You are currently browsing the archives for July 2006.

July Stitching Goals in Review

  • Posted on July 31, 2006 at 11:55 pm
  • 🙁Finish and Send Out Flight 93 Quilt Panel
  • :mrgreen:Finish and Send Out VSCyberstitchers July Exchange Gift
  • 🙁 Work on Shepherd’s Bush – Happy Wishes Scissors Fob
  • 🙁 Work on Chatelaine – Stitching Leporello
  • 🙁 Start With My Needle – Strawberries So Faire

Not so great on my established goals, but I did take on a new model. I was able to stitch it up and get it sent off WAY before the August 25th deadline. In fact, I finished it in about two weeks. Woohoo!

Model Completed!

  • Posted on July 31, 2006 at 9:09 pm

I’m going to continue posting to my blog, even if people can’t seem to access it. Terry moved my website (and all of its related sub-components, like blog, gallery, etc.) to a different server this weekend and some people are getting 404 errors. We have no idea why, since the site still exists on the old server, as well, so everyone should be getting to it one way or another. Anyway, we’ll figure it out soon and y’all will just have to catch up. 😉

I finished my most recent model stitching assignment last night. I am so excited, I could practically crow. I even started on Sylvie’s RR late last night, as well.

Here is a photo of the model that I stitched. It was designed by My Big Toe Designs and is for a trunk show, as the original model was stitched by the designer herself.

Life's Final Score

Role Models

  • Posted on July 30, 2006 at 6:42 pm

Thanks to some of your comments and some thoughts of my own, I’m realizing that the “mother” figure which is our ultimate role model need not come from any one person. In fact, it would probably be very difficult and unrealistic of me to expect to get everything I need in the sense of nurturing, support and modeling, from just one person. That would imply that one person is perfect and that’s just not true.

Along those lines, I actually called my step-mother not long after my post on Friday morning. Her response was intelligent and favorable. She felt honored that I asked and then she asked me what I might expect from her. Smart lady. 😉 So, I had a lovely half-hour conversation with her, gained some additional insights into my developing relationship with my Florida dad and recorded her email address for future use. Later that day, I called my dad and talked with him for 40 minutes. I think that’s a new record for us and we even had some freely emotional moments. We also agreed that we will get together sometime very soon and talk through some of the lingering past issues so that we can really move on and start with a clean slate. This will likely happen next weekend. Quite an eventful time I’m experiencing right now.

On the stitching front, I am nearing completion on the model I received a couple of weeks ago. As of Friday night, I was at the half-way mark. Now, I am more than 75% finished. My personal goal is to complete it by the end of the day tomorrow (end of July) and have it in the mail to the designer Tuesday morning.

And so, I am off to continue stitching!

A Journey to Self-Discovery Update (LONG!)

  • Posted on July 28, 2006 at 8:20 am

I’m up early today. Okay, early for me, at least the me that’s been having the problems with fatigue and sleeping a lot. It’s partly due to the Excedrin I had to take a few hours ago because I gave myself a headache from working on the computer too much yesterday. I fried my eyeballs. So, actually, blogging right now is probably a dumb thing to do. I was going to write it in one of my new journals (which I have yet to christen), but I can type so much faster than I can write and I wanted to keep up with my thoughts.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything under this category. I’m finding that the whole self-discovery process is an interesting one, filled with monumental changes, slow periods and fascinating revelations. My work with Dr. Steve is going well. We’re about to move from cognitive therapy into Gestalt, which will be much more emotional. Normally, this would be a little daunting for me, but since I’ve cried my way through the last two therapy sessions (I hadn’t cried in front of him before), it doesn’t seem to so bad now. The primary thing I’m discovering is that I am WAY too hard on myself. Harsher than any other human being in existence. That’s not a good thing, but after talking to my Florida dad and step-mom this past weekend, I’m finding that it’s common, at least amongst my family. So, at least I come by it honestly. The other thing that came out in my last session was that I am still carrying a lot of pain from the divorce. Even just writing that brings tears to my eyes, so I know that it’s true. I’m just frustrated with myself. That happened so many years ago. Over 15 years ago. Why have I not gotten over it and moved on? When I expressed that to Dr. Steve, his response seemed to be that that’s not how it works. Inside me is that young girl who is still in a lot of pain. And that pain needs to be worked through. Shoving it down and ignoring it will not work. Time does not heal all wounds.

