Friday, June 29, 2007


G'day all!

What a busy week! I've hardly had time to knit or spin - the best times have been whilst reading email, believe it or not, and that is main cos our connection here is kinda flakey and sometimes takes a while to load a page (especially since my yahoo account is based on an English server, not a yankee one).

So far, I've been to Lambspun and My Sister Knits. I would show off pics of my first purchases but for whatever reason I have not taken any yet! (Probably because I am unsure about downloading pics onto a borrowed laptop.) I would show pics of knitting too but again, I've not even thought about taking photos! I have been taking pics of sunsets thought.

I fear my next purchase is going to be some Sugar N Cream to make a dishcloth with - we had a dishrag here but suddenly it has disappeared and we only have a tea towel. The tea towel is for drying dishes (and hands), not for wiping surfaces and I am danged if I am using paper towel to wipe benches with.

We hired a car yesterday. We had been told none were available, but one just so happened to have come back just before we wandered in. The place we hired from has open ended contracts - they don't know when we'll bring the car back. We don't know either, except it is costing us a HEAP cos we don't have local insurance. Basically we are paying almost double the usual rate. Eeek! It is going to be expensive and we don't have a lot of moula at this stage. Still, we are very very mobile!

Today we go look at the scratch and dent bike sale. THese bikes are a bit shop soiled but mechanically sound. I figure that bikes get scratched up (though hopefully not dented cos that could make them unrideable!) so why pay full price when you can get a bike chepaer but ready scratched? We also will be looking at some more places to live.

Nathan is now thinking we should get an apartment that is cheap for three months ro so, so we can get all the stuff we need. Only problem with that is we might be stuck in a little box for some time, since rental season seems to start around nowish. He is still wondering if we should buy a house here. That really depends on whether I can get a work permit. At least I now know how to apply for one, though I don't know the address to send the paperwork to (yet) and we don't yet have a cheque book cos it costs $180. Hopefully we can bot a cheque off someone to pay for it.... (we pay the person back the money!) Godsakes, this whole process simply gobbles money! It is making me feel twitchy....

Must get a wriggle on - we have LOTS to do today - more places to look at, bikes to buy (speaking of money), people to meet up with, stuff to print (I think Nathan may have to go into work for a little while to do some printing and copying of stuff).


Monday, June 25, 2007

Still alive, despite best efforts

G'day all!

I accidentally drove into a VW dealership's back car lot today. I sorta got lost looking for a place to turn around in. Yep, I am out on the road, a hazard to myself and everyone else. I don't know the rules, y'see, but that doesn't stop what appears to be half the population of Fort Collins from getting out on the roads themselves. I have the additional handicaps of not being familiar with the area AND not being used to this left hand drive bizzo (though I am getting better and rarely now flip on the wipers instead of the indicators, or as some people use them, confirmators). I am mighty glad that the brake pedal and the accelerator (gas pedal) are in the same arrangement as at home, otherwise I would've pranged the monster a gazillion times over so far.

My first port of call was, of course, a yarn shop! But alas they are closed on Mondays. Quite frankly I am not real sure of what day it is at the moment, nor the time so I was not really sure why they were shut until I counted days on my fingers. Is it only two days ago that we arrived? The days are much longer (about 8 hours as far as I can tell) than they were at home, it being the summer solstice not long ago here and the winter one back home.

I then trawled through Joann's and Michael's. Yep, I got to see me a whole lotta Lion Brand yarn. Yee-har! Just what I always wanted, specially that novelty yarn, like the stuff I either sold for $1 a ball or shoved into charity bins back home....

But I did nearly buy a ball of Sugar n Cream, but then came to my senses. I have to buy *nice* yarn as my first purchase in the USA!

I'll try MSK tomorrow, and maybe Lambspun too, but then the car goes back to whatever hell it came from. It is what Americans would call a small SUV, but trust me it is plenty larger than my old car - I reckon you could fit two of him in this one vehicle.

Plus we need our bicyclettes. It is stinking hot here - plenty hot for riding in - but without a car or a bike, we will be screwed with regard to getting food. I've checked out two places so far - one has new bikes and is considered the best bike shop in town, the other has recycled bikes. Most of the recycled bikes looked hardly any more used than mine (with about 100 hours of riding done and the nubby bits from the moulds on the tyres not yet all worn off). It is going to cost us about US800 to get bikes with all the tricksy bits (eg noice saddle for me, lifters on the pedals, panniers, etc). That is pretty painful on our lack of budget. Still, Nathan will get paid twice a month, which is handy. I had ideas that he would get paid monthly, and would've missed the pay cycle for the first month = two months without pay. Thank heavens that is not to be!

So tomorrow, I trawl around some more whilst I have vehicle, monster as it may be. I check out the bikes again. Then we will probably end up renting a car, but a smaller one that is noicer. That will help us check out places to live too. We know the area we want to be in.

BTW, I've started a new blog, Colorado(an) Dreaming. Once Nathan has his laptop (not his boss's old laptop) I can download photos and start showing the sights, and make up a nice header for the new blog.

