Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Finding Peace

Not feeling great, I'm in the need of some inner peace these days.  There have been some slight detours in the usual path and more to come. In the Art of Racing in the Rain, the dog Enzo referes to the statement, "That which you manifest is before you." 
So, I make a new batch of bread dough.

I wind this lovely yarn to cast on this for a bit of selfish knitting in the midst of holiday knitting

I finish one and start the other

Listening and loving The Avett Brothers

I light a candle

I finish some gifts but of course am not posting as the receivers are readers

I bake some cookies for my girls as that is what I do when I go to visit them

I love up my pups

And the evening is finished with dinner of spaghetti squash, bread, a pint of stout, the last of Danny Ocean and gang, and of course a cookie or two

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


Last night, Audrey was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, an Honors Society for two year colleges.  Of course we made the trip to see the ceremony.  We don't miss these things, things, as this is the norm for us.  Our children are achievers.  I don't mean this in a boastful way, though I am proud.  Our children have been raised in communities, school, spiritual, and home, that lift, support and encourage achievement.  Not everyone has that kind of support and encouragement.  Audrey was a minority last night, in her race, in her age, and possibly in her ease of achievement, though that one I don't know.  Somewhat disorganized, typically boring yet not without that anxiety, excitement and pleasure that comes from being called by name, the ceremony started.  After about 30 minutes, two older women showed up, so they stopped the ceremony, read their names, allowed them to walk across the stage, then continued.  I was a bit irritated at the lack of puntuality,  but I realized that might not be it, especially when a gentleman appeared at the very end and the same thing occurred.  Some of these people come from completely different backgrounds, unable to take off work, or have families requiring care, or lacking support from family and community, or college is a luxury rather than expected.  What was apparent, regardless, was the honor of this achievement, the desire to be recognized, the respect of oneself and the respect of others in this achievement.  So I cheered loudly for my daughter when her name was called and for every other name called that evening.

Isn't she something?  That Audrey.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Refresh, Restart, Reload

Somewhere along the way, I lost the desire?, ability?, need? to write about the everyday, the ordinary, the mundane and focused on the extraordiary or didn't focus at all.  Today I refresh the screen, reload it and restart my journaling.  I am longing to stay in today, with endless cups of lemon ginger tea, sweats, Oceans 11, 12 and 13 and my knitting.  Walking the dogs was not a pleasant task in horizontal rain and wind that pushes, add to that a dog that is terrified of wind and won't do her duties for what seems a terminable long time.  Agonizing over what to wear to my knitting luncheon as jeans was not an option after last year, and feeling lumpy, I called Li'l Sis, ready to stay home and watch endless George Clooney and drink endless cuppas.  She advised go funky, can't go wrong and so here I am funky, still lumpy but feeling much better about it.  This might take a while to get back into practice.
My Boggs rain boots, brown cotton jersey skirt, long sleeve cotton t, my cool belt from Dad, and the shrug I knit. 

And, no, my room is not messy, just clean clothes and shoes in the frantic pursuit of fashion or funk.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Rock the Monkey

Ta da!  The monkey socks.  This photo is terrible but they are outside blocking on the deck in the shade.  I loved this pattern!  It was so easy to follow, easy to memorize (at least on the second sock) and so pretty (though you would no know from this photo. ugh.)  The yarn is a bit crazy but you will never lose your socks.  I wanted these for myself but alas, I was to eager to start the toe and said, oh yes, they will fit perfect.  Well, no they don't and it would bug me to no end if I were to wear them.  So off they go, into the gift pile.  Who will get them, I wonder?  Those of you in my family who read, please be surprised if you are the lucky recipient.  And know that you are extremely lucky because, dammit Jim, I wanted these for my very own!

Monday, November 08, 2010

I Like Days Like This

I woke early, I'm sure because of the time change.  I had my coffee, walked the dogs, checked my email, and even managed to get in a video Pilates class all before breakfast.   Off to work, where I was hugged and thanked for being a blessing to someone.  Paid the bills, made appointments, and did the banking.  I sat in the parking lot talking to my sister.  Errands completed, socks for the month done, and a fantastic dinner.  I wonder what tomorrow will hold.

