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!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

So, BittyBit was baptized.

BittyBubba (5) played a children’s hymn as interlude. And played it well. This is the child who begged his sister’s piano teacher for lessons, back when he was only four. I’m not saying he’s another Mozart, but he loves music, and he is willing to practice, and it shows. There is real talent there, and I am looking forward to hearing what comes flying off both their fingers as the years pass.

We had a lot of non-LDS family at the baptism: 2BDH’s dad and stepmother, his mother, Lark and Willow, to name just a few. The children’s father was there, and because he is once again temple worthy, he was able to stand (if shakily) in the circle to confirm BittyBit a member of the church. I was so happy for them both.

Beloved was not able to be there. He was home taking various meds with various side effects, and he was missed, and everybody understood that he would have been there if he could. I got a call from Secondborn on Friday night, confirming that I would be at the baptism, and she told me that BittyBit had wanted me to give one of the talks, but she (Secondborn) was not sure if that was do-able, given the excitement of last Sunday. I was very happy and honored to follow through.

I did a lot of shopping, but hardly any buying, on the way home. A styrofoam thingie to go inside one of my planters, the better to rearrange its contents. I found a brass planter that would have looked marvelous slipped over the basket which is currently supporting my big (fake) ficus tree, still out on the front porch. However, the planter was one of three that were firmly wedged together, and no amount of tugging by various people in the store could free it. I suspect that had any two of Beloved’s sons been shopping with me, they would have handled it easily.

Over the past couple of days, I have undecorated the Christmas tree, which is still on the floor in the living room by its box, waiting for one of us to have the ambition to take it apart, stuff it in the box, and schlepp it out to the garage. I have brought in the smaller, green and white variegated fake ficus, and put it where the Christmas tree was, on top of the drop-leaf table in the corner. I brought the beaded table runner out from my studio and put it on the table under the tree. I put away my folk art nativity and cleared out one of the sections in the entertainment center and moved my big glass goblets in there, along with the red and white candle holders.

I went to Shabby Sheep yesterday, hoping to spend my gift certificate from Mel and Squishy. The shop was open for just a few hours, primarily for an inventory-clearing sale, and it was a madhouse. I still haven’t gotten used to the new setup (they moved next door, from the little yellow house into a slightly larger blue one), and there were way too many people in there, so I did a quick look-around and will go back after work one day next week, or maybe during a lunch hour. So, that was a little frustrating, but only a little.

The stake president presided at BittyBit’s baptism, as the bishop had had to work, and both counselors were likewise out of pocket. This was a blessing in Southern-charm disguise, as I was finally able to figure out what has been holding up the cancellation of my sealing to the children’s father, and that information has been relayed to the person with authority to get the ball rolling.

It’s Sunday morning. Beloved is feeling well enough, and seeing sufficiently clearly, to drive himself to church. Which means that I need to get off the computer, because Lorelai is blocking the truck, and he likes to be there much earlier than I do.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Weeping and wailing and ganache-ing of teeth.

Have you ever tried to sincerely thank someone for a gift that you very much appreciate but cannot use? After some discussion with Beloved, this is what I came up with:

Dear X, Thank you for the rum cake. ☺ There have been days in the recent past where, if I were still a drinking woman, I would have face-planted in the cake and not worried about the consequences! We have family coming in a couple of weeks who are not LDS. We will enjoy their enjoyment. ☺ So, not one crumb of cake will go to waste. ~ Ms. Ravelled and Beloved

On my way home from work last night, I stopped at Holley's Yarn Shoppe and exchanged the two remaining balls of green yarn for two in gold. Beloved says the color will do, although we both agree it is not quite Packers gold. (I nailed that green, however.) I meant to measure his waist before bedtime, so I could cast on the first fake vest front, but finish-itis took over, and I worked on the ruana instead. I have a little less than four three repeats remaining before I bind off the side edge and pick up the stitches for the neckband. I might very well have a completed ruana before the weekend is over.

