Monday, October 22, 2012

Angry Clouds

Today we finally had rain...and it brought some crazy weather. Snow in the mountains and TORNADOS in the area.  

The clouds were quite impressive. On my way home I snapped some pictures of them.  Over Rocklin we had beautiful partly cloudy skies.

 And then looking Northeast....

 And North...(that's where the tornadoes were).

It was quite beautiful, if a little menacing. At least I never heard the sirens. *shudder*

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Steal, Er, Deal of the Day

Today started out rough, shopping-wise. I'm looking for something specific for my Halloween costume, but I haven't found what I'm looking for. (That's what I get for being so picky.) And this morning I went ALL THE WAY DOWNTOWN to go to a famous local Halloween store in Old Town Sac. Traffic was beastly (on a Saturday morning?!) and parking was even worse!! Parking in Old Town is a bear anyway, but I figured in the morning it wouldn't be too bad. Anyway...30 minutes later, still nothing, so I finally decided to go to the parking garage, ugh. 

After finding the shop, looking around for about 15 minutes, and not really finding what I was looking for (saw some beautiful options, but they were a bit expensive and not exactly what I wanted, boo) I decided to leave. I was already not happy and quite hungry. I did break down and get a little treat at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. I mean, if I'm going to go ALL THE WAY down there, I'm certainly not going to walk away empty handed. So I got a caramel apple for my trouble. mmmmmm.....yummy.

Anyway, all this is to tell you that I randomly decided to stop by Deseret Industries (aka: DI) on my way home to stop in and see if they had anything that I couldn't live without. I've been looking for a new chair for my bedroom, an ottoman, and vaguely looking for a sewing machine. 

I decided a few months ago I want to try to learn to sew again (I was SOOO bad at it every time I've tried to learn before that I was permanently banned from my mom's sewing machine--true story). But I don't want to borrow one and then break it. So I wanted to buy one, but for cheap. Craigslist hasn't been super impressive and I haven't seen anything at my local Goodwill. 

But today! OH TODAY! Glory! I walked in and asked a lady where I could look at some machines (there weren't any chairs or ottomans, boo.) The lady kindly pointed to one that was built into a cabenit. It was old, only $30, but not what I wanted. Then I wandered around a bit and saw one that had just been brought out. 

Really?! Could it be?! I bee-lined straight for it and began investigating. It looked good, was a Singer, had about 20-30 different stitches, and it had the pedal and the power cord. And then the kicker: It was only $25. Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Just as I reached out to touch it, an older woman (who, I assume, already had years of experience sewing, probably already had 6 machines at home, and didn't need this one) began to examine it too. She never once looked at me. I'm sure she didn't because I kept staring at her as she stepped in front of me and started turning knobs and pushing things on it. I continued to stare at her. We stood there for 3 or 4 minutes! I kept glaring her down with my "how-dare-you-cut-in-front-of-me" eyes, just waiting for her to get intimidated and walk away. THEN without a glance at me, SHE PICKED IT UP AND PUT IT IN HER BASKET AND WALKED AWAY!!! 


I was a little upset and put out. It was MY sewing machine. Mentally, I had already purchased it and there she was STEALING it!?! 

Actually, I was a bit devastated. I even texted Caitlin to lament over my "stolen" sewing machine. I even lamely followed the lady a bit hoping that she would decide that she didn't need a 7th sewing machine and put it down somewhere randomly. I'm so pathetic. hahaha. She didn't after a few minutes and so I wandered away to look at some other things. I went to the restroom and when I came out I happen to see the lady again (I promise, I had stopped stalking her!) and saw that she still had the machine. I decided that my hopes and dreams were dashed and that I needed to get home. 

As I began to walk out I saw a white box that looked much like a sewing machine case. 

What?! Could it be? No. Surely, there couldn't be another one. I mean the lady said that they didn't have any more on the floor. But there one was. I seriously looked around to see if that lady (or any lady) would "steal" that one too. No one was watching me. I quickly walked up and put my hands on it, thereby "claiming" it for all to see. :) I took off the cover and saw that this machine was only $20.00!


