Saturday, December 31, 2011

The List

Things I've been thinking about.
  • 12 sweaters in 2012 which include one for each of my daughters and one for my husband and all the rest selfishly mine, although a gift sweater or two in there is not unreasonable
  • A pair of socks a month
  • Christmas gift knitting, start early, like May, well at least with one or two items
Photography projects
  • In the Hood
  • Better Days
  • Project 365 - yup, attempting again, what is this number 4? A new camera does this you know
  • Physical albums and online albums organized
  • Alabama Stitch skirt
  • Oh Happy Day Banner
  • Start sewing my way through the Design Your Own Clothes book by Cal Patch
  • Cushions for sofa
Self  - Physical
  • Shed some weight, not putting a number on this
  • Continue walking the dog 2 miles 5 days a week off season, in season too?
  • Practice and learn Yoga with intention
  • Ride 2x a week (right now at 1x a week so 2x is a reasonable goal), possibly do the Salisbury Century
  • Regular massages
  • Dermatologist
  • Dentist
  • Insanity might be too insane but at least try it
Self improvement - mind/spirit
  • Get certified - either PT or Group Fitness - should not be that difficult
  • Take college class or two
  • Go back to rug school in Cape May
  • Meditate - goes along with the Yoga and intention above
  • Read/listen to poetry
  • Write what I know'
  • Sunset on the bay
  • Tackle the kitchen - needs paint, tile, but how much more after that?
  • Reupholster couch in living room - already have fabric for cushions - check out Happy Chairs
  • Learn household finances
  • Locate and update wills
  • Check and update passport if necessary
  • Garages - yeah right
  • Garage gym
  • Input all backlogged finances
  • Make a What's cooking today board
  • Make a Prayer bulletin board
  • Contemplate, pray and work within reason - not sure what I really mean with this just know that I need a new attitude
  • Around deck needs to be weeded, planted and mulched REAL GOOD
  • Plant sunflowers on the side of the house again
  • Stabilize and straighten antique sink and plant around
  • Fig tree in a pot
  • Clothesline
  • Sandy fire pit area
  • Build one raised bed
  • Large tropical plants for corners of the pool
  • Large umbrella for corner of pool
  • Take time for a getaway with my husband
  • Take time for a getaway with my family
  • Continue fun weekends with the girls and their boys
  • Baltimore once a month to visit someone
  • Vito and Kerry over for dinner and games
  • Genny and Dave over for dinner and games
  • Teach my daughters to drive a manual transmission
  • Take my Jeep onto the beach
  • Sundays at Herring Point once in a while

This list will continue to grow and grow and grow.  It's just things that come to mind, some may materialize and others will obviously not.  While not a stranger to lists, The Thrifty Knitter makes an Uber list every year.  I'm taking notes.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Learning to Ride

I talked to my Uncle a month or so ago.  Whenever I talk to him he asks me if I am riding and always seems a bit surprised,  maybe even disappointed when I answer no.  He rides all the time, seriously.  Like 90% of the days of the year.  In the mid west.  He's 70ish.  What's my excuse?

I used to ride. a lot. I loved to ride, to watch, to smell, to listen.  I had my favorite rides that I knew how to lengthen when I felt strong or shorten when felt tired or weak.  I loved to climb, yes I did, because I knew I could coast downhill and rest.  I was slim and strong.

I'm not sure what has been holding me back, a fear of some sort.  So today, even when the wind almost whipped the storm door out of my hands, rather than go inside, I stepped out of that fear, that zone.  I rode and laughed and cussed at the wind.

I'm learning to love to ride again.  I am learning the less traveled paths, sans dogs and that don't dead end into a body of water.  I'm learning to ride in colder weather because that is the time I have.  I'm learning to love the wind as it challenges me, strengthens me. And of course I love that wind as it pushes me home.  I love to cross the water, it never ceases to amaze me and bring me peace.  I love the smell of scrub pines.  Yes, I'm learning to love to ride again but I will never, ever, ever love the smell of chicken farms.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Coolness Factor

I straddle the line between coolness and dorkdom.   I know there have been times when I have made people (myself) cringe with something stupid.  Most of the time, though, I am not aware nor do I care.  My Handsome Price bought me a Jeep Wrangler as a surprise.  He bought it because I had been talking about having one, an old one, for taking out on the beach, learning to surf fish.  He bought it because he said I don't allow myself these things.  Well, it is a cool, 2008 Jeep Wrangler with power windows, power door locks, great sound system, a tow hitch and can be totally broken down and open for the summer.  Way cool.  But even cooler is I am now part of that Jeep society that waves at each other, just a couple fingers or a light hand off the steering wheel.   The first couple times I received the wave I went into dorkdom.  I didn't realize what it was then, belatedly stuck my arm way out for the wave, big and strong.  I'm sure I made those Jeep owners cringe. They definitely knew I was a new owner.  Now I'm cool.  Just a raise of a few fingers, a nod and I keep going but inside I'm screaming "yeah, I'm cool, I'm driving a Jeep" and laughing the whole time.  It's a Jeep Thing.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


  • To flexibility
  • To the family that Zumbas together
  • To lovely little children
  • To family, Czechs and crabs
  • To flexibility
  • To sand sastles
  • To making lists
  • To Soul Rebels
  • To lovley adult children
  • To potato soup
  • To flexibility
  • To Sissys
  • To Family Camp
  • To Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls
  • To noise and chaos
  • To local breweries
  • To chocolate stout ice cream floats
  • To outdoor showers
  • To Czech specialties
  • To fun in the kitchen
  • To vacations and family reunions beginning and ending
  • Did I mention flexibility?

