I spent Thanksgiving week packing up everything on the east end of our house in preparation for kitchen demo and asbestos removal. This remodeling project is huge, badly needed, long overdue and of course taking a wee bit longer (weeks...months...) than originally anticipated. That's how it always goes, right?

Sunday was the day the asbestos-laden flooring came out. We had to make ourselves scarce for several hours, so after a leisurely breakfast out, we went to the zoo. On a Sunday morning in 25-degree weather, the zoo is not exactly a hopping place, so we had it mostly to ourselves.

Here are some alpaca butts.

When we got home, the floor was stripped down to the bare boards. We could see through cracks and knotholes to the unfinished basement below. See the laundry there? It's not hooked up (waiting for the plumber to install a new utility sink to replace the concrete behemoth that was removed on Saturday) so the dirty clothes are piling up.

We're told we'll have functional laundry by end of day Monday, Tuesday at the latest. Anya wore her last clean shirt today and I suspect Daniel is out of pants. Some friends invited us over for dinner tonight and instead of bringing wine or dessert, we brought a week's worth of dirty clothes over to wash in their machine. They didn't mind at all. (We have pretty awesome friends.) They're already first on the list to get invited over when this project is done. 

In any case, progress is progress. As of now, the new dining room looks like this:

The light in there is going to be fantastic.
Today the kitchen ceiling was stripped down to the rafters. A double layer of drywall came down and piles of insulation were pushed aside to prepare for electrical work.

This is how we wash our dishes now. They drain in the shower. It's not all bad.

Meanwhile, I had a huge program to play for the other night. It was a graduate recital with two orchestral reductions and a Brahms sonata. It's not easy to practice when there are people in your house running drills and saws and nail guns.

That afternoon, my car wouldn't start. Instead of taking a shower and making a nice dinner and having a good long time to properly warm up on all that music, I called Stuart to come home early so we could stand out in the cold and jump the battery in the setting sun. Somehow, within the next three hours we managed to get the car to the dealership to have the battery replaced, I threw a decent meal at the children (almost literally...I was in a hurry), I cleaned up and got my music together and even arrived a bit earlier than anticipated at the recital venue.

I got home at 11:00 that night, put away a whole bunch of groceries because my husband forgot to do it, fell into bed, and then got up early for work the next day.

It's been a week.

What's that, you say? This is a knitting blog?? Right then. Here's some knitting. 

It's my second attempt at a special project for a special someone. The first thing I tried was kind of a disaster, so I opted for a garter stitch design I've already made because in my current state of mind (you might say I'm frazzled lately) I need something I'll screw up as little as possible. I'll tell you more about this project later, because it deserves a proper post of its own.

I'm due to start another test knit for Thea, and I hope agreeing to do that right now wasn't a completely stupid idea. It probably was a stupid idea, but I'm doing it anyway. I know the timing isn't great, but I have a hard time saying no to her, and the design is really classic and beautiful (like everything she does!) Tonight I got as far as pulling out the yarn, and that might be as far as I get before tomorrow.


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