February 2010 Archives

The Upside of Winter

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I am not a fan of winter in Upstate/Western NY.  I start to dread its arrival around mid-October.  And I start dreaming of Spring in mid-February.  I hate the dangerous driving, the shoveling, the dry skin, the big bulky clothing, the bitter cold.

This post isn't about that though.  It's about the upside.  For me, the only upside is how beautiful it can be.  I spent today working from home perfectly positioned to see the snow falling at a slow constant rate out the bay window in the front and out the sunroom in the back.  By 5pm, when I went out to take pictures, there was well over a foot. 

Winter scenes... from my front and back yards...

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Related Posts:

Haiku About Snow (with accompanying pics)

Fall Foliage Pictures

Knitting Project: Scarf #2

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I had so much fun knitting my first scarf I decided to knit a second.  I wanted to continue to learn and to try a lighter weight yarn.  It's still a very simple pattern that's very easy for even the very beginner knitter.  Overall it was a nice little project/learning experience and I am happy with the result.

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Needles: Size US 8 aluminum


    • 1 skein - 256 yards
    • Worsted Weight - Medium (4)
    • Red Heart Soft Yarn in the color "Dark Leaf"


cast on a number of stitches that is a multiple of 6

all odd rows: *k3 p3; repeat from * 

all even rows: *k1 p1; repeat from *

(k=knit; p=purl)

Dates: Started 2/10; Completed 2/21

Things I learned:


Next up: a matching hat!

DIY - Electrical

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Wednesday night my lights and television flickered.  They stayed out for about 15 seconds.  Then came back on.  Then back off for another 5-10 seconds.  Then they were fine.  I thought that was a little weird, since only some of the lights went out, but kind of shrugged my shoulders and was content with the fact that the lights and t.v. were back on.  Our regularly scheduled Olympics watching could resume.

Thursday night they went out again.  First for a few seconds, and then permanently.  Shit.  We (my boyfriend and I) spent quite a while that night trying to fix it.  We checked the fuse box and nothing looked blown.  I learned my lesson the hard way the last time I had an electical issue, so we did a thorough check.  We switched out every single one with no luck.  We made sure everything was unplugged from all outlets and made sure all lights were switched off and tried again.  We tried to determine which fuse(s) controlled the areas of the house that were out.  We didn't really know what else to do after that.  So my boyfriend called his dad and he offered to come over to take a look.  I told him not to come because it was getting late and I didn't want him to have to run over on a moments notice.  It wasn't an emergency.  At least some outlets in each room were working, except the upstairs bathroom.  The garage wasn't working either but we could just open and close it manually for the next day.  We had heat and hot water so I decided it could wait.  

I should mention that I come from a family that is not very handy.  My parents hire someone for even the most trivial of home improvemnent projects/fixes.  That's just what they choose to do.  As someone who grew up in a household with this mentatlity I also am not very handy, and know next to nothing about how to fix things around the house.  Had my parents been handy I think I would have been fairly handy as well.  I am interested in learning new things, and I love feeling a sense of accomplishment when I can do something myself.  For my boyfriend, it is a very different story.  His father, as well as all of his uncles and even some cousins, are some of the most handy people around.  They seem to know how to fix anything and own every tool known to man.  They know all about electrical systems, how to finish basements, plumbing, just about anything you can think of.  A little over a year ago the tracking system on my garage door broke and my boyfriend's dad ran over to home depot to get the necessary parts (without even looking at my garage) and had it fixed in an hour or so.  My boyfriend had a perfect opportunity to learn from his dad and become super handy as well, but didn't have a huge interest in it.  

Anyway, Friday night his dad came over with his bucket of tools and equipment and went to work diagnosing the problem.  We tore apart half the light sockets and fixtures in my house and we learned a lot and figured out what the overall problem was, but we couldn't pinpoint exactly where it was.  After several hours we called it a night.  Early Saturday afternoon we went at it again.  We were more systematic in our approach going light socket by light socket determinging exactly how the house was wired and essentially put on our x-ray glasses to see through the wall to see where the wires were coming from and going to.  After a couple of hours we found the culprit.  An outlet in the master bedroom and overloaded, and actually looked burned.  I am very lucky there wasn't an electrical fire. 

Once we found the culprit my boyfriend's dad knew exactly what to do.  We ran to home depot to get a knew outlet and re-wired it.  We also re-wired another outlet in the living room -- changed the 2-prong outlet to a 3-prong one and added a ground wire.  In about 10 minutes we were back in business. 

