Got a job!

Do you remember last fall when I was burned out, exhausted, unable to cope?  And I asked my bosses for a 6 month sabbatical, during which time I would do the tax program, and only the tax program, then take off a couple of months before coming back, and when I came back I would do the job on my job description, and only that one?  Not the three or four others that I also was trying to do?

Remember how they said no, that just wouldn’t work for them?  And how I was so fried I felt I had no option but to quit?  They were surprised but didn’t change their minds, except to say they would pay me to do the tax program?  I operated on the assumption that when tax season ended, so would my employment.  I was OK with that.  More so than was A, who does our bookkeeping.  🙂  But I knew we had some savings, and would survive, if not thrive.

Just before tax season ended, those same bosses posted my job.  The one I wanted to do, without all the other stuff attached.

I applied.  I interviewed.  I negotiated as best I could for the salary/benefits package I wanted.  We reached an agreement on that front, although not as much as the bookkeeper and I would have liked, it is a fair deal.

I start Monday.  At my old place of employment, with my old boss, in my old seat.  I won’t have as much responsibility, I won’t be an exempt employee, and I will have to work on Fridays. I think I can live with all of that.  Because I think I will get home at a decent hour, and if I work a 50 or 60 hour week, I will get paid for those extra hours.  I hope it won’t happen, though, because while I am very happy to be back, I do still wish I got that month or two off.  But other than that, I actually got everything I asked for last fall, that they said they could not possibly do.

Pretty good!

So, when I post my Friday list, it will likely be the last one for a while. Maybe I will change to weekend lists? Or maybe just save the concept for those rare Fridays I have off in the future..

Of course, I will still buy lottery tickets.  Hope springs eternal!

What new torture this?

My dental hygienist retired.  Need I say more?

Other than that, a pretty good day!  After torturing me cleaning my teeth and sealing the sensitive spots, the new-to-me hygienist said “don’t eat or drink anything for 45 minutes.”  This is new! I am sure she is a lovely woman and very competent, and I am sure that hideous water needle thing she used does a great job on my plaque, but I hated it, and my gums are sore now.  AND I WAS MEETING CRIMSON CROW FOR BREAKFAST AFTER MY APPOINTMENT!!!

Luckily, we had no firm plans beyond meeting, and we had a very patient waitress who didn’t mind waiting while we chatted away the remaining time until I could eat and drink!

We had a good morning, chatting away as we did errands. I dropped off more things at the shop while she looked around, we tortured entertained the very nice customer service guys at the building supply store, and stopped at the local craft store for some silver clasps for me before parting.

Once home, I had just enough time to return a call to my current and hopefully future boss – we are sorting things out! Not in the same place yet on a few important things, but I think we will get there.

Then the power went out.  That’s right.  Power did not go out AT ALL in all those storms we had in January, February, and March.  But it went out today for a couple of hours.  It was windy, but I wouldn’t have thought it was THAT windy.  Luckily I had just hung up the phone when it went out. So I did what any sane normal knitting-addicted person would do – I sat down immediately, pulled a blanket over my lap and knit. Without stopping, for two hours.  In complete peace and quiet. It was quite nice.

Now A is home, the power is on, the house is warming up, and we have come to an agreement on where we stand on those things the boss and I are not together on.  Tomorrow  I will call and see if we can come together and I have a job.  If so, I start Monday.  YIKES!

I checked Etsy and found a custom order for a toddler sweater/hat and mitten set – the mom loves Slipped Stitches Charleston set I knit, and wants one in a bigger size for her little girl.  She needs it by the end of November – I love the luxury of time!

Oh, and Crimson Crow helped me ID another new-to-me bird – a yellow-rumped warbler.  Funny name for a bird with a yellow head I thought.  Until I saw it again, and it carefully showed me ALL of its yellow parts. Yup, it has a yellow rump. 🙂  Zumba is impressed, she watched it very closely.

That’s all – I wonder what will happen tomorrow?

