About Me

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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, August 21, 2017


Oh good grief. This is not lavender yarn. It's a lovely rich grey tonal. Why do things skew warmer on my phone? And I think it's going to be chain mail when it grows up. That was Fourthborn's idea, anyway.

I got up at 5:00 this morning to be out the door at 6:00 to be at my desk by 7:00. Going to work an hour and a half early is wonderful on several levels. My choice of parking spots. No ringing phone. No conversations until the time I would normally be there. I got all of my attorneys' mail out before I left the office at 11:00 to come get Fourthborn and take her to her appointments.

Taking this groggy body to bed now.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Not the usual Sabbath around here.

As I was getting ready to go to church, Middlest called. "They're going to discharge me." (About half an hour into sacrament meeting.) So I called/texted a friend to cover for me in leading the music, and I also texted the Bishop. Instead of getting into a skirt, I got into jeans and a T-shirt, grabbed my knitting and a bottle of water, and headed off to the hospital.

We had to wait until Middlest's lunch was delivered, the dietitian brought a sheaf of news we can use, and then I took my kid home.

Mel-Mel-Chan and Squishy had scooped up Fourthborn for a Tinies Brunch at a local restaurant. They brought her home shortly after I had fixed myself a snack and was settling in at the computer. Our friend Andi also came, and we had a nice visit. The non-resident kids took the non-resident dolls we've been hosting during and after their move, so the dining room table is bare except for Celeste, and Harmony, who are looking up at the starscape on the ceiling.

I will be buying lots of bland, barely-nutritious food for Middlest for the next four to six weeks. We are whole grain heaven in this house, which is incompatible with healing my kid's gut.

I have also done two loads of laundry today, but we had undies in the mire and bedding that smelled (to Middlest, not to me) like I don't know why I'm sick, but I sure feel gross. I had a luscious, long nap after everybody left, so I'll be able to stay up until the towels go into the dryer. Right now I'm drying a fluffy, sheds-all-over-everything blanket separately, on low heat and less-dry.

In knitting news, I've made huge strides on the vest back. I'm hoping to get the longest swathe of stitches onto a holding thread before calling it a day. I'm also getting up at dark-thirty in order to be at my desk at 7:00 tomorrow (an hour and a half ahead of usual) so I may put in four hours before scurrying home to fetch Fourthborn for her two appointments.

Feeling wonderfully blessed, except that my left ankle is taking exception to the hurry up and wait that was this weekend. It's nowhere near as swollen as it was when I went home yesterday afternoon, but it ain't pretty.

Night, y'all.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

In which Middlest and I have adventures.

Middlest has been feeling crummy all week. But not wanting another ER trip that would mean my losing a day of work the following day, my stubborn, wonderful kid minimized the pain until yesterday morning. I went to work knowing that there was a likelihood of an ER trip after work if things didn't magically get better, and I was able to put in a mostly-productive day at the office.

When we went to this ER in April, the doctors were concerned about the presence of air in the abdomen. The hospitalist wanted the surgeon to zip Middlest open. The surgeon said that since there were no visible perforations in the bowel, he advised against it, but if the symptoms got worse, to please come back.

So I came home, wolfed down some leftovers, packed snacks and water bottles into my knitting bag, and off we went.

Since chest pain was part of the constellation of the current symptoms, they checked that first. Heart is blessedly normal. Blood work came back normal as well, so no sign of infection in the body. Also reassuring. This is my kid sporting a Jolly Green Giant condom emesis bag as chapeau, to make me laugh.

They admitted Middlest for observation overnight. I left the hospital about 1:00 this morning, came home and picked up a few things for Middlest, delivered them back at the room, and came home to crash, finally falling asleep about 3:30 and waking five hours later feeling more than marginally human. I went back to the hospital around 10:30 and spent the next several hours waiting with Middlest and updating family as we got more information.

This next picture is from around noon: a portable X-ray machine that to my mind resembles a smiling Transformer. Definitely one of the good guys, because it gave the surgeon news she could use.

While we were waiting for the surgeon (a different one from last time), we amused ourselves with bad jokes and visual puns. My kid on morphine is a hoot, absolutely unfiltered and even more diligent to be kind.

One of the items I took back at ridiculous o'clock this morning was Cloudshine, a gift to Middlest our first Christmas in Fredericksburg. Each of the kids got one of these.

Cloudshine got his name because when he was new, his grey fur glowed like the edge of a raincloud lit from behind. Here he performs downward facing dog.

Because there was a more than slight chance that Middlest would be having exploratory surgery, food and drink were verboten. Which led to this exchange shortly after I got to the hospital this morning:

M: "I was hoping and praying for a break from all the N@zi posts, and now everybody's posting about food. Can I just have the N@zi posts back for a minute?"

You will be amused top know that when I tried to swype "N@zi" on my phone, it offered me "Sashimi" instead. I shared this with Middlest. "Now it's offering fish. I don't even like fish!"

