Meow With Me

Ramblings and Thoughts

Isn’t it Beautiful?

Two weeks ago I took a finished cross stitch piece in to my local craft shop to have it framed.  I had completed this last year, but somehow, I never found the time to have it framed.  I do that a lot.  I have quite a few pieces that I’ve stitched but never framed.  This is intended for my brother and sister-in-law for Christmas this year.  Their living room and the adjoining dining area are colored in the colors of the fabric and the yellow mat I’ve chosen for the piece.  I am so thrilled with the finished product!  I always pick out my cross stitch projects based solely on whether or not the piece speaks to me, which means that I always love them, but I am always super-excited to see them framed.  It always adds that something special to each project.

I am currently working on another project that features Hydrangea flowers arranged in a wreath shape.  It will be turned into a tea-tray insert.  Sudbury House makes a really nice tea tray specially made for cross-stitch inserts.  I’m really enjoying this one.  It’s on my favorite gauge of Aida fabric (16 count – it’s smaller than 14 count and therefore makes a pattern look better because of the smaller stitches.)  This one will take me quite some time to complete, but it’s a perfect hobby for the cold winter coming up!  I also want to pick up another long ago started piece.  It’s a beautiful adaption of a Thomas Kinkade painting.  I had finished a little over half of it years ago and then put it down for some reason.  I might have to split my time between those two.  I don’t quite know why, but I always seem to work on more than one thing at a time.

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NaNoWriMo – Harder than it seems

Well, I’m a week into my attempt at NaNoWriMo 2011 and already I’m behind.  I figured that the first thing I’d do each day was write.  Guess what!  I’ve overslept 2 out of 7 days.  I also took all of Saturday off because I had other things going on.  The bottom line is that I can still finish – I know I can.  I just have to work harder at it.  Instead of setting a minimum daily goal, I’m going with a weekly quota of output.  That way if something comes up one day, I can apply more time on the other days to make up for it.  My story has changed focus and it’s progressing along.  I still don’t know which direction it’s going in, but it is fun!

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Trying something new

I’ve decided to try my hand at writing a novel. It’s been rolling it around my head for a few years and after much hemming and hawing, I’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo. It’s day number two and I’ve got almost 4,000 of the compulsory 50,000 words. I figure that if I can do at least this number of words each day, I might just stand a chance. It’s all quite disjointed, but at least I’m writing. I have a general idea of what I want to write, but I keep attacking it from different points in the story and filling in around those points. I was planning to go with a more linear approach. A start-to-finish style made more sense, but I kept having ideas that I didn’t want to lose. Well, I’m aiming to finish, but won’t berate myself if I don’t succeed on the first try.

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Dreaming of Long Naps

Well, I’ve returned to work and am shocked at how tired I’ve been when I get home.  I miss the naps I was taking over the last 3 weeks.  I just can’t believe how tired 8 hours (okay, 9 hours when you include the lunch hour) can make a person.  I’m exhausted.  I’ve been careful to not sit down when I arrive home.  Instead, I change my clothes and get on my treadmill to walk.  I’ve been warned not to run for 6 weeks, but I have to do something to counteract the 25 extra pounds that have snuck on over the past couple of years, so I walk.  It’s amazing how quickly weight can creep on and how difficult it is to get it back off.  I had lost a ton of weight about 7 years ago and I felt great.  However, it was so easy to slow down and even easier to eat the yummy food that my husband cooks.  I blame it on the potato salad.  My husband and I can make a fabulous potato salad.  Ah well, if I want to be able to wear a bathing suit next summer, I’ve got to keep it under control this fall and winter.  Enter salads and light dinners.

Each day, I’ve prepared a salad and a small sandwich for my lunch (and my husband’s lunch, too) and it has been really tasty.  Dinner consists of a small bit of meat and rice, joined with a salad.  I am done with the ice cream in the house though and I guess that’s a good thing.  If it’s not in the freezer, I can’t eat it.  Hopefully, I can do this “lose weight” thing without feeling too deprived.  Only time will tell.

