Friday, November 19, 2010

Gronow, Rees Howell (1794–1865) from Who Was Who at Waterloo: A Biography of the Battle

I came across this article on Captain Gronow (he of memoir-writing fame) while during research for my honors seminar this morning.

Gronow, Rees Howell (1794–1865) from Who Was Who at Waterloo: A Biography of the Battle

Susannah

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Warped Sense of Humor?


Yesterday, while driving east on US 6, I saw a sign that makes me want to laugh every time I see it. (I've only seen it once or twice before; continued exposure could evoke a different reaction.) There is a section of highway between Kendalville and Waterloo (that's Waterloo, Indiana, not Waterloo, Belgium) that has been designated "Grand Army of the Republic Highway."

Seeing the sign brings to mind an image of Napoleon and his troops marching toward Belgium in June 1815, smugly confident of victory. Unfortunately for the French, a few days later, they were racing back the way they'd come, pursued by the Prussians.

Although Napoleon and the bulk of the French army defeated the Prussians under General Bl├╝cher at Ligny on 16 June 1815, Marshal Soult and the rest of the French army could manage only a stalemate against the much smaller Anglo-Dutch-Belgian forces at Quatre Bras. Two days later, on 18 June 1815, the entire French army (less one corps searching for the Prussians), under Napoleon's command, was defeated by the much smaller Anglo-Dutch-Belgian army under the Duke of Wellington. The Prussians were supposed to be there, too, but they had to march from Wavre, nine miles away, and were delayed by boggy ground and a fire. The Prussians' arrival, though late (4.00 to 6.00 pm, depending on the source), was timely. The Anglo-Dutch-Belgian ranks were sorely decimated, and the Allied army was holding off the French with sheer determination. The arrival of the Prussians disheartened the French, despite Napoleon's attempt to boost their spirits by spreading the rumor that the arriving soldiers were the laggardly General Grouchy and his men, whom Napoleon had sent in search of the Prussians, then (a few hours earlier) ordered to return.

When the invincible Old Guard was routed by the stout-hearted British, Dutch, and Belgian soldiers in their squares, the French army---and its generals---took to their heels. (Or their horses or carriages.)

More about the Battle of Waterloo, the lead-up to it, and its aftermath another time. (Do note, on the map above, that the Battle of Waterloo was not fought at Waterloo, Belgium; it was fought at Mont St. Jean. Wellington, however, always named battles after the town in which he'd stayed the previous night. On the night of 17-18 June 1815, Wellington stayed at Waterloo.)

A bit of research last night told me that the "Grand Army of the Republic Highway" is totally unrelated to Napoleon and Waterloo. The Grand Army of the Republic Highway (which is all of US6, not just the section between Kendalville and Waterloo) was so named to honor the Union soldiers who fought in the Civil War. I also learned that it passes through Napoleon, Ohio, as well as Waterloo, Indiana.

Named for Union soldiers or not, whenever I'm on the Grand Army of the Republic Highway heading toward Waterloo, I think of Napoleon and the soon-to-be-defeated French.

Susannah

Monday, July 26, 2010

Georgian Wrangle #2

One of the most famous---and infamous---divorces of the 18th century was that of Sir Richard Worsley and his wife, Seymour Dorothy Worsley (nee Fleming). The scandalous behaviour of the participants kept the gossipmongers occupied for weeks, and a summary of the trial transcript underwent seven printings in less than a year! Even George Washington requested one.

Seventeen-year-old Seymour Dorothy Fleming was the daughter of a baronet, the step-daughter of a earl, and a great heiress. Richard Worsley was a handsome baronet of twenty-four with a promising career in government. Their marriage, in September 1775, had the makings of a fairy-tale, but it ended as one of the most sensational and highly publicized divorce cases in history. (The image at right is Sir Joshua Reynolds's portrait, painted in 1775, of Sir Richard Worsley in his uniform as a colonel in the Royal Hampshire Militia. (As always, click on any photo to enlarge it.)) Shortly after the wedding, the couple moved to the Isle of Wight, Sir Richard's family home.

Seymour Fleming's dowry was reputed to be 70,000 pounds (equivalent to almost 10 million dollars today), but was actually about 52,000 pounds (equivalent to 7.3 million dollars). In 1774, after returning from his Grand Tour, Sir Richard had been elected as M.P. for Newport. After his marriage to Seymour, his political star continued to rise. He supported Lord North's government, became a clerk comptroller in 1777, was comptroller of the king's household from 1779-1782, became a privy councillor in 1780, and was Governor of the Isle of Wight from 1780-1782.

