January 30, 2006

Monday update

Also known as: New Furniture, A Close Call, and The New Job

New Furniture: We got our new bedroom furniture on Saturday, and now we have the next three years to pay for it! (0% financing, thank goodness!) They were scheduled to arrive between 11 and 2, and of course they didn't get here till after 1 pm- isn't that always how it goes? They were here for well over an hour, putting it all together. It certainly makes the bedroom look smaller, but more finished- it's the first "real" bedroom set that Tom or I have had; it's kind of nice to have a cohesive design in mind for the room. And, it's certainly nice to have more drawer space than we know what to do with! It looks great, although I'm not going to post a picture of it until we get a proper comforter for it- we're still using the queen-size comforter, which just barely fits across the mattress, and it doesn't look the best. There's a big space on the wall above the headboard now, too, which will eventually get filled with a picture, or maybe a Native American wool rug. The bed is pretty tall (it comes up to my hip), so you don't get "up" out of bed, you just get "out" of bed... although it's tall, Sedona can jump on it easily, especially when she's chasing her plush soccer ball- that will certainly come in handy for keeping her in shape as she gets older!

A Close Call: When the furniture delivery guys finally came to the door on Saturday, we were ready for them- Sedona went into her crate in the office, to stay out of the way, we left the front door open so they could start carrying the furniture right into the bedroom, and I sat down at the computer to keep Sedona company. I glanced out the window at our front entry, and thought "boy, that cat by the bushes looks a lot like Phoebe..." then, I realized it was Phoebe! There are a lot of strays around here, so seeing a cat outside our front door isn't all that unusual... at second glance, though, Phoebe does not look like an outdoor cat at all- she's much too well-fed, and obviously clueless to the ways of the world. Needless to say, I dashed right to the door, where Tom was trying to coax her back into the apartment. Thank goodness she didn't try to run away- she kept nosing around, smelling all the new smells, and let me scoop her right up and back into the apartment, where I promptly checked for Cleo, then shut them both in the bathroom for the duration.

The New Job: Today was my first day back to work after the 3 1/2 month hiatus... it was a pretty rude awakening when the alarm went off before it was even light outside! (Although I was already awake- I was pretty nervous...) Traffic was slow this morning, but I got there before 8 am; that was only for today, though- from now on, I will need to be there at 6:30 am, so hopefully I will beat the morning rush. (although it will be very difficult to get up before 5 am, it will be nice to get off work at 3 pm!) My supervisor was only in the office for about 10 minutes after I got there; she was headed to the airport to fly to Illinois for meetings at the corporate headquarters. One of the other QC Technicians showed me around the place and got me started reading procedures. Later, I watched a very boring video about "Environmental Health and Safety" and learned more about specific safety procedures... the same old stuff; every healthcare company has pretty much the same rules, I think. It's a pretty small place, with quite a lot going on- they have a shipping/receiving dock, a small warehouse area, the "shop" area where the IV pumps are repaired (solder, circuit boards and other mysterious stuff), our small QC lab, a few offices, a breakroom, and a conference room. Sedona was okay today in her crate, although that was due in part to the fact that Tom had to come home and pack for a trip, so he let her out before he left for the airport... we'll see how she does tomorrow.

January 25, 2006

craft corner- new crafty shopping option

I recently found a crafts internet shopping site that you might like to check out- www.etsy.com is a site similar to ebay, only all the items listed on Etsy are handcrafted, vintage, or craft supplies. You can find silver or beaded jewelry, cards, art, clothing, polymer clay jewelry, knitted scarves, handmade toys, you name it... Sellers get their own shop space to list their items, and purchasers can buy items from individual sellers- you have to register with the site (registering is free) in order to purchase items, like any other online shopping site.

Anyway, there are tons of cool things on here, but I wanted to tell you about one shop in particular: crimsoncat05.etsy.com which is mine!!! I'm just starting out, so I don't know how it will go yet. It only costs 10 cents per listing, and the site gets a small percentage of the selling fees, so I figured I could afford to try it out and see what happens. There's only so many holidays that I can send you guys cards for, so I thought I'd see if anyone else wanted any of them- LOL!

Let me know what you think, and pass the word, if you like what you see- the Etsy site was only created last June, so it's still growing and not all that well-known, but I think it's a neat way to find unique, handcrafted items!

