Random thoughts, ideas and pictures of a multi-tasking, yarn-addicted Lady Lawyer

Yes... I really DO have 5 kids

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Four blankets for four friends

They are DONE!!! All four of them -- two actually gifted BEFORE the babies were born and I can't be held responsible about the third one (baby is a preemie and I haven't seen her yet although she is doing very well).

This is the basic crocheted baby blanket I've been making for so long I don't know its source -- it's not written down anywhere. The mom for who it was made is someone I knew 20+ years ago (and through a really strange kind of dynamic) and then re-met about eight years ago -- maybe ten. We weren't friends two decades ago but are now. She is NOT the pink and lace type (I am after 22 years between my daughters), so I decided to make her something a little funky.

I'll use the extra yarn to knit new mittens for my niece -- she's way outgrown her ones I made her 2 years ago but likes them and won't give them up. I also added an Easter picture of all five of my kids -- couldn't for the life of me get all five of them to look at the camera at once, but it's a cute picture.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Random thoughts on time management

I have always loved using what little downtime I have as "Craft Time." Crocheting, knitting, cross stitch (not so much now as I used to), painting little ceramic figurines and t-shirts -- so long as it doesn't involve me actually drawing something. I can't draw. I know HOW to sew (pretty well actually) and choose not to do so if at ALL possible. I started learning scrapbooking last Summer (2007) and really enjoy that too. But it's all about the time!

I bring my yarn with me everywhere I go. There is almost always a small project within reach or in the car. I find socks are a wonderful time-filler in between court hearings or while waiting for a trial list to be called. I always was opposed to knitting socks because I couldn't get past the idea that I could go to Target (pronounced in the French style) and buy them for so much less money. Then, I had minor surgery in September of 2007 on my wrist. I wasn't allowed to knit or crochet for a week (I wasn't supposed to write either, but I'm left handed and had about 15 hearings that week). It was also very uncomfortable for awhile after to knit anything with any weight so I bit the bullet, used a couple of books and a great website to teach myself how to knit socks and never looked back.

Summer swim practices and meets are a great time to work on afghans (usually crocheted). Crocheting is completely mindless for me -- I've been doing it forever. I could try and be moralistic and say something like "The Devil likes idle hands," but that's simply not true -- I just like to feel yarn in my hands and it's very soothing to K.I.P. (knit in public) because I can pretend that I'm focusing on a very difficult stitch when, in reality, I hate sitting around wasting good Yarn Time!

My kids and husband don't get it (my oldest daughter does a little since she is a wonderfully talented crafter herself). I've mentioned Ryan's love of all things knitted for him, but the others are just as "knit needy." Sweaters with hoods, gloves, hat replacement and just a hint of expectation that "Mom is going to make me something" that permeates the house on a regular basis. Of course, it would be uncool for the older boys to actually ASK for something and there is the ongoing Chip's sweater issue (STILL haven't found a pattern I like that doesn't require me to knit it up in pieces and sew!). Four friends have either just had or are about to have babies -- new babies should have something handmade.

The list is endless. I can't even take the time to list everything I need to make on Ravelry. BUT... the pair of pedicure socks I'm almost half done are for ME... not for the kids or the husband (ok.... Jenny is too young for pedicure socks and Melissa has a pair; the boys probably wouldn't want those)... mine, mine, all mine! I honestly can't remember the last time I made something for myself.

Going to knit now.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday

I have had a delightfully sluggish day! Since Easter dinner is a pre-baked Honey Baked Ham and twice-stuffed potatoes, everything is already done so I took the opportunity to expolre On Demand movies and watched "The Interpreter" with Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn. REALLY worth watching and incredibly well acted. I also worked on my own pedicure socks since my daughter's pair was (reluctantly) placed into her and the boyfriend's Easter basket where they belonged.

As to the hat posted yesterday, it was knit from Charmed Knits which is a non-authorized Harry Potter knitting book. I picked it up last year because I thought I might make something for the kids, but the "beanie pattern" is the only one I've used so far. I love Harry Potter, but am really not into knitting "yarn cozies" or other things in the book. I have so many kids, family members and friends having babies that my knitting and crocheting tends more toward the practical.

