Cranking It Out

Every year I do the thing, the Box of Warm thing, where I make a bunch of stuff for a literal box in my home (scarves, gloves, hats, etc) so I have a huge stockpile of warm just waiting for someone to need it. My kids have raided it a bunch, my nephews, my kids’ friends, my nephews’ friends, my mom. Sometimes I make things with specific people in mind- usually I don’t- just whatever I feel like doing.

Today is an exciting day- today I receive a knitting machine. Not a big fancy one on which I could do sweaters or blankets- but a small one. My Singer Knitting Machine is being delivered today and I’m super excited – I haven’t been this excited for a knitting tool since the Ball Winder Attacks of 2006.

How could you not be excited? You crank and it knits.

I made sure to get the newer version – which looks exactly like the Addi Express Knitting Machine – just with different legs and color scheme. I even made sure to watch a couple of unboxings for it- which the few different videos I’ve watched the unboxer adds the legs and the Singer machine wiggles – which leads me to wonder if the legs are a slightly different length (shorties in front/longies in back and the directions don’t mention it) – I’ll let you know once it gets here.

The Plan: once I get the machine going to just feed my extra non fancy yarn stash through it and get scarves a plenty. If it’s easy enough I’ll get the boys to join in. I only paid $20 for the thing, so if it doesn’t work out well I’m not out the $100+ the Addi would have cost me.

Now – it’s just the waiting- and that is the hardest part.


Magic Balls!

I have been knitting for some time now,and I knew about Magic Balls. If you don’t know what a Magic Ball is, it’s basically all those little leftover bits of yarn combined in to one giant FrankenBall.

But no one likes FrakenBalls.

This is why I went with Magic. I used the Russian Join to combine all the yarns  because I like that the ends are pretty much already woven in.

This difficulty is finding what to do with the Magic Balls once you’ve combined them. Me, I just went with very simple crocheted cowls/infinity scarves. Chain 27, then 2 for turning and DC across the row, chain 2 for turning and DC across… repeat. Nothing fancy since the yarn changes colors.

It’s been a fun little pallet cleanser whenever I need a break from knitting. I highly recommend it if you haven’t tried it.

BAMF Chart for King Falls AM

I listen to a podcast called King Falls AM. I love it, really. Give it a listen! I made a chart inspired by one of the episodes where a character’s wallet that says BAMF on it is stolen. Here is a chart to add BAMF to whatever you want to flaunt that you to are a Bad Ass Mot-


You Gotta Fight, For Your Right… To Be Treated As An Equal Human – Wall of Text Post

Reading the posts from the past year – you’ll certainly notice that I mentioned my second job a lot, the one where I kept time and scores for hockey.

As you’ll read in those posts, I loved that job, I really did.

Then, things changed.

You probably wouldn’t be surprised if I told you that I was the only woman who worked there. Hockey is filled mainly with men, and the staff was pulled from people who frequented there often, so it was more than likely that it would be male dominated. That’s cool though- I didn’t hate that. Except for having the saltiest of saltiest mouths, hockey players are generally awesome people to be around.

The hours were… okay. Friday nights were no trouble at all since my day job is a M-F 9-5er. I also worked Monday nights, which were a little tougher. I started working Monday nights because there is a singular full time employee- the rest of us were part time- and he would work more than 40 hours a week. So I would come in and work most of Monday night – but I couldn’t work past 11pm since I have to get up at 5am for work the next day. I always made it very clear – my day job pays twice as much an hour as the hockey job; the hockey job was always just for a little extra pocket money. So the full time employee would leave when I got there – take most of the night off and then come back for the last hour, after which he would stay later in to the night doing projects he thought up.

This is how it worked for a while.

Part of the job of the time keepers is to keep stats for the games (attendance of players, points, assists, empty netters, penalties, etc) and enter them in to the computer which then gets posted to the site. You don’t get trophies or awards for singular stats at this rink, only “winner” t shirts if your team wins the season, but people like showing off their stats and knowing where they stand with other players and divisions. Entering in the stats doesn’t take long, per se, but it does take time. I was told when I was hired that you MUST enter in the time sheets for the games you work, so I always did because it was part of the job.

That’s where we get to the sticky bit.

There was a Monday when I came in and the Full Time Employee (we’ll just call him FTE) asked if I could enter stats for him from the weekend since it was really busy and he couldn’t get to them. I said sure. Understand though that he works the WHOLE weekend so that is anywhere from 20 to more games that he did not enter the stats for. It takes me 30 minutes to do my usual four games for an evening, to give you some time frame. So I did it, I entered the stats because I like to think I am a nice person and wanted to help out.

Then he started leaving me ALL of his stat sheets… every Monday.

What started as a helpful favor became an expected duty from someone who is not my manager. So I contacted the Boss and I mentioned it. It stopped for a bit, but then he started leaving me the score sheets again. I would move them to the side and leave them in a pile- not touching them- because they are not mine. Then I would find the pile left for me at my next shift. So I contacted the Boss again, and once more it stopped-

-then the FTE decided to stop coming in on Mondays for that last hour so that I would end up leaving at 1am to get up the next day at 5am for my real day job.

