Thursday, January 5, 2012

Day 309 of 365

It ended. The last day of my Christmas break was yesterday and I started back to work today.

After having a horrible last week of school in December, I was in desperate need of a break. The pain I was in during December was the worst pain I could recall since post-surgery pain. I don't know if stress or overworking or what contributed to it, but it was bad. I have pain-filled days every single day, but this was excruciating pain-filled. I don't know how I made it through. But I did.

I made it right into Christmas Break. My plans were to start popping those pain pills again to get some relief. And I did pop those pain pills for a couple days in a row. Yes, they provided relief, but the side effects were again not something I wanted to deal with.

But now, two weeks out - and no pain pills in my system - I'm feeling a bit better than I did. How can one day be so excruciatingly painful and another not? I don't get it.

I just know I'm working on taking better care of myself. I started tracking my food intake for the last few days. Even with being out of town I was still able to keep my calorie count down. Until today.

Going back to work from vacation threw my calorie-counting out of whack. Having cookies sitting on my desk when I showed up today started the downward spiral. It continued with me coming home from work after dark. Being too tired to cook led me to dinner at the local Mexican restaurant where I made poor food choices. I'm afraid to even track the calories I consumed today, but I will. Ugh.

And I had such hope for a great day. With such a pretty sunrise practically rising from the south, how could a day turn out so rotten?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Day 308 of 365

I'm done gambling. Not just done because I'm home from my mom's birthday trip to the casino, but done done. Done for a very long time.

I'm not a very good gambler. I love the thrill of winning - even the anticipation of winning - but the low of losing is just as powerful a feeling. I love having something that I can get so immersed in that I forget about everything else. But the losing times are miserable and I'm not interested in experiencing them anymore. So I'll do what is right.

I'm going to become one of those people who don't like to gamble. A couple of people I met at the casino helped me make that decision.

One gal I've met before. Every time I've been to the casino in the last year I've seen the same lady at the same particular penny machine. Last time I went I struck up a conversation with her and heard her "story". She's on disability and comes to the casino every other week and spends a few days each time. Each trip she plays hour after hour every day on that same slot machine. If I'm heading to the casino, she'll be there - and she was again this trip. I don't want to be that person whose life revolves around the casino, or even the person who is recognized as a regular.

The other gal I met last night. She was sitting at a penny slot machine next to me and kept repeating, "This is stupid." I didn't pay too much attention to her, but saw she had about three dollars in the machine. Then she told me she had put $100 in the machine and hadn't won anything yet. When she got down to a dollar left in the machine, she put in another $20 bill. She still was muttering about it being stupid. (I got the impression she was talking just as much about herself as she was the machine). $120 lost in a penny machine. I don't want to be that person who loses that much on one machine, particularly in pennies.

Knowing myself and my all or nothing way of being, I  made a conscious decision before I left the casino not to return. (At least anytime in the near future.) I have a full life here at home. I have activities that I can immerse in and forget about everything else.

When I got home, a package in the mail confirmed I was making a good decision. My two books ordered from Snapfish. One of all my donation projects for the year and one of my rose garden from this year.

I love the books and am proud of the work I've done and the pictures I've taken. The ten dollars I spent on the books is a much better use of my money than trying my luck with a slot machine.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Make Decorative Binder Clips with Mod Podge - Day 307 of 365, Tutorial Tuesday

Sometimes my husband sees something in my sewing room that he likes.

He saw a clipboard I made and wanted one. I made him his own.

He saw a kids' quilt I made with baseball fabric and wanted it. I made him his own.

He saw a grocery sack holder I made and wanted it. I gave it to him.

But the binder clips from today's tutorial? Yeah, not so much. I was excited about them. I use tons of big black binder clips at work all the time, and I thought maybe my hubby did too. So I told him I'd make him some. I could do star fabric, or red, white and blue, or some patriotic fabric. But he just laughed at me. I think he thought they were the stupidest things he'd ever seen.

I don't care. I like them. I'm using them. And I'm going to make more of them.

Looking for more sewing and crafting projects? 
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Decorative Fabric Covered Binder Clips Made with Mod Podge Craft Project

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Click on the video for step-by-step how to instructions to make these decorative binder clips from fabric scraps and Mod Podge:

Monday, January 2, 2012

Day 306 of 365

Next week is my mom's birthday. I always struggle with what to get her, especially with her birthday being so close to Christmas. But this year it was easier.

She likes to gamble. When she lived in California she went to the Indian Casinos a lot and made her way to Reno quite a bit, too. She went so frequently that she always got offers for free rooms, but since she moved back to Idaho she hasn't been able to use them. She has been itching to take a trip down to Jackpot. Actually itching probably isn't a strong enough word for her desire to get some gambling in.

So today I'm picking up my mom and taking her on a casino jaunt for her birthday present. She'll get to gamble to her heart's content for the next two days. Since I still have money leftover from my trip with my husband, I'll get to gamble a bit, too. But I also have leftover work that I didn't get finished over the Christmas break, so I'll be bringing my laptop and papers and folders and files and notebooks along with me for a work session.

Speaking of leftovers, I finished up my flower quilt. Yay! 5 years late, though.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Day 305 of 365

I almost started a new sewing project today, but I stopped myself. I made a conscious decision not embark on any new sewing projects right now.

I have plenty of leftovers.

Leftover, unfinished projects from years back fill a basket in my sewing room. The basket has bugged me on a daily basis year after year. Every day I sew I see that basket. Every day I sew I put that basket out of my mind.

But not today. Today I picked up one of those unfinished projects (my favorite one of the bunch) and got to work on it. Finally after a few years I now have the applique part finished.

With any New Year's Day luck I might be able to get it quilted before the day is over. And this one is going nowhere. It's staying right here with me to hang on a wall somewhere.