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!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

So, the Rangers won.

I debated putting an exclamation point in the subject line, but I figured it would only freak out my kids. [Mom? getting excited about a sport?] What that win means, in my world, is that there will have to be at least a fifth game, so I will have a short day tomorrow. Traffic was crazy enough during the playoffs. I don’t even want to think what the roads are like in Arlington during these three days of the World Series.

I picked up Fourthborn early enough yesterday that we missed that traffic entirely, and LittleBit took her home from Secondborn’s party after a brief stop here to pick up Fourthborn’s dolls.

I curled up on the couch with my knitting and got the heel turned on Willow’s first sock. After breakfast, I plan on picking up the stitches for the heel gusset and working on that for awhile. Though I may take a break and re-string my coral necklace

As I predicted last night, a good night’s sleep has washed all the emotional flotsam and jetsam back out to sea. Have a blessed and peaceful Sabbath, everybody!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Mostly Wonderful Day

Slept in until 6:30, puttered a little, went to the gym, ran a couple of errands, got my nails done, picked up Fourthborn, and came to Fort Worth.

We didn’t do much of anything, other than combine forces to find the foot-feed and power cord to the serger I inherited from Mom, which I passed on to Fourthborn several weeks ago. I started at the closet and was working my way back toward the door. She was sorting the stacks on the Chastity Bed, when she said, “This is a foot-feed, what does it go to? It says Bernette.”

I told her she could stop looking. So, that was pretty cool. We celebrated with milk and cookies. She sat on the couch and looked at stuff while I gift-wrapped BittyBit’s birthday present (after Fourthborn had had a chance to read it). We talked. We laughed. We talked some more. She brought me four pairs of shoes that will fit Celeste.

We are both thinking that the cabinet which the new guy helped me with last weekend would be a good place to keep doll stuff. I showed her all the hats I have made (which she couldn’t touch, because she is allergic to wool, cashmere, alpaca, etc.) and the shrug I made for Blessing, which she could handle to her heart’s content.

I have been biting my tongue all week, because tonight was not only our ward’s Trunk or Treat, it was also a surprise birthday party for Secondborn. And I was able to arrange my contributions as a member of the activities committee, so that I could go to the family party instead of the ward party.

On our way to Secondborn’s, we stopped at the bead shop near where Secondborn used to live. Fourthborn liked it every bit as much as I had hoped she would. She also found some resin beads so I can make a corsage for Blessing’s teal sweater.

I am trying to decide if I want to throw on a costume and head to the singles’ Halloween party. On the one hand, I would like to be there, and I kindof need to be there, because the one dim spot in my day is when we went to the nursing home where the children’s father lives, so Fourthborn could see him, and he asked me what it would take for us to get married again. I did not tell him that I am dating somebody. I did tell him that that window of opportunity has already passed.

He said, “I miss you.”

I said, “I miss what we had. When it was good, it was really good.” (And it was.)

I did manage not to cry, not there in his room, not out by the car when Fourthborn held me for a bit, not when we got out of the car at Secondborn’s and I asked for another hug.

What I would like, right now, is to be at the party, and to walk into the new guy’s arms and just boo-hoo in a corner and eat too much chocolate. What I think I am going to do, instead, is to put in a movie and eat a sensible snack and go to bed at a reasonable hour.

Reverting back to the other topic of local excitement: no, nothing famous froze over; I am not taking off early on Monday to go to Game 5. I am taking off early to avoid the traffic on I-30, I-20, 183, and every other major road between Dallas and Fort Worth that even thinks of connecting with something which leads to the Ballpark.

Friday, October 29, 2010

What’s that lurking in the corner?

I do believe it’s my cooking mojo, trying to sneak over the border without a work visa. I ate the last of the baby spinach for lunch yesterday, and I also needed more goodies to go on top of it. So I just shopped by instinct, and I came home with sliced baby bellas, a small bunch of green onions, more goat cheese crumbles, a bell pepper, and even a small bunch of radishes (my children are fainting as we speak; not sure that I ever brought home radishes in all the years they lived at home).

I also had half of a killer sandwich for dinner: two slices of that garlic/jack bread, hummus on one slice and a whisper of mayo on the other and almost the last of the shaved honey ham, in between. I’ll take the other half with my salad today. [Already packed in my insulated lunchbox.)

It’s probably all his fault.

House is cool this morning. I remembered to turn off the window unit in my room last night. I should have turned off the ceiling fan as well. It is probably a fashionable 68°F here in the living room. I was torn between heading to the gym for a workout and warm-up, and staying home to make that sausage/egg/potato breakfast casserole (which would also provide breakfast for the next week or so, more if I froze it in portions and nuked them later).

I have asked to take Monday (or Monday afternoon) off if there is a 5th game in the Series.

Casserole won. Almost time to take it out of the oven. And all the dishes are either washed up, or soaking. I have a very small dish drainer because my counter space is so limited.

I will probably finish the heel flap on Willow’s sock today. On Sunday I plan to measure the head of each elder and then cast on for the first hat. [If we keep switching out elders every six weeks or so, I may be doing this all winter; if so, Firstborn, I’ll take you up on your offer to help out with yarn.]

Breakfast comes out of the oven in ten minutes. Time to sluice off and figure out what I’m going to wear today. If I took my spinning wheel and some roving, I could go as Rumplestiltskin’s princess...

