Saturday, November 24, 2007


Some time ago, when I mentioned on the OrthWomen's list that I had a daughter, someone responded that she hadn't known I had a daughter. This post may explain why I don't generally talk about her.

This isn't the first time she's trashed her father and me on this blog (which she knows I read), and there was a period of about three years when she didn't want anything at all to do with us. During that period, she initially had my whole family convinced that the problem was me, and the way I was treating her, but over that period of time, people who got to see us together formed a totally different picture, and sadly, my daughter has no credibility in my family anymore. Obviously, with her friends, it's a different story.

My husband is in favor of telling her off, loudly and clearly, and breaking off relations altogether. I just don't know. Part of me wants to say, "OK, enough with the lies." But a larger part of me references the example of St. Nektarios, who lived under the cloud of slander for, what, 30? 40? years of his life? and died under it. Only after his death was he revealed as a saint, and only after his death was the slander exposed for what it was.

What's better -- to endure, and keep praying for her, hoping that she corrects herself? Or to call her on it?

Friday, November 23, 2007

No Chris :-(

Well, at least he made it home for Thanksgiving dinner, but had to return to work today. We had him a scant 24 hours.

But this time last year, he was home for five days, and then we had to put him on a train and ship him back to Philly for another month. It was so hard to see him get on the train, knowing he was going back to a half-life that he absolutely detested. We didn't even know that the job he has now was in the offing.

So at least he's able to be with us somewhat more often this year, which was my big Thanksgiving focus. Face it -- we got spoiled, being able to see him every weekend when he was working days. He's been on nights since September, and expects to continue on nights till January. After that, who knows?

The biggest downside to nights, besides lousing up his circadian rhythm, is that he can't get to church because he doesn't get in till sometime after midnight -- he works from 4:00 p.m. until anywhere between midnight and 4:00 a.m. -- then just crashes till about 10:00 or so. And the nearest church is 25 miles away. I hope he doesn't lose track altogether of his spiritual life; he's been such an inspiration to so many people in his faithful church attendance.

Just grumping aloud. I miss my son. I have to remind myself -- I missed him a whole lot more last year. ;-)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Up to No Good... usual. Yes, I've been Very, Very Quiet of late, and this picture is why.

Now, there's a story here. (Otherwise, why blog about it?) I bought this back in either 1989 or 1990 so I'd have some needlework to occupy myself with in the summer months -- in those days, I was BIG into knitting, and face it, wool just isn't what you want in your hands when it's 90 degrees in the shade with 100% humidity. So, traipsing around the Windsor Button Shop, a wonderful store which has sadly gone out of business -- they couldn't afford the rent at the local mall -- I spotted this and picked it up. Hey, it has sheep, right? What knitter doesn't have a love affair with sheep, if only in theory? So I bought it and started work on it right away.

By 1990 or 1991 -- I rather think I started it in 1989, so progress would have been by 1990 -- I had the words all in, and the line border. Then I set it aside -- time to get back to knitting -- and forgot all about it. In 2001, feeling horribly depressed over a number of things including Empty-Nest Syndrome, I rediscovered cross stitch, picked this back up, and filled in all the sheep and the background. Then I was stumped -- I knew that the floral border would require a good deal of finicky work -- so I set it aside again.

In the meantime, I discovered the wonderful world of internet groups, including a couple of cross-stitch groups, and these taught me hitherto-unknown techniques like the pinhead stitch for starting and ending needlework, the loop method of starting, and "parking" threads so that it's possible to work on really complicated projects with multiple colors of thread without losing one's mind. In October of this year, I had to attend a conference for tax collectors -- what needleworker in her right mind travels without a project?! (On the other hand, who said I was in my right mind....) This was my designated Travel Project (shows how much travel I do), so I flung it into the van and headed up for three incredibly boring days, about which I have already blogged.

But they were just the jump-start I needed to keep going on this project, and this past week, it suddenly dawned on me:

After, what, 18? 19? years -- I could finish this thing.

I got it done last night.

Now to frame it, and then -- on to the next thing, or rather, back to current projects, namely, the Golden Tikhvin Theotokos (see my last post for photo), which is my Lenten project, and a bit more work, as I can fit it in, on Maryland Mountain Express, which is somewhere in the distant archives of this blog. (I just looked -- January 2006)

All I can say is, thank heaven for "parking."