Sunday, July 29, 2012


Awww... aren't they adorable? (The "sprinkles" are candy-coated chocolate that I had bought previously to decorate a gingerbread house. They still tasted fine, so I figured I'd use them up.)

Odd... I thought mom's tupperware cake container was rather larger... oh well, the last seven *just* fit in a single layer in a Rubbermaid (shoe style) storage container, although it's rather taller than it needs to be. I guess it's okay that five cupcakes weren't "presentable". (I ate two this morning, and took the other three over to share for family dinner... and since mom can't have wheat, three was the right number for dessert.) I'm impressed that mom hasn't lost the handle for the cake container, given that it's from the 1970s.

All ready for work tomorrow:
I hope my coworkers like chocolate cupcakes with orange frosting!

"Smooth Move, Exlax"

That's what we'd say to each other in grade school when we screwed up. Yesterday I was batting 1000, it seemed.

1. Even after the neighbour recommended it before I started, I forgot to run the shelf boards through the joiner before cutting the biscuit slots. (Recutting the biscuit slots afterward, several slots ended up wider due to not being lined up the same.)

1b. (I forgot to include this the first time.) Also, for some reason, the joiner wasn't cutting right up against the guide. Instead of figuring out why, I decided to just hold the board upright away from the guide. Apparently I didn't hold it quite correctly, because there's a bit of a gap on one side of the shelf. (Oh well... it's my first biscuit-joining effort, and it'll be hidden in a closet. It's functional.)

2. I put on the glue, got the boards together, *then* went to look for the clamps... and found that only one was wide enough. (At a bare *minimum*, I needed at least two.) Luckily a neighbour came to the rescue. (I just got an e-mail from my uncle... there should have been 2-4 pipe clamps, but I guess I wasn't looking in the right places. That's what happens when you've already spread the glue on a hot day, and are paranoid it'll dry before you get things clamped.)

3. I'm sure I saw painter's pyramids at Home Depot the other weekend when I was there, but I didn't buy any because I assumed my uncle's workshop would have them. When I went to buy them last night, I couldn't find them, and the store employee didn't know about them. *sigh* (To make it worse, my mom was *at* Lee Valley on Friday, and asked me beforehand if there was anything I wanted! Lee Valley is closed on Sundays.)

4. I baked cupcakes last night. As I was assembling the ingredients (*after* going grocery shopping), it occurred to me to check the expiry date on the baking powder: two years out of date. I decided to continue anyway (the stores were closed, and I had already started)... thankfully they turned out fine anyway.

5. After the batter was ready, I went to get the cupcake tins out... and realized I hadn't checked for the cupcake liners before grocery shopping. Thankfully I *found* them... sadly I was five short. (Out of two dozen needed.) I took a gamble and put the batter directly in the non-stick tin for those five. So far, my two attempts at getting them out have resulted in the top coming off separately, and the bottom coming out in crumbs. (Yum... being forced to eat "damaged" cupcakes!) Thankfully 19 is still plenty to bring in to work on Monday. (There will be enough for everyone to have at least one.)

6. After putting the batter directly in the tin, it occurred to me I could have cut circles out of wax paper to put in the bottom.

7. When I woke up this morning, I realized I could have *made* liners by squishing circles of parchment paper into the tin.

I will console myself on my stupidity by eating three more crumbled cupcakes. (At least there's an upside to my stupidity, this time.)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A Tale Of Two Calendars

Just over two weeks ago, I got a phone call. It was a courier, explaining he couldn't get in my building to deliver a package. A package? I didn't order anything... who sent me something to my old address?

I let him know my new address, and how much longer I'd be home.

Package received, I opened it up. It was a Crochet-A-Day calendar. Odd... I didn't remember submitting any crochet patterns. From the invoice, it didn't look like something a friend had sent me. I went through the whole calendar, but couldn't find a pattern by me. Then I had a vague recollection of submitting a knitting pattern. Sure enough, when I looked up the accepted patterns on the knitting calendar, I found mine.

I e-mailed the publisher to tell them they sent the wrong calendar, and that I had moved. They said to keep the crochet calendar as a gift, and that they'd get a knitting one out to me.

