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Seven years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Learning Zentangle. Battling anxiety and depression. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Saturday, October 05, 2019

General Conference, tangling, and knitting. In no particular order.

I don't think that I have enough yarn for another repeat of the pattern on my sister's birthday present, so tomorrow I will probably grab a 4" DP and bind that edge off.

I've joined two more Zentangle groups on Facebook, and I've commenced Inktober (which I hadn't heard of until earlier this week), combining the prompts from the official list with those on one of the Zentangle groups. I realized after this morning's session of Conference that instead of toggling back and forth between two saved posts, it made more sense to take tiles for the rest of the month, number them sequentially through the end of the month, then add the prompts for each day.

I was uber-focused on Conference during the first two sessions, taking several pages of color-coded notes, but this evening I just listened while noodling around with my pens, pencil, and tortillon. I've completed the third day's tile for Inktober and am about to go back to my room to maybe knock out the fourth one. I also shaded this week's tangle for the first group that I've been part of for about a month. I need to photograph both tiles, and the reference tiles that I drew, and upload the former tiles to their respective groups.

Last night I found an online tutorial that taught me how to draw a reasonably realistic human skull, which is not something I thought I'd ever want to do. As I once told the children's father, the reason it's called gross anatomy is because it's gross.

This is likely to be more rambly than usual. Sleeping in, spiritual over-stimulation, omitting my morning studies in favor of hitting Costco before Conference began, trying to wrangle my various series of tiles into some approximation of order. Not gathering sufficient snacks before each session of Conference to keep me alert and non-crabby for two hours. I feel as if I'd eaten all day long, and it was almost exclusively really good, nourishing food, and my brain has been blowing through it as if it were angel food cake.

Learning stuff, whether it's art or eternal verities, is wonderful. And exhausting. I'm very happy, intellectually and emotionally engaged, and right on the cusp of knackered.

Later, gators.  Be good, and remember Whose you are.

P.S. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland knocked it out of the ballpark this morning.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

A much better day, thank you.

While I haven't been getting much sleep, I'm feeling better-than-OK, and today I had a steadily productive day at work, followed by minimal dinner and maximum drawing.

When I have a new Zentangle prompt, my first instinct is to cram as many shapes that I know into the confines of the string (outline) on the 3.5" square. I just basically run amok with my Micron pens until nothing else will fit. I've taken to drawing more than one variation on the week's theme. Tonight I finished over-stuffing the first tile, and I think I'm about ready to start shading the second one. Which looks far less like the love child of Pablo Picasso and Peter Max than the first one does. I like drawing in black and white. I like starting with a minimal suggestion for shapes to fill, then freehand drawing until I'm all drawn out, or I need to go to bed, or my hands and eyes are tired and want to do something else.

My 2-in-1 volume of Asimov's Guide to the Bible arrived yesterday. I've read the few pages of background that are related to Galatians, which is what we are studying this week. There is minimal guidance in Come, Follow Me. Apparently in Chapter 2, Paul tears into Peter over no longer eating with the gentile Christians. I haven't gotten there yet. I've spent much of the past couple of days mindlessly scrolling Facebook, reading a couple of articles here and there in The Economist (I'm behind again), and thinking about the children's father.

The obituary is done, I think, and the eulogy is coming together nicely. 1BDH will be reading it, because he can do so without breaking down up on the stand during the service.

I found myself arguing with Asimov's suggestions or conclusions regarding bits of Galatians. I think he will be useful in terms of what was going on in the rest of the world, and why the various authors of the various gospels were discussing a particular subject. I know enough about how the Brethren work together in the upper levels of the church to quibble with Asimov's ideas about schisms between the Jewish Christians and the Gentile Christians while the original apostles were still alive. The Savior Himself said, "If ye are not one, ye are not mine." The modern Council of the Twelve Apostles do not bicker. They state opinions, counsel together, hearken to the Spirit, and come to a consensus. If even one of them is not fully supportive of a proposed plan, they table it and revisit it later.

So I think Asimov is going to be a little more right than the proverbial stopped clock that is right twice a day. And from the little I've read so far, I think he is doing the best he can with the sources that he had, and occasionally talking through his hat.

