Seraphina shawl. Made in Bernat Berella "4"
I'm tired, so that's it for this blog post.
Last night, around 2am, our smoke detectors went off. Apparently the ventless gas fireplace in our basement was malfunctioning some how. Not sure exactly what was wrong, but when I ran out of my bedroom to see what was going on, there was a rather impressively scary-big flame in the fireplace.
We were thinking it was the CO detectors at first, but apparently it was the actual smoke detectors. (good thing we changed those batteries a few weeks ago!)
Since we had thought it was the CO detectors, my dad came downstairs and turned off the gas feed to that fireplace and then we'd called 911 (just in case) and sat outside in the cold (19 degrees! and this is an important detail later)
After I'd called 911, I called my aunt that lives across the street, because I didnt want her to worry when a fleet of fire engines showed up in the street. Good thing I called her. She has a brand new furnace, and apparently it was having a problem last night (she had more smoke in her house than we did!)
Her smoke detectors never went off, and she was feeling sick. So, it's probably a good thing we were having a problem too and that our alarms were blowing out our eardrums.
She told me about the problem, and the FD wasnt here yet, so I didnt even bother to call them back about her house. As soon as they got here, I asked one of the firefighters to go to my aunts house with me to check it out too. (not sure what they did find, but she's getting her furnace checked today)
The Omaha Fire Department was so cool. I had felt silly about calling them because other than the large flame in the gas fireplace that went away after we turned off the gas feed to it, we didnt see a problem. But I'm glad that I called now, since my aunt was feeling so sick. (I was dizzy in my basement for about an hour before our alarms went off)
But, we're all ok now, so I'm basically just doing this blog post to remind everyone to check their smoke detectors, and if you dont have carbon monoxide detectors, get to a store and get a couple.
and if they ever go off, dont just knock them off the wall and go back to sleep (I think my dad was considering this option. I insisted on calling 911 because I was scared to sleep in the basement after that)
Now, if I could just get the neighbors to quit parking at the t-intersection down the street (on a curve!) to actually park in their empty driveways so that when the fire engines arrive, they can actually get onto our street without having to resort to using the fire engine to push the parked cars off the roads....that didnt happen last night, but I've seen it happen in our old neighborhood once)
We're shopping for a new (vented) fireplace, or maybe another option for keeping my basement warm...and at least one of my parents will probably be getting fire extinguishers for Christmas. (no real clue what to get people this year)
At least we know the smoke detectors work! (and that there's no way in hell to sleep while one of those is rupturing your eardrums)
Oh, and one of our theories about what happened. We (parents, and my aunt across the street) all have heat pumps. In the winter, the heat pump keeps the house warm until the temperature drops below 20 degrees (remember, I mentioned a few paragraphs ago how cold it was last night?) When the temperature gets below 20 degrees the heat pump shuts off, and the gas furnace will kick on. Last night was the first time that my aunt's furnace had been on since it was installed. She and her heating company that she hired to do the install, think that her furnace was burning off some residual chemicals or dust from the manufacture of her furnace, and that's what caused the smoke in her house and was making her sick.
The gas company guy that the OFD called to our house last night thought that the fireplace was malfunctioning and that when the gas furnace in the store room came on, that it was sucking up more of the oxygen in the room, and that caused the fireplace to not burn off all the gas or something (again, I'm not sure of the physics behind all this) and the flame in the fireplace was huge because it was trying to suck up a ton of air or something and was competing with the furnace or something.
So, we're probably going to get a vented fireplace now, or a nice snazzy electric one that wont try to kill us.
EDITED TO ADD:
Ok, I checked the gas fireplace earlier, because we couldnt figure out a logical reason for what happened last night, and I think we figured out what happened.
We almost could have had a very serious fire. Apparently, a couple of weeks ago when the heating/air conditioning company came to check the furnace, we had the guy turn on the pilot to that fireplace. I told him to set the fireplace to lowest setting. (it has a knob that says "Low" and "High". He was supposed to set it to low.
I checked it earlier, and it's set to nearly the highest setting. Which I dont understand quite why that is. There's a tick-mark on the thing to show which way to turn the knob for high or low.
