Random thoughts, ideas and pictures of a multi-tasking, yarn-addicted Lady Lawyer

Yes... I really DO have 5 kids

Sunday, December 28, 2008


And on a warm December night... when no one but a true Eagles fan thought it was possible. So much had to happen: the Bucs had to lose to Oakland; AND either the Vikings or Da Bears had to lose. We decided to throw one of our Eagles parties. After all, it WAS the Cowboys coming to town. After all, unless three miracles happened, my beloved Birds couldn't make the playoffs. But as I have been saying for so many months.... IT IS 1980 all over again and the Cowboys were in the way of Destiny!!!!!!!

We watched the Raiders beat the Bucs -- and let's face it, since 1981, no Eagles fan is ever going to be screaming "Go Raiders!!"... until today. During the early game, we kept seeing the Houston score -- omiGOD!!! they were beating the Bears. And then the Cowboys and the Eagles roared into the Linc. Only one team roared back out. For many years, I have watched the hated Cowboys and their arrogant players make their claim of being "America's Team." For oh-so-many years, I have watched the EAGLES be the NFC's best team or one of the best teams while the 'Boys fail to win a playoff game for a decade. I hear national commentators poo-poo our city and our fans and our spirit. Every year, for my whole life, Cowboys this and Cowboys that.

As we watched and screamed and jumped up and down and drank WAY too much and ate and made complete idiots of ourselves (and we feel a little badly since some of our guests weren't football fans; they WERE warned in advance)... once again as in October with the Phillies winning the World Series, I was that 16 year old girl again. The girl with good knees (I think my knees may be in pretty serious pain right now -- there was that one fumble run back for a touchdown where I jumped up and down and knew subconciously that I shouldn't BE jumping up and down; LOTS of drinking). The happy girl who had her whole Life stretched out before her on a silver platter. The girl whose Daddy would have LOVED today's game so much.

As my sister and I were texting back and forth: "It was always going to be the Cowboys."

Final score: Eagles 44 Cowboys 6

BRING ON THE VIKINGS -- IT'S 1980!!!!!!!

GO EAGLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

So we had a fun day (and Christmas Eve too although there was a LOT of alcohol involved which made this morning a little rough!). All the kids were here as was my mom. Everyine got spoiled rotten -- I do 99.9% of the shopping; I'm not sure whether my yarn addiction or shopping-for-my-kids addiction is worse.

As to LJB's comment below: Sorry Sissy, just didn't have enough room on the last post LOL

Pictures above are of my sister, pretend brother and I on Thanksgiving and of the kids and my mom today.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a GOOD NIGHT

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas craziness

I looked today and saw that I haven't posted ANYTHING for a month (again!). I got the never-ending sinus infection and bronchitis that lasted for a month (probably because I was too stubborn to go back to the doctor when I didn't get better). I had root canal. I had difficult clients being more difficult than usual (and a few really nice clients who made it all worthwhile). Older kids coming home from school, holiday parties, swim season and feeling stressed 24/7. Even my shopping trip last week with my daughter became stressful -- not through anyone's fault, but traffic and lack of proper planning and weather that just feels dreary for the past few weeks has had me in a non-stop bad mood.

I actually did the bulk of my shopping in one day BEFORE Thanksgiving. Back before Kid #3 came along, I was a done-and-wrapped-before-Thanksgiving kinda girl. Now, not so much since 5 kids, a law firm and political abd social obligations keeps me a bit busy. I even thought, two days before Thanksgiving, that I was DONE except for stocking stuffers. Of course, that didn't work out and I still have ONE more gift to buy before Christmas. That's one of today's projects along with the continuation of the cookie baking orgy (made about 500-600 yesterday).

Knitting has been surprisingly productive. I am done socks for my babysitter and mother, mostly done a pair for my daughter, mittens for my two youngest kids and my niece, hats for my two youngest kids. I have decided that, once I do a couple of baby sets for new mothers or about-to-be new mothers, 2009 is going to be my year of knitting for me and me only. I think it's time I get a little selfish; not to say hubby won't get socks during the year because he really likes handknit socks, but I am really going to try taking true time for myself -- I finally got a cricut machine for scrapbooking and haven't even taken it out of its box because I make zero time for me.

Finally, I am having a rough time emotionally and have been for several weeks as I approach the 5 year anniversary of my dad's death -- Christmas Eve 2003. Since that kick in the face, Christmas has become more of a chore for me than a source of any pleasure. I am also having a HUGE emotional trauma over the birthday coming up in February. I guess because my 40th was so overwhelmed with my dad's death six weeks earlier, I never LET myself have an age crisis. Son now, as I move inexorably toward 45, I am really feeling it!!!! It's silly, I know it's silly and I'll get over it but SHEESH!!!!!

Merry Christmas to all and a Blessed New Year!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Taking a breather


I have finally accepted that there IS too much that one human being can do and I overdid it in a big way in the past two months. It's a complete miracle (hence the thanking to God) that I am not (a) recovering from a stress-induced heart attack; (b) in jail for attempted murder of someone -- ANYONE -- who pushed my buttons at the wrong time; (c) sick with pneumonia again; or (d) huddled in a quivering pool of what used to be my emotional stability. No kidding... the last seven or eight weeks have been uncontrollably busy and stressful. And I missed the Phillies parade because I had promised to go into my son's class and do a Halloween craft -- 28 years and I'm playing with foam shapes with kids who are FLYING on sugar highs?!?!?!

Finally... since last Tuesday, I have a little space to breathe. Not a lot of space, but I don't feel as if I am choking from lack of sleep, too much work, too much politics, too much volunteerism, too many LATE nights where I don't even get home until after 10:30 and have to be up at 6 a.m. I somehow juggled it all (with help from some VERY awesome friends and with my oldest daughter helping occasionally with babysitting) and survived.

That being said... this is a QUICK post to say that I am going to take some "me time" whenever possible for the next few weeks. I had a manicure and pedicure last week for the first time since MAY. I sat and knit all day on Saturday while #4 was at a swim meet (getting his best time ever in butterfly). I was really productive in the crafting department -- I finished my babysitter's socks. I cast on Lissy's leg warmers. I cast on and finished Ryan's mittens. I cast on a hat for Ryan to match the mittens. I also am using a YUMMY new yarn called "Wisdom -- Los Angeles" which is a superwash sock yarn that feels NICE to work with, doesn't split and is really inexpensive (comparatively speaking of course).

I also got to go to NYC with my daughter and go see WICKED again -- that was also the day the Phillies won the World Series; there just aren't a lot of more perfect days than October 29th was. I got a new camera (had little choice on THAT purchase... most of my Halloween pics are horrid because I had serious camera issues). I have a massage and facial scheduled for the day after Thanksgiving too.

My sister and I played hooky last Friday afternoon to go to opening day of the new Bond flick -- Quantum of Solace. I'll give it 3 1/2 stars out of 5. DEFINITELY an improvement over "Casino Royale," but I'm still not sure about the moodiness of Daniel Craig as Bond. However, I haven't missed a Bond opening since the late 1970s and I was going to that movie. It was a nice treat to have my sister and I squeeze in 2 hours just with the two of us -- such time is virtually impossible for us. I had a BLAST!!!!

Politics.... obviously, I was not happy with the results of the election since I made my political positions quite clear. That being said, I was unsurprised by the results and I wish President-Elect Obama and his family well. This country was founded on the concept of coming together after an election -- perhaps BOTH major political parties need to do some work in that department -- if I, as someone who wouldn't have voted for Obama as dog catcher, am willing to be bi-partisan and give him a chance, other people need to do the same. I think 95% of the people who are supposed to be our "public servants" need to grow the heck up and stop throwing tantrums and power games.

So.... today it's off to court, lunch (working) with my best friend, a bar association function and then a GOP meeting.

I never said I would COMPLETELY slow down.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


And on a COLD... very cold... October night in 2008...

I am still on Cloud 27 (three times the ultimate exaltation). Yesterday was as close as one gets to perfection in Life.

My oldest daughter had gotten me tickets to go to NYC to see Wicked so we went to the city (AND I got several hours of fabulous knitting time in on the bus -- a yarn I dyed myself that I am making into socks for my babysitter with blue yarn, shot through with red!), came back and I got her home and me home (she has her own apartment) and FLEW in the front door to join DH and #4 as the lead-off Phillies batter hit a double to start the bottom of the 6th inning. We watched, we prayed, we stopped breathing and then...

