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!

Monday, November 30, 2009

*Weird* dream

So, it’s 12:47am [well, it was when I started this], and I am awake, having crashed at around 6:30 last night. And having recently awakened from a dream in which I was in a really cool thrift store, or maybe an antique mall, getting ready to buy two big baskets full of my stainless pattern.

Just to be clear about this, I do not need any more knives, forks, or spoons. I have enough flatware, even though I went through my silverware drawer and pulled out all or most of the gold-plated pieces that have seen better days. Those pieces will go out with the recycling this week [assuming I remember, and that there is room in the bin after the paper purging that went on a few days ago].

The Legwarmies [free pattern on Ravelry, also available at NeverNotKnitting] are done.* I finished knitting them in church yesterday, even to the sewn cast-off. I don’t think I have quite enough yarn left in this first ball to get a pair of booties, but maybe enough for a pair of wee mitts to go over the baby’s hands, and I think I have some ribbon in a compatible shade, if I wanted to knit in eyelets above the ribbing.

*Not done. I was ready to weave in the ends on the second Legwarmie, when I had the thought to put them side by side and see how the self-striping pattern measured up. That’s when I discovered that I had omitted ten rounds of stockinette [basic boring knitting, for you muggles] on this second one. So while the tub filled this morning I laboriously picked out the sewn cast-off, and I am ready to rejoin the yarn and really, truly finish them.

Mumble mumble rassenfrassen.

Time to load everything into the car and head into BigD. Today I hope to locate Jessica and end the dolly drama. I also need to talk to the DA’s office about something [no, I’m not in trouble, nor are any of my kids or their kids] and figure out a wee mystery over on Facebook. Sounds like enough to keep me out of the pool halls for one more day.

Oh, and then there is Mount Washmore tonight. But there was pumpkin pie for breakfast, and there will be knitting interspersed throughout my day, so I cannot truly complain.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

So, what did I do yesterday?

  • Found the batting for the Christmas stockings, and the backing for one.
  • Emptied seven boxes of their contents, looking for the rest of that batch of Christmas fabric.
  • Broke down said boxes and took them out to the recycling bin, because having them between me and the door was just the tiniest bit claustrophobia-inducing.
  • Climbed up and down the step-ladder enough times that it nearly qualified as aerobic activity.
  • Finished reading New Moon.
  • Found the fabric I was looking for in box #8, along with my redwork embroidery patterns.
  • Tackled Mount Washmore.
  • Instead of doing the laundry, made a mad dash into Dallas to see if I could find out why delivery failed on my Jessica.
  • Came home only a little wiser, without my doll.
  • Ate my feelings. Thank you, Ben. Thank you, Jerry.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A riddle, wrapped around an enigma

I sat down yesterday with two remotes, four AAA batteries, two sets of instruction books, and a modicum of patience. My mission? to connect the DVD/VCR player to the TV (check!) and be able to watch some of my older movies.

I don’t know if it’s a problem with the TV per se ~ I haven’t upgraded to HDTV, since I don’t watch TV ~ or with the code. I can turn the TV on, using the universal remote, but I can’t get to the screen where I can program my DVD/VCR player.

So I will nibble away at that today. I may need to work through every blessed one of the TV program codes until I find the one that gives me the magic screen. I am a reasonably logical person. I would like to figure this out on my own, without calling in the reinforcements [i.e., my sons-in-law or my grandchildren]. And I would like to do it before Monday night, because I have pitched the box and packing materials that came with the DVD/VCR player, into the recycling bin, and I would like to dump in the rest of my recycling [from the dismantling of Mt. Ravelled] and have it all blessedly, safely gone. I do not want to have to beat a strategic retreat and hook up the old DVD player again.

Thankfully, it’s not like I don’t have other things I can do. I’m 232 pages into New Moon, as of this writing. (I still want to smack Bella, often, but that’s another issue.) I’m approaching the halfway mark on the second baby legging. I would like to have those done by Monday, with maybe an accompanying hat, booties, and mitts. Hey, I have a rich fantasy life like lots of other folks, but my fantasies are family-appropriate and involve sticks and string...

Had a great visit with BestFriend yesterday and a lovely bowl of lobster bisque. Today I will be doing another drive-by fooding of the missionaries. And climbing Mt. Laundry, with or without a Sherpa.

But first, I’m off to water my garden on Facebook, eat some cold pizza, flirt with an underage werewolf, and rejoice in the fact that Jessica is no longer in purdah at customs.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Abstaining from the Black Friday madness.

Franklin Habit is a clever knitter, brilliant photographer, and a crackerjack writer into the bargain. Here is his most recent blog post. Think of Dolores as Mae West, with hooves.

As proof that there really has been housework [of a sort] going on chez Ravelled, I offer these two photographs in evidence. The top left photograph was taken by FirstHubby when he was living back East. He gave it to my when we met (after 26 years) on the trip I took for my 50th birthday. It’s a polo match, taken using infrared??, and he also gave me a used polo ball. Why? because Dad played polo in the Wyoming National Guard in the 1930’s, before his unit was motorized and sent off to fight in WWII. I have Dad’s polo mallet hanging in the hall and will give you a visual after I paint the hall [i.e., sometime between now and the Second Coming; we make haste slowly around here].

This is the lower half of the same wall. The photo by the light switch is one of the ones I was talking about earlier, as is the one above the framed mannequin. The doily was made by my Gram [Mom’s mom, and the reason I am Gram to my own grandchildren], in the 1950’s or 1960’s. She couldn’t read a crochet pattern, but she could look at something and copy it impeccably. My favorite aunt had it mounted on black velvet and framed, and she gave it to me one year for Christmas. Its a miracle that it has survived our many moves; most of my family heirlooms got left behind or destroyed, one place or another.

Those grubby little baby shoes that you see dangling from the pink peg rack? Mine.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

“Goodbye, Sweetlips.”

I’ve been reminiscing a lot lately; might be part of the whole Thanksgiving spirit. Found my high school graduation portrait. Found my yearbook with the incriminating inscription. Last night while puttering in my studio, I hung up pictures of Dad that FirstHubby’s dad took on a fishing trip, probably to Billingsley Creek near Hagerman, Idaho. That was Dad’s favorite fishing hole, and it’s where Mom and my sister scattered his ashes almost 20 years ago.

