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!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Better.

We are standing alongside the fence to Glass Is Half Full Land. Knitting is not arguing with me. Computer and I behaved ourselves all day. Spent my gift cards after work. And the next row on the shawlette will be the second decrease row. Also, I did not have a nail in my tire yesterday, and getting them rotated cost me nothing, and that errand used up my last hour and a half of PT. Which I wish I had this morning, because I am going to have to scoot if I hope to be to work on time. I should be leaving now. But there is jalapeno cream soup spilled on the T-shirt I wore to work yesterday, not to mention the cherry pie filling from my leftovers at lunch, and I have a slice of sawdust pie from Chop House Burgers sitting in the fridge. Which almost makes up for the tic which has suddenly appeared in my forehead and causes horizontal ridges that make me resemble a geriatric Shar Pei.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

No goo-goo eyes at Christmas dinner.

[No Goo Goo Dolls, either.] Nor any perceptible sulking, from either of us. We exchanged a few pleasantries. I kept my head bent over my knitting when I was not warbling with our girls.

Christmas cards are still staggering in. My front door is metal, and I have them plastered all over it with one magnet or another. This is one of those cases where a picture comes nowhere near a thousand words, so I will forbear, but the display makes me grin.

I just finished the last lace row before the decreases begin on Lark’s shawlette. I had to tink half a row last night at Knit Night. I don’t have trouble keeping to the pattern when I’m knitting at the office, but there’s a whole lot less OhLookShiny in the break room than there is at a table surrounded by fellow knitters.

Work has been intermittently frustrating this week. I’ve lost two documents in the process of saving them but in the middle of erasing the tape. [This is 99% operator error and 1% the system. Maybe not even that.] My attorney had to re-dictate a motion for summary judgment on Monday. Neither of us was happy about that, but I was apologetic, and he is ever the gentleman. Yesterday it was a small and simple transmittal letter, which I was able to reconstruct from a similar one on another case, with only one of us the wiser.

So I am changing my procedure for erasing tapes. I am going to try tossing them in a drawer, to reduce visual clutter, until the end of the day and then erasing them all in one five-minute purge while shutting down my computer.

Got my nails done last night, after work and before Knit Night, using the new genteel pink polish that my friend and I picked out last week. NailDude tells me that the *in* color for 2011 is going to be honeysuckle pink, which is almost exactly the color I chose, so I am at the leading edge of the curve. Fancy that!

In other maintenance news, I called to see if my hair magician was working last night, and she is no longer there. Which means that I am going to have to find a new hair magician. Before Friday night.

And on that note, I’ll bid you all a happy Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Visible to the naked eye.

Not much of that sort of thing going on, Chez Ravelled. A row of lace, and then a little breather. And then another row of lace. Five more rows, and the decreases will begin on Lark’s shawlette.

When I left the office last night, I was in puttering mode. So I took my gift cards and went to JoAnn’s and Michael’s. Found two of the last three steel crochet hooks I was looking for and will probably pick up the last one tonight, when I’m in Arlington for Knit Night.

After the first JoAnn’s and before Michael’s and the second JoAnn’s, I stopped briefly at the Container Store and picked up another red document box for out here in tower bookcase in my living room. I divvied up the printer paper [pretty, seasonal paper vs. plain vanilla] and collected all the labels [printer-friendly or not] into one spot and sorted all of the envelopes and greeting cards.

It just occurred to me that one of these document boxes would be perfect for sorting my archived duplicate checks. Which, strictly speaking, are not archived at present, merely taking up space in several boxes in my studio and/or boudoir. I would like to be able to mine them for historical data before permanently disposing of them, and for what I want to accomplish, riffling through them twenty-five at a time would be more useful than looking up PDF’s on my bank’s website. [Once that task is accomplished, I could reuse the box for scrapbooking supplies.]

Yes, I know that eventually I need to make peace with Quicken or some other program, where sorting data is faster and easier than Samantha wiggling her nose and saving Darrin’s hide. I got stubborn when they (A) wanted me to pay for an upgrade and (B) stopped supporting the version I was using.

I wish I had bought some of the purple document boxes when the Container Store was still carrying them. I wonder if anybody else does? I have one purple magazine holder in the bookcase in the hall, holding my cooking magazines. I would like to have another one. And I think that document boxes would be a neat (literally) way to store my computer manuals and such, and my office supplies. This is what those two shelves look like now.



And



I am going to have to bite the bullet and buy a new printer next year. I bought this one sometime between June 2000 and April 2003. We were living in the formerly-elegant gated and portered apartments when I bought it, before we moved into the penultimate apartment [the one that was invaded by the 24/7 Mardi Gras denizens after Katrina]. I guess, technically speaking, I have gotten my money’s worth, and this printer doesn’t owe me anything.

If you came here looking for profundity, today might not be your day.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Oops.

I’ve been saying that Lark’s shawlette is knitted from Malabrigo Lace. Wrong. It’s Manos del Uruguay Lace. When I went into Ravelry to set this project up, I discovered my mistake.

In other oopsness, the last beaded row is done. Comic note: I did not spill the small bowl containing the beads I had decanted, until the last working bead was on my crochet hook, and there were only about a dozen beads left in the bowl. I *think* I got them all swept up, but you are welcome to walk around barefoot and see if I'm right...

Next up are ten eight rows of a simple lace pattern, and then another ten rows with the first batch of decreases. At which point I will have worked 11,718 stitches. When those rows are done, we have 46 rows of short-rows remaining, and I think they will go pretty quickly. There is a decent chance that Lark’s shawlette will be done, or nearly done, by the end of the week. [You are not invited to speculate upon how long it will take me to block it.]

The surviving beads are put away. My crochet hooks are all in their new case, with spaces for the three steel hooks which I need to replace. And I have all the red hooks (which I have been patiently collecting over the past couple of years) that I am likely to need, all the way up to size K. I know they also make an N, and I think they make a P. But since you’ll rarely find me in the vicinity of a bulky yarn, I’m not mourning the lack of those two.

Today I go back to work. It’s been a lovely long weekend, with another one just ahead. I need to focus on the display I’ve promised to make for the New Year’s Eve dance on Friday night. It probably wouldn’t hurt for me to check my regular email for updates from the friend who is in charge.

Time to pack my bag for work and figure out what I want to wear. Part of me wants to sit on the couch all day and knit. More of me is ready to get back to the job I love. I think I got the proportion of people time and solitude just about right, this past weekend. I have started filling another bag with items to donate, and I’ve picked out the CD’s I want to listen to next.

Can’t wait to see how the day unfolds.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

My Inner Mork

Today my baby is 21. Does not bear thinking. I remember holding her, and nursing her, while listening to Leonard Bernstein’s broadcast from the blessedly-fallen Berlin Wall, and spattering her tiny face with tears of joy.

When Firstborn was 21, she was with 1BDH. And I thought, how grown-up she is. LittleBit’s young man seems very nice [and refreshingly normal, after some of the ones she dated in high school, but I’m glad that she was able to see and find the good in some interesting specimens, and to recognize that the Marine she was dating, was rotten to the Corps], and it occurs to me to wonder if he will be LBDH, someday.

