I break for socks:)

Well, we have finally seen the sun and gotten rid of the mildew growing under our knees (eww)! The sun is shining and it’s a beautiful day here in Merlin. Since last I posted, dear readers, life has indeed, gone on. This past weekend was another time of missing church (I have been so bad – pure laziness is all it has been – shame on me – and I heard the organist was excellent, too, LOL!)
Monday after court, I went home to finish up and to go to the first Board Meeting for the Orchestra of St. Johns – what an excellent season we are looking at for 2009-2010! Of course, yours truly volunteered to send out the minutes, God help us all. And it will be a bit of a challenge to raise the funds we need, but I feel confident we can do it. This will be such a great boon to our part of the universe!
It was nice catching up with Nancy – her DS was honored by his wife, family and friends for his recent graduation and his degree in psychology. He is now looking for work, and he’s getting tons of interviews! I’m sure he’ll do well. He and K are very similar – both are brilliant students and excellent writers. I know Nancy and Rennie are very proud of him as well they should be!
Yesterday was spent catching up on phone calls and trying to get organized. Today I am heading out to the office to drop off that paperwork, get new files and then on to visit (hopefully) three clients to prepare for court tomorrow. With any luck, I’ll get to knit with my Sip’nKnit buds tonight!
Knitting is a matter of plugging away on the gazillion projects already underway. I think I now get why knitters often say “socks don’t count.” They are (comparatively speaking) small projects

that can be done in really neat yarn, relatively inexpensive (because you get at most two skeins), and – most importantly – they provide instant gratification. So, Sunday, I decided to take a sock break, using Cookie A.’s “Cookie Cutter Short Rows.” Basically, you do a provisional cast on half the stitches you’ll need using the back loops of a chain of crochet stitches in contrasting yarn, knit back and forth on those 36 or so stitches, working short rows as you would

for a heel, then back, until you have a curved shape, then unravel the crocheted chain, leaving live stitches to create the other half of the stitches, then proceed to knit in the round. You also do the heel the same way. I probably have not put this well, but you can probably find some reference to it on her blog. I am not linking to it, because her blog asks one not to do so, so I
won’t. I did have some problems with picking up the live stitches, mostly because the crocheted chain did not unravel properly, but it’s working fairly well. I decided to do a broken ribbing for
the instep and sock pattern once I get past the heel. The yarn is (I believe) Cherry Tree Hill, but

the colorway I don’t have. Sorry.
I’ve also been plugging away on D’s Lady February Sweater – hopefully it will be ready for her
by autumn, LOL! Hopefully it’s not too wide and will eventually be long enough. I might need to do 3/4 length sleeves, but that’s OK for this sweater.
Finally, I have been plugging away at the baby blanket – have done another color change, using up the Solstice organic cotton for what I hope will be a doubly wide center stripe, then back to the light blue and ending with the medium blue for the edging. It’s not looking too bad. I’m using size 4 lace
circulars – the sharp points are very helpful in sticking with the pattern!
Well folks, that’s all for now! God be with you ’til we meet again!

Bloggy Blahs, but I did have a decent week!

Life has just been moving along. Nothing earth shattering, nothing really new, so I’ve been following a whole bunch of blogs and commenting throughout the blogosphere – in English and occasionally in German (die arme Deutschen!). And it’s been a lot of fun. Christa and Grainnee, thank you for posting comments here! I have so enjoyed hearing from you – you have been very kind to this “spinnende Ammie,” and I so appreciate it:).
Last I really posted (aside from the articale in Playbill about our son), I think it was more than a week ago, so I will catch up a bit:
Last Saturday was the International Knit in Public Day – so of course being the perverse individual I am, I knit in private! Actually I stayed up so late Friday evening that I was a bit foggy eyed in the morning that I slept in past noon! That evening I attended a concert for a woman’s singing group called the Nightingales. Their accompaniment – consisting of piano and at times a flute – was delightful. The concert featured the work of one of the singers and it was LOVELY! I was amazed at how well she had composed these works and if anyone else out there heard this, please leave this talented lady’s name in a comment! I want to give appropriate credit. I did try a little “knitting in public,” here at Emory United Methodist Church – a wee little church on one of Old Ellicott’s many hills near the Fire Museum. Donna’s husband, Tom and her son, Brian and his GF were present, supporting their wife and mom, respectively. Another St. John’s member, Charles O, was also there. The music was definitely old-fashioned, and not the fast paced stuff we’re used to in today’s world, but I had a very pleasant time. Donna was very much the professional, shining only when it was her turn to do so (and I know what a beautiful voice she has!) When the concert was over, I headed home and had a quiet evening, staying up late again to continue working on some of my projects.