Some notes on the pattern... I have made several of these (Ryan consistently loses his hats -- I keep meaning to get labels that say "handmade by... " so he can find them at the Lost-n-Found at his school) and I think the ribbing at the brim is too short. The hat tends to flip up along the ribbing because it's only an inch wide. I'm planning on making the beret for my niece (along with some mittens) so I plan to try a wider brim -- maybe 1 1/2 inches instead of only 1 inch. The pattern itself took less than 3 hours to knit -- it's done in the round on circular needles and double points at the top. Probably not a beginner piece, but advanced beginner/intermediate for sure. I prefer round knitting so it's a quick, "oh no! I forgot to shop yesterday" option. Who am I kidding??? I rarely forget to shop

I wish all of you a Blessed and Happy Easter... the picture is of little Jenny's face today when she found the Princess pail the Bunny had left her and discovered that Peeps make an AWESOME breakfast!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Knitting

My daughter's boyfriend has this hat he adores, but Melissa said it was getting ratty. So I grabbed some yarn at Lamb's Wool yesterday and knit this up. Also got yummy yarn for some other projects, but daughter reads this blog and one of the yarns is for a nice surprise for her so will post after it is done and gifted.


Friday, March 21, 2008

The Long Weekend AT LAST

I am on the verge of collapse. My game plan for the week had been to work through Wednesday and then take a long weekend when my hubby was off from teaching -- including Easter Monday when the kids will be back at college/in school but HIS school district has off. The best laid plans of mice and men.....

Monday: St. Patrick's Day -- walked into a maelstrom of clients who want things done NOW (that can easily wait about a month in most cases). Forgot my knitting when I had a three and one-half hour CLE (continuing legal education class) on the science behind the use of DNA -- parts were exceptional, but could have EASILY been knitting through it and still learning!

Tuesday: Protection from Abuse court -- the armpit of Family Law practice and was one of FOUR lawyers in a case and the only lawyer who wasn't billing by the hour -- need I say more?!?! Good thing I only go to PFA court once or twice a year.

Wednesday: Supposed to be the "wrap up day"; getting everything done so I could have a 5 day weekend. Got into the office before 8 a.m., checked voice mail and BLAMMO!!!! my day went to some dark place from which I could only pray that I could claw my way out. Because of the pre-eight phone message, I knew I wasn't going to be taking Thursday off; by my own choice -- it was an injustice fighting thing that was going to bring me to court the next day. Met with the client for Thursday, got the appellate stuff that was DUE done and filed.

And then the mail came bringing with it a document, dated March 6th, but not mailed until March 18th, with a 20 day deadline and a client who just doesn't seem to understand that the 13th amendment outlawed slavery -- mine. No, I will NOT call you back after 5 p.m. on Holy Thursday. No, I will NOT call on Good Friday for your convenience. No, I am not calling you on Saturday. Leave a freakin' number where I can reach you during non-holiday business hours and what part of "I MUST SPEAK TO YOU NOW OR YOUR CASE WILL BE DISMISSED" do you NOT understand?!?!?!?!? I have been representing (court-appointed -- I have not been paid a dime) this client for over a year and have been told by her/him that (a) I am required to have a secretary; (b) that he wants access to my home (unlisted) telephone number because I have her/his home number; (c) s/he is available on her/his schedule and I am required to contact her/him then. This whole blog could be filled with a rant against this ONE client -- I have never had a more difficult one.

Thursday: PFA Court again -- twice in one week???? Got a great result though. Couldn't reach the Monster Client despite having left a specific message that if s/he wasn't going to be available, a number needed to be left where I could reach her/him. Left new message (with my associate as a witness) that I would call back on March 25th between 8 and 8:30 a.m. and that the client needs to be available for my call. Had lunch with best (male) friend and cheated on weight watchers HORRIBLY -- that was one YUMMY lunch. Came home, finished Pedicure Socks for oldest daughter (including weaving in ends!!), watched "Enchanted" which was completely adorable and passed out.