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Practicing My Purpose

I've struggled this season about my job.  I've had a good season.  It started well, continued well, and don't foresee any major issues, as opposed to the last two seasons (which were challenging beyond reason on retrospection).  My struggle comes from sacrifice.  I miss my girls, being there for them, assisting them.  I miss my husband and our social life. I miss the rest of my family and the guests who visit my home.  I miss kayaking, biking, vacationing, knitting guild, friends and basically a normal life.  I miss being selfish.

This week I had 67 guests, 54 teenagers.  During the week I received via email this video from my friend, my former minister, and guest of the Conference Center

with the reminder to keep "practicing my purpose".  Today those 67 guests were leaving.  At breakfast I left the main building where our meals are served.  As I walked back towards the building, I notice the teens were all sitting quietly, getting their cleaning instructions from their counselors or so I assumed.  As I tried to enter the room discreetly, they all stood, clapping loud and long.  I received a standing ovation.  And once again, a group of teenagers touch my life so incredibly, so closely, that there is no ignoring the purpose.  And so my struggles are quiet for the moment.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Enjoy Your Meal

This is what we say to one another at every meal.  We eat all our meals together as staff with the guests of the Conference Center.  For guests, meals are a time of conversing with one another, playing various table games, such as the cup game, elbows on the table, or the order of the fork.  For Czechs, it is a time of silence to concentrate on the meal in front of you.  Breakfast is the worst for me, after two or more cups of coffee, to keep silent.  I try to honor their tradition and they tell me no!  We are in America!

The other day I was honored to be invited to lunch at their home, next to the Tabernacle, for a typical Czech meal.  I entered the Scott House which serves as the staff house to the smell of garlic and foreign music, Bara singing along, happy in her role as hostess.  The boys came down, both remarking on a huge inhale "smells like home".

We are family for the summer.

We stuffed ourselves on garlic soup, some fried dough, and the only Czech name I remember Knedlicky (blueberry).  It was delicious.  It was wonderful.  It was hearwarming.  And I was silent expect for the moaning.

Just about everyday we comment on our favorite meals as we prepare the same things over and over and over and over again.  For the record, my favorites are:
Breakfast - french toast
Lunch - italian sandwiches and caesar salad
Dinner - chicken fajitas, rice and corn pudding

But to eat Czech specialties....there is no comparison.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Mowing Meditations

  • Dang!  I'm already tired of this.
  • Wish I could get the hang of the zero turn
  • How many calories does this burn, I wonder?
  • Stand tall, chest open, shoulders back and down, pelvis in, crown of head reaching toward the sky
  • I hope Honey hasn't escaped the back deck
  • I'm really thirsty
  • Dammit Jim!  Forgot the sunscreen.
  • Should I go get 10 bags of mulch when I'm done mowing?
  • I love to knit - that baby sweater is going to be so cute!
  • Should I mow Jimmy Stewarts lawn?
  • This is our little spot on this earth, take joy in taking care of it
  • What's for dinner?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tuesday Haiku

A cup of coffee
then off to work I go
While Honey stands guard

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Walking on Sunshine

This makes me incredibly happy these days.  It was Easter weekend with our girls, their boys and their dogs, My Handsome Prince and his cool ride

Other items on the list today
  • The truck being street legal
  • A clean, well stocked kitchen
  • Opening day of the Farmer's Market
  • Glenn, from the CSA, who didn't recognize me at first, called me back and wanted to touch my hair
  • Seeing a friend from DFH while driving with a smile so big and a wave so huge he hung out of the car to do it
  • Coming home to a manicured lawn courtesy of my two wonderful neighbors
  • Izze Clementine soda
  • The promise of watching Glee while knitting mittens from leftover bits of yarn that are turning out so cool
  • Returning to the blogging world

The Long Road

We left mid afternoon on Saturday to drive to Martinsburg WV to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of Auntie and Uncle.  We had just made the trip across the bridge 48 hours earlier for MHP's follow up at Hopkins.  These drives are long, mostly pleasant, allowing us to listen to good music, good programs, or have interesting, sometimes heated, conversation.  We discussed what our T-shirts would say (did you watch Glee?) and talked about the party we were attending, looking forward.  The party was a grand affair, good food, good drinks, lots of conversation, nostalgic and fun, for Auntie and Uncle are fun people.  On the long road home, we had the girls with us, we were laughing and joking, talking about the evening, revelling in the good time and in family.  And then Audrey asked quietly "Daddy, do you ever get mad?"  So quietly, it had to be asked again or maybe it wasn't understood the first time, but it was clear the second.  And we all listened to his answer.  How he is frustrated in being told what to do or what he can't do, how not knowing whether this was his last surgery or not, or realizing that most likely it was not, or how the cancer will or will not spread.  Yet he remains positive, hopeful, resting all in the caring hands of a young Doctor who lights up when he sees him and calls him Buddy, enjoying life the way he knows how, all of us knowing it's a long road, yet taking that long road, willingly for there is joy along the way.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Savoring and Anticipating

