Saturday, December 29, 2012

Wedding Day!

Today my niece Erica is marrying her fiance Tommy in Charlevoix. Everyone has trekked up north for this wonderful occasion, even my Mom, whose recent health issues made that seem unlikely.  I learned that Tommy's 38-year old sister had a stroke yesterday and cannot make it for the wedding - prayers needed for her full recovery please. 

I'm looking forward to a wonderful, drama-free day. Oh, and one without significant snowfall as I don't have a proper coat to cover my fancy dress!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Nice Pics

On my way home from Holly's last Saturday I saw a beautiful sunset sky and I just had to pull off the road and take some pictures -- enjoy!!  Taken with my Nikon D-510, using the Dusk & Dawn setting for the first couple of pics, the Sunset setting for next few and then I braved the Manual setting (my brother in law Mike would be proud!) for the last two pics.  So much fun experimenting and isn't nature amazing??!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


I made this pillow for our quilt guild's Holiday Bazaar silent auction.
I thought it was clever as could be but you know what??  Not a single person bid on it.  The whole point of our bazaar is to make money to support our programs.  I put a minimum bid of $25 on it and not a single solitary soul bid.  I had more than $25 in to it so there was no way I was going to let anyone bid less than that.

I was really disappointed that no one wanted it.  Pretty darn dejected, actually.   That is, until my friend Cathy came along and bought it for her cottage.  Now I could have been okay bringing it home for my couch as I really did like it but Cathy said she'd think of me when she looks at it and that's good enough for me.

But that's the last time I bust my butt to get something ready for the bazaar only to see it not getting any bids. The same thing happened last year.  I may be dumb but I'm not stupid -- no third time for me!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merrrrry Christmas!

Christmas may be tomorrow but I got to celebrate with Holly, Mike and my grandson Denver on Saturday.  I had ordered one verrrrry special gift and thank goodness it arrived Friday afternoon -- phew!  Nothing like getting a whiz-bang idea on Monday and hoping they can ship in time.

I spent about 2 hours wrapping everything Saturday morning -- who knew it would take so long?!!  In all honesty I had a few extra things to wrap -- Cabela's purchase for Mike to give to Holly (how'd he know?!) and from Holly to Mike.  I was such a good shopper, right Mary??

I loaded up the car and picked up lunch in Oxford and finally got to Holly's about 1 pm.  We were all starved so we ate first and then got to the gifts.  Denver was so darn cute opening his gifts -- one little bit of paper at a time.  I'm sure next Christmas he'll be tearing into his gifts without any coaxing.

Everything I bought him was from either the U.S. or Canada, except for his snowpants -- I did really well this year, keeping away from Chinese crap.  I got him a super cool eating utensil set shaped like Tonka toys, with a plate to go with them -- designed and manufactured in Ann Arbor, and a Bento box to take on hikes, stroller rides, visits to Grammie's.  A new school bus from Green Toys, made from recycled plastic in California.  A zip up hoody with shirt and karate pants from Los Angeles (American Apparel Co.) and a book called Quiet Loud, very cute!

But......the best gift of all was this sled, which Denver climbed right into, as if he knew just what to do:
I was positively giddy when I discovered this wonderful, made in Vermont, sled from American Traders!  It is so well made compared to the crap I was finding in the local stores.  Do I care that it cost more?  Heck no!  The quality more than makes up for the difference in price, made of ash and maple and screwed together.  The padding was made in Rhode Island - yeah!!  I know this one will last.  The one below that I looked at last week was actually put together with a staple gun -- a staple gun???

How long do you think that one (made in Canada, sorry to say) would have lasted?
Here's my little bundle of energy pushing his sled with Holly's old baby doll in it:

He had to stop, catch his breath, and examine his new ride:

Holly also tried his snowpants on him:

Just a touch long but will be fine with some boots on.  Mike put Denver's camouflage boots on that I got him last summer but they are so rigid he couldn't walk in them.  Maybe that's like women's high heeled shoes -- just meant for sitting not walking.
This pic was taken just about the time he tried to walk and couldn't because of the boots and then he just kind of crumpled to the floor and his boots came off!