Saturday, November 06, 2010


I long for a retreat.  In the past, I've staffed youth camps and women's art retreats but never have been the recipient or at least not in a decade or more.  My Aunt has gone to Italy and Wyoming to knit.  With my job, I see numerous groups come through and bond.  Some of them just sit on the porch in the rockers and visit, some laugh till they cry in their small group time, some sing praises of joy, and some just sit with one another on the beach, quietly supporting one another.  Right now there is a group of women at the center, crafting.  They invited me to join them but I felt intrusive.  It's not my group and I had work to do.  So I vowed to retreat at home, luckily Mark Wahlberg was available for a short period of time.  He was tough as shit while I knitted my socks although I did see him cry.  This retreat has a hot tub too, clothing optional.  While this is not exactly the retreat I envision, it serves its purpose while I make decisions on where my retreat will be, with whom, and what kind of focus.  Oh, my sock and my recliner are both calling me.

Friday, November 05, 2010

For This Day

I am grateful. 

My BFFL aka Peach writes down her praises on a cheap steno pad, every morning.  I miss her crazy, loving, physical, presence in my life on a daily basis.

I am grateful for a safe journey home.  I am grateful for the arms of My Handsome Prince, open when I arrived.  I am grateful for the time I spent with my daughers, no matter how brief.  I am grateful for my sister, her beauty leaves me breathless sometimes, and of course, no one can make me laugh like she can.  I am grateful for the ability to please my Maminka with the gift of service and just sitting around with family for she said today was her perfect day.  I am grateful for the reminder that a perfect day does not need to be spectacular just full of those you love.  I am grateful for my Father and his devotion to two families, visiting us while shuttling other grandchildren around.   And that was my day today.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Fun With Czechs

We started out a little rough.  They did not know how delighted I was to finally have them here, how much I was looking forward to working with them, learning from them, experiencing things with them.  They were not able to know these things for several weeks.  Midway through their time here and our season, the bonding and healing began.
We went to Cape Henlopen, one of my favorite places.  We explored the Great Sand Dune/Spur, climbed the Observation Tower, and visited the Nature Center.

I taught them the fine art of eating steamed crabs.
I sent them down the Assawoman Canal armed with only paddles and vague directions and panicked the whole time.
We went to the occasional happy hour at Mangos.

They shared Czech specialties with me.

We played Rockband and my heart was filled with gladness as I went to bed listening to rock songs sung with a Czech accent

We walked the beaches and trails of Assateague Island and were amazed at the appearance and boldness of the ponies ("Quick!  roll up the windows girls!").

We spent hours exploring the nature and history of Harpers Ferry.

and we ended the day sitting on the screen porch of Auntie and Uncles, drinking numerous bottles of wine, telling stories, and finally listening to Uncle read his journal entry of the day he heard Vaclav Havel speak, the girls fascinated.

We tasted delicious wine.

The showed their school spirit at Shepherd University and met up with a friend at Univeristy of Maryland on a separate trip.
More Czech specialties with a bit of help from Auntie on weight vs volume.

In the midst of cooking for 40 some odd people, the made a separate anniversary dinner for me and My Handsome Prince (we didn't eat stuffed shells after all).

We went to Baltimore where we met up with my girls and toured the Aquarium.

Through the kindness of people in the Christian Church Capital Area, they managed to get a ride to Washington DC from a couple who have daughters their age and treated them as such also.  They received lodging and transportation from another woman, tickets to various attractions and tours from others.

This is only what we did in our time off.  Everyday we broke bread together.  Everyday we worked together.  Everyday we communicated with patience, respect, interest and kindness.  When not working together, we even sat out back of the house they lived in, silently, in the sun, comfortable with each other.  And then all too soon it was over.
We toasted one another one more time, this time at Li'l Sis's house, where once more they were welcomed as family and cared for.

As I left them at Ft. McHenry our last time together, I hugged them all and said goodbye, told them that I would miss them, and shooed them off to start their day.  After they left, I sat in my car and cried.  I cried for our rough beginning, for their rough beginning, remorseful.  I cried for the wonderful time we had together.  I cried for they enhanced my life and  I will miss them. I cried for joy at the fact that my season was over for their leaving signified a job well done.  I have tentative plans to visit the Czech Republic in October 2011.  I have many friends there now.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Twenty Five Whys