A surprisingly brief period of time later, I came home to a message on my answering machine: DHL wasn't able to deliver a package, and could I call to make alternate arrangements. Hmmm... I hadn't seen any "missed delivery" slips...

I call. They had my old address. I give them my new address, and put a note on the door that they are authorized to leave the package.

Next day: nothing.

Day after: nothing. I call again, checking the address. "It can take 24 hours." "It's been 48!" "Uh... 24 to 48. It should come tomorrow!"

Day after that: phone call, they can't get in my building. "I already called to say I had moved, and gave the new address!!!" "Sorry, that wasn't written on the package." (Uh, maybe you should check the computer? They probably couldn't write it on the package because you hadn't brought it back in!) *sigh*

Get home tonight: package! Come inside: phone message: "could you leave a signed note so we can deliver your package" ?!?!?!!!

Since I have my package, I decided not to return the call.

My pattern is May 27 - 30. Enjoy! :)

Sock Monkey

I knit one of these several years ago for a friend. I meant to knit a second one for myself, but didn't get around to it until now.

I was knitting on him this morning on the bus, when two ladies got on and admired him. Then the inevitable: "You could totally sell those!"
Me: "I'd have to charge a lot to make it worth my while."
Them: "No, you can actually charge quite a high price!"
Finally, I do a bit of mental math, based on how long I think I've already spent, how much is left, and at what hourly wage it *might* be worth my while to knit them for profit.
Me: "I'd probably have to charge something like $80 for it to be worth my time."
Them: "Oh. Um. ...but I guess you're using really nice yarn..."
I didn't tell them that I hadn't bothered to factor in the yarn, since it doesn't use much. Or the fact that the pattern might not allow sales for profit. They did stop with the "you could sell those" conversation, though.

(Next time someone suggests I sell the socks I make, I'll let them know they'd be $350. To those I give socks to: "You're welcome. *You* are worth my time.")

Thursday, July 26, 2012


The fridge is gone! Yay! Both it's contents and it left on Tuesday. :) (Dad took the contents to the dump, and he sold the fridge.) When he e-mailed me earlier in the day about someone coming to buy the fridge, I suggested he might want to clean it, so the buyer didn't run away screaming.

While dad was cleaning the fridge, I had an mischievous thought. I sent the following e-mail to my dad's wife:
Dear ###,

I thought you might be interested in this: evidence that my father is capable of cleaning! In the last photo you can clearly make out that there is less dust on the top of the fridge. In the first two photos you can clearly see his face.






My dad responded back:
Smarty pants!!

Monday, July 23, 2012


Dad had a fridge in the basement. Said fridge had food in the freezer portion. I have no idea how old that food was, but I'm sure it was ancient even before he moved out a year ago. (Ancient as in "carbon dating might be useful".)

Dad tried to clean the fridge out a while ago, and then e-mailed that it had turned out to be "a bigger job than he was expecting." After that comment, I took a peek inside, and saw this:

Last Friday, movers came to move some of dad's larger items. No, not everything of his has left, but they took the couch, two filing cabinets, a safe... and moved the fridge from the basement to the back yard.

Sunday dad asked me to check to see how the thawing was going. The insulation must be pretty good, because it's been hot here, and, besides a few things poking out the front, it was still pretty much a big block of ice.

I suggested I could prop the doors open, and then it would melt faster. He said he couldn't be here until this afternoon or evening, and not to prop things open until this morning. I have trouble making the bus as it is, but I said I would do what I could.

This morning I propped the fridge door open, plus the freezer door (old school: it only opens when the fridge is open). It was a hot day again today.

When I got home there were flies, etc, buzzing around the freezer contents, which were still in the freezer. I sent dad a reminder e-mail. (Trash day is tomorrow. I don't want it rotting all week in the trash cans until the next pick-up!)

Late tonight he sent his excuses. He said he'll take the stuff out to the dump. I sure hope so! And I hope he comes soon... otherwise I'll have to avoid the back yard because of the smell! (Although it looked like there might still be some ice at the back, the meat at the front has thawed and is... "fragrant".)


(I sure hope those raccoons don't come back and drag everything around the yard!)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Random Photos & House Update

These trash cans have the words "Take Pride Winnipeg" on the sides, to encourage us not to litter. Dear city of Winnipeg: It would be easier to "take pride" and not litter if you emptied these a bit more often, so that they weren't filled to overflowing! Sheesh.

