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!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The ShoeDude rocks!

Not only do my brown clogs have new heels, he quite artistically blended them into the angle at the back of each shoe. I dropped off the black shoes I have been wearing to work all week, and Beloved or I will pick them up during the latter half of next week.

The new shoes which I ordered on Thursday will be here on Monday.

We have only a handful of boxes left to unpack in the kitchen. The first dishwasher load should be done about now, and I will fire up the next batch. I want to use my red dishes when we get invaded tonight by the Beloved-women and the Ravelled-women while our menfolk are at priesthood session.

I found an amazing silvery-lavendery-lilac button to finish off the cowl. Which got a $5 bid notwithstanding the $30-minimum that was on the sheet, because the good brother who was MC’ing the auction told people that, even if there were a minimum bid listed, if nobody had signed up for the item, to go ahead an make a bid.

I went back and put a sorry, no, next to the bidder’s name and wrote firm next to the $30-minimum which was clearly stated. There is about $50 worth of yarn in that cowl, at today’s prices, and nobody is getting my work for less than its value. So I wrote (another) check to the ward for the stated value, and I brought my cowl home. If somebody in the family loves it and wants it, it’s theirs. I won’t even make them wait for their birthday. And if not, there were people at work oohing and aahing over it. I will give it away, long before I let it go for a ridiculously low price to somebody who probably doesn’t know how to take care of it, anyway.


The Saturday morning session of General Conference was amazing, as usual. Such wonderful, loving counsel and inspiration. Now the trick will be to put that inspiration into action.

Beloved has headed off to Parkland to get the chemo pump removed. Ordinarily I would go with him, but after I reload the dishwasher, I am going to make the first batch of cookies for tonight’s invasion.

The current project, Wingspan, is a delight. I like the yarn, I like the deceptive simplicity of the design, and it is such fun to work on nearly-mindless garter stitch for awhile.

Be good. Remember who, and Whose, you are. I’m off to dirty (and lick) a few bowls. I had to go to three stores before I found the Krusteaz lemon square mix I like. Extra lemon rind and lemon juice will go into the batch. I like my lemon squares distinctly tart. (Unlike my role models.)

Friday, March 30, 2012

New Shoes

Behold, it is spring, when a woman’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of ~~~

Shoes????? Moi?

I hopped over to the clog outlet to look at the full-price pair I’m saving up to buy. ($35 each payday for three more paydays, which wrecketh not the budget and provideth for shipping and handling as well.)

They had a BOGO special (buy one, get one free, for you non-shoppers). The shoes were attractive, in basic colors, so I have a beige pair and a black pair coming. I did call Beloved to ask if he minded. He said, “Sure, if you need them.”

Define need.

Once upon a closet, I had seven pairs of clogs in various colors, and they lasted for five or six years, cumulatively. I would still have one or two of those pairs had I not had that two-year battle with athlete’s foot, during which my shoes got internally basted with Nystatin ointment, hence discolored, misshapen, etc.

Positing healthy feet, if I have several pairs of shoes, I will wear them in rotation, and each pair will last significantly longer than the two pairs I bought last year at the outlet, one of which is at the ShoeDude’s getting new heels; I’ll drop off the second pair when I pick them up before General Conference tomorrow morning. Both had reached the point where, if I didn’t get them to a shoe repair shop STAT, they would not have been fixable.

I’m looking forward to seeing what the ShoeDude did to replace the heel. These are seriously comfy shoes; I want to keep them around for a long, long time.

The new shoes have a bit of a heel on them (they’re about three-fourths of an inch to an inch taller than the basic clogs I wear), and they just looked like spring to me.

The cowl I will be donating to the service auction at church tonight, is done. At least the knitting part. I still have a handful of ends to weave in, but it’s bound off, and it looks pretty amazing. I am taking the pattern, needles, and yarn for the next project, which will be Maylin Tan’s Wingspan (wendyknits recently completed it, and hers is stunning). This will use the problematic green PacaPeds yarn that was going to be a SusannaIC shawlette, but the yarn was too busy. I don’t think that will be a problem with basic garter stitch and this pattern. And I’ve already compared the yarn (verging on poison-y greens) with the new green top I wore yesterday, and it will work, at least under incandescent light. It might be ghastly in daylight, but I’ll burn that bridge when I come to it, as they say.

I’ve given Beloved strict orders not to leap up and fix me breakfast. Chemo was something of a marathon yesterday, and then he came home and baked two cheesecakes for the service auction (after taking a well-earned nap).

I was so tired by the time I got to the temple last night that I misread my schedule and thought the B for break was B for baptistry, where I have yet to serve. And then, when my session was over, I couldn’t find the key to my locker. I thought it fell out of my pocket. When the ordinance room was empty of patrons, I went back in, and half a dozen of us combed the room looking for that key.

It was still in the lock, in the sister ordinance workers’ dressing room.

Hoping for a light day at work, but something to do all day. Very much looking forward to the spaghetti dinner tonight, generous bids on our donations (otherwise we’ll keep them and just write a check for their value), a good night’s sleep, and General Conference tomorrow.

This day is brought to you by the letter C, for Cherry Coke...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

“But there are things out here that will eat me!”

Nevertheless, I pulled the foam sad-excuse-for-flip-flops in which I drove home from the nail salon out of the wastebasket and followed him outside to admire the garden. Are you old enough to remember Eva Gabor in Green Acres? That would be me. Only not blonde. Nor possessing a Hungarian accent.

Beloved, a/k/a Mr. Outdoors, has been fishing two days in a row. Both times the catching was as good as the fishing. Even his four year old grandson caught a 14-inch sand bass. All by himself.

He is sunburnt but happy. As he says, skin cancer is the least of his worries nowadays, though he did put on some sunscreen while he was out there.

I, on the other hand, stayed safely indoors, typing up a storm. I took an hour of PT and got my nails done and a pedicure. I like that place. I like it a whole lot better than NailDude’s. Even if everyone but me is chatting merrily away in what I assume is Vietnamese. Unlike the first place I tried after moving to Garland, I don’t get the sense that they are talking about me. They seem to like each other, and they seem to like their customers, and while it is more expensive than NailDude’s, the vibe is a whole lot better.

My brown clogs should be ready to pick up tomorrow. My sweetheart will do that for me while he’s out getting more stuff for the garden.

I spent some time before breakfast, working on one spreadsheet or another. When I got to work, I faxed off some medical receipts to my healthcare flex-spending account. If I had thought to take a blank envelope, I would have mailed off the name change application to Social Security, but that will go out tomorrow.

Later, gators. My body is screaming for sleep, and I suspect that Beloved is snoozing, out in his chair. Time to take my neatly-painted toes off to bed. I woke up a little after 4:00. It’s a little after 9:00p.m. Leftover orange chicken for lunch tomorrow. Life is good!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Improved clinch knot.

