About Me

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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!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Stick a fork in me – I’m done!

We’re outta there! It’s all over here now, stacked up like the New York skyline around our living room. There was one comedy of errors when LittleBit needed to go for her senior choir photo after work, and I couldn’t find my keys to let her into the car so she could get the outfit she’d tossed in there before church this morning.

My friend MA was over here, helping us pack the last bits in the kitchen and linen closet. I told LittleBit where I thought I’d put the spare car key for safekeeping. MA ran her around the corner to the new place. I walked into my old bathroom and saw my keys on the counter. Called LittleBit. She tore back to the old place, got dressed in the living room, and ran back out the door. MA also picked her up when the photo shoot was over and fixed us sandwiches and chips and carrot sticks and sliced apples. Manna and quail couldn’t have tasted better.

Second comedy of errors occurred when we had the place all packed up, and LittleBit couldn’t find her purse. Turns out that she’d left it at MA’s house after the photo shoot. So we called Firstborn to see if we could do some emergency laundry, and then we ran by MA’s and got the purse.

And now we have one load washed and dried, one blouse hung to dry, one bra ditto, a second load in the dryer, and a third load in the washer. The kids [Firstborn and 1BDH and Lark] were getting ready for bed, but since I have a key, I’ll dash over after dropping LittleBit at seminary in the morning and pick up the dry stuff and put the third load into the dryer.

Oh, and I’ll have to take Firstborn her cell phone. It looks just like ours, and I’m not sure which of us pocketed it on our way out tonight.

We still have to drop the keys off before seminary, but as lackadaisical as these folks have been about building maintenance, I suspect they are not sitting by the night drop to see if the keys are back by 11:59 tonight. Dark-thirty tomorrow morning is plenty good enough for them.

Nice progress on the Sabbath Scarf at church today, and I cannot wait to rendezvous with MS3 when I get to work tomorrow.

Thank you all for the happy thoughts and the hang-in-theres. We did it!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Truckin’ (not!)

In which our intrepid heroine feels somewhat Dead, though not necessarily Grateful.

Is it just me, or has this been the longest month of the year? It seems as if I have been packing since February, but it was July when I finally got sufficiently fed up with the no-hot-water, et al, and started packing towards a future home purchase. And am I ever glad that I did! When LittleBit came home from visiting Middlest in August, I had two dozen boxes stacked along the living room wall, each neatly catalogued in Excel and labeled within an inch of its life. And then we got the offer we couldn’t refuse from our new landlord, and the rest is packing/moving history.

We are still not done with the boxes. But we are getting very, very close. I have worked steadily since the big stuff got moved on the 15th, a box or three most nights, more on others. I have taken Sabbaths off, partly from reverence and partly from the sort of weepy exhaustion that causes strong men to think “uh-oh, hormones!” and wise men to find reasons to be quietly busy, elsewhere.

I had a little scare a couple of nights ago. Pulled around the corner and prepared to park the car when I noticed that there were stickers in my dining room window and a grill on the stoop. How could they move somebody in so quickly, with several days left on my lease? I took a deep breath and realized that I was two doors west of where I should be. A little embarrassing, but thankfully not fatal.

Yeah. I’m that tired.

LittleBit was chatting with the Relief Society president at seminary yesterday morning, who said that if we needed any help, I should call, and she would round up some sisters. So I did, while on the road. I don’t need a lot of help [some folks might disagree, particularly if they are related to me], just a little moral support and a few gazillion more boxes. Oh, and some chocolate, preferably in the form of an IV drip. I would be a happy camper if I could just plug it into my bloodstream and bypass the entire digestive process.

Math du jour:
I : Cherry Coke :: Pirate : Rum

I had that old Grateful Dead song rumbling through the back of my head all day. Especially the line, “What in the world ever became of Sweet Jane? She’s lost her sparkle, somehow she isn’t the same … and all her friends can say is Ain’t it a shame?” I have also been drinking 8-20 ounces of Cherry Coke nearly every workday for the past two weeks. I need about three days of nonstop sleep, a full-body massage, and somebody else to be in charge for awhile.

I guess it’s time to establish the Ravelled Sleave Center for Cherry Coke Buzzed Latter Day Saints and check myself in as First Patient. I woke at 2:36 yesterday, or maybe it was 3:26, and couldn’t get back to sleep because I was remembering what LittleBit’s room looked like when I left the old apartment Wednesday night. She says it’s all under control, and she may well be right. She is, after all, my daughter, and immensely capable and intermittently organized in her own way. She also camps alongside that famous river – Denial – on a regular basis. [See “she is, after all, my daughter”, above.]

When I dropped her at school after seminary, she looked like I felt. Somewhere between “stick a fork in me, I’m done” and “death warmed over”. I suggested that when she got home from school, she go straight to bed for a nap, and we would pack after I got home. When I walked in the door with two blackberry shakes from JITB and checked on her, she asked me to stick her shake in the fridge and said that she’d only just gotten home. I let her sleep. It seemed by far the kindest thing to do. And I spent the evening, what there was of it, quietly emptying boxes and stacking them by the front door. I think I went to bed about 7:30, myself.

Phone rang a hair after 9:00; it was the missionaries. I had signed up for another drive-by fooding for their dinner tonight, and they were calling to confirm. I told them we were in the middle of moving and that I would run by Wal-Mart and pick up something and hang it on their front door this morning. They told me *they* had moved, effective yesterday. I told them I would turn the ringer off and asked them to call back and give me the address. They are now over by LittleBit’s restaurant, and the place where we do our laundry, and our favorite ice cream store.

It is now 2:00am, and she’s still asleep, and I am not. And I am ravenous. I need to charge my phone, and the charger is in her room, and I don’t feel like getting in the car and driving around until the phone is charged. Her wall charger died just before she went to VA, so I gave her mine and have been making do with the car charger. Considering that I log 250 miles a week just getting to and from work, it’s not been a problem.

The living room and dining room are looking pretty good at the moment. Just in time for the second wave of boxes from the old place. I found the oatmeal when I was puttering last night! I also saw a not-ugly sideboard and hutch at Wally World when I went there yesterday to get cash for LittleBit’s lunches for the next week [both ATMs at my bank were out of order at 6:00am on a Payday Friday] but I resisted the temptation and instead bought her the markers she needed for choir, and some of those pointy pop-on erasers [the kind that look a little like Monopoly houses] for my pencils at work and two red aluminum crochet hooks that are properly entered on Ravelry.

Ravelry. Remember when getting my invitation was the big obsession? They seem to have fixed what seemed to be a bug with cataloguing my needles; I was able to delete the extra pair of Brittany 10 DPs last night. And unfortunately that was not my only error, and I do not remember which needle size I entered the wrong length on, so I’ll have to root around before I can fix that. Would it be the needles which are in the rolling carts which wait invitingly beneath my folding tables in what I laughingly call the sewing corner in my room? Or is it the needles that are in some yet-unpacked box, and if so at which place?

I am still wondering where to put my portable forest: the 7’ green ficus with red underleaves, the 4’ variegated ficus, the folk art Christmas tree, and the fake palm I bought last spring. Maybe I should stack all the incoming bins and boxes against the short wall of the dining room and see if I can borrow Firstborn’s old folding screen to camouflage them and place the trees strategically, with a sign that says “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain”. Do you think that Toto would yap at me if I did?

And I still have no idea where my camera cable has gotten to.

Well maybe I do. I just opened a red bin, thinking “Wonder what’s in here?” and there was a neatly bundled cable. I’m not sure if it’s the one for my camera, or if it goes to the camera that LittleBit is still borrowing from one of her friends. I think I remember putting my cable “in a safe place” so that it wouldn’t get lost in the shuffle. But it’s not in my red tote, and it’s not in my knitting bag, and I think I remember lots of things that either didn’t happen at all, or didn’t happen the way that I remember them. So your guess is as good as mine.

Suddenly I am sleepy. A bowl of cereal will do that, sometimes. And since it's not yet 4:00am, sleep seems like the most rational choice.

Friday, September 28, 2007


This is a recent article by my favorite living writer. Good stuff to think about, and not just for church meetings.

And how about yesterday’s NonSequitur: http://www.gocomics.com/nonsequitur/ [this would be 9/27/07]

One of my friends has a lovely tradition. In memory of a sibling who has graduated from earth life, she does a good deed each year on her sibling’s birthday. Would that not be a marvelous way to honor a parent who has passed on? Think of all the good that has been done for women and the people who love them, in the name of Susan G. Komen, all because her sister Nancy Brinker would not let her memory die.

Much moverly progress last night; got 97% of my closet emptied and stacked along the walls. Now all we need is a bubba with a truck. Or possibly a bubbette. I have already emptied a box this morning and put two empty bookcases in place. I wonder how many boxes I can empty while the tub fills?

And yes, some knitterly progress as well. I am so liking the wing on MS3. To the point that I am seriously considering buying her PDF of the pattern, with the two-wing option. Not that I think of myself as a tragic swan. More that wrapping swan wings, or angel wings, around me when I am sitting in our icebox of a chapel on Sunday would be a tangible reminder of the love and blessings and protection that I feel, as well as a reminder of how far from angelic I am most days, and how much work still remains on rooting out the natural woman.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Cue the Sorceror's Apprentice!

Grab your wand, Mickey, we have crested the peak of The Forever Move! Though when I walked out of the old place with three crammed suitcases and flung them into Lorelai, I was wishing for half a dozen of those broom-men to do the schlepping.

