Guess who’s going to be taking the STAIRS at court?

According to WBAL-TV in Baltimore, one of the eight elevators in the Bawlmer County Courthouse fell an unknown number of floors, causing one fellow to be taken to the hospital and two juveniles to decline treatment (therefore not terribly serious, it seems). There was a picture of the gentleman who was transported to the hospital – you can’t recognize him, he’s so wrapped up on the stretcher. But I could recognize one of the Sheriff’s deputies we see regularly – he’s the fellow in the brown uniform walking with the rescue workers from the courthouse.
It’s weird – today was not one of our docket days and no one I knew (as far as I can tell) was in the elevator. People had been there for weeks working on upgrading and improving the elevators, too, but I’m not sure which one had the breaking cable – or whatever caused the plunge.
Well, the good news is, most of my cases take place on the ground floor, LOL! No one knows yet how this happened – I do know it’s going to be interesting getting up to the fifth floor:)
On the knitting front, I am about 3/4ths of the way done with the Chinese Lace Pullover. The back and front were done together to the underarm. I separated front from back and finished the back last night. So now I have to finish the front – which should not take too long, raglan shaping means steady decrease which means it just goes faster and faster – and two sleeves, which of course will seem to take forever (I am torn between doing each one separately using the “magic loop” method on a circular to avoid seams OR knitting both at the same time flat). Any votes out there?
I also have to get back to work on the Goddessknits Anniversary Shawl-along. I just need to take a deep breath and maybe two four rows a day to get it done by October:)
Right now I am between visits and am getting some paperwork done (well, not right now, LOL). In about an hour, I’m on the road again to get ready for tomorrow and then maybe some more knitting if I get done in time.
I’ll do a finished pic of the sweater when it’s done – I’m hoping by next week! In the meantime I’ve put a few more rows on the Cardigan for Arwen.

Oh, and I’ve joined the “Sock Put” team on the Ravelympics – for my local Sip’n Knit:) why not? I’ll take that as my opportunity to do the Saguaro Socks by Joanna

Back to work+

"Try Thinny Thin …for your Fatty Fat friends" Tom Carvel

To begin, I took NONE of the photos pictured here. I use them merely as illustrations – examples of that which I am writing about here. Anway:

I have this friend named Nancy. For the life me, I don’t know what she sees in me. For that reason and for many others which should, in time become evident, I view Nancy as a true friend:) Nancy, despite the fact that she has a life-threatening illness – or perhaps because if it – is very fit. She looks that crappy disease right in the eye and says a virtual (if not actual) “FUCK YOU!” (Note I am putting the expletives in quotes because we all know that no friend of mine would EVER use such language (without at least two glasses of dry red wine under her belt)). She watches her diet, she works out like a madwoman, she trains with a fitness trainer. She walks and exercises on exercise machines at home. She looks a lot like this:
Seriously, she really does. When I first met her, I thought she was about 20 years younger than she is. No joke! That’s because she does take care of herself but also because she really does have good genes. But she uses them so well!
I admire Nancy. Not because she’s good looking, but you see, I got to know her in a different context: she’s our church’s organist/choirmaster/music director a/k/a She Who Must Be Obeyed (“SWMBO” – a term lovingly – yes LOVINGLY – given her by her slavish followers – oops did I say that out loud – sorry Maaaster… – choir members who love her dearly. But seriously, I do admire her for her talents and her intelligence and her big heart – but most of all because she has the SICKEST SENSE OF HUMOR ON THE PLANET!

In spite of her extensive fitness training, and remember – Nancy looks like this:

And on winter walks like this:

She walks with me and is a friend – even though I look like this:
Or this on a really really good day (like when I was about 30 years younger, LOL:)) like this:

When we talk about fundraising for the church which shall not be named for fear of a lawsuit, LOL – we JOKINGLY sometimes talk about selling our, ahem, wares on 14th street in DC (hey, why not go to the top – yuck). Nancy’s customers would look something like this:
Whereas mine might look something like this:
(Hey guys, I’ll pay you back next week – I promise!)
Or this:
(“Tragedy struck today on 14th street – stay in your homes and await further instructions”)

