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, May 31, 2008

AARP has a puzzle game for knitters!

Yarnz. [No, you don’t have to be 50 to play.] Addictive.

I am almost back to the point where I stopped and frogged the Flared Lace Smoke Ring. Last night I moved half a bajillion boxes and curled up on the couch with my knitting and Sense and Sensibility. Why would anybody be content with Hugh Grant when they could have Alan Rickman? Those eyes. That voice.

Today I’m packing and getting the oil changed on Lorelai and packing and catching up the laundry and packing and going to see the new Indiana Jones movie with BestFriend and packing and knitting and packing.

The laundromat opened 20 minutes ago. [Guess I’d better get packing!]

This would be the day for you to stock up on boxes of tissues, seeing as it is not-the-Sabbath. I have a link that I want to share tomorrow, and it made me seriously weepy [in a good way] when I read it yesterday.

Talked with my friend who owns the duplex, and the fix-it stuff will be underway next week. I am going to wait until after I move in, to repaint the rooms. I want to live in it awhile and see what the light does, and how the house feels, and then I'll just scootch things to one side or another and work around them. I can move everything but the bed, all by myself. And my room will probably be the last to be painted.

One week until LittleBit graduates. Two weeks until the move. Seminary graduation, which we thought we had missed last Sunday night, but it was only the choir rehearsal, is tomorrow night.

Friday, May 30, 2008

What Is That Stupid, Annoying Electronic Chirping?

Oh. It was my cell phone. Telling me that it wanted to be charged. I had been hearing this sound intermittently for a couple of hours and knew that it was close. I thought maybe it was at the desk of one of the paralegals. [No, they don’t beep, even when they back up, but they all have cell phones, and some of those have incredibly obnoxious ringtones.]

Because it couldn’t ever be *me* who is being irritating, right?

Vicky Pahnke Taylor’s column in Meridian is worth pondering.

This is why we [my kids and I] have our 72-hour kits. I’ve learned that the things I’m prepared for, generally don’t happen. I divided up the 72-hour kits.



LittleBit’s [in the blue rolling ice chest] will go with her. Fourthborn’s, and a few odd bits we’ve collected for Fiancé, will go to them. Mine [red, of course] goes to the duplex. Inside are MRE’s and packets of water, emergency ponchos, first aid kits, and the like. And a 100-hour emergency candle. All we have to do is put in a couple changes of clothing and something to entertain us, and we can roll our stuff to the family meeting place. Once we decide where that is.



We had our quarterly fire drill at work yesterday. The flashing lights and loudspeaker announcements seemed to go on half again as long as normal. [I am exempt from the fire drills because of my knees. I just stay at my desk and answer the phones.] I was beginning to wonder, “Is this maybe not a drill, and am I about to become a crispy critter?” when the lights stopped flashing and we got the “all clear”.

Deep cleansing breath.

The dentist is happy with me. The hygienist is happy with me. She thinks I must have been flossing more religiously than the last four months. [She is sweet, and very good at her job. She is also delusional.] She did not have to break out the jackhammer, not even once! We tried a new treatment; I forgot to ask how much it costs or if it is covered by my insurance, but I guess I’ll find out in a couple of weeks when I get my EOB. It’s a fluoride varnish, and unlike that foaming stuff that you’re not supposed to swallow, this stuff sets up in saliva, so swallowing is crucial.

I don’t think I will do that again. [The treatment, I mean; I do hope to continue swallowing as long as I have life, and chocolate.] I kept burping up solvent-flavored burps. Maybe she put down a carpet at the back of my mouth when she was in there. Or laminate? Or maybe it’s the cherry flavoring I added to my Coke when I tanked the car before driving in to the office. Either way, it’s narsty. [I called the dentist’s office and asked them to put a great big fat sticky-note on my file that says “no fluoride varnish next time”.

I am once more making progress on the Flared Lace Smoke Ring. For reasons that I think have more to do with operator error than anything else, the first two or three rounds of this pattern are awkward to work. They have just given me fits, both times, and then after that it’s smooth as silk. Or, in this case, cashmere.

I packed three small boxes in the kitchen last night and am about to go pack one or two more before running the tub. I am intentionally planning a quiet, productive weekend at home. The dinner group is tossing out ideas for a get-together, and I may very well abstain in favor of packing and more packing. Though if I get the kitchen packed up tonight, and the non-essentials in my bathroom, I might decide to go if they do something tomorrow.

It’s nice to have options.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Independent as a Hog on Ice: Dance as Metaphor

Had an interesting email exchange with the Good Brother over the long weekend. We were discussing how difficult it is for him to learn to dance [and how determined he is to do so].

1. Mine to him, entitled “I think I’ve figured out what the problem is”
Remember that you were saying how country music and country dancing are hard for you, because you’re a rock and roll kind of guy? Rock [as you well know] is on the back beat, 2 and 4. Ballroom and Latin and country are on 1 and 3.

If you watch Brother Yummy, he’s absolutely fantastic with formal dancing, very smooth. He’s a 1 and 3 kind of guy. And if you watch him freestyling, he is obviously not in his happy place. [Though he gets points for trying.]

You are a 2 and 4 guy, and so you avoid that whole “ frog in a blender” disaster when you’re freestyling.

Good news is, 1 and 3 can be learned. I have. Maybe it’s the ballet and tap that I took when I was a girl; maybe it’s innate. I do have to think very hard when learning ballroom, and then I have to learn how to unthink in order to be graceful.

It’s like driving a stick shift, or milking a goat. You have to do it enough that it becomes second nature, like breathing. Kudos to you for wanting to try.

And as for two-step? Just keep telling yourself that it’s simple enough for a drunken cowboy to manage; that will take a good deal of the fear out of it! [Note to all y’all: I have my friend Tinks to thank for that concept.]

Brother Yummy’s girlfriend is a good teacher. She won’t steer you wrong.

2. His response
I think you might be on to something...either that or I’m really a 5, 6 kind of guy. The other problem is that I learn real slow but when I learn I learn everything there is to learn completely. In martial arts, similar to dancing in some ways, I learned the kata’s one step at a time and then once I really internalized the step added the next step, it the end, the entire kata flowed like second nature. I just need to do that with dancing and I think I can get it...

3. My response
I totally get that “learning slow” bit. I’m a visual and kinesthetic learner. I learn by reading something, and I learn by doing something. The stuff that I learn by reading, usually comes quickly. The stuff that is physical, comes more slowly. But once I have it, it’s part of me. [If you tell me something, and I don’t write it down, then unless I sing it to myself, it’s as if you never told me. This is why I have that big red planner.]