So, we very nearly got flash fried last night. And it's really a good thing that my dad turned off that gas before the fire department got here. I found scorch marks on the outside of the fireplace.
The fireplace is at the bottom of the stairs and the heat had gone up the stairs, and the upstairs was so hot last night, that I'd be willing to bet that it was probably in the high 80s or low 90s upstairs.
We're definitely going to be replacing this fireplace with something that's got a better set-up for a thermostat or at least an easier to get to emergency shut off of some sort.
Either that, or we'll get a nice decorative ELECTRIC fireplace in the basement. Something pretty with no real flames inside of it.
I'm going to go freak out a little bit about how scary this has gotten after the fact now...and I think I'll start pricing fire extinguishers and see if I can get enough to have one in every room of the house...
CHECK YOUR SMOKE DETECTORS!!
The election hasnt even been held yet, and this guy is already assuming that he's going to win? Wow...he's got a huge ego!
I thought the Obama "presidential seal" was egotistical, but minting coins with his picture on it? (at least it's not legal tender here)
It's driving me completely batty. Last time that I can remember seeing this book it was either with all my other crochet/knitting books in our family room, or it was in my bedroom on the shelf below my desktop computer. For awhile, I couldnt find my other books (several books that I got as presents this year) I found those books (thankgoodness!) but my Harmony Guide wasnt with them...and they were in a weird place. (in the cabinet of my dad's big screen tv, shoved in the cabinet...not a place I would have put them)
So, I'm obsessively looking around the house for my book. It's my favorite crochet book of all time. I never loan it out, and I usually keep it in my magazine totes. (already looked there) The reason it was out with my other books, was because I was trying to decide on a new project, and I was going thru my crochet and knitting books looking for inspiration. I'd left those books in our family room, but someone moved them inside that cabinet.
I just cant figure out where the book went.
The only thing I can think of is that either my dad, or the cleaning lady put the book somewhere while decluttering a room. I suspect my dad put it somewhere. Hopefully not in a pile of newspapers or magazines. He throws newspapers and magazines out without looking thru the stacks to see if there's anything he should not be throwing away.
I looked into getting a new copy of the book, but it's expensive to replace. Most copies that I found thru Google were over $100. The book is out-of-print. I hope I find my copy before I get too desperate and decide to take out a loan to get a new copy. If anyone knows of a cheaper copy, send me a message.
I have to say it was one of my better vacations. A friend of mine and I decided to go visit it a few weeks back, mostly because we'd driven past it on our way to Rapid City last year, and decided to come back someday to check things out.
This is why Sioux Falls is called "Sioux Falls".
Yesterday, on our way home (well, not really on the way home, since we had to go the opposite direction to get there) we drove into Minnesota and went to a place called "Pipestone". It's a small town, not too far from the South Dakota/Minnesota state lines. We went there to see the Pipestone National Monument. Which is where a type of stone called "pipestone" is quarried.
Pipestone is a stone that American Indians all over North America have carved their ceremonial pipes out of. The American Indians have quarried it for several hundred years. It's a beautiful red color stone, it's a soft stone. I watched one of the craftsmen carving on one of the pipes he was making. (I didnt take pictures of that...didnt want to disturb or annoy the guy)
He was making some really beautiful stuff with it. He had one pipe that a really intricate carving of a bear on it.
The gift shop at the monument had a good number of pipes for sale, and I think the least expensive one I saw was about $60 or $75, and it was just a plain design, but still very pretty. Some of the other pipes were over $2000! It was all amazing work too.
We walked thru the quarry/park grounds on the trail. The trail was about 3/4 of a mile long, and it was hot and extremely windy. We saw the old quarries that they no longer use (or dont use very often) and all sorts of flowers, prairie grasses, a couple of deer, and a big patch of *achoo!!* Ragweed. *achoo!!!*.
I dont have those pictures uploaded yet, so I'll do another blog post later, and add those pictures.
I'm using a different yarn than the one suggested in the pattern. I'm using Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn! in the Grapevine Ombre color.
I'm probably about half finished with it now. (the pictures were taken last week when it was still wasnt very big) Since it was the first time I've ever done this pattern, I chose the baby blanket size. So, I'm probably going to stop crocheting on it when I get close to the suggested dimensions. It's using up a lot of yarn. I thought I'd bought enough, but I'm probably going to have to go get a few more skeins.
