Sunday, December 25, 2005

Random Thoughts 'n' Things

Merry Christmas, and Happy Hannukah. The Nurse's family is Christian, and Christmas is what we do. We had a rather unusual Christmas this year, since The Son sings in the choir at his church in Winchester. We've been out there a lot to worship, and we decided that we needed to be together at Christmas, so we drove out yesterday, had dinner at a fun restaurant, then went to the late evening service. It was beautiful, and I'm so glad we went. We spent the night at the Hampton Inn. I brought along a little pretend tree, a present for each person, and after the service we had Gluwein (heated in the microwave), and cheese and crackers. We watched the end of the Pope's Midnight Mass in Rome, and then a special on historical investigations into the birth of Christ. (The Offspring happened upon the program, and I couldn't convince them that I really was zonked. We finally turned off the tube at 2:30 a.m.) It was great fun.

We came home this morning, and had brunch, watched football, and fixed our "roast beast" and the rest of Christmas dinner. I threw the roast in the oven, and The Daughter did the lion's share of the rest. She's amazing. We opened presents, and enjoyed being together. (Watched a bit of football, and I sewed up a hat for a fellow nurses' newborn.)

It's been a good week for being together. Despite an over-full workweek, I was able to be off on Wednesday. We went to see the matinee of Les Miserables at the National Theatre-- absolutely spectacular-- well staged and performed. Then it took us an hour to get to Kinkead's where we had a wonderful dinner. It was a lovely day with my family, and I will cherish the memory.

And on to Hannukah. When The Daughter was in Sunday School, probably 1st or 2nd grade, she learned about Hannukah during one of our Old Testament studies. So The Daughter wanted to know if we could celebrate it. Well, there's really no theological reason not to, but while honoring the Maccabees, we really needed to put this in context, realizing that we were not going to do presents, and that it was unlikely that we would all be in the same place to light candles for 8 days in a row. The one thing we have continued is having latkes on the first night. Well, this year, the first night is on Christmas. I couldn't deal with Christmas dinner AND latkes, so they're being moved to tomorrow night. I must say that I'm looking forward to it. I don't eat potatoes, but I've discovered that I can make mine with zucchini, and they work out just fine.

So now I face a couple of days at work, and then look with hope and faith toward the New Year.

Monday, December 19, 2005

All Day, We Worked...

But before I get started, let me say that zinc works wonders. I think I still have the cold, because I am totally wiped out and exhausted, but I have remained relatively symptom-free in the nose department. The trick is to start with zinc tablets or lozenges every hour. I found some sugar-free ones, and they basically have no flavor at all. You let them dissolve in your mouth-- don't chew or swallow. They really seem to work as long as you get going as soon as the symptoms start. The Daughter resisted-- and she's going through tissues at a most alarming rate.

The cookie-baking saga is an annual event in my family. My Gramma (the one from Austria) used to make mountains of cookies for us. We always got a bunch at Christmas, but she'd send them to us at summer camp, at college, a couple of times a year after we moved away from home -- I don't know how she did it. All by herself.

As she got pretty advanced in years, she didn't have the strength for all the beating and rolling and generalized stamina it takes to make her masterpieces. So she would come over to my Mom's house, and my sisters would help her. (I was away from home by this time, and missed out on lessons from The Master.) The first of my sisters became the new cookie guru, and gleaned the nuances of the art.

After Gramma died, that sister would sometimes make some cookies, but then we all decided that we really needed to keep the cookies alive. So First Sister and I made a little cookbook for all our family members with the recipes and techniques in it. It's just a little thing-the size of postcards, but we did a rather nice job, if I do say so myself. All the pages are laminated, and it's bound with the plastic comb thingees.

The most labor-intensive is the flaky cookie. It's quite something. It has two types of dough, and they get rolled out, and the dough gets folded up, and then you have to let it rest and then roll it out again a couple of times. (We finally figured out that one of the doughs can be done with the dough hook on the Kitchen Aid mixer. We think that Gramma would approve, in the interest of keeping the cookies going.) There's a special way they need to be cut, and then they are filled with Solo pastry filling and baked. Then they get rolled in sugar-- some in powdered and some in granulated sugar. These things take forever to make, and each batch makes 3 dozen. Do the math: I have 4 brothers and 4 sisters, plus my Mom & Dad, plus our collective spouses and 24-going-on-26 children, the youngest of whom is 7. We ended up making 3 batches, and with all the other types of cookies and brownies, it almost did us in. These are the best cookies on earth, and if we made 10 dozen, they would all get scarfed up. Gramma used to say (with her Austrian accent)--All Day ve verk...

(Alternatively, the almond crescents are quick and easy-- we made 20 dozen of them, and except for the fact that the youngest of my sisters ended up elbow-deep in powdered sugar for much of the day....)

So The Daughter and I arrived in Chicago at 10:30 on Saturday, started baking at my Second Sister's at 11:30, did cookies pretty much all day (although I needed a bit of a nap for about 20 mins) and we got back to my parents' at about 2 am. My Third Sister drove down with her youngest (4th grader) from Minneapolis for the event, and my Second Brother's wife and their daughter (high schooler)flew in from Omaha. We all returned to our respective homes mid-day on Sunday.

We take cookies seriously.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Oh Yes!!! Oh No!!!

The good news is that The Daughter is home from school. My darling, sweet, youngest child who I love as I love my own life is with me for a couple of weeks. And when she's home we have such fun-- shopping, cooking, movies, and we're going to Chicago (actually Naperville) on Saturday to be with my parents and most of my sisters and brothers and a bunch of their kids for the annual Christmas cookie bake.(The Son -my lovable, huggable, clever, wonderful firstborn whom I also love as much as I love my own life will be home just before Christmas.)

The bad news is that she's sick. Her eyes are watering, and she's sneezing and stuffy and has a runny nose. I've loaded her up with vitamin C and zinc, and plenty of fluids. She loves orange juice and hot lemonade.

Having done that.... My eyes have just started watering, and I'm sneezing and my nose is both stuffing up and running. So I'm loading myself up with Vitamin C and zinc, and plenty of fluids. Mine will include hot limeade with Bushmill's.

Tomorrow was supposed to be: Finish cleaning the living room, put stuff in the new kitchen drawers, and purchase and decorate the Christmas tree. Ordinarily a very manageable list.

I may settle for just being able to get out of bed. Gotta get ready to fly to Chicago, y'know.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

And My Top 10 countdown...

Following on the tails of Holly, Kristine and Ann, here is my plunge into the pool. I decided that the exercise of actually thinking about these things would be good for my soul and clarity of mind, so what the heck.

10 Things you might not know about me:
-I'm the eldest of 9 siblings
-I started out in the Nursing program in college, but graduated as a Communication Arts major (Speech/Theatre/Radio)
-None of the institutions of higher learning I attended had a football team, or if they did, it was really sorry.
-I have, through The Daughter, become an insufferable, unapologetic Virginia Tech Hokies football fan.
-The Husband, The Offspring and I spend a week every summer with my parents, my sibs, our spouses and 24-going on 26 (my baby brother is marrying the wonderful Beloved and her 2 lovely daughters are joining the throng) kids.
-Aside from that, My favorite way to spend time is at a Hokies football game with my family.
-My next favorite is at the happy place with my Irregular friends.
-My third favorite is with a huge cup of coffee, a good movie and a fast-moving knitting project. If family is there, it's a plus.
-I am a terrible housekeeper. (See favorite ways to spend time for an explanation).
-My favorite phrase is: "It's better to light a candle than to curse the darkness."

9 Places I've visited
-The Scavi (excavation)under the Vatican in Rome. A necropolis combining pagan and early Christian graves, and the wall containing the remains of St. Peter. The Vatican itself is awesome-- but the Scavi is icing on the cake.
-The Prado museum in Madrid. Velasquez' picture of the little prince on the horse holding a baton is over a door-- I remember wondering if I would ever see it again.
-The Champs-Elysees in Paris. Walking down the street, in search of a glass of wine and hoping they wouldn't mock my French.
-Yeats' grave in Drumcliff, Sligo Ireland. "Cast a cold eye On life, on death,
Horseman, pass by!" Two weeks traveling in the Motherland with my bestest friend from childhood, Kath, and our high school English teacher Tim-- several decades out of said Academy.
-The underwater Jesus statue in Pennecamp State Park off Key Largo. I got seasick on the small boat out to the site, but make the dive and held Jesus' hand.
-The villages of Quebrada Larga and El Ocatal in Honduras. A life-altering experience serving on a medical mission trip with my dear Daughter.
-Tulum in the Yucatan. Climbing up Mayan pyriamids with my parents and children.
-The Normandy Beaches. The 3-year old Son with his arms around one of the Jewish soldier grave markers saying "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"
-The top of Pikes' Peak. Again with the Offspring, during a 3-week camping trip surrounding one of the aforementioned family summer gatherings (at Estes Park, Ann)

8 Ways to Win My Heart
-Say Thank You.
-Give me a hug.
-Be nice to someone who is easy to forget.
-Be generous with your time, resources, and love.
-Root for the Hokies with me.
-Listen to my concerns, and help me sort out my thoughts.
-Send me a random e-mail.
-Bring me coffee (or if you're really in a good mood, Hokies tickets)

7 Things I want to Do Before I Die
-Take The Offspring to Italy. Several times.
-Get my house really clean-- all over, and keep it that way.
-Live on the beach for a year.
-Live in the mountains for a year.
-Live near the rest of my family for as long as humanly possible.
-Reread all the classics and books I didn't appreciate in high school and college
-See every one of Shakespeare's plays performed onstage.

6 Things I'm afraid of
-Letting people down.
-The Offspring not being happy or fulfilled as adults.
-Financial ruin.
-Dear ones' deaths.
-Being talked about- when it's not a good thing.
-A disability that would severely limit the use of my hands.

5 Things I Don't Like
-Cilantro. Really. At All. Ever. In anything.
-Backstabbing people.
-Slow internet connection days
-Writers' Block bumping up against deadlines.

