Playing Hookey!

No, I didn’t go to church today. I should be ashamed of myself. I’m not. Guess the anticipated insanity of the upcoming weeks convinced me to be a little slothful whilst I can.

Or, to come completely clean, I should confess that I spent until about 2 a.m. working on the other one of these:

That second mitten was haunting the back of my brain and while I was at it, I got a nice pattern (this time not from Vogue Knitting) for a fair isle hat – simple two-color pattern – using yarn I found in my stash – some homespun single ball I got at the Sheep and Wool festival about three years ago! I think those colors will be fine – the pattern is called Francis by Fiona Morris. It’s from a set of free patterns offered by a U.K. website called The Inside Loop . Here’s a thumbnail from that site, to show you what the hat should look like (if I don’t mangle it!). No worry, no bandwidth stealing here:

I think the pale lavender should do well with the blue, since the blue has flecks of lavender in it. We’ll see – it’s only a few hours to invest, so how bad can it be?
Since last I really posted here, not much new has happened. Friday morning was a hearing that we ultimately settled, pending the adjudicatory (read: evidentiary) hearing. The rest of the day was fairly quiet – even the phone calls and e-mails were scarce.
But next week will be interesting – I start tomorrow out with a hearing (or two) and then start with visits and something to straighten out at the bank. Tuesday, our firm is on call for new shelters (and my colleage is getting married Saturday and honeymooning from the following Saturday until the end of the month!). So scheduling things will have to wait until I know I have a hearing. Tuesday evening starts bell prax. Wednesday I have a training in the early morning until after lunch, visits and then EfM begins that evening. Thursday is a LONG, busy day at court in which I have to be in two courtrooms at once. Thursday evening starts choir prax. Friday will be a.m. court and one hearing, with a pm meeting at DSS. Oh, and just for fun, we babysit the grandangels somewhere in the mix (this may mean John babysits them for most of the time).
And we’rrrrrre off! I love it! Cannot wait to start music again, however bad I may be – and the discipline of learning is always good for the soul – and the brain, I hope!
In the meantime, I have been knitting along on that blue lace scarf – it stays in my purse or briefcase for any given minute of downtime. No new pics, because the increase is negligible at this point.
So life moves along. I am not doing well on the weight loss, but the busyness of the upcoming week should help me stay on task now. Oh, and before I forget, I am expecting these two darlings sometime this week as well:
I will do a full review when I get them. These (and one other book pre-ordered a few weeks ago) are the only books I plan on purchasing for a long while. I’ve got so much in that department, that it would take something pretty amazing to shake me from my determination to spend for others this year rather than myself. I plan on enjoying to the fullest that which I already have, and not just yarn and books and music. I plan on savoring every minute I have with my family and friends. For some reason – especially in the last month – I have a new appreciation for all that I have and I intend to continue to be grateful for all of it and to live life to the fullest for whatever time I have (and it may be a LOOONNNGGG time given how darn healthy I am).
Enjoy this beautiful day, dear readers. God be with you ’til we meet again!
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Noggin, Noggin, who’s got a Noggin?

Well, this morning has been one with the grandgirls, punctuated by blasts of potty training accidents, Noggin on TV and On Demand, (for which I thank GOD!!!), a Saturday Happy Meal (McDonalds) treat and general messiness ’round the house. Never mind I’ve got two visits and some serious cleaning to do later. I started the morning early; their Dad starts his workday at 8:30 and has to drop them off to us a bit earlier. After showering and dressing, I walked downstairs to unlock and open the front door to be greeted with these lovely sights: It’s fun to watch things grow – even for the second and third times. The weather we’ve had this summer and a moderately decent amount of rain has made for a very lush summer here in Merlin – in fact, as I’ve said to my friend in the Northwest, it looks like we’ve switched weather patterns for a season! I do have to say, we’ve gotten to be more Merlin-esque in the past few weeks with the temperature topping the 90s (Fahrenheit!).
But I digress.
While awaiting an opportunity to get some visits done, I have been knitting on scarves I’ve already started – with the occasional row going toward the fauxcable blue scarf thingie [ravelry link] [other blog link] that travels with me and for the Checkerboard Lace Scarf by Whitney van Nes, that lovely free pattern for which I am using Jojoland Melody in a purpley-green colorway. I should be working on Brie’s Buttoney, Dori’s February Lady Sweater or at least on the blue sampler baby blankie “for Gunther” [not his real name!], but these are fun patterns.   I love the way the green runs into the purple and vice versa – and the stitch pattern, although 20 rows worth and not easily memorized, is really cool.  It’s a nice bit of play knitting,LOL:)  This makes about three or four scarves I have to finish by winter’s entrance on the scene.  I think I’ll live!
 
