Let Parker paws a moment to consider
Tuesday November 15th 2011, 12:09 am
Filed under: Knit,To dye for

That first one came out definitely a little big. The second one, a little small. The third one coming up–now, there’s your Goldilocks! With a cabled brim and slouch top-to-be.

Meantime, I’m a blue-haired old grammy. I think. Um.

I got up this morning wanting to finally tackle a dye job I’d been avoiding: a secondhand sweater I’d bought that, when it came, was not the soft green-gray I expected but rather was vivid, and I do mean vivid, fluorescent lemon/lime–but in cashmere.

Which is why I didn’t want to give it away but I sure didn’t want to accidentally wreck it.

I got up this morning and straightway filled the biggest dyepot with hot water and stirred in some teal. I’m in it now, keep going. Stir stir stir. Then I did something different: knowing the dye wouldn’t take up well if the water wasn’t simmering, I handwashed the sweater and then put it in there anyway. Worked the new color through and through and through with my hands. It changed just slightly, but for the most part resisted it at that temp. No big surprise.

All that you were ever taught (correctly) about water, temperature change and agitation being the combination that felts woolens? I did it anyway. No catchy scales on cashmere fibers, right? I squished it some more, and then took the pot to the stove. Turned it on.  Stirred like crazy, and about every ten seconds or so for a very long time I lifted it out with my dye spoon and then put it back down, careful to spread it out as it went back in: I had once had dye adhere in a pattern of dark wrinkles because I hadn’t wanted to risk the agitation. Agitate.

Pulling it out and in again like that cools down the water; it took an hour for it to finally get up to a simmer to start the half hour countdown.

I don’t do well standing on my feet. But. When I finally poured out that pot, my new soft green buttoned shirttailed collared cashmere shirt was absolutely, totally, everything I wanted. To dye for.


(Oh, yeah, except the buttonhole thread must have been polyester. I expected that. That’s why I didn’t make a radical change in the color; I have an accent effect rather than an accident.)

Oh, and the blue-haired grammy thing? I knew it was going to be hot work over the stove, November notwithstanding, so I waited to take my shower this morning till I’d finally finished the job. My hands were teal blue from working in that pot at the start, and washing them afterwards did not get it out. Oh well. It would probably take at least the day for it to be gone, two for the nailbeds.

I stepped out of the shower, happened to look at my hands–and then at my hair…

The Cat In The Hat Comes Back, version blue. Tell me if you spot it, okay?

You’re dragon that yarn there
Sunday November 13th 2011, 11:46 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Knitting a Gift

For a moment there I thought they were going to revoke my knitting license.

I’m going to a baby shower Tuesday for two friends; one is having a boy, the other a girl. I looked up baby hat sizes and measurements tonight and launched into some leftover Malabrigo Rios in Solis blue/green, sure I had enough for the boy one.

Garter stitch, seven across, till the brim is about the right length. Pretty stretchy: do we measure as knitted or as stretched. Hmm. Go for in between (but mostly unstretched). Three-needle-bindoff to seam it, pick up two out of three across the upper side of the circle, standard stuff, although that got me 66 stitches–close to the amount I would use for a worsted-weight hat for me. Hmm. But these needles were smaller than for that. I’m fine.

Richard walked in the room when I was well into it and pronounced, “That looks big enough for you.”

Nooo… That stopped me. I pulled it over my head: a bit tight, but could be done. He was right.

Take it off. Measure. Unstretched? 15″ brim, right on cue for 3-6 months. Height? 6″ and getting low on yarn. I looked for more, but this was the yarn from Parker’s dragonskins baby blanket–there are no other skein ends kicking around but the one.

Baby size it will be after all, then. Knitting license saved! Tadaaah!

Y’know… that would match his blankie…

Okay, I have two hats I need to knit. Starting tomorrow.

Kelli green
Saturday November 12th 2011, 11:08 pm
Filed under: Family,Friends,Knitting a Gift

(Great Blue Heron, Coronado Island, and Parker, rocking the kelly green, courtesy of my son Richard.)

My friend Kelli is the prime culprit in a particularly nice anonymous favor once done me via Purlescence.

Kelli of late has had to give up knitting: she’s a handcycle racer, with a custom-fitted set of wheels–but autoimmuned hands sometimes have limits and I haven’t seen much of her for awhile. It’s hard to not be able to do the other thing you love to do.

And yet. When Penny in our knit night group had to go on chemo, Kelli is the one who pulled the hand-dyed merino out of her stash and started knitting Penny a super-soft hat.