Photos of things on the needles and recently off

Still no sun, but these photos give you an idea of the non-shawl KAL things I am working on.

This blue is something that has been on my needles for a while.  It is linen stitch, so the going is slow.

blue scarf 4 27 15

This scarf is for my niece C – I mentioned it the other day, but thought you might like to see it.  It is hard to see the beads in these photos but they are there. Every 1st and 9th row.  🙂

Christina's whole scarf and beads 4 27 15

Christina's scarf 4 27 15 no flash

Christina's scarf and beads 4 27 15 a

These bracelets and necklace are ready to go off to the shop and hopefully sell. A pair of earrings will join them in the bag on the table, as soon as they dry.  🙂 Tomorrow I will take them all over there and let the world at them!

necklace and bracelets 4 27 15

Cast on another necklace today – salmon pink and cream, with ruffles. As always, the patterns are based on those of Laura Nelkin, although lately I have been tweaking them and making them my own.  It was just a matter of time, right?

A few things done

I have been working away at my shawl for the KAL, and will get a photo of that tomorrow, hopefully a sunny one!

Meanwhile, here is the one I finished last week.  I wanted to get a photo that showed the colors and size – a good 6 feet in wingspan!  I flows and drapes so nicely.  The wind was blowing, the sun was shining, the birds were feeding and chirping and paying no attention to me whatsoever.  🙂  I spotted this little Downy woodpecker finishing off the suet, not ten feet away, and caught a few shots of him, too. (You might also note that the snow, a backdrop to all I photographed lately is GONE!!!!! 🙂 )

shawl on railing 3

shawl on railing 2

shawl on railing with shadow

woodpecker 4

woodpecker 3

woodpecker 2

I eventually stopped photographing the bird, and brought the shawl in.  Not having a dress form, I used a chair to drape it.  Doesn’t it just hang beautifully?

shawl on chair

This weekend I finally finished two collages I have been puttering away at – both are for sale on the Etsy site (SalpalCrafts).  I made one for myself a couple of summers ago, with niece C the younger when she was here, and I love it.  Had some paper scraps left and of course, boxes and boxes of shells and sea glass. Since the summer is apparently taking its sweet time getting here, I thought I would encourage it with these reminders of how nice it can be.  🙂

ocean front

seashells front 1

I have several more of these little canvases, and many ideas.  Some don’t turn out so well, but they can be painted over.  I have one upstairs that is on its fourth rendition.  I might like it soon.

Other finishes include a few more bracelets, necklaces, and earrings which I hope will soon be found for sale at J and B Atlantic. 🙂

A has been working away all week in the basement, and at last, after nearly 7 years, it looks like we might have bookcases built into the loft soon!  She has been puttering away with a fancy miter router thingy, and today the adjustments were perfect, and she created a bookcase box.  Naturally the first one goes in the craft room, as she assumes it will not be perfect.  After this, the next 6 go in the loft.  Which means I get to clean it out and paint it, and then paint them, and then we get to unpack the boxes and boxes of books and make that space the quiet reading place it was always meant to be.  I guess that means that next week I should be doing painting prep, huh?  Of course, I will need breaks from that and will knit. Of course.

Tomorrow we head to Mom’s for a much belated Christmas dinner.  Really. For more years than I can remember, Mom has cooked a delicious prime rib for Christmas.  This year she decided it was too much work, and she didn’t want to spend all that time in the kitchen, so we had mac and cheese and saw more of her. (Yes, we could help her with the meal, but she just decided no one should have to do it.) Now it isn’t Christmas, so she is gathering us all and will cook for us.  There are three birthdays in the next couple of weeks, so I am sure there will be some presents and cake to deal with, but nothing like the big Christmas frenzy.