Praise be that we do not have to do that kind of work. The thought would be too much for words – “Ew!” is actually the only word I can conjure up right now, but you get the picture. Or I hope you don’t!
Anyway, Nancy is a wild woman, crazy, funny and really really cool – hell, she and I have both gotten over the fact that Hilary isn’t going to be Prez next year and are rooting for O’bama and she doesn’t mind the fact that I am a total socialist and John Waters fan. And we have tons of fun with Diane and Donna – friends of Nancy who have fast become dear to me, even though, yes, they tend more toward the conservative point of view but I love them all the more….
Anyhoo. Here’s a shot of Nancy and me heading for the beach – note the fashion statement I’m making on the left – well you KNOW that’s the only beachwear you’ll ever catch these thunderbuns in in public). OK, sorry, only kidding – NOT

Actually – there is a pic of my real thunderthighs in a bathing suit out there. In fact, I sent it to my kids and to Nancy in error – how embarassing – (At long last woman have you no shame????)

Anyway, this lovely, funny woman gets some small amount of exercise by walking with me the 2.4 miles around Centennial Lake. Of course, I huff and I puff and I take two breaks, but she bears with me. She gets her real run around the lake with friends on Sunday. Well, today, I finally got back into walking with dear Nancy. I didn’t do great, but it was OK – took me the hour and some it usually takes her and the Sunday company 38 minutes to do. So needless to say, right now I feel like this (and my butt is comparable to that which the polar bear is not ashamed to show):
In fact, the only way I’ll be able to keep up with the Sunday group (and I really really want to , really I do… ) is to walk like this:

You may wonder to yourself: Does this Nancy person have any faults at all? Of course, she told me today her ribcage is a bit large. “Pshaw” – I tell her – “That’s only because you have such a big heart:)” And folks, I really mean that:) no joke+

An Explanation

Just want to explain why I have all these slideshows going on the right side of the blog. Blogger has these things where you can do a search and they pick out the public photos in other people’s google pics accounts. The places I have pictured are places that are (a) dear to me or (b) dear to others close to me or (c) places about which I am curious or (d) all of the above. None of those photographs are ones I have taken.
Vermont is where I went to college, grew emotionally and spiritually and learned how to learn, picking up lifelong friends on the way.
New York is my state of origin, the place where my husband and I were born, and one of our children, come to think of it. In 32 years of marriage, we have lived there for only a couple of years, but we had our first dates, our first kiss our first, well, never mind, there. And our second child:).
Oyster Bay is my home town on Long Island. It’s also where John’s family moved the year his father died and therefore where I met him. It’s the home of Theodore Roosevelt’s “Summer White House” at Sagamore Hill, and the town where he is buried. It’s the home of St. Dominic’s and Oyster Bay High School, where John and I attended school, respectively. Billy Joel may also still live there in Cove Neck if I’m not mistaken. John McEnroe and Tatum O’Neill got married there. It was the home of the late famous sulkie racer Billy Haughton and his late son, Peter, with whom I went to OBHS and who died in a terrible car accident in 1979 when he was only 24 or 25 years old.
Wisconsin is where Nancy is from – a place she talks about a lot of course and so of course I’m curious.
Seattle is up there to remind me to pray for Joanna, a lady whose blog I have been following, and her friend, Tom, who is very ill. By association, I then remember to pray for friends who are ill: Janie, Diane (who is on the mend, thank goodness!), and Bob, and friends with chronic conditions they must battle with daily, like Nancy and Rennie – and for clients who are battling the same condition. And of course, ever since Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots and Nirvana – with and without its lead singer, Mr. Cobain – have come to fame in the 90s, I’ve been curious about this city that is one of the most friendly for people with both visual and audio disabilities:)
OK, back to our regularly scheduled lives! Still working on the Chinese lace pulli.
And check out Joanna’s blog – she has a really cool sock pattern free for the downloading! It’s on the side panel – the Saguaro Socks – and it’s the cause of starting project no. 51 for me (AARRRGGGGGHHHH!!!!)+

More Progress:)

