Sleighbells Ring, are you listening, in the lane, snow is glistening….

This was my ride home
from church about noon
today. Ellicott City looked like a fairy tale wonderland. My kids kept saying – it looks like Narnia out there:) Looks innocuous enough, but the roads were fairly slippery. As you can see, our little street and our “driveway” were virgin snow territories. So cool.
This morning, I got up a couple of hours earlier than I needed to – kept thinking we were singing at the earlier service. I was practically out the door when I realized it, so back inside and a couple of hours of knitting. I was practicing some lace knitting with the mohair skeins from Elann. See below.
We were a skeleton crew in choir today. It was so much fun because (thank God!) the other singers were the good ones:) and Nancy was playing of course. Just found out Doris J., one of the priests, has been called to be a rector at a church called St. Martin-in-the-Fields in Glen Burnie. How appropriate -given that Doris has been so supportive of us in the music program:) I know we will all miss her.
When I got out of church, I started brushing the accumulated snow off my car, then realized a bunch of my fellows had not yet left and so for a lark, I brushed their cars off, too:) I always have so much nervous energy after singing at a service/having to sit still for an hour that this was good for me and hopefully for the recipients as well. For once I was careful not to scratch the bodies of the cars…..
Well I made it through my first week without that colleague. It wasn’t easy by a long shot and of course, the guilt really stinks. Word got out bit by bit at the courthouse. Hopefullly the PD’s office will have some work for her. Why not.
Since I last posted, things have gone fairly well for our clients, give or take, considering that I had to reassign about 160 of them (!). Ash Wednesday’s service was just what it should have been – and of course the music was beautiful, with Donna and Sally singing the Andrew Lloyd Weber Pie’ Jesu. Thursday’s choir practice was excellent – beginning the new season of Lent and getting into some new music for Easter. Friday, I had two meetings scheduled before the afternoon docket: breakfast and then a walk with Nancy, and a meeting at Balt. Co DSS. Nancy and I ended up walking around the church parking lot, which was much better paved than the park’s path. It was chilly, but because we were moving, it wasn’t so bad. I am really looking forward to Spring when we can maybe walk through some more interesting landscape. It really feels good to be able to walk. I’m noticing that on days when I have to park on the street, or walk somewhere in Towson, it’s no big deal. I find I’m actually enjoying the exercise! Who knew? Anyway, after a fun time walking with Nancy (she is one of the best conversationalists I know, which makes the time fly by), the meeting at DSS fell through, so I went on to court and got there fairly early. Short docket.
Aside from church this morning and two fairly brief errands yesterday, this weekend has been spent for the most part at this computer, working on getting my calendar to come together! I got a very small amount of knitting done, but nothing to write home about. A little more of the back for Madison’s sweater – need to get back to that blankie! There’s still so much more paperwork to get done, so I sincerely hope they close the courts tomorrow, though (just being lazy, I guess). I have to admit, it’s nice having snow when you are in the inside looking out. Not so nice otherwise!
Tomorrow I have court all day (if the courts are open – no reason to think they won’t be) and, again, assuming the roads are clear, a music committee meeting at St. John’s – at which the new Rector will be sharing with us her vision of our music program. I sure hope she LISTENS to Nancy and the other professionals who know what they’re talking about. I plan on doing nothing but listening, but then sometimes my lawyer/smartass nature gets the better of me and that’s all she wrote as they say.
Well, none of the kids are coming for dinner, and only JoAnna and Sabrina are home this evening. Betsy’s working, so it will be a quiet evening, which now and then is just fine with me!
So, I’m off to finish up my paperwork and maybe do some wash – we all need underwear, LOL!

Well enough of all this selfishness!

Time to get down to some serious work! Today was very busy and stressful, but I got all the visits done I needed to and that was good. It’s late, but I want to get things ready for tomorrow so that I’m good to go in the morning. Don’t want to stay up too late, so this is going to be brief.

