Friday, June 24, 2011


I am restless...and slightly bored. I have great urges to be out and about and exploring. To breathe in fresh air and be surrounded by energetic vibes. It's frustrating when your pool of people to experience these things with are slim and those people are married with kids, hermits, unemployed or flaky. Like I said before, this making friends business isn't for the weak in spirit. It's not easy and is slightly exhausting.

I definitely haven't felt like being cooped up at home stitching so uh, I don't have anything of substance to show. I did frog what I had started on Christmas Rules though. I know, I know...I said I wasn't going to but I'm a little OCD when it comes to things like that. The red didn't bleed and it was smooth sailing...for once. We won't even talk about how I got chocolate on the fabric. I mean seriously, something is up with this project. I should throw it in the corner and call it a day.

So instead of stitching, I've been reading. I've been trying to get through The House at Riverton by Kate Morton.
The first 100 pages were a struggle for me and as slow as I read, that took me a while. But once I got through the first 20% of the book, I really got into it and attached to the main characters. I read the last 100 pages in one curious to find out what happened and what the ending would be like. I think I got into The Forgotten Garden almost immediately and I was a little frustrated that the outcome wasn't the same with The House at Riverton. But in the end, it was a wonderful read. I have Kate Morton's last book in hand as my next read. It's called The Distant Hours. I read the prologue and already got all confused. I will have to read it again.

I did volunteer this week at the food bank and I think the art sorting event was much more fun. I think that people were just so focused at their tasks at hand that there was less into socializing and more into counting. Do you know how many small oranges equals 3 pounds? The answer is 10-12. I do have a note, you probably shouldn't volunteer at the food bank so soon after treating yourself to a manicure. Lots of polish chips! Oh well, it's all for a good cause.

I did have a nice time at my dinner event last weekend. We tried this southern cuisine restaurant in a sketchy area of the city...Tenderloin. If you're a tourist, this is the neighborhood you don't really want to get lost in. It can be eyeopening and annoying. Me...I walk fast, mind my own business and say a lot of "not today" to the people asking for money. We all met at Farmer Brown and had a really nice meal. I had cornmeal encrusted catfish with yams, green beans and pickled onions. It was a huge portion and just divine. My only complaint was that the yams were too sweet but that also meant, my sweet craving was fulfilled and I didn't need to order dessert! The served complimentary jalapeno cornbread which were delicious but small. The group was very friendly and diverse but I think I was the youngest. I'm not sure how well suited the group will be for me since I'm most interested in meeting people more my age who are interested in going out.

We all went our separate ways after dinner and it was still so early so I went to visit with a friend of mine who I hadn't seen in a few months. This friend is also an old-ex from over a decade ago. I know it may seem strange but talking to him is opening up my eyes to the Valerie I was. At least the aspects I would like to get back so it's a nice kind of reminiscing. I was shocked to see him though. He had hit a very rough patch due to the economy and just recently found a job. It's a job way below his previous classification and pay range but he is very happy and positive to just have a job. I don't ask how bad things got but I think the fact that he lost 70 pounds (I'm guesstimating) is a big indicator. If I had passed him on the street, I would not have recognized him at all. Serious! I am still in shock that he transformed from a teddy bear kind of guy to a skinny (a little too) kind of guy. I have intense urges to bake and fatten him up a little. As it was, I left him with two huge homemade blueberry muffins I had made just because I happened to bake...not because I knew he needed a little plumping. It kind of puts things in perspective a little. To be a little happy and thankful that you have a job that allows you to pay the rent and the car payment and the bills and FOOD...even if your job makes you a tad unhappy and seems tedious. Some people out there are struggling and are too proud to let you know that they need help and are unable to find jobs and are at the point of being happy for ANY job.


The other day, I gouged myself in the eyebrow because I got a little tweezer happy. I do that sometimes...I have this thing for keeping the perfect arch and I get a little carried away. This made me remember an email I got from some guy on that annoying dating site. He said he "liked my eyebrows" and that I looked like I could be "Christopher Mintz-Plasse's sister". I had to Google...I didn't know who that was. Apparently, I'd be his older sister because this guy is a kid! I was 13 when this kid was born.
I'm not sure how I feel about being told I look like Christopher Mintz-Plasse's lookalike in girl form. I guess I can see it a little bit but what a weird thing to say to initiate conversation.


