OK – I couldn’t resist doing one of these traffic thingies and probably will do more:). Wish the sticks were in my hands more often these days, but between evaluations, visits, court and paperwork, and a cold that knocked me down more than I care to admit, it’s been difficult. Am almost done with Brie’s scarf – really I am. In fact, I can’t wait to be done with it. I only hope it’s long enough – am knitting it on circs horizontally – cast on about 300 sts – will know soon enough:) The pictures below show my progress. I am about an inch away from finishing.

The picture on the bottom is the best representation of the actual color – and the close-up view of the “right” side. I attempted to make this at least somewhat reversible, so I knit in Moss stitch, twisted dropped stitches and on the eight or so cable rows, used the two filler reverse stockinette stitches as mini cables on the “back.” It may just turn out OK. I’d estimate about another two rows of moss, one more row twisted dropped stitch, four rows of moss and then two of garter to finish. It’s hard to get an idea of what the actual length will be since I’m unwilling to take all the stitches off the needle. But with blocking, it should be ok. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to knit a scarf, LOL!
Quick shout out to anyone I haven’t sent this to via e-mail. My son, Danny, is involved in an online pilot sitcom called Buddy Jackson . It’s actually pretty cool. It does get a little racier as the weeks progress. There’s a new episode every Monday of these 5-minute vignettes. He appears to be overacting, but that’s his character. Hope you enjoy it. He was in a reading of a play in Arlington Tues. evening, but I couldn’t make it unfortunately. He and his wife, Tori, are both aspiring actors. I give them credit for going after their dreams. They will never have to say they didn’t give it a shot.
Yesterday consisted of a mediation that worked out well, a meeting with former foster parents of a client who are remaining in his life (good people who care – a blessing to the world, IMHO), a visit with a new client who has been dealing with Type I diabetes since she was 7 (she’s now 15) and EFM.
Today is court this afternoon, but before that happens, I have to get into the office (!!!).
This evening we are off to a choir “field trip.” We’re singing at another church’s celebration, which should be fun. Friday is a quiet day – one client visit, some calls and lunch (I hope) with a dear friend. Saturday the choir is christmas caroling at a couple of nursing homes. I just love this time of year:)!!!
Well, off to work!

It’s a LONG list – but no altars, please!

This guy really does do some cool thinking. Ever feel like good things were going to happen? Hmmmmm:) Age of Aquarius indeed!

This week I propose that you feel gratitude for every person who has ever told you that you were inadequate, that there was something wrong with you, that you would never amount to anything. You might even carry out a little ceremony in which you bow down to an altar containing their photos or slips of paper on which their names are written. And why am I suggesting this? Because those jerks helped motivate you to become as cool as you are. And if I’m reading the omens correctly, it’s time to summon a huge new burst of creative energy as you disprove their misbegotten ideas about you even more completely.

All I can think of is Paul and his school of God as the BBL (wouldn’t you like to know what that is?:))

I keep hoping things will be good. Even though I know they are crrrazy!

Like me:)

A Universe of Experiences Part II

Well let’s see, where was I? Oh yes, the continuing saga of what happened on Tuesday. By the way, Happy Thanksgiving and I will catch up and have a Thanksgiving post, too:)

