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!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Lost marbles, sippie cups, and man-purses

HE: (opening drawer) “Found your marbles.”
ME: “Not mine. Those are blue.”
HE: “When you lose them, they change color.”
ME: “Oh.”

As we pulled up into our parking space yesterday, a young family piled out of their car and headed toward the chapel doors. The father (one of the counselors in the bishopric) had their youngest in one arm and an adult-size sippie cup in his other hand. They were alternating swigs of something purple and opaque and presumably healthy.

I razzed him a little, “Hey, great sippie cup!” Beloved snorted a little.

Our friend, not to be outdone, twitted Beloved about his man-purse.

“That’s not a man-purse. It’s my chemo pump!”

“I don’t know. Sure looks like a man-purse to me.”

I love our ward.

Submitting my vacation day requests at work today. Half a day for the Rangers game in July (yeah, I know). Time, chemo permitting, to go see my sister and his brother in late August, take in a quilt show, maybe go salmon fishing. Anniversary trip to that little cabin on the lake. Several days around my next birthday.

The rest of it will be for long weekends. We both want to revisit Galveston. I have not been since my birthday in 2001. Fishing might ensue.

Breakfast. Breakfast and then out the door. Too windy for him to go fishing today, so he will be working in the garden and around the house. Pretty sure another steel shelving unit will go into the breakfast area sometime this week. Family Home Evening will consist of: (A) turning the mattress, (B) removing the mattress and bed frame from the middle bedroom, and maybe (C) schlepping the boxes of wedding gifts which are currently in the dining room, into the middle bedroom. Our goal is to get the last of the boxes out of the living room and dining room by Thursday.

Life is good.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A tale of two yarn stores.

Having moved to the northeastern section of the D/FW metroplex from the westernmost fringes, I am in need of a new LYS. The Shabby Sheep is far and away my favorite, not merely because it is 1.3 miles from the office and equally easy to reach (if farther) from home. But it would be nice to have closer options.

I remembered that there was a shop in Richardson. Somewhere. And that the ladies who work there were pleasant. So I took a little field trip after the RS shindig, and I was even more pleased than I had been the last time. They carry the Knit Picks Harmony needle tips!!! Yes, I pay a little more than if I were to order them directly from Knit Picks, but I save time and shipping. The shop (Wool and Stitches) has new owners, as of 2010, and I spoke with one of them, and I will definitely be back.

I also made a trip to the shop in Plano. I prayed beforehand, not to go in with a chip on my shoulder because the first time I went there I was treated as if I were scheming to abscond with the family silver, and the second time I was utterly ignored. So I went back, hoping that the first two experiences had been flukes and that the shop had thawed considerably.

[Insert raspberry here.]

It was as if I were Beloved in Home Depot. The shop was busy, but not thronged. Somebody, I think a customer, smiled at me in passing. But nobody greeted me, even with a “hi, welcome, and we’ll be with you in a moment”. I am pretty hard to ignore. And I was well-dressed and well-groomed. I had, after all, just come from church. So even though they had some luscious laceweight yarns, The Woolie Ewe will not be getting my business.

Three strikes, and yer-outttt!

In other news, we sold the Taurus, and Beloved has mostly-assembled his new BBQ-smoker.  I made mac and cheese for dinner, using 6+ ounces of goat cheddar and about an ounce and a half of (sheepy) ricotta salata, a tablespoon or so of Tabasco and nearly that much red pepper flakes, several grindings of black pepper, and a skosh of Worcestershire sauce.  And a new kind of pasta, orecchiette (little ears).  Beloved liked that it did not require a lot of doctoring at the table.  I liked that it did not make my ankles blow up.  However, it did not exactly taste like mac and cheese.  But it will sustain life, and next time I will make two batches: one where I can taste the cheese, and one that is fiery enough to please Beloved.  And woe be unto him if he waves a fork in the direction of my batch!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Color Affection

I am not ordinarily the sort of person who does something just because everybody else is doing it. This might be an exception.

Absoflippinlutely amazing. I even like the blue one in the top picture. (I’ll wait until you pick your jaws up off the floor.) Her other designs aren’t bad, either. I suspect that I will be sending money overseas to buy several of them in the very near future.

In other knitting news, I frogged my first attempt at a Moebius. I love the color, but the 5.5mm (U.S. 9) needles were just that much too small, so the fabric was too dense. All the subtle color shifts got buried in the shadows of cramped stitches. The yarn is sitting in timeout until I have bigger needles. Which Shabby Sheep does not have, while Holley’s Yarn Shoppe does not carry Addi Lace. At all. (They have HiyaHiya, which I adore in the minuscule sizes, but the larger ones are as blunt-nosed as a dolphin but nowhere near as cute, so no.)

I fear that I might have to go to the snooty yarn shop in Plano. But I might just wait until next payday and order the next sizes up in tips for my KnitPicks interchangeable needles (as well as a raft of City Tweed in Lemon Curd). Yeah, I know: breaks my heart.

In yet more knitting news, one of my attorneys gave me, and his secretary, and his paralegal, gift cards in lieu of taking us out to lunch for Administrative Assistants Day. Which is how I found out that Holley’s does not carry Addi’s. Instead, I came home with a hank of Manos Lace in a colorway that enchanted me, only to be reminded when I entered it into my stash on Ravelry that I already had .28 hank remaining from one of the incarnations of Annis. Different dye lot. Noticeably different dye lot. But crafty wench that I am, I know work-arounds.

We have our grill/BBQ. It is currently residing in the truck but will come out and play, one or two pieces at a time, after Beloved gets home from chemo. His meeting with the oncologist was uncharacteristically pleasant: the cancer numbers are down significantly since they put him on this fourth drug.

Not a bad way to get this weekend started. There is a ward picnic tonight, and a stake Relief Society activity tomorrow. And we discovered that the Shelf Reliance storage system will fit perfectly into the space now occupied by the glorified crate which supports the microwave.We intend to put casters under it and roll it into that space, then move the new shelving unit over, leaving room for another new shelving unit, which will then house the microwave and everything that has been living inside that crate. The crate, and another, will go out to the garage.

More goals for the weekend include bagging the mattress and getting it out to the garage, then putting the dining room stuff into the middle bedroom and the last of the kitchen stuff into the new storage unit.

We like to make Heaven laugh. That’s why we have plans!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Wingspan finished, Moebius started

Colinette Giotto, size 9 needles, Cat Bordhi tutorial on YouTube, 90 stitches. Not sure how big this is going to be, but I love the fabric so far. I may need to knit a few rounds, then frog it to make it bigger or smaller. The yarn is pure pleasure to knit. The needle has a small rough spot at the join. Not sure it is worth the bother of taking it in and exchanging it. I may just attack it with some 400 grit sandpaper (it is the plastic, not the brass).

