About Me

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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Friday, November 30, 2007

More Miscellaneous Ramblings

A whole new world:
It never ceases to amaze me how much better and brighter life is when I stop to clean my spectacles.

Christmas gift catalogues:
I looked at the gift assortment on the back cover of a catalogue which came for an attorney who used to work at our firm. The contents are attractively packaged in a burgundy embossed tin. There is a burgundy plate peeking up among the alleged goodies; also pleasing to the eye. And there is an amazing combination of comestibles. I would naturally think of combining chocolate-covered nuts and imported cookies and upscale toffee. [Because in my world there are no calories between Thanksgiving and New Years Day.] It would not have occurred to me that bottled asparagus, smoked salmon, and ripe Camembert belonged in the same basket, though I am rather fond of two out of three of them.

This is what-all went into the basket:
Dark chocolate covered almonds
Dark and milk chocolate truffles
Sesame crackers
Pickled asparagus spears
Garlic crackers
Smoked salmon
Chocolate covered raisins
Milk chocolate
Dark chocolate
Strawberry cashew crunch
Butter waffle cookies
Hazelnut chocolate
Double chocolate chip cookies
Cinnamon roasted cashews
Serving dish
[No partridge. No pear tree.]

Who decides what “goes together”? And what are their criteria? Is it a matter of packing as many small packets of overpriced edibles into a container, or do they try to choose items that might make an enjoyable meal?

I was sitting in an empty classroom at seminary and caught bits of the lesson. They are studying the Old Testament, and yesterday they were discussing clean and unclean, both in terms of food and oneself, and relating it to our day. The teacher asked if any of them had ever gossiped about someone, explained that that was a trespass, and then they looked up trespass offering in Leviticus to compare what was required back then to become ritually clean and what is required now to become spiritually whole.

She also commented that in terms of deciding whether a food is appropriate to eat, if we knew it was something the Savior ate during his mortal ministry, it was logical to assume that we could eat it. So, fish are definitely kosher, even though several of my daughters would tell you that fish are icky. And bread [yay for bread, and thbpppp to the anti-carb crowd!]. And honeycomb. Though I think I will pass on the grasshoppers and locusts. I hope I will never need protein quite that badly.

She mentioned that there are animals named in the scriptures that we do not necessarily know what they are, “coney” being one of them. I went up to her after class and told her that I thought I remembered reading that it was an old word for a rabbit or hare. She deputized me to find out and let her know.

I went to dictionary.com and learned that it might be a fish, but it was probably a European rabbit. Though it could be a woodchuck or a guinea pig. According to one of the definitions it translates from the Hebrew as rock-badger. [I would certainly not want to try to trap, kill, and clean a badger. Ewww!] Hyrax syriacus, to be specific.

Some of the etymologies were amusing, and some a little disturbing.

And I wondered, as we walked out the door to the car, if that was where Coney Island got its name. According to one of the definitions, it *was* named for all the rabbits that used to be there. I am thinking of the famous line from Of Mice and Men, but umm, no, sorry, I am not *quoting* it.

Funny the places your mind takes you.

Changing directions now:
OK, is the moon full, or is it just me? [Brief scrabbling about on the internet to determine that we are now experiencing a third-quarter moon, effective tomorrow. Which means that it must be me. And which led to some major burbling, down near the bottom of this post.]

Why did I ask? Read on, MacDuff! [Which led to another instructive diversion. See “memorable lines”.]

To my esteemed coworkers:
Please do not mess up my desk. I do a very good job of it all by myself. I know that it looks as if anything that you did would not be noticeable.

I would notice.

Please do not rifle through my in-basket [unless, of course, you want to take something out and do it yourself].

Please squelch your OCD urge to push in a red-rope folder that is pulled out. Yes, I know that it looks prettier when they are all lined up like ducks in a row. I completely agree with you on that point. But the one that is sticking out, is the one I am working on, and it’s out as a visual aid for my memory.

Because while I am opening and removing staples from the incoming mail that was dropped into that folder, I am also:
1. fielding forty-three phone calls
2. pulling and stapling seven incoming faxes [faxes come *out* of incoming mail but go *into* incoming faxes; it’s another visual aid that serves to distinguish between the two, for the primary scanning operator and me]
3. scanning a half-inch-thick sheaf of discovery
4. noting on the “whereabouts” sheet that Attorney A is heading out for a deposition and Attorney B is going home with a migraine
5. telling opposing counsel’s paralegal that she is my new best friend because she has the insurance company’s claim number for the case on which she wants me to find out if Attorney C is still representing the defendant
6. flirting with the UPS man

And I need a little help to make sure that the opened-and-unstapled mail goes back into the proper red-rope so that it doesn’t get scanned into another attorney’s electronic “correspondence” folder by mistake.

And while we are on the subject of “thou-shalt-nots”? Please, oh please, do not tap on the glass door when you want me to let you into the office and have forgotten your card key. I am not a fish. This is not an aquarium. But I get just as disturbed as the poor fish do when you startle me like that, though I am less likely to eat my young as a result. [Yes, I do believe I’ve posted on this subject before, or maybe just ranted in my weekly grats; it bears repeating.]

In the “silly me” department, here is where my hands have been taking me:
I finished Clue 2 on the November Mystery Socks at work today. And I took along Clue 3, to begin the heel flaps. But I forgot to take along the directions for Clue 2, because I had long since memorized the pattern, and thus I did not know how many stitches are supposed to be saved for the instep and how many are to go into the heel flaps.

So there I was with not one but two stalled socks. Thankfully, I had remembered to take the Stripedy Sock and the directions for its heel. Ready for our heel flaps, we are. And curious about how to turn 42 rows (!) of heel flap into something that will fit my foot, rather than serve as an emergency runway for a 747.

In the “stating the obvious” department:
Dudes, there’s a *comet* out there! Bigger than the sun! And of course I have been singularly unaware of it, because I do not watch the news or read the news magazines, and because it is most easily visible after my bedtime.

It had an outburst last month, something it did back in 1892 when it was first discovered, and it may have a second one around New Years Day because that happened 75 days after the first eruption, way back when. For others of you with your noses in your knitting, this is Comet Holmes, named not for our good friend Sherlock, but for his un-imaginary and very properly British cousin Edwin.

Here’s a map for finding it, courtesy of space.com

And now I know what to do with this yarn:

Comet Holmes Socks! From the yarn that Micki gave me! Now I just have to design them.

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