Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas To All

...And to all, a Good Night!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Favorite And Least Favorite...

Christmas movies

(Before I begin, let me give a "shout out" to my buddy Erin, who was woefully neglected in the last post-- my error-- so sorry. Chopped liver, she's not.
Also-- Happy birthday to Aimee, who's just getting better.)

Back to the movies, Let's see--


White Christmas (Bing and Fred)
Holiday Inn (Bing and Fred, again)
It's a Wonderful Life (Jimmy and Donna)
Love, Actually (Hugh, Emma, Colin, Bill, and a boatload of others)
The Christmas Story (Ralphie)
Come to the Stable (Loretta)
Bells of St. Mary's (Bing and Ingrid)
Christmas Vacation (Chevy)
Hardrock and Cocoa and Joe (If you are from Chicago and watched Garfield Goose)
Charlie Brown Christmas

Least favorite..

Hmmmmm..... can't think of any, although there are some cheezy cartoons.

What are yours?

The Hurrieder I Go....

It's been a busy few weeks.

Work presented me with a complicated patient situation that was emotionally and physically draining, but it is completed.

I was able to spend a rare afternoon at The Shop with Holly and Steph to de-stress. I'm not able to do it nearly enough. The "Irregulars" are a group I care about a lot-- and I miss them when I can't hang out with them. (The aforementioned situation kept me at work very late one night and prevented me from attending a gathering that I was really looking forward to-- Why is it that events collide like that?)

I was able to go home to the Midwest for some wonderful time with family, and a very long day of cookie baking.

A bonus was that Dad's birthday was on Friday. It was also the first night of Hannukah.

Although we are not Jewish, we've had latkes on the first night for many, many years. The Daughter asked one year, when she was quite small, if we could celebrate the Feast of Lights, and I thought a modified celebration would be just fine. The Latke connection is through Gramma (Dad's mother), who made the best potato pancakes ever. As years progressed, we were never able to find any that compared, either homemade, purchased, or in a restaurant.

I came to the conclusion that the downfall of the latke was the widespread introduction of the food processor. The potato shreds are shorter and blunter than the hand-shredded ones, so they don't get as crispy around the edges. So I shred them by hand, and although they're not as good as Gramma's, they're not too shabby. And in honor of Dad's favorite dessert, we had strudel from Trader Joe's. Again, nowhere near Gramma's, but a passable (and I must admit, more reliable) alternative.

And so, to the cookies. We do this every year, and come from far and wide to make the cookies that my dear Gramma used to lovingly bake for us. Sister #1 was able to spend time with her to learn the secrets of her success, and as the years have passed, we use technology and make minor adjustments. But the Flaky Cookies, the Bird's nests, the Almond Crescents, the Brownies (these are not your ordinary brownies, believe me!), the cutout butter cookies, the gingerbread cookies-- all from scratch, and all unbelievable. We've added Mexican wedding cakes that Sister #1 perfected, as well as some really fun chocolate and pretzel snacks.
The sisters bake:

the offspring decorate:
(and bake if so inclined-- they're so happy to be together that they spend a lot of the time just hanging out),

the brothers (and Dear Ol' Dad) watch football and old movies and refresh the beverages. And The Parents watch over it all with love and support.

I'm so fortunate to have such a terrific family, and I don't for a moment take it for granted.

Knitting wise-- yes, that's what keeps me sane, right? I've made some progress. I'm working on casserole mitts for sisters, a stocking cap for The Son, socks (always) and have a few other projects in the wings.

Coming Up
I have one day left to get ready for Christmas. Then to work on 21,22 and 23. I'm actually off on Christmas Eve and Christmas, then back to work on 26,27 and 28.

Then off to Blacksburg for the night, and on to Atlanta for The Chik-Fil-A Bowl. (The Siblings have come up with a bunch of other names, since this is a bit different from The Peach Bowl, which is what it used to be. "Boneless Chicken Bowl" "Fried Chunk of Chicken Bowl" -- You get the idea.) From there we go to The Parents for New Years' Eve. And then back again.

I'll have to put together some thoughts on a 2006 retrospective. See you then

Monday, November 27, 2006

Nicely Done, Hokies

A nice win over UVA, and a respectable season. While we lost to Ga Tech and BC, it was pretty good overall. We won't make it to a BCS bowl, but there may be a bit of post-season action.

So what does one do after football season is over? (Yes, I know that there are pro games --- Go Bears---but college ball has a special place in my heart.)

Well, I'll have some weekends free. In my job, we have to work weekends, because people don't get sick on only weekdays. With the football schedule, I've had to work every weekend that wasn't a game. So that means that I may be able to hit The Shop on some Sundays.

I'll also have to spend a big chunk of time doing the final edits on The Article-- yes, the one that I submitted last March-- solicited by the journal, and then escaping into a black hole somewhere. The peer reviews are done, and I've got fixes to make-- all due by Jan 20. If all goes well, it will be published in June. This writing stuff is not for the weak of heart. Hats off to you, Erin!!

I'm spending an extra day in Blacksburg, relaxing a bit before heading back to crazy-land. It's been a busy couple of weeks. I worked a bunch of nights going into Thanksgiving week. And then, since I was also working Wednesday, Thursday (Thanksgiving) and Friday, I recovered a bit on Monday, and then we had our Thanksgiving on Tuesday.

This is the way it works in our family. Since I have to work holidays as well as weekends, we "declare" our holidays for whenever we can do them-- hence, Thanksgiving on Tuesday. It worked out well for The Offspring as well, since they were both able to work on Thanksgiving. (Both have been promoted to "Blue Shirts" at the theater where they work-- I'm such a proud Mama!!!)

Thanksgiving dinner was great-- all the usual foods, including pumpkin pie and lo-carb pumpkin cheesecake made from pumpkin that The Daughter prepared, froze and brought home. They were great. (10 pm phone call the week before: "Mom-- I have this pumpkin. How do I fix it?" She made a pie that we sampled before the Kent State game-- really good.)

The real bonus was that I finally got the dining room cleared out. We actually ate at the dining room table. What a concept. After Christmas, it'll most likely become my home until The Article edits are submitted.

I'm setting up my Blacksburg room as a study for The Daughter, since we won't be here as much for the rest of the school year. The bed will be more like a couch, and I got a table that will be perfect for spreading out books and papers. We put up a small Christmas tree in the living room here-- artificial, which goes against my nature, but a lot more practical since the apartment's small, and the girls won't have to worry about taking it down to avoid needles everywhere (never mention the fire hazard) when they leave for Christmas break.