I missed church yet again on Sunday – and Nancy was there! Now you know I was tired! Sunday afternoon, the Army Field Band played a chamber music concert at St. John’s, which I did attend, warning Nancy that she should not stand too close to my general vicinity, as the roof was likely to cave in on me. It was nice to catch up with her and hear about her trip with her family – hell it was great to see her finally relieved to see summer after a busy year!
Monday was a fairly busy day at work – court in the morning, paperwork in the afternoon and visits in the evening. Tuesday there was a meeting at DSS in the morning, a visit to the office mid -day, filing back at the courthouse, and then I stopped by St. Johns for a bit to give Nancy a hand with the handbell music. Again, not really bloggable stuff, but lots ‘o fun for me. Nancy shared her lunch with me and it was delicious – I don’t think I can match her ability to creat low-carb meals with so much flavor, so I think I owe her lunch, LOL!

The next day was a morning spent babysitting the grandgirls, then poor John got up after only a few hours sleep to take over so I could go off to lunch and a training conference near the airport. Note picture at right documenting the fact that he is indeed, the World’s Best Pop.
Thursday was court, and then finally, I had an office visit with Dr. A regarding the possibility of weight loss surgery. It looks like I will most likely have to document at least three months of attempting weight loss with my primary doc, if not six – but that’s OK. Plus, apparently they have you join a support group, get a psychological evaluation and nutritionaly counseling. It’s really a holistic approach that they take. I see now why my daughter, D, has had so much success with this. There’s a lot to do, but think of the rewards! I think it’s worth it! Once that was over it was time to go visit three clients, then home.
This morning I thought I had a hearing, so I got up early, ran out the door and hit a wall of traffic. In a panic (because this particular Master really really wants us there on time!) , I called the clerk’s office only to find that this hearing had been postponed to July 10th! OY! It was terrific – like getting a day off from school! So I went home, answered e-mails and had a relatively quiet afternoon.
Knitting. Oh yeah, Knitting!
I may have mentioned that I ordered Marianne Isager’s book, Knitting Classics. Well, it arrived

shortly before the weekend and I think I’m going to start with attempting the lovely sleeveless number on the cover – only I think I’m gonna add some sleeves or use it as a vest. This is one lovely book – allow me to show you some of the magic that is Marianne Isager:
The sleeveless top on the cover is a series of slip stitch rows, creating vertical strips – slimming and pretty. I’ve chosen some pretty wild colors but I like how they look together. The photograph here doesn’t really do the colors justice – I’m knitting two strands of each color together, so it is basically a sport or close to aran weight. Strangely enough, I actually

knit a swatch on US 5 needles – and got gauge! What the heck is that about? I think it will be a little large, but that’s OK – I’m not one of those women who do well with negative ease, LOL!
I love all the other patterns in this book as well – Ms. Isager has a way of using unusual natural yarns to make outstanding garments. I photographed a few of the other projects in the book, but of course my photos really don’t show you how truly beautiful her work is!
The book is not terribly expensive and I think it’s well worth the price!

I honestly want to do all of them! Just where to begin? I mean, I do have another 8,567 projects yet to finish, right?
Speaking of which, I have also been working on the baby blanket, this time I’m adding more stitch patterns to it to create sort of a sampler blankie. It’s not too bad on the eyes.
The Sandrine is still out, and I’m inching ahead bit by bit. I’ve set the February Lady Sweater aside for a little while, but I’m not giving up on it!
Well, tomorrow is another babysitting day and I may actually behave myself well enough to get to church on time on Sunday, LOL!
In the meantime, I’m working on the baby blanket for “Gunther.”
Well, I’m off to do some more knitting while I watch the boob tube!
Have a terrific weekend, everyone! Back soon. Until then, God be with you ’til we meet again!

That’s my boy! I’m so proud:)!

DC’s Theater Alliance Launches Bock’sFive Flights June 12

By Kenneth Jones
12 Jun 2009

Five Flights star Adele Robey
Five Flights star Adele Robey
photo by Bruce Robey

Theater Alliance’s final production of the 2008-09 season in Washington, DC, is Adam Bock’s Five Flights, the regionally popular tale of a family letting go of the past, June 12-28.

Shirley Serotsky stages the play, which, according to production notes, “explores in lyrical detail, what happens to a family when they must decide how to dispose of their parents’ estate: a dilapidated aviary. Should they turn it into a shrine, a parking lot or abandon it altogether? We find Ed, who is stuck between a bossy sister-in-law, a highly suggestive sister, a zealot friend, and the attentions of a cute hockey player.”

The original 2004 Off-Broadway run by Rattlestick Theater starred Tony winner Alice Ripley. Bock’s plays include The Receptionist, The Typographer’s Dreamand Swimming in the Shallows. Bock received his MFA in playwriting from Brown University.

