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Hi! How are you? I am going slowly crazy!

The landscaping is healing from its encounter with Mister Backhoe. Our crabapple tree decided that it’s going to bloom after all, physician now that the snow is gone. It’s going to be SOOOO pretty. That tree and the weeping cherry tree that was a birthday gift are the only two bits of landscaping I’m going to miss when we leave this house. When we bought it, buy cialis very little of the house was visible from the road. The first weekend we lived here my parents brought their his and hers chainsaws and we all got very busy uncovering the house. Unfortunately this revealed that the paint was coming off the shakes in sheets. We spent an entire summer scraping, priming, and painting the house since it was cheaper than new siding, and I ended up liking the charm of the old shakes well enough that we never sided. Sometimes I’m afraid that our (my) color choice is putting off potential buyers. The house is grey with purple trim. In certain lighting it has a tendency to look lavender all over.

I learned I hate painting and swore I wouldn’t buy another house until I could afford to pay someone else to paint it. The new house needs painting, and I’ve yet to hit (or even play) the lottery. Good thing we saved the brushes.

The new house is 3.9 miles north of our current house. Ironically the sellers are considering a house down the street from us.* I love our neighborhood, but most of the houses here are the same size as the one we’re in (or they cost 6 times more than ours – it’s an odd neighborhood). This means that in order to continue throw rocks at Shaler, we’ll need one heck of a potato gun. Even though we are not switching townships, our township has requested our names, social security numbers, and employers’ information for taxation purposes. The fact that they already have this information does not matter. Mmmm, bureaucracy.

*May it please the gods of housing that the sellers might find alternate lodging so that we might take occupancy of the house we are attempting to purchase, and may the powers that be grant unto us a person or persons who wishes to buy an odd but cute not really lavender cape cod with all possible haste, or at the very least before May 7th. Amen.

I’m knitting a sock! I’m afraid I’m going to run out of yarn. This is why top down socks irritate me. It’s making me not want to finish the sock, even though I’m not sure I’ll run out. I can rip back past the heel and take one lace repeat out of the cuff (they’re plenty long), but that makes me just a little mad. Every few rounds I keep squeezing the remaining yarn as if that will tell me if I’m going to make it to the toe.

At the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet festival I picked up enough pretty variegated Brooks Farm yarn to knit a lace pullover I had fallen in love with. The pattern is Louisa Harding’s Mandolin. I had seen a shop model of the sweater and fallen in love with it. It was done in two different variegated yarns that were a little rich for my blood. I thought I could sub the Brooks Farms yarn, but after knitting up one sleeve I realize that it’s just not going to work. A new sweater is marinating in my head, one of my own design, but I haven’t the mental energy to actually swatch, do math, and start it just yet.

I’ve got some rayon ribbon yarn from last year that needs to be knit in to something summery and shapely, but again that involves math and thinking and swatching even if I do find a pattern (and I’ve got a couple in mind) Right now what I need is mindless. Good old mind-numbing non-frustrating un-house-related knitting.

Or lots of liquor.

What we’ve been up to, in pictures.

Did you have a happy Easter? We did. I finished the girls’ dresses just in time. They are of an age to really appreciate the whole holiday thing.
We colored eggs:

On Easter morning the girls found their baskets and had almost pure sugar for breakfast. (marshmallow peeps are acceptable breakfast food on Easter)

I had to hurry up and snap this pic before church while the girls were still clean and tidy. I had no hopes of it lasting, disinfection but they did pretty well, capsule actually. I’m disappointed we didn’t get any “nice” shots, but I had no intentions of posing outside in the snow this year.

We went visiting all the requisite family members and had a good day.
Claire has fun wherever she goes:

Do not try to take pictures of Anna while she is watching “Alice In Wonderland.”

It was nice to be done preparing for the holiday after a flurry of preparing for the house to be show-able. I was very happy to put the finishing touches on the kitchen. *note to self – take pictures of the kitchen*

Today, however, I am at the end of my rope.
Work has been stressful. Nothing is working in the lab, and deadlines are looming. Claire is teething and therefore not sleeping. This whole house buying/selling thing is being a pain in the neck. More accurately, the people involved are being a pain in the neck. Also, someone please make an offer on our house. Or at least come look at it. And when you do, wipe your feet so you don’t track mud everywhere. I just mopped the floor.
Today, there is an extra source of mud in our yard:

In preparation for selling the house, we had a dye test performed. Or, we attempted to have the dye test performed. Turns out the clean-out for the sewage line was cracked and needed replacing. Turns out that it never should have passed 7 yrs ago. Turns out that this is going to be really expensive.

If I had photoshop, and photoshop skills, I would edit the backhoe to have a bulldozer blade on the front. Then I would put on my bathrobe and lie down in the mud in front of it.

As if we weren’t having enough fun this evening, here’s a picture of Claire, taken 10 minutes after her bath:

I’m laughing because it beats the alternative. I post this not to garner sympathy but so that later, when things are running more smoothly in Unreservedville, I can look back on this and laugh and actually mean it.

I represented!

Friday was not a typical day for me. I judged projects at the Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair. It was a great time. I loved the sight of approximately 900 students ready to tell us all about their adventures in the sciences. I also enjoyed getting to meet the other judges. We represented a wide swath of pursuits, cheap from academia to industry, pancreatitis from protein folding to animal behavioral studies. It was a refreshing break from what’s been a frustrating time in the lab.

I went home, switch clothes and gears. Mom met me at my house and we trekked down to the south side and had a great dinner and got to meet The Yarn Harlot. She was entertaining as expected, and didn’t even say arse once. (during the official talk – there was one slip-up in the Q&A period) It was almost as fun seeing all the knitters. I’ve been to the Pittsburgh Bloggers meetup before – it makes me think a Pittsburgh Knit Bloggers meetup would be great fun. Probably most of them already go to knitting groups, but I get the impression that many of us don’t already know each other. I’ve often thought of joining a group but I’m spread too thin as it is right now for another regular commitment. A one-time or not as often thing (like the ‘burgh bloggers) would be nice. Hrm. Will have to think on that.

And what have I been knitting? Well, I’ve got Cromarty on the needles, I’ve got a Louisa Harding lace pullover in the works that I’m itching to work on, of course I’ve got a pair of socks on the needles, and I haven’t touched any of them in two weeks because I’m still smocking. I’m bicraftual! I’m almost done with the embroidery for Claire’s dress, then on to Anna’s. Fortunately the assembly of these is significantly simpler than last year’s Vogue pattern. That was a killer. And when I’m done, rather than work on any of the three UFOs, I’ll probably cast on for the Alpine Lace now that I’ve got a nice, sharp set of Addi lace needles and I wound all 800yds of my lacewt alpaca by hand. (said DH, 800 yds? I replied in the afirmative. He thought I misspoke. No, there truly is 800 yds of yarn in that ball.) (This reminds me of Stephanie’s talk of “trigger words.” For those who know what I’m talking about, mine are “How much yarn do you need?” Never ask me that.)

We haven’t gotten many more bites on the house. We’re nearing serious nail biting time. Our realtor failed to get the paperwork in to the newspaper for a listing today, and next Sunday is Easter of course. *sigh* I know the house is going to sell, but until it does we’re going to be jumpy wondering how long we’re going to have to carry two mortgages. We close in May. Wanna buy a house?