4 Ways to Turn Me Off
-Being mean.
-Belittling people.

3 Things I Do Every Day
-Drink a bunch of coffee while checking out the blogs
-Do the SuDoKu in the paper
-Knit a bit

2 Things that Make Me Happy
-A winning Hokie game
-Being with The Husband and The Offspring

1 Thing on my mind right now
-I gotta pee.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

It Seems Like Forever...

...Since last I blogged. And much has happened. The Hokies beat UVA and UNC, and so went to the ACC playoffs in Jacksonville. So did we. The whole family. And we got beat. Some bad plays, some bad officiating, and the bottom line was that FSU got more points, got the ACC Championship and will be going to the Orange Bowl (Go Penn State!!!). One of these days our team will remember that we don't get 5 quarters in the important games. We only had 2 losses this season, but they really mattered. FSU, on the other hand, beat us, although their season record isn't one to write home about. It's sort of like flunking half of your high school classes, doing ok on SATs, and getting in to MIT. C'est la vie.

So, the Hokies will go to the Gator Bowl--yep, back to Jacksonville. The sad part for me is that The Daughter will probably not be with us on New Years' Eve.

Enough of that.

We bought a condo in Blacksburg. It's for The Daughter to live in, but we got one with 3 bedrooms so The Husband and I will have a place to stay on Game Weekends. As much as I love Hampton Inns (and you know I really love them), when I looked at the MasterCard bill for October and November-- oh. my. gosh. So it's a good thing.

I'm making some changes at work. I've been doing extra work in addition to the patient care aspect of my job, and the stress and hassle are just too much. So I'm going to focus just on patient care. I can feel the load lifting off my shoulders already. When the cost-benefit analysis shows you that there's very little benefit, and just too much emotional cost, it's time to let go, and although I've never considered myself a quitter, I'm at the point where pushing the rock up the hill is just dumb. I'll let you know how it's going in a few weeks.

And back to knitting....
Klaralund is done!!!! The baby sweater is done!!! The baby hat is done!!! (the first one, at least). My goal was to not start anything new until everything was DONE!!!!, but I had a plane ride to Florida and needed something small, so I started a sock at the Old Dominion Brewery bar in Dulles airport. It's coming along nicely. I hope to finish the Top-Down-Sweater I started a year ago, and Spring Fling before I start anything else. That'll wipe out all the UFOs. (after I finish two lone socks.) (but I don't think that socks should have to count.)

Meanwhile, I have yarn backed up like crazy for new projects. I think the next one will be the Debbie Bliss shruggy sweater. I tried one on at The Shop, and though it was a tad snug on The Nurse, I am confident that I can add a few stitches here and there so it will work for me, too. And so many other things I'd like to do....

So I'll try to post a bit more often. No promises.

Monday, November 14, 2005

I'm Not Dead-- Only I Almost Got Killed

But that's not the reason I haven't blogged. We're having massive discontent in our computers. I've tried what I know to get it fixed, so now we need to find time for The Husband to work his computer magic. (The Offspring will both be home for Thanksgiving, so maybe they can get stuff working.)

Oh yeah-- the almost getting killed part.

I was thrilled to be off work on Friday, even though I was on call. I got to sleep a couple of extra hours, and got a bit done around the house. Then the phone rang. I needed to come in and do a couple of ambulance transports. So off I went. As I was driving along Sherwood Hall Lane (which is how one gets over to the GW Parkway if one doesn't go all the way down to Mount Vernon) a big white pickup truck swerved across the yellow line and was coming straight at me.

I stopped, because if he was going to hit me, I didn't want my velocity adding to the problem, and I laid on the horn. The truck swerved away, and as he passed me, I saw that the driver was slumped against the window. I remember thinking, "that doesn't look good." (It didn't take being a nurse to come to that conclusion, I'm sure.)

I saw him continue to curve to his right, hit the curb and flip the truck. It was laying on its side with the driver door down. I drove to the Fire Station which is about another block, rang the doorbell, and told the people about the flipped truck. Then I ran back to the pickup truck, and the guy wasn't moving at all. One of the bystanders thought we should break the windshield, but I suggested that since the fire department was on their way, that we should let them handle it. Apparently a good idea, since they determined that it was unstable, and they needed to right the vehicle before they could attend to the victim.

I gave my statement to the police, and then needed to get to work.

I don't know how he didn't hit me.

I don't know if he fell asleep or had a heart attack or stroke, or a seizure or what.

I don't know if he's alive or not.

I do know that I was protected by the grace of God that gets me through every day, and guarded by the angels who for whatever reason, deem to watch over me.

And I am thankful.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

This And That

On the Road Again
Why, you ask? Because Virginia Tech is playing against Boston College tonight. I must say that it never occurred to me that being a college football fanatic would be a way to describe me. That is, until The Daughter had the good sense to choose an institution of higher learning that made it worth the time. I do love them Hokies!!!

(And how about them White Sox??? The Miracle on 35th Street actually happened. In my lifetime.)

Maybe I'm Amazed

I am SO excited!!!! The "Baby" Brother (I have 4-- he's the youngest, and I was a senior in high school when God and my parents had the good sense to put him on this earth)called me last week to give me some great news.

He and The Beloved are tying the knot!!!

The story is just too cool-- and would take more time than I have to type, so I'll give you the Cliff Note (or SparkNote, if you will) version.

They had McCartney tickets. The Brother had researched, got the playlist and order, and spent considerable time trying to focus on The Beloved's absolutely favorite tune. (I must say that I have a hard time singling out MY favorite.)

Well, it came down to Long and Winding Road and Maybe I'm Amazed. Cutting to the chase, they were sitting "with some older people" (yikes-- I hope he meant they were older than me!!!) and he described it as a "No Standing/No
Singing zone." So he was getting a bit nervous about THAT aspect of it.

Maybe I'm Amazed started up, and he stood up in the No Standing Zone, got down on one knee, and the ladies behind him were saying "Is he going to? I think he's going to. Yes he is!!!" and everybody in their area started clapping and cheering and looking and pointing at them.
(note to all-- Now see here: This is the ONLY circumstance under which I would approve creating a distraction while Sir Paul is performing.)

And he asked her to marry him, and she said yes, and I'm getting another sister, and 2 nieces. And none of us could be happier for them.

I Gotta Go Pack

Thursday, October 20, 2005


Holy Cow!!! You must think I've fallen off the face of the earth!!! The actual fact is that in the circle of life, I'm in an ever-decreasing spiral. And it's the same thing that I've heard from everyone I know in every aspect of my life. "It's been crazy."

So crazy that I went to Late Night at The Shop last Wednesday for about 10 minutes on my way home from work, and was so rushed in the morning that I forgot to put my knitting in the car.

So crazy that while I was able to spend a couple of hours at Late night last night, I absolutely had to leave a couple of hours earlier than I wanted to. The really cool thing was that I saw Carol, who I haven't seen for weeks and weeks. Holly and Lara were busy, busy, busy making felting squares for tomorrow night's workshop at KH.

So crazy that those are the only 2 times I've been to The Happy Place since late September.

There are a number of good things to report, however.
I've completed the front (or is it the back? I'll have to wait until the other one is done and use the better-looking one for the front) and 1+1/2 sleeves for Klaralund.

I got my Debbie Bliss "The Club" gift-- 4 balls of a light pink Alpaca Silk and the Soft Things book.

I got the most wonderful 3 hanks of Lorna's Laces yarn-- a prize from the Katrina Fund.

And I finally mailed out the stitch markers that I was so remiss in sending to the very wonderful and patient knitters who participated in the Stitchmarker swap. Can you believe that I have such a difficult time getting to the post office? It's absurd!!! (I really need a 24-hour post office. I know there are machines and such in the ones with extended-hour lobbies, but I always need envelopes to mail stuff, etc.) What a relief. I've been feeling guilty for weeks and weeks. About stitch markers!!!

I still have many many things to do-- such as:
Catch up on everyone's blogs
Finish the calendar for the hospital nursing staff (fun-- scrapbooking-type picture layout, but NO TIME to do it!!!)
Finalize the election list for a meeting I need to attend tonight
Buy/Fix munchies for tonights Virginia Tech vs Maryland football game (boo hoo-- I'm not going because of the aforementioned meeting, but I'll watch it on tube, bugging out of the meeting early if it starts to run on... but The Daughter is coming home for it, and will be attending with The Husband)
Make an appointment for The Daughter to get hair trimmed tomorrow (Strike while the iron's hot-- that can go on the "done" list)
AND-- I just re-redded.

The Lord Giveth, and The Lord Taketh Away. Clairol Restoreth.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Home Again, Home Again

Just a brief jet-lag entry at 2:30 am EDT:

When there is thunderstorm activity in Chicago, everything that connects through there gets backed up. You can't leave California until they know they'll be able to land in Chicago.

This explains why I ended up back at Reagan National Airport at 2:15 am yesterday, and got home a little before 3 am. (The good news is that Klaralund's first sleeve is about 2/3 done. Then one more sleeve and the front.)

Thank heaven for my co-workers who lent a helping hand yesterday during my 7a-7:30p shift.

I got home from work, shared about 3 sentences with The Husband and crashed. And now it's 2:30 am, and I'm wide awake. (Gotta go read something boring)

And the beat goes on.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

How I Spent Saturday

How I Spent Saturday Morning

I got up and checked out of the very nice hotel, went to the conference, and listened to a wonderful man who had preemie twins.  One died, and the other was in hospital for several months. She’s now in second grade.   It was really valuable to listen to his thoughts and reflections, and it helped me to refocus my approaches to my patients and their families.  I need these reality checks from time to time, and the distance that he has from the actual events validates even more his perspective.  

Having had that affirming experience, I went to ESPNZone to watch the Hokies play against West Virginia.

So here I was at 10 am in a bar, as predicted.  Drinking a Bloody Mary (seemed more appropriate than a beer, although the people sitting next to me watching the Red Sox vs Yankees were imbibing in the brew) and eating eggs and sausage.  Yum.  (in the interest of full disclosure, I switched to Diet Coke after the ‘Mary.)