The DC Five Flights company features Kathleen Akerley, Danny Gavigan, Christopher Herring, Eric M. Messner, Adele Robey and Helen Pafumi.

The production team includes set and lighting designer Klyph Stanford, costume designer Iviana Stack and stage manager Juely Siegel.

Performances play Thursday through Saturday at 8 PM and Sunday at 3 PM.

Theater Alliance performs at The H Street Playhouse, 1365 H Street, NE, Washington, DC. To purchase tickets, visit http://www.theateralliance.com or call (866) 811-4111.


Theater Alliance is a non-profit professional theatre company that focuses on “the presenting of new or rarely produces work geared toward attracting diverse and alternative audiences to our Northeast DC community.” Each season, Theater Alliance produces “four to five plays, including world, American and area premieres.”

Its productions have included works by Salman Rushdie, Lee Blessing, Rebecca Gilman, Toni Morrison and Kornel Hamvai, among others. Theater Alliance earned 21 Helen Hayes nominations in seven years.

Danny Gavigan and Eric M. Messner in Five Flights
Danny Gavigan and Eric M. Messner in Five Flights
photo by Bruce Robey

Und Jetzt Etwas Auf Deutsch:) And Now Something in German:)and Swedish

Many thanks to Grainnee for this wonderful “Filmtipp!” I am such a sucker for movies about people who use their talents for others – and the description of this film convinces me it is something I want to see. The title, Wie Im Himmel (As in Heaven). Maybe I will convince one of my Netflicks-using “kids” to allow me to borrow a film from them. I believe it’s in Swedish. This clip from YouTube (also lifted from Grainnee’s site) is in Swedish with German subtitles. To all my choir singer friends out there in the blogosphere – this hit goes out to you. (I’ll try to translate the subtitles and the blurb from the movie website -be kind all you Germans out there!) I’ve heard it said that Swedish is a nice language to listen to….

My best attempts at translating the words to the song:

Now my life belongs to me
My time on earth is so short
My longing brought me here
What I’ve lost and what I’ve gained
It is the way that I choose
My trust lies with the words
It has shown me a small piece
Of Heaven, that I have not found yet
I want to feel that I live
Every day that I have
I want to live as I wish
I want to feel that I live
To know I was good enough
I have never abandoned my self
I have only allowed it to slumber
Perhaps I never had a choice
Only the will to live
I only want to be happy
That I am how I am
To be strong and free
To see how the night turns into day
I am here
And my life belongs to me
And the Heaven that I sought
I find it anywhere
I want to feel
That I have lived my life.

WIE IM HIMMEL erzählt von einem Musiker, dessen Lebenstraum sich erfüllt, als er nach langer Irrfahrt lernt, die Menschen und sich selbst zu lieben. Ein mitreißender und humorvoller Film über das Abenteuer, sein eigenes Paradies zu finden – ein vielstimmiges und gefühlvolles Meisterwerk.
Der weltberühmte Dirigent Daniel Dareus kehrt nach einem schweren Kollaps in sein schwedisches Heimatdorf zurück. Eigentlich wollte er sich von der Welt zurückziehen, doch als er das Amt des Kantors antritt, findet er über seine Leidenschaft für die Musik auch zu den Menschen zurück. Bei seiner Arbeit mit dem bunt zusammengesetzten Chor der kleinen Gemeinde entfaltet sich vor ihm allmählich ein ganzer Mikrokosmos menschlicher Sorgen und Nöte, und er ist überglücklich, alser erkennt, dass er mit Hilfe der Musik einen Weg in die Herzen der anderen findet. Das ist die Erfüllung seines Traums, mit dem er vor Jahrzehnten aus dieser Gegend aufgebrochen war…

WIE IM HIMMEL tells of a musician, whose life’s dream was fulfilled, as he learned after a long odyssey, to love others and himself. An enthusiastic and humor-filled film about the adventure of finding his own Paradise, a deeply harmonious and expressive masterpiece.

The world famous conductor, Daniel Dareus returned to his Swedish home town after a severe collapse. Actually, he wanted to retreat from the world, indeed as he stepped into the office of the cantor, he found through his passion for music his way back to humanity. Through his work with the colorfully composed choir of the small community, gradually evolved before him an entire microcosm of cares and needs, and he is overjoyed, as he recognizes that with the help of music, he finds a way into the hearts of others. This is the fulfillment of his dream, with which he had broken away from this area decades ago.

OK, so I’m a sap – but I really liked this song.

Not much new -I’m totally exhausted; it’s been a long day. Had court morning and afternoon and had to be in two courtrooms at once (at least it was in the same courthouse!) and then visited a few clients afterwards, and ran an errand, came home to a rearrangement of my desk area which I really liked that John did (bless his heart!) and then promptly fell asleep sitting up on the couch.

