The road less travelled

I had a very quiet Thanksgiving.  I think I really needed the time to relax and regroup.  Ozzie and I roasted a turkey, but didn’t make a bunch of stuff to go with it.  Actually, I had a turkey wing and a salad for dinner.  Ozzie got bits of turkey in his kibble and was a very happy boy for it.  We were invited to a family gathering, which would have been very nice, but I felt a little to rung out to even get dressed and drive.  I turned on the TV to put in a movie, and found that the National Dog Show was on.  Ozzie just went nuts.  He barked at the dogs who made him nervous, he would take his ball or a toy over to the TV when he saw a dog he wanted to play with.  It was so entertaining.  We went out and played ball in the back yard for a while, and then we did watch a movie.  He’s a really good snuggler, and even allows Vince (one of my cats) to join us on the couch.

Yesterday I deboned the turkey and made a big turkey and barley stew.  I’ll freeze half of it, or I’ll be eating turkey all the way till Christmas.  I’ve been puttering around the house, cleaning things up, washing warmer winter clothes (why do they always smell so funny from being in the closet for a few months?) and just relaxing.  Still haven’t made any decisions on what to do on the job front.  I realize I’m lucky to be employed.  In fact, I’ve never been unemployed.  I started working when I was in high school and I’ve always worked and never collected unemployment.  I’m fortunate to be in a position where I can try to make changes in my situation.  For now, I think I’ll just lay some ground-work.  Plan for the future by trying to put away everything I can, build my business up a bit, and prepare to cut myself loose from this stressful path.  I want the road less travelled.

The fork in the road?

I have worked at the University of Oregon for 31 years.  After 30 years of service, a state employee (me) can retire with full benefits.  However, I had 75% of my retirement fund in the variable annuity and, in 2008, I lost 48% of that 75%.  I simply can’t afford to retire now.  The job, though, has become so incredibly stressful, that I am thinking of leaving anyway.  If I were to quit and get a part time job, I could survive financially, and I might actually get my health back.  I have to weigh the costs and benefits here.  I’ve worked in this job without much reward for years.  I do get good benefits, but the salary sucks.  The administration of the UO continues to ‘decentralize,’ which means they keep giving me more stuff to do for no extra money.  I’m nearing the straw that breaks the camel’s back.  Is this why I can’t bear to quilt anymore?  I basically have no joy in anything.  At what point do you decide that enough is enough?

I’m not ancient.  I still feel I have a lot to offer.  I just want to do something that is fun to do.  I don’t want to handle peoples’ BS every day.  I don’t mind problem solving.  I just don’t want to have other people make their problems mine.  So, I’m going to think about down-sizing.  Finding something I love to do.  Finding a way to get by on less.  I feel a thrill of joy inside just thinking about it.


I’m told it well may be my German heritage, but I think there may be more at work here.  I just don’t want to quilt anymore.  There, I said it.  I just don’t want to.  I don’t know why.  When I start in on it, I really enjoy it, but it takes Herculean effort to even make myself get anywhere near the sewing machine or the longarm.  Maybe it’s depression, maybe it’s just too much stress in other areas of my life, but I just don’t want to do it.  Has this ever happened to any of you?  I don’t think I’m bored.  I think I’m just being stubborn and defiant with myself.  Is that weird or what?  Hmmm.  Do I need a frontal lobotomy, or a bottle in front of me?  Oh well.  Off to heft myself up those stairs and just do it.

The cycle of life

On Thursday, we welcomed a new family member.  Logan Dale Benson was born at 7:01 a.m. Eastern time to my niece Emily and her husband Aaron.  Logan arrived on his grandfather’s (my brother-in-law’s) birthday.  Mom and son are doing very well.

Today I received a phone call from my relatives in Connecticut.  My cousin’s son Billy passed away in the night.  We have no idea why.  He was not ill, I don’t think he was yet 50 years old.  He went to sleep and just did not wake up.  My aunts are, of course, devastated.  My cousin Carol (Billy’s mom) passed several years ago from breast cancer, and Billy was the apple of my Aunt Ethel’s eye.  There is too much loss in our family.  It makes me so sad.

So, one joins the family, another departs.  Hold tight to the ones you love while they are here.  We are all precious to one another.

I got better!

