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!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A really good day, and I'm knackered.

I don't know if it's the Metamucil we sent down night before last to encourage that stuck pill to ease on down the road, or the applesauce with which I took my meds last night, or the apple dipped in hummus I had for a late afternoon snack, but I have had rumblies in my tumblies for about five hours off and on. No pain, but the same sort of abdominal pressure I used to get on the first day of my period when my digestive system and my reproductive system were battling it out like two Wagnerian sopranos.

I had a phenomenally productive day at work, and I am going to dip my nose into the Gospels, take my meds, and go to bed.

Middlest is feeling somewhat better. My kid on prednisone is something of a trip. But productive, which pleases us both.

One more day of work, and then I can sleep in on Thursday.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Amazing, and amusing.

The yarn I bought a couple of weeks ago, a silk/merino blend in light fingering weight, is nearly identical in color(s) to the Silk Garden from which I made my Knit Swirl. Two different yarn companies, three or four years apart.

I'm frogging the scarf/cowl because the gauge is too loosey-goosey. I think I said that yesterday. I've said a lot of things.

Had an episode of dysphagia last night, wherein my Metformin pill got hung up in my esophagus at the base of my throat. (At least, that's where the ache was.) Middlest rubbed my back gently and made me a dilute solution of Metamucil, OJ, and water to kind of grease the slide. Thankfully, I knew not to panic and that it would eventually come unstuck. I put a query out on Facebook and got all sorts of suggestions that may prove helpful the next time this happens. Meanwhile, I'm going to do what my home teacher does and take my meds with a bit of applesauce. I bought a six pack of unsweetened, organic applesauce at Costco tonight, and it's about time to try the experiment.

Work was fairly productive and only a little nerve-wracking today. Hoping for as good a day tomorrow, or maybe even a better one.

Have completed Day 6 of my bishop's reading challenge and am now going to read for pleasure. A friend from church gave me three books yesterday. One of them is John Bytheway's "Pigs, Pearls, and Prodigals," his explorations of the Savior's parables. It makes for a nice parallel with my scripture study.

My Book of Mormon study is going less well. The last time I tried to listen on the way to work, the audio stopped so often, and so regularly, that it sounded as if the narrator had the hiccups. Not exactly conducive to reverent pondering.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

That's one, one rehabilitated skirt, bwa ha ha ha ha!

I put the new elastic into the waistband, secured the elastic in a way that will be easy to undo should my weight fluctuate, and restitched the waistband at both side seams. Then I hand-washed the soft rayon tunic I bought a couple of weeks ago, rinsed and spun it out in the washer, and have hung it to dry upside down, hoping that the weight of the yoke and collar will be sufficient to discourage any wrinkles from forming overnight. I'd like to wear them to church tomorrow, but I haven't worn that skirt in at least six years, so one more week really doesn't matter.

I've added another inch or two to the scarf (?cowl?) I'm knitting and have decided that I need to gear down another needle size. The fabric is just a little too loosey-goosey for my taste. I want it to be supple, not limp.

Kept the running-about to a minimum today. Blitzed through Costco, picked up KFC for the elders and dropped it off at the church, bringing home some for Middlest and me. After lunch, I went back out and grabbed more water and saltines. That's about it.

Watched a couple of TED talks while knitting. Read my allotted pages for the bishop's 4 Gospels in 40 Days challenge. That's about it.

Night, y'all.

Grandparents Day, and other fun stuff

Today was the annual event at the Bitties' school, wherein we get to see how brilliant our descendants are, and the school bribes us with excellent baked goods so that we'll include the school in our bequests if we can't make a donation outright at present.

BittyBit (who is in seventh grade!) made me a card in Mandarin(!), and the other grands and I got to participate in a pass-along story from a prompt on the blackboard. BittyBubba (fifth grade!) and I danced a Russian folk dance together. And Bittiest (second grade!) had a presentation on his class iPad about his heritage. Really cute picture of the children's father as a toddler. One of me in my late teens in an outfit I'd mostly made that showed off my Tina Turner legs. I'm not sure if he or Secondborn chose that picture. A great one of 2BDH's mother, who is lovely inside and out; BittyBit takes after her in looks, and once we all survive adolescence may well resemble her on the inside. And a nice one of 2BDH's dad and his wife, who is a quiet, gentle soul.

I got back here in good time to take Middlest to the doctor for diagnosis and treatment of the respiratory ick which I unknowingly shared before my own symptoms appeared. We love the doctor's PA, who is a military vet. He asked Middlest how the headache was, and my kid said that yesterday not only was there migraine, but also sinus headache, and he just wanted to punch a puppy. (Metaphorically speaking; Middlest wants me to make it clear that he doesn't "hurt animals, I eat them, but they're already dead.")

