Look what they’ve done to my shawl, Ma or Nina as Baby Blankie

With the advent of a new great niece I decided it was time to knit something (as if I didn’t already have a gazillion projects a humming in the house…) Anyhoo, I thought I’d use the Nina Shawl pattern. I love all the M-D patterns, but this one is especially cute and quite adaptable to a baby blanket. I’m hemming the ends and will be sewing on a bit of cotton flannel to the back to cover the not-so-hot bits and knitting in cotton yarn (darling baby Kate lives in San Diego). My only hope is the thing doesn’t get too wild, but then what else are crazy great aunts for if not a little wildness, right?

The first picture is in an earlier stage of development and it appears to be suitably conservative, (right). Well, here we are now, adding BLUE to a baby girl blanket (hey, no sexists here!)

So far, it’s a bunch of fun:)
More to come as I progress with this thing,
Take care,
Joan in Ellicott City, MD


It’s a New Week

Hello:) I feel like it’s been forever since posting. Let’s see, when last we left our story, I was getting ready for Thursday’s court and a fairly hectic weekend. So true. Thursday, I had court in the morning and went to the park for a walk. After changing in the courthouse bathroom, I was dressed (or so I thought) warmly enough for a nice long walk. Nope. By the time I got around the loop on the east side of the park, I was so cold I had to leave. I gave it the old college try and probably burned a few calories, but nowhere near as many as I needed to.

The weather was cloudy and bleak and as I approached the north side of the pond, the wind started whipping up and the temperature dropped about ten degrees! Then I saw a red fox scurrying away in the underbrush. That did it for me. Those critters carry rabies. I was out of there..

Stopped off at the local LYS and got some additional hot pink yarn for the borders on the baby blanket. Also picked up a German knitting mag called OnLine. The articles and picture captions were in German. Funny how you can figure out what things mean and start remembering lost vocabulary when you read something like a magazine or newspaper. I took a look through a German dictionary to be sure I had surmised correctly and I had. Masche (“masha”) means stitch in knitting. Stricken means to knit. Stricknadel means knitting needle. Zopf means literally “braid,” but refers to cable knitting.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingI’ve also been doing some work on and off on a scarf from Scarf Style in a very simple lace pattern. Photobucket - Video and Image HostingMy youngest daughter has her eye on it – too feminine for John, I’m afraid. He would prefer something in black anyway.
When I got home from my half-walk and a brief foray into the LYS, I came home to snow:)

Thursday was a fun choir practice. Friday, I had the afternoon docket, and then came home and drove to Washington to see my Dad, Maureen, John, Kristin, Sonny, Dori, Betsy, Danny and Tori, Sabrina, JoAnna and Tori’s parents, John and Lisa for a before dinner drink/semi dinner (its a long story), to see Danny’s play at the Rorschach theatre (Rude Magic – he plays Ariel, the evil son of the evil Prospero (from The Tempest). But it wasn’t the Tempest. The basis of the play was that this magician/dramaturg could call forth the physical beings of characters from Shakespeare plays. It was a drama, a comedy and also a horror show. Hard to follow? Yep. But Dan did a great job with his part.

Thanks to Lisa L., Tori’s Mom, for the shots of the play at the theayter. Danny is the tall, evil-looking dude in the long pants & skirt, with fangs:) For a better view, you can see his sitcom work at http://www.buddyjackson.com
Afterwards, another dinner (another long story) and drinking and talking into the night. John (bless his heart) got everyone rooms, so we were able to crash at about 2 AM.

