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Girls Unscripted

nothing good can come from this

June 25, 2017
by Anna
Comments Off on How to Fix a Broken Crochet Stitch without Frogging!

How to Fix a Broken Crochet Stitch without Frogging!

Ok, so somebody posted a question on Facebook asking how to mend broken yarn in the middle of a completed blanket. I have no idea how it happened, maybe somebody cut it by accident, or maybe it was knotted together and came undone, or maybe they didn’t weave in their tails correctly and it just unraveled.

No matter how it happened, it has to be fixed. If not, then the break will start unravelling stitches and make a lovely big hole in the middle of the blanket.

There were a number of helpful comments in reply to the post, most of which suggested fabric glue to stick the broken ends back together (the other suggestions were to use sewing thread to stitch the ends back together, and one suggestion of using clear nail polish. I–I have no idea how to respond to the nail polish thing. That’s just nuts.)

And I’m sure that all of these suggestions would work well enough (even the nail polish), but none of them are the correct fix. The glue (and polish) would leave a hard lump in the middle of an otherwise soft and pliable blanket. And plus, have you ever tried to glue two ends of yarn together? Well I haven’t either, but I don’t think it would work very well. It seems like there wouldn’t be enough points of contact for the glue to be effective

Fortunately, there is a solution that involves yarn, a crochet hook, and no knots (or nail polish) whatsoever.

I’m sorry, that’s my last dig at the nail polish thing. I swear.

Fair warning, this is not a beginner thing. You need to be very confident about how stitches look and how to tell the right from the wrong side. There will be lots of loose loops and way too many tails to manage, but with a little focus, it can be done.

May I present to you, my beautiful “blanket” that is literally 3.5 inches long.

Ta daa!!! Isn’t it beautiful? To make directions easier throughout, the rows are numbered 1-6, 1 being on the bottom and 6 being on the top. Row 3 is the topmost ecru row, and row 4 is the bottommost green row.

But unfortunately something terrible happened to it.

Dun dun duuuuuuuuunnnn!!!!!!

Yeah I cut one of the threads. See? Right there in the middle of the ecru in Row 3. Also, where the crap did the name ecru come from? What is that?? I mean, I know what it is. It’s the cream color. But the name ecru is ridiculous. It doesn’t even get a number when you get that color in embroidery thread. All the other thread is numbered, 339, 5014, 276, and ECRU. It literally is so special that it doesn’t get a number.

Also I looked it up, and ecru is “the light beige color of unbleached linen,” which is actually kind of cool.

So the Broken Thread is in the middle of Row 3. I do not want to undo Rows 4-6 to correct it. That would be a pain.

I feel like I should break this up into easy to digest chunks in as dramatic of a way as possible so……

Step One

First, we’re going to unravel the broken thread until you have roughly 6 inch tails. This may seem like a scary thing to do. It feels like something you can easily screw up so badly that it can never be repaired ever.

But don’t fret. It’s actually not that fragile. I mean, it is fragile, so pay attention to what you’re doing. I wouldn’t suggest getting up in the middle of this project to make a cake or whatever. So before you sit down to do this, make sure dinner’s not going to burn, work’s not gonna call, and the kids are going to survive until you’re done. Don’t worry. This won’t take all night.

Okay, back to Step One. Unravel that bitch. (sorry) Look. I did it.

Whaaaaaat?

Guys, I’m really sorry. It’s like 2 am and I’m really out of it right now. You’ll just have to roll with my crazy for a bit.

So there’s actually a specific place to stop unravelling. You can take out as many stitches as you feel you need to (I did 6), but you need to stop unravelling — um, not in the middle of a stitch. Don’t worry. I’ll illustrate.

(Note: if you would like, when you are unravelling you can insert a stitch marker into the bottoms of the green stitches to help keep them secure and orderly. I didn’t do that in this tutorial, but it can be helpful if you’re feeling overwhelmed.)

