An even deeper Ahhhhhh!

Two weeks ago I posted about the relaxing joy of coming home on a Friday evening.  Well, tonight I’m on the couch with the laptop enjoying the deeper relaxation of knowing I not only have a three day weekend coming up, starting tomorrow, but that I’ll be deep in the woods at Silver Falls State Park

South falls - from a previous trip

at a quilting retreat during those three days!!  Only bummer is, no dogs allowed, so Ozzie will be staying home with my niece Rebecca, who was only too happy to spend Halloween weekend in town, AND my sister Ginny, who for some reason also wants to spend time at my house.  Go figure.  So, the dog, cat, and house sitting is covered and I can go off to do nothing but eat, sleep, and quilt in peace.

Ellen and Nancy should be here by about 7:30 or 8:00 tomorrow, and then we’re off to the Falls.  Of course, we may have to stop at a few quilt shops, and we will be stopping to see Patty Jo and her Quilter’s Rule Rulers in Salem.  I desperately need some new rail clamps, so it will be good to pick them up.

Oh man!  I guess I’d better go out and clean out the car and get my stuff packed!  So much for that deep relaxation.  Have a very Happy Halloween all!

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A change of direction?

Do you ever feel like you’re in a horrible rut?  You can do some of the things you love to do and you wish you could do them all the time, but then part of you realizes you have to be a responsible adult.  So, my raise at my current job fell through.  Partly because the person doing the review couldn’t be bothered to go beyond the information I gave her, and partially because my boss, while saying I do a terrific job, is not willing to go to bat for me.  After a short time of being pissed off (only a couple of hours — a few years ago, this would have been cause for rage for at least a month!), I decided I should just move on.  I’d really like to retire in July and a work some after retirement, pay down the bills and just quilt.  But, I know that I really should build up my retirement fund more.  What happens if Social Security goes away and I struggle through the next six years, only to find there’s no more money coming?  I’m only 56, so I suppose I can stand to work for five or even ten more years.  I’d rather retire as a semi-wealthy woman than to scrape for every penny.

So, I’ve applied to be the Business Manager of the college’s IT (Information Technology) program.  Sounds like a really interesting job to me, and I think I’d be excellent at it.  If that doesn’t pan out, there’s a sponsored projects administrator job open in the research services office.  I’d probably do pretty well at that too.  I know the research job pays more, so that’s definitely worth a shot.  The IT job is one of those “salary commensurate with experience” jobs, so I have no idea if they would offer me what I would think to be a fair salary.

If neither of these pan out, I may just take a flying leap, retire and go for a different career altogether, but I really don’t think I can stay where I am any more.  22 years in the same job is boring, boring, boring.  31 years at the University is nearly insane.  I’ve been taken advantage of, and am spread way too thin.  I need a job where I have a bit more focus and can use my skills to their best degree.

Am I nuts?  Would you take door number 1?  Door number 2?  Or retire through door number 3?  Sigh.  I’m going to bed and sleep on it.

It smells so good in here!

I took a trip to the local farm market today and picked up apples and fresh vegetables.  Right now, there is a large roasting pan in the oven, filled with butternut squash, parsnips, carrots, onion, garlic, and brussel sprouts, all tossed with a light coating of olive oil and just enough salt to draw out their flavors.  When they are done roasting, they will go into a base of roux, and chicken stock, and will become a wonderful fall soup.  Just about ten more minutes.  Hmmmmmm, it smells wonderful.

“Ugh, what a filthy job!”

“Could be worse. . . ”

“HOW?”

“Could be raining!”

Cue thunder and lightning, Igor’s eye flash.

I just finished installing my new M&M wheels.  Did you hear me swearing?  It took me two weeks to work up the gumption to do it.  Now I know why — it is a filthy, tedious job!  However, after the dropped socket set, the washers flying everywhere, getting the bolts tightened down only to find out I forgot a spacer, they are on and THEY . . . ARE . . . FABULOUS!!  Wooooo hooooo!  It’s like skating on ice.  I need to load a practice piece and make sure I’ve got my stitch regulator encoders snugged up just right for perfect stitching, but this is going to be so fabulous for stitch in the ditch and smooth curves.  I can barely feel that x/y axis — the machine will go wherever I want it to.  I think it may be just a little slice of heaven.

