Friday, January 30, 2009

Stuck on old

Some days I'm not sure which way to go. I'm not in a bootie making mood, I don't want to wrestle with my sweater (which I've started over by the way and completely resdesigned--I've been keeping it a secret), I've done all the cleaning I'm going to do, the house is good, the kids are settled, the fridge is full and yet the future seems all flipped upside down for some reason and the only thing that my instinct is telling me will help is to go digging through buttons. Old, old buttons. The kind they don't make anymore and you can't find on any contemporary clothing. Interesting, tiny, shiny, creamy, white buttons.

So that's where I am, sifting through them by the fire, thinking of the interesting jewelry I can make with all these yummy buttons. I could look at this as a big time-waster of an exercise, knowing that I "should" be doing other things, but I'm thinking it's feeding some creative desire that needs to be fed so I can do what I need to do later, only with much more heart and desire.

At least that's what I'm hoping will happen.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Out of hiding

Today the sun came out, the rain and cold went away, Sunny ventured out of her house and we walked and walked and walked and walked. I did more camera research too, and when I finally realized what it meant (although I'd read this many times) that all Nikon lenses are interchangeable even the very old variety, I decided to pull this little baby out of hiding, not remembering if it was a Nikon or a Canon. It has a sweet little 50mm lens (f /1:2 I think) which will work even on today's digital SLRs. If it had been a Canon I'd be out of luck, the really old ones don't work on their new models.

Both the camera and lens date back to one of Kevin's "side" jobs selling camera equipment with a high school friend for the friend's father who made an entire career I believe out of "something on the side". I think it was used at the time and served as payment for working at some camera shows. Kevin even had a little foray into photography with it and wasn't half bad, we even have some of his work hanging in the kitchen. Sometimes it really pays to hold onto things, it's got to be at least 30 years old and still takes awesome pictures.

After months of looking and learning and gentle persuading, I think I now have Kevin on board to get a new camera, although it may still be a while till we actually buy one. Those who know me or have been following for a while may be tired of hearing my camera woes, but this is a big deal and I'm determined to make a wise and informed purchase.

More than anything his frustration with the point and shoot variety has convinced him to make the change, as well as my willingness to be his personal fishing photographer. The fun possibilities of togetherness this conjures up is truly enticing. Obsessed Knitter Lady takes pictures of Fisher King husband, oh my. Only I may have to hide it when he goes fishing with his friends--you remember his trip a few days ago and all the new dents my camera came back with, right?

More than anything, today has been one of pushing away silly fears of the unknown, taking calculated risks and looking back on all the benefits that come from doing such things. I was fearful of renovating our house 10 years ago and spending all that money, I was fearful of starting a business and a blog a few years back and I was afraid of going from 2 salaries to 1 when we had kids, the list goes on and on and on. But looking back, each of those decisions has only made my life substantially and immeasureably better, more than words can explain and more than I ever could have imagined at the time. Today I decided to kick fear in the butt and head the other direction. What a relief.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I'm sure the ice is at fault

I woke up in a panic at about 5 a.m., positive that my whole world was caving in and that I needed to fly downstairs, get on the computer and check my credit score. Luckily I realized right away it was just a crazy dream, that someone in a rental company had kicked Kevin and I out of a vacation rental because he said our credit was terrible. He was so mad at us and was throwing our stuff around the room with a disgusted look on his face and I was mortified and just so squirmy and uncomfortable I wanted to run for cover. I fell back asleep only to wake later hugely relieved that yet another preposterous dream was just a dream and I had no reason to be all tense and angry about something that didn't happen. Whew. You know that feeling, where you just think over and over, it was just a dream, thank goodness, just a dream.

I'm quite sure my moods fluctuate with the weather and I've had enough of the ice and rain thank you very much. They say now we may have thunderstorms this afternoon. What is this crazy place? So I'm blaming the dreams entirely upon it, the winter weather and ice. Or perhaps the idea of putting an addition on the house has something to do with it. No, on second thought, I'd rather blame the ice.

