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!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Try to be a good wife, and what do you get?

Historically, the answer would be “pregnant,” but in this case the answer would be “chiggers.” Sunday night Beloved asked me to help him gather almost the last of the tomatoes. I love Beloved more than I love air conditioning, so I went out into the garden, amongst the basil which threatens to take over the backyard, and feathery weeds up to my knees. I came in and washed off my legs, but apparently I missed somebody, because yesterday afternoon I started itching in the usual-suspect places and sure enough, Ms. Ravelled has cooties. I read online that Cool Mint Listerine does a number on chiggers, so last night he swabbed me down with mouthwash. [Yeah, makes me giggle a little, too.] And this morning I had him dab the bits I can’t see/reach with hydrocortisone cream.

Says he, “Too bad you have to go to work.”

Says I, “Too bad you’re wearing that chemo pump.”

In other news, I got my mammo-Gram (teehee!) this afternoon, and civic duty won out over family fun and Knit Night. I did not go hang out at Secondborn’s until time to knit with my friends. Instead I came home and voted in the runoff election. In the process, I figured out where downtown Garland is (the runoff is being held at City Hall, rather than the elementary school where I voted in the primary and will vote in the general election this fall) relative to our house and relative to the Italian restaurant where we ate with the Empty Nesters (not the same place where we got that fantabulous pizza last Saturday night).

There really is a downtown Garland. They have a proper City Hall, a police station, an arts center (!) and something called Garland Women’s Activities, which apparently is a private club? Maybe it’s where Junior League members go when they age out of the organization? Or maybe it’s a place to go when the monthly comes, and gorgeous but mute men serve dark chocolate and peeled grapes and Midol with no expectation of reward. Or maybe it’s a hangout for the League of Women Voters? I asked Beloved, but he says they’ve never invited him. “That’s discrimination,” says he.

Everything is out of the storage unit. He and his sons are all properly sweaty and exhausted. We have a new file cabinet (which is going right back out tomorrow) and a new bookcase, and maybe a new door for the back of the house.

I have wiped out the last of the goat’s milk and the low sodium Frito’s and am heading out to the living room to watch the Olympics and nosh on leftovers and knit swatches for the next project, which is the KnitPicks Classic Lines sweater, two strands of Gloss Lace held as one, and a strand of handpainted Shadow tossed in every sixth round. The teeninetsy four-inch DPs I bought last year are really coming in handy for the circular gauge swatch. I will have to slice and “swim” my swatch(es), as silk and silk-blend yarns grow when washed, and I will need to allow for that when I cast on for the actual sweater. This will be my first steeked project.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Deja move.

Today’s blog post is brought to you by the letter D, for deja move, and also for disheartening. The good news is that very little remains to be taken out of Beloved’s mother’s storage unit. The bad news is that the vast majority of its former contents are boxed up in our living room and dining room. Most of those boxes have other people’s names on them; i.e., they have been sorted through and prepared for shipping to Fern Parts. Some still remain to be dealt with. But for the moment, our living room and dining room look as if there has been a time-warp back to late January.

I neglected to tell you that Beloved and his brother have fixed the commode in the guest bathroom, so we will not (yet) need to shell out $200 for one of those spiffy new dual-flush commodes. I am going to see if there is a peel-and-stick tile I like as much as the spendier flooring options that I’ve seen, and we will repaint the cabinet beneath the sink, and we will be done in there until it’s time to put in a new sink and faucet, et al. They fixed the problem for less than $20. I will start hanging pictures in there, forthwith. Or possibly fifthwith. (Thank you, Victor Borge.)

And the next major project will be a closet of my own. I am hoping to start on that next month. We will need a little (OK, a lot) more room in the dining room before that can happen, so that all the stuff currently stacked in the dining room closet can come out while we seal up that entrance and turn two small crowded closets into a single, spacious one. I think we would both be happier if there were no boxes of his mom’s stuff to get tangled up in ours.

Beloved got his sleep last night in 45 minute increments and was still wiped out when the alarm clock went off this morning. I suggested that he might want to just stay home and sleep, if he could. Which he did. I was a good little Do-Bee and went on to church. The talks were good (I took notes); my students and I all survived Primary (loved that Sharing Time was 100% music time today); came home with a large baggie full of ghost pepper cheese from one of his friends at church. I lost too many brain cells in Primary to be able to tell Beloved from whom.

And now we are heading out to bat cleanup on our home teaching and visiting teaching for July, after which I most devoutly hope there will be an obscenely long nap for Ms. Ravelled.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

And the truth shall make you broke.

Yesterday did not go as planned. This is not necessarily a bad thing.

Beloved and I were bickering gently and lovingly about the word “late” as in “You’re going to be late for your appointment.” His sister and brother were already at the house, preparing for a long day of packing and sorting. I had an 8:15 appointment with my allergist (love her!) and needed to be there fifteen minutes early. I was not leaving as soon as Beloved thought I should. His siblings are delightful, and I was enjoying the visit. Beloved’s idea of on time is half an hour early. My idea of on time is (usually) skidding in at the last possible second, breathless but still technically on time.

I made it to the doctor’s office with a minute to spare. I made sure to tell Beloved about that as we were drifting off to sleep.

