My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

Designing my way out October 31, 2013

Filed under: Family,Home improvement,Hubby,Pets,Sewing — blankenmom @ 1:20 am
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You can only see part of the chaos in this room thank goodness!

 

 

Since I’ve been in such a funk lately, I have completely avoided neglected my sewing room for other projects around the house.  (You should see the work I’ve done on the pear trees we’re planting!)  Poor sewing – it always get’s the brunt of my moods.  But now the first-born is visiting with a project he needs sewn and a friend of his needs a snap put back on, so getting the sewing room at least partially set up is no longer an option.

 

So tonight I put it together with the bare minimum for when he get’s here for those projects.  But what about after he leaves?

 

Since I’m not exactly in the sewing mood, I’ve decided instead to get creative in another way… and get some of my frustrations out at the same time, by building my new sewing room; well, sort of.  I plan on building all new shelves, tables and cutting table (since mine is out cold from the move.)  And since we’re a bit tight on the budget after buying the house, I plan on using pallets.  I have a strange fascination with them?  Normally my dentist man would object, but since it’s relegated to my sewing room, he’ll just be happy I’m not spending any money and keeping busy.

 

Ok, I actually bought a new tool for the project.  Ssshhhh….

 

 

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The main idea for my sewing room will be all standing or resting on a high stool.  My posture is getting very poor from sitting at the machine all the time.  Getting up constantly from sewing to press or cut was getting annoying and let’s be honest here…. sitting all the time is contorting my butt into a funny shape – not cool.

After a google search, I’m not the only person who does this.  So I’m only half-crazy.

Another thought, it needs to be easy to clean under when I vacuum.  The room is carpeted again, at least for now, which makes wheels on a chair tough to use and I’ll still have to vacuum instead of sweep.  Big bulky furniture is hard to clean around and once you move, leaves large spots on the floor from where you’ve been walking and not walking.  So having as little of a “footprint” from furniture as possible, makes for easier cleaning.

Since the sewing room is right next to the boys’ bedroom, I’ve had numerous complaints requests to sound proof the room a bit.  Seems my sewing machines tend to be a bit noisy?  Sheesh – I love the sound of a sewing machine humming, you’d think they would too?  I guess trying to sleep at 3 am with a serger battering next to your head doesn’t work very well?  Go figure!  So I’ll be attempting to sound-proof the room a bit on the adjoining wall and keep the machines on the opposite wall.  I wonder if that will work to keep little boy noises out of my sewing room?

My last thought was maximum storage without clutter.  Clutter drives me batty and my sewing room is the only place I can control it.  The rest of the house has monkey’s flying about, so I have to just learn to live with it.  My sewing room is under my control.   Bwahaha.. oh um, yeah.

 

This room is really a great one for business purposes if I choose to re-up here.  It’s got a door to the outside and a driveway right outside of it.  It’s got a door to the house, so when we do get dogs again, I won’t have to try to keep them out and I won’t have people walking in on a fitting by accident *awkward*.

 

Here is the design inspiration for the furniture ~

 

 

table

 

 

~ suggestions?

 

So for the next few weeks, or months (depending on how crazy things get around here), this will be my project.  I’ll keep you updated on the progress – good or bad – and hopefully by the time I’m done, I’ll have my sewing inspiration back!

 

 

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Wandering the desert October 28, 2013

 

 

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It’s strange how we can appear to be at the top of the world, by worldly standards, and yet still feel like we’re at the most bottom.  And while we’re there, feel the need to not let anyone know.

 

How shameful to feel that way when you should feel nothing but joy – look at everything you have!

 

For the last few months during the process of buying our “house on the hill”, I’ve been completely out of sorts.  Asking myself “How could I *not* be happy with this?”   “What’s wrong with me?”  “I must be completely selfish and spoiled?”  That’s when I saw the reminder of the one year “anniversary” of the flood.

 

On this day last year, I had a husband who was gone for his second 9 month deployment *of that year*.  A son recovering from two surgeries for a broken arm.  Two dogs with months to live.  3 kids and myself suffering from a severe flu (that would end up turning to pneumonia).  My “stomach issues” had finally, after 15 years, taken their toll causing me to *have* to get help.   And to top it all off, Hurricane Sandy took out the entire first floor and part of the second floor of “that house”.

 

Oy.  It’s been quite the year.

 

 

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My dentist man is home and settled in to the new practice.  The second-born is fully healed and back to his dare-devil self.  The dogs have been gone for several months and are sitting nicely on the mantle.  The pneumonia rattle is mostly gone, although we were nice enough to share a cold bug already.  My gut problems are much, MUCH better.  And “that house” is nearly finished, in spite of the (expletive), non-paying renters we have in there.

 

Ah yes.  It’s been quite the year.