The game was great. I met an Air Force nurse and her fighter pilot husband, and between touchdowns and home runs, we compared notes on the state of nursing in the world (that’s a whole ‘nother issue) and had a good ol’ time.

I returned to the conference, picked up a few more souvenirs for the troops back in the trenches, and headed south.  I took “the 5” (anyone ever notice how on the West Coast all the highway numbers are preceded by “the”?) down to Oceanside, then went to Mission San Luis Rey and then down 101 which runs along the Pacific.  I got down to LaJolla, where I lived as a small child, and walked in the ocean for a few minutes.  Wow.  I vaguely remember being at one of the beaches with my father and mother.  And when I think about how long ago that was, Wow.  What a life it’s been.

(image placeholder)

Why I like Hampton Inns

I spent 4 nights at a very nice major chain high-end hotel near Disneyland.  The grounds were breathtaking.  The building was beautiful.  The room was huge.  It was convenient to the conference site.  I could see the Disneyland fireworks from the courtyard outside my room.  The housekeepers did a great job.  I should have been jumping up and down with joy.  So what’s the problem?
I’m spoiled by Hampton Inns.  (and they’re not paying me to say this.)  We have stayed at Hamptons consistently since The Son started college.  And I guess consistent is a really good word for all this.  We are consistently greeted by name, and at a new venue, we are asked if it’s our first time with them, at which point they give us the details of what’s where.  If we are returning, the desk clerks usually know (it pops up in the computer) and they welcome us back.  They ask if I’d like to charge the room to the credit card in the reservation system, and they may or may not ask to scan it. And they make sure we know where the complimentary breakfast is (which now always contains hot items—eggs, sausage, biscuits, fresh fruit, yogurt, cereal, pastries, and gallons of juice and coffee.) Then we go to our room, which is usually not super huge, but is spacious enough for us and our stuff.  There is always a refrigerator and microwave, coffee maker, free wireless internet access, and because we’re HHonors members, a little snack (cookies or chips) and a bottle of water.  (The latter probably costs the hotel a buck or so—but what a nice little gesture.)

Contrast:  I checked in to this other very nice hotel.  I walked up to the desk and gave my name—smiling broadly—and said I had a reservation.  The response of the clerk was “I need a photo ID and a credit card.”  Not “Welcome to (our hotel)”.  Not “We’re glad you’re here.”  Not “Hello.”  OK.  I went to my very nice room with its very nice everything except refrigerator, microwave and free internet access. I decided to limit my internet to 2 days, because it was an additional $9.95 per day.  I’m told this is not unusual.  But it’s unusual to me.  And one of my cohorts didn’t have wireless and needed an adaptor, of which there were 2 in the entire hotel, so she needed to get in line.  (now I don’t know if Hampton has adaptors for those who are not “wire-lessed”, but anyone who stays there consistently is equipped.)

There was in-room coffee, for which I was truly grateful (the Disneyland hotel doesn’t, according to my colleagues).  So I figured I’d go grab an egg or something for breakfast, figuring 5 or 6 dollars. Nope.  $12.95 (plus, of course, tax and gratuity).   Now, granted, this is for full breakfast, but I don’t eat pastries, pancakes, toast (French or any other kind), cereal, etc.   I had an Atkins bar instead.

My reservations at the very nice hotel were a bit hosed, (not their fault) and I wasn’t reserved for the last night of my stay.  Not a problem.  There are many hotels, and I had decided to rent a car and go down to San Diego.  I also decided to get something closer to the airport, because, you know how that goes.  I found a Hampton Inn close to the John Wayne airport, and made my reservations online.  There was an option for a King suite at an unbelievably low price.  I don’t know what I expected—basically a king sized bed in my standard happy Hampton Inn room.  Well, let me tell you.  I walked in to the room that has a very respectable sized bedroom with a tv, a large bathroom, a sitting room with a tv, and the entryway that has a wet bar with the requisite microwave and refrigerator, and a desk.  Holy cow.  I didn’t want to leave it to go get dinner.  Really.

So now I must again pack, and get ready for the journey home.  The only problem with being in California, is that it takes not only 6 actual flying hours to get to the East coast, but the 3-hour time difference makes it pretty much an all-day thing.  
Well, more time to knit!

Saturday, October 01, 2005

From Sunny California!

Or is it Cah-lee-foh-nee-ah? Depends on whom you're hearing. Anyway, the conference has been great. I've met some really neat characters including (imagine me with a picture of Mickey and Minnie. You know what they look like, but you have to keep guessing about me) and (imagine a pictue of me with Goofy) and this big guy (imagine me with a gihugeous statue of John Wayne at the airport. I come up to mid-thigh on him).

At this point I must tell you that I am tres distressed. I have figured out the basics of my nice new digital camera. I have successfully loaded the software and transferred pics to my computer. I followed the Blogger directions for uploading pictures to the site so that you could see real pictures of my life and things that are important to me, including, of course, my knitting. Well, The Blogger kept saying "uploading images"- while I packed, "uploading images" while I brushed my teeth, "uploading images" while I took a shower, "uploading images" while I drank three cups of hotel-room coffee. And still uploading. Well life must go on, so I'll worry about pictures another day. La de dah. But there are some REALLY good pictures.

So today's plan is to go to the first morning meeting and then to ESPNZone to watch the Hokies play the Mountaineers of West Virginia. Both teams are undefeated, so it should be a good one. The game is at noon. Eastern time. That's 9 am on the west coast. I'll be sitting in a bar at 10 am. Hmmm...

I do love Virginia Tech football, and we've been fortunate to get tickets to the 2 home games they've had so far. We have a spectacular view. We can almost see Charlottesville.
We sit with God. (imagine a picture of me taken from the second to last seat at the top of the South End Zone in Lane Stadium, holding some knitting (a ribbon scarf to be donated to the sale in the Lombardi Cancer Center) with thousands and thousands of Hokie fans behind me. Thousands).

Think binocular ball. And quite truly, with binoculars, it's a perfect viewing venue. The mountains in the background are beautiful. It's an amazing place-- and sitting with God makes one appreciate it even more.

I've rented a car, so after the game, I'm headed down to San Diego for the afternoon to visit the haunts of my very early childhood.

And on to Klaralund

What is it about Klaralund that everyone loves so much? Is it the simplicity of the pattern that lets you focus on the fiber you're using? Is it that the chick on the boat in the book (Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton book #2)looks like she's having such a darn good time? (imagine a picture of the chick on the boat in the book looking like she's having such a darn good time).

Anyway, great progress has been made. A six-hour plus plane ride and several days of sitting in meetings-- however fascinating-- will do that for you.

To bring you back up to speed, since Klaralund and I were not coordinating for quite some time: (imagine a picture of the back and most of one sleeve). Her back is completed. The garter stitch is all in Lorna's Laces Grace (a wool/mohair boucle') in the Somerset colorway. The stockinette portion is done in the Lorna's Lace interspersed with pale teal and pale cotton candy pink Classic Elite mohair. It's pretty neat. The sleeves are done completely in Lorna's Lace.

Why the combination, you might ask? Well, I had some of the Grace from an ebay purchase, but not enough to do Klaralund in. So I started the interspersion. Then I realized that I probably would still not have enough Grace, so I chatted with my pal Kristine at Knit Happens who not only ordered it for the store, but also for the online store. The colors are nearly identical to what I had, which is pretty amazing for hand-dyed yarn from significantly different dyelots.

Thanks, Kristine!!!

It feels really silky to knit, which surprised me with mohair. And there are the obligate boucle' loops getting caught on things problems. But I'm lovin' it. The sweater will be really light, but I think it will also be quite warm, with a tee under it to prevent the scratchies. I'll have some Grace left, so a scarf might be in the making as well.

So on to meetings and football and San Diego. What a day lies in store.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Over Two Weeks since my last Blog????

Bad Nurse!!!!

Well, it's been a harrowing couple of weeks, but I'm still here. But not for long. I'm leaving on a jet plane tomorrow morning to go to Anaheim for a nursing conference. Now I don't know if I'll have time there to blog, but I'll give it a try. I'm still working on the picture thing. I've got some good ones.

There are a lot of raggedy ends that haven't been tied up, since work has been pretty busy, and nights have been late.

Stitch Marker pals-- I haven't forgotten you. I just haven't had 10 minutes to pack things up and get to the post office, because they're only open when the sun is shining.

Most recently, I can report that Spring Fling is almost flung-- on the sleeves, and decreasing at a most alarming rate, so the little sucker should be done soon. Made great progress in the car to/from Virginia Tech. Haven't decided yet whether it makes the trip with me. Klaralund is the likely trip project. I seriously need to limit the number of traveling projects and focus!!!

The Husband and I had a mah-velous weekend in Blacksburg, watching the Hokies nicely beat Georgia Tech. The weather was perfect-- overcast and cool. The Daughter and her 329 bandmates did a formidable job with the band alums (fun folks, they are...) and we stopped by Winchester to see the Son on our way home.

So, I'm mostly packed, but need to make sure I have some essentials-- like the plane and hotel reservations, ipod and charger, meds, cell phone and charger, computer, camera and charger, charge cards, and the beat goes on. (and the toothbrush and makeup would be nice, too.)

See you soon-- and depending on the hookup in my hotel room, maybe sooner than later.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

So How Much Fun Was That???

A whole lot!!

Taking a break from the sadness of Katrina and the overwhelming grief I still feel almost daily over this date, there is still room for happiness in life.

Iris Schreier of Multidirectional Knitting fame was at Knit Happens last night, and had a booksigning and workshop for our lys fans. As a group, we pretty much sped through the concept for the multidirectional scarf, and after a few hiccups most got the gist of Iris' lace shawl.

She brought some swatch-sized samples some of her ArtYarns which, of course, we drooled over.

Although this was in no way a contest, it soon became apparent that Carol and Maeve turned out to be the speed-stitchers, with Carol as the expert lace wizard. (By the way, Carol finished her Kaleidoscope shawl which is just awesome, and is working on a beautiful butter-yellow creation in the finest wool I've ever imagined. We all agree that it's the best yet--and she's done a bunch.) (and despite her protestations to the contrary, Carol is indeed creative. Just picking the right yarn for the right project causes me major stress at times.)

