Mindy Memories

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Funny stuff today

Tim was cracking me up earlier. I bought him Mr. and Mrs. Smith the other day -- a few days after Christmas so that it wasn't technically a Christmas present since were didn't exchange gifts this year. :) Anyway, he was looking for it earlier today and called it Mr and Mrs. Jones. Cracked me up!

For some reason, I was thinking about an incident that happened a few years ago. Poor Tim has no butt. I don't know why, but he doesn't, and he always has to wear a belt with his jeans or he has problems. He had this old pair of grey shorts he wore around the house, and I hated them but never tossed them because I don't like tossing other peoples' belongings. These shorts had totally worn out elastic and he had to keep holding on to the waist so they didn't fall down. Why he didn't wear something else, I don't know. He wore them out to take the trash to the dumpster and, so he tells me, as he threw the trash into the top of the dumpster, down went his shorts under is butt. Then he heard giggling, turned around and there were two teenaged girls sitting on the steps outside the door and saw the show. He walked around the other side of the building to come in the front door so he didn't have to walk by them. What's funnier? Even THEN he held onto them for a few months before finally throwing them out. I get a chuckle every time I think about it. Probably ruined those girls for life LOL!

Friday, December 30, 2005


Now that I FINALLY have some working memes listed on my set (the old ones were mostly defunct, except the I Am Pariah site), I can keep up with them easier. For now, I'll answer the last few SBQs:

Take a minute to reflect on your blog reading habits and preferences. What do you prefer to read in stitching blogs? (Progress, tips, family life, experiences, etc.) How much do you think you are influenced by other stitching bloggers?
I really like seeing the progress and beautiful pieces from all the stitchers. Our tastes are all different, even when we are doing many of the same projects. I also really enjoy seeing how creative some people get with their pieces -- color conversions, adding or subtracting elements, etc. So many projects, so little time. I also like reading about family life and other experiences in some blogs. I think it depends on how much I feel like I'm a kind of "kindred spirit" with another people. I feel that I have a deeper relationship (as much as one can when it comes to blogging and boards, anyway) with some than others, and I enjoy reading more about their personal stuff than others. People I've known for a while or have met in person are easier for me to relate to.

As far as influence, I think I'm often influenced by other bloggers. My stash has grown many times over since joining some boards and reading blogs and seeing all the beautiful designs and fibers out there. I also enjoy reading blogs of people who are not of the same opinion as me, as they make me think more about why I think the way I do. Now, I don't care for blogs that are full of "we are right, you are wrong and stupid," but blogs that have something intelligent to say are great!

How do you balance your stitching time with your other obligations such as work, household chores, etc.?
Household chores? What are those? LOL. Well, I'm not that bad, but my house would be more organized and tidy if I didn't have my stitching. Then again, when I die I don't want to be known for having a clean house. It's presentable enough. I don't take on a lot of responsibilities these days so that I do have time for myself. I learned that lesson in college when I was way overextended and told myself I wouldn't do that again. So, I have plenty of stitching time.

Feeling better

I spent a lot of time on the couch in front of the tv and feel much better. I think the worst of my headaches are gone, thank God!

I watched Cold Creek Manor on tv today. I liked it, but why does it always have to be about snakes? Whenever anybody wants to put in a creepy animal, they always use snakes. I guess I'm one of the people for whom it really works, but jeesh! I'm going to have nightmares tonight! Why can't they use crazy rabid foaming-at-the-mouth raccoons or something? They are just as life-threatening.

Some of you know I tend to go off about commercials that drive me buggy. Well, there are more of those every day, but I wanted to mention one I really like. It's the commercial about the "Counterfeit Mini Cooper" DVD. I love it! It's so original, totally unlike most car commercials. I love the premise that people are buying these huge old cars thinking they are Mini Coopers because they have stripes painted across the top. I like satire, so this is right up my alley.