Thanks for all the nice comments and thoughts on my last couple of posts. My dad had his surgery and seems fine and is driving already. I have the feeling he's going to forget his eyedrops and/or get them confused. My sister told me the drill and I'm confused myself!

Hope you all have a great weekend! TGIF!

Until next time...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Love After Love

Love After Love
by Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Don't You Hate It...

...when you go to the trouble of pressing your fabric, sorting your threads, finding your pattern(s). You pull out your calculator and do your calculations to figure out how much margin to leave. You wonder why in the world the shop cut your fabric wrong and only left you 1.5 inches of margin on two sides?! And you grumble and curse under your breathe and vow you won't order from them again...

And you start your project anyways and you progress slowly. And it suddenly dawns on you that you aren't using 28count fabric but 32 count. So you did the calculations wrong. Which means you really have more margin than you thought. And you feel bad for all the grumbling and cursing and realize you're the stupid one who started the project in the wrong spot. Ack!

I wonder if I should rip out what I've done. But I'm stitching with red and red doesn't remove so easily. Perhaps I should live with my 1.5" margin on one side. I doubt I'd frame it anyway as I see this project as a wall hanging anyways. But it really bothers me that I have a tiny margin. I think I need to get over it.


I've lost 2 followers. Was it the acupuncture? Or the random thoughts? Or my online dating bashing? Or slowness in stitching? I always wonder. To those who are followers. THANK YOU! I appreciate my readers and the comments more than you know.

In case anyone was wondering, I went to Costco after my last post. A single person really has no business going to Costco. That place is ridiculous! Everything is huge! But I have enough wine and frozen chicken to last me the next three months. Hey! Don't judge...a girl has to eat and drown her sorrows/anger once in a while.

But, never fear! I got my nails done yesterday and it was heaven. I'll take a photo with my new sandals so you all can see over the weekend.

For those who are following the acupuncture, the second session went well. I got more needles this time. Head, ears, stomach, hands, shins, ankle, feet. I didn't find it very relaxing this last time. There was a sicky in acupuncture coughing all over the place. He was distracting. I think he interfered with the acupuncturists chi as she was switching out linens and disinfecting once he left. Good to know they do that though. She seems to take positive energy very seriously and he had negative sicky energy. She won't be in on Monday and I will have to miss a whole week of acupuncture. My ears are still popping though so the needles in the ear didn't help me much this week.

Today, I felt spontaneous (i.e. bored) and I tried to corral a friend to go out with. I've decided that everyone is boring because I couldn't find anyone who would leave the house! This making friends business is too slow (and hard) for my taste. And I'm very impatient! And I want to go out and have fun.

Instead, I went to my union meeting (13 furlough days to contend with), came home and almost crashed the car because the painters were parked in my parking spot in the garage (nice of them to let me know!), and then went for a 2 mile walk, got dinner and have been on the computer since. At least I got a walk in.

I forgot to tell you all that I did my first volunteering bit last week. It was an event to sort art supplies for a school program. My task was to measure out 10 yard lengths of black yarn and tie each into a little bundle. I got to play with yarn! Who knew doing that was so tiring. By the end of my two hour stint, I was too tired to go to the social gathering afterwards. I am seriously out of shape! =D Everyone was really nice though and I had fun playing with yarn and chitchatting with my partners in yarn. I signed up for another event next bank. I'm looking forward to it.
This weekend should be mellow. I am trying to decide between a movie matinee or stitching group tomorrow. I have dinner plans with a social group in the evening and Sunday is Father's Day. Time to hang out with my dad and get some laundry done. My dad is 82 and is having cataract surgery on Wednesday. It you have some good thoughts to spare, it would be much appreciated.

Happy weekend folks! TGIF!

Until next time...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

You Will Be Single Forever...

I’m sure whatever male readers I have will cringe at the series of posts that may come to fruitaition due to responses I get from online dating.