As I wrote earlier, I’ve been back to work after a 3 week injury recovery and I’ve figured out that I really like my job, but I’m not so crazy about my boss.  He’s a very frantic person and just runs around in circles.  I guess the energy he expends shows that he’s very proactive about our business and is trying to inject the rest of us with his energy and to get us moving, but really it’s difficult to deal with when you’ve got your own work to accomplish.  I am a bookkeeper and my job consists with counting cash, setting up cash registers for the coming day’s sales, preparing deposits and reconciling yesterdays income and outgoing monies.  Really, I deal with money everyday, all day.  It doesn’t require running around in circles.  It requires detail-oriented concentration.  I’m dealing with someone else’s money and it needs to be done correctly.  I stand in a small room with no windows and no heat/air conditioning and as long as I’m left alone, I’m okay with that.  It’s when I get called out to make a phone call that someone else has already made because my boss can’t just stand still when someone is ten minutes late to work.  What makes a second call by a different person five minutes later than the first call for a ten-minute tardy necessary?  However, I’ve also found that it is easier to just whatever he’s asked.  It makes it easier on my working relationship with him.  It also wears me out.  Which brings me right back to the first sentence of this post.

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Welcome October!

Well, here it is October already.  Time has really flown this year.  I remember time moving so slowly when I was a kid.  Yet now, I look back and everything from earlier this year seems like a blur.  I never could understand when my dad told me to enjoy time moving slowly because its’ pace would pick up when I was an adult and I would be trying to find ways to make it slow back down.  I didn’t get it then, but I sure do now.

This month I’m going to think about getting my christmas gift list together and try to get started on purchasing some gifts so that I won’t be caught in the dreaded holiday gift-buying frenzy that seems to happen after Thanksgiving.  I work in a grocery store and I hate the holidays because of that frenzy.  After 18 years of working every holiday to ensure customers have every last thing they need to make their holiday a success, I tend to have a negative outlook.  In fact, I spoke with my mom yesterday and we both agreed that we adults in the family don’t have space or need for yet another gift.  We already exchange money or gift cards for birthdays and this year we want to expand that tradition to the Christmas holiday.  The only one I intend to actually shop for is my niece.  She’s almost a year and half and she is the only one who will appreciate something to open under her Christmas tree.

The rest of us will go in on a Prime Rib dinner with all the fixings.  Yum!  As you can tell, I like food.  A good meal is such an enjoyable experience.  My husband is a tremendous cook and like my father and brother, can out-cook any woman in our family.  He’ll cook the meat, I’ll make the potatoes and vegetables and my brother will come up with a new dip to dunk bread and/or chips into.  The meal seems to be the only part of the upcoming holidays I’m looking forward to.  I just don’t know whether or not I’ll be working Christmas day or not.  Either way, I’ll be home by dinner!

My husband is finally done working out-of-town and it sure will be nice to get back into our usual routine.  It’s amazing how comforting I find a routine.  I like the sameness of daily life at my house.  No big shocks, very little drama.  Just a nice cozy feeling.  I occasionally long for a change, but overall I prefer to know how my day is going to go when I wake up.  The only downside I’ve experienced when my husband has come home each weekend in September was sharing the bed.  I’ve gotten used to sharing only with kitties and now there’s a whole other body that I have to share with.  I sure did miss the companionship though.  All in all, I’m glad he’s back and hope it stays that way!

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Money Doesn’t Matter, So What Job Would I Hold?

Wow!  I love to daydream about this all the time!

Well, if money wasn’t an object, I’d love to take a job in a bookstore.  Not a Barnes & Noble type bookstore, but a bookstore like Vroman’s.  Vroman’s is a reasonably-sized, independently owned bookstore in the Southern California area.  I’d love to work there.  How could anyone not enjoy being surrounded by great books and being able to wear casual clothing?  I imagine that I couldn’t possibly replace my current salary and benefits package with that of a indie bookstore job, but if money wasn’t a consideration, I’d love it!

