Sorry for for the disappearing act!

It’s been almost two weeks since I last posted (forgive me blogger, for I have sinned). A lot of stuff has happened, none of it particularly fascinating (except that I really got a kick out of babysitting this past Saturday and got into a misunderstanding with a dear friend which I hope has cleared up and ran around a LOT doing visits all over the place). Work has been very busy lately and things are gearing up outside of work as well – between Stephen Ministry on Mondays, bells on Tuesdays, knitting (when I can get there) on Wednesdays, choir on Thursdays, it’s getting pretty crazy around here. And I have a volunteer mediation I haven’t even gotten anything substantial done on yet!
One thing I did finish was the chinese lace pullover. Here are a few pics:
Two things (I can think of offhand) differently from the pattern as written: the yarn is Cotton Fleece, so it’s a little heavier than the original yarn, but hey, most of it is cotton. Second difference: the applied i-cord edging to the neckline (detail shown at the top of the post). I enjoyed knitting this so much, I had a little “post cast-off depression” when it was over (NOT!). It will be fun to see the recipient wearing it when the weather gets colder.
It’s very late and I ought to be getting to bed, but there’s one more thing I thought I should say. My last post made reference to gastric bypass surgery. I researched what my insurance company needs to approve it as medically necessary and it requires that I be monitored by a doctor on some sort of weight loss program for at least six months first. That sort of clinched it for me. I reckon, why not try a low-carb program of diet and exercise (for me that will start off as walking) and possibly some sort of moral support/mental health treatment/OA for a year and see where all of that takes me. If it doesn’t work, then I’ll have the documentation for the surgery and so be it. It it does work, I won’t need the surgery because I’ll have changed my lifestyle. A lot of people have tried all their lives to do something and have finally succeeded. Why not me?
OK, it’s too late for me to keep my eyes open much longer. Thanks for listening, folks.
God bless,
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Interesting week:)

