About Me

My photo
Four 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!

Monday, January 16, 2017


I posted this on Facebook yesterday and meant to get back to it before bedtime. Obviously, I didn't. Have spent a good part of this long weekend sleeping, because on Saturday I forgot to take my diuretic first thing in the morning, and by the time I was home from the hour drive to the funeral and the hour drive back, my left ankle looked, as Middlest said, as if somebody had blown up my leg with a tire pump. I took my dose as soon as I got home, and I took a nap. When I awoke, my ankle was already better. Middlest said that it only looked as if someone had smacked it with a baseball bat.

Trust me. That was an improvement. It was even better yesterday, and it's almost back to medicated-normal this evening. I've tried to divide my waking hours between sitting up in a chair and sitting up in bed with my legs stretched out, both of which help.

Middlest's mitts are complete, and handed over for class tomorrow. Middlest has been puttering today, getting things ready. We have the monthly doctor appointment first thing, and then we go to campus to pick up books and drop my kid off for class.

Since Beloved's passing, I've tried to spend the day of our anniversary and the day of his angelversary in service, either to the living or the dead. I may have mentioned this on Saturday, but I don't feel like looking back to check. I'm middle-aged. I'm allowed to repeat myself. So, the funeral was service to the living, and progress on Middlest's second mitt was service to the living, and I've begun a stealth project that I hope to complete by bedtime tomorrow, which will be service to the living. Pretty sure that the dear departed are feeling crabby with me, because I haven't given them any of my time for several weeks.

The thing I posted above was a piece of paper that I found in my scripture tote before church yesterday. Judging by the decorative trim at the bottom, I wrote this sometime between 1999 and 2010, before I met Beloved. Now I have a most suitable eternal companion, my two kids who are married and active in the church have been sealed to their sweethearts, Middlest is out of an awful marriage, the bank and I own a house which I hope to have paid off at the end of three more years, my health is stable and should allow me to serve a mission when I retire, my kids know that I tried my best to raise them, and I'm working on the other items.

This is the part where I hit "publish" and go stick my nose in the Good Book(s). Night, y'all.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Five years

SemperFi came to the funeral for our coworker's husband this morning, along with half of the office. He sat next to me, and I remarked that five years ago today he and his wife were sitting in another LDS chapel, waiting for me to say "I do." He replied that that had been on his mind as he drove down to the memorial service.

The closing hymn was one of my favorites, "God Be with You Till We Meet Again," which was the closing hymn at Beloved's memorial service. I didn't entirely trust myself to hit the D in the soprano line, so I sang alto, while our two coworkers to my right sang out in clear soprano voices (one of them is a regular soloist at her cowboy church). As the chapel was emptying, SemperFi smiled at me and said, "We make sweet harmony here, as well as at work." I quipped, "Yeah, I had you pegged as a tenor." He has a good voice, but maybe not a lot of confidence, or maybe it was that some of the hymns were unfamiliar. There's something to be said for home court advantage.

I've had a tradition, since Beloved passed, of spending our anniversary and his angelversary (tomorrow) in service of some sort. So this morning was spent mourning with those that mourn, and this evening was spent finishing the knitting on Middlest's second mitt. I'll wait until tomorrow to weave in the ends, but this project will not be a repeat of Secondborn's wedding gown, for which we are both thankful. And I'll probably hang out with the dead people for awhile.

But for now, I'm going to read a little and hit the sack. It's been a good day, and my heart is at peace.

Friday, January 13, 2017

At the corner of Success and Apathy, waiting for the bus.

My day was somewhat bizarre. Not bad. Just wickedly busy, but I got a lot of stuff done, and most of it was important, and by the end of the day I was so tired that I flat didn't care if not everything had gotten done.

Example: ordinarily I am diligent about sending out an "I'll be out, here's what's important, and here's who's backing me up" email two days before I'm out. Didn't happen. I did get the out of office message set up on my email, and I did remember to forward my phone to voicemail.

But I barely touched my inbox all day. I got my To Do's done for SemperFi, and I worked on some for TheKid, and I managed to close out some for the secretary I'm backing up. I was more concerned with emptying out her "work in progress" folder that I had cluttered up, and getting through all three attorneys' mail.

Mid-afternoon we got a case with a past-due answer. The admin got it entered as quickly as possible. I snagged the answer and the vacation letter out of her working folder while she generated the rest of the documents, cleaned up those two items, and popped them into SemperFi's inbox. Let him know, walked a settlement check down to another office, came back and filed the answer with the court. Worked with a paralegal in another office to set a mediation for TheKid. Two others didn't get done.

When I see my doctor next month for the quarterly, I'm going to ask if we can up my muscle relaxer just a bit. The deep muscles are starting to loosen up a little. I can feel (good) unaccustomed movement in my spine and shoulders, but my upper back and neck are still tight as the cables on any given suspension bridge. I actually popped my shoulder blade audibly tonight, and it felt wonderful. But I have cold prickles in my neck, and it's probably going to take all weekend before I can approximate any degree of relaxation.

