Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I want to scream.

That is the kind of day, no, the kind of month I have had. I love my job. I hate the bs that goes with it. Every job has bs, I know that. I'm just so tired of the place where I work.

I won't bore you with most of the nonsense from today (or from this month), except for this one bit. Early this month, I asked about coverage for my docket while I am out on maternity leave. I can't give them the date that I am going out on leave because I do not know when the baby will actually be born, but I did provide my boss with my due date and explained that my leave will begin roughly at that time. My intention is to stay at work until I am in labor. I did this for Angie and I've already mentioned that I do not have enough accrued leave to cover even the paltry three months of FMLA.

They have not started scheduling coverage. I have trials set and in cameras to be done prior to trial by the magistrate who will hear my docket. I will likely be out no later than May. They could have at least started covering the May and June dates. The secretary is insisting that I provide a hard date for my leave to start.

I don't think they can insist I start maternity leave until I have the baby.


So Cathy, Craft Store?

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Yes, It's Monday.

I posted my finished ornaments at the SAL blog. I have two more started and have planned to start four or five more at the next SAL. I will not stitch on the ornaments until the next SAL rolls around so that I can focus on my other wips. There are a couple ornaments calling to me, beckoning me to stitch them now, but I can be strong. I'm curious to see how many ornaments I can complete if I stitck to just the SAL.

To Angi and anyone else who is curious. I will happily share my dress "conversion" for Midi 1:

Instead of the Rusty Amber, I used the Cerise Noir.
Instead of the Crimson Wood, I used the Rosewood.

I still haven't decided if I will change the Frosted Auburn to something else, but I'm thinking I will.

Tonight, if I can, I plan to stitch on the Snow Crystal. I'm still optimistic that I can complete it by Wednesday night, but considering I worked through lunch (although I did stop to eat), I'm not sure if that is realistic. The metallic bits can be very tricky and that is most of what I have left. Ah well, life will go on if I don't finish it until next month.

I haven't upgraded this blog to beta, but I've seen a few bloggers posting that they were finally forced to change. I wonder how that will go for me. I actually post this blog with a secret identity because at the time, blogger wouldn't let me use my regular identity. I've upgraded my regular identity for the Christmas SAL, but I haven't bothered with this one yet.

I'm grabbing the six weird things about me from Faye, since it seems to be the meme going around at the moment. For me the difficulty is limiting myself to only six. I'm sure Chas would have several examples of my weirdness, but here is what I could identify:

1. I love Wendy's Spicy Chicken Sandwich with cheese and pickles even when I'm not pregnant. Add cheese and dill pickles to most sandwiches and I'm a happy camper.

2. I love stitching with perle cotton or silk.

3. I once traveled from Cleveland, Ohio to Austin Texas in a rented SUV with four other women to see Russell Crowe perform with his band TOFOG. We were completely exhausted, but we had a great time.

4. I don't like to be late, I must be early, for live performances of any kind because I consider being late for a concert or theater performance to be very rude. I'm completely comfortable with being on time or on the edge of late for most other things in life.

5. I don't believe in "soul mates." I do think that I am incredibly lucky to have my husband and I have serious doubts about the likelihood of finding someone else who would be as good to and for me and who I could love in return. However, I do not believe we were "destined" to be together. I just think that we made very good choices in deciding to build a life with one another.

6. Even a sip of wine can trigger an immediate asthma attack for me. Therefore, although I enjoy the taste of wine, I don't drink it. Champagne is fine. MMMMMMMMM. Better than fine actually. ;oD

Anyone not already tagged can be tagged by me if you so desire.

And in other weirdness, my latest inhaler came with the following warning printed in red upon the box: "IMPORTANT Inhalers like this one are being discontinued due to environmental impact." Seriously? We can't do anything about the pollution from the factories or cars or trucks, and we don't do much to make alternative fuels practical, but my itty-bitty inhaler is being changed to save the environment?

Ummm. Okay. Sure.

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Full of Sugar and Stitchery

Today was the fun glucose test. It was much more complicated than when I did the three hour test with Angie. They drew blood five times between 8:45 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. By the fourth draw I was feeling a bit lightheaded, but I wasn't allowed to drink or eat anything until after the test was over. We were supposed to run errands afterwards, but neither Angie (who was sleepy and fully prepared to leave Mommy at the hospital rather than pick her up) and I were up for it so home we came.