In knitting news, I dropped a stitch on the navy edition of Justice's vest, and despite two crochet hooks and an assortment of needles only managed to make things worse. I did get brave, just before bedtime on Thursday, and compare the new piece to the completed half. They were compatible in size, but the hand of the navy piece was less substantial, almost sleazy. (The yarn itself is most definitely not sleazy, just the fabric I was producing.) So I frogged the navy, picked up the half(ish) ball of green, and cast on the second vest back. As we knitters say, I am now playing yarn chicken. If there is not enough to finish the second half all the way through to the I-cord edging and ties, I have an idea that may work.

Meds are kicking in, and I have church tomorrow morning (after which I will probably head straight to the hospital if I don't also go beforehand).

Thursday, August 17, 2017

My goals for tonight were simple.

Costco run. Wrap the bridal shower gift that I bought last night. Knit.

I'm pleased to report that Fourthborn brought in the Costco stuff, and I put it away.

I spent an hour or so playing with string after wrapping the box my order of doll eyes came in, in paper leftover from First Wife's stash, using all but a narrow irregularly-shaped strip of paper. For the ribbon, I started making I-cord on size 4 needles and decided it would take too long and maybe not look handcrafted (since the gift per se was storebought), so I frogged it and crocheted a sturdy and I hope charmingly eccentric chain with dishcloth cotton and a size E hook. So that's done.

I'm a little afraid to pull the green vest out of where I put it for safekeeping and compare the gauge of the current piece. I have eight rows to go before I'm supposed to put the first batch of stitches onto a holding thread. The darker yarn feels thinner than the green yarn, and the fabric is a lot more drapey. I'm hoping hat I don't have to felt it ever so gently in order for it to match. It would be way too easy to over-felt it and have to start over.

Fourthborn is reading fan-fic and snickering quietly. It's a nice sound.

My muscle relaxer and something else just kicked in. Time to shove all the stuff I shoved onto the side where I sleep, back to the other side of the bed and call it a night.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I got the row count figured out.

And I made a (very) little more progress today. I may have one or two more rows in me before calling it a night, but almost certainly no more than that.

We had our monthly support staff meeting today, and I had enough work to keep me pleasantly occupied until quitting time. Hoping for more of the same tomorrow.

We think Middlest may be juggling another kidney stone. Or two. The response to, "How do you feel?" is a consistent, "Like hell." And there are two small bruises on either side of the spine in the place where they show up. We are hoping that this does not mean the other kidney is jealous of all the attention its cohort gets and has decided to get in on the action. We are hoping that there will be no need for another trip to the ER.

Since Middlest came to live with me last year, I have a deeper respect and understanding of the phrase and it came to pass.

Fourthborn would like to go to sleep, and since my computer chair is a foot from the cot, and I am a loud typist (having learned on a bulky and recalcitrant manual machine shortly after the rocks cooled), I'm going to shut this down and go tend to my knitting.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Funnyside up.

I think I found this at World Market about three months ago. I don't remember why I went in there, but I came out with this.

I have yet to take it out of the box, but one of these days I will be in the mood for slightly macabre eggs, and I will be prepared.

We have several independent dyers in my knitting group, and I asked one of them if she'd ever considered dyeing laceweight. She said, yes, eventually, but right now she's building an inventory of fingering and DK. She also gave me a lovely compliment, that if she gets into one of the local yarn festivals (there are several that pass through DFW) as a seller, she'd love for me to knit some doll sweaters for display, to show what the yarn can do.

Oh, twist my arm.

I was having so much fun talking with my friends tonight that I forgot to mark down all of my rows, and now I need to go into my room, close the door, turn on all of the lights, and count rows. Multiple times. Until I'm absolutely certain where I am in the pattern. Because the whole point of obsessively counting rows and making notes regarding the green vest was so that I could sail through the knitting of the second one. And my little boat is leaking logic, order, and contentment.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Raisins eat the blackboard?

What I said was, "Many hands make light work," but Middlest's fan was on high so yeah, it got a little garbled. When I repeated myself, Middlest nodded and replied, "I mean, I know that grapes are acidic, but that seems a little excessive."

We do have fun with words around here. I'm planning to have fun with graph paper in the near future. I found a website where I can print it in metric or imperial, and I've done a little of both. When I get closer to finishing this second section of vest for Justice, I will peel off her borrowed britches and measure her legs for knee socks, transferring those measurements onto 8 to the inch graph paper that I just created. Once I have the basic shape down I can swatch a little and then superimpose that (or some knitters graph paper) over whatever weird shape I come up with and know where to put the increases and decreases.

In theory, anyway.

I've spent the past half hour listening to Middlest and Fourthborn while trying to type, and I'm not succeeding very well because I'm laughing too hard. This is the part where I tell them goodnight and go bond with my knitting.