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!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Not putting this on FB.

Got a call from LittleBit yesterday around 4:00pm. "I'm OK, but I don't want to leave you a message. Please call me back." So I did, from my cell phone.

She had a seizure on Sunday, so he took her to the hospital. She had another while there. They admitted her, because it was now a history rather than an episode. (She had a seizure in April and was sent home.)

EEG. MRI. Diagnosis? Seizure disorder, also known as epilepsy. She just turned 24 and will be on medication for the rest of her life. (We're not sure which one just yet.) No driving for six months. No public transportation in Arlington, but there is Handitran. No swimming solo. No strobe lights. And her monthly cycle may or may not trigger it. No sleep deprivation. She is a full time college student.

We are all glad that it was neither a stroke nor a tumor. I called the rest of the kids on my drive home. She spoke with her dad yesterday and told him she was in the hospital for tests. Whether he remembers this morning is anybody's guess. She is amenable to a blessing. My home teacher is out of town until Friday night, so I stopped at Wes and Sarah's and got one.

Picked up a pint of Chocolate Therapy and only ate a sensible portion before crashing a little before midnight. Slept like a rock. Still feeling a little shocky this morning but basically sane. Burning the last of my personal time this afternoon. Will nip into a conference room and snivel as needed throughout the day.

My. Poor. Kid.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Wonderful, relaxing, refreshing Sabbath?

The high council speaker spoke about setting goals. I knitted. My phone battery wanted a nap after the closing song in sacrament meeting. So I turned it off and knitted. We had a joint priesthood/RS meeting today on the personal application of Lehi's dream. Something of a painful topic for me, as I would like to break off a nice chunk of the iron rod (a metaphor for the word of God) and beat various people with it. I knitted some more.

I showed up. I participated. And I suspect the bishop wished I had been a little less outspoken in the third hour when I shared that I have yet to be struck by lightning when voicing my frustrations at high volume in the general direction of Heaven. God's a lot bigger and smarter and tougher than I am. He can take my anger and turn it into something useful. There are probably whole islands in out of the way places that have been created from bled-off bits of mother-rage.

I got nagged by the Spirit when we sang today. Repeatedly. Not fun. There are people who need my forgiveness, even though boy howdy! they do not deserve it. I remind myself often that s/he who takes offense where none is intended is a fool. And s/he who takes offense where it *is* intended is a greater fool. Most days that makes me grin, and I adjust my attitude accordingly. Yeah no. Not today. Today I am just raising sand without managing to sweep it out the metaphorical door. Maybe it's leftovers from the energy work on Thursday.

On the other hand, I got a lot of knitting done today. And my thank-you notes written with real gratitude and a bit of creativity.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

I had myself a wound concealed.

(Line from one of my favorite hymns.) But I've been trying to figure out how to share something without making my children freak out. I'm OK. Really. The commode broke my fall.

One week ago today, I awoke about 2:00a.m to answer nature's call. Washed my hands, turned to reach for the towel, and down I went. I wasn't dizzy. I didn't faint. I didn't even have time to swear. Just "uh-oh" as I plummeted.

I know all the things it wasn't. And I may have a handle on what it was. (Build-up of heat protection hair product I recently began using? Containing a bunch of stuff ending in "-one", so possibly related to silicone? That would certainly do the trick.)

Nothing broke. Including the commode. I didn't have a mark on me anyplace that's covered by my temple garments. I had a bruise the size of my fist, and enough colors to make a peacock proud, on the inside of my upper left arm. It is now a Nike swoosh about three inches long and significantly faded.

I sat on the side of my bed and gave thanks that I wasn't seriously hurt. (My head didn't even come close to hitting the tub.) And then I cried like a two year old for a couple of minutes, interspersed with the praying.

I was supposed to get a massage last night, but I was still expressing an allergic reaction to the alfredo pizza I had for lunch on Tuesday. Massive bloating, actual pain from the distension, followed several hours later by swelling and itching that did not *quite* break into hives. Yesterday all that remained were the borderline hives.

We had TexMex for Christmas dinner. I took one look at all the tomato sauce and opted for two small chicken fajita tacos with cheese, guacamole and sour cream. And a couple of cookies. I have a better appreciation for how Fourthborn feels, with her severe nut allergy.

