Our experiment this year…

Last August while we were on vacation, my husband, Chef John, had an idea. He wanted to spend a year not eating out, we would be cooking at home. Looking at social media, other people had tried it but most had failed at about 5 weeks. You should know. My husband is technically challenged. He crashed the federal government computer systems when he created his H.U.D. account. However, he wanted to blog about the experiment. After a really rocky start, he got the blog working. He’s posting on either Monday or Tuesday every week and we have now been three weeks without eating out.

This challenge came at a great time, I’m between jobs and it’s amazing how much we’ve saved not eating out already. I haven’t lost any weight but my blood pressure has tested in the normal range for the first time in years.

Anyway, you can follow our adventures eating in this year at BlackForgeKitchen.com – please, leave a comment there to encourage the hubby in this idea.

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WIPocalypse 2019 – first post of the Year – Introduce yourself

I didn’t make all of my WIPocalypse posts last year but that’s okay, this is a fun hobby and too many rules spoil the fun. I would also like to preface my plans by saying – I’m between jobs and finding a new pre-sales job or product/project management job may change all my plans.

Last year I signed up for 2 annual SALs – Into the Jungle by Frosted Pumpkin and Class Schedule by Armada Designs. My goal was to complete each section the month I got it. Into the Jungle made it through April and then fell to the wayside as I started to travel for work. I have completed 2 months of Class Schedule which is also the same amount of sections I completed in the 2017 SAL from Clouds Factory – the fabulous women. This year I was not planning to join any SALs but then Annette from Annette’s Acre mentioned the Fuzzy Fox SAL and I was lost when I saw the preview so not only have I joined the Fuzzy Fox SAL, I dropped my plans for the first week of January to work on the first block and I should finish it tonight.

My plans this year before discovering the Fuzzy Fox SAL were to participate in the Year of WIPs and finish off the following pieces.

On the top left is my counted needlepoint piece – Stars for a New Millenium by Antony Minieri. I started this in 2012 when the SAL group for it start on The Wagon. The Wagon was a bulletin board where stitchers hung about before Facebook was a thing. I’m down to 6 blocks and the border to finish it. This will count as 6 finishes in the Year of WIPs (YOW) challenge.

The top Right is Dragon Ride by Teresa Wentzler – I have the Dragon, the over 1 rider and the backstitching left to finish and it will be done. I started it in July 2000 on Sapphire Linen using the Anchor floss listed in the magazine. Interestingly when the pattern was re-printed on Patterns online, it used a different Anchor key which threw me off when I tried to use that pattern after misplacing my magazine. I’m glad I found the magazine again. It count’s as 1 piece for YOW 2019 but will show up as 3 or 4 stories on the Decision Roulette wheel.

Middle Left – Frosted Pumpkin Into the Jungle – You can see only 4 sections were completed so I have 8 sections and the header and footer to finish. That will count as 9 finishes for the YOW 2019. I don’t remember what fabric I used for it, I know it was something from stash and I was too lazy to do a conversion so it’s stitched in DMC.

Middle Right – Class Schedule by Armada Designs – Completed January and February leaving 10 months to complete.

Bottom Left – Magic Mini Monsters SAL by Fuzzy Fox Designs – the goal is to stay current on this which means a release 2x a month. I’m on track to complete the first section tonight. I haven’t finished the center or the border yet so those will become segments in the sections where they appear again.

Bottom Right – Tempest in a Teacup by Teresa Wentzler – I inherited this WIP from Erica Gonzalez when she sold off all her stash because her eyesight was going and she needed money to launch her new business. This is the perfect travel piece as long as I take magnifying glasses with it.

This is my plan for the year. It’s a lot of stitching. I put all the segments into my decision roulette and I’m spinning it each time I finish a piece. So far it seems to be working but it’s only the 1st Sunday of the year and I’m still working on the piece that came up on the first spin. We’ll see how it works out this year. Last year’s plans made it to April when I got a new job and this year, I need a job by March. If you know anyone who needs someone to help out their sales force by putting together amazing demos and training customers on new products – let me know.

Are you stupid?

We watched a video recently where the interviewer would go to people and ask them if they were stupid.  The correct answer he was looking for was Yes because you can’t be an expert in everything and everyone has more to learn.

Well I definitely have a lot more to learn and I need to do better at remembering that when people ask me the same questions over and over it’s because they are learning from me and as annoying as it gets, it’s a signal that how I’m teaching isn’t getting through.

Occasionally, I can’t fix annoying things like why this page says Shondra’s blog in the title when my name is Stasha and never has been Shondra. I’ll admit that right now this page forwards to WordPress and they would like me to upgrade from a free page to a monthly paid page and they keep suggesting the name Shondra’s blog for me so it may be a WordPress thing.  Honestly, at one point I looked into trying to see how I could move everything from WordPress to my own domain but failed miserably at it.  Probably because there is a lot of history out there on this blog and I got impatient.  It’s a new year though and I could use some new skills so things could still change.

Any suggestions on an inexpensive host that plays well with WordPress and YouTube?

 

What a difference a month makes…

Sometimes life lets you know you’re too comfortable. My entire department was laid off on December first so I’m looking for work and stitching Flossmas to stay calm and busy.

I’ve finished stitching four ornaments, applied to 14 jobs, had one reach interview stage, took the kids to see Santa, and baked cookies.

