Saturday, December 19, 2015

Why we blog...

Last night I was reminded why we blog. There is a wonderful group of women who I have had the pleasure to spend many a Friday night with sewing, chatting, sharing, and laughing like there is no tomorrow!

When you are writing a blog, it is almost as if you are in this little corner of the world, solo, thinking out loud (or writing as the case may be) about what is going through your mind. Much like many of the other blogs who are linked to Cheryl Sleboda's Muppin.com 31 day Challenge. You can check out all the other blogs at the 31 day blog writing challenge. There are some amazing bloggers there!

Anyway, I love to read romance novels and recently one of the books that I read had a character who had been a news paper reporter and was let go. The character started writing a blog, with the thought that even if it was for himself, they where going to write about the subject that they were passionate about. Almost as a surprise to the character was the response to their writing. That being let go from the newspaper did not silence them and the audience was larger than the character expected.

I mention this because I am always surprised when someone mentions to me that they read my blog. Thank you dear reader, it does mean a lot to me.

I am thinking that I am getting into the holiday mood, sorta. It is hard with no little ones around to get excited about the holiday season. How do you get excited about the holiday's?

I have a few nieces and I need to finish their presents, soon! I'll be back on the road traveling to see family within a few days. In the meantime I will be sewing up a storm, hoping to hear back from the interviews that I went to over the early part of this week and writing Christmas cards! Man has my list grown!

So I will leave you here. Thank you for stopping by!

Ciao for now,
Jean

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Nine days later...

It is safe to say that I have been a bit busy. This blog has been put to the side as I continue to search for work.But then I remember how much having outside support has helped while I am searching. Which then brings me back.

Two weeks ago I participated in a weekend get together with some amazing women I have had the honor to meet through Facebook. The short name for the group is "Snowflakes" the long name is not really mentioned outside of the group. The group as a whole is made up of about 25 women. We are located all over the US and have a member in OZ as well! It has been awesome to get to know each other over the past two and a half years.

The weekend get together was five of us getting together to sew, chat, eat, and sew. It was an amazing time. I am rather quiet on a normal basis, reserved would also describe me, so to get together with these women I needed to go out of my comfort zone when I first connected with them. Now, while I am still quiet, the teasing and friendship has me not so reserved around them. Even though it was the 1st time for me to meet with three of these women, face-to-face. Goes to show how well we have gotten along through FB.

Since then I have been working at finding work. Not an easy task these days. It is a bit painful to hear the words "Overqualified" time and time again. I may be overqualified, but I am your best asset to be able to walk into a position and start doing what needs to be done right away. I'm going to ask questions, find out how and why things are done in a specific way, and go the extra mile to get things done correctly. How does that make me overqualified? No, I do not want your job, if I did I would have applied for it!

Over the past two days I have attended two different rounds of interviews at two different companies. One is for a pharmaceutical company and the other is for a bank. One is in Cambridge, close to home, but still about an hour by public transportation. The other is in Newton, again close to home, but I would have to drive as there is no direct public transportation to there from home.

After weighing the odds, I would love to have an offer from the one in Newton. It just feels much better than the one in Cambridge. I would have hoped for the Cambridge position, but my girlfriend is finishing up her contract nearby and I would not get to see her there.

Now I only have to sit back, write thank you notes tonight, and wait for an offer. I hope that I hear something by the end of the week as that would be an amazing holiday gift!

For now, I'll sip on my coffee, go read some blogs, and wish you an amazing rest of your day!

Ciao for now,
Jean

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Awesome weekend with friends

Today is another traveling day. I have had the wonderful pleasure of spending the he past few days with some amazing women that I have met through Facebook. 
We got together to spend time quilting, stitching, and bitiching. Perfect event. With our crazy schedules, it's not the easiest to get a group of us together, so this was pretty special. I was able to spread out and do some gift sewing. I just need to get them together and I will be done with making my gifts.

This morning I was checking out some other blogs. If you are keeping up with Cheryl's challenge muppin.com on her blog, you will see a few other bloggers who have some very interesting posts.

In the meantime I am on the road again. Off to Columbia, Maryland to meet up with hubby and the to dinner at my mom's. 

So, Ciao for now, and I hope you have a fantastic day! 😎
J

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Travel Day

I am off for the weekend to spend time with some very special 'snowflakes' whom I know through Facebook.

So today's post is really day 4 & 5 as day four was spent on the road traveling. Day five will be spending some time with friends.

We are gathering together in Annapolis. Coming from California, New York, Pennsylvania, and of course myself from Massachusetts.

I left home at 6 am to drive my husband to work and then left from there to New Jersey.

It's been a long day so I am off to bed!