Lady Worsley (shown at right in Sir Joshua Reynolds's 1780 portrait of her) presented her husband with a son and heir a year after their wedding, but the boy died at age twelve. During the autumn of 1780, while her husband was electioneering for his seat in Parliament, Lady Worsley, who had already earned a reputation for being free with her affections, began an affair with a local militia captain, George Bisset, who was a friend of Sir Richard's, as well as a fellow officer in the Royal Hampshire Militia. In August 1781, she gave birth to a daughter, fathered by Bisset, which Sir Richard acknowledged as his. In November 1781, the lovers decided to run away to London, well aware that their indiscretion would set Sir Richard on the path to the most public revenge.

 Sir Richard launched a criminal conversation ("crim. con.") action, which involved proving that Bisset had defiled his wife and reduced her worth. Sir Richard demanded 20,000 pounds in compensation, an astronomical sum at the time, and one that would have condemned Bisset to debtor's prison for the rest of his life. (Twenty thousand pounds in 1782 is equivalent to equivalent to 2.67 million dollars today.)

The facts of the elopement were clear. The couple had been living in the Royal Hotel in Pall Mall. Servants had been interviewed, the bed linen examined, and witnesses had contrived to see them in bed together. There was no doubt of culpability. Seymour, Lady Worsley was Sir Richard's chattel, and Captain Bisset had made off with her. How was the aggrieved husband to be compensated? What value could be placed on a privy councillor's matrimonial honour?

The subsequent trial left all parties nursing their egos. In order to prove Lady Worsley's worth was tarnished long before the arrival of Bisset, the defence adopted a unique---and unprecedented--- strategy.  They attempted, with Lady Worsley's assistance, to prove that she had not only behaved in a manner that was inappropriate for the wife of a nobleman, but that she had done this with the active collusion of her husband. A procession of aristocratic lovers were brought before the bench to testify that Sir Richard had contrived to display his unclothed wife before them and encouraged sexual liaisons, which he had observed from the concealment of her dressing room. (At right, James Gillray's 29 April 1782 caricature, A peep into Lady W!!!!!y's seraglia.)

Three of Lady Worsley's lovers are named in the summary trial transcript. Reputedly, there were 24 others! (The couple had been married only six years.)

Other people, including a bathhouse attendant, testified that Sir Richard had actively encouraged Bisset to peer at his naked wife through a bathhouse window. (At right, James Gillray's 14 March 1782 caricature, Sir Richard Worse-than-sly, exposing his wife's bottom;---o fye!)

The court proceedings gave the scandal sheets and gossip columnists much to write about. Although a large amount of personal correspondence relating to the affair was destroyed, the trial transcript is 300 pages of the most damning evidence one is ever likely to read.

Servants, friends, and family were all called to give evidence, and the tawdry picture of the threesome kept the masses entertained for months. Captain Bisset was eventually found guilty, but because of Worsley's connivance, he was awarded just one shilling in compensation---the price of a pound of soap, a muslin neckcloth, or a roast beef dinner.

At the end of the trial, Sir Richard was a figure of ridicule, but Lady Worsley continued to defy social convention. She never once betrayed a hint of regret and showed no intention of withdrawing from fashionable London life. Sir Richard lost all his political offices when Lord North's government fell in the autumn of 1782, but his political career had already been damaged by the scandals surround his wife and the crim. con. case. He departed for the Continent, and did not return to England until 1788.


Worsley did not grant Seymour a divorce, which prevented her from remarrying, and denied her access to her children and her fortune, both of which remained under his control. (Including her daughter by Bisset, since Sir Richard had claimed the child.) Sir Richard and Lady Worsley entered into Articles of Separation in 1788.

While she was pregnant with her lover's second child, Bisset left her. Sir Richard spent 15 years trying (unsuccessfully) to redeem his character by documenting his impressive art collection in a large leather-bound volume, which also contained drawings of the monuments of Ancient Greece.

On the death of her husband in 1805, Seymour's property and fortune were restored to her. Seymour, who was 47, married her 26-year-old lover, a Swiss musician. Their affection for each other seemed genuine, and he remained at her side until she died 13 years later.

Next post: a scandalous Regency divorce.

