Horti Honey's Blog of Yarn, Plants, and Life

Sarah Humke examines life through fiber tinted glasses….

Voila! March 31, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — hortihoney @ 9:31 am

As of today I no longer have a valid excuse for not posting as often as I should.  I now have the internet.  A very nice man from BT came by today and hooked-up the phone line to the house.  I would have taken a picture of him but I think that I sort of freaked him out by just being me enough already and I really wanted my internet.  So, he’s about for about an hour doing things with beepy devices in and out of the house.  He then asks if I have a telephone (which we do [long story on that one, maybe another time dears]) and voila!  We have a phone line.  So, as he’s leaving I ask him how long it will be until the modem comes and he said that it should be quite soon.  

I go upstairs and come back down and voila! again!  There is a package in the front just waiting for me!  And it’s a modem!  Holy shit!  That was FAST!  At first I was going to wait until the hubby came home to set it up but as I read the package it said, “fast and easy set-up!” and I thought, “what the hell!” which is usually a bad thing for me to think, especially as it applies to technology.  Anyway, against by better instincts I hauled the device up to the attic where all the wireless computer related stuff is and plugged it into all the appropriate sockets and voila! Yet again!  It worked!

 

Sexiest thing I've seen all week

Sexiest thing I've seen all week

Nothing is going to get done around here housework wise for the rest of the week folks as I gorge myself on internet access!!!

 

Nesting

So, I finally have my “studio”, as we are calling it as it sure as heck isn’t an office, put together.  Of course my room is always a work in progress but here is what it looks like for the moment.

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As you can see, Meara and Weezy are being lovely models for me by sitting like little ladies in the two chairs in the room.  I didn’t even have to bribe them or anything to do that.

 

Meara is such a show-off!

Meara is such a show-off!

 

One of my favorite aspects of the room is the view, which is quite fun.  I purposely turned my spinning wheel away from the view of the sheep as they were too distracting.

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All of my crafty books are in here as well as a good chunk of my horticulture books.  Some of them got delegated to the attic as there were just too many of them and a lot of them don’t really apply to the UK.  I mean really, I don’t really need a Trees of North America quite at hand as I used to now do I?

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The lighting in this room is excellent.  It is a diffused Northern light from the window and there are six quite good halogens in the ceiling.  Most of my yarn is in the attic as well since there just wasn’t enough space in the room to deal with all of the containers as well.  I have made sort of a little room up there with even a little chandlier and lots of pretty throw rugs.  

 

My attic yarn room...

My attic yarn room...

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You can see that I have started decorating the ceiling/walls of the attic with yarny sorts of things...

You can see that I have started decorating the ceiling/walls of the attic with yarny sorts of things...

 

I am missing home even as I begin to realize that our house in Florida was really not a good fit for the two of us.  It was ok for me alone, but as soon as there was the two of us living there is started to become quite crowded.  This house is a much better fit for us in many ways,  First off, it is larger with a more usable attic space.  I wish that there was a bit more to the yard as I am itching to plant things but having the conservatory is really nice.  We are looking at getting a little shed to put out in the courtyard in order to store our bikes in that will make the conservatory a little easier to use.  But I like that the “greenhouse” space is so very attached to the living area of the house.  The kitchen, except for it’s odd little washer/dryer combo (no, it doesn’t really work at all) and it’s British sized fridge is a much better space for the hubby to create his gourmet masterpieces in than our old place.  I am glad that it is going to be loved by a singleton once again.  But I still miss home.  I miss the bear tree behind the house and the bank of windows in the front room with their cool Northern light.  I miss the owls hooting and screeching in the dusk and the cardinals flitting about the azalea bushes in the front.  I know that I will get over missing these things, eventually.  I don’t think that I will get over missing my friends, however.  Or the ease at which things can get done in the US.  

Today we went to the bank and finally got me put on the checking account as well as opened a savings account.  The water bill came on Saturday and it was what we were waiting for in order to have me on an account at the bank.  It is amazing to me that that was all that it took to get me on when all the other very official papers that we had on Friday weren’t enough.  

