You are currently browsing the archives for May 2008.

I’m Back, I’m at Work and I’m Tired

  • Posted on May 29, 2008 at 4:02 pm

I’m ba-ack! Okay, I’ve been back since Sunday night, but I’m back to blogging now, too. I just haven’t felt up to blogging; even now, I blog out of a sense of guilt, not out of any sense of having anything to say.

Our flight home was uneventful, thankfully. I was wedged into the back of a plane (never again will I sit in the back, unless it is absolutely necessary, like it was this time) with a crying baby behind me and one in front of me. In addition, there was a small child with the same family behind me who was constantly being yelled at by his mom during the flight. I won’t get into parenting observations right now… The security line in Phoenix was long enough that we blew our two hour lead time and made it to the gate with 15 minutes to spare before the plane boarded! But then, the security lines at Philly can get pretty ugly, too.

We were so glad to get home Sunday night, until Terry realized that he must have left his camera bag on the economy parking bus. $1500 worth of camera equipment and he never expected to see it again. I, however, had a really good feeling about it and bugged him to look up the phone numbers to try and track the bag down. Good thing I kept bugging, because he eventually got to the central Lost & Found where they informed him that he was in luck because they had his bag! Truly, very good luck on our part. So, we made the hour-long (each way) trip back up to the Philadelphia airport on Monday afternoon and Terry returned a happy and amazed camper, with his camera bag in tow. Next time, a luggage tag will be attached to the bag, as soon as I buy another one. Granted, it’s fully insured on our homeowner’s policy, but who wants to have to file the claim and go through the hoops of buying another camera, batteries, charger, memory cards, lenses (it’s a digital SLR camera), etc., plus lose all of the photos that you had taken? Not I!

We picked Phoebe up from the kennel first thing Tuesday morning and received a very good report card. She behaved quite well for them and everyone loved her. The only thing she didn’t do well with was the bath that we had her get before we brought her home. The bathing part was fine, but she was “naughty” for them for the nail clipping and brushing part. Next time, I’ll skip the bath and give it to her myself when we get home. Why else would I have gone through the trouble of clipping her nails before we left? I would have saved her the trauma and asked them to skip it, had I known. As for brushing, she’s not usually THAT bad, but if it’s not done in increments, she starts snapping a bit. Not that she’s ever bitten someone (that’s a big no-no in our household), but she gets rather cranky, that’s for sure. So, I brought home a pamphlet about getting your dog adjusted to brushing. I even stopped at a pet store yesterday and brought home a new brush and comb for her. We’ll see how she does.

On a different front, the tiredness that has plagued me for months continues. Right now, I’m doing the countdown until I can leave work, go home and take a nap. Although, I might have to defer the nap as there are some bills that need to go out soon and, at this rate, they’ll never go out! I am so tired of being so tired. I guess it’s time to have a chat with the psychiatrist and see if any of my medications are contributing to the problem. This just has to stop. I got up this morning with no desire to get out of bed whatsoever. In fact, if I hadn’t rolled over and checked my email on my BlackBerry to see that there was a problem that I needed to fix, I probably would have chosen to go back to sleep. I don’t know how much longer I can put up with this! While I’m doing well at work, I feel like a slacker just because I constantly feel like I need a nap. Whenever I accomplish something big, I tend to say to myself, “okay, I can go home now.” I’ve even contemplated going out to my car and taking a nap. *sigh*

As always, though, this too shall pass. I remain optimistic and look forward to the day when I can go back to stitching nearly every night, instead of barely clinging to consciousness.

More from me tomorrow, as I have photos to share, two SBQs to catch up on and a piece of stash to sell. I accidentally picked up something while I was in Arizona that I already had at home and didn’t realize it. Whoops! That’s a sign that you have too much stash, folks! 😆

That’s the Last Straw

  • Posted on May 22, 2008 at 12:00 pm

You know, there are aspects of this trip that have served as minor annoyances:

  • the hot-cold-hot-cold showers;
  • the toilet that if you don’t hold the handle down for just the right amount of time (not too short, not too long) doesn’t flush correctly;
  • the hair dryer that sounds like the jet engine of an airplane, but doesn’t put out much air;
  • the dry air, which makes my hair stick straight, full of static and completely lacking in volume and has dried my poor face out horribly;
  • and the wacky weather; it started out in the 80’s this week, with temperatures slowly falling and now snow accumulation being predicted for sometime between tonight and Saturday.

