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, November 29, 2010

What a great weekend!

Got the refilled Advent calendar delivered to one of my friends and her family. (Get thee behind me, Hershey kisses!) A box to the thrift store on my way to church. The restrung bracelet back to its owner, and because I have not reset all of my clocks, just most of them, I was an hour early to church and had a great visit with my friend who is our ward librarian and also serves unofficially in the same capacity for the other ward.

Church, of course, was wonderful. Afterward, I drove straight down to Secondborn’s house and retrieved the last of Mount Washmore from their dryer, with BittyBubba’s help.

The concept of a truly helpful three-year-old is still somewhat foreign to me, but he asked if he could help me, and help me he did. [Somebody that height is mighty handy when a sock tumbles out onto the floor, mid-scoop.] We were done in less than a minute, I visited for another five, hugs all around and then out the door, and he locked it after me.

And then I came home, nuked an entrée, and went to bed, sleeping until almost midnight. Up for two hours and some crackers and peanut butter, back down for three.

Missionary hat #2 is nearly done. I could finish it before leaving for work, but my gym bag is packed, and Im out of milk and juice. ‘Tis the season to be listening to Christmas CD’s. I listened to George Strait on the way to the kids’ house on Saturday night. I’ll grab another for the commute today, for after I’ve listened to my scriptures.

I might even pick up some eggnog, to cut 50% with milk. And I suspect that the pumpkin shakes are back at Jack in the Box.

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Dreeeeeaaaaam, dream dream dream...

Love the Everly Brothers. But they’re not helping, just now. I had part of one of my serial dreams, which morphed off into entirely new directions. I lost my shoes at a singles(?) dance at a venue in a bad part of town, and then I couldn’t find my car, and some guy gave me his business card [me, the one who basically doesn’t call guys], when suddenly I was 35 years younger and living in Mom’s house [but Dad was already gone], and LittleBit was a baby, and the new guy was 35 years younger too, redheaded as he must have been at that age, perched on the back of the commode or maybe in a window seat that never existed, with his feet on the lid, watching me dab perfume on my pulse points. He had driven over to go to church with me. Oh, and we had cell phones.

Weird. I blame this on The Five Love Languages.

The best antidote to weirdness is creativity. I went into my studio and retrieved the container with the leftover freshwater pearls from Firstborn’s wedding. And I made two three-strand necklaces and one choker from the lavender pearls and used up most of my patience trying to find a beading needle slim enough to string up the pale peach baby pearls. I plan on keeping the first necklace and saving the other two for my Etsy shop, if I open one next year.

Wrapped up the first Christmas gift, possibly to give this year, possibly not. I am trying to figure out something small and useful and fun to give the sisters I visit teach. I am more than a little frustrated with myself for my self-imposed budget and declaration of “no gifts please / don’t expect anything unless you are a grandchild”. I like to give gifts. I like especially to give handmade gifts, and those take time which I haven't had until recently. I haven’t minded not getting loot this year; receiving gifts is not my love language. I do like to shop, and I adore wrapping presents, but I think that falls under acts of service for me. Acts of service are how I stay sane when I am bilingual in quality time and physical touch. I’m rarely awake enough for quality time, and don’t get me started on physical touch.

Thank heaven for grandchildren! Best memory from Thanksgiving day was when the Bittiest toddled up to me, grinned his little toofer smile, and said, “Hey! Ah-YA-ya!” And I replied, as I scooped him up, “Hey! I love you, too!” And he grinned even wider, as if to say, “OK, I was pretty sure Gram was smart. This confirms it.”

I was feeling a little utterly starved for touch, so I invited myself over to the Bitties’ house for some baby hugs and general hijinks. Kisses from a guy who is 14 months old will not get me in trouble.

This is what I did, part of yesterday. This is my worktable, where everything just sort of collects. First, the before, panning left to right from the door:







And now the after, again panning from left to right :









The beige rectangles are bags-in-waiting. And I found the green earrings which I bought at the same time as the green necklace I recently restrung. Also one-half of another pair, and another necklace which needs restringing.

There was also knitting. I put several more rounds on missionary hat #2 yesterday, especially while I was at Secondborn’s to watch over sleeping Bitties, tackle Mount Washmore, and watch “The Corpse Bride” [which I found utterly enchanting; it seriously interfered with my knitting] and “The Proposal” [which made me laugh out loud, even if it was not exactly edifying].

This morning I have the restrung bracelet in my scripture tote, so it will get to church and its owner. I also have the cat/chocolate pin attached to the strap of said tote, where it is distinctly out of place and therefore easier for me to notice and hand off to its new owner. I just repurposed the small velvet ring box, in which my sister sent my birthday earrings this year, as a hassock for Chutzpah. She seems happy to have a cushie for her tushie.

I have one small box that is mostly-sorted, on the seat of my spinning chair, which is at my worktable. I have a large cardboard box under the table, and a smaller box with mending in it, which may actually get dealt with before New Year’s Day. And a clear shoebox filled with notes and memorabilia, which I am now going to sort through. I really want to get my hands on my knitting, but I am making myself tackle the shoebox first. Later today I need to re-tidy the coffee table. There are roughly three stacks of Important Stuff which I salvaged from the shredfest. They are starting to slip and slide and commingle. I need to sort them out again, put all the genealogy bits together, the knitting pattern printouts with their compadres, and the warranty information in that file folder in the file cabinet.

Yes, I know where it is. [I found it yesterday.] Now hush!

So I didn’t get all of the remaining boxes and tubs sorted through this weekend. I’m still ahead of where I was this time last week, or even yesterday morning. I am almost to the point where I can start flinging pictures up onto the wall, which makes me feel positively beamish.

And I think I have earned this Sabbath. Have a nice, peaceful one, y’all!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Puttering and pondering.

Good news is that even though my trusty Bernina slowed and stopped last night, this is a Saturday, and I can take her to the shop and get her back in time to sew the other 96 money bags for Night in Old Bethlehem. And the Christmas stockings are done for both Lark and Willow. I can prep the pieces for 1BDH’s stocking while my sewing machine is in the shop and continue to tidy up in my studio.

Had a lovely visit with one of my friends yesterday afternoon. She needed help debugging a knitting pattern, and we got it figured out, and then I watched the tail end of the third Harry Potter movie with her and her daughters.

I have about an inch to go before starting the decreases on the second missionary hat. And the smallest of my three birch cable needles, which had gone AWOL, rolled out from under the couch and made itself known to me. After an “oh baby, I have missed you so much, your big brother didn’t want to dive into those stitches for me” talking-to, it is back on the coffee table and waiting for me to wander over to the couch and get back to work. Which I may do at any minute, as the fireplace is humming sweetly and I seem to be awake for awhile.

I am enjoying my re-reading of The Five Love Languages, and I think I am getting more out of it this time around. It has certainly sent me down memory lane, trying to figure out how I might have been more effective as a wife to Hubbies One and Two. Not in a beat-myself-up way, but more a musing upon how I might do better should there ever be a Round Three. If nothing else, I have a far better idea of what questions to ask, how to ask them, and what it takes for me to be happy in a relationship.

Know thyself. [And then forget thyself in service to others.]

This four-day weekend is a lovely break. The weather has turned cool again, which puts me in a holiday mood. I might get out the folk art Christmas tree and decorate it sometime today. Have to love a tree that crams so much festivity into less than a square foot of floor space.

I do know I love having a clear path through my studio to the closet where the tree hangs out when it is not here in the living room [which is often far past Christmas; I get distracted by the demands of daily living until I realize that I either need to put the tree away or hang valentines or shamrocks or Easter eggs on it].

