About Me

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

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Green Sock KAL

Here is my only slightly tongue-in-cheek offering for this KAL.



These are Los Lobe Hose, a pattern by Carol Breitner that I picked up some time ago at a LYS. The yarn is Schaeffer's Anne. I made over a dozen pairs of these in the last month or so as gifts for various girlfriends. These were supposed to be on their way to Ireland earlier this month, but the cell phone company triple-debited my account, and I got so cranky that I ate half of the pralines that were the raison d'etre for the mailing in the first place.

This is me, blushing. Jo, new pralines will be along eventually, along with these goodies. Belatedly, I seem to recall that your ears are unpierced. I guess you can hang them on the tree, come Christmas. The earrings, I mean; not your ears.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Random Thoughts

Random thought: It probably doesn’t make much sense to wash down a multi-vitamin and a fish oil capsule with Cherry Coke.

One of my Sisters of the Wool gave me the link to this website, so I can compare the yardage of designer-specified yarns with yarns that I can actually afford and make sure I order enough on the first bounce: http://www.yarndex.com/

The yarn that Fiona Ellis used for LittleBit's Celtic Icon hoodie is not listed on this site, as it's a very small company. So I looked in the back of Inspired Cable Knits and found the yarn company's website and did a little sleuthing. And the calculations that KnitPicks made, *should* have worked. This yarn is a little heavier than the yarn specified in the pattern: 210 yards per 100gm, as opposed to 250 yards per 100gm. And KnitPicks allowed for that, quite generously I hasten to add.

So I guess I won't be calling them indignantly and insisting on free shipping when I order more black yarn to finish my sleeves and make the side panels, LOL. Because this sure looks like operator error. I'm not sure what's going on, as my vertical gauge is perfect, and my horizontal gauge is nearly so. Must be one of those “your mileage may vary” things.

I ordered six more balls of the black today, which ought to be more than enough to finish the two sleeves and whip up the side panels. Regrettably, it's a different dye lot, so I'll get to teach my knitting students/buddies at the office how to work around that.

Meanwhile, I have cast on the two fronts and am galloping along on them, as they are narrow rectangles until I approach the underarm and neckline shapings. The purple yarn appears to be a bit lighter grist than the black; my gauge is infinitesimally tighter than on the sleeves. I wonder if it's due to the dyes used or if it's just more “your mileage may vary”. I am hoping to have enough of the purple to finish the job. I figure that if I get to the top of these fronts and have used half or more of the yarn, I'm in trouble.

More random thoughts, excerpted from my quarterly report on the status of the petty cash fund to my office manager and the managing attorney:
Here is the report for first quarter 2007. We are, unaccountably, 40cents long. I suspect this is due to change that [my backup] or I have found on the lobby floor over the past couple of months. It might be money overpaid in change by our perpetually malfunctioning junk food machines and returned to us by delightfully honest coworkers. [It might even be the tooth fairy. Your guess is as good as mine.]

I do what I can to bring a certain whimsy to office life.

Fiberjoy, I responded to your query under your last comment.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

More miscellaneous ramblings, no photos

Written on Friday in between phone calls and emailed to myself at home but not posted until tonight because I'm offline at home. Posting from Firstborn's.

There is a billboard as I drive under the notorious Triple Underpass on my way to the office. It is indigo-verging-on-periwinkle with white lettering. And it says “Sleep with Fibonacci”; it’s an advertisement for Hotel Indigo. [I wonder if Signora Fibonacci would object; possibly not, as he is apparently available for $109 to $189 per night for a single room in downtown BigD, which would certainly keep all the little Fibonacci children well supplied with fettuccini alfredo.]

This morning I had time to check out their website. http://www.hotelindigo.com
Click on their “Fibonacci and Phi” tab for an interesting discourse on one application of the legacy of my secret love, Signor Fibonacci. And then click here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibonacci
for a brief biography of the dear man himself.

It is entirely Jacqueline Fee’s fault that I am enamored of the man. In her Sweater Workshop, she introduced me to Fibonacci stripes. I have the first edition, which I purchased in 1984 shortly after it was published. I used it as the basis for several sweater commissions in the mid-80’s. And it’s the foundation of my Rust Fibonacci Sweater ~ the first FO of 2006 and the wellspring of my renewed passion for knitting.