30 second update

  • Well, today I got a job offer... yay me! I don't think it's my "dream job" or anything (that would be getting paid to read books and make rubberstamped cards- LOL!) but it sounds interesting, and it will help pay the bills. It's a temp-to-hire job with Baxter Healthcare- they have a facility in Phoenix that refurbishes and services all the IV pumps from hospitals west of the Mississippi River. There is a software update that will be happening in the next 6-9 months, so they will be quite busy. My job will be Quality Control, reviewing all the paperwork after the technicians have done the electrical stuff to the IV pumps- lots of paperwork, lots of detail, but I'm used to that. What I'm not used to is getting up early- the hours are from 6:30 am to 3 pm, with the possibility of a couple hours overtime a day, or on Saturday, if it's really busy. They also work on compounders, which are machines the hospital pharmacy uses to mix up the proper dosage drugs- that will be what I learn first, because apparently only one person knows how to do the QC paperwork for those (never a good thing!). I start next Monday, so I'll need to take lots of caffeinated diet soda with me!
  • Tom is still in the Chicago suburbs- he's working in Schaumburg and Palos Park tomorrow, and flying back late tomorrow night. On Sunday , he'll probably head to Pennsylvania where he'll work for about a week; from there he heads to San Francisco. At this rate, he'll have a free plane ticket in no time!
  • I was going to upload a couple pictures here, but Blogger seems to have a hiccup- I shall describe them instead: our Illinois Christmas- Tom with a box of packing "peanuts" (thanks to Mom for those- Sedona likes peanuts!); me trying to wrestle open a box with so much packing tape on it that I'm thinking you must own stock in the company; and Sedona, sort of sulking after getting in trouble for something (I can't remember what, it happens so often!). You'll just have to imagine them till I can get them posted.
  • edit: 5 second weather report: today is the 99th day in the valley without rain... they said on TV That it will be a new record when it hits 101 days.

January 19, 2006

job prospects update

I finally heard back from the temp agency- according to my contact, the company loved my resume and they want to interview me- it's set up for Monday morning, so if you could send some good "job-getting" vibes this way I'd appreciate it! By the way, it's for a position at Baxter- too funny- they're headquartered in Lake County, IL; there was a facility only a couple miles from my house in Round Lake; I move from Illinois to AZ, then I get an interview with them!

30-second Thursday update

also known as Books, Beds, Bright Lights, and Blowing Winds:

I just started reading Jan Karon's new book, Light from Heaven- I was really excited when I saw it at the library, but hadn't wanted to start it. I wanted to delay it as long as possible, because the flyleaf says "the long-anticipated final volume in the beloved Mitford years series..." This series of books is one of the rare ones I find where they seem like real people that I know- Mitford is a place I wish I could visit, and I hate the thought of this being the last one. But like all of them, once I started it, I can't put it down- I'm half through now, and will probably put another dent in it tonight before bed... I'm also reading a 400+ page biography of the artist Georgia O'Keeffe (she did a lot of painting in Santa Fe in the early/mid 20th century), which is interesting, but not near as much. That will definitely have to wait till I'm done in Mitford!

We finally bought a new mattress (king-size!!)... Our old mattress was from Tom's mom's house, we had no idea how old it was, and it was getting really creaky and uncomfortable. We waffled over whether to get the box spring and frame along with it, right up till the time they came to deliver it, then decided to go ahead and buy the furniture we had been looking at- it has a pedestal bed with storage underneath, so we don't need the foundation or frame. Until the furniture is delivered next weekend, we're sleeping on the mattress on the floor- kinda like camping, but a lot more comfortable! It's southwest-style furniture, with lodgepole posts on the bed and a zigzag detail on all the pieces- once it's all delivered and we have matching bedding, I'll post a picture. If it all fits into the bedroom, that is! (just kidding- we know it will fit, we just won't have much room to walk around in there!)

Our apartment complex is changing over all the exterior lights next to the sidewalks from these dim incandescent fixtures to much brighter fluorescent ones- we were dreading it, but they finally got to the one right outside our patio! It's so bright, it shines around the edges of the blinds like someone is right outside with their car lights on! Tom had managed to unscrew the old light bulb without anyone noticing, but this one they probably would... so, for now, a piece of black card stock is blocking the side that faces our apartment. It works fairly well, but won't last long in the elements.

