About Me

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Six 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, January 31, 2012

Deep cleansing breath + nap.

We got most of the big stuff moved on Saturday. When we left the duplex last night (after almost the last of the packing), it looked the way we wished it had when we left on Saturday. When we left it today, it looked the way we wished it had last night. All that remains is the stuff in the fridge/freezer, a shelf and a half of stuff in the loo, and my cleaning supplies. Wow, look at that! Light at the end of the tunnel and not even a hint of oncoming train!

I. have. a. lot. of. stuff. Even after all the winnowing I have done over the past three and a half years.

I filled Lorelai with small boxes and open containers. She is parked out on the street, locked up tighter than the nun I used to live like, and will get unloaded when it is a little cooler and I’ve had a nap. I have showered and shampooed, while Beloved returns the trailer and the pickup. I am very very clean, and very very tired.

I popped a nail last night. Found it this afternoon when I emptied something annoying out of my sneaker. The intelligent thing to do would be to put on a fresh pair of jeans and head back to Arlington and have NailDude fix it tonight. And then go on to Knit Night. The more likely scenario is that I will post this, shut down Beloved’s computer, take three steps backward, and see how much of a nap I catch before he comes home from his errands.

I may need to go shopping in order to have something to wear to work tomorrow, because a stack of storage tubs as high as my head, maybe higher, is blocking the IKEA armoire in which I cleverly placed such clothing whose whereabouts I knew.

My W-2 arrived in yesterday’s mail. I got most of the way through preparing my return before we left the house this morning. As it stands, I will owe a whopping $28 to Uncle Sugar. Whatever shall I do?

I might as well bid you all a gracious good evening. I think I can stay awake just long enough to put my remaining juice (this glass is definitely less than half-full) into the fridge and toddle back here to bed.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Bending the Sabbath, ever so slightly

We found places for two bookcases and two dressers yesterday. I temporarily transferred the clothing I hang to the IKEA armoire in my studio. I found my brown suede jacket and wore it with the only skirt whose whereabouts I know, to church, where my name was read in as the newest member of Beloved’s ward. Our friend the RS president has submitted my name for a calling.

No nap after church, but I finished a small project while Beloved tidied up one of his responsibilities as ward financial clerk. And I got some knitting time, some reading time, and some family time with two-thirds of his kids and his mom.

Beloved’s shredder has a new home, and kids picked up their dogs. The cat seems a little lost to have his nap buddy gone (the two Crickets would curl up in dog-Cricket's bed as if they were litter-mates).

I just woke up from a reasonably good night’s sleep. We seem to be solving the conundrum of elbows and knees and what to do when somebody rolls over. His restless legs (a byproduct of the chemo) no longer startle me awake. The souvenir aches and strains from Saturday’s move are pretty much resolved. I no longer squirt water up my nose with the hand-held shower. I know how he prefers the dishwasher to be loaded, and I know where the forks live.

Beloved is going to vacuum the floor in the studio, and I need to find the outlets so I’ll know where to put my sewing table, the bookcases, etc. But that is a project for another day. Right now I need to hop in the shower and hope that there is just enough mousse left to un-scary my hair for the workday ahead. I think the replacement canister is still in the cupboard at the duplex (I’ll find out tonight).

I have no idea what I want to wear to work today, but I know where my options are.

He hung one of our engagement pictures in the dining room last night. One is on my desk at work, and the third is atop the black bookcase, out in the hall (this is the bookcase that the children’s father found in or near a dumpster at our first apartment in Arlington 19 years ago, which we scrubbed thoroughly, and which has followed me through the 1-2-3-4-5-6 moves since then). The bookcase which stood in the hall outside the loo at the duplex, and contained my collection of cookbooks, inspiring Beloved’s respectful query as to why I had so many if I didn’t cook.

I have yet to cook, here, but I’ve helped. We are feeding the missionaries on Saturday. Depending on how tired Beloved and I are after his chemo pump comes off that morning, I am toying with the idea of making a big pan of lasagne (and wondering just how to adapt it to my new lactose-free world). Ah well, we will think of something.

This is the part where I step away from the computer and into the shower. Depending on my workflow today, I will see if I can leave work early or take all or part of tomorrow off, to finish up the move.

Girls just want to be done. Girls? just want to be done!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Welcome, welcome Sabbath morning.

The kids closed on their house Thursday afternoon. I came home from the temple to a house that was significantly less full of boxes than the one I left that morning. We still have their dogs, as the recent rains have made the ground too wet to scrape for the installation of sod in their back yard.

Ways in which marriage has changed me: I woke up, wandered out to the kitchen for a glass of chocolate almond milk, and was greeted by the dogs and our cat. “Good morning, Gracie. Good morning, Cash. Good morning, Cricket.” Walked back into our room and told Beloved that I now talk to animals. (I guess as long as they don’t talk back to me, I am not in Dr. Dolittle territory...)

The move yesterday went remarkably well. This is the first move in fifteen years over which I have not been in total, if relative, control. We knew when we went to bed on Friday night, after spending a couple of hours at the duplex boxing up more stuff, that we were not going to git ‘er all done yesterday. But we got the big pieces, and most of the boxes, brought over while we had the rental truck. My pretty armoire, the worktable in my studio, the Chastity Bed, and the sofa table that Br. Sushi helped me build, still need to come over here, and there are a few dibs and dabs in each of the rooms, but we’ll take care of that next week. My wonderful landlord says not to sweat it.

