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, November 30, 2008

Views from the Porch

This is what prompted me to go grab the camera.

And then I noticed the birch (?) by the driveway.

And the view across the top of Lorelai.

Over the neighbor’s porch. I could hear children playing in their back yard.

Looking across the street and slightly to the right.

And a bit of yellow that reminds me of the aspens in the hills above Boise, in hue if not in shape.

Turning around, the view from the back of the couch.

If you squint, or click to embiggen, you can see the elastic on the zills. The silver ones are in the bag; I took them with me to Firstborn’s on Thanksgiving, and LittleBit tied the knots for me. Couldn’t have asked Trainman to help. I didn’t see him once last week.

If you are reasonably local, i.e., in the North Texas region, my old stake is presenting its fourteenth annual Nativity display at the stake center, beginning this coming Thursday night and continuing through Saturday night. There will be choirs and small groups singing in the chapel and probably in the cultural hall as well, and it will be lovely, and if you are feeling the slightest bit grinchy because of Black Friday madness or the state of the economy or the state of your checkbook, this is a Christ-centered activity that just might cure what ails you.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
3809 Curt Drive
Arlington, TX

Need I add that this is free, our Christmas gift to the community? If you go to the church’s homepage, click on “About the Church” and select “Find a Meetinghouse”, then type in that address, you’ll get a map, and you can also get driving directions. It’s definitely worth your time, and it’s an activity suitable for the entire family.

My new stake is having its Christmas music festival on the 14th. I’ll give you those details later. You ought to come to that, as well. [I’ll be the one with the zills and the slightly sheepish expression.]

When I went to bed last night, there were 40” on the birthday scarf! Whether I deliver it tonight, before choir practice, or tomorrow after work, depends on whether I have an appropriate birthday card already on hand.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

ScarfWars2008 ... The Knitting Continues

I am amazed at how quickly a scarf knits up on 3.0mm needles if you have a good audiobook going. There’s no temptation to look up and watch the action for awhile, as there is when you’ve popped in a DVD.

I think one of the first things I will do when the scarf is done, is one of these. I’ve brought out the folk-art tree from the closet in my studio and am trying to figure out where to set it up.

And I will probably decorate the smaller, variegated ficus tree as well. The tall tree, 7’ high and bought when I lived in an apartment with 9’ ceilings, is thus quite happy with the 8.5’ ones here in the duplex, though it’s presently hiding out in the hall. I haven’t found where it wants to be on a permanent basis, so I roll it from one spot to another when I need to get at things.

As I type, one of those shrink-wrapped microwave potatoes is yodeling in the microwave. Mostly, they just sit there in prim silence and get cooked. Every so often I get one that wants to warble as it expires, like Mimi in La Bohème. This one sounds more like a Valkyrie that has fallen off its horse. It is not going gentle into that good night.

[Postscript: Mimi the Potato had no comment about being smothered in wasabi ranch dressing. Thought you’d like to know.]

I got up on the couch and tightened three light bulbs in the ceiling fan. [Yes, daughters, I braced myself with one hand against the top of the Queen Chair, just in case I got woozy from altitude.] I replaced one burnt-out bulb, and let there be light! Makes sitting on the couch, knitting while listening to Sticks and String, a whole lot more pleasant. I listened to his three most recent podcasts and then went back into the archives for his interview with Franklin Habit [episode 66].

@Francis, if your beloved is looking for a clean podcast with interesting essays and enjoyable music and hasn’t already discovered David, tell her I said she should check him out.

@Middlest, this is the Aussie bloke I told you about before you became a knitter in your own right. I know you’re with Aussie voices like I am with cops [ducking].

As of bedtime, something like 11:40pm because I got a nice nap mid-afternoon, there were 26.5” on the scarf, and I still hadn’t come to the end of the first ball of yarn, although it was somewhere between a tennis ball and a clementine in size. I am aiming for 48” to 54” total length, as 2BDH is considerably taller than I.

I think it’s reasonable to expect that I will have enough left for a smaller scarf for BittyBubba for Christmas. And I have something in mind for BittyBit, possibly from the same yarn I used for Secondborn’s scarf.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Giant Talking Lobsters?

My friend 4KidsLittleHouse [sadly, blogless] got me reading Non Sequitur about ten years ago. Wiley Miller is amazing! I didn’t much like Danae, until she found Lucy the miniature Clydesdale, who has somehow managed to humanize her. [Equify her?] And Kate, her sister, has Petey the dog, and their dad [unlike Calvin-of-Calvin-and-Hobbes’ parents] talks to the animals, and they talk back. Just not quite in the same sense as Danae.

The current storyline is promising. Anytime a giant blue lobster walks into a diner and says, “Yo...” it’s safe to say you’ll have my attention.

Kind of like: Blonde walks into a bar. Says “Ouch.”

Dinner yesterday was wonderful, relaxing, filling. They seated us at what looked like a table halfway under an arch, with another couple to the right of us and two spaces in between. I thought, “OK, a little weird, but it’s pretty crowded. I’ll just pretend they’re not here.” It wasn’t until halfway or more through dinner that I snuck a look at the people to the right of us and realized that the woman was me.

The grandkids were on their way out the door by the time we got to Firstborn’s. BittyBubba was contemplating a pre-nap meltdown, and BittyBit was completing a power yoga session with Aunt Firstborn, the perfect warmup to a power struggle with her mother, which Secondborn politely but decisively won.

The remaining girls were musical: Firstborn and the three youngest all started singing the opening lines from “Beauty and the Beast”. Loudly, and impeccably on key. Brother Sushi and 1BDH were visiting and watching football in the living room. Fiancé was cringing, out in the dining room with us. I was laughing and wiping my eyes.

The knitting continues. I finished the first quarter or so of the scarf before bedtime. I hope to reach the halfway mark today, or the end of the first ball of yarn, whichever is longer.

I’ll leave you with something sublime, in contrast with all the ridiculousness that precedes it. My new friend Francis posted this yesterday.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

What I’m Not Fixing for Thanksgiving Dinner Today

Mason-Dixon Knitting had what sounded like a good recipe on Monday. It feels a little weird not to be making a pan of my sweet potatoes. I will have to remedy that sometime between now and Christmas.

The proportions I use are roughly: 1 large can of sweet potatoes or yams, 1 medium can of mandarin oranges, one handful of pecan halves. Season to taste with freshly-grated nutmeg [but not if you are pregnant, according to the nice folks at Whole Foods], maybe some cinnamon if you are so inclined, and either grade B maple syrup [cooking grade, not gourmet grade] or brown or turbinado or demerara sugar, but not a lot of whichever one you choose. Stir gently and bake about half an hour, until heated through. Generally around 350°F / 176°C, chez nous.

@Tan: I checked on Ravelry; the color for the Koigu is Jewel Tones, dye lot number P141 145. These socks will go with absolutely everything in my closet! [And on my chairs, and piled atop boxes, and in the wash. Just trying to keep it real.] I had 4.9 g left in one ball, 3.5 g left in the other. Probably not enough for Middlest to knit a doll sweater. Possibly enough for me to make a miniature sweater for my Christmas tree; definitely enough for a pair of tiny mittens or socks.

No, one sock is not significantly larger than the other; it’s a trick of perspective.

I put several rounds on my Mystery Sock November 2008 while coming home on the train yesterday afternoon. [We got to leave an hour early. I didn’t wait to be told twice.] I completed the first pattern repeat and am a little ways into the second.

And last night I cast on 45 stitches for 2BDH’s birthday scarf. I’m doing a simple knit-purl pattern with garter stitch borders so it will (a) be reversible and (b) not require blocking before I give it to him. Have I mentioned that his birthday is Tuesday?

I fell asleep sitting upright, while knitting on the scarf last night. So now I need to grab some leftover banana pecan muffins and a mug of milk and figure out where I was when I dozed off. I brought the leftover muffins home rather than let them mold in their bag on the counter at work over the weekend. The fridge there is still too full to fit them in.