John Wayne checks arrived in the mail while I was at work. Beloved meets with the oncologist today and has chemo tomorrow.

I need to step away from the computer and the knitting, fix my hair, eat some breakfast, and scoot on out the door so I can sit in the break room and knit some more.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

An amusing problem to have

We have money. And no checks for the joint account. And the debit card is in my name, as we are not quite ready to shut down the other checking account at that bank. And Beloved’s tax refund hit our bank account overnight.

If we are very lucky, or very blessed (well, we are that, already) the new John Wayne check blanks will have come in the mail today. Somebody wants that new BBQ/smoker like you wouldn’t believe. If the checks are not here, then we will be making a little field trip to the store, either before or after our home/visiting teaching tonight.

I can’t blame him: I am nearly that impatient about ordering Hope. Ten days! Well, ten days and then something like two months before she gets here.

We had a young lady come by and test drive the Taurus. In theory, she will make her decision tomorrow.

It was a good day at work today. All of my to-do’s are to-did. And I got a bunch of virtual filing accomplished. My desk is pretty. I ate sensibly. And in about three minutes I will shut down the popcorn stand and go home.

At Knit Night, I made a new friend. I had met her before (I remembered her face). We had a chance to visit before everybody else showed up. And she had some of the KnitPicks alpaca tweed yarn I have been considering for the pillow covers for our spiffy chairs in the living room. The shade of gold is exactly what I wanted, and the tweed slubs match other colors in the cushions. I am so jazzed!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A little off balance.

Beloved and friend went fishing yesterday. They caught a bunch and kept four, then came back to the truck to find out that some idjit had broken out the passenger side window and rifled the jockeybox, looking for treasure. The tools were untouched. Beloved keeps his phone with him, in a waterproof bag, when he fishes.

Work went well. I came home, he went with one of his sons to give somebody a blessing, and then his brother took us out to dinner at Chop House Burgers (recently featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives). I drove. Then we came back and crashed.

Tonight I have the option of attending Knit Night. I will probably not know until close to quitting time which way I want to aim the car. I could use some chick time. On the other hand, Beloved and his brother are way better than TV. I got to hear family stories on the drive home from Arlington last night. No danger of my falling asleep at the wheel: I was laughing too hard!

I am on the home stretch of the second incarnation of Wingspan.  Ms. Tola, I watched a Moebius video over the weekend.  Seriously cool technique.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Good weekend.

Much progress with the knitting of thank you notes.  Um, make that writing of thank you notes.  I have all the wedding cards alphabetized by surname and the envelopes pitched.  Am waiting to hear back from various folks with their snailmail addresses so I can finish this job and put the envelopes into the lovely scrapbook Beloved gave me for Christmas.  Already, the mental clutter has diminished significantly.

The cat is yowling about something.  Most pitifully.  I, however, have raised teenagers and am well nigh immune to yowling.

Beloved and a young friend are about ready to head out to the lake.  I am about ready to figure out what I am taking for lunch and what I will wear to work.

Much progress on the second incarnation of Wingspan.  I am severely tempted to begin the Moebius cowl, but I am not entirely certain that I have a long-enough circular needle in what will probably turn out to be the right size.

Mmm, the delicious fragrance of homemade sourdough cinnamon raisin toast is wafting back here to our bedroom.

We had a blast at dinner Saturday night.  My attorney and his wife have a lovely home, very warm and relaxed(!!!), and their yard is a park.  My very focused attorney likes to garden.  It takes him two and a half hours on a riding mower, to mow their lawn, and another two and a half hours edging, etc.  And he likes it!  I have this picture in my mind of him lying down in the grass with a pair of manicure scissors, decapitating blades of grass to a uniform height.

We got the art tour after dinner.  He and his wife are as mad about Santa Fe and Taos as I am.  Who knew?

The boys are out the door, and I need to leave in about 40 minutes, so I had better get moving.  I got a three hour nap after church yesterday and am feeling more or less like myself this morning, rather than the zombie queen I emulated last Thursday and Friday.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Black hole, and Cat Bordhi

This is a link to Cat Bordhi’s video on the Moebius technique. I have wanted to try my hand at a Moebius scarf for several years and generally not had the yen for her books (now out of print?) when I had a yen for the experience. Thankfully, she has made a YouTube video of her technique, which I watched this morning.

I think I may have figured out how to embed a pop-out link in this new allegedly improved format.

Sleep was interesting last night. Beloved awoke at dark-thirty with pain in one of his feet. I got up and took a squint at it, as it was burning-hot, and there was roughness on the sole, and I couldn’t tell if it was bleeding. It was not. But it was incredibly dry, so I gently rubbed some Aveeno into it, which hurt him a little but then felt better. And I brought him a tall glass of ionized water, which he downed. And then we both went back to sleep.

His brother the trucker is in town this weekend. They emptied about half of Brother’s stuff out of the garage, where it has been since that guy plowed into his truck at the truck stop in Oklahoma City a few weeks ago. He is now offloading it into his new rig and will come back for the second load. Beloved is out in the garden (with SPF 45 and a brimmed hat and long sleeved shirt). Brother will mow the front and back yards for us when he’s done loading up his truck. Then the guys will bag up the twin mattress in the middle bedroom and stow it in the garage and dismantle the bed frame. That should give us enough space to move the last of the boxes out of the dining room.

Beloved got the shelving unit put together yesterday, and when I came home from work both of our Kitchenaid mixers were displayed in all their glory, and a whole lot of stuff was tidily arranged on other shelves. I am about to head for the living room and start emptying boxes of kitchen stuff into the dishwasher, preparatory to their finding a new home on the new shelves.

I’ve done the grocery shopping this morning, and I hit a garage sale on the way home, bringing back two small baskets, one of which is on the lower shelf above the commode in the guest bathroom, where it holds my blow dryer and curling iron. I have yet to find the right container to attractively corral all my haircare products. I’ve moved the two shells off the top shelf. One of them belongs to Smooshy, and Beloved is not sure where the other one came from. Beloved demonstrated his conch-blowing prowess before I took the shell away and put it on top of the hutch in the living room.

Mel and Smooshy came over last night to open the box of doll stuff which arrived on Thursday. We pulled Blessing’s new velvet hat out of the box, and two pairs of bloomers for Faith. One of which has simply vanished. I left it on the table in the dining room. We have checked the box with the vacuum-pack machine and the bags with leftover fish bits to make sure it didn’t get scooped up when Beloved brought the machine over to the kitchen table from the dining room. I called Mel last night to see if it had leaped back into her box before they left, and it had not. I was so tired by the time we went to bed that I was on the verge of tears over a $5 pair of doll panties. After a reasonably decent night’s sleep, I am reasonably sure that we will find them in the course of emptying and moving boxes today. But I am just old enough that episodes of forgetfulness are becoming more common than I would like, and with my mother-in-love’s own memory issues, I am oversensitive on the matter. The cat was not in the house, so unless he has spoon-bending powers, it is safe to say that he has not made off with them because they have my fingerprints all over them.