I am in a fey mood this morning. On Friday we unlock the big recycling bins and decant our personal recycling containers into them. Some weeks it’s the only Zen moment I have, where I symbolically de-clutter my work area with the visual equivalent of a deep, cleansing breath. My coworker sent out the following reminder: “The Recycling bins are open.” I responded, “Can I put my ex-husband in there and ask for a new one?” And she replied, “You can try, but I do not think it will work, but if it does let me know and we can make a fortune.”

Oh, absolutely, just in this office alone. And I could thumb my nose at my small-but-growing 401K, because I would never have to worry about eating cat food or sleeping in the garret at one of the kids’.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The odds

Beauty and the Beast is probably my favorite Disney movie. And one of my favorite scenes is when Chip announces to all the enchanted servants that there’s a girl in the castle ~ which inspires the tour-de-force “Be Our Guest”.

I like that movie because Belle is Disney’s first intelligent heroine. Aurora and Snow White are insipidly good. Ariel is a brat, not unlike Cathy in “Wuthering Heights”, whose choices get most of the characters into deep [if not exactly hot] water. The only thing I really like about Little Mermaid is the music, which is infectious. Remind me to show you a picture of my own “Ariel” necklace; I’m often tempted to warble her theme song when I put it on.



La la laaaaaa, la la laaaa, la la laaa la la la la la la laaaaaa ... la la laaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

I bought the kit for this when I worked in a quilt shop when I was expecting Middlest. So it's approximately 25 years old, as she'll be 24 this summer.

I may have mentioned that a sibling for BittyBit is under construction. We are anticipating another lively character in the tribe. “Over-the-moon” would not be an exaggeration; we take the admonition to be fruitful and multiply seriously around here!

I may have also mentioned that this is an estrogen-heavy tribe. As the girls grow up and marry, the odds get a little less, well, *odd*. [Which reminds me of the joke that a woman in search of a husband should not seek to date fellow employees in the tech field, because while the odds are good, the goods are odd.]

The only brothers I have are those acquired through marriage or hand-picked since my 45th birthday. The only sons I have, have never felt the need to throw up on my feet; they came to me housebroken and charming and fit to have dinner with.

The Almighty has apparently decided that life is not exciting enough at Diva Central. So, in addition to the regular portions of angst, drama, and slapstick comedy served up chez nous, there will soon be Matchbox cars and Legos and dinosaurs underfoot.

“Mama, there’s a *boy* in the castle!” OK, not in the castle, not just yet. But definitely in the oven.

Somebody mail me the Secret Decoder Ring, fast!

Oh, you want knitting content? This is the inside of my repurposed makeup bag, a leftover from my days as an independent beauty consultant. All those little pockets are wonderful for stitch markers, cable needles, row counter, and sundry other tools.



Here they are, all spread out on the table for your edification:



Blogger didn't think I should be able to upload the photograph of the other half of the contents, but you get the gist.

These are the sleeves for LittleBit's Celtic Icon hoodie, taken about ten days ago.



I'm now about 40 rows shy of the underarm shaping, and I think I will not have enough yarn for the side panels, which are also black. Also please note that nowhere in the book does it tell you how to “decrease 4”. You “increase 4” by K1P1K1P1K1 in one stitch on the right side of the sleeve, and doing P2K1P2 when you get to that point on the reverse. So I unvented my own “decrease 4” by doing SSK for the first part of the cable, then K3tog for the second, and passing the SSK over the K3tog. As near as I can tell from the photos in the book, that's what she did.

Be gentle with me; with the exception of the Ariel necklace which I snapped tonight, these are the first photos I took with my camera.

The bluebonnets are blooming. Will try to get you some decent pictures of them this weekend, though nothing can convey how amazing they *smell*, or the sound they make when the seed pod pops and broadcasts seed in the most unpromising terrain.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

We look, she said, like we've been heavily sedated

In which our intrepid heroine cobbles together a series of drafts and submits them for your enjoyment, eye-rolling, astonishment, and/or general mockery.

Notes from Thursday:
I'm still not thinking like a photographer, or I'd have snapped before and after pictures. LittleBit and I began our day-off-together with half hour massages at the local massage therapy school. It was her first massage, my umpteenth. I started getting massages about a year after my mother died. The title of today's post is from what LittleBit said after we walked back to the car.

