Mindy Memories

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Stitching Blogger

Wow, I haven't posted to any of the Stitching Blogger questions in a long time. I guess I'll go back and answer a bunch of them, but will try to keep it brief.

Have you hand-dyed your own fabric? Why or why not? Would you like to try to do so?
No. I just don't have a lot of space and have a knack for making messes. This sort of thing just sets me up for disaster -- and to own a blue and purple cat. There are so many beautiful hand-dyeds out there that I feel better buying from those who know what they are doing.

What do you do with the framed stitching that you keep? Do you hang it up and leave it in one place, never to move it? Or do you have a rotation, where you have one place for stitched pieces and switch them out according to mood or season? Maybe a mixture of both?
It depends on why I stitched the design. I keep many, but I give some away to friends and family for whom I stitch and who appreciate the time and the look. Eventually I will probably have a rotation, but I have several that haven't been framed yet so haven't had to deal with that problem. Some I will have made into wall hangings so I can change them out according to the season.

How often do you wash your fabric for each project? Do you wait until the very end until to wash it or do you wash it more than once?
I only wash my fabric once, sometimes twice if it's a hand-dyed and I want to be sure it won't bleed. I tend to only wash it at the end of all stitching and beading.

What’s the largest project you’ve ever done? What’s the smallest?
I'd say Mirabilia's "The Kiss." She's not very wide but is tall and without a lot of unstitched area. Once Sleeping Beauty and Lady of the Flag are done I think one of them would be considered the biggest. The smallest is probably the little snowflakes I first stitched when I was a kid. They are only about 1.5 - 2 inches in diameter. I know a lot of people stitch tiny things on silk gauze, but that's not for me.

What do you use to hold your fabric while you stitch? A hoop, a Q-Snap, a scroll frame, something else, or do you stitch in hand? Have you always used just the one thing or have you tried one or more of the others? Which do you like best? Why?
I mainly use Q-Snaps and I love them! I used to use hoops and am so glad I don't anymore. Once I started using linen I noticed that it would pull the threads unevenly when I used a hoop. I tried scroll rods but can't get them as tight as I like. I don't use a lap stand as I like to hold the stitching pretty close to my face.

Which way do you stitch (/// and then \\\ or \\\ and then ///)? Can you (or if you haven’t done it before, do you think you could) change the way that you stitch temporarily if it is asked of you?
I stitch /// then \\\. I could change if I had to, my stitching would just be a little slower while I got used to it. The weird thing is that last Christmas I looked at ornaments I made when I was about 12 and I used to stitch the other way. Don't know when I changed or why.

Do you stitch for events like weddings, engagements, or other things that might not last? If you have been unlucky and the two people broke up, what happened to your stitched gift?
Yes I do, but I don't always do samplers with names and dates. The last thing I made for a wedding is when two male friends of mine had a commitment ceremonty and I made Mirabilia's Deco Spirits for them. For the most part I've been pretty lucky. I had one that I was a little late with, but by the time I'd finished it they had already separated -- and I'm talking about 6 months, not years or anything. So, I still have that sampler and I guess I could replace the names and dates for another couple some day, but I feel it would be bad luck for them. So, it sits in my stash where it's been for about 5 years.

What is the most challenging specialty stitch you have ever stitched?
Well, the most challenging specialty stitch I've ever ATTEMPTED to stitch is the Queen Stitch. I actually pulled out the first few and used an entirely different stitch because I just could not get them to look right. The most challenging stitch I use often is the French Knot, just because they don't always look uniform. I really should try that Colonial Knot I've seen people talk about, but I keep forgetting about it.

Have you ever just quit a project while in the midst of it? (We’re not referring to UFOs here, rather projects that you know that you’ll never work on again.) Why? What did you do with it - throw it out, give it away, put it away?
Yes, a few times. One I remember was the first time I used rayon. It would have been beautiful but I couldn't take it. It was on black fabric and was some sort of Lovebirds pattern when the rayon flosses first came out. I stitched a little, then tossed it and made something entirely different for the couple I was stitching for. They never knew the difference :)

About a year or so ago I gave away a Dimensions kit I was working on. I hated the chart and knew I would never finish it and had barely started it, so I found a taker online and sent it to her.

