Sunday, November 30, 2008

Car shopping.............yuk!

Well, tomorrow we get up early and will head to Toronto to try and find a new vehicle. We looked everywhere in Peterborough........nothing! Well, when I say nothing, I mean not what we're looking for in a vehicle.
Our budget dictates that we can only spend what the insurance company gave me for my car. Since we will be down to one vehicle now, we've decided that the most practical car is a minivan. It can be any older than a 2004 and can't have any more than 100,000 kms. on it.
I HATE car shopping when it's going to be a used vehicle. In spite all the care you take, you still never know for sure what problems may lie ahead.
I'm really disappointed that I will no longer have my own car. I know that sounds so stupid, but, the feeling of independence it gives one is wonderful...however, as I've said in the past, my new mantra is "It is what it is"
Gosh, I sure hope we have good luck! The weather forecast is calling for a major snow storm tomorrow, so it could be a fun ride up and a fun ride home....either way, it's going to be a long day.

Friday, November 28, 2008

A crafting day....finally!

With all the nonsense pertaining to settling issues after one's car is totally written off, I finally got word that the settlement cheque will be here on Monday. Unfortunately, we won't. We've looked all over our home town for a replacement vehicle and there is nothing! Soooo, on Monday we have appointments in and around the Toronto area to go look at some used vehicles. On our budget, used is all we can afford and we can only afford one vehicle. It really sucks that I will no longer have my own vehicle, as I feel so much more independent with one I can call mine.. that's not in the cards. We went on and have found four minivans that will do OK, assuming they are in good shape. We'll do a CarFax on them, test drive them, etc. etc. and then decide. By the time this is all said and done, we will have lost almost four complete days dealing with all of I sure hope we find something on Monday. I don't like shopping for vehicles, especially when they are used. It's always a bit of a gamble and used car dealers are a pain the butt to deal with for the most part...oops, there I go making generalities again!
I am spending most of today working on some custom plates I have to get done and tying up all the loose ends to outfitting an apartment for my nephew and his daughter. One of my cousins has worked so hard helping with all of this. In fact, I couldn't have done all of this without the major, major contribution she has made. A definite angel here on earth!
I am SO far behind in terms of getting ready for Christmas! I am usually so organized and usually have almost everything done by this time.... NOT THIS YEAR!!!!
Oh well, I'm so physically and mentally tired at the moment, that I've resigned myself to the fact everything may not likely be the way I usually like it. As I stated before in one of my posts, 'it is what it is'.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Birthday to my 'little man'

Today, is my grandson's birthday. He is officially 4 years old.
It was going to be a busy day for us, as I had to go in to the local State Farm Insurance Co. to turn over the ownership of my wrecked vehicle and to take all the repair receipts from the past year. The claims person said they might be able to give me more money if I'd spent it on aftermarket parts in the last year. I got the settlement quote and it's a little bit lower than I expected but the insurance company has been terrific through this process so far.
My husband had to have some medical tests done today as well.
I asked my daughter to call us on our cell phone after she picked up our grandson from daycare so I could sing 'Happy Birthday' to him. She did and I did. He was so cute! I sang 'Happy Birthday' and he laughed and thought that was pretty neat.
Later in the evening, they called again to say he'd opened his birthday present from his 'Grammie and Papa' and it was one of those 'Imaginex' dinosaurs. He told me on the phone that it was a 'way cool' dinosaur. He then proceeded to turn it on and wanted me to listen to it roar and growl. My daughter said it was the biggest hit in the gift department...yeah! I love when I get him something he enjoys.
We then went to the 'Festival of Trees' where I had donated and decorated one of the trees to be sold for a fundraiser for our local hospital. I'll post pictures maybe tomorrow. This year my theme was 'M & M's in honour of our two grandchildren whose names both begin with 'M'. I had been collecting things for a year. I was disappointed with the Mars company as I had called for donations but had no luck. Some of the trees were absolutely magnificent! My tree was 4 ft. high but some were 10 ft. high.....spectacular and so, so creative....a fun night. This festival goes on all week with different activities, galas, house tours, auctions etc. Tonight was family night and my cousin and his family were the opening entertainment. They are a very talented family and very well known in this town. My cousin is an entertainer as his full time work and he also earns money writing jingles for commercials, guy and really, really funny!

Friday, November 21, 2008

A bit of a difficult week.......