I am wondering if the same black hole that eats my cell phone reception in this house has also eaten Faith’s white bloomers. Beloved got down on his hands and knees under the dining room table before bedtime to see if they had fallen under a table leg, just out of sight. They had not. (But I am now even more impressed and touched by how much my husband loves me.)

I am hearing a goshawful racket from the vicinity of the garden. I think Beloved must be flame-throwing the weeds again.

One last thing: I spent most of the gift certificate he gave me for my birthday at Shabby Sheep after work last night: a skein of Colinette Giotto, a ribbon yarn composed chiefly of rayon and cotton, from which I propose to knit the Moebius scarf referred to above. I am faithful when it comes to my spousal unit, but I made no such covenants in terms of my knitting. ♥

Friday, April 20, 2012

Bead it. Just bead it.

I do not have time to figure out how to insert pop-out links with the new formatting. This cracked him up. And then it cracked me up. I offer it for your amusement. http://healthland.time.com/2011/04/25/he-wants-sex-she-doesnt-are-beads-the-answer/?iid=obnetwork  

Beloved is in no danger of getting turtled.

The Yarn Harlot’s essay on being a writer and a mother. I give her a hearty amen, even if I am not currently writing for publication. Beloved experiences this, as well, because he is retired. I think he will like this link, as he is so supportive of me and my need to create. http://fromutopia.com/?p=5359

Not liking the new formatting. Seriously not liking the new formatting.

So, tithing check is written, we are about $500 less in debt (or will be once Beloved makes a phone call because I just wrote the last check from our joint account), and he is making me an omelette.  There is nothing on the schedule for tonight.  My girlfriends are taking me to lunch today for my birthday.  And I will be using one of the gas cards for the next two weeks, much against my preferences, and paying it off again next payday.  Beloved is less comfortable with my having my checkbook on fumes than I am.  But we have buried a small cash cushion in the joint account and will increase it each payday until we have a big fat overstuffed cash ottoman tucked in there against emergencies.  We are making steps in the right direction.  In six months I will be significantly happier with our balance statement.  By this time next year we should be pretty close to our goals.

Did I mention that we ordered John Wayne checks for our joint account?

I found teeny-tiny clippie barrettes at the grocery store last night.  They are maybe 1cm long.  I bought a card for the dolls, along with a white enameled pair of barrettes for me.  My hair is just long enough for a Charlie Brown ponytail at the nape of my neck, not that I would wear it that way.  My bangs are not quite grown out, but they are getting there.

And on that note, I will bid you a gracious good morning and head out to the kitchen.  Happy Friday, everybody!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

New and not improved!

Although I suppose I will get used to it.  Blogger changed its format.  Getting to the drafts where I keep my punctuation was not an easy matter.  I don’t like the apostrophes and quotation marks that show up when I simply type them in as I go.  Therefore, I’ve imported ones I do like from Word, and I paste them into a blank draft so I can pick and choose while emptying out my brainpan onto a page.  This system has served me very well since the inception.


I said goodbye to a dear knitting friend last night.  Joy was a deliciously feisty lady who had a stroke last weekend and passed away at the age of 79.  (I would have said she was 18 with experience.)  She was truly well named. The staff did a good job with her makeup, but they gave her a little-old-lady hairdo, and that bugged me almost as much as the fact that her hands were still.

There is a picture of her in her obituary that looks far more like the Joy we knew and loved.


Her husband, Louie, passed away five years ago.  He was a skilled woodworker, and several of my knitting friends have umbrella swifts which he made.  The knitting shop over by my duplex had a Louie.  I do have a handy little tool which he made before his death, a dowel about six inches long with rounded ends and circles burnt in every inch.  It’s a tool for measuring wraps-per-inch, which is a simple and elegant way to classify the diameter of your handspun and compare it to commercial yarn.  Louie made one for every member of our knitting group, and Joy gave them as Christmas gifts one year.

Today is chemo-lite.  Beloved didn’t sleep well last night: up every hour for the bathroom, but thankfully not for pain.  And he was noisy in his sleep.  Right now he is catnapping on the bed behind me.  I would like to be asleep.  This was the second consecutive Wednesday of minimal sleep, and Thursdays are a long day for me.  Thankfully, the temple will be closed for two weeks after Saturday, and maybe I can catch up a little.  I know I will feel significantly more lively once breakfast kicks in.

You may recall my grumbling that they built an Omni Hotel on the space where I used to park Lorelai for $4 when I was riding the train to work but needed to drive in.  Beloved’s eldest son and bride stayed there at Christmastime and were less than pleased with the service in one of the restaurants.  I had eaten there for lunch a couple of weeks earlier with some of my coworkers and been thrilled with the food if not the speed of service.  Yesterday my attorney took me, and his paralegal, to a different restaurant at the hotel for lunch for Administrative Assistants Day/Week/Whatever.  I had a cheeseburger with my choice of cheese (goat) and Parmesan sea salt fries without the Parmesan, and the other half of my burger and fries are waiting for me in the fridge at work.

There were a lot of disgruntled people at work yesterday.  We had been informed by our office manager and managing attorney that the bonus would hit tomorrow, when in fact it will hit next payday.  I was only marginally gruntled, myself.  The raise took effect on the 14th; we will see the money on May 4.  I was really looking forward to boosting the local economy this weekend, as well as sending some of it overseas to Korea for my next doll.  And we will not be picking up the new BBQ/smoker, either.

Oh well.

This is the part where I go eat raisin bran with Beloved and give thanks for all the things which are going well, which are many and varied, and if I listed them I would be late getting him to chemo this morning and late to work.  Life is good, even if I am viewing it through slightly sleep-deprived glasses.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy birthday to me!

It’s been a wild and crazy couple of days. I went with Beloved up to Denton yesterday and used the Ondamed machine after he had his treatment. I could feel something subtly different inside my head afterward. I did one protocol for inflammation and two for lymph. Or maybe the other way around; I’ve slept since then.

On the way home we stopped at IKEA for a late breakfast and to window shop. Found something that may do very well as the centerpiece of a refurbished dining room closet, if we go ahead and convert it to a built-in buffet. Here is the link, since I can’t format the pop-out window properly on Beloved’s computer: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00180548/

I like lingonberries!!!

We bought some red-striped hand towels, a package of cork hot-pads, and several bottles of foo foo lingonberry juice.

Smooshy, here is a link to some glasses with dots (the bigger ones) that are Mel’s shade of purple: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00186951/.

