Tuesday, October 31, 2006

ciao, baby

I had a nice post all written up first thing this morning, In it I talked about the fury surrounding bitacle.org, rehashed the weekend events and included a wikipedia link about Halloween. I ran the spell check, added the links and clicked publish. Blogger could not locate my blog. Blogger lost my post. As much as I hate to learn something new, at least in the techno arena, I have reached the end of my rope. I want to post when I want to post, and Blogger has been anything but reliable. The time has come to move on. You can find me here: http://1blacksheep.wordpress.com. Please stop by and tell me what you think of the new digs! Ciao Blogger, it's been fun!

Friday, October 27, 2006

It's been a few days......

............... so I thought I'd bring you up to date as to what's been going on around Black Sheep Central. First up........ We've been back in our house here in Colorado for over a year now, and as is most often the case, our bedroom has been largely ignored. Most of the house got a fresh coat of paint before we moved in or shortly thereafter, but, the master bedroom was at the bottom of the list. With the prospect of a new job, I decided to get a few things done, and the bedroom jumped to the top of the list. Alex had Tuesday night and Wednesday off, so we picked out a new color scheme and new bedding and got to work. We carried the same khaki/tan/beige that is in the rest of the house into the bedroom and then added a gorgeous chocolate brown to all the western walls. The effect is very nice, I am so, so pleased. I'm still in the middle of painting the master bath to match (got new towels too), but I just had to stop before I was done last night.....my hand was cramping and did NOT want to work a roller anymore. That, and I was moving like I was 100 years old. There's just nothing like painting to make you feel muscles you didn't know you have. Squating, climbing ladders, stooping, bending, raising your arms above your head, crawling around on the floor-----you get the idea. I took a hot shower and sank into the sofa with a handful of motrin and a very saucy adult beverage, provided by my accomplice. Perhaps I'll get the remainder finished up this afternoon, after the stiffness is worked out a bit. This is what it looked like yesterday............... MAJOR blizzard. I'm thinking we got about 15 inches or so, although it is really hard to estimate since it has drifted all over. Most of the day we had snow coming down sideways, with brisk winds or 30-40 mph. The town basically shut down; Alex's restaurant didn't open, the Academy cancelled classes, as did every other school along the front range. The interstate was even closed for most of the day. The snow finally stopped falling around 5 or so, and Brad and Alex got the driveway cleared. Here's what it looks like today :) The snow is melting, the skies are brilliant blue, and although the roads are still dodgy, things are returning to normal. I think I'll quit for now; after fighting with Blogger all morning, I just can't bring myself to try and post another photo. Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 23, 2006


Another weekend is history. Do you realize that Christmas is just more than 2 months from now? Yikes.

Saturday. Can I just stop here and say, our merry band of knitters is the best bunch of girls on the planet? I know, I know, you all feel the same way about your best girls (and guys), but seriously, we have such a good time every week that I actually look forward to getting up on Saturday mornings; we genuinely like each other, support each other and encourage each other to more and more fibery pursuits (read: enable :) ). Last Saturday we were welcomed back to the Llama Store and able to use their fabulous classroom space for a spin-in. Linda, Christy, Anne and I brought our wheels, Kirsten was using one of Christy's wonderful drop spindles, and Ellen, Brie, Maus, Sabine, Darcie and Phoebe knit. My goal for the day was to fill my third bobbin of mystery wool and get a skein plied up, and although I didn't get it done with the group, I did manage to get a skein plied before the day was through:

I have a question now for any of you spinners who are no doubt much more experienced than I am. While beautiful, the three ply I've made up is completely unbalanced. Does it matter? What difference will it make to a knitted object? Will it work out in the bath? And one more: when plying, if you get a break in one ply, how do you handle it? Saturday afternoon, we went to a wedding. Here's what I saw:

.....beautiful, no? It was quite the wedding though, the bride was given away by her father, our former pastor while his father (also a minister) officiated. Then the father of the bride officiated, giving the message, hearing the vows and presiding over the exchange of rings. At this point, the brides uncle (also a pastor) took the reigns and watched over a unity ceremony and communion, after which the dad took over while the families gathered around the kneeling couple to pray over them. He then allowed his new son to kiss his bride and presented them as husband and wife, and I have to say he did a remarkable job of holding it all together, though you could hear his throat catch from time to time. Wish I coulda seen it. Sunday, most of our group was on puppy watch. Our girl Anne breeds beautiful Samoyeds, and her girl Kelly was ready to burst. I'll save all the details for Anne (check out this link, then follow it to the KellyCam for live pictures), but I will say that ALL of us were surprised by the litter. In addition to puppy watch, Alex and I had a nice coffee date, picked up a few groceries and I got some knitting done while I watched the Bronco's game and caught up with a few things on the TiVo. And now for a quick reading update: Last week I finished both Justice Hall by Laurie King, and Leonardo's Swans by Karen Essex. Both were excellent! First, Justice Hall. I've had this book on my shelf for a couple years, and as I got into it realized that it is part of a series, the 6th book, in fact. I had to decide if I should press on, or stop and go back to the beginning----I like reading things in order, do you? Anyway, I pressed on and the book was great. The premise is (and I have to go back now and read the first 5), that Sherlock Holmes meets a young woman (15 I think) and takes her on as an apprentice, at some point marrying her. Together, they continue to use their skills as detectives. I heartily recommend it! Leonardo's Swans is one of my favorite kinds of book. It is reminiscent of The Birth of Venus (which I loved), and In the Company of the Courtesan (which I also loved), both by Sarah Dunant. It is a book rich with Italian history, and the political intrigue of the early renaissance. This particular story involves two sisters, one whom marries the Marquis of Mantua, and her younger sister who marries the regent of Milan, the famous Il Moro, Ludovico Sforza. Leonardo DaVinci plays a roll, albeit minor, that adds flavor to the story. I could not put it down.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Because I couldn't resist.

48 Things You Could Care Less About 1. FIRST NAME? Lisa 2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? I don’t think so. 3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Don’t laugh…but I got weepy this morning listening to my new cd, and last night when my son wrote “RIP Zach Smith” on his childhood cancer donation thingy. As for a really good hard cry??? I don’t remember. 4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? I guess so. 5. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCHMEAT? Probably ham paired with swiss. 6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? I hope I would. 7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? I journal when I’m trying to work through things. Other than that---just the blog. 8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes, though I really should have had them out in 2nd grade. 9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Hell. No. 10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Depends on the day…Lucky Charms, Raisin Bran, really good granola. 11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Sometimes, but not usually. 12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Not particularly. 13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR? Rocky Road. 14. SHOE SIZE? 6-ish 15. RED OR PINK? Red. No question. 16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I tend to be lazy. 17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Not sure……too many choices. 18. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO SEND THIS BACK TO YOU? No. 19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Blue sweats, grey sweatshirt, not shoes. 20. LAST THING YOU ATE? Pizza, last night. 21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Tony Bennett Duets----wonderful. 22. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Salmon or coral maybe. 23. FAVORITE SMELL? The ocean, a forest when it’s sunny and warm, clean babies. 24. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? My husband. 25. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO? Their smile, closely followed by hands. 26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON you stole THIS from? Absolutely! 27. FAVORITE DRINK? Red wine. 28. FAVORITE SPORT? It’s a toss up between hockey and football. My favorite still has to be watching my son play soccer. 29. EYE COLOR? Blue. 30. HAT SIZE? No clue, but pretty small. 31. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? no 32. FAVORITE FOOD? Smoked salmon, Italian in Italy. 33. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy Endings. ----apparently Anne (or whoever she stole this from) didn't like 34 35. SUMMER OR WINTER? Neither…fall is my favorite. 36. HUGS OR KISSES? Hugs 37. FAVORITE DESSERT? Probably dark chocolate, or something with caramel. 38. WHO IS MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? Not expecting anyone to. 39. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? same 40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? Just finished Justice Hall by Laurie King. 41. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE Pad? Don’t use one. 42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? Nothing----it’s on the TiVo 43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? The ocean, elk, thunderstorms. 44. ROLLING STONE OR BEATLES? Beatles. 45. THE FURTHEST YOU'VE BEEN FROM HOME? Italy and Japan 46. WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? I’m not sure any of the things I do are all that special. 47. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Everett, Washington 48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Stolen from Anne, Ellen and Christy. And now, because it's Friday:

.....................Can I go back now????

Expect a book report on Monday---just now finished Leonardo's Swans, by Karen Essex.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Things to smile about....

