Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


Looks like you had a wonderful day! I think that Turkey may be the largest I've seen, or is it a trick of photography?

how are you enjoying the snow?

By Anonymous Margaret, at 11:10 AM  

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Friday, November 27, 2009  

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all

The food was delicious.

The company was delightful

We ate to repletion and talked till 9 o'clock ... you wouldn't believe how swiftly we could rearrange the room from dining to living. That's the reason I don't have a dine in kitchen.

And Best Of All - there will be 3 more days of ease, friendship, food, and relaxation. I love Thanksgiving.

posted by Bess | 6:33 AM


Oooo, Lipizzanner horses!!! I learned about those when I was a child and always wanted to go see them! Sigh! Maybe some day...when I'm rich. They never come out here so I would have to go to Spain, I guess. Such a sacrifice. :)

By Blogger KathyR, at 3:00 PM  

Your camera is awesome! I've never seen them live either, and would not turn down a ticket.

By Blogger Catherine, at 7:03 PM  

The control those horses and riders have is just astonishing! What a pleasure it must be to see them in person. Have a warm and loving Thanksgiving with your family.

By Blogger cathy, at 10:00 PM  

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Thursday, November 19, 2009  

Time is your friend too

And time has passed since I made that last awful post. We have plodded through the week, attended to dooties, fulfilled obligations, nursed grief and shared love. Those are the things that fill up time and blot out the black holes of sadness, ease the sting of pain. Especially the love. There has been a groundswell of love for so many people - love for our lost cousin, love for his sister, love for those who are still here.

My big public event of the weekend went off remarkably well considering it had had minimal attention during the critical two weeks leading up to it. We had a warm and generous author who shared so much with the community and who, I believe, took something valuable home with her as well.

But on Friday morning, as I drove in to work, I was hit with a wall of longing to be with my own parents - my mother, who still cares about the beautiful world of art: my dad, who softens when his daughters dress up to come visit him, and my sister, who carries the heaviest of loads without complaining ... at least, without complaining beyond reason. So on Saturday, when we were finished with all weekend events, I drove on over to spend the rest of the weekend with my side of the family.

Sister and cute little cousin.

who had made plans to go see the Lipizzaner horses and who got a ticket for me too.

This was obviously a show for the horse aficionado's but I have enough horse history packed deep in my childhood to know something about the skills involved.

And I was pleased my little point and shoot camera did such a good job capturing images from so far away.

One week from today we will sit down 10 to Thanksgiving dinner. There is a lot to be thankful for this year, in spite of recent sadness, and I am looking forward to the long holiday.

posted by Bess | 5:53 AM


More thoughts of sympathy and, I hope, encouragement from one just now reading yesterday's post. Exercise, home, dogs, love -- and perhaps chocolate -- can only help.

By Blogger cathy, at 7:20 PM  

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By Blogger Eddy, at 10:08 PM  

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By Anonymous Eddy, at 4:14 AM  

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009  

Friends will get you through hard times - and exercise!

First I want to thank everyone who left me encouraging comments on yesterday's post. It's simply wonderful to feel the kindness of your thoughts - the sympathy and understanding. Thank you so much. I am substantially better today than I was yesterday.

If you have ever taken a Myers Briggs Personality Test you'll know there are E people and I people. Extroverts and Introverts - and the defining attributes aren't sociable friendly people vs. unsociable unfriendly sorts. The difference between an E and an I has more to do with energy levels and problem solving styles. E's are energized when others are around and solve problems in groups. They make superb committee people. I's, otoh, find their energy sapped by crowds and are the type to go off, like Jack Horner, into a corner, and come out with a plum of a solution to any problem. I am married to an I who can focus for months at a time on a project, in his corner office and come out with a 900 page book! I am an E. I never try to tackle a problem by myself. If I don't have a committee, I'll scoop up strangers and pump them for their opinions and viewpoints.

My job takes me out into the public every day - the random public - which means not just friends and co-workers, but anybody who walks into the library. But it was those friends who came in yesterday who helped me so much as I wrestled with my sadness, my mortification, and my worries. Each one of them got to hear me puke out my story and as each one listened, nodded, cooed sympathetic sounds and patted me or hugged me they lifted some of the pain out of my heart, carried it away with them, and, since it wasn't their pain, tossed it in the trash on their way out of the building.

