Plain Old Life
The holidays have been nice, if not exactly restful for me, but then again, school vacations are not at all vacations for moms :) The boys, big and small, are enjoying their booty, but the young'uns are getting to the "I'm boooorrreeed" portion of the proceedings.
The other night we all trucked out to have dinner out with my FIL, his wife, and her daughter, daughter's boyfriend, and wife's sister and her husband. Dinner was at a nice restaurant -- the kind without a kid's menu. This is fine for Sr. Jr., who eats adventurously and well. Jr. Jr., on the other hand, is usually a chicken nugget kind of a guy. Dinner started at 6:30 and ended after nine, which would normally tax even the most patient of children. I have to say that my guys were SO well-behaved! They sat still, used their table manners, and didn't whine about how long dinner was taking. They got lots of compliments all around and made me very proud.
My FIL was diagnosed in the Spring with lung cancer, and he's supposed to start chemo and radiation next week. Originally, he wasn't going to do chemo and radiation, because the doctors felt that the kind of cancer he had was slow-growing and not responsive to that kind of treatment. However, six months after removing the nodule that they found, they discovered a new one, in his lymph node. So they decided chemo and radiation were warranted. For Christmas, we got him the iPod touch, so he can download music, videos, or books to keep him occupied during treatments.
It was our first time meeting the daughter's new boyfriend and I really liked him a lot. I think she'll end up marrying him :)
Knitting, or the Lack Thereof
Obviously, the holidays are a busy time. The kids are home, there are gatherings to attend and errands to run. Gift cards must be redeemed, games played, and the house still must be cleaned, and meals prepared. Alas, this leaves little time for serious knitting. At these times, socks are about as much as I can swing. As I noted in my last post, I started the Dove socks from New Pathways. I've turned the heel and started up the leg.
I'm contemplating what to knit once things settle down and the kids go back to school. I'm hesitant to start something right away, just in case my life gets thrown in a tizzy after my mammogram on the fourth. Otherwise, I keep coming back to the Swallowtail shawl. I look at the pattern in IK and decide not to do it. Then I see all these beautiful shawls on Ravelry, and it turns out every time I click on one I like, it's a Swallowtail. I think the universe is trying to tell me to knit that. I also LOVE the sweater Anne Hanson of Knitspot knit for her husband. I think it would look spectacular on mine :) He, however, is kind of blase about the idea of me knitting him a sweater, so I may not waste the yarn. I also like her Simurgh stole and have purchased the pattern for future knitting as well.
Mike Huckabee Scares the Crap Out of Me
As readers of this blog and my posts on Ravelry know, I'm extremely opposed to the idea that religion belongs in the government in any way. I believe that the First Amendment and the Founding Fathers intended this to be a country in which religion of any kind could be freely exercised, without the interference of or the endorsement of the government. Some argue that the Founding Fathers were Christian, and that the country was founded on Christian principles, and therefore this is a "Christian Country," and the government should reflect that. Without going into a PhD dissertation, I can simply say that those notions are patently false. Just because the Founders were Christian in name does not mean that they supported the idea that Christianity would hold sway in this country. They were fiercely independent in their thinking, in a way that might be called humanist today. In contemporaneous writings, Jefferson asserted that the country was not founded on religious principles and that people should be free to believe -- or NOT believe -- as they saw fit. An early treaty (the Treaty of Tripoli, 1797) even announced that "As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen…"
Now comes Mike Huckabee, former minister, disbeliever in Evolution, believer in the literal truth of the bible, believer in the idea that gay marriage will cause the collapse of civilization, to run for President. Huckabee has stated: "I didn't get into politics because I thought government had a better answer. I got into politics because I knew government didn't have the real answers, that the real answers lie in accepting Jesus Christ into our lives." And why would anyone expect him to respect the separation of church and state in this country? If all he wanted to do were to preach, he would have stayed a minister. His glib and evasive answers ("Jesus would be too smart to run for President") hide a real and serious risk. My husband says that I shouldn't worry about him, because he's way too far out there to make it very far in the primaries or to be the Republican nominee. But I've heard him say things like that before ("How bad can Bush [GWB] be? Presidents don't have that much power"). Me, I don't know. I think there are a lot of evangelicals out there looking for someone to lead them to the Promised Land -- a Christian Country. I don't think that die-hard Republicans who are NOT religious are going to vote for Clinton, though some would probably cross party lines for Obama. Unfortunately, it's the evangelical tail that's wagging the Republican dog these days, and frankly, that scares the shit out of me.