Monday, February 08, 2010

My Mandela Moment

February 11, 2010 markes the 20th anniversary of the release of South African political prisoner and father of a revolution, Nelson Mandela.

This morning I sent members of my family to South Africa for 5 days of festivities that my friend Duma Ndlovu and the South African government have planned. Because of a very serious business commitment, I could not go (sob, sniffle, wail). But I will definitely enjoy hearing all about the thrilling events to come including trips to Parliament, dinner with MosDef and President Zuma, events with Nelson AND Winnie Mandela, a symbolic walk from that dreadful prison where so many dissidents were beaten, tortured and murdered, speeches, teach ins, song, dances and great food.

No doubt had I gone, I would have found the Be Sweet folks and spent many hours fondling their lovely goodness!

So tell me, what was your Mandela Moment?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Historian Howard Zinn, 1922 - 2010

Way back in May '07 I attended a reading of the People's History of the United States. Danny Glover, Steve Earle and others joined Prof. Zinn to read passages from the book. It was a last minute decision to go and when I hesitated my friend Barbara, all the way from California, insisted that I go. Thank you Barbara! It was a marvelous evening filled with energy, solidarity and history. Prof. Zinn died yesterday. I'm so glad I went.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

An almost empty nester

I hear a lot of people lament about what will there be to do when they become empty nesters. It is true, your children, having been the central theme in your life for two decades or more, being without them can be scary. It is so important for us to attend to own interests and identity(s?) so we don't feel useless when our children leave the nest.

Watching a master do a bobbin lace

from a Fall day at the Cloisters, NYC

I imagine myself spending each day meandering through gardens, craft demonstrations, lectures, museums and stumbling upon street fairs....

and yarn fairs

and attending luncheons galore!

But I'm not an empty nester, I still have one more big guy to look after. And with all the lovely things I dream of doing and sometimes get to enjoy, there just isn't the kind of time I imagined there'd be when I sent the second son off to college...

Jonathan's first day of high school sophomore year this past September

Andrew's first day of school, kindergarten, with Jonathan standing by

Being a parent of a sophmore in high school is not for the squeamish. There are curfews to enforce, girlfriends to scare off (just kidding); serious homework to patrol and teaching them to take care of themselves - eventually

breakfast food cooking lessons

Oh yeah, there's football laundry

believe me it smelled far worse than it looked

football games every Saturday and Monday

helping to cater football pasta parties every Friday

Jonathan #86, Free Safety
Keeping my fingers crossed that there will be no trips to the ER

And all of this happened before December! Here, in this new year of 2010 I wonder what life will bring. I have a big surprise to share with you hopefully this spring but in the meanwhile, I am trying to find peace and blessings in the day to day adventures (and dilemmas) this new decade will bring.

My college student sons are growing up and away. I miss them so much but am so proud of their new wings.

One of the last pictures I took with Andrew (click on Freshman class)

My Marcus can be so mild mannered at times, but as a true gemini, there's that other guy....

and yes, there is always knitting

Friday, October 23, 2009

Massive Update

Yes, yes, it has been awhile. Suffice it to say that soooo much is brewing that I simply couldn't settle on what to feature that I would not regret months from now. So here is a safe update on all that's been cooking for the past few months.

#1 Son's Semester off

My oldest son is an actor. Has been all of his life, however, I wasn't one of those stage moms so he was not a profesional child actor or model. Last summer, as he was about to enter his junior year at college, he decided to actively pursue his career - for the summer. He was casted in a bunch of films and he was the standin for Corbin Bleu in a HBO tv series. Now he is working on another HBO show, How to Make it In America and I hope he gets on camara for that one.

#2 Son graduates high school and goes off to college!

The dreaded dorm shopping

Last day at a Savannah riverfront hotel before dorm move in

Vegas with #3 son

Jonathan played in a national basketball tournament in Las Vegas. That place is the debil.

Why does my child take coaching from his coaches with his full attention and I have to threaten bodily harm just to get him to stand still and listen?