Let the games begin!


Sunday, June 24, 2007

We're here!

G'day from Fort Collins!

After 28 or so hours of travel, we are in Fort Collins. It is warm and sunny. I have to show off my poor bruised, white (and slightly hairy) leggies (someone has a tendency to walk into boxes and furniture that "were not there a minute ago").

We have a car for a couple of days (medium sized 4wd, teensy sized SUV by American standards - I saw the enormous GMC things otuside the grog shop yesterday!), a whole lotta sleep to catch up on and a case of jetlag to get over. (room 121 at the Marriott residence inn for those who need to know - they have free internet access so I can read email and blog!)

Let the adventure begin!


Thursday, June 21, 2007

So long and thanks for all the fish

G'day all!

Happy solstice!

I doubt I'll be blogging until we get set up in the USA, or at least until I find a net cafe or something. We have the last minute panics happening - one of our house sitters moves in tomorrow, we have not cleaned out his room yet, my computer probably gets unplugged tomorrow and returned to its rightful owner, we have not cleaned out the house, only half the rooms are half cleaned.... I have not sent off all the paperwork that needs to be sent off or fixed all that sort of thing up yet, nor sent some mail to the USA that will keep me occupied for a while... nor gotten all our tax stuff together (our tax year ends in 9 days).

Some people are wondering what is happening with my yarn site. Welll, amongst the gazillion things I have to do tomorrow is take pictures of all the yarn that is not up on the website. I have labelled it all, plus some lovely tops I dyed, and it is all going to a friend to mail out to the lucky lucky buyer. (Thank you Peeved!) In return, Peeved gets extra special yarny treats from the USA!

(Amanda, you left a comment asking about the aran/worsted weight yarn on my site but I have no way to contact you - blogger has not recorded your email address and your comment was anonymous... I have to check if the yarn will felt, but I regret that it is low on my list of priorities at the moment....)

Thank you all for your good wishes. It will be a *very* grand adventure and I am looking forward to making new friends and seeing new sights and wools and yarns in the USA. It is just sorta hard leaving one's puddings behind - poor Nutmeg is very unhappy cos she knows what is happening. It makes me even more annoyed at the people who abandoned her when she was a young cat. It is also hard leaving friends, many of whom I've known for more than 20 years now, and hard leaving family, and the place where you've lived, the place you adore (except the traffic is getting AWFUL!). OK there is email and online chatting but sometimes you need to get together with people. So come and visit! We'll have a bed in a room for visitors. Eventually :-)

So for now it is tata until I see you on the flip side!


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

OMG visas are here

G'day all!

Awooga, awooga! Visas are here!

This means we fly out on Saturday - we have flights booked.

PANIC! I'm a teapot! Yes the house is in a much better state but we have not done all the legal stuff yet. Eeek!


Monday, June 18, 2007

2am fussing

Early morning all!

Why am I awake at 2am worrying?*

Why am I worrying about handing over my car to his new owner?

Why am I worrying about me not having an income?

Why am I worrying about having our house sitters in?

Is it because we made various promises with the idea that we were leaving last week and now the possibility of staying here for an extra three months is rearing its ugly head?

Our house sitters need a new place to live ASAP - their current landlord is making things very difficult for them. We effectively said they could live here from last weekend. Umm, how? There isn't room for us all! I've effectively sold my car. Soon I will be carless, which will be blasted inconvenient. I'll just have to get used to catching PT and riding my bike to the shops that I can get my GF food at. I have promised various people various items (in particular one person).

I hate breaking promises or assurances. That is probably what is fussing me most.

Other things are fussing me too. If we leave here in September, I will need to earn an income of some sort between now and then. How? Noone wants to employ someone for that little time (temping I hear you say - umm, yeah, I've been doing that and since last September I've had two months of work, and two offers of working in a call centre dealing with insurance agents. I *hate* working on the phones. I'm too introvert to enjoy it. I particularly hate working with agents, who think they know everything cos they have been selling a product they know jack all about). So I'll have to lie about my intention to stay in a job.

If we leave here in September, it means that I will be going from one winter to another, and I hateses winter I does! It is all short days and coldness. I am a long days girl. We will be leaving just as the days are really starting to lengthen out here and spring will be springing. I love spring and the idea of having two winters in a row is very very daunting, especially a winter involving subzero temperatures.

Sigh. So there is my 2am fussing, all laid out.

*(Could it simply be because I ate a yummy soup with lots of chickpeas and kumara/sweet potato and now have the bloats which then induces fussing along with other unpleasantness?)



G'day all!

Waaaay back in the mists of time, I did picture knitting as we called it back then. I were a young un then. I was enthusiastic and desperate to avoid doing cables again (I did them on my first jumper). Picture knitting was all the rage and I wanted to be trendy.


Fabulous, no?

