15 December 2017

Sapphires today

If I were an anniversary, that is what I should get... but I'm not an anniversary. It is, however, my birthday and I am 45 years old today. I don't feel 45 at all but that is what the math comes to when you take away my birth year from this year so that is what I am.

It has been a nice day so far. I should have cleaned up but I didn't. My folks came down and I showed off my present - a new 4K smart television. I played a bit of "Rogue One" for them because the picture is awesome and that movie is epic from a cinegraphic standpoint. Is cinegraphic even a word? Oh well, it is now. After that, we went downtown to have some lunch. A cute place with the best French fries. It's called "A Matter of Taste". The sweet tea is heavenly and the fries can't be beat, I swear. I have never gotten a bad meal there, ever. Once we finished, Mama and I went down to "Quilts on Plum Lane" to wander around and Daddy went up to his favorite antique shoppe. My downtown is 90% antique establishments. It is what we are known for, I think. Oh, but between lunch and shops, I hopped into Olga's and got an assorted dozen donuts! That bakery makes the best donuts, I swear.

I'm home now, waiting on Hobbit to pop in from school. Since it's my birthday, I get a free drink from Starbucks. I need to get a card for my Secret Santa at work and see if I can't find one or two more things for Pokey to open on Christmas morning. I'll have Hobbit with me so that should make things easier. He is just not an easy man to buy for because all he does is go to work and play Elder Scrolls. Limits the possibilities.

I think I'll play my recorder for a bit while the house is my own. Nice way to unwind before the second half of my birthday begins.

07 December 2017

Wow, almost a month

Working 60 hours a week will do that to a person. I have my core hours of just 40 but then I pick up 20 hours a week of overtime... all but 5 of that is mandatory right now so with the way the schedules are done, it's just easier to tack it on to three days and be done with it. I've revamped my thoughts and instead of worrying about my weekends, I try to not have OT on the actual weekends when my family is home. At least this way I can remember what they look like now. Needless to say, I am constantly exhausted... and this isn't looking like it will change before Spring since we are fast approaching "Peak Season".

I have still be crafting though, so that's a good thing. Here are some of the things I have been up to lately...
Can you guess what is easiest to work with while you are on the phone? Some of those hats only took me a single shift to work... then again, when you are working 15 hour days, that is a nice chunk of knitting time because if you are talking, there is no reason why your hands can't be moving as well as your mouth. It was all mindless knitting... well, that cowl took a little bit of thought process and the tam in the upper right corner was not easy so that one was mostly on breaks and lunch. Let me rephrase that - the pattern was easy, if you can give it your full attention. It has a nice repeat but if you have someone yelling at you in your ear, you can't do it.

I have been crocheting too - and I have been teaching a friend from work how to do it! If you follow me on Instagram then you saw how awesomely I peopled yesterday. SO proud of me for that - and her for picking it up so quickly. She sent me a text later last night with a total of four grannies on it! She's going to have a blanket for Christmas if she keeps up that pace... and that is her goal. I have been working a Christmas present so I can show you bits of it but not the whole thing... well, I could show you the whole thing it isn't even a thing yet. Hang on, I'll snap a quick shot of it...
The top two and bottom left are all completed. I am almost done with the fourth set, the bottom right. I have 3.5 more to do on those which I hope to have done today. The fifth set is only 6 squares so that is my goal by Sunday night. The sixth set has 10 squares so I am giving myself until the next weekend to get those done - I will lose a crafting day on Friday because the recipient will be with me on my birthday and I can't work on it while she is here. Once the squares are all done, I'll need a few days to seam them together in the proper charted order and then it is on to the cuffs, button band, and collar! I have until the day after Christmas to finish it. I will need every second of it too.

Time to have some coffee before I toddle off to get service done on my SUV. Regular maintenance stuff but still takes time out of my day that I wish it didn't. Once I'm done, I need to come back here and clean, do laundry, etc because that is apparently what my weekends are for now. Not getting into that at the moment... that's a whole different post if I ever decided to go there.

Hope all of your Christmas crafting is going well. Do you have any super large projects that you are rushing to get done?

10 October 2017

(My) Friday Ramblings

It's my Friday. At Disney, any two days together is considered a weekend so it's not at all odd to hear people ask one another what day it is and to get four different answers from four different people. "It's my Tuesday", "It's my Saturday but I picked up some hours", or like me, "It's my Friday".

I never pick up overtime on my Fridays because one particular person who actually comes into the office on that day. I have been on the floor since 11 September and this person has yet to say hello to me. I have been sworn at by this person. I have been spoken to as if I was a small child and should be put on the naughty step by this person. I have been utterly and purposefully ignored by this person... but not once, in a literal month of Fridays, has this person once said "Hello. I am 'This Person'" to me. I can't even tell you what this person looks like because they keep their back to me. Thankfully, this person leaves at 3:20 pm and my normal shift starts at 2:45 pm so I don't pick up overtime on Tuesdays simply for that very reason.

