Mindy Memories

Thursday, December 30, 2004


Quote of the Day: From the remake of The Stepford Wives. I actually liked it and took it for the comedy it was, as opposed to the creepy original which I also liked.

Walter Kresby: Only castrating, Manhattan career bitches wear black. Is that what you want to be?
Joanna Eberhart: Ever since I was a little girl.

This cold I've had for over a week now came back worse than ever yesterday afternoon. I went to work feeling pretty good, just a little stuffy. After lunch I pretty much crashed and burned. After work I came home, got on the computer for a few minutes and then cozied up to Tim and watched a movie. Then I went to bed at 9:30PM LOL! That's something I do only when I feel crappy (go to bed that early, that is) and I didn't even get in any stitching time. I woke up this morning at 7AM and decided I wasn't going to work. I can hang out at home, get on the computer for a few minutes, than take a nap from overexerting myself. Everybody at work yesterday afternoon kept asking me if I was OK, so I guess I really didn't sound too great. It just ticks me off that I still have this thing hanging around, and I hear that a lot of other people are having problems right now, too. I'm not deathly ill or anythig and probably sound like a little baby, but this stinks!

On a good note, I did finish Dragon of the Winter Moon over the weekend and started the Dracolair dragon. I figure the only thing I'm waiting on to finish Christmas Jewel is that Kreinik and then I'll bead it and it will be done, so I may as well start what I planned to start when Jewel was finished. It's keeping with my StRIP plan for the most part, I just haven't gotten the Kreinik to finish the first thing yet. Isn't rationalizing such things fun? The purples in the Dracolair dragon are really pretty. He's going to be a very rich-looking dragon when I'm done with him. Anyway, I took Dragon of the Winter Moon to work yesterday to scan but wasn't able to get to it. So, looks like he won't be scanned until Monday. I really like the way he turned out.

Many have been writing in their blogs about the horrible (understatement) tsunami that hit various places in the Indian Ocean a few days ago after that 8.9 earthquake. I've been wanting to express my feelings about it, but don't know how. I think the total lives lost is 114,000 and rising, and I honestly cannot comprehend it. It's hard for me to write about something that I really don't understand. I mean, I have nothing in my experiences to compare this to, for which I'm thankful.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

No place like home for the holidays

First things first -- Here's the Quote of the Day. This is from a book I saw at my dad's, a Jeff Foxworthy redneck joke book:

"You might be a redneck if you think that Roe vs. Wade has to do with boat ownership."

Well, I got back in last night with no problems. Gotta say Orlando's security set-up is much better than the one in Philly, at least the one in Terminal E in Philly. It took us about 45 minutes to get through security leaving Philly, not because it was better than in Orlando but because there were only two lines. In Orlando there were about six and it went very quickly.

Anyway, it was nice to see the family and see Adam. I hadn't seen him in 2 years and he'll be three in February. He's very cute but I think he's allowed to do a lot of things that made me cringe. I can't say anything because I have no kids and parents really don't want to hear stuff from childfree people, but I was surprised by a few of the things my SIL allowed him to do -- bounce on my mother's month-old sofa in his shoes, run around in the restaurant, and her comment about how all homes with a three-year-old have crayon marks on the wall. (My mother said ours didn't and that we "wouldn't have dared" LOL!) He is a cutie, though, and very friendly. He likes to do things by himself and if somebody tries to help him too much he says, "Baby do!" and wants to do it himself.

So, my sister, Tim and I stayed at the Extended Stay in Lake Mary so we had some down time, which is always necessary in such cases. As usual, my mother cooked a huge Christmas dinner and every time we were at the house she was getting us to eat more. She is a darn good cook, to be sure. The day after Christmas we went out to Blue Springs to see the manitees, and I've never seen so many in at once. There were a few there with there little babies and a few with what I call "teenagers." They weren't the tiny brown babies but they weren't full-grown either and were still hanging pretty close to Mama. We also noticed a gator farther out and a clueless large bird swimming around near him. The gator must have already ate because the bird lived, but we were wondering if we were going to witness a massacre. Nothing like a Christmas Massacre for the families watching the manitees.

Sunday night Maureen (sister), Patrick (brother), Tim and I went to see National Treasure. It was pretty decent -- not spectacular but entertaining and fun, and I'll probably buy it when it's out on DVD. I think we saw it the last night it was in the theater, or at least in THAT theater. Then we went out and had a few drinks and appetizers and went back to the motel. Tim and I left the next afternoon and Maureen is leaving tomorrow.

It would have been nice if I hadn't come down with a cold a day before we left, but it was OK. The worst part was flying up there, because I was already congested and when we landed my ears wouldn't pop. A few hours later, after much nose-blowing, they finally broke up inside, but it hurt and I couldn't hear much of anything when we first got in. Coming back it wasn't a problem and they behaved normally. I also thought it was ironic that it was cold and rainy the whole time we were there and only got sunny on the day we left. Oh well, what can you do. At least I lived there long enough to not think it's sunny and warm year-round and brought appopriate clothing. Some Christmases it's very warm, others it's not.

So it's back to work tomorrow. I took an extra day off so that I could rest and unpack and generally do nothing for a day. I cleaned and decluttered a little before I left so that I'd come home to a relatively decent home, and that definitely helped yesterday. I came home and Tim gave me the DVD player he bought me and the extended version of LOTR: ROTK so I hooked that up and watched it last night. There were a few things in the movie that now make more sense after seeing what was cut out of the theatrical version: why Aragorn looks so surprised to see Arwen; how Sauron knows Aragorn's name and what he looks like; why Faramir and Eowyn look so chummy at the end, etc.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Going to FL tomorrow morning

I doubt I'll be on here again tonight, so I wish everybody a Happy Holiday! I'm leaving tomorrow for FL and will be back Monday night from visiting my family.