My dad had some movers helping him with larger items on Friday. I wasn't home, so he borrowed my car keys and moved my car forward a bit, to make room for the movers. Saturday I went to go grocery shopping. Looks like the spot my dad moved my car to is under a favourite perch of a rather large bird. My car was *well* decorated with bird droppings. (Oh well... it was needing washing anyway, and $2 at the coin operated car wash got most of it off.)

There appears to be little muddy paw prints on my back gate. My guess is raccoon.

Yesterday the only thing I accomplished around the house was washing the tub and bathroom sink with Tilex Soap Scum Remover. (I had noticed the shower squeegee was picking up some scum when I used it.) The rest of the day was taken up by going to my first Fringe show ever (I saw "More Power To Your Knitting, Nell"), and grocery shopping.

Today I had a lazy morning, and then spent several hours outside in the hot sun (whoops, I meant to get out in the morning... but I really needed the morning for "mental recuperation") weeding. Signs it's time to finally get outside (despite everything else needing doing, and despite the heat) and weed:
1. Your neighbour offers to point out the weeds in your yard, thinking you've mistaken them for flowers.
2. While weeding, when you notice it's getting time to go inside and clean up for dinner, you think "I'll just pull a few more of these ones that I don't need to bend over to pull".
I weeded the side garden, front gardens, the shady "secret hideout", some of my neighbour's garden that is adjacent to my yard (the seeds were ready to blow off, and they're a type easy to pull... I was right there, I might as well), plus the little patch I have stuff planted in out back. Of course, the rest of the back yard and parking area still needs to be done... but I am only one person, and can only do so much. I *did* get stuff done this weekend, and that's what counts. Also, I filled *two* trash cans with weeds! (Since they were going to seed, I didn't want to compost them.) I need one left for house trash, right? ;)

I managed to get a wasp sting right at the start of the job! (My apologies to any neighbourhood children who heard me when I got stung... wasp stings hurt like the dickens!) Stupid thing fell into my glove when I was pulling a weed with flowers, and then stung when the glove squished it against my hand. I really can't blame it... if I were a wasp, I'd have done the same thing. I went in and ran it under cold water. It didn't swell any more than a mosquito bite, and didn't hurt for as long as the previous time I was stung. (Well, the initial pain didn't last too long... I've now got a secondary pain like bruising at the site, or arthritis in my wrist. The sting was right on the wrist.) This is my second wasp sting now, so I guess that means I'm not allergic to them. Of course, this one wasn't the same variety, it was by a little guy... does that have an effect on your reaction to the stings?

Well, I'm bushed. I guess I'll pack it in early tonight, with the hope that I don't hit the snooze button as much in the morning. ;) (Flex time... I've mostly been coming in at 9:15, but if I get moving a few minutes earlier I'd catch the bus that gets me there at 9 with less walking, and ideally I'd like to arrive at 8:30, so that I can leave a bit earlier.)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Anatomy of a Bathtub Tap

*Yawn*! I *need* to get to bed! However, I got the tap disassembled (farther than before, although perhaps still not far enough), photographed, and reassembled. I tightened everything *snug*, and I think the drip might even be less, although I didn't watch it very long. I've plugged the tub again, so I'll check in the morning again. (Although this time it won't be 12 hours... more like 7.) Hopefully it'll either hold now, or the store people will be able to recognize what we need from the photos.

If you are curious, here's the anatomy of my bathtub tap, behind, front, and dissected:
(Sadly that tag didn't contain any maker information, just a warning about excessive heat voiding the warranty.)
(This is the part that looks crumbly... looking at it again, I think if it goes, I just won't be able to turn the faucet on and off, but the water won't come blasting out.)

(I had trouble getting all the bits back in... I was worried I'd have to use the scary shower tomorrow morning! Thankfully it *did* go back in after a few tries.)

Office View

I noticed some interesting clouds the other day, so I got up from my desk and took some photos of the view from my office.
(Not great photos, but cool that I have an office with a view!)

When the current co-ops leave, I'll have the option to switch to one of the two offices they're in... apparently the office I'm in can get rather hot in the summer sun, although I haven't had a problem so far.

