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Eight years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Working from home during this pandemic. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

In the Details

I've suspected it for awhile, but tonight clinched it. The Spirit likes to work the Atlantic daily crossword with me. 1-Across: Fiasco. Debacle. Debacle? OK, it's the right number of letters. D [check letter: D it is] E-B [check letter: B] A-C-L-E. I hadn't thought of that word in years, and there it was, right when I needed it. 2-Across: "Gimme one more!" I think it's "another," let's see if I'm right. A-N [check letter: yup] O-T-H [check letter: H] E-R. 12-Down: Word before blanc or Diesel. Vin? Vin. I think we both snorted at that one. I know I did.

My grandmother of the bride dress has safely arrived at Firstborn's. I bought the shoes a week ago Monday, after the bipolar bears' monthly checkups, and I wore them to church on Sunday to start breaking them in. I don't hate them, and they don't hurt. I've been slacking on wearing my compression stockings while working from home, but I've picked that up again. And I've also resumed taking the morning diuretic, which I hadn't needed for several months, but it's warming up out there and Body is starting to be a little crabby about that.

Knitting continues on the scummy green shawl. I'm knitting it with fingering yarn but am planning to knit the full number of repeats that I would if it were laceweight, or maybe splitting the difference between eight repeats and fourteen. I haven't decided which of the edging options I want.

Last Saturday I took the quilt top that's been lying fallow the past 20 years to the quilt shop for finishing as my wedding gift to Lark and her hubby. She is my first granddaughter to tie the knot. I imagine that BittyBit will be the next, as I don't think Willow plans on ever getting married. Her dad's on (at least) his third marriage, and her mom is on her third as well.

I know you're probably saying that I have no business commenting on how many times people have gotten married, given that Beloved was my third-time's-a-charm. Speaking of which, today is the eighth anniversary of our sealing in the Dallas Temple.

I had originally planned on taking yesterday and today off to celebrate, but my workload is approximately half again as much as it was before SemperFi retired, and I am trying not to drown. It helps that my new attorney is a lovely human being (I'm looking forward to meeting her in the flesh later this year; she came on board at the beginning of the pandemic last year, so we've only ever spoken on the phone, emailed or IMed) and appears to be every bit as organized as SemperFi.

Midnight is fast approaching, so I'm calling this done. Later, gators.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Tropes

One advantage of having the bipolar bears under this roof is that they continue to educate me. We have many common interests which lend themselves to nearly instantaneous mutual comprehension. A family shorthand, if you will. And individual interests that enrich daily life.

Through Fourthborn I've become aware of the concept of tropes: literary or cinematographic symbols of a story arc. And in watching multiple movies recently, over multiple days, I've realized that one of my favorite tropes is that of girl/woman/ingenue with less than ideal partner who is suddenly presented with a potentially more satisfactory partner. Think Moonstruck or You've Got Mail or Genius or The Accidental Husband. I wonder if I would find these movies half so enjoyable had my second marriage been sustainable.

Another trope which gives me less amusement or satisfaction, now that I am happily remarried (if widowed) is guy cheats on or otherwise seriously disappoints his wife/girlfriend, who rebuilds her life, or its lesser variation guy cheats on his wife/girlfriend, who takes amusing revenge. Examples of the former: The Mirror Has Two Faces or Catch and Release.  Examples of the latter: First Wives Club or Gloria Gaynor's anthem I Will Survive.

Sleep is catching up with me again. I had an eight hour "nap" last night, and I have a long but wonderful day planned. Later, gators.

Sunday, May 09, 2021

FirthFest

I am bingeing all of the Colin Firth movies and TV shows that are mom-appropriate, if Mom is Ms. Ravelled. Yesterday I made a spreadsheet of his oeuvres, then sorted them out by MPAA or TV rating, if one was available. Of the 90+ options that have been released, 36 are rated R; of those, the only one I would consider watching is The King's Speech. Another 10 are not rated. Two more are TV-MA, which I'm guessing is roughly equivalent to an R. At any rate, I'm not sure mature I am, most days.

I tried to rent another two movies to watch yesterday, and neither transaction went through. I don't know if that was purely technical issues or electronic stupors of thought.

