Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Close don't feed the bunny

You've heard that close doesn't count except in horseshoes, right? Well, this is what happens when Kristin has too much caffeine. We were playing cards last night, and someone said something was close, and out came "close don't feed the bunny" from my mouth. Don't know why. It just did. My mother is very amused by the phrase (I crack her up all the time - just no one else thinks I'm funny) and she is convinced that I've coined a phrase that will spread worldwide. Okay, Mom. Whatever.

I did have a cool thing happen yesterday that is the real reason I'm blogging today. I had set up appointments to get my oil changed and to go to the eye doctor (I haven't gotten to the cool part yet). I was done REALLY early with my oil change, so I'm sitting in the parking lot of Costco (wholesale warehouse like Sam's or BJ's) talking on the the phone and trying to get hold of my insurance company. (That's still not the cool part - but don't you love the suspense???) I was talking to Bill (since my insurance company wasn't open yet due to the weather, and this still isn't the cool part) and saw a pickup truck trying to back out of a space and spinning a wheel. And spinning. And spinning. And spinning. And spinning. (Did I mention he was spinning? And this isn't even the cool part, but it's coming up really soon.) So after I got off the phone with Bill, I decided to offer to push because it didn't appear he was going anywhere otherwise and no one else was coming to his aid. If I were having trouble, I'd sure want someone to help me. Now I'm not strong, but let's say that I could put my weight into it. :-p I also learned how to push a vehicle out of spots when I lived in New York and when to push and how to push, so I wasn't a newbie. Anyway, between my pushing and his pushing with one leg out the door :-) we got him out of the hole he had burned in the ice with his right rear tire.

As someone who receives help much more than can give it, it felt so great to be on the helping end for once. It made me smile most of the day. The guy was really grateful as he honked and waved as he pulled away, and that makes it all the better. It made me feel better about mankind in general, and that I'm not a totally useless sac of protoplasm on the face of the earth - who wouldn't feel good about that?

Thanks for putting up with my story. I just felt so blessed because there was something I could do. And because it came in handy for once to be overweight. ;-) Had I been the 135-150 pounds I'm supposed to be, I don't think I would have been much help. There's just something cool about being in the right place at the right time.

Well, I'd better get back to the family (who said they're going to be at our house until spring because of all the snow we have). Bill's at the next door neighbor's house right now looking for eggs for corn bread to go with the chili Mom is making... it's closer than walking to the grocery store in 10" of snow. Sounds like he scored three eggs. Woo hoo!! :-) See what I mean about usually being the person in need? :-p

I hope you all have a blessed Christmas and a very happy and healthy new year. If you're in the snow like we are, be safe and warm.

Blessings,
Kristin

Monday, December 22, 2008

Made it to work....

...but not uneventfully.

The van wasn't getting out of where it was parked, so we carpooled. I didn't realize when I got to the P&R that I would be driving (though I was ready if I had to). Since I did well in the snow, I didn't think about ice (I figured it would all be compact snow - that's what I get for thinking). Two people had chains and didn't want to drive with them should the roads be bare later (not good for the chains, the tires, or the road), so I drove the four of us that showed up. Long story short is that I did a fishtail and a 180 on a patch of ice on 405 (no harm, no foul - God was SO looking out for me!!!). After that, one of the more experienced drivers took over driving my car. So we're all safe and he has temporary custody of my car in his building's parking garage while we're at work. :-) There are actually a lot of people at work today, surprising for the weather and for the fact that people can take three vacation days and get two weeks off due to the holiday schedule Boeing has. Some did take vacation, of course, but there's a lot of chatter over the walls, so there must be quite a few people here. Bill walked toward the park and ride (about 1.5 miles away) since the busses weren't going any further north than that) and at one point decided that he was nuts for being out and was going to turn back for home and work from there. He gave a bus five minutes and then he would turn back, and a bus came along. So he made it to work (not sure if that's good or bad, but he's there). I had left him a voicemail asking him to call me when he had a chance - I didn't want to email him with the "news."

Bill and I had a nice hibernation weekend. I beat Bill at cards (but not by much), he got some cleaning done in preparation for my parents coming up on Wednesday for Christmas, I played on the computer a bit (but not here, obviously - mostly iTunes) and facebook). We got some presents wrapped, got the snow and ice off my car, and unearthed the front steps. The car took a while - there was some nasty ice underneath the snow. I don't know how much snow we got because the roof (and several other places on the property) had snow drifts. Cleaning the car is playing in the snow for adults, I guess. There was about another inch of snow on the car this morning when I went out. I had started the car last night and made sure I could get out with no problem (I did), so that was nice to know.

There was a snowman across the street that appeared on Saturday and got buried Saturday night / Sunday (they dug it out Sunday afternoon. This was not your average quit-in-the-middle snowman. This one came complete with shoes, a broom, a hat, and a basket. I could see the face from across the street (not sure what they used for facial features). Pretty cool.

No other stories that I've heard from other people about getting in except no one in the carpool could believe that I got out and about without chains. I like my car. :-) I thanked my Mom again for being a consideration in buying the car I have. Without thinking that I'd have to drive them around, I might have had something with two seats and rear-wheel drive. :-o

I don't know what I'll end up doing tomorrow, but I won't be doing it at work. ;-) I may sew some, and even get that Christmas table runner done (or close) that I started at the beginning of the month. Or I might end up sewing something else, or finishing a scrapbook layout (just a few embellishments and journaling missing) so I can call that finished. (Finished? Whats that???) Or maybe I'll spend all day on the computer. :-)

Stay warm and stay safe, everyone!!

Blessings,
Kristin

Friday, December 19, 2008

Boucle is my new best friend!

Okay, boucle is not for the beginner beginner (sorry, Henry Cho), but I'm a sucky knitter, and this covers the fact that I'm doing knit-knit-knit ad nauseum when I hate the way it looks in better defined yarns (like worsted). It's also covering my inconsistent stitches and inadvertent increases and the following decreases (fortunately, the project I'm doing is also forgiving of my sucky knitting). I haven't figured out hot to crochet boucle yet, though... I can't get my foundation row done because I can't see where the chains are.

Yesterday was a snow day away from work. I went to the park and ride to catch my vanpool, and the van couldn't get out of the neighborhood. I went back home, which was a piece of cake compared to Wednesday night's fiasco. 3/4 of the road was blocked with cars that couldn't get up the hill, people were being idiots (it doesn't snow often enough here for people to get a clue), and it took me a 1/2 hour to get from the P&R to home (about 2 miles). Bill ended up walking almost a mile home because his bus couldn't go anywhere at that point, so he brought home McDonald's for dinner. :-) So back to yesterday. I get the call that the van's not running, and in the 20 minutes I'd been sitting there at the park and ride, about 1/2 inch of snow had fallen, making it less than easy to get OUT of the park and ride since it's all a slope. After the third try, I finally made it to the top and headed for the exit. As I said, the road wasn't clean by any means, but there weren't a lot of people on the road, so I had a pretty uneventful drive back home.

The snow came down pretty much all day, and there were some sunbreaks that were nice. I spent a portion of the day printing out our year-end newsletters (without pictures since my printer was being stupid, even though it had brand new ink) and stuffing the letters into our Christmas cards (which still don't have stamps and might not until New Years if we can't get out tomorrow to stamp and mail). Fun fact: I figured out that my printer prints 12 pages per two rows of knitting. ;-) Then I played computer games, formatted some CD labels... OH! That's ANOTHER story! Ugh!

After putzing and futzing at work Wednesday with Word CD label templates (I hate Word), I went home and made labels for our wedding CD with photos that our friend took, and for my brother's wedding photo CD that my stepfather burned for me. I got them all nice and pretty, went downstairs and got my labels. I pulled one out and yelled a Grace phrase! Bl---y H--l!!! They were a TOTALLY different setup and you had to use their software! UGH! Sooooooooooooooooooooooooo... I loaded the software and played around to find out what it would do ("Help" is a last resoert). I like it marginally better than Word... okay, a little more than marginally. I know what to expect and how things work now, so that's good. So I got 4 labels printed (several to go), and feel some sense of accomplishment for the day.