I have started a new Yarn Therapy group here.  I am hoping that someone will actually show up for it, otherwise I will be crocheting away in a pub by myself for an evening.  I have posted flyers in Tring and should probably go to Ivinghoe and Leighton Buzzard and post some there as well.  I need to get over to Leighton Buzzard anyway as there is a vet there that is supposed to be pretty good.  So, if you are in the Ivinghoe Aston area on Tuesday nights stop in at the Village Swan and look for the woman crocheting and say hi!

 

Take your wives to work day! (Part II) March 27, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — hortihoney @ 2:13 pm

I decided to break the post into two pieces as it was going to be pretty long even with the metric ton of pictures in it.  Sooooo, here’s Part II…

The day of our departure was a serious flurry of activity that started early and didn’t end, at least for me, for a good 38 hours or so.  It was a REALLY long day….

In the morning we went and took cuttings of my African violet plants.  I more or less filled up a rollaboard suitcase with the the 400 or so cuttings that I had.

 

 

How often do you get a good ass shot?  I mean, really?!?!?

How often do you get a good ass shot? I mean, really?!?!?

Then there was a lot of running around doing last minute errands and packing.  One of these was taking the remaining geese to their new home.  It was kinda fun as it was in a rental minivan:-)  Pity the poor folks who rent that bad boy next!  Then, in the afternoon, we ended-up taking the pets to check-in at the cargo area at the airport.  We were there for a couple of hours since the paperwork for 5 animals is pretty intense.  But the folks at the cargo area were great and we were able to keep the dogs out until it was time for us to go check-in for our part of the flight.

Once again our plane was “Hot Lips”.

 

Our ride

Our ride

We were able to see the pets get loaded onto the plane which was nice.  I was pretty stressed out by this point even though there was nothing more that I could do at this point.

Do I look stressed?

Do I look stressed?

We got through and all of the pets were absolutely fine.  We had about a day to get sleep and get sort of oriented and then we were full-bore into our stuff being there.  We had a lovely truck driver knock on our door at about 8:00 in the morning on Friday with our container in tow.  He told us that the unloading crew would be there in an hour.  We scurried to get dressed and incarcerate the pets.  Alas, we hurried to get everyone in their places and then no-one showed.  So, we called the company and there had been a whoopsie in the planning as they had planned on the truck coming on Monday not on Friday.  So they contracted a local, what they call removals company, to come and unload the container.  

The Old Chapel and the container

The Old Chapel and the container

The crew arrived in about an hour and then the hard work started.  I was amazed at how well things came through as even the clay pots that were sort of thrown in at the end were for the most part intact.

 

About halfway through

About halfway through

Arranging the house proved to be…..well…..challenging.  There is a lot of space but oddly not a lot of wall space.  At least not on the first floor.

 

Unpacking is a bitch

Unpacking is a bitch

Milo had decided to hole-up in the art nook the night before the movers got there and we really couldn’t get her down.  So she had a lovely birdseye view of the whole moving-in.

 

Milo, the sniper

Milo, the sniper

We are getting used to the area.  It is very much like the area that I grew up in.  Very agricultural.  I think that more tractors go by the house in a day than cars and trucks.  Hell, there almost as many horses that go by!  But it is REALLY pretty, so much so that there is an official designation as for it’s beauty.  

 

Our front view

Our front view

 

We have some baaaaaad neighbors!

We have some baaaaaad neighbors!

 We finally found a large craft store in the area that is comparable to a Michael’s or Jo Ann’s.  It’s called Hobbycraft and I wasn’t let down by their selection of yarns.

Sarah and the Hobbycraft

Sarah and the Hobbycraft

 I was let down by just how FREAKING expensive they are.

 

Sarah checking out the yarn selection

Sarah checking out the yarn selection

If I am going to pay £6.00 for a very small ball of yarn I want to be giving it to a small shop owner.  I actually didn’t buy any yarn at all.  Can you believe that?  Me, walking by lots and lots and lots of yarn.  

 

We’ve been taking lots of walks in the area.  There are a lot of footpaths in the area and the girls love walking on them in good weather.  

