And Now For The Rest Of The Story…..

    I'm not sure where to begin this saga except to go back to the beginning.
    I accepted a job in Traverse City managing an upscale clothing boutique in the downtown shopping district.

    A few days into working I was fed up with the constant, irritating cough that followed the Shipshewana croak I brought home. I had been to the doctor twice before heading up here and everything was okay but now I couldn't stop coughing. I finally called the office and was told I had a reactive bronchial thing where my bronchial tubes were enflamed. It was exhausting! The doctor put me on a super duper antibiotic for three days and an inhaler for a month. The inhaler was a new adventure for me.

    The neighbors and I were all scheduled for our annual mosquito spraying and we were having our usual spring ant and spider spray done too. Within a few hours all the bugs in hiding were making their way into the cottage. I kept the vacuum handy and just cleaned up as they crawled adding a cordless hand vac to my wish list of household tools.


    My darling husband and oldest son had been up here a few weeks earlier to evict the mice who took up residence in this fine abode over the winter. It was the first time in more than 20 years they made their was inside. What a terrible sight finding signs of green DeCon and little brown turds in your bed when you pulled back the covers. That meant washing everything in the cupboards, all the towels and linens plus a major scrubbing of furniture and floors. All the time I was coughing my head off, not getting much sleep and starting a new job too.

    I came home from work the day after the mosquito spraying to find a dead mouse in the ground cover near the door and the shower floor covered with 3/4 inch long ants with wings. I cleaned up the mess, collapsed on the couch and tried to think about fixing dinner. Clutch and I rested for about half an hour deciding a Stouffer's Escalloped Chicken and Noodles would be good comfort food. I walked toward the kitchen to pop it in the microwave and was greeted by hundreds, and I mean hundreds of those nasty 3/4" winged ants in the dining area. The slider window was covered and they were pouring out of two little holes where the ceiling meets the wall. It didn't take a much thought to figure out I needed to plug those exit holes. The only tape I could find was double sided carpet tape. I just cut off big hunks and slapped it over the holes. At that point I wasn't sure if I wanted to scream or just sit on the floor and cry. Clutch was less than supportive and fascinated with the whole thing. I had suspected after the shower incident that I was dealing with Carpenter Ants but had never seen them swarm until now! The next morning I called the "bug experts" and set up a time for them to come out and treat those nasty buggers with a shot of death powder. Been pretty much bug free since then but the tape is still up on the ceiling.

    After a year of quite leisurely living I was not prepared for what being on my feet 8-9 hours a day was going to do to my body. I passed 40 something a couple years back but am far from having one foot in the grave! On a normal day I leave the lake about 9 in the morning and get home around 7 at night or 11-9 if I work the closing shift. I now know I have muscles in places I didn't know they existed! I've lost over 20 pounds (that's a positive bonus!) and have been pinning my pants at the waist to keep them from falling off. Since I own a sewing machine you'd think I'd just sew the pleat down at the waist or alter them but noooo........... I just keep hunting for pins.

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    If any of you know of comfortable, yet fashionable shoes for working on your feet I'd sure appreciate the tip. I have one new pair that are currently stuffed with plastic cups, plastic grocery bags crammed in around them and shoe stretch sprayed on in hopes they'll no longer give me blisters. I tried the wearing wet socks in new shoes trick to break them in. All it did was take away the pretty pink color that was part of the lining.

    Aside from the aches, pains and blisters I've pretty much adjusted to the job. I like the folks I work for and the girls that are working in the shop. I've learned a great deal about fashion design and a background in textiles has really been helpful.

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    Except for repairs of belt loops, sewing on buttons, making valences and bolster pillows for the dressing rooms I haven't done any stitching except for finishing some embroidery on an applique Midget and sewing down the center of a flower on another one. Yikes!!! I'm suffering from quilting starvation.

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    If your travels this summer bring you to the Traverse City area please stop in the shop, Items by Boutique Emmanuel. It's right downtown on Front St. between Union and Cass.

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    We're wrapping up the National Cherry Festival that follows the Fourth of July holiday and have about a week long break before Michael Moore hits town with the Traverse City Film Festival. I'll let you know if any movie stars come shopping.

    Before I left Grand Rapids I had scanned several of the upcoming Midgets, Magic Vine and State Fair blocks. I thought I'd be going back and forth a few times between Traverse City and Grand Rapids. Working six days a week, being sick and everything else just didn't make that possible and I ran out of scans. My DH was going to bring me the multi-function machine from home to hook up to the laptop but went out the door forgetting to put it in the truck. I went to Best Buy last week and got a new all-in-one unit so we're back in business.
    I know I've left out lots of things like Clutch being sick and my high tech laundry methods but I think you get the picture of what life has been like the last several weeks. I'm glad we've settled into our new routine.

    It's nice to read you've been missing me. I've missed all of you too. I'm determined to stitch a block tonight before going to bed. I hope you have time to take a stitch or two today too!

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