Monday, April 09, 2018

11 years and 1 year

Today marks my 11th work anniversary.  It is the longest I have ever worked anywhere, as the job market and benefits here are so very different than Chicagoland.  I have a pension, thus making the decision to switch jobs so much more complex.  I am very happy where I am.

Today also marks 1 year since I figured out a few things about my UFOs. 

Last year I figured out that I had over 200 UFO's.  In fairness, some are just collections of fabric with no idea, just that they need to stay together.  However, I cataloged about 90 and then stopped, figuring I had hit about half way.  A year later and more poking around the sewing space, and I think 200 is about right.

So I vowed last April 9 that I had to do 10 UFO's a year.  I don't care about new starts as long as they are finished.  I just have to do 10 UFO's a year.  Even the one finish that I had for Q1 of this year doesn't technically count because it was started last summer.  The 2 tops that I have completed so far this year do count and they even have backs ready, so that's a huge start.  I also have planned a week long staycation this month and I have a minor goal of 4 tops done and a lofty goal of 8 items ready to have their bindings hand-sewn down. 

This is my kind of goal.

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Where my time has actually been going

Walk walk walk on the treadmill of doom.

That would be the Cliff Notes version.  But yes there has been a lot of walking.   I decided to really get serious about it in January, then I slacked a bit and then in February, it all just clicked.  I am doing it for reals.

A few factors, some of which I will explain, and some that I won't, at least right now. 

My daughter explained to me that children get their accents from their friends and not their family.  Extending that corollary, the company I keep has changed.  Fitness is in.  One person does not know what I am doing.  Another does and is incredibly discreet about it - maybe an occasional comment one on one but not in a group.  3 others are in the same age group as me and we have a walking group whenever work has a challenge - we all sit be each other and we are encouraging.

Hogwarts Running Club.  Trust me, this has been invaluable.  Harry Potter not your thing? $10 bets that there is a fandom for you that does this. 

Crazy life goals.  I'm approaching a big birthday and I have a few crazy-pants goals.  Swimmer Katie Ledecky said this about goals: 

I would encourage you to set really high goals. Set goals that, when you set them, you think they're impossible. But then every day you can work towards them, and anything is possible, so keep working hard and follow your dreams.

When I am ready to reveal my crazy-pans goals, I will.  I am trying a few on for size.

All of this being said, there will be posts about where I am at goals-wise. 

Sunday, April 01, 2018

Q1 is Done

The first quarter of 2018 is done.  Today is Easter Sunday and it's snowing.  April Fool's!

The first quarter went pretty well regarding crafting.  I am working on my final term of Loopy Academy and I am so grateful to have a great niece to make a sweater for instead of me.  She's a size 2T.  I'm not.  

On the quilting front, I have done a lot.  I am trying to adapt various techniques to keep the mojo flowing.  I am using JOT - just one thing.  It is rougher for me with the machine on the main floor and the ironing station downstairs but hey I gotta do what I gotta do.  I also have started to use the OMG concept - one monthly goal.  My monthly goal is one top completed.  I realize that there is usually one top and an alternate.  

Then I got a wild hair and I decided to do a reverse WITB - what's in the box.  Most do the WITB to empty it.  I chose to take a basket and fill it with everything in my UFO pile that I seriously want to work on.  I let all responsibility go and just picked fun things or easy things or even similar things.  The laundry basket sits in my living room and it hopefully won't take me all year to empty it, but it will be fun.  

So how successful have I been so far this year?  1 have 3 tops completed, and one is already quilted and bound - my Q1 finish.  Not great but enough for now.

Monday, January 01, 2018

To Quote Michael Jordan....

"I'm back."

This was his 2 word fax to the Chicago Bulls when he returned and they repeated the Three-Peat.

2017 was a year.  Oh My.

I bought a new car.
I bought Renee a new car.
(Both are Chevy Sonics and both are used.)

I knit a lot.
I quilted some.
I bought tatting supplies.