Between blood collections, I stitched my first ornament and have maybe ten or fifteen minutes left before the stitching is completed. I'll post it on the SAL board when it is done. I've started two other ornaments and want to start another one so we'll see how many I can stitch this weekend. Finishing the designs into ornaments will wait until one of my Finish it or Figures Fridays rolls around. Even if I don't complete Snow Crystal, I'll at least have an ornament finished this month. Hubby isn't reading my blog as often as I thought (or feared) because he didn't realize that I had joined this SAL.

This week's SBQ is one I have been thinking about a lot lately:

What company produces your favorite hand-dyed fabric? Are there any
companies whose hand-dyed fabric you do not like? If so, why?

My favorite is Sugar Maple Fabrics because Mindy has such a nice variety of colors and she is so helpful when I'm trying to select a fabric for a specific project. It's hard for me to pick a favorite color.

Running a close second is Picture This Plus. Their fabrics are lovely but at the moment, they have a much smaller selection than SMF.

In third place is Silkweavers because they at least have Jobelan, my favorite fabric upon which to stitch (Lugana and Jazlyn are nice but they don't compare to Jobelan in my opinion).

Wichelt's hand dyed Jobelans are great. My Tree of Hope is on Blueberry and I have a few other pieces. The color range isn't very wide though. I wish they would put more colors out and I also wish they would put more colors on 32 count while I can still see to stitch upon them.

My least favorite is R & R Reproductions. I used their Heirloom Wisteria for my Grape Threadkeeper and just love it! The drawback is that they use linen which is my least favorite fabric (it feels so scratchy compared to Jobelan).

So I guess the short answer is that I have yet to meet a hand dyed fabric that I didn't like.

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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Have Needles, Will Stitch.

I am ready for the Ornament SAL tomorrow. I've grabbed a pack of needles, pulled the silks and fabric and selected the chart. Now I just need to wait patiently for lunchtime tomorrow so that I can start.

Today I received the Dinky Dyes LE Winter Pack! It is beautiful. I couldn't capture the color of the fabric properly (it's more of a lighter, sparklier blue), but the silks and cottons are close. I love #12 perle and my pack included a skein of Mulberry Ice in #12 perle. Happy Day!

In other, non-stitching, news: My glucose test from Saturday indicates there may be a problem, so I have to take the 3 hour test this Saturday. They were so wonderful and accommodated me because they don't normally do the long test on Saturdays (they are only open for a few hours). I explained that I don't have enough leave to cover maternity leave and they were kind enough to squeeze me in so I can save those precious four hours for the baby.

So Saturday, I will wake up early, get poked, drink more super sugary, fizzy, orange goo, wait an hour, get poked, wait another hour, get poked, and wait yet another hour and get poked again. Fun. I'll be taking some ornaments to stitch of course. With the sugar high, the lack of food, and the constant blood drawing, they will be very simple ornaments.

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I Blame--errr--Give Full Credit to Dana

She asked for opinions regarding her new yuku profile and so I took a peek. There I found the video for "Crazy" by Icehouse. I loved Icehouse in College. I had a very nifty Icehouse poster which was lost in the soot damage from the fire. I didn't know that you could find old music videos on You Tube. (I am so completely behind the times). I thought You Tube was just a place for creative types to post their mini movies (I've seen several Firefly fan things there) and maybe catch old clips of tv shows (Hubby had me watch William Shatner singing "Rocket Man" by Elton John once), or maybe some recent sport clips (hubby uses it all the time for his sports blog). So I started thinking maybe I could find videos of some of my favorite bands from younger days.

On a whim, I looked for a favorite 80's band from Australia. This is what I found (warning: not for the faint of heart because this video, the hair the clothes and the dancing are wholly 80's):

I loved Kids in the Kitchen. I think they only released one album in the U.S. (at least that is all I could ever find here). The single released was "Stand" but I couldn't find the video for it. This was a great album and I used to bop around my apartment to my little cassette tape. Unfortunately, all tapes were casualties of the fire so I no longer have it. I might be able to order it from Australia, I'll just have to do a little digging on the internet. I know that there were a few albums or mini albums released in Australia. Finding and listening to the videos put me in such a good mood last night after my rotten day that I think I have to find the albums. Angie even liked it and she danced around the office with me.

