Wednesday, January 21, 2009

bad day.

So this morning I was supposed to drop off a transcript at my office on the way to my job...but my printer malfunctioned in the middle of print and I had to leave without it (prayin' for forgiving clients!). So then I was running late. And I forgot my cell phone at home so I couldn't call Winn when I was supposed to call him to meet him somewhere and I couldn't call my sister to find out where to pick her up at school (a wild goose-chase later, I found her). THEN on my walk through the skyway to the courthouse I spilled coffee on myself. And in the middle of a witness's testimony this morning my wireless realtime feed quit working and I had to ask the judge to stop the proceedings while I got it going again.

I thought for certain that was my fair share of mishaps for the day. Nope. Care to guess? A bomb threat. The whole building had to evacuate the premises. Then after we got the all-clear to go back in (after waiting around for a couple hours), I got locked out of the courtroom, which is where my computer was, which is kinda necessary to have in order to provide same-day transcripts to the attorneys each evening (I eventually found someone to let me back in to retrieve it).

Thankfully, tomorrow is a new day.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


I left my steno machine at the courthouse on Friday, knowing that if a job came up tomorrow, I would "have to" turn it down. Sneaky, huh? The past week has been an incredible experience, but very challenging. As the only realtime writer in this area, I'm so thankful for this opportunity to get my name out there, but I nearly passed out on Monday morning when the court administrator said "all rise" as Judge Birnbaum entered the room. My hands were so sweaty I could hardly keep them on their respective keys. It took a good half-hour, I suppose, before my heart rate returned to a healthy speed and I fell into a good rhythm as the parties gave their opening statements.

It has been satisfying to have the attorneys refer to their computer screen over and over again to see what the witness just said, knowing that my fingers were flying at 225-plus words per minute and my software was translating that into English and sending it through a wireless connection to their computer in just seconds; and to see the judge relying on his screen before he makes his ruling when an objection is made; and to be able to intervene and offer assistance when one of the parties is experiencing technical troubles; and to be able to provide (with lots of help from my scopist, a/k/a my sister Polly) same-day transcripts of the trial proceedings, which the parties often use in court the next day. But my bed has never felt so soft and my eyes have never shut so quickly after crawling between the sheets at night.

After five long days in the courtroom, a three-day weekend was just what the doctor ordered. Yesterday afternoon Winn and I got into cleaning-frenzy mode and cleared the week's worth of grime from our neglected and tousled house, and then had a relaxing dinner with some friends (we'll definitely have to do that again, Tim and Cindy!). I managed to stay awake during this morning's sermon and then came home and turned in my homework assignments and a paper by today's deadline.

What am I planning for tomorrow, you ask? Sleep. Sweet, sweet sleep. And then perhaps I will drink an entire pot of coffee over the course of the day, never leaving my flannel pants and sweatshirt and slippers. I might venture outside to get the mail, or the eggs. But I will hurry back in, because I will have left a good book on the coffee table or an intriguing article online or a fun project at my sewing table. And then I'll be ready to head back to Courtroom No. 7 on Tuesday.

Thank you, MLK.

Friday, January 9, 2009


This morning I slipped Winn's boots on and Sajak and I headed out to check on the girls. To our surprise, they are still sporadically laying eggs, in January. Winn has fixed an insulated box for them to keep warm, but they came hurrying up to me when they saw I had brought a pail of table scraps along. It is so still out here in the country, and I like the crunching sound that accompanies my walk to and from the barn. The sun reflecting off the white snow makes it so bright that I have to squint until my eyes adjust. As I head back to the house, I wonder again at how blessed we are to have a place like this.

I grabbed my camera on the way out the door, and these are some things I saw...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

on this thursday eve

The winter bug finally hit me. I am wrapped in a quilt with a plethora of necessities closeby (ice water, cough drops, hot cider, chapstick, Kleenex, lotion for my already raw nose, chicken broth, and an orange), regretting the fact that I'm not at my volleyball game instead. I'm taking a break from my homework to listen to the hum of the tablesaw. Winn is framing our living room windows. They are going to be handsome. With wide sills where you can set a flower or a windowlight. I will paint them when Winn is finished.

It is not fun to work when you are sick. Especially when you have to sit in a conference room for six hours straight, listening to three attorneys and seven heavy equipment specialists drone on and on while you're going through the whole box of tissues in the room, trying not to sniffle, willing away the itch in your nose so that you don't sneeze all over everyone. Three o'clock couldn't have come soon enough.

I'm looking at the Christmas decorations and thinking about how I should pack away the stockings and the tree and the ornaments, at least the ones that didn't get broken when thrown across the room by a confused little boy who was frustrated by boundaries that he wasn't used to having. I don't think I've told you yet that Alex went home not long after Christmas. He no longer hides behind our couch, flinging imaginary webs at us from his fingertips. Goodbye, Spiderman.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.

Edith Lovejoy Pierce

Monday, January 5, 2009

the view from my couch

This morning I am catching up on work (okay, and some non-work too) from our cozy couch, enjoying the sun streaming in the window on this nippy winter day, listening to nothing but the heater humming, and eating clementines (I can't get enough citrus lately) and drinking coffee. The calm and quiet feels good after two weeks of packing and unpacking and traveling and eating and visiting and eating and playing games and eating. We spent Christmas week with 18 members of Winn's family and New Years week with 18 members of my family.

Under this soft quilt from my friend Julie, I am contemplating 2008, and what I would do differently if I could, what I would do more of and less of, the areas in which I have matured and the areas in which I've grown stagnant. And I am thinking about 2009 and what I think the year will look like, and wondering what is in store, what I would like to accomplish, and how I would like to make life more about people and less about stuff, more about relationships and less about acquisition.

One of my endeavors is to be more nurturing (to cherish; to care for and encourage the growth or development of). To my husband, my friends, my siblings, my parents, and even my clients. And (since I tend to be a fairly unsympathetic person) I'm going to make a list of how to be more intentional about it.

A second goal is to be more active. Not in the sense of being busier, but in the sense of living more. Doing everything with a little more charisma, a little more purpose. Learning about things I'm interested in and trying things out. Taking more walks and cooking new dishes and visiting more friends and listening more and seeing more. I'm excited about 2009!