Or, I might not. It’s difficult to predict how much knitting will get done on any given day, and BittyBit turns eight on Saturday and will be baptized, so that will be one and a half hours of drive time each way. Beloved’s eyesight is improving steadily each day (we think it’s because of the radiation treatments) but not enough yet that either of us feels comfortable with him driving on unfamiliar roads.

I am thoroughly enjoying all the Christmas chocolate and have worn my new earrings twice already.

We were supposed to go to our attorney’s office this afternoon to finalize the wills, but he had some technical difficulties, so we have rescheduled for next month.

Tomorrow Beloved and a couple of our friends are emptying out the china hutch so that one of the boys may have most of the contents and another, the hutch proper. I am hopeful that when I come home the extra set of draperies in the dining room window will be taken down and the new, combination smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector will be installed.

Three of his siblings are planning a visit next month. I hope that means the last of his mother’s stuff will go with them when they head back to California. He thinks he has found a good place to set up his exercise bike. It is almost perfectly useless to us in its present location (facing somewhat into the dining room, away from the TV, and with its seat piled high with boxes).

It has been colder than a bill collector’s heart for the past couple of days. I would expect that in February, but almost never in December. We are thankful for a warm house and adequate food. The homeless shelters over in Fort Worth are nearly full.

I think I will eat one more truffle (thus, ganache-ing my teeth before brushing them) and drag Beloved in here for prayers and a good night’s sleep. I think he overdid it again. (I need to hide his Superman T-shirt.) But it is so good to see a twinkle in his eye again, and to have him pain-free most of the time.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

♪I’m dreaming of some old Midol, just like the ones I used to know.♫

I was rummaging in my desk at work for a small tool that I use infrequently. Inside the clear Lucite container with my comb, a spray bottle of Oscar de la Renta cologne in case I want to smell like a grownup while I am at work, a lethally sharp pair of tweezers, two packets of the stuff you dump into water to make cut flowers last longer, a cloth for cleaning my glasses, a corporate hackysack with dried ketchup on it, the guilty but unrepentant packet of ketchup that had tossed its cookies before expiring? A card with three Midol, expiration date February 2008.

Gotta love menopause.

Well, we more than made it through Christmas. It has turned out to be one of the best in recent memory. Beloved gave me the earrings I had hoped for, and they are even prettier in real life than they were in the catalogue, plus they have small preserved bugs in them, which appeals to my sense of whimsy; the stones are Baltic amber, hence the bugs. I cannot tell you if they are Polish bugs or Lithuanian bugs or Latvian bugs or Estonian bugs, but I can tell you that they are very small and very dead. Unlike Beloved or Ms. Ravelled, who are large and very much alive.

Beloved made sure to stuff my hat (I did not want a commercial stocking, so we made do with a Santa hat) with lots of chocolate. I will be well fortified for work when I go back tomorrow. I wanted to find a first Christmas together ornament but was not taken with the ones I saw at the Hallmark store. I did, however, find a John Wayne Rio Bravo ornament, which was the only item in Beloved’s stocking this year, and I did not return the chocolate favor. He was delighted with the ornament, which is hanging out in one of my red bowls with a Barbie as Scarlett O’Hara ornament that is likewise lacking a hanger. We have yet to find the container with the spare ornament hangers.

The kids gave us gift cards, mostly, some of them homemade, one from the LDS bookstore, another promising 4.0 hours of hard work from one couple (the state of our oven immediately comes to mind), one to a yarn store. A chocolate passport from Trader Joe’s. A shirt for Beloved about the Noah Grill: bring me two of every kind.

Major snowstorm this afternoon, following nearly 24 hours of drizzle. Beloved says there was quite a thunder and lightning storm overnight, which I slept through. The area got one to four inches of white stuff. I need to remember to leave the house a little early tomorrow morning in case I need to scrape Lorelai’s windows anew.

My sister sent two balls of Jojoland cobweb laceweight, the finest stuff I have ever contemplated knitting with, and a shawl pattern (StellaLuna). Enough yarn that I can knit two of them, should I choose. I asked her if that was a hint. It has nupps. I adore nupps. Whether I adore them sufficiently to knit two identical shawls, remains to be seen, but the pattern is breathtakingly lovely.

