Friday, December 30, 2005

Goals for 2006

I made my list of Goals for 2006. I'm still amazed by how large the list is...oops. I did however break it down into three parts -- writing, stitching, and general. Some of these are lifestyle changes not just what I want to get done. And they are things that cover the whole year.

Writing Goals –

1. Write 2-6 pages daily

2. Finish WW

3. Finish EK

4. Finish EW

5. Finish DR

6. Finish GTF

7. Contact at least 1 editor for MCT

8. Contact at least 1 editor for DR

9. Contact at least 1 editor for GTF

10. Finish RTF

11. Contact at least1 editor for RTF

12. Contact at least 1 editor specializing or dealing with Sci-Fi and Fantasy

13. Attend RWA National Conference

14. Look into SFWA Conference’s

15. Join RWA SIC FFP

16. Organize research – hard copy and digital

17. Participate in NANOWRIMO

18. Enter RWA’s Golden Heart

19. Subscribe to Writer’s Digest, Realms of Fantasy, Asimov

General Goals –

1. Lose about 100 lbs

2. Exercise at least 3 times a week

3. Look into joining the YMCA

4. Eat Healthier

5. Cut out Pop

6. Swim at least 3 times a week

7. Put together a spreadsheet(s) of all of my books, music, movies, Cross Stitch, and sewing stuff and keep a copy off site.