Gold spun, while you wait. Yeah, that might work!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Yet another quick post

Came home and nuked a frozen entrée, put in “Benny & Joon”, and finished the cuff on Willow’s sock. Just finished documenting the pattern, thus far, on Ravelry. I have about half an inch of heel flap done.

Got a call from my friend M. at church; she is the ward librarian. My scripture tote finally showed up in the lost and found, so I dropped everything and dashed over to the chapel. Feeling very thankful, as I wasn’t quite ready to replace my scriptures. I have had this set since early 1992, when we sold our house in Irving for $2,500 cash, to avoid foreclosure.

If we could have held onto that house for another five years and rented it out, it would have been paid for, and we would have had a modest income from it. But when we moved to the Hill Country, we basically took the clothing on our backs and left almost everything else behind us. I did make a couple of trips back to take down things I needed for my craft business.

Ah well, it’s only money.

Tonight is all about pulling my weight (as a member of the activities committee) for Trunk or Treat on Saturday night. I will be back at the chapel tonight, helping with the set-up. The Spanish ward has theirs tomorrow night. We have ours on Saturday night. Half the decorating, twice the fun. I bought my chips and salsa and two bags of candy when I did all that grocery shopping last weekend.

I think this new calling is going to be like a basketful of ironing. A whole lot of unnecessary dread while contemplating it, and a whole lot of satisfaction once I actually get going. Immensely thankful that I am not the nursery leader, because I’m not sure that I could get up off the floor, unassisted, after story time.

Time to grab the gym bag and scoot.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

No time for pictures.

And definitely no time for 1000 words. Left around 10:00 on Monday night after having been wrist-deep in pomegranates. Met or spoke with more of his family.

Happily exhausted yesterday; I started hitting the Cherry Coke at 9:24. Skipped Knit Night. Watched part of Greater Tuna until I got disgusted with the language and pitched the VHS into the trash. Watched Anastasia instead.

Knitted a lot. Am within two pattern repeats of beginning the heel flap on this sock. Have luscious black superwash wool to knit soft hats for the missionaries.

Noodled around on Family Search until I could not keep my eyes open One. Moment. Longer. Re-set the alarm for 6:00. [Have re-set it, again, for tomorrow morning.]

Skipped the gym, but the bag is packed for tonight or tomorrow morning or whenever. Need to sluice off and scoot on out the door.

Most of the office will be wearing Ranger red today. I was mildly tempted to buy a shirt, which I could have worn again on Friday as my costume for Halloween. You know, when we dress up as something we are not? Because we all know that I am not a sports fan.

Happy Wednesday, everybody, regardless of whom you are rooting for [or against].

Monday, October 25, 2010

Thoughts on the Sunday School lesson

Written as I studied it. My scripture tote is still AWOL. If I haven’t found it by next payday, I am getting a large-print quad (Quadruple Combination, containing the King James Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price) and a gurney to lug it around on.

Yesterday’s lesson was from Isaiah, chapters 54-56 and 63-65.

Isaiah 54:6 For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. I know something about being a wife who has been refused. This verse always makes me wince a little, just before it comforts me.

Isaiah 54:13 And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children. My children have all been taught about the Lord and His place in their lives. This verse suggests to me that at some future time the Lord Himself will teach them. So for me, it refers not only to the peace despite tribulation which comes here and now for those who heed the words of the prophets, but the eternal peace and safety which await us if we truly desire it and demonstrate it by our choices.

Isaiah 55:2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. We once had a visitor from the stake high council (whose responsibility is to bring a lesson or message from the stake presidency once a month) who was a man large in both body and spirit. He quoted this verse, to gentle laughter from the congregation. The scriptures testify that we do not live by bread alone ~ and how thankful I am for chocolate! ~ so to me this verse suggests the importance of using my time and energy wisely. Or in the words of the late Neal A. Maxwell, to make sure my ladder is not leaning against the wrong wall, that I am not pursuing the things the world thinks are good, to the exclusion of things that will draw me closer to Heaven.

Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. I think this backs up verse 2. The remainder of the chapter continues in this vein.

Isaiah 56:1-8 All who hearken will be blessed, whether children of the covenant who grow up true and faithful, or converts like my Gram and me. Even those who have been cruelly mutilated by life will have every blessing promised to the righteous, in Heaven’s time.

Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old. Yes, this refers to the children of Israel in the time of Moses. It also is a shining thread in the fabric of my own life.

Isaiah 63:16 Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O Lord, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting. While Heavenly Father is the father of our spirits, the Savior becomes the father of all who strive to become obedient unto the Father’s commandments. This is part of the plan for our eternal happiness, and it predates our coming to this earth.

Isaiah 64 This is the first time that I noticed it was a continuation of Chapter 63, barely pausing for a catch-breath.

Isaiah 65:2 I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts; Something that anyone who has parented a two year old, or a teenager, can relate to.

Isaiah 65:24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear. This one makes me weep with joy. Have you ever had a prayer answered so quickly that the amen was still warm upon your lips?

Much of this lesson describes the peace that will reign during the Millenium. And I believe we can know a good measure of that peace before that blessed day.

