If you happen to follow me on Facebook or know me in real life, you already know that the cracked cooktop and the dishwasher fire were not the end of our home repair woes. Two days after ordering my cooktop and dishwasher (still not in. I’m learning patience and a love of electric skillets) I looked up and noticed two water marks on the ceiling of my kitchen. So I tested them and they were damp. We called a guy. Found out the shower in our master bath was going to need to be retiled and that there was something wrong with our tub. So we started using the shower in the basement (we had that done less than two years ago) only to find that one was leaking as well. (Thankfully, the man who tiled that shower came and it was a quick and free fix – he had just missed an area while sealing the glass surround and because we hardly ever used it, we didn’t notice until it was getting used almost 4 times daily.) House woes and other miscellaneous life stuff had me searching for the bright side. So…10 things I love. Little things, big things, just a random list of 10 things that popped into my mind.
- Netflix. The girl who was once too good for tv is well and truly squashed and is forced to eat her pride and her words about the ridiculousness of people who enjoy television. It keeps me company while I knit. I get to watch television shows that I missed when I was too cool to own a television, documentaries that make me think, and just fun to watch stuff.
- Shorter days. I know I won’t feel like this forever (talk to me in just a few weeks) but for right now, I really do appreciate that by 5 the sky is dark so it feels perfectly acceptable to put on my pajamas and relax.
- Knitting. I’m working on a pair of gift socks. A gift hat. And a cowl for myself. I don’t know that I should be doing personal knitting in the rush of Christmas, but every now and again I work a couple rows on this chunky cowl in the hopes that I’ll be able to wear it before spring. I’ve realized I don’t like knitting with big fat needles. At. All.
- Electric skillets. We haven’t had a cooktop in about three weeks. The first few weeks of sandwiches and going out to eat weren’t so bad. But when I found out the cooktop has been delayed again, I went out and picked up an electric skillet. I’m so grateful that I’m able to brown meat for a crock pot or casserole or tacos.
- House hunting. Not house buying (you know finding a house, putting in an offer, and all the adult-type-paperwork-things that involve home ownership) but the looking for and touring of houses. I love walking through a place and dreaming about what I would keep and what I would change and how we would LIVE in a place. I’ve hit my 3 year mark on this place, so my searching is in full effect.
- Books. I’m currently reading Grapes of Wrath and I’m not very far, I’m struggling with the idea that all of these things that happened during the Dust Bowl – the greed, the misuse and misunderstanding of our environment, the poverty and mistreatment of the poor – and they could just as easily have happened today. It’s depressing to think that the human condition hasn’t changed much in the last 80 or so years and that John Steinbeck could just as easily be writing about factory farms and strip mines today. In lighter fare, I’ve been reading a great deal of fan fiction type stuff “Carry On” by Rainbow Rowell (Harry Potter) and “The Royal We” by Heather Cocks (Wills and Kate). I also just finished The Girl You Left Behind (JoJo Moyes) and Uglies (Scott Westerfield). If you use goodreads, I’d love to share book ideas with you. Come find me.
- The woman who does my hair. I’ve cut my hair pixie short, grown it to the tops of my shoulders, and chopped it so many times I can’t even count. Two years ago I found Beth and begged her to help me grow it out. Well and truly. And every single time I’ve felt like throwing my hands up and saying, “Chop it.”, she’s waved her magic shears and made me like my hair again.
- My flat iron. Which is just one more reason I love the woman that does my hair because she’s the one who introduced us. My hair is not straight enough to be considered straight or curly enough to be considered curly. It’s just enough of both of those to be a frizzy mess of “does whatever the hell it wants” and I can think of about 20 million things I would rather do than my hair. Enter the flat iron. It takes less than 10 minutes, makes my hair look like someone who knows what they are doing did it, and it stays. Hairstyling for the helpless.
- Down comforters. Curling up in a big pile of fluffy warmth? Awesome. My favorite is when Jesse takes a hair dryer and warms it all up first. (Because he’s awesome.)
- Friends & family. I’m a big mush. I’m not going to pretend otherwise. I love my online “penpal” friends. I love my face to face over coffee friends. I love my I-never-get-to-see-them-but-we-talk-on-the-phone-for-hours friends. I love my family that loves the best and tolerates the worst me. I’m just amazingly grateful every day (especially on days where it feels like my house is falling down around my ears) for the people in my corner.