In a pitch that was SO reminescent of 1980 (Tug McGraw possessed Brad Lidge, I am convinced of it), it was over. We actually sat there in mommentary shock -- it was probably under 3 seconds -- and then started yelling (I started crying which confused #4). The horns in our quiet, suburban neighborhood started going. I continued to cry and #4 hugged me. The city went WILD!!!!! The trophy was presented.

Spur of the moment, I decided to go to a local Modells to get our shirts last night. I called, they said they had plenty and would be staying open until 2 a.m. I threw jeans on (already had a Phillies T-shirt on) and drove out of the house to Modells. The parking lot was FULL, there was a LONG line. I had no coat on (so I lost all sense of sanity -- we're all getting that part, right?). The shirts sold out.

This morning, in my normal routine, I dropped of #4, picked up #1, took #5 to her sitter and then #1 and I went and spent a WHOLE lot of money at Dick's Sporting Goods. They were wonderfully organized and deserve credit for their customer service. We are wearing our shirts. There are hats for my older boys. And there is a PARADE DOWN BROAD STREET tomorrow!!!!!

Of course, this IS Philadelphia.... parade on Halloween...? Ummmm... I am due at #4's school at 1 to help with the party and to do a craft. That is a big old MAYBE right now!!! Waiting to get the older boys' plans before I pull #4 out of school for the day -- there will be other Halloween parties; but one thing we've learned in Philadelphia -- ENJOY THE MOMENT!!!!

To the Phillies organization... the managers, players, coaches:
THANK YOU!!!!!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008


A long time ago.... in a city not so far away... there lived a 16 1/2 year old girl (ok... she lived in the suburbs, but that's unimportant). Despite a lot of family adversity a few years earlier, she was a happy teenager whose life spread out in front of her. She had 2 good knees and good grades in school and a father who loved her very much. He loved her so much that he turned her into a rabid Eagles fan (and football in general) and who LOVED baseball; more the Yankees than the Phillies, but we lived here so we cheered for the Phillies as our National League team. A long time ago, women were not brought up as sports fan, but this girl's father had two daughters and no sons so it was up to him to break the mold (as a single father in the 1970s) and teach his girls all about the rules and the players; what a first down meant and why a pitcher would walk the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning. On one glorious October day in 1980, Tug McGraw (rest his soul) threw a pitch and the Phillies won the World Series. Then in January of 1981, her beloved Eagles beat DALLAS to get into the Super Bowl. The Eagles lost, but the girl was happy they had gotten there at all; especially against "America's Team" (SNORT!!!!!).

The years went by. In October of 1981, the girl's left knee exploded from within. The girl found out that she couldn't go to the college she had always planned to attend, but her father couldn't afford. The girl had a not-so-fabulous first marriage but one which produced two amazing children. The girl met and married the most wonderful man in the world in October of 1988 and baby #3 followed in mid-September of 1989. The girl went to law school and did pretty well. In 1993, the girl and her prince watched almost every Phillies game, believed their team could win and watched Joe Carter of the Toronto Blue Jays smash that dream.

Then the girl's father started getting sicker and sicker, but the girl and the Prince had baby #4 in February of 2001 and that seemed to perk up the girl's father some. The Eagles started winning -- a lot -- the girl, her father, her sister and her prince were all very happy. Baby #4 could sing the Eagles fight song before his 2nd birthday. On a cold Christmas Eve in 2003, the girl's father succumbed to his illness and the girl was sad; so sad it took her almost a year to cry over her loss. In January of 2004, Donovan McNabb threw the pass of his career -- 4th and 26 against the Green Bay Packers -- the girl was elated but understood Brett Farve's sadness at losing HIS dad the same week she lost her father. Of course, this IS Philadelphia so the Eagles blew it the following week against Carolina in the NFC Championship game and the girl turned 40 two weeks later... still no Philadelphia championship.

There was a brief hint the next year. The girl tried SO hard to maintain her Philadelphia Pessimism when the Eagles made the Super Bowl in January of 2005. She even alowed herself to believe the Eagles might WIN the Super Bowl. But then McNabb choked (no surprise to the girl by the way) and the Dream sputtered again. By now, her older kids were starting to understand what it means to be Philly Fans -- that also made the girl sad.

And then there was 2007... the Phillies won the NL East and the girl allowed herself, just for a moment, to believe again that it COULD happen. The Colorado Rockies yanked that particular rug away quickly. Philadelphia fans were cheering for a horse named Smarty Jones and for the Philadelphia Soul (GO SOUL!!) because to be denied a championship for a quarter century was unbearable. Even the dumb horse lost. The Soul won, but the victory was very hollow. The girl's right knee was injured in the Summer of 2008 and is still injured three months later. She works so hard. She takes care of her family (with MUCH teamwork with the Prince). There is still just a little something missing though...

Or is there? The Phillies are the 2008 NL East champs. The Phillies are the National League Champs. The Phillies are now up 3 games to 1 on the Tampa Bay Rays (who???). The girl has been viciously tamping down ANY hope for days, weeks and years and finally, at 6 a.m. this morning, gave in to the DREAM. The girl is exhausted from work, political obligations, the Prince's grad classes leaving her solo, bad knees, a sore tooth and simply no time to just sit and knit. BUT for the first time in decades on a Monday morning (I despise Mondays), the Girl is allowing herself to believe. She believes that Rollins, Utley, Howard and Cole Hamels can get it done. The rest of the country may not be watching, but here in Philly, there is an exhileration in the air -- you can breathe it, you can smell it, we ALL know it (even those of us over 40 who are trying SO hard not to be disappointed again).

For the first time since that glorious Fall day, twenty-EIGHT years ago, I believe. For the first time in so long, I am again that girl with two good knees, good grades and her life spread out in front of her like a banquet for her to pick and choose from as she sees fit since that 16 year old girl never gained weight. It's 1980 all over again and I can taste it. The Eagles won yesterday, Penn State won Saturday night AT Ohio State. Even the Girl's Temple Owls won their football game last week. The girl's oldest son was on Homecoming Court this past weekend for his college (he didn't win, but we went up in the pouring rain anyway).

The girl may be middle-aged and creaky in the morning, but there is still that core of pure joy underneath all of the cynicism that Life has added to her existence.

The core is waiting to explode.... the joy is bubbling beneath the surface of my fingertips like a persistent tingle that will blow out of my body tonight, or Wednesday or Thursday night. This morning, I stopped fighting the bubbles.... I know I shouldn't because, as a Philadelphia sports fan I know better. It's there nevertheless. It's palpable. I can taste it and most importantly I know that YA GOTTA BELIEVE!!!!!

LET'S GO PHIL-LIES!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The past month, beliefs and nature's beauty

So I am SURE that there is a song title somewhere that I could use as a title for this post -- something about the conflict between beauty and exhaustion or magnificence and mundane. After the last several weeks, I'm just too exhausted to think.

We last left my blog with me defending Senator McCain's choice of Sarah Palin as his VP nominee. That support may have wavered after the Katie Couric interview, but I still support the GOP -- more so now since I don't get how it's somehow ok to say that one is still going to spend an additional fortune on new spending when the market freefalled last week and real middle class americans have either lost their savings or don't know if they're going to be able to get student loans for their kids for next year's college tuition -- remember, real middle class parents don't qualify for grants or even subsidized student loans; only less "wealthy" people get those types of aid. I am positively sickened by the lack of leadership by President Bush, both presidential candidates and a Congress that spends trillions of taxpayer dollars to give money for "children's wooden arrows" in a so-called rescue package that has no constitutional basis AND which fails to try an recoup the costs by getting the bonuses back from those who took them. Fiddling while Rome burns... that's where I am on the economic issues.

Instead of venting forever about that though, I want to turn a bit upbeat. DH and I celebrated our 20th anniversary on October 1st. Not only does he get kudos for putting up with me for 20 years, but he got me a GORGEOUS ring and we went to Niagara Falls for a long weekend. The majesty of those waterfalls and their awesome ability to change rock into a gorge astounded me. It's one thing to see pictures or videos -- QUITE another to see them up close and personal on the Maid of the Mist. We also went to this amazing conservatory where the Niagara Parks commission has created a rain forest type environment called the Butterfly Conservatory. THOUSANDS of butterflies, flying around, landing on you -- the experience was almost as mind-blowing for me as the Falls themselves. The weekend itself was crazy (I'm still recovering in many ways) because we went on a bus tour and it was HURRY, HURRY, HURRY the whole weekend. However... 9 hours each way on a bus...? Audiobooks on the iPod and the portable DVD player I had gotten for DH for anniversary...? I made a sock and a half for DH and am actually now within a few hours of finishing the second sock if only I could find five minutes to knit!!!!