Here is a link to a Meridian Magazine commentary on this lesson. From this commentary, I learned that Edom is the Idumea to which the Savior referred; Edom was the traditional enemy of ancient Israel; Bozrah was its capital.

And from my notes in class: shalom means more than peace; it also means happiness, wholeness and well-being. I am guessing it’s the Hebrew equivalent of aloha.

We had another high councilor yesterday. He paraphrased one of the modern prophets in class, and these are my belatedly-scribbled notes on what he/they said: “Peace is the one thing the Adversary cannot emulate, so if we are feeling peaceful, we can know it’s from God.”

We now return you to more mundane, but possibly eternal, topics. When the new guy was bringing me home on Saturday night, we talked about the ten gallons of pomegranates he had harvested from the trees in his back yard before coming over. (It is now up to 15 gallons.) I offered to come over after work tonight and help him seed them, even though he will have the Cowboys on. [Oh, the sacrifices we are willing to make in order to be near a guy we like.] He gave me a definite maybe, contingent on whether he would be able to get the living room vacuumed before I came over.

Last night I got the go-ahead. I am taking a new loaf of bread, a container of hummus, and the bag of petite Gala apples I picked up on Saturday. He is thawing a pan of enchiladas; like me, he only knows how to cook for a small army, so he freezes the extras. So we will eat the United Nations and let the food fight it out inside, as Mark Twain recommended.

In knitting news, I have knitted way past the point where I stopped to frog Willow’s sock this weekend. And I have finally found the pattern the yarn wants to become. You would not think that an inanimate object could have an opinion. You would be wrong. Some of you might chalk it up to fiber preparation, the amount of twist in the singles, how that was reversed when four singles were plied together to make the finished yarn. I never took physics in school. I just know that it will soon be time to work the heel flap, and then the gussets, and on down toward the toe.

Our new elders came up to me between meetings and humbly asked if I might be willing to knit warm hats for them. As a matter of fact, I would. So Willow’s sock may get put on hold for a week or two, once I find the right yarn for the job. Which I will go look for after work today, as I meander over to the new guy’s house so as not to beat him there.

And now I am heading out to the gym so I can make room for those enchiladas tonight. I have the feeling it is going to be a splendid day, Cowboys or no Cowboys.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Two pictures hung, four lightbulbs replaced

All of the recycling out to its bin, and a bag and a half of trash, likewise. Not to mention a bathroom floor that you could [almost] eat off of.

Praise be for men with power tools! I still have no idea where to hang the cabinet, and I was unable to match the shelf peg thingies, so instead of buying four, I had to buy sixteen. We used my drop-leaf table as a workbench, laying the shelves under the cabinet wrong-side up, so that if the drill bit went awry it would strike the underside of a shelf, and not the table.

The sawdust is all wiped up. My tools are back in my toolbox (in which I found a pair of AWOL ladybug earrings).

We got quite a bit of rain yesterday. I got all of my grocery shopping done before it started, but I had to dash out between showers to get the shelf peg thingies at the hardware store.

Dinner at Secondborn’s was everything I could have wished. She is turning into quite the cook, the Bitties were charming and/or entertaining, and conversation flowed [punctuated with bouts of he touched me! or she’s breathing my air!

We stayed for family scripture study and prayer. BittyBit (not quite 6) is reading: out of that tiny mouth came explained, but more than the fact that she can recognize or sound out the words, is the fact that she is beginning to read with expression. And BittyBubba (barely 3) is sounding out short words, some of which he now knows on sight.

I think I’ve mentioned that last weekend I learned of the existence of a fourth petri dish, probably the most elegant of the four of us. I know her slightly; she is good friends with GreyhoundWoman (NintendoMan’s former spouse). The new guy and I were discussing the petri situation in general on the drive back to my place, and he is preparing to thin the herd. Too much of a gentleman to say who has been voted off the island, but I am wondering if it is the same one who told me the other night that she thinks he and I make a cute couple, or one of the others.

At this point we seem to be in agreement that I should meet the other daughter-in-law [and presumably her spouse and kids], and he should meet the rest of my tribe. Which may not happen until after tithing settlement [he is his ward’s financial clerk] and finals for Firstborn’s lot. And I would love to have a get-together with him, Fourthborn and Fiancé, and his kids FullMetalSquishy and MelMelChan. With or without dolls. So which of my local kids gets to meet him next, is still very much up in the air. LittleBit will be the toughest nut to crack. She is going through a rough patch, and in her world, I am understudy to the AntiChrist. [This, too, shall pass.]

Heading back to bed for a nap. I worked very hard yesterday, at a sane and sustainable pace, up and down the stepstool, wielding disinfecting wipes and Swiffer and hammer, et al. My body is tired. My heart is peaceful. And my eyes are growing heavy...

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I promised y’all a story.

This was my Wednesday morning, the day I picked up the certified police report. [How hard could that be, right?]