When we were done, I booked a full-body massage for my birthday next month. And we dropped my red leather tote off at the shoe repair shop to see if he can fix the place where lugging 40-50 lbs of *stuff* on a regular basis, has blown out the bottom. He didn't look hopeful, and I'm thinking that I have just repurposed it as a lovely red leather knitting bag that will stay home and hold WIPs. Even with what I paid for it, it's less than one of those lovely Lantern Moon [?] bags would have set me back.

Between the shoe repair shop and home there is now a baklava bakery, and we came home with samples of the traditional baklava and small pans of pistachio baklava and something called harisa that has a blanched almond pressed into the top of each square.

I'm not always happy about change, but if it involves a variation on a food I love, or something with ingredients that I know I like, that's different.

LittleBit is taking a nap, after washing down her baklava samples with a good slug of water. I'm ready for a mug of milk and a doze and a nice stretch of knitting. But first some lunch: the last of the salmon, cut into squares and layered on party pumpernickel that's been lurking in the freezer way too long. And a Jonagold apple, my second-favorite after Pink Lady. I'm amazed at how a blitz in the microwave can resurrect bread that's past its prime. The leftover brownies are not even tempting; I guess I'll have to pop them into ziploc snack bags and throw them into the freezer for lunches next week. Today I only want to eat things that are healthy.

This, too, shall pass...

Notes from the cusp of Thursday and Friday:
Memo to Ms. Knitingale: You are not allowed to be so funny at 12:51 am. I realize you were funny much earlier, but that's when I finished the movie [mmmm, Tommy Lee Jones, am I happy to live in TX or what?] and logged on while waiting for the milk to kick in and read about the deer not-vomiting on your feet? shoes? My kid is sleeping, and I'm trying not to howl with laughter and wake her up.

One of the girls threw up on my feet once. [Once was enough.] She was about ten, and there was some sort of bug going around, and wouldn't you know, she got it. And I was standing in the hallway talking to one of her siblings when she came barreling around the corner toward her bathroom. And I was in the way. And unlike LittleBit, who is possibly the tidiest barfer in the known universe, well let's just say this child's talents lie in other directions. She had the most hopeless, horrified look on her dear little face as she opened her mouth to ask me to please move, and something other than words came flying out.

Firstborn had her very first boyfriend over, and they were sitting demurely on the front couch, and he cracked up when he heard me say "Oh bleep, honey, why did you throw up on my feet?" I don't think any of my kids had ever heard me use barn language before. Or ask such a ridiculous question, for that matter.

Notes from Friday:
One of LittleBit's friends spent the night on Thursday, and we all watched Wednesday night's movie together, to much howling and ice-cream-eating. "Man of the House" with Tommy Lee Jones. Not as brilliantly deadpan a performance as in "Men in Black"; he actually loosened up and got goofy in this one.

Notwithstanding that the girls are teenagers, both woke around 9:00, and we headed to the YMCA to work out. I did ten minutes on the treadmill and 20 on the recumbent bike and about an hour on the various instruments of torture in the weight room. Then we came home, and while they cleaned up, I found the article on the local artisan chocolatiers, and we had ourselves a little road trip.

We also hit Sam Moon's, a local shopping institution that in spite of living in Texas for nearly 30 years I'd always managed to miss before, and got two purses and a pair of sunglasses for LittleBit, and a new bag for me.

We did all kinds of shopping for her on Thursday: hit the recycled-fashionables shop for her, where they sell trendy things that the rich brats wore once and got tired of, and got her two pairs of heels for church, and some leggings and a ruffly skirt to wear over them [not for church, I hasten to add], and new jeans, and then to Steinmart where we got her a Harve Benard jacket and a Jones New York black pencil skirt and a white linen blouse and a lovely 50's-retro skirt that Donna Reed would have loved, all in black and/or white.

This kid has way better taste than I did when I was her age, even though I was making all my clothing from good patterns and good fabrics. Part of it, I think, is having four older sisters, and part of it is having a mother who is more into fiber and fashion than my own mother was. Mom had great taste, but as we lived in Idaho there were no opportunities to satisfy it. I remember when she made herself a pantsuit [back when pantsuits were new] from a Bill Blass pattern and looked *terrific* in it.

