Friday, June 5, 2015

What's that Crazy Mom been up to?

I'll bet you thought I just gave up the ghost. No, I've been busy.

I've been VERY busy at work. Lots of things to do, but I like it a lot. We are moving to a different floor in the building - below is my view from my office. Note that I said office - I won't be in a cube - hurrah!

I've been dating a bit. On and off. Mostly off. Mostly guys I'm not interested in - and then there was that guy who as soon as he met me, he kissed me stuck his freakin' tongue down my freakin' throat. EWWWWW!!! No second date with that one. Yuck.

I've been dealing with the Stooges.

Larry has had some very serious health issues that required 2 hospitalizations - and he has no health insurance. I flew down to FL to be with him during the first - and scariest - of the hospital visits. And now he has no job, so we moved him back up to Hotlanta to live with his brothers. He's going to be ok, needs to get a job and concentrate on getting better.

Moe has graduated from high school!  DH The Ex and I saw him do it and were very happy to have the youngest done. As to what he will do now - I have no idea. He has not applied to a single college. SOOOO frustrating. Get a job Moe! Go to college!

Curly - remember my frustrations with Curly? Cross your fingers, the worst of that seems over! Curly is working selling mobile phones and plans for a big company, does a great job for them, they want him to be store manager soon. He's taking his meds! He's got a girlfriend with personality and ambition! He seems grateful for things I've done for him! He calls me up and tells me he loves me!

All the Stooges are now out of my house. They have moved in with DH The Ex, who lives nearby in a nice brick ranch with a big yard. DH The Ex volunteered to do have them all. We are on good terms - of course, he wants me back big time. That ain't happening.

I've tatted a little tiny bit. Here's something I made for one of the guys I've been going out with.

And I'm teaching again at Tat Days - I'm doing 2 of Nina's gorgeous patterns.

I've had my own share of health issues - no worries, I'm fine! But I had a stay in the hospital too, had cellulitis. I had my laptop with me and worked the entire time, 'cause that's what I do. (And why my company loves me...) And I had this lovely view:

This is not abstract art - it was a lovely view of the hospital roof

I'm better. Really I am. I was annoyed to have to be there.

However - one of the biggest things that I've been doing is finding new housing - for me, not the Stooges, just me and the cats. And I've found a place.

A condo just for ME!!!!

In this complex.Yes, this is the view from the 2nd bedroom.

With this view at night from my balcony.

This is the daytime view from a different angle - you can see the Hotlanta skyscrapers.

The condo is in a part of Hotlanta that's its own little city, considered one of the top 10 most walkable urban areas in the country. More than 40 restaurants within walking distance. Seven miles to my office. A block to the subway. It's safe. It's artsy. It's hip. It's not in the cultural desert that I've been living in. And no real maintenance. I'll close on it very soon - and I'll have it totally paid off by the time I retire. Woo-hoo!!!!

Oh - and I'm heading to London Monday on business - I have to hire a new staff member in that office. Across the pond I go!

And that Saturday - I'll see Jane!!

Monday, January 26, 2015

And then some other stuff happened....

Dear Friends

Just so you'll know, I haven't fallen in a hole, I haven't died, I haven't forgotten how to tat.

But I have been VERY busy.

Saturday was a year since Chez Crazy burnt down. And it's taken much of the year to recover. Some things have not recovered - but I am well.

 We have chosen NOT to rebuild the house. As Moe is in his last year of high school and I've been commuting into Hotlanta for lo these many years, I've decided to use the opportunity to move into a condo in town after he graduates. For now, we're living in a little rental home near the site of the old Chez Crazy (AKA the Ash Heap).

I worked for a LONG time to get the final list to the insurance company on the contents of the home. I have to tell you, this is not for the faint of heart. Think about listing by name every SINGLE item in your home, the brand name, when you bought it, what you paid for it, where it was located. Ugh. Fortunately I had enough sense to hire a Property Adjuster to help me - they were able to help build the claim and work with the insurance company to get the maximum value for me.

We have some bare minimum furnishings in the home, just enough for us. I don't know what I'll need when I move to a condo - I'll get those things then.

But we DID get some kitties! Moe begged and begged, he was missing kitties so bad.

This is Lucy.

And this is Theo.

They were fostered together and play nicely. They are very close in age, but not litter mates. They sleep with me. And Moe is happy.

Larry is happy living in Florida. Curly is out on his own in an apartment nearby, selling mobile phones. Moe is doing whatever seniors in high school do. I'm happy in my job. And DH....

Oh dear.

That's where this gets complicated.