Well, I've got a boatload of stuff to do before I head back north. No knitting, since I'll be driving, but I'll listen to an audiobook-- such fun.

Catch you later.

Quick Note

Busy, busy time. More to come soon. I've been reading your blogs, but for those of you on typepad, it hasn't been posting comments properly.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Nashville-- Here I Am!

Due to a burp in the registration system for the conference I'm attending, I have the morning free-- so a bit of a blog, and then to the Country Music Hall of Fame that is across the street from my hotel and the Conference Center.

I'm looking at the Ryman Auditorium right now-- original home of the Grand Ol' Opry. I was thinking of trying to get tickets to the Opry last night. Carrie Underwood was playing-- but I opted for barbecue take-out and early bed in the hotel.

So I'm looking forward to several days of interesting sessions-- I'm DEFINITELY in the session I wanted this afternoon.

No pictures right now-- there are computers set up for us to use at the conference, but I do believe they'd frown on my breaking in to access the cpu and load up photos-- so next week I'll catch you up on any interesting things I might see.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Whoa-- Brain Burp!

I'll be in Nashville next week-- not Atlanta. Wrong City, wrong state...

Guess it comes with getting older...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Yes, Yes, Yes... I'm still here

... But with working, and sleeping, and commuting to Blacksburg for football games, I'm lucky if I even read my emails, never mind blog.

I've had some progress on the knitting front, albeit with little projects. Commuting to Tech has its advantages.

I'm nearly finished with the second Chuppah Square. (It's coming, Cindy-- really it is!!!) These puppies aren't blocked yet, but soon....

I'm halfway through the first of a pair of Hokie-themed felted clogs. (I can't find the rest of the yarn!!!!! Quel disaster!!! It's around here someplace!)(Sorry- no picture of this one. More later.)

I'm working on a Cherry Tree Hill sock-- on 0's if you can believe me, and using Wendy's generic toe-up pattern. I may do something interesting on the cuff when I get there. I'm thinking about it.


There's nothing like it at Virginia Tech. We had a couple of disappointments, but it looks as if we may be back on track.

This is what "Orange Effect" looks like in Lane Stadium. Phyl would have been in heaven. (The game was against Georgia Tech. We won't speak of this further.) The Daughter is in the band-- The Marching Virginians. They have a great time, before and during the game. As they're approaching the stadium, the ever-amusing Tubas always have fun. Yes, that's a porta-potty. And yes-- there was someone in there. Can't beat college kids for having a good time.

And this is "Maroon Effect." It was against Clemson who did orange that night.This is their Tiger being very worried, because things weren't going their way.

The game against Clemson on Thursday night was just amazing. Both teams played well. Both teams treated each other with respect-helping each other up after plays, obligitory pats on the butt... Almost no fouls!!! Although I know that Clemson fans were disappointed, everyone seemed to have a really good time. When the students "stormed the field" at the end of the game, it was out of sheer joy.

They behaved themselves and it was great.

There were a couple of downers, though.

This was my view of the first half of the game. The idiots a couple of rows ahead of us (who must have gotten the tickets somehow from the nice people who usually sit there) decided they needed to stand, although there was NO ONE in front of them. Granted, in the student sections, people stand throughout the game, and that's fine-- but we're in the first row of the more (ahem) shall I say, mature area. We stand when there's a reason to, but mostly we just want to watch the game.

We really wanted season tickets this year. The only way we could get them was to give a rather sizeable donation to the athletic department for special seats. I say this not to be snobby. We would have been happy to get tickets sitting with God, where we spent much of last year, but they just weren't available. So we figured that since we bought tickets on e-Bay last year, and paid a boatload for them, we'd rather give the extra $$ to the school and the athletic fund. In exchange, we have real seats with real backs (and cupholders--can you believe it?) that we like to sit in during the game.

They decided to put on a show, too. (We were hoping not to be present at the conception of their first child.)But at least they were sitting down at this point, and we could see the game.

Virginia Tech has a program called "Hokies Respect." Those who "act out" are theoretically singled out by "Jerk Alert." (hey- it works!) I did not take a picture of the female half of this couple making obscene gestures to the other team's fans. There was really no excuse for that behavior. "Jerk Alert" really fit the bill.

Aside from that irritation, it was an amazing evening. The bottom line was that the overwhelming majority of fans on both sides, and the players on both sides had a great time-- with great respect and good spirit. It was a wonderful atmosphere.

I've missed my friends from The Shop. Hopefully I'll be able to go on Wednesday night for awhile, and maybe on Friday.

Coming up:

A special day for me on Friday.

I'm off to Atlanta for a conference next week, then flying back to Roanoke for Band Parents' day at the Hokies game against Kent State. (Kent State? Should be interesting. They're scheduled against Florida State this year, too.)(Kent State?)

Hmmm-- conference, airplane, KNITTING TIME!!!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Drive-By Entry

All's well-- just another crazy couple of weeks.

The VT vs GT game was a good one-- but we lost. Frank Beamer put it best-- "We helped them out a lot, and they didn't need our help." It was "Orange Effect" at Lane stadium, and as soon as I get my act together, I'll post some pictures. I also visited with Mimi at Mosaic in Blacksburg. She works with Gina there. I was SO happy to find another ball of the pink stuff so I could finish the baby kimono.

I worked through the week and weekend, doing an overtime shift each week (cha-ching!) Yesterday a group of us went to Stephanie's hospital to do a presentation.

We're having a "Great American Bakesale" tomorrow at work, so today has seen me as a baking fool. I've done 4 batches of brownies and a couple dozen muffins so far, and now that I'm out of eggs, I need to go get some more.

Hopefully, I'll hit KH tonight.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


And finally-- evidence of knitting progress!!!We have finished wee sockies.
We have completed Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono. (It's been blocked since the picture).

We have completed Chuppah square, and in-progress Heartbreakingly cute that will have pictures soon. (Don't want to get all carried away, now)

This weekend was another great one. It drizzled on Friday, and a bit as well on Saturday, but it didn’t bother the VT football team. It was a really terrific VT Hokies football game on Saturday (a well-fought game against worthy opponents Cincinnatti).

I visited my Blacksburg LYS-away-from-My Real Home LYS,. It's Mosaics, run by Gina. If you happen to be in Blacksburg, it's behind 5 Guys across from University Mall. I picked up some Debbie Bliss denim and cotton cashmere for – what else—Heartbreakingly Cute Kimonos, as well as some Online on-sale ribbonyarn with little fuzzy things that I’m knitting into –guess what--? Heartbreakingly Cute Kimonos. (Well heck—my coworkers are popping them out like crazy!)