I think it must be a Mom-thing, to see one’s firstborn as all grown up at a certain age, and to see one’s youngest as just a baby at the same age, some years later. We grow up [if we grow up] when we grow up, and not to somebody else’s timetable.

Our Jewish cousins have it right: when our children are little, they step on our feet. When they are older, they step on our heart. But notwithstanding the griefs given or received, I cannot imagine my life without one of these five blessings in it, or the blessings they have brought into the tribe through marriage.

They surprised me yesterday. After dinner we gathered by the tree (I should have taken my camera; that tree is twelve feet tall!) and opened the last of the presents. They gave me an iPod Nano! [Hence the reference to Mork, above; yes, I know he said Nanu, nanu. Still.] It makes my cell phone look like the Flintstone phone I had, back in 1998!

Firstborn counseled me to get a cover for it (do they make miniature red patent leather bounce houses?) and to figure on spending an hour getting it set up. I will do both, sometime in the coming week.

Lark is excited about her shawlette and was a little disappointed when I told her I hadn’t brought it along to Christmas dinner. I told her that the combination of beads and lace is slippery and does not make for a portable project. I have had a couple of scary moments, in the past couple of days, when I dropped a stitch here or there and had to fix it. Thankfully, alpaca is a different kind of slippery than is laceweight silk. And I’ve worked enough of the pattern that I can read where I am and how the stitches are supposed to go. The first four rows of beading are done, which leaves three to go, and I hope to get one or more done before leaving for church.

This is our last Sunday on the 1-4 block of meetings, which is my favorite. Next year we switch to 9-12, and the Spanish ward gets afternoons. I am glad that we get to study the New Testament next year, a little sad that it will be in the mornings, glad that I no longer have several hours of meetings before church, mildly curious about what my next church calling might be.

And now if you will all excuse me, breakfast is calling my name. Have a blessed and peaceful Sabbath, everybody!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas (Like It’s 1999)



I opened up the present from my sister a few seconds after midnight. I really should have taken a picture of the box in all its glory, because she is an artist in that respect as well as others.

A photograph of the contents will have to wait until I am done beading Lark’s shawlette. The coffee table, at this moment, belies all the work I’ve put into getting my house in order. The box of CD’s is there, and the box which holds the Star Wars trilogy I am watching listening to as I knit. I have a lid which is collecting the beads which have holes too narrow for my size 12 crochet hook to slip through. Those beads will be used later for doll jewelry or a beaded bodice, so they will not go to waste.

The bead shop has a notebook that tells them how many beads of a given size fit into a little tube. So I knew how many tubes to buy, to bling out the shawlette. Most of their purple beads were not ruddy enough, but I found some hexagonal 8°’s that are even prettier on the shawlette than they were in the tube.

There are 23 pattern repeats in each row. The beads form triangles with a base of seven beads spaced every other stitch, tapering up to one bead on the last beaded row. And then the rest of the patterned section (34 rows total) is all yarnovers and decreases, after which there are short-rows to shape that long, skinny rectangle into a crescent shape.

So the first beaded row used up a quarter of the beads [7+6+5+4+3+2+1 = 28] and took a movie and a half. When I went to bed this morning, I was maybe halfway down the second beaded row. This will not be traveling knitting until all the beads are in place, and maybe not then. And a Star Wars movie is not the best choice of ear candy, because unlike chick flicks, which are talky and require little visual attention, Star Wars is mostly whoosh whoosh whoosh bang word explode whoosh whoosh word clang banter whoosh.

I did not realize until last night how much Yoda sounds like Grover [on Sesame Street]. Scary, it is.

Where was I? Oh yes, present from my sister. Yarn, much yarn, hand-dyed from Santa Fe, six mini-hanks in a teal that is more green than blue: the Azul Verdoso colorway. If Blessing were human, she would be fighting me for this yarn. We have three-ply with one ply darker, loopy mohair, alpaca, silk/merino, plain mohair, superwash merino. One of the yarn bases is called Deborah, and another is called Harry. I wonder if the dyer was into Blondie?

Six hundred seventy yards of yarny goodness, and I have no idea what it wants to be when it grows up. It will be fun to look up on Ravelry and see what, if anything, others have done with it. But in the meantime I am going back to the couch, and Episode VI. All the beading is added on the purl side, which makes it a little more difficult to see if I’ve gotten them in the right place. I stop at the end of every section and turn it around and inspect my work. So this is slow and fiddly going, but it is my kind of slow and fiddly going.

In a few hours I will pick up a friend from church, and her boyfriend, and we will head down to Secondborn’s for fun, food, festivity and possibly a fruit roll-up race.

Merry Christmas, everybody.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Almost there.



The bottom package is mine, from my sister. [I will open it tomorrow morning, whenever the Insomnia Fairy smacks me upside the head with her wand.] The larger bag on the left is full of LittleBit’s stuff, plus her birthday card for Sunday. The smaller bag on the right has stuff for Secondborn. And the little red bling bag is holding the first row of Lark’s shawlette. I am waiting for the bead shop to open at 10:00 so that I may buy 644 beads.

Alison, you had asked how many plies the Manos Lace has. My gut reaction was that it was a singles. I was wrong; it’s a two-ply. I’m not sure if I will use 6° beads or 8° beads; will have to see which is a better match, colorwise.

After I got all those stitches cast on and the first row worked (with markers inserted between pattern repeats), I poured the last of the milk into a glass measuring cup with a tablet of Abuelita (Mexican hot chocolate) and nuked away at two-minute intervals until I got this:



The box on the left is Godiva(!), from my attorney. I have yet to open it, but no doubt there will be incursions throughout the day. I will pick up a few groceries this morning, including what I’m taking to Secondborn’s tomorrow for Christmas dinner. But mostly I plan to sit on the couch and watch movies and play with this:



Leftover Malabrigo and Manos del Uruguay from last year’s Fair Isle project. Christmas stocking ornaments, one for each of the grandkids, if I get enough of them cranked out. And if not, I’ll save them for next year.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Good news and more good news.

It’s either the O2 sensor or the catalytic converter, both of which are easy to get to on Lorelai, and neither of which renders the car unsafe to drive. He told me to go to a parts store and give them the code; I’ll bring back the part, and since the garage will be open next Friday (New Year’s Eve), we will take care of it then. I also got her oil changed while I was there.

I had to convert another 3.75 hours of vacation to PT, and I used 2.25 hours of it yesterday. Now I get to figure out how to use up the remaining hour and a half without messing up anybody else’s schedule. We will be extremely short-handed, beginning today.

I did get a lot accomplished at work yesterday. Worked straight through lunch and took mine at the end of the day. The jumper needle is working fine, so far, for casting on Lark’s shawlette. I stopped at the Shabby Sheep and bought a size 7 Addi Lace needle for the body, and since we are getting off an hour early today, I will see if I can pick up the beads after work (or tomorrow if the bead shop is open).

Between the yarn shop and my friend’s house, I stopped at B&BW and stocked up, on sale.



Had another great dinner with my friend J at Chop House Burgers. And this time I was able to score a slice of their sawdust pie, which has nothing to do with woodworking and everything to do with coconut, pecans, and other delights. Think of it as the edible equivalent of particleboard, and about that dense, and you will not be far off.