That very simple line dance that I do, took me a month of practicing while standing at the kitchen sink, washing dishes. One-two-three-kick, one-two-three-kick, back-two-three-rock-rock-rock-kick-and-turn. And that turn that I sometimes add when I’m going back? Took me a year. But it’s like singing triples in “The Lord Is My Light”, where you have three very fast notes in the same space that normally holds one. I’ve been singing that for almost 33 years now, and sometimes I still flub it.

One of the reasons that I dance so well with Brother Yummy is that I’ve been dancing with him for almost ten years. It’s like driving a car that you know very well; thinking is no longer required, you just enjoy the ride.

4. His response
I find your emails thought provokingly (is that a word) humorous.

Now there is an idea...practise [sic] the written instructions for the line dance thing. Still though, the idea of an “I don't need a man” dance is so appealing to my lazy side!

Ah yes, [Brother Yummy]...the old car...

5. My response
Thought provokingly humorous is a good thing. Thank you!

As for the “don't need a man” dance, that is just a fact of [my] life. I go to those dances to dance. If I wait for a man to ask me, I will mostly sit. And possibly get cranky. So I get up and dance with the other women, and I do my one simple line dance, and every so often I get to dance with a guy [thank you and bless you, and (my other dancing friends)].

And being the rock and roll girl that I am, I actually prefer freestyling to ballroom. That way, nobody else’s opinions get between me and the music.

And yet. And yet. Every so often, somebody shows up who is an even better dancer than Brother Yummy [I know: hard to believe], and then it’s three to five minutes of sheer bliss. There was an Hispanic brother, several years ago, who showed up occasionally and moved as if he had no bones. Dancing cumbia and merengue with him was about as much fun as the commandments allow.



Inserting photos that I snapped yesterday on the way to the temple, to signify a change of topic.



I’m not sure if I was in Highland Park or University Park when I took these. They are two small independent cities marooned in the middle of Dallas, two pockets of artisanal truffles in a bag of M&M’s. People buy charming old houses to tear down and rebuild á là McMansion so their kids can go to the Highland Park schools, which are allegedly excellent.

I took a picture of the lovely fountain where Oak Lawn becomes Preston Road at Armstrong, but what I got is what I see when I wake up in the morning, before I put on my glasses. So, no.

Had a moment of panic about half an hour ago, thinking that I was going to be late for the train and have to drive in for the third day in a row. And then I remembered: I have a dental appointment this morning.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Three More Boxes Before Breakfast

And one before bedtime.



The flatware box arrived at work yesterday.



I had thought of lovingly polishing each piece of silver before inserting it in its new home. Then I realized how long that would take, as compared to how tired I was, and I just plunked them in there, re-wrapped the bubble wrap around it, put it back into the box it came in, and added it to a stack.

I only spent an hour at Knit Night last night. All that busy-bee stuff from Monday must have caught up with me. I stayed long enough to frog the Flared Lace Smoke Ring, after reading that the top measurement should be 22”, and not the bottom, which should be 28”.

I am going to cast on with my #10 DP’s and then knit with the #8 tips which I borrowed from Jeri. And my next splurge at KnitPicks [after the move, obviously] will be more of these tips, and DP’s in the sizes I don’t already have. These needles are as much better, for most of my purposes, than my beloved Addi Turbo’s, than my Turbo’s are over my Clover bamboo circs.

The kluge of formerly-neatly-folded clean laundry that slid off the end of the bed, is mostly put away. My three new shirts are hung up. The mending is in a box of its own. I do not delude myself that I am in control of this day, my life, or anything else that matters to me. But parts of it, at least, are relatively contained.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Things That You See When You Don’t Have Your Camera

This. First spotted as I was driving home from taking Fourthborn and Fiancé to work yesterday morning.



And this, right around the corner.



I made sure that I had my camera when I went back at the end of the day. So maybe it isn’t a joke? And some family really is worried half to death over a missing chicken?

I must confess that when I saw the first sign, the laugh that erupted was nigh unto a cluck. Because my next thought was, “Better check with The Colonel”. And of course, this adventure made SuburbanCorrespondent’s post even funnier than usual. [Poor piggie! Poor bunnies!]

Yesterday was terrific on many fronts. All my bookcases are emptied. This one had all my cookbooks, French and German texts, and the spillover of my church books.



You can’t see the hall bookcase behind these boxes, because it folds up.



Empty-ish bookcases in my room.



My closet is packed up, except for what I wear on a regular basis. And the stuff that needs to be washed. [But no guilt, because it wasn’t on my list for yesterday.]



And here.



And here.



I will spare you the shots of what my bed looked like, five minutes before I crashed last night. Suffice it to say that my Amerindian name translates to “Sleeps With Boxes”.

And there was knitting.



That first troublesome and much-tinked first pattern section is done, and I am halfway finished with the second repeat, which is going far more smoothly. I did not have to start over on larger needles, after all.

In spite of all that I was able to accomplish, it was still a calm and relaxing day. I filled 32 small boxes and 4 copy-paper boxes. Used up the tag ends of two rolls of packing tape and bought two more. I still can’t get to the couch to relax with a movie and my knitting. Maybe after I get the extraneous kitchen stuff packed?

It’s Tuesday. Everybody back to work! [Be careful out there!]

Monday, May 26, 2008

Come on Baby, Let’s [Un]do the Twist!

Turns out that I only had to undo a little over two rounds on the Flared Lace Smoke Ring, in order to get that nasty inadvertent skew out of it. Maybe half an hour of actual tinking, interspersed with catching up on my KnitPicks and Knitting Daily newsletters. I noshed all afternoon and drowsed at the keyboard between incoming calls from my nearest and dearest.

No more pub knitting for this teetotaling grandmother! [Or at least no lace knitting.]

I can’t sit on the couch and knit; the couch is all covered over with flattened boxes, which nearly flattened LittleBit as she went out the door to church yesterday morning. I heard a yelp from her, and when I went out into the living room [in my towel], she had boxes of fragile stuff balanced on one stilettoed thigh and was just barely containing the chaos with both hands. I tossed sheaves of boxes onto the couch until I could take the fragile stuff off her leg.