There's no point in struggling with a pattern that I just don't enjoy stitching. Some, like TW, are challenges and take me a while but I like the challenge. Others are just a pain in the butt and not worth it for me.

Need to drink less caffeine

I've been having heaviness in my chest again, and last time I had this problem it was because I wasn't paying attention and drinking way too much caffeine. So, I'm going to stop drinking as much Diet Coke as I have been and switch to green tea. That way I still get caffeine and can hopefully avoid the "cold turkey withdrawal" headaches but it in a better way since there is less caffeine in green tea. I'm also going to get a lot less calories or non-caloric sweetener, so that's a definite plus. I've been eating more chocolate than usual, too -- had some yummies I brought back from Hershey.

I keep forgetting to scan in my Christmas Jewel, but will get to it this week. I've been working on Mirabilia's "Deepest Love" and will scan in my progress after the weekend. I'm pretty happy with how she's coming along.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Musing on Movies

I haven't done any memes for a while but will be using the Musing on Movies meme since it's run by a lovely lady from the stitching boards. I really should be answering the Sunday Brunch for the same reason, and haven't even answered the Stitching Blogger's QOTW for some time now. Oh well, sometimes life gets in the way of blogging, ya know?

Anyway, the first Musing on Movies is

1. What are some of your all-time favorite movies? Why are they your favorites?
I have many, but will try to keep it brief:
The Shawshank Redemption - People think it's odd that I like this movie so much as it's a prison movie and quite violent with lots of language, but to me it's about hope. I also really like Andy's character, as well as his friends. There is also some great humor in the movie, as well as heart.
The Lord of the Rings - I used to call it a trilogy but don't anymore since it really wasn't meant as a trilogy (the book, I mean) but one very large book that had to be broken into three books due to the cost of printing at the time. Anyway, I never thought I would be into fantasy, but this feels more like history than fantasy. I also love the music and the detail put into the sets and every detail of the movies. Simply amazing.
The Usual Suspects - Again, violent and lots of language, but I *heart* Kevin Spacey and the twist at the end of this is awesome! Made me turn around and watch it all over again after I watched it the first time.
Singin' in the Rain - Love the music and the humor.

2. What are some of your *least* favorite movies? Why don't you like them?
Bladerunner - I like most sci-fi, but this movie drives me crazy. I think it's mostly the music - I can't stand that new agey Tangerine Dream music and it ruins the movie for me. I don't know though, some of the other stuff is a bit much for me, too, and I've never been able to watch it all the way through.
Gummo - Don't know if anyone has ever seen this. I watched 20 minutes of it and had to turn it off. Luckily it was for free since it was a screener from the video store where I used to work. It was about a boy growing up in a very low-income area, and that's all I can remember - that and the kid wearing a weird bunny costume of some sort. My video store manager said, "Well, either it's one of the worst movies ever made or the best. Guess it depends on your perspective." I say worst.
The Matrix movies - Saw the first one in the theater and thought it was kinda cool, then bought it and saw it once. I've never watched it again, although Tim does. The idea was different but I just didn't get into it like a lot of people did, probably because Keanu Reeves just doesn't do it for me. Then I saw the second one in the theater and about gagged. Tried to watch the third one on cable but fell alseep and am not interested enough to watch it again. They should have left it at one movie.

Now for the current entry:

1. What is the best small-to-big screen adaptation you have seen? I thought The X-Files Movie was pretty good. I felt that if you followed the series it was great but you could also figure things out if you only saw the movie. I also loved The MST3K Movie that made fun of This Island Earth. Let's see...Can't think of any others I really liked off the top of my head. I am interested in seeing the movie they have made based on the Firefly series, though. Oh - forgot about Star Trek! I liked most of the movies, except #1 and #5. I liked the movies better than the series, at least for the original.

2. What is the worst? I really don't watch a lot of them, but I do know there is NO WAY IN HELL I'm watching The Dukes of Hazaard Movie! From the previews, it looks like they made Bo and Luke out as totally ignorant idiots (what people usually believe about country boys/farmers, which ticks me off) and they make Daisy Duke look like a slut. For one, she was a bombshell brunette when everything revolved around Farah Fawcett, so why replace her with a blonde? Also, Daisy may have worn those short shorts but I never saw her wear a barely-there bikini. Sorry, just won't work for me.