Of course, I came down with a cold yesterday and didn't sleep much last night because I kept sneezing and had a runny nose. I'm dealing OK, though. It's just bad timing. I got some things straightened out around here so the place is nice to come home to, and my friends are feeding Smokey. He's going to be irrirated but he'll survive. Now all I have to do is finish the laundry and pack, and that won't take long as it's only for a few days. The biggest pain is that I can't wrap my gifts for the plane so when we get there we'll have to stop off for wrapping paper and get everything wrapped at the motel for Saturday.

Anyway, hope everybody has a wonderful weekend :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Quote of the Day

I think I'm going to start posting quotes of the day in my blog, or rather quotes of the days I actually post LOL! There are so many funny things I hear in the course of the day and they just get stuck in my mind.

Today's is from the Fawlty Towers marathon I was watching last night. There are so many to choose from, but this is one of my favorites, taking place after a man has died in his sleep and Basil didn't notice when he went to deliver his breakfast:

Dr. Price: Do you mean to tell me you didn't realize this man was dead?

Basil Fawlty: People don't talk that much in the morning... Well look, I'm just delivering a tray, right? If the guest isn't singing "Oh What A Beautiful Morning", I don't immediately think "Oh there's another snuffed it in the night." Another name in the Fawlty Towers Book of Remembrance. I mean this is a hotel, not the Burma Railway. I mean it does actually say "Hotel" outside, you know. Perhaps I should be more specific. What about "Hotel for people who have a better than fifty percent chance of making it through the night"?

That is all for now :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

My 2005 Stitching Goals

I'm planning on sticking to my StRIP list for the most part, but also include some small ornament stitching for next Christmas.

Finish L&L 1990 freebie, start Drawn Thread mini bellpull
The 1990 freebie is small but the chart is hand-drawn and hard to read. The mini bellpull is from a JCS Ornament issue I have.

Finish Christmas Jewel and Crystal Chandelier, start Dracolair purple dragon
Christmas Jewel is very close to being done (see previous post) and all I need for Crystal Chandelier are the 7 teardrop beads. The dragon will be for Tim.

Finish angel and cherub started for AQP, start another cherub

Finish Santa in Fur, start poinsettia ornament
Pretty Santa, but lots of confetti stitching and a bit of a pain to stitch so I put him away. There is a pretty poinsettia ornament in one of the JCS ornament issues I want to start after I finish him.

Finish Guardian Angel, start Celtic Spring
The other part of this was to finish Deco Spirits, which is done. Guardian Angel is for my friend who had a baby. Then I will start Celtic Spring so that I have another Celtic lady done.

Finish Dragon of Winter Moon and Sweet Dreams Santa, start Waiting for Ships
Dragon of the Winter Moon is almost done. I only need to stitch what's left of the white rayon stitching and add the beads. Sweet Dreams Santa has about 10-15 hours on him and will take a while because of all the partial stitches and backstitching. I'm looking forward to starting Waiting for Ships, as she will be my first mermaid and I will stitch all the mermaids on hand-dyed fabrics.

Finish Rose Arbour and Christmas Flourishes, Start Santa's Magic
Both Rose Arbour and Christmas Flourishes are at least halfway done and will both be for me. Then I'll start Santa's Magic on some opalescent antique-looking fabric like I've seen several use. He's beautiful but will take some time as he's big.

Finish Sleeping Beauty, start Fairy Idyll
This is the last goal and may or may not make it. Sleeping Beauty is about 1/3 done, I think. She's big and I'm hoping I can finish her this year. If I do I'll start Fairy Idyll, which is another large one but I've been wanting to stitch her for a while now.

Make one ornament each month
This is pretty self-explanatory. These are going to probably all even be the same ornament but in different colors, like I did this year. It worked really well and I just put them into those little ornament tucks -- perfect!

So close, yet so far...

Well, if I had about an 18-inch length (or less) of Kreinik 102 #4 braid I could finish Christmas Jewel before Christmas. See in the picture below how I have two pieces outlined with a red box? All I need is enough to outline those two little pink and green squares. Ack! I thought the 002 might work as it is very close, but when I started stitching with it I could tell the difference so I took it out. So, I'll order some and it will be done in a few weeks. All I have left after that is the beading and that won't take me too long. Unbelieveable!

I also updated the right sidebar with my latest finish, the MLI 2002 freebie. It's not nearly as impressive as the Deco Spirits but I'm happy with the way she came out. I'll probably give her away as a Christmas present this year or next, not sure.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Down a total of 6.4 pounds

I guess that's not bad for it being the holidays. I was up 3 pounds two weeks ago, then I didn't go last week because I was home with a migraine and I go during my lunch hour on Mondays. So today I was down 3.5 pounds, so in the end I'm down .5 pounds. It would be nice to be down more, but considering all the chocolate and cookies and other goodies that have been delivered to us in the office, I would be OK with staying the same and losing just a little is very nice. Tim told me he can tell by my face that I've lost some and my clothes do fit better. There a pair of black pants I actually really used to like but I don't wear now because they are just too baggy in the thighs -- this is a good thing LOL!

The saga of the lost wallet

Oy! Tim goes to work very early on Monday and is up well before I have to be. About 5AM he says he has to turn on the lights because he can't find his wallet. He had it on Friday then didn't go out this weekend and now can't find it. So, he's looking here and there and of course is in a hurry because he has to go to work and is upset about the whole thing. So I helped but couldn't find it either. He went to work and stewed about it all day. I got home and decided I'd find the stupid thing and slowly looked here and there. Finally, I looked in his hamper and there it was, hidden amongst his dark socks. It blended right in with them, which is why he didn't see it this morning. So, I called him at his mom's and told him, "You owe me," and he knew I'd found it. He's had a headache all day about it and was going to call PennDot tomorrow to replace his driver's license, which he needs not only for driving but for ID for the plane trip to FL on Friday. So in the end it all worked out because I can look for things without going bonkers. Yeah, he DOES owe me LOL!

Things were nuts at work but I really couldn't do much to help. Tomorrow is closing, which means everything had to get done today to get to the Home Office tomorrow. Of course, everybody is coming in wanting changes on all sorts of policies, driving people crazy. There's really not much I can do to help except enter new applications and send memos with secondary requirements. The negotiating and checking I don't do because I have no clue :) I'm hoping I won't have to get a clue and that they'll make me full time Marketing Director in 2005.

