Thunder Thighs


I always hated my legs. Never had those pretty Twiggy spindly stilts that went so well with miniskirts, or even shapely ones that look good in jeans. No, my friends, no matter how many fat cells I decimate, there will always be an inordinate number of them clustered upon my femurs, making my Diogenes-like search for the perfect pair of jeans an exercise in futility.
I gave those thunder thighs too much power. I allowed them to dictate to me my human worth in the meat market of my youth. I let them lie to me, telling me that they were a flaw that made me somehow worth less.
But then I had the good fortune to date and marry a lover of thunder thighs and as a result (I leave it to you, dear 2.5, to calculate the inference) many a little one has bounced on them. But as I made my peace with them and they grew, Lord how they grew, I still barely tolerated them.
Until I saw them in my grandson, Gram, as his Mommy was changing his diaper. I marveled at how absolutely adorable he was and how stocky and sturdy his legs were. And I watched as he grew from infant to toddler, from crawler, to walker, to runner on those sturdy legs he got from me.
Thunder thighs are not so bad.
They can hold a lap full of knitting, or a lap full of cuddly baby, skinned-knees needing comfort, kitties, a young teen with a broken heart, or a big galumphing dog who hasn’t gotten the memo that he’s no longer a lap dog:).
Yeah, they’re starting to grow on me after almost 60 years.
But hopefully not too much
ūüėČ

Goings On
It’s been a crazy few days. John has been recovering from his surgery, but his tummy wasn’t very cooperative. This all came to a head last night when his appendix needed removing. Thankfully he’s fine and already is recovering very well. It’s good to have a diagnosis and a cure! And thank goodness he listened to his body and had me get his toochas to the ER! But it’s no fun for him having to recover from two surgeries in two months!
The good news is, I had no hearings today, everything I need to do can wait ’til Monday at work.

As a result, I have been knitting- the Natalie Tank shown above is moving along. Clue #3 of Wendy Johnson’s Summer Mystery Shawl is coming along very nicely:


Love how this is coming together and cannot wait to get the last clue tomorrow:)!

Have also picked up a little of the Windesbraut Bertha and started to crochet this baby:


It’s called Recuerdos de Infancia
(Memories of Childhood??) by the Chilean poet and awesome crochet designer Gabriela Ordenes. I’m not much of a crocheter, so this is a challenge, but so far, so good:).
And this little drawing is something I hope to crochet out of thin rope for a friend to use for weights for outdoor furniture. We shall see if I am up to the task:)!


In other news, our son, Danny, is doing an amazing job in his latest role at Everyman Theatre in Baltimore – he’s in a remake of a remake of Restoration period play called The Beaux Strategem.


He’s the guy on the right:)! Here’s a link to a local public radio review:

http://www.wypr.org/category/podcast-keywords/beaux-stratagem

As I type this, it is 4 PM on a Friday. I am sitting in John’s hospital room with a lovely clear view of Baltimore City. Maybe age gives one more of a long view on life. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that we need to be kinder to each other. Life throws so many surprises our way. And kindness is rarely the wrong way to go.
Until next time,
God be with you ’til we meet again+

Location:S Caton Ave,Baltimore,United States

Knitting Amnesia

It’s 10:30 on a Saturday morning. ¬†I have to leave really soon to get to my first client visit in Baltimore, so this is a quick post! As I arose this morning and went to my dresser to pull out something to wear today, I saw this little thing folded up (big surprise!) and cannot recall what the heck it is:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spread out, it looks more like this:

 

 

I know I knit this. ¬†I remember the yarn. I know it’s a little “off-center” because I placed the short row section a little too far to one side, but it’s fine for a scarf. ¬†The question is, which pattern is this and when did I knit this? LOL!!! It was one of my many little knitting detours – a quick pattern that provided some distraction and instant gratification with one skein of yarn that had captured my fancy. I don’t remember if it was the entire pattern I knitted or just the edging and then the short rows alone?? I think this is one of the free patterns on ravelry. ¬†Anyone recognize it??

Then I can put it up among the completed projects on ravelry and Nimblestix.

YIKES!

So it’s true – I’m am an official knitting slut……..

Ah well, God be with you ’til we meet again…+

Derecho?

The¬†National Weather Service¬†was predicting derecho storms for¬†our little corner of Merlin, but now it just looks like nasty old severe thunderstorms. ¬†Either way, I’m just glad we still have electricity:).

Since last we saw each other, dear 2.5 readers, I’ve visited some clients, attended a couple of meetings and services, and the fellow I told you about whom we visited on Saturday, has begun his travels free of this earthly coil. I am grateful to have been able to say goodbye and wish him well on his journey.

