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!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Insert clever title here.

Had a good, productive day at work yesterday. Two more days like that, and I will feel as if I am somewhat in control of my workflow. Somewhat being the operative word.

Current knitting project is humming along. It is likely to end up being a gift for somebody, so no pictures.

Went to the temple after work last night. Just barely dragged myself there but came out feeling a bit more lively. Did proxy work for a handful of sisters who were born in Latin America. They have some really great place names there. I will try to remember to share them, later. Along with my marginally reverent translations and editorial comments.

I wish I could teleport myself to work this morning. Antsy to get started. My to do list is stacking up like planes over LaGuardia. And my energy level is ambling back up toward what it usually is. This respiratory stuff just wears me out.

That, and the whole dating thing. There is a reason why we are supposed to do this when we are young. If I mind my Ps and Qs and we fall in love and get married, can I please have a nice, quiet honeymoon and then sleep for three weeks?

Thank you!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I need more hours, please!

Twenty-four are not quite enough, it seems.

Had a good checkup at the dentist’s yesterday. My little cheapie battery-powered toothbrush is having results that make my dental hygienist very happy with me. She did not have to bring out the jackhammer to clean my teeth.

It was cool enough in the morning that when I stopped for gas, I bought another insulated mug for hot chocolate and had the first of the season.

We had a brief(ish) staff meeting. We are trying a pilot program in terms of how the mediations get scheduled. Who backs up whom in cases of short- and long-term absences, has been tweaked a little, as have my job duties. I made some progress digging out from the stuff that piled up when I was on vacation and out sick on Monday.

Dinner was maybe the best yet. I told him that I need to start bringing my camera, because I think nobody believes me. I have an impeccably cooked salmon steak in the fridge and a generous slice (two servings, maybe three, if I behave myself) of key lime cheesecake. And good music playing in the background; always something a little different, as his musical taste is as catholic as my own. Zydeco, John Philip Sousa, MoTab. As always, the company is even better than the food.

I left his place at 9:22 and made good time getting home. But still, it was after 11:00 when I was done on Facebook. And it’s a little too late this morning to have hope of getting a lane at the pool; I was severely disappointed yesterday morning. The gym bag is in the trunk, and I’m going to the temple after work, and maybe tonight I will actually be able to sufficiently chlorinate myself. My right foot is thinking about being itchy. I want to discourage that.

I need to jump over to Etsy and give feedback on the ribbons which arrived in the mail yesterday. Gorgeous, simply gorgeous.

The current knitting project frogged well and is looking much better on bigger needles. I have switched from stockinette (all knitting, to you muggles) to seed stitch (alternated K1 P1 over an odd number of stitches so that you do not get ribbing, but an allover pattern that is both mindless and stable). While a sweater entirely in seed stitch would drive me nuts [OK, more nuts], for a project this size it is eminently do-able.

Speaking of nuts, I need to grab my camera and take pictures of the top step. Apparently there is a squirrel who likes to sit there and eat acorns. Better that than a cat who brings me dead mice. When I was home on Monday, there were several squirrels in the yard, all flourishing their tails with much enthusiasm.

OK, so if I’m not going to the gym this morning, I had better hit the shower and pack my lunch. I might have to break down and iron a shirt while I am at it.

He is feeling guilty because I have to drive so far. I don’t mind, though I know a way to fix that ;)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ms. Ravelled gets profiled!

So, I had a little excitement while trying to get some relief from my symptoms yesterday. I am doing a Reader’s Digest condensation from Facebook, in the interest of time.

The herbalist wanted to charge me $145 for a bottle of Chinese herbs that cost me $40 last time (admittedly, four or five years ago, but really?) The shop wasn’t open when I got there, even though the sign said it should be. I called the cell phone. Could I come back in 40-45 minutes?

When I met him back at the shop, he tried to sell me several other bottles as well, and I explained that I couldn’t afford $145; we discussed the smaller bottle (which lasts approximately two weeks), but it would be $95. He offered me increasingly larger discounts, ending with “How much money do you have?”

At which point I got in touch with my inner Gilmore Girl and said, “I have to go, thank you, I have to go.” And walked out. It’s not just the $145, it’s the other three bottles of medicine that he wanted to sell me, which would probably have cost me a total of $500 - $600.

At a friend’s suggestion, I googled the products and found a source which sells them for what I paid four or five years ago. Firefox warned me that the site was not secure, so I let them know that and just took a nap, instead.

Wonder what the price would have been if I spoke fluent Vietnamese?

Not amused, but feeling much better today, so looks as if I won’t be needing those herbs after all.

One of my children asks, “What is a black and white dance?”

Not what it would have been, here in Texas, outside of the Church, sixty years ago (i.e., segregated). They have asked us to show up in black. Or white. Or both. There will be those who will not comply, thus spoiling the motif. I may very well be one of them, depending upon what is both clean and dance-worthy when I start grabbing things on Friday morning. Though I do have a fetching black skirt with asymmetrical hem, and I would be delighted to top it with my “dontcha” shirt, which is black with white lettering.

Meanwhile, I am going first to the gym, then to the dentist for a cleaning, then on to work. Dinner at the new guy’s tonight. Hot chicken broth throughout the workday. I am *so* ready to be back at work. I hung five pictures yesterday (banging nails into the wall was quite therapeutic!) and gave my shredder a non-fatal case of indigestion.

No idea what to knit today...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Oh gack. Just, gack.

I am not going to be my usual perky self today. Not when I am feeling like the last act of “Camille” and need to be well for work, not to mention for my date tomorrow night.

I came straight home from church yesterday, pausing only briefly after sacrament meeting to be set apart for my new calling. I feel reasonably confident that once my sinuses are no longer overreacting, I will be properly enthusiastic about the new adventure. I am the newest member of the ward activities committee. [The new guy says he loved that calling, because you can do all sorts of crazy things. Which would seem to be right up my alley.]

Bishop said he had also just received the paperwork to initiate my serving as a temple worker. I smiled blearily up at him. My spirit is jumping up and down and SQUEEEing. My body just wants to breathe. Or, alternatively, sleep.

I finished the doll-sized purple cashmere cowl yesterday, before church. Then I grabbed three harmonious balls of laceweight yarn and fat needles and cast on for a cowl in human scale. I am using the teal Gloss Lace, the hunter green Shadow, and the moss green Alpaca Cloud, all from KnitPicks. I bought three skeins of Alpaca Cloud three or four years ago, but it is rather disappointing and wiry to knit with. I was hoping that by combining it with other yarns which I love, that wiriness would be tamed. Thus far, it would seem to have been inspiration. I do think that I will frog back and knit it up on size 8’s, rather than the 4’s which I am currently using. I want something that is loopy and drapes well, rather than something which will stand up to a Blue Norther in a couple of months.

The desired loopiness may perhaps be a homeopathic quality. I am feeling distinctly loopy myself this morning.

I was in bed by 5:30 last night, up again at 10:30, back to bed at 2:30, awake at 6:30. I do not have a sinus headache, for which I am immensely thankful, but my head feels as solid and dull as one of those tees for T-ball.

