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!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Haiku

My day off:
Laundry, shopping, knitting, nap.
New guy misses me.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Feeling wonderfully blessed.

I spent a good chunk of yesterday reading, when I wasn’t napping or knitting. I am well into 1 Nephi in my Reader’s Edition of the Book of Mormon. [I am in Helaman in the audio version which plays in Lorelai as I drive to work.] Some of the local singles have fired up a BoM readalong, which jibes nicely with my spiritual boot camp mindset.

I also read several articles in the June issue of “The Ensign”; I do not know how that magazine can continue to get better and better and better. When I was young[er] and up to my ears in children and broke and depressed, “The Ensign” was part of my lifeline to the outer world. I devoured each issue when it arrived monthly. Would literally drop everything [except for the nursing baby] and read it from cover to cover before handing it over to the children’s father.

It was so nice to read the June visiting teaching message without squirming. I am making varying amounts of progress in the realm of self-reliance. For the first time in my life, I have a budget that appears to be working. There is a little bit in my checking account the day before payday, sometimes not much, but I am seeing that specific blessing which comes from paying an honest tithe: “enough and to spare”. I had some expenses a couple of weeks ago (right after the I have $500 in savings! post) which I took care of out of my savings, and not by hitting my line of credit.

I have been saying no, more consistently, to the crazy-busy-ness and striving to get more sleep, and more rest.

There have been some major challenges this month and a whole raft of minor ones, and they have brought me to tears, but they have also turned my heart more closely to Heaven. And for that, if not for the challenges per se, I am grateful.

This time next year, I anticipate being debt-free, with a growing savings account and a greater ability to follow generous impulses.

The First Presidency message this month is on the blessings of tithing, and how tithing prepares us to live a consecrated life. He lists three ways that obedience to this principle helps us to have the sorts of feelings that people who claim to be Christian should have. [If you want to know what a modern-day prophet would say to you if you bumped into him, read the article; we sustain the president of our church, his two counselors, and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as prophets, seers, and revelators.]

OK, time for breakfast and a modicum of laundry, after which I will come home and curl up on the couch with my books, my iPod, and my knitting. How thankful I am for my father, who fought in WWII so that I could grow up in freedom.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Still nuppin’, after all these years.

Although I am on the home stretch. Just eleven of them left to go, and then I start decreasing and short-rowing to beat the band. [No actual bands will be harmed during the completion of this shawlette.]

I got something like eight hours of sleep on Friday night. And a four-hour nap yesterday morning. Which was a good thing, as I didn’t get home from the dance in Denton until after midnight.

I took the scenic route home, west on 380 to Decatur, and then down 287 to home. It was a beautiful night for a drive, with a fairly stiff breeze blowing in through the windows (but not enough to blow me off the road or into a semi).

I always enjoy the activities in Denton. Seriously, always. It’s a college town (two big universities) and a different kind of laid-back than Fort Worth. I frequently get turned around in Denton; there must be something in the air that damps-down my internal GPS, but last night it worked just fine.

I remembered that the previous time (when the new guy and I went up there after eating ourselves silly at the Greek Festival) the online directions were incredibly useless, and I remembered that my phone has a map feature, so I programmed it before leaving the house. I took a different way to get there and drove straight to the meetinghouse, and now I know a little bit more about Denton and Denton-adjacent [to borrow a phrase from CrazyAuntPurl] than I did, and my internal GPS is feeling vindicated.

Saw friends old and new [made two new friends among the singles on FB yesterday, one of whom was at the dance], talked and hugged and danced and had a good time in general.

The new guy was not there. He wasn’t sure that he’d be up to it. Weekends are crazy for him on this new schedule, even without factoring in his illness. So he did the prudent thing and stayed home and rested. We are still writing back and forth every day, talking occasionally (twice last week, woohoo!), but everything is pretty much on hold until after his surgery, and his next appointment is not until the 10th [he is not happy about this, and neither am I]. He has promised me Filipino food cooked by his future daughter-in-law once he is able to eat it, and I think I mentioned that I am invited to the wedding.

Thankfully, there are no singles activities tonight, because I used up half a tank of gas last night, and I’m unwilling to break the Sabbath to get to a fireside where the topic might very well be keeping the Sabbath holy. I am also out of milk. Had planned to slip into Braums or CVS when I was close to home, but the detour made that out of the question. I do have almond milk in the pantry and a nice big cold glass of water here on my desk, so I will not perish from dehydration between now and whenever I wake up tomorrow morning.

I am going to curl up on the couch, finish this row, and celebrate by nuking the last breakfast biscuit. We have ward conference today, and while the stake leadership usually takes over the teaching in Primary and the youth classes, I have a lesson half-prepared that I ought to put the last touches on, in case it’s me-as-usual.

And then I am going to come home from church and take a nice long nap, just because it’s a holiday weekend and it doesn’t matter if I wreck my sleep schedule.

[Thank you, Dad, and all of your friends, that I have the option.]

Friday, May 27, 2011

All the nupps that’s fit to print.

I am well and truly enamored with the nupp. It makes a fat little rosebud of a stitch, trapped in a pond of stockinette like a fly in amber.

I am somewhat less fond of the needles with which I am knitting. I remember when I bought my first pair of Addi Lace needles. Love at first stitch! In comparison, the far more gently rounded point of an Addi Turbo is like trying to knit with your big toe; it's good enough for plain stitches in fat yarn, a significant improvement over the Clover bamboo needles I had used for awhile after my old Quicksilver needles got lost or gave up the ghost.

When I was a kid, I knit everything on Susan Bates aluminum needles from the five and dime. Using, mostly, Red Heart yarn when it was still all wool and Wintuk was the new synthetic kid on the block. I remember feeling profligate at spending maybe $30 on the [good] wool I used for the fisherman knit sweater I knit the children’s father our first Christmas. It would be like spending $300 on designer yarn now.

But I digress. The point [tee hee] toward which I was ambling, is that not only has my taste in yarn improved considerably over the years, but my desire for high quality tools as well.

When I bought my ball winder and umbrella swift a quarter of a century ago, they were near the top of the line. They are still serving me well. My Bernina, inherited from Mom, is close to 20 years old and has had two tune-ups in the 13 years I’ve owned it. Quality lasts.

Which is why I’m not as appalled to admit as I would have been even as recently as two years ago, that I am seriously considering the purchase of a $45 circular needle with a stiletto tip. [And also, eventually, that complete set of stealth needles made of carbon fiber. Which come in their own red leather case. *pant!pant!*] If I am as happy making the 145th nupp as I was the one I made an hour or so ago, then I will be buying that Nancy Bush book on Estonian knitting, and I will be ponying up for a needle that would (in theory at least) make scooping up seven loops and turning them into a nupp every bit as much fun as swing-dancing with Brother Yummy.

There is a dance in Dallas tonight. There is another one in Denton tomorrow night. But Danny Boy, the nupps, the nupps are calling, from glen to glen and down the mountainside. It’s I’ll be heeeeeeeerrrrre [big finish], in lamplight or in shadow, oh Danny Boy, oh Danny Boy, I love nupps so!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Nephi gets the good stuff.

