Envelope Project

Friday, July 31, 2009

A Pressing Matter

Since I have a problem with taking the time to figure out which way seams should be pressed so that when they are sewn together they face opposite directions, I opted to press all my seams open on this quilt. I think in the end it made the entire process go faster and it was less frustrating.

I have finished piecing the blue quilt. I'm in the process of deciding whether or not to applique some items on the quilt. It looks lovely as it is and I think once the quilting on the longarm is finished, it will turn out to be a lovely quilt. But, I keep thinking that I might like to try something different with this quilt and make it "pop" some more. We'll see. If I get a design drawn that I like, I will probably go for the applique.

This morning I ran 3 miles at 7 a.m. The temperature was 82 degrees with 88% humidity and a 92 degree heat index. It was a little uncomfortable by the end. I just finished reading an article about running in high humidity. Oops. Luckily B brought me water at the 2 mile mark. I will run again on Sunday. Hopefully my knees will continue to hold up and one day I will run like the wind!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Blue, Blue, My World is Blue

This is my new creation. I designed this quilt on Friday and started cutting and piecing on Saturday and Sunday. I really like the way the blues fell out. It seems soothing to me and I'm sure that my brother and sister-in-law will be pleased with the finished product. I'm going to applique a design in the four corners and possibly the middle of the quilt. Once it's longarmed, it should be gorgeous!

I finished trimming up the latest brown quilt. (There were three in a row for those of you who lost count!) Now we just need to sew some binding and spend a couple hours hand stitching it down. I find that part of the process to be rather soothing. I didn't think I'd like it, but I'm finding that finishing the quilts makes me almost as happy as designing and making the quilts. Oh, the simple joys!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Opened and Closed

Yesterday was the opening day of registration for the Houston 2010 Marathon and Half Marathon. As you know, my brother and I were both able to sign up around 6:30 p.m. yesterday. This morning when I logged onto the computer, the Half Marathon was closed. All 11,000 runners were signed up and unless you wanted to sign up as a "Hero" (which means paying an additional $350 to a charity) you are out of luck for the 2010 Half Marathon. It's like the MS150 all over again. Last year registration opened at 10 a.m. and by 5 p.m. it was full . . . 13,000 riders committed to the ride. B and I did not sign up last year as my heart wasn't in it. Then when my Austin friends came to town for the bike ride I was totally disappointed we hadn't signed up. So we're going to ride again in 2010. Am I too old for this stuff???!!!

B and I went to the gym at 7:45 this morning and did 35 minutes on the elliptical machine. We did the one with the incline and the arms that moved. I tried doing the stationary one, but for the life of me I could not figure out how to get my left leg to go. It was dead weight and I couldn't get it to move. I finally put both feet on the left pedal to get it moving. I'm going to have to improve on that! Anyway, the calf feels pretty good right now and I'm all set to run tomorrow morning. Yay! Exercising is good and I feel motivated. That being said, I could use a nap!!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Big Day

Today was the opening day for registration for the Houston 2010 Marathon and Half Marathon. The race will be limited to 22,000 runners evenly divided between the Marathon and Half Marathon. At 2 p.m. there were already over 13,000 runners signed up. Yikes. I have not been able to run for the past two weeks, but I was undetered in my determination to sign up for this race. I contacted by brother, J, in Kansas and yes, he was ready to go. So we sat at our respective computers and filled in the requisite information and then on the count of three we hit enter. And we waited. Both came back with errors, so we corrected those and hit enter again. This time it came back that too many people were trying at the same time. New strategy. My brother hit the "register" button first followed by me. After a couple moments of anticipation his came back with a confirmation number. Mine followed shortly thereafter and my confirmation number was exactly 100 greater than his. I guess we'll see when we get our bib numbers if we were registered consecutively. We both signed up to run the same time so that we could start the race together. I hope I don't let him down by running too slowly. It was all very exciting and I can't wait to start chonicling my running journey with the countdown to January 17, 2010. It'll be here before we know it.

After nine months of no spin classes, I went today at noon and did the hour class. This teacher was not as enjoyable as the teacher in the class I went to for an entire year. Her music was much better, albeit louder. I didn't care for this guy's music at all. I need something with words that I know so I can sing along in my head. Oh, well. I ended up with a good sweat and felt really good afterwards. I'm envisioning a new wardrobe in a smaller size so let's see if that works out!!!

