Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving:)!

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By: Fuguestateknits

Here in the U.S. of A., it is Thanksgiving. A day in which we spend time with family and/or friends, enjoy and exp

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ress gratitude for the blessings life has given us. And like many US families, mine spent it together, even with those we do not have home with us yet. Five of our six offspring and their respective Significant Others were here, along with five grandkids. Our son, Danny, is still in L.A., but called before he went out for the evening. We miss him and cannot wait until he is back with us in December. (Yay Christmas:)!)

I am also exhausted, probably because I am old. And out of shape:). The husband wonders what I’m doing quietly in the corner over here. Our eldest, her hubby and her three kids just left for home. Their Dad dropped them off before and we exchanged a lot of Thanksgiving pleasantries. That was nice. After dinner, we took a family picture of the attendees of our dinner/feast (a process that took awhile, due to a recalcitrant camera battery, but as soon as I get a copy, I will likely upload:)). Our Penultimate Offspring spent the greater part of yesterday and a good deal of today dealing with her stupid mother and baking five (yes FIVE) amazing pies and making delicious veggies for the meal

today. A good thing, because though I make the stuffing (dressing for my grandmother and those of you from the Southern US who make the distinction between that which is in the bird and that which is without) without touching any dead critters, there often is not enough for the three or so vegetarians among us to get their vitamins. Thank you, S!

OMG how can I forget the beautiful place settings put together by daughter D and granddaughter R with the beautiful picture for the centerpiece crafted by granddaughter M?

Offspring No. 3 also pitched in with an amazing array of grocery shopping and cleaning the seepage from a recalcitrant dead bird in the ‘fridge this morning, thus making it possible for yours truly to get said dead bird into the oven by late morning. Thanks B!

And “Pop”, who every year since 2008, breaks out his copy of the NY Times article on how to properly carve a turkey, did himself proud. There was food and leftovers for all. And plenty of beer and wine, just in case the former didn’t go well.

Thanksgiving is the one holiday for all Americans. It is not a religious holiday like Christmas, or Hanukkah, and it doesn’t require any particular food or tradition. The beauty of it is, your own ethnic traditions will do just fine, thank you very much. We are so far from the original Thanksgiving among the Pilgrims and the Native Americans who saved their hides, that anything really goes as far as food.

I asked my son-in-law to prepare the grace before tonight’s meal. Good natured soul that he is, he soldiered on and did a fine job of it – and this among a family of philosophies ranging from mainline Christianity to atheist. Well done you!

Whenever we celebrate Thanksgiving, I cannot help but think of all the Thanksgivings past, with loved ones who are no longer with us. When I was little, my parents took my brothers and me to our paternal grandparents’ home and when I was very very little, I remember Mammy, my maternal great grandmother, sitting quietly across from me, assiduously chewing her meal with few teeth in her mouth. She was so quiet and so fragile, and yet there she was, in a place of love and honor, as well she should have been! She lived with my grandparents when my Dad was a young teen until she died the year I turned five.

My grandparents are gone. So is my mother. Great Aunts and Uncles have also died. But their memories bring me so much joy. My grandfather was so close with his brother, my Uncle Dave. Their father had died when both were very young, leaving their mother to raise them. The plan was that Grandpa and Uncle Dave, both very bright (Grandfather skipped two grades in school and was encouraged to take the flute by a wonderful teacher who saw him playing with a fife) would go to college and then to medical school. Uncle Dave did just that. When it was Grandpa’s turn, the money ran out, so he used his incredible musical talents to play in the big bands of the time. There was a stint with Benny Goodman in New York. There were stories of Tommy Dorsey, and saving enough money during good gigs in the Depression to support himself, his wife and their two children after Grandfather was disabled in a fall from a stage scaffolding.

Uncle Dave, too, did his part. As a young doctor in PA, he never refused care to a union man or his family when there was a strike. There is a family story about him being pulled over many many years later by a police officer for speeding, somewhere outside of PIttsburgh. The officer, when he saw his license, would not issue a citation and instead waved him off. Uncle Dave had helped his family during the Depression.

After my grandfather died, my Dad found letters between him and his brother, Dave, about taking care of their mother’s care in her old age. Uncle Dave said he could cover it; he had the means. Grandfather said, no – she’s my mother too, dear brother. I will do my share.