I drove for almost four hours on Christmas, in two chunks. The home stretch was saved only by Fourthborn's company on the first half. I had to stop and buy a Cherry Coke to (a) break up the gastric distress and (b) stay awake.

So last night we did energy work. Confirmed that I am sensitive to tomatoes. Sadly, also to alfredo sauce. And stainless steel. And copper. But not to nickel or tin or gold or silver or surgical steel. I should learn to cook with cast iron. And until we have the time to do a 26 hour rebalancing, I should use my actual silverware, or plasticware, and it wouldn't hurt to get a couple of ceramic knives.

Thankfully, this is payday.

And then we went to work on the emotional issues. Cleared a bushel of those. Connected the onset of my swelling left ankle with the decay of my marriage to the children's father. Connected a new symptom with having absorbed some of the crazy from his new fiancée when I met her on Christmas Day.  Bat poop crazy does not begin to describe it. Connected my right elbow to the burden of "carrying" him for so long. Connected other symptoms with my relationship, or lack thereof, with the twins. Connected others with hurt, anger and guilt over stuff with my own kids. I do a lot better at unscrambling the metaphors when I work with Sarah. It's very much a case of "where two or three are gathered in His name". We had several moments last night when she named an emotion and asked if I could relate a time or an event. I would, and the Spirit would confirm it, and we would both go "whoa". Energy work normally takes us maybe 20 minutes. We worked steadily for over an hour and a half, long enough that my knee started hurting because it thought I was driving again.

Got rid of a lot of stuff last night.  And need to write letters to four of my kids. (Lines of communication have never been clearer with one of them. So that would be a want-to and not a need-to.)

And oh, by the way? The line of credit will be paid off by close of business today.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

More of the same.

Since my last post I have fallen into a Facebook group for LDS Widows and Widowers. Wonderfully supportive bunch, not that I need a lot of support. I have it so much easier than most of them. Thus far, my Christmas preparations have been unreservedly joyful. Love my tree. Thoroughly enjoyed sending out the Christmas cards. Am having a blast in the kitchen.

Got a lovely response to one of the cards I sent. A cousin of Beloved's late wife, thanking me for news of his passing and welcoming me to the tribe.

I finally figured out what to make for my sister. (I asked her.) Am knitting what will either be a cowl or an infinity scarf. She will get it sometime before Valentines Day. She's fine with that.

Time to eat a little more breakfast and pack my lunch and sneak in a bit of knitting before I ease on down, ease on down the road. (Points if you know what that's from.)

Monday, December 16, 2013

I know. I know. Sorry! (Sorta.)

Despite anything you may have heard to the contrary, I have not been translated since Thursday morning. Just busy with this and that. Work was wild. The secretary I back up was supposed to return from vacation but did not. I had been looking forward to handing her Attorney B with a weary smile. He took the afternoon off, which greatly simplified my day. There are faith-promoting rumors that he is starting to talk about retirement. By the end of the week I was in "if I give you a going-away present, will you go away?" mode.

Dropped off the IRS refund at the local bank on the drive home and picked up a fresh can of baking powder and a potato so large it needed its own zip code. Plus two dozen rolls for the ward party. I was too tired to make soup when I got home, so I baked some tater tots and called it a day. I got eight hours of sleep in two increments!

Saturday was all about the errands. Picked up the December quilt square kit. Took the scenic route home and picked up a plant stand (please refrain from pointing out that I do not do plants) and a new floor lamp that is going back to the store, because I cannot correct its list from the vertical. Saturday night was also the ward Christmas party. I baked a double batch of brownies during the intermission from sleep at dark-thirty that morning.

Yesterday was about music and food and way too much driving. I am thankful that it is Monday, and I can go to work and recover from my day of rest.

Knit happened throughout the weekend. Let heaven and nature sing!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Much as I love classical music...

... Sometimes it is a distraction. I love having my alarm set to the classical station. And it's easier to write when the house is quiet. Right now I hear the clock ticking above the desk. The almost imperceptible hum of the ceiling fan. The tap of my stylus on this phone. The sound of my feet rubbing together to satisfy an itch, or my curiosity. The honking as I try to clear one side of my head. A bird outside my bedroom window; he's definitely up before the chickens. The furnace just came on.