After church, after the briefest of naps, after a delightful evening of spaghetti and mayhem with the tribe of Beloved’s middle son, I learned how to make myself useful helping Beloved spool our two new reels. And I learned another knot that is good for catching something or other that escapes me as neatly as most fish at the lake.

Beloved is set to go fishing. I am set to go to work. My lunch is packed and on the kitchen counter. My knitting is near my new bag.

I need to bring y’all up to date on Beloved’s fight against the Other Woman (i.e., cancer). In December they took him off the particular drug which was causing neuropathy in his hands and feet and put him on something with different side effects (which have, thankfully, been minimal). Apparently it is not as effective in wiping out the cancer cells, because two tumors in his liver that had shrunk significantly at the last CT scan in November, have doubled in size (they are both still far smaller than they were last August, when his cancer cell count was 880). We now go to chemo every week: the three-drug cocktail every other Thursday, pump for two days, and removal of the pump on Saturday morning; and a new drug on the alternate Thursday that will not require him to wear a pump. They are pretty confident that this new drug will be effective at beating the rogue cells into submission.

We are less than thrilled with his oncologist. Son-the-second has filed a formal complaint with the hospital. They drew blood as usual, Beloved had his visit with the oncologist, got a few of his questions answered and several of them more or less blown off (I wasn’t there), and then the nurse told him to stop by the lab because they might have to draw more blood, but wouldn’t or couldn’t tell him why. Turns out that they had not done a cancer cell count with the first batch.

Hence the formal complaint. Now that he is on my insurance, we will be doctor-shopping and aiming for a referral to a different doctor or program. The program at Parkland (which is where people go when they have no, or crummy, insurance) is run by the doctors at UT Southwestern (right next door to Parkland), which is supposed to be one of the best hospitals around. We don’t know what went into his oncologist’s oversight. I am trying to be charitable. Beloved is understandably steamed, as is Son-the-second, whose boss’s attorney has said that if we want to file a claim against the hospital, he will represent us for free. (Squishy has also worked where his big brother is now working, and at least one other member of our congregation works there, so many of their powers-that-be are following Beloved’s challenge and rooting him on prayerfully.)

The goodness of some people sometimes surprises even me.

Tonight for Family Home Evening we are inspecting our 72 hour kits. I suspect that mine will not pass Beloved’s inspection. I am picking up a trivial amount of cash in small bills, and a roll of quarters apiece, to add to each kit. I am also going to toss in a ball of sock yarn and some spare needles. I’ll rotate that out every six months or so.

Weird dream last night. I was shopping at the Super Walmart in south Arlington with the children’s father(!), and I was apparently not upset that he was driving, and we got separated in the store, and my cell phone kept upgrading so that I couldn’t use it to call Firstborn to come get me and take me to Fort Worth and my car.

Very, very glad to wake up next to Beloved this morning. I should probably step away from the computer and go give him a good-luck-fishing-today smooch.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Blessings, blessings, coming out my ears!

I suppose this could more properly be called tithing blessings, because I’m sure that’s where many of the little goodies that happened yesterday/recently, originated from. Buckle your seat belts and shoulder harnesses, and settle in: it’s gonna be a long ride!

My passport arrived yesterday. I do not look like a fugitive from justice, more like a middle-aged dear-in-your-headlights, and when we are ready to go to Scotland, I can come back home. The supporting paperwork (i.e., our marriage certificate) will arrive separately, and when that happens I will tackle Social Security, which is, methinks, the last bureaucratic dragon to slay.

We got a refund check from the City of Fort Worth for my last month’s bill at the duplex. I have the deposit slip all made out, and it will go into our joint account this morning.

My order arrived from CJ Banks. Everything is as ordered. The colors are wonderful, and once I press the linen blend jacket (stop laughing!) my wardrobe will have become incrementally more respectable. My clothing is still divvied up into three closets, but that is a project for another day.

Beloved’s tolltag came. At least, I think his tolltag came. There is a packet with a little square in it and rather more explanatory material than I got when I got my own tolltag, eight and a half years ago. My tolltag is about the size of a credit card, roughly a quarter-inch thick, and attaches to my windshield with a pair of Velcro strips. His is about the size of a silver dollar and about as thick as a dollar bill. Apparently I have the Flintstone-phone of tolltags?

I have a new purse. I went to Charming Charlie after work, with the idea of buying a solid green scarf to go with my broomstick skirt and new shirt. I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned my purse dilemma here on the blog. The freebie which I got from the swap meet in my old ward is in decent shape, except for the handles, which are cracked. It is distinctly uncomfortable to hold my overloaded purse in my overworked hand. I saw an obscenely expensive ($300+) purse on the back of a fashion magazine a couple of weeks ago and fell in love with the color of it. Caramel. Goes with black. Goes with brown. Both of which I wear, in lightweight fabrics, year round. Big enough to hold all the stuff I think is necessary to lug around on a daily basis. Conservative enough to go from work to church to anywhere else, and not be too stuffy. But $300+. So, no.

Charming Charlie is the place to go for fun earrings and other accessories. If I had a need for evening bags, that is where I would go. It’s where I got the hair fluff and feather earrings for my wedding. (I know: you’re still waiting for those pictures. So are we. Patience, grasshoppers!) But their purse selection, to my way of thinking, leaves a lot to be desired.

I am not a big fan of ruffles or bling or animal prints ~ with the possible exception of zebra, but that purple and black silk blouse was fifteen years ago ~ on purses. I may wear wild colors in crazy combinations on my person, but I want my bag to be large, leather, and essentially unremarkable. Tasteful, if you will. (Red, in my world, is a neutral. Ergo the red laptop bag that I loved to death. The hot pink pleather watering can which I bought at a garden shop, and which I could have used as an actual watering can if I had had a scrap of gardening ability, was a notable and fun exception.)

Last night I found a black patent leather bag, mid-size, trimmed in a brown that is about the color of dark caramels. Originally $35 or $40, marked down to $19.99, so I put back the scarf and the card with three pairs of colored faux pearl earrings and marched my happy self to the checkout counter. It’s not real leather, either in the patent or the trim, but it will do until I find a caramel leather bag that fits my requirements and does not offend my frugality.

I paid $10, over my protests; the computer took another markdown at checkout!

At the craft store, I bought a tube of E6000 and a container of the little silicone earring nuts to replace those which have gone AWOL. So now I can fix my white faux pearl earrings, the ones I like to wear when I’m serving in the temple. And I will lose no more earrings with French hooks, unless I manage to misplace an earlobe. Not entirely out of the realm of possibility.