I did take a nap this morning - queue applause because that is something I am just awful at, even when I'm exhausted. I managed to sleep an extra hour and some after Hobbit got on the bus. I had the weirdest dream though. If anyone analyses these things for fun, I'd love to hear what it means. So the parts I remember were that I had a talk show and I found a pen tethered to the sofa where I sit and tucked behind a pillow was a diary. It wasn't mine. It was gold and had some scribbles on it. I could apparently read it but it wasn't normal handwriting. The next thing I remember is that I was in Roy Disney's house and we were just hanging out. He went outside to feed some cats and a coyote came in the house. I fought wildly with a high back rolling desk chair, fending him off. Round and round this room - vicious coyote lunging and jumping while I swung/rolled this chair at it. I finally get it out the door again and it eats Roy. I close and lock the door.

I don't remember anything after that. I did when I first woke up but I can't now. It was just odd. Why would I be living with Roy? I admire Walt but I can relate to Roy. We are two peas from the same pod, honestly. Maybe that is why. I don't know. It was just weird. I wasn't scared, more annoyed that he left the door open and now I had to do this thing with the coyote instead of worried about anyone or anything being hurt by it. Just strange.

Oh well. I'm going to knit for a bit and catch up on my shows on the DVR before I have to go to work. I have no clue what I have on there but I hope I remembered to record Poldark. If not, I know I have an Outlander... oh, and I need to watch this week's Good Doctor. My friend at work and I really love that show and I've not seen this week's episode.

Have a lovely day!

07 September 2017

We're all fine here

There is a slight case of hysteria regarding this storm and while I understand why people were concerned for the island areas, by the time it reaches us here in central Florida it really won't be much of anything.

Granted, I have been saying this at work for some time now. Those of us in Guest Services who are queue cleaners are scheduled until 11:45 pm because the phones close at 11 pm. We haven't been getting out before 2 am this week due to excessive hold times because people are panicking.

I wish I could say "Look, it's going to rain on one day during your vacation. Nothing to see here. Nothing to worry about. We're all fine here now. See you soon." - just send that out in a massive email so things will get back to normal. As it stands, we are in *voluntear mode for extra hours and if people don't sign up, we'll go into voluntold mode and I don't like that so I'm on the books for 12 hour days until mid-October... joy.

Pray for the islands. Pray for the coastal region where she'll come in and make landfall. Those of us inland, we'll be just fine. Promise.

*Yes, I spelled it that way on purpose because at Disney, we do voluntEAR.

31 August 2017

Hand crafters unite

Why do random people on the internet feel the need to judge others, say nasty things to complete strangers, and act like a bunch of - please, forgive me but I know no better word to describe them - asshats? Why?

Earlier tonight, I was on a friend's page where they were showing off some hand stitch work they were doing. There was a comment regarding how what was said had to be the least heterosexual sentence ever utter or some such nonsense - as he is male and INSANELY talented in the hand craft department. Knitting, crochet, sewing, embroidery, weaving, spinning - just a creative genius and I am in awe of how his brain works and his hands create.

Anywho, I made a comment about how this person should have said that to my Poppaw because he was an amazing hand crafter - he even sewed my mother's wedding dress! There was nothing he couldn't do with his hands. Woodworking, carpentry, stained glass art, sewing.. I could go on and on. He was just so creative and talented. He passed when I was just 11 but the most vivid memory I have is going down his rainbow carpeted stairs to the basement (every stair was done in a different color carpet because they were remnants used) to where he kept all of his craft things. When he was working - and he was big bear of a man who otherwise intimidated me - he would whistle the most beautiful tunes. I loved to watch him and listen to him. He didn't speak much but never minded me sitting near by and just watching.

Upon my making the statement, this person states congratulations on your grandfather being gay. How flippant and rude! It is difficult for me to stand up to these kinds of things but she was insulting my friend and now she was insulting me and my departed grandfather so, with shaking hands, I went there. I told her that it was wrong of her to use that word as a derogatory weapon, as an insult. Her response was that she was gay and she meant it as a compliment. I told her that she did not and was simply trying to backpedal her way out of the nastiness she just spewed. To that, she responded with a most lovely comment about me being a delight and something about having a goodnight, pumpkin... and I'm not proud but my final response was "And up yours too".

Her comments have since been deleted and I deleted my own sans the original one regarding my grandfather making my mama's wedding dress... but I still can't believe someone would be so nasty to a complete stranger. What did she get out of that? Did she feel somehow superior? Did she think she was being witty or pithy? I will never understand the nastiness that resides on social media. Anyway, here... enjoy one of my favorite songs because if crafts and music can't lift your spirits then nothing will... except maybe chocolate. Chocolate fixes everything.