Ten little (and not at all little) things. Now I’m off to watch some Netflix and knit.
I just love this post, Kate 🙂 .
On Netflix – I was never so cool as to not own a tv, but I totally wanted to be that kind of person (if that makes sense?). We (my husband and I, pre-internet/pre-Netflix) would have our favourites and we’d watch them religiously, but otherwise, the tv would be off. (Which is totally a nod to “let’s READ instead of having our brains turn to mush”). That being said, I LOVE Netflix! I love choosing what to watch and I love the variety; the only thing I don’t like is the binging (because I somehow feel like we should be “strong enough” (haha?) to be able to just watch one show a week, like we USED TO!!! (On that note, we’ve been watching “Father Brown” and as soon as I saw the first one, I thought, “I have to tell Kate!” … it’s a BBC production, and it’s like Murder She Wrote (murders keep happening in this small British town). It’s set in the 50s and the lead character is the actor who played Mr. Weasley in the HP movies. It probably won’t win any awards, but it’s quite enjoyable 🙂 ).
On shorter days – I do love the coziness of fall and winter evenings, provided we’re ALL home, so this means I don’t like them as much as I used to because now not everyone is home when it’s dark out. So I find myself worrying about my 17 year-old son, who’s “gallivanting” out there somewhere, and my daughter, who’s off at university and has night classes and activities that she has to go to.
On knitting – “Totally” ok to knit something for yourself! I just finished a hat for myself, started (yet another) for my daughter, and also started socks (for me, but just because I consider them somewhat of an experiment; I bought several skeins of sock yarn, with plans to make some for my daughter, once the test set turns out. Any hopes I might have had of having a pair of socks under the tree for her come Christmas though? Totally unrealistic 🙁 ).
On electric skillets – thank goodness for small appliances that allow you to cook at home when your kitchen isn’t fully functioning!
On house hunting – I LOVE looking at houses, BUT I try to keep myself from doing this, because for me, this just leads to dissatisfaction. I’ve finally figured out that I’m happiest when I don’t allow myself to get into situations where I start playing the comparison game. When you say you’ve hit the three year mark with your house, does that mean you’re thinking of moving? Or just that it’s time to “do something” with your house?
On books – I don’t think I’ve read any Steinbeck yet! A hole in my reading that I really should fix! I’m currently reading The Martian. It was a birthday present for my 17 year-old son and he devoured it in one day. So now I’m reading it too, but I’m not getting very far very fast because of all the knitting. I’m thinking I should get more into Goodreads too. I did sign up a while ago, but haven’t yet done too much with it (except for reading reviews).
On hairdressers – I LOVE my hairdresser! I just found her a couple of years ago, after a series of REALLY REALLY REALLY bad haircuts. She’s British and we talk and talk and talk, and she’s a kindred spirit type person to me at this point. (And has given me some really good Netflix recommendations!)
On flatirons – we have the SAME type of hair, Kate! My daughter has gorgeous ringlets, but I have this not straight/not curly winging out mess, which means YES! thank goodness for flatirons!
On down comforters – yes, I like the real thing too (even though the vegetarian in me cringes and feels quite bad, but then reasons that nature is cruel anyway, and isn’t natural better for the environment? All my thinking exhausts me sometimes….). And your husband does sound awesome 🙂
On friends and family – I’m a big mush too. Sometimes I’ll tear up, thinking about all the people in my life, all our history together, everything they mean to me. And although I’ll also sometimes rail about my in-laws to my husband (“why is shopping more important than their grandchildren?!”) I get mushy about them too. My FIL had triple bypass surgery yesterday. My husband flew there on Saturday (to lend support and to be there “just in case”) and I spent the day in a bit of a fog, trying not to think of the actual procedure (because it’s so brutal) and reflecting on what my husband and his brothers and his mom were going through, sitting there in the hospital, waiting for hours for word. (So far, so good, thank goodness). And regarding on-line pen pals? I love my tribe 🙂
I love it! Thank you so much for sharing all your thoughts with me. To answer your house questions: I’ve moved A LOT. Not as much as some, but we lived the longest in our last home – which was 5 years. Most of my moves have either been the one year apartment to apartment thing that happens in college or at the three year mark. In fact from the time I was 9 until 18, I moved every 3 years. And then again from 23-29. Jess and I laugh that at this point it’s muscle memory. Every three years my body says “Time to pack up and find a new home”. I’m trying very hard to get out of the habit because it is NOT the most economical way to live.