I did get a lot of remarkably therapeutic shredding done when I was up at dark-thirty this morning. Primarily old EOB’s from when the girls were still under my roof. There is no point in keeping them any longer, as Fourthborn and LittleBit are legal adults, the statute of limitations has passed to have the Attorney General pursue their father for back child support and co-payments, and he is a pauper and in a nursing home. (Their father; I have no clue about the financial status of the AG. I told you I was loopy!)

I think I will gather up another sheaf of vintage paperwork and turn it into confetti. That should keep me safely and productively occupied until the herbalist’s shop is open and I can pick up some ba nguyen. I am also going to pick up some chicken stock, lemonade, and apple juice for nuking. The couch is about halfway cleared off (yay!), and when I have finished that I think I shall plug in the TV and see if I can figure out how to run the VCR which is part of it. This seems like a good day to stretch out on the couch and watch movies and drink hot, reasonably healthy beverages. Maybe pick up more orange chicken on the way home from the herbalist’s?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Apples, running amok!

If someone in the parking lot had had a waterproof camera, I’m sure the video would have been priceless! Much of what follows is from an email I sent to the new guy, verb tense updated.

I stopped at Central and carefully picked a dozen huge Jonagold apples to contribute to the lunches for the Night Shelter. Bagged them up, six to a bag (they were nearly as big as my fist) and lugged them out to the car by the tops of the bags. I hadn’t bothered to take in one of my recycled bags, and as I had schlepped the produce bags up to the checkout with no trouble, I figured I could get everything in the car just fine, as is.


One of the bags plummeted to the parking lot as I was opening up the back door. Four apples stayed in the bag. Two rolled under the car, one of them making a break for the Borders on the other end of the parking lot. I chased it down. The lady parked next to me found the other fugitive.

On the drive home, I prayed over the apples, that I hoped it would be OK to ask Heavenly Father to heal them and keep them from bruising. I am absolutely fierce about not giving defective things to poor people. My kids wore a lot of hand-me-downs, growing up, and most of the stuff we got was still presentable. But there were a few times when we were given things I wouldn’t have let the girls wear to a dogfight. (Not that I would have let them go to a dogfight.)

Just because somebody is poor, or homeless, or crazy, or all of the above, it doesn’t follow that they have no appreciation for beauty, or good food. Or that they don’t know when someone is condescending.

Oh, and I feed beggars, the ones who stand on corners with signs that say “hungry.” [Sometimes I go around the block to get it done.] I won’t give them money, but I can give them a burger and fries, and a tall soda in the summertime, and not once has one of them cussed me out and demanded money instead.

If that is a deal-breaker, might as well let me know now.

I know that there are lessons that I learned from poverty that I might not have learned any other way, but hunger just makes me livid. I can’t feed everybody, but I can feed one person here and another person there. [I also make a small monthly contribution to the Food Bank’s parent organization, and when I am out of debt next year, I plan to increase my donation significantly.]

Stepping off my soapbox.

His reply? Helping people in need with a meal rather than money is not a deal breaker. And it is okay to get on the soapbox occasionally as well.

The RS service project and dinner and broadcast were all, as expected, wonderful. Our goal had been to make 600+ bagged breakfasts for the Night Shelter, which typically needs 400 per day. Last year we made 400 sack lunches for them. Last night we made 800+ bagged breakfasts, which will feed those brothers and sisters for two days. I thoroughly washed those two AWOL apples before contributing them, and the six that went klunk onto the parking lot seemed to be in pretty good shape, if not quite as pristine as I had hoped. Maybe my faith was insufficient for a complete reversal of the natural consequences.

I got to sit with Secondborn and sing along with her glorious alto. (I love to sing with any or all of my girls.) After the broadcast, I followed her back home, and I served as the nominal adult while the kids slept, 2BDH went to a mixed martial arts thing, and she went to the hospital to visit NintendoMan. [She is part of the two daughters / three sons thing that made the whole idea of dating him so wonderfully weird.]

He is speaking at the non-denominational service at the hospital today. I would love to be a mouse in the corner.

I finished all the fiddly bits on Faith’s sweater yesterday. I am not crazy about the nylon snaps. I may end up taking them off and putting traditional brass ones on, instead, but for now they look fine, even if closing them fully is a bit of a chore.

While at the broadcast last night, I frogged most of the purple cashmere cowl I had begun at church last week. By the time I got home, I was more than halfway done with the new version, which will probably fit either Blessing or Celeste (but I might have to take the wig off, first). 100% cashmere. May I just state for the record that if I could dress entirely in silk and cashmere, my skin would be very, very happy. This yarn is leftover from the smoke ring scarf/cowl I made for myself a year or two ago.

Time to forage some breakfast and read my Sunday School lesson. I should be sustained and set apart for my new calling today. And then I can come home and decide if I would rather have a nap, or go to the break-the-fast and fireside this evening.

The week ahead holds dinner with the new guy, an evening at the temple, churrascaria with Brother Sushi, a black-and-white dance, a plethora of salad, and [it is devoutly to be hoped] no further episodes with fugitive apples.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


That’s what Wednesday through Friday felt like, except for the part where I was in the temple. Where I managed to leave my earrings in the locker as I left. [We don’t wear gaudy jewelry while serving in the temple. I had up to now remembered to re-bling before leaving. They are holding my earrings in the lost-and-found, and I will get them when I go back next week. Not expensive, relatively conservative (which is probably why I overlooked them), but I like them because they go with just about everything in my closet.]

I have been having fun with salads the past three days: grape tomatoes, craisins, sunflower seeds, pecan chunks, clementine sections, carrot coins, confetti’d baby Swiss, a few croutons, all over a healthy portion of romaine, with a bit of raspberry vinaigrette to bring it all together. For some strange reason, I can eat more salad when I’m here at home than I can when I’m at the office. I brought home half of yesterday’s salad and am enjoying it now. The croutons are a little the worse for wear, but everything else is just dandy.

My sinuses were driving me nuts yesterday. There is a storm front blowing through, and it brought who-knows-what with it, but I’m allergic. Very glad not to have had a date last night, because I looked awful by the time I got in the car to come home. I didn’t even bother to put on lipstick all day, because I knew it would be gone by 10:00a.m. from all of the honking and wiping.

I stopped at Panda Express on the way home and got a two-entrée plate: steamed rice, orange chicken, and their new spicy beef. Lots of veggies, lots of zip. Half of it is waiting in the fridge for me, for later. I just wanted something I could halfway taste. That seemed to do the trick.

Today I need to pick up a dozen apples to take to church. We have the annual Relief Society broadcast from Salt Lake this evening, and it has become traditional to have a service project beforehand, then dinner as a stake, and then the broadcast. One service project is the assembly of bag lunches for the night shelter.

