Monday, March 09, 2009

No Middle Ground

It was a VERY busy weekend here for me!

Saturday, Mandy, the kids and I headed over to Dubois -about 40 miles from here -so I could have a chance to shop at the Joanne Fabrics Store there. This is something that is still -after several years -a thorn in my side that if I want to shop for fabric or craft materials, I have to go either to Dubois or State College -either way -travelling 37-40 miles, one way. Not an easy trip from here in the wintertime either since both routes involved traversing over some wicked highways -like steep terrain, even if it is a four-lane highway.

THere used to be a Joanne Fabric store in Clearfield -only a little over 20 miles from here -but the company eliminated that store several years back. For what reason, I've never been able to figure out because when they had their closing sale, I asked the manager then if that store had not been doing very well and he told me that actually, it had been one of the better of the stores in this region by sales volume. Go figure.

However, in a pinch, I could still occasionally get craft -and fabric items too -at the Walmart near here but they -in their infinite wisdom now no longer carry any, not a lick, of embroidery supplies and their fabric selection is cut way back now too. So, I try to plan my shopping sprees at the Joanne Fabric store now just to conserve gas, my time involved and the like.

But this Saturday, I had to go get a supply of floss I needed and also, got some plastic storage containers along with floss cards so I could begin to organize my embroidery thread (floss) by color as well as quantity I hav on hand then too.

Saturday night, I began the job of putting all my embroidery floss onto these cards, labeling them with the color name and then, putting them into the storage containers.

Now, when I tell you how long I worked at this, you are going to scream "You are absolutely insane!" And you know what, I will agree with you completely on that too. But, I do get a bit bipolar when I am on a mission and what a mision this job became too!

I worked on this stuff from 9 p.m. Saturday night until almost 3 a.m. this morning! Yes, you read that right! Well, actually I did take about an hour break Sunday morning to shower and dress for church but then ended up not going because I didn't want to attend alone. And I also took about an hour's break Sunday evening to eat supper -which Mandy was kind enough to cook.

But the rest of the time -roughly about 28 hours in all -I sat in my recliner, untangling skein after skein of floss, trasferring it to the card, marking it and then placing each one lovingly into the storage case. And what sucks is that I am still not finished! I have to have Kurt's occupational therapist pick up some more cards for my floss and another storage container too! But I have 166 different colors of floss now on cards and in storage but I still have about 60 more colors to deal with. (Keep in mind, this is colors -not necessarily the number of skeins I actually transferred because in some colors, I had multiple skeins of certain shades.

My next "long-term/time" project will be to set up an EXCEL site so I can enter in the colors of thread and number of skeins I have and as I use threads, deduct from the counts, etc. That way, I can just do a print out and know what colors I need to purchase down the road ya know. (I could also plug in there what I paid for the threads, the kits I buy and stuff too and really calculate my total costs then, couldn't I? Wow! Big business, in the making. Yes, that is a joke, folks!

Last night, I was trying to get Maya to clean up the toys and other things she (and Kurt too) had strewn all around the living room floor. For a change, she was in a mood to be somewhat helpful however, when that happens, it means we have to give her step-by-step instructions as to what to pick up next, where to put it, etc. We often then also have to give her explicit directions as to where things are located on the floor in the "pick-up" process too. She could be standing right next to something and you tell her to pick it up and she will ask you where it is!

So anyway, I was moving along quite nicely with her. Just sitting here, barking out my instructions to her like the old slave driver I am, ya know. And I told her to pick up a pair of her underwear that, for whatever reason -who knows -they were laying in the "middle of the floor" of the living room.

When I told her to pick up the "unnywears laying in the middle of the floor" she corrected me and said "They aren't in the middle Gram. They are on the right." And yes, as she was facing them, they were off, to her right -so she was correct in that but they were still, to my visuall of the scene, laying in the middle of the floor. Just another reminder that she takes things very, very literally at times.

Now, since I spent all those hours working on organizing my threads, I am way -and I do mean WAY, WAY behind in my blog reading. I have close to 250 new posts to be read, according to my counts on my reader! And considering that just as soon as I vacate my computer chair here, for whatever reason, someone else will park their skinny little "lizard butt" in the seat and camp out on the computer then for the rest of the evening! (That would be my sweet daughter and "lizard butt" is the nickname older daughter gave her a long while back because she says she has no behind. And it's true, cause she really doesn't have any "butt." (One thing she definitely did not inherit from me!)

I aded a button to the top of my sidebar for anyone who would like to make a donation to our team -"Kurt and Maya's Team" in the Autism Walk on April 4th in State College. Although this is through my paypal account, donations can be made using your Visa, Mastercard, Discover, Paypal or checking account. Therefore, any donation -no minimum here -is fine.