Tomorrow is my fifth anniversary, and I will be spending the morning at a funeral. Life and death: it's all a big bowl of ramen noodles, like my mom calling the evening I went into labor with Fourthborn to say that my Aunt Sadie had passed that morning. Quoting CSN&Y, We are stardust, we are golden ... and we've got to get ourselves back to the Garden.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Knit happened!

Also, we got a student account opened for Middlest at my secondary bank, the one inside my grocery store. All that remains is to set up electronic statements, which we could not do while at the bank early this evening, nor could we from the computer at home. So if the website doesn't cooperate with Middlest while I am at work tomorrow, we will go again after work, and we will have them call customer service, and the wonderful woman at customer service tonight assured us that it absolutely will happen then. Which will mean free checking for Middlest.

In knitting news, the second mitt is ready for me to start knitting fingers. We got done sufficiently late that we would have had maybe half an hour at the new knitting group, so we opted to stay home. It took me awhile to help talk Middlest down from "livid" to "frustrated" at the glitch on the website that kicked my kid off every blessed time Middlest arrived at part 3 of the three-part verification process.

So proud of my kid for remaining civil while at the bank and, later, on the phone with the woman at customer service. Middlest and I are both late bloomers in terms of social skills, but my kid has blossomed wonderfully in that regard.

I don't have anything else to share tonight, and if I scurry off to bed I can get almost seven hours of sleep before the alarm goes off. So, night, y'all. Don't let the bedbugs bite. (Remember when that was just a saying, and not a minor epidemic?)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

(Bi)Polar Opposite

Today. As compared to yesterday.

Infinitely better. I know that Middlest prayed that I would have a better day, and maybe some of you did as well, and for that I thank you.

I did not need an "I Knit So I Don't Kill People" T-shirt today. Managed my To Do's, filed a past-due answer, cleared a few of the other secretary's To Do's, whittled down my inbox, wrangled the signed mail for three attorneys, and left the office feeling as if I had been productive as well as non-homicidal.

Stopped at the grocery store for buttermilk, bananas, and eggs. Also came home with mini-croissants (to go with the lemon curd I got for Christmas), refrigerated biscuits, little smokies, and two pints of ice cream. Dinner tonight was pigs in blankets + cottage cheese + orange juice. I'm about to grab the banana that was in my lunch box ~

So the morning began at 7:00 with Middlest knocking on my door to see if I was awake and/or alive. You have never seen a middle-aged woman move so quickly. (Unless you were here the other days I overslept, but I digress within this digression.) While I was throwing on my clothes, Middlest surprised me by packing my lunch bag. Banana, apple, baby carrots, grape tomatoes, mini package of hummus, one of my containers of Fage/Nutella, cheese sticks, a whole Costco muffin, multi-grain crackers, and a bag of broken Scoops. Plus I had an uneaten jar of the cauliflower soup in the fridge at work.

Three cheers for role reversal!  ~

Dinner is down the hatch, and while I would like to tuck into that ice cream, I'm going to eat my banana like a good girl, wash my hands, and go put a few more repeats on Middlest's mitt, because classes begin next week.

This is starting to feel like when I finished hemming Secondborn's wedding gown an hour before the ceremony.

Night, y'all.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A day from the warm place.

First words out of SemperFi's mouth this morning were, "Did you get any of my work done yesterday?" I gave him a frosty smile and one arched eyebrow and retorted, "Yes, but nothing that would show."

And then I went round and round with TheKid via email because we have two cases where the Plaintiff's names begin with the same letter of the alphabet. One case is closing; the other is not. So we had two email strings going, and all of a sudden he's giving me instructions for case A in the case B email. Brain freeze. I remonstrated. He said, basically, that two cases shouldn't be that hard to keep straight. I reminded him that I have half of his docket (and will have all of it tomorrow), plus SemperFi, plus the attorney I'm backing up. She was absolutely no trouble today.

Mid-afternoon I could not tell that I had taken a muscle relaxer last night. My neck, back, and shoulders were one angry Gordian knot, and I didn't trust myself with a sword. I was this [---] far from tears, and I wanted nothing more than to come home, curl up in a ball under my covers, and sleep until tomorrow.

But I reminded myself that after a day like this, I deserved to spend the evening with people I love, and thankfully Fourthborn was ready to be social. Middlest is still getting over an upper respiratory infection and was snoozing deeply when I left the house this morning.

On the road to pick up Fourthborn, I blasted my Scott Joplin station on Pandora, which helped. Picked up sandwiches from the newly remodeled Arby's, then my kid, and while I waited for her to come out of her apartment, I checked Facebook to discover that nobody was going to Knit Night, so I followed my "We're coming" post with "Since nobody else is coming, we're going to eat and head to Barnes and Noble."

I got four rounds of pattern done on Middlest's second mitt before losing patience. We left the bookstore and made a beeline for Braum's, opting for single scoops of peppermint chocolate chip. I took Fourthborn home, picked up a finished quilt block (mine) and one to sew (hers). I had originally planned to bring Firstborn's Christmas bag and Fourthborn's block (no, let's be honest, I probably would have forgotten that part), but didn't remember until I was halfway to work.