Beloved is stirring. He has been dozing, out in his chair, and I think he may be headed this way. Might be time for family prayers and bedtime for at least one of us.

Merry Christmas to all y’all, and the happiest of new years.

P.S. We suspect we are seeing the first-fruits of the first two sessions of radiation therapy. His blurred vision in one eye, and double vision in the other, are improving slightly. They resume nuking him tomorrow.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

♫Sweet Baby James? We gotta talk!♪

James Taylor was a large part of the soundtrack of my young adult years. James Taylor, Carole King, Carly Simon, his sister Kate Taylor, the whole merry bunch. I love his voice, even though I am not excessively fond of tenors, nor of twang. There are only a handful of his songs that I do not love, that I have heard (and I have heard only a small portion of what he has recorded, over the years; we can blame that on my having been mired in the 17th century for the better part of 20 years). His version of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is right there at the top of the not-love list. Why, you ask? Because he “improved” the lyrics.

The song as written is about tradition, about getting together year after year with the people you love. It is gentle and thoughtful, and Karen Carpenter’s version is gloriously joyful. Sweet Baby James’ version is downright depressing. In a year we all will be together? No sirree! And precious friends who are dear to us, diminishes said friendships. We are talking about love and loyalty and FAITH, sir! That song was written in a time when most people were not shy about admitting faith in God.

Yes, my friends and family are precious to me, and for far more than the mere fact of their existence, wonderful as that is. They are precious because of who they are, or who they are in the process of becoming, as they honor the tenets they hold dear.

OK, I think I’m done now. But Sweet Baby James, kindly confine your pallid version of this Christmas classic to when you are singing in the shower. Thank you.

Yes, I am a little testy tonight. It has been quite the day, capping off quite a weekend. First, the memorial service for Mel’s dad was lovely. The open house to celebrate my young friend’s marriage was worth the drive to the hinterlands. I had hoped to get to the yarn store to pick up the Packers gold yarn for the fake waistcoat, but the store had already closed by the time I got back to town. I did find a wonderful stocking stuffer for Beloved’s stocking. And we had a nice, quiet evening at home. I am back at work on the ruana. Other friends, recently engaged, paid us a brief but happy visit.

We went to bed at a relatively early hour, and I woke up around 4:00 feeling marvelously rested. A little while later, Beloved awoke, realized that he needed to empty the colostomy bag, and found to his surprise when he got to the bathroom that it was full of blood, and that he had a tiny arteriole (connects an artery to a capillary) spurting. All over the bathroom. He could not get it stopped, so I called 911, and the paramedics took him to the ER, where everyone took wonderful care of him. We don’t know what caused it, but it stopped after applying sufficient pressure, and there has been no repeat. He figures he lost about a pint of blood in this adventure. His BP was 156/40 before they transported him.

Enough of our kids on both sides, showed up to support us. Firstborn and 1BDH left a little before we did and had the bathroom mostly cleaned up by the time I was able to bring Beloved home. We took turns dozing and napping, off and on all day. Watched the Cowboys lose in overtime.

Bishop and his wife came over with a goodie plate (with lots of yummy cheese and crackers, as well as chocolate), and our friends the V’s came over and caroled one verse before hugging us almost to bits and leaving a small bag of cake balls. I haven’t cooked all day, but we haven’t starved, either.

We did not go to church. I did not conduct Primary (and, in fact, the Primary president, who is a doctor’s wife, came and sat with me in the ER until our kids showed up), and we were not able to have our kids at church with us today, which is a little sad. I think I cried enough for good mental health, but mostly I ate and slept and puttered around the living room.

Beloved says the only way he is going to miss Christmas at Secondborn’s is if he is back in the hospital, and we are having Christmas breakfast at the home of one of the twins, and I will be working tomorrow.