4th Quarter has been good this year…

When I started with my new department in April, I fell off my stitching plans for the year. I had only planned for 5 finishes for the full year if everything went according to plan. Well being out of town keeps one from working on SAL’s every week. I did start working on some great travel pieces – Dragonite from Armada Designs and Tiger Lily by Mirabilia.

Just so you know, in October my doctor grounded me and I had surgery to remove a uterine tumor. It turned out to be 1/4 of my uterus so I ended up with a hysterectomy. This meant I had a full week off work and after day 3 I was feeling fine and started stitching like crazy to keep from being bored. It didn’t take long to have two finishes.

Here is Ecology Tote from Herrschners free patterns which will be donated to my daughter’s boss to auction at the annual conference of exotic animal veterinarians.

And I started and finished the ANG Florentine Heart starting with Autumn Rays Watercolors as my base to work from.

It was when I went to record these finished in my Work in Progress (WIP) spreadsheet that I realized how far I had fallen off my plans for the year. By October, I was supposed to have finished Stars for a New Millennium, Ecology and be current on all 3 of the annual SALs I had agreed to participate in. Yeah, that didn’t happen.

I’m still on March for the year of Fabulous women, in October I had only done January on my Class Schedule SAL and Into the Jungle, I did start the May block but I haven’t stitched all the frames or the borders that came with February. Since everything was off schedule, I decided to use the decision wheel to pick my weekly stitching for the rest of the year. The first week it came up with Stars for a New Millenium so I was feeling really good about that and finished Gary Cooper.

Next came Rose Fairy by Joan Elliott and I finished 2 more rows on her. Then Class Schedule came up and I knew I didn’t want a large goal because I plan to work on that as part of my 18 Wips in the Year of WIPs for 2019. The goal was the title and February Potions class. I finished those by Wednesday and spun the wheel again. It came up new start so I spun the new start wheel and landed on Blue Florentine Heart. I started and finished that.

Outside of the wheel though, I started and finished my Thanksgiving Medley that I picked up at Shepherd’s Bush when we went in August 2017 with Sego Lily chapter of EGA. I was planning to work on it during the election since it’s usually dead – big mistake we were swamped all day processing same day registrations. It was so busy we didn’t get any breaks, the Sandy Mayor saw how crowded it was and brought in pizza. I’m hoping that no one snapped a picture of me eating while working.

Here is Heart in Hand Thanksgiving Medley.

And I have a new Flosstube video up.

I usually shoot on my tablet but after having another no sound disaster, J had me use an actual camera with a microphone which meant I had to edit and all sorts of stuff. By the way, I used iMovie and the return of YouTube Studio. I did try to leave it as close to live as I could.

Have you thought about a personal history?

I’ve been feeling like I should write more.  I used to write quite frequently (according to my archives). In an attempt to find more topics, I found a great little books of writing prompts.  Looking through them, not only may they be interesting but they could provide a way to leave a personal history for my children and grandchildren.
I know that many of my ancestors kept journals and I’m not sure what happened to them but sometimes I wish I had access to them just to know what life was like in that day.  What did they think about?  I have a few stories that I asked my grandmother and great grandmother but as I get older, the questions change and they aren’t  around to ask.

I’ve been told that one of my great grandmothers journals was mainly to do lists and grocery lists and budgets.  That still would be an interesting look at her life and a historical record.  So often we think that what the future wants to know about is the exciting things that happen but not all of life is exciting.  So much of life is what happens between adventures.

So how do you live between the adventures and with whom do you share that information?

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,000 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 17 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Life happens

Life happens and the best laid plans often go awry and plans to blog weekly turn into “Oh wow, it’s been over a month since I posted anything.” I’ve been on Facebook and the boards but just not here. One board I belong to has a weekly WIP Wednesday post. It would be easy to post that here as we’ll as there. So maybe you’ll see me more often.

WordPress says this is my 600th post

The question is with which statistics?   Does that include everything converted over from Tblog and Blogger?

Frankly, I’m not sure the tblog stuff ever converted over, I should look into that.  I do know there are issues with some of the blogger pictures but I haven’t been motivated enough to look into it. Frankly motivation has been an issue of late.  Usually I have too many things I’m passionate about and have trouble deciding what to do.  Lately though, the only thing that interests me is hiding from the world by playing games on my iPhone.  It’s a totally unproductive activity and produces nothing.

It doesn’t add to my knowledge base, it doesn’t add to my network connections, it isn’t helping me find a new job, it doesn’t improve my chances of keeping the job I have, it doesn’t do anything to help me on achieving the goals I’m working toward, and it certainly doesn’t contribute to completing any of my hobby projects.  It’s strictly an escape.  I’ve learned one thing in life, if you need an escape, books are better places to do it than video games.  At least you come out of it with a better understanding of characters and life.  Very few of the video games I like teach life lessons.  Portal being the exception.  Maybe I’ll go do some science…

Threads in the Pensieve…

If you’re worried about pleasing people, how long will it be until you run into someone for whom pleasing them will mean giving up your values?
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According to Glamour, women hit their sexual peak at 40 and men at 18. Trouble is at 18 men don’t have a clue what they’re doing, and 40 year old women know what they want and an 18 year old doesn’t have that kind of patience.
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Hope is goal oriented. Without a dream or a goal what is there to hope for?
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Why is it that when people are thinking about dieting they suddenly become worried about my weight?