Rah. so of course now I’m wide awake.

But tomorrow’s another day o’ court and I must get up early, so I must go. I have done precious little knitting today, but I will play EZ’s DVD of the Knitting Workshop (Thank you Betsy). It’s a mental form of comfort food:)

Saturday is World Wide Knitting in Public day, is it not? Let’s all get out there! Whoo hoo! I’m looking forward to it!

God be with you ’til we meet again!


Stormy weather

I was about to get into my car to go to the office to drop some things off yesterday, but the bright, cheerful sunny skies had suddenly turned into this:
It was windy and downright scary – especially since I had to convince an adult daughter to get her butt in the house – she was on the swing ferchrisssakes! Sheesh! Of course Mom was a doofus, too, standing outside and taking pictures during a thunderstorm- brilliant, huh? But I did get some fun pictures in.  Luckily there was no twister, but it wouldn’t have surprised me if it had turned to a small one as fast as the wind was starting up and as loud as it got for a while there.   Thankfully (!!!) this part of the country rarely gets such weather phenomena, but it has  happened a few times since we’ve lived in Merlin, so you never know.
This morning I got up super early to get to the office before an 8:30 meeting I thought was happening at the courthouse, but apparently had been canceled (serves me right for missing the last meeting!).  So, I was uncharacteristically up at 5:30 and out the door by 7 and in and out of the office by 8.  When I realized I was going to be leaving Towson at a very very bad traffic time, I took the back woods way home and it was lovely.
Lately, the mornings are so sunny and bright.  Birds are chirping, there’s a breeze in the air. You’d swear it was May! But now that it’s later in the afternoon, it looks like rain.  I said to Joanna that it looks like we’ve switched weathers with the Northwest.  And I am NOT complaining! (but Joanna is!).

Am about to head out the door to play my weekly Ring Around the Beltway to visit clients and will be missing Sip N Knit again, so I thought I’d console myself by posting some pics of my
progress on the Sandrine. I’ve frogged twice and so far it feels like the third time is the charm. Well, dear readers, God be with you ’til we meet again!

What an amazing weekend!

Grandchild bonanza! Book bonanza! Surprise visitor from Denver and Sunday dinner bonanza! How bad can that be?:)  Well dear readers,  since last we left each other (except for the delightful video from one of our dear favorites, Betty Bowers, on Same-Sex marriage), it was Wednesday and I had enjoyed a seminar at St. Agnes Hospital to educate myself on gastric bypass.
The next day (Thursday) started with a walk around Centennial Park with a choir friend, Susan, and Gage the Wonderdog:).   I say Wonderdog because Gage is such a sweet-natured critter, yet he’s going through a rough bit of chemotherapy for the cancer with which he is dealing.  He’s also
very opinionated about some of the bridges across parts of the lake 

at the park, so we walked about 1/2 way ’round and turned around and came back (going across only one of the bridges – the one Gage was OK with, LOL:))  It was lovely to spend some time with Susan, who is such a fine person and a delight to be with.  We talked about the usual stuff – family, health, kids, choir, you name it! It’s funny – we were supposed to be meeting because I left our big plastic salad bowl at her house after the choir party she and Russ hosted and she was bringing it with her, but we had such a pleasant time that we totally forgot it, LOL! The cool thing about this walk was Gage’s stopping and starting.  This would drive some people nuts, but I liked it JUST FINE:) after months of relative inactivity:)  It was actually quite good because when we were finished, I just felt good about the walk.
Anyway, as I pulled into the driveway later that morning, my cell phone rang. It was Susan – she had left the dang bowl by her front door so as not to forget it, but, guess what.  So we had another fun visit when she came over and shared a cup of coffee and chatted with me for a bit while John slept upstairs and Sabrina wondered who I was speaking with!
After Susan left, I had to get ready for the afternoon docket, which was really fairly nondescript as these things go.
After court, I had a visit with my Stephen Ministry care receiver – a lovely person, but I will say no more about it to preserve that person’s confidentiality!  I will say that I instantly liked this person and will do whatever I can for him/her!