I have big shoes to fill. Doubt I ever will, but I am grateful for each of them. I am grateful for my family. As they say in the Whiskeypalian Church: For what was, thanks be to God. For what is, thanks be to God. For what will be, thanks be to God. Just Thanks:)

God be with you ’til we meet again+

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In the home stretch -one sleeve to go on my granddaughter’s Lochalsh (Martin Storey) for Christmas. Then two more for two other grands to accomplish my goal of a sweater for each of my five grandkids for Christmas. #yarnalong

from Instagram: http://ift.tt/1O3djKd

Standard Time

Can it really be the last time I blogged was July 29th? That’s nuts! I suppose I don’t feel that I have much worthwhile to say.  Oh, occasionally I have Deep Thoughts, but they soon pass. I really can’t talk about work without telling someone else’s story – someone else who is entitled to his or her privacy – and besides which, I like my job and would like to keep on doing it.

Family stuff is similar – my offspring are adults each with their own right to privacy.  I am proud of each and every one of them – kids and grands alike – but their stories are theirs to tell. Or not.
I am left with me and maybe John.
Oh dear.
And my life has been pretty much the same cycle: Work gets busy, work slows down, music and other fun things I do follow the Xian church – and academic – year. Knitting is organized, CHAOTIC, then re-organized….. you get the picture.
I continue to be blessed with the same wonderful friends and colleagues and (TBTG!!) family members.
Deep Thoughts (Or IMHO)
So, I have been thinking about a number of things lately.  A random list would look like this (NOTE: these are my opinions based on my own recent experiences and research):
Politics
…are a source of grave embarrassment to this country in the world at large.

Donald Trump is a powerful, wealthy, sometimes crude, probably (ya think?) misogynist.

Benjamin Carson is a brilliant surgeon and an incredibly reckless politician.

Republicans in general are penny-wise and pound-foolish and have been in bed with the Religious Wrong for too long. Time for a divorce, or ferheavenssake at least a pre-nup!

I have no earthly idea of where I stand on gun control, but I do know we need to address the mental health problems in this country (see my first thought).

While we’re at it, let’s take the Affordable Care Act to the next level and have a single payor system and save a HEAP of money in the process.

Democrats need to grow a set.

Hillary Clinton is a lot smarter and more capable than the Repubs would have us believe, as she demonstrated in the Benghazi witchhunt hearings.

Bernie Sanders is kinda cool. I think he has at least 10 pairs of underpants and probably uses a washing machine, too.

My husband watches FoxNews’ The Five most weekday evenings.  I watch it with him, because he shouldn’t be alone at such times. But I won’t go there without adequate sustenance – at least a bottle of red.

Religion
I have been reading a lot of Frank Schaeffer’s books about his personal evolution from fundamentalist Christian to an “Atheist Who Believes in God.” He’s gotten me thinking. A lot.  I grew up in a “mixed marriage.” My mother was a Catholic who was looking to become an Episcopalian (a big deal in the early 60s) and my father has pretty much always been agnostic/atheist. After my mother’s death, subsequent stepmothers have had varying degrees of agnosticism/atheism. My husband is still Catholic, my adult kids are a mixed bag- some agnostic, some atheist, some believers. My brothers and sisters are pretty much all agnostic.  I don’t drill them on this topic on a regular basis, or come to think of it, at all at this point.  Sometimes the topic of faith comes up in conversation, more often not.  My kids know I’m involved in my church.  At one point one of them called it a “cult.” (The Episcopal Church, really????LOL!) Anyway, there is a lot that believers can learn from atheists.  Here are a few things:

If there is no God to piss off or no afterlife for which to strive, helping one’s fellow human beings is an unselfish act without hope of reward (well, except for having a better place to live and perhaps leaving this world better for one’s children).

If there is no afterlife for which we should strive, then we need to make this world better.

There may be an afterlife, but no God and vice versa.

People of faith – any faith – need to stop trying to make them believe.  It doesn’t work.  They are big boys and girls and that question is much too serious and important for anyone to take anyone else’s word for it.

People of faith need to start acting like good people now and then.  THAT might work!

What can atheists learn from believers?

We KNOW we are hypocrites! Why the heck do you think we feel we NEED to go to church?

We struggle with faith on a regular basis.  Some days, we’re just as much an atheist or agnostic as you are!

We don’t need you to believe as we do in order to believe as we do.

Sometimes we have outdated, childish views of God, but we still believe in Her. 

Sometimes we are motivated by fear, rational and irrational, not a good thing.

Assuming we are people of good will, we all want to make the world a better place for the same reasons you do.

Some of us really do love it when you challenge our beliefs. It makes us think.  And you know how dangerous that can be!

We are not all homophobic, misogynistic, repressive, or humorless. In days gone by, people of faith may have been horrible by today’s standards.  So were the people who didn’t have faith.

