but I'll post about them separately, perhaps the Smooch knows I need to do this and will keep waking me up extra early... although I do hope she gives me a day or two in between the early calls.

I've been keeping watch in the backyard for that RedHead...the other evening I had been out on the back patio and ... huh? There it is again... I start searching the upper branches and there it was. An owl. A Very Large Owl. Hooting away. I am really loving this backyard! I sat there and watched Owl for quite some time, the Smooch was in the house as well she should've been, this owl was BIG. I did call Bobby to check it out, he stood there and hooted back, and I guess he got a bit bored and went back in. I stayed. Owl finally took off, dudes, the wingspan! The cicadas are VERY loud here in the evenings otherwise I believe I would've heard that take-off.
It gets better.

Yesterday was a Gracie day, we got back from school, had some lunch... we had gone out back to pick up sticks (always picking up sticks) and I heard these sounds... from up in the trees, a sound I've never heard before and I'm wondering What On Earth and then I hear a 'ratatatatat', hmmmmm.... then more of the first sounds and I'm finding there's actually more than one source.. I'm searching through the trees and to my utter amazement... The RedHead! and not just one, not just two, but three! At one point they were all lined up on the electric pole (wiping their beaks, then back into the trees)... of course I didn't have the camera with me but I don't know that it would've made any difference,they didn't stay put long enough in any one spot to get a good shot... but I was astounded. I'm thinking they were youngsters as they weren't terribly large. I am REALLY loving this back yard!

Anyone up for the latest and greatest on the house issue?
First... my Mom's house.

My Mom has a next door neighbor, he and his wife built a 'McMansion' on the corner, it is the ONLY house of its kind in the area. To say it looks a bit silly is an understatement. A couple of years ago, while I was mowing the backyard, he came to the fence and started chatting...about that jungleback40 lot. He was interested in buying it. I told him at the time that there may come a time when she would move to a 'friendlier' house and I would keep him in mind. So... when we found our new house and approached Mom about our old house and her moving into it she responded in a positive fashion.

Deidre and I set up an appointment to meet this guy and his wife about the lot. When Bobby and I were looking to buy this new house we had to have an appraisal. We figured we'd have the appraiser do this new house, our old house and Mom's. Her place... it's not a huge house, a split level, living-room, dining room and kitchen downstairs with 3 bedrooms and bathroom upstairs which is above a very large garage...there's a half bath out there and the utility room. This is a Very Large Garage. The whole lot, including the jungleback40 is over an acre of land, right smack nearly in the middle of Tulsa. The house is solid, half brick, custom built and seriously, it was built to last. It needs cosmetic stuff done to it, otherwise there have been no problems with anything. It was appraised, as is, at 105K which was on the lean side.The neighbor, who will be referred to as Ass, just is, simply Ass. At our second meeting he makes an offer of 90K, and in the same breath is hoping to not insult us but...blah blah blah blah. None of his 'blah blah' meaning shit to a tree. Now see, they want the whole package, house and back lot. She wants the house. And you want to know why? She wants to turn it into a 'transition house' for single women, women with 'issues', because there are all kinds of programs for women with children, but none for single women...and it would be Christian based, (and this is all fine and good) and she lets it slip that she figures she can get $300.00/bedroom/month in rents...yeah. Plus a friend of hers has been living with them for the past 2 years and they want to add a bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor for her to live in and kind of 'oversee' the 'transition' ladies.

Are you getting all this?

Deidre, Mom, and I meet and go over their contract (which btw was an outdated form) Deidre decides to get an updated contract and fill it in and we thought, ok, to be fair (?) we'll come down and meet them nearly half way, because if Mom did go through a Realtor she'd be paying their fee... so we put it at 98K AS IS. No repairs, AS IS. They come back with a counter offer of 95K and some business about repairs that Mom would be responsible for. We then gave them our first contract back to them. They then sent yet another counter off agreeing to the 98K but with 1K of repairs which Mom would be responsible for... We went over that and marked those places out, initialed and Deidre was to take it to them. Deidre got a little (understatement) busy and it was the Wednesday after Labour Day when she finally got it to their office. Ass and wife were 'busy', Deidre was in a hurry, she slapped the papers down and asked the receptionist to be sure and give them to Ass and wife (no, not her words)...but what she didn't realize at the time was she accidentally stuck their earnest money check in there wasn't 5 minutes later and Ass's wife was calling her and apologizing, 'silly us, we KNOW it's 98K AS IS' we want it... I laughed myself silly when I heard this bit of story. So... there it is. Their closing date is set for Oct 12, let's all hope it goes alright. Let's hope that Bobby and I can complete everything in the old house and have Mom packed and moved in a month. I think I need to take to wearing bandanas tied around my head, keep it from exploding.

