Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Yes I've been quiet lately

My pre-existing yuckiness was complemented and enhanced by the dandy cold Angie had on Monday. It hit Chas by Wednesday and me by Friday. Fortunately it appears to have missed my Mom who visited from Thursday to Saturday.

Darling husband made some foolish comment about how (and I paraphrase here) I'm a big whiner when ill and he isn't. While the dear man is not the big baby that most men are during personal illness, stoic is not the first description that comes to mind when thinking about his attitude in times of poor health.

The nerve.

He knew that I was already in less than great condition when the cold hit me and I was battling a double whammy. As I recall, my statement just prior to his was, "I feel yucky."


I guess the truth is don't look to your spouse for sympathy about your illness when you are both suffering from the same affliction.

Now to show his good side, tonight I came home in a state somewhere far beyond exhaustion (long, late, draining day at work) and he did the dishes and Angie's bath so that I could stay off my feet.

In stitching, I've done very little except a few stitches on Santorini. I don't think I'll meet any of my monthly goals for August. I suppose that just means more goals for next month.

Angie is almost back to one hundred percent; Chas is mostly better too. I'm on the upswing although Hubby is predicting a few more days of congestion. Maybe I'll be more functional by the weekend.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Rotten day.

Angie is sick. I'm yucky. Some a wide variety of crazy job stuff makes me go urgggggh. (And there will be a big news release about some of the job stuff on Thursday, not that the local paper will write much about it, except to winge on about our judges {insert roll eyes emoticon here}).

I could bore you with the details, but I've already ranted about things with Chas.

What it really comes down to is that a lot of things are really making me question what I want to be doing and how the next year or so will look for us.

No decisions, but just some wishful longing.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Foot inqueries

A few people asked about my foot, so here is an update (I won't post any pictures though).

I have not soaked the foot either today or yesterday. I should have, but I didn't. The night is still young. I may pull a tub of water for it yet. It does not hurt as much as it did this weekend so I haven't really the icy cold water to relieve the pain. Today it is just itchy and the pinkness (maybe mauve--it's a bit like DMC 3726) has concentrated itself to approximately three inches in diameter centered around the site of the sting.

The foot is still swollen and I can't wear any shoes other than the sandals I was wearing when stung. It is not my most professional ensemble. [Sigh] But at least I'm not hobbling around today.

I have been using an antihistamine, but no hydrocortizone. I try not to use hydrocortizone too often. I would not want to take on the New Zealand mosquitos, since U.S. Mosquitos trigger a fairly strong reaction from me as well. I'm just greatful that this sting did not trigger a stronger reaction. As it was, Chas and my SIL were discussing the merits of taking me to the emergency room and we checked for hospitals covered by our insurance in the area. [Sigh]

My foot and I thank you for your concern. I think I'm on the mend with just a little discomfort left to endure.

E-mail issues

My e-mail is currently sending lots of mail to the bulk mail folder, even when it is clearly not spam. Let me emphasize lots.

So please don't be offended if I don't respond to your e-mail in anything like a timely manner. I have to check both folders to try and rescue misdirected mail.

Silly technology.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Thank you all around

Thank you to Jenifer for my Dolphin Mermaid chart (HAED and Nadia Tate of course). I love her. I don't know why but she is very appealing. I love the waves.

Thank you to Jeannie Maree for my Geisha Fae (again HAED and Nadia). She is gorgeous.

I don't know how long I will be able to resist stitching both designs. I really should finish something before starting something else. Although I already have, which leads me to...

Thanks Nicole for kindly signing me up for the HAED BB competition this week because I was away from the computer all weekend and couldn't join on my own.

So if I don't post much this week, do not send out the search and rescue missions, I'm just hunkered down with my stitching. I've started something new (as per hint above), but I won't be posting any pictures until I've finished for the week. I have not added it to the wip list on the right because I might send a photo to JM for the mystery WIP game. I've also decided that with so much on the stitching front, I'll try to limit stitching on this new project to just HEAD competitions until I actually finish something.

I've put a fair amount of work into it so far and I'm still in the "in love" with it stage. I will focus on this project for this week to the exclusion of anything else so we'll see how I feel at the end of the week.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Home Again

We have returned!

Thank goodness.

The short version goes thus:

Left Tuesday. Managed to find resort before dark. Small child, thoroughly wound up from the excitement of an "adventure" did not go to sleep until 1:00 a.m.