Today I'm back at work, typing this up during lunch. There are quite a few more people here than I would have expected (if I weren't in a vanpool, I don't know if I'd be here). Bill walked 2 miles to a park and ride this morning (not mine) because that's the furthest north the bus was going to go (and we're north of there). We're hoping by the end of the day that the busses will be on their normal routes so Bill has his regular 2-block walk again. I also have an appointment to get my hair cut, so I'm hoping that the "storm" we're supposed to get today or tonight holds off until tomorrow, and I also hope that the cleanup is done by Monday morning because I have to work that day, like it or not. If I have to work Tuesday instead, I would have to cancel a couple appointments after making them purposely for Tuesday because I thought it was going to be a vacation day. *sigh* Not that I expect the weather to accommodate my whims and wishes, but it would be nice. ;-)

I guess that's about all I have for this time. I may update over the weekend when I should be sewing or something... we'll see what my motivation looks like at that point. And if I have anything to say besides what I had for breakfast. ;-)

Blessings!
Kristin

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm so lame, I prob'ly think this blog is about me...

Okay, the blog is about me but I needed a halfway catchy title.

I just got done catching up on a friend's blog that I just found out existed, and she was talking about communicating online with a webcam and voice. I bought a webcam years ago (I might even know where it is, and there's probably a microphone in the same place). I tried to no avail to do voice chat with her several years ago (I guess my mic(s) just did not want to work). Part of me is tempted to try it again, but what would I talk about? Kind of like on the blog. From time to time I have a bit of accomplishment or drama to share, but for the most part, I'm boring. I don't do anything exciting (if anything at all but work, go home, eat dinner, and go to bed), and even though no one wants to hear that I'm trying to knit and how it's going (could be better), I write anyway. Why? Because I CAN! ;-) This is my little corner of the web and I can put whomever to sleep that decides to drop by. Hey, maybe my purpose in life is to be a cure for insomnia. It's a thought.

So here's what's been going on lately:
We (I) just finished composing our newsletter to put in our Christmas cards, and addressed most of our cards. We're waiting for the holiday stamps to arrive and for me to have a chunk of time to print the newsletters to send them out. I don't know that the East coast ones (and Canada for sure) will get there by Christmas, but it might be close enough to call it good. If your tree is still up, it's still Christmas. I'm hoping to get them all in the mail before the end of the week (which is fast approaching - I'd better get printing). One of these days we'll have our newsletter on only one sheet of paper like everyone else (though presently our font is a little bigger for our older readers - at least that's the story I'm sticking to). I'm one of those "I need to include detail" people... apparently Bill is, too, because there was only one section he suggested I take out (and I did). Or perhaps it's because I'm anesthetized because I have a cousin who sends newsletters twice a year that include work stories (he's in law enforcement) and jokes and family visit details. I can't imagine paying that postage. I'm on page 45 right now I think. It's nutty. But it's entertaining and it gives him a nice hobby to keep him out of trouble. As for us, maybe 2009 will be boring and we won't need as much real estate in our newsletter. But I think we said that in 2007 about 2008. And the beat goes on.

Last night I had fits and more fits trying to make holiday return address labels. Word doesn't make it easy, and Word and I already have a hate-hate relationship. I tried another (very unintuitive) program and gave up on that pretty quickly. I don't have Avery installed on my laptop, and I didn't feel like powering up the desktop and let it do its diskscan because it turns on every time the power goes out and comes back on, so I do a hard shutdown every time. I also didn't feel like fishing around for the Avery disc. Either would have been faster than Word, but Word it was. I got them done and they're as good as they're going to get. Jimmy-crack-corn.

Last weekend was errand and snow weekend. We're supposed to get a big storm today, but the meteorologists are coming up with lame excuses why we're not getting the snow they predicted at any of the times they predicted. I could have had that job, but I'm not pretty enough nor thin enough to be on TV, so it wouldn't have worked.

I recently took the dive and set myself up on facebook. I'm still totally befuddled by it all, and they tell me there are games and stuff and things I can't figure out how to do. WHAT did I get myself into?? The nice thing is that I've been able to connect (to some extent) with classmates and see what they're up to. I also have a couple friends that are almost exclusively on facebook now (that were on MySpace), so if I want to know what they're doing, I have to go there. I haven't found a place to read blogs yet, though. One of my friends used to have some good blogs on MySpace and I miss reading her stuff. I'll have to ask if she has a blog anywhere. It's probably in front of my face in facebook, but I wouldn't see it if it came out of my monitor and bit my nose.

Oh, and I have my Christmas shopping done and presents wrapped (except one that's coming in the mail). Sure, I only have to buy for three people, but that's not the point. Are YOU done? :-p

Two or 3 more work days (depending on my mood and workload), and I'm done until January 5th... free time! YAY! Maybe I'll have a project I can post about or something constructive.

I guess that's all the "fun" stuff I have for now. Aren't you glad you dropped by? ;-)

So HI!!!! to the 5 of you who read me here (I found out about another one - Hi, Di!). Maybe one of these days I'll find out a 6th person is reading my rambling (and yawning). :-)

Blessings!
Kristin

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What I'm up to

Hope you're all enjoying your weekend - ours is going to be pretty low-key with hubby hanging more lights outside and me staying in and seeing what trouble I can get into and which of my many projects I can procrastinate on. :-)

We ran a couple of errands earlier today - nothing too exciting. There wasn't a run on the grocery stores even though they are predicting an "arctic freeze" here (low of 19F, and that would come close to breaking a record, I think). I know most of the people reading this aren't feeling to sorry for me because they wish it would be that warm in the winter. ;-)

My hubby is out Christmas shopping so I'm trying to remember how to knit. The only problem is when I used anything besides worsted yarn (and maybe even then - I haven't worked with it in quite a while), I have to count the stitches each and every row because I have a tendency to increase my stitch count. I knitted three rows and I had already added 3 stitches. I don't know if I'm an idiot or the boucle is screwing me up. I'm probably a idiot. ;-) I'm much better and faster and crocheting, but it uses up more fiber. With this boucle crocheting is just as much of a pain in the neck as knitting, so I may as well knit. I have a bunch of it, and I hate to never use it. SO there you go.

I made three (small) seams in my rose quilt last night. I had a couple blocks to sew on to make complete rows, so I got that taken care of since I was downstairs doing something else anyway. So now I think I have 10 rows sewn, but I didn't count and can't remember. Because the blocks are on point, the rows are getting longer and harder to transfer from the family room (where it's all on the wall) to the sewing room. I thought about taking the sewing machine to the family room, but I don't know that I want to set it up there, either, when it's so nice and snug in my sewing table. Maybe 'll just have to bring in half a row at a time or make the invisible thread work and go back to the pirate quilt. Or I can stay upstairs where it's warmer and knit. ;-)

My computer is being slower than slow , so I guess I'll sign off. I don't have the patience to type half a line of text and then have it show up 30 seconds later (and I don't type that fast).

Blessings!
Kristin

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Short update on Karen

Hi, all! Thanks so much for your prayers for my friend Karen (see previous posts - I'm too lazy to link them all). I got an email from her this week that she's up and around and her live-in help has gone home. Here's her email:

"Quick update: I'm doing really well. Had my first followup appointment this week. Everything is healing well, no problems. Pain level is much less than I expected it to be. I'm walking every day. Getting around well. [Names removed] moved back home yesterday and is going to come every day to do the stuff I can't (whatever requires bending, lifting and twisting). Biggest issue... determining how to minimize weight gain from all the good food my friends are bringing! I'll be starting Physical Therapy in January and should be able to start driving again by the end of this month."

She also included "before and after" pictures of her since her surgery... boy does she look great!

I'm sure she'd appreciate prayers for her physical therapy starting in January, as well as just general healing to go well.

Thanks agsin for your prayers!!

Blessings,
Kristin

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Rose gardens and spinning yarns

Well, we’re decorated, shopping has started... welcome to the holiday season!