The color is a bit darker – more like the somewhat racist color “flesh” in the Crayola crayon box:) It’s coming along well. I feel like I’m actually getting somewhere with this piece. Am hoping to have up to the armholes done by lunch time. We’ll see. I’ve gone even farther than this picture shows – so hopefully I’ll be good to go by then.
The grandgirls are here – anxious to go outside and catch butterflies – Mads even brought her net from home. She catches them, observes them for a while and let’s ’em go.
Am not getting much done this lazy Saturday morning. Once John gets up and takes over the care of the girls (I hope) I’m probably going to go downstairs, do some wash (yes, really I do sometimes do the wash – it could happen) and with any luck will have some visits planned for this afternoon/evening. I have one hearing Monday p.m. after a meeting Monday a.m., so I want to be ready for them.
More later:)+

working week

Yesterday was my semi-annual trip to the wilds of western Merlin. I got to visit a sweetheart of a client – actually four sweethearts – in some beautiful locations. And I hope the beauty of their placements and the lovely people who are caring for them help to ease the pain of being so far away from family and the loss of having a parent who can be there for them. That’s about as succinctly as I can put it without violating privacy.
As I was just about 10 miles east of Cumberland, I got a call from Nancy. It about killed me, LOL – what a beautiful day it was here! And in the hills/mountains of Western Merlin, it was about 10 degrees (Fahrenheit) cooler than at home! The sky was a sparkling azure and it felt like the wind was at my back. But obviously a walk was not to be. Work before pleasure. But I don’t mean to sound as if visiting my clients was work in the strictest sense.
I’ve been very blessed to have work as an organic part of the whole of my life. My schedule is flexible, but I still have to do what’s necessary for the work at hand, so sometimes whole days are spent visiting clients and/or sitting in a courtroom or treatment team meeting. A good thing about my work is I also can take a day where I otherwise have no pressing responsibilities and, to put it in Nancy’s words “fritter the day away.” That doesn’t mean I don’t return calls or that I don’t have to be instantly available to the office or colleagues. But it does mean that I can be there for a friend and they can be there for me.
That being said, there are days that I get totally immersed in the work – spending days and sometimes weeks with colleagues, prepping cases, paperwork, writing and researching, visiting and consulting (when/wherever possible) with clients and constantly on the phone. That’s part of what I do – as do many people. But too long with that and I’m dying to hang out with friends and get away from all of it. I’m too much of a wild woman – people person to quietly sit at home and knit (not that there’s anything wrong with that!).
This blog is replete with references to friends – Nancy, Diane, Donna and Sally from church/choir, and “lawyermd” and other colleagues from work. I think the craziest times I have are with Nancy and Diane and Donna and Sally. I suppose it’s because we all have to (at least try) to behave, so when it comes time to break out and have some fun, we totally forget about behaving. Oh don’t get me wrong, we don’t do anything really bad or illegal, but we can dream can’t we? Just kidding!
One example is cracking really stupid juvenile jokes (OK, I’m the one who does that – they just laugh) and watching Vicar of Dibley DVDs and silly stuff like that. The rest I plead the fifth on, LOL. It’s the kind of silliness one would do back in the olden days when I was twelve. Today, kids are far more sophisticated than I am even now, so I can’t even compare it to today’s twelve-year-old, LOL!
Anyway, I am sorry that I didn’t have an opportunity to walk with Nancy this week – not just because it’s good for me, and, if we go fast enough – for her – but also because it’s so damn fun! Well, here’s hoping we can walk after church this Sunday with Donna, Sally and maybe Tom, Donna’s husband – That group is hysterical:)!
To return to my travelogue…Well, after my first set of visits yesterday I drove to Cumberland and had lunch and walked around for a bit. Yes, I did go to the yarn shop and drooled, but I was good. Then it was on the road to Hagerstown for a second visit that lasted a couple of hours, grabbed some fast-food (yech) dinner, then home.
By the time I got back home it was already after 7 pm. I barely had time to make a “pit stop,” freshen up, grab my music and hit the road again – this time just down the road to “kwar” practice. The rehearsals for the Lauridsen have been very intense and gratifying. Nancy’s analysis of the music – translated to the language of the amateurs we are – is really fascinating and makes the performance all the more three-dimensional. I need to practice more at home if only to learn the notes well, since there is a lot of dissonance in the piece, however beautiful, that requires attention:) Next week, Nancy is having the Dr. Dale K from College Park come and conduct us. Then she’s off on vacation with her hubby and we will have to wait for September to continue rehearsals. And really – this is summer, so she deserves a good solid break! Most church music programs don’t continue this far into the summer and although it’s terrific for those of us who love to sing, it’s real work for her.
Today I had one very brief hearing, but really focused the day on two committee meetings having to do with various topics that impact the various participants in our cases: DSS, childrens counsel, the court, parents’ counsel. It was good to be able to air our concerns. In both cases, we came up with at least some possible solutions to problems and that’s always a good thing. One thing I really admire about my boss is that although she can be a staunch advocate and doesn’t take any crap off of anyone (as they say) she is always looking for a way to work out issues with her opponents and other participants in the process. That’s been my philosophy for as long as I’ve been practicing family law and even in the domestic violence arena. You might think that as attorneys we are always at loggerheads. While that can often be the case, more often than not, we really do play well together with others:) Of course we are going to represent the client in the best way we can, but that doesn’t mean that we are uncivil or rude or attack each other. Don’t get me wrong: there are a$$holes in every field of human endeavor, but in general, most attorneys really save the hardcore fighting for the courtroom/litigation.
I’ll give you an example: there’s an attorney who represents parents in another county. She will fight like cats and dogs with you in the courtroom. Then, when the morning docket is over, she’s the first one to say – wanna do lunch? And to lunch we go, laughing and cracking jokes like we’ve just come home from the church picnic! Crazy? Not at all. We both know the other is doing her job – and if there is anything we can do to avoid fighting we will, but it’s not a personal fight against her – it’s advocating as best I can for my client as she is doing for hers.
Keep in mind, there are horrible situations in the cases I have and certainly none of us want to make light of that. We have to keep in mind first and foremost the safety and health – both mental and physical – of our clients. However, the vast majority of our cases are about parents with drug or alcohol addictions or mental health or poverty issues. In the 25 percent of cases that involve physical abuse, it’s a situation where a parent is genuinely remorseful. The five percent (or more) where it’s serious abuse, it’s even MORE important to have civility. We mean business, and yes we disagree. And yes, I’m going to do my job, but that doesn’t mean I hold the parent’s attorney personally responsible for what his/her client has done. I expect them to do their job.
Well, I do ramble on! Sorry about that. I suppose I really should write a blog on practicing law and some of the interesting things that happen there, but like the rest of my life, I feel this blog should be an organic whole – we compartmentalize so much in our society, I just want to swim against the stream a bit:)
There was some hope of doing a walk today, but I didn’t hear from Nancy and assume she was too busy, so maybe Sunday and/or next week! In the meantime, I have been working on that Chinese lace pullover and am really enjoying that. Tomorrow morning the grandgirls are arriving for a little daycare fun. Since John’s working overnight tonight, I have the a.m. shift and then will do visits in the afternoon. He’s getting the afternoon shift, LOL – he loves his grandkids (and I love his grandkids, too)!
I’ll have more pics of knitting next post – promise!
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Crazy Wednesdays!

