Envelope Project

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Productive Day

What's better than having Monday off from work??? Nothing, right? Today was a good day. It must have been a slow day at work because there was nothing urgent in my e-mails today. Yay!

Doggie and I started our day off with a long jog. B worked on his project and I worked on my new quilt project. In addition, I finished M's quilt and I will be presenting it to my co-worker tomorrow. I hope that I have done his wife justice in her memory quilt. I added the hanging sleeve this afternoon and hand stitched it in place. This is the first quilt that I have put my label on. This label was made especially for M's wife as she loved her cats. I'm very pleased with the finished project. Doggie decided to make tracks in the sand that B had tamped down. More tamping tomorrow, I guess?!

Tonight I made a nice chicken, pasta, asparagus dinner. Yummy. Tomorrow I will return to work and go back to left brain activities. I can hardly control my enthusiasm! Ha! It's not so bad. The bonuses will be paid in three weeks and then perhaps we can get a new A/C unit. Ours is the original from 1959. We went six weeks last summer without A/C in Houston. Not a good idea. Yikes! It's still February and if we'd had working A/C it probably would have been on yesterday and possibly today. Crazy weather. It's supposed to get cooler tomorrow so I'm crossing my fingers.

Until tomorrow . . .

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Sampler

Today was a gorgeous day. It was a bit chilly and then it warmed up and cooled down again when the sun set. Doggie and I went for our usual jog this morning. We also managed to get in two walks in addition to the jog. He's a spoiled dog!

I finished up my sampler quilt and took it off the longarm. I was surprised at how many bobbins I ended up using on the lap sized quilt. Since my auxiliary bobbin winder hasn't worked for a couple years, I wound my bobbins on my Bernina. My longarm machine also has a bobbin winder, but it is just easier for me to wind them on the domestic sewing machine. I was very pleased with the results. I was practicing my doodle designs in the variegated thread. The off-white thread was used to fill in the spaces and I was practicing various techniques there also. The machine runs very quickly and the brain has to stay focused on where the needle needs to go next so that the threads don't overlap and the overall design will still work. I'm still practicing, but I really liked the outcome. The pictures include the front and the back which is all done in a light wheat colored thread. What do you think?

B worked on his special project today also until he was called away by a friend in need. He left for several hours and by the time he returned it was too late to continue working on the patio. If he doesn't receive any phone calls tomorrow, he will probably make quite a bit of progress.

I am taking Monday off from work so I have tomorrow and Monday to continue working on my quilting projects. Yay! It's a good day.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Last night I attended my first ever quilt guild meeting. I was anticipating that I would come home inspired and ready to create. Instead the meeting filled me with an uneasiness that was quite unpleasant. The guild is quite a large guild and it was quite obvious from the onset that there are two warring factions in this guild. It was definitely quite unpleasant. The highlight of the evening was meeting and speaking with Rosemary Eichorn http://www.sewjourn.com/. She was the guest speaker and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing her creative works and speaking with her. In addition there was a show and tell of quilts from the members. That, too, was enjoyable. I'm not sure that I'll go back, but my newly acquired neighborhood quilting buddies may invite me again and if so, I'll probably attend.

Tomorrow is B's birthday. He thinks I've forgotten (I did that one year - my bad), but I haven't. Tomorrow will be HIS day. Unfortunately for a good chunk of the day, I have to work. Ugh!

I have started on the quilt I plan to enter in the Houston International Quilt Festival. I hope to make a large dent in it this weekend. In addition, I'm still working on my "practice" quilt and I'm loving it. I am using my drawing doodles and transferring them to muslin that I've loaded onto my longarm machine. I am doing the doodles in a variegated brown thread and the filler is done in cream. It looks great. In hindsight, I would have chosen a color other than variegated brown for the doodling, but I'm still quite pleased.

I had to discuss my "performance development plan" with my boss today. I'm not big on setting and objectifying goals. I am and always have been a person who needs very little direction. I know what needs to be done and when it needs to be done so putting my goals down on paper seems frivolous to me. In the past we have been able to use very broad goals, but the new guy that my boss reports to wants us to have goals that can be quantified and at the end of the year we can say if we met our goals or not. So, one of my goals this year is to get my problem employee to "straighten up and fly right". Yeah, I'm liking that goal. NOT. I think everyone should be responsible and know what to do. We are all professionals, but I have someone who just isn't getting the picture. Unfortunately it's now my responsibility to make this person a more productive employee and if I don't succeed, then I haven't met my goal and therefore my bonus is affected??? I think NOT!!! But, it's not up to me, is it?! So far, I'm not liking the new guy much and for many and varied reasons. We'll see what happens March 15 (bonus day) and then I'll have a better idea. This man hasn't even been with the company a year and he's in charge of my bonus. He doesn't even act like I exist. Heavy sigh. He's a talker, not a doer. Blah, blah.