I could go on, but the last straw fell on the camel’s back last night. I woke up in the middle of the night to the intensifying smell of wood smoke. I checked out in the hallway and smelled nothing, so it wasn’t the hotel on fire. I checked out both sets of windows and couldn’t see any fire, so we weren’t in immediate danger, but the smell just kept getting stronger until it actually gave me heartburn and then a mild IBS flare-up. I finally woke Terry up (which I now regret, since he was managing to sleep through it) and he did the same investigation that I did, to no avail. He finally opened the balcony door and discovered that the smoke smell was emanating from somewhere outside. He turned the fan on the HVAC unit up to high, in the hopes that it wasn’t pulling the air from outside, but rather from the hallway of the hotel, which didn’t smell. We were up for quite some time, unable to sleep due to the intensity of the smell and I was concerned about what it was doing to our lungs to be breathing it in. Somehow, though, we were able to fall asleep and were greeted this morning by a slight, lingering smell that seemed to be eradicated from our nasal passages after a shower. Poor Terry is having some asthma trouble today as a result of the shenanigans. I still wish that I had called down to the front desk, not because I expected them to be able to do anything about the smell, but because I wanted to know if there were wildfires nearby or something. Terry and I will both do some questioning at work to see if anyone knows what it was, or even smelled it where they live.

Terry and I were laughing today that all signs point to Flagstaff telling us, “GET OUT!” 😆 Something that we are more than happy to do, honestly. It’s a nice town, with really friendly people and lots of restaurants (especially Mexican), but there’s just a feel to it that I can’t put my finger on. Something that makes me say that it might be nice to visit for a couple of days, but I definitely would not want to relocate here in a million years. Maybe it’s because I’m just a born and raised East Coast gal and nothing can change that longing in my heart for the feeling of home. I don’t know. But I’m ready to go to Phoenix and then wing my way home on Sunday morning, that’s for sure.

Hello from Flagstaff!

  • Posted on May 21, 2008 at 3:54 pm

I have some time to kill in between meetings today, so I thought that I would see if I can read some blogs and post something myself. I just called to check on Phoebe and see how she’s doing. I checked in on Monday, as well, and both reports were good. She’s settling in nicely, everyone seems to like her, she’s eating well, no accidents in her run and they’re spending some good one on one time with her (something I paid extra for, so that she – or maybe it’s so that I – would feel better). I’m so relieved that she’s getting along well and I’m glad that she’s being well cared-for. What a weight off of my mind. 🙂

We’re having an interesting time here. I’ve been pretty much sitting in the same room all day, doing the same thing, until today. It’s a welcome break and I’m thinking that, other than a 1:00 PM meeting, I might actually be able to take tomorrow off. We were already planning on taking Friday off and maybe seeing the Grand Canyon or something like that, then heading down to Phoenix. Or we’ll see the Grand Canyon tomorrow afternoon. We’re winging it at this point.

Both of us have been feeling like it’s been a really long week already, even if we have adjusted (pretty much) to the 3-hour time difference. I think that Arizona just doesn’t appeal to either of us, so we’re both ready to be back home at this point. I think that the time adjustment is going to be a lot harder going back than it was coming in this direction. Gaining 3 hours isn’t a problem; you just crash a bit earlier than the local time for a day or so. Losing 3 hours when we fly home is really going to stink. We get on a plane at 10:30 AM Arizona time and land at nearly 6:00 PM our native time. Ouch. It’s going to be strange trying to adjust back to an earlier time. But, at least we’ll have Memorial Day off on Monday to recover. Then we get to pick Phoebe up on Tuesday. YAY!

I picked up a needle last night for the first time since I left home. I only stitched the body of another Just Nan Butterfly Heart, but it was something. I left everything out to do another body tonight, so we’ll see what housekeeping did with that. They have a tendency to shove everything together on tabletops and the like when they are cleaning the room.

