Where do I start?
Happy New Year! That's a good place to start.
So to fill you all in on the cliff hanger, Jacques is fine. Well, sort of. He has recovered nicely from the expanding foam catastrophe. But it's been a rough time for him otherwise. I was gone for a week, then I turned back up to abandon him again to go to work, and then in the last few days it's been grand central station around here. Too many people for comfort, so of course we all have to hear ALL about it. But I'll get to that in good time....
I'll back up to almost the last post when I was frantically trying to finish my dad's Birthday present. He turned 70 on Jan 5th. I thought I might make him a book. I was going to post the whole book here but the images are no good and I'm not trooping downstairs tonight to take more. I'll do that sometime soon. Anyway - this is what I was working on back when the huge snow storm happened in December. The trudging home in the snow and the nice bus driver was all because of this. And wasn't it worth it?
For his 70th birthday, in addition to the book he got a new knee. Lucky him. Actually he's been pretty miserable. It's quite a job - getting a new knee. Not only is there surgery, but then there is recovery with some machine that makes you flex your knee. He has to be on this machine for 8 hours a day. Apparently this is not his cup-o-tea. Hang in there Daddy - you'll be so happy when it's all done. :)!
House project when I got home was to plug the darn hole where the raccoons were getting in. I decided to put cardboard up to see if they'd rip it down. It's been up for a week or so with no issues. Then I tried to get up there and put the bracket back in. No dice. I couldn't get it to fit back into where it'd come from. And since I was perched so precariously on the edge of the roof, I thought I'd quit while I was ahead. I did realize while I was up there how much work needs to be done up there. It looks really terrible. All of the wood is rotting away. It really needs to be replaced. I've been trying to see if Jeff would do it. but he doesn't seem to want to. I had a quote from someone else, but I don't trust this other guy to do a good job. I don't want a patch job, I want a fixed job and for that I'd rather pay a bit more to get it done right. Too bad I can't do it myself, but this is not a one-woman job.
Knitting: I spent most of my holiday in California knitting a sleeve for the silver sweater I've been knitting for over a year now. Unfortunately I got home and discovered that I added one twist too many. Ugh. I've got to rip out the entire thing and redo it. Since I couldn't face that, I started on the Stitch 'n Bitch, Knit-a-long, a pair of herringbone gloves. Aren't they gorgeous! While they are super complicated, I really enjoyed the challenge of working on them. But knitting is on hold this week... school starts tomorrow and I've got to get my syllabi and planning done. (so what am I actually doing?, blogging....)
While that may be the overall goal for the weekend, except for today, it didn't happen.
Saturday, the Guild of Book Workers, Delaware Chapter offered a workshop on Paste Papers. I learned so much - as I always do. The ladies at the Library Company of Philadelphia hosted it and showed us how they make their paste papers. I'm pretty excited to take what I learned and work with my students. Making paste paper is usually a pretty popular night. I don't pick up my papers until tomorrow so I can't show them here.
After picking up my farm share on Saturday afternoon I came home, had lunch, and took a very long nap. Luxury.
Yesterday I went to Pearl Art Supply - our branch is going out of business - very very sadly. But there are deals to be had. I bought a TON of paper, and supplies in general. In the afternoon Mary came over to help make Lime Marmalade. It's so much nicer to have someone to work on those sorts of projects with. We made a lovely puckery-tart batch, and since we had limes left over we had margaritas... which lead to inventing a cookie recipe. Which let me tell you is THE BOMB. We used the rolled cookie recipe in The Joy of Cooking to which one can add spices and stuff, so we added a Tablespoon of cardamom and two Tablespoons of Poppy seeds. The jelly in the middle is the lime jelly, the red is the strawberry. The lime one are really good, the strawberry, not so much. The strawberry hides the other flavors too much. These are really yummy. Do you think I'm ready for spring or what?
But of course, it can't all be good.
About two months ago, I noticed that some of the stones above my second floor window were looking like they were at the wrong angle, as in, falling out. I thought this was worrisome, but didn't think much more about it. Then Jeff (the contractor from last winter) stopped by to look at my third floor issues and I asked him what to do about it. He recommended Wally. Wally came on Friday to look at the situation, and said he'd be back THAT DAY to take care of it, that they were "ready to go". Well, that didn't work because I had to go to school for a workshop, but he was back today to pull everything out and repair the damage. I'm pretty relieved.And of course that couldn't be all of the issues right? My washing machine has said "good night." This is not surprising, more disappointing. It still works, it just doesn't stop filling with water anymore. First thing this morning, I had a flood. Now, I can put up with a lot of things, but I don't think I can put up without having a washing machine. I've had enough of laundromats. So I called Eric the plumber. He came by to check everything out - he knows Wally too, and he'll be back on Friday to fix me up with super dooper lines for a washing machine. I won't be able to buy one until this weekend, and boy, that was an expense I really didn't want. But maybe the turquoise one is still available...
And Jacques? he's just trying to keep warm. Here he is, squeezed between the heater and the trashcan, the heater is on, and it would be the warmest spot in the house.