About Me

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Four years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Monday, May 31, 2010

More from the Botanical Gardens + weird stuff happens

Ms. Ravelled, kissing yet another frog...



(Remind me to stand up straight next time. I look like Quasimodo’s sister.) This was a lucky shot of individual water droplets flying from the fountain jet. I just point the camera and shoot, and sometimes I get magic.



The view from the bench, in the shade, after we took all the ones by the pool. I don’t know what kind of evergreen this is, but it was all feathery. (Yes, everything has labels. I was hot and sweaty and tired; didn’t want to walk over to find out.)



Ivy spilling over onto a wall, because that is what ivy does.



Panning almost straight down from that shot.



A purple martin house glimpsed through the trees, above the branch where Blessing was perched.



Two urns, and the back of a random tourist.



These were right in front of my bench, just to the left of where I perched Faith for yesterday’s last shot.



Another view.



And still another.



FaithAnn and Rosalie reconciled, and acting innocent.



My three, waiting to steal some of my lunch.



Here is Fourthborn’s perspective on the day.

And here is where things get a little weird, but not in a bad way. I came home to the following message: “OK ~ question ~ do you have a daughter with green hair?”

To which I responded [after picking my jaw up off the floor] in the affirmative, adding a few questions of my own. Turns out that I know his youngest son and daughter-in-law. They are local doll people, and I met her several months ago, and him when we had the abysmal pizza at Crystal’s a month or two after that. (They recognized my dolls from the updated album on Facebook.)

The degrees of separation are getting smaller and smaller. I asked him if I should go on DoA (the doll equivalent of Facebook) and ask for “permission to flirt, sir!”

Remember months and months ago, when I was first getting into dolls and mused, “Maybe I will meet a nice middle-aged LDS guy who’s artistic and doesn’t think dolls are weird”? The new guy has hosted a couple of doll meets in his home. Yes, he razzes his son about having a doll, but he has another son who goes to cons [conventions] and has done quite a bit of dolly photography.

This is every bit as delightful and amusing as finding out that Lark’s grandmother was my favorite library lady. [New guy is also fast friends with a couple who moved from my old ward to his (Leslye, you will know them; Firstborn, you might remember them).]

So, lots of reasons why this could turn out to be an interesting and lively friendship.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Fresh air, sunshine, and mischief.

Here are some pictures from yesterday’s excursion to the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens with Fourthborn and some of the resin kids (all of mine, who appear miffed because they’re in long sleeves and heavy sweaters, and two of hers). At the entrance, there are two long pools like this one.



Rosalie (blonde) and FaithAnn (brunette), who represent LittleBit and Fourthborn, respectively. Fourthborn wanted to pose them with Rosalie getting ready to shove FaithAnn into the water. I told her it would be far more historically accurate if it were the other way around.



Rosalie: “Wha-a-a-a-t?”
FaithAnn: “I wasn’t doing anything, Mom!”



Retaliation.



Blessing cools her heels, as her siblings bewail their lack of summer attire.



“Don’t cry, Sissy. Mom will make us something cooler to wear for next time.”



“Please get me down out of this tree!” Fourthborn got other shots of Blessing up in the tree, but because she had to arch her back to balance her legs, all you see is [acres of] bosom pointing skyward, reminiscent of that TV commercial for a vacation in Ixtapa. So, deleted. And now I have to wash sap out of Blessing’s skirt. She is perched back on top of the chest of drawers here in the living room, wearing her sweater and her underoos, and I really do need to rebutton her sweater and tighten up those buttonholes with embroidery. Faith is sitting in her lap for modesty’s sake.



“I saw a gecko in the bushes, and it was this big!”



Pictures of all the lovely flora, and lunch at Ol’ South, tomorrow. Fourthborn has other shots, some virtually identical, others unique. If she gives permission, I’ll link to them tomorrow as well.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Vanity Plates

No, I don’t have them. But Crazy Aunt Purl has a great blog post on them, and Dad had them on their cars for awhile. He was a retired Army officer, and he always wanted HUP234. He settled for UPNATM and GOGETM.

If you read her post, be sure to read the comments. Somebody went to the trouble of deciphering #6.

@ Secondborn: I don’t think there is any way you would know the new Silver Fox; if you think of Dallas as a clock, he lives somewhere between 2:00 and 3:00.

He is fine with the bookstore. We are trying to find a time that works for both of us.

Dates with two men in the same year? The mind boggles.

I have had my workout this morning (15 minutes on the treadmill at 3% grade and 2.4mph; 25 minutes on the recumbent bike at level 3; once through the circuit on the machines, which still mess with my sense of balance as I rock backward, but I’m getting over it; and a quarter-mile of trotting in the pool, because I’ve made up my mind that I am going to the dance in Denton tonight). Thence to the laundromat, where Mount Washmore has been subdued yet again, except for one sock that eluded my grasp and is back in the ick pile.

And now? Time to medicate my foot, fix my hair, grab the dolls, and go fetch Fourthborn for a day of dolly madness.

I was telling Middlest on the phone the other night, that there was a guy walking past the pool that morning, shoulders out to here, no waist, incredible back definition [visible to even these myopic eyes], and I thought, “Wow, he’s built like the Iplehouse superhero sculpt. Specifically, Kamau.” I will spare you the link to the superhero sculpt per se, because [shall we say] it is designed more authentically than poor Ken, and I still haven’t gotten used to the nonchalance of the photography on some of the doll sites. Think Taye Diggs in “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” and you will not be far wrong.

That, however, is not why I go to the gym six mornings out of seven. I am loving the increased range of motion and the new spring in my step.

Dolls. Step away from the keyboard, Ms. Ravelled, and get those girls into the car...

Friday, May 28, 2010

Flirting with Flirting

Lo! and behold, there appears to be a new Silver Fox on the horizon. I know that when Heaven closes a door, frequently a window opens. However, I was in the middle of cleaning that window, and I nearly fell off the ladder.

He has suggested meeting at the temple one night and having dinner afterward. I countered with bookstore + takeout from Central Market, because I frequently weep when touched by the Spirit [which happens often when I am in the House of the Lord], and I prefer that it happen only when I’m surrounded by people I already know well; i.e., crying in sacrament meeting is fine, but crying on a first date is not, and what if I fell asleep during the ordinance session?

He likes to fish. I like to eat fish. We both like John Wayne. He is age-appropriate. And a widower (we remember how the last widower worked out, but I’m trying not to presume they are all cut from the same cloth). He can spell. And proofread. My inner grammarian is ecstatic! He has a job. And a garden.

He is a friend of a friend of a friend. (That sounds familiar to me; have I already mentioned him? ...↓scroll↓...↓scroll↓...apparently not...) And probably in the same ward as my silver-haired acquired brother, whose nickname here, escapes me at the moment. Which, if so, would make him also a friend of a friend: one less degree of separation.

And I should know in a week or two if he merits coming up with a nickname; I am currently leaning toward Brother Pilgrim, for his admiration of The Duke, but it might not suit his personality, LOL.