Then as I was driving home tonight, I thought I would check to see if any King Crimson songs were posted at You Tube on the off chance that I could find that song I mentioned a few months ago (haven't gotten it out of my head--persistent little thing). I did!

The song is called "Red" (don't I feel silly for not remembering). Again with the warning: I love this song because, for me, it just kind of soars but I recognize King Crimson isn't for everyone--they use dissonance in their compositions. I loved this video because it was by a fan who just pulled images of and from various pieces of art and set them to the music.

I couldn't find a video for "Book of Saturday," one of my favorites because it is so simple and very short for a King Crimson song. It's also from the John Wetton era and I love his vocals. The first album, "In the Court of the Crimson King" is stylistically entirely different from "Red." If you've ever read any epic fantasy fiction (LOTR, Dragonlance, etc), their early music feels like it is a perfect accompaniment to the books (especially "Epitaph"). And yes, I used to dance around my apartment to King Crimson too.

I could be in big trouble now that I've found You Tube.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Midi Mini and MX WIPs

Midi 1 is actually too large to fit the scanner so here is a close up of the dress in Midi 1.

The colors look richer in real life and the dress in the Rosewood and Cerise Noir silks just glows. The dress as charted is nice, but I adore my changes. I skipped around quite a bit while stitching this design and didn't complete every part before moving on the next one. I still have a little cross stitching in parts one, three, four and six before I move to the special stitches and beading. I'm enjoying this right now and I'm finding it hard to move back to snow crystal, even though I should just so that I have a nice size finish for January.

Also, since I completely forgot to post my MX wip here (and anywhere else apparently), this is an image of part one which I completed on January 1, 2007.

I save the beads, crystals and special stitches for last in most of my projects. For this one, I'm holding off on some of the backstitching too because it is linked to the special stitches and I have a picture in my head of how I would like them to appear. It's funny because I wasn't sure I would like this design. Having stitched the first part, I love the colors and at least the center of the design.

The only other designs I need to show you are the Tree of Hope, Snow Crystal and JG. I'll try to post them before the end of the month. This weekend will be the Ornament SAL. I have my fabric ready and the designs selected (although I've changed my mind a few times). Now I just need to get the fibers and I'll be ready to stitch!

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If you read a recent post, that should tell you how my day went. I'm not sure which upset me more: the three year old who was apparently the only person home (according to the coroner with whom I spoke) when her mom OD'd in another state halfway across the country from other relatives and faces familiar to her(there's a conversation you don't have every day) or the attorney who essentially had a nervous breakdown during an attorney conference and accused me of some unethical behavior and also said derogatory things about me to her client (the odd part being that I have never actually ruled against her client since this case began). Really the most upsetting thing was the little girl, but the attorney was the last little straw in a difficult day. I didn't stop for lunch so I didn't have time to re-charge mid-day which made me feel worse.

The Doctor's Office called but since I was dealing with such craziness non-stop today, they closed before I was able to return the call. It likely means that there was a problem with the glucose test. Not a huge deal, I'll just need to go for the longer test and/or change some dietary things (I guess the six cookies I ate when coming off the bench today will not be acceptable in the future--the kid really liked them though...). Worst case it is something with my thyroid, which will only require an increase in my dose, but I'll worry about the possible harm to the baby from my low functioning thyroid until the baby is born. At least I hope that is the worst case--they did some basic blood work too. I'll call tomorrow when they open.

Then the snow and the traffic on the drive home were heavy so I sent Chas and Angie to class tonight without me so that I could decompress a bit.

Yesterday, I finished one of the large herbs in Midi 1 and felt very proud of myself. I was also admiring what I've stitched of the lady's dress and decided that I love it. It looks great! I will try to post some pictures later tonight. Right now, I just want to sit and stitch. Maybe take a few really deep breaths.

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

I'm Better Now, Thanks.

Well, I've recovered since my mini fit on Friday. That's what happens when I have no decompression time in the course of a day.