I finally got enough time and sufficient marbles collected that I could reconcile the checkbooks. I plan to pay bills tomorrow before work. Just praying that I am doing as well as I think I am, so that I can be effective. Right now Beloved is having trouble getting comfortable enough to fall asleep, so I should probably log off the computer and head back out to the living room. I just wanted to check in.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My sense of humor is definitely skewed.

I walked into my cubicle the other morning and found a nicely wrapped package in my chair, from my attorney. Feels like a tin of something, hopefully dark chocolate. Huge, properly fluffy bow on top. I walked into his office, grinned, and told him I didn’t know he knew how to tie bows. (The man is a former Marine.) He said that he recycled the ribbon from the stash at home.

It was a good-sized box. I quipped, “I don’t suppose that’s a new liver for Beloved?” Took him half a tick longer than usual, and then he laughed.

The news here is marginally more hopeful. More blood work on Monday, a visit with the radiologist on Tuesday, followed by fitting for a mask that will hold his head still, as in bolted to the table still, and he starts radiation this morning. The metastasized mass is on the outside of the brain, where it will be easy to reach with radiation. I’m thinking of it as something like unto a particularly lethal barnacle. It is narrowing a canal and compressing nerves, which is causing the headaches and probably the numbness on the left side of his head, maybe also the vision problems. The radiologist is very hopeful that 15 treatments will solve the problem. In the meantime, Beloved has strong pain medicine that takes his headaches from 9/10 down to zero, and he is sleeping better, and longer, and I can hear the difference in his voice.

I took yesterday off, and we got the wills taken care of. I do need to give our attorney a little more information, but we are scheduled to go back after Christmas and pick up the finished products.

The main part of the knitting is done on Beloved’s sweater. I picked up 150 stitches along each front for the button bands, and in knitting those first stitches I intentionally twisted all the live stitches across the back of the neck, rather than binding them off and picking up fresh ones. I need to measure Beloved’s stomach, because I think it has grown since I measured him and made the calculations. If so, we can blame that on his liver, which is inflamed and enlarged. The sweater does not quite meet in the front. If that does not block out, then I am thinking of knitting a fake waistcoat front in Packers gold and stitching it to the sweater fronts, behind the button bands, and having those bits meet in the middle. It would definitely be an unconventional way to close a sweater, but then Beloved is not a particularly conventional man. He thinks that sounds cool.

All but two of the envelopes are addressed for our Christmas cards. Those two will go to the missionary elders serving from our ward, and Beloved has their addresses on last Sunday's program from sacrament meeting. I just printed off a new page of return address labels and have grabbed the roll of stamps. I will mail off the last two packages and the envelopes I have stuffed, after work tonight.

We had quite a storm blow through last night. I think it did something to the neighbors’ storage shed. We heard tin rattling, off and on all night. I just heard another spate of it.

Happy Thursday, everybody!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I really need to talk...

...and I have no idea of what to say.

Thursday was better than Wednesday. Friday was calmer still, until I got a call from Beloved with what is probably very good news. They want to take more of his blood (greedy beggars), and if the numbers have changed (bilirubin would be down, albumen would be up) he may still be a candidate for the procedure with the tiny glass beads into the liver tumors.

He is also meeting with a radiologist tomorrow. Why, you ask. Because the radiologist compared the most recent MRI’s with those taken at MD Anderson, and he says the mystery mass in the lower canal of Beloved’s brain is metastatic. It took me awhile to convince Beloved that that meant it is cancerous. They think that radiation would knock it out and possibly/probably get rid of his headaches.

My resilience is more than a little wonky these days. I have become adept at rolling with the punches, going with Plan B, saying Thywillbedone and meaning it. But I am better at making the intellectual shifts than the emotional ones.

Friday night I just felt tired and cranky and ready to bite somebody. I would have to look in the receipts that are waiting to be entered into our check registers, to tell you what we had for dinner that night. I do remember that I felt much better after I had eaten. And we tackled four or five boxes of his Christmas stuff, choosing to keep some of it, and to set the rest aside for the kids to go through.

