I love making this particular shawl - it's called Girasole and the pattern is from one of Jared Floods. But the border is a killer - when you get to the end you just want to cycle around once or twice, bind off and be done with it. This border actually goes across and is grafted on with live stitches so each stitch - all six hundred and eighty of them - have six stitches back and forth. Do the math - it's enough to make even the strongest of us weep. But I knit through countless episodes of Archer and South Park and finished up this afternoon. I went in search of my blocking pins while soaking the shawl for blocking - I finally found them and while juggling the shawl and pin box while trying to get the door to the cellar open Reuben gave me a bump and sent the pins flying. Sigh. Blocking pins are like jacked up straight pins, they're longer, thinner and sharper, a bit more evil I suppose. I made sure I got them all collected up and down the cellar I went, my posse dorking around behind me. I've blocked out the last couple of shawls downstairs since Adam occupies the guest room - we have a nice futon that's perfect when I lay it flat and there's the added bonus of the dogs being shut out thereby cutting out any potential hi jinks. Blocking is a bit tedious of course, you pull one side tight and the other side pops off, you pull that the the first side takes it's turn to pop. It's an Arrgh fest at times. But I finally got it stretched out and it will be dry in a day or two. My next project is socks! and I'm going to attempt the magic loop method for the first time. I'll let you know. In other news Easter went well. I had chocolate bunny ears for breakfast and chased it down with Peeps. We went out to dinner at the Boston Beanery - Adam came too so that was fun to have another person with us. I had a mango Margarita which is sort of like liquid Peeps with a tequila chaser. Whoo Hoo one might say. It's back to work tomorrow, that's the problem with a holiday on Sunday, it seems like the weekend just flew by.
On Thursday I had my first official "solo" day at work - did not go as I had envisioned it. Yes, I have a few years under my belt as a visit nurse, I have infusion experience and am pretty proficient with wound care. But I've been out of the field for over 3 years and throw in an unfamiliar computer program we have issues. We'd discussed my having 3 - or 4 - simple visits in town. Try 6, two of which were lab draws (two trips to the lab on top of the visits) and one of the patients was a 60 mile round trip. AND I didn't get my supplies until that morning so it was after 10 when I hauled ass out of there. The day went as expected with my heart in my throat and my foot pressed firmly on the gas pedal, at one point I was flying down Grafton road at 80 mph while pecking helplessly at my tablet trying to get out of a visit with a truck crawling up my tailpipe. Yes I am poster child for wearing your seat belts, thank you for asking. But I made it through, everyone got seen and I was home before cows. First days always suck no matter what you do, you just have to tough it out. The next day I had 7 visits but two were no-gos, the other five really were in town and I was better organized. By the second patient I was happily packing a wound and discussing various types of polka music, I actually got to eat (some) of my lunch which I did in the parking lot of the yarn shop which was on the way to the last patient.Multi tasking one might say. I know it will be picking up as I go along but I have handle(I hope) on the computer I'm using and will be better able to plot out my patients. As you can see from the picture the shawl is really moving along, the border is about 2/3's done but it's slow going. The border is knit back and forth so each stitch on the edge actually has 6 stitches up and down. There are 7 sections of 32 stitches times 6, you can see why it's taking so long. I'm still working on my garden, if the weather continues in the 50's I'm going to start planting next week, I have my peat pots upstairs and one of them is sprouting. The bad thing of course is I didn't mark what's in them so it's a surprise as usual. Tomorrow we're not doing much, I bought some candy and we'll be going out for Easter. Not much else. I'm hoping it warms up soon - there's still some snow left to melt but according to the news tomorrow is the one of the last cold days predicted before we warm up for spring - I certainly hope so!
