Social/Iron Butterfly?

Couldn’t resist this album cover from Iron Butterfly – if you all remember In a Gadda Da Vida in the early 70’s. I loved that nine-minute drum solo – wanted to play it in the worst way, LOL!
When last I left you dear 3.5 readers, I was contemplating a number of projects and working hard to finish one for this week. I was anticipating a visit from Dori, Donald, Mads and Ruby that didn’t happen (it gets late and kids – and parents – get cranky, LOL). So, Friday evening, I scheduled visits for yesterday and today to get ready for the hearing on Monday. I was lucky enough to get ahold of 3 out of 4 placements -YAY. Anyway, I was on my way to the one visit I had scheduled for Saturday (actually two – but I rescheduled the second one for today). It was hard leaving in the car because it was a beautiful day and just the sort of sunny beautiful day for a walk in anticipation of Spring (it’s definitely on its way in my neck of the woods). I checked my phone – ringer was off so as not to disturb my sleeping hubby. Lo and behold, Nancy was headed to the church for some catch up before services today and was wondering if a walk was in my future. It turns out it was. We had a glorious walk on a beautiful day, catching up on her vacation, my week, our pets, present and deceased, Kristins’ upcoming nuptuals and all in no particular order. Can you say ADHD? I pity anyone trying to follow this conversation from the outside, LOL! I’m actually worse than she is, which to anyone who knows me is no surprise. Nancy treated me to lunch, which was very nice of her and then we both headed home. I checked my e-mail when I got home, calendared a staff meeting, responded to others, sent out a group e-mail, etc. Diane L. invited me to watch a movie at her place that evening, and not having anything else pressing on my dance card, LOL, I readily accepted.
We had a lovely time – watched Enchanted and Atonement – obviously two very different movies, but both excellent in their own way. Diane was not as enamoured of Atonement as I was (what a tear jerker that one was), mostly because the presentation of the story was so disjointed. The cinematography was outstanding, though (how’s that for a big word?) Throughout, I got a lot of knitting done. It’s starting to be a thing with me – no TV without knitting needles in hand. That’s not a bad thing.
Today, the choirs are neither ringing or singing – well the School Choir is, but the bottom line is, I am not going to church today. In a sense, it’s a day off, but given that I have tended to neglect my family over the last few months, I don’t feel too badly about it. It’s nice to support the other music ministries and I would like to hear the children sing, but I was frankly tired last night and the sleep was nice this morning. Besides, I still have two visits to do today, a birthday present to buy, a cake to bake and Sunday dinner to prepare for the birthday girl and the rest of the gang!
So, I’m not getting off scott free, as they say. God forbid THAT should happen!
Oh dear, is my puritanism showing? Not hardly. I cannot feel that way whenever I think of John and his two jobs and how he’s on his feet 15 hours a day.
Well, I’d better get started on living my life today and not just writing about it. Hope you all have a lovely rest of the weekend! More pics to come.
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Six whole days of fun and frolic – YEAH RIGHT – or: Happy Birthday, Madison Anne:)

Well, I’ve had a few fun days. Let’s see, Easter Sunday was lovely. Kristin and Sonny came to church and went with us afterwards for a lunch with a group from choir – Nancy, Rennie, Donna and Tom, Sally, and moi. For days afterward, I kept hearing how much they liked Kristin and Sonny and how absolutely cute Kristin is and thoughtful and smart. I guess despite all my best efforts, she has turned out to be one amazing person. It does my heart good that others see it too.
As you can see from the Olan Mills portrait, they have grown a bunch since 1983 and 1989, LOL! And, as you can see from the pic above, we did have a traditional dinner at Easter – ham and the works and a little bit o’ vino on the side. The coffee table is a study in the familial corporate sins, LOL!
On the knitting kneedles: I am still working on Ms. Bush’s Estonian Lace Scarf from Piecework magazine, with the beautiful silk yarn I got in NYC back in January. It is a lovely, albeit slow-going lace knit. It will feel like “buttah” around anyone’s neck and I just love the color.

