Wednesday, October 29, 2008

To Do

1. Write blog post.

2. Put away King and Queen's clean laundry. There are currently 3 baskets of laundry cluttering up the royal boudoir and we can barely walk through the room. I noticed this morning that some of the King's laundry magically landed in his side of the closet. Some. And none of the Queen's. And all 3 baskets are still there. That was helpful. Thanks.

3. Sanitize our biohazard-like bathrooms.

4. Stare longingly at my unattended-to overgrown garden and cry.

5. Knit 4989 baby hats.

6. Take Eric to Target to pick out a birthday gift for his friend, Tyler, while trying to escape with only a gift for Tyler. Eric is strong, but I'm stronger. The King is no longer allowed to take the children to Target. Or Bartells. Or Safeway. Or past the popcorn stand at Pumpkin Carving Night at the kid's school last night after I specifically said NO because I bought them popcorn at the book fair earlier that day.

7. Invent a microscopic sized bazooka to eradicate the fruit flies that continue to plague my house despite the fact that we have been so vigilant about keeping no fruit around at all. All fresh fruit is in the fridge and the King has banned bananas from the house. Yet the fruit flies continue to grow in number. I actually have to keep a coaster over my glass of wine at night. That's how bad it is.

8. Post more lever shocks on Ebay. Evil Ebay. I hate you.

9. Vacuum. It's been a while.

10. Try to finish reading my overdue copy of World Without End before the library fines start to overtake the actual cost of the book.

11. Try to convince Daniel-the-silent-neighbor-boy to talk to me, or acknowledge my existance, while he spends the afternoon here.

12. In keeping with today's theme, bathe my kids. It's been a while.

13. Knit 890984 hats.

14. Fix Caroline's socks so that they fit her. Because apparently I forgot how to knit socks. Or her feet grew and she forgot to tell me.

15. Drink. After this list, I deserve it!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Queen was at Balmoral!

I wish. Actually The Queen was stuck right here in Renton, unable to manage her life. And suddenly it has been 2 weeks (2 weeks!) since blogging.

First of all, I turned 40. After developing a sudden and severe case of osteoporosis, followed by high cholesterol, I allowed my family to shower me with gifts (Mike gave me this AWESOME Jordana Paige knitting bag. And the latest Sharon Kay Penman book. My favoritist) and then I worked all week. I don't normally work during the week, but someone was on vacation and it was a chance for me to pick up some extra hours. And a great way to GET NOTHING ELSE DONE.

Holy smokes. How do working moms do this? Seriously. There was no dinner. There was no clean laundry. We had dishes piled to the ceiling. Every room in my house was a complete disaster. Complete. Disaster. And I was too tired to care enough to actually clean something. And since the male species seems to be genetically deficient in this area, we've been living in squalor.

Second, it's hat season. It's Hat Season, People! Everybody wants a baby hat. So I'm doubling up on the Glucosamine and knitting like a mad woman. Personal knitting is on temporary hold until I can get a handle on these hats. Seriously. Dozens of hats.

Third, I'm still trying to figure out this Lever Shocks business. I really hate Ebay. Ebay benefits no one but Ebay. They get you with the fees coming and going. It's a great way to show the entire world what you have to sell, but I really hate the whole Ebay culture. So now I'm learning all about Hemmings Motor News. I'll stop boring you any further details on that subject.

Fourth, Mike turned 40. That was much more fun for me! The boys and I bought him a Wii Fit, which is the most fun we have all had in a long long time. Now, when I will settle into a fitness routine is anyone's guess. Apparently I'll be waking up at 4:00 am in order to have that fit into my day. I'm not really there yet. But watching the boys Wii Fit is the most hilarious thing I have ever seen. Think I'm joking? Eric is all about the virtual hula hoop. And Ryan is aces at step aerobics. Eric is ski jumping at this very moment, making this blog post possible.

And then our friends threw us a combined birthday party this weekend. It was really really fun. Our dinner group transformed Andy and Michelle's house into a casino and about 30 of us played Bunco while we ate and drank the night away. And our favorite gift was this beautiful maple tree the dinner group gave us. We're so excited about it! We found the perfect spot for it and I'm going to buy stakes today so we can get it into the ground before the next wind storm. I know I should have taken a picture of it, and I will, but if you want to read anything new on this site this month, you will just have to use your imagination.

Fifth, we all got colds. I'm saying this so you will feel sorry for me. Because mine is worse than everyone elses. I just know it is. And my husband's laptop keeps going into cardiac arrest so he keeps using my computer. And I have to bring my children to and from school. Because the imaginary nanny I dreamed up can't actually do that for me. She sucks at putting the laundry away, too.

Hmmm....Eric is starting the yoga portion of the Wii Fit. I think I need to check this out...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Alone at last....

