Wednesday, December 18, 2002

I've been having a grand ole time poking around the various online real estate brokers in New York City. Finally I've found a perfect little pied-a-terre. It's humble but it has most of what I'll need. The place is selling for $3,995,000. If it'd been $4 million I would've balked, but this is such a deal.

Taxes are only around $11,000.

Using the site's handy-dandy mortgage calculator and assuming a 20% down payment (that $799,000 is going to save me loads of money in PMI), I'll only need to come up with $21,125 each month. What a bargain!! And I thought Maine property was inexpensive.

I'll send out invites as soon as the decorators are done.

Thursday, December 12, 2002

My HanneI covet, I covet, I covet! Allow me to introduce you to Studio, the new Hanne Falkenberg knitting endeavor that I'm confident will keep me confused through 2003. Most of HF's designs are diagonal-crazed oregami-like concoctions where you haven't the faintest clue what the heck you're doing until the very end. This sweater, for example, begins with thee stitches.

But two women at the KR retreat wore HF sweaters that were so exquisite, so unlike anything I've ever even dreamed of doing thus far, that I decided it was time.

But here's the kicker: Instead of paying $265 and buying the kit here in the U.S., I went international and ordered it straight from Sommerfuglen in Denmark. The tab came to about $70 including shipping.

The price difference is so stupendous that I don't really know how to handle it. Should I gloat? Be humble and grateful? Risk it all and share my secret with others?

I won't let myself begin Studio until I've made some sort of headway with the 974 other half-finished sweaters I have sitting around the house. Two sassy black Vittadinis, a cropped Chamonix (aka Casey's Pillow), a supersoft and funky Noro, a Mostly Merino pullover, a Carodan Farms cabled turtleneck... Really, it's shameful. And that doesn't include the bags of yarn ready and waiting for their time on the needles. Ssssshhhhhhh......

Friday, December 6, 2002

Reason number 6,412 why I like living in Maine: the people.

When we're down in Portland, Casey is visited twice a day by our neighbors. The original agreement was one visit per day by the wife, but I soon discovered that the husband -- a seemingly gruff man with tattoes and a smoker's cough -- is the real softy of the pair. (My tip came when he began showing up even on days when we were home to make sure Casey was doing well.)

On normal weeks, I may return to find a note on our stack of mail detailing any particularly endearing Casey antics. But this week the note was accompanied by an enormous bag of beautiful plump fresh sea scallops in the fridge.

OK, so Verizon can't offer voicemail here, and the question "Do you deliver?" is generally met with a blank stare. And yet on Good Maine Days like today, those types of complaints seem trivial compared to the gift of having good people around you.

I'll be cooking scallops tonight, so feel free to drop by for dinner. There's no way on earth we'll be able to eat them all.

Tuesday, December 3, 2002

blissCasey continues to demonstrate excellent taste. First it was Filatura di Crosa, then Colinette, and now he's trying to claim my Jaeger Chamonix turtleneck. Fat chance, buster.