Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tangible Tidbits 2013 #2: Starting Over...

Hi, everyone! I hope everyone who had a three-day weekend for Martin Luther King Jr. Day yesterday made the most of it. B-)

Over the weekend, Mom and I went to see Les Miserables at the movie theater. All I can say is "WOW." If you are a fan of the play, you’ll be blown away by the movie. If you aren't really into musical films, it may not be your cup o’ tea. :| The actors' performances were amazing, a few better than I'd expected. :-O

On the job front, I received a slightly overdue three percent merit increase last week. Even a small raise is better than none, right? ;) In addition -- I didn't want to say anything until it became official, which happened this morning -- I am going back to the office full-time as of next Monday. It was not an easy decision to make, but I know it is the right one...at least financially-speaking. :| Aside from the change in my hours -- I will be working from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for the first time since 2007, I think! :-O -- I will be moving to a different position, although in the same department. It's more or less a lateral move, but it may be slightly more responsibility. I was a little nervous about switching out of my current role, but I chatted with my new manager today and I feel a bit more at ease with it. Obviously, TPTB (The Powers That Be) have faith in my abilities, so I guess I will have to trust them! ;)

Ironically, I received a letter a couple of weeks ago from Fire Mountain Gems and Beads informing me that the piece I submitted for their Swarovski Elements Jewelry-making Contest has made it to the second round! :)) I sent them my Bermuda Getaway bracelet (formerly known as the Into the Ocean Crystal Jams™ bracelet) last week, as it is required for the next round of judging. Wish me luck! :D

In addition, I’m still working on a beaded Kumihimo lanyard for one coworker, and I have another one to make after I finish it. So, I am still in business…just at a much slower pace for now. ;)

I posted the last social media poster I have on Facebook this evening. I may make some new ones if I become inspired, but we'll have to see. :-?

Until next time, take care and have a great week! B-)

Add To Google BookmarksStumble ThisFav This With TechnoratiAdd To Del.icio.usDigg ThisAdd To RedditTwit ThisAdd To FacebookAdd To Yahoo

Monday, January 7, 2013

Tangible Tidbits 2013 #1: Shifting Gears for 2013

Hi, everybody! Happy New Year to all. :) I apologize for not posting last week, but you will understand why in a minute. ;)

My New Year’s Eve plans were canceled early in the day, so I decided to start my New Year’s Resolution early...I started reading the Fifty Shades trilogy (a.k.a. “smut”)! The evening flew by, let me tell you! :)) As of this moment, I have completed the first two books in the series, and am anxious to start the third one tonight. ;) For any of my fandom friends who may not have read them yet, they are basically NC-17 fan fiction with original characters. :P I am enjoying them very much. :D Actually, the first book seemed to hit a nerve for me; I found myself crying during certain parts of it that reminded me of a time in my life when I was in a similar position – I am referring to the interpersonal dynamics of their relationship, not the BDSM (that would be TMI times infinity, wouldn’t it? :-O ) . I’ve read they are planning to make the series into a musical on Broadway. I would be curious to see how they pull that off, but I can’t imagine the music would add anything to the story. :-/

I’ve made a couple of big decisions in the past couple of weeks, mainly driven by economics. First, I have dropped my class at Montclair State University (MSU) for this semester. It’s too stressful for me to come up with the additional funds needed to take the class, and I am ambivalent about taking another class with the professor with whom I do not see eye to eye. I now have a credit on my account at MSU, so I am hoping they will send me a check for the funds already paid. ;) Second, I decided rather suddenly to shut down the store portion of the Something Tangible website. I had originally purchased the shopping cart for three years, which expired in the past week or so. When I received the renewal notice, I almost choked at the amount on the bill. Since I have only made two sales directly from the site in three years -- and both from friends who could have easily contacted me directly -- I made a snap decision to cancel the shopping cart entirely. That also led to me receiving a refund on the SSL certificate, which I had recently renewed. Every little bit helps, eh? ;)

All of this being said, I have some additional decisions to make regarding my professional future and that of Something Tangible. I have invested a great deal of time, effort, and money into this venture, so I am not taking this lightly. I may continue to run the company as a side business, but I cannot sustain myself with it right now. Three years is a reasonable amount of time to give it a chance, I think, but I will sink deeper and deeper into debt if I don’t act accordingly. I will keep you all in the loop, as most of you have been with me from the very beginning. I appreciate your ongoing support, loyalty, and business more than you know. :)

Until next time, take care and have a great week! B-)

Add To Google BookmarksStumble ThisFav This With TechnoratiAdd To Del.icio.usDigg ThisAdd To RedditTwit ThisAdd To FacebookAdd To Yahoo

