Beltane

A Blessed Beltane to you all.  Image here shared from Lightworkers.

Beltane

Sorry I’ve not been here much lately, but I have been out enjoying the wonders of nature, interspersed, of course, with getting some work done.  I’ll share some photos when I get the chance to process them.

Did you see the moon last night?

Deep in the darkest hour, of a very heavy week . . .

Little bite

 

Half Bite

 

Total Eclipse

They’re not the best photos, but given the tiny little camera and my shaky hands, they didn’t come out too badly.

As to the very heavy week — I quit my new job.  I liked the people, and I liked the concept of the company for which I was working, but the training was fairly lackluster and I didn’t feel good about hopping on the phones and making a fool of myself.  I don’t think my evening supervisors realized that our 5:00 a.m. trainings put us in a slightly failed class and that I’d not had much experience on the phone at all.  They were ready to throw me to the wolves on Friday night, and when I balked, they simply said to do it.  I was not prepared, so we parted ways.  I’ve registered with a temp agency and they’ve indicated they’re very interested.  I have an interview on Thursday morning.

Catching up

Well, I pretty much completed training at work.  I finished the two weeks, despite having the plague, but they decided not to graduate us onto the next level because we didn’t learn everything we should have, no doubt from having to get up in the wee hours to be at work by 5:00 a.m.  Truth be told, I think the trainers were not at top form at those hours either, and they left out a lot of what we should have learned.  I was a bit panicky going back yesterday, but a fifteen minute early arrival in the break room was quite fortuitous.  I asked a bunch of questions of a more seasoned employee, and I got a much better grasp on a few procedures.  Last night was really pretty enjoyable, despite still having to blow my nose all too frequently!

I am, I think, finally on the mend.  I’ve not felt the hot flashes and dizziness of the fever for a few days, and I can actually breathe again, so that’s all good!  Of course, the virus is running like wild fire through the building, so by the time I’m totally well, the last person will probably give it back.  I’m hoping I’ve built up a good immunity.

We did go to see The Grand Budapest Hotel a week ago Sunday.  I really enjoyed the movie, although the ending was a bit lack-luster.  This, however, is sort of typical for Wes Anderson.  It was a good romp, though.

On the Rowenta front, I really like the new iron.  It heats up well, produces copious amounts of steam, and even has a boost button to give more steam when necessary.  The port for filling it with water has a rubber stopper, so I’m thinking that if I turned the iron upside down, it wouldn’t leak.  Experience teaches me that I shouldn’t do that, so I’ve been hesitant to test that hypothesis.  I may get to be really daring later in the week, and I’ll let you know if it turns out to be water-tight.  I have a small custom quilt on the machine right now that had become rather creased before I loaded it, so I tested the iron’s capabilities by giving it a nice pressing.  Not one tiny wrinkle remained.  This is a true Rowenta.

Ozzie and I have been getting out to the dog park frequently, but most of my walking has taken place on lunch hours at work.  I’m transitioning to graveyard shift, so yesterday, I was off during the most glorious daylight hours.  It was 70° and strikingly beautiful here.  Ozzie and I did go for our long walk in the park.  So many of the flowers have begun to bloom, even lilacs and a few rhododendrons.  Everything is so green and fresh.  We’ll be heading out there again soon, as today is supposed to be even more spectacular than yesterday.  Rain coming tomorrow and Thursday, so we’ll take full advantage.  I hope spring is on the way for all of you.  I know a few friends who are actually getting more snow today, and that just makes me sad.  Spring be with you!

Phew – I made it!

Every day last week, I got up at 3:30 or 4:00 in the morning, showered, made coffee, filled my thermos, packed my lunch and drove to Veneta to train for my new job.  I was not late once!  There were a few days when I felt as though my face would crash into the keyboard, as I was so tired I couldn’t stand it.  Along about Thursday, I realized it was better to go stand up by the wall during video presentations, because it’s a lot harder to fall asleep when you’re standing up than sitting down.  Anyway, learning at that time of day is not optimal, and by the middle of our day yesterday, we came down to a test.  I really thought I would cry.  Lots of things we had covered to find on the screen, navigating around, and I knew where they were, but it was a struggle to remember.  I think I did okay.  At any rate, it’s not like there’s a pay raise hanging in the balance.  It will just tell the trainers what I didn’t learn and what I need to work on.  Next week, I’ll be shadowing a colleague who’s been doing my level of work for a few days and trying to do actual work with lots of supervision, and I think that will be much more enjoyable.  Everyone is very nice and supportive, so it would be really hard to fail.  (She says that now and cringes at the possibility of failure down the road).

