Mid-week and taking stock.

I’m almost ready to (GASP) steek this thing, a recent misplacement of the crochet hook having sidelined the Prayer Shawl temporarily.  This has moved along due to what I like to call “nervous knitting” – knitting that happens after hours, when watching the news, for example, or a movie – things I do with John on the evenings he and I are both home at the same time (yes, it actually does happen from time to time:)!) I need to add a few more inches, but not much more – I have decided to go with the Dolman sleeves for this EZ’s Green Sweater pattern .  Right now it doesn’t look like much.  But as I said before, I have faith. And as someone else once said, “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”

So what’s been happening here in the FugueState? Music, work (as in visits and court), friends, family and knitting. When last I visited, dear 3.5, I was done with the Clothilde shawl and was planning on giving it to the recipient at lunch on Friday with her and D another friend. Unfortunately, D’s knees were killing her, so N and I had a very nice lunch and then went to D’s house to keep her company for a while, laughing the whole time:)

It turns out the Clothilde served a good purpose.  This past Sunday was one of the coldest Palm Sunday’s I can remember in a long while.  The weather pundits say it will be about 75 degrees F on Easter, but you wouldn’t have known it Palm Sunday! We stood outside and marched into the church, ringing our bells and singing a Hosanna – and freezing our bells off (ok, sorry, couldn’t resist). N. wore hers around her neck to prevent pneumonia, laryngitis and keeping her neck warm in general.  You’d be surprised how much those seemingly insipid lacey numbers work to take the edge off the chill. A few years back, my friend Vicki lent me her scarf while we waited outside in freezing weather to wait for the Washington National Cathedral to open up and let us all in for Katharine Jefforts-Schori’s investiture as the first female Presiding Bishop.  That scarf made an unbearable situation survivable. (Thanks, Vick!) Even my little Bitterroot has saved my throat on a number of occasions.  There is a reason shawls and scarves were knitted back in the day – and now!  They’re not just fashion statements! But they are fun to knit:)!

Saturday was fairly quiet during the day and as I said in my post that day, we were going to Madison’s 10th birthday bash at the Olive Garden near her home.  We all had a blast.  There were the 15 of us: John and I, K and S with Johnny, D and D with Madison and Ruby, B, C and D, S and J and our “adopted kid” E. Two friends of D and D came with their baby, and Madison’s friend, Josh.  In all, there were 19 people around that table and every one of us were having a great time.  At one point, John and I just looked at each other and couldn’t believe that our silly little conversations across the back yard had turned into all of this wonderment.

Sunday was Palm Sunday and it was a LONG Palm Sunday.  I played bells and sang and after both services were over, we had a rehearsal with the professional brass players of our Easter music. Then, we left with the Vidor’s Toccata from his Symphony No. 5 ringing in our ears.  Here is an example of this piece – and as well as this fellow plays it, Nancy plays it better!

Seriously, she does. Her son, Joe will be playing trumpet when he gets there. He has a great tone and will fit right in with this group of professionals.

Remember that stupid fall I had a few weeks ago just before “kwar” practice? I was so hoping I would have no repercussions – oh fool moi! – but when I knelt down for Communion (telling myself not to be such a baby – not good, talking badly to yourself – I have to stop doing that), I realized I had made a not-so-good choice! My knee is still stiff and sore – from all the standing and the up and down probably. I’ll live. The real challenge will be the mad dash for the choir up front and downstairs for the Prelude next Sunday after the three or four of us bell players who also will be singing are done with our piece up in the Gallery. These fat little legs of mine will be getting quite the workout!

When I got home, I finished cleaning the downstairs bathroom, ran to the store again to buy what I should have bought the first time and awaited the arrival of John’s sister and brother-in-law, Bob and “GG.”  They both retired to Massachusetts – Bob’s home grounds – after a lifetime of teaching in Long Island Catholic schools – Bob taught Social Studies and GG taught Chemistry.  Again, they got the full treatment -every one of the kids, grandkids and “LB” were there.  It was so good to see both of them. Bob had a couple of really funny jokes.  Their daughter, Erin, recently had an adorable baby girl, so we oohed and aaahed over their photos of course! I really love John’s family.  They have always been so good to all of us!

