About Me

My Photo
Two 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!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Insomnia Fairy paid another visit about 3:00 this morning.

Awoke out of what I thought was a sound sleep, and not from an anxiety dream so far as I can remember. Just awake and thirsty and groggy. Stumbled to the loo, more on general principles than anything else. Drank half a mug of smoothie and am finishing that batch off as we speak. Went back to bed and lay there doggedly. Waves of sleepiness came and went until they finally became strong enough to wash over me.

Now that I'm awake (more or less), I'm wondering if I've absorbed other people's anxieties. It wouldn't be the first time. SemperFi is taking his mom on a two week bucket list trip (her bucket, not his) beginning next week. My other attorney's last day is tomorrow. As for myself, I have the usual assortment of nigglings on my mind: I've covered the bills, but will there be enough fun money if I want to hit Bueno the night before payday? And then there are work concerns. Will I get one of the two new attorneys who will be coming to the office shortly? Will I get half of the docket of an attorney who is already working in our office? If so, I hope it's not one whom I like very much as a human being, but who has been a factor in the last three secretaries who left our office. With the frustrations I have felt since taking on half of the docket of the attorney who is leaving (who has become a dear friend but has one quirk that made my workflow unnecessarily complicated), retirement has been looking more and more attractive.

I want to do a good job for as long as I can. My hope is to have the mortgage paid off in five more years (instead of 13 more years) and then rebuild my 401K from the depredations of the past two years. I like my job. Most days. I'm good at my job. Most days. I look forward to going to work. Most days.

When I was at my sister's last month and remarked that I used to be afraid that I would go nuts during retirement, and that I used to dread the idea, but that now it was looking like something that might actually be fun, she replied, "Oh, you will do just fine during retirement!" It was good to get a second opinion from someone whose opinion I trust.

In other news, Firstborn handed me a friend's sweater a couple of months ago and asked if I thought I could fix a seam that had come apart. Turns out that I could. It was crocheted together, and that thread was unbroken, so it was a simple matter of picking up the loops that stuck up along one edge, and a not so simple matter of making sure that I distributed them evenly along the other edge. Took a bit of trial and error before I got that right, but her sweater is fixed and neatly folded and bagged and waiting by the front door with the penultimate quilt block, for when we get together at the quilt shop on the 5th.

And the baby sock is coming along. The yarn had gotten chomped in several places since I bought it, even though I'd kept it in a plastic drawer, so there was some ripping and spit-splicing. Yes. I can spit-splice superwash merino. (If I were going to have a headstone, you could put that there, right below the dates on either side of the dash.) Heel flap has been frogged and re-knit, and I'm going to simply weave in ends on the cuff "owie" as I did not want to frog back that far. Today I'll turn the heel, pick up stitches and gallop away toward the toe.

The fabric for this month's installment of the medallion quilt got prewashed Tuesday night. Last night I pressed it. It's hanging out on the ironing board, and most likely tonight I will start cutting out the pieces. There are only five pieces of fabric this time, but I read the instructions, and I will finally get to put together and add another border. Firstborn looks at the sample quilt every time we're in the shop and says variations on the theme of "It's lovely, and no way would I want to sew all those tiny pieces together." If I had to do it all at once, neither would I. But broken up into monthly installments, I haven't found it onerous.

OK. Semi-icky smoothie is down the hatch. Frugality has been satisfied, even if I'm still wrangling bits of pomegranate seed. Time to throw together lunch and then sluice off.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

An exercise in memory.

When I was clearing dust off Beloved's desk last night, I unearthed a box that I didn't remember seeing (between his clutter, now largely gone, and my own, it's something of a miracle that the box has surfaced only 2.5 years after his passing). Condolence cards, from when he lost his first wife. In my pre-bedtime reading there was a passage about knowing when it's time to let something go. So I promised myself that this evening I would read through those cards, and then the cards I received, feel whatever feelings came to me, and release those cards. I've saved a few personal notes for the boys, and a handful of cards from people with whom I want to reconnect, and the rest will go into the recycling bin.