Speaking of the room, it’s very nice. I’ll try to take some pictures of it before we check out Friday morning. We have a king sized bed facing a flat screen TV that’s mounted on the wall. We also have a little balcony overlooking a semi-wooded area. There’s a sitting area with two armchairs and a sofa and a glass-topped table that serves as a desk, with two more chairs. Like I said, I need to show some pictures, but it’s a nice, spacious room.

That’s it for me for now.

Bye-Bye For Now

  • Posted on May 17, 2008 at 7:55 pm

Well, we did it. We dropped Phoebe off at the kennel this morning. I’m not used to her being gone. I keep expecting to find her sleeping on the floor beneath my feet. It’s a bit depressing, but I’m trying not to allow it to overwhelm me. To that end, I’m trying to stay a little bit busy. It’s not easy, since I started my packing days ago and am nearly done, except for items that I’ll need to get ready tomorrow morning. We have to get up really early (I mean, 4:00 AM early) in order to get to the airport early enough. I’m probably planning to be there too early, as I’m allowing 2 hours before the flight, but I’m nervous about how long the security line will be, etc. I guess it’s better to be too early than too late, right? I’m hoping that we’ll be able to sleep on the flight.

Well, that’s it for me, for now. I know it was a short post, but I don’t have a lot to say. Wish me luck next week, as I will be attempting to train some fellow employees on a new software package that we’ve been using, and I’m a little nervous about it. I hope to post a couple of times while I’m there, but I can’t promise anything. If I don’t get the chance, I’ll be back by Memorial Day (next Monday). See you then, if not before!

It’s a Blah Day

  • Posted on May 14, 2008 at 1:58 pm

Phoebe had to go in for her Kennel Cough vaccination this morning, in preparation for boarding. You see, we’re going out of town on business to Flagstaff, Arizona. We’ll be leaving on Sunday morning and coming back next Sunday night. The bummer thing is that the kennel is closed on the Monday we would want to pick her up because it’s Memorial Day. So, we’ll be dropping off our precious baby on Saturday and not be able to pick her up until the Tuesday morning after we get back. That’s 10 days! How depressing.

We went and toured the kennel, which is right next to and associated with the veterinary clinic we take her to, after her vaccination. It makes me so sad to think of her being stuck there for 10 days. It’s just so… sterile. I mean, obviously, it needs to be that way for sanitary reasons, but to think of her alone in that cage (granted, it’s pretty big for her; one size fits all) just really tugs my heartstrings. They take them for walks 4 to 5 times a day for up to 15 minutes and each dog is taken by itself, which eases my concern about larger dogs picking on her, but it seems like the human interaction might be somewhat limited.

I don’t know. It’s just really tough on me. In the nearly 10 years she’s been in existence, Phoebe has never had to be kenneled. We’ve always found someone to take care of her while we were gone. And with such a long time away from us, this time is a difficult way to get adjusted to the idea. Terry is sure that she’ll be fine and I know that she’ll probably adjust. I’m just worried about what bad habits she might pick up and display when she gets home. Hopefully, not too many. So, I’ve been sitting her, swimming in tears and snot for a couple of hours now. I’m such a softie, but she’s my baby girl, she’s the only one I have and I love her like she was my own flesh and blood. People don’t have to board their kids when they want to go away. It’s just so hard.

I’m trying to get everything of hers ready and packed up as much as possible today so that I have one less thing to worry about as the weekend draws closer. The only thing I can’t pack up is her medication. I’m also trying to get her groomed a bit so people don’t think we’re neglecting her or anything. I just got done clipping her nails, which is her least favorite activity. There was a lot of fussing and piddling on the carpet (her latest defense mechanism; lovely), but between me and Terry (Terry and I?), we were able to get all of her nails clipped successfully. And Phoebe was richly rewarded for her trouble. Next up will be to buzz the fur between her pads with a mini electric clipper and to shave a channel along her behind so she doesn’t run the risk of getting too messy if she has any bowel movement trouble. Then, she get a thorough brushing to try to help her shed and just generally smooth out her fur. Finally, she’ll get a bath and probably another brushing session once she’s dry. I’m going to try to space it out over the next few days so that she doesn’t think it’s such torture.