PA started to ask, "Do you want me to get you a --" at which point I cracked up, because my brain inserted "puppy" and Middlest, who can generally read my mind (poor kid) knew exactly what I was thinking, and the PA had to wait for us to stop laughing so we could explain what was so funny. And then we had to wait for him to stop laughing so that he could finish taking Middlest's vitals.

After which we drove up to the pharmacy and came home with nuclear-deterrent antibiotics for Middlest (the next step up from the ones I've just finished for my own ick) and prednisone. I asked Middlest if prednisone brings with it the urge to alphabetize spices and organize everything, and his initial reaction was "no" followed immediately with the caveat "not any more than usual. I'm OCD, and I organize everything."

I brought Middlest home, polished off the pint of Moose Tracks I brought home last night, and endured the annual booby-smashing, which should have happened this spring but did not. Came home, read today's allotment of the Gospels (our bishop has issued a challenge to read the four Gospels in 40 days, finishing on Christmas Eve), and my computer crashed or froze three times, and I took a nap.

I woke up full of ands, as you can see.

Knit has happened. I almost forgot to mention the drive-by hugging of Fourthborn, in which I handed off a bag of Bueno for her lunch and a bag of assorted craft supplies so she can make a Christmas diorama for a dolly party which I am apparently hosting next month, and she gave me two finished quilt blocks and the kits for the next blocks and a spare charging cord for Middlest's phone.

I ordered another top from Gudrun Sjödén last night. This one. (The Yelena in teal.) I almost ordered another skirt and one of the basic striped shirts, but I decided to wait until this piece arrives and see what items in my closet go with it and what gaps I need to fill in. I'm kicking myself for not ordering the moss green broomstick maxi from another website when I saw it a few months ago, because that colorway is no longer available. It would have been perfect.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Back at work today. More or less.

I was pretty close to winded by the time I got dressed and ready to go, and I was half an hour late. And my phone was on the fritz. I could hear the receptionist on the other end of the line, but she couldn't hear me.

The day improved rapidly once I got to work. My compatriot who shares TheKid's docket had thoroughly worked the mail both days I was out. Basically all I had to do was read through the mail folder and sign off on the mail sheet, then delete the folder. I thanked her profusely. Basically, she saved me about a day and a half of work.

SemperFi knew that I was going to be scrambling to catch up, so he pretty much left me alone to get on with it. I was able to close one of his Big Ugly Files. And he settled another case at mediation today. I'll deal with that tomorrow.

Attorney B (his secretary is out all week) only gave me two or three things to do. I'm trying to play catch-up on his mail, which was reviewed but not worked by another secretary in my absence.

I got some of my ToDo's worked and we had a brief secretarial meeting and I volunteered to lead one of the committees I'm on again next year and the office manager has given me a crunch-time assignment that needs to be done by the end of the month and when she was leaving for the day I said, "See you tomorrow?" because she frequently works remotely due to some time-gobbling adjunct duties, and Wednesdays are usually one of those days and she said, "Yes, support staff meeting tomorrow!" and my filter kicked in before I said "oh bleep" out loud. (I'm hoping it didn't show on my face.)

I do not need a two-hour meeting eating my productivity tomorrow. Counting today, I have three days to do six days' worth of work, because Friday is Grandparents Day at the bitties' school, and I'm scheduled to be off. I basically went back to work today because it's easier to do six days of work in three days than in two.

I was pretty sure that I would be knackered by the end of the workday. One of those times when I hate being right. So I came straight home and took my evening antibiotic. I've eaten the delicious bean concoction that Middlest whipped up and followed it with a bowl of granola.

My Zulily shirt finally arrived at the office, four days after the post office said they'd delivered it. I don't know if it went to the wrong suite first, or what. I'm about 95% pleased with the shirt. It fits OK, a little more snug in the bust than I prefer, and the notes are printed crisply, but the piano keys are pixilated and blurry on the edges. It looks fine from a distance. I'll just have to remember not to look down at my right side while I'm wearing it.

I cast on for the scarf (?cowl?) I'm making to go with the new Gudrun Sjödén outfit, thinking size 4 needles would give me a fabric that was supple but not too lacy. Not so. As soon as I post this, I'm heading into my studio to grab my 3's, 2's, and 1's.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Moonlight Sonata

This is what greeted me a minute or two after I woke to take my antibiotic this evening.

It was one of the first pieces I tried to learn when I bought my piano in 1976, because the opening movement is slow and forgiving. I was to the point where grace was beginning to infiltrate that section, when I met and married the children's father, and my piano went into storage for three and a half years. I'd taken a stab at beginning to learn the second movement, but the third and final movement was far beyond my ability, even though I could type over 100 words per minute back then.

