Thursday, February 21

Social progress?

I was walking today in my neighborhood, on some of the streets closer to the main drag and alongside a park, and picked up some trash, till my hands were full: two beer bottles, a crushed soda can, a Styrofoam food box, and then -- oh joy! a plastic grocery bag to carry it all in. And the trash made me think about class and race and neighborhoods. And it occurred to me again that maybe what people in this country really care about is class, not race. My neighborhood is racially mixed and mostly clean and peaceful, and that's part of why people enjoy living here. (The trash is an aberration and is a result of this particular street's location in the traffic flow.) I think most of us don't care about the color or gender preference of our neighbors: what we care about is how people behave.
And then I thought of Obama's rising popularity as a candidate, and how amazing it is that suddenly we've made this seemingly huge leap to what might have only recently seemed years away -- a non-white presidential candidate, wow! Later in the evening I read this NY Times article and thought, yeah, they like this guy because he's -- well, he's okay! He's good! He's like us! He shares our values! (Sure, there's vestigial racism in the remarks of some of the citizens reported on) but man, this is progress.!) And so it comes down to economics, getting people out of poverty and into the middle class. That's not to speak out in favor of a dreadful conformity, and there will always be some who want the heady mix of, say, the City, and those who prefer the quiet of the lone prairie. I'm just saying that I think we're maybe evolving and entering a state where it's not your race that matters so much as your fit with your community and the consensus of the greater society. My Kenilworth neighbors, for instance, value clean streets, quiet evenings, and within their houses the freedom to do what they want without disturbing others. For the most part we don't care what the race, political preference, or gender orientation is of our neighbors: we just want them to behave relatively decorously in public. We love the existence of New York City and other big cities where there's much more noise and variety of lifestyles, but for middle America I think more and more that middle class values trump the racial and gender divisions.

Fine, and Finer

That's wonderful news, but I would TOTALLY have used a colon.

Thursday, February 14

Parlement of Foules

I have no recent bird photos for St. Valentine's Day, when the birds are said to choose their mates, only those of a recent sky on a very windy day, and the emerging daffodils in the yard. But the birds I saw this week included --

five turkeys eating carrion on Christ School Rd.

thirteen wild geese flying overhead towards Kenilworth Lake at sunset

a solitary crow ("One crow sorrow") over the tall pines by the driveway, fussing at someone

a towhee scratching in the leaves

goldfinches on the feeders

and a pair of shy cardinals on the ground.

Tuesday, February 12

Does your cat read the paper?

I missed the best picture, Tater looking up with bits of newspaper hanging from his mouth. My cat loves to read the paper. His method is to scratch it up with his claws and chew bits off.

Sunday, February 10

Delectable, beyond words...

One of the scrumptious holiday goodies from beth and Cary ane family. The grandchildren helped make short work of them. There were also crystallized ginger slices dipped in dark chocolate, and more.... yummmm....
Sometimes I jot down notes from things I hear on the radio. here's a tidbit, but the context is lost:
"How dare you? What the hell do you mean?"
"You handed her that halibut and expected her to--"
"To what? To cook it? That's all."
Today the wind is so strong I'm scared to go out under the ancient oaks and flimsy pines. The shelves on the proch blew over, and the porch is now covered with gardening gradu and shards of pottery. But Dougie MacLean's singing at 7 downtown: maybe the wind will have let up by then. Guess I'll learn the words to "Flower of Scotland' now.

Saturday, February 9

Colorful, if not shiny

Actually, Lambs' Pride wool IS a bit shiny, compared to most worsteds. That's probably because it's 15% mohair. This is a hat and scarf I made for Lute Lute. I learned to knit many decades ago but have never gotten very proficient at it. I attribute that lack to my preference for reading over TV. And to speed. I knit the continental way, which is quick and efficient, and I can't see why anybody would choose the more laborious yarn-in-the-right-hand-wrap-around-the-needle way. But most people are a lot more error-free than me. i just do it for fun and because I love the feel of wool yarn, and the colors. My mother-in-law was a wonderful and perfectionist knitter who once made an Aran Isles pullover for Ben and also a Kaffe Fassett sweater. I stick to scarves and hats. I once took a class to learn to make socks, made a lovely wool pair, then wore out the heels within weeks by walking barefoot around the hosue in them. That was a lot of work for holey socks. Hats are much more durable, although most of them seems to drift to other parts of the family. That's okay -- i enjoy seeing them on my relatives. I'm experimenting with felting, but in a guesswork way. Sometimes it's successful, sometimes not. If you'd like a hat, let me know, and tell me your colors.
I just joined the huge knitting site Ravelry but won't submit pictures to it because my creations are not perfect. But knitting's fun and satisfying.