The moostletoe holder has been up all year. Didn’t exactly need one when I was dating NintendoMan, and I probably ought to take it down before I feed the elders and the new guy next Saturday.

Feeling a little ADD at the moment. Think I will bundle up the sewing machine and put it by the front door and then go knit a few more rounds on the hat and try going back to bed.

Friday, November 26, 2010

So much to be thankful for.

Woke up a little after 2:00a.m. yesterday, well-rested. Worked a little on the second missionary hat, then set it aside to finish restringing my friend’s bracelet.

Made French toast for breakfast. Sorted through two days of junk mail while eating it. Went back to bed, because I could.

Went into my studio and put a few more things away, including my 2008 tax return, which I couldn’t file before because I couldn’t get into the file cabinet. Shredded the returns for 2000-2004 and my state sales tax returns from when I had a side business [preceding and, later, in addition to my MK business]. Ate some gingersnaps.

Cleared off approximately half of the fainting couch and put the linens which had occupied the foot of it, into one of the recently-emptied tall Rubbermaid storage bins. I even got the big hooked rug folded up and crammed into another. All of my surplus linens are in now in four tubs in the same part of the world. Triumphantly polished off the gingersnaps.

Cut out the rest of the foundation pieces I needed to make Christmas stockings for Firstborn’s family. Had to piece the batting across the toe on 1BDH’s stocking, but since the face of his stocking is going to be pieced as well, I don't think it will be obvious.

Ran to the grocery store for three bags of steamer corn, a package of rolls, and a big bag of pretzels. Because nothing says Thanksgiving like a big bag of pretzels, right?

So, that was yesterday. I came home full of holiday food and general well-being, notwithstanding the fact that the children’s father is still somewhat obsessed with the idea of remarriage. He rode to the dinner with Secondborn and her tribe, and asked what it would take for that to happen. I spoke with Middlest on the phone yesterday, and she says that he asked her to put in a good word for him. Apparently he said the same thing to Fourthborn at dinner last night (she told me while I was taking her to work).

In perhaps the most amusing development in this saga, LittleBit was sitting on the arm of a couch and asked me for my address, which I gave her, not even thinking to ask her why, since she knows how to get here. She then handed it to her dad, and I followed her out to the kitchen.

“Why did you give your father my address?”

“Because he asked me to. It’s not like he’s going to stalk you, or anything.”

“Actually, he kindof is. [Well, as much as anybody in a nursing home can.] Last time I visited him, he sortof proposed.”

“Oh Mommy, I’m sorry.”

“Yeah. Me, too.”

I absolutely adore 1BDH’s sister. I was bringing her up to speed on all this, out in the kitchen, and she said, “Just tell him to get in line. That’s it, just ‘get in line’!!!”

The worst part of it is that after dinner, when I pulled out my knitting, I was sitting across the room from him, and he kept looking at me with puppy dog eyes. It’s a little sweet, and a little sad, and about sixteen years too late.

Sigh...

Not entirely looking forward to Christmas dinner. This is when a stunningly gorgeous but not obviously gay friend would come in mighty handy. Or being a few months further down the road with the new guy, either as JustFriends or sweethearts.

In other developments, the stockings are done for one granddaughter and nearly-done for the other. When JoAnn’s opens in a few hours, I will take the second stocking with me. I think it needs small jingle bells to finish it off, but I’m not sure what size or color: bright brass, antique brass, rusty, bright red, barn red, burgundy?

I have just refueled and am about ready to head back into my studio to work on 1BDH’s stocking. Once I get that knocked out, then I can work some more on missionary hat #2. I only got a couple of rounds added to it before the puppy dog eyes got to me, and I made like a cowpie and hit the road.

If you are Black-Fridaying today, please be careful, and watch out for the crazies. Mostly I am staying home to putter, although there is a planned visit to a friend’s house to help her debug a knitting pattern.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Remember the red candlesticks?

And the pink ones? And the brass ones? And the bobeches? All heading out the door this morning, except for the candleholder which Brother Sushi gave me. I sorted two more boxes last night and another just now. Most of the contents were intact, although a large ceramic Christmas tree that I picked up at JoAnn’s or Pier One had quietly smithereened itself.

Most of my spare linens (tablecloths, placemats, napkins for the most part) have been repacked into two short Rubbermaid tubs and are now reposing on the bottom shelf of the sofa table in my studio, with the tub of pencil roving on top of them. Before I refill any more tubs, I will label these three. At this writing I have 19 cardboard boxes left to examine [some of which are quite small and will be quick work], and 9 more storage tubs. More or less. I haven’t had breakfast yet, and my counter may need to be reset.

I ate too much at lunch yesterday. We went to Mama’s Daughters’ Diner for our Thanksgiving luncheon, and I had the meatloaf, mashed potatoes (they do them well), glazed carrots, peach halves, all of which I ate about half of, and dessert (which I ate all of). Dessert was funny: I asked for the coconut pie. We had gotten there at 1:30, so they were out. I asked for the apricot crumb thingie. They were out. So I just grinned at our waitress and said, “Surprise me. I know it will be good.” Her face lit up, and she brought me the banana pudding.

My faith was not misplaced. I’ll eat the rest of lunch at work today and wish that I had saved half of my dessert.

Took two books to Half Price Books last night and brought home two more: The Five Love Languages and The Life of Pi (hardcover, illustrated) I read the former, at my friend Todd’s suggestion, back when I was dating NintendoMan. The new guy just finished reading it, and I think it will make for some good, substantive discussions.

I woke an hour ahead of the alarm this morning, which was a good thing, because I had forgotten to set it. We can blame that on the food-hangover, or possibly on the dust from all the stuff I’m unpacking and sorting.

We will probably get to go home an hour early today. My current plan is to head straight for a theatre and catch a twilight showing of “Tangled.” I have not wanted to actually spend money to see a movie in months and months and months. This one looks good. In the meantime, there are two boxes to break down and another to put in the car for a quick run to the thrift store (there’s one not too far from my health club; it’s not the one I usually patronize, but it supports a cause I respect, and it’s not out of the way this morning).



It’s going to be a great day. I feel it in my bones.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ravelled Eat Black Hole

[With apologies to Jimmy, not to mention the world.] Three more bags are headed out to the curb before I leave for work.



Plus a box empty save for a few stubborn seed beads from an ancient beaded bag (reticule?) that a friend gave me several years ago, which bag may end up finding a new home with another friend who is much into steampunk and Victoriana. [Or I may just photograph it within an inch of its life, surgically remove the rotting bag and the moulting beads, and reuse the frame.]



My sleep was much disrupted last night. Went to bed at 10:00 or so. Woke up about 1:30 with a body screaming for water. Back to bed an hour later, up again at 4:45. I think I am going back for another hour. We are having our Thanksgiving luncheon at work today. I need to rest up for that. And since I have missed the last two Knit Nights because of my fatal attraction to the shredder, I probably ought to look up where it’s being held tonight, so that when I [probably] skip it again in favor of more sleep, I will at least know where I’m not-going.

Monday, November 22, 2010

When you’ve made other plans...

Dear New Guy,

So, I am sitting in the back of the stake center, next to Secondborn, waiting for stake conference to begin, when one of the counselors in the (now released) stake presidency steps to the podium and announces, “If Sister [Mom-of-Deaf-Girl] and Sister Ravelled are here, would they please come up to the front of the chapel to interpret for a deaf member?”