I’ll bring my shawl, but it will kill me to miss out on all that scarf knitting time in the car.  But as Niece C the elder is likely to be there, I can’t bring it along, her birthday is a month away, and I would like it to be somewhat of a surprise.  🙂 Plus I would hate for her to see the unblocked thing and think it ugly, when we all know that curling lumpy mass will turn out to be an elegantly stitched, perfectly beaded heirloom lace scarf after blocking.  🙂  Better she just see the finished product.

Monday, A goes back to work, and I take the kids to the vet for their annual check up.  Won’t they just love that?

What are you up to this fine day?

A’s Birthday Friday List

Today beloved A is celebrating her 52nd birthday.  She thought long and hard about what she wanted her birthday excursion to be.  If you remember, last year we combined our excursions into a real vacation to Charleston, SC.

This year, she set her sights some lower.  After much thought, she decided she wants to go to Bangor, to Harbor Freight, and wander the aisles, picking out some treasures. Then she wants to have supper with her sisters at Uno’s. All I can say is that it is her birthday to do with what she will.  And I thank goodness there is a Christmas Tree Shop right next door to Harbor Freight, so I won’t go out of my mind.  🙂   (Just saying that my birthday excursion will be more fun – I am headed off to Monhegan Island with Mom and company in June.)

So, this morning I will bake her an angel food cake, and then we will head up to the big city for the afternoon.

I’ll have my knitting with me.  And my creative brain, because Christmas Tree Shop always has just the perfect thing if only it were a bit different.

Big Day!

A starts her vacation today, and tax season is DONE!  Her birthday is next week, and so we always try to take the week off – but this year, she is taking Friday as well, so things will be different around here – no taxes, no sitting on the couch knitting the day away, no hours lost in the craft room.  We are going to rock and roll!

A wants to go to Bangor to begin the research about how much our garage will cost to build.  This was always on our long-term planning list, but this winter moved it up to the top.  🙂  It won’t be attached to the house, it won’t even be particularly close, but it is far easier to dig a path (or tramp one down) than it is to continually shovel out the whole driveway and clear off the cars, move them, then clear up the resulting mess. Every day.  I plan to consult with the plow guy to make sure we build things so that he can do more clearing than we do.  🙂

Anyway, that means making our rounds at all the lumber yards to see what they have for kits and plans, and see if we can start to get a feel for things.  I think we have finally agreed to give up the idea of an apartment attached to this building, at least in the foreseeable future.  As long as we pay attention and make sure we don’t do something to make that hard or impossible or expensive in the future, I think it will be OK.  Now we get to do our work together on sorting out our two visions and how they can work together.  Always fun!

I’ll also get some knitting done as we drive, so that part is fine.  I think we might catch up with sister-in-law L for lunch, if she is free, and then we will wander home.  No craft shopping planned.  That doesn’t mean none will happen, you just never know what I will find at a lumber yard /hardware store to do something with.  🙂

Other chores – fill the bird feeders, empty the squirrel trap, re-bait it (hopeless cause, I know, to eradicate mice and squirrels from around the house, but I can try, right?).  I was going to screen off the phoebe post this weekend, but darned if they aren’t already back!  I spotted those bobbing tails Wednesday morning, and saw one fluttering into that favorite nesting place of theirs.  Birders – can you answer me this – will they find a new nesting place if I shoo them out now and block it off?  They haven’t laid their eggs yet, have they?  A had plans to screen in that area under the deck to let the cats out – I want the phoebes gone before that happens, but not sure I can convince her to wait all summer.  So – are they settled in yet?  Will moving them harm them irreparably if I do it soon?

You might be able to tell – spring is here!  Still some isolated snow piles (the one we have a bet on is still there.  I expect (hope) to lose the “ice out” bet – I chose 5/1, A chose 4/24.  I sure hope she wins, and the snow is gone by then)

I also want to get a new clothes line so I can start hanging clothes out – which means relocating the bird feeder, which has been hanging on the line all winter.  I will put a shepherd’s crook down in that area so the birds don’t freak out that their food is gone.  But the clothes line sure was handy all winter, because I could reel in the feeder.  🙂

It won’t all happen, but it’s good to have plans, right?  🙂

On top of the world, over the moon, ELATED

Doc says I am fine.  Changed the meds, the rash is better, the iron levels are better, the lump is nothing – woot hoot.

