Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I Lost a Week.

It seems like I lost a week somewhere... has anyone found it?

It's was a rough week at work last week, and everything suffered because of that.  I wasn't in the mood to write my posts; I wasn't in the mood to work on my sweater orders that are waiting to be finished, and I just plain was not feeling great. Stress will do that to a person, and I still have so much stress at my job that is it affecting me big time.  

My mind and my body are wearing down from constant stress ( nine months worth) at work.  I thought things were going to improve 100% once the manager who has been terrorizing myself and my co-workers was gone.  But 100% was a very generous estimation on my part.  Ever the optimist, I thought the problems would leave with her, but we are finding there is more hidden in the cracks and crevices of this department that even we imagined... and sadly it is starting to fall out of those cracks and crevices and land on our heads.

I don't know if it will ever be an environment that is stress-free, and once again I am wondering if it would be wiser to move on rather than try and stick it out for another few years... That indecision in itself is causing me additional stress.

Our weather has turned nasty - extremely cold - which again, we have not experienced this winter much at all, and now we are getting the snow that should have come in December.

I needed a pick me up - so I got my hair chopped off, and for 4.00 I bought myself a little reminder that spring is somewhere in our not too distant future - here's hoping!

Isn't this a lot of pretty for 4.00?  Gotta love Walmart for this!  They also had crocus, daffodils and cyclamens which I might just have to go back and pick up when these lovely flowers are finished. I will plant these bulbs in fall in my garden, and then next spring I will be able to enjoy them again.

And so after a long weekend, I am gonna breeze through this shortened work week, with a smile on my face, because another weekend is now just 3 work days away....  

Hopefully I will also get motivated to work on orders and get my life back on track.

Have a wonderful day everyone....

Friday, February 6, 2015

Wash And Scrub And K1P1

Thank You everyone who stopped by to read yesterday's post about my Aunt.  I could write tons about her, and her beautiful handy work, and in future, I will try and showcase some more of her gorgeous creations over the years.  I am not kidding when I say she has done it all.

I don't know about you - but this lady is really glad it is Friday and the weekend is almost here.  I did my grocery shopping last night, got my hair cut, so this weekend is free for me to get some things done around the house for a change.

The city has been dumping sand on the sidewalks around our home for weeks - and it really feels like most of it has made it's way inside my house.  I can't stand walking around and having grit under my feet - I have been sweeping and vacuuming, but now I have to get down on my one good knee and wash every floor in the house.

I should tear apart a couple of closets for a good cleaning, and Lorn knows I need to get in the craft room and muck that out - but I also have some orders for sweater sets for doll collectors that I need to get done, so I will have to try and balance my weekend somehow...

Here are a couple of sets I made last weekend... these sold right away and this is how the orders came about...

So I guess it will be a busy weekend for me... we are supposed to get a fair amount of snow, so I will have no excuse not to get some things done inside...

Have a great weekend, everyone...  Talk to you next week.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

From and Rant to a Rave

Today I want to honor a very special woman in my life.  My Aunt Margaret Vick.  Today is her 97th birthday!  Happy Birthday Dear Heart - all my love to you on your special day!

My Aunt Margaret has been so many things to me in my life time.  Aunt, Mother, Sister, Friend...  Many have said we are "Birds of a Feather", "Kindred Spirits"... and all that may be somewhat true, but to me she has always been and will always be, one of the most important persons in my life.

My first memory of her, dates back to the early 1960's.  She was the lady who came to see us every year from the "States".  We would head downtown to the bus station and wait with anticipation for the blue Greyhound bus to pull in, and then like magic - she would step off the bus and the real magic would begin.  To me she was a movie star - always beautifully dressed in the latest fashion, high heels, lipstick, and fashionable glasses.  She had the neatest hand bags and luggage, and she always wore lots of jewelry.  She was a 1960's movie star to a little girl who rarely saw women that done up, unless it was Sunday morning in Church.

She came alone those first years but she always had hand-made gifts for everyone - and she always brought me a doll, because she knew I loved my dolls, and because she herself had started to seriously begin to collect dolls.

Then one year she arrived with a man - her new husband Tom.  When we were all set to squawk at the idea that we would no longer have this wonderful woman to ourselves - Uncle Tom blew into our lives and completely stole our hearts in mere minutes.  The two of them together was an awesome thing.  Happiness followed that pair everywhere they went, and the experience of having Aunty Margaret come to visit doubled because of Uncle Tom.

Their happiness was not to be forever.  Uncle Tom passed away at a very young age, leaving Aunt Margaret alone again.
This time she filled her life with her work as a flower designer, her crafts  - which could fill several blog posts and still never be covered fully, her family, and her friends.

In true Aunty Margaret fashion - she forged on and the made the most and the best of her life, her talents and the people around her.  There was and still is nothing she cannot create... She was Martha Stewart - long before there was a Martha Stewart.

She is the most talented woman I have ever known, and along with my mother, she taught me almost everything I know about crafting, creating and working with my hands.

She is the kindest and most generous person I know... she would give you the shirt off her back, if she thought you needed it more.

If I lived in Wisconsin, I would be with her today to celebrate her birthday with her.

She always has been and still is one of the best role models a gal could have - she is the best friend anybody could wish for and without a doubt she is the best Aunt I have ever had!

