Saturday, June 23, 2007

Work related news...

I'm still working 10 hour days, with 8 hours on Saturday's. I finished this week with yet another 58 hours! Somehow, in the midst of it all, I'm managed to visit with my parents, have the grandbaby a few hours, and found a little bit of time to begin sewing a rag style patchwork tote bag. I didn't get too much accomplish, but it's a start! Having something creative, even several works in progress, help me to maintain some sense of balance in this crazy, hectic lifestyle. I'm learning more and more about my job, the machine I run, and the factory operations, although I cannot say I'm happy putting in all these hours. It's definately been a period of adjustment... one I hope I can begin getting used to, if that's possible.

A Card Creation...

I recently received another wonderful order from Pat Winter's Gatherings Etsy store. Pat's Bliss Kits are so amazing and the little extras she enclosed were so greatly appreciated. Feeling blessed by her generosity, I desired to return the kindness by sending her a handmade and heartfelt, "Thank You" card. I used some of my favorite images and enclosed a short but handwritten letter. As I was stamping the card, the idea to stamp her some of the images using a waterproof India ink onto satin struck me --- as they take dyes and Lumiere paints wonderfully! I'm certain that Pat will find an amazing way to use them in her creative endeavors to inspirr me and others.

As I created Pat's card and wrote that brief letter, I felt blessed once again. Blessed by so many friendships, some made through the Internet. Blessed to have such a God-given talent, the ability to create beautiful things using my own two hands. My thoughts turned to reminiscing about the days when I looked forward to receiving mail that included a a handwritten letter from loved ones and friends. I longed to run out to the studio, to simply sit down with a cup of tea, some of the wonderful letters, cards, and artworkI have received from so many online friends, family, and friends over the years. I wished I would have had the time to be able to do just that and made a promise to myself to treat myself to doing that one day soon. I had to remind myself that there's a time for everything... and this was a time to simply be grateful.

Thinking of being grateful, I remember my gratitude chain that I started so many months ago and longed soulfully for some time to begin working on it. I realized just how I much I miss creating. So, I made a quick dash out to the studio for some scrap paper, a few more rubberstamps, and a glue stick. To assist me later, I'm creating a list in my journal so the prompts will be there, when the time is right. With a bit of luck and timing, I may just be able to add a link or two once a week. Wish me luck! {smiles}

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Good Morning and Happy Father's Day...

Returning to work full-time and working overtime has certainly put a damper on my time spent on the computer. I miss all my online web-chums, casually browsing through my email, visiting some of my favorite blog writers, message boards, and groups. I miss blog hopping, reading and leaving comments for others, and chatting with my friends the most and often discover myself wondering what other's are up to.... It's all good, I'm sure!

This week the weather's been wonderfully cooler, sunny and in the mid- to high 80's, with not much humidity; leaving Ohio despairately needing rain. Evenings have been spend running errands, cooking up some delightfully dishes - although usually quickly prepared meals. I don't want to waste all of my 4-5 hours in the late afternoon/early evening in the kitchen. Time after dinner is spent on our rear deck, resting and relaxing, watching nature and the grass grow. Don and I are finding the time we have together rushes right on quickly by and before we know it one day has slipped into night and a day quickly becomes yet another week, so I try to limit more of the time I spend online.

I did manage to check one of my favorite etsy stores, Pat Winter's Gatherings, to place an order of a few of her wonderful Bliss Kits and a Mermaid Tears Scissors Fob. They arrived a few days after placing my order, and Pat's packaging is amazing in and of itself! Of course, Pat threw in a few extra little goodies that are just as amazing as the order I placed and I so loved what she chose for me. {Thank you, Pat!}

My crazy quilt throw project hasn't been touched in months but I haven't stopped thinking about it or wondering how long it would take me if I'd simply sew on 2-3 patches a few nights in the evenings. I also attempted creating a "Thank You card", however, both the card and the remanants still liter the glas top of the kitchen table, LOL! I haven't yet mastered the "time - saving/management" techniques that I keep thinking about while completing mindless, idle tasks while at work. Perhaps, one day....

We did spend an evening with my parents prior to taking a used Ford Ranger Pick up for a test drive and seeking my father's opinion of it one night this week. He's no specialist, by any means, but it certainly helps to have a more experienced point of view. Unfortunately, the vehicle is priced twice as much as the trade-in value of, so we're still looking and saving our pennies while browsing and being grateful we've access to transportation in the meantime. I keep telling myself that whatever we do find will be worth the wait. I suppose, time will tell... as we're attempting to stay away from a 66 month car payment agreement.

My heart longs for quality time with Lil Miss Adorable! I haven't seen her in a week. It's simply a bit too much for this grandma to have her all to myself after working a 10 hour day. This week, I worked the once again, mandatory eight hour Saturday so needless to say by the time 1:30 p.m. Saturday rolled around, I was one tired lady. Perhaps Amber, Alexxis, and I can have a "mom and daughter" dinner out somewhere one night this week and spend a few hours catching up.

