Well, there's nothing I can do about issue #1 I posted about earlier today, other than being compassionate and understanding. But some better news on issue #2: the missing retired-faculty has been located, she's just fine, and is in London. Apparently the plans for the talk were either made so long ago (and no reminders tendered) or were tenuous enough (or communication bad enough) that she took the opportunity to travel.
We found that out finally when someone had the presence of mind to call her church and ask if she was OK, and they were all, "Oh, she didn't tell you she was going to England?" No, no she did not.
(If she were a slightly different person - she is in my AAUW group - I'd tease her mercilessly about it, but I don't think she's the kind of person who'd find that funny)
Also, I hadn't mentioned this, but neighbors of my parents had a worry. They have the SWEETEST little dog ever, a Shih Tzu, who seems to have a special fondness for my mom (if he is out being walked when she's out in the yard, he really wants to come over to see her and have her pet him). Well, last week - just before these folks left on a trip - when they were walking him, a big dog came up and grabbed him before his owner could grab him up. He was pretty badly hurt, I guess. They took him to a boarding vet (after the trip to the emergency vet) and the vet said he'd do his best, but warned them that even with antibiotics, sometimes massive infections set in.
Well, they got home tonight. My mom said she didn't want to bother them when they were tired but when she saw them get home, they had the dog with them and he looked pretty much OK.
(Also, she said she thought the big dog was "going away" so he wouldn't cause future problems. The owners of the big dog are paying the vet bills.)
But when I got home - before I knew about the dog being OK, I was pretty worn down. (In addition to everyone else, the research lab I share with another guy got "written up" by our officious Safety mavens. It was MAINLY because of some boxes he had stored in there but I had to move some of my stuff, too. The problem is the rooms are all small and the storage space stinks (and we're not allowed to use some of the storage space in the building). So we rushed around and moved stuff and cleared up (even though I was in a dress and high heeled sandals, I climbed up on a stepladder. And I wound up dropping a heavy piece of board (??? I know not why it was in that room) on my foot).
It's better, I hope it's better enough. (Several of my other colleagues got THEIR labs written up. This is breeding a certain resentment in my department: it took a stern visit from the fire marshal for us to get smoke detectors, but a few boxes out of place and we get written up.)
So I wound up being really tired and really thrown for a loop by the time I got home around 5. (The situation was made worse by having to drive across town to get more shampoo as I had run out. And I wound up behind someone whose car had stalled out at a stoplight and I had to make evasive maneuvers.)
Yarn makes it a little better. I had ordered some stuff from Loopy Ewe and it came (One skein is for socks, another one is for a shawlette, the third I have not decided whether I want socks or a shawlette from it). I also admit I gobbled down all the "Loopy Kisses" (these are five of the tiny wrapped Tootsie Rolls that they include with every more-or-less regular customer's order). I'm good at self control around most candy, but Tootsie Rolls are one I cannot keep in the house because I will steadily eat all of them in a short span of time. I think it's a combination of the chewy texture and the chocolate/molasses-y flavor that does it to me. So I don't buy them, even though I really like them.
And these are the most recent "just simple" socks, being knit of good old Opal. The "new" yarns I bought are fancier than Opal - one is a Dream in Color, another one is a small dyer out of Quebec (? I think, the label is in both French and English), but I do still have love for the simpler, less luxe yarns like Opal.
The colors are maybe a little "1980s" but I like them.
Also, ponies make it better. This is an homage to my childhood, where I loved arranging things by similarity and having "parades" of stuff. I have these all lined up along the open edge of my piano:
I have the Mane 6 (plus Derpy, plus the glitterated ponies) on the little shelf where my metronome and clock/thermometer/hygrometer sits, and then all the "background" and "non-show" ponies are lined up along the edge. (of the "non show" ponies, my favorites are Cherry Spices - brown with multicolored pink mane - and Pepperdance - sort of a pale orangey peach with a darker orange mane).
Also, here's the "proof of concept" repaint, the one I did with nail polish just to see if you could recolor an extra blindbag pony:
Yup, it's Rockstar Glitterbutt! Her glittery mane doesn't show up as well in the photo as in real life, but she's pretty striking. (I like the idea of her being kind of a rude-ish little pony - because, see, she thinks she's a Rockstar, and therefore, special).
I'm within one full repeat of the pattern (20 rows) of being done with the Emily shawl. Then I get to block it, which is always an exciting thing with lace. I'm thinking of immediately starting another shawlette - either Mizzle (a pattern from Ravelry, can't remember if it was free or one I bought) or the Putney Shawl out of my previous yarn order - that one directly from Green Mountain Spinnery.
I also have a few other patterns, I broke down and bought the "trainspotting for nerds" e-book that someone offers on Ravelry. It has several train-themed patterns: Orient Express, one that is named for a Japanese train, TGV, and the Hogwarts Express (it has cabled owls on it!). I'm thinking of doing the Orient Express one out of the Dream in Color sockyarn I ordered recently, it's a deep reddish purple called something like Dusky Port.
The nice thing about shawlettes is you can often make them with one, 100-g (or about 400 yard) skein of sockyarn. And they're faster than a typical shawl that can take me months or more often, years, to make. The one drawback is that they tend to be small, and so are better as accessories than actual warm garments. (Especially on someone like me, with broad shoulders).