3 of 52

We’ll call this one “The Nope Edition.” Nope, I didn’t finish the Fourth Doctor Scarf, though I only have 72 rows to go. Nope, I didn’t finish Illusions, though another 20 minutes should do it. I did go to Frederick today, where I picked up another copy of Illusions for a friend, and this delightful yarn.

It’s wound into cakes and ready to become Edison by Lynn Di Cristina, and I can cast on as soon as I quit typing.

2 of 52

There has been knitting almost every day this week, and a big push yesterday. Here’s 15 feet of Fourth Doctor Scarf, with about 300 rows to go. If I’m super productive, it will be finished when you next see it.

There has also been reading. I finished Ella Minnow Pea, and started Illusions. It’s fairly short, so I expect to finish it this week as well. I’ve got longer books in my queue, but the shorter ones give me an early feeling of accomplishment which will help keep me motivated. Also, I promised my neighbor I’d get to this one quickly and pass it on to him.

There is no visual highlight for this week, which is not to say good things didn’t happen, just that they weren’t photographable. We’re talking about the gardens, weekend getaways, and how to find good work/home/relationship balance. And we’re trying to teach three teenagers and a preteen the arts of negotiation and consensus building. Wish us luck on that!

There has also been a bit of sadness. My second cat died a couple of days ago, two months after the first one. I’m not planning to re-catify. I need to focus on training the rude out of my dog.

1 of 52

So. Here I am, with a goal of 52 posts in 2018. There is no way I am going to try to bring you all up to speed on the last however many months it’s been. We’ll just start with current stories, the first of which has old antecedents. Last Christmas (that would be 2016) I gave out six knitting coupons “for a hand knitted item of your choice.” And one of the recipients said “Anything?” And I said “Sure,” because I love him and am also naïve. And then he said “a Fourth Doctor Scarf.” And then a second recipient changed her mind, and said she wanted that, too, but not full size. And then I said, “Well, I’ve been meaning to knit one for myself anyway, so three Fourth Doctor scarves it is!” Then I had a thyroid flare which aggravated my carpal tunnel to the point that I could not knit for about 10 months. But here, at long last, is the first of three Fourth Doctor scarves approaching the finish line. This one is full size. I’m 1492 rows in, a bit less than 600 rows to go.  Goal for the year: 12 finished pieces, six for others and six for me.  General craftiness goal:  At least 30 minutes on five of seven days.

Look at me go:  SMART goals in my personal life.  You’d almost think I write a lot of treatment plans or something.  Like a Social Worker.

This is what I am reading.  I bought two copies of this book, one for me and one for Sarah.  We’re trying again to start a long distance book club, since she’s moved back to North Carolina, and this book looked fun.   And it is!  I’m sure she’s finished by now because she reads much faster than I do.  I’ve finally accepted that I just don’t have the liberty to sit for hours and read on a regular basis, so I have cut my reading goal to an achievable 12 books this year.  A long way for my 50+ days, but more realistic.  Again, I aim for 30 minutes a day on five of seven days.

And this was the highlight of the week!  We attended the Midwinter Night’s Dream Masquerade Ball last night.  Here I am dancing, dressed as Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.  I somehow managed to lose about 5 pounds between the time my dress was fitted on Wednesday morning and putting it on for the party Saturday night.  No lie.   Not complaining, mind you, but it is a bit of a seamstress’s nightmare.

Oh, I said we:  Here I am with The Mad Hatter, The Queen of Hearts, and The Cheshire Cat.

Test post

Because I’m thinking about blogging again after an 18plus month hiatus, so I need to check things.

A Peek at My Wednesdays

As I type this in my office, which is Clientless because I can’t see people between 9 and 11 on Wednesday morning, I can clearly hear the lady across the hall screaming at the assembled congregation. This is why I can’t see anyone on Wednesdays between 9 and 11. First there is the music, which is good, but also loud enough to vibrate the floor under my feet. Then there is the screeching preaching.

I mean, I am all about some exhortation, but I have never enjoyed being screamed at myself, so I much prefer to love people into submission. Generally, I find it easier to exercise authority over those who willingly allow me to lead. Not from fear, you see, but because they believe my vision has value and trust my judgement. But that’s just me. The higher the stakes, the lower and slower I speak. If it’s really important, I may not talk much at all–just roll up my sleeves and get to work.

I find this Wednesday morning church ironic. The pastor who runs this clinic has one of the gentlest, most thoughtful voices I have ever heard. I can no more imagine him yelling at people than I can imagine …I don’t know. Of course, I have never heard him preach. Which doesn’t mean he doesn’t preach– he does so every Monday from 11 to 1. During which time I can see clients. Just sayin’.

But Wednesday mornings? They are a wash here, except for admin tasks. Luckily(??), I have plenty of those. Discharges, treatment planning, scheduling, supervision, concurrent reviews, missing intake paperwork, playing GO. All good Wednesday morning tasks. Actual counseling? Not so much.

Note to self: this would be a great time for headphones and classical music.

This entry was posted on May 25, 2016, in cass works.

I might be a narcissist if

I won’t write in my paper and ink journal because it’s too much effort, even though I carry it everywhere I go except the bathroom, but I will journal at the computer where all my friends and family and seven billion strangers have access to it. Nonetheless, I noticed the other day that I haven’t posted since the fourth day of February, and this blog needs to earn it’s keep, so here we are.

I read not long ago that if you devote an hour a day to reading about a certain topic, you’ll be an expert in that field within seven years. And I wondered what fields I would explore if I decided to do that. I haven’t, you know. Decided, I mean. I just wondered. But I’d like to be an expert in social work. And I would like to be able to render a picture in my mind into recognizable form. Not using words, that is–just lines, color, shading. And I would like to be able to differentiate one classical composer from another without needing to look at the cd label. I need to choose wisely. At forty-eight, I have time to become an expert in only five areas assuming I do them one at a time (and die at the expected time with my mind intact–a pretty rash assumption). I won’t do it singularly, if I do it at all, because that’s how I roll, but still. That’s the maximum amount of time I have.