Sorry about the radio silence. We’ve been working on our Christmas letter and I’ve been busy at work and at home. Errands, this night out, weekends with my parents... the next couple of weekends are a little less busy, but work is ramping up to be even more busy, at least for a week or so. I usually make my posts from work at lunchtime or other break time, so busy at work means no blog in the immediate future unless I have something I’m just DYING to tell all four of you.

We had a nice Thanksgiving with my parents - we went to a community dinner (they had done that several times in NY). Mom may not like that I say this, but I don’t know that I’d do it again. There were a lot of people there that needed the free meal more than we did, and they didn’t even take donations for those of us and willing to make one. The food was great, the entertainment and hospitality was outstanding, but I just felt badly looking around at people who really couldn’t afford a whole traditional thanksgiving dinner, and then looked at us who just didn’t want to cook (mostly Mom). She suggested the same deal for Christmas, and I put the nix on that really fast. First, we have Christmas china we’ve never used (we got it after Christmas last year) and I wanted to make a home-cooked holiday meal and we haven’t done so since Easter. We have three people out of four who are capable of cooking and cleaning (some more willing than others) and I want to have Christmas dinner at home. So she ended up being okay with that and even offered to make sweet potatoes (since she knows I won’t) and green bean casserole (which neither of us has ever made). Bill and I are in charge of ham and stuffing and potatoes and gravy. Canned gravy. LOL! I can never get gravy to come out right, and we’re going to get a pre-cooked ham anyway, so I’m not sure we’d have enough drippings anyway. So now you’ve heard about a holiday that’s passed and one that hasn’t even happened yet. :-)

I’ve been working on the rose quilt and trying to put the pieces of the puzzle back together from what the Milla-meister knocked down. I’ve gotten 3 or 4 rows done at the bottom and 3 rows at the top... or almost done - I had to unsew so I have to sew the right block on, and I’m really wondering where the other block came from that I put there first. That’s a real mystery and I have myself concerned. It doesn’t help that there are some blocks that I have to assemble as I go along and then sew them into rows, either. Since most of my problem is in the middle to lower section (the ones that are 13-15 blocks long), I thought that if I started in opposite corners and work toward the middle, then I’d be able to decipher what’s left and make sense of it. We’ll see how well logic prevails in this case. I had a map at one point of how many rows there were of how many blocks, but every time I tried to count, I got goofed up. So I’m just going forward and que sera sera.

I’m trying to figure out if I should start a knitting or crocheting project to do here and there when it’s not time-practical to sew (maybe even to do at work at my lunch break). I’m much better at crocheting, but knitting consumes SO much less fiber. I’d love to make a shawl and I got one at Ross that would be so easy to copy... it’s two lengths that are stitched up the middle in the back. Hey, I could do that! How much yarn do I need? I don’t know. Do I want to knit or crochet? I don’t know. I do know that I can’t knit with needles as small as were used for this shawl (that was probably not even knitted by hand anyway), and I can’t get my edges to not curl if I knit/purl and I don’t want to knit knit and have those ridgies (and the whole “blocking” thing eludes me). I’m so picky. Anyway. I’ll have to find some black yarn and see what damage I can do. Or maybe I should try one in a fiber I already have. I don’t need a shawl in any of the colors I have, though. That makes it tough. :-p Can you believe I don’t have any black yarn? I wear black 2-3 times a week, and I don’t have black yarn. I have variegated blue and variegated green, but no black. I also have a nice cream, but that’s the color of the shawl I bought, so that doesn’t make any sense. I’m rambling again, aren’t I? A little bit more. The other project I had in mind was a crocheted cloche or a bucket hat. I lost my great pattern from a few years ago and I found another one online but don’t like it as much. I could try to copy the one I made that I like, but I wouldn’t remember how to make the brim. The rest of it is pretty easy. I’m also not a bit working-to-gauge fan, which is probably why I don’t make anything but scarves. :-p

Okay, I’ll plod away now. Enjoy your week, and “talk” to you later!

Blessings,
Kristin

Monday, November 24, 2008

EUREKA!!!

Amazing things happen when you sit down at your computer for a couple hours and examine the content of photo CDs... I found pictures I’ve been looking for for months!! Two of them are baby quilts I made in 2003 (see February 22, 2008 post). Others were pictures of me for a scrapbook I’m doing of me throughout the years. It hasn’t been updated since 2001, so I had a few pictures to find. Good thing I only usually use one page per year. So I got the CDs reviewed yesterday, plus a little work on my rose quilt on my design board and some yardwork since it was a nice day. So, I’m a little sore today. But I got to play with a hedge trimmer and a bow saw, so my day was pretty fun. :-p Saturday was errand day... nothing too exciting about that except that I did manage to get out of the house. If you have a Billy McHale's near you, I highly recommend the Reese's shake. If you like Reese's PB cups, you won't be disappointed.

I’ve been bugged for a while about this pirate quilt I’m doing... oddly enough I had a dream about it last night that someone made a quilt with the same panel and it was in a totally different direction than I’ve been heading. Food for thought.... but I played aroud with it tonight and I'm still ready to chuck it out the window. I either need more fabric or more creativity, and I can't justify putting much more money into fabric for this than I already have. :-(

Milla kitty struck again... my bottom blocks on my design wall were all discombobulated when I went down today. I sewed a few rows to try to get the bottom in rows so she can't do much more damage, but I only got two done before I totally confused myself and gave up. I think it's time for comfort food and elevating my aching foot. This heel issue is getting old. Over the weekend it was feeling better, but today not so much. Ugh. I hate to leave you on a complaining note, but I must. My brain is mush. :-p

Blessings,
Kristin

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday News

Hi, All!

I haven’t had a chance to update because work has been nutso the past couple of days. Not even time to breathe (except to sigh occasionally). I thought that I was going to have to go hide so I could even eat my lunch.

I got an email from Bill today that he got to work and noticed his cell phone was not on his belt. He was hoping that it was home. Found out later, nope. Background: My husband (as wonderful as he is) is the man who dropped his phone off his belt once or twice riding his bike home from work before he decided that it was a good idea to keep it in his briefcase when traveling. Well, now that he rides the bus and walks, the phone is safe from dropping, right? WRONG! He dropped it this morning about a block from where he got off the bus. THANKFULLY Bill decided to give me his new work number this morning (since I couldn’t call his cell because he didn’t have it) because I got a call from someone who found the phone and was looking for its owner. YAY!!! There are decent human beings in the world! This guy called me, I gave him Bill’s work number, and now Bill has his phone and all is well again. AND Bill has finally decided that briefcase travel with a cell phone if a good thing. *sigh*

On to my gift quilt saga... I haven’t done anything but rip one of the 4 blocks apart into quarters, and I don’t know that I can deal with trying to rework them. I may just move on and KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid). Or I may give up for a while. I’ll probably decide this weekend when I take a look at the panel and consider my options. I’ve done all that quilting and stuff - it’s a shame to let it sit for another year. I even thought about putting a quarter of the compass in each corner, but then it would look like flowers, I think. ;-) Not very manly for a pirate quilt.

In good quilt news, I’ve been using my new portable design wall and my rose quilt (the one that’s for my spare bedroom for spring / summer) is finally taking shape and I think I’m almost ready to start sewing things together. I have a few blocks I need to sew up (after a little bit of unsewing), and a few things I might rearrange (hopefully that doesn’t involve unsewing - but it’s easier than unsewing those compass blocks). Pretty soon I’ll be able to start the rows. The blocks are on point, so I’ll have to find that website again that did a really good job telling people how to figure out the size required for setting triangles. I can do the rows before that, though, and put them up on the board and see if they cam out as I expected. Then I’ll just need to do the setting triangles before I sew the rows together. We’ll see how the weekend goes to see how much I get done. I might just be on the couch taking naps and eating comfort food. ;-) Nah... Bill won’t let that happen. He’ll at the least drag me out to church. ;-)

My friend Karen’s surgery update: She is doing MUCH better now and will probably go home this weekend. She's been walking around and can get herself in and out of bed, and yesterday apparently she looked in the mirror and saw how much taller she was. What a thrill that must have been!! Thanks for praying, and thanks for continuing to pray as she recovers at home. She’s got a great network of friends and family to stay with her and other church friends will be making dinners and things.