8. Encourage and help N to do the same thing.

9. Put Together My Reading List and try to buy those books, if not borrow them from the Library

10. Read at least two books a month, one should hopefully be a classic

11. Put together Christmas gift idea list of things to get people

12. Start Christmas Shopping Early

13. Finish Christmas Shopping by November 15th.

14. Start Christmas Baking Early. Freeze if necessary.

15. Have Cookie and Ornament Exchange the 1st week of December, with all ornaments and invitations being homemade.

16. Put together a list of all of the things I need and want for the house, start getting them, slowly

17. Clean, organize, and declutter my bedroom.

18. Clean, organize, and declutter the utility room.

19. Clean, organize, and declutter the garage

20. Clean, organize, and declutter the living room.

21. Take DD to Binder Park

22. Take DD to Kalamazoo Air Zoo

23. Take DD to Utah to visit friends

24. Take DD to Dallas to visit family

25. Take DD to John Ball Park Zoo

26. Take DD to Sleeping Bear Dunes

27. Spend more quality time with DD

28. Stay on top of finances (includes paying off bills whenever possible)

29. Stay on top of School work,

30. Stay on the Dean’s list

31. Subscribe to National Geographic, Creating Keepsakes, Memory ___, Discovery,

32. Finish applying to Colleges

33. Take DD to Bronner’s & Frankenmuth with my mom

34. Weekend trip to Bronner’s and Frankenmuth with Mom, SIL, and Aunt

Stitching and Sewing Goals

1. Finish W. Quilt

2. Finish W. Announcement

3. Teach at least 1 person to Cross Stitch

4. Finish TW Storyteller

5. Re-do Nephew #3 birth announcement

6. Stitch Niece #1 birth announcement

7. Stitch Niece #2 birth announcement

8. Stitch Nephew #5 birth announcement

9. Finish scrap quilt for mom

10. Finish sweatshirt for Stepdad

11. Finish Dragon Quilt for me

12. Finish Dutchman’s Puzzle, see if DBro wants it or give it to Uncle

13. Finish my costume, started last year

14. Sew DD Halloween Costume

15. Sew Summer clothes for DD

16. Sew summer clothes for Niece #2 for her birthday

17. Sew summer clothes for Niece #3 for her birthday

18. Finish TW’s Celtic Cross

19. Find and Finish TW’s Futurecast

20. Kit Stretch

21. Kit Tempest

22. Finish The Last Supper (need 36x20 fabric – 28 ct)

23. Start and Finish Celtic Banner

24. Start Resurrection

25. Stitch Orchid Afghan for Nana (find out which issues it was in and reorder them)

26. Finish Bird Afghan

27. Subscribe to The Cross Stitcher, Stoney Creek Cross Stitch, The Stitchery, and Just Cross Stitch

28. Subscribe to Quilt

29. Find and kit Celtic Angel

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Happy Holidays

The holidays have come and gone. The year of preperation took about 45 minutes to undo. Not because DD had lots of gifts mind you, but because all of the wrapping paper had to be removed and each toy, book, or item of clothing inspected, and hopefully opened by mom. DD and mom got spoiled this year. I spoiled her and my mom and aunt spoiled me. My aunt got me the stitchbow organizing system (we'll see how long it stays in place and how long it takes me adapt it my standards because theirs isn't good enough. :)). And my mom, who I've wondered what she truly thought of me returning to school and becoming a nurse, bought me my first pair of scrubs, they can't be worn until I get hired in somewhere, but I have them. And the shirt has swimming dolphins on them. :) But my all-time favorite gift is the necklace DD bought for me. I did finish up another ornament. And now must contemplate buying two or three trees to support all of my ornaments. Um....Houston, we may have a problem here. I may give some of the ones I inherited to SIL, but I'm not sure if she'd like them, she prefers the crystal and crystal-looking ones.

On a happy, perspective putting note, I neither had to attend nor plan 6 funerals, so all is well. May everyone have a blessed new year.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Top Ten Reasons To Erase 2005


Oh, I have ten reasons to erase 2005 -- SIL miscarried. DD had back and neck injuries. DD had Scarlet Fever (which elicites responses such as "That's still around?"). DD eczema got worse. Dad was in and out of the hospital. Dad died. Niece was exposed to things that no child should be. Dad's fiancee had heart attack. SIL's grandparents died. DBro. house caught on fire. There's more but those were the biggies. And what I ended up with was:

SIL is pregnant again. DD's injuries weren't permenant or life threatening. Scarlet fever went away. Eczema is managible. Had time with dad. Still have memories. Neice will be fine. Dad's fiancee will be fine and now understands how the rest of us felt all this time. Brother and family are safe. Things are replacable. People aren't.

Friends are a blessing. Angels in disguise. And they have made a stressful year blessed.

So, as stressful as 2005 was, 2006 will be better. And as long as we choose to remember the good times, '05 can stay, at least in the history books.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

On Fire Proof Safe's

I strongly suggest one for everyone and inside you should keep negetives, copies of whatever is on your computer's harddrive, insurance papers, wills, DD214's, bankcards, credit cards, and a spare set of house and car keys. Advice gleaned from watching my brother and his family sort through the charred remains of their home this morning. We are thankful because with the exception of their 2 cats and some fish, everyone got out alive and safe.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Stitching Basket

The stitching year in review. I had several goals for 2005. Some of them I reached, and sadly some of them will never be reached.