My allergist is a good ‘splainer, Lucy. She told me what the testing could and could not establish or confirm. The most important being that it is easy to find and treat allergies for which there is an IGE presence or reaction. I am guessing that IGE is ImmunoGlobulin[E-something]. That list is shorter than I’d thought, with a few surprises: no allergy to shrimp, nor to penicillin. ‘Tis a puzzlement. To be cautious, we did a penicillin challenge and a blood test for shrimp. I aced the first, and we will get the results on the second in about a week. We will be getting one of those allergen barriers for the mattress and pillows (dust mites; who knew?). I also learned that the casein in cow’s milk is identical to that in goat’s milk, sheep’s milk, and everything but mares milk. There is a distinct dearth of lactating mares, chez nous.

Now all this does not mean that I do not have sensitivities to all the things that the alternative practitioner tested me for, last September. It does mean that I now have a prescription for a nasal steroid spray that I am to start taking about a month before my seasonal allergies (cough: ragweed) and am to get an industrial size bottle of Zyrtec next time we are at Costco. And about $500 more in debt for my half of the testing yesterday, which I will start paying off, next payday.

I did not make it to my mammogram yesterday afternoon. We got stuck in traffic in Dallas, so through the wonders of cell phone technology, I rescheduled en route. This left us with five hours until the Rangers game, and Beloved was looking pretty weary, and the idea of sitting in the sun was not particularly appealing to me, so we blew off the game and dropped our tickets at the office for one of my co-workers to use. Then we came home and went out for pizza with Beloved’s brother and sister. No reaction to the salad, the salad dressing, or the slab and a half of pizza I inhaled. We came home, worked some more on their mother’s stuff, and called it a night around 10:00. I woke up several times, but nothing like it has been in recent weeks, and I got somewhere around six or seven hours of sleep. My ankles are suspiciously quiet this morning, not that I am complaining.

The sibs will be back for breakfast shortly. Beloved is making biscuits and gravy. With cow’s milk. I will wash mine down with a slug of goat milk and a tall glass of juice, and then it’s off to Secondborn’s for BittyBubba’s fifth birthday party while Beloved and sibs tackle more paperwork and memories and stuff.

I regret the necessity for their visit (I had already fallen in love with their mother, easy peasy), but I so enjoy having them here in our home and doing what small things I can do to help.

In knitting news, the pillow back has just a couple of repeats left, and the garter stitch border, and then the sewing-up. I most devoutly hope I will finish that today.

And in dolly news, Hope is here; she is every bit as enchantingly lovely as the picture on the website. I found Temperance’s black turtleneck and wrangled that on over Hope’s fancier hands (which are not held on with magnets like Chutzpah’s) and the black bloomers I got earlier this year cover her nether bits, so she is modest with a side order of Goth. Freud would probably have a field day with that. Her hair is a dark blonde, and very very long, as in longer than Crystal Gayle long. Her wig is an inch or so longer than she is tall, but it’s wavy, so she just manages not to step on it. Right now she is in a basket with Faith, Charity, Temperance, and Chutzpah. Once we get all the boxes from the storage unit emptied out (it looks crazier than when I moved in with all my stuff), then I can think about having my doll-inclined kids over for a play date.

This is the part where I put on what I’m wearing to the party and go out and flirt with the cook.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

It’s my Friday (and I’ll cry if I want to).

Thankfully, I don’t want to. Decent night’s sleep last night, and another repeat finished on the pillow back since I woke up this morning. A condolence card written. A modicum of pondering. A little bookkeeping. Beloved is snoozing on the bed behind me, and it seems a shame to wake him up for breakfast.

This is my long day, but no chemo for Beloved, so no drive-by drop-off. It’s just work, and service in the temple tonight, and then home. I’m off tomorrow, but I’m scheduled out the wazoo: allergy testing in the morning, the annual girl-mashing in the afternoon [a/k/a mammogram], and baseball in the evening. With a side order of relatives: three-fourths of his siblings arrive tonight to begin inventorying their mom’s stuff in the storage unit and various of our homes. Our dining room will be Command Central for that. Boxes out of the storage unit, over here, inventoried, repacked into keep/sell/whatever, and back into storage. The family’s goal is to empty the storage unit before the end of this month.

I am finally getting useful information on the track/ship website for my doll. She should be here tomorrow!

The bathroom is looking amazing. We are nearly done with the painting. We have had an interesting discussion on crown molding. We want to find some that is simple, modest, and does not make the baseboards look boring or tacky. (Ours is a tract home from a quintessentially quirky home builder. I find it charming. Over the course of the next several years, as we repaint and do minor upgrades, I want to keep it simple, tasteful, and aesthetically consistent. This, I most devoutly hope, is our age-in-place home.) We are still having discussions and not arguments.

I like this.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

♫ Mutual Admiration Society ♪

Old song from the 50s. I grew up on Teresa Brewer. Let’s see if I can make this link work.



In other happy news, my doll ships out from Denver today. Doll + wig + eyes + faceup, and while I thought I had ordered an outfit for her, I did not, so she will have to borrow from her siblings until I can get something made. Shipping from Denver Doll Emporium is quick like a bunny, so she should be here by the end of the week. I was afraid I would have to write DDE and ask them to ship her to the office. I didn’t want her to get here on a day when neither of us is likely to be home much, and have her damaged by the Texas heat.

In other, other happy news, I am two-thirds done with the second back piece for the pillow. And now I am on a mission to finish it before Hope arrives.