Although the day had a rocky start, things have smoothed out, the planets aligned themselves in just the right way and I've been able to finish an order that was taking me way to long to complete AND put the third coat of paint on the shelves. There are definite stages to painting. I find at first it's hard to get started, do the prep work and get in the right mindset. Then once I start and I'm happy and having fun, listening to favorite music, excited to have pretty painted shelves, then by the time the third coat comes around I start thinking, this is like knitting the second sock, or even worse, the third. But now they're done, they're done, they're done. Tomorrow we (Kevin) can screw in some hooks and we'll load 'em up. Of course there will be pictures.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Portrait of a snow day

A favorite barn on the way to preschool. Only one of the three children had school today.

A silhouetted John,

working on the "Lego Town" they made this week. The girls have been quite involved, treating it like it's an advanced game of house or something.

A lucky Lauren whose brother so generously shares his new Nintendo DS.

And a frustrated Allie, "Why won't this thing open?" she huffs.

Then, she puts on a whole umbrella show for whoever will watch, spinning it like a top for her finale.

It's fitting that the day after I wrote about how much I want Spring to come, we have our first dose of winter precipitation. I knew it was coming and thought of the irony of such a post but went ahead and did it anyway. We really didn't have snow per se, just an icy, slushy sort of mush that has fallen and since turned to rain. We're treating it like a snow day anyway, with books and movies and a warm fire and the anticipation is building toward cookies and hot chocolate.

Really what I want to do is get back to that gray sweater of mine that's been on hold for about a week, but nagging at me in the back of my head is the final coat of paint that needs to go on the shelves, orders to finish and cleaning the blasted shower that I've been putting off much too long. Does a snow day mean I can play hookey from my responsibilities too?

Monday, January 26, 2009


This new boot/planter, a Christmas present from my in-laws (isn't it cute?) is waiting.
This old washtub/converted planter is waiting,

and I am waiting, waiting, waiting for Spring! It's always at this time of the year where I'm so tired of winter and I just can't wait for the weather to change and Spring to arrive. It's also the time of year where I'll tell you over and over until you get sick of me how much I'm in love with our woodstove and how it's the one thing I look forward to in January and February. Of course it was snowing this morning, just a tiny little Virginia flurry, and I'll admit I do love the snow and I really like to ski, but I'd much rather be hot than cold. I have a very long time to wait, I know.

Certainly I'm not the only one who feels this way, part of the reason I'm thinking Spring is there are reminders everywhere. First of all, every store I pass has shorts in them already, swimsuits come in the bombardment of catalogs that seem to hit the house daily, a friend and I started talking about a Spring "show" and I just got the application for the farmers market this summer. I can't wait for market season!

So, I'm thinking about my display and how it needs, no, how it HAS to have a serious upgrade this year. I bought a couple of old shutters with the idea of hanging sweaters from them at the entrance of my tent and then some for the tabletop to hang necklaces on. Here's a pretty blue one:

I brought them home and said excitedly to Kevin, "honey, look at the cute shutters I bought for my booth at the market!"

"Why'd you buy them? I have about 20 of them out in the shop" he said.


That's always the case, I should know by now. He always has 20 of something out in the shop, or 500 or 8,000, whatever. His probably aren't a pretty blue.

And while we're on the subject of Kevin, you've probably noticed my camera was somehow found. It came back with a few more dents than it had when I last saw it (he has a nasty habit of dropping it frequently, it's a wonder it still functions). There was no big "ta da" when it was located, it just suddenly appeared on my desk. I didn't ask questions nor do I need to know the details of where it was or how narrowly it escaped being lost, I'm just glad it's back.

Which brings me to my next thought. There's one more thing that's waiting and it's little Miss Sunny Sunshine who is perpetually waiting for her next walk or game of fetch or romp in the yard, any of the above will do. I caught her gnawing on my rosebush this morning the little stinker. Thorns? What thorns? I have a feeling my flower garden out back is in for some serious destruction this year.

Yes, the back doors are waiting too for someone to Windex the puppy smudges off them. Goodness.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

This is so not knitting

My camera went fishing today, stuffed deep inside Kevin's coat. It's been spending alot of time there this winter, so much time that a friend told me I needed one of those license plates, you know, like "FSHN WIDO" or "FSHN WIFE" or something to that effect. But this is his "knitting" and I completely get it, I don't resent the time spent fishing. I get how he loses track of time, how the world stops and there's nothing but water and anticipation and the camaraderie of friends with the same love and of course the breakfast they pick up at WAWA.