Breakfast is over, the dining room is essentially emptied (two more boxes for the curb or for compost); stuff has gone out to the garage, where it is now Beloved’s problem; and a bunch of his firstborn’s fishing stuff will go with us up to their house for a family birthday party. Beloved is vacuuming the dining room. We are feeding the elders, and his mother, tonight. We are feeding the younger twin’s tribe, and Beloved’s mom, tomorrow night. In our dining room. Which has served as a storage shed for the past two months.

There is more good stuff to share, but I am overcome by the droppings of the feral dust bunnies, and I need to foof a little for the family party so I will be presentable for the inevitable picture-taking. And then I can put my knitting into my new purse.

I am working on a cowl from vintage (20 year old) warp chains for a jacket I never wove. 1980’s-era murky teals. This will be my donation to the fundraiser for Girls Camp next weekend. But it’s a little fiddly to take along, and I am jonesing to begin a project wendyknits recently completed. Remind me to tell you about it.

Am I going to be good and work on the cowl, or am I going to be ADKD (Attention Deficit Knitting Disorder) and fire up Wingspan?

(Hi, Leslie, thank you for your kind comments, and welcome to the madness which is my world.)

P.S. feature article in the Dallas Morning News this week about a local company which makes cajeta, which is artisanal sweetened condensed caramelized *goat* milk. Once I solve the problem of a goat milk ricotta equivalent, I can reconstruct one of my favorite desserts, the one from Cooking for Mr. Latte, with the toasted slice of baguette spread with Nutella then a dollop of ricotta and a drizzle of dulce de leche.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

To everything there is a season.

Ms. Tola, seasoning in terms of a cast iron skillet, means treating it with oil so as to carefully and lovingly build up a non-stick layer over time. Beloved is a master at cooking with cast iron. His collection of skillets and Dutch ovens is every bit as impressive as my yarn stash. He has won prizes for his Dutch oven cooking in the past.

One does not wash a cast iron skillet like an ordinary pot. One wipes it out with a paper towel, rinses it with extremely hot water, dries it on a still-warm burner, then wipes down the interior with a thin layer of fresh oil. This gets rid of any food residue, sterilizes it, and prevents rust.

The cast iron and the knives do not go into the dishwasher. Got it. He deals with the cast iron pots. I carefully wash the knives with soapy water, rinse them thoroughly, and put them back on the knife rack hanging by the sink.

But yes, he is also having fun cooking with the skillet I brought into the marriage. He has used it three times this week, which is probably as much as I had since buying it.

Had a little financial nervousness overnight. We made a payment on the lesser credit card yesterday, and while it showed up on the credit card website, there was not even a hint of a pending transaction in my checking account when we went to bed. As I showered this morning, I had visions of an extremely sticky conversation with my bank later this morning, imagining the dismay of some other bank customer at finding a nice chunk of change missing from his/her primary account.


This is the part where I blow-dry my hair and head out to the kitchen to see what lovely surprises are on the breakfast table. Oops, this is the part where I go eat breakfast and deal with my hair later. He just called me to the table.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Seen on the back of a Porsche Carrera as I was to-ing or fro-ing the other day. Cracked me up.

Had a blast teaching the activity day girls (ages 10 and 11, just before they graduate to Young Women) how to sign the first verse and chorus of “I Am a Child of God.”

Finished the little purple booties the other night and cast on something between a cowl and an infinity scarf using, mostly, 25 year old yarn. Ended up with approximately one foot of purple yarn, which went into my “give it to Grace’s art teacher friend” bag.

When the scarf/cowl is done, I’ll get back to creating baby sock inventory for future fruitful-and-multiply occasions.

Work has gone very well this week. I feel like me again. It’s only taken four months of learning curve. My desk is, once more, a thing of beauty. I had a mostly-mindless, extremely repetitive task that needed to be performed on every blessed one of our 40+ cases. And I did it in roughly two hours. Maybe less.

Beloved has been unpacking box after box of the kitchen stuff he’d been having me stack in our living room. We’ve had all kinds of rain the last several days, and the lake levels are pretty much where they should be, and I think the drought is officially over. It’s been too wet for him to work in the garden, and he’s not the kind of guy who can just sit around and twiddle his thumbs. So he’s been doing inside stuff, instead.

Tomorrow he sees the oncologist, and we get the results of last week’s CT scan.

I have been dragging him not quite kicking and screaming into the digital age. I set up one of our accounts for online payments before leaving for work this morning. I may never get him fully converted to paying by debit card. We will be ordering checks for our joint account, which makes me twitch almost as much as paying by debit card does to him.

I came home to chicken soup (entirely from scratch, including the noodles) and cornbread. He is having great fun seasoning my cast iron skillet, which I bought under Brother Sushi’s supervision three or four years ago. He asked how often I had used it.

“Two or three times.”

“A week?”


I love it that I can reduce him to stunned silence with a word.

My hands want to knit. My brain wants to play AARP’s Mahjongg Dimensions. Or Mahjongg Dementia, as I’ve been known to call it. And my eyelids want to go to sleep.

This could get interesting.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Links and stuff

My friend Kirsten posted this. It is brilliant. You should click on it!

She also quoted Elder Tad Callister, on praying for spiritual gifts: “The consequences of righteous, persistent asking are staggering.”

So, guess who now has an account with the Dallas Stars? I’ll wait while my children pick themselves up off the floor. I can buy discounted tickets through work, and Beloved likes a good hockey game. (I’m still not convinced that that last phrase is not an oxymoron.) So I signed up for an account and just went to the Stars website. There are several home games remaining in the season, but only one date that works for us. Unfortunately, our ticket options are $24, $64, and $69. We talked it over and decided we would rather throw that money into our Scotland fund and try again next season, when our seating options are greater.

I made key lime pie yesterday after church. I told him that he was not allowed to tell me his is better (even if it may very well be). And he made banana bread with three geriatric bananas. Which he is now turning into French toast this morning.

Spring break is over, which means I don’t have the luxury of leaving the house as late as I did last week. My attorney will be back from vacation, which means that there will be a rapid influx of dictation into my box today. That’s OK: when I left the office on Friday, there were nearly 40 items ready for his signature. Just call me Simone Legree.

I have settled on a project for the fundraiser for Girls Camp (spaghetti dinner on Friday) and will be taking that to work with me. I am going to attempt a loosely crocheted infinity scarf for donation. Beloved will be baking two cheesecakes.

Breakfast is ready. Heart attack on a plate. Please make sure that the paramedics are cute!

Sunday, March 18, 2012


So, we put the new paisley sheets on the bed last night. Beloved is right: it is a very busy pattern, and I like it. Spring is warming up, here in North Texas, so we only put my quilt (which has been washed so many times in the last 20 years that it is more like a thick sheet, because the polyester batting is all flattened out; when I made it, I could not afford the high-quality cotton batting I have come to love). The quilt is a Trip Around the World, in various shades of pink, rose, terracotta, etc. Some of the squares are the penguin fabric which I bought when Firstborn was a little girl, and with which I backed most of the quilts I made for the girls when they were short people. Firstborn was mad for penguins; I think that has not changed.

