About Me

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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Back to The Firestarter, and a Public Service Announcement

Actual knitting progress. I had a question about whether the twists and travelling stitches were to start on rows 3 and 5 of the pattern, or on 4 and 6. So I emailed Yarnissima and received a gracious and helpful response overnight. In the middle of holiday madness. I am *so* impressed!

Here’s where I was at 6:25am on Friday the 21st.

It’s all in knowing how to read the map, or in being willing to stop and ask for directions. Still, I continue to be amazed by the approachability of my fellow knitters. [FYI, it’s 4 and 6, and I frogged back and redid it and am now sailing away on it. I also checked out the YouTube she references in her pattern and now *get* the process of cabling two stitches without a needle, without doing the fancy workaround that I learned for Barcelona.]

A slow and I think carefully-timed parade of small families filed past the doors to my office yesterday. We share the floor with a private foundation, and I suspect that they were quietly providing Christmas for these families, with a side order of dignity. And it reminded me that had it not been for the church or the angel projects at the high schools, that could have been my family, more than once.

I don’t know why so many employers choose that time of year to let an employee go, if it’s a matter of cynicism, or the last straw, or plain bad timing. I do know that we could have had many “hard-candy Christmases” if it were not for the kindness of others.

I have really been enjoying these days leading up to Christmas. It was fun to pour on the knitting speed and whip up a pair of mitts for LittleBit’s friend in four and a half days. It was also fun to find the perfect gift for my Secret Santa project at work. We had our luncheon and gift exchange yesterday, because about half of the office will be out on Monday. She really liked her “big” gift, which was a poster from a charcoal sketch of the four main characters in The Wizard of Oz. It’s a lovely piece, and if I collected Wizard of Oz memorabilia, I would want one of my own. She said that she should have known it was me, from the note that I put with the red brocade shoe ornament I gave her last week.

I have also been enjoying the drive time with LittleBit. The classwork makes both of us want to scream from boredom, but the hours behind the wheel are never dull. I think she is going to be a good, safe, responsible driver. We had one moment last night where I gasped and reached for the dashboard to brace myself, but she saw potential trouble coming even before I did and extricated us as neatly and politely as Mario Andretti would have done, without bending any traffic laws.

And I have learned a few things while teaching her. For those of you who, like me, learned to drive shortly after the rocks cooled, we were taught to set our side mirrors so we could just see the door handles. There is a new way to do it [“new” being relative; I learned to drive almost 40 years ago] where you angle the mirrors outward about 15 degrees.

It breaks up the blind spot on either side into two much smaller ones, neither of which is large enough to hide a vehicle. And it eliminates glare from the headlights of vehicles that are overtaking you on one side or another. It takes some getting used to. I almost jumped out of my skin the first half-dozen times a vehicle suddenly appeared in my left side mirror, but the great thing is that the only thing I see in it now is stuff I couldn’t see before without turning my head. I’ve been doing this for about three weeks and have pretty much acclimated to the new settings.

How do you do it? To adjust the left mirror, plant your left cheek against the window and move the mirror outward until you see what you saw in the traditional setting: just the glimpse of the side of your car. To adjust the right mirror, place your head as close to the center of your car as you can get it and still reach the adjusting button [this was tricky for me, because of the placement of the open spaces in my steering wheel] and make a similar adjustment. When you return to your normal driving position, you will have it all covered: rear view shows you what’s behind you, and of course you can move it up or down to eliminate glare; left mirror now shows you exactly who or what is in your blind spot on that side; right mirror does the same on the other side.

This public service announcement brought to you by the letter I, as in “I want you all to stay alive”.

What’s on the agenda for today? Nail Dude in about an hour, and then maybe a haircut. Sometime today I am chaining myself to something immovable and reattaching the lining to Brother Sushi’s tie. I have his 2007 gifts all ready to deliver; I really think that I ought to give him last year’s present while I'm at it.

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