Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Lot Going On

Since I last posted, I've had an unexpected curve in my work life when my employer offered an early retirement package. I'm one of a group of 25 in my school district who are eligible. The offer came after I had spent nearly an hour the previous evening typing a report into the on-line program we use only to be suddenly kicked off the program which, of course, didn't save my work. Just minutes before I saw the e-mail with the offer, I had had an unpleasant interaction with a parent who yelled at me when I asked him to let his child out at the corner rather than in the middle of the street. Leaving it all behind looked very attractive. I spent the weekend imagining how it would be to have time to stitch and quilt during the day, how I would be able to plow through the stacks of books laying around my house, how I would be able to devote more time to volunteer pursuits, how I would be able to travel with my husband and not be bound by a school year schedule. I've worked my entire adult life, even when my children were babies, and I thought it would be nice to have some more time for the things I want to do. The fifth panel for Petit Sampling Etui (shown in the picture) got finished during that thinking time.
But now that the idea has had some time to marinate and I've had time to consider whether I'm really ready to retire, I'm not so sure. My youngest will be going off to college in the fall and my responsibilities outside work will drop off considerably. My husband will still be working for another year or two and maybe I need to keep the status quo so we can develop a new rhythm without too many life changes at once. I have until April 16 to make my decision. Are there words of wisdom from any of you who have taken this step?

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What a Nice Surprise!

Robin over at Crafting with the Stich Witch sent me a Beautiful Blogger award last week. It's my first ever blog award. Thank you, Robin! I really appreciate it!
I've had a pretty busy week and I didn't get a chance to go over and grab the award until tonight. My sister, her husband and their daughter-in-law, along with the DIL's dog, stayed with us on Saturday night. My sister lives in Iowa and I haven't seen her for two years. We talk on the phone, e-mail and send pictures often, but it was so great to actually see her. And then there were progress reports for my students and the quilt guild meeting last night along with the time change which robbed me of a much needed hour of sleep. Rarely an idle moment here!
So here's how the award works:
1. One must accept the award
2. Thank the person who gave you the award.
3. Add a link to the person who gave you the award.
4. Paste the award on your blog.
5. Write 10 things about yourself others might not know

Pass the award on to 10 others
After some thought, I've come up with ten things you probably don't know about me.
1. I grew up in a town of about 300 in southeast Nebraska. There were 34 students in my high school class because two towns combined their school students when I was in junior high. Before that, there were about 20 students in my class.
2. My husband and I were both state presidents of the Student National Education Association. We met at a Student NEA convention in New Orleans and had a long distance romance. We've been married nearly 35 years.
3. I once sang with the Boston Pops. OK, it was their sing-a-long at the end of their program and everyone else in the audience was participating, but still. . .
4. I tore a calf muscle running from third base to home on the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa during a game with my sister's family. It was really painful, and somehow the incident comes up in conversation with my sister or her husband about once a month.
5. I love to read mysteries and when I find a new author I prefer to start with the first book in the series and continue on in chronological order.
6. I am a lifetime member of Weight Watchers. One of these days I may get back to my goal weight.
7. I'm pretty decisive about a lot of things, but I have a real fear of commitment when buying airline tickets online. I spend days dithering about whether I should click on that final purchase button!
8. I usually order a crab cake or scallops when I eat out.
9. I don't like to watch most sports on TV, but I do like to watch college football. I used to be a Cornhuskers fan, but have switched to the University of Miami Hurricanes since my son went there.
10. I "plan" to live to at least 100. All of the siblings of one of my grandmother lived into their 90's and my grandmother was a month shy of 99 when she died. Several of my father's siblings are in their 90's as is my mother's sister. Given the fact that I don't have any major health problems and I have good genes, I think it's a good bet I'll be around for awhile.
And now to pass on this award--in no particular order
1. Blueberry Moon-love her quilts and admire that anyone with 8 kids would have time to blog!
Honestly, this list could go on and on. I've "met" such wonderful people through this world of blogging and think all of them deserve this award. I hope you'll take the time to visit the blogs in the list above. I'll look forward to seeing what they have to say in their "acceptance speeches" and visiting the blogs they list.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I Won!!