Had a shelter hearing this A.M. for a former client that the court decided was no longer our client (long story, but what a freakin’ waste of TIME!!), saw two clients in RTCs (Residential Treatment Centers) and two in a group home, all in the Baltimore City area, had a support staff meeting in our office across town and was going to go to Frederick to visit an independent living client, but we decided I’d just take him to a late brunch on Sunday:). I didn’t want to fall asleep at the wheel (awwww poor me!).

Got a chance to attend Ash Wednesday services – hadn’t done that in years if not decades! It was kind of nice, because I’m really getting to know the people at St. John’s. I feel very lucky to have the sense of community in that place. The only thing that was a shame was John wasn’t there (not Saint John, the human one I’m married to). He is doing his double duty thing. I am completely exhausted right now and I cannot imagine having to do 15 hours every workday. I’d go nuts. But that’s the way he is – he is the kind of guy who would do without so his kids could have decent shoes. They don’t make many like that any more – at least I don’t see ’em in my line of work, LOL!

Work has been extremely stressful. An additional 50 percent added to the workload and the responsibility of supervising a newbie attorney don’t help – although the clients – and the new attorney – are all delightful! Last night I sat down and just couldn’t even deal with work anymore. Did paperwork get done? Oh no – I started Madison’s sweater. It looks like it’s going to be OK.

Anyway, I’m going to set it as a goal for the next six weeks to get as many of those projects DONE before Lent is over. And I am going to focus on those projects that are for others, in particular the baby blanket, the aforementioned sweater for Madison, the log cabin afghan (Mason-Dixon) and the Prayer Shawl for the PSM. Enough of the selfishness! I don’t know how my family puts up with my crap sometimes.

Well, that was my Lenten series beginning:) As I get things done, I’ll post pics. Speaking of which, here’s one of our oldest daughter, Kristin, sitting next to our youngest granddaughter, Ruby, playing at the piano we will have to pay someone to take away. But ’tis cute nonetheless!


Not much new to report

I just have a lot of visits and miles of paperwork to go before i sleep tonight – and before the Ash Wednesday service tomorrow evening! and another staff meeting and another meeting at DSS and I am tearing my hair out!

It would be soooo nice to have time to knit and/or praxis the flute and/or exercise. I cannot quit any of that!

But the mohair came in from Elann and I got some extra stitch markers and a set of needles for Madison’s sweater and got a bunch of Kelly green yarn for a plain sweater for myself (always wanted something in Kelly green – maybe by St. Paddy’s??? right!). JoAnna got me a Gift Cert from Michaels – so it was fun to pick up some acrylic yarn and goodies like that- reminds me of my high school days:)

Right now as I type this, my adult kids are playing a guitar video game thingie in the den. It’s kind of cool having them around. Now if they would only do the dishes, LOL:) Oh well, it’s not that big a deal.

Giving up booze for lent – only allowed on Sundays:) and carbs. Let’s see how things look on Easter, LOL.

It Fits:)!!!

Whoo Hoo! Ruby likes her sweater and the timing is right for a change:) She came into the house and couldn’t stop moving! But she likes her sweater:) I don’t give that plaid ribbon another five minutes, though, LOL. Madison was just a little jealous, so Grammy’s making her one in this (also machine washable, of course!).

