Sunday, March 30, 2014


Things on the Celiac front are doing good. At first I was swinging from feeling motivated and energetic to being paranoid about eating anything ever again. I'm still not to the point that I think I'll trust many people or places to prepare food for me but I feel pretty good about being able to at least feed myself.

Since diagnosis, I've had decent-ish pasta, good cheese bread and pretty good homemade bread. All gluten free. So yay! I also bought a consolation bread maker and lots of gluten-free baking-related goodies.

Bread Machine

The bread machine was delivered today (who delivers on Sunday? I have no idea but it showed up!) and I've already made my first loaf of bread.

First Bread

It wasn't exactly to the recipe (I somehow managed to not have brown rice flour even with all my flour purchasing, so I used teff, which gave it a different taste) and didn't rise quite as much as it should have, but it is definitely edible. It tastes a bit like cornbread drizzled with molasses. Not bad at all!

Hopefully next week I'll be making appointments with a gastroenterologist and rheumatologist (since my blood tests showed an indicator for rheumatoid arthritis, though hopefully that will go away once the gluten-free diet really kicks in) so I can get on with the whole endoscopy and super-official diagnoses.

And lots more bread making and experimenting - I imagine I'll be doing that next week, too. We've already eaten almost half of the loaf I baked today!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

There Was Profanity

I've been having issues with arthritis in my hands and feet lately so a couple of weeks ago, I went to the doctor and had lots of blood tests. Today, I went back for the results.

Celiac disease.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Pair of Eights

I'm slowly coming back to life so I thought I would celebrate by showing off my newest socks. Ta-da!


(Yes, I am wearing sweat pants. I said I'm coming back to life, not that I actually feel alive. We will know I'm well on the road to recovery when I feel like putting on jeans.)

I'm pleased with these socks. I had a lot of yarn leftover by the time I hit my normal sock length so I made these a fair bit longer. I've received some "don't do it, it's more trouble than it is worth" advice in regards to knitting tall socks, and in the past I've listened. But this time I ignored it and I'm glad I did. These aren't quite full-on knee highs but they are maybe an inch from that designation and they fit great (and seem to stay up very well).

More happiness: these were made with some yarn that had been in my stash for almost two years! It's actually some of the first specifically-sock yarn I got. So I'm really excited that I was able to use it. I know I sort of collect sock yarn, but it's nice when some of the collection morphs into socks.

Another fun thing with these socks is that I've made it so that there is a right and a left sock - the toes are shaped to my feet!

Anatomical Toes

That angle on the sock toe isn't just from my toes having been in them - it's the shape of the sock! How fun is that?

It's really easy to do - increase on both sides (since the big toe does have a bit of a slant) for a few rounds then switch to increasing on only one side (more details here)- but I'm not sure if this will be my new go-to sock toe. I mean, it's super comfy cause it matches my foot shape exactly but it's not like I find other toes uncomfortable. My toes are pointy enough that I can't really do a rounded toe - I end up with a little loose bit of sock flapping over my shortest toes - but the normal increase-every-other-round pointy toe is a pretty darn good fit for me. Well, aside from the part where the longest bit is dead center. My feet aren't shaped quite like that. But still, those are a good fit. But these are a perfect fit.


I don't know. Maybe I'll stick with the normal toe. Or maybe I'm saying that because change is hard, even if it is just when knitting socks. Maybe I'll just suck it up and make this anatomical toe my new go to toe. I think it'll depend on how this sock wears over the course of a full day and how it feels in a shoe.

So there is my eighth pair of socks for this year! Well, okay, two pair were actually slippers but those count in my Ravelry sock group so I'm counting them in my overall count. I feel pretty sure I'll be able to make my goal of one dozen socks this year! I can't wait!

Next up, though: not socks. Not because I'm not itching to make more (I am) but I need some fingerless mittens so I'm going to make a pair of those. After that: socks.

Not Socks

Hey look! I knit something not for feet!

Water Bottle Cover

Okay, so technically I got the hot water bottle for my hands - which are like feet but for your arms instead of your legs - but it still means that the project bucked my current trend of feet-related knitting.

I don't know why, but I think it is kind of ridiculous. In an awesome way. In a way that makes me giggle like a schoolgirl. Perhaps it is because of my relatively unfamiliarity with hot water bottles (and thus with their covers) that tickles me so. It's just ridiculous.

Of course, I have recently finished a pair of socks, but they are drying. Plus, being sick and hacking up lungular bits on a regular basis has put a crimp in my normal photographing of my finished product. (The hot water bottle was done with my iPhone. That's how lazy I was about it.) But today I actually had noticeable improvement in my cold from hell so I'm hoping the new socks can be revealed soon. I did something kind of different for them. It's neat.

But for now, gaze upon the wonder that is my hot water bottle holder!

Or, if you prefer, gaze upon the prettiness that is our officiallly-ready-to-swim pool!

Pool Time!