Kim had a give-away on her blog a week or so ago and I won! What a surprise since I *never* win anything. I got the package containing the Rooibos pattern and the fabrics to make it in the mail on Thursday. I was going to wait for some sunshine in order to take a better picture, but it doesn't look like we'll have any in southeast PA any time soon. I have a couple of other quilting projects going, so this one may not get done right away, but I'll post a picture when it's done.
Thanks again to Kim--go check out her blog. I think you'll agree she's a person you'd like to know in real life!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Portions Toll or The Summer of 95, Part 3

Faithful readers of this blog may recall my recounting of my daughter's college search. If the details have slipped your mind, you can refresh your memory with this post and this one. I only gave a brief mention of the drama over the college applications in one of my posts this winter, but trust me, there was a LOT of drama.

My daughter ended up applying to seven schools, six of which will notify her by April 1. She's been admitted to the seventh school, but it was definitely in last place as far as places she would like to attend. About 10:30 this morning, she sent me a text that she has been admitted to one of the schools we visited in DC. It was the school that emerged as her top choice after all the campus visits. This wonderful institution which clearly has very wise admissions counselors would be a fabulous place for her to spend the next four years and we are soooo excited for her. I spent my lunch time ordering her a bouquet of flowers in the school's colors, buying her a T-shirt from the school and e-mailing all my friends and colleagues.

Around 6:30 this morning, I filled out some of the forms my daughter had left on the counter for me and realized that I had just signed my last field trip permission form. Ever. So today held a small ending and a great new beginning.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Clean Up Time

No, that's not a photo of my maid. (Did you know that if you type "maid" into Google images you get a lot of pictures of women in very skimpy black and white costumes? This isn't that kind of blog!). To return to the topic, I'm the maid around here. But having a super-clean house doesn't even make the top ten in my own set of priorities. And my husband's been out of town. He used to travel a lot more when all three kids were home and when he was gone, our routines became, shall we say, relaxed. I would make pancakes for dinner and sometimes treat the kids to "Cheesy Noodles", a culinary delight introduced to them by one of our sitters. It's a box of macaroni and about 2/3 of a jar of Cheese Whiz, splash of mik optional. Sooo good and sooo not healthy. My husband won't touch the stuff. I love it smothered in ketchup.

So to return once again to my point, my husband has been gone since Tuesday and now that I only have one child at home, the routines have become, shall we say, non-existent. I've been reading books at the dinner table or eating a Lean Cuisine as I check my e-mail. I've been sewing the blocks for my latest quilt together while I listen to a book and watching my recordings of Grey's Anatomy as I stitch. But tonight it's time to face the music and clean this place up--unload the dishwasher, do the dishes, take out the trash and put away the wash. In short, back to the routine.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Ain't We Got Fun

In several of her recent posts, Nicole had pictures of quilts from this book. I especially liked the Beach Cottage quilt and thought it would be a perfect use for the blue and green print that begged to come home with me from the quilt shop a few months ago. My copy of the book arrived this afternoon (along with a few other goodies from the Fat Quarter Shop) and I've been drooling ever since.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March Goals

I love lists. It's genetic--I got it from my mother. At her funeral, the minister read the passage about the virtuous wife which says that "she rises before dawn" to which I mentally added "and makes a list." My brother-in-law swears that he once saw "make list" as the first item on mom's things to do.
Anyway, I generally write down a few things I'd like to accomplish each month. For a long time, I used to do this for my needlework and then sometime last year I stopped as I realized I wasn't getting most of the things done. But with the weather improving in southeastern PA, I'm getting more energized and inspired. So here's my list of stitching related things I hope to do this month:
1. Finish stitching Petit Sampling Etui (need to finish Panel 5 and stitch Panel 6)
2. Finish Lights of Advent ornament #4
3. Finish candle ornament (canvas)
4. Assemble Fall Frolic quilt top, sew backing and cut binding
5. Finish comfort quilt for guild (needs backing and quilting)
6. Finish the Thimbleberries block of the month
Happy stitching, everyone!