Taking a break…

28 02 2009

I am taking a break from my sewing right now. Just a little break. I’ve been working since 3pm or so, in addition to a few hours this morning and a couple last night. One of these days, I’ll be able to post pictures of EVERYTHING I have been working on… but for now, just know it’s a lot of stuff and I’m a little bit in over my head. But I’ll make it through.

I need to get moving on finishing the Teaspoon quilt. Why? Because Teaspoon was born today!!!! Congratulations to Lushie & Spoon! Granted, he’s around 8 weeks early or so, and I’m sure they are 8 weeks away from being fully prepared to welcome him into their home…

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But that little peanut decided on Friday around noon that he was done cookin’ and wanted out. Spoon and Lushie basically moved into a UPMC hospital – totally not what they were planning, but hey, Teaspoon had other ideas apparently. The last I heard, this morning, the contractions were 7 minutes apart. I left home and went shopping for some extra sewing supplies, and two and a half hours later I get a Tweet via text congratulating Spoon on his son!!! I’m hoping that mom & baby are healthy and that Spoon will send an update soon!

Many kudos have to go to the Yinz Team and the extended online community that I am a part of. The response of support, thoughts & prayers to Spoon’s Plurks & Tweets were amazing. I am proud to be a part of such an amazing group of people.





The weekend is finally here…

27 02 2009

… and it’s Mrs. Crappy weekend. Sweet! That means I’ll get to hang out with Mrs. Crappy and Uncle Crappy, which is always fun.

I’m still sewing away at home… Making progress. I figured out a way to display, if you will, the stuff I made for when I wrap everything. My mom thought my idea was good, so that’s a good sign.  I figure I have about 2 weeks to get everything done for my sister. Good thing I’m planning to stay home all day tomorrow and sew. And same w/ next weekend.

Then it’s immediately onto finishing up the Teaspoon Quilt. Not only did they move up the due date a few weeks ago, it seems that Teaspoon will be arriving even sooner – like in a week or two. Yikes! I am fairly certain I can have the quilt and the other things I’ve planned ready to go in about a month, so no big deal on my end.

Everything is going well for my sister’s baby shower. I’m sending the favors out this weekend to be laminated. I’m making bingo cards for a game… We love the make-it-yourself thing, can you tell?

Oh, and did I mention my big rugby tournament is in exactly one month? Yeah, watch for major head explosion and staborkiness to begin right around March 23rd.

I should probably give some thought to what I’m going to wear in Florida and start doing some laundry too…

Sleep? What’s sleep?





Busy Little Bee…

25 02 2009

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Whooo…. Have I been busy… The top of the “Teaspoon” quilt is finished. And all the folks I’ve shown the piece to think it’s fantastic. I can’t wait to finish it and give it to Spoon & Lushie, along with some other things I’m making for them. However, for now, I have other things to focus on – like planning a baby shower, finishing my gifts for my sister, oh, and rugby… I’ll take the quilt up again at the beginning of April.

Two nights ago, I got a phone call from one of the HS friends I was actually super happy to find on Facebook. It was so freaking awesome to talk to him again. And honestly, I hope one day to drag my butt to where he lives to meet his family. That will be a great day, when I finally can do it! Gosh, one of the longest & best phone calls ever. And we all know I hate to talk on the phone… But as I told him, I’ll gladly talk to him the next time he feels like chatting. 🙂

Now, baby stuff… oy. I have never, ever been to a baby shower. I have no idea what I’m doing here. But invites – email and snail mail – are out. And RSVP’s are slowly coming in. Meh.

We’ve found a few “games” that I think we’re okay to go with that day. And the favors… yeah, the design is done. Yay, me. The finalization is TBD.

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The back of them is also super awesome, but I can’t share it, since it has my sister’s name on it. lol.

And in the sewing world, I am working on the rest of the gifts for my sister. And I have a couple of cool “presentation” ideas for the gifts – and my mom agrees with me on the ideas. So I can’t freaking wait…

But, I have a lot to do soon because I have to ship everything to my sister or mom’s house before I fly out on March 19th…

Oh! And as of March 19th, I also get to hang out with NE, the best brother-in-law on the planet, and my animals – D & C. As of this evening, they are still separate friends. D was on her couch, chilling. And C was napping on the guest room bed. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that C is just waiting for me to show up & sleep in said bed. You know he is… He looooves me.