 

Walking on a pretty spring day

Walking on a pretty spring day

This is what the area looks like.  The Ivinghoe Beacon is in the background of this photo.

 

The Beacon with freshly tilled soil

The Beacon with freshly tilled soil

On our walks we end-up seeing lots of sheep with their lambs.  They are super cute and pretty much everywhere.

 

Spring Lambs

Spring Lambs

All in all, we are adapting quite well.  I have just started a new Meet-up group called the Ivinghoe Aston Yarn Therapy.  I’m hoping that someone will show up to it.  We’ll see.  I will be posting more regularly once we have internet at the house.

 

Happy Days

Happy Days

 

Take your wives to work day! (Part I)

So, still no internets at home except the sloooooooooow and rather dubious connection through the cell phone.  I sort of misunderstood the hubby in the fact that the engineer is going to be installing the LINE for us to have internet at the end of the month, but they are only going to be sending the modem after the guy has installed the line, so it could still be a few more weeks before I have a “regular” internet connection.  I think that I may go insane.

So, today the hubby brought me with him to work.  There is more than one reason for this as we had wanted to put me onto the bank account that he has already set up.  However, apparently I am not living here yet enough to prove that I am, in fact, living here.  I had a receipt that shows that I am a part tenant in a house and am due half of the deposit through a government accredited company as well as the actual LEASE to the house, neither of which are valid proof for the UK government to open a bank account.  However, a water bill is.  Go figure.  It feels like a never ending battle to do anything in this country.  Things that are quite simple in the US seem to require a full rectal exam here and things that are usually quite complicated (like going to the Dr.) are super simple.  It’s disorienting not knowing what exactly you should gird for battle with.  

Otherwise, adjustment is going well.  The dogs have decided that they really enjoy the walks in our area even though they both seem to think that they could take either a sheep or a horse.  Anytime that we see one or the other of these animals they both go into paroxysms of barking that, if translated into (American) English would sound something like, “I’m gonna kick your fuzzy/tall ass!  Oh yeah, if I could get off this leash your ass would be SO mine!  I would be your worst nightmare sucker!”  The multiple times a day that a horse and rider amble by our house causes an explosion of barking and growling that is comparable to the UPS man delivering something in the US.  I am hoping that they will get used to it pretty soon.

Now, I have promised photos.  These go all the way back to the going away party with the hookers.  So, if you have a slow internet connection, go grab a beverage of your choice, maybe even take a bath or something, it may take a bit….

Most of us met-up at the Krispy Kreme in Winter Park in the morning for sugar bombs disguised as “breakfast”.

 

It's way too early for this!

It's way too early for this!

 

These two don

These two don't look as happy with the doughnuts as they should!

 

Krispy Kreme and Hookers, a good combination!

Krispy Kreme and Hookers, a good combination!

Plans changed at the bon voyage party as originally we were going to take a boat tour of Winter Park but the weather suddenly turned nasty, so where do we end-up?  At a yarn shop of course!

 

Here's the Pimp sitting pretty around the big table at Sip and Knit

Here's the Pimp sitting pretty around the big table at Sip and Knit

 

Becca Looking like trouble at Sip and Knit

Becca Looking like trouble at Sip and Knit

 

Tucker, the official dog of Sip and Knit and everybody there was very welcoming of our mobile party.  We also stopped at Michael’s and scored some clearance yarn.  (Love that glow in the dark yarn!!!!!)

From the yarn shop tours we moved on to the EATING segment of the party, and in some cases (I’m not naming names here!) drinking.  The folks at PF Chang’s were quite gracious to our rowdy crew, even taking photos for us at the end!

 

Good Chow

Good Chow

As you can probably tell, I handed off my camera to the pimp during this part of the party as I am usually pretty bad at taking photos at things like this and, well, he’s a dad thus used to taking photos of a bunch of rowdy females (He has daughters!  Get your mind out of the gutter!).

 

Sheila says "Hiiiii Ya!"

Sheila says "Hiiiii Ya!"

The Hookers surprised me with presents.  There was a lovely large “Ball Sack”, a book of photos and a lovely afghan with “Happy Hookers” emblazoned across it.