Have a great weekend, and “see” you next week when I answer the question... was she a sloth all weekend or was she productive? You’ll have to wait to find out! ;-)

Blessings,
Kristin

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy Anniversary to us!

Hi, all!

Yesterday (the 17th) was our one-year wedding anniversary. We made it! And we still like each other! LOL! We went out to dinner at Outback Steak House (where we went on our first date, but not the same location) and had a nice relaxing evening of talking and just being together. Just for the record, Outback is one of two places (that I’ve found so far) where I will eat steak. It’s got to melt in my mouth, or I’m going for the chicken. ;-)

Over the weekend, Mom and I went to the sewing and craft whatever I called it in my last post. I bought a couple patterns and Mom got some embroidery do-hickey thing. She and I went to 4 free seminars (three of which we went to the same ones) and got lots of creative ideas that we may or may not ever use. ;-) I took notes, and hopefully I’ll remember where they are when I want them. ;-) Mom also bought me a Christmas - Birthday - Christmas - Birthday present - a portable design wall!! It’s not as big as tablecloths tacked to my wall, but I can collapse it and / or transport it, the duct tape won’t dry out and lose its sticky, and I don’t have to use a stepstool to access the top 3 rows. Pretty good deal! :-) Bill and I put it together Sunday night and I’ve even put stuff on it. Sunday I went to a stamp / scrapbook club (I got 4 pages almost done which is four more pages than I’ve done this entire year). I didn’t get home until after 7:30, so that didn’t give me much time to get myself set up at the sewing machine and do something productive before bedtime. Last night was the anniversary dinner :-) and then tonight I have errands to run, dinner, and then the evening is almost over but I could still probably get some seams ripped out before bedtime. At least that will be something. Tomorrow I should be able to get sewing. Not that I know how I’m going to approach my compass issue, but I have one last ditch effort in mind before I either do them over (smaller, and still paper piecing) or use a totally different block that’s a ship (traditional piecing, and I’ve made the block before for placemats for Bill).

Bill continues to enjoy his job, even starting the second week. ;-) The bus seems to be working out well for him. It may take a little longer in some cases, but not all. Plus he doesn’t have the stress of driving, either, so that’s worth a lot.

I haven’t talked about my job much. Now that the machinist are back to work, the work is starting to come in to us in bigger bunches, so I’ll have to remember soon how to handle high gear (the rumor is the next couple days, hee hee) and things have been pretty steady here for a while. The vanpool that I’ve been taking since May is still working out great, even if I do have to get up at 5:00am. Just don’t expect a whole lot of conversation from me at that hour, that’s all. ;-)

That’s about all I have, except for an update on my friend Karen’s surgery from her brother:

“Physically Karen is doing fine. She has had periods of being very confused and combative. It has been concerning. The hospitalist, neurologist, psychiatrist, orthopedic surgeon, and her primary care physician have seen her. They are not sure what the problem is. They have given her some medication to make her sleep and are hoping that while she sleeps her brain will 'reboot'. We'll see tomorrow.”

I can tell he’s concerned because this is the fifth status email and all the other ones had an underlying sense of humor, and this one seems pretty straight. :-( Please keep praying.

Blessings,
Kristin

Friday, November 14, 2008

Curses!! Foiled again!! and other updates

Just when I was getting so I didn’t care if my points were even close to matching on the compass blocks and I could call them done... they don’t square up! I was suspecting this might happen since I could either make the circle part match up or the center, but not both. I can’t get a 1/4” out of any side and have everything else cooperate. Soooooooooooooooooo.............. as I see it, I have two options. One is to not use them in this project and set them aside for something else. The other is to trim around the compasses and appliqué onto another piece. I figure by trimming, I’m not trying to stitch through the seams. Every once in a while I think ahead. ;-) I don’t relish the thought of satin stitching around these four circles - it’s going to slow me way down - but that’s life. I must have been in a good mood last night again because I didn’t want to chuck out all my sewing stuff. I guess I’m finally giving myself some slack that this stuff is not easy and I shouldn’t pretend that it is and that I should get it down in the first four blocks. Or the meds are working. ;-) I’m a little slow on the uptake and very impatient, so I should know that things aren’t going to come out perfect the first (or fourth) attempt.

I spent part of my morning installing (and troubleshooting) software to get my work calendar to write to my phone. I keep pretty much everything in that calendar, so it will be nice to have that handyso when I go to make appointments, I know if I have the time free or not (I gave up trying to cram my Palm Pilot into my purse a while ago). I can also make my own ringtones and transfer pictures with this software, but not from work. ;-) I have a program on my home computer that lets me slice and dice songs and create sound clips or cut out parts of songs (I used it EXTENSIVELY for our wedding music last year to meet time requirements on songs I HAD to have in the wedding), so that will be cool to make other music into ringtones. :-)

Bill continues to like his job, even though he’s now been to two meetings back to back and the bus dumped everyone off at the middle of the line and were told that was the end of the line and they all had to get off. WHAT? Same bus route he’s taken all week. I think the driver was just being a poo-head. ;-)

My friend Karen is in surgery as I write this (see 11/103 post)... she went into the OR about 7:45am PST, and is expected to be in there almost 8-1/2 hours. I won’t still be at work when she gets out and won’t have computer access for most of the weekend, so it’s a bummer that I won’t know anything concrete until Sunday night or Monday when I can check my email (her brother is sending updates). Continued prayers appreciated.

Tonight before Bill gets home I get to sew my two tablecloths together. YAY! If I get that done and he’s still not home, I might try to take the tack nails out of the wall so I can put up my new design wall. WOO HOO! Have pushpins, will travel.

More next week... we have a busy weekend with my parents, but probably not anything exciting enough to blog about, so I’ll have to find a few less boring things to chatter on about on Monday or Tuesday (good luck with that).

Blessings!!
Kristin

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Today's update and prayer request

Hi, all!!

Just wanted to share the news that I found 2 52x70 tablecloths to put on my wall! YAY! On has grapes and one has Santa, but I don’t think it’s going to matter from the back. ;-) and for $7.50 for the two of them! Rock on! Now I just have to stitch them together so they’re 104x70 (a sideways wall - how about that?) and get the nails out of the wall holding up the old one [pieces] and tack up the new one. Hey, speaking of tacks... I wonder if pushpins would be easier than nails? Hmmmm..... certainly easier to pull out when I have to vacate or relocate the wall.

In the meantime when I’m now sewing, I’m picking apart blocks so I can have my picky way with the fabrics that go into the blocks (and incorporate some other fabrics from the line). I’ve come to the conclusion that I am going to have quite a bit leftover (unless I want to make a colossal quilt - and I don’t) so I may make a lap quilt in the same fabric line with what I have left over. Maybe a rail fence since most of what I have are 2x4 pieces (finished) in what I have left over. But that’s after I make pillows and things, of course (maybe even out of rail fence to make life easier on myself). Gotta have those decorative pillows, you know. And maybe I can use some in trim on pillowcases that coordinate (I might have some of the border fabric left over to do that). Such grand plans, such little motivation. But, I have other tasks at hand, so I need to stop rambling about how gorgeous all this is going to be and have it be a disappointment to, me and to whomever is picky enough to say “yuck.” ;-)

I know I say this every day, but I hope I can get some sewing done tonight. I’m only making a couple small stops tonight after work (which I really could do tomorrow, but I’d rather get them out of the way) and since Bill’s not going to be home about 6:30 (based on yesterday since he was on normal hours), I should have sometime to “play” before he gets home.

Weather conditions in Renton, Washington: If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes. Rain, clouds, sun, rain... should make for an interesting commute tonight. I’m so glad I’m in a vanpool.

Last but not least... please pray for my friend Karen. She’s undergoing back surgery tomorrow to straighten her spine. She’ll be in surgery for eight hours (ugh). Also pray for her finances. She is a missionary and though she has funds for out-of-pocket expenses, she expects that all of that will get spent. I know she would covet your prayers for her surgery, recovery, and finances. Thanks!!!