Also, I’m thinking of your FIL and husband a whole family (and you as well) and sending peace and good health.
Finally…I wasn’t really too cool for television as much as I was too broke to afford one. 🙂
Oh, your house woes! It seems like those things always come in bunches. But yes! Electric skillets! They are pretty fab, aren’t they? And I’m so loving the finally-fall weather we’ve been having the past two weeks. Trying to soak up as much of the fall leaves as I can before they fall, which will be too soon. I am not touching any knitting needles until after the holidays, I’m sure. And maybe the needles for me are embroidery needles? I do know that I cannot just sit and embroider (or anything). I need to listen to or watch something. I am a Netflix fan and a die-hard TV hater. I think it’s not the TV shows that I hate, but the advertising–which is why I love Netflix. It’s only the show. When I visit my parents, I am reminded of how much I hate television ads. And local news. And I don’t care one whit about watching things years after they first aired, so it all works for me. 🙂 And house hunting–yes to that, too! I get my fix by going to estate sales. I don’t really care about the things for sale (and rarely buy anything), it is looking at the house that I love, especially if it is an older one. I, too, have recently discovered the joys of the flatiron, after years of my daughter telling me I needed one. 🙂 As for books, I just finished a short, sweet, sad read: Kent Haruf’s Our Souls at Night. And yes to down comforters, too. Hmmm…maybe that’s what I want for Christmas?
I love your list. Made me feel good, too.
I am non-judgmental in regards to the type of needle one chooses to craft with – embroidery, sewing, knitting. I love the results they all produce. I just find knitting to be not quite as particular as embroidery or sewing and I am NOT a detail person.
Have you heard of the Serial podcast? I really think I need to find it. A great many of my knitting people were telling me it’s wonderful to listen to (like old-time radio stories) while knitting and I guess a second season is coming out. Because I am just like you – I can’t knit and just knit. I have to have something to listen or watch. You also pointed out something I never thought of before – I became a TV watcher when I broke my foot which also happened at the same time we got rid of cable. So I was just watching shows on Netflix or with a season pass (I buy Downton Abbey on iTunes every year because I love that show so much and I’ll rewatch just to look at the costuming). I almost always blamed it on the broken foot, but I think it may have to do with the fact I get to just watch the SHOWS.
As for my house woes, what I thought was fixed in the basement is NOT so I feel very back to square one. I’m not going to lie, I sat down and had a good long cry about it today. And then I felt guilty because I still have indoor plumbing and hot water and a million other blessings I should be counting. So I had a cry about that too. It’s just been that kind of day.
I’m also jealous that you have leaves. Ours are well and truly down. So I need some snow. It’s just awful when everything is bare and brown and there isn’t anything pretty and white to make it look fresh.
It occurred to me, about an hour after I posted my comment above, that despite the sheer volume of words I’d written, I hadn’t said a single thing about all the problems you’re facing with your house, which seemed to me to be rather thoughtless of me! So I wanted to come back and apologize for that, and to tell you that I totally get what it’s like, to feel like everything in your home is falling apart, and that it’s just a never-ending cycle of “what’s gone wrong now”. And sure, you can try the whole gratitude spin of “well, at least I HAVE pipes to repair, so that’s something to be glad about”, but let’s face it, that DOES get old rather quickly 🙁 . I hope today is a better day for you, Kate.
Thanks, Marian. After a few hours of experimenting last night Jess and I think we’ve narrowed down where the leak in the new shower is coming from and our tile guy is coming to fix it. Hopefully. The rest is all just waiting. Which I do not do gracefully. I’m starting to get nervous because I’m hosting Thanksgiving and the cooktop that was supposed to be here two weeks ago is still not in. I know Thanksgiving is a bit away, but seeing that it’s already two weeks late with no real answers (I don’t think I’ll be buying appliances from this company again which is a shame because it’s a small local company and I WANT to support those businesses and not big box stores) and I have to have it installed yet…well, I don’t think I’ve been the easiest person to be around lately. 😉
I hope things are going better now. And that your holidays will be stress-free. (Is such a thing possible?) And thank you for pointing me to Serial. I will have to go look for that…