JB Atlantic in Ellsworth took every last bit of jewelry I have made on consignment, recommended higher prices than I would dream and wants me to make more.  Good I got all those beads, right? And already strung them.  🙂

They took 4 button hats – the ones with buttons with local ties, but said no more hats until the fall or these sell.  Turn off the hat making machine and engage the jewelry machine.

Life is good tonight.

Thursday April 16

The day after the last day of volunteer tax prep!  Still working on reports, but all returns are filed!  Woot woot!  Yesterday was spent at the Bangor Public Library – it was a bit of a crazy day, but we got through it and out on time.  Not sure how.  🙂

Today is the day I go to Ellsworth and see if I can put some things in a shop there.  Trying to get my mind and my stuff ready for this big step.  Yikes.

Lunch with my coworker got canceled, she has some family stuff going on.   Visit to the doctor is happening.  Hope to get some answers. Meeting with my boss is happening. They did call and schedule an interview, I guess they are going by the book, since they have other applicants.  Good for them, but it leaves me in limbo for a bit longer.  I’ll have my interview next week, but need to check in on some logistical stuff for between now and then.

So, I am off to sort out knit things and see how to best present them. EEK.

I’ve been busy!

Mom, B, and I hit the bead store for what might (should) be the last time before she closes in a couple of weeks.  Even with the discount, I still managed to spend a bit of money, stocking up on things I know I will use, and getting a few that were not on my list.

I won’t show you everything I bought as I already put it away, but I will show you what I did with it last night and this morning.

I sorted and planned and strung beads on silk for future projects.  Today is a sunny day, so I took it all out on the deck for photos for you.

Here’s a shot of all of it, sparkling in the sunshine.

beads 1

Here’s what’s what:

black silk strung with beads for a red, gray and black bracelet cuff, and with gray and silver beads for a necklace and earrings;

beads 7 earrings, necklace and bracelet

beads 8 on the railing

beads 9 on the railing

(Note the snow still on the ground in this shot.  Jeesh!  It is melting fast, but still with us.)

gold silk strung with green beads to re-do that necklace I messed up, and dark topaz colored beads for a necklace;

beads 6 two necklaces

light purple silk strung with sparkly purple beads and coated black beads for a necklace;

beads 3 necklace

pale sea-foam blue silk strung with beads for a bracelet cuff;

beads 2 bracelet

medium blue silk strung with very sparkly blue beads and clear crystal for a necklace and earrings;

beads 4 earrings and necklace

here’s a combination for you – pale peachy-salmon colored beads for a necklace and green and gray strung for a bracelet cuff.

beads 5 neckalce adn bracelet

So, all planned, strung and put away.  Because I have some other knitting I need to concentrate on before I cast these on.  That blue linen, for instance. I think these will be my reward for working on that.

Besides beads, we had a fun day in town – Mom treated us to lunch at the Olive Garden, and then we quickly hit Joann’s where I ONLY bought buttons for the baby surprise sweater – now at last complete and listed for sale on Etsy – aren’t they cute buttons?  There were some flowers I almost got, but these were too cute to ignore.

surprise button

surprise front

We also went to AC Moore because what mom was looking for could not be found at JoAnn’s.  And for the record, I walked out of that store empty-handed!  Luckily, Mom found what she wanted.

In among all that shopping, we had a fun visit, lots of talking and laughing. I am glad we went, we only have B around for one more month before she head’s back home for the summer.  😦

I also worked on my KAL knitting, finished the week two section – amazing to me how different the two shawls are – the yarn weight is pretty close to the same, but on the blue-green, I am using a huge needle. Check it out – same number of stitches and pattern repeats:

shawls week two

One is going to be a shawlette, I think, the other will be a warm wrap yourself-up garment!