There is a large pile of Lovely Clothing to be shared; I will drop it off on my way to work tomorrow. I also pitched a smaller pile of Things I Finally Admit That I Will Never Mend. Tomorrow morning before seminary, or possibly in the middle of the night, I’ll go back and pull the boxes out of the closet, and there will be very little left to pack in my room. My friend MA is coming to help tomorrow night, and she has a pickup truck. So we ought to be able to get all the boxes transferred over here, and then I can help LittleBit muster the last of her stuff.

She had to work last night and is still at work tonight. I just paged her: Marco? to see if she’s ready for me to go get her. I am more than ready to go to bed. [But I will have to hang up two suitcases’ worth of clothing first; I only now brought over two boxes of hangers from the old place.] She has to work tomorrow night as well, but Friday and Saturday she is *mine*. We lost over three hours of prime packing time last Saturday to the first round of auditions for All State Choir.

When I pulled out of the parking lot here to make a second trip to the old place, the moon was rising behind a scrim of clouds, one of which was shaped vaguely like New Jersey. No, I didn’t have my camera with me. You know me better than that!

I’m going to see how much I can hang up before my cell phone rings. And then I do believe I shall sit down and knit awhile.

Yesterday the unthinkable happened: I ran out of chart at work before I ran out of knitting time! I had only taken Chart G for the first part of the wing, and I finished it at lunch. Thankfully, the Sabbath Scarf was in my other bag, so I did not have to sit and twiddle my thumbs until it was time to go back to my desk.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Merry Christmas to Me!

One of the perks of working for a major corporation, is that we do a lot of celebrating. By this I do not mean consuming adult libations; I mean recognizing the opportunities for joy that lie around us. And one of my favorite perks is the annual ritual of going to the electronic catalogue and picking out my Christmas present. Of course, they call it “2007 Select A Gift” time. [Remind me to ask my friend D if he gets to pick eight gifts for Hanukkah.] Christmas, Hanukkah, Ramadan, Yule, Kwanzaa or Festivus, it’s covered: ecumenically and non-denominationally and PC-ly. There must be something for everybody’s taste in that catalogue.

I was having trouble deciding what I wanted until I clicked on the “head outdoors” link. Now those of you who know me, know that I am not the Queen of the Great Outdoors. “Roughing it” means sleeping in a Motel6 that’s more than five years old. But they have a fishing kit, and one of my criteria for picking a gift is to get something that I would never spend money on. So we have a dome tent that sleeps two, which LittleBit has taken to Girls Camp, and we have one of those pop-up pavilions to keep the sun off [you would think that I’d remember to take it to the Fourth of July parade each year; you would be wrong], and I have a cordless drill, and I have two Calphalon pots that I seldom use because you can’t just plunk them down on a burner and turn it on “high”. You have to coax the water to a boil. And you can’t sling them into the dishwasher, either. And I have some other stuff. But this year, we are going for worm-drowning glory:

Features light-action spinning reel with aluminum spool and 5 ball bearings for smooth cast and retrieve. Handle fits easily on either side of the 5-piece 5'6" graphite power rod. Includes padded case with mini lure box.

Doesn’t mean the fish are going to bite, or that I can find a coach between now and midsummer when I go up to visit my friend who lives a mile and a half from Dad’s old trout-fishing stream. Doesn’t mean that I will learn to love fishing the way that my dad did, or that I’ll ever catch more than the seat of my pants. But maybe, just maybe, it will be fun, and I’ll get some fresh air and early-morning exercise. I bet I’d be good at tying flies.

I have the first few rows started on the wing of my MS3. And I thought it required my full attention before? Oye! At this point am *not* liking the P2tog where one stitch is before the marker, and the other is after. But the new three-into-one decrease is kinda cool!

Monday, September 24, 2007

OK, I want *that* one, please!

I’ve mentioned the attorney and his wife who send their magazines home with me once they’ve read them: Cottage Living, Southern Living, Texas Highways, Better Homes and Gardens, Where to Retire. The latter just cracks me up. I learned this morning, while the bathtub was filling, that I could not afford to live in my old home town. Median prices are just under $300K, but it’s supposedly an excellent retirement place. I guess I’ll have to find that Texas oilman first, right?

Actually, what catches my eye in that magazine is not the page after page of advertisements for “active living” [though I’m definitely in favor of it, have been doing it all my life and plan to continue until the sand runs out of my hourglass]; I cannot imagine the boredom [for me; I’m with Twain that it’s a good walk, spoiled] of living alongside a golf course, though I guess the chance of getting beaned by a golf ball through my kitchen window might up the adventure quota a bit, or the poverty of being surrounded only by people “55 or better”.

What catches my eye is the male half of the happy couples the ads portray. He’s hugging her, she’s beaming at the camera, and you get the feeling that after he takes out the trash he says, “Let’s go for a nice walk before it gets too hot outside, and then we can ride our Harleys down to the yarn store and you can stock up while it’s on sale. I’ll go back with the pickup truck and bring home your haul while you take a nap. And after you’ve added it to your stash on Ravelry, let’s mess around.”

My kind of man. And if he’s a knitter himself or is willing to convert, so much the better! We could have long, leisurely yarn crawls across the southwestern US until we get to California, take Mr. and Mrs. Twisted out to dinner, and drive on up the coast to meet Punkin and Ms. Knitingale, coming back through U-tahr to see Tan and Tola. I’d also like to meet MonicaPDX.

And by the time this paragon of grey-haired knitting virtue shows up, there will probably be dozens of others that we will want to meet.

Hey, you have your fantasies. I’ll have mine.

[Five rows to go before moving on to Clue 5 on MS3.]

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Up Awake, Ye Defenders of Zion

One of the hymns that we don't sing all that often. For those of you who know “Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean”, it’s that melody. And it dates back to the days when the church in general and the members individually were enduring great persecution. It is perhaps the most xenophobic and anti-PC hymn still in the hymnal. Very much in the mode of they’re coming after us again. [We used to sing “Though in the Outward Church Below” to the tune of a Mozart aria, and it was a strongly-worded admonition to the members of the church to examine their lives and repent as necessary. I’m not sure when it was dropped from the reprinting of the “new” hymnal. (I still think of it as the “new” hymnal, and it came out in 1985, ten years after I was baptized.) I loved that hymn; it reminded me to keep checking my spiritual dipstick. But as so often happens here, I digress.]

I hate voicemail. You hate voicemail. And it’s a sad but necessary fact of life in the modern world. Those of you who are allergic to peeves, whether “pet” or manifestly undomesticated, may want to scroll down and see if you can find a rant more to your liking.

I have co-workers who never seem to answer their phone. [Let the record show that they do return all messages, typically before the end of the day and definitely within 24 hours. If they’re in trial prep, I certainly understand the desire for three uninterrupted minutes in which to form a complete thought.]

Before we got direct lines, a call to an attorney might ring three times at his/her desk, roll back to me, get sent to a secretary who was working away from her desk, roll back to me, get sent to the paralegal who was conferring with one of her other attorneys, roll back to me, at which point both the client and the receptionist were ready to scream. Now that we have direct lines, I get maybe one-third to one-half the number of calls I used to. And if the client dials in directly and gets no live body, frequently I never know; those who have voicemail are supposed to forward their phones if they step away from their desks. And I think that most of them do.

But still, I get people who dial “zero” because they hate voicemail and want to leave a message with a live body. Seasoned citizens like me, primarily. And who can blame them? So much of our daily activity lacks the human touch. At cross-purposes with this is a primary goal for my job: to process incoming calls as effectively and efficiently as possible, which I interpret to mean, get them off my switchboard as civilly and rapidly as possible. And I have been instructed [by those in authority] to try to avoid paper messages.

When someone wants me to take a message, my classic response is to smile, so they will hear it in my voice, and tell them that I would be more than happy to take a paper message for them, and that the desired party will generally have access to voicemail before the paper message makes it back to his/her desk via the secretary. And I keep that smile on my face as I wait for the caller to decide. Occasionally someone will say, “Oh, that’s OK, I’ll just shoot him an email.” And I thank the caller sincerely and profusely.

But sometimes I get a plaintiff attorney on a power trip, and nothing will do but for me to take a paper message. Which I do. And then I put that message in the mailbox, and if I have time, I call the attorney or the secretary and say, “Attorney Bigshot didn’t want to leave you a voicemail, so there’s a paper copy in your box, and this is me, telling you that it’s there.” If our attorney is one of my particular buddies, I may leave one saying, “Attorney Bigshot thinks he’s too cool to leave a voicemail; please check your box.”

I don’t have many rude callers; usually they get that out of their systems when they’re dealing with the claims office. [Though pro se plaintiffs can be something of a nightmare. And we had one memorable young client who was rude to his mama in the meeting with his attorney, and rude to the attorney, and rude to the secretary and the paralegal, and rude to *me*. Our attorney was ready to pinch his head off in true Southern fashion.] When I get a rude one, I go into sugar-coated Steel Magnolia mode while remembering Firstborn’s unvoiced philosophy when she worked the front desk at a manufacturing firm: “You, sir, forget that I have the power of Mr. Click.” I have never hung up on a caller without warning them that I’m not required to listen to abusive language and that if they continue, I will hang up. And I only had to do that three times when I worked in the claims office, and never since moving to house counsel. But just thinking about Mr. Click helps to keep the smile on my face.