After court was over, I had about an hour for lunch and knitting – still working on that scarf and it’s almost finished. When it’s done, I will post pictures. I designed it myself – just a sampler of stitches – and how much can you screw up navy blue, right? (famous last words)
Once I finished a row, I headed over to St. John’s to get my picture taken. I didn’t look too bad, even put lipstick on for the occasion, LOL:) While waiting my turn, I met a really nice woman named Martha and there was another lady with her husband waiting to be photographed as well. Across the church hall sat one of our ushers and his wife. We talked about the language changes in the Lord’s prayer and got a 50/50 response pro and con and of course talked about Thanksgiving – who’s cooking, etc. Martha, who lives alone, was going to bring some side dishes to Thanksgiving dinner at a friend’s house. This friend is apparently dying of cancer that was caught too late to effectively treat, so the holiday is going to be a bittersweet one for Martha.
I was my usual smartass self when it came time to get my picture taken, but it turned out to be OK, not too frightening:). Nancy and Rennie S. showed up as I was waiting to view the photos and get the sales pitch I really didn’t want. It was nice to see them both as it always is – especially Nancy.
After that, I had a meeting with Rev. Rosemary, our newly ordained priest (well, it has been a year, which is a lifetime in actual practice!). I had volunteered to deliver some of the prayer shawls to some of the people on her list of recipients. It was already 5:00 by that time, so three seemed an appropriate number.
My first delivery was to a woman who had undergone joint replacement surgery. She was already well over it and we both had a bit of a laugh, but she was grateful for the shawl. We both wished each other a Happy Thanksgiving as I made my way back from her farmhouse to the main road and on to my next destination.
This one was going to be a lot harder. Charles had just last week lost his only son in an accident. His brother and sister-in-law were there visiting him from out of the country. My heart went out to him for his loss. I have so many children by today’s standards. Yet losing one of them is an experience I cannot even bear to contemplate. There was nothing I could say to Charles to ease his pain, and so I told him. But it was lovely to meet him and his family even under such awful circumstances. He was so gracious and very grateful for the outpouring of love and concern from the other members of the church. His family said that although they were of the same basic denomination, they didn’t feel their church would have been so responsive. I thought back to this past summer when I was in the hospital and how kind everyone had been and I realized, yet again, how lucky we were to be part of that faith community that is St. John’s. Charles, his relatives, and I talked for a few more minutes, until a young lady, a friend of Charles’ son, rang the bell and came and sat with them. She, too, had been devastated by the too-soon death of this young man. I wish I had known him.
After bidding them goodnight, I drove away. The tears started as soon as I hit the main road. This poor man’s grief was overwhelming, but it was also the differences I had seen all day – from the stepfather who murdered one child and almost murdered another to this poor man who would have given anything to have one more day with his beloved son!
My final stop on the prayer shawl route was to Charles Town retirement center, where I made a fairly quick deliverey to Margaret, a kindly woman who was actually doing better since her foot had healed and who was happy for the shawl. She told me she used to do that kind of work. But she seemed kind of tired, so I left soon after the visit.
After leaving her, I made a brief stop at the chapel to ponder the day.
Wednesday was the carryover of a shelter after a mediation that didn’t happen. While I had no objection to the grandmother taking over the care of this baby, I wanted the parents out of her house. Their explanation for what happened would have been laughable had it not been so near-tragic. Thankfully, the Master was not impressed with the parents’ “explanation.” His response: “That is the most preposterous thing I have ever heard. I did not crawl out from under a rock. If I found what your client would want me to find [as a fact], they’d fire me.” It was all I could do to keep my face straight. The mother’s attorney wanted to give me a hard time after the hearing. I overheard the mother start yelling at me that I didn’t understand. I just responded (and I know I shouldn’t have) that “Ma’am, all I know is a 14-month-old almost died Monday and not from any good work I did.”
Thanksgiving was lovely. We were thirteen at dinner (my lucky number:)). Vicki didn’t make it, but I assume it was due to her crazy schedule. The food was good and of course I ate too much stuff that I shouldn’t have. But we are back to no carbs as of right NOW!
Friday, John and I drove to visit many of his family who had rented a big house on the Jersey shore. We spent a few hours with them and then back home. Had dinner with Betsy and Brie and then went home and crashed. By Sat. AM I realized I had gotten a nasty cold and so today I missed choir and church. You KNOW I had to be sick to miss that (Lord I do be a NERD).
Well, back to the insane pre-Christmas weeks. I love it.
Almost done with Sabrina’s scarf. Pics to come. Below are some from Thanksgiving in MD and NJ:)

