Crafty Stuff

So I’ve gotten out my big ol bin of squares. A lot of them are mine, and about half of them are ones people have sent to me to assemble into afghans for the hospitals. So yesterday I laid out four patterns. One in whites and pinks, one in whites and blues, one in a bunch of different greens, and then a brights, with oranges, yellows, reds, purples, and greens. I need to make two more yellow squares, and a purple square for that one though.

I sorted a crap ton of squares out too, and I think if I make a good mess of brown, and cream colored squares, I can put together two lapghans from what I call my Ugly Square pile. The Ugly Squares are all dark greys, 70’s orange, and browns, and rust colors, and just omg where did people get these colors!!! Shocking! But if I can make like 18 kinda ok colored squares, and then use like 12 Ugly’s in with them, I think I can get them all used up in two or three lapghans.

Then there are the over sized, mismatched, patch squares. I have a good plan for those also. I am sizing them up, and putting them into strips, and then crocheting edges around the strips, and then I will fudge it til the strips are all the same length. Width won’t matter, because they can be any ol width, but they all need to be the same length for the blanket to come together. Then I’ll have some fat rows, and some skinny rows, but putting all the strips together it’ll make an interesting blanket!

In other news… In Dec and Jan I saved up a whopping $30 on my WalMart Savings Catcher!!! Took that and doubled it with Bluebird, and yesterday when we were there shopping I got a bit of new clothes, and the girls got some kind of fleece stretchy warm up pants! Woohoo!!! Love getting $30 free dollars of shopping money!!! That won’t last for long though. Looks like the fine print I read back in August was right, and they’re ending BlueBird/Amex doubling the dollars at the end of Feb. But that was a nice long run. All totaled, I got around $70 free dollars out of the deal from Amex, and then $70 of my dollars back from savings to re-spend! Not too shabby for just shopping and plugging in numbers for six or seven months! Now I think I’ll just let the dollars wrack up from my regular savings for the rest of the year and then we’ll have a nice big boodle to spend around the holidays this year. If I keep averaging $15 a month that’ll pretty much pay for our Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, and all of our cookie making stuff, and a couple extra turkeys for the freezer.  😛

Ok, kiddo’s are done with their reading. Gotta go and engage them in some other schooly stuff for an hour or so. Then if it stays kinda clear outside maybe we’ll go out there and get some garden beds plotted out. In my dream the other night I was in the garden, and the beds were totally different, and I think I’m going to go change what we have going right now, and do it that way instead. When I look out there now with what we have marked off with stones it kinda looks like a pet cemetery! The garden beds in my dream were all rounder, and more flow-y, and took up the whole edge of the cement slab.  That’ll be better for watering things, because rain runs off that slab like a waterfall!!!

TTYL 🙂

Healthcare and Exemption-y Crap

Yes, I am trying to blog more.  It’s just some weeks fly by so dang quick, with so much to do. So we’ve been at this healthcare/Obamacare paperwork stuff for weeks now.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel! Whhoooooo hoooo! So it appears there is now an exemption/waiver something or other, but you’ve gotta jump through their hoops to do it! I am pretty much just the paper runner, and dh is the paper filler outter, filer, and keeper of all things important. He contacts the people, and asks all the right questions, and gets things done. I just know where everything he needs is, and can put my hands on any piece of paper that he needs for anything all the way back to 1999!!! He says, “we need the electric bill from November 2003, and the house taxes from 2008!” I can have both of those items in his hands in under 15 minutes!!! We work like a fine tuned machine like that.

Soooo, the waiver thing pretty much needs to be filed by Feb 15th. In our situation we’re going on the part that says you need to be turned down for Medicaid (because we’re like $50 a month above the poverty line. which I still find as a joke because coming from my childhood I feel like we’re livin pretty damn well. granted we are an odd lot, and don’t have a mortgage, and only one family vehicle paid for, and two flip phones only one of which is actually on cuz I hate phones. 😛 but this is a whole nother rant for another day…) and the only Insurance you can find outside of Medicaid is more than 1/8th of your monthly income. I freakin laughed so dang hard at that! Thee absolute most rock bottom insurance we could find is at least 1/4 of our income every month. A better plan would easily be 1/3 or more! Goes to show you how terribly out of touch the Gooberments and Insurance is with regular people.  And it is why we are still paying for all of our medical out of our own pocket!