Well, what a week it’s been – very “organic” if you will – business/professional life intermingling with hobbies and spiritual life. Who knew? It’s funny, I’ve always dreamed of my life becoming this way. I guess it’s true: one needs to watch carefully what one wishes for, LOL:).
When last I left you dear 1.5 reader(s), I had been enjoying a lovely dinner with my family and was contemplating running to the office, then to bell prax. Well, bell practice was very disrupted when one of our older members fell in the parking lot. It was a nasty fall. She sustained some awful abrasions to her knee, shoulder and cheekbone and a crack on the eyebrow that all could instantly see would require stitches. The fact that the poor woman has arthritis made it all the more painful to see. I imagine she was in some pretty bad pain the next day. Luckily, Nancy and Ron M had just finished making a pitch to the vestry regarding the St. John’s Orchestra. I was upstairs in the gallery with the high school student I had driven to practice and another woman in the bell choir and we were practicing what we could of one piece. We didn’t hear a thing where we were and with the bells ringing, of course. If Nancy and Ron had not found this lady on the ground in the parking lot, there’s no telling how long she would have lain out there. To make it even more frightening, the lot was dark and it was all too possible that she could have been run over by another bellchoir member who arrived later! We all rushed to get her seated, paper towels and ice were somehow produced and we did our best to wash her wounds without creating more infection. Nancy called her son and daughter, who were there in about 20 minutes – one to take her to the ER and the other to drive her car home. The entire incident made it all too clear that continuing in bells – hell, driving alone at night – was going to be a too-dangerous occupation for this woman. And that is sad – I suppose it’s part of the stripping away of life that aging does to you – a time we will (hopefully) all face at some time. But we push it away from our thoughts, too “busy” to worry about that time. Unfortunately, it’s coming closer and closer to me, patiently waiting for the day when I leave all I have on this earth.
I’m glad for Barb’s time with us. I’m glad for all the older people I see and interact with daily. And every time we lose one of them, I am so sad – for the loss of that person and for the loss of what they represent: a point of view, a way of seeing the world, a certain sense of humor, a phrase that brings back a time and place I thought I’d forgotten.
The world in which I live – the USA of the second millenium – is all about the surface of things. Or so it seems. And we are so poor for that! I have found – in my all-too-brief forays into life, literature, science – that it’s that which lies beneath the surface that is so interesting. When I get to know someone, I often forget those surface things. I actually forgot that a dear friend of mine was blind because it had faded into the background of our conversations and the faith (and jokes) that we shared. My husband is what many consider to be a good-looking man, but I can tell you that the two things about him that stole my heart were not physical – his kindness toward his very little (at the time) sister and his hilarious sense of humor. Nancy – one of the best friends I’ve ever had the pleasure to know – has a well-toned physique (earned by hard work and granted by good genes) and a deliciously wicked smile that lights up the room, but the thing that fascinates me most about her is her uncanny ability to see through those surface things (thank God for that, LOL!) and to assess people by who they really are, not what they appear to be. Again, what she, John or MaryBeth, my friend above, see in me is a mystery, LOL!
I have been wrestling with a decision lately and I want to be sure my intentions are healthy. I have been obese for most of my childhood and virtually all of my adulthood to varying degrees (not counting pregnancies, LOL!). I have dieted on and off most of that time and have been on the same yo-yo treadmill. I may be able (stressing the word may) to qualify for gastric bypass surgery. I have avoided it, because I thought it was a capitulation to what I still consider to be my laziness, my gluttony, etc. etc., the fact that if I were to lose all the weight I need to, I would be one mass of flabby chicken skin hanging down to my knees. But I have been thinking lately that if there is a possibility for me to live a healthier life in the time I have left, I should do it. One of my daughters has done this and although she is unhappy with the residual skin, she is a great deal healthier than she would have been had she not had the surgery – plus she has the energy to do what she needs to do (all other things being equal) that she would not have had without the surgery.
And that’s the thing. I want to live a more active life and it is getting difficult to push this heft around. It would be nice to walk around Centennial Lake without every joint in my legs and back screaming in pain. It would be nice to get down on the floor with my grandchildren and play with them. I’d like to get on a bike and MOVE! O2 is good for you, I’m told:)
Anyway, I’ve decided (if the insurance company will let me) to see about maiming part of my body for the greater good. I may not be able to, but I’m willing to at least look into it. We’ll see…
To continue, we had a bit of bell practice after that horrible incident, believe it or not (that Nancy is a slavedriver, LOL), and then went home.
Wednesday was more of the same – visits, a quick trip to the courthouse to file some paperwork, and a meeting that represented the convergence of so many aspects of my life that I have to laugh. LynnZ – as she is known on Ravelry – is a retired professional marketing expert. The St. John’s Orchestra needs needs needs so badly to be well marketed. It’s the first professional chamber orchestra in Howard county -and Howard County is supposedly the second wealthiest suburb in amerika – who knew? (Not my bank account, LOL!!!) It has evolved from primarily a farming community to the home of Columbia – a pre 1968 housing law experiment in bringing diverse races and cultures together. It deserves to have its own source of elegance and culture! I am so excited to be a part of this stage in our growth. Anyway, Lynn met with Nancy – and Ron Mutchnik, the dedicated and energetic Concertmaster and one of the prime movers behind this project. She had some wonderful ideas and will e-mail us with more. She is willing to work with us and to share her expertise just for the cost of her expenses (well, for now at least). Lynn knows about social networking; she took our Sip ‘n Knit from a couple of people to numbers in the hundreds. She knows how to best use the internet to increase sales. After the meeting, we talked knitting. Can life get any better than that?
Yesterday morning I had court, which went (relatively) uneventfully – or probably I’m getting less and less stressed by what happens there. I had a visit yesterday afternoon, then helped Nancy get the Orchestra mailing to the post office, ate with her and her DH Rennie, then home to knit a little bit before choir prax. Choir was a productive practice (in my not-so-professional opinion). Last night, I did a little more knitting and slept a little late this morning, since I have no court today. I do have a visit in a couple of hours, but it’s not a particularly busy day today. If the weather holds up, I may do some walking on my own this evening – again, we’ll see.
I have added yet another small project to finish by the end of next month – a scarf for the Red Scarf Project . It’s a great program sponsored by the Orphan Foundation of America. Kids who are in foster care and then go off to college or an independent living program don’t have the support that our kids have. They don’t get the “care” packages from home. They have no one to call at night when they’re worried about their crazy roommate. They don’t have anyone nagging them to eat right and sleep right. This is a way that they can know that their community cares about them. It’s a very small thing, but what the heck. I’m sending the word out at work and here. Our local Sip ‘N Knit is collecting scarves – and you can go to the website (click the link above) to donate if you don’t have the time or ability to knit or crochet a scarf. I decided to use some of the Caron Simply Soft in raspberry that I have left over from the Hepburn sweater I knit for Nancy last year to knit a Reversible Cable Red Scarf designed by Lucia Hicks. Lucia (think: rhymes with fuchsia) really designed a beautiful scarf and I just love the fact that it really is reversible. Judge for yourself:
The top picture is the “odd” side (there really is no right and wrong side) I have stuck the cable needle on that side – a cable needle is only needed every twelve rows – another wonderful thing about this pattern.
The next picture is the “even” side. I cannot tell the difference! So cool! Lily Chin is also really good at doing this – as is Janet Szabo; she has some reversible scarf patterns in one of her issues of Twists and Turns.
This weekend will be a time of catching up on paperwork, organizing the office, finishing some knitting project or projects and most importantly: babysitting the grandbabies – the stuff of legend, LOL!
Be safe dear readers, but don’t hesitate to take a chance for the right thing!
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More of the "State" part of this blog