Work has been miserable. I knew that this month was going to be high-intensity -- just a lot of deadlines all at once which happens sometimes but is still overwhelming -- but when I have already worked 30 hours in 2 days this week...? "Overwhelming" seems like a mild word. I also had to have this darn right knee drained again last week. It swelled up out of control for no reason on Tuesday night and my orthopod took one look and pulled out the big needle. Have to say that since the injury took place on July 18th, the knee thing is getting a LITTLE old at this point. DH is also taking two grad classes between now and the end of the month to get to his Master's plus Thirty (it's a teaching thing) by the end of March so he's out every Friday night and all day each Saturday and Sunday which leaves me on full time Mommy Duty but with other obligations and meetings and events that are sucking me dry emotionally and physically. Besides working full time, there isn't a single night this week where I don't have an evening commitment.

HOWEVER... speaking of commitments for this evening. Yes, I have a swim club board meeting. Yes, I am DVR'ing the debate. But tonight is ALL about the PHILLIES!!!!!!!!!!! I am known for talking about football -- let's not complain more in this post; the Eagles are KILLING me this year LOL -- but I have also been a Phils fan since the mid-70s. I remember so well the National League Championship series (plural) with the Dodgers in the late 1970s. I remember beating the Cardinals to make the World Series. I remember Tug McGraw throwing that final pitch in October of 1980 to beat the Kansas City Royals and the jubilance that WAS Philadelphia in the weeks and months that followed (then the Eagles made it TO the Super Bowl and beat Dallas to get there... 1980 was an AMAZING year). I was 16 at the time and remember every moment like it was yesterday.

I want that feeling again. I want to celebrate my wonderful region which has been denied a championship in any major sport since I was barely pregnant with my 24 year old daughter (76ers... 1983). After the Phillies made it to the World Series in 1993 and lost and then the strike came the next year, I just couldn't invest the time or emotion into watching every game as I had done in 1993. I had a law practice starting. I had three (then four, then five) kids. I went to a couple of games as late as 2000, but I only had so much sports emotion to give and, when forced to make a time choice, the Eagles have always been my first love. I took the position of "I am not following baseball" out of a sense of emotional protectionism. Of course, I have a son who lives, sleeps and eats sports so I always knew what was happening. Finally, last year, the Fightin' Phils won the NL East and I allowed myself to dream, once again, of that wonderful Fall of 1980 when I had two good knees, good friends and the Phils and the Eagles were kickin' ass and taking names. For a few brief days, I allowed myself to believe that I had a right to that feeling once more. Then the Phils got their butts whipped by the Rockies and the Eagles didn't make the playoffs -- I was SAD and swore to myself that I would be a fan, but that I would never again let myself BELIEVE.

But to be a Philly fan is to ALWAYS believe; to BE invincible, to know there is ALWAYS next year. Nationally, we are besmirched, belittled, laughed at and insulted. We're the people who threw snowballs at Santa Claus. When national commentators talk about our teams, we are almost ALWAYS placed 2nd to Dallas or the Cubs or anyone else who has a marginal claim at being better. We're the gang who doesn't shoot straight or the fans who are always the bridesmaids. Not believe????????????? Not in Philadelphia, my friends.

LET'S GO PHILLIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Why I support Palin

Unlike some out there in the blogging universe who choose to only "publish" their own point of view and therefore disregard and dismiss the view of others, I am happy to allow dissent from my opinions. I'll even answer the comment posted below on the "Hear me Roar" post by Beth.

First of all, the comment seems to belittle my education and state that I must at least have gotten through law school and have some sort of education so I'll address the presumption that somehow only stupid people are supporting Governor Palin's VP candidacy first. I graduated from Miss Porter's School in Farmington, CT in 1982 -- you may have heard of it since it's ranked as one of the best schools in the country and was attended by Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis and also by other notable authors, artists, educators, businesswomen and leaders for more than 150 years. I was not in the top two of my graduating class, but my grades and SAT scores, along with a vigorous extracurricular, athletic and community service schedule were more than sufficient to get me into pretty much any college I wanted to attend.

Much of my senior year in high school was not the experience I wanted though. In late October of 1981, I suffered a devastating knee injury to my left knee -- long before replacement surgery was possible and very early in the days of arthroscopic surgery. The vast majority of my senior year was spent in a hip-to-toe plaster cast along with two very painful surgeries -- one in late October and one in late January of 1982 a few days before my 18th birthday. Miss Porter's had something called a Long Winter Weekend each year so I was able to come home to PA for my 18th birthday. While driving me back to school on Feb. 6, 1982, my late father explained to me that we didn't qualify for financial aid at the college I really wanted to attend and that I couldn't go there because my mother had taken a significant sum in their divorce settlement and was not required to help pay for my college education (actually, she was under PA law at the time, but I didn't know that then). The injury to my knee was severe enough to limit any ability to attend college on sports scholarships -- 27 years later I still limp occasionally and a new injury to my right knee eight weeks ago has wreaked havoc on my life.

So I chose Temple University and started in the Winter semester of 1983. My late father was a bit chauvinistic and didn't think women could become lawyers so he thought journalism would be a good major for me. I started and did very well academically and met a man who would become my first husband (for a very short time). Like many 19 year olds in the early 1980s, I wasn't all that careful about birth control and became pregnant. I dropped out of college and had my oldest daughter 2 days after my 20th birthday. The marriage had no foundations so of course we tried to have another baby to salvage the marriage and when I was pregnant with my 2nd child, I returned to college to major in history. #2 was born one week before finals and I took those finals while fighting pneumonia that I had come down with postpartum. I pulled a 3.67 GPA that semester by the way. The ex and I were emotionally over by the time the Fall semester started in 1987 -- living in the same house, but that was it. I met my now DH that semester in an organic chemistry class. Ex and I officially separated before #2 was a year old and DH and I married in October of 1988.

I got pregnant again in January of 1989 and gave birth to #3, 19 years ago today. I had finished college pretty much minutes before he was born because I had AP credit from going to such a good high school and because I went to class in the summers so as to finish my degree in three years. I graduated cum laude by the way. #3 came a little early so I couldn't go immediately to law school since he needed additional care that only a mom could give him (and a dad -- DH and I have ALWAYS done equal parenting duties). In the meantime, DH finished college and started teaching at a wonderful private Catholic academy an hour from our house. Great school, VERY low salary. In the break period from my education (which I was paying for as was my husband), my younger sister gave birth to a baby with a fatal birth defect who only lived 16 days -- those days rocked my world and still do to this day. Meghan would have been 16 this past May.

I started law school in the Fall of 1992 with the weight of the world on my shoulders. My Meghan was gone, my husband and I were worried about finances, middle class families don't GET financial aid (because the definition of "middle class" is a joke -- one Senator Obama buys into hook, line and sinker) and my father's health was starting to fail. My ex husband would pop in occasionally to upset our family structure and my late mother-in-law suffered from health concerns that added more stress. I still did well in law school and we worked through the problems one by one; always struggling financially and dealing with problems that might have crushed other people emotionally -- there were some close calls, believe me. DH adopted the older two kids so the ex was now fully out of the picture, we stabilized my dad's health for the time and we learned to take time just for the 2 of us: there was NO extra money so we had "coffee dates" on our back patio every night.

I was lucky enough to be accepted into my law school's clinical program as a 2nd year student (not the norm) and also to get a lot of real world experience as a certified legal intern prior to graduation. I opened a firm with a friend when we graduated, but she wanted to make more money and joined a larger firm and I continued as a solo. For a very brief time in 2000, I worked for a mid-size firm myself, but then #4 came along and I went back to solo practice because being a mom was my first priority. The balance is possible -- especially with a supportive husband -- but I wanted to be there as much for our "extra blessing" as I had been and remained for the older three kids. My little guy went to the office on days I wasn't in court and was a familiar little figure in the courthouse as I filed documents and pleadings. On days where I was in court, he would be with my mother (until my sister's new baby was born and she just couldn't help ME out because Ryan was too big to lift -- funny, Julie will be 7 on Tuesday and she isn't too big for my mother to watch, but I digress) and then with the babysitter that we still use for our 2 year old. My children do not go to day care -- they are in a home-like environment.

