Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Search Continues

I think my head is going to explode!  This hunt for a good, affordable used car is driving me bonkers.  I've changed brands and models a gazillion times.  I'm about to close my eyes and point to something, pay the cash and get the heck out of there.  

I put my stash of Rug Hooking magazines on EBay tonight -- phew!  Next will be the stash of Spin Off magazines.  I would really love for them to find new homes.

I cleaned a bunch today.  I cleaned out the T&C since I'm turning it in on my way home from work tomorrow.  Looks like I'll be taking the bus from then on.  I also washed my bedding and put the wool blanket on my bed.  Usually that means there'll be a spike up in the temperature for a few days but it's not looking to favorable right now.

I can't wait to put my head on the freshly laundered linens and snuggle under the wool blanket.  I'm pooped.  Not one stitch of knitting done today.  Egad!

Happy Birthday Sue!!!  Hope you get to go home soon and sleep in your own bed!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Down in the dumps...

Doggone if I didn't miss the bus I wanted to take first thing this morning.  I missed it by 15 seconds, at most.  I had to return to the house and plan a new trip.  I left about an hour later which put me at the dealership an hour later, too.  Funny how that works, eh?

As I walked down to the end of the street where the used car lot was I saw a terrible sight.  The car I  wanted to look at was returning from a test drive with someone else.  I stepped up my pace in time to see two men exiting -- one was obviously the shopper and the other, complete with butt crack, was obviously his mechanic side kick. I studied them from a distance, letting Anthony the salesman know that THAT car was the one I came to buy.  Not meant to be.  The other guy drove off in MY car:
1999 Subaru Forester L  Sterling Heights, MI 48313 Click to enlarge this photo.

I test drove two minivans and walked away from both.  The first one was okay but didn't have the stow-n-go rear seat and I am neither tall enough nor strong enough to hoist that baby out of the car by myself.  The second minivan was out of gas and I stopped and put $5 in the tank, nabbing the receipt so I could get my money back from Anthony.  When I took that car on the expressway it started to vibrate so badly I wound up getting a free chair massage.

Not only did I walk away with no car but I forgot to get my stinkin' $5 back.  Poor me!  Back to the car listings for me......

Friday, October 29, 2010

Cars, cars, cars....

I think it's truly amazing that I'm worn out from shopping for a car on the Internet.  How can that be?  I haven't driven to dozens of car lots, asked low-life salesmen lots of questions, gotten in and out of a gazillion cars, or even driven the ones I think I'm interested in (except for last weekend and that doesn't really count).  I have discovered there are tons of schemers on Craigslist so I'm just warning you -- tread verrrrry carefully if you go there.

Tomorrow morning I'm heading out to a dealership to look at one car in particular but there are several other offerings that could work out for me.  I think I'll take the bus, that way I can drive it home if I like it well enough.

I had originally thought that sleeping in would be wonderful but the early bird does usually get the worm.  Or in this case, the car she wants!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Shop till I drop!

More time spent today shopping for a used car.  Switching makes and models almost every minute.  Ugh.  I saw one ad on Craigslist that made me laugh out loud:  Now, I do feel sorry for the guy but the pictures and written words just cracked me up!

I got a few more things listed on EBay and now I'm off to watch the last episode of this year's Project Runway -- go Mondo!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Too darn busy!

My head is spinning right off of my neck!  I can hardly find time to breathe lately.  I'm busy managing the yarn sales on Ravelry and shipping everything off.  I have to say I don't care much for some of the self sealing bubble envelopes.  Seems they stick to themselves waaaay too fast for me and then you can't pry them apart.  Crap.

I dropped the Town & Country off at the collision shop yesterday afternoon to get the bumper replaced before I turn it in next Monday and would you believe it was ready today at 2:30 pm.???  I took two buses to get home yesterday and I took the same two buses back out there today.  It looks great and I'm tempted to just leave it in the driveway until Monday.  But I won't.

Last night was Chicken stitch group night at Judy's and we got the best news possible.  Our friends Carol and Joyce, whose kids married each other, became grandmothers of Henry James yesterday afternoon.  We were all so excited and relieved for all of them.  Last year Erin and Jim lost their newborn daughter and it was an unbearably sad time.  I wrote about it here.  But now we can celebrate the arrival of Henry and I can think of a boy gift to make for him.  Hmmmm......

I took a half vacation day today to get the house prepped for the appraiser to come.  It's clean enough for me to host group next month but I'm sure it won't last.

I very nearly made a fatal financial mistake -- I was close to buying a car off of Craigslist that was 'too good to be true'.  Thank goodness the wisdom of the Chicken girls prevailed and I did not go through with it.  I suppose $3000 for a 2005 Volvo XC90 with 52,000 miles that's selling elsewhere for $16-18,000 was some sort of scam-a-rama.  Ya think??

