Monday, December 21, 2009

Look what I got today!

For the last year I've been thinking about learning to knit socks, since it's almost impossible for me to find kneesocks that fit. (I want some to wear to church in the winter, because stockings are just too thin to keep me warm.)

Last week I finally bit the bullet and ordered some sock yarn, along with various needles, from Knitpicks. I've eagerly awaiting my package, and it came today!

I got 4 skeins of a cotton/wool/elastic yarn called Risata in Cocoa, some double-pointed needles, and a couple circular needles in different sizes for various projects. The yarn is very soft, and is so yummy looking. I might not need all of it for my socks, but I can always make another pair. :o)

There's a method of knitting socks called the Magic Loop that I'm going to try -- it allows you to make two socks on one long circular needle. Hope I can figure it out!

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Friday 56 -- Incredible Tales

A weekly meme hosted by Storytime with Tonya and Friends.
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence along with these instructions on your blog or (if you don't have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog. * Post a link along with your post back to this blog. * Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

This week's book is Incredible Tales, a group of short stories by Saki. I'm not really sure what it's about, but it's got a really cool cover. :o)

"How you shot the goat and frightened the tiger to death," said Miss Mebbin, with her disagreeably pleasant laugh.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Friday 56 -- Moving Targets and Other Tales of Valdemar

A weekly meme hosted by Storytime with Tonya and Friends.
* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence along with these instructions on your blog or (if you don't have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.

* Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

This is my first chance to participate, since I usually don't have a book near my computer. My first book is Moving Targets and Other Tales of Valdemar, edited by Mercedes Lackey. It's an anthology of short stories set in Lackey's Valdemar. It's not my favorite of the anthologies, but there are some good stories in it.

"Gah!" he exclaimed, his eyes narrowed. "The stench!"

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

It's my birthday . . .

and I'll have diarrhea if I want to. (Or even if I don't, as the case may be.)

It didn't spoil my birthday dinner out, but it was a close-run thing.

'Nuff said.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hip hip hooray, Halloween is finally over!

You might have noticed that I haven't posted anything for the past month. It's not because I haven't wanted to, but because I've been too tired from work.

This is my 15th Halloween at my job, and it has never been this crazy. For the last two weeks it's been an absolute madhouse. Everyone has been working all the hours they can, and it wasn't enough. The store is a near-total mess. Certain areas look like there's been an explosion or eruption because we haven't had the staff or the time to tidy them each day -- when you've got non-stop customers until closing, all you can do is put stuff back in the approximate location.

A friend of mine opined that all these people were trying to save money by making their costumes. It doesn't really work out that way, since most people spent more money on supplies than our readymade costumes cost at full price (and they've been on sale all month). Be that as it may, I think I've spent most of the last month putting fabric away. And putting more fabric away. And putting even more fabric away. Of course, that's only when I wasn't cutting fabric until my hands ached, or running the register for hours on end.

Maybe I'll take next October off.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Avoiding a Charred Sweetie and other miscellania

I just finished a reserved listing for Artikaur. Her boyfriend's birthday is coming up and she wanted to get him something for the kitchen. He likes to cook, so she decided on these because she doesn't "want my sweetie having charred hands when he's cooking for me". :O) (If her bf is reading, don't click! You'll spoil the surprise!)

For about a week I was unable to view my blog when using Firefox. I could log in to my dashboard, and view other Blogger blogs, but not mine. I had to resort to using my old Netscape or (shudder) IE if I wanted to see my blog or a couple other sites. I finally figured out that it had something to do with my McAfee updates. They screw up my registry. After I get updated, I have to run my registry cleaner if I want to see my blog. Think I'll change security programs.


My brother-in-law Dan and his 80+ mother Irene went to Turkey a few weeks ago. He's working on a book and wanted to see some of the places he's writing about. (My sis didn't go because any flight over 3 hours is too much for her.) Anyway, last week Irene fell down some stairs and broke her hip and ankle. Dan had some connections, due to having a Turkish intern at work whose dad is a doctor, and she got really good treatment. Yesterday the world travelers returned from their "
whirlwind tour of foreign medical facilities", and Irene will see her doctor tomorrow. For the time being she'll be staying with Joy and Dan.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

There is no joy in Kaufman . . . .

