Whadda Week!

Well as usual, I don’t even know where to begin! Last week, when I left you dear 3.5 readers, I was in the thick of the usual stuff of my life – and I’m still there:) The week ended pretty much as it began, with a rather contentious situation with a client that still lingers.  But crazy as I am, I still have hope because the people involved are good ones.  Sometimes it’s just not all up to me.  The balance of the week was spent doing the usual round of client visits, paperwork, mediations and court appearances.  Then came a wonderful weekend.

It started with Friday evening.  St. Peter’s church has been hosting Stations of the Cross, about which I have posted earlier.  For those of you not of that particular denomination that observes the Stations of the Cross (mostly Catholic and Anglo-Catholic and other sects and denominations of Christianity that with which I am unfamiliar), the “Stations” as they are called, is a devotional exercise during which the worshipper ponders fourteen points in the timeline – or “stations” – of Jesus’ suffering and ultimately death on the cross.  In many churches and cathedrals, one will see fourteen (and sometimes fifteen) depictions of those stops on the way to Golgotha, usually along the walls  of the church.  Most are Biblical and some are not; rather they are based on tradition.  For that reason, there are a number of Christian churches that do not have them.
Note: this is by way of explanation; I have no intention of trying to convert anyone here! That is such a deeply personal decision that I believe it would be the height of arrogance to suggest anyone else believe as I do!
Anyway, the service this past Friday night was of such a depth that I cannot begin to describe it.
 Nancy played a number of the movements from Dupre’s Le Chemin de la Croix – programm
e music that Nancy described as “gruesome.” Tom H, who built St. Peter’s organ, along with Katherine whose last name I don’t know (but she’s VERY VERY musically talented!!music director??) developed a power point/video presentation of each station, so that from the time you went into this very small, intimate setting at dusk, to the time you finished, you were surrounded with varying dimensions of thought, sound, visual stimulation and silence.  
It was a very moving and powerful experience to say the least.  Nancy played along with the  visual piece – so well in fact, that one almost forgot she was there! Fourteen of us had readings regarding each station and then either a prayer or a description of the movement Nancy was playing.  
After it was over, there was a simple dinner at the parish hall and I did have a nice time sitting with friends from church, but a very big part of me feels that we should have simply left at the end, pondering the meaning behind the sacrifice and the suffering Christ and what it meant for our lives.  
Saturday, one friend from High School, Eileen Y.,(lovetoreadandknit on ravelry) who has lived in Buffalo for more than 30 years with her family, traveled to the Bawlmer area as a parent chaperone for the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra – in which her daughter, Audrey Y., plays oboe! I picked up Peter H.and Eileen from BWI bus stop and the hotel near BWI, respectively; then we met up with Lynne T. at – joy of joy!!! – the trifecta of craft shops in Catonsville – Seminole Sampler, Cloverhill Yarn Shop and The Stitching Post. At

 first I felt kind of sorry for Peter, but we had to laugh: it turns out
 he’s the only one who actually bought fabric – a fat quarter of bright green in the

background with toy robots all over it! We spent the longest time at Cloverhill – and boy did I come away with too much stuff:)  So did Eileen! Peter got nothing

, but enjoyed the view and Lynne got a skein of some really beautiful yarn with which to crochet a scarf.  Trust Lynne to pick the most vibrant of colors! (She is an artist after all!) I confess I have succumbed to my intense curiosity about spinning: I bought a drop spindle.  It’s kind of interesting – the Hi-Lo spindle by Schacht, a name I had heard good things about, and a bit a pencil roving.  Apparently you can spin with either a high or a low whirl.  Hoping to find good directions on the ‘net.  Eileen has already started her foray into spinning and she got a good hunk of roving along with some beautiful yarn.  She also showed us her absolutely stunning Clapotis, knit from beautiful yarn she got at Rheinbeck (sigh….).  You will want to HIT me when I tell you I didn’t take a picture!!!!
After we were done there, we trundled off to Panda Buffet in Ellicott City to have some Chinese
 food.  It was delicious – and fast (we had to get to the Meyerhoff by 1 – YIKES!).  After lunch and conversation, we got to the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in good time and were seated just as the Orchestra were tuning (to Audrey’s oboe, I might add:)). 
What a treat! It was hard to believe that the musicians in this orchestra were young people still