I got a few more Christmas gifts today. I really work with some nice people. Donna gave me a little Santa candy dish, Wanda gave me a cool Kincade card that's also an ornament, and Nancy gave me a pretty little frame that is perfect for Kylie's picture. Then a few agents gave me things, which really made me feel appreciated because they don't give to everybody. I got a $50 Lord & Taylor gift card from some of the management team and a pretty crystal glass with a Mary Kay mini manicure set in it. The woman who gave it to me figured the glass was nice and big so I don't have to keep getting up every two seconds to get more water from the water cooler. She's a very young agent and just getting started so she's not real high in the numbers yet, so I thought that was a very generous gift.

It's butt cold outside!

It's a whopping 9 degrees outisde right now, with a windchill of about -7. The only reason I'm actually out of bed right now (much earlier than usual) is because Tim couldn't find his wallet this morning and I had to get up to help him. We still didn't find it. I'm sure it's around here somewhere, or in his car. It's actually a good thing I was woken up because otherwise I probably would have stayed curled up under the blankets much longer than I should, instead of getting my butt in gear so I can get out to the car earlier than usual. Who knows what the traffic is going to be like. City Avenue is a main road so I'm sure it's been salted, but people get weird around here. We only had a dusting of snow, but that was after some rain so there's likely to be patches of ice here and there.

I put in five hours on Guardian Angel last night. I noticed that the I think I mixed up some of the pink colors last time I stitched so I will have to go back and take some of that out. I was disgusted by this discovery last night so instead of ten hours I only worked five. I also put in a little time on Dragon of the Winter Moon. I should have finished him months ago but I've been avoiding the rest of the rayon stitching. I love the sheen of the rayon floss but don't care much for stitching with it, but that's all I have left to finish except for the backstitching and beadwork. He's a pretty dragon and I want to finish him so he can be framed along with his brother, Dragon of the Summer Sky, who is already finished. They are both Tim's.

Man, I keep talking about all this framing I need to finish, but I don't know where the framing money is coming from. I think some of these will be made into wall hangings. I need to see what kind of fabric I can get for a few of my finished projects and send them to Amy to finish for me.

Today at work is going to be interesting, not so much for me but my coworkers. Tomorrow is End of Year as well as the end of Quota Buster, which means everything needs to be at Home Office tomorrow, not in OUR office tomorrow. So people will be getting all sorts of stuff in at the last minute today. I don't do much of the New Business stuff except to help out a little here and there with applications, memos and copying. Donna and Wanda get the brunt of this and I hope they are able to go home at decent hours today. I think Wednesday will be a lot better for everybody, and that is the day Harris is taking us out for a nice 2-hour lunch.

We got our bonuses on Friday, and that was helpful. I haven't been there but a few months, but I did get a small Christmas bonus plus a bonus for meeting our December quota and a bonus for meeting the Quota Buster quota. It was a pretty nice bonus for only being there since June, and most of that time being part-time -- especially since the last Christmas I worked my boss "forgot" about the bonuses and decided that it was too late when he rememebered a few days before. Yeah, like we couldn't have used them AFTER Christmas. As usual, it was his way of avoiding dealing with a potential problem. We were having money problems, so we understood, but he had to bullshit about it instead of coming right out and saying, "I know we all got bonuses last year but because we're having financial problems we can't do it this year. I'm sorry about that, but I'll pay for lunch today." I mean, we are adults, and we would have understood. Of course, it didn't help that the mailman (who is a very nice man and deserved it) got $20 and we didn't even get a card.

I'm trying to watch the news but half the news is about the weather. Come on! How many times can you say the same thing over, and over, and over. This is why I don't watch the morning news anymore (and rarely the evening news) and get my news from other sources. I can't stand the fuss they make over the weather. Yes, it's very cold and there's a dusting of snow -- it doesn't mean it's the end of the world. They've opened places up for the homeless because it's very dangerous for them, that's good. People who work outside in this kind of weather KNOW how to dress for it, so why do they think they have to keep stressing that? My dad worked outside in this weather every winter when we had the farm, and he knew he had to bundle up in layers and such. God help us when we actually get a storm with 2 or more inches of snow. Then it's the end of the world LOL! I mean, this is the Northeast, people. Some native Philadelphians freak out more over snow than me, and I came here after living in FL for ten years. Of course before then I lived my life in Upstate NY, which gets loads more snow than here, but I never drove it in. People just get really silly.

Friday, December 17, 2004

2004 in Review -- snagged from Dianne's blog

What did you do in 2004 that you'd never done before?
Was a full-time nanny for a few months.

Did you keep your new years' resolutions and will you make more for next year?
I don't really make resolutions, but one of my goals was to work full-time and that worked out.

Did anyone close to you give birth?
A friend of mine had a baby in late 2003 and another friend had a preemie in August, who is doing fine.

Did anyone close to you die?
No. A very nice lady, LadyCPU, from one of my stitching boards died and it was very sad for many people. I really didn't know her well but it was a shock to many.

What countries did you visit?
Are you kidding? I'm lucky if I got out of PA this year LOL!

What would you like to have in 2005 that you lacked in 2004?
better finances and a body and paint job on my car.

What date from 2004 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
June 1st. It was my first day working, other than for my friend, since I'd been laid off in September.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I sound like a broken record, but working full-time again was my biggie.

What was your biggest failure?
I hate to admit this, but in the middle of some of my leanest months on Unemployment my power was shut off for a day because I was so behind on my bills. I felt horrible, but I worked it out.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing serious, just the migraines I get every so often and some allergy problems that were fixed with a filter over my vent at work.

What was the best thing you bought?
Didn't buy anything big this year, but my best discovery has been Dove Conditioning Foam. It smells great and is a light conditioner that doesn't weigh my hair down and doesn't let it get poofy this time of year, either.

Whose behavior merited celebration?
I think Kerry handled his election defeat very well, better than several people wanted him to.

Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Several people who have treated those who disagree with them as idiots and immoral. And yes, this goes for people on both sides of the line.

Where did most of your money go?
Rent, car payment, groceries, car insurance -- same old, same old.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Seeing my sister at Christmas. It's been a while.

What song will always remind you of 2004?
Green Day's "American Idiot" will always remind me of the 2004 election, for better or worse.

Compared to this time last year, are you:
happier or sadder? I am happier.
thinner or fatter? about the same, maybe a few pounds thinner since joining WW.
richer or poorer? Richer, but that's not saying much.

What do you wish you'd done more of? decluttering
What do you wish you'd done less of? Worrying about things over which I have no control and actually giving a damn about what one or two obnoxious people think of me.

How will you be spending Christmas? with my family in FL.
Did you fall in love in 2004?
Tim and I have had a rough year, but he tries. We were just talking about this today, in fact. He doesn't want me to feel he's mad at me because I'm not up on all the bills as much as I used to be when I was making more money, and he's doing the best he can to do his share. It was OK before when I made more money and I felt it was fair for me to pay a higher percentage of the bills. I just get angry with myself and assume he's angry, but he's not and appreciates what I do to keep things going.

What was your favorite TV program? I think it's still Seinfeld, although I've become a big CSI fan.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? I don't "hate" anybody, but I've lost a lot of respect for a few people over the past year, not that it bothers them at all :)

What was the best book you read? Didn't do a lot of reading as I was busy stitching, but I really enjoyed The Silmarillion and finished The Thorn Birds.

What was your greatest musical discovery of 2004? Velvet Revolver! The music of Guns 'n Roses but more refined and WITHOUT Axl Rose -- works for me!

What did you want and get? A job working with good people, for the most part doing what I want to do.

What did you want and not get? Do you want the whole list? Well, one thing was a job making what I was making when I was laid off, and on the same level. I think I may get promoted in 2005, so there is hope.

What was your favorite film of this year? I really liked the third Harry Potter movie. .

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I was 33 and Tim bought me the Tangerine Mango (or something) basket from Bath and Body Works. Great scent -- love that stuff!

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Getting hired outright as the Marketing Director of where I work, rather than starting out part-time as an office helper, and now full-time as both a marketing person and office helper.

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2004? Comfy -- jeans when I'm out, sweats and leggings at home, comfortable but non-jeans pants at work.

What kept you sane? My friends, both local and online. I have met some people online who have really been there for me when I needed somebody to talk to.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Not so much Viggo Mortenson as his character of Aragorn. What a romantic guy!

What political issue stirred you the most?
Definitely the election.

Who did you miss? An old college friend of mine. He and I had a falling out a few years ago and I haven't tried contacting him because I don't want it to look like I want more from our relationship than I do, or that I expect more, yadda yadda yadda. Very long story, but I miss him as a friend. I doubt he'd bother with me if I tried to contact him anyway, ya know?

Who was the best new person you met? The ladies I work with. They are a great bunch and they work so hard and have such great attitudes.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2004:
There are some people with whom you just can't reason. They are convinced they are right, no matter how hypocritical they seem to everybody else. After a while, it's just not worth the time and energy to try to talk to them because they will turn your words around on you and accuse of vile things that you simply didn't do.

Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. I've got friends in low places LOL!

Finished a small project this evening

Finished the L&L 2002 freebie, the one with Mary holding Jesus with the beaded halos around them. I'll scan it on Monday. I only had a few beads and one color of metallic to add. I kept forgetting to order the specific metallic I didn't have and finally decided I'd use whatever darn color I wanted and finish it, so I finished it LOL! That's one more little project I don't have hanging over my head anymore. I'll make it into an ornament for somebody for next Christmas. I like having some extras so that if I get stuck I have something to give.

Now I'm working on finishing Christmas Jewel from Just Nan. I'd like to finish it this week so I can give it to my sister when I see her at Christmas. We are doing a Polyanna so it's not technically a Christmas gift but a Thank You gift for the help she's given me this past year. I gave her Amethyst Snowflake last year so I think it's a nice companion piece. Now that I have the green Kreinik (seems to be my theme of the week) I can finish the stitching and then do the beading, so I should be able to finish this week. If not I can always send it to her, but that's always such a pain.

So according to my StRIP list from August, once I finish Christmas Jewel and Cyrstal Chandelier I can start that purple dragon from Dracolair. Crystal Chandelier is done except for the stinkin' teardrop beads. I'm not using the heart beads because this is for my dad. He fixes and sells chandeliers as part of his Ebay business so I thought this would be perfect, but without the heart beads (for obvious reasons). I put it on dark fabric to make it a little more masculine. I'm having a hard time getting those beads for some reason, plus they are expensive. I think I'm just going to order some Swarvorski beads that are similar from a bead catalog I get. I just haven't done it yet. So, I may be bad and start the dragon after Christmas Jewel is done even if the chandelier isn't. I'll make a deal with myself: as long as the beads are ordered I'll start the dragon. Once I get the beads it will take me less than 30 minutes to attach the 7 that are required. It's getting the beads themselves that's been difficult for me.

My next big finish will probably be Guardian Angel for my friend's baby. My StRIP list has me starting Celtic Spring when Guardian Angel and Deco Spirits are done, and Deco Spirits is already finished so there's some incentive there.

Probably the next start on my list is Santa's Magic, which I'll start when both Christmas Flourishes and Rose Arbour are done. It's nice to look at my work and see that I really am making progress. By the time I get here at least 6 projects will be done, 4 large and 2 medium, and only three will be started, although Santa's Magic is a biggie. I'm still debating if I want to tackle changing his colors so I can stitch him on a wedgewood blue, or a similar blue. I was never crazy about that Desert Sand color the original is stitched on, but some of these hand dyes that are similar in color make him really look amazing, and I may get lazy and stitch him the way he's charted. It's not like I have to make that decision real soon, so I'm not going to worry about it :)

Updated stitching pictures

As promised, I've scanned in my progress on Christmas Flourishes and Rose Arbour. Sometimes I can't tell if I've made any progress until I see the previous picture next to the new one.