3. Is there one that you liked, even if it didn't follow the original series at all? I don' know. I honestly can't think of a lot of tv-to-movie movies that I liked. I'm sure there are more, they just aren't coming to me at the moment.

4. What TV show deserves the "big screen" treatment? Who would you cast? (We'll cover television shows based on movies another time.) Hmmm... maybe a movie version of CSI would be cool, with the same cast, maybe tying a story line into all three the way the first CSI: Miami was intertwined with CSI.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Back from CATS in Hershey!

Karri and I had a great time and bought lotsa good stuff! She's a little overwhelmed because she's just getting back into stitching and really didn't do a lot of it before. I seem to be a good enabler and have started teaching her the value of collecting. She bought some great Picture This Plus fabric for some charts she bought and also to replace some absolutely awful aida from a Dimensions kit. She also got a cute kit containing linen and silks, so I'm going to teach her how to stitch on linen. I think she'll take to it pretty well.

I never get to meet up with all the people I want and hope that next year I can go Wednesday, stay through Sunday, and stay at the lodge. I like meeting people from the boards and always seem to miss most of them because we are all so busy buying and stitching.

As for what I bought, I discovered some great designs I don't think I've ever seen before. I do not lie when I say I think I could have bought each design she had in her booth if I'd had the money. It's Donna Heilder from Simply Old-Fashioned and she has some great designs! I'm going to post links to the other stuff I bought but will post the actual pictures of Donna's designs because I think people have seen the others but not these.

Anyhow, I finally bought a Chatelaine design! I bought the chart for Misty Morning Vineyard. Now comes the hard part -- buying the silks and beads. I plan on buying a little here and there over the next few months so it's not so painful. I think this is one of the more expensive ones to stitch, but it's beautiful and I love vineyard themes.

I also bought The Crab is In from Waxing Moon. This came with the little buttons so all I need is the fabric, and I certainly can find something appropriate in the collection I have. I've been interested in this for a while and when I saw it at the market I figured I may as well buy it. I plan on putting in my office at work. :)

I also bought Dani the Stitching Dragon from Dragon Dreams. I had this when it was a freebie but don't know what happened to it, and for $9 I get 4 different versions, one which is in metallics. So, I think this was a good deal. I really like her dragons and this one is just too cute.

Finally for my lovely Simply Old-Fashioned Designs:

I bought one of these one day and had to go back for the other the second day. It takes a second to see it, but they are Santa faces with long beards: Santa's Beard in Lace I and II

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Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Then I bought these two lacey patterns that also use beads. There were a bunch like this, but these were my favorites that were there. They were all gorgeous. This is Remington's Rose and Polonius Peacock

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Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Then there's this guy, who is one one of my favorite wizards of all those I've seen. Some of them are very fancy, but this one is pretty simple and looks great in the overdyed threads. Unfortunately, I can't find a very good picture.

Stars of Merlin

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I bought this fishy on a whim and think he's a cutie. He's #29 in the Ever So Little series. I plan on stitching him in some lovely Needle Necessities floss I bought that are in dark purples, greens and blues. One skein is dark and the other is a little muted, but they are the same basic colors. I'm going to stitch him twice and mirror the chart so they are facing each other, perhaps on the same fabric -- haven't decided that, yet.

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So, I feel it was a pretty successful trip and don't see myself buying much for a while, except for the Chatelaine flosses I need and perhaps some black fabric and overdyeds.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Oh no, not again.

I just read that some hurricane experts think Hurricane Rita may be the second worst hurricane in history -- second only to Katrina. It looks like it's headed toward the same general area that Katrina just hit a few weeks ago, although the current tracking has the eye hitting Texas more than Louisianna or Mississippi. Still, all that wind and rain that will come from this is NOT something these people need, and this one can make life hell for even more people who have little to begin with.

I couldn't believe it when I woke up to see it had become a Category 4. My thoughts are with those who are in the path of this thing, and I hope everybody who is at all able to evacuates or has already done so.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Whew! Where did the weekend go?