Normally on Thursdays, I have a court docket. In fact, it’s usually my busiest day of the week. But for some reason, today I didn’t have any hearings and I’m not the attorney on call for shelter hearings, so I had no reason to head out to the office or the courthouse today, especially given that the Bawlmer Beltway was closed down near me – not sure if it was the weather or an accident. ¬†So, I remained working at the home office, checking e-mails and prepping for tomorrow’s hearings and the weekend’s client visits. ¬†And of course I feel like lazy bum!

In the past few days, I decided to look through my unfinished projects truckload list and maybe pick up one or two I could work on this summer. I found a few and did start working on a couple of them last night.

¬†One was a Brooklyn Tweed pattern –¬†Dryad, by Jared Flood himself¬†– a wide scarf that I thought might work for the prayer shawl group. ¬†The other is a shawl I began after my gastric bypass surgery a couple of years ago –¬†Windesbraut Bertha¬†by Monika Eckert – the Wollklabauter (wool pirate) herself:)!

¬†It’s a lot of fun going back to a project after a period of absence – especially if you can figure out where you are in the pattern. ¬†At least it is for me. ¬†I’ve already done quite a bit on both of these projects. ¬†In fact, I’d say they’re each about half done. ¬†The use of highlighting tape has made a huge difference in figuring out how far I got – although the Dryad is pretty easy to tell given the cables alternating with plainer sections. I have a newfound appreciation for the yarn, the texture and the colors and a newfound enthusiasm for the project. ¬†If I don’t still love it, to the frog pond it goes and the yarn gets to find a new project better suited to it or worst case scenario, another knitter who will put it to good use.

Yesterday, I decided to track down all my shawl projects. ¬†I don’t even know if I have them all up on ravelry!! Michaels had a sale on photo boxes. ¬†They’re a little bigger than a woman’s shoebox and perfect for two moderate-sized shawl projects each. ¬†The little label thingie on the outside of the box is perfect to insert a little card stating its contents. The boxes were reasonably pretty and the price was right, so I bought five of them into which to put 10 shawl projects. ¬†The remaining ones, I put into a bag and have as my goal to finish by the end of this year, most by the end of the summer with any luck and perserverence:)!

Other shawls included in this¬†bag¬†all-star lineup are Romi (Rosemary Hill’s)¬†Carson– which I started earlier this year;

another Jared Flood pattern –¬†Celes¬†– begun¬†while I was in Austin, TX for the NCAC conference back in¬†October of 2010!

And just in case I decide to start yet another project to add to the¬†2,487¬†¬†32 I have remaining, I’d like to use that bit of Samba Alpaca Yarn from Dancing Leaf Farms I got at Sheep and Wool this spring to do this baby:) – the¬†Guernsey Triangle, another Jared Flood creation. ¬†I had so much fun creating the¬†Guernsey wrap a couple of years ago¬†and now my no. 5 child has wrested it from the neck of her father. ¬†I would love to make this triangle for myself. We shall see. ¬†Nah – no “we shall see” about it. ¬†I’m knitting it – just a question of when:). But the yarn and pattern are at the ready!

*******************************************************************************

Well, dear 2.5, it appears the storms are going to be derecho(s) after all. ¬†We have a tornado Warning for the next 15 minutes and one has been confirmed about 20 miles away in Laurel. ¬†My son-in-law’s mother lives there. ¬†Praying for her safety. Now I’m glad that I am not in Beltway traffic.

Well, I guess it’s time to say, God be with you ’til we meet again:)!+

Sublime, Just Sublime


When you’ve had days of rain, this is the song you want to sing when you face the morning light:) Not that I mind the rain – it can be lovely and it makes for a lot of wonderful summer greenery, to say nothing of the good it does for the crops for local farms and the water supply for the rest of us!

 

 

WARNING WARNING RELIGIOUS STUFF TO FOLLOW. NOT TRYING TO CONVERT ANYONE – JUST CONVEYING MY OWN EXPERIENCES. ¬†END OF WARNING…….