I sure enjoyed my visit and my time with them always goes by much too quickly.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

1 Day Left

There is only one day left for folks to buy their last minute Christmas gifts and food for their meal on Tuesday.  I felt pretty darn smug today as I watched the panicked shoppers, desperate for ANYTHING at Costco.  Shelves were bare, refrigerated compartments emptied -- it's an amazing sight.

Things were worse at Kohl's and Bed, Bath & Beyond -- hopeless stares, frantic searches, and sweating shoppers were all around.  But not I.  Nearly complete I had but one mission today -- to find a four place setting box of Corelle dishes for my Mom, who seems to be chipping, cracking, and breaking her current set.  I'm sure the old dishes are too heavy for her arthritic hands and the new set I picked up will be lighter and break-resistant.

It's late so I don't have time to post pictures from my Christmas celebration yesterday with Holly, Mike, and Denver, so stay tuned and I should be able to upload the pictures tomorrow.

Have a great week!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Baby Reese

My precious great-niece who is now 6 months old, wearing the last thing I knit -- a cashmere headband.  Isn't she beautiful??!!  Can't wait to see her again next week -- she is getting so big!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


There are always going to be stupid people in the world and people who do stupid things -- not always the same thing.

Today while driving to work I couldn't figure out why the @#%& car ahead of me was going 60 mph in the fast lane on the expressway.  Once I was able to switch lanes and pass her I COULD NOT believe what I saw.  A 60ish year old woman was putting on mascara while she was driving her car.  Honking at her had zero effect as she just continued to apply her makeup.  I was stunned and proceeded to zip ahead as I did not want anything to do with that train wreck waiting to happen.

I read a comment in the news today that struck me as equally stupid.  "Her hobby was guns."  Really???!!!!  Well I'm willing to bet my last fat quarter that if she was like me and her hobby was sewing, 26 innocent people would still be alive today and enjoying the holidays with their families.  I'll take my stash of fabric, tools, books, sewing machines and all that goes with 'em over a collection of guns any day.

Nothing wrong with my priorities.  As they say in the texting world, SMH.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sandy's Quilt Top

This has been a bad year for the name Sandy -- first there was the terrible hurricane that hit the east coast of the U.S. and then there was the unspeakable shootings murders at the Sandy Hook Elementary last Friday.

Both events have impacted me personally.  Then again, isn't everyone impacted?  My niece lives in New Jersey and worked in Manhattan when the storm hit.  She had no power or cell service yet was expected to show up for her nursing job so three patients could have their face lifts performed by the doctor she worked for, just two days after the storm.  Huh??  Talk about misplaced priorities. It took weeks to get the mail delivery back to normal and the area around her cleaned up.

This past week's shooting was so difficult to learn about.  How could anyone shoot a room full of 1st graders?  It's like shooting fish in a barrel.  My daughter teaches special ed students in an elementary school 50 miles from my home.  I asked her if their building had any sort of emergency plan for such an event and she said no.  Seems like they better get one together, like yesterday!  In her former district they had underground tunnels they used for their drills, leftover from the Cold War days back in the 1950s.

I don't understand how anyone with any history with mental illness should be able to legally possess a gun.  How could they not be a danger to themselves as well as others?  Thank goodness my hands are too weak to shoot a gun -- I can't imagine being steady enough in an emergency to even get a shot off.  I think I'd pee my pants or faint first.  Or worse, have it used on me instead.

Sometimes when there is so much ugliness and sadness in the world around you, it helps to have a thing of beauty to distract you.  Here is my friend Sandy's wonderful, awesome creation.  She used Marcia Derse fabrics to make herself a quilt to mark her 75th birthday (at least she's having a good year) and I can tell you that no one would ever guess that Sandy is 75.  She inspires me.  And so does Marcia -- I need to get back to cutting and sewing all the fabrics I have bought from Marcia.  It would almost be worth it to be 'on vacation' again so I could get some serious sewing time.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Merry Chicken Christmas

Today was our annual Chicken group Christmas, hosted most deliciously by Joyce.  This is a day I look forward to each year, beginning the day after the last one!

