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, March 31, 2011

OK, it needs to warm up now.

While I am thankful that I do not need to run my window units or ceiling fans, it is downright nippy here in the mornings and late evenings. And we all know that I am such a delicate flower.

Last night I dug up my flannel nightgown and put it on. Then I carefully re-layered all the bedclothes: fleece blanket, cotton thermal blanket on top of that, king-sized quilt folded in half lengthwise and placed on top of that, down duvet that has seen its best days, thrown over all. I got in, adjusted the facemask for my CPAP, and slept halfway through the night. Woke up enough to shift positions (because rolling over while asleep was entirely impossible), readjusted my facemask, and went back to sleep.

Where I dreamed that the near-date experience was back in my life as a JustFriend (I must have been translated during the course of that dream, because that man irritated me nearly as much as Brother Abacus, only for different reasons), there was a new new-guy who was a deliciously good kisser (and no sign of the real new guy, but we should probably not tell him that), and Trainman popped up suddenly, greeting me with a kiss on the cheek and a nibble on the neck.

What is up with all that? Apparently when I am (A) warm and (B) mummified, my limbic brain turns to thoughts of snuggling. Warm + immobile (stuck?) = romance?

Freud would have a field day with that. Jung, too, most likely.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Smarter than the average phone?

Definitely smarter than the average picnic basket. Which is progress.

Work went really well yesterday. I had no trouble at all staying awake during the staff meeting. We will give my decongestant the credit for some of that, although it was a relatively short, blessedly tight meeting, for which my geriatric plumbing was most grateful.

Afterward, I was one of the first to get the show-me-the-money part of the performance review. My raise and bonus will be considerably better than I had expected, given the state of the economy in general, and considering that I spent the first four months of last year on the admin team, and only eight months as a legal secretary. The raise takes effect on Saturday (our workweeks run Saturday through Friday; heaven alone knows why).

I walked into my attorney’s office, closed the door, and said, “I know that we are not supposed to talk about money, so I will just say thank you.” To which he responded, “You’re welcome, and I think [the other two attorneys] may have had some good things to say as well.”

My greatest blessings are not monetary, and I’m glad that I have sense enough to recognize that. Nevertheless, monetary blessings are never unwelcome. I will need to noodle around with the online calculator available at work and figure out how much to increase my 401K deduction, how much to increase my charitable contributions (more in the buckets that are established? an additional bucket?), and how best to tweak what I pay on my line of credit each pay period.

The bonus is larger than it was last year, by about as much as my monthly gross when I left the steno pool to marry the children’s father. The mind boggles.

And this morning I am harrumphing only a little. I do think I am going to have to spring for another packet of decongestant, at $15 a pop, but I have enough to get through the day. I took half a dose before bedtime last night and was a little less wired during the winding-down hours. My dreams were weird, but not nightmarish: the difference between “D” and “DM”.

Major progress on the phone last night. I got Firstborn’s stuff wiped, the apps reinstalled, and I can check both emails. I know how to use the maps feature now. And I know how to back up to a previous page, woohoo! The young man who helped me was about Willow’s age and of the same variety of cute-boy that I liked when I was a slip of a girl. [No, I did not have a coyote moment, just a wee bit of nostalgia.]

One of my dear friends is in the ER with a kidney infection and complications from diabetes. [Girls, we stayed with them after leaving Fbg.] Her oldest son’s last post said that they were still trying to stabilize her enough to put her in ICU. I’ve sent him a message with my cell phone number, and I will try to go see her tonight. She’s in the hospital on the highway that leads south to their house.

Oye.

I feel a little embarrassed to close with knitting news, but that’s what some of you come here for. I put several rows on the Chutzpah II sweater yesterday and am about one-third of the way up the body. Seventy-two stitches on 00000 needles takes longer than it does on 5’s or 8’s. I think this must be some corollary to the black-hole theory of knitting.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Every breath I take...

I’ll be watching me. Love that song, even though it is kindof stalker-ish. OK, maybe more than kindof stalker-ish.

I don’t have time to get wordy. Heading out the door in a couple of minutes and very grateful to be well enough [I think, I hope] to go back to work without scaring the dickens out of my co-workers.

Got both sleeves done in my effort to reproduce Chutzpah’s sweater, and have the directions documented this time around. I hope to get the body worked up to the underarms throughout the day and at Knit Night. Which reminds me that I need to look up and see where it is being held tonight. I’ve coughed up enough brain cells that I don’t remember where I was supposed to be last week when I just drove straight home from work, instead (and spent the next day at home, coughing up a lung).

Lucky me, my planner says that two weeks ago we were at the coffeehouse. Logic tells me that that is where we will be tonight, and it’s not all that far from my friend’s house; she has offered their vintage stash of VHS to supplement my own and what I have borrowed from the new guy.

Speaking of whom, he called last night as promised (do like a man who keeps his word, even in the small things), and we talked for nearly 40 minutes. He got to hear my phasing-out-of-1-900 voice, which is about how I sound to myself this morning. I hope I don’t have to spend a lot of time on the phone today.

Wish me luck!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Idawanna

Idawanna be sick anymore. And there is marked progress on the U-turn toward health. I am sneezing less. Coughing only a little less, but not so violently, praise be. I still have my 1-900 voice, though today I’m more Bette Davis than Brenda Vaccaro. I think that all counts.

I’m tempted to say that I was a bum yesterday, but I spent from about 6:00p.m. Saturday night until 1:00 or 2:00a.m. yesterday morning, and from 6:00a.m. yesterday until sometime after noon, adding the contacts on my old red phone to the ones which I had transferred from my old email account to my new one. And maybe another hour last night with address pages from my late, great paper planner, not adding so many new contacts but filling in gaps on the ones already in place. With frequent breaks to eat, nap, drink fluids, sneeze, cough, etc.

It was not the most sabbathly Sabbath I have observed, but it was quietly productive, and I did send off several emails to people to confirm that what was in the paper planner was still correct. Mostly, it was. I have much of H, and all of the letters B, O, Q, R, S, U, V and W taken care of. I have a handful of phone calls to make, later in the day, after the decongestant I just took has kicked in and cleaned-house a little more, and I don’t sound like a whiskey contralto.

I woke up ravenous, which I take as a good sign. I just finished a big bowl of cream of wheat and polished off the first of what will be many glasses of water. I am going to shred a quarter-inch stack of paper and then wash up the dishes. And then I think I will stretch out on the couch with needle and thread, to sew tiny star-shaped buttons on the three hats which were completed when I went to bed Saturday night. While listening to a General Conference talk on my phone[!]. Followed by reading a chapter in the scriptures on said phone[!]. After which I might pull up the manual and learn how to send a text message.

The phone is still too smart for me, but I am gaining on it.

I think that if I pace myself today, I can go back to work tomorrow. I’m getting a little fidgety [when I’m not downright wired from the decongestant, which no doubt played a part in all of yesterday’s organizing]. If you’re reading this from a place where you can, in good conscience, write me a long chatty email, I would love to hear from you. [Those of you who are also convalescing are specifically excluded from this invitation. You know who you are.]