Unfortunately, the wake up call was for 6 AM so we could get up and out in time for John and Dori to get to our house to get the grandangels and for me to get to the Discovery weekend lunch preparations with the choir. I actually made it out of DC in 45 minutes. Thank God for Saturday AM traffic and a GPS system:)
It was fun hanging out with my choir buds and singing old rock and roll hits while we made sandwiches for the kids. Afterwards, there was a bunch of food left over, and some money, so they donated the 50 bucks or so to their (the youth group’s) pilgrimage trip, which made some good sense. Afterwards, Nancy and I had a good walk in the park. I was grateful for her company and crazy sense of humor and good conversation. It made the time go much faster!
Then I left for beautiful downtown Middle River to attend my firm’s holiday party (December was too insane, remember we didn’t even know if we’d have jobs at this point?) We all had a lovely time.
Then home. Then back to DC for dinner again with “Grandpa Ingram.” This time, John had to work, Danny had his opening night (I think- we attended a preview), and Kristin and Sonny had somewhere else they had to be. But Dori brought Madison and Ruby and Tori, Betsy, Sabrina and JoAnna arranged to meet up with them. I joined them toward the end of the dinner but we pretty much took this little restaurant over. It was in Arlington, just across Rte 1 from their hotel in Crystal City. It was nice having the “after dinner dinner” and having a real conversation. Dori and the girls left because Ruby wasn’t feeling well and it was past Madison’s bedtime, but I was so glad they got to see their great grandparents:) It was nice to see the “kids” (they’re adults!) open up with their Grandparents. They have more in common with them than with John and me sometimes. Isn’t that always the way? Or so it seems sometimes. I drove them back to their hotel afterwards and then back home. In my own bed. Rah.
This morning was a brief talk about an aspect of the music program given by the music director, Nancy S. The choir demonstrated a few types of chant. It was actually very interesting and it did my heart good to see passion and intelligence tied up into one talented woman. And wonder of wonders, when it was time to go back and sing for the service who was there but John! And the roof didn’t cave in! No red lights, civil service alarms, no “stay in your homes….” He actually came to my church and received Communion with me. It was really nice to have him there. Lest one think that I criticize him, please understand I am merely joking. John works 15-hour days five days a week, 40 of those hours being the night or graveyard shift. He is barely conscious most Sunday mornings when I am at a choir service. He just happened to be off from the night shift job last night and I caught him on a good morning, LOL.
After church, we went to the Center Club Christmas party. I always have fun at those because the people who work there are so nice and down to earth. They are so nice to me that I cannot help but have a good time. The wine with the meal was unbelievably good. I didn’t drink a lot, but enjoyed it all the more because I could savor the good stuff. It didn’t hurt that one of our table mates was the wine expert:)
After the party, John and I went to Best Buy where he cashed in on a gift certificate he got from the hotel for Christmas and bought a really nice set of earphones for his iPod and a DVD of The Illusionist. We got a bottle of wine recommended by Bob M of the choir. A small bottle just to savor the good stuff as stated previously:) We watched the movie with Kristin and Sonny (they came over later in the evening). The night should have ended well, but I was overtired and John was a little cranky himself and poof! Good stuff all for naught. It seems we always have stupid fights when we have a good day. God forbid we should feel good about enjoying ourselves! When I get that one figured out, I’ll let you know and share the secret:)
Now it is about 2 AM. I will try to creep back into bed and get some real sleep this time. It’s been a long weekend and the week ahead looks to be busy. I hope to get some walking in and stay on track with the carbs. Shouldn’t be too hard with the wonderful friends I have helping me. Wish I could give some of that back. Good night and God bless.


Hey, just writing to do a quick catch up on the week. Today, I will be getting ready for Court Thurs and Friday and preparing for the insane weekend coming up! I have finally gotten my calendar back in place on the computer – now need to update the paper thing. I will never trust electronics again! Guess I’m too old:)
For the knitters who frequent this blog, my apologies – but fear not:) – I do have a knitting pic – am attending my church’s Prayer Shawl Ministry in another 1/2 hour, so the day is not lost:)
Here’s my progress thus far:

One skein down and two to go. Not much done after November and the Christmas frenzy. So today I get to have a little yarn therapy.

But you know what’s really really nice? Ever reach into the pocket of a coat you haven’t worn in a while only to find (no, not used tissues!) that twenty-dollar bill you thought you’d lost. Sweet, huh? Well, I had that experience today. Only it wasn’t money. When I went to get the bag with the Prayer Shawl project in it, and reached down to get it out (to take the picture you see here), I found this:

Four little cashmere beauties, kind of green, kind of plum, kind of sweet:) I remember buying them for a shawl or scarf or something and remember putting them away, but not in that bag. Huh…. Now I keep thinking of the soft lovely scarf I want to make. Ahhhh. But I. must. finish. projects. I’m. still. working. on.