I was going out with a dark-haired guy at the time, though he was shorter than me, and I thought it was a great jumper! I believe I actually knitted it in the colours specified (let's, ahem, face it, I only had a couple of colours I could reasonably use for the faces) and have the feeling I got bored with the black things on the sleeves and left them off one of the sleeves altogether. Some of it was done with a gazillion little bobbins of wool, some was done by duplicate stitch. Anything that was only one row or column thick was done duplicate wise.

You can see the ends woven through the knitting. Crufty, eh?

I like the way the grey waves on the back look vaguely like the Sydney Opera House, even though I am a Melburnian and Sydney is the Enemy!

Then in the late 90s came this emu.

I still like it. It isn't wonky, honest! It is just the way I laid it out and photographed it. I don't like the hole a mouse nibbled in the cream part - heck, hope I haven't thrown out the yarn to patch it with! You can see a closeup of the emu plus hole here.

Finally, I give you cutesy cats.

Look at the Cheshire, looking just like a wallaby or a very small roo:


Friday, June 15, 2007

I have done fair isle!

G'day all!

Way back in the dim dark ages when I last had the knitting bug in a big way, I made jumpers. (Not sweaters - sweaters are things like sloppy joes and windcheaters and stuff that you sweat in not that we particularly use the term sweater anyway - jumpers are for looking nice and keeping warm in. Don't ask me why they are jumpers - maybe because you were active in the newly fashionable knitwear of the late 19th/early 20th centuries and you could do things like jumping in them at a time when everyone wore stays and constrictive clothing.)

I found my box of jumpers that I can't throw out, but conversely don't want to wear any more.

Here's fair isle one:

It has *beautiful* full sleeves that gather into the cuff and a turtle neck, as you did in the 80s. It was quite warm I seem to remember. The colours are very 80s too, but then again that is when I knitted it. I probably knitted it with an old standard here - Paton's Totem, though I may have used a plain, cheaper Cleckheaton yarn, but that seems unlikely from the feel of the jumper. I am pretty sure I could not get enough of the Cleckheaton Merino Supreme to make a whole jumper - it was the best yarn for softness and knitted up very well indeed (more another time!).

I know there are plenty of freaks out there who like to see the inside of the fair isle (pretty much more than the outside!) so here it is:

Here's fair isle two. I can't remember if I knitted this one for a boyfriend or for me - I think this one was for me cos the scraps and leftover wool from the other one were greens and turquoises, and I only just threw most of them out 20 years on (and the jumper was MUCH too big, lol. And yes we did break up). Anyway, this jumper was a bit broad for me even now that I have porked up 10 kilos from my early uni days - it would almost fit my DH except he is too long in the body for it.

Now the inside:

Do you like the different techniques used on the arms and the body? I was worried I'd run out of yarn if I stranded it so I used a gazillion little bobbins of yarn instead. Then I stranded it on the arms.

So there are my two remaining fair isle jumpers. I have two intarsia ones left as well, one of which I have been know to wear recently just to stir people up :-)

Oh, yes, we are still in Melbourne. I have been warned by THREE different people now to expect it to take THREE months before the visas are issued. So much for it only taking two days, like the bloke told us.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

In which I display a charming naivete

G'day all!

Estes Park fibre festival has slipped beyond my reach. I won't get to meet Chris or Margene or any of the knitbloggers who will be there or catch up with ones I've met (Kristi). Sniffle.

But on the bright side we have a few more days with the cats and more time to tidy up the yard and plant stuff and offload stuff onto friends.

OK, why naive? Cos I trusted the US govt to deliver when it said it would. The guy at the "interview" said it would take two days to issue the visa. With a stupid public holiday (normally I *love* public holidays but when you are unemployed every day is a public holiday) delaying things by a day, I thought the visas would be here by Wednesday - after all our interview was on last Thursday. They told a guy who was flying out this Saturday that his visa would be issued by then.

Alas, I should never trust a government (department) that says something will be issued quickly. Most Australian government departments say it will take X weeks to process, so when you get the thing in a week you are delighted. Always underpromise and overdeliver - people get grumpy first and then get a pleasant surprise. I especially should not trust a government who will be calling me a subsidiary (temporary) alien or words to that effect. Man it just makes me wanna put on a pair of blue shrek-type ears and wander around being an alien....

So I have forewarning of what it will be like dealing with US government departments. They will take away everything you could entertain yourself with (you could tell the clever ones who had done this game before - they had a book), make you wait for ever for your "interview" (interviews involve talking to people and getting some idea of who they are, not just looking at forms, eyeballing you to see if you look like the person in the photo and also taking your fingerprints like you are some sort of criminal), provide "entertainment" in the form of a DVD screensaver (ie a box bouncing around the screen of a widescreen tv, I kid you not), then tell you that you have not filled in a form that they didn't previously tell you to fill in, a form that has the same information in it that the other two forms have but is a combination of both, send you to the back of the queue again, then an hour or so later look at the forms, ask you a dumb question about your marriage date (why YES it is September 11. What is wrong with that?) and your weight and say whatever it is will be issued in two days when they really mean some indeterminate time of their choosing.

Not that I am bitter or anything.