She couldn’t finish it. She had to ask for help (I knew nothing at the time.) And so Penny showed up one night wearing it, needing to avoid germ exposure but needing to be around friends after months of isolation and needing to show off what those two, a friend helping a friend helping a friend, had created for her to be comforted by.

So. Much. Joy. For all of us.

I recently got some (more) yarn from China, 95/5 cashmere/mink this time; when it came, the green was not quite what I’d expected. I like blueish greens.

This was a kelly green.

Guess how long it took me to figure out who that would be perfect for?

So that’s what I was working on this past week in between baking and packing to help move Richard’s office. That’s what I finally cast off and blocked last night.

And that’s what came out, despite my expectations and all my inspections as I doodled with my needles, to be quite…ruffly.

I was stumped. I said to Richard, But…but…Kelly’s a biker! And then quickly had to explain that that was a joke, son, a joke, biker chick as in that kind of bike, as in trying out for the paralympics. How someone with Crohn’s disease does what she does I have absolutely no idea whatsoever, and I have been in awe of her for a very long time.

But I just don’t see her as the girly-girl type. And this is ruffly!

He considered a moment. Got the biggest impish grin spreading across his face.


I totally lost it. Laughing so hard I could hardly breathe. Richard saves the day! It was suddenly okay to give her what had been for her all along, silly me, and I instantly quit second-guessing both of us.

Kelli, hon, your girly-girl biker camo awaits you at Purlescence. Love from us.

Thank you Trader Joe’s folks
Friday November 11th 2011, 9:22 pm
Filed under: Food,Friends

How you chop 500g chocolate bars: you hold them up high and smash them down on the floor. Carefully, straight down, so the seam doesn’t rip in the paper wrapper (although that can be very entertaining to children for the pinata effect). Concrete-slab floors a la California ranch houses a plus.

Maybe repeat. Open bag. Pour.

My friend Nanci’s youngest is having a wedding reception soon–my stars, I remember when he was a newborn–and Nanci approached me, very tentatively, wondering if I might make a chocolate torte for it.

I always make two. I’d love to. I promised her a pair, if she wouldn’t mind freezing them till the day so I could get them done and out of the way.

She surprised me yesterday by saying she was going to Milk Pail, which is a half-outdoor market, to buy the manufacturing cream so I wouldn’t have to go out in the sun, and was there anything else I needed? Butter? Chocolate?

I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels to have someone who doesn’t live with lupus remember what it’s like to have it.  No sun exposure! I told her I had plenty of chocolate and butter; she brought me some butter too anyway, because that was an ingredient that was easy to get just the right one of. I told her there was more than enough cream there for four tortes, and if she wanted, I would try to pull that off in my time constraints.

Her eyes voted immediately yes! If it’s not too much…

And so I started. I made the first pair of cakes yesterday, hurrying to get it done before Richard called for help.

They were a tad overdone; these new darker pans are still a learning curve. Well crumb. I put them aside.

Today I turned the oven down by 25 and the timer by 7, tried again and got it perfect. But when I went to glaze them…

…I’d accidentally picked up the Trader Joe’s Pound Plus bittersweet with almonds rather than plain. Nuts! So I went off in hopes they’d gotten the plain in stock by now–had they had them earlier, the color contrast on the wrappers would have tipped me off: they’re close but not the same.

The parking lot was a zoo and the employees there looked like they were putting a good face on things, but with the holiday (an aside: Happy Veteran’s Day. A solemn time and a necessary remembrance) it almost looked more like the Thanksgiving rush in there. Where were all these people coming from!

I walked in and a clerk I’ve often seen immediately asked me with concern how I was; she hadn’t seen me in awhile. Clearly that had worried her. I was surprised, and touched; I assured her I was fine and thanked her.

I explained to her and the manager the situation: baking for a wedding, I’d bought two almond ones and discovered it when I’d opened the first, too late for that one but I traded them the second, adding in a bunch more bars just to make sure I had plenty of the right ones on hand for next time too. Oh! Wait! I’m out of eggs–and I left the checkout. The woman I’d first talked to had by now taken over a line to let someone else go on break, and I waited the second time in hers.

I’ve still not recovered from our late nights of office packing. I was tired. She rang me up, handed me the bag–and I turned and promptly lost my balance. The eggs went smashing out the top (better them than me.) Chocolate down!

She was indignant: “Those bags are supposed to be good up to 20 pounds!”