Over the past decade or so, I have been belittled because I am a woman in the practice of criminal defense. Sometimes that derision is subtle and sometimes it is not so subtle. I have won major cases, I have balanced a family with my career, I volunteer on boards and politically and with the bar association and in my kids' schools. I have been a band parent, head cheerleading parent, head of my sons' summer swim team, I run my own small business (because sometimes the management of a law firm is more time consuming than the practice of law). I have done more fundraising for diverse groups than I can even count and frequently knit and crochet for charitable causes. I have an amazing husband who is a partner in every sense of the word. I have five children who are either self-sufficient, are becoming that way, are growing into independent little people or are just plain cute (that's the 2 year old). I am very comfortable in my own brand of feminism which I doubt meets the "rules" set forth by those who claim the term as their own.

What has Obama run? What legislation has he authored since he hit the U.S. Senate? What "change" does he offer for MY family? Let's see... I'm self-employed so I already pay double Social Security. College tuition assistance....? $4000 per year (for which we probably won't qualify) is a drop in the bucket when you are paying two college tuitions at the same time and my boys attend state universities and pay their fair share too. No solutions, only vague promises, on energy. No solutions, only vague promises, on the economy. I am not a racist, but if that man wasn't an African-American, he would not be at the top of a major party ticket. He's a cultural phenomenon -- and one which I believe was long overdue as much as I do about the gender gap -- but he has no substance or solutions. He is yet another in a long line of empty liberal suits -- long on rhetoric, short on reality.

The comment below also assumes that I voted for John Kerry in 2004. I didn't. It was the hardest vote I ever cast in my life, but I voted for Bush (the 2nd time around). Why? It's simple really..... because John Kerry was an empty liberal suit with no clue of what it means to be an average American who lives day to day. Like Kerry, Obama's values are not my values. For example, I would never, EVER expose my two younger children to a spiritual environment where racism and hatred and anti-patriotic sentiments might be spewed at any moment by a so-called man of God. I do not believe in denying an infant born during a partial-birth abortion medical treatment because letting that baby live is in opposition to the mother's choice to terminate the pregnancy.

Did I like the idea of Hillary on the top of the Dem ticket? Yep. Would have absolutely voted for her too. But Hillary doesn't represent my ideas or my political philosophy or my beliefs. She did offer concrete solutions to national problems though. The gender would have probably tipped the scale for me in her direction because I have concerns about a 72 year old president too. But the comment below about McCain "very likely could die in office within minutes of being elected" thus leaving us with a working mom who has run a state show JUST how much the McCain people have a stronger idea about what the middle class of this country really wants.

So why am I supporting Sarah Palin? That's easy. She's me -- with some different viewpoints although I share more with her than with the TOP of the other ticket. She's run a town and a state and a family. Is her gender a HUGE issue for me? Of course it is, but then there is a whole generation of Younger Baby Boomer women like myself who didn't have the opportunity to burn our bras yet still started our careers when women were automatically considered less than equally-stationed men. Once again, I am absolutely a feminist... with a small "f" rather than a large one. Palin epitomizes my generation and my personal life in many ways.

So to "Beth" below and to anyone else who thinks to demean me or call Palin's supporters "stupid" or want to refer to her ability to govern and manage her family as "inexperienced," I suggest you look to the TOP of your ticket and ask yourself what qualifications a 47 year old first term senator out of the Chicago Machine has to offer and what sort of "experience" he has.

And by the way... because my own life has taken twists and turns and not always been handed to me on a silver platter, I am going out of the country myself for the first time in three weeks when my husband and I take a three day trip to Canada for our 20th anniversary. That's all the time we GET to take because he's a teacher and I run my own business and our summers are dedicated to our 7 year old's swimming season.

Could I walk into the Oval Office and run this country tomorrow morning? You bet I could -- because NO ONE is truly experienced when it comes to that particular job and it's a matter of listening to one's advisors and applying that information to the facts and circumstances of a particular situation. Why do I support Sarah Palin? Because, if she needs to, I believe that she can process that information and make a better decision than any of the other three candidates on the two major party tickets.

She is woman.... hear her ROAR!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I am WOMAN, hear me ROAR!!!!!!!

I keep thinking I am going to come down from the emotional high that I have been riding since late yesterday morning -- nope, not yet. I woke up this morning and Sarah Palin really IS the GOP nominee for Vice President of the United States. Finally..... someone got "it" and realized that is far past time for a woman to be considered as a valid candidate to hold the highest office in the land. The Democrats can scream and whine until they're blue in the face that Governor Palin isn't "experienced" enough for the job? What experience does the TOP of their ticket have? With all due respect to Senator Biden (and I mean that very sincerely since I believe Joe Biden to be a good man), Senator McCain hasn't lost the "Experience Argument" by picking a sitting governor.

For months and months, I have been a truly undecided voter. Somewhere back in February, I realized that Hillary Clinton (a woman I admire tremendously despite disagreeing with her on almost every important issue) was going to be eviscerated by her own party and by the media long before my own GOP ever got a chance to do it. Senator Obama is new and "sexy" and all about CHANGE (whatever THAT means; he's never defined it) and Hillary was going to get thrown out on her face. I watched over and over as new barriers were erected before the first qualified woman to ever run for the presidency: "She has to win Ohio and Texas." She did. "She has to win Pennsylvania by 10%." She did. "She has to win Indiana and Kentucky and West Virginia." She did. None of it mattered -- Hillary Clinton won the NJ primary on my birthday by approximately 20% of the vote; at the "roll call" (or the Demise of Democracy which is the better name for it) this past Wednesday night, New Jersey "casts all 127 of its delegates for Barack Obama." No... they did no such thing. What a farce. I was quite literally devastated watching a qualified woman get raped on national television by a bunch of people who claim to support women's rights.

And then came Sarah Palin. I had heard her name buzzed several weeks ago but after watching what happens to women in politics, I wasn't really thinking McCain would look twice. My only concern, after watching Obama and his people publically crucify Hillary, was that so long as Mitt Romney wasn't on the ballot, and assuming PA was going to be close, I would vote for Senator McCain because I supported him in 2000 as an honorable man -- he was NOT my first choice as all of you know. Had Mitt Romney been on the ticket, I would have written in Hillary or voted for Bob Barr from Georgia. That's what made me undecided -- there was never a question after the DNC convention and Obama's disrespect of Senator Clinton that Obama would get my vote; that wasn't happening.

And then came Sarah Palin again... yesterday morning very early, I knew the VP was not Romney. WHEW!!!! I don't like that guy at all. I guess I'll vote for McCain. Hmmmm... they're buzzing Tom Ridge's name. Puts PA in play. I guess I'll vote for McCain. Governor Palin is still in Alaska (this was about 10:30 yesterday morning) so it CAN'T be her. That's ok... Romney isn't the VP. I guess I'll vote for McCain.

And then it WAS Sarah Palin for VP!!!!! I watched her introduction with tears streaming down my face and my hands clapping together like a little girl. As each new detail came out, I became more excited to the point of sheer joy. Look... she's 44 like me -- ok, I'm six days older than she is. She's got five kids like me. She's been married to her husband for 20 years like me (almost... October 1st for us). She's a teacher's daughter and her husband is in a union. She is JUST like me!!!!!

I do not agree with Governor Palin's views on every topic but I have always known that I would never wholly agree with any one person -- how boring that would be! She is a marvel though; a force of nature. I have no doubt that Sarah gets "it." I am so on board that my McCain sign is actually up in my front yard and I gave money (and with our tuition bills, money is hard to come by!).

The last few weeks have been brutal for me and it feels wonderful to feel good again. My knee is healing, my knitting projects are flying off the needles (because I still can't walk all that comfortably yet), my over-active 7 year old goes back to school on Tuesday and the Eagles open their 2008 season one week from tomorrow -- my fabulous Eagles socks from my hand-dyed yarn that I colored will be done tonight. Life is stabilizing as it always does.

But perhaps it takes a working mother of five to understand that.

I wonder if she's a knitter??? I bet she is. It's COLD in Alaska!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

I am over the moon with excitement to the point that I can barely type!! A 44 year old woman who is NOT from Washington DC with 5 kids with an age range like that of my own children. After watching Senator Clinton get raped on national television in order to put forth a candidate for whom I could never vote and being faced with a GOP choice that I was not thrilled about, John McCain has just come through HUGE!!!!!!! She is smart and athletic and downright beautiful. She has executive experience and is NOT a Senator.

