Stash Diving – Why Does That Sound So Dirty?

Must be my evil mind – although I don’t know what I’m being evil about, LOL!  I took the opportunity this morning to frog a project I just knew I wasn’t going to finish – and another pair  of socks may actually happen someday – now that I’m no longer an anti-socker, thanks to the Yarn Harlot:).  I did find a lovely pattern booklet by the lovely Jillian Moreno – Of Big Girl Knits and More Big Girl Knits fame.  It’s called Curvy Knits: Designs for Shapely Figures.  I got Volume 2 – so if anyone has Volume 1, let me know what you think of it.  There’s a fair isle vest pattern on the cover that I decided to make, but without the fair isle (I know, kind of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?) But the yarn is a lovely green/blue mix and I think it will stand up well on its own. I’m also knitting it in a pair of
 “square circulars” and it’s moving along.  The vest
 shouldn’t take too long to make and it’ll be fun with a skirt or jeans equally.  I also dove into my stash and used some to try the Channel Island cast on, as demonstrated by “oftroy” (wonder if her first name could be Helen?) on YouTube.  If you don’t know how to do this cast-on and the instructions elsewhere have left you confused (as they did me), this video shows how to do it in a way that makes sense. oftroy’s blog, Golden Apples, is chock full of knitting goodies.  I

have enjoyed all of her videos and her blog and hope that she will make some instructional videos – in the meantime, I’m happy to reap the benefits of free YouTube instructions!
  After doing the Channel Island Cast-on, I decided to create some funky fringe for what I think will be a fun little scarf – maybe for one of the grand angels, out of some yarn I got at Joann about a year and a half ago. 
Life has been moving along.  I have done about 40 plus visits of clients in the past few days to get caught up on work and now I have a lot of paperwork to do – but that’s a good thing:).  Saturday was in much the same way, except this time out in western Merlin.  This morning I had the first service at choir and then the second.  I do not have a particularly strong or wonderful voice and it became apparent by the second service. (Sigh) So I left as soon as we were done with the last anthem and headed out to coffee with some of my long-lost knitting buddies from the Columbia Sip ‘n Knit.  Only problem was, I didn’t bring my KNITTING!!! DOH! But it was great to see Lynn and Brace and Ruth – someone I actually know from my work.  

By the time I got home, I couldn’t keep my eyes open.  I crashed for three hours, in time to wake up to  John having done all the work for the kids coming over for Superbowl Sunday.  As I sit and type this, I hear my granddaughters playing in the background, the unusual commercials (Superbowl is worth watching just for the commercials, LOL!) and the quiet conversation among my children.  Our son is back from a three-week shoot in OK, so he’s home with his sweetie right now – a good thing:)!
Well, I’ve gotta go.  Have a meeting tomorrow morning, then another meeting in the afternoon.  Then hopefully more visits and Stephen Ministry tomorrow night.
Until then, dear readers, however many you may be, God be with you ’til we meet again!


I’m typing this at my desk, procrastinating just a little before typing up a couple of pleadings that I’ll be filing when I go back for the afternoon docket (I had a drug court meeting and then only one hearing on the a.m. docket, so what the heck, I went home to get organized – hey, it could happen!)
It’s nice to see the sunshine after those days of nasty weather – and the snow and ice are melting – not too shabby:)!  I’ve been up for a while, which is a good thing, since I ended up online until almost 2 a.m. in a chat with a high school friend while waiting for my phone to restore itself after it went through some sort of electronic hissy fit.  The chat started out pleasantly enough and of course was pleasant throughout because this person is one of the nicest I’ve ever known (I’m lucky that way – my high school class was really kind of a good decent group of people).  Our conversation went to our friend, Marcie, who had died many years ago.  She told me something that was extremely personal, so I’m not mentioning it here out of respect for her privacy, but what she told me affirmed my faith in something bigger than this little life we live here on earth.  Talk about serendipity in the most unusual settings.
Court this morning was not a big deal.  The client is thankfully doing well after a number of hard years.  The master was even nice to him, LOL!  What was kind of fun was that as we left, I noticed he wasn’t wearing a coat (and he was wearing a T-shirt ferchrissakes!).  I give him credit

 for wearing a cap, but hey, he’s old enough to make his own decisions like that.  I actually gave him my scarf.  He genuinely liked it:)  It wasn’t girly or anything, so he didn’t feel funny wearing it – I told him I knit it and he was welcome to keep it since I knit about 2 or 3 scarves in any
 given year.  It was nice to give him something wool and, well, nice:)  I could start to make a habit of this! What a stashbuster that would be, LOL!

