I had to interrupt my regularly scheduled blogging to take some pictures of the beautiful evidence of Spring that seems to have peeked out since the weekend.  During a brief sunshine intermission in what has been a week of rainy weather, I got in a few snapshots of flowers, wild and otherwise, that grace our front yard.
Since last we met, dear readers, not a heck of a lot has been going on – work has been a little busy, but not terribly.  I had court Tuesday, today and will have some more tomorrow.  On Tuesday, I remembered I had scheduled a visit with a client in another county, and so missed dinner at home with John before he headed back to work.  Instead, I caught up with Nancy and Rennie and then had bell practice for this coming Sunday.  Indigo was understandably furious and apprehensive about the fate of the victims of Prop 8 in California, as am I. 

Yesterday consisted of prepping some paperwork and getting ready for today and tomorrow.  So, I did have a little time to stop in at the Prayer Shawl Ministry at St. John’s and get started  on this:
I’ve had a couple of skeins of Cascade Ecological Wool for a while now – and wanted at first to do another Hemlock Ring Blanket but I really liked the Girasole pattern by the same designer (Jared Flood – the pattern can be purchased on Ravelry or at the previous link) and thought I’d start that.
So, have I finished any projects? No.  The only thing I can tell myself here is that it’s for someone else. 
But I do have to get going on the February Lady Sweater, and the Baby blankie and the t-shirt and the sweater, and…..
Well, tonight I’ve got choir practice and I’d better get going.
See you soon, until then, God be with you ’til we meet again!


Daydream Believer

One of my favorite family memories is of all eight of us in the car: John, the baby (J)  and I in the front seat, K, D and B in the back seat and B and D(son) in the “way back” seat (yes, it was a station wagon!).  We had just packed up the house and watched the movers load our “stuff” onto the moving van.  We were leaving St. Michaels to move across the Chesapeake Bay to Columbia.  John was going to work at the corporate office and in two days I was starting law school.  The year was 1987.  The previous year, the Monkees (save one) had made something of a comeback, playing to the imaginations of all the preteen girls in our area, K and D among them, so they knew the song as it came on the radio.  I knew it from about 19-20 years earlier when the Monkees were big and I was about 13. So when the song “Daydream Believer” came on the radio, we all sang it together – even the little ones pretended to join in:

Oh, I could hide neath the wings 
Of the bluebird as she sings. 
The six oclock alarm would never ring. 
Whoops its ringing and I rise, 
Wipe the sleep out of my eyes. 
My shavin razors cold and it stings. 

Cheer up, sleepy jean. 
Oh, what can it mean. 
To a daydream believer 
And a homecoming queen.

You once thought of me

As a white knight on a steed. 

Now you know how happy I can be. 

Oh, and our good times starts and end 
Without dollar one to spend. 
But how much, baby, do we really need?

Cheer up, sleepy jean. 
Oh, what can it mean. 
To a daydream believer 
And a homecoming queen.
Cheer up, sleepy jean. 
Oh, what can it mean. 
To a daydream believer 
And a homecoming queen.
John Stewart, ca. 1966 

Well, the bit about not having dollar one to spend was certainly true! It was one of those moments, frozen in time, where you know life is about to change in ways you cannot even anticipate.  It was scary and fun and I was excited and apprehensive at the same time.  But one this was sure: I wasn’t alone:)!  
Sometimes I wonder why John and I had so many kids.  Often I’ve thought it was to create our own crowd so that we would never feel alone. (OK, maybe that’s a little way out, but whatever..) It’s these crazy memories that keep us together, remembering moments, snapshots in time.  Times when you knew you were part of something bigger than all of you put together.  That’s what family feels like to me.