So the search continues for a good used car.  Or truck.  Can't you just see me behind the wheel of a pick-up truck??  Never in a million years.............

Monday, October 25, 2010


Wondering where I've been for the past couple of days since I haven't posted?  Fear not.  I've been cleaning my craft room!  I found a lot of yarn to sell and it took me all day yesterday to photograph it, edit the photos and put them on Ravelry.  Check them out here if you're so inclined.  So far I've sold 9 skeins -- woohoo.  So many more to go.

I may have found a car to buy, too.  More on that tomorrow -- sure hope it's not too good to be true.  Hope you're right Diane!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ann Arbor Fiber Festival

Today's fiber diversion was a trip to the 4th Annual Ann Arbor Fiber Festival.  I was up and out early, arriving at Harriet's house at 7:45 AM.  From there we picked up Diane and we were on our way.  We made such good time that we stopped at McDonald's for a beverage before hitting the show.

There were more vendors than last year so this year they occupied 3 of the pole barn buildings at the fairgrounds.  There are was a gun show at the fairgrounds but fortunately they were located in a building far, far away from us.  We were early enough that there were no crowds for about an hour.  When we walked in we were greeted by:

We spent a total of 4 1/2 hours there.  I know -- what could we possibly find to do for that long???  Oh plenty.

The amazing and kind Suzanne Higgs of Hooked on Felt fame, showed a shopper how to wear one of her wonderful nuno felted wraps:

Even Harriet tried on a lovely piece:

We passed by a wet felted purse workshop:

Listened to the alpaca farm owner explain how he raises these beautiful alpaca:

We spotted this soft angora rabbit who kept trying to escape his Rubbermaid tote:

And saw this stoic alpaca who was a bit standoffish:

Here's Harriet, Diane and me, resting outside the main entrance:

And now for my big purchases of the day.  My favorite item is this squirrel cage.  Perched on top are the BSKG traveling sheep:

If you want info on this swift let me know.  And yes, I've already used it to turn a hank into a center pull ball.  I just clamped the winder to the top and voila!  I'm lovin' it.

I found this glittery stuff to use on a nuno felting project, whenever that is: 

And finally some yellow-orange roving to use to make a needle felted sunflower for a hat I sold to a customer at the Charlevoix Apple Festival:

So see, I really didn't get a lot. 

Oh, almost forgot something.  People are really kind.  Diane offered to help me find a job at her company.  Suzanne Higgs reminded me that things would get better.  A complete stranger asked if she could give me a hug when she overheard my 'work' conversation with Suzanne.  Rita Petteys of Yarn Hollow gave me 8 ceramic buttons to use on my hats and bags:

Such a fun way to spend the day.  Tomorrow will be spent getting my house organized cleaned purged so the appraiser can come and take photos of the house and I won't be too embarrassed.

Friday, October 22, 2010

GLHQ Show and Tell

Last Thursday was our monthly guild meeting for GLHQ.  We had a wonderful speaker, Edyta Sitar, who brought load of quilts to wow us and a boatload of patterns, books, calendars, and stencils to sell.  Judging by the crowd at the sale table, I think Edyta did quite well.  I know I contributed, though, had I known I'd be having  'that' conversation at work the following day, I would probably have walked out with nothing.
A calendar to have beautiful quilts to look at each month:

And a wonderful book full of marvelous ideas:

And a few more applique patterns to draw inspiration from:

Edyta brought wonderful quilts to go along with her lecture but she asked that we not publish them on the web so I did not take any photos of her pieces.

Here are some great quilts that our members brought for Show 'n Tell though:

This Butterfly Quilt was a do-over.  Someone purchased a quilt top at our Holiday Bazaar and re-made it into this:

And Robin made this one when a relative asked for a quilt to keep in her car:
Anybody catch the irony of this pattern choice???

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Short One

Since I'm pretty tired of talking, thinking, stewing, and sulking about my job, I'm not going to do so tonight.

I heard that. :*)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Do you know where your big girl pants are?

I was wearing my big girl pants today during a meeting I doubt I needed to attend.  The discussion was all about tasks that need to occur AFTER my last day at the company.  In short, the coworker who will be staying on will have a lot to do.  So much so that others in the room kept commenting about how busy she was going to be and how will she be able to do it all.  Here's where I should have just excused myself but I hung in there.

Just plain miserable.  Nothing else to say.

Moving right along.  I did do a little car shopping after work and looked at a car my neighbor is certain is too small for what I need.  Back to the drawing board, AKA Craigslist.

