On The Other Side Of Things

It looks like it’s been a month to the day since I went off the air here and as cliché as it sounds, it feels like yesterday and a million years ago all at the same time. And while I’m not quite yet at a place where I can come back with full force, I’m here; sitting in our new kitchen, hotspotting off my phone, writing. The internet hook-up is scheduled for tomorrow as the hotspot isn’t the most effective so things are a little slow internet-wise at the moment, but today felt like a good day to touch base and reflect a bit nonetheless.

I’m happy to report that we’ve all made it. My husband would say there was never any doubt, but I certainly had them! Thanks to a lot of help and hard work from my mom and the kids (Mr KS had to make the move up for work mid-March), all the boxes of things to prep the old house for sale were checked (and then some) and it’s empty and officially on the market. I’m really happy with how I left it, nice and clean and ready for someone new to make their own memories. I was unsure how emotional it would be to leave after almost 13years there, but by the time I locked up for the last time that house really wasn’t our home any more. No family or Moose, no yarn or fiber or spinning wheel or loom or ridiculous yarn and fiber stash squirreled away. No familiar art work on the walls. It was just some (spectacularly clean) walls and a (good solid) roof over my head. It was a blank slate. And really, that’s what moving is. Leaving one place a blank slate for the next owners and moving into a blank slate left by someone else.

Our whole process moved very quickly — I met the movers at our old house last Tuesday morning. They packed up what I’d not yet gotten to and loaded it up and by 5pm I was on the road up to our new hometown, arriving just in time for a much deserved shrimp chimichanga and margarita with my hubby. The following morning we had our final walk-through and closed on the new house. Within about 2hours of closing, the movers met us at the new house to unload our things. My parents brought the kids and dog up later that same afternoon after having watched them while the actual moving was taking place and before long my mom — true trooper that she is — and I started cleaning and organizing the new kitchen. Now that’s a whirlwind.

If you’ve learned anything about me over the years, it’s that I really struggle to relax when there is work to do around me. Smart or not, I kind of just keep going until it’s all done. Suffice to say I’m not one who will live in what I’ve dubbed “The Sea of Boxes” for long. So at this point — less than a week since moving in — the only things not yet unboxed and put away are the basement storage/camping stuff that my hubby is in charge of, the garage stuff (which we need to figure out shelving for, and my own desk things because, well, I do not yet have a desk. The kids have finally graduated to their own rooms so my daughter has upgraded to my old desk and I’ll eventually upgrade to a new desk all my own. That’s on the long-term shopping list and it’s just going to be a list that takes time as we learn about our new space and curate the right pieces for it.

So the kitchen is set. A couple of my favorite spots include these little coffee shelvesand…

This rolling baking rack. Since we don’t have a pantry quite like we did in the old house, Mr KS came up with this little ingenious way to make baking easy for me — just roll my rack over to the counter when I’m baking so all the things I need are right there and roll it back when I’m done. Easy peasy — I love it!

And once I finally had the kitchen set and bathrooms scrubbed and the kids’ rooms and closets organized, I finally took the time to start organizing my yarn and fiber stash and tools. It was my hubby’s idea to use the big bookshelves we have to display all my yarn & fiber as a sort of gallery or living museum as a centerpiece in the room…

I’m kind of in love with how it turned out. There’s still some organizing that must happen in this area and a nice chair to pick out and a new spinning wheel to bring home (two more items for the long-term shopping list), but I really, really love it. And I’m just so excited to start creating in this new space. And finally, last night things were settled enough that I felt ready to get my wheel out…

The latest installment of the Three Waters Farm Top of the Month Club was thrown in on the top of my travel bag, so I went ahead and started with that. It’s been 7 weeks since I touched my wheel so I’m a little rusty and tuckered out quickly with it, but it felt GREAT to be back at it.

At my husband’s insistence, there have been some breaks to hike and get fresh air.And we found our FOY garter snake…

And frog.

And some really impossibly lovely scenery in nearby parks.

Knowing that the move has definitely took a toll on my hip, Mr KS also found me a couple fantastic knitting spots so I could relax while he hiked with the kids.

It’s officially not half bad up here.

I’ve got a backlog of WIPs & FOs to share that I’ve worked on over the past month, but I’ll save those for another day. Probably a day before I have a desk because that will take some time, but after the wifi is hooked up so photos are uploading a little more quickly. But alas, I hope y’all have had a wonderful month and I’m glad to say that I’m on the other side of things and will be getting back into the groove here soon. It feels great to be back!

