Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pass the Catch Up, Please

Good grief. It's been almost a month since I posted on here... and I got so carried away with a bazillion other things that I even forgot about my giveaway! I'm disappointed to say that the giveaway only received seven comments. Nevertheless, I've used the trusty random number generator from to determine the winners...

I'll be contacting the winners (moonlitfantaseas, lisa, and TheBeadedBead) later today - promise!

So what, you ask, have I been doing that's been taking all my time?

First on the list was preparing all the paperwork to apply for our building permit. We're FINALLY going to start building our house! Having never applied for a permit in this area, we weren't sure how detailed the drawings would have to be or just how much information about trusses, etc., we'd need to submit for approval. So we spent quite a lot of time working on refining the drawings, making sure all the windows and doors were labeled, figuring out where light fixtures and switches will go, and checking and rechecking the plumbing fixture locations.

Several days of working on drawings, filling out paperwork, and talking to contractors; and now we have our permit! Woo hoo!

Second on the list of time-consuming activities was a task that everyone hates: INCOME TAXES. Blech. We had an awesome accountant for many many years, but the accountant we used last year (sadly, recommended by a local business owner) made a giant mess of things. So this year I decided to attack this task with Turbo Tax. I spent a bunch of time making sure I had all the information gathered and accounted for in my spreadsheet, so it went relatively smoothly. Now that I know how Turbo Tax works, I can track things a little differently and be all ready when next year rolls around.

Now while the tasks of applying for a building permit and filing income taxes may not seem all that daunting, everything was made more difficult because my desktop computer chose early April to die.

And it was a slow death. First, the fan started making a lot of noise. And then it quit. I called the local Best Buy to see about having the fan replaced, and they assured me that it would be no big deal. However, after I hauled the desktop to the store they determined that they didn't have the right fan. I wasn't thrilled with the idea of jury rigging a different one, so I just hauled it back home and went to find the right fan on Dell's website.

After ordering and replacing the fan myself, I quickly came to realize that the desktop had more issues than just the fan. It hadn't been behaving itself for awhile, but I was willing to let it limp along. I finally decided it was time for it to be retired, so I spent HOURS making sure I had all the software media to load onto a new one and, more importantly, making sure I had all my files backed up. 35GB of data, reviewed (you wouldn't believe how much JUNK I had kept) and copied over to the laptop to await the arrival of the new computer.

The new computer arrived, and I'm happy to say that it was relatively easy to get it all set up. Even some of the antiquated software I needed to install worked, despite the newer operating system. And it's nice not to have to listen to that fan any more!

The third time-consuming activity, which I'm sure is going to continue to be time consuming, was shopping for house stuff. There are SO many choices to make, so we've been prowling through stores and design centers as well as prowling the internet to find things we love. It seems strange that we haven't even broken ground yet (the excavation is due to start next week), but we already have ceiling fans, some light fixtures, and some plumbing fixtures. Next week we have to make the final choices for siding, roofing, gutters, flooring, and tile. Argh.

Last, but not least in the time-consuming activities, were some custom orders and some special projects for a publication (yay!).

I love working on custom orders, and this bracelet is now one of my favorite pieces. It's bead crocheted using 2mm gemstones, and I absolutely LOVE the way they look!

I can't share any details yet about the pieces for the publication, but I'm so excited I can hardly stand it!

So you can see that it's been a busy month. It's good to be busy, right? :-)