I'm still here. Getting a handle on things. Finding new ways - reestablishing old ones. We've made it through the first Christmas without Kim. Harder on her kids for sure than on me, but we made it through.
More this week.
I know I haven't posted, but so much has happened. Nearly all of the events in one way or another involve my sister Kim. Early summer events now take on so much more meaning in light of late fall events.
The most important piece to know (the pivotal plot point, if you will) is that Kim died from COVID-19 on October 1, 2021 in Key West.
We're one year into this working from home pandemic thing. I'm checking in.
I'm still doing great. I think I've gained 5 pounds, which I'm not happy about, but comparative to many other things, it's fine. I still work from home. That too is going really well. There is an informal agreement at this time that if your schedule works for you, your boss, your division and your job, then chances are strong you can keep that schedule. I have offered to go in like once a week and I think it will all work itself out. I'm not worried.
Of course, that being said, I've just asked to work full time for a week in another building to kick off a project with the developers. It would seriously just be easier if we can all be together and understand each other before we try doing the rest remotely. So now I've got to figure that out.
Mentally things are fine. I can sense a few people who are introverted retreating more inwardly and so I need to reach out to them. But we are fine. Ted is an online person and that community is thriving. Renee is isolated up at school but she's figuring out. I've seen one nephew twice in 6 months because his over the road driving had him ending up here. I've seen his brother a few times as well and he's coming for Easter next week. My sister is coming home in early June and we already have a few things planned. (Yes, we plan on going to cemeteries. No, we do not find this weird. Yes, Ted is coming with us. And yes, he has family buried in some of the same cemeteries that we do. It all works out.)
Health-wise, I just finished my series of shingles shots on March 9. Opinions differ on how longer I need to wait for my COVID vaccine, and I'm going with the longer option. That means mid-April sounds about right. So I will worry about this in another week or two. Ted also finished his series of shingles shots and he's going to wait even longer than I am. Everyone still wears masks, even though I personally hate them.
Oh we did suffer a dead dishwasher. We need to get that replaced. And the garden has been planned....
Yeah, I got lots done crafting-wise in January. February was so-so. March was a bust. Ahem. I'm not sweating it. I craft for fun. So goals are good, but not earth-shattering. Enough about goals set in the past. So where could this go?
New Goals! Of course I have new goals. I crack myself up.
I love Bonnie Hunter's denim quilt, so I found all the jeans I have and I started deboning them. I think it's about 50 pair of jeans in there. It's about 60 to 72 columnar inches of denim. Frankly it's impressive. Some pairs had their back pockets already removed for potholders, but not all of them. I have a pair from a coworker who suffered a wardrobe malfunction / structural failure of her jeans one morning and she gave me her dead pair. I have many, many pairs of 5 Slims, which were clearly from my nephews.
I have one denim quilt underway. I need to finish that one. Then make the Bonnie one. And then figure out what to do from there. I have a few ideas but we shall see. I do hope to make my coworker a little pencil pouch or something so she gets something upcycled from her jeans. She thought I was nuts when I asked for them!
I do have a UFO intended for someone with a late May birthday. That is another goal to complete. I also have a wedding in June and I need to get that quilt underway. I have a small wallhanging cut out for my bathroom to do. I have plenty of fun things to start, finish and work on. Just gotta do it.
Otherwise life has been going well. Separate post for non-crafting things...
So I set some goals for January of crafting / creative nature. Why not?
I set 16 goals. I did 11, which is 68.75%. Not too shabby. Here's how it went.
Black spiderweb - I made one row and 2 corner blocks.
Sox - Mend two pair. Done on MCU Thursday.
Patches - sew on 15 to sweatshirts.
Trail Mix - started.
1 UFO - I totally cheated and just did the handwork for a binding for lap quilt. But it counts.
1 bag scraps - OMG, I did a thing! Yes really I completed a bag.
Temp quilt data - recorded another month
1 recipe per Saturday - not really quilting, but I did indeed add 5 recipes to the book.
Operation Christmas Child - made hats
IJDC - Started cutting out the 2 inch squares. Think that step is done.
Frankenbatts - made 30 11" ones. Think these will be blue, as that crate is overflowing with fabric.
Fix / Fit / Block / Finish one sweater - Just didn't get there and since I don't need the sweater for work attire....
Inventory - 2 Christmas stockings. I did buy fabric and a new pattern.