I need to take my meds, put away the art supplies, and actually read Galatians 2 to see what my own sources say the fuss was all about. Night, y'all.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Mission accomplished.

Not mine. The children's father's. Ten years ago he experienced several severe bilateral strokes. They were probably not his last. They were definitely not his first. The TIA's began more than 35 years ago, before he began chiropractic school, before LittleBit was conceived. Back when I still had some hope that the marriage would end as it began, rooted firmly in eternal covenants between us and our Maker.

The marriage died long before I divorced him. It sounds clinical on paper: he stopped loving me when I stood up to him and brought the US Postal Service into it. He stopped listening to me. He stopped touching me. He fell in love with talk radio, if only to boost the testosterone level in our home and to tune out the needs of a wife and five children. My mother died. I suddenly had money that was mine. I bought my freedom, paid off the IRS and the dentist and the midwife and I don't remember who-all else, and I told him to go.

The children were angry that he had to move out on his birthday. I got it then, and I get it now. I was the bad guy then. Our ward did not understand it. I later learned that there was gossip that I was having an affair. (I was not.) Or that I divorced him to protect my inheritance. (Partially true, but not the only or even the primary reason.)

His personality, always quirky, darkened with each successive stroke. At the end he was passive and defeated, but verbally abusive to the two of our children who had his medical and financial powers of attorney, and to the staff at the assisted living center where he got moved when the nursing home in Fort Worth could bear him no longer. Our two eldest would no longer visit him without one or both husbands in attendance.

He had been in and out of the hospital several times in the past few months, most recently with cellulitis. He could not or would not care for himself. He refused to eat the diabetic-appropriate meals, preferring to do without. I have prayed recently, if he crossed my mind, that he would live to complete his mission, though we didn't understand why he was still here. I'm grateful that I was able to pray without bitterness. There have been occasional spikes of irritation over the past ten years, but for the most part I made my peace with him when we thought he was going to die a decade ago.

He only stopped asking what it would take for us to get back together when I went to visit him after Beloved's diagnosis and told him that I didn't know if I would be getting a proposal, but that if I did, I would be accepting it. Before that, he brought it up every Thanksgiving and Christmas, sometimes asking the kids to intervene on his behalf.

Sorry, y'all. So much good and bad cycling through my mind as I wrap my head around the fact that the man with whom I made five precious babies is gone. He passed peacefully in his sleep overnight. Today would have been Mom's 106th birthday. It's two days before what should have been our 42nd anniversary. It's going to be a complicated grief for all of us. Middlest and I have picked out the music for his memorial service. We had a conference call this afternoon to hammer out some details. He was a veteran, so there'll be a place for his ashes at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.

Please pray for our kids and grandkids. I may be AWOL for awhile.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Yesterday was better. Also, yarn chicken.

I've completed 35 steps of the 42 for my sister's Hitchhiker. I have 35 grams of yarn left. I've decided to stop and weigh the yarn at the completion of each remaining step so that I don't run out of yarn midway through a step.

SemperFi was almost his usual delightful self yesterday. He was obviously making the effort.

The Col-O-Ring which I ordered earlier this week was waiting when I got home from work. I am drawing a small sample of each tangle that I've learned so far and putting them in alphabetical order. When I've worked my way through all of the official tangles, I'll regroup them by shape (round, square, triangular, weird, etc.) while keeping them alphabetical within the subgroup. That way, when I want a certain shape of tangle to fit into a particular space, I can flip through a handful of like shapes until I find the one I want, rather than having to sort through all 160+ of them. Last night I drew six of them.

Today I take Middlest and Fourthborn for their monthly doctor appointments. I knew that. It's on my calendar at work and on my phone, and I remembered it last night but entirely forgot it until a few minutes ago when they said something. I had finished this morning's scripture study and was thinking about what to pack for lunch and what to wear (it's football season, so I guess it's my "Go Pack" Green Bay Packers shirt over leggings) and was wondering if there'd be time to knit or draw more samples before leaving for work.