Then we drove down to the store where LittleBit works, and I bought this:



Buy two lipsticks, get one free, and because my purchase was over $15, I also brought this home:



Some people might think that this is a tarted-up makeup bag. We knitters know better.

And then I came home and threw all my whites into the laundry bag, and the laundry bag into the car, and did two loads, and ate half of my pie and saved the rest of it for breakfast, and chatted briefly with the new guy. We were both one yawn short of exhausted.

And then I went to bed, where (miracle of miracles) I had another good night’s sleep. Having polished off the rest of the pie, I am grabbing a bottle of milk and my knitting and scooting out the door. We get off an hour early today, and I am taking a change of clothes, because today we get to wear sneakers with our jeans and holiday tops. And tonight I am going to the temple.

There might even be a nice bowl of jalapeno cream soup in my future. [We will, we will Rock(fish) you.]

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Which Passeth All Understanding

I am feeling perhaps a bit greater appreciation for that phrase this morning. Last night, on my way home from delivering the last goodies for visiting teaching, Lorelai’s check engine light came on.

Ordinarily, this would be an occasion for weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. For most of my adult life, car trouble has been the straw which sends the camel to ER.

I am supposed to meet a girlfriend for dinner tonight. She is a temple worker, and I am going to have her help me dial-down the intensity of my nail polish and find a lipstick that is properly genteel. I don’t want to go back to a French or American manicure. I couldn’t have colored nail polish when I was in the interpreting program, and I need more color in my life than that.

Likewise, the hey-sailor red lips which are my signature, and which I wipe down to a stain on the nights I serve as a temple patron, are fine for then, but too much if I am trying to blend in with the other sisters as a temple worker. Jody has excellent taste, and she is vibrant like me, so she is the perfect guide through OPIland and Lipstickville.

I am also planning my regular Thursday night as a temple patron, and I am picking up people for Christmas dinner at Secondborn’s. Ergo, I need Lorelai to be happy.

She has 120,000+ miles on her, so this may simply be a programmed alert which is running on Mormon Standard Time. The amazing thing is, I am perfectly calm about this. Perfectly. I slept like a rock last night, and I woke up rested, and it makes no earthly sense at all.

I cleaned out the left rear footwell last night (that might be the problem). My friend Lauren had given me a raft of vintage knitting needles several months ago, and they’ve never quite made it into the house. So, after work and before visiting teaching, I brought them in. And last night before bed I sorted them into sheep [the ones that will stay] and goats [the ones that will go].

My friend at work remembered to bring her size 9 needles, the size required for casting on Lark’s shawlette, but hers were straight needles, and a cable needle will hold 363 stitches a whale of a lot better than a single straight needle.

In my sheep pile on the couch is a pair of jumper needles (picture a circ which has been bisected, with a stop at the end of each cable). I don’t know if I can squeeze 363 stitches onto one jumper needle, but I am certainly going to try, popping on a stitch marker every 20 stitches or so to make counting easier.

I am giving the Bitties one of my art books for Christmas, filled with James Christensen’s paintings and illustrations. I wrapped it up this morning. Maybe I will give them an art book every year, or something on the fine arts, to encourage them to use their individual talents to bring as much joy into the world as Brother Christensen does with his. One of my friends in the old ward had a large, framed print of Storyteller on Mount Timpanogos on her living room wall.

Life is good, and I am calm, and that is a little weird. It certainly passeth my understanding. I have called into work and will get there when I can. And in the meantime, there are stitches to be cast on, and I have time for a nice breakfast.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mugging for the camera

Mugging the First:



Above, with permission of the photographer, our friend Rhonda; likewise the new guy’s permission. Click to embiggen?

Mugging the Second:



Yes, the store in Dallas called me yesterday to say that at long last, they had found the mug I’d ordered. So I drove up after work and bought it.

Work was deliciously busy, and it looks as if I will be even busier today. He was dictating like mad all day; the other attorney has stuff that needs to be done by tomorrow; and we have a new suit with the answer due on Monday.

Mount Washmore did not get tackled last night. Looks like I will be AWOL from Knit Night.

I got the results back from the medical study. All sorts of numbers to plug into my fitness program at work, including a specific number for my glucose level, which is stellar. I had to laugh at the cover letter, which referred to something about my lungs “as we discussed by phone,” which we most certainly did not, but we will tomorrow or the next day or whenever I can catch a breath [pun intended]. It’s a common condition and nothing to be concerned about. It’s just not normal. I will also discuss it with my wonderful primary care physician, who will tell me if it’s something that’s shown up before on my yearly chest X-rays. My CPAP is one of the treatments, as is exercise.

I have zero plaque in my arteries, and a less than 5% chance of developing heart disease.

All in all, a rather nice gift for Christmas this year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

I have the world’s best visiting teachers!

Popcorn is good. Homemade popcorn is better. Homemade caramel corn trumps that, and homemade caramel corn with white chocolate drizzles? Ambrosia!



Now, alas, only a slightly blurry memory. But a sweet one.

Our ward choir did their Christmas program yesterday. The bishop’s wife [my friend Alison’s sister-in-law] wrote the narrative, which had seven parts. Four narrators spoke, in a chiasmus that would have made Isaiah beam with joy:

Narrator 1
Narrator 2
Narrator 3
Narrator 4
Narrator 3
Narrator 2
Narrator 1

And the music, of course, was superb: the melding of mostly-untrained voices in traditional harmonies, sweetened by the Spirit.

I don’t know why, but the last verse of Hymn 205, Once in Royal David’s City, always makes me weep.

And our eyes at last shall see Him,
Through His own redeeming love;
For that Child so dear and gentle,
Is our Lord in heaven above:
And He leads His children on,
To the place where He is gone.

Just. Gets. To. Me.

In knitting news, I nearly finished Willow’s sock last night; I am within spitting distance of binding off the toe. Lark has OK’d the pattern for the beaded lace shawlette. I will call the bead shop later today and find out if they are open on Christmas Eve. And sometime this week I will cast on 363 stitches and work the first row. I will not need beads until row two.

In other news, the new guy will be eating Christmas dinner with one of his sons. (Understandable, and commendable.) So I have five days to figure out an alternate way to keep the children’s father from resuming his campaign for us to remarry. A way that will not hurt his feelings, embarrass our children, or make me look like the Wicked Witch of the West.

I guess if that's the worst problem I have to deal with at the moment, I am a lucky woman. And in its own perverse way, it’s something of a compliment.

I’ve gotten permission from the friend who snapped the mistletoe photograph on Saturday night. And I’ve requested it from the new guy, who is snoozing sweetly on the other side of Dallas, as we speak. If he OK’s it, I’ll post it here in the next day or so. And meanwhile if you know how to find me on FB, you can get a sneak preview. It’s a great one of both of us. I love any picture where I do not look like The Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

An Early Visit from Santa

Yesterday was a lovely, leisurely day. My landlord was next door, helping the new neighbors move in about 10 days ahead of when we both thought it would happen. The plumber was there, connecting their gas fireplace, and he swung through here as well, checking for gas leaks and finding none. So that was good.

I’ve met the mother, who seems very nice. It’s a little strange to hear signs of life from next door, and I like it. This is a very old duplex, so if they open or close a door, the frame creaks over here. And presumably vice versa.

