How did we end up here? We've lived in Northern Illinois for 23 years. Way too long for this vegetarian! Thankfully, we're only a Metra ride away from Chicago.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Now you will read...the rest of the story

Here's the story of my swamp, I mean pool. I went to open up our backyard pool on April 26th and discovered that the liner had pulled away from the structure of the pool. A vinyl liner has about a 10-15 year lifespan before it needs replaced and ours fit right into this replacement window. I contacted several pool contractors and only came up with one company that serviced our area. My options now included do it ourselves or have this company do it. We decided this was going to be extremely difficult for the two of us to tackle so we hired the contractor and gave them half of the money. This is April 30th. Almost a week later the contractor came out and took measurements and placed our liner order. We uncovered the pool, now May 5th in expectations of having our pool all fixed by the 12th. We have yet to see the contractors show up. The latest story we've gotten is the contracor is short on crew and running behind but they'll get to us hopefully by the end of this week. For three weeks the water left in the pool has been growing green,yellow, and black algae. This week the pool claimed it's first drowning victim, a squirrel I had to net out. Frustrating doesn't even come close to what we are feeling at this point. With our pool season in Illinois being about 3 months it takes us usually the month of May to get the water warm enough to enjoy swimming in it. Even if they get our pool up and operational by the end of May the water will be so cold we won't be able to use it until the 4th of July.
Alright, enough about the pool on to what's been flying off the needles. Last week I finished knitting the tank top I was working on. It's been waiting for me to seam it up and add a crocheted edge around the neck and arms.

On Monday I started the Central Park Hoodie. I picked a non-wool, cotton blend yarn for this cardigan. I've worn the wool cardigan a few times in the past couple of months but I can't stand it against my skin.

I haven't progressed much in the past few days because I've been distracted by another hobby. In January I got a new sewing machine and wanted to come up with a small bag design I could use for my works in progress. I tried out a few different patterns but wasn't too happy with the results so I set it aside. Last week I went back to this project and developed a bag I was finally happy with. The size seems right and the drawstrings hang the way I want them to. The bottom sits flat and it's reversible. I put a couple up for sale on etsy Monday and they sold by Tuesday. I made a few more over the past couple of days and have enjoyed starting this up. It's a fun way to share a craft with others.
I hope you all have a relaxing and restful 3 day weekend!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Welcome to my backyard swamp

A picture is worth a thousand curse words....

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Deja Vu

I spent two hours in a car dealership last night thinking I've been here and done this before, purchasing a new vehicle without test driving it first. I've test driven only one of the last four new cars we've purchased. I won't actually be driving it very much, thank goodness. With $4 a gallon gas in the very near future it will save us money over the life of this car. My husband, the tech guru, has been wanting this car for over two years and now he's got one.



It's a computer phobics nightmare. This car has so many gadgets it's a wonder one can still drive the thing sanely. You don't actually use a key to start it. I know right? You can watch your energy consumption and it calculates exactly what gas mileage you are getting. So much for the family camping vacations. Did you see how small these cars are? No wonder they get 60 mpg.
I potentially have the ability to never be lost again. That is if I take the time to figure out how to use the GPS. Have a bluetooth? It's got you all set up through the car's computer. Have an MP3? Yep, it's got a direct line plug for that too. It's got a backup camera? Why does it need this? Just for the "that's so cool" factor?
Honey, I hope you still have this smile after spending some bonding time with your new toy.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Hacienda Update

So this is what our space looks like where our huge pine tree once stood...



Just a bare empty hole with lots of wood chips left. The eldest child counted it's rings and was very sad to learn it was about 50 years old. A nest of carpenter ants had made the tree their home and had eaten over halfway through the bottom of the tree. This is what weakened it causing it to begin uprooting and leaning toward the house.

Here's the update from the pool....



If it looks the same as last week you're correct. We have the largest pond on the block but hope to change that next week. The contractor's working on the pool have taken all the measurements and cashed our check to purchase a new liner. My hope is by memorial day we will have a pool and not a swamp to gather around.

On the knitting front, here's my completed Rusted Root....



I like it but I'm not sure when I'll take the time to purchase a cami that I can wear beneath it. The yarn is lion brand cotton ease which is half cotton half acrylic. I love washable, inexpensive yarn so this is a yarn I may purchase again to make another sweater with.

I started a tank top last week to discover that my gauge was about 2 inches off...


that will teach me not to do a gauge swatch at the pub again. I'm using the CotLin from Knit Picks and am finding it a little hard to get used to. It's very fibrous and loves to shed on whatever it rests against. I love their shine, it's soft and creates a nice close knit fabric and I'm thinking I should have ordered this instead. But, this is what I have so I'll play with it over the weekend and see how it goes.

I'm off to sell my beloved car. I love my 13 year old, standard transmission car but a new car is in my husband's very near future and I must find a home for my old one. The new one I will blog about next week when we actually see it,test drive it, and sign the loan papers for it. Hint:think hybrid!!

For all the Mom's(and Mom's to be)out in blogville I hope you all have a restful weekend!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

An expensive weekend

It's that time of year around these Northern parts when one starts preparing for summer. Especially if you're a pool owner. This is a picture of what I saw when I removed our winter cover Friday...

It's a 35,000 gallon in ground swimming pool that needs to be completely drained and the vinyl liner replaced.

Cost to repair=$4500

This is a picture of our pine tree in the backyard that is dying from the inside out and is leaning toward the house....


Cost to remove=$1500

It's at times like these where a town home sounds extremely appealing.