Thursday, December 21, 2006

Holiday Edition of Getting to Know Your Friends

Your Name: Laurie
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Santa wraps the presents.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Usually white lights at my parent's house.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Nope
5. When do you put your decorations up? No decorations on or in the house. Something about not being home for the holidays combined with the nasty combination pine sap and cat fur...
6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Mom's brussel sprouts with roasted chestnuts!
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Waking up in the morning and running out to the living room to see what was under the tree.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I can't remember how old I was, but I found out from my friends.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We used to as kids, but we don't do that any longer
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? I don't... We travel home every year so we enjoy the one my parents put up.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Dread it!
12. Can you ice skate? Yes, still working on my pre-bronze moves for figure skating tests this year!
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? A certain someone special (my hubby) got me this Florida Gator Christmas ornament when we lived in Altamonte Springs with a very special surprise attatched!
14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Being with family
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Any pie that Dad makes!
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Going home, hanging out with my family, watching manatees and fondue!
17. What tops your tree? Um... Nothing.... There is an angel on my parent's tree that drives their black lab nuts!
18. Which do you prefer giving or receiving? Giving!
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Pat-a-Pan
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Depends, the chocolate/peppermint ones are good!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Where am I and what day is this???

Yes, another "I dropped off of the face of the earth" post... Where in heaven's name do I start???

Let's look back to my last post to see where life left off and what has happened since then...

1. House has been closed and ownership has been assumed...
2. Turkey dinner at the casino was pretty yummy.
3. The refrigerator made it to the new house...
4. The move from ABQ back to PHX was absolutely hellacious... See more below
5. The house does not look like the pictures below any longer... Add stacks of boxes to all of the rooms and you get the picture...
5. Spent another 2 weeks in Austin on a training assignment.
6. Came home to PHX during the weekend in-between to go to the Barenaked Ladies concert... Gators also won the SEC championship that weekend!
7. Spun a lot of wool in Austin along with the training class...
8. Found out Gators are going to the National Championship game in Phoenix this year. Anyone have a couple of extra tickets they would like to sell?
9. Tore a muscle in my shoulder in Austin during said training class...
10. We have internet service, DirecTV hooked up, cell phones don't work for crap out in the middle of BFE...
11. Kid informed me that we really don't live in the middle of Bum F*ck Egypt, we are actually about 15 miles outside of BFE...
12. School that we tried to enroll kid into would not let him in for the last 3 weeks of the semester. They gave him full credit for the semester so kid got a few weeks off of school...
13. Took an additional week of vacation after training class was over to start the unpacking hell. We have gone from being up to our eyeballs in boxes all over the house to being up to our butts in boxes all over the house...
14. The only furniture in the new house are 3 computer chairs, 2 computer desks, 2 barstools, 2 beds and one chair. Ordered new couch, should be here in the middle of January. Bought 2 chairs from IKEA...
15. Have we mentioned what a great place IKEA is??? I have died and gone to furniture store/ anything having to do with decorating a house heaven... and easy on the pocketbook...
16. Eau Du Vache is not pleasant when the wind blows it by the house... (aka cow farm odor...)
17. Cat house is finished on the back deck, the kitties just LOVE it! Now, they can go outside and be safe!
18. We have shades hung in the bedroom and master bath...
19. Got my butt back on the ice this week to start skating on Monday. Met some really great people! I found a new figure skating home... Not doing much on the ice except edges since the shoulder injury is healed to about 70%. Would you believe there are 6 ice rinks in the PHX area?
20. Today is my first day back at the plant in 6 1/2 weeks. Feels weird, but it's good to be back! Now, can I stay awake all night for the shift?
21. Finished the holiday shopping...
22. Still looking for the plane reservations for the trip back home to Florida on Christmas Eve so I know what time to be at the airport after work... I think I sent them to myself, but I am currently wading through over 700 emails to find it...
23. The spun yarn is looking REALLY good!
24. I quit smoking during this whole mess...
25. Cats have adjusted and are getting along quite well...
26. I am still having a problem identifying which city I am actually in every so often...
27. Kid has his AZ ID, the rest of us are still trying to get out there to get ours done.
28. Kid turned 18! We took him out for his birthday then we were going to take him to the casino to play Blackjack. We found out you have to be 21 to gamble in AZ... :P
29. We still can't find where Mike's scotch is packed... We found the rum, vodka, tequila and liquours... Also made up a new drink that is pretty yummy. (1 oz vodka, 1oz peach schnapps, pour into tall glass, fill with cranberry juice, add 2oz sour mix to top and shake! I was trying for something close to a cosmo only a little more fruity and a little weaker...) I LOVE having a wet bar!

I hate moving! The movers were a nightmare from start to finish. So many things went wrong, it would take pages to go through all of the problems. We will hit the major ones... First, the packers did not allow themselves enough time to pack so they were just tossing stuff into boxes with no regard for where it belonged or if it was breakable up until the moving van finished packing. Second, the packers were also not packing some things that we ended up finding and trying to cram into our cars because they were too lazy to pack it. Third, they got the dates mixed up and didn't deliver our goods until a day after they were contracted to. Fourth, I am finding quite a few broken items in the unpacking. Fifth, they were refusing to take the last few items saying "they couldn't take them" (even though the items were listed on the manifest as "in the truck"...) Sixth, about 40% of the boxes were mislabeled. That part is my favorite adventure of all of this. I have stuff from the garage labeled as kitchen, stuff labeled master bedroom that should be in the kitchen, stuff marked living room that should be in the bedroom, the list goes on... So far, we have found the dishes and most of the cookware and appliances, so we are in good shape as far as eating food goes. We found sheets and towels and most of the bathroom stuff was labeled right so we can keep clean. I am equating unpacking the house boxes to opening presents on Christmas morning. I have no clue what I will find in each box, unwrapping everything is fun, I have boxes of paper from unwrapping everything and it's fun to OOOH and AHHH over what I find... Have I mentioned I am really sick of the Christmas morning joy at this point in my life???

Once the movers finished packing the van, we were able to pack the kitties, puppies and other family members into various vehicles and head to PHX. Note to self - don't do an all night drive to Phoenix after spending an entire day packing and loading, bad things happen... But, the hallucinations we had on the road were kind of fun... We finally made it to Phoenix around 4am, brought all the animals into the house, unpacked the essentials (like a bed to sleep on), turned the heat on and finally got to sleep as the sun was coming up. We were up 3 hours later for the satellite installers, so sleep was not had until Saturday night (and I had to be at the airport at 6am for a business trip on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.... really fun...)

I LOVE THIS HOUSE!!! Even though it is still in total disarray (and no pictures because of this), it is nice to finally be in our home, it's nice to have my family back with me, it's nice to have lots of quiet where we are and it's nice to finally be getting settled in.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Closing Time

Here is the offical street sign to our road. Yes, it is spray painted onto a piece of wood at the corner of our two dirt roads... No, this is not indicative of the house and the way it looks...

We finally got the house closed this afternoon. We had little problems here and there that bit us all the way up to the signing of the documents. Now, we are official!

Here is the outside entry way to the new house! The color of the house is Dangerous Robot... It is a really cool gray color which can change shades as the light hits it at different angles.

If you look closely at the reflection in the glass, you can see the port-a-potty from the front yard of the house. Yes, it is still there...

Here is the view of the formal living room and wet bar that you see when you step in the front door. No, there is no furniture there. We found out it will take about 5 - 6 weeks for the couch that we liked to come in. We are going to do a "sitting area" in this room and do bar stools around the wet bar. My spinning wheel and chair will also go in this room in front of the windows. This room has 10 foot ceilings, so the windows are between 8 and 8.5 feet tall. It adds a TON of natural lighting to the room!

This is the bathtub in the master bath... I forsee a future of bath salts, bubble baths and candles here...

The rest of the master bath...

I couldn't get one really good shot of the kitchen, but here is the closest I could come to getting it on one picture...

Now that the house is ours, time to head back to ABQ and pack up the truck and head back with stuff, kid, cats, dogs, bird and iguana in tow. We will be spending Turkey Day up in NM (with dinner at the casino since all of the family is out of town this weekend) and we will head out from there back to the new house sometime on Friday afternoon/Friday evening... The moving van will be at the new house on Saturday, along with the satellite dish people.

Down here, it takes 1.5 weeks to get a refrigerator delivered from Home Depot. The fridge is really nice, but hubby and kiddo will have to live out of a cooler until then. Did I mention that the nearest food of any type is about 15 miles away? There is NO cable out in this neck of the woods, let alone any type of high speed internet access or DSL... I feel like I am going back to where I grew up. We saw a field with a bunch of sheepies on our way back to the house yesterday. They were cool! Remind me to let everyone know about this really awesome furniture store called IKEA that we found here in town... OMG!

