Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bridal Hanky - Take 2!

After making one hanky for a wedding I attended, it has now become something I do for my friends.  It is a very special gift that in all of the bridal showers I have attended I had never seen given before.  Now it is not the kind of hanky that a grandpa would carry around.  It is a beautiful reminder of their special day, and it wouldn’t look too bad catching some happy tears while up on the alter.

The first one I made was very basic, as I was still trying to figure out how I wanted it to look.  By the time I was ready to make the second one I had an advantage.

They had a logo.

My idea was to embroider the logo and wedding date onto the hanky and sew lace around the outside to make it pretty.  I spent quite a bit of time trying to get my copy of the logo perfect, but it was well worth it.  I embroidered the letters in grey and the circle around the letters in orange to match their colors.

I was extremely happy with the results.  I even had to compare it to the original logo on their save the date!

I also embroidered the date of their wedding around the side of the circle.  In sewing the hanky closed I thought it would be cute to use their colors again.

I then pinned and sewed on the lace around the hanky using grey thread.  I was very proud of the results.

And she used it to wrap around her bouquet!!!  I was so surprised and happy to see her using it during the ceremony.  :)

I have since made another one that is a bit less traditional looking than this one and hope to get that post up in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Pepper sitting!!

Friends of ours are currently on their honeymoon and needed a sitter while they were gone... for their PEPPER PLANT!!!

So far I have saved it from a beating in the rain on Sunday,

Kept it from becoming dehydrated (Jon helped too),

And watched the peppers grow!

Monday, October 7, 2013

What I'm Reading Monday - Audiobook Fail!!

I was doing great in reading these last two weeks.

That is until the audiobook I borrowed from the library was so scratched it was impossible to listen to.

I finished Infamous and really liked it.  I felt the story closed up really well and possibly could have a sequel.  I enjoyed having two different readers, but I have to say I enjoyed the male voice better.

The book I started but stopped was Stay by Allie Larkin.  It was about a best girlfriend and best boyfriend where the girl was in love with the boy and it was not reciprocated.  The boyfriend marries her best friend and I was not able to get much farther than that.  I am curious how the story would play out and may ask my friend with connections to another counties library system check it out for me.

I am also getting along in Summer in the City by Robyn Sisman.  I find it interesting how the story goes back and forth between the two main characters lives.  They both work for an ad agency (one in England and one in New York) and were able to switch places for a month or so.  The drama is starting to heat up and I can’t wait to find out what is happening just beyond what is being shared.

I am still working through an ebook on my iphone.  I believe I have been in the process of reading it for over 6 months.  Even though I have it with me at all times, I don’t feel motivated to read on the screen.  It is so small and I much prefer a real book.  It is the fourth book in a series by Gemma Halliday, Mayhem in High Heels.  I have enjoyed all of the books so far, I just wish I had them in hardback rather than ebook.

As far as my plans this week, I hope to hit up the library tomorrow to check out another audiobook because I just cannot stand listening to commercials during my drive to and from work.  I would like to get Summer in the City finished so that I can start a new one.  I really need to step up my pace so I can meet my yearly goal!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Story of My NEW Job

About a month ago I started my new job.  How everything happened, I think it was meant to be.

As I had mentioned before, I applied and interviewed for a newly created manager position in HR.  I spent hours preparing and creating a whole notebook of information that I planned to use when I started the job.  I was a little nervous during the first interview but I was so excited about all of the work I had done to prepare I blew them away before the interview officially started.  I was offered a second interview in which I spent a great deal of time preparing.  Again, I rocked it.  But now I am getting ahead of myself.

My first interview included only HR people, but the second included one woman that was not part of HR.  We were introduced and she described what she did.  While I am standing at the front of the room ready to present listening to her explain, I found myself thinking… ‘wow, that sounds really fun.  I think I would like to do that…’  Probably not the best thoughts to have when you are about to give a presentation for a job interview!

I left the interview feeling very proud of my presentation and responses to the questions I was asked.  I believed I really showed them what I was capable of and really hoped they picked me.

Well, I wasn't picked.  And I found out I wasn't picked the same day I found out that my Grammie wasn't doing so great.  A double whammy of bad news for sure.

But it allowed me to go and see my Grammie without being distracted about maybe being picked for the job.  I am glad I was able to fully focus my last visit on seeing and being with her.

Fast forward a month or so.  A friend asks me to check out a job posting she was interested in and to give her some tips.  After I was done looking at the posting she was interested in, I thought ‘oh, why not check’.  Well, my ‘oh, why not check’ attitude changed to ‘HOLY CRAP THE DEPARTMENT OF THE WOMAN FROM MY INTERVIEW IS HIRING!!!’  Of course I had to run it by my dad to get his okay.

I applied and then had to wait.

As I left the office one afternoon I received a voicemail from a work number.  I didn’t recognize it as an HR one so I listened to the message right away.  I was offered an interview!!  I was so excited I called back right away to schedule it.  I was on cloud 9.