On the other hand, the lace tank top from Vogue is going fairly quickly – probably because it’s a heavier weight linen and because the patterns aren’t as fiddly as the other one. I’m hoping to get this one done by next week – and may even have enough for a couple of short sleeves. I have also cast on for that scarf that was supposed to be Knitty’s Henry. As you may recall, Henry hit the frog pond a week or so ago, but the yarn has been resurrected into a version of My So-Called Scarf by Allison Isaacs. I say a version, because I started it on the needles called for by the pattern, but decided to go with a much smaller set. Let’s see if the 87th time is the charm, LOL!
My little red sock is making slow progress, but that’s ok, she’s a therapy sock. I am knitting her to have something little and fun to make and timing is not of the essence, just satisfaction and fun.

I’ve joined a knitalong with my Columbia Sip ‘N Knit sisters (and brothers) for the Hemlock Ring blanket thingie by BrooklynTweed (Jared on Ravelry) I’m using some leftover brown chunky superwash wool from Plymouth- could not get ahold of Cascade’s Ecological Wool the pattern calls for – and I’m a firm believer in being able to throw a blanket into the washing mashine! And as if I didn’t have enough projects, I would like (eventually to start Lucy Neatby’s Falling Leaves Scarf. I’m thinking it might be really nice a little bit wider in white – maybe for somebody’s wedding???? It could happen – as soon as I get done with my April projects:)!

This past week has been fairly quiet on the work front. Monday I enjoyed a nice quiet evening at home. Dori, Donald, Mads and Ruby came over to share in the leftovers (thank goodness, otherwise we’d have had to throw out a bunch of food and that so bothers me.) Tuesday was also quiet – no music this week – The Boss (a/k/a SWMBO) was on a well-deserved vacation. Wednesday was my knitting group. On Thursday, I didn’t have court, so I had lunch with my high school friend, Lynne. She occasionally comes our way to pick up fabric for her quilting art – although she’s back to primarily painting. Lynne is a school psychologist (well that pays the bills – she’s really an artist). We had a lovely time – talked our heads off catching up until it was almost dark! I had to rush off for a meeting in Jessup and then finally home. Today was court in the afternoon and then home. As I type this, Dori, Donald, Madison and Ruby are celebrating Mads’ birthday at Friendly’s:) with Betsy and Kristin. I think S isn’t feeling well and J is working or out with friends – and I didn’t go because we’re doing something Sunday with the family. I now know what Mommy and Daddy got her, so we’re going to supplement that at good old TRU tomorrow:).

Well, Betsy just called – they’re stopping by to say hi, so I’m going to sign off now. Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