 

I suppose Step One should have been Make sure the right side of the row you’re repairing is facing you. If you don’t this whole tutorial will literally be backwards. If you don’t know how to tell the right side from the wrong side, google it. Sorry I’m really tired.

So anyway. On the left side of the repair, unravel until your tail is sticking out of the right of the bottom of the green stitch above. If you look closely, you’ll see that each stitch in Green Row 4 has two loops. They’re kinda twisty, but they’re there. That left tail needs to be sticking out of there to the right. You can just let that dangle for now. We won’t need it again until the very end.

On the right side of the repair, you want to stop just before that little loop pulls through the bottom of its green stitch. In fact, you can actually yank on that tiny little loop to make it much bigger. Go ahead. You know you want to.

See? Easy as pie.

Now we’ve got a 6 stitch gap in row three. It would be easy as pie to just crochet 6 new stitches into Row 2 to fill in the gap in Row 3 . The big problem is, how do you connect it to the bottom of Row 4 (that first green one there)?

Don’t worry. It can be done.

Okay, so now comes the finicky bit.

Step 2

Work one double crochet and pick up your new thread at the same time. We’re going to use a new length of thread to repair this, and you’re going to have to get it going right away. Here’s a video showing how to pick up a new thread without tying knots or anything. This is a video of half doubles, and my tiny little fairy blanket is double crochet, but the method is the same. Start the stitch with the old thread, finish it with the new. Crochet over the tails to secure it as you move down the row.

But right now you just want to do that one double crochet stitch, working in your new yarn as you do it.

Step 3

Insert into the bottom of the stitch above. 

First, remove the working loop from your hook. Ahh! loose loop!!!! Dude, chill. you got a whole bunch of loose stuff going on here, one more loop isn’t that crazy. Go ahead and make it a nice big loop so you don’t accidentally frog that first dc you just made.

Then, now here’s the finicky part, insert your hook from left to right through both of the bottom loops of the green stitch above.

You can see my 1st double crochet there on the right with my nice big working loop that I mentioned earlier. I’m using a lovely bright red for this so you can clearly see the fix. You can also see both green loops on my hook. Next, grab that lovely bright red working loop and pull it through the bottom loops of the green stitch above. 

See? Working loop is back on the hook and ready to go. It’s pull through the bottom of the green stitch above, right where it should be.

Guys, can we take a moment to appreciate that I’m doing this with friggin thread? That’s why the pics are so shitty (sorry) by the way. I’m having to zoom in super close to see this crap.

Step 4

Double Crochet, bitches (sorry)! Just like it says. Do one double crochet into the top of Round 2. This one’s easy cause you don’t have to pick up any new yarn like in Step 2.

Step 5

Same as Step 3. Actually that’s all. Just repeat steps 3 and 4 until you get to the end of your repair. You should end with a double crochet.

Lookie.

 

Okay, so the repair’s all done, you just have to do one last thing.

Step 6 or Whatever

You’re going to repeat step 3 again, but this time when you insert your hook from left to right into the bottom of the green stitch from Round 4, you’re going to do it through the one with the leftmost ecru tail sticking through it. Pull the Lovely Red Working Loop through that same green stitch until the ecru tail is sticking out on the right side (where it’s been since the beginning) and the red working loop is sticking out the left.


Dude that pic is really in focus. That’s beautiful.

And you’re done! Cut the Lovely Red Working Yarn with a nice long tail and pull it straight through the front like so:

Then all that’s left is to weave in those pesky tails. There should be 4 in total, but if you were thinking ahead you should have crocheted over 2 of them already (the ones in the back, not visible in this pic) (to be fair, I did tell you to do that in Step 2).

Ta daaaa!!!!!

And, just to blow your mind, there’s actually 2 repairs in that pic. The red is the one I did to take all these pics, and there’s another one in Row 5 just above and to the left of the red. I wanted to do another in all the same color so that it would really disappear. You can see it if you look real close, but you have to look reeeaaaaallll close.