Random

I had a job in the summers and after school as an assistant to a local veterinarian when I was in high school.  I often saw my friends or their parents come in with a pet for various reasons.  I learned more about my friends and their families, seeing them with their animals, especially if their pet was in some sort of health crisis. 99.9 percent of the time, I held them in even higher regard after that.

And in other news….
Choir and Bells and all manner of musical meanderings start back up in the Fall.  As with every year, for that I am extremely grateful.  Nancy remains our organist/choirmaster/music director and she does a fine job of course:). We are going to be doing our usual Sunday/Thanksgiving/Christmas things and in addition, we are going to be singing at the Baltimore Cathedral for an Evensong service next week. Those of you not from this vicinity may not have read of the tragic incident last December when the Suffragan* Bishop was driving, under the influence, texting and possibly under the influence of something else.  She hit a cyclist – a young husband and father – and then compounded her crimes by leaving the scene of the accident. She is now serving a seven-year sentence. The family are serving a life sentence – a horrible tragedy and one that could have possibly been avoided.  So…. we have a new temporary Suffragan Bishop who will be installed next Sunday.  Three choirs will be joining forces and singing at that service. I think the Powers that Be would like to keep it a nice, quiet service. I think.  Not sure.  I am not Privy to Such Things…. nor do I care to be.

*fancy word for “assistant”

This year – this month actually – John hits 65!! (Shhhh, let’s keep it between us, OK?) So we will be going away to see what trouble we can get into that Sunday and Monday.  A colleague is covering my cases and we can then take our time coming back to see what trouble the other inhabitants of our house have gotten into (nah.. you know you’received old when the offspring are too old for that!)

I have also for the first time in a while, requested and got approval for taking the week between Christmas and New Year’s off. I’m not going anywhere special (unless you are one of my clients, in which case, I am out of town;)). I am hoping it will be a good time to catch up on “stuff” and to see where I want to go/do/become in the new year.

FINALLY!!! KNITTING!


Well let’s see, since July – OMG yes I have been knitting.  Arguably some weeks more than others. To start with, I scored a lot of really cool yarn at the yarn swap toward the end of September.  I got rid of a lot of stuff I won’t be using any time soon. I also got some alpaca fiber! I have to take an afternoon to clean it up and then figure out how/when I’m going to spin it on the spindle.  Exciting stuff.

The goal of 5 grandkid sweaters by Christmas is looking do-able, that is if I keep my eye on the prize, LOL! So far, I have two complete sweaters, one with only a sleeve and finishing to do, one with the back done (but it may need to be frogged and redone in a larger size, LOL) and one I haven’t started.  They are kid-sized and the two biggest ones are finished or close to finish, so I am optimistic.

 IF (and that’s a big if) I get those done, I’d love to get a few more projects done:

 Kate Davies’ A Hap for Harriet has been languishing, but it would be a fabulous color for my first-born.

This Ashby I really think would be nice on…ME:)

 This is Wendy D. Johnson’s Leftovers Cowl – or at least my experimental version of it.  I have bought and also received through the yarn swap, balls of Jamieson and Smith’s fingering weight shetland wool.  It is a joy to work with. This and the hap shawl above are the first times I have worked with this wool. And I’ve been knitting for over 50 years now (I can see Meg Swansen shaking her head….)

 Dryad, still growing s.l.o.w.l.y……

And here is another one that’s been languishing! Sorry Danny!

 Meg Swansen’s Saddle Shoulder cabled cardigan. Yarn is Briggs and Little Regal, also from schoolhousepress.com  This picture is about a third less than my progress thus far.So of course, with almost 50 projects on the needles, I’ve got to cast on yet another one.  Thanks, Bonne Marie Burns, a/k/a Chic Knits!:)

Again, I’m further along with this than just picking out the yarn.  More pics as I get moving.

I do have a couple of finished shawls.  One, the Edinburgh Festival Shawl:

And the other, the Madcap shawl, which incorporates the Yellow shawl and is a mashup of various stitch patterns:

This was a birthday gift for a dear colleague and friend and a fellow former Heartly House attorney:), Kathleen.

Oh, and here’s a question for you all, what can one do with this bit of loveliness? Any ideas? It’s Zooey from Juniper Moon Farm in a nice cream-ish tone of white.

Recently, my alma mater, Middlebury College in Vermont, had its homecoming.  As a kindness to those of us who never couldn’t make it, the college sent a bunch of beautiful Vermont fall pics for the “leaf-peepers” among us. I am an unashamed leaf peeper and will always be one.  The picture below is reason among many why I live in the northeast (well, central Atlantic) US.

Well, life beckons.  Have a good one yourself, and God be with you til we meet again+