A flashback to Tink with me Tuesday:
If Fiberjoy can have her "walk with me Wednesday"s, then I claim Tuesdays! Made lots of progress on LittleBit's sleeves, both during my breaks at work and at Knit Night. Noticed on one of my work-even rows tonight that my count was off. Turned the needle over and comprehended that I'd dropped half of one two-stitch cable element, about two rows back. *sigh*

I tinked that back and more or less repaired it. As I reached for my row counter, I discovered that the preceding row should have had an increase on each edge. *deeper sigh*

At which point I realized that I was suddenly very tired. Work has been exhilarating and intense; my backup, the data clerk, has been on vacation since early afternoon last Thursday. Which means that I have been answering phones, pulling faxes, and entering all the new lawsuits into our system. But the cool thing is that the class I took last week has inspired me to tweak my paperflow management [I have no idea if this is making sense to anybody but me; just nod and smile] and making me both more efficient and more effective.

So while yes, I'm extremely tired, I've also been extremely productive, and reasonably cheerful into the bargain. I'm home, and I'm safe, and I'm loopy with fatigue. I think I have just enough energy left to take out two rows on each sleeve, adjust the row counter and my post-it placemarker on the graph, eat a brownie, and enjoy a mug of warm milk before lights out.

Further musings on Fiberjoy's comments of last Sunday:
Oh yeah. That whole "Thy will be done" thing does not come easily for me. I would not be at all surprised to learn that Brother Right is deaf, and has his eyes closed so that he can't see God signing to him.

[When I was in the interpreting program, one of my friends was married to a deaf man. And when they fought, she would close her eyes and fold her arms. Talk about giving somebody the "silent treatment"!]

Or he might be somewhere close, with his fingers in his ears, saying "La la la, I can't hear You." I have been known to do that myself. Though not so much since I started knitting, because I might accidentally invent a home lobotomy kit.

I came home from church on Sunday and foraged some lunch. Then I sat down with my scriptures and did what I should have done, first thing. And then I tinked that row and a half. One of the things I realized today is that if I'm tinking a single row of cables, I don't have to put them in their original order. I can just leave them twisted on the left-hand needle and *carefully* knit or purl them back up when I get to them.

Old knitter. New tricks.

Notes from today:
OK, y'all, I think we're caught up. This is going to be another busy one. Swimming at 10:00, yoga with Firstborn and middlest-granddaughter at 11:30, and a wedding reception at 6:00. I'm tired just thinking about it! And, I fear, precious little knitting today. I need to take out about four rows on one sleeve, as I made the same mistake as on Tuesday. I've fixed one of the sleeves but not the other.

Had the monthly dinner last night with Brother Sushi, at RockFish. My turn to buy. I had a cup of the red pepper crab soup, and the crab penne, and insufficient self-discipline to save half for lunch today as I normally would have done. We'll blame it on the workout. Yeah, that's it!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Yoga: it's the new knitting

Tonight after work I stopped in at the friendly local YMCA and signed up for a single-parent membership for LittleBit and me. I'd run into Wally World on the way to work and scored a shocking pink yoga mat. Between work and the Y, I ran into my favorite plus-size shop and found a black dressy skirt for less than $7, to replace my old workhorse black skirt that I bought six years ago, the one that the cleaners killed the elastic on last time, boo hiss, and a pair of yoga pants for 40% off.

LittleBit was unavailable to go with me tonight, but I attended my first-ever yoga class and loved it. I can't do much of anything yet, still too stiff from the broken leg, but I tried a little bit of almost everything, and when I couldn't do what the teacher and the class were doing, I just stood or sat or lay there and b*r*e*a*t*h*e*d. I like the teacher, and I loved the music, and at one point I was standing with a list to starboard and heard/felt my spine go Pop. Pop. Pop. Little languid bubbles of ahhhh rising to the surface. When it was time to list to port, I heard about as many pops from the other side of my spinal column, truly one of the best things that I've felt in recent months.