I also get frustrated because I know that other people have had far worse experiences than me in their lives, but have gotten through them and moved on. Why am I having so much difficulty? For those of you who have read my autobiography, you know that the circumstances surrounding the divorce may have been painful and come at a challenging point in my development, but they weren’t that bad. But again, Dr. Steve’s response is that I’m far too hard on myself. I expect such fantastic things of myself. Too much, as it turns out.

I’m frustrated because I cannot fix my headache problems on my own. I feel like I should be able to use the power of my mind and overcome this. I’m strong, I’m intelligent and I know that the mind can create unexplainable illness in the body by the mere power of suggestion that no doctor can cure. So, why can’t I just snap myself out of this already? Dr. Steve’s answer? Again, I’m too hard on myself. Are you seeing a pattern here?

But, this post was not intended to be about my frustrations and the hurdles that yet lie ahead for me. It was to be a retrospective of the past few months since I began this journey. I have come so far and learned so much. I’ve learned that I need to be nicer to myself. I’ve learned that I am still looking for the right female role model. I’ve learned that I have massive issues with my mother. I am grateful to have a relationship with my biological father again, the one I refer to as my dad in Florida or my Florida dad, just to try to minimize confusion. Though biological father makes it sound like I’m adopted, he’s the only father I knew until my parents divorced and my mother remarried. I am very grateful to have 3 dads now. Terry’s dad treats me like the daughter he never had (Terry is an only child) and even refers to me as his Daughter (the capitalization is intentional, as he puts emphasis on the word, leaving off the in-law part). That is a relationship that remains untapped and I intend to start tapping it soon, starting with whenever we see him next (which I think will be this weekend).

I also had a major revelation just a day or so ago. I have a few relationships lingering in my life into which I can pour my energy, affection and attention, and yet I draw nothing from in return. Now, don’t get me wrong. I know it sounds selfish, but relationships are really supposed to be a give and take scenario. And if I am the one always doing the giving and never receiving anything in return, that is (in my mind) not a healthy relationship and not one which I will choose to continue. I think that is one of the major life lessons that I’m supposed to learn. It’s the reason that I’ve had these people thrown into my life repeatedly who leach off of me incessantly. 3 major players like that so far in my lifetime. The first one was my childhood neighbor. We moved away, so I did not resolve that one myself. The second one was a “friend” (and I use the term lightly) in college. I ended that one myself after graduation, though it was made easier by the fact that she was in Wisconsin at the time and I was in Delaware. The third was a co-worker who was forced into early retirement. Again, not resolved by my own choosing.

I think I’m a good person and people are drawn to me. I’m not intentionally patting myself on the back, so don’t think ill of me for saying this, but each of you has been drawn to me and my nature for specific reasons, as well. I attract people. Just not always the right kind of people. And I think I owe it to myself to pick and choose my relationships wisely. Instead of just accepting every single one that comes my way, I need to nurture the valuable ones (this entails putting in some more effort on my end) and cease the ones that hold no value for me. I owe it to myself to respect and love myself enough to do that. I truly do.