I do like how heavy and warm it feels. It uses back post double crochet (BPDC) stitches and front post double crochet (FPDC) stitches. It almost looks knitted from a distance. The FPDC's on the right side (as apposed to the wrong side) of the afghan look almost like knitted cables to me. I really like this pattern. I might use the stitch pattern to crochet a poncho for myself later this fall. The afghan is going to be for my recliner chair that's in the family room. My dad gets cold in our basement (because it's freezing down here), so he'll probably be the one who uses the afghan the most when we're watching Stargate Atlantis on the big tv.
Here's a knitting project I'm doing now. It's yet another scarf, because I'm not yet ambitious enough to much more than scarves with the knitting.
The scarf is pretty much the same pattern I've used for previous scarves. Cast on 40. Slip the first stitch knitwise, purl 1, knit 1 to the end, the last stitch should be a purl stitch. I'm also using the I Love This Yarn for this scarf, it's a patriotic ombre, but I cant find the skein band right now, so I cant remember the color name.
It's easy, and feel really good and actually feels warm. This is probably the third scarf I've done with this pattern. I'm sure other people have done this pattern before, but I came up with it on my own while teaching myself how to purl. It's now my favorite stitch pattern for knitting because I love how it looks and feels. One day, when I get more ambitous with the knitting, I want to knit a sweater vest with the knit 1, purl 1 stitches. (I looked into a knitting class earlier this week, so I might be getting ambitious fairly soon)
I dont have pictures of the other scarf I'm making yet, mostly because I just started the next one last night. I'm doing it the same as the patriotic scarf, but I'm using a thicker weight yarn, and I changed the pattern. The cast on is still 40 stitches, but I knitted the first row instead of the k1, p1. The first stitch is also slipped knitwise. I really like how the way the first row looks. I'll have to add some pictures later.
Gotta go...just had a couple of lightbulbs blow on me in my room and I need to change the bulbs, it's kind of dark in here now.
There is another flower pot with mini yellow roses under the tree a few feet away from the flower pot that's pictured.
The wind was blowing south. The tree is pointed at my neighbor's driveway just to the south of us. It's not blocking their driveway, so that's one good thing. They can still get out.
This flag was right in front of the tree. It's a little one you can get at a grocery store for about $2. It's fabric. The tree blew down, but that little flag stayed there, got ripped up a bit tho.
The wind just blasted the tree down. I think the wind twisted the tree. Because the side that's facing up, used to face the house. One of the reasons that it makes me think that we might have had a small tornado mixed in with the straight line winds.
The roots are still underground, and we're going to have to rip out our landscaping to get down to the root bed to get the roots out before we can replace the tree. (hope we can replace it)
My dad just called me to inform me that the power came back on. It flickered right after that, but it was still on when he called me, so YAY for OPPD! (OPPD = Omaha Public Power District)
I saw him in the mid-90's in Omaha at the Orpheum Theatre. First and only comedy concert that I've ever been to.
I nearly died of hypoxia (lack of oxygen) from laughing so hard. He was so funny.
This last video has the tornado sirens sounding. The noise is annoying, so you might want to turn your speakers down a little bit.
I think this storm, if those were actually wall/funnel clouds, might have been the storm that hit Bennington, NE. (Bennington is a town just north of Omaha...we're about 6 miles south of there)
I'm not seeing the video working, even tho I have the video boxes in there. Could someone post a comment saying whether or not the video works??
This time it was more than just a mile or so of town that got hit. It was extremely widespread. I still dont know if Omaha had much damage, but a Boy Scout camp that's about an hour north from Omaha, just across the river into Iowa was hit. There were about 100 people there. The news is reporting that 40 or 50 people were injured, and that four people (pretty sure they were children) were killed.
Some of the injuries were minor, and a few were really bad. The news is saying that there were serious spinal injuries and head injuries for several people.
I cant remember any tornadoes in the past decade or two near the Omaha area actually causing deaths. This is probably the first tornado event that I can remember since 1975 where anyone was killed in one of the storms. On May 6th, 1975, Omaha had a bad tornado that ripped up the city and killed 3 people...that's the last storm that I can remember where there were any deaths in the immediate vicinity of Omaha.