And there you have it. This method does not make perfect identical stitches unless you’re some kind of crochet god, but it does recreate the stitches well enough to repair an unfortunate tear in a project that you really care about. We all have antique afghans our grandmothers made that have a hole or two, and this certainly works better than nail polish.

Sorry. Last dig at the nail polish, I swear for real this time.

 

April 23, 2016
by Anna
2 Comments

The Sound of Piss Hitting Water

I could say nothing. I could just let it go, seeing as my butting in won’t change anyone’s minds anyway.

Well fuck it. I’m gonna say it here. One of my blessed cousins has posted something offensive on facebook, which seems appropriate, right? (note the subtle sarcasm)

Normally I’d just block her and move on. I’m down to like 15 people total that I haven’t blocked. People keep posting mean stuff on facebook, stuff that makes me angry. I don’t want to spend my time being angry with people I barely know, so I just move on. Just block them. Just don’t worry about it because you’re not going to change anyone’s mind by lashing out on friggin facebook of all things.

But this one I’m having a hard time with.

To get to the meat of the matter, there’s a lot of politics in the past year about whether or not a transgender person should use the public toilet according to the gender of their birth or the gender of their choosing. It’s all quite stupid, clearly just more hate mongering by campaign managers in an election year. Transgender people have been using whatever toilet where they can blend in with the crowd for–well, I don’t know how long exactly. However long people have been capable of switching genders. Decades? At least a couple of decades. Longer than that if you include cross dressers. (Also I love that no one’s mentioning homosexuals in this whole conversation. Clearly they’ve won over the people at this point, so the media is turning to the next target.)

So anyhow dear cousin posted some meme (politically branded, btw. Some dude called Mark Spense. I dunno. Never heard of him, but he sounds like a dickhead.) The meme was about boycotting Target, and “enjoy bankruptcy” and there was a bible verse about — hold on let me check. “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil.” Isaiah 5:20. That one.

I had no idea what it was about, so I Googled it and quickly found that Target had officially stated that they weren’t concerned with which bathroom a transgendered person used. Seems like the obvious stance to take, and it’s an embarrassing statement on modern US society that they felt the need to make such a statement in the first place. Here we are breaking barriers willy nilly, first with the religious denominations, then the races–Irish and the African Americans and the Native Americans, then Women, then biracial couples, then homosexuals. We’re still working on it being socially acceptable to be atheist, but it’s coming, I’m sure.

But then some asshole puts the words “transgender” and “pervert” together and now there’s all this god damn drama about what people are doing in the fucking toilet. It’s amazing how people weren’t getting raped in the handicapped stall by the evil transgendered people this time last year — OR ANY TIME IN THE PAST EVER. Why are people so freaked out about this all of a sudden? What the actual hell? Are people so desperate for any excuse to exercise their righteous anger that they will cling to any morsel of hate offered to them?

And what are people going to do, demand to see proof that a woman is actually a woman?  That would be pretty hard considering I’m pretty sure surgical techniques have progressed to the point where it gets pretty hard to tell these days. Even if you could tell, how would that even go? “Hey strange person I’ve never met. I have a suspicion that you weren’t born a man. Expose your genitals to me so that I can be sure that you won’t leer at me while I’m at the urinal.”

More likely it’s going to be an actual born and bred man with a slight build getting beaten up for “being a tranny and a pervert.” Or a largely built woman like myself getting shamed and gossiped about by strangers, shielding their kids from my view. Already people are proudly broadcasting how evil these people are on the internet and across the media. How very Christian of all of you.

Okay, so back to the point. I tried. I really tried to not say anything. But then my mom posted that it’s a conversation that she and I should stay out of, and that made me angry, too. I mean, I get it. It will only cause drama and it won’t accomplish anything, but still. I hate that the “right” thing to do is stay silent and allow the bullies to go unchecked.

So here’s how I checked her, for my own edification. I typed the whole thing out, but then I chickened out and deleted it. Fortunately I had the presence of mind to copy it first.