Thank you Betsy!

Our daughter, Betsy gave me this for Christmas.  It arrived day before yesterday, but I didn’t get a chance to play with it until last night:
It was a LOT easier than removing all my office supplies from the “Apprentice” on my desk, LOL! And by the time I was done, I was able to wind four of these five balls of yarn (the biggest one was wound at the yarn shop when I bought it about a year ago).
Aren’t these colors gorgeous?  The smaller ones are

part of a Knitpicks  lace yarn sampler 
in wine colors.  (This is just a mosaic of the same five balls of yarn – thought it would look interesting:)) Looking at the website and comparing with the other skein, this is about 2500 yards of yarn, believe it or not.  That’s enough for a large, very thin sweater. Hmmmm – or a large, not-so-thin if you start melding the colors vest.  I’ll have to think about that one – when I’m done with my other 8,468 projects!
Well, I’d better get working on my tasks for today.  Tonight I get to go to bell and choir practices – bells were canceled for two nights, so we’re doing a mini practice this evening, since we are playing next Sunday.  Music for three and a half hours! Ahhhh heaven – what a way to spend an evening.
One more hearing, and a brief visit to the office and then home to schedule more visits and work on paperwork. Then FUN (I hope!).
Be back soon! Until then, dear 3.5 readers, God be with you ’til we meet again!

Back to Work!

Well, after that long weekend and an amazing time of inaugural bliss, it was time to get my you-know-what back to work.  The last week or so has been spent in a whirlwind of court, visits, court, meetings, court, visits, and when lucky, extracurriculars:)
Of course, I couldn’t come back from a week’s hiatus without at least a small bit of yarn porn.  This is Paton’s stretch socks yarn and it’s actually quite pretty and not bad to work with.  I’m doing a pair of toe-up large and stretchy socks for yours truly with the varying width ankles. I have four balls – two colorways each – of this yarn and plan on two pairs of socks while I’m also working on the following:
Lace Ribbon Scarf for Donna
Aqua Today’s Sweater for moi
Grey heather Spring Forward Cardigan for moi
Spring T for someone else.
Well, hey, at least I’ve got a little variety going – and I’m incorporating projects already begun so as not to feel guilty!
Well, things around the Law Firm have been interesting – in a Chinese curse kind of way.  I don’t like to talk about what happens at work for good reason: it’s confidential and private and all sorts of other stuff.  I usually say that I love my job (and I do) and leave it at that.  We are going through all sorts of things because of the economy and other things I am not free to discuss.  I even thought I might be laid off today  (paranoia springeth eternal) and was determined to just keep on keeping on no matter what.  But that didn’t happen – at least not to me.  It did happen to someone else, though and that’s all I’m going to say about it.  The Powers that Be had their reasons.  I was unashamedly glad to still be employed, though.  So much so, that upon leaving the city office, I treated a couple of homeless guys to a little breakfast from the fast-food place nearby.  Perhaps that’s silly, but I felt I had to give something to someone as a way of saying thanks and they were perfectly nice gentlemen who appeared to have fallen on hard times and it was broad daylight and people were around and……
Even having a job today, there are no guarrantees in life.  About anything.  I am just a little more grateful than usual today.  And I’ll keep the other employee in my prayers (which sounds so vainglorious and hypocritical but I don’t know what else to do right now).
The one thing I am determined to do is even if I have to leave this job, I will leave it in pristine condition.  I want to have done the best job I could have done and leave, I hope, with the knowledge that I may have done someone some good.  Good Lord willing, I won’t have to, but I’m just saying….
Church life is a little tough right now and again, I’m uncomfortable putting into words what is happening because it’s unfair to the people involved.  Suffice it to say that we are trying to pull together to really help each other out and be a community.  Stephen Ministry training has been a lot of learning and although it may be daunting, I am looking forward to helping someone (I hope I help, LOL!).  The people I’ve met – both at my church and the others involved – have been wonderful to know.  
Of course the music at St. John’s is one of the biggest blessings of my life.  I often think about what brought me here.  It was one of the best decisions “I” ever made – and I’ve never regretted it.  Nancy has become my dearest friend in the world and there are so many others I’ve been so happy to meet and get to know. In fact, the music ministry is its own sort of “mini-community” here – one that has embraced me with open arms.  How can I not respond in kind?
Perhaps it is exactly these cold dark months of winter that provide us with a certain solitude – even if one works amidst crowds of people as I often do.  And those times of solitude give me a greater appreciation for the good things  – and especially the good people – in my life.  Cold dark winter nights cause us to yearn for the warmth and sunshine of spring, but they also grant us a form of intimacy with our deepest selves.  And if we’re lucky, with the Eternal.
Until next time, dear 3.5 readers, God be with you ’til we meet again.