1BDH, Fourthborn and Fiancé, and one of our friends in this ward got us loaded up. 1BDH went off to his study group (he has one more year of college and will graduate in December and by the way turns 40 on Tuesday and hates having a fuss made, so of course I am going to make a fuss; singing may be involved). The kids and my bed and Beloved’s old mattress and the sofa got dropped off at their place. I picked up a gift card for now-eldest grandson, whose birthday was Friday and whose party was yesterday afternoon, tanked Lorelai, grabbed a burger and fries at In N Out (moving apparently requires tons of fried potatoes, because I had an egg sandwich and hash browns as a second breakfast after picking up my kids), and headed over here.

When I got here, Beloved and mutual friend and Mel and Squishy were nearly done unloading the truck. She was playing Tetris with boxes in my studio. The friend went home with instructions for his wife to hug the stuffing out of him. The tribe and I went on to the birthday party (seriously good cake, and I met more of the family). Beloved and I came home and took a nap. He cooked dinner (chicken cutlets, steamed vegetables, and you should worry about me because I actually enjoyed the broccoli and cauliflower, probably because they were consorting with carrots) while I puttered.

I know he was a little frustrated because we didn’t get it all knocked out in one trip. And I was a little frustrated because his chemo schedule means we can’t wait until next weekend and grab another truck, with my spending the next few evenings boxing and packing what’s left, and cleaning the duplex within an inch of its life. But the cool thing is, we were not frustrated with one another, and we were not cranky or short. I don’t mind sharing control with a man who is so quietly and humbly competent.

The timing of our wedding, and the mini-moon, and the delayed closing on the kids’ house, could have turned what we both devoutly hope is the last move into a big ugly mess, and while it was not as smooth or quick or seamless as either would have wished, I am both pleased and relieved at how well it went.

Today’s project, after church, is to move all the wedding gifts that are stacked against one wall out of the way, so that we can move my pretty dresser (the painted one I scored on closeout at Pier One a couple of years ago, with the Indian/Russian motifs and the glass fronts on the drawers and on top, where the dolls have been lounging for the past two+ years) into the bedroom and start filling it with my clothing. The dolls are safely out of the way in what will become our office.

I will probably take a little time off from work, maybe as early as tomorrow afternoon, maybe all day Tuesday depending on how much Beloved gets done while I’m at work tomorrow, to take care of things at the duplex. But first, there is church, and then the kids who just moved out are coming over to grab a few last things (not sure what at this point, but Beloved says they are coming over, and I’m happy to see them and to not have to be in charge of anything), and then I hope another nap.

Feeling a little like one of the pioneer children who sang as they walked, and walked, and walked, and walked, and walked, but there is a good-smelling man standing three feet from me, and it’s my turn for the shower, and the raisin bran is calling my name.

Will leave you with a bit of moving advice: if you are planning a big move on Saturday morning, probably not wise to help consume the last third of a bag of gingersnaps as a bedtime snack on Friday night. The 1812 Overture had nothing on me yesterday!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Yesterday was a wee bit crazy.

The kids did close on their house, and they are about 85-90% moved out. The big dogs are still here until, probably, Sunday night. The sod in the back yard has to be down for 24 hours or so before they can go frolic.

Suddenly, the house is huge. My small dolls are in a basket on the bed which is in the room that will become our office. There is a ginormous armoire (Ikea, I think) in what will become my studio. Beloved is meeting me over at the duplex this afternoon or evening, and we will be doing what I devoutly hope is the last of the prep work for tomorrow’s move.

Beloved is making breakfast as we speak: raisin bran and toad in the hole, which is what I grew up calling gashouse eggs, probably a corruption of gasthaus. Piece of bread with a hole torn out in the center and an egg fried in there. Comfort food at just about its most simple.

Beloved is planning to dismantle my computer tonight and bring it back here. He is most generous with his computer, and I am thankful, and I want my own computer with my own bookmarks and files and fidgets and stuff.

Pottery Barn has a nice little touch: the gift tags that have come with some of our wedding gifts, have little keys attached to a house-shaped card. The keys are just about the perfect size to whip up a chatelaine for Blessing. I would love to make a fitted Renaissance gown for her, with a proper chatelaine hanging on her hip. Something fun to think about.

I did not eat properly yesterday, didn’t drink enough water, forgot my enzymes and my vitamin D, and was so groggy that for the first time in four months, I had to resort to a bottle of Cherry Coke just to keep my nose from diving into my keyboard at work. That bottle was gone by lunch. Thankfully, I was able to sleep last night. I stole the pillow off the bed his mother has been sleeping in, and I slipped it under the down pillow on my side of our bed, and no TMJ this morning, woohoo!

The memory foam pillow is too thick and unyielding for my recalcitrant head. The down pillow is lovely and soft and inadequate. I will be buying a fat, sassy feather and down pillow this weekend, to go with some of our new pillowcases.

Ankles are still a little swollen this morning, but I managed to avoid hives. I think it’s just a combination of wrong food, inadequate sleep, inadequate hydration, etc.