The gym bag is ready, and I need to do a small amount of laundry, so I think I will bag that up and put it in the backseat, then head straight to the laundromat after my workout. Once that is done, I can think about groceries. Maybe today I will finish the handwork on Faith’s sweater and take a squint at the three UFO’s of dolly knitting that are in one spot or another, and figure out what to finish and what to frog. Mostly, they have just been something to do with my hands during sacrament meeting.

And I am almost in the mood to sit down at the sewing machine and whip up another Christmas stocking for Firstborn’s tribe. [One down, two to go.] I would also like to make stockings for the dolls, while I’m at it. I think those would be more successful and less bulky if I did cross stitch or needlepoint on very fine linen or canvas, but I will probably just choose a small-scale print and go with that. Maybe bands of linen inserted with their names embroidered on them, as I did on the stockings for my first three children.

I had better get moving if I hope to be done with the pool before the water aerobics horde gets there.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Poster child for crazy-busy

Good to be back at work. Work is good. Feeling productive. Feeling appreciated. Always good!

Tola, the crochet hook was waiting when I got back to the office. The red glass magnet is going to work with me today, to adorn my binder bin. Merci beaucoups!

No time to knit since Tuesday. I plan on fixing that today or tonight. Looking forward to a quiet evening at home.

Good, clear communication flowing back and forth with the new guy. Spent too long writing back this morning, so no trip to the health club. Maybe tonight, before or after the above-mentioned quiet evening at home?

Neat stuff happening tomorrow. Annual RS broadcast and service project. Details to follow.

Lunch is packed. Gym bag is not. Shower is calling my name.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

What I did instead of going to the gym this morning.

Answered two emails. Wished a friend happy birthday on Facebook. Gathered up my sewing supplies to finish putting snaps on Faith’s sweater. Realized that I had used the wrong grey to stitch the last snap on, halfway. Re-threaded the needle with the right grey, wondering why this time was so much more difficult than yesterday. Discovered another needle (with a far larger eye) in my pincushion, threaded with the right grey. Laughed at myself. Packed my gym bag. Fixed my hair. Packed my lunch. Remembered to turn the window unit back on, after using the blow dryer. Grabbed my work-appropriate shoes and a pair of suitably conservative socks. Shredded approximately half of the 100 pages that my shredder considers its limit. Gave it indigestion anyway. Found Middlest’s address in VA, and my postage stamps. [The old, dead planner was way more useful than I thought. I had my whole life in there, and I am not feeling the love with the new simple planner which replaced it. I may have to bite the bullet and cough up the cost of a new binder and a new package of filler.]

Dinner and dolly time with Fourthborn tonight, woohoo!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What I did this morning.

(Just about all morning.) There is a website, SewTrue, which carries a wider range of Gütermann silk thread than is available locally. They have a color card with every color manufactured, and another, smaller card listing what their shop has in stock. I copied/pasted both lists into Word documents (sadly, the interactive color chips did not transfer) and then transposed the greater list into an Excel spreadsheet. Which I then put into numerical order. Then I marked each color which Sew True carries, in red. And then I grabbed my spools of thread, a few at a time, and marked them on the grid in bold purple type. And reduced the font size so it would all fit on one page, and printed it off.

Why this numerical insanity, you ask? JoAnn’s has all their thread on sale, half off, through Saturday. And while I was picking up the grey I needed to sew up Faith’s wee britches and party dress, I saw some other colors I liked, but wasn’t sure whether I had them on my wall here at home.

In the process, I discovered that one of the colors in my possession, has apparently been discontinued. (We will now have a moment of silence.)

No it is not my [present] intent to amass one of each color which Gütermann makes. I would have to buy a spool a day for a year, Sabbaths included, for that to happen, assuming I could find a source for the spools not currently in their color rotation. But this will prevent my buying three spools of one color unless I need three spools for a project.

That’s how I’m rationalizing the morning’s activity, anyway. Mostly, I did not want to wash up the breakfast dishes or scrub the commode.

The ribbon sample arrived in yesterday’s mail, and it is lovely. Unfortunately, it is also a little too stiff, a smidgen too wide, and altogether too blue a grey to go with Faith’s sweater and the fabric I just bought. But the quality is superb! And my disappointment did not stop me from buying three other, narrower ribbons from her Etsy shop.

Tonight is Knit Night, which feels a little weird, because this would seem to be two Saturdays in a row. Yesterday definitely did not feel like a Monday, and today does not feel like a Tuesday. Tomorrow will be my Monday, because I will go back to work. It would also have been Mom’s 97th birthday (yesterday was my brother-in-law’s 78th), and this coming Friday would have been my 33rd anniversary with the children’s father. And Thursday will mark the one year anniversary of the passing of the new guy’s wife.

We should just call this Whammy Week and be done with it.

I am going to take another trip into JoAnn’s before hitting the bookstore for Knit Night. I saw some gorgeous doll-scale fabric and described it to Middlest while we were chatting last night. So I will pick up a yard for her, and she will pick up some of the erasers that look like cupcakes for me, and we will send each other CARE packages, and the resin kids will all shout “food fight!”

I am off to do my impression of a responsible adult and wash up those dishes, and scrub the commode, then treat myself to a nice sploosh at the pool. I think both trucks have been by, so I can probably put away the garbage can and the recycling bin.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A lot of neat stuff has happened this weekend.

And some sad news. Where to begin?

John and Lauren were sealed in the temple on Friday night. There were maybe three empty seats in the ordinance room. His former wife’s sister and parents were there, in one of the most quietly spectacular acts of godliness it has ever been my privilege to witness. Their bishop (new bishop, my old ward) was there, as was the stake president. BestFriend and her hubby were there; he and John have been BFFE’s since they were kids and joined the church together. Family of said new bishop played a large part in that, and the matriarch and I were visiting teaching companions. Great lady, that one: smart and good and feisty.

I had planned on attending the Balloon Festival afterward, but the hour and a half of stop-and-go that it took to get to the temple, and all the tender feelings stirred up by witnessing my friends’ happiness, just flat wore me out. So I stopped for awhile at a Braums I’d seen when I got off the highway (or it might have taken me two hours) on the way there, and I had two scoops in a cup while reading several more chapters in the Annotated P&P.

On the drive home, my phone rang. It was Secondborn, with the news that NintendoMan had suffered a stroke earlier in the week and was now in the hospital. I am sitting here at my keyboard, procrastinating a visit to him (also procrastinating studying my lessons for church this afternoon, but those are lesser omissions). He has lost the use of his left side. And this is one more thing I cannot fix. I put his name, and the names of his six kids, on the prayer roll at the temple when I was there yesterday with my ward.

I am feeling a little like the Black Widow at this point. Brother Stilts? dead and gone. The children’s father? in a nursing home. NintendoMan? in the hospital. Which makes me even more leery of letting myself fall in love again.

One very real delight from yesterday was having my dear friend (former first counselor and current RS president) sit next to me in the chapel at the temple. I did not see anybody else from our ward in our session, but Bishop came over and visited quietly with both of us afterward, so he must have been in the session just prior to ours.