This will also give me a record then of the names of people who donated so I can then use that to document those who supported us when I fill out the final papers for matching funding through THrivent Lutheran Social Services. I will transfer the money donated to my account and then to Autism Speaks whenever there are funds there that meet their "minimum" donation figure that way.

(Last year, I had problems with the way the Autism Group funneled this data back to me. Often time, I would just get a message that a donation had been made to our team but no information then as to who made the donation and I'm supposed to be able to show proof of the individuals and/or groups who support and donate to our team in order to qualify for the matching funds. Just one more little task for me but this year, I'm trying to put in ways that I can manage this information and not have to try to track stuff back to Los Angeles, etc., then when I do my paperwork.)

Spread the word if you will to other bloggers who you know have a special interest in helping fund Autism research - to learn what causes it, how best to treat or educate those who have the disorder and also, to help parents/caregivers in getting help for the autistic individuals in their lives. Anyone interested in joining our team and walking with us on April 4th, please let me know that too.

And finally, here's the website for the State College Walk too where you can get even more informaton.

If anyone does care to donate directly through the Autism Speaks page, remember my name -Jennifer Ertmer -and our Team name too -Kurt and Maya's Team -so that any donations made directly through their webpage will then be credited to our team.

Bon Soire!


Sandee said...

You must live way out in the middle of nowhere? That's a long way to have to go.

Wow that must have taken a lot of patience to get her to pick of all the toys, not to mention the undies. I'm not so sure I could have handled that.

Have a terrific day. :)

Jenn said...

Let's see the nearest place to buy fabric around here is a Joanne's and that is Augusta (about 70 miles away) the local walmart did away with the fabric section too and most of the craft section. I like to sew so it is a real byatch now to go and get fabric!

Jenn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Linda said...

Amanda has been nagging at me to take her to Joanne's so she can get more doll-making material. Luckily there's one just on the other side of town but I wouldn't take her today because we were getting more stupid snow and the roads were starting to get slick. We'd never get there if I had to drive 40 miles!

Dianne said...

I love the idea of you having a spreadsheet with all your fabrics and tools and colors - very official!!

Travis Cody said...

I don't think that's insane. I've spent countless hours organizing collections and hobbies. It's part of the fun!

HalfCrazy said...

Aww, that sucks about Walmart shortening their embroidery supplies. Guess they noticed that not a lot of people are interested in Embroidery anymore. But they should always be available!

And I can't stand it when kids clean or manage their toys. It's always so noisy, full of things bumping each other and the occasional dropping of toys on the floor!

Maggie May said...

I think that it can be very rewarding to do a project like that and untangle a mess & make it into something organized and useful
Was not sure what you meant at first by the word *floss* as in England that is something we put between our teeth to clean them. I reckon you mean what we call embroidery threads or skeins.

Dr.John said...

When we lived in the UP we had to go 120 miles to get to a Joanne's Fabric Store. Now it is only a fifteen mile drive. We were there last Saturday.
My daughter did a years internship working with autistic children so she has a real interest.

terri said...

Underwear on the right and lizard butt! These two things gave me the biggest laught tonight!

Gene Bach said...

I couldn't sew a button on my shirt if I had to. LOL!

Funny how they choose stores to close. There a chain called Sportsman's Warehoue and they are closing many stores. One is in Roseville,'s the #3 producing store in the whole chain. Good grief.

Mary said...


I would never have the patience to untangle all of those skeins of floss and put them on cards. I would love to have one of those plastic organizers that they use in Mary Maxim though. Just put the entire skein of floss in and put the name on the front of the drawer. That would be awesome. I'm glad you're getting so organized.

Wow! Maya is becoming very perceptive. I remember when we had to give Brandon step-by-step instructions on how to do things. Now, he has pretty much got it and I think Maya will too. Just be patient (which I know you already are) and she will learn. She's doing great.

Still trying to find donations to go along with mine. I think I will make my donation just in case I can't get any others. Then I'll be sure you have it.

Take care. I enjoyed my visit.

Amazing Gracie said...

Oh how I wish I'd known you a couple of years ago. I gave all of my threads away when we moved. I used to stay up night after night while working on counted cross stitch! I think it's the reason I wear glasses! Some of the nicer ones I worked were 22-28 per inch. Ugh.
I kept all of my art supplies/oils and brushes and the like, but I had to clean house with some of the other stuff. I knew I'd never do counted cross stitch again.
I do understand staying with a project until it gets done. I've also stayed up all night finishing books!
Your little ones are so cute.

Jocelyn said...

I can't believe you didn't get some sort of repetitive motion injury from all that sorting and putting on the cards. Sounds like a recipe for carpel tunnel syndrome or something.

Good luck getting back on top of all the "daily life" stuff now...including being VERY specific about where the underwear is that needs picking up.

... Paige said...

the problem with online is you do not get to touch it first. And I so understand the great effort of orginizing all that floss and you will be rewarded for an easy grab when you want / need a certian one
hang in there