I’m not talking about when he and his brothers went back to get the brass plates from Laban. Nor when he and his brothers went back to get Ishmael’s family and, not coincidentally, wives for themselves. Although it did occur to me that there was another perfect example of how blessings come after the trial of our faith [and, frequently, our patience]: they seek first the kingdom of God, i.e., the scriptures which would become our Book of Mormon, and then they are given a necessary component for their exaltation, i.e., eternal companions.

No, that is not the primary reason why I am diving headfirst, and heartfirst, into the Book of Mormon. Although, yes, it is something which I desire when the Lord sees fit.

But I digress. Nephi hears his father relate a dream or vision, and desires to know the translation. An angel comes to ’splain, Lucy. In the Book of Mormon, when an angel appears to you, it’s generally because you are being a knucklehead, and you are being called to repentance. And when angels are sent to the righteous, typically their first words are “Fear not.” If there was any of that with Nephi, he left it out of his record.

Here, the angel asks, “What would you like to know?”

And Nephi says, “I want to see what Dad saw.”

The angel shows him the vision and asks if he knows what the tree means, and Nephi does. He tells the angel that it is a representation of the love of God, as are many of the symbols in Lehi’s dream. [I only noticed this morning that instead of the angel explaining it all to Nephi, which is what you would expect, Nephi gets to tell the angel, who confirms it.] And then he and the angel have an extended, ecstatic conversation about the good stuff.

You don’t get that sense of excitement in our translation of the Bible (we use the KJV, which I love, but it’s not immediately comprehensible); here you get a glimpse of that angel as an individual, with opinions and personality. I think he was just thrilled to be speaking with somebody who loved godly things and who “got it.” A higher-order version of the kind of conversations you get between people who love fishing, or knitting, or Jane Austen.

I wonder, parenthetically, if this was the angel who kept getting sent to Nephi’s family to tell Laman and Lemuel to stop whaling on their younger brothers?

“Hey, you two idjits! Knock it off! Oh hi, Nephi! Hey, Sam! You’re going to love the mansions [yurts] that are being prepared for you in the eternities. 100% yak felt. The moths are allergic it. Your wives will love that!”

I have worked the first row of nupps on Willow’s shawlette. The purling-back-together of seven loops into one stitch is exceedingly slow going, but childbirth words have thus far not been necessary. And the nupps themselves [five, I think, finished out of the 29 on this row] are lovely. Five nupps per pattern repeat times 29 pattern repeats. One hundred forty-five nupps. This may turn out to be my only venture into Estonian knitting, or I may discover that I love it every bit as much as cabling or garden-variety lace.

And on that nupp note, I will hop into the shower that I should have hopped into half an hour ago, because I should have left four eight minutes ago.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tender Mercies

I have put myself back in spiritual Boot Camp, as my counselor did five years ago. Part of that is a more intensive study of my scriptures. I have grabbed my Reader’s Edition of the Book of Mormon and am diving into it. This is what jumped out at me Sunday night before I went to bed.

  • But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance. (1Nephi 1:20)

I read a lot yesterday, underlined some scriptures that, like this one, said, “Hey, pay attention, this part’s for you.”

I finished the second clue on the Summer Mystery Shawlette and am waiting for the next one. I also finished Fourthborn’s Fiancé’s hat and will take it to him tonight, before or after Knit Night. Probably after, as I think I’m going to the Mansfield group for the greater part of the night, and would then swing by the kids’ place on my way home. But maybe not, maybe the other way around; it will depend upon whim or prompting.

I tinked back the oopsed row on the doll sweater swatch and gently washed the crinkled yarn. Not sure if that will be going to work with me today; my bag is already pretty full. At any rate, I will be working on Annis, the shawlette for Willow. Can’t believe I am already a third done with the lace pattern.

I woke up at 3:30 this morning, puttered a little (wove in the ends on Fiancé’s hat), and put the unblocked doll hats to soak while I showered. They are all patted out into nice flat circles to spend the next day or so drying on the sweater rack.

When I awoke, I was ravenous, so I ate the second half of my Reuben from Friday. If you hear two small explosions in Dallas later this morning, it will be my ankles, exploding from the salt. As Cookie Monster says about cookies, Reubens are a sometimes food.

I’m glad that I took the day off yesterday. It was very calming and healing to do things I’m good at, and thankfully the yarn didn’t have other ideas.

Had a nice, brief chat with the new guy last night. His son’s fiancée had spent the day rearranging what had been the son’s room; it will be hers until they marry. Son was startled at the transformation, to say the least. She also deep-cleaned what was already a clean kitchen. Their family home evening activity was a jaunt to the Asian market, where she brought home all sorts of mysterious things, and my friends Mel and Squishy picked up treats for their own home.

Time for me to take out the trash and recycling, and to see what obstacles the men-at-work have put between my driveway and the corner. One day I had to wait for a backhoe to move, and at the end of the street was a huge Mack truck and flatbed that another man had to back up out of my path. I just smile and nod and wave at them, knowing that when they are done there will be a lovely concrete street out in front of my house, and probably a sidewalk as well, and the random acts of flushing will be a thing of the past.

Oh, forgot to mention that we had a wild storm yesterday morning, with hail coming down every which way. The guys were still out there with their heavy equipment, but they disappeared mid-afternoon, possibly to help out with the flash flooding over by the TCU campus.

Socks. Socks would be good.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A nearly perfect visual metaphor.

On Friday, my coworker gave me the cash for the Rangers tickets, so I went to the Farmers Market with my two best friends from work. Here are some pretty flahrs.



It is a measure of how stressed-out I was on Friday, that when I first read this sign, I thought it said banjos.



I’ve lived in Texas for over thirty years, which is why I know how to say flahrs. And have picked up enough Spanish to be able to distinguish between a rabbit (conejo) and a calf fry (cojone). And I do know how to hie myself to el bano, the natural consequence of consuming agua.

I should probably warn you that there will be all sorts of inappropriate laughter, chez Ravelled, until life gets itself sorted out. It’s one of the things my tribe does best. Which reminds me that it’s been far too long since I saw Fourthborn.

This is the view from the end of my driveway when I left the house on Friday:



And from the end of my sidewalk:



This is what it looked like when I came home that night:



And:



Somebody needs to tell Thor to put away his Tonka trucks when he’s done with them.

A good talk with the new guy tonight. At this point, we don’t know whether he’s at stage 1 or it’s more serious. The other petri is also having a rough time of it, as is one of his boys, but everybody else seems to think things will be just fine. I buttonholed my home teacher [the bishop] and got a blessing after church today. The fireside tonight was worth the drive, I got two stellar hugs (not enough, but a start at least), the promise of an invitation to oldest son’s wedding when the date is firmed up.

I think I can go to work as usual tomorrow. I’ll see if I still feel that way in the morning.