Other than feeling the time crunch, things are good. We're tackling the obstacles we've experienced recently, a little at a time, attempting to eliminate them altogether. Yesterday, Don and I decided on a short road trip to Ontario for an evening out dinner and short visit to Dennis and Sheila's. It provided us the opportunity to catch up and stay in touch with at least one of our close family friends. We're been considering packing up the tent, air matress and personal items throughout the next week and possibly camping out in their woods next weekend--- after another mandatory Saturday, I'm sure!

Well, I'll try to stay in touch, update my poor, lonesome blog a bit more often... although I cannot make that a guarantee. But anything is possible! I certainly hope life is treating all of my wonderful friends good and please know you're thought of and missed. Love and Laugher, Cath.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Life in the fast lane....

Even with such a new busy schedule {I worked 6 days and ended up with 58 hours this week!} and Murphy's Law, I somehow managed to take some time to slow down and enjoy my life. This past week certainly came with its share of problems, one right after the other, in both my work environment and our home. Don and I are experiencing "technical difficulties" with our hot tub heating element, even after replacing it, running to Columbus after working 10 hours on Wednesday for a new flow switch system, it still isn't heating. Our Jeep is not running... even after filling it up with a full tank of gasoline prior to Memorial Day weekend, replacing the fuel pump and filter, a new crank shaft sensor, and a fuse for it on the engine. It seems there's a dead short somewhere in the electrical system... a new ignition control fuse blows whenever the fuel pump is hooked up, but works wonderfully whenever the fuel pump is disconnected --- but alas, no fuel, no engine running. Our poor '91 Ford Ranger isn't fairing much better as a brake pad became stuck one morning on my way to work and yesterday, the brakes went out all together... so we're now driving Shawn's Jeep. And to add insult to the financial injuries we've already sustained, Shawn borrowed our riding lawn mower and it now requires repair. Oh, and our cell phone needs to be sent off and repaired/replaced as the screen has somehow disappeared so you have no idea who is calling or your dailing, LOL! Every day, I've came home from work to deal with one of these things after the other, and yet somehow felt grateful to even have them and the new job to distract me and provide additional income to deal with them in the future.

At work, it's been hectic, as approximately 25 of us {yes, I'm one of the choosen ones!} are learning to operate and run a "new to us" line on a skeleton crew {in comparison to the 75 people it takes to operate on second shift}. Everyday provides us a new challenge and the opportunity to learn something new, even if it is "what NOT To Do", LOL! As I arrive home, with aching feet and a sore back from standing 10 hours a day, I breathe a major sigh of relief, even if it is quickly short lived. Somehow, I seem to be taking it all in stride, knowing that one day things will get better! I've simply refused to allow life's little obstacles to rob me of the joys that I experiencing in so many other little ways. I've met some wonderful people at work, made a few new friends, and am starting to love what I'm doing as I get the hang of my job more and more each day.

Chaos is adapted to my new schedule rather quickly. He goes to bed early with me and gently lays his head beside me in the wee hours of the morning as I am beginning to stir before the alarm goes off at 3:30 a.m. He's been there to greet me at the front door with his wagging tail and excitement when I return at 3:30 p.m. In the evenings, we enjoy a stolen hour on the rear deck relaxing in the shade, throwing ball, or taking a evening walk --- even if it is only down to the corner and back.

Don is doing an amazing job keeping up with the housework; throwing in a load of laundry and doing up dishes every day. He's been really supportive of me and my new schedule, taking into consideration I'm hot and tired when I return home; so we've either had dinner in, or out, or a quick bite to eat at home. He's not complained once about doing any of these things or the fact that I do very little as I continue to adjust and retire to bed very early in the evening. It somehow seems sinful as I lay down before the sun goes down, LOL!

The flowers that I planted in pots on our rear deck are thriving. The scent of lavender and peonies fill the deck with the most amazing scent, while the water garden's soothing sounds nurture and restoreth my soul in the coolness of the evening shade. I do, however, miss not working on my rubber stamping, paper arts, or quilting projects but know in my heart that one day I'll be a bit more energetic and able to work on them once again, even if it is in little steps along the way.

Alexxis continues to inspire and delight me as she grows and learns new things each and every day. She's not walking on her own as of yet, althought grandma knows she could once she learns to let go of the fear of falling. She's beginning to take a few steps, with the "running" total now up to five, LOL! but has learned to somehow climb on every available surface. She's learned to give and blow kisses when asked and in cooperative mood, and repeats, "I wuv you" a few times a day. Her smile is simply contagious as is her curiosity of the world around her astounds and continues to amaze us.

Don and I healthy and happy for the most part. We both realized through life's trials and tribulations that without one's health and the support of one another very little else truly matters in the grand scheme of things. So, we continue to deal with the little obstacles, refusing to make mountains out of moleholes, and thank God everyday for the much bigger blessings he's bestowed upon us.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Just a quick post...

My new job is going great! However, the 10 hour days are kicking my butt! 3:30 a.m. rolls around mighty early in the morning; especially after working a 10 hour shift and leaving work at 3:30 p.m. It amazes me just how quickly 3-4 hours roll by once home again and before I know it; it's time to hit the hay once and make preparations to do it all over again, LOL! I'm learning my job and have had mega compliments on the job I'm doing --- quick learner, good hands on training, etc. Most of my co-workers are extremely helpful and I am learning to overcome some of the language barrier as we've a lot of Spanish-speaking employees. So many, that I am considering learning Spanish as a second language to future my own advancement within the company... in time.

