Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Big "4"

Today is my 4th Blogoversary!  That means I have been keeping this online journal for the past 4 years -- amazing to me.  As I've said before, I don't think that I kept a diary for four weeks when I was young, much less 4 years.  So tomorrow starts my 5th year and I think that means I'll be having a give-away!  I've got a lot on my plate, including a trip up north to finally see Holly & Mike's up north house.  It's an early birthday present (?) but somehow I'm bringing most of the food.  Hmmmm.

Whether you've been following me for a week or all four years, I really do appreciate you checking in on me and seeing what's going on in my life.  Sometimes it's good, sometimes not so much, but it all evens out and overall I have a pretty good life.  Could I use a job?  Sure.  Do I wish my roommate would finally move out?  Absolutely.  But I'll take the life I have over the life many people have.  It's not perfect but it's mine!

Monday, February 25, 2013


I spent most of the day today selecting the wools for my Bittersweet Briar quilt workshop with Kim Diehl next month.  I have a LOT of wool from my dyeing days and that makes it harder to pick them out.  You'd think it would be better but NOOOO, it just makes the whittling down process that much slower.

You can see from the picture that there are many pieces needed for this quilt.  I'm eager to take the class and show you my results.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Picking Fabric

I'm not very fast at most things but choosing fabric and piecing a quilt top I'm definitely the pokiest person around.  Yesterday I went out to Creative Quilts in Brighton with my friend Sue and I picked out more striped fabrics for what used to be a pillow but now seems like it's growing into a quilt.

Today I thought I'd get ahead of the game and pick out the fabrics for my upcoming Kim Diehl workshops.  I really admire people who can practically close their eyes and choose just the right fabrics off the shelves that hold their fabric stashes.  That's not me.  I hem and haw, pick out, put back, then shop some more.  After yet another completely unsatisfying visit to my local cranky shop, I think I'm done with them.  No need to give my money to them when they can't even say hello when I enter the shop.

So I returned home to re-examine my current options.  I've nailed down the fabrics for the Gathering Garden workshop.  This time I got a real whiz-bang idea -- I used my label making machine to match the fabrics I chose to the pattern pieces.  Pretty slick, eh?

And I've decided on the background fabric but I'm still waffling on the tan fabrics for the center of the quilt:

And that's the sum of my day's efforts.  Tomorrow I'll choose the wool fabrics for the other workshop with Kim.  If I don't return by Tuesday, send out a search crew.  I've got a job interview on Tuesday that I better show up for!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Done, Done.....

....Diddley Done!  My taxes are done for the year!  Thank goodness it's all over with.  I'm getting a refund from the IRS and have to pay the state.  Oh well.  It's all good.  I'm going to file everything away tomorrow -- no more stockpiling paperwork.

Now, I can sew, sew, sew!!!  Look for more creative updates this weekend!  For now I'm tossing back a glass or two of wine, enjoying some Bella Vitano cheese, and watching episodes of The Young & The Restless on my computer -- a real hot Friday night, eh?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Good Times

Never mind the bad days of the last few weeks.  I'm on a good roll these days.  Yesterday I met Holly and Denver at Costco, where Denver set his sights on this:
Nearly 18 months old now -- hard to believe it!  My sister Denise said he's allowed to sit on the ATV because he can't read yet.

After leaving them, I headed out to Mabelena Quilt Shop in Ortonville where I shopped for some striped fabrics for a new pillow project.  I ran into my old friend Colleen and it was so nice to get caught up with her.  

From there I drove out to Lapeer to check out a new quilt shop, Sew Crazy, which opened last December.  It was a very cute shop and I hope they do well.  I saw another old friend Chris, who was there as a representative for Signature threads.  I can't wait to try their new threads.

For dinner last night I stopped at my favorite little restaurant in Royal Oak, CafĂ© Muse.  Bartender Chris welcomed me back and said he had missed me and hoped I was feeling better.  Seems my friend Sue and her husband were there last week and mentioned I had been too stinking sick to come out.  Chris even gave me my first cocktail for free as a welcome back token.  MMM, MMM, good.

Today I drove my friends Sue and Mary down to the Detroit Institute of Arts to see a special exhibit of Van Gogh's painting Bedroom in Arles, on loan from the Louvre!!!  If you live in Wayne, Oakland, or Macomb county your admission to the museum is FREE!  Well, it's part of the taxes we pay but still -- no excuse not to go!

We weren't allowed to photograph the Van Gogh but we did snap shots of other pieces, including this wonderful mosaic:

And I absolutely loved this wooden cabinet with its intricate inlaid patterns.  I immediately thought 'what a wonderful quilt design'......

Sorry for the slightly blurry camera phone pictures.