Equally important was the revelation I came to a week or so ago regarding female role models in my life. In dealing with my issues with my mom, I’ve realized that she is not the ultimate role model for me. Gasp, shock, horror! Seriously, though, as much as we would like to think that every mother should be the perfect role model for her children, it’s just not realistic. And in expecting her to be so, I think I have been too hard on her. After all, she’s only human. She’s struggling through her own issues on this earth, in this body, in this lifetime, just like the rest of us. I think the responsibility is mine to find good role models and mentors. You may or may not be curious about how I came to this realization. It truly is interesting, at least I think so. 🙂 Terry was speaking with his dad over a week ago about the latest woman that he has been seeing; a woman who lives in Canada, near his hometown and with whom he attended high school. Apparently, when she found out he was single again, she expressed a sincere desire to meet up with him again, so when he was in Canada a few weeks ago, they got together. It turns out that he had a really good time and really seems to like her. For some reason, I was upset with this. I had grown a little too attached to the last girlfriend. One who didn’t work out for him for various reasons. I really took some time to myself to analyze my reaction to the news that he was no longer seeing this woman. Why was I upset? Why did I care? What business was it of mine? Why was I so attached to this woman who was not right for him? Finally, it dawned on me. I was looking for a surrogate mother. And I had latched onto her, clinging for dear life, without even realizing it. I was depending on Terry’s dad to provide me with another mother. As I thought through this, the words surrogate mother seemed harsh. It was then that I figured out that I am really looking for a female role model. Since that role is usually fulfilled by a mother figure, I was naturally reaching out to anyone who might fit the bill. I now realize that I need to look elsewhere. Can you imagine the pressure that expectation would put upon poor Terry’s dad if he had known? Sheesh!

And so, the thought came to me overnight or this morning. I have a good role model available to me in my step-mother. My step-father has become a real father to me and provides me with such value as to be immeasurable and irreplaceable. Why can’t my step-mother provide similar value? It really comes down to the brief, yet important glimpse into her recent years that I had while talking to her at the family get-together this weekend. She and my Florida dad have, in the past 5 years, walked a path similar to the one upon which I am currently traveling. I think this is what has sparked such a major, fundamental change in my dad that has allowed us to develop a relationship again. And she fits the bill. She’s smart, intelligent, independent, pretty and she treats me more like an equal than a daughter. She feels more like an older sister in familial relationship than a mother. Perfect! Now all I need to do is talk to her about it and see if she would be willing to accept the role. I want to be able to sit down and really talk with her. Pick her brain, bounce things off of her. But, for the relationship to work, she has to be a willing participant. Which means she needs to know about it. 😆 I think that’s the problem with some of the relationships we develop in our lives. We have these unspoken expectations of the relationship and the other person. Ones of which they are not even aware. And when they fail to measure up, we are disappointed. And yet, that person never accepted such a responsibility, so how could they ever know or understand why we are disappointed in the relationship? Definitely a two-way street. And as I develop more and more inner strength, tapping the core of who I am to develop a solid foundation for myself, I realize that I need to communicate more often and more effectively. I cannot be afraid to express myself. I need to be even more open in my close familial relationships than I have been previously. That means talking to my Florida dad about issues, too. I’ve been avoiding painful subjects with him because the relationship still felt tenuous. I no longer feel that way. I think I owe it to the both of us, not to rehash the past, but to lay some important facts out there. Yes, I consider myself to have 3 dads. That does not diminish the importance of any one of them. But, in case I slip and call my step-dad “dad” in front of my biological father, I need him to know that it is not to hurt him. It’s just a fact. I don’t think that information will hurt him. In fact, it can only benefit the two of us by enabling more free-flowing conversations. I also want to find out, if he will talk to me about it, what caused such a fundamental change in him. I know that his past actions pain him, so I don’t want to revisit those. I want to let him know that I truly love him and forgive him for everything that has happened. The slate has been wiped clean and we are starting anew.

These are all things that I have not yet expressed to him. I think it’s time that we both stop dancing around the subject and just hit it head-on. Put it out there so that we both know were things stand. It doesn’t need to be a gruesomely detailed, painful conversation. In fact, I think it will be quite healing.

And I am more than ready for the healing to begin. It began in earnest last weekend by reconnecting with that side of my family. And it needs to continue for me to continue to grow.

Well, if you’ve stuck with me this long, you truly are a die-hard reader. 😀 I appreciate you allowing me to express myself freely, even if it is more for the purpose of capturing and cataloguing my thoughts. I hope that each of you are able to derive some value from these soul-baring episodes in return. Thanks for allowing me to babble on and for continuing to visit my blog! *hug*

Now, it is past time that I get in the shower and ready to go to work. Have a wonderful day and a wonderful weekend!

SBQ – Do You Have a Scissors Fetish?

  • Posted on July 27, 2006 at 6:40 pm

Today’s SBQ was suggested by Von and is:

Many of us have a few pairs of embroidery scissors and some even have a “collection”. How many pairs of scissors do you have? Feel free to share a photo of your favorite pair or pairs with us!