1. Found the police station. Right where I thought it would be.
2. Pulled into the parking lot at Texas de Brazil.
3. $2.00 minimum, $12.00 deposit, but I only had $13.00 in cash.
4. Explained to Attendant the First, and exited parking lot.
5. Pulled into the parking garage where I parked for the first day of jury duty.
6. Had forgotten that it was a $15.00 flat fee. [See #3, above.]
7. Attendant the Second graciously let me exit.
8. Went to Target and bought an apple, in order to break a $5.00.
9. Drove back to the police station, turned right.
10. Went down the hill behind TCC to the Trinity Trails parking lot.
11. Dropped $1.50 in quarters into a duplex parking meter.
12. Walked two and a half blocks, more or less, at a 20% or greater slope.
13. Had to stop twice and catch my breath.
14. Got the certified police report.
15. Walked carefully downhill, in order not to trip and roll into the river.
16. Stopped to get gas.
17. Stopped at Whataburger to grab breakfast.
18. Nearly 10 minutes in the drive-thru to get my breakfast.
19. Drove to work.
20. I-30 had one lane taken away for a mile or so, midway.
21. Walked into the office more than 2 hours after my usual starting time.

Learning curve: it’s what’s for breakfast. And brunch. And, almost, lunch. Next time I will know that the records office at the police station opens at 7:00am, and where to park, and that I should bring an oxygen tank and/or a Segway to navigate that hill. And maybe a pack of fine-looking age-appropriate paramedics following along respectfully, just in case I fall down on the job.

The new guy will be here in approximately eleven hours. Time to sit down and make a list of all the stuff that absolutely has to get done before he gets here. I don’t suppose there’s time to paint the living room?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Better West End than Deep Ellum. :)

Taking my title from a recent comment by one of my kids. The West End was a trendy part of downtown Dallas, back in the mid-1980’s. Followed by Deep Ellum (the part of Elm Street which is east of downtown) in the 1990’s. There are lofts in Deep Ellum. There are studios and artists and wannabes and an assemblage of tattoos and piercings that would make P.T. Barnum proud, and I actually went there, unaccompanied, for a couple of poetry slams around the time of the divorce. I was feeling somewhat bulletproof in those days.

There is much to look forward to at work today. I am wrist-deep in transcribing a summary of several hundred pages of medical records, which my attorney has shaped into a smooth narrative flow. I have learned the names of several body parts, a new syndrome, and another medication.

I’ll finish that today and open a new lawsuit and find out how the deposition went yesterday afternoon. I may or may not go to the knitting group after work. I may or may not go to the local singles’ activity. I might just come home and finish the book I am reading and try to get some sleep. It has been a lovely, full week. I am looking forward to quiet time with the new guy and my family.

The fact that today is payday, is gravy. [With or without sausage, biscuit, or chicken fried steak.] Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Q & A

Taken [mostly] from various comments on sundry posts in the last month or so. And sometimes followed by my posted responses to those comments. Because I am too tired to think this morning, but do remind me to tell you about the adventures [amusing but exhausting] which I had in downtown Fort Worth yesterday while striving to get that certified police report.

Q. I'm not sure if I remember the people you are referring to. Were they kids? Did their dad take us to that Polar Bear ice cream parlor once?
A. Yes, they were kids. But not those kids: those were Amber and Mahonri and all the ones that zoomed along after them, whose dad was our home teacher the summer your dad was in Amarillo with the car, and I was home with you kids and the money.

Q. Does he get to meet her first because her kids are so cute, and she and hubby are not as scary as my crew?
A. Yeah, pretty much. He is a sucker for cute little kids. No, I don’t fight fair, why do you ask? (He also appreciates beautiful women, so you and Lark will probably be next.)

Q. Do you remember creepy squirrel (the ceramic squirrel who lived on Firstborn’s neighbor’s porch when she lived in the apt complex right before she moved to Florida)?
A. I do. Creepy squirrel may be the only inhabitant of those apartments, other than the security dude in his pickup truck. The last time I was by there, all the apartments were empty, and there was a six-foot chain link fence all around the property. Plus, it bordered the creek which flooded out all those houses a few weeks ago, including my friend Leslye’s.

Q. What if I gifted my phone to you in another month or so?
A. Is that offer still good?

Q. Who wrote the book of love?
A. Dang if I know.

The George Foreman grill is at its new home. We did a trunk to trunk transfer after the temple session last night.

Two days.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The unStuffing continues...

Willow’s first sock is growing a bit every day: one round of stitches that move, followed by two rounds of K3P2 ribbing. Rinse and repeat. The yarn would probably not be splitty if I were working plain stockinette, but with the 1x1 cables I am having to slow down a little to make sure I’ve scooped everything up before proceeding. I am wondering if I would like the pattern even better if I reversed the direction of the cables. I am not sufficiently curious that I want to rip out two inches of pattern on size 00 needles in order to find out.

I get to leave for work about an hour later than I usually do, because I am picking up a certified police report before heading to Dallas. My attorney is working remotely today, so he will not be spazzing about it.

He took us to lunch yesterday because it was his paralegal’s birthday (she is my best friend at work). We emulated the pioneer children and walked and walked and walked and walked to the West End. Y-O Ranch, where I had the salmon salad, half of it for lunch and the other half at 5:00 after I’d shut down the business applications at my workstation and was reading knitting blogs before heading to Knit Night.

Seriously yummy food. And the comparatively pitiful salad which I took to work is still in the fridge, waiting for lunch today, so I won’t have to pack anything. Woohoo!

Time to grab the gym bag and get moving. It will be nice to have a leisurely workout and not have to deal with rush hour.