After that, I got a terrible phone call from D, whose husband’s Dad may be battling lung cancer. We are waiting to hear and are keeping fingers crossed, hoping that the biopsy next week will show that the masses on the x-ray are “just” scar tissue from Mr. L’s history of pneumonia over the years.
Then it was on to St. John’s for an end-0f-year meeting between the [bell and singing] choirs and clergy.  I honestly think it was a good meeting where we got to talk about various things on our minds and look at where we are going next year.  Afterwards, I got to talk with Nancy for a while.  She was leaving the next day for a little vacation with her son and d-i-l at a nice timeshare out in the woods somewhere.  She’s there now and I hope she’s getting the hiking and face time with her son and relaxation and fun she so deserves right now! A dear friend of hers has a son who has trained as a trainer and we are hoping to get some weight training in this summer.  I asked her simply this: don’t laugh at me!  It won’t be all that expensive, and I am looking forward to it -but don’t laugh at me:)
Friday began late in the day with a short hearing for a colleague, but I learned terrible news: that a young woman with whom I work on a regular basis – an attorney who represents DSS at many of our hearings – was just diagnosed with cancer and it looks rather bad.  This lady has two kids.  We are all anxious to help in any way we can, be it rides to work and school or just visiting or sending cards.  It hit like a ton of bricks.  Never in a million years would I have expected this to happen.  This is an attorney who had personal friends everywhere – people she fought against included.  See, here’s the thing with lawyers.  We’re really not the garbage most people seem to think we are.  We actually get along once the court day is done, believe it or not.  The rest of the

 docket, I was in shock.  Thankfully, it was not a difficult case.  I had a mediation, but they did not require my presence, so after that hearing, I was out the door. We all spoke briefly outside after court  – the DSS attorney, the court clerk, one of the PD panel attorneys, and the master.  It was the only place that they (not I!!) could have a cigarette.  I think we were all in shock, trying to figure out what we could do to be helpful.  TA, the PD panel, lives close by and he and his wife are willing to drive anyone who needs a lift.  The DSS attorney will probably pass on our offers. It was awful. I am still disbelieving the whole thing!
After court, I drove to the local Barnes and Noble and picked up a book (for me) and a card for KBB, the colleague who is suffering right now.  
The card was OK, I guess.  What can you say for someone going through such a thing?
The book was really neat, though. The title: A

 Fine Fleece.  The idea behind the book is to present patterns for hand-spun yarn and at the same time for commercially available yarns.  Each pictured pattern has a model wearing the hand-spun version alongside the commercial one.  I don’t really spin.  I’ve tried it on a drop spindle and it’s kind of cool, but let’s face it folks: I’m not going to spin up 1800 yards of the finest aran weight any time soon! What I really love from this book are the aran and lace patterns.  They are really nice. There are some examples from the book picture here.
My “pictures of the pictures” does not do the beautiful photography in this book justice.  These projects are just lovely, varied and do-able.  Plus, they come in a variety of sizes – not just for skinny minnies:)
I looked at another book – Marianne Isager’s Classic Knits – a beautiful collection of patterns in interesting yarns, albeit in smaller (ahem) sizes and was sorely tempted to purchase that one as well, but it would have been a lot of money I don’t have.  (I have a discount card for B & N which still works and in addition had a 15% off coupon for one item, so you see my dilemma!)
When I arrived at home, what to my wondering eyes should appear but two more knitting books from Crafter’s Choice! First was Simple Style – another in the wonderful Interweave Style series – with all sorts of fairly simple, yet elegant projects – the one pictured below is one I’d like to do:

And good Lord, even the back of the book shows a cute project- albeit for a much younger person.  I think the basics in this book will serve as a jumping off point for developing one’s own patterns.  I am looking forward to doing one or two of these!:
And if that were not enough, I also got this gem: Design It, Knit It by Debbie Bliss. What beautiful work she does – and the projects in this book are class Bliss style – just lovely! Ms. Bliss really knows how to work that seed stitch (moss stitch for those of you on the other side of the Big Pond, I think).  Pictured below are just a few of the beautiful patterns included in the book. What’s more, you get to look at ways in which these design elements impact a particular pattern.

I decide to use the stitch patterns as they were put together for a lady’s sweater in the baby blankie at which I am plugging away.