I designed a new quilt pattern this morning and tomorrow I will start the process of picking out the fabrics and cutting some fabric. I think that I will do some applique on this quilt so that will be my new process in this quilting journey. The quilt will be going to a different brother and hopefully I'll complete it in time for my annual trek home for the holidays. If all goes well, it will be totally pieced by Sunday evening.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It's a Dog's World

Allergies are annoying. I've been plagued with them my entire life and I have used more Puffs than a person should ever have to use. But what's worse than my allergies are my dog's allergies. The poor guy has eaten himself raw in some places. We're careful about feeding him food with preservatives so we're not sure what's the cause of his allergies. Maybe he's like me and things are in the air that just don't agree with him. Yesterday we finally got him some relief and took him to the Vet to get a steroid shot. I'm not big on injecting him with steroids, but it's only his third shot in his 11 years so I think he's okay. He felt relief immediately and I kept apologizing to him for him hurting so badly. It was painful to watch so I know it was painful for him. Today he is eating again and is a bit more spry. His eyes are clearing up and he has a spring in his step again. Poor guy.

Today was an exciting day. At lunch time I went through my International Quilt Festival catalog and made a wish list of the classes I'd like to take. When all was said and done the total was $740. Whoa!! I had to back off a little and narrow that list down. I ended up signing up for four classes (way less than $740!) and I won't know for about four weeks whether I got in to any of them. I hope I didn't wait too long to register. I'm totally excited about going now. My reference number is 22000+ so I'm not sure if that means 22,000 plus people have already registered or not. Hope not! I don't think I'll have much of a shot at getting any classes if 22,000 people have already signed up. Live and learn.

The calf muscle is almost healed. At least that's what I keep telling myself. I discovered this morning that the directions for the "Icy/Hot" that I was using say not to use more than four days. Therefore I wasn't able to slather on the stuff this morning and get my big fix of that delightful wintergreen smell. Aah!!! My day just wasn't the same!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Big Girl Panties

Yesterday I had to chuckle. I was reading my longarm digest and the thread was about one of the longarmers and her potential new customer that just wasn't going to become a reality. The longarmer didn't want to turn the new business away, but she knew that if she accepted the assignment it would be bad news from the get-go. One of the other longarmers wrote in and said "Put on your big girl panties and deal with it".... Made me laugh.

Fortunately I don't deal with customers (although sometimes I think it would be nice to have the extra income!) so I don't have much confrontation to do in my quilting world. I have a bit in my tax world, but that's another story and now I know it's going to take my big girl panties to deal with it!!

I finished my quilt yesterday evening and took it off the longarm machine. I now have to trim it up and bind it and then add it to the pile! It turned out really nice and I like the way I pieced the back together. B likes Side B better than side A!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Every Little Thing

My calf muscle is still aching and I'm still limping. Now that I'm committed to running a half marathon with my brother my leg starts acting up. Great! In the meantime, I am doing the Wii EA Active Sports 30 day challenge. I have to uncheck all of the running exercises, but then I supplement them with tennis drills and boxing. I hope my arms get nice and toned! I hope that I will be able to run this weekend. I'm getting a little antsy.

The quilt is almost finished. Hopefully I will finish it tonight and take it off the longarm machine. It's turning out nicely considering that I haven't put a quilt on the machine in awhile now. The stitching on the back is perfect. It's an art form getting the tension right, but I'm not going to fret over it too much. Life's too short. I'm ready to start working on a colorful quilt now. Too much brown recently.

The International Quilt Festival catalog came last week and I am marking pages and getting ready to sign up for classes. I'm so lucky that I live in Houston. If I had to travel here every year to see the show, I would probably stress over the trip and not enjoy it as much. It's so much easier that I live here and can go to the show every day.