I spent most of the day on the couch, watching movies and knitting. [I did do a little bookkeeping, tweaking my budget spreadsheet for next year.] I am three pattern repeats from the start of the toe decreases on Willow’s sock. And I did something creative with the patterning on the toe portion of the first sock, so it will probably not be my best choice for church knitting today.

I have yet to hear back from Lark on my idea for her scarf/shawlette. She had a wrestling tournament yesterday, and her phone may still be charging. So I will take that ball of laceweight silk yarn that has tried to be something, at least twice and been frogged both times, and start something mindless for myself. There is a cowl in the Winter 2010 Interweave Knits which is designed for self-striping yarn. You knit a verylongstrip on the bias, and then you join it together with a crochet hook and chain stitch. I will tweak the gauge and the number of stitches and attempt one for me, and a smaller one for Blessing, as the yarn is peacock blue and teal and turquoise and caramel brown. It should go with her teal sweater very nicely, and I can envision variations on the theme which would make it my own design and therefore suitable for me to reproduce in doll-scale.

The new guy and I exchanged Christmas presents last night. I parked my car next to his at the dance, and I left at 11:00 so I could pick up milk and a few other things before the Sabbath. [I told you that I had a bad case of finish-itis. I didn’t leave the house at all yesterday, until it was time to head out for the dance.] I gave him a seasonal ceramic plaque, which he tells me is now hung up in his living room along with the last 7 candy canes he did not hand out as Santa Claus last night. He gave me a gift card to Michael’s and a miniature teddy bear for Chutzpah, which Mel-Mel Chan helped him pick out.

Behold:



The bear is about as long as my little finger, and fully-jointed. Just precious. So far there is no grumbling from the other resin kids that she has a bear, where’s mine?

So, now I’ll be able to replace my hot glue gun and get some other things I’ve been wanting but couldn’t quite justify.

Says he: You’re a hard woman to shop for.
Says I: I am at that.
Says he: Michael’s has yarn.
Says I: No, yarn stores have yarn.
Says he: I’m sorry.
Says I: No, I’m tickled! I have quite a list of things I’ve wanted and needed that Michael’s has, and now I can get them. This is great!
Says he: (big relieved grin)

He did put on the Santa suit, midway through the dance. I got to slow-dance with Santa Claus. And while he was still in civvies, one of our mutual friends walked up with a camera and a sprig of mistletoe and coerced him to give me two pecks on the cheek.

It doesn’t really count as a first kiss. That, if it ever comes, will be voluntary, mutual, and undocumented.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Random Bits

Blogger gives you the option of answering random questions and posting them on your profile. [I probably ought to check mine and update it.] I accidentally found this one on Firstborn’s blog:

RANDOM QUESTION: “For your birthday, your aunt gave you a maple syrup dispenser shaped like a rooster. Please write her a thank-you note:”

HER ANSWER: “Dear Myrtle, Thank you for the rooster shaped syrup dispenser. I hope it is microwave and dishwasher safe. I would hate for anything to happen to this priceless heirloom due to [1BDH’s] careless dishwashing skills. This matches the egg shaped salt and pepper shakers you sent previously. Hope all is well at the retirement center. We will be sending mom to join you in a few years! Love, [Firstborn]”

(1) They will have to catch me first, and (2)this is why some species eat their young.

Re: this morning’s Facebook status: Got on the elevator at lunchtime yesterday, sock in hand. On the ride back up, met another knitter. “Are you on Ravelry?” “Yes!!” and she scrawls her name on a piece of paper and hands it to me as she steps off. [While the men on the elevator are vewwy, vewwy quiet...] That was so much fun! It’s always great to find a kindred spirit, and it’s also fun to find an elevator car full of lawyers at a loss for words.

I have been remiss; here are the readings for yesterday and today. December 17: The Lamanite prophet Samuel prophesied to the wicked Nephites about Christ’s birth and death in Hel. 14. And December 18: Read the Prophet Joseph Smith’s testimony of the Savior in D&C 76:19-24, 40-42.

I’ve finished the gusset shaping on Willow’s sock. Now for the grand gallop down to the toes. I have Hook in the VCR and am taking a quick break to refuel. This is the point in a project where eating, sleeping, and work become a distraction. Finish-itis has definitely set in! [One of my friends in Fredericksburg used to say that every man who thinks he is a good dad, should watch Hook from time to time.]

If I did not have a dance tonight, I would stay on the couch until this sock is done. And I am likely to begrudge every second I spend on the road today, as taking me away from my goal.

On the other hand, this is my fortune from the dinner on Thursday night: A new friend helps you break out of an old tradition. The new guy would certainly qualify as a new friend, right? And I have been single (as in post-married single) for 2 + 12.75 years of my life; roughly a quarter of my life would certainly seem to be a tradition, right?

So I’ll go to the dance tonight, and I’ll take Willow’s mostly-finished sock with me, and if Tevye should pop in, bellowing “Tradition!”, I’ll tell him to stuff a [handknitted] sock in it.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A day mostly for the living.

Enough and to spare. That is one of the promises we are made, if we tithe. When I woke up yesterday morning, all the checks and debits had cleared, and I had exactly $9 in my checking account, and $5 in cash. More than enough for what I needed to do yesterday. (I had more money in various saving accounts, a generous handful of quarters in the bag that holds the laundry detergent, that jar of chunk change which has been accumulating all year, and when I contemplate the balance in my 401K, I get positively giddy.) Most of the blessings that come from paying my tithing, would not show up on a balance sheet or income statement. That quiet sense of there is enough, and I will be OK? Priceless.

We had our monthly support staff meeting yesterday. Two and a half hours’ worth. I still managed to get quite a bit done during the day, and I took the hour of comp time I was awarded at said staff meeting and left early, spending part of the time downstairs at the Christmas party which the building management puts on for us every year. [Let the record show that we all were allowed half an hour or so to mix and mingle, and my office manager suggested that I only use half an hour of my comp time, and the other half later.] Building management alternates between chamber music and a jazz quartet. This was a jazz year. One of the young guys in the building (probably what we call a baby lawyer, which has nothing to do with the practice of family law) got up and boogied, all by himself. I was sorely tempted to ask if he knew East Coast Swing, but I was really more interested in the potstickers and eggrolls and dainty little bites of this and that.

After the support staff meeting, and before the getting-stuff-done and the party, we had this week’s lunch-and-a-movie. Which was something of a bust. One of my coworkers brought a ginormous crockpot of taco soup. I had a bowl and a half of it; lunch per se was not the problem. But the movie was National Lampoon’s “Christmas Vacation”, which started out tacky and went downhill from there. I picked up my bowl and my knitting about 25 minutes into the movie and quietly left the room. I will not be joining them for pizza and the other half of the movie today.

From the party, it was on to the temple, by way of the LDS bookstore, where I ran into friends from Irving whom I hadn’t seen in 16 years. We are friends on FB, but he lives in Atlanta, and her work recently transferred her back up here. Their family did “12 days of Christmas” for our family, back when the children’s father was in chiropractic school. Truly, the salt of the earth. We stood there and talked for at least half an hour, probably more.

