Sunday, May 28, 2006

It's been a week

Ever have one of those weeks that saps every ounce of energy and intellect out of you? This has been one of those weeks. Suffice it to say that work is kickin' my butt. Hence the lack of blogging. And I have another couple of weeks like that, starting Tuesday. So there may be sparse updates in the near future. Ah well. Such is life.

I did manage to bring my camera along with me throughout the week on various outings.

Let's see....

Sunday, I watched my nephew, aka "Lil' Slugger", play T-ball. Sooo cute.

Yes, that's him "pitching". Don't you love his stance?

Ready to run home.

My five-year-old digital camera has a broken zoom, so is stuck in what seems to be the widest possible setting, which is why my little buddy is a mere blip on the image. My family laughs at me because my "zooming" now consists of me straightening my elbows and holding the camera as far from me as possible. I do plan on replacing the darn thing, I've even got the model all picked out. Just haven't gotten around to it, yet. Soon, I keep saying. My family is tired of hearing me complain about my crappy camera. And I'm tired of using it.

In more complaints, I'm now required to go to the D.C./Baltimore area every week for a 1-hour meeting. That's a ~$125 roundtrip train ride, $50-$150 roundtrip shuttle/taxi fair; $150 hotel room; ~$50 in miscellaneous expenses for meals, tolls and parking, and two days of my life wasted traveling for the effort of attending a one-hour meeting which I could easily attend via teleconference. The expenses are reimbursed by the client, but I still don't think it's right to spend their money this way. And I really don't like inefficiently wasting time like this. Gripe, gripe, grumble, grumble. I'm not a good swallower of bad decisions made by project management. So I really have to make a concerted effort to choke down my bad attitude and put on a professional face. Bleh.

I did manage to take a few more pictures of my travels up and back. Here are a few scenes from my train window:

Ashland train station

A couple of administration buildings on the Randolph-Macon campus


Fredericksburg - doesn't it seem quaint?


One of the many bodies of water we cross on the way north


My knitting pattern hanging from the tray table hook thingy


See - I actually did a little knitting


My feet are resting comfortably on the footrest. I wish airplanes had these.


Jarhead running in Quantico


George Washington Masonic National Memorial. What would Robert Langdon say about this place?


Several views of our nation's capitol


There's a precious split-second where the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument are both in plain view from the train window, but I've yet to be fast enough to catch that shot. Maybe my next camera can do that. But if you look really close in the first picture, you can see the top of the dome of the Capitol Building.

My hotel room. This is one thing I do NOT complain about. Very nice.


From my hotel room window Monday evening. I don't always get a lake view.


Tuesday evening I made it home just in time to turn around and go knit with our knitting group, aka "TNK". I was completely wiped out from two days of travel and little sleep, so was barely worthwhile company as I propped my head on my hand and tried to keep up with the wild group that evening. Jane blogged it beautifully here, but I also managed to take a few pictures, despite my malaise:

We were blessed with a surprise visit from Kathy, owner of Holly Spring Homespun. What do you suppose she's staring at?


None other than wild Jane, dancing on the tables. No one seems fazed.


The rest of this week went by with nothing but drudgery and work to mark the days, and I was looking forward to a quiet, uneventful holiday weekend in which to recuperate. Just laying on the couch, watching movies and knitting, not going anywhere, not seeing anyone. Ahhhh. Peace.

Plans change!

Jane invited me to go with some of the TNK knitters to Powhatan on Saturday and visit Kathy's shop. I almost passed on the outing, as visions of my tempting couch were calling me, but, who can turn down a yarn outing? Not me! I met Jane at a halfway point, and she drove Laura and I the rest of the way to Powhatan. We met Issy and Robin there. Here is Issy holding up her finished and blocked shawl:

Mmmm shawl. Mmmm yarn.


Since we were on the subject of shawls, Jane brought out her Creatures of the Reef, and within seconds, Kathy's expert eye saw two dropped stitches, which Jane is safely capturing here to fix later at home:

That's stitch savior and shop owner Kathy behind Jane. Jane's wearing her pretty clap again -- love it.