Well, the venue I went to yesterday was pretty much a bust. My sister and I have had booths at this parish carnival for several years, and have always done okay. Even last year, we did all right. Joy couldn't go this year, so I took some of her jewelry to sell along with my baby things and micromitts and cool ties.

This year she sold one pair of earrings. No rosaries (usually a good seller), no bracelets, no necklaces.
Just one lonely pair of earrings.

I had a little better luck -- 7 cool ties, a onesie, a pair of mitts, and an apron. I made my rent twice, but that's it. I was glad to see the apron go -- we've had it for a couple years and no one wanted it, but this lady really liked it. But nobody bought any of the new mitts I spent so much time on in the last 2 weeks. :o( I happen to think they're great. Check them out on my Flickr.

It was sunny (a great relief after a week of steady rain), but so humid the sweat just rolled down my legs. All the music was in Spanish (and it all sounded the same to me), but the only decent group was the mariachis late in the afternoon. And all of it suffered from a bad sound system, which did absolutely nothing for my headache. My mother kept joking about paying some kid to unplug the amps.

I don't think I'm going back there next year.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

2 days and counting . . . .

I have 10 new pairs of micromitts made and 5 blankets almost done, and Ma is working on a couple aprons. I've done a complete inventory and know exactly what I have in stock, and tonight my nephew will deliver some of my sister's jewelry for me to flog for her. (She has a wedding to attend.)

Tomorrow I'll finish the blankets, and hopefully do up a few out-of-stock cool ties, before I go to work. Friday I have to pack everything in my boxes, get all the necessities like tablecloths and hangers together, and pack it all in the car (along with the tables and displays) ready to leave Saturday around 7:45.

Oh, and I want to take pix of all my new stuff as well, so I can show off the fruits of my labor. With any luck, I'll post them here and/or on Flickr on Friday. If not, I'll do it Sunday and tell you what sold.

I have to say, it felt strange last year. It was the first year we didn't go early and stay at the rectory, as my brother was transferred last spring. No more private bathroom or easy access to water -- we had to muck in with everyone else at the public restroom. Believe me, you don't drink as much when you can't just go in the house as needed. LOL

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Going Quietly Crazy, Continued

I have 4 pairs of mitts almost finished, and 5 about a third done. I seamed up a bunch of cool ties today (more left to do), but I'm not really stressing about those. I've got a lot in stock, so if they don't get done too bad, so sad.

I still need to work on the blankets, and I'd like to do some embroidery, but I doubt I'll have time for it. This week's schedule was great for getting my sewing done, but next week I work 6 days straight, mostly day shifts. This means I have to try to sew a little before work, then go back to the machine at night. I truly hate sewing at night -- I'm tired, and there's never enough light. Trying to do embroidery at night is even worse. I always do my worst work then. :o(

Tomorrow I'm off, so I think I'll take a little time to do a complete inventory of my finished stock -- no use wasting time on something I've already got plenty of.

Then it's back to being a regular sew-and-sew.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Going Quietly Crazy

I am going to a craft fair on the 19th, and I'm about to go crazy.

In 12 days I need to finish 9 pairs of mitts, several blankets, a couple dozen cool ties, and anything else I have time for, on top of working at my regular job. Is it any wonder that I'm about to go nuts?

The one bright spot is that most of this week I work in the evening, which means I can get in several hours of sewing in the morning and early afternoon. When I work earlier, I have no time to sew before work and am too tired to sew when I get home.

I hope to post some pix before the fair.

Meanwhile, it's time for my daily time-is-running-out freakout.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wandering in Postal Limbo

A week ago I sent off 141 cool ties for a local marching band, having managed to turn, press, fill, and sew them all in a week. (Yes, one week!!!!) Along the way, I had to buy more fabric and remake 3 ties after they got damaged while trimming threads. My dad got them in the mail right before the post office closed, unaware that he was consigning them to . . . . . .


I finished the last ties late Saturday morning as my mother was trying to sort them by color and cram them into a large flat rate box. (And I do mean cram. My last order of 100 barely fit the same size box. This time around we ended up using rubber bands to compress the darn things so they'd all fit! These ties only weigh about half an ounce apiece, but it's amazing how heavy they can be en masse. According to the postal receipt, the whole package weighed almost 9 pounds!)

