Saturday, December 20, 2008

Holiday de-Stressing

I am so fortunate to have saved a couple of days vacation. I am now off until the 29th and do I need it . Work - I love my job - but the workload is heavy, the interruptions many, the stress level high and there are too too many fires that crop up each day that need to be put out. Sure I'm just an Admin but there are times that I seem to be the Admin everyone goes to because they know I will have or get the answer. Great! I am responsible so I get responsibility.

At last posting I was worried about my loan applications for work. All five have been completed, the exhibits pulled and everything was left with one of girls who works for me to copy and bind. When I do return to work, most will be off still so in addition to putting in an hour a day at home over the break to catch up, a week with little or no interruptions will help me put my best foot forward for the new year.

But anyway.....that is the work for my real family.........

One daughter is on her way trekking the interstate through snowy New England. We hope to see her around 6 tonight. She will be here for a 8 days. That will be so nice! Eldest daughter has been sick and has been on edge worrying about the economy and threatened layoffs at her job. She thinks it could go either way.......but did get a reprieve and found out she is good until June 30 at least. Her husband started a new job and is very happy as we are for him! Yeah Mikey! My son, who was out of work for close to a year, now has been working again since the end of September. Thank heavens he got a job before the economy took its turn for the worse. Never having been out of work, except by choice, I can't imagine how devastating it is to keep putting yourself out there and getting the thanks but no thanks. He tried and succeeded for the most part in keeping his desperateness from me. It is hard to not know what the right thing to say is. We finally did have a heart to heart and I explained that althougth he was trying to keep the pain from his father and I, it appeared to us that he was appathetic and just floundering along. There can be a fine line between encouragement and nagging. Thankfully, all are employed, all are healthy and all is well.

So for all the things I thought I would not get done I say Bah Humbug! I decorated the house today as well as cleaned. The beds are made up for when my family arrives. Tomorrow I will grocery shop and bake cookies all day long! All that will leave is to wrap. I feel that will take all of Monday. Now that we have a 6 year step grandson, I can no longer put out the packages ahead of time so wrapping in the upstairs spare bedroom it will be. For now, he thinks I am working on a glass project and don't want him to get hurt on my tools. Oh the shame of it and how trusting little ones can be. He, of course, thinks I walk on water.

But anyway, the the point is to not stress out. It will all get done. It always does. Maybe a little of lowering the expectations along the way so as to not overwhelm ourselves. I mean who really puts up three full size Christmas trees and who really notices that every towel is folded the same way and every magazine is tilted at just the same angle and that all the holiday bows throughout the house match! I mean, I need to get a life and not be so absorbed in appearances. Really, who will see it other than my children and they have to like me!

........for now, I have my to-do list and for the most part content with my progress. As for the list, I have a perpetual list! What's that all about? Some never have a list and get along fine............I need to refer to the above paragraph about expectations and take my own advise.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Have you been there?

Geez! Another night and no sleep for me. Wide awake, tossing, turning. So what do you do after an hour of get up. I guess it is the time of the year or a mom thing or a busy person thing. I have had a thousand thoughts running through my brain at lightning speed. How will I get the wrapping done, I haven't finished decorating, what are we eating, the house needs cleaning, the Christmas cards aren't done, the laundry is backed up, and then there is work, minutes are behind, loan applications are due, month end reports, year end reports ....... all this and the million ways to solve them and then worst of all......I am wide awake worrying that I won't get up on time.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Again with the New Year's Resolutions!!!

Enough already. Like why would this year be different? The promised to keep up with the cleaning and ironing and to complete projects and to not work too hard and to use the treadmill. I will go on record now that whatever I pledge to do.................has the high probability of not making in to next December. Not that I want to be negative and defeat myself before I start, I am a realist.

Take for example, I log on and post so often. And as I reread my last post - May 2008 - I am well aware I had good plans and good intentions but not necessarily good follow through. Let's recap....

A year in review -
I joined a needlework guild - Delaware Valley Historical Samplers Guild. These women are so very talented, so very knowledgeable not to mention so very friendly. Month after month interesting speakers or hands on projects are on the agenda. I sit and absorb their knowledge. Having no formal education in stitching I think it better to just attend and take it all in. These women (and the occasional man) do beautiful work and each month come in with a batch of completed projects. I have never seen such prolific stitchers. I look forward each month to the meetings and regret having missed the November meeting ( I was in Massachusetts) and the December meeting (doing much needed Christmas shopping and a baby shower).

