Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Building is Complete!

Well, I had six days of bliss before the "do this" and the "do that" and the "I need a favor" and the "you need to come and take your father to the emergency room" call. In the end, my dad's ok. Apparently when you get old, you forget to take your medication or you just plain refuse to because you think you're smarter than the doctor. I dunno. All I know is that I'm more annoyed with my family and would like to know what makes my siblings exempt to all this. Family, work, travel, busyness, distance. I'm sorry, I don't think those are valid excuses. I'm trying to express to my parents that I am just too tired for their stuff and need to ask my siblings to help with some things. They don't listen...because they don't want to "bother" my other siblings. Nice to know I get the short end of the stick.all.the.time. After 23 years of being their secretary/caretaker, I'm pretty much done and someone else needs to help out. Yep...23 years. I've been doing all their little things since I've been a child. Childhood? What childhood? When your father states to the doctor that your relationship to him is "secretary" rather than "daughter", it's like being stabbed in the heart. The anger is incomprehensible. I say this to my siblings but I think they think I'm being dramatic so I am writing it here for the whole world to see because it's the truth and it's how I feel and there's no shame in that.

Well enough of that. It sets my blood to boil just thinking about it that the only thing that makes me feel better is stitching or sleep. With all the hoopla, I didn't get to finish the construction and landscaping of Valentine Rose until last night. I made one substitution and changed the color of the door from GAST Apple Cider to GAST Harvest Basket. Olive colored door...meh. I grew up in a red house with a tan front door. This kind of fit the bill.
This was my first time doing chain stitch. It looks much harder than it is! I had tried it with 2 threads since I had to do my satin stitch with 2 threads for the basket to look right but it was like 3-D flowers and they were popping off the fabric! I had to rip them out and restart the chain with one strand. I am happy to be done!

Here's how my AotH looks so far...
I have to do a little finishing now. I am super behind but better late than never I suppose. I will work on finishing through Friday and then I hope to start the pre-stitching for my class during the weekend. I am going to try to be a "super student" and stitch as much as possible. There isn't much since it seems to be more backstitching (yawn) than cross stitch. Thank goodness the specialty stitches will be covered in class because otherwise, I'd be watching a lot of youtube and cursing. I guess I better watch the cursing in the class. But I think the ladies will be nice and help me out.

The weekend was busy. My Friday night plans were shot due to the hoopla described above. On Saturday, I made a quick pitstop to the LNS to pick up my class kit and ventured to a brand-spanking new restaurant in the East Bay called Southie. I saw a write up on one of my many foodie newsletters and saw a photo of their crab roll. OMG...soooo good. Light and fresh with a little celery, mayo and lemon. Basically a take on a lobster roll which is practically impossible to get around here. You East Coasters are lucky! After lunch, I was pretty snoozie and basically caught up on tv and made dinner. Sunday, I went to go see The Fighter with a friend of mine. Excellent movie! I loved Amy Adams and that's not really something I'd say otherwise. Usually, she's all fluffy and squeaky and cute. In The Fighter, she was pretty down and dirty. I think Micky Ward's fame happened in the 80's which totally explains the scary hair-dos and the uh, other issues in the movie. Seriously, those hair-dos were scary! High bangs, feathered out the ying-yang and two or three toned hair. Yikes! I think they got the accents down pretty well. We'll see what a native has to say. But for most of the movie, I was going "Low, Mass?...what a weird name for a town", before I finally realized they were saying Lowell, Mass. But it was very well done. I still think that The King's Speech is the stronger movie now having seen The Fighter. I guess I better go see Black Swan so I can be fully prepared for my Oscar viewing in two weeks.

Earlier this week, I went out to dinner. It was interesting. It was a nice restaurant on a busy night. We were seated next to foodie bloggers. At least I think that's what they were. Professional level cameras blinding me to death while taking pictures of each of the 50 kabillion dishes they ordered. Really? Am I famous? Has the paparazzi discovered me?! Did I win the lottery and no one's told me? Because that's what it felt like. I understand foodie bloggers because if it wasn't for them and yelp, I wouldn't discover new restaurants but if you're blinding other patrons...um yea. We were also seated next to a larger italian group who were laughing so loud, the rest of the restaurant was turning around. Umm...yea. And I seriously couldn't understand a word our waiter said. Thank goodness my dinner companion could "translate". Most frequently repeated phrase..."what'd he say?!" Eh, makes dinner interesting. I had a martini, yummy salumi and pate and a nice meal.