Beware of Men Installing Mail Boxes!!!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Before I leave: 48 things about me...

1. FIRST NAME? Laurie
3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Last Saturday night...
7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Nope, I am too afraid someone would find it and read it!
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? I don't eat cereal
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Yes, I have experienced too many things in my lifetime to not be strong!
14. SHOE SIZE? 8 1/2
15. RED OR PINK? Pink
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? Physically it's my weight. Emotionally it's the fact that I don't stand up for myself as much as I should.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Right now, my hubby and kid!
19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? I am wearing blue jeans, a Mr Bubble T-shirt and the shoes pictured in the entry below!
20. LAST THING YOU ATE? Sweet and Sour Chicken from Pei Wei
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The hum of my computer and my fingers tapping my keyboard
26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON you stole THIS from? Carole? Heck yeah!!!!
27. FAVORITE DRINK? The bottle of French Champagne in the fridge back in ABQ that I will be sharing with my hubby this weekend!
28. FAVORITE SPORT? To watch: College football. To play: figure skating
29. EYE COLOR? Brown
30. HAT SIZE? 8
31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Yes, I am currently wearing multifocal contacts
37. FAVORITE DESSERT? Chocolate Mousse
40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Intuition:Knowing Beyond Logic by Osho and Sacred Contracts by Caroline Myss
41. WHAT’S ON YOUR MOUSE Pad? Scooby Doo
42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? I started with switching between the Busch Race and the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party (the annual University of Florida vs. University of Georgia game) then switched to the Texas/Texas Tech game before I came into work.
43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? The ocean, rain
46. WHAT’S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? Being able to diffuse tense situations between people, I am the perpetual peacemaker!
48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? I got this from Carole's blog

Peace out, everyone! I am getting back to work and getting some stuff here organized before I leave on my trip... Lots of work items to get organized before next week!

Baby got a new pair of shooz!

Aren't these the most fashionable shoes you have ever seen? No??? Well, they are great and they are saving my butt (and back) at work. They are Z-Coil shoes. Lots of folks at my last factory wore these when they worked on the floor. They SWORE by them that they were comfy, lasted for years (the spring in the heel usually needs to be replaced yearly if you are really rough on the shoes) and were great when you were in the factory on the floor for long periods of time. Our factory started offering a reimbursement of about 1/3 of of the cost of the shoe, so I thought I would give them a try. I'll let you know the final verdict on them when I have worn them for a couple of months. Primary conclusions? Well, doing the tight "nursing" lace up was rough on my ankles the first night, but my feet felt GREAT after wearing them for my normal 12 hour shift! They also seem to have helped my back feel better after being on my feet all night long! Now, I need to find out if they can be claimed on the taxes ;-)

No blogging in a week??? This means I am either busier than crap or nothing has happened all week... Guess which one it was???

My work schedule was totally messed up this week. I had 1pm classes on both Thursday and Friday, so I ended up working 1pm to 3am on those days (to make up for cutting out at 3am on Wednesday night). So, my training time on the floor was cut down but the classes made up for it! Learned a heck of a lot! Training is going well. By the end of next week, we should have done our preliminary learning on all of the tool so when I head to Austin the week after next, I will have some clue of what I am doing...

I am flying out at 8:oo on Sunday morning to head back to ABQ! I am REALLY excited. The suitcase is packed and in the back of the car. I will be headed right from work to the airport to park the car, check an empty suitcase and get on the plane! Why an empty suitcase? I need to bring some warmer clothes back with me for the night time chill... I discovered this evening that wearing jeans under the gore-tex bunny suit is way too warm, so I will go back to my normal shorts and T-shirt when I come home. Why am I wearing jeans? The weather in ABQ is cold!

Great thing about living in AZ? I am still using the AC in my car in the end of October!!! I am still wearing shorts and flip-flops during the day! This is really cool!

I fly back from ABQ on Wed afternoon, work Wed - Fri night, have Saturday and Sunday off then fly out to Austin, TX on Monday morning for 2 weeks of training. Then, I fly back to Phoenix for a week (a week which I really hope to be spending getting stuff moved into the new house) then I fly back out to Austin for another two weeks. So, I ain't going to be home much between now and the 2nd week of December. (Note to Lori: Yes, I want to get together. Since you will be laid up, I will drive down to Houston. I am not sure if I will be in Austin the weekend between since we may be closing on the house on Monday, Nov 13th and if we are then I will be flying back to Phoenix to sign papers. I will let you know more as I get more information...) Let's put it this way, I signed up for Southwest Airlines "frequent flyer" program when I moved to Phoenix in August and I will have earned a free trip by the middle of November... That is pretty sad....

OK, here is one strange mamma-jamma of a site... For all of you crafty women out there who are not squeemish about that time of the month... The blowgun looks good for those PMS days... It also has instructions for an ammo belt... Pretty cool!!! I wonder if a female teenager could use this as a science fair project (she would have to be pretty damn gutsy and have a teacher with a great sense of humor!)

I made a strange realization at work last night... In the two weeks I have been on night shift, I have not seen a single female on the factory floor. I asked about it and there are not very many women working this shift in general... Weird...

Time to get back to woofing down my dinner from Pei Wei before it gets too cold to enjoy. The cafe doesn't have squat for food choices for night shift workers. I better enjoy brown rice while I can for next week I diet... I need to lose about 35 lbs since my $&@#% jeans don't fit me anymore. Back to lifting weights and cutting the rice, bread and other bad carbs out of my diet! I figured I would give myself until Halloween to enjoy the chocolate fix then be a good girl. If I can lose the entire 35 lbs by next spring, I will be a very happy camper! Then, I may even venture out in a bathing suit again.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Another Saturday night and I ain't got nobody....

Well, that's not totally true, the problem is that my somebody is 500 miles away right now and we won't be seeing each other until next Sunday...

So, what's a girl to do when she is alone, has PMS and is all bummed out??? SHOPPING!!!

I am not usually that much of a shopper, but the mood struck me today so I thought I would head over to the Chandler Fashion Center for a little entertainment. First, I have NEVER been to a mall with VALET PARKING... How freaky is that? I was also not prepared to be driving all over the parking lot to try to find a parking spot... The mall was PACKED at 5:30 on a Saturday evening. (I have to say, I never saw that happen in Albuquerque)... So, I went in and did a "browing experience". First stop: Build-A-Bear Workshop! This is my new buddy. He has no name yet, but his is very snuggly. Then, I decided to grab a bite to eat at the Cheesecake Factory, then stopped at Bath and Body Works. As I was leaving, they asked me if I wanted to take a survey, so I did and they gave me a $10.00 Gift Card... Pretty Sweet!

So, here is my checklist for a "Lonely Girls Guide to Saturday Night Pampering":
Teddy Bear? Check
Fluffy soft pink robe from Bath & Body Works? Check
Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory? Check
Stress Relief Sea Salt Soak from B&BW? Check
Trashy Murder Mystery? Check
Candles lit? Check
Nail Polish and Shea Butter Foot Cream? Check

OK, people in Phoenix are really weird. When I was coming home from the mall, SOME IDIOT ALREADY HAD THEIR CHRISTMAS LIGHTS UP ON THE HOUSE AND YARD AND THEY WERE LIT! People, it's not even Halloween yet, IT'S TOO EARLY FOR CHRISTMAS LIGHTS!!! There ought to be a law... Maybe the Fab Five can come down and knock some sense into these people??? LOL!!!

I found this cute little handbag at a bookstore in the same shopping center as my local Trader Joes. I thought it was so darn cute and it will make a great purse/knitting bag! TJ's update: Mac and Cheese is TO DIE FOR!!! Note to self: don't buy too much or you will eat yourself silly.

This morning after work, I went to Home Depot to get the cabinet and drawer pulls for the cabinets. I drove out to the house to drop them off and saw that our doors are on our house now! We also have a patio in the front, and all of the cabinets are in the living room! Fortunately (before we closed on the house) they found out that the septic system was not up to snuff and are in the process of fixing it. I didn't know that so imagine my shock walking into the backyard and seeing all of these mounds of dirt and this huge hole! The air conditioner is on the roof, the wiring is in place for outdoor light fixtures, the power "box" is on the house (along with the meter) and the front water faucet is in and operational. I may drive out to the house tomorrow and take pictures. Silly me, I forgot to bring my camera with me this morning...

Time for me to dig into a cheap trashy murder mystery and get into a soft fluffy robe, snuggle up with my new Teddy Bear and grab that piece of cheesecake out of the fridge...

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Rubber VooDoo Chickens

Yes, night shift is different!

I was going through my belongings in my office that I had moved from New Mexico. I opened one of my drawers and one of my co-workers caught a glimpse of my rubber chicken...

"What's that?"

"My Rubber VooDoo Chicken."