Yesterday, we woke up to this: .....a wee bit more than a dusting, but not nearly what it could have been. Needless to say, it was the perfect kind of day for curling up with a good book and cupppa something. Late in the day, Alex and I headed out for Starbucks and some retail therapy. I came home with this:

....another of those wonderful albums you see at Starbucks. I just turned it on and, ya know, you just have to smile when you hear Tony Bennett (who is turning 80, believe it or not), pair up with James Taylor, or Paul McCartney---crooning those wonderful old standards. Go. Buy. It. Today. In fact, it's so good, I want to just sit and listen, (I keep turning it up). While we were cruising the mall, we found a killer deal on shoes, and Alex bought a great, classic Pea Coat, another fabulous deal, too good to pass up. As we were getting in the car to head home, a call came from gal pal Lorna, suggesting dinner out. We joined her at a new pub close to the house called the Fox and Hound. Good food, good company and lots of laughs. Here's what it looks like this morning: .......nothing much better than blue skies and sunshine :) And, if that wasn't enough to smile about, look what came in the mail the other day:

...............now, to decide which to crack first :) For now, I'm going to settle down with some knitting, or perhaps at the wheel and savor the sounds of Tony Bennett and friends.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A new member of the family!

I'd like to introduce Baker! Ya know how some people are dog people (some are cat people, bird people, snake people......)? Brett has always been dog people. In fact, he loves animals of all kinds, loves zoo's and nature films and so on. Since he was very little, we've always had animals of one kind or another, and for most of his life he has had a dog. When he moved out of our house, he lived with his Grandmother, and her dog Lucky. When he moved in with a room mate, she had a cat. But for the last year or so, he has been pet-less......until last Thursday. He and his girl Cora have recently moved to a big, new apartment, and he just couldn't wait any longer; they began trolling the shelters and finally found this happy guy, a Great Pyrenees about 3 months old. (Please don't leave comments about what an irresponsible choice this was, how he'll be huge, how he's not meant to live in an apt and so on........you just can't predict love, ya know?? If you can't say something nice.......) For the last several days there have been lots of phone calls, checking his progress and so on, and I'm happy to report that the little family is doing great, Baker is 41 pounds of healthy fluff, is learning proper potty procedures, and is a real sweetheart, by all reports. Brett took him to visit his Grandma and Lucky the other day, and the two got along great, although Baker was a bit overwhelming to the 11 year old Westie. Since Brett and Cora are pretty active---biking, playing soccer, hiking and such----Baker should get lots of outdoor time and exercise. I happened to see a similar pup in the pet store yesterday, and I have to tell you, it's not hard to see why Brett and Cora fell in love with their little guy. They are darling puppies! And I have to admit, I wish I could be there to enjoy the fun. In other news, I'm still waiting to hear "officially" from the government folks regarding the new job. I talked to the "officer in charge" yesterday, and they are all excited that I'll be joining them (a great ego boost for me, I have to admit), but the civilian side of the military, in fact all of civil service, is being reorganized and the wheels grind very slowly. If I was better organized, I'd get busy on things like Christmas cards, gift shopping, painting the bedroom and so on before I actually start working. Thanks again to all of you who have sent congratulations, and asked about the situation. Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, October 16, 2006


......they're really that close. Here's the thing I love about Rocky Mountain National Park (and Estes Park); there's no other place that I have ever been where one can enjoy beautiful vista's and wildlife this up close and personal.

And I never get used to it. I take a ton of pictures, stare and gawk and feel lucky to be there.

We arrived at the campground around 4 pm and found a terrific spot up on the ridge overlooking Moraine Park, where elk were visible. There's just nothing like listening to the calls of these magnificent beasts, as you set up camp, cook some supper or fall asleep. The weather was perfect, around 62 degrees, sunny and clear. We set up the camper and took a short walk, before having some dinner and going to sleep. Several times during the night, I woke to the sounds of coyotes yipping and howling----lots of them and pretty close by.

Saturday was overcast and mild, around 45 degrees in the campground. We were toasty warm in our little home away from home, Brad reading up on which flies to use in which stream and me doing some knitting and reading. After lunch we ventured off, planning to go to the fly fishing shop in town for some intel and new bugs. Along the way we decided to drive up Trail Ridge Road a bit, but instead of sticking to the plan of going up just a little ways, we drove all the way to the top, and into the weather----beautiful, but quite chilly. The visitors center and the gift shop were already boarded up for the winter.