I noticed a screw in the brick wall behind and above my monitor, and thought that a painting of mine would look nice there. Do you think I can *find* that painting?!? (There's another one the same size that I also can't find... what on earth did I do with them? I really need to work on unpacking...)

Unpacking Update

Does it count as "putting things away" if boxes labelled "china cabinet" get put in the china cabinet?
(I don't want to unpack the boxes yet, because the china cabinet won't be staying there.)

Disaster Brewing?

The tub has a drip. The drip is getting worse. To measure the drip, I plugged the tub overnight twice, and during the day today, then took a photo after eleven to twelve hours.

July 16:

July 18:

July 19:
Uh oh...

The plumbing supply place my dad recommended is open 7 am - 4:30 pm, and is in a part of town fairly far from where I live or work, and it has nutty rush hour traffic. It's my first week at work. I prevailed upon my dad, and he's going to try to get the parts for me tomorrow. (Yay!) I'm going to disassemble stuff tonight to take (hopefully) sufficient photos so that they can identify them that way, allowing my dad to get the parts on his way into town.

Keep your fingers crossed for me, will you? ;)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Today's House Update

Today I turned off the water to the house, then disassembled the taps so I could stop the drips.
It wasn't as straight-forward as the web page I found made it sound. The o-rings looked fine. (It claimed I should replace those to stop water from coming from the faucet.) The cartridges were showing their age, though. Of course, I didn't manage to get all the pieces out, so I took what I *could* get out to Home Depot, where I proceeded to once again stump their staff. (One guy seemed more knowledgeable, but even with lots of searching, he couldn't find the right part, and so reluctantly suggested I try a competing home store. However, since I was also buying lumber that would prevent me from closing the back hatch, I decided to leave that for another day.)

Upon reassembling the taps and turning the water back on, I discovered that I made the hot water tap's "on" and "off" directions reversed. Back down to the basement, up to take apart and re-reassemble the tap, back down to turn the water back on, back up to check the tap... yup, back to normal.

You know it's a good thing I drive a station wagon...
IMG_6156 copy
(That's lumber for the closet shelf sticking out the back there. The closet is 10 feet long, so I had a choice of 8 foot lumber the right width or 12 foot lumber that I get to cut down to size and biscuit-join. (Luckily dad has a biscuit joiner.)

Since dad will be by tomorrow picking some stuff up, I took this opportunity to go through the rest of the bathroom cabinets, to sort out stuff he and my brother left behind. Here's what I figure I can use:
(I'm not so sure about the shower head, but it's identical to the one currently in use, so I figure I might need to borrow parts from it.) A few containers were empty and got tossed. Two old toys went in the thrift boxes. One largish box got filled with the rest, and now is Dad's problem:
I'm really hoping dad takes his boxes. (This is the second one I've filled for him.)

Shower Gift

My stepbrother and his fiancée received a whole bunch of candy-apple red Kitchenaid appliances (mixers, blenders, etc), so I made a pair of hand towels and felted potholders to match:
I like them. :) (The fiancée seemed to like them too.)

The buttons are from my stash (I actually found my main button stash in the mountain of boxes!)... I had a choice of matching buttons that didn't work as well, or buttons that went well with the grey yarn. Since they won't both be out at the same time, I went for the latter. (Apparently I was silly for pointing that out at the shower. Whoops.)

House Update

Both closet doors are up! I was able to get the second one up one evening last week by adjusting the nut at the bottom. I have no idea how I was able to get it down but not back up.