"It's a Rubber VooDoo Chicken."

"What is a Rubber VooDoo Chicken?"

"Do you know how all tools tend to have problems, some tools have more problems than others?"


"Well, the Rubber VooDoo Chicken is the great equalizer. With a Rubber VooDoo Chicken, it protects the tools from having problems and the tools run smoother..."

"Get out!!!"

"No, it's true. Rubber VooDoo Chicken really works! I used to have a toolset that had a bunch of problems. As a last resort, I got the Rubber VooDoo Chicken since nothing else was fixing the tools. Within a week, the tools started working fine and continued to work fine..."

"It's all a bunch of Hooey!"

"Call it what you like, but I trust my Rubber VooDoo Chicken to work and it does. When your tools start having problems, don't come crying to me..."

So, I will keep my Rubber VooDoo Chicken and be happy. I don't care if I work in a high tech industry, sometimes "folk medicine" will do more for you than equations!

Second night on night shift... Man, you get a lot of work done when no one is here! So far, so good. I didn't get much sleep today, but I got enough to make it through tonight. I went to see the Dr today and got a prescription for Ambien to help on the days that I am working night shift. I figure it can't hurt and will hopefully keep me from waking up while I am trying to adjust to nights. In a few weeks, I don't think I will need it any longer. We will see...

House stuff: Still waiting to find out when we are going to close on the house. I am keeping my fingers crossed for the 2nd week of November. I am out of town 3 out of 4 weeks in November, so I would like to have the closing done so when I am back, I can unpack and start getting settled. I am not sure what is holding up the house now, I think it is still the doors. Rumor has it that the cabinets may be going in next week!

Wow, it gets really dark at night out here... REALLY DARK!!!

Off the face of the planet again...

Remind me to blog about the last two weeks, there was so much going on that I have not had time to update...

List of things I need to blog about:
1. Talladega Road Trip
2. House Update
3. Arizona State Fair
4. The final product from the hotel dishwasher dyeing experiment

Yes, it is 5am and I ain't blogging because I just woke up! We started night shift last night and I have about an hour left before I head home and crash out! I have done more here in 11 hours than 2 normal workdays on day shift. I am finding a treasure trove of information out there for my training and having a blast digging into it! Have I mentioned that my ADD medication doesn't last for an entire shift? Oh lookie! I found a Kit-Kat bar in the drawer of my desk!

Since I got back, I have finally found time to do some spinning! I found some delicious Superwash Merino wool dyed in some awesome colors at another LYS I visited on Tuesday before the fair! Now, I just need to find out where I can get some Superwash Merino Sheep and I will be set!

Another discovery, daytime TV really sucks!!!

I found a Trader Joe's close by! This week, I will be trying the Mac and Cheese, some Brioche, some tamales and Quiche. The miso soup they carry is awesome, I am totally hooked on their granola with TJ's nonfat yogurt for breakfast (or dinner for you normies) and the escargot are to DIE FOR!!!

Who had the brilliant idea to show NASCAR and my Beloved Gators AT THE SAME TIME???

Chiropractors are good! My hips hurt but my neck feels better than it has in years! Maybe after a few more treatments, I can get back on the skates again!

The weather has finally cooled off to the mid 80's!

I am coming home again between October 29th to Nov 1st. Yes, I will be at Stitch and Bitch on Tuesday night... Still at Flying Star Cafe??? I have decided that I love the compressed work week because it gives me more time off for the weekend! Now, if I can just get my family down here to Phoenix, it would be perfect!

Great things about working night shift:
1. Traffic is going the other way
2. Great parking spots are always available at work
3. Go to work and it is light out, come home from work and it is light out!
4. 12% shift differential
5. Peace and quiet to get work done efficiently
6. At 5am, everyone is a bit loopy
7. Get to go to the fair when no one is there
8. Can schedule appointments and not have to take time off of work
9. Esthetics school is open for discount facials when you are not working
10. Can knit in peace on my lunch break!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Headed to watch cars to roundy-round

Yup, I am headed back home to Florida tomorrow. I am taking a trip up to Talladega, AL with these three lovely ladies (Barb, my mom and Aunt Nettie), my hubby, my dad and Aunt Susie! We are all getting into Orlando tomorrow then packing into a van and driving up to AL on Friday. We will be watching races on Saturday and Sunday then driving back down to Orlando on Monday and we are leaving to come back to AZ on Tuesday. It should be a LOT of fun!

Well, I am also going to be moving to night shift in a week and a half. I just found out yesterday that my training plan has been changed and I will be training with a new set of folks starting on October 18th. It should be some fun, intense training. The good part about moving to night shift is that I will be on my 12 hour days, which will give me more time between working shifts. So, I will be able to spend more time back in ABQ with hubby, the kiddo and friends! I am excited. I am not sure when I am coming back, but I think it will be before the end of October...

No house news yet. Delays, delays, delays... I think we will be able to move sometime in November, but I am not sure. I meet with the real estate agent today to sign some more papers and hope she has another approximate date for move-in. Until then, we just wait and wait and wait and wait...

I am such a lazy bum! I have done NO spinning since Sunday. I have started doing yoga again. There is a really nice yoga studio (who knew they had such things???) in Chandler which is a couple of miles from work. I went to class on Monday and did a Yin/Relax yoga class. Man, it was just what I needed. And, I have discovered I am really tight. It will take a while to get my flexibility back. Tonight is a meditation yoga class, so I will see what that is like. After class, I am headed home to pack for the trip! I need to check the stupid security guidelines again to see what I am allowed to take and what I can't take. The main concern is the contact lens solution that is only allowed in packed luggage (the last time I checked). I may be able to take a 4 oz sample size in my carry-on, but I need to check.

OK, I am officially an adult now. On Monday, I had another eye exam. Every year I go in for these exams since I wear contacts. Well, the last month has been tough. I couldn't read street signs clearly any longer and I was having a hard time seeing close up. So, I got the exam and found out my prescription had changed! Now, my distance vision has improved but my near vision has gotten worse. Yup, it's time for bi-focals... LOL!!! So, I chatted with the eye doctor and he is having me try some multifocal contact lenses. Supposedly, the multifocals can correct both distance and near vision in a contact lens. I have had them in since Monday afternoon and I absolutely LOVE THEM! I can read street signs again! I can see close-up again! My arms are no longer too short for my reading! This is great! Some people do have a problem with adjusting to the new lenses but I think that adjustment took me all of 15 minutes on the drive home to get used to them. Maybe it has something to do with wearing contacts for 15 years, or maybe I was one of the lucky ones that gets used to them very quickly. The true test will be this weekend at the race. For work, they have done just what I needed them to do. I can see small parts in the tool again and I can stand a normal distance away to read things! This is even better than sliced bread!!!! For anyone who may be in the same situation or about to experience the same problem, give these multifocal contact lenses a try.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

My spinning class is over...

Happy Birthday to my husband, Mike!!! He's 29 again ;-) I wish I was there with you tonight!

This week's lesson was learning how to ply our yarns. This first picture is my first 2-ply yarn. Yup, it's balanced! I was so happy. The class was so much fun! I really learned a lot from the class and I am really glad I took it!

This picture is my first attempt at "Navajo Plying". No, it's not balanced but I really love this way of plying. I plan to wash it tonight and set the ply to keep it from twisting.

This has been one hell of a week.

I have been playing "musical rooms" at the hotel this week. The hotel is doing some remodeling and needed to recarpet my room. So, I had to move all of my crap into another room on the other side of the hotel for 2 days while they redid my room. They were supposed to call me when it was done, but they didn't and put someone else in the room for a night. We got the problem taken care of and I was able to move back in my room last night and back into my bed. When there is so much change and chaos going on in my life, I really need SOMETHING to stay stable and my hotel room is it...

House update: looks like the end of October to the middle of November before it's done. I am not staying in a hotel room until then, so I am in the process of trying to rent a room or rent an apartment until it's finished. What a PITA... (PITA = pain in the *ss). I will keep trying to find a place that will rent month to month until the house is done... BLEH!

We made our reservations to go to Talladega next weekend, that should be fun! I am headed out there with my parents, my two aunts, my hubby and a friend of the family. This should be a hoot! We are driving from Orlando up to Talladega, AL to watch the race for my aunt Nettie's birthday!

Work is still a blast! I got a fun surprise today. One of my old co-workers from Albuquerque was at the plant and stopped by to say "HI"! That really made my day. We weren't able to hook up after work but we did chat for a while today. It's always nice to see some familiar faces in my new workplace! Thanks for stopping by!