Susannah

P.S. Like my last post, this one is straight out of my lecture notes for Jane Austen's England (Spring 2009 honors seminar, Lecture 22). In addition to the references cited in my last post, I would add the following:

Rubenhold, Hallie, Lady Worsley's Whim: an 18th-Century Tale of Sex, Scandal and Divorce, Chatto and Windus, 2008. (The U.S. edition of the book is titled Lady in Red: an 18th-Century Tale of Sex, Scandal and Divorce, St. Martin's Press, 2009.)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Georgian & Regency Divorce

Before the Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857, divorce was governed by the ecclesiastical Court of Arches and the canon law of the Church of England. As such, it was not administered by the barristers who practised in the common law courts but by the "advocates" and "proctors" who practiced civil law (i.e., canon law), adding to the obscurity of the proceedings. (The image at right is of Doctors' Commons, the place where the practitioners of canon law lived and worked. (As always, click on an image to enlarge it.))

Very few separations and divorces were granted. Between 1765 and 1857, there were only 276 divorces. Between 1697 (the first divorce bill) and 1857, only four divorces were granted to women, the first in 1801.

Divorce was de facto restricted restricted to the very wealthy because it demanded either a complex annulment process or a private bill, either at great cost. The latter entailed sometimes lengthy debates about a couple's intimate relationship in public in the House of Commons.

The upper class accounted for slightly more than half of the divorces from 1803 to 1827. The rest were middle class.

Canon law permitted a separation, called the divortium a mensa et thoro (separation from bed and board), for certain specified causes. The causes were life-threatening cruelty and adultery by the husband, or adultery by the wife.

A divortium a mensa et thoro was a legal separation, permitting the husband and wife to reside separately. It also ended the husband's financial responsibility for his wife. Neither party was permitted to remarry.

If a divortium a mensa et thoro was deemed insufficient, there were two choices: a suit of nullity or a divorce. Nullity challenged the legal validity of the marriage itself. If a suit of nullity was requested, the cause of nullity had to be proved. The grounds for nullifying a marriage included fraud, duress preventing legal consent to the marriage, and sexual impotence of one spouse at the time the marriage was contracted that was unknown to the other spouse. If the grounds were impotence, physical examinations were required of both husband and wife, allowing sufficient time thereafter for possible conception to occur---usually two years. If the ecclesiastical court determined that sufficient cause existed to nullify a marriage, the court issued a decree of nullity. Such a decree declared, in effect, that the man and woman never were married, and (during our eras) it absolved them from all obligations to each other.

If divorce was the means chosen to end a marriage, there were five causes: adultery, impotency (after the marriage was contracted), cruelty, infidelity, and entering religion (e.g., if one's spouse became a nun or monk). Ostensibly, divorce centered on the man's need for a legitimate heir, so a man had only to prove simple adultery by this wife, whereas a woman had to prove adultery plus aggravating offenses by her husband. The most common (relatively speaking, since there were so few divorces granted to women) aggravating offenses were physical cruelty, bigamy, and incest. Incest---adultery with the wife's sister in the couple's home---was the cause for two early 19th-century divorces granted to women.

There were three steps in the procedure for divorce. First, an individual obtained a divorce from one of the Consistory Courts. (There was one in each diocese, run by a chancellor and staff appointed by the bishop.) Appeals were made to the Court of the Arches in London.

Next, the aggrieved individual (almost always the husband) sought a criminal conviction in the civil court, charging the other man with "criminal conversation" and seeking damages. (The offence of criminal conversation (crim. con.), a euphemism for adultery, was tried as a form of trespass or damage to property, a wife being deemed part of a man's property.) Readers familiar with the time period will not be surprised to learn that the wife, whose reputation was the crux of the case, was herself not considered a principal in it. She had no legal identity apart from her husband: she could neither attend nor testify.

The crim. con. case provided a goodly amount of gossip for people from all walks of life. If the aggrieved individual proved his case, he could take the third step.

The final step was to bring a Private Act (or Bill) of Divorcement before Parliament. The passage of such a bill resulted in a divorce a vinculo matrimonii, which permitted both parties to remarry---which the ecclesiastical divortium a mensa et thoro did not. The primary concern at this point in the process was untangling the original settlements made at the time of the marriage.

Divorce was a long, drawn-out process---and a costly one. Only three or four cases a year came before Parliament because so few could afford this final and extremely expensive step.

Next post: a scandalous Georgian divorce.

Susannah

 P.S. Since much of this post came directly from my lecture notes for Jane Austen's England (last spring's honors seminar)---Lectures 21 and 22, to be exact---I have a list of the references that I used. I am including the list, for those of you who might want more information.