On the way back down, we saw a beautiful herd of elk, the first I've ever seen at that altitude (something like 12,000 feet) at this time of the year. Off the other side of the road, and down about 300 feet or so was a car---emergency flashers flashing. Not a good place to lose control, but certainly not the worst spot, since there are several places along Trail Ridge Road where one would drop into nothingness.

We finally made it to town, parked the van and spotted this group of elk. This little "park" is right in town, steps away from the town hall and public library, less than 100 yards from the main drag. The elk seem totally unconcerned at the presence of people strolling by, stopping to take photo's and such, and while I've seen elk in this same spot before, I don't think I can remember seeing them this close to the sidewalk.

We stopped into the fly shop, and heading down the Thompson Canyon so Brad to try his luck. It was a catch and release area, and he did manage to catch a pretty brown trout, about 11 inches long (so says the fisherman). I was in the van doing a little reading, and missed the photo op. On the way back to the camper, we saw a herd of beautiful white tail deer, at least 4 bucks and several does, barely off the road, and a bit further on we had to stop as there were elk in the road.

Sunday morning we grabbed our breakfast and took it "on the road" just down the hill from the campsite where there was a nice herd in the meadow. Brad did a little fishing while I watched the herd.

We packed up the camper and headed downtown to enjoy the beautiful fall day and some coffee. I have to say, that out of all the Starbucks I have patronized (and believe me, there have been quite a few) this is my very favorite. It backs up to the river that runs through Estes Park, with outdoor tables and a view that rivals a great latte. Yesterday, we opted for the rocks rather than the outdoor tables, and I could easily manage spending a good chunk of time there if I lived more locally.

After a walk through town and a dip into the yarn shop (where unbelievably I left empty handed---I have no idea how that happened), we headed home. Honestly, I wish I could go every weekend, but then that might take some of the fun out of it, huh? I'll save some of the spectacular scenery shots for Friday's.....So stay tuned.

Now, it's back to the mountain of laundry......And I think I hear the spinning wheel calling my name.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Last Minute....

Ever think about how many things would never happen were it not for the last minute? The van is packed, and very soon we will be walking out the door and heading up to our favorite camping spot in Rocky Mountain National Park. This is the very best time of year to go, with the meadows full of elk, and a splash of color still on the trees. As you know, I look forward to this every year. Hopefully there will be lots of pictures on Monday----see you then!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

meme and youyou

It's grey and gloomy here today, and I'm having a tough time getting myself motivated to do anything. My mind is as foggy as the weather, and I haven't done anything remotely "blog worthy" in days. I've thought about posting one of the meme's currently running around blogland, but I can't think of 10 knitterly things you don't know about me, and choosing my top ten pieces of music would be impossible, so let's start another discussion; Do you knit for Christmas? Have you started yet? What (if you can tell) will you be knitting this year? What sorts of things are on you knitting wish list? I'll start (smile). I sometimes knit for Christmas, though usually it's a project that I've been working on for some time and just happen to finish around Christmas. Last year, I decided that new Christmas stockings were in order and I knit 6 before it was all over. This year the only Christmas knitting on my list is a pair of mittens. One of the resolutions I made (for lack of a better word) was to do NO MORE deadline knitting, and for the most part, I've stuck to that mantra. Yes, I have done a couple KAL's, like the Knitting Olympics and the Trek Along, but aside from the Olympics, there was no hard and fast deadline. As for this years X-mas mittens, I have not started them yet, but they should be fairly quick as they are a simple pattern. On my wish list are the KnitPicks Options needles, the Alden Amos spinning book and some extra bobbins for my wheels. I'm sure I'll be adding to the list as the holiday's draw closer. Now, I must get going, little dude just called and wants me to join him for lunch......it's pretty hard to say no to a 3 year old. Plus, there's a camping trip to get ready for :)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Another Tuesday