I am soaking some more sheep fur to try to get some of the dirt and grease out of it. I am looking forward to a night of spinning wool and watching football. Later, I will take a glass of wine and take a nice bubble bath!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Yes, that is my fat arse...

sticking out there. Hubby and I spend some of our day last Saturday doing car repairs on the Chrysler. It's nice to have a car with room under the hood to work on it! Yes, I am really working on the car, I think we were changing plugs and wires when this picture was taken. We ended up changing plugs, wires, distributor cap and rotor. It helped, but not enough. The problem ended up being a blown head gasket... BLEH! But, I did get a chance to ride around the block in the car and it was pretty cool!

Can you tell I decided to bring my camera back to AZ with me this time???

The weekend back in ABQ was really great! Hubby and I were sitting on the couch trying to decide how we were going to fill the time on Saturday. We decided to take the old car down to the Harley dealer to get some free hot dogs and enter a contest. We got the car about a block down the road and the thing was running really really rough. So, we ended up spending the afternoon together trying to get the car fixed. Around 4:30, we gave up on the car and hopped into the other car, run down to Village Wools to pick up some Roving (which I was going to dye before I left ABQ) and say HI to Ms. Scout!!! After the LYS trip, we went to Coaches to watch our Beloved Gators play against Tennessee... Quite the game...


OK, I promise to stop now...

Sunday, hubby and I decided to hang out around the house and watch more cars go around and around in circles. Hubby's guy won the race (#29 car) and my guy came in 2nd (#20 car) so it was pretty cool... We waited for a friend of ours to call us (who we had arranged to get together with) and when she didn't call by 5pm, we decided to head over to Santa Ana Casino and play a little Blackjack and get a bite to eat. Well, Lisa called just as we were headed into the Casino and we decided to get together when she got back from Santa Fe with her family. It was really nice to see her again! I wish she could have seen her kitties, but we had a great time chatting.

Monday, hubby and I ran around signing papers, paying school fines for the kid and all sorts of other stuff. I got back to Phoenix late Monday night... What a fun weekend...

This week? Been washing sheep fur... Why???

This is what I got when I bid on some sheep fur on eBay. Yup, sheep fur right from the farm... Yummy! After a little bit of Dawn dishwashing detergent, some hot water and a little love, it turned out like this:

It washed up very nicely. There was still a little bit of VM left in the fur, but when I carded the fur the VM came out... OMG! I think that I have died and gone to heaven with this sheep fur. It's some Rambouillet from a farm down in TX... It is so soft! How soft? I could roll around in this sheep fur nekkid (after the fur has been washed) and sleep in it, that is how soft it is... I think I have finally solved the mystery of what kind of sheep fur I bought when I was down in Austin last month... There is nothing itchy at all about this wool. I think I will spin some of this up, dye it and make a scarf with it to see how it reacts. If it holds its bounce, I will look at blending some of this wool with either some nylon or mohair and try it on some socks...

Our next adventure??? Dishwasher dyeing in the hotel room! I'll post the results after I get the resulting yarn plyed up. I need to get a needle-nose pliers to remove the c-clip from the front of my wheel so I can put my longer drive band on my spinning wheel and ply the 2 strands together...

Friday, September 15, 2006

Headed back to ABQ and spinning stuff

OK, I think I am officially addicted to spinning wool...

I was hanging out back at the hotel yesterday, feeling like I had been hit by a huge Mack Truck. So, I laid on the couch most of the day, sleeping on and off, and hearing my wheel calling me. Yes, my spinning wheel wanted me to spin some wool...

Now, I have some really cool roving, but I am not advanced enough to be playing with it yet (Merino wool roving and beginner spinner, not the best combination on the planet). Now, I don't want to spin my class wool yet (all carded and rolled and ready to go for next Tuesday) because I know I will probably blow through it within 20 to 30 minutes. So, I went to LYS a few days ago and got some Border Leicester fleece. I washed about half of it and carded that wool yesterday. I am excited to start spinning some of it to see how soft it is and how it turns out. I know I have been bitten by the spinning bug when I order a large amount of sheep fur. I have some raw Rambouillet fiber coming sometime in the next week to wash and card (by some sheep fur I am talking about 11.5 pounds of raw sheep fur...). I am hoping that it will spin up nicely but I am thinking about getting some nylon to card with it so I can spin it up, dye it and try making a pair of socks from it. I think I will need nylon with this kind of wool since it is supposed to be soft, which I would take to mean that it would wear out pretty quickly in socks if not reinforced with something durable like nylon. Maybe some of you spinning goddesses out there can give me some pointers on that. Now, I need to figure out what kind of dye to use on the nylon fibers (since acid dye won't cut it). After I get back from ABQ I will be going to spinning class again. I am hoping we start getting into plying the wool.

What have I learned from taking this spinning class? Here is a list of stuff:
1. Carding sheep fur is comforting also
2. Mesh laundry bags make washing raw sheep fur a lot easier
3. Greasy sheep fur sticks more than washed sheep fur
4. The difference between too much twist, just enough twist and not enough twist
5. It takes a lot more coordination to operate a drop spindle than a spinning wheel
6. Dawn dishwashing liquid is great for cleaning sheep fur.
7. I was reversing my hands when I was spinning and this was probably the cause of 70% of my early spinning problems
8. Getting consistant thread widths is easy once you know what you are doing
9. Keep practicing spinning "tufts" once you can get a consistant thread width so you can make fun yarns.
10. Spinning wool adds a whole new dimension to my knitting.
11. Taking this spinning class is one of the best things I have ever done!

Another thing I need to find out is how to card the wool so it comes out into the roving form that I see all of the time. I think it would be easier to dye the roving than to dye the raw wool before carding or easier to dye than the finished wool. Who Knows? That is half of the fun of all of the experimentation! Someday, the object is to make raw fleece into sock yarn that is usable, durable, soft and has some fun colors that you don't find out in the normal world. Someday, I will be able to do all of that... Time to JFGI!

Now, fun ways to freak people out at the airport: Drop spindle spinning. I was at the Phoenix airport waiting for my hubby to come in last weekend. I had my drop spindle with me along with some roving so I decided to practice on the drop spindle. Man, I got some really weird looks from people. One guy just sat there staring at what I was doing for a good 5 minutes. Since I am flying out to ABQ tonight, I will bring the spindle with me to the airport tonightto freak out some more people.

It's lunchtime now. I plan to leave early to pack, get some dinner, head to the airport and fly home! I hear the weather back in Albuquerque is really nice right now. I also hope to stop by Village Wools while I am there and see if anyone is around and see what kind of fleece they have available!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Yes kids, September is National Chicken Month

I learned that little factiod today. So, now for the eternal question: Since all sorts of exotic foods taste like chicken, what does chicken taste like? (Insert frog joke here...)

Spinning class is tonight. I soaked my sheep fur and discovered what mild agitation does to sheep fur. No biggie, I will be learning to card it tonight. I have my spinning wheel and carders in the back of my car waiting for the class.

The house is finally coming along. We went down there this weekend and the walls are all done. We just need our kitchen, our master bathtub, our flooring and the electrical stuff taken care of and it will be done!

I am headed back to ABQ this weekend! I am very excited. I fly in on Friday night and fly out on Monday night. That should give me time to do stuff around the house, get some packing done, get my child's school records cleared to be released and make any other things happen. Hubby was down over the weekend and we had a blast! I really miss him!

Phoenix is still HOT! Someone told me the weather is cooling down. I guess if going from highs to 107 to highs of 99 is cooling down, they must be smoking something good! I can't wait to see weather in the 80's again.

I have found a couple of new blogsites that seemed like a good read. Strong women, check out the last 3 links under my "favorite knitty links" on the side bar.

If anyone would like to get together when I get back to ABQ, let me know!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

More from Phoenix

My most favorite band, Barenaked Ladies. Guess what? They are coming to Phoenix in December and I GOT TICKETS! I should have looked a couple of weeks ago... I had gotten an email about pre-sale tix but it was only for Austin, TX. Well, I went back and looked last night and they had tix for Phoenix so I bought a couple. I got 9th row, center section, so I am really really happy about it... Time to find the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese boxes ;-) Now, hubby and I need to decide if we want to pay the big bucks to watch the Rolling Stones play here in November...

OK, so what has been going on since the last time I blogged? TONS!!!

I went home for a couple of days over the Labor Day weekend. Hubby picked me up at the airport on Saturday morning and we spent the morning with some friends that we have not seen in a LONG time! It was great to catch up. After that, we headed down to Coaches Locker Room to watch our Beloved Gators play football. Man, they REALLY look rusty. I hope this was a fluke. This weekend, they play UCF (also known to the locals as U Can't Finish) and I hope they look a lot better. Sunday, Mike and I went out for brunch, went to the casino and played some blackjack then over to the NE Heights for a Trader Joes run... Got some truffles, some strawberry lemonade sparkling beverage and some other goodies then we went home and vegged out. It was such an excellent weekend! I had to be back on a plane at dark thirty on Monday morning, but I was just happy to be home for a couple of days. I miss my hubby, my son, my kitties, my puppies and being home. Hopefully in a few weeks the new house will be ready and they can all join me down here. I will say that living in a hotel is not the best thing in the world, but it works...