Got this in two separate e-mails yesterday. If you know who the author is, please let me know so I can give the appropriate “props”:)
* If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you’reexotic, different.”
* Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, a quintessential Americanstory.
* If your name is Barack you’re a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.
* Name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you’re a maverick.
* Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.
* Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you’re wellgrounded.
* If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, becomethe first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senatorrepresenting a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate’s Health and HumanServices committee, spend 4 yearsin the United States Senate representing a state of 13 millionpeople while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works andVeteran’s Affairs committees, youdon’t have any real leadership experience.
* If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the citycouncil and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a statewith only 650,000 people, then you’re qualified to become the country’s second highest rankingexecutive.
* If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years whileraising 2 beautiful daughters, all withinProtestant churches, you’re not a real Christian.
* If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and leftyour disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you’re a Christian.
* If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education,including the proper use of birth control, you areeroding the fiber of society.
* If , while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only,with no other option in sex education in yourstate’s school system while your unwed teen daughter ends uppregnant , you’re very responsible.
* If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a positionin a prestigious law firm to work for thebetterment of her inner city community, then gave that up toraise a family, your family’s values don’t represent America’s.
* If you’re husband is nicknamed “First Dude”, with at least oneDWI conviction and no college education,who didn’t register to vote until age 25 and once was a member ofa group that advocated the secession ofAlaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.

OK, much clearer now.

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No court but lots to do:)

