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

Yes... I really DO have 5 kids

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!