Well, that's it for me. I apparently had more to talk about than show today. Maybe next time, I'll have more progress...on something. I feel kind of lost seeing as I shouldn't work on AotH til next month and have to do pre-stitching. But what about Mary...and my ornie?! I'm going to have to figure out something I can put a few stitches in while working on massive amounts of backstitching.

Until next time...

36 comments:

Sylvia said...

Oh Valerie, I hate that you are feeling this way about your parents, although I totally understand it. My DH and I are the away siblings in this scenario - living over in Europe with everyone else in the States ( except for my dad and stepmom who are also here), we get a pass for all the drama-rama over there, which happens mostly with the in-laws. My FIL also thinks he knows better than the docs, and he treats his two daughters that are local pretty badly. My DH doesn't even want to listen to their complaints, but I tell him he has to because that is least we can do. If I were in your situation, I would be pretty fed up, and I am so sorry about it. It means that you have to be extra nice to yourself!!

Your AotH is looking so nice, I really want to start this, but I have WIPs out the ying - yang that I need to work on.

I hope that things ease up for you and that you can go back to enjoying your life.

gracie said...

great progress...I think you made a good choice for the door color.
Be sure to take time for You...You are important.

KarenV said...

Valerie, I'm so sorry you're dealing with parental drama again {{{hugs}}} I think you might have to start being "unavailable" a bit more often - could you perhaps screen your calls? It seems unfair that you're expected to do everything so that your siblings don't "get bothered".

In my case, DH and I are the "away" siblings - my sister lives 5 minutes from my dad, whilst we live about an hour away and similar with my BIL and DH's parents. We end up feeling guilty that we don't do more but we also feel left out a lot, particularly with the ILs, as we always seem to be the last ones to find stuff out. Of course, we don't see them as often either, which can be isolating as well. Hang in there and start saying no a bit more often if you can - I think you'll thank yourself for it in the long term.

Anyway, your AoTH is looking gorgeous, congratulations on getting another block done!

Lois said...

Your AoTH is looking lovely! I have yet to start my ornament for this month, hopefully this weekend! Sorry to hear about the issues you are having. That is just draining and so difficult when it is all on your shoulders.

Theresa said...

I'm so sorry about all the family drama. I couldn;t understand how your siblings could get away of all this, maybe it's becuase your parents know that you are the reliablie one, so they just don't even bother to ask the others for help.

Your AotH looks wonderful~~~ I'm glad you can find comfort in your stitching. Have fun at class!!!

Margaret said...

I'm sorry you're feeling this way about your parents. I think it's typical that one child gets stuck with all the parental duties. I hope that your siblings get the message and start helping out too. Your AotH is beautiful -- love the tan door! The class kit -- what class are you taking? I hope it's fun! The two restaurants sound good -- that experience with the food bloggers sounds a bit much though. I think perhaps restaurants need to take that into account and maybe serve their "special" guests in a separate room? lol!

Cath said...

Gorgeous stitching . Hope you enjoy your class.
Take some time out for yourself more often , and don't answer the phone .
Take care , XXX

Giovanna said...

Great going on the BBD, it's really pretty! Sorry to read about your family problems, I hope things will improve for you.

Sally said...

As you know I understand perfectly the parent thing. It's so hard and difficult not to run yourself ragged. Take time for you Valerie. It's hard but it's what I'm doing {{{{hugs}}}}

LOVE Valentine Rose. It looks so pretty.

Carol said...

