Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spring Break 2012, Early Edition

Spring break has gotten off to a fine start.  After I left school yesterday, I headed for the nail salon for a mani/pedi.  The salon is far less busy on a Friday afternoon than during the weekends and I realized that I was also far more relaxed since I wasn't thinking about the dozens of things I needed to be accomplishing in only two days off work.  Then it was time to head into Philadelphia where we were being treated to a meal at one of the hotels.  Our acquaintance brought along his 13 year old son whom we had never met.  He was such a delight that I found myself wishing he and my daughter were closer in age.  The meal was fabulous--I had venison, of all things.  Definitely outside my usual restaurant fare of seafood, and it was terrific.

Having done my Weight Watchers weigh-in yesterday afternoon, I was free to sleep in this morning.  I'm usually up around 5:00 so it was wonderful to be able to sleep until 7:00.  This morning (a gray one in this part of Pennsylvania), I've been puttering around making lists of the things I hope to get done in the next few days, choosing books to read next and organizing some needlework projects.  My current one is the February block in Blackbird Designs Anniversaries of the Heart.  As you can see, it's nearly finished.  I'm going to personalize it with my mother's name as she was born on February 14.  We're staying in tonight to watch a movie, so I think this stands a good chance of being completed then.

Thursday, March 29, 2012


You know that feeling when something is so close you can almost taste it?  That's how I'm feeling about my upcoming spring break.  Only 1.5 more working days and I'll be sprung.  As of 12:30 tomorrow, there will be no lesson plans, parent phone calls or paperwork for a week.  I have a few things planned for the break--we're being treated to a special dinner tomorrow night and we have theater tickets for Sunday afternoon.  I've got appointments with a doctor and a dentist as well as for a haircut.  But there will be lots of time for stitching and quilting and a  trip with friends to the fabric shop.  All three of the kids will be home at the end of the week for Easter.  What could be better?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

WIPocalypse Check-in #3

I know I don't have to have a finish in order to post for the WIPocalypse, but it sure feels good to have three finishes in three months!  Here's Lizzie Kate's ABCs of Aging Artfully which was fun to stitch despite several miscountings that required frogging.  I haven't decided whether to finish it as a pillow or to frame it, but either way, it will go in the guest room. 

Right now, though, the "guest room" is still a semi-shrine to my older son.  The son who went to college in Miami, graduated four years ago and has lived in Los Angeles and New York since then. The son who has not spent more than two consecutive weeks in the room since the summer of 2006.  He just got a new job that gave him a nice increase in his income and at the same time, found a new apartment to share with a friend from high school.  After 18 months of living in sublet rooms, he has signed his own lease and now can become an official New Yorker.  At some point in the near future, we'll be taking some furniture from his room up to the new apartment and then I'll start looking at paint chips and carpet samples so we can redecorate.  I'll be sure to share pictures of that work in progress!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

FNSI Report

 Thanks to a significant amount of time on the stitching couch on Friday night, the ABCs of Aging Artfully went from  this                                          

to this. 

I apologize for the poor picture quality.  The first picture was taken in the early evening after a marathon day at work (it's report card time) and I grabbed the second shot right before I headed out to Weight Watchers and then on breakfast with a friend (definitely not a Weight Watcher's event).  There wasn't any stitching yesterday, but I did get the taxes done and filed for my children.  Even though I still have to finish ours, I feel that a big job has been accomplished.  I'm hoping for some time to stitch this afternoon and would really like to finish this piece today.  I've already gone diving in the stash for the next WIP I want to finish.

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Loud Moo

I know, I know--I disappear for a couple of weeks, and then come back with a rant.  But I am quite the COW* after my encounter with the customer "service" people at the financial institution that handles our home equity line of credit we took out last year.

This all started a few weeks ago.  I finally followed through on my goal of moving our money market account.  The new account allows me to conveniently make on-line payments, and that's what I did to pay off the loan.  I typed in the amount on the statement, hit send and confirm and thought that was that.  This morning, I opened my e-mail to find that the payment had been returned to my account.  After work, I called the customer service number on the bill and got only an automated system (also found out that I could pay my bill over the phone with a bank check and be charged $10 for the privilege).  I flipped the bill over and found another number.  After being told by the automated system that my loan number wasn't recognized, I got an actual person who tried to tell me that the loan number printed on my bill wasn't correct.  After I explained that her employer is the third company that has held our mortgage and our home equity line, she offered to transfer me to another line.  That was the original number I called and again, I couldn't rouse a human.  By this time, I was getting a little worked up, but I persevered and called back.  Turns out that the third time's the charm as I got someone who eventually connected me with the proper person, but only after asking me ridiculous questions such as what the original amount of my mortgage was (that was 20 years ago).  So I finally get to explain my problem and here's the answer:  If you're going to pay off a loan, you have to request a pay-off amount or the bank won't accept the payment.  It's a federal regulation.  Seriously??? I want to send money to an institution and they won't accept it??  However, if I want to send in $10 or even $1 less than the full amount, they will take it.   I'm sure someone thought there was a very good reason for this policy, but I can't for the life of me figure out what it would be.

OK, off my soapbox now and off to participate in Friday Night Sew-In.  The ABCs of Aging Artfully is coming along nicely and may even see a finish this weekend.

*Cranky Old Woman (with a nod to Nancy, at Blogging, Near Philadelphia)

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Last week, my husband had to have eye surgery on a semi-emergency basis.  Since he was an add-on to the surgical schedule, we knew we would be waiting quite a while.  The night before, I gathered up my stitching things to take along and for the life of me, couldn't find the scissors I keep in my "traveling" bag.  I knew it had been with me when I went to my guild meeting, but it was nowhere to be found. They were missing until I got home and remembered that I now keep them in this great bag*  that I got from Stacy at our guild's exchange in December.  Seems the only thing that has  truly gone missing is my memory.  And I didn't put in a single stitch on anything during the six hours of waiting.

*The bag is from a pattern called Snap Happy.  It's made with a carpenter's ruler so that the closure snaps open and closed.  The pattern has three sizes for the bags.  It's on my list of projects I want to do this year.  The scissors fob was from Francine, another member of the guild as a thank-you for driving her to retreat last spring.