Breakfast is ready.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Milk and cookies at 4:00a.m.

I woke up half an hour or so ago, with an aching jaw but otherwise fairly well rested. I need different pillows. We have two memory foam pillows and two down pillows (one apiece), neither of which is just-right for me.

I was groggy off and on all day yesterday, the natural consequence of staying up too late on Monday and Tuesday nights. Last night was somewhat better; I think I was asleep around 10:00. The household is all pretty excited: the kids are supposed to finally, *finally* close on their house this morning and start moving this afternoon. All that happy energy bouncing around inside the walls of our home, made it a little tricky to get to sleep.

Beloved made a huge pot of pasta last night. I made a huge salad. I will be taking leftovers of both to work with me this morning. And I will have more of the same for lunch tomorrow.

I got some serious knitting done yesterday, before work and at lunch, and just before bedtime. I am within a couple of inches (I think) of halfway done on the ruana.

Beloved and Firstborn are both making noises about being at the temple tonight. Maybe they will be serving on the same session? I won’t know my schedule until I get there, but my bag is packed and ready to go. I am so thankful for this weekly opportunity to reset my internal clock to Heaven Standard Time. Everything sort of slows down when I am in the temple. It doesn’t matter if I am there as an ordinance worker, or as a patron. It just sets my world right, every time.

It was raining cats and dogs and little fishes when I went to work yesterday. There was a small river running off the end of our driveway. I managed to avoid stepping in that, but it was dark enough when I stepped off the curb, that I stepped right into another rivulet and got my sneakers (and feet) wet. Thankfully I am neither sugar nor salt, and did not melt.

I like working in the kitchen with Beloved. It is definitely a one-butt kitchen, so I take what I’m working on over to the breakfast table in the corner and work on it there. I’m out of his way, and vice versa, but we can talk and banter and grab the occasional quick smooch. We have not yet worked out a seamless rhythm, but this is only Day Twelve of our marriage. Wow, almost two weeks!

He definitely needs more sleep than I do, both from his natural rhythms and the added stress of fighting cancer. And he loves the snooze button. Right now the alarm is off, because I knew I was up for the count. Otherwise, it would be going off right about now, and it would go off every eight minutes until he turned it off and got up to fix breakfast.

I am getting totally spoiled by this. I am eating better (in terms of quality) than I have since I left the parental home. I am also recalibrating quantity. I knew how much food I needed to get through a workday when I was creating/packing it myself. My appetite has been all over the place this week. I go from ravenous to stuffed in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.

It is getting less and less weird to be sharing a bed again. I don’t think I’m waking up much more often on a typical night than I was before we got married. The middle-aged bladder still rousts me at least once, most nights. And I am losing that sense of holy cow, there’s a man in my bed! Elbows and knees are becoming less of an issue when it’s time to sleep. I’m still having mobility challenges with my right hip, but I think walking together in the mornings will take care of that, over time. It’s raining again this morning, not as hard as yesterday, but enough that I am not interested in swimming around the block before breakfast. Thankfully, in a couple of days the kids will have all of their boxes out of the dining room, and I would theoretically have access to the exercise bike, so that is another option for mornings like this. I am coveting, a little, Beloved’s son’s recumbent bike, which will be emulating Elvis and leaving the building.

Right now I am thankful for a husband who sleeps like a rock. He said it wouldn’t bother him for the computer to be on, and he wasn’t kidding. (The reverse would not be true: even with the hissing of my CPAP, the clicking of the keys would bug me, as would the light from the monitor.) I will be thankful to have my own computer here, set up in what is probably going to be our joint office, so that I can bang away to my heart’s content when the Insomnia Fairy pays a call.

But in the meantime I am so very thankful for what I have.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A packer, but not from Green Bay

So, Monday night Firstborn and I organized the contents of the couch and the coffee table. Last night I tackled a small project that has been bugging me for awhile. Took about an hour, and when I left the duplex I had that small glow of satisfaction that comes from crossing something off the honey-do list.

We are getting rain in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Light rain, heavy rain, intermittent rain. No walking this morning, because I do not want two showers before work. Sounds like a frog-strangler out there. Lots of rumbles and booms, not to mention flashes of lightning.

While driving to Fort Worth last night, I hit a patch of water and hydroplaned slightly. Thankfully, I had both hands on the wheel, and I took my foot off the gas, and two seconds later (and for the next minute or so) it was thankYou-thankYou-thankYou. Not enough time to be scared, even after the fact.

From the duplex, I drove to Knit Night, where I handed off bits of yarn to my friend Grace for her friend the art teacher. I was still coveting, slightly, the last couple of yards of purple Manos Lace (leftover from the shawlette I made for Lark last year), but hand it over I did.

Tonight I will not be driving to Fort Worth after work. Instead, we have a Blue and Gold dinner at church, and at least one of my new grandsons is a Cub Scout. Beloved and I are planning a quiet evening at home, after that, and a much earlier bedtime than I’ve had the past couple of nights.

The new commute is working out well. I drive the dreaded Central Expressway into downtown, and rather like the Dread Pirate Roberts, it’s not so scary.

Beloved tells me that breakfast is almost ready, so this is it for now. Happy Wednesday, y’all!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday morning.