Anyway, here is something else I’ve worked on. I totally edited the picture so you can’t really tell what it is. But it’s the best one I’ve done so far and I had to share.

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Today I found out that my sister is up-to-date on what’s going on around here – for at least the past week. I don’t care if she reads this every day, the fact that she knew about the week o’hell that was last week was enough for me!!

That made me smile like crazy, folks. I’m sure you all understand. I can’t wait to go to Florida in a few weeks!





Today’s Fortune Cookie

24 02 2009

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It is best to act with confidence, no matter how little right you have to it.





Pretty Effed Up

22 02 2009

That would be me – well, my life – right now. Besides my car and tire issues, tonight as I closed the bar, I knocked my phone into my co-worker’s “shift drink.” A White Russian. It may or may not be dead. I don’t know yet. It’s sitting next to me in a bag of rice – my attempt at drying it out.

Thankfully, I have my old phone that I can use. But geez… when is the suck going to end?





The Lincoln Penny Test

19 02 2009

Since age sixteen, I have had 5 vehicles:

1) 1988 Olds Delta 88
2) 1993 Plymouth Acclaim
3) 2000 Chevy Prism
4) 2003 Chevy Cavalier
5) 2005 Chevy Aveo

That’s over 17 years… And maybe only once, with one of the first two cars, do I recall needing tires. Back with those first 2-3 cars, my dad always took care of my vehicle isues. So there’s a chance one or both of them needed tires at some point… But somewhere around car #3, I started taking care of going for oil changes, inspections etc. That is, until the Midgie.

The Midgie is a 2005 Chevy Aveo. I love her! Dearly. Probably more than any other car on the list besides my first car. (Point of information: when I went to college and my parents kept the Delta 88, my mom accidentally backed INTO the back driver’s side quarter panel of it. She was terrified to tell me for FOUR MONTHS.)

Anyway, with my purchase of my Midgie, I also got a nifty little maintenance plan built in. I have a little coupon book that makes ALL oil changes and tire rotations etc. FREE. I also got 4 free emissions inspections. All I have to do is pay attention to my mileage, show up on or near the date an oil change is needed, produce my nifty little coupon book, and wait 30-60 minutes for it to be over. It’s great. One of the best things I’ve done to maintain my car.

That being said, my tires have been rotated whenever needed since July/August 2005. So when I tried to move my car during a snowstorm in February 2007, I was shocked to realize that my two rear tires were nearly bald. Almost no tread whatsoever. So I went to my nearby Pep Boys and wasted an entire workday getting two new tires. Yay! Fun!

Then, in July 2007 when I had my car inspected, I was told that my two other original tires had passed inspection, but weren’t looking so good, and I’d need to replace them before my next inspection in 2008. Well, I managed to cut that timeline short a few months later, in October. I cut too close to a sewer well and blew a tire. I replaced the tire with the “donut” from the trunk and a day or two later, dropped my car off for two MORE tires at the Sears Auto Center in Tarentum while I worked nearby.

If you saw yesterday’s post, you know that I was told on Monday that I need TWO MORE TIRES!!!  (FYI – Monday’s mileage was 48,774.) I started thinking about the two previous tire purchases and realized that at least one of those purchases MUST still be under warranty. So today I dug out the paperwork.

I still have to check the “DOT code” & “Date of Manufacture” on my tires to figure out which are from where. I’m hoping both failed tires are from the same place… And I think I see a warranty issue in my future:

In February 2007, when they replaced the first set, my mileage was 25, 064. So if these are the failed tires, they lasted two years and 23,710 miles… The stated mileage warranty is “65,000 miles prorated…”

In October 2007, my mileage was 36,119. If these tires failed, they lasted 17 months and only 12,655 miles. The stated mileage warranty on the Sears receipt is 40,000 miles…

However, both of them, especially Sears have some references to treadlife and the amount of treadlife remaining… So tomorrow, I’ll try the “Lincoln Penny Test” to see what’s up. But right now, I can tell you that the crap tires? Yea, there’s ZERO tread on the outer sides of the tire…

So, if any of you men out there are “tire experts” and would like to accompany me to Sears or Pep Boys, let me know. I can hold my own in a lot of situations, but tires and the warranty of tires is new territory. I’m going to learn. And I’m going to be angry… I just want backup. If you’re willing & able, please email me. 🙂

I’ve probably already posted this song, but I don’t really care…





The things I make the Midgie deal with…

18 02 2009

Oh, the poor, poor Midgie… I love her so. But she puts up with so much crap from me…but she’s still so cute…

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On Monday I had to miss some work because my front suspension started doing something wacky over the weekend and I was having trouble driving in a straight line… So I had to take my car in. Result? I need two new tires. $170 minimum. WTH? I’ve had this car since 2005. And I’ve already put a new set of tires on it. What the heck? Is the Midgie eating tires? Is she really that hungry? I swear, she is never on E in the fuel department. I have to pull the receipts from the last two sets I purchased to see if there’s a chance they are still under warranty – because the two tires I have to replace? They are shredded – nearly bald. Nice.