And I need to document 2BDH’s scarf over on Ravelry. No pictures here on the blog until it’s done.

Have a blessed and safe and happy and grateful Thanksgiving, everybody! I will raise a forkful of medium-rare sirloin in your collective honor when I’m at Texas de Brazil this afternoon, listening to bossa nova [and Brother Sushi] instead of a bunch of overpaid athletes crashing into each another. And then I will head over to Firstborn’s and hug my girls and older granddaughters and kiss my grandbabies.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Since We’re Being Grateful

Kristen has another excellent quote.

So does Charlotte Lyons.

My friend gwtreece commented that “the only to get warmth in a ward is by providing the spark to it.” So true. Gandhi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” We can win over the most intransigent human being by persistent and consistent kindness [well, assuming that said intransigent human being is not also psychotic; that takes a miracle on the order of the loaves and the fishes].

Yesterday was pretty much a laugh in terms of productivity. I entered two lawsuits to help out the data clerk. I relieved the switchboard operator for the mail run and her breaks. I paid a few bills for one of the legal secretaries. Mostly I noshed, and that was even before our catered lunch arrived.

The apple dumplings didn’t make it past 10:45 or so. About a fourth of my banana pecan muffins were MIA at that point. I managed to drop a sizable blob of the managing attorney’s artichoke dip on the front of my shirt. Still, a good day, one filled with the company of people I love, enjoy and respect.

This from Dr. Wally.

And the second Koigu sock this far from being finished.

I’ll do the sewn cast-off after I get to work today. The red Wollmeise is in my bag for the ride home tonight, and then I will wind up the first ball of the KnitPicks Gloss for 2BDH’s birthday scarf. Since I have no intention of leaving the house on Black Friday, I should [knock wood] be able to whip it out in time to deliver it Monday night. His birthday is Tuesday.

[This will be my theme song for the weekend.]

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

In the Zill of the Night

Family Home Evening Project
First I had to snip off the dead elastic and polish the silver zills. They were remarkably clean, even after ten years, because I had kept them in their bag.

It was easy to thread fresh elastic through these slots. Then I took a size 1 crochet hook and pulled elastic through the single holes in the brass zills.

The little silver semicircles are earrings that I made when we lived in the Hill Country. I took a silversmithing class and learned just enough to know that it was too hard on my hands, even in my early 40’s. I figured I might as well polish them while I had the silver paste out and the sponge damp. I tried to get a good close-up, but I don’t know enough about light and angles to get one without a lot of glare.

What I’m Reading, not-Reading, and/or Listening to These Days
I bought The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy on Middlest’s birthday last year and set it aside until I’d finished Eat, Pray, Love. Started. Put it aside again. Tossed it into the tote weeks ago, in case I ran out of patience while swatching for Adamas. I got farther into it than the first time, but it’s back on the bookshelf for now.

Reading Lolita in Tehran is also stalled and lying on my bedside table.

I am listening to Anne Perry’s Shoulder the Sky. [In googling the link for it, I learned that it is the second book in a trilogy; figures: I started with the second book in C.S. Lewis’ Perelandra series, too, back when I was a kid.] The man who reads it has a lovely voice. She is probably my third-favorite living writer; Orson Scott Card is first, followed by Robert B. Parker and then Anne Perry.

I succumbed to [deliciously benign] temptation on Saturday and signed up for a library card. There is a Robert B. Parker book waiting on the floor behind the sofa table. It was on the chair which serves as a landing strip when I come home, but my bag was top-heavy and tumped over, taking everything else on the chair with it.

I figure it can’t fall any farther, right?

Waxing Rhapsodic, in Lieu of the Floors
I have bragged about how warm and loving my new ward is. Let me give you an example. Last week in Relief Society, the sister who was conducting asked that anyone who was going to be alone for Thanksgiving please get in touch with her after the meeting, likewise anybody who had room at the inn. At Relief Society this Sunday, it appeared that everybody had been matched up so that the only people in our ward who will be alone on Thanksgiving are those who want to be.

Wait: it gets better. As I was driving to choir practice, my cell phone rang. It was a friend who happens to be the High Priest Group Leader in our ward. He and his wife were heading over to a mutual friend’s house for a quiet game of Scrabble. Would I like to join them? I explained that I was nearly to the stake center, and that my Sundays are booked up until the performance on the 14th. And after I hung up, I spent a couple of verging-on-tears moments thanking Heaven for these good people who are now part of my life.

There may not be one specific brother to love me and watch over me, but I feel no lack of cherishing in my life. This, in good measure, is what Christianity is all about. I corralled my home teacher in the hall after church. He has a crazy work schedule and frequently has to work on Sundays, but he and his son will be coming to home teach me on Wednesday night, as the youth activities have been canceled because so many folks are leaving town for Thanksgiving.

Still [Messy] Life with Sock
I did tidy the table after I was done working on the zills. Promise!

When I snapped this picture, I had about 40 rounds left before the ribbing. Which means that I had better take the red sock with me and my bag of knitting tools, in case I finish this at lunch. It also means that I can use the long, lovely upcoming weekend to whip out 2BDH’s birthday scarf.

Let the Feasting Begin!
We are having our Thanksgiving lunch today, catered by the Black-Eyed Pea. And of course, everybody is bringing a side dish or dessert. What am I bringing? Banana pecan muffins from one of Diane Mott Davidson’s mysteries.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Things found while cleaning off the coffee table

1. A book of clean jokes from a local church. Sure, why not?

Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love, and got married. The ceremony wasn’t much, but the reception was superb.

An invisible man marries an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either.

2. Mailers from grocery stores, advertising specials on food that is now past its freshness date, and the usual assortment of expired coupons.

3. Catalogues for things I actually need, as well as for those I do not.

4. My marble rolling pin [now returned to the kitchen], from when I made that tart several weeks ago.

5. The letter with the temporary password that I needed to set up access to my revamped 401K management program.

6. A plea to make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association. I said, “forget about it.”

7. A 2008 Civil Liberties Survey from the ACLU. No idea when it was postmarked. I read their questionnaire. They *so* would not want to hear from me!

8. A magazine to which I did not subscribe.

9. Two boxes of facial tissue, from when I was sniffly last weekend. Both now stowed in the bathroom.

10. My roll of paper towels, brought out from the kitchen when I fed somebody or other and [now] returned.

11. Small empty boxes that I brought home from work, in order to mail out birthday gifts.

12. My book of remembrance, paperwork to submit my uncle’s temple work, my graduation certificate from the family history class, and my class notebook.

13. The fall issue of KnitSimple, with the two cropped cardigans that I like.

14. A dry-cleaning coupon from a non-chain shop, with no expiration date.

15. My package of red envelopes.

16. The goodie bag I brought home from the support staff retreat in September.

17. A book I was going to sell at Half Price Books but have decided to re-read, first.

18. An offer for $1,500 of free accidental death and dismemberment insurance which my credit union has paid for. Dropped it in the mail on my way home from choir practice, but no, I am not taking them up on their offer for up to $100,000 more on my own dime.

19. My lambswool duster, which traveled all over the living room on Saturday.

20. One copy of the paperwork for Middlest’s separation agreement.

21. A tithing envelope, just waiting for me to be obedient.

22. The recipe for creamy corn crockpot risotto, for which I thought I had all the ingredients.

23. Paperwork from my church calling.

24. Deposit slips for my credit union.

25. Unused napkins from the last time I had company over for dinner.

26. The proof of insurance forms that I thought were already in my glove compartment and planner. Oops! They are now.

Here is a beauty shot of the newly tidied coffee table. As you can see, I still have not taped and bedded the corners. But I pulled two small sheepskins out of a box and put them to use on my rocking chair. My sister needlepointed the frog pillow for me when we were both much, much younger. She also gave me the kit for the sampler you see perched atop my fireplace.

