It’s the end of June….

2020 is half over. How many are excited to see it end?

Wipocalypse 2020 Question is how are you doing on the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year?

How many of you feel like January was more than 6 months ago? How many feel like real life ended in March and you’ve been in either hibernation or a horror movie for the last 3 months?

I feel like I’ve been in hibernation. I went into quarantine with plans to stitch like crazy while on work from home meetings. It wasn’t 2 weeks in when my kids suggested that I get a switch lite to help with stress reduction. I told them I wasn’t stressed. My oldest son told me to sit down and explained that even if I thought I wasn’t stressed, this was the first time he’s ever seen me swear while trying to thread needles.

So I bought a Switch Lite and Animal Crossing New Horizons. I have a 5 star island and play daily which hasn’t helped my stitching time. I also haven’t done much writing or made a new floss tube video but I’ve been doing well at work and my team is amazing.

But for the last three months, I’ve been on auto drive. I’ve played video games and done not much else but work, eat food my amazing husband prepares. I’m up 10 pounds and I’m having problems with my hands and feet swelling and going numb while I sleep. It’s partially menopause, partially stress, partially not drinking enough water and eating too much salt, and sleeping in a way that impinges the ulnar nerve. It makes me not want to stitch much.

I started the year with goals to participate in WIPGO 2020, the purple peppermint Blackwork SAL and plans to finish several large WIPs this year.

As far as I’ve done on Purple Peppermint Blackwork SAL

I didn’t actually start the Purple Peppermint SAL in January but everyone’s work started looking so good, I couldn’t resist anymore and I started it and then I didn’t like the way it was looking and I stopped. I had forgotten that Blackwork works better worked from a diagonal, horizontal or vertical pattern. I know it will get better after I finish the first row and roll the fabric but for the moment, I’m having trouble motivating myself to work on it.

My first start of quarantine and what I work on when not gaming.

I thought it might help to have a project near my desk for when meetings got boring. Considering that I started it the end of March, it has some progress but not as much as it could have been.

The only thing finished during quarantine which isn’t a video game.

I did actually finish something though. This square was on my WIPGO list and I did actually complete it, looking at my chart I finished it May 6, 2020.

I have done at least a 1000 new stitches on this during the year.

My WIPGO board had 1000 stitches per square on this project. I did finish 1000 stitches on June 1, 2020 but I’m behind by 2 squares so it still needs 2000 stitches for me to be caught up. However, I look at it and I just can’t seem to motivate myself. In fact, in an attempt to motivate myself to stitch more, I started this Waxing Moon Designs.

My 2nd quarantine start

Here’s hoping that I can start waking up out of this hibernation and actually start getting things accomplished towards the goals that I set back in January. However, I’m not really planning on accomplishing much this year if it continues the way it has since March.

May started out so well…

The first week of May was amazing, graduations, a wedding, and a new GFB (Grand Fur Baby) but it went downhill from there.

May 12,2020 I was on a virtual stitching group when my sister phoned, I didn’t pick it up but then she called my husband – my family rarely calls in-laws so I knew it was important. She was calling to tell me my younger brother had passed while mountain biking with his son.

The coroner pronounced it a cardiovascular event not a bike accident and family emotions were high as the widow tried to hold a traditional funeral in times of social distancing. I gave the life sketch – a combination of reading the obituary and stories from his life. A better experience was the family only graveside service.

The other bad thing occurring in May is my hands are not just going numb but extremely painful. I’m thinking it’s related to the amount of gaming I’m doing and tension. It’s not carpal tunnel but it could be an ulnar entrapment or a neck or shoulder impingement. It makes it next to impossible to stitch but I’ve managed to put a few stitches into things.

Peppermint Blackwork SAL

However, I did this much on the Peppermint Blackwork SAL and decided that I’m not happy with the fabric or maybe it’s the thread choice. I’m trying to decide if I should stick with this fabric and change the thread colors or start over with the same threads but a different fabric. Would appreciate thoughts on it.

Magical Mystery Tour by Blackbird Designs

I did get some done on Magical Mystery Tour for DH – I’m taking the Blackbird Designs pieces and putting them on a single piece of fabric. this is Strawberry Fields and Octopus’s Garden.

Tony Minieri’s Stars for a New Millennium

I did get a full block done on Stars for a New Millennium. Some friends realized I needed some girl time and I’m occasionally doing virtual stitch time with them.

It was a busy weekend

It started Friday with virtual graduation.

And continued on Saturday with a wedding…

And Sunday we added a grand-furbaby.

Meet Gimli

And sometime over the weekend my husband dislocated his clavicle and is headed to the doctor today.

March Wipocalypse post

Question of the Month: Have you ever adopted a piece from someone else or gave up a piece to someone else? Which piece and why?

The world has changed and I have time to stitch and blog and hey, why not go back to the Wipocalypse?

So the question for this month is about adopting a WIP – I have several I’ve adopted when friends lost the ability or desire to stitch and I’ve given one to someone else to ghost stitch. This is Oh Christmas Tree that I’ve given to Carleen to stitch because I seem to be blocked when it comes to working on it.