It's been really windy and fairly cold the last couple days; hopefully the wind will die down soon- some rain would be nice, too!

January 14, 2006

30-second update

Today I went to the movies... Walk the Line, starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, about the life of Johnny Cash. I thought it was great! I liked the story, and the music- they did pretty good, considering they actually did the singing themselves. I saw it the theater at the AZ Mills Outlet Mall, so right after I left the theater, I headed to the music store to buy the soundtrack, along with another Johnny Cash CD.

Tom will be home tonight (late!), and last he heard, he doesn't have to be back at the office till Thursday- a couple days of comp time to make up for the 20 hour workdays he's been doing, and working on Saturday (today). It will be nice to have him home for a few days! We have some things we want to do around the house, and we're going to look for new southwest-style bedroom furniture. (The furniture we have, he got for free- it's from the 1970's, and looks it!)

Doggy update- Sedona can now do "give me your paw" flawlessly! Unless she gets too excited- then she gets confused and does "Sit" and "Lay Down" then ends up laying on the floor to get a belly scritch. She finally killed the squeaker in her fuzzy ball, and doesn't like playing ball with it as much anymore- what she does like is to put it under the bed and bark till I get it out for her! This is not my favorite game, let me tell you!

Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th might not have been so bad after all...

I had a job interview for a customer service-type position (requirements- HS diploma, call-center experience and a familiarity with medical terminology) through a staffing agency. The supervisor doing the interviewing read my resume and said "you know you're overqualified for this job. This job is boring... are you sure you want to do something like this?" She was really nice about it, we talked for a little while, and she said she'd pass my resume along to their direct-hire team. She also said if it came down to it, I could call her back in a week or two, and she'd give my resume to the manager, if I really did need the job. (In a nutshell, it would be an extremely repetitive (boring) job taking phone calls all day long, but hey, it would help to pay the bills.)

When I got home, there was a message on the machine from the woman at Kelly Scientific Services, saying the company that has a position open for an IV Pump QC Tester is over their hiring freeze and can actually hire someone. (They were uncertain about this since before Christmas!) This kind of job is a little more up my alley- it actually requires a 4-year degree and experience in a Quality Control enviroment, knowledge of the GMPs (Good Manufacturing Practice regulations) and the FDA- still hourly, but at least it would be using my experience in some fashion.

Hopefully they will call me next week for an interview! You can not imagine how ready I am to be working again! I have done terrible at the "stay-at-home, watch soap operas, and eat bon-bons" thing for the last couple months... LOL! of course I haven't been doing that, but I haven't been making any money, either...

January 12, 2006

more blog inspiration

I have found tons of scrapbooking blogs out there that are chock-full of inspiration and interesting stuff. Here are a few of them, in no particular order (maybe alphabetical, since that's how they came off my favorites list... these are some of the "professional" scrappers; they work in the SB industry, designing for books, magazines, etc. http://aliedwards.typepad.com/ Ali Edwards: SB designer and author

http://cathyzielske.typepad.com/bits_and_pieces/ Cathy Zielske: Simple Scrapbooks magazine and SB book author

http://stacysbigpicture.typepad.com/ Stacy Julian: Simple Scrapbooks magazine editor

http://tenasprenger.typepad.com/ Tena Sprenger, book author, designer

There also seems to be a big SB industry presence in this part of the country- perhaps it's because of the proximity to Utah, where SB first got big, or California? Anyway, it's kind of neat-

Bazzill Basics paper company is headquartered outside Phoenix... I love their cardstock! http://www.bazzillbasics.com/

One of my local SB stores Scrapbooks, etc. has classes on their calendar taught by Heidi Swapp http://heidiswapp.typepad.com/ (she has designed a trendy line of SB stuff- stamps, rub-ons, etc. out right now that's really popular)

The store calendar also has a class by Eva Flake, who designs for Bazzill ( http://www.scrapjazz.com/reviews/283 Bazzill book by Eva Flake ),

and an all day class taught by these two ladies: http://www.carolwingert.typepad.com/ Carol Wingert, book author, designer (who happens to live in Gilbert, AZ)

and http://tenasprenger.typepad.com/ Tena Sprenger, book author and designer

So, one wonders, how do you get into this sort of thing, anyway??? More importantly for me, since I probably won't break into the SB "biz" anytime soon, if ever, how many of these local celebrities (at least they're celebrities in the SB-ing world!) could I meet if I went to the spring Creating Keepsakes convention in Mesa in April??? I'm going to put it on my calendar, just in case!