It was a good evening. I read some great stories about her, and was reminded of others about him, and I only needed to cry a very little. What remains is a smidgen more clear physical space, and an equal or greater increase in spiritual and emotional clarity. And peace. Just a wonderful sense of peace and comfort.

My knitting is arguing with me. Again. More specifically, it's the yarn. I bought a bunch of single skeins a few months into the marriage, with the idea of making pairs of baby socks for future baby showers. The current skein has been chomped repeatedly by something that flew in, or crept in, the drawer where it used to reside. And since it's superwash wool, spit-splicing will be less than effective.

It's time for me to take my evening meds and potions, clear off the bed, and call it a day. My brain wants me to frog back to the first break, create a non-bulky join, and work back to where I stopped. My eyes are saying enough.

The eyes have it.

Monday, August 24, 2015

More gems

One of the things that I found, over the weekend, is a large printout of Beloved's family tree, possibly made as a visual aid for teaching a family history class (and possibly by my mother-in-love). Spent a good chunk of time yesterday entering those names into Ancestry.com. In the process I found her profile, but when I searched for it specifically this morning, I was disappointed. It only showed her as "private", with her father, and absolutely nothing else.

Went into FamilySearch and searched for a name where I wasn't sure who the father was, because the printout was a little ambiguous. Found that one and clarified matters. First cousins who married, four generations back from Beloved. Bookmarked that page, because I'll be going back to it. Their daughter isn't listed among the children. This would be the daughter from whom Beloved is descended. So yeah, kind of important to fix that!

In other news, I am nearly done knitting the cuff of the first baby sock, for a baby shower that will take place on Thursday. Last night I knitted while watching a documentary on The Mormon Channel that was filmed in eight to ten minute bites over 5,000 days, following four brothers. I'm ten episodes in, out of sixteen. I'll probably finish watching tonight for Family Home Evening.

This is the part where I get off the computer, carefully roll up the printout that I no longer need, that I may pass it on to the boys, and get ready for work so I may knit until it's time to be at my desk.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

I keep finding stuff.

The big project, for the past several days, has been the sorting, scanning, and shredding of a mass of paperwork which had accumulated atop a storage bin in the living room. I am pleased to announce that, with the exception of a thin stack which prompts phone calls this coming week, it has all been wrangled, the bin emptied and stowed in the garage, and the quilt which it had contained, refolded and displayed in a bookcase in the dining room.

I also investigated the contents of a large rolling underbed box which has been hanging out in the dining room since I turned that closet into an alcove. Wrapping paper. All of it in impeccable condition. I added my own small stash to it, and it will (eventually) go under the table in my studio. I will first need to clear a path, which will involve much more work than I think is appropriate for the Sabbath. Puttering, yes. Bending, stretching, hefting, and possibly swearing, no.

I have frogged the doll sleeve and am winding ball after ball of laceweight, preparatory to swatching for a miniature Kaffe Fassett sweater. But which? I've been paging through my vintage copy of Glorious Knits, and each is more tempting than the last. A couple of nights ago, I wound a mile and a half of yarn. Six balls. They partially fill a plastic shoebox. And there's more to wind. You'll know where to find me for awhile.

Speaking of finding, I rediscovered a small green rag rug and vacuumed it thoroughly. It's now hanging out in front of the sink in the guest loo. This morning I picked up a book from the dining room table. Gifts from A Jar: Soups, Chilis & More. With tear-out recipe cards. I also took the wedding quilt my sister made for us out of safekeeping, and it is airing on a chair in the living room. And I've pulled a ball of sock yarn from the stash. Baby shower on Thursday. I'd best get knitting.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Followed by bittersweet stuff

My wonderful, lovely half-a-docket attorney's mentor from an outside firm made her an offer she couldn't refuse. I am so happy for her, and more than a little bummed for me. She's one of a handful of people in the office who truly get me.