And this one will prove to be no different!

Today I have a mediation this afternoon, then two visits this evening and, if I’m a very good doo-bee and get my work done, I’m going knitting this evening!
Tomorrow is normally a court day, but I need to get out to visit a couple of clients in Western Merlin, so my wonderful colleague is covering the two hearings I have. My travels are going to take me to the furthest west county of Merlin and between those clients at the group home in Garrett County and another one in a foster home in Washington County, there is a lovely yarn shop in Allegany County. Did I tell you my vow to avoid yarn shops has an exception? And that is if I’m traveling:) Don’t worry – I have no money anyway!The pictures indicate the way I spent the better part of last night into the wee hours of the morning (shame on me!)
Don’t you just love the way this yarn shows stitch definition? I will be sorry to see this project finished, it’s been such a joy to knit. But finish it I will.
I will be prepared for Christmas this year!:)
Well, I’ve got one more phone call to arrange a visit, then I’m off to hit the shower and get on the road!
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Crazy Wednesdays!

And this one will prove to be no different!

Today I have a mediation this afternoon, then two visits this evening and, if I’m a very good doo-bee and get my work done, I’m going knitting this evening!
Tomorrow is normally a court day, but I need to get out to visit a couple of clients in Western Merlin, so my wonderful colleague is covering the two hearings I have. My travels are going to take me to the furthest west county of Merlin and between those clients at the group home in Garrett County and another one in a foster home in Washington County, there is a lovely yarn shop in Allegany County. Did I tell you my vow to avoid yarn shops has an exception? And that is if I’m traveling:) Don’t worry – I have no money anyway!The pictures indicate the way I spent the better part of last night into the wee hours of the morning (shame on me!)
Don’t you just love the way this yarn shows stitch definition? I will be sorry to see this project finished, it’s been such a joy to knit. But finish it I will.
I will be prepared for Christmas this year!:)
Well, I’ve got one more phone call to arrange a visit, then I’m off to hit the shower and get on the road!
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