Saturday, November 29, 2008
The hiccup is my knitting and reading bag. This never gets checked in with the luggage. It doesn't reach the back of the van for road trips. It stays with me on buses and subways, in limos and taxis - always within reach. My bag has to be carefully chosen to accommodate several works in progress, 3 to 4 books, some light reading (aka knitting magazines and the latest Real Simple or Southern Living), my camera, chargers for cell phone and camera, emergency meds for A, plus gum, mints, headache remedies, and hand lotion.
I have to confess. My knitting/reading bag is often bigger than our suitcase.
While it takes me less than an hour to pack the clothes, I plan for the knitting bag for DAYS ahead. Which WIPs are best for small quarters? How far along am I and will I have enough yarn to finish? How complicated is the pattern? Will I like the books enough to be fully absorbed during the take-offs and landings that are my own personal Fear Factor? The considerations are never-ending.
When I finally do head out the door, it isn't without a last fretful look back. What did I forget? Do I have enough stitch markers? What if I drop a stitch? What if I hate the WIP and don't have ANYTHING ELSE TO DO? I don't worry about the luggage - there's almost always a Target nearby to fill in the gaps.
'Tis the season to be visiting family and friends. My shopping is finished. I've planned out meals and picked up some nice hostess gifts.
Now the stress really begins. What will go in my knitting bag? Maybe I should take a page from the people knitting in REALLY stressful situations. Like Baghdad.
I really do need to keep things in perspective.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
In the past two weeks, I've heard several instances of parents not taking responsibility for their own inattention/oversight/ignorance and threatening lawsuits against whomever. For Pete's sake. It makes it hard for those of us volunteering and trying to make things happen to even try in the first place.
Fast Nall School Night Dinner: boiled a bag of tortellini, heated up some Hunt's Traditional Spaghetti Sauce and mixed in a dozen frozen meatballs. Mixed together, topped with mozzarella, and tossed in oven. Baking 30 minutes while A's Algebra tutor works with him, and dinner will be ready.
Dr. Christopher Price, senior minister of St. Luke's Presbyterian Church for nearly two decades, preached his last sermon this past Sunday. I was fairly dry-eyed until he paid tribute to T for his service as Clerk of Session through two epochal changes to the church. Tears flowed, friends patted me on the back, and the kids stared wide-eyed because I never lose it.T and I had breakfast Saturday morning at Olde Hickory House. Over plates of not-so-healthy but yummy Southern fare, we discussed holiday plans and caught a few adult moments together. Meanwhile, a young fellow commanded and demanded his parents' undivided attention in the booth behind me. "Wow," T said. "I don't think those parents said one word to each other." Oh, we remember those days!
There's this amazing new wine/beer/liquor place called Total Wine in the Perimeter. They bestowed a much-appreciated $2,000 donation to Dunwoody Nature Center in celebration of their grand opening. I will most definitely be shopping there for the holidays!
I love the Dunwoody Library. I love it in spite of its quirks, due largely to the fact that it's funded and managed by the chronically dysfunctional DeKalb County. I love the staff and their obvious passion for all things library-ish. I love the fact that I can reserve books at home and then pick them up whenever. What I don't love is their disdain for knitting books. Come on . . . when are you going to add Mason-Dixon Knitting's sequel and Nicky Epstein's latest?
The Sunday Night Knitting Circle is going strong, though only a handful of us come each week. It's peaceful in the St. Luke's library and we have a marvelous time with our WIPs, chats, and confiding moments. This past Sunday we used my swift and ball winder to turn a mass of donated yarn into center-pull balls. Fun!
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
The Armful . . . by Robert Frost
For every parcel I stoop down to seize
I lose some other off my arms and knees,
And the whole pile is slipping, bottles, buns,
Extremes too hard to comprehend at once,
Yet nothing I should care to leave behind.
With all I have to hold with hand and mind
And heart, if need be, I will do my best.
To keep their building balanced at my breast.
I crouch down to prevent them as they fall;
Then sit down in the middle of them all.
I had to drop the armful in the road
And try to stack them in a better load.
To all my fellow bearers of too-fractious loads, who would rather lurch painfully from point A to point B than make multiple trips, who have dropped bags of groceries and loads of folded laundry because there was just-one-too-many-to-carry, who have taken twice as long to transfer a load because bits kept falling off: we're perfectly normal.
To those who laugh at us, suggest practical alternatives, and roll your eyes: grab that pair of socks that just fell off the top of the load and shut up.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Once the celebrities go back to their surreality, the thrill of making history is past, and talking heads have chewed the election results to tatters, Americans will get down to the business of life as usual, though perhaps not quite as usual as it might have been.
I hope that . . .
- the new president will be a role model for choosing education and service over self-indulgence and defeatism.
- the new president won't follow through on his idea to put citizen soldiers into the communities to police their fellow people (that really smacks of an oppressive regime, doesn't it?).
- the new president will surround himself with many voices and many philosophies, choosing pragmatism over ideology.
- the economy recovers far more quickly than the last depression (yeah, we're in one).
- the world thinks better of us than they have in a long time.
- we think better of us than we have in a long time.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
- I have broken an ankle, hobbled on it for two days because I had too many appointments, then finally driven myself to a clinic for an x-ray.
- I have caught a cold, which turned into bronchitis, which escalated into a full-blown upper respiratory bacterial infection, and finally, fussily driven myself to the only urgent care place open on a Sunday morning and in our network to get two mega-shots of antibiotics.
- I have ignored the early signs of shingles to the point where the rash spread into one eye and put me on the verge of vision loss.
Monday, November 3, 2008
As I drove by Dunwoody Nature Center this afternoon (I left work early to take AG for a strep test), I saw one of our volunteers using his own leaf blower to clear the entry. This same volunteer has painted, installed a new light fixture, built much-needed shelves, and re-organized special event storage.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
I've also been busy with Christmas knitting: Rolled brim hats, Urchin berets, Maine Morning Mitts and a few felted handbags will fill the stockings of teachers and friends.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
6 cups self-rising flour
1/2 to 3/4 cups shortening
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Mix and knead until dough is slightly sticky. Powder hands with flour and shape dough into 2" diameter biscuits. (My grandmother never used a biscuit cutter - her biscuits were always rolled and flattened by hand.)
Bake at 425 degrees for about 15-18 minutes. Check carefully - don't over-bake. The ideal color is a light golden brown.
Serve with butter, molasses, bacon, eggs, cheese - a buffet of yummy fillings.