We came home. I napped. Beloved worked outside in the garden. Then we went to Home Depot, where I got to see orange-aproned employees vanish anytime he looked in their direction. It would have been funny, except that he actually needed to ask somebody a question. After we bought about half of what we had gone there for, I was able to flag one down in the parking lot, to help us get the new storage unit loaded into the back of the truck. I do a pretty good impression of a polite but feisty little old lady when I need to. That young man just about ma’amed me to death!

From there we went to Wally World (or maybe the other way around) and bought stuff. Which is, after all, what one goes to Wally World to do. And then we came home, wrangled the box with the storage thingie onto our dolly and into the living room, put the groceries away, and had a quiet evening.

Oh, I forgot. I made dinner. Probably too late to alert the media. I made a simple risotto with plenty of (frozen) chopped onions, bits of venison sausage, and a generous grating of sheep cheese. I am still running victory laps inside my head over that. We had salad, and for dessert I stirred two cartons of strawberry Greek yogurt together with some of my leftover raspberry/strawberry slurry.

I have been a sybaritic slug today. Woke up about 6:30 and had a bowl of raisin bran. Beloved asked, “Don’t you want waffles or hotcakes or something special for your birthday breakfast?” The insomnia fairy smacked him upside the head about 5:00 this morning, and he was out in the living room, watching TV or playing on his laptop.

Nope. I just wanted something quick and easy. Then I scooted out the door for Arlington, got my face and pits waxed and my eyebrows shaped (I look a wee bit surprised, but overall I am pleased with the results) and had a foot reflexology session with a woman who knows her stuff.

After that I headed to the new Container Store which has opened up where the Borders had been, and I got three shelf liners for our new shelving unit, and a shocking pink magazine holder to go with my red and orange ones.

My sister sent a wonderful knitting book and a copy of Piecework’s Knitting Traditions magazine and a deliciously snarky card: [woman with retro dress and hairdo, holding telephone receiver] “It’s your youth ... it wants to know when’s a good time to stop by and get its stuff.”

Dinner tonight is grilled salmon, steamed carrots, cantaloupe, and potatoes. It will be ready in about half an hour. We will have the two surviving bundt brownies from Sunday’s dinner for dessert, and then we are going to the temple, which means that I really ought to do something with my hair. On the one hand, ward temple night is perhaps not what I had envisioned to celebrate my birthday. (See below.) On the other hand, I cannot think of a better way to thank Heaven for this wild and crazy ride which is my life. The first 60 years have been pretty amazing; can’t wait to see how the next 40 years unfold!

Oh rats! I just realized that I forgot to stop off at the Harley shop and ask them to take my picture sitting on a 72. Oh well: it will probably be more scary for my kids if I wait until my 70th birthday, right?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bobbin case found. Sleep and marbles still MIA.

A good day at work yesterday, for reasons that I don’t have time to tell you about. It is 5:30a.m. on what is going to be an amazing day. In just a couple of minutes I will post this and start getting ready for the Saturday session of Time Out For Women, a collaboration between the Relief Society of the church and Deseret Book, which is probably the largest and certainly the most influential publisher of LDS media.

I will finish Wingspan fairly early this morning. In searching for a skein of suitable yarn to cast on Wingspan 2.0, I also found the bobbin case for my Bernina! In a drawer of yarn. And a small Rubbermaid box that, I think, contains the empty bobbins. Which means that I can finish the skirts that I pin-basted for mending while I was listening to General Conference two weeks ago.

Time Out For Women? This is my first time to go. Ditto for Firstborn and Secondborn, whose idea it was, and am I ever glad that I went last night. I got there footsore and physically burnt-out. I left, three hours later, with a lightened heart, so full of joy that I had no difficulty staying awake for the drive home.

In doll news, during some down time at work yesterday, I made up my shopping list for next payday. Then I texted Mel about the doll stuff. I want a whole lot from one company, and one or two items from three more. Did she need anything? Group orders are the way to go, because shipping from Korea for a doll is $60. Or was, the last time I ordered. Trainman once told me that $60 was about right for an overnight package from anyplace in Asia (he’s in banking). So if two or more of you want stuff from a manufacturer, it makes sense to do a group order and split the shipping.

Turns out Mel is placing an order today with one of the three companies. These are non-critical items: a dark green hat for Blessing (I have fabric for a skirt that should coordinate), and two pairs of bloomers for Faith. I am notoriously inattentive to detail when it comes to skivvies for my dolls. I balk at spending $32 for a bra and panties containing a thimbleful of fabric, when I spend a little over that for a bra for myself.

So I need to stop writing this and go write a check to stick on top of the china cabinet for Mel, and then I need to figure out what I am wearing today.

The singer last night is the one who sings the hymn at or near the end of 17 Miracles. Naturally, I teared up, as Beloved and I watched that film for Family Home Evening just last month.

Speaking of Beloved, he had a good but long and busy day. He is fixing breakfast as we speak. Omelette with manchego cheese (sheep cheese) and mushrooms and a little hamburger. After which I sluice off and head over to Firstborn’s to park my car for the day. I get to ride in style in her new white car.

I was expecting to see her get into the white VW, which I knew she was interested in selling because it hadn’t turned out to be as much fun to drive as she had thought. She has a glossy white p1mpm0b1le. No idea what make or model, but it sure is pretty.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Boring financial stuff.

We are still coordinating this. Right now we have more of a spending record than a true budget, but we are definitely headed in the right direction. My spreadsheet is beginning to resemble a Hydra, with separate pages for medical expenses, family birthday timing and budget, goals, etc.

My base salary is increasing by X, effective next payday. I have been reviewing my 401K’s, using their wizard to project whether I/we will be eating PBJ’s or cat food when I retire, and wrapping my head around the numbers that my
our HMO is paying the hospital for Beloved’s cancer treatments.

I was pleasantly surprised to realize that I sent 9% of my base salary to the 401K accounts [traditional and Roth] for the past twelve months. I bumped that up to 10% for the coming year. Next year I might be able to increase by another percentage point, maybe two, depending on where we are with our savings and how much of our consumer debt we have paid off.

Beloved loves it that he has an intelligent wife (this would be a continuance of the tradition, not an establishment of a new one). I love it that he listens to me. Not only do we have a mutual admiration society going on, but we have a mutual respect society. We counsel together. I bless his late wife nearly every day.

Work, yesterday, was interesting. For awhile, in the Chinese-curse sense. I sent Beloved a message via FB along the lines of Mom-I’m-bored. Granted, boredom is preferable to sitting for several hours in oncology with a tube in one’s chest. I had already sent out a will-type-for-food message on Wednesday afternoon, to no avail. Thankfully, one of my friends had two mundane tasks which kept me busy, if not entertained, for about three and a half hours. So I mostly felt as if I had earned my keep, by the time I left the office.

Went to the temple, where they want to train me as a coordinator for one of the ordinances. In which I still feel a little uncoordinated. I rarely tell people that I need to pray about or think about it, but in this case that is just what I did. I have so much on my plate and am so tired, physically, and I don’t want the increased responsibility to be just one-more-thing-I-gotta-do.