I try to be in the moment as a whole but I can not help but savor the past few days with Li'l Sis
  • Pizza, cask and debut Thursday at DFH
  • Long walks in the 'hood with the pups
  • Thrifting and scoring at Dave's Surplus
  • A visit to the local knit shop and fondling yarn and laughing about projects with the cute owner
  • Walking along Herring Point with the dogs
  • Roberto at the Italian Deli and our delicious hand picked antipasto platter
After she left
  • enjoying my new chair in my knitting corner
  • Mama Mia and our surround system
  • breakfast with old friends who were in the area
  • brewing beer with new friends with the promise of bottling in two weeks
Anticipating this week
  • dinner out with new friends
  • company over for dinner
  • a birthday party at the pub
  • charity sewing
  • a massage
  • a visit from one of my girls
  • farkle with my mentee
  • a walk to The Clayton to see The Kings Speech
Sounds good, doesn't it?

Monday, February 07, 2011


Okay, I must admit it, I am proud of myself.  Today was the beginning of week 3 of exercising.  I joined a new gym and their New Year's challenge.  It took me two weeks before I was motivated enough to really attempt anything.  My routine consists of 3 days strength training, Zumba whenever I can (usually 2x a week), other cardio, and yoga 1 day a week.  I feel better, have more energy and knit faster ;-)  Sometimes it's all I can do to leave the house but once I am at the gym, I am ready, I am able, and I do it.  I tried something new today with the TRX system they have and really liked it.  I will continue to incorporate new things, hope to meet new people. and hope to change my body even though our first weigh was quite disappointing.  I guess it was that beer the night before - Mojo Risin'.  That's not going to change.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Shawl Love

I bought this yarn before he got sick.  After he died, I wanted some mindless, therapy, self centered knitting.  After all, it was just Christmas and there was some gift knitting.  After I cast on, I realized the color of the shawl was similar to the brown in his coat.  So I've named this after him. 

He was an original dog, kind of odd looking, handsome in his own way.  Years ago, when he was a young dog, we were out walking him.  A woman stopped us, commented on how handsome he was and said, word for word "He's got the colorings of a small dog" . What the hell does that mean? We haven't stopped laughing since! 

Anyway, I present, Colorings of a Small Shawl, warm, comforting to the heart and body.  I am just loving this. sigh. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Top 10 in 2010

I've played this game before but it seems right to play again because of the year.  In this instance, top 10 does not mean the best, just the most significant events of the year.  So in no particular order, the Top 10 in 2010:
Gus, Gustopher Walter, Handsome Rob, Leroy, Buddy Boy left us on 12/20/2010.  He had the colorings of a small dog, Marty Feldman eyes, and a bark the hurt his own ears. 

Reunited with an old friend.  I have a photo of us when I was three and she was four, which I framed and gave to her upon her visit.  The visit was much more than I could have asked for and our conversation flowed as we filled in the blanks of over 20 years.  My turn to go visit her in 2011.  Okay with you, Lisa?

My Czech Angels with whom I spent many days, many hours. Can you tell what I gave them as a going away gift? Lovely girls.

The look of surprise and delight at the end of his show when I handed Anders Osborne his gift, then the enormous smile and a hug and kiss. 

Snow, snow and more snow.  Ugh.

A visit to Oakland MD, to my friend Randee, food for the soul.

My Handsome Prince and I celebrated 25 years together by taking the ferry across to Cape May to ride bikes, shop, eat out and do nothing.  Perfect.

The absence of my daughters in my daily life.  While EG has been gone for several years, Audrey left this year to pursue another college option.  I miss their giggles and bad tv.

Drinking micro brews and knitting took over my social life.  Thursday nights and monthly beer dinners at Dogfish gave us an unexpected community of people.  There was also the occasional visit to Evo or Pickled Pig for something other than DFH.  A different group to knit with every week and portable knitting allowed me to eat, drink, think, and dream knitting.

My Handsome Prince's brother died leaving a void in many lives.  We were able to surround his hospital bed, cramped into an ICU cubicle to tell him stories and sing him songs, caress him and tell him goodbye.  His memorial service a month later was packed with people, good stories with laughter and tears.  For Christmas, wondering how to deal with his absence, we gathered in his room, hooked up Beatles Rockband, and sang our hearts out to Billy.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the near mental breakdown I had over the summer dealing with a most difficult person.  That's all I'm going to say on that.

And of course, my job, which all but consumed me 4 months of the year, it made me laugh and it made me cry, tried my patience,  and fulfilled me. 

Okay, so it's the top 12 in 2010.  I can't count.  It was a year of challenges, adjustments, laughter, joy, music, dancing, creativity, tears, loss,  just life.   And so it continues.