They have some pretty cool bags—see?

In other knitting progress-or lack thereof- I spent quite awhile working on Fibonacci- and I think I'm going to frog it and start over on larger needles. I started knitting way too tightly, and although I got the recommended gauge, it's just basically a stockinette t-shirt. When I picked it up again, I knit for rows and rows, and the progress on the tiny needles is laughable. The fabric is very dense, and I think it'll be too warm-- if it ever gets finished at this rate. So, I think we're gonna start over on this one. Sigh.

New, Random Topic:
Here's something The Daughter pointed out the Kroger.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't it seem strange to name dog food "Old Yeller?"

As I recall, it didn't end well.

Travelling I-81 is always an event.

If I'm "Passenger-ing" as I always do when The Husband accompanies me, there's time for knitting, napping, reading or just watching the beautiful mountains and trying to avoid experiencing the traffic.

We've come upon accidents several times, but Sunday took the cake. A van in front of us was pushed off the left side of the road by a semi. By the grace of God, they didn't roll over.

We were trying to slow down, pull over and help, when we noticed that the semi had no such plans. The dude just kept on truckin'!!! We were aghast. That's just WRONG.

So-- as I called in the accident to the State Police, my husband pulled in behind the truck, which by now had gone into the right lane. (We saw that others were stopping to help, and we figured they needed to get this guy.)

The trucker at this point was being the perfect little citizen-- observing the speed limit and behaving himself. We relayed the license info to the dispatcher who plugged us in to the local coordinator. They took the info and our phone number and that was that. Or so we thought.

We were a bit annoyed that there didn't seem to be much action from the troopers. We gave them good info, after all. We did a little bit of passing, so I could get more info from the side of the cab, just in case. And I took pictures. This is one in my rear-view mirror.

At one point we stayed behind a camping trailer for about 10 miles going 50 in a 65 zone, and Mr. Trucker Sir was behind us that entire time, until he finally pulled around us. I got pictures of the side of the cab, which I will not share, as I value my life.

As we were driving, we were just amazed at what a fine citizen he continued to be-- and we were a bit concerned as well. (Didn't want his little trucker buddies deciding that we needed a visit to the median strip.)

We stayed several cars behind the truck, not because we particularly wanted to, but because we happened to be travelling in the same direction, and if the troopers were gonna get him, we wanted to watch.


Well, about 70 miles up the road (and bear in mind, we're approaching West Virginia by this time) I got a call from the State Police dispatcher, asking if she can pass my phone number on to yet another center. Heck yes!!!

Deputy Dawgs in Hot Pursuit

The latest dispatcher asked if we still had the truck in sight, and told me that a trooper would be coming up behind us. She got a description of our car, our location and speed, and further details we'd gleaned. I was giving her the play-by-play, just like on Cops. All of a sudden, Mr. Trucker Sir signalled and pulled off at an exit. I asked the dispatcher what we should do, and we were told to follow him.

You want us to what??? We were now right behind him.

Can you spell adrenaline?

He went into a truck stop. We were told to keep following him and keep an eye on the truck. Holy cow!!! There were a lot of trucks, and he drove behind them. The Husband kept an eye on the other side of the truckstop so he could see if the guy left.

The trooper finally arrived. The truck had tucked himself in amongst all the rest of the trucks, and it took us awhile to help the trooper find it.

Long story short (too late, I know)and skipping a lot of detail, we identified the truck, the trooper got the guy, we made a statement, and headed home. The people he hit were physically ok, although very shaken up. The trucker said he didn't know he hit them. (!) Right.

Just a thought: We travel I-81 a lot. So do The Offspring. I've always known it's dangerous, but I have a new perspective on The Knights of the Road. Some are wonderful and courteous. But the bottom line is that they all have to get their stuff to where they're going, they're bigger than you, and you just plain have to pray hard and hope to stay out of their way.

On the last leg of the way home, we saw this.

Be careful out there.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Groan--With a Capital G

I have a very nice posting prepared.

It even has pictures.

Lots of pictures.

I can't get The Blogger to let me download the pictures to the blog.

Not even one.

Since the initial theme of the posting is that I finally have pictures, I can't really post it without the pictures.

I will try again tonight. This has taken entirely too much of my time already today.

That is all.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

I''ve Been Waiting..

To post until I had some pictures worth sharing. But I figured I'd better get some words on the screen, or it might be more weeks before I post. Bad form.

First, go visit
Erin and wish her some sunshine and cheer. I'm apparently not the only one who has been in the dumps by our dreary weather. I actually started getting up early enough to sit in front of the "anti-SADD" lamp for a couple of hours. Does it work? Don't know yet-- I'll let you know after I've done it for a couple of weeks.

No such problems today, though.

It's sunny and beautiful out, here in Blacksburg. And what a nice time we had with our time in the sun. See? 36-0. It's a good thing (at least if you're a Hokie). The ride down yesterday was pretty gloomy, and punctuated with at least one Virginia State Police car about every 3 miles or so. It was quite amazing. I've never seen so many.

Knitting-wise, I've unearthed Fibonacci. I started the critter about a year and a half ago, and put it aside for a couple of reasons. The first was that the entire thing is stockinette stitch, and I was going nuts. The second was that it is knit sideways from the sleeve, and when I joined the neckhole, I discovered that it was several inches short of where it needed to be, and I got ticked off. The third was that I decided to "throw" rather than using the continental knitting technique that is more comfortable for me. I ended up knitting it quite tightly, and my hands were getting rather crampy.

So, when I re-started, I decided to do the rest of it continental, and hope that it'll all come out even in the blocking. I also went down from 6's to 3's, and the stitches look pretty much the same. Interesting, huh?

I finished the Wee Sockies and the Baby Kimono. The Kimono is done and blocked, and needs about 10 total inches of sewing up for finishing. So when do you think THAT'LL happen?

Now if I can just remember to get some batteries for my camera....

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Tuesday: The Daughter calls in the morning to tell me that the SWAT team has evacuated all the students from Squires at Virginia Tech, classes were cancelled, and VT was on lock-down. And that she was fine. The guy who shot and killed two people was captured on VT grounds later that afternoon.

Wednesday: Late Night. Good company, good conversation, good times. Much needed, much refreshed. I was really glad I could be there, since I have to work on Thursday and Friday, and will miss the AWESOME sale.

Thursday: Found out that Sister#2's beautiful home in Chicagoland was hit by lightening this morning at 6 am. School has started there, so all were awake. She got the kids and dogs out safely. One of the dogs was very frightened and hiding, but they were able to find her at the last minute. All are well. The fire was very extensive, wiping out a large portion of the house as well as the garage and several cars -- lots of fire, smoke and water damage. The house is uninhabitable and will require a massive amount of work.