Tomorrow at work we're having a luncheon for the people who will be leaving the company, some just a couple of weeks before me and some weeks or months after me.  Somehow we're all expected to put on smiles and talk about 'favorite memories'.  It's so much harder to reflect on the good times when bad stuff is happening to you.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


If you're anything like me you don't care too much for being somewhere where you're not wanted.  For a while now, I've been feeling like the odd chick out.  Like people couldn't care less if I showed up.  It's not like they're talking about me, rather, I think they couldn't care less if I was there.  Could it get any colder in there?  Oh, I doubt it.  It feels like the world is still spinning but I've slid off of it.  I don't really want to even participate in conversations since my thoughts get shot down or worse, ignored.  People I thought of as friends don't seem to want to be friends anymore.  I don't know what happened.  Sure makes me want to just stay home.  I'm more ready for this new chapter every day.

I got my windshield replaced today and the estimate for my bumper repair, both for grand total of $635.  So much for the money I made in Charlevoix.  I lost my debit card this morning when I was dropping off some EBay sales at the post office.  I nearly strangled myself on my ID badge chain when I was scouring my car looking for the missing card.  I sold several more things on EBay today and have already dropped them off at the post office.  It sure is handy when you can print your own postage and mailing labels.

I'm whipped.  I think I'm going to find my Sudoku book and head to bed.

Monday, October 18, 2010


Sales on EBay have been brisk with rug hooking items flying out of my house.  Hope this continues.  I'll be heading to the post office before going into the office tomorrow morning to drop off 5 different sales -- woohoo!

The car salesman at the dealership is becoming a pest.  I don't think I want to buy any his over-priced used cars.  I can find a reasonable one on my own, thank you.  Tomorrow I'm getting my new windshield in the Town & Country.  I knew there was a really good reason I didn't bother to clean the inside of the windshield.  Then I'm off to the collision shop to get the estimate on replacing the front bumper.  If the estimate is too high I'll just turn the car in and take my lumps.

Tomorrow night is our quilt guild board meeting, too.  Can't pack much more into the day than that.

I crabbed to Door to Door Organics about the quality of a couple of items in my shipment last week.  They're sending me my next box for FREE!!  How's that for customer service.  I'm lovin' it.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

On My Way

Taking the bull by the horns, I started listing rug hooking things on EBay.  Before I had finished loading the patterns I had sold 2 things already.  Yippee!  Out of my house and on their way to someone else's studio.  I sold a fabulous dye kit and a 72 yard roll of binding tape.  It's a start.  If you might be even a little interested you can check out my listings.

I need to be more ruthless.  Cut out the emotional ties and just start hacking away at my stash.  It's so hard to part with things -- I remember exactly when I bought this wool or that pattern and exactly what I was going to do with it.

But times dictate a change needs to occur.  Time to part with all that 'stuff' and make some money.  I can put it toward my 'used car' fund.  I better sell a lot!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

December 16

Do you know what you'll be doing on December 16th?  I know what I'll be doing.  I'll be sleeping in.  For the first time in over 26 years I won't have a job to go to.  I was officially notified yesterday that my last day will be December 15th.  I had hoped, even half expected, that since I still have jobs assigned to me to run through the end of the month that I would still work until December 30th.  Guess I was wrong.

Now I know I need to make some significant changes in my spending including turning in my leased Town & Country on November 1st and buying the best possible used car I can find for cash.  I don't want a car payment and this option should reduce my car insurance too.  I'm thinking about refinancing my mortgage (don't tell them I'm losing my job, OK?) and looking for other ways to come up with some instant cash.  Reducing my yarn stash perhaps via Ravelry?  Rug hooking patterns anyone?

After 26 years it's hard to believe they're cutting me loose.  My manager did say not to spend my severance check in case I get called back for this new team that's developing our their new system.  A new chapter begins......

Friday, October 15, 2010

Charity Knitting Challenge

Back at our May BSKG meeting, Judith, our charity coordinator, offered up a new challenge.  After examining our stock of donated yarn, she decided to issue a White challenge and bundled up skeins of white acrylic yarn for all who wanted to knit over the summer.  Our charity for this project is the South Oakland Shelter, which assists homeless people who are actually employed but not yet on their feet.

I took my lunch bag of three skeins of yarn home but admittedly did not get to knitting my hats until last weekend.  I know, all summer to do it and I kept putting it off.  Most of you know I care very little for acrylic yarn but this stuff was actually alright.  Here's my contribution:

Yes, the label does say 'SEARS' -- what decade to you suppose this stuff is from??!!  I chose to knit plain hats using a double strand of the yarn so they're pretty darn warm.  Here's the summary of the guild's efforts which were turned in at Tuesday's meeting:

Judith had already taken over bags of knits for SOS two weeks earlier -- 16 hats and 20 scarves.  There are going to be a lot more people warmed by the guild's generosity.