But wait. It gets worse. Much, much worse. This morning I woke up early, intending to stop at Giant Eagle on the way to work to pick up something for a potluck. I’ve been sewing so much I have zero time for cooking. I walked out the front door to my apartment building, and see my car… with a HUGE orange “we gotcha” sticker on it. I knew what it meant – I had seen cars like that throughout the city – my passenger side was gonna have a boot on it. And it did.

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The orange sticker said I had overdue tickets and owed a HUGE – and I mean HUGE – sum of money. Let’s just say that just the boot removal fee – it’s $300. I’ll explain HOW I got the tickets shortly. First, I had to figure out how & where I was going to pay this money. If you don’t pay in full within 72 hours, they come and tow your booted vehicle and then you can add storage and tow fees. Nice. I figured everything out by 10am or so… not a fun time, really.

And I ended up walking to work this morning. Approx. 2 miles. In a nice misty, rain situation. Awesome. I did that on purpose, because Evil Boss person hasn’t been believing me lately when I’ve had car or sick issues. So I like to prove her wrong now. It’s like a hobby.

So, how I got any tickets at all… I’ve lived in the same place since May 2003. Sometime around 2005, unknown to me, or many of my neighbors, our street became a “Residential Parking Permit” area… I found out after my first ticket. They had come in, set up signs and left. I have to assume that the property owners were sent a letter, right? But my landlord never said anything.

I looked into getting a permit, back in the day, but you had to have not only a driver’s license & registration with the current address, but also a current lease or utility bill. I couldn’t get one because: 1) at the time, my vehicle was still registered to my parents house (long story,) plus 2) my lease is from 2003 and just renews itself and 3) I don’t pay ANY utilities in my apartment. I don’t even have cable!!  Now a shortcut here, would be to get a new lease, right? Well, my rent has not increased in 6 years. I’m not about to ask for a new lease and have the landlord re-think my payments.

But wait?? I have to pay to park on my street when I’m normally at work? WTF is that about?? I understand that the city will tax/permit everything under the sun to make money. And I understand that West Penn Hospital is nearby, and I do know – from personal conversations and seeing it with my own two eyes – many West Penn Employees park in my ‘hood and hoof it to work. But WHY do I have to pay to park in front of my building if I have a day off or I’m sick??? That just isn’t right, especially when there was no way for me to get a permit.

Fast forward to today. After a good ear bleed caused by my mom, I promised to take whatever docs I could to get a permit. I considered a bus, but the ride to town would take a minimum of 46 minutes? How is that possible? I considered walking. Much further than the 2miiles to work… Thank god for my good friend Chachi, who gave up a half of a vacation day from work to pick me up and take me downtown. We swung by my apartment for my registration and lease, plus a AT&T bill and my most recent pay stub from my job.

We found the Parking Court, parked nearly immediately and I headed in to the cashier. It took approx. 5 minutes to pay my fine. They guy at the window said they’d send someone to un-boot my car. Gee, thanks.

Chach then headed with me to the Permit office. I was nearly immediately turned away by a mean little woman. She didn’t care that my lease (on the front page) specifies that I pay NO UTILITIES. My lease is dated 2003. And even though it says on the last page this lease continues forever… She didn’t bat an eyelash… She cared even less that I had an AT&T bill and/or my paystub. I was summarily dismissed to read “the wall” which specified what they accept.

BUT then I saw something that might help me… they NOW accept a notarized letter from your landlord saying you live there. This did present with crazy obstacles… how “happy” will my landlord be to have to do this? Not much… But I did find another friend who can help me out. He’s a notary. And I’ve already asked and he said get the letter and the landlord and he’ll drive the few miles between us to make this happen.

Then… I have to miss work AGAIN to get the damn permit. Great.