While the thought of freezing cold water and wind and fish guts doesn't appeal to me as it does him, I'm just glad he has that something that speaks to his heart and sets it flying. It's written all over his face when he bursts through the door with an unmistakeable glow and cheeks looking like he'd just done a faceplant in the snow. Like today which broke all sorts of personal records, like 300 pounds of catfish in just 30 minutes and 8 citations in the bunch. No, no, we don't eat them, he releases them all, the ones caught below the city are risky fare and supposedly don't taste good when they're so big.

So that's where the camera was and you probably wouldn't want to see the pictures of my day anyway, the post office, the birthday party, Target, the laundry, cleaning, dishes. The highlight was a run with Sunny, seeing the kids go wild outside in the sun and more moderate temperature and dinner with friends. The shelves will have to wait another day or two. I did miss taking pictures, surely I would have found something worth capturing and I was glad to know it was back home, or so I thought. You can imagine how taken aback I was when Kevin asked me after he got home, "have you seen the camera?".

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Starting her early

She was beside herself that I'd let her help with the painting. I'm now thinking I should have let her help with the priming. There are some, uh, well, let's say, rough spots.

There was non-stop dialogue from her for the at least hour that she "helped". It went something like this:

This is so much fun!
I just love painting.
Don't you love painting?
Nice soft brush strokes, right mama?
I just LOVE painting!
I don't know why I keep saying that. giggle. giggle.
I've never painted shelves before.
Why aren't these shelves orange?
I think shelves should be orange.
Can I have some orange shelves?
Maybe when I'm a mama?
I love painting.
Squigward (should be Squidward) is a good artist. (Spongebob reference)
He uses a little brush and Spongebob and Patrick use big brushes like yours.
I like little brushes.
I've never painted the house before!
I just love painting.
Won't Daddy be so surprised?
We are really doing a great job, right mama?
Gasp! Uh oh! Oh no!
I just spilled.
Is it okay?
Can I paint some more?
I love to paint.

You get the general idea.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Girl with paintbrush

On the road to better organization, the kids' shoes now have bigger and sturdier homes, a necessity when their feet do nothing but grow and the force with which their shoes are hurled into place also only intensifies. We decided a bench to house them was overkill both in labor and cost when these baskets can be found so easily and inexpensively at discount stores like Marshall's.

When I said Kevin was on fire with all his plan drawing I wasn't kidding. The day after, he came home with fully built shelves and he and I quickly installed them. Here, unpainted,

and now primed thanks to yours truly. What you can't see is the area below where the kids coats will be hung on new hooks, and on the sides will be more hooks, one for each backpack and maybe a fourth for a mommy bag. In a house with one 2 foot closet under the stairs on the first floor, this new area is pure luxury.

That big space in the middle is for the 3 recycling receptacles I ordered the other day. I'm not going to know what to do with myself. After photos will be forthcoming.

Painting among other types of physical labor always gets my mind going or not going, I can't figure which. I tend to space out, but then it seems my thoughts really are dancing around, no matter how aware of it I am or not. Perhaps it can best be described as simple meditation, which is why I highly recommend painting, or weeding, or cutting grass with a push mower, or taking your own trash to the dump, or baking bread, or swinging a hammer, or axe, what have you.

I was thinking about the familiarity of the paint smell and my mind was quickly flooded with image after image of when Kevin and I remodeled the house. I mean gutted it. All the way to new wiring, heating/AC, plumbing, floors, walls, ceilings, insulation, everything. I have distinctly embedded visions in my mind of tearing out plaster walls and the lathe behind them and pulling down ceiling board on top of my head and how the hickory nuts from the squirrels in the attic would fall down the back of my shirt along with 70 years of dirt and insulation. It was not a job for the faint-hearted.

I'm still pretty amazed we did it and can't really believe that I've primed and painted literally every room of this house and several more than once. As much of an undertaking as it seems, I highly recommend it, not just for the cost-saving aspects, not just for practicality or learning how things are done, not just so you gain an appreciation for what some people do for a living and how hard they work, but more importantly for the opportunity to learn more about yourself. Give it a try, I promise you'll learn something valuable about yourself that you didn't know before.