Thor is a blast. We saw the 2-D version; Secondborn’s take (and mine) is, why spend extra money to see a 3-D film that will only make us nauseous?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Can I get a do-over on this month?

Notwithstanding all of the coughing and hacking and piddling that came and went (and came and went, and came and went) during the months of March and April, I think that when I look back in a couple of months I will remember them with greater fondness than the current month.

Wonderful landlady left me a voicemail to say that the electrician did not show up, but that the neighbors would turn my window units back on so that I would not come home from the temple to my own personal sauna.

Text message from dear friends in my old stake, with good news (much needed, and greatly appreciated): they are being sealed in the temple this Saturday, and would I like to be there?

Oh yes, ma’am, I would. And I think I will stay and do some temple work while I am at it. The best cure for verklemptitude is doing unto others (if not the do-unto-others-but-don’t-get-caught variety).

And I am seriously, if not crazily, verklempt. The new guy’s lab work came back. Not good, although his attitude about it is excellent. I am cleaving to the promise he got, in his prayers, that he would remarry in this life. Ergo, he will recover. But in the meantime, he needs your prayers, as do the other petri dish and I.

I put him, and his family, on the prayer roll at the temple last night after my shift. I put myself there, too. And if I did not have to finish preparing the paperwork that needs to be answered on Monday, I would stay home and eat chocolate and howl.

But, there is a sealing tomorrow to look forward to, and he will email me when he hears back from the Cancer Center later today, and I will be forgiven for the childbirth words that slip out when I think about this [oh, d@mn, there I go again], and the three cooperative knitting projects are still being wonderfully, woolily cooperative.

And if you will excuse me, I am going to have a little weep in the shower and wash my face and soldier through.

Keep calm, and carry yarn.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Surprises, happy and otherwise.

I noticed this the other day on my way into the office. It is so natural to yearn for the light.



I threw lunch into the fridge, got myself a cup of ice water, and started preparing my desk for the day. I was away from my desk when my attorney did this:



He is such a good guy.

I had a really, really productive day at work, one of those where the words flew in my ears and off my fingertips, and when I went to the mail room I had a thick sheaf of envelopes to run through the postage meter.

I also had a fairly major sneezing jag mid-afternoon, not bad enough to require an embarrassed drive home, but enough that I didn’t want to go on to the temple after work. Turns out, Providence was in that sneezing jag, because when I got home my key wouldn’t work.

The neighbors had let the bug man in with the landlady’s key, and they had had difficulty opening the lock. And even greater difficulty locking it again. When I got home, thankfully not in teeth-are-floating mode, that door just laughed at me.

I spent the next hour making phone calls but finally found an honest locksmith, who came out and fixed my lock, which had been improperly installed, and fixed the neighbors’ lock [also improperly installed] while he was at it. Took me a good hour and a half to unwind from all the excitement.

The electrician was here, too, sometime during the day, but he didn’t complete the job. He will be back later today.

So very, very glad that I did not go to the temple last night, because I would have been dealing with everything at midnight. As it was, I was abed at a reasonable hour.

And that’s all the news that’s fit to print.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mysteries, Knitting and Otherwise

Household electrical problem has been properly diagnosed, if not yet solved: I have a 50 year old meter box. And it’s corroded. My wonderful landlady will get the new electrician (same one who came a few weeks ago and said that the then-current [pun intended] electrical problems were an Oncor problem, and not something inside the duplex) to come out and replace it with a bright shiny new one.

And then maybe I will be able to run the front window unit and blow-dry my hair at the same time. Or use the microwave. Or the toaster. Or the oven. And not have to reboot every 15 minutes (as I have been, the past couple of days) because of brownouts.

So, yay for that!

And I have my new, dark teal Namaste circ organizer. My plan last night was to come home and put all of my doll-scale knitting needles into it. Mr. Rogers wants to know if you can say gang all agley. I got a bunch of the inserts inked, and left to dry overnight. And I discovered that my Addi Turbo 00 is AWOL. And then I went to bed.

But now I’m awake, or reasonably so, and I’ve put the smallest needles into their new home and the bags they came in, into the trash (plastic) or recycling (paper inserts). KnitPicks alerted me yesterday that the Shadow yarn in the colorways I wanted, is now in stock; I will combine that wee bit of coveting with the Options organizer and enough of those bits, or DP’s, to come up with an order that qualifies for free shipping.

Over the next six months to a year, I will fill in the gaps of my needle collection, and I think that my treat to myself, when I have paid off half of my line of credit, will be the full range of those stealth needles (the ones made of carbon fiber, with the red leather case), instead of the doll I had planned. My friend Rebecca got a set in her preferred sock gauge for Mother’s Day, and I got to handle one of them [briefly, she’s no fool]. Light, warm, and seriously pointy on the ends, just right for socks and dolly knitting. Also a bit grabby, which is what I need to corral the slicker yarns that I prefer.

The second clue came out yesterday on the Summer Mystery Shawlette. I’ve printed it off and saved the PDF. And I put another inch or so on Fourthborn’s Fiancé’s hat, and another row on Annis.

I wish that all the news were so good. The new guy is waiting for his test results from Monday. Benign or otherwise, it still means surgery. Which temporarily puts the kibosh on Defining The Relationship. I’ll see him at the fireside on Sunday, and we have promised one another much hugging. [I’ll collect on the virtual ones he sent when I was reeling over the loss of Nita, and he will get as many as he wants of his own.]

Heading for the leftover M&M’s from Sunday’s Primary lesson, and then will get ready for work. Tonight is the single adult session at the temple, and my spirit really wants to go, and my body says (for the moment) that we need to be sensible about this and go to bed early. I will wear a dress to work, and I will take my temple bag, and I will see how I’m doing at the end of the workday.

Two days until payday, and another $300+ off my debt. I’m more excited about that than I am about getting to buy groceries or to go see Thor.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Everybody duck!!!

No, I mean it:



Couldn’t resist. One of the speakers in sacrament meeting on Sunday said that each of us needs to spend a little time in nature every day. So on the way home from work last night, I pulled off at Trinity Park [the one where Middlest got lost when she was six], people-watched, and put another row on Willow’s shawlette. Between that knitting and what I’ve done this morning, I’m about where I was when I stopped to tink back and start over on smaller needles.

Yesterday was a day for taking pictures. This is the house I might have described recently. (I know I did, to a friend, but I think also here?) The city is working on our street, so I have to take a detour to get to the freeway.



A nice little spark of color in a sea of more traditional Craftsman cottages.

I wondered if I could get anything interesting by photographing the reflection in the side view mirror. I rather like the built-in frame. It’s a beautiful park that runs alongside the Trinity River, and never more lovely than in the fading light of day.



Not Ansel Adams, but still fun. I’ll leave you with Macbeth’s three weird sisters.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Three active projects on my needles.

And only one in timeout (the wee Aran for one of the dolls). I have cast on and worked the first portion of WendyKnits’ Mystery Shawlette. The next section comes out tomorrow.