But if you love me, don’t call me, or text me. [See “The phone is still too smart for me, but I am gaining on it,” above.]

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A respiratory intervention.

Four of my co-workers staged one yesterday. One of them, who shares her PCP (primary care physician, not drug) with me, said in no uncertain terms that if I did not call our doctor, she would. So I did, knowing that the doctor was not in the office on Fridays and I would have to see one of her associates. She was there! And they had an appointment in the early afternoon! So I zipped through my attorney’s dictation and got everything into the mail, sent out the email to the people for whom and to whom I am responsible, set my voicemail and Out of Office Assistant, and got the heck out of Dodge.

My co-workers were talking bronchitis or walking pneumonia. Yes, that is how bad I sounded, and one of them just got over pneumonia, so I’ve been exposed to it. She told me not to be surprised if I got thrown into the hospital, which of course put me on the edge of panic, because my CPAP is here at home and (more to the point) I wasn’t sure if I had enough knitting with me.

I can handle anything if I have sufficient sticks and string.

So, my diagnosis was 465.0 (acute laryngopharyngitis) and 786.2 (cough). Lungs are clear, as is my right ear. I take the second dose of my Z-pack this afternoon, and thus far no side effects. I just took my first dose of Mucinex-D, which I’ve been afraid to take because of possible hallucinations. My wonderful doctor explained the difference between D and DM and told me that if I made sure not to get the DM, I should be fine. The pharmacist did counsel me that the pseudoephedrine might make me wakeful [oh, joy!], so I put off taking it until this morning. I think I will not need to take the full two-tablet dose next time.

The doctor told me to rest all weekend, so I have canceled my engagements and will arrange for a substitute in Primary tomorrow. I will honor my obligation to feed the missionaries by making a run through Subway this evening and combining that with a run to the store for more tissues. May I just say that the Mucinex was working within 15 minutes of my taking that first dose.

If you hear honking in North Texas today, it will not be geese heading north.

[I wonder how many doll hats I can get done today while flying low on pseudoephedrine?]

Friday, March 25, 2011

The last act of “Camille”.

That would be me, minus the flower and the world’s oldest profession.

I have been coughing so hard, at times, that it is a miracle my eyeballs are still in their sockets. My eyes are so bloodshot that W.C. Fields would be proud of me. I feel rather like the armadillo in “Rango”, post 18-wheeler.

I did go into work yesterday, where I closed two cases and opened another, and more or less kept up with things. I had my 1-900 voice. Still do. If you would like me to prank-call your spouse and grumble sweet nothings into his ear, I could probably just manage that. If you need heavy breathing, you are on your own.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, I am liking the play just fine.

I called in sick at the temple, hours later than I should have, because I kept hoping against hope that I would be well by the time I needed to be there. All I ended up being, was inconsiderate. Sometimes my irrepressible optimism is not a virtue. [And frankly, it is feeling the slightest bit repressed this morning, but that will pass.]

I am supposed to have dinner tonight with Brother Sushi. I may have to stand him up. And I am supposed to get together with BestFriend tomorrow. I may have to bail on that as well.

On the other hand, I am knitting a very small hat that I hope will fit Chutzpah and her ilk, and the yarn, at least, is not arguing with me. Unlike, say, the sinus just behind and below my right eye.

I’d like the sinus behind Door Number Three, please. And while I wait for it to be delivered, I’m going to poach my head in the shower.

Later, gators.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sneeze. Honk. Cough. Gag.

One of the things I tend to forget about life in this body, until it happens again, is that when I have had a wonderful, uplifting experience, the natural woman cannot wait to bring me back to earth.

I swallowed wrong yesterday. You know how some people can trip on air? Well, sometimes I choke on my own spit. Sometimes I am lucky and can catch it, trembling, on the cusp and cough it back into the right pipe. Yesterday was not one of those days.

Swallow, oops! discreet cough, harrumph! cough, cough, shake head, cough, cough, cough, cough, harrumph! Off and on, all afternoon. I skipped Knit Night in favor of keeping my dog-and-pony-show at home.

Went to bed at a reasonable hour, woke up again at 2:05, knowing that the chicken stock I had had just before bedtime, wanted out! Swung one leg out of bed, sat up gingerly, sneezed violently, and headed straight for the bathtub as my sinuses executed a magnificent swan-dive aimed at my bronchial tubes.

On the one hand, I suppose it is a great thing that all of my interconnected parts are still functioning [except for my tonsils and my gall bladder, which were evicted some time ago]. On the other, I wish that my bladder, after five pregnancies, had a better sense of humor and a whole lot more patience with my ankles, knees, and hips.

I don’t want to talk. I’m afraid that if I do, I will start coughing again. And I just finished another mug of chicken broth while waiting for the tater tots to bake. I am going to send down one home remedy after another, hoping to clear out my head and lighten my chest and keep the mild earache from turning into an ear infection. If I feel as bad tomorrow morning as I did at 2:05 (OK, 2:06, while the tub was filling), I will call my doctor. But in the meantime it’s chicken soup, maybe an especially oniony risotto for lunch, and napping at will.

It’s entirely possible that the choking-on-spit was occasioned by my attorney’s return to work yesterday after being out sick with a virus on Monday. He dictated a lot of tapes. I transcribed all but one of them. He touched the tapes. So did I. I don’t use hand sanitizer unless I am visiting someone in the hospital, nor do I use anti-bacterial wipes at home or at work. I am a big believer in letting my immune system puzzle things out on its own. I just forget what an interesting process that can be sometimes, given that mine is like unto Robo-Cop with PMS.

But I think it more likely that this respiratory skirmish is directly connected with the sublime spiritual experiences I had last weekend. I felt the presence and influence of the Spirit in the workshops I attended, in the addresses from the speakers, and in various conversations with my friends, culminating on Sunday night with the music at the fireside.

I found it interesting that one of the articles at unclutterer.com was about returning to normal after a large disruption. Which last weekend certainly was, but in a good way, like the burning bush was a large disruption for Moses, or Moroni’s visit was for Joseph Smith. [No, I didn’t have any heavenly visitors over the weekend, just pearl after pearl of heavenly instruction.]

While I am [more or less] on the subject of gratitude, I want to be clear that I am thankful for the gift of Firstborn’s phone, just as I was thankful for the kids’ gift of an iPod [which is still sitting patiently here on my desk, waiting for me to upgrade or replace my computer]. I am not anti-technology. I just need to take it at my own pace, and I had way too much going on already. The difference between my old phone and this new one, is like the difference between a nail file and a light saber. Yes, I will master it eventually. I just was fresh-out-of-eventually last weekend. Plus, there was the irritant of being told by the unhelpful young man at the phone store that there was no such thing as an owner’s manual for this model. I am waiting until I can say the second, or twelfth, thing that comes to mind, before I write a letter to his manager.