Beloved very kindly washed the quilt for me last week and put it in one of the chairs in the living room until we had time to take the flannel sheets off the bed. (Storage space is at a premium around here.) We had made up the bed and were kneeling for family prayer, and I was just getting a good amble going when suddenly Beloved exclaimed, “Penguins!!!” They are a lot more noticeable when your head is bowed and your nose is a few inches above the bed. I guess we now know who does not necessarily close his eyes when praying, huh?

Needless to say, my semi-reverent amble erupted into giggles, and then a breathless apology as I took up more or less where I had left off.

Life with this man is certainly not boring!

I woke up well before the chickens and spent a little more time puttering in my studio. The sewing machine is moved in. All (or most) of the knitting magazines are rehoused in their magazine files and lined up on top of one of the bookcases. I have emptied two short Rubbermaid storage tubs, and I know which two I’m going through next.

Church today. Can’t wait! I am really enjoying my new ward family. And I am already looking forward to a nap this afternoon. Costco and Bass Pro, with their immense concrete floors, really do a number on my feet and lower legs. The Arby’s roast beef sandwich I ate after we hit Bass Pro, didn’t help either. I tend to forget how high those are in sodium until I wake the next day with a slightly aching back and seriously unhappy ankles.

Off now to clean up for church. Beloved is heading out to the kitchen to make peach pancakes. Life is good.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

In the last place you look...

Where to begin? Thursday, always a long day, was longer than usual. Beloved followed the prompting that had niggled him all week and went to the temple. Turned out that a mutual friend needed a blessing that only Beloved could give, and now we know why those promptings kept popping into his mind and heart.

He had not eaten anything since breakfast, so when my shift was over, he was ravenous and I had room for a little more food. So we went to In N Out. I had fries; he had a cheeseburger and fries of his own. Then we came home and talked awhile; he had a small bowlful of ice cream. I had a less modest portion of Oreos washed down with milk. Family prayer, and then to bed. Within minutes my innards were raising a ruckus. I strongly suspect reflux: too much food, too late in the evening. It was the wrong part of the world to be my heart, and it was nearly as painful as when my gall bladder was staging an insurrection.

So I got up and went into my studio. We had already installed the fourth leg on my table and set it in place. I moved sixteen Rubbermaid tubs of various sizes. I retrieved the box that might hold my missing tools. I opened it.


I stayed up awhile longer, putting more books into bookcases, until I was sleepy again. When I went back to our room, Beloved was wide awake and typing on the computer. It was 2:00a.m. The room was lit up like Vegas. He couldn’t sleep, either. I plugged myself into my CPAP and pulled the covers over my head. He typed a little longer, then slid in next to me, but he still couldn’t sleep. So he went out to the living room and read for an hour or two.

I got up at 6:00 and staggered into the shower. I knew there would be a dessert contest at work, and I would be too groggy to resist the temptation; I had a small bowl of cereal for breakfast and hit Wally World on the way in, for a two-liter bottle of Cherry Coke. They had no smaller bottles, and I knew I had gotten the last bottle at our deli on Wednesday. I drank somewhere between 20 ounces and a quart yesterday, but I stayed awake, and I was typing like the wind, Daniel-san.

We have both been crazy-busy today. I drove over to Arlington for some spa time, much needed. He got the chemo pump off. He bought a truck-ful of steer manure for the garden. I bought that pair of earrings I almost bought on Wednesday, and some milk and a bag of black bean chips to try. I made sandwiches for lunch. We took our gift cards and went to Bass Pro.

I am now the happy owner of three fishing poles that I barely know how to use. Apparently the ones we got today are the Gingher dressmaker shears of fishing poles (or the Coach bags, if that is your metaphor, or maybe a skein of Wollmeise in your favorite color with a pair of Signature stiletto needles and a new SusannaIC pattern tossed in for good luck). Anyway, I now have a Shimano rod and reel in an elegant pearl grey, and a big red tackle bag with room for a jacket and my emergency knitting, and a fishing hat, and a whole bunch of stuff that I have no idea what it is, but it makes Beloved grin like you would not believe.

I also picked up three large bundles of non-roll elastic to replace the dead elastic in three skirts (we found the JoAnn on the other side of Lake Ray Hubbard), and after we drove home with Arby’s in our tummies and fishing stuff in the car, he stayed home to unload the manure from the truck, and I took Lorelai over to CJ Banks and ordered another dressy T-shirt (yes, their darker green is a perfect match for the skirt I bought on clearance at another shop several months ago) and a pearl grey linen blend jacket to go with the black/white/grey lace skirt I bought on clearance a couple of weeks ago. At 40% off.

Its now 8:00p.m. I am ready to put on my jammies and crash. You’re on your own!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Yet more progress.

We got three of the four legs onto my worktable last night. The fourth leg required re-gluing of the metal bits that fit inside it to receive the bolts. Whether in the unscrewing prior to the move, or in the reassembling last night, we managed to strip the connectors. So, fat globs of wood glue and a nice rest until Beloved comes home from chemo today, and we should be good to go. The table just fits between the two bookcases that flank the window in my studio.

I finished the second sock at lunch yesterday. I did not start a new pair, but I have a remnant ball of sock yarn in my bag for casting on today.

Our friend who ordinarily takes Beloved to chemo and brings him home, is out of pocket today, so I am dropping my honey off before work, and I will pick him up and bring him home when he’s done. Thankfully, I can take my lunch pretty much whenever I please, and I will pack a sandwich which I can eat at my desk in case he runs late, so most of that midday run will eat my lunch hour, and I have PT for however much I run longer than that for the round-trip.

Beloved said it would be much simpler if I let him drive himself to chemo. I don’t think so! Although he might have to drive himself on Saturday to get the pump off, if I am not back from my appointment in Arlington in time (I had to reschedule that appointment so we could go to the wedding last Saturday), but I’m pretty sure I can be back here in time to take him, without breaking any land speed records in the process.

We had leftover mac and cheese last night, from the batch I made awhile ago. He suggested that I crush up some Ritz crackers for topping, and we’d bake the leftovers. (We are, sadly, fresh out of panko crumbs.) I crushed half a sleeve of crackers. That casserole was seriously crunchy. I had seconds. He had thirds. There are no leftovers to take to work.

Je regrette rien.

He had his CT scan yesterday; we will get the results next week. He came home and mowed the front yard and dispatched most of the boxes I had emptied in my spate of unpacking. We think we know where the ball winder and umbrella swift are. There is a box that says “Red Hat”, which he packed. It is the only box I had not opened, because I knew what was in it. But that is his writing on the box, not mine, and there was a little whisper in the back of my mind a few days ago, to look in that box.