Home again today

Honestly? If I had something pressing today I would have trudged in. Knowing it was going to be a very long and quiet day, I decided I was better off staying home and resting as much as possible so I can feel better quicker. My head is still pounding, probably from the same stuff I think was bothering me yesterday. I should feel better over the weekend. I was actually feeling better late in the day yesterday, but when I woke up it was back with a vengeance.

I did go over my calorie limit yesterday, due to some late night munchies -- munchies that carrots and apples just don't make right. So, I ate way too many of these little round biscuit cookie things covered in chocolate. They are small, aren't filled with cream and are relatively light, but I still ate too many. Oh well, I logged it and moved on. Just the fact that I'm tracking this stuff and know what it's doing helps me to become better educated about ways I sabotage myself.

Thursday, December 29, 2005


This always seems to happen when I start to become more healthy -- I feel like crap. I didn't go to work today because I felt so awful when I woke up. After sleeping some I'm better, but it's one of those days that will be full of little cat naps for when I feel bad again.

This is the combination of:

1. rainy day
2. dropping soda from my diet
3. my body is in shock from being fed mostly healthy food and not junk all day, which is very different from the last month
4. probably inhaled a lot of dust yesterday as it was clean-up day at work.
5. my back hurts from not sleeping well

I'm sure I'll be feeling better later, but today I'm going to chill out a bit. One of the purposes I have for eating better and losing weight is to cut down on my migraines. I'm convinced that a lot of my headaches stem from my health. Some I can't avoid, due to the TMJ, but I think if I'm healthier I can fight them better or not get as many at all.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Day One

I really like this SparkPeople website! They help you start out slow that you aren't trying to change everything all at once, which is good for people like me who tend to jump in feet first and lose steam in a few days.

One thing "they" always tell you to do and I usually don't is visualize your goals and put them around so you are reminded. Well, this time I'm going to do it. I'm not going to have a million pictures around but I have one main picture I'll have in front of me at home and at my desk at work. I'm no Olympic swimmer, but have always loved this picture of Amy Van Dyken and this is my goal -- I don't want to be "skinny" as I'm simply not built that way. Instead, I have a very muscular build and think she's a much better model for me than just about anyone else.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Free diet website -- yes, really

Once again I'm on the weight loss wagon. I've been looking around at various blogs and found The Diet Blog. While I was there I saw a mention of a website that was similar to eDiets called SparkPeople. It seems that in 2006 they are giving away free memberships! Yes, I know it's hard to believe, but I went and checked it out and it's true. I've learned to not always assume free isn't free, ever since I've started trying to give away free life insurance from MassMutual. It's very difficult because people are trained to think there is no catch. Mass doesn't have a catch, and I don't see one at SparkPeople, either.

Anyway, I thought I'd post about it here so if any of you are interested you know where to go.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Hope everyone had a nice Christmas

Mine was quiet but nice. Tim and I were talking about how it just didn't seem like Christmas this year. I think because of all the nastiness surrounding the holidays this year it just seemed kinda blah. Plus, Tim and I didn't exchange gifts for the first time in 6 Christmases because he needs to spend his money getting his car fixed. I know that if I bought him something and he didn't get me anything he'd feel bad and so I told him we could just buy for the others and not worry about ourselves. We get each other little items through the year, so it's no biggie.

The people at work were very generous this year. All last week I kept finding cards and packages on my desk. Off the top of my head, I got a bottle of red wine, a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of extra virgin olive oil, $100, $50 bonus from the main boss, two votive candle sets, more candy and cookies than I need in a year, a little snowman, nice foam bath... and it goes on.

Remember my post about Belica Bags? My friend at work knew that I wanted one but didn't buy it for myself, so she bought it for me! Wasn't that sweet? Heidi also gave me one of her little cosmetic bags she made so I have a little set. I told Heidi that when she makes it big and they start mass producing her bags, I can say that I have an original :) Dana really loved the one I gave her, so I did good there. She bought me a Wave Station, which is a fancy blender. She knows I like to make smoothies and that my previous blender disappeared after Piano Lane went under (my own fault) so I'm very happy to be blending again.

