Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Political Musings

It's been an interesting news day, don't you think?

I nearly fell out of my chair when I read the headline that the U.S. and Cuba will (finally) normalize relations.  It's about time!

I'm adding Havana to my bucket list.  It'll be so much easier to get there now!

I know a number of people who went to Cuba via Mexico or Canada - for the adventure as much as anything.  Well, and a couple of Communists who won a trip to Cancun so added on to their trip and went to Havana instead.  My (ex) in-laws went too, for a conference.  Being that they are not U.S. citizens it was no big deal but they did have some interesting stories.  They also brought us a(n illegal) pound of Cuban coffee for a souvenir.  It was delicious.

Also, many years ago, when I was in Paris with Pato, we were following the story of a Cuban poet who was being let out of prison.   Because Mitterand pulled strings which helped Valladares gain his freedom, he went from prison in Havana to Paris.   I was impressed with this man's case not only because he was imprisoned the year I was born and released the year I was married, but it turned out he was staying at the same hotel we were at ... we got to meet him and watch a Scandinavian news crew interview him after breakfast one morning.

In other news Sony has decided to pull The Interview.  Cowards!  

I find this appalling.  It's particularly appalling to me because part of the reason I became a librarian is I believe in the concept of the freedom to read ... because part of the reason I love being a librarian is to be able to professionally support of the concept of the freedom to read ... because volunteer work I've done in the past and the present supports First Amendment rights ... because I am currently reading Joseph Anton: A Memoir by Salman Rushdie.

I was thinking of going to see the movie on Christmas Day to support it but now I have no choice.  I viscerally resent the fact that I am denied the choice.

So, good news and bad.  Let's hope that Cuba loosens up on poets and others, and that North Korea develops a sense of humor.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Knit On!

I accidentally purchased some super bulky yarn so I could knit something quick and fun over the Thanksgiving Day weekend. I have no regrets.

The progress on the lace project for 2014 is ... slow.  I'm on row 60-something out of 155 or so.

Boy-child will have new glittens when he gets home from Chile.  I will not weave in the ends until I know they fit.

I'm trying to decide on a pair of socks.  

I'm also planning on making another Habitat hat in purple for myself - to go with the cowl above.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday

Black Friday is the perfect day to start preparing for Christmas ... I decorated last night and this morning instead of going shopping. 

As I emptied out my bins of Christmas stuff, I discovered that I have five salt and pepper sets and three boxes of holiday spreaders (two shown here).  I also dug out the skinny Santa glasses that I salvaged from my mother's things:

The angels out en masse.  Yes, two were made by me when I was very young.  

The tree is up and decorated, the stockings are hung and the Merry Christmas banners are up.

(My tree is pre-strung with lights and opens umbrella-like.  It's all very easy!)

The Christmas playlist is loaded and playing as we speak.

The bed is made with the wondrous Christmas quilt:

And the crystal nutcracker candy jar is filled with Lindt truffles.

Life is good.  The Girls hosted a fun meal yesterday.  I have so much to be thankful for -  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  Hope you're having a great holiday weekend.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Perfect Morning at Cemetery Way

Sunday morning was one of those picture-perfect mornings at the cemetery.

I actually turned around and hopped out of the car to snap a few photos.

A magical place.

I have to remind myself that there are people resting everywhere here.

There aren't many markers because the place was neglected for a long time.

I hope those folks realize that I know they are there and I appreciate having them for neighbors.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Who says grown-ups don't need birthday (cup)cakes?

Monday, November 10, 2014


After my Debbie-Downer post yesterday I feel compelled to post something up-beat today.

We had our first snow today!  

Ok, so that's not always a positive event for people...

I just finished a delightfully funny novel written by a Swede.

The title is The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared.

by Jonas Jonasson.

Hilarious book.

Although I hated Forrest Gump, there are certain elements in the novel that are Gump-like.

Maybe I shouldn't have said that.

I will say no more.


Girl-child is 25 years old tomorrow.

This is incredibly hard to believe.

I am so delighted with the person she has become.

Even if she sometimes judges me ;-)

My children give me the greatest joy in life.

It's kind of funny that I find family to be so important.

Family as in, "my children."

Since I don't like very many of my relatives.

Weird how that can work.

And, I bought flowers.

Working from home on a snowy day with fresh flowers on the counter.

Can't be beat.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

None to Mourn Him

There was a family funeral this past weekend.  Here I am left in a funk on a Sunday night, not because I have lost someone, but because of the sad legacy the deceased left in his wake.

I do not miss my uncle; he was not a special person to me in any way, which is not a big deal.   We can’t be close to all our extended family.   Auntie misses him a lot because she had a special relationship with him.  I’m not sure who else felt much loss at his passing though. 

When someone at the funeral told me she was sorry for my loss I was speechless.  I did not lose anything.

What struck me was that, as I approached my cousins to express I was sorry for their loss, I realized the words rang hollow to them as well.  They were not feeling loss.  Family rumor is that those kids made a pact when they were quite young to stick together, since neither one of their parents was going to take care of them.

My uncle’s wife has gone into memory care.  She was a terrible mother. 

They were very Catholic, my uncle and aunt.  They considered themselves saintly because they stayed miserably married for 58 years.  I do not consider such an existence virtuous.  They considered themselves saintly because they had eight boys.  I do not consider having children and leaving them to fend for themselves virtuous.  Three of the children have already passed away.  One was badly burned as a toddler when he pulled a boiling pot down onto himself from the stove.  One was disowned by his father because he was gay.  One lost part of a foot because of an accident; the wound was not properly taken care of and gangrene set in.  I believe they relinquished parental rights for the one with Down's Syndrome at some point which released them of his care and made him a ward of the state.