References:
Bailey, Joanne. Unquiet Lives: Marriage and Marriage Breakdown in England 1660-1800. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
Horstman, Allen. Victorian Divorce. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985. (Ignore the title; this book covers divorce throughout the 19th century.)
Perkin, Jane. Women and Marriage in Nineteenth-Century England. London: Routledge, 1989.
Stone, Lawrence. Broken Lives: Separation and Divorce in England 1660-1857. Oxford University Press, 1993.
Stone, Lawrence. The Road to Divorce: England 1530-1987. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990.
Stone, Lawrence. Uncertain Unions: Marriage in England 1660-1753. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

In case you're wondering...

For those of you who might have wondered at the disappearance of knitting posts in the past few months, I have spun off the knitting into its own blog (Knitting Professor), leaving this blog for Regency, Georgian, and writing-related posts.

I'm still knitting socks every month, and I'm still working to finish the WIPs (works in progress) I had hoped to finish during the Ravelympics. Since the semester is winding to a close---one more week of classes, then a week of final exams---I hope to actually complete those WIPs in the next month.

My next post (later today or tomorrow), which is on the subject of divorce during the Georgian and Regency eras, is an informative prelude to the next two Wrangle posts, one an infamous Georgian divorce, the other an  even more infamous (in a different way) unsuccessful Regency divorce.

Susannah

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Spencer...The Latest Fashion Statement?

Spencers became popular about 1810. These short jackets were well suited to the high-waisted styles of the Regency, and had the advantage of flattering many figures, both svelte and not-so-slender.

Over spring break, while I was searching jacket and sweater patterns to decide on my next big knitting project, I found a pattern for this knitted spencer. The Sideways Spencer, as it is called, was designed by Annie Modesitt, a costumer and clothing historian. The jacket is knit sideways---that is, from cuff to cuff---in a cable pattern that appears to add body to the garment.

I plan to knit this spencer, although it is not my next big project. I can't quite imagine myself wearing such a short jacket, and I wonder if, during the Regency, spencers were worn by not-so-svelte women on the shady side of 50. If I decide against making it for myself, I have a 30-year-old niece who looks great in just about anything. She may be the recipient of this old, yet new jacket.

What is your favorite old-yet-new fashion?

Susannah

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Knitting Olympics---The Results

My knitting olympics was not as successful as I had hoped. I had hoped to knit a pair of socks for my younger sister, as well as finish three WIPs (works in progress)---a sweater-tunic for my oldest grandniece and two Adult Surprise Jackets for myself, one in Noro Silk Garden Worsted, the other in Dream in Color Classy in the Dusky Aurora colorway.

By the closing ceremony, the socks (Wendy Johnson's Nanner Socks) were two-thirds to three-quarters finished. The legs were only about three inches long, which means I knit 10 inches worth of two socks. (To put that into terms non-sock-knitters can readily understand, if I'd been knitting a strip one inch wide, it would have been 44 1/2 inches long by the closing ceremonies.) I have worked on these socks, off and on, since. When I asked my sister over the weekend how long she wanted the leg of the socks, she said she preferred knee socks. So, I still have a few inches to go.

As for the WIPs, I never touched my grandniece's sweater-tunic, which still needs sleeves and a neckband. I also never worked on the Noro Adult Surprise Jacket (a.k.a. the Coat of Many Colors). I need to pick up the buttons I ordered before I can knit the next row---the row with the buttonholes---and I still have not been to my LYS (local yarn store) to pick them up. (Recall, gentle readers, that my LYS is about 25 miles from my house and about the same distance from work, and it closes at 4 pm---a couple hours before I leave work.)

I did, however, add five inches to the other Adult Surprise Jacket, shown here at its pre-Olympics length. (Back to the hypothetical one-inch strip. If I'd been knitting it instead, I would have increased its length by more than 200 inches.) I left the much lighter colored skein of yarn in the jacket, and knit about five more inches---almost two more skeins of yarn. The two skeins after the light one are darker, but not quite as dark as the first three skeins. I'll post a photo of the jacket when it is finished. I am six rows from the part where I pick up and knit the placket, which requires that I know the size of the buttons so that I can properly size the buttonholes. A visit to my LYS is a must this week, and since this is spring break, I will go Friday and join the ladies who knit (and lunch) there. Hopefully, I won't be so busy catching up on all the news that I forget to pick up the buttons!