(Yes I realise that many Americans are genuinely nice people, but your government depts seem to be tied up in red tape and you also use personal cheques for everything rather than eftpos plus you use imperial measurements and your speed signs are rectangular with words rather than being numbers in a big round red circle. However, I won't hold that against you ;-)

So today I go do some shopping. We do not have enough food in the house to make nice meals. We have plenty of food that we don't like, mind you, but not the stuff we do like. I can continue to tidy up the place - it is almost done and suddenly the house feels MUCH bigger. So much less crap. We can do our inventory of the stuff that is going in the air cargo. I envision many happy hours counting socks, undies, various items of clothes and about 250 knitting books and sheet music books. I am not counting all the balls of yarn. We have time to work out what will fit in the suitcase and backpack.

I might even take a photo of my current knitting project. Yes, there is only one of them! There are some wips but I have to find them again... And now I am thinking I should go find another project that I stored and see if I can fix it up over the next couple of days. Or maybe I can torture you with pics form the past - intarsia and fair isles that I did in the 80s and 90s!


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

waiting waiting waiting....

G'day all!

We are waiting for the post to arrive. He normally comes between now and midday.

Waiting waiting waiting....

(If the post arrives with visas, I guess we are all GO GO GO! But if it doesn't we have to delay our flights some. V.annoying but we'll have more time to get everything done here.)


edit 16:56 13 June 2007:
No mail, well nothing good, only another bill :-( No special delivery late this arvo either. Sniffle. There goes my chance to get to Estes Park this year for the fibre festival.... we were "promised" the visas in two days (plus one day for delivery), probably deliver in 2 years....

edit 21:07
Not only are we not going to be in the USA this weekend, but I've lost my new mastercard, the one that is replacing my perfectly good visa card. Plus I've lost the pin. Plus I hadn't signed it yet.... Joy all round. I think my head is going to explode from worrying about it. Someone put it in a safe place but can't remember where that is.... And I have three over due library books. That is going to cost us a whole 60 cents!

Oh, for those who think I am handling it well, you are not in my headspace watching me be as inefficient as possible, and you don't get to see the blubbering. I am soooooo disappointed words can't express it.


G'day all!

Today I went and did a whole lot of things that were OUTSIDE the house! There is still a world out there!

My car now has a roadworthy certificate - Gibbering will be happy to hear that. I have 30 fewer skeins of saleable handspun yarn (plus the ones that are ok but not noice that I put in the building fund box). (I have one 25g bag of Black Diamond to play with. Ooops.) I have half a carful-less junk that the Brotherhood can sell through their op shops. (I bought 6 small knitting pamphlets. Oops.) I have NEW glasses! Hooray for new glasses! They feel very different to the old ones, including the way my vision bends at the edges, plus they have little side thingies that I can see.

They are pretty good though I reckon and are a good colour on me.

(Haven't I got one helluva squint? Plus I have pretty bad bags under my eyes - 24/7 stress isn't good for me!)

My private health insurance (Aussies have publicly funded health care which we whinge and moan about but hey it sure as hell beats the pants off the US "system") can be suspended for up to five years as long as I pay two months of premiums every two years (2 plus 2 plus 2 equals six but never mind). I have private health insurance so that I can get treatment quicker and have some of the extra costs met. If I wait for public health to treat me, I am likely to wait say two years or so to get a knee operation done or to get a filling....

My friends gave me a voucher for BAAG for my birthday. I finally got something I wanted:

Cool huh? Three way graft with two of Nathan's favourite fruits on it.

Oh and I can download pics again! Hooray! I have to prod the computer to do it, it doesn't just happen any more but I can at least get stuff off the camera now. Hooray!

On less happy news, we are now going to push our flights back if the visas don't arrive tomorrow. They should arrive but if they don't we don't want to keep sitting on a razor's edge waiting waiting waiting...


Monday, June 11, 2007

I am The Scream

G'day all!

You know that picture "The Scream"?

Well that is me. I have parcelled and boxed up most of my yarn and fleece, then what do I find?

A secret cache by the couch.


I am cleaning stuff out. I have taken about a thousand balls of yarn to the charity bin, and tomorrow I head for the op shop with a heap more stuff cos we filled the bin up. Oops. Hope the old ducks enjoy knitting cos they have enough yarn now.....

I have nearly got the fibre room cleaned out but it still looks a mess cos it has a huge drift of empty boxes in the corner and a lot of bags hanging around for "just in case>" I've kept waaaay too much stuff for just in case." I blame my mother in particular for the "waste not, want not" outlook on life that people who grew up in the Depression and WWII have. It is a very good outlook but honestly we have so much access to consumer goods now that it is hard to not fall into the trap of waste not, want not with all the stuff that is so easy to buy.

I'll try to do better in the US, assuming we get the visas.

Anyway, back to screaming. Every time I think I am getting close I find more crap to deal with. Hopefully I will have gotten rid of enough crap that I won't accumulate more. I must say it is very nice being able to catalogue my yarn and fleece now that I have reduced the stash of yarn by a LOT! Even some fleece has gone to better places, or at least places that will use it more quickly than I will.

