Friday, July 11, 2014

Well that was a long and entirely unintentional break.

I've thought about coming back several times, but didn't know what to write, or how to start, or how much to share. With no further ado, here goes:

Truth is, after the excitement of moving wore off, I fell into a funk. A deep, long-lasting funk in which I eventually realized that I absolutely abhor my job and that dissatisfaction was bleeding out and negatively impacting other areas of my life. It was a dark, dark period, and I feel bad for anyone who had to live with me during that time. I needed to make a change.

After looking around, it became clear that I would need to go back to school to get the kind of job I had expected to be able to get right out of college. As it turns out, a BA in French and English (emphasis Creative Writing, certificate in European Studies) is absolutely useless if you don't also have a teaching license. I know, right?

So after some reflection, I decided to pursue a Masters degree in French with the goal of teaching at the community college level. Because a) you don't have to deal with your students' parents; b) the students are adults and are responsible for themselves (or at least they know they are supposed to be); and c) you don't have the institutional pressure like at the university level. I have always loved French, and loved the summers I spent teaching French with Concordia Language Villages. Returning to the villages this spring to work a few of the Academic Year Programs (read: weekend school field trips) and the Adult Week reaffirmed my decision: this will be a great move for me.

I found a program, and to my surprise the application deadline had not yet passed (it was, however, just two weeks away) and they didn't require the GRE. I quickly got my application and references together, and was ultimately accepted and offered a Teaching Assistantship, which is basically free tuition + a stipend.

At this point, I have three weeks left of that awful job, and then a 10-day break before TA-training starts. And my 10-year high school reunion falls within that break, which I have feelings about that I'll save for another post. The closer I get to July 31 (my last day), the happier I get. There is a bottle of Pinot Noir set aside to celebrate.

What does this mean for the blog? I hope to blog somewhat regularly, but it won't be daily. I'm thinking either weekly or twice a week, but we'll see. I'm not sure how much time I'll have for knitting, or how demanding this grad school thing will be. I have done a better job of keeping Ravelry up-to-date, so you can always check on me there.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

It's a Desk!

Comcast somehow half-cancelled our service appointment yesterday and didn't show up, or contact us. Extremely frustrating, but after some considerable finagling we rescheduled for tomorrow. In the meantime, I'm going stir-crazy and I have a desk I haven't shared with you yet. I escaped to a local coffee/fro-yo shop (mostly for the wifi), and here you go:

It's all set up in my office/craft room with my just-for-work computer on it. I finished it off with a spray polyurethane sealant (I don't remember the name and the can is in the garage at home), but I loved it. This bottle's sprayer was different, it sprayed in a straight line so getting an even coat was a breeze. If I ever use a spray primer again, I'll look for a similar spray pattern. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Moving Week!

My apologies for yesterday, the desk made it into the trailer before I could photograph it. Pictures will come this week, that much I can promise. We officially move tomorrow, internet won't be set up until Monday evening. Blogging for the rest of the week will be sporadic and brief, but I do have some "before" pictures to tide you over.

The living room, as you walk in the front door. 

The living room again, but you can see the kitchen and dining nook on the other side of the fireplace better. 

Said dining nook.

The galley kitchen.

Hallway connecting the kitchen/living area (behind us) to the garage (to the left, after the hall curves). The door on the immediate left is the half-bath (next picture), straight ahead is a closet, and the door on the right is the utility room. 

The kitchen again. After I took the picture in the hallway, I basically turned around to take this picture. 

Up the clausterphobic stairs...

to the weird room-that's-not-a-room at the top of them! We're not sure what to do with this space yet.

Right at the top of the stairs, there's a laundry room.

A small bedroom that will be my office/craft room, as I'll be working from home.

A second small bedroom that will be Ben's work space and a guest room (eventually). 

The indigo bathroom. This one has a tub, but no shower. 

The aforementioned tub.

The master bedroom--but wait there's more!

Also the master bedroom. 

Walk-in closet!

And finally, the en suite, with a shower but not a tub. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pink Surprise

It's pink! Pink accent paint! And it looks really bright and scary in the can!

I actually love the color as is. However, when I put the gray paint on I wasn't 100% decided on where the pink would go, so I decided to paint the whole thing gray and then layer pink selectively on top. That way, everything ends up the same pink, instead of a muted pink-over-gray right next to a bright just-pink-and-primer.

I applied some blue painter's tape to keep my edges clean, and got started.

I believe this was taken in between coats.

Come back tomorrow for the finished project!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

7 Days

We're moving in 7 days. 7 days. It's snuck up on me.

We made an epic trip to Ikea over the weekend, buying a bed, a desk, a shelf, couch, and a tv stand; all to be delivered our first Saturday in the new place.

Excuse the cruddy iPhone shot from the Ikea check out line. In line, my husband is dancing to the music. Meanwhile, I'm collapsed on top of our cart–brain overload!

We're moving on Wednesday, so we'll be "camping" for a few days, I guess. It'll be fun, right? Right?

I haven't made much progress on the packing front, since so much of my free time has been devoted to the desk, so I re-balanced that equation tonight. Nothing new on the desk front, but half of my kitchen is packed!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

2nd coat-check!

For the second coat, I switched to a foam brush. Roughly 10,000 times easier (roughly), no brush strokes, and it went down in about 45 minutes instead of 2.5 hours.

The above pic, taken after coat 1, shows off the brush strokes better.

This is after coat 2--much better!

On deck for tomorrow: Accent color!

Monday, September 23, 2013

1st coat-check!

I started with a typical art-class paint brush and cut it around the hardware. 

This is the the only picture I took while painting, or rather, while pretending to paint. I'm not sufficiently talented to actually paint within the lines with my right hand while simultaneously taking an in-focus picture with my left hand. If you look closely, you'll notice the brush is hovering just above the surface. That's the way I roll? 

And boom, the first coat is done!

I used a nylon brush paintbrush, and struggled against brush marks the entire time. It was a losing battle, though it's hard to tell from the pictures. 

I tried to do long brush strokes, but I couldn't get the right amount of paint on the brush. It would either be way too little and it would only cover about 6 inches; or it would be to much and it would go all over the place, but only in the immediate vicinity of that first touch and no where else. I did the best I could, and changed strategy for the second coat. More on that tomorrow!