So, here I recline on the couch with the laptop before I tackle another filthy job.  Ozzie needs a haircut and a bath, and I’m in bad need of a shower.  So, it’s doggie comb-out, haircut, and then we’ll both hop in the shower.  He just hates this, but he’s getting to be a stinky dog, so it’s a must.

By then, our first big storm of the season should be upon us, so perhaps we’ll snuggle on the couch and put Young Frankenstein in the DVD player.  It is still my favorite movie of all time.

Ah!  I’m clean!  And so is the dog.  He’s been dried off a couple of times and is now snuggled in a towel and wrapped by a quilt.  I think he’ll sleep for a while.  I forgot how skinny he looks when he’s wet!

Ah, can you feel that?

There’s just something about coming home on a Friday evening, taking your shoes off, unhitching the team, and plunking down on the couch.  Ahhhhhhhhh. . .I could just fall asleep right here.  I do have things to do, and I’ll get up to do them, but the relaxation that comes with knowing I don’t have to go to work tomorrow is just palpable.

 

I may actually get to assemble some of my storage units tonight, and it’s time to install those M&M wheels, so I can quilt a lot more smoothly than I did on that last quilt.  I’m excited to use them, but having changed my wheels before, I’m not all that excited to get going on this project.  Time to suck it up and just do it!

The secret birthday quilt

Well, as you know, I don’t post all that often, but I was trying to be a little more frequent about it.  However, for about the past month, I’ve been involved in a top secret project with my sister Ginny.  We’ve been piecing, and then I quilted, a quilt for our sister Barbara’s milestone birthday (she’s really old).  Now, the deal was supposed to be that my sister Ginny would piece the quilt, and then I would quilt it, but Ginny (ever the minimalist) presented me with a quilt that was approximately 64 x 78″.  My sister Barb has a queen-sized bed, so this just wasn’t going to work out.  I had Ginny add a border of colored squares, then I added a thin plain border, a border of pinwheels, and then another plain border.  Let’s face it — you can’t just slap 11-12″ plain borders on a quilt and call it good.  It would look really silly.  So, I got the quilt top done, finished quilting a little baby quilt for my niece and her husband (they are expecting in mid-late November), and had just loaded the quilt and started the SID (for you non-quilters, this is stitch in the ditch — or outlining the main components of the quilt) when my sister (for whom the quilt was made) calls to tell me that she absolutely LOVES the design I quilted on the baby quilt (my niece is her daughter) and can she send me the fabric to quilt the crib bumpers in the same pattern?  Ai Chihuahua!  Do I say NO!  I’m quilting your birthday quilt, I have no time!!?  Sigh.  Doormat that I occasionally am, I told her to go ahead and send the fabric.  I took the quilt off the frame, expecting that the fabric would arrive on Saturday (it didn’t) and had to load it back on and quilt like the dickens Saturday night and all day Sunday, woke up Monday morning with a migraine (probably from quilting), stayed home and did a little more after the meds kicked in (late afternoon), unloaded, loaded the bumper fabric that arrived with Monday’s mail, quilted that Monday night, unloaded it, loaded the quilt, and finished quilting it Tuesday and Wednesday night.  So, a total of about 2.5 days quilting on this queen-sized quilt.  Most of you who know me know that I am slower than molasses in January.  I’m a follow the line quilter – I go slow and I’m careful and I rip out anything that is wobbly.  Well, there was absolutely no time for that here.  I was haulin’ on this thing, so it’s full of wobbles and bobbles but if you stand back far enough, you just see the overall design and not all the mistakes.  Sort of like an impressionist painting.  Besides all the wonky quilting, I’m satisfied with how this came out.  The wool batting caused some major poof in those diamonds in the outer border.  Given more time, I probably would have plopped some little motif in there to tamp them down, but eventually, the batting will probably lose some of its loft and it looks okay when on the bed.  Oh — my sister said she loved the quilt, so I guess that’s all that matters!