Well, it's off to do my Wii challenge and then get the longarm fired up. Happy Quilting!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Run Like the Wind

So today is July 4th and I did another 5k this morning. I thought I would have a good race this morning as I did a mind meld with my dog! He told me to think of him and run faster!!! That didn't happen. It was another hot one, but at least there was shade for most of the route. I posted yet another horrible time, but hey, I'll get there. I'm not deterred. My brother, J, called me this morning because he remembered I had a run and so he went out running at the same time. He's a much better runner than me, but we've made a plan to train for the Houston 1/2 marathon that will be run in January 2010. Please God let me learn how to run and survive 13+ miles!!! I CAN do it!!!

Yesterday I spent part of the day sewing and working on the scrap pieces. I think it's going to end up being part of my backing for the last quilt I pieced. I haven't taken any pictures yet, but I'll post some soon. It's a pretty quilt, but it's another brown (fall color) quilt and I'm ready to do something in color now. I think I'll work with blues on my next quilt. Just looking at blue, how could one not be happy?!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Cool as a Cucumber

So today's high was only 99 degrees. Yippee! It was like a cold front blew into town! I made the mistake of going out to lunch and walking a good distance to the cafe. By the time I made it back to the office I'm sure I was smelling rather ripe and it took me a couple hours to cool down and get the clothes back to a non-wet condition! There's a reason I take my lunch most days. Lesson learned.

Tomorrow is my last day of work for this week. I spent the entire day working on a very frustrating tax return. Luckily by the end of the day I had figured out the problems and until the next change is made, it's working fine.

No sewing tonight. I did listen to a couple podcasts today and here is my suggestion to those few quilters who podcast. I'm not sure why I like listening to quilting podcasts so this could just be my problem, but I wish that the personal stuff was edited out and that the podcasters stayed on topic. I usually like the ones where there is an actual interview, but sometimes those, too, seem to go awry. And please, please leave the political comments out. Just my opinion (which should only matter to me) so don't take offense.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summer Fun!

Let me just say that if you're a person who likes to take summer vacations, then being a tax accountant is not for you! It's the hardest part of the year for me as the consolidated tax return is due by September 15 and along with getting that puppy ready there are also a million other projects that have to get done. Like audits (federal and state) and an idiotic bunch of lawyers writing new legislation with due dates that are totally unreasonable (e.g., new cost sharing agreements regulations). It's a tough life and one that is a lot more enjoyable when a person is young and has the energy to stand up to the crap and push through. Now, I've been doing this for 20 plus years and I'm tired and wish that somehow thinking creative thoughts would put money in the bank! Ever the eternal optimist! Instead I set my projects aside until the weekends and then I savor them. There is sheer joy in turning on the sewing machine and putting pieces of fabric together. I realize that every time I complete a new quilt, I have all these scrap pieces of which I must then make a quilt. It's enjoyable to watch the new quilt take shape with the same fabrics and yet be totally different. Most of the time the coordinating scrap quilt is harder to make because I'm using odd pieces and trying to get the most bang for my buck. So, I guess I'm trying to say that I have my new pile of scraps that are ready for me and when the weekend gets here, I will probably either piece them for the back of the quilt I just finished, or I will start an entirely new quilt. If I wasn't so tired, I'd go take a photo of the fabrics and post it, but maybe later. It's time now to switch back to the left brain, or actually it's time to go brain dead and get some sleep.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Another Scorcher!

Oh my goodness. This morning's run was tough. We started in front of the Wortham Theatre and ran down Memorial Drive and then turned around and ran back on the other side of the road. The only problem was there was no shade and it was HOT! I'm not saying it was HOT because I'm a wimp, it really was HOT!! B and I got there at 7:30. My 5k didn't start until 8:30 a.m. so we walked around and then waited until it was time to run. At 7:30 a.m. it was 79 degrees. When I finished the race it was 91 degrees. It was uncomfortable but when it was all over I must admit that I was glad I did it and I wish that my time was better and that I had received my first medal. It wasn't to be though. There were 5 other people in my age category that finished in front of me. I have no idea how many finished behind me, but I don't think it was many. It was the 1st annual Tortoise and Hair 5k in Houston. The charity was the Alopecia Areata foundation and it was a good crowd. I think there were about 450 people this morning so I'm sure next year will be a bigger crowd. My suggestion is to have the race in the fall or at 6:30 in the morning. My two cents . . . !!

