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Archive for March, 2009

After I finished the knitted mitts, I started a beret of fine sock yarn.  Here it is, being watched by Odin.  Actually, Odin does not care very much about the knitting; maybe he does not like the color. The yarn is steel grey, but it is not solid because it was hand dyed.  There are bits that are slightly white. 

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This is a very light weight fabric, so will not a heavy wintery beret.  Maybe it is so drapey it will be a flop, but I am resisting making it too large.  The yarn was gifted to me by my friend Holly, and is called Sockenwolle handgefarbt (hand dyed sock wool) by Anettes Woolwerkstat, and is 70% wool, 20% silk and 10% ramie.  The beret is may take-along project, gets most work done at choir rehearsals.

I also started a sweater, since I found in my stash 16 balls of worsted weight cotton in a varigated white, yellow, rose and turquoise.  I don’t think I shall require a dozen dishcloths or more, but think there’s enough for a jacket-style sweater.  So, I have joined the ranks — the legions — of internet knitters making a February Lady Sweater.  Here is my sample:

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I work on the sweater not often enough to make progress.  It would be nice to have it finished by May for a trip.  I need to schedule time with the sweater, because, surprise, it is not knitting itself.

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The weather is taking a turn toward Spring, and in fact, tomorrow is will be official.  This means that knitting must share time with gardening.  Last weekend, on John’s death anniversary, the Boy Scouts delivered the mulch I ordered from them – 40 bags. 

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Last year I didn’t get any mulch, what with John’s being in the hospital, so my yard’s in a bit of a mulch deficit.  I spread 18 bags last weekend in spite of drizzling rain.  The front yard needs about 8 more bags, to adequately cover the pathways.  The back yard will get the remainder.

As the Easter Triduum approaches, there’s a lot of music to prepare.  The two handbell choirs are doing pretty well, although the beginners (mostly children’s handbell choir has some attendance issues.  I also started taking voice lessons again, after a long hiatus.  It was too difficult to study after John’s death.  I did sing, had to sing, in the choruses and as a cantor, but, hard to explain, the grief locks your body (among other things) up in the strangest ways.  It requires tremendous effort to keep putting one foot after the other. 

If I have advice for new widows, it would be that you must do that, left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot.  Pick one objective, one big rock, work on it, then work on the next.  But keep going forward, even if there’s no sense or purpose to it.  Even though you are stunned by the meaninglessness of it all, the journey is the only thing left for you.

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One Year Ago

One year ago today, at 1:11AM, my dear sweet husband John died.  Today was a very hard day.  This year was a hard year. 

This is a picture of John and me and our first cat, Grito, in Spring of 1979.

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I love you, Sweetheart.

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This is a rant.  It is a rant about spouse abuse.  I don’t generally do rants.  If you don’t want to read a rant, move along, thanks for visiting.

I firmly believe that print media needs my support.  That’s why I still subscribe to the Washington Post, although John was the primary reader of the print form.  I check the headlines and the economic indicators on line frequently at www.washingtonpost.com  but by the time I get to read the print version in the evening, the only thing that is fresh and current is the comics.

So, for the past few days, I have been wondering how and when Jack Elrod, the author of the Mark Trail comic strip, was going to address spouse abuse in the wilderness.  Well, woops.  The past two days of this strip have been an effort at Mr Elrod’s jaw-droppingly gutless denial.

Backstory, in case you don’t follow this strip:  Mark Trail and Mrs. Trail (Cherry) live in Lost Forest with Cherry’s dad Doc, an orphaned boy, and a dog that is older than Methusalah.  Lost Forest is a place apart, a sort of Garden of Eden where further development would be Original Sin.  Lost Forest neighbors are remote and troubled.  Almost anyone who comes into Lost Forest is troubled in some way.  For the past few weeks the troubled neighbors Patty and Ken have been helping out with the plot line. 

Ken is away from home a lot.  (Mark is away a lot, too.  He can relate.)  Patty is so lonely in living in the woods alone that she’s adopted a deer for a pet.  She lets the deer into her house.  If you are thinking “Lyme Disease” at this point, you get 5 points.  Yes, you might expect a plot line involving Lyme Disease.  You would be wrong. 

Ken does not like Patty to have the deer in the house.  No, he is not concerned about Lyme Disease.  Ken is jealous of the affection Patty has for a deer instead of his absent self.  Patty, knowing that Ken is about to “go red” (as we say about dogs, eh?), sneaks over to Cherry’s house for help, but runs off when Mark appears.  Ken, true to Patty’s expectations, finds out Patty is still seeing the deer, smacks her around and shoots her pet deer in front of her.  And drives off, saying, “I’ll be back in a day or two, get over it Honey.”

Does Patty call the cops?  Nope, of course not,  victims blame themselves.  Does Mark call the cops?  Nope, he goes off to gossip with some other Good Old Boys about Ken, and together the develop a cover story for Ken and the extenuating circumstances that would put Ken in the Red Zone.  What about Doc and Cherry?  No and no. 

The denoumont to this story is that Ken is gored by the pet deer (Ken’s not a good shot with a rifle when in a rage, which is the only good news for Patty’s future), has an epiphany of sorts and tells Patty they should have a baby.  A baby?!  Ken’s not going to be jealous of Patty’s affections for a baby when he couldn’t handle her affections for a pet?  A baby is not a solution to a troubled marriage.  A baby is another “object” for this abuser to abuse. 

Mr Elrod:  A man wallops his wife or girlfriend in anger (yes, even just once), a man who shoots a pet out of jealous rage, this man is not just having a PMS day.  This man is a violent abuser, and that woman needs protection.  Your tacit approval of the jealous rage, the shooting, the abuse, puts you on the side of the abuser, denying his abuse, blaming the victim, and failing to educate your readers about what to do when someone you know is being abused.  I challenge you to correct this, and if you can’t or won’t, I challenge some of the other cartoonists out there help you out.

End of rant.

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