Children leave a legacy, but not always a positive one.  My uncle felt sorry for Auntie (his baby sister) because she had no children and thus had no purpose in life and no legacy.   As I see it, Auntie is leaving a rich legacy and he is the one to pity.

The funeral was sparsely attended.  The priest was an immigrant from a faraway land.  The service was generic.  My Teutonic relatives could not understand the priest because of his accent and bad acoustics.  None of his sons contributed to the service.

This all makes me reflect on a number of things.

My father died when I was eight years old.  I will confess that I was jealous of anyone who had a dad.  People complained about their fathers all the time, which I resented.  I wished I had a dad to complain about.  Now, looking back, I can see that having a father who doesn’t really care can be worse than not having one.  They say that death is the ultimate form of abandonment to a child, but what about those who are abandoned physically or emotionally by a parent?  What about those people with parents who are alive but unplugged?

The Girls have applied for Foster parenting.  I have to consider these things as I approach Foster Grandma status.  There is much to contemplate.

Because my father died young he was raised to heavenly levels of goodness after his passing.  I don’t remember him much which makes for a thin legacy.  There are no bad deeds or slights to remember … nothing to humanize him, really … only a few myths and legends of his goodness, his intelligence and his wit. 

As my world broadens, as my peers begin to lose their parents, I am able to see the variety of legacies people leave behind. 

As I move my way up the family hierarchy with each passing from my mother’s generation, I am in a position to consider my own legacy.

Thanks for listening.  Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest I can face Monday.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

I Do Still Knit

Methinks I have not posted much about knitting for a while.

I still knit and I still have a yarn addiction.

After several false starts I think I have finally found a "significant piece of lace" to knit (that was one of my goals for 2014 - to knit a significant piece of lace).

I'm also back to knitting black hats for Boy-child.  Even though he is currently in Chile he will be needing woolies when he gets back to the US.

I also accidentally knit another pair of socks.  They are conveniently my size, but that is also Girl-child's size, so who knows where they may end up?

I also knit four pair of felted clog slippers.  This is the only pair remaining - I took no photos of the previous three pairs.  Girl-child got orange tops with heather green soles, DIL got red tops with purple soles and Boy-child's landlady in DC got green and blue (I don't remember which was which). These are for Boy-child - forest green with black souls soles.

No, I do not generally weave in the ends until I absolutely have to.

In decorating news, I am thinking I will probably paint the floors.  Right now I'm leaning toward the purply-gray one (second in from the right, top).  I've been looking at gray and off-gray.  If it turns out that concrete floors are too cold this winter I may change my mind.  Painting is pretty thrifty though, I can do it myself and I could get new countertops in the kitchen sooner rather than later if I paint the floors.  

Plus I can alway get cork floors later, when Auntie wins the lottery (she swears she's going to win and says I shouldn't scoff since she plans to share with me).

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The colors have been truly spectacular this fall, and the weather has been beautiful too.

This is a shot of my favorite tree in the cemetery at the moment:

Here are my regular buddies across the way - more easily visible now that the trees are going bare:

I found this while walking around Lake of the Isles on Saturday.  I always love the way they change depending upon the tree and its exposure.

The ducks are still around.

Some autumn I will go to the Northeastern U.S. to see all the maples.

They really are special.

I popped into Walktoberfest after volunteering today.  They had a room for selfies but I prefer to stick with my mirror approach.  I love the sculpture garden but inside I can pass on a lot of the pieces.  I did enjoy seeing the portrait of T. B. Walker and the screens that let you see how the original museum looked.

Found this sticker on a post outside - does anyone know who is behind these?

Also, I don't know if I ever mentioned it, but in the old Eleanor Pound house I had a gallery of kid art in the laundry room.  Today I updated my laundry "room" (it's a closet) with kid art:

Also, I thought I was done ripping out the carpet a month ago and then realized that half the walk-in closet was still carpeted.  It was a sad moment but I'm over it now that I got rid of that last piece.

To celebrate I picked up some paint chips so I can see if I might want to paint the floors.  The sky's the limit as far as color and there are some special effects you can add into the paint.  It's an option I am considering.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Atlanta (final)

Coca-cola is a big deal in Atlanta.

The city has some pretty corners.

I walked around a bit even though I wasn't supposed to.

Not a lot of classical architecture (maybe because we burned it all during the Civil War?)

The Living Walls previously mentioned notwithstanding, not a lot of graffiti or street art.

I forgot to add this into the Center for Puppetry Arts earlier.  I liked that place.

I did manage to bring bag a souvenir from Sister Louisa's - I never thought I would add stickers to my laptop but I couldn't resist this one.

Several years ago I interviewed for a job in Hammond, Louisiana.  I thought afterwards that I may be able to move to the South or I may be able to move to a small town but I wouldn't be able to move to a small town in the South.  After going to Atlanta (first time for me) I can confidently say that I never want to live in the Southern United States.   Not my cup of tea.  

Monday, October 13, 2014

The High (cont'd) and Puppets

There's a "Mi Casa Your Casa" theme going on at The High right now, with swings:

I'm finding mirrors come in real handy for taking selfies:

If I had a radio like this I would listen to the radio:

Purissima by Joseph Stella:

If only I had thought to put my bottle caps to artistic use:

The Angel of the Lord, #10,000 by Howard Finster:

Sunday I went to the Center for Puppetry Arts (thanks again, Girl-child, for the tip).

It is a great museum.  If you're ever in Atlanta be sure to check it out.  Lots of amazing puppets and more to come - they're in the middle of an expansion.