And way too soon, class was over, and it was time to roll up my mat and grab some dinner. I bought a fat, sassy sweet potato and a perfect little lime and some smoked salmon, about two portions' worth, and I rented a video and came home. Dinner was spinach with a generous dollop of olive/dijon dressing, and half of the sweet potato with a bit of real butter and some freshly grated nutmeg and a sploosh of Grade B maple syrup, the stuff that's oh so flavorful. And some of the salmon. When I want to be really good to myself, I eat fish. I can hear all those microscopic cellular bits yodeling "thanks, Mom!"

And now it's almost 10pm, and I've been up since 4am, and I feel relaxed but not weary. I'm going to pop in the DVD and put on my jammies and the new robe that I ordered online a couple of weeks ago and pretend I'm somebody glamorous in a 30's film, and knit for dessert.

I'm taking tomorrow and Friday off to play with LittleBit, who's on spring break.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What is wrong with this sign?



I was heading north on a major street Saturday morning when I saw this sign. I couldn't wait for Monday morning so I could photograph it for my blog. [It's near the chapel where LittleBit has early morning seminary and just down the road from the kolache shop.]

What do *you* think of when you think "notary public"? We have several in our law office: some of them legal secretaries and some of them paralegals, and each of them a lady [though not one of them stuffy]. Do you not think "respectable" when you think "notary"? Is not the concept "notary + tattoo" a significantly greater oxymoron than "Lynn + camera"?

Thanks. I thought so, too.

OK, now that we've solved the problem of the sign, what about the "moderate comments" tags that remain unchecked if I publish from the notification in my inbox? I am having to come back after publishing a comment to "reject" them. I hope this does not mean that eventually they will all disappear [as EZ would say] like piddle in the sand.

Let the record show that I have successfully liposuctioned a picture from my camera, onto my hard drive, and into a post. Me. While baking brownies, no less! Took me forever to figure out where to *find* it on my hard drive, but I typed out the logic chain into Word and have it saved. One of these days I will have to put my knitting down long enough to finish reading those manuals.

Will try for something a little more scenic:



This is a Bradford pear tree in bloom on the UTA campus [University of Texas at Arlington]. I pulled into a faculty parking lot in a mist of raindrops -- thought I was in Seattle for a moment -- and caught this last weekend.

OK, feeling brave. Will try for some actual knitting content:



LittleBit's purple tweed socks, the first FO of the year, in KnitPicks Essential Tweed in a *much* darker color. I think this neon effect is due to my having photographed them atop the granddaughter's bolero.

The toes:



The heels:



OK, now I'm off to take a deep, cleansing breath.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Pride goeth before a frog

Two or three seemingly disparate issues which I hope to connect, convincingly, sometime before I hit "publish".

My father told me on more than one occasion, "If at first you don't succeed, go back and read the manual." He was perhaps the most naturally competent person I know, or perhaps it was just that I was such a caboose on his timeline that he had figured it all out, or knew where to find the answers, by the time that I needed to ask the questions.

This day, which my computer and my VCR and my wristwatch all say is not even to the midpoint, would have begun far better if I'd stopped to read the manual(s). On a workday, the alarm goes off at 4:00, I start the tub, I write my "take 5" for the preceding day into my planner, I have my devotional while the water cools slightly, I write a few more notes into my planner, I get slicked up and take LittleBit to seminary and either stay there and read or knit, or else come home to finish my preparations. Seminary's over, I drop her and my best friend's daughter at school, and I head to BigD to take on the day.

Today, Sunday, the blessed and occasionally glorious Sabbath, has gone a little differently. I start the tub. I grab my knitting and finish one row and part of another while it fills (we're talking sleeves, the next-to-smallest size, and not much cabling on this row). I get clean, fix my hair, get half-dressed, and sit down to finish the row while LittleBit gets ready for church.

That's when I realize that the simple cabled row is the one where I'm supposed to insert four new stitches on either side of the main cables. Think of it as a sidecar for your Harley. And because I had glanced at the center portion instead of the big picture, no sidecars. OK, it will take less than half an hour to tink back and reknit. I'll just fix it later; on to church.

We arrive, about three minutes late. LittleBit scurries inside. I stroll at a pace more suitable for someone with a recently-healed broken leg [look, Ma, no cane!] and one of my friends greets me with, "Oh, you forgot, too?" I give her the blank look which I have patented through raising 4.9 teenagers. "Daylight Savings Time," she grins.