If credentials weren’t a necessity either, my second choice would be to work as a librarian.  I’ve always loved libraries and I suspect it would be really rewarding.  I don’t really know why I think that when every person I’ve seen working in my local library looks harried or bored completely.  They also aren’t quite as friendly as I’d want to be.  I often think that they must get tired of answering the same questions from what must feel like a million people each day.

My final choice is more difficult.  Again, I’m going with the idea that I wouldn’t need credentials.  I think that being a book editor would be fascinating.  Not that I’m a overly smart person, but I think it would be great to guide writers to put forth their best work.

I guess that since money does matter, I’ll stick to my day job.  It feels like it’s getting harder and harder every time I turn around, and I rarely feel a sense that what I did matters, but after 18 years, I’m fairly well-situated there and don’t really want to start over somewhere else.

Wow, that’s not a glowing recommendation for what I spend 40 hours each week doing.  Instead, I’d like to concentrate on what I ate for dinner.  I LOVE mexican food and just down the street is a fantastic restaurant.  I rarely eat there because I know it’s not exactly healthy fare, but I decided to treat myself today.  I went over there at lunch and ordered a two item combo and some chips with guacamole to round it all out.  It was so much food that I had half for lunch and am now sitting down to the portion I didn’t eat earlier.  Yum.  I really love a good tasting meal.  I think I’ll save enough room for some ice cream later.

I think I’m feeling a little lonely today.  It’s been 4 days since I’ve seen my husband, also known as my “People”.  With him working out of town and me not working, I’ve gotten a little cut off from the outside world.  I’ve got the cats and they are loves, but it’s not the same.  However, I do try to remember that I’ve got nothing to complain about.  My poor husband has been living 5 days at a time in a hotel room that barely has enough space to stretch in.  I have the luxury of my home, which I love, and he does not.  Although I understand this, it doesn’t make me feel any less lonely.

Speaking of cats who are loves, my girl cat seems to be a little down herself today.  She has come in and spent more time with me than she normally does.  My boy cat, however, disappeared all day today.  This is pretty normal behavior for him.  He sleeps with me every night.  Since my husband hasn’t been here, the boy sleeps in between the two pillows and puts his paw on my arm.  He’ll stay there for hours.  When I finally wake, he’s moved over a bit and will still be sleeping in my husband’s spot with his head propped on the pillow.  Sometimes I think he was a person in a former life.

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Surprises and Ice Cream!

So, I’ve had my dessert and it was delicious.  Chocolate Ice Cream with Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup.  Yum Yum!  I gave up ice cream years ago because of the fat & calories.  As a result, I REALLY enjoy it every time I eat it now.  I also didn’t like chocolate before but find that it is my favorite flavor now.  I didn’t share with the cats, because it was chocolate.  If I’d had vanilla, I would have let them lick out the bottom of the bowl.  It’s almost like they know that some things are bad for them.  They never try to get at my food. Even when I go back to the kitchen to get my drink or whatnot.  The worst thing that happens is Princess (my girl cat) will occasionally hop up to sniff at what I’m eating. I guess that because they never learned to mooch off of my plate when they were kittens that they don’t consider it now that they are adults.

A good deal of my television viewing for the past two weeks has included a lot of Grey’s Anatomy, which is my favorite show.  I came to this show over the summer because it was available for instant viewing on Netflix.  Now I’m hooked.  I love Meredith and Derek.  I’m of the age that I remember Patrick Dempsey from the 1980’s.  He was much dorkier then than he is now.  Nowadays, I totally agree with the whole McDreamy thing.  He is yummy.  It’s something about his eyes.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the whole core cast.  I cried like I was losing a family member when George died.  I loved his character and was devastated when he died.  I’ve got the 8th season set up on my DVR so that I can watch right away once I’ve finished with season 7.  I expect that within two weeks I’ll be watching those shows and bemoaning the wait for the next episode to air.  Usually I prefer to wait until a show has been completed before investing my time on Netflix.  I hate being held up by waiting for the next episode to air.