My daughters and I again went to Celebrations in May in Nashua NH. We had a great 4 day visit with my younger daughter who lives in Massachusetts. Lots of laughing, lots of shopping, lots of stitching and a few 'beverages' as well. We all took the Jeannette Douglas Pineapple Stitches class together. It has been fun to compare progress with each other or to call and say....what do we do here? Absolutely feel in love with Jeanette's "My Stitching Album" and signed on for the whole deal. Getting mine auto-ship from Mimi's Attic in PA.

June - July - August
...kind of melded together. Lots of weekends and almost every other one was a day trip or weekend here or there. Went to NYC - never really had been except to drive across the dreaded the George Washington Bridge - The GW - and use the Cross Bronx Expressway. It had to be the hottest weekend of the year. We actually went into the subways just to get the rush of air to cool off. Great day of shopping and walking through Central Park. We plan another trip to visit museums, etc.

Always wanted to ride in a hot air balloon....well I didn't ride but I went to a hot air balloon festival in north Jersey and for the life of me I can't remember the name of the town. It was in Hunterdon County. It was so incredibly awesome to watch the whole event unfold. The whole ritual from the vehicles pulling up, unloading, laying mats, unfolding, inflation and liftoff. Learned a bit about ballooning along the way. Did you know the best time to take off is at sunrise and sunset? Well we watched the sunset launch and yes we did get up to watch the 6 a.m. launch the next day. I have such a great friend - Debbie - who trudges along with me as I fulfill these fantasies.

Old fashioned Ice Cream Social - the Salem County Arts Alliance, of which I am a member, hosted the first annual Ice Cream Social. Ice cream, lemonade and an authentic civil war band in a gazebo. It was a neat event and well received. Hopefully we started a new town tradition. So many people pulled together to make it happen: The PG-CP Women's Club, the Salem County YMCA and the Penns Grove Rotary Club.

More day trips to Chestnut Hill in Philly, to Old New Castle in Delaware, to Lambertville and New Hope ......... and a weekend in Cape May. For a while there is was one weekend home, one weekend away. And although that sounds like a blast, boy did my yard and house show the lack of attention by September. The thing is my husband travels with a youth group every weekend so I am left to my own devices.

In September we had a local landscaping re-do our front yard. The soil was a mess and the grass all sparse no matter what we did. Also the remaining roots from a tree that came down three years ago were doing nothing but sprouting these mushrooms that were like potatoes! Yuck. Of course, my husband who was kind of like,"why do we need someone to do this? Can't you do it?" is now of the opinion, ......"bring Frank back in the spring to do the other side!" It does look nice and it is all part of the spruce-the-place-up-before-we-move (STPUBWM) plan. That plan has also involved painting..........

Managed to paint one bedroom upstairs and of course it is not as simple as on those home shows to which I am addicted. Painting the room including making new curtains, ripping up the wall to wall, new light covers, new outlets, repurposing some furniture, new interior doors for the closet and entry doors and all the other little touches that help make it complete. So of course one bedroom leads to the bathroom, the other bedroom and you know how it goes. The bathroom got new fixtures, new shelving, new light bar and new ceiling light. Some of the work is yet to be complete but that is on the contractor not me. I would like to tie up the loose ends before the holidays and touch up the paint and paint the trim but alas the contractor is busy just as the rest of us. In January I plan to recruit my sister to help me finish up the last bedroom. The entire upstairs will be in a soft cafe au lait color with white trim and all with new 6 panel doors. So for about $600 everything is updated and fresh. Again part of the before STPUBWM Plan. All that will remain is to have the hardwood floors redone. Got an estimate and hopefully we will able to pull off in the summer of 2009.

Another trip to Massachusetts in the fall to surprise my younger daughter on the event of her 30th birthday. Had been in cahoots with her boss for 10 or 11 months to make sure my daughter was not off on a business trip to the west coast. We pulled it off and showed up at her office with cake and balloons. It was great. She had no idea. So again a great four day weekend full of shopping, stitching, laughing and beverages! Of course beverages. While there we went to a fashion show at her LNS - Yarn and Fiber in Derry, NH. Pretty cool. The fashion show was in collaboration with Twist (I think, I will have to look that up and correct as necessary.) Derry NH is in the news this weekend because of the crippling ice storm. Researching the internet after the storm I read that the "Merrimack Valley is hardest hit" and that is exactly where my daughter is. Spoke with her and she lost power sometime Thursday night and spent Friday night in a hotel which was apparently not an easy task to find an open room. She was hopefully spending Saturday night with friends if she was still without power.