Needless to say, I don’t remember my head hitting the pillow Sunday night!

Monday morning I had an exceptions hearing for which I need to prepare a memo of law this evening.  John is off on Mondays, so he surprised Madison by showing up at her school birthday party:) Yesterday was a mediation and a visit to a client and then I went to see D, D, Madison and Ruby – their mom and dad needed something notarized.  Then a quick drive back to St. J’s for bell practice.

Today was mostly catching up on paperwork and getting organized for tomorrow. In a few moments I will finish up the last of the pleadings and paperwork I need to file/do for tomorrow.  It’s an unusual evening for me in that I don’t have EfM, choir or Stephen Ministry.  I actually have an evening in the middle of the week to get stuff done and to possibly take stock and I am beside myself.

This morning, I had a few moments before I had go, so I poured myself a cup of coffee and listened to WOOL – a public radio station in VT and NH (that has an app for the iPhone and the reception is great).  The show was the Mimi Gerges show and she was interviewing Abbott Christopher Jamison who wrote, Finding Sanctuary: Monastic Steps for Everyday Life. In addition to Abbott Jamison’s book was a discussion of a BBC series called “The Monastery.”  Abbott Jamison spoke about the quiet of monastic life and how living in a monastic rhythm helped to bring one closer to one’s humanity.  He didn’t preach; he simply and matter-of-factly spoke about the need to step back and look at life, at wisdom and what meaning it has.  I found him to be very interesting. And very compelling.  I might borrow or buy that book if I can.  I just loved what he had to say because it made sense at a very basic level, though certainly it was not simplistic.

So here I am on Wednesday night. I will do what I need to do for work – a few more e-mails, four pleadings, and a review of my cases for the afternoon docket.  Then, I will do some knitting and listen to a podcast or watch tv for a little while.

With gratitude for all the good things life has given me.  Forgive this bit of religiosity in this public forum, but as they say at EfM:

For what was, thanks be to God

For what is, thanks be to God

For what will be, thanks be to God.

And may She be with you ’til we meet again;)

+

My daughters sent me this

It’s probably making the rounds of the e-mail community, but who cares – it is soooo true:)!!

The Price of Children

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140 for a middle income family. Talk about sticker shock! That doesn’t even touch college tuition.

But $160,140 isn’t so bad if you break it down. It translates into:

* $8,896.66 a year,

* $741.38 a month,

* $171.08 a week.

* That’s a mere $24.24 a day!

* Just over a dollar an hour.

Still, you might think the best financial advice is don’t have children if you want to be “rich.” Actually, it is just the opposite.

What do you get for your $160,140?

* Naming rights. First, middle, and last!

* Glimpses of God every day.

* Giggles under the covers every night.

* More love than your heart can hold.

* Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.

* Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.

* A hand to hold, usually covered with jelly or chocolate.

* A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites

* Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your stocks

performed that day.

For $160,140, you never have to grow up. You get to:

* finger-paint,

* carve pumpkins,

* play hide-and-seek,

* catch lightning bugs, and

* never stop believing in Santa Claus.

You have an excuse to:

* keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh,

* watching Saturday morning cartoons,

* going to Disney movies, and

* wishing on stars.

* You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets

and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay

for Mother’s Day, and cards with backward letters for Father’s Day.

For $160,140, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a hero just for:

* retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof,

* taking the training wheels off a bike,

* removing a splinter,

* filling a wading pool,

* coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a baseball team that never wins but

always gets treated to ice cream regardless.

You get a front row seat to history to witness the:

* first step,

* first word,

* first bra,

* first date, and

* first time behind the wheel.

You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree, and

if you’re lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren

and great grandchildren.

You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal

justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match.  In

the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God.

You have all the power to heal a  boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed,

patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them

without limits,

So . . one day they will like you, love without counting the cost.  That is quite a deal for the price!!!!!!!

