Thursday, August 2, 2018

Goofin' Off During a Crazy Summer

I can't believe how fast this year has been going by. I have so many things on my plate and am always missing my blogging friends. I know at some point things will calm down, but it will be bittersweet. As always, working on my quilting and cross stitching is my sanity saver.

I'll give a few updates on my projects before I let you in on what's been going on with the Goofin' Offs.

First up is updates on my large Disney Cross Stitch project:

Mickey and Pirate Friends as of 02/23/2018
Mickey and Pirate Friends as of 08/02/2018

Back in May I started a new quilting project for Project Linus. Although it doesn't use any Disney fabrics, I have changed the original pattern to use up some blue scraps. I honestly thought I had taken more photos of this project, but I guess I was mistaken. It's assembled with black, white, and assorted blue scraps.

To start with, here is a picture of all the black fabric cut out.

Black Fabric Pieces All Cut Out
Below are the first sub-units starting to be assembled. Notice the beautiful glass rose from Beauty and the Best in the background? My nephews gave it to me for Mother's Day this year. We just so happened to be at Disneyland at the time, so it has a lot of extra special meaning for me. 

48 Sub-Units:  A+E (and a beautiful glass rose)

48 Sub-Units:  B+A+E
24 Sub-Units:  (G+D+D+F) combined with 24-Sub-units (B+A+E)

To do a quick catch-up on what's been going on the past six months with the Goofin' Offs:

I have been busy working my transcription job and starting work as a travel consultant. As I continue to find what I enjoy and don't enjoy about being a travel consultant, I think I may at some point change from a travel consultant to a travel planning blogger. I do finally have a website up and running. So far the most-visited page is the page where I keep a list of major sweepstakes that are free to enter and offer grand prizes of travel.  You can find it here.  After all, who wouldn't want to win a free vacation from likes of Disney or Coca Cola.

In March the Goofin' Off family used our cruise credit from our cruise that was canceled last fall. It was a 7-day Caribbean cruise aboard the Oasis of the Seas ship. We enjoyed all the activities this ship has to offer. You can see Mr. Goofin' Off certainly took time to enjoy them all.

Mr. Goofin' Off on the Zip Line on the Oasis of the Seas
Mr. Goofin' Off Climbing One of the Rock Climbing Walls on the Back of the Ship
Mr. Goofin' Off Taking a Nap on the Balcony
We purposely chose a cruise leaving from Port Canaveral so that we could sneak in a few days at Disney World. We had a few days left on our annual passes and really wanted to show Goofin' Off Jr. the new Pandora area. It was a whirlwind few days. 

Goofin' Off Jr. and Mr. Goofin' Off Waiting for the Bus at the Resort
To Take Us to Disney's Animal Kingdom - Pandora, World of Avatar
Disney's Animal Kingdom:  Pandora, World of Avatar
April came and went and was uneventful but extremely busy. I was working and putting together the basics of my website. I'm not sure on some things, but I'm definitely getting better at web design. 

May came with a trip to Disneyland.  Mr. Goofin' Off, myself, and my two nephews went for a quick trip. For the record, my nephews are in their mid- to late-20's, so no little ones on this trip. We had a great time and indulged ourselves in a few dozen (yes, that really is dozen) Mickey Mouse beignets and a number of churros. It was actually a bit chilly for the time of year in Southern California. We didn't mind because it made waiting in lines much more bearable. 

Churro at Disneyland with Cocoa Powder and Chocolate-Spiced Dipping Sauce
May came and my dad had to have a hernia operation. My mother had been having stomach problems and the test results came back while my dad was still in the hospital.  It was stage IV pancreatic cancer. She has chosen not to do chemo because of the side effects and the fact that it would only prolong her life a few months. 

June was a month of adjusting to a new normal. Mr. Goofin' Off and I go over to my parents' house every Tuesday for dinner time with them. We let my parents choose what they want to do. The first month, my mother wanted to go out to eat. At this point, we are bringing dinner over to them every Tuesday and just enjoying time with them. 

July started out with Mr. Goofin' Off coming down with pneumonia...just three days before he was to leave for India. His company has him helping set up a new office in India. The doctor put him on some strong antibiotics and gave him the clearance to travel, so he was off to India for a week. As you can imagine, I was really worried about him while he was gone. Luckily, he came home much healthier than he left. The end of June had lots of extended family come up and spend time with my parents. We had a great time catching up. I had two nephews stay with us during that time and really enjoyed having teenage boys around the house again. I have some pretty awesome family! 