And the festive sofa table.

Next project? My computer desk!

One of many cool things about Ravelry is that it enables me to answer questions about a finished object. Middlest texted to ask if the socks I made for her were machine washable. I logged in, went to my Projects folder, and scrolled down until I recognized the socks. Then I clicked on the link to the yarn. 75% superwash wool. So yes, technically machine washable, but I have never actually machine-washed any of my superwash projects. She decided that she would feel better washing them by hand; it was cold enough yesterday that she wore them to church. Woohoo! Holy socks!

Choir practice went well last night. We did not use my zills, but I brought them. I will need to pick up fresh elastic after work tonight, as the elastic on the brass zills is stretched out, and the elastic thread on the silver ones [sadly in need of polishing] is rotted and broken. I brought home the sheet music so I can practice the timing, and next week I get to teach another sister in the choir how to play the second pair. I think there will be much communing with my Loreena McKennitt CD that has such lovely Middle Eastern overtones, so that I do not look like an utter fool when I demonstrate the technique next week.

I don’t mind being an utter fool [most often in the cause of love]; I just don’t want to look like one.

So BestFriend had time and space to post her own “8 Things” response, and she mentioned a new restaurant that has opened here in Fort Worth. Grace. I googled it and lucked into a blog by a local writer, Francis Shivone. I have added him to my Bloglines.

When I went to bed last night, I was about halfway through the gusset increases on the second Koigu sock. Such fun to pull the sock out of my bag while the menfolk were rehearsing their number and knit quietly and listen to those lovely, rumbly notes.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Manna 6, Quail 0, and Dancing to the Point of Exhaustion for Dessert

Yesterday was one of those really great days, in spite of my waking up at 1:30, severely dehydrated, with itchy ankles. I solved part of that problem with a tall glass of milk and some sweet potato fries, and the rest of it by going back to bed at 2:30 and sleeping until 7:30.

I woke up warm and relaxed. “Relaxed”, chez Ravelled, is a thing of such novelty that it is most decidedly blog-worthy.

Work was good but *intense* last week. I worked through my lunch on Friday, feeling cranky-determined to get those @#$% vacation letters out. Just before my early departure, I got a call from a coworker who had already left; her daughter’s leftovers were on a table by the printer. If I wanted them, there were tortillas and a container of queso. I took them with me and dipped flour torties in cold queso at stoplights, all the way to the temple. Not the world’s most elegant lunch, but it kept me alive and reasonably alert while serving in the temple. It felt like a hug from Heaven.

And while I was sitting in the chapel, my friend J plunked herself down next to me and grinned. She whispered that she had had the thought while driving over, that she should have called me and asked me to meet her there. And there I was! Afterward, we ate dinner at La Madeleine and talked until both of us were yawning.

There have actually been almost enough hugs the last few days. I got to hold a friend who had had an awful day and pray with her while she cried. J and I hugged a lot. I hugged Brother Sushi at the dance, and several other friends.

In the last little while, I have had that sense of exceptional watch-care from Heaven, almost a spoken “I will take care of you; I am taking care of you; are you paying attention, daughter?” I was even brave enough to ask, while in the temple, about the status and whereabouts of Brother Right. [Where it seemed as if I was safe in asking for what I want, and had a decent chance of getting an answer I could comprehend.]

When I was at the temple, I spotted two other friends: one from my ward and one from the singles program. It was great to see a guy I like and respect in the temple; if he asked me out, I wouldn’t spit in his eye, but there’s no sense of “oh please oh please” like I sometimes feel around other men. Speaking of whom, I have been quietly missing Trainman, and I am hoping to see him on the ride home tomorrow night.

Looks like one of my friends in my ward is also a fan of Meridian Magazine. She sent me this link. Get your hankies [but in a good way]. If you want to love somebody, serve them. It’s why parents love their kids so much, and in families where the kids get along, mutual service is why.

I think that is why I had such a great, if grueling, week last week. Many opportunities for small, unobtrusive acts of service. Last night I drove to the dance. Two sisters in my ward went with me. It was great to visit with them and get to know them better. Do I love them more than I did at the beginning of the evening? How could I not love women who know the same songs I do, and sing along with the radio, on-key, and understand how life works. I’m dragging one of them to choir practice tonight with me tonight. With my zills.

The dance was more fun than I’ve had in a long, long time. I could barely walk when we left, and I was a little afraid that I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed this morning, but I’m OK. [I didn’t get to bed until 1:30, and I slept until almost 7:00.]

The music, of course, was stellar.

I’m off to rustle up some grub and listen to a few more tapes in my audiobook. [I might even finish sorting through the paper that has piled up on my coffee table.]

I put up a Christmas decoration or two, yesterday. Not so much as you’d notice...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Series of Pivotal Moments

Sometime last spring I read an article or blog post which suggested examining one’s life and looking for pivotal or defining moments. If I had to pick only one, it would be the night that I said Yes to God and invited Him into my life.

But that life has not been linear; I think there have been many choices which have nudged me along my path [or back onto the path]. Here are a few of them.

1. Divorcing First Hubby. Which set in motion a number of consequences, culminating three weeks later in:
2. My baptism. Which led to:
3. My patriarchal blessing. And two years later:
4. Marrying the children’s father in the Salt Lake temple.
5. Holding that first precious child in my arms, while sitting on the edge of my bed the day we came home from the hospital, and realizing that I had Not Clue One and that her life depended upon me.
6. The addition of four more innocent lives to our family.
7. Eight years of cycling in and out of depression. [More like a defining era.] There was a lot that went on inside that was not evident on the outside, and Heaven was very much with me, every step of the way.
8. The death of my father. This is when I first began to say “enough”.
9. The death of my mother. This is when I began to put “enough” into action.
10. Divorcing the children’s father. One of the hardest decisions I have ever made, with fallout greater than I could have imagined.
11. Secondborn’s wedding. I watched 2BDH’s mother deal graciously with a former spouse.
12. Firstborn’s wedding and instant grandmotherhood for me.
13. Middlest’s elopement.
14. The sealing of my two oldest daughters to their husbands. I was present for one and not for the other.
15. The births of the Bitties. Ditto.
16. Standing up to Brother Abacus. [And I would not have done that had I not been in counseling for something else, and my counselor gently insisted that somebody needed to inform him that his choices were hurtful. He is not an evil man; he is just not done grieving his late wife, and it would be better for “the sistren” if he would learn to be content in his singleness before shopping for another wife.]
17. My friendships with Brother Stilts, Brother Karitas, and Brother Sushi. What a blessing and a comfort each of them is to me. Time will reveal if this new friendship with Trainman has that sort of staying power.

Not much knitting yesterday, but some marvelous experiences which deserve a post of their own.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Already?

Another quick post. I went to a friend’s house last night for dinner. To my mind, good simple food in the company of friends is the perfect recipe for happiness. [And my black leather jacket came home with me, like a good girl.]

In the process of trying to turn up the flame in the fireplace, I managed to turn it off. I was so tired that I could not figure out how to get it back on again, or how to manage the butane lighter. [Which it turns out I didn’t need.] So I called Secondborn’s house at 9:30, and 2BDH came over, bringing a freshly-baked cookie and a hug for his weary, slightly addled mother-in-law.

I finished the first Koigu sock yesterday and have the second one on the needles.

This is Wendy’s toe-up, fingering-weight gusset heel sock, and I am very pleased with it, as always.

So, the house is toasty this morning. And I am well-rested, because I forgot to set the alarm last night and slept an additional 45 minutes.

Tonight is our ward’s temple night, and I have my bag packed with skirt and stockings to change into when I leave the office. I’m taking the rest of my personal time this afternoon and leaving at 3:15, heading straight for the temple. I will probably be done and home before the rest of my ward gets there, unless I choose to stay for another session.