¬†Since we were last together, dear 2.5 readers, I have simply plugged away at a few things. Nothing much exciting to report. Life goes on and I suppose that’s a good thing. ¬†John is getting better every day, the little guys are growing as they should and the adult “kids” are making their respective ways in life – each traveling the path unique to them.¬†

I take it back: this weekend was glorious – in ways I never imagined it would be. Saturday morning, I was involved in a training to be a facilitator of a Stephen Ministry group. ¬†No big deal – just in case they need me to be the one to organize a meeting and report to the group leadership. I figured why not learn just in case? Jenny – our Stephen Leader – did the training/presentation and provided food (always welcome ¬†– hey I lost weight, but I didn’t stop liking to eat, LOL:)). ¬†She did a fine job. Also present were some SMs (Stephen Ministers – people! Be nice!) from other church congregations. ¬†It was really nice to meet them and to hear how they do things in their churches. ¬†Stephen Ministry¬†is a program where members of a church congregation are present one-on-one to a member of the church going through a crisis. ¬†That crisis can be something like grief after the loss of a loved one through death or divorce, the birth of a new baby, serious illness or incapacity, job loss – you name it. The Stephen Ministers go through approximately six months of weekly training ¬†before beginning a caring relationship and afterwards meet monthly to check in and discuss their care receiver’s situation (without disclosing his or her identity). The purpose of the monthly meetings is to provide supervision, assistance and accountability to the SM and to assure the care receivers are receiving proper care without overstepping the boundaries of the relationship. ¬†For example, where a care receiver needs psychiatric help, we are not there to be therapists, but to refer to resources in the community or to clergy who can be of better assistance in such instances. In our area (Central Merlin), there exists a Consortium of churches who provide Stephen Ministry training and supervision. ¬†The training program is an experience in and of itself. ¬†I know I met a lot of wonderful people from a variety of churches. So getting to see others from the consortium this Saturday was a delight. ¬†I suggested to our leader that we try to get all the groups together at least once a year. It’s funny. ¬†When we’re all involved in caring and helping others, how whatever differences we might have fade into the background!:)

Anyway, that was one great experience and I am grateful for it.  But the best was yet to come:)

You may have read in the past about a service I attend on Thursday mornings. ¬†It’s a Eucharist (Communion) service with healing prayers for others in our congregation. ¬†The cool thing about it is it takes place at 7 a.m. In some of the winter months, we actually see the sun rise as we arrive – really cool:) It’s a great way to start the day, whether I have a docket (as I usually do on Thursdays) or on the odd occasion when I have no hearings that morning and can follow up with breakfast at the diner with a great bunch of people.¬†

Anyway, it’s a small group of really nice folks, some of whom have had their own experiences of sorrow and sickness. I have come to believe that their prayers make a difference, especially the prayers of healing:

_____, I lay my hands upon you in the Name of our Lord and¬†Savior Jesus Christ, beseeching him to uphold you and fill¬†you with his grace and strength, that you may know the healing power of¬†God’s love. ¬†Amen.

It’s a little prayer, but it packs a wallop. The clergyperson (be it a priest or our deacon, Mimi) goes from person to person, and sometimes we give them a list of people for whom to pray. ¬†Then we as a group lay hands on the clergy offering up the same prayer. ¬†Over weeks, months and years, it creates a bond among us. ¬†I like to think that bond, that spark of love that keeps growing, is God’s Presence among us.

¬†On Saturday, he was surrounded by us as we took the service to his bedside.We all lay hands on him and each other and prayed that prayer and gave each other Communion with deacon Mimi leading us. As you read this, it might seem sappy, but you’re going to have to trust me on this, it wasn’t. We each got to say good bye in our own way and he truly seemed to be at peace.


Safe travels, my friend!In the meantime, from the sublime to the ordinary:)

Yesterday was quite a day Рhad court in the morning as I usually do on Mondays.  Got a chance to argue passionately but hopefully not overly dramatically for a client. The docket went a bit later than usual, but I was done with court fairly early in the afternoon. Since it was time for a late lunch, I decided to take a quick walk before heading back to the home office to get my paperwork done. I walked by myself which I do about half the time and that was just fine. It was a bit drizzly when I started but was pouring at the end as I got home. As usual on cloudy days like this in summer, the colors had a particular vibrancy about them.  I had to take pictures. 

I was greeted at one point by a tribe of geese, the males of the group not particularly welcoming in their demeanor, as evidenced by a bit of hissing on their part.

The rain started to get a bit more insistent and I had brought my umbrella, car keys and cellphone in case I was needed at the office and of course to take pictures ūüôā

Although the sun did try to come out a bit at the end of my circuit of Wilde Lake, the clouds won out.

And this was my view heading into the drive at home.

Glorious in its own way:)

Last night was one of our monthly supervision meetings. It was a lot of fun and moving in many ways. ¬†I checked in about my two CRs and there was a lot of good thoughtful discussion on how best to help. The bad news was, there were not one but TWO tornado warnings, and flash flood warnings as well. A tornado did touch down in Woodbine, Merlin – about twenty miles away – and that was disturbing, though obviously NOTHING like what’s been happening in Tornado Alley in the midwest. ¬†Luckily, we had a midwesterner among us, so we got a quick education in what to look for (at least during daylight). Unfortunately, that education would not have helped us during our¬†twister experience¬†which happened at night.¬†Every time I think of that night, I realize how incredibly LUCKY we were!

