Hunker Hunker Hunker

Well, we have batteries, a lot of food in the freezer (which doesn't help much, does it?) and plenty of cold cheese and cereal and canned goods.  We need to bring the garden furniture indoors so it won't be a flying missile to the neighbors or ourselves. The winds for this area are not supposed to be so high that we need to tape the windows.  We are about three hours from Ocean City, in the center of Merlin. If Irene comes up the Chesapeake and is just a bit west of where she's predicted to go, of course we're screwed.  Needless to say, as long as we have power, the TV is on to MSNBC, we're charging cellphones and Kindles and iPads and as the title of this post says, hunkering down. Hopefully we are prepared enough.  Ocean City was evacuated yesterday, which it darn well should have been - a thin strip of a peninsula dangling precariously between Assowoman Bay (yes, that is the name of the bay- good ole Merlin) and the Atlantic Ocean. The Weather Gurus are predicting 100 mph winds in O.C.; 50-70 mph winds on the Eastern Shore/DelMarVa peninsula (that bit of Maryland on a land mass shared by Delaware, Maryland and Virginia - hence "Del-Mar-Va"); and 30-50 mph winds where we are in central Merlin. One of the big worries with hurricanes is that they tend to spawn tornadoes.  And here is an example of what happened when a little baby twister hit our house-on-the-top-of-a-hill 13 months ago (lucky we were):
When I began typing this post, it was about 11:00 a.m. EDT.  A dear friend who had been in the hospital called and needed a ride home, so of course I left to do that and when I got home, I was a wee bit sidetracked. Now at 9:00 p.m., the winds have picked up, the rain has been constant.  As I type this I can hear the wind rising outside and reports from Ocean City on WJZ News in Bawlmer, which of course means we still have electricity.  In the middle of all this, we watched an HBO documentary, "Gloria Steinem, In Her Own Words." Amazing how things have changed - and how they remain the same. She is one of my heroes.  It was rather gratifying that it was one of my daughters who chose the program.  I have a particularly nice memory of Gloria Steinem.  In the summer/early fall of 1976, I was in NYC with my (then) stepmother, planning my wedding and anticipating a move to Virginia.  We were at the NY Public Library and Bella Abzug was campaigning.  With her was Gloria Steinem - and Gloria asked me if they could count on my vote for Bella - had to tell her I was moving to VA and probably wouldn't be voting in the NY elections. Boo.  Only in New York. Sigh....
Well, back to action central here (right...). It looks as if Irene will not be heading up the Chesapeake Bay, which is a very good thing, so we will just stay here and wait her out.  Even my dear St. John's decided to call off the services for tomorrow morning - and I realized too late that I had missed the 5 pm service - DOH! Whatever the weather, I am prepared:
As if I didn't have enough outstanding projects, I decided to ADD some more to my pile.  That's because I also decided to have FUN with my knitting and not wait until I'm done with the ones I'm bored with.  I may have to finish this another time since the lights just flickered.  We shall see.
The projects I'm working on currently are:

Dan's Aranmor in the Red Heart Yarn (sorry Alice!), Susan Pandorf's Mehndi wrap in Jojoland Tonic; the Westknits Mystery KAL shawl, Eadon by Susanna IC in KnitPicks Wool of the Andes (currant colorway) (pictured in previous posts - haven't made additional progress in any of those in the past two crazy weeks). I'm also going to be starting the Hawthorne shawl (also by Susanna IC) in a dark green multi Jojoland Tonic.

Irish Coffee and the Dark and Stormy, both by Thea Colman of Baby Cocktails, the Dark and Stormy in Cascade 220 Heathers and the Irish Coffee in Lion Brand's Amazing (Wildflowers colorway). I also want to start Cassis - also by Thea Colman of Baby Cocktails - Deco by Kate Davies, Leaving by Anne Hanson of Knitspot fame; Eala Bhan (and this time Ms. Starmore, I promise to use REAL wool); at least one or two pairs of Cat Bordhi's Sweet Tomato Heel Socks and EZ's Norwegian Lusekofte pullover.  I call this last one my "Norwegian Sweater of Hope," as I am knitting this and all the other sweaters in this list ten inches less than my current circumference. Believe it or not, I have yarn and needles (once they are done with a project, LOL) set aside for them.  In the past month or so, I have frogged a few projects here and there, mainly because it became clear that my size would be changing.  I don't think a ten-inch reduction is that far off base, so I am acting on faith.