January 09, 2006

60-second Monday update

It was a beautiful weekend; highs close to 80, no clouds to speak of... Tom made it back okay from Milwaukee on Friday night. In a nutshell, his last trip was grueling (one day was a 19-hour workday, ending at around 3 am!), because they were facing a deadline involving the state occupancy inspection of the facility. So, we didn't do much of anything this weekend- he needed some major recovery time! Saturday Tom finished up some paperwork for his job and did the laundry while I did some scrapping. That evening was our "third Christmas of 2005," meaning we finally had a chance to open the presents my family sent from Illinois- it would have been nicer to have been there, but it was nice to spread Christmas out, too. Yesterday we hung around the house, I took the dog for a bit of a walk, and we ate takeout Chinese in front of the TV. All in all, a pretty uneventful weekend, but sometimes those are nice.
  • 30 second update to the update: Tom is, at this very moment, at the airport waiting to fly to... where else- Chicago! He will be in Milwaukee for a couple days re-programming phones (there was a special feature on the phones that the customer doesn't want, for some reason- go figure!), head back to Northbrook and work a there for a couple more days, then get back late on Saturday nite. There is a possibility that he may turn right around and leave Sunday for a short job in California. And, after that is over, he will (hopefully) get a few days off!!!

craft corner- scrapbook

My first scrapbook page in at least 3 or 4 months. Sorry for the blurry picture... I am trying to figure out how to scan my 12 x 12 inch pages on the 8 1/2 x 11 scanner and "stitch" the pages together electronically, but my first attempt at it was less than adequate, so you'll have to live with the digital picture. I haven't SB'ed since we put the house in IL up for sale (had to pack all my supplies away so as not to frighten away potential buyers!), and had gotten out of the scrapping mood, so I'm really glad I made this page- I thought I had lost the scrapping inspiration altogether. It's titled "2005 in review... it was a very busy (and adventurous) year!" and lists the major highlights of the year. There were quite a few- in February, Tom and I celebrated 1 year together (it seems like its' been so much longer- in a good way!); we spent a week in AZ; we got a dog; we celebrated my 36th and Tom's 35th birthdays; he sold his beloved Impala SS; we made some huge decisions that led to: Tom quitting his job; putting our house up for sale; me quitting my job at Hospira; actually selling the house; and moving to AZ. Now that I've gotten over my scrapper's block, I have the pages from our 2005 AZ trip in process- we visited Sedona and the Grand Canyon, so there are lots of pictures. I also have around 100 pics being developed of the dog and cats, the move here, and more recent events, so I'll have plenty of to work on. Then, of course, there are those all those boxes and envelopes of pics from the past few years, more family pictures and slides I borrowed from Mom and Dad that I want to put into my SB, a heritage recipe album I have ideas for, there are things I've saved from dates Tom and I have gone on, Tom has some scrapbooks from his great-aunt of his high school debate team that are in those nasty magnetic albums... well, you get the idea.

January 05, 2006

30-second Thursday update

Not much to report here... It's beautiful weather here; the high today was 80 degrees, tying the record from 1927. The high tomorrow is supposed to be 79 degrees. But, we are in the middle of a long spell without rain. I'm not sure what the Phoenix winter weather is supposed to be like, but I would think it would rain a little more often than "never since we've been here."
Last night I actually scrapbooked; the first page I've done in at least 3 or 4 months. It is for a challenge on one of my yahoo groups; the title is "2005 in Review" and I think it turned out pretty good. I stayed up late (I seem to be most creative late at night), and fiddled with little details till 2 am... finished it this afternoon. I'll take a picture of it when Tom gets home (he has the camera).
Tom is scheduled to fly back to Phoenix tomorrow evening; this weekend we might go to a Native American Festival in the western suburbs. It should be fun.

