Law Day May Day

Today was Law Day. Various Bar Associations from various counties in Merlin celebrate this occasion (a way of celebrating the rule of law over the rule of tyrants or the mob) in a variety of ways. Here in Bawlmer County, Merlin, where I practice about 99 percent of the time, they have a theme – this year was the Spirit of John Adams from Revolutionary times to Guantanamo. Local school children draw pictures and write essays about the meaning of this theme. They win prizes. The oldest prizewinner read her essay and it was outstanding. Master Beck was awarded an honor, as was an attorney who heads up a local Innocence Project. The Jazzband from Loyola High played before the ceremony and THEY were outstanding. It was a great way to spend a lunch hour- outside in the fresh spring air and (intermittent) sunshine. And it gave me hope for the future.
Then it was back to CINA court.

All that professionalism didn’t stop me from beginning another shawl: Jared Food’s Rock Island.

I am hopeless!! And I’m afraid there’s no cure!
Well, I’m off to another client visiting beautiful downtown Dundalk- and there are places of beauty in Dundalk- it’s right on the water- how bad can that be?!
Back as soon as I can, until then,

God be with you ’til we meet again+

OK Don’t faint.

OK, so it’s been about a quarter of a year since I last posted.  Whaddygonna do? It’s been a busy time. When last we met, dear 1.2 reader(s), I posted about our son, Danny’s pending play in Bawlmer at Center Stage.  Well whilst he was there, the Director asked him to read for a part in a production he is doing with the Kansas City Repertory Theater at the La Jolla Playhouse this summer.  Danny got the part, the Baltimore production made arrangements for someone to take that part over and now he’s in the Peer Gynt production.  It opened on his birthday (4/22) and hopefully will soon be on tour before ending up in LaJolla in late June. The picture to the right is the poster advertising the play and looks a lot like Danny. In fact, I’m pretty sure it is him, except the mouth looks a bit different.

Keep your fingers crossed they make it to Broadway – or even off-Broadway:)! That way, his NY relatives (and his family here in Merlin) might be able to make the trip to see him.

So much to catch up on – what has been happening since the end of January? Basically life has been happening. And one of the nicer aspects of life is new life.  On Valentine’s Day, we all welcomed the newest member to the Fuguestateknits clan: Ingram Frank S. a/k/a “Gram,” son of Kristin and Sonny and little brother to Johnny. When hecame into the world, like most of us, he was not too happy about it.  But we were glad to meet him.

After a few months, he has made the usual adjustments that babies make to sleep, food, big brothers and the crowd he’s been born into.  And he’s gotten quite cute and chubby and smiles – the big gift that keeps on giving!

Our daughter, S, has received two acceptances at grad schools, one with a promise of money  – always good. Our daughter, J, is looking at maybe, possibly taking the LSATs and maybe, possibly attending law school (another one bites the dust!). Another daughter, B, is graduating college, after putting herself through and working full time.  Kristin, mother of the two grandsons, is back to work already and will be back to school this summer.

In March, I attended a wonderful concert put on by Nancy and Jan at Charles Town’s Chapel of organ and piano duets.  Nancy played the piano parts, which is unusual for her – a very entertaining concert!

Also in March, granddaughter M turned 11 and we celebrated with dinner at a nice restaurant – an intimate gathering of about 20:)

On the music front, everything from that point to the present was geared toward preparing for Holy Week/Easter services, which meant extra rehearsals and time spent doing my favorite thing (yes even more than knitting!).

I also got to spend time with some of my favorite people outside my family. A win-win all around!  Easter was a wonderful event, not only for the spiritual significance but also for the music. It was Tom C’s last Easter playing tympani and percussion with us, so it was bittersweet.  He keeps saying things like, “next year, this will be all yours” to which I make noises indicating I am still in major denial, which of course I am.  Hopefully he and Ann will come back for the Orchestra concert next January! I am not playing that bass drum AND the snare by myself! Of course it was also quite the marathon – services Thursday evening, Friday noon (with the knitters afterwards, knitting and listening to poetry about Good Friday), Friday evening (with the choir singing almost completely a cappella), Saturday evening (Vigil) and twice on Sunday, LOL:)! The brass players were excellent as always – Nancy’s son, Joe, played trumpet and another of the brass players was the man who played “Maryland, My Maryland” to Governor Schaeffer as he lay on his death bed days before – and this after his own mother had passed away days earlier!

Speaking of Governor Schaeffer (who was also Mayor Schaeffer of Baltimore), whatever your politics, anyone who lived in Merlin in the last fifty years would have to admit that this was a man of action and quite a character.  He became Mayor of Baltimore after the riots in the late 60s and oversaw the renaissance of the downtown area.  After a very active political life, his death was quiet by comparison.  He left quite a legacy to Baltimore and later to all of Merlin.  May he rest in peace.