Thankfully, one of my new visiting teachers had had two years of American Sign Language at BYU, and we took turns, and it was a wild ride. Oh, and the children’s father was sitting five rows back from the deaf member. Much inadvertent eye contact, at least until I got into the thick of things :(

After church, they had all the children and youth file up to the front of the chapel to shake hands with the General Authorities. Once I was able to thread my way out of the chapel, it was easy to get into Lorelai and out of the parking lot.

The VT’s came over for a nice visit, and I mostly just babbled (normal behavior for after a performance or an interpreting stint, at least for me; big adrenaline high and then a massive crash, which is happening as we speak).

What a marvelous honor and responsibility, to interpret for 1.5 General Authorities! I’m setting the alarm for tomorrow morning; no idea if I will wake before then.

(Signed) Sleeping Beauty

***

There was much chocolate abuse when I got home. After my VT’s left [yes, of course I shared my chocolate with them!], I slept for three hours and was really surprised to find out it was still Sunday when I woke up.

I put in a Sabbath-appropriate movie and spent a lovely evening on the couch with the knitting that I’d thought was going to get done at church. I also sorted through more papers in the Black Hole box.

For some inexplicable reason, the work went faster last night, and the feeling of subtle discouragement had evaporated, along with another two-inch layer of Stuff in the box.



Last night I also learned what a polymath is. Fascinating interview with Umberto Eco which I found through a link at unclutterer. So, does this imply that math was once the Greek word for knowledge as a whole? Not sure I want to pursue that line of thought; definitely no time for it at the moment.



More bags, bound for the recycling bin this morning. And on my drive home yesterday, I discovered where the new Smashburger is, just north of TCU. I think there may be a little celebratory french-fry eating tonight after work. Got to make the new neighbor feel welcome, after all!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

This is what a Black Hole looks like.



More on that, later.

All of my beading supplies, at least all that I am aware of, are now gathered in one spot. I found four tiny bronze beads, given to me on my birthday when I was in the interpreting program, which spell out my name in finger-spelling. I may intersperse them with beads leftover from restringing the green necklace and either insert another strand on that, or start a new necklace.

I found a pin that says, “I have my cats and my chocolate, who needs anything else?” That will go to a friend, later today.

I found an award from when I was employee of the month at the movie theatre, when I was in the interpreting program. I have shredded the certificate and put the frame in the out-it-goes pile.

I found this sonnet, not one of my best, but I love the couplet at the end (although I’m not sure I believe it anymore).


The prophet told us any righteous man
And any righteous woman might be wed,
To make a home celestial, Spirit-led,
Through prayer and fasting, following God's plan.
I dated dozens; priesthood's greatest fan
Was I. In mingled hope and dread
I sought a man to share my heart, and bed.
(The branch’s barracuda: how they ran!)

In time God sent a man who feared me not.
Most thankfully, those others I forgot.
We married in the temple, children came,
And passions cooled, though neither merits blame.
Then comes to me this bittersweet idea:
How rare is Rachel - most of us are Leah.
©1994 (me)


For better or worse [pun intended], that is where my head was during the last few years of my marriage.

I found my rough draft of a novel that, if ever finished, is not likely to be published by and for the LDS market, although its protagonist is a faithful Latter-Day Saint woman. Sherry read that draft, years ago, and said that it was good writing, powerful, and difficult to read. Premise: what would you do if your best friend were overjoyed because her long-lost brother was moving into your ward, and when he came to church on Sunday you recognized him as the man who had raped you when you were fifteen? How would that affect your friendship with her? How would it affect your marriage? How would it affect your children? How would it affect your ward? What if your husband was the bishop?

(Sherry does not have an evil brother. I was not raped when I was fifteen.)

I started that novel when I was gutting my way out of my last major depression. It was a good way to channel my pain, my loneliness, my despair, and my fury. And someday it may be a novel of restoration and redemption. But for now, it has moved out of the notebook where it lived for fifteen years, into a file folder, and into my file cabinet.

I found a pen, still working after all this time, and several containers suitable for the inflicting sharing of holiday treats. Ornaments I made for each of the girls, and me, from art paper for Christmas 1999; the rattan and wire star for the top of the tree, that first Christmas without their father in residence. A garish red and green basket which is structurally sound and will make some kindergartner’s day. A rickety, slack-jawed nutcracker which I am passing on to Fourthborn’s Fiancé because he loves nutcrackers, even awful ones, and he can make the decision whether this is good-bad or just plain bad. My Santa hat. Three dopey-looking angels that are meant to perch over votive candles: Peace, Hope, and Joy. They just look as if they had been over-served and were hoping for a quiet place to sleep it off. A two-inch length of dowel, with no clue as to what it may have once been a part of. Smooshed fake evergreen swags with patently fake red berries, most of them chipped, all of it into a trash bag; I moved this, why? A kluge of icicle lights, and no spare outlet to plug them in. Ditto a bundle of Christmas tree lights. After I plug them in to see if they light up, they will go to the thrift store with another, larger loopy/looped-angel tealight holder. [Postscript: buy butter; those lights are toast.]

That would all come from three large, empty tubs, one of which has had a nice soak in the bathtub to remove shards of candy cane, which are now stacked neatly on the floor of the closet in my studio. Next up? the shredding of a large recipe box full of MK sales receipts and customer cards. And then the tackling of another large box filled with mysterious paperwork. The recycling bin which pertains to my half of the duplex is full to the gills. I may need to press the other one [for the unoccupied half of the duplex] into service; my landlord has to pay the city for it every month, but mostly it just sits there looking forlorn.

So, I tackled that box of old paperwork, and I think it just might have a black hole tucked inside it. After pulling and folding and creasing and stacking for an hour, and pulling out a two-inch thick sheaf of magazines, birthday cards, etc., as you can see, there is not a lot of empty space above the stuff that remains to be sorted. It reminds me of that part of labor where you grunt and puff and groan and flail, and there is still no sign that a baby is coming out within your lifetime. So I did what any sensible woman would have done: I got ready for the adult session of stake conference and grabbed a burger and fries on the road.

My review of the Saturday night session, and the dance in Richardson (almost an hour and a half away from my stake center) and today’s session of stake conference, will have to wait. I need to eat breakfast and put on my Sunday best and put the donation pile into the car and drive back down to the stake center. I am almost done shredding the stack I made yesterday afternoon from the paper I pulled out of this box. And I am almost two inches into the pattern on missionary hat #2. I need to join on a new ball, but that will probably wait until I am sitting at church, waiting for stake conference to begin.

If all goes according to plan, my new visiting teachers will come over this afternoon. Unlike three or four weeks ago, it will only take two or three minutes to get the couch looking presentable. Maybe half again that long to deal with the piles on top of the coffee table, most of which are things belonging to one daughter or another, which I will hand off to them at Thanksgiving dinner.

I don’t have any illusion that my life is under control. I do have a sense that Heaven and I are making a modicum of progress, and that the more important Partner in this process is pleased that I am still trying to order and refine my life and my physical surroundings. When I was sitting at church last night, I was granted a glimpse of the Heavenly perspective on my life. That makes the effort worthwhile, and once more confirms that God really *is* in the details.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A quiet, putter-y evening at home

Love ’em. I spent a very productive 45 minutes in my studio last night, shifting things around. This morning I will go through two three Rubbermaid tubs of [probably fairly generic] Christmas stuff. The important stuff, I’m keeping. The other stuff goes to the thrift store if it’s in good shape, or into the trash if time and repeated schlepping have taken it past the point of shabby-chicness.

Before that, I spent half an hour or so folding the last of this morning’s batch of shredding, preparatory to feeding the shredder its breakfast. Two more battered empty cardboard boxes will wend their way to the recycling bin, along with the bags of shredded paper.