More rain today therefore my exercise took place on the treadmill tonight . . . boring!!!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Some Days are Hard

Today is Monday and thank goodness it's time to go to bed. After enjoying a wonderful weekend it was tough to go back to the madness. Lots of small annoyances today and they added up to a not so pleasant day. Oh, well, it is over now and hopefully tomorrow will turn out much nicer.

Tonight I was supposed to finish M's quilt. It didn't happen. I came home and went for a long jog with the dog. It felt good after a frustrating day. I knew I needed to finish the binding on the quilt, but I didn't have it in me tonight. Maybe tomorrow.

Girl Scout cookies arrived today. I thought I'd be a bit more excited, but at $3.50 a box and 6 boxes later, they are just expensive cookies! Oh, well, I feel like I'm supporting my co-workers kids' endeavor and that's a good thing. Tomorrow is my first experience with a quilt guild meeting. I'm so excited. I hope it's everything I want it to be! It's been a long time (if ever) that I've attended an organized function with a purpose. I have a feeling I'll be excited and motivated when I get home tomorrow night.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Saturday Projects

B and I worked on separate projects today. Unfortunately for B his projects ended early afternoon as it started raining here. I was able to continue on with my projects and I enlisted B's help for my new quilting project. He's quite handy with the calculator, pencil, paper and angles. Tomorrow we'll see if his calculations worked. I'm pretty sure that they will.

Doggie and I went for two jogs and one walk today. It was a good day for the dog. We also managed to get a nap in there so it was a good day for me! Now we're winding down and just trying to get some pictures posted. Tomorrow should be another great day.

Friday, February 15, 2008

School's Out

Yesterday I went back to work after two days of tax school. I spent most of the day drafting an explanation for the Mississippi rate case people on why deferred taxes changed by $2.5 Million from September 2006 to September 2007. What's wrong with what I just wrote? Anyone . . . anyone??? First off, it's Mississippi, 2nd, it's $2.5 Million (peanuts) and 3rd, it's obvious that the person asking the question has no idea what deferred taxes are. This is the part I dislike. For most items on a balance sheet, someone can explain why your assets changed or your inventory changed, receivables, accruals, etc. But taxes are an entirely different ballgame. The calculation for deferred taxes in most cases is balance sheet driven. If items on the balance sheet go up or down, the deferred taxes will change also. Deferred taxes are merely a timing issue which means that at some point any increase will be offset by a decrease in the future and any decrease now will be offset by an increase in the future. To explain why the amounts that make up deferred taxes are not the same as the prior year is absurd, but explain away I did. This process was complicated by the fact that on-top adjusted numbers were used in 2006 and actual numbers were reported in 2007. The 2007 numbers should have had the hypothetical 2006 number as its beginning balance instead of the actual number based on the G/L. Sorry for the rant, but I spent an entire day answering the "I need this ASAP" e-mail and since responding ASAP, once again there has been no "thank you". I find it troubling that people operate this way.

Today I was back at Tax School and I was wondering how it came to be that I would be in a room of 250 people listening to lawyers talk about subjects I have no interest in. Don't get me wrong, I like my job; I like what I do, but it's not an easy job and some days I wonder why I ever chose this path. At the time I didn't know that I would eventually find something that I thoroughly enjoy. I only knew that I needed to support myself; I liked accounting and I was good at it. I started as an auditor and one day I came back from vacation, went to pick my mail up at work and the top memo informed me that two of my friends were laid off while I was gone. As I rounded the corner to my cube, one of the tax partners told me she needed to see me in her office immediately. I knew that I was being terminated so I braced myself. But instead she informed me that the tax department was looking for someone who was a CPA and working on his/her Master's degree to come into the tax department. I didn't hesitate and I told her "Yes". In my mind, it was become a tax accountant or be unemployed. Since I was living in Boston at the time, I figured I needed a job to continue living there. The firm I worked for wasn't real good at helping out so on my first tax return EVER I got 90-some review notes. (I wished I'd kept a copy of them to remind myself how far I've come!) I had no idea what I was doing and there was no one there to help me. But I perservered and here we are today so many, many years later and I am the person who will always go beyond the call of duty to help someone else out because I know what it feels like to be flailing and unable to come up for air. And now I've rekindled my love of fabric, sewing and crafting and I want to do more of that and less of the hard hours in the tax world. Soon weedhopper, soon. Until then . . .

