Blue Moon, You saw me standing alone…*

I just made our HUGE unadjusted cobra payment for health insurance. Grrrr. It’s all mucked up because the company that manages our cobra hasn’t put the most recent stimulus extension into effect yet and, on top of that the former employer changed insurance companies at the end of the year and our mail didn’t get forwarded fast enough so that change isn’t in the system yet either. Although, under the law signed Dec. 21, we can’t be discontinued for an additional 60 days I’m so afraid of the automated system telling me our coverage was due to lapse at midnight tonight that I went ahead and paid it. Cuz if I didn’t tomorrow would be the day one of us falls in the bay or gets poisoning from the extra-large fresh stone crab claws, with which we will ring in the New Year. Then they would turn us away at the hospital ER and all would be lost. Now, we will relish the claws, be healthy and happy and prosperous, at least in February when we will be overpaid on our health insurance.

Tonight, at least here in the western hemisphere, it’s once in a blue moon. It’s been 19 years since one fell on New Years Eve here; in the eastern hemisphere, they will have their blue moon on New Years Day, in the year 2010. Abby is perched somewhere on the edge between the two- I hope she sees it where she’s at, even though it’s not really blue. The expression was probably originally from old English “belewe”, meaning betrayer. Some religious historians believe the notion is tied to the fact that the date for Easter was calculated according to the full moon and an extra moon during Lent  would have been the “Belewe Moon.” Anyway, most recently, it’s a great old song, especially as sung by Ella Fitzgerald. (* click HERE )

I, for one, am happy to see the end of this decade because, by and large, it sucked. From 9/11 through Katrina and killer tsunamis, war and disgraceful politics and the economy, Hoss died…a lot was just plain wrong. On a personal level, I began the decade standing alone and now I have Rich. That is ever so fortunate for me because parents have died, houses have come and gone and likewise employment, and children have fled the nest and I can’t imagine going through all of that without a friend, lover and helpmate. All of that was too much commotion for me, but the stars appear to be aligned well as we enter 2010. The children are successfully launched. Abby is the sprinter and she may very well produce both a PhD and grandchildren during this next decade. Daniel is a solidly accomplished musician. Melissa and Anna lead varied and full lives. Rich’s professional life has evolved in a way that feels good not only in terms of bringing home the bacon. He is now doing work that feels like a reflection of strong and important values for us and our community. He’s starting some significant initiatives as the marketing industry downscales conspicuous advertising displays and focuses instead on being an active part of your community life, in schools, sports and media. (You can find him here at and read about his book, his community work with NCAA and AARP, among others and read his blog. Today, I notice, he’s urging you to write a little snail mail letter to someone.) Rich wrote the note that went in with our Christmas card this year and it read:

Christmas, 2009

This year’s card is literally a work of art.

{This is Rich writing the note.} Vicki has blossomed as a fiber artist and we have wool all over our lives to prove it. We wanted to be a bit more personal in our approach to wishing you the best this year so this card was hand-made by Vicki.

The felt on the cover started as a clump of farm-smelling wool in the den.  After being combined with all kinds of wonderful fabrics & dyes, and combining with hand-made papers we have the joy of going retro and making the cards and most of our presents this year.

In part, we recognize this has been a very hard year for many families and most of us have been pushed to be more cautious in our spending. On another side, this card is an appreciation for giving of our (well…Vicki’s) time rather than our money. These hard times are causing most of us to do more things personally, and both Vicki and I see that as a great gift.

Frankly, it’s a gift Vicki has lived out her entire life.  I like to think I get closer every year – yes, I appreciate the irony of this computer generated note extolling a personal message, but at least the typeface is more friendly!  And the fact is, I, like many others, have had to work much harder this year to make ends meet. So I have the heart for it, if not the time.

From both of us, we hope this has been a year that, while perhaps more difficult, has also brought the personal parts of life more to the light. And it’s our hope 2010 is lighter in every way.


If I had written it, it would have been more kid slobber so this was a wonderful change of pace.