I am home and full of leftovers and just about carbed-out. I think I will grab my knitting and a glass of water and head to the back of the house for some reading and an early bedtime. Let the weekend begin!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Crazier-Busier

RS meeting on Tuesday night went well. People showed up whom we hoped would show up, teachers did a great job, refreshments were excellent.

Work is wonderful; I am learning a lot. I didn’t take a break yesterday, except for the occasional pit stop. And I took lunch almost an hour late. Made for a short afternoon.

Heading to the dentist in a few. Just the 20,000 smile checkup. So, driving in to work, and heading to the temple tonight.

M’s sock is going well. I cast on at church on Sunday and am nearly half finished with the gusset increases. This is a purple tweed sport-weight or possibly DK yarn, so it’s progressing quickly. I was ready for some knitterly instant gratification.

Allowed myself to sleep in, sans alarm, this morning. Woke up naturally at 4:50, puttered online for a bit, moseyed over to the health club. Used the blue dumbbells on every other lap, just to change things up. It will be interesting to see if I can move my arms later today, or when I get up in the morning. I can’t take the dumbbells the entire length of the pool: around the 4’6” level, excessive buoyancy makes it impossible for me to move forward in the water. And the dumbbells slow me down incredibly. [Did I accidentally pray for patience, and not remember it?]

Just had a carton of yogurt to tide me over, and am taking both lunch and dinner to work with me.

Oh hark! I hear an English muffin calling my name...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hum. And drum.

Y’all know that I read, and enjoy, Movie Mom. I like her take on life. Recently she posted links to a program for writing screenplays. In that post she also linked to an essay quoting Kurt Vonnegut. I read a lot of Vonnegut in my 20’s, one of the blessings of being the younger sister of a woman who reads even more prodigiously than I used to. (Nowadays, I mostly read while on the recumbent bike, or while eating my lunch. If I’m sitting, I’m knitting.)

Here is that link. I agree with much of what Vonnegut posits, and I think it explains a lot. When I was young, I wanted that first diagram. While I was married to the children’s father, my life resembled the second one. Now that the nest is empty and I am writing the script (or kid myself that I am), my life is a lot like the third one.

Oh, how I cherish the life described by that third diagram!

So it goes...

“Food” review: the Lean Cuisine Orange Chicken will sustain life. It’s not fiery enough for orange chicken, and not flavorful enough for sweet and sour. I will continue to get my orange chicken from Panda Express; I just won’t get it very often. I’m still waiting to find a sweet and sour chicken that I like as much as the one I used to get at the late, lamented Egg Roll Express in Arlington.

Ward conference was amazing. The music was inspired. The choir sounded great (go, us!). And mercifully, the fumes from the cultural hall (gym) were sufficiently abated that I lasted through all of our meetings. I got home around 7:00pm, ravenous in spite of the snacks that had been thoughtfully provided for us by the activities committee in our ward (co-chaired by a former RS president).

The Relief Society lesson was taught by the stake RS secretary, drawing from three recent General Conference addresses:

“Mothers and Daughters” – Elder M. Russell Ballard- Ensign May 2010 pg.18
“And upon the Handmaids in Those Days Will I Pour Out My Spirit” - Julie B. Beck Ensign May 2010 pg. 10
“Mother Told Me” –Elder Bradley D. Foster Ensign May 2010 pg.98

We paid particular attention to Pauls letter to Timothy, describing humanity in the last days (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

Selfish
Covetous
Boasters
Proud
Blasphemers
Disobedient
Unthankful
Unholy
Without natural affection
Trucebreakers
False accusers
Incontinent
Fierce
Despisers of those who are good
Traitors
Heady
High-minded
Lovers of pleasure
Having a form of godliness
Denying the power of God

She also quoted 2 Nephi 2:11. She had made two charts listing the character qualities he cited and posted the first one on our whiteboard, encouraging us to come up with opposite, positive character qualities, which she wrote on the board. She then took down the poster and covered what she had just written with the other poster. We came up with antithetical qualities to those. Then she took down the second poster, and we looked at two columns of Christlike qualities we would do well to emulate.

What follows, is a list approximating the one we came up with. I remembered some of them precisely; with others I did the best I could.

Generous
Content
Humble
Modest
Reverent
Obedient
Grateful
Reverent
Loving
Having integrity
Honest
Disciplined
Meek
Supportive
Loyal
Patient
Faithful
Chaste
Consecrated
Submissive

I created and unsuccessfully tried to insert a table. So you will just have to scroll up and down. Sorry. [Builds character.]

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I dreamed that I bought a piano.

No idea where that came from; it might have been the tuna-fish sandwiches at the dance last night. In my dream, the girls were younger, but I was still living here in the duplex. And I was trying to figure out how we were going to get the piano up four steps (front door) or two (kitchen door). Never mind the fact that there would have been no place to put the piano, once we got it inside, unless my half of the duplex had suddenly acquired the properties of Hermione's hat or bag or whatever it was. (I really do need to sit down and re-read the series.)

It is weird to wake up and have it be light outside. The birds are making quite a racket out there. I can hear them clearly over the drone of the window unit. I think one of them has a drinking problem, because his cry sounds a lot like “Smirnoff! Smirnoff! Smirnoff!”

I had a good workout yesterday; spent all of it in the pool. Half a mile seems to be about my limit before all the splashing and splooshing tells my highly suggestible kidneys that we need to get out and go head for the loo. I tried something new: I stepped into the steam room for about 15 seconds. Long enough to satisfy my curiosity and decide that, like the Shock Wave at Six Flags over Texas, it is something I have done once and don’t ever have to do again. It was like Houston or Boca Raton on steroids. (Hot. Humid.) I’ll just wait for August, thank you; that’s as close to Hades as I ever hope to get.

I didn’t bother with the treadmill or recumbent bike, because I knew I was going to the dance, where I would more than make up for slacking off in the morning.

Had a really good time. Met some new people, reconnected with others, got out on the floor and waved my hand around during “All the Single Ladies,” nibbled on goodies from the refreshment table, drank three glasses of lemonade, and wrangled with a floor that had been too-recently refinished for good dancing. [Not recently enough that there were fumes, but the floor was sticky notwithstanding my ballet slippers.]

Brother Sushi, who is the kindest of dance partners, looked me in the eye and said, “I’m a leader, not a motor. You’re not going where I’m trying to lead you. I need some help here.” Sorry, bro, I was doing the best that I could. Shortly before I left, I borderline wrenched my knee while rocking out. Stopped just in time, but my knee (same leg that I broke while line-dancing a few years ago) told me distinctly, “Do that again, and I will put you on the floor on your rear.”

Doesn’t feel as if I have torn anything, but it’s still a little tender this morning. Not so much that I need to grab my cane, but I’m thinking no treadmill for the next few days, just a quick whirl on the recumbent bike, with most of my time in the pool.