[*exasperated snort*]

So, no need to acquire an abacus for me. I saw all the Abacus (as in Brother) that I care to see, last weekend.

Knock wood, I think my head is clearing a little, and my ear is less plugged and tender, and the anvil which was hanging like the Sword of Damoclese over my chest has been replaced with a five-pound bag of sugar. Way less scary. I think this calls for a nap.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Incremental progress.

Work went very well. I was blessed to work carefully and steadily, and by the end of the day I had something to show for my efforts. It will be awhile before everything I learned and everything I felt while at the single adult conference, gets integrated with the me that I already am. Yesterday’s quiet steadiness was a good start.

I went to Lucile’s for dinner. Lobster bisque, their small side Caesar, and not one but two of what are possibly the best rolls in Fort Worth, with the April issue of the Ensign open, right there next to my plate.

And then I came home, downloaded the allegedly nonexistent owner’s manual for my phone, and was able to retrieve my messages without accidentally calling my bishop at 11:00p.m.

Tonight is Knit Night. I am looking forward to that, though I may very well choose to come home and spend a quiet evening divided between couch-and-knitting and computer-and-manual.

My friend Alison shared a link to one of her favorite writers, Sharon Randall. I tried to subscribe to her website using Google Reader, and kept coming up with an error message. Beautiful writing. Just beautiful.

Time to gather up my stuff and prepare to hit the road. Still would prefer to stay home and hit the sack, though thankfully I slept well again, if not for long. I was wrangling the phone all night in my dreams, but at least the urge to use it for target practice has passed!

Monday, March 21, 2011

“Man up”? Don’t you mean “ma’am up”?

I have embraced technology so often and with such enthusiasm that I’m sure there are at least one or two of its love-children lurking about under the sofa [i.e., don’t you take that tone of font with me, missy]!

We don’t get blessed if we whine about having done something good unto others, right? I did a whole lot of something yesterday after church, and I was happy to do so, but my happiness-to-do-so was tempered with my wishing-to-be-at-home-in-bedness and my wanting-to-eatness. Thankfully, I was able to complete the something to my satisfaction [if not entirely to the other person’s] and get home to my own sweet house before the combination of weariness and low blood sugar resulted in anything for which I would need to apologize.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

In between two parts of the something, I was able to sit in Bishop’s office and get home-taught, or as near as it is going to happen this month. It was nice to be able to say this part of my life is working well and that part of my life is working reasonably well and I am more or less on track with what I want to accomplish financially, and nobody’s pregnant or on drugs [although one of my kids is on some heavy meds at the moment] and basically I’m about as happy as if I had good sense.

Well, except for the part where I started sobbing during and after the closing hymn at the fireside last night. “God Be With You Till We Meet Again” and I have a long and checquered past. That was the closing hymn at the last sacrament meeting the children’s father attended before heading down to BYU (and shortly before proposing to me, in a penciled letter on green graph paper). It has been the featured hymn at the funerals of far too many friends. For a long time I was able to trick my tear ducts by singing the alto line. Alas, I now know that part too well for it to succeed as a distraction.

Ordinarily, I just tear-up a little and sign my way through it with no one the wiser. But I was tired when I woke up yesterday, tired at church all day, tired during the something that afternoon, no nap for the weary, and no time to myself (to regroup) since mid-afternoon on Friday. So really, I had been neatly set up by circumstances, and my hands flew up to sign with the first four notes of the prelude.

Poor new guy. He just sat there patting my arm. I was torn between diving headfirst into his shirtfront, and diving forward as far as the girls and my tummy would let me until I was cried-out.

Three brownie bites and a fortune cookie took care of it pretty well. I later discussed it with him via chat, and he said that’s what shoulders and shirtfronts are for. He figured it was something inspired that the speaker had said in his closing remarks. Well, maybe. But mostly it was That Hymn.

So, I thought I was charging the phone while I was at the fireside. Apparently I was wrong. Right now I do not want to embrace technology. I want to kick its prissy little rump up between its shoulders and frog-march it out the front door.

Work: it’s the new vacation.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Still breathing.

Which is, after all, a very good thing.

The phone mystery is mostly-solved. When I got to the single adult conference yesterday, they had my red phone. However, I had already taken Firstborn’s old phone [which is way smarter than the average picnic basket] to the store and had them fire it up for me. It does not come with a manual. Why? Because it is all so intuitive and user-friendly, and all you have to do is hit the help button.

Not.

I cannot figure out how to access the menu to set up my voicemail. I cannot figure out how to delete an alert without calling the person who called me. Which is why I ended up calling my bishop after 11:00p.m., much to my chagrin. I can only get the help button to work about every fifth time I use it. And I can only intermittently wipe away the page I am viewing but no longer need. I had to turn the phone off, shortly before midnight, just to make everything go away.

I will get this figured out. In the meantime I am typing out my contact list from the old phone, because it didn’t transfer, and I will be saving those numbers ad infinitum for the next time that technology kicks me in the shins.

There is a great picture of the new guy and me at the dinner last night. I have emailed the friend who took it, asking for her to email it to me and for permission to post it here. You will all be pleased to know that I do not resemble a convicted felon in this picture. Or a zombie. [If you know me on FB, you can see it there. Feel free to make comments from the peanut gallery.]

I whipped up a wrist warmer for Blessing during the workshops yesterday. The second one is underway. She may get her hands back any day now.

I missed all but the last ten minutes of the first workshop yesterday, so I stayed in the chapel and sat through the next presentation. It, and the two which followed, were very well done. Our keynote speaker was the Academy Award winning filmmaker, Kieth Merrill [no, I am not misspelling his name], who made us laugh and cry.

The dance was fun. We didn’t stay long. He was tired, I was tired, I have Primary to teach today and wanted to pick up a snack for the kids in my class. I asked DJ to play something slow and mushy, and he obliged me. There is a silver lining to having attended so many singles dances over the years. I am on a hugging basis with my favorite DJ. (I am also on a hugging basis with my second-favorite DJ, a/k/a Brother Sushi, who is in the middle of a major project at home and missed the workshops and dinner and the first part of the dance, but I did get my hug from him. Two, actually.)

Time for me to decant a school of Goldfish into each snack bag for my short people today, re-read the lesson, and figure out what I am going to wear to church.

I really need another day off tomorrow. It has been a busy weekend, and there is way too much going on inside my head, and I did not get anything like enough sleep last night.

I am so thankful that the next single adult conference is not until November. I need time to rest up. There will be a mini-conference in my old stake in the upcoming months, but nothing as taxing as this past weekend.

This sounds as if I am ungrateful. I am not. I am just extremely tired, and it’s going to be another long day. Miles to go before I sleep, and all that.

May you all have a blessed and peaceful and not-Sabbathly-breaking productive day today.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Oh where...

... oh where oh where oh where oh wheeeerrrrre, is my cell phone? Heaven and I are sharing a nice little laugh right now. My red phone went missing last night. The friend who picked me up for dinner at Ol’ South and then drove us to the dance, has checked her car up, down, inside-out, and sideways. Not there. I have done a quick recon of the front yard. I will look again in half an hour or so, when it’s lighter, but the only man-made item I found in the driveway was Lorelai.