It wasn’t the bag, I assured her, it was me, I lost my balance, here, that’s my fault, let me pay for them, as she called someone to get me another box.

No no that’s okay.

Let me clean it up? Please? This is my fault.

No, no, and by now I had several employees assuring me, that’s okay.

And so I went home to my already-chopped (see above) bag of almond bittersweet and those two slightly overbaked cakes, definitely good enough to eat but not quite fancy enough for a wedding.

Which is how my local Trader Joe’s employees got that already-smashed bar returned after all (or half of it, anyway.) I forgot to take into account that the volume of almonds displaced that much chocolate, so the texture of the ganache came out a tad thinner than my normal. Like they would know to compare?

The manager laughed in delight at my semi-sweetly ugly cake with the random almonds. For you all. Trading you for those eggs. Oh yes. Twist their arms.

And as I left, ducking out into the rain, every employee who’d seen it was just bursting with anticipation, fatigue disappeared.

(p.s. Hey Nanci. The first two for you are finished now, the next two are cooling and will be ready to glaze in an hour.)

The office-ial word
Thursday November 10th 2011, 11:57 pm
Filed under: Family

And it is almost 11:00 pm and we just walked in the door.

Richard just read that sentence and closed his eyes. Yeah. That about sums it up. But: at least, given that we got it down to Decisions Must Be Made, all but the cast-off got done on my project as I coached: Stay or go? Or sometimes, Toss or go?

Boxes closed up and we packed it in.

Electronic anthropology
Thursday November 10th 2011, 12:58 am
Filed under: Family,Life

I was working on a project I badly wanted to finish and block tonight when the phone rang.

Help Cecil help!

It took longer than it should have to get myself to respond, I’m a-comin’, Beanie Boy; I really wanted to…but I instantly knew: so much for that.

My car’s in the shop, he came home to get me, I had dinner ready, we bit into it and threw it out. So much for the quick prefab Costco dinner–I wonder what aisle it got moved to and then put back in their freezer. Or something. We scrounged and scrammed.

His office was being moved and the building was being vacated and everything had to be packed or tossed, and having someone there with zero emotional attachment to anything really speeds an awful job along–not to mention simply having someone else there pitching in. Call it a date night.

Tuesday’s picture of our grandson holding his lion tail was the screensaver on the monitor. Love it.

We’d done a lot, we were tired and slowing down, when he opened a bottom drawer.

Wait. What is this thing?

Oh, he told me, pulling it out and handing it to me, that’s a laptop.

Really?! (Opening it up. Or trying to. Fumble. There’s a latch like that? On an electronic…?) But, I asked him in confusion, it says Digital. (You know, DEC, the big computer company that went blooey before laptops were invented. The folks that moved us to California 24 years ago. Good people there back in the day, we miss them.)

No, they were invented already, and yes, they did call them notebooks, he assured me. (The thing says HiNote Ultra II.)  But they were nothing like today’s. Still. This was really cutting edge, he told me. (Well, yeah!) It was way lighter than anything else out there. It had a floppy drive you could take off, and it had an internal hard drive.

Did you work on this project?

Nah, not that machine…

Dang this thing is cute. (No emotional attachment, eh?)

(Here at home, I just weighed it: both pieces come to 4.4 lbs–we’d guessed five at least. The darker gray piece is the floppy drive.)

Does it still work?

Yeah, probably.  There’s that battery pack I just had you throw in the electronics trash down the hall.

I ran back down there. Irretrievable.  So much for that.

He pulled out a weird-looking plug: there you go.

I’ll probably take it back to that electronics bin tomorrow, but I just have to play with it a little first.  It was like a lost puppy (and I’ve lived in Silicon Valley too long, clearly). As someone who remembers watching the original Apple IIe in action, I had to see what this one looks like when it’s all lit up.

So far, given how wiped we both feel, I’ve only gotten to blogging about it. I keep wondering what its appeal was: maybe it was all in the pretty packaging. So ugly it’s cute. Note that I photographed it on the chair I inherited from my grandmother; gray and gray and age on age, it fit.

I know, give me a day and the novelty will wear off.

Dr. Wallaby MD
Wednesday November 09th 2011, 12:36 am
Filed under: Family,Friends,Life

Who knew that a doctor’s shoes could connect me with my grandmother?

He was wearing a pair of Wallabys today, new-looking ones; I knew exactly how comfortable those were. Back when they were a huge fad in the ’70’s, my father was on a business trip to Spain and knowing my odd-size feet and how much I’d wanted a pair, and finding some at a good price, took a chance–and they were perfect. It was my first-ever experience at being so thrilled at the most perfect shoe purchase (with the love of my Dad to top it off.) I had never owned a shoe that fit well and was comfortable and was perfectly, totally in style. 6.5EE is never in style, but look at these! Authentic Wallabys!