McCain/Palin in 2008!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ravelry Olympics

So.... I had to add these "medals" for the Ravelry Olympics. I finished my new cable hat in two days (from cast on to finishing) and finished the felted bag for myself (a modified version of the Booga Bag pattern) which I absolutely LOVE and have already crammed all my stuff into!!

I also saw my orthopedist yesterday and do NOT need surgery on my right knee (Thank you, God). I do need to wear a brace (and a matching one on the right because the strain on my bad knee over the past four weeks has been pretty bad) and do physical therapy, but the relief at NOT needing surgery was monumental.

Have been working all week to catch up from the staycation, but managed to get to the pool last night and swim some laps (arms only, but got a good work out). TOnight is Knitting Night and I am very excited to spend some times with my friends and to swap some yarn.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Staycation plans not quite what I planned

So..... somehow and with a LOT of stress, I survived last week. I got done everything that I knew needed to be done prior to me taking a week off from the office (HAH!). Had the custody hearing from Hell on Friday afternoon and was waiting to go get the MRI on my right knee when the phone rang LATE Friday afternoon or maybe it was an email -- can't quite remember now. It was another lawyer advising me that, despite a verbal agreement, his/her client had decided to play custody blackmail games with my client. THAT consumed part of Friday afternoon AND part of Monday (when I wasn't supposed to be working). Whatever... it will be fixed next week or it won't and I'll need to file an emergency petition with the court. I really hate game playing!

Then... got called into court for Wednesday morning and when I was on my way to take the littlest ones to their sitter's house, got a call cancelling. All fine, but they wanted to go to their sitter's (who they hadn't seen in more than a month) and I figured I would get a day of scrapbooking and quiet time in. Not so much. My doctor's office called at about 11:40 a.m. with the MRI results. Without going into depth about fluid pockets and bulges and degeneration of cartilage, suffice it to say I'll be seeing my orthopod next Wednesday. It was a very emotional and traumatic phone call for me and I spent half of the day crying. Knee may or may not be surgical, but it's my good knee... or at least it used to be.

I'm still getting around, better with the brace on. More importantly I did NOT cave in to my almost irresistible impulse for a pint of Dove ice cream last night. I bought myself a book, took the kids to the pool and hung out with a new and AWESOME friend from knitting group, ate a dinner within my weight watcher's points, watched some "West Wing" and went to sleep. I kept telling myself that there is NO point in letting this drag me down and I'm tougher than my knees are.

I'm also really excited to cast on my cabled hat for the Ravelry Olympics tomorrow morning. I taught myself to cable FOR this project, made a baby hat and a hat for Jenny as swatches and am really excited to actually make something for myself for once. Yarn is a MUCH better addiction than food (even if it's a tad more costly). Picture of Jenny wearing HER hat is above. You may notice that it's green, not purple -- that's because the initial hat I made with the wrong type yarn and too-small needles didn't fit. Go figure. Of course, I have absolutely NO sense of size or depth perception, so I didn't KNOW it didn't fit her until she tried it on. Luckily, I can add the purple baby-sized hat to the gift bag I've finished for a friend and his wife. One more baby blanket/sweater/hat to go. Then, until MY kids have kids... I am done knitting for other people's babies. I think I felt obligated to do 12 sets this past year and my holiday knitting is woefully behind.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

No song title comes to mind -- just too tired

SOOOOOOOO tired. SOOOOOOOOOO glad the past month is over. SOOOOOOOO excited that I am not going anywhere NEAR the office next week for any reason except to check mail maybe once -- I think I would have a nervous breakdown if I walked in the doors.

Haven't posted in more than a month. My days have been filled with a crazy amount of work and my evenings and weekends with summer swim team, chores, meetings and generally feeling overwhelmed. My little guy started the swim season very strong, but ended up with Lyme DIsease (and a case of the 7/8 year old lack-of-focusitis) so his earliest times were his best times. He is finally almost done the antibiotics, but sheesh!!!!! Then there is my knee.... no, not the bad one, the other one! I stood up to make an objection in court two weeks ago and felt something go POP -- had MRI last night at the end of the most awful and grueling week I have ever had.

However, in the midst of all that.... I taught myself to cable this past week and ended up (without intending to) making the toddler a purple hat to match her purple sweater. I finished a BUNCH of projects from baby hats to baby socks to afghans and found a top-down, seamless sweater pattern that WOrks!!!!! I also went to a yarn dyeing and made myself hand dyed sock yarn.... WAY fun!!! Today, I'm going on a yarn crawl (that means a trip to multiple yarn stores!) with a friend from knitting group which turned out well since the weather today is not pool conducive.

Those of you on Ravelry need to cheer me on in the Knitting Olympics which start Friday, August 8th at 8 p.m. It's really cool -- cast on during the Opening Ceremonies and finish by the Closing Ceremonies. I am making a cabled hat (which is how Jenny ended up with a hat -- was teaching myself HOW to cable and ended up with a toddler hat!) for myself. If I finish it sooner, I'll join the work-in-progress team and finish some projects.

I also, despite the knee preventing much exercise, have lost close to seven pounds. I went back on Weight Watchers at-home program as soon as tomatos were cleared for human consumption. And then I found "SparkPeople". OMIGOD!!! It's a free web site that lets you track food, read articles, use message boards, get motivation and support. I had heard about it from a client about 10 months ago and for some reason, the name stuck in my mind so when I wanted to go back on WW but didn't want to pay for their monthly website, I joined Spark and have been religiously logging in every day, tracking my food, etc. As soon as I started tracking my portions, the weight started peeling off... five of those pounds are in the last ten days. So I'm getting healthier and feeling damn proud of myself!

But finally and most importantly.... I am officially on vacation for the next week. I'm not going anywhere, but am NOT going near the office. Hubby taking a grad class and even though my sitter is available, I need to spend a week with my babies and away from my clients and other lawyers. Next week is that week -- Thank God.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

A new skill !!!

I felted. All of you who know me have lived through this for the past several weeks either in person, in email or on Ravelry. I was afraid to felt because the thought of taking lovely, non-washable yarn, making it into something and then deliberately destroying the fiber was incomprehensible to me. So I made the bag and then it sat on my nightstand for several days. A friend finally sent me a message that basically said "Oh for goodness sake, Bonnie.... PUT THE DARN BAG INTO THE MACHINE." Of course, she's a sweetheart so she said it much more nicely.

Bag went into the washing machine in a pillowcase. Went through 2 cycles and came out BEAUTIFULLY. The only difficult part was actually threading the shrunken I cord through the holes in the bag. Picture of finished project is above.

Other picture is of Melissa (oldest kid) with the bag. I had put it in the car in case I needed to go right from work to Thursday night's knitting group. She saw, she took. I brought a picture to knitting group! Since she reads this blog regularly, I am stating for the record that (1) the new blue/green bag I am working on is for ME; (2) Aunt Kim's bag gets done next; and (3) Melissa's matching cell phone case that I am designing now will need to wait until all these baby gifts are done and distributed! Love you, Brat.

Felting is FUN!!!!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Working for the Weekend

ok... I'm officially old when I am using Loverboy songs as blog entry titles -- it may even be more geeky than all my musical songs.

The previous week has been exhausting. It started off SO hot (and really did NOT cool down as much as I would have liked it to) and SO busy and SO stressful. But, to quote Gloria Gaynor, I will (and did) survive. Luckily, Montgomery County is one of the few counties left in America that still has a vacation day for Flag Day (we LOVE Flag Day!) so it was a short week since the holiday was given on the 13th to make up for the actual Saturday date.

Thursday night was the bar association's annual Clam Bake -- a GREAT event (if such a thing can be said about a function with all lawyers and judges) with good food, nice conversation and a 5 hour open bar. Even surprising myself, I only had 2 drinks because it was pretty hot and (even though hubby would have come over to get me), I didn't feel like being hungover Friday. Had a great knitting conversation with an attorney with whom I haven't always had the greatest relationship with -- probably more my fault than her fault because I don't enjoy Family Law and I tend to get a little nasty when I'm doing it -- not only does she knit, but she knits BEAUTIFULLY. I also got to tell other crafters about Worldwide Knit In Public Day (today) so I spread the word and encouraged more people to be public yarn addicts.