In Celebration and Recognition of 25 years

  1. The sound of your voice, still soothing
  2. The way we laugh at the very same thing without really saying it out loud
  3. Emma
  4. Audrey
  5. Eating stuffed shells on our anniversary even though we've eaten them all season, you'll still eat them again
  6. Mutual love of good music, even when my "thing" isn't quite your "thing"
  7. Appreciation of good beer
  8. You follow the rule of last one out of bed makes the bed
  9. The way you look at me sometimes with admiration, respect and desire
  10. Your resiliency
  11. Devotion to family
  12. Your encouragement and confidence in me whether it be taking on a new job, going to school, knitting or dreadlocks
  13. The way you age, so handsomely
  14. Your ability, ease and patience to talk with just about anybody, especially now with the numerous people with whom we come in contact
  15. Your creativity and tolerance for my creative mess
  16. Constant communication with texts, emails, and phone calls
  17. The way you smell the back of my neck
  18. Your morning hugs
  19. The way we hold hands still, with each other and our children
  20. How we go to bed every night at the same time 90% of the time (my falling asleep to a movie does not count)
  21. Your faithfulness and servitude to God and your country
  22. You take care of yourself
  23. You take care of us
  24. Your pool entry technique which is just one example of enjoying life
  25. Your sensitivity and reaction to things that touch you
This is just a sampling of the reasons I love My Handsome Prince.   Happy Anniversary.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Dear Mr. Anders Osborne

I can't wait to see you.  It's been too long, my friend.  And now you are coming to my Thursday night hangout, on a thursday!  You rock so I knit.  You never fail to deliver just what is necessary, so with this simple hat, I hope to do the same.  While I knit I give back all the energy, inspiration, healing, praise, joy, stories of the human spirit, and redemption from heartache and sorrow, that your music reveals to me (and a little dog hair, sorry).  I knit hoping that if and when you wear this hat, the knowledge of how your music touches souls warms your soul.  I know a wool hat is probably the last thing you need living in New Orleans but it will keep you warm as you travel to colder climates.  I'm sure you will look equally as handsome wearing this hat as my husband did modelling it for me.  Enjoy!  Rock on.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I Have Been Blessed

I had the good fortune to be born in the United States of middle class parents.  I had the good fortune to marry well and raise a family with minimal difficulties.  I have the good fortune to have friends in various places.  I have the good fortune to have the choice to work or not. These are just circumstances, that is not what I am thinking about.

I took a job a year ago, one I was uncertain about.  It was a huge step outside my comfort zone.  It was full of stress, tears, sleeplessness, isolation, guilt.  I rarely saw my family.  Yet, in the end, the people and things I experienced, it was more than worth it.  I won't reiterate what happened last year only what occurred on Sunday. 

We hosted a young adult group of Koreans.  They are a very worshipful group, a respectful group, an easy and difficult group (like they all are).  The weekend almost over, me counting down the meals, down to the last, a young woman asks me to bring out my staff.  They wanted to pray over us.  And in that same room where three years ago I had hands layed upon me by those I knew, loved, counseled, counseled by, I again had hands layed upon me by strangers.  All of them saying their own prayers, whispers, praises, wishes. 

And again, I came out renewed by the Spirit.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

On the Agenda

It is Tuesday and I am going to the Rehoboth Farmers Market.  I went last week.  My Sister, Sam, and Dad met Audrey, who was visiting for the week, and me there.  It was a delightful day and a wonderful market.  I did not join a CSA this year as pick was too difficult and I didn't use the stuff.  So Farmers Market it is.  That is on todays agenda.

I want to make Papusas and slaw.  Today?  Maybe.

I want to ride.  It's so dang hot, but the crowds have left and it is safer if I ride now.

I want to catch up on my knitting.  I am currently in the process of the second mitten of two different mittens, a ballband dishcloth, and my hourglass sweater.  I need a summer project rather than these heavy winter items.

My one morning of solitude during the week.  The washing machine is going, the living room is straightened, the kitchen is on its way.  The day has started early, thanks to the dogs, so I have a chance.  A chance of accomplishing things, both chores and pastimes. 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Look Who Came Out to Play Today

I'd forgotten how wonderful she is, how smooth, how fast, how sleek.  We are both ready for some serious time together this season.  Whoa Black Betty, bam-a-lam!

Poor thing does need a bath.