Tuesday night was my first spinning class. The LYS I am taking the classes at has 4 classes that meet on Tuesday nights in Sept. Our first class we learned how to spin on a drop spindle. Fun... For the first hour of class, I felt like a cow on roller skates. I could not get the whole concept of spinning the drop spindle then drafting the yarn. I was really afraid of the drafting process. The teacher, bless her soul, had the patience of a saint. She watched and figured out what I was doing wrong and then the light bulb went off! Once I got that taken care of, the drop spindle was a breeze. I will be working a little more on the drop spindle tonight before I go to bed. She gave us a bag of sheep fur for next week and told us how to soak it to get all of the lanolin out of it. We have to have it cleaned for next Tuesday so we can learn how to card the wool. She also is having us bring our wheels so we can learn to treadle on it. So I have some greasy sheep fur sitting in the hotel room sink getting cleaned right now... Yummy! I am glad I have eaten dinner already...

Hubby is coming down to Phoenix on Saturday! I AM SO EXCITED!!! I will pick him up from the airport and we are heading from there down to the house to check out how they are doing on it and get some details taken care of. I hope to have pix to post next week on the progress. After we talk to the builders we are going to meet with the local Gator Club and watch the UF vs UCF game at a local sports bar. Hopefully, the NASCAR race won't interfere with game time, but who knows? It's a sports bar and they will hopefully have the race on also. Sunday, we will finish up any house business then meet up with Julie and Loren for a while. It should be a really fun weekend. The weekend after this, I am back up in Albuquerque for a full 3 days to spend with the family and take care of any fines that the schools have so my kid can have his school records released for his new school down here.

How has work been going? OMG! I think I have died and gone to heaven! If someone would have told me that this new place was so awesome, I would have asked them if they were smoking crack. I have been at the new plant for 3 weeks now and I am still in love. There is a bit of a learning curve getting used to a new toolset, but it's not nearly as big as I was anticipating! Everyone here is really supportive and it has been no problem getting the training that I need for my new job (which is scheduled to start sometime between January and May of next year, no firm date yet). Tomorrow is a half-day since we have a team building going on starting at noon. I am looking forward to getting to know my new co-workers. I get the feeling that they think I am a squirrel on crack since I am asking so many questions and so eager to learn anything I can get my hot little paws on. It is SO DIFFERENT than the place I left, it is hard to believe that this is the same company... WOW! I really miss the old crew that I used to work with. Those folks were the BEST! I hope they are all doing well and I hope that they can stay sane in the insanity there. I do miss them! They were really good people, workwise and personality wise. Yes, I still think about them quite often (and have the group photo on my new desk). My new group has less people but seems just as nice. Things are done a lot differently around the new place so that is taking a little bit of getting used to. My external monitor and keyboard should be here in the next week, so that will be the last things I need to get to make my office complete. Now, I need to concentrate on learning as much as I can learn. I think one of my co-workers in the new place is one of the techs so we will probably bounce a lot of learnings off of each other between now and when I move over to the new place.

Tomorrow, I am going off to get my hair done, getting my car to the dealer to get the check engine light checked out and going to a team building. This should be a great weekend!

OK, the sheep fur has been through 3 water changes and it is starting to turn white. Wow! Hopefully there won't be too many more needed before I can set it out to dry. I am keeping it in lukewarm water and not agitating it. (Don't agitate the sheep fur... Who's agitating my sheep fur? Are you agitating my sheep fur? I love that commercial...)

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Week 2 in Pu-ho-en-icks

Sitting on the Start/Finish line at Daytona International Speedway before the Daytona 500. Yes, it is chilly there in February...

So, what has been going on since the last update?

I start spinning classes next Tuesday! WHEE!

Next Friday (Sept 8th), I have my ticket to go to the "Stitch and Pitch" game here in Phoenix. They have some seats where we all get to gather and knit our silly heads off. We even get a goodie bag for going to the game with some yarn and coupons. Should be a total blast!

I went to my first SnB meeting in Chandler on Tuesday evening. They had some really cool folks and I finally finished weaving the ends in on my shadow shawl, so it can be considered officially DONE!!! I am sure I will get some good use out of it when the weather cools down a bit... Is it hot in Phoenix? Does a bear take a Reader's Digest into the woods??? Yup, it is hot... REALLY HOT!!!

Work has been going well. I think I have finally finished all of the web based classes that I need to get the access to the software I will need to use to do my job properly. My eyes are now crossed! Training has been going really well. I thought the learning curve for the job would be steeper than it has been. It's a new tool, but all of the concepts are still the same! That has made life much easier. I got unpacked but during the move my computer monitor and external keyboard got lost. I will wait one more week before I order another one...

I am coming home!!! Yup, I got way too lonesome down here so I am taking a plane back to ABQ for Saturday and Sunday this weekend. I am looking forward to seeing the hubby, the kid, the cats, the dogs and the house! I will probably pack a suitcase full of stuff I am finding that I need before coming back down on Monday!

It gets dark down here at 7pm. I am still trying to get used to that...

I finally started working out! I am about to head back to the hotel, get dinner then work on the upper body today. The lower body workout about killed me on Sunday. It took my legs until Wednesday before they were back to 75% of normal. Last night, I worked the lower body again and today I am pain free... I guess that is progress. I still need to find an ice rink to skate at...

Time to get out of here. I need to get back to the hotel by 7pm so I can get some dinner before lifting the weights!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

And today we decided to leave the hotel room...

Say HI to Fromage (aka Gryffyn). He is my big orange and white kitty with a heart of gold...

OK, I am in a new city, I only know 3 people, I am getting tired of being holed up in a hotel room after work, so what is a gal to do??? How about look for another knitting group and find some local yarn stores??? Good idea!

So, at lunch, I decided to JFGI (Just freaking Google it) and find the local yarn stores in the area and stop by one to see what Phoenix had to offer in the way of yarn stores. The one I decided to go to was The Fiber Factory in Mesa, AZ. Great LYS!!! They had the class schedules out for Sept - Dec and have a LOT of classes. Well, since I brought this spinning wheel with me from ABQ and I am learning as I go, I decided to sign up for a beginning spinning class. The class starts on September 5th and meets every Tuesday in September. They teach you to spin with a drop spindle, prepare wool and spin on the wheel. I am really excited!!! I picked up a spinning book and a little bit of fiber while I was there then came back to work... Good stuff! I am really excited to start the class!

Then, I decided to continue my Google adventures and try to find a knitting group to hang out with. Now, no one will ever be able to replace my SnB Group that I just left in Albuquerque (with the greatest group of Women in the Southwest!!!) but I need to make new friends and warp new minds!!! LOL!!! Tomorrow, I am going to head over to my first SnB meeting over in Mesa, AZ. Next Tuesday, there is a knitters meet-up in Tempe that I will also head over to check out. There are a BUNCH of knitting groups down here. I hope to find one that will meet my schedule (meets on Saturday, Sunday, Monday or Tuesday when I start working nights) and has some really awesome people. I am also thinking about joining a spinning group, but I will wait until after I take my class to see if I want to spin with others or just keep it an "at home" type of activity.

Note to self: remind hubby to bring down some dye for my roving when he comes to visit September 9th...

The weather here is really weird... On Tuesday night, I hung out with my best friend from elementary school thru high school graduation, Julie. We headed over to Bed, Bath and Beyond and played with trash cans (yes, they have trash cans with remote sensors that automatically open and close). On our way back to her place, the windstorm from Hell (Think Albuquerque in the Spring) hit just before some really cool thunderstorms. Stupid me, I decided NOT to bring my camera to Phoenix (since the three options I had were leave it in a hotel room to possibly get stolen, leave it in a hot car to get ruined or carry it with me everywhere I go...) and there was the most INCREDIBLE sunset. You could see the sun setting over the mountain through the dust with a huge thunderstorm in front of it... WOW! When you have a dust storm before a thunderstorm, they call it a Haboob. Here is a picture of one:

Pretty cool, huh? Yup, it looks just like this. Wall of dust . Here is the National Weather Service Definition:

Haboob. A haboob is a violent dust or sandstorm occurring on the southwest deserts of Arizona. It depicts the leading edge, or gust front, of an approaching storm, and wind speeds can exceed 60 mph!

