I paid attention. I did. I really did!

Hey, knitting makes me concentrate all the harder on what I’m hearing. I even took notes. And I’m on vacation. Did I tell you I’m on vacation? Yeah alright. I’m also at a conference, but I’m learning a lot. John is climbing the walls, but I’m learning a lot. And almost done with the first sock of my second pair this summer. 🙂 Schweet.

Atlantic City is known for its boardwalk, the Miss America Contest, gambling, casinos, entertainment, etc. We didn’t come here for that. We gambled and lost our $10 allotment (plus $10 parking at the casino). We went home. Tada! Not my thing. Really. But there is this one really cool thing I find fascinating about the place (aside from it being flat as a pancake). And it was this:

You can make them out best in the first picture. Windmills! They provide the power (or at least some of it) for a water treatment plant in Absecon, on the outskirts of Atlantic City. It’s called the Jersey Atlantic Wind Garden or something like that. I just thought it was So Cool! Hey, it takes all kinds…..

I’m sitting in the hotel lobby. I have a glass of wine and a husband waiting for me upstairs. So I’m going. More later:)+

On the Road to Atlantic City -…THERE

Hi! Am typing this from the lobby of the Sheraton Hotel here in Atlantic City – on lunch break from Beyond Finding Words a follow-up course to the Finding Words forensic interviewing training for people involved in the area of child protection. So far I’ve met a Florida prosecutor and a forensic interviewer from South Carolina. The course is very very interesting. Going to conferences like this does just what any vacation should do: injects me with more determination to do my job right:)!

Did not get much knitting done yesterday, what with packing and spending time with the grandkids before driving up to AC. But I did – I really did – take the Cables and Os sweater with me and a small sock project for my purse and I think the Baby Surprise thingie, so I won’t be lost here in the big city…

On another front I GOT MY INVITATION TO RAVELRY!!!! WHOO HOOO!!!!!!

Of course it arrived early early this morning, so I got my name in via my cell phone and finished up the profile info here on the internet at the hotel. But it is so cool. My username is FugueStateKnits, so please come over and give me a holler. I am so looking forward to getting even more involved with this when I get home!

Ahhhhhh…. I love vacation. John is getting some rest too back at the room. I’m skipping lunch so we can go out to dinner tonight. Schweet! Who says you can’t enjoy yourself on a shoestring? (well I’m too old for the G kind, LOL!!!!!)

Bis Spaeter!+

Packing up my knitting

to take with me on vacation (well sort of). I mean, really folks, first things first. This thing is really starting to move along. Well, of course it does when you’re not knitting 352-stitch rows, LOL! And by the way, I’m not as slim as the picture below might indicate! The stitch holders for the back are gathering up a LOT of stitches. I did take a brief break from knitting last night to check the left front against my own and it appears that this thing will actually fit –at least I hope so after all this work.


I think I said somewhere that this will be my most documented sweater and I think I was right!

Gotta go pack! whoo hoo. New tire, not a lotta geld, but who cares!
Oh, and I’ve got 30 people ahead of me in Ravelry!! Yikes!
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I am in Hog Heaven

Can’t figure out if “hog” or “heaven” is the operative term. Since arriving home yesterday afternoon (and a flat tire providing me with no way to accomplish a client visit I had hoped to do), I spent until the wee hours of the morning knitting the Cables & Os sweater, , finished the second of the blue pair (for Kristin) and began another toe-up sock (they are addictive, d(*& it!) and a Baby Surprise Jacket (yarn from the stash, yarn from the stash!!) which of course looks nothing like a jacket, or a baby or a surprise right now, LOL:).

