Back in the swing….

Last week was very “light” on the work front. The only hearing I had scheduled – a TPR – was canceled when DSS withdrew their petition “without prejudice” (just means they can come back and file again). You would think I got all sorts of things done. Not so’s you’d notice, LOL!:) I did take the opportunity to sleep a little more and to enjoy time with the grand kids and knit just a little bit:)I got another piece done for Nancy’s Christmas gift (left front – the one with the button-band for women), and began working on yet another cowl for the penultimate of my progeny, the divine Ms. S.
Thanksgiving was terrific! Different this year was the fact that our Thanksgiving service took place Thanksgiving morning rather than the Wednesday evening before. I kind of missed that as did a number of parishioners, for the attendance was not so good Thursday morning – but the cool thing was, it got me up, out and ready to go for the morning. I never stuff my turkey, so it doesn’t take so long to cook. Because D had to work night shift for Howard County 911, I made sure to have dinner ready by 5 PM. Everyone came except son D’s GF C and B’s GF J both for different reasons. Baby John was our new wonderful addition:) and we had the “kids’ table” for the second Thanksgiving! That table is growing!:)
Friday after Turkey day court was closed, so that’s an automatic holiday for us:) Slept in, hung around the house, not much went on:) Saturday, we watched the grandgirls for a few hours, and the two clients I wanted to visit were visiting with their family, so that had to wait. I did get work done on the aforementioned knitting projects. In fact, my Friday and Saturday nights looked like this:

John at work, the adult kids out doing their Black Friday/Saturday thing, the latest installments of my favorite podcasts (Cast On, Cogknitive Podcast, KnitPicks, KnitmoreGirls and Electric Sheep) at hand, and knitting:) Sigh…..and don’t forget the ubiquitous glass of Cabernet:) Heaven!

Sunday, I was a Bad Grandma. I ran away from home for the day, with John’s blessing (What, are you kidding? He thought he’d died and gone to Heaven!) I sang with a few choristers at the late service after making a modified Caprese salad (used cherry tomatoes sliced in half with similar sized mozzarella cubes to travel better) to bring to the house of dear friends (John was invited, but he had worked the night before and was slotted to work Sunday night as well). A group of us went to an Advent evensong service of readings and music at the Washington National Cathedral. Ahhhhhhh. It was outstanding! I think Advent is my favorite Church season. I am so grateful to N and R for arranging this at their home!
Before we settled ourselves into our seats for the service, we went up to one of the towers. There was still a lot of afternoon sun left and the views were breathtaking! Normally a real sufferer from vertigo, it didn’t bother me at all! As soon as I got off the elevator, I ran to the window – so NOT like me! And this is the view that greeted me! Isn’t it wonderful? The sight of the National Cathedral, the minute we get within eyeshot of it, never ceases to stop me in my tracks.
You may recall, dear 2.5 readers, that back in November of 2006, I attended the Investiture of Katharine Jefferts-Schori, our Presiding Bishop. I took a lot of pictures of the Cathedral then, too. My friend, Vicki, herself a seminary graduate awaiting ordination in Connecticut, was there with me. Also present was a friend of Vicki’s from seminary who was living in Florida, also awaiting ordination. After the service, we drove around the Cathedral, taking outside pictures. Vicki’s friend (Vick, if you read this, please supply her name – I’m embarrassed not to have remembered it!) said, “Stop. Wait a minute, let’s really take a look at this. This is OUR Cathedral!” I remembered thinking how much I took for granted living so near it, that a mere 45-minute drive and a few bucks’ worth of parking would get me there. It really is an amazing place and I never forget Vicki’s friend’s remarks when I go there.
After the Evensong Service, we went back to N and R’s house for “Wassail,” Coffee, wine and an assortment of home-made desserts, some of the group practiced music for next Sunday, and the rest of us watched, in awe:)
Finally, it was time to go. I got home a short while later, thinking I’d missed the fun with the grandangels, but thankfully, they were still there:) I got to hug and cuddle every one of them:)!  A perfect end to a peaceful and nice holiday:)!
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Well, today was back to work: court in the morning, visits in the afternoon and evening and here I am, ever grateful to be employed!
Well, it’s late and I’d better get going!
God be with you ’til we meet again!