We did not get the heavy snow that was predicted so we were not snow bound and our heat did not go off from the storm that wasn't. So Saturday, I went for my glucose test--the short version. I still had to drink the super sugary orange fizzy concoction, but I only had to wait an hour for the blood to be drawn (rather than three). Once the sugar hit, the kid gave a mighty kick as if to say, "what WAS that? And can I have more please?" While waiting Chas went to the grocery store with Angie (who went to the play area) and I sat peacefully in the waiting area, stitching Snow Crystal and watching a series of teenagers shuffle in for an Anti-Tobacco program, most with some very determined parents accompanying them. The lab tech told me that I would crash after the sugar wore off later in the afternoon. Boy, did I!

Chas assembled the new sofa couch. It looks great, but we were reminded just how small this house is (less than 1000 square feet) because the couch takes up most of the living room. The color is great and fortunately, the slip cover is machine washable. I don't look forward to cramming the end cushions back into their covers if we ever need to wash them though. It is a perfect little stitching station for now and it is great to have something other than the rocker for sitting in the living room (poor Chas was dragging a kitchen chair in for his paid blogging).

In the evening, I stitched the lady in Midi 1 to make up for my missed Figure Friday. I had to change the colors for her dress since my skeins of the silks for the charted dress simply were not going to work. I've seen a few finishes in which those colors looked great, but mine would not have, so I changed it to the deeper reds. Although it's probably historically inaccurate, it is pretty. This also means the roses on the arch will need a color change, but I can live with that. Mine will be unique for certain. I've decided to make tomorrow "Midi Monday" and do a little more. I do believe that I can finish this design this year, hopefully by June. Maybe before the Baby is born, but then I wouldn't be finishing JG or WG by then.

I've also started looking for baby items. We need three things before the baby arrives, every thing else can wait really. So I've been looking at websites, and then ebay, to see what I can find. Today we started looking at strollers and car seats--very important since we will not be permitted to take our little bundle of joy out of the hospital without one.

Today, I've been stitching on JG to work on another set of bridges etc. I discovered that the side bridges are not exactly the same as the top and bottom ones. I'll work on the water tonight and then the bridges later this week. I also worked a bit on the materials lists for the forum at the Chatelaine Ezboard. Still lots of work to do, but at least I did a few things there today.

I'd post photos, but everything is too big for the scanner and the weather is making it difficult to take decent pictures.

I think I'm mostly recharged for the coming week.

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Catching up on the SBQ

I'm simply terrible about consistently doing this meme.

From January 18:

Have you had a happy dance yet this year? If so, tell us about it! (Or
just point to the entry that talks about it.) If not, when do you
predict it will be?

No Happy Dances yet, other than the finishing (mostly) of MX part 1 (which I failed to post about or post a picture-duh).

I should have a tiny happy dance this weekend when I stitch some ornaments and I'm hoping to have Snow Crystal done by the 31st of this month so I can have a nice sized happy dance.

From January 10th:

Do you dream of running your own LNS/ONS? If so, tell us about your
dream. If not, tell us about your cross stitch dream:… maybe you dream
of designing, dyeing your own floss or fabric, etc.

Absolutely. When things get tough at work, I just say, "Craft Store!" either aloud in only in my head. I've been saying it aloud more frequently lately, which is making the clerk in my courtroom rather nervous.

I'd love to have my own store with my friend Cathy (whether she wants to or not) and I would stock silks and cottons and dyed fabric and Chatelaines and Long Dog and Ink Circles and Swarovski Crystals and delicas. We'd also have knitting and crocheting stuff. And I would sell cool kids toys--not the things you can find in every Target, Walmart and K-mart. I'd like a corner for creative toys: Magnets, puzzles, building blocks in wood, fabric and of course Legos, play food, rag or cloth dolls, train sets, etc. For the most part I'd avoid the plastic character products, but a few would probably slip in (Thomas is kind of necessary, but I don't want the Dora and Diego playsets).

It's a nice little fantasy.


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Another quiz saying I found the right career

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

Interesting. I was fairly good with foreign languages in college, but I'm so out of practice now. I'm not sure that I actually explain myself well though. Communication was a big hurdle initially in my relationship with Chas, but that is something we worked on together. I don't think we would have gotten married if we hadn't resolved it. I'm not sure that I can convince people either, but some of the attorneys tell me that I explain things and phrase them in the right way for a lot of parents.