We had a fabulous cocktail of the day, wonderful food, and plenty of great conversation.  We take an annual picture together:

We also swap a $10 gift from Home Goods.  I got some terrific storage containers in a wire basket, wrapped in some beautiful hand-dyed fabric from Deb (second from right in front row).  I'm using one of the containers to take soup to work for my lunch tomorrow.  My roommate has made boatloads of soup this weekend, but that's another post....

I received wonderful homemade treats from several chickens:
Homemade pita chips, fabulous caramels, delicious mini chocolate chip cake, and truffles from Trader Joe's -- absolutely no chance of dropping any weight before Erica's wedding in less than two weeks.  Then again, you don't have to worry about me starving either.  I love the new dishcloth from Carol and the Gas Gloves & Mary Kay Satin Hand mini set from Joyce.

I stayed up late last night until 1 am this morning sewing 10 of these mini bags for my treats for the Chickens:
Please excuse the lousy picture.  Inside I put some yummy caramels and some Guylian Chocolates -- gotta have something to sustain us while we sew!

Deb showed this wonderful quilt that she finished for her grandson:

Jackie showed a beautiful quilt that she made for her physical therapist who has been so good to her:
It was a kit that she bought from Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr at their booth at the AQS show in Grand Rapids last August.

Makes me want to SEW!!!  But alas, I will be back at work tomorrow, working feverishly to write more test cases for a website I've only just learned of, although I think a lot of us could stand to visit:  There are all kinds of tips for helping folks understand credit and find ways to make their financial situations better.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Where is Everyone???

Sure is quiet around here.  Not a single comment on my last post.  Are you all busy shopping for the holidays?  

In case you're a crafty soul and are looking for some last minute projects here's a great blog post with several quick items for you to whip up.  I just might make some of those slippers myself!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Quilt Camp Report

I returned from Quilt Camp today and I am both invigorated and whipped!  Is that possible??!!  I started camp on Thursday with my misbehaving Featherweight -- arghh!  The bobbin case was just spinning and spinning and the machine would not stitch at all.  I called my roommate and he brought out my Juki to me instead on Friday morning.  I was SO grateful -- such a good son!

While I had nothing to sew on I took a few pictures of the Sandhill Cranes that were picking through the cornfield across from the inn:

We had several workshops, not all of which I enjoyed, and yet I managed to get a good hunk of sewing done.  I worked on a few things for our Holiday Bazaar at this coming Thursday's GLHQ meeting, and I hope to get a few more things done before then.  

Here are the blocks that our group made from our Improvisational Piecing class with Heather:

My contribution:

A camper named Sharon worked on this top while she was there:

I also made some bags from a pattern by Jeni Baker and here is one of them:

Our Quilt Camp hostess Brenda taught an English paper piecing workshop and here is my effort:
I've done EPP before and was reminded of my long ago project that needs completion -- hmmm, when will I get back to that one??

In the meantime, the innkeeper knocked my smartphone to the floor and the screen cracked like a wicked mirror breaking.  Double Arghh!!!  I found out tonight it would cost me over $500 to replace the phone but I can try to have it repaired at the Phone Doctor store in Southfield.  And before you leave a comment, NO I DON'T HAVE INSURANCE ON IT!  So guess where I'm going to be tomorrow night after work?  Nope, not sewing in my Craft Cave -- I'll be trying to get my phone screen replaced.  The innkeeper offered to pay for breaking it so I'll see how much it costs and decide about that.

Just for kicks I watched a YouTube video on the screen replacement process and you have no idea how complicated it is.  I watched in awe as the video maker painstakingly removed, unhooked, and slipped intricate piece after intricate piece out of the way in the phone so he could heat up the cracked glass and pry it off the phone.  I knew in an instant that this repair was not for amateurs.  I've fixed lots of things in my life out of necessity or for the challenge of it but I know when I've met my match and need to yield to the professionals.

