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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!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Plan Q?

Got a call from one of my kids who is as fiercely independent as her mother. She needed a little help with something. It is such a pleasure to serve people who know their strengths and when it's time to call in reinforcements. I try to be that kind of person.

The second back to Temperance's sweater is done and attached at the shoulder. Now I need to design a sleeve.

My FHE project tonight was about equal parts wonderful and frustrating. I wound two balls of yarn. The first one cooperated and is now an elegant cheese of teal and midnight goodness. The second skein was just that much too long to stay put on the umbrella swift. It leaped off and somersaulted to the floor. The first was wound in less than five minutes. The second took nearly one full hour to untangle. It's 9:00. I'm knackered. So much for casting on Secondborn's birthday present tonight.

Have found a home for the entertainment center and the TV. Am hoping that tomorrow night I'll get another bookcase emptied and moved. Trying hard to stay awake until 10:00 but am not sure I'll make it.

Lorelai is less than ten miles away from 200K miles. There's a miracle on the order of the loaves and the fishes!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A whole week of progress.

Again I ask, who thought it would be a good idea to put seven doorways in the halls? Only six of them touch the floor. Trimming the vinyl plank flooring to fit around the door moulding is fiddly work.

I spent the better part of two hours cobbling together the floor inside the linen closet, mostly from scraps leftover from other edges. It looks really nice now. I managed to dislodge the center dome from one of the decorative door pulls. Hot glue will fix that, once I find the glue gun and glue sticks. Or I could look for teal buttons the same size, pry out the other four domes, and customize the knobs.

Wes and his boys (13 and 3) came by on Tuesday night and wrangled the hot water heater closet for me. The sill is sawn off. The paint cans are stacked neatly in a corner of the kitchen. The trunk is in the living room for now. The boys rinsed off the AC filter, and I can do that myself from here on out. I haven't built the shelves yet.

I got the smallest, empty bookcase moved back into place in the hall. I put maybe a dozen books on a shelf before cleaning myself up for the Saturday night session of stake conference. I think today I will unpack all the DVD's and stow them there. Maybe add my boxes of CD's. That would come more under the heading of puttering than real work.

During the week ahead, I'll start clearing the living room so Fourthborn and I may paint the ceiling next Saturday. I also want us to rip out the carpet in the hall closet so I may extend the flooring into it and finish that doorway. We can pull up the carpet in the living room after I've repainted the walls.

My Wall Words arrived in Friday's mail. That box will sit on my dresser until I've repainted the double doors, which won't happen until I've sanded a couple of rough spots on the sill and dealt with the moulding. But it's incentive to keep moving forward.

Today I will go to stake conference, make the November birthday cards, maybe finish the second back piece of Temperance's sweater, and pick out music for sacrament meeting for November and December. Not necessarily in that order.

Have a blessed and peaceful Sabbath, y'all!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

More progress!

We ran a lot of errands yesterday. Multiple trips to Home Depot. Bittiest's soccer game. Drive-by fooding of the elders. There are two coats of paint on the ceiling in the hall, and I don't think it will need a third.

Fourthborn got the piece cut for the missing triangle of flooring at the corner of the alcove in the dining room. It looks wonderful. (And had defeated me three times, back in July.)

I've hung four pictures and a shelf this morning. Posted some pictures on Facebook. Taken the three small Willow Tree figurines and placed them atop the shelf (which hides the botched wall patch I'm pretty sure was botched by somebody other than Beloved, because the man was meticulous).

Tomorrow after work I will tackle the flooring. I am so excited that I can barely sit still. When that is done, and Wes has trimmed the sill on the water heater closet, I can paint the trim on that doorway, paint both doors in that section of hall, and empty the big closet of Beloved's footlocker and a bajillion paint cans.

It just occurred to me that I might be able to install shelving on one wall in there, which would provide an orderly place to keep the paint cans and my stash of Costco TP. I need to be able to access the AC filter, which is blocked by the footlocker and the clutter. It has not been tended since before Beloved passed, so it is long overdue.