This weekend was such a mixed bag – we had a great time at the wedding.  The trip entailed a little bit o’ traffic, but really not that bad considering.  We ate and drank too much, but all in all behaved ourselves.  It’s always great to see family – and the bride and groom are lovely people who will do well.  At the rehearsal dinner at the Union League (talk about intimidatingly ritzy:)!), John and I sat next to an Aunt and Uncle of the bride – Brad and Linda – both liberals:)- it never fails! We had a great evening of conversation and laughter. The wedding was beautiful, in historic Old St. Mary’s Church in Philadelphia – even Washington went there once or twice.  For our respective clans it was a relatively small wedding, and it was truly a nice one.  The best men each gave funny and loving tributes to their brother.  The bride and groom had a first dance and that was that.  John and I sat and talked with family at our table and when it was over, we went back to the hotel room.  John went to his sister and brother-in-law’s hotel to visit with them while I crashed at our room. Next day, we took a bus tour of Philly and began to appreciate it a lot more than we had before. After the tour was over, we gassed up and left for New York City.  We got into the hotel their and then arranged to meet my folks for dinner.  This time it was their treat – at their place!
My dad has suffered a number of terrible physical losses in the past four years, beginning with three nasty falls and ending with spinal surgery.  He has been in a great deal of pain.  Yet he was charming and funny and enjoyed the Grey Goose John brought – a treat he doesn’t often indulge in these days. He tired out early and went to bed before we left.  
Whatever losses he has had over the years, I think the best gain he has received has been Maureen, my stepmom.  Maureen truly loves him and cares for him as best she can. It hurts to see two people who love each other as much as they do go through so much suffering. I keep thinking there’s got to be something we can do to help – when you live so far away you feel so helpless.  John and I are talking about some practical things, but it’s basically one day at a time. While we were there, we looked at some pictures Dad and Maureen had gotten from my Uncle John’s place after he died – pictures from my father’s childhood, pictures and memories of times passed.  There was a picture of my Dad in Hofstra college with a drama group when he was 19.  He looked so much like our son it took one’s breath away.  The picture of him with his older brother – when he had curly long locks and short pants and a devilish grin on his face – seemed locked in time.  It was hard to believe that picture
 was over 70 years old. They gave me some things of my grandmother’s and a photo ca. 1927 of a little baby – my grandparents’ first child whose name I have.  That little one sadly died of diptheria – one of the last babies to do so before the vaccine came out.  My parents – kids themselves – gave me her name as a middle name and called me by it. Our youngest daughter, J, came with her three best friends and had a drink with us after they had gone to see a Broadway musical, ironically, Nearly Normal, about a dysfunctional family (the normal ones are just no fun, folks!)  It was great to see them – they stayed in NY after we left and will be going – with one other sibling in tow – to Niagra Falls in a couple of days.
So many people today talk about “family values.”  To me, that’s just a euphemism which means, “conservative agenda without regard to reality.”  You may disagree with that, but it’s been my experience.  There was a time when my father’s marriage to Maureen would not have been recognized, yet I cannot think of any more married than they.  It seems to me that the only glue that holds anything together is love. The rest is just icing … or drivel:).
Needless to say, as hard as it was to see how much pain he is in, I was glad we went to see my folks.  After all, they’re family!
Speaking of which, after left NY, and headed back toward Merlin, we called our kids and invited all of them to some hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill (despite the rain).  Many were able to come and although, dear readers, we were both pretty wiped out, we were happy to see them! And by the way, we heard the song Daydream Believer at the beginning and end of our ride home!

And finally, knitting: I did bring some with me and worked on the blue baby blankie for “Gunther,” but did not get much done.  I did do another pattern repeat on the February Lady Sweater today. Well tomorrow it’s back to work! Take care and God be with you ’til we meet again:) Or, as my Dad would say, “Thank the Myth!”

Have a great weekend!

Well, dear readers, I am headed off to Philadelphia, PA, called by many of my native land the birthplace of Liberty. (I think this is somewhat arrogant, considering that democracy started long ago and far away as far as we know in Greece!) Anyway, John and I are going to the wedding of a nephew and then we are going further north to New Yawk to visit my Dad and stepmom. I will be away from the computer, but will probably send out a tweet or two. And yes, I’m bringing some knitting:)
Be well and be safe this weekend. Happy Memorial Day to those of you in the US and to my kids: please be careful and don’t let anyone drive drunk! I say this because I KNOW none of you will!
God be with you ’til we meet again:)!

This is why I’m glad to live in the U.S. of A.!