I'm going back on the road tomorrow, I will be doing a few visits on my own - and I'm actually excited about it. I have my android plugged in (the agency I'm with is paperless), I'll be getting my equipment tomorrow morning including an Inratio INR machine, a pulse ox and a lot of other stuff. I've been having fun with my co-workers and we had a pre- Easter breakfast this morning. This is going well so far. In weather news the snow melted pretty much but the flakes continue to fall her and there. The temps are supposed to stay in the 40's and then up to the 50's this weekend. I think we'll be going out to a restaurant for Easter, it's not a big to-do around here. A few peeps, a chocolate bunny and I'm ready to call it a day. I got my seedlings started and they're not doing too much , I water and peek but that's all the activity for now. I continue to make rows in my garden - about one a day so by the time I get ready to plant it will be ready. Molly and Reuben are enjoying the gardening, snorting and huffing down the rows. They saw their friend Black Jack this afternoon and spent about an hour racing around the yard and hanging out with him. Jim said he was trying to get Blackjack to stop pooping in our yard but I assured him that was not an issue since I'm pretty sure the hooligans have performed the Return Poops in an orderly fashion. I enjoy seeing them playing with their neighbor dog, they're all pretty cute. My shawl is about half a border away from being done. No, I have no idea what I'll be doing with it. Absolutely none. It's actually a very pretty silver color which is an unusual color. I've been reading up on the magic loop technique for my next pair of socks - I have a pattern in mind which is nice but not over complicated. One thing at at time!
Well, it has gotten a tiny bit warmer and it stopped stinkin' snowing so I guess we have that. The news channel now has a new thing that they name winter storms, the last one I believe was "Virgil" - are you kidding?? I am naming the next one, it will be known as Shut The Hell Up, feel free to pass that along. I am currently and quite optimistically working on my garden. Today we went shopping in Clarksburg and David doesn't even ask, he just sighs and pulls into the parking lot of the yarn shop. Since my next endeavor will be two at a time socks I bought two size 2 cable needles - one was a 40 inch Sock Rocket from Addi. I hadn't even considered the magic loop technique but if I bought the 40 inch along with the 24 I would at least have that option. I digress. I bought some Jiffy peat pots, seeds and potting soil at Home Depot, this year I'm starting some of the plants from seedlings this year in an effort to grow more than zucchini, sunflowers and watermelons this year. I covered the shelf under the window in the knitting room - it's actually the half table I fell off of a few months ago and pancaked on and just for the record I have stayed off of it. I still have a scar on my shin from that fall, but since I didn't have a broken leg I am grateful for that little souvenir. I digress again. So the half table is full of seedlings, Molly and Reuben assisted by seeing if potting soil was tasty or not and darting up and down the stairs when they tired of that. After that we went outside since it's not too too cold and the sun is out - Reuben was being a Super Hooligan - he was so bad! He ran all over every one's back yard chasing birds and not listening. I did manage to get one more row pulled with my hoe but they're not straight by any means since I have to try and keep an eye on the dogs while I do it. Molly is better than Reuben behavior wise, she does wander but comes back much better. I finished as much as I desired and we headed for the house - Reuben took off and ran in the road, oh I could have bonked him. I took off after him with Molly on my heels and of course when I ran into the road so did she. Why the hell shouldn't she, after all me and Reuben were rambling around the street she might as well, I got everyone corralled and back in the house but David is going to have put up a section of fence to block that end off. Like I've said before we don't have a lot of cars come down this road, but because it's a straight away they tend to zoom down it. I am continuing on my shawl - I'm not even a quarter of the way done with the border, sigh sigh sigh. Like the winter, it will never end.
I'm a bit of a crabby pants tonight - it SNOWED yesterday, still cold today, traffic on the way home, Reuben peed when I got home - but nothing major and I've recovered nicely. Work is going very well, I feel much better than I have in a long time. Much less stressed and I've been out a couple of times with my co-workers. This agency has a long orientation (6 weeks!) but I think I'll be off long before then. David and I celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary after consulting with various people. We've been married so long neither of us could remember how many years it's been so we have to go to our go-to girl Kim who got married the year before I did. She did the math so we were able to accurately wish each other a happy anniversary. I continue to work on my shawl, I'm working on the border now, the longest stretch I might add. I was worried I would run out of yarn but I'm pretty sure I have more than enough to make it to the end. Not much else going on. I'll post more tomorrow.