Oh, Valerie--I'm so sorry to hear that the bulk of your parents' care is always falling on you. I'm guessing you are the youngest? I think your mom and dad have just fallen into a pattern of calling on you over the years and it is just second nature to them now. Sounds like a family meeting is needed because, if everyone lives nearby, their needs really need to be taken care of by all of the siblings more equally. I think most families work this way, unfortunately. In mine, it is my single sister who gets the bulk of the work because she lives closest to them. Anyway...sending you big hugs and a willing ear :)

Love your newest house--I was just looking at those "anniversary of the heart" charts online last night and starting to get tempted. You're not making it any easier!!

I always enjoy reading about your week--your meals, movies, etc. Thanks for sharing with us...

Vonna said...

Valerie, I'm so sorry your feeling anger toward your parents. Have you told them exactly how you've told us about your feelings? It seems to me that the older I get, I just lay it all out there to my parents, if they don't like it or don't listen or get angry, fine. But its off my chest and in their court. Then I go to my home and when they volley the ball back to my court, either they will play the game on terms that are conducive to a relationship to both of us, or they don't. It's a rocky road at times, but one that we all have to walk in one way or the other. Its hard with siblings too...when you think they aren't doing their fair share of the load, but sometimes they are doing things or called upon to do things that I didn't know about too...so then its like open foot insert mouth. It's a sketchy road at best sometimes. I'm praying for you and for them. I certainly wouldn't want to be called a secretary by own father, however at the best of times, I'm at the very least a personal assistant! LOL!....

Your AofH is gorgeous...

Thinking of you and praying too...hugs Valerie!

Missy Ann said...

(((Valerie))) I'd get hard ass. Demand power of attorney and/or hire them a nurse/housekeeper/home health aid - whichever fits the situation.

Your BBD looks great.

mainely stitching said...

"Familiarity breeds contempt" - I've been finding it too true since I moved home after more than a decade away. You try to help and get called meddlesome ... you back away and they say you don't care. There is no middle ground. You really need to stand up for yourself, set boundaries that you stick to. Easier said than done, and boy do I know it! It's either that or move to the other side of the world!

Love your Anniversaries of the Heart and I cannot imagine doing a chain stitch with 2 threads on a delicate design like that!

Anna van Schurman said...

Next time your father calls you his secretary, tell him you quit, and walk out and leave him there. They rely on you because you are reliable. My parents are still able to care for themselves, but my mother lives away from my grandmother. She pays for the "I've fallen and I can't get up" subscription because my aunt takes care of my grandmother's needs and whims. It might be time for your sibs to cough up.

Also, we grew up about half an hour from Lo'l, Mass. My sister saw the movie and she said the accents were good. It's a familial pet peeve for movies to have bad "Boston" accents (which my parents have).

Lisa said...

Valerie, I am sorry to have read about your family struggles, I know that it is draining...emotionally, mentally and physically. I am the "away" family member and have pretty self-reliant parents. However, as the "away" child I get treated to the noise about not meeting the high expectations my family has for me as the oldest child who has the oldest grandkids: "I don't visit enough, I don't come 'home' for birthdays & anniversaries as I should, etc" I use to feel guilty about it and about the lifestyle my husband & I have here in California. But one day, when I turned 40, I decided that, while I love my family I cannot live up to their expectations...I have a life of my own and need to deal with that. It took a lot of strength to pick up the phone and tell them how I felt...and they were mad...but over time things got much better.

The situation you are in is a difficult one - your parents and the rest of your family expect you to be there for them because you are...always. It has to be up to you to determine the best way for you to handle the situation - talk with them, tell them how you feel, discuss what you will and won't do and then let it go. They all will react they way they want to, but the only thing you control is how you react to their reaction. Anyway, my friend, remember to take care of yourself through this situation. Be good to yourself, for you are a wonderful person who goes out of her way for others.

Your stitching of AotH is coming a long beautifully! I love when I can see the progress of other's projects.

Take care!

Rachel S said...

Im sorry about the situation with your parents. I get that a little bit too, only I don't understand why because I live far away, my brother lives two blocks away. It's something with being the youngest, I think.

Your WIP is looking great.

Edgar said...

I hear you about the "elderly parents" knowing more than the Doctors. It seems that my Dad certainly knew more and would be very "forgetful" about taking the medications prescribed.