Mel and Squishy came by early Saturday morning, on their way to the hospital to see her dad, who had had a stroke and was not doing well. They filled one of my emptied containers with stuff they wanted and took our love with them to the hospital. Her father passed away a few hours later.

When I emailed or texted my kids to let them know, I learned that 1BDH’s mother had passed away on Thursday.

Yesterday I went caroling with the Cub Scouts. Then I came home, picked up Beloved, and we took the electronic stuff to the vendor, then took our rings to the jewelry store to be re-sized. We both feel naked without our wedding bands. Should have them back later this week.

We were going to have the boys come over next Saturday to help muck out the garage, but we have a funeral to attend, instead. The stuff can wait. Mel’s dad was a really great guy. Her mom is a wonderful woman. They have made me feel so welcome in the tribe-at-large. So we will go share our love the way they shared theirs when Beloved’s first wife died three years ago. Then I will bring him home and head back out to an open house for a dear friend who just got married. He and Firstborn were childhood crushes. His mother was my friend who died so unexpectedly (was it only last year?) I can hardly wait to meet his wife. He is now instant-dad to two little girls, whom his mother would have adored.

Life and death and birth all tangled up together. Sounds about normal. Alison, as I was driving home from attending the Christmas program in Firstborn’s ward today, a hawk of some sort crossed over the highway about ten feet up and about twenty feet ahead of me. You would have known exactly what kind it was; I just figured it was Alison, waving hello from California.

I am roughly halfway done with the raglan decreases on Beloved’s sweater. I thought I would be farther along by now, but I’m still in good shape to have this finished by Christmas.

Younger Twin’s wife came by after their church and made off with another tub full of stuff. So there is very little that will need to be schlepped to the thrift store tomorrow. Most of the Christmas cards are addressed and inserted, just waiting for a brief newsletter which is Beloved’s project.

We took jelly jars to 80% of our home teaching families this afternoon, and the remaining family came over to visit, and left with a jar of their own. I am taking jars to work tomorrow. Hoping for a reasonably productive day once I get there, but mostly just hoping for a decent night’s sleep and wishing that the inflammation in my ankles would make like a tree and leaf.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

If no news is good news, then I have news...

So Beloved saw the second liver specialist yesterday, and his bilirubin is too high for the procedure where they shoot radioactive glass beads into the tumors (his albumen is also too low). If everything isn’t just-so, the procedure can kill his liver. The doctor spoke very frankly to him, told him that realistically we are looking at three to six months.

When I got home last night, he shared that news and started telling me all the things we are going to do between now and then to make it easier for me.

We are inviting his boys to come over for a work party, most likely weekend after next, during which all the things Beloved has been planning for years to hand off to one son or another, will be emulating Elvis and leaving the building. If he does it now, there can be no question of who was supposed to get what, and our Fibber McGee garage might actually be usable for its intended purpose.

He is finally ready to address the issues of an advance directive and a formal will. His late wife had no will. Her name is still on the deed to the house. An attorney I know (not the one I work for) has kindly offered to draw up the quitclaim, gratis. (Our mortgage holder wanted $1000 to get it all switched over, and there may still be a fee, but I most devoutly hope it is a smaller one.) We have an appointment next week with my personal attorney to update my will and formalize Beloved’s will and draw up his advance directive.

Last night was pretty soggy, as you might imagine, but I still got some knitting done, and this morning I got the second sleeve attached to the body of his sweater. Five more rows and I’ll start the raglan decreases.

He got all of his kids told last night, and one of his sibs. He told the rest of his sibs today, and I told my kids and my sister today, plus my attorney and best friend(s) at work and the office manager and the managing attorney.

The tears come and go. Quietly, at work. Less quietly in Lorelai, but rarely for more than a few seconds and then I’m damp but basically OK. I am planning on getting a massage in the next week or two.

I found the most amazingly perfect Christmas cards at Half Price Books last night (I made a quick run for ice cream, and the bookstore was just around that corner). Tonight I picked up green pens to address the envelopes. Yeah, I know. Not red.