I canceled my membership at LA Fitness a while back. I just wasn't using it because I could no longer go at lunch with my busier schedule and whenever I tried to go before work the pool was full, and forget about going after work. So, I'm joining a place that's closer to where I live. It's smaller and much less commercial and not as busy. It has a nice lap pool, and that's the main thing. Once I get a decent salary again I plan on rejoining the awesome place at Springfield Hospital/Healthplex, but for now I simply can't afford it. I've gained more weight this holiday and it's just too much. Somehow I have to figure a way to keep working out and eat properly. It really shouldn't be as difficult as I'm making it, and I don't know why I'm making it this way.

In stitching news, I'm almost done with L&L's Guardian Angel. I think I can finish it by the end of the year. I was hoping to also finish the beading for Christmas Flourishes by 2006, but that won't happen. I thought I had bought the beads but checked the other day and I hadn't. Well, they are ordered now :)

The money I was given for Christmas has gone to materials for Misty Morning Vineyard from Chatelaine. It figures -- the first Chatelaine I stitch is one of the most expensive ones to kit up, but it's beautiful. I have ordered all the silks, which cost a pretty penny -- a few pretty pennies, actually. I also decided to use a hand-dyed fabric for it, so bought Sudden Storm from Silkweaver. It's a nice light grey/white blend and is pretty subtle. There were some others that were pretty but a bit darker and more contrasty than I want for this particular piece. I haven't ordered the beads yet, but I won't be putting them on for quite a while and can wait. I'm really looking forward to stitching this piece.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

This and that

If you are looking for that perfect gift for the handbag addict on your list. Please visit Belica Bags. Heidi makes them from vintage fabrics and they are beautiful! As usual, pictures on a website don't do them justice. She works in my office and brought a bunch in today for us to see and buy and I bought one for my best friend for Christmas. They are lovely and very well made. If I'd had more money I could spend I would have bought another that I had my eye on for myself, but I just can't justify buying a new purse for myself when the one I'm using is relatively new. I may be forced to buy a makeup bag or evening clutch, though :)


This whole Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas thing is SO out of control! It really is a minority on both sides who are getting out of shape and making things so divisive. People are spending all their energy on this stupid sort of stuff, and in the meantime the really important issues get by. And no, I'm not "blaming Bush," as this sort of thing has been going on forever -- the "divide and conquer" strategy.


Speaking of Christmas, you gotta see this! There's a website full of really baaaaad nativities: Calvacade of Bad Nativities.


I don't think I posted it here, but here's my South Park character. The link to the site was posted on a message board. The website is South Park Studio. I had all these accessories but I never looked this hip.

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Finally, I have my picture of my Santa I finished over the weekend. The title is "Starry Night." The ironic part is that this piece has driven me crazy for over a year. It's only about 3" x 5" but has lots of blends and similar colors and drove me batty. So, by the time I was done with the backstitching I was thrilled to be done and decided I couldn't stand to make the stars of beads and metallic floss. So, maybe I should rename mine "Cloudy Night."

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Sunday, December 11, 2005

My finishes for 2005

On the heels of my last post, I've decided to post pictures of my finishes and progress on my WIPs to help me see what I've done this year. Warning: this will be photo-intensive.