I practically drooled on it so no one would rip it out of my hands. It's a Brother CS-100 machine, which is a decent brand. It's visually definitely in very good condition. And it has 60 stitches, including button whole stitches! Eep! AND it had a case! Did I mention it was only $20?!

Yeah, I ran out of the store with in my hands, after, of course, paying for it. 

It was a testimony to me that Heavenly Father loves me, and that sometimes the first thing I see, isn't always the best, I just have to be a little patient, for a little longer. Seriously, I totally got that lesson out of this whole experience. :D

So I brought it home, plugged it in, and it turned on! And it works! YAY! I own a sewing machine.  My mom will be "sew" proud! hahahaha. 

Some pictures of my little beauty:

Here are the stitches it does:

Awesome right?! Well the best part was when I came and looked it up online. I wanted to printout the manual so I can learn to actually use it, and the newest model (which looks exactly the same) is the Brother CS6000i. Yeah, that one lists on Amazon for $449. and is currently priced at $160.00. 

I saw a CS-100 for $100, plus $25 shipping, on ebay. Did I mention I got mine for $20? It is apparently missing some of the accessories, but who cares?! If I need them, I buy them. They're certainly cheaper than buying a new machine. 

Yeah, I totally "stole" that machine. Yay! Go Me!

Now I just need to learn to use it! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Halloween 2012

The last few years, I've had some fun halloween costumes...all that border on crazy/creepy. :) This year I decided that I wanted something a bit "prettier."

Then I saw this amazing skirt on...where else...pinterest. But it lead to an etsy shop that was selling the skirt for over $300! Beautiful, but way outside my price range.

Craft -- Halloween -- Witch skirt... unbelievable awesome Halloween tutu for grown-ups!

I wanted it. Needed it, really. I had always wanted a fluffy princess skirt. And no, I'm not too old. Okay, maaaaaybe I am, but who cares? If you raised your hand, we aren't friends. ;)

So I told Caitlin about it and she made it happen. She's pretty awesome like that. I give her an idea and she makes it happen. I wish I could do that. :)

Cait had a large scrap of basic black utility cotton fabric and so made a base "skirt" to sew the tulle onto. We decided that a drawstring would be best, and so she put one in.

After a "rough calculation" (have I mentioned how bad I am at math?) of how much I would need, I bought 600 yards of 6" wide tulle (4 100 yard black spools & 2 purples) and then Cait cut them into 44", long strips (my height was 41" from my waist to the floor and then she added a few more because of the way she was sewing it to the base skirt).

She sewed the 6" wide ends next to each other so they were in a medium gather. There were 3 layers of tulle to make it fluffy.

Cait sewed each layer "upside down" to the skirt underneath so that it would fold over on top of itself to add more volume.

Man this skirt is a beast. :) It's going to be awesome.

For the waistband, I wanted it to wrap around a couple of times with a bow, like the inspiration picture. I bought a yard of black satin fabric and Cait sewed it into a "ribbon" and attached it. She also put interfacing in between the two layers of satin to make it stiffer. It's so awesome. I love it.

Once I get the rest of my costume together, I'll post some pictures. :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A "Fun" Conversation

Today I "got" to take a "fun" call at 11:30am from someone that WASN'T my client. :) And when I say "fun" I mean "not fun." But it made me laugh at the ridiculousness of it all.
Apparently this client, we'll call him "Grumpy Old Man" or "GOM" (wow, I'm just full of quote marks today!) had a problem. Here's how the conversation went:
ME: Good morning! How can I help you?
GOM: Yeah, I need to talk to my attorney ___.
ME: Oh, I'm sorry. He's actually out today. Would you like his voicemail?
GOM: NO! I need to talk to him NOW!
ME: Well, he's out today and his assistant is on another call. Would you like her voicemail?

(This is where he assumes that I can, and will, help him and starts going off on me about his if I would even know what he's talking about. I know nothing about that attorney's cases.)