Heading out to the living room for maybe another row of knitting before I crash. Keep calm, carry yarn; works for me.

Friday, December 07, 2012

The storage tub lied. Blatantly.

And with a perfectly straight face. It said “Christmas 2,” so either I moved two tubs named “Christmas 2” over from the duplex, or I just assumed that the box which was neither “Christmas 1” nor “Christmas 3,” and which contained a plethora of Christmas goodies, was “Christmas 2.”

At any rate, when I popped off the lid, what to my wondering eyes should appear but the bowl to my Kitchenaid mixer, my red enameled paper towel holder (now, sadly, superfluous), a pot lid organizing rack (the kind you attach to a wall or the inside of a cupboard door), a mostly empty plastic container with whole wheat flour, which has almost certainly become rancid in the interim and will be transferred to the trash forthwith.

That, of course, was last weekend. Since then, there have been adventures. I hung the draperies in the dining room window. I had my presidency meeting. We went to tithing settlement. I have been the queen of Looking Busy at work most of the week, and then yesterday, after an overnight upgrade to our system, suddenly it took two to five minutes to save a document. Everything was slow, from Outlook to Word to our document creation system to our calendaring system. I was the only one, I think, not muttering childbirth words, because I had my knitting: rename a document, knit half a dozen stitches while I waited, put down the knitting, save the document into our calendaring system, knit a few more stitches, rinse and repeat. It took me over an hour to deal with a dozen pieces of mail. Sure hope the techies have fixed the problem by the time I get to my desk today, or it’s gonna be a long one.

After work I scooted over to Fort Worth to pick up my friend Alison, who is in town visiting the in-laws. We went to the public library, where I (belatedly) turned in my old library card. No fines, huzzah! From there past the duplex, and then to MadTosh Crafts, that wonderful yarn shop and fabric store that opened up in the old paint store a few blocks from the duplex.

My friend Angeluna was there. I introduced them. Alison shopped happily, while I caught up with Angeluna. She lost a son to cancer recently, and she reads the blog, so she knows what’s going on in my world. More to the point, she knows what’s going on in my world. And she gave me some excellent advice, which I am putting on my honey-do list for myself.

She also pointed out Amy, who is Madeleine Tosh. I was in the mood to be a little silly, so I walked over to Amy and asked her to please extend her arm, which she did. I respectfully reached out and touched her sleeve, then grinned and told her I was going to blog that I had touched the sleeve of Madeleine Tosh! And probably put it on Facebook as well. After we both stopped laughing, I told her how much I enjoyed her color sense, and her shop, and that I would definitely be coming back as soon as Beloved’s sweater is finished.

Which it is closer to being. I am now a little over twelve inches up the side and am about ready to splice on ball number six, out of the ten I originally purchased. I think I will have at least one full ball leftover when I’m done. Maybe two.

I paid two bills this morning, and now it is time to put on my shoes and grab my lunch and ease on down, ease on down the road. Next up? I have a bone to pick with James Taylor, a/k/a Sweet Baby James.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Squirrel jerky?

We got elfed last night. Sometime after I got home from the presidency meeting and before I tried to let the cat out at 3:00a.m. (Cat was having none of it.)

Inside the bag was a packet labeled “squirrel jerky” which said, “Greetings [Beloved]! Here’s a small token of my esteem. Get feeling better, I miss our late night fun and games. Merry Christmas to all! Sincerely, the Squirrel.” An ornament was also attached: a simple red wooden star that said “Believe.”

Those of you who are FB friends to both of us, will remember the go-round Beloved had with one or more of the neighborhood squirrels over the matter of peaches and pecans. Beloved was breathing out threats of squirrel tacos.

Oh dear. I just remembered that we had tacos for dinner last night. Evidently, he missed one?

In more serious news, Mel’s dad had a stroke in the wee hours yesterday and is in the hospital. Last we heard, paralysis had come and gone and come again, but he is being well cared for. Double whammy for those kids, as Mel and Squishy have been most solicitous about Beloved as he fights cancer.