So I complained once more to the Boss, and there was a meeting. Boss decided since FTE is the main employee (and claims he is super busy) I would have to enter his weekend games… but only for Saturday- one of the other employees would take Sunday’s score sheets (we’ll call him G).

When I started there, there were 8 employees (not including refs). Now there were 3- me, FTE, and G. The other five employees quit, and I was starting to see the reasons why. I started talking to the people who used to work there (since they still played there) and am informed that most of them quit because they were tired of working with the FTE. It figures.

Then Christmas came, and the rink throws a holiday employee party. It’s the FTE’s job to make sure that everyone knows about the party- so naturally, I did not get invited. People who used to work there years before were invited, but I was not, and I even saw him that day at the rink.

I brought this up to the Boss as well, and got an apology- but it was already heading downhill from there.

G, the other employee there, was fired for allegedly stealing wheels from the proshop (that you are also expected to work while there). A few days after he was fired, the wheels he supposedly took reappeared in the sales case. They weren’t even wheels he uses. So now the rink was down to two employees- FTE and me.

So then things went back to me being left the entirety of the weekend’s games to enter in to the score system on Mondays. Here’s the thing… the FTE sits at the time keeping desk WITH A LAPTOP CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET while he is working- reading articles, watching YouTube videos, and reading facebook. When I am time keeping I use the wifi to enter the stats in to the rink’s system… on my phone. I am finding it hard to believe that he can’t do it with his laptop- RIGHT THERE. Then FTE starts not doing his half of the cleaning duties – he’s supposed to get inside the glass and I the outside. However, if you wash the outside and the inside is still gross it looks like you did nothing. I got in trouble with the Boss- I started doing both.

Then I started to get really really resentful. G was never treated this way, until he was fired. Neither were the Ks (there were two of them) or S or M. G never had to enter FTE’s stats, because once Boss had decided it would be split up between me and G,  FTE just entered his own stats. The difference being with all those other letters and me – they were male, and I was not.

Then, one day, Boss texts and asks if I can work one of FTE’s nights. I text back “No”. Then explain that since FTE stopped coming in on Monday nights that I only get 4 hours of sleep before my day job the next day, then I’d be working my day job where I need to super alert to catch mistakes -BECAUSE THAT IS MY ACTUAL JOB… MISTAKE CATCHING – only to come back to work second job again until 1am and get another 4 hours of sleep before the next day of my mistake catching job. I wouldn’t be getting a whole night’s worth of sleep in 3 days. Boss has trouble understanding this through text so I call- better communication for everyone.

Then begins the argument.

Boss tries to convince me to work. I restate why I cannot. I mention to Boss that computer in office is no longer connecting to the internet so that I can enter scores – and that is hasn’t been working for some time, so I’ve been using my phone. Boss then switches up topics to just score sheets. I reiterate that the arrangement is unfair because FTE has a laptop with him and I am using my phone and that it is unreasonable to expect me to enter all those score sheets on my phone when he is perfectly capable of entering his stats right there… on his laptop. Then Boss says that I am to do what I am told to do because Boss is the Boss and I am the employee.

So I quit.

I quit, this job was always just a pocket money job for me- I don’t need it and now I don’t want it. Boss starts yelling, I yell back my goodbyes and hang up.

Listen… I was told there was an expectation of every employee there to do their jobs, but not everyone was. I was told that these were the expected duties, but it was really only expected from me. If everyone was expected to do this or that, then everyone should- not just me. Because for all of this, FTE was making a little less than what I make at my day job – while I was getting $9 an hour- and the FTE (who was making more than me) was leaving me, the lesser paid employee, all of his work to do so that he could just hang out and do nothing for $$$ while I did everything for $. That is not okay. If Boss had offered more $$$ then I would have stopped complaining- but no, Boss does not want to spend more money, not on me anyway. That is fine, that is Boss’ right as Boss- just as it is my right as employee to decide not to work there anymore… which I decided.

I really did like that job, and I would have liked it a lot more if I had been treated fairly. However, if you know you aren’t being treated as you should… you leave because no one will care about you- like you will.





Wooden Nickels and People Ashes

I updated my last post with the astonishing fact a geocache I had found contained the ashes of someone’s dearly departed mother… you know, in case you missed it. Otherwise things have been busy here at Chez Stephieface. When I have down time, I’ve been woodburning more wooden nickels to leave behind in geocaches…


Basically I free hand sketch the design on the wood and burn it in- voila!

It’s Like A Treasure Hunt – But Not

Last year, the kiddos and I started Geocaching. If you don’t know what that is, please refer to the title -or- you can go the Geocaching website (where they have lots of info, videos, etc). It’s something we do when people are bored and aren’t really feeling being indoors.