Beloved caught most of the spots I missed when I was touching up the paint in the bathroom. And I got most of the blue painter’s tape down off the walls and ceiling. Along with a bit of wallboard in one corner. He and I had discussed getting some of that featherweight plastic crown molding in a very simple style and putting it up in the bathroom. Looks as if I have officially made it a necessity.

If all goes well, tonight we can put up the shower rod and the curtain(s). I know where the soft yellow plastic liner is (on top of something in the dining room; where would it be in your house?) but not the gorgeous cloth one we got at Pottery Barn that got this whole redecorating ball rolling. The yellow one will do for now and will be the perfect liner when we find the other one.

As Beloved says, it’s in the house.

And I am [ ] this far from being able to start hanging artwork in the bathroom. Jazzed? That would be me. Happy Wednesday, everybody. I’m heading out to the kitchen for some of Beloved’s delicious banana bread, one loaf of which will might be going to work with me.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Good weekend.

Enough naps, enough food, enough quiet time for thinking, and enough time with friends and family. Truly does not get much better than this. Found the last pieces of paper I need in order to do my name change at PayPal. I will fax that all off tomorrow. Nice stack of thank you notes going out, and letters to a couple of would-be creditors as well. In knitting news, I finally reached the halfway point on the second back piece for the second pillow cover. The Genealogy Fairy, bless his heart, has left me alone this weekend, although I can feel his influence lurking just around the corner. I want to finish this pillow cover. I want to shorten the first one. And then I want to knit something not-grey-alpaca-blend-tweed for the next month or so. The house is still tidy after the cleanup we did yesterday before our dinner guests arrived. I am going to enjoy it for however long it lasts, knowing that Beloved and I have both mastered the art of the pile, although we both desire to be messies-in-remission. I chuckle at the stuff that gets not quite thrown away when one or the other of us is working on a project. Bread twistie ties (we both loathe them), yarn labels that leap aside as they flutter down, down, down toward the wastebasket. I love how I feel when later arrives and I pick up a small handful of whatever and dispose of it properly. No further sightings of wolf spiders, jumping or otherwise. Lentil soup for dinner tonight. Always better when reheated; tonight was no exception. When we had the first of it a couple of nights ago, I told Beloved that while it was excellent I would not sell my birthright for it. At which point he snorted, I suggested something else, and we both succumbed to silent, helpless laughter. I love being married to this man.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Noodling with numbers

I’ve spent a good part of the morning working on the spreadsheet. There were two credit card statements that I thought I had shredded in error. I found them in the stack of to-be-shredded stuff and have entered those numbers on the spreadsheet. Procrastination, every once in awhile, turns out to be a good thing.

I also found the photocopy of my driver’s license, created for when I ordered my new passport, or maybe my new Social Security card. I need it, and a copy of the marriage license, to change my name on PayPal so I can retrieve my balance. So that will get faxed on Monday.

I am feeling better and better about our finances. I haven’t run the numbers for the end of the month, as payday is next Friday, and I don’t want to see what next month’s statement is like after charging two plane tickets, our lodging, and a rental car for the upcoming memorial service, but overall we are moving in the right direction.

The shredding is now done, and the last shredder lubricant sheet used up. Breakfast has come and gone, and we are about ready to go grocery shopping. Friends are coming to dinner (they’re bringing the steaks!), and when I come back I will be wielding the Swiffer and the vacuum. You should probably alert the media, but at least you may rest assured that while my hands are cleaning, my brain will be knitting.

Beloved gets the chemo pump off in a couple of hours. No chills or fever last night, even though he got zero sleep the night before. We are so thankful.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Name of that truck that hit me?

Last night I got to serve as a temple patron on my shift. I was proxy for a woman who died the same year as my mysterious great-grandmother, and whose surname matched that in one of Beloved’s lines. So when I got home, I looked her up on NewFamilySearch. They share common ancestors, seven generations back on her side and seven or eight on his. And one of the girls in my Primary class has that same surname. Beloved will talk with her dad one of these days and see if they can find a connection.

I had a little excitement here at the desk last night while I was typing. A wolf spider, about three inches long from front talons to back, popped up. I am not ordinarily a scream-for-the-spouse type, having lived alone for many years. But I hollered last night, mostly because I was startled. You have never seen a man with a chemo pump move so fast. He hit it with the bug spray first, then whacked it with the newspaper, and then there was a brief and unceremonious burial at sea.

I know that wolf spiders are good guys. I also know that they jump. This one had been dancing a little polka on the corner of the desk, but no more.

Not a whole lot of knitting this week. I keep getting distracted by dead people. I have spent more time working on family history (mine and his) this week than I have in years. I suspect a few of my ancestors are turning cartwheels, over on the other side. As a dear friend from my Hill Country days used to say, dead people are so much easier to get along with.

Did I mention that Beloved is a lineal descendant of Pocahontas? Eleven generations back.

Beloved’s chemo went well yesterday. He spent the afternoon dozing in his chair and communing with John Wayne. He slept not a wink last night.  This happened in June, the weekend of the family reunion, also the weekend of the trip to ER because he developed chills and fever. We are hoping for no repeat of that tonight. We discussed (not a euphemism for had an argument about) what to do next time, and we think that maybe if he just comes home and goes right to bed and sleeps however long is necessary, rather than dozing with the TV on, that might solve the problem. Or it might be backlash from all the Benadryl they give him to forestall other side effects. He was mighty sniffly this morning. Might be rebound. But he is off to serve in the temple, because that’s the kind of guy he is.