After the temple, I drove north (and north, and still farther north) on Preston to L&L Hawaiian Barbecue, where I had the mahi mahi and rice and ubiquitous macaroni salad. I have no real interest in going to Hawaii, but if somebody wanted to plant a macaroni salad tree in my yard, I would praise them forever!

Then I drove to Fabrique, which is the upscale fabric store (as you might guess) which has taken up the torch at the passing of Kay Fabrics. Wow! doesn’t even begin to describe it. A much smaller store in terms of square footage, but textile heaven. I am going to have to kidnap Fourthborn some Saturday for a field trip. That store is full of “rubby”, which is the word she coined as a very small girl, to describe the feel of silk.

[She had asked for permission to handle a scrap of leftover (generic acetate satin) fabric from bridesmaids’ dresses I was sewing, and she said, “It’s pretty, Mommy, but it’s not rubby.” She would sit next to me in church and rub the hem or sleeve of my silk blouses between thumb and forefinger until I would twitch it out her hand in exasperation. (I was exasperated a lot when she was a child, but not specifically by her).]

I came home with half a yard of Dior grey silk shantung, to make (first) a pair of modified harem pants and camisole for Faith, and later her Christmas dress. It will be interesting to see how closely this fabric matches the snippet of vintage silk ribbon which is on its way to me.

I finished reading Pride and Prejudice yesterday. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy will go up onto a shelf, to be revisited in a few years.

Last night I went to the potluck and dance. The potluck was pitiful, and I am partly to blame for that, having contributed a bag of Skittles and another bag of Starburst jelly beans. But I have no convenient way to make a more substantial contribution, as third Saturdays are an all-day thing for me, and Lorelai is mysteriously lacking a full kitchen in her back seat. Richardson is a good hour away from Fort Worth when traffic does not further complicate the drive. No way to keep cold foods sufficiently cold, unless I invest in another large ice chest and a plethora of gel packs. I would rather buy books. Or yarn. Or silk.

The dance itself was great. I really like the band, although they were too loud for the venue. Next time I may succumb to common sense and take along some earplugs. Don’t bet the rent, but it could happen.

OK, Ms. Ravelled. Time to eat some breakfast and gussy up and go be a real Christian and not a theoretical one.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wherein I learn neat stuff from my kids

“...there’s only so much space you can fill with bookcases in any given living situation.” Sad, but true. When I was still living in apartments, I had at one point something like seven bookcases in my bedroom alone. You can do that if nobody is occupying what I lovingly call the fallow side of the bed. You can stack books on that side. You can put a French laundry basket on that side and fill it with all sorts of goodies: projects to work on when the insomnia strikes, books to read, stationery for when the urge to write faraway loved ones strikes at 3:00a.m.

Currently the French laundry basket is buried under *stuff* on the Chastity Bed in what I laughingly call my studio. Might be time to haul it out, empty it, and restore it to its former place of glory. That would certainly keep other *stuff* from sliding off the back of the mattress, under the headboard, and into the Bermuda triangle behind my bed. I know there is at least one issue of “Real Simple” gathering dust back there.

I had another great day yesterday. Went to the paint store and yes indeedy, Faith’s sweater is Dior grey. I have the paint chip to prove it. And a new spool of lighter grey silk thread added to the stash, some clear plastic snaps that may go on the sweater once I’ve reinforced the back edge with the vintage silk ribbon. I may opt for traditional black snaps. (I certainly have plenty of them.) I also scored a small, high three-legged stool from the clearance table at JoAnn’s, half-price. Celeste is perched upon it as we speak, book in hand, looking for all the world like a petite vampire schoolmarm.

Got the oil changed on Lorelai, while I was in the vicinity. You would have been enormously amused to watch me trying to find something interesting to read amongst the stacks of “Sports Illustrated,” “ESPN” and the like. Yes, I left the house without my knitting. That will teach me!

Treated myself to an ice cream cone at Braums and thoroughly enjoyed it on the way to the health club. Had a relaxed, enjoyable workout: half an hour on the recumbent bike with the ghost of Irving Berlin, another ten minutes on the treadmill watching “Biggest Loser” in horrified fascination, and over an hour in the pool with no time pressures and water that was considerably warmer than it is at 5:00a.m.

A quick run through the window at Wendy’s, picking up a potato and a side Caesar. Cheap, fast, easy, and relatively healthy. Had planned to go to the temple again last night and just could not get excited about the rush hour traffic. It doesn’t bother me in the slightest, during the work week. But yesterday? Meh. I called Secondborn, and she had a Relief Society meeting, to which she invited me, but I opted to stay home and go to bed at 7:00 instead.

Woke up, as you can imagine, at midnight and have been puttering quietly ever since. A cheerful email from the new guy was waiting for me when I awoke. New guy = good guy.

Today there will be more errands, chiefly on the Dallas County side of the line so that I will be in the general vicinity when it’s time to be at the temple tonight for the sealing of my friends John and Lauren. After that, navigating by cell phone until I catch up with my single friends at the Plano Balloon Festival. All these years, and I’ve never gone.

Have read several more chapters this morning in the Annotated P&P. My snack has settled, and I am going back to bed. Because I’m on vacation, and I can. Thbpppp!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Wow, I slept in! This is after being awakened at 2:00a.m. by a gnat blundering into my ear, after which I required more than an hour to get back to sleep.

I finished the knitting and the putting-together of Faith’s sweater yesterday. At which point I decided that I wanted to face the button bands in back with narrow silk grosgrain ribbon in a harmonious shade, to support the snaps which I will be sewing on. The ribbon for silk ribbon embroidery is too lightweight for what I want, and commercial polyester ribbon is too thick and stiff.

So I went on Etsy, where I discovered a purveyor of vintage silk millinery ribbon from the 1930’s and 1940’s. I learned a new-to-me color: Dior grey. I am going to swing by the paint store on my way to the gym to see if I can score a paint chip in what is allegedly Dior grey. And the Etsy shop owner has offered to mail me a sample of the ribbon, to see if it will suit.

In the meantime, I am swatching for a sweater for me. This is the mystery yarn that was stranded with the discontinued Noro Kureopatera which I found at that yarn garage sale held by the local homeschooling group of which my friend is a member, shortly before I moved into the duplex.

Fourthborn has a remarkable gift for handling fabric, fiber, etc., and being able to tell what it is made from, and in the case of blends, in what proportions, within a percentage point or two. Sadly, she is allergic to wool, llama, camel, alpaca, cashmere, angora: basically everything that ever mooed, baaed, or spit. So I can only guess at the content. It is burgundy, approximately DK/sport weight, and has the buttery softness of cashmere, none of the limpness of alpaca, and a smidgen of hairiness that could be angora, or could be mohair (there is that brilliance and depth of color). There might be a bit of wool in there, but I am doubtful. This feels like 100% luxury fiber to me. It has a nice little halo in the frogged yarn, accentuated as I re-knit it for the swatch, and it’s the teensiest bit splitty.

Right now I am swatching on 4’s, and it looks a little loosey-goosey to me. I think I will try 3’s and see if I like that any better. I am using the same stitch pattern as for Faith’s sweater, but I know that I do not have enough of this yearn to do an entire sweater in it. So what I am thinking is this: I will knit the sleeves as written, and then I will redesign the body to make it shorter and wider, and I will end up with a great cropped sweater to wear at my desk this fall and winter.

I still feel as if that gnat were in my ear. I am probably imagining it.

I am not imagining that the singles session at the temple last night was better attended than it has been in a long time. I will be back again tonight for my usual Thursday night session of initiatories. I think that a vacation which includes four temple sessions is a very good vacation, indeed.

I was also pleased with the amount of honey-do’s I got done yesterday. Am trying for more of the same today, but first there is the matter of breakfast and a workout, in that order. And I need to get more milk and juice and good stuff like that.

I almost said happy Tuesday, everybody, because this is my second day of vacation, and apparently my inner calendar has reset itself to Ravelled Standard Time.

Food. Food would be good.

All y’all take care.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The secret to good tempura?

Ice water in the batter (just like a good piecrust), and resting the bowl of batter in a larger ice-filled bowl. Best onion rings I have ever eaten. I was extremely sorry that I had left the camera here at home, because they looked as light as meringues!

The potatoes were good too: crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, impeccably seasoned. And the fish! Better than at Zeke’s.

His coleslaw is as good as my mother’s. [Which we all know is the gold standard, if we had mothers who were good cooks. I’m not sure what standard my kids use, because when they were little it was all about getting them filled as quickly and as cheaply as possible. It is only now that the nest is empty, that I have the time, the funds, and sometimes the inclination to cook well.]

I picked up a petite chocolate mousse cake and an individual pear tart at Central on my way over. We divvied them up for dessert. He had sparkling pear juice for us to drink, a happy coincidence.

And he sent me home with a slice of cheesecake for my breakfast today.

I am stitching up Faith’s sweater. I might have one more row to work at the top of the left back, but now I am stitching most of the side seam, and then I will stitch up most of the raglan seam and adjust my rows if necessary. Which would leave the row of single crochet up the back edge, and the stitching-on of snaps, neither of which is getting done until I accomplish measurable progress on today’s honey-do list.

Tonight is the assigned temple session for the singles, so I’ll get to see him again.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ears like a bat?

Laughing at myself. I was transcribing a tape for one of my attorneys. There was a fairly quiet conversation going on, on the other side of my cubicle, about the “worst hamburger in America”. And I typed “after which [Plaintiff] was given a prescription hamburger in the emergency room.”

It’s all grist for the mill.

Last night I figured out how to post to Facebook from my cell phone. I turned off the notification features; otherwise I would spend all day responding to text messages, and where’s the fun in that? Not to mention that they might take a dim view of it at work. And Upstairs.

I came home and stretched out my legs and finished the left back of Faith’s sweater, up to the armscye. This morning I woke ahead of the alarm and began the raglan decreases. I will probably finish them at lunch today, but it’s doubtful that I will get that piece joined to the rest of the sweater tonight. Why?

The new guy is cooking dinner. Yes, I may have mentioned that before. You’re likely to read it again before I hit send on this post. I have the route mapped on a PDF on my computer at work. I have his cool-packs ready to return (the ones that came home with me from the dance a few weeks back, when he brought me Version 1.1 of his German Chocolate Cheesecake).

I have two suits to answer today before I leave on stay-cation. The answer is due on one of them next Monday. The other could theoretically wait until I return, but I know that my lawyer will be chomping on the bit. He could easily be the poster child for proactive.

The EOBs that I requested, arrived in yesterday’s mail for two visits to my PCP earlier this year, which for some mysterious reason were not automatically submitted to my medical expense reimbursement account. And I need to pick up a copy of the billing sheet for a third visit, which is yet to show up on my HMO’s records. I can do that when I am in Arlington for my eye exam next Monday.

I also need to have my friend, the paralegal, teach me how to redact a PDF. I have saved copies of my bank statements for the months in question. If I can obliterate everything on the PDF except the lines showing that I had co-payments, I can print off the edited statements and submit them with the EOB that states no co-payment was required for my well-woman. Because they certainly did liposuction that money from my account!

Bureaucracy: it’s what’s for breakfast.

Because we know what’s for dinner tonight: authentic British fish and chips [malt vinegar, no less!], coleslaw, onion rings, and something decadent for dessert, which I will pick up between the office and the new guy’s place.

Now to figure out what I’m going to wear...

Monday, September 13, 2010

A really great Sabbath

Another one of those golden days, and much appreciated.

I made it to Arlington early, so I drove through my old neighborhood to see the flood damage. My friend Leslye's house is by a park and a creek. That creek sent four feet of floodwater through her home last week. All along that curve, the houses were open, and many of them had Dumpsters out front. I saw her hubby and a younger man (not their son) out in the yard but did not have time to stop and hug everybody. A little further down the street is the complex where we lived for several years, the one where it was Mardi Gras 24/7 upstairs, after Katrina. The property is still surrounded by a chainlink fence. The units on the west side ground floor had their windows and doors open, so they must have had some flooding. Our old apartment, on higher ground, appears to be intact.

Then I drove on to the chapel and to hear Firstborn sing, “I Heard Him Come,” a lovely song written from the viewpoint of one of the lepers. I wish her voice coach from high school could have heard her. I got a lot of knitting in and am now halfway up the left back on Faith’s sweater.

Then I came home, took a catnap, and picked up my companion for visiting teaching. We went over, had dinner, and talked for nearly four hours about family life and the gospel. I got home just in time to go to bed again.

My gym bag is packed; let Monday officially begin.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bitties and bits

I think the funniest thing I heard yesterday, was “Happy Birthday, N@ked Boy!” That’s what the Bittiest grandchild got told by BittyBubba (age 3) or BittyCousin (age 2) as 2BDH plunked him down into his highchair, clad only in a diaper, for the ceremonial Destruction of the Cake.

It’s a great line. I am filing it away in the back of my mind (where it will never be seen again) should the day ever arrive when I am married. Until then, all my married friends? feel free to use it annually, with my blessing.

How many middle-aged women do you know who would spend $18 on erasers? The answer is, at least one. Middlest and Fourthborn had a photoshoot with their dolls when Fourthborn flew back in July. A dolly picnic, complete with quilt to sit on, cupcakes, and assorted junk food. Erasers, all.

After the birthday party yesterday, I repurposed a small plastic square space-keeper from the new package of furniture slides which Secondborn slipped under the legs of their couch. I was originally thinking that it would make a cute end table, but then I pried away the layers of padding that were under the plastic, and there was enough adhesive that stuck, to do this:

The burgers would be the size of a small pizza for Chutzpah, but more like an average hamburger for Blessing and Celeste. I was only able to score two milkshakes, three sets of fries, a couple of packages of assorted apples, three ice cream cones, two ice cream sandwiches, and a pineapple. I will hit the Michaels in south Arlington when I am off this week, and ones in BigD and Plano when I go to the temple and the Balloon Festival.