Most of those paint cans will disappear when I have the outside of the house repainted. I will *not* be doing that myself. I don't mind climbing up and down stepstools to paint the interior. There are plenty of places to grab, when the day comes that I feel a little unsteady. I draw the line at tall ladders and tree branches. If the kids are willing and able to tackle the outside, fantastic! Otherwise, I will wait for a bonus and hire it done.

When I lived in the penultimate apartment, I had a Mae West quote along the top of my dining room wall in burgundy vinyl lettering. On Friday, I reordered it in the same font in a new color that I think will tone well with the color I'll be using on the double doors to the water heater closet.

One of the joys of having my own home is the freedom to paint the walls in a riot of colors and then "write" on them. These walls are too textured to accept wall words, but the doors are more cooperative. This company has a sign language font (finger spelling hand shapes). I am toying with getting L-O-O for the guest bathroom. Or "room of requirement" in their "Parry Hotter" font. Either of which would please me immensely.

So grateful to Fourthborn for helping me to get past the creative block and resume forward movement.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Cats, dogs, fishes, and a tornado watch.

It's Monday. It's raining. And the tornado watch expires at 7:00am. The only reason I know about it (I turn my phone off at night) is because I awoke from the beginnings of a nightmare around 1:00am and needed a distraction to clear my mind before going back to sleep.

I hear thunder out there. And dripping. And the gurgling of my stomach. I barely ate yesterday. Healthy breakfast. Didn't need my snack during church, so that was late lunch or pre-dinner once I got home. Then a catnap so I would be safe driving back from the birthday bash. (I drove almost 200 miles on Saturday. I'm tired.)

Slice of Tillamook while throwing on my clothes after my nap. One bottle of water down the hatch on the drive to Arlington. Four bites of dried pineapple, one cupcake, and two small cookies at the party. No Arby's on the way home, because it was the Sabbath. But another bottle of water. Ravenous when I got home. Nothing sounded good. I fixed an English muffin, took my Metformin, and called it a night.

My stomach thinks my throat's been cut. I just finished an English muffin with almond butter. My clothes are laid out for my shower. And I'm about to head back to the kitchen to rustle up a salmon burger sans bun. Thank you, Costco. I will probably follow that with bacon and eggs and a biscuit once I get to work. And I have the last pint of soup to take for lunch. Maybe by the end of the day I will no longer feel 10,000 calories behind.

The front of the new incarnation of Temperance's sweater is about half an inch from the neck shaping. I plan on leaving in about 45 minutes and taking the freeway to avoid any downed trees or misfiring traffic lights. As it's Columbus Day, traffic should be minimal. Ergo, plenty of time for knitting progress once I reach the office.

Tonight it's "Keyboard Conversations" and Mozart's variations on Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Cannot wait!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Glad to know I've not been recalled.

"This email is to notify you that an important patient recall/reminder message has been sent to your account at (notification provider). Please login at your earliest convenience to review this information."

I wasn't sure what to think. I've been reasonably lively today and thought I was healthier than I have felt in weeks. I hoped it wasn't a case of their knowing something that I didn't know.

Turns out that they just wanted me to schedule next year's well woman exam. Which I did. Glad to know that my warranty did not expire when I wasn't looking.

I am going to see "Meet the Mormons" tonight. Picking up one of the sisters in my ward and going to mingle with the fellow travelers. It's supposed to be a good film. (The church doesn't do anything boring or tacky, and this is allegedly both entertaining and edifying.) At any rate, I am in need of, and in the mood for, a little company and something other than knitting or painting to occupy my mind: i.e., culture.

Which is why I am also going to the Keyboard Conversations concert on Monday night, bypassing the evening with my beloved Empty Nesters in favor of Mozart's variations on "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star." I have loved that piece since I was a student wife at BYU. And the pianist is quite engaging; I attended his Chopin presentation last year and thoroughly enjoyed it.