Her comment as she went out the door? “I just feel so frustrated!” That makes two of us. I think I have had maybe 15 minutes of face time in the past week, not counting the three hours I sat and watched that lovely face at Tuesday night’s concert, or the hour in sacrament meeting yesterday. She and the other graduating seniors each gave a brief talk, sharing their favorite story from the scriptures and why it was meaningful to them.

I miss my kid. And I’m getting a little ticked at the lack of communication. I had hoped that this senior year would be different from her sisters’. All of them were living with their father, or elsewhere, by this time. I had envisioned lots of Lorelai-and-Rory moments, and ever since she’s been driving, I see about as much of her in a given week as I saw of them. Some weeks, less.

It hurts, and I can feel myself pulling away so as not to get hurt further. And I don’t like it; some days it feels like the last few months of my marriage to her father, without the stony silences. I know that we will be living separate lives in less than a month, and I know that it will be a time of growth and change for both of us, and that part excites me. I would just like to have a little fun with her before we lock the doors on this apartment and hand in the keys. At this point, I don’t even know where she will be living, and I don’t know if she knows.

On the other hand, this picture shows that she is still so my child! This is what greeted me when I went to the fridge Saturday night after the fiesta.



Tango, sailor?

Fourthborn bought LittleBit some roses after Thursday’s concert. [I was supposed to pick them up after fetching Secondborn and before meeting Fourthborn at the auditorium. Secondborn and I were solving the problems of the world, and I drove right past the grocery store.]

I think it’s safe to assume that I will neither buy a new outfit, nor prepare an acceptance speech, for the Mother of the Year awards ceremony.

Back to the knitting for a moment. So, I have taken that glitch out, and I have the sinking feeling that I should just frog it and start again with a larger needle. I need to find my knitting bag and get out the tape measure to be sure. [I also need to get a bumper sticker made: Gauge swatches are for sissies. I wonder if there’s a shirt like that on CafePress?] Gauge isn’t all that important for a scarf or shawl, but for something that in theory should come down over your head? Priceless.

Putting on my turn signal for another change of subject. I followed this truck off the freeway into downtown Dallas on Friday morning. I was able to fish my camera out at a stoplight.



Thanks, Dad. Thinking of you and Uncle Bus on Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

My New Boyfriend

Looking left.



Looking right.



Looking like Mr. Right.



He has this funny thing that he does with his throat. If he sings while he does it, it’s certainly not audible to me. But his throat puffs up like a bullfrog’s and turns red. I wonder if it’s the geckoesque equivalent to a Nehru jacket and gold medallion? [Ah, Larry, one of my high school crushes and the only guy I ever met who could wear a Nehru jacket and look both sincere and seriously cool. He had more than a passing resemblance to John Sebastian of the Lovin’ Spoonful.]

I went shopping yesterday morning. Three new blouses and a red T-shirt, all marked down to $6.99, and a cute jeans jacket with great detailing, to which my 40%-off coupon applied. $171.95 retail; $40.41 with tax. [One benefit of being single: no spouse to whom I have to justify this by saying, “But honey, look how much I saved us!”]

What did I wear to the church singles’ activity? The red T-shirt and my black denim leggings, which are loose enough to be called jeans, and modest. I thought it was going to be a BBQ; it was a fiesta, so we had salsa on the table *and* on the boombox. And two kinds of enchiladas, and chile rellenos, and two kinds of soup, and tres leches cake and empanadas for dessert. Miraculously, I evaded the family curse, which is the almost-inevitable wearing of one’s food on a new solid-colored top.

This is why you shouldn’t knit in a bar/pub/club. Even if you’re a teetotaler like me.



I tried taking two close-ups and failed fuzzily, but this is the embodiment of that caution, careful not to twist. I think it must have happened at the club, when one of the Good Brother's friends pried my knitting out of my hands and gave me a stick for each hand. [I have no idea what the proper name is, but those hardwood dowels that you whack together, more or less in time to the music; we also had a cowbell for “Honky Tonk Women”, and a tambourine, and maracas. Good, noisy times.]

It was a little weird to be knitting away peacefully while rocking out in my chair and singing along, and to have my hands gently grabbed by a big ol’ boy standing behind me, who then leaned over me and wrapped his hands around mine, and mine around the dowels, and breathed beerily into my right ear, “This is how it’s done. Think you can follow that?” And to realize how long it had been since any man had been that close.

And to wise-crack to the Good Brother, while the band played “Satisfaction”, “They have no idea, do they?” [Fourteen years, in my case.]

I have to tink three rounds. This is cashmere we are talking about, and it has no sense of humor.

I almost but not quite got my fill of dancing yesterday. The Good Brother got pictures of half a dozen of the women lined up in front of the bar, boogeying to something. [Several somethings, actually.] I haven’t seen those pictures yet. Brother Yummy and his steady showed up; she slow-danced with the Good Brother, and I danced with Brother Yummy, and all the other women were a little jealous.

Then I came home and took another bath and washed the smoke out of my hair and went to Fort Worth, and Brother Yummy’s girlfriend did the same, and she tried to teach the Good Brother to two-step, and I led the line-dancing, and my knees are a little cranky this morning but no harm done.

The guy in FW is not a dancer. He is a putterer, and a good host. But it’s safe to say that he now knows that I am a dancer, and a good one. [And lively, and funny, and he should really ask me out.]

And now if you will all excuse me, I have 168 x 3 stitches to tink. Possibly more.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

My Scanner is Baroque as Chamber Music.

We had two options: they would send the new one to Fixit Dude at the local Operations Center, and he could come back out in a week or so to install it. Or they could send it here, and our in-house IT diva and I could put it in and fire it up.

It should be here on Tuesday.

I promise that I wasn’t feeding it paper clips or Twix crumbs. I think it might have been the luxe letterhead [we admire alliteration and assonance, chez Ravelled] that some plaintiff attorneys use in their correspondence. I think it was a case of virtual gout; just too rich a feed. Or something.

We had early dismissal from work. I left at 4:00 and headed straight for the bookstore, after leaving the Good Brother a voicemail telling him that, no offense, I was only coming for the boxes because I was just barely awake. He had been up for about a day and a half, himself, and was unoffended.

Made a nice stack of books and magazines, ordered a four-cheese panini and a fork, and settled down for some serious browsing.

They had a European knitting magazine that was new to me. I do not remember the name. Nice production values, and nothing that screamed “knit me”. Came home with the new Knit.1, in part because of Nicky Epstein’s sweater on the cover, which I would make with a few minor modifications, and in part because I tore a page while turning it.

