Monday, March 31, 2008


So apparently my piano fund is going to come from selling off my cloth diapers and maternity clothes instead of yarn.

Piano fund is up to $46 as of right now. Not too shabby huh? By the way, if you are interested in cloth diapers or maternity/nursing clothes you have got to go check out Diaper Swappers.

Yarn Sale

So I reduced everything in my Etsy shop and since I'm home with sick kids again today will probably get some time to post a few more items in between my massive spring cleaning since I'm not working. As for the destashing, i'll try to post those pictures today too. I have a laundry basket full of yarn sitting next to me right now that I pulled out of my yarn dresser. I put a few up on my Ravelry sell/trade page but still have more to add.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Yarn Sale Coming!

Funny thing ... I was working in the yard this morning thinking about the piano and I came up with a plan. (I can't stop thinking about the piano for some reason actually) Anyhow, I was thinking about all the yarn I own that I will probably not be able to use up in the next five years plus all the stuff in my Etsy shop (which I really haven't spent time with in the past six crazy-ass weeks) and I decided that I could probably sell enough of that stuff between an Etsy sale and eBay to cover the piano. I'm going to post on the Ravelry destash group too. So I hop on the computer to blog about it (cause that's what i do) and I have a comment from Lorena about the very same thing. Funny huh?

Sooo ... how much yarn and knitting things can I sell? Sounds like a challenge! Unfortunately I don't have any sock yarn blanks right now and those sell easily. I do have a couple of skeins of merino/silk sock weight yarn but no regular sock yarn. I also have quite a bit of commercial sock yarn that I will probably never use now that I dye my own. If I can work up to around 75% of the piano cost by Saturday then I'll buy it. Although I might call Bob (the man with the piano) and see if we can wait an extra week or so. He lives in Gainesville so we have to coordinate the meet-up in St. Augustine where the piano is.

I'm in serious spring cleaning mode right now and am rearranging the house in the process so this fits perfectly. Being the dork that I am, I have all the rooms planned out on paper so I can cross things off as I go through them. I'll have to reorder my list and move it to the craft room ASAP. This really is perfect though because I want to move all my craft stuff to my old office since we built the new office out back. Then the spare room/craft room will actually be a spare room where people can come and stay with us and not have to trip over yarn and knitting needles. I'll post the crafty stuff and yarn on my blog in case any of you knitters want first grabs.

And speaking of spring cleaning ... off I go ... :)

Friday, March 28, 2008

Piano and Planting

We got our garden planted yesterday afternoon and I also planted my three earth boxes. Yay! I absolutely LOVE the fact that we work for ourselves now. Brett got a couple of jobs submitted to the county yesterday afternoon and so we celebrated by taking off a little early and planting our garden. I didn't think we were going to get to that until this Sunday. Here's what we planted:
Earthboxes - grape tomatoes, sweet red peppers, lettuce and carrots
Garden - okra, acre peas, green beans, pole beans, watermelon, cantelope, cucumbers, pumpkin, squash, zucchini, and we're going to add a row or two of corn when we go get seeds in the next day or two

I'm having an internal struggle with this piano situation. Apparently a piano is an unnecessary expense. Who knew? :) I really want one but again, it's not a need. I know Dave Ramsey would probably tell me that I should not be buying a piano right now. He would tell us to wait until we are done with baby step two which is paying off all non-mortgage debt. Thing is, we are going to be on baby step two for a very long time and the kids will be more than old enough to start piano lessons by the time we get there. I posted an add on craigslist about how I wanted a piano for myself and my kids to learn on but didn't have much to spend on it. Two people emailed me within a couple of hours. Neither have their piano listed as they want to make sure it goes to a good home so they are just keeping an eye on craigslist to find a good home. Each piano belonged to their family for over 50 years and was played by their mother and by themselves when they were younger.