The phone is turned off, and possibly the ringer as well, so it’s not as if I could log off the computer and call myself. I will probably find it at the church where we are having the single adult conference, though I will check at Ol’ South on my way.

The good news is that I still have Firstborn’s old phone, so I will not be phone-less over the weekend. I am going to skip the opening remarks for today’s session of the conference (I’ve heard the speaker before, and he is an excellent choice to get things going) in favor of being the first person through the door at Sprint when it opens in two hours. And I’m going to ask the nice people at Sprint to download the scripture app onto my phone so that I don’t need to take my scripture tote to the conference.

In other breaking news, I had a blast at lunch yesterday with my new visiting teaching companion, who was also off work and met me at Bueno. We sat there for two hours and laughed and shared stories and nodded our heads a lot. More of the same at dinner, just with different people.

And in between there was a nap, after a brief falling-down in the button department at JoAnn’s. [Because we all know that buying buttons is such hard work!] All the new buttons are properly strung up on thread by color family, not to mention catalogued on the spreadsheet. The button count is presently at 614, not counting the heart-shaped and star-shaped buttons which are still in their original packets. There are nominally 45 buttons in each of those packets, but the company is generous to a fault, and I suspect that there are a few more added in for good measure.

I suppose this means that I should carve out some time away from my knitting needles and sew something tiny. OK, a whole lot of somethings-tiny.

My best friend at work messaged me to say that the case on which I had spent most of Thursday making copies for the trial notebook, non-suited. We were set to go next week. That’s fine; I will look forward to closing it out when we get the order of non-suit from the court. And I will get the top of my desk back, if she hasn’t already tossed all that paper into the secured recycling bins. I blew through nearly two reams of paper, and I’m sure my printer is still panting and whimpering as we speak.

I had fun at the dance last night. We didn’t stay very long. I thought the band was good, and not as loud as last time. I got to dance with one of the guys in my posse before I left. My friend who drove us is a relatively new widow and (like me) attended out of obedience to the Spirit and not from an overwhelming desire to meet a tall/dark/handsome strange man stranger. She’s already married to the perfect man [for her]; he’s just waiting for her on the other side of mortality.

Speaking of strange men, Brother Abacus [formerly known as He Who Must Not Be Named] was at the dance last night. We very politely ignored one another. [I’m good with that.] And tonight I will be dancing with the rest of my posse, and the new guy. And my buddies will be whispering, “Pick her. You’re nuts if you don’t.” [I’m good with that, too.]

Time to rustle up some grub and decide what I’m going to wear. There are two service projects this afternoon. One involves paint. The other involves singing. Guess which one I’m choosing?

Ooh, it’s light outside. I’ll go check the yard again while breakfast nukes. Be good, remember who you are, and dance with the one what brung ya.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Checking myself for a pulse.

Whew! Stealing from myself this morning to say: The single adult conference is underway. Last night was the temple session. I saw three dozen variations on the theme of “beautiful” in the sisters' faces, in the session where I served. Got home a little before midnight and am taking the day off because I knew I’d be no earthly good to my attorney today. (You’ll notice I woke at the usual time, anyway.)

I thought I’d show you pictures from last Sunday’s dinner with Secondborn and her tribe. Here we have pancakes in progress, hobnobbing with some turkey sausage.



And here we have the world’s best pancakes. You’ll just have to trust me, as we ate the evidence.



Topped off with Honeycrisp apples sautéed in butter, with flecks of cinnamon and maybe a touch of nutmeg. Perfection.



OK, that’s it, y’all. I am going to be teaching some of my friends to knit, later this morning, but first I am taking a nap.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Greased slide toward the weekend.

Today is my Friday. Tonight the singles’ conference begins with a temple session at 8:15, so it will be a late night for me, as I will be a temple worker and not a patron. I knew that I would be no earthly good to my coworkers tomorrow, so I scheduled the day off.

I will not get to see the new guy tonight, or tomorrow night either, as his new job assignment has screwy hours. [Yay! for a man who is gainfully employed.] But I will get to see him Saturday night.

I have a great haircut, and my face is thoroughly waxed. It’s also still faintly pink. And it itches a little, not in an allergic way, more like a holy cow what just went on here? way. She is very very good at what she does. If you’re local and you need a hair magician, let me know.

The first doll scarf is finished. It took me an hour to Kitchener it together, and I was dropping IQ points right and left. Basic Kitchener is pretty much a no-brainer. I, however, was attempting to join the two edges in something approximating the pattern, and even I have to look again to see where I did it. I think that calls for a celebratory cookie.

I had a smidgen of yarn left, so I’ve cast on five stitches for a Chutzpah-sized scarf. It may or may not be an infinity scarf like the first one, and the pattern is a simple seed stitch over five stitches, with the first stitch in each row slipped for a pretty selvage. Mindless knitting at its best.

Yesterday I organized my miniature button supply. Turns out that I have 470 of them, all sorted by color and strung together on bits of sewing thread. I know this because I counted the number of buttons in each loop and entered them on a spreadsheet for inventory purposes. I would toss in a picture of the jar with thread loops (it’s rather pretty), but I need to scoot out the door for work.

Happy Thursday, everybody. I’m going to eat that cookie while I get ready for work.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Some things really do get better with age.

Yesterday’s leftover baked potato half being one of them. As the Mama Bear said, just right. The perfect size, and the proper balance of protein, fats, and carbs to keep me humming merrily along all afternoon.

I would have to add Knit Night to that list. I have been going for almost six years now. The cast of characters has changed a little, and there have been a couple of splinter groups, but much of the core remains.

What a great bunch of ladies, and I use that word advisedly. I have remarked from time to time that it is very much like a good Relief Society meeting, minus the opening and closing prayers and the hymns. We like one another, we speak kindly to and about one another [i.e., no gossip], and we encourage one another.

Plus, there are refreshments! We alternate between a bookstore which has a coffee shop attached, and a coffee house. Last night I grabbed a half-price burger at Sonic on the drive there and finished up with a generous block of rice-krispy-treat at the coffee house for dessert.

I put another couple of inches on the doll scarf last night. At this point I am torn between calling it finished [which means I would still have some yarn leftover and the possibility of a second, narrower, shorter scarf for a smaller doll] and knitting on to the end of the yarn, just to see how long it would get. I’m trying to maximize both knitting pleasure and potential sales income.

Tonight I see my hair magician for phase two of turning my beloved spikiness into something which still expresses some personality but is more appropriate for a temple worker. And which might provide a more hospitable playground should the day ever come when somebody might be inclined to run his hands through it.

And on that note, I think I will go tend to my knitting for a few minutes before the whole sluicing-and-primping routine begins.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Enough?