I then realized I would have to tell my boss that I had an interview and might end up leaving… that was going to be a shock.  I have to say she took the news very well and told me that I would do great and they would be very lucky to have me.

Well, they must have realized I was a catch because they offered me the job!  Which ended up causing drama in HR (there was a massive move based on me leaving), but I think at this point everyone is situated and going on with their working lives (just in a slightly different seat and with different work responsibilities).

It was sad to pack up my desk and know that when I left I wasn’t going to be coming back the following Monday.

My HR co-workers threw me a little going away party and everything was so thoughtful and wonderful.  It made it that much harder to leave.  But I have to say the change was a good one though and I am very glad I did it.
This was a very specially made gluten-free cake!  The cookies were gluten-free too!!  Both were delicious.

I love the new place.  It is 1000 times different than HR and I am getting to do fun manipulations of data.  My co-workers are awesome and very nice.  I am not answering the phone, though.  I did very much enjoy that in HR.  Since I have moved to the new job I have received three phone calls (from non-department people), two of which were wrong numbers and one from the person who took over my job in HR.  So a month and three phone calls, not good odds if I want to talk on the phone anymore.

And (just in case you were wondering) my ducks made it over here too.

I have a large enough work space that they all fit and I have TONS of room left to spread out and work.  I was initially worried about bringing them over, but everyone has said nice things about them.

I already have a fairly massive OneNote of all of the things I have learned so far and it is starting to rival my Records one!  I hope to be able to share it like I did with the Records one.  I know it will help out with all of the files we have notes on.  Right now they are scattered all over in different binders for different terms = much to disorganized for me.

I hope to continue impressing them with the speed with which I learn things and my ability to get them all super organized!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

What I'm Reading Monday: Infamous

I'm back!!!

For real.

I had taken a hiatus from audiobooks because my sources library made some changes.  Which lead me to listen to the radio for a couple of months.  Over the last week she was able to lend me a few from her classroom library.  I have to say I really missed being fully engaged in a book again during my long drive to work.

So I just finished up a few: Heartbeat and Love that Dog by Sharon Creech.  Both were enjoyable but only lasted me about two days!

Hurt Go Happy by Ginny Rorby was next.  You would think that having a friend that taught this book every year would have gotten me to read it sooner!  Regardless I really enjoyed the story (and completely disliked the readers voice as my friend predicted) and can see why students love this story.  It reminded me of other books I have read involving chimps and other primates.

I am currently reading a few books (yea I can never be satisfied with just one).

The Twins of Tribeca: A Novel by Rachel Pine is the one I have been working on the longest.  I try to read during lunch at work and a little bit before bed at night.  It is an interesting book and really makes me appreciate the normal work environment that I experience everyday.  I can see where some people would compare this to The Devil Wears Prada but that similarity shouldn't take away from this books story.

The other book I just started is an audiobook (I broke down and stopped at the library on my way home last week) is Infamous by Suzanne Brockmann.  I don't know if it is just me, but so far this book has been confusing to listen to.  I think it started with a prologue but it didn't give a time frame so now the I am listening to the actual story I am confused of how the prologue fits in.  I will probably figure it out eventually.  Or just forgot the prologue all together!  That might be easier.  Plus this book is like 13 or 16 hours long!  I will be kept occupied for a week!!

Sorry for the bad quality pictures, I took them from Goodreads.

With my break from audiobooks I am behind on my 2013 Goodreads Reading Challenge!  I am 5 books behind (at my current pace).  I better speed up since I have not yet missed a goal!  So I hope to have at least one more book fully finished my next week.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Baby Shower Gift - Elephants

So I started working at a new job (which I must tell you all about at another time) and within a week was invited to a surprise baby shower for a co-worker.  I hadn't met her at the time, but knew that I would rather make something than buy something.  The mom-to-be for a second time, knew she was having a girl but was worried about the possibility of the tech being wrong on the gender.  So I planned to make a gender neutral gift. you know, just in case.

While I was in JoAnn's searching for Janet's gift for her bridal shower (yup gotta post about that one too) I saw this absolutely adorable fabric that I immediately knew I had to use for my co-workers gifts.

It was different colored lions.

I was in love.  I didn't buy it initially because I was on a time crunch to get Janet's stuff done and could not afford the distraction of cutie little lions.

So Jon and I made a trip to JoAnn's a week later to buy the baby shower fabrics.  And while I was intent on using the lions, Jon found the same fabric but with elephants!  They were super cute too!  Then the shelf the lion fabric rested on was broken and we ended up finding another fabric with monkeys!!!  Decision.   Overload.

After much deliberating the monkeys were out because their size would not work well with my "vision" of the end result.  The lions would have been perfect for my "vision" but Jon convinced me they weren't girl friendly enough to be a gender neutral fabric.

I got home and got straight to work on my plan.

I wanted the elephants to be outlined in embroidery of the same color.  A little texture and some fanciness at the same time.  With that done I went ahead and backed it with light green minky fabric.

Turned the whole thing into a taggy blanket and part 1 of 3 was done!