Oye. I have totally missed the Relief Society lesson, but I'm right on time for Gospel Doctrine. One of my girlfriends beams to see me, "Oh good, you're here. I was afraid that you were still sick." Thankfully, I do not get picked to give the opening prayer, one of the hazards of being late to class, and a particular hazard for me because the Gospel Doctrine teacher is a knitting buddy.

Now, if I had skipped the knitting-while-the-tub-fills and gone straight to my devotional, I would have seen "SPRING FORWARD" printed neatly at the top of today's planner page. And I would have realized that I did not have nearly two hours to prepare for church, but less than an hour. And I wouldn't have had time to mess up a row and a half on LittleBit's hoodie, and my "good morning, Sunshine" when I woke her would have had a bit of White Rabbit to the tone "we're late, we're late, for a very important date, no time to shave or foof our hair, we're late we're late we're late".

I don't understand how I could have forgotten to "spring forward", especially after reading Ms. Knitingale's brilliant rant yesterday: http://floknit.blogspot.com/2007/03/time-in-bloggle.html
I even responded to it, LOL. In 30-some years of churchgoing, I don't believe that this has happened before, though there were a couple of times when I forgot to "fall back". I blame those on the sleep-deprivation that occurs when one produces five children in eleven years. [Hey, everything was my fault when they were younger; time to turn the tables.]

Color me humbled.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

For those of us who live like nuns:

This gem, sent to me by a devoutly Catholic coworker. And then maybe some knitting content.

Sister Mary Katherine entered the Monastery of Silence. The Priest said, “Sister, this is a silent monastery. You are welcome here as long as you like but you may not speak until I direct you to do so.”

Sister Mary Katherine lived in the monastery for 5 years before the Priest said to her, “Sister Mary Katherine, you have been here for 5 years. You can speak two words.”

Sister Mary Katherine said, “Hard bed.” “I'm sorry to hear that,” the Priest said, “We will get you a better bed.”

After another 5 years, Sister Mary Katherine was called by the Priest. “You may say another two words, Sister Mary Katherine.”

“Cold Food,” said Sister Mary Katherine, and the Priest assured her that the food would be better in the future.

On her 15th anniversary at the monastery, the Priest again called Sister Mary Katherine into his office. “You may say two words today.”

“I quit,” said Sister Mary Katherine.

“It’s probably best,” said the Priest, “You’ve done nothing but [complain] since you got here.”

***

I sometimes wonder if God feels that way about many of my prayers. My favorite roommate once said, when I was 25 and still knew it all, that she had this picture in her mind of Him looking down and shaking His head and muttering, "d*mned if I do, and d*mned if I don't". I hope that I'm more easily pleased than I was back then. And I hope that I'm far more aware, and more grateful, and more teachable.

I know that we're supposed to ask for the things we need. I've never quite figured out how often we're supposed to ask, or how intensely. At what point does asking become begging, or nagging?

I have worked so hard to stay busy doing good things for the past decade or so, in part because I truly believe that one reason we are here is to wear out our lives joyfully in the service of God and our fellow beings. And in part because being a mom is the hardest job I've ever loved [the Peace Corps would be a cakewalk in comparison] and being a single mom is hardness squared or possibly cubed, even though I have really terrific kids who, now that they're grown at least, try to make the job as easy as possible, and if I don't do it, it probably won't get done. And in part to stay out of trouble, pure and simple. I've said for years that remarriage is one of those things that is important but not urgent. And that I have plenty to do to keep myself busy and out of trouble until Brother Right ambles into my life.

All of which is still true. But I learned a thing or three during that intermezzo with Brother Abacus. One is that I am deeply weary of single blessedness; it is far superior to an unhappy marriage, or to the counterfeit of love that too many people are willing to settle for. My favorite memory is the night we brought his Christmas tree down from the attic and set it up, and I got chilled, so he wrapped me in an afghan on a chair by the fire and sat there with his arm around my shoulder. I want many more moments like that, before I die. [Just, not with *him*, LOL.]