And now I’m ready to shape the shoulders on the Cables and Os for the left front and am wondering whether I should attempt short row shoulder shaping or just follow the dang directions? Any votes? Here’s what I’m gonna do (since I’m now officially on vacation, sorta kinda and have a little bit of time for a learning experience): I’m going to try to do short row shaping and see if I can do it in the number of rows the directions call for. If it doesn’t work, I can always rip back a few rows, so really, what’s the harm? I’m going to post this paragraph on the NSFY KAL blog and see what if any response I get.
Progress in another arena, though not of my doing: Ravelry is still moving along at its 153-invitation-per-day rate, so it looks like I may hear something Sunday or Monday (they say I’m at 274 on the list now, palpitations!). If/when it happens, I plan on using FugueStateKnits unless somebody else is playing with my karma, man…..
I am excited about the conference in Atlantic City, and that John is coming along, but am concerned about my flat tire and the fact that John may have to leave mid-way through the conference (boo). Hopefully that will work itself out. He needs the rest FAR FAR more than I do! Not that I’ll be resting necessarily. I’m hoping to actually learn something while I’m there!
Coming back will have its rewards as well. I want to be around when one of our kids has that biopsy (I keep wanting to call it a “bibopsy” a la Andrea Martin in My Big Fat Greek Wedding) and know that she’s OK. Madison starts back to school. I need to get back to walking so I can do that walk-a-thon in DC in October. Nancy’s back (YAY) which means music is back and walking and watching my piggish ways! I think she’s the first friend I’ve had who is actually a good influence on me. Bell Choir, EfM and Choir!
And a brief, which I should have been pro-active enough to get started on (at least the facts, LOL!)
It’s all good!
Well tonight I’m going to stay in vacation mode. Tomorrow I’m going to finish up what I need to do before we leave for the wilds of New Joysey!
G’night Angels!+

Secret Pal 11:)!!

I just found out that I have a SP!
And I just read her responses to the questionnaire, so I’m posting mine as hope springeth eternal, LOL!

What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
Anything that knits with definition. I really like to knit lace, aran and fair isle (not that I’m particularly good at any of the above, LOL!). Bottom line: whatever one gets, one finds a way to use. That’s what happens when you’re a knitaholic!

What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I have a bag that was originally meant to hold cross stitch supplies that works very well for circs and I also have another one of those canvas bag thingies (forget the company!) that holds notions and straights.

How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I’ve been knitting on and off for over 40 years, but still do not consider myself advanced by any means. I’m more of a copier – therefore I’d say “intermediate.” or “ambitious intermediate,” or perhaps best stated, “pretentious intermediate.”

Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
Sure do – http://amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/ref=lst_llp_wl-go/102-3473264-4760923

What’s your favorite scent?
Citrus and “clean” scents are my favorite and also things like Wisteria.

Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
NONONONONO keep that stuff way from me!!!!!!!!! (I’m an addict)

What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
cross stitch, crochet, no spinning. I’m dizzy enough.

What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
Pretty much everything, but I adore classical, post-war choral liturgical, and 16th and 17th century music. And yes, we speak MP3 at our house!

What’s your favorite color(s)? cool tones Any colors you just can’t stand? orange

What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
Married 30 years, six kids, 2 granddaughters.

Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos? scarves and hats. hold the mittens, LOL Ponchos make me look fat, LOL (of course my ample butt has nothing to do with that, LOL!!!).

What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
sweaters and scarves

What are you knitting right now?
Cables and Os from NSFY, and socks from the internet. Hoping to finish by 9/30 or thereabouts: Lily of the Valley Shawl from Lace Style, Baby Surprise Sweater from The Opinionated Knitter, a Nina Shawl and two Log Cabin blankies from Mason-Dixon Knitting, a vest from KnitSimple and the Heartbeat Sweater by Lynn? Vosburgh. To say nothing of the winter projects pending, like the FLAK and a Dalegarn stranded colorwork sweater. Or maybe get them finished before the decade ends!

Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Sure! Who wouldn’t?

Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
circs; bamboo or aluminum

Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift? Neither. Someday. maybe.

How old is your oldest UFO?
About 3 years old?

What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas – I’m such a kid and it represents unconditional love and the vulnerability of the world’s greatest Lover.