1. Lose 100-110 lbs. – With only days left in 2005, this isn't going to happen. But I didn't gain any weight in 2005 either, so that is good. In 2006, however, this is the new goal.
2. Finish EK – I was at the half-way point when my dad died, and found I didn't want to write on it anymore. To painful. However, there may be light here, and a way to finish. Which means, this will be a promising finish for 2006.
3. Finish DR – This is still where I stopped in August. It's on the, I-really-hope-to-finish-this in 2006 list.
4. Find an agent – Four rejections from agents, will query more along with editors in 2006.
5. Sell a mss – I’m still working on it. And still scrapbooking them.
6. Start Gateway – It’s got 2 complete chapters, a partial 3rd and I pretty much know what's happening here.
7. Start/finish W. Quilt #1 --- Motivation would come if they, I don't know, set a date, were enthusistic about getting married as opposed to a social obligation.
8. Start & finish W. Announcement #1 – It's chosen. It'll get done early in 2006
9. Start & finish W. Announcement #2 – This isn’t needed anymore.
10. Start & finish W. Announcement #3– Nope, this one isn’t needed either.
11. Finish TW's Storyteller – Allright, this has to be done in 2006
12. Finish scrap Split Rail Fence quilt for mom. – Hehehe, I may have to scrap this one and start something else. None of my pieces lined up. Ooops.
13. Finish Dutchman's Puzzle quilt for dad. – This is one of those things that may never get done. It's hard enough to remember I can't pick up the phone and call him.
14. Finish my Dragon quilt. – It's also on the I-really-hope-to-finish-this in 2006 list.
15. Complete cross-stitch gift for DD teacher. -- Well, lets just face it, I'm horrible at buying or making my DD teacher a gift. I didn't get around to it this year either. Maybe it'll get done, maybe it won't. At this point, I'm not sweating over it.
16. Finish DD Birth announcement – She's 7. It's got to get done. Definitely in 2006
17. Finish DNiece #1 Birth announcement - Um...the design is picked out. And this is now complicated by the impending arrival of nephew #2 for DB and DSIL (#5 overall).
18. Finish DNiece #2 Birth announcement - See above.
19. Decide if DSis will get 1 birth announcement for all of her kids or 1 for each. (Not sure of her reception to homemade things.) – This is decided. She doesn't get one. She has more than a little disdain for homemade things. Unless she's out of money, and then it's okay for the youngest ones to have homemade clothes. Otherwise its the popular name brands. (at least popular here).
20. Design and make costume for ball in 2006 – The Costume Ball has been postponed until March 2007. I'll do it 2006.
21. Design and make 2 Halloween costumes for 2005 – DD got done. I didn't do mine. Not a problem.
22. Send out four proposals to either editors or agents. – I did it. I got rejected by all four.
23. Finish "The Lord's Prayer" (3/4 way done) – Hey, look, a stitching goal! I finished this while my Dad was in the hospital.
24. Get the cross done on TW's Celtic Cross. – Hey look!! Another stitching goal! Oh, wait, never mind, Um……winter -- sounds like a good idea. That gives me until 3/21/06 technically or whenever all of the cold, white, crap goes away (aka SNOW).
25. Pick out background fabric for Stretch, Futurecast, and Tempest. -- Futurecast was started. And either got stolen or lost along the way. Stretch and Tempest are sitting patiently in the wings.
26. Clean, organize, and declutter my bedroom – Nope. THis may be one of those things that never gets done.
27. Clean, organize, and declutter the utility room -- See above.
28. Clean, organize, and declutter the garage -- See above.
29. Blog more – Overall, I'd say this was a success.
30. Write Daily – Hmmm. This doesn't count, because mass amounts of stress can give you writer's block. And if it does count, I didn't reach it. And I'm not sweating this one either.
31. Participate in NANOWRIMO – I did. I exceeded my goal. And that is all that matters.
32. Stay on top of schoolwork – So far, so good.
33. Dean's list/4.0 this semester – I'm pretty sure I made the Dean's list this semester. We'll see.
34. Rejoin FF&P – OOps. Not this year.
35. Enter FF&P OOTW contest – Missed it.
36. Enter RWA's Golden Heart – I don’t have anything ready to submit, so I’ll have to be content for next year. Oh well.
37. Read the Bible – I misplaced it somewhere, so I need to get another one.
38. Stay on top of my finances – Really I think this should be a life long goal. I think I’ll be constantly working on this one. Enough said.
39. Get a head start on Christmas sewing and shopping – I was done, and then my grandma decides, that this year at least, we'll be spending time with the b*(&h and her brats.
40. Read two books a month from my reading list (one has to be a classic) – I haven't read anything in a good two months. Now, that does stink.
41. Give up pop. – This is on the I-really-hope-to-finish-this in 2006 list but could up on the not-on-your-life list.
42. Binder Park Zoo w/ DD and DBro and his family – Nope. We didn't go to any zoo's this year. WHich is unusual, since we try to go every year. Maybe in 2006.

Lots of things being carried over into 2006. Ah well. So goes life. As far as the state of my stitching basket. I discovered Lizzie Kate designs this year at my LNS when I was looking for easy things for my DD to stitch. I picked up a few for her and a couple for me. And then I picked up one for a friend of mine, along with all the supplies she'll need, and I'm going to teach her how to stitch. SHe mentioned wanting to learn, and I've got a whole month before school starts again. This year I had several Happy Dance Finishes. Not necessarily the one's I finished, but I had them none the less. I finished Liberty and Justice, The Scottish Piper, and The Lord's Prayer in August. I started and I am just about half way done with Futurecast. I also finished 6 ornaments so far in two seperate round robins, which I've enjoyed so much, I entered a 3rd one. *makes mental note to pick up supplies* I did make progress on The Last Supper, Storyteller, Netherlands Windmill, and the Faerie birth annoucement for my DD. I don't know how much I'll finish this year. But slated for finish in 2006 is the Wolf Sweatshirt for my Stepdad, the Windmill, Storyteller, 3 Birth announcements, the other annoucement, the Faerie Annoucement, and hopefully two squares on the allready started bird afghan. Oh, and not to forget the ornament exchange with the girls. And besides having an overwhelming urge to add "and a partridge in a pear tree" I think I might add to my holiday stress with a sweatshirt for my brother. I have a pattern from Stoney Creek I think, that has an eagle and the flag and says something like freedom isn't free. So in short, my stitching basket is a chaotic mess, and I look forward to the many hours of stitching, without frogging I hope, and of course, adding to the mess.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