And before that, I hopped in the car and made a quick run to JoAnn’s, to get new blades for my Olfa cutter. I think the last time I bought them, circa 2003, I spent about $5 per blade and was verging on a hissy-fit. Now a single blade (45mm) costs between $10 and $12; you can get two blades for $16, and $32 will get you five.

So, I now have five, although I would rather not have shelled out $32 in one whack. At my current rate of quilt construction, I may very well have bought enough blades to last the rest of my life.

When I have these three tall tubs sorted out, and a smaller one over here by the coffee table, I will tackle the stack of cardboard boxes atop the sofa table [the one that Brother Sushi helped me to build a few years ago] and then the ones atop the skinny folding table that is in the corner, in front of the east window. The latter boxes have followed me from our house in Irving, to Fredericksburg, to storage, to Arlington, to here. Nineteen years.

Assuming that the boxes on top of the sofa table are filled with more paper to be shredded, and that I have not had to send the shredder to the mechanical equivalent of the Betty Ford Center [paper is a substance, right?], I can then begin to transfer things from the fainting couch to the shelves of the sofa table and/or the folding table. My goal (which I came up with about an hour before bedtime) is to go through all the boxes in my studio and deal with the contents, by the end of Thanksgiving weekend.

Eminently achievable, since I have no intention of joining the feeding frenzy on Black Monday. I may do a modicum of Christmas decorating next week, or if my studio is basically rearranged (if not entirely whipped into shape) I may just start working my way through my vast assortment of UFO’s.

Here is a shot of the south wall of my studio, in progress. The brown blob on the left is the armoire which I bought because it says “pyjamas” on one of the shelves. Eventually I will tidy the top of said armoire, but at the moment I have smellier fish to fry. Those shoeboxes which you see stacked in front of the yarn bins, hold things which are not needleworkish in nature and must be Dealt With.



Those books are likewise not needleworkish in nature and must be moved to a bookcase, either in my room or in the hall.

There has been knitting. I finished the ribbing on the second missionary hat last night and have worked the transition row and added twelve stitches to my needle.

But now it’s 7:00a.m., and I’m hungry, and I want to go to the pool, and then there are four tubs to sort and brownies to bake for tonight’s dinner and dance, and stray eyebrows to eradicate, and I’m due for a manicure and a haircut and I’m making myself tired, just thinking about it.

I got a lot accomplished here at home this week, and I’m pleased. My needlework tools are more accessible than they were, and the clutter is markedly less. (I know it doesn’t look that way in my carefully-cropped photo. You will have to trust me, and when it’s all done I’ll do a photoshoot in there, especially when I can get at the walls that are not occupied by vertical storage and hang up the rest of my pictures, which now fill several small boxes and at least one drawer in the wooden file cabinet by my studio door.)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Magnets and Missionary Work

I am trying to figure out how I feel about the fourth petri dish, the one who is very good friends with the former spouse of NintendoMan. I don’t dislike her. This is not what I remember jealousy feeling like, so I’m reasonably sure it’s not that, neither for her closeness to GreyhoundWoman nor for the fact that she is dating the new guy (for whom I do indeed have a couple of possible permanent names depending on how things turn out, so nyah!). I think it is something as basic and simple as two magnets that, no matter how hard you try to push them together, they pop apart as if spring-loaded.

It’s strong enough that I’m not sure I could stand in a prayer circle with her, at least at this time. We served in the same session at the temple last night, and I was in the dressing room a minute or so ahead of her, to change out of my street clothes. I had put my stuff into a changing area so I could grab a hanger from one of the lockers, and as I came back, she popped in there and back out again when she saw my temple bag. We ended up in adjacent cubicles, and on either side of the new guy while sitting in the chapel waiting for our session to begin. We did not, thankfully, sit next to one another during the session.

I cannot explain this sense of uneasiness; it has nothing to do with her worthiness, or mine, to serve in the temple, and I think what I need to do is to pray for her and keep her name on the prayer roll at the temple and ask Heaven to purify my heart.

That ought to spill over into other aspects of my life, as well.

I emptied another box this morning, but it barely had anything in it, and it is in good enough shape that I can pass it on to my friend who is moving. So that’s a good start to the day.

I am ready to begin the fifth round of ribbing on the second missionary hat. And on my way to the temple last night I stopped into the church bookstore to pick up two more copies of the Conference issue of the Ensign. This time around, when I subscribed, I paid a little extra to get two copies of that issue when it comes out twice a year. I have already given the spare to a friend at work. And when I was helping another friend take the mail down last night, I asked her if she would like a copy. I already have both of them (good Christian women of other denominations) hooked on Meridian magazine. And she would, so I picked up one for her and one for who knows who.

I need to grab some stuff and head out the door. Back to the temple tonight, to do my weekly initiatories, where I think it will be a little less complicated than last night.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Torn.

Part of me needs to go to the gym. Part of me needs to sit and write. I shredded old medical billing records and some from my beauty consultant business last night. Also the correspondence from wrangling about child support or, mostly, the lack thereof. I could never quite make myself sic the Attorney General on him, and it was good to fold and shred a one-inch stack of paperwork last night and realize that I truly did forgive him for all of that when he had his last two strokes, two years ago. Just “I remember that I used to be really upset over this, and now I’m not. Wow. Thanks!”

I started that business in 2003, when he was out of work for over a year, in order to replace the child support. I actually made a modest profit my second full year in business. After three years I realized that my raises at work more than equaled my profits, with less effort, so I sold off all of my inventory and concentrated on enjoying LittleBit’s high school adventures. Which were many.

I have three empty boxes waiting by the front door, ready to be broken down and put into the recycling bin. They’re not in good enough shape for me to hand them on to a friend who is moving. I have the next batch of shredding folded and stacked on top of the shredder. I have one completed missionary hat on the coffee table, another half-inch worked on Willow’s sock, and the needles in the Ubiquitous Red Bag to cast on for the second missionary hat. I even cleaned out my purse last night.

Temple bag is by the front door, as is the gym bag. I think only one of them is going to get used today.

Before I forget, I have been accepted into a study on menopause and heart health. They are investigating whether there is a connection between hot flashes and heart disease. Since I have/had neither, I will presumably be part of the control group. I have the first appointment in early December, when we will schedule the second and final appointment, which involves nuking various bits of me [if I remember correctly, they will do a CT scan of my heart, thus proving that, unlike my children suspected when they were teenagers, I actually have one].

Which is in pretty decent shape, literally and metaphorically, until somebody tells me otherwise. Saturday went well. Saturday, actually, was pretty darn terrific.

He arrived here at 10:30, and we sat and talked for a bit, because there was room for him to sit on the couch (!!!). I went to the Iplehouse website and showed him Fourthborn’s new doll, and the one I traded to her for Celeste. Then we hopped in his car and went up to the Greek Festival, where we proceeded to eat and eat and eat. The food was amazing. So was the music. And the dancing. There were two dance troupes: one of kids maybe 9-12, and another of older teens and young adults. Even the little kids were good, particularly the girls. The native Greek costumes were spectacular. You know that I am going to be happy when surrounded by skilled embroidery.

Ran into one of my friends from stake choir practice and introduced her to the new guy and vice versa. Then he and I went outside to sit under a tent and eat dessert(s) and plan out the rest of the day. We decided to skip the Maya exhibition at the Kimbell, because it will be there until sometime in January. We came back here, and he puttered with the TV while I put a batch of brownies into the oven. Then he freshened up for the dinner and dance while I puttered. And I delegated getting the brownies out of the pan to him while I freshened up, and we got into our respective cars and drove toward Denton. It did not make sense to either of us for him to drive us up to Denton and then have to come back here, drop me off, and drive to Garland after the dance.