Finally. I am alone. Free from these little maniacs who expect me to feed them and find their Pokemon cards and teach them to read. And all that. Mike has taken the boys to Kids Choir at church and I stayed home under the guise of getting something done. Unfortunately they will all be returning in about 2 1/2 hours. So I'll get right to the point.

So much to report and so little time in which I can complete a coherent thought and record it here for you. My life seems to be going at a mile a minute right now. Let me take a drink of my beer and give you the low down.

The knitting: It's baby hat season. As in, each of my 4 stores contacted me at the same time asking for a big ol' pile of baby hats. That is what I am suppose to be doing right now. That is what I do when I attend my Parenting With Love And Logic class with Mike on Tuesdays (it doesn't seem to be working. The love and logic part, that is. I think it would be better to send my kids to the class). That is what I do when Eric is in school. That is what I do when I should be cleaning something (at this point, pick a room. Any room. It all needs to be cleaned).

I'm finished with Ryan's Harry Potter sweater and just need to block it and sew it up, and then cry when it doesn't fit him. I've begun Eric's sweater and have completed a whole half an inch. I have one Monkey sock done, one Caroline sock done, and one Leah sock done. And I have an inch of Jack's W hat done (4 year old Jack saw my UW hats on my blog when mommy Meghan was reading one day. He HAD to have one. Apparently, for Jack, the W stands for Webkinz. Or as Jack would say, Webkinth!).

The Shop: I do love my job. We're having a sale this weekend and I love a good sale. I love helping people fill up their bags with piles of yarn.

Lever Shocks: Still working out the details, but we're getting pretty close to going public. I'm sure people will be knocking down my door, looking for shock absorbers for their '36 Buick.

My birthday: 2 days away. 2 days until the end. 2 days until I have to start wearing elastic waist pants, sensible shoes, and join the PTA. 2 days until I start subscribing to Reader's Digest. 2 days until I have to let my hair go gray and start wearing big floral prints. 2 days until I start listening to Celine Dion and learn to crochet. 2 days until I turn 40.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Shocking Experience

My dad is a handy guy. Not in a change-a-lightbulb-quick-as-a-wink kind of handy. But handy as in, he can rebuild a barn, and restore an antique bathtub, and install antique flooring, and rig up the wiring so all the lights and tvs turn on at the same time, and learn how to keep bees, and make his own mulch, and rebuild vintage lever action shock absorbers. Kind of a renaissance man in Carhartts.

And what are lever action shock absorbers, you ask? Why, I'd love to tell you. As soon as I figure them out. Which I'll need to do soon since it's my new job to sell them.

My parents moved to Whidbey Island about 8 years ago and bought this 100 year old farm house on 6 acres. My dad is in the middle of remodeling the house, and is always and forever remodeling the barn.
The barn is his shop. But I'm thinking it may be a little different than the kind of your dad had. While your dad has one shiny radial arm saw in the corner, my dad has 4. My dad's shop has a scrap metal WING. He has several lathes, of both the wood and metal variety. He has his own sandblaster. I mean, you never know when you come across something that needs sand blasting, right? He gave my husband a table saw because he had so many of them. See that doorway below all the extention cords in the picture? That doorway leads into ROOMS.
There are no peg boards with outlines of hammers and screwdrivers in this shop. And this shop does not have one of everything. This shop has 14 of everything.

This shop is bigger than my house and I have gotten lost in it before.

About 10 years ago my dad bought this lever shocks business from this guy. I don't even know how he knew about this. I quit asking a long time ago. His favorite thing to do is find these crazy things and get the deal of the century. But anyhoo, he bought this business, selling vintage shock absorbers for vintage cars and trucks. Which apparently some people need. Whatever. In the first year the business paid for itself. He did it 3 more years and then "retired" from it. Sold the business to my cousin and bought it back. Sold the business to my brother-in-law, then bought it back.

And then stored it here. In the back of the Garage Mahal. See each of those boxes--they each contain either a single or a pair of shock absorbers for a particular vintage car. This is actually only a partial picture since I would need a wide angled lens to capture the entire inventory.
And why am I wasting your valuable time with this random bit of trivia about my dad? Because this is my new job. Selling lever shocks. Remember when I told you how supportive and helpful my family has been with our journey into financial oblivion? This is one of the ways they have been helping. There's gold on them thar shelves. As soon as I can figure out which part goes with which American car from 1915 to 1955.

Yesterday I spend the day with my dad, in the unheated barn, inventorying shocks. Which I think could be the reason I can't move my right shoulder today. Either that, or the fact that I'm turning 40 in 9 days. Or perhaps both.

Doesn't this new business just scream Knitting Queen?

And yet, I'm fine with this! I'll make money for me, money for my folks, and it's one small step toward cleaning out the world's largest shop while the owner and creator is still alive.

So now I work in a yarn shop, make baby hats, and sell vintage lever action shock absorbers. I can sell you yarn AND the correct shocks for a '38 Studabaker. Anything to pay the mortgage and keep me away from Murder She Wrote.