About Me

My photo
Six 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!

Friday, January 25, 2019

And they're still busy.

I miss writing. I am overwhelmingly joyful in my new study mode, thanks to this year's New Testament study guide. Spiritually, I often feel the way I did when I was immersed in institute the first two years after I was baptized. The study guide is absolutely inspired, and it is exactly what I needed, when I needed it. It is also enriching my daily reading in the Book of Mormon.

And I miss writing. I do write in my study journal, and I'm the admin for a small Facebook group devoted to this year's course of study, so I post there a few times a week. I'm trying to remind myself that studying more deeply is better than studying quickly. There are days when I come home from work and can't wait until I can curl up in my bed with the study app and my journal.

I've fallen way behind in reading The Economist. I'm allowing myself to read just a few verses in the Book of Mormon at a time, but I'm highlighting and tagging and making notes in the app, so I'm feeling strangely not-guilty about that.

Have I mentioned that I miss writing? I'm also not getting a whale of a lot of knitting done. LittleBit's baby shower is tomorrow, and thank goodness I've gone in with Firstborn and Secondborn on a gift, because the second baby sock that theoretically should have been done last night so I could wet-block them and have them dry by tomorrow morning? I just finished turning the heel, and the first sock is hiding somewhere in a pile of clean(ish) clothing on my bed.

I'm spending minimal time on Facebook and Pinterest of late. I try to keep up with my friends' birthdays and good news. I throw the occasional pin onto one board or another, and I've somehow acquired several followers, which I think is hilarious.

OK, my two new tunics that I got from Gudrun for 70% off are lovely. I like the patterns. I like the colors. I like the fabric. And I'm less than thrilled with how they look on my body. There is a sort-of waistband that hits nowhere near what's left of my waist, and as either Middlest or Fourthborn remarked when I asked for an honest opinion, the tunics make me look lumpy in places where I'm not. I've worn both of them, and spilled soup on one of them, so I can't in good conscience return them. I'm thinking of trimming off the bottom parts and attaching them either to the bottom of a tank top or one of my spare slips, so that I have a fetching ruffle peeking out under other tunics.

Also, I got the spring catalog yesterday, and I'm frustrated that the cutest leggings are not available in my size. I don't know if the solid colored ones made from recycled nylon will be opaque enough to cover my garment bottoms. I am cautiously optimistic about the new compression hose in wild colors.

Speaking of compression hose, the white ones that I bought several months ago to wear when I'm in the temple, are working for me. It is wonderful to complete a session and not have my ankles pooling down over the tops of my shoes. I've been to the temple twice this month, which is better than I did last year. I went last night, asked for and received an accommodation regarding seating in the session, and was significantly less achy when I went home, though not enough to avoid a muscle relaxer and pain pill. I've been dealing with that hangover all day and can't wait for dinner to finish cooking so that I may put on my PJs and make an early night of it.

Dinner's done. Later [who knows how much?], gators!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Things got a little busy around here.

Perhaps I should say, even more crazy-busy than what passes for normal. I finished President Nelson's  challenge to read through the Book of Mormon before the end of the year, noting all of the references to the Savior. My app has beaucoups of little aqua highlights. It was a good experience.

Also good was our Christmas celebration. Another year wherein nobody went home crying.

I'm falling farther and farther behind in reading my issues of "The Economist." The new Come, Follow Me study program is wonderful and absorbing. I'm not getting much else done in my free time at home. The techniques I've learned through the Book of Mormon rereading and my new attention to footnotes and cross-references are blessing my daily study of the Book of Mormon as well. I would really appreciate having more hours in the day. I don't want to miss one iota of the spiritual growth I'm experiencing. And my creative life is suffering, although I did finish knitting Leftie and have returned to Middlest the small ball of orange sock yarn that I used for four of the leafy stripes. I've cast on a pair of baby socks for LittleBit's baby, who is due the end of next month. With any luck, the socks may be done by then.

More news: at Christmas, Fourthborn told us that she would need to be moving out of her hellhole apartment by the end of May. Was it possible to make room at the inn? I spent about ten days studying and pondering, and Middlest approached it from a different perspective. And we came to the same conclusion, which was that not only was it the right thing to do, it was the right thing for us to do. And that we needed to prepare to move her in sooner than the end of May.

So after work on Friday, I picked her up, and she is spending the week with us. On Saturday we gathered up a bunch of household chemicals out in the garage, and I took them to the drop-off. She and Middlest widened the path from the front of the garage to the back, and today we emptied boxes and bagged things that were not salvageable and took several items out to the curb, as tomorrow is trash day.