I foresee a lot of knitting this weekend, and there is the dance tomorrow night. But first, there is breakfast. Happy Friday, everybody!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Another Quick Post

In between bites of breakfast. Yesterday did not seem particularly productive until I examined the Koigu sock this morning. I am working the ribbing at the cuff and have grabbed the second ball of yarn [and need to run back in my room for a moment to grab my knitting tool bag so I can do a sewn bind-off in a few more rows]. I should have made a less-pointy toe, or knitted a few less rounds on the foot before increasing for the gusset. It will probably adjust nicely in the wash.

I spent altogether too much time at the front desk yesterday and did not get my morning or afternoon breaks, because of the monthly support staff meeting [when I manned the switchboard] and a meeting of the admin team right after lunch. I had four minor settlements to enter and got three of them put in, had to hand back one tape for transcription because of the afternoon meeting, and was given another 20 minutes before closing, for which I pulled the document template and cleared the hidden text so I can hit the floor running when I walk in the door today.

I was so frustrated at not having much knitting time at work, that I knit like the wind on the train ride home, while Trainman read. And then I popped in an Anne Perry audiobook and listened to three sides while barreling up the ankle. I stayed up longer than was sensible, but I finally felt as if I had had some control over my day.

Before crashing for the night, I put multi-grain cereal, some dried fruit that was either large raisins or small cherries, freshly grated nutmeg and a cinnamon stick into my mini-crockpot. This morning I took out three servings of breakfast, two of which are waiting in the fridge. I am nearly done with my bowl of cereal, my lunch is packed, and I think it is going to be a terrific day!

Pictures of the completed sock, probably tomorrow. As the sergeant on “Hill Street Blues” used to say, “[Y’all] be careful out there.”

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Refrigerator Tetris

A new phrase for my vocabulary, and some good counsel here. And as for cooking creatively? It happens all the time, chez Ravelled. I am [in]famous in the family ~ and at work ~ for putting weird food combinations together and calling it a meal. The girls are so surprised that I have morphed into a good cook. As am I.

Maybe I was just loopy from typing dictation and trying to set up my voicemail [woot!] but I thought this was hilarious!

Short post today. I spent my early morning typing time turning the heel on the Koigu sock. I winged the gusset increases and the heel decreases, and now I have 30 stitches on the instep and 34 in the back. I think I will knit a few inches and see if that creates any pooling or funky striping. I may work a centered double-decrease on each side of the back to bring it down to 30. If there’s one on each side, that makes it a design feature and not an oops, right?

Work went very well yesterday. The attorney for whom I transcribed the pleading on Monday came by my desk and said how pleased he was. I transcribed a deposition report for him yesterday. Oh how I love the freedom to get up from my desk whenever I need to, for whatever reason!

I have eight minutes to figure out lunch and sluice off and head out the door. I suspect my bathwater is cold. But dash it all, turning a heel is important!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Crazy Day

I am settling in at my new desk. The computer is hooked up, and I now have two additional printers I may use. I am far, far away [but not on Judea’s plains] from the fax machine, the scanner, my old printer, and the hustle and bustle of the front desk. I can park a pistachio shell in my cheek like the squirreliest of squirrels and not have to worry about looking presentable if somebody walks up to my desk.

When I started this draft, there were no tapes to transcribe, no minor settlements to enter, and I couldn’t get into Audix to set up my voicemail. By the time I went home, I had transcribed one short tape, assembled three or four vacation letters for one of the attorneys, helped scan the daily mail and the fax confirmations, and spent rather more time than I would have liked, sitting and twitching and trying to figure out what to do next.

I took another batch of books to Half Price Books last night and put the green chairs in the back of the car to give to Fourthborn and set the trash can and the recycling bin out by the curb.

I know where my black leather jacket is, and my brown suede one too.

I blocked Adamas before leaving for work and have it in my bag to take for show and tell at Knit Night. Here is a closeup.

Now I can officially mark it as a FO on Ravelry!

Chatted briefly with 2BDH and asked if he would rather have a scarf [albeit a manly one, not lacy like Secondborn’s] or a pair of boot socks for when he takes the Scouts camping next time. He loves scarves. So I will take the Gloss fingering weight which is just a bit darker than Adamas and knit him a manly scarf. If I manage well, there might be just enough left for a hat or a wee scarf for BittyBubba.

Monday, November 17, 2008

“8 Things” + A Few More

8 Things (tagged by Firstborn)

8 Favorite
TV Shows (What TV?) Movies
1. A Midsummer Night’s Eve
2. Shall We Dance (Japanese Version)
3. Dirty Dancing
4. Starman (Fourthborn is now officially blushing)
5. Take the Lead
6. Dave
7. Sabrina (with Bogart, Holden, and Hepburn)
8. Singing in the Rain

8 Things I Did Yesterday This Weekend
1. Dinner with Brother Sushi on Friday night
2. Rearranged the living room furniture
3. Visited with Best Friend on Saturday morning
4. Fed the compost pile
5. Took a nap on Saturday afternoon
6. Laughed at this on Tan’s blog
7. Knitted
8. Found my black leather jacket at church on Sunday afternoon

8 Things to Look Forward to
1. Thanksgiving dinner with Brother Sushi at the Brazilian restaurant
2. Thanksgiving visiting at Firstborn’s before or after dinner with Brother Sushi, depending upon our reservation time
3. Visiting with Trainman (every chance I get)
4. Finding an age-appropriate churchboy whom I like and trust as well as I do my acquired brothers, marrying him, and staying married to him; is that three things, or one?
5. More grandchildren (no pressure)
6. Great-grandchildren (oh please, oh please, not anytime soon)
7. My resurrected body
8. The Second Coming

8 Favorite Restaurants
1. El Chico’s [tortilla soup and family memories]
2. Massey’s [chicken fried steak]
3. Lucile’s [American continental/bistro cuisine]
4. Nelda’s [amazing Tex-Mex; the best I’ve eaten]
5. Ol’ South Pancake House [German pancakes]
6. Marsala [steak Diane and cherries jubilee]
7. Black-Eyed Pea [grilled salmon, red beans & rice, glazed carrots]
8. Texas de Brazil [Brazilian-style barbecue; serious carnivores only need apply]

8 Things on My Wish List (in no particular order)
1. Make some sort of sweater that fits from the turquoise tweed yarn, or find more yarn in a plausible dye lot
2. Three-day Walk for the Cure
3. Leisurely vacation in France
4. Bachelor’s degree in textiles
5. Own a cottage (and have the money to maintain it)
6. Learn Italian
7. Serve a mission
8. Learn to tango

8 People I Tag
1. Best Friend
2. Tan
3. Tola
4. Leslye
5. Wanda
6. Brother Sushi (sadly, blogless; this can be via email, or he can just tell me over dinner)
7. Ruth
8. Alison (and anyone else who wants to)

On to other stuff. My gas fireplace is very smart; periodically I hear that whoosh as it kicks on, but mostly it simmers along on low. I have the sofa set up so that I can sit and watch the fire, and also so that I can sit with my back up against the wall and my feet stretched out and watch a movie over my toes, once LittleBit comes over and tweaks the connection for the DVD player.

I have heard back from the Raveler about her yarn stash; it looks like we have reached an agreement, which means that I will knit socks for awhile, and then I will get back to work on the Sunrise Circle Jacket. I may need to frog it back to the hem on the back, if the dye lots are too dissimilar, but that would be a small price to pay in order to have the jacket I want in the size that I want and the yarn and color that I want.

Here is where I was on the Koigu socks before leaving for church yesterday morning. I really like the base yarn she uses, and of course the colorplay is wonderful. The sock is several inches longer now, and I am nearly ready to think about heel flaps and gussets. I got some great comments before choir practice last night.

