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Wednesday, February 29, 2012


We ran out of bread for lunches today, but it's not payday until tomorrow so I got the bread machine up and running.  
Dark Rye, hopefully yummy!

Monday, February 27, 2012

A week and a half

That's the time we have before we have to have the garage cleared of stuff.   This morning I spent clearing the top part of the pantry and calling about the garage to try and get things sorted.   A bit of jumping up and down (while being polite) has got results.  We had a visit from the contractor to look at the garage, confirmed that they won't take all of Thomas' junk away so we're going to have to do that.   I'd expected that anyway; Thomas hadn't.   So that leaves us with just over a week to clear things out of the garage, get as much as we can to the storage unit and the rest to the dump.  The contractor has offered to loan me his trailer to get stuff to the dump which is very nice of him.    The first day there won't be any destruction going on, but there will be a big trench across the drive and no power to the house (or phone).
The contractor asked if we wanted to keep anything from the building such as roofing iron so I've asked for enough to roof the boys playhut and one of the light fittings for FIL.

So, the next wee bit will be pretty busy without much crafting.  I'll still work on George's vest though as it's a test knit on a time frame, but all else will be on hold including my sewing, aside from on the no-power day when I might do hand-sewing and some spinning.  It's going to seem strange not having a garage though; it's been there so long!   Hoping I do get the chance to finish cleaning out the pantry though, might list a few things on Trademe from the kitchen as we've got stuff we never use.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Love Freecycle

I popped 3 items on Freecycle today, within half an hour 2 of them were claimed and another half hour later one had left the property. We no longer have a big oil fin heater; last used about 5 years back which worked fine then and has been in the garage since. 16 wineglasses will be going to their new home on Wednesday; the new owner lost all hers in the quakes; ours haven't been used more than 3 times in the 12 years we've had them.

Most of the big stuff from the garage is now in storage, spent 4 hours yesterday working on that, well, 6 actually but we only had the trailer for 4 of those 6. Still a few big things staying here; the ladder for one, the workbench as it won't fit on a trailer and one big storage unit which we'll have to trundle out of the garage and into the deck area. Still quite a bit of stuff in the deck, but that's all things that will fit into the car so I'll take a trip or several during the week. In particular the bigger tools have yet to go, but one trip should take care of most of them if I take the carseats out. Luckily I am capable of opening the unit up, it's a storage container and the levers are a little stiff.

On the crafting front there's not a huge amount happening due to all the tidying I've been doing, but I have cast on for another item. I signed up to do a test-knit of a cabled vest for children. I'm doing the size 7 in a longer length for George. He seems to prefer vests over jerseys and I'm happy to accommodate that.
 I'll be working on this only until it's finished; hopefully once this is finished I'll get something else finished.   Thomas would like his socks.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday on a day of rememberance.

A year ago today was not a good day for anyone in Christchurch, today we remember and I dressed up for the occasion

I'm wearing my favourite dandelion fairy t-shirt, a favourite stretch A-line skirt that was too big so I've introduced  tucks as a design feature, my favourite socks and shoes as well. 
T-shirt from One-day tees
Skirt - made by me, and then I got smaller.   Fabric was from Fabric Vision
Socks - made by me using Noro Silk Garden Sock
Shoes - Planet Shoes brand, lovely and comfy and good at showing off hand-knit socks.

I'm participating in Wardrobe Wednesday on Sailor Spy

I'm about to start work on that quilt again, same as this time last year.  I'll post photo's later as they're on the good camera and I'm recharging the battery.

Wardrobe Wednesday at

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A year ago tomorrow

Life changed forever for everyone living in Christchurch.   It changed in different degrees, for some just small changes, a little cosmetic damage to property, the ability to gauge the size of earthquakes accurately.   For others it changed in a big way, the loss of loved ones, of homes and possessions, jobs and local communities.  We're lucky, yes the garage is dangerous, but at least the house is only cosmetic damage and no-one we knew was killed.   We have friends who have lost their homes though and we know people who have lost friends too and people who were hurt that day.   I had been planning on being in town that day, so glad I procrastinated.
I suspect that everyone in Christchurch that day remembers exactly what they were doing when it hit; I certainly do as does my husband.   I was sewing seams on a quilt and that's exactly what I'll be doing tomorrow at the same time.  My husband was in the loo at his work; hopefully he won't be doing that and if he is it won't be in the same building as that's red stickered and likely to be demolished.  The boys were at school, just down the road being well looked after by the teachers and staff there who did a wonderful job, especially as many of them had no idea how their families were doing.