Kristine actually carved out time to sit and knit with us. She's the hostess with the mostest yarn, but has been so very busy lately....

Shanti will be leaving us soon, and I was so glad to have a chance to see her. She'll be moving on to bigger things. Navy people always seem to cross paths, and I for one am grateful.

It's really interesting how diverse our little table at the back of the store is-- students and lawyers and teachers and people who do international stuff and, heck-- I don't even know what some of us do-- there seems to be a lot of "consulting" going on. I've never been able to figure that out, either.

I got to see Courtney, and meet Patty, and saw Rosanna for the first time in ages. I discovered as I walked in the door that I had just missed Erika and Bennett. Darn Darn Darn!!!

Iris was interested in our nicknames-- we don't all have nicknames, because some people don't need them. 4-Ply Katie (one of those international stuff people)got her nickname because she LOVES, of course, knitting with 4-ply yarns. I'm NurseLaura because I am. Carol is the Wizard because that's what she is. and so forth.

Well, on for the day. I've got a few things to do, and then on to the shop to finish-- FINISH I TELL YOU! the pink and green baby sweater. I'm so almost there. Focus. Must focus.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Blog From a Nurse in New Orleans...

Oh my gosh. I will try to never complain again. Go here to find out why. And if you haven't given to a relief agency yet, please do it right now.

There Will Be Photography. Soon

The Nurse got a digital camera. Finally. Now I just need to learn how to use the thing-- and then learn to post pictures. Patience, Please.

Stitch Marker Swap

It's been pointed out to me that I didn't fill out the Stitch Marker questionnaire. Guilty. Fact is, I couldn't find it. I mailed out my first sets VERY early, because I was travelling, and then didn't check back to the yahoo page, because I was incommunicato. Sorry.

Quick answer to all the questions: I like surprises! I knit on needles from 0-13. All colors are good.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Green Day-- On to Something, or Not?

I like all --well maybe not all-- but most types of music. And I like some of, but not all of Green Day. One song I've heard quite a bit of lately is Wake Me Up When September Ends. It's a sad song, and September's beginning to turn into a bit of a bummer of a month, generally speaking, with events that range from tragic to just plain annoying. Bad things have been happening in September over the past few years. (April's no treat either, but Green Day didn't write a song about it.)

So I've had that ditty running through my head. And while I sort of like the idea of waking up in a few weeks, escaping the sadness of Katrina and 9-11, and some other things that were less catastrophic, but still very painful, it occurred to me that I better try to focus on the positive. I can't minimize the horror of these and other September events, but since I really can't sleep through the month, I'm left with a couple alternatives, including being really bummed out, or awfulizing until I really don't want to keep company with myself and can't really expect anyone else to want to, either.

Here are some good September things:

-Virginia Tech football
-Being able to walk outside and actually breathe
-Weather that starts to get cool enough to wear sweaters
-Seeing the piping plovers and ponies at Assateague
-Stomping grapes
-Iris at the shop
-Flowers on the crape myrtle
-A schedule that will hopefully allow for more knitting time and more opportunities to hit Late Night.
-The renewal that comes with the new school year for the kids
-Looking forward to Autumn-- colors, smells, comfort food, clear blue skies

I'll guess I'll stay awake through September. And try to smile.

Friday, September 02, 2005

When News is Part of the Problem-I Must Rant

I'm watching hundreds of buses, ambulances and trucks entering New Orleans with some 5 million MRE's, water, and a route out for at least some of our citizens who have been in such despair. So help is on the way. Yes, it took several days. Yes. The situation is awful. And Yes. These are our citizens and we owe them the best we can do.

I also saw footage of Geraldo Rivera who told of riding along in helo's with rescue teams. Good for him. One or two more victims could have been carried in the space and weight he was occupying.

I listened to Bill O'Reilly and some self-righteous blond loudmouth last night and this morning lambasting the government for not doing anything. Self-righteous loudmouth (my husband just told me her name is Nancy Grace)(btw, sitting comfortably in a TV studio) was yelling about why people weren't "getting off their butts" to go help. Guess what. All those buses and trucks didn't materialize in the last two hours. They've been prepping and traveling for a couple of days to get there. And now they can finally get there as the water is receding. The troops and volunteers who are helping needed to get to the staging areas. Stuff had to be loaded. And the troops and volunteers have to be prepared to enter the area. And this is not to mention the fact that they needed to get enough law re-enforcement to ensure that the supplies can get to the people who need it without getting shot by the lawless thugs who have terrorized their fellow citizens during this catastrophe.

Instead of buying into the "ain't it awful" mentality, I wonder why these people aren't putting their energy and visibility into mobilizing fundraising.

Another thing. Dennis Hastert has been misquoted. The question posed to him was loaded and there wasn't a way that he could answer without controversy. When he said that it might have to be bulldozed, he had probably looked at the news footage. How can you rebuild a building that is currently rubble without 'dozing it?

C'mon, people. If you're not willing to light a candle, then don't curse the darkness.

And Yes. I made a generous contribution to American Red Cross. I will give more as I am able. And Yes. I urge you to do the same.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Color Me Relieved

My friend Megan had a girl. In addition to being very pleased that mom and baby are doing well, I am immensely relieved that she's a girl. The pink and green and white sweater would not have worked well for a boy.

Ramblings in the face of Great sadness
The aftermath of Katrina is so overwhelming. Please pray for all those folks and hold them dear in your hearts.

Please give from the pocket of your heart to an established relief organization. The Red Cross, Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, Episcopalian Disaster Relief and many other organizations take contributions online. There are already fake funds cropping up. Be careful.

I can't judge those who are looting. Some are taking water and food and diapers-- things they need, and there's no one to pay, even if they had money. It's a Jean Valjean situation. But who needs a television or a gun in the middle of all this? The people who are stuck in an untenable situation now have to add fear of a bunch of thugs to their troubles.

Let's also pray that the politicians will continue to work together to help.

To those who are able to help with disaster relief, you are in my thoughts and prayers. This is truly a mission of love.

And that's all I have to say right now.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

When Tuesday is Saturday...

I truly am alive and kicking.

Last week was quite something. I worked very late in the office on Monday, then for half a day on Tuesday, at which time The Husband fetched me from work and ferried me down to Blacksburg. I knit most of the fronts of the pink and green baby sweater while riding through rain and mountains. We arrived at The Sweet Daughter's dorm and proceeded to assemble her loft bed and take the initial steps in putting her room together. Then Buffalo Wild Wings for a very late dinner (and thank heaven for Michelob Ultra...) and headed back to the hotel.

On Wednesday I unpacked her stuff. All day. Now I'm not one of those moms who needs to set up the room of a daughter who is totally capable of doing it herself, but she was working with the Virginia Tech band (The Marching Virginians), and really needed to get her stuff out of the way so that her roommate would be able to do the same when she arrived. Meanwhile The Husband made numerous trips to and from the car, and worked on setting up and de-bugging the new compter. (Dude-- she got a Dell.) It was another long day.

Thursday was more of the same, so we finished what we needed to-- computer ready to go, DVD connected to TV, Rubbermaid bins emptied and ready to haul home, and we headed out about 2, and I finished the back of the baby sweater on the way home. We met The Son for dinner at Daks-- our neighborhood restaurant. The Son had been packing for the previous couple of days in preparation for his departure.

I did 12-hour shifts at the hospital on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and did a regular office day on Monday. I guess it was good that I was so busy, bacause The Son left for school on Friday, and with working so much, it didn't occur to me that The Offspring were both sprung.

So Monday was an early day off work. For the first time in ages, I actually had a day that felt like a Friday. How interesting that it was a Monday afternoon. It was such an unusual experience to be out early enough to do things like go to the pharmacy, shop for groceries, actually fix dinner, and do it all while the sun was still shining.

So today is Saturday. Or like Saturday, except that I did most of my little chores yesterday, so I'm home and I don't have to race around. I slept til almost 9, and then deposited myself at the sewing machine to finish appliques on The Daughter's sorority letter shirts, and put patches on the butts of her favorite pairs of jeans. I felt so darn productive. And I've listened to most of a V.I. Warshawski book. They take place in Chicago, which makes me happy.

The only problem is that I didn't pay attention to The Daughter's room number, so I can't mail the stuff til tomorrow. And I guess that's a good thing because I have plenty of things I need to do, and I'll save tomorrow for stuff outside the house.

And best of all, I'll be able to hit Late Night tomorrow. It's been many weeks, and I miss my friends. Just can't wait!!!

And back to the mill on Thursday.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Lovin' the Colors

I've make a bit of progress on the baby girl version of the Quaker Ridge cardigan. It's in celery with pink trim, and little pink and white stripes. It's for a friend at work who is having either a boy or girl. Pick one. If it's a boy, she has to give it back and she'll get the boy version.

The smart thing to do would have been to start on boy sweaters, since 2 others are having boys. Then, if it's a girl, I'd have a boy sweater done already. Yes, I know-- there are "neutral" combinations. But my spirit needed to knit these colors. They make me happy, and that's a good thing.

The boy sweaters will be various combinations of bright blue, celery and white. They'll be cute, too. No doubt.

Packin' Em Up, Headin' Em Out

The Offspring are both getting ready to go back to school. I literally cannot walk through the living room, although they have attempted to make a small path for navigation purposes.

The Daughter is going tomorrow, since she's helping with Band registration. I'll go down with The Husband on Tuesday to install her in her room. Put in the rug, reconstruct the loft bed, set up the computer... you get the picture.

Today is play day. In addition to packing up the Rubbermaid containers, we're going to make Greek Letter appliques for the sorority and fraternity shirts. The kids found really unique fabrics, so we'll make the letters, and either sew them on to shirts, or take them to the little Korean lady at the cleaners. She's wonderful.

Then we'll do a bit of shopping for paella fixin's. It's a favorite, but I haven't made it for awhile. The problem is that we were supposed to have the kitchen drawers replaced yesterday. But since the cabinets are original with the house, the hardware rails for these drawers don't work with them. The man was apparently very nice, and spent a lot of time trying to figure out how to make it work, but no success yet. So we have a kitchen full of drawers, and all the stuff that was in the drawers is squirreled away in bags in the dining room. At least I know where the Paella pan is.