Got home from the temple last night a little after 10:00. We sat in the kitchen and talked for almost two hours. Much needed. And I woke up half past dead this morning, to the point that when Beloved was fixing breakfast and asking the occasional question, I reverted to the stage when I had a houseful of importunate girls and the third question was one question too many. No, I did not get cranky with him. I have grown up a little since then. But I did have to ask him to hold off on the questions for awhile.

After breakfast and a shower and reading an article that made him hoot out loud (I love his laugh!) which will be linked to in a future post, I am marginally ready to take on my day. But there is something he wants to tell me, and then I have to finish my hair and grab the bags and git.

I am going to my first Time Out for Women tonight, with Firstborn and Secondborn. Will explain later, when I have two brain cells to rub together.

Over and out.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Customer Service Update

I was pleased, but not surprised, to get a quick response from the clog people. They apologized profusely. The turquoise “seconds”, like the purple ones, had sold out, so they really had no choice but to refund my money. And they have offered me free shipping for next time.

So maybe there will BE a next time, but any future orders will be over the phone so I can confirm the width of the shoes and make sure that I get the promised free shipping.

In knitting news, my friend to whom I had given the brown leftover yarn from my rust and brown sweater, brought me the remnants. I now have enough yarn to finish repairing the moth-chomps. This will be a slow process, because those beasties took a bite here and a bite there, rather as if they fancied themselves at a Chinese restaurant.

I also have enough caramel(ish) raw silk yarn to cobble together a cowl of some sort, especially if I knit it on fat needles and alternate it with some of the cream polished silk. Maybe throw in some black yarn as well for the perfect neutral accessory? I will have to noodle around with that after I cross a few other items off my queue.

Franklin Habit has a lovely shawl on his blog. You know that I’m not much for blue, but the alternating blue and grey stars are breathtaking.

I wonder what it would look like in silk?

I got the ironing board set up and finished the patches on Beloved’s shorts and pocket. I am not pressing the new pearl grey jacket I bought a month or so ago (but have yet to wear) until I have a new ironing board cover. And possibly a new ironing board as well; the one which has been lurking in the garage since his first wife died, is dusty (that can be fixed) and possibly rusty. The ironing board cover is grubby (not a problem for shorts that went from the boat to Ms. Ravelled’s ministry to the wash). And near the bottom it feels a little greasy, as if Johnny Depp had been making grilled cheese sandwiches on it, a la “Benny and Joon”.

You have your guilty pleasures. I have mine.

Two of my kids asked for a movie review. Not for the Bitties, in my opinion. The kids are well-cast. And the little girl uses a word, quite innocently, that a child that age should never have heard. The expletive coming from the (teenage) son was perfectly in context and did not offend me. I am not excessively impressed with the lead actress. The sidekicks are, without exception, excellent. The teenage girl is very talented. I am confirmed in my opinion that I like Mr. Damon far better than his best friend, Mr. Affleck.

Time to take Beloved to chemo. Later, gators!

P.S. he is now sporting a rash on his face and neck that the nurses told him would be a sign that the new chemo drug is working. So no, I have not been using language that would be making him blush.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Ms. Ravelled gets testy.

Yesterday was a day of small disappointments. Here is a copy of the email I sent to the clog outlet:

“I would have answered my cell phone when you called me earlier today, if the number had not been 000-000-0000, and/or if the call identified itself as [your company]. I do not pick up calls from unidentified numbers.

“I am not entirely happy with this transaction. My initial order shipped with lightning speed, which pleased me wonderfully. But I would not have placed that order to begin with, had the shoes been clearly identified as narrow on your website. On other sites where I have bought Dansko or Sanita clogs, the unidentified size is the wider one which fits my feet, and only the narrow shoes are identified as to width. So I somewhat naturally assumed that it would be the same on your website.

“As for today’s missed call, if I had known that the purple shoes in the wider width were no longer available, I would have asked you to send me a turquoise pair, instead. Thank you for expediting my refund, but I would really rather have had a new pair of shoes to show for my trouble.

“As I see it, even with the return of my original order and the sales tax, I am still out $20+ for two shipping fees, with no shoes. Had you shipped me a replacement pair of shoes, either the purple ones I wanted or the turquoise ones, then we would have both eaten a shipping fee, and that would have felt fair. This does not inspire me to place another order.”

The refund has already hit my checking account. And if they continue true to form in terms of response time, I will hear back from them later today. I am not accusing them of a lack of integrity, but a lack of clarity.

In other crankypants news, notwithstanding the fact that I had requested (several years ago, after a frustrating incident) not to be placed on a committee with one of my coworkers who is typically brusque and frequently rude, the office manager decided that the kitchen needed to be reorganized prior to the visit next week of somebody new from Corporate. Lo and behold, I am on a committee with Ms. Difficult.

The other committee member (a peach) and I had spent half an hour after lunch on Monday, and fifteen minutes or so after lunch on Tuesday, emptying out the upper cabinets, throwing out geriatric cans and buggy oatmeal, and generally making ourselves useful. Yesterday about 3:00 Ms. Difficult went into the kitchen and tackled the [smaller number of] cabinets she had assigned herself. Then she came to my desk (where I was taking a break by reading Secondborn’s blog, thus admittedly not-busy) and started dictating an email which needed to go out to the office immediately.

After two or three sentences, when I was extemporizing, she said that we didn’t need to say that, and please take it out. I looked up at her and inquired, somewhat tartly, “Would you like to write this yourself?” [No, she would much rather boss me around. Point taken.]

Our third committee member, Ms. Peach, showed up at my desk shortly after the exchange of raised eyebrows, and from then on when Ms. Difficult dictated a sentence, I would type it and inquire of my friend, “That sound OK to you?”

In retrospect, what I wish I had said at the get-go was, “I think we will both be happier if you write this,” then closed the window on my Outlook and smiled up at her with the end-of-discussion smile that my children know only too well.

Office manager is out of the office on a well-deserved vacation. When she returns next week, and I am back from my own days off, I will remind her of our earlier discussion. I think I have saved a copy of that email in my personal folders; I had to delete it from Outlook when we adopted a new archiving policy. It was not something that needed to be retained and managed for 25 years.

In the meantime, I will keep Ms. Difficult in my prayers and put her on the prayer roll at the temple, and I will pray for help in getting the beams out of my own eye.

In happier news, the current incarnation of Wingspan is flying along. I weighed the remaining yarn last night, and I have used a little less than two-thirds of it to work eight repeats. So I can easily work three more repeats (and have begun the ninth) before binding off, and I might even get twelve out of it. I discovered yesterday that the yarn is a little splitty. I think it caught on something in my purse, because one of the plies was snagged and pulled out about three inches. I managed to get that worked back in.