And so far, it seems to be working out fairly well. I decided to work the pattern for the front eight rows at a time (it’s a four-row pattern repeat), then knit four rows of garter to give the effect of a block pattern.  More to come on this – I’m finally having fun with this piece, thank you Ms. Bliss!
Oh and lest I forget, a book I advance ordered from amazon.com arrived earlier last week.  It’s Knit it Together, edited by Suzyn Jackson. While the patterns are not much to write home about and range from the sublime to the ridiculous:)there was a nice bit of history about knitting togetherand most exciting of all, my knitting ‘buds’ from the Columbia Sip ‘n Knit are pictured, having a great time freezing their toochas’ off at Lake Kittimiqundi:) Pictured here left to right are: Denise [ExecutiveKnitter on ravelry], Debbi [Knitty McKnit Knit on ravelry], I can’t figure out who the next person is – if anyone from the group sees this, please let me know in a comment below – next is Dorothy [Pheelya on ravelry] and far right is Bridget [casadefred on ravelry]. Don’t they look great? And truly, we do have this much fun.  It’s a party every time I see these folks – and there are many more.  I think our group is about 200 strong now, although not all of us go to every meeting.  In case anyone from the central Merlin area is interested, we meet Saturday mornings at Savage Mill, Tuesday mornings at the Bagel Bin at the King’s Contrivance Village Center and Wednesday evenings at Panera Bread at the Dobbin Center Shopping Center.  I’m lucky to go to one or two a month, but your mileage may vary:)!
On Friday DD#2 (D) had her wisdom teeth removed surgically.  Saturday her DH (also a D) had to go to work, so she and the grandgirls came here so we could watch them while she got some much needed sleep/pain relief.  I was such a grumpy grandma, but the kids didn’t seem to notice it – probably the result of staying up too late knitting (shame on me!).  We had a fairly good day, although it was rainy and cruddy and they had to stay indoors.  We watched cartoons and Noggin shows and I mostly kept my crankiness at bay (since it sure wasn’t their fault!) and knit. And knit.  So the day was good:) although it would have been fine just spending time with the grandgirls all by itself.
To add to the embarrassment of riches above, I decided to start this by ChicKnits:
As the calculations on the pages show, the pattern is not exactly the easiest to follow.  It includes the words most knitters (at least this knitter) dread: “At the same time” and yes, those words are usually in boldface type.  Not one to just remember things, I had to chart it out for myself.  But isn’t the pattern pretty?  I like its simplicity and the fact that it would be something good for work.   Remember that beautiful red red CotLin yarn from KnitPicks I have in my stash? Well, it seems it may be put to good use here.  
  As you can see, I haven’t gotten very far yet (had to do the charting thing and I think I’m good with that, except for a few tweeks (famous last words, LOL), so I’ll be working on that, the baby blankie and the February Lady Sweater until they are all done.  Hopefully the business of working on three projects at once will be better than working on 8,760 projects at once!
Sunday we didn’t have choir, so I wickedly decided to miss church and sleep in. Wouldn’t you know THAT would be the day that I get a call/voice message from Donna H that someone had come to St. John’s to see me – someone all the way from Colorado?  Needless to say I got showered and dressed in a hurry and got over there as the late service was ending.  Embarrassed, yeah, you could say, but I snuck in as the last words were said and Donna (bless her heart) was there, showing me where this lady was.  We (her five-year-old son, Christine, Donna and I) listened to the postlude (which was excellent, even though it wasn’t Nancy) and applauded afterwards (a bit of a tradition among us) and then we chatted  Christine has a twin sister here in Merlin (people, she’s normal – did you think she’d fly2000 miles to Merlin just to see someone with a knitting blog?) We all had things to do that afternoon or I would have invited them to lunch/coffee after church.  It was such a pleasant surprise to actually meet one of the many nice people in the blogosphere! Thanks for visiting me, Christine! I hope your “portable knit shop” idea comes to great fruition.
After church, I got home, send out a broadcast request for a dinner head count and realized we were having almost the entire group over for dinner! The weather yesterday was just beautiful,

 so we had steaks on the grill.  What a treat! Put together with one of my asskicking salads, and you have poetry in the mouth! The vegetarians even brought their own fake meat to grill, so everyone was happy.  We even invited our neighbors over.  They had just been to an annual picnic sponsored by the non-profit for which they volunteer – NeighborRide – so they didn’t eat anything.  I think the crowd  was just a bit unnerving for them – either that or they were thinking about all the packing they had to do for their trip to Canada to visit their daughter.  But I’m glad they came over. 

I even cleaned up my desk for the occasion – and had my first glass(es:)) of wine in weeks…but I behaved myself!  In fact, during the cleanup process I found this little Federal Rules book.  When I find my Merlin one I will really do a happy dance (I know it’s in a briefcase somewhere….)
Well, that’s it for now, dear readers.  Have a great week! God be with you ’til we meet again!
PS Remember that Marianne Isager book?  I’m going to get it through Crafter’s Choice – another sale:) I am so bad!

One of many

steps in the process I suppose.  I went to a meeting/seminar at St. Agnes Hospital in Catonsville, Merlin to get Dr. Averbach’s view of ye olde gastrick bypass.  It was interesting.  The statistics were very encouraging.  The mounds of paperwork I will probably have to go through to get there are not.  What’s also interesting is the above taken from the hill behind the hospital upon which most of the hospital parking is situated.  You actually get a great view of Bawlmer, Merlin from here, but it’s a bit faded in the background of the picture to the right.  And the construction is lovely, is it not? But it will look quite nice and modern when it’s all done in about 3 years time.
One thing I do realize – this will not by any means make me a beauty.  Besides all of that is in the eyes of the beholder and I’m too damn old to give a crap about that anymore.  I will always have to watch what I eat no matter what, but this will at least give me a better handle on it, better self control if you will.
Another reason to be very grateful:  friends and loved ones who don’t really care about the outside package as much as they do about my health.  And that’s what this is about.  If I look better, fine, great, whatever. But it’s really about sticking around and enjoying the second half of my 100 years:) 
Not much to add here.  Have not done much knitting since my last post, so  I will get going. Have an early date tomorrow for a walk in the park at 8 a.m. with a good friend and her lovable lab:) So I will end here.  God be with you ’til we meet again:).

