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Three years 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!

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Knitlandia: A Knitter Sees the World

I've tried (twice) to add that to my list of things-read, to no avail. Will try again when I'm more awake. It's delightful. Quite possibly even if you are not a knitter.

I picked up a novel while at Costco last night and am two chapters in. Thus far, no language issues, even if it is a New York Times best-seller. I'm always surprised to like something on that list, as my standards of what makes a book "good" are significantly different from the world's.

I like honorable people solving problems in an honorable way. And villains getting their comeuppance. And clean language. And a strong female protagonist doesn't hurt. What I love best about Drew Barrymore's take on Cinderella is that she doesn't just sit around waiting to be rescued. Unlike the doomed heroine of Wuthering Heights, she doesn't create problems; she solves them. Not a big fan of Catherine and Heathcliff. Brats, the both of them. Not a big fan of Miz Scarlett, either. She finishes the novel as selfish, clueless, and unredeemed as when she began. Bitter, not better.

I'd write more, but I'm supposed to be getting ready for work. And I really do like my job.

Friday, April 29, 2016


Email exchanges throughout yesterday with my friend who owns the much-procrastinated quilt. A dash through Trader Joe's. 59-cent party tacos from Bueno, and several chapters in Clara Parkes' Knitlandia. I slept like a rock until a little after 3:00am, awoke with a vaguely unhappy stomach, sent down a toasted English muffin and a few sips of milk, and went right back to sleep.

Dreamed that Beloved and I were working on the house. I walked out into the garage, and he had cleared it entirely. Gleaming bare floor all the way to the garage door in front, and impeccably organized shelves. He was planning on a massive baking project, and he had needed something that was out in the garage.

Tonight I am planning to attend a BYU Management Society fireside with Brad Wilcox. But in order for that to happen, I need to get off the computer, put on my "know what I'm doing, I do" clothing, and scoot out the door.

I am hopeful that by the time I get to work, my bank will have fixed its technical issues, so I may double-check that my paycheck is in there and pay my tithing. Very frustrating to log on and be told that there was a problem with my log-on name and/or password. I even rebooted my computer. After the third try, I X'd out of the page and found their contact page, which had an OOPS, SORRY, WE'RE WORKING ON IT message.

Work. Yeah. I'm going, I'm going!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Who ate that week?

I finished the last small element of The Albatross tonight and have messaged its owner for feedback on how she'd prefer that I complete it. This is a king size quilt that I have been working on (or, mostly, not-working-on) for nearly a quarter of my life. All thirty-six blocks are done. But there's a spot along one edge where the backing doesn't quite meet the front, and I need to know if she wants me to patch the back or trim the quilt by half an inch all the way around.

I worked on it fairly steadily at first, interrupted by Secondborn’s wedding, then Firstborn’s, and then four of the eight CPCU courses, until late 2003, when Firstborn led me into Mary Kay. The children's father had been out of work for awhile (he was out of work for over a year, and thus we got no child support).

Selling makeup provided a faster source of income while also eating up huge chunks of time, during which I might otherwise have been finishing the quilt. And then LittleBit hit high school, and we were suddenly busier than I had been with four children still at home.

She graduated in 2008, I moved to Fort Worth a week later, and I rode the train to and from work in Dallas until Beloved came into my life. It's reasonably easy to knit on a train. Not so easy to lug a king size quilt onto the train and keep it from getting stepped on. It didn't help when I was called to be the RS president in my ward.

Every time I saw her quilt folded up and waiting patiently in my studio, both in Fort Worth and since I moved here, I reminded myself that I needed to finish it. At the first of this year, I found my thimble and the two spools of black quilting thread. I was dismayed to see that the blocks were only a little over halfway done. I've chipped away at them, some days only five or ten minutes, but something on it every day of the week but Sunday.

I cannot find the French bias binding that I carefully assembled and pressed, a decade and a half ago. I know that I didn't throw it away. But I cannot for the life of me remember which box or tub it might be in.

So I'll need to buy a yard of black patterned fabric and make more binding. My goal is to have the borders quilted and the quilt bound off and handed over before I leave to get Middlest. That gives me approximately a month and a half. I'm also returning the commission fee, with interest, because hello? For someone who used to be a quilting professional, not professional at all. I just checked her FB profile, and she's widowed, like me. This was supposed to be a non-surprise quilt for her husband, who was colorblind but could see these colors.

Oh bleep.

If you will all excuse me, I'm going to go beat myself up and go to bed.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Mostly calm and wonderful here.

With a side order of mild panic when I thought I'd lost the files I'd scanned after shredding the originals. So I did a test scan and found the folder. Whew! Also, sheesh!

Monday I dropped off the rectangular frame to have a mirror cut and glued in. Then I made a beeline for Guitar Center and spent the better part of an hour trying out their electric pianos. I found one I like and several that thrilled me not. I made notes in Evernote. I'm not ready to buy, but I am getting itchy.

I am on the home stretch with The Albatross. One more fiddly section, and then some fairly straightforward stuff, and I might be done before Labor Day. One can hope.

Yesterday I got to watch two of our attorneys in action. The downside is that between a long lunch and leaving two hours early on Monday, plus yesterday afternoon, I lost almost one full day of working time. When I got back to the office at a quarter to five, there were 65 emails waiting for me. So while I was sluicing off this morning, I was also praying like crazy, and Heaven came through as usual. Notwithstanding another hour lost for mandatory training in preparation for mandatory records management, I got the mail wrangled and my inbox whipped into shape.

Tomorrow is another long lunch, this one for Administrative Professionals Day. My guys are taking me to lunch somewhere, no idea where as of now. Last year it was the restaurant at Neiman Marcus.

I'm yawning. So I'll do the sensible thing and make myself a mango yogurt smoothie in lieu of a third chocolate chip cookie. And then I'll work on The Albatross for a bit, pick up the dropped stitches on my church knitting, and call it a night.

Monday, April 18, 2016

More from the Main Street Arts Festival

There was another artist who did amazing needle-felted landscapes inlaid into blocks or chunks of wood. My favorites were the ones felted onto weaving shuttles.

A man who does portraits composed of word collages. The print I liked best, of a couple reading together on a couch, surrounded by books, is not on the website.

A woman who reverse-paints on glass, just a riot of colors.

And one who had ceramic coasters, nightlight covers, and sculptures like piano keys, but Fourthborn reminded me that I have a plethora of coasters. Le sigh… Note: that gorgeous mural at the Park and Ride on I-30 just east of Belt Line? Her work.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Two from the Fab Four

I'm picking up Fourthborn after church, and we're heading to Firstborn's. Hilarity, and brownies will ensue. I told them, I don't want cake. I don't want cupcakes. I want cheesecake. Or brownies.

And next year I want a huge (inexpensive) party.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

And, briefly, he was there.

Fourthborn and I went to the Main Street Arts Festival in Fort Worth after working on the house today. I was leafing through prints in one booth when one knocked the breath out of me. Two cranes silhouetted against a full moon, over water, the moon’s reflection forming a heart.

I murmured to Fourthborn, “Aren’t cranes symbolic of eternal love?” And as she quietly replied, “Yes,” Beloved’s spirit was there. Tears welled up as I said, “He’s here.” Fourthborn gently scratched my back as the tenderness washed over me.

Foreverglades” by Lisa Loudermilk, an artist from Austin, TX

Yes, it followed me home. As did one similar to this, but smaller, in blues, and unframed (i.e., affordable).

I'll post links to the other artists I liked, some other time. It's 9:00pm, and I need a light dinner, and then I'm going to bed.