Also the Summer IK, which has several projects that made me say “Hmm, maybe,” and one that makes me want to turn cartwheels. That Manos de Uruguay crop cardi with the embroidered collar. Deliriously over-the-top, something like unto the love child of Alice Starmore and Kaffe Fassett. In pretty much the same colors as pictured, although I reserve the right to tweak them.

Here’s what I scored at game night, last night. Poor Lorelai! The indignity of a Grapes-of-Wrath drive home...



To the rescue: My handy luggage cart. First fell swoop.



Second fell swoop.



And six more boxes, from another friend in the dinner group.



And here.



These are the boxes I brought home from the dance last weekend. They had spent the week neatly stacked on a table in the living room.



And Thursday night while I was winding down from the choir concert, they all gave a despairing sigh and leaped, lemming-like, onto the couch and down to the floor.

While I was at the bookstore last night, I discovered a small error [mine, not the designer’s] in the Flared Lace Smoke Ring and carefully tinked back two rounds to fix it. So that’s done. And the yarn, delicate though it is, is none the worse for it. I thought this project would be a quick knit, maybe a week’s worth of knitting. While I am getting the hang of the pattern, I think it will end up taking me two or three weeks, so I may finish just in time to pack it up for the move. I’ll try to snap a picture tomorrow or Monday, when I have a little more progress to show.

I have no idea what to take for mindless knitting to the music venue today, or to the BBQ tonight.

I also want to pick up a cute shirt to wear tonight, in a color that I know looks good on me. Just in case there is a window of flirting opportunity.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday, Blessed Friday!

Where did this week go? Oh yeah, it was largely spent on the road again. [Resisting the temptation to link to Willie Nelson].

LittleBit’s final concert was excellent, and about an hour too long for these knees in those seats. I will never again have to sit in fetal position for a choir performance. The voices, I will miss. The aches that come from insufficient legroom, not at all. Lark will be attending a newer, richer high school this fall. Their auditorium, I like.

I won the flatware storage chest on eBay. Also some other stuff. I’ve been outbid on yet another pair of clogs, but that’s OK; not sure that I really needed a third pair of red shoes.

Did I just say that? Somebody hand me some chocolate, stat!

I do need to sluice off and find something to wear and hit the road. I’m torn between driving in and riding the train. My knees are quite tender this morning; on the other hand, it is payday, and I'm not sure that I want to ride the train to and from work and then cross town again for game night with the singles. I am mostly going because the Good Brother will have more boxes for me.

My scanner is on the fritz at work. I spent a good chunk of yesterday trying to look busy.

We have early dismissal today; I’ll be off at four. I really, really wish that I could just stay home and snooze...

The knitting behaved itself yesterday. I am nearly done with round 4 on the Flared Lace Smoke Ring. It’s going more quickly, now that I’m using circs again. Starting it out on DP’s was absolutely the way to go, at least for this knitter.

And I cannot praise too highly my KnitPicks Harmony circ.

On the road again? Just can’t wait to be on the road again! Not.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

My Joy Rush List

Blessings on Barb for coming up with this idea. It has been a culturally rich and emotionally rocky week; it was good to ponder things that fill my cup and make it “runneth over”. Here’s a lucky 13.

1. Wind chimes
2. Double rainbows
3. Ben and Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk
Knitting. Even while I’m ripping it out. Or getting to the office without my instructions for round #2 of the Flared Lace Smoke Ring; found them just before bedtime last night, with the newspapers I brought home [for packing dishes] the night before.
4. Singing harmony with Michael Bublé to “Save the Last Dance for Me”
5. Spinning. When Micki let me play with her Lendrum at Knit Night a couple of months ago, I drove home weeping with joy.
6. Dancing East Coast Swing to Ray Charles’ “Let Me Take Over” or Chaka Khan’s “I Want”
7. Singing with my daughters
8. Diana Krall singing “Besame Mucho”
9. Falling asleep with the late afternoon sun slanting through the blinds and onto my face
10. Pansies
11. Kissing a man who likes me, likes to kiss, and is in no hurry
12. Just about anybody singing “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” Michael Bublé, Dwight Yoakam, Queen
13. Holding my grandbabies while they sleep

It’s Thursday. Tonight is LittleBit’s spring choir concert. She has ten more days of school. And after three different cast-ons [casts-on?], I am on round #3 of the Flared Lace Smoke Ring, transferring my stitches carefully from the DP’s that established and stabilized the first two rounds, onto my lovely KnitPicks Harmony needle.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Duplex, Before

I took these pictures of my new neighborhood Sunday morning, after realizing that I went to the wrong ward and needed to kill some time before my own ward started.

Morning light through a tree in the front yard.



The back yard.



The back door.



The driveway.



Looking up into another tree. Not sure if you can see that twisted branch.



Where the upside-down tomatoes will go.



Its armless friend?



I have more photos, but I need to edit out the house numbers first. This is near a number-free porch column.



Another shot of the back yard, between that first view and the end of the driveway. Lots of trees. Have I mentioned how much I like the trees?



I cast on the Flared Lace Smoke Ring yesterday. Twice. The first time I used the long tail cast-on, and it was too tight. The second time I used the knitted cast-on, and it was not quite snug enough. I am going to cast on again holding two size 4 DP’s together [and pulling one out before I knit] and the longtail cast-on and see if that works. I also assembled my KnitPicks Harmony circ and will see how that goes; the Addi Lace was just a little too slippery with the 100% cashmere yarn. I think if I knit the first round or two on DP’s and then move to the circ, I will have smooth transitions from one needle to another and can knit the balance using Magic Loop.

I lost out on my bid for a box to hold my silverware yesterday; the auction closed while I was sitting on the train. I’ll try again. Yes, I could go pay retail in a store, but why?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Walk with Me to the Train Station

I see this old building every night as I head home.



These are flowers in WFAA Park, named for the TV and radio stations.



I love The Katy Building. I drove past it every morning on my way to work. This is taken from two blocks south and is as embiggened as I know how to make it. One day when I have oodles of time, I’ll get closer so that you can see the detail at the top of those columns. They delight me!



And this is the view westward, down Young Street toward Union Station, which is the white building that you glimpse in the distance.



There is a really cool fountain opposite the station. I’ll try to get a picture of it when the panhandlers are busy elsewhere or I have a friend to watch my bags.

And now for a word from the Churchboy Dating Service. Nothing yet from Brother PossiblyNotPsycho, but Brother Sushi says my response to his profile was just about perfect. And he asked around discreetly, and nobody seems to know this guy. [I just checked; he’s read my profile, but made no contact. So I’m thinking that’s a no thank you.]

There was another “match” waiting when I got home from the voice recital. His needs are simple: “I would like to meet someone who likes to be outside. Walks in the woods and goes fishing. Looks aren’t that important.” Sounds to me that what he wants is a fishing buddy! Or perhaps a raccoon? And yes, while I might have mentioned right here on this very blog that I want to learn to fish, I am so not Backwoods Barbie.

Next!

The voice recital on Saturday was about equal parts exquisite and excruciating. Granted, it is difficult in the best of circumstances to stand before an audience [no matter how doting] and sing your heart out. And more so to do it for a grade. For the most part, I think the singers were matched with songs in their range. But there were a couple of kids who were having a Very Bad Day. So bad that I suddenly understood why people used to take cabbages to the opera. So bad that when Firstborn passed me two smallish breath mints, one for me and one for Brother Sushi, I thought, “OK, one for each ear, but how am I going to get them out again, and what is he going to do?”

You will be pleased to know that LittleBit did us proud. She fumbled some of the lyrics in her solos [almost everybody did, at least once], but every blessed note was on pitch. And her duet with her BFFE [they go all the way back to first grade] made me weep, but for all the right reasons. They sang the “Flower Song” from Lakmé. It’s one aria that doesn’t make my teeth hurt.

The second Serpentine [small] is done.



Lest you think that I have artfully fiddled the Serpentine [medium] pair to make it seem as if there are two pairs?



Work is likely to be crazy today. Two of my team members are off for a daughter’s / granddaughter’s kindergarten graduation. Ask me later what I think about kindergarten graduations, sixth grade graduations, and eighth grade graduations, none of which ~ thankfully ~ we have yet endured in this tribe. And another proud grandma has one tomorrow.

OK, I’ll just tell you now. I think they devalue the really important ones that come later: high school and college. I think it is all part of the whole PC let’s make sure they feel good about themselves movement.

And now I have 15 minutes to get ready and head for the train. Review of Lark’s choir concert, later this week.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Oye, Caramba! -- Impressions and Stupors of Thought

I went over to Fort Worth yesterday morning and discovered that I had gotten there just in time for the Spanish Ward. I went back at 1:00 for my new ward’s meetings. Sigh...

I love my new ward. Already. It’s minuscule [that word really should be spelled miniscule; miniskirt, minivan, mini muffins; minuscule? what were they thinking?], which means that it should not take long to get names and faces matched up. And it’s friendly. I introduced myself to the woman who was handing out the sacrament meeting programs, and she asked where I would be living, and before the meeting started ten minutes later, she had brought over one of my new neighbors and sent another to find me.

The stake president was the bishop of the ward that we lived in when we stayed with friends, fifteen years ago. So I already love and respect and trust him. Today was ward conference in the new ward, which is why I got to chat briefly with the stake president after sacrament meeting and reintroduce myself.

But before that happened, and after the closing prayer, I felt a hand on my shoulder and looked up into the blue, blue eyes of The Nice Brother, who was attending on stake business. And who seemed as pleased to find me there as I was to see him. I spent a good portion of Gospel Doctrine class beaming “ask me out, ask me out, ask me out” across the room while keeping my eyes firmly fixed on the teacher.

I didn’t think anything could be better than the dance last night. I was wrong.

OK, maybe not that giddy. But I could be persuaded. The giddiness distracted me, at least a little, from one of my purposes in attending. I’ve been collecting impressions over the last four or five months. And I’m trying to piece them into one coherent whole, but I think there are still a number of important pieces missing.

I am feeling flashes of inspiration rather more frequently than I’m accustomed to. I recognized The Nice Brother when I first set eyes on him earlier this year, from a very brief description that 2BDH had given me. I just knew him. I knew which male friend it was who had been the Good Sam to another sister in our dinner group. I think I know what my calling will be in the new ward; I think it was confirmed by something apparently random that one of my friends said when we were visiting teaching last month. My best friend was talking about a difficult calling she had had recently, and how hard it was to mentor a certain individual, and I knew who it was, without her giving a description or mentioning a name. I just wish I were better at getting impressions about my kids, but I think that I don’t because I am standing too close to the trees.

I wish I knew what this meant. Because ultimately the connection with Heaven is what supports my connection with any of my fellow mortals. And I don’t want to get distracted by something that might become pleasant and/or exciting and miss out on something that is subtle and more enduring. Nor do I want to miss on something that is appropriately pleasant and exciting because I am overly focused on the subtle.

In the meantime, I am grinning like the Cheshire Cat. And today I will be binding off the second Serpentine [small] and casting on with my purple Jojoland Cashmere for the Flared Lace Smoke Ring.

Laissez les bons temps roulez!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

I’m With the Band [???]

The dance last night was great. We had a live band, and they were good. Covered a lot of late 60’s and early 70’s stuff, the songs of my misspent youth. They fired up “Black Magic Woman”, and in those magical opening chords, my hips and feet took on a life of their own. Next thing that I knew, the lead guitarist had jumped down from the stage and was dancing with me. [I thought I had wandered into a Springsteen video by mistake; nyah nyah nyah, Courtney Cox!]

How. Cool. Is. That.

A few bars before the end of the song, he wandered on back to the stage. Absolutely the best dance that I've been to since I started coming to the singles’ activities. They’ll be back next month. [So will I.]

Took me almost two hours to drive home, as there was a horrible accident on I-635. I was so sleepy once I got past the accident site that I stopped at a drive-through to pick up a shake. Took another 20 minutes or more to get through that line, as the folks at the head of the line were apparently having issues with their order. As I type this section, it is now two and a half hours since I left the dance, and while I am tired, I am not sleepy.

I moved all the boxes that I packed on Thursday night to stacks on top of my long folding tables, before leaving for the dance. And I packed another five or six boxes and typed up the last of my labels. I will probably need more. I brought home five more lidded boxes and enough knocked-down smaller boxes to fill 2/3 of my back seat. But since it is 1:01am, I don’t think I will traipse out to the car and bring them in.

So, here is my new-to-me flatware.



And here.



I’m also bidding on a small mahogany chest to store them in. Polishing silver is one of those meditative activities that’s fun to do every once in awhile but would be a pain in the patoot on a weekly basis.