I'll be taking my roommate's advice and putting Saran wrap on my phone for now to protect my fingers and hopefully they'll be able to fix it tomorrow.  I expect I'll have to drop it off and take home a loaner phone.  What a drag....

Sunday, December 2, 2012

MIA no more

I have had so much going on for the last week and a half I haven't had time to blog at all!  I haven't even had time to read my favorite blogs, found in my blog rolls on the left side of my blog.  Ugh.

What have I been up to????  

  • Well, I've been cleaning and organizing a bunch.  
  • Replaced all of my major appliances plus my kitchen sink, faucet and disposal.  
  • Hosted my stitch group.  
  • Continuing to work and liking it a bit more.  
  • Traveled to a wonder home craft show in Ohio.
  • Bought lots of fabric from Marcia Derse and drooled over her wonderful homestead.
  • Purchased wonderful redware pottery and jewelry at the Ohio show, too.  
  • Visited the Potters Market, twice, finding gifts for people and things for me, including a fabulous mirror!  
  • Went to the Birmingham Winter Markt.  
  • Shopped for Christmas gifts at Cabela's (too bad I didn't check the website first for the coupon).
  • My roommate had his four wisdom teeth extracted.

What have I not done??  I haven't sewn a stitch since I finished my friend Mary's bag.  I'm itchin' to stitch but need to clean up my Craft Cave first and get prepared for my quilt retreat with my friend Sue at the end of this week.  SOOOOO much to do before then!  

Tuesday is the first official meeting of the DAM Modern Quilt Guild.  I don't have a thing to bring for show 'n tell so I guess I'll just be observing.  There was a vendor at the Winter Markt today who made some wonderful modern quilts and I encouraged her to attend the meeting.  I'm looking forward to seeing what this group is all about.

So in the meantime, I'm back to tidying up my Craft Cave.  Have a great week!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Remember how I made the two Pot Pinchers for my niece Erica as a belated bridal shower gift?  Do you remember how I shipped them to her in New Jersey?  I used an empty Panettone box from Costco.  I thought I was being very clever -- after all, she's marrying into a very Italian family.

Guess what?  Erica and Tommy took the Panettone box to his family's Thanksgiving celebration today.  I knew it wouldn't go well when I got home yesterday and listened to my answering machine message.  Erica and Tommy were thanking me for the gift and said they 'couldn't wait to enjoy it' on Thanksgiving Day.  Enjoy it???  Uh oh.  I knew they hadn't actually opened the box, just ripped off the brown paper I used to mail it with.

I would have given anything to be a fly on the wall at the Ferraro home today.  I can only imagine what his family must think of me.  I sure hope I didn't embarrass her.  It makes me roll on the floor laughing every time I think of her message.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tired Tootsies

I spent three hours at Home Depot tonight after work picking out things for my kitchen.  You know I'm tired when my feet ache too much to get on my tippy toes to reach the proper wine glass.  I settled for a tea mug instead.  No impact on the wine whatsoever.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Not My Cup of Tea

I'm not really liking where I'm working.  The people are too busy to help me.  They've all been there a while and just keep flying over details when I ask questions.  There's no on-boarding, nothing at all to guide me.  They have to move 100 different systems out of two data centers, splitting the info off of some and moving some servers to two new data centers (a bit too much detail there but that's my world right now).  Since I have absolutely no familiarity with banking and have never seen/used their systems I'm pretty much lost.  Just when I get a bit of confidence going, it all goes downhill fast and I feel like bailing.  

Today was awful -- the woman sitting next to me was clearly coming down with a terrible cold, much as she denied it.  She made a terribly annoying noise when she breathed, coughed, sneezed and moaned the whole day.  How I wish she had stayed home when she went home at lunch time to check on her cats and get some allergy medicine.  Clearly it was not allergies!