YES, I’M STILL KNITTING:)

 

On the knitting front, I have been working a little bit at a time on A Mysterious Shawl by Romi (Rosemary Hill) but not much progress to post. Once I’m done with Clue 3, the colorwork begins and I’ve found the perfect yarn in

 

 

 

my stash to complement the Uhuru multi-colored yarn РStroll sock yarn in Rouge by Knitpicks Рleftovers from the Westerwick Cardigan I knit for Nancy a few years ago:)!

 

¬†Am on Clue 4 of 5 for the GoddessKnits Spring Mystery Shawl 2013. It’s so bunched up now on the needles that I’m almost flying blind – the pattern is truly becoming a mystery to me, LOL:) I think I’ve got PLENTY of yarn to finish this and am really looking forward to seeing how this blocks out! It’s going to look a lot different from the actually pattern because remember, I’m using nupps in the place of beads.

Have just begun Tetiana Otruta’s Leaf Evolution Mystery KAL but am really loving the wool and the pattern looks to be lovely:)! Am just on Chart B of Clue 1, but am looking forward to doing a wee bit more work on this baby when I’m done with a little bit left on this next beauty:

 

 

As I stated in previous posts, I really really love the way this shawl is knit – the bulk of the¬†knitting done at the beginning (or so it seems) with the more immediate gratification happening at the end. I am knitting this fingering weight wool on US4 needles as opposed to the US6’s for which the pattern calls for two reasons: (1) I tend to knit a wee bit loosely and (2) I like the gauge I’m getting on the 4’s. It may mean the shawl will need more strenuous blocking at the end, but that’s a price I’m willing to pay. It’s just lovely and I’m sailing through the clues. ¬†Well done, Wendy:)! Oh yes – forgot to say which pattern this is – it’s¬†Wendy Johnson’s¬†Summer Mystery Shawl:)! As you can sort of see from the picture, I’m four rows away from finishing Clue No. 2. ¬†The rows get shorter and shorter, since we start by casting on the bottom two edges of the shawl and knit up with two triangles on either side of a center stitch, decreasing four stitches every other row. ¬†When we’re done, we’ll have a large triangle with what starts out as the edge stitches of each end becoming the top (neck) stitches of the shawl. That’s how I’ve planned my most recent two prayer shawls and it’s how I prefer to knit them. ¬†In fact, for the same reason it’s why I prefer bottom up sweater knitting to top/down. When I begin a project, I am full of enthusiasm: New yarn, hopefully good needles, maybe even a new stitch pattern or a color I like. Isn’t that when you want to get the boring-ish yards of stockinette or garter or whatever stitch pattern done? Then before you know it, it’s time to make those decreases and do that shaping and whatever boredom has set in before is dispelled by renewed enthusiasm as I see the garment begin to take shape and the hours of knitting are brought to fruition. Pure joy:)

Well those of you who don’t knit have been put to sleep by now. ¬†But you fiberistas out there get it:)

I haven’t forgotten about the Norwegian Rose Cardigan. ¬†That’s a bit of slaving away from which I needed to take a break, but I am keeping it in the active projects corner of the den to work on whenever I have an hour or two. There’s something about knitting mystery shawls that seems to make the summer pass happily!

Well, better get myself back to work. ¬†I have a number of client visits this afternoon and evening, which means my work day will be afternoon to night today. ¬†And that’s OK.

I figure at this point I should do a bit of explaining. ¬†I’ve done it before, but it probably could stand repeating. ¬†I write in this blog about my experiences, as a complete human being – a professional person (to the extent ethically permitted), a family person, a knitter, a musician and a spiritual person. None and I mean NONE of what is written here is intended to foist my opinions and beliefs – be they political, spiritual, or any other type – on anyone else. ¬†This is a free forum. ¬†All I ask is that we respect each other and try as best we can to live in peace with each other. When I say my signature line, it is simply my way of wishing you peace, joy and the presence of the Holy, however you might envision it – or not as the case may be:)! Whatever you believe or don’t believe, I wish you peace and health and the joy in the big and little things of life.

So….

In the meantime, dear readers, God be with you ’til we meet again.+

Cloudy with a chance of Green

This is an example of how green it gets in Merlin in June- especially when it’s cloudy and the humidity is in the ’bout ready to rain range. I took this picture a lifetime ago in the woods somewhere near old Ellicott City on a June afternoon.

