Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The plot thickens...

The title of this post doesn't have to do with any particular event, but a bunch of events in general.

The weekend of the 11th was tons of fun.  I drove down to Virginia Beach where we celebrated Trish's 40th birthday with a super fun barbecue.  A bunch of her neighborhood friends came over and I was finally able to put some faces with names.  She recently reconnected with a college friend (and my fellow bridesmaid at Trish's wedding), Joanne, and we were so happy that she was able to come celebrate.  She hadn't changed much, but obviously I had. The last time she saw me, I was 14!!!!  With braces!  My cousin Sharon came with her husband and three kids.  The kids had an absolute blast.  Anne, her oldest, decided she LOVED the hot tub.  We couldn't get her out of it!  Ally liked the pool and the dogs while baby Joseph just liked hanging out with all of us, nibbling on everything he could find.  My Aunt Bev and Uncle Joe were able to come down, which made us all very happy.  Aunt Bev had had a really rough summer, and I think she's starting to feel better mentally.  She's able to get out and drive by herself, which will help her morale, I'm sure.  She even went to Busch Gardens on Sunday (not by herself, but with a few of her grandkids).  Trish seemed to have an absolute blast, but the highlight of the evening was the pinata.  DJ got one in the shape of a "40" and filled it not with candy, but with alcohol bottles.  It was awesome!  Such a great idea.
Before I headed down there, I finished my mom's socks!  They came out beautifully and I can't wait to give them to her.

Last week at work was pretty much status quo, though it was interrupted by a migraine on Tuesday.  Unfortunately, it was the last week for my favorite client, Leslie, as she's moving on to a front office job at USCIS (good part is she's still in DC!).  Her replacement is someone I've worked with since March, but she has become a little bit of a micromanager since taking on the role of team lead.  She's kind of stressing me out, so I'm finding new ways to cope.  Hopefully she'll realize that things will get done without her hovering over everything - and that it has to be done regardless of her being in another meeting.

This weekend was very busy.  On Friday evening, I joined my knitting friends at fibre space to meet and greet Miss Babs, an indy dyer who supplies the shop.  She's so sweet and her color combinations are to dye for!  I got more than a sweater quantity of her worsted weight in a blue colorway named "Regent."  I also got a skein of sock yarn called "Moo & Ewe" - a mix of Milk Fibre and Merino wool.  It's so silky and yummy, they're going to be luxurious socks!!!

On Saturday, I volunteered in a disaster response drill at Reagan National Airport, playing the part of a family member of a plane crash victim.  It was very interesting and I got some good insight into how the Airlines, MWAA and emergency response work together in the wake of a crash.  The best part were the Red Cross therapy dogs.  They were participating in the drill, too.  Stormy and Titus are GORGEOUS golden retrievers there to lend a caring paw.  During the debrief, Titus fell asleep against my leg.

I didn't realize before, but A-Rod is
pulling a Michael Jackson at 3rd base.
Saturday evening was the Yankes v. Orioles game at Camden Yards.  IT was a beautiful evening at a beautiful ballpark.  The Yankees played a good game, winning 11-3 and getting CC Sabathia his 20th win of the season (the first pitcher to do so this season). 

Sunday was the Virginia German Shepherd Rescue.  I decided at the last minute to not go.  I, for once, listened to my body, which told me that I needed sleep and relaxation a whole lot more than I needed to drive to Reston with my crazy dog.  I made the right decision and slept most of the midday.  I was able to make some headway on my Bad Wolf Cowl, a neckwarmer with a pattern based on Doctor Who's TARDIS.  It's a fairly quick project with fingering weight wool.  I bought Shepherds Wool for it, totally forgetting that I had a luxurious skein of alpaca at home in the same color.  Oh well.  MIght just have to make 2 and give the Shepherds Wool one away.

I have been commissioned to make an earflap hat for my neighbor, Nicole.  I found a great pattern and am going to use my favorite - alpaca for it.  I can't wait.  I'll get started on that after I finish the hat and mitts for Stacey.  I'm cruising through those pretty quickly, so Nicole's hat should be ready by the time she gets home from Oktoberfest.

So that's the rundown.  I'll post more about knitting later, just needed to have the brain dump.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Fins to the Left, Fins to the Right

I hope everyone has had a wonderful and safe Labor Day weekend.  Earl brought through a nice cold front that made the weekend very pleasant and beautiful.

Fins up!
Trish, DJ and the kids came up to Stafford and I drove down so we could go to the Jimmy Buffett concert on Saturday night.  I had trouble finding someone to take the fourth ticket, so my mom wound up going with us.  We had a good time, though I think I'll try to get a group of friends together next time.  I definitely want to tailgate next year, especially if it's a nice day.  Plus, we got there late this year and parked as far as we possibly could from the pavilion while still being on its grounds.  That was a hell of a hike.  I think we all had a great time. (You can't see it in the picture, but my earrings say "Fins to the left" and "Fins to the right" and have little sharks on them.)

We also got together with my grandparents for lunch yesterday to celebrate Trish's 40th birthday.  DJ is hosting a part next weekend, but I don't know if I'll be able to go.  It all depends on what Rikku's situation is (if she can come with or if I can find a sitter).  I am going to try to go as I've already ensured Trish that I will spend the whole weekend pointing and laughing at her.  Still in my 20's and she's turning 40!

The pair
Detailed view
Despite my original plans, I wound up staying in Stafford last night, but was able to finish up my Merlot Vine Socks using the Miss Babs yarn I bought last year when she came to visit fibre space.  It's absolutely beautiful yarn and a great pattern for it.  I've pretty much decided that I prefer top down to toe up.  It's easier to get a stretchy cuff with top down, despite the toe-up bind offs that people claim are "super stretchy."  I might wind up getting some thin elastic and winding it through the top of these - I think it's the only way to make sure they stay up. 

To cap off the weekend, I've got some grocery shopping to do and a Yankees-Orioles game to watch. :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Are YOU prepared?

Working for a homeland security consulting firm, especially one that has worked on the Spanish fema.gov site and the ready.gov site, I wouldn't be a good employee if I didn't remind everyone that September is Emergency Preparedness Month.  The kerfuffle over Hurricane Earl and today's earthquake in New Zealand are reminders that we need to have things in place so that we can respond to emergencies quickly and safely.  I have an emergency "go-kit" for myself and for Rikku.  Mine has protein bars, water, toiletries, first aid kit, all sorts of stuff.  Rikku's has food, water, toys, bowls, leashes, first aid kit, and all sorts of stuff.  I know that if something happens - flood, snow, hurricane, etc - Rikku and I will survive for at least three days, probably more in Rikku's case as she's a great little huntress.


I just got back from vacation in Hatteras, NC on Tuesday, the day before my parents were evacuated from the beach house.  It was a nice little break, complete with the Carriers for a couple days.  I was able to get some sun, and got to stop by Knitting Addiction in Kill Devil Hills on my way home.  My knitting bag came with me and got to see some familiar friends on the way. 
I decided to give a home to some Sockotta, Blue Heron and Sea Star Handpaint sock yarn. 

I was able to start an entrelac hat while I was down there, made with Neighborhood Fiber Company cashmere blend yarn from the fibre girl club.  It came out pretty well, even though it's bright.  If you see a girl in a bright blue, purple and red entrelac hat, it's me!

I was also able to get some headway on my Merlot Vine socks.  They're coming out pretty well and the yarn is striping beautifully.