Friday, November 30, 2007

Back in Business

The Janome, she squeaks no more! Whoo-hoo! Sewing machine oil must have supreme magical abilities to take care of a squeal that bad. I was able to finish 9 blocks on Maddie's quilt last night and start another 6 (it has thirty 12"x 12" blocks). So I'm back in business with the Christmas present making!

Oh, and for the first time in my life, I decided to buy something that I had intended to make myself. I had planned to make the actual boxes for my mother and aunt's Quilt Shop roomboxes. I even made a "first attempt" to make sure that I could actually make it; it came out cute, but a bit small. So I have ordered 2 roombox shells that I will paint and decorate myself.


I almost never do that...whether it be pants or a quilt or a shelf, whatever, if I could possibly make it, then I won't buy it from a store/online. When I told this to Juli, she damned near had heart failure. During our conversation, she kept saying things like, "Now wait, tell me again - you're BUYING something that you could MAKE, but you're not going to MAKE it. You're going to BUY it. Do I have this right?" If we hadn't been on the phone, I would have kicked her!


But the best part about ordering them is that I paid less for two of them, pre-made and with shipping and handling, than I would have if I made them myself (gas to drive to Home Depot and back home, cost of MDF, cost of glue and then there's the time and effort).


Last year, I was working on Christmas gifts right up to Christmas and realized that I didn’t relax and just enjoy the holiday season. So this year, I've made a conscious decision to finish the Christmas present shopping/making early and spend time stress-free. Come December 22, I will be done with everything; done with gifts, done with baking, done with decorating, done with wrapping said gifts. I just want to sit back and relax, eat some sugar cookies, drink a cup a tea, read a book and watch Christmas shows. For those four days (from the 22nd, when I leave for Mum & Dad's till Christmas), there will be no lists, no pressing matters, no worries, no thoughts other than enjoying those 4 days (then it's back to work, to a totally empty office, on 26th). The house will be cleaned before I leave, the laundry will be done and ironed for work. It's not a goal or an intention...it's a plan, set in stone, that I will bust my ass to make happen.


Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What the Hell!?!

I got three square stitched on Maddie's quilt last night and my sewing machine started to squeal. I greased it up (something I just did not too long ago...maybe it's from stitching through all that fleece) and it's still squealing.

This is not the time for my machine to die on me!

Yes, I can steal my mother's old Kenmore, but that's not the point...it's not my machine with the electronic stitch controller and the needle threader, the automatic button-holer and the push button stop.

I'm praying that the oil will seep into all the squeaky parts and when I go home, it will be miraculously better and I can continue with sewing as usual. But dread is sitting in the pit of my stomach (never a good sign).

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ugh

I don’t know why I do this to myself; I get these grandiose plans in my head of all the great things I’m going to make and bake for people for Christmas and then it comes down to crunch time and I lose all sense of where I am, what I’m doing and I don’t take anytime to just enjoy myself.

I’ve started culling through the Bloglines list of unread posts (78 left to go!) and catching up with everyone’s lives, art, etc. and I feel…scattered; like I should be doing so much more and so much less at the same time. I squirrel myself away in my house and putter without getting anything done it seems, rather than completing a task that has a deadline (Christmas). The worst part is that I really don’t have much to do; it’s just that I can’t seem to focus (hence scattered). I’m watching the time tick past, rather than actually occupying it with something fruitful.

When I feel frustrated like this, because I’m not getting the things done that I want done in the timeframe that I want, writing down those frustrations helps. Clears my head, helps me get things in order, like my lists. Right now I have several going: the list of domestic chores (vacuum, dishes, laundry, decorate the tree), the list of fabric things to be made (quilts, headbandanas, fabric sacks, rice bags), the grocery list (sugar, flour, milk, eggs, etc. etc.), the baking list (sugar cookies, rice crispy houses, best ever candy cookie bars), the list of times and dates and locations of the coming holiday events (Dec. 6 = Hanukkah party at Deb’s, Dec. 11 = Marcia’s 50th, Dec. 20 = potluck staff holiday party at Michael’s).