I then drove a couple of blocks to the temple, hoping that I wasn’t too late to do initiatories. I wasn’t. And I will be back there next Thursday night, for more of the same. In three weeks I will begin training as a temple worker, and I am so excited about that.

I blasted Kenny Wayne Shepherd all the way home, playing the same 5:52 long song over and over so I could learn the words and try to sing along. [Alas, I have a folk singer’s voice, and not a jazz diva’s.] He’s a year older than Firstborn. Amazing.

Came home to find that I still had clean unmentionables and did not have to add Mt. Washmore to what had to be done before bedtime. I was in bed a hair after 10:00p.m., asleep in something like 15 seconds, awake again at 3:30, have written to the new guy and posted on Facebook and written my tithing check on today’s paycheck and am ready for some breakfast and some knitting.

I would embed a YouTube of Kenny Wayne Shepherd and his band doing “Everybody Gets The Blues”, but there doesn’t seem to be one. Southern blues rock loud get up and move your feet music.

Bliss.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The cooking mojo was elsewhere yesterday.

You guys know that I am not into false modesty, but I was not happy with what I pulled out of the oven yesterday, and I sent this email out to the office:

Subject: Apologizing for the brownies

Also apologizing that they are not the chocolate pecan tart for which I signed up; friends from church came over last night, and by the time they left, I was not inclined to run to the store for more chocolate chips.

I baked the brownies in a disposable pan on top of a jelly roll pan, for support. The jelly roll pan warped during baking, and most of the batter ran to one corner of the baking pan. So we have brownies, and we have chocolate adobe. [A co-worker] prevailed upon me not to throw out all the adobe. And [my attorney] says there is no such thing as a bad brownie. I hope he’s right. But these are definitely not up to my standards.

Funny thing is, around 2:30pm there were maybe a dozen brownies left? And when I went home at 4:30, they were all gone, and the disposable pan was on top of the trash.

I am either going to have to invest in a single unrimmed baking sheet, to be used only for supporting disposable pans, or I am going to have to resume using real baking pans when I make brownies. The base of the jelly roll pans (rimmed cookie sheets) expands at a different rate than the sides, and the pan almost invariably skews while baking. Lasagna would be the exception, but a pan of my lasagna weighs a good deal more than a pan of brownie batter.

In other news, I started sneezing yesterday afternoon. So I burned my last half-hour of PT and came home early, had a mug of chicken broth and two slices of toast, and went to bed for several hours. I did call the new guy on my drive home, to tell him that I would not be at the temple last night, on the off-chance that it was not simply allergies. [I have yet to learn how to sneeze reverently. It’s more like the St. Valentines Day Massacre, or the 1812 Overture complete with cannons.] When I awoke several hours later, there was a kind email waiting for me. What a nice guy, is the new guy.

I may or may not go to the temple tonight. That will depend upon how I feel, and any flashes of inspiration that may pop up during the day. In the meantime, I have just popped the third Kenny Wayne Shepherd CD into the Ubiquitous Red Bag, so there is small chance of a boring commute regardless of which direction I drive.

Small but significant progress on Willow’s sock yesterday and in the wee hours of this morning. Life is good. [Ka-choo!]

P.S. Holy cow! I posted this without adding today's reading!

December 16: King Benjamin testified of the coming of the Savior in Mosiah 3:1-12; 20-21.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Don’t you call *me* a chocolate pecan tart!

December 15: Nephi saw in vision the Savior’s birth and ministry before and after the Lord’s Crucifixion. Read Nephi’s account in 1 Ne. 11:3-33; 1 Ne. 12:4-8.

Clarification: no, I did not just finish a 1999 ornament for Middlest. [I concede that it is a fair question, considering that I gave your big sister the completed quilt I began when she was in kindergarten, when she was in 8th grade. But, no.] I *found* the ornaments I made for all y’all in 1999, and one by one I am getting them back to you. Firstborn and Fourthborn have theirs. Middlest will soon have hers. And you and LittleBit will get yours at Christmas. (Take that any way you like.)

My home teachers came over last night, bringing joy and the second chapter of Luke and listening ears. Good thing, too; I appear to have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle. Bishop asked for a spinning demonstration, which I gave. He asked how wool is dyed (and was probably sorry he had, LOL). We talked about how much we like his sister-in-law-in-law (were your ears burning?)

I shared the micro-drama generated recently by the father of my children (i.e., he thinks it would be a good idea if we remarried, and I am filibustering like you would not believe). And my home teachers prayed that I would have a peaceful and joyful and drama-free Christmas.

Their mouths to Heaven’s ears.

Not much knitting yesterday. I did get about half of the gusset stitches picked up along one side of the heel flap. And no chocolate pecan tart baked last night, good intentions notwithstanding. I had everything on hand except the chocolate chips, and the patience, and the desire to leave my warm living room to buy more chocolate chips.

So this morning I have a 13x9 pan of brownies baking, for today’s Christmas luncheon at the office, and my temple bag is by the door for tonight. I have polished off the last of the virgin eggnog and also the last of the cottage cheese. And I have swept up the shards of a glass jar of cotton balls that became depressed last night and took a fatal leap off the back of the commode, falling between it and the tub. I was too sleepy last night to do the job properly, so I put the lid down and the dustpan on top of it, to remind myself to tread lightly in there until this morning and relative consciousness.

Listened to the first of three Kenny Wayne Shepherd CD’s to and from work yesterday. Will toss another one into the Ubiquitous Red Bag, but I doubt that I will get to it today, as today’s listening pleasure in my Book of Mormon CD is the fifth chapter of Jacob. My Latter-Day Saint friends are nodding and smiling or groaning: it’s the longest chapter in the entire Book of Mormon. It’s also one of my favorites.

I will probably burn that last half hour of PT this morning, wrangling the brownies out of the oven, into Lorelai, and on down the road to work. Mmm, they are starting to smell plausible...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Attribution and subversion. [Hallelujah!]

I came home from Relief Society on Sunday with all manner of handouts. One of them is for Learning More About the Savior: 12 Days of Reading. I wanted to share it on Facebook and here, but lacked the attribution. And we know how I am about copyrighted material.

I wasn’t able to find this on the new official website, but Brother Google came to my rescue.

So, for your reading-and-pondering enjoyment, here is the selection for today: The prophet Isaiah foretold and testified of the Savior’s divine mission and birth in Isa. 7:14-15; Isa. 9:6-7; Isa. 53. There are bits of Isaiah which I cannot read without hearing Brother Handel’s lovely music from Messiah.

I finished the heel flap and got the heel turned on Willow’s sock yesterday. And figured out what to give my wonderful sister. (I also have a head start on next year’s present, but that’s another story for another day.) So there will be a detour to the 24/7 post office on my way to work this morning. Middlest, I am also mailing your 1999 Christmas ornament to you.

Tonight I get to bake a chocolate pecan tart for our Christmas luncheon tomorrow. Let’s hope my cooking mojo really is back from her extended absence.

And now if you will all excuse me, I need to gather up a few more things to take, and tidy the coffee table, before getting ready for work. No Knit Night for me: home teacher is coming over tonight, and I’m handing him a short but crucial honey-do list.

Monday, December 13, 2010

R.I.P. Glue Gun



You’ve had a long and useful life. I think I bought you when we lived in the Hill Country, back in the early 90’s. So I ought not to complain when you cannot fire up enough enthusiasm to help this little cat “get a grip,” once more.