A weekend vacation to French Town, NJ

I took a long weekend away to French Town. It is a really pretty place. I also drove to New Hope and Lambertville and they were nice too but it was in Frenchtown where I found this:

Visited the Spinnery

Spent quality time with dear friends

My Pal Phyllis and cat

My oldest friend, Amir

My buddy Deb

My foreign phantom friend Duma. I met Duma almost 30 years ago when he lived in the US in exile from apartheid South Africa. He returned after Mandela became president. Whenever he visits here on business, he always finds the time to give me a shoutout.

So you see, a lot has been going on. Have I been knitting? Oh sure,

Noro silk garden sock, yarn gifted to me by my pal Phyllis

A really grainy picture I took with my camera phone of my Malabrigo bolero. I love this! Fast and knit in one piece!

Whelp, that's it for now. Time does fly!

Jonathan, Marcus and Andrew - a long time ago

Marcus, Andrew and Jonathan - June '09

Friday, June 05, 2009

One on one with #3 son

This is my darling 3rd son.

Many years ago, while the two older boys were away at school for the day, he and I would hang out in my garden.

He is now 14 1/2 and nearly 6' 1" tall. We don't spend a lot of time one on one anymore. He will not even play one on one basketball with me anymore!

A couple of weeks ago, I kidnapped him and took him out to dinner. Just the two of us. He spent most of the time asking why I was doing this and the other half of the time txting his friends. I resorted to other diversions...

The two girls in the booth in front of us were the complete opposite of us. While my son barely spoke to me at all, one of the girls in the booth in front of us NEVER STOPPED TALKING! I couldn't help myself, I had to film it. As you can see, it did get Jonathan's attention.

Even though the outing didn't go as planned, it went far better than this disaster, below:

Silk garden socks, way too big!

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Prom Weekend survival guide

My pal Phyllis called me up over the prom weekend to get me out of the house. She is so clever. The ruse? The sun is out, she had to buy plants for her garden, she had to drive way upstate New York and she needed a gardening friend (I'm really her knitting friend).

It was a lovely drive to this beautiful garden center she found. I didn't know where to look first - perennials, shade garden plants, trees, shrubs...

I spied lots of shrubs that wanted to come home with me

a beautiful smoke bush that I resisted

a sweet almond bush I couldn't resist

No matter how tempting, I did walk away from the wisteria. Giverney will have to wait for another life, in another garden, in Paris perhaps?

While I meandered about checking out the waves of fauna and enjoying the blazing sun that I was beginning to think was a phantom notion never to return to our planet, Phyllis was taking care of business with the garden guys

If it wasn't for the neat key to Phyllis' plans that kept our focus, we would have been wandering around this place all day just gawking at all the possibilities, well at least I would have. I have such trouble with ADHD, OCD and all the other hoarding disorders yet to be named brought on by the short fuse I've acquired dealing daily with teenagers and dumb politics, sorry, i digress...

Hungry and dehydrated, we set out to find food. While enjoying a nice lunch in a tavern that had a nice outdoor garden, Phyllis and I got to eat, knit and plot her planting schedule when BOOM!

Free Entertainment!

A car wreck where no one was hurt brought what seemed like the entire town and every first responder on and off the payroll, in and out of uniform and some who didn't bother to finish getting into uniform!

When I got home, I got a call from the prom dude that he was coming home early, yes! So, in celebration, mamma baked him a cake and made so much barbecue that I swear my hair is permanently infused with smoke. No matter, my son is safe and was all prommed out!


Sunday, May 31, 2009

Prom Nite, middle child

Well, I survived another prom nite. Will I survive the weekend? I'll tell you when he comes home from the shore. Supposed to be today, Sunday. Traditionally they stay out from prom nite through Monday morning. Don't ask. I graduated high school in the dark ages, 1977. I can't imagine what my parents would have said if I said, "Mom, Dad, I'll see you in a few days."

Another tradition here in my town is to have the pre-prom party. One of the families graciously lends their home for all of us worn out parents to come and wear out their lawns.

...and block their traffic

Then we attempt to line the promies up to get group shots.

So easy to find your child in a crowd when they have the darkest tan

parents playing paparazzi

It is amazing how much they actually look alike!

...and they took off, with the $150 tux, $150 limo, $200 prom tkts, $250 beach house rental and $25 dollar hair cut (he went two days in a row).

I was a little worried, of course, so I tried working on this back home

Piece of advice, don't try working on any lace project when something is on your mind. Even if it is a simple two line repeat, you'll regret it...