Thankfulness, I haz it….

Air America had a humorous list of reasons for progressive Americans to be thankful. Well, humorous if not a bit harsh, and I have my own list, not in any particular order of importance:

I am thankful for halfway decent health for an old fart – despite obesity and a love of red wine;
I am thankful for my family of individuals who still care about each other and for extended family who probably scratch their heads at us but love us anyway;
I am thankful for friends, crazy-assed or otherwise who have remained friends through the years, the kind of friends with whom I can share everything – they make life worth living;
I am thankful for music and having just enough ability to enjoy it and even make some now and then;
I am thankful for my wonderful church community, a community that welcomes questioning and learning in addition to faith and prayer and worship;
I am thankful for the choirs to which I belong; for the music we make, for the friendship we share and for our wonderful SWMBO;
I am thankful to be employed by a wonderful firm of good, decent and hardworking individuals, all dedicated to helping the best clients you could ever have: children:);
I am thankful for my clients from whom I learn more than I ever could have imagined, and for whom I always hope to do better;
I am thankful for seasons; for sunsets; for walks and talks with my best friend; for red wine and good food at the end of the day; for knitting, and spinning, and seeing things grow;
I am thankful for a husband who does far more than his fair share and who has known me for over 43 years and still puts up with me;
For my grandchildren;
For my freedom.
God be with you ’til we meet again:)

Q is for Qalm before the storm….

Well, another work week is done – and not much knitting to speak of! Boo! Good news is, I got a lot of visits done and am better organized on the work front. That’s what a move to the City office has done for me. Unfortunately for our (County) legal assistant/office manager, not so much, but it will get better.
I did take an opportunity to start a &^%* for one of my kids which will hopefully be finished by Christmas. This is as detailed as I can get until then because although Nancy doesn’t read my blog, my kids sometimes do.
Well last night was choir practice and I feel so UNready for Christmas! We – correction: I – sounded like garbage while we were singing “I Wonder as I Wander” a beautiful chromatic rendition of a very introspective spiritual piece of music. Well I was wondering – what the notes were – and I was wandering – all over the scale! So today – a first in a long time without visits, court or meetings – I am going to practice and at least have the notes cold if nothing else. Usually by now I have only one or two pieces that disturb me, LOL. But this year – OY!
To catch up on the online diary aspect of this thing – K and S came over Tuesday evening with little Johnny for a visit – actually K and Johnny came over while S went to a gig. He is so wide awake at night – his poor parents! He’s just at that 6-week phase – chubbing up and on the verge of a real smile – a real delight to hold and play with and give back:) I love the Grandma gig! Should be doing a little bit of babysitting over the weekend:)
Wednesday I did the presentation at EfM on of all things the Holy Trinity and the differences in the Eastern vs. Western views during the fourth – fifth century A.D. To think people killed each other over these esoteric differences! I don’t blame them – by the time I was done figuring out what the issues were, I was ready to kill somebody myself! (JUST KIDDING!)
Next week I have one hearing that looks like it will probably be canceled or withdrawn if I am to believe the representations of the attorney for the state, which of course I do:) It’s Thanksgiving week – both Thursday and Friday are court holidays and Friday is a state furlough day, and many of my clients are out of town or in respite or home on visits, so although I do have a few visits to schedule, there won’t be much to do on the work front. So I will have a chance to do the things I love best: housework DOH NO! Music and knitting:) I may even go to the Sip ‘n Knit meeting on Wednesday since EfM is not meeting that night!
Really, the very thought of all that…. I don’t know how to act!
Well, I’d better at least think about folding some wash and getting something done so I can knit on with impunity (or at least some good yarn!)
Until next time, God be with you ’til we meet again!