My favorite minister just happened to walk into the library while I was standing in the foyer. My knitting group met for lunch at the library. A Virgo Sister Friend called me out of the blue and we commiserated over how the world had suddenly grown unfriendly. You - dear friends - posted encouragement here on the blog. And by the end of the day I was able to stop hunching over my aching heart and stand up straight.

And after work I went to the gym and began walking around the indoor track. I didn't want to pump it up too much because I had a speaking engagement later in the evening and I didn't want to get too sweaty. But after a few laps my blood began to flow - and then surge - and after maybe a half a mile I suddenly felt the endorphins kick in. My eyes felt awake - felt like the light had gotten brighter. My shoulder blades began to pull together, lifting my chest even higher. By the time I'd done 2 miles I could smile brightly at people as I changed and checked out.

ding ding ding ding ding

That's the Duh Bess Bell going off in my head - saying "Earth to Bess. Earth to Bess" - Don't ever underestimate the mental health value of exercise. When your heart is in pain - walk - or run or swim or use the elliptical machine - but whatever you do - MOVE. Move your body and you'll end up moving it away from heartache.

I knew that. I was just testing you.

Love you
Mean it
Thank you for reading and thank you for commenting.

posted by Bess | 3:55 PM


I love you so very much, Bess.

Hugs and love and prayers to your hurting family.

By Blogger Amie, at 7:41 AM  

You write through your pain and sadness with unblinking beauty and eloquence. Your loss is astonishing and deeply saddening, and I send my love to you and your family. And you are absolutely right - best OR worst of days, you always have home. And friends. :-)

By Blogger Clara Parkes, at 10:35 AM  

Beautifully said, Bess. May you all navigate the days ahead gently and safely.

By Blogger Jane, at 11:49 AM  

If only arms could reach through computer screens you would find my arms, and I'm sure those of many others who read your blog, wrapping around you right now to give you some measure of our comfort and love at this sad and difficult time. As it is, my thoughts and prayers and with you and your loved ones as you walk this journey.

By Blogger KathyR, at 5:58 PM  

Sending love and prayers and knowing that you have the strength to get through all this.

By Blogger dschmidt2, at 10:43 PM  

My prayers and sympathies are with you. But based on what you said about your love and your dogs and your house, I believe you will be all right.

By Blogger fillyjonk, at 8:12 AM  

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009  

Calm or numb - as life crashes down on me

I always tease ThePrince and tell him that the best wedding gift he gave me was his cousin H. She was just a little girl when I came into the family as a 19 year old girlfriend-with-staying-power. I'm in between the generations of his precious, but proper and somewhat stolid family. I bridged the gap between parents and children - the "glamorous big girl" who played with the little ones.

And yesterday one of those little ones died of a massive, unexpected heart attack. He was the brother of my best friend and best gift H. He was 46. We are still trying to wrap our brains around this devastation because nobody plans for something like this. To our knowledge he had no heart disease symptoms, though heart disease runs strong in his family on both sides. Every man in his mother's generation has had a heart attack and two have died from it. It looks suspiciously like the DNA is active in our children's generation too.

When a death comes suddenly and to someone who hasn't yet moved into the "old" category ... a category which seems to be extending further into the future every year I add to my own Not-Yet-Old category. I laugh at myself sometimes when I remember how utterly ancient I used to think 60 was and how, when my brother in law died at 69, of a HA, I was horrified that Someone So Young should actually die. Especially someone who ate properly, exercised, was smart enough to get good health care and who had enough money to pay for it. How could he die so young in this day and age?

Imagine the difficulty in coming to terms with losing someone 11 years younger than I?

Swirling all around this personal tragedy though, are all the Other Things that life was planning on, demanding and expecting of me, marching inexorably towards me . Things I am scrambling to do in my darling H's stead because she is the next of kin and must take on more pressing matters. Things I was supposed to have done yesterday, last week, two weeks ago, but put off because of our own health surprises and sojourns in hospitals and doctor's offices. And worse than these things - there are mistakes I have made in my haste, distractedness and sadness. Like - forgetting to name an important sponsor of a festive community event I am hosting this Friday and so angering him that he withdrew his sponsorship. No apologies will satisfy him and for that I'm deeply sorry. But the event still must go on as planned. I will plaster a glassy eyed smile on my face and plod through the weekend - it's only gift for me now the fact that, come Monday, it will be behind me instead of looming up ahead.