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Nancy

I’m taking a chance in writing this post. And it will probably take me a few days to really do it right. I’m taking a chance because I am writing about another person, someone who may not want to be written about. Luckily, most of you, dear readers, will not know who this is anyway and the rest of you who have heard this name a bit over the months will just shrug and find the next blog to read, LOL:)
I have just finished what to me was an exhausting weekend. Not that I really expended all that much physical energy – really, it was mostly mental, so you can understand why I was exhausted, LOL! As we came to the end of Lent and the beginning of the Easter season, I realized how grateful I am to have music – real music – in my life. It has been this way since 2003 – well really 2004 when I re-joined the SJEC choir.
Mind you, I’ve been in church choirs, choral societies, even in one symphony chorus (back, I like to say, when I had a voice). But for about 8 years, barring one night when I tried to go back to my former (Catholic) parish choir, I had been without. I mean, I listened to music on the radio, I listened to classical, baroque, romantic, early music CDs. The very day after Thanksgiving, Handel’s Messiah was in the CD player(The Leonard Bernstein recording where they really get the idea that the theme in the Overture should be a dotted eighth and sixteenth note – the thing was composed in three weeks, so of course they could improvise, and it was announcing the King ferheavenssake – ok you get the picture). But PLAYING? Singing? With OTHERS? That was a dream I could not imagine.
I was busy – working, raising a family, working. working. My schedule did not permit two hours at the same time every week. I could barely keep up with the wash, the (almost adult) kids’ schedules – who needed to be picked up where, from which job, who had a car, who lived at home. And then a surprise (but welcome!) grandchild and …. Well, life got busy and music was relegated to listening (and often singing) in the car, playing my daughter’s flute (my own had been sold many years earlier), strumming an occasional guitar, and whaling away on the kitchen counters with wooden spoons (my drums had met a similar fate to the flute).
A young lady had been sexually assaulted in my town, waiting for her mother to pick her up at the library. Choir got out at 10 – the Mall (where many of my kids worked) closed at 9:30. It wasn’t going to work.
I gave it a shot in 2003, but I couldn’t yet be a reliable chorister. So I quit with the idea of coming back when our youngest got a car or a reliable ride to and from work. That happened and I went back. In the meantime, I e-mailed Nancy, the Music Director (Organist/Choirmaster) and told her why I was taking time out. Her response was so sweet and kind – knowing her as I do now, it is no surprise, but at that time it was. She let me know that there were many people who could only do this thing part time and I could also. I felt that I was either going to do it right or not at all.
I did return about 10 months later. The way my life often goes, it’s just as likely that I wouldn’t have returned. But music has always had a strong pull for me. Not that I’m a particularly good musician. I certainly do not solo at anything! But it’s something I simply do not do without. Even so, although I had a strong incentive, it was possible that I could have been distracted by any number of things. But I wasn’t.
In that year between joining the choir twice, I did join that church, and not a day goes by that I regret that decision.
Similarly I am so glad that my brain had the good sense to get me back to that choir and later, the bell choir. Like I say before, I’m not particularly great at any of this, but it fills a serious void I didn’t know I had.
At the center of this is Nancy – and believe me when I tell you I’m not the only life she has touched. There’s Tom who actually moved to this parish with his wife when Nancy left their old parish. Now, I’ve heard of people following religious leaders, but this is something else, LOL! Chris, another member of the ringers and singers, has felt her kindness in his life. So many of us have different Nancy stories.
I got to know what Nancy was made of when she went through a personal family tragedy. And when a member of the choir was hospitalized and later died. She and her husband were there for his adult children. She is one of the most loyal and steadfast friends I’ve ever been privileged to have in my life and I count her as one of the best friends I’ve ever been lucky enough to have. Even when I was hospitalized a couple of summers ago, she called me darn near every day. Even when I’m not doing my best in terms of diet and exercise, she’s been there, walking (and walking and walking, LOL!) talking about how good it feels to be healthy and slim, God love her:)!
OK, enough – had to vent. But in a good way.
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Mad dash and off I go



Well, it’s true what they say about linen. The more you abuse it, the softer and lovelier it gets. Unlike people!! As you can see I’m about halfway
done with this summer top. The person I’m knitting it for never reads this blog, so I doubt I’m giving away any secrets here. Lace knitting can be a pain but this thing has been moving along quickly – good thing because I have a deadline in about 2 weeks. Then I want to work on the sweater for another April ‘birthday girl.’ With any luck, I’ll get both done in time for the recipients’ respective birthdays.
Well, tonight is the Easter Vigil – and I’m more nervous than usual. I don’t feel at all prepared for the bell parts I’m playing even though we’ve rehearsed up the wazoo. I also have that uncomfortable feeling in my gut that something somewhere isn’t right. I’m worried, really worried about a good friend. And, although Indigo has had his moments in the last few weeks, it isn’t him I’m concerned about. It’s another friend. I can’t say much about it first, because it’s really nobody’s business and second I really don’t actually know what the issue is, just that something’s wrong. I suppose time will tell – or (novel idea) I could ask when the time is right.
Anyway, Happy Easter to all of you!
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Holy Holey Wholly

Today is not a big day workwise – and that’s a good thing, one, because I am babysitting the grandkids while Dori gets that endoscopy done and two, because we are getting ready for the high point of the Xian calendar at St. John’s. For me this means singing and ringing and trying not to screw it all up too badly -while the really talented ones – like Nancy and Barry and Drew and Mike and Donna and Sally and Diane – do the heavy lifting and remain fairly unappreciated – what else is new? Even with all that, this time of year still gives me a sense of awe – the central mysteries of the Christian faith always do – and the music composed by artists with that same reverence (or who know how to portray it, LOL) enhance that experience all the more.