It is Thursday already. I'll get a massage tonight. I'll need it. It's been a productive week at work. I am getting caught up. And I am being more mindful of the small stressors and how they affect my body. A flash of irritation: two or three quick, soft coughs. I could actually feel my BP increase at another point. It decreased almost immediately *and* I need to address the issue that caused it, and I don't want to. But I will. Because if I do, it will help me to remain healthy and effective.

I like being both.

I played in the kitchen last night instead of making BittyBit's birthday card. My creative mojo is all over the place.

Time to figure out what I want to wear to work today.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Huzzah! Made it to work yesterday.

We had a two hour delay. I went to lunch with SemperFi and our paralegal and another attorney. And still got all the mail wrangled for three attorneys and my email caught up from last week. Today I will catch up my to-do's. I have three attorneys through Thursday.

No knitting yesterday. And still no idea what to give my sister for Christmas.

FHE last night was spent perusing the Christopher Lowell home dec book I inherited. I'm getting a clearer vision of how I want to arrange the furniture in the dining room once the flooring is redone.

Knit Night tonight, unless we have more bad weather today. The pecan tree appears to be recovering from the ice storm. On Friday the northernmost branches were bent nearly to the ground. They were a little above parallel when I left for work yesterday morning. It was too dark to tell when I got home last night. And my focus was on getting the trash can out to the curb without taking a spill in the process.

Be good. Stay warm.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Weeping and wailing and ganache-ing of teeth

I wanted to go to church today. I needed to go to church today. Mother Nature was in cahoots with the Bad'Un. When I went out to scrape ice an hour and a half before church, I could not get all the way down the lawn to where Lorelai is parked. Much less walk down the driveway directly. A friend in Arlington posted a formula to melt the ice (and supposedly to keep it from re-forming). I made about 20 batches of it and was able to free the left side, get in and start the engine and heater, and clear the windshield, hood and right side.

I also baked shortbread cookies, made four dozen turtles, and a bread cheese pudding for dinner. And now I want to sleep. The First Presidency's annual Christmas message begins in about an hour. I have a feeling that I'm going to miss it.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Twelve down, two to go.

I am nearly done with the antibiotics. They seem to be working. I'm sure that the napping doesn't hurt, either. Work was postponed until noon yesterday, then canceled entirely. I got all but eight Christmas cards done and stamped, and the last eight envelopes are addressed. There were naps interspersed with all that heavy labor.

The ice storm was no joke. I thought at first that the pecan tree in the front yard was a goner. When I went outside to photograph the damage, I saw that the north half is simply bent low to the ground from the weight of the ice. Several of my friends were without power for much of the day. I was warm and safe and dry.

In the evening, to rest my hand, I put in "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" and semi-watched while finishing a third miniature stocking for the tree and beginning a fourth.

The quilt shop was open yesterday and planned to be open again today. They are offering this month's block next Saturday as well, without penalty, because the roads are so bad. The girls and I have agreed to wait. The doll party has been rescheduled for next month.

All of which leaves me with an open dance card and a growing need for socialization. Since it would not be sensible for me to drive to Home Depot to get the paint I forgot to buy last weekend, this might be a good day to tackle the studio. I could burn off a lot of the fidgets and maybe even get some mending done when I was through. Or sew another Christmas stocking, as I have yet to find the one I used last year.

I went to bed with a real sense of satisfaction last night. I'd like to do the same tonight.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Good choice yesterday.

Three hours of actual work followed by two hours of lunch and team building. When the optional activity began, I opted to come home and take a nap.

Last night I bought four new boxes of Christmas cards and a package of green pens. Twenty-one cards will go out in today's mail. I'll do another batch tonight.

Knit did not happen yesterday. But the paperwhites are nearly all open, and the living room smells wonderful. Outside, the temperature is dropping. We are in for a major ice storm, which puts the quilt shop run on Saturday morning and the doll meet that night both in question. My job is to make sure I'm well enough to get to them, should they go forward as scheduled.

This is the part where I get ready for work.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

I'm up! I'm up!

I finished the tree yesterday. It's gorgeous, if I do say so. I ran out of hangers and was thinking that I'd have to make a run to Hobby Lobby after work, when I remembered that the original plan was to wire the ornaments on with floral wire. I had scads of it leftover from the wedding. But I used the miniature ornament hangers that I'd bought for the dolls' trees (still undecorated), instead.