January 03, 2006

resolutions- part 2

Since it's January, and I'm in that "Reflect-on-2005, Look-forward-to-2006" kind of mood...
  • Play with the dog more often, and feed her less.
Tom weighed Sedona yesterday, and she weighs 28 lbs!!! She is not supposed to weigh that much- she is only a Shetland Sheepdog, after all, and not an overly large one (in terms of height), at that. I think on top of what we feed her, she sneaks the cat food when we're not looking- no wonder the cats yowl at me so very loudly some days when I'm getting their dinner! Perhaps her love of treats, and her perfect use of the "please-give-me-a-treat" face have something to do with it, since I can't resist it all the time. Her insistent "give-me-the-ball" bark/yip has something to do with it, too, because it is very ear piercing, and sometimes I just take the ball away (after we've played a while) to make it stop. (I'm a bad dog-mom, I know.)
  • Visit some of the places I've only read about.

We've moved halfway across the country, farther west than I've ever been, and I want to see more of it! Tom and I were talking yesterday about vacations, and he asked me which I'd rather visit first, Hawaii or Europe (since he's racking up the frequent flyer miles with his new job!). I'd love to see Europe, but it's kind of sad that in all my 36 years, I've only visited a fraction of these 50 states, so I chose Hawaii. But, there's lots of interesting places (at least they're interesting to me, maybe partly because I've never seen them?) even closer than that, well within our travel reach from Phoenix: Mexico, California (San Francisco, Monterey- I've never seen the ocean!); Seattle, WA; Las Vegas; Albequerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico; Tucson and Tombstone, AZ; any number of historic/natural sites in AZ, Colorado, Utah, Nevada. I think part of it is because we're so different when it comes to going places. Tom is very adventurous- he drove across the country from IL to AZ in his early 20s, camping along the way, visiting National Parks and historic sites as he went... I never would have thought of doing something like that, at that age, or ever! But, maybe as I've gotten older, I've become more adventurous- after all, I'm here in AZ, and a couple years ago I never would of thought of doing something like this, either!

  • Read more often.

I used to read all the time, sometimes with 2 or 3 books going at once. One of my fondest memories from childhood involves the regular Saturday trip to the library, with the feeling of anticipation, smelling the mustiness of the books, poring over them to find just the right ones (finding ones I hadn't read yet- it was a very small library!), and walking out with a huge stack of books that I would relax with all afternoon in the living room recliner. (Thanks, Mom, for keeping track of them all! I know it wasn't me... I have developed a chronic library fine problem over the years, but I like to look at paying library fines as a charitable contribution- LOL!) I've gotten away from reading in the last couple years- maybe meeting Tom had something to do with it? (in a good way, I mean- we do things, spending time together, so reading isn't as much of a priority now), but I do miss the rush of anticipation that hits me when I open a book I know I'm going to love, a la Harry Potter, for example. Perhaps that's part of it, that I'm getting choosier about what books to spend my time on, and I don't go for the typical best-sellers. Our local library isn't all that big, either; it's a Maricopa County Library, since this was once an outlying area to the city (!), but the librarian told me I can get a card for any of the surrounding towns' libraries, even Phoenix. This will definitely go on my to-do list.

  • to be continued, I'm sure...

January 02, 2006

a lifetime supply! (well, almost)

Yesterday I went on a search for SBing supplies at the local Home Depot... I like being able to pop elements of a page or handmade card up on 3D foam tape- the stuff you buy in the SB store is waaay expensive, and is the same stuff. This roll is from the hardware store, it will last me forever (at least quite a while, anyway!), and it was only $10 for 350 inches... I also stopped at WalMart and bought the large size bottle of UnDo, because I have a chronic issue with sticking things down on my page and immediately deciding that I want them somewhere else. Now I'm ready for the ScrapFromYourStash 100 Challenge (although technically I bought this in 2006, I meant to go shopping for it on Saturday, so I'm going to make the executive decision and say it's okay). It's another beautiful day here in the East Valley- over 70, and sunny with a few clouds. I know this isn't a realistic introduction to an AZ winter, because it's been 5-10 degrees warmer than normal for the past few weeks, but I think I'll enjoy it while it lasts! This morning, Tom and I had a leisurely holiday brunch while we watched the rain pour on the Rose Parade (I felt so bad for those poor marching bands!)... Tom made pancakes while I made Denver omelets and baked sugar-free Grands cinnamon rolls- it was all delish, and we both felt like taking a nap right after we finished eating! Instead, we took down Christmas and put it all away. It's always sort of sad to put all the Christmas decorations away, but we have so little space in our apartment that it also looks a lot more open.