I got a great manicure yesterday. [Instead of the usual cable drivel on NailDude’s TV, we had the last bit of “You’ve Got Mail.”] I made a quick run into Ulta and splurged on a bottle of O*P*I and now sport almost the exact shade of warm lavender I’ve been looking for since reading that article in “Real Simple” earlier this year. Never thought the day would come when I’d spend $8.50 for a bottle of nail polish! It’s from the limited-edition Shrek line: “Rumple’s Wiggin’.”

We have ward conference today. Which means a spiritual feast, and a whole lot of meetings, and no nap for Ms. Ravelled unless I can sneak one in before ward council at 11:30. Still, I’m looking forward to it.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Still here, still happy.

Just crazy-busy like the rest of you. It’s been quite a week, very long but very good.

Dinner last night with Brother Sushi, to celebrate the first paycheck as a legal secretary. We went to Rockfish, my nickel this month. Split the crab cakes (yum), had (of course) the jalapeno cream soup, I had a small side Caesar, he had the ahi tuna, and I had the macadamia-crusted mahi. I ate about a quarter of my fish, and the rest will be lunch or dinner today. And we talked for two hours, and it was great as always.

Good man, good friend.

Yesterday was maybe the first day I really felt like a legal secretary, because I got to function as backup to one of my friends for one of her lawyers. She had the day off. I got all the important bits of her mail out and all of mine. My attorney is old-school and sends a lot of stuff by certified mail. Hers is about the same vintage but has embraced technology a little less gingerly, so yesterday I was the queen of faxing. She is also the one who takes the mail down at the end of the day, and I'm her backup for that, as well. Most of the mail that went out, went out from my desk for either Lawyer A or Lawyer B.

So while I didn't hit the machines at the health club yesterday morning, I definitely had a brief spate of weight-bearing exercise. [Ergo, zero guilt for all the good stuff I ate last night. I had budgeted for it financially and caloric-ly (spellcheck didn’t like calorically; one of its better suggestions was allegorically, but there was nothing allegorical about that meal!), and I just sat there and enjoyed it.]

Before dinner I ran through Coldwater Creek and Avenue, and found nothing at either place that I liked. There is a skirt at CC’s online outlet which is calling my name, but that’s another story. I almost bought a screen-printed T-shirt at Avenue, but when I opened it out I noticed the long vertical irregular blank spaces that I have seen so much recently. The manufacturer may consider it a design feature; I think it looks sloppy and cheap, as if somebody couldn’t be bothered to prepare the fabric properly. I asked the sales clerk to pass my comment upline to the store’s buyers. I think it’s been about two years since I bought my five semi-dressy shirts at Avenue. The last time I checked their T-shirts, the fabric was not of the quality I was used to*, or the workmanship was shoddy. I don’t like inside-out serging or raw edges. (*The occasional split or dangling infinitive bothers me a whole lot less.)

I was in bed around 10:00 last night, dead tired but happy, and full as a tick. Woke up about 1:30 to drink a couple of glasses of water, then went back to bed and slept until 6:20. I am dressed to work out; the gym bag is packed; the laundry bag is ready to go; I have balanced my checkbook; and I’m ready to hit the pool, followed shortly thereafter by the laundromat and later by the Nail Dude. There is a dance tonight, and it is not halfway across Texas. If I go, I will not stay late, as we have ward conference tomorrow. That means the usual block of meetings, and most of the usual pre-church meetings, and more meetings after church, and visits to the homes of the less-active, and a wrap-up after that.

Let’s just hope that the fumes from the refinishing of the gym floor at church are finally, blessedly gone. Otherwise I will be leaving after sacrament meeting and virtually useless to my stake leadership for the remainder of the day.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Firstborn graduates, and other good stuff

Very proud of my firstborn child, who walked last night. She finished her coursework last August, but TCC has commencement only once a year. She is on track to finish her BA the same spring that Lark graduates from high school. And 1BDH is also taking classes.

And me? I am toying with the idea, too, but it won’t happen until several other important things happen first. I will have to be out of debt. I will have to decide on a major. I will have to not-be the RS president. My friend who just got her MSW? She was stake RS president for much of her coursework. She also did not have a commute like mine (70 miles round-trip: an hour and a half per leg if I take the train, half an hour to an hour and a half each way if I drive).

If/when I go back to school, I want to have the surname I have now, or one even closer to the beginning of the alphabet, so that when I am ostensibly returning to my seat after crossing the stage, I can veer off toward an exit and go jump in a vat of dark chocolate.

My friend Kristen linked to this article. I had noticed it on Meridian but had not made the time to read it. I have been guilty, in the dim dark past, of envying my sister the fact that her husband held one job his entire adult life. He came out of the Air Force, earned his degree, and worked until he retired. She corrected me once, gently and lovingly and firmly. They may not have had the financial challenges which the girls and I have endured, but they have had their own struggles and soul-stretching experiences. My sister truly is one of my heroes. I am amazed, and thankful, that Heaven saw fit to place me in this family, with parents of sterling character and a sibling not one whit behind them in terms of integrity.

Oh, how I wish my children felt about each other the way I feel about my sister.

Ahem. Pecan chicken. It’s not bad. Thus far, it’s my favorite Lean Cuisine. The meatloaf and whipped potatoes is better-than-OK, but naturally there are not enough taters for this Idaho girl.

Read the first Lord John book, perhaps the reading equivalent of that inferior Alfredo I ate the other day: simultaneously bland and spicy. I never got to a point where I cared about any of the characters. Some of the language was truly obnoxious. Quite forgettable, as far as I am concerned, and I took it and the other two volumes to the library on my way to the health club yesterday morning.

But there is good news in the financial department. I came home to an envelope from a financial company whose name was unfamiliar. Before just recycling the envelope and shredding the contents, I read the letter. It was from the company that manages my 401K from the movie theatre where I worked when I was getting my AAS in interpreting for the deaf. I have a 401K from the movie theatre? It has a balance? Really?

Really. And now I have online access to it. I may transfer the balance to another account when I hit 59.5, or I may just leave it where it is.

I also have access to my company credit union now, so I no longer need to wait for the quarterly statements to update my “get out of debt” spreadsheet. And I can barely keep my eyes open, so I am going to do my impersonation of a rational adult, shut down the computer, and go to bed.

Monday, May 17, 2010

To Monetize, or Not to Monetize...

That is the question. Amazon has been dangling an offer to link to them, and if you order the books I’ve been reading, then they pay me something. Similar options are available for other businesses I patronize. Sometimes I am tempted, most days I am not.

I grew up out West. I come from ruggedly independent stock. The fact that I joined the Church when I was a young adult and have stayed with it for 30+ years, still occasionally surprises me. The fact that I have borne and reared five children, and not left one or all behind somewhere, astounds me. [I’m not talking about that time in the elevator in a skyscraper in downtown Dallas; I’m talking about the urge to flee which came over me from time to time, when I was overwhelmed at the enormity of what I had undertaken.]

When I was attending the Friends Church as a teenager in Boise, and they had a revival, I resisted the urge to walk up front and make a commitment. When the children’s father [briefly] joined the John Birch Society, I did not. I have been a short-term member of the Dallas Handweavers and Spinners Guild; the Quilters Guild of Dallas (twice); the Poets Association of North Texas, and my voter registration card thinks I’m a Republican.