I stumbled across an ad for the annual Knit and Crochet Festival, after a little goggling I was delighted to find I was available, my friend was available and it was only 70 miles from here. I picked Tammy up at 8:30 on Saturday - I had thought maybe later in the afternoon but was glad I reconsidered that. We arrived about 9:45 and after circling the front parking lot which was hopeless I might add - there were cars parked along the road bumper to bumper - we found two spots in the back at the very end of the parking lot behind the storage pods. And that was before ten! The woman walking ahead of us was very chatty, she'd been before and wanted to know if we'd signed up for classes. No we didn't - since it was the first time I'd attended I hadn't been sure. The registration was $25 to get in - but that included all the vendors, the trunk show and a free magazine from Knitters. It was worth it just for the vendors - they came from all over the country - Michigan, Colorado, etc - and we saw all types of yarns,patterns, you name it, we saw it. I bought alpaca lace weight, some lace weight silk, a sock book, a new bag, doodads and other Sundry Items. Don't you love Sundry Items? I myself had a plethora of them, there's even a drawerful in the entertainment system. Anyhoo - we went to the trunk show too. I've never been to one but it was speakers with their products, the woman from Strick was very funny and engaging, my favorite type of speaker that gives information but has you laughing most of the time, The other one from Nazareth was not that much fun. She was from a factory and even though I love the yarn, listening to the construction of it is a bit of a snooze. Some woman raised her hand and asked if they used a "J wind or a Z" - REALLY?? Put your hand down! Now there would be a coma-inducing conversation had it managed to survive past a few sentences. We left around 2:30 after having seen everything a few times, I really had to go around a couple of times to see what I really wanted to buy and what there was to buy that I couldn't get locally. Not much in the way of real bargains but Tammy got a pair of knitting needles to for two dollars and I got two skeins of silk lace weight for $16 apiece so I was happy. We stopped by a display of giant knitting needles, they had them set up that you could knit a row with them. They were size 52!! and went up to 60 I think, you had to knit 6 strands of yarn at once so you wouldn't end up with giant holes. I did the whole row but that was enough for me. I can see it would go super fast but it just wasn't for me. The yarn ranged in price - we saw a display of skeins that were $79 a pop - unless it was made from the manes of unicorns collected on the first day of Summer by small fairies I cannot see spending that much for any yarn. We left after two and it was seriously cranking by then, getting to the point of overwhelming. People were pouring in by then and it runs through to today. If I go next year I think I'd like to sign up for some classes, this year was more of a trial run. I was tired but happy when I got home, Tammy and I chatted all the way up and all the way back, that makes the drive much faster. I had to go straight home since David was working and the dogs needed out. Adam had just gotten home after spending a few days in Pittsburgh, but he was in the non yarn district I think! I slept well last night til about 3 am. The zoo had barnstormed the babygate sometime during the night and I woke up pinned between Molly and Reuben with Vincent on my head. And I wonder why I can't sleep well...............
We got our first offer on the house - we'll see, we'll see. Adam finally got his government stipend to go to college so he's breathing a little easier these days - good things come to those that wait. And if you're dealing with the government, you will certainly wait. I am 8 rows and a border away from being done with my shawl I'm making - that really didn't take that long, did it? David is still working and has a couple more jobs lined up. Jackson and Brandi are doing well. I started my new job today! - and it went very well. I like everyone in the office - though I'll be out on the road soon so it's not a permanent thing - but everyone has been very nice. At noon they all eat lunch together in the middle of the office and they break for about 10 minutes later in the day for coffee. It's really very pleasant. Seeing Tammy again has been great, I missed her and it is fun to see her, she's happy and has a wonderful group to work with. I'm looking forward to being a visit nurse again - and I get an Inratio of my very own! I also get my own tablet as they're completely paperless - I'm a little nervous but will get over it as soon as I get back on the road. Molly continues to do well and has gotten comfortable enough to misbehave! She sulks if you raise your voice - it's really quite cute. David has shot over her a few times and she is very gun shy. He'd like to get her past that, otherwise she'll be left home during hunting season but if she can't she will be my walking buddy. She's very funny about the bed, they're both up there when we get up in the morning while we drink coffee and watch TV. Rueben flops down on the end but Molly snuggles between us, head under the pillow and snoring greatly. She stays in bed even after everyone has gotten up and you've got to stand at the bottom of the stairs and call her to get her to come out. I have taken up residence on the couch, where ever I sit Molly sits. She has to have some part of her leaning, laying touching me. Whatever - I wanted a dog to love and play with - as David would say, I asked for it!