I’ve spent a good chunk of the morning in the studio, deconstructing Mt. Ravelled [the accretion of stuff on top of what was formerly the kitchen table and is now allegedly my work table]. I would give you a visual, but my camera informed me that the batteries needed charging.

I am finding all sorts of things in the process: the box that my old phone came in, with its accompanying manuals and plastic tray, all now comfortably ensconced in a bag for recycling. Four unfinished wooden footstools, and I cannot for the life of me remember which two of the girls has a completed footstool, or if I gave one to a granddaughter.

The paper bag of buttons that once belonged to my friend Candayce’s mother, which are now artfully arranged in a soup bowl that I was going to take to the thrift shop which supports the women’s shelter. The paper bag itself has gone into my drawer that holds gift bags, etc.

Three orphaned socks, one of which is black with green shamrocks. Two old pairs of spectacles, at least one of which could be doing good somewhere else. A spool of tigertail wire (nylon coated miniature wire cable) for jewelry making.

The skein of grey silk/cashmere laceweight yarn that my friend Jo in Ireland sent me when I sent her some Texas pralines, which yarn Secondborn might find suitable for this year’s [belated] birthday scarf.

Last night I scooted the armoire into my studio. It is serving as an end-cap to my work table and looking mighty handsome in the process. I have stowed the padded, zippered bag that Blessing came in, which holds her human feet and calves, inside it. I can sit on the “throne” and look through the hall into my studio, across the table, and see the far wall. This fills me with a ridiculous amount of satisfaction and joy.

Brief segue: I love to decorate. I don’t need expensive things to make my place feel like home. I have lived with hand-me-downs for decades and been perfectly content. [I was doing shabby chic long before it was chic.] I bought my first new chairs ~ other than the wooden folding chairs from World Market; I am talking real furniture here ~ in September 2007, the painted dresser last year, and three bookcases plus the armoire this year.

My biggest challenge is that I have many interests, and I rotate through them on a regular basis, so it makes no sense for me to give away all my scrapbooking supplies, because it will come up in the rotation again, and knitting will take a back seat for awhile; it’s the same with quilting, decorative painting, silk painting, noodling around with watercolors, etc.

The urge to create is not a tidy passion, but it is a demanding one. I would like to be able to keep my living room company-ready. At the moment, the coffee table looks like an explosion in an elven sweatshop: jewelry stuff, cups full of watercolor pencils, beads out the wazoo, the scanner I have yet to hook up, which will eventually enable me to get rid of two file cabinets. The gorgeous huge Mikasa bowl that is piled with balls of yarn, knitting needles, Jessica’s skirt and underskirt and belt, the blush pink silk for her blouse, her half-completed sweater. There is a stack of magazines I want to get to (ha!).

Organizing a room, for me, is a bit like working a jigsaw puzzle. I have to find all the pieces for the perimeter first. That was the massive shoving-around-of-furniture which took place a few weeks ago and reduced the visual clutter at least in terms of what I can see from here at my desk. Getting pictures and decorative items out of the boxes and drawers in which I had stowed them, and hanging them up last night, was like adding another two or three rounds of puzzle pieces onto the edges.

And while I have been puttering, I have been thinking, pulling out memories and dusting them off. Had a lively and amusing conversation with a friend earlier this week, on the topic of kissing. Perhaps the most memorable one was when I married FirstHubby. I may have blogged about it. Old boyfriend came to the wedding, fortified with a bit of dutch courage to see me marry another. Came reeling through the receiving line, took me by the shoulders, kissed me thoroughly, grinned, and said, “Goodbye, Sweetlips.”

Best. Exit. Line. Ever.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood!

Got notification that my Jessica has shipped. She will arrive at the office on Friday or Saturday, which means I will be driving into Dallas to pick her up. I can’t imagine leaving her to shiver all weekend in the security guard’s booth.

We get to wear jeans and T-shirts and sneakers to work today. I am wearing my don’t you wish your girlfriend could knit like me? shirt. Yesterday was the first day that I actually felt like a legal secretary. I have a new lawsuit to open up when I get to work this morning, but thankfully the answer isn’t due until early December. I chewed through my inboxes yesterday, both the paper one on my desk and my Outlook, and there is a better-than-even chance that I will have time to pay invoices this afternoon. Thankfully, my attorney is one of the handful with check-signing privileges, and he will be in the office today; this may be my opportunity to make him as busy as he’s been keeping me all week!

I woke up at 3:20, which is actually OK because I went to bed so early last night. I have already been scurrying about, doing Relief Society stuff. Feeling so very thankful for the opportunities to serve.

Got my EOB for the new crown, and there is no danger of losing any remaining funds in my medical expense reimbursement account; I was a little afraid that this would be the first year I might have overpaid into the fund, but no fear.

Time to grab my lunch and my knitting and ease on down the road. I’m driving in, because we are probably going to shut down the office an hour early today. There will certainly be no shortage of available [paid-for] parking slots because of all the coworkers who are taking the day off.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Even less to report today.

  • Knit night tonight. Bound off part 1 of the current knitting project but have yet to cast on part 2.
  • Spent too long emailing a friend this morning and have to drive in again today.
  • The armoire is gorgeous. When I get home tonight, I will check it for a secret door to Narnia.
  • I almost know most of what I am doing in my current incarnation as a legal secretary.
  • Boys should come with instruction manuals. Brother Sushi and I had this discussion over dinner last night. Silly man, he thinks that women should come with instruction manuals, whereas we are ever so easy to understand, and it is men who are complicated.
  • If I do not walk out of the door in 45 seconds, there will be h-e-double-hockey-sticks to pay.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Not much to report today.

Another lovely, quiet, peaceful, blessed Sabbath. A new friendship, because I sang in the choir. She’s the alto who sat next to me, and we just clicked. She’s on Facebook, and we sent leisurely emails back and forth all evening (once I awoke from my nap).

Great nap. Splendid nap. Even the East German judges would have given it a 9.5.