I tend to learn physical skills slowly. Witness: killing the engine seventeen times in front of the babysitter's house with her father watching, when I was learning to drive a stick-shift. Or the hours and hours I practiced the one simple line dance I know while washing dishes, and how gleeful I felt when I was finally able to integrate a spin into the stepping-backward part. And then teach others to dance it.

I like to learn physical things when there's no one else around to see me fail. I think this may be the dregs of the shyness I felt as a child, before I discovered how amazing and wonderful people can be. And I think part of it dates back to high school, when the jocks would stand around the trophy case and "rate" the girls as they walked by. (I was never a 10, in case you were wondering, and by my senior year I would go far out of my way to avoid walking past the trophy case, even if it meant walking the length of one hall, outside in my shirtsleeves in freezing weather, and back down the next hall for a class that was 50 yards or less from the class which preceded it.)

But I digress. Notwithstanding my present inability to play it, I love that third movement of the sonata. It's a musical snapshot of what it feels like to be me: the holy fire, the refusal to be silenced, the grit. So many church guys were intimidated or downright terrified. I'm so grateful that Beloved was brave enough to warm his hands at my heart.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

I'm sick, and I have no filter.

As evidenced by the fact that last night, just before I stumbled into bed, and just after one last trip to the loo, I remarked to Middlest, "My tush sounds like that sweet potato I nuked in the microwave at work last week." (The one whose singing I captured on video and posted to FB.) And we both cracked up.

I am on a new-to-me antibiotic (Cefdinir) and industrial strength cough medicine (Virtussin AC). A friend on FB warned me that the antibiotic was likely to clean me out. Which should counteract the codeine in the cough medicine rather nicely. Or possibly set off the 1812 Overture in my gut as they fight for bragging rights. I'm taking my probiotics as usual and will supplement with "lots of yogurt".

At any rate, I am going nowhere this weekend. Middlest dished up my breakfast and vitamins, in self-preservation. I am allowed to load and run the dishwasher but not to empty it. Firstborn and Fourthborn will pick up our quilt blocks this morning.

I did manage to wind two balls of yarn yesterday. The first one fell off the new swift onto the floor and required three to four hours to untangle. The second one was significantly more cooperative. I am retiring the swift to sculpture status and will order a different swift from Ed Jenkins' protege after the first of the year.

Breakfast is down the hatch. The dishwasher is running. At some point this morning I will take a nice long shower, but for now I am setting the alarm and going back to bed.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Knackered. And maybe allergic to my Christmas gift.

Finally got calmed down enough last night to get some sleep. It was after midnight before I lay down, and I slept reasonably well. Woke up, turned on my phone, and it froze. I couldn't turn it off, access any app, nada. Thankfully, Middlest is something of a phone whisperer, and while I took a hasty shower, my brilliant middlest child was inspired with an obscure way to do a hard shutdown and restart. I drove to work with the phone plugged in to charge, and I kept it connected for much of the day. It's still in power-saving mode.

Then I was nearly half an hour late to work because of construction and traffic. First item of business was to warm up the herbal neck and shoulder warmer, and it truly helped un-kink both my muscles and my attitude. I repeated about an hour later and was reasonably functional all day. Just before quitting time I nuked the warmer again and popped it into a plastic bag to schlep out to the car so I could relax on the drive home.

I don't know if it was third time not a charm, or the closer quarters of the Tardis, but while I'd been a little sniffly all day my sinuses ramped up for Sneezemageddon. I took off the warmer, put it back in the plastic bag, and dropped it behind my seat. Every time I hopped out for an errand on the way home, my head cleared a little more. But right now I am feeling tender of beak and the slightest bit wheezy.

Of course it could all just be in my head, har de har har.

In foodie news, I've been wanting to try baking some fish with the last of the mango salsa, and tonight I stopped at Sprouts and invested in a halibut steak. I wanted fish, and I specifically did not want fish from China, and I could have bought a skein of Claudia for what I paid, but that's OK. (I remember when halibut was poor people's food. High-quality, but still...) I rustled up a small covered casserole, spritzed the bottom with olive oil, poured in half of the salsa and smooshed it around, then put the fish on top of that and smothered it in the rest of the salsa. It. Was. So. Good. And I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

A few more rows on the heel flap but nowhere near done.

I finally realized why my truck and then my phone have been on the fritz. I agreed to substitute teach in RS on Sunday, and he who shall not be named is trying to rile me up and keep me that way.

To which I say thbppp!

I'm going to take my crazy-tired carcass to bed. Night, y'all.