I figured since it was Sunday this would be an appropriate subject. I have Huffington Post on my news feed and this morning's article was about "Christians" taking the lord's name in vain by making statements as to how Jesus and god felt about current topics. I've tangled with more than one christian on face book and as far as I can tell if god and Jesus did exist they would pretty much hate everyone. According to his followers they hates gay people, do not feel a woman has any rights to her body or her life for that matter. Has no problems killing children but will send a woman (but not a man advocating ) to hell for having an abortion. That a rapist can be forgiven and go to heaven but a woman that has an abortion will go straight to hell - do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars. That a priest can spend his career raping and destroying the people he was supposed to protect and lead, yet all he has to do is be truly sorry in his heart and the slate is wiped clean - repeat as needed. There is no respect for any other religion and according to christian dogma Gandhi, Buddha and Keanu Reeves will all be doing bench time in the fiery depths. That birth control is not allowed even if it means allowing a family to live above the poverty line and survive. I followed a thread by a young woman asking for help as she was pregnant again and the father was not assisting. Everyone was sending her prayers and advising her against having an abortion - not once did anyone suggest getting a lawyer and making sure the father took responsibility. Am I wrong here to be a bit flabbergasted? That this god just seems to be an angry deity - that the "rules" seem to be directed more at women than men? And the rules themselves - it seems like they WANT to send everyone to hell. Any christian I've ever debated with loves to swing that one at me, the second I disagree I'm designated to the hand basket, ready for my descent to join my sinning brethren. I have to say I enjoy being a non christian, my religious beliefs are a mix I suppose, but I like to believe that the things I do, the mistakes that I make and try to correct will lead me on a better path.
Jackson's new wife Brandi works for a cruise line - Flagship Cruises -and they do cruises around San Diego Harbor. She saved up her tickets and took us all on a cruise. It was so fun - it's a two hour cruise around the harbor and you see the navy yard, seals, and the shoreline while you eat at a buffet. We were so touched that Brandi thought of us and it was one of the highlights of my trip. They had live music and her boss must be quite fond of her as they went out of their way to make sure we all had a good time. After eating we went out to stand on the decks when we went past the seals. They were so cute laying on docks and just hanging out. It was windy of course so we went back in and had dessert. After the cruise we transferred my suitcase to their car, Janet and Diane were taking off for their next hotel as they were staying a couple more days. Brandi and Jackson took me to the mall which was OK - but then we headed to a yarn shop (Squee!!) You know it! I didn't get much but added it to my list of shops I've visited. After that we went to Loma which is a beach community. The houses are not the rich and famous type, they're more little bungalows squeezed together but Brandi assured me they were very expensive. We shopped on the downtown part, it was all sorts of kitschy places, you name it, they have it. My flight was not leaving until 7:45 but I asked them to drop me off, it was getting near 5 and I figured I could have dinner while I waited. Thank goodness I got there early! The guy at the check in out side took one look at my ticket and sent me inside, he said there was some problem with my flight. It turned out to be some sort of either weather or mechanical issue but since I was early they just put me on the 6:15 - I got there about 15 minutes before they started boarding. Whew! I had to hang around San Francisco for an extra hour but it was better than missing my connecting flight. When I got there my phone was starting to die so I started hunting for an outlet which is a popular pastime in airports these days. There were people on the floor along the hall, along walls, outside the bathroom doors where the outlets are for cleaning equipment. I managed to snag a good seat by a column with an open plug, the other one already occupied. There was a bunch of outlets across the way which was taken over by a group of teenagers bent over iPhone and ipads. When we got on the plane it was very light - I had an entire row of seats to myself and after we were all there the flight staff told everyone we could sit where we wanted to. I guess a lot of people missed the flight because of the cancellation. I've never flown an overnight but would do it again, I didn't sleep much. David picked me up and got me home - straight to bed for me for a five hour nap. And that concludes my trip!