I didn’t sleep well, either, and I do not have the luxury of taking the day off. I don’t know if I am now sufficiently married at six months that we truly are becoming one-flesh, so that if he doesn’t sleep I don’t either, or if it is something else, but I woke up fifty bajillion times, CPAP notwithstanding, and I feel as if I had been dragged through a knothole sideways. Good news is that I have finally finished all of my antibiotics so in that sense am starting to feel like me again.

It’s been a busy, productive week at work. I am so glad that the other secretary is coming back from vacation on Tuesday because I was about this far from childbirth words while putting out the day’s mail and her attorney emailed me that we needed to get an answer out on a case before quitting time. Thankfully, she had already prepped it, and I went through their email interchange before tweaking it, so all I really had to do was create the transmittal letter and get him to sign off. Sheesh!

I only have one case left to open, and it’s his, and then whatever new stuff he throws at me. My attorney has been wonderfully understanding all week, and we’ll send out the answer on our third case that’s due Monday (making four in total that I will have opened this week), because I prepared that on Wednesday because we work seamlessly together, and ahead of our calendar.

If I leave in ten minutes, I can stop at CVS for another bag of those mythological raspberry dark chocolate M&M’s. You can just about bet the rent that this is going to be a Cherry Coke day.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

1302

Really. I was noodling around on newfamilysearch.org last night, adding some of Beloved’s people into my tree (connecting the dots as it were), when on a whim I clicked on one of my own names. And went back. And back. And back, through English names and anglifications of Germanic names, into Austria before I stopped paying attention to where and started paying attention to when.

A few years ago I found the connection between the earliest paternal-name ancestor whose name we had, and his father, and I was pretty excited to find myself back in the 1700’s. But holy cow! Twenty generations, and I’m a lot more German than I thought, with one ancestor who was born in Holland, although his father was born in Austria to German parents, and his son was born in Bavaria. Wonder what took my family to Holland in the mid 1500’s?

The one I cannot seem to find is a great-grandfather who was born in 1810. [You read that right. I am the caboose of a caboose of a caboose.] His wife was born in 1820. Family lore says in Bavaria. Family lore also says that her family was so poor that they couldn’t afford soap, so they beat their clothing clean in the waters of the Rhine. One problem with that: I can’t find any place where the Rhine flows through Bavaria, unless either the river or the principality(?) was a whole lot larger at some point.

I did find a man with his given name and no surname, married to a woman with her given name and no surname, in Germany, but no dates, no parents, no children. It was entered into Family Search through name extraction, and I will have to go to the stake family history center to make heads or tails of that information. I am pretty sure, from the spelling of that line, that it was anglicized when they came to America, because I know just enough German to be dangerous, and to recognize that surname as not-German.

This evening I went back on another line to 1278, but I don’t feel like changing the title of this post. I come from a long line of long-lived, exceedingly fertile people. That great-grandmother had her first child at 35 and her last, my grandmother, at 43. I wonder what her love story was with my great-grandfather. He died fighting a prairie fire at the age of 58. My great-grandmother lived until Dad was a little over a year old. I wonder if she ever got to hold him?

I found a couple of ministers tonight. And a doctor. And an earl, unless that ancestor’s parents thought it would be a really cool given name. The children’s father’s father’s middle name was Lord; when we sent out the wedding announcements for the marriage-that-was, a social climbing partner at the accounting firm where I worked thought I was marrying into the British peerage.

Monday, July 16, 2012

I am not my stuff.

As we speak, the rocking chair I watched my father build, back when I was sixteen, after he traced it off one belonging to Mom’s best friend, is out on the curb. It has gradually come apart, growing a little more jumbled with each successive move, but I have saved (most of) the bits, all but the part I gave to a friend to create a new [don’t know the technical name for it, but it connects the legs]. I keep thinking I will get it fixed. Other things intervene. And I am finally ready to let it go.

Dad has been gone twenty years now. I cannot type that without tearing up. We have done his temple work. Throwing out a chair made by my quiet, dutiful father is not the same thing as throwing out the memories. He was a good, good man; like me, an interesting mixture of reserve and warmth.

Mom’s best friend was married to Dad’s best friend, a wonderfully convenient truth. We would get together once a year or so. For most of my youth, they lived on or near the Oregon coast. Dad and Bus were Army buddies, their friendship forged in the horse cavalry in Wyoming in the 1930’s, or possibly earlier. And when they got together, the whiskey and the stories would flow.

One visit, Dad took a squint at Dot’s rocker and decided to make a copy. He laid it gently on its side, on top of a sheet of newspaper, and traced around it. Sides, back, seat, rockers. It was a Victorian folding rocker that had crossed the plains with one of Dot’s ancestors.

Mine was the first one he made. He used a fruitwood stain that was a little redder than Mom preferred, so he made her another, one for Dot, one for Mom’s sister, one for mine, one for Gram, each upholstered in a fabric to suit the taste of the recipient. Mine, naturally, had burgundy velveteen.

I have lugged this chair around for forty years. I have long since passed the point where I could sit in it. The people who pick it up from the curb tomorrow will have no idea what it symbolizes, the love that went into its making, my appreciation for Dad’s craftsmanship, my frustration with the children’s father for his lack of a fix-it gene, all the laughter and tears it has witnessed in four decades.