Work went well yesterday. I cleared another two days’ worth of mail, then headed to Fort Worth by way of Firstborn’s. I was hungry. She was hungry. So I scooped her up, and we went to my place by way of In N Out Burger (where we shared an order of fries with our burgers).

She helped me tackle the couch and coffee table. In an hour of work, we had all the sewing stuff together, all the knitting stuff together (and mostly in an open box), had found my thank-you notes so I can get started on that, another batch of printed-off knitting patterns which are now loosely tucked into a big notebook that is a souvenir of my Mary Kay Lady days. I need to pick up more plastic sleeves to hold those pages; there is still plenty of room in that notebook.

I dropped her off at her house at 9:44 and headed home. Beloved was dozing when I got there, but the porch light was on, a night light was on in our room, I slugged down some dark chocolate almond milk and a cookie, and it was lights out for Ms. Ravelled.

My friend Rebecca will not be at Knit Night tonight, so I will head back to Fort Worth after work, tackle what’s left in the kitchen, and come home (I hope) significantly earlier than I did last night.

Wish I could give you a visual of Chutzpah’s little bear sitting in the tee-ninetsy red wagon. But we’re thinking that the computer will come home with us on Friday night, when we plan on batting cleanup prior to getting the truck on Saturday morning.

The kids are really, truly, supposed to close on their house this morning. Beloved says that the last email they received, said that there were six closings ahead of them, and they should close yesterday afternoon late (not!) or sometime this morning.

Gotta go. There’s a dear man who needs a goodbye smooch, and then I’m out the door with grapes, some potato salad, the leftover salad from Sunday, and oh, I need to grab my hummus from the outside fridge and fix a half dozen skinny slices of cheese for the last of the melba toast in my cubby at work.

Be good. Remember who you are. You know the drill!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sitting here with my mother-in-love’s dog.

Who just trotted into the bedroom as if he owned the place. This would be Cricket-the-Dog, as opposed to Cricket-the-Cat, who belonged to Beloved’s late wife. The two Crickets get along famously, frequently curling up for a good snooze in the dog bed.

Good day at church, although I did not take quite enough yarn along for working on the ruana. I finished the stripe repeat about ten minutes before Beloved finished his clerk duties, so I danced through my inbox and posted a couple of responses on Facebook while I waited.

I am seriously digging being married, and not simply because of the food. Love him, love his family, the food is amazing [it would be a sin of ingratitude not to mention how good the food is, chez nous], the helpless fits of laughter are frequent and exhilarating. I like the ward. I like not being a Primary teacher. I like the Gospel Doctrine teachers, who are well-prepared and elicit lots of class participation. Relief Society rocks, pure and simple.

Mel and Squishy ordered Temperance a pair of black slacks for Christmas, which have been riding around in the bottom of my bag for a couple of weeks. Today after church I finally put them on her, and they are a perfect fit, and she is delighted to no longer be commando under her jumper.

When we were on our honeymoon, I picked up a key chain in one of the shops which is a wee replica of a Radio Flyer wagon. It’s just the right size for Chutzpah to haul her bear around in. This will be fun for photo shoots, once we have the house reorganized.

Tomorrow night Beloved will be feeding the missionaries, but I will be heading to Fort Worth right after work, to deal with some of the packing that only I can organize. There is stuff on the couch that has drifted out from my studio, and I need to take everything off the couch, sort it out, put it where it belongs, and then we can pack everything together by topic or interest. I am planning a shorter pack-fest on Tuesday, which is earmarked for Knit Night if my friend Rebecca will be there. She has several yards of fabric that I have promised to take off her hands, which I think will be suitable either for doll clothing or for me-clothing.

He is puttering out in the kitchen with the game on. I am enjoying a few minutes, guilt-free, to type in the manner to which I am accustomed. If he is in the room with me, I’d far rather be paying attention to him (not to mention it is also good manners).

Not spending much time on Facebook or the computer these days, but not missing either particularly much, except for my blog time.

I also got a great nap after church. A couple of hours’ worth. This whole sleeping together thing is a bit of a mixed blessing. Still trying to figure out what to do with elbows and knees, and how to rearrange myself if one of us rolls over. I am used to going to sleep on my left side, then rolling over on my back. So if I happen to be on my right side, there is some interference from my CPAP mask, because the air tube feeds in on the right and smooshes into my face, and sometimes it disorients the part that snugs up against my nose. I think I must have awakened 20 times, that first night together, mostly from the uh-oh-there’s-a-man-in-my-bed-no-wait-I-think-he-belongs-here-OK-back-to-sleep-now.

He says that last night the machine was noisier than usual, and he thought it was maybe not fitting me just right, and he asked if I was OK, and I said yes, none of which I remember. I do know that I woke up a lot last night, and I didn’t feel as rested, but the nap this afternoon seems to have taken care of that.

Dinner tonight was salmon burgers, and I made enough salad that there are leftovers for two days’ worth of lunches, and I’ll have another burger to take for dinner on the drive to Fort Worth tomorrow night, and he made his first attempt to replicate a dessert we had while on our honeymoon.

I think I will play an AARP game or two to sharpen up my brain, and then I’m heading out to the living room with my knitting, to watch him watch the game.