There is half of a decadently-loaded baked potato in the fridge at work, waiting for my lunch. Yesterday I took my attorney out for his belated birthday lunch. It was a little too nippy to walk down to our favorite restaurant, so we walked to The Tunnels, a series of underground restaurants and shops that begin more or less underneath the Bank of America building and continue eastward for a few blocks. We had lunch at Colter’s BBQ. He had one of the combo plates and said it was delicious. I had a good-sized tater with butter, chopped brisket, sour cream, green onions, cheese [and quite possibly a MiniCooper] on top.

I looked at it and knew that I would be having dinner at a friend’s. I also knew that if I ate the whole thing, I would face-plant into my keyboard before quitting time. So I ate half and saved the rest for later.

One of the legacies from my twenty-year marriage is that I sometimes have trouble knowing when enough is enough. In subsequent dating relationships, I have frequently held onto hope longer than was wise or prudent. In my food storage, I have pasta that I put up in 2002, back when there were two of us at home. I may have achieved the pasta equivalent of what we yarnies call SABLE: Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy. I went on an orgy of book-buying after my divorce. I am winnowing through that collection. I have more kitchen tools and toys than I have counter space for, or cupboard space for. [I did find a new home for the food processor I haven’t used in five years. Now to find time to dust it off, make sure it works, and adopt it out.]

But I am pleased to report that there is still some ice cream in the freezer from two and a half weeks ago. I have had a bowl here, a bowl there, without the feeling that if I don’t eat it up right now, I may never get to eat ice cream again.

Starvation causes deep hungers that are slow to go away. Perhaps it rewires the brain. When there has been a dearth of food, or beauty, or love, the healing process and the finding of a new normal will take however long they take. I rarely resort to retail therapy anymore. (I just cast on a new project, preferably from stash yarn.) Only occasionally do I eat my feelings. And, thankfully, I have friends and family to love and to hug, so the need to touch and be touched is at least intermittently satisfied.

I strive to be grateful for what I do have, and not to pine for what I might lack. Today, it is enough.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spinning a yarn or two.

I posted the links on Facebook, so if you’ve already checked them out, feel free to ignore them here. This is part one in BrooklynTweed’s series on how his Shelter yarn is made at the Harrisville Designs mill in New England.

Here is part two. And part three. Followed by part four. And the finale, part five.

~~~

Last week, one of the in-house publications at work sent out a request for stories about first jobs. While the following was not my absolutely-first job, it was the first one I had after business school.

How did I enter the working world? Kicking and screaming, at the ripe old age of 20. I had dropped out of college, gone to business school, and interviewed for two jobs about three weeks before I was due to finish that program. One was with an architectural firm owned by the parents of a classmate at business school. The other was with an organization aligned with the medical industry.

The second job made me an offer first, and I accepted. Three days later, I got an offer from the first job, which would have been my dream job at that time. But having been raised by my parents to keep my word, I went with the second job, which turned out to be the most miserable place I have ever worked. My boss was acerbic, almost to the point of being verbally abusive. I lasted two months.

That was nearly 40 years ago. I have long since gained a testimony of work, and I *love* my current job.

~~~

This, recently from our office’s safety committee. I’m sure that Dallas is not the only place having this problem.

The crime rate on the bus and train is at an all-time high. The crime has to do with personal items (laptops, purse/bags, etc.) being stolen.

The scam:

A group of teenagers get on the bus/train and will distract you with their rude and loud behavior. When you are distracted watching what is going on, another teenager takes your personal items and gets off the bus/train before you notice anything is missing. The distraction usually occurs very close to a stop.

Please be aware of what is going on around you and your personal items. The thieves are counting on you focusing on the situation and not your belongings.

~~~

Had something interesting happen at the kids’ house last night. Secondborn greeted me at the door, asking if I had gotten her text. No, I hadn’t. I didn’t turn the phone on, all day. Her dad had invited himself over after church, because there was a stake priesthood meeting that evening, and he wanted a ride with 2BDH.

She wanted to give me the option of coming later, or not at all, if it was going to be an issue for me. [My kids are considerate about that. And for my part, I work hard not to be one of those ex-wives. I want them to be able to have whatever level of relationship they’re comfortable with him, without interference from me.]

So, he was upstairs, listening to a Harry Potter audiobook with 2BDH and the kids. I stayed downstairs on the couch. (I was not being obstinate. I really, truly, do not like their stairs, which are well-designed and adequately railed. There are just so many of them.) Secondborn sat down on the other end of the couch and got caught up on NewsOfTheBoy. I promise, there would have been no pouting from me if she had chosen to go upstairs with the rest of them.

Eventually, her father came downstairs to head out for the priesthood meeting. He was startled to see me, but greeted me politely, as I did him. Out the door he went with 2BDH, and we started preparations for dinner.

When 2BDH returned a couple of hours later, he said that the children’s father had asked him in the car, “Who was that girl on the couch with Secondborn?” When 2BDH told him it was me, he said, “Oh. She didn’t look like I remembered.”

I immediately went into checking-the-emotional-dipstick mode and discovered that it didn’t hurt. Anywhere. And I’m still in that place, this morning. [Because this is my blog, and it’s mostly all about what goes on inside my own brainpan.] I will feel very sad if the day comes when he does not recognize our children or grandchildren, but I am perfectly fine with the fact that he may be losing his memories of us.

~~~

When I was at dinner on Saturday night with my BFFE from our childbearing years, we talked a little about the bad old days, when life was so hard in both our families. And I told her that I could not have done it without her love and support, or that of a mutual friend. If you are one of the blessed souls who has never struggled with what Churchill called his Black Dog, or you have not had to deal with a loved one’s depression [and I hope you never have to do either], then you have no idea how much pain one human being can hold without falling apart.

Driving home from Secondborn’s last night, this came on the radio. Y’all, be kind to one another. You may never know that your kindness has saved your friend’s life.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

So. Much. Fun.

Yesterday was golden. Just-enough knitting. With cashmere. That project is set aside for today, as I am not sure if it is something for one of my dolls (which means that I would not consider working on it, to be breaking the Sabbath) or something that will go in my Etsy shop if the finished object matches the idea in my head.

Lorelai has fresh oil and a clean air filter. She is breathing more clearly than I am, though I am far better than on Friday.

Thursday night, on my way to the temple, I picked up a Happy Meal. The toy was a tiny Fairy Barbie (or maybe vice versa). I called Fourthborn yesterday to ask if I could bring it by on my way to dinner with my friend. I think what I said was something like this, "Hi, can I stop by for just a minute to bring you a Barbie Happy Meal toy and yell at the dog?" She was still snorting and snickering when I got there.

The dog is none too bright. I think she might be related to the golden lab dachsund mix we had briefly when the girls were little. We named that dog Mensa, but mostly we just called him Densa. Golden lab body. Dachsund legs. Great big golden lab head. Little bitty dachsund brain rattling around in it. I think Harley is just about that smart. Great name. R-e-a-l-l-y dumb dog.

Had the best sweet and sour chicken in my life last night, at a little Thai restaurant. The chicken was not breaded, and there were copious amounts of vegetables, and mine was cold long before I finished it, because of the talking and laughing and reminiscing. But still incredibly tasty.