Looking forward to work today. Brother Sushi is off today, and he’s picking up my armoire at the antique store and bringing it here, and then we are having our December dinner a couple of weeks early, at Texas de Brazil.

Knitting project is going well. I will finish part 1 sometime today and hope to get a good start on part 2.

Am heading to work by way of the dentist’s office; I popped out my temporary crown while flossing. My fault entirely: I chew my food on the right side, but I chew ice on the left, and there ya go!

LittleBit has a cell phone again. I have really missed her random voicemails and text messages.

There are leftovers in the fridge at work. No need to pack a lunch today.

I think I will grab a cinnamon roll from Kolache Man, since I’ll be in Arlington. And maybe flirt a little, not so much as you’d notice. OK, I’m outta here!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Trust and fear

HappySimple, on the subject of trust.

While I remember: Brother Sushi and I did not go to Cavalli’s for dinner on Friday night. He got home late enough that we felt it wiser to grab something closer to home(s). So that will be another dinner for another day.

We talk about all sorts of things. He shared that he had prayed over something that was bugging him, and the answer he got was gentle, humorous, and quite specific in its ambiguity. He and I are both the sort of people who like to have everything sorted tidily into boxes. None of this messy spillover from one part of life into the next, just calm quiet orderly progression from Point A to Point B. With the occasional rest stop for a dish of crême brulée.

I had one of those moments myself, last night. Just sitting there minding my own business in the Saturday session of stake conference when three words popped out of somebody’s talk as if they had been bolded or italicized or surrounded by neon lights. And the same three words popped up in the next talk, and the one after that, and by the time our dear stake president uttered them, I was wishing I had a box of Puffs up there in the choir seats with me.

Got it. OK. I will.

Not ready to share what those three words were, except to say that they relate remarkably well to one of the topics of discussion on Friday night, and that if Brother Sushi had been sitting in the congregation last night, he would have been raising an eyebrow at me and stifling laughter. [As soon as the phone I thought I charged last night, finishes charging, he may expect a text message.]

And of course, this is what I get for telling him somewhat smugly, “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.”

I’m off to stow half a box of Puffs in the Ubiquitous Red Bag.

(The new knitting project is going well.)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Very pleased to report...

  1. Dreams for the past two nights have been insignificant and unmemorable. I am much relieved!
  2. Another great dinner/discussion with Brother Sushi. So thankful to count him as one of my “aquired brothers”.
  3. The back seam on my sister’s cowl went together with minimal argument yesterday.
  4. Leek and potato soup at 4:30am makes an excellent insomniac bachelorette breakfast.
  5. Brother Sushi is willing to pick up the antique armoire that I paid off in August. Unless I find the door to Narnia in the back of said armoire, this is almost certainly the last piece of furniture I can fit into the duplex.
  6. I woke up at 3:45 or so; I’m going back for a wee nap.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Dinner with Brother Sushi tonight!

Postponed from last Friday because of the singles’ conference. The plan is to try that pizza place which Francis recommended. I’ll get back to you.

Deliciously crazy-busy day at work yesterday. I opened two new cases for my attorney, did a little research, asked some questions, learned a lot. We have two where the answer is due on Monday.

Found my high school yearbook (senior year) with the two-page inscription from my then-fiancé. Very sweet and tender; it took me back 40 years. (And also raised my daughters’ eyebrows when they found it about 15 years ago. Some of you will understand why we preferred to borrow his mother’s dowdy 1963 Rambler to go to the drive-in, rather than his father’s shiny new Buick.)

I have all but the back seam done on my sister’s braided cowl. I think I will do that before adding the beads. It’s pinned, but one end is all compact because of the first cable cross three rows up from the cast-on stitches, while the other is all loosey-goosey from being bound off. There is a high probability that the seam is not going to be pretty. I’m feeling a little twitchy over that.

I woke early (2:46 this morning) because of the rainstorm. I would really just like to crawl back in bed and sleep until dinnertime. Somehow I don’t see that happening. And in the next hour and a half, I also need to figure out what knitting project is next. Woe be unto me if I leave the house with insufficient knitting opportunities.

I think it’s going to be another Cherry Coke day.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

♥ Carrot Sticks and Knitting Progress ♥

I think pre-scrubbed and trimmed carrots are the best thing since sliced bread. I am taking a 2-lb bag of them to work for our luncheon today.

I have two strips sewn together for my sister’s cowl and have begun adding the third. Will take those with me on the train. I am actually riding the train, first time in about ten days. I will add the beads once I get to the office, to further secure each join and add just a little bling! to the cowl.

I have really enjoyed working on this project. I would make it again, maybe in Jojoland Cashmere? I think it would also be good in the teal Gloss Lace.

Very sleepy this morning. Even if I was only pregnant in my dream last night, it flat wore me out.

I brought home my PB, jelly and salad dressing from the fridge at work, to make room for all the party food that will go in there today. Lunch is at 1:00, and we are playing games all afternoon. Guess that means I had better get the new suit entered for my attorney before the festivities begin, right?

Nutella. A nice spoonful of Nutella would help me figure out what I want to eat for breakfast.

Sorry, guys, I’m a little distracted this morning.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The horse which is called Charles.

Nasty little beast. I woke up at deep-dark-thirty this morning (a little before 3:00), as I had gone to bed early last night (9:45, yes I know that sounds late to those of you who have seen me wilt at 8:03 at Knit Night). I was lying there, minding my own business, thinking about what a nice day off I had yesterday, how much I got accomplished chez Ravelled, the conversations I had enjoyed, etc., and I felt that funny pre-cramp I sometimes get. The one that says, “No fast moves, and don’t even think about pointing your toe.”

So I lay there awhile longer and ruminated, and then I rolled onto my side, and oh holy cow! Do you have any idea how hard it is to turn off a CPAP when your hand has suddenly gone to sleep and your leg is shrieking childbirth words?

I’m up, I’m up. I’ve had a bowl of granola with a muscular-sanity-restoring banana sliced up into it, and my calf is only a little tender.