Things in Christchurch are not yet back to normal, but many businesses are back up and running, people are getting on with life admittedly with some adjustments.   I'd like to think that most homes in Christchurch now have emergency kits; pre-earthquake we were one of the few families that seemed to have one; now many do.

I'm going to be busy tomorrow morning, dropping into work, signing up for our storage (3-4 weeks turned out to be 3-4 days wait) and then working on the quilt, which really hasn't had much happen to it since a year ago.   I'll also be getting things ready for teaching the kids at school to spin on Friday.   I'm making basic spindles from CD's for them, I'd prefer finer shafts, but I can't get the grommets here so thick shaft it is.  I'll test run one first though.

Monday, February 20, 2012


I seem to be spending a lot of time getting quotes at the moment.   The chap from Skyline garages just left, got one from Fair Dinkum for the kitset only already, and another 2 being worked on as well.   Haven't heard from one place, but hopefully with 4 it'll be enough to get things underway.    Have no idea on timelines for any of it yet, but I'll be jumping up and down again tomorrow.

I didn't go to spinning on Saturday, have a sore throat courtesy of youngest I suspect so decided not to go an infect everyone else.   Instead I helped get more stuff out of the garage so we've now got it to the point where everything in there is either junk or stuff that Thomas has to decide if he's keeping or not.
Despite not going spinning I didn't feel too bad about that as I finished the first lot of fibre on Friday night so the first bobbin is full!

On Saturday night we played Talisman with Thomas' mother and sister and for a wee while George joined in.  Between my turns I dizzed another 100g of the fibre I'm spinning so that it's ready to go as well.  We had a great time, that game is always heaps of fun, and I won!   First time I recall doing that.   I also started crocheting another dishcloth, this one out of Elann cotton, this one will go into a pile for later gifting seeing as I have plenty already.

On Wednesday it's the 1 year anniversary of the big quake here in Christchurch, I've decided I'll be remembering by pulling out the quilt I was working on that day and getting more of it done; I feel that's a better way to remember it for me than going to one of the public things.   There have been a few items on TV remembering and they're hard to watch but I've still watched them, and I've recorded them too.  I think it's going to be hard to watch them for some time yet, for me at least, but I don't want to forget.   Remembering is important to me.

Finishing on a happier note, I decided to try something new when I got the groceries.  Jules Destrouper Butter Crisps.  Horribly expensive, but they are incredibly yummy!  No preservatives or any nasty things in there, flour, sugar, butter, eggs, salt and baking soda.   Now I need a waffle iron that can do the really thin ones!  I am in love, but it's not something I can afford regularly.  Probably very bad for the diet too, but at the time I didn't care!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Things are slowly happening

I think the first update has to be on the Tom Cat. He got to the cat shelter and then escaped from his cage! He's not been fixed, they've set up loads of traps to catch him and I'll let them know if he turns up here again. He's a wiley wee sod, got to give him that. Apparently even if he doesn't get trapped over there he certainly won't be short on food.

On the garage front we still don't know what's happening; this is what it looks like at the moment.
We've got approval from insurance to put the stuff in storage; we are on a wait list for storage which will probably be around 3-4 weeks.  We'll have to wait and see.
I've rung EQC again, no response from the chap who came out to look, so rang the main number who have (I hope) referred it urgently to Fletchers.   I rang them yesterday, so I'll give them a week before chasing it up.   We were doing some measuring last night and Thomas leaned against the worst wall; he wasn't thinking, but it moved and you could hear it too.   Not a good thing to listen to.

I've not knitted much, but I have finished the crocheted dishcloth for Thomas' Mum.  It turned out quite well luckily, though I did have to add to the side edge as it was getting too long.

It's 100% cotton and I'm not blocking it as it'll be used for dishes.

I'm now about to get back to the spinning for a bit while watching Black Swan.  I'm still working on the same as last time, except the bobbin is almost full
 and I still have this to fit in there; don't think it'll make it, but I'm going to push it as far as I can.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday 15th Feb

Still waiting to hear about the garage and what's happening.  In the meantime I'm organising quotes for a replacement building.