Definitely going back there, quite possibly with Brother Sushi for our postponed March dinner later this month.

Funny moment: her phone went off (it was her husband, one of the dearest men in this world) and she handed it to me, asking “Wanna mess with his mind? Just say ‘It’s Lynn’.” Which of course I did, and he first got extremely confused and then delighted, at which point I handed him back to his beloved.

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

The dance last night was a blast. I love Latin music. Doesn’t matter if I’m dancing to it, or just doing a quiet little boogie in my chair. Love the stuff. I danced last night to “Good Golly Miss Molly” in Spanish. And sat out “Jailhouse Rock,” ditto. Got in some merengue and some cumbia, visited with friends, collected a couple of hugs, caught up my buddy M on the dating situation.

He is pleased that there are now only two petri dishes in the experiment. I told him that I had gotten my fishing license. He asked why. I told him that the new guy had posted on FB that nobody was getting a ring until she had gone fishing with him at least once. He (my buddy) said that I don’t fight fair at all (and he approves heartily).

The big news at church is that I am now the CTR4 teacher. That means I have a small flock of four-year-olds to corral confuse teach. In theory that means seven short people; in reality, most weeks, it will mean three bright, charming, and oh-please-let-them-be-tractable little girls. I think this calling is probably more for me than it is for the kids. But the funny thing is, I am actually looking forward to it.

After being sustained by the ward members (in sacrament meeting) and set apart (after church), I have come home long enough to grab some lunch and prepare to take my temple clothing over to Secondborn’s, along with a bag of apples, there to mooch dinner and wash up my ceremonial clothing, which ought not to be seen by the heathen. Ergo, I cannot wash it at the laundromat with the rest of my clothing, and I’m insufficiently fond of hand-washing to do it here at home. Plus, I get to eat breakfast-for-dinner and visit with some of my favorite people, while contributing a little something toward the meal.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Book club. Beans.

CrazyAuntPurl has been running a monthly book club discussion on her blog (in between the knitting and other topics) for the past several months. I have skipped some of the selections, either because I had browsed the book in one of my bookstore ramblings and found it wanting, or because I knew the subject or the writing would not be edifying. The most recent selection was When We Were Strangers, by Pamela Schoenewaldt. Last Monday night we commented on CrazyAuntPurl’s blog. Yesterday she posted the author’s responses to some of our comments and questions. [Yes, I know I did not insert a link for the book per se. I think three links in one short paragraph is plenty, and research builds character. Right?]

Carlo is the hot-headed brother of the protagonist. He disappears from view fairly early in the book. Several questions were devoted to what might have happened to him. In one of her responses, the author includes this gem:

“Maybe that’s one difference between Carlo and Irma: he has ambitions larger than the work he is willing to devote to reach them.”

I responded: “I was married to somebody like that. Thank you for wrapping up twenty years in one elegantly crafted sentence.”

That is my marriage in a nutshell. He had wonderful dreams for our family, and apparently still does. I want to sit down with him after this earthly life is over, when our minds are not clouded by mortality and we are able to see all the subtexts and undercurrents and outside influences that were playing into the life we were trying to build together. I know that when I can see everything clearly, it will all make perfect sense.

Having things make sense is important to me. I like math, logic puzzles, Tetris, Bach, houndstooth, and cross-stitch. [I also like poetry, seashells, dancing, Beethoven, lace, and handspinning. And what I sometimes get is advertising, junk mail, Monopoly, hiphop, the currently popular fabrics which are crinkled before printing so that there are irregular vertical stripe-ish spots with no color, and mending. But I digress.]

The math-y portion of my brain just told me that all of those factoids would fit amusingly into an Excel spreadsheet. Which of course resembles a logic puzzle, only in this case without the logic.

I should probably eat some breakfast. The toast and jam and mug of milk appear to have worn off. Or it may be simply the natural consequence of contemplating my marriage to the children’s father. We have been divorced for more than half as many years as we were married. We started out with such high hopes. His apparently continue to fly high, up there with all his dreams of wealth and comfort. Mine, at least in terms of our union, were shot down one by one, like skeet. When I contrast what we wanted, with what we got, the disconnect is as jarring as twelve-tone jazz.

The good news is, I started out extremely naïve, and I have become what I hope is the best kind of realist. I try to see things as they are, and deal with them as they are, and not overthink them or take them too personally. I am still on good speaking terms with hope; we take nice little rambles together several times a week. I rent a minuscule duplex which fits my needs. I have enough to eat, and beautiful yarn to knit, and flowers drooping on my sofa table that really need to go out to the compost pile, and a large and lively family, and wonderful friends and the possibility of romantic love a little farther down this road.

My life is very sweet to me. I don’t need [or want] the big house, fancy cars, expensive jewelry, or elegant clothing which some people crave. I just want to live this quiet, simple, peaceful life which brings me so much happiness. I show up for work, I do what they ask, they give me money, I pay the bills, there is extra for books or yarn or music, and for meals out with friends. Sometimes I get to talk with people about the Savior and how God’s plan of happiness blesses my life.

Today I need to get Lorelai’s oil changed. [Did I mention it here yesterday? She’s paid off.] Laundry is nowhere near critical-mass, but if I do it now I might have one evening at home next week before the insanity starts. I have a dance tonight, and dinner before that with my BFFE from my childbearing days. Very much looking forward to both, and I want to touch base with another BFFE. I am blessed to have a best-friend from each of the major phases of my life, and to be in touch with nearly all of them, either via Facebook or in real life.

Last night was cool. Briefly attended the wedding reception of my young friend, long enough to hug the bride and hand over the loot :) before scooting on to the new guy’s for dinner [good simple nourishing fare] and the movie [sticker shock but worth every penny].

Rango was brilliant. You will not get it all in one viewing. And it is most emphatically not for little kids. My favorite character? Beans, if only because I spent much of my late, lamented marriage standing very very still while life swirled on madly about me.

Yay, Beans. [Yay, me.]

Friday, March 11, 2011

Gearing up for the weekend.

Lorelai is paid for. I am just that much closer to being debt-free. Woohoo’s all around!

The gift bag is assembled, and my enclosure card is signed. I have a wedding reception first-thing after work tonight, for a dear young sister who serves in the temple on Thursday nights like me. I will pop in, shake hands, eat a mint or two, and scoot on down the road.

Why?

Because the new guy is putting a pork loin into the crockpot, with smashed potatoes, and some other vegetable yet to be announced, and cheesecake for dessert. And then we’re going to see Rango.

All of which will be delicious in its own right, and excellent preparation for tomorrow.

“Who was that masked [wo]man?”

“I don’t know. But [s]he left this silver [cable needle].”

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Take me out to the *what*???

I don’t know. It was just one of those things that struck me funny. [And if I hadn’t laughed, it would have struck me again.] My friend C at work sent out an email reminder about her daughter’s fundraiser for softball. Discount tickets to a Rangers game.