Where do they come up with these terms??? I am thinking that some bored meteorologists had been indulging in a bunch of "adult beverages" (with high alcohol content) and thought that one up after one of them got dumped by a strong, couragous woman! (aka Babe In Total Control of Herself, put the capital letters together)

So, back to the weather story, I was driving back from Julie's place on the leading edge of this beastie (after getting gas and "college student groceries") and it was vicious! There were trees damaged all over the place. One was laying across the road blocking 2 of 3 traffic lanes. I went into work on Wed am and the trees here took a good hit too. Yesterday, it was cloudy all day. Wonderful! Maybe it won't get above 100 degrees... Man, that was an anomaly. Today, the weather is back to normal again, a million degrees with humidity... Walk outside and become an instant giant walking sweatball. Now, isn't that appealing? Welcome to Arizona... I just looked on the Weather Channel website for the forecast. It said the current conditions were 100 degrees (feels like 99 degrees). SAY WHAT??? How can it be 100 and feel like 99??? Yup, the weather people have been into the "hooch" again...

What are "college student groceries"? Stuff you can make on a stove top or in a microwave.

My boxes are in my cube! Can you tell I am procrastinating unpacking it all? The cube I was assigned (from now until December when I move to my real factory) is small. REALLY SMALL. I don't know if I can fit everything from my old cube in here. So, it sits in boxes behind me (where no one is sitting right now), mocking me. I don't see a monitor or computer stand so I need to order that stuff...

If anyone is down in Phoenix on Sept 9th, they are having a "Stitch and Pitch" at the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game. They are handing out goodie bags too!!! Now, I need to convince the hubby that this is a good idea!!!

So, what are tonight's big plans? Back to the hotel room after work, get some dinner, spin some wool then go to bed. It's too freaking hot to do anything else. (and I even got a bug up my butt to update the WIPs and finished projects...)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Next stop: Phoenix

I made it to Phoenix in one piece....

I flew back in from Austin on Friday night. Saturday, we went out to lunch with the in-laws then went to Village Wools for their annual sale. Sunday, I finished up the packing and hit the road. I made it to Phoenix and checked into the hotel that I will call home for the next month and a half until we move into the new house...

Yesterday was the first day at the new job. I actually got a cube! It's a tight squeeze but I can live with it for another couple of months until we start the new fab up. The first day of work was great! I think this is going to be a great place to be. This is a new position that has never been done before so I will need a lot of flexability to cope with the changes that will happen over the next few months...

I brought my spinning wheel down here with me. Something clicked, I don't know how or why, but the whole drafting concept has finally took! I am having a blast doing some spinning after work...

Sorry it's so short, just wanted everyone to know I am here... I will post more later...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Texas.... Has some sheep fur in it...

OMG!!! Greasy, sweaty men who work on cars... Yummy!!!

OK, time to play another round of catch up...

Let's see, since our last episode a lot has happened (and that is why I have not done a lot of blogging). August 11th was my last day at work at my old factory. I got all of the training packages together, packed up my cube, hugged a bunch of people and left the place that has been like home to me for the last 5 1/2 years. That was really tough. I know that the new place will be a lot of fun with more really neat people, but I hate to say Good-Bye.

The Tuesday before that (8/8), I got together with my SnB grrlz to say good-bye. Amy and I were both leaving that day and it was Carole's birthday. Many pitchers of margaritas later, we said "see ya later". I will be back to ABQ to I am sure I will see them very soon!!!

Sunday (after all of the terrorist stuff going on), I packed the suitcases and flew to Austin, TX. ABQ airport has a new security device at the airport so if you are flying from ABQ you may want to leave about 15 mins early to make it through the new security. I have been down here since then for a training class on the new tools I will be working on. This tool is large and PURPLE... REALLY FREAKING PURPLE... I told the instructor on the first day that if we power up this tool and it starts singing "I love you... You love me..." I would beat the crap out of this tool with a large stick... LOL!!! So far, no singing... The tool is really cool!

In Austin, I have learned a few things. First, the people in Austin drive worse than anyone in NM... Second, not all women in Texas have big hair (but they do pick their noses in their cars in morning rush hour traffic, EWWW!) Third, there are some pretty neat folks out here and not all of them think that they are God's Gift to all creation! Fourth, I discovered some really great local sheep fur. I went to an LYS called Hill Country Weavers on Congress Ave here in Austin after class today. I picked up some really fun colored sock yarn and asked them about their rovings in stock. They took me to a house across the street (where they do classes) and they didn't have much roving, but what they had was sweet! I picked up this brown ball of sheep fur that was absolutely DELICIOUS to the touch. I asked the woman in the store what kind of sheep fur it was and the response was "It's Texas Roving. I don't know. It could be Romney. Wait a minute, it might be Corriadale. I don't know. I just know it's from a local rancher but I don't have his name." Great... I find some of the softest roving I have ever laid my paws on and I can't get any more... So, if anyone has a clue what sheep it might be from, please let me know. It's a light brown color with some assorted straw and weeds in the roving... This LYS is really cool and has a great selection of yarns... Stop by there if you are ever in Austin!!!

Last night, one of my friends from Jr High and High School (Lori) came up from Houston and we went out for dinner and to chat. It was a REALLY good time. We started at this place called Cuba Libre and had martinis, plantations and Sataki. On Thursday nights, this bar features $10 Martini and Manicure. Sounds weird to me... We ended up heading out for Thai food after that and chit-chatted about lots of stuff till the wee hours of the night. I am looking forward to coming back to TX in November and visiting her down in Houston. Yup, she is a Rocket Scientist! (Sorry, but anyone who works at, with or for NASA is a Rocket Scientist in my book!) I really had a great time!

Time for me to go to bed... for some reason, I am just beat today. I don't care if it is only 8pm. The beds at this hotel are TO DIE FOR! I hope the afterlife has beds like these!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The kid is alright

Can anyone tell I wish I was back home by the ocean???

The test results are back and everything is just fine!!! No problems! I need a follow-up boobie squishing in 3 months and all is OK!

We just got back from Phoenix late Sunday night. The house hunting trip was VERY sucessful! We found our "dream house" (with a little less space than we wanted, but we can add on) and we also found a second choice house (bigger house, but the landscape and views are lacking). We are putting our first offer on the house today! I say first offer because the house is still being built and we have some things we would like done to the house that may bring the price up just a little bit more. The house is about 2000 Sq Ft on 1.25 acres out in the middle of a bunch of cow farms and horse pastures! It's a 35 mile commute to work (one-way) and the closest grocery store is about 15 miles away, but that is what we were looking for. Yup, we will be out in the middle of BFE (Bum F*ck Egypt...) It is a VERY open floorplan with a fireplace in the great room and a fireplace out in the front courtyard. The master bedroom is HUGE (about the size of our current living room) with a beautiful master bath (seperate shower and whirlpool tub, double sinks, seperate commode) a huge walk in closet with a view (yup, a window in the walk in closet). The kitchen opens out into the great room and family room with a beautiful wet bar in the great room. We will wall off the back yard into a separate back courtyard in a couple of years when we put in the pool. There are 5 floor to ceiling windows in the great room (our ceilings are 10 feet) that really open up the floor and brighten up the house. With the acreage, we are going to be able to build a little barn on the back of the property and get a couple of sheep! First knitting, then dyeing, then spinning... Forget that, just go to the source and get the sheep fur from the sheep. I am TOTALLY out of control!!! We will research what kinds of sheep can be raised down there before we get any, but the sheep are probably a year down the road.

Yup... Sheep...

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Which way to the Yarn Harlot?

Mewstrodamas is trying his best to be a gargoyle again...

Tonight is Yarn Harlot Night! Yuppers, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee is going to be speaking here in Albuquerque tonight! I am really excited! I am picking up Noelle and we are heading down there. I just need to remember to MapQuest the directions so I don't get TOO lost...

Can I go home now? My brain is full! (caution: full out venting session follows)

I talked to my family yesterday and shared the news about the move to Phoenix in a few weeks. Everyone is really happy :-) Hubby and I shared a nice bottle of Moet and chatted in great length about the whole situation. No, the full impact hasn't really hit me yet. I figure it will hit full force when we are in Phoenix looking at houses to buy. We have a list that we have emailed to the realtor down there and all day Saturday and part of Sunday will be spent going from place to place to get a short list of places we would be interested in putting offers down on or starting the next search from scratch. We are leaving ABQ at noon tomorrow for the road trip.