 

For the last year I’ve been fighting for one of many things on a daily basis and some days all of them: our health, our healing, our pets, our insurance money, incompetent renters, mortgage companies.  It’s been one entire year of fighting.  None stop.  Sure there were days when the contractor didn’t wake me up with another “issue”.  There were days when the insurance company wasn’t calling to ask for more proof.  There were days when the mortgage company wasn’t asking for more paperwork.  There were days when I wasn’t waiting for a phone call from the vet/specialist/doctor/state worker/renter/realtor/my dentist man.  On those days I could just sit and wonder…. what’s going to happen next?

 

I’m tired.

 

Normally when I get overwhelmed, I go visit the ocean.  I can look out on it and see forever.  I can feel the openness and feel all the problems wash away, leaving with the waves.  Ironically, right now I’m in the desert.  I hate the desert.  I don’t think hate it too strong of a word for this.  I really do.

 

With that notice of the “anniversary” the laughable thought that I’m in the exact opposite place than I’d ever want to be, did not go unnoticed.  However, I think it may be the exact place I need to be at this very time.

 

I’ve said this before in Surfing life’s waves, I can best state it this way –

While we’re drowning in our own ocean of circumstances, carrying the weight of people saying what could have been done better tied on like a sinking board strapped to an ankle pulling us further down, the Lord is trying to field a rescue.  Instead of just letting Him pull us up however, we keep swatting at His outstretched hands like a drowning victim in a panic.  And after He does finally get a hold of our slippery little arm and drags our bodies to the beach kicking the whole way, He breaths life back into us once again.  Ignorant of our own inability to swim alone with all the exhaustion, and instead of just staying on the beach to enjoy the rest, we keep running back into the water to drown all over again, dragging the weight of the board behind us, hoping this time it will be different.  In His wisdom, He finally takes us from there, the place we love the most.  The place we feel most comfortable and places us in our own desert a spell, to finally get the rest we need, in spite of ourselves.

 

 

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Just as the Israelite’s were brought to the desert to learn to better rely on the Lord, I needed to have all the distractions taken away and be brought back to Him.  The life I had felt so comfortable with, just as the Israelite’s felt comfortable in their slavery, needed to go.  This may not be where I want to be, but it’s where I need to be.

 

“Why”, they shouted to Moses “did you bring us out of Egypt to die?”  “Surely we will die of starvation out here?”  And honestly, my heart understands this for the first time.  Definitely not starvation (as my butt can attest to), but surely the uncomfortableness and fear that they felt in their new transition.

 

While the mountains feel as though they are closing in on me and every fiber of my being wants to be in the wide open ocean, it may be time to go wander my quiet desert and find the rest in Him that I need.

 

Yup.  It’s been quite the year.

 

I plan on leaving it on the other side of the desert for what God has in store for me.  But please don’t mind the grumbling along the way.

 

 

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Somewhere to sit October 20, 2013

 

 

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It’s been a week since our furniture showed up and the boys and I  went full force to get everything unpacked and set up, between our modified schoolwork lessons of course.  I’m pleased to say, 95% of it is done minus some pictures on the wall….. and my sewing room.  It’s scary in there!

 

When our stuff left the last house in two giant mac trucks, I was expecting an extra charge to make it up the hill and around all the corners, or having them park at the bottom and shuttle it up.  With my expectations set for full-out catastrophe, I gave all the neighbors a note to let them know what might be coming their way on moving day and to please let us know if any problems arise.

Over kill?  Maybe.

However, on our move to Staten Island, the moving truck knocked down two phone lines.  When we moved into “that house” we managed to block one-half of a “major” thorough-fare (major as in, it was the biggest road in a town of 5000 people.  Not even a light or stop sign.) bringing out a police traffic controller to assist.  On our departure, we blocked an entire side road.

The neighbor’s were pleased with the heads up and I also got to meet many of them in the process.  The note also gave the low down on the newest people in the neighborhood – everyone wants the gossip on new folks!  (Can you call it a neighborhood if each house has no less than 2 acres?)

I also warned the moving company and asked them to come check it just-in-case.  A stuck mac truck was not my ideal lawn ornament!

What ended up showing up on moving day?  This “tiny” little truck!  I was shocked all our stuff fit in there – with room to spare?  Albeit excited that it did, since that meant we really don’t have that much crap…. eh er, stuff, I was still in shock!

 

 

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So moving day went off with-out a hitch… well, one minor sad hitch, but the company has been outstanding; it’s getting fixed and I’ll have my cutting table back shortly.  Probably before I actually get done putting my sewing room back together.