I’m sorry mom, but you raised a hard headed daughter, and she’s caught her cousin thumping her bible and bullying strangers on the internet. I fully accept the consequences of this rage rant, and if anyone’s offended by my defense of a minority group being persecuted, I probably don’t like you, anyway.

Christ almighty, people. What the crap do you think transgender people are doing in the toilet? Do you think they go in there to leer at people while they take a dump? Do you think that just because a woman was born a boy that she’s automatically going to be furiously masterbating to the sound of piss hitting water in the stall next to you?

I’ll tell you what transgender people are doing in the bathroom. They’re peeing! Just like everyone else! I can assure you that these people have had a very difficult time with their gender identity, and the last thing they want is draw attention to themselves in a public toilet.

So no, I doubt there is any evil going on in the toilets at Target. And if there is some evil, statistically speaking it’s probably not a transgender person doing it.

But go ahead and boycott Target. I’m sure they’ll miss your business terribly.

Well anyway, since I can’t post this where I’d like to, I’ll just post it on my own wall and the the cards fall where they may. I feel better now.

 

March 6, 2016
by Anna
Comments Off on 499 days later…

Okay, so it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything here. In my defense, I’ve been busy. But don’t worry, it wasn’t interesting, just busy. Let’s see, since last October, we’ve

  • came home from Culebra in time to spend Halloween with the boys. It was adorable.
  • Daniel and Ashley separated
  • Had Christmas.
    Daniel and Ashley got back together and moved to Norman, OK
  • Rented out our house in Russellville (which has turned out very well)
  • Moved in with Ortego’s parents in Tulsa while we house shopped in Northwest AR
  • Ashley got pregnant. I only mention this because she has been so vocally against having more kids.
  • Found and purchased a house in Springdale
  • Moved in.
  • Did various home improvements including
    • painted the entire interior
    • replaced the roof
    • had central heating and air installed
    • built a chicken coop
    • installed a bedroom door
    • repaired various dry wall where old window units and a furnace had been installed
    • replaced ceiling fans
    • removed a built-in bar in the kitchen, including putting down matching tile where it had been
    • When the rest of the kitchen tile started coming up, we ripped it all up (including the new stuff) and replaced it all again
    • purchased brand new, high end appliances including washer, dryer, and dishwasher.
    • Installed gutters in the front and a drainage pipe that was buried in the yard and drained into the ditch
    • cleaned up the yard, which had 16 overgrown flower beds and the bitchiest wild rose bush in the northern hemisphere
  • Went on two vacations during the summer
    • a road trip to California with Ortego, Mandi, Jessica, JD, Isaac, and Jess’s two kids. It was a lot of fun, but I was glad to get home
    • Came back to Puerto Rico with Ortego, Mandi, and Kyle. Also super fun. Explored the big island this time.
  • Got my Real Estate license
  • Isaac started kindergarten. He friggin loved it. Bear couldn’t go, though, because we made too much money for him to attend public preschool and private preschools, which were essentially day car centers, were $600 a month on the cheep side.
  • Kalvin and his new wife, Jessica (also, Kalvin got married), and her kid, Jordan, moved in with us so until they found a place of their own.
  • Decided I hated Real Estate. Seriously, it stressed me the fuck out. Couldn’t handle it.
  • It’s a girl! Astrid Evans was born at some point in October I think? Either way, new baby! She’s super cute and is apparently a much easier baby than Rosemary was, who had colic for three months.
  • Sold everything we owned, including the chicken coop
  • Kalvin and Jessica finally moved out and into a 1,000 square foot shed that they are still working on turning into a micro house, situated on 50 acres of hunting land out in the middle of bum fuck nowhere Arkansas.
  • Rented out our house
  • Moved to Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
  • Enrolled the boys in a private school, Borinquen Bilingual School, which cost less in tuition for two than it did for Bear to attend day care in Arkansas. And they’re both getting a really good education. Seriously, it’s a good school. Bear’s doing stuff in preschool that Isaac hadn’t gotten to in kindergarten in AR.
  • Took a Spanish class in Rincón. Actually learned quite a lot there, too. Will be taking the intermediate class next.
  • Nanny had to move into assisted living, for which Ortego had to go and spend three weeks in Oklahoma helping her sell everything and move.

