About Me

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One year into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


I noticed something while watching choir practice before sacrament meeting on Sunday afternoon. The choir director is my visiting teacher (that's not what I noticed; I already knew that!), and she was wearing a multicolored jacket that closely toned with all the new colors in my house.

The last time I drove under the High Five (an interchange in Far North Dallas that soars to the sky) I noticed similar parallels, although the High Five picks up the warm tones, and my friend's jacket picks up the cool tones.

This got me thinking about Alma 37:6 (you should go look it up) and the importance of little things. Big things are typically composed of lots and lots of little things. Jigsaw puzzles, quilt blocks, needlepoint cushions, sweaters, compound interest, fractals, battles lost because of a missing horseshoe nail.

The great thing about creativity is that it pulls from all over. The simplest explanation for why I am painting my rooms in colors I once would have told you I didn't like (hello: Not Red) is that I flipped open a Christopher Lowell book that belonged to First Wife and read about a project where they painted a starscape on a dining room ceiling. He did not show a picture, but the idea stuck with me.

And grew on me. One of my attorneys gives me her old copies of Real Simple. Where they are big on painting the insides of things a contrasting color.

And I like Behr paints. Their or Home Depot's website has a widget that helps the timid (not me, but I play one on TV) pick three colors that go together.

So: starscape gave me all sorts of color possibilities. Walls are one of the yellows from the stars. Alcove is painted one of the colors from the next paint chip down in value from the walls. Contrasting greens were found using the widget. Toss in the months I spent working part time in a quilt shop while pregnant with Middlest, and you have an appreciation for what a little color dissonance can do for the composition as a whole. Which is why I have an alcove and long hall painted baby poop yellow, clearly not the most attractive color in the world. But it works.

Which brings me back to the beginning of this post. I am now, several months into repainting, seeing my new colors everywhere. And not twitching. So I am wondering how long this had been building inside before it found expression?

I have not broken up with red. But I am definitely holding hands with teal.

All the little things we do. They matter. My friend's jacket. The High Five. The quilt shop. The widget. Our daily kindnesses, to others and to ourselves. Our prayers. Our talents. Recycling. Fair trade chocolate. We bless, or we place stumbling blocks.

This is my Friday. Tomorrow I go see the Bitties at "Chilton". And then I head to my beloved Hill Country with some of the kids. We'll climb Enchanted Rock and worship on Sunday with old friends.

Tonight I will pack, and maybe paint stripes on the living room wall. I think the last of the touchups are done. I skipped the gym to paint and to write. Tonight I will also inspect my Knit Swirl to see if the bugs chewed on it when they got my red scarf prototype. If it's intact, I'll block it at dark thirty tomorrow morning, and it can dry on the bed over the weekend. If not, I will frog it and reknit it in the smaller size. Not a tragedy either way.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Woohoo! Loads and loads of progress!

Notwithstanding the fact that I picked her up around 9:30 and we didn't get to the house until 2:00, Fourthborn and I knocked it out of the ballpark yesterday. She got the carpet and tack strips out of the coat closet after I offloaded most of the contents onto my bed.

She got the shelves off the brackets in the living room and finished the first round of cutting-in on that wall. She touched up the window wall and cut swathes of carpet around the perimeter of the room so we could Tetris the furniture out of the middle of the room and eliminate most of the rest of the carpet.

I got the closet reloaded and moved 18 boxes of flooring singlehandedly and again with her. I also finished taping the long wall in preparation for the alternating stripes of eggshell paint in the same color.

The matte paint is very low. I hope I won't have to buy a quart to finish the job. That paneling is mighty thirsty. We (mostly she) schlepped the carpet and padding out to the curb.

And then we went to Firstborn's for crafting and conversation. It was a really, really good day.

Only downer was that I ate something that woke me with hives after I'd slept for about an hour. I wish the little bump beasties would have the courtesy to spell out the culprit so I could avoid it in future. I haven't had an episode like this since last year.

I slept until 9:30 and made myself a good breakfast and am now going to scramble to leave for church in half an hour. Sarah's first glove is nearly finished. I will make 20-24 cards for Relief Society after church. All the makings of a good Sabbath.

Note to self: don't scratch.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Hey! Who turned on the winter?

I was just getting cozy with fall. Tuesday morning I went to the gym in my shirt sleeves. Today I had to toss a sweatshirt on over my gym clothes.

Lots of happy knitting. I am nearly done with the increase/decrease portion of Sarah's first fingerless glove.

Bought a few Christmas ornaments this afternoon. Got a coat of paint on the wall under the picture window. I keep falling asleep while writing this. It's been a most excellent day, and I'm ready to put it, and myself, to bed. Night, y'all.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The incredible vanishing VT-ee.

The apartment manager called me at work yesterday afternoon. There are two Hispanic and one Asian family living in three of those apartments. A guy lives in the fourth. She did not have a forwarding address for my VT-ee.

I reported it to the RS president and the ward clerk.

In happier news, I made noticeable progress in the living room last night, with a bit of followup this morning. Part of me wants to see how much I can get done before it's time to leave for RS. The rest of me strongly suspects that I would get sucked into flow and forget all about RS, and this is an activity I've been looking forward to. So, no.

But the odds are great that when I come home at the end of the activity, I will hop right into my painting clothes and see if I can finish this second wall and around the front door.

We shall see.