I really need to look into this multiple intelligences thing. I've heard about it and it seems interesting. Found this at a thoughtful blog.


Friday, January 19, 2007


This latest brilliant move should sum up my week for you:

Tonight, while on the phone with my Mom, I accidentally deleted Angie's absolute favorite episode of the Backyardigans. Then my Mom started blaming herself for the deletion. No Mom, I'm pretty sure that was all me. That is what happens when I try to multi task and I am completely and wholly exhausted. I'm all hormonal so I just want to cry between deleting the show Angie currently loves the most and Mom blaming herself for something completely unrelated to anything she did.

Sigh. At least I can re-record the episode. It isn't on again for another nine days, but we will get it back. I'll just feel like an idiot every time she asks to see it.

This week has just been chock full of stupid and annoying little things like that. Sometimes it's my error (or more likely the new and exciting forgetful stage of the pregnancy that I've entered); other times, it was other peoples mistakes that were blamed upon me and took some time to sort out. I'm so glad it's the weekend.

I wanted to stitch the lady in Midi 1 tonight, having finally made a decision about the dress. However, considering my current state of mind, I think I'll just pass on the stitching. Instead, I've been planning the ornaments for next week's sal and then I'll cut some fabric and maybe grab some fibers. Heaven help me that I don't make major mistakes with the cutting.

On the good news front from this week. I received a shipment of fabric from Sugar Maple Fabrics--Gorgeous stuff. My favorite keeps changing. I like Breeze, and Snowflake, and Iris, and Fairy Garden, and .... I'm torn between stitching on them or just hanging them up and enjoying them in their pure state.

Chas and Angie picked up the sofa bed from IKEA in Pittsburgh today. They had a nice little adventure today, shopping in PA. Chas wanted to buy some University of Pittsburgh gear for the kids, bought some things, still wasn't pleased with his selections so he was muttering about searching on-line. Angie picked out an outfit for the baby ("pirates"--that's my girl) and then asked nicely for the Superman pjs for herself (which she received since she used her good manners). They arrived home roughly a half hour before I came home from work and we all ran out the door to take Angie to Gymboree.

Afterwards we ate dinner and went shopping for more baby clothes--had to use the Gymbucks before they expired and we expect to get snowed in tomorrow. I even bought some preemie stuff because we don't know how big this child will be. My brothers and I were all enormous and I thought Angie would be the same. She was tiny (but still healthy and considered full size) so the clothes we bought in 0 to 3 months were gigantic on her. Since we haven't had a chance to assess the damage to Angie's baby clothes, this child has gone from having one new onesie to an entire wardrobe suitable for everything from leaky diapers to dress up occasions.

Due to all this activity, we came home late, which led to my t.v. error above.

It might not be the worst thing to be trapped at home tomorrow. Umm. As long as we have heat. Please.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Lots of Shopping and the Last desperate Act of Parents to Be.

We left for my in-laws straight after work. No stitching time in the car because it was too dark, but I did manage to organize my chart for the SAL. I put in a few stitches Friday night once we arrived just to feel good about myself.

It was a nice visit. Angie was very clingy with all the relatives around on Saturday. To the point that I was again considering whether she needs play therapy or something. She did enjoy her presents (because they did not feel they had purchased enough prior to the holidays). Only a few uncomfortable family moments, so it was a better trip than in September.

On Sunday we shopped at the outlets and for the first time bought some baby clothes--all in yellow, green and orange. So neutral it drove the relatives crazy. And as hubby and I waive the white flag on the baby's name, we purchased a baby book. Something we had avoided so far because it seems like such a waste to spend money on something we'll use just this once. But the book appealed to me more than any other of it's genre as I sat on the floor whilst Angie bounded around picking all the books she wanted. Why? Because in the front section of the book, it is divided into the typical categories such as Names from Ireland, Italian Names, Names from the Netherlands and that section is followed by fun lists for names from your area of interests. Glory be. One of the subsections is entitled: "Names of the Future: For Science Fiction Fans." Throughout the book, name definitions and descriptions make reference to pop culture, music and sci fi.