Tomorrow I have court in the morning and Ann, hopefully will cover the afternoon docket. If her cold doesn’t get any worse, that is! If I can get off early, I will go to the park for another life-affirming LONG walk:) Even if it is cold. Once I get moving, the cold doesn’t bother me (famous last words, LOL).

Then, tomorrow evening is choir (yippeee:)) and Friday after work, I’m heading to DC for dinner and a play. Dinner with my Dad and stepmother from NY and a play that my son, Danny is performing in. All the kids, their significant others, and a couple of in-laws, are joining us beforehand for dinner. And the family is getting together afterwards for drinks and light fare and conversation, so it looks like it will be a long evening:)

Next morning, up at dawn to get home for the grandmunchkins. Then I’m off to make sandwiches for my church’s youth Discovery Weekend. Then of course my firm is having its holiday party this Saturday afternoon. And John’s work’s holiday party is Sunday afternoon. I will be ready for work on Monday if only to get the break, LOL!

Well, I am getting some knitting in tonight. Gotta finish that baby blankie before baby Kate has her first prom!


Weekend Works

Well, I joined yet another KAL (knit-a-long) yesterday and posted my first post today. I’m usually really good at these things – at first – and certainly tend to lurk all the time throughout. But this one I’m kind of excited about. If anyone reading this is interested, you can reach it by
clicking on the link on the title to this blog entry. It’s called Fair Isle February, and as you can imagine, the participants are supposed to work on a fair isle project. I sorta kinda cheated in that my project could also be included in the Mason-Dixon Knitting Blog/KAL as well. But I figure that’s OK. I need to contribute a little more to that blog also. Here’s what I’m working on:
A baby blankie for Baby Kate. Since Kate lives in San Diego, I figure she won’t need wool and double strands of cotton ougtta do the trick. More about this on the Fair Isle February blog. I’m having fun with the bright colors and hope she (or her parents) will enjoy it.

Still have so many projects in the works, but hey, that’s what makes the world go ’round.

Yesterday was a productive one, if a little hectic with a missed appointment I must make up!

I started out by walking some 2 + miles with a very nice friend. I think we’ll be doing this somewhat regularly and I’m happy with that because it should help the old cardio system. Although I normally walk fairly long distances now without a lot of trouble, yesterday was a bit brisker and longer than usual, which was a wonderful thing. She’s in a lot better shape than I am, so I constantly have someone to keep up with. I just hope I don’t hold her back, LOL! When I think back to just three years ago, when I wasn’t sleeping really through the night, because I had sleep apnea, snoring like a steam roller and not fitting into size 48 pants, having to huff and puff a little up a hill is small potatoes (low carb, of course, LOL). So, like the saying goes, thank God for friends – and I especially thank God for this one!
After a mad dash to get paperwork done, I literally ran through the shower, getting dressed for court, off to the office to drop off said paperwork and files, picking up more paperwork and mail in the process, then off to court. I was supposed to stop by DSS’ office to review a file, but automatic pilot kicked in and I was home before I realized I had totally turned my brain off! By then it was too late. )(*&)(*&)(*&!!!! So I am going to have to eat some humble pie Monday. Luckily, we’re on the same side, and luckily this is a fairly cordial bar, or I would be in deep stuff!
Last night was fairly quiet. I did some knitting and fell asleep in the middle of it, staggering off to bed at 2 AM! Was up this morning about 6 hours later and off to get John’s dry cleaning (not fun to go to work naked) and client visits. Up to White Marsh, over to Essex, up to Reisterstown, back over to Dundalk and then home. You’d think I’d plan this better and put all my east side visits together in time, but it just worked out that way. I tell you what though: that portable GPS system that three of my kids got me this Christmas is worth its weight in gold. It took me through the port of Baltimore and got me home very quickly.

As you can see, the Ft. McHenry tunnel wasn’t too bad – after all, it’s a Saturday and date night hasn’t started yet, LOL.