Tonight is the regular monthly singles’ session for temple service. I am taking the new guy some old plastic terra cotta colored pots and the George Foreman grill, which I have not used once since moving to the duplex. [Which means I will still have visitation rights, at least for the foreseeable future.]

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Shoulder to the Wheel

I was afraid that my desk would be a disaster when I got back to work yesterday. I am not ordinarily a pessimist, but it took me several weeks to dig back up to the surface after taking a week off in September. So I was guesstimating 60% of that for being out three days this time.

I got through all of my email; in fact, there are fewer in my inbox than there were when I left, huzzah! I got all of the electronic mail filed through Friday, and halfway through yesterday. I transcribed all but one of the tapes in my inbox, responded to three emails from one of my attorneys on something which I delegated (training one of the admins to step up to legal secretary; she was sick yesterday), and will either finish that today or teach her how to do it if she is back. Plus, I was not the default carrier-down-of-the-mail yesterday afternoon.

So yesterday was pretty much golden, a welcome respite from the madness of last Tuesday, when I was scrambling to get things done so I could leave. I am looking forward to sitting down at my desk today and polishing off that tape for Attorney A.

And there is knitting tonight. But no swim this morning, as I have spent too long on the computer. I will just pop the bag into my trunk for after Knit Night. Did I mention that I regained eight pounds between my well-woman and my doctor appointment last Wednesday? This is not about vanity; it is about being strong enough and flexible enough to accomplish my mission here on earth.

It is only tangentially about having room at the inn for some of the fruits of my favorite cheesecake-baker. Four days until he meets Secondborn and her tribe...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Stuff

So, I was a reasonably good Do-Bee and threw a small load of Stuff into the car and dropped it on top of a couch at the thrift store on my way to church. They had the driveway barricaded because they were closed, so I parked on the wrong side of the street (side street, breathe easy, y’all!) and schlepped it over the grass and sidewalk and parking lot in one trip. It may be there this morning, or somebody who needed it more than I do may have picked it up by the time the shop opens. Either way, not my concern. I am incrementally less Stuffed and am encouraged and inspired as to what should go into the next load. And when.

My scripture tote has gone missing. I looked in the Lost and Found at church. I looked on the couch, under the coffee table, under the table where I ordinarily stow it, along the tops of the ladderback chairs, which collect Stuff like you would not believe until they have individually or collectively had enough and fall down on the job. [Loudly, and generally when I least expect it.] I looked in the trunk. I called Firstborn, to see if I had left it there at the family party last weekend.

You will be amazed and delighted to know, however, that the remote which has been more remote than its companions (i.e., MIA for the better part of two years, inspiring the purchase of that universal remote which I could not figure out how to program), peeked out at me from where it has been hiding (beneath and to the rear of the monitor, resembling nothing so much as the rebellious chick beneath the hen in all those parables).

Came home from church and fixed a PBH sandwich, set the alarm, and crashed. Woke up six hours later. Have enjoyed a tall cool glass of water and am thinking about another, plus something a little more substantial. And then I think I will gather up the next load to go to the thrift store and make another swing by there on my way to or from work. Gym bag is packed. I am almost in the mood to put in a movie and sit on the couch and knit, but I think I want to have a little quality time with the shredder, first.

It was a good mini-vacation. Did I get everything checked off my list that I wanted to do? Nope. But it was a tasty mixture of the spiritual, the mundane, and the restful. While I could use another full week off, just to keep on with what I’ve started, I shudder to think what my desk at work would look like if I did.

I think tonight I will actually make it to the laundromat to do the laundry I thought was going to get done last week. Not holding my breath or betting the rent, but it’s looking like a real possibility.

Happy Monday, everybody!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Oye to the Veh.

Had a blast at the conference this weekend. There is still the fireside tonight at 7:00, but I am abstaining. I intend to be horizontal and unconscious at that point.

Yesterday I woke up about 7:30 or 8:00 and dashed over to the pool for a quick sploosh to work the kinks out. I really tore it up on the dance floor Friday night, so I could barely move. Nothing actually hurt, but various bits were not on speaking terms with one another.

This being the Sabbath, I do not have that option (because going to the gym today means that the people who work there do not get a Sabbath) so will have to settle for a long, hot shower.

I got stuck in traffic on the way over, yesterday, and missed the first part of the keynote speech (Danny White). What a lovely, warm, humble man. I enjoyed all the speakers in the workshops I chose. (More than some of my friends did.) I even deigned to grace the speed-dating activity with my presence, where I was surprised to realize that I knew a guy who showed up in the room midway through the activity.

Girls, do you remember Elyssa(sp?) and Gabriel from Irving? Their dad. Just as quiet and kind as I remembered.

A lot of thought went into the conference. Dinner last night was pecan-smoked brisket, but they had also prepared some chicken for those with nut allergies. And they had people serving out the portions to make sure that everybody got fed. [Because there are always a handful of people who see a buffet and think I am never going to eat again in my life, so better stock up now, leaving 20 people at the end of the line with a quarter-cup of potato salad and five beans.]

Glad I went. Glad I do not have to do this again for another six months or so, and hoping the next one will be a little closer to home.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Yawwwnnnn... Stretchhhhh...

I love vacation! [I know, I know: nobody likes me.]

