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!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Best-laid Plans

After purging a few more numbers from my cell phone yesterday morning, I called Best Friend. Who had a sore throat. And as my immune system is already fighting off a mysterious case of athlete’s foot [how can I have that if I’m one of the least-athletic people I know?], I told her “Let’s reschedule.”

So I worked the Sudoku on the AARP website. And I did the dishes. And then I boiled up the last of the eggs. A man on the train told me about Sprouts, which is something like a cross between Whole Foods and a farmers market; they carry local eggs. But the nearest one is in Southlake, which puts those particular free-range eggs just out of range.

So later this week I will go to Central Market, where I’ve bought them in the past. I do want to go check out Sprouts, but it will have to be as part of a yarn crawl or quilt shop hop, or maybe as a slight detour on the way to the next Lewisville dance. The market is open until 10:00pm, so that could work.

Meanwhile, there is the one in BigD, which is not too far from the office. I could catch the train super early, take a bus to the farmers market, take another one back to the office, and put a “hands off!” sticky-note on my stuff and another one on my monitor to remind me to take the food home at the end of the day. Maybe the Dallas farmers market will have some of that sweet potato pappardelle?

Or I could just use the list that a friend has given me of good places to visit that are closer to home. There is a farmers market maybe five miles to the west of me. [Maybe less.] And near that is a craft shop and a large secondhand book store.

While we are still on the topic of food: I am amazed how long a loaf of bread lasts when it’s just me here to eat it. Thank goodness I keep mine in the fridge; it may go stale, but it doesn’t get moldy. I ate the last mini-bagel, purchased before the move, for breakfast yesterday morning, and I have yet to finish the millet bread that I bought that first week I was here in the duplex. I have to toast it to [ahem!] even out the crispiness, but it’s still fit to eat and definitely a good workout for my teeth and gums.

Which reminds me that Brother Brigham was partial to whole-grain bread that had been baked in the fire until it had a crust about half an inch thick. That’s a little too al dente for my own taste, but as they say, it’s differences of opinion that make horse races.

He also said that if you want to send your husband to an early grave, feed him baking powder biscuits. Death by Bisquick? Sorry, Brother Brigham. No jury of working women would convict me! Although I haven’t bought Bisquick in years; too much sodium to be healthy for me.

And now, something for those readers who thought this was a knitting blog. Much progress on a stealth project that may or may not end up as Firstborn’s birthday gift. They say you should give people things that would please you. And I’ve been wanting one of these for about a year and a half. So if she doesn’t like it at all, I’ll gladly take it back for my own. And if she likes the design but not the color, I’ll make her another.

So, no pictures, not until after my blogiversary, which coincides with her 30th birthday.

Back to the topic of food. You may recall that last weekend I scored chicken breasts for $1.99 a pound. And that I threw them into the crock pot early in the week, and a day or so later put the stock back into the crock pot with some frozen vegetables and a large potato, to make a batch of soup. That wily tater gobbled up all of the salt, and the resulting soup was flat and a little bleh.

I was hungry after all that knitting yesterday afternoon, and I decided to see if I could perk up the soup and still have a healthy meal. I opened a can of Ro-Tel and put half of it in the pot, with a quart mason jar of soup, and one of the chicken breasts, chopped up. And a smidge of cinnamon. I must be needing something in the way of micro-nutrients, because suddenly I want cinnamon on or in everything. Weird.

I am pleased to report that half a can of Ro-Tel is apparently just what the Soup Doctor ordered, because it was mighty tasty. And I followed it with a couple of smallish slices of millet bread, toasted, and the merest whisper of butter. And there is plenty for after church today. And after work tomorrow. Not to mention the other quart of bleh that is waiting in the fridge to be perked.

OK, OK, something other than food. I have decided to set up some rewards, most likely small shopping splurges, for each reasonable milestone on my journey to debt-free living. Probably not yarn; I have enough in my stash to last me two or three years at the current rate. Maybe books and music that are on my Amazon wish list.