I hope to report next time that the compass blocks are done and I’m sewing my wall together. :-)

Blessings!!
Kristin

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Blah, blah, blah...

Hi all!!

Bill really likes his new job! YAY! He started on Monday with an orientation and being brought around the area for introductions. Yesterday he was told a little more about what he would be doing and today I think it’ll be a dive into the training material. He is really comfortable with that... his last job didn’t have much of a training program and had little documentation or written down “knowledge dumps” so he had to rely on coworkers a lot to help him out. This is much more like the other companies he worked for over the past 12 years, so I think he’ll be much happier here. Bill still will get home later than I do (he wasn’t home until 7pm Monday, but he also started late). It sounds like his hours are going to be pretty regular, so he should be home about 6 every night (if the bus cooperates), where I get home about 5:15 if I go straight home. That will be more like the old schedule (or even a little better since it will be more predictable). Hopefully he’ll still do the majority of the cooking. ;-)

I didn’t do any sewing last night or the night before, so if I can get my errands done quickly tonight, I can get going on that. After I sew the rest of the compass blocks together, I have another project (baby quilt) that I have to finish up before I start putting more things together. I haven’t decided if I want to quilt the stars separately or put them in their respective row and then quilt the whole thing. I’m leaning toward doing them separately since I want to use the walking foot and that’s going to be a pain to turn with another 22” of fabric attached between the blocks. Then I can meander on the stuff in between and move on to the next round. :-) If all goes well (ha) I should have the compass round done by November 23. The 22nd and 23rd are other weekend “down” days where we don’t have plans and hope not to make any plans so I can go into exile again and can’t come out of my room until I’ve made noticeable progress.

This week seems to be “friend catch-up” week. I talked to my maid of honor on the phone Monday (while I was rummaging at Ross - more on that in a minute), and then last night I had dinner with a friend I haven’t seen for a while, so that was really nice. She showed me some quilt things she’s been working on, and we got to catch up on what’s been going on since probably May. She’s one of the troopers from the Seattle area that made it to my wedding in Minnesota last year (361 days ago, actually).

Okay, the Ross rummage. You know how I had my design wall fall on me (okay, not ON me, but you know what I mean)? Well, I decided if I could find a one-piece cloth then I wouldn’t have to worry about sewing or duct tape. Well, there are apparently no tables in the US that are more than 60” wide. I make queen-size quilts (when I make quilts), so that wouldn’t work without cutting and patching a few togther (which is what I have now). So I happened upon a 52x70 tablecloth. Now THAT would work! That would give me 104x70 if I put two together. Now we’re talking. However, can you believe that it was the ONLY 52x70 flannel-back tablecloth I could find there? And I looked and looked and looked - you can ask Kim - I was talking to her through the whole search. People were asking if I was talking to them. No one avoided me like I was a freak. Very disappointing. But anyway, there was one more bin of Christmas tablecloths on the way out the door, but it was stacked higher than was practical and if I tried to get near then middle (let alone the bottom) everything was going to come crashing down. I don’t know whose idea that was, but it was a bad one. So now that I’ve decided that the one seam on the two tablecloths would be easier than the five seams I’d have to put in the 3 tablecloths I had on hand and cut up and taped together, I’m on a mission for that elusive pair of tablecloths. I also need to find shoes since I managed to injure my foot a few weeks ago and there aren’t many shoes that are accommodating enough to not make my foot hurt, but rubber sole shoes (like sneakers) work about the best. I have a pair of summer Skectchers that I really like, but I don’t want to mess them up (have you ever been to Western Washington in the fall?). My sneakers have a slippery sole when they’re wet (have you ever been to Western Washington in the fall?) Plus, I don’t have anything in a brown. So the place I’m going to go (assuming they haven’t closed it yet - that mall’s days are numbered because they’re building a new mall) is right next to Ross, so I’ll check at the shoe store first and then go to Ross to see if they happened to get another 52x70 tablecloth in.

This weekend Mom and I are going to the Northwest Quilt, Craft, & Sewing Festival. I just got the program downloaded today, so I’ll have to look that over to see what fun there is to be had before we get there. It’s not as big as the Sewing and Stitchery Expo in February, but it should still be fun (and nowhere nearly as overwhelming).

Blah, blah, blah... aren’t you glad you bothered to stop by? At least I put the good stuff at the top. ;-)

Have a great day!!!

Blessings,
Kristin

Monday, November 10, 2008

Getting Closer...

A lot of my weekend (okay, not a LOT, but a good 8 hours between two days) was spent in my sewing room (and I actually sewed some of that time, hee hee). I got the main panel quilted

and I got one compass block completely done. Not perfect, but DONE!

The remaining three compass blocks have all their sections pieced and just need to be sewn together. I should be able to do that this week, and then I’ll be able to move on to more straightforward things. YAY! One humorous (?) note... in the month between the time I did the first block (with a lot of help) and the second block (with a lot less help), I ended up getting the red and orange reversed. DOH! So I ended up making two of each and I'll put them kiddy-corner from each other. No one but me might have noticed they were different, but unless it was the LAST block and it came out backwards, I cannot and will not in good conscience leave one odd little block hanging by himself. There's enough wrong with the quilt already. ;-) And this might even look "cool" (at least that's what Bill is telling me, hee hee).

I have a free weekend the 22nd and 23rd, so hopefully I can make some good headway during that time. I have a goal (or is it a pipe dream) to get the quilt done by Girls Night Out on December 4. Though I’ll be terribly embarrassed to show it to anyone (particularly Roxanne Carter), but I need to show it to someone. Or not. Bill’s seeing it, and I’ll be posting it here. And since no professional quilters and pattern designers read my blog, I feel a little “safer” here. :-) Then the quandry will be what to work on at December's GNO. I'd like to do something that's mostly sewing as it's hard to share one mat and one iron with 3-4 others. I don't share well. ;-) I also cen't make it a big project because space is limited. I'll have to think about it the next couple of weeks and see what I come up with. Maybe by then I'll have some things pinned together on my rose quilt (from stuff I ripped out or haven't sewn together yet because the project took on a life of its own). Which segues ever so nicely into my next topic...

I had a display wall disaster this weekend... I lost a ton of work when the pieces duct taped together decided to separate. :-( The only thing we can think of is that the heat dried out the duct tape and it lost its sticky. So, I need to either sew the pieces together where the duct tape is / was, or find a LARGE vinyl-backed tablecloth (and this would probably be the time to do it, and I don’t really care if it’s got turkeys or leaves on it anyway, right? I thought I saw a 90” square at one point while I was rummaging through tablecloths at Ross at some point, but I could be wrong. It’s worth a shot, anyway. And if I have to stitch, I have to stitch. Maybe I should have done that in the first place, but who thought that duct tape would fail? Or, the answer could be... MORE DUCT TAPE! LOL! Either way, I’ve got a mess of blocks on my hands (and on my floor) and I have to pretty much start all over on my arranging. Good thing I won’t need that quilt until spring, but it will take me at least that long to get it put together and send it out for quilting (I really don’t think I want to try this on my own, and the gal that I take my quilting to has a nice rose pattern that I think will work well.

I’ve also been itchy to work on other WIPs I have (probably so I can procrastinate on the project at hand) but I’ve been really good at keeping focused. I think it will be easier now that the more tedious and mentally taxing part is [nearly] done. Maybe I’ll have time to whip some quilting on the Christmas quilt that I’ve had the top done on since 2003 and basted since 2006. Yeah, good luck with that.

I finally remembered to bring some jewelry stuff to work on at lunchtime at work today. I used to do that all the time, but because I’m been doing more sewing than jewelry and I don’t have any projects really planned out or in progress, it’s been a little harder to know what to bring. I brought an earring kit I bought on sale, and a necklace that I have to rework the clasp. It usually takes me about three times wearing something before I get it adjusted the way I really want it.