When I come home tomorrow, the chair will be gone, and I will be a little sad until the next good thing happens. Which it will. It always does.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Because this happened at our house.

Movie Mom shared this link. Those parents handled it much better than I did.

My husband is so cool. ♥ I taught the Captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty lesson today. Beloved reached into a drawer and pulled out a Title of Liberty on an old pillowcase, ready to attach to his walking stick. The text on the flag reads: In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children.

I only had one student for most of the class. I shared with him how the Nephites likened the Old Testament and the record of the Jaredites to their own situation, just as modern prophets have counseled us to liken the scriptures to ourselves. I told him how the Nephites at that time were not fighting for power, but to protect their homes and families, and how Heaven blessed them to know when to fight and when to flee. Near the end of the lesson, another student who had overslept came into class. We caught her up. I sent the extra handouts home with her, as it is her turn to present the lesson in Family Home Evening tomorrow, and there were just enough handouts that everyone still living at home could get one.

And then I came home, ate a PBJ, and died for about four hours. Seriously. Beloved came in about 5:00 to make sure I was still among the living. I had leftover spaghetti for dinner. He had some of his nuclear leftover Spanish rice. The TV was on to some show about how pastrami, bologna, etc., is made. I nuked my dinner about the time they started talking about head cheese, and I ate in my studio with the door closed. I told him to let me know when they stopped talking about gross stuff.

We watched the entire Shaun the Sheep video that I won from Movie Mom. Sweet, funny, and in this woman’s opinion, entirely suitable for the Sabbath. He wanted to save Mask of Zorro for tomorrow night and is watching something else on the History Channel. I thought meh and came in here. And now I will play a few rounds of Mahjongg Dimensions (or as I call it, Dementia) before heading back to the studio for another round of puttering. I may get the last of the touch-up painting done in the bathroom while he is asleep, because a four hour nap will make sleep well-nigh impossible for quite awhile.

Antibiotics seem to have kicked in with no side effects. Nothing hurts for the moment. And I have less than a dozen rows to go before the first back panel is done. Easy peasy.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Plan R

Happy birthday, Middlest!

In other news, I am reasonably close to finishing the first section of the pillow back tonight. If not tonight, then tomorrow after church. More stuff on the wall in my studio, less stuff on the table. I am this far from being able to set up my sewing machine and do a little mending.

Had a two-hour nap over the lunch hour. Beloved is out in the kitchen, turning our incredible bounty into tomato paste.

I watched the last little dab of Tomb Raider on TV. Nice touch that her father played her father, but it was weird hearing him with an English accent. Part of another movie about assassins, at which point I asked Beloved,“Do you think this movie was rated R when it was released?” Probably. “Do you think we should be watching it?” Probably not. *Click.*

Wives. Spoiling fun for our husbands since the Garden of Eden.

I have my referral to the allergist. I will call her on Monday. We also have the date confirmed for the memorial service for Beloved’s mother. I will call our corporate travel department and have them find us an inexpensive (or relatively so) flight. Beloved was wrangling with multiple website when I remembered, “Hey, one of the perks of my job is access to free personal trip planning.”

We are editing our vacation plans for this fall. The trip to see my sister, his brother, old friends from his ward in Oregon, et al, is being pushed back to next year. We cannot afford two trips in rapid succession, and so we have decided upon a shorter staycation, with a side trip to Galveston if/when he gets accepted into the program at MD Anderson. Still have not heard back, but I am telling myself  “no news is good news.”

In the dolly irony department, when I was online last night to get a gift card for Middlest, I noticed that they had the doll sculpt I ordered in stock, but in a different skin tone. Patience, Ms. Ravelled, patience. [That should probably be the next virtue I acquire in doll form, but I am still leaning toward Joy.]

The knitting is calling my name. I’m outta here!

Friday, July 13, 2012

May cause ~~ what???

Another trip to the doctor yesterday, and another prescription. [So this is what old age feels like!] Thankfully, we had the money for both. And today is payday. All the bills but one are checked off the list, and that last will bite the dust next week.

Yesterday was chiefly an exercise in frustration: 15 minutes late to work, PT to cover that; email from the office manager because my email telling her I was there, arrived later than she would have liked; more PT because my doctor could get me in to check the latest symptoms; Rx for that plus specific instructions on what and what not to do for the next week; potential side effects that are potentially worse than the problem for which I am taking the Rx; and a general wish to curl up in a corner somewhere and snivel.

On the other hand, while at the pharmacy I scored a bag of the elusive, mythological Raspberry Dark Chocolate M&Ms, most of which are awaiting my return to my cubicle at work. And I had a sublime experience while serving in the temple last night, one of those confirmations that I was exactly where I needed to be, doing exactly what I needed to be doing in the service of Heaven. By the time Thursday night rolls around, even in a perfectly ordinary week, I am second-guessing whether I should request a sabbatical. And time at the doctor and pharmacy equals more time for knitting.

Beloved is off for his own stint of service at the temple. Time for me to put away the checkbooks, inhale some breakfast, and get ready for work. No obligations this evening. My vote is for turning off the ringers and chilling with Beloved.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

No news.

Other than that Denver Doll is currently receiving the stock they ordered two weeks ahead of mine, which suggests to me that I will be entirely finished with the pillow project by the time Hope gets here.