However, looking in that box is going to have to wait until the worktable is set up, because the box is in the far reaches of the northwest corner of my studio, and there are more than a dozen Rubbermaid tubs stacked high betwixt me and that box. Once the table is in place, I will move tubs under the table and on top of the table, at least temporarily (and not until after I have done the mending). And then I will tackle that box, and if our suspicions/intuitions are correct, I will set up both tools on the worktable semi-permanently and find new homes for the storage tubs.

My ultimate goal for those tubs is to empty them, one by one, and use up or dispose of the contents, except for the tubs which hold Christmas stuff. China has its five-year plans. I have my own.

I think that’s about it for now. Beloved is fixing breakfast. I need to fix my hair and figure out what I’m wearing to work. Temple day. Thankfully, after all this unpacking I now have more than one skirt hanging in my closet(s). Did I mention that I have things hanging in three closets? Consolidating it all into one closet is a project for another day.

Miz Scarlett would be so proud.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Good news, mostly.

There is one box left in my studio, and I know what’s in it. It is tucked into the northeast corner, with my 72 hour kit on top of it, and the rolling chair I inherited from Beloved’s eldest when they moved, is rolled out of the way. Tonight we will set up my work table, and I will fire up my sewing machine.

First item on the list is the pair of slacks which need mending, which belong to one of the missionaries. Second item is the pocket in a pair of slacks or shorts belonging to Beloved. And then I am going to tackle several items of my own which have been languishing in the mending pile/box for quite some time.

After which there will most likely be a victory lap around the inside of a bag of Oreos.

I was so sleepy last night that I went to bed shortly before 9:00, expecting to wake between 1:00 and 2:00 this morning, at which time I planned to get up and putter for an hour and then come back to bed. I awoke at 12:30 and said to myself, “Oh, no you don’t,” and rolled over. Miraculously, I think I stayed asleep until 4:00. So, pretty close to seven hours of sleep, and I feel subhuman again.

Which is a good thing, because we have our monthly support staff meeting this morning, and I need to stay awake. I have a bottle of Cherry Coke at work to aid in this task. Oh, how I wish the office manager would let me knit in meetings. It would solve the problem permanently. (Although, when I was single, I did occasionally fall asleep on the couch with my iPod plugged into my head and my knitting in hand, but those were the days of the hour commute between Beloved’s home and my own. I miss those days not at all.)

I am ready to bind off the toe on the second baby sock in this colorway. And I need to figure out the next, portable project.

We have a small, colorful stack of seed catalogues on Beloved’s desk, just to the left of my left hand as I type. One of the pictures features a forsythia hedge. I did not know you could grow them as a hedge! We had one or two forythia bushes at the last house my parents owned, the one where I lived from 8th grade until I married FirstHubby. I think having a forsythia hedge would be like having a closet full of cashmere. I wonder how hardy they are in this part of Texas?

The cat is very happy with me. I stopped at the pet store last night and bought him three small catnip mice. He batted that thing all around the living room, into the kitchen, and under the bookcase which is behind our breakfast table, then meowed pitifully until I fished it out after dinner. The cat will be less happy with me when I spritz our good chairs with bitter apple in an effort to keep him off them. I may also resort to wrapping the cushions with old sheets and putting strips of packing tape down. In theory, cats don’t like walking or sitting on that slick tape. I have no idea if our cat subscribes to that theory, but in the next few days I intend to find out.

Beloved has his third CT scan this morning. We hope that when we get the results next week, they will show continued improvement in his cancer count and in the number of danger spots peppering his innards.

We have little peat pots of one thing and another, stacked all over the breakfast area. The bachelor buttons (love those!) have sprouted already. He has ordered two more pomegranate trees and will get the one we bought a week or so ago, planted forthwith. I think he said he got four rows planted in the garden yesterday. I am not a gardener (this is likely to be changing in the next few weeks); right now my focus is on setting our house in order. When the studio is organized and the office is set up and we have found new homes for the things we no longer need, then I will feel free to turn my attention to the yard.

Right now I’d rather pay attention to the gardener.

This is the part where I figure out what I will be knitting today. Later, gators!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

“Wake me up at six,” he says.

The alarm has gone off three times. This last time, he turned it off and said that. To which I responded, “I’ll think about it.” At least that’s what I think I said. Between the snort and the chuckle and the coming up with a title for this morning’s post, the exchange has gotten a little fuzzy. This is because we are into Day Three of DST, and it takes me a good two or three weeks to make the adjustment.

We went to the empty nesters’ family home evening last night. It was a St. Patrick’s Day themed potluck, and the conversations were even more delicious than the food. We do this once a month in our ward, and I liked this one even more than last month’s.

You know those bugs that look like giant mosquitoes but are not? There are two of them flying about the desk (and my head), and I think they might be courting. One another, not me. Although apparently my head is as attractive to them as a streetlight is to moths. Where is that cat when I need him?

I opened three boxes before breakfast yesterday, and two or three more after we got home from FHE last night. I found my scrapbooks, and Beloved skimmed through them with me. [There was a distinct lack of reverence shown to my awesome scrapbooking skills. Scrapbooking, for me, was less about the photographs and more about papercraft and wordcraft. There are some very clever pages in there, and some of them show off the artistic skills I honed, making quilts. One of my friends at work has asked to see my scrapbooks. She will know all the right things to say, and he shows his esteem in other ways, so it all balances out. He’s not in trouble.]

I woke up after about three hours of sleep and slugged down some chocolate almond milk, then wandered into my studio and tackled the last three boxes, only to determine that they contained books, but no ball winder or umbrella swift. So I went into the middle bedroom, which will become our office, and prowled around in some of those boxes. Found my wedding dress. And a skirt which needs a little mending. And a handful of washcloths which no doubt came out of the clean pile that slid off the fallow side of the bed at the duplex, but which are now going into the wash and will join their cousins, neatly folded, atop one of the dressers in our bedroom until we rearrange a closet to accommodate the linens I have brought into the marriage.

I dumped a bunch of stuff atop the washer yesterday, then told Beloved before he went fishing, “Please don’t panic, or think it is a demand. But when you have time, the [white, never used] duvet cover needs to be washed so we can give it away, as well as the sheets that are bundled into a pillowcase. The quilt needs to be washed so it can go on top of your blue quilt and our room will look like my room.” He chuckled. And when we went to bed last night, the duvet cover and sheets were on top of his easy chair, waiting to be folded; the pink and rose and terra cotta quilt (the one I made when we lived in Fredericksburg) was in the dryer, and our new paisley sheets were in the washer. He also caught two catfish yesterday and worked in the garden.

He is the liveliest, allegedly-terminally-ill, person I know. Or can imagine. I have to gallop to keep up with him. And I love it.