I spent Friday with two of the kids. Jenny and I went to GOP HQ to help out for a couple of hours and then Chip and I went to lunch and to finish Father's Day and birthday shopping for my wonderful man (whose birthday is Tuesday when I'll be at a bar association dinner). Last night, I vegged! I was supposed to be at a Beef-n-Beer for a PA House representative candidate, but the older boys were out, we had no sitter and I just could not spend another night away from my husband -- one of us was out every night this week. Since Mark couldn't go, I skipped the event.

I put the time to good use though. I finished (end weaving) on the felted bag. I finished AND wove in the ends on the pedicure socks for ME. I wove in ends on the blanket for Ryan's kindergarten teacher from last year (since he only has 2 more days of school). I cast on a baby hat. I knit and wove ends until about 1:30 a.m.

The week ended ok based on how it started, but I wouldn't want to end this week without paying tribute to the late Tim Russert of NBC News. When Mark called me on his way home and told me the news of Mr. Russert's passing (since I usually come home and watch Hardball on MSNBC, he didn't want me to find out), I felt physical pain. Anyone who knows me or reads this blog knows that I am a political junkie -- and despite my affiliation with the Republican Party, I consider myself to be willing to listen to ideas and to know the truth rather than the spin. I watch and listen to both liberal and conservative radio and TV, but Russert (along with George Stephanopolis of ABC) always helped me put my own beliefs into perspective. I didn't always agree with Mr. Russert, but his dedication and patriotism and old-fashioned values have always impressed me. I truly don't know who will fill his shoes as people sort through the decision to be made this election cycle -- there is no one I trust to ask the hard questions now that this giant has gone to be with the angels.

Finally (and I know this is a ramble), I want to say a big THANK YOU to all of the employees at the Spring House Clemens (it was NEVER a Giant to me) and the branch of my bank and to wish them luck in their future endeavors. At 6 p.m. tonight, the grocery store will close after 35 years of local, community-based retailing to the people of Ambler, Lower Whitpain and Lower Gwynedd. My son will be on the clock until the doors are locked. When Clemens opened in 1973, my parents and I were among the first customers in the store. Today, with the shelves mostly empty and the corporate honchos pulling the remaining items out, I shopped at Clemens for the final time. It made me miss my late father terribly. It made me realize that my once close-knit community has become incredibly suburban. But most importantly, it was the end of an era where customer service and friendly employees were the norm rather than the exception.

I miss the days where being nice was expected rather than being looked upon as strange. I miss knowing everyone in my neighborhood (where we are going to the Block Party in a few minutes, but where we have had tremendous turnover recently). I miss the sense of stability that turning on the TV to a familiar face giving me the news of the day and where people say what they mean but do so kindly. I guess I'm as anachronistic as I was once called by a former friend, but the one thing this week has taught me is to stay true to what I believe in and let the rest of the world do as it pleases.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

No good deed goes unpunished...

Yep... I'm an absolute geek for a musical. This title is from Wicked (where my FABULOUS daughter is taking me in October in NYC!) and is a song about how other people perceive your actions -- it's a truly fascinating song and I love to sing it in the car. Jenny prefers "Defying Gravity" and "Dancing Through Life", but once in awhile, I insist. She's 2 and I control the CD player ('cept it's hard to hear MY songs if she's throwing a fit).

Anyway... this title describes how I have been feeling for weeks and certainly since the Heat from the Fires of Hell set in on Saturday. I'm like a hamster on a freakin' wheel or the Energizer Bunny. Days pass and speed by and I suddenly look up and say "it's Friday?!" I am incapable of saying "no" to a volunteer task -- even when I know that the person asking hates me and will be mean to me for no reason other than that I get the volunteer task done. If I have food poisoning (or a stomach bug or WHATEVER that was last Wednesday) and I can't make a meeting, I feel guilt in the extreme because I have volunteered to do a job and it MUST get done. When people complain about being asked to do ONE or two things and respond "I can't commit," despite the fact that EVERYONE else does 10 times the work, I want to smack them -- I resist the urge, but I get furious. I have SO much work to do and files to review and briefs to write and clients to yell at for failing to communicate with me. Gas costs too much money and there is NO short term solution (despite what anyone from any political party tells you -- it's crap). People drive like complete maniacs. Did I mention I hate the heat?!

I equate sanity with knitting time and stay up late even if I have early court just to "give" myself some peace. Of course, I also knit in court (between the six hearings I did today), at restaurants, at the swim club and anywhere else I happen to be. I was so tired today after the hearings -- the heat wipes me out when it is anything much over 80; 114 heat index today was not tolerable -- and Jenny was still going to be napping. I went to Crafty Me Yarns and sat on the floor in my white suit, pulled out my Booga Bag and aimlessly knit and chatted with the owner for somewhere around an hour. I was finally and simply dysfunctional. The bag is going to be cool though!

"If I cannot succeed, Fiero, saving you, I promise no good deed will I ever doooooooo..... A-GAIN"

OK.... ready to go to bed now. Have more court in morning.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day relaxation

The anticipation on Friday didn't begin to supercede the reality. For the first time in months, through a winter that included the loss of family and friends, through persistent illnesses (and accompanying steroids), through not loving my career as much as I used to...

Through it all is the anticipation of summertime and Beachcomber. Being with family and friends. Being able to be myself. Watching the kids thrive in the sunshine and fresh air. Even though I had work to do (swim team registration) and the water was SO cold in the big pool (which Jenny insisted she needed to go into), I feel human. I finished her pick socks. I worked on Ryan's green "Eagles" sweater. I talked with friends who understand it is normal to sit and fondle each other's yarn skeins, who understand that I simply cannot talk about the new case, who believe that being part of a community is crucial to children's develoment (i.e. if someone else sees my 7 year old getting in trouble, they don't wait to get me... they tell him to behave).

Tomorrow is my full free day at the club. No swim team registration, no duties. Just me, my family and some yarn!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Officially Summer !!!!!!!!!!

I live for the next three months despite my hatred of the heat and humidity.

I love the freedom to forward my office calls to my cell phone and to access my office laptop remotely from the grounds of my swim club -- usually without my clients' knowledge although some of them catch on. I love sitting under a big tree with sunshine peeking through the shade. I love the smell of chlorine on everything and the sound of small groups of people chattering, singing, scolding their kids for running on the pool deck or just watching them enjoy the environment. I love watching how much Ryan's (#4) swimming has improved over the winter (since hubby takes him to winter swimming). I love the slower pace and reduced stress that being at Beachcomber brings to me after a heinous winter and a horrific week.

At 12 noon tomorrow, the grounds open. At 1 p.m., the pool opens. It's going to be sunny and warm and not hot. The pool will be freezing cold since it has rained every day this week and I will absolutely go in the pool. My game plan is so simple -- just for once. Jenny has swim lesson (at the YMCA indoor pool which will not be ice cold) at 11:45 a.m., we'll come home after that and I'll head to the pool because I don't know how to say no and agreed to coordinate swim team registration. From 3 p.m. on (both Saturday and Sunday and ALL day on Monday), my time is my own for the next few days.

Jenny will need to be chased and prevented from eating sand or climbing on the "wheel of death" (merry-go-round), but that's part of what makes summer special. Ryan is easy -- he never remembers from year to year how chilly the water is -- he plans to take his "deep water test" and disappear with his friends into the trees; coming out now and then to ask for food from the snack bar. We'll have chicken marinating in the fridge (and then in the cooler) with a side of the best Caesar Salad on the planet (which serves all of us -- it's HUGE). Fresh fruit for snacks and everyone shares with everyone and watches out for everyone.

Thank God... my Peaceful Place opens in a few short hours.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

And the drama begins...

I am currently trying to function after a LONG day and anxiety rush yesterday. I have a new client who is accused of some pretty bad stuff. Any of you in the Philly area probably saw partial shots of me on the news --all stations. I spent a day in the pouring rain getting bail set and paid and then being chased by tv cameras to the point that I almost ran them over with my minivan (I really DID show tremendous restraint in NOT doing so) as I took my client from district court to the police station for processing after bail was posted. I made the mistake of watching the news and just got mad at the DA (and she's a friend of mine and doing her job, but I still got mad), madder at the press and wondering if maybe I shouldn't have run them over with my minivan!