Wednesday. First seminar--fantastic. Very cool. Will blog more about it later. Chas had signed up for wifi access. Wifi-access emitted death rattles in the afternoon as I jumped on while small child napped heavily (see above). Wifi gave up the ghost in the evening. Dinner in the nearest town (yummy) and back to the hotel for a dip in the pool with Angie and Chas. I even spent some time in the exercise room. (Anyone know how many strides in a mile?) A good time was had by all.

Thursday. Second seminar--okay. Ran into Chas and Angie on break. Angie clung to me and begged me not to go back to work. At some point I reached my learning limit. Left early (I never do that, ever) by what should have been a half an hour. Learned the next day that they ran over (I had guessed he would and that is part of why I bolted). Too many sports videos shown as examples of leadership and emotional intelligence. Fine. Lovely. Y chromosome remains a mystery to me. I don't think the extra half hour would have helped my understanding. On the way to dinner, we stopped to look at the dam. Was stung by some flying instinct before I could trounce the evil bug. Angie learned a few new colorful phrases. Dinner was yummy, pool afterwards was nice. Foot hurt like the dickens.

Friday. Final day of conference. Foot really started hurting in the afternoon. Seminar topic the least appealing of the three days, but the speakers made the subject considerably less painful than it could have been. Our group voted to skip the afternoon break and finished early. We hit the road for our "Surprise"--a trip to my Brother's house. Foot turned pink and swelled. Foot stayed in bucket of icy cold water with baking soda in it. Smallest nephew determined that there were fishies in there with my foot and pretended to feed them.

Saturday. Foot in bucket in the a.m. Swelling much larger. Defying common sense, I agreed to stick with the original plan and venture to an artsy-crafty town in Indiana. Foot swelled beyond pregnancy width and so we did not take a train or canal boat ride. Did feed a particularly mean flock of ducks--they ignored the food and appeared to be attempting the drowning of one of the ducks. Then we had a picnic at a nearby dam. Kids played while dear Brother found a bucket of ice cold water in which I could soak foot. Angie fell off the swings twice, eating playground sand on one landing. Not sure that she has an aptitude for gymnastics despite the flip she accidentally performed as she slipped.

Oldest nephew apparently told Angie that he was going to "get her" which, in her exhaustion (normally she just laughs at him), set her screaming. Nephew's younger sister and brother each hit him for upsetting Angie and they smothered her in hugs to comfort her.

Back to house, Angie way over stimulated was semi hysterical. In pain and feeling a bit over-stimulated too, I hobbled up stairs, following Angie and Chas as they sought some quiet time. Oldest nephew and niece were put to bed. Peace reigned and we went back downstairs. Foot returned to bucket and watched Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for a bit. Completely exhausted, I climbed the stairs and went to sleep before the movie ended.

Today. Watched all the kids play while Brother and Sister in law were at church (he's a minister so his presence is generally a necessity). We left shortly after they returned and made excellent time on the trip home. Completed reading one book on the return trip. Chas swears he did not speed too much. Plants wilted, house smelled stuffy, but we were home.

Thank goodness.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Off wandering

I will be away for a bit and I don't know how much computer time I'll have. I am attending a three day conference at a State Park and Resort and I'm taking the family with me. Chas is paying for the internet connection at the resort so that he can work, but I don't know if I will have the time or inclination to post.

Straight from the conference, we go to my brother's home in western Ohio for a few days. My nephew Brendan wanted us to come before school starts so that he can actually see us, rather than being stuck in school all day. I look forward to it. Four kids with only about four years difference in their ages makes for a very exciting time.

Do you think my husband will object or even notice if I pack most of my wips?

Monday, August 07, 2006


On my job, sometimes I make people cry.

Sometimes they are happy tears.

Sometimes they are tears of heartbreak and fear.

I had both today. By the end I was quite ready to cry with them. But I can't.

It tears me up inside when I see the sad tears, but often there is nothing I can do other than attempt some compassion. And when I do, they don't recognize the compassion or the message. They just feel the pain, and there is little I can do to alleviate it. They just think I'm unfair.

It's hard to be the tough one sometimes, even when it is the right way to be. It's hard to stick with the rules and statutes and what is required when you just want to give them a hug. I've had to be tough on people who thought they were doing the right thing, or trusted someone else to do it, and it's all gone wrong. I do the best I can and hope that it will turn out right in the end, no matter how bumpy the current situation seems to be.

