Thursday, May 31, 2007

Prom night tomorrow. My d3 is not one for dressing up and wearing makeup. I made her a beautiful dress last year for a different dance and she is wearing it again. She looks so lovely in it and it's not uncomfortable, the cardinal sin of clothing.

I am starting to think of these waving laces socks as the socks from hell. Because they didn't fit, I ripped them out and started over with larger needles and it looks like these will fit. However, after doing several rows on the train on the way home (the pattern is easy enough to do on the train) I realized I am missing 2 stitches. I can't find them and now will have to rip out enough rows to find them again. I guess they just wandered off. I do like how the socks look and I hope my daughter appreciates this. She said she would wear them even if it's 90 degrees by the time I get done. She is a good kid.

Our pool is clean but the water is cold!!!! Because we just finished filling it, it hasn't had time to warm up. It is not hot enough for me to jump into the icy water. It seems odd to read blogs from folks in the southern hemisphere who are wearing sweaters and being cold. It is finally summer here and we are dealing with the heat. photos will follow when the mosquito population is low enough so I can get out there without being the main course at a banquet.

After reading someone else's musings about who reads (or doesn't read) her blog, I got to thinking why I write the blog at all. I have no idea if anyone is reading and I guess I would like to think that someone is, somewhere but I write for me because I want to connect with the world. I read other blogs because I like to know what other folks are doing. Does that make me nosey? Maybe. But I learn from others and I like to think that I can always learn something new.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Back to work today. I hate the fact that I kept thinking it was Monday and it threw me off all day. I have a group tomorrow and fortunately, I have the morning to prepare for it. We often fly by the seat of our pants in community mental health.

I had to rip out the waving lace sock after I had already turned the heel and was working on the foot. My daughter asked to try it on and it didn't fit! We started to look at the sizes of the feet in the patterns and it seems we have very large feet (who knew?). Daughter2 has long feet but they are very thin and the socks were too tight. The pattern looks beautiful stretched out but there was no way she would be able to wear them. I am starting over (argh) with larger needles in the hopes of making them big enough. I won't do so much this time before I have her try them on. The socks I made for my other two girls fit just fine.

Daughter3 has started her own socks. She bought some beautiful yellow/green/blue yarn from tofutsies and is working on the leg. I am so proud.
donna lee

Sunday, May 27, 2007

I am knitting away on daughter2's socks and the waving lace pattern is really pretty. Although I think the lacy bits would show better in plain yarn. Here's a photo of what they look like

Today is smack dab in the middle of Memorial Day weekend. I am trying to keep thoughts of soldiers, sailors, marines, national guardsmen(women) and others who have given (or had taken from them) their lives for our "freedom". I am not sure how fighting "insurgents" in Iraq is protecting my freedom but I respect the men and women who are doing it at great personal cost. On another political front (I guess national patriotic holidays bring out the politica in me) I was disconcerted to realize my country would not necessarily take me in if I were an potential imigrant. I am too old and while I am good at my job, I don't have what they would consider marketable skills.

My wonderful husband is outside "mucking out" our pool. Of course, the weather is hot and as humid as possible. I am so lucky. All I have to do is help when needed. I hate getting in to clean it out but I love coming home on a hot day and jumping in.

I hope everyone is having a peaceful Memorial Day. Remember someone in your thoughts today and send some good karma to our military.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I have been following with interest the steeked jacket kal and am in awe of the needlework. I have never tried anything that complicated and I am envious. I guess I will have to teach myself (using Julie's great instructions) to try something like that. I have been looking for a knitting group in south jersey but they do not seem to exist. It would be nice to have others to talk to when I have problems or want to learn a new technique. Learning from books and online is ok but doesn't beat having a human teacher.
I came home early today, some stomach bug. At first I thought it was from all the mucus from my allergies but I feel shaky and have chills/warm spells. I am thinking virus. Ewww.
Because I didn't read the instructions for my daughter's sock, we are starting over with a new pattern. Four needles holding stitches. I thought 3 was a lot to get started but balancing 4 seems much more difficult. (I know it's only one more but still....)

Monday, May 21, 2007

by the way, that beautiful young woman is my youngest daughter (and boyfriend) onher way to the ROTC change of command ball.
I am still waiting for my wool from angel yarns. It' s been almost 2 weeks but I guess that's not too bad since it has to cross the ocean and all. I am working on daughter2's socks and I am afraid that I will not have enough yarn. I didn't check the pattern real well when she chose it and didn't notice the amount of yarn it required. I am trying to stretch it out and hopefully it will all work out. It is sock of the month club yarn and I am not sure I can get any more. I am going to try to email the company and see if there are any leftovers....
Work was tough today. Not much to do until the new doctor comes in and she doesn't start until July. People won't start calling me much until they start to run out of medication. Then things will get hairy.