I wore those through high school, I wore those in college, where I was walking in snow at I forget how many thousand feet up high in the Rockies. The salted soaking sidewalks ate at the suede. I wore them till they looked like Harry Potter’s sorting hat in the middle of a sentence.

My grandparents had recently retired and were living an hour north of BYU campus.

My grandmother was a very gracious woman who would never say a disparaging word to or about anybody. She once said that she’d listened to enough of her friends whine about old age that she’d decided that she, for one, was going to be a sweet old lady. And so she was.

So there I was at Gram’s, cousins gathered around for a Sunday evening get-together, when she notices my feet.

I knew I had this coming. I waited to hear what she would say.

She searched for the right words of–well, encouragement or something somehow, and finally just chuckled: “Alison. Your shoes!”

“I know, Gram. But they’re so comfortable!”

She laughed warmly. There wasn’t much left to constrict my feet anymore anyway–nor my heart. I felt so loved.

I gave up and let them be after that school year; there wasn’t enough left of them anymore.

My grandmother had been a concert pianist.

I said to the doctor today, “How did your concerts go?”

“You remembered! You have a sharp memory!” (Oh goodness if only that were true.)

But how could one forget–and then there were his shoes…

Not to mention the waiting piano hat I pulled out of my knitting bag at the end of the visit, to his astonished delight: I’d knitted this? For him? I’d designed this? “I think that’s maybe one of the nicest gifts I’ve ever received!” and he went out into the hall grinning hugely to model it at the nurses’ station.

I offered, and I’m writing it here just so they know I meant it, to knit something for his wife too. I asked what her favorite colors were?

How many men do you know that can answer that question right off the bat? He’ll get back to me on that.

The yarn is at the ready.

(Oh, yeah, and, my 20% hip bone loss in two years is now 29% in (correction–four), despite chugging the milk and trudging the treadmill. My grandmother went from 5’9″, very tall  for a woman born in 1899, to a tiny little thing. I want to walk in her footsteps and be gentle to all to the best of my ability, but I’m trying to keep my own shoes on along the way.)

With love
Tuesday November 08th 2011, 12:08 am
Filed under: Family,Friends,Knitting a Gift

I want to celebrate Parker’s first Halloween and the best daughter-in-law ever. We are so blessed.

On the knitting front, I was going to write about the yarn that arrived from China with a label saying plane unfold arid and 95% 5% 15%–of what, exactly, it seems I don’t know, but still: bistro mathematics?

And then.

All linguistic silliness got scooped up and put down gently over there for a moment. I got a thank you note when the mail finally arrived at five that needed its own thank you back.

For the picture of a certain hat being worn and loved and appreciated, and for the words that–I found myself wiping a tear. You know who you are. People like you make it all worthwhile, and many more to come who can’t find the words will be knitted for too: because yours make me never want to miss out. Thank you.

Water for crystals instead
Sunday November 06th 2011, 11:47 pm
Filed under: Life

We live within a few hundred feet of the gas main that blew up in San Bruno last year, obliterating homes and lives. We got a letter officially notifying us of that and to call PG&E if we should see dirt bubbling up. (Uh, no. 911. Thanks.) The letter also mentioned that using a cellphone or driving your car out of there could spark the leak if you did.

This is what we live with.

Pipeline 132 blew up again today, 100 yards away from any houses this time, mud erupting across two lanes of freeway.  A knitting friend of mine happened to be right there in her car with her small daughter. I’m so glad everybody’s okay, and thank heavens it was a Sunday and not at rush hour.

They still insist it’s safe and want to increase the pressure in untested lines. It was already such a hot-button subject for me–it’s way too close to home.

So. Much more in the spirit of a good Sunday evening, may I offer this link to a glass music artist. (Notice his keyboard graphic at the top!)

We once got to listen to a concert by a man who had an array like that of crystal goblets filled just so with water; he had a small tray alongside the front for him to dip his fingers into, then he would run them in circles or half-circles along the rims of the goblets.

He had started with a few, gotten into it like a knitter hooked on qiviut, and by the time we met him courtesy of our friend Russ, he estimated he had spent $100,000 to get his set of perfectly-pitched glasses across the octaves: the ones that are are rare and must be searched for and discovered.

And then celebrated!