Thank you, Jacob Weisberg

The picture to the right of the “good lookin’ dude” is certainly no “W” – just another Republican to whom I happen to be married (or will go back to considering myself married when my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters can do the same thing in this country!), looking out over San Francisco on a trip we went on for his brother’s wedding in October 2006:)

1. “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”—Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2004

2. “I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family.”—Greater Nashua, N.H., Chamber of Commerce, Jan. 27, 2000

3. “Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?”—Florence, S.C., Jan. 11, 2000

4. “Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB/GYNs aren’t able to practice their love with women all across the country.”—Poplar Bluff, Mo., Sept. 6, 2004

5. “Neither in French nor in English nor in Mexican.”—declining to answer reporters’ questions at the Summit of the Americas, Quebec City, Canada, April 21, 2001

6. “You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.”—Townsend, Tenn., Feb. 21, 2001

7. “I’m the decider, and I decide what is best. And what’s best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secretary of defense.”—Washington, D.C., April 18, 2006

8. “See, in my line of work you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.”—Greece, N.Y., May 24, 2005

9. “I’ve heard he’s been called Bush’s poodle. He’s bigger than that.”—discussing former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, as quoted by the Sun newspaper, June 27, 2007

10. “And so, General, I want to thank you for your service. And I appreciate the fact that you really snatched defeat out of the jaws of those who are trying to defeat us in Iraq.”—meeting with Army Gen. Ray Odierno, Washington, D.C., March 3, 2008

11. “We ought to make the pie higher.”—South Carolina Republican debate, Feb. 15, 2000

12. “There’s an old saying in Tennessee—I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee—that says, fool me once, shame on—shame on you. Fool me—you can’t get fooled again.”—Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002

13. “And there is distrust in Washington. I am surprised, frankly, at the amount of distrust that exists in this town. And I’m sorry it’s the case, and I’ll work hard to try to elevate it.”—speaking on National Public Radio, Jan. 29, 2007

14. “We’ll let our friends be the peacekeepers and the great country called America will be the pacemakers.”—Houston, Sept. 6, 2000

15. “It’s important for us to explain to our nation that life is important. It’s not only life of babies, but it’s life of children living in, you know, the dark dungeons of the Internet.”—Arlington Heights, Ill., Oct. 24, 2000

16. “One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures.”—U.S. News & World Report, Jan. 3, 2000

17. “People say, ‘How can I help on this war against terror? How can I fight evil?’ You can do so by mentoring a child; by going into a shut-in’s house and say I love you.”—Washington, D.C., Sept. 19, 2002

18. “Well, I think if you say you’re going to do something and don’t do it, that’s trustworthiness.”—CNN online chat, Aug. 30, 2000

19. “I’m looking forward to a good night’s sleep on the soil of a friend.”—on the prospect of visiting Denmark, Washington, D.C., June 29, 2005

20. “I think it’s really important for this great state of baseball to reach out to people of all walks of life to make sure that the sport is inclusive. The best way to do it is to convince little kids how to—the beauty of playing baseball.”—Washington, D.C., Feb. 13, 2006