Yesterday I was at a wedding shower for my step-sister-in-law-to-be, and then a friend came over for a visit-while-I-work. In the morning I made a list of things I could do while we visited. When I reached the bottom of the pad of paper, I decided I could stop adding things to the list, even if there were more things I could be doing. ;) The list I came up with:
• water plants
• make burritos (I assemble my own frozen burritos)
• weed
• wash walls
• tidy kitchen (I didn't have time on Friday to clean up after making a dish for a potluck Friday evening.)
• sort bathroom (dad still has stuff there)
• sort toyroom (brother's stuff)
• vacuum
• drawer corners (I bought replacements for the missing ones in the kitchen)
• caulk tub
• bedroom floor (I still need to use fantastic around three of the edges)
• office, sort (brother's stuff), take out carpet pieces
• alter pants
• tie up black raspberries
• put CFL bulbs in chandelier
Of course, what I *actually* did didn't quite match items on the list, but I at least got stuff done:
• water plants (yay, they won't die this week!)
• tidy kitchen (does it count if I then got it dirty again cooking dinner for the two of us?)
• swept and mopped kitchen floor (it *needed* doing... however, I didn't get the bit on the other side of the "bar", because I was also doing laundry, and that's where the laundry was piled)
• laundry
• installed toggle screws for towel bar in bathroom
• swept and mopped bedroom floor (but didn't fantastic the edges)
• swept and mopped bathroom floor
So, only two of those items were actually on the list, and one was immediately undone (I was waiting for the dishwasher to finish the previous day's dishes, I'll get to that this morning), but everything needed doing.

One day when mom was over cleaning, she said "with all the time I'm spending cleaning, you better *keep* this place clean!" Mom, I cleaned! I'm trying! ;)

My friend lives near a Home Depot, so I stopped by to pick up a few things when I dropped her off. However, it turns out it closes at 8 on Saturday, and it was 9:30 when I arrived. Dang!

The list for today is more manageable than yesterday's list, but I suspect I still won't get everything done:
• extract sewing machine (it's behind the mountain of boxes, although I have a goat trail mostly there)
• alter pants
• Home Depot
• sort bathroom (dad will be here tomorrow)
• move my stuff away from dad's stuff (dad has movers coming tomorrow to get some big items)
Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


1. Sour cheery tree:
• The cherries are starting to ripen. (A few are ripe, most are not.)
• I ate one. Feels like my cherry allergy is currently active. (Sometimes I can get away with it.)
• I'm not sure I'm all that motivated to find out what's damaging the cherries, if I can't eat them anyway, and I already have way too much to do around here.

2. Dinner:
I impressed myself by cooking a dinner that involved four things, all of which finished cooking at close enough times that it was all hot (but not overcooked) when I sat down to eat.
However, either a full cob of corn currently exceeds my tolerance, or there was too much butter in the meal (corn & mushrooms), or both. The smells from the two pans I have to hand wash (and didn't last night) are not helping my stomach feel any better.

3. Some house progress has been made. I have one out of two closet doors back up:
(The second door is being stubborn.) Three of four vertical seams have been recaulked in the tub:
(You'd think it would be logical to do all at once... it probably is. However, I keep getting distracted by other tasks around the house. Like sweeping the part of the porch entryway that isn't full of junk. Or cooking dinner. Or taking showers.)

4. Awesome mom does it again: she came over and scrubbed my bedroom floor with Fantastic.
Most of the ¡underlay! is gone! (I'm calling it "good enough".)

Saturday, July 07, 2012


I knit a sock yarn clapotis scarf for my mom:
(She can sometimes be a bit of a ham. ;) ) I managed to miss mother's day *and* her birthday... but I gave it to her now anyway.

Ironic: I put blocking wires (stainless steel welding rods) on my Christmas/birthday wishlist a number of years ago, once I found affordable options. (Again, ironically, the stainless steel welding rods ended up coming to the same price as KnitPicks blocking wires... oh well... at least they weren't $60, or whatever the previous options I knew about were.) Either last Christmas or the Christmas before, I finally received a set, but then didn't finish something that needed blocking wires again until this clapotis. However, due to the move I couldn't *find* the dang things... until, of course, *after* I blocked and gave the scarf to my mom. *sigh*

Mom likes it. :) (And she will have it to wear in the fall, which she wouldn't, if I had waited until Christmas.)

Wednesday, July 04, 2012


Hmmm... it's raining. Must be time to unpack the box of coats and shoes.

Hi hat! Good to see you again! Missed you!

Coat! Rain boots! Yay! (Of course, no good place to *put* anything from that box, since I no longer have a hall closet...)

House Update

Not much to update today. Is it procrastinating to avoid working on house stuff by working on a shower gift? (Shower is in a week and a half.) If so, I was bad tonight.

However, this morning after my shower, I packed a paste of borax and water into the gap between the tub and shower surround:
(I'll remove the excess when I caulk, and stuff left behind inside the crack will be a mildew preventative.) Borax is a curious substance: too much water, and it completely dissolves; too little, and it forms hard rocks. There is a narrow range of "just right" to make a paste.