Since I had to go to work, my dad took the package to the post office for me. Sometime after I'd gone to work, my mother looked at the receipt and realized that it said the wrong destination. Turns out my customer mistyped her zip code when she gave me her address! She realized it and sent an email with the correct one, but I was in such a swivet about getting them out that day that I didn't check my email that morning. :o( I never knew about her note until I got home from work after 10 p.m., and by then it was too late. They were in . . . . . .


I spent five days emailing my customer and using track & confirm in an effort to find out where my package was. (Thank God I paid extra for delivery confirmation.) Most of the time it seemed to be floating in the postal ether for all I could tell. I don't know whether it was the form Dad filed down at the main post office, or whether somebody just bothered to LOOK and notice
d that the zip and town didn't match, but they finally showed up on Thursday. She told me she bagged them up and handed them out that night. :o)

Moral of the story:

1) Always spring for delivery confirmation so you have some idea where your package has been. And most important of all,

2) No matter how rushed you are, recheck the address before you make the label. Otherwise your package may be the one wandering around in . . . . .


Saturday, August 1, 2009

I pressed 70 ties today,

28 yesterday, and 43 on Thursday, and I think I'm about to die. I'm tired and my ankle is swollen from sitting too long at the ironing board. :o(

But I have found an easier way to do the first pressing. I've been using a mini crafter's iron to open the seam, then using my big steam iron to set the seam. This time I tried using our travel iron -- it's got steam and weight but it's a lot lighter than the big iron, and I only have to make one pass across each tie. It worked like a dream. Yay! The only drawback is the small water reservoir -- I had to refill it quite a few times, but the decrease in time, weight, and effort is worth it.

Now I've got my feet up (sort of) and have started turning the ties. I should probably get them done tonight, so tomorrow I will probably start doing the second pressing. Yippee-skippie.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I'm in cool tie purgatory

It's not quite hell yet. That comes next week as I try to finish quickly.

In the last week and a half I've cut out and seamed 141 more cool ties. I've done the first pressing on about half of them and gotten most of those turned in the last two days (when I wasn't typing up a newsletter for my dad). Still to come -- pressing and turning the other half, then doing the final pressing. Then I can finally start sewing and filling the ties.

I can say right now, if I never see another bright yellow, lime green, or red tie after this order, it will be much too soon.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Bye-bye carshow, hello marching band

Yesterday I sent off the cool ties for the carshow. Each tie weighs hardly anything, but it's amazing how heavy 100 of them are.

Monday I started sewing the ties for the high school band. So far I've gotten 98 seamed and ready for the first pressing. I'm making 141 altogether -- 123 for the band, 8 for the directors, and 10 more just for extras when kids forget to bring their own.

If the thought of sewing yet another tie doesn't make me run screaming into the night when I finish these, I might sew up the leftover fabric and send them to the band boosters who are buying these for the kids. But then again, by that time I might want to amuse myself by destroying all the evidence. LOL

Thursday, July 16, 2009

97, 98, 99, . . . . 100!!!!

I finished sewing the last ties yesterday before work. Yay!!!!

I still have to trim threads on this batch, and then I have to print and attach the labels. But I should be able to get them in the mail early next week.

Next up: 137 or so ties for a local highschool marching band.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

75 ties done, only 25 left!!

Today I finished the third batch of ties for my big order. All that's left is to trim the threads and fold them before they go into the box.

That just leaves 25 left to do. I just might get them done by Friday. :o)

Here's what they look like.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Halfway there

Yay!!! I have 50 ties completely finished.

After I did the 50th tie, I went ahead and seamed the other 50 in one looooooooong session, and after lunch I pressed and turned the next 25 ties. So I'm actually about 2/3 of the way through.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Cool ties are getting hot!

Since I started working on this big order of cool ties, I've had three cool ties sales on Etsy, each for 4 ties! I also may have the opportunity to do 100+ ties for a local high school marching band -- band camp starts in late July and it's always really hot.