This hasn’t been a dating blog in a while and I am more focused on being healthy, more myself and making new friends than being desperate for a date. Besides, I don’t really have the time or the wardrobe at the moment. I do have an online profile that does need some serious work. I don’t think that I will meet the love of my life via said means but I have it up as a method of moving forward. This particular site is convenient because it is free but it is also the site I met my ex through and we all know how well that turned out. There are all kinds on there and I have very little faith in it. For the most part, the contacts I’ve made recently because of the profile have been annoying.

You may ask why I don’t use a paid service for a better outcome. They are as bad as this one and I’ve seen the same photos/people on the paid sites as the free site. People double dip in online dating. So…why bother paying? But that doesn’t matter. I don’t feel all that serious about dating and would rather just meet people (via social networks, volunteering, etc.) and see if something develops from that instead of this online dating and the wham bam thank you ma’am outlook that stems from it.

Like I mentioned before, guys (at least the ones I’ve encountered online) have problems communicating, yet are amazingly arrogant and rude. I received an email from one guy, who I’ve been trying to avoid for various reasons but mainly because his first contact with me was an email to ask me what high school I went to and say he was surprised he didn’t know me. Just because someone grew up in San Francisco, does not mean you know everyone of the same age. Seriously? Not to mention, it’s nice etiquette to say hi, how are you, I enjoyed your profile before you go asking personal questions about people. But no…just the question. My reply was that he wouldn’t know me from high school period.

Another email; I decide to explain. I now wish I had kept the response so I could copy and paste it here but I was super annoyed and deleted it. He basically put down where I grew up and how he didn’t really consider me a city native, asked me what my passions and loves are and then says “you will be single forever.”

Really? Why would anyone say that to someone they didn’t know? I emailed him back and told him that there is a chance that someone will remain single no matter how many or few friends they had and wished him luck on his search. Besides, people who cannot form complete sentences annoy me.

Why would he ask for more (personal) info about me and then make a comment like that? What’s the context? Does he think his comment will scare me that I’ll run to him so that we both won’t be single and at least have each other?! Was it because I’m not all warm and fuzzy over his random emails?

I would rather be single forever than deal with stupidity like that on a regular basis. The guy can be well off and have all the money in the world and I still wouldn’t settle for the likes of him.

Besides, I've got more important things to think about whether I should go to Costco or get my nails done after work. Decisions, decisions....

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Where Does Your Heart Bloom?

Dare I say it blooms at home?

Mine does...and in the City of Fog when I pause enough to breathe the moist, ocean air.

I finished Blackbird Designs' Where My Heart Blooms last night! Yay! I started this back in September right before I left for the Shepherds Bush Retreat. I had wanted something new and small to cart around and it fit the bill. I still remember Alma Allen came up to me when she saw me stitching on it and I was just over the moon! Alma Allen...talked to me! Wow! I stitched on it all throughout retreat and maybe a week after and I managed to get to the halfway point before putting it aside. I finally picked it up a two or three weeks ago and managed to get the other half done. I realized that I don't really like stitching over 1 on 40 count and that I really shouldn't leave that part to the very end. *grumble*
Blackbird Designs
Where My Heart Blooms
40 count Lakeside Fawn
Recommended GAST/WDW

Here are a couple of closeups.
I love the eyelets!

And the over 1 detail is great...even if I didn't like stitching it. :)

I'm not quite sure what to do with it now since it was one of those pieces I wanted to stitch but it doesn't necessarily fit in with my decor. For now, it will get ironed and hung in the closet until I can figure out how and when I would like it finished. On 40 count, the finished size is 6.5" x 7". It is very dainty.

I'm not quite sure what to do next. I don't really feel like stitching on Mary or my little BOAF piece. I am debating if I should start L*K Christmas Rules. I could use some whimsy and fun colors and Mary and the BOAF are not fitting that criteria. For now, I think I will try to get back into reading for a little bit until I can decide.

The weekend shaped up to be a nice one that passed by much too fast. I tried a new (to me) restaurant which was a change from the norm but didn't disappoint. I went shopping for new eyeglasses (unsuccessful and more on that later), bought a fantastic new dress (can't find it online), explored a neighborhood that I hadn't in a while, spent time with a good friend and reconnected with a new-ish acquaintence which allowed me to take a nice 2.25 mile walk to the beach in good company. Crisp, blue sky and ocean air. I forget how rejuvenating it can be!