I had no luck in the search locally for more steel crochet hooks. So I will order them online, where I can get them more cheaply anyway. [Tola, thanks for asking. If you do have a spare Boye 2 and Boye 3 (not Susan Bates), let me know. I have all the red aluminum hooks I will probably ever use.]

I am about halfway through the Annotated Pride and Prejudice. I don’t think that Jane Austen would consider me well-bred. And I think I am not as much like Elizabeth Bennet as I would wish, except perhaps for the stubbornness.

The annotator makes the comment that there are few real villains in Jane Austen’s novels. Most of the chaos that ensues is a result of good people making poor choices. And I think that that is a pretty fair description of real life, certainly as I have experienced it.

I don’t think that the children’s father’s paternal grandfather had any idea how much wreckage would follow his choice to leave his wife and four children for another woman. I am quite certain that the children’s father did not wake up one day and decide that he had had quite enough with being responsible and the rest of us could just fend for ourselves. I made the decision to divorce him after much pondering and prayer, knowing that it would cause enormous pain and difficulty for our children, but having faith in their essential goodness and strength. [I have been frequently appalled at the result.] And I do not think that Brother Abacus made a conscious choice to deal with the pain of losing his wife by breaking as many hearts as he could, as quickly as he could.

In a small way, I suppose, he has done me a favor. I am very much more careful about where I bestow my heart, and I am much happier being single than I was in my 20’s. And far more patient about the dating process. And more willing to trust Heaven about the timing.

Last night, on Facebook, there were pictures posted of a group date. The new guy was on it, with one of the other petri dishes, and I just looked at the pictures and smiled. No jealousy. [Yay!] No wishing that I had chosen to ask him. Group dates are really not my thing. This peacefulness-regarding-a-guy is not the norm [for me], but I am thoroughly enjoying it.

And it doesn’t hurt to remind myself that he is cooking dinner for me on Tuesday night.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Because sometimes I am flexible.

Don’t laugh, it happens. Just not very often. I stopped at JoAnn’s after work and bought an EZ Design Flex Rule. From the front of the package, “Flexible ruler bends to create and measure curves. Holds shape to repeat designs.” [Repeated in French and Spanish.]

And from its back, “Suggestions for use: Quilting -- Create vines, place leaves at intervals along vine, and flip to create exact mirror images in corners. Create unique edges, scallops, and more for quilt borders. Mark quilt designs, set in any pattern (like a wave) and move across quilt to repeat design. Trace shapes for applique or quilting designs like heart, circles, and more! Sewing and Crafts -- Measure curved edges for sewing or craft projects. Create curved lines for beading, sequins, and trims on apparel. Great for pattern making, measuring dress lines, crotch seams [huzzah!], and armholes. Warning -- This product contains lead, a chemical known by the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.” [Apparently the other 49 states are unaware of this?]

Note to self: do not conveniently carry this tool around in your mouth, as you have been known to do with knitting needles.

They did not have any steel crochet hooks, so I also made a quick trip to Michael’s, where I found four that I did not have: a 4, a 5, a 6, and a 7. None of which are quite what I need at the moment, but I now have a nearly complete set of steel hooks. I am still trying to find the missing red larger hooks to complete that set. Yes, I could just buy a hook in the right size but a different color. Where is the fun in that?

I also tidied up their display. There I was, standing at the corner of Math Geek and Slightly Obsessive, and aren’t we supposed to make the world a little better than we find it? I suspect that somebody tiny had made a grab for all of that Oh Look Shiny, and the parental unit had just jammed the packages back on any convenient display hook. When I left the store, the 1’s were on the 1 hook, the 8’s were on the 8 hook, and all the 4’s were having a party right where you would expect them to be.

I will check Wally World when I buy more milk, to see if they have the missing 2 and 3. I may also replace three other hooks with the same size by Boye; I have them by Susan Bates, and the 11 and 12 are combined, as are the 13 and 14. I like the business end on the Boye hooks better than on the Susan Bates.

If I am unsuccessful at Wally World, I found an online site which carries the Boye hooks in every imaginable size. I suppose I could ask them for the missing three red aluminum hooks, but I have them in B through K, and I rarely use fat yarns. At this point it is more the thrill of the hunt. I would have to call in to make that order, to specify that if the red hooks showed up in some other color, I would send them back. And I don’t think that’s how I want to spend my Saturday morning.

Not when I need to be at Secondborn’s in an hour for the Bittiest’s birthday party, and I have yet to sign his birthday card and wrap his present.

The right back of Faith’s sweater is now firmly attached; what I want the crochet hook for, is to work a single row of single crochet down the back edge, where I slipped the stitches, to subtly firm up that edge. A 1 is too big. A 4 is too little. Either a 2 or a 3 should be just right. [I wonder if Goldilocks or the three bears crocheted?]

Friday, September 10, 2010

Quick Friday Post

Punctuated by intermittent bursts of speed, flyswatter in hand, inspired by the presence of a moth in my living room.

Yesterday was crazy-busy, squared. I got a lot done at work, but it was bam-bam-bam from one task to the next, and I expect more of the same today. I have been trying to open our new case (the answer is due on Monday) for three days.

Three more days of the job I love, and then a week of staycation. Woohoo!

The right back of Faith’s sweater is attached at the raglan seam, that sleeve all stitched up, and now I am working on the side seam. I think I will pick up a pair or two of dressy black socks to cannibalize for her turtleneck and possibly a pair of leggings. And I think it would be useful to get one of those bendable sticks that you can press against an irregular shape so you can reproduce that shape. Quilters sometimes use them when tracing shapes for applique.
I think Dritz sells them, and I wish I had remembered to look when I was in JoAnn’s last night on my way to the temple. They’re about 1/4” wide and should do a good job of memorializing the curves that the center seams on a pair of trousers need to navigate. They would probably also be useful while mapping Blessing’s curves when I’m ready to make her a formal.

I filled out paperwork last night to serve as an ordinance worker in the temple. There will be a series of interviews, but I hope to start after the first of the year.

Maybe today I will remember to take my camera? The Trinity was swollen with muddy water when I was sitting on the Commerce Street Bridge on the way to work yesterday. I would have had time to film a documentary. Dallas = sauna, until the runoff has made its way downstream and the ground has a chance to dry out a bit.

Dinner tonight with Brother Sushi. [Dinner Tuesday night with the new guy!] Drive-by fooding of the elders tomorrow. And possibly a family birthday party for the Bittiest one, who is one today. Where has this year flown?

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Why I like dolls with elfy ears

We figured it out at Knit Night last night. We talk about all sorts of stuff: TV shows we watch [in my case none, as the TV is still not plugged in], which led to the discussion of a new one that William Shatner is in, and how much most of us had liked Captain Kirk, while I was always more enamored of this guy.

Imprinted as a teenager, I was.

I read with some comfort, another blogger’s struggle with forgiveness. Maybe we are doing a better job with the rising generation, because my children seem to be more skilled at it, notwithstanding my checkered example. Or maybe the issue I am struggling with (Man, Behaving Badly) is simply a non-issue with them because of the generally lowered level of civility from when I was their age. Maybe it seems as quaint to them as June Cleaver, vacuuming in pearls.