I swear I am the only one in this house that went to a regular dr last year, and the only reason I did that was because I needed my birth control. And yep, they roped me in with, “we need you to come back in for additional tests, because there was this thing, and we’re not sure if it’s not abnormal, so it’d be safe if you just came back in”  Of course that was a second office visit, and a second set of lab work. Of which the lab when we called them to discuss our $600 lab bill, Immediately knocked that down to $140 for a “self pay” price! WTF!!!! Of course none of that work was for anything my FL dr’s called me back in for. As a matter of fact the stuff the FL dr’s told me was wrong with me never even came up at this new dr. I guess I was miraculously healed of all of that crap they were telling me was wrong, and now here in CO it’s just a whole new set of problems that the FL dr’s never caught! Umm hummm! And yep, paying for it all out of pocket costs us less than a months worth of insurance cost. Even when Cassie had her allergic reaction we paid for ~everything~ out of pocket *and* moved across the country, and it was still less than paying for insurance. Go figure that!!!

So yeah, if we jump through all these hoops, and get turned down for Medicaid, and then I don’t know how many different quotes we have to get, but then we submit all of that, and then the government does some magical wave of the wand, and either gives us some kind of kickback, or finds us cheapo health insurance that will magically be less than 1/8 of our income! Whheeeeee! And then we’ll have piece of mind, and no fee added to our tax return, and hopefully I’ll go to my ONE dr appointment this year for just a simple co-pay (plus the $320 dollars a month, every month, that they’ll be sucking out of our pockets.  :-/ ) Wheeeeeee, my one dr visit now cost my family $3840 instead of the $250 self pay fee, x2 of course if they find something wrong!!!! Gasp!

My head hurts. I’m tired of paper work. I’m tired of the government and insurance companies. I’m tired of wasting money. 😦

Marudai from Friends!

So a few weeks back Anna contacts me and tells me she has this weaving thing she wants to send me, because she’ll never use it, and it’s been sitting around her house, and she just wants to give it to someone that will use it!!! I thought, oh man how fabulous!!!  Maybe it’s a peg loom, and the kiddo’s can have at it, and leave my stuff alone. Then we got to talking size, and I thought, ooooh, maybe it’s a baby inkle loom, or a back strap loom!!!!  Wow, those would be wonderful also!!! Soo my mind is whirring away with all these ideas, but little did I know what a Fabulous thing she had to send!!! Here it is (and no, I don’t have any wonderful pictures of it in all it’s glory with all it’s parts just in one picture, because NO ONE has left this thing along long enough for me to get a good shot of all of everything together LOL)….

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So in the beginning there was much to do about figuring it all out. There are weights, and counter weights to be figured in. If you add too many weights into the bag that holds the string down, you get a very tight braid. Not enough, you get a looser braid. It came with 16 Tama bobbins. We’re only up to using eight so far, but a 16 string cord one day would be mighty impressive!

And yes, in the beginning there was a melt down by Miss Emily, and there were fights over who was going to make the first cord! I snitched all of it away from them until they settled down, and I found an easy pattern that you just take two of the threads, and you go from 6 o’clock up to the middle of the 12 o’clock threads, then you take the outside 12’s to the 6 position, and then do the same from the 3 o’clock side over to 9, and then the outside 9s to the 3.  And yeah, Emily picked the red and pink for Valentines. Nobody else liked that! We’re blues, purples, and greens, kinda folks. 😛  She’s on her second cord now though, and made it yellow and orange. Ugghh! But she figured out how to make a twisty cord.  It’s coming out very pretty! I’ll have to figure out the macro mode on my camera again to get pictures of all the pretty cords! We’ve bought beads and pendants now too, and they’re going to try making jewelry out of it all! Every time we go into JoAnn’s they are allowed to pick ONE two dollar pendant!!! First time we went in there and I let them off in the beads section while I went to the yarn, and they came out of there with $40 worth of beads and pendants!!! I made them put most of it back, and we got out of there with $8 worth. 😀

 

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And yes, the kitties think it’s a glorified cat toy!  Always circling, but they haven’t messed with it yet. Smart kitties!

So then there was much back and forth, because they can’t take this big ol thing on the road, and in looking up things on how to make cord they came across all of these Youtubes with people with a little white foam disk, so guess what I ended up getting also? Yep, first one foam disk, and now another. They used their Christmas and birthday monies on that though. So now there is much of this going on everywhere…

Now today we are back to schoolwork, so there won’t be much of cord making til paperwork, reading, and chores are finished. Muhahah! I am a mean ol mom!!!!