We thought we had good directions: up I-35 to University, right on University, left on Malone. The only problem with that was that the exit we needed was not named University, and we didn’t figure that out until we were in Sanger, which is nearly in Gainesville, which might as well be in Oklahoma. So there we were, navigating by cell phone, making U-turns at exits and taking one creative detour that was my idea but put us back on the highway, headed north. And through it all, neither of us got mad. We just concentrated on solving the problem. I know that I wasn’t frustrated about it, and when he told mutual friends after we arrived at the meetinghouse, he had them in stitches, so I think it’s fair to say that he wasn’t mad, either. Which is pretty darn cool.

We sat at different tables during the dance, visited with other friends while occasionally touching base. We weren’t on a date, at the dance. And we did dance together, and I had great visits with two of the other petri dishes, one of whom seems to think I’m the greatest thing since sliced bread [and my nonsense detector works really well, with other women]. So it was a lot of fun, and I came home when I was tired, and I slept like a rock.

I don’t have a sense that we made any great leap toward couplehood last Saturday, but it was a very pleasant day, even while we were lost. One of the other petri dishes is definitely off the island, by mutual desire, and she is rooting for me. I keep telling her, gently, that it has to be his idea, and when he makes up his mind, then I will pray over it and decide what I want to do.

Oh, and there was an email from NintendoMan at the beginning of last weekend, telling me that he would like to go to the Thanksgiving dinner and fireside and dance, this coming Saturday, and could he hitch a ride? I told him I was perfectly fine with it but wanted to run it by the new guy to see if he had any problem with it. New guy said “no problem whatsoever, but thank you for asking”, so I will be taking my ex-boyfriend to the dance, and I will be assured of lively conversation there and back, and NintendoMan can maybe make some great new friends to go with the ones he already has. And it certainly ought to liven up some conversations among my age-mates that evening, LOL.

Confusing people. It’s one of the things I do best...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Deets? DEETS???

No time for details at the present. I was up until nearly midnight with a bad case of finish-itis. Got some of the ends woven in on missionary hat #1, then decided I didn't like how it finished at the crown and frogged the last two inches or so. I reset the alarm for 6:15, giving me just enough time this morning to sluice off, grab lunch, and boogie on down the road.

Thankfully, I put the trash and the recycling out when I got home. The last of the 390 pages which I folded on Sunday, is bagged and ready to go out the door with me in a few minutes. The next victim box is waiting here by my desk, looking nervous.

One of the other petri dishes is no longer on the burner. Not the one I had hoped, but still...

Remind me, when I have time to sit down and spill about Saturday, to also tell you about the medical study for which I have volunteered. I have this parody of a Primary song running through my head now:

A lab rat, a lab rat,
Heaven wants me for a lab rat!
A lab rat, a lab rat,
I’ll be a lab rat for y’all!

I had a small falling-down on Etsy last night: three more yards of antique/vintage silk and/or rayon velvet ribbon will be on their way soon from a shop owner whose business ethics are as lovely as the goods in her shop.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Yet another quick post

Yesterday was pritnear perfect. Church, of course, was wonderful. I noshed all day on leftovers from Saturday: half a souvlaki, the last of the Greek donuts in cinnamon honey glaze, a random brownie or two. Watched Anne of Green Gables while whittling down the number of stitches on my needles for missionary hat #1. I should easily finish that today, and I have Willow’s sock in my bag for if I do.

I also have the coffee table set up with Olfa cutter, mat, straight-edge, and the homespun-looking fabric to make 100 money bags for our Night in Old Bethlehem. I hope to get that project knocked out tonight, using techniques gleaned from years of making Log Cabin quilts. And then I can cast on for missionary hat #2, if not tonight, then most likely tomorrow.

I have three small bags of shredding waiting by the door, as is my gym bag. Tonight’s appointed shredding is stacked neatly atop the shredder, waiting for my attention, while the shredder itself is panting gently as it naps. Time to put on my shoes and go work off all that good food and make room for sensible fare. It’s a good thing I’m not Greek: I would weigh 500 lbs!

I have my eye on the next box to be dealt with. I don’t think it suspects.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Opa!

Oh man. Oh man. Oh-man-oh-man-oh-man! Seriously good times.

Good food, good music, good company. We determined that the new-to-me TV cannot be connected to my DVD player, at least not by us. So we watched The Man from Snowy River while the brownies baked. And then we convoyed up to the dance in Denton, for more food and my favorite DJ.

Lots more to tell, but I just had a bagel and schmear for breakfast and am chasing it with a mug of orange juice. I am going to put in a Sabbath-appropriate movie and start folding paper for the next round of shredding. What I really want to do is to go back to sleep. If I still feel that way in an hour or so, after breakfast has settled, then I will. But for now I want to sit on the couch and enjoy the fireplace (which just came on).

There are funny stories to share, but they will have to wait.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Fire Drill

Not necessarily of the Chinese sort.

So, we had our quarterly fire drill at work yesterday, and because I have been working out since the end of April, I had little difficulty walking down seven flights of stairs. In the past, I was unofficially designated as a Crispy Critter (i.e., I would remain at the switchboard) and only required to do this once a year. Downstairs is hard on the knees. Upstairs is hard on the lungs. I haven’t tried seven flights’ worth of upstairs, but I bet I could do it, if there were somebody to let me in through the fire door once I made it to our level.

I took my purse (ergo, my knitting) with me, thus guaranteeing that the drill would not be an actual emergency. Because we remember a few months ago when we had that bomb threat; while I had my purse and phone with me, I had unaccountably left my knitting in Lorelai in the parking garage, where I could not get to it.

Ms. Ravelled + bomb threat + knitting = happy camper
Ms. Ravelled + bomb threat – knitting + dinner date – way to get there = unhappy camper

[And some of you thought math was difficult.]

My attorney, whose middle name ought to be Noah, took his umbrella, thus guaranteeing that we would not be rained on while milling about at our designated gathering spot. We were all properly thankful. And I got a few stitches knocked out while waiting for the “all-clear” to sound.

I got those three boxes delivered to the thrift store before my workout. And the workout was brief but effective: I did a quarter-mile at something between a jog and a flat-out run, in warmer-than-usual water, at a depth of 3.5 to 5 feet. That, plus the seven flights of stairs a few hours later, equated to a respectable workout for one morning.

Right now I am engaged in a battle of wits with a large moth. He may be ahead on points, but *I* wield the Flyswatter of Doom.

I am almost to the point where the decreases begin on the first missionary hat. I’ll try it on my own head in a few minutes, and I’ll try it on the new guy when he gets here.

Ate too much at Cheesecake Factory last night: Steak Diane and Herb-Crusted Salmon, and a proper (i.e., huge) serving of garlicky potatoes. Had a nice brief chat with the new guy when I got home, and then I went to bed and just died.

And now I need to figure out how to get X amount of picking-up and puttering done in Y amount of time, with Z amount of motivation, where X is far, far greater than either Y or Z.

Friday, November 12, 2010

29 hours

More or less. That’s how long I have before the new guy gets here tomorrow morning. Thankfully, I don’t have a lot to do to make this place presentable before he walks in the door, because I have been nibbling at that elephant, one bite at a time, and as inspired or energized, for the better part of two months.

Dinner with Brother Sushi tonight. The man has never eaten at Cheesecake Factory, primarily because he loathes cheesecake. [Does. Not. Compute.] So we are crossing that particular item off his bucket list, if indeed it made it onto the list in the first place.

I shredded a mere 55 pages last night. There is a two-inch-thick notebook sitting atop the shredder, but I am not going to think about it until Monday. Well, maybe Sunday after church.