I'm really getting tired of all these storms. It's been going on for the last two weeks. Almost every day or every other day we've been having thunderstorms. Now we've had two damaging tornadoes in the space of four days. (ok, the storm sunday was actually two tornadoes, todays storm was so widespread that they're probably going to report that it was multiple tornadoes tomorrow)
Lincoln, the capitol city of Nebraska actually had a tornado tonight. Some friends of mine that live there tell me that Lincoln hardly ever gets bad weather like that.
There's a lot of flooding going on in Omaha and other parts of Nebraska. Iowa is pretty much a large lake right now.
I did get a few video shots tonight of what I think (but am not sure) might have been a wall cloud. I'm recharging my camera battery right now, so I probably wont upload the video until later tonight or tomorrow.
I cant wait till these storms end. Normally I really enjoy this kind of weather, but not every day for a couple of weeks. Hopefully we'll have a quieter (and cooler) summer.
The news is saying about 100 houses in the Millard area were damaged, a few of them beyond repair. Saw an interesting picture of some beams that were imbedded in people's front yards, and one picture of what looks like a 12 foot+ long beam that's impaled in the side of a house.
The Omaha police have closed down access into Millard to keep the sightseers (ghouls, looters, YouTube video wannabees) from wandering into the neighborhoods and hurting themselves.
The tornado touched down, ripped up Millard and then went back up and probably dropped down into other parts of Omaha (central and north) to make a mess before it wandered over into Iowa. There's apparently a lot of tree damage in various parts of town.
Other than the damage in Millard, the bigger worry now is flash flooding. They're saying we got 2 or 3 inches or more of rain last night, and we're expecting some more thunderstorms later today. So, a few people may be swimming out of their neighborhoods later tonight.
For some reason, this scarf isnt taking me as long as the other one. Five months for the first one to even be finished. It's been 10 days since I started the new one, and it's more than half finished. I am thinking of making it a little longer than the last one, so manybe it's not quite half finished if it ends up being longer.
I think the reason it's going so fast this time is because I'm using circs. The other one I used 14 inch long bamboo straights. Circs just seem to be a bit more comfy to me sometimes, but I do like to knit with the straights.
I've been working on this one a lot, when I talk to my friend Don on the internet at night, when I'm sitting in the front yard with my parents (since I no longer have to supervise a large, furry dog, I need something to do when sitting outside) and sometimes I'll knit while watching tv.
I need to find a interesting crochet pattern to do one of these days, I havent crocheted for a few weeks. I'll have to go pattern searching soon, since the scarf is going to probably be finished soon.
And here are two somewhat less crappy pictures of the other scarf. I need to work a bit on the picture taking skills. Sometimes I get something that looks good, and other times I get some really crappy pictures.
This is some video of a yellow finch, (or maybe a goldfinch) that was attempting to break into my parents bedroom thru the window. He wasnt successful. I think he gave up after a bit when he deveoped a bit of a headache. (I have more video of this, it was kind of fun to watch)
Will someone tell me if the video is working??...it looks like Photobucket and Blogger dont like each other when it comes to video.
These are a few pictures of the magnolias that bloomed on my mother's magnolia bush that we had thought was dead for the past two years. Amazing that they came back!
If that video doesnt work, I'll see if Flickr has a video thingie on their site...either that or I'll go to YouTube....
First off, the customer service is non-existent. Sure, they might have a few nice frames, but I'm pretty sure that untrained monkeys could do a better freaking job!
Last sunday, I went up there to buy new glasses. (That was the first mistake. I usually go to Lenscrafters, but was trying to not spend a ton on new glasses)
So, I walked around in Eyemasters and found some frames that I kind of liked. The girl took all the little measurements they have to do so that the glasses will actually help you see better. It was late, so I didnt insist on them making the glasses in an hour. Said I would come back the next day.
Went back the next day when they told me to be there. (5pm) and...the glasses were not ready!
So, I went back the next day. The glasses were ready. It took them a half an hour to find the freaking glasses. (they were in the safe, because I had an outstanding balance on them for the transition lenses that I forgot to ask for) They finally found them, so I put them on, and immediately took them off because the right eye did not like the lens. The girl helping me said she'd adjust things and that would probably help. So, she adjusted them, and it didnt really help.
