And we're baaaaack (again!)

Hello dear what now must be 1.1 readers, LOL! Life has just gotten in the way lately and I honestly don't know where to begin. In the last two months, I have been busy with work and family and friends and church and music - all good things, thank goodness:)

Catching up:
Let's see, my oldest brother, Dan is with us and we are glad to have him around! The grandgirls think he's the best thing since sliced bananas and when he's not here for whatever reason, they are always disappointed:)! Isn't it funny how family can be? Dan and I haven't lived in the same place for well over 34 years and, save a few minor adjustments (i.e. we are a LOT more polite to each other than we were as kids), it's as comfortable as if we were still kids. Hopefully he feels the same way, LOL!

We learned our next grandchild will be a boy and he's due on Valentine's Day - will be joining an older, but still a baby, brother.

I've gained a ridiculous amount of weight and have resolved to do something about it.

Our two youngest have found really decent jobs with their own health insurance and everything and one of them is trying for a Fulbright scholarship to study anthropology as a graduate student abroad. (Fingers crossed!)

Another one of our adult kids is figuring out what the future holds (well aren't we all come to think of it?)

We are getting ready for somebody-who-shall-remain-nameless' 60th birthday next month.

It looks like "Aunt Vicki" may have been ordained - or is darn close to it!

In other words, on the home front, life, in all its mysteries, goes on.

On the work front, there are always uncertainties and of course I am concerned about that.  My clients seem to need more attention lately and I've got a pro bono case that is interesting and for which I hope to be of help. I've attended one conference this year that was interesting.  Had dinner with "the boss" whom I have always liked and now like even more. Have reconnected with friends who are colleagues and was able to help out a bit which always is nice. And am fairly certain I'm going to attend a conference in Austin, TX for a few days next week about child welfare - and am really psyched about it. 
When I've been in court all day, I've taken the time to go outside and enjoy some of the sights of Towson - and of course a little knitting:)

The extracurriculars: Choir, Bell Choir, EfM, and volunteer activities - all are now in full swing. And I've added playing flute in the "Intergenerational Instrumental Ensemble" once a month which forces me to practice if only just a little bit:) I'm not particularly good, but it's fun and it keeps me off the street:s) Choir is still my heart, and bell choir is a concentrated group of rogues who love music and enjoy the hilarity of our practice time! EfM is a challenge this year - it's my last year (cannot believe I am in Year 4) and includes a great deal of philosophy, a subject I never really followed during my more formal years of education. Imagine presenting the philosophy io Immanuel Kant in 15 minutes - feel my pain?
I have had a lot of fun with knitting this summer - the Columbia Sip 'n Knit had a lovely dinner at a lakeside near Savage Mill.  It was delightful and terrific to meet up with old friend and meet some new people:) It's funny how we all come from so many different backgrounds, persuasions political and otherwise and yet share this crazy enjoyment of a crafty hobby:) We may disagree on a number of things, but we try our best and usually succeed in being respectful of each other.  It's easy to call people names, to demonize them when you are writing an online diatribe or gathering in large groups (gang mentality) and screaming.  It's a lot harder to do that when you are sitting quietly in the presence of another person, sharing common ground.  Maybe our country needs more of that. Now that EfM has started, I am limited to a few Wednesdays here and there and maybe an occasional Saturday, but most of my knitting is done solo these days.

There are a bunch of projects still on the needles of course:) This is the Brandywine Shawl by Rosemary (Romi) Hill.  It's fairly easy to pick up when I've neglected it awhile, so I am hoping to finish it before Christmas.  Don't know if it's for me or someone else yet.
This is my version of the Westerwick Cardigan, pattern by Ann Feitelson from The Art of  Fair Isle Knitting. This will be for St. Johns' favorite Music Director I hope in time for Christmas. I'm seven rows away from the end of the first pattern repeat and have at least three more to go for the body and then the sleeves and then finishing, so we shall see.  These are her colors and I think she might like it.  If any mutual friends see this, please don't let her know. I would like it to be a surprise. Besides, this thing is taking forever and may not be done in time anyway!  It's just my way of thanking her for all she does for us throughout the year.

I'm not using the yarn indicated in the pattern.  Instead, I'm using KnitPicks fingering weight yarn and it seems to be working well.  It's wool, but it will not be as heavy as worsted weight would have made it. And again, it's taking FOREVER!  How to keep from tangling the yarn? Keep it in sandwich sized baggies with the color written on the outside.  So far, it's working and there are a LOT of color changes.
 This scarf is a combination of stitch patterns (at the ends) from Maria Erlbacher's Twisted Stitch Knitting (Schoolhouse Press) and my own haphazard mongo (a/k/a "big a$$ed") cable pattern. Not sure if this is too "girlie" for a guy.  If not, it's going to someone for Christmas. Maybe.

 Willoughby, by Jared Flood, has had my attention since it came out in the first issue of St. Denis patterns. I don't know yet for whom this will be.  I think time and circumstances will tell.
 Celes, another Jared Flood original, is such a simple, yet elegant use of lace knitting, I just had to try it out.  Let's see where it ends up.  I just know I will finish it.
 Damask by Allison Green Will from the Twist Collective, is going to be a challenge.  Have just begun it, but will soldier on as I finish my projects.
 Kadril, a lace scarf by Galina Khmeleva, also from the Twist Collective, is not yet begun, but it will definitely be something I complete in the next few months.  Have already picked out yarn for it.:)
One of Romi's Seven Small Shawls, Celaeno is another shawl I will finish and I think this will be something for me. The blues in this yarn are lovely. Will have to wait to begin this one, though - too many things on the needles right now!

Well, I'd better get some work done.  There's a project I need to finish that keeps me from helping out today cleaning the choir loft (sorry!) and I have to get some work done around the house too before going out tonight. I'm going with Nancy and Rennie to see a mutual friend, Diane, sing with the Concert Artists and to watch a piano concerto - all music by Schumann.  In the immortal words of Ina Garten, "How bad can that be?" :)
Stay well and be safe, fellow travelers of this fragile planet Earth, our "island home" and God be with you 'til we meet again."

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