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.

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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.