So I have to make room to work, and have to locate the stuff I need to cook with.

And get ready to say goodbye.

The Blogger Ate My Post

I just did a very nice update. It disappeared when I tried to post it. Crud!!!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I Lied

I said I wasn't going to buy any more yarn, or start any more projects until I finish what I've started and use what I have.

But people at work keep having babies, so I picked up a bunch of King Tut at You Know Where in a beautiful celery, a yummy pink, a cool white and a bright blue to make baby sweaters. The good news is that baby sweaters are small, and there will be an end in sight. Soon. I'm making the Quaker Ridge Cardigan-- a girl one and a boy one-- from Little Badger Knitwear by Ros Badger and Elaine Scott.

Guess What I Got In the Mail?

Lovely stitch markers-- so pretty and delicate-- from the Stitch Marker Swap. Thank you, Thank you, wonderful stitch marker makers. I love them, and I'll get back to you very soon-- I promise!!!

I'd write more right now, but I need to get these baby sweaters started.

Monday, August 08, 2005

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

I'm ba-ack... Did you know that it's 1079 miles from Alexandria,Virginia to Lake Ozark, Missouri? Well, it is. But it feels like a million miles away, and that's a good thing.

We got back late last night, and my mind is still on vacation. It was great.

The trip out was pretty uneventful. Instead of knitting, I read, and finished, Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince. Time well spent, I must say-- and I'm very grateful-- and do not at all take for granted --the gift of being able to read in the car without barfing. Everyone is not so blessed. Since my knitting was underneath everything, I started on the newest Kathy Reichs book, Crossed Bones. I like Kathy Reichs a lot. She's a lot like Patricia Cornwell, only she's really a forensic anthropologist. In her actual life. And her protagonist, Tempe Brennan, hasn't gone through a "pathetic phase" like Kay Scarpetta has. But haven't we all...

The Husband and I met up with The Daughter in Lexington, Kentucky, where the young lovely was attending a sorority national conclave. I called her as we approached the hotel, and simultaneously they had fire alarms going off. False alarm, but gave me a minute of breath-shortness. We spoke with the manager of this fine establishment while we awaited our youngest, and asked if the several hundred college-aged girls had behaved themselves. He said they had been remarkably well-behaved, but that during the previous week the Daughters of the Nile (never heard of them, but then what do I know?)-- a bunch of ladies in their 80's and 90's-- had quite the time, and security had to be called repeatedly because they were apparently enjoying themselves immensely. (!)

So we arrived at the compound at Lake of the Ozarks, and into the loving arms of most of my siblings, their spouses/beloveds and their numerous offspring. And my wonderful parents who not only put up with us all every year, but also foot the bill for the cabins.

My parents have been married for 57 years. Can you believe it? And they are still "hopelessly devoted." They spend a lot of their time traveling, and will be heading off for a cruise of the Celtic Isles next month. They're lovin' life, and we are all so very grateful that they are able to. They've done so much for us, and they really deserve this time and these adventures. (In June they cruised through the Panama Canal. In January they cruised around South America for Mom's 80th birthday. They had a bunch of other trips in-between.)

The week was occupied with lots of together time: sittin' round the pool, imbibing in brewed beverages, some marga-reee-tahs, a Luau-themed mega milestone birthday party on Wednesday for the second of my 4 sisters, and a couldn't be beat singalong with sibs and kids on Thursday after one of those aforementioned imbibages. (We got through all of Abbey Road, much of Rumours, large chunks of Van Morrison, Bob Seger, Billy Joel and Elton John, a little Stones..... you get the picture.) A highlight was when brother #2 (of 4) was imitating Joe Cocker-- or rather, imitating Belushi imitating Joe Cocker-- and ended up in the pool after throwing himself sideways-- on purpose, I choose to think. Good thing the pool was there. When we party, we party hearty.

Serious knitting waited for the ride home, during which I simul-knit the fronts of Spring Fling. For cryin' out loud!!! It's almost Fall, and I'm still Spring Flingin'. Just sleeves left and thank God they're short. Progress note-- no froggin'. I seem to have gotten the focus part of this down.

Anyway, it's good to be home, for my last few days with The Offspring before they're off to school again. There just never seems to be enough time.

Thursday, July 28, 2005


I'm not any busier than anyone else, but I'm really burned out, desperate for my vacation which started today-- and we're hitting the road tomorrow. So why is it that I am SO needing a vacation, and I'm SO excited about going, but I can't get myself to pack?

It's not like there's even that much to do. Just put stuff in duffels and bins, and load it in the Explorer.

I haven't been totally unproductive: I stopped the mail today, took books and CDs back to the library, bought extra socks and underwear, made lists, answered emails, mailed off stitch markers for the stitch marker exchange, read the Summer of Lace and Mystery Shawl Along email digests, caught up on the Knit Happens website and the Irregulars blogs, piled all the stuff I've gathered into a heap, and I just. can't. get. myself. to. pack.

It might be that I had my first opportunity to sleep past 5:30 am in over two weeks, so I stayed up and watched some tube last night, and read. Late. So the f%*#h(^@ (<-- that's not "fish-head") who did some work on our house last week CALLED AT 7:20 A.M. Who calls people at 7:20 A.M??? So I've been pretty much grogged all day. And pissed off.

So. Here's the good part. 8 hours of uninterrupted knitting tomorrow. And Saturday. I have a couple of audiobooks on the iPod, and The Husband is going to be driving. (that's another subject. I have been known to pull over to the side of the road and switch places with him when he's been in the passenger seat. He'll be doing the driving.) So I am very much looking forward to the journey, as well as to the family reunion. We'll pick up The Daughter in Lexington, KY on Saturday morning. She's been at a sorority conclave, and I'll be really glad to see her.

Meanwhile, I'm draggin'. I haven't been able to get to The Shop because of work, so haven't gotten my "fix" and I miss my knit-buddies. I thought about going over today, but it just wasn't meant to be.

Anyway-- I'll be away for awhile,probably without internet access, having lots of fun with my 4 brothers and 4 sisters, and their collective spouses/beloveds and kids,and my wonderful Mom and Dad. I am truly blessed.

And tired.

And I think I need to pack.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Hail, Hail, The Gang's (almost) All Here

So I finally made it to Late Night at KH last night. It appears that we hit that rare intersection of back from vacation/haven't left for vacation yet/the yard's completed/there's a lull in the job/I started a new class that's not on Wednesday/my car works/I just needed to be here and the heck with everything else. It was amazing. The back table was packed with my favorite people. (at least my favorite people in the greater DC metropolitan area-- those of you in Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Illinois, California, Ohio and points south-- please don't take offense.)
Kristine is back from Italy, with many tales of excitement, so check out her blog. I have a feeling we'll be getting some great stories for quite awhile. There were a slew of Irregulars present, including Holly, Cindy, Maeve, Shanti, Carolina, Shelley, Erin, Liz, Carol, Katie, and I'm sure I've left some people out, for which I apologize in advance.

Topics of conversation included Harry Potter-- How to "not" talk about it until everyone's read the book. Holly and Carol finished it in a day or so. Several of us are in progress. I'm working on it, but since I don't multitask well in visual and manual modes, it's relegated to bedtime, and I manage a few pages before exhaustion takes over. We also discussed bidets, their variations, and the various uses employed for them by those who had lived in places where they were. (doing hand laundry, bathing babies, chilling beer....)(I shall endeavor to avoid convoluting future sentences. I don't have the energy to fix that last one.)

It appears that many of us have well-loved projects on "hold" right now, tucked away until we can deal with them again. Meanwhile, progress is being made, albeit with different projects from those we are used to seeing. Such excitement!

The Car Situation
Well, we went from 1-1/2 functioning cars to 4. Life is good. The 1986 Volvo now has a new distributer, relay(s), a whatsydoodle coil and a somethingorother power stage. Anyway, it's working. Better than it has for years. It's a miracle.

We also purchased the Outback. It's a very sweet vehicle, except that the CD player doesn't work. And the Explorer and V-40 are both post-maintenance, so we are mobile.

Since the CD player doesn't work, I used the gift card rebates from buying the iPods to get a recharger-fm transmitter thing for the iPod. Since I LOVE audiobooks, it works well for me.

Playing Tour Guide
Yep, it's part of living in the DC area. My baby brother (I was 17 when he was born, and when he's 80, he'll still be my baby brother) and his beloved were in town for his conference, so I was so glad to be able to spend time with M. She's a sweetie, and I'm really happy for both of them. We decided to go to the American History Museum where I saw the Puffy Shirt, the ruby slippers, Kermit, "The Dresses", and my favorite, Julia Childs' Kitchen. It was awesome. I loved it. We then went to the WWII memorial. Not a terrible distance, but it was REALLY HOT-- very hi 90's with mondo humidity. It's a beautiful memorial, and although there was controversy about its placement, I think it's a good place. Then we trekked to the Smithsonian Metro, because I knew I wasn't up for a hike back to the convention center. (They really should have put another stop further down on the mall, in my humble opinion.)Well, we made it up to Chinatown, and I aimed M toward her hotel and returned to the refuge of Metro.

I'd parked at Pentagon City, so I had to do a bit of shopping, don't you know, and then proceeded to Target to pick up some things for our vacation next week. It's just a little thing, but I bought 4 new beach towels. Ours are ancient and threadbare, and these all match and will make me happy. I also got an electric ice shaver so we can have sno-cone martinis by the pool. It's a good thing.

On Sunday, The Husband and I met with The Baby Brother and The Beloved and the son of a friend of hers for dinner at Tony Cheng's Mongolian Barbecue in Chinatown. We used to go there frequently-- probably every month or so, and I hadn't been there for a number of years. It was great, and I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

And now I must be off to accomplish great things. Or at least survive the day.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Musical Cars

Usually, playing musical cars is an annoying thing that happens when I have to leave for work before everyone else and I'm parked in. Would that it were so easy this week.