Inventory - 2 quilts for inventory. Just didn't get there.
1 wool hexie
Clean 1 machine
Finished another pair of sox
Made storage bags for 2 Christmas wall hangings
Catitudes DS - top done, sandwiched, 1/4 quilted
1" QAYG strippy - 12 strips added
Purple and White B&SS - underway
Day 2 was long term goals. Ha Ha Ha! That's all been covered in the last posts!
Day 3 was the 72 hour rule before buying anything. I will remember to be mindful. Of course I actually bought something that day, but it had been 3 days! I was able to buy the $9 item with Amex points, so technically it was free. Right now I am making a quilt stop list and I have 3 things on it. I do have gift certificates for the shop, so when I go, I can offset the expense.
Day 4, which was today, was buying food for a week and then committing to eat that food! I did meal plan yesterday and I am good through Friday and there are ideas for the weekend. I broadly plan about 20 meals out and then list about 6 to 8 that I am willing to make over a 5 day period and work that way. Not too shabby.
I did plan a takeout lunch for Friday, but I am grabbing 2 meals and going into the office to meet my new boss. She has been there a month, but it's not like we can go to the cafeteria or anything. So we will eat and yak and all of that.
Oh Coverlets & Counterpanes, how you drive me to distraction!
I just need to do it. Nike was right all along.
I am a project manager of accounting things at work, so I just need to apply my work skills to this process. I have a mental block and I just don't like doing work things at home; I already do them at work! But once it's set up, it will be fine. 2021 is the year of setting it up.
Ted is on board with this and really will push both me and himself to get this accomplished. The biggest thing that happened was that he told me to buy a longarm. This is not a small purchase. It is a big thing and a big expense. It is also my dream and he knows it.
So how does this all tie together - the last posts? While I could technically buy a longarm tomorrow, I don't need that kind of financial stress. I also don't want to wait until I am 100% out of debt; that could be up to 10 years! So Ted and I came up with an agreeable compromise - the Discover bill must go.
So I hope that can be done in 2024 sometime.
Meanwhile we have to get the house ready. We're lazy and while we are motivated, we will take a long time to get things where we want them. We've talked through some of it, and so we have an idea generally how we want it to go.
We can do this!
Meanwhile, back to work.
Oh wow, this one is a doozy. Since I wrote my 10 year goals on my birthday, my work changed a few things regarding retirement (basically eliminating one decision point date on my timeline - really nothing big), and so it got me thinking.
Right now I am set at 6% with a traditional 401(k). I need to up that percentage methodically over the next 10 years. I just have to. I'm just trying to figure out exactly when. Just thinking here - I would love to up it by one percent each quarter so that I can eventually max out my contribution each year. That is not foreseeably possible for this year, so for right now I will consider it a win to up it by 1% by my birthday.
Ted is at 10% in his and his a Roth one. I will set the same goal for his contribution, but not by his birthday which is in 3 weeks. I can't swing it yet.
I do have 2 small Roth IRA's. One takes some doing to change the contribution amount, which is set at $50 per paycheck. I hope to up it by $50 each year on my birthday, so in September. This is fondly known as my quilting retirement fund. My sister laughed at this and then she thought for a minute and said that this was pretty hecking smart on my part. I know.
The other small Roth IRA I have is on Stash. Right now it's $5 per paycheck (don't laugh) and I will start my quarterly $5 increases on this starting with my next paycheck on Thursday. This is fondly known as my knitting retirement fund.
My last investment is also with Stash and is just a personal fund invested in mutual funds. I do $20 per paycheck, and I will start my quarterly $5 increases on this as well on Thursday. This one actually doesn't have a name, but I think of it as pizza and beer / travel / whatever funds.
I just did my usual 5 minute retirement calc. They say you need 80% of what you make when you retire. I do have a pension, which will fund 45% of my retirement income. I need another 35%. I logged into SSA and if I retire at the max age, I will get that other 35% no problem. That means all the saving is for other stuff, which is ideal. Yes, I do have a better retirement calc process. I just haven't done it in a while. I'll make that a 2021 goal.
Lastly, there was a commercial where the financial guy asked what do want to do when you retire and the customer answered. Then he asked what do you want to do between now and then. She answered that she wanted to run with the bulls. I remember this because I am trying to remember to do what I want NOW and not wait for retirement.