Yesterday I finished the shrug for Blessing, my first and largest doll. I also retrofitted my temple skirt with one pocket (hand-stitched in the interest of sanity, if not of time). And I watched/listened to 3.5 movies and didn’t leave the house until it was time to head up to the temple.

And that was about it. My elaborate plans for cleaning and foofing just kinda piddled away in the steady progression of stitch after stitch.

I wrangled Blessing back into her skirt, the one I washed after the sap incident on Memorial Day Weekend, when we did the photoshoot at the Botanical Gardens. Said skirt has been draped over a hanger on the back of the bathroom door for four and a half months.

We make haste slowly, around here.

I am heading to the gym in a few minutes. Slept in until nearly 7:00a.m. I think that after I get home, if I don’t immediately head to my boudoir for a nap, I will tidy up the bead-buttons on Blessing’s sweater, which have a distressing tendency to leap out of their buttonholes. I don’t want her flashing the new guy on his first visit, next weekend.

The temple session last night was pretty amazing. We had so many people turn up that they had to run three sessions instead of the two which were planned. And (miracle of miracles) I got to the temple sufficiently early that I was able to make a quick purchase at the Distribution Center and stow it in the trunk, then do four initiatories before I needed to head to the chapel for our session.

Ordinarily, I skip the ice cream social which the marrieds hold for us at a nearby meetinghouse afterward. But I wanted a chance to hug the new guy. I actually spent more time visiting with the other two petri dishes [I know, some of you think that is distinctly weird], but I did get that hug. One of the other petri’s is defending her dissertation on Tuesday, so I put her on the prayer roll and will keep her in my own prayers until she’s gotten through that.

Yes, I like her that much. The other one, too, who told me last night that I ought to go for it, as she thinks he’s a little too old for her. Other petri told me to take good care of our guy tonight, as she has other responsibilities and will not make either dance or the workshops tomorrow.

My pleasure, sister, my pleasure.

He called a few minutes ago, to let me know of a new(ish) development for tonight’s dance, so I have already heard his voice today, which makes a beautiful morning just that much better.

Am hoping to have Willow’s first sock on the needles when I go to the dance tonight. But first, swatch happens...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

See no weevil, hear no weevil, speak no weevil

Because I crack myself up!



(And because not all of you are on Facebook.)

Had a good, quick visit with my doctor yesterday. I asked her why I’ve been taking the vitamin D for two months. She said it was a preemptive strike against osteoporosis. She is hoping that by getting my vitamin D level up to normal, I can maintain that by a thoughtful diet and supplemental calcium with vitamin D.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that there was no co-payment; I had a credit, which probably dates back to my well-woman in July, where the EOB stated that there was no co-payment, but my debit card said otherwise. I’ve since gotten the paperwork and submitted it to my medical reimbursement account.

I was unpleasantly surprise to learn that I’ve gained eight pounds since my well-woman. Some of that is due to a certain someone’s good cooking. More of it is attributable to my only working out three days a week, on average, for the past several weeks. Needless to say, that is going to change.

I spent a (very) little money yesterday: two white crocheted doilies to make pockets for my temple skirt; I will curl up on the couch later this morning to stitch them on. I also bought 3/8 yard of scarlet silk shantung for a dressy skirt for Blessing (to go with the shrug which is nearly finished), and a ball of #8 perle cotton (DMC color 321) to tat lace trimming for said skirt. This will be her Christmas dress or formal. Not sure at this point what I will do for the blouse or bodice. I was designing things in my head when I was in the pool last night, and I lost track of my laps.

There is a jewelry repair shop in my neighborhood; I took in my watch and got the wristband adjusted. They also have a respectable amount of semiprecious stone beads, but not as much as the bead shop down by Secondborn’s old house. Naturally, I discovered once I got back in the car that I need a new watch battery, but I am going back with the necklace which Brother Sushi gave me, to get more red coral beads and a new clasp. (BittiestBubba gave it a good hard yank when he was tiny, and the clasp was mangled beyond my ability to restore it. I like the necklace. I want to wear it.)

Lunch was two party tacos and a pomegranate smoothie from Bueno, with a nap for dessert. Through October, for each smoothie purchased, Bueno will donate to the local children’s hospital. I asked the manager how much. He said he thought a dollar. I have not verified this.

Woke up from the nap ready to hit the gym. Also realized that I could drop in at the belly dancing studio, since I would have all day today to recover from the results. Ran my copy of Edward Scissorhands over to a friend’s house, then stopped at the ATM at my credit union, then got a call from a friend who doesn’t drive, who needed to take dinner to a mutual friend who just had a baby. We did that, and I dropped her at the church one minute before the class started. And the class was at least 15 minutes away. My friend felt awful, but I told her it just might be Heaven’s way of telling me not to take the class. She said it would be interesting to check the news, to see if there was a wreck that I didn’t get into because I wasn’t there.

So, it might be that, or it might be that I’m not supposed to sign up for belly dancing lessons at this time, or it might be that this is the wrong studio. I’m not upset in the slightest. This will give me something to talk about with Heaven while I’m stitching on those pockets.

I have about an hour’s worth of knitting left on Blessing’s shrug and all sorts of puttering on my list today. Am hoping for a nap after lunch, because we have the temple sessions associated with the singles’ conference tonight, and an ice cream social after that, at which I will see the new guy.