First Grade Trauma

Trauma in the first grade is apparently overwhelming and very serious. And exists when a boy in another first grade class likes my DD and she doesn't like him. And she tells him so. Repeatedly, apparently. And tomorrow, she says, she will just say "Whatever" and walk away. I guess he even said "she was ugly, but he was lieing." Oh, the drama.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Things I Learned This Week...

....stitching and vertigo are a really really really bad combination.

....motionsickness really sucks.

....26 page university applications (not including the multiple essays) will give you writer's cramp.

....if the first words out of your mouth in reference to my DD are about her hair, she will ignore you.

....fear is a powerful motivator.

....being civil to evil people doesn't make you feel better or worse. But it does allow you to laugh when they finally realize something that has been obvious to everyone else for decades. And that will make you feel an not so nice sort of way.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

History 101

400 students file into the auditorium style classroom. Small screens and keyboards are connected into the Universities main computers. A slick steel door off to one side of the room slides open. The professor walks up to the podium, a mimic in shiny steel, dressed in the dark blue robes of academia. Students slide on the hands free single-ear earphones with mic.

"Today, we continue our study of late 20th century history. Unfortunantly, what we know of the 20th century is comparitively less than what we know of Ancient Greece and Mesopotamia."

A young man presses a button. "Professor Williams, why is that?" his voice echoes through out the room.

"During the mid 20th century computers were new, and filled up entire rooms. By the end of the century and into the next, computers had become compact, closer to what we are used to. People had turned from using paper products and had moved to all electronic communications."

"So why is that bad?"

Professor Williams doesn't acknowledge the question, but continues on. "With electricity at that age unstable all reliable records were erased. What we do know comes from the few hardcopy books and newspapers that survived. Along with family heirlooms such as scrapbooks."

"Paper books, how weird is that?" a young man says, inadvertently leaving his mic on.

"History was sacrificed for unknown reasons."

"Professor Williams?" another young man says, "My mother is a needlework historian, and she says that it was done for leisure reasons, not necessity."

"At the end of the 20th century yes. That is what has been concluded."

The discussion goes on for two hours, with the lack of information left from the 20th and 21st centuries dominating the questions. Whispers of disbelief race through students as a clip from a late 20th century movie shows on their screens. "It is believed only 4 minutes of the 3 hour movie survived."

"Remember the test on Friday, covers the 20th thru 22nd centuries!" The professor shouts as students pick up their pocket computers and file back out of the classroom. Never quite understanding just how much had been lost throughout the ages.

Friday, December 02, 2005


Not to long ago, 3 months and 4 days ago to be exact, I made a decision. A decision that has forever changed my family. I had asked the questions no one wanted to ask. The ones no one wanted to hear the answers too. Someone had too, and I have the beginning of the knowledge to ask the questions and to understand the answers and the consequences. So, I asked. I demanded to know the truth. They told me. Most of which I did already know, but the answered. I asked. They answered. And a decision was made.

I remember what it was like as the machines were turned off and the pain meds increased. His chest stopped rising, his heart stopped, he turned cold, the blood stopped moving. And my father was gone.

And while I do believe that I made the right decision, there was less than 2% chance of getting out of the coma -- that is NOT recovery, one the doctors did agree with. I wonder if my father forgives me. Or if he is sitting next to God cursing my name with his every breath. My DB and DSIL don't blame me, in fact they agree. I know my dad's fiancee and her brats do. But whether anyone else agrees or not, I wonder if my dad is upset with me. I know I did the right thing, but does he?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Next Step

I feel like I'm at the edge of a precipice. The river having give way to a gorge because I've waited so long to take the next step.