Happy Birthday Aunty Margaret... I LOVE YOU!

Just a few of her creations:

T-shirt she designed and made...

One of many many quilts she has done

Her Eggery is the most beautiful work she has done.  These are goose and chicken eggs..
Teapots made from Goose and Rhea eggs...

What an amazing woman!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

A Bit Of A Rant!

Please bear with me today - I am somewhat of a bear myself today.  Why?

Today it is a year since I lost my job due to out-sourcing.  It is not so much the loss of the job that sticks in my mind today - but rather the way I was escorted out of my office and workplace like a common criminal.  That and the fact that I was not only escorted out the door, down the elevator - but I was actually escorted right out the building and made to stand outside in -40 weather and wait for my ride, all the while crying my fools head off and wondering - now what?

The Now What - revealed itself in time, but the anger though faded, has never really been replaced with anything near to contentment, peace, or even moderate joy.

Yes I did take 4 months off to "rest and re-group" - but that is hard to accomplish when in the back of one's mind the thought is... I am almost 60 yrs of age - who will hire me?  What other than medical billing am I qualified to do?  I was employed at one place for 17 yrs - can I even come close to making the salary I had worked myself up to getting?  How many weeks vacation would I have to start at in a new job?  I had 5 weeks in the job I just left - was close to getting 6 weeks.  At my age vacation time is a very big deal!

Well someone did hire me at nearly 60 yrs of age, and it was for a medical billing position.  I didn't know then it was in sheer desperation to put someone in a position that had suddenly become vacant due to a long-term employee leaving suddenly.  I did not know it was to constantly be demanded to put out fires created by that employee leaving, and I did not know it was with the expectation that I also endure managerial abuse by the person who hired me.

Yes, I did start at the bottom of the vacation ladder, and now also at the very bottom of the seniority ladder.  No, I would not be making near the same salary I had been making, and yes I was nearing 60 yrs of age as time went on.

As I always do - I stuck it out - I really had no other choice.  I have now been employed for 8 months.  I have suffered much in this position.  I have been lied to, yelled at - I have had a fist swung at me several times.  I have been accused of being "unprofessional, disrespectful, accusatory and borderline insubordinate"... but my words were always good enough to plagiarize in emails to upper management, and my resolutions always appeared to somehow been created by others who were not me.

The final insult came when I was told that I hated people, and that I meant nothing to anyone in my workplace, most especially my boss.

I'm still at the job - the boss has vacated.  I can't say I am sorry, but on day like today with an Anniversary such as it is - well it really causes some serious reflection to occur.

I sincerely hope and pray the next year will bring more happiness than the last one has, because like I told my ex-co-worker and dear friend today (she also was let go that day).  If it doesn't get better, I just might find me a hovel in a bush somewhere, black out my front teeth, build me a fire, and squat...

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Story of Paul

Last week I mentioned how my friend who owns the local doll museum was able to identify my big composition doll, Paul.

I gave him that name because it was a former co-worker and her husband Paul, who had alerted me to his presence at the antique store in the first place.  When I got the doll, I fully intended to name it Pamela - for my co-worker, but when I got the doll home and put together it was pretty obvious that is was a boy doll - and so he became Paul instead.

It is common for doll collectors to name their dolls after people.  Most will name a doll based on who owned it prior (if they know the name), or who they bought the doll from, or who gave it to them.  Some times the name happens by the circumstance of the collector acquiring the doll - much like my Paul.  Sometimes a doll is given a name because it resembles someone the collector knows - quirky - but true!

I try hard acquire the story of a doll if I can.  I have some dolls who have wonderful stories, and many more that I know nothing about.  Paul is one of those.  I know he is old  (over 100 yrs) much older than I had originally thought.  I know he is a Canadian Made doll, which means he might have been purchased right here in Manitoba and never left this area in all those 100 some years.  I asked the man who owns the antique store if he could remember where he acquired him, and he could not.

What I do not know about him intrigues me to no end!  What was the little girl who loved him and played with him like?  She must have loved him, because for his age he is in not too bad a shape.  Indeed many of these old composition dolls (made from saw dust and glue) did not survive because they are very susceptible to damp and moisture which totally destroys them.  It is obvious that Paul was not left in a damp basement, or out sitting on a porch in the rain, or left behind outside on a swing or a picnic blanket.

Did he have a carriage?  What were his original clothes like?  What was the world like when Paul was a new doll just being held for the first time?

I did a bit of research so I could answer a few of my own questions for my doll journal.

Paul was made the year that the Boy Scouts of America was founded, and the year that George V became King.  David Niven was born the same year as Paul - as was Mother Teresa!

Children were reading books like, "Uncle Tom's Cabin"; "The Secret Garden"; "Andrew Lang's Fairy Books" (which sound terribly interesting - might have to try and fine one of these); "Uncle Jim's Canadian Nursery Rhymes" (didn't know we had our own nursery rhymes!); "Uncle Wiggly" (I do have one of these chapter books - it belonged to my older brothers).

Raggedy Ann had already become a favourite childhood toy and little boys were playing with Tinker Toys.  Little girls and their dolls played with real china - doll-sized tea-sets, doll carriages or prams, and Mohair Teddy Bears.

Awe  - if only my old boy could talk - imagine the tales he could tell...

I will never know the real story of Paul - but I can create any one I want, with my own imagination!