Well, let’s see I am falling down on the blogging job am I not? Sorry dear 1.5 readers. Life has seemed to intervene and I haven’t felt like I’ve had anything interesting to say. I am squeezing in a blogpost between finishing and faxing report for work and driving to the office to get the required paperwork, files, shredding in and files and mail out. But there’s a little matter of getting out of my pjs and taking a shower first, LOL. As I type this, John is doing the recycling, McCain is making a speech on the television, and the KnitPicks podcast (Ann Budd episode) is in my earplugs. And these pretty flowers are sitting on my desk although this picture is a little bit fresher:) Ah well, the camera adds 10 years, LOL!
Let me catch you up on my whirlwind (NOT) but fun existence: Saturday was spent practicing the Lauridsen piece at St. John’s for about 2 hours with some of the choir (we get a lot done during those extra practices because we can hone in on the sketchy patches). Great way to start the day! (sorry folks, I’m a music nerd – talk amongst yerselves….)
Lunch with Donna was very nice – she treated me to thank me for working on a couple of her knitted garments that needed repairs! How sweet of her! I do this as a fun hobby, so it’s double fun now:) Donna had to run off to do her second job as Wedding Coordinator at St. John’s and I had a client visit.
After the client visit, I stopped in at The Celtic Knot Yarn Shop just to see if they had another ball of yarn for a project I was working on. I thought it would be a quick in and out, but I ended up sitting down and having a chat with Carole, the owner and a friend of hers – Anise or Aniece (don’t know how she spells her name). Both were sitting, chatting and having a little snack (and some vino, LOL). An employee was re-organizing the yarn displays. So, instead of browsing, we talked about all the different knitting groups, including the Sip ‘N Knit group I belong to, the local knitting guild and various fun knitting topics as well – and politics. I was my usual big mouth self about certain topics (you’d never guess what my political affiliation is, would you?). Turns out, we were all more or less of the same mind, strangely enough. And of course the wine they were drinking (no, I didn’t have any – I had to drive, LOL!) was VERY aptly name for those of us who like to Stitch and shhhh:) Speaking of knitting, I’ve started the Mystery Shawl 4. Lots o’ beads with that there pattern – it’s insane and very slow going. We’ll see if I get THAT one done before Christmas. Next I’ve got to finish up the Chinese lace pulli. I cannot wait to see that one blocked and done:)
Saturday

Saturday, John and I were all set to make dinner for the three kids still at home, but everyone was going out and B had her own place to go to – so we went out to dinner – aww what a bummer, LOL! We had a nice dinner at Chicago Uno -and a bottle of wine. Very tasty. By the time we got home, I figured I’d better get to bed – early morning Sunday.

Sunday, John had a game to bartend and I had two services – bells and choir. Took a short walk at the lake afterwards (it was unbearably hot, so I only did 2/3 of the walk). Went home, took another shower and changed to go see the Army Field Band play at St. John’s. They were superb as always. It was a small woodwind/brass ensemble and they were fantastic! Their choice of pieces was outstanding. I cannot say enough about these talented people – and they charge NOTHING for their appearances. If they are in your area, you should definitely go see them.

Afterwards, since we weren’t doing our usual Sunday family dinner and John was working, I went out with some choir friends to dinner (again – I know shame on me). We had a terrific time. Then home.

Yesterday was not a court day for me, but it was busy. Didn’t get home until 8 o’clock – but everyone but our son D and his GF C was there. Had a great dinner with the family. John, bless his heart, had bought a house warming gift for J and B – a toolbox:). After everyone left, and John went off to bed and I had finished answering e-mails, I settled down to some serious knitting on that which you see above. I will have to put that aside to finish other projects, but it’s nice knowing it’s waiting for me.

Well, I’d better get moving if I’m going to make my deadlines and bell choir tonight! May the road rise up to greet you. May the wind be always at your back and God be with you ’til we meet again:)

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No court but lots to do:)