So, B and I went out for our post race breakfast at La Madeleine. I had the French toast this morning and it was delicious!!! All that fruit masking the richness of the toast. I hope it wasn't too fattening! Yummy!

Well, it's off to the sewing machine now. I've had my post race nap and now I must get moving again. Oh, maybe I better seek out my July run while I'm still on the computer. Okay, until next time my feet hit the pavement I'm still dreaming that I run with ease and the medals are stacking up. Hey, I can dream, can't I??!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Big Day

Tomorrow is my June 5k race day. I'll be the one wearing #9 (which is Mia Hamm's number if anyone cares). I'm hoping it will bring me good karma and I will survive the heat and humidity unscathed! Again, I have to say "Yikes!"; it's going to be a hot one. We've been having 100 degree days this week. Wish me luck.

Hopefully tomorrow is also a big sewing day and I will finish my new quilt and get it loaded onto the longarm machine. I did more investigating this week on opening up a store/sewing studio and my enthusiasm is high, but my trepidation is also high. I guess I will wait until after tax season before I make any decisions. October is Quilt Market and Festival and hopefully I'll get in and buy more fabric (or at least see how expensive it's going to be to buy fabric in bulk). I'm looking forward to that shopping trip!

Well, I must go get my rest before the big day!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Recently I've been invesigating setting up a crafting/sewing/quilting studio. It's very exciting and nerve wracking. I wish that I were younger and had no assets at stake. Even so, I'm tempted to jump in and pursue this dream. Should I take the chance? I will still have to work at my day job. Will I have any energy left to run a studio and will it make enough money for me to cover my costs? It'd be nice to have a crystal ball!

I am currently piecing another quilt. It's coming along nicely and if I hadn't been sidetracked with my dreaming of opening up my own store, it would probably have been finished and put on the longarm and quilted by now. Oh, well.

This weekend I will be doing my June 5k. It's scheduled to be run at 8:30 a.m. and it's going to be a scorcher! Yikes! This is the 1st annual run for the Alopecia Areata foundation and it is being run without chips and apparently we are to bring our own after run snacks! That e-mail made me chuckle. B and I have our tradition of eating at La Madeleine's after each run, so I think we will probably do that instead of bringing our own snacks! Here's to running the race without suffering heatstroke!! I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

If It's June, It Must be Tax Season

In the midst of all the festivities this Spring (i.e., 80th birthday party for Mom, 2 weddings, 1 great nephew birth), I have been lacking in my quilting. I have finished the camp quilt and have sewn the binding on the brown couch quilt (which is now earmarked for the bed). I am in the process of burying the threads on that puppy and then it will go into the finished pile. I still need to sew the binding on the coordinating smaller couch quilt and then that, too, will be done. This past Monday I opened up my scrap drawer (it's not like I don't have bolts and bolts of fabric!) and started piecing a scrap quilt. This one, however, has a design to it and I am unsure if it is a design someone else has already created or if this one is my own. I'm sure someone will let me know at some point.

So far this year, I have run my 5k's each month except February. I could not find a 5k to run in February so I skipped that month. I will be running my June run next weekend. The bad thing about that is that the adult 5k is scheduled for 9 a.m. That is so CRAZY!!! It's like 90 degrees at 9 a.m. here in Houston. Oh, well. If my time is bad . . . that's all I'm saying!!! I'm enjoying these runs if only for the celebration breakfast at La Madeleine after each run and the scrapbook pages that I'm creating. I'm happy to say that I am up to date on my scrapbooking for these runs.

For my birthday I ordered three books from Amazon.com. They are all creative type books and right now I am reading "The Creative Entrepreneur" by Lisa Sonora Beam. I don't have time to actually sit down and do the exercises, but I'm enjoying the reading. This is tax season for me so I'll be busy for awhile now.

Well, speaking of that, I better get back to my tasks at hand. Until next time . . .

Friday, February 27, 2009

Mind Wanderings

I imagine a different life when I lay my head on the pillow. Last night I worked on designing a dress or rather a couple of dresses for the weddings I have to go to this summer. It's nice to dream in designs. In reality I haven't sewn any clothes in a very long time. I'm preoccupied right now with quilts and for a short time I made purses. But, sometime this year, I may actually sew a dress or two or at least a jacket. It'll be fun.