I sit here too, thinking that this is preparation for the next step, getting ready for a possible addition that is, if it's plausible in this crazy, downturned economy. Time will tell. In the meantime, I can at least blab about it all to you while I drink a little tea with honey and eat the last two pieces of the homemade bread I baked yesterday. Almost nothing smells better. Well, okay, maybe a baby.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A sweater to match

The weather has been strange here lately, as we've gone from many days with the temperature hovering around the zero mark, to now, when the temp has gone up about thirty degrees but it's just damp and foggy and curiously lacking rain.

These winter trees are what I notice most this time of year and how you can see every twisted, crooked, gnarled branch like a dark shadow against the grey sky.

Somehow this leads me to talk about the yarn that came for a new sweater a day or two ago. The sweater plan that floated around in my head for several days went from simple to simpler to simplest as I pared it down to probably the most basic thing I could possibly make. You see I used to have this great grey sweater that I wore completely out in about 12 years (well, maybe less than that but I kept it for 12, you know how it is). It was the perfect layer. I wore it camping, hiking, biking, to class, out, anywhere. It was wool and warm but thin enough to wear comfortably under a coat and I wore the heck out of it. Since I forced myself to part with it I haven't been able to come up with a replacement, well, until now I hope.

Yes, I'm stuck on the raglan sleeve, but I love their look and the simplicity of knitting from the top down. Not a cardigan this time, but a wide-ish sort of neck, long sleeves, some shaping at the sides, you know, basic. Throw it on over a long-sleeved t-shirt, with jeans and boots and I'm ready. And with all the color possibilities of this yarn, who knows, maybe I'll have one to match every kind of weather.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Man at work

These rough hands usually see cold, wind, splinters, dirt, grease, fish slime, and much less often are used for more delicate pursuits like drawing plans, but that's just what Kevin has been doing for most of the past three days. There are plans for a new shoe bin/bench for the kids, a new storage area in the kitchen for canning supplies and the canned goods that follow (by the way, he does ALL the canning!), more storage for coats and hats and recycling in the mud room. Not to mention the plans for an entire addition. Yes, I said it...addition. EEEK! The plans are all to scale of course, materials lists are complete as well as all cost estimates. He's thorough.

I'm writing knowing full well that all of these plans may never fully come to fruition, but based on the fire that's been lit under him (let me clarify, it wasn't me with the match) I'm guessing most everything will eventually go from paper to reality. It has prompted even more organization from me and some creative new uses of space and existing furniture. A no cost reordering invigorates me and I feel more in charge of my own surroundings, instead of living like I'm in someone else's space.

The main crux of the projects would be a new bedroom/closet/bathroom addition for he and I, with some structural changes upstairs to our existing bedroom which would become Allie's new bedroom (currently she and Lauren share a room). As it is now, the house has two bathrooms, and only had one when we moved in. All must walk through our bedroom and closet to get to the only bathroom upstairs so a wall would be added, making a hallway to the bathroom and closing off the third bedroom.

I hate to get too excited, in a way I feel it's not all part of what I consider basic necessities and I don't hang my hat or happiness on what's NEW and BIG and exciting. I'm hoping that in the end I feel more settled, organized and for lack of a better way of putting it, more grown up. Less like I'm camping out and making do with an entire house of hand-me-downs (although there's nothing wrong with that) and more like it's okay to have things the way I want them. There are some deep issues here, ones which I try to exorcize from time to time but until now haven't been able to rid myself of them entirely. Perhaps forcing myself out of a worn out comfort zone will help, the little pushes and prodding along in the right direction with me clawing and scratching every step of the way, and in the end a realization that self-denial is not always self love. Sometimes it is, but not always.

Okay, enough. I think we're off to Lowe's.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Why is it that sometimes the easiest things take the longest to accomplish? Like the bag of donation items that sits on my closet floor for two months before I take it to Goodwill or the disco ball that's been in the kitchen since New Year's Eve (don't ask, my brother-in-law borrowed it--the fact that my husband has owned it since before we were married--well, I can only shake my head) still waiting to go to the attic.