She has been so generous to all of us in her home. In addition to my parents' home, it is where we gather to spend time together, mark joyous occasions, bake cookies, celebrate holidays, including the incomperable New Year's bash-- it is our gathering place.

I just don't know what to think. There's nothing I can do to help, except send prayers.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Croppin', Croppin', Croppin'

I do other things besides knit. For example, I'm a nurse. And as a nurse, we are expected to do other things besides taking care of patients. So I teach, and I write articles, and I work on committees, and I do projects. One of the projects I'm up to my neck in is the annual calendar. It's lots of fun, but holy cow-- it's a lot of cropping.

If you've done much in the way of scrapbooking, you know that it's a wonderful creative outlet. But with all the bells and whistles, journalling, embellishing, color coordinating and the like, it can take a couple of hours to produce one lovely page.

Well, the calendar has a cover, 12 lovely pages for the months, and a back page. Or two.

Scrappers do "crop-til-you-drop" parties-- lots of fun, get together, and maybe get a page or two done. So why not just do one of those? Because it needs to be tied together. The powers-that-be would be most unhappy if it didn't look like a unified project. So we ARE going to do a paste-up party, but everything needs to be ready first.

So I'm croppin'-- and pretty soon I may be droppin'.

You may not hear from me for awhile.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

…It’s All Part of Growing Up

Letting go, that is.

The Daughter just left for school. Packed up the car, and drove off. It’s her 3rd year at Virginia Tech, and you’d think that by now I’d be used to it. And maybe I am, a bit. No tears this time from me, although they're probably right under the surface. It was wonderful to have her home, but we had so little time together this summer.

My work was brutal there for awhile, and she was in summer school and working. She was only able to spend the first weekend of our family reunion vacation at Lake of the Ozarks. Our time together is so precious—and I was really grateful that she agreed to leave today so that we could spend yesterday together.

We had fun!

We hit the beauty shop for cuts, color and hightlights. Unfortunately, I have only “before” and “during” pictures, and she would be a very unhappy daughter if I posted those. Had I taken “after” pictures, you would be quite impressed because we are quite lovely.

Fortunately, I had a rare couple of hours to knit, and I made great progress on a Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono from Mason-Dixon Knitting. (Maeve the Marvelous inspired me, as she’s been whipping out these things like crazy. Go to the second posting down, and you'll see a lovely green one that she did.) I started it at Late Night on Wednesday, and am more than halfway done. It’s truly a great and easy-to-knit baby project. On another note, the wee sockies are finished, and I’m planning a hat or something to go along with them. (Or maybe one of them there kimonos?)

After 4 hours of this hair business, we headed off to King Street Blues for some wings and Diet Coke, and then some back-to-school shopping.

When she was little, that meant paper, pencils, crayons and new shoes. Now it means paper towels, Ziplok bags, Hamburger Helper, cold medications, freshly ground coffee and cases of soda, as well as any gadgets for the apartment that we could purchase now so that "Me-The-Mom" pays.

I’m not falling-apart distressed, since we have VT football season tickets, (YAY! In the Club section!!!!) and I’ll see her in a couple of weeks. It’s just that every year they get a little older, and I have to let go a little more. I hope I’ve done a good enough job…

Vacation was fun

It is always wonderful to be with my sibs and their spouses and kids. I spent a bit more time in the pool this year, frequently with beer bottle in hand.

It was hotter’n blazes, and the pool warmed up to nearly bathtub temp by mid-afternoon. One of the kids threw some ice cubes in at one point. Mom is amazing. She finished the last chemo just before our week, and was moving a bit slowly, but hit the pool every afternoon. We made shade for her by putting a couple of deck chairs on their sides and draping towels.
The Lake of the Ozarks is a lovely place—butterflies and hummingbirds all over the place. There was a deck outside our room where we had coffee every morning, and read books when it wasn’t too hot.

The morning we left, we got this picture of 2 of my sisters, my Mom and me. Except for missing my other 2 sisters, I think it’s one of my favorites.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

No Pictures Today

But plenty were taken by others at Late Night. And what a crowd we had to celebrate Holly's birthday at The Shop. Of course, I hadn't hit Late Night for probably a month or so-- so it was great to see everyone and catch up. And holy cow-- talk about good! Incredible cakes from Ann,Erika (who left with Bennett before I got there, darn it!,)Rosanna and Stephanie (hey-- keep a good thought for her-- it's a big day today).

I worked on the second wee sockie, and picked up some Mission Falls to make some nice washable baby sweaters. They're poppin' out all over the place, and I'm barely keeping up!

The Husband and The Son came to pick me up, since we've had another of our musical car scenarios going on. We went to Las Tapas for dinner-- lovely sangria, great food, flamenco and a guitar player who was quite good.

Today's schedule:
1.Gather stuff for vacation to Lake of the Ozarks (Whoopee!! Family Vacation with The Parents, The Sibs and The Offspring). Most needed.
2. Take MY car in for an estimate and leave it to get fixed. The Son got rear-ended by a person who has turned out to be, shall we say, less than cooperative with our insurance company. He wanted to skip insurance and pay for it himself. That would be fine, if he were honoring the estimate. (Hey, Mister... when you hit the back of somebody's car while you're playing with your dog-- or whatever it was that you were playing with, you have to replace the bumper and fix the car so that the trunk will close. And guess what? I'm not going to have Joe Schmoe fixin' the not-yet-completely-paid-for Volvo with parts from the junkyard!!!)
3. Do laundry.
4. (only if the spirit moves me) finish a teaching unit for work.

And tomorrow-- leavin' on a jet plane.
Catch you next week.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

What a Difference a Day Makes

A day away, that is. (or actually, a day and a half-- 36 little hours...)

All work and no play makes NurseLaura a very grouchy lady.

So, our Day Away was to Cleveland.
The Son and his Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia(national men's music fraternity) buddies sang The National Anthem at the Cleveland Indians vs Minnesota Twins game.
And here I am, with Baseball Knitting, working on the wee sockie.

Bratwurst, beer, a taste treat known as "Johnny Applestix" (omigod-fried apple slices rolled in cinnamon that you dip in caramel sauce... un-be-bleepin'-lievable!!!)

We attended the game with DW of Brother #3 and their daughters, as well as 2 of Sister#2's offspring who flew in from Chicagoland. Brother#3 (who runs the place) let us walk around the field after the game, sit in the dugout, play in the bullpen, and even touch the grass. It's nice to "know people."