Rose Arbour previous

Rose Arbour current

Christmas Flourishes previous

Christmas Flourishes current

I got a lot more work done on Rose Arbour's dress as well as most of the right plant pot finished. I finally replenished my DMC so that I had the colors needed for the plant part. I finished Christmas Flourishes' right arm finally (I'm not fond of stitching skin so I do a little at a time) and filled in a lot of that border on the left as I finally received my green Kreinik.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Thursday morning

Well, last night I finally cooked that turkey I'd had in the freezer. I figure that will keep us going until we go away at Christmas. If there's any left my friends who are checking on Smokey while we're going are welcome to it. Heck, Tim came home with 5 pounds (yes 5 pounds) of American cheese slices yesterday, so they can go to town with that LOL! Why and where he bought so much cheese I didn't ask, but since I'm not a huge American cheese fan I guess he'll be making lots of grilled cheese sandwiches. I'm sure he got some sort of deal on it, but I was scared to ask. I never know what the heck he's going to come home with. It's a little like having a little boy who trades things at school al the time and comes home with frogs and lizards and such. In this case, it's computer parts and cheese.

I actually had some things to say yesterday but never got the chance to blog them. Now I've forgotten. Meh. I guess I'll remember later and blog then. I do only have one hour left on Christmas Flourishes this rotation, then I'll scan her and post pictures of my progress on her and Rose Arbour. I haven't made enough progress on Sweet Dreams Santa for anyone to see what it is, so I'm not going to scan that one yet.

Monday, December 13, 2004

It's Monday morning

Well, I ended up posting to that Mirabilia thread again. I probably shouldn't have, but I don't think my post was overly personal and it wasn't insulting. I just got irritated at the implication that only "serious artists" care about copyright and us lowly "stitchers" don't. I'm not sure if it was intended to read in such a manner, but that's how I read it. My response:

You know, I've really been trying to give benefit of the doubt and not respond again, but this :

"Generally speaking, the artists (professional and non-professional) in this audience consider plagiarism of copyrighted or non-copyrighted material an extremely serious ethical offense. Others, who just enjoy stitching, see no problem with it. That’s fine – this is yet another conclusion to be drawn by each individual."

is out of line. I'm a stitcher. I'm also a person who makes a living creating advertising and marketing materials and worked in the print music business for 10 years. I highly respect copyright issues and the right of artists to defend them, since my slight paycheck depended on people not photocopying the sheet music we published.However, I'm not going to sit here and assume Nora sat down and outlined that fairy. I know that's what you want me to do, but I won't. I've also defended MLI's to defend her copyright. However, that doesn't mean that all angels in flowing gowns are infinging on her copyright. Because some of us don't agree with you does not mean that we do not take it seriously. Just because you see this as black and white doesn't mean everybody does, and it doesn't make either of us right or wrong. OK, I swear I'm not posting to this any more LOL! If anybody wants to they can send email to my EZ Inbox.

For the record, I don't believe the OP and Phoenix are the same person. The problem arises when one person comes out of nowhere who is not even a stitcher and starts posting on these threads assuming a lot about people. She has every right to post where she wants, but the nature of any board I've ever gone to, stitching or not, is to get rankled when a new person comes it and starts telling them they are wrong and that they don't care about copyright, etc. I'm glad it was locked, but it was a shame that it got as personal as it did. For a minute I felt guilty for posting on that thread again, but you know what? I'm not going to feel that way. I didn't post anything rude or nasty, so why should I feel guilty? I'm tired of automatically feeling guilty about every little thing, damn it! There are people out there who give their opinions and hurt people left and right with their stinging words, so why do I feel bad when I give my opinion in what I think is a non-aggressive manner?

So, yesterday I avoided the boards completely and worked on Vermillion's Sweet Dreams Santa and Mirabilia's Christmas Flourishes. Forgot if I mentioned it but I had gottin in 10 hours over the last couple days on Rose Arbour and wanted to move on to others. Sweet Dreams Santa is very cute and pretty, but since it's a Vermillion it will take me longer than I think because of the partial stitches, small blocks of color (as opposed to the larger Mirabilia blocks I'm used to) and backstitching. I really like many of the Vermillion designs, though. It didn't help that I started the border and had to rip it all out because of a counting error. Glad I checked when I did or it would have been much worse.

As for Christmas Flourishes, I feel like I've been working on her forever but am only halfway done. I'm not bored with her or anything, but she is definitely taking longer than I thought she would. I think it's because she has so much going on and there are so many colors in her, making for lots of color changes and more smaller blocks of color as opposed to the larger ones I just mentioned. I keep thinking about how quickly Titania stitched up because of the large color blocks. Very different situation with Flourishes.

I'm currently watching a documentary about the old airships, mainly Zeppelins. I think it would be so cool to have gone up in one of those beautiful ships. It must have been so much different than today's modern airplane, I think. Of course, I wouldn't have wanted to be on The Hindenburg, but that goes without saying. I've always thought it sad that some of the most beautiful Zeppelins were used to paper the countryside with Nazi propaganda and were stuck with a huge swatsika on them. What a sin.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

It's Saturday night, where did the day go?

It's not like I've been busy today, but I can't believe my weekend is half over already. Today I finished my 10-hour rotation on Rose Arbour. I'll upload the new scan of her on Monday as the scanner is at work. I think I made a lot of progress. I picked up some floss that was missing and filled in some holes. That was part of the reason I hadn't made progress lately. I can only stitch so much white and light blue before I need to move to another part of the design. I love her, but that's the way I stitch. I think some of the floss had migrated to another project. I rarely do that, but sometimes I do and even if I'm smart enough to write down where I used it I usually hide it from myself.