He just brought me a bowl, saying, “Here, have a bite of this. It’ll be better after it’s chilled overnight and set up a bit.” Homemade potato salad, for tomorrow’s non-drive-by fooding of the missionaries.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

The kitchen is nearly packed.

First thing we did, was to empty out the pretty chest of drawers in the living room, pack up or pitch its contents, and start filling the surrounding floorspace with towers of filled and labeled boxes. It never ceases to amaze me that two people, working well together, can accomplish things more than twice as fast as one person working alone. Synergy is a miraculous thing!

We packed for an hour or two, then went to lunch at Star Cafe, where we both had the chicken fried steak, cream gravy, salad (w/ranch), authentic (i.e., slightly lumpy) mashed potatoes, and a biscuit lightly flecked with cheese. Yes, I know, very little of it was on my good food list, and other than feeling parched because of the salt, no discernible consequences, i.e., crankiness, swelling, or whining from my bad ankle. Though I did get a little croupy at Firstborn’s because of Willow’s cat.

Who is in heat, and very vocal.

Beloved’s chemo pump is off, and so far there seem to be no side effects from this new drug. The neuropathy in his fingers seems to be going away.

I woke up at dark-thirty this morning and put several rows on the ruana before the rest of the household was up and about. So it’s been a longish day, with much to show for it, and I’m somewhat more tired than I would expect for it only being 9:00. I’m about ready to call it a night.

Current plan is for me to go to the duplex after work on Monday and pack up some or all of the stuff that needs to be packed by nobody but me, and put the trash and recycling out on the curb. On Tuesday I’ll hit Knit Night, pack more boxes if I didn’t finish on Monday, and bring the bins back in; then on Friday we’ll both head over there for any last-minute stuff, but we devoutly hope that when we go home that night we will be ready to start loading the truck bright and early Saturday morning, because now-eldest grandson is having a birthday party that afternoon. He turns 12 on Friday, which means another priesthood holder in the family on Saturday.

Night, y’all. [Yes, I’m still as happy as if I had good sense.]

Friday, January 20, 2012

He put a love note in my lunchbox!

That was Wednesday, my first day back at work after our mini-moon. And then this morning, when I grabbed a neatly-rolled bundle of underwear another was tucked inside.

This is one seriously cool dude I have married!

Work went well again today. I dealt with either two or three days’ worth of mail, plus the day’s to-do’s, and by the time I left the office, I had a respectable-looking desk. And two more rows of knitting done between pre-work knitting and my lunch hour. I am nearly halfway done with the ruana that may turn out to be an afghan. I will need to make that decision fairly soon.

We went out for Japanese food tonight. I had their Scottish salmon but could detect no brogue. Just perfectly cooked fish with an impeccable and thoroughly fascinating sauce, plated on seven or eight small logs of asparagus, a little shredded lettuce, and thinly sliced/steamed?fried? yams and pumpkin, with a huge bowl of steamed rice.

I bought the Winter IK, their handmade-gifts issue, and the premier issue of another magazine that has a red cabled shrug on the cover and all sorts of neat stuff going on inside the magazine proper.

It’s almost 10:00, and we have a lot going on tomorrow: Beloved gets the chemo pump off, and we are going to try to finish packing up the duplex, even if we don’t move anything until next weekend. I want to swing by Firstborn’s and pick up the cake topper and the Scentsy stuff which she gave me a year or two ago for my birthday or Christmas; I had her keep it in the interim, because at the duplex I don’t have enough outlets to run a Scentsy burner.

My sweetheart has finished his puttering. Time for me to log off and go be a good wife. Later, gators!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Another wedding vignette.

You will be getting this in dibs and dabs, as Beloved waited up for me to come home from my shift at the temple, and we have much to talk about.

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

So, the morning of the wedding, I woke up and did some productive puttering before it was time to leave for the chapel. I loaded stuff into the car, fired Lorelai up, and was about five blocks from the house (as in, almost onto the freeway) before I realized that my wedding gown was still on the back of the couch. I was praying, which is probably the only reason that the Spirit’s “ahem, forget anything?” got through.

I turned Lorelai around, headed back to the church, and in due time peeled out of my street clothes, put on my slip, then my thigh-high lace stockings, and the garter, and reached for my shoes.

Which were still in their box, on the couch, at home. Thankfully, Lark and her boyfriend and Middlest-as-navigator were all willing and able to drive the 4-5 miles back to the house to fetch them.

The really cool thing is that I was not in the least upset, just a little sheepish, and grateful for my family.

I will leave you with the thought that you should cast your memories back to the final episode of M.A.S.H., which is what Beloved said I should do, in a conversation about a week or ten days before the wedding.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Radio silence.

Ms. Tola thinks it’s deafening. Hey, y’all, canoodling takes a lot of energy that might otherwise be spent typing. He’s cutting into my knitting time as well. (He just pointed out that I don’t seem to be objecting a lot.) Plus, there was no internet connection at the cabin.

I took a lot of pictures of the interior of the cabin, which was charming. We had a wood stove, a creatively painted bathroom floor (sponge painting and stamping and free-hand water lilies). The outside was pretty cool as well, with a dock that meandered out into the bayou, tons of cypress stumps and Spanish moss.

