Tuesday, March 29, 2022

On retreat!!

 There's nothing like going to a retreat and spending quality time with friends! And yep -- I'm at my second retreat for the year. And it's definitely NOT my last. We're staying for an ENTIRE week, which is a luxury, but I've found that staying in a small group at a house, rather than a large group in a hotel, is much more cost-effective. The total per person for the week is often less than at a hotel for a couple of days. 

Lunch is a very casual affair with sandwiches that we each make. One person brings the fixings, and we split the cost. Very practical and we don't overeat -- a problem with meals in a hotel. Breakfast is very causal -- we do our own thing, which again means we eat like we would at home, and there is no danger of overeating. Then we each make one dinner, and that is also very cost-effective. Nothing fancy - but we eat well. I've drilled it into everyone that we do NOT need a ton of baked goods or whatever, and this group has listened well. It's nothing to prep the meals like that. I would rather make a meal and a sandwich and have a LOT more retreat days than pay for a hotel meal. 

And yes -- it's a luxury to be away for such a long time, but it's also my vacation, and I'm worth a week away. However, this one is slightly different as I have to travel to the city for three days to attend a training session. I could have gotten out of it, but since we are here for a week and I'm close enough to drive back and forth - I'll "suffer" through it! I really wanted to hear the subject matter, but more importantly, I will meet some of the people I've been running Zoom presentations with. I get to meet them in the flesh! That's worth the cost of three days of sewing at the retreat. 

If I were home, I would have the same commute to the training session, so it's not really a big deal, and the next three nights, my dinner should be ready or almost ready as if I were home. And I can unwind with friends -- that sounds good to me!!

So on the coldest day we've had in a while, I crammed everything into the car. You can't see the front seat, but it was also full of stuff. 

Packed and ready to go

The day didn't start out as planned as I wanted to make a sample using one of the sergers. Only to discover that I had left the toolbox at home and the needles were in the wrong position, and I had no tools to change the needle position. OK -- let's move on to plan B! I'll be taking that machine home with me so I can make the sample. Oh well -- I have lots of other stuff to work on. 

And I did putter and got a bit of sewing done. Then it was time for that afternoon walk. A look at the weather app almost made me stay indoors. Minus 19 with the windchill. Yikes! But I came prepared, and so out I went. 

Out for a chilly walk

I was hoping the road would be more protected once I got onto the road. The house is situated on a small hill in a wide-open space and walking to the road is always cool. No -- I had to face the wind, and there was really no break. I really needed a walk as I ended up walking TWO concessions and back for a total of 10 KM, more or less. It was actually a glorious walk, and once you got outside, it really wasn't a big deal. 

On the way home, the sun came out, the wind was at my back, and I actually had to unzip my jacket and take my hat off! It was a crazy walk, but it was nice to get out. I think my total walk for the day was 18.2 KM or something ridiculous like that. 

But I'm on a mission. We are closing in on the finish line for our cross Canada walk, and we are neck and neck with two other teams that are racing to the finish line. 

Racing to the finish line

We have 131 KM left to walk, and well, which of those three teams will get there first? I won't have much time today to walk, but I'm going for a walk. I'll be leaving here before the crack of dawn, so I hope to beat some of the traffic into the city, and then I'll be doing my urban walk thing before the meeting. And I might get out at lunch to "wake" me up. I won't be anywhere near what I usually do, but I'm going to try! 

We are about three days away from the finish line, so we'll have to wait and see if we finish in the 65th spot, 66th, or 67th!!! Can you believe me??? I'm a nut case, but walking is very important to my mental and physical health, and I will always find time to do it. Besides, I put dress pants on this morning, and they fit beautifully, so that is why I walk every day!

Here's a view of the house from the road as I got back to the house yesterday. We are staying at the Retreat at the Farm, and it's a lovely house. There is lots of room for five for sewing, squishy for six, but we'll manage when our sixth person arrives. I won't need table space for the next three days, and I'll figure out where to sew on Friday when I'm back!

The house from the road

I'll be working on scraps again as it's an excellent place to do mindless sewing. No worries if you make a mistake because there are no mistakes! But look what Kathleen is working with!

A beautiful FQ bundle

This is a gorgeous fat quarter bundle, and I got to look at it all day!!!! I love it!

Anyway --- lots of stuff to sew and lots to do while we are here, and even though I have to be away for three days, it will be fun! I really needed the mental break, which will completely kick in on Friday!!!

The more that I chat with everyone about my plans for classes going forward, the more it's solidified in my head, and the more that I know it will work and it's going to be great! We have a LOT of technology to learn in this industry, and I want to make the most of it. I want to learn so much, and I'm not really taking the time to do that these days. That is going to be a priority going forward, so if you are into learning the technology side of this industry, you are in for a treat. 

Please do NOT have FOMO when I say this -- you are either into the technology, or you are not. There'll be something for you if you're not, but don't rush out and buy stuff just to be part of the group. That is NOT allowed. 

By technology, I mean using digital cutters, embroidery machines, and all the software options that go with those things. It's a ton of learning, and like I said, you are either in or not. You can't force yourself to enjoy that stuff -- I envision a few frustrations along the way!! And you can be sure of many blog posts as I go through that learning curve. 

I'll be keeping the UFO clubs in place as those are super essential and HUGE motivators for people! I don't know if anyone will give up their spot for 2023, but I'll be sure to let you all know if they do. 

On that happy note, I'm off to grab a bite to eat before I leave and then pack the car (quietly!) and get on the road. 

Have a super day!!!


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