Now, some of you might be saying, “Hey, wait a minute. Back up to that medication thing. What’s that all about?” I know, I haven’t given an update on Phoebe in a while. Her heart murmur has gotten worse, to the point where it’s a 5 or 6 on a 6 point scale of severity. It has also caused her heart to enlarge. It presses against her trachea, causing her to cough several times a day, and it also requires medication to reduce any fluid build-up and to help control the progress of the heart disease. It sounds sad, I know, and it does get me down every once in a while, but she seems to be fine. She just drinks more water, sometimes has to go out in the middle of the night and can’t tolerate as much exercise without starting to wheeze a bit. Otherwise, she’s her old, sweet self. Of course, I worry about her a lot more now and am more paranoid than usual, but the doctor said that most dogs with this kind of condition die from old age before the heart disease progresses to a point where it would be fatal. Good news, but then it has me contemplating her mortality and wondering how much longer we have with her. I had always bargained on 17 to 18 years with her, but now I find myself hoping that we make it to 15. And then wondering what I’ll do without her when she’s gone.

So, you see, I’m feeling rather morose and sorry for myself today, despite the fact that it’s a gorgeous day outside. What a bummer to be inside working from home and feeling blue. Boo hoo!

Bulb Found

  • Posted on May 13, 2008 at 5:30 pm

Dummy me didn’t actually take the bulb with me to JoAnn, even though I know that I should have, but fortunately, I guessed correctly. They don’t seem to necessarily sell the light that I have anymore, but they had a clamp-on version that looked basically the same and I went off of the bulb that used, to be sure. Otherwise, I could have still made a reasonable guess, as the base of the bulb that mine uses is different from the others available. Turns out, the bulb for my lamp is the same as the bulb for my portable, so I could have kept on stitching on Saturday, had I switched out the bulbs. Oh well! Lesson learned. Those bulbs are expensive, though. I wish I had had a 40% off coupon with me, so the $30 bulb would have been much cheaper. But alas, I do not seem to get the JoAnn circulars, nor is it worth me trying to sign up again (I think this would be the third time) when I rarely actually get to the store.

While I was there, I perused the clearance aisle and picked up a package of clear rubber stamps that I can use for cards. I want to try my hand at some of these beautiful cards that people like Von and Christine make, although I don’t have the pretty printed papers that they use. I want to see if I can make it up a bit as I go along and come out with a product that’s half-way decent. In my spare time, though. When I’m not sleeping during the weekday evenings and stitching on the weekends. 😉

Ott-Lite Out

  • Posted on May 12, 2008 at 5:15 pm

I got some stitching done on Barnabee’s Quest on Saturday, but then my Ott-Lite starting flickering mercilessly. I figure the bulb must be on it’s last legs. After all, it’s probably 3 years old or more. So, I’m going to run out tonight and get a new one after work. I hope that Joann still stocks them! If I don’t get a new one soon, I’m going to start getting the shakes. 😉

No progress photos to share, either, as I haven’t had a chance to take one yet. I did frog the gazing ball and restitch it, though. Kreiniks are such a pain to rip out, aren’t they? I just wasn’t happy with the shape of it, as it looked more like a block than a ball. So, I took a good look at the model photo and realized that while Nan used 3/4 stitches for partials in other places, she used 1/4 stitches in the ball to achieve the shape and didn’t make a note of it in the directions. It looks much better to my eyes now, and since I’m the one who has to live with it (and trust me, I choose to live with most of my mistakes), that’s what’s important.

Well, off I go to the land of Joann, in search of a new bulb. Wish me luck!