Yep, we still have punch list items to go (the rock guys were here this morning and today won't be their last visit) but we have balanced water, running fountains, a pool cleaner, and a fence so the pool is all ready to be used!

Well, okay, not quite ready...

Okay, Not Pool Time

See that top temperature? That's the pool water temp. Yeah, just a little chilly for swimming. It's no longer icy when I put my feet in but definitely qualifies as bracing. So really all we need now is some good weather to warm things up. Deck chairs are being delivered on Tuesday so Mother Nature better hop to it!

(Please, Mother Nature, if you read this blog do not take that as a challenge to snow. Thank you.)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Every Time

It seems that every freaking time the weather warms up then drops to super-cold again, I get a cold. I am now on cold number three for the year and it feels like someone took a cheese grater to my throat this time. Of course, getting caught in the rain on Saturday probably didn't help.

Yesterday was nice though so I was able to self-medicate in the sun a bit. I was smarter this time and didn't get burned (though I did manage more tan lines). Sadly, the pool water is 60° so much too cold to get in. But we have Pool School tomorrow morning to learn about chemicals and how to use all the fancy buttons, so as soon as the water warms up, we will be good to go. How exciting!

Construction-wise, we still have a bunch of punch list items but that's been put on hold until we are able to get the fence closed up (so we don't get footprints from the neighbor's dog in the mastic). All that should be soon though!

Next step: we really need to get some green things around the pool. First step, grass. Next step, the world! (Okay, maybe not. But hopefully some palm trees.)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Friday, March 14, 2014

Never Again

I made a sock!

Double Knit Socks

But it's a secret sock. Because inside it...

Double Knit Socks

... is another sock!

Double Knit Socks

It's done with double knitting and it meant that I was able to knit two socks at the same time, one inside the other.

And let me tell you: total pain in the neck. Crazy levels of slow and awkward and it was hard for me to get a consistent tension on the stitches, which meant my short row heels were kind of a mess. And, to make things really fun, the row height gauge was a little different between the two socks which means that the inner sock ended up about a quarter inch shorter (and slightly less stretchy) than the outer sock.

But! As unfun as this overall project was and as imperfect as the end result is, these socks mean that I have succeeded in the challenge that I set myself of learning how to do this very different method of knitting socks.

Plus, I ended up with cute socks.


(Ravelry project is here if you want to experience the true level of whining involved in this project.)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


The pool is not even ready and I've got my first burn!

I have a bit of a burn on my arms, too. Like a farmer's tan but bright pink.

I guess my two long visits outside to enjoy the lovely weather yesterday was a bit excessive, at least without sunscreen. Oh well. Today it's supposed to be cold and windy so I have time to heal before the next hot and sunny day.

Sunday, March 9, 2014


It took almost exactly 48 hours, but our pool is finally all filled up!


This doesn't mean it is ready to use, sadly. They still have to do the acid wash, clean and seal all the stone, get the skimmers functional, do the mastic joints, put the rocks down for the shower pad, and whatever all punch list items there are... but compared to what we've been through already? That's just tiny stuff.

Yay pool!

Other things on our soon-to-be-completed list include: closing up the fence, moving the septic sprayers, getting a little nook to hide the garbage cans in, and getting a new front door and storm door. (The other day I was sitting in the living room when a random stranger came by. She knocked on the door and, when I looked up, she waved at me. Yeah, we need a front door that doesn't have a huge block of clear glass on it. Random people trying to sell me something should not be able to get a full view of our living room.)

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Status Update

Not yet.


Friday, March 7, 2014



Thursday, March 6, 2014

It's Official

The plaster is done! We have a pool!

Completed Plaster

Okay, we still have things to do - like the acid wash, the mastic joints, the shower pad, flagstone sealing, all the punch list items... But still. POOL!

Completed Plaster



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

It Happened!

The weather is no longer freezing (though it's not that far off) so I was able to get outside. Thus, photographic proof of completed rock work:

Final Grade

They also did the final grade today. (Yesterday they said they didn't know when they could schedule it so it was a bit of a surprise to hear crew outside at eight this morning. Sigh. The pool company does great work, but they need to work on their communication.)

But now that the rock work and final grade is done, the only thing left is the plaster! Then it will be a real pool!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Almost There!

The rock work on the patio and steps was finished this weekend! Unfortunately the weather has once again turned wintery so there are no pictures. Things were ice-frosted all of yesterday and a fair part of today so hopefully the mortar had enough time to dry before the freeze set in. Things look really great outside; I'd hate for the work to have to be re-done.

I should be able to get a picture soon - the rest of the week is supposed to be warmer so going outside won't be as daunting.

As far as work left to do, the only things remaining are the final grade of the yard and then plastering the pool. Theoretically this could all be accomplished this week but the crummy weather has wreaked havoc on the work crew's schedule. It's possible that the final grade won't be until next week! Oh well. It's not like the weather is pool weather yet!