The one nice thing my sick cubemate did was inform me that no one would be in the office tomorrow.  They will all be working from home and that I could if I wanted to.  Since I haven't set that up yet with my boss, I'm still going in tomorrow.  Can you imagine how surprised I would have been if it was just me and a couple of other folks there?

I'm going to get busy looking for another job this weekend.  I'm getting all new appliances on Monday so I'll spend a bit of time cleaning and moving things around so the delivery guys can get in and out of the house quickly.  I also have a yard full of leaves to take care of.  Never a dull moment. :*)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Four Bags Full!

I've sewn four bags over the last few weeks.  I made one like this for my friend Sue for her birthday:
The one in the photo is mine -- I had to do a prototype first.  The fabric was too expensive to botch.  I started by making a mock-up using a really stiff interfacing material - Peltex.  Then I sewed the real bag, added an inside pocket, the tab closure (which snaps) and then the handles, reinforced with webbing.  I won't be able to carry a bowling ball in it but it should be sturdy enough for workshop supplies for our upcoming quilt retreat in December.

Next I made this fabulous wool bag for my customer Gerald to send to his sister Diane in England:

And yesterday I gave my friend Mary her birthday present:

Notice the meticulously sewn pocket???
Next time I'll remember to sew the pocket on BEFORE I sew the bag together!

Here's the inside.  I didn't let the cat out of the bag!

I'm done sewing for this weekend but I've got plenty of ideas stirring around my head.  Maybe tomorrow....

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Starts and Stops

The past couple of weeks have been busy -- passing like a blur!  I have a feeling it will be that way all the way up to 1-1-2013.

Last week I started a new job and my roommate lost his.  In a take-no-prisoners kind of work environment I give him credit for lasting as long as he did in the world of mortgage bankers.  His original training class began with over 90 people last December and when he left, fewer than 15 remained.  They chew them up and spit them out.  Thank goodness they didn't hire me!!!!

All work and no play makes for exhausted, unhappy, stressed employees.  I am actually glad it happened -- I finally get to see him for a change.  For the last 11 months many days would go by without even a sighting of him -- he left early in the morning and returned late at night, sometimes even after midnight.  How could that possibly be a good thing?  No wonder so many people left or got burned out.

Now he's hurrying up before his health and dental benefits end.  While he was working he never could fit  in his appointments.  Time to finally get those wisdom teeth extracted!

He had a non-compete clause in his package for 9 months -- does anyone know if that means he can't sell mortgages for 9 months?  Work for a bank?  Not too clear about this.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Better Late...

....than never!  I missed getting these Pot Pinchers done in time for my niece Erica's bridal shower on the 4th but never fear -- they're in the mail tonight:

I mailed them in an empty Panettone box!!  My nephew-to-be is very Italian so I know they'll get a kick when they open the box to find my hand-made goodies.

I also mailed a cute outfit to my great-niece in Georgia.  I had forgotten to give it to my niece Carla when I saw her for her sister Erica's shower.  I don't know what I hate more -- being so forgetful or being late!

While I was standing at the kiosk getting my postage inside the post office the unmistakable odor of cigarette smoke was wafting behind the drop chutes.  What the heck?  Since when can they smoke inside???  I hope my package contents are not contaminated with that odor!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Ahhhh, Weekends....

....I had forgotten how precious weekends are!  Now that I'm back to work I need to really enjoy my weekends.  This past weekend I DID!!

I went to Cloverleaf Wines with my Chicken friend Mary for an Italian wine tasting, complete with the Italian winery owner -- wonderful!  Mary's daughter Natalie joined us and was even able to speak Italian with Luca Corrado of Vietti Vineyards.  MMMM - check out their recipe page.  I was already a huge fan of their Moscato d'Asti but the other six wines on the tasting were amazing.  The wine was fantastic but the lessons from Luca about his family's ancient vineyard were delightful.  Wouldn't it be nice to have such passion for something you do?

