Dec 24, 2012

TUSAL - Final One for 2012

The Totally Useless SAL is coordinated by Daffycat.

This month, my ort pile features threads from:
Sampler aux Bouquets
Winter Warm Penguin

Twas The Day Before Christmas

Are ya'll set for Christmas?  I hope so... only one more day left!  I really didn't have time to set up my usual Christmas decor, so I did the best I could on short notice.  Here's my tiny little tree with an actual tiny working Santa train underneath.  If you look carefully, there's a tiny little present, too.  Fake, of course.

On the other side of my dining room is the wrought iron tree that I keep up year round to hang the ornaments as I make them.

Right next to the tree is the doorway to the kitchen.  This year, I hung my Christmas cards around the door.

In my previous post, I mentioned that my new employer held their 2nd Annual Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest.  I did try to find an "ugly" sweater but I didn't have much notice so I was just an observer this year.  There were some interesting contestants though!  Winners were chosen by coworker votes.  Take a gander...

1st Place
2nd Place
3rd Place
Honorable Mention
Honorable Mention
Apparently, suppliers send the company lots of gifts during the holidays.  The company calls the 200+ corporate employees to the front of the building to draw names for the gifts.  Management puts on Santa hats and passes the gifts out as names are drawn.  My name was drawn 2nd!  Can you believe that?  What gift did I get? Something called gourmet cheese straws.  They're kinda like cheese nips.
Later in the day, my employer catered in lunch.  We had Chicken George, salad, and french fries.  Chicken George is basically chicken fingers with a special dipping sauce.
Two of the other staff accountants are behind on their account analysis so I've been trained a little bit on it and have been muddling my way through their accounts.  There's a lot of research involved to ensure the entries from other departments are correct.  I met the CEO and he gave me a warm welcome and told me the company would keep me busy.  :)
Winter has hit the midwest with a vegeance!  I left work early on Wednesday and what should've taken 40 minutes to travel home took me 2 hours.  I drove in whiteout/blizzard conditions and barely could see the road.  There were 7 vehicles in a line going the same direction as me... we all were going 15-20mph.  As I pulled into my city, my Dad called me to tell me to stay at a hotel/motel in the city where I worked.  Oops, too late... but it was touching that he was thinking about my travel home and thought enough to call.  The next day highways were closed and sheriff's depts in two counties recommended not traveling when I called them.  I finally ventured out around noon to head for work.  Once I got out of my county -- which was nerve-racking -- the rest of the roads where clear.  I spent two days chipping ice off my driveway!  Here's what The Homestead looks like after our first snowfall of the season:
Someone asked me how Celeste likes the winter weather.  She's got a double coat, so the snow doesn't seem to phase her unless it's deeper than her little legs... which is most of the time.  I clear out a good section of the backyard so she can do her business.

For the past 3 days, I have been battling 100-103F fever, sore throat, and slight cough. Today, I woke up with white spots toward the back of my throat so I decided to go to the doctor.  The doctor said I have an upper respiratory infection for sure and the lab was slow for the strep test, so I don't know if I have it or not.  He put me on antibiotics and said it would take care of both.  I'll be foregoing Christmas festivities in an effort to get more rest, and don't want to take the chance of getting anyone else sick.
I received word that an ornament I did for an exchange finally arrived at its new home.  (It helps if I put the correct address on the envelope!)  The recipient is Glenda of Cross Stitch and Cat Hair.  Here's what I stitched for her:

Design: Christmas Cardinal
Designer: Stoney Creek
Fabric: 14ct Zweigert White with Silver Metallic Aida
Fibers: DMC, Kreinik
Embellishments: Handmade Cording, Snowflake buttons
Until next time,


Dec 17, 2012

Marvelous Monday Update 12/17/12

My first week went pretty well.  I was given a couple of small projects to do.  As part of my orientation, I've been sitting with various people in different departments to get an idea of what each department does. I've also sat with other accountants to learn what they do. Every person I've talked with has said how much they like the company. A coworker today told me out of the employers she's had, this is the best place she's ever worked.  Every week, HR does a random drawing for the reserved employee parking spaces.  My name was drawn for this week!  How cool is that?  Tomorrow is the Ugly Christmas Sweater contest.  I did go thrifting to find one, but didn't score. *sigh*  On Wed, the company is having lunch catered in and does drawings of gifts provided by suppliers.  Then later in the afternoon "elves" will go around delivering Christmas gifts to each employee.