When the Spackle Dust Settles

As I type this, I’ve covered in a thin layer of the dust leftover from sanding spackle. As has been the story line here since late February, we are moving and all that that entails is mostly consuming me. I’ve been staying away from writing just because 1) I’ve just been non-stop busy/tired/asleep and 2) What I’m up to has absolutely nothing to do with fiber arts. Yesterday though a friend reminded me that these are stories, too, and that it’s ok to write them. So here I am today, covered in spackle dust, writing.

I’m pleased to share that things are moving forward on our new home. In the 48 hours we spent in our new town a couple weeks ago, we found a house and made an offer. I don’t think normal people usually pick a house this quickly and I certainly had my share of panic and worry over it, but after having the offer accepted, inspection done, and minor repairs being made, we’re really rounding the bend and hoping to close in less than a month. I couldn’t be more excited about it. It’s a house with a lot of quirky character and a few things on the to-do list, but it’s in a fantastic neighborhood with a beautiful yard and I really just can’t wait to be there. Really, can’t we just be there already?

Alas, closing on a house takes time of course. Likewise, getting a house ready for sale takes time. When I was in college, I moved all the time. Seriously, I remember one year when I think I moved 4 or 5 times and everything except my bed fit in my 2-door Saturn. Since we bought our current house though, we haven’t budged. We’ve been here for almost 13years and as many of you I’m sure understand, despite routine decluttering efforts The Stuff just kind of piles up after that long. My Stuff, His Stuff, Kid Stuff, Dog Stuff. Stuff, Stuff, Stuff. We’re taking this move as an opportunity to look at our things and decide what we really use, what we really need and only those things are coming with us. I’m re-homing and have made countless donation runs and I’ll be really honest, it feels great.

Moving really is a mixed bag though. It’s a lot of work, mixed with what feel like enormous triumphs and also its share of facepalms. I’ve been steadily spackling and sanding said spackle for what feels like a month, but really it’s been 2days. And not like 2 days straight, just a couple hours, but with some of the work above my head, you know, my arms start to get tired fast and I start to exaggerate heavily. In any case, I just started applying a nice fresh coat of paint for whatever lucky souls decide to buy our humble abode here. I’m quite happy with the progress – it’s going to look very nice when I’m done, those lucky ducks! Why didn’t I do this for us long ago?Earlier in the week, I scrubbed and dusted the basement and then I also re-caulked both the bathroom and kitchen. In hindsight, the caulking should have happened after I painted, but we weren’t sure we were going to paint until a couple days ago so it is what it is. Caulking is a new-to-me skill, but I won’t lie, I’m kind of weirdly in love with it. It’s so satisfying to get it just so. I think I was also really just very shocked with how easy it was because for the first time in my life I bought the recommended tools for the job and therefore it went smoothly. Go figure!

In the realm of facepalms, there was some drama surrounding a broken ceiling fan. At some point over the years, the kids broke the pull string on the light of their ceiling fan. Cheapskates that we are, because the fan still worked fine, we bought an inexpensive floor lamp instead of fixing the light. We figure ceiling fan with a non-working light will not be a selling feature though so I resolved to switch it out. I’d helped/watched-and-held-tools for my dad when he put the ceiling fan in a few years back and figured I could probably handle it. Well, suffice to say, it took two days, multiple trips to our local Menard’s, one very confused employee in the lighting department, and a couple of returns before I got the fixture in. All the running around was really me utilizing an excess of caution and mild paranoia, but it turns out it’s really a whole lot easier than I thought.

This light is a million times more exciting than it looks. Trust me.

So that’s my life. One big WIP after another.

I’m really a one-project-at-a-time kind of lady so having multiple things needing to be done here in the old house and needing to plan multiple aspects of the move and then trying to figure out what order to do the things that need to happen in the new house is unfortunately not always bringing out my most useful, gracious, or positive self (read: I’ve been kind of a hot mess). All I can say is that I’m trying and I’m very, very thankful my husband is patient and is incredible at this juggling act. When I’m at my most overwhelmed, he’s cool as a cucumber just planning away in good spirits, undeterred by any speed bump along the way. I don’t know how he does it, but I’m sure glad he’s on my team!

And if smoothing the rough edges on almost everything that pops up wasn’t enough, on my second trip to the local Menard’s this morning I had this exchange with Mr Knitting Sarah:

The perfect reminder that when the spackle dust settles, it’s just us. Our family — eating, playing, learning, adventuring, and growing together. And while it’s a bit of chaos right now, we’ll be right back to our simple, happy life before we know it.