As for pieces I’ve adopted, I actually have several in my current rotation that are adopted from Erica Gonzalez when she stopped stitching. Tempest is an adopted piece.

This is the first of Erica’s adopted pieces that I actually finished.

There are older adopted pieces from other sources that I’ve finished but I’m not willing to go search for any more pictures since it’s been years since I finished those. Most are because the original person stopped stitching and the patterns were on my want to stitch list.

I thought I had a picture of Erica’s Noah’s Sub in my wordpress gallery but I’m not finding it. That is the next new start in my rotation list but who knows when I will get to it. I keep saying I will finish 2 pieces before starting new things but I’ve started lots of new things without finishing anything. Like the Magical Mystery tour.

Now I’m off to update my planner because it hit me I don’t think I’ve put my last two starts into the spreadsheet.

A cleansing ritual between jobs.

Last April I started a job on the day my severance package ran out. The interview had been promising and I liked all the people I met. Two months in however I was frustrated and couldn’t put a finger on why.

The new boss turned out to be a micromanager and I always read disdain in his manner during our 1:1 conversations. My team had no cohesion and talked behind each other’s backs instead of to each other. I tried to avoid falling into the same pattern but found myself gossiping and in despair. I tried to work with the scrum master to help the team break the patterns I saw but he told me that was just the company culture and it would be too hard to break but he would be willing to try some experiments.

I started looking for other jobs. Then things started to get better and I stopped looking thinking maybe this could turn out alright. Then my boss blindsided me and told me the team was complaining about me and he didn’t think I could recover their confidence. He told me my main job duty was to find a new job. And I found one.

It was so nice to write that resignation letter. I kept it to one sentence. Thank you for the experience of working here, my last day is March 6.

So I start the new job on Monday and I knew I needed something to detoxify from the old situation. I called around to a few spas and found a Saturday appointment for an ultimate body cleanse. It sounded perfect and it was.

I was encouraged to arrive an hour early to spend time in the steam room and sauna. Which I did. The steam room did my lungs a world of good.

Following that pretreatment, I spent 10 minutes in a warm, heavy robe in the meditation room and was escorted to a Vichy shower room by my therapist. In the shower room I laid on a terry covered table and warm water sprayed down while the therapist worked an exfoliating scrub over my skin. She cleaned off the calluses on my feet and ended the treatment in the Vichy room by washing my hair. I love having my hair washed. From there we moved to a regular massage room where I had a deep tissue massage and mini-facial. The pedicure part was finished with a hot foot wrap.

Today I still feel amazing. My skin is soft and everything moves without any stiffness and soreness. She found so many places where I had been holding tension. My jaw, my neck, my hands, my low back and hips, everything is working again and it was the perfect transition.

I’m ready to take on the world and a new team.

Found my word for 2020

Why did I stop ending my day by reading Og Mandino’s scroll 7? Listening to it today, I nearly cried. I so needed to hear the message of laughing at the world all last year. This year, I will laugh at the world. Humans have the ability to laugh, no other animal can truly laugh. In 10 years, will any of what happened today still sadden me? Okay, I’m still a bit ticked that I spent New Year’s Eve 1999 by myself at the office (Thank you Y2K) but I came home to a house I had been in for 6 months and it’s still wonderful. This past year, I started not knowing how long we could keep the house if I didn’t find a new job. I start this new year, knowing that I need to find a new job. Either a new role in the same company or a new role in a new company. This year though, I know I have the ability to keep the house for at least a year if I don’t find something new soon. This is my year. I will be better than ever before, I will sell more than ever before, I will conquer and help more people than ever before. Last year my word for the year was connection and I did better with it than I would have without it.
I haven’t selected a new word for this year but the word that has been coming to mind more and more is FOCUS.
This year I will have FOCUS, I will focus on my family. I will have focus on a new role. I will have focus on my hobbies and completing works in progress. I will FOCUS on the important and avoid the distractions the enemy puts in my way.


Focus on the needs of others. Focus on what needs to be done and Focus on what needs to be eliminated.

Diverting myself

Yesterday I passed my test for my AWS Cloud practitioner certification. It was a cause for celebration but it was not a healthy study pattern. I started the AWS course in August and delayed and delayed. It wasn’t until I realized I wasn’t going to make my goal to finish it before year end.

Around Thanksgiving when I realized I was out of time, I booked the last time available in the year for the test. That gave me 3 weeks to study. I did a bit of haphazard work until a week before the test. Then I crammed for 4 days. I was sure I was going fail and had a backup plan. I was cramming on my way to the test center. The test doesn’t give me a score, it just says I passed. And I got my logos by email.

So I can officially use these logos on resumes and websites about me.

But this wasn’t a healthy way to get the certification. And as I look around at other things in my life, I wonder what happened to my healthy habits? When did I start hanging out with my buddy procrastination? Why does my phone see my face more often than my family?

It seems that I have a lot to work on this new year. I expect a lot of comments about 2020 being a year of clarifying vision. As much as that makes me cringe, it may not be a bad thing to have FOCUS as a theme for next year.

