Saturday, November 28, 2009


Well, almost.  I am still looking for a good tenant to rent my mother's house in New Orleans, but aside from that, in the past two months the following things have been accomplished:

Mom was discharged from the physical therapy hospital, decided to move to Baton Rouge to be closer to us, and went back to her home for a few weeks to begin packing.  Dave and I went to Memphis for a follow-up visit with his oncologist, and he came away with a very optimistic report.  We returned to Baton Rouge, and I began the process of packing my mother's things, taking Mom apartment hunting in Baton Rouge, signing leases, renting a moving-and-storage unit, boarding Mom's two cats at her vet's until after the move was complete, arranging to move the fully packed storage unit to Baton Rouge, getting Mom unpacked, and moving the kitties into their new home.  There was also a whole separate trip with a friend who owns a truck with a utility trailer to get all of Mom's potted plants. Then, finally, Mom got to meet her new neighbors in the little retirement community she chose to move into.  

All this was followed by getting Mom's house in "rentable" condition.  The major part of this last was easy, as the house had been updated, repaired and repainted after Hurricane Katrina.  

The more difficult part of getting a house into "rentable" condition is depersonalizing it.   Should we leave the white curtains in the spare bedroom or not?  They go with the room nicely, and there's no place for them in Mom's one-bedroom apartment.  Will the new tenants want the organizer shelf and the coathanger rack in the utility room?  Will they think it's as clever and useful as we did, or would they prefer that space to be empty?  Should we repaint the bedrooms to a more neutral color?  Will they use the toiletry shelves on the bathroom wall, or will they think of it as clutter?  Should I replace the functional and quaint (but slightly tricky) antique doorknobs in the bedrooms?  Are they charming or annoying?

Mom's house has never been rented out before.  It was built almost 100 years ago and three generations of our family have lived there.  It has always been full of people, pets, furniture, books, granny's china, and Heaven knows what, all in a flurry of the usual family clutter and treasures.  It hasn't been completely empty in almost a century.  Even during the post-Katrina repairs, we only moved most of Mom's belongings into the storage unit parked in the front yard, and shuffled the essential furniture around as needed to allow for rewiring, plaster repair, painting, and so forth.

Right now, the house is completely empty, sparkling clean everywhere, waxed and polished.  All of the little holes where Mom's pictures were hung have been puttied and touched up with paint, and all the little nicks  and scratches that seem quaint to a family have been smoothed, sanded and painted: the corner of a closet door where a long-ago puppy decided to teethe when no one was looking ... the worn spot on the bathroom doorframe where the door, which was slightly out of true, rubbed against the frame ... the tiny notches in the kitchen doorframe to keep track of how much I'd grown between school years.  All of those things had to be covered, painted, and polished out of existence.

It looks strange, and kind of sad, all empty and shiny like that, with the sun streaming in through the windows.  It looks much bigger than it really is, and my feet echo when I walk across the wooden floors.  

I realize that the house is waiting: waiting for new people to place their beds and couches in the rooms, for new dogs to run in the yard, for new people to hang pictures and cook meals, for a new cat to snooze on the front porch.  

I hope one of them is a knitter.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thanks!   Really.

To Lisa Louie for keeping y'all posted during these last few crazy months.


To my customers for your ongoing patience with my erratic hours while I got my mother's belongings downsized, packed, and moved to Baton Rouge.

I hope to resume normal hours effective Friday, November 27 -- the day after Thanksgiving.

In the meantime, I will be open from 10am - 6pm Thursday through Saturday.

On Thursday, November 12 (today) the shop will be closed at 3pm so I can go to a doctor's appointment.  My student worker's school schedule doesn't allow for her to staff the shop today, so I apologize for any inconvenience.

New Stuff!

Lots of new Opal Sock Yarn, including self-striping colorways in LSU purple and gold and Southern University blue and gold

New yarns from Tahki including Ceylon Silk, Natur, and Palma Organic Cotton!

New rovings in Blue-Faced Leicester and new sock yarn from Morandia.

New scarves and other garments hand-knit by Lisa Louie in Maui.

New hand-dyed sock yarn by me!

More Malabrigo coming soon!

And more.  Please keep an eye on the blog while I try to catch up with myself.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Keep your fingers crossed that it's not an on-coming train...

Aloha again. This is Lisa, with a quick update. Dez has almost got her mom moved in and settled, there's just one last load of odds n ends to go. Clare is busy unpacking and meeting her new neighbors. Dez will hopefully be back to post soon. The light at the end of the tunnel seems to be a completed move, and many fewer hassles for the moment. We just hope the trouble train isn't showing up again.

In the meantime, she's asked me to remind you that donations of hats, scarves and similar warm items are being accepted and very welcomed as part of Warm Up New Orleans. Yes, people are still living in draft trailers and unrepaired houses after Hurricane Katrina. Covenant House, which helps homeless teens will be the primary recipient of these items.

Dez will provide specifics soon, but this post goes out as a reminder and request for your ongoing help.


Lisa Louie
Kahului, Maui, Hawaii

Inmates in the Asylum since July 27, 2006: