Saturday, January 21, 2012


I've saved a lot of clippings over the years. Some are recipes (OK, LOTS are recipes!), some are obituaries. Many are quotes that stopped me in my tracks because they gave me a new perspective on some quandary that I had recognized. Here are two from this week.

All colors are the friends of their neighbors and the lovers of their opposites.---Marc Chagall

Don't mistake the wound of the world for the world.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Musings on Jobs

Over the last year, my work scheduled has gone through some changes --- one job has shrunk and another has expanded. I now often work two or three evenings a week instead of just one (and, fortunately, I rarely work Sunday afternoons anymore!).

This has meant that I'm often looking for somewhere to eat supper after 9:00 p.m. There are not a lot of choices (other than fast food!) at that hour of the day. There is a local chain of Italian restaurants that are open to 11:00. One local restaurant is open 24/7 which has comfort food, but I can only take that about once a week. (A similar one closed when the interstate was widened, and although it has re-opened in another location, it is, sadly, no longer 24/7.) My favorite restaurant closes about 9 p.m. If I can get there before 9 a.m., the owner will serve me since he's there till 9:30 or 10:00 getting ready for the next day.

Which brings me to a local chicken 'n' biscuit place. They close the dining room at 10:00, and if you arrive after 9:30 and place an order to eat in, you are pointedly informed that the dining room will be closing in 29 minutes. This seems silly (and unwelcoming) to me because the drive-through stays open for another hour or two. They have usually done most of the cleaning in the dining room --- they could simply block off most of the dining room for the last hour or so just as my breakfast hangout does for the last hour before closing.

I know it's not always easy to maintain grace under pressure. I've never worked that kind of job, so I'm not familiar with the kind of pressures that that line of work carries. I've never had a job with a time clock, and I've never had to wear a badge or nametag. One of my brothers worked in food service for many years, so I'm going to ask him about what it was like.

A friend of mine just wrote a blog about his struggles with jobs contributing too much to his identity. I know just what he means. About 14 years ago, I left a job of many years. Sometimes it was too much a part of my identity. The interesting thing was that after I left, I didn't miss the job per se, but I did miss the work I had been doing and realized that the work had affected me positively even though the job (the trappings of employment) had sometimes been toxic.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Day 2009

Christmas Day was rainy --- all day long!

I didn't have to play anywhere, so I slept in till about 6 (that IS sleeping in for me!), but didn't get out of bed till almost 8.

Went out and got some breakfast (the food was good but the restaurant was having HVAC trouble and it was COLD) and read the paper.

Then I opened presents and cards.

Lunch was with friends. I took a bottle of Carménère. We had turkey breast, carrots, broccoli salad (not!), potatoes, apple and onion stuffing, turnip soufflé (not!), with figgy pudding (YES! YES! YES!) and mincemeat pie for dessert. After lunch, most of the folks played Liverpool Rummy, while I had a nap, then worked on a crocheted afghan.

This past week I finished a crocheted striped (claret, burgundy) prayer shawl for a person at church who has been diagnozed with a tumor (pancreas?). I know this person, so it was special to be able to do it for her. I'm going to make another one, along with a simpler variation, so I can take pictures and write a proper pattern for them.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

In the Midst of Music

'Tis the season, so they say.

Have played two funerals this month. The first was very ordinary. The second, today, was unsual (for me, anyways). I was filling in for a colleague who is away for the Thanksgiving weekend. On the music list was UNC's song, "Hark the Sound." Seemed odd, especially since the deceased was NOT an alumna as far as I could tell. During one of the "witnesses" (read "eulogy"), a woman told this joke: Q: Why don't Southern Ladies go to orgies? A: Too many thank you notes to write. Seemed out of place to me. Especially in a church funeral service.

Yesterday I played a wedding for a (different) colleague. All went well except that I forgot to play "something" on the chimes to signal the minister, groom, and best man to enter. They figured it out and came in at the right moment just the same.

Used a lot of the same prelude music for both the wedding and the funeral (Walter/Vivialdi Concerto in B minor; Bach Nun freut' euch; Bach Von Gott will ich nicht lassen; Pachelbell Canon in D; Bach Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring).

This week begins Christmas music with a vengeance. This week there is a concert on Tuesday evening, a rehearsal on Thursday evening, and concert on Friday evening. The following week includes playing (organ) for two dinner parties, another rehearsal, and another concert. And it goes one like that for most of December.

Hope to deliver tomorrow the baby blanket that has been sitting, finished, since before the baby was born. I've got a card, gift bag, and tissue paper all ready. Just have to figure out which knitting bag it's in.

Am working on several prayer shawls. I had a request for one for someone specific, so have settled on a design (stripes in shades of red) and have started crocheting it. It shouldn't take me too long.

Mother broke her hip and fell (that's the sequence that the doctors confirmed). She got a new hip. We are hoping the severe pain in her leg was from deterioration or cracking of the hip over the last two years. On a scale of 1 to 10, she said that her pain had been a 40!

Best quote of the week: "Food and love both begin with looking."

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Tonight was the first Compline of the fall semester at the Chapel of the Cross, Chapel Hill, NC, where I am a member. I'd forgotten that they resumed tonight until someone mentioned it on Facebook. I still had enought time to get there, so I went.

20 singers + 1 thurifer. Nave full. Candlelight (except for music stand lights for the singers). LOTS of incense!

The picture was taken just before the service began. I tried to take some indoor pictures, but they didn't turn out well --- I think I had the camera on the wrong setting.

An exciting event took place at the end --- a man proposed to his girlfriend (yes, got down on one knee!) and she accepted.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Way Behind

Since my last post, I've been to the Men's Spring Knitting Retreat and a worship and music conference. I finished a white baby blanket for one of the prayer shawl groups and am in the middle of several shawls.

At the MSKR '09, everyone brought a 15"x15" square to contribute to a blanket as a gift to Easton Mountain. Joe bravely volunteered to do all the assembly. As you can imagine, it was not possible to assemble a queen-sized blanket over a long weekend, so he took it home to finish. Soon he shipped it to me. I had volunteered to put the border on it. I am finally on the last round! The first two rows were 1100 stitches each and the last two rows are 2750 rows each. And since I get almost no tv channels since the big switcheroo, there isn't much to watch while I'm working on it. The color of the border is olive, so I am grateful for my lighted crochet hook.

While I was working on the above-mentioned white baby blanket, the wooden handle on my aluminum crochet hook became detached. Just as a test, I worked the rest with a full-length hook inserted into the wooden handle. It worked very well, so I'm going to glue the long hook into the handle instead of the chopped-off one it came with. I also used, for some of the time, a Brittany hook. It is a longer style and more comfortable. Longer hooks are definitely the way to go!

After the worship and music conference at Montreat, I made a pilgrimage to Yarn Paradise in Asheville, NC. A fabulous place with a huge yarn, book, and magazine inventory. That's where I found the long Brittany hook, along with a new style of needle gauge and a brochure on yarn requirements for crochet projects.

Since I'm almost done with the border on the MSKR blanket, I need to get ready to take lots of pictures of it. I went to Wolf Camera at University Mall and did a little browsing for a decent digital camera. I am not satisfied yet that I know what I want, so I didn't get anything. I'm going to do a little more research this weekend.

I'm planning to write an entire blog about the MSRK, so stay tuned for that.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Just Enough Ruffles Scarf

I took at class at our local shop, Cozy, on the pattern "Just Enough Ruffles Scarf," from It was very interesting. I was really more interested in the ruffles, but the point of the class was to get some experience in the short-row technique. I used a silk wool yarn on size 6 needles. We started the class by knitting a miniature version so we could make sure we understood all the techniques involved. I went ahead and did the entire scarf in miniature, and I'm glad I did. I decided that I needed to use the size 6 needles to make the ruffle really "ruffly"! I got my scarf done in time for the second (and last) class, which was postponed due to the threat of snow. I've donated the scarf to the youth auction (tomorrow) at Watts Street Baptist Church (where I'm organist). I've started a second scarf in a medium blue wool. I think there are some weaknesses in the pattern. There seems to be a row missing after the garter stitch beginning. And the garter stitch ends up rolling. I'm following the pattern for the second one, but if I do more of them, I will experiment with seed stitch and ribbing to start.

Have a difficult wedding to play today. Did not get the music list (I wasn't consulted) till late in the game, so have had to work harder and faster on the Widor Toccata (V) than I would have liked. Fortunately, I'd already started to resurrect it for a recital here on May 31. The trumpeter will turn pages for me.

Have fallen behind on my reading mentioned here earlier. Maybe I'll get some done while at the beach next weekend.

There is a call for original patterns for prayer shawls. I'm going to design one meant for men and submit it. Pattern and sample has to be turned in by May 24, so I've got to get moving. I've already designed it in my head, but I need to write it down and actually crochet it pretty soon.

I was talking to an acquaintance recently and she suggested that maybe my fatigue is "adrenal fatigue." I did some reasearch on line and didn't come up with a whole lot of information, but it certainly is possible.

Have an annual church financial audit starting Monday. I got several boxes of materials packed this morning and will go back tomorrow to finish packing stuff up and run the last of the reports I usually have on hand. This one is earlier than usual, for which I'm thankful.