I measured the one remaining unused hanger and determined that a 2" length of wire would do it. So I cut 18 more hangers from two lengths of wire, bent the larger curve around a skinny pen, and used my needle nose pliers to shape the other end. There are approximately 175 ornaments on the tree. It took me two days, between naps. Maybe five hours, not counting the time to carefully remove the lights.

I am going back to work today. It's a light day, with a team building activity this afternoon and lunch provided, so it shouldn't be all that demanding.

I have another box of Christmas stuff to sort through, but that can wait until tonight. Current objective is to find more of the green pens I used last year for the Christmas cards.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Better. Still not well.

I slept a lot yesterday. I also sorted through two boxes that have been sitting by the TV since maybe last Christmas? One of them held lots of stuff belonging to Beloved's late wife: high school and seminary graduation, small linens, a couple of photo albums. It will go to Squishy. I also found Beloved's kindergarten and first grade report cards. He was a good reader, a *great* talker, and a joy to his teachers. Also saw pictures of him while he was on his mission, with the PD in California, and with the twins as babies. I did not read his love letters. All of that goes to Squishy as well.

I managed to get the tree half decorated last night. Even without lights it is starting to look amazing. I may get it finished today. Not going to work, or to Knit Night. I've already called in for the day. I suspect I'll spend much of it napping. Right now I'm letting breakfast settle and waiting a bit before rolling the trash can out to the curb. I also need to bring in yesterday's mail. And I really, really want a shower.

I think that bodes well. Backache is noticeably less than yesterday. I just want to be healthy and stay that way.

Monday, December 02, 2013

More plan B.

I did finish the grocery shopping on Saturday. Bought and mailed the gift cards for 2BDH and the wife of Younger Twin. Went to Home Depot. They did not have the baseboards or the replacement door for the garage, and there was a line at the paint counter, so I made a beeline for the flooring department. Brought home 28 cartons of vinyl plank flooring at 99 cents per square foot.

I was so elated that I completely forgot to revisit the paint counter. That will have to wait until next weekend, because after church I went to the after hours clinic and then to the pharmacy. I have been listening to my body very carefully since last Tuesday. And yesterday it told me that I should postpone the nap and go pee in a cup.

I emailed my office manager and my attorneys. After I post this, I will leave a voice mail for the office. Today is a day for antibiotics, knitting, and sleep. I am nearly done with a second miniature sock from leftover Noro Silk Garden.

Saturday night I spent approximately four hours untangling the lights from a beautiful old-school pre-lit tree that Leslye gave me. It was a mostly Zen experience, especially after I figured out the rhythm. I now have three nests of unwound lights on the living room floor. I will attempt to get them organized sometime today, between naps.

I waffled back and forth between keeping the unlit tree or buying a new pre-lit one at Costco after work today. But since I am not going to work, I will be going nowhere this evening. And the tree is really quite lovely, even without any lights. (There is no commandment that a Christmas tree *must* have lights.) Decision made: the tree stays. And I have found a good home for the smaller pre-lit one we used last year.

I bought a small pot of paperwhites on Saturday. They are already beginning to open. I tell them how pretty they are when I pass them on the way to the kitchen.

I hope to get the tree decorated sometime this week. But you know what? I'm not going to stress about it. I think I feel another nap coming on. I will have to get sufficiently dressed later today to bring in the fresh gallon of distilled water from Lorelai's trunk, for the CPAP. If I'm going to spend half the day asleep, I will use a lot more water than typically.

Be good. Try to have fun without me.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Couldn't find the list.

Went shopping anyway. Spent less than $150 at Costco. Bought whole nutmeg (planned) and a pot of paperwhites (unplanned) at Central Market. Came home and took another nap, because schlepping all of that from the car to the house flat wore me out.

Cleared the area in front of the dining room window so I could start painting. Opened the can of paint to find flecks of rust all over its surface. This guarantees a trip to Home Depot today. But I need to finish the grocery shopping first.

Dinner with Brother Sushi last night. Good input from him on my renovations. Updates on his China trip. Great food. Impeccable service. Much laughter. He is a most excellent acquired brother.

Goals for today: make the lebkuchen dough and refrigerate it. Make at least one batch of turtles for the gift baskets. Take the possum traps out of the back of the truck and bait them. Paint the trim.  Set up the big tree in the living room so I may decorate it tomorrow. I would, of course, like to do about 20 more things, but I am trying to be somewhat realistic.