Is there anything that you collect?
I spend too much on yarn and books, but I’m not organized enough to collect anything.

Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on?
Janet Szabo’s new book, Poetry in Stitches, Euroflax yarn. I’m pretty blessed in the needle department at this point.

What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Interweave Knits and Knitters.

Are there any new techniques you’d like to learn?
Intarsia! It is the one thing that I just have the toughest time with! And there’s this scarf in Scarf Style by Annie Modesitt that has become the Moby Dick to my Ahab, so to speak!

Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes, I was dragged into sock knitting kicking and screaming – US women’s size 9 sock with loose ankles (they swell) .

When is your birthday?February 9th

Are you on Ravelry? Not yet – I should be in the next week or so – when I am, I will probably be FugueStateKnits unless the name is taken already.
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Stinky Monday

The house still smells like the garlic roasted with Sabrina’s vegetables. I have a pile of files and paperwork sitting on the living room-cum-homeoffice floor. Yech. and the downstairs bathroom needs cleaning – the fun part of working 80 percent of the time out of one’s home. You’re never 100 percent at work and never 100 percent at home. Oh well, this is something I used to dream about at my previous jobs and I am NOT complaining, lest work karma gets me.

So, I’m getting down to work today. Next week I will be out of town at that conference, so I’d better get crackin’! More to come tonight when I can breathe (I hope!).
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I am #10212 on the list! Whoo Hoo!

When I went to that lookup thingie on ravelry.com this morning (and yes, I do check about twice a day, LOL!), this is what I learned about my current status in the “list.”

You signed up on June 20, 2007
You are #10212 on the list.
972 people are ahead of you in line.
16035 people are behind you in line.
35% of the list has been invited so far

How many people are behind me on line I look at as a red herring. I’m not pushing in front of anyone, thank you – I’m just waiting my turn in line like the rest of the “have-nots.” It’s getting tough out there. My knitting meetup is split between ravelry haves (those who have gotten their invitation-like-the-gold-coupon-in-the-wonka-bar-wrapper) and have-nots (those who have not) and boy, is it tense whenever the topic comes up (and it’s sure to do so, since ravelry in the knitting world is starting to become a verb as google has in the world at large).

But I’m cool. I’ll just chill until my day arrives. The way I figure it is this: If I signed up on June 20th, and I’m 10212 on the list and there are 972 people ahead of me, then 9,240 people have already been invited since June 20th. It has been 10 +31 +18 days since I signed up, or 59 days. Soooo, on average, Ravelry has issued approximately 156 invitations per day, so if they keep up this average rate, I should be hearing from them in about a week. Let’s see if it happens, LOL:)

I understand Ravelry is being run by a newly married husband and wife team who have both quit their day jobs as it were and are going to be doing this on a full-time basis. Good for them! They’re young, and they’re smart. They saw a need and they’re filling it. I wish them all the best:) and hurry up already, LOL!

In other knitting news, StitchayWoman wrote on her blog,

“I saw this over on a blog called Knitstant Gratification (worth a visit: http://knitstantgratification.wordpress.com/) and it immediately caught my fancy. ”

It caught mine too, so here goes:

Mark with bold the things you have ever knit, with italics the ones you plan to do sometime, and leave the rest.

• Afghan
• I-cord

• Garter stitch

• Knitting with metal wire

• Shawl

• Stockinette stitch

• Socks: top-down

•Socks: toe-up In fact, I finished my first one of a pair last night: Here’s a pic or two:

• Knitting with camel yarn

• Mittens: Cuff-up

• Mittens: Tip-down

• Hat• Knitting with silk

• Moebius band knitting

• Participating in a KAL

• Sweater

• Drop stitch patterns

• Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn

• Slip stitch patterns

• Knitting with banana fiber yarn

• Domino knitting

• Twisted stitch patterns

• Knitting with bamboo yarn

• Two end knitting

• Charity knitting

• Knitting with soy yarn

• Cardigan

• Toy/doll clothing

• Knitting with circular needles (hell yeah!)