Well, maybe I do.  I am really loving being creative these days.  I made two Pot Pinchers for my niece Erica, a week late but she'll still love them.  Next, I made a shoulder bag for my customer who lives in England:

She wanted a felted bag but I told her brother, who commissioned me, that knitting was out for now and offered to sew a wool bag instead.  He was pretty hesitant but I assured him, hoping beyond hope, that it would turn out great and she would love it.

To be certain of the color I asked that she go to the paint store and pick out a swatch that pleased her and mail it to me with the dimensions of her desired bag.  I bought the wool, etc. at Haberman Fabrics - where else?! - and got to work this weekend.  I had to modify a few things on the Butterick 4147 pattern, changing the dimensions, adding much more fusible interfacing to stiffen it, and a magnetic snap closure.  The button options were put out on Facebook for input and the one above was chosen.  It's a beautiful blue polka dot ceramic button from Marcia Hovland, sewn on top of a plastic Dill button.  The wool/silk lining is the same yellow as the felted bag I made for Diane last year.

I delivered the bag tonight and I think he was surprised.  I am pretty darn sure that Diane will be pleased and am eager to hear the feedback.

It is so nice to be able to leave my Juki set up in my Craft Cave, ready to sew whenever I feel like it or have the time.  For some people that probably sounds silly but for anyone who likes to create I'm sure that sounds wonderful.

If only every day was a weekend day!!  Wait....while I was out of work every day was a weekend day!

Friday, November 9, 2012


Today I felt like bailing from my new job.  In five days I sat at four different desks, no supplies, no on-boarding tools, and to top it off, a boss who was surly at every turn.  I don't think I've had someone treat me so poorly - ever!

I had a touch-base call with another person I support and I flat out told her I was considering bailing.  She told me how the project timeline had drastically changed and everything was in disarray, leading the boss to be out of sorts.  Charla told me that they really wanted me to start now rather than risk losing me to another job, just because their project start date got pushed back to January.

All day long I was looking at emails from more recruiters pursuing me and thinking how miserable the current situation was.  I was THIS close to calling my headhunter and telling her I didn't want to come back.  But Charla asked me to return on Monday, that she and Bindu, the other person I support, really wanted me and said things would get better.

I.  Hope.  So.

I've already learned a few things, including Microsoft Outlook, and next week I'll take some training classes on some testing tools I haven't used before so maybe I'll tough it out.  But I'm telling you one thing -- if that snarky girl doesn't straighten out her attitude I'll be gone.

Oh, and they expect me to work the day after Thanksgiving -- I haven't done that in nearly 30 years!  Arghh!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

New Beginnings

Today I started my new job as a contract employee at Ally Financial.  I managed to be 3 minutes late.  I know, I know.  Not a good way to start but I headed down the road without my readers and knew I couldn't get very far at the office without them.  I doubled back to the house and grabbed a pair and zipped down the highway to work.

The person I was to contact didn't seem overly enthusiastic to see me and I figured out later on that it was probably due to another co-worker being absent and it was most likely that gal who was supposed to be showing me the ropes.

With just a couple of calls to the Help Desk (actually was helpful for a change) I had my new laptop up and running and access to Outlook (yikes - new to me) and the company website.  I had a couple of calls with the gals I'll be supporting and then spent the rest of the day reading documents and learning about Outlook using Microsoft's online tutorials.

They don't have a cafeteria in the building so you have to bring your lunch, eat out or order delivery.  Today I had Jimmy John's deliver and ate by myself in their break room, surrounded by tables full of Indians - amazing.

Tomorrow I'm taking a lunch, once I figure out where I stuck my insulated lunch sack.  And I'm packing an extra pair of readers in my laptop bag!

Sunday, November 4, 2012


I had all sorts of plans for my latest 'vacation' from work.  I managed to get a lot of things sorted out, given away, and cleaned up.  I wasn't nearly as creative as I wish I had been and now that I'm going back to work tomorrow I'm definitely worried that my crafting time will dwindle down to precious few hours each week.  Oh how I wish I had gotten more accomplished.