I think people look at the work we do, and think how easy it is. It isn't. People think that anyone could do it. Maybe, but most people don't want to. It's draining. It can be rewarding but it is very difficult work to deal with fragmented lives and try to make the best of it. I love my job. Maybe I just sometimes wish there weren't so much of it.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Eowyn Challenge

I've seen it posted on many of the stitching BB's and initially thought I wouldn't bother. However, upon more reading and a desire to motivate myself for some exercise, I decided that I would join the challenge. I was certain that my first choice for a name would be taken ("Eowyn" of course), but when I saw that my second choice was available, I jumped to join today. I am one of the small group of Tokein fans who really liked the Tom Bombadil section in LOTR, and I was disappointed when it wasn't even filmed. My chosen name: Goldberry.

I've added the walk to Rivendell to my final 101 things list. I'll need to get a pedometer (yes Honey I know I should have sent off for that Special K pedometer ages ago) but I think I can guestimate in the meantime. Patsy and I have taken a few walks around the building during the last two weeks to help us wake up in the afternoon. I'm hoping to add both a 101 Things page and an Eowyn's Challenge page to my website in the reconstruction. I started to work on them today, but there just wasn't enough time to play with the new html editor.

It will be interesting to see how far I travel. I'll update here as my journey progresses.

101 Things in 1001 Days


1. Exercise
2. Walk to Rivendell (The Eowyn Challenge)
3. Get rid of clothes that no longer fit (and never will again)
4. Get a passport
5. Drink more water/less pop in the evening
6. Read four books per year.
7. Buy some new music and movie soundtracks
8. Buy a new purse
9. Go to the Dentist
10. Buy some tv shows on DVDs
11. Practice flute
12. Get a manicure


13. Get/Take Family photo
14. Get pregnant, stay pregnant, give birth successfully
15. See one movie in theater with husband at least once each year
16. Enroll Angie in Kindergarten
17. Do more arts and crafts with Angie
18. Spend more time with Angie
19. Date my husband
20. Call Mom and Dad once each week
21. Call brothers once per month
22. Take pictures of Angie
23. Videotape Angie telling a story
24. Work on pre-school skills with Angie
25. Go to the Great lakes Science Center with Angie
26. Play games with Angie
27. Purchase home brewing kits for Chas
28. Take Angie to the Dentist
29. Renew vows
30. Cook one meal a month (taking us out to dinner doesn’t count)


31. Write commendation letter re Patsy
32. Stop using the “File on any available space” method and keep desk clear at work
33. Delete unnecessary work files
34. Turn in weekly reports on time for six consecutive weeks
35. Complete 10 cle credit hours through the Judicial College in 2007
36. Update Resume once each year
37. Buy new work shoes


38. Reduce debt by $ 5,000 each year.
39. Contribute $20 per pay period to savings
40. Maintain savings
41. Maintain rainy day fund
42. Save for a house
43. Increase retirement savings each year


44. Blog often (at least once each week)
45. Make a blinkie
46. Buy newer version of Photoshop Wow and develop graphics for site and blogs
47. Get a new computer.
48. Regularly test links on website and blogs. Delete dead links and update moved links.
49. Back up the blogs to cd
50. Set up Yuku account
51. Organize Outlook Express and delete e-mails
52. Save cross stitch patterns to cd
53. Back-up websites to cd
54. Re-format website
55. Learn css
56. Create wallpaper for the computer
57. Organize Internet Favorites

Home improvement

58. Clean home office
59. Buy Washer and Dryer
60. Buy new flatware
61. Buy new drinking glasses
62. Keep kitchen table clear of clutter for seven consecutive days (being away does not count)
63. Start sprouts early next year.
64. Get window box
65. Plant bulbs
66. Obtain renter’s insurance
67. Buy one new office chair
68. Buy new computer desk
69. Clean Basement
70. Buy/obtain 2 dressers


71. Design and stitch Sampler for Cathy
72. Design and stitch butterfly for Holocaust Museum
73. Stitch something for Love quilt in 2007
74. Stitch something for Love quilt in 2008
75. Stitch something for Love quilt in 2009
76. Use ideas in one of my Just a Thought Books and actually “finish” something.
77. Rechart Tapestry Cat into Tapestry Dog and stitch
78. Stitch a blackwork design
79. Get Eterna stranded silks for JG
80. Buy beads for Mini H
81. Buy beads for Taj
82. Buy fibers and beads for Midi 2
83. Stitch Planets from TW Millenium
84. Assemble thread checklist for HAED charts
85. Chart a baby book and stitch it (underwater theme)
86. Finish stitching 15 current projects
87. Complete 7 UFO’s