25 August 2017

Why, hello there!

I knew things were going to get crazy around here. I did. I may have even mentioned it or I may have simply thought I mentioned it but either way - there was a thought that manifested itself in my brain about how time is going to be all off and things were going to get a bit weird... and did they ever!

I am down to my last two official days of training. All 10 weeks of classroom antics are behind me and the two weeks of shadowing are almost on the books. Things are finally going to start getting to normal, I hope. My schedule has been all over the place the past two weeks and I'm honestly just exhausted. I doubt it will get any better once I am on my night shift - 11:45 stop time which means crawling in the door close to 12:30 am, then having to get Hobbit up for school by 6 am is not my cup of tea. Even my 'weekend' is in the middle of the week so I'll never get to sleep in again... that isn't true but it feels true. There is rumor of a shift bid in September/October so we'll see what happens. I would honestly like to go back to an opening shift but a mid would be fine too. The reality is that I will continue to be on nights because we're just out on the floor and don't have seniority. It's fine. I like my job. I just wish a few things at home were just a bit different.

On the crafting front, I have completed quite a few projects. All during training, I was able to knit so I kicked out a ton of hats in those 7 weeks that covered resorts. I think my final tally was 12 hats completed. 2 went to coworkers, 1 went to Hobbit, and 9 went to charity. They were all originally made for charity but I have a hard time saying no... and honestly, the act of giving it away to make someone else happy is charitable so in essence, they all went to charity. OOOHH, and I finished my first knit adult sweater...

Overall, I do like how it came out but I think if I make another one, I will do it in a lighter weight yarn. The aran weight just feels a bit bulky but it will do it's job just fine. I really do love how the yarn worked up too. The sleeves are a bit to floppy for my liking but again, I read some tweaks that other people made - and there are suggestions in the pattern on how to avoid it as well.

I got to spend Monday with Peanut in the parks. It was a lot of fun. We haven't had the opportunity to do anything together - alone or with a group - in almost a decade! She has grown into such an amazing woman. I still can't believe she's mine some days but bust with pride that she is... so sweet, considerate, polite, creative, and just a dream of a human bean. I think this is our favorite picture of the day...

This is her favorite attraction and I had never seen a PhotoPass person there before so we hopped in and got our picture taken before we headed across the street for lunch at the Columbia Harbor House. We went during the eclipse and while it was overcast, there were still signs everywhere telling people not to look up. Naturally, this is us...

We are such rebels... hehehe. We strolled around our two favorite pavilions - United Kingdom and Japan. I bought her her first cider, which she loved. She also had lamb for the second time but this time it was good. Wherever she ate it at first just ruined it but she got a Shepherd's Pie and really liked it. After a full day of park hopping, we headed home so she could see Hobbit before having to head out on the road home. It was a great day and one I am so happy to have had with her. I missed spending time with her and it felt like after she graduated high school back in 2011, I never saw her again except for brief and fleeting holiday moments.

I think I'll have a donut before doing a few chores that need done prior to my heading out to work. I can't wait for my regular schedule to start so I won't have to keep functioning on such little sleep. One day, I will get to wake up whenever my body says it's time... one day.

17 July 2017

Five days more...

Standard view/pose of tween in the 21st century
That's all I have left. Five days. Pokey says I count weird because I don't count the current day but the current day has already started so it doesn't need counting because it doesn't count. Totally makes sense, right? Right. Anywho, I simply need to power through five days more and when I get off work, my little Hobbit will be back from her travels with my folks. I miss her.

She's been gone the whole of July. I must admit, it was a bit by design though so that she wouldn't be spending the summer alone now that I am working outside of the house. I had such guilt knowing she was just left alone until Pokey got home from work. We had it pretty well worked out though. The first week I was off, the second and third week she was with my folks, the fourth week was Pokey's turn to be home. After that, she had a week alone. I felt horrible. Granted, I didn't go to work until the afternoon and Pokey came home in the early evening so it wasn't like she was abandoned from sun up until sun down - and let's add that she is 12-years-old so it isn't even like she's a baby... but she's my baby.

That week, we will have to do some school shopping. I'll see if she wants a first day of school outfit or if she is cool with what she has. Also need to get her a new school bag and the list of school supplies for 7th grade Cambridge Programme kids. I think Sam's will be the best place to get it all but I will leave it up to her since there are different options on her list. I think she is in the great "backpack vs cross body satchel" debate. Given how little she really has to carry, I would do the satchel but that is me. I did get the bus stop moved to the corner of our yard so I feel better about that bit. She has to be out there before 7 am and I would rather she be close to home and under a street light. The bus depot lady was a bit of a poop about it but it still got done and I gave her my best sing song 'thank you' that I could squeak out on the phone.
It will be a February Lady Sweater when it's done.