I have also been married, and divorced, twice. Though I really, truly tried to stay joined, that second time.

More money, honestly gained, is a pleasant option. If I went with AdSense, you would see lots of knitting books in my sidebar. If I went with the Affiliates program, you would have a pretty good idea where to find me on the days I have disposable income.

And still, I resist. This blog is, in many respects, my journal. I think of my paper journals lined up on the shelf, and I cannot imagine them with advertising in the margins. [Though if they had it, it would be for Deseret Book or the local LDS bookstore (or the bishops’ storehouse, where you can’t buy anything, anyway).]

And partly, it is for the same reason that nobody posts a comment here without my consent. What if they recommended a knitting book that I loathed? What if an ad for Planned Parenthood slipped in? I am frequently amused at the ads that appear in my sidebar on Facebook; some of them are right on target, and some of them irritate the fire out of me.

And then there is the responsibility which I have, because of my calling, to emulate Caesar’s wife and be above reproach. Until they start publishing ads that say "keep the law of chastity; pay your tithing; be kind; get out of debt; plant a garden; keep a journal, etc.", I have no guarantee that what would appear here would not only be inoffensive, but would edify.

In other news, I have opted not to renew my subscription to RealSimple. I like the magazine, overall; I just don’t have time for it at the moment, and that makes one less thing to recycle each month. I have also unsubscribed from their email newsletter. Right now, I am not in the mood to cook, so their typically excellent recipes are wasted on me. And I don’t know that I will ever be able to justify paying what they think is a moderate price for an article of clothing. I look at those prices and think, “Oh, really? People actually pay that? Not in my world.”

In this I am very much like my father, who believed you should never have to pay more than $3.50 for a decent steak. (Because he grew up on a farm, where they raised corn and a few head of beef cattle. I can remember one of my cousins lifting a calf up to the car window so I could pet it, when I was a little girl.)

Last night, I spent a little while working on what I laughingly call my budget. Updated my Excel spreadsheet to reflect all the bills I will pay on Friday. It is getting progressively easier to stick to my budget. Working out each day makes it easier to just-say-no to that double-chocolate muffin, which helps both my budget and my waistline.

Because I am only buying food for one, I can afford better quality than I could when the girls were little. I love having apples and carrots and clementines in the fridge, bread in the freezer, strawberries and bananas on my cereal in the morning. I am eating more fruit and drinking less fruit juice.

I do need to increase my veggie intake; time to hit the freezer case for more veggie steamers, and next Saturday I will want to hit Town Talk for more cheese. I find that I like the Smuckers Natural PB with Honey much better than just the plain PB, and it saves a step. I keep a jar in the fridge at work, and sometimes here at home as well, though at home I would rather just eat Nutella.

My informal review of the Lean Cuisine fettuccine alfredo? It’s OK. I don’t like mine peppery, and this was. I suppose they do that because it is reduced fat. I had it for lunch after church yesterday (went home early again because of the fumes) and had the Easy Mac alfredo for dinner, as a taste comparison. Verdict? I like the flavor of the Easy Mac better, but the texture of the sauce and noodles better in the Lean Cuisine. Maybe the solution is to cook up one of each, stir them together, and divide the results in half.

Just for grins, I checked out the doll websites. I do not like any of the ones Soom has put on the marketplace this year (good thing for my budget, no?). I still like the DoB "Libra"; I think I like her even better than Arie, because her face reminds me of Middlest’s when she was tiny. That will be a next-year purchase, possibly when I get my bonus in April, more likely as a treat to celebrate being out of debt next September. But for now? not even tempted.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Lazy Sunday Links

Yesterday was lovely, once I recovered from the shock of waking up because my CPAP stopped due to the power going off. I had a good workout; breakfast with my best friend, who brought me the third and final book in the Henry and Eleanor series; a dozen or so phone calls for church; a quick nap; and off to the temple with two of my friends. [And a bunch more from our ward and the stake leadership.] That quick nap enabled me to stay awake through a session with virtually no difficulty. Since the friend with kids had everything taken care of at home, I took the three of us to Smashburger, where we split an order of Smashfries (much pleasure, minimal calories, zero guilt), and then I took them home.

There is not much happening here, other than the pigs in blankets which are nearly done, so I will share more links with you: brilliant, simply brilliant; and chastening (that which inspires me to continued chastity); being provident, one bite at a time. There was another link, something that I found comforting, but I botched the cut-and-paste, and I couldn’t “undo” my way back to it, so you are on your own to find something inspired to read which comforts you.

I have read neither of the following. Have you?
The Life of Pi, by Yann Martel
A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue, by Wendy Shalit (is she any relation to Gene Shalit?)

The light pouring in through the window at the top of my door is so luscious, I could just drink it.



What came into my mind as I looked at the three images I snapped, was a phrase from one of the hymn arrangements we are practicing in choir: “...To show Thy love by morning light...”

May you all have a blessed and peaceful Sabbath.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Quick Post

Please read this one all the way through to the end. [Grab your Puffs, first.] He captures some of my frustrations about Mother’s Day as an institution. He also captures some of what it feels like to be a mother, at least for me.

The only dream I had, as a little girl, was to be a mommy. Which I most definitely am. So I have not given up any of my dreams, in order to become one. I gave up my figure, my time, my sleep, my privacy, and other supposed necessities, in order to have these experiences. And I am so thankful!

The great gaping chunks of sanity that I have yielded up at one time or another, are less from dealing with the children (though there were moments!) than from dealing with their father, and with my own shortcomings. Probably, mostly, the latter.

This is an article which explains spiritual cause and effect more clearly than many I have read.

One more thing for me to feel guilty about. But it’s an excellent article.

I woke up about 6:00 this morning when the power failed, and my CPAP shut off. So I Brailled my way to the bathroom, where I retrieved my swimsuit, towel, soccer slides, reading material, hand towel, lock and key, club pass, Nystatin, shower puff, and shower cap. Then I Brailled some more and put on my exercise clothing and my shoes. Then I grabbed my phone, my planner, and my keys. Last, I grabbed the list of people I needed to call for an event that some of the ward members will be attending this afternoon.

I worked out (no swimming today), including the circuit equivalent of the bunny slopes. Met BestFriend at Ol’ South for breakfast, where I undid a week’s worth of discipline by having the eggs Benedict. Then we went to the Amon Carter Museum to soak up a little culture.

I came home to a properly cooled house, unspoiled milk, and internet. And I have time for a quick nap before the Next Thing on the List. The lights are on, and I am home!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Every so often, it’s good to be reminded...

... where I came from and how far I’ve come. Specifically, how many years I have spent answering the phones in one office or another, and how much I enjoy being a secretary, with freedom to move around the office without the need to radio for backup if nature calls.

Love it, love it, love it. Spent an hour or so at switchboard, fielding calls, pulling the incoming faxes, rejoicing in the fact that (now that I am capable of generating masses of virtual paperwork all on my own, or at my attorney’s request) I know the difference between an affidavit and a subpoena (have known that for years and years, actually), between Requests for Production and Requests for Admissions, between something that needs to be handed over, STAT!, and something that can wait until tomorrow. [I also know the difference between my ear and my elbow, just in case any of you were wondering.]