I needed a day after Sunday this weekend to recover! We had our big company event at the Philadelphia Zoo. Basically, we are part of MassMutual, and MassMutual has a program called LifeBridge that is giving away $50k 10-year Term Life Insurance to people who qualify. Qualifications include having a child under the age of 18, being between 19 and 42, earning a household income of $10k - $40k, and being employed. They've been doing this for about 2-3 years but haven't had the success they'd like. We think it's because so many people think there's a catch. Usually there is, but this is truly free and is part of MassMutual's way of giving back to the community. So, they end up spending a lot of time and money publicizing the program, which is only around for another 2 years, so that people know it's there.

So, the event at the zoo was our big push. We signed up people who were eligible and they came to the zoo for free, with their families, where they spent about 15 minutes filling out the application with agents (who don't get paid a thing for this) and giving a blood and urine sample. Then they had the rest of the day to enjoy the zoo. We still only had 21 people, but it seems that anything over 20 is considered a success. It's amazing to me, the amount of energy and money put into giving away something for FREE! It's the only way to get the word out, though.

So, I got there at 8AM to start setting up, and the head of the program met me at the zoo. She had flown in from the main office in Springfield, MA and is great to work with. After walking back and forth through the zoo with stuff, I spent some time taking pictures and escorting people back and forth from the front gate to the pavillion, or from the pavillion to the restroom. I got more exercise than I had in a long time and boy, I felt it! Got home last night and laid about for a while before I did some stitching and went to bed. Couldn't believe it when the clock went off this morning.

I'm soooooo looking forward to getting away to CATS this weekend! I need it after this weekend and the last few weeks, and am leaving about Noonish on Thursday. That way we'll get there about mid-afternoon, get checked in at our motel and then head over to the lodge.

Oh, and I finished Just Nan's Christmas Jewel! I added the beads on Saturday. I will scan it tomorrow so that I can add a picture. I'm currently working on Ouroborous from Dracolair and love it! It will eventually be for Tim.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Just found out that Tim was a businessman as a kid

This is funny! We were watching the third season DVDs of Seinfeld last night, specifically the episode where Kramer buys the faulty condoms and gives one to George before he knows they are defective. Jerry's stand-up is about going to a drugstore and having a secret signal so the guy behind the counter knows you need condoms because people don't like buying them.

So, Tim says, "I never had a problem buying them. I used to make the teenagers pay me $5 to buy their condoms when I was 11." Oh. My. God. So, I wonder if the cashier thought that he was having sex all over the place when he was only 11, or if they figured he was making a profit from it. I remember his mom saying he liked to hang out in front of the Rite Aid, now I know why!

Yes, seems that Tim was quite the young entrepreneur LOL!

Thursday, September 15, 2005

My progress on Guardian Angel

I've put in 10 hours since my last picture of L&L's Guardian Angel from a long time ago. I put five hours in it this past weekend and broke my stitching slump. I worked a little on the wings, the oval and the green area of the dress on the left.

It's been a while since I updated my stitching pictures, so it feels good to change one of them in my sidebar and to include a large version below :)

As for the job, I'm feeling better today. I noticed on their website that there is a graphic designer position open. I contacted the hiring manager I talked to about the previous position and she told me who to contact and that the person knows about me since I was a finalist for the job I didn't get. I may end up working there yet. It just seems like a great place and if the pay is right I want to get in.

Anyway here are the before and after pics:

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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Oh well

I received a letter from the place where I had two interviews. You know what that means -- I didn't get it. I'm disappointed but I'm trying to look at it like I just wasn't meant for that job because there's a better one out there for me. I think what hurt me is 1) I don't have nonprofit experience, although when I worked for Presser we were prett darn close to nonprofit LOL; 2) I have a lot of design experience and they were probably worried that I'd miss the design end of things because I was managing more.

So, I'm stuck in the middle again -- too much experience for many jobs, not enough for the others. Basically, that means I get a job where my experience is welcomed and they love the fact that I can do even more than the previous marketing managers, but since I don't have a marketing degree like one of those previous marketing managers they don't feel I'm worth any money.