Saturday night I finished tinking Willow’s shawlette, which is SusannaIC’s Annis.

And yesterday I found the right combination of pattern and gauge for the hat which Fourthborn’s Fiancé requested.

There are tater tots in the oven for the first portion of my breakfast. Lunch is packed. I’ve carried out the recycling and trash which accumulated over the weekend.

I listened to two podcasts and an NPR interview on the iPod last night. Got a great nap after church and went to bed about 1:00 this morning. So far, so good.

Prayers for the new guy for today. He’s having some medical testing, and we all hope that they figure out what the [probably minor but extremely annoying] problem is so they can fix it.

Mmm, the house smells really good. The timer must be about ready to go off.

And if it’s not obvious, my emotional dipstick is registering at a higher level this week. Thank you for your prayers and positive thoughts. Ditto the great conversations over the weekend. And the hugs.

Oh, one last thing. I am not going to the dance on Saturday, because my least-favorite DJ is in charge, so the chances of my finding something danceable are slim to none, and the irritation I would feel over that far outweighs the pleasure I would feel at seeing the new guy. I’ve let him know precisely why I won’t be there, and I posted a so sorry, something’s come up note on the group billboard. I think I might go see Thor next Saturday night.

The KLUNK’s you just heard were at least two of my children, fainting.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mired in the 20th Century.

Here is Blessing, looking a little pixilated, in the modern sense if not the traditional one:



If you look at her wig carefully, you may see subtle red stripes in it. They’re there, a nod from Fourthborn to my crazy-wild hair and my love of all things red.

Here is a shot of Secondborn (with Firstborn in the background), taken after BittyBit’s piano recital. She [Secondborn] got her hair cut and colored yesterday. There are gorgeous crayon-red stripes in it.



I told her she looked like Blessing. Not sure she was flattered by being compared to one of the resin kids, but each is lovely.

Yesterday was a mostly-wonderful day. I printed off directions to the recital, left in good time, was stymied by a wreck they were clearing at one of the intersections, and drove past my turn. I knew I’d gone too far when I saw the turn for Trainman’s house, on the south side of town, so I drove a little farther (by this time I was on a state highway, and turnarounds were few and far between) and found what I thought was the right street. I went down it, turned right as the directions said, and found myself on a different street than I had expected.

Fortunately, there was a mail truck turning onto the next street over. I caught up with him and asked if he could tell me how to find the address. He smiled, said to go to the corner, turn left, go three blocks, and turn left again.

The street which leads off the highway is a big loop, with a north half and a south half that connect somewhere east of where I was.

I got to the church fifteen minutes late. BittyBit was the first pianist. Thankfully, Secondborn got it all on video, and I will watch it later, when I am feeling less frustrated with myself.

It wasn’t until several hours later that I remembered that I could have put the address into my phone and gotten driving directions via GPS. I’ve used that function two or three times since getting the phone.

But I almost never get lost. I have a good internal GPS which rarely lets me down. It sure did yesterday.

The church was lovely, very simply designed, with stained glass windows forming the lower side walls of their chapel, and more stained glass above the altar. Their hymnal was red, and larger than ours, and I’m afraid I am suffering slightly from hymnal envy. I found several of my favorites in there, while I was listening to an accomplished young woman play Chopin [not my favorite composer, sorry, but she played it magnificently]. “Guide Us, O Thou Great Jehovah”; “The Lord My Pasture Will Prepare”, which is not in our hymnal but which I have sung in choirs in a somewhat different arrangement; and others.

There wasn’t time for a thorough exploration. It was a Chopin piece, after all, and not something by Beethoven or Rachmaninoff. [I wonder if Chopin is the quarter horse of classical music, with Bach and Beethoven as Percherons or Clydesdales, and Mozart and Telemann and Paganini as thoroughbreds?] But they have over 500 hymns in that hymnal, all divided up by theme. And the binding is red.

Seriously cool.

The Primary lesson today is all about how Heavenly Father answers prayers in the best way. As in, sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes it is no, and sometimes it is not now. The timing of this lesson is not lost on me, nor the irony. If I were teaching teenagers, we could discuss that briefly, but I think irony is lost on the typical four year old.

I bought two bags of M&M’s and have divvied them up by color: the reds, yellows, and greens are going to church with me. The others are set aside for another lesson, but I had a vague inspiration of using the M&M’s like stoplights to represent the three classifications of answers to prayer. Red = stop, don’t do it. Green = that’s a great idea, go ahead! Yellow = yes, but not now, be patient.

Ironically, there are far fewer yellow M&M’s in that bag than there are in my life.

This is all you get from me, today. I have my Primary bag packed, and I need to fix breakfast and finish getting myself ready.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Heart + Soul

Imagine my dismay when Thursday’s post disappeared. Along with the ability to create new posts. I have no idea what sort of e-dragons Blogger was slaying. I’m just glad that the battle appears to be over and the good guys (that would be us) have won.

The Rangers tickets are at their new home. I regret that not at all. I am insufficiently interested in baseball to attend a game with my co-workers, beloved though they be. The idea of sitting outside, getting my face and hands barbecued (yes, I know there is such a thing as sunscreen; I am a delicate hothouse flower, and an hour in the great outdoors is more than sufficient to wilt me, sunscreen or no), eating overpriced hot dogs, while overpaid men in funny clothes are chasing a little round ball?

Picture all of those men on a quilt shop hop or a yarn crawl, and that is how much fun I would not be having, absent the new guy. Who is still, bless his heart and various other organs, feeling puny. This has been a frustrating winter-into-spring for both of us, and I for one am heartily sick of it. Pun intended.

I am still coughing occasionally. Mostly when I am physically tired, but also when I am feeling stymied. I broke out the Mucinex last night, when I was at dinner with Brother Sushi and we were discussing my current lack of progress on the romance front. I have been sitting here with my heart half-open since Valentine’s Day [hello? flowers? card? Bueller?] and am not quite ready to vote myself off the island. Nor am I ready to have Brother Sushi have a talk with the boy, although he offered last night.

What I do know, is that the status quo is not working for me. I am ready to have that dreaded Define The Relationship talk. And at this point I do not much care which way it goes. I just want to know. And I want to get my breath back.

OK, in other matters, life is going well. I am working on something in the leftover Malabrigo, and it is [quite prudently] not arguing with me. I think it will be charming when it is done.

I found the two little bear point protectors about half an hour ago, hiding under a ball of yarn on the coffee table.

I bought an AppleCore when I was at the battery shop on Thursday, after getting my teeth cleaned. It is a red silicone thingie that rounds up all the spare wire for my iPod, and it was something like two dollars.



My watch has a new battery. The battery dudes tried to pry open my non-bleating sheep key fob, to insert another battery, but were unsuccessful. The sheep is a little the worse for wear.