Ciao for now!
J

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Welcome to day 3 of the 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge from Cheryl at Muppin.com blog.

I am going to straight up admit that being part of Cheryl's Blog Writing Challenge is fun! Have you checked out any of the other blogs that have taken up the Challenge?

There is NeonKittyQuilts.com who on the 1st day was talking about taking the time for now. To think about what you are doing in the here and now. From her bio, Laurie says that she is a fiber artist who frequently combines her passion for animals and quilting by producing pet portraits though a technique she calls "Pet-lique." I have had the honor to meet her at Quilters Take Manhattan as she is a board member of the Quilt Alliance. A meeting in Manhattan that is a combination of fiber art/a love of fabric/quilting and fun! If you have never been, you need to try to attend.

A wonderful artist, whom I have also had the honor to meet at Quilters Take Manhattan as she attended the 'After Dark Cocktail Party' at Victoria Findley Wolfe's loft. As my sister and I attended as well, we got to chatting, became friends on FB, and share time together. Lisa blogs at upstatelisa.blogspot.com She is such an awesome artist! Check out her blog and you will agree!

So as this is day 3 of 31, I am also going to share a third blog that I love following!!! Are you part of the BadAss Quilters Society? Oh? You say no? You have to check out! 

As Maddie Kertay says "the BadAss Quilters Society was born as a page on FaceBook mid-2012. Little did I know that there were thousands of other BadAss Quilters out there looking for a place to hang loose, talk fabric and swap the occasional off-color joke all the while being free from the oppressive notion of what quilters were “supposed to be”."

BadAss Quilters Society is a wonderful place to stop and read. Maddie's personal blog is Domestic Anarchy and I do love to read this as well. 

While I have been absent from my blog, my fellow bloggers have "neglected" theirs as well. Not as badly as I have, but we have taken up the challenge of writing on a daily basis. 

I hope you have an amazing day today. 

Ciao for now,
Jean

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Welcome to day 2 of the 31 Day Blog Writing Challenge from Cheryl at Muppin.com

Grab your coffee/tea/hot coca and take a break to read my ramblings for the day... Today I am getting ready to go on a quilting retreat this weekend. First a bit of traveling from the Boston area down to Highland Park, NJ. I am meeting some friends at the train station there. They are traveling down from NYC and it's easier to pick them up outside of the city. I'm also picking up some Blue Jeans that my aunt has saved for me at her house. Then it's off to Maryland to meet up with some more quilting friends!!! I am so looking forward to this trip.


Now I need to figure out what I am going to be working on over the weekend. I need to make at least 10 Christmas gifts for my ten nieces. I made Open Wide Bags last year, which where very well received. I think I'll make them additional bags, but a bit bigger, they all carry their tablets/cell phones/laptops with them all over the place. If I make a messenger bag size, they would all like that. Now to go through my stash for some awesome fabrics. Having one nephew, who will be there for Christmas, throws off the gift idea, but I think that he would like the idea of a masculine messenger bag. Maybe a StarWars themed bag would work for him.


This morning while checking my "looking for work" email address, I received a bit of a shock. I applied for a position within the federal government that had a 10 day or 200 applications received posting. December 1st was the 1st day of the opening. Well... they have already received the 200 applications! The notification to me was that I answered all of the questions, that I qualify for the posting, and that the posting was now closed.


Dear Jean,
The following job opportunity announcement has been closed.
OPM Control Number: 422686400
Agency Name: Federal Emergency Management Agency

To say that I was surprised, was an understatement. My sister who works for the federal government was not surprised and mentioned that was why she pushed me to apply right away. Now it is a game of hurry up and wait to hear from them. Meanwhile, I'll keep looking for other positions, closer to home.


Off to chat with a recruiter. Come join me tomorrow for another posting.




Ciao for now,Jean

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A 31 day Blog Writing Challenge.

31 day blog challenge (1)



Welcome! Yes, I have returned once again. 

Sometimes life gives you challenges to go out of your comfort zone. I have been very lax in updating my blog over this past year. More among the missing than not. Still, I did enjoy writing when I was posting before. 

Posting helped to get me out of my "looking for work" funk that I had been into the beginning part of the year. 

Well, I hope that Cheryl's challenges from www.muppin.com/wordpress/index.php/the-31-day-blog-writing-challenge/ helps me to get back on track. More so I hope it helps me to get out of the "looking for work" funk that I have been getting back into. 

I spent some time in September in NYC. In October I was off to Seattle for a week long vacation with my siblings and mom. For November, we went to NYC for a little less than 24 hours to have Thanksgiving with family. 