Or there is the classic question, “Do you know how long she is going to be on the phone?” It’s not meant to be a stupid question; the caller just wants a timeframe. But we have had attorneys whose every call is Major Drama and lasts for 45 minutes, and we have others whose phone light never goes off because they are returning one call after another in 90-second increments. People who say, “Oh, that’s OK, I’ll just hold for her,” have no idea the havoc they wreak on a multi-line switchboard. [I certainly didn’t before I ran a switchboard, and let me tell you, paybacks are Only Intermittently Amusing.]

Just go to the blasted voicemail, buddy!

End of that particular rant. Saturday turned out to be a pretty amazing day. I took LittleBit to the first round of auditions for All State Choir. And I did my waiting in the coffee shop at the bookstore, with my knitting and half a dozen new magazines and my cell phone on vibrate so as not to disturb the other readers. Put in eight rows on the MS3 and am nearing the finish line on this section.

Picked her up and thought about taking a nap, but then I got the brainstorm to move my improvised desk into the kitchen to serve as an island, work area, etc. So I scooted the two fiing cabinets across the living room and dining room carpet and into the kitchen, and I rock/walked the marble slab in after them and leaned it against one of them and used that top edge as a fulcrum, thus sparing my back. I've put several of the unpacked boxes on top for now, but eventually I will add more shelving or cheapie bookcases on top, and then I will have a place for pritnear everything, and everything more or less in place.

I cooled down from the effort of moving two file cabinets and a 50-lb slab of marble and pulled the couch out from the wall and inserted the sofa table and installed the lamps , and I won’t need to get new lampshades. I thought at first that I might have to; they flare out rather impressively, and they rest on a very narrow table.

I put the fainting couch in the corner where I had originally planned to put the file cabinets, and next spring when the upholstery folks come to fetch it, we’ll have a straight shot out the front door. The small glass-topped table is butted up to the head of the fainting couch, and the brass lamp is back in place, though I have no idea where the pineapple crochet doily that my aunt made for me, has gotten to.

Firstborn came over and helped us pack up my room. I threw away enough things to make her happy. Or sorta happy. She gets to take a bag of stuff I won’t wear again, and some sewing things I won’t ever need, to the thrift store. I didn’t let her look inside my walk in closet, LOL. But most of that is already in containers, and I just need to skootch them out into the room so we can put them on a truck and *go*.

I need more boxes. I probably need less stuff, and I definitely need more boxes.

We went out to LittleBit’s restaurant for dinner. She had taken her co-worker aside, the one who reminds me of Eddie Haskell, and told him I prefer he not call me by my first name. So all last night, it was Ms. Ravelled this and Ms. Ravelled that, and would you like another glass of water? Most of my tortilla soup is in the fridge. It was delicious, and I barely touched it. I might have a milder case of that lassitude I was feeling after the big stuff got moved last Saturday; I was way past tired last night, and I just scraped stuff off my bed and onto the floor, and *died*.

So now it’s Sunday, and I slept until 4:00 or thereabouts and have put in another eight rows on MS3; twelve rows to go before I need the next chart. I have moved the computer desk and put the printer and monitor on top of it, omitting the poorly-designed hutch that is lying sunny-side-up on the dining room table for the moment and will be neatly deposited in the dumpster as we head out to church. There are huge swathes of bare carpet, and Firstborn actually got to sit in one of the new chairs last night while we waited for her hubby, 1BDH, to show up with a change of clothes for her so we could go out to dinner. She had spent the day fundraising for Lark’s soccer club.

I have no idea where the trees should go. They are all clumped together in a sort of hulking floral ambush near the front door. The small entertainment center and TV are approximately where they belong, but unconnected. Rather like my thoughts this morning.

I need to find the rest of the printer paper. It got packed after the computer got moved over here, so farewell to the carefully labeled and catalogued boxes. That soft thumping you hear is me, beating my head against the wall. Quietly, so as not to disturb the neighbors.

Speaking of which. When we arrived at seminary on Friday, after LittleBit walked in and before I had gathered up my bags and gone in to knit, one of the trucks in the parking lot honked. Twice. And a third time. I walked back to where he was getting out of his truck.

“Brother X, did you honk your horn on purpose?”

“Yes, ma’am.” [This is Texas.]

“At 6:00am, when the neighbors are sleeping?”

“Yes, ma’am.”


“As a wake-up call, ma’am.”

“Do you think you could find a quieter way to do it?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

I went inside and put down my bags and waited for him to enter the building. And I asked him, “Do you think that you were perhaps taking the hymn ‘Up Awake, Ye Defenders of Zion’ a little too literally?” Not a fair question to ask a teenage boy at 6:00am. You could see the gears grinding, and of course he’s much too young to have honed a sense of irony. [It is the sort of banter that I enjoy with Brother Sushi, and used to enjoy with the children’s father.] All this dear young man could come up with was a bewildered, “Yes, ma’am?”

Because “yes, ma’am” and “no, sir” are the two universally appropriate responses for a kid to give a grownup in the Lone Star State.

It is now 6:39am, and I have no idea what I want to do. Not sleepy. Not quite ready to pick up my needles and knit. I know, heresy, right?

Love the new bathtub. Love the hot water. Love that LittleBit and I can shower, simultaneously, and not freeze one or the other of us out. Maybe I will just go soak my head.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Things Found While Packing

Yesterday was one of those long days that was not exactly bad, just intense and wearying. LittleBit has a hiatal hernia and a gastroenterologist to go with it; she’s been having increased abdominal pain for the past couple of weeks. There was a cancellation at her doctor’s office, so we got her in yesterday afternoon, rather than the second week of October. So we are thankful.

She now gets to take her medicine twice a day, and we have an appointment for an endoscopy and follow-up appointments with the gastroenterologist. I remarked on the drive home that it must officially be her turn to be sick. Her appetite is understandably “off”, and while she tries not to be a picky eater and loves a wide variety of foods, we never know from one meal to the next what is going to sound good, taste good, and not set off the alarm bells in her midsection.

As we drove home, she said, “Let’s just go get a couple of pints of ice cream and go to bed early.” Worked for me. I sat here at the computer and methodically devoured my ice cream and my favorite blogs, simultaneously. And we were both asleep by 6:00pm. Some days the best thing you can do is just go to your room and pull the covers over your head.

I woke up around 11:15, after my statutory five hours of sleep, threw on my jeans and went next door to pack until I felt sleepy again. Two hours of solid work and much visible progress in my room. I found more magazines to pass on to Secondborn, the card my sister made for me when my divorce was final, the spare key to Lorelai that has been missing for several months, and which I thought for awhile I had given to Brother Sushi for safekeeping, but he said no. And the file folder with documents from both divorces, which had somehow migrated from the file cabinet in the living room to under my bed.

I now have another box of books, nearly full, and another box of stuff to file, ditto, and I will not tell you how many plastic grocery bags of old catalogs that had fallen behind the bed. I still can’t lay hands on my carefully-wound ball of Schaeffer’s Anne in the loveliest assorted dark reds. I am hoping to find it under the pile of half-finished sewing projects that are lying on the floor near my sewing machine. I’ve rechecked the drawers in my rolling carts: one drawer for lace-weight, and two for fingering yarn, and it still hasn’t materialized. [Hey, if things can teleport themselves out of filing cabinets into my old bedroom, why can’t other things mysteriously put themselves away? It could happen!]

For some reason, the ragweed this year is getting to me. LittleBit has been coughing and hacking for days, as if she were not already quite miserable enough, and I had a couple of sneezing fits over at the other place, no doubt exacerbated by the dust from the archeology dig.

I am going back to bed for awhile. LittleBit has the first round of All State Choir auditions later this morning, but we are planning to spend most of the day at the other place, at least until we run out of boxes. And I brought home five new ones when I left work yesterday.

I would really like to have the rest of the loose bits in my room packed up before we go to choir, and then I can spend the afternoon pulling nails and emptying out my walk-in closet, which is mostly full of things already boxed up. All the bedding that I ripped off the bed so that the brethren could take it apart and move it last Saturday is currently blocking that doorway.

And we are hoping that LittleBit’s friend S and his truck and superior upper body strength are available for part of the day; if not, one of my girlfriends at church has a truck. None of what’s left to move is particularly heavy; there are just a lot of boxes but not quite as many as last weekend.

On the knitting front, yesterday was a day of three rows forward, half a row back. I kept finding small glitches, not all of which required tinking. Some of them were fudge-able. I am about halfway through Chart F of Week 4 on MS3, and I might be able to move on to Week 5 in the next couple of days, assuming I can find more printer paper.

I think I will go knit a row or two and then turn out the lights.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mutterings and Musings

Stuff I thought about yesterday:

1) Spit-splicing. I learned several months ago that it doesn’t work well with superwash sock yarn. All it did was make me go ptah! ptah! ptah! until I got the fuzzies off my tongue. It works very well with the KnitPicks Shadow that I am using for MS3. There are three and a half stitches that are a little fatter and a little less flexible than their neighbors, and maybe next time I won’t rub the ends together *quite* so enthusiastically, but there is no way on this good green earth that those ends are coming asunder. They are together until Moth Do Us Part.

2. Scary plaintiffs. We had one in the office recently. And our attorney found a way to tell me, discreetly, to not let him follow anybody around in the office, because he had a rap sheet as long as the Amazon. It’s unnerving to smile brightly at a person who walks into the office and see deadness in his eyes. Thankfully, I had dark chocolate in my drawer; there was some major chocolate abuse at my desk after he left the office.