in high school! They played George Gershwin’s Cuban Overture, Georges Enesco’s Rumanian Rhapsody #1 in A Major, and after the Intermission, topped the day off with Symphony No. 9, “From the New World” by Antonin Dvorak.  We were humming the “Going Home” theme of the second movement and the martial sound from the final.  They were “MAHvelous!” After the concert, we met Audrey and expressed our appreciation for her and her cohorts hard work, got Eileen’s walker thingie in the bus (she recently had foot surgery and brought this along just in case) and drove her back to the hotel, so we could have more time to chat before we said our goodbyes.  Someone took pictures from three of our cameras and we had our hugs and goodbyes and then it was off to drop Peter at the bus stop.  We had left Lynne’s car at the shops in Catonsville, and after dropping her off, I headed home!
I think a good time was had by all – and it was so nice to see Eileen.  It’s so funny, when you see someone you haven’t seen in decades, all sorts of things come back.  Even though Eileen had a definite Buffalo/Upper Midwestern accent (and I’m sure she thought we sounded more like we were from “Merlin” than NY!), her voice, speech pattern and pace were all exactly the same! She really hasn’t changed much – except I think she’s less stressed out about the small stuff, which I hope we all are at this point.  It was also great to see that she loves the fiber world as much as Lynne and I do!!! YES:) She was always brilliant and she still is – and she and her husband, Paul, must be so proud of their girls – both also brilliant and beautiful and probably as nice as their parents! They must have done something right:)
Sunday we sang the early service and I had to read for the later one, so as John was off Saturday evening, he came to church (and the walls didn’t fall down!).  Afterwards, we invited Nancy to lunch with us (hey, she and Rennie have been so very kind to me, it was a natural thing to do!). I did have to practically bribe her into coming, though; she had a bit of work to do after church. So, I said I’d help out with some music library stuff if she took a break and had lunch with us. We had a nice time and, as promised, I did go back and help out.
When I got home, it was time to clean up (read: make sure the dishes are clean and vacuum), so that we could be ready for Madison’s family birthday party.  It’s hard to believe she’s nine already! Every one of the “kids” and grandkids were there – B’s partner, J was not present: she was working the overnight shift and had to sleep.  Madison was thrilled with her Safari hat and presents from Aunts and Uncles.  Ruby was a little tired from the party, but happy to be at “Pop’s house.” After dinner, we watched home movies from the early 90s and 2001 (when Mads was still a toddler).  One particularly funny one was D’s lipsyncing Eddie Vetter’s voice in “Jeremy” by Pearl Jam.  He was so serious! I guess that was an early indication of his acting passion! I told him if he’s ever hawking a movie on the Tonight Show, I was going to send the host a copy of this! OH. My. Holy. G-d. that was funny!
Yesterday was a round of hearings then a visit in the far reaches of Cecil County, Merlin, then home by 6.
I’ve made some progress on that shawl – only a few days ’til “show time!” The pic at the top shows I’m almost there – but I’m seriously concerned about having enough time to finish. YIKES!
Well, I’ve got to make a round of phone calls.  Keep yer fingers crossed for me, dear readers, I need help with this one!  See you soon on the web.  Until then, God be with you ’til we meet again!
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merci mssr cummings!

By e. e. cummings


i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginably You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
More to come:)
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Quick one before bell choir



Not much has been going on since last I wrote – I’ve had visits with clients, refereed a bit of a stink, did some pro-bono training of foster parents about the court system and have gotten a chunk of knitting done.   Wouldn’t it be so cool to be done by the weekend? (sigh)
Although it’s still a wee bit chilly in good ole Merlin, the sun is out and spring is around the corner, which is nice.  And what the daytime picture of the shawl-in-progress shows is one small piece of the Messiest Desk in Christendom.  Well, I’ve even cleaned up my act there, too – so much for my claim to fame:)
Now if I could only find space for those books, I’d really have it made…
Well since Saturday – that Saturday that still exists vaguely in my sleepy-headed mind – I’ve done pretty much my same-old same-old, except that this past Sunday, John actually made it to church and then we went out to lunch afterwards and had a bit of a nice conversation.  The four youngest of the clan and “L.B.” came for dinner and a good time was had by all.
Yesterday, on my way back from a visit with a client, eldest daughter, K, called to tell me she had heard the baby’s heartbeat! How exciting:)!! I can remember that first time and it is quite wonderful, isn’t it? Needless to say they were still floating on air. I keep thinking how cool it’s going to be to have a baby around:) Times like this I’m so glad my kids live nearby.  It must be SOOOO hard to have grandchildren thousands of miles away!  I cannot imagine that.
Well, it’s time for me to get to practice -for once maybe I won’t be late (that’s the danger of living so close by.)
Well, have a good rest of your day and until next time, 
God be with you ’til we meet again!:)
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OK, I promised an update!