If things keep on like this, my inventory might get down to the point I actually have to make some more ties. LOL

Addendum: It was 14 ties, not 12 -- one customer added 2 more to her order. Not sure if I can't count, or I'm just losing my memory! LOL

Friday, June 26, 2009

25 down, 75 left to go

Last night I finished the first batch of 25 ties -- 5 of each print. Now I'm sitting here surfing the web and trimming all the threads before I fold them up. Tomorrow I plan to seam the next batch. Hopefully I'll have the next 25 done by next Friday. Then I'll have half of them done!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Making progress . . .

i finished 10 ties this morning, and got another 10 ready for filling. By this evening I'll have 1/4 of the ties finished!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

5 down, only 95 to go

Today I got the first five ties finished. That's either 1/20 of the whole, or 1/5 of the first batch. I think I prefer the latter description . . . . .

I have 10 more ready for filling tomorrow. I'd do them tonight, but my back is sore from bending over the computer and sewing machine all day.

Instead, I'm going to trim threads from the finished ties while I surf the web. :o)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

100 cool ties in a month !!!!!

This past week I got an order for 100 cool ties!!!!!

When Larry and Carol of Custom Shirts by Carol decided they couldn't fill a request, they referred the customer to me after seeing my shop on Etsy. We emailed back and forth, and Friday the deal was struck. Thanks, Larry and Carol.

Today I pressed 14+ yards of car-themed fabric and cut out all 100 ties. (Actually, I cut 102, but the rotary cutter got a little distracted
on two of them. LOL) Now all I have to do is sew, press, turn, press, sew, fill, sew, sew, and sew some more in order to have them delivered by August 15.

When I get a few made up, I'll post them here.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

It took me long enough!

8 or 9 months ago, an Etsy friend of mine came home from vacation to find that a pipe had broken and flooded the house. There was water and mold everywhere, and the lower half of the house had to be torn out and replaced. Gini and Jeff lost a lot of stuff, including all of the shoes she left at home. She's a shoe hound, so that was a loooooooooooooooooooooot of shoes!

The Etsy Hussies got together to send a care package to help Gini through the first shock. Some sent fun gifts, some sent money toward a gift card. I planned to make something but ran out of time, so just donated money at the time.

I didn't forget about my project. Slowly but surely I picked out a design and a form. I
bought the necessary fabric and supplies bit by bit. Along the way I got sidetracked by work, craft fairs, work, Halloween, work, tendonitis, work, Christmas, work, commissions, work, . . . . . . um, did I mention work yet?

About two weeks ago, I finally got everything done and sent it off to Gini. Today I got a note to say she loved it, so it's finally safe to show off my handiwork. :o)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Who knows where the time goes . . . . . ?

It just doesn't seem like nearly 23 years since we welcomed my eldest niece into the world with a giant fireworks display (she was born on July 4th).

20 years ago I babysat Anna while her parents were at work. 16 years ago I picked her up after a skateboard wipeout, and a few months later watched as she made her First Communion. 7 years ago (or was it only 6?), I watched her graduate early from high school.

And last night she graduated summa cum laude from college.

Where does the time go?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I don't know why she did it . . . . . . .

One of my coworkers was arrested tonight.

A few weeks ago there was a notice on the breakroom board that we'd had some discrepancies, and a reminder to count change carefully. It stayed up for a couple weeks, so there's no way she could have missed it. I don't know if she stopped for a while, or just ignored the warning. All I know is that I had to watch as a good worker who I'd come to care about was led out in handcuffs.

The internal auditor was here all day, going over things with Cindy, who was the acting manager for the last two months. He went in and out a couple times. Late this evening, he came back in with two police officers. A while later, they came out with Sara.

In the thirteen years I've worked there, this is the third time we've had a problem. The first time, the woman had problems with medical bills. She took a little here, a little there, until one day she snapped and took a couple hundred and got caught. I don't think we pressed charges as long as she made restituiton -- I think she was her mother's sole support.

A couple years ago, a pregnant teenager we had got caught doing credit card fraud. It came out when a woman was charged for a gift card that she hadn't bought and called about it. I guess Destiny's destiny was to have her baby in jail.

The girl tonight is a single mother who's been working two jobs to make ends meet, and hoping to regain custody of her little daughter. Being arrested is not going to make the latter happen anytime soon, if ever.