Today's task at hand was to trim up my couch quilt and make binding. My cutting table, however, was a mess so I changed my strategy and decided that I would trim the quilt once I got all of the leftover scraps off the table. I decided that instead of piling them up somewhere, I would work on a scrap quilt. So here's today's project in progress. I think it's turning out nicely. Tomorrow I will hopefully get to the trimming and binding.

Tomorrow is the last day of February and so I decided that today I would do my 3 mile run. I made it, but I didn't improve any on my time. Oh, well. I will try to do better on my March run which will be at Reliant Stadium. I'm looking forward to it. I keep thinking that three miles really isn't that far, but when you're running it alone, it's a long way!!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mini Vacation

Yesterday was my 9-80 and Monday we celebrate President's Day holiday. I don't think that I've ever had President's day off in my entire career, but I'm not complaining. It's nice to have a little mini vacation. Unfortunately, B. is sick. He woke up in the early morning hours with a sore throat and he's pretty much down for the count. Poor guy. It's Valentine's day also and he's so sweet. I, of course, am not a romantic and so I failed to even get B. a card. Wow, when I write it down, I sound totally pathetic. I better work on that.

I finished piecing the couch quilt today and then I loaded it on the longarm and voila, I'm quilting it. It's a rather large quilt: 110" x 70. The quilting is turning out nicely and knock on wood, it will continue to quilt tomorrow without any thread breakages or thread bird's nesting. Right now, it's doing really well.

When I lived in Boston, there used to be a chocolate place in Faneuil Hall that sold chocolate covered potato chips. Most people say "yuck" when I tell them how good they are, but seriously they are delicious. It's the whole sweet and salty combination that gets the taste buds going. Anyway, this morning I set about replicating my experience with chocolate covered potato chips. Granted they need work in the presentation, but overall, they are very tasty.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Quilt Progress

The quilt is almost complete. I have one more set of borders to sew on and then I'll load it on the longarm machine and work my magic. Woo hoo! I think I'll like the quilt a lot when it's finished, but the pictures indicate a bit too much yellow for me. I was hoping for a darker look, but I'm sure it'll be fine. Doggie's contemplating the color also! Hmm . . .

Work was a bit slow today so I took some time to clean off my desk and then I wrote instructions to a pattern I made. Writing instructions is hard. I can see why people produce dvd's instead. Oh, well, it was fun. I need to scrub it now as the instructions are pretty rough. I'm going to use B. as my guinea pig and make him try it. If he succeeds at the project, then I'll know the instructions are good!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Scone Time

Getting ready for the oven.

Adding the blueberries. Next comes the chocolate. Everything tastes better with chocolate, right?!

Fresh out of the oven.

First attempt at scones . . . not bad.

I've been contemplating scones for awhile now. They have a nice texture to them and they don't taste like they are packed full of calories. So I did a search on the Cooking Light website and found a recipe for them. Of course, since it was a "recipe", what are the odds that I followed all of the rules. Slim to none. When it came time to add the egg white, I discovered that we were out of eggs . . . completely out. Yikes. I started to put everything in the refrigerator so we could go get eggs when B. went out and started pounding on doors. He tried three of our neighbors to no avail. We saw the 3rd neighbor drive out of her driveway right after B. knocked on her door and didn't answer. She's great about asking us for favors, but couldn't manage to open the door when we needed something . . . hmm. B. thought he heard our next door neighbor outside with her dogs and so he went to our fence and yelled for her. Luckily she was home and we "borrowed" the requisite egg. I added blueberries and chocolate to the recipe, popped them into the oven and 15 minutes later viola! They're not bad. I'll keep working on perfecting them. The blueberries are totally tasty! Yummy!

Last night I colored in the lips, eyes and shoes on the "I Am Woman" quilt. Now I need to bury the threads and sew on the binding.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sweat Shop

I spent yesterday downtown at the Four Seasons hotel attending TEI school. I really don't enjoy the classes so much, but it's an easy way to get CPE. Yesterday was no different than the prior years in that the room where the classes were held was freezing!!! At the last minute I grabbed a coat before I left to go downtown. Thank goodness. I did not take the coat off all day. It was miserable.