I spent last Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday working at the old house. The floor dude... well, the floors are beautiful but I wasn't appreciative at all about the polyurethane slopped on the freshly sanded and painted base trim...not at all. Nor the splats on the freshly painted walls... not at all. Nor where he knocked into trim and corners...not at all. Nor the 'caulk' job he did above the quarter round trim that he installed... what WAS that stuff? A clear rubbery stuff, NOT cleaned off very well... so yes, I spent several days on the floor going over all of it, sanding, cleaning, re-caulking with Painters caulk, then painting. These bones are aching.

Mom was also wanting a walk-in shower. Now this is a small house, I think I've mentioned that a 'few' times, and has only one bathroom. Most homes, if only one bathroom, will have a tub. We pondered this for a bit and decided 'what the hell', hauled the tub out and Bobby has been building and installing a walk-in shower. It's actually quite nice.

I'm making headway though, just a few final touches in the master-bedroom, and second bedroom, some sanding and painting in the closet area outside the second bedroom, hallway is finished... living room nearly finished, I have the front side windows to pull out and paint and the mantle... then it will be on to the kitchen, bathroom and back room. Can it be done? We'll see. I'm thinking we'll have some sunshine today so I'm taking the camera with me to try and take photos.

I have 'knat' just a tiny bit... here are three squares for the Miner's Blanket Project going on over at Ms.K's blog (check the August 16 and 17 posts), would you like to join in? Please, you are more than welcome. Those two squares are actually Sage Green....

I had a few minutes and cruised through some blogs, oh the knitting going on! Well, I was at Pat's blog and seriously, ALL her knits are beautiful...I left a comment to the effect of just knitting vicariously through her....since I obviously don't have the time.... and she emailed back stating she'd try and keep it fun for me, which I know she will, and Pat? Thank you!

The other day when Havala was here I was showing her some of the blogs I visit and she was oohing and aahing over the various knits and I was showing her Eric's blog (she went nuts over the orchids...) and she noticed Eric has Myspace so we clicked on that (Havala being very up on Myspace) and noticed he's a Crow. Well, you know, I just loves me a bit of a quiz so I clicked on it, Havala knows me so very well, as she should... and we both sat here and laughed and hooted about the results. Now there was one question in the quiz that I was really torn between 2 of the answers...seriously torn. Today you see the first results. Next time you'll see the results to changing that one answer.

Happy Knitting to all and continue making good times.

What Is Your Animal Personality?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Happy Birthday, Conor! and a Red-headed What?...

(family photo heavy post)

Happy Birthday, Conor....(yesterday)

What is it with 10 year old boys? He's trying so hard to not smile...but you can see it, if you look closely enough, or maybe not. I've been completely fascinated with this child since...well, truth be told, before he was born but yes, from day one. I have observed and studied this face in all its many facets of emotion...and I see the bit of smile behind this expression and love him.

Seriously, see the size of that foot? (you can click on the photos for close ups...but don't let that foot scare you....)

He partied hard ALL weekend! He had a few of his dude friends over Friday night for an all nighter then his BIG party on Saturday...then his Grandma Karen and Grandpa Ron had another birthday party at their house on Sunday, this party including the birthdays of two of her granddaughters.

Yesterday late afternoon we had the cookout, cake and ice cream here.
Castle cake...

chocolate with a snowing of confectioner''s sugar....a bit of natural vanilla bean ice cream to round it (and us) was yummy. the kitchen...

Aardron..."you're too close"...hah...

see his teeth? he's actually baring his teeth at me!

Ms. Gracie.....dramatic shot....

See this tree?

see that hole in the tree?

Havala and I were cleaning up (after everyone else had taken off) and she asks me...(seriously, she's a very bright and intelligent young woman but...not so much into the natural sciences...) (she's getting better, learning more all the time...heh)"What's the name of that bird with the red head, I think it's a woodpecker" red headed woodpecker, perhaps?

"oh! yeah..." seriously.

She and Deidre had been sitting on the back patio and this red headed woodpecker flew to that hollowed spot on the tree and just hung out for a few...and I missed it!

We came in and got on the pc and googled, sure enough, she saw one of these guys.

Amazing. I missed it. I have seen just one of these in real life in my whole life. I was older than 30 lucky were they?

Tomorrow I start back at the old house with the rest of the work, don't know when you'll be hearing from me next...hopefully in a couple of weeks...if not finished by then I'll try and give a bit of an update.

Happy Knitting to all and continue making the good times.