Happy Mardi Gras! it is also Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Tuesday, the day before Lent. In our town, both traditions are thoroughly celebrated.

#2 son made a King Cake for his French class celebration. We did this last year, with a Galette des Rois, and used store-bought puff pastry. This year, he went to a classmate’s house after school, and her mother helped them make the New Orleans-style yeast cake. He didn’t get home till 9:00 that night, at which point I had already spent some time worrying. In these cases, I always end up imagining what I would have to say to the police: “He said he was at Haley’s house. No, I don’t know her last name, her phone number, or her address. She lives in a development on the east side of town; that’s all I know” while the officer silently but with compressed lips thinks what a bad mother I am.

If I had known they were making the yeast kind, I would have factored in the rising time, and not worried.

So our pen rep came in yesterday and showed us his new goods. I’ve told you about him before. Imagine that Clint Eastwood became a pen salesman and part-time country singer in Tulsa. He also told us a story.

“I said to him,” he wound it up, “I have a question to ask. He said okay. It’s kind of personal, I said. Sure, he said, go ahead and ask.

“I said, ‘Do you know that you’re an @#$%@?'”

“‘Excuse me?’ he said. I said, ‘Do you know that you’re an !@#@$!?'”

The Empress was very pink in the face. I might have been too. We are not accustomed to such language. But we hung on his words.

“I told him it causes me utter distress when someone is an !@#$^& without being aware of it.”

We were speechless, The Empress and I.

I have been knitting. I have not returned to Erin because I must finish Pride and Prejudice for book club tomorrow, but have instead been working on the prayer shawl. Have you ever seen anything so pink?

This is Lion Brand Homespun. I actually have a shirt this color, and have nothing against a good bright pink, but the size of it, in this color, will be a little overwhelming. However, I feel sure that it will go to someone who needs cheering, or enjoys pink. These shawls are given to people who are in need of comfort, after all, not to people who are seeking to make an elegant fashion statement.

I have also done a little of the Leaf Edging Baby Hat. This is for the baby shower at church in a couple of weeks. My work so far is a sort of gallery of errors. I am going to keep on until I have the pattern right and then rip it out and start again. It is possible that this is not something I can knit while reading Pride and Prejudice, any more than Erin is. It may be that I need to stick with the prayer shawl till tomorrow. Since the shower in question is for twins, I am planning to make this hat and then make another with a different edging pattern, so they are not quite matching.

I am still feeling unsettled. I think it is because I have such a plethora of appointments in the coming month, plus the distinct possibility of having to drive to and from Kansas City three times. In which case it is just an irrational response, and I can safely ignore it.

And here is a coif and hauberk pattern. You never know when such a thing might come in handy.