Had a lovely day yesterday. We sang Vivaldi’s Gloria at two services. It really came together beautifully (o me of little faith). One of the soloists, Alison, is a knitter. She’s sung solo for the Gloria last year (see 2/06) and has a beautiful mezzo soprano voice. I first met Alison when another fellow chorister, Diane L., kindly took me with her when she and Alison sang in the Concert Artists of Baltimore’s performance of Handel’s Messiah, conducted by Edward Polochick . She brought her knitting along then. We had a brief chance to talk about knitting. She’s actually taking a class at one of my three favorite LYSs on fair isle design! How cool is that?
When the services were over, about 9 of us went to lunch at Clyde’s. I was so sorry John couldn’t make it – it’s our place for all one-on-one meals (as those of you married with kids will definitely understand:)) It was a fun, uproarious, totally ADHD conversation. I just love Nancy and Rennie – her DH. They are a very interesting and lovely couple.
By the time I was done with lunch, it was time to get to the supermarket to get dinner for the family. I made a really tasty chicken cacciatore (also low-carb) and had a nice dinner with the kids. Unfortunately three glasses of wine later, I was ready for bed by 9PM. Got up at 9 then off to a meeting this morning at the office with Michael, Pat and Nancy E., our new client visiting person and to meet with Michael to prep for tomorrow’s staff meeting. He is so good – he has a real talent for management – God love him. I don’t have that talent, am more of a motivator, I hope and do better in the one-on-one situations. (Hope those don’t become famous last words!).
Well, I’m home now and I want to do four basic things for the remainder of my day:
1)Get calendar onto paper organizer and clean up my desk;
2)Prep for the rest of the week;
3)Start Madison’s sweater (I know, I know, another UFO, but it’s for my dear little granddaughter:))
Auf Wiedersehen!
Au revoir!
Dos cvidania!
Until we meet again!

Odds and Ends

Well, let’s see now, where were we? Oh yeah, no time for so much as sleeping or going to the you-know-what. Well, the next day couldn’t have been drearier. Here’s the view from the Baltimore Beltway on my way home from court on Tuesday around noontime.
And here’s the view out the front and back doors of home. Between court and home, I made a quick stop to Barnes & Noble to cash in a gift cert for my birthday (couldn’t help it – it kept burning a hole in my pocket:)). Got a glycemic index book for a diabetic client and a card for another client to congratulate her on her excellent grades:) Didn’t neglect myself unfortunately -Lord I am so selfish! Got a copy of Meg Swanson’s a Gathering of Lace. It’s one of those books that I think will be, if it isn’t already, a classic. Also got the recent edition of Piecework because they had a knitting issue. One of the articles were on Swedish two-ended knitting – was very interesting.
After getting home, I was able to take the evening (as meetings fell off and closings started hitting the airwaves one after the other) to update calendar and reassign cases (sigh).
Wednesday was more of the same – could not even get out of the driveway for all the ice. Was supposed to have a dinner meeting with the grandparents of two young clients, but it was not to be – rescheduled for today instead. I was able to get a dent into my paperwork, so all was not lost. But a mediation will need to be reset and I have no idea when I’ll have the time, LOL.
Thursday was a full docket day – as was Friday. Thursday was choir rehearsal and we were positively abysmal. The soloists were wonderful of course and please pardon me, but it seems there were numerous occasions for extra rehearsals that the Boss offered and few took her up on. Not that I was so wonderful, believe me. In fact the extra rehearsals probably brought me up from putrid to everyone else’s abysmal. But we did have a nice time afterwards with a surprise baby shower for Rachel E., our very pregnant soprano. It’s nice to have that kind of fun stuff going on and babies are soooo cool:)
On Friday, I stopped by one of my favorite LYSs
just to browse. And I was very good. Only got a pattern booklet (only!). I got gift certs for my birthday from a couple of friends to get some knitting supplies, but from online sources. Plus I have quite a decent stash and needed to check that first. I want to knit this:

And boy does it look complicated. And I have a gazillion projects pending. But I checked my stash and I have 12 skeins of this:

Not too different, is it?Maybe a little cooler, but for me, that’s OK.
It needed 9 skeins of this:
And 1 skein each of this: And just got these on general principles:
And some needles to round out the picture. There were some items on sale and it didn’t hurt to bring up the balance to avoid shipping charges. All of this from – and it was a little less than the gift cert total.

Am also awaiting this from Elann

Despite this embarassment of selfish riches, I have completed a project:

Ruby’s sweater is finally done – we’ll see tomorrow if it will fit her. It should – I tested it against her at the shoulders. Sent these pics to her mommy and she approves, so the child may actually wear the thing. Poor kid, LOL!

This evening I visited a couple of clients – very young twins living with their grandparents – some very nice people who probably didn’t bargain on raising their grandangels, but who nonetheless are doing so with grace and love, and of course a bit of anger. But they are also dealing with what they have to deal with. I’ve never met such mindful people in my life. Days like today the job gives me so much more than I give it!