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Big Yawn

Yesterday and today I've been at tax school. It's a good way to get the 40 hour CPE credit each year, but I don't really enjoy sitting all day in a cold hotel conference room listening to boring stuff. Yesterday's sessions were better than today. Today it was just down right miserable with the cold temperature in the room. Add to that the fact that we had to listen to saws, hammering and nailing for a good part of the afternoon. Today I learned that beginning in 2009 there will be new rules that we will have to apply when doing acquisitions. I just kept thinking that I hope I'm not doing this in 2009, but I know I will be. The good part about yesterday and today was that I ran into colleagues I hadn't seen in quite a few years. It was nice to catch up. Tomorrow I am back at the office and Friday I am back to school. Big Yawn!

Today's e-mails were plentiful and it looks like I will have plenty to do when I get back to work tomorrow. I especially like the e-mails which state that they need the answer ASAP. You know who you are (regulatory people!) and I always stop doing my normal job, get them their answers and then you know what . . . that's right, there is never a thank you in there anywhere. I'm big on showing appreciation and it's just not reciprocated. Very annoying. Yesterday morning I was at work at 6:30 a.m. trying to fix something for one of the managers. I didn't even know what he was talking about in his e-mail, but off to work I went and got it done before I went off to tax school. Have I received a thank you from him? Nope. And yet, I will continue to help people out and get things done because that's how I operate, but I'm getting really tired of the non-appreciation from the people who do the most demanding. This new manager of ours better get some people skills because what I did for him yesterday wasn't even my job, but I was able to help him meet his deadline and get the product out the door. Blah, blah. Breathe . . . Tomorrow is just a few dreams away.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


It's early in the morning and I just checked my work e-mail. A lot of activity took place after I left at 6 p.m. last night. Today we are all attending tax school so I have a dilemma to either go into work now (ugh!) or see what falls out after I get to school and see everyone there and find out what's going on. We have a new Manager at work and even though no one reports directly to him he has LOTS of questions and we must all answer. Unfortunately most of the time I don't understand his questions or I'm not sure if I'm the one who needs to be answering his questions. On top of that, it's still year-end close so I think this stuff has a pretty high priority. Do I go to work or school??? It's very annoying right now, but hopefully everything will settle down.

Doggie contemplating his world and pictures of the flowers in the back gardens in February! Crazy!!!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

New Projects

Note to self: Do not click the "X" box in the right hand corner until the post is published! So frustrating to have to rewrite. Oh, well.

Today's projects included adding a bit more quilting detail to M's quilt. After that binding was made and attached to the front side. Tonight I have stitched approximately one third of the binding to the backside. Tomorrow I hope to have everything finished before I lay my head on the pillow at day's end.

B started a new project today also. The picture holds the first clue. Here is another quilt top ready to be quilted on the longarm. I thought that I would do this today, but then I had a better idea . . . NAP!!! That was nice.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Package has Arrived

Yesterday I got home from work and there waiting for me was the box of beautiful fabrics. I'm pleased with my choices. The pastel striped fabric will be used for the back of a child's quilt. The black fabric with birds is going to be incorporated into my Aunt and Uncle's memory quilts. The fall colors I think are just beautiful and I doubt I will have any problem finding somewhere to use them. Now if only I could stay home today and play.

But, alas and alack I must get out of my jammies and think about going to work. Ugh. It's going to be a busy day, but I will try to get something creative done on top of the usual workload.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Feels Like Summer

We are barely into February and the temperature is almost 80 degrees. Insane. B and I took the dog for a jog tonight and after we came home the dog was panting. It's February and I'm worried about my dog being too hot.

I finished quilting M's quilt on Saturday. Tonight I trimmed the extra fabric and batting off and now I'm ready to make binding. Here are some of my choices. Maybe tomorrow I will make a decision and sew the binding. I'm getting close; it's just a long process.

Yesterday I went to see my cousin, C and we had a lovely day together. She showed me many pictures of our parents (my Dad, her Mom) when they were kids. Unfortunately most pictures were not labeled so we could only guess at some of them. I brought home clothes of C's parents and I will be making a couple more memory quilts for her and my cousin, M (C's sister). I better get on the stick and finish the one I've started.

B had a long chat with one of our neighbor's who's totally excited that I am a quilter also. I'm totally psyched now that I know she used to own a quilting store and has an entire one car garage full of fabric. Wow! I can't wait to see her setup. She's excited that I have a longarm machine. There's another neighbor that has a "huge" embroidery machine and she knows a lot of the local quilters so I'm looking forward to meeting her also.