I nearly finished the last strip on my sister’s cowl. I’m about to put in a movie and head over to the couch. I may end up frogging the first two strips and redoing them at this narrower width. I think I have two and a half repeats to go, and I either just-will or just-won’t have enough yarn to get there without frogging.

And that’s my excitement for the day!

Blessing is going to work with me. My work-friends want to meet her, as do some of my friends at Knit Night. She is all dressed up and ready to go, unlike me. I have time; couch and knitting, here I come!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Almost caught up on sleep.

Woke about 15 minutes ahead of the alarm I meant to set [for the usual time], feeling far more at home in this tabernacle of clay. Not a trace of stiffness in my right ankle, and only minimal swelling in the left. No aches, throbs, or twinges, just the happy rumblings of a tummy that wants breakfast.

I can hear the wind in the trees outside, and according to Yahoo! Weather, it’s 48°F (9°C) out there, with an expected high of 56°F (13°C). Sweater weather, which makes this knitter happy indeed.

Blessing is still perched on the couch, waiting for her close-up, Mr. DeMille. I have that fake pumpkin which ought to be about the right height for a hassock, and a smaller ceramic one that would be a good size for her to hold. I wonder if there are still any small, ornamental pumpkins at the grocery store, or if they have all been replaced with candy canes?

Looking at the table by the front door, I am not feeling the love for having Mehitabel there. Her feather boa is stirring in the breeze from the ceiling fan, which is on again. She just looks messy, instead of charmingly quirky as she did two weeks ago when I moved things around. Must be time to move them around again; good thing I have the day off, no?

I had planned a day of no-phones and minimal online presence, in favor of puttering. Laundry has once more reached critical mass, and I need to pick up some fresh fruit and maybe the makings of a pot of potato leek soup. It’s been way too long since I made a pan of cornbread. I ate hardly anything yesterday: too bogged down from the food at the singles’ conference, so a PBJ for breakfast (washed down with milk), a turkey sandwich for lunch (with a nap for dessert), and a bowl of ramen noodles smothered in almost the last of the red sauce for dinner after choir practice. Random cups of juice throughout my waking hours. That’s it.

I want to make something today which will use up the last of the red sauce, maybe my chili that I thin with a can of Ro-Tel? Dumping the opened can into the bottle and shaking it up, would get those last bits of sauce out, for frugality’s sake. And maybe a pan of cornbread to go with, and then the potato soup for supper tonight.

Choir practice went well. I love that music! We are also singing a hymn at the Saturday night adult meeting of stake conference. Singing in the choir = soft seats and a good view of the speaker, and it ensures that I get to the stake center early enough to get a parking spot.

The local doll group has been most gracious in making me feel welcome. Not sure when I will be able to meet up with them next, but they are excited to see Blessing (my Cuprit), and I am eager to show her off. She will be going to work with me tomorrow so that my friends there, and those at Knit Night, can meet her. Fourthborn did an amazing job with her faceup. She is just lovely! [And maybe I will have pictures for you tomorrow or the next day, weather and light permitting.]

Time for breakfast and then a nice lazy soak in the tub before I start checking items off my list. I love long weekends!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Maybe I should just have waited?

I’m sure I would have lots more to post about, after the Primary sacrament meeting presentation later this morning. We have a small ward and a minuscule Primary; today is their big day, when they get to share what they have learned this year via song and sound bites.

The girls used to carefully not-look at me, because I would be gazing up at my beautiful children, surrounded by everybody else’s beautiful children, and I would be crying as they sang or spoke their piece.

Before the keynote speaker at the singles’ conference last night, three sisters [in the Church sense] who are sisters [in the genetic sense] treated us to three or four hymns sung gospel-style. I had goosebumps all over, and I was so glad to be able to go up to them after the meeting and shake their hands and thank them. I told them my mama had raised me on Mahalia Jackson. [I wish that Trainman had been there; he would have loved the music, too.] One of the best renditions of How Great Thou Art that I have ever heard.

Sleep is a lovely thing. I came home with seriously unhappy ankles from a day of sitting in meetings but am feeling considerably better this morning. I want to drink about a gallon and a half of water with just a sploosh of lemon juice in it, and then go back to bed, but that will have to wait until after church. I had scheduled a presidency meeting for after church, but one of my counselors is out of town for a wedding, so I think we will just reschedule for next week. Especially since I can’t remember why I wanted to meet with them. [Probably something to do with visiting teaching; like the poor, it is something we will always have with us...]

Fourthborn did the faceup on Blessing before the next round of humidity rolled through. I’m taking the day off that I won, tomorrow, and while a good chunk of the day will be filled with banalities such as laundry and housework [ugh! but at least I have a house, right?], I am hoping for decent weather and good light so I can take a bunch of pictures, maybe at the Botanical Garden?

We stopped at Fourthborn’s on the way home last night and picked up Blessing and her spare feet and legs. Right now she is nestled into a corner of the couch, looking slightly stunned to be here. But gorgeous, simply gorgeous. When Beyla gets here next February or so, I want to sit down and watch Fourthborn do her faceup.

I’m so glad that she got here first. I hope I get several more days to play with her and sew for her before Jessica gets here.

I finished the third braided strip for my sister’s cowl while at the singles’ conference yesterday [and about 25% of the fourth and final strip]. I need to weigh it on my digital scale and see how close my calculations were in terms of yarn saved by making it three stitches narrower than the first two strips. I either just-will or just-won’t have enough yarn to get the whole cowl out of one skein. I may very well be done with the knitting by the time I am done with church meetings today.

So glad that that is the only drama which is going on in my life at the moment.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Singing the Garth Brooks song this morning...

The one whose chorus goes “I’m much too young to feel this ... old”; I am definitely feeling like the “worn-out tape of Chris LeDoux”, but last night was worth it! I think it has probably been not since the last singles’ conference that I had so much fun at a dance. My feet are achy, my ankles are swollen, and my eyes are barely open.

My friend Christine (sadly, blogless) will be here in a smidgen over an hour, and I have no idea what I want for breakfast; another three hours of sleep would be nice but are off the menu here at the Ravelled Café.

@Firstborn: no, Blessing is not daughter #6. You do not have to share your room or your toys with her, nor will she steal your shoes. [Or your husband.] She will probably always have her sheepie-queen ice hooves on, the better to boot some sense into my sheep collection.