Time to work on those sleeves and play catch up on "Game of Thrones". I am just about to start season 3 and the only reason I'm watching is because a girl on my team really likes it and no one else in the class watched it so I started it so we could talk about it. Once I get caught up, I am sure we will natter forever on it but right now, she doesn't want to give me any spoilers so I've been sharing what I think as I watch... some even via text messages because they could not wait... vile little Joffrey. House Stark forever... with a little Lannister, in the form or Tyrion, thrown in for good measure.

This sleeve is nowhere near being done but it needs to be turned in no later than 31 July so I best get cracking - because this is the first sleeve, not the second! I only have 14 days to get it done which means a week per sleeve. I think I will go with the short sleeve option instead of elongating it all the way down the arm. It is a heavy sweater and I just really need it at my desk at work. My arms rarely get cold, just my shoulders. If my arms are completely covered, I get too hot. This will be the perfect compromise.

15 July 2017


We are winding down the first segment of our training. All we have left is tomorrow and then next week, we will take a few calls. It will be a welcomed change for me. I miss talking to Guests. I am a little nervous but not a whole lot. It is like riding a bike. Plus, once we are done with next week, we move on to the brand new things so that has me doubly excited. So what have I been doing to stay engaged, you ask... knitting!!

I asked my trainer - who is the most amazing soul, I swear - and she said she did not have a challenge with me knitting during the class. I took it and ran with it! Look at what all I have made since the last time I was able to check in...

This last one, I cast on and off tonight during class. It was a fun hat to make and I will make another but first, I told a teammate that I would make her daughter a hat since she is afraid she will lose the yellow one I made her - a valid fear when her daughter said "ooooo, I'm going to take that!" To ease her fears, I asked her what color I should make for her. I'll cast it on tomorrow... which is technically today but I haven't slept yet so it's still today which is technically yesterday. Don't you love after midnight logic.

This brings my total donated hats since I started 6 weeks ago up to 7 - though I have made 8, but we have that whole teammate giveaway. My goal was one hat a week so I'm tickled for being ahead. I get an hour of voluntEAR time for each hat - even though they take me about 8 hours each. I am hoping to hit 10 hours before I leave training. That's three more hats so there is a good chance I will hit it.

Okay, it is time for me to hit the sack. I hope y'all are having a wonder summer. I would love to hear what you have been up to lately!

02 July 2017

You do you

Why do some people create drama? I remember reading somewhere that children of alcoholics and abusive families create chaos because they don't know how to function in a world of peace and understanding. They function better and feel more at ease when their surrounds are in a constant state of upheaval - to the point that they will create drama where there is none simply so that they can feel comfortable.

When you have to spend a quarter of the year - that is 573.75 hours of your life - shut off from the world in a room with the same 10 people, you need to learn to adapt to a variety of personalities. Some you may like and get along with, others you may not, but there is never a need to whisper falsehoods in the shadows.

All I can do is feel sorry for you. To have a self esteem so shattered that you need to create strife in hopes that chaos will ensue and you will either be the victorious fixer or the empathetic victim. The thing you never calculated in to your equation is that there will always be the one person who does not bite. I am that person.

I will not partake in the petty whispers. I will not listen and I will not share. Iron sharpens iron so if I am not one to sit in the quiet moments with you, you are not made of "stronger stuff". I am not mad at you for what you have done. I simply feel sorry for you that you believe you have to do it. I pray for you - and I have been since that first day when so much negativity came forth. I tried to befriend you but your evil words and ugliness just made me feel horrible. So I quietly became busy and slipped away. I didn't say anything ugly or do anything evil. I simply was not there... and you have decided to whisper in the shadows in an attempt to create chaos.

I am 44, not 4. I have been graduated from such childish things for quite some time. Yes, initially, I was angry... hurt... annoyed... and then I took a deep breath and thought about it on my drive home. That is when I simply felt sorry for you.

While I was raised with the understanding that you are known by the company you keep, I will not keep company with you. I do not want to be painted with your same brush. I will, however, pray for you. I will, however, wish you well. I will not speak ill of you. In all actuality, I will not acknowledge you in anything less that a professional manner.

We are not friends. We are colleagues. I am an adult. You can choose to continue to whisper in your shadows and wait for the inevitable to catch up with you or you may simply stand up, come into the light, and be an adult too.

The choice is yours.

26 June 2017

4 weeks past

It is so hard to believe that tomorrow I will be heading into my 4th week of being back at Disney. We have a tour day set up so that means an early day but at least they schedule it coming in from a 'weekend' so that isn't so bad.