The down side:
Hubby has informed me that if he can't have a child name either Zaphod or Trillian, I cannot name our child Crichton or Moya (or Aeryn for that matter). I don't know why he's being so fussy. It isn't like I'm going for Delenn or G'Kar (I did push for Marcus and Steven when Angie's gender was still unknown though).

Still, I think I have found the name book for us. We've already discovered a few good contenders over the weekend.

Stitching-wise, I did well with the SAL. I completed 12 ten by ten squares and have stitches in another 15. I don't know when I will be able to pick it up again since JG is calling me, but maybe I'll put a few more in by the end of the month. On the way home yesterday, I worked on the Snow Crystal because it was too grey outside to attempt over one stitching in the car. Chances are good that I can finish it this month and have one wip knocked out this month (is it too much to ask that I slay a wip a month? Probably). I came home to discover that several stitchers at the Christmas SAL blog had jumped ahead (due to scheduling issues) and stitched some ornaments. Beautiful work and they are making me anxious to work on some ornaments immediately. I comforted myself with finding more ornaments to stitch. Only two more weeks until I allow myself to make some ornaments.

We also bought a sofa bed at IKEA. Trying out the various sofas must have been a hoot to see: I'd plop down. Say yes or no almost immediately, then struggle to get out of the sofa even with Chas's help. We found one and I'm pleased because we splurged on the dark lilac cover.

It was too big to bring home in the gift-laden car yesterday. Chas and Angie were to return to Pittsburgh today to pick it up, but for we had a genuine snow storm today. He turned back after going roughly 29 miles on the highway. It was a relief to me--I would have worried about them all day.

Today has been kind of an off-kilter day. Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit better.

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Woo-Hoo--I'm home early

We had to close early today due to a large power outage in downtown Cleveland. I was wondering who at the County Government forgot to pay the electric bill this month. It was interesting to hear all the security officers from the various county buildings reporting the outage over the County Security Communications.

And good to know--the panic button works even in the event of an outage (no drama in the Courtroom today, the guards just asked me to test the system for them).

It was kind of funny because the clerks were immediately unable to do their jobs, and there I was at the bench, in the dark, hand writing orders. (You can insert your joke about blind justice here.)

The only bad part is that I left my stitching behind. Right now I'm just hoping that they are in my office (which I keep locked) and not sitting out near a trash can somewhere. Oh well, if they get thrown out, at least they weren't my silk projects.

I hope that we can get back in tomorrow because I don't want to continue a full day's worth of cases. Also, the stitching projects left at the Court are the ones I was planning to take to Pennsylvania with me tomorrow and I was really anticipating starting the HAED Challenge SAL tomorrow.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

January Randomness

Tough day at work. I've had lots of cases during the last few days and that means lots of orders to write. They'll all be done by Friday but I will be working very hard to finish them.

And this was one of those days during which I made someone cry. Howl actually. The Mom in me finds it heart-rending, but I hope that we actually reached this young Mom. A lot of times I just hope and pray it works out for the kids.

The pregnancy seems to be okay. The kid jumps around quite a bit and occasionally pushes down, which can be disconcerting. It's almost as if the kid wants out now. I keep telling him/her that it is too early to come out. She/he stops punching down for a few days to humor me and then it happens again. Like Angie, the kid seems to have quite a personality already.

I'm also (TMI warning)having constant nose bleeds. It drives me crazy. It also makes me a little nervous while stitching (blood is so hard to remove in the first place and I don't pre-rinse my silks). I wonder how I would look if I wore a mask while stitching.... Um. Fairly Silly I would guess.

We are still struggling with the Name Game. We've had lots of great suggestions, but nothing has really grabbed us as the perfect name yet. We've tried a few names out for a week or so, then ended up rejecting them for various reasons. I'll try to update the website soon--there aren't nearly enough hours in the day.

I have been working on JG this week in the evenings. I've almost finished cross stitching the top bridge area. Only three sides left, most of the metallics and the four bonsai trees before I can switch to the special stitches and beading. Yay!!!!! I hesitate to say it, but I stand a small chance of finishing JG before the baby is born.