In other news, the house continues to get more orderly. And I've cast on the first sleeve for Middlest's doll's sweater. I'm still learning the pattern I've designed, so it's slow going. But I'm already a lot happier with it than I was with the alpaca swatches.

Work was mostly great today, except for the last hour or two, where I ran into technical glitches due to our Office upgrade, compounded by need-to-eat stupor and the discovery, as I talked in the loo after work with the managing attorney, that the (new) attorney who signed the drafts I had so laboriously created did not, in fact, have authorization to do so, as the boss and I both thought he had. So I will have to create new drafts tomorrow and tweak the cover letters and then upload everything. But I'm going to have about eight spoiled drafts out of a book of fifty, and the office manager will be thrilled about that.

The managing attorney dashed back into the office and retrieved the "carbons" of the drafts, which would have been scanned and faxed tomorrow, thus averting unhappiness with our bank.

I was tired enough, and hungry enough, that I just wanted to sit in a corner and cry for about five minutes. Instead, I put on my big girl sunglasses and drove home with bagpipe music blaring from my Pandora station, and the closest I got to actual tears was during Amazing Grace.

You better believe I hit Bueno on the drive home. I refrained from a side trip to Braum's for their oatmeal raisin cookies, opting instead to find an allegedly healthy recipe online that makes a small batch and even with my "independent as a hog on ice" substitutions is quite edible.

This is the part where I put everything away and go to bed. I've salvaged the day by the grace of Heaven, but I am tired.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Weird stuff

I posted this on Middleaged Mormon Man's page on Facebook but am sharing here, and then I promise that I will email my kids via FB so they do not freak out.

Middleaged Mormon Man has this thing where every Sunday night we post the single best thing that happened that day. The stories are really great, and I look forward to reading them each week. This is what I posted tonight:

Not-falling-over while conducting the opening song in sacrament meeting. There was this brief sense of listing to port, possibly half a second of heading toward sleep or unconsciousness, and then I righted myself and kept on going. I don’t think anyone noticed but me. (It would have made for a memorable sacrament meeting, but not necessarily a reverent one.) My home teacher and visiting teacher couple were already scheduled to come over after church, so I got a blessing (that would be the “single best thing”), and she (a physician’s assistant) asked me a bunch of questions that eliminated any of the really scary stuff. I got the sense from the blessing that this may well happen again, but that I/we will figure out what caused it, and with or without the assistance of my doctor, I will be perfectly fine. I do love a good mystery…

In other news, I finished the current installment of the medallion quilt, and the August quilt block is done, folded neatly, and waiting by the front door for the first Saturday in September, when we'll pick up the final blocks for this quilt. And also decide if we want to do next year's quilt.

I hung one wall quilt and two decorative items this evening. Have sorted through much of the stuff on the fallow side of the bed and have started to corral the really important stuff by putting it into the giant French laundry basket that's floated from one room to another for the past fifteen years or so. My goal was to have the bed entirely cleared off before bedtime last night. Obviously, that did not happen, but at least there's been progress in that direction.
I took a longish nap after church but am feeling unusually sleepy, so will email the kids, take my meds, and call it a night. Tomorrow's going to be a long one. One of my dear friends is getting his US citizenship tomorrow, and I'm joining the celebration after work. Like me, he's LDS, so the celebration will involve ice cream, not booze. I will try to find some frozen yogurt or limit myself to a single scoop.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Another good day.

Even if it began at 3:45. Really? I've made a lot of progress on the medallion quilt. The stealth project is ready for blocking. So the next item of business, since I've yet to find the modular blocking pads, is to clear off the fallow side of the bed in order to have room to block a couple of projects and let them dry while I'm at work one or more days next week.

I got another small corner tidied and cleaned in the living room this morning. And I got a good nap, which seems to have worn off, so I will bid you all a gracious good evening and turn off the lights.