At least I hope so!
 
Tomorrow Dori is hosting a baby shower for K and S at our house, and I’ve got to get going on a visit or two, so until next time,
God be with you ’til we meet again!
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Oh My MY

As I type this, I am sitting at my desk at the home office, my cellphone at my side, on speakerphone, in the midst of what is euphemistically referred to as a “Family Team Decisionmaking Meeting.” Oy. When one represents children, and one does not agree with the position of the local “department,” (because one’s clients can tell one what they want and my job is to represent THEM, dammit!), one generally is regarded as lower than the lowliest of worms. Anyway, I am listening as I type this to one parent’s attorney getting information from the involved social worker and he’s doing fine without me, LOL:)!
When this old world starts getting me down, and I’m not looking at my yarn stash, I look at these babies:

 

Aren’t they lovely? And they will provide me with endless fodder for the occasional knitting book review. And it’s in the next room from the kitschen, so when I sit down for a my lunch break, these provide endless inspiration:) Just think how much space I’d save were all of these on a Kindle! OK, I can dream, can’t I?

 

Let’s see, what’s new and exciting since six days ago? Not a heck of a lot. Work has been fairly quiet; I’ve had some hearings, and need to go forward on getting some visits and paperwork done as soon as I’m loose from the tether of this meeting I’m in. A trip to the office is definitely in the cards – to pick up court reports, drop off paperwork and files, and in general to catch up with co-workers.

 

On the knitting front, I have finally finished the Tweed Baby Blanket and blocked it.
It has a number of imperfections, partially a product of the yarn’s irregularities (which add to the charm) and my knitting snafus (which do not). I think it will make a nice outside blanket to keep our little grandson warm. Hopefully K and D will like it:)

 

