About Me

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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!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bobeche. And too much salt.

I am ready to sort through more boxes of stuff. I've been making incursions into the middle bedroom for about a week and a half. The typewriter has gone to a homeschooling family with some of my favorite kids in it. My computer and printer are out in the living room. The keyboard is still in the bedroom but in plain sight. Eventually I will find the box with the cords and the modem. By eventually I mean "I hope in the next couple of weeks."

Kitchen progress, thanks to Fourthborn, one of the YW, and my own intermittent efforts, has been faster than expected. We'll work on it some more next weekend. Maybe to the point of clearing the counters and painting the ceiling? (That would be really cool.)

Meanwhile, I keep finding stuff to go through. There is a box of storage containers which needs sorting. A box which says "candles" that I packed for the  move to the penultimate apartment, seven-plus years ago. A box with candlesticks and bobeche (candle rings and bling) from the same era. Those are boxes which could transport items to new homes or to charity.

I have So. Much. Paperwork. I made a good start at digitizing it when I lived in Fort Worth. My computer, the one that 2BDH helped me put together, has two terabytes of memory. That would hold a lot of genealogy. And that, I've realized, is a major factor in this impetus to set my house in order.

Moroni may not be tap-dancing on my front porch (telling me it's time to start dating), but Elijah is*. And there's a whole chorus line of my ancestors singing backup. They want their temple work done. They want to be found. And I can do that a whole lot faster with home internet and an uncluttered house.

*Elijah held the keys to the sealing powers and passed them to Joseph Smith. Those sealing powers are what link families together for the eternities, through temple ordinances.

I said I would talk about the most recent temple work I've done. Five baptisms a week ago yesterday. Five confirmations as members of the Church. I did the initiatories for the three women before leaving the temple that day. My sons in law will do the initiatories and priesthood ordinations for the men. On Tuesday I went back to the temple and did the endowment for my great grandfather's second wife, who died while pregnant with their first child. And then I had her sealed to him.

I've grown accustomed (as much as one can be) to sensing the presence of the sisters I serve in the temple. I don't feel all of them by any means, and I've never seen them in vision or had them come to me in my dreams. But the ones who want their work done, they head straight for my tear ducts like Beloved does when he's nearby.

With the exception of my dad, I don't remember sensing the presence or emotions of the men as their work is being done. Until the baptisms last weekend. I come from a long line of farming people. Hard-working. Pragmatic. Not particularity demonstrative. Those guys were there. And they were feeling things. It was tender, and sacred, and almost overwhelming.

The same when I was helping Phebe get sealed to my great-grandfather. I've thought about her a lot. What would it mean to a woman who died before giving birth, to now have the ability to bear untold numbers of spirit children in the eternities, and to rear them in the presence of Heavenly Father and the Savior?

On a lesser note, what was her life like in mortality? What was her favorite color? Flower? Did she like to read? How did she meet my great-grandfather? Did she get along with his kids from his first marriage? Am I going to be able to find her parents and any siblings and connect her to them?

This work is real. These people are real. They are closer than we realize. And I  need to link them with census records and other public records and eliminate the duplications and get their work done.

But today I am going to content myself with sorting two or three boxes in a leisurely and orderly fashion. Baby steps. Sabbath appropriate baby steps.

(The "too much salt" observation relates to the food I ate while watching the Harlem Globetrotters last night. They oversalt the food so people will buy sodas and adult beverages. Good marketing, but hard on my kidneys, which were seriously unhappy with me when I woke up this morning. I'm going to be guzzling water all day.)

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Progress before breakfast.

The middle shelf has looked like this for a year or more. Ditto the right corner of the bottom shelf. But until this morning the top shelf was a jumble of mugs, glasses, and chimneys for kerosene lamps. The left corner of the bottom shelf was not much better.

I purged my beloved red-stemmed goblets. Attrition had reduced them to two water glasses and four flutes. Just very simple glassware, Libbey I think, definitely from Wally World. I kept three sets of big glasses, the five surviving sheepie juice glasses, and a bare handful of mugs. In the dining room, I have the handblown goblets from Pier One that go with my plates. I think we're covered.

I've filled a box to donate. It can wait until next weekend, when Fourthborn will be here, to make it into Lorelai or the Tardis for donation. Although I noticed the other night that my upper body strength is much improved over a few years ago: I brought my printer/scanner and computer out of the middle bedroom. The printer was awkward but not heavy. The computer was lighter than I remembered.

Heading out to the dining room to sew up my quilt block. I set up the sewing machine and the ironing board last night but did not get started. Why?