At my advanced age, beauty rest is not (just) the name of a mattress company. It is NotOptional.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Epigenetics in Aulis

One of my friends posted about this on Facebook, and I made one of my typically smart-aleck replies. Doesn’t everybody read epigenetics and think Iphegenia? Bueller? Bueller?

So, I am officially vacating today. Have a doctor’s appointment in a couple of hours, to check my vitamin D levels. I was so single-minded when her office called to remind me yesterday, that I did not remember to ask what sort of bodily fluid they needed to test that.

Enter the internet, where after a couple of minutes of tweaking my request, I had news I could use. Blood. They are out for blood. When I am there, I will ask if they need it fasting or if I can eat first, should this supplementation and testing become a regular thing. Right now I am taking no chances, and I am giving thanks that I do not have to “hold it” for two hours.

I am also going to ask why we are supplementing me like this. When I got the results back from my well-woman, my wonderful doctor said that my bone density levels were stellar (better than they were three years ago). I know she has an excellent reason. I just don’t know what it is.

I am also planning to get my flu shot today, preferably for free at the doctor’s office, but if they are out of vaccine I will go to the pharmacy.

There will be more shredding, and I plan to make a nice big pot of potato leek soup and a pan of cornbread for dinner tonight. And tomorrow night. And...

There will also be knitting. I want to finish Blessing’s shrug, and that will almost certainly happen in the next day or so. And then I want to get started on Willow’s socks, although I have no idea which pattern in my Ravelry queue I might want to use. Probably something a little lacy, because this is an alpaca blend and therefore quite warm; it is also black, so any fancy cabling would be more or less invisible.

After a grueling day at my desk, I had my first committee meeting for the Night in Old Bethlehem we are doing in December. It is going to be a whale of a lot of work, and I came home brim-full of enthusiasm, notwithstanding how tired I was. And still am, a little, after six!!! hours of sleep.

No time to work out this morning. I will take care of that later today, after the vampires are done with me and after I have eaten.

Nice chat with the new guy last night. I’ve been dating him for nearly five months, and still no idea what to call him. Any of you who think that there are no good men out there? I know several, and I’m dating one of them.

This is where I normally say that it’s time to grab breakfast and start getting ready for work. No breakfast, yet, and no idea what I want to wear to the doctor’s office, and I wish I could throw half the contents of my fridge into the Ubiquitous Red Bag, I’m that hungry.

Nevertheless, life is good.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ballet Shoes and Hemingway

I finished reading A Moveable Feast yesterday. Not sure what to think of it. There are stories in which Hemingway demonstrates compassion and delicacy. There are stories which confirm my long-held opinion that I wouldn’t have liked him much, had I known him.

Which I guess just proves that he was human, as I am human, and maybe he wouldn’t have liked me much, either.

I don’t know how to interpret the last story in the book, in which he describes the end of his first marriage. It was a situation similar to Middlest’s, wherein the generosity of one and the selfishness of two caused chaos and heartbreak. It was interesting to get a male perspective on that situation, and I think it may not have been all that different for Middlest’s former spouse. I still have the odd moment where I would like to wipe the floor with that little man. Not as many as I used to, so we are making progress on the work-in-progress which is Ms. Ravelled.

But I digress. I cannot tell from the writing if Hemingway was being a journalist, just giving the facts as he observed them, or if he was trying to justify his behavior.

I do not have any overwhelming urge to read more of his work. On the whole, I liked the book better than I thought I would, but I’m not sure if that is damning with faint praise, or praising with faint damns.

I promised you ballet shoes, a few days ago when Adobe was not cooperating.



Look at the negative space near the bottom of that scarf. Doesn’t it look like ballet slippers? Which gave me the idea to plop my own on top of the scarf and snap away.

If all goes well, this is my Friday. Cross everything you can, and wish me luck.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fascinating.

What follows, is taken from an email to the new guy a week or so ago.

Shortly after I was baptized 35 years ago(!) one of the married guys in one of my Institute classes offered me a book his wife had allegedly enjoyed. I was still in the process of deciding which elements of feminism were consistent with the gospel, and which were rabid/rampant nonsense.

The book? Fascinating Womanhood. I read it over the weekend, handed it back with a big smile and thanked him for loaning it to me.

“You’re welcome. How did you like it?”

“I liked it a lot. I haven’t laughed that hard in a very long time.” I don’t think that was the answer he had been hoping for.

Men are neither idiots to be manipulated, nor babies to be coddled. I remember a needlework piece that one of my friends had in her home, years ago: “Love, honor, and negotiate.” Negotiation is only possible between parties who know themselves to be equals, and if I were to place it on a spectrum, I would say that manipulation is the world's (fallen, telestial) way; negotiation is perhaps consistent with a terrestrial mindset; and consensus-building, with all parties being heard and valued, begins to approach the Heavenly (celestial) pattern.

And this is turning into a blog post. [Ta-DAAAA!] Sorry. [End of email portion.]

I did re-read Fascinating Womanhood a few years later, when the children’s father and I were up to our ears in multi-level marketing. That time, I read it prayerfully, so that if there were any grains of wheat among the chaff, I would find them. I found a few, but thirty years later I still look on that book with what my father would have called love and suspicion.

If it’s a choice between a man who needs to be managed, and no man, I’d choose No Man’s Land, thankyouverymuch.