Oh well. I'm irritated/annoyed/depressed today, but I'll feel better in a day or two and in the meantime am looking again. I shouldn't have stopped looking, while waiting for this job to pan out, but I was really hoping I'd get it.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Lord of the Rings and public transit

I've been taking SEPTA to work for the last week because my brakes were acting up. I got them fixed today but I may still take the bus for a while because it's cheaper than gas.

Last weekend I also started reading LOTR. Last night I ate a strange combination for dinner and not normal dinner food -- popcorn, cheese & grapes & crackers, and mandarin iced tea. Good stuff, but not normal for me.

So, I woke up this morning, literally saying out loud, "What the hell was that?" I don't remember the whole dream, but I remember part: I was walking in Bryn Mawr a pretty well-to-do place in this area. I saw a SEPTA bus that had the destination on the front as "Ent and Shadow." On the bus were good guys and bad guys. They appeared to be quiet and behaving themselves on the bus, but I guess they had to take SEPTA to wherever they were going to battle each other. Perhaps hay and grain has become too expensive for them so instead of using their horses and Wargs, they are using the public transportation system.

My Brain's Pattern

Your Brain's Pattern

Your brain is always looking for the connections in life.

You always amaze your friends by figuring out things first.

You're also good at connecting people - and often play match maker.

You see the world in fluid, flexible terms. Nothing is black or white.

Friday, September 09, 2005

The Tolkien Test

Not bad, considering I've only gotten to "Helm's Deep" in the book. I've seen the movies many times, so maybe that helped.

You scored 80% knowledgable!
You know all you can be expected to know about the Lord of the Rings. You can probably even quote passages. The questions you missed were probably in the appendices, anyway.

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:

You scored higher than 99% on knowledge

If you liked my test, send it to your friends!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Christopher Walken stuff

A woman at one of the boards I visit changed her avatar to Will Ferrell playing the cowbell on that famous Saturday Night Live skit. She also changed her signature to "Guess what? I got a fever! And the only prescription... is more cowbell!" So, I had to go find the video of it since it had been so long since I saw it. I love it!

I also had to find one of my favorite Walken cameos, which was on The Simpsons. He was reading "Goodnight, Moon" to a bunch of kids and scared them. Hearing him read it is just hysterical. The funny part is I didn't realize until later that it wasn't even him, but Jay Mohr doing an impression of him. I think the impression was spot-on!

So, for your benefit and mine, here are the links. I apologize up front for some of the language on the "Goodnight, Moon" link page, but it's the only place I could find it.

Goodnight, Moon (scroll down a little to "Impersonations")
Cowbell (scroll down about halfway to "Watch the Cowbell Skit")

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Howdy all! Haven't been here since Saturday afternoon, so I figured I'd get a little caught up:

1. Dogsitting went very well. I sat with Jayme, my friend's slightly overstuffed Australian Shepherd mix. I was there from Thursday night through Monday morning. They got home Sunday night but we had planned for me to stay over since we figured we'd be up late gabbing. I missed Tim and Smokey, and they missed me -- which is nice -- but I have to say it was wonderful having a large house to myself and a dog LOL! I took the most luxurious bath I've EVER had! In the master bath is one of those deep whirlpool tubs. I put bubblebath in it and started the jets, then realized I should probably turn the jets off or I'd have a room full of bubbles (duh). So, I sank into this thing and had bubbles all over the place, like something you see in the movies. Very relaxing. Jayme was good and I also took care of the neighbor's dogs (two lovely Golden Retrievers) on Saturday. My friend's neighbor works where I work, as does my friend, but I'm the one who got my friend the job there and didn't know they were neighbors as my friend just recently moved there. (boggle)

2. Babysitting on Sunday was fine, too. Kylie will be 2 in November and I was there with her for a few hours while the rest of the family went to my friends' parents 40th anniversary party. Kylie was pretty good, except for some couch diving when she decided she was going to get her toys out of the bag by staying on the couch and leaning over the side. Yep, you guessed it -- feet went over her head. She was fine, but I saw it just as it happened and couldn't quite get to her in time. Later on, she discovered the scar on the bottom of my neck from thyroid surgery I had as a child. She was very concerned and kept saying "sore? sore" over and over, then covered it up with my collar LOL! I tried to convince her that it's all better now, but that got me nowhere fast. Then she had her stuffed parrot kiss my scar to make it better :)

3. Had a second interview at that place I hope to work. It was Thursday morning with the rest of the department. I think it went very well and am hoping I hear something soon. Even if I didn't get it, I'd feel better knowing than wondering. I'm going to give it a few more days before I ask because I don't want to seem impatient. I was good again, and wrote little "thank you" emails to the people with whom I met. They seem like a great group and I think I'd be right at home there.