I have nearly completed the second baby sock in this colorway. There have been three near-breaks or thin spots in the skein, necessitating breaking the yarn for real, splitting it into its plies, and weaving in the ends, since this is superwash and refuses to be spit-spliced (felted). Thankfully, these are socks for someone who will never put weight on the soles, so it does not matter if there are tiny thick spots here and there. But it is annoying. This is some of the yarn I bought last month in Farmersville, not a skein which has been marinating in my stash.

This is the part where I wake him up. He said, “OK,” but I don’t think he meant it. I may have to go make like the cat and pounce on him. Or maybe just fire up one of my AARP brain games with the obnoxious sound effects. But pouncing would be more fun!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Waiting for my clothes to dry.

No, I am not sitting here, typing in the benudies (pronounced bee-NOO-deez, in case you are curious), as my favorite roommate would have said. I am very properly wearing my church clothing, while my jeans and jeans shirt are tumbling in the dryer. Secondborn and BittyBubba are, respectfully, moderately allergic and spectacularly allergic to cats. And we are currently owned by one.

We are heading to Secondville as soon as my de-dandered, de-haired jeans are dry. I am going to try to put the cat out before changing my clothes, so he doesn’t love all over my ankles on my way out the door, thus defeating our bending of the Sabbath to keep my progeny breathing naturally.

I took the cat’s name in vain as I was getting into the car this morning to go to stake conference. I had my stockings, slip, skirt, shoes, blouse, suede jacket, raincoat over that, earrings, bag, knitting, charged phone. And I realized that I didn’t have my new barrette, which I bought last night to go with this outfit. It’s a small brown flower with tiny white polka dots. I chased the cat off our bed while I was putting on my stockings. He looked guilty. I decided that he might have mistaken my new barrette for a chew toy.

Thankfully, when we got home from church, my new barrette was sunny side down on the carpet and otherwise unscathed. I probably owe the cat an apology.

I finished the cuff on baby sock #4 and turned the heel. When I start again, I will pick up the gusset stitches and start the gusset decreases. There is an excellent chance that I will have another finished sock when I go to bed tonight, as I tend to get a lot of knitting done at Secondborn’s, and it’s an hour’s drive each way.

We had a serious financial falling-down at Costco yesterday, followed by a lesser one at the grocery store. But we now have all kinds of goodies for our three-month supply and are, therefore, just that much more obedient to the counsel of our church leaders to provide for the unexpected.

I expect to want to eat salmon patties on a fairly regular basis. should I need to eat from our food storage. I can’t speak for the rest of you.

Our young(er/ish) friends’ wedding yesterday was just lovely. He was in Secondborn’s ward. She lives north of Dallas. The wedding was about 45 minutes north of here, in McKinney, and when we got to the meetinghouse it was set up for an outdoor wedding in an orchard which is part of the property the Church bought.

A whole raft of chairs with white covers and black ribbons. Equally suitable for an elegant wedding or a reverent disposal of the family goldfish. [Yes, Beloved and I are just that irreverent.] An outdoor wedding in Texas, any time of year but especially on the cusp of winter and spring, is a declaration of hope and faith, and possibly an indication of insanity. I’ve said for years that we have two seasons in Texas: February and summer.

Please note that it is no longer February. But we had glowering skies and exceedingly brisk breezes, rather than the typical swelter. The happy couple showed mercy on us; the wedding was held indoors.

So good to see them both so happy. She has a whole raft of half-grown sons. He has one little girl. [I wonder how long it will take for her to have those boys wrapped around her wee fingers? She appears to be a very sunny child; shouldn’t take much.]

We have a CT scan this week and chemo again, empty-nesters’ FHE tomorrow night, a visit with my aesthetician on Saturday morning, and maybe “John Carter” on Friday night. I am hoping to get the rest of the boxes in my studio dealt with before next weekend. It was wonderful to have Beloved’s brother here for a couple of days, but not conducive to my emptying boxes in my jammies before breakfast.

I’m thinking that stuff ought to be about ready for us to head to Fort Worth. Beloved is making his veggie jollop, and Secondborn is fixing something she calls Cowboy Casserole, which sounds dreadfully hard on the cowboys if you ask me. There aren’t that many real cowboys left these days. I don’t think we should be eating them. There’s probably something in the scriptures about that.

Thank you, JustJennifer et al, for your kind comments. I do like to put words in a shaker and mix them all together and see what pours out.

Thursday, March 08, 2012


Vanity plate on a sports car I saw, several months ago, and wrote down on a sticky-note for posting later. As I recall, it was a very pretty car, though not necessarily one I would covet.

I had another great day at work. Got through all of our mail, got through all of the mail of Attorney C for the day (I did not even look at previous days’ mail, as his secretary was only out yesterday) and created a document for him to tweak. Mine was in trial all day. The jury went out shortly before quitting time, so I won’t find out the verdict until I get to my desk later this morning.

The first batch of stuff I ordered from Pottery Barn with some of our gift cards, was waiting when I got home last night. Huge box. Huge! The paisley sheets, which are gorgeous, and two Euro sized pillows (26” square) that will go on the wicker chairs in the living room for back support. I am torn between ordering pillow covers, which are newly available in the right shade of red, or waiting to knit my own. Given how much Beloved is cutting into my knitting time, the former probably makes more sense. [In fairness, I am also cutting into his reading time, and his TV time. I think he got into the habit of turning it on to hear other human voices; the cat, while entertaining, is not much of a conversationalist.]

Speaking of the cat, did I mention that night before last I caught him sitting on one of the good chairs? He came in when I got home from my shopping trip, and I looked for him in the rocker on top of the sheepskin, which he absolutely adores, and he wasn’t there. But there was a suspiciously furry black lump on the chair in the corner. I made him get out (nicely). He was not happy with me.

There is a pet store quite close to the temple. Beloved says that there are sprays which do not harm the cat, the furniture, or humans, which I can spray on anything I want to keep him [the cat, not Beloved] off of. I am hoping that traffic will be light enough after work that I can sandwich in a stop before checking in at the temple.

Had a great visit with my guys last night, after auditioning a new nail salon. She took off the old set and put on entirely fresh ones, and she didn’t torture me in the process. She used a different solar nail powder than NailDude used, and she says this one should not lift away from my natural nails. Especially if I go in faithfully every two or three weeks. (I tend to lose track of time.) So the problem with nails popping off, or lifting and letting water in, may be solved. They had Food Network on the TV’s, so I watched that and read the subtitles. Way better than the SciFi channel; I like to read science fiction but not necessarily watch it.

Speaking of which, my friends and I are watching Captain America during lunch at work. Almost any movie with Stanley Tucci in it, however briefly, is likely to get my vote. And thus far I like this one. Not a whole lot of knitting got done.