Wanted to show some pictures of the older section of Ellicott City, which was predominantly a mill town, I believe, back in the day. As you can see, Main Street is still pretty crowded and the electrical/phone wires are still up in the air. There are a lot of interesting shops in those old stone buildings. Very Maryland. I didn’t include pictures of the Patapsco (?) Institute and the gargoyled house on College Avenue – both said to be haunted because I didn’t drive by them, but they are nearby.

and up the hill, around the bend and …home. A nice productive day. Not bad. Tomorrow is choir/church and dinner with the family. Tonight I might stop by and see a fellow chorister play with his band at a local pub. No drinking, though. I gave that up until further notice. It was getting in the way of being a responsible person. Not good.
I am ending here with my free will astrology horoscope for this week. It was very meaningful. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t necessarily believe in this stuff. I believe that the God of the Universe is the One to go to on the subject of my life, but if this could be a road sign, since it makes a bit of sense. Who knows?
Your whole life passed before your eyes in a flash, and yet
you survived. The veil parted and revealed sights too weird and wonderful to
consciously register, changing you in ways that won’t fully sink in for months.
Now you may feel as if you’re waking up at 3 p.m. after an all-night binge. You
might be so overloaded with uncanny new wisdom that you don’t quite know what
practical use to make of it all yet. But have no fear: As your birthday
approaches, you’ll begin to understand the teachings you didn’t even know you

Yeah buddy, thanks for reminding me about yet another birthday. Well, I’ve got a couple of weeks yet. And I’d like to think I’m still young enough to enjoy my birthday:)


Good News!

I just got some great news! Remember that brief – the one with Horton Lays an Egg in it? The one I stressed about and Connie worked so hard on? Oral argument in November? Two kids who really needed finality? Permanence? FAMILY???? Well, Connie got a letter from the Md Ct of Special Appeals today and the news is good!! The Maryland intermediate appellate court affirmed the trial court. It is possible the parents will try to get certiorari in the Court of Appeals, so we still have to sweat that one out, but for today, the news is really really good. Score one for the kids for a change!!! Yes!
This week has been very hectic, but frankly, I’m glad to be back, really working and out of vacation mode. Every day this week has meant a trip to the courthouse and tomorrow it’s also a trip to DSS to review a record and get ready for a trial in 2 weeks, but that’s OK. How many times have I said here I really really like my job (and days like today make it all worthwhile!)
Tomorrow, I’ll be walking in the park, going to DSS, then Court in the PM. Tonight, I’ve got choir practice (it’s Thursday) and then have to finish my paperwork and get it all to the office before turning in for the night. So I still have a bit to do. But that’s OK, for today, life is good:)

Oh Man… And I coulda had a V8!

Apparently I have “gay hands.” Man! After 30 years of marriage and six kids, I’ve been doing it all wrong! Geez Louise! I should have been another ALF. Little did I know:) Note the ring finger is ever so much longer than the index finger. Well now I’m showing my total lack of experience and sophistication! That’s OK, just don’t tell John. He’d be laughing as hard as I am.

C’est la vie!

Today, I overslept big time! I was supposed to be at church, vested and ready for rehearsal before the service by 8:30 AM. Service started at 9. I was there at 9:15. Oy! Well, at least I made it in time for the psalm. Nancy was probably thinking about the organ concert today, so if she was annoyed, she didn’t show it. I was so embarassed – good thing I’m not one of the good singers, LOL!
After church, I did my usual run to pick up the Sun and the New York Times. It had been drizzling a little and the sun came out – so the first thing that greeted me at the traffic light from St. John’s Lane to Rte 40 was a rainbow! Hope you can see it in these pictures. The second one is in the parking lot of the shopping center where I get my papers.


It’s faint, but you can make it out – probably better in the second one.