And despite a rather crushing loss (I blanked the final score out of my mind) FIREWORKS!! Lots of them-- and dare I say, even better than the 4th of July on the National Mall. And the music was better. (I love Stevie Wonder, but choreographing the National Independence Day fireworks to his tunes? It was a bit weird.)

And we returned to this:
It doesn't get any better. (Except maybe when we win.)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Oooh- So Excited

...not only to not be working today, but because The Husband, The Daughter and I are going to Cleveland tomorrow.

Why, you might ask?

To see The Son and 99 of his closest fraternity buds sing this here.

AND, we'll be able to see Brother#3 who is the dude in charge of this where it all takes place.

AND, we'll get to spend a bit of time with his lovely and charming wife and his equally lovely and charming daughters.

AND, eat hot dogs and drink beer.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Why I Haven't Been Blogging

Or knitting, much.

Take a look at my schedule for the past month.

(Please understand that I cooperated with this-- my employer is not exploiting me, and I am being appropriately compensated.)

That being said, it's still a lot of hours, and it cut significantly into knitting time:

June 16,17,18,19,20,23,24,25,26: 12 hour day shifts
June 28,29: 12 hour night shifts
July 2,3,5: 12 hour day shifts
July 6: 8 hour night shift
July 7,8: 12 hour night shifts.
(and then another 12-hour day shift on Monday, with meetings all day Tuesday)

Now, in the course of 23 days, that's 17 shifts, or a total of 196 hours in 3 weeks and 2 days.

In more recent news, the final markups/edits for the book chapter are finished and will be submitted tomorrow. Just gotta finish the pictures.

Back to work tomorrow for 3 days. You May Be Right, I May Be Crazy-- but it just may be a lunatic you're looking for...

Knitting next week for sure!

Friday, July 07, 2006

It’s Always Something..

And the past couple of weeks have been no exception. Either you’re having deluges, or the calls keep coming from work, or you keep losing your place in your knitting, or you’ve missed an editor’s deadline with no solution in sight.

I’ve missed Late Night for the past couple of weeks because of frantic “Can you Possibly work tonight” calls, and am going to miss Knit’n’Nosh tonight for the same reason. It’s difficult to explain how disappointed I am to miss this weekly “fix”. And I’ve been unable to make it in to The Shop on the weekends for the same reason.

This week’s work total will be 68 hours. I usually work 36. The paycheck will be sweet, to be fair, but holy cow!!! And the extra hours are all nights. I really don’t mind nights, since I get better sleep during the day when I'm doing long strings, and there is that bit of differential. But there is disruption to the rest of life with all this -- day or night. Of course, I could say "no". But I wasn't raised that way.

On the knitting front, I’ve abandoned the Baltic Sea Stole for now. I just couldn’t “feel” the pattern. And with not having enough protracted time to work on it, I kept losing my place—there are pattern stitches on the right and wrong sides, so for someone with my fractured attention span, eternal vigilance is required-- despite hiliters, post-it notes, row counters and such. Plus, the quick color changes in the variegation of the yarn I was using didn’t help—couldn’t see the pattern as well in the knitting.

So I ripped it all out, and started a triple-wide Branching Out. It’s simpler, because the wrong side rows are all purls to give my addled brain a rest. Baltic Sea will be back. But I knit for enjoyment, and when it’s not being fun, it’s time to switch gears.

And somewhere in the middle of all this, I need to make the editors fixes to the book chapter.

And hope not to get a frantic call.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


"Who is that?"
"It's The Lord, Noah"

A long time ago in a suburb far, far away (actually, about 30 miles west of Chicago), my sibs and I listened to an LP entitled Bill Cosby Is A Very Funny Fellow...Right. We listened to his comedy, memorized his routines, and to the dismay of my parents, repeated them over and over again. In those days, comedians were actually funny without using profanity or terribly off-color humor.

One of these wasNoah.

For the full transcript, go here.

It's been raining here.

Friday, June 16, 2006

A Busy, Happy Time

Well, now…  it’s been awhile.  And it’s been a busy while.

And guess what!  I have some actual pictures to share.

I went to Bermuda on a wonderful anniversary cruise with The Husband. This is us on the ship inport Hamilton. I had lots of favorites about the cruise, but one of the best was sunrise.

The service was amazing. Our cabin steward, Eduardo made sure were kept amused

The only thing that wasn't wonderful about the entire trip-- I REALLY mean the ONLY thing, is that the shuffleboard deck was directly over our stateroom. I sent a letter to Norwegian Cruise Line-- "just sayin'".

Then I worked for a few days, and then was off to Chicagoland for bridal showerage for my sister-in-law-to-be (sorry, no pics).

To support my traveling and yarn habits, I had to work for a few more days—and nights—and then we were off again for wedding festivities.

The rehearsal was a lot of fun.  This is Brother#4 and The Beloved. My job was organize The Cousins (our collective 24 kids) who lined the aisle and each gave a rose to the Cousins-to-Be as they came up the aisle.  So each of the Cousin-to-Be girls had a dozen roses as their bouquets.

In anticipation of the wedding, I rushed to finish the very purple Spring Fling.  Unfortunately, the shape was not the best, and I’m not quite sure why.  I made it in the larger size, and that may have been a problem.  It looks a bit like a shrug/wrap rather than a short-sleeved sweater.  It will work great, and I’ll wear it in that capacity.  However, it’s not The Daughter’s style, and I had the presence of mind to realize that before I even offered it to her.  Didn’t want her to feel she had to wear it, y’know.  I may wash it and put it in the dryer to see if it comes in a bit.  (Note of caution to knitters of purple Cathay.  The stuff runs a bit (a bunch) on the first wash.  Be sure to block by the soaking method or wash separately.  I haven’t noticed it as dramatically on other Cathay colors—but haven’t knit up the black yet.)

Then to the actual wedding.  I have great pictures, and I’ll show them in person to The Irregulars.  The Brothers really clean up well, and everyone looked wonderful and had a super time.  There was dancing and great dinner, and (I understand) a beautiful cake.  (I was called to service to assist someone, and missed seeing the cake, but it tasted great.) and we danced some more, and then The Legal Cousins, Sister #1 and her husband and I shut down the bar adjacent to the hotel.

A VERY early morning after, I picked up brunchies for the group who later gathered at The Parents’ suite for present-opening.

Then to The Spouses-in-Law (The Husband’s brother and his Lovely and Charming Wife) where we had a lovely dinner, caught up on life, and The Son taught The Brother-In-Law how to best load and use his new iPod.  (That’s why we had The Offspring, you know.  They’re most handy to have around.)