I'm not sure why I let things pile up and get forgotten, but that's just what happened with this little bunny. Anyway, I wrote the pattern for it close to a year ago and since then have made a jillion of them, and sold them and I even sold the pattern at the market several times and fully intended to have it for sale in my shop, but it is only now that I have finally put it there. It's yours to enjoy, if you'd like to take a look at the listing, please do. Way back in its inception I had a few friends test knit it and they found it easy to follow. But of course I'm always here for questions if you have any!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I went to church on a Thursday

I went to The Church of the Pink and Orange Sunrise this morning in my socks, jeans and wet hair. There was no gossip or politics, questionable ethics or spending habits, just me in the front yard, and the children behind me with their fingers and noses pressed to the windows.

Each of us with our mouths agape witnessing what is truly peaceful, holy and awe-some.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Can't decide which picture is better for the shop.

Finishing touches.

There's only one problem...

...I can't seem to stop.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I'm almost there. That picture up there makes me feel very lop-sided when I look at it, so it's my guess I'll have a finished one to show you before long. What a fun little sweater to make and not a regret in my mind about choosing this yarn for this project over one for myself. Lest you think I'm deprived, let me assure you that I did make myself another hat out of that gorgeous Jo Sharp alpaca/silk from a few posts back I just haven't taken the time to take pictures of it yet. And the plans for my sweater(s) are still in the works, just you wait. Yes, there might be more than one!

And now for my favorite part...

...the raglan seams and the mere texture of the yarn. What can I say, it's the littlest things that make me happy sometimes.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Where I'm at

This is what happens when I start thinking too long about the sweater I'm going to make for myself and I'm too tired to trek down to another yarn shop to look for the right yarn. Instead, I dip into those bins I was so proud to have organized to see if I have enough yarn to make myself something.

"Well, maybe I can make something short-sleeved," I think. "Or maybe, what would even be cuter is a little top-down raglan-sleeved cardigan for a 1 year old (of which I have none) to sell in the shop! Yeah, that's a great idea! Just think how cute and textured and all organic-y it'll be and everything...."

So that's where I'm at, a good third of my way through it and yes, it's just as cute as I thought it'd be and I can't wait to finish it. I'll get a chance to use my new size 8 dpns (for the sleeves) that Mary gave me for Christmas. Thanks, Mary!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

It's that kind of Sunday...

...where naps and homemade chocolate chip cookies beckon, where snuggling takes precedence over knitting and where soft, stretchy clothes are a must. We're filling the depleted reserves, nourishing what's left and gearing up for the week to come. What a luxury and a gift to be able to fall into the arms of family and know that here we're safe and welcome and warm. I hope each of you has just the kind of day you were looking for.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The yarn was taking over

The kids decided to "farm" today out in the yard and plant who knows what in the dirt. I tried to get them to plant grass seed but they claimed we were out. I think they were just happy to escape the project I'd begun inside the house as it was threatening to turn me into someone they didn't want to be around.

With last week's sickness I'd gotten seriously behind in keeping the house functioning at a reasonable hum. It was way out of kilter and the enormity of the project I faced was threatening to render me useless unless I got down to business so that's exactly what I did.

In addition to just general cleaning, laundry, de-cluttering (which made the girls resort to tears, the thought that their mother would dare suggest they clean) and lots of deep, cleansing breaths, I resigned myself to tackle the monstrosity my work area had become. It went from bag after bag after bag full of incoplete projects, misguided ideas and scraps upon scraps of no longer useable yarn, to some truly useful and organized bins.

In the process I found things I'd been missing, reclaimed yarn I'd forgotten I had and came to the conclusion that I have more yarn than I thought I did. I did plan it this way, to be well-stocked this time of year when things slow down, and with very high hopes of planning ahead for the market by drastically increasing my inventory of completed, ready-to-sell products. There you have it, that's as close to a New Year's resolution as I'll get.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Little things

Above sits the next color combination for a pair of booties. I know, it may just look like two piles of string to some, but I'll soon make them disappear. Those particular colors were actually a custom request, and one I'm grateful for. Sometimes the best ideas come from those inquiries and I'm not too proud to take them! The moss will be on the bottom, blue on the top.

Next is that cowl I was talking about which is still a wip in sumptuous Malabrigo. But then I saw this one and gasped, thinking an even simpler style may be what I'm looking for.

