Category Archives: Current Affairs

Signed, sealed, delivered, I’m yours!

Several times in my life, after thinking that I know something or understand something, I’ll have an experience that leads me to the realization that, actually, I didn’t know what I thought I did. It took the experience itself for me to truly know and understand. A good example of that would be postpartum depression. I’d been busily helping women who suffered postpartum depression for years, thinking that between my education and training and work experience, I knew all about it. And I was, in many cases, very helpful. Then, after my first child was born, I had serious postpartum depression that lasted about 5 weeks. Those five weeks in hell brought true understanding.

Now, I’m not saying that a person has to experience something to understand it or have compassion around it. I don’t believe that’s true. But I also believe that there are some paths in life that you really have to walk down to understand the journey.

Tuesday evening, in a crowd of a quarter million people, I stood next to an African American woman about my age. With so many people, the jumbotron CNN, the stage, the motorcade, the helicopters, the Chicago skyline lit in red, white and blue, and, ultimately, Barack Obama himself, there was a lot to watch in Grant Park. Mostly, I watched her. I couldn’t help it. She was there on her own, no sign or little flag or funny hat; she was just there standing next to me on a knoll above the field. We had an incredible view. She first came to life when CNN called Ohio. She smiled and clapped a bit. When they called Florida she laughed out loud and raised her arms. When they announced the victory for Obama, she yipped and spontaneously grabbed ahold of me and we hugged like the very best of friends. We couldn’t stop hugging. She kept saying, “never in my life, never in my life.” Across the field, we could see the motorcade coming along Lakeshore Drive and as the loudspeakers pumped “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” we ALL danced. During the invocation she bowed her head and teared up a bit. When we said the Pledge of Allegiance, she and I chuckled because the bouncy, bubbly, squealy first time voters behind us didn’t know some of the words. She applauded the gracious concession of John McCain. And when Barack Obama spoke, she wept silently. Her shoulders heaved and tears streamed down her face and she covered her mouth and she wept. As I watched her I realized that, try as I might, I will never truly understand.

It was a great event, a once in a life time event, a history changing moment. You’ve heard all about it. I kind of think you had to be there to realize the true momentum. I went with my neighbor Larry, while his wife, Donna, and Rich stayed home with the television contingent. With only my ticket plus one, Larry and I were the two that couldn’t bear the thought of not going. Larry took some amazing photos that, really, speak a thousand good words, so here you go. (they’re great large so definitely click to embiggen; please don’t copy)

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A Hurry Up and Wait Kinda Day

Whatcha doing?

My day is set. Vote at 6 am, bone scan at 740 am, doctors appointment at 1140 am (both routine), knitting while in lines and waiting rooms and on public transportation. Then…will I be able to nap for a bit? Because I have a very big evening ahead of me.

Enjoy this historic day. Better yet, be a part of history.

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(You can enlarge the photo and see where I’ll be tonight. Only this event would draw me into such a mass of cheering humanity.)

Cursing Cursing Mama

As it is, I have followers and classmates and crushes, people throwing cyber sheep at me, total strangers sending me cyber plants to tend and writing on a superwall I don’t know how to access. Despite the fact that I AM A SOCIAL NETWORKING FAILURE. People, I suck at this. I have 143 pending “requests” for some kind of response. Mostly from people who don’t know me or want to know me and vice versa. I am the most inconsistent, intermittent, random, stream-of-conscious internet acquaintance you have. The good news, for me, is that I have reconciled myself to it. I am sorry if you think I don’t care because I really do. I try to be responsive when it matters, but I am completely smug about posting 4 times in 3 days and then not again for three weeks. I might throw two dozen Corriedales, fling eggs full of dolphins and twitter madly for 24 hours and then, poof! And yet.