When I finally got home, there were press calls to return (just to say no comment – it’s WAY too early to comment) and then realized that I had left something I needed to work at home today (no babysitter) so I went back to my office at about 7:30 p.m., got home about 8 and wanted to knit. I looked at my knitting and crocheting projects and sort of shrugged my shoulders and said “eh… not interested.” All day I was thinking that I wished I had at least brought a sock to work on during the "hurry up and wait" process and then when I DID have the chance to knit, I quite literally couldn't hold needles or a crochet hook.

I woke up this morning coughing and feeling chilled (hmmmm… maybe because I was in and out of a damp, chilly rain all day???). I have loads of work here with me, but may just cuddle with the toddler and knit after getting seven year old on the bus in a few minutes. I’ll work while she naps later.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Princess Birthday

I promised myself (and hubby) that I wouldn't go TOO crazy on Jenny's birthday this year. She's only two and we didn't want to do a big mob scene of a party since she really doesn't like big crowds (which even our immediate family was last night). My oldest daughter, Melissa, and I went shopping before knitting group (and Melissa learned to knit Thursday night!!!!!!) and it truly didn't seem as if I was buying THAT much stuff and I didn't spend a tremendous amount of money.

We all know where that lengthy explanation is going. There is a picture above of the presents on the coffee table before Jenny unwrapped them on Friday night -- not including presents from Melissa and Mike and our close family friends who came over last night. She went batty! Loves her bathtub and cradle for her babies; she actually gave her Baby Arielle a bath, bottle and tucked her in. She particularly loves her tiara, necklaces and cell phone from Chip and Melissa and her tea set that I picked out. She is a GIRLY girl and it was just too much fun shopping for her. My husband thinks this year was bad???? Next year, she can have Barbies!!

I also finished her purple sweater (picture above of that too) at 11:51 p.m. on the night before her birthday. The sweater is actually for the Fall so it is supposed to be a little big -- it was made by combining the Incredible Top-Down Raglan pattern and a men's sweater pattern from Knitting to Go. Basically, it's a percentage top-down sweater. I also made Jenny 1 1/2 socks from handspun and dyed yarn I got in a yarn swap -- very cute although not machine washable which means she won't wear them much.

I plan to be a complete veggie today -- have a rough day tomorrow and am working on a short week since my sitter is unavailable for three days and then it's Memorial Day weekend. I also need to finish up the registration stuff for swim team, but can't do so until practice times are set so that's starting to be a LITTLE stressful just because I would like it to be finished. Next weekend will be ALL about the club opening and swim team registration and then I travel the week after that.

Gracious.... my life IS a bit busy!!!!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

What a rare mood I'm in...

The title of the song is "Almost like being in love," but that has NOTHING to do with this post. I'm just in a strange mood and I started singing songs from Brigadoon while typing up ENDLESS reports. I am always in love, but that's not the current mood.

Since last Monday, I feel as if my life has exploded out of control. Absolutely nothing horrible has happened (well... other than the bronchitis from my allergies, falling onto my bad knee and #4's front 2 teeth being knocked out yesterday). I am simply overwhelmed. The boys are coming home from college later this week. Their "big stuff" had to be brought home this past weekend. I have no baby sitter for six work days in May (and a 2 day conference in Harrisburg for another two days). I have suddenly become very popular as an attorney (I guess since I have seven new cases since a little over a week ago) which has quintupled my work load.

My swim club is opening (pool not until May 24th, but Open House, swim team registration organization meetings, legal work, etc.) which is the only thing keeping me going right now -- you haven't lived until you have spent a warm, sunny afternoon at Beachcomber Swim Club, sitting under the trees, watching kids play, knitting with friends. I survive winters, knowing BSC is there every Spring and Summer. I also get to go to my knitting group this Thursday night since I missed a week sick and then last week with political meeting stuff. I am looking forward to 4 hours with nice people and uninterrupted knitting time (or crocheting).

I finished the baby blanket for my son's kindergarten teacher from last year. I have despaired of finding a FAST knitting pattern for blankets so I I always crochet them. This pattern was fantastic -- Lion Brand Yarn Diagonal Baby Blanket is the name (I think). HATED the yarn (Lion Homespun) because it split every which way, but the finished product is soft and really pretty. I'm going to cast on another tonight because if I don't get some SERIOUS knitting time in over the next few days, my family is going to lock me in a padded room with needles, yarn and my iPod. Besides, another friend had a baby on April 8th; I knew they were due, but I've been so darn scattered that I forgot to call and ask.

I also bought a new crocheted afghan pattern book. I decided it was time to mix up my crocheting a little and make something new. Oldest daughter's afghan is WAY ratty and #4 hasn't had anything "in progress" for quite some time. I was going to make him wait his turn, but the teeth thing yesterday made me change my mind. He's such a sweet little boy and he was so brave about the whole thing until his friends were gone. Thank GOD they were baby teeth -- albeit ones that weren't ready to come out.

So my mood has improved by just typing all this out. Love this blog thing.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Post PA Primary musings

I have never been prouder to be a Pennsylvanian than I was last night. I was at my polling place by 6:30 a.m., left at 8 a.m. to do nine preliminary hearings, came back around 1 p.m. and stayed until closing (8 p.m.) and vote tallying (around 8:45 p.m.). In the meantime, my husband, sister and oldest daughter were texting results to my cell phone because at the polls and at the GOP after-primary party (where 3 glasses of cabarnet were probably a bit much on an empty stomach), we didn't have political TV access -- we had access to the Flyers game .

My rant last weekend about politics was dead on politically. Voters in PA came out in record numbers (25% of GOP voters at my poll turned out for a completely uncontested race; 77% of the Democratics were out). Despite the 2 Democratic committee people being overtly for Senator Obama and Senator Clinton having no one to speak on her behalf and no literature at the Democrats table and attempts by the Obama camp to have them vote for delegates committed to Obama rather than to Clinton, the vote was tied between them on the machine balloting (he won by seven votes on the absentee ballots). The Catholic, working class Democrats came out after work, bypassed us Dirty Republicans, ignored their own committee people (who were trying to harass every voter into their camp), went into the polls and gave Senator Clinton a victory in Montgomery County. It was the same ALL over the county which had been trending Senator Obama's way for weeks in the polls.

Late deciding (within the last week) voters were overwhelmingly for Senator Clinton -- Obama's comments offended them for exactly the reasons I stated over the weekend. The national media (specifically CNN and MSNBC which were my daughter and sister's channels they were sending me information from) refused to call the race for Clinton until almost 10 p.m. Fox called it around 9:05 p.m.) By 8:30 p.m., it was obvious she had beaten him and done so badly. In my district alone, before 5 p.m. and knowing who had and had not voted, he should have won by 100 votes out of 489 potential Democratic voters. By 7:30 p.m., I saw the reaction of the late voters and knew she was going to come close Obama had lost overall in the Commonwealth.

Not that I get a say in this because PA is now done and I'm from the other party, but someone needs to remind the Super Delegates of how a President is selected in November. It's called the Electoral College and it's arcane and ridiculous, but it's what we got. I couldn't sleep last night because I was overtired so I looked at the electoral math (I know... I'm a geek) and not counting Florida (which I think is a moron move for the Democrats), Senator Clinton's states vs. Senator Obama's states electors is an interesting number. In fact, I heard a new poll this morning that shows Clinton ahead of McCain in MA, but Obama losing to McCain. Perhaps the solution to this delegate quagmire should be that each state's Super Delegates must vote for the person who won the state -- sorry Senators Kennedy and Kerry, but your voters chose Clinton, not Obama. Ditto to Senator Casey in PA. In the Fall, every state is "winner take all" and, by the way, Obama is NOT going to win in Montana in November.

It's fascinating being on the outside edges of this thing -- watching it but not participating. Pundits are dumb because they do the same thing I accused Senator Obama of doing -- telling people HOW to form decisions rather than listening to how those decisions are actually formed. The voters get to do the interviewing, not the candidate. The only math that counts is in the electoral college in November.

But hey... what do I know? I voted for Govenor Huckabee .

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Cat in the Hat Comes Back

Note: The pictures are completely irrelevant to this post -- it's Jenny in October of 2007 (at about 14-15 months) in her Penn State cheerleading outfit after she learned "Jenny... do Eagles touchdown." The 2 pics are sequential and taken one after another.

This is a LONG, LONG post -- I have some venting to do. Read on if you dare....