But how do you know how to cross the river when no one around you can see the blasted thing. And no one around you can help you to find a way. Awakening was tough, partly because I'm older and partly because I come from one of those families with set, unspoken, and unbreakable rules. I can accept awakening and am willing to find out what it all means and entails, but I don't know where to go from here. I'm not happy where I am, and I don't know the way to get across. Everytime I try jumping into the water, I get swept back to shore. And now, I must trust that I have wings and that I know or at least will learn how to use them in case the wind tries to blow me off course.

Awakening didn't negate my spiritual bonds with my God, it has deepened them. And with every course that I take that tries to tell me that this couldn't have existed or that was just myth, I find the hints to the truth. That they did exist. Do exist. And the proof will come out eventually.

But I don't know what it is I need to be or do to be happy. I'm not happy with myself because I still have this huge feeling of responsibility and duty that prevents me from packing up, taking my DD, and kissing it all good-bye. I'm upset with my family for taking advantage of it. And I hate the indecision that comes with not knowing which way to go. All the paths are open, some marked, some not, some merely faint shadows of the way once taken, and I stand in the middle of them all, dazed and confused. Alone, because although I can see others like me, know they are there, I cannot reach them. And those I can reach have extremely different values. Some of it is age, but some of it is in the heart.

The night engulfs me, the moon shines her brillance, the God of ages is surrounding me, and all should be peaceful. But I cannot reconcile the two worlds I live in. Neither one a lie and neither one complete.

Nanowrimo Goals Update

I don't feel like I got as much written as I did. But I can see it.
My goal for 11/21/2005 was 7,500 words. I actually wrote 8,035 words. I surpassed my goal. Now, I know I won't get 50,00 written by the end of the month, but that's okay, becuase I was writing. And it's been a while for that. So even though I more than likely won't make the Nanowrimo Goal, I still win, because I did write more this year than last year, and more than I have in several months.

So my goal for 11/28/2005 is 11, 000 words.
I'd like to reach 15,000 this month, but if not, 12,000 would be good.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

On Teaching Children

Well, specifically, on teaching my child. I live in a piss-poor school district. It really is. My DD is extremely smart and bright. But for the life of me, I can't seem to get her to understand how to put words together. When she reads, and she doesn't know what a word says, she tries to sound it out. But she almost always adds letters that aren't there. 8 out 10 times she does it when I've got a headache or am tired and have hardly any patience at all. Which I know makes things worse. The problem is I don't know what is normal for her age, and every time I ask the teachers I seem to get a different answer or they comment on how polite she is. Well that's fine and dandy, but it doesn't help. I had parent-teacher conferences with her teacher and the student teacher and I brought the homework from home that DD has to do nearly every night of the week. It seems that she doesn't listen. And I don't know how to make her. I also wonder if it has anything to with her lack of participation in gymnastics and dance. Or if the combination of the loss of extracurricular activities (car is broke and there isn't any other way to get her there, because, yes, I have that kind of family) with the loss of her grandfather is the cause. Or if it's something else. Either way, I'm feeling like a failure as a parent. She's a good kid, yes. She knows right from wrong, yes. She knows how to use her manners, yes. She knows to respect adults, yes. But as a student, she's not even meeting her potential. With all of the books in our house and all of the reading we do, she's reading below grade level. And at the end of Kindergarten, she was reading at or above. I don't get it. I don't understand it. In fact, I'm confused.

I tutor students in Math, English Composition (which should probably be renamed American Composition), and a varitey of other subjects and I can almost always accurately tell their learning style and catagorize their thought process into one of two catagories (logic or circular -- there may be a blog there... hmm). But with my own DD, I can't even begin to figure out her learning style (auditory, visual, hands on) let alone how she thinks. I don't know if me, being very creative is trying to raise a logical child who will excel in math and science or if I'm trying to raise a creative child who will be extremely creative, and I'm trying to do everything the right way as determined by logical people and it isn't working for either of us.

SO maybe the name of the blog is Teaching Children, but On Being a Confuzzled Parent.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Nanowrimo Goals Update

Well my goal for this past week was 5,000 words. Not a bad goal. However, it is my sad duty to inform everyone that, I didn't make it. Again. But hey, I'm writing, so already I've won! So there! However, I did sit down and figure it out, to make a 50,000 word deadline by the end of the month, you need to write about 6 pages a day. Which means that as of today I should've written 24500 words or 98 pages. Oops.