I asked him if he’d gotten his MacArthur Genius Grant yet. He fervently wished–please, go ahead, nominate him, please! If only.

I asked him how loud he could make one of them. He sheepishly admitted he’d been curious to know exactly that, once, and had kept at it and at it till he’d shattered one–his face in telling me the tale a mixture of the adult rueing the expense and waste and the fact that he had had to search for a replacement (there was a factory he traveled to in, I believe, Germany) and the little-boy impishness in his delight at discovery: he couldn’t not know, now, come on.

I wish I could remember his name all these years later. I was delighted to find someone else doing this too now. Go listen. It’s good for the soul. Beautiful.

Seek slick tips, sixes: tip? Sic sheet, quick
Saturday November 05th 2011, 11:03 pm
Filed under: Knit

I thought I had lost the battle of the sixes.

Who knew you could wear out knitting needles? But some previously well-polished rosewoods, a pair I’ve used a lot for I don’t know how many years, were doing the chalkboard screech thing: even if I couldn’t hear it, my hands sure could and it was awful.

I thought of the days when I had my kids go down the slide on the swingset (that swingset, we moved it here with us), sitting on a sheet of wax paper, just like my mom used to make us do, so although there wasn’t a problem here of dripping tree sap or raccoon paw prints, I got up, went in the kitchen, tore off a piece, and gave it a try. Metal, wood, it’s all a surface issue, right?

It wasn’t perfect but it did help some. I went back to doodling with my yarn. We’ll call it a draw.

Pattern testing testing 1 2 3
Friday November 04th 2011, 10:38 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift,Life

BUH BUH BUH! Another row bites the dust! BUH BUH BUH! Another row bites the dust! And another row’s gone and another row’s gone and another row bites the dust! BUH BUH BUH!

…Back when we were newlyweds we had a couple in the apartment upstairs, who, neither spoke English well and neither knew the other’s language and they were taking a dance class because you can communicate with movement and they could only afford one ’45 single and they only played one side of it. Night after night after night. And guess which tune shook our walls till all hours? Yeah…

I so wanted to finish my project today. If I showed you a picture the recipient would instantly be on to me, so, no, but, I thought I was about two-thirds done and started in on it a little before 1:30. Welcoming every interruption I could get for the sake of my hands, nine hours of knitting and quite a few rows later than what I originally planned, it is indeed done.

I *DID* it! Let’s DANCE! (And so we did. While singing that tune. Amazing what a little enthusiasm’ll do for you.)

And then the light changed
Thursday November 03rd 2011, 11:12 pm
Filed under: Family,Wildlife

(Pardon me while I marvel at how much Parker has grown since last December. I know. They do that. Still.)

Saw a hawk. Then a second.

Now, typically a raptor in the sky will have its wings stretched wide, the very tips splayed a bit, floating high while they watch over their part of the planet, making it look like the easiest thing in the world–no flapflapflap here, that’s crow stuff.

This afternoon, though, we had a good stiff wind straight out of Alaska and plummeting temperatures to match. Brrr. There’d been a flurry of birds at my feeders this morning, clearly aware of what was coming, all trying to get a good meal fast before it got bad; then as Alaska came in, the feathers on one dove were blowing backwards and she was pushed nearly off her feet.

Needing to run to the post office, I sat at a long light. I looked up and watched the scene in the sky.

The hawks both had their wings wide, but then the wind turned sharp; as the trees danced, they didn’t retreat to the branches below but pulled their shoulders up and into a V and rocked sideways, rock, rock, rock like me without my balance trying to walk a tight straight line without my cane–a stagger effect going on there, definitely. The wind inhaled and counted to ten, wings soared wide for the ride, then, blow! Rock, rock, rock in that tight V again.

It suddenly hit me what they looked like: the surfers at the annual Mavericks competition, looking for the biggest waves to ride to shore, as if they were having the times of their lives.  And then it occurred to me that if these were young ones, (too far to tell), it was probably their first time experiencing real weather.

The currents events of the day. Rocky or smooth, it was all part of their territory.

The kids are Awlright
Wednesday November 02nd 2011, 9:56 pm
Filed under: Politics

I saw this link at Yarnagogo, but I apologize that I didn’t take the time to read it till today.

The Awl writer wasn’t convinced about this whole Occupy thing. She states strongly that she believes inflammatory rhetoric shuts down rational thought (boy, ain’t that the truth) and so it took two weeks before she decided to go see for herself what it was all about there in Oakland. She had no use for potential mobs.

