OK. Go read this.
I hope you're knitting on your scarves (deadline is December 15th), and I hope you will consider donating to the Red Scarf Fund for foster youth.
OK. Go read this.
I hope you're knitting on your scarves (deadline is December 15th), and I hope you will consider donating to the Red Scarf Fund for foster youth.
OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, Dear Readers. Have you heard?! There's another (part) terrier in the bloggerhood!!!!
She has such cute ears and such a cute nose, I think I'm in love. I hope Olive will guest blog on a few Terrier Tuesdays. Will ya, will ya, will ya, Olive? OMG! You're my favorite THING! When I'm not body-slamming the kitchen cupboard that holds the TREATS, I love you, and only you, unconditionally. I'll give you a good share of the treats, if you can help me get into this cupboard! I will!
Don't tell Chloe, the Yorkshire girl at my babysitter's house, I said I love you, though. She might not like it much.
P.S. Alpha Alpha wants me to tell you she finds it to be a stroke of good luck that after yesterday's post about judges and lawyers, she is brushing up on the Man of Law's Tale for tonight's class on the Canterbury Tales.
P.P.S. She also wants me to tell you that saying "Welcome, Olive," is a good excuse to make a donation to the Red Scarf Fund. Just sayin'. The raffle for the needles is still going on, and you have until midnight this Friday night to get your entries in. All the details are in this post. Be sure to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to tell her you've donated (and prove it somehow, too, please). kthanks!
This article really brought back some memories of my days in court.
I've known some odd lawyers and judges in my day. So many of them have quirks that are either charming or repulsive, and one wonders sometimes -- particularly in the case of judges -- how the hell they ever made it to the bench. Sometimes "smart" really does mean "weird as hell," but that is not to say that all the weird ones were even that smart. If ya know what I mean.
Not long ago, I had a chat with one of the med students, who said to me, "I feel like judges are like the surgeons of the legal world. They've made it."
Inside I was laughing my ass off, trying not to snort, and was thinking thoughts of My Cousin Vinnie when I looked at him and said, "Yeah. Well, maybe not always so much," and I went on to 'splain: Probably more often than not, what he said is true. But more times than we'd like to know about, it's just a matter of who you know and how much money you have, where you went to school, what political favors you are owed, and the same-old-same-old that happens in every other aspect of life.
And I guess one's weird quirks, or even the fact that one's law practice to this point requires the newly appointed judge to Mapquest how to get to the courthouse because the last time he's seen the inside of a courtroom was in his swearing-in ceremony, do not necessarily negate the fact that one might be qualified and could even turn out to be a great judge. But as someone who sat in court for all those years, I have often wondered WTF?
The article about the attire that I linked above brought back memories of one judge I worked with for many years. He was a very nice man -- as far as I could tell, a devoted father and husband -- and if you'd see him at a party, he was Mr. Affability. But in the workplace, he could not have been more stuffy, stiff, and weird. Behind his back, people referred to him as "Chuckles," in the most ironical way. He often turned his chair backwards while he was on the bench, and people thought he was sleeping (in fact, we are sure he was sleeping at least once or twice or a couple of dozen times). He said that was how he thought. There would often be these incredibly uncomfortable and long and awkward pauses when he was asked a question. Or he might seemingly be in this sort of half-sleep, or daydreaming or whatever, and then abruptly do or say something that was totally bizarre. One time when I was in his courtroom, right in the middle of an attorney's opening statement to the jury -- which is one of those really crucial times in a lawyer's presentation, duh -- this judge sort of barked out, "Counsel, approach the bench."
Approaching the bench is this sort of solemn and relatively rare moment meant to be used for something quite unusual. The at-the-bench proceedings were on the record in those days (who knows what happens now, since they hardly use court reporters in court anymore, but tape recorders), and I'd have to jump up and make my steno machine tall on its tripod, and stand next to the bench to take down the whispered conversation. It was stuff that was meant to be outside the hearing of the jury, the parties, and other people in the courtroom. Often it was to do with rules of procedure or some big juicy Perry Mason moment where somebody had just, or was about to, spill the major beans in violation of the rules or some ruling that had been made previously. Or it could be something like the judge had noticed that one of the jurors or one of the attorneys was asleep, or the defendant was making eyes at one of the jurors, he saw someone pass a note to someone else -- or who knows what it might have been. It was usually something quite adrenaline-inducing, at least for me.