In other news, I was bushwhacked by my sinuses yesterday but seem to be recovering nicely. The birthday party for Lark (with her sister Willow in attendance) was enormous fun, even though I was still intermittently honking last night. Both girls like the yarn I picked for their presents.

And I have a date scheduled with the new guy for the middle of next month, though I am sure to see him before then. [The upcoming singles’ conference guarantees it, LOL.] Mt. Washmore tonight, and a planning meeting tomorrow night for a big to-do in my ward at Christmastime, and a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday to check my dipstick for Vitamin D levels, and if all goes well (i.e., I get a lot of things checked off my list at work today and tomorrow) off on Thursday and Friday for more puttering. I would like to get the rest of the house looking as good as the living room and kitchen do, preparatory to the new guy seeing it in a couple of weeks when we go to Secondborn’s for dinner.

Not spazzing. Not yet.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

How the Spirit teaches me.

Yesterday, I had a nice experience with the Spirit on the way home with my car full of groceries. I remembered that I had gotten a magazine in the mail a couple of days ago that was intended for a woman who lives exactly one block north.

“I should take her her magazine after I put the groceries away.”
And?
“And it would be polite to attach a note, explaining that it had been mistakenly and coincidentally delivered to another quilter.”
And?
“And I could also attach a fat quarter or some charm squares.”
Attagirl.

Proving that Heaven is behind my ongoing project of stash-busting; i.e., really *is* in the details.

I share this not to glorify myself, but to illustrate a process. Candleman touched upon this in a recent post (well worth your time to click on the link, for another perspective on the sixteen smooth stones that went into the barges), in which he discusses why we might be so reluctant to ask, or to not ask the deep questions.

It is always instructive, and sometimes entertaining, to ask Heaven what we should do next, or why we should do the thing that is obviously inspiration because it is a good thing which runs counter to our [OK, my] natural desires.

When I first saw the chapel for my current ward, I knew that I was supposed to be here, and I asked, “Would you mind telling me why?”
Relief Society.
Oh.

So I was not entirely unprepared at the answer to another question, just shy of a year later. “I feel like I need to be doing something, that You don’t have it in mind for me to go dancing six nights a week, although I certainly could.” No immediate response, but a few days later [two days after my birthday] as I walked up to the chapel door, there was the executive secretary telling me, “Bishop would like to meet with you at 2:30.” And it all came together in my head, interspersed with flashes of oh please let me not be presumptuous about this.

Friends have asked if my life is any less complicated now that I am no longer the Relief Society president. Maybe a little; my keyring is certainly lighter. But I still have a lot on my plate, most of which I have consciously chosen.

Get fit. Get out of debt. Save money. Serve others. Eat chocolate. Make art. Be a good matriarch. Know and live the scriptures. Live a consecrated, sanctified life. Clean house and simplify, both literally and metaphorically. Sustain my leadership. Attend the singles’ conferences (even if the one next weekend is in Allen, which is 55 miles from my house, and the keynote speaker is Danny White, and we know how much I love football). Stay open to the concept of remarriage. “You want me to what? We see how well that happened, last time.”

All the little ordinary acts and hopes that make up a human life.

Today is pretty cool. I have already read a couple of the Conference talks which I missed when I took that much-needed nap last Saturday. And after church today, we are congregating at Firstborn’s for Lark’s birthday party. Big sister Willow drove in from out-of-state. I will get to see 80% of my children (and have chatted briefly with the other one, via Facebook, this morning) and 100% of my grandchildren.

I am about 75% done with the Hemingway book, something like 50% done with Blessing’s shrug, and 100% ready for a quick nap before church.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Still breathing. Really!

But barely. Allergies were driving me nuts yesterday.

Neat stuff to show you, but when I tried to insert photos into the post that did not happen, my program decided to update the names of every photo I have renamed. And I got bored, and then cranky, and shut it down.

Right now I am knitting the red skein of Berroco Seduce which I bought at Jennings Street Yarn when Middlest was still here in Texas. 47% rayon, 25% linen, 17% silk, and 11% nylon. Each fiber took the dye a little differently, which makes for the sort of rich monochromatic fabric that I adore. I am working with size 1 needles (tiny for most of you, rather larger than I have been using for the past couple of months) and knitting a strip that is roughly 4 inches wide until I run out of yarn or patience or both.

This will eventually be a shrug for Blessing. I am using the same broken 2x2 rib that I used on the tiny green sweater for Chutzpah. It is fiddly going, because this yarn is subtly lumpy-bumpy and has zero flexibility. So I am wrangling it onto the needle, and I am liking the fabric as it accumulates at the bottom of my needle, but I am not exactly enjoying the process.

I logged my new 47 inch needle onto Ravelry yesterday, along with the new steel crochet hooks and my tiny needles. Ravelry finally added a page to inventory the skinny stuff I mostly work with these days.

I have done so many projects that are not yet entered on Ravelry. We will blame this on Facebook.

Got almost six hours of sleep last night, and this seems as if it will be a breathing day, as opposed to yesterday, which was a sneezing and coughing and hacking day. At one point my attorney looked at me and asked if I were OK. I told him I looked a lot worse than I felt (I felt lousy, and, well...). He, being a wise man who has been married more than 15 minutes, said nothing.