The life of a lawyer can be crazy. The life of a mom can be crazy. The life of a political volunteer can be crazy. The life of a knitter can be crazy and projects do NOT always work as planned. When all of those "hats" that I balance are worn in a stack on top of my head, they are bound to topple over eventually. I suddenly had a mental image this morning (or was it late last night) of the beloved Dr. Suess character taking hat after hat off his head, revealing a bunch of little cat helpers to clean up a pink spot and spreading it everywhere around the house and yard. If you remember the book from childhood, the image describes this past week. If you don't remember the book, re-read it... it's fun.

The lawyer hat started out of control and got worse with each passing moment. I walked in Monday morning to a voice mail FILLED with messages from my client that makes me crazy. Finally, by Wednesday, I found the three hours I needed to write a 4 page single spaced letter to him/her, explaining AGAIN the status of his/her case. When I went into the office yesterday (Saturday), there was AGAIN a long message (left at 7 something on Friday night) asking the same questions answered by the letter (which s/he acknowledged receiving). I wrote and mailed a three sentence letter saying "what part of 'you need to communicate with me in writing' was it you don't understand? All information has been provided to you ad nauseum." The letter didn't put it QUITE that bluntly, but it came darn close.

The week also involved dealing with an opposing counsel who thinks her client is a perfect individual and my client is therefore evil. Never mind that her client is a deadbeat parent, refuses to follow court orders and cares nothing for the child involved other than at his/her convenience. Never mind that the lawyer thinks she is God's gift to the court system and it is apparently beneath her to answer numerous letters and emails. Monday of this coming week is going to start with me filing a petition or two that basically plead to the court that I've had it up to my ears with the lawyer's and her client's holier-than-thou attitudes -- I have enough ammo lined up to bury both of them and my patience is gone. I tried to be nice. I tried NOT to bring this case back to court, but apparently this lawyer is more interested in billing her client than she is in watching out for the child's best interests or negotiating on her client's behalf. I can play it either way she wants it, but I think she will be sad when I'm done with her. I think her client will be sadder. I think the child will be better off.

This is a non-stop frustration for me in practicing law. It is completely counter-productive to refuse to work with the opposing attorney in the long run. On a criminal case, if I have discovery in a prompt manner, I can analyze the strengths and weaknesses, decide what to file by way of pre-trial motions or IF such motions are appropriate and negotiate a plea if one is appropriate. No..... depending on which ADA is assigned, I need to chase down discovery, be lied to by young ADAs, have promises made regarding pleas that aren't put into files before the young ADA goes away on a vacation to Puerto Rico and then I need to spend HOURS with the (very nice) ADA who knows nothing about the case. In family law, the frustrations quadruple because the vast majority of domestic attorneys are more worried about their billable hours than about the most expeditious way to finish a case.

The political hat was a mild distraction as far as time, but a HUGE distraction as far as where my brain kept drifting. I'm a PA Republican so I am not part of the insanity that IS the PA primary. I had a quick meeting on Thursday night (right in the middle of my knitting group, of course) to pick up signs and handouts for April 22nd. I have to be at the polls for 13 hours on this coming Tuesday when MAYBE 10 Republicans (out of over a thousand registered) will bother to vote because we are completely uncontested. I'll be able to knit all day.

I did, however, watch the debate on Wednesday night and am flabbergasted by the reaction to it by the media in the days that followed. I'm sorry... at what point did it become "unfair" to ask someone who wants to lead this country who he hangs out with??????? I am a moderate Republican (and more importantly, I am EXTREMELY opposed to continued U.S. presence in Iraq). There are a lot of moderate Republicans and Independents and conservative Democrats and undecided voters who have never once seen Senator Obama questioned in a debate about that horrid minister, about a 70's era terrorist who is apparently friendly still with the Senator, about comments he made which call people "bitter" because they believe in the 2nd Amendment and God. What would the Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses (held on my birthday by the way) have looked like if the debate this past Wednesday had been held on January 15th?

I repeat: I am a moderate and I want our soldiers and marines OUT of that quagmire in the Middle East. That being said, while I would absolutely consider voting for Senator Clinton on the war issue alone (I have other problems with her, not the least of which was her Bosnia "misstatement"), the debate showed me that in the Fall, I will have no problem voting for Senator McCain if Obama is the candidate. It isn't that I believe Obama to be a bad person because quite the contrary is true; it is that I think Obama (and the media) believe HE gets to decide what is or is not important to the voters he wishes to represent. I am offended by the very concept of that attitude.

Keith Olberman, Dan Abrams, Bill Maher, Rachel Maddow, Howard Dean (loser in 2004), John Kerry (loser in 2004), Ted Kennedy (loser in 1980 and we won't even DISCUSS his affiliations over the years; Game of Bridge, Senator?), Jimmy Carter (loser in 1980 also) and Donna Brazille (who is apparently allowed to re-define words like "fairytale" into a racial slur and who claims to be uncommitted as a Super Delegate.... snort!) do not get to tell middle-class America what issues SHOULD be. I could care less WHO the question came from about Obama's terrorist friend. I am not at all perturbed that ABC News spent half the debate on "non-substantive issues" or "the politics of personal destruction." To the contrary, after 15 months, this was the first time I saw anyone in the media ask these candidates hard questions about issues that will be important to voters like me in November. I have watched every debate for both parties since last year. There has not been a single point where Obama has articulated a specific plan for how he will address MY issues.

I've checked Senator Obama's website (and Clinton's and McCain's) because I really WANTED to drink his Kool-Aid. A choice between Senators McCain and Clinton would be difficult for me -- a true "undecided until the last minute" scenario. A choice between McCain and Obama is no longer difficult for me -- you don't get to insult my Commonwealth, disregard real middle class concerns and continuously try to gloss over serious issues with "hope and change" instead of concrete solutions. You also don't get to wiggle out of questions about the details of your economic plans that might very well raise my taxes -- I pay enough already. You don't get to tell me that you sitting in a church for 20 years with that minister and exposing your children to his hatred (or the potential of that hatred) shows good judgment. You don't get to tell me that your relationship with William Ayres is the same as your relationship with a GOP congressman -- the terrorist was instrumental in starting your political career; the GOP congressman was not; the terrorist said after 9/11 that he wished he had done more to blow things up -- you still are "friendly" with a person like that?!

Oh wait... that isn't supposed to matter because this election is about "change". Dear Senator Obama: it matters to me and I was more than willing to vote (not decided, but willing) for you until 2 days ago. How DARE you tell me what "should" or "shouldn't" matter? The President and all other elected officials (including myself because I am on the ballot as a low-level committeeperson on Tuesday) answer to the people; not the other way around.

Like I said... no actual time, but lots of emotional time on that one.

There was also the Knitting Nightmare... Jenny's pink sweater simply didn't work out as planned. She grew, the pattern had problems so I ended up ripping back the whole neckline, crocheting a scalloped border as a neckline so she can wear it and casting on a new sweater (in purple). I didn't cast that sweater on until I spent HOURS measuring her, combining patterns, doing math calculations to create my own pattern calculator and knitting several swatches. That being said, the purple sweater is turning out wonderfully well -- the yoke is done, the sleeves are on holders and I'm knitting down the body. It fits over her head beautifully (which is where all was wrong with the pink sweater) and she's watching me make it, knowing it's for her (because I keep putting it on her). I also got a new crochet book called "48 hour afghans" which holds some promise.

Finally the Mom Hat... the baby is still suffering from a nasty stomach virus which came on VERY quickly on Friday morning, in the car. I had court at 8:30 a.m. and her sitter was fine with her being there. By last night at 5:15 p.m., she had a 102 fever and by 8:20 (with Motrin only 3 hours in her), the fever was 104. We called the doctor who said to keep cooling her off and pushing fluids (which keep coming up and out) and that 105 would be the tipping point when she needed to go to the emergency room. Her fever is mostly gone today and we've gotten some applesauce into her, but we are EXHAUSTED and she is cranky.

We did have a nice dinner with all five kids last night though. The older boys were both home from college and eldest daughter came over too. It's really rare we have the whole gang without others -- I love my daughter's boyfriend and all the other assorted people who come over for holidays, football games and birthdays, but once in a little while, it is really special to just be the 7 of us!

I ran errands for hours yesterday and need to take one of the boys back to college this afternoon. The upcoming week is going to be nuts. I need a long weekend away with my hubby, my knitting and the soundtrack to "Braveheart" !!!!