21. “Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream.”—LaCrosse, Wis., Oct. 18, 2000

22. “You know, when I campaigned here in 2000, I said, I want to be a war president. No president wants to be a war president, but I am one.”—Des Moines, Iowa, Oct. 26, 2006

23. “There’s a huge trust. I see it all the time when people come up to me and say, ‘I don’t want you to let me down again.’ “—Boston, Oct. 3, 2000

24. “They misunderestimated me.”—Bentonville, Ark., Nov. 6, 2000

25. “I’ll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office.”—Washington, D.C., May 12, 2008

Jacob Weisberg is chairman and editor-in-chief of the Slate Group and author of The Bush Tragedy.

And The Crowd Went Wild!!!

Ok, dear readers, can you tell I’m just a LEEETLE bit excited about today’s festivities?  Well, multiply that by about 200 plus thousand and you’ve got a happy dance going on, people:)
Our TV has been on all day, scene from scene from the Inauguration playing.  Despite everything we’ve been through as a country, we have one of those three lasting virtues: Hope!
Now to less interesting, albeit colorful things (well, sort of colorful, LOL): 
Der Hut ist fertig!
Le Meret et complet:)!
The Hat (Meret) is done!
Whoo freakin’ Hoooo:)
OK, I told you it was less interesting, but I thought I’d post a pic anyway:

It’s still drying, so I won’t be able to wear it tonight when I go to bell prx, but that’s OK.  Tomorrow’s another day.
OH yeah, it sure is……

Rev. Lowery’s Benediction (love the end!)

God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, thou who has brought us thus far along the way, thou who has by thy might led us into the light, keep us forever in the path, we pray, lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee, lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee. Shadowed beneath thy hand may we forever stand — true to thee, O God, and true to our native land.

We truly give thanks for the glorious experience we’ve shared this day. We pray now, O Lord, for your blessing upon thy servant, Barack Obama, the 44th president of these United States, his family and his administration. He has come to this high office at a low moment in the national and, indeed, the global fiscal climate. But because we know you got the whole world in your hand, we pray for not only our nation, but for the community of nations. Our faith does not shrink, though pressed by the flood of mortal ills.

For we know that, Lord, you’re able and you’re willing to work through faithful leadership to restore stability, mend our brokenness, heal our wounds and deliver us from the exploitation of the poor or the least of these and from favoritism toward the rich, the elite of these.

We thank you for the empowering of thy servant, our 44th president, to inspire our nation to believe that, yes, we can work together to achieve a more perfect union. And while we have sown the seeds of greed — the wind of greed and corruption, and even as we reap the whirlwind of social and economic disruption, we seek forgiveness and we come in a spirit of unity and solidarity to commit our support to our president by our willingness to make sacrifices, to respect your creation, to turn to each other and not on each other.

And now, Lord, in the complex arena of human relations, help us to make choices on the side of love, not hate; on the side of inclusion, not exclusion; tolerance, not intolerance.

And as we leave this mountaintop, help us to hold on to the spirit of fellowship and the oneness of our family. Let us take that power back to our homes, our workplaces, our churches, our temples, our mosques, or wherever we seek your will.

Bless President Barack, First Lady Michelle. Look over our little, angelic Sasha and Malia.

We go now to walk together, children, pledging that we won’t get weary in the difficult days ahead. We know you will not leave us alone, with your hands of power and your heart of love.

Help us then, now, Lord, to work for that day when nation shall not lift up sword against nation, when tanks will be beaten into tractors, when every man and every woman shall sit under his or her own vine and fig tree, and none shall be afraid; when justice will roll down like waters and righteousness as a mighty stream.

Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back, when brown can stick around — (laughter) — when yellow will be mellow — (laughter) — when the red man can get ahead, man — (laughter) — and when white will embrace what is right.

Let all those who do justice and love mercy say amen.


REV. LOWERY: Say amen —


REV. LOWERY: — and amen.

AUDIENCE: Amen! (Cheers, applause.)


And the Inaugural Address!