This whole move is really hectic. For the personal side of things, just the logistics of what day do I actually need to BE in Phoenix (since I will be in Austin TX in between here and Phoenix), which school district will my son be in (depends on which houses we like and which ones we make an offer on), where will I need to find an apartment (short term) until the house closing is complete, are there fully furnished apts in the area, what will I pack for the short term, how to handle the different school start dates and how does it affect my release from here... It looks like I will need to be in Phoenix on Aug 21st, so I will do the actual move the day after I get back from Austin (Aug 19th). So, one of the weekends between then and now (either Aug 5th or Aug 12th) I need to figure out what apt to rent and get the rental agreement signed. We are still waiting for the company to give us the relocation package (most likely next week) but since the actual payout isn't for 30 days after the package is signed, we are going to have to float some of this for a couple of weeks. For the kiddo's school, we are just going to enroll him here for the first 3 weeks of the year then transfer him down to Phoenix and enroll him on the 21st. School starts Aug 8th down there and there is not enough time to find a place to live, close out business here and get him enrolled to start the year down there. Then, we need to find the house down there, close on the house, move from ABQ to PHX, clean up the ABQ house then put it on the market once we have done the carpets, cleaned the weeds from the yard and repainted the walls. (a couple of weekend trips back to ABQ to do all of that). We figure the house up here should sell pretty quickly, so we aren't worried about that. Then we have to move my hubby's business and get all of the licences and legal stuff taken care of before he moves to PHX so he can start working right away. I am taking 2 of the kitties down with me and my son so I don't get too lonely...

Workwise, the situation is just as bad. I need to pass down everything I have learned in 5 years and put it into a training document in a week then do the training. I start on one training item and it triggers 2 - 3 more tasks that I need to remember to put into the document. So I have this "stuff to add to the training document" list that is getting longer by the hour. Which reminds me that I need to call my Dr to get a refill on my Ritalin... Then we need to schedule all of the hand off meetings, close out all of my work here, get it transferred to the right people, pack up the desk and give away 3/4 of the contents of my office to the person who is taking over. MY.... BRAIN.... HURTS....

Today, we are officially saying good-bye to our co-worker who got laid off. At our meeting today, we also let everyone know officially that I was leaving also. This is really weird. I have made some wonderful friends here at work, most of whom I know I will not see again after the 11th of August. That is really tough. There are a few that I know we will stay in touch and bump into each other in the future, but the majority of these folks are going to be "good-bye". We took a group picture 2 months ago. Right now, there are 4 of us who are no longer part of the group. We have been a close-knit group for the better part of 3 years (3 new members came in and 2 left over 3 years) and between the folks leaving and the headcount reduction currently going on, it is really stressful. I haven't really thought ahead to the 11th of August yet, there is too much in the present to concentrate on. I know it will be tough...

Then, there are the other wonderful people in my life here in Albuquerque that are not a part of work. Topping that list are each and every one of the absolutely wonderful people who have been a part of the Albuquerque Stitch and Bitch group and the wonderful people at Village Wools. Where do I even start? My command of the English language is not defined well enough to truly tell all of you everything. Every one of you means so much to me. I would be in the loony bin by now if not for the things you have done to save my sanity since March. Some days, it was just the thought of seeing everyone on Tuesday night that kept me going. You have helped me through some of the best times and worst times of my life. Every one of you has touched me in your own way and I will ALWAYS remember that and I will ALWAYS be eternally greatful for all that you have given me. I know we all seem to be moving to different parts of the country but I hope that our paths will continue to cross in the future. I will be making many trips back to ABQ since I have family up here. I will try to schedule those trips with Tuesday night in mind. Thank you to everyone!

Today is my Grandmother's 93rd birthday. I am so blessed to still have a grandmother who is alive and kicking butt! Last Wednesday, I got a phone call from my parents that my grandmother had a stroke and was in the hospital. The stroke was minor. It didn't affect her physical mobility (she used to walk a mile a day) but it did affect the left side functions of her brain. One of her activities that she used to love to do was to play cards and play bingo. When I talked with my parents yesterday, she couldn't play bingo but she was able to play "Go to the Dump". She is going through PT and OT to help her recover so she can go back to the assisted facility that she has been at for a number of years. Grandma is quite feisty and I know she will do her best to recover what she can. I am praying for her to find peace through this whole ordeal that she is going through and to find serenity and acceptance. I am going to try to find a weekend to make a quick trip down to Florida to say HI before November, after the current mess is finished.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


The surgery came out fine. I will have the results from the biopsy on Monday. My boob hurts, but it is healing with no problems.

This is from the Ponce Inlet in Florida... Ahhh... Ocean...

This morning, I got my offer from Phoenix. I will be going to Austin, TX on August 14th for a week or two of training then I will be officially moving to Arizona. Yes, that is August of THIS YEAR. Yup, 2 1/2 weeks from now. OH SH*T, we need to find someplace to live! I am going to talk to my boss today and find out what the relocation will be. I know the company will move us, but I need to find out if we qualify for corporate housing for a month or three until we find a place to live. Commuting from Albuquerque to Phoenix would put a hell of a lot of miles on the car! LOL!

I rented a spinning wheel from Village Wools and started teaching myself to spin wool into yarn. Man, this has to be one of the mostest bestest things! What an incredible, meditative, calming experience. OK, so the stuff I am spinning looks kinda crappy, but no biggie! It will take a lot of practice to get it right. I am really excited! In fact, I was looking forward to going home tonight and spinning some wool but hubby and I are going to be starting the moving process. We are planning to go down to Phoenix this weekend and start the house hunt.

It feels REALLY GOOD to have 90% of the uncertainty in life taken care of. Knowing I have a new job and getting the move started is a big relief. Once we have the news on Monday, all will be taken care of.

I am really going to miss all of the friends I have made here in Albuquerque. I still have family here and we will be back visiting regularly! I will have to make sure it's on a Tuesday so I can go to Stitch and Bitch and chat with the gals!

Friday, July 14, 2006

We are now officially in full on freak out mode

Ya know, there is just something nice about having the opportunity to watch men who are working on cars... I am not sure why...

So, what is going on?

At work they announced the first round of layoffs yesterday and one of our dear co-workers got a notice. It didn't seem fair. He was a great guy, worked hard, didn't have performance issues and he will be gone in 2 weeks. He will be sorely missed. Right now, the rest of us are on a heightened state of alert with another round of layoffs possible next week (a reliable birdie told me this...)

The interview in Phoenix went REALLY WELL. Unfortunately, the company froze all internal transfers and hiring on Monday (but they still interviewed me anyways...) I was told more than once during the day that they couldn't extend an offer because of the freeze but they would be talking to their managers to try to get around that... Sounds positive...

I am trying to keep a positive outlook through all of this crap, but it is really really hard to do that. I had hoped that some of the stress would be relieved after the interviews were over but the whole layoff thing heaped another helping of stress onto an already overfull plate. The surgery is on Thursday so I will have Thursday and Friday off of work for recovery time. Once that is finished, then it's all about waiting... and waiting... and waiting...

I am planning to do some dyeing this weekend to get my wits back about me again and to have some fun. After the surgery, I am going to talk to Noelle about learning to spin wool. It is something I have wanted to learn for a while but I really need someone who is a total GODDESS at it (which Noelle really is...) Learning that and having it would really be something calming, soothing and relaxing to get me over this stress in life. I am really looking forward to it!

A weekend... I can catch up on my sleep (3 hours on Wed after my flight back from Phoenix got delayed, 4 hours last night after the layoff mess), watch cars go around in circles, clean the house, dye wool, and maybe even have a nice adult beverage or two! Hubby and I are going out to Pelican's for dinner tonight and we will have some nice time at home afterwards. I am not going out of town this weekend for the wedding because of the uncertainty at work, so I will be showing up at SnB this Tuesday...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Forecast: Scattered Thunderstorms

We finally got that pool in our backyard that we have always wanted....

This is the runoff from the hill next to our housing develpment in Rio Rancho, NM

Here is the arroyo next to the hill that our housing development sits on...

The forcast for yesterday? Scattered Thunderstorms... Kids, this is why your parents won't let you play in the arroyo... I think this arroyo, when empty, is about 10 -12 feet high...

Friday, July 07, 2006

When in Rome...

I couldn't visit the Shrine of Speed without going onto the track and kissing the Bricks. This is a racing tradition both in NASCAR and INDY car racing that the winner of the race pays homage to the track by kissing the bricks at the start/finish line. I feel honored to have had the opportunity! (Yes, I am on the actual track and No, I didn't get run over by any of the vehicles that were on the track. I actually got on local Indy TV for doing this...)

Time for another round of "catch up with the elusive engineer".

First, the vacation was an absolute BLAST! Lots of cars, lots of excitement, lots of Europeans, the best group of people I could EVER have the opportunity to hang out with for 5 days! I went with some of my co-workers up to Indy for the F1 race, it was great. They had 3 other racing series there (Indy Pro Series, Formula BMW and Porche). The next door neighbor of one of our group actually had a Pro Series car entered so we hung out in the "garage" and watched them work on the car for a couple of days. I was in engineering heaven! Another surprise at the track, Frankie Munoz (Malcolm from the show "Malcolm in the Middle") was racing one of the Formula BMW cars, so that was pretty cool. We were also introduced to two very wonderful people named Al and Kittie. No trip to Indy is complete without a stop at Al and Kitty's house. We met all sorts of racing folks at their house and heard all kinds of really neat stories about NASCAR, F1 and Indy series. A big THANK YOU to them for opening up their house to us and showing us some wonderful Midwestern hospitality. I also discovered a new cocktail there called SKYLAB... Yummy!!! More on that in another post...