There have been too many things to list about the week, but the most difficult were my little grandaughter having to go to the hospital the first of the week. This gave her parents a scare and needless to say the whole family was worried. She is OK now, thank God. Then Wednesday night, my husband was driving home from the hockey game and it was snowing badly. A lady going the opposite way lost control and smashed head on into my husband. He too, we hope will be OK. We were at emergency til early am and after CT Scans, various other tests and then stitching up the gashes in his hand we were sent home. Today, I think the aftershock of it all is really kicking in. He is way more sore today, his hand is hurting and he has so many black and blue marks that keep coming. My husband was driving my car, so I had to go to the collision place today to collect all my belongings in the car and to get the plates off. It is a total write off. After seeing the damage to my car, I am so amazed that my husband didn't suffer more's unbelievable. There's at least half of the front end of my car missing. The windshield is totally smashed from my husband's head hitting it even with the air bag deploying...absolutely amazing!
Then Thursday, we had to use my husband's van to do some errands regarding the accident and then we were suppose to pick up a rental car for me that my insurance company provides with the policy. I was driving as my husband was still in too much discomfort. We were heading to get the rental car, when all of sudden his van started making these grinding sounds and a lot of other really ugly sounds. It stopped and I managed to get it restarted and we decided to turn into a plaza just in case. As we got in to the plaza, it completely died. Well, today we found out it's on it's way to 'car heaven' The mechanic said the engine is completely shot and with 300,000 kms. on it that's it....done! So now we don't have either car. So we now are waiting to find out how much we'll get from the insurance company so we can buy a vehicle. With our financial situation, we will have to go down to one vehicle. I don't particularly like car shopping, especially used, but I'm hoping with the car dealers suffering with the economy, we'll hopefully find a decent car for the money.
For all the hassles and worries for both my little grandaughter and my husband, we are still blessed by comparison to so many. So, we'll move on and be grateful for the many other blessings we have in our lives.
I did sell a couple of my photos this week from my new studio so that was a morale booster.
I am still having so much trouble with fatigue and between two different doctors they now think there's a strong possibility I have Celiac was some very expensive blood tests that take over a month to read and get results and they are scheduling me to see a local ENT doctor to schedule an endoscopy. With the medical situation the way it is, they told me it could be two or three months to wait. I said I've been suffering with this brutal fatigue for over a year, so what's a couple more months.
I got so excited today at the grocery store! Don't laugh, but I love rum and eggnog and they had the first of the season in today...yeah! In light of the week, you can bet your 'you know what' that I had one tonight.
My girlfriend and her husband are coming for dinner tomorrow night before they leave on another one of their many trips they take each year. It will be nice to just have a do nothing evening having a nice dinner with friends.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A successful but mentally draining day.....

I spent most of the day, and I do mean MOST of the day, trying to recall specifics of my past work history for this new resume I'm trying to put together. I was told to list quantifiable successes for three particular companies...omg! First, I'm one of those people who worked so many years for so many different companies that a lot of it becomes a blur and secondly, over the past thirty + years of working I was proud of my accomplishments at the time, but then I move on and it's put somewhere else in my head. The quantifiable part is difficult as well. Why you ask? Well, most of the bosses I've had are now passed away with the exception of two, maybe three...hmmm!
I hope this will be worthwhile at some point, as I will need to find work. My preference is to design this resume such that I can go after freelance event planning work. I DO NOT want to give up either my art on plates or my photography and WILL NOT! I will tell you that the art and photography consumes most of my mind and most of my days. In hours, I 'work' harder and longer now than I ever did when I was getting paid to do something. On average, I probably spend 12 -15 hours most days....I just wish I could find someone to do the laundry, the ironing, the housecleaning and sometimes the cooking so I could keep at such 'fairy' around that I know of!
As of now, I've completed and printed the first draft of the resume and spent two hours tonight wiring all the ornaments for my tree for our local Festival of Trees that will need to be decorated next Monday night. This is a week long festival with various activities and functions going on to raise added funds for our local hospital. Corporations donate the artificial trees and lights and others volunteer their time and money to contribute decorations for each specific tree. In honour of my grandchildren, my tree has and M & M's theme this year....this one is for the kids!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Slow day.........