What she saw was not what she expected to get.

I puzzled all day over her saying the news helicopter left and then the ABC and CBS twitter feeds shut down simultaneously one minute before the police moved in on the crowd (and we all know how that went). Wouldn’t the press want that story? Why would they stop? Are we really and incredibly at the point where the UK was recently, where only the rival Guardian was keeping tabs on the likes of Rupert Murdoch? No, I just don’t believe that. I mentioned it to Richard, hoping he had a reasonable explanation.

That was easy, he felt: the chopper had to refuel, as they said. The cops waited till there was nobody above to keep an eye on them–and then both feeds would have stopped together like that if the cops illegally jammed them.

That’s a big if. And yet–those feeds did stop. The writer showed screenshots.

The mayor of Richmond next door was so angry at the mayor of Oakland that she announced loudly that she would be marching part of a ten mile trek with the protesters. Good for her.

Don asks what a solution would be. I have one, for starters: I would sit the entire Congress down in Mr. Heacock’s high school American History class that I was in during the school year ending in this country’s bicentennial celebration, where he went on at such great length and passion about the enduring importance of the Glass-Steagal Act to this country’s financial stability that I have never forgotten it.

Education–and funding good education (remember when you could fund a full year’s college tuition at a state school off a teenager’s summer job? I’m only 52, not a GI Bill generation, and I do)–rocks.

Unionited we stand
Tuesday November 01st 2011, 9:40 pm
Filed under: Friends,Politics

I have an elderly friend who was interested in trying out this birdfeeding thing. I told her the place I go to delivers for a nominal fee if she wants, but that if she’d like to pick out her feeder in person to get started, I’d be glad to take her on my next trip down to Los Gatos.


And so that’s what we did yesterday afternoon.

Setting out, though, we hadn’t seen each other in awhile, so I reminded her that my hearing in a car wasn’t great.

That, as it turned out, was a good thing.

She was sure we were on the same page politically, and had a lot of opinions; while I struggled to keep my eyes on the road but still keep up with what she was saying, she was enjoying her audience. We are quite fond of each other.

She didn’t like how her favored presidential candidate was being treated by the press. I sympathized.

Wasn’t it terrible how Obama was trying to force everybody into one big union?

“Huh!” I said with a smile, delighted I’d heard her that time without having to make her repeat. “That one would grab big headlines. I read the New York Times, the Washington Post, and even our little Merc every day, but somehow I missed that one.”

She went on at length about the healthcare bill. I, blissfully deaf and cheerfully missing the point, got a word in: wasn’t it wonderful that my daughters were going to be able to get health insurance now? When one got turned down for no good reason whatsoever, and the other–well. She’s covered under one of the university micro-plans that the bill is phasing out, meaning that, till then, her maximum allowable coverage for medications is $2,000 a year.  Her doctor wanted to put her on a med that costs more than her annual income; she needs that med to treat her ITP, and appealed to the manufacturer because they do sometimes provide a cut rate for those in need, but they turned her down on the grounds that she has insurance.

Which it isn’t, really. But after next year, I think is the time frame, she’ll be able to get covered. Isn’t that wonderful?!

Finally, the woman tapped my arm, smiling, and said, “I think we’re on different sides; let’s talk about something else.”

We had a perfectly lovely time of it all. She got to meet new people with a deep interest in things she’s been wanting to learn about, she got her feeder, she got some seed, she added in a suet cake and wire cage after I got more to refill mine and we talked about how to show the birds the place was worth checking out: hang a stick. Let them perch near it first to get a good look.

And I think she actually heard some of what I had to say: because I was able to avoid the distractions of negative emotions and to concentrate on just enjoying the time I had with her, without letting all that Ailes America rile me up.  Who knew that deafness could contribute to maintaining a sense of closeness.

I avoided the temptation (but I won’t here) to stir things up by quoting Thomas Friedman from when he put context around the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators for those who don’t get it:

“Citibank sold a package of toxic mortgage-backed securities to unsuspecting customers — securities that it knew were likely to go bust — and, with the other hand, shorted the same securities — that is, bet millions of dollars that they would go bust.” He quotes the Wall Street Journal as saying, “As a result, about 15 hedge funds, investment managers and other firms that invested in the deal lost hundreds of millions of dollars, while Citigroup made $160 million in fees and trading profits.”

To women of her age, that could well have been part of her own retirement going poof. It is criminal.

We, yes, we, are the 99%. Heck–I guess we’ve all been put in one really big union, haven’t we?