I am starting to get settled into a groove, which is nice. Things should really start falling into place in the next week or so because life will be 'normal', as Hobbit was at my folks for the first two weeks I was at work and then Pokey was on vacation all last week. It was nice that she wasn't left home bored for the past month. She will visiting my folks again in July as well, which I know she's looking forward to because they always have a blast together.

If you follow my Instagram or Twitter feeds, this next bit isn't news but I am still excited about it. I found a charity, through the Disney VoluntEARs, where I can donate knit/crochet/sewn items! They take blankets, lapghans, hats, booties et al and donate them to soldiers, homeless shelters, and cancer/ill people. I have been on a hat rampage lately because it is in the round and requires little thought - or sight - on my part during training. I have made two ChemoCaps Eyelet Hats by JoAnne Turcotte. It is a pattern in my Knitting for Peace book that I just love - especially since the eyelets look like Mickeys.

I made this awesome green hat and another one in a beautiful grey. I think I will stick with cheerful colors going forward.
So I don't get pattern fatigue, I have changed gears and am currently working on a great pattern - Tutti Frutti Hat by Miriam Pike. I have made close to a half dozen of these hats over the past few months. I just love the mock cable banding and the cross at the top. Just look at these beauties...

This one I am making for the BlanketEARs, the Disney VoluntEARs charity group, is in a solid color and oh my word, that band just pops like you wouldn't believe. Look at how gorgeous it is in a completely plain color...

Okay, I should get started on my day. Granted, I just heard thunder rumbling in the distance so I may put off the outside errand running for a bit longer. We'll just have to see. I need to go to the grocery store. I could start the wash instead.. yeah, that sounds like a good plan. That way, I can start the sleeves of my sweater that I have been neglecting. I would like to have one on before the month is out.

11 June 2017

No orders, please

Working on my DRC Shrug as fast as I can!
So I finished my first week back at Disney and it was fabulous! There were a few hiccups at the beginning but I have backtracked and recovered quickly, hopefully resetting expectations and moving forward with grace. Nothing too detrimental but enough that I was taken aback and decided that certain measures needed to be implemented going for forward. Just things that happen - some of my making, some of the making of others but everyone's perception is their own reality so you do what you can to shift it.

Anywho, I did have one thing happened yesterday that I had never have happen to me before - to my husband, yes, but never to me. People see that I make him stuff all the time and they ask if I will make something for them. His response is so sweet - "She made it because she loves me. She doesn't know you. I can ask but I have seen her list of things that she wants to make so it would be a while. There is a closet full of yarn in our house she has to work through first." He chuckles and people will either push the subject or just move on. If they push, he will usually pass the request on and I will honestly decide if I can or want to do it. Honestly though, in all my years of crafting, I have never been directly approached and I was taken aback by my knee jerk reaction to it. Here, let me set the scene for you...

Scene: Me knitting during a break. Fellow new hire cast member walks by and stops with a look a pure delight on her face.

CM: Ooooo, you knit?
Me: (raises face to CM and smiles while hands work feverishly) I do.
CM: Do you take orders? (eyebrows raised while mind races with ideas and requests).
Me: I do not (still smiling and feverishly knitting).
CM: What? Why not! (face no longer elated but suddenly cloudy and cross).
Me: It then becomes work and that takes the joy out of it. It becomes something that I "have" to do instead of something that I "want" to do. I do knit for people, out of love, but never for money.
CM: (flounces away, totally put out).
Me: (shrugs and continues to regain peace and shed anxiety through stitching).

End scene!

Yeah, I am not even embellishing. That is exactly what happened. I have never been asked by a stranger if I 'take orders'. Why would I take orders? If you bake, do you take orders? If you sew, do you take orders? If you draw, sing or play an instrument, do you take orders? Why does my hobby have to all of a sudden become a business - and what gives you the right to be upset when I say no?

This is what I do for my anxiety, for pleasure, for mindless activity - basically, just to live. I knit. I crochet. I do other things as well but they aren't as portable. It is something that I do that brings me joy. I have no idea where the mindset came that such things have to now turn a profit. I do it for the simple act of doing it. The act of doing it is what I love - and the fabulous pile of FOs that I create which I either keep, donate to charity, or gift to people I love.

If someone has a baby, I craft for them. If someone has a tragic event in their life, I craft for them. If someone gets married, I craft for them. It is such a personal experience and present that I don't ever do it for profit. That would tarnish, for me, what I find beautiful about it.

So no, I don't take orders... but I will teach you so you can make whatever idea you had swimming in your head. My lunch is at 7 pm, meet me in the break room... you'll be glad you did.

