And so it goes

Rainy days and Mondays are supposed to get you down. But this one didn’t. I had the gamut of emotions today, but I wasn’t particularly down. I find rainy days, even Mondays, to be rather cozy and comforting. Easy for me to say, since I can always get inside at some point. Had one hearing this afternoon which ended up being uncontested. Of course a grandparent made some noise at me in the hallway. Big deal. What else is new. Ran an errand, then home. John has not been feeling well. He had an appointment with the dr early this morning – for which the doc’s office neglected to tell him had been canceled because the doc was out of town. He has some worrisome symptoms, but nothing that any of us non-pros can figure out. His new appointment – June 3rd! Ah yes, the advances of American medicine!
This evening, Sonny was driving through our neck of the woods with his mom, our daughter’s future, M-I-L, and wondered if we wanted to meet somewhere not particularly grand for dinner. Gee, don’t you hate when that happens? I just so happened, we had a gift card for Clyde’s and met them there. It was a pleasant supper and a good time was had by all. Well, we did have a fight on the way over. Apparently news of my wild escapades (NOT) Saturday night have reached epic proportions in the annals of the family saga – and that doesn’t look good for our hero(ine). But all was well by the time dinner was over. He knows I’m not having a mad impetuous (or a calm, sane well thought out) affair. Puhleeze! With what? (Ew that didn’t sound good!) As if!
It looks like the wedding’s going to be a lot of fun. All of the sibs on our side are in the wedding party, even the grandangels are flower girls with two of Sonny’s nieces. Talk about massive family photo-ops! The good news is I’m blessed with a fun family – in-law and out-law alike, so whoever gets here, it will be wonderful to see them!
As one can see from the picture at the top, I’ve made a little progress on the Cardigan for Arwen (me). What you cannot see is the also little bit of progress on the falling leaves scarf/wrap and the turtle-necked tee for Dori. But I have knit a little on them. As I said yesterday – or Saturday – rotation is a good thing.
Well, I have a busy day tomorrow and it’s almost 2 a.m., so I’m heading for bed!
Good night+

Sunday in Merlin

It’s a drizzly, rainy day here in Merlin, but the cloudy skies show off the vibrant greens of spring. It seems like overnight, the trees are laden with leaves. I’m writing this as I finish reviewing my few Sunday e-mails. I’ve gotten back from singing in the choir at the late service (an unusual treat lately – seems I’ve been at both services every Sunday for months now – not that I’m complaining:)). After choir, I did the grocery and liquor store shopping for this evening’s birthday dinner celebration. It will only be for Dori – Danny went out with his sisters last night to dinner and back home for their proverbial poker game. While the kids were playing, I was out at Diane’s house, having dinner with her and three other friends. It was a really good time. We all listened to two of the women who were having medical, legal, family, and mental health issues and spent a lot of the time brainstorming. I left in the middle to grab my knitting so we could talk and relax after dinner (I only live about 5 minutes away). I made it back for the tail end of the second set of dilemmas. But it was nice to be able to help each other. I was the last to leave – I did ask Diane if she was getting tired and offered to leave with the others but she wasn’t ready to knock off for the day and neither was I. However, we did stay up way too late! It was almost 1:30 a.m. when I got home.
The kids were still there, which was nice. When I had gone to the house to pick up my knitting, Dori, Donald and the girls were there. Madison was already asleep (ah the joys of Clonidine!) but Ruby was still going strong, so I had a few minutes with her:). By the time I got back the second time, Ruby was out like a light. The game wrapped up and everyone left soon after.
While it was nice to sleep in a little this morning, poor Diane couldn’t – she had to be there for the early service this morning – she conducts the children’s choir! Needless to say, every time she – or I – made a mistake this morning, she laughed and said “It’s all your fault.” And what really puts icing on the cake is that her singing group – Concert Artists of Baltimore – are putting on a wonderful concert at St. Louis Church in Clarksville – a reprise of the wonderful concert I heard this past October! So she is not getting a nap this afternoon either. Yikes.
Right now the house is quiet. S is upstairs, John is still sleeping and someone is on their way home with “stuff” from McDonalds – not I Lord! I’ve got to fit into that outfit I bought for the wedding! I will not be attending Diane’s concert today. This afternoon, the Army Field Band is going to be performing at St. John’s and although I was hoping Madison could go with me, her Daddy is feeling sick and they are taking naps right now. So I will finish this and then be on my merrry way again. It’s always a pleasure to see their concerts. The musicians are excellent and the church has wonderful accoustics. And I can bring my knitting and no one cares. Today I’m going to probably work on Kristin’s wedding wrap (which she probably won’t wear because it’ll be too warm, but what the heck). Speaking of knitting, I’m working on my four-and-a-half active projects: Hemlock Ring Blanket for that KAL, the Wedding Wrap (Lucy Neatby’s falling leaves pattern), the cardigan for Arwen (a/k/a the cardigan for me) and the half project? – the MysteryLace1 KAL – awaiting the next clue! But none of them are sufficiently progressed to be able to notice a difference, so no new pics yet.
But if you want to see a lovely twist on fair isle, take a look at this site. For a mere Paypal pittance, you can get vertical fair isle/scandinavian designs. Lovely! Just found a reference to it today on the Hemlock Ring KAL. Thanks guys!
Well I’m off! Hoping this Sunday brings awe of nature and peace with your families!