I'm having a lazy day...slept in and just kind of doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that...
My whole body aches as I fell off a low step yesterday while out at a craft show and landed on both knees at the same time and then the rest of my upper torso just kind of bounced off the concrete.....ouch! At least I didn't break anything...but I'm sure sore today!
I'm trying to work on a new resume today and I'm really struggling with it. It's amazing how much of your past life you forget when it comes to details..definitely reminds me that I really am getting older.
I was on webcam yesterday with my little grandaughter and she is learning to do things. It's funny, she refuses to crawl but has learned to 'thump' or scoot on her butt and she can sure move! She's now making attempts to try to pull herself up, with no success yet.
Earlier this week, we got on webcam with our grandson and he's getting to be so much fun via webcam. He carries on pretty decent conversations with you ...he comes out with the funniest things sometimes.
I can't wait, the girls, their husbands and the little ones will all be home for Christmas...yeah! We are not doing any gifts for each other this year, except for a few little bits for the grandkids. We are all very blessed and really don't need for anything...the important thing is we all be together.
Tonight I hope to start working on four custom plate orders I have to get done within the next two weeks....all are plates with peoples!
I've added another blogger to my 'follow' list. She was kind enough to feature me in her blog and does very unusual work. She makes miniature dolls of famous people...check it out...very 'uneek'!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Check list.....

Well, today I managed to get a few things to do off my list ... finally a day where I feel I made a dent.
It might have something to do with the fact I had to get up early, early to get my car in for the wheel alignment I was suppose to get done yesterday. It took until mid afternoon to get my car back ...but it's now fixed for now.
My husband brought me back home and I got all the photos taken of the new plates and glass blocks, got them downloaded and edited and tonight I've started posting them on my 'maggiemags' and my 'maggiesstudio'. Hopefully, tomorrow I'll finish. I also have many more photos to get posted.
I went back out to my girlfriend's Mom's house. I took her a new thermabag (those things that have oats or beans in them and you heat in the microwave to help muscle aches and pains). When I arrived, I got a great surprise as my girlfriend was down from Toronto so we had a cup of tea and chatted for awhile. She had told me she was coming down, but I forgot.
I got a call from my nephew tonight and without going into it right now, I think he's turning a corner. He had received some good news and for now that has motivated him enough to keep moving forward. I truly hope he stays focused and gives himself a chance for a future.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Weird, wet day........

Had to get up earlier than usual as I'd made an appointment with our auto mechanic to get a 4 tire wheel alignment since I replaced two tires,had all rotated and was way overdue for an oil change. Got there at 8:20 to be told they couldn't do it after all in the had to change to tomorrow...not that I want to spend the money.
I had to go to the bank, go to pick up some Etsy business cards I had ordered, went to the fabric store to get some pieces for a couple of custom plate orders I have to finish in the next two weeks. I then went to get a prescription filled and afterward went out to see my girlfriend's mother and took her some grapes and a bit of other fruit. She's getting so frustrated. She's 83 years old and has been so active and independent her whole life. This back problem has her really slowed down and she sure doesn't like it. She's a very special me and many others.
I got home around 3 pm and did some household errands and then started to make the Christmas fruitcake that my husband looks forward to each year. He told me once he'd rather have the fruitcake than any present, and he meant it! Personally, I do not like it.
I packed my Operation Christmas Child shoebox and got that ready to drop off. I'm tired but have to wait for the cakes to bake ( 3+ hours ) and then wait for them to cool down so they can be wrapped. I'll be up late for sure.
I had a number of phone calls tonight so didn't get the pictures taken of the new plates and glass blocks I've made, but hope to by tomorrow night.
See what tomorrow brings.. I'm too tired to get too uptight if I don't get everything done.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Overwhelmed.....I need more hours in a day!

I feel pulled in so many different directions at the moment. There is such a small window of opportunity to sell Christmas items. I spend time either emailing shops asking for a chance to show my works, time sourcing out other possibilities, time posting photos on my new Etsy shop called MaggiesStudio, and I still have photos to take of all the new Christmas plates I've made, the new glass blocks I've made and then getting all of that listed on my Maggiemags shop as well.
In between all of that, I'm trying to get laundry done, trying to get fruitcake made for Christmas, etc. etc...Yikes...Calgon, take me away!!! Please.
I had to get two new tires put on my car today and then made an appointment to get all four tires re-aligned on Thursday.
..AND......... we won't even talk about the house and the dust at the moment....!! I finished shopping today for one of the ' Operation Christmas Child' shoebox program.
Just based on our own family, I think people either don't have the money to spend this year or are too afraid to spend for fear what's still to come.
I will forge forward, sometimes a little freaked out, but one never gives up and one can only do what one can do....right?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sale over...OK...but not great!