 

 

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I can honestly say, this has been the most unique and odd move since we’ve been married.  On previous moves, we’ve had stuff lost, stolen, broken, 2×4’d in front of us.  We’ve gone from 75* to -75* in a two-day move.  (Nothing like showing up to freezing temps in shorts!)  We’ve left not having any place at all to stay, but getting one along the way.  Leaving with a place to stay, and losing it on the way there.  But sitting with no furniture for 3 months, uncertain if we would have a home was a first.

 

Thank you to some awesome homeowners that allowed us to rent for a month and a half while waiting for the process to finish – that’s some trust right there!

 

But we were together, so it was all good.

 

Over the next few months, I’ll be good friends with my humidifier.  Over the next few weeks I’ll peek in on my sewing room to make sure it’s still a mess.  And over the next few days we’ll finally start our “real” schoolwork now that it’s finally shown up.

 

 

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After all, we finally have a place to sit!

 

 

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*I’d also like to say, tonight is my 3 year blogaversary.  Thank you all for joining me for the last 3 or so years!

 

Pain you can’t even imagine. October 15, 2013

Filed under: Family — blankenmom @ 1:07 pm

I don’t normally reblog a whole lot, but I’m not hearing nearly enough about this on the news and should be.

The Adventures of Dairy Carrie... I think I Need a Drink!

Frosty pine tree

If you aren’t in the ag world, you most likely haven’t heard about the devastating loss that ranchers in western South Dakota are struggling with after being hit by winter storm Atlas.

For some reason the news stations aren’t covering this story. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t. This story has heartbreak, tragedy and even a convenient tie into the current government shutdown. Isn’t that what the news is all about these days?

But the news isn’t covering this story. Instead the story is spreading around on social media, Bloggers are writing from their ranches in South Dakota. Bloggers are trying to explain how the horrible happened. And now I am going to join them to tell you the part of the story that I know and I am going to ask you to help these people, because if you are here reading this blog I know you give…

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The house up on the hill October 8, 2013

Filed under: Moving,Random thoughts,What's happening — blankenmom @ 7:47 pm
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As of yesterday mid-morning we,  after five long months of nearly 100 documents and 3 months of no furniture, 2 1/2 weeks of hotel hopping and 1 1/2 months of renting the actual house, became homeowners again.

That’s all, thank you for stopping by.

 

The tale of two men October 4, 2013

 

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This past two weeks, I’ve gotten a great view of two different kinds of people – in this case, both men.

 

The first man, a sluggard.  A liar.  A person who blames anyone and everyone but himself.

Ladies and gentleman, my renter.

 

 

 

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I was glad to be able to help someone who was part of a FEMA program for people whose homes floated away in last years storm.  I wasn’t able to be there to help out and couldn’t afford to give anything, so I was excited to be able to assist someone.

The man, his wife and three gorgeous little boys moved in excited to be in a new home.  Completely brand new.  With promises of taking grand care of the home and yard.  That is until it actually became time to do some actual work.

Finding out after a month that they didn’t have the utilities put in their name and given notice to do so – twice – utilities were shut off.

Imagine that – I didn’t want to pay for their utilities and ours.  Crazy I know?

He was livid and blamed me, the last landlord, the utility companies and anyone else he could muster.

On our part, in the middle of our own move and after the postal service lost our mail (and the paperwork) due to extenuating circumstances out of their control, we ended up buying an extra printer for the sole reason of getting this man and his family’s paperwork finished through email instead of snail mail.  Sorry postal service!

No home and no furniture, but we’ve got a printer!

At this point, three months in, the realtor discovered that they still hadn’t done their part to stay on the program and drives them to all their needed destinations.  Utility companies for proof and to sign a form saying they have no income yet.  That’s it.  That’s all they need to remain in the home.

Nope – couldn’t do it.  Btw – Who doesn’t have I.D. in this day and age?

 

So evictions notices were given.

 

 

The second man, amazing!  Works multiples jobs and is as honest as he can be.

This man knows everyone and I’m *pretty* sure he knows almost everything…. or at least where to find it out.  He’d bend over backwards to help anyone out, even if he didn’t fully like them.

 

 

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We met him through our oldest while he was convincing every restaurant in town to allow my son to sell his cookies there.  He then discovered that I sewed and sent over every kind of weird object to sew on, knowing I had never worked on it, just to let me learn.

Anyone you talk to will say the same thing.

I had been trying to get someone out to repair the fence and deck from the storm last year and either they won’t pick up because of our phone number being out-of-state, or they’re just still too busy.

You’d at least think they’d call back?

As a last resort before the insurance company came after me, I called this man.  He came to my rescue.  He does what he says and does it amazingly.

Mind you, he doesn’t do it for free if you can pay.  He know’s his worth and I appreciate that!

 

Two men.  One who takes and spreads nothing but blame.  One gives everything and expects the same back.

 

I strive everyday to be more like the second man.  After all, who would you want in your life?