We returned home.

It’s been a busy, busy, happy, happy time.
I think I’ll take a nap.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Overheard From The Offspring we embarked on #4 Brother's Wedding Weekend.

The Son: (Cousins) "A&J want to do something tonight with us. There's a bar they like that has $.50 beers. But you're not 21."

The Daughter: (who has 7 months to go)"I'm working on it."

The Son: "Work harder."

Details on an awesome weekend to come, as soon as I get some sleep.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

And a Bit More Detail

We're off for #4 brother's wedding. I'm so excited for him and The Beloved. She has 2 great daughters who fit right in with "The Cousins"- the 24, now going on 26 of our collective children. Coming from a big family (I have 4 brothers and 4 sisters), it's been really valuable for my offspring to experience being with lots of family. Just being together is always an event. And having something to celebrate makes it unbelievable.

I did hit Late Night last night for the first time in probably a month. Knitting Knews alert: Spring Fling (yeah- the purple lacy short-sleeved cardi for The Daughter... yeah- the one I started a year ago-) is almost done. I'm in the last throes of the sleeves. I picked it up again when The Daughter decided to wear the lavender dress with the purple flowers to The Wedding. There are a couple of wonky spots in it, but... stuff happens. Gonna look for that galloping horse. Miracles happen-- I was able to pick up a skein of the Debbie Bliss Cathay in the same dye lot! Color me purple and happy!

Katie, who lives in Romania now, graced us with her presence, having flown through nasty weather from Boston. She had a yarn orgy, and when I left The Shop, there was a stack of about 20 skeins on the table, waiting for her credit card to exercise itself. She brought along some of her amazing work, including a darling lace-edged baby sweater in purple Cathay that looked like it could have been Spring Fling's little sister.

Shanti called and it was great to talk with her.

...and with Almost-a-nurse Stephanie, Just-back-from-her-honeymoon Ann, Working-at-being-a-lawyer Maeve, Planning-her-chuppah Cindy, Knitting-an-amazing-silk-sweater Nikki, Managing-it-all Holly, Keeping-the-rest-of-it-all-together Aimee and Launching-out-on-a-new-career Erin... (sorry- I need to wrap this up, and don't have time for all the links)

It was so great to be back with my Irregular friends. What an interesting combination of people. And now so geographically diverse as well. And with the ups and downs, excitements and celebrations, tragedies and joys of our lives, how blessed I am to share it with these special people.

Sometimes you just get lucky.

In 50 Words or Less

(written yesterday, but was sick. very sick)

Past month=busy. 25th Anniversary. Bermuda Cruise. Wonderful. Work. Memorial weekend=Chicagoland. Sister-in-law-to-be shower. Nieces graduated. High School and College. Big Party. Lots more work. Several night shifts. Flying tomorrow. Brother’s wedding Saturday. More Big Parties. Party Hearty. Late night tonight. Bit of knitting. Very Little.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

I Have Yarn!

So, as you have all heard me whine, I didn't get to go to MS&W. But did that stop me? NOOoooooo.

I hit the Happy Place and picked up some Cherry Tree Farm yarn that will be used for Wendy's Grape Arbor shawl. And I got some Whisper (it's on sale, y'all) that will be used for the Baltic Sea stole. And I got a bunch of the Debbie Bliss silk in a beautiful silver grey that will turn into a very simple wrap.

I also got replacements for some of my tiny-sized DPNs. Never have enough. And another Addi Turbo. And a set of stitch holders.

And today when I got home, there was a package of Lisa Souza Sock! yarn. Three nifty skeins that I know I won't get to for quite awhile, but there they are.

The Baltic Sea stole and the silver silk are going with me on my cruise to Bermuda. (and maybe a skein of sock yarn, too.) (maybe) (don't want to overdo.)

We're Leaving in The Morning

A whole week off work.
And I'll catch ya when I get back.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Color Me Jealous

...because I've been drooling over everyone's blogs. EVERYONE went to MS&W this past weekend except moi, it seems. EVERYONE got wonderful yarn and got to hang out in beautiful weather, and see those really neat sheep and alpacas.

Well, I got night differential....

Monday, May 08, 2006

Catching Up

No blogs for the past few days, because I just came off 3 night shifts. Having caught a couple hours of ZZZs, I figured I'd blog a bit.

I am a bit preoccupied, because I leave Sunday for a cruise to here. (Figured I'd save the pretty pictures for later. Always loved those CIA factbooks).

The faucet handle arrived Friday, and was easily installed. Somehow, the hot & cold were reversed, but I got that fixed today. We have hot, we have cold, we have water. (Guess I'd better clean the kitchen. No more excuses.)

The parts of the shawl-collar sweater are done, and if I get some energy today, it just might become a totally FO. I had as much as I could take of the never-ending collar, and quit some 14 rows shy of where it was supposed to end. As it was, it took 3 balls of Cashmarino Chunky for the collar alone. That's between $25 and $30 just for the collar.

I couldn't see using a 4th ball.

It looks fine.

We had a lovely Late Night and celebrated The Impending Demise of Spinsterhood for our dear friend Ann.
Anyway,Here's to you, Chica!!!

Since I was working during the "bracketing nights" I was unable, AGAIN, to go to Maryland Sheep & Wook. Such a hassle!!! But my friend Carolina is such a sweetie. I saw her for a bit at Late Night, and she OFFERED to purchase yarn for me. We had a little discussion about my preferences, one of which is that I LOVE surprises. So I can't wait to see what she chose for me. (And make sure I don't forget my checkbook!!!)

Remember that Guardian Angel???

Glad to say S/He is still lookin' out for me. And for others. I was on my way to work on Saturday evening (see a theme here?) driving on Fort Hunt Road--AT the speed limit, I might add-- when a car was suddenly in front of me. Apparently it didn't register to her that there was a stop sign that is intended to prevent people from ending up perpendicular to cross-traffic on a very busy secondary road.

I saw her in front of me. I hit the horn. I hit the brakes. The anti-lock factor kicked in, so I didn't skid. However, when one slams on the brakes, one keeps moving for a bit. I think it was probably about a second and a half.

What goes through one's mind while hurtling toward the driver of a car who is directly in front of you and is looking you in the eyes? Here's my list:
1. Oh no. I'm going to hit her.
2. My air bag will deploy, and I won't be too injured.
3. I'm going to hurt her. A lot.
4. Oh my God. She has kids in the car.

I was blessed to have a 5th thought.

5. How did my car stop 6 inches from broadsiding her?

After a second or so of us both catching our breaths, she proceeded across the road, and pulled over. I really didn't have anything constructive to say to her, so after a Sign of the Cross, I kept driving.