The button I used to push to make it bleat and light up, has fallen down inside its head somewhere. I wish I had had my camera with me when they had four jeweler’s screwdrivers inserted at various seams. One of the guys was really on a mission to fix it for me, and I was laughing so hard at Frankensheep that he had to take it over to the serious, “I’m Working On Important Stuff” part of the shop.

Battery Dude gets major points for trying. I promised him a copy of that French chocolate torte recipe, the one that is 80% dark chocolate and 50% butter and 300% delicious.

I get to attend BittyBit’s piano recital later today. I am really looking forward to that; it more than compensates for my not getting to see the new guy. I am far more the sit inside and enjoy approximations of culture sort of girl than the sit outside and sweat and knit while men run counterclockwise sort of girl.

And I think it’s time to start making a list of all the decisions I have been postponing [season tickets to the ballet? symphony? museum membership? singles cruise? electric rate plan? new electricity provider?] and ponder them anew. Might not be time to make the actual decisions, yet, but just to pin down all that is in flux while I am trying to figure out what’s what.

I think that would be good.

Might even mosey over to the Amon Carter Museum later this morning for a pre-recital vaccination. The only culture this week, chez Ravelled, has been the buttermilk, and it’s long gone.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Love > Fear

Saw that on a bumper sticker on my way to work yesterday. The way he was driving, he definitely believes it!

Dinner last night: mac and cheese with extra cheese stirred in, carrot cake, washed down with orange/peach/mango juice. Orange you glad you didn’t eat at my house?

Another good night’s sleep. This morning I have a date with my dental hygienist, which means I don’t have to be anywhere until 9:00a.m., which means extra knitting time, after I re-soak and block Lark’s shawlette. I didn’t have enough time to pin it out properly yesterday, although I am quite pleased with the foam blocking squares and the wires. So I just let the shawlette air-dry yesterday and will finish the job this morning.

Work went well again. He will be back at the office today with new tapes for me to transcribe, but I was able to get caught up while he worked remotely, which gives me the illusion that something other than my attitude might be under my control.

The temple reopened this week, and I will be back there tonight. Looking forward to that; I have really missed it. And I have new, comfy white clogs to wear while serving there. It will be interesting to see how much happier my feet are at the end of my shift.

I found a home for the Rangers tickets, which means cash in my pocket and the ability to attend BittyBit’s piano recital on Saturday. Her dad will come over that evening and liposuction files out of the old computer and send them through an electronic umbilical cord to this new one, and then I will have all of my happy little spreadsheets back again.

I am going to have to tink Willow’s shawlette back to row one and start over on smaller needles. Lace is supposed to be light and airy, but this just looked wimpy and sloppy (and yes, I do realize that that is the perfect description of unblocked lace in general, but I compared it with the fabric in Lark’s shawlette, and it suffered greatly in comparison).

The new guy is teaching a workshop on dating etiquette at the conference in November. And one of the former petri dishes is teaching a different workshop. I am hoping to hit both. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it now: if more men treated women the way he does, there would be far fewer unhappy single sisters.

Funny thought: I wonder if Brother Abacus will take that class? Because if he is, I will be strongly tempted to stand up and holler, “Are you taking notes?????”

Which reminds me that I visited, while at the memorial service, with another woman who had dated him. I told her of my former fantasy of the bunch of us lining up with cream pies. Her face lit up. She has since remarried, to a wonderful, gentle giant of a guy, and agreed with me that remarrying well was the best revenge.

Yes, I have forgiven him (well, mostly). I am reminded of that fact every time I see him. It’s one of those “God bless and keep the tsar ... far from us!” things.

Still love my new haircut. Still not crazy about my new nails.

Gotta go. The yarn is calling my name.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Not much of a post today.

Work went well. He is out again today, so I have some hope of clearing my desk, or at least approaching that point.

New haircut pleases me. It has grown out so quickly. No time to give you a visual.

Hit both Knit Nights, briefly, last night. Gave R. a skein of handspun from the wool which she had given me, and showed her Chutzpah and Temperance. Then went up to the other group, stayed long enough to say how-do, came home and read an email from the new guy, and went to bed. (Did not come home with a second Namaste circ organizer, so will order one from KnitPicks, or possibly two.)

Woke up this morning, assembled my blocking squares, wiped the packing oil off my new blocking wires, put the shawlette to soak, and responded to his response to my response to the email of last night. Now I need to inhale this breakfast biscuit, thread wires through the ends of the shawlette, pin it out, then hop in the tub, which is cooling even as we speak, and head out the door.

We are having the annual tenant appreciation lunch today. Grilled burgers and hot dogs on the back patio of our office building. So no need to pack a lunch today, woohoo!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Five Skeins of Handspun

During the uploading, I figured out what I’d done with/to my D drive, and fixed it.



The computer keys look like the lower teeth of an ancient herbivore. I suppose that this occurs to me because I watched the second Star Wars movie last night, in which the ship escapes between the teeth of a gigantic underground space worm.

[Hey, you take your comfort where you like, and I’ll do the same.]

Another night of decent sleep, for which I am thankful. Bishop’s wife texted me yesterday afternoon to say that he was having to work late, and I should reschedule. So I got my nails done, this time by NailDude’s sister because he was at a [wait for it] ballroom dance class.

So, my nails look nice, and I’m not entirely happy with them, as she did what *she* wanted to do, and not what *I* wanted her to do. Two alpha females, duking it out over my nails, which resulted in my getting to help pry three or four of them off, and she did a thin layer over my own nails (which I keep covered up for a very good reason). She says they are less likely to crack this way. At least I think that’s what she says. She is his half-sister; one half is Lutheran, and the other half is Vietnamese.

Tonight is likely to be a busy night. I have an appointment with my hair magician right after work, and then my choice of two Knit Nights. I might try to make both of them, on the off-chance that anybody is showing up for the first, and that a fellow knitter has brought the unused Namaste circ organizer she doesn’t want. And then I could scoot on down the road to the other venue. I owe one of those ladies a skein of handspun, and she wants to see a doll. So Chutzpah gets another field trip, because she is the most portable, though I might take Temperance as well. Both of them are dressed for play.

I finished the second row on Willow’s shawlette and am working on row three. I have the needle tips held together with a small rubber band, to prevent disasters en route. My teddy bear point protectors are around here somewhere; I saw them when I was cleaning off the desk so 2BDH could set up the new computer. I suspect that they will surface again within a day or two after I have finished this project.

Time to start gathering things up for the morning exodus. I’m hoping for a more visibly productive day than I had yesterday, which was one of those nibbled to death by ducks days.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Meh. Or maybe not.

So thankful for girlfriends and daughters, this weekend. Secondborn and tribe invited me over for dinner after church, and 2BDH cooked up breakfast-for-dinner, always one of my favorites. Had a nice chat with her afterward, talking about Nita and the new guy and the relatively non-perilous state of my finances. She and Middlest have been, well, gobsmacked over how much Nita’s death has affected them. They were just kids when we lived with Larry and Nita for a month and a half, but that loving influence was a source of strength to all of us.