Friday, May 18, 2007

I have never posted from work before but I am sitting here waiting for a decent time to go home. I don't really have much work that is due (there's always something I could be doing) today and I have been reading blogs (knitting and otherwise) for a while. It inspired me to write. I really enjoy reading what other people are doing and often through the blogs find patterns or sites that I find something amazing and new I didn't know before. I am learning all the time and this process becomes more interesting as time goes by.

The socks for my daughter2 are taking forever because I keep finding what look like flaws (hard to tell because the photo is not very clear) and I keep ripping it and starting over. I am determined to finish one all the way through and then decide if I like it. I also have a complicated twisted stitch, cable knit sleeve on the needles and while the weather stays cool I feel like working on that. Only two needles will feel strange after so many socks.

I am waiting for my wool to arrive from Angel Yarns. I am excited although the yarn I ordered with the thought of hiking socks for my husband is not what the pattern calls for and I guess I will just have to (sigh) buy some more.

This will be a good knitting weekend, cloudy and cool with rain. I'm glad we didn't plan on any camping.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Well, the pollen is back and despite my daughter's diligent dusting, the furniture is yellow. I guess we could keep the windows closed but that is not to be contemplated.

So far, i am up to 10 tries to get the sock pattern completed. I finished the cuff and it looks great but I have started the body and I am not so sure anymore. I guess I will give it some more rows before i decide to chuck it in the trash.

I am starting a new group at work tomorrow, Interpersonal Relations. I am looking forward to helping my clients learn some new skills and hopefully they will have smoother relationships as a result.

My youngest child is graduating high school this year and for some reason that makes me sad. It is a major phase of my life gone. What will I do in Sept when there are no emergency forms to fill out? I will be the mother of three adults and that is a daunting prospect. I am proud of my girls and am in awe of the wonderous women they have become. They are smart and funny and are really good people. Plus, they are darn cute.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Heavy rains last night washed all of the humidity and pollen out of the air (and off the cars and windows) and this morning is cool and bright and beautiful. After checking in with all my favorite sites I did some online shopping for sock yarn (doesn't count, right?). Angel Yarns is having a sale on trekking xxl. I just finished a pair of socks using it and it is wonderful to work with. I got three balls (100 grams ea) plus shipping for 17 dollars. What a deal. One nice manly color for a pair of hiking socks for my husband for Christmas.

In other sock news, I started a pair from the Interweave Knits sock collection. It called for 2 circulars but I prefer dpn so I converted it and it seems to be working ok. It took a few tries because the design is charted and I am a verbal person. Charts give me a headache. It made me wonder, how many times does it take before I decide to give up and try another pattern? It's at least 6 at this point....

My husband is downstairs making brunch. No cooking or cleaning for this lucky woman today.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Happy Mother's Day Weekend! My lovely husband thought that one day was not enough so I get a whole weekend. I did do the grocery shopping today but since I do most of the cooking that makes sense.

The socks are done!! And they look so beautiful. They are browns and greens and subtle orange and blue bits with a faint stripey pattern. I knit them in crusoe and they came out great. Now I am casting on a pair of lacey socks for my middle daughter. The pattern calls for two circular needles but I want to try it on dpns instead. Yea! I love starting new projects. There is a feeling of joy.

I am watching the "helicopters" fall off the maple trees outside my window. I just love it when a breeze comes up and hundreds of little brown seeds fly away. It is so cool.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Well, my girls were reading my blog, although I am not sure why since I live in the same house and they could just as easily talk to me, and they wondered why I called them 'nominally catholic'.
I was brought up with a hodge podge of religion, all christian of one sort or another. I attended church and sang in the choir, went to vacation bible school, the whole bit. My parents were not religious and my friend's mother used to take us to church with them. As I grew up and started to ask questions and form my own opinions, we never talked about religion. I was determined that my children would be able to make their own decisions and we would talk about religious/spritual things. We have. All three girls were christened in the catholic church and made their 1st communion because my husband wished it. As they grew and asked questions, I would try to answer them as carefully and honestly as I could. I encouraged them to read and think for themselves and make up their own minds. I have three of the most independent minded young women you would ever want to meet. I am not sure exactly what they think about religion but I know they are thinking about their world.
I believe there is a greater good and we are all part of it. I believe that what you think on grows and if we all focused some part of our mental energy every day on positive thoughts that the world would be a better place. I believe in being honest and true to yourself and helping others who are in need. I believe in being good to yourself and treating everyone, including yourself, with respect. I believe in doing your best every day and laughter, lots of laughter.
The socks continue to inch along. This nice weather encourages me to get outside and sit and knit. What a great way to spend an afternoon.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Today I went to a luncheon to see the Community Supports Awards. They are given out each year to individuals in the community who support those with serious mental illness on their road to recovery. I have never been to their meetings but was asked to attend by my supervisor. It was interesting but only had a box lunch so I ate at home. The really interesting thing was that a person I know from many trainings told me about a job opening and said I may be interested. I have to look it up but it sounds intriguing. They are starting a new program and it sounds like everything I believe in. The hard part is that I have been in the same agency for almost 13 years and it's so hard to contemplate leaving.