The Son had been driving the car, and took it in for inspection last month. Although it passed, they said the brakes were getting low, so we took it to the dealer to have them fixed.

I'm starting to breathe again

Thursday, May 04, 2006

What a Way to Start the Day!

So I wake up and stumble into the kitchen to make coffee, turn on the water, and the faucet handle breaks off in my hand. This is one of the single-handle, has the squirter thing that pulls out. Installing this sink and counter (about 6 or 7 years ago) was somewhat akin to the Landing at Normandy in terms of planning and execution.

The faucet was attached to the sink before the sink was installed on the counter. The garbage disposal is in front of the sink fixin's, and required a plumber to attach the waste drain which looks like a Rube Goldberg concoction.

As I disassembled the faucet, it appeared that it would be possible to just replace the handle, although it would require purchase of the entire faucet set-up. I wouldn't mind that-- we're talking a hundred bucks vice a thousand.

Nice idea, but Wrong. They don't sell this kind any more.

Is it too early to pull out the scotch?

The Saga Continues
Ok-- here we go. I went to Lowe's (which I usually like a lot) and ran into the most unhelpful, sanctimonious jerk in the plumbing section. In spite of him, I bought a faucet. When I got home I discovered that for a variety of reasons it wasn't going to work.

So I went to Home Depot, where I ran into a guy who was SO helpful-- spent a lot of time with me, and we thought we had a solution, but then figured it wasn't going to work. I bought the other faucet anyway, and figured I'd give it a try. $68 is better than a thousand.

Then I did what I should have done in the first place. Called Moen. Maybe they'd still have the part? Well-- not only do they have the part, they have a LIFETIME GUARANTEE. I've rarely taken people up on a lifetime guarantee. Since I preferred to get the part tomorrow rather than next week, the only thing I have to pay for is the overnight mail. $12.

So the water situation in the house is "iffy"-- not sure if I can turn it back on without flooding the kitchen.

Hey-- that means we'll probably have to go out for dinner.

Damn the bad luck!!!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Never-Ending Collar

My prediction was pretty close to accurate. Not only am I into my THIRD ball of Cashmarino Chunky on the collar of this sweater, but I somehow misplaced my 10-1/2 Addi Turbo, and haven't been able to get to The Shop so I'm using straight needles. The sweater collar is formed with short-row shaping using wrapped stitches, so in order to keep some semblance of saknity, I'm transferring the non-current stitches back to the size 10 circular to reduce weight and sheer number of stitches on the needles. (The collar starts out with over 250 stitches, and you get down to 68 live stitches in the center before it all comes together again by picking up the stitches and their wee wrappies to prepare for cast-off.)

My goal is to get the shawl collar done tonight--TONIGHT, I tell you!!! I've been through NCIS, The Unit, The Dynasty Reunion (interesting, since I never watched Dynasty the first time around), and now to what's left of Leno.

Tom Cruise is on Letterman. There was a time when I would have looked forward to seeing that, but gone are the days.

If it gets really late, I may break out Season One of The Gilmore Girls.

Picture tomorrow.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Traveller

That's me, this past few days.

I went to Blacksburg to see The Daughter. One of those Mom things-- had this aching to see my child, so drove 4-1/2 hours, did some of her laundry, had dinner with her, went to sleep, got up, had lunch with her and drove back. That was the best part.

The second best part was actually being able to visit the LYS down there-- Mosaic. It's not Knit Happens, but it's a very nice shop with a very respectable yarn line, and since it's 4-1/2 hours away, will serve to provide me with a source of fiber should I need to start something new while I'm down there.

I got back in time to spend a few minutes with Wendy in honor of her book. And then off to Prince William Park to spend the weekend being The Nurse for our local Girl Scout encampment.

I really enjoy camping, but as I "mature," I also really appreciate the opportunity to glean the benefits of the great outdoors without the responsibility for keeping groups of little girls in line. I was a troop leader for the entire time The Daughter was a girl in the program. Now I can go, lead songs, take care of cuts, scrapes and bruises, make sure the coffee's made for everyone in the morning, knit when I'm not otherwise occupied, and leave when I've done everything I need to do. This is the life.

I wanted to post a picture of me reading Wendy Knits in my sleeping bag, which I did, reading by flashlight. But another benefit is that I get to sleep by myself in the dining hall (no chatty little people). I had only a squirrel to join me-- but that's another story.

And he didn't know how to use the camera

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Mini Progress Report

...for mini progress. The sweater pieces blocked nicely.

I was able to hit Late Night where Niki, Nikki Carolina, Holly and Aimee were holding down the fort.

I connected the shoulders to the back, and after a false start, spent the ENTIRE TIME picking up stitches around what will be the never-ending collar. Now mind you, having said that, my dearest wish is that it'll be done in no time, and I'll feel like a fool for even having trepidated about it. Ya think?

To paraphrase Wendy's words: Fat chance, cupcake.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

It's Launching Day!!!

...For Wendy-From-The-Blog's long-awaited Wendy Knits. I was able to see an advance copy, and I gotta say it's all it's cracked up to be. The models, by the way, are absolutely gorgeous. If you want to know more, go here. (Or get yourself a copy. That's what I'm doing today.)

What else am I doing today? Well, this morning I did this:

The Blogger finally woke up, so I could load the pictures.

Blocking always amazes me (I'm easily amazed). I started out with these tubes of knitting. It was the curliest thing I've seen in the recent past. Then it turns into an amorphous blob of soggy cashmarino, then takes on a bit of character as the water is teased out, and then you can actually see what you've got. (Hey, Ann- the sleeves are both the same length. Hurrah!) The only thing that's more amazing to me is when I get that final end woven in.

I'm one of those people who knits a lot (not as much as SOME people we know) but I'm not that great at finishing. I'll have pieces of things all done and sitting around, but unless it needs to be somewhere, I just don't feel the pressure to do much with it. ADD. Priceless. And expensive.

And what else today??? Continuing the weed-out process in the closet, doing laundry and cleaning the bedroom. AmVets is coming May 1, and I'll have a boatload of stuff for them.

Then, this evening I hope that the sweater will be dry, so that I can pick up stitches for what I know will be the never-ending-collar. Maeve is "not" knitting this right now, since we all know she's studying, and I'm looking forward to her take on the collar. But she's a bit more prolific in the production arena than I, so she may not be viewing it with the same trepidation.