But the women of my generation, and a little younger? To a woman, the reaction is smite first, forgive the remains. So I am actually ahead of the curve, a little, because I have gotten past the point where I think it would be a great idea if all the women he has treated thus were to line up with cream pies and apply them to his face.

There would be a sudden, and marked, pie shortage in North Texas. People would stand, perplexed, in bakery departments from here to San Antonio as hordes of middle-aged women marched triumphantly toward the checkout lines. Strong men would weep at having to settle for a cold-storage apple and a slice of cheese for dessert. Toddlers would wail, “But I ate all my broccoli!”

Do you see how good I am being? At great personal sacrifice?

Thank you. That’s all I wanted to hear.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Oh you can’t get a man with a gun

If they ever make an aftershave that smells like gunpowder, I’m a goner.

Re: Brother Abacus, who keeps popping up in my life like mushrooms after the rain. If I were in need of a financial services adviser of impeccable integrity [and had not dated him], I would recommend him wholeheartedly. That being said, the man has left emotional carnage in his wake. And not just with me. He may have too much self-interest to cut notches in the bedpost, as some men do [but his Chapstick is another story].

Pride? Yes. Prejudice? You betcha!

So, as my girls have tenderly pointed out, apparently I am still not quite done forgiving him. I really am trying to be like Jesus. Some days it is easier than others. I managed to forgive their father, for far more. This gives me hope...

Monday, September 06, 2010

May [I] live in interesting times...

What I want to know is, what did I ever do to tick off that Chinese person, and why did s/he curse me?

I had played hooky from Sunday School for two successive Sundays, so I had to guess at where we were in the schedule. The new guy was subbing in his Gospel Doctrine class, and he was teaching the Jonah lesson, so I knew that if I studied that one, I had a 50% chance of being right.

For my non-LDS friends: our curriculum is correlated. Two Sundays a year are devoted to the Sunday sessions of General Conference. Two more are dedicated to our local stake conferences. Which leaves 48 lessons to cover the lesson material. And we have a four-year cycle: first year for the Old Testament and the Pearl of Great Price; second for the New Testament, third for the Book of Mormon, and fourth for the Doctrine and Covenants. This year we are neck-deep in the wranglings of the children of Israel.

It is pretty darn cool to come up for air in the middle of a study session and realize that all [or most of] the other LDS grownups throughout the world are thinking about Ruth that week, or Noah, or Isaiah. The schedules may vary by a week or so, depending on the timing of our stake conferences, but we can count on the fact that on the first Sunday of this year, we will all be “In the beginning...”, and that we will all bat clean-up with Malachi.

So yesterday I picked Lesson 33, and I read the assigned chapters in Jonah and Micah; the related enrichment materials in a book written by Daniel Rona, who is Jewish and LDS; and the enrichment material online at Meridian. I also rediscovered my hand-written notes in the margins of my Bible, pertaining to some in-depth study I did a few years ago when I was in counseling after a family tragedy. I had forgotten that the Book of Jonah is a chiasm, with the central verse being Jonah 2:8. My further notes on this, on a blank page in the front of my Bible, led me to ponder the nature and the necessity of forgiveness in my own life.

I felt really prepared to worship when I went to church, and I enjoyed the discussion in our Gospel Doctrine class.

Even though everybody else was on Lesson 34, and hobnobbing with Hosea.

It is a good thing that forgiveness was uppermost in my mind when I went to the singles potluck and break-the-fast, because one of the first people to greet me was Brother Abacus. Who got my name wrong. And then patted me on the shoulder in passing. [There are so many reasons why this was incendiary; this is not the place to discuss them.]

I walked down the hall to wash my hands, and then I invited him outside for a little talk. And by the grace of Heaven, I tempered justice with mercy. I told him, quietly and politely, that just because I had forgiven him for the way he treated me when we were dating, that did not mean we were friends. Do. Not. Touch. Me. Again. At which point he (A) looked very surprised and (B) gave me the apology he should have given me four years ago.

So, he is forgiven (again), and I am going to have to rip out all the knitting I did last night, because angry knitting is not pretty knitting.

Forgiveness means that you do not continue to beat somebody about the head and shoulders for their mistakes. It means that you are civil to them, should you meet them again. It does not require that you allow them to trespass upon your boundaries.

I called Brother Sushi when I got home, and he said that my behavior, as described to him, seemed perfectly reasonable and appropriate. (I was second-guessing myself at that point.)

Today is likely to be a busy one. The pool has reopened, and I am looking forward to a nice long sploosh in it. I have a date with Ben and Jerry this morning, to tackle Mount Washmore. And I have a lunch date with Firstborn and 1BDH and Messrs. Smith and Wesson. I have not shot off anything more deadly than my mouth in 40 years, so this should be interesting. I do remember the first two commandments: do not point at anything I do not intend to hit, and always assume that it is loaded.

Well, it certainly seems to be a weekend for consistency.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Nearly Perfect Saturday

Went to bed early yesterday morning, after a Friday dance that was meh. While there are plenty of individual songs that I like from the 80’s, it is my least favorite decade in terms of music [unless we are talking the 1780’s, approximately the time period when Pachelbel wrote his Canon in D, or the 1880’s, when John Philip Sousa’s band played for two Presidential inaugurals]. (It was a terrific decade in terms of being fruitful and multiplying. Eighty percent of my children were born in the 80’s. Seems appropriate, somehow.)

Where was I?

So, I slept until nearly 6:00a.m., got up and drank some milk, knitted a repeat or two on the front of Faith’s sweater, and went back for a nap.

Then I went over to the Will Rogers Coliseum for the Cowtown Indie Bazaar, a craft show featuring local Etsy dealers, including two of my friends. He makes beautifully crafted modern furniture. Not my aesthetic, but his workmanship is impeccable. I got to run my hands over a chair he made, and the finish is smooth as silk. And she makes neat stuff for kids.

I showed remarkable restraint. Mostly, I collected business cards and wrote down what I liked on the back of them. I did bring home a pair of earrings (really bad picture follows).

The general effect is that a brass ballet slipper dangling from a disco ball. The French hooks are very large and voluptuous. We’ll see if they make my ears crazy. I don’t have the metal sensitivities that several of my girls do.

Here is a far better picture: a pendant that followed me home.

It’s about 1.5 inches square. I will wear it with a silk ribbon, or maybe a narrow leather cord.

There were two vendors who specialized in steampunk accessories. I am really digging the steampunk, but no, you do not have to worry about my showing up at a singles’ dance in Victorian regalia. I am altogether too fond of having freedom of movement. But I got some great ideas for doll necklaces, if I can find the right charms. The vendor was wearing a necklace which combined a rusted/patina’ed pair of children’s round-nosed scissors with rhinestone buckles, delicate chains, and gemstones. Sounds goshawful, I know, but the total effect was charming and harmonious. Take a look at the necklaces that a lot of the catalogues are offering, and kick them up a notch (add watch bits or small keys or lockets, etc.), and you have a fairly representative idea. I could start with the chatelaine my sister gave me that holds my needlework scissors...