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #48: A Time For Reflection

Hey, everyone! I hope you all enjoyed your respective holidays. :) Ours were chaotic, as usual. ;) The kids all enjoyed themselves and most of the adults ate too much. :)) We even got some unexpected snow flurries on Christmas Eve! :-O MacKenzie got her first White Christmas already! :)) It also snowed today, enough to make everything slushy. :(

I tried to get on my computer yesterday morning to post my message as I had promised, but it froze up on me. I think Mercury is out to get me. :))

Given my recent birthday and Christmas, and New Year’s being only a blink away, this is usually the period when I tend to look back over the past year and think about how far I’ve come (or not). It seems like no matter how hard I work or what I do, I always seem to be in basically the same place from year to year. I look at the chasm between what I want my life to be and what it is, and I can’t figure out how to get where I want to be (the phrase "You can't get there from here" often comes to mind! :p). Many years ago, I joked with some friends that I would throw myself a "mid-life crisis shower" if I was still on my own when I was 45 years old, in order to make up for all of the bridal and baby showers I attended for my friends over the years. ;) Well, it looks like 363 days and counting before that happens. It would not be the first time I made a sarcastic crack about my life that eventually came true. :-O I understand the concept of self-fulfilling prophesies, but I never really thought I was turning the tide in that direction. I’ve learned a lot in the past few years, but somehow bridging the gap between knowledge and execution has still eluded me. Astrologers say 2013 will bring many positive changes, but I can’t help but think that this time next year, I will still be in basically the same place I’ve always been...although the Universe is free to prove me wrong at any time! ;) The two things I never wanted to be are broke and lonely. I haven’t always been broke (thankfully), although I am now...but I have been lonely for most of my life. Being surrounded by people does not change that feeling of deep down loneliness. Apparently, there is some secret to resolving this issue that I have not yet learned. Maybe next year? :P

This is my last post for 2012. I wish everyone a safe, healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year! Until next time, take care and have a great week! B-)

Add To Google BookmarksStumble ThisFav This With TechnoratiAdd To Del.icio.usDigg ThisAdd To RedditTwit ThisAdd To FacebookAdd To Yahoo

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #47: Holiday Season Wrap Up

Hi, everyone! I’m really sorry I didn’t get here last week. I actually did write the blog post, but I never got online to post it. Other than access via my phone and a little bit on my Netbook, I wasn’t online for nearly two weeks! :-O My oldest niece even complained to my mother about how slow the Netbook is while she was trying to get some of her homework done one day last week. :-/

Things at the office have been crazy lately – I clocked in 86 or 87 hours in the past two weeks, and my regular work week is usually 25 hours! :P In addition to the regular end-of-the-year surge in activity, we got hit with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The vault of the Depositary Trust Company (DTC) in Manhattan was flooded in the storm...what do you expect with the address of 55 Water Street?...and they began processing the replacement of all of the certificates that were lost/damaged/ destroyed. It’s going to be a long time before any of us forget Sandy, I assure you. :P

I finally repaired my coworker’s Freshwater Pearl necklace on Saturday, and priced out a necklace and lanyard for two other coworkers on Sunday. With working so many hours and Christmas coming up next week – I finished shopping, but haven’t wrapped anything – I will have my hands full this week. My two older nieces are sleeping over on Friday night so we can assemble gingerbread houses and bake Christmas cookies. The baby isn’t ready for a sleepover yet...much less accomplishing anything other than eating, sleeping, and pooping! :)) She will be making her first public debut on Sunday, though, at a friend’s holiday open house. ;)

I posted a new social media poster yesterday...I only have one left, so I have to make some more. :P I’m embarrassingly behind on typing up the meeting minutes from BSNJ’s November general meeting and recent Board meeting. That’s something else I will have to get done this week. :-O

My birthday is next Monday...which also happens to be Christmas Eve...so I may not post until Tuesday. We have our big family celebration on Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day is more low-key until Mom and I go to my sister’s house for dinner. So, I anticipate having some time in the morning and early afternoon. Hopefully, by putting it in writing, I will actually deliver as promised. :))

There are no words to express my feelings about what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT on Friday. I can only say there are 26 new angels in Heaven...all of whom had no right being called back as soon as they were. My sincerest condolences to everyone affected by that tragedy. Having a "Merry Christmas" will be inconceivable for them, and it will be a really long time before their lives can be put back together again, if that’s even possible. I may not say it a lot, but I am truly grateful for the wonderful people I have in my life, including all of you. :D

Until next time, take care and have a great week! B-)

Add To Google BookmarksStumble ThisFav This With TechnoratiAdd To Del.icio.usDigg ThisAdd To RedditTwit ThisAdd To FacebookAdd To Yahoo

Monday, December 3, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #46: ’Tis That Season Again...