Another trip to NYC last weekend. Again my good mate Debbie hopped on the bus with me. Rockefeller Center was awesome the crowds were more awesome and yes those New Yorkers for the most part were friendly. You always have the irritated dad with no patience and assorted cuss words about the crowds and you have the privileged valley girl type that is a patron in Starbucks who makes the experience for the rest of us totally unpleasant because of her lack of patience and her being verbal about it. Right in front of her I gave the counter girl a tip and told her I knew what is was like to work behind a counter. The girls behind the counter were working hand over fist to keep up and the patron just stirred everyone up because there was a delay in the coffees being served. All I can say it get a real what, you have to wait for coffee. Big deal. It is all good, we took a carriage ride in Central Park and Deb and I were happy with the world.

So that is my year in review and perhaps if I looked through my check register or credit card statements I would remember more events..........

In closing I wish all a joyous, peaceful, safe, healthy and happy holiday season. And as the season winds down, I am sure we ALL will be making those New Year's Resolutions.

Monday, May 26, 2008

God Bless America!

Happy Memorial Day one and all. It is the start of another summer. Summer brings to mind, lazy days along the river, swimming, walking barefoot, living in your bathing suit, blowing bubbles, flying kits, fireflies and just plain relaxing.

That said, it will be great to enjoy the above once the yard work is done. Thank heavens for these three day weekends. Yard is cut and sidewalks edged, fertilizer has been spread, flower beds spruced up and best of all, the pool cover came off this morning. So sounds like we are done and ready for fun.

Spring always brings such feelings of rebirth and makes me brim with ideas of things I want to paint or repaint, plant or repot, .... you get the drill. And that feeling just gets you started to be able to continue full force when summer arrives. The beach is nice but like everyone else gas prices and crowds turn me off. Let's keep it simple. Some of my best memories are the simple summer memories.

For this summer, I pledge to take every Sunday afternoon off. I could, if I didn't stop myself, find something to do 18 hours out of the day on both Saturday and Sunday. Then I go back to work only to feel like I had no time off. Why do I fuss so much about my yard and deck yet never take the time to enjoy it? Now that is a question we could debate for years.

Why is it that I always seem to be able to find something to do? Why is my list of jobs never completed? Could my husband be right - oh shutter at the thought - that I need to start one job and complete it before I start another? I didn't get the title of Queen of Unfinished Projects without a lot of effort on my part. I have friends that I drive by there house and there they lay on the deck soaking up the rays. When do they clean their houses and edge their sidewalks? Am I just too picky? I must just be a poor planner, a slower worked or someone who attempts to do too many things. I prefer the last option. Watch out when all of a sudden I complete a slew of all those projects.

I am on my way out to sit under the umbrella and work on a shawl I am knitting. Yes, sort of another new porject. But alas, my daughters are knitters and spinners so the cards are against me. We were recently in Lisbon Maine at Spunky Eclectic and I bought some beautiful mauve and blue and gray and green dyed alpaca. I need to make myself a shawl for when I sit on the sofa in the evening and the cold air from the windows chills me. I don't need something to cover my hold body, just something when the draft comes in. So if I start now, maybe by next fall or winter I will be finished. I have about 50 rows done and I am actually getting a bit creative and trying to work in a pattern of ribs up the back. I am not a knitter but I am really bored with the back and forth knit knit knit. I have to try something. Off to knit..........and enjoy the birds and the breeze and the lemonade and not much else.........

The pool cover can wait to be scrubbed, the pillows that hold on the cover that need to be scrubbed can wait, the weeds and planting of my flower pots can wait.....for now I will sit with a big glass of Crystal Light Lemomade with a fresh orange slice in it (sorry, no lemons) and I will listen to the birds singing and the leaves blowing in the window....I'll watch my extremely intelligent cat catch a rock...somewhere in the distance is a holiday cookout with patriotic songs playing and the smell of their burgers and dogs fill me with more memories and I will truly make this my first of many weekends to come that I relax.......that is til we have to repeat the mowing, edging, raking, sprucing up routine again.......

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sorry Trina!

Sorry I have not signed into my blog since OCTOBER. Please see my comment below as well as the email I sent to your account. :-(