This next decade will likely be the last one I stay licensed as a psychotherapist. My license comes up for renewal in April of 2010 and after careful reflection, I think I’m not ready to give up my professional affiliations, organizations and ability to practice just yet. Even though I no longer actively have a practice and even though, hopefully, I’ll retain some of those skills garnered for the rest of my life I think I want the piece of paper at least until I’m seventy.  Now I am focused on making a life for us in what will hopefully be our last home. I am focused on growing good food, cooking good food, living a more sustainable lifestyle, leaving a smaller footprint and honing my craft. I don’t really see myself yet as a fiber artist, but then I didn’t see myself as a skilled clinician until at least ten years after my degrees and certifications and licenses said I was. So, maybe it will come. At the very least, I’ve begun and the next decade will hopefully be a time to focus on “the touch, the feel, the fabric of our lives.”  I love working with wool and silk and cotton and bamboo and seacell in large part because it’s one more way to get that good earthy feeling and to experience the beauty of our natural world. I’m hoping to continue on with raptor rehab and more generally,  natural science education in the community. I’m going to look at the WNC red wolf re-introduction program once I get to Asheville, especially since some of our Lincoln Park Zoo babies are in that program.

And, so. Now that I bit the bullet and made the cobra payment, as Ella would sing, I have a dream in my heart…it’s the usual treacle but with feeling: I wish for us all a happy and healthy New Year and a great new decade.(2009? Let’s bag it, shall we? )

If you missed the post/tutorial on the making of this felted piece, it’s the one below, titled “How I felt.”

8 responses to “Blue Moon, You saw me standing alone…*

  1. Oh, the felt bag is to die for – I mean it!! My colors and all. I love it!

    You make me ashamed of not using my talents more – or stretching to learn new ones. I admire you so much, Vicki, and I think you really ARE a fiber artist, even if you don’t yet realize it or put that name to yourself.

    The next decade has nowhere to go but up, in my opinion. The last one will have little in my memory books, except the birth of my last grandchild, who is truly a gift. Here’s hoping that 2010 and beyond will find us all fulfilled, content and still striving upward.

  2. Beautiful bag!
    It I’ll covet ’til I nag.
    Shakespeare liked to pun about purses,
    But I shall refrain from quoting those verses;
    For, though I know them verbatim, they’re also verboten
    Involving the anatomical part that rhymes with totem.
    Happy 7th Day of Christmas
    I’ll play “The Swan” for you.
    And, may the SPARTANS beat the Raiders
    On January 2.

    Yogically yours~

    Loka Samasta Sukino Bhavantu.
    Loka Samasta Sukino Bhavantu.
    Loka Samasta Sukino Bhavantu.
    Shan’ti, Shan’ti, Shan’ti.

    (May the Lord bless the whole world with eternal peace and goodwill.
    May the Lord bless the whole world with eternal peace and goodwill.
    May the Lord bless the whole world with eternal peace and goodwill.
    Peace, peace, peace.)


  3. Oh Ella. You do know how to croon that tune. Lovely bag, Vicki. Truly lovely. Do you suppose it is a bad omen that we’re kicking off the new year with a furnace that isn’t working? No worries. The blue moon will keep us warm… ;o)

    Happy New Year, my friend.

    Much love…

  4. Stone Crabs … yum, eating an animal without killing it. User friendly for both the diner and the dinee.

    Thanks for the tutorial link!

    Happy New Year!

  5. Happy New Year, Vicki! I just went and read Rich’s blog. I’ll be needing your address now so I can do as I was told.

    Look at what you’ve done! Bonnie walks among us again!

  6. Only Ella sings this song the way it was meant to be sung. Happy New Year, my friend.

  7. Happy New Year–
    You are right that 2000 to 2009 was not necessarily a great decade, especially on the global scene.
    As I reflect some of the changes for me personally–I lost a job (yup, whole department eliminated, all the employees kept EXCEPT me…trying to tell me something?), but a return to teaching ensued, and the decade ended great–complete with second and last child getting married.
    Also, in this decade, I discovered blogging–which keeps my writing juices going.
    AND I got to reading your blog–such a constant delight.
    So, again–happy New Year.

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