I found a flaw in the sock and now I am contemplating ripping it because I know it will bother me. No one will ever see it but me but I WILL KNOW and will probably point it out to everyone.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

It is so absolutely beautiful right now. I think spring has finally decided to stay. I am in heaven and loving it despite my raging allergies (including bee stings). We love to camp and are trying to decide when and where we want to go. It gets increasingly difficult with three almost grown children. Everyone has their own schedule. I guess it might be just the two of us. Boy will that be a hardship.....

Work today went by quickly. And tomorrow I am scheduled to attend an awards luncheon to celebrate the new Peer Specialist program in Philadelphia. As long as I can find my way there and back, I am looking forward to going.

I put a wonderful pork roast in the oven and now to cook some pierogies and some veggies. It smells good!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Monday, Monday, la, la,la la la la. Mondays are usually busy for me but for the next couple of weeks, they are slightly less so. I only have one medication clinic instead of two because one of my favorite doctors left. I get to help the folks who need help (everyone in this clinic is developmentally delayed) get what they want/need and beg another doctor to help me with a prescription or two. Sometimes I really hate to ask but the folks who need the meds are so grateful. I can't wait until they give me another doctor.

It is evaluation time at work. I usually get a good one but every year I have to sweat the absences. They only give us so many days off before they start counting against you and the past couple of years, I have been having some health problems that I had to take some significant time off for. Fortunately, my supervisor is willing to work with me to minimize the damage to my overall rating. We work in a healthcare environment for goodness sakes. You think the admin. would be more understanding.

I am moving along with my socks for my co worker. I have to keeping ripping parts out because I see flaws. I knew I was being cocky when the first one knitted up too easily.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Well, one of the season changing jobs that I dislike is finally done. We put away the winter sweaters and I washed (and ironed) all of the cotton summer clothes. Thankfully, although the sun is warm today, the breeze is cool so the ironing was not so bad. I hate to iron. I always think that the ironed clothes should be allowed to hang in the closet for a while before someone wears them. Since my husband wears dress shirts every day to work, I always have some ironing on the weekends.

But now the work is done. Dinner is in the crock pot and the breadmaker is making some delicious smelling herb bread. Now I have some time I can pick up the needles and knit. That is the best part of the day. It's quiet time when I can listen to my book on tape or just listen to my thoughts in the silence.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Friday! One of my favorite things to do is to come home and read my favorite blogs. It feels like I am catching up with people I know, even though we have never met and live a world away.

I spent all morning making phone calls to confirm appointments and writing treatment plans for my clients. There is something wrong with a system that requires a "treatment plan" for mental illness when other disciplines do not have them. It is so artificial. Most of the time when I ask my clients to go over them, they are not interested. They just sign. Very frustrating.

I am trying to figure out how to add images. I have to figure out how to download them from my camera. It can't be too difficult, kids do it all the time.

The trees outside my window are in full leaf and beautiful. There are some birds out there having a karaoke session. Fortunately the cats seem not to hear them. It looks like a lovely weekend. Maybe a drive through the woods and a picnic are in order.

Have a good one!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Yeah!!!! Sock number one is done. I finished it today during a staff meeting. My coworkers were impressed. I really like how well it came out. I started #2 already so I should be able to get it done by June 2nd. That's when the intended recipient is having a party and I would like to give them to her then.

Today I made efforts to try to change my speech patterns. I usually try to be sensitive to everyone's feelings and watch not just what I say but how I say it. For instance, people are not schizophrenics, they have schizophrenia. It is so easy to fall into the label trap and I am trying not to. I had a discussion with a coworker about a research study we are taking part in (not quite voluntarily). It has to do with aids and health. I am all for education and often give my clients information or help them find what they need but I don't like this intervention and now I have to be observed as I present my information. I guess I think we are aiming at the wrong population...

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

This morning I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Dan Gottlieb in person. He is a local radio personality, a psychologist who does a show called Voices in the Family and I really love listening to him. He is so gentle and kind to people. He reminds us that we need to be good to each other and to ourselves. Dr. Dan is in a wheelchair and has quadraplegia after a car accident over 25 years ago and has written a wonderful book called Letters to Sam, a series of letters written to his grandson who has autism. It is an intimate look at his love for his grandson and his daughters. I hung on his every word. He was funny and serious and very kind. If I ever need a therapist, I want Dr. Dan.

My sock for my departed coworker is knitting up faster than I expected. The dark colors of yarn I have chosen are her favorites and it is really pretty. My yarn of the month (from castleman yarns) came today and it is beautiful. Purple, blue red all mingled together. I am already looking forward to finding a perfect pattern (and my 17 year old daughter who already owns a pair of hand made socks already has called "dibs" on it).

Happy Sunday!  I am sitting here working on my sweater made with the cashmere yarn my husband gave me for my birthday last year. I’m further...