Moonlight on Purl

Well, I finished my last bits of daylight this evening sitting outside, listening to Episode 80 of Brenda Dayne’s Cast-on podcast. I worked on the February Lady Sweater, with its gull lace pattern that is so easy to remember, but interesting enough to enjoy watching it grow.  The sweater traveled with me today to a meeting at DSS concerning the next placement of young adult client.  I sat and knit and listened and restrained myself from saying things that would not have helped and listened.  And listened.  It was one of those meetings.  I am hopeful and fearful about that young man’s future.  More than that I will not say, cannot say. 

After getting home, I returned some phone calls and got some more paperwork done. Tomorrow will be a day of catching up on visits and more phone calls to be sure I have it together for Thursday and Friday.  One of my colleagues and I are covering some cases so that we can better organize our calendars this week.  As a result,  I may have time to walk Thursday morning with another choir friend, Susan.  We’ll see.  I’m so out of practice with the walking that I worry I will hold her back! But I have to exercise and walking is the best way I can right now. 
One thing I have gotten back to is a low-carb diet.  It’s funny.  I’d forgotten how one’s appetite just goes down to nothing when you do that. Every time I do get back to the right kind of foods for me, I’m always wondering why I just didn’t do it before.  That’s the insanity of compulsive overeating/carboholicism – it’s like any other addiction and I simply have to treat it that way. No, I won’t get arrested for having a brownie in my possession, nor will I have to spend time in an inpatient facility as a condition of probation, but sometimes I think the companies that push sugar and white flour and processed foods should be treated just like pushers.  Sometimes.
I have decided to pursue weight loss surgery.  I don’t know if I will be successful, but if anyone should qualify for this as a medically necessary treatment, I should.  This has been a lifelong, generally losing, struggle.   My body will adapt to most anything, so I think gastric bypass makes the most sense.  Many of my online and offline friends will disagree with me.  That’s OK.  I plan on giving it a shot nonetheless.
Anyway, I’ve lost 7 pounds of the 45 I gained back from the 60 I lost 2 years ago.  What that means is I lost 60 and gained back 50 and lost back 12 (7 from the diet, a previous 5 from skipping a few meals), so I’m back to a net loss of 22 from my highest weight or a net gain of 38 from two years ago.)
But those are numbers that can become as much of an obsession as carbs, so I’m trying to be cautious with jumping on the scale.  Right now it’s every morning at the same time.  When we (John’s doing this too) get to week 2 where you add in a few carbs (i.e. some fruit and whole grains), I think I’m going to stick to once a week to avoid freaking out over the slower loss and/or any water changes. 
OK, just one more thing to bore you with, dear readers: I have had some good results in that my ankles aren’t swelling as much as they were and I’ve got just a little bit more energy. But the bottom line is I’m working on forgiving myself for gaining back all the weight I did.  It will serve no purpose to go into the what ifs.  What will help is to stay positive and realistic.
I think the worst of it was this past fall and winter I just gave up.  I gave up because I was depressed about life in general and about some things I’m not comfortable discussing in a public forum. I tend to beat up on myself for things like that.  I have a wonderful family and am lucky to have them in my life.  I am blessed with wonderful friends, both online and off. But there was something that just took the stuffing out of me.  I think a part of me tried to put it back in, LOL! One thing I have never lost is my sense of humor, thank GodasBBL:)!

Another thing I have not lost is a sense of gratitude for all the good things in my life.  In the past few months everyone has been affected by the terrible financial crunch – depression perhaps – that has hit the States and the world over.  Today John and I still have jobs.  There have been some pay cuts and rearranging and John is not working two jobs anymore, so we no longer have that additional help, but we get by on a little less.  Hopefully it won’t be a lot less.  
Right now the weather is beautiful.  Right now I have two arms, two legs, two eyes, two ears and two hands and a brain that work.  I have a soul that can soar and enjoy beautiful music and the

 company of friends, the joy of family and the presence of God.
I sat outside this evening, knitting and taking in the sounds of birds and squirrels and the gentle breeze and the beauty of an evening in June in Merlin.  I sat.  I knit and I listened to Ms. Dayne’s wonderful podcast.  I watched the ring around the moon, I watched the sky turn darker and darker and the distant flashes of lightning in the background of the magnificent sky.
And I was grateful.
Well, it’s time to turn in today.  Until I see you next time, dear readers, God be with you ’til we meet again.