My word for 2019 was connection and I can see places where I failed but I can also see where I have moved forward from last year.  This year also gave me a lot to think about and taught me how easily I have let others manipulate me. I’m getting help for it and there are behavior changes I need to make. What are your plans for the new year? Do you have a habit of evaluating your year and planning out the next one?

New family this year.

Earlier this year, Ancestry helped us find my husband’s father. We have new family and tonight we were invited to a Christmas party. The yard was festive.

And the chicken was at the party but not in party dress.

See my new Aunt Marianne travels with the chicken. Rather the chicken travels and takes Marianne along for the ride.

It reminded me of the woman who comes to FanX with her stuffed Totoro and pays for Totoro to have photo ops with celebrities.

I also saw my first chicken Nativity.

It was a great party with cocoa and cookies and lots of people. It’s really fun having family again on that side.

This week, I’m studying for my AWS practioner exam and trying to get an emergency release out at work. Luckily my holiday preparation is pretty much done just waiting on UPS and FedEx. Thank goodness no more of the packages are coming through OnTrac. I have a really horrible record with them saying they delivered something and it not making it to the house.

However, I feel really bad about telling Target that my movie didn’t arrive on Thursday as OnTrac reported. See the movie is now out of stock so Target gave me a refund Saturday night when I reported the missing item. Guess what arrived from OnTrac Sunday afternoon? Is there any way I can have Target stop processing my refund?

I did find the movie at Barnes and Noble and it’s on order there. I would have cancelled it but it’s already processing so I can’t cancel. I’m not too worried about having 2 copies since the kids are already claiming the spare copy.

Thought for today: Did you ever have a mess up at Christmas ever be a good thing?

Would love to hear your story in the comments

Productive Weekend

Last year, I took the month of December off from job hunting and participated in Flossmas stitching. I did quite a few ornaments but didn’t get them finished/finished. As in, I have a pile of completed stitching but no actual ornaments. This year, I kicked off the holiday weekend by stitching ornaments that I plan to give to co-workers. I have 5 co-workers that I think would appreciate stitched gifts, mainly because three of them marked the ones they wanted in my 2019 JCS ornament issue. One said she appreciated the offer but thought I was being ambitious stitching that many ornaments so if I get the time to do one for her, just pick one. The fifth was busy in meetings.

This weekend, we also brought up all the Christmas boxes and went through them. Three trees, 2 centerpieces and all the plastic ornaments and a box of green glass ornaments are headed out of the house. Some of the Christmas candles are headed to the emergency essentials storage others have never been used and will be gifts this year.

My word for 2019 was connection and usually decorating has been my jam and the rest of the family participated as directed. This year, I’m asking for more help and trying to make it more of a family event since their are only 2 of us left. I’m hoping we can do more of the house than usual but if Christmas is banished to just the front room and entry way, then that is what will be done. I didn’t get out the village of ceramic houses because I’m not sure where I would put the Christmas village. There really hasn’t been a good place to set it up in this house. I could take the dining room table but DH would like to entertain and needs that table free.

If three trees are leaving the house, what are you putting up as a tree, Stasha? I used to put up 3 trees so the 3 windows facing the street would each have a tree in them and each child would have a tree to decorate. However, last year Santa took the place of the tree on the landing and that will continue this year too. DH feels that having only one tree would be a good thing to start doing. He liked the idea of starting fresh so picked a new LED pre-lit tree for us to put up.

I’ve never had a white tree before. He had one of the silver aluminum trees with the light box to make it change colors as a child. Growing up, we always had the pinion pine trees with the long needles. I loved the smell of the pine, that meant Christmas. When we first married, I would find a free pines trees close to Christmas. Once we bought a house, DH bought an artificial tree and gave the excuse of not wanting to have a fire hazard in the house. I knew it worried him so I haven’t pushed for a fresh tree since. We have had a few years where we did get a real dead pine for the house but those years were few and far between. Mainly it’s been because $50-$100 could do more for the family than it would buying a tree to be thrown out.

As we went through the bins to decide what stayed and what went, I decorated. All that needs to be done now is decorate the tree and put up the garland on the stair rails.

I’ve decided that I can’t afford to lose time in my job search. So this year, after I’ve applied to a position every evening, then I can work on finishing ornaments. Christmas break, I’ll work on the wedding quilt which needs to be finished by May 6th.

It’s been an interesting year

  • Not wanting to write should have been a sign.
  • Not wanting to stitch should have been a warning.
  • Sitting and playing stupid match three games and hiding from everyone and everything should have screamed at me but I ignored it.

A year ago today, I lost an amazing job when the company reorganized. My job search led to some unforeseen places which connected our family to my husband’s birth family and I stepped back from what I had been doing at the amazing job to what I had done previously. Going backwards is not a good thing.

I miss being on the road. I haven’t traveled at all this year. I really want to get back to being a road warrior. So if you know of anyone looking for someone to visit customers and help with implementation, demo software at trade shows, help with customer trainings and be a point of contact for escalation, let me know.