At l(e)ast it's finished



When I started knitting this back in January I wasn't sure what it would be. I was just trying to knit something to get out of the knitting rut (and the depression) I was in. Using up some cotton scraps, creating a rectangle, that I would be able to use somehow.
Well, that didn't work to get me out of that rut and half a rectangle remained forgotten in my knitting basket for months.
This weekend I decided I needed some knitting to take with me to the house, but I'd like something more washable than the poncho. I took that once, but most of the time I didn't want to take it out because I was afraid it might get dirty. I thought I'd start knitting some cotton squares for potholders (I need some and my family loves it when I give them some) and then realized I was still working on this rectangle. So I took that with me.
Last night I finished it and this morning I wove in all those ends.
I still don't know what I'll use it for. It's big enough for me to stand on, so I could use it as a shower mat (maybe add a backing and or border?), it's also big enough to use under my drainer.
Really, I don't know what I made. But it is finished. I like that.



Linking up with Nicole's Crafting on

Weekend doings







Our weekend was like many of our weekends will be these coming weeks (months). We spent a lot of time in the house. T. says he already installed about 600 yards of wiring. I don't really want to calculate how much bat droppings I scrubbed of my walls and floors, but it adds up to a lot, I'm sure.
But we also took time to stop and rest. And to breathe and notice and enjoy the moments.
We had dinner at Lagun (that's not far from our house and they have cheap but very good food) on Friday. I think I'm going to make a weather station like theirs.
And on Sunday stopped working early to go to Kokomo for drinks and good music. We ran into some friends there and met some nice new people when we joined them.
I also squeezed in a lot of knitting-with-a-view, just because I could.
I think we're getting the hang of this balancing thing.

Now, let's try to carry that into the very busy week ahead of us...

Wishing you all a great start of your week!

Snapshot(s)





I had a wonderful day yesterday. We did a bit of shopping, had lunch at our favorite restaurant and just enjoyed a day off. And later in the afternoon we packed some food and drinks and drove to the house to have ourselves a little bbq party there. The previous owner left a big bbq (made from an old oil drum) behind and we used that. Such fun!
And then we had the most perfect sunset to watch, from our own porch.
Life is good.

Three Things: 48



I turned 48 today. Okay, it would be nice to say I turned 28, but then again, I know what those 20 years were like. And though I do have a few regrets (but then again, too few to mention - name that song), some things that I would do differently if I could go back, I also know that most of the hard parts were just things that happen in life and I'm glad I lived through them.

One of my favorite quotes from a Star Trek movie is this one: 'You know that pain and guilt can't be taken away with the wave of a magic wand. They're the things we carry with us, the things that make us who we are. If we lose them, we lose ourselves. I don't want my pain taken away! I need my pain!'

Anyway, here are three things I'm promising myself today (and this year and the rest of my life):

- be kind to myself. I'm my own worst critic and that has to stop. I may not be perfect, but I'm not too bad either.

- accept my changing face and body. It's what I am (middle aged) and what I'm becoming (old). There's not much I can do about it. Okay, there are some things I can do, but I don't want to. I even want to stop dying my hair.
That's why I'm posting that picture above. Wrinkles and all (and an infection in my right eye, so no contact lenses and squinting).
The other part of this is taking beter care of my body. Stop ignoring my food intolerances (sugar and soy, but also dairy and gluten) and find solutions to eat the right way and still enjoy food, eating out and cooking.

- enjoy life, take time to stop, breathe and notice the good things.
My practical approach to this is to gift myself a notebook today and start a diary, but maybe I'll also get back on the bandwagon with gratitude posts on Instagram (still have mixed feelings about that medium and its owner, I really love old-fashioned blogging a lot more)

Linking up with Carole's Three on Thursday

The big renovation - phase 1


We're already talking in phases here. Though we have the most beautiful plans and ideas, it's just not possible to get it all done within a few weeks or even months. Partly because we don't have the time and energy to do all that, partly because we have to save up money for the bigger parts of the renovation.

So phase 1 is actually quite simple: make it acceptable to move in.