Life is like a box of sock yarn

Well, dear readers, it’s been a nice weekend, albeit a fairly quiet one until yesterday:)  Had court Friday morning and then a meeting at DSS which really did not require my presence, so I

skipped it.  Got home, returned phone calls, spent some time with John then settled into some knitting once I was off the work clock. Friday evening and Saturday I made a little bit of  headway on the Girasole for the PSM, knit a few rows on the Baby blankie for “Gunther,” and a few more pattern repeats on the February Lady Sweater – which basically puts me at or a
 little below the waist.  I’ll have a chance to check it out on D this evening I hope.         
Sunday was pretty busy – both choirs sang and rang the last official service (Pentecost) before

 summer break. Some of us will be singing in smaller groups as time permits over the summer.  I actually sang soprano this time (I’ve been singing tenor all year, then alto on the Bach and now I’m moving ‘up’ in the scale – who knows (and who cares, really) where I’ll be next year, LOL:) At least I’m versatile, if not terribly good, LOL.  The fellow who plays tympani – Tom C., had to leave for the second service, so I got to play them for the second service.   Had a mini panic attack when I realized the lower one had gone off its note (pedal had gone down!), but it was relatively OK, considering.
Afterwards, I went to the store, then home briefly to make a salad for the choir party later, then left for lunch with Nancy and Sally, then home, then on to a choir party hosted by one of our members, Susan and her husband, Russ.  A fine time was had by all.
Today consisted of filing some paperwork at a courthouse where I have never practiced and doing some reports and preparing for this week’s hearings. Then home. All six of our progeny had dinner with us – some burgers on the grill – and again a good time was had by all – except perhaps Ruby whose nap had been interrupted earlier today and who seemed to be able to cry at the drop of a hat, poor baby.
Now it’s night and it’s (relatively) quiet – nothing like the quiet of last week when our two who live at home took a brief vacation to Niagra Falls.  I don’t know how I’m going to deal with peace and quiet when they are all finally out on their own.  It frankly scares me, LOL!
OK, you’re right.  I’m not writing about anything interesting – because what is going on in my heart and mind is beyond weird and to share it with anyone would just be wrong.  When I can make sense of it, I’ll write about it, LOL! Well, life is like a box of sock yarn – you never really know what you’re gonna get:)

There is one funny story I will share with you.  For the first time in our family’s history, a Teddy Bear had to have a time out! Yes indeed and let me tell you this cautionary tale lest your other little toys be led astray!

Our youngest, while we were away in the City of Brotherly Love and the Big Apple, respectively, had a 23rd birthday party, at which all present were adults, save the grandchildren sleeping upstairs.  (Yes, her older sibs were also present and the house was in one piece upon our return.)  The party included a little bit of alcohol and some poker and that was fine, since there was an understanding that anyone who could not drive home would stay the night and live to fight another day.

However, one of the partygoers, a co-worker of my our now 23-year-old, brought a gift: a cute little Teddy Bear with a little heart on it, inside of which were embroidered the words, “hug me.” Sounds sweet, huh?  Well, there’s a thingie on the little adorable bear’s belly that one can press and adorable little phrases come out of said bear.  Phrases like, “Nobody loves you, everybody hates you.  Go f**k yourself,” and “Kiss my a$$,” and that all time favorite, “Eat sh*t and die, motherf**ker!”  How charming!

Well, someone during the cleanup that occurred sometime later that evening, tossed the Teddy Bear into the toys in the little playroom area we have for the grandangels.

A few days later, on Friday, John and I were watching the grandangels for a couple of hours between their parents’ shifts at work.  Little Ruby went right for the Teddy Bear and I said, “Oh, how nice! You found your Teddy Bear! Awwww.” (Remember, we had not inkling of what was up with this bear!)

Awwww kwap! I went upstairs to change out of my work clothes and upon my return downstairs, John was seated in the den, the children playing nearby and the Teddy Bear sitting on a table with his face to the wall.  I looked at John quizzically.  His response: “The Teddy Bear is in Time Out.”  Apparently while cuddling the rather delinquent toy, Ruby caused a few of the expletives to escape it’s little belly.  Madison hastily pointed out that those were BAD words, so Pop took the appropriate disciplinary steps, distracting Ruby with another, much more fun toy.

When their Daddy came to pick them up, we had forgotten about it.  At that point, the electricity had gone out from a nasty thunder storm and our attention was focused on getting them to their car without them having to wring themselves out upon their return home.

Once inside, I had a lot of fun playing with that bear.

Oh Gram is soooooo bad!

Well, have a good one and God be with you ’til we meet again!