The perfect Sunday morning at-home breakfast, played out over two and a half hours: the last of the first container of chêvre on pumpernickel party squares, washed down with an orange juice blend. Followed by a Pink Lady apple dredged in Nutella. And later a small bowl of granola. Interspersed with a round of knitting here and there. And for lunch the rest of that potato with chili and Asiago, and just before church a small [by our family’s standards] serving of lasagna. Dinner was tuna mashed up with the last of the lemon-dill sauce on some of that good French bread, a handful of baby carrots, and a few pistachios in the shell for a late snack after choir practice. There might have also been a few sweet potato oven fries tossed in for good measure, as well as a sandwich made up for today’s lunch.

I started my November Sockdown socks, Swan Song by WendyKnits. I got all the increases done during sacrament meeting and then switched over to the Koigu sock, as I wasn’t sure if the large size might be too large, and I certainly didn’t want to take off my shoe in church to try the sock on.

I learned the name of Brother SilverFox when the teacher called on him during Sunday School. Woohoo!

The music we are learning for our stake’s Christmas choir concert is lovely and demanding. The director asked if anybody had any finger cymbals, and I raised my hand and asked, “You mean zills, like for belly dancing?”


We need them for one of our songs, and I came straight home and found both pairs right where I hoped to find them, just as I had prayed. I need to thread new elastic in both pairs. I wonder if Trainman knows how to tie square knots and would be willing to tie eight of them for me? [Yes, I could ask one of the girls to help, but I think it would be way more interesting to ask Trainman, LOL.]

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Puttering About

I rearranged the living room yesterday. The couch and coffee table now face the fireplace. I have moved the end table which I occasionally use as a light table, over by the window, as well as one of the cheapie bookcases, which I nearly tore up while skooching it.

Fourthborn, would you like the two green ladderback chairs? Not the one I call the Queen Chair [I want to keep that for myself and will probably repaint it some shade of red] or the one I never got around to repainting. I think one of them needs re-gluing, but I suspect that’s something Fiancé knows how to fix. I will put them in the back of my car and could get them to you on Knit Night. Let me know. Otherwise I think I will just drop them off at the thrift store, unless somebody else wants them.

I have the rocker that Dad made, which is broken, and which I cannot bear to trash. Once I find the missing piece, which I know I saw in the course of the move, I will get that to Brother Sushi for some day when he is absolutely bored and wants something to do. Occasionally he likes to put things together, as opposed to using his multiple-black-belt skills to take them irrevocably apart.


I am still not sure where the two rattan chairs are supposed to go. I think one of them will end up in my room, and maybe I will put the other one out in the eating area of my kitchen, or find a spot for it in my studio. It would be nice for Brother Sushi, or any other dinner guest, to be able to sit and visit in comfort while I put the last touches on dinner.

Maybe if I move the small folding bookcase, which holds many of my favorite bits of crockery, to the other side of its wall by the front door?

Then I could put the drop-leaf table along the back of the couch [shown here with the Queen Chair on its right, and the rocker Dad made on its left]

and have room for both rattan chairs by the kitchen window.

Yeah, that works. I wish I had taken a picture of Best Friend sitting in the right-hand chair, chatting with me as I finished up the dishes. And maybe I will ask 2BDH to hang the cabinet I bought from Brother Stilts on one wall or another, out of the way.

I know that most of you who read my blog are deeply committed to your own faith, your own church, and that what you have, works for you. I respect that; God blesses all who honor true principles in their lives, wherever those principles are found. And He accomplishes His work through people of all faiths [and honorable people without a formal faith or belief]. I found this YouTube on Meridian; perhaps you will enjoy it as much as I did, and perhaps it may answer questions you didn’t know you had.

I was a good girl at Central Market; came home with a couple of blood oranges and two apples, some bananas, a quart of chicken stock, another ginormous potato, a round loaf of French bread, a week’s worth of granola and more of that gingerbread candy corn.

I loved tasting all the samples they had at the store. It was like grazing through Sam’s, only gourmet.

Best Friend confirmed that yes, the milk was going sour, so I poured it out on the compost pile where it can still work some magic.

What did I end up cooking? I baked up the last of the lasagna and drained the pasta water into a smaller pot, in which I boiled some fettucine for my lunch. I love my pasta portion measuring tool; now I never make too much or too little. I put the potato in the oven before leaving to get a fresh gallon of milk and ate half the potato for dinner, topped with chili and freshly-grated Asiago cheese.

Just before dinner, my nose started running. I don’t know if it’s because of how cold it is outside and the fact that I’ve been in and out all day [way more than I had planned], or getting used to the gas fireplace ~ which is simmering nicely behind me, and my living room is both warm enough and cool enough for my comfort ~ or if it’s a reaction to Wednesday’s flu shot. I don’t generally react to them, but last week was quite a week in some aspects.

I sent a query to a fellow Raveler about her stash of the turquoise Chelsea Silk. It would be lovely if we could come to an agreement on price and timing. I can’t do anything next Friday; that paycheck is already allocated elsewhere, but I should have a soupçon of wiggle room the following paycheck. We shall see.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

You know that feeling in the pit of your stomach?

The one that says you will not have enough yarn to finish your project? I went to grab another ball of yarn for when I ran out on the sleeve, thinking I would find several more balls this size [six or seven inches in diameter].

This is all I have left, posed for scale beside the Conference issue of the Ensign and the sleeve as it was when it was time to leave for work yesterday.

And while I was sorely tempted to knit blithely on, hoping that my yarn would miraculously replicate like the oil in the widow’s cruse, I remembered that at bind-off time for one of the fronts, there are something like 200 stitches on the needle, plus those two remaining raglan sleeve stitches.

So I grabbed the second ball of Koigu and my trusty 00’s, because the sock I had started on 0’s was suddenly looking airy. I frogged the first sock swatch and am letting the yarn rest awhile. Then I played with various pattern stitches before deciding that what I need, for the moment, is the simplest sock possible. I am letting the color do the talking on this one, and I am just knitting.

Yesterday I wrapped up my preparations to move from the front desk to my new cubicle in a quiet corner of the office. The mail room is stocked with labeled envelopes. There is paper for the fax machine in the cupboard under the scanner, and I’ve let her know that she will need to change out the toner cartridge the next time the red light comes on. I’ve learned that I can shake the cartridge gently and redistribute the contents and get more use out of it before it absolutely, positively has to be changed.

Another bonus of this move is that I no longer have to perform two adjunct tasks that I did not particularly enjoy; they are now the other admin’s responsibility.

I have two boxes sitting on or near my new desk and have already locked up the confidential stuff. I’ll find permanent places for everything on Monday morning or sometime next week, depending upon how my workload goes.

Last weekend was crazy-busy. I am looking forward to a quiet weekend at home. I think I can even get by until next weekend without doing any laundry! The Fixit Dude will be coming by to pick up the space heaters my friend loaned me before the fireplace was fully connected, and to measure the kitchen for new cabinets.

But the best part is that my best friend will be over later this morning, and we will get to visit. I am really looking forward to that.

I had dinner with Brother Sushi last night. We met up at the pancake restaurant and ate breakfast for dinner and talked for two hours. It was good. And we semi-finalized our plans for Thanksgiving dinner. He will call the Brazilian restaurant to see when they anticipate being the least crowded, and we will take it from there.

I have exchanged emails with Firstborn, and she knows that I will not be dining with them, but that I will be showing up to visit sometime that day. So I will not be cooking for Thanksgiving, at all, and part of me will miss that, but there’s always Christmas dinner. I suspect I might be in the mood to cook by then. Like the karma chameleon, the urge to cook up feasts comes and goes.

I think I want to do a little cooking this weekend, emphasis on little. Maybe a small batch of cookies to take with my lunches. Maybe that risotto I have been contemplating. Maybe I will put some six-grain cereal into the mini-crockpot tonight and wake up to whole-grain goodness and leftovers to take to work a few days next week. Definitely that Rocky Road cake; in fact if I start it now, it would be almost ready to eat when Best Friend gets here.