The afternoon classes were rather boring so I was able to design two quilts. I've made the rough draft and now I've assigned B. the task of figuring out how large to make the blocks to do the quilt. Yippee! Today I did more CPE on line as I realized that this is the year I need my four hours of ethics class. I could attend TEI tomorrow and take ethics, but I opted to just do it online. I scored 100% . . . does this mean I'm ethical???!!!

This is my latest project. I'll let you know how it turns out. I've been out jogging 1.5 miles three times since Monday so I'm doing okay. I'm working on the shape now. Three weddings, a baby and an 80th birthday party are all on the agenda in May and June this year. Yikes!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Healthy Living and Chocolate!

Here's the Super Bowl Sunday lasagna meal. I forgot to take a picture of it when it came out of the oven . . . it looks the same only not so raw! Since I make up my own recipes most of the time, I wasn't sure if I should put raw vegetables into my lasagna or saute them. I opted to saute them. They turned out nicely. Since my oven is not a high end oven, it doesn't cook evenly and therefore I was concerned that raw vegetables might still have some "crunch" to them after the cooking. I didn't want to be in the kitchen all night long waiting on vegetables to cook so I just expedited the process. It turned out tasty!

Last night was Day 2 of the Jillian "shred". (In reality I've done the program 3 times now, but I'm only counting my consecutive days now!) I came home from work and jogged the dog. It was a very nice run and after we finished I felt like I could have gone for another mile or so. That was encouraging.

Even with the exercising and the diet changes, I'm still loving my chocolate. Although it's few and far between these days. Heavy sigh!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Add Another One to the Pile

I finished my "I Am Woman" quilt this morning and took it off the longarm. I still need to color in the lips and shoes, trim it up and add the binding, but for the most part, it is completed. As B. would say "you can add it to the pile". I told him I wanted to sell it, but again he says "no". We'll see. Maybe I'll look for a show that I can enter it into. It's not my best work, but it was fun.
I think I'll take a short break soon and take the dog for a short jog just to see how the legs work. I'm excited and motivated about everything right now. Since tonight is Super Bowl Sunday and I don't really care about that (shame on me!), I think I'll continue on with my quilting agenda. I will try to finish piecing the new couch quilt tonight.

I'm going to make scones and lasagne rollups tonight. I guess I better get started on my projects. So, alrighty then, I'm off.

Mission Accomplished!!

Yesterday was the day. The last day of January 2009 and I still had not run my 5k. That all changed at approximately 8:08 a.m. There were 3,000 of us gathered in the cold (yes, for Houston it was COLD) waiting for the gun to go off or whatever the trigger mechanism was. The P.A. system was so bad we never heard the instructions or the gun. I was excited and nervous and I just wanted it to be over. So we took off and for the first mile it was like a pinball game, dodging people and going around walkers in the middle of the street. That part I really didn't get. Why would you start at the front if you were planning on walking from the get go? Once we started running the weather was actually perfect. I was chasing a girl in a turquoise sweatshirt with her name on the back of it. She was my rabbit. We were running approximately the same time. There was a marker at mile one with our time and when I saw it, I could not believe my eyes. It was something ridiculous like 13:50 and I said no way. Then I remembered my chip time and I looked at my watch and it was 10:40 or 10:50. Yay! I was doing fine. I kept looking for the mile two marker and it never appeared. I thought, Man, we had to have gone at least two miles already hadn't we? And then my rabbit stopped and started walking. I looked at my watch and we were at 22:00 minutes. I can't believe I did this, but I stopped and started walking. It was just a short distance. Maybe the length of a house, but I broke down and walked. B. was waiting for me at one spot and I was walking. I asked him to jog with me and he did for a couple blocks. My rabbit was still in front of me the same distance as before, so I was okay. We passed the Toyota Center and went a couple more blocks and then a few more blocks the other way. We entered the parking garage and went down hill. Not fun for a person with bad knees. It wasn't too bad, though. Then we turned the corner and it was another long downhill. Yikes, when am I going to see the stadium. And then there it was. The "Finish" line right there at Center Court. I sprinted past the runner in front of me and managed to eek out a 35:45 time. I forgot to stop my watch until a few seconds later, but I was happy. They were telling the runners who had finished to sit in the seats so naturally I thought the awards ceremony would be inside. It wasn't until the stadium was almost empty that I realized I was supposed to go outside. Oops. B and I checked the times posted outside and man was I happy to see my name second from the top in my age category. I didn't see the page break and was a bit disheartened to realize that they had me posted as finishing second to last in my age category. Yikesers!!! My chip time was faster than the lady in third to last so I gave myself credit for third to last place. Yay me! I kept checking the times on-line yesterday and nothing was posted. This morning, however, the times were posted and lo and behold, I finished 14th out of 21 runners. They list me as finishing 15th, but my chip time is better than the person in front of me, so I'm cutting in line. Sorry lady. My goal now is to shave a minute off my time each race. I think my February race will be the Conoco Rodeo 5k on February 28.

