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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!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

And a peacock in a Cher tree...

I am feeling extraordinarily tender-hearted today. Not sad, not depressed. Just quietly thoughtful, and more than usually grateful, and easily moved to tears. I spent half an hour or so reading articles in the December issue of The Ensign, the church’s magazine for grownups. [I miss having copies of The Friend, which was geared to children, and The New Era, which is for teens, although it certainly makes for fewer magazines to keep track of.] It seemed that every article I read brought a smile to my lips and a tear to my eye.

I made a big pot of soup. It just felt like a soupish sort of day. A quart of chicken stock, a bag of frozen Italian vegetables, the last ten finger-sized smoked sausages that I was saving for pigs in blankets, and four flour tortillas sliced up. Something like the soup I concocted a couple of weeks ago, but the great thing about soup is that it never turns out the same way twice. And while I’m not crazy about cauliflower or the broad, flat Italian beans, somehow it all comes together after it’s been simmering for awhile. It would be even better with a bit of crumbled bacon, and you know, I have some feta cheese that’s been sitting in the fridge awhile. I wonder how that would go?

Be right back.

Ewww, never mind, that feta had become fetid. It is now sulking in the trash. I opted for a little generic bottled Parmesan/Romano and a shake or two of sweet Hungarian paprika. Not bad. Not bad at all.

I worked six rows on the first heel flap last night, and while my stranding is a little uneven, it looks pretty good. But I think I’ll pause it and try the other flap on size 0’s [2.0mm] like I used on the cuff, to see if I can get the heel flap tighter and more even without having too great a discrepancy in gauge from the leg. I thought that I had circs that were 2.25mm, but I was wrong. I do have my trusty Crystal Palace DP’s, and I may try them as well. I really really ree-e-e-lly like the motifs that she has chosen, thus far. I’m not sure about the stranding on the heel flap, in terms of wear vis-a-vis this yarn, a silk/wool blend. [I would love to see what this motif looks like in a hand-painted yarn, with all those little-bitty strands forming a twill pattern.]

The leftover soup is chilling in the fridge. I have a pot of hard-boiled eggs going. And I am in the mood for oatmeal craisin cookies with big chunks of pecans. LittleBit is dozing in her room, and I think I am ready to curl up on the couch with Jonathan Swift and A Modest Proposal and my knitting.

But first, I want to do this:

OK, it’s more than a little blurry, but I was sitting in one of the new chairs and snapping from across the room using the magnification thingie. I’m just happy that the people look like people and the camels look like camels. If you look carefully, you’ll see that the camel on the left has one ear broken off. Probably in a barfight.

Thursday night I hosted for two hours at our stake Nativity display. I got to sit in a room full of nativity sets on loan from various members of the stake and ensure that nobody’s toddler made off with a Baby Jesus. And I got to see a bunch of old friends and make some new ones.

LittleBit and I got our two hours of driver’s ed in, earlier today, and then she took me to Sonic for some cheesecake bites to celebrate. Yum for the cinnamon caramel sauce to dip them in! And we still had 45 minutes before I had to take her to work, so we went to the Christmas store that is near her restaurant. First words out of her mouth when we walked in?

“Whoa, this place is *way* too festive for me!” First there was the visual assault. And within two minutes I was dabbing my eyes and trying not to cough up a lung from the excess of potpourri.

But she found some moose ornaments that she likes, and we saw one tree that was splendid in its Victorian excess. It was a teal-themed tree, with half a dozen large-ish fake peacocks, and dozens of bejeweled peacock feathers, and sari silk table runners tucked into the branches in lieu of garland, and jeweled ornaments. I sang to her quietly, “And a partridge in a Cher tree.”

To which she responded, “Cute, Mommy, but they’re peacocks.”

Ms. Knitingale, you were right about the obscene prices for Christmas trees. I saw several that were $599 for just a pre-lit tree, no ornaments.

And I totally want that papier-mâché camel.

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