She told me sometimes it takes a few hours or a day to get used to them. So, dumbass me, said I'd wear them a bit to see if I get used to them and left. I paid the outstanding balance and left... Staggering out the door practically.
I get home and I'm still not used to them. Sat outside with my parents, and didnt get used to them. I was looking at my parents and noticed that the double vision I naturally have in my right eye that I've learned to ignore was really bad.
So, I called my opthalmologist's office and they told me to bring my new glasses in and they'd check to make sure that they were made right. Of course, they werent made correctly. My center of vision was off by a centimeter or two, and the optician there said that there was some sort of flaw in the lens too that I hadnt noticed.
He told me to go back to Eyemasters and tell them to remake them. So, I went back and asked them to remake them. They told me it would be 48 hours to two weeks because they had to wait for new lenses to come in, since they'd apparently used the last of that particular type of lens on my new (badly made) glasses. That was thursday.
So, I hadnt gotten a call yet, and decided to check and see if they were ready today. Called and checked, and they were ready. So my dad drove me over there to pick them up.
I should have known that it was a bad sign when they couldnt find the damn glasses again. Waited about a half hour before they found them. The girl looking for them said that it was possible they werent ready, and that the other girl who told me they were ready never went and checked to make totally sure they were ready.
Finally, they got their manager to find them. He came out with them, and said that all I had to do was pay the outstanding balance. What outstanding balance? Dumbass who I paid last week didnt put the freaking receipt on the paperwork saying they were paid. I whipped out my receipt to prove I'd paid, and he checked his computer (interesting lack of trust even tho I had a receipt)
The computer said I had paid. So, he finally hands me the glasses. I put them on, and damnit if they werent almost as badly made as they were the other day!! He said he'd go see if they had the lenses for them and that he would remake them.
I just looked at my dad for a second, and then told the guy to just give me my money back. My dad told me and the guy that he thought I should get my money back because my eyes are too important and that he didnt think they'd get these lenses made any better for me. (Dad was annoyed that they seemed to be so unorganized)
The manager didnt even argue with us...he started to give us our money back. My dad had used his card the day we ordered the glasses to pay, and I had paid the outstanding balance with my card when I asked them for transition lenses. So, he had to do a refund on both cards. Poor guy was so confused. Took him 10 minutes to figure out how to do a refund on my dad's card, and then another 25 minutes to do the refund on my card. He actually had to call someone at another store to figure out how to do the refund for my card. (ummm...wouldnt you just do it the same way he did the refund for my dad?)
My dad and I both made the observation that the people running this place were complete morons...untrained Howler Monkeys could do better.
I worked in a McDonald's once, where the store was falling down all around us, and the assistant managers were embezzling money, and it was much better organized and run much better than this particular Eyemasters was.
I'm going to my opthalmologist's office tomorrow and will buy my new frames and lenses from the optician there. They might be more expensive and not have as big a selection, but at least they'll know what they're doing. (and I can get my Rx double checked for free by my opthalmologist or one of his partners)
If I ever go to buy glasses from a store at the mall ever again, I'm sticking with Lenscrafters or Pearle Vision. EyeMasters totally sucked. That was such a waste of time. They were total morons.
So, we got this one installed.
Sorry, I dont have a more current picture of it totally finished yet. This picture was taken back in October right after it was installed. We didnt get the tile finished till about 2 weeks ago.
Today, my dad decided to use the tub for the first time since we had all the nice tilework done.
Because I've already warned you that this would be funny and you'd laugh, you're probably guessing that his bath did not end well.
That door has to be completely closed to keep the water from leaking out. Well, my dad *giggle* didnt have the door shut at all. He was wondering why it was taking so long to fill up. Looks over the side...water all over the floor.
He said something to my mom about the water, probably something like "Quick! Get some towels!".
I heard some yelling, and wandered out of my room to investigate. When I realized that the tub was leaking, curiousity made me walk into the unfinished basement just to check and see if there was water in there.
It was raining in the room.