One is a Cable-Nelson that was built in 1951. I have a picture and it looks great. He is only asking $200 but it is in St. Augustine Beach so we'll spend about $40 in gas to move it. The other is a Lester and she wants $250 for it but it is right here in Lake Butler. So as far as money goes, it's probably about the same. I'm still waiting for the serial number and picture of the Lester to check into it. From the research i've done, they seem to be about equal as far as quality goes and they are both about the same age. There is one other piano that's only $100 but it has no name or serial number anywhere on it and the key are all chipped up on the ends. The $100 sounds great but from what i've read, cheap pianos like that may not stay in tune. If this is going to be the first instrument the kids learn to play then it's very important that it stay in tune. This way they don't learn to hear notes wrong.

Brett was all for the $200 piano (or the $250 that's close by) over the $100 piano that we don't know anything about until yesterday when we were planting the garden. That's when he started with the "what would Dave Ramsey think about us buying a piano" thing. In my head I know he's totally right buy my heart really, really, really wants a piano. Oh what to do!!! Our Financial Peace University (FPU) class is having a big yard sale together on May 3rd so I was hoping to fund the piano that way but that's over a month away. I guess I could start selling some stuff on eBay. But then Dave would tell me to use that money towards our debt. Ugh! Sometimes I hate being so financially responsible.

Just for the fun of it, i'll leave you with a picture of the Cable-Nelson piano built in 1951. It really is pretty and appears to be in great shape for it's age. The picture that the seller sent me is really high quality and I am able to zoom in on the keys and see that they are not chipped at all.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Just a few things ...

Thanks for the craigslist idea on the piano Angie. Looks like I may have found one for only $150! :)

I have a new addiction called Pandora. Go check it out ... very cool!

Also, check out this etsy shop: laruart

Monday, March 24, 2008


I've always loved music of all kinds and while growing up often immersed myself in playing my viola as a way to get away. I still play it occasionally but not as often as I wish. I really wish Lake City had a community orchestra but that is apparently a little much to ask for. When we lived in Texas I had an audition set up for the community orchestra there just before we had to move away. Being a violist I am almost guaranteed a spot in a community orchestra because there are so few of us so we are always needed. Except for somewhere like a college town (g'ville) because of the university competition. Anyhow, I missed my opportunity. Lately, as in at least for the past six months or so, I've had this intense urge to learn to play the piano. I've never had that much interest in it before. I've always enjoyed listening to the piano but now I really want to learn. And I want the boys to learn as well. It is also something a little more (okay a lot more) mainstream than the viola so my chances of finding a used piano and a piano teacher are probably pretty good, even in Lake City.

I have no idea why I'm even sharing this right now. It's been on my mind lately and so here it is. I was actually in Starbucks last week and saw a piano masters cd that I would have loved to purchase if we weren't on a "spend not an unnecessary penny plan" while we start our business and get out of debt. It just keeps popping up everywhere. My cousin Lindsay and I were talking on the plane on our way to CT a couple of weeks ago and she mentioned this thrift shop where she often sees used pianos and that she really wants to learn to play the piano. Maybe it's a sign that it needs to be my next musical endeavor. I've always been involved in music my whole life whether through instruments or dance and that's one thing that I've let slip away with our move to Lake City and then having kids. It's very important to me and something I definitely want to share with my children. I think the piano would be perfect and I even have a perfect spot for it now that we've rearranged some furniture with the addition of our new office.

Okay, enough rambling for one morning. :-)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Yay and Ugh!

Well in good news Brett fixed my gas gauge by unhooking the battery. He made a good point about all computers needing to be rebooted once in a while. Don't know if it will happen again or not. Guess we'll just wait and see. Maybe i'll get lucky and it will be a one time thing.

And then of course there is the not so good news ... we spent three hours at the after hours clinic in Gainesville with Houston last night. He has strep throat and a sinus infection. About an hour before the daycare called about him having a 103.3 degree temp I was telling someone that I could hardly believe we made it through an entire week of daycare without one of the boys getting sick. Guess I spoke too soon. So there goes all my Easter weekend visiting.

Friday, March 21, 2008


We got our work authorization from the Florida Board of Professional Engineers!!! We're now an officially licensed engineering firm. :)

And just to blemish a good day a little bit ... the gas gauge in my pathfinder decided to stop working today. Nice, huh? So even though I just put 18.8 gallons of gas in it the thing tells me i'm completely empty. And Nissan can't get us in until Tuesday. Fun.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy Birthday Erika!