After 28 years of marriage, DH and I divorced. It's quite complicated - but the end of any marriage is. DH The Ex and I remain on very good terms; I'm even on good terms with my MIL. He's not a bad man, and I wish him no ill. But I could no longer be married to him. And frankly, the fire made divorcing him easier for me.

Funny how things happen, isn't it?

Anyhow, I'm moving on with my next phase of my life. I haven't tatted much, though I did teach at Tat Days 2014. I'm doing a bit of photography. And I'm looking into dating (which is SO weird!).....

So folks, I'll be back, just on an occasional basis. Wish me well, won't you?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Tatters are the nicest people

First off, I really, really appreciate the sympathy and warm wishes after our recent fire. Folks have been so kind to us. Lots of people have reached out and sent emails, cards, and more. I feel really fortunate. It's good to be loved.

And if I haven't responded to your email, don't be offended. I'm, um, kinda busy.

By the way, things are going pretty well. We are moving into a furnished rental home on Friday, all paid for by the insurance. It's close to our old place (AKA the ash heap), it's the right size, and quite by accident, it's on Moe's school bus route! I can't wait to have a kitchen again - eating out all the time really gets old. 

Back to tatters.

I found a lovely card that appeared in my mail.  

It was a card from my friend Joanie, with this pretty tatted angel inside. Wasn't that nice? It made my day. The angel is beautiful. Thank you, Joanie.

Later in the week, a box appeared. (BTW, my neighbor is getting the mail. My house burned, but the mailbox still works great.) What could be inside?

Wow! A treasure trove of things, all the basics any good tatter could desire. All courtesy the wonderful Georgia Seitz. Three balls of Lizbeth, a crochet hook, two shuttles and picot gauges (made by Richard Seitz), plus a ton of tatting patterns. I'm overwhelmed. So thoughtful. Thank you very kindly, Georgia.

Now - on to deal with all the stuff that happens with moving. Utilities, deposits, furniture, etc.

I think I will fix meatloaf the first night. The Stooges like meatloaf.

Back to normal soon....

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

And then This Happened...

I was going to tempt you with some tatting I've been designing...

Or tell you about the lovely gift I got from Wendy...

Lovely tatting! So pretty!
Or even tell you about the terrific place I went on a business trip, staying at the Biltmore Estate..

My room at the Inn on Biltmore Estate
But then this happened.

And if you're wondering - yes, that's my house. On fire.
Here it is now.

It's a total loss. Nothing is left. The house had been almost 3000 sq ft, plus a full basement. And lots of stuff in it.
But there were good things.
First - no one was home. This happened Friday morning, I got the call about 9:45 am. I was at work, DH was out of town, Larry lives in Florida now (he's really upset but is ok), Curly was at work, and Moe was at school. So no one was in the house, and we are all safe.
And we have insurance to cover us. The insurance company is putting us up in a hotel, has given us a decent advance on expenses, and is finding a house for us to rent while we are out of our home.
Plus all my friends, family, neighbors, and church family have jumped in to help, bringing money and gift cards and food and clothes and we have many offers of furniture and appliances for us. Folks are falling all over themselves to help us.
And my employer is being so great and supportive during this. My boss's boss insisted on following me home to make sure I was ok, and told me not to worry about work until I got things situated.
So, in many ways we are so very lucky.
But we lost all the pets.
It was 11 degrees F (-11.5 C) that morning, and we had all the animals inside. We are responsible pet owners. But now all our pets are gone.
My Cisco.
Mr. Vader.
My beautiful Lily.
Plus the dogs - Rocket and Abby,
and Curly's kitten Daisy.

The boys are sad. I'm sad. But we have to comfort ourselves knowing that the smoke probably got to them, and they just went to sleep. They didn't suffer.

They were darling pets. They will be missed beyond words.

We will be ok. God made me a tough lady who keeps her head in emergencies. Do not stress over me. We are being cared for. We will be made whole again.

We will be ok. Really we will.

I needed new flooring in my kitchen. Guess I'll get it now, huh?

PS I've already bought two shuttles and some Lizbeth. You can't keep a good tatter down!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year And..

What the heck have I been doing?

I have been tatting, just a little.

This is an earring set done for a friend, my own design. The HDT is Coral Reef size 40, by TatsKool.

I've been working like crazy at my new job. It involves a lot of contact with folks hither and yon, such as London and Cape Town. (Really!) One of the benefits of my new job is having my cell phone set up (on the company dime) so that I can call any place short of the moon with no special charges. It's great!

But talking to folks hither and yon means dealing with them in their time zones. Mine is GMT plus 5 hours, or Eastern Standard Time. So I have to talk to people at odd hours.