One of the YW, her younger sister, and their mom came over. The girls attacked the cabinet which had contained the tin of feral peaches, the floor in the pantry, and a once-over of the lower walls in the pantry.

The pantry looks amazing! The cupboard is much improved, but they were unable to get all of the fossilized peach juice off. Which means that, oh drat, I will have to get some of those nice cabinets from the Habitat resale shop.

Big fat juicy crocodile tears.

So: quilt block while the dishwasher runs. And then some knitting. I'm about halfway up the front of Charity's sweater. I need to do a very little grocery shopping. And buy some notions for the doll skirts. But mostly I want to craft and ponder and plan. Tonight I'm meeting Firstborn at the American Airlines Center to see the Harlem Globetrotters. Sounds like the makings of a lovely, restorative day.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Lots of good stuff happened yesterday. The two and a half hours that I was at work, went smoothly.

I ran to Jo-Ann before picking up Fourthborn for her penultimate dental appointment. Bought four yards and a large remnant to make doll clothes. That should clothe the whole resin tribe with enough left to make a few gifts.

I discovered a friend request on FB from my dentist, and grinned because it told me he was friends with LittleBit.

I added nearly an inch to the current doll sweater. And took a catnap in the spare dental chair adjacent to Fourthborn. (But they tell me I did not snore.)

We split a footlong combo at Subway. I dropped her off and headed for the temple. Got there in time to join my ward for temple night.

Completed the work for my great grandfather's second wife, including their sealing. The brother who served as proxy then did some work for his wife's family, and I recognized one of the surnames.

His wife is an ordinance worker, and the other sisters helped us connect afterwards. She said that her mother is the "real" genealogist. She will give her mom my contact information. One of the daughters of this great grandfather married (briefly, I think) into that line. Truly a small world.

Then I came home, had a small snack, and crashed. I skipped the gym this morning in favor of blogging and some much needed practice on the song I'm teaching the YW to sign for New Beginnings. And breakfast refused to wait, so I've been noshing on cheese, a small apple, some turkey bacon, and a couple of hard boiled eggs as I write. It's a particularly good apple. A few more bites and then I can wave my hands around for ten minutes.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

More progress on the house.

I deleted the truly awful photo of the #10 can that used to contain peaches. They had eaten holes in the can and fused it to the side of a cupboard in the kitchen. Fourthborn had to use a crowbar to free it. The contents were mostly gone.

I posted that picture to our RS Facebook page, with some snappy patter. The YW are selling candy (not interested) for Valentines Day. Some are also offering service, all of it to raise money for Girls Camp. I am paying $25 towards that to have one of them, or a pair of sisters, sit on my floor and lean into that cupboard and clean up the residue. Also that last stubborn spot on the floor of the pantry.

It will be money well spent.

Fourthborn is standing by my very full trash bin to illustrate a point. She was trying to explain to her roomie two weeks ago that we got rid of so much stuff, it was the functional equivalent of a body and a half in volume and weighed about the same as an average adult. We took this picture yesterday to illustrate her point, and I texted it to him. (Roomie is he who was formerly known as Fiancé. They are still the best of friends. And I still love him dearly and consider him family.)

It weighs significantly less this time, and I'm hoping that the trash dudes have an easier time of it and will not be taking my name in vain.

We (she; I mostly supervised) mucked out three cupboards yesterday and went through three shelves on the steel rack. We're getting there. Next time we'll tackle the cupboards above the stove and refrigerator, plus the last couple of shelves, and maybe even clear off the counters.

Our goal is to transfer the microwave to one counter or another so we may take the shelving apart and start getting rid of the wallpaper, which once upon a time was charming (I am not being snide) but has begun to come free in spots. I hope that bodes well for removing the rest of it.

With that wall and at least part of the window wall freed, we can paint the kitchen ceiling and begin painting the walls. And then I could make a decision about whether I want cabinets along both of those walls, and a window seat, or maybe bookcases, or green IKEA linen cabinets with room above them to hang art or kitsch or whatever.

Which will determine how much of the remaining vinyl plank flooring I will use, and whether I replace the existing cabinets or just repair and repaint them and properly rehang the upper ones, which are merely nailed into the walls and are beginning to edge their way toward second base with the idea of stealing home.

I'd like to forestall that.

The kitchen is still mostly set up for a 6'4" man who loved to cook from scratch and feed an army of growing boys. The boys are well and truly grown, with kitchens of their own, and I am a 5'4" empty nester who wants to entertain frequently but in a small way, and who suspects that family history and temple work will soon be taking over my life in a big way.