Interesting thread at the Mirabilia board. There's discussion about whether Nora plagiarized a work from 100 years ago. The work is of a fairy who is in the same pose as one of Nora's mermaids. The styles are completely different, as are the colors and subject matter. There has been an overlay and an assumption that it was traced. I just don't believe that it as traced. There are only so many positions a human body can be in. It's possible it was used as an inspiration, but I think that's as far as it goes. There have been a few people posting who have never been on the board before, and that usually doesn't go over well. Honestly, I know of no board where people LIKE when new posters start out by posting on controversial threads telling the mainstays of the board that they are wrong or attacking a person. Fair or not, it doesn't go over well. I don't believe the original poster meant any malicious intent, and she has been around the boards for a while. I admit I was taken back at first but I try so hard to give benefit of the doubt. It's difficult to truly understand what a person is saying when using this medium, since we cannot hear voice inflections, see facial expressions, etc.

We'll see how it progresses, but it doesn't change my mind about Nora's designs in the least, just as MLI's Emma's Garden/Amy's Roses thing didn't bother me except for the reaction she gave when asked about it. Of course, the reason I no longer buy her charts (will still stitch what I have) is because of some rudeness she showed somebody who founded a popular stitching charity. I have always defended the right of a person to be a watchdog over their own copyright issues, but the horrible attitude she started having toward people who didn't absolutely love every little thing she did and to others really started to turn me off. Luckily, I already had the charts of hers I want to stitch, although I may have to break my rule to buy Celtic Winter when it comes out. Depending on what she does with it, I may buy it. Otherwise I'll do my own conversions with one of the other Celtic ladies.

I guess it comes down to the question, "What is original?" Artists are inspired by other artists, musicians are inspired by other musicians and writers are inspired by other writers. Often you can hear new bands and can tell what bands influenced them. My favorite group is Rush, and only now, after 30 years, did they put together a cover album of some of their favorite tunes. Their other stuff has been original, although some of the lyrics have been taken from various sources. Their song Xanadu comes to mind, using the poem "Kubla Kahn" by Coleridge. However, if you listen to their early works (early to mid 70s) you can tell they were inspired by Led Zeppelin. Does that mean they plagiarized them? No. It means there are some similarities in the way they wrote and played.

If you care, here is the original poem: (If not, I have more posted below the blue stuff)

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man

Down to a sunless sea.

So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round :
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree ;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
But oh ! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover !
A savage place ! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover !
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced :
Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail :
And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean :
And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war !

The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves ;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.

It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice !
A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw :
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
Could I revive within me
Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 'twould win me,

That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome ! those caves of ice !
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware ! Beware !
His flashing eyes, his floating hair !
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

And here are the lyrics to Xanadu

To seek the sacred river Alph
To walk the caves of ice
To break my fast on honeydew
And drink the milk of Paradise...'

I had heard the whispered tales of immortality
The deepest mystery
From an ancient book I took a clue
I scaled the frozen mountain tops of eastern lands unknown
Time and Man alone
Searching for the lost Xanadu


To stand within the Pleasure Dome
Decreed by Kubla Khan
To taste anew the fruits of life
The last immortal man
To find the sacred river Alph
To walk the caves of ice
Oh, I will dine on honeydew
And drink the milk of Paradise

A thousand years have come and gone but time has passed me by
Stars stopped in the sky
Frozen in an everlasting view
Waiting for the world to end, weary of the night
Praying for the light
Prison of the lost


Held within the Pleasure Dome
Decreed by Kubla Khan
To taste my bitter triumph
As a mad immortal man
Nevermore shall I return
Escape these caves of ice
For I have dined on honeydew
And drunk the milk of Paradise

Anyway, I'm going on and on. I think it also bothered me because so many of us on that board are true fans of Nora, her designs, and how she handles herself in a professional manner. Many of us have also been involved in hostility on other boards and the Mirabilia board has always been our safe haven. I mean, it's only one thread to it's not THAT bad. I guess I just don't expect it there.

Friday, December 10, 2004

More about God's Will

In response to what I wrote earlier about God's Will I received some great comments. I just reponsed to one of them but thought I should make a separate post so that it's easier to see, not that it's overly deep or anything :)

I said:

"Interesting that you brought up free will. I'm more of a free will person than a God's will person, I think. I believe that God put things in motion but is allowing us to make up our own minds about what we do. I'm not into predestination at all. However, I know there are times that he intervenes. I've known people who have had miraculous and unexplainable recoveries from horrible illnesses, things doctors couldn't explain. Every single one of these people prayed about their illnesses. My grandmother is a devout Christian Scientist, although she didn't force it on her children and they went to doctors, etc. Many people at her church believe her to be a healer and that when she prays for them it really does help them. I'm not into Christian Science myself, but I think there's something to the mind over matter aspect of it. She's 91 and lives alone and has no heart or other problems, never had cancer or a stroke or a broken bone, etc.

So, I guess I still don't know exactly what I believe LOL! "

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Now for something less serious - Theater Thursday

Week 29 - Merry Christmas.
It's the most wonderful time of the year. Christmas.

1) Which holiday movie/special do you have to watch every single year?
There are a few:

Christmas Vacation
A Charlie Brown Christmas
A Christmas Story
While You Were Sleeping
Grumpy Old Men
A Christmas Carol (George C. Scott)
The Year Without a Santa Claus
How the Grinch Stole Christmas

2) Which holiday movie/special could you live without every year?
An American Christmas Carol (Henry Winkler, although I usually like him)
Home Alone
The Grinch (Jim Carrey)
The Little Drummer Boy

3) Do you have any special traditions that you do while watching the holiday films? (i.e - decorating the tree, drinking eggnog, opening gifts)
I tend to watch some while putting up the decorations. I also enjoy cross stitching while watching them.

BONUS) Is there any holiday classic that you would like to see remade? If so, what is it, and who would you like to see play the parts?
Can't think of any. The ones I like I like just the way they are, and some of the ones I don't like are remakes of which I'm not fond :)

So, what exactly is God's will?

I don't have the answers, but I've seen talk about God's will come up quite a bit lately in various circles. Actually, it's been coming up for a very long time but maybe I've been more sensitive to it since it started revolving around the election.