@Secondborn: no, Blessing is not the Jessica sculpt, which I ordered and paid for myself. Blessing is the Cuprit limited-edition which Fourthborn ordered for me in April and finished paying off in July. I anticipate no such delivery drama(s) with Jessica, because I ordered her from a different doll company. [Ahem. Where was I?] Koreanglish is very much a part of their emails to me, but they seem to have their act together as a business.

@Firstborn: I make no guarantees about the safety of your shoe collection re: Jessica. Good thing for you that her shoes are only a couple of inches long. I suspect her love of fashion will equal or exceed your own, though I think her taste will run toward vintage Chanel and Oscar de la Renta. Though you might want to lock up your Ann Taylor.

@Kristen: thank you! I am mighty pleased with that sweater. The next one should fit perfectly, because I can fit as I go.

@gw: thanks! It has felt a bit like pregnancy: anticipation, queasiness, worry, and due dates that came and went.

OK, this is the part where I ransack my closet full of nothing-to-wear. I am done buying dolls for awhile [but not done saving for them]; it’s time to open up the Coldwater Creek catalogue and try things on and make note of the SKU numbers I like for when they hit the online outlet at 70% off.

Hoping to bring you lots of good stories from today’s lectures and workshops.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Pronounced KEE-va, or KWEE-va or KWEE-veh, meaning “gentle, beautiful, precious.” That’s who I thought she was. I wanted something Gaelic and meaningful, and I just could not wrap my fingers around the typing of it; I am not a native speaker of Gaelic, though I have a bajillion ancestors who were.

What to call her, instead? I thought of “Allégresse”, which is French for “elation.” As in, je suis rempli d’allégresse. (I am elated, literally filled with elation, or my cup runneth over.) I thought of that poem on the mosaic panel alongside the tracks at Dallas Union Station: nous bénirons le Créateur (we bless -- or praise -- the Creator). “Bénisse”?

I wanted a name full of love, and joy, and gratitude. One that reflected my love for my daughter and my amazement at the generosity, sacrifice, and consecration wrapped up in her gift. And one that I could type without thinking, or hint of pretentiousness.

And then, like all good things, it quietly slipped into my mind.

“Blessing”. Her name is Blessing.

And she’s home.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

An IV tube and a can of Hershey’s syrup, please!

Work was crazy-busy yesterday. Not bad, just intense. With more of the same on my plate for today. My attorney was out of the office but will be doing trial prep. Thankfully, it won’t impact my work flow much, if at all.

I had five tapes to do for one of my other attorneys for a huge mediation this afternoon. I finished three of them and am about 80% done with the other, and the last one should be relatively short. It is so, so helpful that I am not having to be up front at switchboard. I can’t believe how much more I am getting done in a day.

Had my first working meeting with our new bishop last night, counseling at first over confidential stuff that he needed to know, and then he brought in one of his new counselors in the bishopric, and we did some planning together. Long, long night, but let me bear testimony that when you are doing the Lord’s work, He gives you the strength and energy that you need. I spent a good chunk of the evening in my car, ferrying people to and fro before my meeting, and ordinarily my limit for driving is about an hour before my right knee starts to whimper. No pain whatsoever. None. Not last night, when I was in the middle of it, and none this morning.

Singles’ conference this weekend, beginning with a temple session tonight. Am hoping to finish Uncle Kenny’s work, and also Brother Stilts’. I am really looking forward to the peace and serenity that flows through me when I am sitting in the House of the Lord. [I am also hoping to be able to stay awake; I am very much in when I sits, I falls asleep mode.]

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Another productive day yesterday.

Finally got my hair cut. Now to see if it will do anything like what I had in mind.

One of my classmates on Facebook asked me to knit something for the raffle at the 40th reunion. I wrote back, asking about the time frame. I have never gone to any of my high school reunions. But now I am getting to know three people who moved in different circles. [My graduating class was something like 635 people. I graduated 53rd, with minimal effort academically and complete terror, socially.]

I might go. I might even have fun. And I might have the courage to walk up to the football player whose possibly random comments by the trophy case [which were almost certainly part of his own insecurities as a teenager] have contributed to some of my neuroses over the years and find out if he has morphed into a human being.

First meeting with new bishop tonight.

Good talk with Fourthborn last night. I had the time, so I picked them up from work and took them home before getting my haircut and going on to Knit Night. Communication with the doll company is unclear, at best; they may have sent our package to somebody else. If she does not get a satisfactory response in short order, she is minded to have them refund her order in its entirety [normally there is a steep restocking fee, but they have fouled up majorly; Cuprit originally shipped two months ago today, and their mistakes certainly contributed to the Post Office losing her]. Fourthborn would then order a doll that is on my wish list.

I am fine, either way. If we end up canceling the order, then once I have completed six months’ membership on the doll forum and can sell to other members, I will offer the sweater and skirt which I made for Cuprit. Fourthborn no longer wants all the extra stuff she ordered when she ordered my doll, and I put too much of myself into Cuprit’s sweater and skirt to keep them around if she’s not here, or to see them on my girls’ or my friends’ dolls.

Good, clarifying exchange of emails with NintendoMan. We are slowly unscrewing the inscrutable.

Hungry for a big ol’ breakfast, and no time to fix one. I am in serious need of some hash browns.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Last Day! Free Mammogramming...

That’s what I first saw in my inbox [from Pottery Barn] but no, it’s “Last Day! Free Monogramming”. I wouldn’t want to get ’em monogrammed, either. After five kids, they have been momogrammed; that’s bad enough.

I called Trainman just before leaving the office: if he wanted a ride, speak now or forever hold his peace. I also texted him. About an hour later, I got a call, “Where are you?”

“Just got home a few minutes ago. What’s up?”

“May I swing by and show you what I bought my nephew for Christmas?”

“It’s a wreck, more than the last time you were here, but come on over. I’ll turn on the porch light.”