Scattered Blogging

  • Posted on May 9, 2008 at 1:23 pm

It looks like I’m averaging every other day in blogging over the past week. I hope that’s okay, although I think I already lost a number of my regular readers when I had that quiet spell during the depression episode this winter. Oh well. For those of you still hanging in there with me, thank you. 🙂

Speaking of the depression, have I mentioned that it’s been much better lately? I think I’m out of the woods for now, which is a pleasant thing to be able to say. I’m pretty sure it’s a combination of the weather/season change and being busier at work. The psychiatrist and I are convinced that I have a STRONG seasonal component to my depression. So much so that she’s tempted to reduce my anti-depressant during the summer months. Apparently, she has several patients whom she takes up on the anti-depressant over the winter and down over the summer. The problem with bi-polar disorder is that anti-depressants can stimulate manic episodes. The goal is to have me on the minimum amount possible so that I can stay stable in both directions. So far, I haven’t experienced any mania, at least I don’t think. It’s hard, at this point, to distinguish between mild mania and the unfamiliar feeling of having more energy and feeling good, so we’re keeping an eye on it.

I think I’m going to do a half-day at work today. I’ve put in some time every night from home this week and I’m just tired. We pushed the snooze button too many times this morning, which is fine, up to a certain point, but after so many uses of the snooze, our alarm shuts itself off. Which is what happened this morning. So, instead of getting in at 8:30 AM, I was just waking up. So, I got online from home and stayed on, in case of emergencies, until I was reasonably sure that my counterpart was at work. Then, I finally got ready and was in to work around 11:00 AM. Going home at 3:00 PM sounds really good to me. As does taking a nap. We’re having soggy, gloomy weather and I just ate lunch, so my warm, comfy bed is seeming pretty appealing right now. 😉 I wonder if I was a cat in a former life?

I have no clue what this weekend’s schedule is going to look like, but hopefully it will incorporate some stitching and minimal, if any, work. I’d like to have something to show for my weekend when I check in on Monday. Some progress on Barnabee’s Quest would be particularly nice!

Have a good weekend and a Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!


  • Posted on May 7, 2008 at 3:26 pm

It’s not just a discussion point, it’s a command. 😆 I’ve definitely been in a much better mood lately, as things are starting to get busier at work. I hope that this trend continues, though I have a feeling that this week’s frenetic pace will drop off a little bit as we go along. But, for now, I’m happy as a clam, even if I’m overly busy.

I actually had to work this weekend, which made it a bit hectic. I worked at intervals late Friday night through Saturday morning, then we went to New Jersey for a birthday party and then to dinner with Terry’s dad. When we got back around 10:30 PM, I had to work some more and again, off and on through the night. You may ask how I did the intervals. It’s simple, Phoebe wakes us up now to go in the middle of the night, usually around 3 or 4 on the weekends, so I would get up with her and then check on how things were running, kick off more jobs as needed, etc. Then I would inevitably get up again at least one more time during the night and repeat the same process, except for the Phoebe part.

The downside was that my sleep patterns were greatly interrupted and I was quite tired on Sunday. The upside is that I was able to send some impressively-timed follow-up emails at 4 AM Sunday morning. 😉

During this hectic time at work, I have to retrain my body to get up earlier in the morning so that I can come in to support people when they need it. I haven’t been too successful so far this week, but I’m hoping to be able to get to a point where I can get up when I need to without feeling so tired in the morning. Right now, I’m getting to work around 9:30, but I’d like to shoot for 9:00, if not 8:30. That may not seem like much to most of you, but when you feel like I feel in the mornings, it makes it very difficult to drag myself out of bed.

Nothing to report in stitching news, since I worked and napped over the weekend. I really want to push myself to try to put more time in on Barnabee’s Quest, if at all possible, this weekend so that I can get closer to a finish!

SBQ: Heirlooms

  • Posted on May 5, 2008 at 3:59 pm

This SBQ was suggested by Jennifer and is:

Do you have any pieces that you would liked passed on to future generations as family heirlooms?

I don’t really have any family heirloom pieces yet, I don’t think, as most of the pieces that I’ve finished and kept for myself are smalls. We don’t plan on having children, so I’m not sure who the pieces would get passed to anyway, honestly. My family is very small; Terry has no siblings and I only have a brother from whom I have been estranged for many years. Honestly, as long as my work isn’t thrown in the garbage, I don’t care what happens to it. After all, I’ll be gone, so I’ll never know! I imagine it will end up at an estate sale, though, and hopefully end up with someone who will appreciate my hard work.

My Stick Family from