New Adventures On The Horizon

If you’ve been wondering why I sort of fell off the radar last week, I’ve got some very exciting news to share:

The Knitting Sarah clan is moving!

Last week Mr Knitting Sarah was presented an opportunity to relocate for work and it didn’t take long at all for us to agree that it would be a fantastic move for our family. Since we’re not the kind to hem & haw and knowing the move would need to happen relatively quickly, we jumped right into action and started to make our plans for the move. Sifting through what will go with us and what we’ll donate, helping the kids get excited for the new town and allaying their fears, working on a timeline for how to get our own house sold, and beginning to house hunt all happened as soon as we made the decision to go. Thanks to my parents’ willingness to watch the kiddos & Moose for the weekend, my husband and I were even able to spend the weekend house-hunting and getting to know our soon-to-be new hometown, Marshfield, Wisconsin.

Now it’s worth noting that I actually grew up visiting the area. My mom and dad both graduated from high school just north of Marshfield and while they moved to the eastern part of the state when they married, a lot of their family members remained local (and they both come from large families). Family reunions were almost always held in neighboring towns and regular visits were made. I remember once a year I’d find myself piling into the backseat of my aunt’s Buick so we could drive down to Thorp to a certain butcher shop which my mom’s very Polish family swore had the best Polish sausage around. Sundays spent in Medford, meant my Grandma’s fresh paczkis after church. She always added raisins, but since I wasn’t a fan she’d leave a couple plain just for me. My Grandpa lived in Greenwood and before he passed a few years back, he spent free time touring the area playing his concertina with his polka band. I could go on and on — there are endless memories and lots of places that I’m excited to revisit.

I’ve been back once or twice for family events in my adult life, but the trips were always very quick and family focused so spending time in Marshfield proper this past weekend gave me a chance to really get a feel for the town. Marshfield is a small town in north-central Wisconsin, but as home to a large hospital and medical research facility it’s a really unique & diverse place. On our first evening in town, we visited the Blue Heron Pub where I enjoyed a delicious yellow curry dish with fresh naan. In fact, all the restaurants we visited had delicious food. We even found time to try out Biggby Coffee for a quick morning jolt before house-hunting. As a family that really loves a lot of different kinds of food, we were so impressed with the quality and variety of food available. And coffee, too. Coffee is very important, of course.

It’s a beautiful community,as well, that boasts a beautiful new library, lots of mature trees, bike paths, and green spaces including the Wildwood Zoo which focuses on North American wildlife and includes some wonderful nature trails, right in town. For the times you want something a little more wild, drive in any direction for just a few minutes and you can find yourself out in wide-open country, under some of the brightest stars you can imagine. There’s even a marsh just outside of town! How perfect is that for my little family?! McMillan Marsh has seasonal bike paths, hiking trails — the works. My husband cannot wait to spot his first black bear which are considered “common” in the area and “abundant” just about one county over. Clearly there will be new and exciting adventures in my near future!

The best part, though, by far was the people. Everyone was so kind and incredibly friendly. If all works as planned, we’ll be living in the community where my husband works and cutting his commute time way down, too, a detail for which we are all over-the-moon. I have zero doubts that we’ll love our new hometown and that we’ll find the perfect neighborhood for our family. We really just can’t wait to make this move and introduce our kids to and begin to explore this vibrant, beautiful community.

What does all this means for my blog space here? Simply put, it’ll be quiet for a while. For me, the coming weeks and months will be filled with all that comes with moving a family and household to a new town and making that as smooth for my family as possible is my first priority. I’ve already begun the process of stepping away from the Ravelry groups I moderate for the time being and am leaning on others lead the way for a bit. My knitting and spinning will likely languish. I will share snapshots when I can and I’ve got a few reviews that I’ll clear off the decks when I can make the time, but until we get settled in I most likely won’t be taking much time to write here. I fully intend to be back with bells on as soon as possible though and I do hope you’ll join me on the other side of this move as I’ll have all new (mis)adventures and wooly exploits to share.

For now though, I’ll leave you with the one photo I took on my whirlwind trip to our new hometown…

img_5992The sunrise on our last morning.

There are, of course, a lot of emotions rattling around me these days — excitement, nervousness, happiness, fear — the list could go on and on for a very long time. At times, it’s all really overwhelming as things are moving so incredibly fast. As I groggily snapped this photo, though, this sunrise reminded me that every day brings with it new, beautiful beginnings both big and small. You just have to be awake enough — in spirit and mind — to make the most of them. Thank goodness I know where I can get a good cup of coffee.