After our yarn adventures, we had a lovely lunch at a diner in Powhatan called The Four Seasons which made us all fantastic sandwiches. But it was their desserts that were to die for. I still have leftover chocolate cake in my fridge. I'll be eating that within thirty seconds of clicking the "publish post" button!

On my way home, I drove by this little family:



I turned my car around and pulled over to get a little closer to them. This is the shot I got before I left the hissing parents and their babies alone:

On their way back to the water


That's not the only wildlife I've seen this week. Last Sunday after putting in my mom's flower bed at my parents' house, there was a little bunny sitting like a statue very close to my car. He never moved, even after I got in my car and drove away. Alas, I didn't bring my camera with me that day. But I'm guessing it may have been the same bunny I documented here. And then, on Saturday, not a mile from where I saw the Canadian geese family, I also saw vultures in the road, doing what vultures do - cleaning up roadkill. It was just unusual to see vultures in the city. I did not take a picture of that -- a little too gruesome, in my opinion.

Before I forget, I must share my recent stash acquisitions:

While we were at MS&W, my travel buddy Suzanne had her Ann Budd "Yarn Requirements" card with her at all times as she calculated how much yarn to purchase for various projects. Inspired by its usefulness, I picked up one on Saturday at HSH, along with the green and blue hanks of Tahki Cotton Classic on sale. They are slated for future dishcloth projects. But what is that lovely yarn on the right, you ask?

For being the 600th commenter on her blog, Jane generously gave me two hanks of hand-dyed 100% alpaca, from Alpacas of Rivanna River Farm in Advance Mills, VA. Jane thinks I don't like the color, but I actually, honestly do. I admit that I am in a color rut and typically go for the teals, blue-greens, aquas, and turquoises, but I love that this is outside my normal comfort zone of colors. The yarn label calls it "peach", but this yarn is as bright orange as the picture shows, and I like that! I believe orange is actually a complimentary color to green (or is it blue?), so perhaps that's why I like it. Anyway, click here for a picture of Jane wearing a poncho she knitted from the same yarn, and read more about that here.

And thanks to Amber's comment on my last post, I now know what I'll knit with this yarn -- Knitty's Branching Out. I think it will be a cool pattern in orange -- an autumn leaves version, perhaps. And I see that there's a Branching Out Knit-along. Rockin'! Since I've got about eleven other things on the needles, I'm going to wait to finish one or two before starting this pattern, though. Probably later this summer, I think.

Whew, my week is over and another is about to begin. I have tomorrow "off", so-to-speak, but all that means is that I get to catch up on a boat-load of chores and desk work. Bleh.

I'll probably be quiet again for awhile, what with work and travel and what-not. And no knitting group for me this Tuesday (*sob*) since I'll be out of town. Y'all have fun without me!

Next weekend I'm going to SoXperience with Liz. Should be fun! Wendy will be there briefly to sign books, so I may just pick one of those up while there.

Have a great Memorial Day, everyone!


Bess said...

I really miss your posts but so long as you're not sick I can wait till the weekend for them.

And lots of knitting time on those travels, free and unexpected. That I would love more of myself.

Suzanne said...

WOW! what a brilliant day that must have been. Sorry I had to miss it....good knitting!

Calling Kahlo said...

Woah, that's a long post and I enjoyed reading all of it. Do you have a special project for baseball season or do you bring what you are working on at the time or nothing?

Krista said...

Good to hear from you again, Mary! Have fun at Soxperience. If you all plan on going out Saturday night, you can always call me! I'd be willing to join you for some coffee shop knitting!

Mary said...

Calling Kahlo, I'm not a regular attendee of my nephew's t-ball games - this was the first one I'd ever seen. They live about 20 miles north of me so it's not always convenient for me to attend. I brought my knitting with me to his game but ended up talking to my SIL the entire time so didn't do any knitting. The games are mercifully only an hour long. If I go to any more of his games, I'll still bring my knitting, but am guessing that I'll still end up gabbing with my SIL and brother.

jane said...

What a great post with such good picture! We'll miss you at TNK! See you soon, Jane

Robin said...

Great post Mary! I love the "pitching stance" some day he may be a star and everyone will be coping him!
I'll be in touch about the 7th (I hope you'll be in town).