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July 2007 Archives

July 8, 2007

Small Victories

Loads of them stacked up over the last two weeks. One might wonder if the week plus of vacation I've taken since the beginning of June might have something to do with it, but I'm not even going to wonder - just enjoy.

It started with my perfect drive up to NIH - somehow it seems to always rain on Thursday nights I drive up, and an hour into the trip, Mother Nature kept up her perfect record. By the time I hit my beloved Rock Creek Parkway after 9:30pm, it was deserted and dark and raining lightly, with eerie misty pockets sprinkled liberally along. Managing to drive Rock Creek all the way from the Memorial Bridge to East-West Highway in Bethesda is my own personal gauntlet every trip, and I haven't done well lately. Despite the mist and an urge to bear off too far to the right at one point, I emerged, triumphantly, right where I wanted to be. Victory one.

My NIH appointment began at 7am, and after the usual peeing in a cup to make sure I'm not pregnant (hah!), I waited til 8 to get in the BIG scanner. The Italian scientist was there again, grinning and apologetic for my last trip, fawning over me and thanking me for trying again. I was moments away from blissful ignorance when the nurse frowned as she made sure I knew this was a looong scan - almost two hours. Argh - the last thing I wanted to know was how long I had to cook. I was pooped from my drive and ready to sleep but no-ooooo, she had to go and tell me. The sweet-smelling Italian boy softened the blow ever-so-slightly, but I knew it would be a long haul. I think Ii probably slept a bit, but not much. I do little sing-songy chants along with the magnet's rhythmic banging, and practiced mind control, and tried to meditate to my breathing. I think I need a private breathing coach - a guru who could help me not freak out and start hyperventilating, or worrying I'm doing it wrong. I had zero deep thoughts, solved no world problems or even any of my own, but did stay still. Anyway, at 110 minutes in, Antonio came on the speaker and asked how I was doing - to which I groaned "how much longer?" He and the nurse both emphatically told me I could be done right then, but if I could manage 10 more minutes, they'd love to run one more scan. How could I not manage 10 more minutes in the name of science (and a cute scientist)? So I did, and I was done - and it was a full two hours. Victory two - but whew - won't repeat that anytime soon. Antonio was thrilled to have that extra scan as a control - the same as the one just before it to check consistency, and he happily told me that all was not lost from the 70 minutes I did beofre bailing the last time - they'd use all that too, and were in fact having several other guinea pigs repeat portions of the 3T MRI. Cool.

With only one scan to accomplish, I was outta there by 10:30 on Friday morning - the Friday before the 4th of July. I knew I had to be headed south on 95 before 2PM at the latest or I was in for a nightmare of tourist drivers beginning their treks to the beach, and I was determined to get to StitchDC on the Hill. In my usual manner, I had carefully studied the MapQuest directions at home, then printed them up for the drive, then carefully left them folded NEXT to my pocketbook. So they weren't there when I went for them. But, even knowing how poorly it turned out last time, I trusted my instincts and headed in the general direction. I stopped only at Whole Foods for a big bottle of good olive oil and a handful of their peppermint lip balm, since the last handful I bought have disappeared into pockets and cats' paws. I discovered, at just about the place those pesky instincts turned me around last time in a panic, that I had been headed straight for it on the last trip, and had I gone maaaybe 3 more blocks I would have been right there. So fine - I was there this time. All good. Even found a reasonable parking place and finally made it in. It's amazing how different the DC market is from my mid-sized town a few hours south - I think I only saw one or two familiar yarns, and the rest was an amazing collection of unusual, chi-chi, luxury, and/or luscious products. Having survived Rock Creek, a two-hour MRI, and the wilds of DC to get there, I lost my mind and walked out with a way-over-my-price-range Japanese jacket kit in linen paper from Habu. Lost. My. Mind. But it's so funky, and I will make it (someday, when I bump into it in my stash after a long line of other fabulous must-have projects). I'm not really sure what size it will be, and the Japanese charts will take some practice - but I'm up for some new forms of torture. Victory three.


After working a whopping 16 hours last week (!), I ran screaming from my office for five straight days of nothing planned. Which meant I had plenty of time to knock out the alleged final two swatches for Melissa Leapman. Which I did - at 11:52 on Thursday morning, I bound that last sucker off. Victory four!

Which meant I could cast on, for the third time, CeCe in caramel Butterfly cotton. While knitting with my friend on Thursday night - bonus. I've managed almost six repeats of the lace on the body so far - I think I'll only have to do nine before I start the sleeves. I even managed to get past my slip-stitch brain fart of the last attempt - I just don't know what came over me that time. Victory five!


(What you can't see in this photo is that I'm stopped mid-row because it looks like I may have done something really, really wrong about three rows back. And that while I did figure out what I was doing wrong on the previous slip-stitch edge attempt, I didn't figure it out until one side was already wrong... but it's consistent, so this is one of those design features I'm willing to live with. Small victories, remember?)

July 11, 2007

In Memory of Momma Dove #2

Yep, that pesky neighborhood cat got the second nesting dove on my porch sometime between breakfast & lunch on Monday, and I just feel terrible. I knew the cat knew she was there, even though I haven't seen him since his massacre in May. I spent many nights falling asleep thinking about ways I could protect the dove - spikes, aluminium foil, a net, anti-varmint spray - but I did nothing. Mostly because I know you can't stop a cat on a mission... I had one of those cats who, back when I was making a lot of pottery, would not allow any other potter's work in my apartment. Anytime I brought something home, she'd find and "kill" it, smashing it to the floor. I bought a beautiful Malcolm Davis shino teapot - I was mad for it - and within 24 hours, my little Spike had found it, stashed on a high shelf behind lots of other pots, and smashed it.

Anyway, I feel like I set Momma Dove #2 up, and if any of her friends decide to investigate this lovely spot to make a nest, I will, even though the thought kills me, drive her away. Captain America is as sad about this as I am - we both enjoyed greeting her anytime we were on the porch and marveled at her tolerance and dedication as we watered plants hanging right next to her and generally banged around out there. RIP momma.

In fiber news, I'm up to the armpits on Cece, and boy, all that shaping in lace has tested my feeble brain! I persevere, and tonight I'll cast on for the sleeves - wheee! I also managed to fill another bobbin with CA's brown wool over the weekend - one more bobbin, a little plying, and I'm ready to make his vest. Whee again! And today I will mail off the final six cable swatches for Melissa Leapman - big WHEEEE!

About July 2007

This page contains all entries posted to Dawn's Dream in July 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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