Friday, July 30, 2010

Frame of Mind

I've been doing a lot of thinking over the last several weeks about my life and situation. I'm a planner and like to have a defined direction to go in. Some people call it setting goals.

Since losing my job over 18 months ago, I've been trying to force change to go in the direction I want it to. It has caused me a lot of frustration, anger, depression and resentment. I've worked hard and smart for the last 20+ years and while I can't say it hasn't gotten me anything, it sure hasn't landed me in a good place for a time in my life when I should be looking forward to when I can do what brings me the most happiness and not constantly worrying about survival.

With all that said, I'm now in a pretty good state of mind. I am forcing myself, against my natural tendencies, to take one day at a time. There is something ahead for me that I can't see and my future will unfold on its own terms. I just have to be open to what that might be.

I am now a permanent part time employee at Lowes and have adjusted to an irregular work schedule and standing on my feet for hours on end. My immediate goal of getting health insurance has been achieved and I'm grateful for that.

When I am not working at Lowes, I continue to maintain my home, land and care for the animals that depend on me. I have also started taking naps almost daily and not feeling guilty about it since I need the rest. I have stopped working myself to death keeping everything orderly the way I prefer and accepting that I do a pretty darned good job of it, even if some things are left undone. I also try to spend at least a little time each day stitching or sewing to soothe my soul.

Some other changes have come in the way of the decision to begin paring down things around me that I don't need. One day, sooner or later, I will be moving and the thought of packing up all the things I've acquired makes me feel sick to my stomach. I've contacted an antique dealer I know and will be selling some of my antiques. This isn't due to financial hardship but has everything to do with simplifying my life even more than I already have. I am donating or selling everything I don't need or don't use and just making that decision has put me in a positive frame of mind.

Oprah had a great show Thursday about this very subject. We are bombarded daily with commercials and ads to buy the latest and greatest gadget, or pair of shoes, or new car. It's so easy to get caught up in that way of thinking. While I certaily have my weaknesses, I am pretty good at disciplining myself even when I had a good paying job and could shop when I wanted to. I cancelled my satellite TV subscription well over two years ago and have been glad that I did. I thought I'd miss it but haven't and learned that it was an unnecessary expense.

I have also decreased the amount of time I spend on the computer and haven't been visiting blogs nearly as much, but still job search almost daily. While so many blogs are inspiring, they also tend to make me want to run out and buy stuff I don't need. I am concentrating on being more self reliant and living more simply. There are a lot of great blogs devoted to this and I have added a few of them to my blog list.

And since I'm the worst at seeing what I DON'T get done every day, I think I'm going to use my blog as a diary of my achievments. It will be a good way for me to see what I've accomplished instead of what I didn't get done.

Yesterday I got most of the mowing done and my yard/land looks pretty good considering the horrible heat and lack of rain this summer.

I have had my coffee at leisure this morning while watching all the birds and butterflies I have attracted by planting things with them in mind. I am looking forward to watching my silly BritComs this evening and having a good day till then.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Top Complete and a New Project!

Well, except for the borders. I don't have that fabric yet but will buy it next payday.

Funny how completing (or almost) a project encourages me to do even more. It's a good feeling :)

I've already started a mini quilt that Kim of Create and Sew designed. She was kind enough to share her pattern with me. Thanks again, Kim!

The temperature is a "mere" 98 degrees here but the heat index has us at about 105. It's insufferable out and I feel bad for my poor chickens and all the other animals that are outside. I've given the chickens cantalope and watermelon today to help them with their fluid intake. Poor babies.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Stripping for the First Time!

It is horribly hot here and I've been staying inside when I'm not at Lowes. I've been pouring through my quilt magazines and patterns trying to find one that I wanted to work on. I still take my embroidery to Lowes with me, but want to get back to my sewing machine.

I've been wanting to make an easy quilt for a while now, but just couldn't decide on a pattern. While my mom and sister were here, we went to Thimble Pleasures Quilt Shop and there was a sweet Christmas quilt on display that one of the gals had designed; this is her site.

I bought the pattern she had used called Lightning Fast, and a small stack of pre cut fabric which was just enough to make the blocks with (not Christmas fabric though). Here they are sewn into the first set of strips....

This is the first set of strips pieced together....

I think it's going to turn out really pretty. I don't have any border fabric yet, but maybe tomorrow I'll go out and buy some - it won't take very much for this small quilt.

And who do I see in my computer/craft room window????? It looks like JoJo is inside the house...but I thought he was an outside mouser kitty!

And what's this?!? Now he's on my keyboard tray!

Doesn't he look full of mischief!
He's a good little kitty and I'm letting him stay in the house with me when I'm home but he is sleeping in the garage at night. Hopefully, he'll learn how to take care of the mouse problem out there.

Wendy doesn't like him at all and isn't nice to him. She takes a long time to adjust to new situations, so hopefully she'll be ok in the garage with him when he's bigger.

I hope you all are staying cool - it's an impossibility here!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Meet Jo Jo

Just what I need - another critter!

One of my neighbors called me last Friday and said a kitten had appeared on her property. She had heard that I wanted a mouser kitty and wondered if I could give it a home. I thought about it for a while and then told her I'd come over the next day if she could keep it till then.

Meet Jo Jo weighing in at about 2 pounds! He is like a miniature version of my black male cat, Topaz and is as loving as a cat can be! He went to the vet yesterday, along with Princess, for his first visit and was deemed healthy - just underweight. He has a very long tail and legs and big bat ears! He never stops purring and my vet loved him. She couldn't hear his heartbeat b/c he wouldn't stop purring so much. :)

Fortunately, the neighbor that found the kitten said she'd help with the vet bill if I'd take him so how could I say no?? Once he grows a little, I'll be moving Miss Wendy back outside to keep him company. I had originally gotten her for mouse control but after her brothers disappeared, I moved her inside. I felt bad that she was outside alone.

Wonder how long I can let him live outside? ;)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Two Weeks?

Geez, I hate when so much time slips by without posting on my blog. I'm almost tempted to stop all together. Working the irregular schedule at Lowes doesn't allow enough time to keep up with the yard, animals, house and sewing, not to mention blogging.

Anyway, I hope everybody had a nice 4th of July holiday - I sure did. My sister came for a visit and brought my mom with her. It was the first time mom has seen where I live since moving here 10 years ago. I couldn't take time off from Lowes, but my schedule allowed us to have a couple of days together.

We went to Thimble Pleasures, the best quilt shop I've ever been to. Mom looked around a little but mostly sat and waited for Susan and me to come back to earth from seeing all the lucsious fabrics they have - not to mention patterns. We had a nice lunch at a special restaurant first though, so we could concentrate. I also took them to the model home I "worked" at earlier in the year and they loved seeing it.

I was so happy that I got my mom interested in embroidery again! She used to do beautiful work but stopped long ago. I printed out a bunch of free designs for her and traced some onto white muslin to work on while she was here. She decided to buy a nice set of sheets and embroider on the pillowcases. Darned if she didn't get them finished in two evenings! I was so happy that she showed enthusiasm for something again. And I even got my DS interested in giving hand embroidery a try and I think she'll stick with it (you'd better!).

I have today off so must catch up on "mowing operations" and get two weeks of trash out of the garage. They resurfaced the recycle center where I take my trash and it's been closed for ages. I'm sure I'll have to make two trips to get rid of it all.

I'll leave you with a few pictures of my pretty boy, Smudge.

I've got tons to do while home today, so had better get to it! I hope you all have a good day.