Here is the gorgeous project bag where it currently lives. My dear (and well-traveled) friend Pam knew I'd love it . Read about her recent escapades to Helsinki here if you want to pretend like you're taking a trip far far away while you're really just sitting at your desk, or in your house, or your car, or the bathroom or wherever you sneak in blog time.

Seriously though, the bag is the perfect size, made out of silk and is from Lantern Moon. Here's what the back of the tag reads: "Our products are produced by an education and income generation project and family owned enterprises which revive the traditional cultural handicrafts of Vietnam." I like it. I like it when people really start to think about what they're doing, unlike the driver I saw today heaving large chunks of trash out the window of her new BMW SUV. Really? I thought. Really?

Thursday, January 8, 2009


One of the most comforting parts about getting better after being really sick, besides the ginger ale and chicken noodle soup, is the return to normalcy and the daily rituals that may otherwise escape my focus and attention. Whether it's the morning cup of coffee, a favorite breakfast or an afternoon walk and game of fetch with Sunny, it's just so good to be back to (almost) normal, doing normal things. I had to push myself a bit to get out there, but the spring in her step and sheer happiness on her face made it so worthwhile. She's so patient and had been so neglected the past few rainy days.

Also comforting are the return of the usual sounds of the house. John's sneaking into the kitchen cabinets to retrieve a snack too close to dinnertime, Lauren and Allie's little made-up games and Allie's bossiness about it all, Kevin's footsteps down the stairs and the crackle of wood in the woodstove. Albeit a relatively brief sickness, Kevin described the "day after" like this, "It feels like I got dropped out of an airplane without a parachute". Yep, that's about right.

Anyway, here's my last and parting thought, I always think it's weird to see the moon so high up in the sky at 4 in the afternoon, don't you? But I'll take it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Love notes from Lauren

It seems all the hand sanitizer and overly cautious personal hygiene habits in the world couldn't stop the wicked stomach bug that has descended on the house. It started with Allie and then she also had strep and after 6 days (and some very worried parents) she's now walking, talking, drawing and starting to eat...a little. I was the next to fall and am hopefully through the worst of it. Kevin is right in the middle, even after staying as far away from us as possible and even camping out on the floor last night in the fireplace room. Luckily Lauren and John can get away from us by going to school, I really hope they don't get it.

So this post will be brief. I feel the need to be horizontal again. I started a cowl with that Malabrigo yarn before getting sick and hope to post pictures soon. I even found a pattern on Ravelry for it with the exact yarn color I bought, figured it was fate and decided to give it a go. It's a good pattern, just hope I like it on.

Here's wishing "hope and peace to you" and that you stay well.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Purple haze

This is a hodge-podge post at best so please bear with me, it's merely an attempt to share snippets of what my day is shaping up to look like. Isn't that yarn above great? I bought it for myself, no telling what it will become but my plan is to make an adapted version of the Simple Pleasures hat over at the purl bee. Only problem being I need to purchase some size 3 circulars. The weather isn't stopping me although it's a hazy, damp day which is conducive to staying in,

the real issue is that Allie still looks like this:

and I don't have the heart to drag her to the store to buy more needles. I really thought that she was in the clear and would be able to go to school today, but she had a relapse last night and is still nursing her poor little tummy. She's gone back to sleep now and I hope she stays that way so she can heal.

I was a woman on a mission yesterday, completing the post-Christmas pack up, then the clean up and finally the first attempts at better organization. I was preparing for everyone to return to school with a bit of sadness, perhaps busying myself so as not to dwell on it. We really had a nice break and the kids were truly entertaining. They got along, the whining and fighting was at a minimum and I had real heart pangs as I helped my older two on to the bus this morning. I miss them. As much as I've got going on and knowing full well that I can accomplish a great deal with them in school I still didn't want to see them go.

So I'm dealing with it and getting back to the yarn. I'm working on a nice wholesale order that should ship out in the next day or two, tying up other loose ends and trying to figure out what to do with this other new yarn.

I'm also still going round and round with my sweater ideas and now I'm wondering if I should just make myself a winter version of this one.

Somehow I managed to figure it out by myself, inspired by one in Sundance catalog last year and I think I even finished it while I had mono. There are modifications to be made of course, it can only be better the second time around, right? Wish me luck.