Friday is the first HAED Challenge SAL. I have gathered all the supplies to start stitching. I do need to put the chart parts in protective sleeves and grid the fabric. I will stitch on it while we travel to see Chas's parents and grandparents this weekend. If stitching over one becomes too difficult in the car, I'm also bringing Snow Crystal to stitch as well. I just have three sections of the silver and a bit more cross stitching to do, then I can bead. Maybe I can finish it before the baby arrives too.

I posted links to some Christmas Ornament Freebies at the SAL blog. I'm certain there are more on the net to be found.

That's my little update. We'll be packing tomorrow so I don't know if I will post anything again until Monday. If not, have a great weekend.

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Monday, January 08, 2007

Because I'm an Ohioan:

Go Buckeyes!


Sunday, January 07, 2007

My stitching weekend

To de-stress, I stitched, organized and planned.

All actual stitching time was devoted to the Tree of Hope. I am amazed at how intricate the tree branches are. I was also reminded how much I love jobelan above all other fabrics. I haven't found a fabric that feels quite so wonderful for stitching. If SMF used jobelan, I don't know if I would be capable of restraining myself. The Tree is coming along nicely, but there is a lot of empty space at the top and right so I have plenty to do.

I bought some binders to organize my current wip charts and generally tidied up my stitching area. This was part of a manic burst of cleaning and organizing around the house. It could be nesting. It could be that after being here a month, I wanted to stop keeping projects sorted in Target bags. For now, my stitching supplies look neat.

I spent some time this weekend finding and printing Christmas ornament patterns (those went into their own binder). Then I started pulling fabric for the first SAL in a few weeks. I also put the fibers for my HAED SAL Challenge project in baggies and cut fabric for it. I will print the chart tomorrow. I'm looking forward to the SALs.

Thanks for the nice words in my rant-ish post. All this activity helped me de-stress quite a bit, so I feel somewhat recovered to face the coming work week. I hope this feeling lasts.

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House Hunting

I have spent the greater part of this evening searching for a home via the internet.

I have discovered that one of the areas in which we are searching has been subject to some house flipping (buy cheap, work on it, sell higher).

I've also discovered that, although I expected the asking price for homes to be higher than their value, some people have really overestimated the value of their homes. One home in our area is asking for 30K more than it's actually worth.

I have found a couple of nice homes in our range. One is just a street over from ours. I've printed a few brochures for potential homes for this little clan.
I'm hopeful that we will be able to find something within the next few months which will satisfy most of our home buying criteria and Angie.

Now I just have to worry about that whole being approved for a loan thing.


Saturday, January 06, 2007

Feel like doing a good deed?

Go see Angi and order some girl scout cookies for the troops overseas (unless you want them for yourself).

And/or sign up for the Love Quilts

And/or go to Kiva or Global Giving.


This Post would be a Crabby Rant...

but I'm too tired to work up a solid rant.

In the simplest terms, this first (albeit partial) week is not boding well for a good 2007.

The four days of work this week were grueling, draining, exhausting and emotionally charged. I'm not sure I can do this much longer. I love what I do. I'd like to think I sometimes managed to help people (whether they appreciate it or not). I'm not in anyway perfect at it, but it is satisfying. Maybe it is the pregnancy making this more tiring, but I just don't know if I can keep this up for another year. Some days this week, I haven't even been certain I could make it until the baby is born.

Chas has had to spend a lot of time blogging for AOL this week as we are in the middle of Bowl Season. This means that I should be taking care of Angie on my own so that he can work. I don't resent it because it is the perfect job for him--it's really wonderful to see him so happy with a job. We also need the money this extra work will bring. But being the primary parent on Angie duty means I get very brief breaks and no time to unwind. It just adds to the exhaustion.

Speaking of which, I'm also frustrated that I will not have enough time to cover maternity leave, which means that once again, I'll be cutting it short and returning to work early. I can't go unpaid to finish off the time because I am the main provider and the source of our insurance. We currently have a leave donation program at work where other employees can donate time to me, however, my boss has warned me that the program is being abolished with the creation of a new employee manual. I have to be out or nearly out before anyone can donate time to me.

If I go unpaid, I have to pay the county the full balance of our insurance premiums ($1200 per month) in addition to our portion ($170 per month) to maintain our health insurance. So not only do I not get to leave my job and spend quality time with what will be my last child, I'll have to return to work so that we can still afford to go to the Doctor and get medicine and pay bills. It's just not what I want to do, but it is what I have to do. I'm just trying to reconcile myself to this fact and it isn't helping my mood.