07 June 2017

Wednesday Wound-Up

Ahhh, Wednesdays... the day where I gather up all of my projects that are in progress and pass judgement on them. "I love working on you". "You are still in time out and I hope you are thinking about what you've done". "Hello, new beautiful project". You may be smiling, giggling even, but you know you do the same thing at some point. So what do I have going on - all of this...

We will start with the oldest first - my Henslowe Shawl. Still love it, just need a break from it. I'll pick her up again soon.

Next is Pork Swinewalker, whom I would like to finish for Pokey for our anniversary. I'll work on him this weekend.

My GGB Socks are on hold while I learn how to do either an afterthought heel or a fish lips kiss heel. Need brain power.

My February Lady Sweater has a completed body and is just needing sleeves to be picked up. I'm thinking this weekend.

I cast this on yesterday because I will need a shrug for my sundresses at work. I hope to have it done before the month is out.
Those are all of my current WIPs wound up in one tidy spot. I hope to have new updates for you on them next week. I have no idea how my crafting time will work out since I just went back to work full time outside of the house. I can tell you, last night when I rolled in the door at midnight, I did not feel like knitting at all. Hopefully, once I get used to it, that will change.

What all do you have laying around on your hooks and needles?

03 June 2017

I can share my secret!!

Finally, I can share what I have been keeping secret - though rather badly, I admit. I quit my WAH job and went back to being a Disney cast member!! Today was my Traditions but I am finally home! I peopled so hard today - I even made a new friend!! Oh my gosh. I am exhausted but in a good way. I'm not peopled out like I thought I would be but peopling at Disney has never worn me out the way it does peopling in the world... I'm sure that probably doesn't make sense but it does to me so there we go.

So here is my day in pictures. I did my best to photograph the bits I could. I couldn't take anything in the Utilidors because that is grounds for instant termination but everywhere else I was allowed, I took pictures. My day started like this...

Disney University - where bigger dreams come true and people get perfectly pixie dusted.
Affectionately known as "DU" where I do have Mousesters and a Ducktorate but I am going to get new ones I think. When you walk in the door, you are greeted by Pluto...

Hey pal!
Yep, he's coming out of the ceiling and saying hey. Then, I walked down the hallway to my classroom and ran into Goofy...

Garsh! Be careful, Goof!!
Once there, we covered the boring bits of Safe-D first  and then, after our first break, we were told that we had mighty big ears to fill and the only way we could do that was...

I think I held myself together pretty well... well... I tried to anyway and that is what counts.
With our own set of ears! Naturally, I put mine on and wore them all day. I can neither confirm nor deny that they are still on my head right now. After a few more Disneyfied orientation bits, we broke for lunch. When had gotten back from our first break, we had to change seats to meet new people and that is when I met Barbara and Zuiy who are going to be at the DRC with me!

Barbara, me, and Zuiy - your Guest Service Specialists
Yes, I was stupid happy all day so ignore my scary over the top smile. I learned that Barbara was a cast member at the DRC the same time I was, we were just on different teams and in different segments. She was also morning part time and I was evenings full time but we had seen each other around. She was so much fun.

After lunch, we did our Utilidor tour and spent a little (very little) bit of time in the Magic Kingdom looking for "good show". My table even voted me to be the leader, which was strangely honorable to me. Then we came back, learned a few more Disney things and our boss came to visit to see how things were going...

Nothing beats having your boss applaud your work on your first day!
He was clapping because they asked a trivia question and I got it right (surprise, surprise right). He gave me a Minnie Mouse figurine. After that, he brought in a box which had the final piece to make us "officially" part of the family...

I'm back!
I am so stupid happy to be back home, I can't even explain it. Now, I'm at my home home and my fabulous husband is making my favorite supper - burgers and tots - which I don't have the heart to tell him that I had it for lunch but I can eat it every meal so I'm good. Today has been perfect. Now to put on my pjs and just stupid smile the rest of the day away.

31 May 2017

21st Street Rice Bowl

In our town, we have a rather large Hispanic community and you can find the best food down on 21st Street. During this transition period, we have had to adjust a few of our habits so dining out has been one of the first things to put aside for special occasions. Well, I was craving some TexMex today and so I went through my pantry and was able to find all the things I needed to make something fabulous... and that is how the 21st Street Rice Bowl came into being.

Here are the ingredients and directions on how to make this delicious dish that will be an instant hit with your family too.

1 lb of ground beef (I used 90/10)
1 16 oz jar of your favorite salsa (I used Publix Mild)
1 10 3/4 oz can of Tomato soup (I used Campbell's)
1 15.25 oz can of sweet corn (I used Green Giant)
Worchestire sauce, to taste (I used Lea & Perrins)
Salt, to taste
1 clove minced garlic
2 cups of rice (I used Publix Instant Rice)
Onion powder, to taste
Four Cheese Mexican Blend, shredded (I use Sargento)
Ranch Dressing (optional, and I used Hidden Valley)

1. Brown the meat with Worchestire sauce, salt, minced garlic, and onion powder. Drain.
2. Add in salsa, tomato soup, and corn. Simmer on medium heat.
3. Make rice according to directions. Once finished, add to the beef mixture and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
4. Scoop into bowl or onto dish, sprinkle top with desired amount of shredded cheese. I like to add ranch dressing to my TexMex and stir it in.