Cool Flashes:)

I’m in my fifties. I’m supposed to be in the midst – or done with – menopause. That means for DSCN3139many hot flashes. Nope. Not me. I’m FREEZING! I was never the person who brought a sweater in to put on the back of my chair at work. I had (and still have) all this, ahem, extra padding that kept me warm winter, summer, spring and fall. I used to wonder why old ladies wore shawls. Now I know why! At least I know why this decrepit old lady does! Perhaps it’s Global Warming and hot summers that don’t prepare one for the winter. I don’t know. The day started out in the 50s and was supposed to rise up the the 60s (Fahrenheit) this afternoon, and when I got home, John had the air conditioner on! Did I tell you I love my Aestlight Shawl? These things we knit really do get put to good use:). And it is nice now and then to have made something for myself, so I’m enjoying it.
Well again, dear .5 readers, it has been a while, so allow me to bring you up to date since my last real update, which was almost two weeks ago, since which time, there have been big doings at Chez FSK:)
Besides the usual rounds of court hearings and visits, there were preparations for the orchestra concert on November 8th, and choir and bell choir rehearsals for that day and for Christmas. To make everything more interesting, there was a memorial service for a departed member of our congregation right in the middle of the time the orchestra was slotted to rehearse! This necessitated a “road crew” to set up for the orchestra around the altar the minute the service was over.
As soon as that was done, yours truly hightailed it home to get dressed for that afternoon for the wedding of one of our EfM leaders and his fiancee’ – both of whom we all know from church. At that wedding of course were the musical stylings of one Nancy S, our wonderful organist choirmaster. To her playing and beautiful voice were added the voices of Donna H and Sally L. I got to sit up in the choirloft with them, as John was unable to attend the wedding and so that I could sit at the reception with Nancy and Rennie and make my leave rather early for reasons soon to be revealed. It was wonderful to see Tom and Sally so happy. I could not have wished a more beautiful autumn day for their wedding and a more lovely evening for their reception at the old Waverly Mansion. The music was terrific! Two friends from church/choir were in the company of new beaus (one was a long-time divorcee’, the other a widow of a few years – it was wonderful to see them both smiling and having fun!)
I left early to be able to get a good start on the next day – two services for the bell choir, set up for the orchestra (yes, again!), set up for the ticket sales and raffles and then home to dress for the concert!
And what a concert it was – an ambitious combination of Ernst Bloch’s Piano Concerto, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, featuring four different violin soloists, and a Mendelssohn Symphony. As a result, the concert was longer than usual, but outstanding. It is hard to believe, even as I sit and type this, that such a wonderful professional endeavor is actually happening in our midst. We had pretty close to a packed house – about 250 tickets sold. Hopefully we will be able to sustain ourselves. I was thinking about how music and the arts manage to allow us to raise our heads above the turmoil of life and to seek higher emotional, spiritual and intellectual ground. How much more so is this true with the economic difficulties and political contentions of this time?
Last week was fairly busy – I think I was in court every day but one. You might think that this is no big deal, but time in court means that much less time to prep cases and visit clients. So… Saturday was a day for visits. I was able to see four clients and a grandson (:)), so I can’t complain.
Sunday, I did the old “Catholic Shuffle” at the late service, running out the door instead of into the Communion line, missing the last hymn, to run to the grocery store, and home, then on the road to Washington, D.C. to see our son, Danny, in the Keegan Theatre’s Production of Of Mice and Men – the same company that toured Ireland. John and I were both fighting back tears as we watched it. Danny’s portrayal of Lennie was awesome. I was so proud of his hard work and great acting. Although the Washington Post review was very complimentary of Dan and not so much with the rest of the cast (very awkward for him to say the least), I don’t think it did the rest of the cast justice – they were all amazing – especially the fellow who played George, Lennie’s caregiver/friend – Mark A. Rhea. Lennie had to have been a challenging role for anybody. Danny revealed that he took a lot of inspiration from his observations of his niece, one of our grandangels, and some of her behaviors. It’s funny how a play from 1937 can impact an audience today. The human experiences in this play are timeless.
After the play, we had drinks with Danny and got him back to his place where he and Casie were hosting a party for the cast members of her play -Tony Kushner’s Angels in America (another play I really want to see – I have the DVD of the HBO production and have watched it a number of times). After dropping Danny off, we drove on home and had dinner with S, J, and K and D with baby John.
Which brings me to today and home where here I sit on a break from my work routine. Soon I will get back to work – an interview with a client who may have to take the stand tomorrow and then home again.2009-11-16