I could have just as easily called this post “Come, thou font of every blessing.” Does the title seem as if it were somehow familiar?



Unless I miss my guess, this is the same font as the eye-charts at my optometrist’s office. And considerably less blurry, in this photo snapped at 3:15am, than what the world looks like, before I put on my glasses.

So: thankful for a glue gun that just wore out its ninth life; for the gift of seeing connections, no matter how slight; for the artists and technicians who make it possible for me to navigate my world on a daily basis; for good writing (the above is a mordantly funny book, and probably too close to home for my girls to enjoy, but I find myself thinking, her parents were not entirely crazy).

Also thankful for Ravelry, where I keep my notes on works-in-progress, thus enabling me to see that I had worked seven pattern repeats too many, between the cuff ribbing and where the heel flap should go. I frogged 35 rounds last night before bedtime, chuckling at myself. I have now worked six of the 40 rows of heel flap, and I am going to grab a movie, fix myself a healthy snack, then wash my hands and try to finish the flap before leaving for the health club, and work.

Happy Monday, everybody!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Hypothermia Lights

One of these days I need to sit down with the manual for my camera and figure out how to take pictures at night. Meanwhile, I offer you these, taken on the grounds of the Pier One building just west of downtown Fort Worth, one night last week.



Another view:



We’re walking, we’re walking:



And we’re stopping:



Why hypothermia lights? When she was not much more than a tot, Fourthborn said the blue lights made her think the trees were very, very cold. [My kid, a chip off the walking-thesaurus block.]

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Too good not to share.

MovieMom’s interview with the stepson of C.S. Lewis.

Have done my morning stint at the church, bagging up more gold coins for tonight’s activity. And I just realized I should not have been swigging down eggnog (cut with milk) nor eating cottage cheese for lunch, if I want to have any kind of a voice tonight. Looks as if I will just have to be content to make a joyful noise.

We have transformed the cultural hall [gym] into a reasonable facsimile of Bethlehem’s marketplace. There are a tailor shop, a place for somebody to run the shell game, other games for the children to play, food vendors. Hang on while I go get my admission fee: a can of something non-perishable. It would not do for a member of the activities committee to arrive without tribute for Caesar. Caesar and his centurions will load up the chariots and take it all to the night shelter, later.

I have my costume, though I did not remember until this morning that a woman of good breeding would keep her head covered. [I suppose it would not do to show up as a harlot, right?] So I have divested Mehitabel (my dressmaker dummy) of one of my belly-dancing hip scarves, which has lots of jingly bits, and will drape that suitably about my head.

Continued progress on Willow’s sock. And I did some of my visiting teaching this morning. When I came home, I made up the rest of the goodie bags to take on my other visits, and I have some things to send to my sister in Seattle, although I still have no idea what to give as her main present, and time is becoming of the essence. I need to get her box in the mail by half-past Wednesday or so.

Had better have another mug of virgin eggnog whilst pondering what to do.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Lawwwwyer, you got me on your fees

Alison’s comment was too good not to recycle as a title: Lawwwwyer, you got me on your fees, lawyer. Darlin’ won’t you please, lawyerrr. You know that I love a good (bad) pun as much as the next ma’am!

The Clapton CD goes all the way back to his days with Derek and the Dominos, Blind Faith, and Cream. There are songs there, big hits for him/them, that I’ve never heard, presumably because I was mired in the 17th century with the children’s father? Promises takes me back to the thrilling days of codependency, when all that I wanted was for him to love me as he did when we were first married. [The children’s father. Not Eric Clapton. Just in case you were confused.] Infectious, rollicking tune about the futility of some forms of love and/or entanglement. I’ll finish listening to that CD on my way to work today. And then it’s on to a Diana Krall that I didn’t have.

After work, I headed straight to the chapel to insert five coins into each of the bags I made. Several people very kindly offered to help. I just smiled and told them that I needed to do something mindless and quiet at the end of the day, and that filling bags with little plastic coins meant I didn’t have to do any of the heavy lifting in the cultural hall (gym).

And when I did go in, I got roped into the second run-through of the rehearsal for the program tomorrow night. I sang alto when I could, and soprano when I didn’t know or had forgotten the alto line. Since I never know on any given day if I’m going to be a soprano or an alto, it’s useful to know both parts, and to have memorized most of the hymn texts, so that I can focus on finding the right note or coming up with a plausible alternative.

It’s fair to say that I warble to the beat of a different larynx.

We are having another lunch-and-a-movie today. I looked at the menu and decided that paying $10 or more for an alligator sandwich was not my idea of a Real Good Time. Though it will be fun watching everybody else eat, while I eating something boring and conservative and frugal. [I takes me fun where I finds it.]

We get to wear Christmas-themed garb to work today (not that folks have not been hauling out the Christmas sweaters or tucking a red sweater-vest between the dress shirt and the topcoat). Last night before bedtime, I walked in the door to my studio, around the end of my work table, and to the closet, pulling out (A) my Santa-embroidered linen-blend shirt, which needed a button three buttons sewn on; and (B) a J. Peterman batik caftan which will be my costume tomorrow night, now that I have re-sewn the facing at the neck. [My wise men made a little detour through Java before finding the Holy Land; sorry about yours!] I was supposed to come up with a costume that looks vaguely 1-A.D.ish. You know me: it is more along the lines of 1-ADDish.

Elsewhere in my studio, I also found (C) the box which contained a card of shell buttons in the right size. One of which I broke while attempting to wrangle it free from the staple connecting it to the card. So the new buttons are in place on my Santa shirt, and the button card will go out to the recycling bin on my way to Lorelai this morning. There was a minute stain above the pocket, which I have spot-cleaned and mostly gotten out. I have an angel pin that I can put over the oops, for today, and once the holidays are over I can do more redwork embroidery if the stain does not come out in the wash. When the day comes that the shirt is utterly unwearable, I will carefully cut out the Santa and build a pillow front around him.

I think I am finally tired enough to go back to sleep. Happy Friday, everybody!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Veryquickpost

Stockings are done for that branch of the family tree.

Slept like a rock last night and am ready to sluice off, foof up, and scoot on out the door.

We have clients coming in from out of town for depositions today. Looking forward to meeting them; they have been lovely on the phone. Am dressing up a little, just for them.

One of my attorneys gave me nearly two dozen compact discs that he no longer wanted, one of which has been on my Amazon wishlist just this side of forever. Glad that I did not buy it; the woman has an incredible voice, and 99% of the songs are done-me-wrong blues. Not congruent with the Christmas season and my general level of perkiness.

He had a Clapton CD that I did not own. Guess what I will be listening to on the way to work today, after I have listened to my scriptures?

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Having fun with dead presidents.

So, yesterday I had the CT scan of my heart, ringing down the curtain on the medical study in which I participated, and walked out with another $25 cash in my pocket. Which I promptly took to Braums for an eggnog ice cream cone, and then to the bead store.

Brought home two new packages of beading needles, one in size 13 and the other in size 15. As with crochet hooks, the larger the number, the finer the needle; these might be fine enough to navigate those peach baby freshwater pearls. Also two tubes of beads for doll necklaces and two featherweight hand-blown glass beads to make myself a pair of earrings.