Somewhat. We'll see how it goes.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Making a list. Checking it twice.

My brain wants to go out in the dining room and start painting trim. LittleBit is working at the mall again, and I don't know when she is going to be able to break free to paint for me. And I want that room pretty for Christmas.

But I've been up for hours, paying bills among other things, and I'm ready for the first nap of the day. I came home from Secondborn's and slept for nearly eight hours! So, breakfast around 3am was a sliver of pumpkin pie, a brownie, and a handful of roasted pistachios. Washed down with cranberry pomegranate juice, because I'm trying to stave off another kidney infection. I got a blessing from my two sons-in-law yesterday, and the backache is gone. I am listening very carefully to my body, to see if I need to go pee in a cup while I'm out and about later today.

This week's major stressor was the distinct possibility of meeting the children's father's (new) fiancee at the tribal feast. So I have been talking to myself about that. It's not that I don't want him to be happy. And definitely not that I want him back. Or that I care about her opinion of me, because even if she does join the church, we are not likely to be neighbors in the eternities. But someone whose opinion I respect has met her, and the woman is bat-poop crazy. And planning to marry the family crazy-maker.

We have quite enough crazy in this family without importing more of it. Plus, I would hate for her mental health issues to be magnified. It took me years to climb out of that rabbit hole. I can't warn her, because I'd just be seen as the vengeful ex-wife instead of someone looking out for her welfare.

So that's all been bouncing around inside my head. She wasn't there yesterday. Maybe we'll meet at Christmas? I want to be kind to her, because I remember the people who were kind to me when I was rocking the crazy, all those years ago.

And lest you think I am perfect and just waiting for that golden chariot to swoop down and carry me off, some of this is hurt pride, because he shut me out for the last few years of our marriage. It's like when the kids found inappropriate stuff on his computer years ago (after the divorce), and my reaction was "oh, you only want to have fun with images that have no values or opinions?"

So glad that I'm sealed to a man who was *present* to his last breath.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Dare I say "progress"?

All four walls are painted. I spent half an hour or so clearing the floor of everything that had washed up against the east wall over the past several months. My plan was to come home and start ripping up the carpet. Both Mellow and a brother in my ward cautioned me to be careful pulling up the tack strips, because apparently it's easy to crack the concrete or tear chunks out of it.

So I spent the evening perusing my copy of Renovating Woman, which I bought maybe a dozen years ago and have been lugging along from one temporary home to another until now. And which does not address the topic of carpet, except as a covering for squeaky floorboards that must be gotten out of the way in order to fix same. I also grabbed one of the home carpentry books which has survived the purge, to no avail. While not immediately helpful, both books stay.

I got more specific, immediately useful, information from YouTube videos. In which I saw just how easy it will be for me to float a vinyl plank floor without asking for help, except maybe in getting up from the floor. And that I will want to install the new baseboards first. I wonder if I have a nail gun out in that kluge of a garage? And I wonder where the miter box has gotten to? And the hand saw? I know where the clamps are for the miter box: in the small pile of miscellaneous articles on the cusp of dining room and entryway.

So my grand plans of getting the new floor in over Thanksgiving weekend might have been excessively optimistic. But I'm reasonably sure that I can make visible progress. I had hoped to have the carpet and padding ripped up and tied into small, manageable rolls to go out on the curb this morning. I know where the kitchen twine is, when I'm ready.

In knitting news, I started the heel flap on the second baby sock yesterday. And I am now ready to turn the heel, once I get to the office. I will probably finish at Knit Night. I might even be able to pop them in the mail on the way home.

And now I'm wondering if I should use that nice expanse of uncluttered carpet to block Knit Swirl before I get busy with the utility knife? Maybe that was what held me back last night?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Best Charlotte's Web ever!

BittyBit was Nelly, one of Charlotte's babies. She spoke audibly and distinctly. The silly Goose was delightful as well. And Charlotte herself was everything one could wish. Third grade rocked that play! BittyBubba's class did the Three Little Pigs and What Does the Fox Say in Spanish. Twice each, so every child got to participate.

I came home, took a nice nap, knitted a little, and went to the middle school production of Night at the Wax Museum. My young friend Ky played John Adams, sometime POTUS and legal counsel to Anne Boleyn!!! The cast kept it moving, and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening.