Why did you do it, Sara? Why?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Look what the cat wouldn't drag in

After 5 busy days in a row, 2 of which we were understaffed and 3 without getting a break, I was so tired when I got home that I started crying. I just lay there in my room waiting for my feet to stop throbbing. :o(

I was supposed to be off last night, but the girl scheduled couldn't work due to her mother's surgery. I don't blame her, but I wish my boss had read the calendar right when she did the schedule last week.

The week isn't over yet. I still have to work tomorrow night (setting the new ad) and Sunday. I swear, if my boss calls me Monday I will scream!

No self-respecting cat would bother dragging me anywhere.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Anniversary to My Parents (and Other Calamities)

Today my parents celebrated 59 years of marriage, and 61 years since they met. They raised 7 kids and sent us all to 12 years of private school on one salary. That would be impossible these days due to the skyrocketing cost of tuition.

The day started out good. They got up early and went to Mass, and they went out for lunch. Then the trouble started. Dad had to take the car in for service and ended up having to get a rental --- the oxygen sensor is bad, and probably something else too. As he was starting home, a car backed into the door of the car, so he had to go back to the rental place and get a different car, plus fill out a bunch of stuff (and probably will have to pay more). It's a nice enough car for a two-door, but you have to climb through the seatbelt assembly to get in the back seat. And getting out of the seat is even worse because of the strange design -- the actual seat is deeper at the back and you have to haul yourself up to the edge before you can try to get out of the car.

When he got home, the garage door wouldn't open. Turns out the spring is broken and the wires have jumped their rails. So tomorrow we have to call someone to come out and replace the opener. More $$$ going out.

All we can do now is hope the weather stays good, so we don't have to clamber in and out of the car in the rain.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

Even though it's chilly and stormy, the Easter Bunny made an appearance here with lots of goodies. All "bunny assistants" managed to find chocolate-covered marshmallow eggs, which are much enjoyed at this home, plus assorted sweets.

We were very surprised at Mass this morning. Most Sundays the 7:30 Mass has about 300 people. Today we had around 900! (Guess we had a lot of "Easter Catholics", as well as those who wanted to have the rest of the day clear for family get-togethers.) Getting out of church was difficult, not just because of the larger-than-usual attendance, but also all the people trying to come in for the next Mass before it started raining again. :o)

I don't have to work today -- Easter is one of the three days a year we're closed (the others are Thanksgiving and Christmas). My manager is really happy, because it's the first real day off she's had since our former manager resigned. She's looking forward to having a new manager named so she can go back to being the assistant manager.

Have a hoppy Easter!

Monday, April 6, 2009

The best-laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley

Robert Burns

So it was with my plans for my days off. I planned to do a lot of things these two days --- do some embroidery, make a pillow, do some sewing, and a few other personal things --- but I was derailed by a migraine. Instead of doing any of them, I took a pill and went back to bed. :o(

I felt enough better later to watch the Texas Rangers beat the Cleveland Indians 9-1 on opening day, but then the headache struck again. I'm just glad I was off --- I couldn't have worked today, and we're shorthanded.

Here's hoping the migraine disappears and I can tackle some of my plans tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Life Bites . . . . . .

. . . . staying at work late three days in a row because it's so busy . . . . . getting called in on my days off . . . . . being so tired i can hardly think when I get home . . . . . . trying to put a newsletter together in just a few days . . . . . needing to make a couple blocks for a baby quilt . . . . having to cancel a sale due to non-payment . . . . . . seems like my life is rush rush rush these days.

I've been so busy with work, work, and more work, as well as the project in my last post, that I haven't even touched my sewing machine for at least 3 weeks. I've got 2 skirts and a nightgown waiting to be put together, but I just haven't had the time, inclination, and energy all at once. And I don't know when I will.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Done Just in Time!

I got a commission to embroider 11 beach towels for a bachelorette party (oh, how I hate that phrase). The customer wanted the names 2" high, with "Mexico 2009" underneath. And she needed them by March 24 at the latest -- they're leaving on the 25th!

These are really bright towels. The striped ones made my eyes hurt. I decided to wash them first -- good idea, since some of them shrank noticeably. I ended up with several filter screen "blankets" of orange and green lint.