This weekend is all about home and hearth. Next Saturday is another dance for the singles. Brother Sushi will be the DJ, so no matter how boring and/or frustrating the actual dance is, at least the music will be good.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Now It Can Be Told

The official word went out from our managing attorney yesterday, so I am free to unzip my lip. Beginning Monday, I will be sitting far, far away from the switchboard, except when the other admin is at lunch or on her breaks. No, I have not yet been promoted to legal secretary.

What will I be doing instead? Typing, typing, typing like a crazy woman. Transcribing dictation for one and a half of the attorneys and taking significant weight off the shoulders of my favorite legal secretary. It’s not a promotion; it’s a lateral transfer, and there is no raise involved. But I will have my own private line and my own voicemail, and I have a cubicle to decorate, and I will no longer have to radio for backup when nature calls. I will also be sitting across a cubicle wall from my best friend, who is a worker bee like me and not the chatty type, so neither her productivity nor mine is likely to suffer.

I have been working switchboard for nine and a half years, so I am pretty jazzed about the change. I will be trying out this assignment for at least the next six months, during which time I will not be training with the legal secretaries. And neither will the other admin; she will be focusing on the stuff I have been doing and on getting her typing up to speed.

We will revisit the secretarial training in six months or so.

I spent much of yesterday emptying personal items out of drawers, disposing of old emails and class materials, etc. Today I will actually schlep my stuff over to my new workspace, and the new phone extension is already in my name. Now I just need to figure out how to work the phone system from that end; i.e., how to set up my “away” message and forward and un-forward calls when I leave my desk or need to concentrate.

Here is the close-up which Middlest took of the Sunrise Circle Jacket at Knit Night.

She was particularly taken by the flecks of pink tweedaliciousness. As am I. This tweed is much of what I would like to be: soft, enduring, lively, adaptable. And let us not forget quirky, but I think I have that part down cold.

I finished the back of the jacket yesterday. As it doesn’t look appreciably different from what I showed you yesterday, here is where I am on the left sleeve. The color is more true in this photo, because that coffee shop is designed for long, rambling conversations and not for knitting; i.e., it’s dark in there.

Whereas my boudoir is bright and cheery, because the most exciting thing that goes on in there, is knitting. And for that I need good light. I’m using markers to keep track of where to increase on my sleeves; it’s a 14-row repeat, and it’s easy to lose track with this yarn.

All in all, a varied and productive day. And tonight there is the monthly dinner with Brother Sushi to anticipate.

@Kristen, yes, I read QB7; I’ve read most of what Leon Uris has written, ditto Chaim Potok.

@Firstborn, if you put me in the same nursing home as your father, I will haunt you after I kick. Just sayin’.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Oh, Where Are My Marbles?

My black leather jacket has gone missing. Again.

I called Secondborn’s house to see if I had left it there Sunday night when I did my drive-by smooching. I had not. I left a message on Brother Sushi’s VM, asking if I had left it on the back of my chair when I left the singles conference on Saturday night.

I don’t remember if I was wearing it when I went to church on Sunday. I know what skirt I was wearing, and what top, and which shoes. But I don’t remember if I wore the jacket ~ I think I did, but I think a lot of things that apparently have no basis in reality or fact ~ or if I wore my charcoal tweed stole.

I don’t know if this is a side effect of exposure to higher than average levels of ambient testosterone or a early warning symptom of dementia.

Did I mention that a couple of weeks ago, when I left my lunch bag in my car [do we see a pattern here?], that my best friend at work brought two huge chicken breasts she had cooked and offered me one of them? It happened again yesterday.

I had inhaled my breakfast and eaten several spoonfuls of Nutella washed down with a bottle of milk and was starting to think about lunch but not wanting to spend any money on it. Enter another friend, a semi-vegehoovian, who asked if I liked lamb and/or veal.

Not crazy about lamb, not after all that lamburger when the children’s father was getting his MBA at BYU, except when my friend who runs the deli makes gyros, and I have ethical qualms about veal, but was willing to try the meatballs that my friend’s neighbor had made for her, with eggplant [another non-favorite] and tomato sauce over orzo.

If Heaven was in the mood to manifest love by way of neighborly meatballs and vegetables I wouldn’t ordinarily choose, I was not about to quibble. “What? Manna again? You’ve got to be kidding, right? Where are the onions, and why do I suddenly have quail coming out my nose?”

Had a nice exchange with one of the couriers the other day. He came in to pick up a package and said, “I’m here to take this off your hands.”

“Or off my desk, as the case may be?”

“That’s right.”


“Do you know who the most special people in the world are?”

“Umm, you and me?”

“The people who, in the middle of a busy day, can stop long enough to say ‘yay!!!’ That’s who. People who look for the good in a given situation.”

It is to blush...

While I am up on my soapbox re: the situation out in California and the general level of intolerance from the Tolerant Crowd, here is an essay by the late Davis Bitton about religious bigotry and persecution.

And a deliciously subversive idea from my favorite living writer. But I suspect you came here for the knitting content.

There you go! I am within spitting distance of the hem at the neckline and will probably cast on the first sleeve sometime today.

In other news, I went to the doctor yesterday afternoon and came home with a prescription for Nystatin powder. If that doesn’t take care of my foot within a reasonable time frame, then we will go with the oral medicine. I really appreciate the fact that my doctor doesn’t like to use a howitzer when a slightly larger flyswatter will do.

I also got a flu shot. I didn’t cry, so the nurse drew a smiley on my bandage.

And I managed to leave my tubes of Nystatin cream and the generic Lamisil cream in their ziploc bag on the table in the examining room. Oh where oh where oh where oh where oh wherrrrre are my marbles?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What? Was I visibly twitching?

On the train home last night, there was a woman across the aisle and back a couple of seats who was engaged in a long, rambling, and louder-than-I-would-have-liked conversation with her seatmate on a topic that I would rather not have overheard. When the seatmate left the train, the woman pulled out some sort of electronic device which promptly began emitting pips and beeps, mostly the same note over and over and over.

Trainman was engrossed in his book. Designman [interior design firm; great conversationalist; wedding band] was sitting across the aisle, napping. Somebody else’s phone went off and woke him. He became aware of NoisyGamer a few seats ahead of him. We exchanged glances. I rolled my eyes. Designman stifled a snort.

NoisyGamer left the train at the station before ours, at which point Trainman put his book away and started gathering his stuff. I asked Designman, “Was I visibly twitching?” He laughed and said that I was not.

I told him, “It’s at moments like this that I wish I had my friend’s T-shirt that says, I knit so I do not kill people.”

At which point Trainman chimed in, “Yeah, and she has the sharp poky sticks to do it.”

The sharp poky sticks and I made great progress on the back of the Sunrise Circle Jacket yesterday. Behold:

Sixty-eight stitches on that needle, down from 104, second star to the right, straight on till morning...

Changing topics: my friend Kristen asked, what are the five most influential books you have read?

1. The Book of Mormon; aussi Le Livre du Mormon und Das Buch Mormon
2. Exodus [Leon Uris]
3. My Name is Asher Lev [Chaim Potok]
4. The Screwtape Letters [C.S. Lewis]
5. Believing Christ [Stephen E. Robinson]

My friend Sooz has another great column out this week.

Today I get to see my wonderful doctor and [I devoutly hope] come home with a prescription for oral medicine that will boost the effectiveness of the topical fungicides I’ve been using. I think I have lost at least five pounds, possibly ten, since the last time I was there, which will please her. I know that I’m moving more comfortably than I have in a long time, and sleeping somewhat better.

Knit Night last night was small: four knitters and Middlest with a small sewing project. One rather strange young man who wandered in and out of the coffeeshop and kept staring at us. One inconsiderate man driving an Escalade who nearly X-rayed us with his headlights when he pulled into a parking space. Middlest and I were the last to pack up to go. We walked out with one of our knitting friends in case the strange young man was lurking about. And we were all amazed that it was 9:00, and I was still awake!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Gratitude, Bigotry, and Knitting Progress

Anne Perry’s 2007 column about gratitude, to savor as we contemplate our blessings this month and look forward to another empty can of jellied cranberry sauce.