I’m not much of a shopper

I’m really not – unlike many of my compatriots, I usually prefer to go in, find something and get out. I don’t browse around, looking at this and that, unless I’m trying to make a decision. I finally bought an outfit for the wedding and yes, it’s pink, like a pink snowball. I’m fluffy enough, though, so it’s pretty simple. It’s linen, because the wedding will be in June; simple because Kristin’s gown is beautiful but simple and I think in natural fibers. This is not going to be one of those glitterati kind of weddings – thank God! It’s going to be June ferheavenssakes! I did get a couple of scarves to wear with a nice pin. The purse – I just liked the purse and it was time to break into a new one, LOL:) OK, that’s it for my fashion statement.
I’m going to sign off in a few minutes – having dinner at Diane L’s house. There are three of us “hanging out” tonight and because choir is late tomorrow, we can stay up a little while. So I’m off. Still working on my projects. More to come later.

Work between the stitches

But I really have a good excuse – I’m defragging the computer. OK that’s not a good one, since I can do this while I’m waiting. But here are pics of my sins of last evening. I really like this red, and even though it is a little on the warm side, it should work with my coloring – or lack thereof!
I decided to try to knit up the hem, rather than going back and sewing it up. I was very very careful to make sure I was knitting the same stitch on the top at the same time as the corresponding stitch on the cast on row. I also found that it’s best to knit into the back of the stitch on the back/wrong side – makes for a neater look. So far, I’m pleased with the result. The only down side of Arwen is the yards of stockinette stitch you have to do before you get to the cabling (which in my opinion makes things
more interesting if a bit slower). Hopefully the color will keep me occupied. As will the Hemlock Ring, the Falling Leaves Scarf, and the turtle neck ribbed Tee for Dori. The rest of my projects are snoozing – or hibernating as they say in Ravelry .
I think having a few – I repeat a few – projects going on at once is healthy. It actually helps things get finished. At least that’s what I tell my boss, LOL:) Well, back to work. Today I have an appointment this afternoon to visit with a client, and in the meantime need to catch up on some paperwork and phone calls. This evening is choir and then I have to get ready for court tomorrow morning.
And it is a beautiful day, although it could turn stormy. My favorite kind of day:)!
On a more serious note, I have been following the situation in Texas with the fundamentalist Mormon sect (which every decent Mormon I know completely disavows!). It is so sad what absolute power in the hands of a few evil people can do. You’d think we would have learned that with Hitler. HAH! A brief glance around the world can tell you THAT’s not true. Whatever your thoughts on the Presidential primaries, one thing Hilary Clinton has said that is sadly the truest thing I’ve heard in a long time: the treatment of women worldwide remains the greatest shame on mankind – and it is the most insidious form of prejudice, discrimination and oppression as well as the source of abuse, injustice and indignity worldwide. Much more so than race, as evil as that oppression continues to be. Wouldn’t it be nice if our so-called enlightened nation elected a woman to show the world that we won’t stand for this? Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if young women learned that their bodies really ARE their own? Imagine……