88. Spend time with Cathy
89. Find missing LOTR and Harry Potter books
90. Subscribe to 3 magazines
91. Send Christmas/Holiday cards.
92. Fix bracelets
93. Catalogue DVD’s
94. Catalogue cross stitch charts and supplies.
95. Catalogue books
96. Use sewing machine
97. Get another car
98. E-mail friends and family more often
99. Move
100. Buy a real camera
101. Buy art

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Big Thank You!

Yesterday, Nicki rak'd me with the Kimono Fae QS by HAED and Nadia Tate!

She is really pretty (beautiful kimono and parasol) and I think she will go nicely with Japanese Garden Mandala!

Thanks again Nicki. That was really sweet of you I can't tell you how much I appreciate your thoughtfulness.

Continuing Legal Education

In Ohio, Judges and Magistrates have to complete 10 of their 24 cle hours through the Ohio Judicial College. In my experience, the Judicial College courses are generally a bit more interesting and well designed than your average cle. I guess since Judges and Magistrate make the decisions, we would all hope they would be fairly insightful and genuinely educational.

Next year being my reporting period, I need to get my credits. Today I attended a seminar on how to design a Court Website. Not that I will ever be allowed to touch our website, but I thought it would be interesting.

I have been creating my own web pages for a little more than five years. I don't use a web editor. I just code everything on my own, embellishing occassionally with free script.

I learned stuff today! Even better, I was able to play with Front Page. I found it a little frustrating. While I could see some advantages to using an editing program, I struggled a bit with some graphics and was completely annoyed that I couldn't just see the code to fix it. They were moving quickly through the steps and I didn't have much opportunity to play with any parts other than what they were showing us. Finally, with a half way decent site created (I used nice teals and greys), the speaker moved on to another portion of the lecture after another staff member mentioned that you could also look at the code if you wanted.

I started clicking everything on the toolbar, trying to find the magic button that would allow me to see the html. I almost gave up, when I spied "Code" sparkling at the bottom of the screen. I clicked, and ta-da! Up popped the code. I tweaked the code and discovered that I could save those changes as well.

Suddenly I was determined. I'll be rearranging my website as part of my 101 things list. I need an editor. I must have one. I can still write my own code, but I can create templates and save them on my computer. I can preview before I update the site. I can do, many, many wonderful things and I can still write my own code.


So I drove home determined to convince Chas that we needed a web page editor.

He grimaced at the mention of Front Page--it just isn't that great. Then I mentioned Dreamweaver. "Do you know how much that costs?" At this point I was feeling a teensy bit deflated.

Then he mentioned that when he was thinking he would be creating the template for his blogs new home, he looked for free html editors. He found Alleycode. It does html and css.

Huzzah again!

So the program is downloaded and my enthusiasm is back. I hope to have a new and improved website within 1001+ Days.

Finished Book: Going Postal by Terry Pratchett

Yay! I actually finished a book. Once upon a time, Chas and I would keep a small stack on each side of our bed and read just before turning off the lights at night. It has been roughly four years since we have taken the time to read leisurely. Mostly, we just read magazines, we rarely buy books. With an energetic four-year old on the loose, it's hard to allow ourselves the luxury of getting lost in a book.

However, when Terry Pratchett releases a new Discworld book, I'm eager to make the purchase. His books are funny and thoughtful. I usually laugh through the reading and feel pretty good about life by the end of each book. I think I have the complete set. I have a few older ones missing, some are loaned to friends and the others are probably hob-nobbing with my missing Harry Potter and LOTR books. I'm a little shaky on whether I have everything from the last four years (again, when chasing a four year old, most other things are a bit blurry). Maybe I'm missing Interesting Times. I'm not sure. Perhaps it's Thief of Time that I still need. Chas bought Going Postal and Thud for me a few months ago. I recall asking for one more, but we had to limit our purchases a bit so I could only pick two.

Late in July I decided that it was time to read something other than the Nutshell Library and picked Going Postal. Tonight I finished it! What a great book! It jumped in my top ten favorite Terry Pratchett novels immediately. Saw much more Lord Vetinari in this one, which was very enjoyable--He was almost cheerful. Loved the new characters and the Internet theme (okay, so it's set in a land where magic stands in for technology for the most part, so it isn't computer but clacks).