This weekend, dear readers of the Amurikan persuasion, think on the thousands of people throughout all of our all-too-short history who have died so our lawyers would not have to film this video shortly before their deaths!
My heart goes out to the family of this man – and to the families of all the people who were lost due to politics. Our country is certainly NOT perfect – but I am proud that although we don’t have a May Day celebration, we DO have a Law Day celebration:)

Wherefore Bloggest Thou?

A month or so ago, I was talking with a friend about the whole Facebook, MySpace, Twitter phenomena and the business of blogging – whether it was appropriate for me to do it. I was concerned that perhaps I was opening myself up to situations that I might not like. I was worried that clients might feel free to openly discuss things that should not be discussed publicly. I started worrying that not-so-friendly friends/relatives/etc. of clients might not have the best intentions were they to contact me.

This is a friend whose opinion I value. Her take: it’s all an ego trip – an ego trip that causes more problems than it’s worth. After considering that point of view, I felt rather bad. I thought perhaps I should just shut it all down. And I did – everything, that is, except for the blogging. Eventually I got back on Facebook – if only to remain in touch with family, friends and other who are far away or whom I don’t see regularly. I also occasionally “tweet” as can be seen here and on my other blog, which is a mirror image of this one.

I didn’t stop blogging because, although her point about it being an ego trip, is undoubtedly true, blogging for me (and I expect for many) has a therapeutic value. I started blogging because a few years back, my older kids were blogging and that was their way of allowing me to visit what was going on in their heads. I was experiencing all sorts of things – with work, my spiritual life, and my family life- that were confusing the hell out of me. I figured if I talked about “things,” I could figure out a way to make sense of them. I wrote short poems, using the least number of words I could to describe what was going on in my crazy head. Those blogs are no longer in existence. Over time, I started blogging because I wanted to keep a diary online – a memento, if you will, of the times of my life and that of my family. I really didn’t expect anyone to really give a darn about it – it was really no ego trip, just a way to look at our life together as a family – and separately as individuals. (OK, yeah, and to document some of my knitting stuff, LOL:)).

A few years ago, I wrote about the fact that often people who cannot express themselves in person to others in their lives can often say in the written word what is in their hearts. I thought of W.C. Fields – the movie actor who was notorious for hating kids – and the movingly loving letters he wrote his own son. For me, blogging is a way to stop for a second, take a look at this life we lead, and try like hell to make sense of it. Maybe it’s a way for me to tell the people I love how much I love them.

Both before and after law school, life was a struggle – a serious struggle – for survival, physical, emotional, and spiritual survival. It was a balancing act and I was constantly dropping the ball. Never was everything where and what it should be. It is not hyperbole when I tell you that just thinking about those times exhausts me. There was barely time to communicate with my own husband, let alone to stop and smell the roses.

Now, I have just a little more time. Or maybe I don’t – who knows? But I do know one thing: whoever said that the unexamined life is not worth living had something ….

So, dear readers, take what you want from this and leave the rest. I love you all.

God be with you ’til we meet again!


Does this yarn make my nose look fat?

As if I cared:)! I really love the color – it’s KnitPicks CotLin in Morroccan Red.  Now tell me honestly, anything named “Morroccan Red” can’t be bad, right? Well, I started casting on.  Yes, casting on – I who have 8,756 projects already in the works decided I wanted to knit yet ANOTHER top! Yes, in Morroccan Red! I’m doing a project from More Big Girl Knits  – the Summer Chevron.  It’s so new, I haven’t even posted it to Ravelry yet. I am now at that point in the project where I am in short row hell.  But that’s OK, at least it’s somewhat exciting:) Yards of interesting  stockinette at least!