Basically, you get general coordinates and area from the website (which also has a free version app) and you set off to that place to find “the cache”. It can be an old Altoids tin, camera film canister, magnetic key holder, plastic container… really they are all just as varied as people are. They are even some super tiny ones:


You find the cache, write your name on the paper log, then log your find on the site. Easy peasy.

Some of the caches are even big enough that you can trade out stuff. Sometimes geocachers will leave little toys and trinkets for trade in the caches, there are even trackables- which are items that you remove from that cache and leave in another and its movements can be tracked from the site.

It’s undeniable that the stash caches are the kids’ favorite ones- so I generally carry a small box with me of things for trade just for that eventuality. Mostly they are small things, and usually things that I myself made like friendship bracelets, wooden beads that I have scratched designs in to, and wooden geocaching coins. There are a few non crafted things in there like a coin from England, a silver ring, and a set of 15mm tall miniatures of children (which I scored for a dollar from my local warhammer store and are about as tall as the metal part of a pencil) which I may or may not paint obnoxious colors.

Today I’ve been working on wooden geocaching coins… which are just wooden nickel blanks that I burn designs on to.

They aren’t intricate works of art – but I like them.

So, if you get the inclination – try it out- you might find yourself in places you didn’t know were there- plus, who doesn’t like hunting for treasure…


ETA: 2/22/16

So Sammy and I went geocaching on Sunday around the area and in one of the geocaches… the ashes of a once living person! Craziness!



I Thought I Was Dying On Monday

I currently work two jobs (that aren’t wife-ing or mothering). One is at a roller hockey rink (a haunted roller hockey rink) and the other is for a health insurance company. At the insurance job, it is my responsibility to review processes completed by the company for government compliance.

It was the insurance job that caused me to believe that I was dying on Monday. I honestly believed that I might be having a heart attack or stroke of some sort; I am not kidding, this is not a ‘I could not even… ‘ – I, for honest to goodness, thought that job had stressed me out so badly that I was dying.

I have worked for this company for going on eight years now, and held a few positions there and I can sum up the experience in a single phrase … It Is The Worst. Recently I was transferred from a team where I enjoyed the work I was doing, to another team without any transition. It was “Starting Monday you are on X team” due to company realignment. Now, it is my responsibility to work the most soul killing work imaginable.

I am getting long winded though – just know that everything sucks. Having to deal with the people I do, I ended up with the following:

  • My eye felt like it swelled, popped out of the socket, and had a heart beat of its own
  • I turned red and hot
  • I couldn’t breathe
  • My knuckles turned white
  • I wanted to yank the phone from the wall and throw it, then break my cubicle walls, and then maybe throw a car

Okay, so maybe I wasn’t dying so much as I was hulking out- and like Bruce Banner I am always angry.



Don’t Worry, The Ghosts Didn’t Get Me

Things have been pretty busy… work, work, hockey, kids hockey, housework… I feel like everything is behind- I have dust Brontosauruses roaming beneath my furniture and in my hallways.

But I have been crafting!



And of course, Christmas and Christmas Swaps.

The New Year has begun and I’ve decided on my resolution; it won’t be to lose weight or to stop a bad habit. My resolution will be to clear out the WIP box of unfinished projects before the Year ends… that should be easy … should be.

Hockey Hauntings and Gooning Ghouls



My hockey time keeping job is probably my favorite job (parenthood excluded). I get to watch hockey, and get paid for it, plus the people are pretty awesome… hockey players are my favorite kinds of people usually- well… hockey players and knitters.

As I said in my last post, when I close at night I can sometimes get myself all freaked out thinking that there are ghosts and ghoulies flitting about the rink. I downloaded a recording app on my phone so I can see if I can capture some of the sounds I hear after everyone has left and I am all alone.

Listen, I know the likelihood of ghosts haunting a hockey rink is probably… not at all… but my imagination apparently likes me to be frightened…. so it makes sounds and shapes from nothing. I know this. Doesn’t stop me from having fun with it though.


the rink

Anyway, back in the day, the hockey rink used to be HUGE (I mean aside from popularity). The building was bigger and housed a skating rink and an ice rink- they’ve since halved the building, kept the skating rink (and changed the surface) and sold the ice portion off to become a garage. 95% of the phone calls I receive are asking when our open skate time is… we don’t have open skates we just do hockey.

what did it do that it is in disco jail?

what did it do that it’s in disco jail?

We still have the disco balls though – they’re in cages and no longer spin. There are no longer any lights to shine on them either; I don’t know why they haven’t been removed. We still have the banging sound system though, which we turn on when there are no players in the building and we’re cleaning.


gendered changing rooms and cricket helmets

Lots of people leave things behind… normal things like shirts, hats, an odd piece of hockey gear like sticks and stuff… and not so normal things like creepy dolls and cricket helmets (we … don’t … do … cricket).

Overall I love this job – it’s the best- but I’m guessing you would like some creepy pictures though. This is what it looks like when I close, so maybe you can see why I get creeped out….


And the disco balls? I took dark pics of them too and messed with the contrast and whatnot… here you go…


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