Friday, November 26, 2010

Waylon Lewis: Happy Buy Nothing Day!

I heard about Buy Nothing Day a few years ago and I really like the concept of it and this is my favorite thing to post about on this Friday after Thanksgiving.

Waylon Lewis: Happy Buy Nothing Day!

Check out Mr. Lewis' article in the Huffington Post if you're fed up with "Black Friday" craziness as I am. When did spending money and consuming stuff for the sake of spending and consuming become a national pastime? I try to avoid spending anything on the day after Thanksgiving but inevitably, I have to gas up the car or run to the grocery for a few things, as I will do tonight after work. But I'll make up for it another day when I will spend nothing at all.

Ever since I learned about it, I have tried to make a conscious effort to spend TIME with my family and my friends instead of buying them stuff. For instance, the fam agreed that we will draw names and each member gets only one gift for Christmas. The money Don and I would have spent on buying multiple gifts for each one goes toward a holiday experience that we all enjoy. Some years its been a vacation at a ski resort and other years it has been going to the movies together. The important thing is that we participate and enjoy it TOGETHER.

This year I heard about "Buy Small" on Black Friday. That means if you're going to shop, patronize your local hometown stores instead of only the big box stores. Makes sense to me.

I don't advocate not spending at all, but let's keep it sensible. Fighting and shoving and possibly injuring each other, all in the effort to get the "perfect" Christmas gift, doesn't really add much to the season of "Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward All," does it?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wishing you have a safe, happy and delicious
Thanksgiving day
with family and friends.

If you're not celebrating the "Big Feast Day" as we do in the US,
I hope you enjoy this day, and every day,
keeping your family and friends nearby.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

"I kinda think I've got my quilting groove back," she whispered. I don't want to jinx it. It just feels good to be working at my machine after such a long time away from it.

This is the quilt I made out of that bundle of 5" squares I bought awhile back. I usually follow someone else's pattern but this one I created myself. Not very complicated, but I like it and I decided to call it "Girls' Best Friend" since it's all diamonds.

It measures 50x59 inches and I quilted it on my Husqvarna Viking in a pattern of a fancy design in the white blocks, a free hand daisy in the colored diamond blocks and a vine with a stylized rose and leaves.

I didn't have enough fabric for the back and since it's an 80 mile round trip to go to the fabric store, I used leftover pieces of the top fabric to make a pieced back.

I took it to work last week to decide if I wanted to put it up for sale in the annual employee craft sale or if I wanted to save it to put in my future Etsy store. When my co-workers saw it, it was sold! On the spot! No question about it! Wow! That felt really good.
When I finished that quilt about 2 weeks ago I turned next to my great nephew's penguin quilt. Three year old Harri is my sister's grandson and she had planned on making him a penguin quilt. When we were going through her apartment after her death a year ago, I ended up with a huge box of things including the pattern and all the fabric for Harri's quilt. So, it was up to me to make the quilt for Harri.
As I was going through the box a few weeks ago, I found a bunch of other fabrics--polar bears and such--that didn't look like they fit with the penguin theme. In the quilt magazine, I found a pattern for a polar bear quilt as well as the penguin quilt, and the light bulb went on. She had planned on making the polar bear quilt for Harri's big brother, Cris!
I've finished the top of the penguin quilt and am taking it to work tomorrow to pin it together. When it's all quilted up, I'll post a picture. Then I have to make up Cris's polar bear quilt, which he doesn't know anything about.
Working on these quilts is a bittersweet task. I'm pleased to be able to finish what Jan wanted to give to her grandsons. I thought about her all the while I worked on Harri's quilt. I know the boys will love these quilts as much as if her hands had done the sewing. I just wish she could be here to keep me company as she used to do when we sewed together at each other's houses.But if she were, we'd get no sewing done because we'd be laughing and giggling so much. :)

Friday, November 19, 2010


I've had a very interesting day, to say the least. I had a full schedule of clients today and all but one canceled. That means I have to contact them and see if they want to reschedule, and it also means that I had time to move my office. Yes, the new employee is showing up Monday morning to start learning my job. A bittersweet day, moving my stuff. I've worked here over 5 years--that's pretty much a record for me since my husband likes to move every five years or so--and I'd really settled in to my office.

I'm looking forward to working with her and teaching her how to do the job, but it's also another step closer to the end of my working career. I'm looking forward to retirement, but it's such a FINAL thing. Does everyone feel as apprehensive as I do as the time draws near? Even though I'm only changing from full time to part time in January, my official retirement day is April 8, 2011.

Believe me, I've resigned from many jobs--because of hubby's wanderlust--but this is such a permanent thing. I know that at my age I'll never be hired again. Don't tell me there's no such thing as age discrimination in this country! If I ever want to work again, I'll have to be a greeter at the wally mart (and I have no intention of doing that!) or I'll have to start my own business (I've done that before and don't know if I have the stamina for it). So this is final.

My boss has suggested that she has other projects that she wants me to do on a part time basis and I'll do that for awhile, but it just feels strange.

This sounds like a very depressing post. I don't feel depressed, just a lot of mixed feelings. I'm sure that I'll be just fine as I progress along this journey to retirement, but I have to admit, it's a different journey than I've ever had and it certainly feels like uncharted territory. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Follow ups

I was looking over some of my previous entries and I re-read the one I posted on October 27 about the wind storm. When we checked the roof a few days later with binoculars, quite a few shingles had been ripped off. We had hoped to delay re-roofing until next summer, but now there was no choice. We had a roofer out in a few days and, luckily, there was a run of very nice November weather and they managed to complete the job before the snow fell last weekend. So, now we'll be snug in the house for the winter.

I had mentioned to Don that he might want to call the house insurance company to see if they'd pay for part of the roof--after all, we've paid for years and have rarely if ever made a claim. He didn't think so but he grudgingly called them and found out that they will reimburse us for about 3/4 of the cost! That's a nice gift! See Don, you should always listen to me and do what I tell you. ;)

#2 follow-up (or as they say in medical records--fu) Lily has lost more teeth. Last week the second upper front tooth came out and yesterday, the first bottom tooth detatched. there's another loose bottom tooth which will probably come out soon. She'll be missing her 4 front teeth for Christmas! I'll get a picture of her beautiful smile when I can.

I think that's it for today. Back to work.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Where Eagles Soar

I live in a part of the US which is fortunate to have seen a resurgence of the Bald Eagle, America's national bird.

As recently as 50 years ago, it was a rarity to see a bald eagle where I live. Sometimes we would see one at the wilderness camp on the Ontario/Minnesota border where I spent my college summers, and occasionally I would see one while camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. The dark wings and body soaring above--not knowing if it was a large hawk, raven or whatever--then the body turning such that you can see a flash of white and then both head and tail flashing white! Knowing for sure it's a Baldy! I always get a thrill when I see one.

And now, I see an eagle almost every day on my way to work. I'll look out the car window and there it will be, flying above me, almost as though it's guiding me on my journey. Every day I pass an eagles's nest on my way to work--high in an old pine tree, those things are massive! Sometimes, I'll see an eagle on the ground. They like to feed on deer carcasses along the roadside and sometimes there will be one in the middle of a plowed field, checking out something. When we lived in a house on a river, I saw an eagle swoop down right in front of the house to catch a fish--it was amazing!

I like to think that spotting a bald eagle is an omen of good luck, but I'm not sure it really works. Some days just seem to go better than other, eagles or not. I've never seen a bald eagle up close other than in pictures and I think they really are rather ugly and fierce looking things but up in the sky--majestic!

My favorite thing this Friday is celebrating the return of the Bald Eagle!