I love my internet buddies. We are there for each other when it counts and we are comrades against the slings and arrows of life, death, naughty children, extra pounds, hormones and spambots. Yesterday, Cursing Mama (“Yarn Ho Ho and a bottle of Rum”) either burdened or blessed me with a new friend (probably both, the burden being that it is one more drop in the guilt pool. She’ll join the ranks of Wren and Raehan and Margaret and Alala and Robin and ad infinitum). I mean, how could I NOT be friends with someone who writes: ‘I have decided that Ohio must be a really tough place, because the only people I know who move to FL and don’t go “Oh fuck, what have I DONE?” are from Ohio. I have scratched Ohio off my potential relocation list, with a very dark, thick Sharpie marker.’ With roots in both Ohio and Florida, this makes me laugh.  Small Bossy Dog lives in Orlando (poor thing) and is in the immediate aftermath of losing her mother (poor thing). She thinks I live the life she wants (poor thing). She hasn’t dug deep enough yet to read about the Bud and Jan Show, the OCD musician, that jello-wrestling snip, the loss of my home and the pain of retirement, rats in the alley, and blah, blah, blah. We have more in common than she knows. Plus, she plays with wool. Anyway, I like her style and she’s a good read and this is one of those times when it’s nice to feel the love, even if it’s from total strangers who match you on internet tests like, “What kind of pajamas are you?” So go say hello and commiserate, please.

In other news, I haven’t been very political here but I just got off the phone with the OCD musician my son, who is still worrying that the other one might win. I said to him, “don’t believe it. That one will win.” And he said, in his most Eeyore voice, “weellll, I hope so because things have been soooo awful…” And I said, “don’t think that things are going to get better right away because they are not. It’s just that we will be a country all in the soup together again. We will be working together for health and education and freedom and the environment and the future.” For me, to think that this could be a time when we do, in fact, all start sharing our PB&J, with a united spirit and that this will happen in my life time so I can see a time when my son has health insurance and my daughter sees a hopeful enough future that she wants to have grandchildren for me a child or two- well, hooray! You know, we earn just a tad more than Joe the Plumber (than he actually earns that is, not what he initially claimed to earn). We’re close to that critical cusp of “Your taxes are going up!” And we will cough up our share willingly. According to the Brookings Institute and The Tax Policy Center, that’s only about 148.00 more dollars if Obama wins. (But if we earned 2 million dollars, under McCain we would pay almost 5,000 less in taxes. I can’t imagine any part of that equation.) Me? I think we should pay even more, but then I’m a socialist social worker by choice and training. Anyway, I could go on and on and on…Suffice it to say, I believe it. I really do.

Hey! Guess what? The e-mail for tickets to the Election Night Event in Grant Park came at 2:36pm yesterday afternoon and by 2:58pm people were wait listed. You know who got two tickets at 2:41pm? Huh, huh?

I’ve been a busy little bee the past few days. (Who said: ” You can get some good stuff online…you know, you’re a busy woman and you just go, click,click…”?) I got tickets for Jersey Boys and also Porgy and Bess at Lyric Opera- both in December. There’s a fiber arts show at the Chicago Botanic Gardens next week. My nuno felting class starts this Saturday.

Finally, there’s this fellow living under a rock by the patio at the Asheville house. So many things in life are good news-bad news, ya know?

Relatively Wordless Wednesday: Getting pumpkined up for voting!

(Rich suggested that this is my Obama-Hannibal pumpkin with all of those toothpick supports. I tried.)

Pumpkin Curry Soup

Flesh of one large pumpkin

1 heaping tablespoon Muchi curry powder

1/2 tablespoon ground jamaican allspice

1 teaspoon salt

Igo seasoning or other Basque sweet red pepper spice.

12 ounces chicken broth

8 ounces half and half

4 ounces cream

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cutting away skin and stringy seed part, place chunks of pumpkin in 9 x13 baking dish with 1/2 inch of water on the bottom. Bake at 350 degrees until mushes with a fork, adding more water if dish goes dry. Takes about one hour.

Run pumpkin through food processor, adding in broth and spices. Check for taste- should be nice blend of mild curry plus sweetness of pumpkin and allspice.

Transfer to large saucepan and add dairy, stirring until blended, heat to less than a boil.

dish and sprinkle just a smidge of Igo seasoning on top. Serves 6.

(Pumpkin seeds, sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon olive oil. 1 hour at 325 degrees)