And yes, as Jessie suggests, I am unlikely to be blogging much after the move, at least for a while since I will probably be reduced to blogging from internet cafes. And why am I still blogging now? Cos I need to wail at someone who isn't Nathan. I've been working for about 6 hours on the one room, and it still isn't cleaned out. Sigh... I really need some knitting or spinning time. Instead I now have to go and weigh and estimate metrage on a HUGE bag of handspun that is going to the guild tomorrow. Must make a list of the gazillion things I need to do tomorrow.... argh, it never ends! Being trapped in a tin box hurtling across the sky for 15 hours on Friday sounds like a really good rest at present!


Sunday, June 10, 2007

A SPECIAL Offer For Aussies only

G'day all, again!

This offer is only available to Aussies in Australia. Sorry, sending any of this O/S is just too complicated (and expensive).

I am reducing my sock yarn stash. Yes, you hear me aright! I am reducing my sock yarn stash for Australians only with yarn that is hard to get here. I figure soon I can go and roll in new to me sock yarns. Given that I have no money to buy it, I'll just have to pull it off the shelves at the LYSs and roll in it there....

I have ONE skein of Vesper self-striping "Fire in the Sky," with yellow, orange and reddy pink stripes. It is a bit oversaturated in the picture at the bottom of this post. $25 to the first bidder. (I think I swapped this yarn for something for Kellie so I think it is ok to sell it)

I have ONE skein of Mountain Colours Bearfoot in Huckleberry, bought in March this year. You can see a picture of it here, along with the TWO skeins of Spruce Nature's Palette in the same photo which I am also selling. Neither of them are shown well in the pic - both are quite dark and beautiful yarns. The Mountain Colours is $25, and the pair of Spruce are also $25.

I have ONE skein of Tofutsies in yellow, blue and green, as seen in this post (scroll down). Note you get a whole NEW ball of yarn because I was one of only 4 people in the world to ever find a knot in their tofutsies, and not only did I find one, I found 3 in about 10 metres. So a new ball of yarn for $25!

I have ONE skein of Cherry Tree Hill in reds and almost gold, sorry no pic. It is not a bright in your face red but more muted. This lot is $25 too.

SOLD I have TWO skeins of Lorna's Laces sockweight in Georgetown (mauves and greeny blue and blue). $20 for the pair. SOLD

If you are interested in any of these yarns, please don't beat around the bush. I am not trying to force them on you, I just have to have them packed in two days if noone wants them. I am leaving here in five days, so you can see why I need to have them gone or packed....


Call a doctor, I must be ill

G'day all!

What a good weekend so far!

Nathan went ballistic in the fibre room yesterday and cleared out all the junk that I had been sorting from the good stuff. Suddenly there was CARPET! Goodness me! There is hope that we will get stuff sorted out in time - we only have four days now! EEEEK!

We had a housecooling yesterday so peoples started dropping in and chatting from about 2:30 until 10ish. We got to catch up with a number of people we haven't seen for a hwile, so that was good. (OK I told my friends, Nathan didn't tell his so it was my old social group that showed up). It was quite excellent.

Why do I need a doctor? (Because I've had a muscle spasm in my side for over a day now and it is only just starting to ease up? Feels like a stitch. Makes it hard to breath. It is definately muscular cos if I rub the bad bits it eases a lot. No, it will go away eventually. It is just my body objecting to something I've done - I am overly flexible and things sometimes flex more than is good for us.)

No, I need a doctor because I have been making LISTS! Yes, me making lists! I have been cataloguing my remaining yarn. After it is all vacuumed down in those nifty bags, I don't seem to have much yarn at all! I am taking one vacuum bag of yarn with me - it has a number of projects in it including socks and jumpers. The other two, no three bags are staying here. I shall bite my friends and see if they can mind the other bags, all nicely plastic tubbed up and catalogued and numbered, and send me some of it if I wail at them and grovel for it.

Now I understand that the USA has a *very* good supply of yarn (and fleece) but you see it is not *my* yarn (and fleece) for projects that I have been daydreaming about for a while. Plus most of the yarn I have here I cannot get there, well not without ordering it online from Australia. Plus I expect I will not have a lot of cash when we get there - we don't have much money here, we don't have much to take with us *and* we will need to set up in a new place *and* Nathan will probably not be paid for the first month or so when our expenses will be greatest (eg we will need bikes and we will need a car and we will need various sundries and will need to pay a bond and up front rent, if we can get a place since we don't have references). OK, some places are fully furnished but knowing us the place we like won't be or the place will have been full of dogs and smokers, the smell of which I do not like. We don't want an apartment because we've always had gardens plus my small experience of living in an apartment block have been bad (noisy neighbours, elephant boots on the roof, booming music, late night par-tays, etc). Gardens in Fort Collins may not be very functional for a goodly part of the year, but they are not inside the house, and if I can't get a job there I will need something to occupy me apart from knitting and spinning and dyeing.