3. What I wanted to accomplish at the old place after work yesterday. I had hoped to get the floor mopped, which didn’t happen, but I did get it swept and the mirrors polished. And the last of the nails pulled in the dining room, and two boxes filled with artwork, and the last of the stuff out of the bathroom, and a bunch of expired cosmetics and skin care products taken out to the kitchen, for when I put a fresh bag into the trash bin.

LittleBit called to be picked up when I was talking with the friend who was planning to come over and help pack; LittleBit wondered if we could get her hair cut. So the friend and I have rescheduled. And when we got to the shop, my favorite Edwina Scissorhands was on duty. I had one more slot to fill on my card before I could score a free haircut. She’s on duty again on Saturday, and it will be *my* turn. Gratis, except for her tip.

4. Male behavior. Not the spooky, lurky criminal sort, but what most of us would call normal adult male behavior. [You there in the back: stop snickering!] I’ve been a student of it for over half a century, and every day there is something new to consider, or something old to ponder.

To wit:
a. Nice guy who visited enthusiastically without flirting, in the elevator on the ride down last night. That was fun.
b. Creepy guy who ogled me and smiled *twice* while I was sitting in the drive-through waiting for my dinner. I could have given birth to him. Not flattering, sorry.
c. Patrician gentleman who smiles at me like I am a Renaissance Madonna. I would seriously consider dating him, if he were to ask, even though he is almost certainly not of my faith, because his manners are impeccable, he radiates quiet intelligence, and he has kind eyes.
d. LittleBit’s co-worker who seems like Eddie Haskell. I do not care how nice he is to me; he is not dating my daughter. [She would not date him, anyway, because he smokes.]
e. How I don’t mind being noticed by men who are, say 45-65.
f. How I am invisible to most Anglo men under 70.
g. Why I think Latino men are so intriguing but would be hesitant to deal with the cultural differences.
h. Why it is not flattering to be looked at “that way” by somebody I could have given birth to. See creepy guy in drive-through, above.
i. Why I prefer that above-mentioned Bad Boy Co-worker not address me by my first name, and how on earth to tell him without appearing to have a sequoia up my tush.

5. Other random stuff, which I of course cannot remember this morning, having slept since then.

More progress on MS3 yesterday, above and beyond the spit-splicing. Another 50 rows or so, and I get to start fledging [fletching?] working on the wing.

We leave in about 15 minutes for early morning seminary. LittleBit loves her haircut, and I am also quite pleased with it. Her lovely eyes are just that much more noticeable with a tailored, grownup cut. Which is probably why my own dear mother hated long straight hair on me when I was this age. Remind me to ask her when I get on the other side.

We also get to play at the dentist this morning. Just cleanings, and then I drop LittleBit at school and scurry on in to work. Lots of extra knitting time today, from which I hope to wring every drop of joy that is humanly possible! After seminary and before the dentist, we will go over to the old place and see how many boxes we can pack, individually and collectively.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What the queen of moving is wearing these days

This is what I improvised to wear to the office yesterday morning, three days after moving and Heaven only knows how many days before catching up the laundry: white (I actually had something white and non-smudged by contact with boxes and killer dust bunnies; huzzahs all around!) semi-dressy T-shirt, dark green slacks, dark brown socks, very dark blue clogs, black leather jacket, green earrings, and a pewter-grey bag under each eye. Firstborn, whom we all refer to [affectionately, for the most part] as the Fashion N@zi after her stint as an assistant manager for Casual Corner, would be appalled.

I’ll spare you a photo. You might very well be as appalled as my oldest child.

LittleBit thinks it’s funny that I have two and a half bookcases filled but have yet to unpack the dishes. This is because we *have* containers we can eat from, and we still have food from our friends’ visit on Sunday, and we have plastic utensils. We also have the drive-through option.

Food is covered, in the short term. I need to unpack the books so I will have empty boxes to take over to the old place for the last bits, and so that we will have space in the living room to put the furniture in its approximately final position, and so that if I wake up in the middle of the night and do not feel like knitting [it happens, maybe as often as I have the urge to wash windows, but it happens] I will have something to do with my brain until the Sandman returns.

After work last night, I came home and ate some of the Wonderful Meatloaf and put some and the last of the mashed potatoes [sniff!] into a container for lunch today, and then I went next door and packed four boxes and pulled down all the art from my bathroom. And then I drove to Knit Night and surprised everybody by showing up, reasonably awake and reasonably alert, at a time when I would normally be folding my tents and stealing home. We will blame that on the cherry coke that kept my nose out of my keyboard yesterday afternoon.

I am ready to sweep and mop and give the porcelain one last scrubbing in the loo. Tonight one of my friends is coming over, and we will see how much we can accomplish in my boudoir per se.

And I added maybe another inch to MS3 throughout the day. I am about ten rows into Chart F on Clue 4, for those of you who are keeping score. The Sisters of the Wool oohed and aahed over it last night. For me, the most meaningful compliments are those that come from my peers, those who have either done what I am doing or are contemplating it, and at any rate know what goes into it. Compliments from muggles are also nice, but a compliment from someone who has also threaded a littlebitty bead onto littlebitty yarn with an infinitesimally small crochet hook and lived to tell the tale? They are like the bread that is cast on the water and comes back an hundredfold.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Back to the Salt Mines We Go!

So, Sunday morning after sending out last week’s gratitudes to my tribe, I went back to bed for a couple of hours. And when I awoke, the sun was up and the neighbors’ kids were not, and the only thing I could hear was the hum and whirr as the AC kicked on. I took an empty box over to the old place and discovered to my delight that the residents had removed one of the barriers and had neatly parked their vehicles. They obviously went to bed later than I did on Saturday night!

I needed my shampoo and all the foofy stuff so as not to scare my good brothers and sisters at church. I also took down my Wall Words, and it was every bit as easy as the installation directions had said. No, I did not stand on the taller stepstool. I stayed on the one-footer as my daughter and home teacher had told me. I also brought home my swift and ball winder.

As LittleBit and I inventoried what we wanted to wear to church, I realized that I needed my shoes with a back. [Dansko calls them “professional” clogs. I guess the others are just amateurs?] And she needed a particular sweater. So we put on what we could and drove to the other apartment. At which point we realized that she’d left her shoes here, and I’d left my church knitting. So back we came. We missed opening exercises in Young Women’s and in Relief Society, but this is the Sunday of the month when the RS troops down to the YW room for opening exercises, and the Laurels troop back with us for RS because they’ll be here when they turn 18. Which in LittleBit’s case is in three months, though she has the option to remain in Young Women’s until she graduates.

One of my girlfriends asked me, as we worked our way down the hall from Sunday School toward the chapel for sacrament meeting, if I was ready for a little help. And after a pause, I gave her a wobbly smile and said that would be great. I did tell my visiting teacher after church that it would not be a good evening for a visit; that I was just about peopled out for awhile. I decided that I needed and wanted some solitude, spent with my scriptures (if I can find them, or online if I can’t) and my own quiet company. Maybe a nap; definitely some knitting.

I got that nap, about an hour’s worth, and wonderfully refreshing. Enough so that I decided to do a little puttering, and in the course of the evening I managed to empty eight boxes without breaking a sweat. Moved the little oval table that had been waiting for the two new chairs [squee! new chairs!] in the old living room, into the corner by my bed, to hold my scriptures when I find them, and the telephone, and my C-PAP when I get it.

Moved the tall black bookcase, the one that held my button collection on the long wall in the old dining room, to its new home on the wall that bridges the dining room and the hall. The button collection is back on top, and I’ve changed out the contents of the shelves a little. Moved all my writing books and my French and German texts onto the bottom two shelves, and shoehorned my cookbooks and culinary mysteries back onto the second shelf.

I would show you pictures, but the batteries in my camera would appear to need recharging. The spare batteries are not recharged, either, and the charger is in one of twelve boxes in the kitchen. Plus, while I do know where the connector is to upload the photos I snapped before the batteries died, the box with the instructions is in my old bedroom, and LittleBit had gone to bed, so I’m not sure where it connects to the computer.

I finished off LittleBit’s leftover dinner just before going back to bed. One of our friends from church brought us possibly the best meatloaf I have ever eaten, better than my own and I really like my own, and an Idaho-sized portion of mashed potatoes, and steamed corn in a pouch, and a lovely salad, and two double-chocolate pudding cups for dessert. And she even included a new bottle of ranch dressing in case we were out. I told her I didn’t think I’d need to cook all week, and she said that that was the general idea.

And somehow I didn’t get any knitting done except for what I did at church, and I think I’m going to frog that. But I’m not upset; not about the dearth of knitting, and not about the frogging. It was a good, restful Sabbath in spite of the number of boxes that I emptied, and I even completed my visiting teaching for the month.

I do believe I can face the prospect of going back to work again.

Tan asked if we had to change wards. No, we literally moved around the corner from where we were living and are still within the ward boundaries. Have I mentioned that we are now in the same complex as Fourthborn and her father? In fact, we are downstairs and over one from where they were living up to about a month ago.

They are now several buildings away. Yes. Mild discomfort on my part at the proximity, but he attends a different church now [Unity, not merely a different ward]. When we first divorced, he was the Gospel Doctrine teacher in the old ward. I spent a lot of time sitting out in the foyer or attending the Gospel Essentials class [Sunday School for the new members who have graduated from missionary discussions and are ready for spiritual milk, but not a full course doctrinal steak dinner with apple pie for dessert]. And the complications of his diabetes were already beginning to destroy his mind and his personality. So while the emotional pain of the distancing and dissolution of our marriage is long since gotten-over, I still miss and mourn the man he used to be.