The next day Janet, Diane and I took off for the Hollywood hills. As an early birthday present they gave me two tours, a trolley tour which was around town and then the big tour. I saw Mann's Chinese theater and the Dolby where they film the Oscars. I saw the walk of the stars and a lot of people dressed up as various characters. We had lunch at the mall which was fun, I had a goat cheese and black olive spread crepe AND an Orangina. I have never had an Orangina before and it was pretty swanky in case you're wondering. Anyhoo, after lunch it was off to the trolley tour. It was not a real trolley, it was really a bus that looked like one. Whatever. The tour guide was unforgettable - he was the most bitter, disillusioned, sarcastic tour guide I've ever seen. He was so bitter it was distracting - but in a funny way. Apparently everyone in Hollywood is a self indulgent, self absorbed ass that does whatever they want. This was peppered with some of the most nails on a chalkboard imitations I've ever heard - I think one person ventured a question and believe me, it didn't happen twice. We managed to get off the bus with our self esteems intact - it was actually pretty funny it was so inappropriate. The next tour was an open top short bus sort of affair, this tour guide was so into his job it was the polar opposite of the previous guide. Someone asked about the house where Halloween was filmed and it was oh what the hell and off we went in search of it. He took us everywhere, answering questions, helping out with star stalking - we did see Steven Tyler and yes I still love him. Diane cracked everyone up by excitedly shrieking "I see someone! I see someone!". When the driver asked who, she didn't know but was sure he was Somebody. He was not, but he certainly dressed like he was. This guide got tipped tons and it was a fun ride, up and down hills and peeking at all the fancy houses. The houses where real celebrities live are not visible, but I saw the front gates of Christine Aguilar, Ellen DeGeneres among others. When we got back we did a little looking but it was pretty crowded by then so we started heading back. Since it was later in the afternoon the traffic was awful - we crawled and crawled. We stopped at a Spanish restaurant to eat - that was really fun. My Margarita was great - it was coconut and something else, I had refried beans and all sorts of stuff. We finally arrived back to the hotel around 9pm, dragging our butts into the Omni. I was so tired! I think my head hit the pillow and out I went!
Wow - it's been a busy couple of weeks, hasn't it? Where do I start? At the beginning of course. We left off with me going to the interview -went well and I got the job. That is a separate post since we're at the beginning. I left for San Diego on the 28th - the nice thing about an early flight is you get to the destination early, the bad part is having to be at the airport by 5 am. But I was and I did and got there by 11:30 - Janet and Di arrived a couple of minutes later and off we went to the hotel. It was BEAUTIFUL - rooftop pool overlooking the city. Jackson met us at the hotel since Janet and Di had gotten him and Brandi a room for one of their wedding gifts - then he darted off. We hit a bar first - Dick's Last Resort where we had giant mixed drinks consisting of large amounts of alcohol with tiny ingredients waved by the glasses. Jackson and Brandi were still busy so we hit the road and went to Bub's - another bar. Janet and Di both had beers with names they picked off a large menu, I stayed true to my hayseed roots - Bud in a bottle and no sissy lite beer for me. We had Not Good For You Bar Food too and by the time the second round had started the bride and groom arrived. Another drink and off to the Speghetti Factory where they make all sorts of not good for you pasta-related things. I had fried ravioli and I was done. big time. The wedding was at the court house the next day -and it was perfect - perfect weather, perfect tempeture, the day and Brandi could not have been more beautiful. If there are two people that are meant for each other, we got to see them. The ceremony was brief but lovely. We got to meet Brandi's mother Ruth (she looks just like her!), everyone's best friend and then Brandi's mother took us out for lunch. We headed back to the hotel to change and then just saw some sights, then back to the hotel.