And I think we’ve caught up to the present. See? We didn’t do anything at all interesting in the past year at all. Ortego is home now, and we’re gonna go chill in Aricebo to go swimming at this ridiculous swimming hole at the beach and have Denny’s. There’s no Denny’s in Aguadilla.

Not that we ever ate Denny’s before, but for some reason we just love it here. It think it’s because over the summer when we were vacationing here with Mandi and Kyle, we’d been eating food truck goodies and other local foods etc for a week solid. Then one night we were camping in the rain forest in Toro Negro, and we all got this huge craving for familiar food. So we drove an hour and half to Aricebo, the nearest town with a Denny’s, just to eat massive amounts of breakfast food with free refills and a view of the ocean. (They don’t do free refills here, like ever. Not even McDonalds.)

Anyway this somehow became one of our favorite stories and we just have a special place in our hearts for Denny’s now.

Let’s see, what else has gone on recently? We went to a horse class yesterday so the boys could ride horses. Bear was really excited about it, but I think it scared him because he didn’t want to try again. Isaac absolutely refused to even look at the horse until I mentioned how cool it would be to be able to ride a horse around like Link does in the Zelda games, and he was all in. He rode twice and didn’t want to get off either time. He’s very excited about going again.

Isaac riding

There he is! He was so excited.

And the only other thing going on right now is that Isaac’s class is having a talent show coming up, and we have to teach Isaac to do this dance so he can do with with the rest of his class for the show.

He refuses to try it. I did it twice and had to force Ortego to get up and do it with me the second time. Isaac though it was hilarious that we were dancing, but he just won’t get up and do it with us. I’ll just have to keep at it.

It’s really sad though because just doing this little dance twice, I was covered in sweat. I mean, that’s not hard to do here, what with the humidity being 90% and all, but still. It’s kind of pathetic. I really need to get in shape. Maybe we need to get this dancing game.

Okay, so this was the longest, most rambling post I’ve ever done. But I’m all caught up, now! Who wants to bet on how many days it’ll be before I post again?

October 20, 2014
by Anna
Comments Off on Culebra – Day 9

Culebra – Day 9

So, it’s hot up in here.

We’ve discovered that, like most places, it’s best to get up with the sun to get work done before it gets too hot, especially when that work is done up on the roof where there is no such thing as shade. My mother would be horrified at my tan lines. I certainly look like a local these days.

Work moves SLOWLY here. We can’t use any of our larger power tools (the circular saw and chop saw specifically), but we can use the little ones (like the drill and this roto thingy that I’ve never seen before but by god it spins sandpaper like a champ). And those tools that don’t flip the breaker (an expression, since we don’t have any actual breakers to flip) we can only use when the sun is high (and hot) because that’s the only time we have enough power. Turns out our battery array is shit face ruined. Did you know batteries have to be kept full of distilled water? Because I sure didn’t. I don’t think the previous owners of the boat knew that either, because they let the batteries run dry, and now they’re shit face ruined. We get about half an hour of power after the sun goes down (which I use for a lamp so I can cross stitch), but that’s about it. Of course that means we have no power stored for when we get up at the crack of dawn, therefore our morning project is done by hand.

And by hand, I mean coaxing rusted screws out with a screwdriver or, when for some reasons someone decided to use a screw with a square bit head, a pair of channel locks.

I cannot stress enough the value of having the right tools. We don’t have the right tools.