OK, it’s now almost 1:30, and I’m officially sleepy. Heading over to the new ward later this morning to meet all the powers-that-be, particularly those who will be helping to unpack the truck in a few weeks.

Night, all!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

LittleBit went out and got her own phone plan and a new number and a much fancier phone than I would have sprung for. On her own nickel, no less! This will give her a bit of credit history, and that’s a good thing.

I called our provider to ask them to drop her old number, which they will do at the end of the billing cycle. I have also downsized from the family plan to the empty-nester plan and cut my text messaging limit by 70%. I’m not one of those obnoxious folks who treats everybody else on the train to half of a phone conversation, so I think that 500 voice minutes will be plenty. [And someday I will be sufficiently saintly not to look down my nose at the folks who break up with their boyfriends on the 5:46. Someday isn’t here yet.]

In today’s “I am so impressed” department? The comment left on Wednesday’s post by the designer of that luscious smoke ring scarf. I followed the links to a page where I could purchase a PDF. So I did.

Since the Serpentine [medium] is now a full pair...



...and the second Serpentine [small] is cast on, it’s time to start thinking about the next project. I am not quite ready to tackle making both Anastasia socks the same size. [I suspect that it will involve ripping both socks back to the toes.] And I am resisting the idea of two socks on two circs, but that might just do the trick, particularly if I go with a smaller needle size for the sole.

I’m not sure if this smoke ring pattern will be suitable for knitting on the train. It looks like about a week’s worth of knitting. And like all good lace patterns, it looks deliciously complicated, but I suspect that the actual knitting will be straightforward. After I’ve worked one repeat, I’ll know if it’s a good one to take on the road.

My eBay silverware arrived at the office on Friday. It’s gorgeous! I wanted to go home immediately and bake up a batch of popovers and use my new plates. Photos of said silverware to follow, just not today. But here is a plate.



And here are my newest Dansko clogs.



Followed by the ones that came a couple of weeks ago.



Love that rich red!

I feel like a little girl again, playing house. Only this time there are no tiny boxes of pretend food, or stubby plastic forks or miniature copper-clad Revereware pans [I’m tracking some of those on eBay]. Now there is neat stuff that nobody wanted anymore, which I am saving from a landfill. Beautiful, milky old silver and vintage linens and clever cupboards.

There was an interesting profile waiting for me from the Churchboy Dating Service last night. No obvious red flags, so I responded cautiously and have forwarded his profile to Brother Sushi to see if he knows him.

I packed seven boxes of books last night before bedtime and slept in until just after 6:00 this morning! LittleBit’s senior voice recital is at 10:00 this morning, so I need to start getting ready. Fourthborn will be riding with me. And I’m supposed to call Brother Karitas sometime today, because he thought he might have stories to tell me. Tonight there is BBQ and dancing with a live band [as opposed to a dead one?] and a carful of boxes to pick up from one of the Good Brothers, who has been collecting them for me all week.

I snapped a few good pictures of downtown BigD on the walk to the train station last night, but they will have to wait for another post. I need to update Flickr and Ravelry so I can put Serpentine [medium] into my Finished Objects list.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Taking Up a Collection for a Thesaurus, and Other Mutterings

1. On the train into work yesterday, there was a young man who seemed to have only two words in his vocabulary: “shi’man” and “foo”. And let the record show that he was not of the mocha persuasion. I think we should also buy him some consonants while we are at it. If you are going to curse, at least be intelligible...

2. In which Ms. Ravelled appreciates a new context for the phrase “hell on wheels”. Just in case you’re wondering where I fit in his classification system, let me state for the record that I have a reserved parking space in the Pharisees’ parking lot on Whited Sepulchre Lane. With a brass name plate. And a valet who hands me a bag full of peeled grapes as I hand him my keys.

One more character issue for me to work on.

On to happier things. I am ready to bind off the top of the second Serpentine [medium]. I will probably finish that before work this morning. So, photos coming soon! Can the second Serpentine [small] be far behind?

I went to our ward’s monthly Home, Family, and Personal Enrichment Meeting [formerly known as Homemaking Night] last night and had a great time, as always. Mostly it was a potluck and a chance to sit and visit with friends. We had a brief book review, on a book that had vaguely interested me when it came out a few months ago, and now sounds like something I want to read and keep in my personal library. [I know, I know. One more book. Just trying to keep things interesting for my executrix.]

But the best part is that LittleBit [who turned 18 last December and now qualifies to be part of the largest and oldest women’s organization in the world, a/k/a Relief Society] and I are now assigned to be visiting teachers together. It will only be for this month and as much of next month as we are still in the ward, but this is the first time I have ever been able to go visiting teaching with one of my daughters. And we have been assigned to visit two of the liveliest, loveliest sisters in our ward.

OK, time for me to post this and quickly get ready for work. I tried a different station yesterday and learned an alternate, non-flooding route to the one that I prefer. I love having options!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

“The Lady’s Not for [Drowning]”

With apologies to Christopher Fry. I dashed out to my car in the cloudburst yesterday morning, headed up for the park and ride, made it through the first low-water crossing with only a little uneasiness, and came to a lake where there should have been an intersection. With two low-water crossings yet to go. There was a pickup waiting to turn, and somebody else stopped a couple of blocks ahead of me, so I put on my left-turn signal [because my car is mysteriously without one that says “Hang on a minute. I’m making a U-turn.”] and headed back the way I came.

I figure that my life is worth the $15.00 that it costs to park under my building. And two of the monthly-parkers were out of the office yesterday, so another co-worker with the same idea and I, both got to park for free.

Preparing for the future. Some things that have been on my mind for the past several months, and new ideas that have popped up like mushrooms after the rain.

Emergency power supply for CPAP machine
It’s one of those things you don’t think about until you’re sitting in the dark and wondering if you’ll have to sleep propped up in a chair all night. After our brief blackout a couple of weeks ago, I spent some time researching options for a backup power supply.

My friend Brother Karitas’ father has a BiPap; it pushes air into his lungs and pulls it out again. Their backup is a gasoline-powered generator on the back porch, and when the power is out, it is Brother Karitas’ job to sit on the back porch in the exhaust fumes and make sure that the generator continues to function.