So he came over, and he showed me what he’d bought, and I’d tell you, except that it might be the perfect gift for Brother Sushi, so no dice. And he stayed for maybe 15, 20 minutes, and I just babbled on and on until I could see his eyes glazing over. So I gave him a hug and told him to call me when he’d made it home safely. Which he did.

There are big changes coming in my life. I can feel indefinable shifts, and I know that it means change and growth. I felt this way before I met the children’s father, and before I moved here to Fort Worth, and I felt it exquisitely the day I was called to be the Relief Society president in my ward, between the time that the bishop’s executive secretary greeted me at the door with the words, “Bishop would like to meet with you at 2:30,”and the time I had my interview that afternoon.

I wish I could say that it were something as obvious as romance; I’m not entirely indifferent to the possibility, but I am quite guarded after that last go-round. Phasers set on stun as I go Star-Trekkin’ across the universe, boiling oil at the ready, and there is always simmering in the background, my prayer that I may continue to be invisible to men who would be bad for me, mingled with intermittent irritation that most men can’t see me. [A foolish consistency, and all that...]

Still, grateful for the guy-friends who can see me. And also thankful for the reclaimed friendship with NintendoMan, which we are chipping into a new shape. (Man, is it ever hard work at times!) Neither of us is the person we were when we were each part of a couple, nor are we necessarily the person the other thought we were during the years of crankiness and estrangement.

Work is good. I was nearly run off my feet yesterday, and I didn’t get a chance to check the scanned mail, so that will be my first priority this morning. And then I have six reports to transcribe for one of the other attorneys, but I will probably need to ask for help with those. I have taken to leaving myself voicemails on the way home, as I think of things that didn’t get done.

Not only am I talking to myself, I am doing it virtually as well as literally. And I have to say, it is weird and a little unnerving to take calls from other attorney offices, expecting me to know what I am doing. Or to have my attorney refer to me as his secretary in communications with our clients.

Theme song for today starts “Oh yes, I’m the great pretender”... (we-ah, we-ah, we-ah; I do love me some good doo-wop!)

Chocolate. Chocolate would help.

Monday, November 09, 2009

More dolly drama?

Fourthborn was sifting through old emails from the doll company, and one of the confirmations she received for the alleged second shipping of my Cuprit, was addressed to somebody else, but with our first confirmation number [the one that is so useless to us]. So she will be checking that out.

On the other hand, I am “before shipping” on my Jessica; they acknowledge receipt of my final payment. I will check status again when I get home tonight.

Looking forward to another day of happy adventures at work.

We had a changing of the guard at church yesterday. Old bishop released, new bishop sustained. I remembered to edit out the cell phone number for my old bishop, and I think I have the new one’s number saved in my contacts; will just have to upgrade his name to bishop and merge it with the home number; she’s my Visiting Teaching Coordinator. Secondborn, you know him; they used to live in your ward. Alison, you definitely know him. Lovely people, both of them.

If I don’t stir my stumps [as Dad would have said], I will have to drive in to work.

Singles’ conference next weekend. The lack of information re: speakers and workshops is uncharacteristic, and frankly appalling. I may end up spending a good chunk of Saturday at a nearby bookstore with another fugitive single. I do not require entertainment; I do anticipate edification, and how am I supposed to know if the weekend is going to be worth the investment in time and gasoline, with so little information?


Sunday, November 08, 2009

If you have time, and...

... if you are female, you will probably love this post, regardless of which side of the argument you’re on. I did not chew my way through all of the comments, but some of them are priceless. If you are male, and exceedingly brave, you will probably have your suspicions confirmed that we women are not entirely rational when it comes to clothing (particularly if you read some of the comments).

When company is not expected chez Ravelled, shoes go wherever I kick them off, and doorknobs toward the rear of the house are frequently (ahem) multifunctional. One more reason to not be in a hurry to remarry; for now, my sartorial opinion is the only one which counts!

This one’s [mostly] for the boys. I attended Boise State in 1974-1975. [Yes, I’m that old. Hush!] This is the game that got dissed on Friday night at the coffeehouse. I’ll wait while my girls pick their jaws up off the floor. No, I haven’t gone all sorority girl, I’m dating the quarterback, on y’all. This was the lead story on Yahoo! news when I logged on a few minutes ago. Or maybe I’m hungover from the aromatherapy lotion she used when I got my brows waxed yesterday.

Movie recommendation, just to prove I’m still me. I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for Last Chance Harvey to show up at Entertainmart. I scored a copy yesterday. There is some language, but my Least Favorite Word was a no-show. There is also a trailer for a movie that may or may not be out yet, but has two of my favorite actresses, and I wish it were not rated R: Sunshine Cleaning(?). Looks like a great premise: young woman who finds a niche where she can make a difference, and in the process learns that she is deserving of respect and drops her co-dependent ways. [I wonder if it is based on a book that I would not be embarrassed to read?]

Speaking of books, I am still nibbling away at the biography of Genghis Khan. Very well done, and I am learning so much. There are aspects of what has since become traditional warfare that previously made no sense to me, and I can see how his [and his descendants’] contributions to the breakup of feudalism in Europe, opened the way for political and religious freedom and the eventual restoration of the Gospel [here in America] in 1830.

Maybe I don’t hate history as much as I thought I did? Maybe it’s not all when was the War of 1812 fought? or who is buried in Grant’s tomb? By the way, girls, did you know that I have a copy of your umpty-great-grandfather’s pension certificate from the War of 1812?

OK, enough pondering. I’m going to go sit on the couch and knit something.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Girls just want to putter the day away.

Well, at least this girl does. The day got off to an interesting start when my power went out before sunrise. Here I was, just typing merrily away, then flash! and some audible electronic coughing, and suddenly it was darker than the inside of a hat. I got dressed by cell phone’s early light, grabbed the book I’ve been reading, and headed over to Ol’ South for breakfast.

Minced ham scramble, hash browns, English muffin, and apple juice, just in case you were wondering.

I think I want to continue working on my studio today. I made a lot of progress last weekend, and I have a couple of quick sewing projects that I would like to get out of the way, for which I need the use of my sewing machine. [Interweave Press publishes a number of interesting magazines. My current favorite is Cloth/Paper/Scissors’ quarterly Studios editions; I get a lot of ideas on organization, and a lot of inspiration, from those magazines. I may curl up on the couch with my back issues for a quick browse-through before I go back into my studio.]