Happy Birthdays

Two of our six children are almost four years apart – save one day. Dori turned 4 the day after Danny was born. And now she is 29 (yes, no lie) and he is 25. It amazes me how time flies and the older I get, the faster it goes. Dori was our second child and labor and delivery were a walk in the park in contrast to that of her older sister. Danny’s was somewhat similar, even though I had bronchitis and was a service patient attending their prenatal clinic (so I couldn’t afford to get the bronchitis taken care of – just had to deal with coughing in the middle of trying to do the LaMaze breathing). With Danny, even though we were poor as dirt, I had FUN. I really did. OK, labor is never really fun, but I was an old hand by the time number 4 came around. The docs I had been seeing were all doing their internships and were all about my age (ironically, I was then Dori’s now-current age when Danny was born – 29). I really liked the pediatrician, too. And the nursing staff at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Towson were just wonderful. They never treated me any differently than the patients with money/insurance. I even enjoyed my roommate in the hospital – another ironic coincidence now that I think of it – her name was Dorothy (Dori’s real name) and she also had a Danny, LOL! John had lost his job through no fault of his own, I might add, and promptly got another one that paid about $10K less. We had insurance, but there was that lovely 3-month period before it applied and of course I was already 7 months preggers when he lost the previous job. So of course I got right out there and got a job – NOT. It was 1983 and my chances of landing an entry level job somewhere at 7 months gone was slim to none – and you know where slim went.
So we worried. I babysat to help pay for groceries and after Danny was born, a really nice social worker at the clinic told me about WIC – a program for nutritional food for poor women administered by the USDA (dept of agriculture). John was not happy that we qualified for it – he was, after all, working hard to support 6 people, but I figured I could not let pride get in the way of healthy children. My friend, Susan a/k/a “Charlie” (her son, Steven, was in Kristin’s class in Kindergarten) was on WIC at that point, so she showed me the ropes and we both were able to sign for each other and pick up vouchers – something for which I will ever be indebted to her. Susan no longer goes by Charlie. Her kids, like mine, are grown and doing very well and she, like me, is no longer a “housewife” dependent on the income of her spouse. Unlike me, she has overcome huge obstacles and has not only overcome them, but surpassed them with grace and a spirit of strength, and adventure! She has had two careers and now works in the wilds of Virginia, where she met her current husband. It is one of the blessings of my life that we have reconnected. Her kids are so cool – and so is she:)
It’s funny – I remember those times. Though I thought I had the weight of the world on my shoulders – and the disapproval of about everyone except my friends from church,LOL – I really had a good time. It seems like I had boundless energy then. I was up at night for feedings, up early to get the kids off to school and to be there for my babysitting charges, walked to the playground with the twin stroller and a baby napsack thingie, made lunch, got everyone (HAH) down for naps, cleaned the house, did the wash, got everyone up, changed diapers if needed, did dinner, got everyone to bed, then stayed up late just to have some time to myself. I never really felt tired!
BTW, Danny was born on Earth Day, so I always wish him a Happy B(earth)day:), some 25 years fast forward, I am babysitting Dori’s kids, the grandangels, whilst she and Donald go out to dinner.
Before I go, just to catch up: things have been very quiet on the work front. One of the Masters is on vacation, so the dockets have been very light. No worry – things will begin to pick up soon. In the meantime, I’ve gotten myself somewhat organized today – at least I know HOW behind I am and it’s not as bad as I thought. Tomorrow, I am tackling a pile of those to-dos and will be visiting a client to get her consent to adoption signed (one of my happier tasks in this line of work). Last night was bell practice – challenging but good fun. Barry was happy that I made him “famous.” Famous? I could post the nation’s nuclear secrets on this thing and my country would be safe! Monday was court in the morning and then John and I went to lunch at The Candle Light Inn. Research. For the family dinner the night before the wedding. It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it. Actually it was rather nice. We don’t get to do a lot together, so this was really fun. I actually was a fairly good Do-Bee. Had their chicken salad plate – very good, fresh veggies and fruit. John had a crab cake (hey someone’s gotta sample the local fare!). We’re going to take our out-of-town relatives out for dinner because the rehearsal dinner is going to be Thursday instead of Friday. The kids will be fixing up the tables at the VFW in preparation of the reception. I feel like a negligent Mom who should be there with them, but hey, what can I say – don’t you hate when that happens?
On the knitting front, I’ve been plugging away at the Hemlock Ring Blanket and it’s slow going, but therapeutic and absolves all guilt while one is watching trash TV:) I’m rather shamefacedly admitting to rewarding myself by starting (from my stash of course!) the Cardigan for Arwen by Kate Gilbert. I have the Interweave Knits issue, so I’m good to go. The only thing I’ll need to buy is a zipper later, but that’s not going to be any time soon. I have become obsessed with this pattern – probably because of the cabling and the possible crossover between formal and informal. I’m going to make it in a red (gasp!) acrylic. A brick red acrylic. And if anybody would care to join me, I’d be happy to pick up where the last KAL left off – I’ve even lifted the button because I’ve become so enamored of this pattern. But don’t worry – no bandwidth stealing here. It’s not going to send you anywhere!