• Baby items

• Knitting with your own handspun

• Slippers

• Graffiti knitting

• Continental knitting (pretty much always)

• Designing knitted garments

• Cable stitch patterns

• Lace patterns

• Publishing a knitting book

• Scarf

• Teaching a child to knit

• American/English knitting

• Knitting to make money

• Buttonholes

• Knitting with alpaca

• Fair Isle knitting

• Norwegian knitting (Do the Dalegarn patterns count??)

• Dying with plant colors

• Knitting items for a wedding

• Household items

• Knitting socks (or other small tubular items)on two circulars

• Olympic knitting

• Knitting with someone else’s handspun yarn

• Knitting with dpns

• Holiday-related knitting

• Teaching a male how to knit (Jesse Ishikawa, Middlebury College, 1972)

• Bobbles

• Knitting for a living

• Knitting with cotton

• Knitting smocking

• Dying yarn

• Steeks

• Knitting art

• Knitting two socks on two circulars simultaneously

• Fulling/felting

• Knitting with wool

• Textured knitting

• Kitchener BO

• Purses/bags

• Knitting with beads

• Swatching

• Long Tail CO

• Entrelac

• Knitting and purling backwards

• Machine knitting

• Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegating yarn

• Stuffed toys

• Knitting with cashmere

• Darning

• Jewelry

• Knitting with synthetic yarn

• Writing a pattern

• Gloves

• Intarsia

• Knitting with linen In fact, the Cables and Os cardigan has two color stripes that are linen blends and I think I’ll use the reddish pink stripe at double width (it’s random, so why not). Think this cardigan will make me look fat, LOL:)))!!! (note the triple chins on the smile emoticon, LOL):

• Knitting for preemies (someday maybe)

• Tubular CO

• Freeform knitting

• Short rows

• Cuffs/fingerless mitts/armwarmers

• Pillows

• Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine

• Rug

• Knitting on a loom

• Thrummed knitting

• Knitting a gift

• Knitting for pets

• Shrug/bolero/poncho (If you count the baby blanket that turned into a child-sized poncho for Madison)

• Knitting with dog/cat hair – no thanks!

• Hair accessories

• Knitting in public

**************************************************

Today is Saturday – and I have the strangest feeling that there is something I’m supposed to be doing today – visiting a client? I don’t have anything on my calendar which frankly worries me, LOL. Ah well, I’ll find out soon enough. Everyone know how to get ahold of me.

This coming week, I’m going to do my darndest to get things ready so that when I leave town it will not be with a bunch of lose ends to darn in. (Especially since if you read the above list, you will note I have not yet darned, but would like to learn!). One more week of real summer, then a four-day conference, then a few days off to catch up on things around the house, good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise as Mr. Watts used to say! It should be a challenge as our firm’s managing attorney will be in the hospital. He’s a great guy and a good man and I wish him good health! He had a bit of a scare but thankfully the docs have figured out the problem and he’s getting treated, so thank God!

Oh dear, I just remembered, there’s a wake for my co-worker’s brother I’m supposed to go to. Better get moving!+