I was craving real food today, so I took a package of Trader Joe's mini-ravioli and simmered them in chicken broth with a can of thoroughly smooshed white chicken. While that cooked, I nuked a package of mixed peas and carrots. It turned out really well, especially with a fat spoonful of sour cream stirred in. I need to go put the leftovers away, as the bipolar bears are napping.

Yesterday was all screwed up, time-wise. I went to bed about 1:00am, awoke two hours later, caught a catnap before taking us to the eye doctor (Fourthborn calls him Dr. Eye-Poky) to pick up two out of three new pairs of glasses, took a much longer nap mid-afternoon to early evening, watched four movies in the course of the day, knitted like a madwoman, and utterly forgot that I'd requested and been approved to work a couple of hours of overtime.

I slept somewhat better last night but opted for Zoom church anyway. Congested and coughing a little from my allergies, plus Mothers Day is never my favorite Sunday to attend. (The year that I divorced the children's father, I beat the daylights out of the Sabbath by taking the kids and me to the Ren-faire instead. Not my finest moment as a Christian, but still, one of my better memories with my kids.)

The leftovers need my attention, and then I think I will re-watch Pride & Prejudice while finishing the second baby sock.

 

Thursday, April 01, 2021

Coloring by numbers

Roughly once a quarter, I look over my 401K allocations to see if I need to move money from one bucket into another or change the percentage which goes into each bucket. Today was that day. I had three buckets: a balanced fund, a large-cap equity fund, and a targeted retirement date fund. After pushing things around a little, I kept one fund at the current percentage, decreased another fund, and increased the third. I also set up two small experiments: a small-to-mid-cap fund and an international equities fund. I've directed that a small percentage will go into each of those, and I'll see what happens over the next six to nine months. It will be interesting to see how they perform, compared with the three main funds.

I also placed another order with Gudrun Sjoden. Yet another striped shirt, two sleeveless dresses for layering, and two pairs of summer-weight leggings in bright colors.

I think dinner tonight will be those inside-out gnocchi from Trader Joe's that called my name on Monday night. I am suddenly ravenous, and Fourthborn is making waking-up noises.

Today has been a significantly better day than yesterday. I'm going to make another of those spiced almond milk drinks before bedtime and see how it affects the quality of my sleep and the quality of my workday tomorrow. But first, I need to empty the dishwasher and reload it.

And I'm pondering the feasibility of installing shelves all around my bedroom walls at a reasonable distance from the ceiling.

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Unutterably weird

Nevertheless, I shall attempt to describe it. I slept reasonably well. And this may have been the squirreliest that I have ever felt. Alternating between brain fog and thoughts skittering like drops of water on a hot griddle. I was still getting things done, when I checked my email and discovered that I'd missed my 1x1 (quarterly meeting) with the office manager because I was busy checking things off my ToDo list. I'd gotten it into my head that our meeting was at 10:00, and it was set for 9:00. I missed last week's setting because I'd spilled orange juice into my keyboard and had to dash out for a replacement.

At this point, I can only laugh and shake my head.

After I finished a phone call with one of my attorneys, Middlest came out into the living room and asked if I were taking prednisone, because I'd been increasingly manic as I spoke: both faster and louder. He said that I sounded like I do when I'm on steroids.

Nope, not on steroids, because I'd be working three weeks ahead if I were. I don't know if this is a reaction to the almond milk nightcap I drank last night, or something completely random. Maybe a weird response to the second dose of Moderna? Maybe kickback from yesterday's Cherry Coke after not having imbibed for two or three months?

It did occur to me that the fact that I haven't read my scriptures in four or five days might be a contributing factor. Heaven only knows. My mind is still racing along, too loudly for Heaven to get a word in edgewise.

In happy news, this month's installment from the yarn club arrived in today's mail, and it's gorgeous. I think my neurosis about the color blue may be mitigating slightly to moderately. The yarn is an inky blue semisolid, and I'm delighted that my reaction when I saw it was OOH! rather than EWW!

It's nearly midnight, I'm freshly showered, I need to comb out my hair, I need to fold the laundry that's occupying the foot of my bed, and I want a mug of hot chocolate.

No foolin'!


I like arugula?

On the way home from work, I stopped at Trader Joe's to stock up on chocolate covered ginger and triple ginger cookies. I also picked up two bags of frozen potato gnocchi and a flatbread covered with a new-to-me cheese, arugula, and prosciutto. I baked the flatbread as soon as I got home. It will definitely be joining the rotation.