Medical update - I am going in on Thursday, July 20th to have said abnormality removed from my right breast. I will have Friday off of work, the weekend to recover then back to work on Monday, so no leave is necessary. Whee! Time to be out of it for a couple of days. A week to 10 days after the surgery, I will have the biopsy results.

Work update - Yeah, the bragsheet is done! Big relief! I had a phone interview on June 25th for an etch engineering position and I am going to Phoenix on July 12th for the second interviews! It will be a same day trip, so no suitcase is necessary. Today, I had a phone interview for litho engineering positions and they will be scheduling second interviews for that position on the same day, so it will be between 4 - 6 interviews in one day... WOW! I will hopefully hear the results by the end of the month so I can plan accordingly. Right now, looks like either October or January of 2007 for a move...

I taught my first class last night at Village Wools. Since it was my first class, there were a few things that didn't go as well as I would have liked them to go, but overall it was a positive experience. We went through beginning sock knitting. I printed up a 6 page pamphlet to cover the basics up through the heel turn. This weekend, I will finish the print out and go through the rest of the sock, answer more questions and put online resources into the document so the folks in the class will have reference material for after the class is finished. My 2 socks on 2 circs class may not happen since only 2 folks are signed up.

My kiddo, Chris, left for Florida yesterday to hang out with his Dad for a month. I know he will have fun down there, but I really really miss having him around! He's a great kid!

That's about all happening in life here... It's short so I will try to go into more detail if I get some time over the weekend...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

On Da Road again...

<-Not my cat... It's one of the Jetty cats in Florida.

So, how is everyone doing on this fine Tuesday?

Wow, where to start... How about business before pleasure?

The job search is going very well. I had my first phone interview last Friday. It went pretty well. I sorta blew one of the technical questions, but the rest went well. I will find out next week if I am selected to go to Phoenix for the second round. I have another phone interview for a different position a week from Friday and I am waiting to hear from the third position. It looks like a move to Phoenix sometime between September and December of this year if I get one of the positions. This is a little bit quicker than we were anticipating, but not a problem. Last night, I was reading a book about Adult Children of Alcoholics and it mentioned how difficult job changes were to us because we are afraid of change... No big revelation there, but now I know why I have been such a schkitty-kitty about the whole thing. My poor hubby has put up with me through this whole thing, bless his heart.

Last week's trip to Phoenix was a blast! We got down to Julie and Loren's on Tuesday night around 11pm, chatted for a while, had a glass of wine then crashed out. Wednesday, we did breakfast at the Cracker Barrel (MMMMM, Sweet Tea, my favorite!!!) then went out and looked at model houses until 4pm. We went back to the house to change clothes, went out to Cooper'stown for dinner (a sports/rock-n-roll restaurant owned by Alice Cooper) and headed out to the Zappa plays Zappa concert. Man, what an excellent show! They were tight, even during improv segments. Some of the musicians were playing two instruments at the same time without missing a note (like sax and keyboards) which was pretty impressive. That had to be one of the best shows that I have ever seen! The complexity of the music along with the mistake free execution was something I have not witnessed in a LONG time! On Thursday, we went out looking at more model houses then came home. We found our dream house! OK, we could technically afford our dream house but we would have no money left for anything else (like important stuff such as yarn, vacations, etc) So, we are planning to scale back on the house a bit and pay off some bills. It's funny how age and wisdom will sneak up on you and make you fiscally responsible... LOL!

Tomorrow morning at 10am, I am off to Indy to watch pointy cars go really fast in circles turning left and right. I am really excited! I am heading out there with some of my co-workers. I think it will be really cool to see these cars up close and personal. These engines hit 19,000 RPM on a regular basis, that itself is pretty dang impressive. (since my car doesn't like going past 3500 RPM without raising a fuss). Thursday we get to go in the pits and check out the cars up close. Friday and Saturday are practice and qualifying for the cars and Sunday is the race. I am charging my camera batteries as we speak! Have I started packing? Nope. Have I come close? Nope. I will be running around like a mad woman tonight after SnB. A bunch of us (7 or 8 of us) are sharing an empty apartment that one of my co-worker's sisters manages. This saves us a TON of cash on hotel rooms. Now, I need to find the air mattress so I have something to sleep on for the next couple of days. I know it is at the house somewhere... Man, I am looking forward to this vacation!!!

Watch out where the Huskies go, don't you eat that yellow snow!

Friday, June 16, 2006


Picture by Tim Hussin/Indedpendant Florida Alligator. (The UF school newspaper... and I think this one is an Independant Florida Alligator...)

Man, I just love dropping off of the face of the earth... Having life turned totally upside-down is a gas, also...

I read on MSNBC.COM that folks who get migraine headaches have higher sex drives. Yup, I will attest to that one!

OK, first, I have my surgical consultation on July 5th to discuss getting this unknown lump out of my breast and get it biopsied. Until then, no news...

Kiddo is in summer school. Lucky guy. So, I have been spending my lunch hour at work for the last couple of weeks playing "Mom's Taxi".

Work is a total mess. My favorite boss left a couple of weeks ago to go pursue greener pastures in another company. Right before our mid-year reviews... BLEH! (Yes, that is the task I am putting off to do this). The euphamism of rats deserting a sinking ship is coming to mind. I have been working to bring in a new process to our factory for the last 6 months and guess what happened??? (I think the punchline is obvious) We aren't getting the new process... GRRR... We found out about that a couple of weeks ago. Earlier this week, they made the announcement that they are WAY over headcount and need some of us to move to other facilities. Our choices? Either Phoenix or Utah... We can stay if we want to, but we may not have work if we do. So, I am now putting my name into the hat to try to move to Phoenix to start up a new facility there. No idea when we will hear anything about it. I am asking for a position in Oregon for a few months to get training, then I would be back in NM for a bit then to Phoenix for good to work at the new place. My bestest friend from elementary school (middle school and high school) and her hubby live there, so it would be fun to be close to them again. Why, in heaven's name, would I move to Phoenix? Here are my reasons:
1) Compressed work week! Yeah! It would be 12 hour shifts, 3 days on, 3 days off, 4 days on, 4 days off with NO ON CALL!
2) Night shift engineering! I have wanted night shift engineering for a long time!
3) Opportunity
4) I like living indoors and having food to eat
5) Culture - more concerts!
6) NASCAR (yup, anti-culture) - a NASCAR track in the same town??? Hell yeah!
7) Year-around motorcycle riding
8) The idea of 115 degree days and feeling like I am living in an oven somehow appeals to me right now
9) A change is due...

Yes, this is the first I have really told anyone about this. Hubby and I talked and agreed it's a good idea. I am really looking forward to a new opportunity to make a difference and I would love to be able to do it in a more modern factory. Yes, there are downsides (leaving friends here is the biggest one) but it's not leaving for good, it's just playing in another sand box for a while. We will know more in the next month, but nothing immediate. If I got the seed position in Oregon, I would leave in August. If I get a sustaining position in Arizona, we would leave next summer sometime...

Time for vacations! Hubby and I are heading to Phoenix on Tuesday night for a couple of days to go see a Zappa concert. I come back on Friday, work Mon - Wed then leave for Indianapolis to watch the US Grand Prix! I LOVE watching cars go in circles at high speeds! It's even more fun when they turn left and right...

I am thankfully off of the new ADD med that was giving me migraine headaches. I only took it for 5 days, but that was more than enough...

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Dixie Chicks ROCK!!!

Hubby and I decided to make a stop at Best Buy on our way out to the movies last night. Both of us decided to pick up CD's that are totally out of character for us. Hubby picked up a Black Eyed Peas CD and I picked up the new Dixie Chicks CD. (Take a free listen to the entire CD here). WOW! I am not a huge fan of Country music, but these women have some serious talent!

We went out and saw The DaVinci Code last night. Hubby and I both read the book a couple of years ago and wanted to see the movie (sans protesters). It was pretty good, hubby liked it more than I did. We played our "game" after the movie of "what parts were in the book that were not in the movie". It stayed pretty true to the movie but it did change a couple of minor details and left a few things out of the book. All in all, it was worth the money to see it...

Today, headed over to LYS to pick up some yarn I ordered a couple of months ago and to see what is going on. They are going to do a walk/run for breast cancer, so I want to throw my name into the hat for it! Then, time to get to the dying for the weekend. I picked up some more containers to store dye in, I am going to mix up the rest of my colors and see what turns out.