Today is my cousin Erika's birthday. My Uncle Ken that passed away last week is her dad. How much does that sucketh? Hope you manage to somehow still have a fairly decent birthday Ernie! And I hope your dad and grandpa are somewhere together totally living it up ... fishing or something. :)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Good Day ... finally!

Successful root canal AND I finally got our website built and uploaded. I have two pages on the website that still need some work but at least the important info is up there. I'm an engineer so my grammer/spelling/whatever isn't the best so if you see something I need to fix, please let me know.

Crews Engineering Services

Monday, March 17, 2008

So much to blog about, so little time

Two Saturdays, two funerals ... so much sadness. I have a lot I want to blog about regarding the events in my family over the past two weeks but I don't have the time just yet. I haven't been home much lately so I have a lot to catch up on. I got back from Bradenton last night and have been working ever since. Hopefully I'll get caught up soon and will have some time to write about the things that have been weighing on my mind.

In good news, all that worry about starting a new business in a supposed recession was unnecessary. We have projects coming out of the woodwork around here. :) And I FINALLY found time to work on our website today so I should have it loaded before I go to bed tonight, maybe even earlier. YAY!!! FINALLY!!! Now that it's been posted all over on business cards and signs and t-shirts.

Root canal attempt number 3 is tomorrow at 9:15am. Please send good numbing vibes my way because I can use all the help I can get. I'm sure my body would really appreciate me being able to end the barrage of pain meds and antibiotics. And I'm really, really tired of being in pain. Let's not even mention what my stomach has been going through. Ugh! If the second endodontist can't get me numb tomorrow then we have to coordinate with an oral surgeon to put me under. And I don't do well when I'm put under. I can pretty much guarantee that I'll be puking for 48 hours or more after I wake up and be nauseous for a good week no matter how much anti-nausea medicine they give me. And I might even have trouble breathing when I come to. Fun, no? So I'll be there with my fingers and toes and knees crossed praying that this stupid tooth will go numb. I really, really, really don't want to feel the root of my tooth being drilled into for a third time. That just really sucks!

Well I hear the coffee pot beeping so my break is over. Back to work I go!

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Little Silver Lining

My cousin Lindsay and I met Tim Tebow in the Jacksonville airport last week. He walked right up to the US Airways counter that I was standing at and I looked up and about choked. Holy crap! That's Tim Tebow!!! We were right behind him in the security line so I asked him if he minded if we took a picture with him. Cool, huh? He was really nice about it too. Poor guy can't go anywhere in peace anymore. And of course, since I thought i'll be traveling all day and i'm going up for a funeral, why bother doing my hair or wearing makeup. Sooooo ... my hair is a frizzy mess but that's okay because I HAVE A PICTURE WITH ME AND TIM TEBOW! How freakin' cool is that? :)

Tim Tebow

Thursday, March 13, 2008

I wanted to say "thank you" to all of my friends who have sent well-wishes my way. I have not had the time to reply to all of the messages and phone calls but I wanted to make sure you all know how much I appreciate your support. It really means a lot to me. In time, I will respond to each of you. I just don't have the time and/or energy yet. I'm heading to Bradenton this afternoon to be with my family and once again leaving the kids with my wonderful husband. I'm so fortunate to have a man that I can leave two young children with.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I'm so mentally exhausted and frustrated right now. I got a call on Sunday while I was in the airport that my Uncle Ken, also my godfather, had been hospitalized. If you read this regularly then you'll remember he was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. Things were not looking good so I planned to drive down to say goodbye after my root canal the next day. So after not being able to sleep because of the pain after a loratab and about six advil as well as some children's ibuprofen (it was liquid so i thought it might kick start the meds) and crying myself through the night, I made it to my endodontist appointment, crying and exhausted.

