My IQ is coming! My IQ is coming!

One if by land, and two if by sea!  I am so excited, it’s hard to contain myself.  I have wanted an Intelliquilter for forever!  I know, I know, some people think computerized quilting is tacky.  Well, I guess it can be, but a good computer (which, I think this is the BEST) can really help you get some work done and save your aging bones.  I love to do quick and easy all-overs (edge-to-edge) patterns on quilts, but I rarely get asked for that type of quilting.  Most folks think I just do the fancy stuff, and I do fancy stuff, but man, can it take it out of you.  With the Intelliquilter, I’ll be able to put a fancy motif in a block, either from the IQ library, a purchased pattern, or one of the stencils I currently have, and then have the computer duplicate it 32 times (or however many blocks need that design).  It will save a lot of wear and tear on my neck and shoulders.  It can also do pantographs while I’m busy stitching and, since I have gotten several commission quilts lately, that will be a good thing.  More time is a wonderful gift to give myself.  Intelliquilter isn’t just a bunch of cookie-cutter patterns either.  You can design your own stuff, you can fit things to specific areas, you can train it to do special tricks!  😉  I have lusted after one of these computers for several years, put myself on the waiting list last October, and finally confirmed my order at the start of this month.  I didn’t think I’d get it till September or October, but I am now tentatively scheduled to get it on July 15th!  I am over the moon.

Of course, this will mean I have to clean my house.  My family can tell you that I rarely let anyone in my house.  It’s not filthy, it’s just cluttered.  I’ve been attempting to clean it up and organize for the past few weeks and, as most of you know, when you start cleaning and organizing, you make twice the mess you started with.  Hmmm, wait. . . did I already say that in a previous post?  Most likely.  Oh well, after all, I’m old, I’m stressed, I’m excited, so I’m bound to repeat myself.  Anyway, I’m making good headway and am determined to be prepared for my IQ to arrive.  Lord knows I need a bit my RAM for my aging brain!

It always gets better

My, have I been the queen of doom and gloom lately, or what?  Yes, I’ve been fairly depressed.  I keep remembering though, that there’s always tomorrow (cue Scarlett and Annie now), and when you feel at the bottom, there’s no where to go but up.  Things are brightening.  I’ve suddenly got lots of quilts to do again.  The weather has been awesome (and I generally do not use that word).  Sunny, a few puffy clouds, temperatures only reaching the mid- to low-seventies, which means you can go outside and play and not wither in the heat.  My yard is getting a bit overgrown, but I have hired my niece to come and do some mowing for me while I get the house in shape.  It seems I may have some guests in a few weeks.  It’s not for certain yet, but my Intelliquilter may be coming much sooner than I had expected.  I am so excited about this, I’m nearly sick.  I have a lot of work to do, as my house is the ultimate disaster area and, as you may know, when you decide to clean up, you always have to make a mess at least twice the size first!  I have pulled most things out of my spare bedroom and have boxes standing at the ready for trash, donations, and storage.  The storage box is very small.  Actually, I just assembled a cube unit yesterday into which I can put the things I will keep.  It will reside in the wardrobe in the spare bedroom/sewing room.  I have some photos I want to keep, serger thread, some fabric (how did that get in there?), and some knitting things.  The rest has to go.  Well, no time to sit here and type.  I’m off to get things organized and get my new career underway.  Yes, I’ll stay at the office till July 31, but then I’m cutting the cord!  My new life begins.

My best retirement advice

If you are about to retire, I would highly recommend that you just do it.  Pick your last day and don’t work past it.  I have done something that I would not advise anyone to do.  I retired April 1, but figured I would fill in until they hired someone else for my job.  NOT a good idea.  1)  you will regret that you are not free; 2) although the extra income is nice (pension, plus a salary), no amount of paying off your bills is worth your sanity; 3) people treat you really strangely, as though you don’t really exist, but you’d best damn well take care of their paperwork.  I have been doing my best to figure out my financials and, while it may not be the most financially sound plan, I would like to leave work at the end of this month.  Okay, I really thought about it, and I probably won’t leave until the end of next month.  This will pay my bills off, provide me with half the money for my IQ (Intelliquilter add-on to my longarm) and leave me with a very small payment for the remainder each month that I can pay by doing someone else’s quilt or by surviving on what’s in the freezer.  I figure people will be finishing their holiday quilts soon and business will be hopping again.