I called the new guy on his cell. “I can get discount tickets to the ballpark. Does this sound like something we want to do?” He said yes, I wrote C a check dated for Friday, and I am now the proud owner of two seats in the nosebleed section, right next to the private boxes, with an aerial view of first base. [Which is as close as we’ve gotten to “first base” in this dating situation. A fact which I will point out to him after the game, if we are still at that point, just because it’s so much fun to watch him turn red.]

I emailed him after Knit Night, asking “So, after we talked today, did you sit there and scratch your head and say to yourself, ‘That sounded like Lynn, but I think maybe she was kidnapped by space aliens’?”

To which he responded, “No ... thought cool - a Rangers game ... spent a few minutes thinking about what to load the cooler with for the game ... we bring ... lots of snacks ... that will be fun.” Take that, all you vendors of overpriced hotdogs!

Oh yeah. That will absolutely be fun. Although we stand an excellent chance of getting mugged by my friends and coworkers for our food. (It was quite an impressive list of snackage.)

The reactions from my girls (well of course I texted them) were predictably varied, everything from “who are you, and what have you done with my mother?” to “old dog, new tricks”.

Yes, I am taking my knitting. Speaking of which, I finished the first fingerless glove for Celeste and am knitting away happily on the second one. I discovered when it came time to bind off, that I had left my 000’s at home on the coffee table. So I called the Shabby Sheep, and they carry HiyaHiya’s in the teeny sizes, just like Whirled Fibers, but only in the 4” length, whereas Whirled Fibers carries them only in the 6” length. So I get to support my two favorite local yarn shops and not slight either one or feel disloyal. I bought some 4” 000’s last night and bound off that edge in two shakes of a lamb’s tail. I am already up to the split for the thumb on the second glove.

I slept very well last night, six hours of unbroken sleep as opposed to the previous night’s installment plan, which wasn’t restful at all.

Time to finish getting ready for work. Looking forward to a productive day there and a quiet evening at home, after which three days of crazy-busy-ness begins.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Eeeek! Or maybe aughhh!

Family is the crucible in which we learn love, and forgiveness, because there are so many opportunities to practice both.

There was some drama with the children’s father this weekend. I did not experience it personally, but I spent some time yesterday soothing my two oldest, and I was physically and emotionally wiped out.

It is at moments like this when a spouse would be handy. First to listen, then to hold me until I am all cried out. [And maybe to knock some sense into their father. I just hurt so badly for Firstborn and Secondborn, who have the medical and financial POA’s. Dealing with their father is a topic that is frustrating and guilt-inducing for all of the girls, and sadly it is not a topic which tends to increase unity within our tribe.] Failing that, I ate a bowl of ice cream and planned to go cry myself to sleep.

I am frequently amazed to rediscover how curative a nap can be. I lay down, told Father “it’s OK if I cry,” and was asleep within seconds. No tears, just sweet, restorative sleep and a mildly amusing dream in which my dear, departed mother was scolding me for mugging down with some guy. It wasn’t Sean Connery, more’s the pity.

Where was I? Basically, what has happened, is this: the good news is, the children’s father has re-qualified for a temple recommend. And he has done so not with the hope of winning me back. The bad news is that he passed out in the temple on Saturday, BP 80/40, and was kept overnight at a nearby hospital for observation. Firstborn had to get a sub for her Primary class so she could pick him up and take him back to the nursing home.

He, of course, didn’t want to go. He keeps insisting that he will do just fine on his own. She said there were about 20 minutes of pleasant conversation on the drive home, where they talked about her classes and her plan to go on and get her masters’ degree while she is on a roll academically. [Go, Firstborn, go!]

But mostly he was yelling and pitching a fit, and she was crying. This is my child who rarely cries. She gets mad, she yells, there might be childbirth words, but it is a measure of just how crazy-making he is that he can reduce her to tears and guilt with his tantrums.

I did ask her if she’d like me to go down to the nursing home and yell at him. She snorted and said she had pretty well handled that herself. [I can only imagine. *insert eye roll*. I will add, the thing for which I most proud of her, is how she has learned over the past 15 years to control her temper. Which she got from me. And my grandmother.]

The nurse at the nursing home wouldn’t let him leave to go to church until he had drunk two bottles of water in her presence (he is also severely dehydrated).

I was starting to feel a little hopeful that he was getting his act together spiritually and might be able to regain the trust of our children. Yesterday pretty well shot that hope in the foot.

So that, in a coconut-sized nutshell, is what my children are having to deal with, and of course it *would* happen on a fast-and-testimony weekend, to interrupt their rejoicings, and consequently my own.

I can only hope that they have received as much peace in the evening hours, and overnight, as I have.

I was a little concerned that all the talking yesterday put me near the limit on my phone plan, but I reviewed that this morning and am much reassured. I have more minutes per month than I remembered, and I am nowhere near red-lining them.

Don’t everybody call at once to congratulate me. [Texting is fine.]

Today I get to see Rayyna’s finished shawl, and tonight is the online book club discussion, and I am past the wrist on the fingerless glove I am designing and knitting for Celeste. So if I am not yet firmly in my happy place, it is easily within reach.

May you all have help and hope and comfort in your own, individual challenges today. And may you each feel Heaven’s loving care enfold you.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

I got really brave this morning.

This is something experienced doll owners do all the time. [No, she is not auditioning to back up Ringo Starr.]



And I’ve watched Fourthborn do it with one or the other of my dolls, but it was always “Here, please, you do it,” as far as I was concerned. The idea of deliberately removing a hand or a foot (knowing that I would have to replace it later) just gave me the heebiejeebies. But I wanted to knit something to go with the skirt I made Celeste several months ago, and I needed her hands to make sure it would fit. So I took them off.



Yeah, straight out of The Addams Family; only thing missing is the box.

Off to church they went, cushioned by all the squishy goodness in my project bag. And when I came home three hours later, I had a fingerless glove worked all the way up to the wrist. It’s not ready for its spotlight, Mr. DeMille. But soon, very soon, if I decide that I like the wrist shaping, and if the gauntlet shapes up in a pleasing way.

In other happy news, the children’s father has been quietly working to get his spiritual life in order, and he is once again worthy of a temple recommend. I couldn’t be prouder, or more pleased for him. He went to the temple to serve with his ward yesterday.

And in news which proves that Heaven has a delicious sense of humor, I have a new calling. They’ll sustain me next Sunday, and then I’ll let you know what it is.

The new guy and I have worked out a plan for getting to the theatre to see Rango.

And I just discovered what happened to the missing black sock from last night’s laundryfest. I knew that four socks went into the washer, and I remembered four coming out. But only three tumbled out of the dryer. I just now rested my left hand briefly on the facing of the jacket I am wearing, down by the hem. Guess what had crept in there when the other socks weren’t looking?

Heading over to the couch to listen to the new episode of Sticks and String, and then I’m off to take a nap.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

To sleep, perchance.

Eight hours’ worth. As the short, bad guy said in The Princess Bride, “Inconceivable!”