I should probably mention that I'm off work today and tomorrow. Today is my seventh wedding anniversary, and tomorrow is Beloved's sixth angelversary.

The nice couple who remodeled my loo two and a half years ago came by to discuss what it will cost to seal up the garage and turn it into a studio for the three of us. I'm wanting to do this without dipping into my 401K, so what we (the kids and I) are now talking about is having them do the basic shell and upgrade the wiring, we do the painting and flooring, we maybe just go with IKEA sewing tables instead of a long shelf at the right height, etc. Right now we're looking at $3K - $4.5K with all of the ideas that we floated. If we can take it down to $2K and then install the refinements a bit at a time, I would feel much more comfortable with that.

At this point I'm not sure whether I'm getting a tax refund and if so how much, how large my bonus will be, how large my raise will be, all of which will make this infinitely more doable.

At this moment we are all achy from the day's labors and excited about the future. Fourthborn will move into Middlest's current room. Middlest will take over the studio. We will have a place to create if we wake up in the middle of the night and can't fall right back asleep.

For the flooring out in the garage, Middlest has suggested bamboo over cork. We are thinking about a traffic door like restaurants have, but Fourthborn just priced one at $700, so we might just have an open doorway for now. We've figured out how to fit three of the four steel shelving units next to the dryer in a C-shape for our food storage.

There will probably be lots and lots and lots of ramblings on here, thinking out loud, rethinking, overthinking. You know, the usual.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

I had myself a wound concealed.

Tuesday I took the day off to get Middlest to the dentist for three fillings. It was a much needed break for me, and I didn't get too far behind at work. I've been struggling to keep up. It helped that last week I only had two attorneys to wrangle, not three.

On Thursday after work, I drove to Arlington to pick up Fourthborn for the Dollidays party on Saturday at our friend Lisa's.

Friday was a little more than half a day of work, as we had our Christmas luncheon at a restaurant just east of downtown. The venue was on the rooftop of the restaurant. During fair weather, the sides are rolled up so that you can enjoy the view and the breeze. On Friday we had mist with intermittent drizzle. I sat with my back to a gap but have thus far managed not to take ill from getting chilled and dampened. It was two long flights of stairs up to the venue, with no elevator, and two long flights back down again. We got to leave early. I took my coworkers back to our parking garage afterward and drove home to drop off most of my stuff.

Hit Costco on the way to McKinney to pick up rolls and tomatoes for the ward Christmas dinner on Saturday night. Drove around and around downtown McKinney, trying to find parking for the concert. Thankfully, there was a shuttle car in the parking lot, and I thoroughly enjoyed the All Star Jazzy Christmas concert. I will definitely become a season ticket holder next year. These guys are amazing, and in the meantime I have February's concert to look forward to: a polka band is joining the chamber orchestra!

The shuttle was elsewhere or absent when the concert was over, so I walked four blocks to Diana in the same miserable mist/wind/drizzle I'd "enjoyed" that afternoon. About two blocks in, my right hip was screaming. It was audibly popping, as my knees do when I do a forward fold (but the knees have enough sense not to hurt me). I think I may be bone-on-bone in that hip.

I came home, slept, helped clean the meetinghouse yesterday morning, then delegated the making of the brownies to Fourthborn while I took a 600mg Ibuprofen and a nap. We went to the dolly Christmas party. Middlest was in pain, crabby, and reactive. I inadvertently provoked some unpleasantness. Party ended, we came home, I took another nap, and then the three of us went to the ward Christmas party. Another low-key spat, inaudible to others, but we stayed until the kids all trooped over to get their faces painted and the general melee over the desserts had ended.

Took Middlest home, took Fourthborn home, came home, and popped one of the pain pills that was prescribed for the plantar fasciitis. Slept for ten and a half hours (without setting the alarm), leaving me just enough time to inhale breakfast, scoop my hair into a bun, throw on something clean, and walk into the chapel while the bishopric was making announcements but before our opening hymn.

I'm in significantly less pain today. After church I slept, not sure if I would make it to the stake Christmas musical offering tonight. But I did. I saw a dear friend from Fort Worth, there to tend her daughter's two little boys so that her daughter could play in the orchestra (daddy was home, ill). We caught up on each other's lives before the music started.