Tomorrow? Doin' my part for Truth, Justice, and the American Way. And if there's a lot of sitting-around-time, working on the never-ending-collar. (Nice attitude, huh? I haven't even started it yet.) Then, depending on the needs of the Justice System, I'll either go to The Shop and be Irregular, or if I'm released from duty early enough, head south to see The Daughter at The Place. If I don't get out early, I'll head down on Thursday, but she has more time available on Wednesday night.

Not much can convince me to miss Late Night, but I haven't seen The Daughter for a long while, and I won't have a chance again until the end of May.

After The Bermuda Cruise!!!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Progress Report

Second sleeve redone. May block tonight, energy permitting. Then to the collar thing.

That is all.

Friday, April 14, 2006

...And I forgot My Camera

...on Wednesday, when Kay and Ann came to Knit Happens to tout their most wonderful book Mason-Dixon Knitting (with a subtitle that I can't possibly recapture without looking at it.)

But some of my Irregular buddies had theirs, so go visit Wendy orMaeve to see pictures. There was quite a nice crowd there. Kristine had her buddy Jacinta from England. We'd heard about her, and were thrilled to be able to finally meet her. (If you see Kristine, ask her how the Jirbil is doing.)

Erin, Ann, Niki, Jasmine, Aimee,of course Holly and Carolina were there-- and my brain is a bit too fried to remember everyone else.

I proceeded with the second sleeve of the bolero sweater, and was thrilled when I reached the end-- In my mind, finishing a second sleeve basically equates to a FO, except for the rather massive job of doing the pick-up collar. And then I noticed. It didn't match the other sleeve. It was about 6 rows off. I knew that I counted this one properly, so I must have goofed on the other one, but this was the one that was closest in my memory, so with Ann's encouragement, I ripped back to the decreases. And it wasn't as painful as it could have been. I'm still not finished with it (again), but maybe tonight. (there's a lot of stuff on the DVR). Now THIS is the reason that I usually knit both sleeves at the same time.

Live and re-Learn.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

What a Beautiful Day!

And as it turns out, I was SUPPOSED to be spending it sitting in jury duty. Why, you might ask, am I not there? Because my number wasn't listed on the website when I dutifully checked last evening, as I was directed to do by the official summons I received. This is cut and pasted from the website:
This information was last updated on: 4/10/2006
Groups to Report: 200-202 AND 221-228
Summons Color: Yellow
Date to Report: Tuesday, April 11th
Date to Check Back (after 5:00 p.m.):
Service Status: Completed after Tuesday, April 11th

I was group 220. Do you see group 220 included above? Neither do I.

So I was sitting here, minding my own business, and trying to gather the info to finalize our taxes, when the phone rang.
"Are you aware that you were scheduled for jury duty today?" the voice at the other end said.
"I checked the website, and my group number wasn't listed."
"It was a mistake," she said. "The phone line had the correct information."
"I was supposed to check BOTH?"
"No, but you have to reschedule."

Great. I cleared today so I'd be available, and now I've got another messed-up day. Oh well. I'll look at this as a gift. Maybe it'll rain on my rescheduled day.

It really is beautiful out. See?

I might just take my knitting and sit on the porch.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Another Busy Week

.. and a rather boring blog.

I was summoned to Jury Duty, and my group was not called on Tuesday, for which I was a bit grateful. I did loads and loads of laundry, and made a minor bit of progress on the house.

I went to Norfolk for a speaking engagement on Wednesday and Thursday, and then did a full shift on Friday. Today was taken up by the Girl Scout Annual Meeting. One of my dear friends was given a really terrific award, and it was great. The bonus was that I got over half of the second sleeve completed on the Debbie Bliss Bolero sweater. The end of the tunnel might be in sight.

I am really tuckered out, though. I work 12-hr shifts tomorrow and Monday, and then am in the jury pool again this week. It's going to be another sturdy week for The Nurse.

But we're going to Winchester for Easter. We'll probably take in the Saturday Easter Vigil and big Easter service on Sunday, because The Son will be singing with the choir out there. The Daughter can't get away, and we'll miss her, but it'll be a nice break.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Home Again (There), Home Again (Here)...

But it's never easy. Not easy to leave The Parents, whose love and total acceptance have sustained me for my whole life through ups and downs, and decisions that at times I'm sure they thought were not so great.
And it was not easy getting home here, out of the airport! We left Chicago early, and made it to the nation's capital in record time. Great, I thought. I'll be home before 10:15, and be in bed by 11. Nice thought... until someone's hanging bag got caught in the belt on the baggage carousel. What a mess!!!

Hangars and clothes inextricably tangled and wedged in the little spaces. And the baggage from our flight was all staged under that carousel. So they had to move it to the other one. The Husband was doing laps around the airport-- as were the friends and relations of all the other people on the flight-- while it took AN HOUR for us to get our luggage. Did I mention that for short trips I only take a roll-aboard or small duffel and don't usually "do" luggage? Well this time my parents lent us 2 large suitcases to use for an upcoming big trip, so I brought them back with me. Wouldn'tcha know???

It was so wonderful to be with The Parents. Mom's doing well, and is in remarkable spirits. Dad is such a host all the time... "More coffee??? Can I get you anything???" He thrives on it.

I gave Mom the hats-- here's the Celtic Cap being blocked.

The bad part of the visit was that I came down with probable food poisoning on Saturday (most likely from some turkey I'd bought the day before and put in a salad). It was pretty awful. And I was afraid at first that I had some kind of virus, and that I'd exposed Mom. I was especially distressed, because we'd ordered Famous Dave's and a bunch of my brothers and sisters and their kids were coming over. I didn't leave the bed except for some rather violent activity. My ribs are still sore. (#1 brother was so sweet. He knocked on the door and brought me a 7-Up mid-hurl). On Sunday, after we analyzed the symptoms and my rather rapid response to pepto, we decided that food was the most likely culprit. Everyone came back for brunch, so I got to see them, although we didn't do any embracing, "just in case."

I was able to get some knitting done, and have made some respectable progress on this. I didn't bring enough yarn along, so had to stop short of the end of the first sleeve.

And Mom gave me these:

Aren't they cute? Hats ranging from teeny to small for the babies at our hospital. Mom loves to knit, and she whips these out like crazy.

On Monday The Parents and I took a walk along the river in our town, and it brought back so many memories... And one thing that I hadn't seen before was a memorial to a man from our town who was killed in the attack on the Pentagon. It brought back all the emotion and memory... but I didn't cry, which surprised me. I wonder if there are callouses on my soul-- or if I'm finally doing a better job of coping.

And now I'm back home (here), to The Loving Husband, and my friends The Irregulars, and-- tomorrow-- to work.