Another thing I was able to do last week was to see the movie The Conspirator – the film about the military tribunal trial of Mary Surratt, one of the alleged co-conspirators in the plot to assassinate President Lincoln. There are those who say that this movie is meant to remind us of what is going on at Guantanamo and I have no doubt that it is true. However, the movie focuses mostly on the young lawyer upon whom his boss more or less dumped the case.  So soon after the assassination, hers was no popular cause.
Yet this young lawyer, who himself had been a Union soldier and wounded in battle, advocated for her as well as any lawyer could have, given the horrific odds against her. He failed in his efforts and soon after  left the practice of law, but we learn at the end of the movie that he became one of the founders of the Washington Post. To my mind, he represents the best and most noble of the legal profession because he was a voice for the most hated, poorest, most disadvantaged and the one least likely to receive fair treatment (which she was). Without people like him, our system of justice would never truly be a system of justice.

On the work front, life has been busier than usual, yet I am still playing a game of catch up, especially with visits. Oy. And it seems we’ve had more than our usual share of hotly contested cases – sometimes caused by yours truly, so I have no reason to complain!

On the knitting front – oh where to begin?

First off, it’s FINALLY finished! Nancy finally got her Westerwick and was so happy with it, she agreed to let me photograph it with her in it! Of course, she didn’t want her face online, so to respect her privacy, you just really see the sweater – but doesn’t it fit her perfectly:)? I could have done a little bit better on the buttonholes maybe, I don’t know, but I am really happy with the way it turned out.  It was the first Fair Isle I’ve done with patterning all over.  I hoped to get it done by Christmas, but I was actually late for her birthday! Luckily, we had a few cold days before Easter, so she could wear it before putting it away until the autumn.  Also, I strongly recommend using fingering weight yarns for projects like these – worsted weight would make it WAY too heavy!

Let’s see, what else have I been doing? Well, I started this green baby blanket about a gazillion years ago, but decided to finish it on the day before Gram was born. It’s crocheted in Bernat cotton yarn. I used one of the zig-zag patterns and then “filled” it in to create an even rectangle and finished with single crochet.  Then blocked it with a hot iron to neaten it up and kill the germs.  It will be an easy wash and dry – which a baby needs:)

I’ve also discovered Susan Pandorf’s patterns and boy am I hooked (no pun – it’s not crocheted, LOL!) What you see on the left is the beginning of the Argonath shawl. What looks like rows of garter stitch on the left side (top of picture) are actually unraveled into loop, which when cut and knotted, become a fringe! Soooo cool! Needless to say, I am also working on the “In Dreams” KAL and have downloaded a few more of her patterns.  Really worth looking at for a combination of cabling and lace knitting put together well.

Still working on my Cassidy, but am thinking of re-doing it, even thought it’s turning out beautifully.  Will explain why at the end of this post. Isn’t that a gorgeous pattern? Bonne Marie Burns (Chic Knits) really knows what she’s doing when she creates her designs.  Another designer I am really enjoying is Thea Colman or her design company, Baby Cocktails. I have gotten a number of her patterns and have started working on her Cassis and hope to also do Irish Coffee and a few others. They are relatively simple patterns put together so well that they are very elegant, but they are not so simple that you are bored stiff knitting them.

Another really cool thing I’m close to finishing is the Lenten Mystery Scarf KAL (Drama of Scripture Scarf) by Rebecca Hope Osborn . Rebecca and her husband are living in PA and attending divinity school.  Rebecca is a knitter and also a very nice person.  I happened to meet her while taking a brief tutorial on handspinning with a spindle at Cloverhill Yarn Shop and she was in the class – actually she worked there also before moving to PA. Most of the colors I have in stash were basically autumnal and really don’t work with my coloring.  A good friend of mine from choir saw me working on it, and said she’d like to have it, so as soon as it’s done, it’s hers.  But I’ll take a picture before it  leaves my clutches:) It is very interesting.  Each square has a pattern representing a part of Biblical history – all leading up to Easter.  Before I give it to Sal, I’ll make sure to type up a note explaining each section.

I’ve also started working on Jared Flood’s Guernsey Wrap.  I’m using Cascade Ecological Wool I have in stash.  It’s a bulky wool, which makes this project go fairly quickly.  I was thinking this would either be a good wrap for the Prayer Shawl Ministry for a man  – unless John would like it. (Family first!)

The other (pink) picture is of a shawl/wrap I am designing myself.  I had an idea and amworking on it.  It may pan out.  It may not, but so far, it’s not half bad. Hopefully I’ll post to this thing often enough to show progress on it.

Well, I did say I’d explain why I might want to re-start the Cassidy.  One rather major project I’ve been working on has been yours truly.  I have been attending a program to prepare for weight loss surgery.  There, I’ve said it.  There are many who may disagree with this idea. They are certainly entitled to their opinion.  Yet, every medical person with whom I have spoken about this topic has advocated for doing it.  I have thought LONG and hard about it and I believe it is the right course for me.  It will require some major changes, but anything worthwhile is worth doing correctly. So, I am hoping that by the time I will be needing sweaters again, I will be a bit smaller than I am now.  Which means the sweaters I have been knitting for myself should not be as large as I am making them. Which means I should hold off on finishing them and see where I end up. Speculative? You bet it is. I have one sweater/jacket in CotLin for warm weather.  I will be finishing that one, since I can wear it this spring and summer. The others, out of wool, I will have to wait and see.  Worst case scenario, I knit them as originally planned.  Best case scenario, I frog and re-knit a lot faster, LOL:)! We shall see…

Well, dear Reader-and-a-half, it’s time to get to bed.  Court tomorrow!

God be with you ’til we meet again!