Some background ... I had a root canal the week before on the tooth above this one which had a previous root canal only a year and four months before. Turns out the dentist that did the first root canal left a piece of a dental instrument in my tooth. That and he did not place the crown properly so it has been beating up on the tooth below it for over a year now. After the plane ride to Connecticut last Thursday my lower left tooth, jaw and ear were in extreme pain. I even had meds called in to a pharmacy up there. So the plane ride home on Sunday had me in tears. Went to the endodontist on Monday for her to fix the tooth and she could not get it numb. The tooth was so inflamed that she had everything but it numb. I was crying like a little baby. I actually felt her drill into my tooth!!!! It was a total nightmare. She filled the crown temporarily and sent me to the pharmacy to put me on Tylenol 3 with codene which prevents me from driving. So I was not able to make it to Bradenton to see my uncle. I went back to the endo this morning for round 2 of this root canal. Same problem, could not get it numb, feeling her drill into the root of my tooth.

So now i'm on round 4 of antibiotics plus alternating tylenol3 and ibuprofen every six hours and we are going to try again on tuesday in hopes that the tooth will have calmed a bit and they will be able to make it numb. If it doesn't work then we have to coordinate with an oral surgeon to put me under for the root canal.

And the worst part of it all? I got a phone call after my appointment today that my uncle passed away last night. I've never lost two family members in less than two weeks before. It's just awful.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Stacey M. Williams

There are some really messed up people in this world. I removed the links to the articles about my cousin's death because there are people who decided it would be a good idea to leave nasty comments to the articles. (not on this blog, but on the article websites) I wish the news organizations would not allow comments to be posted to articles like these. Our family is suffering enough as it is. I can't imagine how someone could decide to post such comments. I chose to instead, link to her obituary which highlights all the great things about Stacey. She was a beautiful person, both inside and out. She was extremely intelligent and very passionate about things that were important to her. The last months of her life were troubled and I truly believe that she would not have chosen to do this to her family if she were of sound mind, which she obviously was not. She was dealing with so much at the time of her death and the notes referred to in the articles as so definitely pointing to suicide were not so definite. In fact, there was only one note and it was very short and inconclusive at best. She was physically ill as well and we just don't know what happened.

I flew there last Thursday to be with my family. Stacey was laid to rest on Saturday and I flew back home on Sunday. It was an extremely difficult time yet felt so good to be with family. I could not do anything to remove the pain but was able to provide some comfort and support. It's times like these that make you realize just how important family is. Don't let life get in the way of visiting with and communicating with family. Life is just too short. We made a pact amongst us cousins that we will never go that long without seeing each other again.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Pattern Help

So I've been thinking of what I can do for my aunt. I think I want to knit her a prayer shawl. I'm going to look around on Ravelry when I get some time later tonight but in the mean time, if anyone has a suggestion for me i'm all ears. I've never knit a shawl before. I need it to be quick too. I'm thinking worsted weight in a lacey pattern that is easy to follow and where I don't have to keep looking at the pattern.

I'm having train nightmares ... I can only imagine what my aunt and cousins must be going through. I talked to another cousin last night and apparently she and her mom are having train nightmares too. If you read the news articles I linked to then you know that it wasn't an accident. I just can't even begin to make sense of this tragedy.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Sunday, March 02, 2008

I don't even know what to say right now. For some reason, I feel the need to blog this. I'm sure all my family knows by now so I feel like I can.

My cousin Stacey was hit and killed by a train last night in Connecticut. She was about to turn 40. The most unbelievable thing is that my cousin Carl, her brother, died about twelve years ago. You're not supposed to outlive your children but my Aunt Audrey, also my godmother, has buried two of her four children. My heart goes out to my Aunt and Stacey's brothers, Matt and Kevin.

Stacey was the oldest of all my cousins on my mom's side of the family. We have a really big family. There were 13 of us cousins. They grew up in Connecticut while the rest of us grew up in Florida but we saw them quite often. We went there, they came down, we went on vacations together. They often stayed with us when they made their trips to Florida. Stacey and I always bunked up when they stayed with us. I keep picturing the image of Stacey laying on her brother's coffin at his funeral. Ugh. My heart just aches right now. I can't believe my Aunt Audrey has to go through this again.

I wish I could do something. I hate the feeling of helplessness when somebody dies unexpectedly. Like you want to do whatever you can to fix it but you just can't. All I know to do is to go there and be with my family.