All that aside - love,love,love the AoTH stitching!!!

Michelle said...

Valerie, I'm so sorry to hear that the family drama is continuing to drag you down and certainly seems neverending. I definitely think you need to set some boundaries - both for yourself and for your siblings. You cannot continue to put yourself through this. If the other siblings aren't available/live away, they can certainly cough up something to help out - whether it be financial or just being more involved by phoning/emailing with your parents on a regular basis. That might help tremendously. I feel for you - hugs, my friend.

Your Valentine Rose looks wonderful! I love the change you made with the door color. I got all my bricks finished last night, so I'm on to the windows or the roof next. Love yours!

My stupid pre-stitching hasn't even shown up yet. I'm so ticked. I want to have time to get it done before class in March! Ugh!!

Natalia said...

Oh Valerie, so sorry to hear about your problems with your parents. You may have to sit everybody in your family and just tell them that you can't continue with this abuse.... I know this is not easy, but you are so unhappy due to this and it may be worthy.
Well, thank God for cross stitch, right? At least it keeps our minds off all those problems. :-) I think your AoTH is looking just great !!! I can't wait to see more progress.
San Francisco sounds like such a great city to try new restaurants.... It is one of my favorite things to do !!! That's probably why I have to lose about 10 pounds. LOL !!!

Beth said...

I am really sorry about your problems with your parents. The really scary thing is, if you don't do something to adjust the situation, it is just going to get worse as they get older. As someone over the age of 60, I am trying to see what would happen with my kids, and it might be a similar situation. I have one DS who lives 1000 miles from me and one DS who might as well, even though he is only 40 miles away. My DD is 40 miles away as well, but even though she is a single mother studying to be an actuary, she is the one that is there for us. I sure don't want her to begin to feel so abused. Wonder what I can do to prevent it?

Your stitching is beautiful, and those specialty stitches are really something. I have chained stitched, but with a crochet hook - never a needle!! Great job.

Julie said...

AoTH is looking wonderful

Take care and find time to relax in the way you enjoy most, it's hard being a child when parents get older. I do hope your siblings take time to help you with them for you.

Chocolates4Breakfast (TerriBoog) said...

I am so sorry for the parental drama you have going on, Valerie. I can't say I can relate too much as all three kids live quite a ways away - the closest to my folks is my brother who is about a 5 hour car ride away. My fear though is that they like me best and have already said I'm their choice to live with should something happen to either of them. Oh boy!
On the upside, your stitching is beautiful and you've seen some good flicks and had some good food, too! I loved all the movies except Black Swan - just couldn't get into it - I'll be anxious to hear how you like it. It was just too dark for me. Loved the King's Speech and The Fighter and really liked True Grit as well (the young gal in that one is AMAZING!). Sending good vibes and lots of (((Hugs))) your way, Valerie!

Melissa said...

Yikes, that's a lot of responsibilities and stress on you Valerie. There are lots of good advice here already so I won't add mine though I don't know if I have any to share!

Lovely stitching. I like the changes you made. It's neat to see how each stitcher is adapting the houses to their own life history.

Jackie said...

Hugs, Valerie. I'm so sorry to hear that you're having such a tough time with your folks. I don't have any good advice other than if they're not going to be grateful when you help them, don't. Maybe grateful isn't the word because that sounds like it would be a stretch.

You AotH looks fantastic! The door color looks wonderful. I like seeing the little changes that people are making here and there. What class are you taking?You always seem to do so well with your stitching goals!

Catherine said...

So sorry to hear of all that is going on with your parents. It's never an easy thing. Hugs...

On the stithcy side, your things look great! Isn't it great to have your stitching!

mbroider said...

Dear Val,

Being taken for granted - that is what is happening, by your parents as well as your siblings.

If whatever that is happening, and whatever you are doing is making you bitter, why do it? It is important to yourself that you live happily. Tell yourself 'you are precious'. Indulge in self, my dear. No one else is doing that for you. Dont see why you should continue like this.

Bring in distance in your case also. If you are feeling you will be selfish / aloof doing that, remember the rest have been selfish / aloof all along.