In the meantime, before I leave, dear 1.5 readers, here is a composite of part 1 of 5 of the sweater for Nancy. It’s the back of the Portland sweater from A Fine Fleece. It’s a blast to knit – you’re never bored, but it’s easy enough to be enjoyable. I added one little twist to the pattern: the insertion of a “St. John’s Cross” (or the Nordic symbol for happiness) between the shoulders, thinking that a reminder of St. John’s would be a nice touch (rather than a pain in the neck, yuck yuck yuck…).
Well, that’s all the fun and frolic I have for now. Until next time, God be with you ’til we meet again!

Oh Lord, who’s next?

I commented on Mel’s blog this evening and felt that this quote was applicable to the loss of inalienable civil rights that the majority of voters of California and Maine seem to think they have the ability to do:

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Pastor Martin Niemoeller

He was speaking about the complacency of the “majority” in the face of Hitler’s rise to power in Germany, but his words make sense today.

So who is next? Women? Non-christians? Christians? Knitters (especially the activist ones)? What is utterly disgusting to me is the role that so-called Christians have had in this debate, causing a dear friend of mine to leave the Christian church altogether. Sigh.

In the immortal words of Forest Gump, that’s all I have to say about that. What I will say is, something I have never written here before: Please don’t bother to post any comments to me about this topic if you think “God hates fags,” or any other such evil putrefaction. I don’t care what you think. Your opinion frankly doesn’t matter to me because the dignity and rights of others don’t matter to you.

The time between blog posts has been increasing over the last few months for a variety of reasons and I finally came to the conclusion that this is OK. I will just keep plodding along, hoping I have more to say, despite the fervent prayers and imprecations of many to the Divinity hoping for a different result, LOL!

Since last I posted, dear 1.5 readers, life has pretty much been going on. The baby is lovely and getting chubbier by the day (but in a good way:)). The other grandangels are marvelous of course and the rest of the family is holding its own. Its own what I don’t know…. (yuck yuck yuck – it’s late, what can I say?)

DSCN3125I have finished the Aestlight Shawl and it came out rather nicely, if I do say so myself. And guess what? I actually decided to keep this for me. 🙂 I wore it Monday to a training in Annapolis and only one person asked me if I knit it and that was a fellow knitter:) . It makes a great neck scarf and the color is a nice grey. You can find the pattern on Ravelry or search the name here and I think I have a link to the website and the designer.
FINALLY got started on that aran type sweater I’m knitting as a Christmas gift for a friend. Good news is she NEVER reads this blog, so I think I’m safe. It’s a relatively easy pattern – Portland from A Fine Fleece – in that the charts are all 20 rows and the cabling takes place on the right side – the “wrong” you knit the knits and purl the purls. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it:)
Right now I’m at a busy point in the work week, so I haven’t had a lot of time to knit more, but it hasn’t taken much effort to get this far.
Once I’m done with this, I’m going to finish S’s “Buttony” sweater, D’s Lady February Sweater and my Daily Sweater and Sandrine. That oughtta keep me busy ’til next year:)
Well, it’s late, dear readers. Gotta get some sleep so my clients can’t claim ineffective assistance! (God forbid!)
Before I sign off for the evening:
If any of you live or work in or near the Ellicott City, MD area, the Orchestra of St. John’s is providing wonderful entertainment this Sunday in their season’s opener, “Viva Italia,” featuring Vivaldi’s Seasons, and a piano concerto by Ernst Bloch with our own Nancy Stavely as the pianist. For $15.00 per adult (children are free!!!) and free parking, this is the steal of the century! You’d be crazy not to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity for a live classical music performance!

See you soon. In the meantime, God be with you ’til we meet again.