I am still traveling, still looking for work, still sewing, and quilting. I am looking forward to this challenge and hope that you will join me on this adventure!

I must remember this, as there is always something to be thankful for. 


Thank you for joining me for a cup of coffee, Ciao for now, 
J

Sunday, March 8, 2015

New post

As I continue to search for a new working gig I have been the family member traveling to be with other family members. So for the month of February I was flying the friendly skies. Or should I say not so friendly skies as the airlines are really poor about how they treat their customers.

I flew out of Boston on February 4th, headed for Midland Texas. The plan was late getting into Boston from Colorado and my step-sister-in-law was on the flight. Nice surprise to run into her there. She was coming back from visiting her mom, who was in the hospital and is now home under home health care.

Flew out of Boston and into Houston only to be told that due to weather conditions I would be on the next flight out, in the morning. No voucher for a hotel, no saving for me, and did I say I am out of work? Yeah, fork over cash to stay at a two-bit motel, get up at 4 am, to catch a shuttle back to the airport, and catch a flight to Midland at 6:30 am. Not even an "I'm sorry that you can't get to your destination today" from anyone.

Off to Midland airport on a puddle jumper that everyone had to check any bag bigger than a backpack. Rent a car for the week and off to find the hospital.

My aunt had been in a hospital in Alpine TX and been airlifted to Odessa TX for surgery. I was going to end up sleeping in her room if I had gotten in the night before, but I got to sleep in Houston. I got to the hospital around 9 am or so and she was not discharged until 3 pm.

To get anywhere in Texas one has to drive. We had a five hour drive to Terlingua TX from Odessa. So we started out at 3:30 pm for Terlingua and arrived around 7:30 pm. The speed limit in Texas goes from 65 mph all the way up to 80 mph. Wide range and wide open spaces. It was a wonderful ride, great time with my aunt, and we got to see some amazing natural beauty on the way down.

So I was due to leave there on Monday, February 9th... Did you know that when I left Boston only had 50" of snow? Yeah, February 9th and 10th there was another storm... And the weather report...

"The last in the recent series of storms bringing snow to part of the Northeast will bring the heaviest snow, most widespread ice, and greatest disruptions to travel and daily activities into Monday night (2/9).
The caboose in the train of storms will end up being the strongest and will bring the heaviest amount of snow.
Snow of varying intensity will gradually diminish from west to east across eastern New York state to New England Monday night.
The area from Boston and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, westward to Worcester, Massachusetts; Rutland, Vermont; and Albany, New York, is the zone that has received the greatest amount of snow from the early week storm and cumulative amount of snow forward from Saturday."

Just what I wanted to hear... Nope. But as it turned out, it was a good thing that I stayed in Texas then, as I was sick on Monday and Tuesday... I caught the flu, not a good thing to fly with. I spent Sunday evening changing my flights to Boston.

On Wednesday morning I left Terlingua at 6:30 am, got to Midland around 11 am, filled up the rental car and went to check in for the 1st leg of my journey home. Puddle jumper to Houston, hour layover, and off to Boston. Picked up my car and then had to fight with the snow removal trucks all the way home from the airport.

That was just one trip... I was off again on the following Friday to VA to visit my mom, step-dad, my brother who was visiting there, and Cali the wonder dog. Saturday morning it was a hour trip to Dulles Airport to get my brother to the airport for a 6:30 am flight. Which meant leaving the house at 4:45 am... No problem :D Off to the airport and back again.

My folks live with my sister in Arlington VA, my sister was off to visit her brother-in-law with her husband, in Hawaii. So three of us where in VA during the 10 days that they where away. My middle sister with her 3 kids, my older brother, and my husband and I. My sister was down the early part of the week and had cooked for the entire week so that my brother and I did not have to worry about cooking. Awesome middle sister!

My sister and her husband returned on Sunday and it was funny because she texted my mom that she was there and would be going straight to bed when she got to the house because she had caught a cold. She texted when she landed. My mother kept telling me "no, she's here now" and you can guess what I was saying... We flew back that night to Boston.

With all the flying I had been doing, and being sick on top of that, my ears blocked up. So, leaving Houston, landing in Boston, blocked. Unblocked by Friday. Leaving Boston, landing in DC, blocked. Unblocked by early Sunday. Leaving DC, landing in Boston... Nope, still have not unblocked.

So I have been visiting my doctor's office, meeting with the Nurse Practitioners, getting meds... Nope, still not unblocked. Called the NP to see if I could come in once again and see her as I fly out on the 19th! So I got to see the NP, who sent me for an audiology test, where I was then sent to see an Ear Nose and Throat doctor. The upshot is that I am on a heavy dose of steroids for 20 days. Did I say that my ear is still blocked and I can't hear out of that side?