OK-- so we have 4 people who need to be places, and started last week with 3 functioning cars. That's pretty manageable. Now bear in mind that one of these is a very revered 1986 Volvo 740GLE wagon whose odometer died about three years ago at 219,000 miles. It's been through several accidents (no injuries) and both kids learned to drive with it. This babe just keeps on ticking-- except when it stops on Rt 1 at 11 p.m. when The Daughter is driving home from work. So it's been in and out of the shop. I am assured that it's not terminal. During the past week, the green Explorer needed to go in for routine maintenance. We managed that ok. My little red Volvo S40 (bought used--best deal I ever got) needed maintenance, and they discovered that there was some kind of internal 2nd stage gasket or something that needed to be replaced. It was ready yesterday, but none of us could get over to pick it up.

So, The Husband, The Daughter and I all need to get to work, The Son has been here and there with various commitments, and I'm about to go a little batty.

The following is not a tirade against Metro.
I think it's wonderful, and I'm a great fan but it doesn't work for our commutes. I work in Georgetown, and I've done it, but the commute time from Mount Vernon is nearly 2 hours. It would be nice knitting time--but really not do-able when one ABSOLUTELY has to be at work at 7 am, or somebody who's been up all night can't go home. (The drive is bad enough at 45 minutes). The Husband works across the river. Not only is the Metro commute and associated connections prohibitively long, but the drive sucks air, too, because of the Wonderful Wilson Bridge, (which, I might add, is going to get even worse this weekend. But hey-- better late than never. I'm glad it's finally getting built).

By the Way...
What makes people think it's ok to horn in front of you to get onto the bridge approach ramp after you've been sitting there in line for half an hour???

So here is a summary of Thursday's transportation schedule: (The Husband was attending a class in Rosslyn, which is the only reason it was this simple.) I drove the red car, and dropped The Husband off in Rosslyn, and proceeded to work. The Daughter took the green car to work near the Eisenhower Avenue Metro. The Husband took the Metro to Eisenhower and picked up the green car and went home. He drove back at 8 p.m. and dropped off the green car for The Daughter, and I picked him up at Eisenhower Avenue in the red car on my way home. Luckily The Son was out of town.

Here is a summary of today's schedule. I went to work in the green car. The plan was for The Son, The Husband and The Daughter to take the wagon to Volvo to pick up the red car. The wagon wouldn't start. The Husband and The Daughter got a ride from a neighbor to Volvo to pick up the red car. The Husband took The Daughter to work, and came back home. The wagon finally started, so The Husband followed The Son to Volvo and then The Son took The Husband to work in the red car. The Son had stuff to do, and then he picked up The Daughter. She proceeded to drive him to Winchester. I left work and went to Volvo/Subaru where I signed a contract on a previously loved Outback (sweet vehicle!) that for some reason will not be available for a couple more days. (HELP!!!!) At this point, there was a deluge, and I got to sit in Wilson Bridge traffic for an hour to pick up The Husband. He drove home so I could knit. The Daughter arrived home, informing me that while in Winchester, The Son proceeded to miss a driveway and wiped out a tire so she had to drive home on the donut. So tomorrow the red car needs to go back in for a new tire(S#*%).

There were several variations on this theme over the past week.

So anyway, all of this car-mania has put a significant damper on my ability to visit my fellow Irregulars at Knit Happens. But I have been making progress on Spring Fling. I'm about halfway through the left front. A really nice thing is that when I get to the sleeves, they are short.

And did I mention
that I also lost a chunk of a molar on Sunday night (eating a slice of Atkins bread-- not even something fun or yummy), so I needed to factor in a dentist appointment in the middle of this craziness? Well, I guess I didn't, but now I did. I get to spend 2 hours next week doing the crown thing. And we've maxed out the dental insurance. I'm thrilled beyond words. But Hey-- I've got teeth. For which I am truly grateful.

And I found out that one of my friends is going to be moving. As much as I've moved, I still get really sad... but I'm happy for the new opportunities and experiences she'll have, and that she'll be near family.

So maybe I'll be able to get to The Shop on the weekend. I sure hope so!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

A Great Day

Wednesday was great. It was great because I was off work, and because I had enough motivation to organize the yarn stash, and because I finally ripped out a few rows of Fibonacci so that I can actually get back to knitting on it, and because I made it through the huge pile o'mail, and because The Daughter and I got to spend some time together, and because I got to go to Late Night at The Shop, and because The Husband and The Daughter and I had dinner together at one of our favorite little places (Primo's), and because I finally finished the back of Spring Fling and cast on the left front, and I got to bed at a decent hour.

(today's blog brought to you by the word "and") and so....

The Daughter and I took in Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants which I liked just fine. It reminded me of my own teenage friendships and challenges, and angst. I recommend it. Definitely a chick flick, though-- A part of it takes place in Greece, and I just wanted to hop on a plane and head off for the Mediterranean. There are villages in southern Italy that looked very much like the Greek village in the movie--- one of these years...

I realized that I have a whole boatload of yarn and other knitting fibers. Wow. At the rate I'm going, I could probably go on a yarn purchasing hiatus for a decade or so. (speaking of which, I found almost 2000 yards of a wonderful mohair boucle' I bought about that long ago. Half is a colorway of dark purples and blues, and the other is turquoises into blues and purples. It is yummy, and may find its way into a shawl or something else fun.) I am mightily looking forward to my vacation, and the aforementioned undivided knitting time in the car. The iPod is loaded up with audio books, so there should be some major progress.

OK-- let's see what's on the needles: Spring Fling (in purple Cathay), Klaralund (in Lorna's Laces Grace(somerset) interspersed with Classic Elite leGran Mohair in honeydew and pink),Fibonacci (in GGH cotton blend in melon colors), From the Top pullover (in a light maroon heather worsted wool), a Second Sock. My goal is to finish Spring Fling before I leave, to finish Fibonacci in the car, to finish Klaralund around the pool, maybe start something else-- or do the The Second Sock on the way home and start another pair.

Then, waiting for creation-- a bunch of projects that I have patterns and fiber for, and at least as much more yarn that I just love, waiting for me in their baskets, and a bazillion patterns that are screaming "KNIT ME!!" (stocking cap for The Son, fingerless gloves for The Daughter, ribbon sweater for her, footies for her, black bolero for her, DNA double helix scarf for her-- do we see a theme here?-- linen top for me, aran sweater (probably for me), shawl probably for my mother, various objet's for my various sisters and friends, and the beat goes on). (The Husband's not big on sweaters 'n' such- I'm not ignoring him).

Late Night was, as usual, amazing. This week's theme-- Gloating. There was full-blown, unabashed, unmitigated, unapologetic, and totally merited gloating from the likes of Katie, Carolina and Carol.

To start with, Katie has completed Martha-- all except the buttons. Martha has been knit as a favorite project of quite a few of the Irregulars, and all are unique and all are lovely. But this ain't just any ol' Martha. It's done in a rich green 4-ply with silver-lined glass beads knit into the centers of the squares. The effect is like dewdrops on grass. Now bear in mind that I've been watching this grow from its birth, and as lovely as it has been, the final product is close to indescribable. And it fits Katie beautifully, and she is totally entitled to gloat.

Carolina completed a breathtaking beaded Frill Stole from Knitty in Kaalund Expressions -- a blue and green colorway fingering. It is light and airy, and the beads at the ends give it a tiny bit of weight. It looks like the mist of a wave caught in the air, and it is just lovely, and she, too is absolutely entitled to gloat.

So on to Carol's Civil War Shawl which is of the "dental floss" family. It's a huge, delicate, round shawl with intricate lacy designs and it is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, and it is making Carol happy, happy, happy. Needless to say, there was well-deserved gloating going on there as well.

Holly and Maeve and Shanti and Kelly and several others rounded out the evening, with a visit from a couple of lovely ladies who came with their very patient husbands from Leesburg for the express purpose of visiting Knit Happens and experiencing the yarn. We aimed the husbands toward several of the local watering holes. They'd been so good and behaved themselves for so long....

And on a much more serious note...

My Great Day was followed by a wake-up to chilling news reports. The terrorist activities in London bring back the reality of the ugliness of hate and evil in the world. There is no justification. There is no reason. There is no rationale. There is not one thing that makes it an ok thing to do. My thoughts and prayers are with our friends in London, and there's not much more I can say before I would start to cry.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy 4th of July

The 4th of July has always been important to me. My Dad's parents were immigrants from Austria/Hungary (the area kept switching back and forth depending upon who was opressing whom). My Grandma used to tell me about her voyage to the United States. Her mother died when she was young, and as the eldest daughter, she was responsible for her brothers and sisters. At the end of WWI, her Aunt who lived in Chicago, convinced my great-grandfather that Anna would have a better life in America. Her father took her to the train-- many miles from their village-- in a horse cart. She took a train to Marseilles, and took a ship, the Mauritania, across the Atlantic. There were several people in her area who were very sick, and Grandma helped take care of them. When she told me of coming into New York and seeing the Statue of Liberty, her pale blue eyes would shine a bit. During the Bicentennial, I saw fireworks aroung the Statue of Liberty, and ever since, fireworks remind me of Grandma. She was an amazing lady. You'll probably hear about her again.

It's been another one of those weeks. The mosquito bites popped up on Friday, and I have a bazillion of them on my arms. The little suckers must have gotten me while I was sleeping at camp on Wednesday night. At least I got the first ones of the season out of the way early this year. Here's hoping for no West Nile virus.

Had fun with friends at KH on Saturday afternoon. It was a much-needed respite after a busy week. The big problem was that people were working on spectacular Summer-of-Lace things that make me wanna start new projects all over the place. (Wendy was working on Peacock Feathers and Carol-the-Wizard was doing a beautiful lace scarf.) Katie's working on an awesomely constructed sweater in beautiful greens. Kel and Holly and Aimee and Courtney all had loveliness goin' on, on the needles.

The big gasp factor of the day was Shanti's Ravenna which I finally got to see in its almost-finished-ness. It is lovely beyond description, but required a bit (!) of cosmetic surgery. Please go to Shanti's website for the saga. Courtney did surgery. Others added either moral support or technical advice. Everything worked out all right. I'm still shaking.