GOM: I'm supposed to be dropping off paperwork at the Justice Center (the County Courthouse by my office) and we left at 4:30am this morning and WE'RE JUST NOW GETTING HERE! YOUR DIRECTIONS WERE BAD. (turns out he was only coming from Sacramento...a 20 minute drive.)
ME: Oh, I'm sorry. I can offer to take a message or put you through to the attorney's voicemail.  (Code for: THERE'S NOTHING I CAN DO FOR YOU, DUDE.)
GOM: Well I'm angry that the attorney gave me such bad directions. And I have no idea what this paper I'm looking at means.
ME: Well, I'm sure the assistant would be able to help you out, but unfortunately, she's still on another call. I can transfer you to her voicemail if you like.
ME: Well, I'm sorry, but I don't actually have his cell phone number. (Which I don't for this exact reason.) But I'm sure his assistant would be able to help you either way.
ME: No, I'm very sorry sir. I don't know what it is.
ME: Unfortunately, yes, because I don't know what it is. His assistant would have that information.
ME: I apologize that I can't help you, would you...
*click* --yeah, he hung up on me.

[and scene]

So that was fun. I was so nice and patient, and sincere. Seriously. I was. (yeah, yeah, don't look so surprised.) Turns out he did get the correct directions from the assistant via a they were written for him. That was sooo...special.

It was terrible because I couldn't stop laughing after he hung up.

I had a couple of other similar calls today from my clients that I had to REALLY work at not to laugh.

One client in particular yelled at me & told me that he had made it clear to us that he didn't want a hearing, when last Wednesday, he called and was super angry that we hadn't filed for a hearing--despite my boss's caution not to do so. Yeah, I heart my clients. :)

I'm so glad that today I was prone to laughter rather than stress and being mad at the ridiculousness of people. It feels so much better. :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I think I've Made a Decision

I'm pretty sure I've decided not to pursue a Masters at this point, but to get my paralegal certificate instead. Because I've already got a lot of schooling under my belt, along with work experience, I can probably get it done in a few semesters, depending, of course, upon how many credits I take a semester (I'm going to start out slow--I've never worked full time and gone to school).

I'm kind of sad not to get a Masters, at this point, but after talking to several different attorneys, including both of my bosses, I got a lot of feedback that a paralegal certificate would be more beneficial at this point. And it would get me some schooling that I can actually apply to my job. (Turns out that Biology doesn't really help with law--who'd a thought?!, though my minor in psychology has, unfortunately, been a bit more helpful.)

So I've been researching schools. They are almost just as expensive as the Master's Program I looked into. And I have a meeting with American River College (ARC) next week to talk about their program...which is easier to get into and a whole lot cheaper...but in class...which means night classes...which means I'm probably going to have to change my hours at work a bit (which my boss said is totally do-able, and he would be happy to accomidate! Yay!). I just need to make sure that it is accreditied and recognized by the Bar Association. It was a bit frustrating because they wouldn't talk to me on the phone about it, but told me that I have to schedule an appt, which I did...for next week. But I want to know now! :)

Anyway...the pending issue left is figuring out how to pay for it. Assuming that ARC is actually as cheap as I seem to think it is, it's still several thousand dollars that I don't have lying around. And unfortunately, because I already have a Bachelor's degree, I don't qualify for Pell Grants. Grrr. I need scholarships. So hopefully I'll be able to get some through the school.

It's a good thing that I don't need the certificate to work. But I want it. I keep praying that if this the right thing, then Heavenly Father will make a way for me to be able to go to school with going into debt for it. I can't afford student loans. (I talked to one school and they said with my income, that it would probably be about $150-200/month! Eek!!)

I'm sure it will all work out...even if that means that I don't go back to school...which would be sad, but okay.

I mean, what kind person goes to school because they WANT to?

Me, that's who. I love school. I love learning. I love being able to apply what I learn to real life.

Yeah, I'm crazy. And I like it. :)