4. Still in my stitching slump. These things used to bother me but I know that I'll always come back to it. Sometimes these things last a few days, sometimes a few weeks or a month or two. Hershey CATS is coming up soon, and I have the feeling that will help me get back on track if I'm not there in the meantime. The good thing about a stitching slump is this is when I tend to get my reading in. I finally bought The Lord of the Rings in one volume and am reading it. I'm currently reading the about the Council of Elrond and just to go the part where Gandalf has discussed his escape from Orthanc. I like the book very much so far. I think seeing the movie first -- and a million times LOL -- has really helped me with the names because many of the names are familiar and I don't have to try as hard to remember who is who. It also helped that I read the Silmarillion already and the appendices to LOTR before I read the book itself.

5. I've been taking SEPTA to work this week and probably will for a while. My car is making a sound like the brakes are hung up and when Deron can look at it he will, but it may not be until Sunday. In the meantime, I'm saving money because tokens are cheaper than gas and this is a little less wear and tear on the car. Plus, I figure this is just a little something I can do to help the current problems. It's not much, but it's something.

6. As for Hurricane Katrina, I'm still just horrified by what has happened. I don't think it will be better for a long time. I'm impressed by those who, although they have no homes, are already beating the pavement looking for jobs. I can't imagine how difficult this must be for everybody involved -- the stranded, those in overflowing cities, volunteers, etc. I still don't agree with pointing and blaming one person. This goes back too far for it all to fall on one or two people currently in power. I'm trying to focus on not taking things for granted and remembering those people who are dealing with the aftermath, rather than pointing fingers. I admit it's very hard to do because I WANT to blame somebody -- anybody, everybody.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Don't know what to say

I thank God that relief has started making its way to New Orleans and other areas ravaged by Katrina and the aftermath. I'm also very angry and feel useless when I see how long it took to get there and how many have died and are dying. My anger is not at Bush, it's not at the LA governor, nor FEMA, nor the mayor. My anger is at the system in general. The bureacracy in this country is to blame for this, I think. It hasn't been created by one person in one year, but over years and years. People are so afraid to go against the rule book about who they must report to, how to get approval for activities, about what forms they must fill out, that people in "the richest country in the world" are suffering utter horror. State governments have offered boats and other help and were turned away in the beginning because there was no permission to bring them in. I understand that people can't just go in there willy-nilly and start trying to rescue people because it would cause utter chaos. But if other government officials are trying to help it astounds me that they were completely turned away.

I don't have the answers, for sure. We don't want the government in every aspect of our lives, but when something like this happens we are upset because they aren't immediately there forcing people to evacuate or with food and supplies. It's a bit of a catch-22. I'm not a fan of Bush by any stretch of the imagination, but I can't sit here and blame him for this whole thing. The government is set up with all these checks and balances, which is usually a good thing. However, in a time of crisis they don't seem to have the authority to throw out the rule book and make some common sense decisions. If they did have that authority, how often would they be able to do the same in matters we want them to stay away from?

For whatever reasons people stayed behind, my thoughts are with them. Nobody deserves to die in the way hundreds, perhaps thousands, have died in the South this past week. I feel that I cannot do anything to help them much right now, just a very minimal donation. I do have bags of clothes I've put off taking somewhere, so will start looking around for people in my area who are taking these types of donations there. It seems at the moment people need buses and vehicles and medical care more than what I can give them. I think I can do more good later with these goods when the initial shock of this event has been forgotten and other events fill up the news. I fear that this is something for which donations will be needed for months, if not longer. These people aren't just going to be able to go back to their homes in a few days, or even a few weeks.