In happiest news, BittyBit made it into a prestigious choir. She had to audition in order to audition. The grand finale is next spring, out of town, and I've already gotten the time off approved.

This is the part where I brush my teeth, grab a sweater (and my knitting), and head to Relief Society.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Feeling a little like a bum.

But not in the British sense. Took Secondborn her finished fingerless gloves after church. The Bitties reprised their Primary sacrament meeting parts for me. And Secondborn helped me extract my home dec photos from various Facebook posts and toss them into an album. I wouldn't say they are exactly *organized*. But they are now in one spot. I can go back on some mythical "someday" and tidy them up. Or not.

I also responded to a bajillion messages that had been piling up since FB introduced its messenger program and I opted not to install it on my phone.

By the time I got home, took my Rx, and got ready for bed, it was 11:30, and me with no nap. So I pushed the alarm back an hour. And woke around the usual time, laughing a little at the irony of it.

No gym for me this morning, hence the title of this post. I will cheerfully walk up the stairs from the parking garage and try to move around as much as possible while at work.

Dinner tonight with the Empty Nesters. And then home to paint some more. I didn't touch a roller all weekend, so I'm hoping that a divide and conquer plan like last week's will get me where I want to be at the end of the week. I have RS tomorrow night, and I'm looking forward to that.

If I seek first the Kingdom, all the other stuff will either fall into place or fall off the list. I spent yesterday morning putting together the packets for my VT route. And I determined that the reason one of last month's envelopes came back was because we don't have an apartment number for her.

So I drove to the complex and dropped the packet with a note through the mail slot where folks drop their rent. And followed it up with a voicemail to the management office explaining what I had done and why and asking them to call me if she is no longer a resident, knowing that they could not or would not give out her apartment number.

We'll see how that goes. I'm hoping that maintenance will tape it to her door or something. I didn't put a stamp on it, so it might go right in the trash.

If that doesn't work, I'm thinking four postcards or notes, each with the address and a possible apartment number. There are four units in her building, and I am nothing if not persistent. If I mail four and three come back as undeliverable...

In knitting news, I cast on for Sarah's first fingerless glove yesterday and got part of the first row on the second section done. I'm on a roll. Why stop now?

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Two men. Make that three.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf is a member of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I learned this morning that he is one month older than the children's father. It gave me pause.

President Uchtdorf fled political persecution as a child in East Germany and has consistently followed the Savior. He has served humbly, in positions of increasing responsibility, and is loved and respected by 15 million people.

The children's father joined the Church in California two weeks to the day before I was converted and baptized in Idaho. He and I have had our individual struggles to remain faithful and active.

(I never lost my testimony, even when I was struggling hardest to apply the principles I've come to love, in daily life.) I've managed to "stay in the boat" [see the October 2014 General Conference talks on lds.org to appreciate that reference].)

The children's father has splashed and flailed and nearly drowned at times. He was able to regain the privilege of a temple recommend a few years ago.

It was weird and uncomfortable to run into him -- frequently -- on Thursday nights when I was serving as a temple worker, even after I remarried. Once, while waiting for my sealing cancellation from him, he asked how that was going. I told him it was stuck in Salt Lake. He exclaimed, "What the hell's wrong with those people?" Loudly. In the foyer of the temple.

No filter. One more thing lost to his diabetes and the multiple strokes. Our children still love him. As they should. They have no use for the (truly) crazy lady he "married" (no license, just some words said over them by somebody at her church). I will be biting my tongue at Thanksgiving.

Thankfully, I will come home to the peaceful house provided for me by Beloved, who in his own less public way followed humbly in the steps of President Uchtdorf and the prophets and the Savior and is now serving and blessing others in the world of spirits.

We all get to decide who we'll be.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Thank you, Susan!

I'm glad I'm posting more often, too. My life has felt all lopsided lately. Too much "home" work and not enough music and other good stuff.

I mostly just played today. Had a blast visiting and shopping at the Dallas Flea. Brought home a turquoise glass bowl that resembles an oversized brandy snifter (who came up with that word, anyway?). A small steampunk wall hanging that pleases me enormously. And a couple more prints to frame.

I also picked up my November quilt block and the tool we ordered last month. Tanked Lorelai and the Tardis. Put together my standard wedding gift (note to self: buy more small glass candle holders and candles) and went to a reception. Had dinner with the local widows and widowers. Which deserves its own paragraph.

We met at an area chain restaurant, and the food and service were uncharacteristically *off*. There were six of us. Three dinners were served cold. Mine was one of them. One woman's dinner was inedible, so she ordered fresh. It came with a big chunk of plastic from the mushroom packaging. I am not naming names, because the manager really did everything he could to make it right. So the company was excellent, and I won't go back to that location, but neither will I diss it online.

I finished Secondborn's second glove today. I've wound the yarn for Sarah's but am thinking the best thing would be to publish this, brush my teeth, and call it a night. I took a little catnap before leaving for dinner, but that has worn off.

I just want to curl up in Beloved's sweatshirt and kiss this day goodnight. Paint did not happen. At all. But I did ponder the next steps. And I looked up the names of some architectural salvage places.

Did I mention that Steadfast's wig is just that much too small? Consensus at dinner last night was that the manufacturer has made recent batches a smidgen smaller. Mel can loan me a wig until I can buy him a new one.

Bed. I said I was going to bed.