27 March 2008

How About an FO?

Since there's been a dearth of those around here lately (damned project monogamy), I offer you the following:

032508Toque 001
From down below

032508Toque 002
From up above (sort of)

This little made-it-up-as-I-went project has languished in a drawer at work for over a year now, so I finally got around to finishing it off. The yarn is Limbo Superwash from Halcyon Yarn. If you're thinking the bunny motif looks familiar, that's because it's the ASCII bunny from the Cute with Chris website (Rabbitch, no doubt, will insist that it's actually all about her, and I suppose that, too, is possible. That bunny is a little off kilter, after all.)

And a Bag of Chips

Quite a bit going on this week. I am currently working my second night in a row. Because I work 15-hour shifts, this is a rare occurrence, especially since it means not going home between shifts. With only 9 hours between them (or actually, a good bit less by the time all the paperwork and rounds and phone calls are done), I just can't afford to spend two of those hours on the road. As it is, I only got 6 hours of sleep here before I had to get up and get ready to do it all over again.

Ideally, the workload between the two nights would be divided up fairly evenly, particularly since it's midweek in what is still our "slow" season. At the very least, one would hope for it to be busier on the first night, when one is a bit fresher, than on the second. Apparently, though, that memo got lost, because my caseload tonight has been over twice what it was last night.

I will be glad to leave here.

And the reason I'm working back-to-back nights is that I am leaving today - for lovely Northern California. This will be the first time in nearly 14 years that I've visited that part of the country. I'm nominally off to a weekend symposium on veterinary hospice care at UC Davis. I figured that because I do the end of life talk so often (twice so far tonight), I might be able to take away some useful information from it. Mostly, though, it's an excuse and an opportunity for me to visit friends - some of whom I haven't seen for years, and some of whom I've only ever met online.

Stephen tells me that Monday night is knit night at the Three Dollar Bill Cafe, so I am definitely going be there. Monday is a play day for me before I come home, so I'm planning on heading down to the San Francisco Bay area for the day. I'm hoping I'll have time to visit the Muir Woods, and maybe visit the Scharffen Berger factory.

The wedding vest will be traveling with me, but rather than risk having it taken away by the TSA goons, it'll be going in my checked baggage. Since I'm looking at 10 hours of travel to get there and 11 back, I expect I'll be either sleeping (often not possible for me) or picking up the Hindi textbooks to catch up on those studies a bit.

I expect there'll also be a bit of fretting happening. When I spoke to David this evening, he told me he'd finally talked to Landlady Wendy about our proposed purchase of the house. After many, many months, she and Landlady Paula have finally settled on an asking price. The only problem is that it's about $50K more than I had figured we could easily afford, and they're not really inclined to negotiate.

I'm pretty sure we can do it. It's within what the bank pre-approved us for last month. And we do really love our little house and would rather be building equity than just paying rent. And they'd sell the entire parcel with an easement, so that whenever they decide to stop using the pasture behind the house, I could get myself a little flock of Shetland sheep. And we could eventually put up a wind turbine and go off the grid.

But it would mean coming up with an extra $400-500 per month over what we're currently paying for rent, which is just a little nerve-wracking to contemplate. Except that that amount is less than we've been setting aside each month for the wedding.

So maybe it won't be that difficult to manage, after all. But at the moment, thinking about it is making me want to puke.

Only 11 hours until I get to run away from it, though.


Anonymous said...

Great hat, Mel.

Were your ears burning Tuesday night? We were all saying how much we miss you at CWS; I hope you'll have some time to come join soon.

Have a wonderful trip to CA; you deserve a bit of a break!

Anonymous said...

I know that "want to puke" feeling so well right now. I finally have enough saved up for a healthy downpayment on a house and I've started looking for real. Everything that is worth considering is about 50-70k over what I feel really comfortable spending. Even though I'm pretty sure I COULD afford it, I still feel pretty uncomfortable committing to it. Kind of scary.

knitnzu said...

Great Hat! Didn't anybody tell your landladies that the market is down these days?? What if you switch your wedding party plans from whatever you have going on (didn't you mention this, it looked lovely) to a 'come help us fix the place up' weekend? If you end up in SF County Jail 8 you might meet my brother. Have a great time in California.

Anonymous said...

I like the hat! How did you like working with the yarn?

As for the house, Paul and I went through the same thing. I think those that actually have the problems are the ones that don't worry about these things. Just remember to get an appraisal as part of the process and have the sale contract say that the purchase price can not be more than the appraisals. Most mortgages insist on this, anyway.

Anonymous said...

No, Wait! I don't want you to lose the vest if your checked luggage disappears. I would take the vest off the needles, check the needles, and take the vest with you through security. Of course this will serve you well by guaranteeing that your checked luggage will not get lots.

Have a great trip!

(Can we get an update on Gem sometime?)

From a big fan of yours.

Anonymous said...

If you think it is a fair price (maybe take a look at some comparators for an idea) and you really like the house and location, then it might well be worth it. It is a big, scary decision though. Nausea is probably normal.

Other things to consider are long term value (I know the real estate market in the US sucks right now but long term, real estate usually does gain in value and is a good investment) and what your incomes are likely to do. They won't rise as fast, but if you can currently afford to be putting away for the wedding and you just shift some of that into the mortgage payment and can still put something away for other savings (for your degree, for maintenance, etc.) and then your income goes up even a small amount... well it isn't so scary 5 years down the road.

Good luck with the decision. And have a great trip.

Sheepish Annie said...

Northern CA is one of my favorite places! Have a great time. It sounds like you are getting out of here in a rather timely fashion, too. The last weather report did not look good...

Anonymous said...

also, if you are still buying this house, you know all its flaws, and things that need repair.
when we bought our house, many years ago, we were surprised with a roof that needed replacing, plumbing that needed replacing. a basement that leaked when it started to rain after the driest summer, and a few more things like that.

good luck and enjoy your trip!

Anonymous said...

You'll enjoy knitters night at the Three Dollar Bill. They are a welcoming crowd. It was one of my favorite evenings in San Francisco when I visited for the first time last year. Stan

Anonymous said...

I would still see if they will negotiate. You have nothing to lose by asking:-) Remember the housing market is good for buyers and bad for sellers right now.

Anonymous said...

Northern California?! So close and yet so far away.

Anonymous said...

That's an amazing hat!

Bon voyage!