I am finally, finally feeling caught up at work. I worked through 30 old emails yesterday, plus dealing with the new ones that came in throughout the day. My attorney didn’t need me after about 2:00; the attorney for whom I transcribe, didn’t need me; the second one I back up was out of the office, and there was nothing urgent in his mail. So I took off at 3:00 for a rendezvous with NailDude. Two nails had popped, another was on its way out, and the remainder just needed fills.

I went for a pseudo American manicure this time. Layers and layers of translucent pink polish, very subtle, and while I miss my hey-sailor-red nails, I am feeling elegant and ladylike. Anytime I can manage that before breakfast on a grey Saturday morning, I think it is a good thing.

The tater tots are nearly done. I can smell them. It is probably time to head back into the kitchen and whip up a cheese omelette.

~~~

That was a couple of hours ago. Breakfast is over, the dishes are washed, and I have nearly finished the novel I am reading. I took it into my head to participate in the online book club, and the discussion is Monday night (if I remember). So last night I put my shoes back on and left the house around 8:30. It took three bookstores before I found a copy, but the 20% I saved offsets the gas I expended to find it. I read until I could not keep my eyes open one moment longer, and then I did my impression of a sensible human being and went to bed.

In knitting news, I’ve put another 3+ rounds on the doll hat I am swatching in the pale green silk tweed blend yarn. It will fit somebody. I’m just not sure which of my dolls, if any, at this point. Possibly Chutzpah. Possibly Faith or Temperance. Possibly somebody else’s doll that is somewhere in between.

The new guy and I are negotiating when to see Rango. MovieMom gave it a terrific rating and said, “This is not a movie for kids. This is a movie for cool, sophisticated, highly discerning teenagers and adults.”

Now to figure out which of those I am.

Friday, March 04, 2011

I just spent an hour on Facebook.

The new guy has that new calling with the singles. He asked several of us for opinions on various topics. Boy, do we have opinions! I sat and thought and typed for an hour, and now I need to figure out what I will wear to work, put it on, and scoot on out the door.

We are doing lunch-and-a-movie at work. This time it is EatPrayLove. I am liking it better than I thought I would after the review MovieMom gave it. We will finish it today.

The only thing on my agenda for this weekend is some quality time with NailDude. I have popped two nails, and a third is hanging on for dear life.

I am hoping for a quietly productive day at work, but mostly I am wishing this day away so I can curl up on the couch with my knitting and a tall glass of milk and an audiobook or movie. I may aim to spend this weekend incommunicado. [Or life may surprise me.]

Happy Friday, everybody!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Ribbit!



The pattern is brilliant, and a pleasure to stitch. The yarn is beautiful: soft, lively, and relatively non-splitty notwithstanding the number of plies. The color sequence, while subtle in the skein and not distracting in something like a plain sock, overpowers the lace. Bigtime.

Frogging is such sweet sorrow. But frog, I must. This yarn might work for one of Susanna IC’s shawlettes, like the one I made for Lark. And the only way to find out is to give the yarn a rest for a few days, then cast on eleventy-bajillion stitches and work a few inches and take a squint. The color sequence which produces bright spirals over 72 stitches, as in the gauntlet above, may produce only dappled bits over 300+ stitches.

Or not.

In other news, I had a great day at work yesterday. Only one or two sneezing fits, lots of happy typing, and the near-obliteration of my to-do list. I have been typing vacation letters since the first of last month, a few one day, a few more several days later. This is good on a number of levels. The work gets done, the courts don’t get flooded with letters from my attorney over a one- or two-day period, and the receptionist (who opens the mail) and the scanning operator don’t get overwhelmed with file-marked copies from the court. I finished the last of the vacation letters for our cases yesterday, plus two for files which have been reassigned to us because of shifting responsibilities among some of the attorneys. I have two more vacation letters to type (for additional reassigned files) and three notices to the court for the changes, plus related letters to our clients and claims.

Also had a great breakfast yesterday, which may have contributed to the great day: about a third of a carton of organic Greek yogurt (vanilla) stirred into a sliced banana and a serving of relatively healthy granola. I was musing over what I wanted for dinner last night, and the muse said salmon. So I picked some up at Central Market, along with dolmas for lunch or dinner today. I overcooked the salmon, but it still tasted good.

Time for me to pack my temple bag and figure out what in the world to take for my knitting. We are doing lunch-and-a-movie again today: EatPrayLove. I loved the book, and I love Julia Roberts, but MovieMom was less than enthusiastic about this adaptation.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

*[Kachoo! Kachoo!] repeat from *.

A little knitterly humor to get your day going. The Attack of the Killer Sinuses continues apace. I polished off half a box of Puffs at work and another here at home. Something between three-fourths of a box to a box and a half, total. That is a lot of sneezing. [Just ask my coworkers.] I also polished off the remainder of the chicken broth in the quart I broke open last Friday and three cups of chamomile tea. It is probably a good thing that I forgot to transfer my lipsticks into the new bag when I left the house, because putting on lipstick yesterday would have been an exercise in futility.

So yes, I looked every bit as drab and miserable on the outside as I felt on the inside. I came straight home from work* and got in the tub with a hot washcloth on my face. No Knit Night for me, missy! *[I did make a slight detour to Panda Express for spring rolls and Chinese mustard.]

Feeling considerably better this morning, after dreams in which I was trundling a recycling bin (bright yellow) from one school in the neighborhood to another. I have no idea where that came from.

The knitting is going well. I like the yarn. I like the pattern. I like the needles. If everything in my life were going as well as my knitting is at the moment, and mostly it is, then my life would be perfect. And maybe I wouldn't appreciate all the parts that are going well. And that would be sad.

I’m going to head over to the couch and put another few rounds on my knitting before it’s time to gather up my stuff and hit the road. There may be frequent pauses to look up and enjoy the flowers (because I certainly can’t stop and smell them at the moment).

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Going back to work today, huzzah!

In my perfectly legal car. Whose trouble light went off somewhere between home and the Muffler/Exhaust Dude’s yesterday, and came back on two blocks from home, once all the stickers were in place on my windshield. I am going to emulate Miz Scarlett in this, and worry about it tomorrow. (Or whenever. I am beginning to suspect a problem with either the computer or the electrical system, but since I tend to kill a car every six years, if Lorelai goes another year without dying, I’m more or less OK with that.)

Have balanced the checkbook, shredded the receipts, maintained the shredder, and put all the financial stuff in its duly appointed place. I need to stop off at the post office this morning to get stamps.

Mount Washmore is momentarily subdued. I’m a little subdued myself. This changing weather continues to play hob with my sinuses. I foresee another day of coughing, hacking, and honking, but not as bad as last week.

In undiluted good news, I put 20 rounds on the current knitting project yesterday. The funky twisted right-leaning decrease is not as scary to execute as it is to read.

I need to figure out where Knit Night will be tonight. February was kindof a blur.



The roses from Saturday night bid you all a gracious good morning.