1. Lots of ornaments!

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2. Starry Night (no pic yet, just finished today)

3. L&L 1990 freebie

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4. Christmas Jewel (Just Nan)

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5. Crystal Chandelier (Mirabilia)

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6. 1998 Cherub (Mirabilia)

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7. Dragon of the Winter Moon (Dragon Dreams)

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8. Waiting for Ships (Mirabilia)

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9. Rose Arbour (Mirabilia)

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10. Christmas Flourishes (almost -- needs beading)

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11. L&L 2002 freebie

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12. Halloween (Twisted Threads, I think)

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13. Bent Creek's EduCATed

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Updated StRIP List

DT mini bellpull > Christmas Cat
Ouroborus > L&L Secret Santa
Deepest Love and Celtic Spring > Blossom Harvest
I Shall Wear Purple and Spring in the Air > Dragon Dreams Why Hoard Gold?
Sweet Dreams Santa > Joan Elliott's Autumn Angel
Liberty Sampler and Angel of the New Dawn > Scent of Old Roses
Angel of the Sea and Spring Queen > Winter Queen
TW English Garden > Just Nan's Strawberry Summer
Lady of the Flag and Angel of Love > Drawn Thread Alpine Garden
Sleeping Beauty > Sweetheart Tree's Grape Arbour Sampler
Earth Dragon > Shepherd's Bush Far Away

Looking back I really feel like I've accomplished something. This is my hobby and is meant to be enjoyable, and sometimes I just stitch on whatever I want because that's what I want. It's nice to see my finishes and progress in writing, though. Sometimes when working mostly on large projects I start feeling like I'm not getting anywhere.

Stitching Goals

Well, I got my 2006 stitching goals together. Still need to make goals for other parts of my life, but thought I'd do these first as they are the easiest. It's the self-changing goals that are hard for me.

First, I'd like to get the following done by the end of the year. I'm not travelling for Christmas so those hours on those holiday weekends will help me out.

2005 End of Year Goals
1. Starry Night (just finished today, will scan this week)
2. Stars of Merlin (waiting for my black crow floss to arrive)
3. Christmas Flourishes beading
4. Guardian Angel (this is a long shot, but if nothing else should be done by the end of January)

2006 Goals
2 ornaments per month (average)
Sleeping Beauty (Mirabilia)
Deepest Love (Mirabilia)
Lady of the Flag (Mirabilia)
Angel of Love (L&L)
mini bellpull (Drawn Thread)
Ouroborus (Dracolair)

2006 "Wishes for Finishes" (These are my long shot finishing goals for the year)
Lanarte (I Shall Wear Purple)
Hester's Needle (Liberty Sampler)
Angel of the New Dawn (Mirabilia)


OK folks, the argument that atheists are hypocrites because they spend money on which "In God We Trust" is printed is REALLY getting old -- and I'm not even an atheist! Of COURSE they spend money that mentions God -- what other money can they spend in the United States? It's not like they can just go into their garage and make money without it. That's kinda illegal and probably wouldn't work.

The funny thing is that, other than that guy in California, I've never heard any atheists bring this up. It's always Christians who think that everybody in this country should believe exactly as they do who bring it up. Every conversation I see online that has to do with an religion vs. non-religion issue has this come up at least once.

C'mon folks. It's really a silly argument and makes no sense.

Friday, December 09, 2005

No snow day

Well, we were all hoping for a snow day so we could have a three-day weekend, but it didn't happen. Even my bosses were hoping, but they couldn't justify taking the whole day off for what we got. This morning on the way in I hit a little freezing rain and there was a lot of slush on the road, but by the time I got to work it was normal rain. I know a lot of busses were having problems getting up hills and such, but luckily I was able to get in OK. After that the sun came out and they let us leave a little early so that we could get home before the sun went down and all the wet roads became icy roads. The way I look at it: This is Pennsylvania. We don't get a huge amount of snow in this area of the state, but it's still the Northeast and we can't expect to not go to work because there's a little snow on the ground -- and I do mean a little, only 2-3 inches in my area.

I'm working on getting my stitching goals and StRIP list together for 2006 and will probably post it over the weekend. I'm also going to post my 2005 goals and what was actually accomplished, either with pictures or links to pictures. It's mostly so I can see what I've done over the past year. Sometimes when you work on a lot of large projects you don't feel like you're getting anywhere, so this sort of thing helps me realize I've done something, even if it's just more work on the same WIPs.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Ah yes, we childfree are so awful!