Bill starts his new job today... his orientation is at 10am, so he’s on a bus as I write this on the way to Seattle. YAY!!! We’re not sure what’s going to happen after orientation (maybe he’ll get to go home and still get paid for 8 hours - HA!) but I know I’ll get the whole breakdown tonight. No more slacking off at home for him! LOL! It will be my turn at the end of December when I get the time between Christmas and New Years off, and he doesn’t. Then I’ll get to be the slacker. ;-) It would be nice to finish up some projects (sewing and scrapbooking, but maybe I’ll just sit around and play with the Wii all day every day. ;-)

Speaking of scrapbooking, I’m going to a craft day this weekend, so I had to find at least enough of my stuff to be able to call them “basic” supplies. I have four boxes still full of stuff that I’m not sure what it is, but I know most of it used to live in my desk (which I’ve now populated with other things). The boxes are conveniently stored under my desk (which means I can’t get my legs underneath there to do anything) and my cutting mat is on the desk... at least I’m using the space. ;-) I’m sure I have some good supplies and embellishments in those boxes, or maybe not - I know there’s one box of pretty much junk in there. There is some stuff that was good enough to not get rid of, but I don’t have anyone to whom I can offload the scrap stuff I don’t want, so that means I have to hang onto it a little longer. I need to find someone who scraps and doesn’t have money (and is grateful for anything they get). But, I’m not on any scrapbooking groups anymore, so that might not help much. If I ever get it organized, I can probably offer it on Freecycle. Yeah. I think that’s what I’ll do. People are often looking for things they can give their kids to play with that don’t cost much.

Okay, that’s it for my rambling today... thanks for tuning in. :-) Hope all is well in your corner of the world.

Blessings,
Kristin

Monday, November 3, 2008

The latest sleep-inducer (aka another post from me) :-)

Hi, all!!

Bill went down on Monday to turn in his pre-work paperwork. YAY! He rode the bus to get the lay of the land, and he says he’s really going to enjoy working downtown. He’s wanted for a while to work in a downtown environment, so this is going to be really fun for him... until the rain and wind hits. ;-) I’m sure he’ll miss being able to ride his bike to work, but he can always ride when he gets home or on the weekend. It won’t be as strenuous as the ride home he had, so I’ll have to tell him he can’t come home unless he’s been up at least one huge grade (he had three).

I think I’ve figured out how I’m going to quilt the islands on the panel... more outlines and then who-knows-what. I was thinking of doing a map-like grid, but too many motifs overlap, so I don’t think it would look that great, and I’d have to putline things like the ship and treasure chest anyway since they overlap the islands and the water. At least it’ll be done and I can move on. I’m also going to quilt the black lines radiating from the compasses printed on the panels. I don’t know how pretty it will be on the back, but that’s not the point (I hope). I should have pictures after the weekend (at least that’s the hope).

Speaking of pictures, Bill and my stepfather were up on ladders Saturday getting the living room décor all in place! YAY! Here are some photos. The not-so-high walls were pretty much done earlier, but I don’t see that I posted pics (forgive me if it’s twice).






Bill mentioned that the tall wall looks a lot bigger now that it’s not a blank white wall. I’m glad he likes it. Now the only upstairs wall space that hasn’t been done is the inside wall of the dining room and the end of the hall. I think I have everything I want for the dining room, but I have to get about 8 frames for the prints I have. I have three prints that came with a frame - I was going to get those frameless frames for all the prints, but I don’t know if I want that one print to be the only three with a frame. Seems a little silly. But I might change my mind unless I can find a good deal on some frames. I’ll have to see if I can compromise on a combination without spending a ton more money. The opposite dining room wall is done, and I found a lamp at a thrift store that goes well (just don’t look at it too closely, LOL). I forgot to get a picture of that side of the dining room, so I’ll add that to this point later (most likely Saturday).

[imagine photo here]

I also thought to take pictures of the photos in the hallway... not as easy feat since there’s not a door right across from where things are hung. There are engagement, wedding, and candid pictures of Bill and me and our families, and then wedding pictures from all of his [ever been] married siblings (the youngest is a holdout so far, but we can fit him in of we need to).




We don’t have much in the way of harvest décor... I went out and bought some leaves yesterday, and a cute little doll on a broom that was on sale. Then I remembered that I caught little miss Milla kitty chewing on broom straw before. Ugh. I wanted to put it on the hearth, but I don’t know if that would work. So I hung it on our wrought iron railing and we’ll see how that goes. She can still reach it, but not as easily.




Bill and I voted by mail, so that was done early. Bill watched most of the election coverage - I came in late because I was being ADD downstairs and running here and there forgetting what I was planning to do.

Tonight is Girl’s Night Out, and I’ll be working on my second compass block. I’m kind of disappointed that I didn’t do at least one more before tonight, but my weekends have been pretty full and the block takes between 2 and 3 hours to do. Plus I was so frustrated after the first one not matching up and the points being lousy, I didn’t want to deal with another one for a while, so I started quilting the panel and I hate to change thread and feet. Yeah, good excuse. I like that. Maybe I’ll get so excited tonight that I’ll want to whip out the other two this weekend, Yeah, Kristin. Good luck with that.

Oh, in some really fun news (at least for me), I found out that more than 3 people have read my blog! Thanks, RaggedLamb! :-)

Not much else to talk about for now... stay tuned for more meaningless rambling about sewing and picture-hanging. Maybe one of these days I’ll find something profound to say.... nah. ;-)

Blessings!
Kristin

Friday, October 31, 2008

A happy day....

Bill got his offer today, so I’m sure he’s home rattling through all the paperwork and stuff. YAY! I’m so thankful that everything turned out this well... there could have been a lot rougher time, and we praise God for making this pretty painless but still reminding us that we are not in control and anything can happen anytime.

Last night I sorted through my music fabric again and divided it up into various states of prettiness and tucked them away (except for the really nice ones... I’m leaving them out to see if the things I bought separately play well together and last night was not the night to judge. :-)

I almost never get personal phone calls during work hours, but the last couple of times I have, I’ve gotten two at once. :-p I got a call back from my doctor’s medical assistant about this battle I’m having trying to get a prescription refilled. I started the process on the 20th to make sure I didn’t run out. Good thing, because I STILL don’t have it. Ugh. ANYWAY, I was finishing up talking to her and I hear my call waiting. SO I catch that call and it’s the jewelry store “back home” (New York State) telling me my ring is ready! YAY! For those of you know don’t know, I went to get my ring cleaned in August and one of the small stones fell out in the ultrasonic cleaner. They found the stone (I later found out the tip was broken off, which is probably why it fell out). After that, I didn’t feel like dealing with sending it (just feelin’ lethargic and not caring about much) and so I sent it near the beginning of October. They had trouble finding a stone that fit and had to deal with insurance, but a stone was found, all is well and it will be on its way to me on Monday. It’ll be so nice to have my “pretty” ring back. I use it as my wedding band, but I have a backup for situations where I don’t want to wear something that sparkly. They’re shipping it overnight, so when I get home Tuesday, it should be there. :-)

Bill’s going to dress in his handsome Robin Hood costume tonight to hand out candy. He loves that stuff. The rest of us are going to sit around and play cards. We’re so exciting, aren’t we?

Happy Halloween (unless of course that offends you, then have a Happy Friday!) :-)

Blessings,
Kristin



glitter graphics

Thursday, October 30, 2008

He's in! :-)

Hi, all!!!

Bill got news this morning that his references checked out and they're going to be extending an offer Friday or Monday! YIPPPPEEEEE and Praise God!!!

Thanks all for praying, and if you want to keep praying for his adjustment into a new environment, that would be great.