After the craft show, I went over to the French Knot to show off Chutzpah’s bloomer/skirt, because that is where I bought the soy-silk thread a few weeks ago. They love show and tell at that shop! Then I went across the street to Lucile’s and had lobster bisque, a side Caesar, and two freshly-baked sourdough rolls.

After which I came home and took another nap. Fairly late last night, I hopped in the car to pick up milk and juice and something to take for my ward’s linger longer, a quarterly break-the-fast that competes directly with my stake’s monthly break-the-fast for the singles. So I will eat with my ward and then meander down to the Burleson chapel for the fireside, assuming I do not either come home for a nap after dinner, or go to visit the Bitties and their parental units. I make no promises.

I got a few pages into the actual text of the Annotated Pride and Prejudice last night. The comments are fascinating, but I think this will be harder going than the last time I read P&P, because the annotator keeps commenting on how irresponsible a father Mr. Bennet is. Which reminds me of all sorts of things I can cheerfully ignore while watching the movie or reading the standard edition. No wonder my girls have issues reading Jane Austen.

I am so thankful to live in a time when women have the right to own property, and when many of us have sufficient education to be able to support ourselves, and a family if necessary. When my options are greater than an arranged marriage, prostitution, or a sweatshop.

In knitting news, the front of Faith’s sweater is done. I realized that it had to be the front because hello! she has a tail (magnetic, removable), so the sweater needs to open in the back. I have the two front raglan seams done, most of the sleeve seams, and a whole lot of ends woven in. I’ve cast on for the left back section and expect to get quite a bit of it done at church today.

Friday, September 03, 2010

EEK Barbeque

I know that a picture is worth a thousand words, but my camera was here, and the side of the building was zipping past at 60mph. So you’ll just have to put up with some fraction of that thousand words.

I was on my way home from the temple last night when I saw, out of the corner of my eye, the partially-lit sign at Spring Creek Barbeque. (Yes, that’s how they spell it. This is Texas, where spellcheck and motorcycle helmets are for sissies.) And I was rapidly approaching, not only home, but that level of tiredness where almost anything is funny.

EEK Barbeque

Sure, why not? *chortle*

More eek. Somebody knocked on my door at 11:00 last night. No, I did not open the door. I went to the door and hollered “who is it?” No answer. “Who is it?” No answer, so I turned my head and hollered at the back of the house, “Honey, somebody’s at the door ... Yeah, *you* call them. Thanks!” Yes, I did call 9-1-1. And then I had to get dressed again, as I’d told the dispatcher that I only wanted to talk to the cops if they found somebody in the bushes.

Not amused [apparently I reached that point where not everything is funny; I know I was suddenly far more alert than I had been]. Maybe it’s time I renewed my acquaintance with Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson.

But it’s morning, and I slept reasonably well. The entirely fictitious male presence did a good job of patrolling the perimeter last night.

Still more eek. I took a good squint at my cell phone bill after work yesterday. There was a $75 charge that I didn’t understand. Why are you charging me for data when I don’t access the internet on my phone?

Did you know that if somebody sends a picture to your phone, even if you don’t look at it, you get charged for data usage? (No, Sherry, it wasn’t your fault. That single shot of your poor bashed car cost me something like 30 cents.)

So now I have a data plan, effective about 5:21 last night. And they have credited my account for that unpleasant little surprise, as well as the most recent 30 cents. I suppose the good news is that now I will be able to check my email from work, and post witty squibs [or half-witty ones] on Facebook.

I am almost to the armscye on the back(?) of Faith’s sweater. I think two more pattern repeats will do it. And then I will have to decide if this is the V-neck front of the sweater and knit accordingly, or if this really is the back.

More dancing tonight, but no new guy, as there are two birthdays in his tribe today. Time to go pull that third painting out of the backseat of Lorelai. I succumbed. The office manager reduced the price on all remaining artwork to $5.00, and this is the picture that reminds me so much of the foothills of home, in autumn.

Part of this Labor Day weekend will be spent hanging pictures. Seems appropriate, somehow.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Consider this a note on the fridge.

Very quick post, as I want to hit the pool before it closes for maintenance until 5:00am Sunday. I will have to track down the other Fort Worth club in this chain.

Doll sweater back is more than halfway done.

@Sherry: yes, no more riding the train. I’ll miss those two hours of knitting time, but it frees up an hour in the morning and gives me the option of another hour of sleep. Or at the health club. Or dawdling over breakfast.

We are having rain. I love rain. I love cooler weather.

Great day at work yesterday. Hoping for another one today.

Went to the temple last night. Did initiatories. Turns out, the new guy was also there, but he did different ordinance work. So we never saw each other, which was probably part of the plan. I’m going back tonight for more of the same. [Robi???] And then I can do mundane stuff all weekend and thoroughly enjoy that, as well.

Took some of my leftover three-bean salad for lunch yesterday, and it was good. Probably wasn’t the wisest thing I've ever done, to grab a couple of party burritos for dinner on the drive home from the temple last night, but thus far no internal 1812 Overture, so I’m a happy camper.

Heading out between raindrops to go take care of this body that Heaven gave me. I hear thunder. Yum!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


Because that’s what you come here for, right?

I was blasting through my Bloglines last night, when I got to CrazyAuntPurl. She just finished hosting a Pride and Prejudice read-along. She mentioned an annotated version. I checked it out on Amazon. And then I hopped in the car and drove over to the bookstore, where I paid retail (because it sounded that good).

While standing in line to pay, the Gershwin CD came on overhead. I grinned. Two fallings-down in a bookstore (same chain) on consecutive Tuesday nights.

From there I went to Target, since the Hallmark stores were long since closed. The new guy has a birthday coming up soon. I was hoping to find a birthday card that was squeaky-clean *and* funny *and* had fish on it *or* a LeCreuset pot with little curlicues of tastiness wafting up out of it. [Or, maybe, a nice assortment of petri dishes.]

I am part of an under-served demographic: those who are dating and are not quite ready for Medicare. Throw in a commitment to behave with decorum and honor, and that eliminates 99.9% of the cards intended for guys. No Viagra jokes, no flatulence jokes, no drinking jokes, you get the idea. There was one for a 60th birthday that might have worked, about what would happen if you had a whole string of 60 year old guys lie down end to end. The punchline being something like very few of them would be able to get up again, unassisted. But since I’ve had my own issues with mobility, and I have no idea if he does, it was only marginally funny. And this will be something other than his 60th birthday. So that was two strikes.

I am one-third to one-half the way up the back of Faith’s sweater. Lots of good knitting time yesterday.

Today I am officially no longer a commuter-by-train. No more hoping to score the use of somebody else’s monthly parking on the days I drive into Dallas. I might need to celebrate by sneaking in an extra evening at the temple this week.

Time to pack my lunch and see if I can remember where I put the Happy Birthday stamps.