My friend, Indigo, another one of our bell ringers, has a very hard time during Holy Week. He was seriously, in fact nearly fatally, abused as a child and remnants of his personality still believe he is at fault – not only for his own suffering, but for the suffering of others. I suppose it helps a child feel safe to think that he/she has some control over the random, gratuitous cruelty of caregivers. Would that it were so! So a child will believe he or she somehow caused the pain and suffering of others and therefore will avoid punishment with some form of self-inflicted expiation for a sin he or she never committed. There’s some of that thinking in most adults to varying degrees, I think. You can imagine that the Christian message of salvation, when twisted and perverted in the wrong hands, could do quite a job on the fragile psyche of such a person! Our conversations center around the fact that the suffering/death/resurrection of Jesus was a gift freely given and that the burdens Indigo carries (and never should have carried) can now be dropped. But how can he do that? I imagine giving control over even to a loving God must be a frightening prospect for one for whom almost all authority was frightening, evil and capricious.
Yet, the miracle of his life is that Indigo can love others – and God. The next miracle will be when he begins to love himself. There will be much rejoicing in Heaven then!
Back here on earth, I am looking forward to tonight’s service for Maundy Thursday, tomorrow’s for Good Friday (following an afternoon of court!), Saturday evening’s Easter Vigil (and the joyful ringing of bells by everyone in the congregation as we sing/say the Alleluia for the first time:)), then two services for Easter Sunday. I am really happy Kristin and Sonny are coming for the late service – then we’re going with some of the choir to brunch. Then home to do Sunday dinner with the entire family:).

Also speaking of “holey,” (sorry!) I’ve made some more progress on the blue surprise thingie and have actually figured out the next step in the process. It’s a pretty color and the cool thing about linen is it gets better with washing and ironing – at least I’m counting on that – as you can see in the picture, it’s obviously not yet blocked. I’m really enjoying making this. It’s a cute pattern and appropriate for summer (no kidding!) and although many complain that linen is hard to work with, I’m not finding that. I’ve even made a little bit of progress on that “traditional” knitted-on-double-points, cuff-down sock – it’s fun with that red – and the yarn is so soft, it’s a joy to work with.

Well, to finish up my theme for the day, so far, I’m wholly enjoying it. Would have liked to have walked yesterday or even today, but yesterday it rained and today it’s windy and cold. So, I guess I’ll just have to get some knitting done. Don’t you hate when that happens?
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Ruby Tuesday

Well, not a lot new to report. Yesterday was spent at the courthouse. I had a quick morning docket and then to the bar library to work on my calendar, but I brought some diversionary activity (the top secret thingie I’ve been working on and the sock from Saturday. We’re not supposed to bring recording devices into the courthouse and the bar library is apparently no exception. But I did sneak a cellphone picture of the innards of my briefcase – one file, paperwork for hearings, a monthly calendar, a planner, a bunch of knitting magazines (most, I am proud to say, purchased at enormously reduced rates) and the aforesaid diversionary devices. I sat at a carel and knitted. Then went to lunch and back for the afternoon docket. Strangely, by the end of the day, I was ready to fall asleep! I don’t know why, but lately I just want to sleep. My body is probably saying “enough already, you’re an old lady.” But I suppose I keep telling it to f**k off.
As I was leaving court, I saw Nancy had called and retrieved her message – it was a beautiful day and why not walk? Indeed, why not? My little toe had been torturing me for a week; maybe there was some way to protect it and still walk. So, I wrapped it in gauze with medical tape, and squeezed it into my sneaker – and it worked! We made it around the lake in one go! Yes! I’m beginning to think this is more mental than physical health therapy because I am still happy as I type this this afternoon – albeit very sore (which means I walked differently or that the arthritis is getting meaner). In the midst of the walk, I got a phone call from DSS and a couple of text messages from one of my daughters asking me to pick up Chinese carry out. So, already, the day was looking good, LOL!
Unfortunately, when I got back, I realized that I had left my passenger side window open and my GPS device had been stolen. I felt so stupid – I’m not one of those idiots who leave my car unlocked in places like that, but I have to say I was grateful they hadn’t stolen my purse out of the trunk. Nancy felt badly because she had noticed the window was open and didn’t say anything. Poor thing, I think she felt worse than I did. If that’s the worst that happens, life will be good. Perhaps that’s too cavalier, but putting it into perspective, I just cannot get terribly worked up over it. The worst thing is, I’ll have to curtail my driving around in strange places in the dark. Oh well. I’ll have to save up another $300 bucks more or less if I want to replace it. Oh well. Nobody died. Nobody got hurt physically. I’m over it. But I did sleep – for twelve hours last night – from 8p to 8a!