I updated our medical expenses into the hydra of a spreadsheet last night. My HMO has shelled out over $225K on our behalf this year. A minuscule amount of that is for me. If you are at an age where you might want to consider getting a colonoscopy, consider this a thumb on the scale pushing down heavily on the side of “yes”.

I got my nails done last night. I continue to like that salon.

The first back section on this second pillow is nearly two-thirds done. That is probably enough math for one blog post, don’t you think?

I took a loaf of the zucchini bread to work yesterday. It was gone well before noon.

My co-workers gave us a lovely card and a huge plant that is taking up nearly half (oh dear, more math! sorry, math-phobes!) of our dining room table. Sometimes people are just so good, and so kind, that it makes you want to cry.

Lunch is packed and by the door. Ditto my temple bag and purse. This is the part where I do my impression of a (mute) Taz and start/finish getting ready for work then scoot on out the door. Second day in a row when I would rather just sit here and eat banana bread all day. Temple tonight. Life is good.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Not sure when I woke up.

Beloved was up before the chickens, getting dressed to go fishing. I have been paying bills and working on our finances for about an hour and a half. His organizational skills and mine have begun to mesh; therein lies peace and happiness and (eventually) improved cash flow.

We had yummy banana bread for dessert last night. He made zucchini bread, too, and I am about to head out to the kitchen for a slice. I am taking leftover fajita stuff for lunch.

We should hear today if the tentative date for the memorial service is a go. And if I remember correctly, this is also the date we will hear from MD Anderson about the clinical trial.

Not much happening, chez Ravelled, which is a merciful change from the past three weeks. I came home last night, ate dinner, loaded the dishwasher, did one quick errand, and came back to my knitting and Beloved. Not necessarily in that order. Tonight I will get a manicure and then come home. I am fixin’ to pop a nail, so this has been put off long enough.

I managed to stay reasonably productive yesterday and have one small self-appointed task to finish this morning, and then a project for a friend that, if I am lucky, will fill up the rest of the day. I sent out a “will type for food” message to the other legal secretaries on Monday, and thus far they have had little to pass on to me. Either their desks are uncharacteristically calm, or they are so busy they can’t perform triage.

I am now going to putter in my studio for five or ten minutes and then eat breakfast. The only sounds I can hear are the ticking of the clock in front of me, the whir of the air conditioner, bits of birdsong outside the window, and the rumblies in my tumblies.

Life is blessedly calm at the moment, and I am ever so thankful.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Update (progress?)

The meds are working, on my foot.

Dinner tonight with the Empty Nesters was fun, and tasty. We went out for barbecue, and I had chopped beef and butter and chives on a baked potato that deserved its own zip code. I fully intended to save half of it for lunch tomorrow, but between the laughing and the listening and the talking and the bending of the elbow, it mysteriously disappeared. I will know in a couple of hours how much salt was hidden in all that deliciousness.

I saw my PCP this afternoon. She agreed that an allergist is the next step in my line of defense and has submitted the referral. She confirmed, as much as she could within her own expertise, that some of my symptoms are probably related to Beloved’s chemo, and that I should talk with his oncologist as soon as possible. Which I will do.

My attorney is on vacation. I caught up my desk from Friday afternoon, closed two cases and prepared to close a third, handled the mail that came in this morning (at least the portion which had been scanned by the time I needed to leave for my appointment), handled two small items for a co-worker who just returned from her own vacation, and still had 20 minutes in which to look busy.

Le sigh. Methinks it’s going to be a long, long week.

I put away 20 items on my worktable in my studio this morning before breakfast. I plan to do the same tomorrow morning, or whatever number seems reasonable. It’s nearly bedtime, and I have no desire to go putter in my studio before bedtime. But I did get a nap when I got home from the doctor’s office, and who knows what that will do to my ability to get to sleep tonight?

Famous last words: it seemed like a good idea at the time ;)

I may find myself in there before midnight, puttering away. But for now I need to fold a little laundry, and I’d like to be asleep within the hour. Wish me luck!

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Who can? Diflucan!

I couldn't get in to see my doctor yesterday, but I have an appointment on Monday, and I saw Beloved’s doctor yesterday, coming home with two prescriptions for the athlete’s foot (one oral, one topical) plus the business card of an allergist who is in my system. I will ask my doctor to get me a referral when I see her. Meanwhile, the most urgent symptoms are getting taken care of, and the pain in my neck has faded away.

The yarn I ordered last Friday was here when I got home, and it is the perfect shade of yellow. It has been duly entered on Ravelry, as well as the pattern book (Knit, Swirl). I finished the front of the second pillow yesterday. I made it two repeats shorter and am already more than 10% done with the first back.

I woke up around 5:00 this morning after a decent night’s sleep, threw on the nearest clothing to hand, and tiptoed past my sleeping brother-in-law (out in the living room) and into my studio, where I alternated sessions of tidying with bouts of knitting. Four hours later, I came back in here. Beloved was awake and on the computer. Brother was still sawing logs. I was glowing with accomplishment. And a little dusty, and a lot sweaty, and ravenous. Mel and Squishy came by and picked up Brother. Beloved and I had hotcakes and eggs over easy and cherries and juice and a modicum of flirting. Then I went back into my studio until it was time to take him to get the chemo pump off.