Public service announcement: borax is slippery. I had noticed this in an academic sort of way previously, but my brain didn't put two and two together until I was lying horizontal in the tub this morning. (Chalk up a few more moving-in bruises.)

Another house mystery: why are there four (from a quick glance, may be more hiding) shower heads in the cabinet beside the shower? One is identical to the one in use, two match each other, and the fourth is that inexpensive one traditionally found in rentals. I can see there being one (say, if my brother replaced the shower head without asking dad, and didn't want to throw out the one that had been there), but *four*? What are they doing there? Are they functional, or broken? I'm pretty sure they've all at least been used, which probably means that most are broken. (If they're broken, why weren't they thrown out? If they were kept for parts, that would only explain the one that matches the one currently in use.)

Speaking of house mysteries, I finally remembered to have a close look at the transition between the kitchen and dining room floors, where there's a height difference.
Looks like a plywood base with two layers of linoleum on top. For a better look at the two layers of linoleum, we need only look at the back stairs:
The orange stuff on the treads is what my mom put down when I was a kid (I'm pretty sure I vaguely remember the kitchen being redone), and the older stuff is on the risers.

The plywood subfloor must have been installed properly, because there's no "wear along the edges" that you get when linoleum is installed on an uneven subfloor. (We have that wear at the cabin, and the two linoleum floors in the bedrooms here were definitely *not* put on top of plywood subfloors.)

While working on the shower present, I watched another Holmes on Homes. Take-away lesson: kitchen cupboards should be installed on *top* of the flooring that covers the whole kitchen, since appliances depend on the standard height to fit under the counter top. Since I'm not planning on re-doing the cabinets (mom designed some pretty great ones), that pretty much limits my flooring options to another thin layer of linoleum. (Not that I was really thinking of other options... and the orange stuff is in remarkably good condition for being ~30 years old. It's just... orange.)

Well, time to stop procrastinating going to bed.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Bathroom Update

Well, I didn't get as far as removing the remains of the old caulking, but I did get the bathroom walls and ceiling washed. (First with soapy water then clean water, both with a mop, then with borax water by hand with a rag.)

The photos don't really show the mildew, so I'll just post one before shot:
You'll have to take my word that it's covered in mildew.

Here's another reason why the tub needs replacing:
Whenever I look at that, I wonder who was shedding all over the edge of the tub. However, for some reason, the tub has bubbled there, and the black lines are cracks. (If you're redoing damaged wallboard and replacing the surround anyway, that's the time to do the tub too, if it needs it. It needs it.)

Dad thought I should keep the shower doors. Ew:
(And that doesn't show the mildew on the other side!)

Goodbye, shower doors!
Yeah, they haven't left completely yet... I need to work slowly with father. For example, with the doors, it went something like this:

Stage one: introduce the idea.
Me: I want to take down the shower doors, and use a shower curtain.
Dad: They're good quality shower doors, they're the same as the ones I put in my new house.
Me: They're mildewy and corroded.
Dad: You can clean the corrosion off with an SOS pad.
Me: (changes the subject.)

Stage two: give the idea time to sink in.

Stage three: state the idea more strongly.
Me: I want to take down the shower doors, and use a shower curtain.
Dad: They're good quality shower doors, they're the same as the ones I put in my new house.
Me: They're mildewy and corroded.
Dad: You can clean the corrosion off with an SOS pad.
Me: Dad, I *WANT* to use a shower curtain. I can put them somewhere for now in case I change my mind.
Dad: okay

Step four: remove the doors. (A bunch of rusted ball bearings fell out... no wonder they weren't sliding any more!)

Step five (not yet): dispose of the doors.

After washing (etc) the walls:
Again, you'll have to take my word for it... they're better. Not perfect, but better.

Maybe I'll manage the caulk tomorrow evening.

(The shower afterward was soooooo nice!)

Also accomplished today:
• emptied out a laundry basket full of misc food into cupboards.
• shifted the last few items out of two boxes which are now labelled "dad" and "thrift store".

It's nowhere near the list of things I was hoping to get done today, but it's better than nothing.