Monday, February 27, 2012


While much changes in our lives, we must still have faith that it is for a good reason.

My husband and I are going through a lot of changes right now. It is never easy. Especially when you're not sure what is next.

Let me provide a little context. I moved to this area in SE Washington in 2003 because of a job opportunity. Throughout the trials and tribulations of the next 6 years, the best part was meeting Duncan, whom I married in February 2009. For that I am eternally grateful for God's leading in our lives and count it as the most successful outcome of leaving San Francisco.

After a rough transition of jobs for both of us in 2009, Duncan's new position provided an opportunity for me to start my own quilting business. I've continued to keep some of my consulting and various volunteer activities related to my old profession.

I've volunteered for a variety of roles in my life, the most recent to end was a 3-year term on the board of a local credit union. The last two years I've been the board chair. This was an opportunity to give to an organization the skills and experiences from my 12 years working in financial services. Although it is nice to not have the obligation, it is sad to not have a place to share those skills. These skills come from a very different part of my brain than quilting!

I also do some consulting --mostly bookkeeping related, but sometimes project management (the best part!). For my largest contract with a non-profit, I was given notice of termination (thinking they had found a volunteer to do the necessary role, but then was asked to do the advertising for the volunteer role), but now they aren't sure, have posted a paid position but for half my rate even though they have the budget for my contract, maybe want to extend mine while they look--really poorly communicated and handled, but then they are volunteers trying to manage the situation with a professional. Perhaps their business skills aren't mine, and I need to be sensitive to that. None-the-less frustrating.

My husband's job is ending in 3 weeks time and he has been applying for jobs for several months with nothing panning out. Very frustrating. He is a mechanical engineer and would like to get back into design work (vs. managerial). To give you an idea of what he is passionate about --he hopes to some day build an airplane using CNC machines to make the parts. The Corps of Engineers has a significant local presence, and he has tried many times to get a job there. If we had a choice, we'd stay in the Pacific NW, preferably not IN a big city. But Denver, CO to be near his brother, or Arizona --near my parents, or California--near my sister, or North Carolina --near one of his sister's....probably in that order would be worth pursuing as well. i.e. we'd prefer Denver or WEST. If you have any leads, we'd be open to hearing them!

Do you watch Doomsday Preppers--do you ever wonder, if 2012 will be the year?

On our way to an event this weekend out of town (4+ hours), the car was hit with a lot of icy slush from a large semi truck. For a second or two we couldn't see anything. Moments later the engine quit working. As my husband carefully guided the vehicle across several lanes of traffic from the fast lane to the shoulder, I thought 'what now?' I got out the manual, Duncan checked under the hood. We talked several times of what might be happening and brainstormed how to deal with it. We prayed several times both in desperation and true faith that God would help us, as He has many times in the past. The car just wouldn't start. Duncan checked under the hood several more times, made some apparent repairs (a cracked hose) but logically didn't necessarily connect with the symptoms of the situation. After about 45 minutes, the car sputtered when trying to start. He tried several more times, each with a bit more success. First we rolled about 10', then maybe 20', then 50', then finally some speed where he thought he could get off the shoulder and into the slow lane. Needing to keep the RPMs high, we kept it in 4th gear all the way down the mountain. Since the 'engine check' light was on we decided to try to find a VW dealer and get some expert opinion and be sure we should / could be driving it. After finding one, they wouldn't be able to look at the vehicle until Monday and advised that it should be ok to drive home and get it looked at by a local dealer. Driving was still tricky when hitting a low rpm, but seemed to get better the longer we drove. As soon as we were feeling confident though, it would sputter again. We were able to get a replacement hose, but then broke something else in replacing it on Sunday. Duncan was able to repair the newly broken hose and had purchased a diagnostic computer so that we could understand the 'check engine' light. The initially repaired hose was a vacuum hose, and the diagnostics said that some cylinders were misfiring. So this kind of made sense. We re-set the diagnostic codes, started the car, and no lights stayed on. Yippeee!!  We made it all the way home without one sputter.

At this point, we think that the slush flood might have highlighted the cracked hose to us. Although it was frustrating to be on the mountain pass for about 45 minutes not knowing what to do, Duncan was able to tape up the cracked hose and after letting things dry out a bit, we were able to carry on. The longer it dried out, the better it got.

So grateful for our guardian angels that kept us safe.

Although my post today hasn't been much about my quilting, it does give a glimpse into my life and what is going on with us. It all factors into my emotional state which effects my creativity. Sometimes working on a custom quilt requires no distractions. Having these other distractions definitely impacts my creativity. Do you have a way to compartmentalize between your quilting and life's distractions?

This week, I'm focusing on customer quilts and my EQ7 2011 BOM quilt. All Mi Amore testers are done and feedback has been provided. This weekend I had the opportunity to work with my graphic designer and web designer (Zoe's mom!) and learn some uses of Adobe Illustrator so that I could make the heart outlines for the pattern much easier for the pattern user. I'm confident now I can get Mi Amore published this week, too.
Mi Amore
EQ7 2011 BOM ....suggestions for names??

Any ideas for mechnical engineering jobs?
Have a great week!


  1. Thanks for sharing. We'll keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

  2. I hope something opens up soon for your hubby. It's so discouraging these days to find a job. :/ (Oh, and I get a good chuckle out of doomsdayers, because the whole Mayan end-of-the-world thing is totally misconstrued. They never predicted this year as the end of the world. It is merely the end of an era - and therefor beginning of a new one. So I see it as a new beginnings year.) ;D

  3. Today, I can relate (see my FB post). I couldn't concentrate at all... on anything! We've also had similar things happen to vehicles on long trips. No fun at all! Glad you're both safe, and home. Hang in there (((hugs)))

  4. Ah, life...totally understand what you mean and sincerely hope things will change for the better very soon!!
    Both my husband and I went through similar job situations - he was laid off for more than 6 months (and it was way harder on him emotionally than anything else!) and I had a bit more luck being without a job only for 6 weeks...but luckily not at the same time.
    Also know exactly what you mean about having experience and high skills that employers are unwilling to pay for - that is just so frustrating these days! My blood just boils when I see nowadays a job add asking for a set of skills worthy of PhD and at least two decades of experience and then they offer entry level salary...
    As for creative process - with me sometimes I can "escape" into it from all daily crap and sometimes it is just not possible. What I found helps me is doing my "morning pages" - writing a stream-of-consciousness (aka - anything that comes to your mind, really), three pages in my journal, first thing in the morning (usually before anyone else is up). It is like being able to really "listen" to your mind and many times after all the whining and endless questions you pose to your own mind - clarity and some answers come (although not always of course, no magic there).This habit came after reading Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way - it really helped me in many ways... All the best and keep creating beauty in this world! :)