Well, let’s see I am falling down on the blogging job am I not? Sorry dear 1.5 readers. Life has seemed to intervene and I haven’t felt like I’ve had anything interesting to say. I am squeezing in a blogpost between finishing and faxing report for work and driving to the office to get the required paperwork, files, shredding in and files and mail out. But there’s a little matter of getting out of my pjs and taking a shower first, LOL. As I type this, John is doing the recycling, McCain is making a speech on the television, and the KnitPicks podcast (Ann Budd episode) is in my earplugs. And these pretty flowers are sitting on my desk although this picture is a little bit fresher:) Ah well, the camera adds 10 years, LOL!
Let me catch you up on my whirlwind (NOT) but fun existence: Saturday was spent practicing the Lauridsen piece at St. John’s for about 2 hours with some of the choir (we get a lot done during those extra practices because we can hone in on the sketchy patches). Great way to start the day! (sorry folks, I’m a music nerd – talk amongst yerselves….)
Lunch with Donna was very nice – she treated me to thank me for working on a couple of her knitted garments that needed repairs! How sweet of her! I do this as a fun hobby, so it’s double fun now:) Donna had to run off to do her second job as Wedding Coordinator at St. John’s and I had a client visit.
After the client visit, I stopped in at The Celtic Knot Yarn Shop just to see if they had another ball of yarn for a project I was working on. I thought it would be a quick in and out, but I ended up sitting down and having a chat with Carole, the owner and a friend of hers – Anise or Aniece (don’t know how she spells her name). Both were sitting, chatting and having a little snack (and some vino, LOL). An employee was re-organizing the yarn displays. So, instead of browsing, we talked about all the different knitting groups, including the Sip ‘N Knit group I belong to, the local knitting guild and various fun knitting topics as well – and politics. I was my usual big mouth self about certain topics (you’d never guess what my political affiliation is, would you?). Turns out, we were all more or less of the same mind, strangely enough. And of course the wine they were drinking (no, I didn’t have any – I had to drive, LOL!) was VERY aptly name for those of us who like to Stitch and shhhh:) Speaking of knitting, I’ve started the Mystery Shawl 4. Lots o’ beads with that there pattern – it’s insane and very slow going. We’ll see if I get THAT one done before Christmas. Next I’ve got to finish up the Chinese lace pulli. I cannot wait to see that one blocked and done:)
Saturday

Saturday, John and I were all set to make dinner for the three kids still at home, but everyone was going out and B had her own place to go to – so we went out to dinner – aww what a bummer, LOL! We had a nice dinner at Chicago Uno -and a bottle of wine. Very tasty. By the time we got home, I figured I’d better get to bed – early morning Sunday.

Sunday, John had a game to bartend and I had two services – bells and choir. Took a short walk at the lake afterwards (it was unbearably hot, so I only did 2/3 of the walk). Went home, took another shower and changed to go see the Army Field Band play at St. John’s. They were superb as always. It was a small woodwind/brass ensemble and they were fantastic! Their choice of pieces was outstanding. I cannot say enough about these talented people – and they charge NOTHING for their appearances. If they are in your area, you should definitely go see them.

Afterwards, since we weren’t doing our usual Sunday family dinner and John was working, I went out with some choir friends to dinner (again – I know shame on me). We had a terrific time. Then home.

Yesterday was not a court day for me, but it was busy. Didn’t get home until 8 o’clock – but everyone but our son D and his GF C was there. Had a great dinner with the family. John, bless his heart, had bought a house warming gift for J and B – a toolbox:). After everyone left, and John went off to bed and I had finished answering e-mails, I settled down to some serious knitting on that which you see above. I will have to put that aside to finish other projects, but it’s nice knowing it’s waiting for me.

Well, I’d better get moving if I’m going to make my deadlines and bell choir tonight! May the road rise up to greet you. May the wind be always at your back and God be with you ’til we meet again:)

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Gloria Steinem is soooooo cool!