Today was a fairly quiet day. ¬†Had only one hearing in court and then a client visit with a delightful little guy, then home to do paperwork. The evening was spent doing music:) Played flute and then sang with the choir for a special service this coming Sunday. Normally we don’t do as much in the summer, since the choir doesn’t sing again on a regular basis until September, but our feast day is celebrated this Sunday (the real date is December 23rd, which means we wait, LOL:)).

 

Anyway, I have made some progress on Rosemary Hill’s “A Mysterious Shawl” and am now at Clue number 3 of 5. ¬†

 

 

 

Well, off to do a little knitting before I head into lights out.

God be with you ’til we meet again+

Unexpected delights

Today was a truly lovely day. ¬†The sun was shining; thunderstorms had chased away the early summer humidity. ¬†John was feeling much better and I got a good night’s sleep. Not much happened that was all too exciting, but there were moments of unexpected joy. I started the day with a telephonic meeting with some very hard working social workers, trying to puzzle out what we all believed to be the best route to take for some clients of mine. ¬†I was very glad to be part of the conversation. ¬†Did we have the answer? Not really, but we know where we’re going for now and that’s good enough. I did some paperwork, answered e-mails, then had lunch with John after a walk to the mailbox and back. ¬†He really is doing a lot better, thank goodness. ¬†His docs did an excellent job. ¬†I think he’s starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Today he got a wooden walking stick from Amazon.com, LOL:) – more psychological than anything else, but it helps with balance. His family have been wonderful with cards and calls of encouragement. ¬†Our sister-in-law, Judy, who in October had a horrific loss of her own when John’s brother, her husband, Tom, died unexpectedly of a pulmonary embolism while he was recovering from a crazy mishap that caused a severely broken femur. It is always so touching to me how people who have suffered are often the ones who reach out to help. Often, when times are bad, you hear about how people find out who their true friends are, that many times they feel or actually are, abandoned by friends and family once the fuss dies down. I have always (and I don’t use that word often) been blessed by friends and family who have surprised me with their kindness and concern and a ready willingness to help.

In Judy’s case, I am not surprised. ¬†She is one of the nicest people you could ever meet – and she and Tom were truly a match made in Heaven. When John and I were taking our pre-Cana classes (religious classes you take before getting married in the Catholic church), one of the questions we were asked separately was who we thought of as having a good marriage. We both independently named Judy and Tom.¬†

Tom was the kind of guy who would spark up the room when he walked into it. ¬†He always made you feel welcome as if you were just the person they needed to complete the party. At his funeral service, their granddaughter, Carleigh, talked about visiting Tom and Judy in California and one Saturday morning, Tom got her up early and took her to McDonalds – where he promptly bought about ten “happy meals” and took her downtown to hand them out to homeless men on the street! Tom worked hard and played hard, but his family was his life – and he left quite a legacy to his four sons – all of whom are wonderful young men. And remember folks, I’m just his sister-in-law!

I am getting old – no maybe about it. My next birthday is a decade one – I will be 60 and I look every bit of it, too. And that’s ok. ¬†But Tom’s situation, John’s recent surgery, Nancy recent cancer scare and the health concerns of many of my friends lately have taught me how very fragile and short this life is. Where does all that time go and seemingly so quickly?

A long time ago (or was it five minutes ago?), I was in Germany, studying for part of my junior year at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, near the Rhine river. On one of my many travels and excursions, I remember seeing a gravestone upon which were words to the effect of, “Where I am, so will you be soon!” This headstone was at least two or three hundred years old at the time I saw it – and the message was a real then as it is now. I resolved that no matter where I was, whatever life dealt me, I would try to find good.

Today, I met some lovely people in my travels. ¬†I had three visits to meet five clients, some struggling with things no kid should have to struggle with, all very dear. Their foster families were a pleasant surprise. ¬†It was a pleasure spending time with them, just listening. ¬†That’s nothing very shiny or flashy or glamorous, but it was a pleasure and an unexpected one at that.

Surprised by Joy – isn’t that the title of CS Lewis’ autobiography:)?

 

When I got home this evening, I added a few more inches to ¬†Renee Leverington’s

Spring 2013 Mystery Shawl. This bad boy is going to need some SERIOUS blocking!:) The yarn is a bit hairy and a bit springy, but I think I’ll get the stitch definition I need when it’s blocked and then it will be halfway decent. Nice pattern, Goddesknits:)! So grateful you share your talents with all of us grateful knitters:)

Well, it wasn’t an earth-shattering day, but it was unexpectedly delightful and for that I am grateful.

And whether I have another four minutes or forty years ahead of me, I will do my best to make the time count, wherever I find myself – as I believe Tom did.

On that note: God be with you ’til we meet again+