Take care
Hugs
Sharmila

Katrina said...

Valerie, sorry the family situation is so hard. Talk to your siblings. If they are deaf to the issue the only solution maybe be saying no or not answering the phone occasionally.

Love your AotH piece and all the eating out sounds yummy :-).

Barbi said...

OH Boy! I know what you mean about being his "secretary" I was the same thing to my father...but you know what it did get better. I became his daughter again. But for about 20 years, that's what I was too. Dad's gone now, but I still handle all of my mom's stuff and yes...I get bitter sometimes too. My brother and sister in law never help with anything! It's just "expected" cause it's always been me..their paperwork, banking, and now medical records, appt, meds. All me. So yep...I know how you feel, and once you vent, in a couple of days it will all be ok again and start all over. We're here to listen and support and know that it's not just you..there are others of us out here that know what you're going thru too, cause we go thru the same thing.
Now on the other hand...your finish...FANTASTIC!!!!

Carol R said...

I'm sorry to hear of your 'parent problems' - both sets of parents are no longer with us so we do not have any difficulties.

AotH is fabulous!

Have a lovely weekend

Suzanne said...

No matter what happens, it's always important to take time out for yourself. Sometimes you just have to be selfish and say no, although it's easier said than done.

Great progress with AotH, it's all looking good.

Pointed Stitcher said...

I'm sorry so much is still falling on you regarding your parents. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Lisa said...

your AOTH is looking wonderful Valerie, you have done really well with these
Sorry to hear about your family problems, take time out for yourself you deserve it, hope things get better for you soon x

Siobhan said...

I'm sorry to hear about the family drama. It's been interesting to read the comments because I see that a lot of us are going through similar frustrations. I'm the away child for my mother, and the only daughter. I get the phone calls where she tells me all her woes and I used to be the one to spend the longest amount of time with her--month long visits in the summer. This year that probably won't happen, and it's because the last seven trips have been pretty horrible. She's great for the first few days but then pretty much acts like a spoiled brat and because I am the away child, I feel too guilty to put her in time out. We used to go in on a beach rental with my two brothers and their families, but I have refused to do that the last two years because of bad past experiences. My most special memory of one beach rental week was when my mother refused to speak to me the ENTIRE week because she was mad at the way my brother & his wife parent their children. It is easier to make me the scapegoat than to confront my brothers and/or their wives on things she doesn't like. As for MIL, we are 4 hours away and she tells my DH in every phone call and visit that her nephew is a better son to her than he is, that she wishes she had more girls instead of him, he's useless, etc. Most of it stems from the fact that she thinks he should be giving her money constantly. Go figure. In all of it, I have learned that I need to protect myself. Hang in there--I know it's hard to be respectful and a good daughter when the parent isn't acting the way they should.

Your Valentine Rose looks great! Love the change in door color.

Nicole said...

AotH is looking great Valerie. I'm so sorry you are feeling the burden of taking care of your parents. I can understand (sort of). It was very stressful when I lived near my mom and my brother was in Florida. Now that my mom is in Florida and my brother has taken over a little it has become much easier. I would definitely try to step back a little have your siblings step up. It seems like you need a break, which is completely understandable!! Lots of hugs!!

Peggy H. said...

I feel for you. I have always lived too far away to help out with family....It's been a good thing. My sister-in-law finally changed her phone number so her in-law's couldn't reach her. Smart idea when you are feeling overwhelmed. Enjoy some stitching - Reward yourself!

Have a super day! Peggy H.
www.neverenoughstash.blogspot.com

Pumpkin said...

Wonderful finish! Two down ;o)

I see that The King's Speech won best picture and I'm not surprised even though I didn't see it. I have a long list of movies I want to see ;o)

I love trying new restaurants but sometimes people just ruin the experience >:o(

I'm sorry to hear about the problems you're having with your family Valerie. Relationships with parents is tough. I pretty much grew up on my own so with my so called childhood came a lot of independence and alone time. It took a long time to come to terms with my past and to accept the fact that my parents are who they are and that they are not going to change. I hope you can find some peace sometime soon.