1 I went to a party at Janalisa’s last night, where we made jewelry. I had never made jewelry before, really. I made soldered charms in 2006 and put self-adhesive pin backs on some and jump rings on others so they could be worn on a chain, but that is the sum total of my previous experience.

Most of the ladies were making necklaces, but since I was in this as a learning experience, I decided that I probably could figure out for myself how to string beads and instead made earrings.

If you are thinking that these do not look like the earrings I would normally wear, you are quite correct. When I wear these, people will think that I am a far more exciting person than I really am. They will probably ask me to carry secret messages for them, and I will end up having amazing adventures.

If so, I will tell you all about it.

Also, last night, I heard some remarkable gossip. I had the usual conversation which I always have when I meet groups of new people: “Where do I know you from?” they ask. I name the store. “Of course!” they say. “The Store!” This is why strangers were telling me remarkable gossip. I am not going to repeat it, you understand. It was just remarkable enough that I had to mention it.

When I left my house, my kids and JBek were playing Jungle Buzz and eating pizza (yes, I had some), and even now I have a cake in the oven which I will be taking to tonight’s Twelfth Night party, even though it is only the eleventh night, so we are clearly still feeling pretty festive. I packed up the Christmas books and music and movies yesterday in the course of housework, along with most of the other decorations. We still have the tree up, and some wreaths, but otherwise it doesn’t look too much like Christmas.

Today’s song is an Epiphany hymn.

O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright,” by Phillip Nicolai. Nicolai felt moved to write this hymn one day after seeing 30 graves dug for victims of bubonic plague, crowning a week in which 170 of his parishioners died, so I guess we shouldn’t be complaining. Here you can hear the midi with the sounds of bells, organ, or piano. Here, at the Ethereal Library, you can see the sheet music and Catherine Winkworth’s translation of four verses. Here at Choralwiki you can find the German and Dutch words, another translation into English, and — if you feel like clicking around a bit — arrangements by our old friends Bach and Praetorius, as well as some other folks. Here is a nice YouTube recording of Bach’s cantata using this hymn. It has the sheet music and everything, sort of like the “follow the bouncing ball” thing they used to do on TV, so if you are having the kind of Twelfth Night party where a group of singers and a cornet and violin might be gathering around the old computer to run through a cantata, you will be ready.

No, I have never been to a party like that. They probably don’t exist.

I just want to mention quickly the book I am reading, The Bachelor by Carly Phillips. It was given to me by Partygirl, and it is a basic trashy Ro-mance novel, but its flimsy plotline centers on crocheted panties. It persists in using “knit” and “crochet” interchangeably, but I find it so remarkable that there should be a novel that revolves around hand-crocheted panties that I am prepared to overlook this. You may recall the Polish crocheted panties that were in the news a few years ago; I reckon Phillips was inspired by those stories.

I guess I could use all that brown laceweight to make some of those. To go with my nice barbaric earrings. In case I end up at any wild parties where the entertainment is group singing of cantatas.