Well, exhausted and relieved to have the sale over. Although I didn't do as well as last year I did OK. My husband, who didn't participate last year, did quite well. At least he says he's really pleased.
I learned a lot more about conducting one of these Christmas Sales and will also get feedback from each vendor.
I had many problems with the manager at the venue site and would not go back to that location for sure. I believe we'd change the date to closer to the first week of December. There were over 10 different Christmas Sales going on this weekend and one has been going for 30 years so were up against a lot of competition. Having said all that, everyone tells me each time you hold a sale it's a crap shoot as to the success. Everyone says it's not an exact science by any means and there are so many factors that can lead to a great sale and not so great sale.
We plan to do it again next year, but there will be even more changes. Once I get the feedback from the vendors who attended this year, I can start formulating a new and better plan.
Today, I'm so tired! I did a bit of laundry, finally put away everything taken to the sale, made a nice dinner, made a few phone calls and then spent most of the evening adding photos to my new Etsy shop at ... go see!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Christmas Tea and Gift Sale.............tomorrow!

Well, after months of preparation and organizing and of course, making things to sell, tomorrow is the BIG day! I hope it goes well, but with the economy being what it is and the fact there is another HUGE three day Christmas Craft Sale going on here as well, I just don't know.
For all of us, I hope we do well...........I'll be letting everyone know afterward. I'll either being doing the 'happy dance' or drowning in my sorrows! ( just kidding ) I'll just move forward and find other venues to sell my works.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Obama......'Mr. President'

I stayed up way too late watching all the American election results. I, like many others knew I was watching something incredibly historical! Obama has such a presence and his demeanour is of confidence, steadiness and class. I wish him well, but he has such a difficult task ahead of him. I hope that he picks the right people to his team. I believe the first 100 days will be very telling. I wish him well and more importantly, I wish the American people a new hope and a better future.
People should check out Etsy...there are some Etsians that are selling some wonderful momentos of Obama and of the election.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008 our Christmas Tea and Gift Sale

Went to family breakfast this morning. From there drove out to see the big poster the girls had made and put up on the site of our Saturday sale....great job! Then drove to my cousins to get some more hand out flyers to distribute to various locations.
I then went to my hairdresser's to get my hair cut and she asked for some flyers to hand out to customers. Virginia is the best hairdresser I've ever had, reasonable and one of the best listeners ever. With all the customers she has, she manages to remember so many details of conversations with me and I assume that holds true for all her customers. She is the sweetest person and yet when you meet her for the first time, one is taken aback. She has a very funky hairdo that changes frequently as does the colour of her hair, she has all kinds of tatoos and a few piercings so one might draw certain (incorrect) conclusions based on her appearance. She is SO genuine and a really hard worker. She's always willing to help wherever she can for her clients and I just love her. She and a friend went out on their own last year to start their own salon and these two deserve every bit of success that comes their way and then some.
Did some last minute purchases for the sale on Saturday like gift bags to put my stuff in when someone buys something and then I want to decorate the center of my tables with a Christmas theme so had a few bits to pick up for that purpose.
I'm going to TRY and make a couple of more plates over the next day but won't freak out if I don't get a lot more made.
I've started packing everything so I don't forget stuff Saturday. I'm sure there are people who can relate. As I think of things I need to take, I now just go get it and put it in a box near my front door.
Tonight will be SO I intend to watch a lot of the American coverage and the Canadian coverage of the will be interesting either way it ends up...pretty historical in meaning.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Need a quiet day...........

My nephew and his girlfriend just left after we fed them a big breakfast and I must admit I'm tired. We held an Open House yesterday for all the relatives that wanted to meet with him and tell him they were glad he's home safe and sound from Afghanistan.....a really nice afternoon. Last night we took them to a Junior A hockey game and then got back here and talked and talked. I hope he's going to be OK and I hope the army keeps their promise to let him now go to school on their tab and then we'll see where his life goes...he's sure worked hard and put up with a lot to get to this point...wish him well.
Finished all my glass blocks for the sale and will try to do a few more plates this week. I have all the little last minute stuff to get done for this sale....I hope for everyone's sake it's a success.
Today, I'm going to go in to town for a short while and then back home and basically chill out. We had enough food left over from yesterday that I will not be cooking tonight.
I hope to start posting my photography on my new store site on Etsy...I'm late getting stuff in the shop but it is what it is!