Had a lovely morning yesterday at a fellow bloggers meeting.   Lovely people and food.   I got some knitting done on the sock and now the sock has said it's for my husband.

Now, onto the purpose of today's post.   Wardrobe Wednesday.   Today I'm wearing a pair of cords I made in the winter which I love.
I've got to find a better place to take photo's.   They seem to be a little bigger than they were; this is I think a good sign.

Wardrobe Wednesday at

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tom cat? I think not!

Yesterday a friend turned up with a cat-trap to catch the cat we call "Bastard Cat".   I've blogged about the sod before, he's the one who sprays in our house and bails up our kitties in the garage.  She set the cage up and showed me how to reset it for just in case a cat we weren't after went in, put some food in there and then left.   He didn't turn up all day, but we've been busy around the section and garage so that wasn't a surprise.
This morning I went out and could immediately see the cage had been set off and was really hoping it was him and not the resident hedgie.   Lifted the cover and I was immediately very happy!

As you can see he's a handsome beast, just not very nice if he gets inside.   He was not happy, growling was coming from the cage, and if he knew what was going to happen he'd be even less happy!   Tonight or tomorrow he'll be losing his balls and will no longer be the Tom Cat of the area.   If we're lucky he'll have a microchip and can be sent back home, if not he'll be released here but should be a lot less bolshy.   I am really, really happy!

Onto other news, we've got a fair bit of stuff out of the garage, most of what's left is not stuff that we'd weep over if it went.   I've put up a bunch of tarps this morning to help protect what is now on the deck and in the kids hut.

and the conservatory is full of stuff that can't live even under tarp such as the power tools and T's gaming figures

We have an aisle to walk through to get to the deck, but this wasn't quite what I had in mind when I tidied the conservatory initially.    At this point we haven't heard from the insurance company about storage, nor from EQC/Fletchers about a date for the garage to be pulled down.   I've heard that garage companies are taking a year or more to build atm and I'm really hoping it doesn't take that long for us; having all this stuff around with an autistic child is not what I'd call ideal.

On the knitting front, not a lot been happening due to all of the above, plus the colonoscopy, but I have stopped work on my Central Park Hoodie for a short bit and cast on another sock.   No photos yet, but I'm about 5 rows from the toe increases being complete.    It's Mandorla from the Vintage Purls sock club a couple of years back, using the yarn that was dyed for the pattern; really liking it so far but yet to decide if it's for me or Thomas.   Luckily there's a wee while to make the decision, but I know Thomas would love more handknit socks, so......

Saturday, February 11, 2012

All is well

At least as far as they could see everything looked nice and healthy.   A couple of biopsies taken, but I won't get results on those for at least 7 days.    I had to have the sedation in the end unfortunately due to having had a c-section.  They won't do it without sedation in that case.  As a result I'm still fuzzy headed, but at least I'm now fed!
I know I'm not with it, the number of times I've had to back space to fix my typing on this is huge!

Thomas is still working on cleaning out the garage, I can't help today, but will be back to it tomorrow.    Hopefully also happening tomorrow will be capture of that sodding cat!   If he is caught they'll neuter him, check for microchip and if not owned re-release him here.

No knitting today, I did get some crochet done while waiting for my turn.   Dishcloth is now half done, when it's finished I'll give it to my Mother-In-Law as the one I gave her several years back is very well used and I think she'd appreciate another.   I have tonnes, so don't need them.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Wheels are rolling

In more than one way.   Today was prep for the colonoscopy and it's gone better than I remembered from last time so far.  Even managed to spend time with Thomas clearing stuff out of the garage.  We don't have any storage facility yet, but we've shifted some of the more important stuff into the conservatory and some non-important stuff under the covered deck and in the kids play hut.    I did have to take a few breaks and wouldn't have wanted to be away from home, but all in all bearable so far at least.

First thing I'm going to eat tomorrow is one of these:
These are our first tomatoes of the season and I'm snaffling two of them!  Then it'll probably be back into the garage; boys will be installed on the Xbox to keep them safe.