Having said that we are poor, I am still looking forward to getting to Estes Park. I sure hope someone will drive a poor widdle jetlagged me up there so I can hyperventilate at the goodies and do a small amount of damage to my Australian credit card and meet up with people I've only read the blogs of.... May our visas come through!


Friday, June 08, 2007

Uncertainty still reigns with less than a week to go

G'day all!

In less than a week I expect we will be in Colorado. FREAK ME OUT!

But we don't have the visas yet. We may not get visas. This means we don't go. But we most likely will get visas. But it is possible that we won't. They have our passports and the rest of our entry documents too.

Makes it very difficult.

Today we are having a little house cooling. I have so much to clear out of the loungeroom, but we have the study almost clear now. The study suddenly seems spacious, now that the stereo with its huge speakers, the two sets of hammerlock shelves, the lounge chair and most of all the JUNK have been moved out. It is now our swap space and the space where we can sort out what we really want to take with us. Assuming we get the visas.

I have the feeling that I will have to dump some of my fleece with friends and family, and when they come to visit they can bring along some of it with them, like a couple of largeish ziplock bags or something. Posting stuff across is just Too Expensive. (eg 3 kilos, which is admitedly a LOT of fleece or yarn will cost over AUD60.) I'll check out a local excess luggage mob but really is it worth sending there or should I keep it for later?

It's been an interesting week here in Oz. On Tuesday, a B-double truck decided to take on a train at a level crossing in country Victoria. 11 people were killed, not including the truck driver (who is facing a number of charges). We are jealous of Sydney again, where they've had lots of rain, and there's been even more rain 100-200km north of Sydney, where there are floods and a number of people have lost their lives, plus a coal tanker is aground on a beach. Swells are runnign at about 18m (say 20 yards). Those are big waves, dude!

Then there's me, running around like a mad chook, terrified and a little exulted, snivelling over the cats, heart rate up, worrying worrying worrying, allergised out of my nut (house dust mite is my biggie and boy have we been moving some dust recently!) to the point where anti-histamines don't work but the weeniest puff of ventolin allows me to breath again.... Nathan has been plugging away at things too. The father of one of our house sitters has been very good - he is retired and is enjoying having different handyman things to do.

Time for brekkie, then a big lounge clean up. Then I might pick up my new glasses and get the roadworthy certificate for my car.


Thursday, June 07, 2007


G'day all!

Ask me about the visa process some other day. Gawdsakes, what a waste of time (and nervous energy!).

Dunno if they will be issued. Tickets are booked for NEXT FRIDAY!

OHMIGAWD! I'll just flip out a bit for a while, ok? Not ready to go yet. May never be ready to go though. I'll have to do lots of Nutmeg belly rubs cos I'll miss that pudding.... Hope the cats don't miss us too much!


Wednesday, June 06, 2007


G'day all!

Ah still fun and games here. We are moving stuff out of the house and into the garage and also to Nathan's parents' place (someone asked why not to my parents' place. Umm, well they don't have one except for this little plot of dirt out in the Lilydale Memorial Park under a rose.... not much storage space there! But it does have a nice view of the Dandenongs).

Still no camera progress. Quite annoying cos I keep forgetting to get Nathan to download pics.

As I clean out more and more stuff, I keep making discoveries. Mostly they are nasty discoveries, like I have a LOT of stuff that I really don't want, I have a LOT of stuff I do want, and I just in general have a LOT of stuff. I really don't know what do to with some of the yarn I have (and I still have to fix up the cottons with three people!). Most of the pure wool went to the Uniting Care bin yesterday, just before I was asked about it. Mostly it is single balls of yarn and leftovers from projects. Even so it was an ENORMOUS bag. It would've filled a shopping trolley. I have another load to take up that is just as big of the acrylics and blends and stuff I don't want and quite honestly I don't think others want either. I just don't have the energy to do anything else with it. I figure that the charity it is going to will either sell it or give it to the old ducks in the nursing homes they run to knit and crochet up.

Other discoveries are that Nathan has a LOT of stuff. Stuff that I really can't deal with, rather than stuff that simply overwhelms me.

Sunset is now the earliest it gets I think. It actually moves back later for the shortest day. Weird, huh? It is sunrise that is still creeping in a minute or two every few days.

Back to fussing. The construction stuff. I am forgetting about it for the nonce. I got the shelves painted and lacquered and the books reinstalled - that will do for the time being. Plastering? What is that? At least we moved a whole trailer load of boxes to Nathan's parent's place last night, along with some new shelving to install in their underhouse space (we don't do basements in Australia - such a pity, but places on hills tend to have storage under the house).

Knitting. Alas, my poor knitting is only proceeding at about one repeat of a 12 row pattern a day at present, but it is good stress relief. The yarn I spun up the other day reveals a certain degree of tension...underplied and overspun!