Well, I gotta go – there appears to be potential property damage brewing in the playroom, er dining room, er playroom…..

Progress, a little, but progress

This is the view that greets me as I sit down to my desk this morning and look out into the beauty that is nature…… And this is the view as I look down at my desk. Talk about a study in contrasts!

Well, the good news is, I have a little time before I have to get going. A colleague graciously agreed to cover a hearing for me this morning – it’s a rescission (case closing), and there is no disagreement, so it’s basically a no-brainer. She has to be there anyway and it’s the only thing I have this a.m., so it makes sense for her to cover it. This afternoon, I do have a couple of appointments, so I will have to get upstairs and hit the shower pretty soon. I

In the meantime, I cannot believe it is going to be 85 degrees (fahrenheit, NOT Celsius!) this afternoon. I am hoping to get a walk in. The O2 and sunshine are always a good combination and it takes my mind off carbs, LOL!

Let’s see, what happened yesterday? Really, not a lot, which is why I didn’t post. I had choir practice last night, did calls and work at the desk for most of the day, and that was that.

I have made a little progress on the Hemlock Ring knitalong lapblanket thingie. I’ve finished row 63 of the project – a little over half way in terms of width/length, but about 1/4 of the way in terms of knitting – especially when you think that the final rows will have 600 stitches in them! This morning, I decided to do a new life line and while doing that, figured it wouldn’t hurt to take it off the needles to check on my progress. Here are the results:

Obviously, it’s unblocked and therefore a little too “3D” to really show off the pattern. I’ve done now three levels of the increasing feather and fan pattern. It really works well as an extension of the original doily pattern. I wanted to get more of a close-up of how the feather and fan proceeds from the center pattern as if it were meant to do so. These pics and the lack of blocking really don’t do this pattern justice. At the knitting meetup Wednesday evening, I saw a lot of these done in the Cascade Ecological Wool. This is a fairly inexpensive option and it lends itself well to the pattern. I’m using Plymouth Encore Bulky in a brown tweed pattern. For my purposes, it’s fine. There’s no way I’m making an afghan for our den that isn’t machine washable, LOL!
Oh, one more thing: I’ve started a new webring called ChoralKnitters. For those of you who have joined the group on Ravelry, it won’t be anything new, but if you’d like to join, you are more than welcome. It’s for those knitters among us who love to sing – amateurs are as welcome as professionals (I should know – I am one – an amateur, that is!). Or it’s also for singers and other musicians – professional or amateur – who love fiber pursuits. Either way, anyone is welcome to join! Just click on the picture in the upper right hand section of this blog!
Well, I am off. thanks for stopping by:)
Have a lovely day, everyone!