Here's a picture I took of the sunrise - taking while I was both driving to work and on the phone with the London office. It was lunchtime in London.

(Don't worry, I use a headset. I have a very excellent driving record.)

Anyhow, I've been working my TAIL off! Lotsa hours! Working on weekends! Video Skyping with my developer in Hyderabad! Conference calls with people in Brazil and Paris and Toronto! Working through lunch! Staying really late! On the phone with London before 7 am!

In short, not much time for other stuff. Like tatting. Sad face.

But - the folks at my company are super nice and the office is in a great location. And it pays really, really well! Woo-hoo!

I have had nice holidays - all the Stooges were here for Thanksgiving (tho Larry couldn't come for Christmas). Thanksgiving was fun and restful. Larry is doing well in Florida, seems happy. He's been enjoying Growing Facial Hair and came home sporting a goatee that dragged his chest. He got spaghetti sauce in it immediately when he came home - yuck!


This week Larry sent me a picture of himself. The goatee was longer, and he's now sporting a Mohawk. The caption of the picture was "I pity the fool"!

Pretty awful.

Moe and I traveled some during the Christmas holiday, driving 500 miles each way on various interstates. We noted several things on the road.
  • Most folks living in Ohio seem to own RVs. 
  • Lots of people from Ontario do too. 
  • There are rude drivers on the road - and those of us from the South are generally not part of that group. 
  • Some of the RV drivers from Ontario want to OWN the road! There was one (driving an enormous late-model RV & pulling a car) that seemed to be going 80 mph most of the time.
Moe drove part of the time. He did ok - only tried to kill me once. That was when he took BOTH hands off the steering wheel to eat a hamburger, allowing us to lurch across the center line on I-75. I made him pull over immediately. New rule for Moe - no eating and driving.

Lily liked Christmas. She was very excited about the mess. (That's Moe's stuff.)

Santa Paws brought the Kittahs a present. They love this.

Hope your holidays were happy....

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Last days at old job and a new bag

Elvis has left the building. I am now free of my old gig. And Monday I start my new one. Hurrah!

I have to say - I went out on a high note. I gave appropriate notice before leaving (that's two weeks here in the States) and I did excellent turnover of my responsibilities. I spent a lot of time documenting what I did and then I trained people on my old duties. And I think there was some appreciation of what I had been doing.

For example, while going over one large section of my work, my immediate supervisor's eyes started to bulge and then glaze over while he began to comprehend what I was doing. In the past, the guy (who's really very nice) had done basically nothing to supervise me. The sum total of his supervision was to ask me for a report that I gave monthly to my user community, and to ask me to write my own performance evaluation. Really. So he was a little taken aback once he was forced to pay more attention. Heh.

But in the end I turned over everything and no more questions came.

And then there was cake.

My director threw a little party for me, inviting all of the department for cake and ice cream. (The cake was roughly the size of an air craft carrier deck. The leftovers stayed at work.) Some very nice things were said, and I was especially surprised when I received a lovely card signed by the group. And there was money inside, a group gift!! Woo-hoo!! How nice!

And then there were balloons.

Balloons from Accounting

The next day - my last day - my group took me out to eat. They also invited a number of my client base, who came bearing balloons and gifts and cards. And questions like "Who's going to help us now?" When I told them, their faces fell. Oh Dear.

But everyone was super nice and hugged me and congratulated me. And I went on. Time for the new job!

I do feel very good about the way my old job ended up. Sometimes people can't wait to push you out the door. But not this time. What a lovely thing...

And after I ended up at my old job, I found a cool new toy.

For those of you who have a Aldi near you, they have this great rolling bag now for $15. It's nylon and has outside pockets and a top that zips and a long collapsible handle. It would be great as a tatting bag (especially at conferences) or a bag for travel. It's the right size for using as carry on for airline travel too. It comes in several colors - go get one now! I'm going to decorate mine with tatting.

Next week - new job! Hurrah!

Monday, November 4, 2013

What's up at Chez Crazy

Sorry I've been absent lately. Things have been busy at Chez Crazy.

Moe turned 17. How is that possible? He was a baby just the other day.

He used to look like Cindy Lou-Who's brother.

Little Moe, who used to be so cute and sweet, is now almost 6 feet tall. He wears size 13 men's shoes. He is LARGE.

Moe had specific requests for his birthday gifts. These were his specified needs:

  • A replacement mp3 player for his crappy broken mp3 player - does not need to be an Apple product.
  • 2 cans of Spam.

"If I get these, I'm good!" he told me. What's a mother to do?

Of course he got these little things, plus a few more things which he was very pleased with. What a good boy!