This is a great supper and super fast to make. I think the total time was about 30 minutes. It made 6 servings so I have three suppers in the fridge for when I go to work since I will be working nights. More on that soon, I promise!

11 April 2017

A reminder... for me...

I am waiting... patiently... well... quasi patiently... well... I'm trying to be patient. I can't share at the moment but I am hoping soon that it will all change and then I promise to sing it from the rooftop.

02 April 2017

My gracious!

What a week it has been. The first week back from a vacation is always hard but this one has seemed abundantly so, for various reasons. Some I can share, some I can share in time, and some I may just need to allow to slip away with time because they don't hold any value - to me or you, as there is no lesson to be learned or shared. They were just moments of nastiness that happen and it is always best to just let them go and not allow them to sink in and become a part of the fabric of your soul.

I had a lovely surprise on Monday this week - an unexpected day off! I must have known that I was going to need an extra to recuperate because I headed in to work at 5 am and did not even notice I wasn't supposed to be there until 7 am. Once I did notice though, I debated for a hot minute as to whether or not I would rescind my PTO or just take it... and I took it. I put Hobbit on the bus and took the day to get the house back in order and just relax. I even inadvertently took a nap!

Tuesday, I received some unfortunate news but that is a message for a different day. Tuesday night is the blessing I want to focus on, and oh what a blessing it was! Hobbit was chosen to deliver her TEDx speech for the school competition. Now, to stress how much of an honor this was just to get to the school competition, let me outline the process really quickly. Each teacher has six classes and from those six classes, they had to chose two students - from their combined student total - to send to the school competition. So out of roughly 150 kids, the teacher could only nominate two to move on to the school competition. Hobbit was one of those two for her Language Arts teacher!

There appeared to be 4 6th graders, 3 7th graders, and 9 8th graders who earned the honor of presenting their speeches. The topic was "Taking a Stand"... and guess what...

My precious baby girl won 1st Place and is on her way to District presentations!
We are so stinking proud of her! One of the judges was a local news producer and she gushed over how poised, elegant, articulate, and fabulous she was. She said that Hobbit just blew everyone else out of the water, she was so magnificent. They said their awe was multiplied even further when they found out she was just in 6th grade! The Cambridge Director (prestigious program where the kids can take classes and work towards college credits from the Cambridge University in Great Britain) came over and asked why she wasn’t in the program and “oh by the way”, she was granted approval for her to go in for 7th grade (apparently unheard of - I overheard that all her teachers, the principal, and assistant principal all wrote letters of recommendations for her!). Her teacher and the assistant principal were fawning all over her after she won, telling her how proud they were of her, and how they knew how awesome she was but even they were gobsmacked over her presentation.

My little girl, who is only 11, beat out kids who were up to 13 years old! The other kids all applauded her and congratulated her. She cried because she hears all the time from us how smart she is (think Sheldon Cooper, that’s her - even down to missing the social queues) but to hear it from everyone else was just amazing to her. She said that maybe she should start believing how smart she is… and she really is… like, the highest you can score on the test for placement into the gifted program is 145… she scored 144 and once she explained her reasoning (in 3rd grade when she was tested), the person understood why she answered the one question as she did which prompted that question to be thrown out of future testing due to her “argument” of it being invalid. Although, being as she is, she’s been targeted by bullies and had a very rough go of it in school which this year has caused some challenges. So needless to say, this win was huge!

Wednesday I just enjoyed having the day off of work. I started a shawl with yarn that my best friend left for me to use. I am going to send it to her when I'm done. I have been working on it off and on, even during church this morning... church, wow... but I'll share that in a few minutes. I will, however, share the progress of the shawl right now though.

The pattern is Henslowe by Beth Kling and the yarn is Unisono by Zitron in colorway 1260.
I am interested to see how this yarn plays out. There is some burgundy in there as well that I just haven't gotten to but I am thinking it will be coming into play here soon when I finish that delicious chocolate brown.

Thursday and Friday were just blurred together for various reasons, some good and some not so good but like I said, I will share in time. To gauge how the day was, it required a lot of the following to help get me through...

I murdered some tea this past week. I got an electric kettle for the office so that helped. Sweet & white for the win, always.
Yesterday, Hobbit came down with a cold so I ended up going to visit my folks solo. Pokey stayed home with her and I got some Mama and Daddy time. The first thing we did...