I have, I think, eleven rounds to go before I start the decreases on this first missionary hat. I really, really like the pattern I have chosen. And the yarn is so soft and luscious. Part of me wants to go hop on the couch and whip out another pattern repeat before breakfast. But the part of me which is impersonating a responsible adult is going to throw her jeans on, load three boxes into the car, and go work out for the first time all week.

I went to the temple last night. It reopened on Tuesday, and it was so good to be back in the House of the Lord. And I realized while pooping out toward the end of a measly five initiatories that I need to get into better shape, and fast, if I want to be any good as a temple worker in a month and a half.

A much better motivation than simple human vanity.

Happy Friday, everybody! Eat chocolate. Hug somebody, two-legged or four-. I plan on doing the same.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Progress, on several fronts.

Another 100 pages shredded this morning, and 50 more stacked atop the shredder for when I get home tonight. One last 2” thick notebook to open and shred, but I may save that for next week. A ginormous bag of shredded paper waiting by the front door, next to the boxes which are bound for the thrift store.



[No, the spinning wheel is not also on its way out. It just wanted to get in on the act.]

The green necklace is re-strung, and the leftover beads have been bagged up and collected by color family into larger Ziploc bags. And put away in my studio. The bags do not have a permanent home in there, as yet, but they are together, and they are visible.



I still need to put some sort of fastener on the ends, but the fiddly part is done. Did I mention that I recently found my second pair of round-nose pliers, for jewelry-making?



And I have completed another repeat on the first missionary hat. The yarn really wants to be knit up in this pattern, and it is cooperating wonderfully.

Lovely email from the new guy last night. Nothing mushy. Just, nice. We are both looking forward to the Greek Festival on Saturday.

I did not get out the door to the gym this morning. But the bag is going into the trunk, and I hope to hit the pool after my service in the temple tonight. “It requires a constant labor, all His precepts to obey...” (Hymns, No. 273) The day will come when I can do it all: keep an immaculate house, get my visiting teaching done the first week of the month, eat a balanced diet and get enough sleep and exercise, and be kind all the way up from my genes. Until then, we function on the basis of selected neglect.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Great American What?

Knock me over with a feather. While I was shredding last night, I found a notebook that I thought was just more of the same: writing exercises from 1997 and 1998. Instead, I have a good quarter-inch of first draft, I think meant to be a fictionalized relation of some of the experiences that have made me who I am. The names have been changed to protect the innocent, as well as the guilty.

I have read about 15 pages of it, and for the most part it reads just as I experienced it. While I find that memory is becoming a subtly fluid thing, there are excerpts where I find myself thinking, “Yes, that is just what happened,” or “Oh dear, and I don’t think I made that part up.”

And there is one wickedly funny scene which takes place in a laundromat, as the intrepid heroine ponders how two little girls can contribute one panty apiece to the laundry pile, when no laundry has been done for two weeks. As she says, it does not bear contemplating, and I remember that that bit was drawn from life, when my own kids were much much much much younger.

There is good stuff in there. Bits of one friend and another, memories, and the transmuting of the pain I felt at my second divorce into the longing of a widow for the husband she lost. Because one of the few things the women in my family can agree upon is how it feels as if their father has died, even as the shell of the man lingers on.

I did skip Knit Night last night; got a load of whites washed and dried and home. And only now remembered that I forgot to hang up the damp bras. Thankfully it is not August, so they will only be cold and damp this morning, not cold and damp and beginning to turn colors and smell funny. And I got a few rows done in pattern on the first missionary hat, throughout the day.

Shred 2010 continues. The stack of notebooks is dwindling down. The folders are in the recycling bag and will go out to the bin when I leave for work. And now if you will all excuse me, I am going to sit on the couch and pre-fold tomorrow morning's batch of shredding. Ten sheets. Empty. Ten sheets. Empty. [I told you the receptacle was much smaller than on my old shredder.]

Take that, you forces of chaos!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

She who shreds and runs away...

...shall live to shred another day. It progresses, apace. I also have two five-ream boxes and one ten-ream box near the front door, full of stuff to take to the thrift store. Bottled candles, mostly, and my least-favorite candlesticks.

I found my organ donor card this morning. Ditto my rosewood tatting shuttle. And a pair of earrings that Mom brought me back from Hawaii in 1992, when my niece got married.

Had a productive (and tasty) meeting after work for the big ward activity in December. Came home and shredded until both the shredder and I were weary. I was so tired that when I went to bed, I forgot to set the alarm. Thankfully, my inability to sleep more than five or six hours worked to my benefit. I woke up at 4:15 and have been sorting and shredding ever since.

I am going to have to skip Knit Night tonight; Mount Washmore is threatening to erupt all over my bathroom. And it is a small bathroom.

Had a nice chat with the new guy last night, while I folded sheets of paper preparatory to feeding the shredder. We roughed out the shape of our date on Saturday. So I might have been loopy with fatigue when I shut down the popcorn stand last night, but I was grinning.

One of my KnitPicks laminated needles self-destructed yesterday. I need to remember to grab my Addi Lace needle of that size before heading out the door, or there will be no progress on missionary hats today. By sheer bulldog stubbornness and a bit of ingenuity, I managed to get the first round of pattern worked, broken needle notwithstanding. Thankfully, KnitPicks stands behind their stuff, so a phone call will get me a replacement needle, no problem.

The recycling bin and garbage bin are out on the curb. I have a couple more additions to them on my way to the car. I have a tidy stack of notebooks to take apart and shred, here by my desk. There is an empty Rubbermaid storage bucket up on a shelf in the closet in my studio.

And I need to get moving.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Found Objects

And did I ever find a lot of them! I found blank food orders that needed to go back to Bishop, but since he is my new home teacher and had an appointment to come over, I put them on the couch. I had useful papers for the RS president, but since her husband is my old home teacher and came over with Bishop to wrangle with my gas fireplace, I handed them off to him.

I sorted through one small box and shredded most of its contents. And got halfway through the contents of a middling-sized Rubbermaid box before the shredder started to whimper. Since I didn’t want to kill it on its second day home from the store, I shut it off and simply started folding papers for the next shred-fest.

I found the card with the birthday check for LittleBit, which my sister had asked me about. And a couple of Christmas cards that were never opened. And my tatting shuttle. And the book about Genghis Khan which I thought I had already returned to Brother Sushi, but we are having dinner on Friday night, so I’ll get that taken care of then.

Sheesh.

My living room is sweetly, pleasantly warm. This is in contrast to yesterday, when I hopped out of bed and immediately threw my black leather jacket on over my jammies. [Because I thoroughly intend to enjoy the privileges of single blessedness for as long as I can, and I really do not want to start collecting cats. Black leather + Tweety Bird seem like a reasonable compromise.]

You would probably be as amazed as I was, to see how many months of bills went into the shredder. Not to mention unopened catalogues and all sorts of political propaganda that sifted in through the mail slot. I think I can get that Rubbermaid container emptied out by the end of the day, but if not there is always tomorrow morning.

I got the ribbing done on the first missionary hat while at church yesterday. The 2.75mm HiyaHiya needles were just what the doctor ordered. I wanted to get the pattern started before bedtime, but it was not to be. Who knew that shredding could be such an exhausting proposition?

So, it is not even 6:00a.m., and I have shredded the papers I had prepared last night and moved the glass-is-half-empty Rubbermaid container over here by my desk but away from the fireplace, topped that with my gratitude journals and “three pages” exercise notebooks from when I was doing The Artist’s Way, around the time of the divorce. Those journals and notebooks filled half of one of those boxes that holds ten reams of copy paper. Said box is waiting by the door to be broken up and put in the recycling bin.