Tomorrow the new windscreen gets installed in my car. Then we go to get our backs cracked. Then we take the car to be serviced and roadworthied (so that he can become Gibbering's car). Then we go into town, visit Consumer Affairs Victoria to get paperwork to fill out for renting the house (we figure we need a formal rental agreement, modified to outline care for the cats), drop our stuff in a locker at the station and then go to the US consulate with our visa stuff. After the visa interview we grab the bag from the locker and go pick up the car and go home and then think about doing Crafties (weekly gathering of friends). *phew* (wipes brow)

Here's a little vote for you. Am I a wuss for being terrified by the move or am I brave for actually being determined to do it? Leave me a comment, not that I can award a prize at this stage - too many other things to do, sorry!

But there is light at the end of the tunnel, or the pot of gold at the foot of the rainbow is almost in view now. Once the visa stuff is done I'll be a bit more settled (and more flighty too, LOL). Once I've cleaned out the fibre room, I'll be even happier!


Monday, June 04, 2007

Freak me out

G'day again all!

Our house sitter was around again today helping out with stuff.

Tonight he asked "So is it all going to be ready by the 8th?"

Umm, no. No it isn't. The 8th is Friday. THIS Friday. The 8th is the day after we do the visa interview. We won't even know fer shure that we are going until then at the earliest.

List of things to do this week:
a) finish the bathroom
(entails a sub list:

  • ring the company to find out why the silicon is still sticky after EIGHT days
  • measure up the next tiling sheet twice, cut it to size, check it, check it again, drill out holes for the plumbing fixtures, check again and glue onto wall. Sounds easy but it ain't.
  • paint the waterproofing membrane around the bath and wait at least one day for it to cure.
  • measure up the next tiling sheet, check it again, cut it, drill out holes for the plumbing, check again and glue onto wall
  • fix up plasterwork behind vanity and along wall (possible job for house sitter's dad who can do plastering)
  • paint bathroom
  • get shower enclosure installed (not measured up yet)
  • fix up floor (considering painting it but house sitter's dad says he is handy with laying vinyl)
  • figure out how to close the gaps between tile sheeting and plaster

(Note that most of these sub-items require at least one day to complete mainly because various things need to cure or set before the next part can occur))
b) finish bookshelves in hallway (replace shelves and paint with lacquer, then plaster around them - the latter might be for house sitter's dad to do since he likes doing things and is bored now that he is retired)
c) choose the remaining things to take with us on the plane and in our cargo allowance
d) pack other stuff away into boxes for storage in garage
e) obtain hammerlock shelves for storage of stuff in garage
f) get rid of furniture, both from the house and the garage
g) mulch more of the yard and plant some more plants
h) give away as many plants as we can
i) get photos for visas, pay visa fee, attend visa interview*
j) make sure I have my tax stuff all packed in carry on luggage
k) give various electricals to the people who want/need/technically own them
l) cry cos I am leaving my cats and my friends and everything that is familiar to me behind, and cos I am a gibbering wreck

*We can't take a bag with us to the US consulate. It is likely to rain on Thursday and I am not even sure I am game to take an umbrella. They appear to be very very concerned about security and people leaving bombs around the place. I will have to hire a locker at the train station for my bag since our interview is at 2pm and I will need to carry food and knitting with me, along with all the visa stuff.

I am sure I have left a helluva lot of stuff out, like clean up fibre room and work out what do to with all the yarn and tops that have not sold and get stuff to the guild so they can sell if for me (but they will only sell handspun, not tops and commercially spun yarns). If I take it with me to the States will I be considered to be working if I sell it? I won't have a work permit for some months, if at all. Here I am regarded as a hobbyist - you have to sell more than $3,000 a year before the tax office cares.

Stressed? Me? Never!


Sunday, June 03, 2007

Slightly naughty - not for kiddies

Fire whips though bondage parlour

A misplaced candle is believed to have started a fire that caused about $100,000 damage to a bondage and discipline parlour in inner Melbourne.

Metropolitan Fire Brigade crews were called to The Correction Centre in St David Street, Fitzroy, just after 10.15pm and contained the fire to a room on the second floor of the two-storey building.

An MFB spokesman said 18 firefighters "were tied up for some time but disciplined and controlled firefighting contained the blaze to one room on the second floor"
excerpted from The Age 23 May 2007
(Did the Headline writers, editors and fire brigade spokeman have a fun time with that one!)

(BTW, we now have a whole lot more paperwork to fill out, including some to get plane tickets booked and a credit union account. yay!)


G'day all!

I am packign up some yarn to bring with me.

Do you think I have a problem if I want to bring more yarn and more fleece than bedding, clothes, kitchenwares, books (my knitting and spinning books of course!), etc, etc?

I have several jumpersworth of yarn (one for nathan, about 5 for me), a HUGE bag of sock yarn, like I mean about 40 pairs of socksworth, random yarn that I love but doesn't have a plant for it (about 4 kilos of that!) and yarn that I can't bear to leave behind.

Hoo-ston, we have a yarn addict!