One kinda bummer note is that we won't be able to go see Bill's brother for Christmas as we had hoped. Bill only gets a couple days off as paid holiday, and he can't use any vacation until his 90-day probational period is over. I was pretty sad about that last night. But the nice thing is the company has a lot of perks and fringe benefits. Too bad they don't have a job for me! ;-)

On a non-Bill note :-) I wasn't feeling to terribly great last night, but I did sort through a bunch of fabrics from a project that I started and hated. :-) I pulled out the "really good" stuff, the "pretty good" stuff and the "good" stuff, and left the "mediocre" stuff for another day. Some of the blocks were already put together in a rather icky way, but maybe I'll use those in a scrappy quilt one of these days. I bought a bunch of music theme and accent fabrics, and what made me think they'd all look good in the same project is beyond me. I've since bought some nice fabrics in browns and creams (some music, some not), and they'll go well with some of the stuff that I've rescued from the mess I made (or was preparing to make in some cases). Let's hear it for procrastination! YAY!

Thanks again for all your prayers and your expressions of love and support with Bill's job situation! :-)

Blessings,
Kristin

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

This just in....

Look at this! Twice in one day! ;-)

Bill just got an email from the place we’d been hoping for (first choice, first interview) and pending the checking of his references, they want to make him an offer and have him start November 10! YAY! The $$ is a little less than he was making, but 2 good raises and he’ll be above what he was making when he got laid off. I’ll let you know when he has a formal offer, but it’s looking like the end (or the beginning, as it were) is in sight.

Money will be a little tight for a few weeks until he gets his first paycheck, so that should be interesting. Depending on how their pay periods run, it could be as late as November 28 before he sees a paycheck. The severance and pay runs out on November 6 (what he would have made had he still been working). Not that we can’t cut expenses between now and then, but Bill brings in 2/3 of our income, and that’s a lot to not have, even for a few weeks. It could get interesting. :-)

Just had to share... I now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging. ;-)

Blessings!
Kristin

Tissue box covers DONE!!

Hi, All!!

Guess what! I went and bought fabric for a Halloween tissue box cover and one harvest one, and I got them done last night! YAY! I also went through some of my stash and WIPs and I have stuff I don't even remember I have! Many are partially finished or a rework is in my brain. I guess I won't be whining anytime soon that I have nothing to work on (though we knew that from my list, didn't we?)

Question for quilters: How do you organize the things that are smaller than a fat quarter but bigger than a "scrap?" I have some things I found that are large enough to be useful in a scrappy quilt, but not small enough to call it a scrap that I can put in my scrap bin. Some of them are really nice and I hate to just make them into squares for another project and waste what I have. Any ideas?

No interviews today, but Bill might hear back on that job today that he interviewed for last Wednesday and would really be a good fit for him (but more likely it will be tomorrow before he hears anything). Bill got a call last night from a former coworker that he was close to. That was pretty cool.

I'm hoping to quilt the islands on the pirate quilt tonight, so if anyone has suggestions, y'all had better comment soon before I run wild with something tacky and nasty. ;-) I'm hoping to make one more compass block this week or early next week and then one at Girls' Night Out Thursday the 6th (and I can get help if I'm totally lost and void of skill and memory). Then one more after that and I can start planning the rest of the quilt. Yay, me! :-) The rest of it should go faster (ha ha) because there are no real "pictures" to echo and there's no more intricate piecing, plus I think I'm just going to either meander on the rest of maybe do a crossed line (like the stuff you get pre-quilted). I think I'm going to need to go buy thread because some of the motifs in the other fabrics are cool and I don't want to detract. And since I'm having such a fit with the invisible thread (I can't get the bobbin tension right), I don't know that that's an option. Maybe I'll get Roxanne's help with that next Thursday.

I guess that's it for now...

Blessings!
Kristin

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Found the feet!!

Hi, All!!!

My night ended better last night than Sunday night. I got a few things shuffled around (just scrapbooking stuff... I didn’t find any vagabond sewing items). I have more to do there, but my mission was to see if there would be anywhere feet would be hiding. So I decided to check the insides and all the pockets of my two sewing totes, and guess what! The missing feet are found (along with a thread spool adapter I’d been looking for - I do need more than two of those, really). I guess my logic when I put them there was that I’d want to take them with me all the time (why I’d want to take my White feet everywhere I don’t know, but that’s just beyond speculation at this point). Too bad I rarely look in the outside pockets of my sewing totes. :-p I still don’t know where those four spools of thread are, but at least I have my feet, and am going to put them in a more logical place this time... as soon as I figure out what that is. The ones that are machine-specific are easy... it’s the CurveMaster foot that can be used with any of the machines that’s the tough one. I only have one other foot that can be used with anything (and I’m not sure if it will work with my Janome or White - I’ve only used it on a machine I don’t have anymore), and that’s too big to put in the small tackle boxes I have. So the mystery is solved and a little bit more is right with the world. Now I just have to figure out a logical place for my CurveMaster foot... but I think that’s what got me into trouble in the first place.

Bill had a phone interview yesterday with an HR gal that seemed to think his resume was worth passing up to the hiring manager, so there’s a step. He also got a call from someone else asking him questions and asking for a clean copy of his resume (I guess the ones on the job sites come out as all text). Still waiting for tomorrow or Thursday to find out about the first job he interviewed for.

Still trying to think of how I want to quilt the other part of the QAYG I’m doing. I’ll include a picture (from a website, not what I’ve done) and If you have any suggestions, let me know. I’ve cut off the border with the squares to make it look a little less juvenile and the quilting I’ve done so far is meandering in the water (hee hee). There’s a lot more empty space on the islands than it looks in the photo, so just echoing the mountains isn’t going to give me tight enough quilting for the batting I’m using. I also need to do something with the top right compass since it’s about 4-5 inches wide (if I remember right - I don’t have it in front of me). I was thinking of satin stitching the two brown circles (outside and then the start of the center) and that should work. I don’t want to go over all the black lines inside of and radiating from the compass, but maybe I could. What do you think?


Other than that, there’s not much new except a little recycling rant I had this morning. The passion is gone, so there’s really nothing to tell on that one anymore. Sorry, folks!

Blessings!
Kristin

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bill’s interviews and hobby news

Hi, all!!

I forgot that I didn’t update about Bill’s interview... I didn’t want to get anyone’s hopes up and have the prayers stop. ;-) Bill had a really promising interview last Wednesday. They have one more candidate that they're interviewing this Wednesday, so the waiting game is on until the 29th or 30th (or so). We'll probably hear on Thursday one way or the other. Everyone seemed to like him, and the HR gal told Bill not to accept another offer without calling her first. He’s got another interview this morning, and people have been calling him in response to the posting he’s put on various job sites. So things are rolling, but by the end of the month, his severance and everything will be gone. We’re fortunate to have that much, but I’m going to start to get a little paranoid on November 7 if/when he doesn’t have a paycheck. :-p

Bill’s parents got home safely on Friday (no “adventures” like the trip out, thank goodness). We did hear that Bill’s Dad’s last sibling passed away last week (his parents were already on their way home). I’m not sure how things are going there, but I know Bill and I are reminded how blessed we are to have parents in good health (his much older than mine).

I don’t remember if I mentioned I’m doing a quilt-as-you-go for a Christmas gift for Bill’s brother. As of last night, I have the center section (24x32 roughly) half done. And it’s the easy part, of course. ;-) The whole section is the easiest thing I’ll probably do, so it’s all uphill from here for the rest of the quilt, too. Hopefully it’ll all work out just fine and I’ll have it done by Christmas. We were planning on going there for Christmas so we could give it to him in person, but with Bill’s job situation, we don’t know if we’ll get there or not. Film at 11. ;-) I also go VERY frustrated last night because I can’t find two of my feet (for a sewing machine, for you wiseacres out there). I was (and am) very unhappy since one (which would function for both) is not cheap to replace. *sigh* I feel less frustrated today, but next time I go to use that machine (my cheap class machine), I’m going to be very unhappy that I don’t have my 1/4” foot. :-/ I can buy a new set of feet for $10 (plus shipping), but if I’m going to do that, I may as well buy the $27 fancy foot that can be used for the same thing and will fit on all my machines. Guess I’d better get online soon and see if I find it below retail. I don’t think they carry them at Jo-Ann’s (they’re not on the website). It would be nice if they did because then I could use a 40% off coupon. So now I get to comb quilt shops for that and for some other things I just can’t find that I know exist but are not with my sewing stuff. Missing from sew day? Missing like my mind? Should I start checking places that are unlikely (for my sewing things, not my brain)? Uck. I hate doing that. But it’ll make me more organized, right? Yeah. Good luck with that one! :-p

Okay, for the last [emergent] hobby.... we and Bill’s parents went to McDonald’s for lunch before they went. I am now addicted to the Monopoly thing they’re doing. :-p I’m an idiot. :-p I also started the online game (you put in codes from all the little tiny things they give you) and you get to roll dice and try to land on the right spots to win something or other. I got 25 Coke Rewards points from landing on Community Chest... not too bad! That’s a free 20oz bottle! YAY! You can only enter 10 codes per day and I have 16 more to go (two of which have bad printing so I can’t read the numbers. Ugh!). I’ll let you know if I win anything else. :-)

That’s it for now... tonight, it’s time to organize (yuck) and see if I can find any of my AWOL sewing stuff. ;-)

Blessings!
Kristin

Monday, October 20, 2008

Another update - Bill has an interview!!!