It took me a week and a half of trial and error to get the names the right size, and 3 full days of embroidering, but I got them done with a few days to spare. :o)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Celebratory pizza and other ramblings

On Wednesday the repairman came and replaced our wonky control board on the oven. While he was at it, he replaced the thermal sensor. To celebrate the oven's rebirth, we had pizza for lunch. :o)

Right now I'm so tired from work I can hardly stand it. (Or is it, can hardly stand?) The company keeps cutting our weekly allotment of hours, but wants us to keep the store looking perfect. Sorry, ain't gonna happen. We can do a lot, but we're not miracle workers. When you only have 2 people on at night, especially when it's busy, there's no way to get everything put away before going home. And forget about making things look nice -- we don't have time for that kind of luxury, even if the big boss IS coming to visit.

This week I have to buckle down and get 11 beach towels embroidered. I wanted to do the names really big, but I can't manage to work it out with my software. I'll have to do it letter by letter on the machine, as big as possible. Oh well, c'est la guerre.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Charcoal rolls, yum!

Last week we had Sears out to check out all our appliances -- stove, dishwasher, two fridges and a freezer, and the washer/dryer. They sent 3 different servicemen -- one for the washer, one for the fridges and freezer, and a third guy for the dishwasher and stove. Everything checked out okay, even the 18 year old washer/dryer combo.

Fast forward to Sunday night. Dad put a porterhouse steak in to broil. Halfway through, the stove started beeping and flashing "F1". I dashed for the manual (in the drawer with the single-edge razor blades, mug rugs, and table butler) and learned that it was an error code. Something had malfunctioned. :o( We followed the directions to reset, and it seemed to work okay. Having decided to finish the steak in a skillet, Dad set the oven to bake and soon put the bread in and set the timer. Right before it could ring off, he checked on the rolls and found they were not so much browned, as blackened. (We saved some to show the repairman.) And the damn display was flashing that damned error code at us again.

First thing yesterday we called Sears for service. It took Ma half an hour on the automated line just to get a number to call for service! Then she's told that the earliest they can show up is Wednesday. grrrrrr

Hopefully, when i get home tomorrow we'll have a working oven.


Update: The guy came out this morning, and our wonderful electronically controlled oven has a wonky control board. He ordered it, but it'll be next week before we get it replaced. :o(

So much for the apple pie Dad planned to make today.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Here a phone, there a phone, everywhere a cellphone

I fought long and valiantly against it, but I have finally joined the ranks of the bephoned. Basically, my parents (also known as "landlords") decided it was time for me to have my own phone, rather than borrowing my mother's when I went to the dentist and doctor and library and . . . . . . .

I'm not planning on being a phonehead. I hate the people who walk around with phones glued to their ears and talk at the top of their voices wherever they are. I really hate it when they come up to the register and cutting table and can't be bothered to pause their conversation long enough to speak to me in words instead of gestures. My phone will probably spend much of its time in my purse or on the counter, and will frequently be off, since it's more of an emergency aid.

To keep costs down, I went with a TracFone -- no contract, no monthly bills. I got a really good deal on the M376g (upper right) --- less than $35 total for a camera phone, and it came with double minutes for life and free shipping. I ordered it Tuesday night and got it today! After I activated it and got my number I had to buy some airtime (always useful ;p), and then I emailed my family with my number. I still have to put everyone's numbers in the phonebook -- all 3 million and 6 of them. (I don't really have that many relatives, it just feels that way. But I do have 6 siblings and numerous nieces, nephews, and assorted other relatives.)

Now I'm just waiting for the calls to come rolling in. :o)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ok, so I'm a grammar nerd . . .

Very little irritates me as much as misspelled words and misplaced punctuation. In school I was known as "the walking dictionary" by my classmates because I usually knew (or could figure out) the correct spelling of obscure words. It just came naturally -- in my family, you were considered strange if you didn't read the dictionary and encyclopedia for fun.

I have always hated reading things with poor grammar. In college I had classes where we had to read each others' papers. Some of them had so many errors I could only get through by editing as I read. One was so bad that I was convinced the guy turned in his first typed draft without proofreading. Grrrrrr.