And it was late and I got lazy so rather than hand sewing the opening closed, I machine sewed it.  I have to say you can hardly even tell I did that!  I may end up getting lazy more often...

The last two parts I wanted to make were the ribbon outlined burp clothes I usually make.  I had found ribbon that matched the colors of the elephant fabric perfectly.  (Sorry no close up).

I have to also comment that the back of the burp clothes were perfect.  No random colored blob of "oh crap the sewing machine went stupid and I didn't realize it until I was done" thread!

I was very pleased with how well they looked together.  The mom-to-be was actually surprised by the baby shower and mentioned having never received a hand made gift like mine before.

All in all, a success.

I have several more posts planned (Julie I am going to get it together!) and hope to get them up soon.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Not the kind of post you are used to, but I need to share

**I wrote this about a week after my Grammie's funeral.  It has taken me a while to actually post this since I wanted to include pictures.  And I made sure to include a lot of them.**

This has been a very rough month.

I completed a second interview that I thought was very very good.  I knew that I had tough competition; however I felt I was the best candidate.  A week or so later I found out that I didn’t get the job as I had been hoping.  But that was just as well since I was called to come home and see my Grammie.

It was a very nice visit even though she was in Hospice with the plan of getting well enough to go home.  She would have told anyone and everyone that she was just there to get better and go home.  We just didn’t realize the home she was referring too was the home in the sky with all of her brothers and sisters.

I found it funny, along with my mom, that she declared that she didn’t want that "oxycodone" stuff again.  She had been given it to assist with a breathing attach she had been having.  She did not want to “become addicted to the stuff”.  My mom’s thought was, “Well if it helps you feel good for the next few months, why not?”.  Grammies desire to know exactly what was being put into her body stayed with her until the end, refusing medication that was not necessary.

The hardest part was that she passed away on Mother’s Day and Jon and I had left the day before.  It was very hard to hear but I knew that even though she had not been in physical pain, she must have been mentally in anguish.  She was always very independent and able to think her way into solutions for just about anything.  But, here she was with something she was unable to think up a solution for, her heart.

My Uncle had been staying with her for just about every moment she was in Hospice.  I am sure that had to be extremely difficult to see your very strong mother laying in a hospital bed waiting for her last breath.  I am praying that day does not come to my sisters and I for a very long time.

It was over a week before we had the funeral.  Grammie made one last trip up to her hometown, Grundy Virginia.  It was very hard thinking about going over to her house, across the street and two houses down from my parents, and her not being there.  Jon was able to take the time off of work (again) to be with me.  Staci scheduled her flight up there with us.  It was a rather uneventful trip up, unlike the trip my Uncle had just a few hours later.

It was really weird to be in Grundy again.  The last time I had been there was for my Granddaddy’s funeral.  Aunt Eddie and Aunt Fay were still living in their house next to Hardee’s and there was a lot of family and friends to see before and after the funeral.  I almost felt sorry for my Grammie for the lack of people that came to her funeral.  But she did live a long life and all her sisters were much older than her so it makes sense the amount of people attending to be less.

That is not saying the quality of people that attended was less, which was definitely not the case.  We had the husband and wife that have been living at the holler (the home place where my Grammie and all her family lived) for the last 40 some years, Aunt Fern’s sister and nieces (my mom so loved meeting them and made the comment that it made it feel like Aunt Fern was there), Uncle Hank’s second (and seemingly much cooler) wife, Cousin Chris and her husband, Mrs. Sue, and others that I was too sad to speak with during the day’s events.  Their presence let me know that Grammie meant a lot to many different people.  It is hard to think about the fact she is gone.

It is comforting to know that she and Granddaddy are back together.  However, it is very hard for me to think about their bodies being buried underground forever.  That most likely no one will go back to Grundy to visit them, to be forever laying there waiting for visitors.  I have decided I don’t want that for myself.

For how hard it was to experience for the fourth time, it was easier because family was there.  And easier for me knowing that she was not going alone.  Unfortunately Jill was not able to come due to weather but I knew she was there in her thoughts.

Since getting back it seems that every day there is a reminder that she is gone.  Several TV shows reference death of a loved one (Modern Family was the death of the grandmother = that wasn’t a great topic for me to watch but I have to say I liked the ending).

I attended the wonderful baby shower for a friend a week ago.  Her mom went all out on decorations and making sure there was food for everyone to eat (even me!).  As my friend was opening her gifts she thanked her grandmother and the exchange back and forth hit me.  I wouldn’t have any grandparents at my baby shower… or my wedding… or any other significant event in my life.  I did my best not to start bawling since it was not the time for that and attempted to enjoy the rest of the shower and I did.

But it seems those moments of sharp realization come out of left field and I am never ready for them.  It sounds terrible to say it, but I hope they lessen with time, only so that I can think of her without my eyes stinging and my throat tightening.

Time…  one thing I wish I would have spent more with my Grammie.  And hopefully it will eventually heal my heart of the pain of loosing her.

Late celebration of Christmas and Grammies birthday.