Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The John Hancock

The bank has signed.

Next, an appraiser. (Or two.)

But it's looking good.

Oh, and the socks? The kittens decided to help me with them this morning. When I found them, Than Chai had chewed the skein off the sock-in-progress and was wolfing down yarn like spaghetti, while Fa Sing created Art from the skein.

No permanent damage done to anyone...though I was tempted to inflict some. Thank God for the Russian join! Sock and skein have been reunited.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Still not signed

...pfui. As Nero Wolfe might say.

We still have not heard that the bank has signed. I hate this. Real people over corporations any time, thank you.

I did start another knitting project. A pair of simple bobby socks in Wedgewood blue, for me. The shawl is getting too big to carry around all the time.

*fingers crossed, fingers crossed*

We want the house.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Closing on August 29th

Yes, we got the house!

So far as it goes at this point, anyway. I don't like the garbage that goes with buying a bank-owned property, but the price would never have been this low otherwise.
And it is low. VERY low, even with the construction loan factored in.

Next is getting an inspector, meeting with the contractor, and making each penny do the work of three. I hope all goes smoothly.

I worked on the shawl during the time we were with the realtor for the signing. About three rows worth, which is a fair bit of time. I have a feeling that this shawl is about the only thing I'll be making this year, especially once we're in the midst of having the kitchen replaced, the office built, and the bathroom renovated...and the powder room installed.

I really wonder where things will be by November 1st!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Offers and counter-offers

We made a low offer last night, and they've come back with a counter-offer, which is still below the asking price.

So long as the repair aren't enough to send us to the poorhouse, it's a good deal. Chances are we'll take it.

And here's a bit of good news: the contractor who was recommended to DH has excellent reviews on Angie's List. In addition to that, he seems amenable to fitting the kitchen with vintage.

Last night we walked around outside, again, and checked out the garage again (which is classic, no-frills 1930. Awesome. There's even a rusted old radiator on the wall!).

I still can't believe that the back yard is paved. Oy. But if DH rips it up this year, we can have a small square foot garden next year. And some herbs.

The whole area will need to be graded, too. And the following year we can get rid of the desk and put in a flagged patio area, and top it off with an awning over the French doors (which will replace the sliding glass door).

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Knitting and Houses and Kitchens, oh, my!

Well. We HAVE been approved for both loans. Now it's Paperwork Hell (DH will be seeing to most of that). And I've joined Angie's List so as to find reviews of inspectors and contractors and so on.

If this place turns out to be a good buy, really is owned only by the bank and has no liens, or...I think we can make it work very well for us.

It has three bedrooms. Three. Which translates into a master bedroom, a guest room/television room and a work room! (Translation...mostly for knitting, yarn storage, and a place to keep my sewing odds and ends. And my favorite armchair. And lots of time to cuddle with the kittens.)

I really need to organize the stash if we're going to do this. More ruthless cutting! I could trade, but I'm too lazy, I think...most of it will be donated, and I'll save some nice bits as gifts to other knitters.

The deformed room we think was a Florida room (and is now a trashed jacuzzi) will probably be an office for DH, with a powder room attached.

The now-empty kitchen will probably be a battle, as I want mostly vintage and goodness only knows what the bank will consider Appropriate. We may well have to let them dictate some of it, and then turn around and re-do. I hope not, though. That would be expensive.

I would love to have a vintage stove (gas, ca. 1930 or 1940), and a very plain modern fridge. (When we can afford it I would like a repro with a "vintage" outside and modern interior. I've had it with defrosting!)

There's a vintage cabinet with painted glass in an antiques center we frequent...I'd love to have that. And we can paint my pine cupboard and fit it with glass knob pulls.

A big farmhouse sink (including one of laundry depth...I really do handwash linens) and a good-sized drainboard...and that's about all.

No bells and whistles. I don't use them, and they only take up space! Oh, and a black and white checked floor. Right now, there's a (crookedly laid) ceramic tile floor. Hard on the feet and legs! No way do I want to stand on that when I'm cooking or cleaning.

If we're lucky we'll be able to squeeze in a little Deco kitchen table and two chairs, but it's not a big space.

As for knitting, Batty and I are meeting up tonight and deciding where to go from there...who knows, maybe for ice cream. We could walk to the ice cream shop and back. That would take care of some of the calories, and if it's still nice we could even sit on benches outside to knit. It's a possibility, anyway. We'll have fun.It's been a long time since we've met up, and she can stop in and say hello to the boys, too, if she likes. They're 11 months old now! (I know it's a cliché, but where does the time go?!)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

...maybe not a house.

The loan approval process isn't going smoothly (the house needs a great deal of work, and it's bank owned, so they're playing Big Brother). Annoying. However, if we don't get it, I'm sure there's another one out there for us. I hope it's also from the 1930s!

This claims to be a knitting blog, but I haven't even been carrying my knitting bag lately. All I've done is a few rows on the shawl I'm making. Two pairs of socks are almost UFOs, also a shrug from Lace Style.

Maybe it's the heat, or I need a break from knitting. I'm not sure. I'm inclined to blame it on the heat. We've had some scorchers, with high humidity making it worse.

I should pick up the shawl tonight, at least! But I also want to go dancing. There wasn't any dancing last week, because of the local fireworks at McCoy Stadium (home of the PawSox).

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Why MIA?

I've been MIA for a few reasons.

We had a great 4th of July weekend (ah, it was so nice to have it fall on a Friday!) and kept very busy.

Friday itself I did a bit of cleaning and cooking. I made a Booze Fruit Salad (blueberries, strawberries, kiwi slices, and chunks of pineapples, liberally doused with good rum). On Thursday night I made a cold soba noodle salad with peanut sauce & cucumbers.

Then we went to a 4th of July cookout and had a great time. Jen & Chris know how to throw a party! We left early, though, because we were expecting company from Boston on Saturday.

I got up around 5:00 on Saturday and cleaned until I nearly fell over. For once, the kitchen looks good to me! I even washed all of the colored vintage glasses I keep on the windowsill, and scrubbed the floor properly. Very old-fashioned and effective: I used Fels Naptha soap and scrubbed, and followed it with a vinegar rinse, and then rinsed with water, and buffed it dry.

ZantiMissKnit (as she is known at Knitty) and her just-as-fabulous DH came in to play in Providence with us. We hit a few closed stores and restaurants (I always forget that half this town shuts down over the week of the 4th), but we ate lunch at Julian's, went to Rocket to Mars, and out to a great antiques center for long browsing and some buying. We had tea at L'Elisabeth and dinner (nosh style) at Local 121. They also met the terrible furry twosome. They were a bit spooked by Mr. ZMK, who's a tall drink of water, but Than Than even stood on his head for the Mrs.!

And...we're thinking of buying a house!

MAYbe. It depends.

(So if you're curious about the details you'll have to Tune In Tomorrow. Or another day, to find out!)