 

I'm surprised by the size of the Ball Sack that Lily made for me!

I'm surprised by the size of the Ball Sack that Lily made for me!

 

The Book of Hook

The Book of Hook

 

I'm very happy with my hooking afghan

I'm very happy with my hooking afghan

The whole group!

The whole group!

The manager of the restaurant was very obliging in taking our group photo (I think that he sorta wanted the crazy group that kept making hooking jokes out of his establishment!).  He seemed more interested in making sure that he got the Ball Sack in the photo than he was in getting the bottom of the afghan.

Our last stop was to give the poor denuded horse statue in front of PF Chang’s a little, uh, help….

 

Letting the horsey feel like a "man" for once....

Letting the horsey feel like a "man" for once....

The night before we left was a Yarn Therapy night at Infusion Tea.

 

Sorry,no real reason for this picture,  just had to put in a good photo of me for once!

Sorry, no real reason for this picture, just had to put in a good photo of me for once!

It was a great group and I finally got to show off the blue and white pain-in-the-ass in it’s FINISHED state!!!  Yes, it is DONE and has been sent off to it’s intended recipient a few months late.

 

Can you tell that I am happy that this is DONE?!?!?!?

Can you tell that I am happy that this is DONE?!?!?!?

The conversation was invigorating and heavy in the tech area.  It is an interesting group and I am glad that Terri decided to keep the group going!

 

We will have the couch if we have to throw our quiche at you for it!

We will have the couch if we have to throw our quiche at you for it!

 

Terri, the "Head Therapist"

Terri, the "Head Therapist"

It was a really nice night that helped me to forget about the stress that is on the horizon….

 

A Letter March 25, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — hortihoney @ 5:43 am
Tags: ,

To: The Writers of Battlestar Galactica
From: A Disgruntled fan

What in the SAM HELL were y’all thinking? I mean, really, was that necessary? Seriously? I am offended and want my money back, for all of them, not just the last ones as they will taint how I view the previous seasons from now forward.

At least Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse doesn’t suck.

 

The long awaited post! March 15, 2009

I’m sitting here typing waiting for the obscenely quiet washing machine to finish washing the load of laundry I just put in.  If you are in a hurry and were just wondering if I am still alive I will give you the brief synopsis of what has gone down.  We all made it fine as did the vast majority of our stuff.  There, now come back when you have more time because this is going to be an apologetically lengthy post.

So, as I said above, we all made it just fine.  The most difficult part of the whole endeavor was finding the place to pick-up the pets at Gatwick.  When we walked in we could hear Weezy being whiny in her normal manner, so we knew right off the bat that she was ok.  Then one of the folks who works there came out and said that everybody was fine and were chilling in the kennels there getting some needed food and litter time.  None of them went to the bathroom in their kennels nor freaked-out excessively.  Checking them out was time consuming, they weren’t kidding when they said to schedual at least 3 hours for the process to work it’s way through, especially with 5 animals to be processed.  However, the ladies at the animal reception center were lovely and luckily the paperwork was all correct and we were soon able to take them home in our new-to-us station wagon.  We had to rearrange the luggage in the car as it was so heavy in the back that the car was having trouble getting traction!  I must give major props at this point to the Virgin Atlantic crew on both sides of the pond.  The folks in Orlando were amazingly thorough in making sure that all of our paperwork was ok and that the animals were comfortable.  They went so far as to come into the waiting area to let us know that the pets had been loaded onto the plane and show us the sheet that the pilot signed showing that he was aware that there were live animals aboard in the cargo hold.  The folks in the UK were friendly and professional as well and if anyone else needed to move their pets from the US to the UK I would highly recommend this airline. 

We drove to the house/chapel in Ivinghoe Aston through drizzle (go figure, this is England!).  The pets had a day to get used to the house.  Milo decided to hole-up in the 2nd story art nook like a sniper on a rooftop.  She didn’t come down for 24 hours and we finally had to pull her down.  After a day of exploration the animals were re-crated as our container was here.  There was a minor glitch in planning on the moving company’s end as the crew that was supposed to unload it weren’t scheduled until Monday and this was Friday.  So they found a local crew who came in and unloaded the container for us.  Those poor guys didn’t know what they were in for!  The tally of all objects weather they be boxes or furniture was 504.  Several hundred of that number were boxes of books.  It took the better part of the afternoon to unload the container and luckily we had good weather once again.  The Hubby and I were helping the moving crew to unload and move everything inside and by the end of the day we were both seriously exhausted.