A long way of explaining why I have been among the missing once again.

On the positive side, I have been working on some swap wall hangings, a birthday quilt, a baby quilt. and a block for a quilt for a women in Africa who is a member of a FB group I belong to.

So, a rather productive time. I have had to go to an unemployment meeting to continue receiving benefits. The upshot of that was that I completely redid my resume. Lets hope that this makes a difference.

Thank you for stopping by!

Ciao!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Time to return to Blogging...

It has been over a year since I last blogged. A lot has changed in the past year. A year ago...

I was working at a corporate company that turned out to be a very toxic environment. But I was very fortunate opportunity to meet some wonderful people there!

I left there and went on a vacation to Disney, in Florida, with family. We had a fantastic four days together! Even in March, in the Florida rain :) we had fun. Time spent with hubby, kids and grandkids.



Then at the end of March I started back working within the IS department of a local hospital, returning to the same office I was in during the summer of 2013.  An office away from the maddening crowd... 


In April I had to tell the other support personal during an Administrative Luncheon that the person I had been replacing, who had been out on medical leave, had passed away, the weekend before I started. Not fun. 

I made some amazing quilts...     

 A mug rug for me.    
   Blocks for Tuna' baby quilt...










One block of a Jaybird quilt... many more to cut and sew...



Mindy and Joe's wedding gift... My 1st King Size Quilt top...




Lindsey and Brendan's wedding gift.





Violet's quilt, being quilted...




A block for an amazing charity quilt for Mickey.





Ella's Birthday wall hanging, hanging at the RSQ show in October.




Patti's 5 Stars... quilted by the awesome Gwen!




Michael's off to collage quilt...




Shea's off to collage quilt...




One of 100 8.5 blocks being put together. This will be done during 2015.


















                          The Christmas Tree wall hanging for my cousins.





Bruce for my sister's birthday.



















It has been a busy year... 

Now I am back where I was in November of 2013, looking for a new work gig, and making more quilts. 

So, I will be back to wonder what is going on, to update further on what is Life and that what gets in the way. 

Ciao for now!
J

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Return from the land of the missing...

From the land of the missing I have returned! Miss G should be smiling as she keeps telling me to get back online!

It has been a very, very busy summer and fall. Back in April my mother told me that she was putting the house on the market and moving to Virginia. Somewhat of a shock, but not over the top. Anyway that translated into, "I'm moving and your going to help me get ready." Hence why I have been in the land of the missing...

This is the house:

 

It was 12 rooms and a full basement with apartment. From there they moved into a 2 room with bathroom, share dining, living, and kitchen. Talk about major downsizing.

In June she decided that she was going to have a party... So she invited a few people...


And she put up a tent...


So we partied the day and night away... Lots and lots of food, drink, laughter, and memories.

Then it was time to move...Oversized "stuff" to the curb... Lots of recyclables... Goodwill items... Then on August 25th, the movers came to pack everything that was left behind... That took two days!! The 1st day they packed all the items headed for VA, then to NYC, then to upper state New York, and finally all that was staying local... The 1st truck was packed and left for VA on the evening of the 1st packing day. The item that we all held our breath over was the Blessed Mother.


The family who purchased the house are not Christen and did not want the Blessed Mother, who had been in the side yard for over 50 years. 

So, off it went to VA... This is a picture when it got to VA, so it made the trip very well.

The 2nd and 3rd days they finished the packing and filled the truck with everything else. We cleaned up and where on our way to VA on the afternoon of the 3rd day. We stopped in NJ for dinner and then on to VA. 

In the meantime I needed to register a quilt for the guild show in October, before the 30th of August....


I made the deadline, finished the binding and here it is hanging at the show. It is 60 by 55.5 and a combination of half-square triangles and squares all 2.5 inches. It took about a year from thinking about it to done. It was a thank you to Del for driving me back a forth for eight weeks when I broke my right ankle.

Since August 30th I have been to VA and back, NJ and back, NYC and back, back to VA and home two additional trips. I was beginning to wander what my bed felt like at one point during the constant traveling.

I also submitted two DWR quilts for the NYC Mod Quilt Guild Challenge. The 1st is a single block for the small challenge

The 2nd one is a quilt for the Traditional challenge and this was a gift to my sister and her husband on their wedding day. The quilt is very much used and loved.  


Now all I have to do is wait to see if I get an email asking to send either to NYC... I might just have to bring them in person... Then I could also visit family!

Right now I have to fill out another recruiter's 'on-boarding' packet so I will leave you for now.

Thank you for stopping by!

Ciao for now!
J