So, back to my guys. They had a busy day yesterday. Got all of Beloved’s brother’s stuff out of their mom’s truck and into the garage. Got a lot of work done in the garden before the rain/mist started, and a trip to Home Depot for some of the stuff that Beloved needs to set up our drip irrigation system. He has more than doubled the size of his garden this year (I guess, strictly speaking, that would be our garden), and with a drip system we can keep it properly hydrated without wasting water or violating the current water restrictions. I love it when frugality, obedience, and stewardship all coalesce into one perfectly ripened whole.

We bought another pomegranate tree last weekend, and he will be starting cuttings from the existing trees, to give to some of our kids for their own gardens. He also has seeds (or will have) for some of the über-fiery peppers grown by the friend of his eldest son, and a small bottle of C’s hot sauce from one of those varieties. As Tabasco is pushing the envelope for Ms. Ravelled, you may safely assume that I will not be taste-testing anything from that part of the garden.

It was great to walk into the house after getting my nails done, and to have the house smell wonderful, and to get a bear hug from my brother-in-law, who is a slightly smaller bear than Beloved. The guys will be waking up shortly, as said brother has an early flight to Phoenix to check out a truck to replace the one which was, sadly, totaled earlier this week. We had stew for dinner, and biscuits from scratch, and they had ice cream while I had Fig Newtons and Oreos.

I will be taking leftover stew for lunch today, and the last two biscuits. I didn’t lick them to mark my territory, but I put the boys on notice that they were mine.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

He gets it.

One of Beloved’s brothers, the one who is as mad for fishing as my husband, is a long haul trucker. A couple of nights ago, he was sleeping in his truck at a truck stop in the state made famous by Rodgers and Hammerstein, when another trucker’s foot slipped on the accelerator, sending that truck into my brother-in-law’s. Thankfully, he was unhurt. And insurance should take care of both the property damage and his lost earnings while his truck is being repaired or replaced. But in the meantime, he had a truck full of tools. So Beloved fired up his mother’s truck and headed north. He called me about an hour ago. They are south of Oklahoma City and will be here sometime after midnight.

I am so thankful to be married to a man who understands the importance of family. Who puts down the graph paper on which he was designing our garden, and not only does what needs to be done, but does it willingly and cheerfully. It is at moments like this that I comprehend more fully my Heavenly Father’s love for me, in putting this dear man in my life.

It’s been another good day. I tore through my to-do’s and transcribed every blessed tape in my inbox. I finished up yesterday’s mail and filed all of today’s. I made a little more progress on the current baby sock. After work, I picked up a gift card for a wedding we will attend on Saturday (two more graduates from the singles program, one of whom is in Secondborn’s ward; we seem to have kick-started something). And bought two dressy T-shirts that will go with my new skirt, and half a gallon of Blue Bell Rocky Road for my brother-in-law, and now I am home and have killed the last of the gingersnaps and am about this far from diving under the covers and calling it a day.

I lost an auction on eBay for a really cool looking pair of clogs. My rule for buying gently used shoes is that I will not pay more than half their original cost, shipping included. So I am not even slightly tempted to increase my bid. I’ll pay up to 75% of retail on new clogs (typically, seconds from the outlet). But half price, and preferably far less, for used ones.

I found a pearl grey linen and rayon jacket at CJ Banks that will be 40% off next week, after I get paid. And it fits. And when I was unpacking boxes at dark-thirty this morning, I found the grey and black and white seashell belt that I bought in the very early 80’s, which should go beautifully with my new skirt. Somewhere in a box are my grey pearl earrings. They will bubble to the surface eventually.

Later, gators.

A big box, a little box, and a bag.

Woke up about 4:00 this morning and ambled into the studio. Puttered in there for an hour, which resulted in: two chairs out to the dining room: two small and one large load of laundry (the darkest of the darks are now in the hamper; the other stuff will follow later); more books on the shelves; several pairs of handknitted socks reunited with their mates and awaiting transfer to the sock drawer; most of my silk scarves in one lustrous pile; a bunch of my jewelry rediscovered; the cashmere rescue yarn (some people have rescue animals; I have rescue yarn) in a basket but begging to come out and play; a nearly clear path from the second filing cabinet to its future home by the window.

Last night, for Family Home Evening, we sat here at the computer and planned our Monday night activities through the end of April, using various handouts I’ve brought home from Relief Society over the years. One of which apparently originated in the ward I’m now in, possibly from when our current RS president was a member of my last Arlington ward.

Yesterday was a good day at work. I dealt with three (and nearly four) days’ worth of mail, typed a depo outline for Attorney B’s upcoming trial, and batted cleanup on that case I entered just before closing on Friday, then handed the paperwork over to Attorney C’s secretary, whom I back up, so she could finish opening the case.

Minimal knitting yesterday, and I appear to be no closer to finding the ball winder and umbrella swift. Random thought: I wonder if I put them away in their assigned place before moving? Not likely, given the chaos of wedding preparations, the giddiness of our honeymoon, and Beloved’s eldest son’s house purchase and move. But it’s worth a stroll back into my studio to double-check.

That’s it for this morning. I’ll roust Beloved in ten minutes at his request, and he’ll fix breakfast. Dinner last night was scrumptious: cod fillets (why is filet with one T when it’s beef, and two T’s when it’s fish?), roasted tiny red potatoes, steamed carrots with butter and herbes de Provence, sourdough bread, and then, for me, a handful of gingersnaps. I am taking the leftover carrots and bread for lunch today, as well as the smaller container of macaroni and cheese.

When I was at Whole Foods last night on the way home from work, I was severely tempted by a magazine that promised 100+ recipes for macaroni and cheese. Miraculously, I did not succumb. Instead, I went next door to Charming Charlie and bought three cards of earrings, two of them on closeout.

We got the green card back from the State Department, so they officially have the stuff I sent them to renew my passport.

OK, that really is it for this morning. Be careful out there, but aim for as much fun as the commandments allow.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

In which Ms. Ravelled does yardwork.

Hint: you should not read this post with a full mouth, or bladder.

Yesterday did not turn out at all like I had planned. It was, nevertheless, an excellent day.

I emptied two or three boxes before breakfast, and then we hopped in the car, with two books on serger technique which I found in the course of unpacking last week and which I wanted to hand off to Fourthborn, who has the serger I inherited from Mom. The primary reason for our trip was to make the final changes to my checking account. We added Beloved several weeks ago, but we could not change my name on the account until I had my new, temporary driver’s license with my married name. (I will note that his bank had no problem adding me to the account, with only the marriage license as proof.)

We took Lorelai, because she has a toll tag, and our next stop was to be the hospital, so that Beloved could get the chemo pump removed. And also because she is fun to drive. We were within three blocks of the bank when I realized that I might not have my new driver’s license with me. I did not. In an excess of efficiency, I had taken only my wallet and the checkbook. The driver’s license was in my pink purse at home. So we got right back on the freeway and came home, then dashed down to the hospital to get Beloved taken care of.

