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August 15, 2004: Support groups for all my obsessions

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Today was the first day of my very own version of Pianopalooza. We've got a rotation of pianists who act as accompanist for the church services. It being summer, a number of the pianists were off on vacation or otherwise unavailable so somehow I ended up signing up for two weeks in a row. And then, just because I've been feeling far more competent in my piano playing abilities lately, I suggested to my dad that we try that piano and organ duet again, so there will be three weeks straight of me and the piano this month. I am not on the schedule at all in September, which I think is probably for the best because by then the congregation will all probably be sick of me. Heh.

I was actually quite pleased with myself. There was one hymn that was a little more difficult but overall it went far better than it has before. I think I'm getting the hang of playing hymns it's not just playing the song note by note; it's being able to look at the chords and make a last-second decision as to which notes need to be played and which can be left out in the particularly difficult parts.

I had brought my knitting with me, intending to work on that while Richard went to a meeting after church, but one of our friends noted that they had finally caught the litter of feral kittens in their backyard, and so what else could I do but walk down the block with her to her house and play with kittens instead?

They are quite possibly the cutest little kittens I have seen in a while. Momma is a rather scrappy looking medium haired tortoiseshell (she was lurking around outside), but they all look as if they are going to end up shorthaired. However, they were simply covered in a layer of kitten fuzz. They're just about six weeks old, eyes changed from the gray-blue of babyhood to their 'adult' colors. There's definitely some siamese in the mix, from the tipping of gray on some of the ears and tails. They are still young enough to fall over when they wrestle, and to fluff up their tails like bottle brushes when they stalk fingers and sibling tails, and their ears are too big for their heads, giving them a ridiculously unbalanced look. I did my best to take pictures but they weren't very interested in sitting still or posing. I could have easily stuffed them all into my purse and taken them home but the last thing we need is more cats, no matter how big their ears are, so I contented myself with just sitting there and letting them climb all over me and trying to convince them to eat their own tails.

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I realized that I forgot to mention this in earlier entries (probably because I was so busy blathering on and on about my allergy tests), but a few weeks ago my knitting-enabling friend mentioned in passing that there was a new knitting group being held at the library in Vacaville and was I interested in going. It was pretty much as if she had asked me if I was interested in going to visit cute fuzzy kittens (the answer was a big and resounding yes). So that Tuesday night I headed off to the library and took part in my very first knitting circle.

It was amazingly cool. There were probably 15 or 20 women of all ages. I think the little 11-year-old sitting next to me, working on her very first scarf, was the youngest, and quite possibly the sweet grandma type fussing over a Christmas stocking was the oldest. There was also every range of knowledge about knitting - from the lady across the group who was whipping up a raglan with an intricate pattern of cabling, to the two women who had bravely purchased yarn and needles and came to the group hoping someone would show them just what the heck to do with it.

We sat around in a circle and we chatted and knit and those of us who have a vague clue what we're doing did our best to help out those who didn't. There was a lot of laughing and sharing of projects and talking about yarn stores and needle preferences and it was just the most marvelous thing. This is definitely going on my calendar for a regular monthly appointment. It was so nice to be surrounded by so many other people - people who all fully understood my latest obsession and who wholeheartedly share and support it.

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