These are some of the options that I came up with. When I have a place of my own, I would like to set up the solar panels as the primary backup, with a conventional battery in case of extended darkness. I don’t know if any of you also use a CPAP or if you’ve thought about the need for an alternative power source. If you have one, what did you choose, and why?

http://www.powerenz.com/store/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=24
http://www.cpapdiscountstore.com/catalog/super-cpap-battery-pack-bgc222-p-709.html
http://www.cpap-supply.com/Articles.asp?ID=146
Note in the last that they recommend a deep cycle marine battery. What a charming accessory for the boudoir! I wonder if it comes in red...

I forwarded my research, embryonic as it is, to one of my co-workers who uses a CPAP. It hadn’t occurred to him, either, that “no power” = interrupted sleep.

My second pair of Dansko’s arrived at the office yesterday, and the snack plates, both won on eBay. Which leaves the mystery package from England [well, it's not a mystery to me, but it needs to be one for everybody else, at least for now] and the silver flatware.

And I bid on more of the salad plates last night.

I’ve been reading the home dec and gardening magazines that my co-worker and his wife share with me, and I am getting itchy to try unblackening my thumb. He also brought me a sheaf of Cooks Illustrated, which I have yet to sit down and peruse.

The second Serpentine [medium] is about halfway done, and my row counter has gone missing. I think I had it at Knit Night. It might have slipped off my lap on the train, night before last; I don’t know. So I am making do with check-marks up one side of the chart.

I brought home five boxes from Knit Night [thanks, Jeri!], which we loaded into the car before the sky opened up, and which I unloaded after I got home last night. We have a potluck at church tonight. My contribution will be whatever I can pick up at the store after I get off the train. So, probably no packing tonight, but I’m bowing out of a dinner group activity for tomorrow night, and maybe I can get half a dozen boxes packed before bedtime.

Gotta dash. We had more rain last night, so I need to find an alternate route to the park and ride.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I have “No Reservations” about “Mostly Martha”.

Somebody, I think it was Kristen, asked if I’d seen either or both. And the answer to that is “yes”. Both, and I like them both. And I like both soundtracks, and I think it’s funny that both scores share that wonderfully ditzy jazzy song.

This appealed to my sense of whimsy.

Link to another article that will make you think.

I love Bloglines. I love getting notified when one of my girls posts to her blog, or one of my friends. I am a relative latecomer to brooklyntweed’s blog. That smoke ring he is knitting just knocks my [hand-knitted] socks off! I clicked on the link he provided, and I like the pattern, and I balk at paying $5.95 to ship a $5.00 pattern. I think the pattern would be perfect for my lone skein of Jojoland Cashmere.

But I also think that I will be sitting down with my four volumes of Barbara Walker and designing my own. Blame it on eBay, where my formula for maximum bid on an item is that X plus shipping should be no more than half of retail. So, when shipping is more than the cost of an item, I think twice. And sometimes three or four times.

I have been really lucky on eBay recently. Two new-to-me pairs of shoes. Dishes in one of the patterns that I collect, at hardly more than yard sale prices. Yesterday I scored 36 pieces of silver flatware, missing only one teaspoon, which I just happen to have, packed away in one of the boxes in my dining room. For $15.50 plus shipping. I was outbid on the kitchen toy that I want, and that’s OK. That particular item shows up much more frequently than buses, trains, or age-appropriate men.

I am nearly ready to begin the pattern on Serpentine [medium]. If I don’t drown in the deluge that’s coming down.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

In the Middle of the Night

My mom had an uncommon amount of common sense. When I was a young, hormonal girl in the throes of unrequitedness, she would smile gently and remind me, “Lynn, boys are like streetcars. There’ll be another one in 15 minutes.” And she was right. When I was young.

Now that I am squarely in the middle of my life, I have learned that not only are the pickings decidedly slimmer [even if the men and I are not], but there are downsides to public transportation as well. For example, if you need to go home in the middle of the day and there is no bus waiting at the usual stop to take you to the station, so you walk four blocks to the station and arrive in time to see the train pulling out? You will have to sit on a metal bench for an hour and a half and smile sweetly at panhandlers and tell them that you have no money to give them, because you are a single mom and have no money, just blessings.

[This, I know, is what our British cousins would call a prevarication. I have no money because I just paid my tithing and my bills, and I bought a spinning wheel. I told them the truth. I just didn’t tell them all the truth. I learned this from my children.]

There was another middle-aged woman waiting for the train. We were Safety Kids and sat together. And the transit cops were much in evidence, so we weren’t really bothered by the transients. And I had my knitting. So it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as it could have been. Even when the platform was invaded by a horde of middle-schoolers heading back from a field trip, who had enough collective energy to power a small village [who am I kidding; they were a small village].

Even though I was not in the best of moods, and their noise level matched their energy level, I could tell that they were good kids. One of them gave up his seat and squished in with two skinny friends so that another woman my age could sit down. They were not profane or abusive; they were just loud. And as we rolled past Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, I was impressed how great it was that these kids were outside, living their lives, not inside the hospital, fighting for them.

I hit the drive-through at Panda Express and picked up an order of orange chicken *and* spring rolls with mustard. I left the office a little after 1:00; I was sitting here at my computer about 4:00 and went to bed around 5:00, full of fiery food rather than the chagrin which had occupied the last several hours.

I woke up a little before midnight, just as LittleBit was getting home, so we had evening prayers together for the first time in weeks, maybe months. And then she went to bed, and I am apparently up for the duration.

The guys among you are probably scratching your heads and wondering why I had to come home in the middle of the day, when I was not throwing up. [Yay! for not throwing up!] The ladies among you will have figured out that I had a Female Emergency yesterday, something that is prone to happen at the beginning of the reproductive cycle when we are getting used to having hormones, and unfortunately also at the end of it when we thought we were safely past it.

I do not know if there is a male equivalent of the helplessness that you feel as you overflow your protection, or the embarrassment which accompanies the knowledge that anyone standing behind you can tell what time of the month it is. Thankfully, I learned decades ago that it’s almost impossible to die of embarrassment. And mercifully, it was a coolish day yesterday so I had a long jacket with me. Still, I think I was never so glad to be sitting in my own car as I was last night.

I am about ready to hit the fridge and bring out the rice I was unable to finish last night. She tossed in a side of sweet and sour sauce, and I have some leftover pineapple as well, so I think I am in for a treat. Not sure what I will do for the next four hours until my alarm goes off. Maybe finish binding off Serpentine [medium] and cast on the next one and then a little spinning?

I think we could use a little music. And I seem to be on a kick. But you can’t argue with the classics.