LIFE in General

This week has been NUTS at work.

  Correction, the past two MONTHS and the one coming up have been, are, and will be, NUTS.  I really cannot write about why that is without saying more than is ethical, so let's just leave it at that.  In terms of time, I've been in court or on the road visiting clients with two exceptions: this weekend and last Tuesday, i.e. the Earthquake.  I was in the ladies' room in the Baltimore City Courthouse and yes, I was at the point of washing my hands (the other would have been hilarious, LOL!!) and was talking with another woman who was doing the same. Suddenly, the floor shook and a sound like a large truck roaring by hit our ears. We stepped outside of the bathroom to Sheriff's deputies telling everyone to vacate the building.   We all walked outside, not really knowing what had happened.  No one could get through on their cellphones and law enforcement wasn't sure it wasn't a blast or something, so they would not let anyone back into the buildings until an hour later, when we were told to "get your stuff and go home." The last three hours of the trial in which I was involved resumed the next day, which meant all my client visits for that day and the afternoon of the earthquake had to be rescheduled.  It took me 2 hours to get home because traffic was understandably heavier than usual.
Western Merlin felt it, as did D.C.(causing the bells to ring and fineal stones to break at the National Cathedral), Chicago, Georgia, and Toronto for that matter. There were aftershocks some 35 hours later, but I didn't feel them.  Friends visiting Ocean City and the Eastern Shore didn't feel it, either.
Friday, I got up early to visit a client 2.5 hours away in Garrett County, Merlin - practically to Ohio!

This is in Allegany County, Merlin, on Rte 68, headed west.  This doesn't even begin to show some of the lovely views I had of the Appalachian Mountains, Blue Ridge Mountains and nearby farmland.  It was a beautiful, sunny day, but not too humid or hot.  Hard to believe it was still August. Saw my client and the client of one of my colleagues, then back on the road to visit a client East of Bawlmer.  Needless to say, I used a LOT of gas that day, but also caught up on some knitting podcasts, LOL:)!
When I finally headed for good ole Ellicott City, I realized I was on time to go to dinner that friends of mine had planned and to which I had been invited but had declined due to my work schedule. I called one of them to ask if it was still on.  Finding out it was, I headed to the restaurant.  For some reason I checked my cellphone (the ringer had been off) and found a voicemail and two text messages from the friend with whom I had just spoken. One of our bunch had had a low blood sugar incident and was in the ER, having banged up his head pretty badly, and in the process, stressed out his dear wife (another one of the "gang") to the point of raising HER blood sugar. So our evening was spent in the ER. I told him I wasn't going to let one democrat leave this earth while an election was pending (a bit of an ongoing joke between us).  He was finally released and some of us went to grab a quick bite .  Thus the week which started in a growl, ended up in the silence of a quiet meal.  Thank God for that - or as my wonderful stepmom Maureen would say, "Thank the Myth!"
The coming week at work will be very busy, but the evenings will begin the year's music, a fact for which I am eternally grateful:)!
And so I come full circle, picking up a lovely friend from the hospital this morning and getting her home safely.  She is supposed to be a "care receiver" in the Stephen Ministry, but I kid her that I get more out of hanging out with her than any help I'm supposed to be rendering. She's really funny and upbeat and in spite of the rough time she's had the past four years, she is irrepressible and energetic.
On the home front, our daughter, B, who had the "sleeve" weight loss surgery on 7/27, went through a horrible episode of dehydration, which caused nausea, which made her more dehydrated, which caused a potassium deficiency, and so on.  She was hospitalized for two days and after they finally got i.v. bags and bags of water, vitamins and potassium into  her, she was a new woman.  I'm glad I didn't know at the time that a potassium shortfall can cause cardiac arrest!! Lesson learned: don't let your adult kid play hero and politely wait on a doctor's appointment.  Get thine ass and theirs to the ER! My Dad always said that it's the polite quiet patients who often end up dead. Sadly true.
Before I sign off, dear 2.5, those of you who live in the areas affected by Irene, please don't be a daredevil and try to play out in this weather.  You are not only putting your own life in jeopardy, but those of the people who would be rescuing you. Please have your fun another day, when you can live to talk about it.
Until next time, God be with you 'til we meet again.

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