My goals for 11/14/2005 -- 5,000 words
I wrote = 3,424 words (19 pages)

So my goal for 11/21/2005 -- 4,076 which would put my total at 7,500 words.
What I "should" be at is 36,750 words or 147 pages.

I am, however, almost down with the first chapter. And I can't wait to get writing again! So much for my muscle test. :)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


This past weekend, I did something I've needed to do since the 3rd of August. I escaped. This was the weekend of the Love Designer's Autumn Authors Affair in Chicago. I went down there with several friends of mine. We left early Friday afternoon and arrived at dinner time. After getting settle in our room, we registered and then met up with several friends that we hadn't seen in a year. We had dinner and then played trivia. Our team was the Awesomest Awesomes. We placed third out of five. We had to endure movie clips of exquiste heroes with excellent lines and abs amongst several other categories. It was a lot of fun. We went back up to the room, three of us pulled out our laptops and headphones, and did some writing. My one friend went to bed. And I did some writing. First on my futuristic series and then I went to work on my contemporary paranormal. Saturday morning started early with breakfast followed by registration, and then the opening speeches. Workshops started shortly after that. I went to a plotting workshop followed by one on character archtypes and then one on making your characters suffer is good. And then we went to lunch and sat with more friends and then skipped the luncheon keynote and Q&A to go upstairs and write. I went to a two hour workshop on characterization. Being a pantzer myself, most of what I learned I can adjust to my writing style with absolutely no problem. Others will require a little bit of work. After workshops we went to the bookstore were we all got books and promo materials. And then to dinner. After dinner, we brought our laptops down to the common room, sang filk songs about writers, editors, and urinary tragedies, while we were writing. And then we sang songs from Buffy the Vampire Slayer's musical episode. It was well after 1:00 am before we went to bed. We left after breakfast on Sunday and got home early in the evening. My DD spent the weekend at my mom's and had a wonderful time. And my mom who gets pissy about anything I do, basically was thrilled that I was home, I had a good time, and that I got to relax.

It was weird being in a hotel again. The last time was when my dad died. And a lot of things did remind me of him and that he was gone, but I did put them off to the side, knowing that I would need to get back to them, but enjoying the fact that for one weekend I got to be carefree. I hung out with writers who understand what you mean when you say the voices are all gone and how scary that feels (100 times worse than writer's block). And you don't have to use an analogy to help them understand. They also understand the why of how it happened and I found out that eventually those rifts would heal. I can write again. I can write again. I have ideas for characters. I know where I'm going with stories I was already working on, allbeit not the ones I was writing at the time, namely EK and DR. But I am writing. And I think that in small doses until I'm okay and then they'll bombard me.

I did however pick up two pins -- one says "I hate it when my voices argue with your imaginary friends" and the other says "Of course I can't take a joke, that's why I'm single" which probably sounds worse than it is. But there you go. I absolutely will not apologize for leaving my friends and family to fend for themselves for one weekend nor will I apologize for not dwelling on the fact that I have no social life or that I am still single. Because really, I'm not sorry, and I don't have time.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


This month is National Novel Writing Month, Nanowrimo, at least it is according to author Chris Baty and the thousands of us who participate in this every year. The idea is to write 50,000 words in one month on one project, say a book or movie script. No problem you say. Yeah, but this is in addition to the hariness of your life already. So you are writing in addition to working, being a parent, and preparing for the onslaught of the holidays. And I'm participating again this year. I'm hoping to beat last years personal record which was about 2,000 words. I didn't do so well last year. I'll keep a weekly tally going, a goal for this week and how I did last week. I'm working on Heir Apparent, the first in a new series. And while this isn't a movie script, it's still writing, and that is what I do.

So this month's goal is 50,000 words.
This week's goal (Monday to Monday) is 2,000.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Well Met

Welcome. This is where I will keep my thoughts and meanderings, along with goals and other ramblings. The general cast of characters that will wander through here now and then are as follow...

Me -- the author the of ramblings that filter through here...
S -- my daughter, the light of my life...
DB-- my "little" brother and general pita, who is also nearly a foot taller than me.
SIL -- my brother's wife
Tim -- the Director at Doodle Doll Productions
Lynne -- one of my best friends, who I also work with...
RM -- my roommate and the Lynne's aunt.

...of course there are more who will wander through than there is room to be named.