Another activity at the guild meeting on Tuesday was a felted soap demonstration.  I missed out because there wasn't enough time but here are the gals at work with Kate in the far left guiding them along:

I've tried making felted soap before but I don't think I was patient enough and tried to rush the process.  My bars were okay but not as smooth and pretty as I've seen.  I'll have to give it a go again.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Door to Door Organics

Tuesday I received  my second delivery of produce from this great company:

Now, what should I do with those artichokes???

Puppies Galore!

Well, my daughter Holly and her husband Mike have their hands full -- literally, or is that 'litterally'?!!  They rescued a pregnant Brittany Spaniel from a shelter where she was only a day from being put down.  This poor thing is only 10 months old herself:

On Tuesday, September 28th, Dottie started delivering her puppies.  And delivering, and delivering.....
When she was done, she had birthed 16 puppies!!  3 did not make it so there are still 13 puppies remaining.  Holly and Mike are whipped taking care of them:

Dottie is a great little mother and tries her best to accommodate all those tiny pups but Mike & Holly have to bottle feed a few of them.  Their eyes and ears (yes, they're closed at birth too) have opened up and it won't be long before they start switching over to a baby oatmeal and then puppy dog food.  Dottie is eating 14-16 cups of food a day -- oh my!  Hope she keeps that girlish figure.

She really is a sweetie -- she even poses for the camera:

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Show Update

My visit up to Charlevoix was really nice, I didn't mean for it to sound so bad yesterday.  The weather couldn't have been better for setting up or tearing down my tent.  I had lots of help from my neighbor vendors which I surely appreciated.  They were folks I've been seeing there for years now. 

 My home away from home for three long days....

One super sad moment was when I approached the fish pottery maker about getting some more fish for my son-in-law and he told me I better hurry because he probably won't be there next year -- he'd just been diagnosed with lung and kidney cancer.  I felt so bad for Mitch.  Of course I bought more fish and told him in a firm voice 'I'll see you next year'.

My sales were so slow on Friday -- two measly hats sold in 8 hours.  I did get plenty of knitting done, including a beret that was one of the two hats I sold that day.  
This was the second skein of Malabrigo Rios -- love it!  The true color is much deeper and saturated but I'm afraid it got washed out in the crazy tent lighting.  I was hurrying to take the picture because the customer was on her way back to my booth to pick it up!

Saturday was much busier traffic and sales-wise.  Lots of people were admiring my embellished coats and it was great to actually sell two of them.  A few people expressed an interest in having me update coats they already own so I encouraged them to send me an email.

Once again I heard tons of comments from people who 'got an idea' from looking at my pillows for sale.  Um, the point was to make them and sell them not inspire other people to run home and copy them.  There was a group of sisters who approached me about making pillows out of what was obviously their all-to-recently deceased father's shirts.  Sunglasses hiding their eyes, their sorrow was so close to the surface.  Again, I said send me an email in a few days and we can make it happen.

One of the interesting things that Charlevoix had for kids was a little corral with pony rides and beside it some farm animals:
I think that goat was trying to make a run for it!

I was delighted to see some friendly faces while I was at the show:  Diane and Gary, Holly and Fritz, and a customer from NYC named Tina, who I've been trying to connect with for a couple of years.  I had sold her a felted purse years ago which she gave to her friend in Denmark (I'm international!) and the button flap had worn out.  I fixed it for her but couldn't seem to get it back to her.  I kept carrying it with me for the last two years, hoping to see her and finally -- there she was!  I had also made a new replacement bag for her to send to her friend so now both bags are on their way to Denmark.

By most accounts my show results were reasonably successful:  18 hats, 2 embellished coats, 2 felted bags and a camel/wool scarf.  I think I am disappointed because I knit with reckless abandon, bringing nearly 100 hats.  On the bright side, it means I don't have to knit like a mad-woman to get ready for the next show.  I do need to knit up 10 or so felted hats since I'm down to one lonely red hat.  Time to search the stash......

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


My weekend up north at the Charlevoix Apple Festival was ho-hum.  The weather couldn't have been more gorgeous for early fall:
Not a cloud in the sky and I roasted like a marshmallow.  Unfortunately for me, most people were not interested in warm, wool hats.  I took twice the inventory as last year and sold half as many as last year.  The only good thing was I sold two of my embellished coats -- one wool, the other cashmere.  I was so happy about that but pretty glum the rest of the time.  I'll post more tomorrow.  I'm still getting caught up around the house and I haven't finished unloading the car yet.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Can't Ask for More

Here's the forecast for this weekend in Charlevoix.  Even better than the prediction here.

Oct 07
Sunny61°/50°10 %
Oct 08
Sunny68°/51°0 %
Oct 09
Mostly Sunny67°/49°10 %
Oct 10
Partly Cloudy69°/53°20 %
Oct 11
Showers60°/48°40 %