Yes, I couldn’t sleep last night. Yes, I stayed up all night, save a few little catnaps through the early morning hours.  But I got so much done (she whines).  I do feel good about that, since I’m on such a tight schedule with the Sampler Shawl/Wrap thingie.  Anyhoo, since last we met, dear 3.5 readers,  a few things have happened.  Just a few.  I did get much of my to-do list done and will no doubt finish the rest of it.  Got a number of visits in, and scheduled – even connected with a young adult client I have come close to stalking because I am required to have face-to-face contact outside of court and she is a busy little girl (as they used to say in Vermont).  So the week has been good as far as getting my work done, thank goodness.
Choir practice was lovely on Thursday.  There was a funny moment before rehearsal began and a fellow tenor, remarked how choir was a great group.  He and his wife are recently retired – he almost teared up as he talked about how good life is right now.  Like all of us, they’ve had some rough times – parents needing care, dying, kids growing up and moving out.  Leaving your work behind.  It’s not as seamless as it appears, is it? But our little group is fairly close knit and, like him, I am grateful for it. Nancy has a great deal to do with it, of course, but so does the choir! 🙂

I did have court all day Thursday – hence the need to complete a number of visits Wednesday.  One case was contested, but it was less intense than I anticipated (always a good thing – the opposite is usually not so good, LOL).  While the Master took a brief recess for the DSS attorney to check on the status of the case, my phone started vibrating – it was the Dr’s office – the doctor’s office whence the bibopsy had been taken.  I listened to the message twice – and then called them back – good news, no cancer! Not that I had been terribly worried, but hey, one less thing! A few months of some hormone therapy, another ultrasound to check and I should be “right as rain” as my fellow knitters on the other side of the pond would say. (insert sigh of relief here!)

Yesterday, I really didn’t feel so hot.  I’m not sure why, but I had nothing pressing at work, and had no hearings, so I figured any trips to the office could wait until Monday, and spent the day returning phone calls and doing paperwork at home.  Much of the early evening was spent knitting.  Then I did something I haven’t done in a long while. I attended Stations of the Cross at St. Peter’s – another Episcopal Church just down the street from St. John’s.  St. Pete’s is more of an Anglo-Catholic church, which is why I suppose there are two churches of the Anglican Communion in one small town and yet two more, each in the towns on the other sides of Ellicott City.  Friends of mine from choir are involved at St. Pete’s Tom H, who is married to Donna H., is the organist for St. Peter’s and has rebuilt their organ to its present wonderful state. I hadn’t been to Stations since my days as a Papist (sorry, family, just kidding!) and thought it would be an appropriate thing to do during Lent.  John had to work last night and will be working next Friday night, so unfortunately, he wasn’t (and won’t) be able to go with me, so the only person I knew last night was Tom and Rev. Kirk (Kubicek) whom  I had met only briefly previously. Next Friday, at Tom’s request, Donna and others and I will be doing some of the readings.  More interestingly, Nancy will be playing portions of  Marcel Dupre’s Le Chemin de la Croix.  I am half looking anticipating/half dreading that evening! But I think it will be necessary.
After the Stations, I realized it was still fairly early.  John was sleeping, S and B were out with friends as they usually do for dinner on Friday evenings, and I really didn’t feel like just heading home.  So I did something else I hadn’t done in a long time.  I had $21 burning a hole in my pocket, LOL (after spending some to bribe a client to meet with me  – no I bought the food people!), so I went to Barnes and Noble to browse some books and maybe have a cup ‘o joe.
I actually browsed all over, starting in the magazines (knitting, of course).  I don’t usually pay attention to young men standing nearby, mainly because I’m kind of too old for that, LOL:), so I was a bit startled when I heard this man’s voice saying, “So, which ones do you want, Joan?” I turned and saw Patrick – from our knitting group!
I was so surprised that I think I blithered and blathered on about nothing in particular (sorry, Patrick – it was really good to see a friendly face there!) If you have a chance, you really should check out his blog – he’s a knitter and a spinner and a weaver.  His fiber work is outstanding!
After meeting Patrick, I went for the knitting books – oh hell, who am I kidding?! I didn’t even give it up for Lent.  And then I found it: This. 
Yes, Knit One Below by that Elise Duvekot, from the Netherlands.  Of course, it is put out by XRX Publications, the same people who do Knitter’s Magazine.  This was beautifully done, in my opinion – and it opens up such a world of possibilities for stash busting! I did show Patrick, but he insisted he’s a sock man, LOL!  After using my
 discount card (did you doubt I had one?), I found I had enough money to buy myself a cup of coffee.  Although I am not a Starbucks coffee fan (it’s just too harsh and bitter for me, sorry – I do like the rest of their stuff, though), I found myself sitting down to enjoy this book for the better part of an hour.  I already have an idea of something to knit up for the summer. (Evil chuckle in background).
I got home in time to be sure John was up for work and after saying our good nights, I settled in for a glass of wine and dinner and then hunkered down to some serious knitting! You know how
 it is, once you really start to see a pattern shape up, you have to keep going, onward and upward through an episode of The L Word, two of the Barefoot Contessa and some seriously bad movies in the process.   By the time I was done, it was 6:30 a.m., so I figured I’d take a picture or two and quickly post before showering and getting ready for the grandangels’ arrival.
I had to take a break this morning from the Sampler Shawl – as tight a schedule as I’ve been on