Conversation centered on some of the ridiculously bad behavior experienced at the hands of co-workers. You'd think people could just be nice and get along.

I, on the other hand, don't run into too much wackiness with my co-workers. I did, however, end up working a chunk of Sunday night. My original 4-day weekend that turned into a 3-day weekend (my own damn fault) then turned into a 1-1/2 day weekend with some of a day on the other end. It's always something.

I've made some more progress on Spring Fling. Sometimes I wish I could just go into non-stop knit mode and get these things finished. I'm not a particularly fast knitter, and I like all these projects and new techniques, and there just ain't enough time.

Meanwhile, The Son is in Winchester for the weekend with his buds, and will be met by the Scout Troop to go to summer camp for a couple of weeks as an advisor. He spent last week as the Boys' Unit Leader at Fort Hunt Girl Scout Day Camp. (He had the neatest little group of boys whose moms were volunteering as unit leaders for the week.) I'm quite proud of him. After the Boy Scouts return from camp, he's going with the Venture Crew to the Keys for Sea Base. Such the volunteer.

The Daughter is working at the movies, and seems to be enjoying it. I know I'm enjoying going to the movies on her days off-- a definite perk. She's working today, so we'll pick her up and go to a very special fireworks viewing place. I haven't gone to see the 'works for a number of years-- usually watch 'em on the tube or from a remote area. I don't love fighting the traffic or the crowds. But this year's venue should be pretty swell.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

How I Spent My Wednesday Night

Why, Camping with the Girl Scouts, of course. Where else would I be, unless I were at Late Night-- and one of the few things (other than work) that could keep me away from Knit Happens on Wednesday nights.

It was a very nice evening, spent with a bunch of 10-and-11 year olds, and their unit leaders who are a couple of neat ladies-- one's a lawyer and the other is a scientist who's done some fascinating work. The girls were all working with their Knitty-Noddies-- making yards and yards of i-cord with those little spool things, and "finger-knitting". I hauled out Spring Fling, and several were very interested. I got an inch or so done, and although it probably smells like campfire right now, it was nice to get a bit of progress.

The awesome thunderstorms held off until the kiddies were safely ensconsed in their platform tents. It was a very powerful storm with lots of thunder and lightening-- and after the fireworks ended a long and drenching rain. It was a good storm. And I luckily did not need to go to the latrine in the middle of the night.

This morning we fixed something I've never had before-- eggs in a bag. They were really neat. You take a freezer zipper bag, crack a couple of eggs into the bag, add some shredded cheese, salt & pepper, and then get all the air out, zip up the bag and squish it all together to mix it up. Then you drop it into rapidly boiling water and let it cook until it's done. It makes these omelet-like things, with no clean-up required. For those who are not carbophobes, you can roll it up into a tortilla. Give it a try next time you're camping.

This made me think of my most favorite camping food-- one that I don't eat these days, but it's really the best. It's called Bags of Gold, and I first had it when I was at day camp in Illinois as a Brownie. Back in those days we got government food for scout camp, and this yummy concoction could be made with all "free" food. You mix biscuit mix with some water or milk until it's doughy. Wrap bits around 1" chunks of velveeta and drop into boiling tomato soup. It makes really wonderful cheezy dumplings and is the ultimate in comfort food. It's really good on a cold evening. I don't recommend it for weight loss.

Back to knitting.... I had to frog a couple of inches on Spring Fling-- (luckily I keep a couple of lifelines in)-- because I suddenly noticed that one of the ribs zigged a bit. It looked like the lanes on the GW Parkway just south of Old Town before they straightened it out last week. It did not pass Carol's "would you notice it from the back of a galloping horse" test, so down to the previous lifeline I frogged. I'm now caught back up to where I was before I started ripping, so there we are.

I'll have to miss Knit'n'Nosh because I'll be working. That's a whole 'nother story that I won't go in to. Suffice to say, I started out with a 4-day weekend that ended up not being that way. It's my own damn fault (to quote Jimmy Buffett). I gotta learn to say NO!!!!!!

I have so many things I want to do-- why are there only 24 hours in a day, and why do we have to sleep????

Onward. To bed.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

It's been a WEEK???

Holy moley!!! I can't believe it's been a week since blogging. It's been a busy one, and it caused me to miss Late Night, and used up my Saturday, to boot. It's been a really productive week at work, and yesterday and today I went to a course that will be really useful.

I did get a bit of knitting done on Spring Fling. I'm shaping the back right now, and should get the back finished tonight. Maybe. It's technically lace, so I figure it counts for "the summer of". I'd really like to do a shawl, and I'm itching to get back to Klaralund, and there are a couple of other things on the needles right now.

I'll have some concentrated knitting time coming up, so I should make some substantial progress. It's about 3-1/2 weeks til vacation, which will include a looooooong (probably 10-12 hours per day) two-day drive to Missouri (knitknitknit), where we'll spend a week with my mom and dad and my 4 brothers and 4 sisters and their 7 spouses/significant others and most of the collective 26 kids.

My parents rent a resort that has enough room for all of us in houses, and it has a pool and is on Lake of the Ozarks. It's really nice-- a most laid-back week with time to catch up with the family, have some brews around the pool (or whatever novelty beverages my-sister-the-accountant-and-her-husband-the-lawyer come up with.) (They're really good.) There will be fishing, day trips, and lots of un-laxing. None of the events or activities are mandatory. A bunch of the kids are in college now, and another group is in high school, followed by the grade school crew. The maintenance is fairly minor with them, so we can really relax pretty much.

We have a great time. We "sign up" to fix dinner. The dinners are lots of fun, and growing up in such a sizeable family prepared us to cook for 40+ people. Whoever doesn't cook that night cleans up, which gives an opportunity to concurrently quaff a few more brews. There's nothing like it. One fun thing is that my-sister-the-doctor-who-has-six-kids buys all the tabloids and we read them out loud to each other. Other than standing in line at the grocery store, I don't usually indulge in the rags. The men have a cigar evening, during which the women-folk (haha)have a puff or two and then leave the men-folk (haha) to their cigars.

So, I'm really looking forward to this, although it will mean that I'll only have another week or so with The Son and The Daughter before they go back to school.

Meanwhile, I need to call in to see if I have to work tomorrow. (j'espere que non.)

Sunday, June 19, 2005

And a very nice Sunday, to boot!

Well, I really needed this weekend, and today was pretty fine. The Son and I hit church this morning (8 am express service) and saw a couple of friends we hadn't seen for awhile. Then, it being Fathers' Day and all, there was yummy brunch and such, complements of the aforementioned Son.

The Daughter and I went to see Star Wars III, which I hadn't seen and she had seen but missed part of, thanks to the super sized diet colas. She and I stopped by the KH where there was sale-age going on. The Daughter made out pretty well, as I am booked for a pair of snuggle socks and a ribbon T on her behalf. She got to meet Kristine and Erin and Cindy and Brittany and Aimee, and see firsthand the Happy Place.

She had to go to work, but the previously aforementioned Son (repetitively redundant, aren't we?) took on his role as "Grilling Boy" and did the steak thing for dinner. And I knit. And I tinked. And I knit some more.

And tomorrow I go back to work.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

A Very Nice Weekend, So Far

Well, Friday found me with another trip to The Son's University to speak with incoming Freshman parents about the experience. The Son accompanied me, taking the opportunity to take care of some paperwork in preparation for his return in August. On the way home I got so tired that he needed to finish the drive. I snoozed for much of the afternoon. I think that the busy, busy week just caught up with me.
I was very happy that I'd put in lifelines, since I needed to go back again on Spring Fling. I'm baffled at my clumsiness-- that's really all it is. And I wonder what will ever happen if I try to do complicated lace. I think if/WHEN I try, it'll have to be a very small project.

So tonight we ALL had dinner together. Yep. We went to Tutto Bene in the Ballston area, and it was lovely. The Husband was astute enough to realize that we were all present concurrently on a Saturday night, and decided that he wanted to return to this very nice restaurant that he'd been to for lunch awhile back. The food was great, the wine was tasty, and we even did dessert (cannoli and tiramisu-- luckily I'm happy with just a taste.)

I've been loading up the iPod, with The Son and Daughter's help. No, it's not rocket science, but...

I'd hoped to hit the sale at KH today, but decided to catch a nap, instead. I think I realize the need to sleep while the sleeping's good, to get ready for the coming week. But tomorrow is another day-- another busy day, with early church, Star Wars III, a trip to The Daughter's sorority sister to pick up some stuff, and then a stop by the shop.

So I think I'll go knit for awhile.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Ah yes-- That's Better

It's been a busy week for the Nurse. Very little knitting has been accomplished, but many, many hours in the chosen profession. I was going through serious Knitter-Friend withdrawal, since I was not able to even catch up on the blogworld. So what's a woman to do? Why, hit LateNight at Knit Happens, of course. I was so very thrilled and happy to see Erika who is finally vertical. I was further thrilled that she brought the most amazing chocolate-covered strawberries and raspberries and blackberries, and a yummy looking banana pudding. I hadn't seen Liz for awhile, and she ALSO brought a wonderful surprise-- Sophie and her new shoes!!! Sophie is the cutest thing-- and lucky, too, to have a mom who can knit such wonderful kiddie clothes for her. Shanti was there! Shanti was there!-- oh yes, we remember her-- (Ravenna's making great progress). Holly and Brittany were holding down the KnitHappens fort, and Carolina and Maeve and Carol and Ann and Erin and Rosanna and--- oh yes, there was knitting, too.

There was sockage, and Martha-ing and various forms of lace-age, and bulletproof mittens as well as the obligatory stockinettestockinettestockinette. I worked on Spring Fling, as I needed something other than stockinettestockinettestockinette. I did, however, tinktinktink. I think it is my destiny. Did I mention that I really heart the purple Cathay?

It was just what I needed. (Not the tinking.) The sittin' and knittin' and talking and catching up with everyone just calmed me right down. It's really energizing, and life is good. (The chocolate covered berries help a lot, too.) I'm ready for tomorrow.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

When is Late Night Not?