Then I drove over to Arlington to see Fourthborn and give her the bag of stuff that I forgot to take to Thanksgiving dinner at Firstborn’s, and to talk doll stuff. From there I went to Subway and picked up dinner, then across the street to where I expected Knit Night to meet. I will need to go to our group’s page and figure out what happened, but I was the only one who showed up. Sat there in relative peace and quiet until 7:30, gathered up my stuff, and came home.

Put a movie in and sat down to turn 100 bags inside out, with the idea of tidying up the top edges once that was accomplished. This is what 100 money bags look like:



At which point my common sense [stop laughing] overrode my perfectionism, and I decided that my eternal salvation did not depend upon these bags being perfect. Good-enough would do.

Tonight I will work on 1BDH’s Christmas stocking. And in the meantime, I have completed nearly 7 repeats of pattern on the cuff of Willow’s second sock, and it is calling my name.

I did finally get the flowers put into a vase.



And now I am going to put those last four dead presidents into my wallet and take them out on a field trip. The Christmas lights down by the Pier One building are pretty amazing. I think I’ll put my camera into the Ubiquitous Red Bag, as well.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Lab-ratatouille

Or, possibly, lab-rat-door retriever? (Alison, this is all your fault!)

The money bags are stitched up. Tonight I will turn them right side out and finish the top edges, probably with my pinking shears.

1BDH’s Christmas stocking is next on the list, but as Scarlett said, “I’ll worry about that tomorrow.”

Time to sluice off and head out the door for a short day at work. I’m taking the afternoon off, as this is the day I get a CT scan of my heart for the medical research study.

Not much knitting yesterday, but I did get a round or two added to Willow’s sock. Taking it with me in case traffic comes to a screeching halt, but otherwise I don’t expect to make much progress until I get to the lab this afternoon for some hurry-up-and-wait.

Heading over to Fourthborn’s after that, to put our heads together regarding our respective upcoming business (ad)ventures. And Knit Night tonight.

Only 17 more knitting days until Christmas! (This is probably not the time to sit down at the spinning wheel and whip up some handspun to send to my sister, right?)

Monday, December 06, 2010

I’m getting neighbors!

For the two and a half years I have been living here in the duplex, the other half has been vacant. Three weeks from today, I will have neighbors. I was stretched out on the couch last night with my knitting and a movie, when I heard the other door open and close. I popped up, hit the porch light, and opened the front door in time to see my wonderful landlord heading out to her car.

This will be a nice change. Young family, daughter about BittyBit’s age, temporary living situation. (My best guess is that they are probably waiting to close on a house. I was standing on the porch barefoot and in my jammies, thus not inclined to linger.)

Had a great weekend. Cooking mojo appears to be back from her extended stay at Club Med. I will not need to cook for the better part of a week.

Fourthborn and Fiancé came to dinner last night for my take on one of Firstborn’s specialties, Texas Skillet. I had put the serger manual, four cones of thread, another book on serging which was my mother’s, the slightly crazed Nutcracker, and the ornament from 1999 on the table in a nice, neat stack.

Still there.



But I’ll give them all that when I see her again tomorrow night, to look at doll clothes I might want to acquire for the doll which I’ll buy from her shortly after the clock ticks over into 2011. We’ve agreed on a price range, depending upon how many outfits I may want. I have three paychecks this month, the last on the 31st, with only taxes and my 401K coming out of it.

Depending upon how high my utilities are with the gas fireplace running, I may do it all on the first, or I may do half then and the other half when I get paid again on the 14th. By mid-January she will be paid for, and Fourthborn will have cash for her new sewing machine. We did a little research online for an upgrade to the one she has and talked about the fact that she may eventually want an industrial machine.

But for now she will do well with a good mid-priced machine and the serger and some hand-finishing. We both have an eye on the doll couture market, and we may do a mother-and-daughter Etsy site. She’s read their rules; I haven’t.

It will be a little weird to have a fully-human doll sitting on top of the dresser with my goat-girl, my vampie, my unicorn, and my fairie. And I will not be able to make her a sweater and skirt that suit her personality until after I have completed Willow’s socks (which may be done by Christmas), Lark’s shawlette/scarf, and little Faith’s silk duppioni altered-for-modesty harem pants. Which I can do after 1BDH’s Christmas stocking, which I can do after I finish the bags for Night in Old Bethlehem, which will happen tonight and/or tomorrow night.

Fourthborn was amazed at how much better the studio looks and how much easier it is to get from Point A to Point B in there, after all the puttering and pitching I’ve been doing. (Me, too.)

I am going to allow myself another doll purchase in 2011. Not sure if it will be Hope or Charity or Joy. I will not order her until I get my bonus in April or May, and I may put her off until 2012 in favor of a Lendrum spinning wheel. But for now, I am putting her in the budget.

If I do buy the Lendrum, I would probably sell my Louet S-10 wheel, but not until then. The sale of this wheel would give me roughly the cost of a doll Chutzpah’s size plus shipping from Korea.

Life is good. My living room is (mostly) tidy, the kitchen is under control, the bathroom is amazing, the studio is coming along, and I just shut the door to my room when company is here. I start at the temple on January 6th. My goal is to have the ongoing organizational push done by then, so I can start the new year off properly without the necessity to gag down black-eyed peas for good luck.

Southern tradition. I totally don’t get it. I will probably go for a nice pan of cornbread washed down with a tall glass of milk, instead.

Ms. Ravelled, signing off for now.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

This is why Ravelry is so brilliant.

Because I started Willow’s sock six weeks ago, and I documented how many rounds for the ribbing at the cuff, and how the pattern starts, where the gusset begins and ends, etc., thus increasing the likelihood of ending up with matching socks.

Notwithstanding the fact that I lost one of my DP’s either in Central Market when I nipped in [for mozzarella for the caprese, and dolmas to go alongside] or out in the parking lot afterward, I finished the ribbing last night while watching Return to Me with the new guy. He brought me four VHS movies to enjoy between now and when we see each other again. And flowers, currently having a sip in the bathroom sink.



Tola, I got your Christmas card from Old Blighty. What a lovely surprise! Thank you.

So, dinner last night was caprese, arranged like a flower on my square white plates, with two dolmas on either side, impersonating foliage. Followed by bread-cheese pudding while the soup finished cooking. And I forgot to pick up the canned cherry pie filling which I normally chill and serve alongside. Basic potato soup, un-thickened for once; essentially what I served my friend J last month when she came to dinner, minus the leeks, which are sulking somewhere in the back of the fridge.

When I made the bread-cheese pudding, I used the last five croissants from Thursday’s lunch-and-a-movie and half a loaf of potato bread that is a little too tender to toast (the crust keeps breaking off and bolting for the bottom of the toaster), the last of the open package of dried onions, my last four eggs, and most of a pint of half and half, thinned with some water. Also upended my jar of minced garlic, and maybe a tablespoon somersaulted out before I righted it and clapped on the lid again. 350°F for half an hour in a disposable 9x13 pan, and it was nearly done, so I turned the heat down to 300°F and left it in there until the elders arrived and we had finished our salads. I had had to guess how much water to throw in, to approximate whole milk and counteract the fact that I was about four eggs short of the ideal.