I have time to knit. I have time to draw samples. A good day just got significantly better.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

A h#!! of a day in the neighborhood

I knew it was likely to be at least somewhat stressful, as I needed to work on and hopefully complete a trial notebook for SemperFi. So I ate a healthy breakfast before going to work and spent the morning swilling Cherry Coke and eating Keebler's Faux-Moas (the fudge stripe cookies). At lunch I went across the street and picked up a chicken teriyaki bowl and took it up to the rooftop patio in our building. Then I came back down to our break area and tangled until it was time to go back to my desk. (I knew that knitting was not going to cut it. I'll do some of that when I log off here.)

During the day, SemperFi didn't listen to me, OR the office manager in training, when we told him how to print certain documents. He went and got the IT person, who told him exactly what we had said, and he did it. The office manager in training (OMIT?) was quietly and visibly-to-me irate, as was I. She took a little walk to cool down. I took another swig of Cherry Coke, and when he returned to his desk, I said quietly, "I'm feeling a little frustrated. It took three women telling you how to do something before you listened." He's not normally like that, and he responded equally quietly, "Thank you for the feedback."

Later I told him, "You get really crabby when  you're in trial prep."

"Yes, I do."

Naturally, because I wrangled 400 documents into submission ~ it took 22 minutes to upload the folder to his outbox ~ the judge granted opposing counsel's continuance. I am magic. I should run for office. (My friend Tan says on the Murphy's Law ticket.)

The OMIT was still not quite herself by the end of the day. I was still simmering but no longer irate. At some point SemperFi remarked, "So you feel my pain." To which I retorted, "No, I feel you are a pain." Still later, I asked if he would be in the office tomorrow or working remotely. I hope I was able to keep the disappointment out of my voice when I said, "OK, see you tomorrow."

I flew my snark flag high and free today. I was definitely not nice. I was probably also not kind, although tipping tables over is certainly within the realm of possibility when you're trying to emulate the Savior.

I told SemperFi to go home and drink some wine tonight. Me, I will probably add a muscle relaxer to the usual evening meds.

The day did turn around for me, however. I took myself to Rockfish to eat some crab cakes homeopathically. They were stellar, as was the service. On the way out, I nearly collided with a younger couple at the door, so I held it open for them and wished them a good evening. As did they, to me. I said, "I'm going to go home and draw." The husband stopped, spun around, and asked, "Are you an artist?" "I'm learning to be. Right now I'm learning Zentangle." His face lit up. "I'm an art teacher in one of the schools. I teach my students to Zentangle!" So I had him take a picture of a page from the Facebook group I'm in, and I PM'd a moderator to be on the lookout for a membership request. Very nice man, and his wife is equally charming.

I'm going to put myself in timeout now. Later, gators!

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Drawing and more drawing.

Unfortunately, the Blogger app on my phone will not let me post pictures. Last night I came up with my very own ornate design. This evening I followed one of the weekly prompts in a tangling group I've joined.

Funeral tomorrow for my wonderful dentist. I've got appointments scheduled for October with a local office that was highly recommended by three RS sisters in my ward.

Time to put my art supplies away, take my meds, and go to bed. Night, y'all.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Four hours. Thirty-seven minutes. L

That's how much sleep I got last night. I finally had to take a diclofenac around midnight. I'll do do again tonight.

Had a good checkup this morning. I'm down 15 pounds from three months ago. Haven't gotten the lab results back yet, but I'm hopeful that my A1c and cholesterol numbers will be proportionately improved as well.

Will be taking half doses of the Lexapro to see if my perceived reduction in stress continues, with the idea of weaning off it entirely.

My appetite was erratic today. When I finished the lab work I went to IHOP and had a reasonably portioned, reasonably healthy meal. All the way to work, Stomach was asking "When eat? When eat?"

So I stopped at Whole Foods and put together a salad for lunch. And then ate two sausage kolaches (bakery pigs in blankets) to celebrate my weight loss. Followed about an hour later by the salad and two small mozzarella sticks swaddled in prosciutto. I had to keep taking swigs of Cherry Coke to keep my eyes open. And I triple-checked my work until time to go home.

Dinner was two leftover slices of cauliflower pizza and a scoop of ice cream. I'm knackered. But Brain thinks we want to draw a little before turning off the lights.

I think I'll spend much of this weekend snoozing. We shall see.