The only unfortunate thing about this job is close proximity to lots of people and hence, their germs.  The woman who sat next to me all week complained of coming down with a cold and her manners were less than delicate in the cover-your-mouth when coughing, etc., mode, so I was not surprised when I began to get a sore throat yesterday morning.  At our first break I headed to the grocery store in the same complex and got some Zicam and cough drops.  By the time we left work, I was feeling really sick, but I kept the Zicam up and I think I’m going to make it.  I have no voice this morning, but I really don’t feel all that bad.  I started massive doses of vitamin C when I got home from work and I’ll keep the Zicam and vitamin C up all day today.

No time to be sick!  I have a quilt to do today, and tomorrow my friends and I are going to see The Grand Budapest Hotel.  We’ve been waiting weeks to see it and have been frustrated with its limited release status.  I hope it is as good as the trailers make it out to be.   I do tend to love Wes Anderson films.

RIP Rowenta

I was finishing up a client quilt yesterday and got to the end where I always need to release the quilt from the leader grips and do a bit of steaming and pressing to even out the quilt bottom.  I turned on my trusty Rowenta Professional and . . .  nothing happened!  At first, I thought perhaps I’d blown a circuit and the outlet wasn’t working, but there is a power strip there that feeds power to the auto-advance for my quilting machine, and that was working fine.  I tried it in another outlet, and no go.  I got the iron as a gift for my 50th birthday, so if it had lasted about four more months, it would have been 10 years old.  I loved that iron.  It got hot quickly, had lots of steam, and mine never leaked.  I know some folks have trouble with Rowentas leaking.  I was so sad to see it go.

I did a search on irons, both on some of the lists in which I participate, and on some friends’ blogs.  Judy Laquidara had some reviews on her blog and, while she tried a few others, I think the last one she got that she liked was a Rowenta.  So, I decided to give Rowenta another try.  I came upon this little model on Amazon, and it was so pretty (well, for an iron, anyway!), that I just had to get it.  It arrived today.  I’ll let you all know how I like it and if I have any problems with it spitting on me.

rowenta iron

 

I love the colors of this one, and the pretty design on the sides just sealed the deal for me.  I’m hoping it will be as good as my last one!

I think I’m gonna like it here!

I have completed orientation and day three of my new job.  Due to the fact that they are trying to train two separate groups this week, I’ve been having to get up at 3:30 a.m. so I can shower, get coffee made, lunch packed and get out to Veneta by 5:00 a.m., when I start work.  I’m normally a night owl.  My bedtime is generally about one or two in the morning, so this is a real change for me.  I haven’t minded at all, though!  Work is kind of fun, and if you play your cards right, it comes with lots of perks.  If I refer people from my community to work there and they get hired, I can earn a bonus of $50.  After my two week training period, I get a $100 travel coupon to use with AirBNB.  I then earn another every 90 days.  They expire in a year, and I have to work of course, but I can envision some days off spent in some nice locations at the coast or in the mountains!  They’ve told us there are plenty of opportunities for over-time.  Turns out there are frequently over-time parties on Saturdays, during which the entire atmosphere is party — music, activities, and they barbecue hamburgers and ribs for us to eat!  Protein!!  This is my kind of place.  So, I’m really enjoying the job so far, and think I’ll like it even better when I get to a shift that is more to my liking.

Here’s the scoop

As many of you know, I retired early after 32 years of service at the University of Oregon.  I like to think of it as being paroled after 32 years hard time, but the early part of it really wasn’t that bad.  Retiring at 56 years of age felt pretty good, but to tell you the truth, not only does everything begin to fall apart (house and body) after 56, but when you’re home alone most of the day, you find that you begin to miss human companionship.

So, I got a job!  Not rocket science.  Actually it’s just working in a call center, which I know can be hell, especially if you have to sell, but I won’t be selling anything.  I will be helping people with technical issues in setting up their profiles or issues they experience when they arrive at venues for a travel site.  It is called AirBNB and, if you’ve never heard of it, you really should check it out.  If you have an extra room in your house, or a studio apartment, or any rental property you’d like to offer to travelers, you can list it there.  If you’re looking for a good deal on lodging nearly anywhere, you can find a good deal there.  They have everything from a tent in someone’s backyard (with bathroom privileges) to a villa in Tuscany.  You can rent a room BNB style, or you can rent a whole house or apartment.  I won’t be supervising, managing a budget, or processing payroll, and I’m excited about it.  A fun job – with fun people.  I have an orientation on Friday and I start Monday.  I may even end up working the graveyard shift, since I’m a night owl anyway, and I’ll have more daylight hours to throw the ball for my dog.

I’ve had my quilting business for ten years, and I will not be totally giving that up.  I will be scaling back.  I will be pickier about the quilts I accept.  I probably won’t do as much custom work as I have in the past.  And, when I have time off, I may actually get to work on some of my own stuff.  I may even decide, somewhere down the road, to stop quilting for others.  For now, all income will be welcomed, as my poor house, which was built in 1935, really needs some help.  You can’t do a lot of improvements on a public employee pension, no matter what the politicians try to tell you.

So – that’s my news!  I’m a happy girl.