I still can't show the ornament I made a couple weeks ago. :( I inadvertently put the address incorrectly on the package so it was returned to me.

I did finish another ornament that I can show, though!  The photo really doesn't do it justice.  The fabric is actually an ice blue color (not gray like in the photo).  The fabric the ornament sits against is the fabric I used on the back of the ornament.

Fabric:  18ct Hand-dyed Blue Opalescent Aida
Fibers: Six Strand Sweets, DMC, Unknown Cotton
Embellishments: Snowflake Buttons, Handmade Cording
Design can be found HERE
I also finished Part II of Sampler aux Bouquets!  Here's an update pic:
Other WIP pics cane be seen HERE.

Dec 3, 2012

And Now For The Good News!

Remember Elaine from Seinfeld? LOL

Before you get any ideas... No, I do not dance like that!!  But I have been doing a happy dance...

Why, you might ask?  Because right before Thanksgiving, I was offered a new job!  That's right... after 2½ years, hundreds of resumes sent out, half a dozen interviews later... I've found a full time job with better pay.  Woo Hoo!!

The worst part of this experience so far was giving my employer of 15 years notice.  Ironically, my last day was the same day I started... my 15 year anniversary.  Surprisingly, the people I told reacted totally different than I expected.  The last two weeks went fairly well.  Most of my coworkers were happy for me.  I received quite a few emails from clients wishing me well and telling me how much they've enjoyed working with me, which was nice to hear.  The ladies I worked close with took me out to lunch, and my performance coach brought in a pizza-size chocolate chip cookie treat that said "Good Luck".  He said he truly didn't blame me for leaving the company.  Let's just say morale hasn't been the best since the old firm was acquired by a much larger one.

I didn't realize until after I left my old job last Friday how much animosity and dissatisfaction I'd been harboring toward the company. It seemed like it all was lifted when I walked out the door for the last time as an employee. I will definitely will miss those I worked closest with. The worries about when/if I was going to lose my job due to future changes in the pipeline I am not going to miss. I will also not miss sitting around twiddling my thumbs and wasting the degrees I've spent thousands on because that employer didn't seem to care about putting my skills to good use.

Today I started my new job!  A full time job with good benefits -and- much better pay.  I had a good first day!  Most of it was spent doing orientation and meeting lots of new faces... none of whom I remember, lol.  I first applied at this company over a year and a half ago...  didn't get the staff accountant job that time.  When I saw they had another opening, I applied again.  Why?  Because when I was there the first time, I was able to observe employees and got a good feeling about the place.  Both HR and the comptroller talked about how the company still had a "family feeling" to it even though they have approximately 1000 personnel nationwide.  When I interviewed this time around, I got the same vibes I did the first time.  Employees seemed happy and were very friendly not only to strangers (me), but to each other.  Employees have told me what a fun place it is to work at.  I'm hoping this is true!  Tomorrow is a "food" day... one of the vendors is catering in something called a pasta crock with garlic bread for lunch.  Several employees pointed this out of me today, lol.

Last week, I decided to make an Italian Roasted Chicken.  I've made this a few times before and it's soooo good.

After the BF and I devoured it (not in one sitting, mind you), I made chicken and rice soup in the crockpot.  I had enough soup for like 4 meals!

One of the local thrift stores had a sale on books.  I picked up quite a few.... for only $1.80!

See the frog dancing?  Know why he's so happy?  Because he spent a good amount of time at my house this past weekend!

I worked on Sampler aux Bouquets II and I frogged the tree medallion.  And I frogged it again, and again, and again!  Ugh.  I finally finished it and moved onto another section.  So far, so good... no frogging.  Here's what it looked like before:
And now:
I also finished my 3rd ornament for an exchange.  Once it arrives at it's new home, I'll be able to show a pic of it.  I told Glenda (the recipient) the postal clerk had to pry it from my fingers because I wanted to keep it, lol.
I received a really pretty ornament from Chris in the SNS2 Ornament Exchange.  I don't think the photo does it justice...

The white on the ornament is actually beading.  So pretty!

I also received an ornament (two actually!) from the CSE Ornament exchange from Lori.
Cute little birdies
Until next time,