Take today for instance.  Today was my niece Erica's bridal shower.  I had finished the quilt I wanted to give her:
But I didn't finish the Pot Pinchers I had planned on making for her.  Darn, darn, darn.  Actually I was saying far worse things this morning as I knew I couldn't get them done in time.  I'll finish them tomorrow but I really wanted to give them to her today.  In the end, though, I couldn't kick myself too hard because I knew I had finished a wonderful quilt that Erica and Tommy will enjoy for years to come.  I had also bought many items off of their Crate & Barrel registry which were shipped to Tommy's parents' home in Pennsylvania.

Tommy & Erica live in New Jersey, which was devastated by Hurricane Sandy last week.  It's really incredible to see the damage from the storm.  I'm so grateful they were safe, even though they were without power or cell phone service.  Tommy even had to drive Erica to her job in Manhattan on Wednesday where she had to assist her doctor with three face lift surgeries.  Can you imagine that people actually expected to go through with their surgeries after that terrible storm??  That astounds me.  Such a vain act in the midst of such carnage.

I also wuzgunna take an outfit today to give to my niece Carla for my great-niece Reese.  Darn, darn, darn.  Left it on the chair in my living room.  I guess I'll send that down to Georgia around the same time I send the Pot Pinchers to Erica.  What a dope I am!  I also went to the shower with my Nikon camera, left it sitting on a table in the restaurant's vestibule, remembered while eating my meal and then jumped up like I had caught fire.  I rescued it from the manager's office only to discover the battery was dead.  Ugh!

I did manage to use my new Toro Blower to blow my leaves to the curb this afternoon.  We'll have leaf pickup on Thursday so I'm glad to get that task done.

For now, I'm going to get ready for bed, put my PJs on and read a new quilt book.  That should put me to sleep quickly and I hope to get a good night's sleep before I start my job tomorrow.

Hope you had a great weekend and enjoy the week ahead!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Vacation Ending?

Everything happens for a reason, right?  I found out today that I didn't get the job I thought I wanted.  Maybe I didn't really want it after all.  As I sat through the gruelling interview with six different team leaders, all from various departments, I did have a slight inkling that it wasn't for me.  I liked the people in the room but wondered if I really had what they were searching for.  One gal in particular seemed to come at me full force and it was at that precise moment that I decided it wasn't meant to be.

I would have taken the job had they offered it to me but would I really have been happy?  Maybe not.  I think there are other positions in the company I would have preferred and hopefully, if it's meant to be, they'll realize I am a better fit for those and it will come to be.

Maybe they didn't like that I pointed out that the link in their website career page did not point back to the page it said it would.  I dunno......

Anyhow, I might be starting my new contract position or not tomorrow morning with another company.  The recruiter called today to say I would start today but the email she sent later in the day said my first day is next Monday.  Confused??  Me too!  I'm fine if I start next Monday - I've got plenty of stitching to do before my niece's bridal shower on Sunday and could use a few more days of 'vacation'.

Monday, October 29, 2012

New Phone

I was having problems with the Samsung Galaxy S III that I got back in August at Costco.  I tried getting it 'adjusted' at the store on Saturday and finally gave up on it Sunday.  The keyboard kept crapping out on me and it was making me nuts!

So thank goodness I was able to find my receipt, box, etc. and I hauled it all over to the store and got a replacement.  Unfortunately I lost all of my calendar entries except for birthdays.  Darn, darn, darn.  At least the keyboard is functioning properly, so far, and I'm no longer yelling at my phone!  Now I have to reload my apps and ringtones.  It's hard to remember all that I had.  At least when I was getting a new computer at work I would take a screenshot of the desktop and programs pages so I would be able to remember!  And no, I didn't have the kind of backup software on my phone to help with that.  But now I do!!

The winds are howling tonight -- hoping all my family and friends are safe in the path of Hurricane Sandy.......

Friday, October 26, 2012

Is it me??