I also brought out another box to go through, which is likely to be the foundation of yet another contribution to the thrift store. It held a teddy bear which I will donate to the Teddy Bear Concert, and a cardboard advent tree which I bought at Starbucks five years ago. LittleBit and I thoroughly enjoyed the contents, and it is visually pleasing, so I kept it. I think this year it will get refilled with Hershey kisses or something like, and given to the kids of a sister I visit teach.

I found the other pair of round-nose pliers (for jewelry making). It is now on top of my coffee table with its twin.

I am going to set the timer and curl up on the couch with my knitting, before the mad scramble to get ready for work. This is going to be a terrific day. I feel it in my [somewhat warmer than they were this time yesterday] bones.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Stuff I learned yesterday.

Calamine. It’s a mineral. Did you know that? I learned this while reading about Pierre Curie’s early experiments with the crystalline structure of minerals. One of them being calamine. I just knew it as the stuff that saved my sanity when I had chicken pox. Calamine was the lotion which made those blisters stop itching, at least temporarily, and that was all I cared about. I didn’t know what went into the making of calamine lotion, whether it was named after its contents or after somebody’s daughter.

Dreadful sorry, Calamine.

I also learned that it is possible to be humorously holier-than-thou via one’s license plate. While I was out running errands, I saw a Prius sporting “53 MPG”.

I learned that once again, my mother was right: you always find something in the last place you look. Yesterday I found several knitting magazines, a knitting book, and another two cubic feet of order (as opposed to entropy) in my studio, before finding the box containing my jewelry-making supplies.

I give you BEFORE:



You know that I am excessively fond of rich monochromatic color schemes. I had a necklace that was a little too choker-y for my tastes, which had serendipitously separated itself from its clasp, just before or just after the move. I had tossed it into a snack-sized sandwich bag for safekeeping, and every six months or so it would bubble up to the surface. When it surfaced most recently, I determined to restring it, incorporating semiprecious and/or glass beads to add variety and real value. (I probably paid $15 for the original when one of the vendors came to our office building, four or five years ago.) That carved pendant is plastic, not jade.

Here are the beads which I bought.



And the worktable, also occasionally known as the coffee table.



I wanted to find an old pair of onyx earrings from the mid-80’s. I had two large pairs of gemstone earrings, which dangled from something that looked like a clip from the front, but had a bail that came up over the post in the back. The onyx earrings are now too heavy to wear (my geriatric earlobes would hang nearly to my shoulders if I tried), and I want to make a bead lasso around one [earring, not earlobe] like the one which suspends the original green pendant. So here is where I stopped this morning.



A closeup:



I spent fifteen or twenty minutes rummaging around in the closet in my studio until I found the box which holds the jewelry boxes that Dad made for me, and one which belonged to Mom. But victory is mine! I have the earring I was looking for. After church, and maybe a nap, I will get it properly lassoed and start working on the fifth (perhaps final) strand. I have not used up all the original beads at this point, nor the ones which I bought yesterday. I would like to have few or none of them left when I am done.

Just to show that my world is not all about what goes on inside my head, here are two pictures which I took on Friday night, coming out of The Shabby Sheep.



and

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Sweet, Sweet Saturday

I have the new shredder set up and thoroughly broken-in. It doesn’t hold as much as the old one, but it’s quieter, and it has cut the confidential portions of a three-inch stack of paperwork down to size.

I’ve spent the past couple of hours working on my budget. I had hoped to be further along in Project Debt-Free, but there have been a few hiccups in this last half of the year. Still, I have managed to pay off 30% of what I owed at the beginning of the year, and I guess I should take my own advice and remind myself gently that direction is more important than speed. I think I have 9 more semi-monthly car payments, so Lorelai should be free and clear by the Ides of March. And then there will just be the line of credit to contend with. I may still be able to meet my goal of being debt-free by the end of next year.

At which point I can focus on completing my year’s supply of food, as well as becoming perfectly obedient about Family Home Evening. And maybe even be a little less tightfisted about replenishing my wardrobe. Though I still don’t intend to go hog-wild. I have three tiny closets here, if you count the coat closet, and one of them is properly filled with items that belong in my studio.

Living the life of the carefree bachelorette this weekend. The last of the leek and potato soup for breakfast. (Possibly a bowl of cereal for lunch, for karmic balance.) I have stuff to lug out to the recycling bin. And another small bag to go into the trash. Have re-purposed the receptacle belonging to my defunct shredder as a sleek and trendy mesh wastebasket. I think it will eventually end up in my studio, as I mostly re-purpose grocery bags to hold my sewing scraps. Not elegant, perhaps, but at least mindful. I rather wish I had that old black leather wastebasket which we had in the house in Irving; it belonged to the grandmother for whom Secondborn is named, and we got it when she sold her house. I hope it is being cherished somewhere and is not at the bottom of some landfill.

Bought another circular needle last night after work. A stainless steel HiyaHiya [like the town in Washington State, they liked it so much they named it twice] US size 2 (2.75mm), because the only thing I had in that size was a set of DP’s for socks, and I am still swatching for the missionary hats. [And swatching. And swatching.] This yarn is lovely and soft, and my swatch was still too airy on a US size 2.5 (3.0mm). Addi needles are all metric, and they don’t always correspond exactly with standard US whole sizes. An Addi 1 is really a US 1.5.

Makes. Me. Twitch.

But thank goodness for Ravelry, where I can keep an inventory of what I have, so that I know if it’s in use somewhere, or if I really, truly do not have it in that size.

Not sure what I want to do next. On the one hand, the knitting is calling. On the other, the house is cold, and I am feeling distinctly chilly, whilst dithering on whether I am ready to fire up the gas fireplace and take the edge off, or just go to the gym and warm up that way and maybe poach myself gently in the hot tub. On the other, other hand, I want to sit down at the sewing machine and work on several projects that are calling my name.

I should maybe make a list.

Happy Saturday, everybody, whatever you decide to do.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Friday Follies

So, when I got to work my attorney was still stuck in Fern Parts, waiting for the good people of the jury to finish exercising their collective civic duty. Which meant that (aGAIN) I had nothing-to-do. I went through my inbox and whittled the number of emails down to nine, after finding where various topics were located in our virtual reference folders. I really am trying to be a good paperless corporate citizen, though old habits die hard. (You know: Must save this; might need it someday.)

I am doing much the same thing at home: going through old files, saving what is absolutely necessary, and recycling (but mostly shredding) the rest. Using up dibs and dabs of leftover raw materials to make Things New and Useful. Knitting (primarily) from my stash. Restringing my necklaces. I have a box of beloved clothing which needs mending. It is inching its way up my Honey-Do list. I am nearly ready to do the second and third Christmas stockings for Firstborn’s family.

I never thought the day would come when I would feel sad about not having to attend a staff meeting, but the one on my calendar yesterday morning had been entered when I was still a lowly admin, and had in any case been rescheduled. Thankfully, one of my friends had a new case to open, and she let me do the honors.

I did a lot of Mom-I’m-Bored eating yesterday; it seemed a better alternative than chewing off a paw. One-third of a bottle of chocolate milk (leftover from Wednesday; I’ll finish it today). Half a dozen saltines, half an hour before lunch. Way too many fun-sized Twix. I will be glad when the Halloween candy is all gone. Yes, I know it’s not necessarily my job to make that happen, but it gets me up and away from my desk, even if the trip to the candy jar and back eats up only a tithe of a tithe of the calories each piece contains.