I woke up this morning to a dusting of snow on the ground, not unusual for our part of the country, but I was hoping for a bit more autumn before jumping into winter. Of course, everything could change by the weekend, and I may get the camping trip in yet. This past weekend was full of fibery fun, beginning with our merry band of knitters and spinners meeting up at the Llama Store, and taking advantage of their lovely classroom space for our regular get together. Linda is working on a fabulous sweater out of Trekking (go figure), Kirsten and Christy both bought the pattern and wool for fun sheepy sweaters, (see photo on Christy's blog) and Anne and I worked on angora goodies for Phoebe's grand adventure. Speaking of Phoebe, she brought in the fur lined jacket samples from her contact in Manhattan, and there was some serious lusting going on. Luxury women's western wear, indeed! Sunday, my friend Eva and I drove up the road to Castle Rock and the Douglas County Fairgrounds for an alpaca show. Check out this guy:

We wandered through the whole show, checking out the sweet little faces and yummy fleeces; unfortunately I didn't find any fleece for sale---fiber either. Yesterday was perfect for knitting and spinning---I'll spare you the photo's as there wasn't much noticeable progress; one bobbin of singles looks much the same as another, ya know. Today, I seem to be suffering the consequences a bit with some cramping in my left hand, which I'm hoping my massage therapist can work out this afternoon.

And know I'm off to see what you have been up to!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Catch Up Day

It's been a little while since we've had some good ole knitting content, so that's what I've got today. First up, Phoebe Jackets (for lack of a better name). Our little band of knitters and spinners includes the Fabulous Phoebe, who earlier this year came up with the idea for a store full of luxury women's western wear; wonderful boots, jackets, bags and such. As a test market strategy, she's formed a corporation Girl of the Golden West, and the first adventure into retail will begin over the holidays at the mall. Several of us in the group are knitting angora trim for denim jackets, (you can see an example here, and here---be sure to scroll down), and I am no exception. Although I haven't done any 'sewing on,' I do have about 2 1/2 jackets done. The knitting is easy---even the buttonholes come easily after a bit---and it's been fun. The angora is handspun by a group of women in Chile, using drop spindles.....You can imagine the variations. I'm doing light blue right now. Next.....Alex's Cambridge Cardi. Since his arrival here, Alex and I have spent some time together, and he has pointed out on a couple occasions how much he likes zippered pullovers; you know the kind, with stand up collars and half zippers----rather like the Cambridge, only with a half zip. So, (dumb me) I asked him if he'd rather have his Cambridge have a half zipper, and of course he said, "yeah, if you can do it." Now, I have to admit, I wasn't all that far along on the sweater, given all the other stuff going on, (I have one sleeve done, up to the shaping, and one front up to the arm hole shaping), so last week at knit group, I polled the gals and decided to give it a go. I frogged the front, ran to the Llama Store for a longer circular needle and cast the thing on in the round, with a plan to split it at the armpits, and somehow figure out how to do a half zipper. Any ideas or suggestions at this juncture would be welcomed and appreciated, though at the rate I'm going it will be a little while before it's an issue. This is the furthest leap I've ever taken away from a pattern, so I'm bound to learn something one way or another. I'm still trudging along with the third pair of trekking socks, they ride around in my bag as to go knitting. I can show you sock one....If you're interested. Thanks to all of you for your kind congratulations on the new job. I'm having mixed feelings about the whole thing. I love the idea of working again; using my skills, having colleagues, and expendable income, but at the same time, I'm worried about the transition from homebody to working woman. After a season of being at home, it will be interesting getting back in the game. The old adage of use it or lose it, comes to mind, and I know there will be times I have to work really hard to pull up some random bit of information, stored in the unused parts of my brain. Fortunately, they will give me up to 6 week's of training to get me up to speed, learn their computer system and all that. In my whole career (not that long, but still) I've NEVER had 6 weeks of training. Never. And now, since it's Friday..... Have a great weekend :)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Back in the Saddle....sorta