I need a home that is warm, welcoming, functional, and uncluttered. As I said, we're getting there. I sent a bunch of glassware home with Fourthborn yesterday, and the spare double boiler.

I think we have finally gotten rid of the last of the expired food. I bought a *petite* bottle of olive oil yesterday. We threw away vats of it in industrial sized containers, some of which were several years past their prime. That nearly made me weep. And a gallon of geriatric cider vinegar. The recycling bin is also full.

We found several items that Fourthborn said looked like medieval torture instruments. I will have to ask Squishy what they're for and who should get them.

I'm heading out to the kitchen now to figure out breakfast. I need to be at church a little early today for a choir run-through before ward conference. And I need to wrap the completed hat to go in a care package to the young sister at BYU-Idaho. And decide what I'm doing for church knitting.

I'll share about yesterday's temple experience soon.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Survived. Maybe thrived.

The original idea, last year, was to take both anniversaries off in case I had a meltdown. Which I did not, nor did I this year. I had some lovely, tender moments, and a modicum of progress on the house, and I'm calling both days a win. I'll go back to work today and type like a madwoman and do some more mucking out of the kitchen with Fourthborn tomorrow afternoon.

I spent a couple of hours each day at the family history center. I now know the name of the ship on which my great grandparents sailed to America, and I have two alternate spellings of his name, but I am still no closer to having the names of their parents. So I asked Beloved if he could search them out and help get that information to me. And I prayed that somebody, somewhere, would digitize the parish records. I'll keep looking. And praying.

I had two great workouts. Yesterday I did another 5K, this one from the comfort of the treadmill, in a little over an hour. Felt great. Feel fine this morning.

Knit did not happen, once I finished the hat. I did go to the quilt shop on Wednesday morning and order my finish out kit and another tool.

More stuff left the house yesterday: a typewriter, a lamp, a bud vase, and a banana hanger. I was able to access some of our wedding gifts (!) and some of the decorative items I brought into the marriage. A couple of things came into the house: the ampersand in this picture and a reel of lighter weight picture wire. I hung a few things up.

I finished reading " Life of Pi". Weird. Will either give away my lavishly illustrated copy or sell it at Half Price Books. No idea what I want to read next for fun.

I did buy a few things on my anniversary that would typically get a husband in trouble if he gave them as anniversary gifts: new fluffy cover for the seat of the commode, new ironing board, new (modestly cut) yoga pants and coordinating shirt, cheap pair of gloves.

Well, it's 5:01, and I've been awake for an hour, so there's no excuse not to go to the gym. Happy Friday, y'all.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

It's the 13th? Already?

I can't believe it's been almost a week since I posted. In that week, I've gone home sick (or something) from work, glossed the new 2015 youth theme song to teach the YW how to sign it for New Beginnings, and just realized that I've double booked myself for tomorrow night. I can't teach them at 7:00 and be in the temple at 8:00 for baptisms for a couple of my ancestors. Oye to the veh.

Tomorrow is my third anniversary. Thursday is Beloved's second angelversary. I'm taking both days off, as I did last year, but this year my focus is on service. I plan to spend a good chunk of one or both days in the temple and/or the family history center.

There will, of course, be knitting. I will finish the hat for my young friend who is attending BYU-Idaho before I call it a night.

Am home from my second yin yoga class. It was a little less crowded this week. And my body still laughs at me. I don't mind the full classroom. The full parking lot is a little annoying, and having to walk through the weight room to get to the yoga room reminds me of having to walk past the jocks in high school. There are no catcalls. Everyone is too focused on their own workout to pay attention to a middle aged woman. So that's a blessing. But it still makes me uncomfortable.

This is the part where I give my flannel sheets another 10 minutes in the dryer so I may go to bed wrapped in warmth.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Planning a little mischief.

The managing attorney sent out an email that said, in honor of the football game this weekend, we could wear our Cowboys jerseys, jeans, and sneakers tomorrow. I popped back, "Would I get lynched if I wore one of Beloved's Packers shirts?"

So I washed it tonight. Not the sweatshirt, because I'm sleeping in it, but the long sleeved shirt I wore under my hoodie and coat on the 5K last week.

You know me. I am the anti-sports. I don't care who wins (Beloved would be rolling over in his grave, if he had one.) But I'd love to be at least marginally warm tomorrow, and that shirt would help.

The second tiny sweater is blocking. Time to wind the yarn and cast on for a human-size project. This would be a hat for the young sister who just left for BYU-Idaho. I found a pattern on Knitty with tons of cables.

If I can stay awake that long.