Today I finished the first baby sock and started the second. I also cut-in on the last wall in the dining room and brush-painted about 80% of the rest of the wall because I overestimated how much I would need for the cutting-in.

We are expecting severe weather overnight and into Monday morning. If church is cancelled, I will finish the wall and take down the painter's tape along the ceiling. Otherwise I will do it after church. Either way, I expect that I will be done painting in there by bedtime tomorrow night.

I am comfortably warm in my painting clothes. Had a quick nap this afternoon, so I'm good for a few more hours before I need to sleep. This would probably be a good time to catch up the laundry.

No excitement Chez Ravelled. I have yet to set foot outside the house. A friend came by to borrow the space heater -- they have two gas leaks, neither of which is fixable today -- and brought in my mail. I made a baked mac and cheese with cheddar soup, the last of the heavy cream from that mushroom tart I made awhile ago, the last of the grape tomatoes, and a can of Costco chicken breast chunks. It was amazing, and I have five more servings portioned out in the fridge. I nuked a sweet potato for dinner and had it with maple syrup, freshly grated nutmeg, and a dab of butter. It has been an eat /  sleep / craft sort of day. And I feel both grateful and remarkably relaxed. Although I might not be able to use my right arm tomorrow. I gave myself a pretty good workout this evening with that paintbrush!

Friday, November 22, 2013

It was probably subconscious.

Or maybe I was just wanting to inhale my breakfast. But I forgot to take the hummus out of the bag when I put it in the fridge at work. The people who set up the tables never saw it. I bought it home with me last night. And now I know what I'm taking to Secondborn's for Thanksgiving.

Random thought: I wonder how the course of history would have changed if Skittles had been the candy that ET followed, rather than Reese's Pieces? Maybe Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears, and other child stars would have chosen to follow Annette Funicello's example. Maybe Russell Crowe would not be a homewrecker. Maybe we would have a balanced budget. Maybe the marketplace would have found an equitable solution to the need for accessible and affordable healthcare.

And a random question: why on earth is Dallas celebrating the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy? There's going to be a parade downtown this morning. There have been cultural commemorations this week. We have Joshua Bell for three days. The only bright spot as far as I'm concerned.

President Obama was here a few weeks ago, to stump for Democratic contenders and to encourage signing up for his disaster of a healthcare plan. I prayed for his safety throughout the day. I do not like the man, but I wish him *safely* out of office at the end of his term. We do not need another martyrdom. And there are too many idiots out there.

On to happier topics. Today is Grandparents' Day at the Bitties' school. I will be hopping in the car shortly and heading that way, gleefully avoiding the road closures in downtown Dallas to watch my grandchildren be clever, polite, and and charming. I had a blast last year, even if Beloved was visibly winding down at that point. We ambled through the morning and caught everything we could. I am relatively non-creaky this morning, and I will just go until I can go no more. And then I will come home, perhaps to nap or maybe to tackle that last wall while the light holds.

Paint towards the light, Luke! (Oops. Wrong movie.)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Hummus remember this...

A kiss is still a kiss. And I have chosen the cheap / fast / easy solution to the appetizer conundrum. Two small containers of hummus and a bag of tarted-up chips. Ta-daa!

My small mirror in the bathroom has disappeared. I don't know if it fell into the wastebasket and is gone forever, or if I absently parked it somewhere while thinking about the next item on my list.

In a flurry of text messages, my massage therapist and I have moved it to Thursday nights. Which left last night open, except for my calling in the church library. I actually felt as if I were doing something useful last night. I alphabetized the DVD's. The English section takes up a shelf and a half. The Spanish section takes about a foot on another shelf. And the multilingual section is maybe eight inches on the shelf above that. I have no idea how to alphabetize the Asian language DVD's. I just admired the beauty of the fonts and am hoping for the best.

Got a little knitting done yesterday and a little more before breakfast. With the luncheon at work, there is likely to be little progress until after my massage tonight. If then.

I got the wall dusted in the dining room. Paint may happen after Grandparents Day at the Bitties' school tomorrow. I'll be taking the whole day off.

Productive day at work yesterday. Closed two files, opened another, moved two more closer to completion, kept up with my email, and got all the way through SemperFi's mail. Today I'll finish Mellow's.

Super casual day at work: jeans and sneakers, woohoo!