Leslie, I was thinking of Noro Silk Garden myself, for a true shawl version. The yarn shop in Farmersville has lots and lots of the lovely stuff. I also have some Silk Garden Sock that I could use to knit another scarf, and it would be fun to use some of that crazy-skinny bamboo that I used for the doll shawlette last year, to make these for some of my resin kids.

Speaking of which, my bonus hits next week, and I think I am going to order the doll who will embody Hope. Then I will have Faith, Hope, and Charity, as well as Temperance and Honor and Chutzpah, and the two big dolls, Blessing and Celeste. I also would like to get the smoker/grill/whatever that Beloved was planning to buy when his tax refund arrives. I will have to wait two or three months for my doll to come from Korea; one of us ought to get a little instant gratification from my bonus!

This is the part where I start getting ready for work. Beloved is already out the door with his fishing buddy, and I have finally pushed the send button for my tax return. I have a leftover salmon burger patty to take for lunch, and some excellent fruit salad I made for dinner last night. We are watching We Bought A Zoo at lunch.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Thank-you’s. Very much.

This week’s project is to finish off the thank-you notes from the wedding. I’m sure that my mother would be rolling over in her grave, if she had one. [Ashes. Greenbelt. Not long after dawn.] I was reared to sit down and write a note immediately. It should arrive at its destination no later than one week after the gift was received. And in my heart of hearts, I still hold to that teaching. In practice, however, I have been weighed in the balance and found wanting.

Beloved says that it looks like the new chemo drug might be working. One of the side effects is a rash. I asked him if it itches, and he said no. After breakfast, he is heading up to a friend’s in Denton to use the Ondamed machine. I will go up with him, next week when I am off for a couple of days, and try it out myself, to see if it does anything for my ankles.

Work went well yesterday. I was really tired from all the fun this weekend, but I got a lot accomplished. We went to an Italian restaurant for dinner with the empty-nesters, and I have enough leftovers for lunch today.

I’ve been feeling munchy lately. I think I need more fresh fruits and vegetables. I had been doing well and feeling balanced and rested. Now I just want to piece all day and nap when I’m not snacking.

Not much knitting yesterday. Not going to Knit Night tonight. Probably not going to the RS mini-meeting tonight. I was in bed at 9:00 last night and slept until 4:00 this morning. I would like more of the same, tonight; however, Beloved and the boys are planning to haul the rest of his mother’s food storage over tonight. Part of me would like to be elsewhere while they are bumping and thumping. Part of me is looking forward to watching them and listening to them. They are way better than TV.

Nothing profound this morning. Just one slightly groggy but quietly happy Ms. Ravelled, reporting for duty.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Plans B, et al

When I went to the website to order the red patent leather clogs to replace the two pairs of heels that were too narrow, I was seduced by a bright purple pair, second quality, for a little over half-price. If they fit as well as I hope they do, I will order a pair of turquoise seconds (Plan C), and then save up for a full-price red pair. The green leather ones that I had been saving for, do not come in my width.

I got the heels shipped off to Houston after work on Friday. There will be a small refund on my first order. It will just about exactly cover what I paid to ship them back.

I found some drawer pulls that I liked on the home centers website: dark bronze, with a design like flat braid, and not exorbitantly priced (that was my take; Beloved’s was a little different). And we had a gift card, so the out of pocket would have been moderate. I told him that the ones I had seen on Restoration Hardware’s website were (1) too wide and (2) $9.00 and up, to the best of my recollection. I had zero intention of buying from their website, but I wanted to see what they had.

The spiffy drawer pulls were not in stock at the home center; I suspect they are online only. So I looked at what was in stock, and I found some very nice ones, elegantly curved, in dark bronze with copper accents. Beloved installed one of them before I told him that was my project, thank you, and to keep his mitts off! Plan D cost a little over half what the braided ones would have cost. Do you detect a pattern here?

Then I went to Wally World and bought goat milk and dark chocolate almond milk, some key lime Greek yogurt for last night’s dessert, and a compact set of hot rollers. My hair is getting long enough that I want to have multiple options for fixing it. Hot rollers without a perm are pretty much an exercise in futility, at least as far as the workday is concerned, but I might get marginal cooperation for church on Sunday. (I did, for a wedding reception on Saturday night; like the candle burnt at both ends, it did not last the night, but it made a lovely [sight].)

In other news, you will recall that we had a spate of tornadoes earlier this week. Friday it was Middlest’s turn for regional drama. They live very close to where that Navy jet went down. But they are all safe, and their friends are safe as well.

The Lamisil continues to work its magic on my foot. I am so thankful!

By the time I went to bed on Friday night, I had finished three repeats on Wingspan and was soldiering away on the fourth. I had not used up all the yarn that I rewound when I frogged the initial, larger version. Since then I have completed repeats five and six and nearly finished the seventh. Loving this. Just flat loving this! And want to make a shawl-sized version in Noro Silk Garden, but not anytime soon.

It has been a busy, busy weekend. I got up and cleaned the church yesterday at 7:00. Beloved and sons met at the storage unit at 8:00 and hauled half of his mother’s food storage into our middle bedroom (Tetris, anyone?) and The Chastity Bed out to the curb. Where it may be joined by the severely damaged folding rocker which my father made for me. In the meantime, it was thoroughly drenched in a downpour after church this afternoon, while I was making the salad for the barbecue at eldest son’s house.

We made the celebration at Mel’s parents’ house yesterday, and the wedding reception last night (ice cream sundae bar; I indulged, and within two hours I could feel inflammation above my knee in my left leg, and halfway up my calf in the right). Church today (lovely arrangement by the ward choir), then temple recommend interview, family barbecue, a little X-box 360 bowling with second son’s bride. I lost by 40+ pins.

Much updating of financial information into our worksheet before church this morning, and much missing forests for trees, when I could not locate the new bill for the big credit card because it was in the payables folder. I just missed it the first three or four times I pawed through that folder.

This new chemo is kicking Beloved’s derriere. He has a headache and cannot take any of the usual preparations. So he is watching Food Network. And I am about to shut everything down in here, kiss him goodnight, and call it a day.

We are agreed that very soon there needs to be a weekend where I come home on Friday night, we shut off the phones and don’t answer the door, and just spend the weekend cooking and snoozing and eating.

In the meantime, there is knitting. With a side order of chocolate. I hope you have had a peaceful and blessed Easter, those of you who observe it. Beloved asked, delicately, how I traditionally celebrated Easter. New dress? Dyeing eggs? I told him that when the girls were little, it involved multiple bags of Easter M&M’s sorted by color into baggies, and me eating the spares, because heaven help us if somebody had one more M&M than her sister! I have long since lost the urge to bite ears off of chocolate bunnies. I am content to go to church and sing the hymns and come home and sleep. Though only some of that has happened so far, today.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Not rocking the look.