Well, tomorrow will be a double dose of Vivaldi and I for one cannot wait:) This morning, when I was upstairs in the choir loft at dress rehearsal, I sat listening to the soloists and the professional instrumentalists (including Nancy, of course, at the organ) singing and playing, I was quiet for a bit (unusual for smartass me), and closed my eyes. I thought how this was one of those moments of peace and joy that transcends life’s ups and downs. I leaned over and said to Alison, one of the other female tenors, “do you think Heaven is like this?” She responded, “I don’t know, but if it is, don’t you want to go there?” I nodded through tears. Again, unusual for smartass me! What a beautiful experience it was! Not the performance, but the process. I really think that some of the composers have that spark of creativity that came from God at the beginning of time. OK, I’m not very articulate today, but that’s the best I can do. It was an experience beyond words for me and I thank God for it:) Yes, GodasBBL:)

Bis morgen!


It’s over and only just started

I hate this. I was there when the boss fired a fellow employee. There just wasn’t the work to do, and there were good reasons, but they never add up to the horrible feelings you have afterwards. I cannot help but feel horrific guilt for causing a person pain, no matter what the level of responsibility. And of course there’s always the feeling that there but for the Grace of God, etc. The landlord’s agent called and left me a message this afternoon. Couldn’t help but feel it was some sort of karma. And to top it all off, the fellow employee is one of a circle of friends/colleagues and now I feel like things will never be the same (as if they ever are!)
So much of today was stressing over this – and dealing with a client situation or two. As soon as I’m done with this blog entry, I’m grabbing everything on the desk and taking it to the kitchen table, brewing myself a small pot of coffee and burning the midnight oil. Gotta figure out what to do with the extra caseloads and make sure nothing slips through the cracks in my head.
Tomorrow, I have a walk in the park (weather permitting – boy do I need this!), possible shelters, 2 meetings at the City office, some visits if I’m lucky and EfM class a day early (nobody wants to be studying theology on Valentine’s Day, I’m told). Wednesday is a mediation, visits, visits, prep for court and then, if I’ve been a really really good doobie, I get to knit with the PSM.
Speaking of knitting (knitting? What’s that?)
This is as far as I’ve gotten on the baby sweater and the scarf. What a big girl! Days like this I envy people who can take time to get real knitting done. Oh well, my day will come. Sorry for the quality of these pics, but it’s all I have time to share right now.
Well, the coffee’s done brewing and the midnight oil lamp is lit. God grant me the Serenity…..

Happy Birthday to Moi

I am now 53. No big deal. Just an older old lady:) My daughter, Sabrina, sent me a text message saying, “Happy 60th” Really sweet, right? Well, hell, what’s wrong with 60? One of my bestest friends in the whole world will be 63 soon and I think she is just beautiful inside and out. Most of the friends/colleagues I hang out with are hitting 60 pretty damn soon, if not there already. But Sabrina is in her 20s and 60 sounds very very old to her. So she is forgiven.
Not so my brother, Rob, affectionately referred to as “Robearskin” – a long story having to do with our sister, Linda’s experience in French class in the early 70s. Don’t ask. Anyhoo – Rob decided to send me a nice birthday e-mail stressing how old I really am. As in “I bet you remember the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show” (it was actually my 10th birthday) or “my ex was born that day” (thanks, bro) or “my fiance’ wasn’t even born yet.” He attaches adorable pics of their kids that totally melt my heart. However, I did not respond without an obligatory “fuck you.” Of course I attached a smiley face:)
Funny, I’ve often thought that the people who mean the most to me in the world probably wouldn’t make it in the pretty department, but to me they are just lovely. Beauty truly is in the eyes of the beholder. In the end, love really is all that matters. Of course, my kids are the best looking bunch in the world:) And I understand other people seeing their kids as beautiful.
Today has been an up and down day, emotionally. I have to participate in the letting go of a colleague and that is never fun – especially if it’s someone you know out of the work situation. I hope this person finds a better position – better suited to this person’s abilities. No fun because I have to be a meanie. No fun because I know the person’s situation. No fun because I now have almost twice the client load. again.
The up side: it has also been a day of gifts – birthday gifts. I started off the morning with John (He had off from the hotel last night) and he presented me with the CD “My Nola” by Harry Connick, Jr. My he’s hot (OK, John’s not bad, either). I said that at work – and then realized how young he is and said “I now feel like a pedophile.” Not an appropriate comment in a firm that represents CHILDREN!!!!! Oy….OK folks, I don’t really feel like a pedophile. ew. ew. ew. However, the ride to court yesterday morning was quite nice. His band is quite excellent. And it’s the kind of music John and I can both listen to.
When court was over, I had to meet with the boss and get my paperwork done for this week because Lord knows, next week will be hellacious. Just figuring out my calendar is going to be a challenge, shall we say? Boss gave me a raise, which was nice, but it just makes the guilt (the very small amount of guilt) that much more difficult to deal with.
When I got home, John had left for his other job and the kids treated me to some Chinese food and red wine (bless their little over-21 hearts:)). The piece de resistance was this:

a beautiful refurbished Armstrong 80 (is that the correct term???), “French” style (holes in the keys) gold mouthpiece, silver, with a B foot – FLUTE!! Kristin’s BF, Sonny, works in a music store and this one came in just a few days ago. I am so humbled by their generosity, to say the least. And now I HAVE to practice. In fact, I have to relearn how to play it. I must have short or lazy fingers that need the workout of COVERING the holes so that I can actually make a sound that doesn’t hurt the animals’ ears outside:) To say I’m excited is an understatement. Hey, if I keep on practicing, maybe I can start to play the duets I used to do in college! Right now, though, I really have to work on the tone and just do my exercises and scales. I figure a couple of months of nothing but that and then maybe venture into an actual piece. Let’s do this right!
Tomorrow, I am going to start out the day walking with Nancy in the park – and it will be cold. I don’t care, she is such an inspiration for me. I have never really exercised on a regular basis like this – and this is not a lot of exercise – but having someone there to talk with while you’re moving makes the time go so much faster and a lot more interesting! I’ve been missing out on this kind of fun for a long time now, LOL.
After that, more Vivaldi Gloria for this musically, ahem, challenged individual.
Back to the blog Saturday afternoon – had a great walk. Unfortunately, the conversation was about the abuse of a little boy – something I just LOVE to hear about Saturdays (NOT!!!) but the story was interesting. Just hard to hear on an empty empty stomach. I am still feeling nauseous! Choir practice was excellent. Although I have a bit still to practice, the rehearsal was very productive. I don’t sound as bad with others as I do alone – thank God for being one of many:) It just amazes me how Nancy can play four parts, conduct 4 parts and sing each one (excepting bass) without batting an eyelash. I’ve always been in awe of musicians. Especially exceptional ones. That’s all there is to it.
Dori and the grandangels are coming over and we’ll read Harvey Fierstein’s The Sissy Duckling. I love books like this – about the underdog being the savior of the flock – a lot like the Rudolph story. OK, Grammy’s a nerd:)
John’s working the Center Club tonight – and then we’re going out to dinner at Clydes this evening. I am trying to talk him into going to church with me tomorrow morning. Somehow I don’t think he’s going to be interested. He will have worked fairly late tonight and the lure of a warm soft bed will probably be too much. We shall see….
Tomorrow, the kids (except Danny and Tori – he’s got filming) are coming over for Sunday dinner and we’ll do the b’day thing again. God give me strength to avoid all sugar and starch!!
Monday should be interesting. I have a meeting with my boss and a co-worker, and afterwards, a little trip down Rte 97 to the Annapolis State House and Equality Maryland’s Lobby Day. I’ve never done something like this, but if I can, I will. It’s for a good cause – equal rights is an important thing for people of all genders, races, creeds, and yes, sexual preference! The only thing that might stop me going is if John has other plans – unless he’d like to come along! (Hmmmm did Slim just leave town?)