In this one bizarre instance, the judge said to the public defender, "Your top button is not buttoned."
Seriously. The attorney to whom he was speaking was a cute, charming, but incredibly shy and bumbling, and not terribly nattily dressed, public defender. He was usually tugging at his clothing and tucking in his shirt and fidgeting while he was speaking, and never quite getting at looking neat and unrumpled, but he was definitely within the bounds of proper dress for the courtroom at all times. From my perspective as the court reporter, if he only could have completed a full sentence, we'd have been golden. I never did know how to punctuate that poor guy. The dash key was used more in his transcripts than any other lawyer I've ever known. I admittedly did want to strangle him on more than one occasion.
But to interrupt the poor guy in the middle of his opening statement in a criminal case to tell him the top button of his shirt, under his tie, was not buttoned?
One of the more bizarre moments in the history of the courtroom, if I do say. Even the State's Attorney who, in moments of a trial in a criminal case, was the mortal enemy of this public defender, met my eyes with a bemused look that said, "Did that really just happen?"
Yes, indeed, it did.
As did this incident, involving the same judge, different attorney:
Traditionally on the opening day of the term in the county court, all attorneys who practice in that court came together for the Call of the Docket -- all the cases expected to be addressed that term are called, lawyers say, "Yes, your Honor, that is my case and we will be ready for trial on such-and-such a date," or something of that ilk. And, well, mostly it's a waste of time. The most I can say for it is it was an easy day for me three or four times a year, and I got to have a fun social day with every attorney and his brother and sister.
Well, one year one of the attorneys had broken his toe and wore flip-flops on his feet with his bespoke suit. It was the same Judge Chuckles presiding that term. The attorney was called to the bench and chastised about his disrespectful attire.
The attorney said, "I apologize, your Honor. I'll try not to break my toe in the future." (To be fair to the judge, the attorney had not told anyone that the reason he was wearing flip-flops was because he had a broken toe, and if he had, I'm quite sure that even Judge Chuckles would have forgiven him his transgression.)
Being a guy quite heavy on The Grand Gesture, this attorney went home during the lunch hour and appeared in the afternoon session in his $250 wing tips, the front half of one of the shoes cut out.
The memory still sends me into fits of snorts and giggles.
Ah, we did have fun.
This was my special treat yesterday (wishing that photo were clearer). I love, love, love good chewy steel-cut old-fashioned oatmeal, cooked just so. I love most hot cereals, actually. For some reason it is extra-delicious when I have it in one of my Laura Ashley Chintzware bowls. It just is.
I can't eat it on a work day, because it does not stay with me. I get ravenous, hypoglycemically shaky, and brain-dead about an hour and a half after eating it. But I love it so. Yesterday I had it fully dressed with walnuts, cinnamon, raisins, and just a touch of maple syrup and milk. Mmmmmmmm. And then I ate a whole cow about an hour and a half later. I exaggerate. Only half a cow.
P.S. We have 13 donations to the Red Scarf Fund, totaling $390, since my post on Thursday. Let's keep up the super-fabulous great work!!!Be sure to notify me by email (at norma[dot]knits[at]gmail[dot]com) of your donation to be placed in the drawing for the lovely red needles. (See my Thursday, September 24, post for further details.)
P.P.S. As of this writing (10 p.m. Saturday evening), there are already 32 members in our new Alert the Media! Ravelry group that I just started yesterday. That's just not riiiiiiiight. (Kidding! It's awesome! Keep it up, people! I really NEEEED another thing to do. Srsly, I do.)
But we still don't have a banner/button. Halp!
EDITED TO ADD: Thanks to Silvia and her Photoshop skillz, we have a banner and a badge, and I love them. Thank you, Sil!!!
On Thursday night I was all over Facebook saying, "Alert the Media! I'm knitting!" (or I was about to). And then Judith R. commented that she had just said that somewhere in Ravelry. Great minds and all that. (To new readers, this is significant because it's been so.damn.long.since.I.have.knitted.anything. Kind of silly, this being a so-called knitting blog and all that.)
As it turns out, I think I knitted ten whole rows on my tomato red scarf when Grey's Anatomy first came on, but Mr. Jefferies was having none of that and kept doing things to interrupt during the entire two-hour show. So the knitting activity was definitely not front-page news. But at least it was something.
Last night I thought how much fun it would be to start a Ravelry group with that name. (Alert the Media!) I searched, and could not find a group along the same lines that already exists. If I'm wrong, someone should probably let me know.
Look at me, once a charter member of the Ravelry Underachievers group, all grown up and going to start my own group!
Not so fast.
I started to do it, but I got whelmed by the banner-creating phase. The group's idea would be a place for those of us who have inadvertently or unavoidably taken a hiatus from knitting. Alert the Media! would be our celebratory cry when we take up the needles again, even if only for ten (or two) rows of a scarf. All I need is a banner/button design. Anyone wanna help? If we get several entries, perhaps we can have a vote and contest. And in the meantime, go on in and join the group.
When we had that cold snap, I realized he needed more warm clothes (No, stop that. I'm not knitting him a sweater. Yet. Heh.)
I ordered him an adorable plaid fleece jacket from Kooldawgtees, as well as some new boots which unfortunately I will have to exchange. Why didn't I realize his feet are "tiny" size instead of "XS"? Anyhoo, they put this green flip-flop shoe squeaky toy in, which, as you can see, was a big hit.
Don't forget to donate to the OFA and email me at norma[dot]knits[at]gmail[dot]com in order to be placed in the drawing for the lovely Signature Needles. More about it in yesterday's post.
Or in the alternative, simply donate because Mr. Jefferies is cute.
And there I was, thinking that my fall crops were going to amount to nothing. Oh ye (I) of little faith.
I went out to the garden yesterday, and granted, we have been having unseasonably delicious weather. But out of nowhere, these little greens had appeared -- enough for a very large and spectacular luncheon salad. I've got everything in this bowl from lettuce (only one plant made it out of an entire packet of seeds, what with marauding critters and lack of watering and such), to lots of baby spinach, kale, beet greens, (I don't know what the curly thing is that is from the French Market mix -- the one that tastes of anise, but it's in there), parsley, and broccoli (the little broccoli florets were terribly camera-shy for some reason). I put an ounce of local goat cheese on it, and a half a can of tuna (not local, heh), and dressed it with a vinaigrette I made of my own garlic, Vermont apple cider vinegar, Vermont sunflower oil, and maple syrup. I should have remembered the scrumptious red onions I have, but I was so anxious to eat this that I forgot them until it was already gone, and I had one of those V-8 moments, slapped my forehead, and say, "Wow. I could have had ...."
While I was outside, I planted the packet of microgreen seeds that I mentioned yesterday. Hopefully we won't go into the deep-freeze too soon for them to sprout and grow enough to have on a sandwich or salad or something in the 25 days it promises on the packet.
I like to think I'm saving the world -- or at least myself -- one perfect salad at a time.
And so how would you like the chance to win these gorgeous red size US 7 needles from Signature Needle Arts?
To kick off the fundraising for the Red Scarf Fund this year, I'm going to try something a little different. On the idea that every little bit helps, and lots of small donations add up to make a big difference, I'm going to start small and raffle these off.
HERE ARE THE RULES:
Donate at least $5 (hopefully more if you can spare it) to
the Red Scarf Fund For Foster Youth
and let me know via email at
You don't even have to tell me the amount, but do please give me real proof that you have donated to the Red Scarf Fund at the
midnight Eastern Time, FRIDAY, October 2nd, 2009
I will then put your name in the random number generator for a shot at these wonderful needles.
The easiest way to donate is through Paypal at the link above, but you can send them a check if you wish. Just don't forget you will have to prove to my satisfaction that you sent it. I assume you will be honest and fair with me, and you will have to trust that I will be honest and fair with you. The address for sending a check is:
Orphan Foundation of America
21351 Gentry Drive, Suite 130
Sterling, VA 20166
Make checks payable to Orphan Foundation of America, and mark "Red Scarf Fund" in the memo line.
If you would more information about the fund and what it is used for, I've explained it in this post.
1. Mr. Jefferies has coccidiosis, or at least an evaluation of his stool sample (yes, we had the poop!) revealed coccidia. However, even before the sample was brought in to the vet, he seemed mostly back to his normal self in all respects. He has his energy back, he is eating and drinking and peeing and pooping (and whining and teasing me for treats and to play with him endlessly). Yay for normal bodily functions and behaviors. He has medication (Albon) to take, and he will remain on the bland diet for the rest of the week, at least. I think he had a very mild case of it, or more to the point, I think he has a strong immune system that recovered from it pretty quickly. Fricking people who don't pick up their dogs' poop. And fricking him for eating it at every chance he can get (he's fast). I'm quite sure that's where he got it. I know he could get it from the ground even if people DID pick up their dogs' and cats' poop, because coccidia is microscopic. But having the poop right there for him to dine on like it's the greatest delicacy in the world increases the chances, I'm sure, a hundredfold.
2. The Paul Roberts talk on The End of Food was enjoyable and very illuminating. I find him to be almost a clone of Michael Pollan -- or vice versa; I'm not sure who came first -- or maybe they were twins separated at birth -- but I saw Michael Pollan first, so to me HE was first -- and Roberts wore a suit, whereas Pollan wore a t-shirt that said, "Vote with your fork," (heh-heh) but the message is pretty much the same. Roberts had some other important economic angles from which he addresses the subject, though. I commend you to go to his talk if he comes to your area -- or I should say I commend you to buy his book, I suppose.
2 a) He did say a few times that, being in Burlington, Vermont, he knew he was preaching to the choir, and in my individual case, of course, that is true. He reiterated the general message that Pollan delivered here last year: The rest of the country is watching you, Vermont, when it comes to food production.
2 b). He said that "overnourished" is the new politically correct word for "obese." Let's hear it for political correctness.
2 c). His talk did make me rue the quarts of berries and pounds of beans, et al., that I did not get put away for this year -- the ones I mentioned in my post last week or so. And it made me eager to redouble my efforts to grow my own as much as possible and keep it local and small-scale as much as possible. But, you know, that's nothing new. I must buy some beets, if I can find some available at a local farmstand, and pickle them. The beet harvest I gathered the other day from my own garden was too small to bother pickling any -- we'll eat them fresh. We've already eaten about a third of them. Yummilicious.
3. To the growing-my-own end, yesterday I went to Gardener's Supply to get some Milky Spore to try to cut down the population of Japanese Beetles in my garden. They have risen to astronomical levels this summer, after having been kept at bay for quite a few years after my last application of the stuff. They really did a number on the plum trees, the roses, the strawberry plants, the asparagus, and the green beans this year. Hopefully next year they will be less in number.
4. While at Gardener's Supply, I picked up packets of sprouting seeds for the winter, and microgreen seeds to give one last shot at growing something in my garden soil before winter sets in.
I had a long chat with the owner? manager? (not sure which) at the shop yesterday, who indicated to me that the growing zones have all been moved up a half a zone as a result of global warming. We talked about our mixed feelings about that. As northern gardeners, we do appreciate the longer growing season and the greater range of things we can successfully grow, but it also seems to have an ominous feel to it. Other parts of my state (sorry, Gayle) have already had at least two killing frosts, but we haven't been hit yet. Knock on wood.
5. I've had a number of more questions about the raised beds in my garden. They are made of black plastic, they are very lightweight, super-easy to assemble, and inexpensive. They also come from Gardener's Supply. I can't recommend them highly enough. They have changed my whole gardening life. You could make your own raised beds by nailing boards together, but for my money these are so much easier (they literally take 3 seconds per corner to assemble, with no tools required), and they keep in the warmth and moisture a bit better, without the risk of getting slivers, cutting, measuring, or hammering my finger into oblivion. Then again, if you've got some two-by-sixes or two-by-eights hanging around your house (not pressure-treated) and if lack of $39 for a Grow Bed is keeping you from growing some of your own food, then by all means, slap some of those puppies together and throw some soil in, some seeds in, water it, and grow something!
6. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do about Red Scarf Fund fundraising this year. I have been offered a few prizes (I have some gorgeous red Signature Needle Arts needles sitting here beside me, for example, and some generous gift certificates from Anne Hanson, along with some hand-dyed yarns offered), but response and reaction to my mention of it was tepid at best. Not sure if it's worth the work and headaches. I suppose anything is better than nothing, though.
Actually, I'm doing very much better. Thank you, dear readers, for pulling for me. While I was recuperating, A. Alpha was trying all day to put goofy sunglasses on me so I could look like her friend Margene in this picture.
But I wouldn't allow it.
Anyway, we don't really know what happened to my tummy, but I threw up a lot of grass Sunday morning and I could not eat or drink even one drop of chicken broth for a good 24 hours or more. And then she gave me some boiled rice, boiled chicken, and cottage cheese, and it was good and I ate it, but about three hours later I threw it all up, completely undigested. A. Alpha said she was very frightened for me because I'm so small. I don't know about frightened, but I know I sure didn't feel good.
But yesterday morning when I got up, I was feeling a teeny-tiny bit better and I drank some water. And then A. Alpha made me some brown rice and plain yogurt, and I liked that. All day long she and David fed me about two teaspoons of that every hour, and you know what? I didn't throw it up! And then A. Alpha made some scrambled egg and gave me a bite, and I didn't throw that up either! And I drank some more water.
And then we took a walk, and I felt a lot better. My tail was up in the air like usual, and I peed a few times. So we didn't go to the doctor, but we still might today, she says, if I don't poop.
She's been humiliating me all day by saying that she is on poop watch, because she says that once I've pooped, then she'll know that I'm really OK. She said she was even wishing FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER (she said it real loud) that there might even be poop on the floor when she got home from work last night.
Gawd. Is nothing sacred?
A. Alpha's note: Poop is not a dirty word! Everybody poops, Mr. Jefferies! Just not on the carpet.
At 12:03 a.m. Sunday, the entire household was sound asleep, all of our lights were off, and .... what was that? Mr. Jefferies has bounded off the bed, he is barking, and it seems like we heard something, too. As the fuzz starts to clear, we wonder, "Was that the doorbell?" But it doesn't seem possible. Then we realize there is a car in our driveway, with the lights on. Yes, we decide we think the back doorbell rang. And then the front doorbell rings (the back doorbell is one ring, the front is a double ring).
It's the most disorienting thing, and upsetting. And Mr. Jefferies is barking, I'm trying to calm him down, and we're both wondering, "Who could this BE at this hour?"
David's eyes finally adjust to the darkness and the car lights enough that he is able to identify the car as a St. Albans City police cruiser. Hm. One of David's positions is as the State's Attorney (in other states, this is often referred to as "District Attorney") for the adjoining county. Once in a while the State Police have to visit, but normally they call first. S.A. City PD is not within his jurisdiction, but it's conceivable that the Franklin County S.A., who lives on our street, was maybe not available or something, and they might call on David to answer an important question. Not too far-fetched, but STILL. The doorbell in the middle of the night, when we are clearly asleep? Do I need to tell you the shivers that were going through my entire body at that point? This can only be bad news of the most excruciating, gut-wrenching, pulling-fingernails-out-by-their-sockets kind. I'm nearly throwing up.
So David pulls himself together and gets dressed and goes to the back door. I had opened a window and the police officer said, "Hi, sorry to bother you so late. City Police," which then sent Mr. Jefferies into paroxysmal barking, understandably so -- cripes, *I* was nearly barking at that point, and I'm not even a canine.
David talked to her for a while, and then comes back upstairs. I ask him what was THAT all about. "Well," he said, "she said that there's been some vandalism in the area. The State Police called the City Police to say that they saw some kids spray-painting mailboxes, and she wanted to assure us that they were investigating it."
I kid you not.
a) That must be one very bored police department;
b) How inSENSITIVE can they be? A visit in the middle of the night from a police officer should be reserved for something like "Your son was killed in Iraq." "Your spouse was in a horrible automobile accident." "Your house is on fire." "There is a bomb in your mailbox, but don't worry -- our crack team is going to disarm it." Even, "There is a homicidal psychopath on the loose. Keep your doors locked." NOT "Somebody spray-painted some mailboxes in your neighborhood."
I made a written complaint to the Chief of Police. David made me sanitize it by editing a lot of what I wanted to say out of it.
That's one reason I'm glad I have the blog. Nobody censors me here. Nobody'd better even DARE.So, first the black cat incident, and then this.
And then yesterday Mr. Jefferies was sick all day. I was forced to lie low myself, taking care of him, and we're going to need to see the vet today, I fear.