Please keep my friend Robi in your prayers, that she may find a mind-bogglingly wonderful job.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A good week so far.

Nice quiet evening at home on Monday night, after listening to a link provided by Middleaged Mormon Man (via FB) regarding the unexpected benefits of choosing to be generous.

Last night was Knit Night. I picked up two possum traps from my friend Jody before fetching Fourthborn. We had eggnog milkshakes for dinner, followed by Bavarian pretzels for dessert.

The clown barf scarf is done. I joined the ends together on Monday night, creating an infinity scarf. And yesterday I cast on (twice) for a baby sock for a friend's miracle baby. Got to the last stitch on the first round, and it leaped off my needle. So I frogged and started over with a less lively cast-on. I'm about six rounds in at this point.

I am crowd-sourcing ideas for an appetizer for tomorrow's office luncheon. Have had some good suggestions. It's interesting to see what some of my friends consider cheap, fast, easy, and low sodium. Tonight is massage night. (I will want to come home and putter a little, then sleep.)

And even if it were not, I really don't want to put any effort into this. I like to take desserts. But my half of the alphabet has been told to bring appetizers. Instead of the huge spread we traditionally do, we are having crockpots of soup, appetizers, and desserts. I'm all for changing it up. My tolerance for turkey is pretty limited.

I'm going to wait until tonight to see what other suggestions my friends offer. But right now I'm inclined towards a bowl of hummus and a fresh bag of lower sodium chips. If I can do this for $6 in cash and five minutes of my time, I'll be a happy camper.

Hoping for another day as productive as yesterday and Monday.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Tithing settlement tonight.

I trird and tried, but I'm still unable to figure out the two cent discrepancy between the church's numbers and my own. I know it's a problem in my spreadsheet, because I added the numbers another way and came up with the right total. I reformatted the cells for 23 paychecks, and I still get the error. Weird.

I wish I could hug the person who decided that fabric + serger + wire = bendable ribbon. I spent maybe half an hour transforming 25 feet of ribbon into 16 perky red plaid bows for the Christmas tree. Right now they are waiting in one of those plastic washtubs. I won't know until I have the tree up and the bows and ornaments on if I will need to make more.

Painting did not happen, but after I dust that wall I can go full steam ahead. Everything but a handful of tools is out of the way. So maybe for FHE tomorrow night?

I had a blast with my friends last night, eating Chinese food in Uptown (just north of downtown Dallas), then carpooling to Fair Park for the Chinese Lantern Festival.

Well, I am yawning fiercely, so it must be time for bed.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Adventures. Thankfully, not directly *mine*.

I was planning on putting away the sewing machine and other items last night. Maybe tearing into my studio as well. But I got tackled by some rambunctious carbs at dinner, and I was in bed a little after 7:00.

Awoke about three and a half hours later. Got the iron, ironing board, and miscellaneous sewing supplies stowed. Put a serving of tots in the oven. Had my phone on and was checking FB periodically. Was about to pack up my sewing machine and fold up the table when I saw the post from a young sister in our ward.

She and her sibs were at the ER with their mother. The ward (phone) list was at home. They needed two brethren to come give their mother a blessing. Nobody was responding at the numbers they had on their phones.

And suddenly I knew why I'd accepted that friend request a few months ago, from a young woman I barely knew. I did what a friend did for me last year when Beloved had his first trip to the ER. Packed a bag with bottles of water, grapefruit cups (this is how I know that Heaven was in charge, because I also remembered to toss in some spoons), a large bar of Ghirardelli, and half a dozen mini-bags of Halloween candy. In the other hand was my bag with the phone and my knitting.

Ate my tots, got dressed, and went. Once there, I pulled up the ward list on my phone and started pushing buttons and waking people up. The brethren arrived just after the mother was admitted. We all cooled our heels in another waiting room while the staff got her settled. Then the guys went back, administered to her, and the three of us went to our respective homes.

I got almost another five full hours of sleep. The guys will not have been so lucky: one is a Saturday morning temple worker. His alarm goes off at 4:30. The other had to get up at 6:00 to take a child to an early morning school activity.

But this is what we do for one another, because of the covenant we made at baptism to bear one another's burdens. And because of our temple covenants, which deepen our love for, and connection to, Heaven and our brothers and sisters. Much of what we do that has eternal significance happens when we are just barely awake enough to do one small thing. Or a handful of small things. We might not even know why we are doing them. But later we get a glimpse of the greater pattern.