Okay, I had to round up my scissors and take a picture. I actually have more than I realized and I still want some more. I’m just afraid to use the good ones. 😉 As usual, click on the thumbnail for a close-up. This photo turned out fairly large and I left it as such, so I didn’t want to slow down the load times on my blog.

July 2006 Scissors

The fobs are all gifts, except for the hardanger one, which I made for myself.

The fob that Anne S. made for me (the lovely purple shooting star fob) is attached to my $60 pair of serrated Gingher scissors, specifically recommended by Thea Dueck of The Victoria Sampler for hardanger. Of course, since they are so nice and expensive, they have never been used. In fact, I kept them in the original box until I received the fob from Anne.

The stork scissors were purchased by me at Harrod’s in London when my best (and only) pair of scissors were confiscated on my first flight after 911 (forgot to take them out of my carry-on luggage). They are destined for a special scissors fob that will be stitched from a Textile Heritage kit that I purchased in Edinborough, Scotland on that same trip. The dark purple pair of scissors in the bottom right corner with the bent handle were purchased in the same place and at the same time as the kit (Jenner’s department store in Edinborough).

The purple handled scissors just to the right of the middle of the photograph are the ones I use on a daily basis. I picked them up at JoAnne’s a couple of years ago because they were cute, inexpensive and purple. They have turned out to be the best pair of scissors ever! Because they are heavy-duty, I can use them for anything and they have a slight serration to the blades so they haven’t dulled a bit. I only pull out a different pair of scissors now when I’m doing hardanger work and need the tiny tips. In that case, I use the black pair of scissors with gold tips that are attached to the hardanger fob that I made. These scissors have curved blades which makes it even easier to cut out hardanger sections without accidentally snipping the threads (which I still do from time to time).

I’m such a cheapskate; I don’t think any of these scissors cost me over $10 except for the special, high-end Gingher pair. Which is why I don’t use them! 😆

Happy Belated Blog-iversary to Me!

  • Posted on July 27, 2006 at 11:34 am

With all of the recent posts I’ve seen on other people’s blogs about hitting an anniversary on their blogging time, I figured I should go check the date of my first post. I knew it was in July sometime. Lo and behold, I missed it by just one day!

Yesterday, my blog celebrated its two year anniversary!

And other than losing several months worth of postings in the beginning due to a server debaucle, everything has been smooth sailing ever since. I do still wish I could get those posts back, though… 😉

Who Says You Can’t Go Home?

  • Posted on July 26, 2006 at 3:59 pm

I have that song running through my head at the moment and it just seems so appropriate. I went to a get-together this weekend comprised of members from the paternal side of my family that I hadn’t seen in a long time. I hadn’t realized just how long it had actually been until I met two cousins, ages 15 and 16, neither of whom had been born or even conceived the last time I saw these folks.

I was quite anxious about the prospect of seeing all of these people again. Fortunately, I had forgotten about it until my dad in Florida called me last Wednesday to remind me about the get-together that was happening on Saturday. So, I only had a few days to be nervous. And I was. Quite. My hair didn’t do what I wanted it to do, I wasn’t able to wear the exact clothes that I wanted to wear and things were just generally out of my control. I’m a control freak. I don’t like things to be out of my control. It just doesn’t sit well with me. Something I’m trying to overcome. 🙂

The other thing you need to know about this side of my family is that I did not really have any good relationships with any of them, except for one lone set of aunt/uncle/cousins. So, the idea of going to a strange place and making nice with people I hadn’t seen in ages was daunting, to say the least. It became even more so when I called my dad to let him know that we were running a little bit late and I could hear this raucous cacophony on his end of the line (he was already there at this point). Eeep!

However, everything changed once we parked and walked up the driveway and into the open garage where many of the family were gathered. After the initial shock wore off, the faces started to gel with what was stored in my deep, dark, dusty memory banks and I went from one relative to another, with hugs and exclamations of how good everyone looked. And then, from the middle of them all, out came my grandmother. Bless her soul. She was so happy to see me. As was everyone present. It was overwhelming and I neglected my poor husband, who was left in my wake, but fortunately he was well taken care of by my father and step-mother, who helped introduce him around. Such a sea of faces and voices. And the heat! My goodness, it was hot!