On walking back to the cabin and observing all the cypress stumps, I told Beloved, “Maybe it’s just me, but those seem seriously ph_ll_c”. He cracked up. It was fairly indicative of the weekend. My inner gypsy had a field day.

He posted a link to Brad Paisley’s song “Ticks” and commented that both of us were certifiably tick-free.

Oh, wait, you probably want to hear about the wedding. There will be plenty of pictures, both here and on Facebook, once his firstborn gets them developed and/or sorted out. (Probably 2-3 weeks, as they still haven’t closed on their house.) Secondborn took a bunch as well, and lots of friends snapped candid shots after we moved back into the cultural hall for cake and punch and general insanity. There were brief appearances by his Green Bay Packers cap.

He asked me a couple of days before the wedding if I remembered the final episode of “MASH”. I did. He told me that he just wanted to give me a heads-up, that he was going for something like unto the kiss Hawkeye gave HotLips. Which he did, right after the “I do’s,” to thunderous applause, especially after I started tapping him on the back of his right shoulder with the forefinger of my left hand, as in “Please let me up for air.”

One of his sons says that Bishop was starting to get a little fidgety.

Good night, all. I have work in the morning, and he has chemo (a new drug), and he is cleaning off the bed from our evening spent unwrapping gifts and entering the information on Excel. I suspect he might have a different sort of unwrapping in mind...

He says I figure things out pretty well.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tuesday. Cake. Laundry. Fried taters.

I got all of my to-dos, to-done before leaving the office. Tomorrow is a me day. Fun and games at the dentist, followed by getting stuff waxed at the spa where my hair magician used to work. Or maybe still does; she has a new baby, so I’m not sure what her days look like now.

Blogging from Beloved’s, where the second load of laundry is in the dryer, perhaps an hour later than it should have been, because Ms. Twitterpated forgot to push the button to make the dryer go round and round.

I will be taking frozen cake over to Secondborn’s as soon as the laundry is done. I would like to stay later, but Beloved’s brother is here, and he is almost as much fun to talk to as Beloved is to kiss. Which is saying something.

Dinner tonight was two eggs, over easy and seasoned to perfection, a modest first portion of home fried potatoes, and a piggy second portion, plus one cautious experiment: a pork sausage, which thus far has not attacked my ankles.

Laundry is about done. Frozen cake is about to come out of the freezer and head for Fort Worth. Four dolls have made the move over here, so I can toss boxes around in the living room. I packed three boxes before breakfast.

Four days. Pritnear only three days.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Wonderful, but not entirely fair.

I thought I would be a good fiancée and spend a little time working on Beloved’s neck and shoulders while he was sitting in his easy chair, waiting for us to invade his mother’s storage unit in search of something she needed for the upcoming nuptials. I figured that his neck would be as tight and tense as mine. It is not. He has good muscle tone, (there is nothing soft about that man, other than his heart) and his neck feels like neck, and his traps feel like traps, and his shoulders feel like shoulders. The man is relaxed!

Boggles. The. Mind. Because we know that you could hang a good-sized suspension bridge from each of my trapezius muscles and support morning rush hour quite well, and I probably wouldn’t even notice.

He is confident that once we are married, I will relax significantly (get your minds out of the gutter). I carry my kids on these shoulders. I carry my grandkids on these shoulders. I carry my church responsibilities on these shoulders. Yes, I share the load with Heaven, but nevertheless, pretty much anything that passes through my mind spends at least some time on my shoulders.

It will be nice to share that, or give a good chunk of it up entirely.

When I arrived at my desk this morning, there was a lovely bag waiting for me, a present for us from two of my co-workers. I did take pictures, but my home computer is still incommunicado, so you will have to wait. Inside were items as colorful as they are useful.

Film at 11. (I won’t say which day.)

Five days. Somebody asked him at church yesterday if he were starting to count the hours. For fun last night, in between smooches, we did a little mental math. Today, of course, it is less. As I post this, we are looking at a smidgen under 113 hours.

Three more days of the long commute. He thinks we can find something vastly more interesting to do with that time. I’m inclined to believe him.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Those who can’t, teach ;)

With apologies to my friends who are excellent teachers. I taught Relief Society this morning in Beloved’s ward. Lesson prep kept me out of the pool halls all week, and my mind more or less off the honeymoon, and I learned things, and I assigned reading and got some great participation.

I do like teaching. I love the Church. I love the gospel upon which it is founded. I love the doctrines of the Restoration, and I am uncharacteristically jazzed about the lesson manual this year. This is not to diss any previous manuals. I am just really jazzed about this one.

Most of the brethren who lead the Church today were successful in earthly terms before being called to set aside their nets and go fish for men. I respect them enormously, and while I’m smart enough to know that they did not progress from ease to ease, it is difficult to think of them as having dealt with poverty, starvation, rebellious children, unemployment, debt, or other issues that the rest of us ordinary mortals have to deal with on a daily basis.

George Albert Smith, who died the year before I was born, had ill health much of his life, became visually impaired as a young adult, grew up in poverty and was not financially successful. Nevertheless, he developed character traits more valuable than a fat 401K while dealing with the ordinary stuff of life. This is a man I can relate to, and I am looking forward to getting to know him better.