My DD#2 sent me a link to an editorial by Gloria Steinem on the topic of Sarah Palin. Two things she said that stick out in my [sick] mind:
* “Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It’s about making life more fair for women everywhere. It’s not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It’s about baking a new pie.”
* “To vote in protest for McCain/Palin would be like saying, “Somebody stole my shoes, so I’ll amputate my legs.”
and that which I will always LOVE LOVE LOVE:
* “And [if there is a McCain/Palin defeat and the Reeps take back the centrist approach] American women… finally have support on a national stage from male leaders who know that women can’t be equal outside the home until men are equal in it. “
YES!
A voice crying out in the wilderness, Gloria Steinem has quietly, rationally and intelligently made the case for women’s equality, stifling the rage that must boil inside of her as it does with many of us. As the mother of five daughters and one son, I am so in her debt and grateful that she continues the fight today that she started in the sixties.
Knitting? Oh yeah, that:)
I finished Ruby’s Little Sister Dress by Tora Froseth (sorry, can’t do that o with the slash in it – Ms. F is Swedish I think). I was up until about 4 a.m. finishing it; and had to be up by 7:00 a.m. DUH! Big DUH! But I like the way it turned out. It needed literally no blocking and the yarn is soft. It has sort of a tie-dyed denim look to it and I know for a fact that the Rubester is indeed a rockin’ 3-yr-old, so this is reeelly kewl:)
I also finished the hat, but it’s a bit large – needs a weeee bit of felting maybe? We’ll see. This week has been crazy and of course it doesn’t help that my Wednesday was so screwed up in terms of sleep. Client visits have caused me to be late to my first choir and second bell choir practice – neither of which felt very good. But it has been wonderful getting back into the swim of things.
I was hoping to do EfM again this year, having missed a year, but it looks like it’s going to be another year before I start that up again. Instead, I signed up for the Stephen Ministry at my church. It’s a more active ministry, involved in being there for people in crisis. And there’s a training, boy is there a training – every Monday for two hours (save the holidays) and a few Saturdays for 4 or 5 hours. They mean business and I’m glad. I will need all the help I can get! I’m a little nervous about it, but happy to be taking on another challenge. It’s good for the soul to learn new things.
Today I finished court around noontime and came home to find that John was not yet back from a dr’s appointment. It turns out all was well, but it was a little scary there for a while. He’s sleeping now as I type this, having missed his usual morning bedtime after a long overnight shift at the hotel. I am – for a little while – alone downstairs in a quiet house. I’m listening to Brenda Dayne’s Cast On podcast and a few others. If all goes as planned, I’m going to work on the Mystery Shawl 4 and the Chinese Lace Pullover sleeves. It’s a damp, rainy night. It’s just turned dark. I am inside, getting ready to have some cozy time with yarn, the remains of a tuna sub with everything on it and, a glass or two of red wine. Hopefully all kept carefully apart:)
Tomorrow the choir is practicing the Lux Aeterna by Morten Lauridsen. I will probably bring my knitting – there are any number of projects I can bring – except the Chinese Lace, LOL:) Oh – I almost forgot – a choir friend asked me to fix a new sweater she must have caught on something. I will do that tonight to bring to her at practice if she’s there – or drop off to her.
It’s funny about autumn. I love this time of year as I’ve said many times on this blog. Unfortunately, it’s not a fun time for everyone I care about. I think John is doing better with it because he’s getting more sleep and not working two jobs at least for now. It used to be a tougher time of year for him. Other friends of mine get overwhelmed in the autumn with all the stuff that gets thrown their way. It makes things kind of weird for me because I want to help, but don’t quite know how to be there for them. And I must annoy the crap out of them because I am not in the same state. Aarrgghh. But that doesn’t mean I don’t worry or lose sleep. Dammit I do. Maybe that’s why I’m knitting like such an addict!
B is moving this weekend to share an apartment with J. Now four of our kids will be out of the nest. The signals are there that the time is right for her to go out on her own; she spends more time out of the house than home, she’s got a good, if tiring job, and she’s 27. I’m hoping she and J will come for sunday dinner with the rest of her sibs most sundays. I’m betting she will, if only for the occasional poker game. But still I will miss her as I do her out-on-their-own sibs. Thankfully, they’re all fairly close but not so close that I’m in their business every day, LOL!
Well, that’s all I have for today.
Peace+