Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry me

A few weeks ago, I received an award at work for a project that I completed earlier this year.  The project reduced our programming time on our components at our production facility by 50% and improved our drawing quality (I removed approximately 60% of the dimensions from a single type of drawing and we produced thousands of these drawings every year).  After I received the award, I was able to transfer the amount to Amazon gift cards, so I bought myself a Christmas Accuquilt Go! Cutter.
I haven't had a chance to take it out of the box yet, but I can't wait to try it out.  Other quilters have said they love it and it speeds up their cutting time AND makes their quilts better since there is less variation in the piece parts of the quilt.  Along with the cutter shown above, I was able to purchase some extra dies.  I bought the 2.5" strip die, tumbler die, apple core die, and a die with multiple sized stars on it.  The cutter also came with some dies, 2.5" square, some half-square triangle dies and a 4.5" square die.

I'm pretty psyched about trying it out, although I probably won't be able to open it up until after Christmas.  I have to work through Wednesday morning this week and then I'll have to prepare for Christmas since we are hosting Rich's family at our house for Christmas day, then traveling to my parents to spend a few days with them for Christmas.

On other good notes, Rich and I went for a nice walk at our property on Saturday.  The river in the back of the property was mostly frozen over, but there were areas where the water was flowing freely.  Since the ground was pretty solid from the cold weather we've had, we even found our way through the "swampy" area to get back to the front of our property.  It was really pretty out there and it was so quiet and relaxing.  Hearing the water flow was amazing and that's all you could kids/people.  We also saw lots of animal tracks.  There were rabbits, chipmunks/mice, deer, a fox or something like that and turkey tracks.  We think we may have seen coyote tracks, too, but we're not sure.

On Sunday, we did some Christmas shopping in the morning and were back at the house by lunchtime.  At about 2:30, we got a call that someone wanted to see the 3:30!  So it was a mad scramble to clean up the house in less than an hour.  We did as much as we could (put things away, cleaned up the kitchen, cleaned the bathrooms, swept the floor), but we didn't get the carpets vacuumed or cleaned the showers.  The real estate agent apologized for the short notice and we explained the few areas we didn't clean (there were a few dishes in the sink because the dishwasher had just been run a little while before that).  They didn't mind at all since we were so accommodating and letting them see the house on short notice.  Ultimately, they liked the house (as the agent thought they would) and they are comparing it to a similar type house in Clifton Park.  They are a little concerned about the taxes, but they are weighing it with the higher cost of a similar house in Clifton Park.  Hopefully it will turn out well for us. :-)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


This year has absolutely flown by!  How did it get to be the middle of December???

I'm sorry to say that I haven't been very good at posting on here.  I'm not sure if its a case where I've just been lazy or that I've felt like I have had nothing worthwhile to say.  Maybe its a little bit of both.

Rich and I have been fairly busy the past few weeks trying to get ready for the holidays.  Work always seems to get crazy this time of year because: 1) manufacturing wants to ship by the end of the year, 2) performance appraisals are due, 3) funding gets determined for next year and for programs that don't have funding next year, we have to finish everything this year.  On top of the work stuff, there's all the preparation for the Holidays.

Christmas shopping is not one of my fortes and, to be honest, I'm kind of sick of it.  I don't like all the commercialization of Christmas these days and just about everyone in my family can buy whatever they want or need, so it makes it difficult to find the good gift.

I think lately its just been a case where I feel truly overwhelmed by life.  While sometimes it doesn't seem like we have much going on, somehow I always feel harried and rushed.  I haven't had time to just relax and not worry about things.  Even our trip to the Bahamas was stress-leaden.

Our first flight out of Albany to Charlotte was delayed in Albany due to a fuel leak.  So the 50 minute layover we originally had dwindled down to less than 5 minutes.  We had to run through the Charlotte airport and got to the next gate just as they were loading our zone.  Then on that flight, I was lucky enough to be sitting next to a kid who sounded like he was trying to hack up a lung.  We finally got to the Bahamas and picked a "short" line at customs.  Well, it was definitely a poor choice.  Every single person in front of us was going to the Bahamas on a work visa and there were problems with all of them.  So it took us 1.5 hours to get through immigration.

Our actual stay at the Sandals resort was pretty good.  We expected the food to be a little better than what it was, but the view and beach were perfect.  Several nights we had trouble finding someplace to eat because only certain restaurants would be open and some you had to have reservations and they were booked solid.  We didn't even end up eating at the French-styled restaurant because Rich ended up getting sick.  We think he had some bad veal, but it kind of made the end of the trip not much fun.  Most of the last full day we were there was spent in our room and not down at the beach.  Then because he wasn't feeling well, the entire trip home was very stressful.

At this point, I've been stressed out for so long that my entire body hurts.  Yesterday, I got to the point where I could barely move my head because my neck was so tense.  I just can't wait for my vacation to start next week.  Maybe I'll actually be able to relax over the holidays, although it won't happen until at least after Christmas day, since we're hosting Rich's family at our house for Christmas.

Anyway - enough griping....  Eventually I might get some more pictures on here, but I think for the time being, this may be a venting tool again.  :-(