Texted Firstborn to say that I'd forgotten, so we wouldn't be swinging by before Knit Night, and that I was now officially out of the running for mother of the year.

Had a good visit with Fourthborn, if by visit you mean I knitted and she browsed books and the toy department before settling down with a game on her DS(?) We did talk, a little, like civilized human beings, but mostly it was parallel play.

On the way home I listened to my Eva Cassidy station, and luck of the draw meant that I got a lot of songs about missing someone who's gone away. The moon is full(ish), which always reminds me of Beloved, and Saturday is our fifth anniversary. It's extremely inconvenient that he is out of reach right now, because I need a good cry, and I want to be held while I cry.

Middlest, who had a fairly icky day because the antibiotics rile up my kid's innards, said when we hugged goodnight, "I hope you dream of Beloved tonight, and I hope he gets to spend part of that dream checking you for ticks." First and probably last belly laugh of the day.

Oh, one tender mercy: phone call from one of my new brothers (Beloved's brother). They are going on a cruise in a few weeks and will be overnighting in BigD and want to take me to dinner. They are truly lovely people, and I'm looking forward to that.

And now I'm going to brush my teeth and attempt to read my scriptures. I did it the other way around last night, and I think the cold water from my water flosser was just enough shock to keep me wakeful.

Monday, January 09, 2017

Overslept again. Operator error again.

Middlest checked on me a little after 7:00 this morning, and I'd been awake a minute or so. I was thinking, "It's awfully light out there for 6:00." I managed to get dressed, lunch packed, and out the door in 20 minutes, and I made it to work on time with two minutes to spare.

I think (knock wood) that I have the radio/alarm sorted out.

It was kind of a meh day at work. I know I got stuff done, but I didn't have a lot to show for it at the end of the day. I remembered on the way to work that I'm supposed to be checking the other secretary's To Do's as well as my own, and I haven't. When I left the office, I only had one more of hers to work, and I'd barely touched my own, and I have very little idea what came in today's mail, other than that we didn't get dismissal orders back from the (same) court that I filed a week or more ago. That court is usually one of the more organized ones, so I'm guessing it's all due to end of year vacations, or possibly illness among the clerks.

Middlest got the word that the financial aid has been awarded. I just need to add my kid to my small account (or set up a new joint account) and order a debit card so that whatever money is leftover from registration can go into that account.

You guys know how much I loathe cauliflower, right? I bought a bag of riced cauliflower at Costco trip before last (still quite recently), and it's been mocking me in a drawer of the fridge. Tonight I looked in my files for my sister's cream of cauliflower soup recipe and came up empty. So I went online and found the Pioneer Woman's recipe. I made a vat of soup. It yielded eight pint jars and a generous mugful for my dinner. It has enough butter, half-and-half, and sour cream in it that I can almost forget I am eating cauliflower. For my taste, it is about midway between acceptable and delicious. I'll be glad to get Middlest's opinion on it, but right now my kid has crashed, and as soon as I put the cooled jars into the fridge, I will follow suit.

Ribbing is done on the second mitt. I want to have it finished for the start of school a week from tomorrow.

Overslept. Operator error.

It's a good thing I discovered it last night, instead of later this morning. We had a brief power outage on Friday, which necessitated resetting my radio/alarm. I came home from church a little after 4:00, blissed out and knackered. Made a sandwich with the last of the sliced turkey, washed it down with milk, set the alarm clock for 10:00 for my evening meds, and blithely went to sleep, waking a few minutes before midnight because the time setting on my clock was twelve hours off.

As I said, good thing to have discovered that last night. Since waking, I have baked and eaten some mini-pizzas, gone over a couple of my spreadsheets, hydrated, and I'm thinking that I could go back to bed and sleep until 6:00.

Church was really great. I did another read-through of the Gospel Doctrine lesson in the hours before church. The Book of Mormon, which we studied in depth last year, is one long story, punctuated with editorial comments by Moroni and one flashback to the Jaredites. The Old Testament begins with Adam and Eve and ends a few hundred years before the Savior's birth. The New Testament is a little choppy because of the multiple perspectives (but it's wonderful to have those multiple perspectives).

I think this is the first year in which we've studied the Doctrine and Covenants that the arrangement of the study materials has clicked in my mind. I don't know if there are significant updates from the study guide four years ago. (I'm not feeling inclined to grab an old paper copy and look). D&C is a little frustrating for me, because it's non-linear. It doesn't begin with the first revelations given to Joseph Smith and end with his martyrdom.

If I try to read from Section 1 through to the end (as I've done every time in the past, when I've bothered to read the material for class, or when I'm reading it just because I want to), it's a lot like like Flounder saying, "This is this, and that is that, and then the seagull appeared --"

"Ariel, have you been going up to the surface again?"

No, sir, I'm two fathoms under, and my gills aren't working properly. But the study guide looks like a promising snarfblatt.