I need to get organized. I think that may be the root of my scatteredness. I feel like I’m living amid a pile of things; Christmas decoration boxes, unpainted shelves, UFP (UnFinished Projects) and too much cluttery crap that I don’t use. I feel like I need to pare down, you know, get rid of that crap that I don’t use…hey this sounds familiar…oh wait, that’s because I ranted about this last December – feeling scattered, needing to organize, needing to declutter my house and my life – did I declutter? Uh…no. What is my problem with letting things go? With really organizing? With finishing projects? Am I that attention deficit? Can sentimental reasons alone save a vase that I’ve never used from the Goodwill pile? Honestly?

Well, thanks for listening. Oh, before I leave you…on a completely unrelated (but musical) note: I’m falling in love with the voice Nathan Rogers. He is the son of Canadian folk singer, Stan Rogers and he just has that voice, a mirror to Stan Rogers but all his own at the same time. A little rough and grumbly, but sweetly evocative. Give a listen, if you’re so inclined.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Post Turkey Day

I was just thinking that I haven’t visited my favorite blogs in quite some time and thought that maybe today, during the down time, I would catch up…until I checked my Bloglines and found 310 blog posts unread! THREE HUNDRED AND TEN!

I didn’t realize that it had been almost a month since I really checked up on all of you, despite posting on my own blog. It just seems like so much has been happening at work and trying to get the homemade gifts done, that I’ve been neglecting everyone else’s blogs. I’m very sorry for that, but I have this sinking feeling that when my new job officially starts, I’ll be here less and less…

Note to self: make time for blog reading and writing

That being said and apologized for…things are good! Thanksgiving was nice, albeit hung-over, having spent the previous night with my brother and my cousin over-indulging at Schooner Landing in Damariscotta. The day after turkey day was spent lazily, eating leftovers and watching TV in the jammies, despite the plan to trek out to early morning Black Friday sales…yeah, as of 8:00 the night before, we knew that wasn’t happening!

I have partaken in Cyber Monday, though…but only on Amazon…and only because I HATE (yes, I know hate is a strong word, but it really applies here) holiday shopping. With shoppers and drivers, manners seem to be optional come the holiday season and respect has flown RIGHT out the window! I try to be pleasant and courteous, but I become the biggest grouch if I have to go shopping AT ALL from Thanksgiving to New Years, because people block isles with their carts or cut you off in parking lots or ride your ass on the road because they don’t feel you are going fast enough despite the fact that you’re driving 10 miles over the speed limit! Okay, just thinking about it is making me cranky…I’ll stop. Thankfully, I have only 4 more things to buy and shopping is done. I still have 3 quilts to finish, 2 headbandana’s to make and a bunch of baking to do, but that doesn’t require leaving the warmth of my fortress of solitude!

Being the purveyor of holiday cheer that I normally am this time of year (except when forced to go Christmas shopping), my tree went up on Saturday and the house decorating commenced.

The kitten (being new to this whole Christmas thing) looooves the tree – it’s great for hiding under and playing with…but mostly for hiding under, especially for those moments when the urge to jump out and attack a passerby strikes!

His evil 13 lb counterpart feels the same way, but she jumps out only to attack him (she knows better than to attack me!)

Well, I'm off to an office celebration at Deb's house! Have a lovely evening!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Little Things

I know it isn't even Thanksgiving, but the holiday mood struck this past weekend. I rearranged the living room, in anticipation of the tree and I dug out some minor things - the houses...

That's it, though...no lights or garland nor little ornaments...just the houses. And they just look so darn cute lit up!

Tomorrow, I head to the Lake to help Mum with the Turkey Day preparations (house cleaning, dessert making and starting anything that can possibly be started ahead of time). So I'm off like a dirty shirt and probably won't be heading back this way again until next Monday!

For those who celebrate, Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

1 Day = 31 Years

Tomorrow = Friday :^)

Tomorrow = I get my flu shot :^(

Tomorrow = the possibility of snow :^)

Tomorrow = getting out of work at 11:30 :^)

Tomorrow = the 31st birthday!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Playful