And so.
And so. I am going to use a trick I figured out some years ago when I had some dreadful thing I had to deal with in the public arena. I asked myself - what will be the final result if everything goes wrong. The answer? I would come home. My husband would wrap his arms around me. My dogs would wag their tails and lick my hands. My cozy house would smell like love inside 4 walls. My work would be there on Monday morning. Somewhere out there in the world there would be people who didn't like me - who thought I was worthless and stupid. But they would be only some out of billions of people and right here at home there would be people who loved me anyway.

And what would be the result if everything went surprisingly right?

I would come home. My husband would wrap his arms around me. My dogs would wag their tails and lick my hands. My cozy house would smell like love inside 4 walls. My work would be there on Monday morning. Somewhere out there in the world there would be people who didn't like me - who thought I was worthless and stupid. But they would be only some out of billions of people and right here at home there would be people who loved me.

So the end result is pretty much the same. Out there in the world I may blunder or I may step deftly but I can always come home to warm hugs, licked palms, and cozy walls. I guess there isn't really that much to worry about after all.

posted by Bess | 6:39 AM


That braid is such a nice-looking detail. Even with the competing colors nearby, it will still give a polished effect. And it's very pretty in the colors you used.

By Blogger cathy, at 2:30 PM  

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Wednesday, November 04, 2009  

Promised Stash Photos

Okay - today blogger played nicely with my computer and here are shots of what came home with me from Williamsburg and the wonderful shop Knitting Sisters.

Good yarn shops are not so rare now as they once were, but this is one of my favorites. Besides having lovely things to sell you, the staff is really really welcoming. They just make you feel like you're one of their sisters ... or brothers, as the case may be. Anyway, here is my haul -

The Berroco (familiar label and blue yarn on the lower right) is alpaca and will be matched with the Crystal Palace Mochi Plus in coordinating pinks and blues to make a hat. Ditto the olive green Lambs Pride and coordinating Mochi Plus - dimly seen on the needles and already in progress.

the Prism Custom Dyed Mohair didn't show off so nicely in the photo - dim morning light - but it will be Something Lacy but maybe not a shawl. There's over 900 yards in that skein and it could become a sort of lacy bed jacket with ruffly elbow length sleeves. Maybe. We'll have to wait and see.

Below is some overkill knitting. This is that twisted braid stitch where you knit a row in alternating colors - you know *K1 in MC, K1 in CC repeat from asterisk. Then you purl the next two rows in the same P1/P1 repeat but you twist the two colors from right to left with every stitch - then do a final purl row twisting the colors back again from left to right.

I think it's extraordinarily pretty BUT ... would show off more in more vividly contrasting colors. to follow it up right away with the multi mochi plus diminishes the effect. eh. It's done now. I just wanted to know how it was done and ... now I do.

Oh, and the blue Hefty bag? That's the Melon Stitch Shawl waiting patiently for me to finish the last long run down the side with the knitted on border.

posted by Bess | 6:47 AM


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Monday, November 02, 2009  

Well Dang

Mean old blogger won't let me load my photos. I'll try again later - but be assured - some knitting was done yesterday while the grey skies rained down on our cozy little house. Lawsee how I love a rainy Sunday

posted by Bess | 6:36 AM


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Sunday, November 01, 2009  

November 1 - A gift from the stars

I plan to come back later and post lengthy text and photos but here is the word from MsHoroscope - news I've been waiting for for a long time:

While Uranus will retrograde back and forth from Aries to Pisces until he settles in Aries for good in 2011, you're about to see the light at the end of the tunnel - a stressful phase that begin way back in 2003 is about to come to a close.

So - isn't it just like a Virgo to worry that now Saturn's moved out of Virgo I'm worried that I won't have his help keep me werking away at it? Other people would think "whew, not so much work to do" but a Virgo never thinks that way. She thinks - werkwerkwerkwerkwerk.

So. Big Question. Can TheQueen take it easy or will she drive everyone crazy hunting for Something To Do with a Deadline on it?

Promise. Be back later today with photos of shopping therapy results.

posted by Bess | 8:13 AM