I had only originally planned to stay for 3 hours at the most, but we ended up staying for twice that long. Once I was there, it was hard to tear myself away. I felt… whole. Here was this whole section of family from which I had separated many, many years ago and never thought that I would reconnect. And I never realized that anything was missing, until it was no longer missing. It was so good to see everyone and my dad was so happy that I went. I think it really meant a lot to him. It ended up meaning a lot to me, too!

I still feel like a slight oddball because I’m one of the only cousins of my generation who hasn’t had children, with the exception of my cousin David who is a little younger than I am and just married a year or so ago. And I would imagine that they’ll have little ones before we know it. Other than that, though, I felt so much more bonding between myself and my relatives than I had when I was a teenager. It was a very different experience going into it as an independent, adult woman with a husband and a home of my own. It gave me confidence and self-assurance, which may have made the difference. Who knows?

I really can’t explain the surge of feelings that I’ve had since then. I spent the first 15 minutes or so of the ride home with tears flowing freely down my face. It was a new beginning and I’m certain that it won’t be the end.

Things in my life are really starting to gel for the first time in a long time and it feels good. I am definitely on the right path now.

Thank You!

  • Posted on July 25, 2006 at 4:23 pm

Thank you all for the virtual hugs and well wishes that you’ve sent! You’ve all helped to boost my spirits. 🙂

I’m feeling a bit less tired today, thankfully. I passed out on the couch last night for 3 hours or so and then slept in a little bit this morning, too. Thank goodness for being able to work from home! It’s quite a blessing to me to be able to sit here and work and still feel like I’m getting things done, even on days like this!

I expect the bloodwork to take a week or more before it’s processed and the results are sent back to my doctor. While I was there, I heard a woman saying that they were backed up. Something about one man being out for a week and no one sent to replace him, so there was a week’s worth of work piled up in their back room. Ah well, I put off having the blood taken for two months, I think I can wait another week or so to find out if there are any indications as to what’s going on. At least my digestive tract is finally cooperating with me, after a couple of weeks of daily IBS issues. And my cycle was normal this month for the first time in a couple of months. Things are definitely looking up, even if I’m still tired.

On the stitching side, I’m still working on commitments. I’ve been putting time into the model that I just received late last week. I’ve even taken to working on it in the car during commutes again, so that I can get another hour a day into it. My hope is that if I push hard enough, I will be able to finish it this week and get it into the mail on Monday, then work on Sylvie’s RR for the next two weeks after that so that I can finish it before the mailing date of August 15th. After that, I’m still woefully neglecting my Flight 93 panel. If I can’t get it done sometime in August, I’m going to give up. I would hate to do that, but I do have to be realistic at some point. There are so many lovely projects of my own that are beckoning to me in vain. Soon, dear ones, soon. 🙂

I Think I’m Broken

  • Posted on July 24, 2006 at 3:22 pm

I’m far too tired to blog. I can’t get the thoughts flitting about my skull to stop long enough to congeal into somethink coherent. If they stop, they tend to fall down and die or flit right out one of my ears! I can be in the middle of a sentence and WHAM! The thought is gone. Buh-bye. See you later, if I’m lucky.

I had blood taken on Friday morning (finally; I’ve only had the prescription for two months) so maybe the results will yield something conclusive about why I’ve been so darned tired all of the time! I only have 1 more hour left at work and I feel like I’m barely going to make it. Good thing I stitched on my way in to work this morning because who knows if I’ll stay awake long enough to do any once I reach home! I’ve been burning through my vacation like crazy because I keep having to take a day off here and there so that I can succumb to this sleep monster that’s trying to gobble me up from the inside. I’m drowning in drowsiness.

Sleepy, sleepy, sleepy, sleepy…


  • Posted on July 23, 2006 at 8:43 pm

I slept in until 2 PM this afternoon. I never do that. I’m in pain now, of course. So, I’ll report on weekend activities later. Maybe tomorrow. Check in again soon!

My Stick Family from