All bets are off after LittleBit graduates and I buy a house; my primary criteria at that point will be affordability and easy access to the kids and grandkids who are local.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Welcome, Welcome Sabbath Morning

It is 4:58am on a dark and quiet Sabbath morning. Quiet because we slept at the new place. While I was napping yesterday afternoon, I could hear the new neighbor kids playing happily outside. Not one of them sounded like trouble-on-training-wheels. Like the place we are leaving, it’s a diverse population. Unlike the place we are leaving, the UN does not need to send in a peacekeeping force. I have seen a lovely middle-aged lady from somewhere in Asia, wearing traditional dress. I have seen smiling faces in every conceivable hue. My wonderful neighbor from upstairs is moving into the other end of the complex.

When LittleBit and I came home with the feather tick and my duvet, which I had hastily shoved into my walk-in closet so the brethren could take my bed apart, a parade of kids was crossing the driveway to play. One of them, a little girl of about six or seven, stopped, smiled, and did the Vanna White thing with her arms, indicating that she was more than happy to wait for me to drive past before she joined her friends.

Mutual courtesy. You know, it just might catch on!

Things I have noticed about the new place: I am going to have to get used to sleeping on the other side of the bed, because the bathroom is on the opposite side of the room. I am going to miss having two doors between me and the living room. LittleBit is sleeping, and I hope the clicking of the keyboard is not disturbing her. There is a direct auditory connection between my bathroom and her bedroom. One of her friends called in the middle of the night, when I was awake for middle-aged reasons, and I heard someone talking, and I realized that I knew that voice very well. She has one dear friend in delicate health who rarely has her crises at a civilized hour. Said friend’s mother is in the hospital again.

My shampoo, hand soap, and blow dryer are at the other place. Yes, I am washing my hands; that’s what dish soap is for, and I am rapidly using up my store of paper napkins because the paper towels are in the other kitchen with most of the rest of the cleaning supplies. And the parking lot is still blocked off. I’ll go over about 7:00 to retrieve my stuff. I guess I’ll take down my Wall Words while I’m at it. I need to decide if I want the same quotation or a different one in this new place, and I need to decide whether I want to wait until I buy a home first.

There’s another one of those dratted white moths loose in the apartment. I think it’s a vegetarian; it doesn’t look like the type that eats wool. But still! It is drawn to bright glowing things, like the computer monitor, the kitchen light, or my calves. I winged it with a napkin against the monitor, and it managed to fly away after batting against my leg awhile. I am so thankful not to be a bug-screamer.

I have just polished off my salad from last night. There are other leftovers in the fridge, but nothing that I want to eat at 5:00am. I think there might be issues with Thursday night’s leftover tortilla soup about midway through sacrament meeting. My fish from Friday night is in the other fridge, as is the milk, and again, I don’t want to go over there before sunrise if I have to park halfway across the complex.

One of the brethren remarked quietly that it was probably a good idea that we were moving. Somebody’s car was pumping bass, before noon.

I can’t think of anything else to say, so I will go tend to my knitting for an hour and a half, or until I run out of yarn. The rest of the yarn is here. The swift and ball-winder are not.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Moving, Day Four: Deep Cleansing Breath

The guys from church were here a little before 9:30. They were done at a 10:46. There is still a lot of little stuff to corral and move, as I ran out of boxes and energy well before I ran out of stuff. But all the heavy stuff is here, somewhere, and I have faith that in process of time I will be able to lay hands on it. Our beds are set up, and LittleBit and I are about to take a nap or three.

Everything hurts. I have spent far more time on my feet the past couple of days than is normal for me, but I got everything out of the far recesses of the cabinets. We have borrowed a couple of stepstools so we can pull the last of the nails from the walls. At moments like this, Shaker simplicity is incredibly tempting. And as for my mantra, Keep a messy room and you will never be tempted to jump off the Chastity Wagon, well all I can say is PHBTTTT! I think I am changing my mantra to, Keep your room picked up and a loaded shotgun by the bed. It would make the next move ever so much easier!

I am at that point of weariness where the slightest kindness will make me weep. Thus the need for a nap before my visiting teacher from church brings dinner. One of the work party this morning, a former bishop, asked if I had asked the Relief Society to help me finish the packing. And my eyes just filled up, and I could barely tell him that I’m sure there are people who would be willing to help.

I do appreciate that willingness. But I am a difficult person to serve, because of all the years that we spent on and off church welfare when I was married. I just want to do it myself, even if it takes longer. Yeah, it’s stubborn and it’s a little stupid at the moment. Maybe a lot stupid, and I am just sufficiently not-exhausted to realize it. Maybe I’ll unbend a little after I’ve had that nap.

I got a row of knitting done after packing the last box in the kitchen this morning. And there will be more knitting after the nap. I I don’t care if a single box gets unpacked, I am aching for beauty amid all this chaos.

I am and will be everlastingly grateful to the good brethren who gave up a portion of their Saturday morning to help us out.

I wrote most of the above just before noon. I have napped. I have made a run to Jack In The Box for a small hamburger for me and regular fries for sharing, and a Jumbo Jack for LittleBit, and two blackberry shakes: one with whipped cream and a cherry for her, one without for me. I also stopped at the old place to get my tool box, because I need my staple gun. We only moved one of my cheapie knocked-together bookcases this morning, but the cardboard backing is waving like a hussy as the fleet pulls in. Once I get her stabilized [I think we need about three pints of Ringers’ lactate, Roy], then I can empty three [actually, six] boxes into her and take them over to the old place to refill.

The image that comes to mind is of the seagulls that flew into the fields in Utah and ate up the crickets, pausing only to regurgitate them and go back for more. Except today I feel more like the cricket than the seagull.

With one bookcase nearly full and six boxes emptied, I think a knitting break is more than justified.

Putting on my turn signal, because I am changing directions. You know how the old apartment complex was going to have the parking lot repaved? I overheard the regional poobah telling someone at her corporate office that it needed to get done, or the city would fine them on Monday. What happened? The crew sprayed a thin layer of black tarry-smelling substance over the parking lot. They filled no holes in our neck of the woods, that's for sure. And while I was napping, they came back and reset the barriers that everyone had pushed aside so we [four households that I know of] could move and put in new striping. When I went back to get my staple gun, I parked just outside the barriers and put my flashers on.

Big fix, all right, though LittleBit says that on the far west end of the parking lot, where there had been VW-eating potholes, the paving company actually filled them.

It is now 8:08pm, we have had dinner and prayers, LittleBit is in bed, I have made a quick dash to the pharmacy to renew my dalliance with Mr. Lasix, and I think I know where my jammies are. The alarm is at the old place, so I’ve set it on my cell phone.

Knitting, here I come!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Moving, Day Three: The Worm Turns

Someday I’ll have to look up the derivation of that phrase. When we got home last night, there were flyers on the apartment doors and on the windshield of each car in the parking lot. They’re making another stab at resurfacing, just in time to interfere with my move tomorrow.

What the flyer said was that everybody needed to be out of the west parking lot and park either in the east lot or by the office. When I came home from taking LittleBit to school after seminary, the entrance was half-blocked, and access to my parking was entirely blocked. There was a cranky-looking woman talking on a cell phone, and the assistant manager, and a handful of guys with T-shirts for the paving company sitting on the curbs.

Apparently somebody at corporate, or somebody at the paving company, messed up. And my portion of the parking lot is indeed being resurfaced today, which means a jaunt down toward the management office each time I come and go. The good news is that the cranky-looking woman is my new best friend. She is the district manager for the apartment management company, and she is Not Happy with how things have been going, and she was *extremely* interested to learn that the present manager refused to release my rental history [and my neighbor’s, and who knows who else’s] to our new landlord. I also told her about the extortion vis-à-vis the electric bill and that I would love to get some of that money back, see as they moved to bills-paid without written notice to the tenants, and while my lease was still in effect. I am not holding my breath on that one. I also told her that I was concerned that I might not get the portion of this month’s rent back after I am totally moved out. She gave me her business card.

Another silver lining is that the inconvenience of getting into and out of my apartment means that I cannot flit back and forth like I did yesterday, with carful after carful of stuff. Instead, I am steadily filling and labeling one box after another, and I am letting the guys with the weak minds and the strong backs deal with it all tomorrow.

Wait, there’s more good news! When I went into Pier One to get more of the lined baskets that fit so nicely on my bookshelves, I didn’t find them, but I did see that the chairs I’ve been coveting for several months are now 30% off. I whipped out my debit card so fast that I nearly melted the numbers off. And since this is the night of the monthly dinner with Brother Sushi, and he is the owner of a nice shiny pickup truck, I think it’s safe to say that the new chairs will be at the new place before the evening is through.

One of my girlfriends from church had a nice lidded box for me, and when I popped over to pick it up, she sent me home with a mason jar of fresh, hot, homemade soup.

This day just keeps getting better and better!

Ms. Regional Director checked with the paving company, and as long as my friends stay along the sidewalk and don’t go down the middle of the parking lot, we can proceed as planned with the move.

More later; I just popped in to see if I’d had an email from my Relief Society president.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Moving, Day Two: No pictures, many boxes

Not so much with the pictures today. And my DSL at the old apartment went out just after I had posted last night. I thought that was pretty neat.

I/we moved about 2 dozen boxes today. And I got the pantry about half cleaned out. I’d fill the back seat with my nice catalogued boxes and put a single small strong box with a dozen cans of whatever into the front seat. Almost got a nap just before noon, actually fell asleep for a few minutes but then the phone rang.