Thankfully, from this miserable virus, and not because a witch turned me into a newt!  😉  You Monty Python fans will understand that one.  Anyway, the crud is on the run, I made it through a whole week at work (barely, sanity-wise), and after spending most of the morning playing with my critters, I’m off to quilt till I wilt.

My nurse

took very good care of me and kept me nice and warm with all his snuggling.  Now he wants to play enough ball to make up for a week of illness!  My throwing arm is getting a bit tired.  We’re supposed to be in the midst of a storm here, but it’s actually sunny, so we may have to take a break later on and hit campus or the dog park for another round of Chuck-it ball.

Enjoy your weekend all, and, if you’ve begun your holiday travels, stay safe!

The Plague – Day 9

I do believe I’m finally on the mend.  I made it to work today and managed to stay the whole day.  I did not feel like I’d been run over by a bus when I left.  Yay!  I think I may actually be able to make it to work tomorrow.  I don’t know if this has been a particularly nasty virus or I’m just getting old, but I’m really looking forward to feeling better.

I did manage to get the sample made for the Piec-lique’ class I’ll be teaching in February.  I can’t wait to share this technique with the local quilters.  I learned from Sharon Schamber a few years ago and got her permission to pass on the technique.  I’ll be providing them with pattern packets from Sharon.  It should be a lot of fun.

Wah, wah, wah . . . I give up

Remember I said I don’t have time to be sick?  Well, I guess it really just doesn’t matter.  Please pardon any errors of spelling or grammar in this post. . .truth is, I’m sicker than a dog.  I thought the fever was gone and this morning’s attitude was just the “I don’t want to go to work” malaise.  So, I got up, showered, and went in to the office.  I made it about an hour and a half before I was sweating and dizzy again.  I decided to pack up some work and head home, but stopped at the grocery store on the way home and bought some chicken and veggies and took the time to make some REAL chicken soup before I hit the couch.  It did exhaust me to make the soup, but once I had the veggies sautee’d and the chicken browned, I had the crockpot ready to accept it all.  I threw everything together with a little broth made with some Better Than Bouillon, threw in some extra veggies and some barley.  It was all done a few hours ago.  I had a little of it (don’t really feel like eating) and Ozzie got a little of it mixed into his kibble tonight.  I’m back on the couch, fever of 100.2 is back.  Headache, runny nose, sneezing.  Will the cough come tomorrow?  Weird piece-meal virus.  I just want it over!!  Wah, wah, WAH!

‘Tis the season

Damn.  I think I have the sickness.  Earache and sore throat today.  I do not have time to be ill.  This little illness seems to have been hiding in the background and attempting to rear its ugly head for a few weeks now, but has not been much of a problem  Today, it is most annoying.  I’m cold.  Half an hour later, I’m roasting to death.  I had Mrs. Grass’s Chickeny Noodle Soup for lunch (without the noodles, since I can’t have pasta), and I felt better for a bit but now the painful throat is getting to me again.  So, I’ve just given up, have parked myself on the couch with the computer and a small glass of blackberry brandy.  It certainly feels good on my throat, and I have a feeling I’ll be fast asleep in no time.  I hope when I wake up, I feel all better.  I have quilting, cleaning, laundry, and organizing to do, so I don’t have time for this.  Got my comfy quilt and will give in for a few hours.

That was GREAT!

The retreat was so much fun, AND I got a lot done while I was there.  I made a gift for my Secret Stitcher, got a sweatshirt jacket cut, designed, covered, and basted, and then got the borders put on the quilt I sewed the blocks for during the spring retreat.  I actually even managed to sleep through the night while I was up there.  I didn’t think about work, got to breathe the excellent fresh air, eat good food, and I slept like a baby.  Now that I’m home, I’m awake at 2:00 in the morning, worrying about all the stuff I have to do at work.  ACK!

Ozzie had his annual check up at the vet yesterday.  Dr. Carey says he’s in great shape, she could barely pinch any extra skin to give him his shots.  He’s a very muscular little dog.  He now weighs 17.2 pounds.  He was a very nice little boy and behaved very well, even through the indignity of the thermometer!  He’s now good to go on everything except kennel cough for three years.  The kennel cough shot is an annual.  I was worried he wouldn’t feel well today, but he was just fine.

The weather has changed again.  It was 70 degrees here yesterday.  Only up to 57 today, but it’s supposed to be unseasonably warm again tomorrow.  I’ll take it — any time the furnace doesn’t have to turn on is great.