Beloved met with the liver specialist yesterday. I’ll adapt from his update to our kids: The meeting was to determine the viability of inserting a stent in the liver to mitigate the rising bilirubin levels. Based on the CT scans, MRI’s, and sonogram, doing the stent at this time is not viable. The bile duct is the right size and is not obstructed. The problem is basically an inflamed and enlarged liver due to the cancer.

Beloved has an appointment next Tuesday with another doctor to explore the possibility of inserting glass beads into the tumors in the liver, which basically shuts off their blood supply and eventually kills them. The doctor he met with yesterday is aware of the appointment next week and also felt that for now that was the best way to go. The really neat thing is that we have our local oncologist and the liver specialist and the glass bead guy that Beloved sees next week, all working as a team on his behalf.

He also told our kids, “The new chemo drug they put me on before Thanksgiving was creating some nasty side effects and I was taken off of it last Friday - some of the side effects - left side of face went numb, including taste buds on left side of tongue, internal bleeding (under control now), double vision in right eye, and assorted other fun stuff...” The internal bleeding was news to me. He thought he’d told me. I ahemed at him. Vociferously.

I’ll close with happier news. The sweater body is humming along. It is now a hair over 11” in length. The side seam decreases are subtle, nearly invisible, but effective. I think two more decreases will do it.

Time for me to put the bag of jerky in his chair for when he wakes up. And to grab another ball of yarn for the knitting bag. And to slip out of the house a little early for a swing past the grocery store. I blew through a 20oz bottle of Cherry Coke yesterday in a little over an hour yesterday (I fought sleep all day.) A two liter bottle should last me the rest of the week. I also need to print off part of a spreadsheet, as we have tithing settlement tonight. But mostly, I hope, tonight will be all about the knitting.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

So, how tired was I yesterday morning?

As I prepared to step out of the elevator in my office building, I realized that my shirt was all bunched up at the neck. I pulled it away from my body, glanced down, and saw the printed, tag-less label. At which point I also noticed that the back of my neck was a little chilly. I had put my shirt on backward. And it was a V-neck.

This is what I get for dressing in the dark. I had been feeling so good about grabbing the purple shirt and the purple earrings and the black socks (tangentially: why have five of my new brown socks, which I wear with the orange shirts, gone missing?) and the purple flowered headband, and both pairs of clogs to bring to work so I could wear them on alternate days. All of this using only the light from the hall bathroom, as Beloved had had a rougher night than usual, and I wanted him to get every scrap of sleep possible before he had to leave for a sonogram.

Thankfully, I learned decades ago that one does not perish from embarrassment. I nipped into the ladies’ room and gave my shirt a 180. And that was the worst thing that happened all day.

After work, I took our duplicate DVD’s to Entertainmart (and their rejects to Half Price Books), bringing home a whopping $16.75. Sometimes virtue really is rewarded!

Squishy came over and mowed the back yard and alley, then ripped up the last of the tomatoes and peppers and hauled them to the curb for us. Beloved schlepped miscellaneous electronics and a box of his mother’s stuff out to the truck. I don’t care if it didn’t make it to the thrift store and internet provider; I just wanted it out of the house. I came home to a pristine coffee table. If you told me fifteen years ago, when I was up to my ears in the children and their father, that I would someday wax rhapsodic over a clean coffee table, I’d have questioned your sanity (mine was seriously in question at that point).

Tonight I have presidency meeting, and another of the sons is coming over to help with Christmas lights. Turns out that I married a man who, until his wife passed away three years ago, was legendary for hanging 8000+ lights on the house and yard. (Kids: think of Max over by the old meetinghouse in Arlington.) As we were delivering the hope chest on Sunday night, he directed my attention to a blinged-out domicile not far from ours and said with some pride that our house used to look like that, maybe more so.

Oy to the veh!

Beloved had asked me to check to see whether the eye surgery clinic his oncologist and PCP and eye doctor want him to use for his chemo-induced cataracts (sigh), is one of our providers. All three of the doctors are in the system. This is a firm that fixes other providers’ LASIK surgeries that go wrong.