I have been enjoying the VHS, now that I’ve got the new-to-me TV plugged in. I’m watching two or three movies a week. Actually, not quite true: I’ve been listening to two or three movies a week, mostly with my glasses off or up on top of my head, knitting-knitting-knitting away, and only looking up for my favorite scenes. But it’s been almost like seeing long-lost cousins at a family reunion. Hey there, Regarding Henry. Looking good, Ladyhawke!

I did stop at the office supply store on my way home and pick up a new shredder. Also a packet of fancy oiled paper to feed it every other week: the mechanical equivalent of antacid. Or maybe just vitamins. And I also purchased (for $5) a two-year extended warranty. I am not an fan of extended warranties per se, but $2.50 a year vs. how quickly I kill shredders, seemed like a good deal to me.

Speaking of good deals, the emails were flying back and forth last night. The new guy will not be coming to dinner tonight, which had been discussed as a spontaneous thing. Which means more knitting time for missionary hats and Willow’s sock. And he is mine-all-mine for next Saturday, which is when the Fort Worth Greek Festival takes place. I am thinking of a couple of quick tasks, if I don’t get to them myself this weekend, and then loads of culture and way too much food.

Fourthborn, mark your calendar for Sunday the 5th. This is dependent upon tithing settlement in his ward, as he is their financial clerk, but so far it looks good. I will come get you and Fiancé after church. We may or may not also invite Squishy and Mel-Mel-Chan. We’ll hammer out those details next Saturday. I’ll talk with Fiancé about what I can fix that we will all like that will not be as dairy-heavy as my usual creations. Maybe Texas skillet, which can heat up in the crockpot all day, and you can skip the guac and Fiancé can skip the sour cream and the cheese?

And now I really must get dressed and scoot on out the door.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Foodie Fervor

Yesterday was a much more lively day, in terms of workflow. My attorney was still in trial. I fired off several emails and a voicemail throughout the day. He called me back shortly before 5:00; the jury had been out for an hour. I told him they should toss chocolate into the room.

Hey, I always seem to think more clearly when there is sufficient chocolate in my carburetor.

I felt absolutely terrific (other than being significantly underworked) until lunchtime. All afternoon I was sneezing and honking. We had had much mysterious thumping overhead in the morning. It is an historical building (and, where the elevators are concerned, frequently a hysterical building). I wonder if some Paleolithic dust got knocked into the vents and thence into my airway? In with the pteranodons, out with the brontosaurii. In with the T-rex, out with the triceratops.

I am just fine this morning.

Came home and nuked a big bowl of the potato-leek soup from Monday night. Oh yum! Put in a movie and curled up on the couch with Willow’s sock. I am about halfway down the foot, which means I have another couple of inches to go, and then I can start on the toe decreases. And I think I'm going to do something a little creative when I get to that point. We’ll see.

Had another bowl of soup toward the end of the movie. Woke up an hour ahead of the alarm, feeling a little rumbly because of the leeks. There are two good bowls left in the fridge, and I’ve teased/invited the new guy to come over tomorrow night and help me finish them. I am also planning to make lasagna tonight after work, just to sweeten the pot. It’s probably 68°F here in the living room, and I am delighted at the prospect of cooking/baking all winter to stay warm.

I am scheduled for another drive-by fooding of the missionaries on Saturday night, and I gave the new guy that option as well, recognizing that he probably has plans with one of the other petri dishes. But if he is able to come, then we will have solved the whole chaperone thing, and I can give them a home-cooked meal. And in the meantime, I am having fun saying really good food in my house, don’t you wish you were on the other end of the couch with a bowl in one hand and a spoon in the other?

Heading out to the kitchen now to see if I can cobble together a plausible salad dressing from ingredients on hand. I put some commercial honey Dijon on my salad yesterday, and it was cloyingly sweet.

And then I will check out that hat pattern that Tola recommended. I am in the mood for some knitterly instant gratification. It would be fun to give the elders their warm hats when I give (or take) them dinner on Saturday night.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Great dreams last night.

I was knitting, knitting, knitting. Red yarn. [But not Red Heart yarn, which was good, honest wool when I was a kid and is now a shoddy acrylic.] Skimmed the new issue of “Vogue Knitting” and will probably buy it, because there are lots of great red sweaters and accessories in it. And several designs in other colors that wouldn’t look good on me, but in the right yarn would be magnificent on some of the dolls.

As I was preparing to leave the parking garage last night, a woman pointed at one of my headlights. I rolled the window down, and she told me it was out. I had been planning to skip Knit Night and just go home. Instead, I called 1BDH and asked if he would be available to switch out the light after class. He would. So I drove to Arlington, to the parts shop where one of his friends works (or worked), and bought a new bulb and some Neiman Marcus (high-end) wiper blades. And the guy at the parts shop installed it all for me, gratis.

The wiper blades really do work magnificently. I spent more on them than I used to spend on a pair of shoes, and I have no idea whether they will last any longer than the cheap ones through a Texas summer, but we shall see. And it’s raining [still] today, so they will get a good workout.

I can’t pull up any election results for Dallas County. There are a handful of spectacularly awful judges who really need to go. I am crossing my fingers (I can still drive like that, barely), but I am not holding my breath.

Hoping for another quiet evening at home. Much progress on Willow’s sock at Knit Night last night. I went, after the parts store and after a burger and most-excellent fries at Smashburger, but I did not stay long. I need to go pull up a shoe size = foot length chart to know how much longer to make it.

The Yarn Harlot’s post yesterday was scathingly brilliant.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

The big news?

The big news is that I got eight hours of sleep last night. And made the worst pan of cornbread in my life, for dinner last night. One of my girlfriends came over for dinner, bringing two side salads from Wendy’s and an apple crisp for dessert. I made cornbread and a big pot of potato-leek soup. She went home, and I went to bed after paying a couple of bills online.

I have maybe two decrease rounds left on the gusset of Willow’s sock and then a quick gallop to the toe. Still pondering stitch patterns for the missionary hats. Tola, I will check out your suggestion, once I get over the shock of being fully rested.

Happy Tuesday, everybody! I may or may not go to Knit Night tonight. I may just come home and celebrate a full night’s sleep with a victory lap around my pillows.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Crash; no burn.

I crashed last night about 5:30. Could not keep my eyes open, so gave in to the inevitable and set the alarm, just in case the inevitable lasted twice as long as usual. Woke up around midnight, and here I am. Have enjoyed another serving of the breakfast casserole and am trying to decide if I am still sufficiently hungry that I need some toast and juice as a chaser.

Not sure what I want to do next. I could putter some more, or I could put in a movie and knit. The gym bag is packed and waiting at the front door, alongside another bag of recycling. I have a small box that is nearly ready to go to the thrift store. I think my shredder is about to give up the ghost. I am trying to do this methodically, so that I do not re-mess-up the places I have already cleaned and organized.

I cleared all the dolls and their accessories from the top of the painted dresser in my living room. And then I carefully wrangled the small glass-fronted cabinet atop the dresser, so as not to break glass on either item. It fits, with nearly a foot of head space above it. So I (we) could secure it to that wall, a couple of inches above the dresser, and it would look on-purpose. For now, I have it back down on the floor and the dolls restored to the top of the dresser. I didn’t want to put them back and risk the cabinet falling over on them.

Taking a break to do something other than type. If I sit too long in this chair, my ankles start to swell. (I wonder why that does not happen in my chair at work?)

Just finished watching Shadowlands [lovely movie], and now it is time to go to the gym. Thankfully, I can come straight home from work and take a nap. One of my girlfriends is coming over for dinner tonight. I’m thinking potato-leek soup and a pan of cornbread...