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Showing posts from February, 2009

Fortunate

My current short autobiography, used on my Facebook, Twitter, and Blogger profiles is:

A woman of a certain age. I won't be remembered after I die, but I am one of the luckiest people ever to be born. I work, sail, knit, garden & make music.

The first sentence is the biological me, controlled by the ticking of the clock, and mitigated to a certain extent by eating right, shaking my bones, taking my meds, and keeping my mind open. Mitigation does work, I heartily recommend it.

The last sentence is what I do. My career is happenstance, a path discovered along the way and never dreamed of when I was young. I was fortunate to find it, because through it I have been able to find comfort and security. I feel fortunate as well to have discovered a craft that gives me pleasure as I master it, and that soothes my mind as it keeps my fingers busy. Our sailboat is a piece of serendipity, purchased in a flush moment before a financial downturn; a friend told us that we bought it in the nick …

A happy anniversary

There was something about yesterday that kept pricking at my thoughts and memories. When I checked my calendar before going to bed, I realized that yesterday was the one year anniversary of my emergency surgery last year. As I look back, this anniversary feels like a New Year's celebration.

I am so very grateful to be alive, and to have experienced the past year. For me, it has been a good one. Without the miracle of medical technology, I do not think I would have survived. I am so very lucky to live in the right place at the right time.

I remember with love everything people did to help me as I recovered. My husband took care of me and of all the heavy work, and my daughter was home on break for the first week after I came home. My mother drove up from Rochester to stay with me when my husband had to go out of town on business. How many times now has she come up to stay with us when I have needed help? Will I ever do the same for my daughter?

I am grateful as well for the messages o…

Thoughts on the Intimacy of Tax Preparation - Reprise

It's Valentine's Day, and the heart of the tax preparation season. I am coordinating a VITA Program free tax clinic at work again this year, and have prepared taxes for a few dozen people so far. These are lower income people, and I am hearing hard stories about the struggles of making ends meet.

I am strongly committed to this program for several reasons. It's a way I can give back to the community for its support of the agency. It's a way I can help people with my particular set of professional skills. And, it's a way for me to connect with people, a nice change from my usual workday of feeding the computer.

We are all told there are three things you do not talk about in polite company: politics, sex, and money. The first two are much more likely to creep into party conversations than the third. Many people enjoy debating politics, and almost everyone likes to talk about other people's sex lives (and sometimes to leave hints about their own). But money - that …

Knitting Blog: The Art of the Small

Lenore Happenstance tweeted me a link to a short video about some of the incredible teensy tinesey knitting that is part of the new movie Coraline. For your viewing pleasure:

http://io9.com/5148240/coraline-+-the-biggest-smallest-movie-ever-made

The artist, Althea Crome, has been featured in a few articles in knitting magazines over the years. For more of the fantastic, check out her website, Bugknits.

Crome's knitting is a pure miniature, an exact replica of a human-scaled object but created on a very small scale. If a particular sweater needs 200 stitches around to fit a human body, Crome's version will also have 200 stitches. 200 very tiny stitches.

Wouldn't you love to have one of her sweaters, mounted in a little lucite box? I certainly would.

Why living in the woods may not be green

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Very recently I said, "When we bought our land and built our home in the woods, I thought we were choosing a more ecologically sound way to live. I was wrong." I have been asked why.

The answer is very simple: we are too far away from everything. In our early days here, we used to joke that we lived 20 miles from everything. Well, it's true, and the joke is very hollow now that I have lived what that means: many, many miles of driving.

Between the two of us, we drive at least 40,000 miles a year. I alone drive nearly 10,000 miles a year to work and back. Robert's work takes him even further afield. Then there's the sailboat 70 miles away from our home, band gigs, and friends and family many miles away. Over 30 years, that's 1.2 million miles of driving and a hell of a lot of carbon dioxide, perhaps a million pounds.

We could perhaps ameliorate that by being good stewards of our 137 acres of woods and beaver pond, but that is much harder than it seems. In 1998, a…

25 Random Things About Myself

A couple of people on Facebook have tagged me with this meme. The reason why I am going through the exercise is defined in the first item.

1. I'm having a hard time writing blog posts lately. I am being distracted by Twitter and Facebook. If I do this exercise, I can cross post to my blog. It's a two-fer!

2. I am addicted to stealing time. See #22 and #23 below.

3. I have the opportunity at work to partially change the nature of my job, and need to buckle down and make it so.

4. I keep my fingernails short. I will never have acrylic nails.

5. I'm glad now that I left music as a major in college. Athough I have a knack, I don't have a deep talent. And my heart would be broken as I felt MS weaken my ability to play the flute. As a semi-musician, it doesn't matter that I don't have speed any more, or that I can no longer play a professional open-hole model.

6. Even so, having the opportunity to make music regularly makes my life much richer.

7. I hold onto things, and d…