About Me

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Four years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

“Brave.” And a CARE package. ♥

I got the second cuff done before work yesterday and took it along. I tried (for half a round) to work both sleeves on one long needle using Magic Loop and quickly separated them, the better to retain my sanity.

I’ll wait until you stop snickering.

I have now worked about three inches of pattern above the ribbing and am almost ready to switch back to the first sleeve. I figure that I’ll work a couple of inches on one, then the other, until I reach the armscyes.

The eagle screamed yesterday. (We got his Social Security disability check.) I paid a bunch of bills. After dinner, I nipped out and picked up a copy of Brave. [We loved it.] Also three pairs of brown cotton socks, a copy of The Blind Side (for only $10!), and a package of gel pens, as ours have a distressing habit of drying up or evaporating entirely.

Yesterday was reasonably productive at work, complicated only slightly by the monthly support staff meeting, where I actually learned several things that are or will be useful. One of which is that the upper limit for a medical expense reimbursement account has been dropped to $2,500 for 2013, down from $4,000. Now, I have never allocated $4,000 for medical expenses. I think I maxxed it at $900 back when I had two kids at home, because I would rather not get reimbursed for some of my medical expenses than lose unspent money at the end of the year.

Beloved was marginally awake when I came over to the computer this morning. I asked if he were sufficiently awake for me to ask him a financial question. He thought he was. I asked what he thought we should allocate for MER for next year. He gave me a bleary grin and said we need to discuss it when I get home from work tonight.

This is one of those practical applications of faith-and-works that gets really complicated for me. Last year I had to make the decision about the time we got engaged, and I had no idea what our medical expenses would be this year. So I allocated $400, which would cover my dental visits and a new pair of glasses, over and above my vision plan. We blew through that within a month after we married.

On the one hand, we have had more than $2,500 out of pocket this year, what with the trips to Houston and our co-payments for one thing and another. So it seems like a fairly safe bet to go for the maximum. On the other hand, that will erase approximately $100 from my take-home each payday, which will make monthly budgeting more scary for me. It seems easier emotionally to just deal with the co-payments as they pop up, but it’s far more sensible to reduce our medical outlay by our effective tax rate (which at this point is unknown, as we have yet to file a joint return). I need to crunch some numbers there to guesstimate what our effective tax rate might be. We keep meaning to talk to Beloved’s tax person, and other stuff keeps coming up.

There is so much minutiae to deal with. Getting the last of his mother’s stuff out of the dining room so we can eat in there again. Getting me a closet of my own. Wrangling all the stuff in the middle bedroom so it can become an office, and our bedroom can become a retreat, exclusively. Learning my new calling, which has detail upon detail upon detail, and I probably should be studying an hour a night for the next couple of months, until I feel I have some idea what-all is or should be going on with that stewardship. Taking over more of the housework, as Beloved’s energy flags. (And we all know how much I adore housework.)

But, ta-DAAA! Yesterday there was a CARE package from one of my girlfriends, a bag of Raspberry M&M’s she priority-mailed me. And much appreciated. It is such a quintessentially feminine thing to spend more on mailing a package than the contents are worth (at least in terms of retail), but as they say in the commercials: priceless!

Thank you, ma’am. They are going to work with me today. I’ll leave your delightful card here for Beloved to enjoy. Because I’m thoughtful like that.

There was other good news yesterday. Secondborn and her tribe thought they were having company for Thanksgiving dinner, making them unavailable for the joint-tribal feast that Younger Twin and his wife are hosting. The expected company will not be coming, so Bittiest and M the Marauder will get to join forces, while Beloved and I will be relatively close to home for when he gets tired and I have gotten overwhelmed by the sheer number of people. I don’t do crowds well. When we’ve gathered at Firstborn’s or Secondborn’s, there are anywhere from a dozen to two dozen people, and my limit is somewhere between two and three hours before I have to go home and take a nap.

I figure there will be two dozen people at minimum, a week from today, and likely a dozen more. [Middlest will not be able to join us this year, bummer.] It will be interesting to sit as an observer on my own shoulder and see how long it takes for my inner eeeeek to go off!

How to sign eeeeek: form the E hand and move it sideways through space long enough to make your point, then pop your hand into a K. A little bit of deaf humor to brighten your Thursday.

BTW, Robi, no need to beat yourself up for making me sniffly with that dedicated-to-me post of yours. Those were good tears. Yes, my inner 17 year old is still alive and well. She’s the one who wants to run screaming from Primary each week. And my Tina Turner legs are still in here, somewhere.

On that note, time for me to proud-Mary myself into the shower and doot-doot-doot-doot until I’m ready to hit the road.

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