It’s Wednesday and ahm Tarred…

It’s been a LONG couple of days, but I’ve been able to get a lot done and yet still have a lot to do. After hitting the sack at 3:30 am Tuesday morning (it felt like Monday night), I got up at 7:30 (HAPPY BIRTHDAY BETSY!!!), finished updating some things on the calendar, and got to a staffing at DSS for a client of mine. Then to court for a review hearing only to find my poor client had gotten locked up for a Violation of Probation (did you know you could get one of those for picking your nose improperly? – well maybe that’s a teeeensy exaggeration….) Review hearing done in Towson, I was on my way to Westminster, some oh… 50 miles away(?) or something like that. Met with another client and his wonderful foster family and then, like Willie Nelson, On the Road Again to meet up with a lovely friend who invited me to dinner as a thank you for visiting her after her surgery (wasn’t that really nice of her? I hardly did a darn thing for her!). We sat outside and had a lovely dinner and conversation and caught up on things. So I was there tiring the poor girl out for about four hours! We celebrated Betsy’s birthday on Sunday and gave her the usual “big girl” birthday gift that morning (ok, she’s 26 and we figured money would be preferable), so I didn’t think it would be poor form to accept the dinner invitation, since she was going to be hanging out with her sibs playing video games and such.
This morning again up at 7:30, did some paperwork, got ready for another meeting about a client at DSS and then on the road back home to get ready for tomorrow’s court fun and frolic. Had a personnel meeting at church and then was a little bit (try 2 hours) late for our knitting meetup, but it was fine, they stay ’til about 10:30, LOL! I FINALLY got some knitting in. Re-did the toe-up sock so it is the right size and the toe doesn’t look like those cockroach killer shoes of the fifties – or wait a minute, you know, those pointy-toed high-heel toe cracking shoes the skinny women wear? Did a row or two (!!) on the Cables and Os sweater and I’m DONE!
Tomorrow is court – the county in the morning and the city in the afternoon – and Friday is another meeting at DSS (I’m moving in and saving on rent!) about another client and court in the county and then I think I’ll be done for the week or hope springeth eternal.
But you know what? I really really do love my job and my clients and besides in 11 days I’ll be going away to Atlantic City for a conference and a little fun with hubby. How bad can any of that be?
Good night, angels!+

What Can I Say? It’s August

August for me is like the passageway between reflection and action; the old and the new – a chance to catch up and fall further behind at the same time; to do things I haven’t done in a while and to just continue living. How was that for vague? And yet it must be. From the time I was a kid, I awaited summer with great anticipation in June, but by the dry, sunbaked days of August I was ready for school. Of course I didn’t admit this to anyone. That would’ve violated one of the sacred rules of childhood and linked me too closely with my parents and grandparents.

This past week has been Augustian in all its glory. 100-degree days followed by relatively mild and breezy 80s and 90s (Fahrenheit, LOL!). An occasional promising raincloud followed by enough rain to tease us, but not quite satisfy. Even the court dockets are pared down somewhat: the usually crowded CINA docket is fairly light this week and next – or at least it seems that way to me. Even the most cantankerous of kids is mellowing out as he or she plots their revenge on yet another foster parent or dysfunctional family member.

That will come in September. It always does. And my September looks to be a gathering tornado of activity. Professionally, I have two appeals, which means one brief and another Statement of Facts for the poor guy who’s handling the second appeal. At some point in the autumn, I will be arguing my first appellate case and I am nervous (of course!!!) and relishing the anticipation at the same time. At the same time, I will be continuing (I hope) to represent my clients in CINA court and hope to employ what I hope to learn at the Beyond Finding Words conference in Atlantic City at the end of August.
On the personal front, good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I’m back for year three of EfM and looking forward to see what direction(s) in which Tom takes us as a group. Choir is of course a given:) and this year I’m going to do my best not to screw up bell choir. It’s the first time for me. Much like the appeals, I’m anxious and excited to be learning something new. So three nights a week (and Sundays) I’ll be involved in some activity or learning process (or both) and managing my time will be my greatest challenge.

My Dad always said (and his mother and dad said to him), “If you want something done, ask the busy [wo]man.” I guess my goal for the next 12 months is to be the busy [wo]man who gets things done.

Where have I been the last 8 days or so? Working, doing visits with clients, knitting with some new friends and acquaintances and working again. I’d like to say I’ve been doing wash and cleaning every day because my home needs it, but nope. I have this nightmare that a huge monster shaped like dirty underwear and dustbunnies strangles me in my sleep. Can you imagine the headlines? Ah the shame!