I took Mary and Sue over to Detroit Eastern Market where we had a delicious lunch at Supino Pizzeria, a place they'd never been too.  In fact Mary hadn't been to Eastern Market in years and surprisingly, Sue had NEVER been.  We went to the Rocky Peanut Company and several other shops.

I love getting out and spending time with friends and family.  After being cooped up in my house for nearly two weeks, I'm due for some fun!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


I'm making great headway in my quest to de-clutter and organize my paperwork.  I'm still not ready to get started on my taxes but maybe that will come this weekend.  I need a quiet house to do that!

Yesterday while going through my documents and figuring out which ones should be shredded I re-discovered a letter I wrote back in 1993.  Yep.  That long ago.  And you know what???  It made me angry all over again to read it.  Back then my ex-husband was in arrears in child support by several thousand dollars.  When I needed him to sign the agreement to finally sell our mobile home so that I could get the mortgage on my house he said he would not unless I signed HIS document telling Friend of the Court not to pursue the arrears through garnishment.  With both of my young children in the room I could not argue with him and that made me soooo mad.  He had me where he wanted me -- I couldn't risk losing out on my house so I had to sign his damn letter.

Finding that letter in my file box made all that anger surface once more.  Such a spiteful, flat out wrong thing to do.  He owed the money and I had gone months and months without the proper support.  Somehow he thought the $20 he was getting away with paying to me each week was satisfactory but apparently the court thought otherwise.  I had no choice but to sign that letter that day and I hated the control he had over me.  So many people think he's so nice but I know the real man and I'm grateful that he's not in my life.

Oh, and the letter -- I shredded it, along with all of the other child support papers.  Done, done, diddley done.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Clutter Control

Some days I hate being a grown up.  I would like nothing better than to play with my fabric, cut up a bunch and get some serious sewing done.  But nooooooo!!!  I need to behave myself and get some serious organizing done instead.  Oh the injustice of it all.

I have been way too neglectful of my paperwork for close to a year now.  I've got all sorts of manuals, registration forms (uh-oh), insurance statements, severance paperwork, mortgage changeover documents, home improvement receipts, you name it, in so many different places, stacked here and there.  I hate when it's like this but it is always so much easier to just stack it in a pile.  So now I have to organize them into proper files:

I've come to realize that I have four, yes FOUR, file boxes.  Egad.  Now I'm in a purging mode.  Shred this. Toss that.  I have another box in my closet of leftover Christmas cards from probably each of 10 years.  Probably never gonna use them so tell me again why I saved them??

I found tax documents going back to 1996.  Don't believe me? 
Maybe YOU know why I've kept them.  I think I'll be firing up the shredder tomorrow morning.

I've got divorce documents (1992) and their accompanying child support documents.  My original mortgage documents from 1993 (I've refinanced twice) -- how long should I hang on to those?

And then there's my fire-proof box which contains things like my high school diploma, social security card, birth certificate and my ponytail cut off when I was eight years old. of those things might not belong there.

I always hate doing this type of clean up but when I'm done I always feel much better.  I think if I get a big garbage bag out and am cut-throat about it, I'll be much happier.  I really don't like living with the piles here and there and I definitely know I'll sleep better when all the clutter is cut down to down and put in its place.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Happy Friday!

Another week has come and gone -- thank goodness for the weekend!  I'm really hoping to get out to see Holly and her family this weekend.  She's off school for the next two weeks for winter break and I know I'll be out there a time or two.

I haven't heard anything on the job at Ford Motor but I've been following up on other leads.  I'm sure I sound like a braggart, which I really don't mean to do, but there are so many opportunities out there it's really crazy.  I spoke to one contract house this morning before I even got out of my pajamas about a testing job at Comerica Bank, which is right next door to my last job at Ally Financial.  Two things going for Comerica -- higher pay and they have a cafeteria in the building!  I sent my resume off to two more recruiters this afternoon, one out-of-the-blue company, and one that I've been in touch with before.  I'm telling you one thing (as my Grandma DuCharme used to say), this looking for a job IS work.

I ran over to Costco this morning to get ink for my Canon printer.  I bought 'just a few' things besides ink.  Outfits for Denver, steak, mushrooms, polenta, spinach, broccoli salad, a trio of popcorn from the travelling vendor, Parmesan cheese, some breakfast crackers I overheard a shopper raving about, Zyrtec, Prilosec, contact lens solution, and a ginormous rock Cornish game hen for Sunday supper - if it thaws in time!  It's always more dangerous to shop there when you're hungry.  But I didn't buy the cordless wine bottle opener (on clearance for $14.99....) or the Downton Abbey blu-ray, or another chunk of Bella Vitano cheese, or the nice 3x5 foot wool rug (no more wool rugs until the dog and the roommate move out) or the lovely bunch of sunflowers I perused.