Then there is the fleece. I've been poking around online and whilst the US has lots and lots of different fleecey sheep, it doesn't have the fleece *I* have, the fleece I picked out in person, the fleece that called to me, singing my name, spin me spin me....

One thing that is nice about squishing my yarn into vac packs - I was reminded today as I bought a MOST be-yoo-tiful fleece from Wendy Dennis (I wish you could see it - staple of 5', silvery/oatmealy/greyey - but then you would want to roll around it in and wish you were a sheep so you could enjoy it all year round!) - is that when sheep are shorn, their fleece is checked, skirted lightly, sorted and pressed into wool bales. A wool bale is not that big but it has a LOT of fleece in it. I remember reading about someone who had a bale of fleece and opened it up, and the, what bit over a metre cubed?, bale of fleece basically expanded to fill the room.... LOL!

Am I still panicking? Do fish swim? Is the Pope a Catholic? Deep in my core is always a little voice screaming. You oughta see our place. It is pretty much knee deep in Stuff, whether it is rubbishy stuff to be thrown out, woolly stuff that I am sorting out - keep, take, turf- stuff to keep on renovating the bathroom with or the hallway's plasterwork that needs to be put on and plastered up properly.... (Of course Nathan did invite friends around tonight without bothering to tell me so I had not tidied at all... but nor had he!) My only way of coping with it is to Get Things Done. So I pack boxes of books or I paint the shelves in the hallway or haul loads of rubbish to the tip and bring back mulch (danged expensive now too - three loads of dumping or greenwaste and three loads of mulch have cost us $110 this time around. Could be worse - we could have paid $150 to just dump stuff *and* get the car bogged!). Driving is good - I don't panic when driving (unless someone does a hairbrained thing on me but that is different). Spinning is pretty good. So is knitting, but y'see they are not getting me to the point of having the house ready to go into storage. So I have to Do Do Do!

(BTW, I meant in my last post that I do not need to buy more summer clothes - we've just done a very unsatisfactorily hot summer here, so I am hoping I won't need more clothes! I will however need winter clothes - we don't do good winter clothes here, but they can wait a while!)

At least I need panic less about the front yard. We have two loads of mulch for it now and yesterday's working bee - what dudes! They cleared out the Bad patch and planted half a dozen fruit trees. I have to plant more but they broke the back of the hard work so well!


I *realllllly* need to clear out as much of my hand-dyed yarn and also tops/laps/fleece as I can. Pity I don't have it all listed eh?

Whatever is listed on my websites, please make me an offer. Offer what you think is a reasonable price on any of it. If I really am moving to the USA by the 15th of this month, yes THIS MONTH, ie in less than TWELVE days, I really can't take all the hand-dyed yarn with me. I don't want it all! I have too much commercial yarn and even undyed stuff that I am taking with me!

So make me an offer. Please! I will be listing more just as soon as I can get Nathan to download the pics (no I still don't have an account on the laptop) and get them edited and described and online. I have about a kilo of tops and laps dyed in various colours - some quite tasteful (eg a lovely dusky grey with purply and mauvey bits) to heart stopping yellow/peach/pink. I have light blue and green dyed fleece that ramps up to bright aqua and green in places.. I have deep blue and purple dyed laps. I have a fair what of gelati coloured tops. I wish I could show you the pics....

anyway, if there is anything listed that you like and want, make me an offer!


Friday, June 01, 2007

Hooray for information!

G'day all!

We now know how much stuff we can take with us. 2.1 cu m, or 75 cu feet.

When we worked out how much that is, the best way to describe it is imagine a large refrigerator. yep. That is how much can come with us apart from whatever we have in our luggage on the plane.

Crappity crap crap crap! I am going to have to put a lot more stuff in storage than I imagined. Hopefully Nathan's parents can take stuff like our bed - we can't take that!

I have to contact various peoples about yarn - I am terribly behind at present but at least I know how much I can take (and have a good idea of what I can't take with me too!).

Then we have the expensive part at the other end - finding a place to live with no references, setting up home again - we'll have to buy all our electrical appliances, a bed, furniture (though I am thinking renting furniture might be a good idea), more bedding/linen. I'll take our crockery/cutlery with us I think to save a little money and hassle. At least we won't need summer clothing!

Need I say that every moment of every day is filled with dread? So much to do, so little time to get it all done in. So much stuff to get rid of. Panic is not the word for it.

OK, peoples are due around for a working bee, mostly outside but they will take stuff to the op shop, to the tip, do inside stuff (like paint our bookshelves in progress - hooray!) - gosh do we have a bit to get done too! I can't believe how much crud we've developed in the last 18 months here (or more like it crud we have not gotten rid of since our last move).

Hopefully after today I won't have to worry about outside the house, only inside, like what to do with the vast amounts of yarn and fleece I have. Some will just have to go into storage - I don't want to fill up our entire volume of cargo with fleece and yarn (even after putting it in vacuum bags! Then there is the stuff that is not even on my shop site yet - I have some fab stuff but have not had time to get it online (and we still have to download pics on the laptop, which only Nathan can do since I don't' have an account on it).