My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors. I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war, against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost; jobs shed; businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly; our schools fail too many; and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable but no less profound is a sapping of confidence across our land — a nagging fear that America’s decline is inevitable, and that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America — they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the faint-hearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated but more often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sanh.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done. The state of the economy calls for action, bold and swift, and we will act — not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. And all this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions — who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them — that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end. And those of us who manage the public’s dollars will be held to account — to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day — because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control — and that a nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart — not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy. Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort — even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan. With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West — know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds. And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world’s resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us today, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages. We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service; a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves. And yet, at this moment — a moment that will define a generation — it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence — the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed — why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people: “Let it be told to the future world … that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive … that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].”

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Amen! And again I say Amen!

Bishop Gene Robinson’s invocation starting off the inaugural festivities.  (I’m so proud he’s a member of my larger faith community!)

Welcome to Washington! The fun is about to begin, but first, please join me in pausing for a moment, to ask God’s blessing upon our nation and our next president.

“O God of our many understandings, we pray that you will . . .

“Bless us with tears – for a world in which over a billion people exist on less than a dollar a day, where young women from many lands are beaten and raped for wanting an education, and thousands die daily from malnutrition, malaria and AIDS.

“Bless us with anger – at discrimination, at home and abroad, against refugees and immigrants, women, people of color, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

“Bless us with discomfort – at the easy, simplistic “answers” we’ve preferred to hear from our politicians, instead of the truth, about ourselves and the world, which we need to face if we are going to rise to the challenges of the future.

“Bless us with patience – and the knowledge that none of what ails us will be “fixed” anytime soon, and the understanding that our new president is a human being, not a messiah.

“Bless us with humility – open to understanding that our own needs must always be balanced with those of the world.

“Bless us with freedom from mere tolerance – replacing it with a genuine respect and warm embrace of our differences, and an understanding that in our diversity, we are stronger.

“Bless us with compassion and generosity – remembering that every religion’s God judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable in the human community, whether across town or across the world.

“And God, we give you thanks for your child Barack, as he assumes the office of President of the United States. Give him wisdom beyond his years, and inspire him with Lincoln’s reconciling leadership style, President Kennedy’s ability to enlist our best efforts, and Dr. King’s dream of a nation for all the people.

“Give him a quiet heart, for our Ship of State needs a steady, calm captain in these times. Give him stirring words, for we will need to be inspired and motivated to make the personal and common sacrifices necessary to facing the challenges ahead.

“Make him color-blind, reminding him of his own words that under his leadership, there will be neither red nor blue states, but the United States. Help him remember his own oppression as a minority, drawing on that experience of discrimination, that he might seek to change the lives of those who are still its victims. Give him the strength to find family time and privacy, and help him remember that even though he is president, a father only gets one shot at his daughters’ childhoods.

“And please, God, keep him safe. We know we ask too much of our presidents, and we’re asking far too much of this one. We know the risk he and his wife are taking for all of us, and we implore you, O good and great God, to keep him safe. Hold him in the palm of your hand – that he might do the work we have called him to do, that he might find joy in this impossible calling, and that in the end, he might lead us as a nation to a place of integrity, prosperity and peace.


From the Sublime to the Knitting

It is a cold, wet and wintry holiday weekend in Merlin.  We have been slightly dumped with snow – nothing like our poor neighbors to the north.  Since last I checked in, dear readers, I have finished up a week of hearings and visits, spent a Saturday doing a visit and a college applicant’s interview for Middlebury College and stayed  inside (SOOO COOOLD)  and guess what? No trip to New Yawk!I have enough problems having  to drive in the snow and ice, but I’m not going to do it if I don’t hafta, and neither is John, so the New York trip was canceled – just as well economically speaking, but not so good in terms of spending time with extended family.

But things here in Merlin are still hopeful and happy, as symbolized by the still blooming flowers
on my kitchen window sill:) Tomorrow will be a momentous day in our nation’s history. And, although we Merliners are disappointed that the Ravens will not be going to the Superbowl this year, the majority of us are happy and excited that the right team is going to the White House – and really, folks, that’s far more important!