Going to Millersville University now to pick up Kid #3 for Holy Weekend -- won't even get into my rant of WHY I have to pick him up at 11:30 a.m. on Good Friday and go to Mass in Lancaster County. That'll be a post for another day.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Rare Movie Night

With 5 kids and being nothing short of exhausted by the time I get home from work each night, it is an extremely rare night that I actually go TO a movie -- my DVD collection is enormous since we don't even rent movies but buy anything we're interested in instead. HOWEVER... my oldest daughter and I had both read the fabulous book, The Other Boleyn Girl, by Philippa Gregory and decided we were going to have a girls night out at the movies. Other than being really, really tired this morning, I cannot recommend this movie strongly enough.

The casting, cinematography and visuals were exquisite. Natalie Portman NAILED the part of Anne Bolelyn and Eric Bana was simply delicious as King Henny VIII. Scarlett Johansenn was adequate as Mary Bolelyn throughout the movie, but at the end, she was truly spectacular. Needless to say, to avoid a six hour movie experience (and since 1939 and Gone With The Wind, those don't happen), there were significant cuts made from the book to fit it into a 2 hour movie. Most of these cuts were ok and even those who have not read the book would be able to follow along. My sole criticisms are as follows: the character of Anne and Mary's mother in the book is quite the vicious, position-seeking, non-caring manipulator -- not so in the movie where Kristen Scott Thomas plays her as a sympathetic, early Woman's Rights activist who hates her husband and brother for the way in which the girls are used as political pawns. Secondly, the book has significant undertones regarding the homosexuality of the girls' brother, George, which are important to the storyline and also for the flavor of why Anne Boleyn was tried and executed by her husband's courtiers. Those undertones are eliminated completely from the movie.

All in all, a wonderful experience though and a fun time with my oldest daughter including a historical discussion of Tudor/Stuart history on the drive home. I laughingly said to my husband after I dropped Melissa off at her apartment and got home (at almost 11 !!!): "Omigod! Lissy ASKED me about history and was interested in the answer." I have been trying for almost 20 years to pour history into this girl's brain -- and all it took was a well-made movie???????

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Pictures on Ravelry

For any of you knitters and crocheters out there who DON'T know about Ravelry.com, you must check it out. For anyone reading who is on Ravelry, my name there is LwyrBabe (old AOL name -- REALLY old) and I spent a delicious morning off posting pictures and projects and things I want to/need to knit and crochet. It was a truly yummy break from work that I gave myself as an early Easter present since I'm not allowed Cadbury eggs while on Weight Watchers.

This picture is of Ryan wearing his "Eagles socks" -- I always have something on the needles and hooks for Ryan Patrick; he actually asked me within minutes of these socks being finished that he'd like a new sweater. When I reminded him (sort of jokingly) that he had two sweaters, a hat, mittens, two pairs of socks in just the last six months, he said "I know, but I like when you make me things." He's been moved to the back of the line. Melissa's Pedicure Socks are next to be done!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My brain place

so.... 5 kids, a busy law practice, a wonderful husband and enough volunteer duties to choke an elephant. In my mid-forties, not too bad a place to be. In fact, I'm proud of where I am in life even if sometimes I don't take time to appreciate it.

I want more -- we all have goals and aspirations and I definately have those. I want to be planning my oldest daughter's wedding. I want my two older boys to do well in school and to find good jobs that are close to home when they graduate college in 2009 and 2011 respectively. I want my youngest son to continue to swim well and enjoy being a kid. I want the baby girl to continue to be my little Princess-in-training. I want quality time with the husband -- doing nothing together.

Mostly, I want the days to be longer so I can spend more time with the younger kids and MUCH more time knitting, crocheting and other crafty stuff. I want to have time to sit down for a weekend and do NOTHING except work on scrapbooks for each of the children. The ideas are always flowing (mostly because I spend two hours in traffic every day of the week!), but the time to actually create the ideas is lacking.

My life is right where it needs to be but I want more. My daughters aren't the only princesses.