But we do have some beautiful views, which is compensation enough, I suppose. The other day I went swimming with a sting ray (at a distance Mom!) and found a giant hermit crab processing sand for food. I took a video but haven’t gotten around to seeing if it came out or not. It doesn’t matter anyway, because Word Press won’t let me upload it. Ortego says he can fix that, but he hasn’t gotten to it yet.

Oh look! There goes the sting ray right now! Damn this water is clear.

Okay, so as far as progress goes, we’ve installed two new solar panels, moved the other four from the upper deck to the roof (which took all morning because of the rusted screws), and installed two windows. Those windows are a bitch. Again, always have the right tools on hand!

In the morning we’re going to go into town early to grab breakfast, walk down to the hardware store for supplies, then head to the grocery store for food stuffs. I swear I can’t get enough calories down here. I’m just hungry all the time. Yesterday I ate a can of raviolis cold because it was too hot to bother with heating it up. It was oddly refreshing, like jumping into lukewarm water on an extremely hot day, only in my mouth and tomato flavored.

October 16, 2014
by Anna
Comments Off on Culebra – Day 5

Culebra – Day 5

So today is day 5 of our 4.5 week trip to Culebra, Puerto Rico. How much work have we gotten done? Exactly none. Zero. El Zilcho. We did have some bead board and a few windows delivered, but no tools or hardware.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There’s the Pickle with our bead board and windows.

It’s been a few days, so I’ve got a lot to update on. first, we spent the last two days lashed up to the mangroves, which hasn’t been very pleasant. There wasn’t a lot of wind back there (which I suppose was the point, seeing as the reason it was there was because a hurricane was coming through), and the mosquitoes were overwhelming. We got a fan hooked up over the bed though, which solved both problems.

Unfortunately, hooking up the fan pissed of the inverter (which makes the solar power work for the fridge and lamps and stuff), and cut off the power to everything on the boat. Except the fan worked. We still don’t understand that one. The power situation on this boat is a fairly serious problem. The solar panels can barely keep up with the fridge (which is the size of an ice chest), so the batteries never actually get charged. As a result, when the sun goes down, our power goes with it. Then the fridge starts to slowly warm up. Then the next day, the solar panels have to work all day just to cool the fridge off again, preventing any battery storage. Then when the sun goes down… You get how the cycle goes? It’s a miracle our eggs and butter are still good. We put a teeny tiny may in there today. Hopefully it’s still good for lunch tomorrow.

We’ve got two more solar panels to install to help boost our power, and Robert says he’s working on getting us more batteries. But really more batteries won’t help at this point. The ones we have aren’t getting full anyway. Tomorrow morning we should have our tools, we’re going to stop by the hardware store (after getting breakfast at the panaderia), make a swing by the laundromat (because everything we own smells like sweat), then we’re coming straight back to the Purple House to install these two extra solar panels. I really hope it helps.

But we finally got moved back out to Dakity Reef, where wind blows and the mosquitoes are a distant memory.

20141013_100605

That’s Carlos, who tugged the Purple House out to the reef for us this morning. This is actually a picture of him taking us into Fulladoza Bay (Mosquito Bay is more like it) a couple of days ago, but the view was about the same in both directions.

 

Which means we finally got to go swimming!!!

Which means we finally got to go swimming!!!

And I got to go snorkeling, which was awesome. I’ll get better pictures tomorrow maybe, but there’s a group of angel fish and some lobsters living on the underside of the boat. Also Ortego made friends with a crab named Joe, who tells the worst jokes apparently.

 

I’m running out of battery fast. I wanted to post some before shots of the boat tonight, but I won’t make it before I lose power on my laptop. I’ll be able to charge it a bit when the sun comes up. Until then, — I don’t know where that sentence was going. Never mind.

Oh oh oh! I took a video of a herd of starfish about 20 feet from the boat, but stupid Word Press says the video is too large to post. I’ll try to put it up on Facebook or upload it tomorrow if Ortego fulfills his promise to fix it.

October 13, 2014
by Anna
1 Comment

Culebra – Day 1

So me and Ortego did a thing.