Why, when you get there at 3 and leave at 5. But as short and sweet as it was, it gave me the Knit Happens"Irregular" fix I needed. Holly and Maeve and Brittany were there, and Kel arrived just before I needed to leave. I got to see what Holly's Spring Fling looks like all done, and it inspired me to keep on keepin' on with lifelines in place. Maeve's in-re-construction sweater is just lovely, and Brittany's version of Spring Fling is making great progress. Kel's lovely red locks are, well, lovely, and she continues Clapotizing.

So I needed to leave to go to a meeting of an organization I belong to. I've been the recording secretary for many moons, and now I'm not. :) I actually got to just sit there and listen to what went on. I've never done that before. So I got home late, driving past KH at about 8:30, and lamenting that I couldn't even knit at the meeting. They would have freaked.

I'm going to do a row or two, but need to hit the sack fairly soon, since we are most busy at work. I've learned from experience that sleep is most necessary when a string of shifts is coming up. Now here's a question-- How did I survive on so little sleep in my wild and crazy days?

That brings to mind The Son and The Daughter. It takes me back a bit to see how they can go on and on, and then when they sack out, they sleep and sleep and sleep. My problem is that I need to do the going on and on part, and never seem to get to the sleep and sleep part.

Well now, I can either knit, or write about it... So I guess I'll knit.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Random Thoughts

Let me be perfectly clear-- I find detangling yarn barf blobs to be calming, and I could do it for hours, and I enjoy helping others. (It's that Girl Scout thing). This being said, I was wowed when Jenn sent me a "thank you for helping me with the black dental floss" e-gift cert to the best online lys in the nation, Knit Happens. The Samoa/Mouline are on sale at the online store, and I need some more for Fibonacci. The timing couldn't be better, so Thank You, Jenn.

(oh-boy-oh-boy-oh-boy-- I think I got the link thing to work!!!!!!! Thanks Liz.)

By the way-- I love knitting with the Samoa/Mouline. It's a cotton blend. The Samoa is solid colored, and the Mouline is its variegated sister. I mentioned previously that I had a tension problem with my purl rows, so changed my knitting style for this project. As a result, I inadvertently knit more tightly, so it's making a tighter, thicker fabric. The next time I use it, (and I definitely will), I'll not be knitting something that's all stockinette, but rather something with some texture to make the tension issue less obvious. So I'll stick to my normal way of knitting, and consciously be a little looser. (no comments about loose women, please. thank you.) I think that it would do nicely with cables, and ribbed items, like the top on the KH blog.

So, today is "off work" for which I am truly grateful, although I will be working a shift on Saturday. I sometimes prefer weekdays off, even at the expense of working weekends, because I seem to get more done. This morning I re-redded (quoth LauraRN: "The Lord giveth, and The Lord taketh away.... Clairol Restoreth.") and will go to see my pal Gail this afternoon for some hair cuttage. Then to KH for a bit, although with tears in my eyes, I'll need to leave before Late Night really gets rolling, because I need to be somewhere at 6. (It's important that I be there, because very little could voluntarily keep me from a Late Night fix.)

Now, to the issue of Spring Fling. It's not complicated knitting, but I have now gone back to the ribbing THREE times. It absolutely cannot be successfully frogged, at least by me. So what is my problem? Attention(you know the rest). The first time, I allowed stitches to drop, probably while waving my hands around while I was talking. The next time, I think the same thing happened. Yesterday I picked it up, and did 2 rows backwards. (knit on purl row or vice versa or something. And I had the right side MARKED. There is absolutely no rational excuse for this.) I debated whether just to leave it, but then decided that wasn't an option. So I tried for quite awhile to tink, (through the entire episode of Six Feet Under) but-- it ended up being easier to just go back to the ribbing. The decision has been made. Lifelines (training wheels?)are necessary for me, at least until I can focus!!! I feel like I'm back in kindergarten. This is not a difficult project-- I've done things much more complicated-- if I could just keep the yarn on the needles!!!! (yes, Carol-- I'll get more point protectors, but they really don't help when I'm in the middle of actually knitting.)

And forward to the rest of this very hot day. (I think I'm already wishing for Fall).

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Yarn Barf Blobs

Well, that's how I spent a chunk of the day at Knit Happens. It seems that today was Yarn Barf Blob day at KH. One blob involved what was probably thousands of yards of black "dental floss". We gave it our best shot, but only managed to detangle about a third of it. Cindy was detangling some errant King Tut, and had similar progress. Suggestion (of which I have precious few...): Yarn hanks? Swift! Ball winder! It's a Good Thing. Use 'em.

I had a laid-back afternoon. Did a few rows on The Daughter's Spring Fling, and chatted with the folks at the shop. Got some sage advice on matters sock from Carol, saw Liz for a couple of minutes as she blew through for some Lorna's Lace sock yarn, and saw Kristine's finished-but-not-yet-constructed Harriet, and pondered guage.

Went home, and detangled more yarn. barf. blobs.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Hardly Knittin' These Past Coupla Days

So-- It's been a busy working week for this RN. Nothing like last Friday, though. I've had a bunch of interesting cases, and one that is a diagnostic puzzle that has everyone (at least everyone immediately involved in her case) fascinated.

But busy at work interferes with the rest of the life. Made me miss late night :{.
Didn't have dinner with The Husband and The Kids even once (2X :{.) And too tired to trust myself with the Turbos (or the Denises, or the Lantern Moons, for that matter) for fear of imminent frog-dom. I WAS awake enough to catch up on everyone's blogs, and hooked up with a few more.

I discovered another Laura whose blog is Knitting for Sanity. Small world, huh? Yes, I know--- I still haven't cracked the code on putting in links,so I can't send you there. And I still don't have any pictures posted. I hope to catch up with YarnGeek Liz this weekend at the shop so she can set me straight. It'll happen. Stay tuned.

First knitting priority-- chip away some more at Fibonacci. Really-- this is just taking too long. And then some inching on Spring Fling for The Daughter. I'm really enjoying the Cathay, although the lace is a bit slippery with the Addi Turbo's, and I ended up ripping out a couple of inches a couple of times because of dropped stitches on "pass yarn overs" that I couldn't pick up properly. I discovered that I do have a hole in one place, but I am NOT going to frog it again. I think I can sew a couple of strategic stitches in when I'm finished that will disguise the problem.

Next week should be a bit calmer, so I can hope for some more productive knitting time. And maybe some more productive housecleaning time. This is getting grim.

Well-- on a totally different topic, I was thinking about how we put together ideas for license plates, and blog names, and userids and things like that. One that I've used in the past for various things is HoyaRN (as in Georgetown-the school that used to have the most bang-up basketball team in the nation, and still might get back there, where, by the way, I went to Nursing School.) in all small letters it is hoyarn. Thinkaboutit. ho-yarn, not to be confused with yarn-ho which may be more on the mark.

So that's about it for now.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Hopping on the Bandwagon

OK--it's happened. I'm officially a member of the "I Heart Cathay" club. I started "Spring Fling" from Knitty using a rich purple Debbie Bliss Cathay. Spring Fling is a lacy short-sleeved cardi that I'm knitting for The Daughter to go with a lavender flowered dress she loves. The purple matches the centers of the flowers, and I think it will look quite nice. Holly paved the way for me by carefully reading the pattern before she started, noting that the larger sizes are written to go to the hip rather than cropped. Well, thankyouverymuch, Holly, because cropped is what we want, and I'll know to pay attention to length. (She's so handy.)

I cast it on at Knit Happens this afternoon. Casting on is such a dreary task-- but it is much easier when in the company of friends, and the task feels so good when it's over. I've finished most of the bottom ribbing tonight while watching TCM Memorial Day Movies and the Concert at the Capital.

It's a nice break from Fibonacci. We drove to Pennsylvania yesterday to see The Husband's parents. I made great progress, and actually closed the neck hole. The end is in sight. I need to charge ahead, and determine whether I need to make a visit to the online store to pick up another ball of the darker color. We shall see.

I have, I think, evidentiary proof that knitting is therapeutic. Here's why:

I had the day from-- well, let's say the day I don't ever want to repeat-- on Friday. (It had very little to do with being a nurse, and nothing to do with my coworkers, in case any of you are reading-- and if you are, you know exactly what I'm talking about, and my sympathies are with any of you who have found yourselves facing what I did. Suffice to say, I'm not well trained or experienced in psychiatry, which might have helped.) Anyway, I met The Husband for dinner which was preceded by a vodka on the rocks. When I got home I knit for awhile before falling asleep, and I was able to calm down a bit. We left fairly early on Saturday. I knit all the way, and while we were chatting with The Parents-In-Law. We had a nice dinner out, and then The Husband and I proceeded home. It was dark, and I didn't want to goof up my Fibonacci progress, so I wasn't knitting. And I began to obsess and stress over the Friday situation. I wish I'd been able to take my blood pressure, because I'm sure it would have been sky high. When I returned to home and reliable light, I started knitting again, and calmed right down. I'll have to keep the bp cuff with me.

This afternoon was most pleasant at the shop. I was greatly honored to be allowed to actually try on Inishmore, which we discovered looks pretty marvelous on just about anyone. Here's today's progress report on everybody else: Maeve was back from her travels with an amazing fairisle creation that took my breath away. Katie's dewdrop-in-the-grass Martha just seems more gorgeous each time I see it. Aimee's Harriet in blue-and-ice Cathay (which I'm sure she "hearts" as well) is beautiful. Kristine's cute, cute baby sweater continues to grow, and Wendy is working her magic on an awesome shawl. And Kelly continues Clapotizing. It's lovely. And big. And I met Stephanie who's working on a blanket.

The Son and The Daughter went to Blacksburg to celebrate the holiday with their friends, as well they should. I, compulsive mother that I am, will, of course, not sleep well until they are back. How is it that they can be gone for months at school, or out of the country paddling around islands or playing concerts all over Europe, and I don't worry a bit. But give them a long weekend away when they've been under the wing, and I stress? It's probably normal. I'll have to ask my mom. And knit some more.