I felt the Spirit every time I picked up the manual to study the lesson material. I felt the Spirit while I was teaching.

I learned this weekend that the Brethren have nixed the traditional wedding music in our chapels. So, no "here comes the bride" or the customary recessional. I have an email in to my bishop for our musical Plan B. I am not upset in the least about this, because the really important event will take place when Beloved and I are sealed in the temple once we are given clearance.

Saturday morning is about the legalities and about rejoicing with our friends and family who might otherwise not be able to participate. Saturday night is about the perks of marriage. About which I am trying not to think too much, because while blushing is very good for my complexion, it does tend to wear on one.

After church, I popped into the clerk’s office to hug Beloved and to introduce my BFFE from my childbearing years. As I left, I told him that I would let myself in, and when he got home he would find me unconscious on top of his bed, as opposed to next weekend, when he would find me unconscious in his bed. At which point he responded that he very much hoped I would not be unconscious when that time comes.

He is planning a little mischief for shortly after the ceremony. I am planning to enjoy it.

Six days, unless he’s the one doing the counting.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Bring on the weekend!

I have wedding shower the second this evening, followed by snuggling with Beloved in his well-chaperoned living room, and then the long, groggy drive home to my own chaste boudoir, where visions of something more rowdy than sugarplums are likely to clutter my dreams.

We are eight days out, and the hormones are spiking, but thus far still no Bridezilla episodes.

There is nothing on my calendar for tomorrow. Nada. Zip. Zilch. I do plan on trucking over to the optical shop and having them put new pads on my new specs, because the factory-issue ones are digging to China on the left side of my nose, and I’d like for everything to heal up before the big day.

Other than that, I foresee a little cooking, a lot of packing, and oh please, more knitting than I have seen since Tuesday night.

My checkbook is balanced. Me? not so much. My back is tight, my hip is aching, the twinge in my knee has returned, and I think it is pure and simple repression, which will continue unabated until shortly after we arrive at the cabin next weekend.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Catching a bit of a break.

In the old days, when a client gave us a disc with photos or a video, it was a simple matter to save it to the file. We got one recently with about three dozen photos on it. This time around, I had to convert each image to a PDF and save it to my desktop. Then I combined the images according to topic and saved those combinations. Then I converted three videos to zip files and saved them. Then I started importing them into the new system. And, finally, I dragged and dropped each item on my desktop into the recycle bin. All told, perhaps 45 minutes to do what would have taken me 45 seconds to do, before. On the other hand, I am now a whole lot faster at it than I was when I opened that disc.

In other news, Beloved’s platelet count was low, so no chemo this week. That means he gets to drink cold beverages until his next chemo in two weeks, because the sensitivity from the last round of chemo is wearing off.

We have a winner in the cake trials! It would seem that I was truly inspired when I suggested combining a spice cake mix with a carrot cake mix. We got height, we got great texture, and we got amazing flavor. [And I’ve got the last slice in my fridge at home. Hey, he wanted it out of his house. I do try to be obliging!] My slice of cake was dinner last night. I finished my bison burger at lunch today.

I had a really good, productive day at work today. It is great to feel as if I know what I’m doing, once more.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Fun with food and friends

We had lunch at Screen Door, a foo-foo place in Big D’s Arts District. I had a bison burger with feta. Yes, I know that the food analysis back in September said “no beef”, but strictly speaking, it wasn’t. And when I went to the churrascaria with Brother Sushi on Monday night, I ate sirloin, chicken breast (carefully picking off the bacon but enjoying the flavor it gave my chicken), a couple bites of pork tenderloin, with no discernible reaction. So I concur with Beloved that a recheck by a conventional medical practitioner is in order (it was on my honey-do list, anyway), and I will take care of getting a referral in the next few weeks. Or months, depending upon how busy married life keeps me.

Work is going suspiciously well. While I am not up to my former speed, I am getting there.

And now I am heading to Beloved’s. Today is my future mother-in-love’s 82nd birthday, and I have a B&N gift card in her name. Trying to score some serious good d-i-l points there. We will have cake at 6:00, and then I will accompany them to church, where his second grandson has Pinewood Derby tonight.

As I gave birth to five daughters, I know nada about said activity, so this will be considerably out of the box for me, and I am looking forward to it. After that, we are going to do something about dinner. At which point I might actually be hungry again. I am still full from lunch, and that was half of my burger, five hours ago.

Life at the moment is even more delicious than usual.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

In which your intrepid heroine has adventures.

The first one, entirely positive, involved procuring our marriage license.

We took his firstborn son’s advice and went to a satellite county office, where the lines were shorter and the employees were civil. (As befits civil servants. A soupçon of bureaucratic humor, if you will.)

That burned an hour and forty-five minutes of PT.

When I got to work, we discovered that the bus/train passes which are needed tomorrow morning, were not here. The person who was supposed to pick them up last week, drove in all week, had the check to purchase the tickets with her, and was off work today. (She was under the impression that because the passes expire tomorrow, she could pick up the new ones when she came into work; unfortunately, they expire at 3:00a.m.)

So I got to take a company car, drive within a couple of miles of Beloved’s house, pick up the check, bring back the company car, bump another company car while trying to park The Behemoth (fill out an intra-office accident report), walk the check over to the DART station and come back with the passes, which I then distributed.