A Universe of Experiences Part I

That’s the best description I can give for my day yesterday. It was the kind of day you think about years later – or at least the aura it leaves with you when it passes.
I started out the day with a hearing – specially set – that ended well with an agreement and an (almost) win-win situation. My client is Moslem and takes faith seriously, is home-schooled, intelligent and a believer.  I told her that I had heard the Koran said many beautiful things about marriage and the relationships between men and women and not to let her own bad experiences color her thinking. That basically, whatever their religion, people can chose to interpret their religion in such a way as to bring pain and suffering to others or in such a way as to bring joy, peace and light to others and the problems of life really come to that choice. You will usually know who those people are when we meet them. She agreed with me on that. We came up with a safety plan should the same situation arise again. She went home with her mother.
When that hearing was over, I remained behind in the courtroom to finish off some paperwork, since I had an hour to kill before my shelter hearings. The courtroom immediately began filling up for a sentencing hearing. A man had beaten, strangled and stabbed his 14-year-old stepdaughter to death, set her body on fire to mask the murder and ran out of the house, leaving his 7-month-old daughter in her crib in the house! He had already been convicted. The Court denied the usual motions by defense counsel (doing his job very well, a good thing) and then two members of the family came forward as part of the victim impact statement. The main spokesperson for this very close-knit African American family, a minister and a former policeman, spoke eloquently of the loss of this quiet and shy young teenager, of her cousins who lit a candle in her memory when they all turned 16 this past spring. Of the baby sister – now a toddler – who screams whenever a man comes near her and of the mother who has struggled to stay sane. This family had taken this man into their hearts without question, probably thinking that love could conquer all, with tragic results. What they probably did not know was that he had already served two prison sentences for rape and armed robbery and, most importantly, that he had no conscience. He showed no remorse for what happened and could barely hide his anger when the judge sentenced him to life without possibility of parole plus 30 years (15 each for arson and attempted murder of the baby sister – his own birth child).
I expressed my sympathies to family members sitting next to me and quickly left when it was all over to get to the shelter hearings downstairs. I couldn’t help but wonder what makes such a monster? At what point does a person’s upbringing make it impossible for them to change themselves? At what point is a human life salvageable?
The two shelters had drug abuse as their main theme. One of them, believe it or not, was one of my more hopeful cases. A young, but loving parent who is taking responsibility for her own stuff. That always gives me hope.
The other one still has me steaming. A young client of my colleague’s – we only just had her hearing last Thursday – ingested COCAINE!!!! – and (innocent thumb up their a$$es) parents have no idea where that came from! Gee I wonder – they think someone may have raked some into the home while they were raking leaves! Right! Like those crazy drug addict neighbors of theirs must sprinkle on the ground to make their lawn happy. Give me a freakin’ break! That hearing was continued because there wasn’t enough time to hear it and the Mother’s attorney (who is a good guy and a good lawyer) had a dr’s appointment. The parents probably needed some more time to think up another knee-slapper. So,  we are going back to court.
Be back to finish this later.
Part two of my 11/21 saga continues. Stay tuned.

These really are rather cool….

Your assignment in the coming weeks, Aquarius, is to become a coordinator of synchronicity and director of synergy in all the environments where you hang out. To begin, remind yourself of what those terms mean. Synchronicity is the wonderfully spooky feeling that comes when two or more events occur in a way that might superficially seem to be mere coincidence, but that is actually a sign of a deeper underlying pattern that transcends rational understanding. Synergy is when two power sources collaborate on a surprisingly energetic creation in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. (Here are more thoughts on synchronicity and synergy.)

Pervasive Developmental Disorder

Or PDD is what they call it – possibly Aspergers. My 14-year-old nephew has it and our oldest granddaughter has it. Maybe. Her pediatrician has diagnosed her with PDD, but what type – I’m thinking either NOS or Aspergers. Those are the two best options and even they do not inspire happiness. Evaluations at Kennedy Krieger are the next step and we may hear that dreaded “A” word. But as they say, the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know.
I cannot help but feel guilty for all the times I was impatient with her because I thought she was misbehaving when she just needed more time to process what I was telling her. The poor kid is having such troubles in school. She is the brunt of her classmates and kids can be cruel. “But she has such a good little heart!” I want to scream, give her a chance.
And all those things we worry about when we send our kids off to school – whether the world will be as kind to them as we are – are magnified a gazillion times. What kind of adulthood will she have? Will she be safe as a teenager? Will she go to college? “Of course she will,” the doctor says.
We just have to have patience with her – and teach the rest of the world to do the same.

And my friends tell me I don’t have a New Yawk accent any maw!

What American accent do you have?

Your Result: The Northeast

Judging by how you talk you are probably from north Jersey, New York City, Connecticut or Rhode Island. Chances are, if you are from New York City (and not those other places) people would probably be able to tell if they actually heard you speak.

The Inland North
The Midland
The South
The West
North Central
What American accent do you have?
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Today we installed our new Rector, Carol Pinkham Oak. It was quite an occasion and very moving. Here’s a small pic from the choir loft. Apologies to the unsuspecting soprano in the foreground (not me:))