Thursday, June 29, 2006

Photo-less Alliteration

I left my camera and home, but wanted to post anyway. Here's the news:

1. Bounty: I have found the yarn store of my dreams. Spirit Work in Rochester (really, Irondiquoit, but who can pronounce it?) I had a law guardian home visit in the neighborhood, and stopped afterward. Big, lots of light, tables, couches, nice, helpful staff. Nice music in the backround, an area for snacks! And ... every type of yarn you can think of. All the cool stuff I've read about in magazines. Plus, cool doo-dads, knitting bags. I asked if I could live there. The website is: . I'll let you know when I change my mailing address to the back of the shop.

2. Buying: Of course, I had to buy something at Spirit Work, in spite of my foolish decision to only knit from the stash. I've wanted to knit the "Hourglass" Sweater from "Last Minute Knitted Gifts", and I found some tweedy green Kathmandu Aran yarn -- 85% wool, 10% silk, 5% cashmere. I'm dying to start it, but am forcing discipline and finishing the cotton cardigan first. Which leads to ...

3. Buttonholes: I agree with Maggie Righetti in "Knitting in Plain English". Buttonholes are bastards. After ripping, pinning, measuring, I think I got it right. I did change the pattern though, from 8 buttons to 7. Eight seemed too many, especially on my "vertically challenged" frame.
So it's only sleeve seaming to go!

4. Bikes: I bought one! My first in 30 years. A Raleigh, hybrid. Which means I can ride on rougher surfaces, or roads. And it's a "comfort style", which means I ride upright -- no hunching over -- and it has a (ahem) wider seat, for the (ahem) mature figure. Arghhh. Next it will be the Senior discount at Denny's. I'm going to take it out for the first spin this morning!

That's all for now; the "b" categories are all used up!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Photo opportunities

Here's the jam:
Here's the sweater:

Couldn't figure out how to get the web photo of Clark Gable in a pirate shirt, so you'll have to use your imagination -- or fill in with a fantasy of Johnny Depp! (I love pirates)

Monday, June 26, 2006


Disclaimer: For some unknowable cyber reason, I can't upload any of my recent photos. It says "done", but nothing comes up. So I'm posting anyway, and if the cyber monkies inside my computer decide to behave, I'll post the photos next.

I must be out of my mutinous mind.* (see rant on language use below) Either that or I'm channeling some forties version of Betty Crocker with a print apron tied around her waist. What did I do this weekend?

And that's only the first batch. All told, I made 4 batches of jam; 2 cherry, 2 strawberry. And there's more to come!

So, I say to myself, why? Not just because the taste of homemade jam on toast (the world's most perfect food -- it's warm, it's buttery, need I say more?) is wonderful; not just because I remember my mother and aunts doing the same, but -- it's something I can look at and feel good about accomplishing. Something "real."

Unlike the practice of law.

Most of the time, I feel as if what I do has no meaning. Seriously, who cares about the Tupperware or who gets to keep the Precious Moments collection? It's not only that, but listening all day long to stories of failed relationships is draining. And explaining that, "Yes, I know it's not fair, but it's the law," and "Even though your spouse cheated on you numerous times, with numerous others, in the marital bed, he/she still gets half the assets," is depressing.

So jam (and I would add knitting) is tangible proof of hard work. And it's sweet! And leads to toast. Enough said.

I also worked on the cotton cardigan, finishing the neck and left front bands. Here it is:

I hate picking up stitches!!! I always rip them out at least once, then agonize over the gaps, forgetting each time that they fill in with the weight of the band and I can always tighten them up later. It's still nerve wracking to me, which leads to "FOF" syndrome. Fear of Finishing. If it's not yet an official syndrome, it should be. And the worst is yet to come. Buttonholes. Maybe I'll crush more berries instead!

* Language Rant: Freakin'. What the freak? I've used it. I hear it said all the time. Along with it's cousin, "frig". And it bothers me. Now I know it's a socially acceptable substitute for the "real" f word, and although I am a fierce proponent of the First Amendment -- Nazis, KKK, pro-lifers -- let 'em talk even if I disagree -- I hate the freakin' use of freakin'! If you're going to curse, just curse, I say. Or find something more creative. Like, "Die you mutinous dog." Or, "A pox on your genitals." Can you tell I watched the 1935 version of "Mutiny on the Bounty" this weekend? With Clark Gable, nonetheless, a true hunk:

So why does it bug me? Maybe because one of my little 6 year old Law Guardian clients uses it. Maybe because I like to learn new swear words and this seems like the chicken's way out. Or maybe because it's Monday and I wish I were in the south of France with my daughter Caroline. Oooh la la!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Mason Dixon KAL

Has anyone ever done a Log Cabin felted tote? I think I'm game to try ...