When I take a call at 4:49 from opposing counsel, particularly the officious ones (thankfully, there are few of them; we practice civil law, after all, and most of them are, well, civil), I am sometimes tempted to say, “You know, nobody wants to talk to you. Please hang up and try your call again. Preferably after switchboard is shut down for the day.”

I look forward to the day when snarky thoughts like that do not even enter my mind. I think I will have been dead for a very long time before that happens. I do not think I will be instantly angelic once I cross that line between quick and dead. I think I will still be feisty. I hope I will. Just increasingly less snarky. Less snarky = ambling towards angelic, right? Right?

I actually enjoyed my most recent stint at switchboard. I told one of my fellow secretaries (!!!) as she scooted out the door, “You know, I can smile like this and mean it, because I don’t have to do this again tomorrow.”

I was also grinning because my desk was clear, there was nothing in my virtual inbox or outbox, and I could start the draft of this post between calls. (One of the very few things that I miss about working the front desk; on the other hand, I stay so busy doing all this new stuff that I rarely have that horrible “can I just chew off a paw and get out of here?” feeling.)

I have officially gone over to the dark side. I brought home half a dozen Lean Cuisines from the freezer case. Right now I am eating a modest portion of pot roast with veggies, some of which I don’t remember Mom roasting with hers. I am getting strings in my teeth from the celery, and I am remembering why I don’t like celery. The flavor is fine; the inadvertent and semi-painful flossing is not. And green beans should be served alongside pot roast, not mixed in. It’s also saltier than I would like. But the meat is flavorful and reasonably tender, and the potatoes, onions and carrots are perfect. In about four more bites I will have the pleasure of mopping up the last of the gravy with a slice of whole grain bread.

So, overall? not bad. I’m putting it on the definite-maybe side of the balance sheet. And I’m going to have one perfectly ripe Roma tomato for dessert.

Tomorrow is going to be really cool. And not only because we are likely to have rain overnight. Tomorrow is a swim day, and tomorrow night I get to go to a party for one of my friends who just earned her masters in social work. There will be hula dancers, and if rain does not force us to the alternate location, a fire juggler?!

Could my life possibly get any better?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

What’s wrong with this picture?

[Other than it’s blurry.]



Yeah, I know. The top one was in my purse; this would be the tube I picked up yesterday morning before work. The shorter one was in my knitting bag; the same knitting bag that I frisked repeatedly before calling the pharmacy.

And there it was, beaming up at me when I put my knitting bag up in my cubby this morning. It’s about time for the annual eye exam. This would seem to be evidence that one is warranted.

We had a really tasty Cinco de Mayo celebration at work. Home cooking from several of my coworkers, perfectly seasoned and no exploding ankle as a souvenir, woohoo! I ate moderately, enjoyed myself because I hid out at my best friend’s desk instead of in the large conference room with most of the office, and was comfortable all afternoon, with no cravings, just a bit of drowsiness from all those lovely carbs.

I have another confession to make. EvinrudeЯNotUs. I still crack up when I think about it. Since I tackled half of Mount Washmore on Tuesday evening, and since my yoga pants were still damp-ish, I decided to make a virtue of necessity and spend my entire workout in the pool. (Yeah, broke my heart!) I grabbed a kickboard, pushed off, puttered forward about fifteen feet before sputtering out. I knew it was time to stop when all my kicking was pushing me backward.

And here I thought that I was only a socially backward child.

So I put the kickboard on the lip of the pool and started jogging toward the other end. Somebody faster than I had grabbed “my” lane. The nerve. I had to duck my head under the rope between lanes. Did I mention that I don’t like getting my face wet? Or water in my ears? I also don’t like getting halfway down the lane and realizing that the pool not only slopes downward from the head (girls’ end, naturellement) to the foot (boys’ end), but from side to side. Just enough to induce mild anxiety at the 4’ level and volte-face at the 4’6” level.

So I dipped under the second rope and had the third lane all to myself, along with something to grab onto if I got the willies again. And I walked/jogged half a mile.

I keep adding to the list of things I want/need to buy next payday: earplugs, swim cap, and another pair of soccer slides, the kind with nubbly pegs up against one’s feet, rather than the cushy padding that soaks up water like crazy and doesn’t want to let go of it. The kind that I have now, which are drying out in the Betty Ford Center which is my bathroom.

I need to take the deadbolt apart and jiggle it about. I learned how to do that when we had the house in Irving. At the moment, there’s a 50/50 chance that I will have to struggle to lock the house when I leave. And a considerably greater chance that I will have to struggle to unlock it when I get home. Hence my Facebook status of a few days ago, re: Schlage’s Hypothesis, which is that the likelihood of one’s key sticking in the lock is directly proportional to one’s need to use the loo.

I’m in and out at least twice a day. This is getting old...

I fixed it. I think this calls for a celebratory load of laundry, now that I know I can get out and get in again.

And an ice cream cone as a chaser.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Yard and a Half of Scarf, and Other News

The scarf which is probably going to be a door prize for my 40th high school reunion, is cabling rapidly toward completion.

I found out how long the pool is: 125 meters. Thirty-two laps (64 lengths) = one mile. Today I walked/jogged a quarter of a mile in the water, plus the usual routine on dry land. And I found out where they hide the kickboards. I am *so* grabbing one next time I hit the pool, and while there will be walking/jogging, ballet extensions, and a modicum of water aerobics, there will also be Ms. Ravelled doing her version of an Evinrude.

Last time I played with a kickboard, I was spectacularly pregnant with Firstborn, and we were visiting my folks, who had a membership at the Y in Boise. Mom had recently learned to swim, so she did laps to build endurance and self-confidence. I puttered along in the next lane over, making motorboat noises until she laughed so hard she had to stop for a minute.

I may wait to make Evinrude noises until I can complete several laps using the kickboard. I have no idea how long that is going to take, but did I tell you that my goal is to be able to swim a mile by my next birthday?

I have completed my course of Diflucan, and my foot looks 75-85% better. It would look even better, had I not lost or mislaid my tube of Nystatin sometime Friday. I have torn the couch apart, checked the car and the trunk, checked my cubbies at work, with no success. So this morning I called the pharmacy and picked up a refill on my way to work. I called my doctor’s office to see if I needed another round of Diflucan, but her nurse called back to say that it will keep on working, and that they only prescribe it for short periods because it can be very hard on the liver.

I am extremely attached to my liver, and having had hepatitis 31 years ago, I have no wish to do anything that will annoy said vital organ.

I spent almost two hours at the health club before breakfast, and it went by just like that. Had a great chat while in the pool with another woman who resumed swimming last fall and now can swim as long and as far as she pleases, time permitting. Most encouraging.

There is a small salmon steak in the fridge with my name on it. I'm going to eat a quick bite and then take a jog around Mount Washmore.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Revelation comes at the darnedest times.