I'd never heard of burrata, a fresh cheese meant to be enjoyed within a day or two of its creation. (Thank you, Google & Thummim.) And I've had arugula before, but only as part of "spring mix" so tasting it solo was a bit of a revelation.

Right now I'm trying an experiment.  I saw a recipe for "golden milk," and I had all of the spices but ginger. Kroger was out of almond butter*, so I've used some natural peanut butter. And because I'm not enamored of standing over a stove, stirring-stirring-stirring, I'm using the microwave, one-quarter cup of almond milk at a time for two minutes at 20% power so as not to boil the mixture. The fourth installment is beeping at me as we speak.

*They were out of smooth almond butter, and chunky almond butter didn't sound sipping-friendly to me.

Verdict: the honey and the nut butter and other spices go a long way toward mitigating the medicinal taste of turmeric. I take a turmeric capsule every morning. When it comes apart before I swallow it, which happens two or three times a week, it's a total eclipse of the taste buds.

Three of the four Gudrun petticoats which I ordered, arrived in today's mail. The other is backordered until November.

I don't know if it's the placebo effect, but I am suddenly, actually, deeply drowsy. This bodes well.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Austen-tatious

Several days ago, I purchased "Austenland" via Amazon Prime.

I like Keri Russell, Jane Seymour, and Jennifer Coolidge. Each is a talented actor, and the potential for the movie to be great fun was certainly implied. Twenty minutes in, I turned it off and began to watch twelve seasons of "New Tricks" on BritBox, because it just seemed so far over-the-top that it didn't even  qualify as good-bad.

Late last night I finished "New Tricks" and, on a whim, fired up "Lost in Austen," which I enjoyed so much that I got only four-ish hours of sleep. It was everything I had hoped "Austenland" would be.

Today at lunch I picked up where I'd stopped on "Austenland," and it grew on me. I don't know if I'll ever watch it again, but I began to enjoy the multiple improvisions on a classic plot. Keri Russell did not disappoint. Jennifer Coolidge toned it down a little and revealed a heart of gold under her flashy exterior. Jane Seymour chewed the scenery in proper Regency style.

I did not enjoy the song that "Jane Erstwhile" played on the pianoforte. I liked the closing montage and song (a reprise of what she had played) even less. Just gross.

In other news, a friend posted a wonderfully silly meme today:

    Me, after hitting rock bottom, "Welp, it can't get any worse."

    Rock Bottom's older brother, "Is this the guy that hit you?"

And on that note, I am going to bed several hours earlier than I did last night, because I'm driving in to the office tomorrow to take my turn at printing and posting everybody's mail. As LittleBit once remarked to me when she was two or thereabouts, "Goodnight. I am such a tired little blessing."

Sunday, March 28, 2021

The non-silent treatment

I read this article in the Atlantic before church. It brought up memories of the last years of my marriage to the children's father. I don't remember his using silence against me. I do remember his using talk radio to drown us all out. I don't know if he felt overwhelmed by the estrogen storms that swirled around him. He was seriously outnumbered. I do remember feeling overwhelmed by loud male voices (his hearing was deteriorating) spouting subtle and not-so-subtle misogyny. He was the king of passive-aggression. I was the queen of codependence. I know that I stopped sharing what was going on inside my head, because he was unable or unwilling to hear me or to work with me. He'd make a commitment at counseling, pursue it for two or three weeks, and then resume old habits. Call it ADHD. Call it undiagnosed autism. Call it what you will. I remember feeling excluded, feeling invisible, feeling hopeless.

Years later, after time, further counseling, and the Atonement of our Savior have all worked their magic on me I can look back on this period of my life with a measure of compassion. For him. For myself. When ghosts or memories arise, I can look at them from a better perspective, acknowledge them, and let them go.

In unrelated news, today I am masking up and attending sacrament meeting in person. I am quietly anticipating that. Taking the sacrament surrounded (at socially responsible distances) by my ward family. Seeing their eyes above their masks. Our bishop asked, several weeks ago, that those who are unable or unwilling to mask up attend via Zoom. If I see compliance, I'll keep coming back in person. Today I am feeling, not loneliness, but a deep and healthy hunger to connect.