August is here and so much going on. I try to attend at least one appointment every week with my mother's hospice workers. She is really slowing down and sleeping a lot. It's hard to leave my parents sometimes when it's time to go. Mr. Goofin' Off and I are headed out to a conference next week. It was all scheduled before we got the news of the cancer. I am grateful that I have a sister coming up from Salt Lake City for a few days followed by my brother coming up to help at the end of the week. I can rest a little more easily while I'll be gone.

Enough of my ramblings. You are now caught up. Even though things are crazy busy at times, I am grateful for each and every moment of it. I'm looking forward to catching up with all my blogging friends. You all bring such a positive energy into my life.

Linking Up With:

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Goofin' Off With a Return in 2018

Well, it’s been months…four months to be exact since my last post.  The time has just flown by.  Thank you to those who have contacted me to see how things are going.  I appreciate your care and concern.  Everything has been just great the past four months in the Goofin’ Off household.  There have been a lot of great things happening here, but I’ll get to that in a little further down in the post.  I know a lot of you are just here for the project updates, so let’s get started there. 

I did manage to finish the quilt top for the Toy Story Woody quilt.  It’s a happy little quilt.  Now all I need to do get it all finished and sent off to the recipients.  

Woody/Toy Story Quilt Top Finish

Mickey and Minnie "Love" This Finish
Mickey says it’s a happy little quilt.  He is very pleased with how it turned out.  Now all I need to do get it all finished and sent off to the recipients.  I had hoped to get this done months ago...but...well, life gets in the ways sometimes.   

In my spare moments the past few months, it has been easiest to work on my cross stitch project, so this is where I have made the most progress.  Mickey and Pirate Friends is coming along quite nicely.  I didn’t always take pictures as I finished each section, but here are the latest sections I completed.  I am excited because the corner of the pirate flag is beginning to show in the bottom right corner.  

Mickey and Pirate Friends Cross Stitch - 01/26/2018

Mickey and Pirate Friends Cross Stitch 02/14/2018

In my last blog post, I had mentioned that I was excited about landing my dream job as a travel agent/travel consultant with a company that specialized in Disney travel.  I was supposed to begin training the first part of November…then it was middle of November...but it was really the end of November before training began.  It was a bit disappointing that training took so long to get of many red flags I should have seen...but the bright side of that was a trip Mr. Goofin’ Off and I were able to take to Disney World in mid-November…at least I didn’t have to do training while I was in the happiest place on earth.  

Our visit to Disney World just happened to coincide with the transition of decorations into the holiday season.  As you can see from a few of the pictures I took, when Disney does decorations, they do them big…quite literally. 

Life-Sized Gingerbread at Disney's Grand Floridian Hotel

The Detail of the Gingerbread House - The "Frozen" Window
Giant Christmas Teapot
We had a great time and enjoyed the warm weather while it rained and poured back home in Seattle.  A week after I got home, the training for the dream job began…but would it really be my job? 

The first week I became certified to sell Disney travel.  I was in heaven.  I was an official graduate of the “Disney College of Knowledge.”  Certifications to sell vacations to Universal Studios (and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter) came next.  Then certifications to sell Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines…all in all, I was spending 40 to 60 hours a week doing training and became certified to sell all of the major cruise lines, all-inclusive resorts, and tour companies. 

The paperwork I signed had indicated we (myself and the other three trainees) would be allowed to actually sell with the company about three weeks into the training.  More than three months later, I was getting excuses from the back office as to why I wasn’t able to sell despite the fact that I had clients waiting to book and was OK to sell according to Disney and the cruise lines.  They suggested I send my clients to one of their other travel agents.  I asked if I would get to split the commission since I brought the client.  Nope.  I had enough, and they had breached our contract already several times, I had lost confidence in the company, so I said a goodbye to the them.  This was mid-January. 

So what have I been doing the past month, you ask?  I have been working on projects which gave me some time to think about what I wanted to do.  It’s amazing how much I can focus and think things through when I am working on a project. 

Even though I hadn’t personally booked my clients, I went ahead and worked with them to book their trips on their own.  I saved several of them from $500 to $800 from what they had been able to put together on their own.  I was hooked.  This is what I had always intended to do…provide people with the vacation they want at the best price I could find.  So…after interviewing several new travel agencies, I signed on with a new one on Monday and should be able to start booking my clients within two business days.  Yippee!!! 

Rest assured, this blog will be all about my stitching, quilting, and love of Disney…not selling (although I will always be happy to help my blogging friends book their trips – fee free). 

Thanks for allowing me to ramble today and catch you up on what has been going on.  My life is returning to a semi-routine normal again, so I should have blog updates more often and hopefully will be able to join some stitch-a-longs and quilt-a-longs.  I have missed you all more than you can know.