The sweater I made for Temperance was too tight in the shoulders, a result of my following Alice Starmore's instructions to decrease my cable stitches (two into one, four into two, etc.) just before binding off, in order to prevent the cables from flattening and splaying out. This sweater was more heavily cabled than the first two, resulting in greater compression where I joined it to the sweater body. It fits Hope just fine, but it isn't her turn, so it's gone into a baggie with detailed notes until I am ready to take apart the side seams, shorten the sleeves by the depth of one full "fish" repeat, and put it back together.

In the meantime I have commandeered the start of what I thought was going to be a sweater for Steadfast, which is far less heavily cabled, and Temperance is likely to end up with the little-girl equivalent of the boyfriend sweater.

I am picking up Fourthborn tomorrow, and we will paint paint paint until it is time to head over to Dolloween. I have been stuck in terms of painting for the past two or three weeks, and having her assistance may mean that we finish the @#$%&*! trim in the hall, once and for all.

Because I am so ready to be done in the hall and move on to the living room. And I am jonesing to decorate for Christmas but have settled for displaying one small fall-themed item in a bookcase in the living room.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Good morning!

Not much going on chez Ravelled. Attached the first sleeve to Temperance's sweater yesterday and got started on the second sleeve. Paid bills for the upcoming two weeks. Shredded a small batch of receipts.

Big weird storm moved through the area yesterday afternoon. Straight line winds of 60-80mph. Arlington, where I used to live, got trashed. There is a building in the FW Stockyards that is a pile of bricks spilling out into the parking lot. I really hope it was not the Star Cafe, which serves the best chicken fried steak I've ever eaten. (I go back every couple of years just to make sure.)

Lots of trees broken or down. Lots of traffic lights out. Because I decided I was smarter than Waze and ignored its attempts to shunt me onto the freeway, it took me two hours to get home last night.

Here at the house, all appears to be well. A number of my friends were without power last night.

Really looking forward to General Conference this weekend and quilt club sandwiched in between sessions and quantity time with Fourthborn and dropping off birthday presents for Lark and Willow.

This is the part where I figure out breakfast and what I'm going to wear. Lunch will be leftover Subway, because I had to dash into one (that had power) last night for a much needed comfort break. A bladder with no sense of humor is not the best companion for a two hour drive home!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ms. Ravelled buys a bed.

I thought maybe I'd mentioned it here, but I can't find it. Maybe it was over on FB. Or maybe I put it in a letter to someone recently.

Anyway. On my way home from the doctor's office last week I stopped at the estate sale consignment store where I bought the plant stand that's in the alcove in the dining room. And there was this bed.

It is massive. Probably oak. A light but warm finish. Headboard has a deep ogee curve at the top (like an old secretary or armoire). It and the footboard are fashioned to look as if they were made of plantation blinds or shutters. There are four heavily carved bedposts, not tall as a four-poster but nevertheless impressive. This bed is solid as the Rock of Gibraltar. (Please don't tell me that that icon has been carted away and dry docked next to the Queen Mary.) One could found dynasties in this bed if one were not postmenopausal and if one's DNA coprovider of choice were not post-mortal.

Ahem.

When I saw the bed last week, it was priced well out of my comfort zone. I called today, to ask if they could let me know if or when the price dropped. She said it was marked down as low as it would be. I said that it was a gorgeous bed and that I could not afford to pay X. She said, "Oh, didn't you know? It's marked down to Y."

Y was 10% lower than the top of my comfort zone! The kids will help me get it home on Saturday, and it will live in the garage until I'm ready to repaint my bedroom, somewhat earlier than I'd originally planned.

In painting news, there is progress on the trim around the doors, and I am hopeful that I may get it done before I crash on Sunday night. Once the halls are done, there's really very little fiddly stuff left until I have to repaint or replace the kitchen cabinets. Just acres and acres of flat surfaces.

Seven doorways in these two halls. Really?

Time, I think, for a smidgen of knitting and then lights out.