I’ve hung five pictures in my studio. It never quite feels like home until I’ve banged a few holes in the wall, and this is the first artwork I’ve hung since I moved in. When I am done it will look like Victorian museum overkill, which I wouldn’t necessarily want for the public areas of the house, but which is pritnear perfect for in there. I found stuff (tools) that I didn’t remember I had, and instructions for using some that I did, and the box with the half-built jacket from the seriously cool Burda pattern that I started when we lived in the penultimate apartment. I still like the jacket design. And there is a better than average chance I may be wearing it before the end of the year, but for now the last will be first, and the first is gonna hafta be last.

I am only mildly disappointed that I couldn’t justify spending the money for that limited edition doll whose ordering window expired on Wednesday. When you see her, you might understand why she took my breath away: SOOM really *can* make a doll with a happy face. Lookie here!

I’m tired. I’m happy, and I’m not in pain, and I’m really happy about that, and I’m tired. So I am going to log off and take a nap. Happy Saturday, y’all!

Friday, July 06, 2012

Ms. Ravelled is a tough ol’ bird.

But one which is feeling increasingly plucked, these days.

In the past two weeks I have had two separate incidents of the Sneezing Olympics (can I say that without bringing the USOC down on my head?), hives, the usual swelling/redness/itching from eating something I shouldn’t, a pinched nerve which has mostly resolved, and a couple of other symptoms that I really do not want to discuss here on the blog. Nothing life-threatening, plenty that goes way beyond annoying. Yesterday afternoon, about the time I was getting my mail out, my left foot started itching in a familiar way. It would appear that the Athlete’s Foot Fairy swung by sometime after lunch and smacked me with her prickly little wand.

I took my itchy, swollen self to the temple last night, and what to my wondering eyes should appear, right there in the lobby, but the children’s father sitting with his back to me. And the Spirit did not let me off the hook. I walked around into his field of vision, greeted him, and sat down on the couch near his chair. He asked how Beloved was doing. I told him we had just lost my mother-in-love, and he offered condolences. I was glad to be able to tell him about the clinical trial we hope to get Beloved into, and that we should hear shortly.

And then his ride walked out into the lobby, was introduced to me, and asked in a gently humorous way, how I could ever have divorced such a nice guy. And I was totally speechless for the second time in less than a year (the first time being when Beloved surprised me with the engagement ring at the dance at my last-ever singles’ conference, Heaven willing).

Brigham Young said that he who takes offense where none is intended, is a fool. (And that he who takes offense when it is intended, is a greater fool, but it was quite obvious to me that none was intended. The good brother’s wife probably chastened him once they got into their car, or after they dropped the children’s father off at the nursing home.)

The children’s father was never not a nice guy, at least not to me.

So I was a little bit of a basket case as I walked back to change out of my street clothes, but dinner took care of most of that, and my responsibilities kept me productively occupied. My symptoms backed off enough that I could focus on what I needed to do, but remained just sufficiently there that I had no difficulty staying awake.Rather like the fleas that Corrie Ten Boom’s sister was thankful for.

Beloved’s younger brother is here for a couple of days. We likes him. I will be dropping him off at the VA Hospital for a checkup, before heading into work. And then I will be calling my doctor’s office, to see if she is in today and if they can fit me in. If not, I will Gold Bond my way through the weekend, and I will see her as early as possible next week.

I want a nutritional workup. I want a referral to an allergist. And I want to discuss with her, and with Beloved’s oncologist, whether some of my symptoms might be connected Beloved’s chemotherapy. I also want to get checked for lupus, fibromyalgia, and whatever else might be taking punches at my immune system.

We are, most likely, having dinner up at OlderTwin’s house tonight. While there I will have my guys give me a blessing. I am tired (but not sleepy), and I just want to sit in a corner and weep into my knitting. (I hasten to add that I am not depressed. I am just sick. And tired. And determined to be well again, whether I need food supplements, physical therapy, a personal trainer, my own private pharmacologist, or whatever. Let me just say that Biofreeze on a trigger point is an amazingly lovely experience.)

Life is still very good, very sweet. Just hand me that box of Puffs, and don’t even think of getting between me and my knitting. I have eaten a nice, sensible breakfast: raisin bran and whole-wheat toast. Time for a banana, and to figure out what I want for lunch, brush my teeth, grab the bro, and go.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

And...she’s gone.

Just about sunrise, on Independence Day, not a bad time to leave a broken body behind and step into eternity.

Beloved is handling this very well. He got some practice at letting-go, three years ago when his wife of 35 years graduated from earth life. It is harder for his siblings, none of whom are currently active in the church and thus are without that loving safety net which he and I share.

As it stands now, cremation in a few days, up in Wisconsin, and then a memorial service in her old ward in California in a few weeks. Possibly the rental of a huge van, large enough for eight adults and four children, and two twenty-hour drives with each of us taking a shift behind the wheel. We’ll figure it out. In the meantime, please keep this tribe in your prayers.

As Beloved says, she died with her boots on, doing what she wanted to do with people she loved. (And she didn’t have to go into assisted living, which was planned for October or thereabouts.) Three families are negotiating over who gets to keep her dog; I think the great-grands will win.

I wish I had had more time to get to know her better, but I am thankful for what time I’ve had. She was a remarkable woman: smart, funny, feisty, and kind. We will miss her.