I drive through two school zones to get to the freeway in the morning. The little kids are just your basic cute short people. The big kids are endlessly diverting. I watched one young man escort his girlfriend across the street, arm around her shoulder protectively, eyes scanning the traffic. I have no doubt at all that he loves and respects her; it was there on his face, and there in his body language. Just wonderful to observe!

I’ve seen the lollygaggers sauntering along the crosswalk as we wait to make our turns (with varying degrees of patience; the world would be a happier place if more people learned how to knit). Yesterday I saw a very tall, very thin young man, headphones engaged, fierce expression, moving along the sidewalk.

Dude? The menacing glare is considerably undermined by that large pompom of a ponytail bouncing on your noggin.

[Remember when the bad guys in the movies had ponytails? The one in “Kindergarten Cop,” in particular? Carroll Baker, who played his mom, was a lot more scary. And effective. Kipling was right, and considerably ahead of his time.]

Just sayin’.

In legal humor, we recently received a note from opposing counsel on a case which is settling, asking us to make the check payable to their client, a lienholder, and the law firm. This is standard operating procedure, but usually opposing counsel remembers to give us an amount.

How ‘bout we give you $2.99? Forty percent of that ought to buy you a couple of stamps.

Crazy-tired this morning. Beloved was asleep when I got home from the temple. We are both awake, sortof, and I think would rather not be. One of us will get to go back to sleep after breakfast. And while I think I slept reasonably well, I woke up three or four times to adjust the covers or to roll over.

Beloved says that somebody kept throwing said covers over onto his side of the bed last night. While that is not entirely out of the realm of possibility, I think a more accurate statement is that Beloved is an accomplished cat burglar. We already know that the man has stolen my heart.

This will be a short(ish) day. The managing attorney hath declared that we may leave an hour early, and that we may wear sneakers if we wish. So it is likely to be a comfortable day as well. It is my last payday at the old pay rate.

I blew through my to-do’s yesterday, got everything filed, ran out of overworked friends to help, and so I spent a little time on the company website, playing with retirement figures. On my own, retiring at 70 (I would prefer 75, but Heaven and Beloved get a vote), and not counting any of Beloved’s retirement/disability income, I will be able to live simply but with dignity. Adding his Social Security, and notwithtanding his medical bills (I am interested to see how much my own increase over the next ten years), we will be able to live simply with dignity, once we are out of debt. And we’re working on that.

Breakfast this morning will be Grape Nuts and toast. We are having some of Wednesday’s most excellent stew for dinner. No idea what I’m doing for lunch, quite possibly goat cheese and crackers and fruit.

Tonight we clear out the hall between the studio and the middle bedroom, and clear out the middle bedroom, because tomorrow morning while I am helping to clean the chapel, Beloved and his boys will be pulling all of his mother’s food storage from the storage unit and schlepping it along the north wall of the middle bedroom.

The twin bed will go out into the garage. The Chastity Bed will probably be going out on the curb, sentimental value or no sentimental value. I emailed the RS president yesterday, and she sent out the word to the sisters in the ward, and I may hear from somebody who discovers that she has been wanting a Victorian fainting couch for years, and just didn’t know it. It needs a lot of work. I will be sad to see it go. But I am looking forward to having the middle bedroom turned into a functional office and getting my own computer set up. When the desks are out of the bedroom, we will have room for more bookcases, or a sitting area. Or something. At any rate, it will feel less cramped and cluttered in here, and that will be good.

And then we can seriously contemplate repainting, room by room, or more likely wall by wall. At which point my artwork can go up on the walls and mingle with Beloved’s.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

It’s gonna be a busy day.

Thankfully, we were asleep long before midnight, and I feel suspiciously rested this morning.

The cat is griping about something. He just came in after spending the night either sleeping in the boat or making the neighborhood safe for the rest of us. I hear Beloved out in the kitchen, telling the cat, “I don’t know what you’re complaining about. You have food. You have water.”

Opposable thumbs, maybe?

The re-do of Wingspan is coming along nicely. I have just begun the third repeat, and I like the width better; working with the yarn (Paca-Peds) is pure pleasure.

Beloved is riding along to the office with me today. He has chemo at 10:30, so I’ll take a break mid-morning and run him to Parkland. Before that, he will hang out in the lovely atrium of our building, which features a dozen or more real trees growing in pots. One of our friends will take him home afterward.

I have leftover beef stew to take for lunch today, and I pre-buttered a whole wheat bollilo roll, put wax paper between the halves, and wrapped it up nicely. I think there is a banana that might be ripe enough for my taste, for a snack during the day.

Work is going well. My desk is tidy at the end of the day; I’m getting through the incoming mail and filing my work-related emails in a timely manner; my raise hits in three weeks; and I’ve completed the quarterly tweaking of my 401K. (Every quarter I look at performance, transfer funds from one bucket to another if necessary, and give thanks that I have a 401K in the first place. Most of you would laugh, or wince, at the balance in my account, but having been scarily poor for much of my adult life, I look back to where I was and think Wow!)

The Lamisil is working on my sad little toes.

Breakfast is ready, and I need to figure out what I’m wearing to work. Temple tonight. Can’t wait!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Au revoir, lovely shoes. Hello, tornadoes!

Stellar customer service from The Clog Outlet. Two rapid responses to yesterday’s email inquiring about wider shoes: one informing me that generally, the shoes they carry are the narrower width. Drat! And one with the return authorization, which I have printed off. I will be exchanging them for the green ones I’ve been saving for. It’s still win/win. But those heels were lovely.

In far more important news, we and our kids and grandkids are all just fine after yesterday’s spate of tornadoes. Lark’s high school was damaged. The schools hereabouts either went into lockdown mode or had the parents come fetch their blessings. My drive home last night was remarkably uncomplicated. From on-ramp to exit, about twenty minutes, when typically it’s about ten minutes longer. And maybe a couple of minutes faster between the exit to our home; that is largely a function of the traffic lights, but there were definitely fewer cars on the local roads.

Some of the worst damage was in the neighborhoods around my old stake center in Arlington. The mayor declared Arlington a disaster area. Somebody caught a picture of a truck stop a few miles south of our house, where a 15-ton trailer went airborne.

Beloved says that one funnel touched down about two miles east of us. I have coworkers who commute from the northeastern suburbs. I was not on Facebook last night, so I don’t know how they fared. Work is likely to be interesting today, and possibly not entirely productive. (I managed to transcribe two tapes while one of the attorneys was blasting public service announcements on the radio in his office. Only a slight improvement over talk radio, in this woman’s opinion.)

I filed a complaint with the health department yesterday, regarding the nail salon, and I told my office manager (who has been going there for years) what happened. My foot is feeling significantly better after only three doses of Lamisil. Twenty-five more to go, and it’s almost time for the next dose.