Thanks, too, to Ms. Tola for the FB chat last night. I had a good night’s sleep and woke without the alarm this morning, at the time I’d had in mind for getting up and getting on with the day. Good thing, too, as I’d forgotten to set the alarm. But in between the talk and the crash, I grabbed my French hymnal and sang some of my favorite hymns en français. Music had me in tears all day (I was a soggy mess during sacrament meeting), but the tears last night were ones of peace and connection.

I have worked so hard, over the years, to be able to feel the full range of human emotions. I spent eight years of my marriage cycling in and out of depression, and so it’s always a little scary for me when the primary feelings are those of sadness, but I’ve lost enough people [Dad, Mom, my favorite aunt] to know that it’s a normal and necessary part of the grieving process, and that it will come in waves and eventually be gone.

Still, I missed Mom yesterday and wished that she were here for me to talk to. I know that she has a better perspective on my life as it is, and as it will be, from where she is now, and it’s not so much that I’d like to take advantage of that. I just wanted my mommy.

Today is better, for no discernible reason, but it just is.

Something cute and sweet happened in the middle of my sniffle-fest at church yesterday. I was sitting on a folding chair in the overflow at the back of the chapel. One of my VT’s and her small tribe came in shortly after I did, and occupied the other end of the row. Soon after the sacrament had been passed, the middle daughter, who is one of my Primary kids, came over and sat next to me. This is the one who usually climbs up in my lap during sharing time [when all the Primary classes meet together]. Sometimes the angels whom Heaven sends to comfort us, are four years old and on the wiggly end of the reverence spectrum.

I got all 363 stitches cast on for Willow’s scarf and the first row of pattern knitted last night. I am going to get ready for work, and then I am going to curl up on the couch and work the second row, before heading out the door.

Heading over to my home teacher’s house tonight after work, for a quick visit. I realized on Friday when my paycheck hit, that I have nearly $500 in savings, among three buckets. I might have to dip into that before next payday, to keep Lorelai in gas, but what I have done the past two paydays, is to replenish any draws after paying my tithing but before paying bills. I am also attempting to live on 24 paychecks this year instead of all 26. It’s a small but significant paradigm shift, aided by the fact that no dolls are calling my name, but one that I think will pay big dividends over time. Plus, I am closer to being debt-free, because I am repaying more than the contractual amount. My spreadsheet is still in the bowels of my old computer; I need to remedy that, because one of my payday highs is watching that balance go down, down, down.

What does all this have to do with seeing my home teacher tonight? I want to do a return-and-report. And I would like his input on my growing frustration over the status quo with the new guy. Thankfully, I know enough to know that I should not make any important decisions while I am grieving, and my rational brain understands many of the reasons why we are not moving forward, but there is a part of me that says look, you’ve been dating him for nearly a year, and it’s nice, but is it going anywhere, and you’ve already been patient about the process for six times as long as you used to be, let’s see some progress here.

I am going to take Ms. Tola’s excellent advice and discuss this at my monthly dinner with Brother Sushi on Friday, as well as with the bishop tonight. And maybe bring Trainman into it. But for now? Not doing so well with the Thy will, and Thy timing, be done thing.

Blowing my nose, wiping my eyes, and heading out to the kitchen to pack lunch. Life is still good, and wonderful, and all that, but if you need anyone or anything bitten today, I am probably the woman for the job.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Yay for feral dust bunnies!

Unlike most of the places I’ve lived in for the past thirty-some years, I have no problem with nasty little bugs that migrate from apartment to apartment. However, I do have trees, and I do see the occasional waterbug, probably the same thing that they call a palmetto bug in Florida. These are the ones that fly and sound like a B-52 bomber when they do. I have become reasonably proficient at taking them down, mid-flight, with my trusty flyswatter.

This morning while I was zipping through Google Reader, I saw one out of the corner of my eye. It was headed for my studio, and by the time I found the flyswatter (buried under the CDs I recently fed to iTunes), it was nowhere in sight. Sigh.

A couple of minutes later, it waddled back my way, trailing one leg behind it. Apparently it ran into one of the dust bunnies, which had a death grip on its ankle and slowed it down enough that I could thwack it, mid-scuttle. Bwah-ha-ha!

When I head in for my shower in a few minutes, I will flush it.

In non-insect news, I have wound the yarn for Willow’s shawlette and printed off the pattern. I will probably take Fourthborn’s Fiancé’s hat to work on during church, if I can find a needle size I like, because once I am happy with my gauge this will become mindless knitting.

At least that’s the theory.

The memorial service yesterday was wonderful, and I don’t have time to do it justice at the moment. Maybe after church and a nap. I came home, verklempt, and took a nice long nap, then went out and did my grocery shopping. It is likely to be another comfort food week, and I am well-prepared. I also found something cute to toss into the next CARE-packages of fabric for Middlest and Fourthborn (which will not go out anytime soon, so don’t get too excited, but it will be fun).

It was good to spend time with Firstborn and Secondborn yesterday, even given the circumstances.

My thoughts are racketing around inside my head like drops of water on a skillet, so this will have to do. I’ll put together the snack bags and go soak my head.

I should have pictures of happy, clean, dry skeins of handspun for your viewing pleasure, tomorrow.

I hope that those of you who like this Hallmark Holiday better than I do, have a good one. I love being a mother, and I am crazy about my kids.

Middlest, if you want to write down all those nice things you said about Nita and send them to her family, I will send you her snailmail addy.

Breakfast. Breakfast would be good.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Small, homely pleasures

I felt like a good steward yesterday. Ran out on my lunch hour to The Shabby Sheep and picked up two sets of 4” HiyaHiya DP needles and the yarn for Willow’s birthday present (not due until October, something of a dangerous precedent). It’s the same yarn as for Lark’s shawlette, but in a different colorway: everything from horizon blue to turquoise, true blues to greyed blues to my favorites, the ones amply mixed with yellow. I have another of SusannaIC’s designs bookmarked on Ravelry and need to check if it requires beads. If so, I will pick them up on the way to the funeral this afternoon.



[That’s it on the left.] After work I drove to Whirled Fibers and bought a HiyaHiya needle gauge. This would be my third gauge in what appears to be a new category of stuff-I-collect. I have the standard aluminum one with the window for checking a 2” gauge swatch (laughable, really, because a 4” swatch is more accurate). Also the one made by Addi, because their sizes are slightly different from standard American issue, and I have a respectable collection of Addi’s. I bought this new one because it was the only one I knew of which can size a 6-0 needle. [I learned at the shop that there is another one, sold by Debra’s Garden; scroll down until you find the one for lace and socks.] I also bought a set of 6” HiyaHiya DP’s in 000, to supplement my cheapie aluminum ones, which are more than a little the worse for wear.

The needles and yarn are now properly entered on Ravelry.