In knitting news… Now that the huge order of mitts is out of here…

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I am working on a baby sweater! A blue baby sweater. All of the pink and red have been purged from my desk!!! 🙂

TTYL 🙂

Busy Couple of Weeks

Seems like since Christmas I have been busier than the month leading up to Christmas. Had a big order come in on the shop, and then two already done and pictured orders sent out. Just now finishing up the 24 mitts. Should be done tomorrow, and then more picture taking, and custom listing, and packaging, and mailing.  Yaaayy, for that to be done! Now I have an order for a baby sweater and another pair of mitts that button all the way up the side. So things are rolling right along.

On top of that we are working on taxes, and insurance crapola!!! Dh handles most of it, but I am the paper shuffler and looker upper of stuff. Taxes are gonna be a wee little more complicated this year, because dh took on a second job, and then some side work, and I’ve made a bit off the Etsy shop too, so all of that is rolled into it. Don’t even get me started on Obama Care. What a mess of hoops to jump through. Seriously considering just paying the fines. Harumpf!

On a good note… I’ve gotten my business cards in. I’ve been pinning them on bulletin boards around town, and handing them out here and there to people that compliment my knitting. Dh did the QR code thingie, and the shortened URLs. Makes it easier for people to find my shop, I reckon.  I have the link to my Ravelry on there too in case anyone wants to look over things I’ve knit in the past, and would like me to make something that isn’t on my shop.

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Not the most fanciest thing in the world, but I waited for a Vista Print sale and then had a coupon code thingie so I could order twice as many for the same price as the basic package. It’s all about the timing! Spending my money carefully!

And talking about spending money…. I’m shopping for my gardening stuff for Springtime already! Have to figure out a way to get a couple dozen cinder-blocks home, and I’m also going to get like four or five fruit trees for the extra lot on the side of the house. I’m gonna start small with two garden beds, and the trees this year. I’m going to try and work it so the beds get water from the back slab of cement, and maybe get a system going of rainwater off the roof. Should try and work out a drip system to the trees also. Should be interesting since the neighborhood kids use our extra lot as a place to ride their dirt bikes, and play ball. We’re gonna be fencing it off though. Don’t worry there’s a park about two blocks away, and another lot about a block further than that. One thing about being this far out in the sticks… there’s lots of places for the kiddo’s to go play. 🙂

TTYL 🙂

The Catz

Soooo, here is a most wonderful cat post.  In November when it started getting really cold the poooooor kitties were scrambling to not have to lay on the floor, and most the time this is how we found them. Two, or three, or four all vying for a spot on the bean bag!

(Wicket and Trout)

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Or up on a bucket. It is important to get your bucket space, or you won’t nap well.:-D

(Big Fat Salmon, or Big Fat Baby as we now refer to him. he’s afraid of everything. LOL)

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And we all know how important naps can be!  Sometimes you just have to share.

(Maw maw and Salmon the Big Fat Baby)

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So what’s a poor kitty to do when all the good spots are taken up.  Well, that’s when I broke out a couple of old sweat shirts, and made the kitties some cat beds.  Here’s the dark purple one, half finished, and Wicket is already in loooove with it.  She sleeps on this one every night now. So basically you sew up the neck, and I stuffed the arms with old socks. I have a bin full of worn out socks that I knew would come in handy for something. I cut the tops off to put around canning jars on the shelf, so they don’t clank together, or the good ones that aren’t so worn get made into sock puppets, or we cut them up and use them in the garden for ties, or stockings get used to support trellised pumpkins/squash, and melons.  Now a lot of the scrappier sock bits have been used to stuff the arms/sides of this cat bed! Then you sew the arms to the bottom of the sweater/sweat shirt, and easy peasy cat bed! Here’s the Youtube on how to do it. Oh, and I just folded an old T-shirt and put it in the body part of the sweat shirt for extra padding, and used yarn to secure it in place like you would a quilted tie blanket.

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And that’s as crafty as this blog gets for today. I finished the first six out of twenty four of those heart mitts for the big order on my Etsy.  Ain’t they pretty!!!! They are on their way to the lady’s shop as we speak. I’ve got two more pairs finished now, so only sixteen more to go!  Wheeeeeeee! And more orders came in on the shop, so it’s a good mailing out day! Still can’t believe people are paying for my knitting! But it’s a good thing, because it keeps the kitties fed, and keeps the baby hat packages going out to hospitals!  Yaayy!

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TTYL 🙂

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