We've had a few other minorly annoying things pop up. Chas is confident we can resolve them, but in my current state of mind, I just worry and worry and worry.

Plus both Chas and I have so much to do in order to recover from the fire and move this little family forwards that I'm feeling incredibly overwhelmed.

I stitched on the Tree of Hope tonight because I was sorely in need of some hope tonight. I'll just have to brace myself if this is how 2007 is going to be.

I'm grateful for the good things in my life, really I am. Right now, I'm just so tired and tense.

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Monday, January 01, 2007

2007: The Year of the WIP

I don't really make resolutions any longer. I did in my twenties when my days were fairly open and all I needed to do was go to work or school and think about the kind of person I wanted to be. I'm still a work in progress, but my days are just packed so I'm not going to try to do anything more than love Chas, Angie and the much anticipated new kid, work on my 101 things, stitch and work.

However, I will post my stitching plans for 2007, just to see how I do this year.

I have mentioned before that I want 2007 to be the year for finishing WIPs.

From my current WIP and UFO lists, I'd like to finish:

Japanese Garden
Water Garden
Tree of Hope
Amethyst Mystery
Snow Crystal
Midi Mystery 1
Christmas Tree Mandala

QS Ballet Pigs
QS Frog Prince
QS Buttercup Kitty Fae
Bedtime Story

Teresa Wentzler:
Diamonds in Squares

Japanese Angel
Antique Airplane

I'm crazy with ambition, I know. But many of these are quite far along and would be obtainable goals.

For any WIP or UFO not listed above, I'd like to put some stitches in each design during 2007. I really miss Taj and would like to pick her up again soon. However, I think that I will be removing the Fantasy triptych from the UFO list. I only had a few stitches in her and I think that I would be hard pressed to remember where I actually was in the design, not to mention, what threads were used in it. The fabric was too small anyway--barely an inch on each side. It was started well before my days on the internet so I just used the fabric I could find at the local JoAnn's. I plan to rip out the threads and use the fabric for ornaments, and buy bigger fabric for the design. Now I just need to find it.

I'm hoping to start the following designs:

Midi Mystery 2
Midi Mystery 3
Polar Lights
Japanese Octagon Box
St Petersburg White Nights

Bedtime Tales (Lisa Victoria)
Mystery Project (it's a gift so I can't post it)

Teresa Wentzler:
Millennium (Planets only)
Tapestry Dog (taking out the cat, inserting a black lab)
You Were Hatched

Graceful Lady
Long Dog Paradigm Lost
Ornaments for each monthly SAL
Sampler for a friend.

Hmmm. Not crazy with ambition, deliriously mad with it.

I am attempting to participate in a few scheduled SALs this year:

HAED BB SAL Challenge on the second weekend
The Christmas Ornament SAL on the fourth weekend

I may pop in on the TW SAL from time to time. I haven't been active on that board in ages though. I saw a gorgeous RR of only TW Dragons and thought maybe I would do some thing similar for the baby. I hope they don't mind me borrowing their idea. And I may, when the spirit moves me, do the QS SAL at the HAED BB. These are both weekly SAL's so I don't need to make a major commitment to either of them.

Additionally, I am designating any non-SAL Friday as a "Finish It or Figures Friday." On those nights, I will either work on the actual finishing of stitched works (GTK, ornies, etc) or I will stitch a human form--Japanese Lady, the Ladies in the Midi designs, etc. I could probably work on some of my HAED's as well.

Yes, my stitching year will be just packed. And with new baby and moving on the horizon, my cup will be overflowing for certain.

I'm excited about working on these various projects. It will be interesting to see in 364 days, what has been done, what has been added and what is still waiting for me to stitch it.

I'm off to have some tea and then finish the stitching on MX. I've almost finished using the silks (just a small bit of the border to do because Hubby would not let me stay up past 1:00 a.m. [we were watching the animated Tick after the ball dropped] to finish it). Then I'll work on the metallics. That should be easy enough to do today (she says with optimism). I don't do the special stitches or beading until the end and there are quite a lot of beads and crystals in this part.

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