And then I went to lunch, about 45 minutes later than my usual late lunch. It has made for an extremely short afternoon.

In a few days, this will be funny. Thankfully, the office manager laughed (a little) when I told her I’d hit one of our other pool cars.

So, I have had an extra hour of driving today, and a brisk walk in brisk weather, and fresh air and sunshine and rosy cheeks, and people get to ride the buses and trains tomorrow, and other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, I have very little to show for this day.

I told Beloved that I wish we were already married, because this is one of those days where, (if I were still a drinking woman, there would be some serious elbow-bending once I got home,) an evening of mommy-and-daddy would do wonders for my frazzled nerves.

Eleven days. And now goodnight, because I have an appointment with NailDude to fix the thumbnail which I broke getting into Lorelai on Saturday, or maybe Sunday morning (I forget), and the little finger nail which is about to fly off and go into orbit.

Ms. Ravelled, quietly falling apart here in BigD. Over, and out.

(Bridal shower the first, tomorrow at lunch, tee hee!)

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Seriously cutting into my knitting time.

On the other hand, the hugging, et al, is very nice. I had a really good day yesterday, working on wedding stuff. I found and installed new buttons on the wedding dress. I finished, really and truly stick in a fork in me I’m done finished, the corsages. I scored a dozen red pseudo-velvet bows at Michael’s on Christmas closeout at 59 cents apiece, as opposed to the box of pre-made wedding bows (white) for $49.99. Feeling a little smug about that.

Friday night I picked up the cake tower. The box was open. I put it in Lorelai’s trunk and headed to Lane Bryant, where I bought four new bras (one comfy but colorful, three racy) and five pairs of coordinating panties [reminds me of the old joke: six beautiful chorus girls, five beautiful costumes]. All of which are divvied up into gallon Ziploc bags and stowed in the honeymoon bag.

From thence to downtown BigD, armed with my driving directions. Which didn’t work. I stopped at the office, changed into a dress and confirmed directions with the security dude, and tried again. No such luck. I drove around for about half an hour, as it was getting darker and darker, and the neighborhood was getting scarier and scarier, and I was getting hungry and tired and more frustrated and finally just plain scared. So I called Beloved and headed to his house, where he held me until I stopped twitching.

Then we took the cake tower out of the box and started to play with putting it together, which is when we discovered that seven pieces were missing and it had been used: telltale green smear of icing on one of the support pieces, and more green icing on the assembly sheet. I took it back yesterday and got a refund and another 50% off coupon, which I will use tomorrow at another location. (I had bought the only box that store had.)

Dinner last night was baked potatoes, baked cod, his veggie sautee, and a small bowl of posole which the neighbors had brought over. Hominy is a sad thing to do to a perfectly good kernel of corn, but posole goes a long way toward redeeming it. Dessert was a sliver each of two test cakes when we came home from the dance. These would be contenders 3 and 4 for our wedding cake. The spice cake rose wonderfully and tastes better-than-OK. The carrot cake did not rise well, but the flavor is terrific. Tomorrow he is going to combine a box of each and see if we get the height of the spice cake and the flavor and moisture of the carrot cake. If so, that will be the wedding cake. And we have a friend in his ward who used to bake cakes, so she can loan us her cake leveler and a 12” pan.

I have bought the long tablecloths for the banquet tables, also the forks and the napkins, and priced out the rest of the stuff we need. I have transferred the information from our eVites into a spreadsheet, and I need to go into FB and pull that information as well, and then have Beloved add to it from the responses he has received.

He is snoozing quietly on the bed (they look so innocent when they are asleep). I am getting my internet fix.

What to say about the dance last night. The decorations were lovely: Christmas trees of varying heights, grouped in twos and threes, festooned only with white fairy lights. The food was good as well, a nice mixture of healthy and festive. I found several things that I could eat with a clear conscience. The music? Well, the younger generation seemed to enjoy it. We left about 9:40, in part because we were both tired, and also because the music was too loud and we had already hugged all or most of our friends.

Came back here, tried the cakes, visited quietly until it was midnight, then he kissed me, and I drove home. Two major wrecks on LBJ between one exit and the next, and I think a total of four during the course of the evening. I barely, barely made it home awake, falling into bed about 1:30 and getting approximately five hours of sleep. I tried to catch a catnap after church while Beloved was dealing with the tithing at church, but no such luck.

I am going to have to catch a few winks before I try to drive home again tonight.

Tomorrow night I am going to eat churrascaria with Brother Sushi, retrieve my spare key from Secondborn, and pack as many boxes as humanly possible between sunup and bedtime. I’ve already alerted the neighbors that there will be unusual cars and unusual activity chez moi for the next several weeks, and why.

And oh? I volunteered to teach Relief Society next Sunday. That will keep my mind on scriptures instead of honeymoon, but I’ve gotta tell you, a sixteen year old has nothing on me in terms of the-sap-is-rising.

So glad that I only have 13 days (almost, only 12) of this crazy commute, and then I can settle in chez Beloved. We are getting our license on Tuesday morning.

I am the poster child for crazy-tired. And I am heading out to the kitchen for more water, and thence to the AARP website, because the Sudoku is calling my name.