Love & enjoy your children & grandchildren!!!!!!!

And God be with you ’til we meet again!

+

Some technical stuff

Well, this book to my left helped me out today, although WordPress had most of what I needed to know all set up for me anyway, LOL.  I have finally decided to get my own domain through wordpress, but am using Googleapps to create e-mail through it.  Since my wordpress blog has all my posts from this and other blogs all put together, I figure I should create something over there.

Today started with a visit from BG& E – a quick fix of the thermostat – a loose wire in the heating/cooling system made it impossible to change the temperature for the last few days and given the changes from 70+ degrees F down to 30-something this morning, it couldn’t have come at a better time (the repairs, I mean!). Thank goodness for contracts.  The repairman was really nice – didn’t play some of the stupid games (like ringing the house number once and not showing up when we didn’t pick up, you know how that can go).  Nope, this guy was here, fixing what was outside and rang the doorbell at 8:30, bless his heart – and on a Saturday, no less! So at least now we have heat so the pipes don’t freeze if it gets below 32 degrees F.

Court yesterday was about what I expected it to be – no major problems except for being a little late due to traffic – and luckily others were also in the same pickle (YIKES).  No surprises there.  After court, I ran a couple of errands and then met up with N for lunch.  D’s knees were killing her; she has two knee replacements and injured them/stressed them out with a lot of stair climbing and attempting to do some dance jumps with her elementary students (silly girl), so she did not have lunch with us, but she was game for a visit after lunch, so we stopped by and had some tea and conversation – the kind I can have only with those two. We had so much fun just sitting and talking that when we left, I noticed the time – it was after SEVEN PM! But it was worth every minute!

I have that empty kind of feeling you have when you finish a project (which was appreciated). I went through my projects on ravelry and made a list of the “In Progress” and the “Hibernating” projects in order of when I started them.  Starting with the “In Progress,” I numbered each one, beginning with the most recently being number 1, and least recently (oldest) begin number 2, switching back and forth.  When I was done with the In Progress projects, I did the same with the Hibernating ones.  I think it will make for an interesting order for either getting those pending projects done or frogging the ones I just cannot stand to do, freeing up good yarn for something that will really catch my interest. Then I can “shop from my stash.”  Here’s hoping that I’ve found a realistic way to contend with a rather nasty case of startitis.

So, I’ve started on my most recent addition first: the prayer shawl (and because it’s close to finishing anyway, LOL).  The yarn is something I rarely would use for knitting, so I decided to do the Magnificent Mantle by Crochet Kitty, a crocheted version of the Aestlight Shawl by Gudrun Johnson which I’ve already done and gifted to a friend when her mother died in December. So far, it’s shaping up fairly well, although at this stage it’s a little rough around the edges because the yarn is a boucle’.

Of course while looking, I peeked in at the little bit of drop spindle spinning I’ve been doing and decided to finish off a bit and then ply the two different bits.  Like the prayer shawl, my spinning is still extremely rough around the edges, but I’m going to keep on trying.

Tomorrow is Madison’s tenth birthday! I cannot believe my grandchildren are starting with the double digits! I was 46 years old the year she was born – a mere child myself, to say nothing of how young her mommy was! She has grown to be a beautiful girl and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her – may it be blessings and joy and may she always be surrounded by people who love her as much as we all do! Well, I’m off to hit the shower and pick up the birthday cake soon.  We are all going out to dinner and one of her best friends from school will be joining us -this is a plan that only Madison would enjoy! What a blessing that she is so unique!

Well I’m off, dear 3.5 until then,

God be with you ’til we meet again!

Finished!

Finally:)! I just didn’t have the energy at 2:30 this morning to block this shawl.  It’s small – it had to be; I didn’t have time to knit something huge, but it is kind of cute – and it is being paired with another birthday gift.  Three of us are going to lunch tomorrow.  It’s about a week early, but Easter is the recipient’s birthday, so we won’t have a chance to celebrate birthdays that day.  It will be soooo good to take a break from everything and hang out with good friends who make me laugh:) and who don’t have anything to do with our legal system  (well, except for being citizens, LOL).