I guess that's a very vague description, because most people would like a house to be kind of finished before they move in. But we just want to move as soon as possible. It will save us rent (for the apartment we're now living in), gas (for driving up and down almost daily - it's about 25 minutes from where we live now), and it will be much easier for us to switch between work and renovating if we're living in the house. Right now it's hard to combine my work and his and the renovation, especially since we don't have electricity and internet there yet, so we can't just be there the whole day and work on our laptop when needed while the other one keeps working on the house.

So, here's what we really need to do as soon as possible:


- install electrical wiring in the whole house (though we only install a junction box in rooms we're not using for now) - T. is working on that right now, he thinks he's about 75% done
- install/replace water pipes
- wait for Aqualectra to connect us to water and electricity. This can take a while, it depends if they see us as a new connection (then they will send someone over to inspect what we've done) or as an existing connection (there is a meter, but the house was disconnected years ago).
- get internet
- repair the roof - we had someone over at the house on Sunday who will give us an estimate (we can't do it ourselves because we're both afraid of heights)
- repair cesspit (it's partly collapsed, but we think it can be saved)



Bedroom (the bigger one)

- remove ceiling - done
- add lamp (ceiling fan?), switches and outlets
- install air-conditioning
- clean walls (bat droppings!) - almost done
- clean floors (bat droppings!)
- clean windows

optional, but preferred before we move in:
- install ceiling
- paint walls
- paint door and door posts
- paint window bars



Small bathroom

- remove ceiling - done
- install ceiling
- add lamp, switches and outlets
- clean walls, floors and sink
- add faucet for sink
- add shower head and faucet




Hallway, stairs
- remove ceiling - done
- install light, switches and outlets
- clean walls
- clean floors

optional, but preferred before we move in:
- install ceiling
- paint walls


Big bathroom
- clean walls and floors
- make it possible to install washing machine (drain, tap)

optional, but preferred before we move in:
- paint walls
- install toilet (must be reconnected to partly collapsed cesspit)
- install sink


Kitchen

- clean cupboards and counter - done, but needs another round
- clean walls
- clean floor - done, but needs another round
- clean windows
- remove ceiling
- remove smelly cupboard
- install light, switches and outlets
- make a connection to either big gas bottles outside or a smaller one inside (in one of the kitchen cupboards)

optional, but preferred before we move in:
- install ceiling
- paint walls


Outside toilet
- clean - done
- connect water
- connect electricity


Outside
- install outside lights (for safety)
- remove weeds and bushes around the house to be able to reach all walls - almost done, need a bigger saw (chain saw?) for the last bushes

So yeah, there is some progress, but it's a lot of work.

When we got the key, I was very optimistic about how quickly we could move in, but after 11 days of hard work, we're both feeling that we're not that young anymore.
We can do it, but we need to slow down and be reasonable or we end up being sick, burnt out and prone to accidents (T. cut his hand on the planer Monday, I managed to bruise my thumb so badly I couldn't use it for the first two hours).
We still hope to move in July, but it might be August.

So I'm working on adjusting my attitude. My character and upbringing is to just keep going, but it's wiser and healthier and better to just take it slowly and enjoy the process.
Poko poko, as the locals say.
Big life lessons included with the house...

Sometimes you've got to listen to the yarn



I've had this skein (and a similar one) in my stash for a while now. And since I got it, I've been thinking it would make a great poncho. I even started knitting one in January.
But then I tried to be practical and dismissed that idea again. I will hardly ever get a chance to wear it (it never gets that chilly here) and I don't know anyone in my family who would wear a poncho. So I frogged what I had started and stuffed the yarn back into my closet.
Last week I dug it out (my stash isn't that big anyway) and I cast on for a hat.
But soon I realized the color changes were actually too subtle for a hat and it would be a shame to break that beautiful (large) skein up into two or three hats. So I changed plans again.
I pondered making a shawl for a while, was really interested in a pattern for a cowl/shawl combination and then realized that was quite similar to a poncho and that the color changes would be beautiful in a simple poncho pattern like this one. So a poncho it is. I guess the yarn just wants to be a poncho.
You can't really see how it looks since it's still on short needles, but I already love it.

linking up with Nicole's Crafting on

Weekend adventures








(I'm running out of time, so this is going to be a very short post).
Our weekend was full of work. Lots of time and energy spent on the house (I'll share an update on that later this week), but when I look back at my pictures, I find proof that we somehow managed to squeeze in a lot of view admiring and beaches and sunsets too. Ah, the Caribbean life!