Hi, all! I posted a picture of me and Kenzie from my first visit with her on Facebook over the weekend. :) We got to spend some aunt-niece bonding time over this weekend, when I did her 6:15 a.m. feeding on Saturday morning. Why was I there that early, you may ask? Because I got a phone call at 2:15 a.m. to go over there and stay with the girls, as my brother-in-law had to take my sister to the Emergency Room. She’d had a neck ache for a couple of days and started a bad migraine at 6:00 p.m. on Friday night that did not respond to her over-the-counter medication. :( She got a clear CT brain scan (WHEW! #:-S), and they gave her four different medications until they found one that worked. They think she may have a herniated disc. She’s hoping to get an MRI in the next day or two, so hopefully we will get a firm diagnosis and figure out what’s next. Never a dull moment, eh? :P

Earlier on Friday evening, I attended 1978 Maplewood Arts Center’s Preview Party for the BANG VII (Buy Art Now Guys) art show and sale. A coworker and her husband showed up, which was really fun for me. :D They came back to my house afterward to see my collection, and picked out a few items to purchase! B-) She picked out a bracelet for her hubby to give her for Christmas, and they picked out a necklace and earrings for their daughter. ;) Hopefully, I’ll sell a few items at the gallery sale, which ends next Sunday. I’ve done pretty well so far this holiday season, but the money is unfortunately spent before I even get it these days. :-/

As I mentioned last week, I went down to Tinton Falls to work on some unfinished objects (called UFOs) with some Bead Society members on Tuesday evening. There were only four or five of us, but it was really fun! I finished the bracelet I’d started at the workshop I attended in mid-November, and got half-way through the Peyote crystal project from our September meeting. As predicted, I got home about 3:00 a.m., so I really needed that day off on Wednesday! :)) Of course, with the law of cause-and-effect fully engaged, I had to work long hours at the office the other four days to keep up with the workload. At least my next paycheck should reflect my efforts. ;)

I have a few projects I have to work on in the next few weeks, for which I will be paid (YAY!). I have a multi-strand freshwater pearl necklace that has to be reinforced and parts of it restrung for a coworker, a Kumihimo lanyard to make for a second coworker, and a bookmark for a third one. I guess I should be grateful for the office job for more than reasons than just a paycheck, eh? :))

Unfortunately, I really haven’t been motivated lately with all of the extra hours at the office and off-and-on daily life drama, so I really have to get my act together. Sadly, not even the promise of incoming money has been enough to get my butt in gear! :-O I think I have a mild case of holiday seasonal depression. I had it for eight years after my paternal grandfather passed away on December 21, 1994. When my maternal grandfather and father died in September 2002, I just went into a deep all-year-round depression. :( That was finally lifting in the summer of 2004, right before my uncle was killed in a car accident. :-O I’ve been much better since sometime in 2007, but then my maternal (and only) grandmother passed away on December 26, 2008. Do you see a pattern here? :P Anyway, it shouldn’t really surprise me I’m feeling out-of-sorts. Part of me wishes I could fast-forward to the middle of January and skip even my birthday, but part of me wants to take part in the holiday festivities – that’s pretty much how I know it is only a mild depression this time. May be there’s hope for me yet? :P ;) [Editor's note: I got a call from my doctor today that my Vitamin D level is low, and she's giving me a prescription for it to be taken for two months, followed by an over-the-counter variety for another couple of weeks before retesting my blood. So, there may be an actual medical reason for my malaise...how about that? :)) ]

And on that cheery note, take care and have a great week! B-)

Add To Google BookmarksStumble ThisFav This With TechnoratiAdd To Del.icio.usDigg ThisAdd To RedditTwit ThisAdd To FacebookAdd To Yahoo

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #45: I Saw Her...And Held Her!