Last Thursday’s anti-LDS ruckus was worse than I had thought. When I logged onto Meridian at work, there was a discreet statement that their website had been hacked. When I read Paul Bishop’s columns on Monday morning, this is what I learned. [The second link is the same one which is embedded at the bottom of the first article.]

The hackers placed a nasty film on Meridian’s website. Charming. I’m glad that Meridian had taken down the site by the time I logged on. It would have been really embarrassing to have that trash pop up on my computer at work. And to have to explain to my bosses why I had suddenly developed an interest in same.

This is a link to the YouTube featured on yesterday’s Meridian homepage.

I have learned a new increase for the *Sunrise Circle Jacket*: M1R. Her way of doing it is so much simpler than the way I had been doing a backwards-twisted lifted increase [when I bothered]. I generally prefer to simply lift the bar between stitches on the preceding row and pull up a new stitch. If I am doing toe increases on a toe-up sock, it creates a row of little bitty holes, and I call it a design feature. I think it looks kinda cute.

I am not all that fond of twisting the bar in a lifted increase in order to completely eliminate the hole. But since I don’t know where the increases are going to be on the front of this jacket, only that there will be a lot of them, and I don’t want to end up with a jacket that looks like baby Swiss, I am biting the bullet and doing the increases just as they are prescribed.

I know, shocking, right?

That’s where I was at 4:45 this morning. The markers show where the dart decreases ended; that’s about where I was this time yesterday morning. As of this posting, I have one row left before working the final dart increase, and then I think three rows until I begin the raglan decreases. I am riding the train in from a different station today; I will still be relatively close to Middlest so that I may pick her up for Knit Night, while saving gas and not losing my knitting time. [Or my Trainman time; we had a nice visit about the book he loaned me and a good laugh over my leaving my jacket at the restaurant.] I switched my doctor’s appointment from this morning to tomorrow afternoon, as I had forgotten that one of my coworkers also has an appointment this morning.

Ah, middle age. Gotta love it. We now return you to your regularly scheduled knitting. I’m going to see if I can whip out the next row while the tub fills...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Drive-By Fooding, Drive-By Smooching

I didn’t get the lasagna baked before church, so I did it as soon as I got home. Then I ran it by the elders’ apartment and handed it off, drove a new-to-me back way to the kids’ house, and planted kisses on top of the sweet heads of my grandkids before heading over to choir practice.

Only to find that I was a week early and an arpeggio short.

I was torn between going back to Secondborn’s and coming home to put on my jammies and knit until I couldn’t keep my eyes open one moment longer. I’ll let you guess which won out.

Here’s the Church’s official response to the ugliness and persecution targeting Latter-Day Saints and other supporters of Prop 8 in California. Article. I was surprised to find that our official stance on “gay rights” is somewhat more liberal than my own; apparently I need to ponder the topic more deeply and quite possibly modify my opinions. As a side note, Meridian Magazine’s website was attacked last week, because of their support of traditional marriage. There are protesters outside the Los Angeles temple. I do not understand how people who claim that we are “haters” for supporting traditional families, can be so hateful themselves.

I liked this one, too. I rarely disagree with anything that this good man says, although I have une quibblette about his statement that we knew exactly what we were getting into before we came to earth and agreed to it before the veil of forgetfulness came between us and Heavenly Father. There have been a few experiences which blindsided me and nearly derailed my spiritual development; at least that is the way I see it with these mortal eyes. I almost cannot believe that I would have agreed to endure them, or to watch my children struggle with similar issues. I could be wrong. I am frequently wrong. Sometime in the next fifty years I will find out if I am wrong, but I probably won’t be allowed to get back to you on that.

Enough with the philosophizing! Behold the back of the Sunrise Circle Jacket. The markers are for the darts which gently shape the back.

I love this yarn. I wish that it had not been discontinued. And I feel a little sad, knowing that unless I frog this sweater umpteen years from now and make it into something else, this will almost certainly be my last opportunity to let it pass through my hands and onto the needles. It’s that good.

All that knitting you see there? One ball of yarn. I joined the new ball at one of the darts before I went to bed last night and have knitted in one of the ends. Now I will head back on the purl side and knit in the other end before I hop in the tub and head out the door for the train.

I don’t often go into the chat rooms [might I add, the squeaky-clean chat rooms] on the Churchboy Dating Service. But I did last night for about 15 minutes, and it was fun. There were half a dozen people there, including one brother who is slightly older than I, witty, articulate, and just plain nice. I checked out his profile, and he lives way out west, which rules him out for me, and likes tall women, which rules me out for him. So girls, don’t worry, not your new daddy, LOL. I was just logging in to keep my membership privileges on that website.

Heading over to eBay to see if they have an odometer that would roll a certain gentleman’s age forward ten years; it would have to be waterproof as well, because even if he were the right age, there is still the small matter of baptism...

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Cobbling together some old drafts

I had a backlog of links, some of them dating back a year or more. Here are two of the best of them.

Regarding hugs. I got some great ones this weekend, over the course of the singles conference.

And for those of us who are struggling with one thing or another. This article comforted me a year ago; I think it’s still worth sharing.

I may share others over the next few days. Right now my thoughts are dancing around like drops of water on a hot skillet. It was a good singles conference. I’m glad that I went, and I have much to ponder. I think the best parts were the temple session on Thursday night, and the hugs given and received. The food and refreshments were more than adequate, and you could taste the love in every bite.

I thoroughly enjoyed two of the four workshops I attended yesterday. I was a little late getting to the other two and so missed crucial bits and didn’t feel completely engaged. My fault, not the presenters’. In that fourth workshop, I was tired and hungry and kept dozing off. I did go up afterward and apologize to the presenter and tell him it was not an editorial comment, just my blood sugar.

The dance on Friday was OK. Just OK. The dances on Saturday have always been better, because we have spent the day together in workshops and service projects, and I didn’t stay for the dance last night. A few minutes into the entertainment [charming!] I had suddenly had enough. Enough sitting, enough people, enough entertainment. So after the folk dancers were done and before the all-girl mariachi band [rather good] fired up, I said a few quick goodbyes and headed home.

I needed to pick up milk and the makings for today’s lasagna and the rest of the ingredients to try that crockpot rocky road cake.

I was in bed by 8:00 and awake again at 2:00. I worked on the Sunrise Circle Jacket for an hour and a half and then came out here to the computer. I have almost 4” worked above the hem fold on the back and wanted to start the documentation on Ravelry. I am knitting the largest size, 45”, and the combination of fatter yarn than specified and a knowledge of how much this will grow when I wash it, gives me hope that it will be a good fit when I am done. When I cast on during a workshop yesterday morning, it was a little awkward to be using size 5 needles and Aran weight yarn after working on two successive pairs of socks.

I am going to have a small snack and nuke a mug of milk, and then I am going back to bed for awhile. I’m not driving back to Duncanville tonight for the fireside. I will make the lasagna later this morning and take some to the elders and set another pan aside for Brother Sushi to fulfill a much-delayed promise and keep some for myself.

Life is good, and I’m glad that I went, and I had a couple of great talks with Brother Sushi and was civil to Brother Abacus [we kept running into each other, even though there were a bajillion other people there]. What I want right now, other than food and maybe more sleep, is to hug the Bitties and have another pleasant, rambling talk with Trainman.

Oh, and a good cry. I’m not sad, or depressed, or sick. It’s just my normal physical reaction to a spiritual feast.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Playing with the “Prada Yarn”, dancing with [old] wolves

Are we having fun yet? Should that be our focus? I have been guilty of this.