I was sitting in one of my early meetings yesterday, and we were discussing how our ward is growing (which is good), but the people who are coming in, do not have transportation (which is bad), and the church handbook specifically forbids a ward to acquire a vehicle, such as a bus, to transport people to church like our good cousins the Baptists do (which calls for ingenuity).

We had a move on Saturday, and this is the first elders quorum I’ve known in a long time in which at least two members of the elders quorum presidency do not own pickup trucks. We are an inner-city ward, and there might be three pickup trucks in the entire congregation, or in the part which comes to church.

So I was sitting there, listening to the brethren discuss how to pick up several families who truly want to come to church, but don’t have a car or live on the bus line, and what came into my head was, “I think my next car is supposed to be a mini-van.”

I’ll wait for my children to pick themselves up off the floor. Obviously, this will have to wait until Lorelai is paid for, and it presumes that she would still be running. I have no wish to run all over greater Dallas/FW in a mini-van.

That car would sit in the driveway six days a week, unless I were ferrying singles to activities. Perhaps the reason I have been given this promotion and raise is not so much to take care of myself, but so I will have the means to lengthen my stride (as President Kimball used to exhort us) and help out people who are as stuck and helpless as I used to feel.

I pulled up Carmax and priced mini-vans that are 2005 and newer. [I felt somewhat better after I arranged them by price, and not by year of manufacture.] Then I went to my Excel spreadsheet and calculated that Lorelai should be paid off in late February. At my current rate, the line of credit should be paid off in late September, and all that money can start flowing into savings for the first time in nine years.

I went to Firstborn’s for part of the evening and had a lovely time watching Jack Sparrow and Will and Elizabeth. Took the scenic route, by way of the old, bad apartment and yes indeed, there is a 6’ chain link fence all the way around it. There is also a security guard who came up to inquire what I was doing there. I told him I used to live there and asked if it had been condemned; he said it hadn’t. I said that it should be, and he said that it wasn’t his decision, that it is all up in the air. Some people want to buy it, and some people want to tear it down.

This may be the only time you catch me agreeing with Gaston: kill the beast!

@ Murr: the abbreviated version of my M-day rant is this. [In modern English: your dad was right.]

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Oh dear!

Tola has very kindly warned me about the Outlander books. So the Lord John books may be heading back to the library in very short order.

As the old Scots granny with the ear trumpet said to the child who received a toy trumpet for Christmas, “One toot an’ yer oot!”

And as I used to say when the kids were little and somebody recommended a movie that had elements I knew I didn’t need to see, “If I want to see sex, I’ll go watch the chickens. If I want to see violence, I’ll go watch the kids play (when they think I’m not looking).”

In other news, my good friend Leslye tells me that the penultimate apartments [the ones where Firstborn and 1BDH used to live, which at the time were safer than where I was living, and as he said, “It’s better to live in the worst part of a good neighborhood than the best part of a bad one.”] now have “a 6 foot chain link fence surrounding the entire complex, and it appears to be totally empty! Crime statistics in the neighborhood will improve, I’m sure.”

This is the place that got filled with the worst element of the Katrina refugees, where we had Mardi Gras going on 24/7 upstairs and F-bombs dropping off the balcony and through my bedroom window at 2:00a.m. and men looking at LittleBit as if she were dessert. And where the maintenance problems became so bad that Code Enforcement gave the place a score in the negative triple-digits.

Lovely old apartment, beautifully designed, great neighborhood, walk-in closets to die for and plenty of storage throughout. I hope they raze it to the ground and put in an assisted living facility.

I find it astounding that on Fairyland (Facebook game that I’m getting fed-up with) I am on level 17 and “Highly Skilled”. I’m not sure if that means skilled at keeping virtual plants alive, or skilled at luring useful critters to my garden for others to find while being unable to find more than mice and mallards elsewhere.

My children will be happy to tell you about my real-life gardening skills, or lack thereof. [You will note that there has been no mention, this year, of happy plans for tomatoes in the back yard. And the two planters I bought last spring are still sunny-side-down next to the sidewalk in the front yard. Maybe I should just rename them Cadillac Eggs?]

Happy Mothers Day to everybody here in the U.S. I will refrain from my usual M-Day rant. I love my girls and am proud to be their mother; they are a lively and diverse bunch, and I haven’t been bored in decades! And I love my grandchildren [the reward for not pinching off the heads of my teenagers].

I think I am officially caught up on sleep. Took a nap at 5:00, woke up around midnight, up for two hours or so, and back down until 6:30. I should have no difficulty staying awake in my meetings today.

My right foot wishes that this were not the Sabbath, because it would like to spend another hour in the pool. That did me a world of good, and I will definitely make it part of the routine tomorrow morning, if for a shorter time.

The slice of ham on a mini-croissant was every bit as good as I’d hoped. I just ate it for breakfast and will now have a banana and some carrot sticks for dessert. Will try to remember to take a Nutella sandwich to wolf down between the morning meetings and church proper. Five or six very small meals seem to be what my body would like, these days. I’m doing a pretty good job with fruits, etc., but I think I need to eat more green vegetables as well.

The goal is not to lose 500 lbs, but to reach a point where I have greater mobility and stamina, while retaining enough fat reserves for good mental health. I do not like the person I am when I am skinny; I become cranky and competitive and Not Much Fun. Plus, I want a little cushion in case of famine (I am not joking). I lost 21 lbs in three weeks, back when the children’s father was in school, and thankfully I had it to lose.

Just as people who lived through the Great Depression came through either tightfisted or openhanded, those of us who have starved, acquire some sort of food issues, and mine consists in part of not ever wanting to be as slim as I was in my 20’s, even though it was a healthy, curvaceous slimness. Safety, for me, means carrying some of my years-supply with me, everywhere I go.

If I get within five pounds of where I was fifteen years ago, I think that will be slim enough to be healthy and plump enough to be happy. And enough of a weight loss that my two oldest will stop worrying about me.

Time to make like Ladybird and start beautifyin’.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Caesar salad for breakfast?

Doesn’t everybody? I went to the health club around 6:30 this morning, armed with my swimsuit, soccer slides, multiple towels, water bottle, yoga mat, book to read, sports bag, and the stuff that keeps me legal while driving.

Twenty minutes on the treadmill, twenty-five minutes on the recumbent bike, then into my suit and slides for fun in the water, well over 45 minutes’ worth. There was only one other swimmer most of the time I was there, and two guys sitting in the spa, so I was able to do as I pleased. A little jogging, a bit of water aerobics that I remembered from rehabbing that broken leg, basic ballet extensions, and back into the shower for Ms. Ravelled to try the club's shampoo and body wash. They have a machine that you can stick your swimsuit into, and it will spin out the excess water! How much do you want to bet that somebody’s mommy thought that one up?