I see people tell me that I should have children because that's what I'm here for, it's God's will. I see the same people tell others that if they are infertile it's God's will and they should adopt. Then they say that if a person uses IVF treatments that it's God's will because God gave us the technology to do so. Well, which is it?

If God gave doctors the knowledge and technology to save people's lives, then how can we call it God's will to let them die without using it? Then there's the argument that if you agree with something it's God's will, if you don't agree with certain procedures than it's Satan's will and goes against God.

In the end, who are we to say what is God's will and what isn't? Even the Bible has been translated several times and by people of different politics through the ages. The Gospels themselves contradict each other at times. So, am I supposed to take them literally? If I do, which one is more right than the others? Or am I supposed to take the Bible as a lesson on the whole?

As I said, I have no answers and don't pretend to be any sort of theologian or philosopher. However, I think it's interesting how often God's will completely lines up with the will of some humans, while Satan's will seems to be everything some of them are against :)

Finally getting those other oranments up :)

I was exhausted when I got home yesterday and went to bed at 9am, which is ridiculously early for me. I feel much better today, though. All that running around for two days getting ready for the meeting and more running around the day of the meeting wore me out.

I ended up giving these out to my coworkers today becuase we had been talking about needing more decorations here in the office. Normally I give gifts at the last minute because I don't want somebody thinking they must get me something because I gave them something. Remember, for ornaments like these and more, go to Amy's Sewing for Cross Stitch.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

It's too early for me

I've been up since 5am this morning, an oddity for me. I have to be at the meeting place at 7:30am since I have Harris' laptop with all the presentations on it. I got groceries after work last night but came home first so that I could drop it off. Yeah, that's what I need -- stop off for a few minutes to get groceries and somebody stealing the president's laptop from my car, the laptop with all the presentations for the big firm meeting the next day. Hmmmmm... much safer to take a few extra minutes and drop it off at the apartment.

I had to laugh when I opened my blog this morning. All you see are stitched pieces everywhere LOL!. My last post had the ornaments and then I have my finished and current project on the sidebar. There'll be more today when I upload those flat tuck ornaments. I am so happy with how they turned out and the design was so easy to stitch but looks cool with different colors and hand-dyed threads.

I don't think I've posted WW stuff in a while. I did horrible at weigh-in on Monday -- gained 3 pounds! Part of it is because of PMS, but it's also because halfway through last week I gave up and stopped counting points for the week. Bad Mindy! So, I started right back on Monday. I'm also finding I've been counting a few things lower than I should be. Only by one point here and there, but it adds up. That "Complete Food List" book cost me $9 but is well worth it. I haven't updated my little counter at the bottom of the page (most people probably don't see it anyway) but I will update it after weigh-in next week.

On the good side I went to the pool on Monday. I can't go again until tomorrow. I did OK, but it's been 1.5 years and many pounds since the last time I went so I was disappointed in my performance. I probably did better than most average swimmers would do, but I have never seen myself as an average swimmer. That probably sounds egotistical, but I know that swimming 1000 yards used to be a warm-up for me and I didn't even swim that much Monday. Oh well. I'm not to get better by not going, right? Since I'm going to work an hour early I'm going to use an extra half hour for each day this week at lunch so that I can go to the pool. Either that or I'll use an extra hour tomorrow to go to the pool and still have time to eat afterwards. It depends on who else is working on Friday.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

More pictures

Well, I don't have the pictures of what I finished this weekend but I do have some of other pieces I've finished recently. I tend to stitch mostly large designs, mainly Mirabilia and L&L, but I also like to stitch smaller designs to help break things up and actually finish things once in a while.

This is from a recent Just Cross Stitch Ornament issue, but I don't remember which one at the moment.

This is from another JCS Ornament issue. I think this is designed by Indigo Rose.

This is from a regular Just Cross Stitch magazine from over a year ago. It took forever for me to finish it but I thought it was cute for my nephew. It was small but didn't hold my interest for long so I stitched a little here and there. I love the little monkeys sliding down the rope from the ark :)

This is also from a JCS Ornament issue and is designed by Just Nan. The original called for a frame charm that was expensive, so I stitched a little satin stich border around the inside part and I think it works fine.

On a happier note...

I've been a busy stitcher these last few days. I finished Deco Spirits (yay!) and you can see it over on the side as my latest finish. I've also been stitching small ornaments as gifts. I found a great small snowflake chart in one of my JCS ornament issues and used the center area only so that it was small enough to fit in these lovely flat ornament tucks from Amy's Sewing for Cross Stitch. Amy's Sewing for Cross Stitch. They stitched up pretty quickly and I was able to use different types of threads and color combinations. I may stitch a few more for last-minute gifts. If you are like me and have problems finishing ornaments, are sewing-challenged, and like tuck pillows you will love Amy's pillows. She also will make your stitching into larger pillows and wall hangings and her prices are very reasonable.

So, now I'll put some time in on Rose Arbour. I was going to work on Christmas Flourishes but my poor Rose of Sharon has been lonely for quite some time and needs her friend to keep her company on the wall :)

When I started this I had more to say, but now I forgot what. I'll upload my ornament pictures tomorrow, since I didn't have time at lunch to upload them to my online photo album.

Pearl Harbor Day

I'm finally getting a partial lunch but it will end as soon as one of the agents emails me the changes for his presentation. Whew! The days before our firm meetings are always crazy, and I actually started bugging people early last week for stuff. There's no way I could have gotten these things done if I had gotten them at the last minute.

I doubt any WWII or other war vets read my stitching/WW blog, but I have such an appreciation for what our Armed Forces have done and are currently doing. It doesn't mean I think every war ever fought or being fought is just, but I respect those doing the fighting. They didn't send themselves there.

It's very telling when, over 60 years later, Pearl Harbor vets break down when talking about their experiences that day. More than one has mentioned trying to help people in the burning oily water whose skin is coming off. I cannot imagine the horror these people faced, not just at Pearl Harbor but at other battles and in other wars. I've seen the same reaction from people who survived the Bataan Death March.