Hi, all!!!
Again, thanks to those who offered support and said hi. :-)

I just wanted to let you know that Bill has an interview Wednesday from 10:30am through 1pm the place that's referenced below where he interviewed 2-1/2 years ago). His parents are leaving Wednesday afternoon, but they didn't have any interview openings on Thursday or Friday, and it sounded like that time was about the only option. Fortunately, Bill's parents understand :-) and as long as the interview doesn't run over, he should be able to see his parents off (or we can meet at the train station if he's running way behind). It sounds like the interview process is pretty structured, so he shouldn't have a problem getting back, but I'm a Nervous Nellie sometimes. ;-)

Please pray for God's will, and that the interview doesn't run over (too far, anyway) so Bill would be able to make it home in time that the four of us can go to the train station together.

Thanks again so much for your thoughts and prayers... more news on Thursday or Friday! :-)

Blessings!
Kristin


P. S. He has also had a temp agency call him for a 1-year contract assignment... it wouldn't be his first choice, but it's nice to know there are things out there. :-)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

News, Notes, and Pictures

Hi, all!!!

Well, Bill got a call back from the company he had interviewed with before, and they had him email his resume and they said they'd give a call early next week. Of course we're trying to not get our hopes up, but it looks pretty promising So we're praying if it's God's will, that's where Bill will end up. It'll be a longer commute (and he won't be able to ride his bike), but he can take the bus. But that's okay... we couldn't afford to sell the house or to buy something down that way anyway (I'd be closer to work, too). We're just starting to get the house we're in decorated and I am so not packing everything up again! LOL!!

Speaking of decorating, here are pictures of the master bedroom.








And here are some of one wall of the family room.... part of my sports memorabilia collection. It's changed even since these pictures as I've gotten a few more things out and rearranged a bit. But you'll get the idea. ;-)




In in-law news, DMIL spent a lot of the morning catching up with the kids since we have unlimited long distance on our landline, and Bill's brother called back, so I think all of Bill's siblings are all caught up on a lot of the family news. We found out that Bill's sister got laid off recently, too... that makes 4 of 8 of them that are unemployed at the moment. Cheryl wasn't even allowed to clean out her own desk. Weird stuff. Bill's got the best chance I think because he's in the technology field, plus he's the youngest (even though he's 50). Kathy is going to back to school to get certified for child care (she and Cheryl both I think were in accounting - you'd think you could find a job anywhere with that, but apparently not).

Guess what! I actually COOKED breakfast this morning! WOW! That's big for me! Not that it was anything elaborate - eggs and toast and Bill made the bacon in the microwave with our new bacon rack (that we actually bought to bake potatoes, but that's another whole story). Just the fact that I cooked is pretty darn impressive, and moreso when I cook for someone other than Bill.

They're all off antiquing now... I wasn't interested in going because I spent an hour in the thrift store yesterday trying to find $24 of stuff I wanted (If you are in a thrift store and you decide not to try things on because you know you're going to be in the same neighborhood the next day and can take things back if they don't fit... CHECK THE RETURN POLICY!)

Monday we're going to the Museum of Flight, and Tuesday my parents are coming up to visit and we'll all go to dinner. Not sure about Sunday and Wednesday except probably church tomorrow and a bit of packing Wednesday (since that's the day they leave).

I think that's it for now... keep praying - it'll probably help and it sure won't hurt! LOL!

Blessings!
Kristin

Friday, October 17, 2008

Short Update

Just a follow-up on Bill's job situation (or no-job situation, as it may be)...

He's got a couple promising places to send his resume (including one place he's interviewed previously that seemed to like him), so we'll see.

The advantage he has is that he's only been at the job for 2-1/2 years, so he's not too out of practice doing research, writing a resume, or interviewing. He said this morning that he's got about a dozen places in mind to scatter his resume, so at least stuff will be out there.

Prayers still appreciated, of course.

Nice news: I'm picking up Bill's parents tonight after work, and then we have them for 5 days before they go back. And my DMIL will be spending her 80th birthday on the train on the way back. Kind of a bummer, but hopefully this time she won't have to get off the train because she fainted. ;-)

Also, today is our 11 month wedding anniversary. ;-) Bill wished me a "happy 11th anniversary" this morning. My sweet little goofball. ;-)

Blessings!
Kristin


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Prayers requested - for me this time (can you believe it?)

Hi, all...

Prayers requested / appreciated. Bill got laid off today. They had an all-team meeting yesterday and said that they were cutting a lot of people, and Bill was one of them. He was in the only division making money for the company, and someone else who has been in that group 5 years also got cut. Bill sent me a text a few hours ago that said, "It feels like the last day of school here, everyone cleaning out their desks." Looks like the cuts were pretty deep. Hopefully Bill won't have too much competition out there.

It wasn't a total shock for us (he's been there for about 2-1/2 years, I think), but we're still reeling a bit. Obviously it's a big disappointment and we were hoping and praying it would turn out otherwise. I've not been myself lately, either, so I don't know how this "life change" is going to affect me / us. Of course there are many areas in which we need prayer (some that I'm sure we're not yet even aware of).

On the other side of the coin, we've been enjoying a lot of blessings, and this is one of the very few 'challenges' we've experienced. We can surely be thankful for that, but it doesn't pay the bills, as they say. ;-)

Also, Bill's parents are visiting from Minneapolis (they're with Bill's aunt this week, and then we get them back for 5 days starting Friday), so that's an interesting happenstance.


More news as it becomes available...

Blessings,

Kristin

Friday, October 10, 2008

Looky Here! Pictures!!! :-)

Hi, All!!

The spare room is decorated, complete with a new comforter (I tried to get out of it a little cheaper with a duvet cover, but don’t EVEN ask me about that). At least this way I have pillows and a matching sham, too. I hope to have my quilt done by spring / summer to put on the bed. Anyway, here are a few pics. They’re a little blurry and dark, but there’s one that’s closer to the true colors (flash is always so sketchy on whether it will improve things or not). Hopefully you’ll get an idea, anyway. :-)














I’ll also post pics of our bedroom when I get my side cleaned up. ;-) It’s not as “crisp” as the spare room because we actually use our bedroom so it’s hard to keep items we deem necessary out of sight.

In other news, my in-laws got delayed on their train trip out here. Bill’s mother had a fainting spell on the train and they got off in Fargo to the medical center there. All the tests came out fine and the bump on her head is going down. Her knee is a little sore, but other that that, she seems to be pretty good. Bill talked to her last night and she seemed in good spirits, so that’s a good sign. The medical center wanted to keep her for observation until today, so they’ll be catching the [early] morning train tomorrow and be here on Sunday morning. In the meantime, we get to call the train station and tell them what to do with their luggage as it will arrive today. :-p I was supposed to take today off work to pick up the folks and spend the day with them, but now I’m going to take off work the last three days they’re here (Oct 20-22) since they’ll be with Bill’s mother’s aunt all next week. Friday’s also a hard day for me to take off, so even though I’m concerned about my MIL, I don’t have a problem working today.


I think that’s it for now...

Blessings!!
Kristin