Sorry for the red coloring...I should have turned on another light.
video

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Adapting

Nym is adjusting nicely to his new home. Thank you Louise, Gracia, Shannon and Lisa for the well wishes and welcomes to him. Sadie and Tallulah are getting used to him, slowly but surely, though it's more slowly with Tal - she's really not impressed by him! Sadie loooooves him (except when he plays with her feet) and he loves her, especially at night when he can curl up next to her. It's so darn cute! Sadie gets a little jealous that the kitten gets so much attention and that she has to be "talked to" often because she forgets that he's only little and that she has giant yeti paws compared to him. I'm trying very hard not to let her and Tal feel left out or unappreciated, but it's difficult when they see me toting Nym around the house (I used to do the same with Tallulah...back when she didn't weigh 13 lbs), he's just so featherweight, it's easy to scoop him up.
He learned how to climb up and down the stairs yesterday, so now he has full roam of the house (which pleases him to no end). And after I created a makeshift stair up to the dishwasher, where the food dish is, this new climbing skill has come in quite handy! He likes to munch a little, get down, drink out of Sadie's water dish on the floor (despite there being a water dish right beside him), go play and then come back for a little more.
He's a total cuddle bug when he's sleepy, but when he's in a playful mood...watch out! He becomes "Psycho-Kitty". He's also a kitty contortionist when he sleeps; body twisted into the most unnatural of positions - it's hilarious! He's already aquiring nicknames, aside from Nym: Nymble, Nymby, Nyms and my personal favorite...Nymbecile for his sillier moments (like when he jumped at Tallulah's tail - not the smartest move).

He's one of the family now!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Mission: New Kitten...Complete

Well, here he is...

Introducing Nymbus (Nym for short)My fuzzy
playful
biting
cute
cuddly kitten
who likes to play with Sadies feet!


Day 1 and so far so good!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Mission: New Kitten...Day 2

As you know, yesterday I called about kittens...well, last night I got a call back! Tonight after work, Juli and I will be heading north to Waterville to check out two little long haired black male kittens. And if all goes well, I will be coming home with one of those little long haired black male kittens!

Now I just need think of some names - any suggestions?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

But I'm Feeling Much Better Now

Cold from HELL...that is how I would describe that THING that I had. It was in my head, it was in my chest, it made my bones ache, it made my muscles ache. It just wasn't fun. My voice fades in and out, but I'm feeling much better now. That cold just floored me!

Two things of note, today...

ONE: I saw Mizz Briana on HGTV this morning. They were rerunning the episode of Uncommon Threads that she did. Very, very cool! I had just gotten out of the shower and needed some background noise, turned it on and there was Bri, so of course I HAD to watch it! Everytime a commercial break came on, I'd run into the bathroom to do the next round of whatever to get ready for work. So basically it was, watch the show - run into the bathroom to put on deodorant and cream, towel dry the hair and brush it; watch the show - run back into the bathroom to put on clothes; watch the show - blow dry the hair, etc. Needless to say, I'm inspired to crochet again!

TWO: "Mission: New Kitten" has commenced (that's the official title of my search for a kitten)! I have searched the classifieds, I found the number for someone in Waterville (a 20 minute drive from me) giving away litter box trained, 8 week old, black and grey, long haired kittens. I called an hour ago and left a message with my work # and my home # - I really hope they call me back. Keep your fingers crossed!

In honor of "Mission: New Kitten", here are a few youtube links to some waaaaay too freakin' adorable kitten videos...
Playful Kitten

Ahhhh, the things I have to look forward to :^)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Sick as a Dog and Sounding like a Frog

Since last Thursday, I've been pretty much a couch potato with a head and chest cold. It's getting better, but I still don't have my voice...I have the raspy, whispery version of my voice. It sucks, royally and I'm getting a little sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Anyhoo, that's where I've been. Now I'm going to stoke up the wood stove, head back to my recliner and watch more t.v.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Oh T.V., how I've missed thee...

My cable was hooked up yesterday and I'm relishing the fact that I no longer have to muck about with the rotary antenna to get a channel to come in remotely clear! I once again have HGTV, Discovery, Sci-Fi and a whole host of others that I have missed over the past 2 years. I channel surfed last night, delighting in the new found television viewing treats dancing past my eyes and delighted in the clarity of the picture!
But as I flicked through channels, I was reminded of Briana's realization, that at any given moment on any given day, you can find an episode (or marathon) of Law & Order or CSI on. At first, it was funny. I came home from work a little early and there was Criminal Intent on NBC. By 8:00, I was a little dumbfounded by the fact that at least five channels had a bevy of these shows: L&O original, CI, SVU, CIS original, CSI: Miami. By 6:00 this morning, it was just a little scary - CI was on...again...
We truly are a nation of lawyer/cop drama junkies. Man, I love cable