And the pizza de resistance? I weighed myself after I was dressed, and I have lost 3.5 lbs since last Saturday. I celebrated by a trip to Wally World to get more strawberries, a chicken Caesar salad, bananas, etc. They didn’t have the clementines that I like, so I drove on to Tom Thumb and picked up 4# of baby carrots for $4!!! Plus the clementines and a package of mini croissants from the bakery. I am going to freeze them, then slice them while frozen and make tiny sandwiches to take to work. If I do that every other day or so, and have them with soup, that package of 14 will last me almost a month. Longer, if I only take them to work.

Then I went to the library and picked up three novels by Diana Gabaldon. I wanted the first one in her famous series (Outlander?), but it was checked out. So I have three of her “Lord John” novels. I have heard high praise for the Outlander series, but I do not know if the people who have praised it, have literary standards similar to my own.

I’ll get back to y’all with a book review, on down the road. So what am I going to do for the rest of the day? Read the lesson for RS and immerse myself in the scriptures. [I have sorely missed my weekly temple time, the past two weeks.] Possibly go to the singles’ picnic later today; probably not. There is the matter of that second half of Mount Washmore. And while I got nigh unto eight hours of sleep last night, more or less unbroken, I would not be averse to a nap after awhile.

And you know there will be knitting. But right now there are strawberries that are calling my name, and I think I will roast half of the carrots with a splash of juice, fennel seed, and a touch of freshly grated nutmeg. This was a 200-calorie salad, not one of those obscenely caloric ones from a restaurant. And it's the first thing I have eaten since 4:00a.m. Maybe I’ll grab that last apple [drat! I forgot to buy apples!] and wave it over the Nutella jar.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Adventures in Ravelledry

Yesterday I remarked brightly to Heaven something like unto, “I can’t wait to see what sort of adventures I have today.”

It was a really good day: I stayed busy from log-on to log-off, only taking one of my breaks, and I felt very productive. At one point I had taken some freshly-erased tapes back to my attorney’s area and was heading for my desk, past the data clerk’s desk, feeling a little peckish as I hadn’t brought a proper lunch and had just snacked on healthy-ish things throughout the day. So I stopped, whirled around to hit her candy jar, and found myself nose to nose with one of the attorneys, who was following closely and silently behind.

We both went, “Oh!” and stood there giggling helplessly.

So, we have established that I can turn on a dime, and that she has good brakes, and that neither of us is likely to shriek when startled. Thankfully, it wasn’t one of the guys.

Feeling a little creaky this morning, no doubt because of the ill-considered foraging I did yesterday. Three bags of baked snacks and a package of whole grain and cheese crackers and two clementines, after a sane and healthy breakfast of nugget cereal and half a carton of strawberries, is too much sodium for Ms. Ravelled. Follow that up with easy-mac for dinner and that same container half-filled with turkey chili for a second course, and you get an ankle that is protesting. And knees that feel like they did before I started working out.

Today’s lunch is in the fridge and ready to grab: the other half of the strawberries, a couple of clementines, bread for a PB&H sandwich, a carton of yogurt, milk for my cereal (which is in my cubby at work). And I am fixin’ to enjoy a whisper of Nutella on whole grain bread.

Am nearly to the end of this ball of yarn, but I’m not sure I’ll have time to wind another ball before I leave for work. Driving in today, as we are getting off an hour early to celebrate Mother’s Day; I want to hit Academy on the way home, to pick up my soccer slides. I still haven’t added resistance training to my workout, but I think if I alternate days with time in the pool I will have a nice balance and rhythm.

Probably no yoga tomorrow morning. Just sayin’. Although the mat is rolled up on the fallow side of my bed, taunting me.

Time to make like a cowpie and hit the road...

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Nystatin, Diflucan and Tinactin

Sounds like a medieval law firm. I have been reading perhaps a little too much Sharon Kay Penman. I have also been anointing my foot with Nystatin since what, late January? with varying degrees of success. Yesterday my wonderful doctor looked at my poor foot and announced that we were calling in the big guns, and I should be done with this, this time next week.

Diflucan is a pale pink curvaceous quadrilateral of doom. It tastes awful, roughly in the same league as a penicillin tablet, and I’m hoping that the fungus will find it equally distasteful and emulate Elvis by leaving the building.

Very little knitting got done yesterday, most of it in the waiting room and examining room at my doctor’s office. I came home by way of the pharmacy, picking up my medieval gentlemen, then drank about a pint of water and went right to bed.

And woke up six hours later, so I must have needed the sleep.

I had hoped to be able to surprise my doctor with a ten-pound weight loss when I go for my well-woman in July. Since I am not dieting, simply exercising gently six days a week and incorporating more fruits and veggies into my diet, any weight I lose will come off as gradually and imperceptibly as it went on. I was the one who was surprised: seven pounds since I had that weird arm twinge in January.

She was elated to hear that I have kept my promise to myself that I would join the health club as soon as funds permitted. And she agrees that time in the pool will be very good for my cranky foot, but says that soccer slides will be sufficient to protect the swimming public between pool and shower. So, more shopping for Ms. Ravelled this weekend.

I know: heartbreaking! And it looks as if I am becoming NikeGirl in my dotage. Men’s Nike Benassi Swoosh Soccer Slides = $14.99; Women’s Adidas Trovao Soccer Slides = $24.99. That $10.00 difference is almost half a skein of hand-painted sock yarn, people! Or three Cabana Bowls!

So now it’s 1:00am, and I’ve been up for three hours, and I’m vaguely hungry (not having eaten for twelve hours), and in three hours the alarm will go off so I can get up and go to the gym. Cinnamon toast washed down with milk, it is!

Middle age? not for sissies.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

If thy foot offend thee...

In what I thought was a scathingly brilliant moment, I left a message for my doctor’s nurse, about my foot. Would taking it to the pool at my health club help it to get well faster? And would mummifying it in a swim shoe keep the other swimmers safe from the fungus-amongus?

Shortly after I returned to my desk from lunch, my phone rang.

“Doctor wants to see that foot. Can you be here at 2:00 tomorrow?” I checked my attorneys’ calendars for this afternoon. They will all be safely out of pocket. Sure, why not.

So I will be exiting, stage left, a little before I would normally take my lunch. It will be interesting to hear what she has to say about the state of my foot. Maybe it’s not athlete’s foot. Maybe it’s psoriasis, or leprosy, or hoof and mouth, or termites! Maybe the cure involves getting a chair massage every other Friday while Sean Connery feeds me raspberries and dark chocolate.

(A girl can hope.)

I am loving the new book. For a tome on archaeology, it is remarkably un-tome-ish. [There's no place like tome, Dorothy. All roads lead to Tome. Tome, tome, I’m deranged? In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a stately pleasure tome decree...]

So I went to bed at a sensible hour last night and woke up at 3:00. My alarm, the one I set so that I can get up and go to the gym, goes off in 15 minutes. I have drunk something like a quart of water since I woke up (the natural result of having eaten at Taco Cabana last night, to celebrate that it was wildly remodeled and not simply closed down).

We had fog yesterday. When I went out to the health club, for the first half of the drive you couldn’t see your hand behind your back, as Mom would have said. Trainman drove through more of it from his house until he got to Fort Worth proper, and by the time he got to the parking lot at the station, it was gone. (The fog, not the station.) It was patchy along the rails on the ride into work.