Anyway today is the solstice and Ozzie and I were enjoying it very much.  We went outside to play ball twice.  The weather is beautiful, even though the grass pollen is in the extremely high range.  My allergy meds are doing the trick and I was happy.  I was making good progress on the pile of work on my desk.  Then, for some reason out of the blue, the faculty decided to throw me a retirement surprise.  I think just a gathering to say thanks and hand me a card (supposedly with money in it), but I’m not really sure because I bolted.  I had made quite clear that I wanted no retirement party.  I had told them if they threw me one, I wouldn’t come, and if they surprised me, I would leave.  I left.  It upset me so badly I had to come home.  Chest pains (anxiety attack) and an extreme headache.  I am puzzled.  Why 1) a surprise gathering with a card full of money is supposed to make people feel better about treating you like crap for 23 years (my time in that one office, although I’ve been at the U for 32), and 2) what the hell is so special about today?  I retired April 1.  Nary a soul said boo.  I’m supposed to stay till September 30, but that will not happen.  I’m trying to force myself to stay till July 31.  So why try to bribe me on June 21?  I have no clue.  I’ll never understand.  I’m at a total loss, and have come home.  I just feel the need to write about it.  I don’t know why.  To let it out?  To try to write it down so I can find the logical sense in it?  I don’t know.  I wish I didn’t care.

Happy Father’s Day

These parental holidays can be a real drag to those of us who no longer have our parents, but over the years I have come to the point where instead of being sad because I lost mine, I try to sit and remember the wonderful things about them.  I loved my dad.  Very much.  He was not an angel while he was here.  He was the life of the party.  He loved fun.  I remember hearing jingle bells at Christmas time, while he told us Santa was on the roof and we’d best get to sleep if we wanted any toys.  I remember mom getting me out of bed before Easter so I could see the Easter Bunny kicking at the door, trying to get in to deliver chocolate bunnies (no doubt, dad hiding behind the porch railing with a puppet).  I remember loop the loops in his airplane that made the room spin when I got home.  I remember giant parties in the back yard with all the neighbors and lots of his friends from neighboring towns.  I remember doing dishes one evening in winter and complaining of being bored and dad realizing that it was time to take all his kids to get ice skates, so we could go skate on Shelton’s Pond.  I remember riding in the car, my parents and us four kids, pulling a BeeLine trailer as we traveled from Connecticut across the country to the Seattle World’s Fair the summer after 2nd grade.  I remember him letting me ride a pony at the carnival below Mt. Rushmore on my 8th birthday.  I remember him teaching me to swim.  He had his faults, but he was a great dad.  Probably the best film reference I have that makes me think of my dad is from “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” where Francie reads her essay about her dad to her mother.  Yes, when I walked down the street with my dad, I felt as though I were walking with a king.



The restorative power of quilting

After a fairly draining week at the office, I spent yesterday sewing with my buddies at Our Sewing Room in Springfield, OR.  It’s a shop that sells a little fabric, does alterations, and has lots of tables for sewing, cutting, ironing, etc.  Machines for rent if you don’t have one, and a place to just come and sit and sew.  We chat, we laugh, we work on our projects, and just have the best time.  I come home during the day to let Ozzie out and play ball, then go back for more fun.  By the end of the day yesterday, I began to yawn repeatedly.  I hadn’t slept well Friday night. . .no doubt with the woes of the week spinning in my brain.  I got home, took Ozzie out for another exhausting ball toss (he gets exhausted, not me!), and then came in and had dinner.  I sat down on the couch and turned on the TV to watch the news and the next thing I knew, it was 8:30 p.m.!  What a wonderful nap I had.  I awoke to a nice warm Schnoodle blanket and many licks when I opened my eyes.  Life is good.

