Archive for July, 2010

Domestic Goddess

Did you ever have one of those days?  You know the kind; you’re expecting your friend for dinner even though you’ve never met her before except over the internet,  and your family thinks that you may be hallucinating the whole thing and that she’s really just an imaginary friend and they don’t believe she’s real until she actually appears on the doorstep, complete with children, husband and a really nice hank of Manos del Uruguay?  And then your husband drops the weiners on his way in from the barbeque, and the dogs grab them and snarf them down before you can say Bob’s your uncle, and then while you’re all seated at the table your friend’s husband forgets he’s sitting at the edge of the kitchen and falls backwards on his chair down into the family room, and then just when you’ve apologized for seating him in the danger zone, and you think that Charity might buy your little act and think you’ve really got it together on the domestic front  your sweet little dog yappy little Sheltie barfs up purloined weiner all over her husband’s feet?   Well, have you ever had one of those days?

There is only one thing I can think of to say to Charity, and that’s I’m really sorry and welcome to the family.


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I’m having a bit of a dilemma this morning.  We’re expecting Charity and her whole gang here for supper tonight, and I don’t know what to do with my day.

Do I spend the day cleaning, and tidying, and prepping a gourmet dinner, in case she blogs about our visit afterwards?  Or do I do what I usually do all day, and let her meet me in my natural habitat, living the way we usually live?  The fact that I am blogging right now is likely some indication of which way the wind is blowing…

What would you do?

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and furthermore…

Oh, and did I forget to mention that as part of the festivities, Mum and Dad are treating their daughters and our husbands to a cruise from New York to Bermuda next month?

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July 8th, 1950

Heroes are people who do things we admire.  Sports figures, politicians, creative people, doctors, scientists, famous people.   Not me.  My heroes are much closer to home.

My parents recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.   They are both healthy, happy and living independently (together).   What’s not to admire?   I often hear my mother’s voice in my head “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”   She still lives by these words.  I struggle with it daily hourly, telling myself that menopause is a perfectly acceptable excuse to say whatever I want.  Not my mother.  I was well into adulthood before I remember her saying anything less than nice about anyone.  She sets a great example for me.

My mother didn’t have her driver’s license until I was a teenager, so another gift she gave me (even if it was out of necessity) is independence.  As children, if an activity wasn’t in walking distance or on a bus route, we didn’t do it.  We weren’t driven everywhere, and didn’t have a “helicopter” parent.  (Not many parents would put a nine-year-old and a seven-year-old on a bus to go to swimming lessons unaccompanied now, but that’s got more to do with crazy people on the loose than over-protective parenting.)

What has my father given me?  An intense appreciation of  family, curiosity about where I came from, and a realization that we are not on the earth strictly for our own benefit.  He is a man of firm convictions and strong morals and personal ethics.   Hidden amongst all the pragmatism he has a soft spot  that we see  just often enough to know that it’s there.  I hope that I can live up to the standards he sets for himself, and be a good person.

Both parents have made me realize I have a thankfulness for stability and a family dynamic many people envy.  I have three sisters, and among us there are no divorces and one hundred and nine years of marriage.  Add in my parents and we have an average wedded life of  nearly thirty four years.  Not too bad in this day and age!  While a diamond wedding anniversary (complete with greetings from the Queen) is an amazing example, and certainly a goal to strive for, the journey along the way is the big story, and I can only hope I’m up to the challenge.

My father asked me recently if I was sorry I didn’t have a normal family; one with divorces, remarriages, blended families, his-hers-and-theirs offspring, and I had to answer in the negative.  Much as every family has its black sheep,  I wouldn’t trade any of mine (family or black sheep!)  for the world.   That’s why my parents are my heroes.

Happy anniversary, Mum and Dad, and thanks for everything!

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What just bit me?

I cannot claim originality for today’s title.  It was the name of a seminar I meant to take down south, but I forgot and went shopping.  Instead of creepy crawlies, I have been bitten bigtime by the lace bug.  Other than an ongoing friendship shawl project for a friend’s family in need, I seem to be unable to stop knitting lace.  It started with this:

Trinity Shawlette- Anni Design

and progressed to this:

Aeolian Shawlette-Elizabeth Freeman

Then we went on to this:

Traveling Woman- Liz Abinante

followed by this:

More Traveling Woman- Liz Abinante

after which we did this:

Another Trinity Shawlette- Anni Designs

Then, we took a ten-minute break and undertook this:

Still another Traveling Woman- still Liz Abinante

and segued into:

Annis- Susanna IC

Now, while all this was going on, we had progress on my Kieran Foley fixation (so far it’s just a crush; I’m waiting to commit to a serious relationship until all the friendship shawls are done):

Teardrop shawl- Kieran Foley

This last one will be a longer-term project, and since I am well into it, I took a few minutes to read the directions.  Turns out I am being a little creative in terms of bead placement, so I decided that consistency is more important than absolute imitation.  (translation:  the beads are in the wrong place and I am too lazy to go back to the beginning and start over.)  Ah, well.  Doing my own thing is more of an homage to the imagination and artistry of the designer than blindly reproducing his pattern.  Or so I choose to believe.

Since this has all happened since the middle of March, I was waiting for the inevitable squealing of the shawl-knitting brakes and a return to weaving.  After thinking about it, I realized that I won’t lose interest in lace until I tell myself I will never knit anything else and buy enough fibre to last a lifetime of lace knitting.  As soon as I have enough in the stash that I never have to buy another skein, I will suddenly and completely abandon lace pursuits in favour of weaving, or knitting something for which I have nothing suitable in the stash.  Turns out I am my own personal economic stimulus plan.

I’m looking forward to early next week, when if all goes according to plan, I get to meet another of my internet friends (or as Mike refers to them, “Judy’s Imaginary Friends”).  Charity and her family may be dropping by, so I’ll use that as an excuse to clean the house and cook a meal.  (Charity- this doesn’t happen often.  Only when there’s company.  I don’t know what your standards are, so please don’t judge me.)  The last time I put down the lace long enough to clean the house was last Thursday for a large-ish family gathering about which I’ll tell you another time.  (It was a most auspicious occasion.)

And now, I’m off to the travel agent, to make sure my name is spelled correctly and to pick up a map of New York City!

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If I were an alien-shut up-if I were an alien, I would definitely go to Gila Bend, Arizona for lunch.  Why?

They’ve gone out of their way to make me welcome.

Yup, it would definitely feel like home.

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