Since yesterday was the last day of January and I hadn't fired up my longarm machine at all in January, I loaded a quilt on there and started the quilting process. I should have it finished today and I'll take it off the machine and it'll be ready for some binding. That was also fun. Overall, Saturday, January 31, 2009 was a very good day!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Finally . . . A Day Off

Wow! What a month it has been. There is nothing easy about doing a year end tax accrual, but this year was especially tough for me. Yikes! I felt totally inept as a tax person. I was responsible for the three foreign tax accruals. Considering the fact that I've never done a foreign tax accrual and I seriously could not understand the model I was working with. It was a very bad combination. The time constraints in doing a tax accrual are a couple days so it was very hectic. Some days I felt like a complete idiot. Odd thing, though, I was confident enough to know that I am not an idiot and I felt almost like it was time for me to put up my mechanical pencil and calculator and start having fun with my fabric. It kept me going.

So, after a horrendous three week run, I had today off for my 9-80. Actually, my 9-80 is next Friday, but my co-worker could not take off today, so we traded weeks. I am preparing for my 5k run next weekend so today I ran 2.3 miles. On Sunday I will shoot for close to 3 miles. We'll see how it goes. My pants are fitting a little looser so I'm liking that! My nephew, D, is getting married June 13 and my niece, E, and another nephew, J, are both getting married on June 6. Too many weddings in such a short time. I'm trying to get slimmed down for a good wedding photo. Ha!

I spent a little bit of time today playing with my fabric. The new couch quilt is coming along nicely. What'dya think? Hopefully, I'll have it loaded on the longarm either tomorrow or Sunday. Yay! My first quilt of 2009. B has been busy building me this great thread cabinet. It'll hold an unbelievably large amount of spools or cones of thread. The shelves tilt so that the thread is easy to remove from the spindles. I love it!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fried Brains

This is my first year end with the new company and man, what a year end it has been. The brain starts out fresh each morning (well as fresh as it can be on less than 8 hours of sleep) and then by the time the day ends, the brain is fried. As the day winds down, it gets harder and harder to focus. All I want is to go home and yet I have not completed the task at hand. Such were the events of this past week. Due to time constraints and a lack of familiarity with the accrual models, it took me a long time to digest the intricacies of the model. I am still lost on some aspects of it and I am now going through the workpapers and referencing them and writing notes on what it all means. Each day I wonder what my life would have been like if I'd chosen an artistic path instead of the path I chose. I think that no matter what the job, some days are just going to be hard. It gets tough when those days turn into weeks, but I think I'm on the downside of the bad times now. Tomorrow is my 9-80, but I will be going into work. I don't plan on working hard, but I know that things can change in a heartbeat and I'll have to rev up the engine and go back into concentration mode. I haven't worked this hard in a long time, but I'm hoping that my efforts now will make life less painful next year.

Consequently I haven't been able to do any sewing this week. I did try out a new method over the weekend after watching an episode of Fons and Porter on Saturday morning. Joyce Drexler from Sulky demonstrated how to make scarves out of water soluble interfacing (?). I had some in my stash so I did a small sample piece to see how it would turn out. I love it. I want to make me a scarf for real this weekend. I will need to do a lot more sewing than what I did for my sample, but I'm up to the challenge.