LittleBit unplugged the computer for me after school, and I got most of it hooked up without asking for help. But I wasn’t sure which of several slots was the right one for the mouse, not without my manual, which was at the old apartment. And I didn’t want to mess with the DSL box. So she and her friend S [he’s kindof her Brother Sushi, so I need to come up with a name for him, but it won’t be tonight] got Humpty Dumpty together again.

I have 11 cabinets in the kitchen here, as opposed to 22 in the old one, and 5 drawers instead of 6. But I do have a gi-normous pantry, and that will be wonderful. So I’m going to have to be creative about storage. I’ll be looking for that Welsh dresser sooner rather than later, and in the meantime I think I will be repurposing the sofa table that I made, into a hold-all for the kitchen stuff I don’t use regularly but still need access to. I made it 6’ long, not as long as the sofa but almost, and about 5” too long to fit along the short wall in the new dining room.

I did get about 8 rows of knitting done throughout the day. I’m planning to head over to the liquor store tomorrow to scrounge some more heavy boxes, so I can move canned goods more than a dozen at a time. I have one box that is perfect, but it’s only one box. And I didn’t realize how successful I’d been at reaching toward a year’s supply until I had to pack and move it.

Fading fast. LittleBit is out of hangers. And I need to empty my suitcase so I can refill it tomorrow. I might have a hanger or two leftover when I’m done with this batch. Or not.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Moving, Day One: I have a kitchen window!

I haven’t had a kitchen window in 14 years. The one in our house in the Texas Hill Country opened into the converted garage that was our master bedroom, and I made a quilted wall hanging to cover it, to muffle kitchen sounds so LittleBit could nap in the afternoons. There were two windows in the corner that gave us a bit of the outside world.

Before that, the window over the kitchen sink in our little cottage in Irving opened into the converted sleeping porch where Firstborn and Secondborn slept, and there was another on the north wall that framed the liquid amber tree.

I give you a tour, á là Yarn Harlot. What? You didn’t think I could find my sock-in-progress, after not touching it for weeks? Eet ees to laugh! This is looking down the hall toward my room.

This is the view from my new kitchen window.

Somebody needs to wash that window. And this is the window with its new curtains, bought on close-out. Yes, they need pressing, but the iron is at the old place, and the curtains are not. The fabric matches the back of a small needlepoint pillow that I stitched up a few years ago. It was one of those “Hey, I know you!” moments followed rapidly by “And you’re on sale for *how* little?”

I forgot to take a picture of our new carpet. Or the living room. Or the patio door(s); there is a large one that opens from the living room, and a smaller one that opens from the kitchen. Not much to see yet in LittleBit’s room. She has hung up a few of her myriad T-shirts.

And here is her senior jersey.

Thought I had included a shot of the guest bathroom. LittleBit has a nice medicine cabinet. Here is the master bath. Note that I do not have a nice medicine cabinet. Or even a not-nice one.

No photos that I want to share, just yet, of what will become my boudoir. I need to decide if I want to use the fancy drapes that grace my current dining room window and living room window at my new windows, or if I want to use them as the beginning of my “tent”. What I have now are: two windows, very vanilla; one new package of skirt hangers; and my new jacket that I wore to work today. That and a bag of clean laundry are all that I have brought over for my room, so far.

Fun and games at Firstborn’s on Sunday night. Lark got a little exuberant while taking her stuff out of the dryer, and one of her soccer shirts pirouetted over the back of it. This is the rescue attempt. They were laughing so hard that it took Lark twice as long to retrieve it.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

A Little unRavelled Today

I am back from my second sleep study, about which more later.

Go here. [do not pass GO, do not collect $200. I’m moving in four days. Do you think I have $200 to give you?]

Which inspires me to share my own Letter to the Iditor:

1 September 2007

To the Management of Hell’s Half Acre:

I will not be renewing my lease at the end of September. I have reached the limit of my patience, when we had hot water for only 5 days in July, no notice when the water would be cut off for maintenance, potholes in the parking lot, neighbors carrying on at 2:00am, and an endless parade of managers who seem unable or unwilling to make this property a fit place to raise my daughter.

[The next paragraph contained information that is public knowledge and would identify where I live.]

The increase of rent by $150 to cover the electric bill, without written notice, is unconscionable and I suspect illegal. The new policy of not accepting personal checks, when I have lived here for over four years and have never bounced a check, is unprofessional and inconvenient.

I found your most recent notice regarding the long overdue repaving of the parking lot on my stoop Thursday morning. It was not attached to the clip by the door. I picked it up only to remove what I thought was a piece of litter. It was hand-written, partially illegible, and somewhat rude in tone. It also instructed me to park on the street, when both sides of the street are clearly posted “No Parking”.

When I called the manager on Friday night to inquire why the water was turned off, I did receive a satisfactory explanation. I wish I could say the same when I asked when I would be able to move my daughter’s car back onto the property.

I will be moved out of the apartment on or before the 30th of September.

Yours very truly
The Ravelled Sleave

I sign the lease at the new place next Wednesday afternoon. I’ve already signed up for wind-powered energy, which should be simple and abundant with all the hot air emanating from Dallas City Hall, not to mention the Hell’s Half Acre management office, and which makes me wonder if I should think about pooling my resources with others and building a wind farm just north of Austin, where the quantity of hot air is even higher.

I’ve also arranged for an allegedly seamless transfer of the phone service. [Ask me late Wednesday or early Thursday how seamless it was.] After having the same Metro number for 13+ years, I’m exchanging it for a simple land line to support the DSL. No more Call Notes, no call waiting, no answering machine, no long distance service. Also, no calls at dark-thirty from some of LittleBit’s more clueless buddies, when we have a phone curfew of 9:00pip-emma. My monthly bill will decrease by $62 and change. That is nearly three skeins of Cherry Tree Hill or two and a half of Anne and a whole sweater [maybe two] at KnitPicks.

If my children and my sister and my executor are very very nice to me and give me lots of dark chocolate, I will give *them* the new number, in case of emergency. But otherwise, people can just call me on my cell phone or send me an email. I’m not having that the number has changed, the new number is X nonsense.

I am on the phone all day at work, and since I never know when I’m going to bed at night, anywhere from 7:30 if I’m utterly exhausted to 1:00 if I’m stubbornly resisting sleep, and since my friends though brilliant are not psychic, I figure that I’m saving them the embarrassment of waking me at a time when they might reasonably have expected me to be awake.

I may change my mind about that after I’ve had my C-PAP for awhile and am functioning on all four cylinders. And I may not. This is my home, after all [our home for a few more months, but ultimately my home], and within the bounds of commandments and common courtesy, I get to make the rules.

So, as I said at the top of this post, I’m home from my sleep study, and I am pretty much awake. The tech said that people tend to say two things after their first night with a C-PAP. Some see an immediate difference, and others realize around noon that they're not wilting like they usually would. I would appear to be in the latter camp.

When I awoke this morning I did not feel as if I’d had “the best night’s sleep in ages”. I felt as if I had been dragged through the proverbial knothole, proverbially sideways. In order to keep the mask from blowing air into the corners of my eyes, we had to move it so far down on my upper lip that it pressed tightly against my gums. If I tried to sleep on my side, it put additional pressure on the side of my mouth that was away from the mattress. Somewhat counterintuitive, I would say, but then I never took physics in high school.

I learned very quickly not to talk with the mask on. Not only did it suck all the air out of my mouth, but it felt like it was pulling brain cells out through my nose. Not fun, but probably funny to read about.

Oh, and my brand-new manicure?

This is my hand, resting against Box #11 - Dining Room - Fragile. I asked her to take the polish off [to accommodate the fingerpinchythingie – yes, I’m a quarter German, how did you guess? – that measures the oxygen level in my blood] that particular finger because I had messed up the edge a little when I was getting into the car after having my nails done, Thursday night. So I can just smile innocently and give him Bambi eyes when I pop in again sometime today and ask him to fix it.

I spent half an hour this morning, washing electrode goop out of my hair. Now I won't scare people when we go to fit LittleBit for her choir dress, later today. Or not as much as I might have.

I should hear from my sleep specialist within seven to ten working days. If anything like last time, it will be Monday or Tuesday. And no timeline on when I get my own private personal edition of BrainsuckerI. I had a different tech last night than my first study two weeks ago, and this tech has sleep apnea and was able to reassure me that I *will* eventually get used to the mask. I wish it were not necessary, but since I plan on living to be a very old, very feisty lady I will take all the help I can get.

This is what I saw when I pulled into my parking spot this morning.

She left the light on. And she left the C-lock [cheap landlord version of a deadbolt] off, so I could get in. This is why some species don’t eat their young.

Not much knitting yesterday. Not as much exhaustion as the day of the first study, either, so overall it was a good day. Today is all about the packing. I will reward myself with knitting breaks. I know how I am.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Red alert!

I have been collecting home dec blogs as well as the not-unexpected knitting blogs and a growing number of spinning blogs.

At May December Home, there is a link to a contest where all you have to do is show up and comment. And if you mention her [the link's] blog in your own, and email her at the address on her website, you get *two* chances to win. So I am. It's red and white, for crying out loud!

So, if you are at all interested in decorating your home with garage sale goodies and flea market finds, check out freshvintage.

Much progress on MS3 yesterday and today, but not enough to whip out the camera.