It was a productive day.  Did some more paper tossing -- how does it accumulate sooooo fast??!!  Hoping to get more cleaning done this weekend -- it's so nice to feel good again.  Isn't it amazing when your nose is all plugged up and you're coughing out your lungs, that eventually you WILL feel better and breath again freely and not cough all the time and forget about how it was not so long ago that neither of these things were possible??!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Interview Day

Thank goodness I'm not working right now.  After seeing my doctor yesterday, I think I'm going back again tomorrow.  My nausea is just dreadful and tonight I got something at the drug store that the pharmacist recommended - sure hope it works.  On top of everything, my prescription drug coverage appears to be nearly non-existent so I'm going to have to call both MetLife and Blue Care Network to figure it out.  I'll have to find some other plan if I can't resolve that.

Sunday I had to shop for a suit to wear for today's job interview at Ford.  Thankfully, the alteration guy near my house was able to shorten the pants, take in the waist, and shorten the sleeves on the jacket, and did it all yesterday -- I dropped them off at 11:30 and picked them up at 4:30 -- amazing.

I stayed in bed today until 11:30 am.  Pretty much the last possible moment before heading into the shower to prepare for my interview.  I'm not eating much right now but the weight is certainly not falling off yet, so you can stop worrying :*).

I think my interview went pretty well and I did feel pretty snappy in my suit.  We'll see how they decide.  I'm still looking........

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Bad Spell

After a week of being sick I'm ready to turn the corner.  I gave up on my antibiotic after 4 days as I was so nauseous I could barely eat -- not like me at all.  I suffered through the final days of work at Ally hacking and sneezing, and yesterday was thankfully my last day.

But all this pales in comparison to the extraordinarily sad news that my daughter Holly has miscarried again.  At her four month check up the doctor could not detect the baby's heartbeat.  Holly and Mike are crushed and I am so worried for them.  This is the second miscarriage in eight months for them and now they are searching for answers.  

I hadn't thought a lot about it before now, but I'm afraid I may have something to do with this and it is weighing on me heavily.  When I was first pregnant with Holly my doctor prescribed a medication to ease my  unending morning sickness.  It was later taken off the market and now looks like it could be connected with her problems.  I realize in my head that I didn't do anything wrong but my heart is heavy with guilt nonetheless.

I'm not looking forward to having this conversation with Holly but she needs to let her doctor know about my taking this drug, even though I only took it for a very short while.  Maybe this knowledge will help her doctor treat her or at least answer some of their questions.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Feeling Whipped

After a horrific asthma attack last night (yes, I'm using my inhaler again) and a dreadful cough that's made my throat absolutely raw, I've now moved into a drippy cold.  I had a window of about 3 hours earlier today when I thought the worst was behind me but NOOOOO.  Now I'm walking around tissues in my pockets, tissues in my sleeve, tissues stuffed in my nostrils!  I've taken some Nyquil and I'm hoping that will do the trick as I really do need to be in the office tomorrow.

I got the word today from one recruiter that a position at GM I was after had been filled.  Not to fear, I got a call from a recruiter I spoke to last Friday that Ford wants to interview me next Monday -- yeehaw!  Wish me luck!!  I also received a call today from another recruiter about another job and he will submit me for that one tomorrow.  There really are a lot of openings out there and it's very encouraging.  The right job will be coming my way, I just know it.

One thing I did today while I was home suffering was to opt out of getting Yellow Pages books.  They've made them so small and are using such a micro small font, I never use them anyway and just toss them in the recycling box when they are delivered.  So if you're like me and would rather use the Internet to find information, go to and follow the directions for opting out.  Saves the landfill space!

Monday, February 4, 2013


Yesterday I woke up with a sore throat, earache, and wicked deep cough. I went over to the closest urgent care clinic. Ugh. There were several patients there ahead of me but it still seems like an hour and a half is a long time to be there. The examining room had no heat so I was getting chilly while I sat on the examining table for over a half hour.  So much for 'the doctor will be right in'.
I had to ask the doctor to examine my throat and ears (forgot to ask him to check my nose).  Maybe I'm fussy but it seems like that would have been standard protocol considering the symptoms I presented.
I left with two prescriptions and after picking up supplies at the drug store I've been confined to my bedroom.  I slept most of the day today, taking an unpaid day off work. I did get some hexies made this afternoon so at least I've been a little productive. Not sure if I'm going to work or not tomorrow -- depends on how much sleep I get tonight and how much better I feel. I've got to get rid of this horrible cough - my chest and throat hurt so much!

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Do you think it was a crazy coincidence that when I pulled up to my Mom's apartment with dinner last night, that the odometer on my car read this:
on the same day that the Dow Jones closed over 14000 points for the first time in years?  Amazing....