Friday, June 23, 2006

Freaky Friday

This is Miss Kitty. She is almost 4 years old, and the most spoiled cat on the planet. And it's my own damned fault. The monster I created demands attention from the moment I get up in the morning. Not just, "Feed me," attention. Not just, "Pet me," attention. No, it's in your face, rub my nose against your lips, crawl on your lap, dig my claws into your legs, constant MEOWing attention. I'm worried that she's neurotic. Or that I'm neurotic. Can cats be co-dependent? Does she think I'm her mother cat? Am I projecting my desire for future grandchildren on her? Should I knit her a little cap and layette? Blue would match her eyes ....

And this is Caroline. Caroline is currently in France, as part of a college study program. She's been gone since the beginning of June, and I miss her. She called me today, but I was in Court, arguing with an attorney I refer to as "a real prince." Prince of Darkness that is. So, I missed the call, and back at the office decided to call France. (Remember the Coneheads from SNL? "We are from France.") I dredged up the remnants of my high school French class from the recesses of my brain, and dialed. Here's how the conversation went:

"Bonjour," says a nice male voice.
"Bonjour," I reply. "Je suis la mere de Caroline." (I am Caroline's mother -- or, I am Caroline's sea, I'm not sure which).
"Ah", the man replies, and rattles of several sentences which sound like "Caroline! djdhgfhworueklvnvlsleuiwowklsldkdjfjkfllla ne pas ici."
"Je will call back, uh, demain? tomorrow?"
"Hui wklkdjkj le plage jfidiosjflkhjeljoiasjglkj," the man says.
"Merci," I say meekly.
"Au revoir."
"Au revoir."

If the Department of Homeland Security was listening, will they please call and let me know what the man said?

And finally, this is to make me feel better. It's a lovely sculpture in Rochester's Memorial Art Gallery. See how graceful she is? How lovely the curves of her body? How big her be-hind is? How she doesn't care

a whit about it? (What's a whit, anyway?) I caught a glimpse of my self in the mirror today, and have decided that if I don't get serious about excercising, I'll need to apply to the U.S. Postal service for a separate zip code for my butt.

But (couldn't resist), as I've said in the past, real women have hips. Think I can knit an outfit like that? In blue?

Time to start the weekend ... and to practice my French -- think a few "Pink Panther" movies will help? hee hee

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The home stretch

The "King Tut" cotton cardigan is almost done. Here's the second sleeve, then it's pick up around the neck and fronts for the garter stitch border in the darker green.

Here are the buttons; aren't they cute?

I'm thinking of doing a duplicate stitch embroidery on the back, just a little "sumpin'" about two inches down from the neck, in the center. Maybe a flower? Maybe a dragonfly?

Work has been hell. My secretary has mono, and her doc told her to stay home for 2 weeks! Our paralegal, unfortunately, does not have superpowers afterall, and we've been scrambling to find a fill-in to at least answer the never ending phones and do the filing.

And for anyone that thinks summers in the legal biz must be slow, chew on this: There is no slow season for marital disharmony. None. Nada. Nil.

Since I can't come up with any other "n" words, that's all for now!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Dog Daze and Fine Whine

Here's the world's best dog waiting at the office for me to get done packing up my trial case for the weekend. It's supposed to be in the 90's here, and the last thing I want to be doing is testimony outlines for a case that is going nowhere. I keep repeating in my head: "Everyone is entitled to representation under the law," but when there are neglect findings from 1998, reports from psychiatrists that are, to be mild, damning, how strongly do I have to defend this client against having his parental rights terminated? (that's the whining). The two day trial starts Monday at 9. The Coronas with lime get opened tonight at 6.

And this mysterious beauty is TwinA. We feasted on fries and hot fudge sundaes last night, after seeing "The Break-Up" -- the flick with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn. It started out funny, but then deteriorated into being too much like my matrimonials, and too much like bad relationships I've had. But the company was marvelous!

And ... she tried on the too-big sock, and loved it! On to too-big #2, with lime! :)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Can't get no .... Satisfaction

Okay -- here's attempt #2. Cascade Fixation, in cool sherbet-like colors, 36 sts on size 3 dpn. 1 and 1/2 inches of k1p1 rib, then "Eye of Peacock" heel, and on down.

Does it fit?

You be the judge. Feels a little "rough" -- see how the stitches are stretched? Not quite the same "cushy" feel when I had 44 stitches, but then it was baggy.

Here's another view. See what I mean about the stitches?

I suppose I'll do 40 for the next pair. But damn, I hate to screw up!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Too Loose, Lautrec!

Here 's sock #1 -- Cascade Fixation, 2-1/2" cuff, 44 stitches on size 3 dpn. I tried it on mid-way through the foot, and evidently my ankles are thin (small-boned), as opposed to my hips! So, this pair is destined for my DIL, who is taller than me. Okay, everyone is taller than me, except my dear 89-year old Aunt Alice, aka "The Incredible Shrinking Aunt" .

So I'm going to start another pair, for me, using the recipe in the Cascade Fixation Anklet KAL, found at I'm going to keep the "Eye of Partridge" heel -- it looks very cool in the stripey yarn -- but switch to K1P1 for the ribbing, instead of K2P2.

(humming the words to the song "Short People" as I go back to work)

Monday, June 12, 2006

A kinder, gentler divorce???