This has certainly been the spring for weird weather. Crazy-breezy last Sunday; the trees spent much of the day dancing in the wind, and I wanted to dance with them. Normally by the first of May I have been running the AC for a month. Not, thankfully, this year.

Time to put on my big girl yoga pants and my sneaks and get ready to head out the door. I suspect this day is going to be filled with adventure and surprises.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Tuesday already?

Yesterday went well. With enormous pleasure, one of my first duties when I got to my desk was to change my signature on Outlook to read Ms. Ravelled, Legal Secretary to Attorney A.

I tackled half of Mount Washmore last night and will probably finish the rest of it tonight.

Finished reading Time and Chance before going to bed. I’ll update the sidebar later. I am now reading Women’s Work, which is a social history of women and needlework through the ages. I inhaled the first 39 pages while on the recumbent bike this morning.

Am approaching the halfway mark on the current lace scarf/stole. This is the one which will probably be a door prize at my high school reunion.

Speaking of which, I have requested time off for then, and also for a cruise sometime this year. Not sure that I will go to either, but this is the first step. Of the two, the reunion is more important to me.

I am clean and foofed and ready to head out the door. So I will. Have a great day, everybody! I will probably not be at Knit Night [see Mount Washmore, above].

Monday, May 03, 2010

Angels Above Us Are Silent Notes Taking

And some of them may have blanket duty.

I came home early from church, due to lingering fumes from the refinishing of the floor of our cultural hall (gym). Took a nap around 4:00, wondering if I would wake in time to go to the break-the-fast for the singles. Negatory!

I did wake up, covered up, when I specifically remember not covering myself as I lay down. I don’t think I’m smart enough to pull the covers over myself when I’m asleep.

For some reason this reminds me of Gideon and the fleece. If the ground is dry and the fleece is wet, that’s a sign. If the ground is wet and the fleece is dry, that’s another sign. I am almost tempted to neatly fold my blanket and put it on the far corner of the bed. Because I know darn good and well that I am not smart enough, or coordinated enough, to unfold a blanket in my sleep and tuck myself in. On the other hand, I also know what kind of generation it is that seeketh after a sign, so probably had better not.

I read this on Candleman’s blog. Having been poor [by U.S. standards] for much of my adult life, I feel qualified to give him a hearty “amen”.

If I had not struggled so hard, for so long, I would not appreciate where I am right now. I am still in debt, but on paper I am in the black, and this time next year I will be standing on third base, hoping the pitcher is not paying attention, and getting ready to steal home.

There will be a party, even if it’s just the kids and me. I’m thinking of a cake decorated to look like a dollar bill, or a loan contract, with the words PAID IN FULL written across it, or the big red circle with the line through it. We can have those chocolate Mardi Gras coins, too.

And then I will celebrate by sitting on the floor and putting my left foot behind my head. Or not.

I had to laugh at church yesterday. I was standing in the hall after welfare meeting, bringing my friend Todd up to date on the state of the non-union, telling him that I knew somebody appropriate would turn up in Heaven’s own time, when he grinned and said, “I think you should turn loose your inner cougar.”

I’m thinking that’s another “no.” But if Bishop gives me the same counsel, I’m going to be officially worried...

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Saturday

When viewed in Martha-mode, yesterday was pretty much a washout. When viewed in Mary-mode, it was wonderful and relaxing, and the most important bits got done. The most important bits include caring for this middle-aged body in a loving and respectful way and finding out [to paraphrase Joseph Smith to his mother, on another topic] that yoga (for me, for now) is not true, getting my nails done, and spending time with my best friend.

I came home and took a nap. One of those naps that began at approximately dinnertime and ended six hours later, which means that it is currently just after midnight, and I am hungry, and I don’t know whether I should have a bowl of cereal or a bowl of mac and cheese. Considering that I did not have my full complement of fruit and veggies yesterday, I am inclined toward the latter, heavily supplemented with carrot sticks and an apple. Maybe, just maybe, cracking open a jar of Nutella and dredging my apple slices through it.

I am not craving chocolate as much as I used to. Maybe all the new veggieness and fruitiness is satisfying needs that I didn’t know I had?

I found this article on Meridian on Friday. I will put up a link on Facebook, but this is for the rest of you. It’s about taking charge of one’s college education, and since two of my children are in the throes of completing their degrees, and I am toying with the idea of completing mine at some nebulous future date, I thought it both appropriate and encouraging. By the way, for those of you who are LDS, doesn’t the writer look just like his wonderful dad?

And then I guess I will knit until I am sleepy again...

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Ms. Ravelled Gets Tied Up in Knots!

So, I went to the health club about two hours later than during my workweek. I was afraid that everybody and his dog would have snagged all the good parking spaces, but apparently everybody else was sleeping in. I did, too, but only from 4:00, which is the new normal until I get my routine under control, until about 5:15, and then I noodled around with my knitting for awhile and watered my plants on Fairyland and tried to find a water dragon in somebody else’s garden. They are allegedly common, and they are popping up in my own garden like mushrooms after the rain, but can I spot one in other gardens? N-o-o-o-o-o!

Where was I? Oh. Right. Health club. So I did my 20 minutes on the treadmill, 3% grade, 2.5mph, about an apple and a half’s worth of calories. And half an hour on the recumbent bike, with my nose in my book. And then I wandered over to the classroom, to see what classes are currently being offered.

Yoga. Starting in about half an hour, just enough time to run home and get my mat. So I did.

I like her. Nice calm voice, huge classroom, and she warned us that it was too cold in there for yoga and to please be extra careful. So I was. Mostly I sat with my feet sole-to-sole, mentally bickering with my knees to please get closer to the floor, how hard can that be?

I can do Cow. I can sortof do Cat. My knees do not like all the hands-and-knees asanas, I cannot touch my toes, I cannot touch my ankles unless I am sitting with my feet sole-to-sole. I was listening to my body, and my body was saying, “We are not ready for yoga. We want to go home, but first we need to pee. And oh, by the way, we want to take belly dancing again. We want to move. And your yoga pants are about to fall off.”

There is one series of moves that she taught which, if my arms were strong enough to support myself while running through them, and if I did them in that order, would have me screaming Sean Connery’s name after about five repeats. Which would be seriously embarrassing for me and utterly disrupt the tranquility of the class. So, no.

And Downward Facing Dog? I posted on Facebook that mine just wanted to turn around three times and lie down. But really, I think mine would prefer to be quietly euthanized. With a headstone shaped like a Milkbone, but made of dark chocolate.

I came home and logged on and found the website of the local belly dancing studio. They are finally, finally offering more than one beginner’s class. I am hoping that there is enough wiggle room in the budget next Friday [wiggle room; I slay myself!] that I can sign up for a month’s worth of classes.

Time to get cleaned up and go out and run some errands. Including a manicure, and the scaling of Mount Washmore, and I am craving vegetables, more particularly a salad. I am in full-on “my body is a temple” mode. Although if it starts telling me that it’s craving broccoli, I am going to tell it to hush.