The greatest surprise was having the younger twin's wife come up to me with a huge, delighted grin, and wrap me in a bear hug. I walked over to her husband a few minutes later and wished him a merry Christmas and shook his hand. He responded without quite turning around to look at me. I'll take my miracles any way that I can get them. He also gave the closing prayer, and I could hear echoes Beloved's voice as he prayed.

Beloved has been gone almost six years now. I know I'll recognize his voice when I see him again, but the sound of it has pretty much faded from my memory. So this was a sweet and tender mercy, all around.

For part of the concert tonight, my friend's older grandson was trying to edge out of her reach. So I got up and stood just behind where he sat on the floor, hoping that my hip would cooperate. I may have stood there for half an hour or so, until he, of his own volition, scooched forward on his derriere three rows and returned to sit with his grandmother. I sat down gratefully. When I walked out to Diana after the closing prayer, I walked without pain.

I'm a little achy as I write this, and undecided whether I'll take another pain pill tonight. I will definitely be setting the alarm. My mashed potatoes are done, so I'll portion them out, reheat them if necessary, and grab my evening meds. I'd like to sleep for about three days, but I have work all week and other concerts on Tuesday and Friday nights. I'm hoping to say in my pillow fort all next weekend except for church. Wish me luck.

Monday, December 03, 2018

A great weekend, and a good day at work.

Loved the brunch on Saturday with 80% of my kids plus BittyBit (who is now nearly as tall as I). Picked up a few items after brunch while we were still at IKEA: bathmat for Middlest's bathroom, new area rug for his bedroom, a gnome/tomten for me to take to work and brighten up my cubicle, and maybe a couple of other things that I've already forgotten. Oh yeah. Red seat cushions for the straight backed chairs in the living room.

Then we went to the bead store in BigD, and I bought the makings for two pairs of earrings. While organizing the box that holds most of my beads and beading supplies, I found two larger Murano glass beads (red, of course) that I've popped in with the others. I made up the Christmas tree earrings from the kit (Swarovski crystals that are more bling-y than my usual preference but still cute). The other pair will have to wait for more inspiration. And maybe some gunmetal findings. I am almost equally into gunmetal and rose gold. A foolish consistency, and all that...

Went to a singles potluck followed by the First Presidency's devotional last night. Made brownies. Brought only half a dozen of them home, so Middlest got three and I took the rest to work for part of lunch today. Also brought home two slices of Marie Callender's coconut cream pie, but since I've had brownies today, my slice will have to wait until tomorrow.

I'm continuing to make progress on Leftie. I'm almost done with my third repeat of the seven color stripe sequence. Those tiny leaves just make me grin.

Today I wore my cropped Fair Isle sweater (the Michele Rose Orne one I knitted on the train while still living in Fort Worth) over some of my Gudrun Sjoden stuff. Totally knocked it out of the ballpark. I'd like to knit this one again in a plied yarn. The Malabrigo and/or Manos del Uruguay yarns are single-ply, loosely spun, and pill if you look sideways at them. I would also knit it in the round and steek the center front, rather than having a flobbity-jillion ends to weave in, as I did with this one. Oh well. I will keep the "sweater stone" people in business until there's nothing left of this sweater to swipe at.

Tomorrow I take Middlest to the rescheduled dental appointment. I'm taking the entire day off and foresee lots of happy knitting time but no actual Knit Night. I might even attend the Relief Society activity, instead. Don't faint.

When I was a RS president, I couldn't understand why someone who had served in that capacity would ever skip an option to get together with the other sisters. I get it now. I love the sisters in my ward. I don't have a best friend in this ward, but I don't really have time for a best friend at the moment. When I get off work, I want to come home, take off my shoes, my compression hose, my bra, my earrings, put on my PJs, and knit or read until I can't keep my eyes open any longer. My knitting group is wonderfully non-judgmental if I need to nope out on any given night.

I've had a nice visit with Middlest while eating dinner, and now I'm going to scoot off to my room.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Better. *So* much better.

Today I got through everybody's incoming mail, worked most of my ToDo's, sent out or faxed the signed stuff, and had a coworker file something for me, as the e-filing portal has been intermittently glitchy all week. She's had no difficulty. I, however, got one item filed yesterday before their system went Oops! Haha! I forgot I was broken.

My ambient stress level is much lower today. I am still going to pop a muscle relaxer tonight. When I had my mammogram before going into work this morning, the tech asked if my neck were stiff. I told her yes, always. Admittedly, until recently it was relatively relaxed. I think I went off my muscle relaxer three months ago. I hadn't needed it. I hope I won't need to take it for more than a couple of days.