Later, gators, it's past my bedtime and I have a beloved child tapping her feet for the use of the computer.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Poverty and Charity and *That Word*

I have been bringing newspapers home from the office to pack up the breakables. Sometimes I stop and read an article that catches my eye. In a recent issue of the Dallas Morning News, they stated that a family of four living in the Dallas/Plano/Irving area needs approximately $23,000 above the Federal poverty level to really make ends meet. Which got me curious about where LittleBit and I fit into their economic model, at least theoretically. I did some googling.

Using this calculator I learned that the basic family budget [an alternative to the official poverty level that takes into account the relative cost of living for a given location and size of family], for a family my size is $28,572 per year. It was interesting to compare their numbers with what I lay out each month.

There is no provision in their software for one parent, four children, which is the situation I was in when I divorced the children’s father. And earned $10.50 an hour. And got $435.00 per month in child support. [In today’s dollars, if I had “only” three children at home, by their calculations I would need to earn considerably more than I do.]

Thankfully, I have no childcare expenses, and I work for a large company with good benefits, so my healthcare costs are less than average, even allowing for LittleBit’s hiatal hernia and my own prescriptions. My transportation costs are higher, because I drive between 300 and 500 miles a week, and I do have a modest car payment. [And they’re about to get higher once LittleBit is a licensed driver.]

I live on less than half of my gross, because the company takes out my car payment and my substantial 401K contribution and my emergency fund and another loan repayment for when I charged a year of living when the children's father was out of work and we got no child support, all of this before I see any of my paycheck. And I am insured out the wazoo: long-term care, HMO, vision, dental, and disability that come out of my gross, plus the auto insurance, term insurance, and renters insurance that come out of my net pay. And most of the time we are OK, and sometimes we eat a lot of ramen noodles to get to the next paycheck.

And by the way, the software makes no provisions for tithes and offerings, for charitable donations, for emergency savings or a year’s supply or a 401K. By all means, leave the obligations to the Almighty and to the neighbors out of the calculations!

In Texas, according to their figures, there are 1,462,000 people living below my calculated budget line, or 35% of all families with 1-3 children and positive income. That’s a little worse than one family in three who doesn’t earn enough to provide the decencies of life. Do you find this as infuriating as I do?

And of course financial measurements are only one aspect of poverty. By objective standards, the girls and I are or were have-nots, statistically at-risk for all manner of evils: drug abuse, teen pregnancy, gang activity. And yet, my three oldest are married to fine men, and I love Fourthborn’s fiancé, and I have faith that somebody equally delightful will show up to claim LittleBit when the time is right.

I see more materialism among us than I think is strictly proper, a reaction to the years when we didn’t have a sou. And I also see great unselfishness from time to time and a fierce sense of family that under-girds the minutiae of who might not be speaking to whom at any given moment.

For this overmastering stability, for this calm in the eye of the tempest, I give thanks to God and for the Church. I think the solution to poverty, in the long run, is education, particularly spiritual education, and dedication to correct principles, and self-discipline, and the sort of generosity that teaches a man to fish and then to buy or build a boat and then to form a co-op with other fishermen.

This is a charity that I like. They are building a school for children in a leper colony in India.

And last year instead of traditional gifts, my sister made donations in my daughters’ names to this one, which among other things teaches women to sew and gives them a sewing machine as an alternative livelihood to prostitution.

Our church teaches us to fast once a month and to dedicate what we would have spent on those two meals for the blessing of the poor. In times past, our family has been blessed by other people's fast offerings, for which I am immensely grateful. There have been sacks of groceries that mysteriously appeared on the porch, trips to the Bishops’ Storehouse for commodities, and extra opportunities to serve so that it wasn’t just a handout. It’s an inspired program that helps the Saints get back on their feet.

Neither LittleBit nor I can fast anymore. We both take daily medications that *must* be taken with food. And I, for one, really miss the closeness and the increased sense of love and dedication that I felt when I was able to fast. Fast Sunday used to be my favorite day of the month. It got me through some really rough times because it brought me closer to the Lord and to people who were worse off than I was. And now, except for the testimonies borne in Fast and Testimony Meeting, it is just another Sunday.

So imagine my chagrin when I pulled up to church this past Sunday, and LittleBit dashed in to get a good seat for her youth meeting, and there I was with ten minutes before I had to be inside, sitting in the car polishing off the slice of cold pizza that was breakfast, and realizing that all my friends who were walking by the car, seeing me chow down, were fasting to bless others.


I did not feel very charitable toward myself at that moment. And if I am not loving and kind toward myself, how can I hope to fulfill that great commandment to love my neighbor as myself? I do take a strange and tender comfort in the counsel of Paul in his letter to the Corinthians, where he talks about love and intent and follow-through. And I love the teachings on charity in the Book of Mormon. They are both comforting in the moment and a spur to greater effort.

So, no pizza for me in the car next Fast Sunday, unless I pull over in the pocket park along the way and savor the beauties of autumn along with my pepperoni.

Here is a link to a marvelous articleI read on Meridian Magazine yesterday morning. It just seems to fit in with what I've been thinking about.

On a lighter note, I got all the packing peanuts tranquilized and disposed of. And I found 13 pairs of neatly folded socks [and several orphans] that had jumped like Thelma and Louise off the foot of the bed and fallen behind the quilt rack after one laundry day or another. I even had time to ogle [but not actually work on] MS3 and eat guac and chips. By dinner time yesterday, I had filled, labeled, and catalogued 13 boxes.

LittleBit and I went to the bookstore for our Family Home Evening activity. She read a graphic novel; I began a novel that had been featured in a recent email from the bookstore. I was thinking that I would have to rearrange the budget to buy this book, when about three chapters into the story, what should appear but my Least Favorite Word.

A really good writer would have been able to convey the ugliness of what had happened to one of the main characters [caught by estranged abusive spouse, beaten unconscious, and waking to find him having his way with her] without using That Word or resorting to Victorian euphemisms like I just did. It is such an ugly word to describe what should be a loving and tender and sacred experience, one more example of the Adversary's counterfeits and desecration of that which should be reverenced.

LittleBit snapped this picture when she was visiting Middlest in VA this summer. She learned that it is illegal there to use nasty language in public.

In case the visual prompting is not sufficiently clear, they spell it out:

I would like to have one of those signs posted in our parking lot, and sometimes I would like to be able to take that sign down like a flyswatter and *beat* some of the guests of my neighbors with it. Especially at 2:30am. Surely the Lord wasn’t talking about them when he gave us Matthew 5:44. Right?


OK, back to work I go on that whole “acquiring charity” gig. *Fiddle.* Squared.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Book 'em, Danno!

I took back the most recent audiobooks and hardcover without finishing them.

Considering Doris Day [Tom Santopietro]. I read the intro and a page or two of the first chapter. Not sure if the problem is bad writing or sloppy editing. A simple find/replace would have taken care of one phrase that the author is obviously fond of, because it crops up at least three times in the little that I read. Could have been a fascinating book. Still might be for some; differences in opinion are what make horse races, or so they tell me.

Service with a Smile [P.G. Wodehouse]. Probably will revisit this one; I liked the premise and the narrator but was not in the right fey mood for the story.

Standing in the Rainbow [Fannie Flagg]. I listened to most of it. There was a damaged CD that ate a critical plot transition, so I just took it back to the library and let them know.

To briefly revisit the book meme from July, I crossed one off the list. Here are my thoughts:

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert. Bought 7/14/07 and commenced immediately. By the time I left for church the following day, I had read the first section on Italy. I need to warn the tender-spirited of you that there is definitely profanity in there, including the word I like least, but it is generally in the context of translating a phrase from the Italian, and the part where she translates the spate of colorful language expressed by a grandpa at a soccer game is both appalling and hilarious. I am probably going to have to repent for laughing so hard. But I love the way in which she describes how she began to acquire faith in God; it is not unlike Anne Lamott's conversion story, or my own.

OK, enough literary musings. On to some of a mathematical nature.

Firstborn and Middlest have birthdays five years apart and nine days apart. Middlest’s birthday is two days before my dad’s, and Firstborn’s is seven days after.

Secondborn and Fourthborn have birthdays five years apart and nine days apart. Secondborn’s birthday is two days before my sister’s, and Fourthborn’s is seven days after.

So naturally, we expected LittleBit to arrive either two days before her father’s birthday, or seven days after; that was the established pattern. LittleBit, however, is independent as a hog on ice [not unlike her mother] and showed up when she was darned good and ready, and not a moment before.

BittyBit was born three days after LittleBit’s birthday. And BittyBubba was born three days after Firstborn’s birthday.

It’s probably something having to do with fractals.

Since I posted about the un-Blinked cable needle yesterday morning, I thought you might enjoy the following:

Last year was the year of the Prodigal Sock [at this point I’d have to fish through my archives to remind myself *which* sock was misbehaving]. This appears to be the year of the Prodigal Earring. I had a pair of inexpensive pearlesque earrings that were the right size for a woman of my proportions, went with everything, and made me feel like the Queen of Sheba.

One day I was sitting at my desk at work and realized that a “pearl” had gone AWOL. The post was still in my ear, but the cabochon had disappeared. I immediately took my earrings out. I’m the first person you see if you come to our office, and God [as they say – “they” being variously attributed to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Louis Sullivan, or Gustave Flaubert] is in the details.

A couple of months later as I was test-driving my Swiffer Flick on the carpet, I spied what looked like a shankless pearl button. I knew exactly what it was. And I stopped sweeping to take it back to my room, where the post and its non-Prodigal mate had been waiting patiently on a bookshelf.

No, wait, it gets better. I had no idea where my glue gun was, so I grabbed the double-stick tape and trimmed a piece to fit the back of the cabochon. A little push, and I was good to go. I figured that I’d stop at the craft store on the drive home to pick up a tube of E-6000 for a more permanent bond.