Hey, everyone! Well, I finally got to meet my new niece yesterday...and I even held her! :D Mom said that because I was half-way through with the antibiotics, I wouldn’t be contagious…and I promised not to cough on her! :P She’s very small, very pink, and – at least for me – very quiet! :)) Although, she seems to be more prone to taking formula than breast milk, and she apparently can only sleep at night with someone holding her! :-O My sister and brother-in-law have been taking turns. Man, I’ll bet that makes for some long nights! :-/ Other than experiencing cold fingers and toes – which her parents keep covered -- she seems pretty perfect to me. :D

While over there yesterday, the girls made me play the “Smurf Dance Party” Wii game, which they had borrowed from the library. In my four rounds, I was undefeated! :)) At least I got some exercise in the process. ;)

I hope everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving had a good one. Ours included lots of people and lots of food, as it should be. ;) Mom and I brought the girls to my cousin’s house, since the baby had just gotten home from the hospital that morning. She had a quiet Thanksgiving with her parents in her new home. :)

I delivered items to 1978 Maplewood Arts Center for BANG VII (Buy Art Now Guys), which takes place the first two weekends in December (12/1-2 and 12/8-9 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). There’s a preview party this coming Friday evening, November 30, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. that I’m planning to attend. I didn’t go last year because I had messed up my knee that week, so it will be the first time I’ve gone. ;)

Some of the members of the Bead Society are getting together tomorrow night in Tinton Falls to finish the projects we started in the recent workshops with Melissa Grakowsky Shippee. I’ve taken off from the office on Wednesday, since the last time I was down there socially, I ended up getting home at 3:00 a.m.! :-O I really want to finish the bracelet I started in class, and I will also bring the Peyote crystal project from our September meeting, which I have not touched since that night. :-/ Hopefully, I will be able to at least complete the bracelet and get some momentum going on the crystal. :)

With Mercury ending its retrograde period this week, hopefully I will be less frustrated getting on the desktop computer. It seems that whenever Mercury is retrograde, my computer gets annoyingly slow and frustrating to use. I haven’t been on it since before Thanksgiving, but I really have to get some stuff done that I can’t do on my Netbook or cell phone. I’m wondering if a tablet would help…or if that would be as limiting as the Netbook. I really have to find a way to motivate myself more to get online, which my former message board friends will find very ironic! :))

I finally got around to publishing a new social media poster today! Better late than never! :-O

Can you believe it will be December next week? Did this year fly by, or what? :P Until next time, take care and have a great week! B-)

Add To Google BookmarksStumble ThisFav This With TechnoratiAdd To Del.icio.usDigg ThisAdd To RedditTwit ThisAdd To FacebookAdd To Yahoo

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tangible Tidbits 2012 #44: Baby Watch 2012

Hi everyone! I am sleeping over my sister’s house tonight so I can get the girls ready for school in the morning. My sister is being admitted to the hospital so they can induce her tomorrow and my brother-in-law, naturally, is staying with her. Hopefully, by this time tomorrow MacKenzie Glanzman Linton will be here! B-) Unfortunately, I caught another cold over the weekend, so I may not get to meet her for a while yet. :P

Last Thursday night, we had the November BSNJ meeting with guest speaker Melissa Grakowsky Shippee. She also taught two weekend workshops, and I attended the one on Friday evening. I was working on a beaded Filigree bracelet, and I am probably two-thirds of the way done with it. I’d like to finish it sooner rather than later, but I have a bad habit of leaving things like that undone for a while. :-o Anyway, I had a lot of fun at these two events, but stayed out too late both nights. :-/

On Saturday, I was at the National Arts Honor Society Holiday Art & Craft Fair at North Warren Regional High School in Blairstown. It was about 1-1/2 hours by car each way, so it was a pretty long day. The gym where the event was held was pretty cold, so that’s how I caught the cold I now have. :( I left a voicemail for my allergist’s office before I left there, requesting they give me antibiotics or Prednisone again. :P I’ve got to get better so I can meet my new niece later in the week! ;) As for the event, it was a bust…but I made friends with the vendor sitting next to me, so it made the day pass more quickly, at least. :) All of the vendors were unhappy with the turnout, so it wasn’t just me. I’ve decided not to participate in any “unknown” events without first checking them out as an attendee in the future. I may have to wait a year to participate in anything worthwhile, but it would spare me the wear-and-tear of vending at an event with very little purchasing traffic. :P

While at the show on Saturday, I made a pair of silver and black macramé beaded hoop earrings requested by a coworker. I was really pleased with how they turned out, and so was she! :D

I heard back from the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco last week. I was not awarded a scholarship. :-/ However, I did clear up my back fees at Montclair State, and am registering for the 400-level Metalwork & Jewelry class for next semester! B-) The downside is that the class is being taught by the director of the program, whose taste differs from mine. :-/ I suppose I will have another chance to win him over. Wish me luck with that! :))

I didn't have a chance to post a social media poster this weekend, so I will post one later in the week and show it to you next week. :)

To those of you in the United States, enjoy your Thanksgiving on Thursday! ;) To everyone else, take care and have a great week! B-)

Add To Google BookmarksStumble ThisFav This With TechnoratiAdd To Del.icio.usDigg ThisAdd To RedditTwit ThisAdd To FacebookAdd To Yahoo