Knitting – well one of the reasons I was up far too late on Saturday was to (1) finish that sock yarn scarf I’ve been working on, (2) finish the second scarf (this one for my boss), and (3) start on a knitting blankie for our newest great niece. #1 got finished last night – needs to be blocked, though. I finished the eyelash scarf and didn’t do much on #2, but I did start the blankie. Here are pics:

One sock yarn scarf in dire need of blocking and finishing;

Scarf for the boss needs to be finished;

Eyelash Scarf completed;

And baby blankie begun. It’s in cotton – fair isle pattern from Dale of Norway (sweater adapted to blanket – they live in San Diego and by the time the sweater would be done, she’d be a toddler, LOL:) ) Colors to the right are more accurate, if duller than the original.

Well I was treated to the “fugue” part of this blog yesterday afternoon. After church – and attempting to cook dinner early (disaster!) I went to St. Peter’s Church for their organ dedication. Tom H., one of our choir members and an organ builder/composer extraordinaire, and whose wife, Donna, has a lovely soprano voice, repaired – or more accurately stated – rebuilt – their pipe organ. Nancy S., our music director/choirmaster/ and concert organist, put together a beautiful concert in honor of the occasion. The little church was packed and it was oh-so-warm (in January!!!). But the music was transforming. How awesome it must have been for Tom to see his work of art creating other works of art! The Rector of St. Peter’s commented that the music took him to another place and time. It did the same for me. I found myself meditating on being in God’s presence. My experience was woven in and out of the music, like I was there and not there at the same time. Words don’t adequately express the experience I had. The past few months have been difficult for me emotionally and spiritually. I have had so many questions about life, death, love, you name it. What I took away with me was this: Love is Eternal. Pain, sin, hatred and death fall away and in the end you are left with one thing: Love. The love you left with others, the love you give today and the love you have always received. That must be what Paul meant when he was penning 1 Cor 13. All that from an organ concert!

There was a couple there -Dick and Sally if you can believe it – and Dick is from WI- so I introduced them to Rennie, Nancy’s husband. There were going to try to meet up with her at the reception afterwards. I had to leave immediately afterwards in hopes of Sunday dinner with the family. Unfortunately, the chicken I attempted to slow-cook turned out AWFUL. It smelled great, but was far too dry for human consumption – at least the white meat was and that’s all my gang will eat (except me).

Oh well, life goes on:)

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. We remember a man who confronted racism and bigotry with the mind of Christ. And now his beloved Coretta has joined him in Heaven. Let freedom ring! I slept in a little this morning. My goals are to keep on keeping on – by starting off with a walk, catching up on the wash, cleaning up the mess that is my desk, updating calendars and organizing work so I know what I’m up against, LOL.

And this evening is a Music Committee Meeting.

That oughta hold me until tomorrow – meeting with the boss and then court.


And the roller coaster ride continues

Today was court. Not too eventful, except the one contested case that ended appropriately. I had promised a co-worker an eyelash scarf to wear with work clothes and so decided to check out Michaels. Sure enough – massive sale:) so I was a little bit bad:) Seriously, it cost very little – 2 bucks a skein and I only got a few:) And a Knitter’s magazine. I’m set for a few days – not that I’ll have time to do all I want. Work doth beckon, you know!
Then I went home and let’s just say it was downhill from there. John has had bad news every time he’s gone to the dr. A few days ago, the shattered disk, yesterday, a referral to the Wilmer Eye Clinic at Johns Hopkins and today, after a nerve test (something done with needles) the doc finds peripheral neuropathy. Then Dori calls and tells me she needs further tests done for an “irregular” Pap. That and the hernia surgery she needs convinces her she’s not going to live out the year. Her baby is yelling at her in the background and her big girl needs an IEP and services. Badly. I think it’s a broken heart. Parenting alone cannot be good for either her or Donald. And I don’t know how to make enough money to take care of all of them. And I so want to do that.
Tonight was choir practice – time with other grownups (sort of:)) like Bob and Ann and Russ and another Ann, and Barry and Susan and Nancy, dear sweet Nancy. Solace and joy.
Sorry, things kind of hit me at night, when things are quiet and I start to feel the effects of the day. So, excuse me, whilst I turn to God. And while I’m at it, please bless that person who has been e-mailing me and give her?/him? the right path to go. And please heal my beloved family.
Good night, angels!