I’ve also been logging quite a few hours watching HGTV.  I rarely miss an episode of House Hunters, and if I’m up early enough I like to watch Cash & Cari.  I love both shows.  It’s really interesting to watch Cash & Cari because Cari shows off some fabulous rarities.  And House Hunters is great because I can vicariously live through other people who are moving to a new city, and all but one episode has showcased housing budgets that I could never afford.  I love to see what kind of house a half-million to a million will buy.  It’ll never be me and I’m okay with that, but it is fun to see what housing in India or Bermuda or even Houston is valued at and what it consists of.

I had a surprise visitor today.  Eric was in the neighborhood and stopped by.  I’ve got to explain that Eric, Ron, Ken & my brother all hung around together.  They’ve been friends since middle school and when I was in my early twenties, we all used to go to dinner together, go to concerts, etc.  They were some of my favorites people to hang out with.  Anyway, I haven’t seen Ron in about 10 years.  It’s been about 6 months since I’ve seen Ken and about a year and a half since I’ve seen Eric.  We are all facebook friends, and I enjoy getting to see pictures of the the kids, but it’s rare that I even have time to visit my brother, my sister-in-law and my niece, so to have gotten a visit from one of the other fellas was a really nice surprise.


Hello world!

What a great start for a blog!  “Hello World!” says it all.

I’ve been off work for two weeks now.  I’ve had pain in my right foot for months.  It escalated after my job changed to one where I stand on concrete floors for all of my shift.  After the past months of pain, I had my doctor pull me from work to rest it while I waited for my appointment with the specialist.

So, I’ve gone to see the specialist and the good news is that I have no fractures (which I had been worried about – why else would my foot hurt so bad?).  The bad news is that there appears to be nothing wrong with my foot.  So I am left wondering – what’s wrong with the darn thing?  I received a cortisone shot between the first two toes and now I feel as though I have something under those toes when I walk.  I guess that’s because I have something under them.

I was warned about wearing the appropriate footwear, the fact that as we age, our feet naturally widen, etc.  I was told it will be at least another 6 weeks before I can get back to using my treadmill.  (I’ve been missing it and feeling like I shouldn’t be eating at all to alleviate the weight gain I’m experiencing).  However, it was a rather painless visit.  The shot was mixed with a local anesthetic that made me loose the feeling in my toes for about 2 and half hours.  That part was nice.  It’s now been about 8 hours and my foot still hurts.  It’s quite uncomfortable to walk on.  I’m glad I’ve got until next week before I return to work.

When I started my leave of absence two weeks ago, I felt like the future was my oyster.  It seemed like I could do anything.  What I managed to do was catch up on my sleep.  On most days, it seems as though I could compete with my cats for the world record of napping.  I’ve logged more hours in this category than I planned on.  I have cleaned out two closets and gathered my donations for the goodwill.  I haven’t gotten those donations delivered yet, but I still have the rest of this week.  I keep looking at the bags and thinking “Hmmm.  I’ve got to load those in the trunk.”

So I’ve caught up on my sleep.  I’ve also watched at least 1 movie or several episodes of television shows each day.  I’ve also been reading a ton.  Currently I’m reading “The Well of Lost Plots” by Jasper Fforde.  When I’ve finished it, I’ll post my thoughts.  I’ve also picked up one of my cross stitch projects.  I had to get my home-office cleaned out a bit in order to feel like I could sit in there and relax in that room.  It’s not perfect, and probably never will be, but I can sit in my chair, put my feet up on the ottoman and just enjoy my room.

The only downside to all this time off is that my husband began working out of town the week before I started my leave and hasn’t been home all week, each week.  It really has been a little lonely.  I get to see him on the weekend, but it goes so quickly!  Hopefully this will end this week and we can both start next week back in our normal habit.  I have a terrible time getting myself up and out of the house on time without my husband to prod me a bit.

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