I just ate half of the leftovers for breakfast and at great personal sacrifice am saving the remainder to take for lunch tomorrow.



As you can see, the fireplace is humming merrily. Having reviewed the pattern for Willow’s sock, I am ready to curl up on the couch with Grumpy Old Men and put some mileage on the cuff before it’s time to get ready for church.

Oh, what’s that? You want a progress report on the new guy and me? Well, he still talks during movies. And it still makes me twitch. But thus far that’s the only red flag, and we had an interesting if brief discussion on organ donation, brought on by the movie. I told him, “Oh, by the way, I’m an organ donor.” To which he responded that his late wife had not wanted to be one, and that he had defended her right when the nice man at the hospital came to ask, twice, if they could divvy her up when she was through with her body, and that they were not to ask a third time.

I probably ought to ask him if he could as passionately and faithfully defend my right to be one, on the off-chance that he outlived me. (I have a good shot at making it to 100. I have no idea how longevity plays out for the males in his tribe, but his mother is still lively at 81.)

There are lots of ways to show respect for the temple which is one’s body. Not giving or receiving blood is one way; the Christian Scientists have that down to an art form. Not being an organ donor is another, and I recognize and respect that. Giving blood (assuming one has not had hepatitis, as I have) is another, and to my way of thinking, being an organ donor is a really cool way to spend a little more time here on this lovely earth, doing good. And if I donate my body to science, science picks up the tab for planting what’s left, and I am totally fine with that.

Just have a memorial service and then get together afterward and tell funny stories about me and eat too much chocolate, and if you can find somebody to play “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes in the general vicinity of my grave, after the dedication of my gravesite is finished, I promise not to come back and haunt you.

Yeah, probably need to discuss all of this with him.

So, progress? Nothing measurable, and I continue to be strangely fine with that. Nice hug at the beginning of the evening, another nice hug at the end. I was even OK with the fact that David Duchovny and Minnie Driver were smooching onscreen, while I was sitting in a smooch-free zone.

After church today I will go pick up Fourthborn and Fiancé and bring them over here for some Texas Skillet. We will also discuss the feasibility of my buying one of the six dolls she is putting up for sale in order to capitalize her Etsy business. She has one I’ve always liked, in a size between the dolls I already own, and it would be nice to keep her doll in the family while supporting her business goals; I would also have a another model for my own creations. I really think I am ready to put some of my designs on the market, and Secondborn has graciously offered to do the photography for both sites.

I would still honor my commitment not to buy any new resin during 2010, if that works for Fourthborn.

Life is good. I’m going to pop in a movie and go knit for awhile.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Just hand over my breakfast and no one gets hurt.

I think there is a dance in Plano tonight. I think my favorite might be DJ’ing. I need to check on that. I may or may not make it. I’ve been doing stuff three nights in a row, and a quiet evening at home sounds mighty appealing. [Note: that Plano activity is next Saturday, when I will be at our ward’s Night in Old Bethlehem. So I can enjoy that quiet evening at home, guilt-free.]

I need to do something about brownies for today’s lunch-and-a-movie. We’re watching the second half of “It’s A Wonderful Life”. Not sure that I would remember (or want to) not to lick my fingers if I made the brownies I was planning to make. [My appointment for that research project is at 7:30, and I have to go there fasting.] Might be wiser to make a run through the bakery section on my way to work.

I just tried Willow’s sock. I need to do a little math, but I think I am within half an inch of beginning the toe decreases. My foot is shorter and wider than hers

Crazy-tired. I took my three hours of comp time yesterday afternoon, ran an errand, hung out in a bookstore until time to go to the temple. Came home with the new Interweave Knits and Verena, the latter mostly for inspiration for doll sweaters.

Thankfully, it will be a busy day at work. And then I will come home and set the table for tomorrow, because it gives me joy.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

I am the Queen of Balderdash

For the second year running, I walked away with the most points in Balderdash at our game night. There is talk of not letting me play, next year. I laughed so much last night that my endorphin cup runneth over.

Today we are having lunch-and-a-movie. My friend C. is bringing the good stuff for chicken salad sandwiches. I have 26 small croissants out in the trunk. It took me four stores to collect them all. [Color me tired.]

We will watch the second half of the movie tomorrow. I will be bringing brownies. The makings for that are out in the trunk as well.

I am not having to move my desk next week. Huzzah! They reconfigured the reconfiguring.

I hope I will be busier at work today than I was yesterday. I took off at lunch for some fruitless shopping, to burn most of the rest of my PT. I have half an hour left to use between now and the 31st. I spent part of the afternoon on the company-approved website for personal health management, inputting doctors and pharmacies and surgeries, oh my!

And if I do not stir my stumps, I will burn that last half hour this morning, by being late to work.

Got the ends woven in on missionary hat #2 at lunch yesterday, and a few rounds worked on the sock at game night.

Temple tonight. Cannot wait!!!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

♫ Feelings. Eating all my feelings. ♪

Dealing with the children’s father frequently feels as if he is standing atop a bridge, and I am standing in the shallows of a pond passing beneath it, as he drops a cinder block down into the water; I get thoroughly drenched, and the ripples spread out for days. [Though today is already better than yesterday, which was better than Monday...]

I shot an email to the new guy on Monday night, inviting him to Christmas dinner at Secondborn’s, with the proviso that I make it abundantly clear to my children it is not to be construed as a declaration of commitment or intent. First of all, because I enjoy his company. Second because I would like to forestall another bout of puppy dog eyes.

He may be able to come and actually have a good time. (We are a remarkably entertaining lot, frequently with no effort at all.) Failing that, I think my next best choice is to pray that the aforementioned hypothetical not-obviously-gay guy pops up in my life and is willing to hover protectively.

A couple of months after I joined the church (about five months after my baptism), I was dating a fellow college student who was a returned missionary. Very nice young man. He did not condemn me for being a divorcee, but he did remark to my mother that he did not understand how people could get divorced; his family went back into pioneer days, and there had never been a divorce.

We were perking along just fine until the night he brought me home from Family Home Evening to find FirstHubby at my parents’ place, having brought over the Christmas gifts from his folks to mine, and I can only imagine what he was thinking, but that was our last date, so if this gets my petri dish voted off the lab table, well, there is a precedent.

The new guy has responded, and it may not work out timewise, depending upon when his son’s fiancee arrives from overseas, but he thinks he is up to meeting an ex.

I had also suggested as a final alternative that I go fishing with him, and he drop me overboard. That would solve the problem rather neatly. At least for me. His response? I don’t think that taking you fishing and then dropping you over the side - would or could be done quietly.

One more reason to like the man.

I finished the actual knitting on missionary hat #2 at Knit Night last night. I will weave in the ends shortly and get back to work on Willow’s sock, which is nearing the point where toe decreases can begin. And I may have found the pattern I want for Lark’s scarf/shawlette in the new issue of Interweave Knits. Don’t ask me the name of it. I haven’t had my breakfast or chocolate yet.

Fuel City tacos for lunch today, courtesy of the big boss because we took such good care of our clients last month, and our second annual Game Night tonight. I’m not excessively fond of games, but I had a blast at last year’s and am looking forward to this one.