I became a great-aunt.
A good friend had her second child.
Another good friend bought a house with her man.

I went to Europe.
I went to Coronado Island.
Worth every moment.

We lost Coach Rachel, tragically, on September 14.
We lost Grandma Mary on September 29 (my birthday) at age 96 and a half.
Grief sucks.

On August 22, Renee injured her shoulder.
On September 16, Renee suffered a concussion.
The swim season was a bust and rehab continues.

Ted got bronchitis the week before Thanksgiving.
I got ill the day after Thanksgiving.
The holidays were low-key.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

How Migraines Work

5.00am  The migraine awakens you to announce its presence.

6.00am  You wake up to start your day.  As you shower, you realize that the migraine has decided it will take charge of your day.

6.15am  You take migraine medicine.

6.40am  After the thought of coffee disgusts you (a very scary sign), you drive your child to sports practice.  The burning ball of fire in the sky is pure evil, as is the barometer.

7.00am  You arrive home, change out of your mismatched work clothes (another sign of the migraine), change back into pajamas and go back to bed.

8.20am  Your husband asks you to get up to drive him to the airport.  Also a migraine sufferer, he has great sympathy for your plight, but needs a ride.

8.35am  You drop off his car at the repair place (well, it will sit in the driveway anyway while he gone - might as well get this handled).  Text work that this migraine is taking over today.

8.50am  You drop your husband off at the airport.  You are ready to pull away but he's not walking in.  You roll down the window and ask if things are ok.  He gets back in the car.  We live in Illinois and you can't fly interstate without a passport to go with your state ID.  Our state IDs are not updated because there is no money because there is no budget (for a year now).

8.55am  Drive longingly past the McD's and head home to get passport while husband texts child that you will be late picking them up from practice.

9.10am  Arrive home, get passport.

9.25am  Finally drop husband at airport.

9.27am  Finally get food at McD's and take second migraine pill, as first has done nothing.

9.45am  Pick up child very late from practice.  Child is fine.

9.53am  Return home.  Change back into pajamas and go back to bed.

2.00pm  Get husband's car, grab lunch at Jimmy John's (migraine hangover food) and return home.  Child has done mise en place for dinner and is asking questions on fried rice cooking techniques.  You silently thank the gods for your child's wisdom on this matter.

2.54pm  You finish this post.

Please note that tornadoes ripped through Illinois overnight and my migraine plight is nothing.  I had one co-worker who spent the night in her basement with her kids with no power until 6am.  She made it into work.  I suck.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

20 years

Today marks my 20th wedding anniversary to Ted.  (A co-worker is celebrating her 36 - she says I'm a rookie!)  Interestingly enough, it's been a time of introspection.

The dad (Joe) of the best man at our wedding (Mike) died last Friday.  Ted made the choice to go to the wake even though he and Mike have not talked in about 10 years.  They just grew apart, and despite social media, they have not kept in touch.  Ted debated about going, but Joe and his wife Kathy were such a part of his life pre-marriage and even post-marriage, it was the right thing.  He took a half day off to go.

So Ted saw some folks from Mike's group of friends.  Others were not there / had not shown up.  He saw Mike and his siblings, and some of their kids, but none of their spouses.  And not all of the kids either.  In my family, a wake is a command performance and all spouses and kids (grandchildren) must be present.  (Think we don't do it?  My dad's wake was -10 degrees out.  That's below zero.  And yep, we were all there.)

As Ted was chatting with the widow Kathy, she asked about me, our girl, etc - all the usual niceties.  Ted replied with yep, we're married, life is good, etc.  Kathy muttered that all of her kids were getting divorced.

That explained a lot.  One spouse and the kids were coming after she got off work (huh?).  Another spouse of a child who lives out of state never even made the trip (but she sent the g'kids).  The third spouse was also absent.  Of the group of long-lost friends, one is divorced, one remains single, 1 is still married (we're friends on FB) and I think the other 2 are still married.