And another non-food item. I got a call from the bishop’s wife yesterday, inviting me to attend the family history [genealogical research] class that begins today. I told her that while I would prefer to stay in the Gospel Doctrine class, I’ve been sensing that it’s time to get back into genealogy. So her call was almost certainly inspired, and yes, I will be attending the class. I think there are ancestors who want to be found, and I’ve been wondering recently if the temple work has been done for my favorite aunt, who died a couple of years ago.

One of the things I like about going to church and reading the scriptures [or in my case, listening to them on CD while driving] and praying, is that every so often my mind calms down enough that I can hear or feel the Spirit. That happened in church last Sunday. I was thinking about the children’s father and how rapidly his health is deteriorating. And I was thinking about the girls and their relationships [or not] with him. And mine, which is in the latter category; I haven’t spoken to him since Christmas.

He is diabetic and non-compliant; i.e., he should be taking insulin and is not. He has had neuropathy in his feet for at least 15 years, and now it’s in his hands as well. He has had macular degeneration in one eye for that long or longer, but now probably both eyes. He cannot walk a straight line; the police brought him home a few weeks ago when he was out walking to try to find work. He doesn’t eat properly. He doesn’t remember to take the dog outside. And he still wants to drive.

I used to be angry with him. Heaven knows there was plenty to be angry about, once I stopped burying it in depression and started to deal with it. But with time and prayer and distance and a good amount of counseling with a truly inspired counselor, I have pretty much forgiven him for his sins of omission against me. I am still chewing on his sins of omission against our children. That old mama bear that is deep inside most mothers, the one that growls “don’t mess with my cubs”, she hasn’t forgotten. Or forgiven. [Thankfully, I don't have to forgive him for predatory behavior, just passive-aggression and chronic unemployment and a few other things.]

I was thinking about him in church last week, wondering why he is still hanging onto life when his mind is gone and his heart is absent. I’m sure that LittleBit prays often for him to be healed and happy and here, so he can walk her down the aisle when she finds someone worthy. I know a little something about the power in a child’s prayer; Secondborn is the child who prayed her younger sisters here, particularly LittleBit.

It’s hard to know how to pray for him, what is the best thing to ask on his behalf. For years it was Tevye’s prayer for the Tsar, “God bless and keep the Tsar -- far from [me]”. But the realities of visitation made that impossible. Until I moved last month, for the past ten years we have lived within three miles of one another, and since last September, within a hundred yards.

I was talking about this with Brother Sushi on Friday night. He is diabetic, and he monitors himself very carefully. He says the big three killers of diabetics are heart attacks, stroke, and gangrene. And that with the rapid deterioration the girls are witnessing, one of the three is almost inevitable, it’s just a question of which, and when.

So there are a couple of things I am pondering. One is the idea that maybe he is still here so that those of us who have the most to forgive him for, will have plenty of opportunity to do so. Maybe we are holding him back by our reluctance, even more than LittleBit is holding him here by her faith. I was thinking about one child who has grieved so deeply over him that in part she has shut down emotionally. I see something of how that affects her relationships with the other men in her life. I know how it continues to affect my relationships with the men in mine, and my relationship with God, though I can also feel God’s healing power in my life. And I think that God is working underground in hers.

And the other thing is a growing conviction that I need to write him a letter of forgiveness. It cannot be all-inclusive at this time, but I can at least make a start. Oye. One of the ways that I can identify inspiration in my own life, is when I am prompted to do something that is good, that the natural me does not want to do. Like going to the family history class. Or this.

5 comments:

Bea said...

I buy brown free-range eggs at Target but I kinda doubt that they are local.

Tan said...

The letter of forgiveness is a good idea. It will let you leave more of it behind you emotionally. In OA we write down what we resented, and how it made us feel afraid, or threatened, or other negative emotions, and in what ways. And then we turn it over to Heavenly Father. I have not gotten to the making amends stage, so can't say much about that.

Jenni said...

I don't like it when what you write makes me feel moved to action. Please leave me alone in my sulking heap.

Lynn said...

Wow, he's going to be really surprised if half his children, plus me, write him letters this week.

Large font might be a good idea.

Bonnie said...

Maybe a letter-on-tape would be a better idea, then he won't have to strain to read it at all.