There hasn't been any time to do anything creative; although that hasn't prevented me from thinking about it. My crazy quilting and paper arts hobbies are sort of on hold at the moment, but I am remaining hopeful to accomplish something this weekend.... my reward for all my sacrifice. Well, thats about all I have time to write tonight as the sheets are calling my name... *night all*sweet dreams*

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Well, I didn't begin working on the mural... As I cleared out the space and assessed the situation, I quickly realized that if we do get a pool and make changes to the deck, I'm going to lose the first two lines of my quotation so the third line would rather lonely there all by itself. Another obstacle was attempting to draw a large oval and try to get it symetrical... hmmm.... so I headed into the studio to gather up some supplies while I pondered about it. I quickly realized that since we'd recently allowed Amber & Chris to store somethings in my studio, I couldn't get to all the supplies I'd need so I'm putting that project on hold for a bit. Although, I do believe that I may have stumbled upon a solution for creating the oval shape by using a few sheets of freezer paper taped together, folded, then tracing a quandrant of an oval platter on it prior to cutting it out. Needless to say, I ended up puttering around the house, aimlessly, and opted to rest most of the day.

The Jeep is continuing to be a work in progress as a ground wire on the fuel filter/pump broke while attempting to put everything back together. So, another part has been ordered and Matt will be by later today to work on it once again, installing yet another part. If it isn't one thing, its another! Maybe after nickle and diming us to death, we'll end up with a decent vehicle when its all said and done, LOL! Matt's girlfriend, Laura and I spent a little bit of time in the studio, mostly me showing her what I do within the studio: creating scrapbooks, rubberstamping cards, mixed media projects such as my altered books, shrines and assemblages, artist trading cards, handmade and bound books, cigar box purses, altered hat box, ect. She fell in love with some of the old bottles that I'd altered with vintage style labels, embellished with raffia, fabric scraps, and images. While browsing in there we got to chatting about thrift stores, yard sales, antique stores, estate auctions and we may just get together one day and go hunting together. After they had left for day, I realized I really need to get back to finish re-organizing my studio once again. Don and I had recently priced a new air conditioner and had discussed purchasing one for my studio... I'm in desparate need of one, if I'm going to be working out there during the summer. That though made me realize that we really need to get focused on accomplishing one thing at a time instead of jumping around trying to accomplish everything we'd love to do all at once. It's just a matter of determing what to tackle first! LOL!

Friday, June 01, 2007

Catching Up and A Day Off!

Returning to work has been a blessing. I'm meeting new people, making new friends, and working, of course. However, my poor ole' body is also letting me know that I've been leading a "soft" life for a bit too long, LOL! The hardest part for me is carrying around the extra pounds of weight that I've gained while leading that old lifestyle, which in turn has resulted in sore and aching feet after being on them for 10 hours a day. So, I'm working to change that by eating less, resting them while home, and attempting to be a bit more active. Hopefully, the weight will decrease and I'll be a lot more comfortable as I strive to adjust. I believe shopping for some comfortable insoles for my new shoes this weekend will help, along with taking some tylenol or advil during the day in the upcoming week.

I've received some wonderful compliments on the job I'm doing from my co-workers and supervisors, so that makes me feel good! {(*insert some warm fuzzies here :) I feel positive about the job I'm doing and am confident that I can do it once I'm placed on my own line. Although, I'm certain that I will run into a few challenges but they will also provide me an opportunity to learn a whole lot more. I have a 3-day weekend this week as I was given the day off while the company works on inventory today.

I'm intending to use the time to re-cooperate a bit, catch up around our home, and restoring my body and soul. I have hopes of beginning to work on painting a garden/beach mural on the inside of our deck fence surrounding the hot tub area this morning. My idea is to create an oval landscape shaped mural of a garden scene with a secluded beach scene peeking out through the background. I want to finish stamping the last line of the quotation, "Dance like no one is watching, Sing like no one is listening, and Love like you've never been hurt" surrounding it. {Do you remember when I added the first two lines above to the inside deck railing?} I'll using regular old acryllic paints to create the mural and once completed will seal it with polyurathane to protect it from the weather.

My final goal is to add a few large potted plants, preferably some type of palm trees, some containers to hold sea shells, candles, and possibly adding a shelf to the inside of the other fence to hold a few folded beach towels and a hooks for our robes to help soften the hard lines of the fence and the surfaces there to create a zen-like relaxing atmosphere eventually. Adding a tablecloth and pillows to the patio set, using candles, and potted plants scattered about will help with the theme on the remaining portion of the deck. Don and I spend a great deal of time on our deck relaxing in the evenings so why not make it more comfortable and enjoyable to be there?

Speaking of Don, a friend of his began worked on our Jeep yesterday, dropping the gas tank, and replacing the fuel filter and fuel pump. They ran out of light last night but are once again working on it already this morning, so they should have it finished later today. Well, I'm off to get started... I may have some photographs of my progress to share soon. *waves*