Even online, typos (such as "int he") don't bother me nearly as much as misspellings. A lot of people misspell "definite" and "separate" these days, usually as "definate" and "seperate", and it drives me crazy!!! I want to reach into the internet and make those people spell it right!

Signs and publications are the worst offenders. Several years ago I was reading an article about needles, and they misspelled "needle"!! I used to love Better Homes and Gardens magazine, but I finally got fed up when they would print articles with poor grammar.

A few years ago I came across a book which struck a chord with me : "Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation", by Lynne Truss. This morning I was introduced to two great blogs on the subject. The first is The Grammar Vandal, whose author carries a sharpie and stick-on commas to fix broken signs. :o) The other is The "Blog" of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks. Both are good for a giggle, even if you're not an unredeemed grammar nerd.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Giftcards Galore

Several months ago a friend on Etsy was making things from used-up giftcards. i offered to collect them at work for her. I'd mark them as void and put them in my apron pocket to bring home. After I sent her a couple batches she seemed to lose interest, but I kept on collecting the cards. And collecting and collecting . . . . .

Last week another Etsyian showed off the earrings she'd made with cards from Michael's, so I asked if she'd like some more. When KatieAnnCreations said sure, I started rounding up the cards I'd brought home. At first, I thought I'd have six or seven. Then it was 10. The final total is 15! Needless to say, most of them are from work. :o)

I've got several Christmas designs, including 5 of the blue bow. Then there are the year-round designs, like these. (I love the yarn cones design.) I even brought home a couple of the cards we use for no-receipt returns! LOL

Finally, I have some cards from bookstores. I got them for Christmas, but I guess they were out of everything but the birthday cards at Barnes & Noble.

Tomorrow morning I'll send this batch out to Katie, and start replenishing my stock, ready for the next inventive Etsyian. ;p

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Just Added --- More Marvelous MicroMitts!

Tonight I listed 2 more pairs of micromitts, in a yellow floral and a blue check. The plan was for the blue check set to be "manly man-sized", but I didn't allow enough fabric :o( so they're the regular size.

I did list another pair of man-sized mitts the other day, though. The fabric of these blue agate mitts reminds me of the blue enamel cookware that's been around forever.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Missing Seconds

Ever notice that when you copy music to your computer, the tracks rarely end up the same length as on the cds?

I got several giftcards for Christmas and decided to splurge on books and movies and cds. Everything I got is an old favorite, just right for enjoying again and again, especially the cds. My original cassette tapes are over 20 years old and beginning to wow just a bit.

I put all of the cds on my computer so I could enjoy them while I'm online. As I was naming the tracks, I noticed that very few had the same time listed on the cd label. Some were a few seconds longer, some a bit shorter. And then there was the final track on one album, that was 30 seconds shorter.

That's right. Not 2 or 3 or even 5 seconds, but 30 seconds.

What I'd like to know is, where did all that time go? Is it being recycled to provide extra space for the occasional long-winded classical piece I copy? Is it going to add to the total run-time for my computer before it dies of obsolescence?

Or did it just get sucked into a musical black hole in the space-time continuum?

And yes, the answer is 42.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Repeal the CPSIA!

The CPSIA was created to protect children from lead in toys, but the lawmakers went too far in their regulations. Thousands of small business owners will be forced to close because they cannot afford to have EVERY COMPONENT of their handcrafted items tested. Most of these components are items that have already been certified by the manufacturers, but the law assumes that everyone is guilty until proven innocent.

Download this PDF about the consequences of the CPSIA, click on the links provided, and sign this petition to change or repeal this legislation. Don't let the handcrafting industry go the way of the dodo!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Cough-less New Year's Eve Night and a Happy New Year

I don't know about anyone else, but my New Year started out happy. For the first time in days I slept for 6 hours without having a monstrous coughing fit every two hours! (Take that, bronchitis!) It's so nice to be (nearly) fully rested. I've been like a zombie the last few days from lack of deep sleep.

I've coughed since I got up, but it's been a) minor and b) extremely productive –– lots and lots of gunk is no longer clogging my lungs and nasal passages. I know there's lots more to come, but right now I don't care! o)