This morning we babysat Ruby while her Mommy had an appointment at the GI doc. She’s been apparently bleeding internally for a year and it may be in a part of her body they can only getto at with some serious surgery. They are marveling that she’s out walking, driving, working.

Driving. Geez. She’s having endoscopy Thursday and colonoscopy Friday or next week, I think.

Keep yer fingers crossed.

On another note, I’m a Hilary for President kind of gal, but Barack O is definitely not a bad alternative as witnessed by his what I think will be considered an historic speech this morningi. If you missed it, a transcript can be found here. I sure hope those two work together after Democrat’s National Convention! (Sigh…)
Well, gotta get back to work – tons to do before bell prax tonight.+

A Whole Week – yikes!

Yes, I’m still around and no, I haven’t had any major problems this week – but I think the early onset of Daylight Savings Time has made me sleep about twice as much as I usually do – and without benefit of booze, LOL!
As far as work goes, last week wasn’t so busy, which, given my excessive sleeping is a good thing:)
Let’s see, to catch up – Sunday was indeed a long day – the bells played both services and we had practice between the services. I stayed with Nancy afterwards to help with moving some of the bells. We had lunch afterwards and we both headed home to our respective Sundays. As soon as I got home, John was still sleeping. I sat on the couch and almost immediately zonked out, LOL! Sunday was dinner with the family – Donald’s birthday – and it was nice to see everybody. I often take it for granted that our kids live nearby. Danny is busy with his play running in DC, so we don’t see much of him, but he’s only an hour away. Many of my friends’s kids are out of state – and not a nearby state! We really are lucky to have ours so close by.
Monday was court, Tuesday was quiet and bell prax was pre-empted by a liturgical dance service, so we had practice Wednesday. Thursday was choir and Friday I had court all day.
Not much new.

But when Friday was done, I went home and started this. It doesn’t look like much now, and the color as shown is not quite right, but I found the pattern in Vogue Knitting and it was perfect and I know just who to knit it for. I knit until the wee hours of the morning. I’m not saying here what it’s going to be, bu’t it’s really a pretty blue and it’s linen, so it looks junky and harsh – until (like linen) you wash and iron it. More to come as progress is made. I am on a very tight deadline with this.
This afternoon, I went to, among other things, a sock party. One of our Columbia Sip “N Knitters imports, dyes, and packages superwash sock yarn in some beautiful colors and I went to support her efforts. Of course I got some yarn – but only one skein – I’m on a yarn diet, LOL! Out of all the colors, I really liked the red – and started knitting a pair of socks. Using a generic pattern for the overall sock, I decided to add a little twisted stitch to the body of the sock. The color shown here is actually quite accurate. Isn’t it lovely? I’m having fun knitting these – who knows? Maybe it’ll go with the other thing – yeah right, LOL!

One really cool thing happened this week: an old friend from back in the day when we were young and poor reconnected with me – and through one of my adult kids’ MySpace pages! It was so wonderful to hear from her and get caught up! Susan has been through so much. In fact, she was a lot of inspiration for some of my work a few years back – but she has done so well for herself I should never have worried. I am so proud to know her. Whenever I feel like whining, I think of all this strong woman – and her wonderful children – have accomplished and I give myself a mental kick in the butt, LOL! I also believe in God just that much more!

Before I sign off, dear reader(s), for those of you celebrating the High Holy Days of the Judeo-Christian calendar in the weeks to come, please pray for peace and the end to violence at home and abroad.

Well, there’s one more thing I’ve got to do before I turn in – I’m going to get my choir music organized then it’s another early morning. I’ll have no trouble sleeping tonight! +