Tomorrow is another acupuncture appointment after work and I'm looking forward to it! I'm amazed one session helped me get to sleep earlier...even on the weekend...where I oftentimes stay up til 2am! Despite the rest, I still feel tired on some this morning. I was a slug until it was time to meet up for my walk. If I didn't do that, I may have stayed in bed all day!

I did get a nice surprise this week in the mail. A while back, Karen V. was trying to rehome some items and I had asked for this cute little purple drawstring bag she had stitched and sewed up. It arrived and is adorable in person. Don't you think?
It is finished so perfectly! I am going to use it to keep my threads together at my stitching stand. I love it! Thanks Karen!

Well, I think that's it for me today. Back to the daily grind tomorrow. Hope you all had a nice weekend.

Until next time...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Unblock My Chi Please...

I decided to try this acupuncture place that supposedly mimics how things are done in Asia. No fancy individual rooms. It's 4 recliners in a small family room setting with relaxing music and scent. This would turn off most people but I'm willing to try anything once as long as it doesn't involve me jumping out of a plane or holding a spider. I did a bit of research and deemed it safe and they were very reasonably priced and had excellent reviews.

The lady there was nice. She asked me a bunch of questions and between the stress, anxiety, tension, depression and IBS that cropped up in the past year she said it sounded like I was a perfect candidate for acupuncture and that my chi was blocked. Um, I would figure. Sometimes, I'm surprised I'm not in some mental institution what with all the stress and drama. I have the feeling things have leveled off now so it's time to get me back to my old self. The social, slightly adventurous self who isn't so thrilled spending her nights at home all the time. Sometimes...yes. All the

So I sat with needles sticking out all over the place. They didn't hurt. It hurt a little when I moved...which you aren't supposed to do but I'm a jittery type of person sometimes. It gived you a feeling of heavyness and because you feel a little weighed down, you relax and sometimes, fall asleep. I had to take my glasses off during the procedure and at some point, the lady asked if I was ok to go and so I asked what time it was (blind without my glasses; can't even see the clock on the wall!) and I had been there for over an hour! So you definitely relax. All week, I've been heading to bed early which is a first for me. By 1030pm, I'm sticking in my earplugs and turning off the light. Usually, this didn't happen until 12midnight or even 1230am which means I'm a freakin' mess when the alarm sounded at 630am. I still don't want to get up but at least I don't feel like a steamroller ran me over.

The lady says I should do 8 - 10 more sessions to see all the benefits. Apparently, my chi is really effed! I'm curious to see what other benefits I see so I'm willing to give it another try and will go back on Monday. She also suggested I take Omega-3 because I've been so scattered and forgetful and have dry skin issues. Does anyone take Omega-3? There's way too many options out on the market.

Stitching update in next post. I had to frog last night. Grrr! But I am so close to the end of WHMB. I have a busy weekend planned so don't know how much stitching I will be able to get accomplished. I hope I can finish!

Today, San Francisco has a heavy heart as it pays tribute and buries two firefighters. The fire service has been under attack lately because of the high cost to fund pension plans and bad press. It is sad that it takes a tragedy for people to realize that it is a fair exchange for those who are in the practice of running into burning buildings when everyone else is running out. In this instance, they paid the ultimate sacrifice to ensure safety of a home's residents and the neighboring property. This hits close to home for me because of my job. Today, the fire service and the City of San Francisco mourns alongside the families.

If you come across a fire engine in your neighborhood, thank them for the service they provide. You never know when they will be the ones running to come and help you with little regard for the danger they put themselves in.

Until next time...

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Randomness #...I Lost Count (Edited)

*You can try your hardest to help someone but it won't do any good if that person isn't willing to help themselves.

*You can't make people change. Even if they do, it's only for the short term and then they revert back to their "normal" selves.

*Sometimes, peace, quiet and stitching (and tv...can't forget about that!) is more therapeutic than a night out on the town.