I'm telling you one thing, this looking for a job stuff is very labor intensive!  Who knew??!!  At the risk of sounding like a braggart I can hardly keep track of all the emails and phone calls.  I must have the kind of résumé that people are looking for right now.

Aside from Quicken Loans, all of the potential jobs are coming to me from staffing agencies/recruiters/job boards.  Unfortunately some of the same jobs are coming to me from different sources.  It's like some sort of game, like Concentration - trying to remember who said what and which descriptions sound remarkably similar.

While running errands today I got a call from the agency that is placing me at Ally Financial next week for a four month assignment.  They said they needed my W2 forms from 2005-2010 before I could start on Monday.  MONDAY???? I said.  I'm supposed to start on 11/1.  Oh, she said, the contract said on or about 11/1.  Hmmmmmm.  They had asked when I wanted to start and I said 11/1 -- what's so complicated about that?

After a little go-round, I told them the earliest I could start would be 10/31, but I'd prefer 11/1.  I've got things lined up to do every day until then.  Jeez.  I've got an in-person interview with Quicken Loans on Tuesday -- keep your fingers crossed that I like them and they like me.

All this stress is leading to one thing:
Nothing like a delicious treat to cure what ails ya!  Oh, and maybe a glass of good Ripasso to down it with!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

St. Anthony......

....please help me!!  I have misplaced several items and need help finding them ASAP!  Please send out a prayer to St. Anthony that these items show up tomorrow!!
1. Receipt for cell phone
2. Finished quilt top for niece
3. My mind!

Thank you.

UPDATE:  I said a prayer and boom -- I found the quilt top, border fabric, backing fabric, and binding fabric -- YEAH!!!.  Now I just need to find the other items.  At least I will be able to sleep a bit better.

I have a difficult decision to make tomorrow and need some warm thoughts about that too, if you're so inclined.

P.S. -- Found my phone receipt and now I just have to find my mind!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Keep on Keepin' On

I'm still searching for a new job even though I've been offered a contract position that should last 4 months.  It could go longer but since there are no benefits and it's not permanent, I'm keeping my options open.  Once I sort through the 2 dozen forms I need to complete and send back on Monday, I need to schedule my drug test.  I've never taken a drug test before.  Back in 1984 when I hired in with MetLife it wasn't even dreamed of.

Tomorrow I'm getting together with my Chicken friends to make charity quilts.  We're following the Jelly Roll Race technique as demonstrated so well by the Missouri Star Quilt Company.

It will a lot of fun and we hope to be very productive!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Gyleen's Workshops

Friday's workshop got off to a bumpy start when I realized I had forgotten to bring the ironing boards, irons, extension cords, and power strips -- yikes!  Thank goodness Joyce thought to call Diane who was on her way and able to swing by the church where they were stored and haul them over to the church where the workshop was being held.  I was so grateful!!!

Gyleen's workshops were well attended and everyone learned so much while enjoying themselves at the same time. 

Gyleen's Pineapple Tool really helped make the blocks, as demonstrated by our guild president Sandy:

Gitta and Joyce were among the hard-workers putting together their pineapple blocks:

As you can see, piles of scraps were the name of the game for Friday's Trash to Treasure Pineapple workshop:

The blocks that everyone made were so wonderful:

Our enjoyable day was topped off by a delicious dinner at a nearby new-to-me restaurant, 'The Hills City Grille'.  Pumpkin Pie Martinis were the drink of the day -- woohoo!

Saturday's workshop, which I actually participated in, was 'The Quilt of the Century' and used primarily 6 1/2" squares combined with 3" squares to make a fabulous design.  I didn't take as many pictures because I was too busy cutting and sewing!

Fran's auditioning pile:

Sue got pretty far on her quilt top:

Fran and Jo brought their portable tables, which work great because you can adjust the height and face each other!

This is as far as I got with my quilt top.  I have a long way to go to finish it but I really enjoyed learning the Butterfly seaming technique and will complete it and use it to make another quilt - black, white, and red next time.