On top of my dad's tools...it was running off the pipes, because apparently the water upstairs on the floor spread out before it started dripping downstairs. I noticed some of it was heading for the electric light in the middle of the room, and some other water was seriously close to the circuit breaker. (and dad was upstairs, still in the tub)
I warned him to get out just in case.
So, anyways, dad came downstairs, moved a couple of boxes over, and then promptly went and took a shower in the other bathroom and took my mom to go shoe shopping. *grumble*
Leaving ME to dry the store room out.
Luckily, nothing important seems to have been too soggy...except for some of my dad's power tools that he never uses anymore. Our electric fan is a big industrial type fan, so the particle board shelves seem to be dry, the floor is still drying, and it seems like a lot of the water actually went down the basement drain and the opening into the sump pump. I do have the fan directed at the ceiling, since it was pretty soggy up there.
I'm really hoping that we dont get any mold or mildew from this. I made an interesting discovery too. Rubbermaid Totes. They are really nice to have when you dont want stuff to get wet. I found my Rubbermaid tote that had all my Beanie Babies in it that I had packed when we moved here about 5yrs ago. It was in the direct line of fire (err...water) When I checked, they were all perfectly safe and dry. Now they're sleeping on my bed's headboard. I'm very happy about that my Beanie Babies survived.
So, I can tell you that if you have a lot of nice yarn that you want to keep dry (unless you're into felting) then get some Rubbermaid Totes and keep them sealed up tight.
So, did anyone laugh?? Was I right about the laughing?? I'm tired now...for some reason I had to dry out a wet basement while my parents went shoe shopping.
I literally just finished this afghan a few minutes before taking the pictures and posting them to my blog. It's probably only been finished for about 20 minutes now.
here are a few pictures of what I got.
This last one is one that I used to have and had been meaning to replace, just hadnt found a copy of it yet. (kinda cool that my sibling sent it to me, now I dont have to search for it!) I lost it and about maybe 30 other pattern leaflets when my dad accidentally threw them out. (I hope it was an accident!)
The leaflet that's titled "Quick Tricks" was seen by my aunt tonight, and she wants me to crochet her the apron that's on the cover. I dont think she'd ever use it, but she'd probably use it as a decoration in her kitchen. She's got a ton of granny squares that I made hung up in a few places to accent other decorations she has in the kitchen. (along with a worsted weight yarn doily that I made for her to use as an afghan, which she's using as a tablecloth on an accent table)
I have more pictures to show (sorry to anyone on dial up!) I was at my dad's little sister's house on Easter, and she'd found some paintings that my grandmother had made (possibly in the early 1990s) and I took pictures of the paintings.
If I get a chance to some day, I'll scan Grandma's paintings, but right now the digital pictures are the best that I can do at the moment.
The paintings are still-lifes. First one is a tree (hopefully it's showing correctly, when I previewed this blog post, it was sideways, even tho the image in my photobucket page was correct) The other two are a bowl of fruit, and some flowers. I think my grandmother was a really good artist. She crocheted really beautiful afghans, and she was excellent at painting ceramic pottery and apparently better than me at painting still-lifes. (I'm not that good)
I'll stop here so that people on dial-up wont want to shoot me for being picture-heavy today.
Today, Tiny's best friend in the world died. His buddy Pudge, my aunt's Pug.
They did everything together, and now they're together again. Strangely enough, my previous dog, a Poodle named CheeChako (Chako for short) also died on March 14th (1997)
So, today was full of suckage...so I'm leaving you with some pictures of Tiny and his buddy...Pudge was a good girl, and gave me a really good impression about Pugs. It's been a bad couple of years for dogs (and a cat) in my family. One of my cousin's lost her dog just after Tiny died (a Dachshund) and then her sister's dog, Oscar (also a black Pug) died last summer. One of my aunt's lost her ancient one eared cat right after Christmas, and now Pudge has left. I loved Pudge just as much as I did Tiny, so it's been a crappy day. My aunt is totally heartbroken.
Here's the pictures of Tiny and Pudge...
My two favorite pictures of Pudge
A cool picture of Tiny catching a snowball when he was about 4yrs old
A close up of Tiny that I did from another picture
Tiny, about to pounce on the noisy cement truck coming down the street
Tiny's baby picture
Tiny, giving Pudge some love