Anyhoo…. yesterday I went to church to sit up in the gallery again and it was fine. Luckily Nancy M. (a soprano who is the epitome of capable and effective – she has to be, she’s an elementary school secretary!) and Frances K. (an alto who is also an engineer and a sweetheart) were already there (THANK GOD!!!!). We were treated again to Rosemary Beales’ preaching style. She has a beautiful voice – and used it, this time singing excerpts from John Lennon’s “Imagine.” She has a brilliant writing style which of course shows forth in her homilies. Rosemary began her sermon with an illustration of two little children not really playing with each other because they had too many toys. Their mother boxed up a majority of their toys so they could see what they had in front of them, use their imagination, and play well together. Extrapolating to the problem of poverty and God’s command to the wealthy young man to sell all he had and give to the poor, NOW, Rosemary reminded us of what we are hanging on to. These things – our toys, if you will – obscure the real meaning of our lives and prevent us from really seeing what we have in front of us, using our imaginations and really “playing” together. My poor extract doesn’t do her justice. I think you can actually read some of Rosemary’s sermons at the church website, if you’re curious as to what I’m talking about: http://www.stjohnsec.org/

After church, I had breakfast with Diane L. at the local diner and boy did I eat too much! Had FAR too many carbs and sinned ever so deliciously, but I guess that was part of summer for me. It was nice catching up with Diane and getting to know her and her family history better. It’s always amazing to me how people’s histories are always interesting. I guess I’ve got a mutation of that Will Rogers gene – never met someone who didn’t have something interesting about them.

After brunch, I set off to visit a couple of our firm’s clients in a group home on the Eastern Shore – practically to Salisbury, which is not terribly far from Ocean City. It was a bright sunny day, as this shot of my return trip over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge will attest. It was a lazy summer Sunday yet I got a lot of my phone calls returned whilst in the car and the trip appeared to take no time at all. The most breathtaking view of the entire trip was from the Severn River Bridge in the Annapolis area. The sun was bright, the sky and water were a beautiful azure blue and the water was dotted with the graceful flowing presences of sailboats. Heading back home in a westward direction, a brief glance south toward the Chesapeake revealed a series of bridges over water and sailboats, surrounded by some awe-inspiring waterfront estates. Unfortunately, safety concerns precluded any picture taking at that point. Wish I could have preserved that view. Someday I will, but someone else will have to be driving!

While on the road, I managed to enlist John’s aid in getting the ingredients for dinner, so when I returned, I was ready to go – baked chicken in butter, olive oil, rosemary and basil (thyme plant was shriveled in the sun – am trying to revive it); “real” mashed potatoes, tomato, mozzarella and basil salad. Kristin and Sonny brought the birthday cake for Betsy – who turns 26 tomorrow (Happy Birthday, Betsy!) and of course there was an assortment of interesting things to drink (including apple juice for the little folks and stronger stuff for the rest of us).

The “kids” ended the evening with a poker game and John and I went to bed early and crashed. I felt like a little kid, listening to the grownups downstairs talking, LOL. It’s nice when the “kids” are grown. I’m enjoying this phase of life, so far.

On the knitting front:
Although I did finish the “Booga Bag” with the Noro yarn, and gave it to Dori (sorry, gave it away before I could take a picture), there’s not a whole lot of additional length on the Cables and Os sweater. And no, that is NOT just the back, LOL! I’m a bit of a “wide load” for sure, but not half the couch – that would be the right side, back and left side – I HOPE!

This morning, I was at the office and then had a very much needed hearing for three older clients of mine (remember for me “older” means between 10 and 21 years old, LOL!). The Master really got it and wanted to do the right thing for these kids and their older sister who has been caring for them for almost a year now, seeing that they eat, have a place to live and clothes to wear and are in school and sports and other after school activities and she not much older than they are! So often we don’t realize how so many of our fellow human beings live right in our own communities!

Well, I’ve got some paperwork to finish and a birthday card to buy. Auf Wiedersehen, Au Revoir, прощание, vaya con Dios…you get the picture+