Random Thoughts

The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival starts tomorrow.  I want to go so bad I can feel it from my head to my toes.  I spend my days listening to Galactic, Anders Osborne, Eric Lindell,  Bonerama, Glenn David Andrews, and compilations of various New Orleans artists.  I want to:
  • Be revived at the Gospel Tent

  • See Old Crow at the Fais do do
  • Watch my friend Anders give good face (I listen to him so much I consider him my friend)
  • Eat a simple Po' boy
  • Dance, dance, dance

            • Smell sweat, sunscreen and stale beer
            • Hear "somebody scream y'all"
            • Revel in the street scene

            • Buy a belt buckle, though I have a great one, I still long for the one that said "I like everyone" on the front and "except you" on the inside where no one else could see (yes, there are times)
            • Find that new artist that rocks my socks who I will listen to all year
            • Really learn to two step to zydeco
            • Rockin' horns
            • Oh to be a Festin' Dawlin' again
            I will go next year.  There is no doubt.  Ozomatli will have to cure some of my aches.  They are coming to Baltimore on Tuesday and we will cross the bridge. 

            Photos from last years journey.

            Tuesday, April 20, 2010

            A Perfect Day

            Yesterday was a perfect day.  Everyone woke leisurely without sleeping the day away.  We had egg sandwiches.  Who doesn't love an egg sandwich?  We took the dogs for a walk.  Then we went to the beach. 

            It was sunny, breezy, warm and lovely on the beach.  Apple Sunshine ran all over the place,

            the girls played dominos and snoozed,

            My Handsome Prince snoozed and read,

            I read and knit.   I am working on an Anthropologie Inspired Capelet for Audrey and started reading The Help.

            After a few hours it was time to go home.  Shrimp salad sandwiches for an early dinner/late lunch, the girls packed up and headed back to Baltimore,  a great Zumba class for me, end it with a pint of 90 minute IPA, a dip in the hot tub and Jack Bauer.  Tuesday can not even compete with Monday.

            Thursday, April 15, 2010

            I've Got Friends In All The Right Places

            As usual, I struggle with balance.  Finding the balance of making our place here on the eastern shore and crossing the bridge to be with those we know and love.  Easter was especially hard as we chose to go camping, without our girls, with new friends.  I was saddened yet joyful when I received the annual photo of the cousins. 

            Over the past few weeks, though.  I realize there is some balance being achieved.  We've had a revolving door of visitors, coming out for various spring breaks despite the unpredictable weather.  They were coming out to see us.  Monday evening, upon entering the gym after an absence of a week or so, I was greeted by name by several.  I now have a gym community, which of course inspires me to go.  Tuesday, I was sought out by a local friend, who came into the Conference Center to visit and who consequently bought and brought me coneflowers.  Yesterday a new friend came from Salisbury to sit and knit in my office amidst phone calls and guiding visitors and I received a signed autographed copy of this book.

            I have friends here and there and in all the right places.  Right where they are supposed to be.

            Tuesday, April 13, 2010

            List #1

            Things that will keep me sane this season
            • Cardio - a must
            • Monthly massage
            • Social knitting
            • Stay in contact with family and friends, new and old, near and far, they are my support
            • Thursday nights with My Handsome Prince
            • Hire a cook
            • One day off a week, at least
            • Go to the beach
            I'll add to this list as time goes on.  I consumed myself with work last season.  This season has already started out differently so if I concentrate on balance, all will be well.

            Thursday, April 08, 2010

            Disrupted Rhythym

            Already there is a rhythym to our days.  Our days together and my days alone.  It is much quieter and we don't always fill it with talk.  Evenings, we settle in, each in our own space.  There are certain things that happen every day, such as long walks with the dogs, laundry, and knitting.  There are certain things that happen every week, out for dinner or a beer, church.  We are adjusting and it is good.

            Our little bit of rhythym was disrupted.  Our girls came Friday, bursting through the door with tight and extra long embraces, an extra dog, bearing birthday gifts from my family and a pan of cinnamon rolls which went promptly in the oven.  The next morning we awoke to the beginnings of a snow storm.  We walked to breakfast at the local cafe

            We played Rockband

            We snoozed

            We lived as family.  And just as quickly, they left. We shovelled snow, we made a small dinner, and back to our spaces with a movie, me knitting, him with the dogs.