Sorry for missing New Word Wednesday yesterday----my mind was just somewhere else. Probably about 9 months ago now, I mailed off my resume to the Medical Clinic at Peterson Air Force Base, just a few miles from my home. I heard nothing until about 2 months ago, when I got a call from the personnel office asking me if I still wanted a job. At that time they told me they would forward my resume to the department that was hiring and they would call to set up an interview. Again, I heard nothing.....until last week when I got a call from a nurse in the Family Practice Clinic, who wanted to set up an interview. I arrived yesterday to find I was meeting with the entire leadership staff, and would be interviewed by each of them. Now, I hate job interviews; hate trying to sell myself, hate the feeling of being judged at first glance and so forth. The group thing could have been very intimidating, but they were all so nice and welcoming, we got through the interview swimmingly. I was invited to come back this morning, to "hang out" and see if it looked like something I might like. Around lunchtime, after meeting again with the 'chief nurse' and another of the staff members, I was offered the position, and told that they had wanted to offer me the position right after the interview yesterday, but didn't think it was fair to ask me to decide without a better idea of what I would be doing. I accepted, and will now begin some sort of process of background and security checks; it could be 2 to 4 weeks before I actually get to go to work. Not to worry, I have plenty to keep me busy between now and then. For now, I'm off to meet my girlfriend Lorna for a celebratory glass of wine.......more later :)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Out of It

My whirlwind of activity is finally over, and it feels so odd to me to get back to the blog, after being away for the past week. So much has gone on, or at least it seems that way to me (who has a life full of quiet days, one following the other), that I really don't know how to "get back on the horse." I'll give it a try. I suppose the place to begin would be Thursday; the afternoon brought a visit to the chiropractor and a few errands, followed by the birthday celebration for our very favorite 3 year old, Stephen. The party was held at one of those places that has huge, inflated, bouncy things (Pump It Up), and there were children and adults hoppin' all over the place. Play was followed by pizza, presents and cake, and a good time was had by all.

Everybody except Mr. Brad, who was still at work, muddling through the script for Friday night's festivities and trying to get his email read. Friday morning I was off to get a haircut. My hairdresser was late, so while I waited I snuck in a much needed pedicure, and after the appointment I stopped by the florist to pick up the table center pieces for the party. They were stunning----fifteen small arrangements and a larger one for the head table. I tucked them safely into the back of the car and headed home. The Dining Out (In) for Brad's department was a huge success, over 150 current and returning department members came back to honor Shirley, the department's secretary extrordinaire (for over 45 years). One of the speakers had been a POW for several years during the Viet Nam conflict, another is the president of a university in Texas. The food was excellent, the speakers unparalleled and the whole evening was terrific. Alex went along, all dressed up, and even sat next to me at the head table. At the end of the evening I received tons of positive feedback, to add to my relief that it was all over. (Before you ask, I didn't take the camera, didn't take any pictures....dumb). Saturday morning, without my usual amount of sleep, I went to knit with the gals up in Black Forest. I was really tired, but the routine was soothing after my hectic week. We spent most of the morning and part of the afternoon on the deck of the little coffee shop, laughing, knitting and enjoying a perfect fall day. Around 2, I packed up my stuff, ran by the grocery store and headed home to get ready for house guests---In Laws. They arrived around 4, and within the hour we were all off for the Chili Party, another of the yearly events associated with dining out weekend. The party was great fun, lots of food, great company and good conversation. I got to chat with the gentleman who had spoken the previous evening, the one who had been a POW, and had a lovely conversation with his wife. At the time of her husbands capture, they had two small children (3 and 8 I think she said), and I told her that I just couldn't imagine going through what she did. She replied "you just do what you have to do," and later in our time together she we talked about conflicting emotions---wanting to get on with your life, yet not wanting to give up hope. She said it was very hard to know what to say; if she said 'he is' then people thought she was crazy, and if she said 'he was' then she was accused of giving up. We talked a bit about getting back to normal after her husband returned, (he had been gone something like 6 years) and she said they worked very hard at it. They are an amazing couple, true American hero's, and I feel so, so honored to meet them and share some time together. Sunday was mostly quiet, I ran to the store in the afternoon and then in the evening Cliff, Eva and Stephen joined us all for dinner.

Monday was a big day here----Brad was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel! I managed to get everybody out of the house on schedule, pick up food (for 50) and arrive at the designated spot in plenty of time. The ceremony was wonderful, Brad's Mom (and step-dad) got to be there (first time she's been in attendance for a promotion), and it was so neat to see DH honored by his staff and colleagues. Mom and I each got roses, and Alex and I did the "pinning on." Today, I'm exhausted. After getting everybody out the door this morning (Brad to work, In-Laws onto the next leg of their vacation and Alex off to work), I crawled back into bed for an hour or so. Then off to a massage, home for another nap, and here I am. I feel so out of it. And then there's tomorrow-----I have a job interview. Yikes.