I learned so much through this experience.  I am much less intimidated by electrical work now.  I have plans to go through and switch over some of the other remaining 2-prong outlets and ground them (something I had no idea was so easy to do) and switch out one of the light fixtures in the kitchen. 

It was certainly a satisfying experience, and I am incredibly grateful that I don't have to worry about calling an electrician on Monday, missing work so that I'd be home when someone came, and paying someone what I would guess would be at least a few hundred dollars.  I feel satisfaction, relief, and I feel smater.  Also gratitude to my boyfriend's father for all his help.  To show my appreciation I took everyone out for a nice dinner.  It doesn't really cover my debt for hijacking his Friday night and Saturday afternoon, but it was the best I could come up with.  I also plan on baking some brownies from scratch this week and sending those over.  He said the dinner wasn't necessary, but really, it was.

For My Valentine


They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, right?  I'm not sure if that's the case with my boyfriend, but I think it's best to play it safe and continue to occassionally surprise him with something sweet and homemade.  Just for good measure. 

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Happy Valentine's Day, all.

I Learned How to Knit!

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Last Sunday evening I decided that was going to be the day to embark on a new hobby -- knitting.  I did some research online and then headed out to Michael's arts and crafts store.  I was hoping to find a good book to use as a guide and reference but didn't find anything I liked.  I picked up 2 "things" of thick yarn (I later learned they are called skeins) and a pair of needles that matched the size recommended on the skein of yarn. 

knitting 004.JPGI decided I wanted to start with a scarf so I went searching for tips and patterns.  I found a couple of tutorials about how to get started and the basic knitting stitch. 

Casting On:

Long-Tail Cast-On


Knitting Stitch:


By bed-time Sunday night I had done a dozen or so rows.  Then by Tuesday night I ran out of the first skein and needed to learn how to add another one to continue on.  Even though this is actually quite simple (simpler than learning the casting and knitting stitch) I spent about 40 minutes Wednesday night trying to learn how to added the second ball of yarn and never got it right.  I was a little overtired and got really frustrated.

Adding new yarn of the same color:




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Then late Saturday afternoon I decided to try again.  This time with a little help from my boyfriend (ha).  We found another tutorial for adding a new ball of yarn using the knit-in join method and within 10 or so minutes I was back in business knitting away again.  Now, one week later, my first scarf is almost complete.

I had wanted to learn how to knit for quite a while, but was always a little bit intimidated by it.  I am so glad I finally decided to go ahead and do it.  It's actually quite easy.  I am pretty happy that I now have a new hobby, I can now make some nice things by hand, and that I learned pretty much all on my own.  I also think it will be a really great, somewhat mindless, activity to do before before.  Should be a nice cure for those nights I have trouble falling asleep.

If you've ever thought about learning how to knit but haven't done it yet, I highly recommend it.


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Paranormal Activity

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ParanormalActivity.jpgDo you believe in ghosts?  Demons?

I'm not sure that I do.  I'm not sure that I don't.

I do know I love watching those paranormal/ghost hunter type shows.  So when I heard about the movie Paranormal Activity I definitely wanted to see it.  My boyfriend didn't really want to see it (he isn't a fan of scary movies) but he acquiesced and we added it to our Netflix queue.  It came in the mailbox last Wednesday but I couldn't watch in until Friday night.  Once we told a friend of ours that it was in the queue he said he would be very upset with me if we watched the movie without him.

I really enjoyed the movie, although I can't say the same for the two men I watched it with.  I really enjoyed the progression and the suspense.  I loved wondering what was going to happen next.  I loved the premise of a couple making their own video of the strange things happening in their home.  I think that particular aspect of the movie made it that much more interesting than most other movies.

I am somewhat ashamed to admit that based on the way my boyfriend had described the movie to me, I thought the movie was actually 2 people making a video of actual things that were happening to them.  It seems a little silly now, but I thought that throughout a good portion of the movie.  Probably right about up until the point where that thing happened with the ouija board.


Lots to discuss...  Have you seen this movie?  What did you think?  Do you believe in the supernatural?  Do you have any personal ghost stories to share?

About This Blog

Stories, advice, and random thoughts from a thirty-something female.

Many people in their thirties are dealing with common issues and concerns. Some of these include buying a home, establishing a career, starting a family, and dealing with aging parents. I will blog about all these things as well as other every day stuff as I make my way through this third decade of life.

You can read more about the author behind thirty-something blog on the About Me page.





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This page is an archive of entries from February 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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