At the moment this is what the garage looks like:
7.6m by 6m full of accumulated stuff; not all of it worth keeping

North-west wall
South-west wall

Hard to see in this photo, but between the wood boards and cardboard boxes at the back is one of the areas where we can see through to the outside of the garage; this isn't the most unstable wall either; can't get photo's of that, too much stuff in the way at the moment.
Got a phone call from the EQC/Fletchers chap this morning asking me to put in a claim for the December event seeing as it's made the garage worse.   I did that so now have a third claim number and have let him know the number so now it's just a waiting game.   Hope we have time to get storage organised, but that has to wait on the insurance company.   There will be a lot of stuff in the red bin, and we may have to send some to the tip.   Hopefully some will go in the skip when the garage comes down, not sure what their attitude is on that though.

We had help today though, Ray was very interested in what we were doing
helping me take tomato photos.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Garage problems

Late last week I rang EQC and found out we shouldn't be using our garage, and they said they'd refer it for urgent action.   In the meantime I've contacted a couple of garage building companies to find out about replacing it plus adding a wee bit on and the first who got back to me suggested I visit the local Hub as the garage is a health and safety concern.  Considering Ian's lack of danger sense I had to agree so this morning I headed in there.
First problem, no sign of a referral on the Fletchers system.   They went to check the EQC system, no referral there either; I can't say I'm that surprised, but I am disappointed.  The lady at the front desk came back with a Fletchers guy who wanted to take a look at said garage and could be there in 10 minutes, was that ok?   My answer was for some reason a yes!   He arrived about 5 minutes after I got home, had a look around and confirmed what we thought; structurally unsound and needs to come down.   He said he'd be back to me and headed back to the Hub.  I dropped into work, and then came home and went for a bike ride (trying to get fit), 5 minutes after I got home another knock at the door; this time it was EQC guys.   They had a look too, same conclusion and agreed me treating it as yellow stickered building and they've gone back to get things moving.  If I don't hear anything in the next few days I'll be following up.  Waiting to hear back from the insurance company too and in the meantime this weekend we'll move what we can out of the garage and into the conservatory and deck areas.

Thomas has decided he wants to take advantage of it and add 2 rooms to the garage when it's rebuilt.   One for my sewing, one for his gaming so the total building will be 12m by 6m.   We will need resource consent; one set of neighbours has already said that's fine with them, just so long as it's not going higher (which it won't be).  There is one other set of neighbours to give permission, they have a huge hedge between them and us though, so hoping the fact that they won't be able to see the building will mean they'll approve it too.  Wish us luck with this process.   There will be complications, for a start all the power for the house is fed through the garage first; so we'll be without power while that gets sorted, hopefully only for half a day or so though.

The good thing is if we do get even one more room off the garage then the boys will have separate rooms in the house and we can stop using the Melatonin for Ian as he won't disturb George.   Hopefully this will result in 2 well rested boys.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday 08th Feb

I'm participating in Wardrobe Wednesday at Sailor Spy.    Today I am wearing my favourite dandelion fairy t-shirt from 1-day t's.   The skirt is one I made a few weeks back; it's a tiered skirt using a lightweight cotton.   Underneath I have my favourite bloomers on; love those things!   Good for modesty and comfort, especially considering they're made from an old egyptian cotton sheet.

Wardrobe Wednesday at

Sunday, February 05, 2012

A crafty post

Yesterday I went into the guild to what I thought was going to be the monthly meeting; unfortunately it turned out that it's now next Saturday so instead when the president arrived I let her know what I've been doing to promote the guild.  I think she was pretty happy with what Tedge and I have achieved so far and what we have planned for the future as well.   I got a reasonable amount of spinning done too; still a long way to go; always takes a while when you're spinning fine.   Funny thing was I was sitting between 2 people who were both spinning the same sort of colour I was; theirs were darker, but the actual base colour was the same.

I've got some more work done on my Central Park Hoodie, I'm now 11 inches up the back, with another 3 inches to go before I start the armhole decreases.
It's darker in real life than it shows here, but that means it will go with almost anything.  Not black, but anything else I think.   I love this yarn, I expect it to bloom and open up with washing as it's a felted yarn including angora bunny fur.   Should be lovely and warm too.
I'm concentrating on this at the moment, despite desperate desire to cast on for other things and the fact that I currently have a shawl, socks, dishcloth, kids jersey and blanket on the needles.

Now that the boys are back at school I'm exercising again.   Started on Wednesday with the big bike ride and on Friday and today I've done a session of the Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred
I'm finding it hard, but I can tell I've done a workout the next day!   This is a good thing; I want to drop a couple of sizes (actually several) to get back to a nice healthy size 12; probably around 60kg.   I'm currently about 15kg above that, and a lot of that is on my tummy.   I am also trying to improve my diet, though that is harder; darn this sweet tooth!