It's still a little strange not seeing my beautiful blue locks!
I know, crazy right! Where is the blue?!? It's been there for over a year now - yes, a whole year I have rocked blue hair. I know it wasn't a favorite look for my mama or my husband, honestly, but it was something I needed to do for me. It was crazy and daring and did you know that the shade of blue I chose was the same as the ribbon color for social anxiety? I didn't either when I chose but I thought it was super appropriate afterwards. My natural hair color is more of an ash strawberry blonde but I didn't want to bleach my hair again so I went a shade or two darker with "natural light auburn" to make sure that the blue was covered and didn't pop out green. It took one bottle for my hair and two for my blue section but I think overall it looks nice. Just going to take some getting used to again.

Then I got to sit and knit with my mama before I had to leave to get back home. I had made a mistake with my shawl while I was anxiety knitting in Cracker Barrel waiting for my husband to show up on Friday night. I don't know what I did but I managed to make a perfect circular hole in a spot just left of center. I believe I may have knit and pulled it over without actually dropping the stitch. Either way, I couldn't figure out how to fix it so I brought it with me to show my mama who can fix anything.

"Here, you work on mine while I fix yours".
Yep, that's what happened. She handed me her yellow baby sweater and I knit on it while she frogged and picked up all the stitches back to before the mess up. I am not good at picking them back. I can fix a dropped stitch without a challenge but since there was nothing dropped, I was just lost. I was ripping it out slowly, thinking I might could put it back together but she offered so we traded. I love knitting with my mama. It is honestly one of my most favorite parts of any visit... just sitting quietly in the room together, my daddy reading and us doing some kind of handicraft.

That brings me to today.. and church. Man oh man, what a message. You see, I haven't found a church home in town so I started "attending" Lakewood Church. Yes, the Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas which is home to Pastor Joel Olsteen. I love his messages and I always walk away refreshed, renewed, and rejuvenated for the week. When Pastor Joel is away, Pastor John Gray steps in and man, that man is ate up with the Spirit, let me tell you! I watched service last night and Saturday services are relaxed. The messages are still good and on point but just more relaxed - jeans, etc. Well, I sat down for early service today with my knitting in hand and I was curious if the message was going to be different. It wasn't, actually. It was the same message but interestingly enough, while I did listen to it last night, I actually heard it this morning. As Pastor John said, I am in a moment and it is "the moment before the moment". My moment is coming but this is the moment before the moment when I should work on those little indicator light items so I am right and ready for my moment. Oh yes, I heard him loud and clear - to the point that I had tears in my eyes because he was hitting everything on the head for me. It is amazing what happens when we hear instead of just listen. Have mercy. So I plan on getting right and ready. Realizing it was 90% of it for me. Execution will not be easy but if I stay mindful, I will be alright. I know, it sounds cryptic right now and I am sorry for that but I promise, there will be a time when you will collectively go "oooooohhhhhh, I get it."

So that was my week. I am excited for this week. I really am. I am hopeful, expectant, and passionately positive about the road before me this week. It is mine for the taking and I plan on planting a sign in the middle of it with my name on it. Look out World, here I come!

26 March 2017

Time flies

Today is the last day of my vacation. I got to spend it with my best friend in the universe. She is my family of choice, the sister I never had, and I proudly claim her at any time. You want to know how I know I had a good time - I hardly took any photographs! I was so "in" the moment that I forgot to capture the moments. I did snag a few so I thought I would share them...

This last one is full of memories. I picked her up from the airport and immediately took her to my favorite yarn shop, Four Purls in Winter Haven, where I had her pick out a skein of Malabrigo so I could make her a hat. She asked if I would make her one so I waited until she was here so she could pick her yarn - Memory 1. Then I spend the first night knitting the band so I wouldn't have to keep up with the pattern, even though it is an easy repeat, while walking around. We sat and talked most of the evening while I worked it - Memory 2. Then we headed to Epcot on her first full day with us where I knit on the hat as we wandered around, something she thought was weird/neat/odd/cool/just me being me. I got half of the body done - Memory 3. The day after Epcot, we headed over to the Magic Kingdom and I did the same thing. Knitting all through the park is just what I do so when she would look at me, I was looking and walking and knitting (without looking which she just thought was magical). I finished the body of the hat that day - Memory 4. The next morning, we drive Hobbit up to spend requested time with Nana. No knitting happened but I did teach her how to crochet by making a granny square! That Friday, we sat around and talked and watched Murphy's Romance. During the movie, I finished the crown of her hat and the pompom - Memory 5.

Now whenever she wears it, she will have it full of memories of her vacation with me and I hope it makes her smile. I know I had the best time. I may be tired now but I honestly couldn't have wished for a better way to be completely exhausted.
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