Then, I read that if you write three hundred words per day, you’ll have a book at the end of the year. Just three hundred. Man, that’s kinder and gentler than the one thousand six hundred and sixty-seven that NaNoWriMo requires, isn’t it? I think I could do three hundred. You’ll notice that all the numbers are spelled out here, and THIS is the three hundred and twelfth word. So I am there. Not that this is novel material, but it took less than fifteen minutes from deciding to blog to get to three hundred and twelve words.

I’m once again confronted with the difference between what I say I want and what I actually do.

Want. Do.

I’ve been presented recently with the opportunity to pursue a thirty-five year old dream, with minor alterations in details. And by minor I mean less than 500 miles. It’s a thing I can’t not do. Because thirty-five years. Offered at a time I am financially, mentally, emotionally prepared to do it. To not do the thing would be stupid. Even if I am terrified.

Remember this?
fearless tat

People ask folks with back tats what the point is. Why would you get a tattoo where you can never see it? I do see it. I can look in the mirror. Or at photos. But more importantly than being able to SEE it, is knowing it’s there. Every day. This is a useful thing for me. Every time I have an opportunity that scares me, I remind myself I am fearless. I am so fearless that I paid good money to have it painfully etched into my skin.

Do you remember when I got it? I do. Three years ago. One year away from my BSW. After four years of single parenting. After putting more demons to rest than I care to re-visit today. I’m fearless. And so I’m moving.

Explore and More

Eight days ago, I found myself inside a hands-on children’s museum in Gettysburg. By the way, I need to confess that the first time I went to Gettysburg (which was the 27th of December), I had to rewrite a lot of Civil War history in my head. For some reason, it never occurred to me that THE GETTYSBURG was in Pennsylvania. I sorta thought it was vaguely in Virginia-ish. Because my textbooks never said Gettysburg, PA. Only Gettysburg. Anyway, I digress.

Here is my youngest child looking somewhat bored inside the giant bubble contraption. I know there exists a picture of me in the thing, but I don’t have it.

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And here is a picture of some paint I finally smeared on paper. Not that I have opened my own year-old paints yet. But the first step has been made. I can put cheap children’s acrylic on butcher block, and if I mean to make a tree, it comes out sorta tree-like. Good enough. I’m still somewhat intimidated, but not as intimidated as I was. Progress.

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And then there was this. It’s a simple contraption, just some wooden leaf things around a wooden pole. But in the tray on the bottom are wooden balls in different sizes. If you put the balls at the top, they roll down and make a noise of the musical type. Like scales. And if you drop the three different size balls rapidly one after the other, you get scaled scales. And for some reason, this just fascinated me. I did it over and over. And I want one of these for my very own, so I can do this every day. Bopbopbopbopboopboopboopboopbooopbooopbooop. I want it. Every day.

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This entry was posted on February 4, 2016, in cass goes.

Worthy

Behold my tarnished teapot, and then scroll down for the rest of the story.

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Those of you who follow my Facebook know that I woke up grumpy on Tuesday, but decided I would have an amazing day, and then was practically given this tea set:

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I asked the guy if the 6.99 cup and the 6.99 saucer meant the 2 pieces together were 6.99 and he said yes. I told him I wanted one and he walked over to the “precious” cabinet to get it for me. He looked at the shelf and he looked at me. And he said, “This is a whole set. I can’t break it. It’s 49.99.” “For all of it?” I squeaked. “Yes.” “I’ll take it.” And then I might have jumped up and down a few times. It’s Johnson Brothers Strawberry Fair, and the server alone was marked 49.99. The charger 24.99, and each little piece 6.99. All told, that’s about 250 bucks worth of Salvation Army-priced merchandise. I’ll let you go to eBay like I did to determine the real market value. P.S. No, I am not going to pay 400+ dollars for the matching tea pot.

Oh, and I had looked at this set when I went with all the kids last Thursday, but did a rapid calculation and didn’t even ask about it. Clearly, this set was meant to be mine. Amazing, no?

Then, we went on the Goodwill as planned. We found a lovely china teapot and checked out. As I was paying, I looked across the store and saw some breakable things on a set of shelves hidden behind a rack of clothes. I told Jasmine to finish up and walked over to look. One of the things on that shelf was the set you see to the left in the picture above. No maker’s mark, just Made in Japan, but it’s fine enough that if you look through the cup from the inside, you can see the painting on the outside. Twelve cups, twelve saucers, marked 12 bucks for the lot.

So then, I have been thinking that I need a pot that vaguely matches these two tea sets. But then, I was thinking “but I haven’t paid full price for anything so far, why start now?” And then I decided to get off the internet and clean the living room. And as I was clearing the candy wrappers off the end table where Mother’s Silver Tea Service was sitting, I said, “Oh.” And then I took it into the kitchen to wash it up. This set belonged to my once-Mother-in-Law. When she and Dad downsized to an apartment, I was asked if there was anything I wanted from her house. I asked for a ceramic kewpie doll, and this tea service. I’ve had it for….many years. More than 15, maybe as long as 20.

And you know, I know it has a patina. It had one when it was given to me, and it is beautiful to me just like it is. I could polish it up and it would be shiny. But that verdigris has character. That oxidation has taken this teapot from something I have to take care of to something I can use to bring me, my children, and my guests joy. And it is worthy to be used with my best tea things.

Now, I need a china cabinet. They had those at Goodwill, too, and really cheap, but I currently lack the man-power to get one up the stairs. Currently.