Finally! Thankfully! I have work, real work, to do, just in time to go eat my lunch. I sent out a will type for food email earlier this morning, with no responses.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Yesterday was amazing. And long.

I was up at dark-thirty, as usual, and got in some prime knitting time before I could start running errands. I went to the home center and came back with a replacement mirror for the one in the guest bathroom which cracked when we installed it. Also shower curtain hooks, to hang the curtain I found when I was helping to look for the punchbowl.

Next a few paint chips to coordinate with the draperies that are going up in the dining room, even though repainting the dining room is fairly low on my list. I figured it was easier (or maybe just less annoying) to take a drapery panel to the home center before hanging the drapery panels in the window, than to pull one off the rod and make that run later on. And a shorter tension rod to hang panels in the back doorway to the dining room. That little task is finished, and it looks pretty terrific, even though one panel is pulled up and flopping across the end of the pew, and the other is skewed behind the quilt rack that Beloved found a few months ago and brought home so we can finish it and give it to one of our unsuspecting children, or maybe as a wedding gift? (It’s a very nice quilt rack, and I’m glad he rescued it; I’m just tired of having it in our dining room, and there’s no place else to keep it, for now. I have the tension rod set to the correct length (I think) for the draperies that will go in the dining room window, but I haven’t taken the step-stool back there to get the existing curtains down so I can replace them. Chiefly because my large suitcase is taking up that bit of floor space, and I’m not sure where it should go in the short run so I can finish this project. I will probably tackle that after church today.

I brought that stuff home, hung the shower curtain liner and pronounced it GOOD, in the Biblical sense. Then I ran out again for more errands. Got Younger Twin’s wife’s birthday gift, went to the craft store and picked up stuff to wrap Christmas packages and to get a head start on making the greeting cards we will need next year. Found a gift for BittyBubba. Discussed possible gifts for Willow, Lark, and BittyBit with Firstborn and Secondborn. Brought everything home and dropped my cell phone on the front step as I was juggling things to get the door unlocked. Phone bounced out of its protective case and lay there, dead as the proverbial dodo, at my feet.

Came in, wrapped a couple of presents, and got ready for the baby shower. Went to the baby shower. Best part of it, for me, was when I handed her a package containing two receiving blankets made by Beloved’s late wife and told her who they were from. Verklempt doesn’t half begin to describe it. Food was excellent, half of it Anglo classics, and the other half Filipino delicacies. May I just state for the record that I am a big fan of lumpia (pronounced LOOM-pee-ah)?

Came home and started dragging Rubbermaid storage tubs out of my studio and the dining room closet. Went through two of the shorter ones (“Christmas 2” and “Christmas 3”) and a taller one (“Christmas 1”), producing a full bag of garbage, a day’s worth of shredding as far as my shredder is concerned, a sheaf of stuff that went back into my studio in the scrapbooking area, and a raft of metal gift boxes. I also found the Chris LeDoux CD which has been missing for six or seven years.

We missed the stake Christmas concert last night; Beloved was too tired to even think of leaving the house. I nipped out to the phone store, prepared to bite the bullet in terms of getting a new phone, but the nice young man in the store took the battery out and put it back, and the phone fired right up. What a blessing!

I did take a good look at the Galaxy Note, and I think I will get one when my contract expires in April.  I qualify for one now, but I want to see if I can get a better deal at the provider who covers our internet, TV, and landline. My company has a discount with that company, as well, but I don’t know if the discount would apply to the entire bundle or just to the phone portion. Will check that out in the very near future.

I did get in some more knitting before bedtime, wrapped another box or two, and made a small stack of things to show Beloved when he is officially awake later today.

Almost forgot to mention that our gift to the baby was a fishing pole of his very own.

After church I will tackle more storage bins. Right now Beloved has three empties that can go out to the garage to hold his stuff, and when they do, I can use my company Christmas gift to label the contents. This is the part where I get ready for church. I wonder if I have two knee highs the same color?