"This fog is thick as peanut butter."

"You mean pea soup."

"You eat what you like and I'll eat what I like!"

- Yukon Cornelius and Hermey the Elf

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

"Freedom - that consuming goal above doubt or criticism, desired as moths desire the candle or emigrants the distant continent waiting to parch them in its deserts or drive them to madness in its bitter winters! Freedom, that land where rogues, at every corner, cozen with lies and promises the plucky sheep who judged it time to sack the shepherd! Unfurl your banner, Freedom, and call upon me with cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer and all kinds of music to fall down and worship you, and I will do so upon the instant, for who would wish to be cast into the fiery furnace of his neighbours' contempt? I will come to you as the male spider to the female, as the explorer to the upper reaches of the great river upon which he knows he will die before ever he wins through to the estuary. How should I dare refuse your beckoning, queen whose discarded lovers vanish by night, princess whose unsuccessful suitors die at sunset? Would to God we had never encountered you, goddess of thrombosis, insomnia, asthma, duodenal and migraine! For we are free - free to suffer every anguish of deliberation, of decisions which must be made upon suspect information and half-knowledge, every anguish of hindsight and regret, of failure, shame and responsibility for all that we have brought upon ourselves and others: free to struggle, to starve, to demand from all one last, supreme effort to reach where we long to be and, once there, to conclude that it is not, after all, the right place. For a great price obtained I this freedom, to wish to God I had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when I sat by the fleshpots and ate bread to the full. The tyrant wasn't such a bad old bugger, and even in his arbitrary rages never killed as many as died in yesterday's glorious battle for liberty. Will you return to him, then? Ah no, sweet Freedom, I will slave for you until I have forgotten the love that once consumed my being, until I am grown old and bitter and can no longer see the wood for the starved, dirty trees. Then I will curse you and die; and will you then concede that I may be accounted your loyal follower and a true creature of this Earth? And, Freedom, was I free?"
--Richard Adams, The Plague Dogs

I thought the above quote was appropriate for Memorial Day, not as a criticism of freedom, but because it reminded me that freedom is not a "black and white" simple concept. Freedom is hard. It requires responsibility, painful decisions, work. Freedom must be carefully protected from corruption, misuse, abuse and can be so easily taken for granted to the point where it can be stolen from us by liars who use our very love of freedom to enslave us.

Today is the day we remember and are grateful to our Armed Forces for the sacrifices they made (and make still) to protect our freedom. But those of us at home have just as much work to do as those brave men and women who give so much of themselves, their very life and limb (often literally) so that we have that elusive freedom. If we refuse to take ownership of our freedom, by voting, participating in our communities, talking with our government, even protesting...if we don't do these things, we are wasting their gift to us.

My cousin, in a letter explaining to his family why he is going to Iraq as a security contractor, asked us, in the possible event of his death, not to view it as a waste. He feels that to do so, regardless of our political beliefs, would be disrespectful of his hard work and sacrifice, and I have to agree. It breaks my heart that so many have already died in Iraq, but I don't want to think of their lives as a "waste". It was a gift freely given to their country in the hope that some good would come of their actions. So it is up to us at home to make sure their gift is not wasted.

What does that mean exactly? What are we supposed to do? Well, I don't know. I guess that's what they mean when they say "freedom isn't free." It isn't easy either. But I hope what it means is that we as free Americans will stop being so apathetic to what is happening both to our country and the rest of the world and stand up and begin to act. If we really are grateful to our Armed Forces, maybe we can do a little more than wearing red on Fridays or putting yellow ribbon magnets on our cars. The troops can't see that stuff from where they are, so let's do something they can see....

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


What do you suppose this is, all wadded up in a washing machine set on "hand washables"?

And now, all soggy and smelling a little like a wet dog?


It's a finished, hand knitted sweater!!! And it actually FITS me! What a shock.

Sadly, I think the back looks better than the front though...

Jazz hands!

The pattern is one I bought from another knitting Wendy blogger: Wendy at Knit and Tonic. Girlfriend can write a damn good sweater pattern. I didn't even know what raglan meant when I started the pattern....

Now...as this is made from 100% alpaca, and it is a sweltering 80 something degrees...I have to go in and change clothes.

By the way. I wish Blogger would stop with the updates. Everytime they "improve" the website, something stops working. Now the "preview" function doesn't work anymore. *&#$@%%#*&

Sunday, May 13, 2007


early memories of following her around the house
watering plants
tidying up
typing at the kitchen table
writing letters

sometimes she would take me to work with her
I sat in her office making bracelets from yarn
reading the poster on the wall with the funny animal that said
“never be ashamed of what you are
by the way...what are you?”

baking Christmas cookies in the warm kitchen
mixing colored icings
sprinkles and red hots for decoration

learning the precise way to measure vanilla extract
(with the cap)

the red and white kitchen table
the opening theme to All Things Considered on the radio
colored glass mixing bowls
(mix dough in the big yellow one
icing in the smallest blue one)

dark chocolate birthday cakes with blue or green icing
and parties at the zoo

we drove to Pennsylvania
on a hot, hot day
to see her sister get married
we pulled our skirts up our thighs in the car
to cool our legs
and when the brand new map book got sucked out the window
she didn't get mad

other hot days swimming at Trout Pond
and lying on a towel on the beach
with sandy feet
and a badminton net set up in the woods of West Virginia

we went to the mall for haircuts and new clothes
there were long car trips to and from college
in the white Jeep Cherokee
talking and talking
about everything

she sent long letters and clippings
long distance phone calls
when I was lonely

we went to the Cathedral Of Mary Our Queen
to hear the pipe organ
and downtown for Handel's Messiah
and walked to Eddie's grocery store

we cried at movies together
went to Washington to meet Merlin Tuttle
and pet a fruit bat
jogged through the Johns Hopkins campus
but she could always go farther than me

Nebraska and Florida
New Hampshire and Maryland's Eastern Shore
New Jersey, New York

a lifetime of memories
comfort, music, words
hugs and iced sugar cookies

I love you Momma