The big news at Chez Crazy is related to me. After many months of on-again, off-again job hunting, I have finally landed a terrific job! I start Monday working at an international business consulting firm. I'll be supporting their internal Accounting functions (I'm an IT geek). The pay is really outstanding - I feel like I've won the lottery! And bonus - some international travel! Probably a week per year in London, maybe other places. Woo-hoo!!!

Many at my old office are sad to see me go. And I've been there for some time - 7.5 years is really a long time in the IT world. So I'm being thrown a little party today and having a big going-away luncheon tomorrow. It's really nice to know that you've been appreciated.

Want to see a few things Larry's come up with? His Superheros have rock bands!


And Red.

I don't know who won his battle of the bands.

I leave you with my little sugar maple in my front yard. If you look carefully at the top, you'll see a wren puffed up on a branch.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Final update on Palmetto Tat Days 2013

One of the cool things at Tat Days this year happened at the banquet.

A nice guy named Tom Venturini was introduced at the podium. Tom is not a tatter, but he has major MAJOR tatting in his family by way of his great aunt, Lucy Concistre. Mrs. Concistre was incredibly prolific. Let me show you what I mean by prolific.

This is Mrs. Concistre, Tom's great aunt, in front of one piece of her tatting. The tatting is not enlarged - that's really her standing in front of it. It's her version of The Lord's Supper, taken from a painting. This picture was taken for a 1951 article in McCall's Needlework Magazine. There was also an article in the February 1951 Catholic Home Messenger.

This is not a joke. The tatting is ENORMOUS. It's six feet by eight feet. The tatting is done in squares of 4 rings, many many many squares.

And she tatted it ALL in three years. THREE YEARS! This is phenomenal to me. This should be in the Smithsonian Museum.

And this isn't all that she tatted!  There's tons of things, some of which are detailed here on Tom's family website. You can read the magazine article there too.

The sad thing is that the big pieces are not in the family's possession, and they'd like to have them. No one seems to know where they are. The reason that Tom came to Tat Days was to meet Georgia Seitz, because she had been looking for this Lord's Supper piece for decades. Tom was blown away that someone would want to preserve some of his family's heritage - he was moved to tears. He presented Georgia a gorgeous large doily that his great aunt, Mrs. Concistre, tatted.

What a great guy!

Georgia will continue to look for the Lord's Supper. And we were mighty happy to have family of a great tatter there!! Here are Tom's pictures of the Tat Days.

I leave you with a lovely picture of a recent sunset...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Palmetto Tat Days 2013 Part deux

Sorry that it's been a while since I posted. I promised you another post on Tat Days, so here you go!

I taught three classes at Tat Days this year, and I think people had a good time.  This is a completed Dainty heart that was needle tatted by Schari of the Southern Belles, the Tennessee group. All of those folks are such fun!

Theresa is showing off her heart. You're a funny lady, Theresa! She's wearing one of the theme shirts.

My Christmas tree set class was almost full. Lots of happy people. Diane, Melissa, and Nancy are working away.

As you can see, our location affords us classroom space. This is great for our classes! Lynda is taking a picture of Linda and her Christmas Tree.

Here's Sharron, my class assistant, answering questions on making the Christmas trees. I think most everybody finished one in class.

I taught Starry Night Earrings too. Joy and Karrieann  enjoyed the class. Hey Karrieann!

One of the fun things about Tat Days in the Silent Auction, which fills a room. People donate great stuff, and folks bid on it. The proceeds go to scholarships for Tat Days. I think there were 12 scholarships given this year - the Palmetto ladies are very generous. Here's a nice selection of items to bid on.

Some lucky person went home ready for the holidays with this tree. Too bad Miss Ambitatterous wasn't there - she would have pounced on this one!

Someone got this great doll with a tatted skirt.

And Nina donated a beaded set. Nina's stuff is gorgeous.

Linda Davies donated several of her beautiful doilies. Here's a couple - aren't they beautiful? I think these are her designs too.

One of the fun things to do at Tat Days is just to tat 'n' chat. And there's plenty of opportunity for that! Here are Martha, Erin, and Lynda in the big Gathering room that Saturday night.

And Marie and Sharren were working away. Don't look so surprised Sharren, it's only a camera!

JB is intent on her work. (She's a real hoot!)

If you want to experience some of the Tat Days fun, there is recorded video here. And best in show winners are now listed on the Tat Days site - take a look! This is a tatted mouse made by Randy.

Also - the 2013 pattern CD is now for sale. If you didn't go to Tat Days, you can at least get all the patterns.

A special surprise in my next post - pictures of a tatted version of a famous painting!