I also got final photos of the Charleston baby set – buttons and ribbons and ends woven in finished. Also listed on Etsy this morning.  🙂

charleston set 2

Niece C’s birthday present comes along in spurts – I take it every where I go and sometimes get to work on it.  🙂  I have a couple of months to finish that one.

So.  Other news – Well, I haven’t got as much to report as I had hoped.

On the employment front – can’t remember where we left off – but I saw my job posted, and so I called my boss to see if he was interested in me applying.  I would not have bothered if he didn’t think he would review my application.  He said he was, but I should know the salary was $25,000 less than what I was making.  I said I expected it would be less, as it was my actual job description, not everything I was doing that was “extra”.  But that seemed a bit much, and I said I could not do it for that.  I gave him a  number that is MY bottom figure, and he said to apply.  So I did.

I have heard nothing from him or the big boss, but I did see them all last week, just no time to talk.  Everyone was friendly.  And the HR person told me “that salary issue is all worked out.”

But it isn’t until someone talks to me and we come to an agreement, right?

Anyway, I said in my application that I was available after 5/1. I am interested to know whether that is when I go back to the office. Knowing these guys who have crazy schedules, they will call me on 4/30 to see what time I will be in.

I think I promised you medical news as well.  Still no report on anything there, either.  I went to the doc with a list, which included sore joints, lumps and rashes and the hope that I could slow down on iron supplements. Sore joints:  she recommended heat for the shoulder, ice for the foot, and a support strap for the elbow.  Rash got a ridiculously expensive strong cream.  Iron review got a blood draw, and the lump?  The lump got me an ultrasound.  That is what I thought I would hear about by now, but all I have heard back on is the iron – which apparently requires further review. The joints all feel better. The rash is changing, hard to tell if that is good or bad.  I have an appointment on Thursday, so I should know more after that.  I might call them Tuesday when I am home, but I might not, too. If I don’t know better, then it is nothing serious, right?

Thursday is a big day – aside from the doctor, I am having lunch with a coworker friend – the one who got all the necklaces in January.  She and I have fun together, and never get to see each other now that I am not in the office. AND I am taking some of my knitted things into a shop in Ellsworth that is starting to carry fiber related things on consignment.  I don’t know if my things are a fit for them, but I do know how to find out.  Be brave and carry them in there.  I was in one day last week to see a potter’s work and saw the new section, so I spoke to the woman at the counter.  She isn’t the decision maker on this stuff, but recommended I come in on Thursday.  I am nervous but excited.  Can’t know how it will do until I try, right?  I think they will like the things with local flavor more than the things with commercial fiber and trimmings, but I am OK with that.  I have a few such things in the pile of completed items.  🙂  Tuesday I will have to type up an inventory sheet with prices so I know what I have and where I put it.  What a great chore to have!

So – that is what I have been up to and thinking about these last several days, between doing tax returns.  How have you been?

last Friday of tax season!

This season seems really long, could it be the weather? Today I am filling in at the Edith Dyer Library , if you are in the neighborhood, come on down and say hello.  🙂

This week was LOOOONG, I did taxes 4 days.  Yesterday was the last day at the old office, it was hectic but we made it fun – had lunch brought it, did over thirty tax returns.  Whew!

So the real fun is tomorrow – Mom is coming over, we are heading to Bangor to pick up niece B at college – to go back to the bead store.  Any excuse!  B likes to make earrings, Mom needs buttons, so we will probably go to JoAnn’s as well to see what we can find.  Then lunch, and who knows what shopping we will do after that?

Nothing much else new right now – that’s what happens when I do taxes all week.  But next week we are through, and then things can get back to normal, and I might have things to share on the employment front.  Also the medical.  Some good some bad, or at least, not good.  More later.

Here’s what’s not new – SNOW.  Three days this week the school delays crawled along the bottom of the TV. Today is an icy mix.  But we might get a gorgeous weekend, who knows?


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