I am also in the mood to bead. This may be the weekend that I make a necklace for my incoming Jessica. I also need to think up a permanent name for her; Jessica is the name of her mold or sculpt, and it’s a useful shorthand in the doll community to say that I am waiting for my Cuprit and my Jessica and that I have a Beyla on layaway and am saving for HoHo/Arie and contemplating a Bonnie Hopezs and a PukiFee Ante. All of them names that would have meant nothing to me six months ago.

Funny, funny thing happened last night at the doll meet at the coffeehouse. My new friend’s hubby was commenting on the commercial playing on the TV in a corner of the room, that it was for Christian power ballads [Onward, Christian Soldiers? Called to Serve?], most of which he had sung at one time or another. And then he said, “I guess that’s what I get for watching the Boise State game.”

To which I replied, “Hey, I went to Boise State.”

And then she said, “We had a friend who went there and got mixed up with a fundamentalist bunch and came back looking like a Mormon.”

I grinned and said, “Yeah, I’m one of those, too.”

Faux-pas, party of two!

I was amused, not offended. Though I thought I was the reigning queen of Foot-in-Mouth Land.

OK, time to go do something and not just sit here adding items to the list.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Progress x 2

I just made my final payment on Jessica and have notified the manufacturer. I’ve heard that they are quick and efficient on shipping [unlike another manufacturer I could mention]. There will probably be an on shipping email waiting for me when I get home tonight.

Had a bit of confused excitement at work yesterday, when the receptionist called to tell me I had a “big box” up front. I thought, “Why would they ship Jessica before I finished paying her off? That doesn’t make sense!” It was my Christmas present from the company: a portable air compressor to keep in Lorelai’s trunk. Trainman is so proud of me! I suspect that 1BDH will be, too, when Firstborn tells him. [Of course, I still have to learn how to use it, but details, details.]

I also finished the first braided strip for my sister’s cowl and am about 10% done with the second.

Driving in today, because I am probably heading to the doll meet after work and then to the dance. Not much news, otherwise; I am posting this tidbit now, so that I may un-pause McAfee and let it finish scanning.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

So maybe I *do* like playing games

But only if I win. Which I did, last night. [Details, over on Facebook. Two can play that game, Secondborn; that will teach you to hold hostage pictures of all my Bitties until I joined the FB frenzy!] Suffice it to say that my reputation as a walking thesaurus has been buffed to a high sheen, and there are people in my office who will never consider playing poker with me, because apparently I have learned how to bluff...

I have a new filling. And a temporary crown. I never even bothered to put on lipstick yesterday, because my lip was numb all morning and most of the afternoon. My dentist is so good at what he does.

Today is the last day that my Jessica is not fully paid off. At dark-thirty tomorrow morning I will do a PayPal liposuction from my account to Korea.

It occurred to me yesterday that I have a friend in my old ward who is Korean, and I bet she would know the culturally-appropriate way to ask the people [a different manufacturer] who made my Cuprit, where she is, why she is not here, and why their best response to Fourthborn’s inquiry is to send Fourthborn a duplicate email of the latest confirmation, and could we please speak to a supervisor? I would be very happy to burn as many of my minutes as necessary to get some answers in other than the Korean version of Spanglish.

I awoke this morning to find an email from Central Market waiting in my inbox: “Case Wine Sale Plus Enough Cheese to Please”. Obviously, they do not know me. “Enough cheese to please” would turn me into a human cheese curd and render me unable to walk for a month. On the other hand, a case of wine (insufficient to neutralize the binding effect of said cheese; for that I would require a bushel or two of apples, with a side order of onion rings), while possibly tasty, would not merely cause my eardrums to burn, and/or cause me not to care that I could not walk for a month, but would render me udderly utterly useless to my ward as their RS president.

I woke at 3:11 this morning. I most devoutly hope that this is not the new normal.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

“Honey, that would be *you*.”

Multiple opportunities to laugh at myself yesterday. I was going through Monday’s “today’s mail” electronic folder [where each day’s scanned incoming mail and faxes go] with the former secretary, who is training me. I noted that my attorney had signed off, as had his paralegal, but the spot for the secretary’s signature was blank.

I said, “Oh, can’t move the mail. The secretary hasn’t signed off.”

She looked at me, cocked one eyebrow, and said, “Honey, that would be you.”


Yeah, that would be me.

The managing attorney stopped by my desk mid-afternoon to see how it was going. I told her I was having fun. Actually, I am having a blast! The day flies by, and I am all wrung out at the end of it, but so far my attorney is pleased. He stopped at my desk yesterday and gave me half of his brownie. I am a long way from zeroing out my desk, but I accomplished more than I did on Monday.

The secretary for whom I have been serving as primary backup asked if I had time to do a tape for one of her attorneys, or was I covered up? I told her, Covered up, bigtime!

Maybe at the end of the week I will have a better workflow established and can be a bit more useful in general. So much to do, so much to remember. But yeah, having a ball, and I can’t wait to get to my desk this morning.

But first, there is a trip to my dentist’s, to get fitted for a new [porcelain] crown. And tonight the Diversity/Inclusion Committee is sponsoring our first-ever game night. There will be snacks, and games; general hilarity will allegedly ensue. [Happy hour without the “happy”, as this is a company event on company property. So none of the chemically-fueled stupidity that sometimes occurs at office parties.] I am just hoping that we will not be clearing the common area for a rousing game of Red Rover, because I’m not sure I will be up for anything more lively than Go Fish.

My family knows how much I love fun-and-games; I am going only because the D/I Committee are my friends, and I want to support them. Fourthborn, in the unlikely event that Cuprit shows up today, feel free to text me. Loudly. Repeatedly.

Ohdeargottagogotacatintheovenbye! [Robi, remember?]

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

I cleaned out my inbox today.

Here are a bunch of links to articles I thought y’all might enjoy. I love that phrase, ardent and singular, in the first article. Everything from book reviews to financial infidelity to speaking the truth.