There are days I'm simply horrified by the way we humans treat each other.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Busybodies, Stitching

Rant on

OK, this really gets to me. Some people have nothing better to do than to harass people who post to message boards while they are at work. Some have even called these people's bosses to tell on them. I guess that's part of the peril of sharing too much info on the Internet. Why the hell is it anybody's business? I often post during my lunch hour while I'm at work. Hello? I'm on my break and not getting paid and I have permission to use the Internet in that manner when I'm on break. My last boss didn't care when and how long I was on the Internet at the office (they had DSL, better than my dial-up) as long as my work got done. Let me tell you, I got a lot more work done than he ever did LOL! Somebody decides they don't like a specific person and constantly get on that person's case about it. I hadn't seen anything about it for a while, but it reared it's ugly head again today. The thread got pulled before I saw the whole thing, and that's fine with me. Why do people ASSume that if somebody is doing this that they are going behind their bosses' backs. With modern technology, chances are the bosses know anyway, and if the person has specific permission, why is it such a big deal? So, if I go to lunch at a different time some day am I going to get harangued becuase I MUST be posting when I shouldn't be? Of course, I don't think anybody knows the name of where I work so they wouldn't be able to call my boss, but the thought of it just ticks me off. No, this hasn't happened to me personally but I've seen it happen to others. I think there are some people out there who need to spend more time stitching and less time sticking their noses into the business of everybody else. Of course, these are also the same people who tell me I am not allowed to have an opinion on children because I have none, but they sure have opinions about people being out of work even though they themselves haven't worked outside the home in the last ten years. Yeah, right.

Sorry, but this kind of troublemaking just is so ridiculous. I mean, how old are we?

Rant off

So, this was a busy week. I still have a large amount of work to do on Monday and Tuesday to finish this stuff before the big meeting on Wednesday. I may need somebody to cover my usual front desk time because I don't have the software out there that I need for some of these projects. I usually plan to do any photocopying and PowerPoint presentations out there because that software is there, but PhotoShop and Pagemaker are not. When I have a bunch of projects due at once it's not as easy to plan it that way. We'll see what happens.

I don't have much left on Deco Spirits, just a little near the elbow on that last square. If I get off this computer soon I can finish it tonight. It will feel sooooo good to have it finished, but I need to be careful. I have a very strong urge to start another Mirabilia but I will force myself to stick to my STRIP plan. I wasn't going to start anything else until I finished both Deco Spirits AND Guardian Angel. That way I'll replace two projects with one and have a little less in my WIP stash. The one I plan on starting when Guardian Angel is finished is Celtic Spring, and I'm looking forward to that. Since this is the this month's Mirabilia SAL weekend I'm going to stitch on another Mirabilia after I finish Deco Spirits, probably Christmas Flourishes. I may go from one to another every few hours just to mix things up and put a little time on everything. I'll play it by ear.

Next week I'll start making a few small ornaments for some ladies at work. I have some flat tuck pillows (thanks Ames!) that I'm going to use. They are small so it won't take me long to stitch up some cute little designs to put in them. I love tuck pillows for this exact reason -- no finishing!!

I can only hope for maintaining at this point

I've been off the WW wagon a bit this week. I did well on Tuesday and OK on Wednesday, then yesterday I ended up getting pizza. I know the problem -- the problem is I'm being bad about making a list and getting groceries for home. I have a decent stock at work, and the little deli downstairs has some nice salads and tuna plates that work well for me for when I don't bring my lunch. Once I get home I'm tired and lazy and all I want to do is finish that Deco Spirits, so I've been ordering out and such. This weekend I will get to the grocery store, maybe late tonight or VERY early tomorrow before the crowds arrive. I plan on finishing Deco Spirits tonight as I only have that little area by her elbow to finish, then the backstitching (not much) and the word below.

Been busy at work. We have a big firm meeting next Wednesday and I'm working on various projects for different people. One of the projects is the large 2005 Plannning Book that has action plans from the management team. I noticed that one of the President's goals for 2005 has been to hire a full time Marketing Manager. I'm full time at the moment, but I'm not doing Marketing full time, so I'm hoping that within the next year I will no longer be doing any of the New Business stuff, have an actual office and will be getting paid more as the Marketing Manager. Hopefully when and if that happens they will hire at least a part-timer to take my place in New Business because there's a lot of work there. I believe that's where my job is headed, and have been practically told as much by the guy who is the firm's marketing consultant -- he says his goal is for me to take over his job. So, things do look promising. I was already happy this week that I finally received my first paycheck for working 2 full-time weeks.

Well, my sister is reserving our motel rooms in FL this week. We are staying about 2 miles down the road from my parents in an Extended Stay Motel for $50-$60 per day. Pretty good rate, and it will have a kitchen so we can save money by not eating out as much. It will also be much better for my WW, and there's an exercise room as well. Depending on the weather I will probably just go for a walk outside. I really prefer outside walking to treadmill walking if the weather permits, and for some reason I tend to go for many walks when on vacation. I think it's because I feel less pressure to do other things because I don't see them. When Tim and I go on relatively short vacations together I don't bring my cross stitch, so I wont' have that distraction either. I love my stitching, but I feel it's not fair to Tim for me to bring it with me on vacation when it's our time to spend together and with whomever we are visiting. If I brought my stitching I'd be apt to hole up and stitch and like I said, I don't think that's fair to Tim.

Well, gotta get going. I have to get in the shower and get ready for work. Thank goodness it's Friday. I'm looking forward to a calm weekend, and maybe Tim and I will go shopping for stuff for my mom, as he picked her name out of the hat. I haven't done major Christmas shopping this time of year in a long time, so it should be interesting.

And one last thing... (hey look -- I'm profound!)

Lord of the rings
J.R.R. Tolkien: Lord of the Rings. You are
entertaining and imaginative, creating whole
new worlds around yourself. Well loved, you
have a whole league of imitators, none of which
is quite as profound as you are. Stories and
songs give a spark of joy in the middle of your
eternal battle with the forces of evil.

Which literature classic are you?
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