I think one of the reasons my two oldest girls seem frequently happier than the younger ones, is because when they were tiny, we took them with us to deliver Meals on Wheels. And we regularly picked up a single brother and took him to church. And I had time to teach them how to do things, as well as show them how to be. [I am not saying that they are better people, only that they seem happier as a rule.]

By the time the three younger ones came along, my focus had narrowed significantly from service to others, to trying to keep our family fed and clothed and the mortgage out of foreclosure and the car un-repossessed. There was no longer room in our car for our kids and that good brother. [So somebody else got the blessing of serving him.] I think the younger girls got shortchanged. And I feel sad about that, though I’m not sure how I could have handled things much differently.

All five of the girls are loving, kind, and thoughtful people. Each is working hard to overcome the selfish tendencies that we humans are prone to, simply because we are mortal. I have faith in them, and hope for them.

Eleanora is done. I have wound up my Wollmeise; much bluer reds than this picture shows.

I am torn between casting on a pair of socks for the November Sockdown [I won one of the prizes last year, woohoo!] and casting on the Sunrise Circle Jacket. Decisions, decisions!

I have a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday morning at 8:10; perfect, as I was already driving in that day. She wants to look at my poor, sad foot. And in the meantime I will keep slathering it with anti-fungal cream. How wonderful to live at a time when there are so many ways to solve a medical problem: allopathic medicine, Chinese herbs, chiropractic, massage therapy, and let us not forget dark chocolate!

Last night’s entertainment was delightful. He really warmed up the crowd and got us in a good mood to dance. I took the opportunity to speak to the sister who had dated Brother Abacus after he ghosted on me, and to apologize for not having forgiven her for having taken his word that we had come to an agreement and not verifying with me. When I saw her in the temple on Thursday night, I knew I didn’t want to be mad at her any more. We had a good hug and a couple of belly laughs, and things are sweet between us once again.

The dance was OK. Music started out all slow and mushy, i.e., for couples, but got better as the night went on.

I got some feedback from friends who are family history consultants, and I don’t need to ask Brother Stilts’s family’s permission to do his temple work, as he was a baptized member of the church. I just need to assemble some dates and the documentation, and we can see to it that his work gets done.

I need to leave in half an hour to be on time for the address by my former bishop who is now the stake president. I had better stir my stumps!

Nail Dude did a great job on my nails yesterday, and my hair is much improved after a trim.

I was planning to run to the grocery store this morning to pick up what I need to make lasagna to feed the elders tomorrow. I think I will just cut out of the dance early to make sure that I am done shopping before the Sabbath. If the dance is as only-OK as last night’s dance, I won’t stay long at all.

Friday, November 07, 2008

In Which Ms. Ravelled’s Jacket Has an Adventure

I was trying to figure out where my black leather jacket had wandered off to. It wasn’t in my living room. It wasn’t in the pile of clothing that commutes between my bed and a chair in my room. It wasn’t in Lorelai’s trunk. It wasn’t on the back of my chair at work.

I left a voicemail at Firstborn’s work, because I knew that Middlest is on a different sleep schedule than I, and she might not have been awake if I had called her as soon as I got to work. I was thinking that I might have left it on their couch before Middlest and I went to Knit Night on Tuesday.

I left a message with the lost and found desk at the TRE. [They would not have information for another day or so.] It wasn’t at the bookstore where we met for Knit Night.

That left the restaurant where I had dinner with Trainman on Monday night. I remember draping it over the chair when I got there. I was so relaxed by the good food and the excellent company, that I couldn’t remember if I put it back on when we left the restaurant. Or if I was wearing it when we hugged.

I might have been a little distracted.

So I waited all morning until the restaurant opened for lunch, and then I called them. Yes, they have my jacket. It is hanging [out] in the bar. My black leather jacket is officially a barfly! [I only hope it doesn’t smell like an ashtray. I don’t remember smelling any cigarettes when we dined on Monday night.]

I wonder if it met any nice Harris Tweed sports coats while it’s been there? Should I be looking for a litter of small leather goods to turn up on my doorstep in the next few weeks?

I will have to tell Trainman, next time I see him, that he is turning out to be a dangerous person with whom to dine.

OK, I have officially survived the opening gambit of the singles conference, which was a temple session just for us. My old bishop from way back when, is now stake president of the stake which is hosting the conference. There was a devotional just for us prior to the session, and he spoke, as did the temple president. I was able to get my question answered about having the temple work done for Brother Stilts.

Now I just need to work up my courage to ask his very anti-Mormon sister for permission, and for dates and places so I can have one of my sons or a mutual friend stand proxy for Brother Stilts. Who will not be obligated to accept the ordinances, but at least would have the option.

After our temple session [two, actually, there were enough who showed up that they had to split us up and run two sessions] we met at a neighboring chapel for an ice cream social. I was just sitting down with my sensibly small banana split, when the Good Brother boomed, “Put that down ratnow and give me a hug!” I had not seen him, or several other friends, since before the move.

I came home and had a mug of milk and a sliver of pie [it’s a long, long drive from that chapel to home, and I was hungry again] then stayed awake long enough to work on my budget for a few minutes. I woke a little before 7:00 this morning, feeling peaceful and refreshed.

Today I’m retrieving my jacket, getting my hair cut and my nails done, picking up the brake light for Lorelai so Trainman will stop nudging me [bless him]. We have a motivational speaker at 7:30 and the dance at 9:00. At Tan’s urging, I will call my doctor’s office about my foot. It may be time for a systemic fungicide, because the topical ones are just not cutting it. I am not putting my lovely handknitted socks on that foot until it is cootie-free!

Speaking of socks, I am about to sit down with Eleanora and add a few more rounds. But first I need to read something that Firstborn gave me the other night. I had a total brainf@rt and forgot that it was in my purse. Senioritis, wool fumes, pheromones and athletes foot have all played their part, but I still feel bad. She rarely asks me for anything, and this particular thing is important.

And then I think I will dash to the store for s’more-bits. It is deliciously cool in my house, and I would like to properly christen my new fireplace.

Tonight I will be dancing with [old, toothless and possibly mangy] wolves.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Another Restaurant to Try

My friend Pam in my office building told me about this one. It’s cheaper at lunch. She says the pizza with Gorgonzola, walnuts, and arugula is to die for. And for me, it would be; I will have to make it at home with a different cheese if I don’t want anaphylactic shock for dessert.

I ate the last few bites of Monday’s trout with another quarter of my ginormous potato for dinner and then had a sensible slice of pie for dessert. We ate at the Cheesecake Factory for a group lunch at work, and there is a slice of cheesecake [minus one bite] waiting for me in the fridge when I get to work this morning. I wanted something relatively light for dinner last night. I also wanted to go wander the aisles at Central Market for a bit of exercise but opted to stay home with the Robert B. Parker mystery that Trainman loaned me on Monday, instead.

So at 6:00am on a possibly soggy morning ~ I was wakened by rain pounding on the outside of the window unit sometime in the middle of the night ~ I am halfway through the Spenser novel and about halfway down the foot of Eleanora. I’m driving in again today, because tonight we have the temple session for our singles conference, and I will head straight for the temple after work. I don’t think I need to wind the Wollmeise just yet.

My friend Kristen posted this yesterday. I couldn’t say it better. I am pleased that so many people turned out to vote. I am pleased that we might finally be ready to bury the moldering corpse of racism in this country. I think he will be a better President than many conservatives fear. I think his administration has an opportunity to bless and heal this country; I wonder if the inertia which is one of the major components of bureaucracy, will allow him to do so. I devoutly hope that he is a man with greater character than the last Democratic president demonstrated.

And maybe sometime in the next forty or fifty years, other isms will topple, and we will seriously consider a good woman [of either party, though I have my preferences] as President, or ~ gasp ~ one of us pesky Latter-Day Saints. In the meantime, it will be my privilege to pray for my President and his administration.

You betcha.