Last I wrote, it was Wednesday I think.  To catch up, Thursday was court all day and then choir practice in the evening. We had an excellent practice of the Bach, this time with the string quintet and organ continuo.  It was truly productive.  Friday was court – all afternoon – then home for a quiet evening.  Saturday morning went to a Sip ‘N Knit meetup at Savage Mill in Savage – and worked on the Chevron for about 3 hours.  Then home, then a quiet evening until bed.  
This morning we sang the Bach Cantata No. 4 (Christ Lag’ in Todesbanden) at both services.  I think we did fine.  The German was great and although we sang it a darn sight slower than the Monteverdi Choir does, I think we did JSB justice! The Orchestra members, of course, were perfect, Nancy’s conducting was spot on and the soloists were wonderful.  I had a blast – singing from the back row  – Alto in Verse I, Tenor and Alto in Verse IV, Soprano in Verse V and back to alto in Verse VI:)- a bit schizophrenic, but oh so much fun! Members of the community came to the church to see the singing, which was gratifying.
After the services and the performance, some of us went to lunch – the usual suspects plus a couple more.  It was nice catching up with everyone and relaxing.  I can honestly say I have never seen Nancy work harder than she did for this as did the choir – and the hard work paid off.
 One of our churchgoers who grew up in Germany complimented us on the German, which meant a great deal to me!

Then home to get a birthday gift for R, who turned 4 yesterday:)! It was a great afternoon, seeing everyone and catching up with family.  And now I sit in the quiet of the house, getting ready for next week.
I am a bit tired, although I’ll probably do a little knitting before bedtime. Before I go, here are some more shots of the KnitPicks haul from Friday.  Had to try some more Imagination yarn in some blue tones – and of course the obligatory stitch markers!

Oh, this last little ball? The first bit of yarn I spun on the drop spindle – from some pencil roving.   It just seemed too easy and there was no plying done – hence the twist!
Well, good night, dear readers.  See you soon. Until then, God be with you ’til we meet again!

Lotsa Tops

Found: a lovely quotation at the bottom of an e-mail from fellow Yahoo! group member Marion Sandner of Germany:
Wir Menschen sind Engel mit nur einem Flügel-

wir müssen uns umarmen um fliegen zu können!

Translation: We people are angels with only one wing – we have to put our arms around each other to be able to fly!

Isn’t that sweet?

Not much going on today, dear readers.  I thought I’d have a bunch of visits, but just one this evening and another one or two tomorrow after court.  Today I’m going to use that Joann’s gift card my son and his GF gave me for mudder’s day and otherwise catch up on paperwork. Yesterday I used the other gift cards to buy a whole bunch of tops.  Yes, tops.  Nice ones, too! (Thanks, kids!)  Apparently Kohl’s and the other department stores in my area don’t believe women of a certain age or size wear skirts anymore.   Truly, even the skinny minnie departments had nothing anyone (who wants to be taken seriously) would want to wear to work.
You may laugh, but I was so disturbed by this that I actually spoke with the store manager, who was polite enough so that I couldn’t really complain about his manner, but he couldn’t have really cared less.  So…. I think something needs to be done.  I am proposing the following:

It may mean paying a little more for a little less, but it could well be worth it.  But really, folks, how much does it cost for a manufacturer to make a simple skirt?  Good Lord, the T-shirts were $16.00, (although they were on sale for 1/2 price), and the “nicer” shirts were upwards of $30-$65.00,  so this was no discount garbage store.  I don’t get why they won’t stock skirts.  Is there some industry trend? A problem with suppliers? 

C’mon Kohls! I want you guys to do well!  The economy is terrible enough! Your workers need their jobs and I need a place to buy skirts- see how if we just walked arm in arm through this, we could both fly?

If anyone out there has any ideas, please share your wisdom with the rest of us.  In the meantime, I’m not going to work in a t-shirt and panties.  I want to win cases, people, not frighten the courthouse staff!

Anyway, getting back to that Joann’s gift card, I’m going to use it on fabric – I already have patterns.  And in my size, thank you very much! (Thanks C & D!)

And while I’m being such a cranky old lady here: Why is it that even the tops they sell these days show more cleavage than I showed at my Junior Prom when I had something worth seeing?  Just one word for that now: EW! I have had to do more sewing on some of these things than I care to admit.

Last night was bell choir. We had some sad news from one of our members which I won’t repeat here.  And we got some good news upon my arrival home last night! A friend with cancer had some hopeful news and our great nephew, Shane Patrick Gavigan, 7 lbs, 2? oz arrived yesterday and the family is doing very well.

Ah life….

God be with you ’til we meet again, LOL:)!