            Friday, March 19, 2010

            In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

            Isn't that the saying for March?  Today it is like a lamb.  Today I have or will do:
            eat a bowl of homemade granola
            walk the dogs and visit their canine friends
            soak in the hot tub
            go to work and investigate what needs to be done to open up for the season
            take a walk on the beach
            send my maui janes to be repaired
            buy a case of wine at 20% off
            find old knitting flyers in bethany that need to come down
            pick up new knitting flyers at serendipity
            hit the gym,do I dare start the P90X program? I am truly intimidated
            wash the dishes for they've been sitting there for a day
            meet a friend for dinner and talk....knitting
            enjoy the glorious, much needed sunshine

            Friday, March 12, 2010

            A Good Day

            I had some things to do across the bridge.  I'm trying to limit the business type trips and change all that stuff to this side.  But a Doctor's appointment was necessary.  So...... I met Emma for lunch
            I met Mom and Rachel and 'bino for social knitting, where there was way more socializing being done than knitting
            A self portrait

            An emergency phone call from Audrey concerning a school project resulting in a meeting to figure some things out.  She is making a Carnival outfit out of totally recycled items, no sewing involved.  Such a clever kid.

            On my way home I realized my Dad was in Lansdowne for Lenten dinner and worship, right off the beltway, right on my way home.  So I stopped in.  I got to see my whole fam damily, well except Auntie and Uncle.  Hmmmmm.

            Sunday, February 28, 2010

            Alabama Stitch

            A laundry basket full of old t shirts, both Alabama Stitch books, an hour sorting through to determine the project and the colors, and I have the makings for my first bandana.    I wonder if I can get four of these done by mid June for my lovely Czech girls to wear in the kitchen.  Although I have tons of t shirts, this really does take two extra large shrits so I might be taking a trip to the thrift store this week as a lot of my shirts are kids, perfect for my rugs.

            Tuesday, February 23, 2010

            Mindful Knitting

            My heart aches and so I knit.  I knit a birthday present for my oldest.  Into the gift I knit the wish that she has the knowledge and comfort of knowing she is not alone and that she is loved.  I knit the wish that she forgive those who hurt her even though they choose not to forgive her for her wrongs. I knit the desire for healthy, mature relationships and growth. I knit for kindness, compassion, and understanding, that they be qualities she practice and that they be reflected back onto her. I knit happiness and sparkle into the garment with the hope that she will shine when she wears it.  And I knit my embrace into it, that my arms always be enveloped around her while she wears it with the hopes that she embrace what life gives her.  I also knit for myself.  The repetitive knit pearl rib allows me to also pray for patience and the ability to be Confidant and Mother.  I also knit to forgive, for I think a Mother's forgiveness is more difficult to come by.  I am quick to defend and slow to forgive so I knit for understanding and love, that it be granted to me, to her father, to her sister, to her, and to others.

            Sunday, February 21, 2010


            Today, the dogs and I took a before breakfast walk.  A long one and the first one in a long time.  Since the big snow.   The sun was shining, temperatures were rising, and things were thawing.  It felt good.  I was not the only one who felt this way.   Honey was having more fun than she would chasing a squirrel.  There was a gentleman outside who went out of his way to say good morning and chat about the weather.  I'm glad it's over, hopefully, but can't help think fondly on it also.  So I leave these as evidence of the time passed when it snowed in a place that doesn't get much snow.
            Luckily, the girls arrived the evening before the first snow, so we woke to the dusting and went to breakfast.
            There was much snuggling
            and snoozing

             a project started, the gutting of the bathroom

            A Beatles Rockband tour
            Puppy love

            Difficulties finding a spot, so a spot was made
            And more snoozing after all the shovelling. 
            Snow on the beach. 
            The girls were able to make their way home safely and we were done, until the next forecast was made.

            In preparation of the next storm, recipe courtesy of Pioneer Woman
            Shift sleeping and an unmade bed for a week.  The National Guard was called into duty and My Handsome Prince worked nights and slept days (while I shovelled)

            I alternated my time between sewing, knitting, cooking and shovelling.  The Wurm hat I made to keep my head warm and prevent my head from looking lumpy while wearing a hat.
            The lounge pants I made from fabric and trim I had.  I figured if I was going to stay inside for a week, I'd make some comfy cool pants.  Because of the pans of cinnamon rolls and other cooking and baking, I couldn't get my fat arse into them and they became Audrey's, who said they were cute and dorky.  Cool, dorky, same thing right?

            Use what you have cooking, diced tomatoes, italian sausage, pasta, cheese, and wine, along with the Artisan bread dough in the fridge.  It pays to have that dough constantly going in the fridge.
            I love almond flavoring and made this cake.  Glaze not necessary.
            And more snow
            By the time storm three hit, forget it.  I did not take any photos except this one
            Let us out!!