I have been enjoying my time off this week. So far, I haven't graded a single paper. Grading is the main reason why I didn't make more knitting progress during the Olympics. I only knit during the figure skating and speed skating, and I graded during all the other events.

While I didn't get as much knitting done during the Olympics as I hoped, I did get the better part of a pair of socks knit and made significant progress on one of my jackets. And I didn't fall behind on the ever-present grading. Not medal worthy, perhaps, but nothing to sneeze at, either.

Susannah

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Knitting Progress...Slowly But Surely

Purple Socks I finally finished a pair of socks I started around Thanksgiving, which, although nearly complete, had not been touched since I sprained my wrist and thumb two weeks before Christmas. I call them "the Purple Socks," for obvious reasons, and I pulled them out last week and worked on them. I had two motivations for finishing them: 1) they are a birthday present for my youngest sister, who will be here next weekend to celebrate her birthday, my dad's, and my oldest niece's, and 2) I need the needle for another pair of socks, for my other sister. The pair of socks for my younger sister is my entry in the "Sock Hockey" event in the Ravelympics.

Grandniece's Sweater-TunicFor those of you who have not, perhaps, heard of Ravelry, it is like Facebook for knitters and crocheters. The Ravelympics is a knitting Olympics, in which you are supposed to challenge yourself, the same way the athletes do when they compete.

In addition to my "Sock Hockey" entry, I have three entries in the "WIPs Dancing" event. (A WIP is a work-in-progress.) My first entry is a sweater-tunic for my oldest grandniece, which I started in November. The front and back of the sweater are finished. I knit the shoulders together on 05 January, but have not been motivated to knit the sleeves and neckband. (I also haven't had much time to knit the past month, but that's another story.)

Adult Surprise JacketsMy other WIPs Dancing entries are two variations of Elizabeth Zimmerman's Adult Surprise Jacket. The top one, which I call the Coat of Many Colors, is made of---so far---six different colorways of Noro Silk Garden Worsted; the bottom jacket is knit with Dream in Color Classy in the Dusky Aurora colorway. (Click on the photos to enlarge them.)

Why am I knitting two of these jackets at the same time? I love the mathematical basis of this pattern, and the cleverness of the design, which is knit in one piece. Even more surprising, I'm making both of these for myself. (I generally always give the things I knit to one of my loved ones, but this year I've decided to do more knitting for myself.)

The Coat of Many Colors is closer to being done. The next row is the buttonhole row on the placket, but I can't knit buttonholes until I know the exact size of the buttons. But I don't know their size because I ordered them online from my LYS (local yarn store), but said I would pick them up, which I haven't done yet. Part of the problem is that my LYS is 25 miles away from my house, and about the same distance from work. And the LYS closes at 4 pm, which is about two hours before I ever leave work. The other part of the problem is that the Dean has wanted to meet with me the past three Fridays at 12.30 or 1, which meant that I wasn't able to join the group of ladies who knit at the LYS on Fridays. (The group is known as the Friday Lunch Bunch.) The Coat of Many Colors needs the buttonhole row, then five more rows to finish the placket, plus the sleeves. The placket rows, however, have about 800 stitches, so knitting a row is not a matter of moments. Finishing the knitting before the Olympic Games end shouldn't be difficult, if I can pick up the buttons on Friday. Finishing the jacket, so that it is ready to wear, will take more effort because, with all the color changes, there are dozens of yarn ends that have to be woven into the stitches on the inside of the jacket.

The second Adult Surprise Jacket, the bottom one, has a bit of a problem that I haven't decided how to solve. The fourth skein of yarn---the one closest to the knitting needle---is noticeably lighter than the first three skeins. But since I do most of my knitting at night, in artificial light, I didn't notice how much lighter it was until about a week later, when I was nearly finished knitting that skein. The difference isn't quite as bad as it appears in that picture, but there is a very obvious difference. Since Dream in Color yarn, which is hand-dyed, doesn't have dye lots, there's no way tell what you are going to get until you get it. The remaining skeins of yarn range in color, too, and while none are quite as light as the problem skein, there are a couple of lighter ones. I may ask the Friday knitters their opinion, if I am able to join them this week.

How likely am I to knit the socks for my younger sister, finish my grandniece's sweater-tunic, and complete both Adult Surprise Jackets before the Olympics end? Not very likely, unless I don't give my students any assignments between now and then. (And, much as they might wish it, that is not going to happen.) But the Ravelympics are to challenge yourself, which is what I have done.

Stay tuned for reports on my progress.