This week has been a daily round of court, meetings, more court and visits.  And in the evenings it’s been bell and choir practices for the upcoming Holy Week services. Stop it I love it!:)

This morning I had two early meetings before court, but then two fairly short dockets before two of the masters. After my morning docket tomorrow, I look forward to a fun lunch with friends. For now, it’s back to work.

The good thing about finishing one project is that I have a bunch more to look forward to!

Let’s see what’s next – probably will finish that prayer shawl. Then maybe it’s on to No.. 17002 from The Best of Tuir.  It’s only been about 4 years in the making!

Will be back soon, dear 3.5.  Until then,

God be with you ’til we meet again.+

Faith

March is going out like a lion – or maybe a lion cub.  It’s cooler outside, because of the wind, but it’s lovely! I wish the weather would stay like this all year – just enough to need a sweater, but not so bad you’re uncomfortable.

John, bless his heart, came home from the supermarket (yes he did) yesterday with a beautiful bunch of tulips, put them in a vase and plopped them down on what I euphemistically refer to as my desk.  It’s true name is the disaster area, albeit an organized one, LOL:). Tomorrow is court and I should be getting some visits in, but they will have to wait for later this evening after I finish with a mandatory training I’m attending in Baltimore City.  No problem! It’s nice to see the rest of my colleagues and I will be bringing my knitting with me.  Why not? So how bad can that be? Thankfully, my boss is great and as long as I listen and learn, I will be accomplishing two worthwhile goals at once.  I will probably bring the Mondo Cable Cardi as I am still in the midst of those increases and yes, I have gone all off count on my stitch count for each section, so the next few rows will be getting it back to where it needs to be!  Other than that, it’s still going to be some relatively mindless knitting so I can pay attention to what is being said.  On the other hand, I could bring the Clothilde with me, since I am on a deadline to finish it by Friday.  And now we come to the title of this post.  Faith.  Knitting is often an exercise in faith.  Seriously, just look at this lump of knitting. I am not a brilliant designer, but the designer of this pattern certainly is. The stitches are bunched on the needles and, although I can see most of the patterns – and they are really nice – I have little idea whether this will be large enough for what I want to make. And, as I said, I’m on a deadline.  So this knitting is an exercise in faith, or for the more cynical among us, calculated risk. I am investing time (about 20 hours) money (for the yarn, pattern and other equipment) in hope that the finished item will not only be something I will like, but something the recipient will like and use. Granted, there is a limited bit of room to make changes.  If it is not large enough, I can add an edging, for example.  However, if the recipient doesn’t like it, my work will have only some small symbolic meaning. Luckily the recipient is a kind person and has always been grateful and has actually used whatever I’ve knitted for her in the past. So I am knitting this. On faith.

In the last two days while I was driving around between the office, court and visits, I actually had a few coherent thoughts – who knew? One of those thoughts was why lawyers, writers, artists and others – knitters for example – blog.  Let’s face it, most of us don’t have anything really new to say to the world. I suppose a number of us, myself included, like to memorialize aspects of our lives through a lens  we feel is unique. Perhaps it is a way to deal with the perceived anonymity we think this ever-shrinking yet ever more populated world in which we find ourselves.

For me it is something a little different.  Bear with me for a minute.

A long time ago, back in the middle ages, when I was 17 years old, I took a battery of tests at a suite of offices ensconced in a brownstone in a nice part of  Manhattan (New York City).  The name of the company was – and still is – the Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation.

Johnson O’Connor has been around since the 1920s I think.  My father was actually tested in 1947 or so when he was 13 years old. A few of my sibs were tested along with me. They do aptitude testing.  Their theory is that people are born with certain genetically ingrained abilities.  And they have the ability to cultivate other abilities that are not necessarily inherited, but a combination of the inherited traits.