with this thing.  Instead, I’ve been working on the Daily Sweater. It, too, is a lot of stitches on sizes 3 and 5 needles, so it is not as fast going as one might think.  But I’m so close, I’m actually getting some reward for all that mind-numbing stockinette in the round I’ve been doing (of course were I a bit smaller horizontally, I might not have to be knitting so much stockinette, mind-numbing or otherwise!).
And that’s where I am right now.  John has gotten up and is with M (older grandgirl) to the library.  R (younger grandgirl) is napping on the floor, S is doing her wash downstairs, J is working at Panera and here I sit, at the Messiest Desk in Christendom, happily anticipating a bit of knitting and cooking shows (or mysteries or podcasts).  Well, dear 3.5 readers, thanks for reading this prattle.  I will be back soon.  Until then, God be with you ’til we meet again!
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Whew!

Finally home sweet home – it’s been a long day.  Started the morning out at a school meeting for/visit with a client, then briefly home (for the usual unmentionable reasons, LOL), then off to three more visits, then back to a Lenten series class at SJEC. I was torn between a study of Henri Nouwen’s poetry and the life and theology of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  I have the books for both classes, but decided on Bonhoeffer – one of my all-time heroes from the time of the Time of the Third Reich.  The class leaves one with much to think about; this man wrestled with some life questions with which I hope never to have to contend.  No armchair

discussion after Sunday dinner followed by a glass or two of one’s favorite alcoholic beverage –  this was real.  Bonhoeffer chose to follow the path he believed to be right and good – at the expense of his life.  I am grateful to the presenters of this class – one of whom was a little girl living in Berlin at the time of Hitler’s regime and she adds so much to the discussion!  Her spiritual insights and those of the other members of the class are so interesting!
I’m going to be a little behind on the shawl if I’m to get to bed at a decent hour tonight.  The good news is, I will be able to knit twice as much tomorrow evening and Friday, so I think I’ll still be on track.  The only problem is I think I’ll need to have this done a day earlier than anticipated for a reason I don’t want to say here (just in case, ya know?).

One thing I thought I should mention here: I have taken down (is that the correct term?) my MySpace and Facebook accounts.  It seemed that the potential for violations of privacy for others might occur and I felt it best to simply stop.  My close personal friends all know how to get hold of me via e-mail and that’s fine.  I might try it again in a few years, but for now, this is the path I’m taking.  No offense is intended to anyone – nothing bad has happened, it’s just a decision I feel was for the best.
You may be wondering why I am interspersing pictures of my current project (and its slllllooooowwwww progress, LOL) with other photos of what can only be described as yarn porn.  Welllll, I figure if I

 keep looking at what I could work on next, it will give me an incentive to get this one done.   Let’s see if it works:)
Well folks, not much else is new.  As for the issue with the friend, I again thank you for your excellent advice and encouragement and I’ve decided to take a wait and see approach.  I could be wrong.  I’ll know soon enough if I am.
Anyway, it’s time to turn in before I turn into a pumpkin – have an early meeting tomorrow, so see you soon. Until then, God be with you ’til we meet again!
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Tuesday UPdate:)

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY:) 

and pray for peace in Northern Ireland  – as the people there of both sides are doing to their great credit!

Well, after getting the nonsense out of my system last night, I am ready to get on with things:) Thanks for the comments, dear readers, they were immeasurably helpful – from both Susan and Joanna – both made so much sense and really, sense is what one needs. It is absolutely silly to sit around and worry when I could just forget about it and move on, fercryinoutloud! Nobody is worth my sanity or my time when I have a family who requires plenty of both! And really if I’ve offended a person, and they don’t have the courage to talk with me about it, that really says more about them than about me.
In the meantime, I’ve got a lot to get done today, so I’m posting my to-do list (without any client identification of course) to see how much I can accomplish in 7 hours:)
Business:
– Arrange for visits with clients who need to be seen (9 total; must see 4 this week).
– Draft post adoption contact agreement for sibs
– CASA requests for EL and CBIII
– Contact SWs for clients who might attend the TU conference
Personal:
-Practice bell music; attend bell practice at 7
-Write Margit L
-Work on Birthday project
OK, now let’s see if I get ’em done! Hey, it could happen!
Will update later, hopefully with some knitting pics:) Until then, dear 3.5 readers, GBWYTWMA+