*I'm thankful for friends who lend me an ear and tell me they think I did the right thing even though at times, I don't think I did.

*To help someone because it's the right thing to do...for them...sometimes means it is not the right thing for you and you come out a bitter, angry, resentful shell of the person you used to be.

*Reminders of the person you used to be 12 years ago are spirit-lifting and smile inducing. I miss that person! Now the goal is to find that "me" again and have fun doing it. Oh to be young and carefree.

*Sunday farmers' market...wheat loaf, lemon curd croissant, strawberries, apricots, eggs, cinnamon raisin bagels, zucchini and summer squash. Yum, yum, yum. There were squash blossoms but I don't know how to make those...

*I'm grateful for an awesome onsite apartment manager that can save me and my scattered brain when I lock myself out of my apartment.

*Random text invitation from a friend to go see a movie made my day!

*I wonder what acupuncture would be like...guess I'll find out tomorrow! Eek!

*All day meeting's going to be a looonnnng day! And a sad day as I'm sure the topic of the two SF firefighters who died will come up. It hits a little too close to home.

*I'm happy that people seem to like my randomness posts! Thank you, thank you...

*Today is the first day in the past year where I am 100% happy that I am single and that I am done mourning the loss of a relationship that probably would have killed me on so many levels if I had stayed in it. My heart has finally caught up to my head. And I feel deserving of all the things I was holding out for before...waiting for that mad, passionate, extraordinary love to find me. And I got tired of waiting...and I settled. No more more more sadness. I am done and ready to have fun and rediscover myself.

*I'm making good progress on WMHB and I may just finish it by the end of the week! Stay tuned for a picture when I do!

Enjoy the rest of the weekend...I'll be back soon with photos and stuff.

Until next time...

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Randomness, WMHB & TUSAL

*Why does the $40 shampoo give me an allergic reaction but I can use $5 drugstore shampoo without a problem? My scalp is itchy! =(

*I couldn't cut my hair short. I have a long "Rachel" instead. At least it's wavy and flippy. Yay!

*My friend leaves on Saturday and has been driving me nuts this week! I'm kind of looking forward to them leaving now so I can refocus on myself.

*Flaky people drive me bananas.

*I got my license plates! Yay! Now my car looks like everyone elses and I can take it into the depths of the city...once I practice some parallel parking.

*Amazing that my parents are so deaf they can't hear that 1/2 a plastic panel is loose and dragging under the car?!

*I'm eager to get out and be social and meet people. Can I meet everyone now?! Like now? Where is everyone? Ugh, patience isn't a virtue that I have.

*Why am I watching Mob Wives?! When did this show even come on tv?

*Is it worth emailing the guy you've already blown off twice because he lives in the opposite direction of everything that you do?

*Can I develop a consulting business teaching guys how to correspond with girls in online dating? Apparently, a lot of guys need some help. It should be more me, me, compliment, comment about girl profile, say something nice, me, me, ask opinion about something, I liked this about your profile, hope to hear from you, have a good night, name. It ends up being me, me, me, me, me, me, me, nice to meet you, name. WTF! Maybe I can get a show on Bravo...kind of like Millionnaire Matchmaker except with normal, everyday geeky guys. Dating 101 for the Regular Guy or something like that.

Why am I here again? Oh yea...stitching stuff. Today is the New Moon and you all know what that means. TUSAL time!
Not the best photo but all the light colors on top are due to Mary Wigham and the progress I've done on my Where My Heart Blooms.

Speaking of WMHB, I've been devoting any of the stitching time I came across to it. I'm too lazy to take it off the qsnaps for a proper photo but this will give you an idea. I've been building the house all week!
I'm surprised I stuck with it since the house is stitched with Flax and Shaker White. Not the most exciting colors but I've been determined. I'm almost done with the house and will soon move onto the windows and the bottom border.

I've been seeing all the progress photos for the With Thy Needle and Thread Mystery Sampler. OMG...I am so tempted to start my own! This wasn't the BAP I was planning on starting either. Can I resist?!

Well, better see if I can get off the computer and get some stitching in for the night. Hope you all had a nice Memorial Day Weekend!

Until next time...