I've noticed changes in the later Discworld books. He no longer introduces the world. I suppose at this point he assumes we all know that the world is flat, resting on the backs of four elephants who are perched on the great space turtle A'Tuin. There are fewer footnotes, always a favorite with me. In law school students would complete their writing requirements and brag, 'Yeah, My paper is 60 pages long and only 20 of them are actually the text, the rest are footnotes." or "I have 30 pages and 360 footnotes." The early books were crammed with footnotes and I always got the sense that he was poking fun at people who took the need to footnote far to seriously.

Going Postal actually had bonafide Chapters, with chapter names. There were even little descriptions of what would happen in the chapter. I almost didn't know how to handle that. The early books were just stream of consciousness types things with breaks in the story just being separated by a blank line before jumping in the next section.

I highly recommend it.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

August Goals:

Which sounds very impressive depending upon your pronunciation.

Any hoo (considerably less impressive), here are my stitching goals for August:

Chatelaine goals
1. Finish stitching the last zen garden and corner element in JG.
2. Complete the black and blue border in JG.
3. Track down Eterna Stranded source for possible use in JG.
4. Complete one blue and gold ornament in WG
5. Complete another set of pillar/gate in WG
6. Complete part 7 of GTK.
7. Complete the unfinished sections of parts 1, 2 and 3 of Midi 1.
8. Start kit and prep fabric for Midi 2 and stitch the black frame (993 NPI being one of the colors I have on hand).
10. Finish part 1 of Taj.
11. Stitch on Springtime roses.
12. Stitch the dragonfly in purple for a friend.

Non Chatelaine goals:

1. Finish the hands, face, hair, fan and obi on mom's Japanese Lady.
2. More flowers on the Japanese Lady.
3. Finish the kimono on the Japanese Lady.
4. Stitch at least 30 ten by ten squares on the Santorini project for my Dad.
5. Stitch at least 2 rows on the Frog Prince 3.
6. Complete 6 ten by ten squares on Star Fae.
7. Complete at least 6 ten by ten squares on Ballet Pigs.
8. Do the final charting and start stitching on the sampler I'm doing for a friend.

Many of them are carry over goals from July (and maybe June too), but let me tell you about my accomplishments on the July list:

July Chatelaine goals
1. Finish stitching the last zen garden and corner element in JG.--Stitched a bit, but didn't finish.
2. Complete the black and blue border in JG.--Stitched a bit, but didn't finish.
4. Complete one blue and gold ornament in WG.--Stitched a bit, but didn't finish.
5. Complete another set of pillar/gate in WG.--Stitched a bit, but didn't finish.
6. Complete part 5 & 6 of GTK.--Done!
10. Stitch on Springtime roses. Yup!

July Non Chatelaine goals:
4. Stitch at least 20 ten by ten squares on the Santorini project for my Dad.--Stitched a bit, completed 10 squares, started many squares.
5. Stitch at least 6 ten by ten squares on the Frog Prince 3. Done!
6. Complete 6 ten by ten squares on Star Fae.--Stitched four complete squares.
7. Complete at least 6 ten by ten squares on Ballet Pigs.Done!
8. Complete at least 4 ten by ten squares on Pegasus and Castle Bubble.Done!
9. Do the final charting and start stitching on the sampler I'm doing for a friend.--Nope but I've changed my mind about the Fabric so it's good that I didn't start.

I deleted the crane goal for JG because I'm still not entirely happy with my selections for the black. I've found another silk alternative, but I need to find a reliable supplier. The nice part is that I've priced it and this is one of the least expensive silks. I've heard that the delivery is a bit unpredictable.

I switched out MTM for Taj. She has been calling me lately, so I want to put a few stitches in her.

I added 10 squares to the Santorini goal because I didn't get to them this month.

I deleted the Pegasus and Castle Bubble because I need to do more on the other projects. If I stitch on it at all, I'll only do two or four ten by ten squares.

I plan to prep some fabric for the Buttercup Fae. It's a gift and there are other items in the gift queue that need work, but I might put a few stitches in it too.

Finally, with all the craziness from the past week, I have several posts here and on Angie's Blog that are drafted. I'll be adding them and posting my 101 things list in the next few weeks.