The weekend was a blur of unpacking boxes and carrying things up the stairs.  Unfortunately, the rooms with the most wall space were all on the 2nd floor, thus making it so that we had to carry both bookshelves as well as an assload of books to the second story.  This has been the best workout that either one of us has ever had!  “My” room has 7 large bookcases and 1 small one in it.  Most of my yarn has gone to the 3rd floor aka the attic.  It’s the size of the entire house and has been partially finished (thank God!) with OSB floors and drywall ceilings over the insulation.  A lot of stuff has been sent up there including all of my large yarn tubs.  I’ve put some throw rugs up there and there was already a couple of carpet remnants so it feels almost homey already.  I will probably take a lamp or something up there as there are several outlets.  It is a fairly tall space, in the middle of the roof the hubby can stand-up.  There are old unfinished wooden beams dissecting the room into 3 parts.  The first part is the storage area where we keep things like extra paper towels and luggage and things like that.  The middle third is yarn mecca, with my tubs arranged nicely.  The third farthest from the ladder is where we are storing some boxes (the good boxes that we got from the bookstore) and stuff like Christmas decor and odd things that we won’t use often.  If it weren’t for this space this house would be oddly crowded given that we are gaining something like 500-600 square feet.  I will post pictures at a later time…

On Sunday I had my first driving lesson.  I didn’t kill anyone nor add any dents to the car.  After a little bit of driving it doesn’t seem like such a big deal.  However, there are 2 things that still catch me.  I am always trying to grab my seatbelt and put it on from the wrong side and the fact that now right turns are the pain in the ass rather than left turns.  However, one thing that is annoying is that we are living in a seriously beautiful area and when you are driving you cannot look around at all.  Driving here takes a lot more concentration than it does in the US.  I have yet to see a road that goes straight for more than a few blocks.  Most twist and turn for reason that made sense a few centuries ago but today are just annoying.

There seems to be a working farm at the back of the village with geese and sheep.  We moved here in what seems to be the middle of lambing season.  If it isn’t windy in the morning you can hear both the geese honking and the lambs and ewes calling to each other.  Looking to almost every direction you will see sheep dotting the hillsides.  There also seems to be quite a few horse farms in the area and almost daily we see a horse and rider clip-clop by our front window.  

I am trying to take the girls for a daily walk though the weather doesn’t always cooperate.  Everything from clear and sunny to sleet has greeted us.  Meara and Weezy are still rather unfriendly towards other dogs which is a bit of a pain in the ass since EVERYONE seems to take their dogs out for walks.  Oh, and they aren’t too friendly towards horses either which is really funny to see.  Imagine Weezy barking and growling at something that is so big that I’m not even sure that she knows to look up for it’s head!

Ok, so this is very scattered.  Hopefully I will have a regular internet connection soon.

 

So long… March 4, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — hortihoney @ 6:31 pm
Tags: , , ,

This is probably my last post as a resident of Florida.  I am sitting in the waiting area for my flight on Hot Lip, yes, that saucy 747 again, watching for my pets to board the airplane.  We made it through all of the check-in with no problems, now we’re just hoping that we make it onto the plane since we really have too much carry-on baggage.  If they make a fuss, I will more than likely start crying.  It has been a seriously stressful day….finishing packing, closing-up the house, taking our geese to their new home.  I am already tired and know that by the time that I get there I will probably be insensible.  

I wanted to let you know that so far it has all gone ok.  I may not be able to post for a while due a lack of internet. What awaits me is a bit of mystery on that front.  I will try to let you all know as soon as I reasonably can how things went.  Thank you to everyone who has helped us get to this point and for all the kind wishes and farewells.   

By the way, the ball sack has boarded the plane………

🙂