Have also worked about 3 50-gram balls worth of KnitPicks CotLin in Morroccan Red toward the Sandrine sweater for moi:) I’m already at the waist, but I’m not doing the shaping – the ribbing at the waist does enough shaping for me at this point. I’m
hoping I have enough yarn, but it looks like I’m going to need to order about 7 more balls. No problemo – it’s not that expensive!
I also succumbed to the lure of some new laceweight yarn. As one can see from the mini-collage at right – I’ve already wound them into balls. The pale green yarn is 1200 yards of “Lace-a-licious” in Pueblo – a shawl in a skein! It is so soft, I had the ball sitting on my desk for a day or two just to enjoy it, LOL:). The dark blue is Berrocco’s Ultra Alpaca Fine – and it is lovely, with a bunch of other purply highlights that just won’t come through in the photos unfortunately! This is about 420 yards or so and should make a lovely scarf or something similar.
Well folks, my meeting is over. I’d better get cracking on the rest of my work. Take care, everybody – and until next time, God be with you ’til we meet again!
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Well today was not a very eventful one. We had the grandgirls over for another day. And their “other Pop-pop” is apparently doing well enough to step down from ICU to a regular hospital bed (thanks for your prayers and thoughts!) which is excellent news! (So I suppose it’s been eventful after all, LOL:)!
I spent the morning getting things in order for court tomorrow and returning phone calls. Then this afternoon was the first in six months’ worth of doctor visits, documenting one of my many gazillion attempts at weight loss. I intend to do the best I can and have already started on a low-carb regime. Tomorrow I go to the “Y” to get a tour of the facilities so I can finally start some sort of swimming regimen (I like swimming even more than walking, but will also do the latter on cooler days). Not to bore you all, dear readers, but I’m not going to weigh myself until my next appointment in September. OK, enough o’ that crapola….
Inch by inch I’m working on that last stretch of the i-cord bind-off for Jared Flood’s Tweed Baby blanket. It’s really a nice finish – after it’s blocked, it should look quite nice – the feather and fan makes for a nice edging without being too feminine.Pics coming as soon as I’m done!
And before I sign off, take a look at these babies:)
The one on the right is a bit faster. I’ve been practicing my spinning learned last night on this spindle as well. Isn’t it just gorgeous (Oh Lord, I am in such trouble!)
and the bottom picture here is the result of my prior attempts plied with my more current attempts. Interesting that when you ply in the opposite direction in which you spin, the yarn doesn’t get all twisty in one direction. Funny that, LOL:)!
OK, so it’s not something you’d find in an Etsy shop, but it’s my first and it’s not too damn bad:)
Well, not much else is new today. And with any luck, not much will be new tomorrow!
Back soon. God be with you ’til we meet again!
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Bob Breszny’s sort-of-horoscope (verrrry interesting):
“In the days ahead, you may not realize what you’re looking for until you find it. I advise you, therefore, to put into action the following five-point plan. 1) Suppress any know-it-all tendencies you might have. 2) Revive your childhood talent for being voraciously curious about everything. 3) Ask more questions than you’ve ever asked before. 4) Figure out how to be receptive without being passive, and how you can be humble without muffling your self-confidence. 5) Consider the possibility that you have a lot to learn about what’s best for you. “
As usual with these things, my reaction is, “Hah! I WISH!” And then I go about my life, scratching my head and acting generally confused. But there’s something about this one that I really really like.
Well, dear readers, the grandangels came over today and John watched them pretty much all day. I got up, got dressed for court (because I knew I’d be in court this afternoon) and got ready for the day. Court was not particularly earth-shattering – a hearing which was pretty much uncontested. After court to the office to get reports in for the week and to pick up files and then home.
On the way home I got a call from John. The grandangels were staying later than usual. Their “other Pop” was going to the hospital. He’s battling lung cancer and I’m sure D and D are besides themselves – to say nothing of D’s mother! (who I’m told was unable to see her husband and instructed to go home – I sure hope they knew what they were doing!)
If you read this, please send out some prayers/ good thoughts/whatever works out for D’s dad. They are a very close family. The grand girls are coming tomorrow (thank you, John, for taking extra days off this week!) and I imagine we’ll know more then.
This evening I went to my very first fiber-type class at Cloverhill Yarn. (I had already signed up and paid for the class, so I felt I should go). And I learned how to spin with a drop spindle! And how to ply! Whoo hoo! Now I have something else to spend too much money on. Er, wait, something else to do that’s fun! (Now that’s better!)
The teacher was very helpful and very nice. The classmates were lovely – Rebecca (rmartin on Ravelry), a member of the “Sip ‘n Knit” I randomly attend, and a friend and colleague of my choir friend Diane, was also there! She showed me this amazing Totoro mitten pattern she’s working on. We sort of bonded over the Japanese cartoon film “My Neighbor Totoro” before we realized we both knew Diane:).
I learned an awful lot about preparing the fiber and the process of spinning and actually spun some yarn that was less than a large Crayola crayon width! who knew? I got permission from the attendees and took permission (leaving out the one “camera shy” person). Anyway, it was fascinating stuff and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Unfortunately, it did entail spending money on a spindle, but boy am I in trouble…..
Well, dear readers, see you soon, I hope – until then, God be with you ’til we meet again!
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Well, I did my thing as a citizen today with fellow chorister, Linda K-M. I twittered a little while ago something about seeing so many morons in one place, but I meant no disrespect to the people who were shouting those stupid things. (OK sorry, I’ll behave now – I’m sure there’s a person on the other side of this issue saying the same things about me.) I felt, that after all the coverage of people at these town hall meetings on health care who are organizers from the Republican party and/or insurance companies screaming down anyone who doesn’t agree with them, that I should do my part to show that there is also a very strong group of people who support health care reform and the public/single payor option.
When I arrived there, the people on the other side of this issue were already getting personal, shouting at all of us, asking how many of us had jobs, etc. A few came over to our side and tried to start fights with individuals, but we held firm. When someone was particularly offensive, there was someone there to gently remind the offensive person’s target not to engage. Funny thing, once the offensive one realized the strategy wasn’t going to work, they moved on to someone else. And this happened over and over. And it continued not to work!
Here’s the way I look at healthcare: The bottom line is, we’re all paying for it, no matter what we do. What do I mean by that? Let’s say we have a person who is uninsured, for whatever reason – or really, even someone who’s underinsured or whose insurance company decides that they have a “pre-existing condition” or that they aren’t covered for whatever or the insurance company just says no, thinking that the poor slob can’t do anything about it anyway. That person is suffering. They haven’t been to the doctor because they cannot afford to, so they wait, hoping it will all go away. The infection will clear up (many do); the toothache will subside with enough ibuprofen (sometimes they do); that lump really is just a cyst. Sometimes the problem doesn’t go away. So what does a person do? They are at this point in crisis, in pain and desperate. They do the only thing left to them: they go to the emergency room. Now, because they didn’t get whatever it is they have treated earlier, it’s become a problem medically – they need surgery, chemotherapy, i.v. antibiotics, you name it. They get treatment because most hospitals cannot abandon patients. They hopefully get better. They go home.
They can’t pay the thousands of dollars their hospital stay costs.
So what happens? The hospital, and whoever else this person owes money to pursues collections, legal actions and may recover a fraction of this cost. Remember a cost that may have been a fraction of the initial cost had the sick person gotten treatment earlier.
So we are left with a patient with no money, a hospital with little money. Guess what happens? The hospital has to adjust their costs to cover the loss. Guess who pays this loss? You betcha!
Now, if we’re all going to pay for everyone’s medical care, doesn’t it make sense to do it in a more organized fashion? Instead of an insurance company making billions, let’s all put that money into a big pot and share.
Let people get the care they need WHEN they need it.
Let docs, not insurance companies, practice medicine.
I bet we’d save a LOT of money.
And a lot of lives.
Which is why the old folks in Canada and the UK are not scared of their health care plans.
Nor should ours be!
But then, God forbid we should be (GASP!) socialized!
Our signs were about healthcare and insurance reform. Theirs were some of the most offensive racist things I think I have ever seen. One sign was a picture of Obama in black and white with a mustache like Hitler’s, with the caption: “I’ve changed.” Another really disgusting one that seems to have been aimed at the African-Americans in our group (and I saw NONE in theirs, BTW), was of Obama in white face, with “Joker” makeup. There was even a truck with writing on the side, telling the President to return to his real country – I guess they must have meant the country of Hawaii. Apparently these morons don’t know that Hawaii became a US State in 1959. Either that or the “Birthers” are still going strong. I honestly don’t think I’ve laughed this hard in a LONG time. I don’t think that’s the reaction they were looking for. Oh well. Tough.
The screaming was so revolting at one point that a large bunch of us started singing the national anthem quietly. It was truly awesome. I swear, these folks didn’t know with whom they were dealing. I think the reason we Americans picked a new President in November is that we are sick of that kind of crap. We are sick of the greed that seems to have run rampant over our health, our workers and our civil rights. Do they think we’ve forgotten already? They’d better think again!