Yesterday was a busy morning Sunday schedule – singing both services and ringing the introit. It was a lot easier as the coughing seems to have subsided, LOL!  The choir is trying to work together to come to some sort of agreement with the church/clergy as to how many services they are willing to sing in a given Sunday.  I don’t want to say too much about it, because it’s still tentative, but we shall see what we shall see.  I hope to be able to write more about it more publicly, because as you know, dear readers, I love my church community and love nothing more than writing about it, but some things will take time.
Last night, the “kids” came over for dinner – K and S did crafting with me in the kitchen while the rest of the gang watched the playoff game vs. the Steelers.  Oh well, better luck next year:(
Today was a lazy one.  I’ve been working on the Lace Ribbon Scarf and have added a few more inches (Family Team Decision Making meetings and mediations are both good places to bring knitting – I need something to do with my hands when I cannot/will not take notes!).
I am finally knitting out of need: I need a hat.  And gloves.  So, I decided to shop my stash and

cast on for the Meret .  I’m liking it so far:).  It’s a relatively easy lace pattern.  The yarn I’m using came from a woman whose stash indeed did
exceed her life expectancy.  I do not know what her name was, but I do know that she was the mother of Ellen S., a dear friend and colleague of mine.  I know that this yarn sat in plastic bags for years in Ellen’s closet because Ellen’s mother died about a decade ago. Even with that, this lovely wool is knitting up fine.  It’s a little scratchy, but I think it will soften up with cleaning once I finish the hat.  I took pictures of the label because I might want to see if I can find it on the web.  Hey, wool is wool. I asked Ellen if she wanted me to make something for her, but she said she’d be creeped out by it, so I’m respecting that and making something for myself.  There’s
some grey, peach and blue yarn also in the group – I might try one of Kieran Foley’s designs in a

scarf with the leftover pink.  This yarn is sport weight – I doubled it for the hat to get closer to gauge.  In the meantime, the hat is moving along quickly and I’m hoping to get it done by  tomorrow (famous last words).  I also want to finish the lace ribbon for Donna.  Soon.:) And then again, there are the gloves I need and I do so want to do Joanna R’s Plum Gloves – they are so beautiful!

Well, great times tomorrow!
Until then, dear readers, God be with you – May She be with us all – ’til we meet again!

We Have A Dream

On August 28, 1963, I was nine years old when the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. made his famous “I Have A Dream” speech from the Lincoln Memorial overlooking  the Mall in Washington, D.C. – a place where some 15 years later, John and I, too poor for playdates and “mommy and me” weekends, would picnic with our firstborn baby, Kristin Marie,watching her toddle around with all the other little children, children of all races and nationalities.  

While Dr. King was delivering this stirring speech heard ’round the world and sinking into the hearts of all humankind, including that of this white, middle class kid, a town called Columbia in the great state of Merlin, USA had been around for a few months.  Merlin had an ugly thing called segregation – the tool of ignorant bigots, a tool, in my youthful naivete’, that was never a part of the life of this native New Yawka.  But in Columbia, there was no segregation.  Black White Red Yellow and Mixed were going to live together side by side.  And they still do.
It was to Columbia, Merlin, that John, our six kids and I settled some twenty-odd years after that. And it was in Columbia, Merlin that at our youngest’s 8th grade “commencement ceremony,” her Principal noted that there were some 29 nationalities represented in her 8th grade class, composed of every race in the globe and every religion you can name, that I again recalled that speech and thought, “thank you, Lord!”
I know that the Rev. Dr. King was a mortal, a mere man, but he had a way of making the message of Christianity more real and more alive to me than any human being has since.  And tomorrow, we Americans take one step closer to Dr. King’s dream. We will be able to more honestly say it is a dream shared by all people of good will and, God willing, by all Americans:)
Thanks to the Avalon Project at Yale University, here is the text of that speech that still brings a well of tears to this American, tears of grief for the pain and cruelties visited upon an innocent people by slavery and tears of joy for the victory already given by God:

Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.

But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.

In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God’s children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.

Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.

I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor’s lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”

And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!

Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!

But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!

Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!