The second attempt at Wingspan is coming along nicely, and pleaseth me much.

Crazy-tired, but our home is peaceful, and we are blessed. So thankful. And praying for those whose lives just got complicated. Mercifully, the last we heard, nobody was killed in all those tornadoes.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

New shoes? Good news, bad news.

They got here in record time (from Houston). They are lovely, and I think not too high, even for a woman who has not worn heels in over ten years. However, the toebox is 2 3/8 inches wide at the ball of the foot on the pair which I measured, and my traditional clogs are 3 inches wide at that point.

I have emailed the company to see if the same styles are available in a more generous width. I told them I would prefer exchange to a refund. But if not, then I want store credit, because I could then order the pair I am saving for, on Friday when I get paid.

Speaking of getting paid, the show-me-the-money part of my yearly review happened yesterday morning. My base salary increase is consistent with that of the past several years. I am now making more than twice what I did when I went to work for the corporation, thirteen years ago. The bonus is slightly less than last year, but a lower percentage applied to a higher base salary, still yields a figure which is far better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. Notwithstanding the tax bite of having the bonus arrive in the same check as my salary, Beloved and I will have the opportunity to do something nice for ourselves at the end of the month. I want to order my Lendrum spinning wheel. I would also like to see if the Habitat for Humanity thrift shop has cabinetry that would fit into the closet in our dining room. I would like to convert it into a built-in dresser and hutch, complete with a nice mirror and some lighting, to store all the dishes, linens, and table goodies I brought into the marriage. None of which is particularly valuable; all of which is pretty, and my soul thrives on beauty appropriately displayed.

I ended up going to the doctor yesterday for my foot. Remember that pedicure I got last week? Friday the foot that was a playground for athlete’s foot for two years, began itching again. I doctored it with Gold Bond over the weekend and kept a sock on it and sanitized the shower with bleach water after use. Because Beloved is to be even more vigilant against infection with the new drug in his protocol, than he has been in the past.

I am on Lamisil for the next two weeks, and I can already feel it working. I’m to continue the topical Gold Bond as well.

I just did not have the time, or the emotional capital, to deal with Nystatin-over-weeks as a solution to the problem.

Yes, I will be writing a letter to the Health Department about the nail salon. Yes, I will be finding a new nail salon.

Insert childbirth words here.

In happier news, I completed the second repeat on Wingspan yesterday and weighed it when I got home. I had used 39 grams (of 100) to do two repeats of an eight-repeat pattern. Back to the drawing board. I noodled around with Excel to figure out how much shorter each panel should be in order to get enough repeats to make a length I liked. I wanted wide scarf or shawlette rather than a full shawl. I eventually decided to use her figures for DK weight yarn and cast on (again) with 60 stitches. I used the long-tail cast on the first time, and the knitted cast on this time, and I already like it better.

Breakfast is ready. Gotta scoot.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Boys are not easier than girls.

Nevertheless, I am thankful for my newly acquired sons, and for their wives, whom they love. As the newest member of the Beloved tribe, it is fascinating to see how his boys interact, how that differs from the ways in which my daughters resolve conflicts, and how it can be the same, only pitched an octave or so lower.

Beloved is substitute-teaching early morning seminary this morning. He spent much of the evening after the concluding session of General Conference happily shifting between computer and reference book. My contribution to the lesson is my boombox and CD of Messiah, as today’s subject is Isaiah 40.

I loved having so much of the family here on Saturday night. It was the first time any of my children had seen the house. I told Beloved that, having the girls here at our table, it was maybe the first time I really felt that this was my home. I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone but me.

I have felt at-home here, ever since my first dinner at Beloved’s table. His late wife and I share a passion for color (as well as for Beloved). Her palette is slightly different than mine, but our tastes are similar. So I have felt comfortable here, and as more of my things become integrated with the things which were already here, it has looked more and more like my home.

But it wasn’t until the people to whom I gave birth (well, 80% of them, anyway) were laughing and singing around the table, with some of his kids, that something in my heart eased a little, and I felt that this large and lively posterity was being Kitchenered together.

General Conference, as ever, was splendid. Beloved and I had a true spiritual feast, sitting quietly in our home together. Yesterday I knitted quite a bit on Wingspan. I did the prep work to repair his fishing shorts (tear in one leg when he caught it on something in the boat) and the pocket of his green khakis; what remains is to fuse the interfacing, as the stitching is all done.

I also prepped the repair on my brown mesh skirt, which has resided in the fix-it box since before I moved to the duplex. Once I find the bobbin cover and bobbin and acquire more thread in that color, it will be a matter of minutes until the skirt is wearable once more. I have already embroidered flowers over the tears in the lowest tier of the skirt. [Long skirts and rolling chairs at work are not the best of friends.)

I have pinned the seams which need reinforcement on the black and brown plaid skirt I used to love wearing. It, too, must wait until my sewing machine is functional, and I have no idea if the skirt will still fit once it is repaired (the fit is less forgiving than on the mesh skirt), but both skirts are hanging on the back of the door to the studio, and I feel that my time was well spent.

I spent a couple of hours mending the sweater that sent me back to my knitting needles back in 2005. Nasty woolniverous beasties have chewed multiple holes in it. Patching garter stitch is a fiddlier job than patching stockinette. The beasties also nibbled on the yarn I had cleverly set aside for patching, and I have run out of one color.

Thankfully, I gave the rest of it to a friend at work to make a scarf in all shades of brown. I couldn’t get internet on my phone last night (roaming? in my own house? you’re kidding me!) to send her a Facebook message asking her to bring it to work today. I hope she still has it. I have one last hole to fix in this color, and then I can tackle the other colors. (This is the sweater in rusts and browns with the faux-fox I-cord edging all round it. It has lived in the fix-it box even longer than the brown mesh skirt.)

Tonight Beloved and I will be hauling out our wills and taking the first steps to update them. I have three new kids to remember; he has five. We want to get it all hammered out before we have my attorney (or an attorney) make sure that the T’s are all crossed and the I’s are all dotted. A lot has changed in my part of the tribe since I had my will drawn up before gall bladder surgery eleven years ago.

It is going to be a Cherry Coke day. We got maybe three hours of sleep last night, and not for newlywed reasons. Beloved might be able to catch a nap when he comes home from teaching seminary, but the garden needs watering; he has an appointment with my wonderful dentist this afternoon; he needs to take his mom to her storage unit to get something and to pay the next month’s storage fee; and he wants to get the paperwork to his accountant for his taxes.

As for me? I only hope to stay awake on the commute to and from work, and to keep my nose out of the keyboard while I am there.

This is the part where I go soak my head. I have leftover meatloaf and roast potatoes to take to work today, and a lovely slice of banana bread sent over by daughter-in-love #2.

Cherry Coke. And an IV tube. Where is Bennigan’s and their late, lamented Death by Chocolate when I really need it?