For example, there’s an aptitude I can tell you seriously do NOT have and that is structural visualization.  My limited understanding of this aptitude is that it is necessary if one wishes to be a mechanic or a surgeon or an architect or engineer.  It is the ability to visual the physical aspects of a thing – a spatial ability.  I am one of those people who have a hard time putting those “slidey” puzzles together.  Forget the Rubik’s cube. It will never happen for me. I do have the opposite aptitude though and that is abstract visualization – in effect seeing how people and things interrelate (it’s been a long while, so I am oversimplifying things).

The most important aptitude actually relates to personality.  There are two major divisions: Objective (most people) and Subjective (less people).  Objective personalities are those for whom the term “synergy” really works.  They gain more, do more and are more effective when working in groups with other people – the member of the band vs. the band leader or the soloist. A salesperson is another example.  This should not be mistaken for outgoing vs. introverted.  You can be an introvert and still have an objective personality; similarly you can be outgoing and have a subjective personality.  A subjective personality I think is the person who can spend hours at a time working, thinking – or in the case of a musician or artistic – practicing one’s art.  Most attorneys are subjective personalities – a lot of their work is spent alone either with a client or witness gathering information or doing research, writing and strategizing.  The unusual thing about these “subjective” occupations is that we all have to “come up for air.” And when one is of a more “objective” bent or one of those lucky ones on the cusp of subjective/objective, we have to mix it up from time to time with the rest of the world.  And that, dear 3.5 readers is a good thing in my view.

Perhaps for me, all this blogging about daily activities and thinking is another way of recharging, of reconnecting, and most importantly, of taking stock of where I am today.  Blogging invites comment.  It makes you more vulnerable, but the enrichment it has given me has been worth every bit of any negative possibility out there. Just my happy thought for the day.This new Amazon gadget thingie has found me a few links to books by JOCRF: ,Learning to Use Your AptitudesWordbook: The Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation vocabulary building program : teacher’s manual The relationship of word frequency, part of speech, length, and derivation to difficulty level (Technical report / Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation, Human Engineering Laboratory)The ideaphoria worksamples as measures of divergent thinking (Technical report / Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation, Human Engineering Laboratory)

Before I head off to that training, I thought I’d do a couple of quick book reviews for you. This Christmas my dear husband who spoils me sometimes gave me a Kindle – that e-book reader that Amazon puts out.  It has been really nice having this.  I purchased a number of books for the kindle – one of which was a knitting book on intarsia.  I’m hoping for three things: 1. color pictures on the kindle 2. backlighting on the kindle and 3.more knitting books on kindle.

Anyway, my birthday was last month and my dear children gave me Amazon gift cards which I used to get a few books for Kindle.  Kindle also has a relationship with Audible.com . I bought an audible book titled TheChecklist ManifestoThe Checklist Manifesto: How  to Get Things Right. It’s about the use of checklists and how they have revolutionized medical practice.  I cannot help to think it would revolutionize my law practice as well.

The other book I purchased was not on Kindle; it was Knitting Around by Elizabeth Zimmerman (originally wanted to be titled Knitting Without a License, LOL)  It’s a terrific book about Ms. Zimmerman and her family and their journey from immigrant to life in the USA in addition to, oh yeah, being a book about knitting.  Ms. Zimmerman’s indefatigable personality shines through in this book and of course the patterns are classics to help you start to knit independently.

Well, I’d better run.

God be with you ’til we meet again!

+




Shhhhhh…. posting from court…..

It’s a rainy Monday here in Merlin, dear 3.5 readers and I am sitting in court waiting for my last case of the morning to be called. Of course it’s contested. Of course it is therefore the last to be heard. Oh and I just found out that the hearing I was initially told was in the a.m. is actually in the p.m. Which means revamping today’s schedule. Oy! But I am glad to be employed, LOL!
The good news is the new Knitty is up and I have already found two patterns I want to do. I’m also on the next stitch pattern for Clothilde and the end is in sight – although you can’t tell from this picture.

And I’ve brought it with me!!
Gotta go case was called….

UPDATE: I found more than two Knitty patterns I want to do!:) I’ve got sunshiiiine on a cloudy day…..:)

God be with you ’til we meet again+