Life changes can be scary

You all know that I’m retired, but still working.  I think I’ve probably griped about my job enough to let you all realize that I really don’t like what I do.  I used to, because I take what I do seriously and do my best to do it well.  There may come a time in life for some (like me) who suddenly realize that I care too much, and those whom I serve don’t care at all.  The final straw came yesterday, when the yearly announcement on retirees and the invitation to the reception in honor of said retirees was sent out.  I was not on the list.  After 31.5 years of service to the UO, it was not even acknowledged that I worked there.  I knew I wasn’t going to go to the reception — I dislike such dog and pony shows — but it would have been nice for them to just say, “atta girl, Linda. . .you hung in here for 31 years and even though you don’t want to come to the reception, we’d just like to say thanks for those 31.5 years.”  NOPE.  When I contacted the Human Resources office to inquire about their oversight, the woman laughed at me (much as my boss did when he told me everyone but me would be getting a raise, because I retired a month too early).  She then emailed me later to explain that she had run her report in May and I wasn’t on it.  If I wanted, she could go ahead and put my name on there, but it was highly irregular.  This just sent me over the edge.  I was so hurt and angry.  BUT, I decided that I would just go upstairs and finish quilting the two quilts I had loaded on the machine (yep, doing them two at a time now ;p).  By the time I was finished with the quilts I decided that her response was unacceptable.  In my career at the UO, when someone calls and tells me they’ve noticed something is wrong, I find out why and try to fix it.  So I emailed the woman and told her I thought she should re-check the parameters of her report.  Well, it turns out her report was flawed.  (I knew that!).  There were 9 more people added to the retirement list today.

BFD, right?  Well, on top of all the other things happening at the office lately, it was more than I could bear.  I took this morning off because I 1) had an errand to run. . .going to the post office to return the two quilts to Moda Fabrics. . . and 2) I had a physical therapy appointment, and 3) because I actually wanted some time to sit down and think about whether I wanted to subject myself to returning to work at all.  Of course, the answer was that no, I really don’t want to go back to work, but I have to.  You see, I decided to take the bull by the horns a bit earlier in the week, and I ordered myself something I have wanted for ages.  I ordered an IQ.  Now, most of you are thinking . . . what, she ordered more RAM for her addled aging brain?  Ah, how I wish that were possible.  But, it’s almost the same thing.  I ordered an Intelliquilter, a rather expensive addition to my longarm quilting machine.  It will, I believe, allow me to grow my business and save a lot of wear and tear on my body.

There comes a time in life where you realize you have to let go of your safety net.  You have to let go of something you hate so much but to which you cling because life will be dangerous without it.  You have to create your own reality, show your own strength (or idiocy) and just go for it.  I will work hard, but I will be working at something I love.  I will stay at the UO as long as I can stand it, but perhaps cut back my hours to reduce the stress.  I’ll need that money to pay for the Intelliquilter.  So.  Here I go, I see the prize at the end of the tunnel.  I’ll keep my eyes focused on it.  Something in my heart tells me I am doing the right thing.

Sight seeing in Oregon

My friends who put on the MQX Show, Janet-Lee Santeusanio and Mary Schilke, were in Portland this past week to arrange things for MQX West.  I picked them up at their hotel Friday morning, and we made a day of going sight seeing in Oregon.  Now, we could have gone shopping, but you can do that most anywhere, and we could have run around downtown Portland (but I didn’t want to scare them too much [Portland can be weird, but fun]), so we decided to take in some natural wonders instead.  We started with one place I had not yet been to – Mount Hood and Timberline Lodge (Redrum. . . redruM!)

The outside of Timberline was used in the movie “The Shining,” while the inside was a lodge somewhere in Colorado (I think).  The lodge looks a bit strange, as it still has the snow tunnel on the outside of it due to the presence of, yes, quite a bit of snow.  Actually, you go up some stairs inside this tunnel to get to the ground floor of Timberline, and then up another flight to the first floor, where the view out the windows was a bit obstructed.

From Mt. Hood, we traveled north to the Columbia River Gorge and the Maryhill Mansion and Museum built by Sam Hill (what in the Sam Hill. . . ?).  The gorge is populated by a whole herd of windmills, but they weren’t moving all that fast when we were there.

We had quite the view from Maryhill.

On the way back to Portland, we stopped in at Multnomah Falls, which is supposed to be the second tallest waterfall in the USA.  I think the first is Yosemite.

The weather and the company could not have been better, and they only had to put up with me turning around about three times and nearly running a red light once!  It was a nice day to spend in the beauty of nature with some fun quilting ladies!