How long has it been since I've had a good childfree post in here? I think it's long overdue, and a lovely letter to the editor in The Chicago Tribune has got me seeing red. I don't like to copy and paste these things, but you can see it here.

Let's see, where should I start. Well, for one, I have never thought of being childfree as any sort of "movement." I don't want kids, therefore I'm not having them -- end of story.

Mr. Bologna then talks about how many childfree couples have vacation homes in Spain, sleep in all the time, and dine out constantly. Well, I hate to break it to him, but many childfree I know don't do any of these things. In fact, one of the reasons many people don't have kids is because they can't afford them. Also, I think I know a few parents who have traveled to Europe and other places. Does this make them self-absorbed, or do they get off the hook because they have kids?

Yes, I realize child-rearing is hard work. I know enough about myself to know I would not make a good parent for various reasons, therefore I have no kids. I agree with him about parents who see their kids as an accessory. Luckily, I know no parents like this and my friends and coworkers with kids are pretty responsible people.

Then he is also thankful because since we shallow self-absorbed vacationing types aren't having kids, then people like us (the ogres we are!) will die out. I guess that means that in another 50 years or so vacations will no longer exist. I don't know what the tourist industy will do.

Of course, that's one of the arguments we hear all the time, isn't it? "Thank God you aren't having kids so that there won't be any more like you and your kind will die out!" Well, duh -- where the hell do you think we came from? Our parents had us, they had children. Just because a person has one or more child does not mean every one of those kids will do the same. What, did we pop out of holes in the ground or something?

Look, if you want kids and don't abuse them -- great! I don't care if people are having kids as long as they aren't kicking me in restaurants. I don't hate kids, and love my friends' kids. So why do so many people treat us like we are some sort of horrible diseased minority that must be avoided at all costs?

That guy's letter was one of the more insulting diatribes I've read in a while, but certainly not the first and won't be the last. He writes as if he's so intelligent and so much better than those of us who don't want kids. I've never understsood why it's selfish to know yourself enough to not have children and go against society on almost a daily basis.

I need to start looking for that vacation home in Spain. I seem to have misplaced it.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Christmas Carrots and other musings

We've already started getting all the holiday goodies in the office. Actually, it started appearing before Thanksgiving. If it was in the kitchen I could avoid it pretty easily. The problem is that it sits in the cubicle in front of me -- right where the printer is that I use all the time. So, every time I print something it's just too easy to pick a piece of chocolate or whatever other goodies are there. I was saying today that I wish that instead of holiday sweets that there was a tradition of holiday salad, fruit or vegetable. How about some traditional Christmas Carrots?

We're getting snow tonight into tomorrow morning. We're probably going to get 6 inches tops, more than likely less in the area of Philly where I live and work. You would think they were calling for the end of the world. People at work kept asking if it had started snowing yet, etc. People, I'm the one who lived in FL before moving here LOL! Maybe it's because I lived in the Finger Lakes area of NY that I just don't see a few inches of snow as completely devastating.

I saw L&L's new design, "Evangeline." I'm sorry, but I'm just not impressed. I think she rushed through it and took bits and pieces from other designs and put them together: The apron's design doesn't account for the folds and looks like it's just stamped there, the head is just too big for the body, and the shawl/wrap just doesn't flow properly. I think if she had taken more time and finessed the design a bit she would have been beautiful. I really like the hair. I no longer buy her designs anyway, after she went off about James Farmer of the Angel Quilt Project a year or so ago. I know, many people feel that nobody is allowed to critique Marilyn, but she's human like the rest of us. If you're going to be in a creative field you have to learn to deal with criticism. Some of us deal with it on a daily basis and it's part of the job.

I do like Mirabilia's new "Forest Goddess," but if and when I stitch her I'll probably make the colors a bit darker -- darker purples and greens. I like the basic design, though. Perhaps when I do a floss toss the actual colors will be darker anyway. Her photos often make the designs look much lighter than they really are.