How do I ask for that, without obsessing about it? How often do I remind God that I was paying attention when He said that it wasn't good for us to be alone, and that I get the whole two-by-two-like-the-Ark thing, and that I'm willing to do my part, but that there seems to be a notable lack of enthusiasm on the part of the brethren? How do I fine-tune the forcefield, so that it only repels the cads and the bounders? [For that matter, how does the egg know *which* sperm is the right one for the job, and why have five of my eggs been smarter about their portion of mankind than I have?]

It's been a busy week at work. The workshop all day on Monday, catching up on Tuesday and Wednesday, doing double-duty when my backup went on vacation Thursday and Friday. An optional meeting on Wednesday, which I skipped, and a two and a half hour class on diversity and inclusion yesterday morning, which could have been *excruciating* but instead was lively and productive. The time just flew by. I didn't quite zero out my desk yesterday, but some of the things I learned in class on Monday have blessed the remainder of my work week.

I've taken a few pictures on my new camera but have yet to install the software or the hookup to the USB port. Will try to get both done later today, after LittleBit wakes up and before the bridal shower for a young friend at 1:00. Which means that I need to grab my swimsuit and towel *now* and get my water therapy in and my Rx picked up and something bought for the shower. And I hope to squeeze in a visit to the local YMCA, which Firstborn tells me has an excellent yoga class at a time that's convenient for me. I spent half an hour or more this morning, entering "lap swimming" and birthdays and "knit night" into my planner through the end of May.

Why does this whole "simplify my life" objective seem unattainable?

I finished the first 28-row pattern repeat on LittleBit's sleeves for her Celtic Icon hoodie before going to bed last night. There are pictures on the camera. *My* camera! Still sounds oxymoronic. My + camera = bewilderment, chaos, confusion, and a major learning curve.

Maybe I'll have pictures for you later tonight, or after church tomorrow.

Must. Go. Soak. My. Head.

Monday, March 05, 2007

The lawyers are in charge today

Don't panic; I don't mean all over the world, just in my office. Answering my phones. Flirting with my UPS drivers.

I am dropping LittleBit at early morning seminary in thirty-five minutes and heading up to Far North Dallas for an all-day class with the rest of the support staff. This is a class on homelife/worklife balance, and for me it's rather moot, because I have one of those jobs which is easy to leave at my desk at the end of the day. But I expect to learn something from the class, and if nothing else it is a day in which I will have to answer Not Phone One, except my cell phone when class lets out at 4:30. Given the location of today's class and the location of home, I don't expect to be home any sooner than if I were leaving from downtown BigD at the usual time.

The 0000 project is complete, and I realized as I was drifting off to sleep last night that I'd sealed the components up for delivery to their future owners without taking a picture first. Bear with me; I'm still not used to the idea of being owned by a digital camera.

One of my church girlfriends brought LittleBit home after church, with three Sabbath-appropriate videos for me to watch if I was tired of napping. I watched all three while LittleBit visited with her dad and sister, who live just over the fence from our apartment complex. I can see his kitchen window when I'm at the dumpster. There's a punchline in there somewhere, but it's not even 6:00am so you'll have to come up with it yourself, sorry.

I frogged the Jitterbug sock because over the past couple of days, in spite of the cold-induced fog that is my brain, I realized that I forgot to cast on over doubled needles. So I cast on the same number of stitches last night and have started over with another pattern. I'm thinking that I'm going to frog it again and begin a third sock which has a lovely scalloped cuff that requires one more stitch than the first two.

What I really want to do is stay home today and work on the sleeves to LittleBit's cardi, but unfortunately they are locked in my bottom drawer at work. I'm afraid that if I show up to fetch them, the lawyers will tie me to my chair and go defend people.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Uh-Oh

I dreamed that I was spinning last night. Some sort of Louet-ish wheel, and a lovely bit of wool about the same color as LittleBit's prom dress.

I used to own a Louet S-10. I used to have a mail-order business selling them out of my home, about 20 years ago. I sold my wheel to a friend when we moved to the Texas Hill Country in 1991. I sold my Louet 4-harness loom to a different friend when we moved back a year and a half later.

I still have a couple of Ziploc bags of camel/tussah roving, picked up sometime between 1984 and 1991. I still have my spinning chair; it lives in front of the sewing machine that I barely touch.