Friday, February 03, 2012

Finished Object Friday

Vampires and Mermaids socks are finished; love these socks!

In other news I got the stuff from the hospital today; Saturday next week is not just an appointment, it's the actual colonoscopy; eek!    So I have to go get the stuff to clean things out, and on Friday I get to take that and not eat anything from the beginning of Friday till the end of the procedure.  I don't do well with not eating, I get nausea, light headed etc and apparently the medication will do some of that anyway.   Anyone got any tips on how to survive with no food, lots of toilet time without going nuts?   Not sure if I'll be able to concentrate on knitting either and of course on Saturday morning there will likely be a wait; they say up to 2 hours, but this is public hospital, so could be longer.
Thinking I might take the Kindle and some knitting on the offchance I can concentate.   Might have to download some games on the cellphone despite saying I never would.    Got to remember it's only one day.  Wonder if it'll help me lose weight, lol.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

+ and -

In many ways today and yesterday have been really good.    Yesterday was a wonderful yarny day and I'll post pictures down the bottom of the post as one lot could be considered spoilers for Morag of Vintage Purls wonderful summer sock club.
Today started really well, kids are at school, I went to a bloggers meet up at the Christchurch South Library which was really nice and got to meet a bunch of lovely ladies most of whom I've only seen pictures of on their blogs before now.   I handed over a ski jacket to one of them which means one less thing in my closet.  It was a really good ski jacket, but I never ski and now that I have my down jacket it wasn't being worn.   I washed it first and it came through really well; gotta love front loaders!
On the way out of the library I got a call on my cellphone, getting used to having Abba's Rock Me playing now so did actually answer it; the hair clippers were all sharpened so I could pick them up.   When I cut Ian's hair last week it sort of chewed through it, so having them sharp again will be brilliant.  Those things have saved us a huge amount of money over the years.

After I got home I decided to call EQC to check and find out if we could replace our carpet without it impacting on the Fletchers repairs; the answer to that was yes, which is just as well.   Our current carpet is down to the backing, and it won't be long before we've worn through that as well.   While I had them on the phone I thought I'd clarify the garage situation.   When it was assessed there was no mention of whether we could continue using it or not so we sort of assumed it was safe.   A few weeks back my brother-in-law pushed the north facing wall and the whole thing moved, which made me wonder.   I checked today, no, it's not safe and we shouldn't be using it at all.   I pointed out that we really do need that garage and asked what we could do; they've referred it as urgent to Fletchers.   In the meantime we're going to treat it as yellow stickered and just go in to grab stuff we need; otherwise it will be kept shut to keep the boys out of it.
Hope nothing happens, we've got a lot of tools in there and there is nowhere else to keep them.   Thomas is not happy, all his hobby stuff is in there too so I've told him he can grab stuff to paint, but he'll have to paint them inside or on the deck; it's just not worth the risk.   There are a couple of things in there we have to be able to get to, the chest freezer and the motor mower; so we'll shift them to just behind the door so easy access.

Right, back to happy things now; here's the yarn I got yesterday in the mail
Party Girl by Wandering Cat Yarns; I won this

Honeysuckle also won from Wandering Cat Yarns

Summer sock club; pattern is Demelza a shawl and the yarn is called Sunshine.  This will not be knitted up as the shawl, I see a pair of bobby socks in the chaussettes de beauxbatons pattern

Zauberball sock yarn, this came with the sock club and will be a shawl I think; not sure which one yet, but most likely a triangular one.
Oh, and finally, just found out Mum is reading my blog, so "Hi Mum"!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday

Unfortunately my photographers were all at school or work so I had to rely on the very unflattering timed photo instead.   My current clothing was chosen this morning based on my plans for the day which involved a bike ride (50 minutes worth) and some dropping off of a big pile of books to the Metro Station for them to sell.

I'm wearing a T-shirt I bought a few years back from 1-day Tees which has a dandelion fairy on it and a pair of black yoga pants.  The t-shirt is one of my favourites.  The outfit as a whole is not the most flattering, but very practical.

I've now finished the exercise thing for the day so I'm going to spend an hour knitting followed by an hour working before I pick the boys up from school; first day of school being back and it's not long enough!

Wardrobe Wednesday at

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