Pardon my legal rambling, but I spent two days last week, Thursday and Friday, learning a “new” way to practice matrimonial law – “Collaborative Practice.” Basically, both parties and their attorneys commit to working out the details without going to Court, and to using “divorce coaches” (I hate that term -- makes me think of high school gym teachers with whistles) from the mental health and financial fields to ease the process. If it all breaks down, then neither party can use any information obtained from negotiations in litigation, and they have to get different attorneys.

Sounds great, right? I’m skeptical. I’ve being doing this type of law for 20+ years, and though I personally hate getting down and dirty, and truly loathe those attorneys who have to litigate every pot and pan, I wonder how much of the collaborative process is practicing law, as opposed to emotional counseling. Don’t get me wrong – I’m anxious to try it and see if it works well enough to give up litigation forever, but I wonder how the clients will react. It seems that there’s a “War of the Roses” mentality in most people who walk through my door – they want to “get” the other spouse, no matter what. Usually, if enough time goes by, the desire for revenge lessens, helped out by my continuing spiel about litigation just creates more problems, especially if children are involved, and who wants major life decisions to be made by a person in a black robe that doesn’t know you at all. Plus, the dollars and cents.

It's worth a try. Just this morning my own client accused me of being a racist (I am the 4th attorney who has been assigned to represent him in a neglect proceeding), and tool of the Department of Social Services. We’re in the middle of trial, and the Judge wouldn’t let me out of the case. No wonder I’m …..

Fixated on Fixation! Here’s the beginning of an anklet, and I love the feel of the socks. Very cushy. And – I bought those little “sweater” point protectors and use them to make sure I don’t lose stitches when I tuck these babies in my briefcase or purse. Cool!

And finally – birthday socks for my oldest friend, Denise aka Blanche. They’re a surprise, but I don’t think she’ll catch this post, so it’s safe to show them before I mail them off. Don’t they look like Starburst candies?

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BLANCHE! (there are rats …)

PS One of the reasons I’m ranting and raving is this:

The building next door is getting a new roof. There are saws, shingles dropping, motors whirring. I can’t wait for the stinky tar smell to waft in through the window. Arghhhh!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Vincent Price is in my office ...

and is driving me nuts! It's a damn fly. A big fly. The kind that buzzes around your head and never ever lands. So far, I've hit the wall with my shoe, slammed it in the mini-blinds, and yelled at it -- none of which highly scientific tactics have worked.

So, instead, I am ...

winding yarn! Luscious cotton yarn for the cardigan I hope to finish this weekend. As you can see from the label, it's Egyptian cotton.


A careful examination of the left side of the label reveals .... Made in Croatia. sigh. Is nothing sacred?

And what would his royal highness think of that, I ask you? After all, he gave his life for tourism (thank you Steve Martin).

At least I've recovered from the hockey play-off blues. And finished the hockey play-off socks! These will be wending their way to little Joseph tomorrow. I got close to making them "twins", but somehow the yarn (from two separate and distinct -- don't ya love legalese -- balls), didn't

cooperate. I think I'll just give up trying to make a perfect match. As do most of my matrimonial clients. In my wackier moments, I try to think of good songs to use for hold music. So far, I've come up with:

1. 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
2. My D-I-V-O-R-C-E is Final Today
3. Your Cheatin' Heart
4. Tainted Love
5. Anything by Saffire, the Uppity Blues Women.

My partner might not go for it, though I think the clients would like it.

Well, off to kill Vincent, and to a band concert at the High School. Jon, aka drummer boy, has his final concert of the year tonight. I'm bringing the cardigan.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

In the words of Bugs Bunny --

what a maroon I am! The first pattern I publish on this site and I made a mistake! My Aunt Alice is going to kill me. I made the correctsion on the original post (Surfacing) in bold.

Mea culpa. Mea maroon.

Friday, June 02, 2006

That's the way the puck drops

I'm proud of my boys. Real proud. They could've taken the easy way out and relied on the excuse of having 4 great defensemen out plus (arguably) their best center, but no -- they came out skating as if their gonads were on fire. And never stopped.

If I know Buffalonians, they'll be getting a rousing welcome when the team comes home, and well-deserved. I can't wait until next season -- let's see, October is how many days away?

PS Brind'Amour -- dead to me. And no team south of the Mason-Dixon line should ever have the Cup. Go Oilers!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Hockey, knitting and little boys

This is Joseph's foot. Joseph, aka "ming", age 8 and the son of one of my best friends. Said best friend is graciously allowing me to watch the hockey playoffs at her house, as my &*#%ing satellite system doesn't get the special channel without paying big bucks! So over I go, with my knitting of course, and snacks.

Enter Joseph. Fascinated by my knitting socks. So fascinated he traced his foot and put down color suggestions!!!

How could I resist?

And tonight is Game 7. Jay McKee, Sabre defense extraordinaire, has a staph infection in a cut on his leg and can't play. Lindy has brought up some youngsters from the minors and all I can do is hope those boys play their hearts out.

SabreTooth agrees:

Let's go Buffalo!