I'm baking a cauliflower pizza as we speak. I'll have some carrot sticks as well, and maybe I'll nuke a serving from the second tub of lobster bisque. If not, I might eat some of the ice cream I picked up after work when I got Middlest's vitamins. Not all of the ice cream. Just some of it.

Ta Daa! My pizza is out. Middlest's pizza is in. And I'm going to go eat my pizza in bed.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were about the same as last week.

I'm covering three full dockets this week. And I am not quite drowning. Today was better, however. With half an hour or so of "recess" for a coworker's baby shower, I worked through the day nonstop and took my lunch period at the end of the day.

It was nice to have more light than usual on my drive home. But I didn't go straight home. I made a beeline for the Kendra Scott store in Uptown (i.e., Dallas just north of downtown but before you start hitting the suburbs). My wonderful sister gave me an amazing necklace for Christmas last year. Very boho, with three large amethyst drops and a whole lot of gunmetal chains and charms, smoky quartz beads, and a few crystal beads. I wore it to work today with one of my Gudrun Sjoden tops and the sterling earrings that I made when we lived in Fredericksburg a quarter of a century ago.

I was hoping to come up with a pair of earrings that were similar in style and tone to the necklace, and I think I succeeded. Pictures, maybe, eventually, but I'll be wearing it all to church on Sunday and maybe to the family brunch on Saturday before that.

There's been some knitting. And Lunch/Dinner almost as soon as I walked in the door. I tried to be sensible about it, but at some point my body is going to realize that it has been robbed. I only hope that that doesn't happen between midnight and when the alarm goes off.

I'm starting to fade, so it's time for scriptures, meds, and lights-out. I'm tired but peaceful. That's a good place to stop.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Monday was OK. Tuesday and Wednesday were Hades.

We were already short-staffed at work. Lots of people took part or all of the week off before Thanksgiving. My attorneys had three answers that were due next Monday. I was out all morning on Wednesday for Middlest's monthly doctor appointment and Rx run. SemperFi was stressed, because he wasn't sure that we would get both of his answers filed in a timely manner. (We did.) Late on Tuesday afternoon I muttered quietly that I could really use a tranquilizer gun.

Knit happened. Reading happened. Sleep happened. Chocolate abuse absolutely happened, and I finished the last third of the Coke that's been sitting in a drawer (capped) for the past two or three weeks.

I did a little research. The turmeric has been wonderful for reducing inflammation in my body. And I have had moments of falling asleep while reading, nodding off at my desk at work. Thankfully, never while driving. I'm on the lowest possible dosage of Metformin for my diabetes. I will ask my doctor if it's time for me to start monitoring my blood sugar. I don't know if I'm blacking out (for want of better words) due to my blood sugar tanking, or if it's spiking without my knowledge.

Had a great time at Firstborn's yesterday for Thanksgiving dinner. I spent most of the time there talking with the children's father and his "wife?" about this and that, and backing the kids up when they wouldn't let them have more than one dessert apiece. I also made the conscious choice to eat a sliver of pumpkin pie with no Cool-Whip and small portions of everything else, and not the slice of pecan pie I wanted when I'd just told "wife?" that that was the worst possible dessert she could choose for her diabetes. When I brought home our leftover corn casserole, I did slip in a slice of pecan pie, and I ate it much later, happy that I'd not been a hypocritical and rude in front of them.

The corn casserole, as far as I'm concerned, was a success. We left some of it at Firstborn's for the heart-kids who were at the Cowboys game and I didn't get to see. Fourthborn doesn't like corn, and Middlest can no longer enjoy it because of diverticulosis, so it's mine, all mine, and divided into portions to take to work next week. I had some, cold, for breakfast this morning when I woke at ridiculous o'clock and didn't want to wake Fourthborn by running the microwave. It's every bit as delicious cold as it is warm.

Today is payday, and the bills are paid, and I had a nice nap after breakfast and have spent much of the day reading. Time for more knitting, methinks.

Fourthborn is staying with us through Monday night, and I'll take her home when I take Middlest to the dentist on Tuesday to have three cavities filled, after I have my quarterly blood work in my doctor's new offices.

Knitting. And maybe an early bedtime. I'm happy, and I'm winding down.

Oh. I discovered two new musicians/groups today: (1) Vanessa-Mae and (2) Black Violin. I've added both to my Lindsey Stirling station and my Piano Guys station. I also heard a really great version of Vivaldi's "Storm" performed by three saxophones and I think an oboe (like a fat, shiny clarinet?).