We [yes, we] just picked 103 tomatoes (100 of them off of four plants); better than 450 Romas since we started picking, and some Early Girls for grilling. Two three-pound zucchini. Three dozen jalapenos, two dozen serranos, a couple dozen cayennes, five bell peppers. Sundry crookneck squash.

Looking into my crystal ball mixing bowl, I foresee zucchini bread in the very near future. Grilled tomatoes with our steaks later today. A batch of tomato sauce simmered up and bottled.

Our produce runneth over.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Oye.

Life, as they say, is what happens when you are busy making other plans. Thank you, John Lennon.

I see that Blogger is no longer speaking to Firefox. And they want me to try Google Chrome. Since this is not my computer, we shall have to see about that.

But blogging is the least of my concerns. My neck/shoulder issues are resolving, thank you. I came home and took two acetaminophen, ate a delicious dinner not-cooked-by-me, enjoyed a couple hours of quiet chatting in the living room with Beloved, and just about the time we were ready to call it a night, our phones blew up.

His mother has been visiting a granddaughter in Wisconsin and spoiling the great-grands silly. They have an above-ground pool. She decided she was going to join the kidlets in the pool. She had a stroke while climbing the ladder. The paramedics were there in a jiffy and took excellent care of her. The last word we got was that she would be helicoptered to the larger hospital in Madison. Beloved’s sisters are flying to Wisconsin this morning. One of his sisters has been watching over their father (not Beloved’s father, but his cherished stepfather) and stepmother for several months, so her plate already runneth over.

Our wonderful bishop has emailed me names and phone numbers of several bishops in Madison. I have forwarded that to Beloved. I will call the temple in an hour or so (it is closed on Mondays, and especially on Monday nights, which are for Family Home Believ’ning, as one of my kids used to call it) and put her name on the prayer roll. We called all our kids last night and have them praying, and I emailed my sister, who is adding her own prayers and positive thoughts. Beloved will make the phone calls that will get the missionaries to the hospital to give his mom a blessing.

All of which puts the wistfulness I was feeling on my drive home from work last night, about the SOOM limited edition doll I discovered when I had run out of work and was killing the last few minutes before leaving the office, whose last day for ordering is tomorrow and which I cannot afford, squarely into perspective. She’s lovely, but she’s not family, and it is family that matters most, after God.

I hope you have a blessed and peaceful day. Thank you for your love and friendship, hope and prayers.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Squirrel grenade.

One of my friends posted the link on Facebook. Not to be read with a full mouth, or bladder. Squirrel Grenade.

I tried to make it a pop-out link, but Blogger apparently has the hiccups this morning, and I kept having to undo it. So please go read it, and then come back.

I awoke at 4:00-ish, with my neck and shoulder seriously unhappy with me. I don’t know if I slept wrong, if there’s an issue with my pillow, or if it’s just some of my natural cussedness trying to express itself. It is not unlike the pain I felt about 15 years ago, when I was livid with the children’s father and unwilling to say anything about it, so my neck went into spasm and I had to borrow Firstborn’s cervical collar for a week. I can’t think of anything that I’m angry about, or should be angry about. It may simply be that I did not drink enough water after Squishy worked on my neck last night, and this is lactic acid having its way with me. I’ve been up for two and a half hours now, and it’s eased somewhat. Three rows of knitting and half an hour of puttering in the studio gave me some sense of accomplishment, at least. When I first got up (which was a major undertaking in itself) I was wondering if I needed to call in dead and drive over to Fort Worth to see my massage therapist to see what my body was willing to tell her. I’m not having any difficulty typing this, so I will probably be fine at work. But I will definitely go talk this over with Beloved at breakfast.

Which he just announced will be ready in four minutes, so I am going to figure out what I want to wear to work and then start ambulating in the general direction of the breakfast table.

I do love being married to this man, and not simply because he feeds me so well.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Rangers 7, Knitting 2

So maybe I don’t hate all sports?

I don’t know if our mugs made it onto your TV’s. I do know that I didn’t get a lot of knitting done. Also that when Beltre hit that first home run for the Rangers, a primal redneck WHOOOOOOO! sailed out over the ballpark with about 46,000 others.

Yeah, I know. Somebody hand me a bottle of Pace to pour over this generous helping of crow, wouldja?

I asked Beloved, “Would it freak you out if I said I wanted a Rangers hat to wear to the game next month?”

“No, we’ll go to Academy.”

“Or Albertsons.”

“Or Albertsons.” Nod, nod.

Yu Darvish didn’t pitch last night. I think the boy is seriously cute, but not in an “I’d better repent before I go teach Primary” way. I wonder if Beloved would freak out if I told him I kinda sorta want a Darvish shirt to go with my [hypothetical] Rangers hat. We’ll see how next month’s game goes.

I had better have other knitting to take. That alpaca pillow cover was a wee bit warm, up there in the stands.

In other news, Beloved found my fishing license. In the case with my travel fishing pole. I think we glossed right over it. I was expecting a long white strip of paper, not a small red carrying case that said Wal-Mart, with the license all folded neatly inside it. Utilizing the female logic which he acquired from 35 years with Wife1.0 and the additional six months with me, he grinned and quipped,“Female logic says that since I found your license, and we don’t have to pay $10 at Wal-Mart to get a replacement license, I can add that $10 to my Father’s Day gift card and spend it at Bass Pro, right?”

I cannot argue with that logic. Especially if I want a Darvish shirt next month.