I am getting antsy for another Namaste circ organizer, because the couch and the coffee table and this desk are rapidly filling up with knitting paraphernalia, and I am starting to feel the slightest bit twitchy about that. I am also thinking about how I want to organize my DP’s. I think it will involve a fair amount of sewing on my part, although I might cheat a little if I can find suitable placemats at World Market or Pier One. For now, I have slipped the 4” needles into the same package as their 6” counterparts [except for the 4-0’s, all in use], which reduced that portion of the clutter by half.



I wish that I had bought the red leather remote control organizer at JoAnn’s when I saw it a few years ago. It was NotInTheBudget at that point. I am wondering if the red leather pencil cup I saw awhile back at the Container Store would corral four remotes? Oh wait: red latte cup leftover from my MK gift bag days, and it’s free. Problem solved.



I took a little PT on the way into work yesterday, to nip into WallyWorld’s electronics department for a cover for my iPod. Nothing that I liked. So on the way home from Whirled Fibers, I stopped in at Frye’s and found a black leather case on closeout, and now that’s checked off my list.

I have eight CD’s loaded into iTunes and plan to add more of them today. The Amazon box with the CD’s my lawyer friend gave me before Christmas is sitting atop the shredder in its new location, i.e., the space formerly occupied by said box of CD’s I am still working through, next to the TV. If I get all the way through that box this weekend, I can take the contents to Entertainmart when I am in Arlington next Tuesday for my haircut and Knit Night, and maybe come home with a few dollars or some new music. And then I can start working my way through the CD’s in the over-the-door organizer in my boudoir.

The ongoing project of converting two large balls of plied laceweight tweed yarn into single plies, is a little farther down the road than when I woke up this morning. Thus far I have created another 100 yards of singles, all wound neatly into five-yard loops and waiting patiently in their gallon Ziploc bag. The larger of the two balls, which was significantly larger, is now only a smidgen bigger than the smaller ball. I wonder how many Ziploc bags I will fill before I am done?



I like this new computer. It has its quirks, and I’m not sure at this point if they are quirks in the system, or operator error. I really, really like how much better my game scores are on the AARP games website. Not important in the eternal scheme of things, but still a lot of fun in five-minute increments here and there.

The cross-stitch software I have on my old computer, is offering an upgrade special for Mother’s Day. Even though I have no feel for when I will be picking up those needles again, I do have a few ideas for embellished doll clothing (perhaps personalized?) that are rumbling around in a corner of my brain. If Fourthborn could draft (or help me draft) a vest pattern for each of my dolls, I could design vest fronts with their names worked into the design. One cool thing about the resin kids is that a stalker is not going to take advantage of personalized clothing to overcome the stranger-danger factor.

I think doll-sized needlepoint vests might be a hit with the steampunk crowd. Girls?

Friday, May 06, 2011

Brilliant and clever post.

Not here, not today, but I have something in mind, riffing off the concept of GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles). In the meantime I will just say that Mount Washmore is a small sandpile, and there are things on hangers all over the house. And I have not eaten all the chocolate chip cookies. And my swatch is behaving nicely, after being carefully frogged back to the cast-on and reworked on two needles which are the same size. Only another knitter will get how funny that swatch looked, with one row worked on 5-aughts and the next worked on 4-aughts. When I get to the office, I will switch to the larger needles [preferably two of them, in the spirit of having learned something last night] and start the patterning.

Gotta scoot. I just realized that today is not a sit in the tub with my hair up day. It is a get in that shower and shampoo day, and unlike the old computer, whose clock gained a minute or so every month for a built-in fudge factor, this new one means business when it says that I should be out the door in twelve minutes.

There are cookies in the fridge (soon to be one less of them), and there is dancing tonight, and I have no idea what to throw on in ~ oops ~ ten minutes.

Be good, and remember who you are.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Thoroughly Thursday

As noted on my FB page last night, mostly what I did yesterday was to bring order to the chaos of my email folders at work. The cowgirl metaphor moseyed into my brain while I was driving home.

Once home, I made short work of administrative stuff, finished another doll hat, and dug out a tapestry needle to stitch up the sleeve and underarm seams on the second Chutzpah-sized sweater.

I was happily weaving in ends when I moved suddenly, and the iPod leaped out of my lap and nearly hit the floor. I caught it in time, but the needle flew off the working end of the yarn. I heard one ping and spent the next ten minutes or so poking around under the couch and coffee table.

I even went out to the car and brought in my small flashlight, thinking that surely I would see a glimmer of steel. No such luck. Maybe the Bermuda Triangle has one corner neatly tucked beneath my couch? If so, it would be the only thing tucked neatly under there: the dust bunnies have turned feral.

I even move the couch toward the door to see what was lurking. I did find three tiny buttons that had run amok when I was sorting them by color and stringing them, a few weeks ago. And I now have a very somewhat intermittently clean living room floor.

Despite my best intentions, I did no Aran swatching at work. Apparently I had caught a bad case of finish-itis on Tuesday, because it was still hanging over my head last night. When I went to bed, I had half an underarm left to stitch on one sleeve, and the whole shebang on the other, although I had woven in the loose ends around the perimeter of the sweater.

I think next time I will park the underarm stitches on a thicker string. That would make picking them up one whale of a lot easier than I found it last night. The first sleeve and underarm are now finished. I am resisting the urge to set the other aside and block Lark’s shawlette. I think I will save that for tonight, or maybe tomorrow morning. That way I can hand it over to her, or to Firstborn, at the memorial service on Saturday. [It definitely qualifies as bright.]

I am now going to sit on the couch with my iPod(!!!) like a Thoroughly Modern Millie, finish the wee sweater, and toss it plus those last two hats into the Ziploc bag which is nearly filled with items to-be-blocked; I’ll deal with them after I have really, truly completed Lark’s shawlette.

At this moment, properly speaking, I have nothing on the [knitting] needles. Did you feel that rip in the space/time continuum? If I send no more [tapestry] needles into the Bermuda Triangle in the next fifteen minutes or so, I’ll take care of that little problem.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Embracing Technology

I am, generally, pretty good at it. (Except when I’m not.) When I first started transcribing tapes for the attorneys, my friend in the neighboring cubicle gently informed me that my headphones were not plugged in all the way, and that she could hear every hem, haw, and hiccup on the tape.

Yesterday I got caught downright canoodling with technology. I had taken my iPod to work (yay for remembering to pick it up off my computer desk, where it has languished since I loaded it the other day) and thought that stuffing envelopes with vacation letters would be a suitably mindless task during which to try listening to my first podcast via the earbuds [which I don’t loathe as I feared I might, because they don’t actually go in my ear, they just lurk on the outskirts; my mother always said that I am part mule (mostly, if not entirely, because I don’t like to have my ears touched)].

Well, I am still learning the technology, because I was stapling and stuffing when I heard somebody ask, Is there a TV on somewhere?

Oops, that would be me. I pushed the earphones fully into the jack, and no more podcast for my co-workers. Also not for me, as some of them are rather loud while on the phone, and we are in cubicles, and I had not yet figured out how to amp up the volume. All of which got remedied at dinner.

