Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Top name ideas

In response to everyone's comments from the previous post: Her color is best described like a light dusting of snow on a red sandstone desert. If you've been fortunate enough to be in the 4-corners area during a winter snow... you have the right picture. Of course, these deserts always have a hint of green sage, cacti or junipers, so I'm getting her all green accessories (collar, bed, etc...)

Here are the top name ideas we have (in no particular order):

Autumn - for her color and the time of year of the adoption
Cherry Bomb - or just Cherry because she's sweet
Cayenne - the first name I thought of that I really liked... but Troy doesn't like it.
Sedona - for her red dirt coloring
Lucy - after the famous redhead Lucille Ball

There's more, but I can't think of them now. As you can see, nearly every name has something to do with her orange-red color. We could consider non-color names. But so far I haven't thought of many that I like.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

New Pup

We just added a 3-year-old red heeler to the family today. Feel free to leave name suggestions in the comments. She doesn't respond any better to the shelter's name, "Dancer", than she does to "Girly Girl".

We have more photos and stuff on Troy's webpage.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

For Knitting Geeks

I'm trying to finish up my Sorta Secret Sweater* and couldn't decide whether to follow the instructions in the pattern or do something different. In the pattern, I'm supposed to pick-up stitches all around the front edges of the cardigan, neck and bottom, then bind off. However, this will require a circular needle which I do not have. That problem was easily solved by ordering KnitPicks' interchangeable circular needle set.

The other problem is that the bottom edge of the sweater rolls up and doesn't look very nice. I tried to get the Tuesday Ladies to tell me how to deal with this, but SavingNine would just insist that I should try out the alternatives on my gauge sample. Of course, my gauge sample no longer exists. So I read a knitting book which recommends two rows of single-crochet along the cast-on or bind-off edge. I finally knit up a new swatch and tried out the options:The top edge is what the pattern recommends: pick up stitches and bind-off. Clearly, this edge insists on rolling. So I'm going with the bottom edge: two rows of single-crochet for the bottom of the sweater. For the sides, I like the picked-up stitches (left edge). Binding off there looks like a much neater column of stockinette stitches. The right edge is single-crochet which looks messy to me. The problem with single-crochet on a selvedge is that it creates sideways v's (they're perpendicular to the stockinette v's).

*I was going to call it a Super Secret Sweater, but then realized that anything posted to a public blog is not really secret, so I needed a new aliteration.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Speaking of home improvement...

Next on my list of big ideas for the house is to install solar water heating. We have radiant floor heat, so solar hot water would heat the whole house with far less gas than we're using now. I'm not so excited about photovoltaics, because they are not cost effective. However, heating water with sunlight is much more direct. Sunlight naturally provides heat and light in abundance but not electricity.

This Saturday, I'll be going to the Solar Fiesta to attend a workshop on solar hot water. Hopefully, I'll find out how to buy and install a system that will pay for itself within 5 years. I think that's reasonable, but I'm not sure.

And if I can pull that off, my next environmentally-minded home project will be composting to reduce our amount of trash. I tried composting when we first moved in, but gave it up because it didn't seem to be working. At the State Fair, I saw a brochure on composting that might help this time around.

Monday, September 15, 2008

5 years

On September 15, 2003 we closed on and moved into our house. These pictures were probably taken the next day, as there was no daylight left by the time we got to our house on the 15th. It takes hours and hours to close on a house.
A few days after moving in, while there will still boxes to be unpacked, Troy painted a wall in the office. He didn't like the dark wood paneling, and immediately wanted it painted to a bright, cheerful yellow. We did manage to unpack the rest of the boxes relatively soon after, but we haven't stopped working on the house. Here's a list of some of the work done:
  • Painted 5 rooms and outside trim
  • New flooring in half the house
  • New roof
  • Repaired wall damaged from leaking roof
  • New windows
  • Repaired and stuccoed retaining wall that holds up the entire property
  • Plenty of little electrical repairs
  • Renovated one bathroom, and put a new toilet in the other
  • Planted 10 trees
  • Leveled front yard
  • Replaced in-ground sprinklers with in-ground drip
  • Demolished old shed and put in a new one
  • Expanded back patio and replaced broken brick walkway
So a house is a lot of work. But I really appreciate not having to pack everything up and move every time I sign a new lease :) Plus, we have more equity in our house than debt... which is pretty cool.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Productive Weekend

I feel like I got a lot done this weekend:
  • Walked in the State Fair parade for the Re-elect Jason Marks Campaign.
  • 19 new plants in the ground (Plants of the SW had a great sale), and requisite drippers put into place.
  • 7 pounds of tomatoes harvested and turned into 6 pints of salsa. I can't believe how frustrating it is to can stuff, and I keep trying it again thinking MAYBE this time I actually have enough tomatoes to make a worthwhile amount of salsa... but no. At least it tastes good.
  • Ran 3 miles.
If you're really paying attention, you may be asking "Hey, weren't you supposed to run a 10k today?" The answer is that I had been training for a 10k, but I had to abandon it two weeks ago due to allergies, and then couldn't get back into it because my left leg became incredibly sore. It's all better now, so the next running goal is the Duke City Marathon Relay in October where I'll do a 6.2-mile leg.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Hello from Wisconsin

Actually, I'm back home from Wisconsin now, but that's a picture from our 6-day weekend in Madison. While there, we visited people, fed mosquitoes in the park, toured Old World Wisconsin (pictured below), shopped at the farmer's market and ate a lot of good food.

I also found plenty of time to knit. I'm not going to say anything more about this project because it will be a gift... if you want to know more, you'll have to see the details in ravelry. Flying is so much nicer now that I knit while listening to a book on MP3 (if you're in Abq, you can download them from the library) with noise-canceling headphones. When they make me take my headphones off for landing, I can never believe how loud the plane is.