We sent the kids to Mom’s house (Which was fairly heartbreaking, but worth it in the end), and we’ve jetted off to Puerto Rico for 4-ish weeks. Why? To fix up a house boat belonging to some dude we met on the internet. It sounds super sketchy when I say it like that, but everyone rest assured that we did our homework on this before deciding to go through with it.

We left first thing this morning, took three planes, ate dinner, then arrived at the boat just in time for it to get dark. I have no good pictures of the boat. I did document some of the rest of the trip, though, so buckle your seatbelts kids. This is about to get super detailed. Maybe. I dunno. I haven’t written it yet.

20141012_072532

There we are! This is us in Little Rock right before getting on the plane. We were both an odd mixture of excitement and apprehension.

The first plane was tolerable, though tiny. We got to Houston at 9:35 am, then had to power walk for 20 minutes (literally) to get to the tram, which we rode across yet more airport, only to arrive just in time to get on the plane at 10 am. Seriously. They had already sold our seats so some other people. Fortunately we had priority and they unsold those seats.

This flight was four hours, and though it was easily three times the size of that first plane, it was somehow more cramped.

We landed in San Juan, PR at 3:30 ish local time. From there we had to catch a cab and go across town to a tiny airport called Aeropuerto Isla Grande. That was when poor Ortego finally got to pee.

They packed the two of us onto an 8 passenger plane, and from there we flew 25 minutes to Culebra, which is a teeny tiny island that is apparently just east of the big island of Puerto Rico. We had no idea that Culebra was a thing. Also there’s Vieques. Anyway, I got some amazing pictures of Puerto Rico from that plane, though the windows were a bit dirty. You take what you can get, though. It was friggin beautiful. Loud, though.

View of San Juan from the small plane. It was intense taking off in that thing.

View of San Juan from the small plane. It was intense taking off in that thing.

 

Just out of San Juan, the rain forest was just riddled with inlets of ocean. That's a boat joy riding.

Just out of San Juan, the rain forest was just riddled with inlets of ocean. That’s a boat joy riding.

I was trying to get a good picture of how clear the water is for Mandi. I'[m so excited for when she gets here!

I was trying to get a good picture of how clear the water is for Mandi. I’m so excited for when she gets here!

20141012_170036_HDR

First glimpse of Culebra. I could barely sit still with excitement at this point.

Robert and Debra (the houseboat owners) met us and took us out to dinner, which was AMAZEBALLS. Seriously. I think I disappointed Debra when I said I wasn’t really interested in having a margarita. I’ll make that up to her later.  After all, I’ve got an ENTIRE MONTH, and it’s been a looooooong time since I’ve had a good stiff drink. Seriously. Like, before Bear was a thing.

That's Kevin and Robert while we were boating out to the Purple House. It was getting dark so it didn't come out, but there's Culebra in the background.

That’s Kevin and Robert while we were boating out to the Purple House. It was getting dark so it didn’t come out, but there’s Culebra in the background.

Then they piled us into the Dirty Gherkin (their skiff) and drove us out to the Pandora, aka the Purple House.

I’m not gonna lie, this place could use some serious work. I mean, I guess that’s why we’re here, but dude. The boat is good and solid, but there are some railings that need fixed, the bathroom is half done, the cabinets need replaced, and some of this electrical is in really amateurishly rough shape. We’re going to be moving this ladder, adding that trim, moving those solar panels, etc. I’m kind of excited to get started, but there’s a storm coming in tomorrow, which will delay us for a couple of days. They’ve got a friend with a concrete house that we’re going to stay in until the storm blows over, and they’re going to lash the Purple House down closer to shore tomorrow morning.

It’s dark now, but I’ll post some pictures of the view and the town tomorrow, along with a good “before” set of pictures. I’ll have my better camera tomorrow, but for today everyone will just have to make do with my camera phone pics.

 

January 5, 2014
by Anna
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Jesus, it’s been like 8 months since I’ve written on here. I be Ortego has stopped checking to see if I post anymore.