Susannah

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Jane Austen Reprise

I'm delighted to report that I have been asked to teach an Honors Seminar, The World of Jane Austen, in the fall. This class will involve less history and more literature than the one last year did.

The class last spring, Jane Austen's England, was intended to be the history of England during the time that Jane Austen was writing. This time, the emphasis will be on Jane Austen's books, since that was what the students in last year's class wanted.

I think it is difficult to appreciate Jane Austen's books (or any author's books) without knowing what was happening in the world at the time, so the class will involve some history. But the history will set the scene and serve as background, not dominate.

In honor of the occasion, I'm giving you a fashion plate to admire. This is from April 1809, although I neglected to indicate in the filename the fashion journal in which this plate was found. The gentleman on the left is wearing "full dress"---full evening attire, from knee breeches, white waistcoat, and dancing pumps to a bicorne hat. He could enter Almack's or any ballroom and be welcomed by his hostess. The gentlemen in the middle is wearing "half dress"---pantaloons, waistcoat, coat, boots, and a top hat; he could attend the opera or the theatre, but the Patronesses of Almack's would not allow him entrance. The lady is wearing an evening gown (notice the demi-train), over which she wears a long pelisse. To me, her bonnet and hairstyle seem very plain for this elegant ensemble.

What do you think? Do the lady's bonnet and hairstyle suit her attire, or do they seem a bit dowdy?

Susannah

Saturday, January 9, 2010

To Resolve or Not to Resolve?

Post intended for 01 January 2010.

Do you make New Year's resolutions? Resolutions are, perhaps, the result of the first month of the year being named for the Roman god Janus. Janus was the god of gates, doorways, beginnings, and endings. He is most often depicted as having two heads, facing opposite directions. A philosophical person, or one searching for symbolism, might say that one of Janus's faces looks forward, the other backward, making him an ideal figure to put in charge of resolutions.

Some years I make resolutions, often I don't. This year, I have made a few.

1. Spend more time with family and friends.
I do pretty well with the family part, not as well with friends.

2. Exercise regularly.
My husband and I have a fitness club membership, and I was exercising three times a week in the summer, after we got it...until my dad had surgery, I was chosen as the new department chair, and my life entered a new dimension. Or four.

3. Write more. Or faster.
I need to do something to get A Diplomatic Alliance finished sooner.

4. Learn something new.
I'm not sure yet what that new thing will be. Perhaps to learn to knit Fair Isle, even though that type of color knitting doesn't appeal to me nearly as much as textured knitting (like Aran sweaters) does.

5. Speaking of Aran sweaters, I'm going to knit one.
It has been about ten years since I have knit an Aran. My husband has been the recipient of the last three. The 2010 Aran will be for me. I have not yet decided which one to knit, but the pattern will come from one of the books below.
The most likely choices are Norfolk, Eriskay, or Fulmar. Possibly Irish Moss or Na Craga.

6. Blog more frequently.
When life gets hectic, I sometimes go for weeks without blogging. I will try to do better this year. I can always blog about a Georgian or Regency wrangle.

7. Get all the boxes unpacked.
Although we have lived in this house for a year, we still have many books in many boxes.

What resolutions did you make? Have to kept them so far?

Susannah

Happy Holidays!

Post intended for 24 December 2009.

The semester ended (for me) not with shouts of jubilation, but with a whimper of exhaustion. After staying up most of the night to finish grading Senior Design reports, I was too tired, once grades were submitted, to appreciate that the semester really had ended.

I fell on a patch of ice in front of the engineering building two weeks ago and sprained my right wrist and thumb, so doing everything has been difficult---grading included. Knitting has been impossible, until today. I am still working on a sweater-tunic for my oldest grand-niece, which I'd hoped to finish before Christmas. My oldest niece is not getting socks this Christmas; neither is my younger sister.

The photograph I wanted to use (of the church we attended when we lived in the mountains of northern Utah) is not on this computer, so this one will have to do.

My family celebrated Christmas last weekend, since that was the time my sisters and their husbands and most of their children could come, so this has been a quiet week. My husband and I and his brothers will celebrate Christmas tomorrow. Tonight, my husband (if he can stay awake) and his older brother and I will walk to church for the 11.00 pm service. It snowed earlier in the day (and week), but it is not snowing now.

If you celebrate Christmas, I wish you a merry one. If you do not, I wish you, belatedly, a happy holiday. Like the people of Bethlehem, we can all hope for peace on earth.

Susannah