From there we drove back to Arlington, arriving at the bank about twenty minutes before closing. We signed off on the paperwork, then went to In N Out for lunch. I had never eaten inside. It was a madhouse: cheerfully orchestrated mayhem, and I am even more impressed with the employees than I had been.

From there we came back here, planning to pick up M the Marauder and get him his fishing pole. Grandpa was up to his ears in cancer cells this time last year, so M is the only grandchild on the Beloved side of the family without his own fishing pole. We were about an hour and a half later getting back to Garland than we had planned, and M’s family had plans with other family members, so M and Beloved will be going fishing tomorrow morning at dark-thirty using a sibling’s pole, then stopping to buy a pole for him when he’s had enough of worm-drowning. He’s four. Could be a very short fishing trip, but Beloved’s rule is that when the grandchild has had enough, fishing is done until next time.

I have been craving macaroni and cheese since about 15 minutes after being told that I am lactose and casein intolerant. So I made a big pot of it: tricolor rotini, with the last of the honeymoon ham simmered in the pot to thaw. Four to six ounces of goat cheddar, shredded, and an ounce or two of sheep cheese (more Gouda-ish than cheddar), and a real white sauce, and half a log of soft chevre when the sauce was thinner than I liked. I got really brave and put in about half a teaspoon of Tabasco, and two separate, liberal gratings of peppercorn.

It was aMAZing. Although Beloved could not detect the presence of any Tabasco. Umm, *I* could. And you know what? It was a pretty good compromise between what I think of as comfort food (smooth, bland, and rich) and what he thinks of as comfort food (melt your eyebrows from the inside out). I will definitely make it again, and next time I think I will aim for closer to a teaspoon of Tabasco, and three gratings of peppercorn.

The boy is definitely corrupting me.

I cleared out a couple more boxes before church this morning, and I think three large ones since coming home and taking a nap. I found the three skirts which need varying amounts of mending, two tops that I had put into the cut-up pile because Beloved is a wizard at getting spots out of things, a whole lot of junk yarn that I bought from Brother Stilts in order to get my hands on his stash of mohair, and a bag of good yarn that was gifted to me by one friend or another. Alison, this would include the yummy stuff you gave me when we met shortly before the wedding.

The reason for the current spate of box-opening is that I really, truly want to find my ball winder and umbrella swift. The young women at church are having a service auction later this month, to raise money for Girls Camp. I would like to have a shawlette done or mostly-done when that day rolls around, so I may avoid the embarrassment of taking the better part of a year to fulfill my commitment, as happened with the first service auction in my last ward. (To be fair to myself, I was called to be Relief Society president shortly after the auction, and that cut seriously into my knitting time, although not nearly as much as Beloved does. Not that I am complaining. As often as not, what he has in mind is every bit as much fun as knitting, and you may take that any way you like.)

I wound a ball of the new sock yarn I bought in Farmersville last weekend, entirely by hand, before church and am already working on the heel flap of this baby sock. That skein was something like 185 yards. I have no enthusiasm whatsoever for winding 440 yards of laceweight yarn to make a shawlette. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada. So I am taking a little break from the bending and lifting and stowing, to give my legs and back a rest. But I’m almost ready to head back into the studio and tackle the last two boxes in that stack.

Beloved is baking banana bread as we speak. And we are having potstickers for dinner. Lunch was salmon burgers, a new and kinda weird melon, and some excellent grapes.

Cover me, y’all. I’m going back in...

Oh wait, I can’t. I forgot to tell you about the yardwork. When we got home from the errands (after my having driven 200 miles), Beloved headed out to the garden and fired up the Troy Bilt. I broke in my new leather work gloves by pulling vine maple off the back fence. He is going to cut and torch the rest of it, and we will plant trumpet vine and honeysuckle back there, to draw the birds and the bees.

Yes, I know all about the birds and the bees. I have five kids, remember? I am also nearly 60, so there is no fear of having a sixth unless we get a visit from an angel and are promptly renamed Abe and Sarah. Although I could have a lot of fun with that at church, since I am on a baby sock knitting binge at present, to get ahead of the curve for shower gifts.

Why yes, I am knitting a baby sock. I’m a newlywed. These things do happen.

*Snort* I slay myself.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Yeah, I’ve missed you, too!

It’s been a busy week. Good. And busy. Empty boxes are steadily flowing out of my studio. Order is creeping in on little cat feet. [The cat wishes that Order would stay the heck off his feet, but you can’t please everyone.]

My desk at work looks almost as spiffy as it did pre-conversion. My emails are at a manageable level. I am reasonably caught up with the daily mail and its related tasks. If I have another week like this, work life will be pritnear (as they used to say) perfect.

Home, of course, already is. I’ll wait for you to stop gagging. But yes, I really am that happy, and he seems to be, as well. He posts cute little mushy things on FB. We eat well, even on the days when I am the cook. I no longer startle awake when he rolls over, or coughs, or gets up in the night. I am able to slip out of bed without disturbing him, on those rare occasions when the Insomnia Fairy smacks me upside the head with her grubby little wand.

He had chemo yesterday, and as of last night he said the side effects were truly minimal: he was just tired. But thankfully not sick-and-tired. Right now he is out in the garden, whacking vegetation and pulling up stakes (I helped, a little). The boys were supposed to be here, helping, but are not. (One of them has to work tonight.)

I had a possibly brilliant idea on the drive to work this morning. There is a closet on the south end of our dining room (which I think was originally supposed to be a fourth bedroom?) with bi-fold doors, one panel of which has definitely seen better days. I propose loading all my dishes, linens, etc., into that closet for now, and eventually taking those doors off, and the track along the top, and building in cabinets to create a hutch that uses no additional living space. Drawers for silverware and serving utensils. Cubbies for the cake stands (we have three between us, so far, and I have my eye on a bunny one in the PB catalogue). Cabinets in which to hang the tablecloths. Thingies from which to suspend my gorgeous stemware. And the back wall painted Chinese red, with one of our mirrors hung on it. There is a builder’s surplus warehouse not far from here in Mesquite, and the Habitat resale shop, both of which would give us nicer options than we are likely to find at Home Depot, et al, at least in our financial comfort zone. I will be doing a little surfing after dinner, to figure out how much to budget and what options are available.

Our very own virgin wet-bar. Makes me grin.

The boy is making dinner. Something foodie is on the TV. Time for me to grab my knitting and either go help out in the kitchen, or knit and try to learn something.

Hoping for a nice, quiet weekend. Last weekend was wonderful, and busy. I’m ready for wonderful and flying under the radar. He gets the chemo pump off tomorrow, and we will preface that with the second phase of updating my personal bank account.