I don't think any of my Sisters of the Wool [my knit night ladies] are spinners. I don't know where this dream came from, if it's wheel envy from seeing what Knitspot and the Harlot are up to, or if it's the first whisperings of inspiration, or nostalgia, or just the random synaptic firings of someone who's severely congested and quite possibly oxygen-deprived.

Mom? I'm scared!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Alarums and Excursions

LittleBit's prom dress arrived at the office yesterday. I ordered it online from http://beautifullymodest.com/. I'm including the link in case you have teenage daughters who have a need for formal wear that does not make them look like Pretty Woman. Photos of LittleBit in the dress will be posted sometime next month, but here's the dress she picked. They say it's "baby blue", but I think it's more of an ice blue. The ribbon and tulle ruffle are jet black.




Why did I not make it myself? I made last year's formal for the Military Ball, a real Barbie Dream Dress, and she's making this year's prom dress to satisfy requirements for Tech Theatre IV, but this one is for a church-sponsored alternative prom serving the youth of the greater geographical area. It requires much tweaking of a commercial pattern to get it to fit her properly, and most commercial patterns are just not modest enough to please us.

I am saving myself hours of time, and both of us much aggravation that would result from all the tweaking involved, and the company I ordered from carries dresses at several price points. They also have wedding gowns, but LittleBit looked at me with horrified dismay when I suggested we might use these people in a few years when it's her turn to marry. "No, Mommy, I want you to make my gown, just like you did for the other girls." Fine, but all the @#$% bridesmaid dresses, and my own, will be ordered from this company, because there are now three granddaughters to sew for, as well as all those nice people I gave birth to.

I loved making Firstborn's and Secondborn's wedding gowns. I spent two and a half months beading the bodice of Firstborn's gown. I had mixed feelings when Middlest eloped. Fourthborn is planning a Renaissance wedding and designing the gowns herself. I'll be sewing her gown, and she'll probably be sewing the others. I may even be tatting some of the lace on her gown, using silver metallic thread. All of that is at least two or three years down the road; she wants to get through art school first, and she's working and saving the money for that so she won't have to go into debt for her education.

Knitting content? You want knitting content? OK, the blog hit 2000 views sometime during the week. We're definitely not getting the Harlot's numbers, but I am astounded that so many people have read me since I fired up the blog last July. Thanks, y'all, you rock!

Or how about this?



Here's my middlest granddaughter in her borrowed dress and the bolero that I knit her in Berroco's Glace. We'll try to get better close-ups for you in the near future. This picture does neither of them justice. She's already heartbreakingly lovely at thirteen; it's a good thing that her dad has some familiarity with the martial arts.

Friday, March 02, 2007

How many lawyers does it take...

To replace one intermittently humble receptionist? Nine, apparently, with one or two more for backup. What I have been doing this week, in lieu of my regular duties and/or in addition to them, is training our legal eagles to answer the phones, deal with the incoming faxes, and sort and open the mail.

Why am I doing this? About three weeks ago, all the attorneys took a one-day class to help them better balance their worklife and homelife. No attorneys in the office = much clearing of backlogs by their respective secretaries and paralegals. The attorneys came back to us the next day, refreshed and reinspired. The support staff was ready to welcome them back.

On Monday it's *our* turn. The attorneys, capable folks all, will be running the show. Which means that every hour on the hour, a new one will be sitting at my desk, doing what I do. With the possible exception of flirting with some of the spiffier couriers.

Doesn't sound all that difficult, does it?

I think the timing of this is excellent: after the powers-that-be have completed my performance review, and before we discuss the size of my bonus.

I came home on Wednesday after having trained five of them for one hour each, feeling [in the cowboy vernacular] as if I'd been "rode hard and put up wet". I only trained one of them yesterday and was actually able to knock out some of the work in my in-basket. (I also scan and clean all the discovery that doesn't come to us on a floppy or CD.) One of them bought me lunch.

I "only" have to train three of them today, one of them my managing attorney, who is truly a joy and a delight. I am nevertheless stopping off at the deli on the parking level and stocking up on Hershey's Special Dark.

Film at 11.

The 0000 project is nearing completion, and I am looking forward to working on LittleBit's cardi this weekend, since I will not be dancing or going to quilt class. And I may have a surprise for the lot of you, but no promises...