Work yesterday was amazing, and wonderful, and a little disorienting. I think I will get used to the new arrangement, just in time to go back to the old one. But it was funny at 9:00am to think, “My week to go get the early mail. Oh wait, no it’s not.”

Or at 10am to say to myself, “Time for her break. No, I can just keep typing.”

And at 11:30am to smile, knowing I did not have to sit at switchboard for another hour.

And at 3:00 to breeze past switchboard on my way to the loo, and wave at our friend who was covering the afternoon break.

It was also really, really great to have my friend sitting at the same lunch table with me, on her new, late, lunch hour.

I have another hour and 45 minutes to two hours, now available for productive work instead of intra-office commuting!

Knit Night tonight. I think I am taking the train anyway and just driving over from the T&P station after work, as we’re meeting at Borders this week. I think. And maybe I can return Secondborn’s cowboy hat on the way home?

Some progress on my sister’s cowl, almost immediately frogged back when I discovered a dropped stitch. Will try again today.

Life is good. I’m a little frazzled, but I know where the chocolate is, and once I’m on the train I can knit.

Still no sign of my Cuprit. And I’ll pay off my Jessica in three days.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Stealth projects for October

I decided this was the easiest way to make sure that I showed you pictures of finished objects and didn’t spoil any surprises.

Willow’s impromptu Mobius scarf. I intended it as a straight scarf, but the length was a little skimpy. So now she gets a scarf which will lie flat. The yarn is Mountain Colors Moguls, color “Juniper”: 65 yards per skein and bought when Passionknit in Dallas closed a year or two ago. I caught her online on Facebook one Sunday night. She likes this and says it will go with many things.

Lark’s fingerless gloves, made from almost all of the leftover pale pink Malabrigo. Not the most elegant pair of mitts that flowed off my needles, but they should keep her hands nice and toasty. Shown here in repose.

And here on my hand, which was severely in need of a manicure. Correction: not pink Malabrigo. Pink Manos del Uruguay. I discovered this when I was updating my projects on Ravelry with their related blog posts.

Fourthborn’s birthday surprise. You’ve already seen the hoochie-mama doll skirt, which was not really part of her birthday present, merely tucked into the bag with everything else. One of my friends at work, seeing me working on a doll sweater, said she had the “Marilyn Monroe Barbie” in the Seven Year Itch dress; did I want it? Well, no, not for me, but Fourthborn is mad for MM, and she collects Barbies.

Not really a Barbie, some off-brand, and I had to take a Q-tip to her face and hair. She looked as if she might have been mud-wrestling (the dress was unscathed, thankfully). She looks a little tipsy, or maybe just hungover. I call her Scarilyn Monroe.

My sister’s cowl [out of the Buffalo Gold laceweight which I won as a door prize when Whirled Fibers opened in July] is still under construction.

Happy birthday, Secondborn! I think it’s cool that I found out about my new job assignment on my sisters birthday and am beginning it today, on yours.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

November already? Falling back, with great relief.

I love this woman’s artwork. [Be sure to read her caption. I can relate!]

And any of you who have ever worked with lawyers will love this. [Should take you to the NonSequitur for Tuesday, October 27th.]

I love it that I can be completely honest and completely myself with my guy-friends. Case in point: When I got to Brother Sushi’s on Friday, he was out in the driveway, looking at something on his truck. He came up to my window and asked if I had any ideas what we should do.

I told him, “It needs to be food, and it needs to be now, and my share needs to be $10.00 or less, and my car is running, give me a moment to clear out the front seat.” All done in my best Jane Isuzu voice, which he has had five years to learn how to translate. I hopped out and got my hug, then made some room for him and off we went to Rockfish. Where we had Soup Adventures [well, at least I did] and two hours of lively conversation.

I had three meals with guys last week. That has to be some kind of a record, at least in recent decades.

Yesterday was terrific. I did not speak to a single human being until almost sunset, though I kept in contact via email and Facebook. What did I do, you ask? I began the much-postponed rearranging of my studio. When I sit here at the computer and look into my studio, this is what I see.

No, that’s not Earl all wrapped up in that bundle on the fainting couch, a/k/a the Chastity Bed. (Earl’s in the trunk, remember?) That is the rug that I hooked a few years ago, and the afghan that my Gram crocheted for me when I was newly married to the children’s father, and beneath them is a quilt that is mostly quilted, plus a whole slew of baskets and small boxes. I worked for two solid hours before taking a break, and the view from here is much improved. Here is a shot of the opposite wall.

I kept things pretty much as they were; it was so helpful to be able to photograph the arrangement before taking it apart enough to scoot the table across the room and refill it. My second long, narrow folding table is now set up in the corner, and my serger case is temporarily resting atop it.

I think the next bit will be to move the rolling cart which holds most of my scrapbooking supplies over behind the closet door [check!], which will get it off my farmhouse table and put me one step closer to rotating that table 90°, so it projects out into the room and I can set up my sewing machine and serger. I have space to plug both of them in at the switch by the door.

On the one hand, I am tempted to move Mehitabel [my dress form] and my small triangular table over into the corner at the head of the fainting couch. They would look really cool there. On the other hand, that is a south window, and it wouldn’t take long for the sun to destroy the silk veils and hip scarves with which she is wrapped [souvenirs of when I took belly dancing lessons the summer after my divorce]. Maybe I could try them behind my headboard, next to the ficus tree, or perhaps just inside the front door, where the skinny bookcase used to stand. She would cover up the botched repair job around the light switch [from when they installed my new front door] until I can find a prettier, larger light switch to cover up that mess.

Oh yeah! I’ll fluff her some other time. She got a little disheveled between the studio and the front door; hazards of working with silk.

I found boxes of stuff that needs scanning and shredding. Also another box of check blanks. And I got the table rotated in my studio and some of the storage tubs moved around. Then I went to Bueno and picked up dinner, did a load of laundry, read for an hour at Borders until the trick-or-treaters were home in bed, ran to Wal-Mart for milk and juice and fresh fruit, came home and watered my plants in Fairyland, answered a couple of emails, and went to bed. I even remembered to reset my alarm clock. It was a Mary Poppins day: practically perfect in every way.