Ted said it brought closure.  And he's happy we're still married.

Tradition says that china is the gift for 20 years.  We're getting takeout.


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Camp Loopy 2015 - Or What I Did This Summer

So it's been awhile but I am back.  Let's talk about Camp Loopy, which is part of What I Did This Summer.  ;-)

The theme was Safari.  The first month, June, was to be something you'd see on safari, if I recall.  I was watching my Tivo'd episodes of the Amazing Race and they were on safari and one of the challenges was to go to find elephants.  So using that as my guide, I found a pattern on Ravelry with elephants.

Without further ado, here are the Elephant Sox.


The above is the completed photo.  I actually wear navy pants and purple sweaters / shirts a lot, so this winter, they will be lovely.


June was a month of travel for me.  Here are the sox at the end of the IASA national conference in Las Vegas.  My sister and I went and we went early so we could have some long visits with our aunt Susie and our cousin Laura.  Totally worth it.  The conference keynote speakers were Peyton Manning, Condi Rice and the daughter of Alan Funt of Candid Camera.


Once I returned from Las Vegas, I was then off to Puerto Rico with Renee for an immersion trip.  A great trip.  Good kids, good parents, good guide and a good time.  Well paced and nicely done.  The above photo was taken on a catamaran.  We headed out to 2 places to snorkel and swim.  Not much knitting was done because rum punch was involved....

There is also a fantastic story about how our boat was parked between two other party boats (we had kids so we were tame.  The party boats were all adults - not so tame) and the winds drove us into one of those boats.  Our first mate Dolly (a lovely young woman) got us through that and then flipped off the other boat's captain.  I commented that action needed no translation and she replied that he was her ex.  Enough said.


This day was the last day I knit the sox in PR.  It is being held in this photo by our lovely tour director Melani and we are at El Morro, the oldest fort in the New World.  Lots of history here.

PR was beautiful and I would love to go back as a family.  Pro tip: invest in a 5 star hotel.

The third trip saw no sox knitting, but we went to The Birthplace, which any girl scout can tell you is Savannah, GA.  That trip was super hot and I heard so much about Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, I bought the book for my Kindle and started reading it right then and there.  I also found The Frayed Knot yarn shop and made a contribution to the local economy.  I think I would love Savannah in the winter.

The second month, July, had a challenge of a pattern found in the wild - on your travels and serendipity.  I had started to read the Yarn Harlot's blog from the beginning and I chose her snowdrop shawl.  People at work asked to see it and so the pic is on a cube wall.  Random, but effective.  Yes, I like pink.  Move along...



There was no travel in July.  I was gone nearly 3 weeks in June and while I had adventures, one thing we did learn is that we like to have Ted with when we travel.  Vegas was different because it was Kim and she had never been to Vegas to see Aunt Susie and that was totally worth it.  But when Renee and I travelled in June on the other two trips, we realized that Ted needs to be there...

On to August.  August's challenge was to make something amazing.  Well, I am here to tell you I feel that this item will look amazing on me.  So there!



I have given up on buttons and now use cardigan clips.

I haven't worn this sweater yet but the weather has turned so bring on fall.

Another thing that happened in August was a significant change for me at work.  I have been in my present position for 8 years.  I do project work for the Controllers division at my work.  I love what I do.  I've already done what I want to professionally so I decided when I moved here I would only do accounting that I loved.  

Anyway, another department in Controllers (there are 14 departments) lost one supervisor to her posting to another area and the second one was pregnant.  The decision was made to add a supervisor in on a temporary basis to get through.  My project before my current one was implementing their new system so I know the product, the people and the process.  Long story short, everyone cleared it with everyone else before I was talked to.

Of course I took it.  It has been a while since I supervised people but they are a good group, which is wonderful.  It was to be a temporary position, but the new mama has chosen to stay home.  So I guess it's permanent.  Since I plan to be at my current employer for the next 20+ years, I need to have some mobility.

And that is how I spent my summer.