The right earbud keeps leaping out of my ear, but thankfully it is joined at the hip to its partner, so it can’t fall far. I will eventually figure out the proper angle on that side. Either that, or I will get my resurrected body, and my favorite podcasters can just think at me.

The KnitPicks order arrived at the office yesterday: interlocking foam squares, two sets of them, to form a surface for blocking various things. Blocking wires; now I can block Lark’s shawl and get it to her, sometime before the next birthday. An aesthetically bland niddy noddy for skeining up my handspun preparatory to dunking it to set the twist. And six skeins of laceweight Merino, four of them heathered, two of them undyed, all of them gorgeous. I can’t decide which to knit up first. I am envisioning Aran [fisherman knit] sweaters for the dolls from the undyed yarn and maybe some kilt socks to go with. Maybe Aran legwarmers for Blessing, who is adamant about wearing her hooves rather than her human feet. Faith might be a little more flexible on the subject, especially if I stop knitting long enough to whip up those pants to go with the sweater I made for her several months ago.

My friend Kristen posted this on her blog. Blogger accused me of being a cookie-free zone, so I couldn’t respond there. Thank you, Kristen, and I agree. That is what I felt last week, when I was visiting Nita in the hospital.

Her memorial service is Saturday afternoon, and we have all been requested to wear bright colors. My pleasure. [My heart lit up inside when I read that.] The first wave of grief has broken over me and passed; no doubt there will be others, but for the moment what I feel is peace and calm. And a little hunger, notwithstanding my just having downed two slices of toast and half a mug of milk. But my eyelids are grumbling louder than my stomach is rumbling, so I am going back to bed now.

Happy Wednesday everybody. Take time to make some beauty today.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

In which Ms. Ravelled is ravenous.

My lunch is packed and waiting by the front door. I am eating an omelette with frizzled-up mushrooms (they needed to be used soon, or pitched into the compost) and extra cheese, whole-wheat toast with butter. I fixed breakfast with my black leather jacket on over my pajamas.

The good news is, it’s not so cold that I need to turn on the fireplace, and neither the ceiling fans nor the window units are running. The only thing I hear is the hum of the fridge and the clicking of the keys as I type. Well, that and the intermittent rumbling of a grateful tummy.

So this month’s electric bill ought to be minimal.

I noodled around on Ravelry last night, comparing my needle and crochet hook inventory with what is in the new Namaste circ organizer and what remains to be more centrally organized. For the past several years, I have kept my needles in a half dozen or so of the translucent, white-ish, stackable “Spacemaker” boxes, which have been increasingly harder to find as the needle collection has grown.

I also have a Rubbermaid storage thing, about the size of a loaf of Oroweat bread, which holds all my KnitPicks bits and pieces. In one of the purges last winter, I got rid of all of my Clover circs because the tips are more blunt than I have come to prefer, and the joining of needle to cable is less than elegant. I had neglected to delete them from Ravelry.

I still have my Brittany birch DP’s, which are perfect for slippery yarns, two sets of KnitPicks Harmony DP’s, which I prefer in general because of their pointier tips, and the growing collection of HiyaHiya’s in tee-ninetsy sizes. I am really liking their 4” needles for doll clothing, although I know they were originally intended for the fingers of gloves (or the toes of toe socks; I haven’t gone there).

Hoping for another day of blissfully mindless tasks at work. Maybe this is the day I get my email wrangled into submission?

Knit Night tonight. A few weeks ago I put the reminders onto my cell phone so I wouldn’t have to worry whether we were at the bookstore or the coffeeshop on any given night. And a few days ago I figured out the location of the alternative knitting group, so tonight I may just check in with the regulars, buy the second Namaste circ organizer if she brings it, make my excuses, and visit the other group as well.

That would be fun.

Monday, May 02, 2011

And ... she’s gone.

Our friend Christine told me at the fireside last night that after they took Nita off the ventilator, she breathed for 25 minutes on her own, then slipped away with a smile on her face and her hand in Larry’s.

I had two texts waiting for me after church yesterday, one from Dane and one from Secondborn. And I am so proud of my children’s loving responses on his FB page.

Ms. Tola, we had that promised storm blow through yesterday and last night. It’s colder than a bill collector’s heart out there. All of my window units are off, as are my ceiling fans. I need to check the forecast for later today so I will know what, if anything, to turn back on before I leave for work. And how to dress.

The fireside last night was amazing and deserves a post of its own. I am taking some leftover BBQ brisket to work for lunch today. I came home with a small baggie of it and two buns in another bag, plus maybe a tablespoon of crumbs left in the brownie pan.

Lost power overnight, 7:18 worth by the flashing clock. I’ve reset it by my cell phone.

Some knitting after church and at the fireside last night. Wonderfully soothing. Planning for more of the same today at lunch, and again tonight.

Not much else comes to mind, so will check the weather and go soak my head.

Nita’s family has requested no flowers and no casseroles brought in, but if you are minded to make a donation to your local food bank or another favorite charity, that would be a good thing.

Life is good. If you love somebody, tell them. Not grammatically correct, but you know what I mean.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

One word ...

Is worth a thousand pictures? I have yet to dig out the CD-Rom for my camera, and we got some good pictures at the restaurant with Chutzpah and Vanille after the miniatures show.

Printer has just spit out the last of my handouts for Primary. I spent rather too much time playing AARP games yesterday on my lightning-fast computer, and now I am ready to sit down and study the material I only glanced at last night.

Not sure what I am going to do for treats for them. I did not go shopping last night. Maybe I will take those two boxes of granola and mix them together and throw in a little more dried fruit and divide it up into snack bags? I wonder if that would be any more popular than the [sharp] cheese sticks. I’m quite sure it would be more popular than little PBJ’s made with natural peanut butter, which took me over a year to get used to.

In the latest adventure, after a brief, verging-on-guilty-panic search, I located the iPod which the girls gave me for Christmas [in the safe place where I had put it] and have it charged, synced and ready to go. I am so thankful that I did not have to tell them I had lost their gift.

It sunk in yesterday that I am going to have to buy speakers for this computer. An out-of-the-box computer would have them factory-installed, but would be nowhere near as cool as this [mute] one. I used to have some, but they wore out, and it didn’t occur to me when we were ordering parts that I should order new ones. [Secondborn, please ask your sweetheart to put some options on the wishlist with the keyboard, for when I bring him the check later this week. Preferably Lamborghini quality at tricycle prices.] I tried to watch the YouTube of the missionaries singing the National Anthem at some sporting event. Think Marcel Marceau, with nametags.

Secondborn went to visit our friend Nita yesterday. She called when Fourthborn and I were at IHOP, and the restaurant was noisy, and I didn’t want to be one of those people. But if I understood her correctly, they are taking Nita off the ventilator “Sunday” ~ which presumably means today.

Sigh ... so not ready for this. [But then I’m sure she did not have it down on her calendar, either.] Firstborn and Secondborn both arrived on a Sabbath, leading to much ribbing about my having labored on that day. Maybe it’s an equally good day for departures?