Firstborn sent me this yesterday. Her boss sends out inspirational thoughts to their office.

Good morning.
Patience
A man must learn to endure patiently what he cannot avoid conveniently. [Michel de Montaigne]

So, apparently, must a woman. Even when she is her own personal Red Sea, and drowning like Pharaoh.

Monday, May 12, 2008

56-Year-Old Women Should Not...

1. Be having visits from the Red Fairy.
2. Eat refried beans while enduring a visit from the Red Fairy.
3. Need Midol, and be without it on the Sabbath.
4. Have flushed the anti-inflammatory prescription last week, just because they hadn’t taken it in two months.
5. Have food cravings; see #1.
6. Miss church because they had chills and fever; maybe it wasn’t those beans after all?
7. Throw up on Mother’s Day. So hard they get a nosebleed.
6. Kill spiders by throwing up on them; so I didn’t, but that deserves its own paragraph, below.

I called my friend Leslye to let her know that neither of us would be at church. LittleBit had a command performance at her restaurant; all those Sabbath-breakers taking Mom out for her once-a-year lunch. And I? I was otherwise occupied. I asked Leslye to snag some chocolate for me, if that was what they were handing out, because I wasn’t always going to be throwing up.

I really hope they didn’t give me another mouth to feed geranium to keep track of.

I woke up a little past 2:00, about five or ten minutes before Middlest called me from Virginia. I asked her what time it was. [Our block of meetings run from 11:00 - 2:00.] I suspect that the real reason I was sick is because the Adversary did not want me at church, and not simply because Mother’s Day is my least-favorite holiday. Witness: I’ve never gotten sick on Father’s Day, and I’m not all that crazy about it, either.

After I was done chatting with Middlest, I left a message on Leslye’s cell phone. “Please tell me there is not a tall, good-looking man wandering around the chapel with a ring box in his hand, looking for me!” Hey, if he really is Brother Right, then he’ll be there when I’m there, and not when I’m not. Right? It’s all about the timing.

My friend Tinks sent me this Mother’s Day card. [OK, that link takes you to a generic page. Click on Mother’s Day More and then on What Mom Hears. Unlike Mother’s Day per se, I like this card!

And on we go to the story about not-barfing-on-the-spider. I was sitting in the tub, minding my own business, hoping that the hot water would warm my cramping abdomen and get it to stop. And all of a sudden my mouth started watering, so I grabbed the little washtub that I use when LittleBit and I are having Gilmore Girls moments, soaking our feet side by side while we eat popcorn and watch old musicals. And I propped it between my knees and my chest, and I waited. And then I saw a tiny little spider, no bigger than the head of a quilting pin, scrambling frantically to get out of the washtub. And I thought, “Nobody, not even an eensy weensy spider, deserves death by vomit.” So I dipped a corner of the washtub into the water and drowned him in tub water. It seemed the kinder thing to do.

OK, how lucid are you when you know you’re about to hurl?

I cautiously sipped some apple juice around 4:00pm. It stayed down. I followed that an hour later with a bowl of ramen noodles. They stayed down. Bowl of applesauce at 6:00pm? It stayed down, too. Houston, our stomach has landed! I spent the late afternoon updating my queue on Ravelry and the evening watching most of Waking Ned Devine while knitting away happily on the medium Serpentine Mitt. And catching up, gingerly, on a day’s worth of calories.

Got an email from one of the Good Brothers, offering empty boxes and a strong back, for my move. Got another one from Leslye, saying that she had my chocolate for safekeeping. Got about four hours of sleep when I went to bed very late last night, and while I would rather stay home and knit or spin!!! I think I am well enough to be a responsible corporate citizen and get on the train this morning.

It’s Monday. I’m vertical. That’s progress!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Baby Grand

I had no idea that this song even existed. Pretty amazing.

Stay me with enchiladas, comfort me with sour cream, for I am depleted by motherly concern. [With apologies to Solomon and his Song (2:5), which we never, ever discuss in Gospel Doctrine class; I’m guessing it falls neatly under the “as far as it is translated correctly” part of the Eighth Article of Faith.] I had a lovely long talk with one of my girls yesterday; I need to have one with another.

It is not the girls themselves who are wearying, nor the fact that they are each struggling with mighty challenges; it is, I think, what the Savior was talking about when the woman touched the hem of His robe in order to be healed, and He felt virtue flow through Him and out into her. I am an ordinary mortal, trying to live the commandments to the best of my understanding and abilities. Most of my contact with the Spirit comes in quick flashes and promptings, not in extended conversations where I open my mouth and He gives me the words to speak.

The flashes and promptings go onto my honey-do list; they take nothing out of me. But the moments when I know that I am speaking Truth, rather than just hoping that I am, those leave me spent.

Yesterday was a very good day; I got all four of the temporal items checked off my list [fed the elders, voted in the local election, picked up the filing cabinet and the spinning wheel], *and* my nails done. Dinner with Brother Sushi last night was everything I could have wished. Good food, and plenty of it. He unloaded my new filing cabinet out of the back seat of Lorelai.



We traded stories. And as he was letting me back into his pickup, I asked him to scratch a spot on my back that I cannot easily reach.

Back-scratching is a very intimate thing. I am nearly as picky about who gets to scratch my back [notwithstanding the layers and layers of clothing between the scratcher’s hand and my epidermis] as I am about who gets to touch my bare feet [which is basically nobody, thank you very much; I don’t do pedicures though I probably should]. LittleBit is the best back-scratcher in the immediate family. She knows just where the itches or tension are lurking, and she has the strength to push and dig until the itch or pain goes away.

LittleBit, unfortunately, was at work when the Itch Fairy attacked my left shoulder blade last night. Brother Sushi was an excellent substitute. I went into dinner tired, hungry, sleepy, and for lack of a better word, fraught. After I hugged him goodnight, I was replete and listened-to and non-itchy.

Look what I noticed sitting on top of an unused desk when I walked down the hall to kick off my shoes.



It’s been in this box since 1991. Just waiting for me.



A small and vibrant piece of myself that I needed to set aside for awhile. And now it’s time to pick it up again.

Have a blessed and peaceful Sabbath, everyone. I had hoped to attend sacrament meeting in my future ward, just to make contact with the bishop and the high priest group leader and the Relief Society president, and then come back here for my meetings, but I did not get out after dinner last night to tank Lorelai. I have enough gas to get to church and home, and to the gas station in the morning. So that will have to wait until next Sunday.