Man, why did I stop writing my blog? It was probably because of my epic failure to quit Coke cold turkey. I pit my pride against my sugar addiction, and my pride took a beating. I’m trying a new tack these days (on the Coke front). I’ve switched to caffeine free Coke, which is really working. Unfortunately I started this about a week before the Christmas holidays, so though I think I’d do okay with the less Coke thing, I did gain back all 5 pounds I’d lost by eating Christmas candy and enough turkey to stuff a horse – if horses were carnivorous. Okay, I just weirded myself out. Horses don’t eat meat, damn it.

So okay, highlights of the last 8 months. Bear is two years old, half potty trained, and very chatty. Isaac is the same size as his 6 1/2 year old cousin Rosemary, maybe bigger. He’s gonna be huge. He already is huge. Not fat, just really, really broad and tall. He’ll be 4 in a few weeks. That’s kind of weirding me out, too.

Uuuummmmmmm, so my dad is taking us (and my 5 other siblings and their families) to Cancun this spring. 22 people. He’s taking 22 people to Mexico for  a week. The package includes free alcohol. And by free, I mean the ticket costs enough to cover as much alcohol as Mexico thinks affluent, white Americans can drink while on vacation. Also food. Food is “free”.

I’m really excited about that. Ortego has always wanted to travel, and now he’s going to get to!

Um, I got a regular editing job! That’s exciting. It’s for an outdoorsy type site, which is a fairly popular outdoors blog. They have several writers, a few editors (I do the final edit for tipos), and quite the reader base. It’s really not so much about outdoors stuff as it is about gun and knife reviews. I swear to god I am getting really tired about hearing that every gun is “the best I’ve ever shot.” After a while, that just can’t be true anymore. Also, for some reason, none of the writers (or editors, for that matter) seem to be able to tell the difference between a dash, a comma, and a semicolon. They appear to be interchangeable to these gun freaks and knife knuts. (Yes, a knife knut is a thing.)

But the bottom line here is that I am finally able to put my skills to good, productive use, and I’m making about as much as I would (after childcare costs) if I were still working minimum wage.

Speaking of minimum wage, I’ve finally decided what I want to do for a career, and I’m super excited about this as well. Ready for it? REAL ESTATE. Super excited. I love houses, I like touring empty houses, showing them off, thinking about them, describing them, investigating them. I love the office environment, the forms and the desk and the hours and the atttire. I think it’s going to be really good.

 

I hate to cut this short, but Isaac’s just woken up pissed and caughing, so I’ve got to go.

 

April 29, 2013
by Anna
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I can’t believe I’ve never read this book before

So I’ve started reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – and I can’t believe I’ve never read this book before. I have found the most perfect paragraph in all of literature:

 

One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious, as in It’s a nice day, or You’re very tall, or Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you all right? At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behavior. If human beings don’g keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up. After a few months’ consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favor of a new one. If they don’t keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working. After a while he abandoned this one as well as being obstructively cynical and decided he quite liked human beings after all, but he always remained desperately worried about the terrible number of things they didn’t know about.

 

I’m pretty sure this is the most accurate, most nuanced, and perfectly phrased paragraph that I have ever read. This is my exact view of the the human race as well, Ford Prefect.

April 12, 2013
by Anna
Comments Off on I should have known better

I should have known better

I should have known better than to pit my pride against my sugar addiction. I only made it five days. When I finally told Ortego that I was giving up and would try again once I could join a gym (which IS happening as soon as money gets sorted out, which IS happening), he laughed at me. I’m glad he laughed, and didn’t say “I knew it” or something similar.

So now I’m condemned to being a floppy slob until I can join a gym (which IS happening soon). I’m sick and tired of my belly hanging out over the waistband of my once-properly-fitted jeans. I’m almost tired enough of it to give up cokes. Almost. Not quite.

 

 

fuck

~Anna