Court, First Amendment and Toe-Up Socks

Hello dear readers – back again. Well, this morning I had court – a brief hearing during which the Judge (it was an exceptions hearing) ruled against me despite my best arguments. I hate when that happens – luckily the client was all right and will probably be all right. After that I came home to the “office away from office” I call home. Answered e-mails and phone calls and now I’m posting.
The picture above is of the Towson University Arts Center where one of our Senators, Ben Cardin, is going to be holding a Town Meeting on the issue of health care reform. Since I am a firm believer in health care reform and am hoping some real changes happen this time, a friend from choir and I will be heading over there for a rally to support the public option or at a minimum, some sort of reform. I do have some concerns, since there have been a number of rather “in your face” protesters at some of these events – and Sen. Cardin is a democrat in my little blue State – but hopefully there won’t be any violence. I am certain that the group of us who are going will be sure not to escalate anything and will simply use the shunning techniques the Society of Friends have used. In other words, turning away. It’s going to be rather crowded and a very hot day – even for August in Merlin, so we will only be attending the rally. Here’s hoping this one will be a true dialogue and not a staged “confrontation” paid for by insurance company dollars! Whatever your opinions on this issue, none of us has the right to shout down or threaten those holding viewpoints that differ from ours. Whether only honored in the breach or truly a part of our tradition, such behavior is simply un-American. In fact, it’s shameless, not matter what your nationality.
A now, (in the words of the late great Monty Python) for something completely different:
I’ve been working on that Tweed Baby Blanket by Jared Flood and finally decided I couldn’t stand it any longer, so I decided to finish about six rows earlier than the pattern and am doing an i-cord bindoff – a LOT of fun! I’ll have pics of that tomorrow hopefully when I have a finished blanket for you to see. (Hope springeth eternal!)
Book Review
I figure I have over 250 knitting books, which means I could do a review a day into the next year – and if I keep getting more of them, well, it’ll keep me busy for a while. Anyway, one book I have purchased fairly recently is Wendy Johnson’s Socks from the Toe Up.
Wendy is from the MD-DC-VA metro area. She has a terrific blog that I read practically every day and a cute cat named Lucy. This is I believe Wendy’s second book and a third is on its way to the public soon, if not already. The first is, ironically enough, Wendy Knits and the third is

Toe-Up Socks for Every Body, a title that already intrigues this woman with perpetually swollen ankles.
Anyway, Socks from the Toe Up is a terrific resource because it really teaches the reader about how toe-up socks can be constructed through various techniques. The first third or so of the book is taken up with this basic knowledge and the next two thirds build on the groundwork of the first with patterns from plain “vanilla” socks up to cables and lace and gansey style socks. The photography and illustrations are excellent and the book is almost errata free. In fact, I was able to simply jot the few errata (which she freely shares on her website) on the pages themselves, there were so few of them.
Well, it’s time to get ready for revisiting my hippie youth! Until next time, dear readers, God be with you ’til we meet again!
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