About an hour after getting to work, I reached up to adjust the earring back and realized that the pearl had slipped its leash again. As I was laughing at the irony of having found it only to lose it once more, with no idea where it might be, I saw something out of the corner of my eye. The cabochon had rolled under my desk, not all that far from where I got in trouble with the panic button back in May, and it was smirking like Bruce Willis at having outsmarted me.

One of my co-workers who is a pageant mom came to my rescue. She uses E-6000 to reattach errant rhinestones to her daughter’s pageant dresses.

I leave you with this from Longhorn Diva. Scroll down to the final photo. I asked for permission to publish it, and she replied that it's a stock photo that has been floating around the internet for awhile.

I am heading to my room with some empty boxes, a mug of milk, and the bag of gingersnaps. This is, after all, Labor Day. If you don’t hear from me in a reasonable time, it’s safe to assume that the packing peanuts have turned cannibalistic, and further packing will be unnecessary.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Family News and Knitterly Stuff

He was just this good, and this mellow, all through sacrament meeting last week. Never let out a peep during his blessing, slept in his father’s hands as 2BDH held him up for the congregation to see, and snoozed when we photographed the tribe between meetings.

Unlike BittyBit, over-stimulated by the presence of so many of the people she loves. [We filled an entire pew with not a centimeter to spare. I can only imagine what it’s going to be like five to ten years from now, when we are blessing LittleBit’s children.] We had some auditory flashbacks to when LittleBit was this age.

Her parents were able to get her calmed quickly, before it was necessary to hearken to Brother Brigham’s counsel that crying babies are like good intentions and should be carried out.

Here you have the whole fam-damily. Well, most of it anyway.

Left to right: Fourthborn, 2BDH’s mother AKA Grandma, 4BFiancé, LittleBit, 2BDH’s dad and stepmother, her granddaughter whom they have adopted and are raising, 2BDH, BittyBubba, Secondborn, 1BDH, BittyBit, Lark, Firstborn, and me AKA Gram.

I really do need to come up with nicknames for my sons-in-law.

MIA: Middlest and her hubby [she’s in VA, he’s deployed], 2BDH’s brother and sister-in-law [in TN], Willow [oldest granddaughter, working and in college in AL]. And the father of my children, out of town somewhere for a few days.

Jo asked recently, “So what did we do with all that time BR (Before Ravelry?) Eat? Drink? Sleep? Work? Clean?” Eat and drink, undoubtedly yes; anorexics do not reach my lush proportions unless they are obnoxious relatives of Harry Potter. Sleep? Not so much in my case, but yes, occasionally. Work? I’m a single mother; next question, please! Clean? Almost often enough to please myself; not often enough to please my sainted and much-missed Virgo parental unit.

I’m back to packing [insert childbirth words here] as the Miners Blanket Project will be ready to mail off to Ms. Knitingale on Tuesday. A family friend manages a nearby apartment complex and has made us an offer we cannot refuse. So, although I hate moving and really did not want to have to do it *twice* in the near future, we are moving out of what is rapidly becoming Hell’s Half Acre and into an apartment further up the food chain.

I even got to pick out the carpet, which I probably will not get to do right off the bat when I find The Cottage. Not sure when the actual move will take place; maybe in two weeks, maybe in four. Oh, for Hermione’s little bag and her wand, so I could just whisk everything into one small bag and move next weekend!

Here, as promised, is the Miners Blanket Megablock, blocking. [Say that three times, fast.]

And the detail shows the “V” rather better than the long shot does. I took my inspiration from the “LOVE” stamp so popular in the 70’s. And from my passion for Log Cabin quilts. I found a stitch marker when I threw back the feather tick that rests atop the regular mattress. I also found the cable needle that vanished in the blink of an eye, several months ago. The universe must have blinked again.

I tiptoed over to Ravelry and fired up my FO gallery. I also added the pics and blog links for MS3 and joined four groups: Single Knitters, Mystery Stole 3, LDS Knitters, and Texas Knitters and Hookers.

What would my bishop say if he knew I was consorting with a bunch of hookers? Which reminds me that I need to come up with a quick and mindless project to take to church this morning.

Have a blessed and peaceful Sabbath!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Perry Mason, Perry Como, Perry Menopause

If you recognize the first two, you may be dallying with the third or have already kicked him to the curb. [Vent Alert! If you are a guy, scroll down to the first link.] Every time I think I am officially done with the whole Be Fruitful and Multiply gig, I get a small reminder that one of my ovaries has not *quite* stopped yodeling “Hey Sailor!” I haven't had a real chat with the Red Fairy in a year and a half, but every four to eight months there is some whispering and muttering. And never at a convenient time or place, nor sufficiently obvious to go require going home to change clothes or a good sulk on the couch with a heating pad and a thick book.

Though several people heard me expressing my displeasure when I dashed into the loo on Thursday for a quick argument with Mr. Lasix. Which I nearly lost. Oh, the indignities of middle age in a multiparous body!

At least I now I have a Favorite Curse Word for Ravelry. “Oh FIDDLE! FIDDLE! FIDDLE! FIDDLE! FIDDLE!

[Guys, welcome back.] Everybody go check out the progress on the Miners Blanket Project. I’ll wait.

I am pleased to report that my own contribution is nearly finished. Just lacks the blocking, which I’ll take care of today. I am ever so much happier with this incarnation of the second half of it. Even though it means there are still a few ends to weave in, where before I was able to knit them in as I went.

I used up all but a few yards of the much-loathed black Cascade 220 from my Wilted Leaf Cardigan, the Rasta-Meets-Besotted, and the Rebuilding Greenburg block that grew prodigiously when I washed it. And since I couldn’t lay hands on my vintage black walnut Brittany crochet hook, size E, it was an excuse to pick up a red cheapie aluminum hook at the big box store while I was also getting myself a new pair of jeans and four bundles of cotton socks to split with LittleBit.

Pictures of actual WIPs have been thin on the ground lately. So I offer this for your amusement. I finished the actual knitting at Relief Society on Thursday night. Wove in most of the ends, cut the yarn, and fought sleep during the last mini-class because I needed the aforementioned size E hook in order to get started on the black single crochet border.

Do you see what I forgot to do before cutting the yarn?

And I’ve been knitting how many years? This is what sleep deprivation will do to you.

I began this post while sitting at my desk on Thursday. The phones were quiet. The fax was mum. There was nothing to scan in my inbox. I sent out an email to the secretaries Wednesday night that said “I have three blank drafts left. I can pay three invoices for one of you, or one apiece for three of you.” No takers.

I was waiting to see if one of the attorneys would bring in the pool car that I like to drive before I needed to make the morning run to the post office. If I were a betting woman, I would have put money down that I’d have had to drive either the silver whale or the white one. He’s a good guy; he just has hearings at dark-thirty almost every morning and isn’t necessarily back when we need to leave for the P.O.

It is not so much the driving that I object to, it’s the beaching-of-the-whale-again. I can parallel park with the best of them. My personal parking space is an angled head-in spot. Again, no problem. But the pool cars are kept along the side wall of the parking garage, where the parking slots are perpendicular to the wall. And trying to shoehorn a mid-size sedan between another car and a concrete pillar is not my idea of a Real Good Time. I’d rather be boxed in by semi-trailers on the freeway in the pouring rain at 70mph at a quarter to midnight.

Or wake up and find myself married to either of the last two boyfriends.

On the other hand, this is what I noticed when I went to the post office Wednesday morning. So I took my camera on Thursday. [And setting aside the whole issue of the morality of gambling, not that I would but just for the sake of argument, I should have bet the rent, because the odds were so long that I’d have found myself in possession of a tidy down payment for the house that I haven’t found yet. Or maybe even the house itself.]

And this is me, Kinnearing my bare feet under my desk. This is in the spirit of the “fresh air and sunshine” that Dr. Gorgeous prescribed for them at the post-op checkup.

Here is a shot of them in my white socks [the only ones that I could find that were clean on Thursday morning] when I put them back on to go to lunch. Just call me Lynn the Switchboard Geek. I’m sure there’s a pocket protector around here somewhere...

I had to drive around the block five times on Friday before I could snag a parking space at the post office. Kept telling myself, at least I’m not back at my desk, answering phones. Or opening mail.

And this is one Lilliputian staple next to a pile of regular-sized ones. [I have to pull the staples on each and every piece of incoming mail to make life easier for She Who Scans. I didn’t fully appreciate how helpful this is until she was out and I was the Scanner du Jour.]

May I state for the record how unimpressed I am with miniature staples? They are incompatible with my ergonomic staple puller. I end up slashing the corner of the paper when the ends of the staple pull through. Tiny staples may look ladylike and charming, the petits fours of the office world, but they are piranhas lurking in #10 envelopes.

If it doesn’t take you to 8/30/2007, well that’s where you’ll want to be.

OK, I am officially excited. Not in the Pointer Sisters sense, but still... I have my follow-up sleep study using the C-PAP next Friday night. That means I’ll miss the singles dance, oh well! When I spoke to the staff member at the sleep center yesterday, she asked how I was. I said, “Vertical.” I was just hanging in there until lunchtime, and I had no idea what I wanted to eat. Something proteinaceous. [What did I eat? One of my friends gave me a spare potato and told me where to find real butter and sour cream. So, true to my Idaho roots, I had spuds for lunch.]

More pictures tomorrow, all things being equal, and a fun new quiz.