Beloved popped in briefly last night. I was sitting in the second waiting room, and my eyes prickled up, and I knew. It's happening again as I write this.

Hi, honey. Glad you caught me being good.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday. Payday. Tree bling.

And more culture to come this weekend.

I love playing with my spreadsheet. Since I visited my sister earlier this year, I have paid off over $4,000 in debt!!! Watching that balance come down a little (or a lot, depending upon what else was going on) every two weeks has been so hope-inducing. Three more paydays and a small extra payment, and I'm done paying off the line of credit. I couldn't have done this without Heaven's steadying hand.

Last night I drove straight to Hobby Lobby for their 50% off on all Christmas decorations. I picked up hangers for the miniature trees and a package of tiny red ribbon bows. Also several boxes of glass ornaments for the big tree, which is still in the back of the Tardis. I have a sheaf of florist wire to attach the ornaments when I'm ready. And I even know exactly where it is.

There is a Chinese Lantern Festival this weekend. I'm meeting friends for dinner and carpooling. They will go on to the singles dance afterwards. I will come home and make stuff.

Mel and Squishy and I have a work date tomorrow morning. Costco run, more books to sort, and sundry schlepping. I told him to eat his Wheaties.

Please keep my friend Robi in your prayers. She was laid off yesterday. She's a jewel. We just need to find her the right setting.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Plan B. But in a good way.

My thinking was to dash into Hobby Lobby between work and my massage, case their selection of people-sized Christmas ornaments, and pick up a few packages of the green miniature hangers that will be nearly invisible on the tiny trees.

But I got a text from my massage therapist: taco soup. I'm not stupid. I've eaten her food before.

They were feeding the missionaries. I got there when some people were having seconds on the soup and others were making inroads on the brownie bites. But they saved me enough of both, and I pushed away from her table well-fed in every possible sense.

Really good massage. Almost entirely biomechanical. I think we cleared out the last of the stuff from the enforced immobility on Friday night. My feet, ankles, and legs were not happy during the cleanout process. When we were nearly done, I started having shivers that rose up from deep within my trunk. But she was prepared for that and put another blanket on me. After the massage, I drove to two Racetrac stations before I could get a cup of hot chocolate. Finished that off and went straight to bed.

Feeling pretty good this morning. Hungry. Thirsty. Starting to get a little shivery. But I have one last tablet of Abuelita (Mexican hot chocolate, with cinnamon) in the cupboard. That should take care of the problem nicely. I could also bump up the thermostat a degree or two. I think it's set at 68 or 69, enough to take the edge off without giving me a ridiculous utility bill.

Our utility bills last year were all over the place, as Beloved got more and more ill. One of the things they don't necessarily tell you about cancer. (Or know to tell you about.) The commodes are getting less of a workout. My internal thermostat is pretty consistent. So I'm not toggling between AC and furnace.

Small consolation for the loss of the sound of his laughter. Oh damn. I'm crying.

Time to go make that hot chocolate. Looks like it might be lightly salted this morning.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


That was my yesterday. Work, pick up Fourthborn, pick up new-to-me tree from Leslye (wherein Fourthborn served as minion in getting it down from on top of the freezer and schlepping it out to the truck), on to Firstborn's to drop off her quilt blocks, impromptu dinner with her and 1BDH at Double Dave's (very tasty, with a side order of hilarity*, and more sodium than is good for me), Knit Night (complete with chocolate frogs made by the friend who took Beloved's sweater off my hands), take Fourthborn home, drive home alternating bites of rice crispy treat with sips of water to make sure I stay awake.

*About that hilarity: Firstborn is the YW president in their ward. Which means she has stewardship over girls 12-17. 1BDH has served in the YM presidency and still lends a hand to the youth as needed. A whole bunch of whom work after school at Double Dave's. Our server was one of the YW. The following is my reconstruction of their conversation.

1BDH: Are you going to be at the youth activity tomorrow night?
Girl: No, I have to work.
1BDH: But you'll miss my class.
Girl: Oh? What are you teaching?
1BDH: I'm teaching knitting.
(Insert peals of helpless laughter from Firstborn, Fourthborn, and me here.)
Girl: I'm guessing by their reaction that you are *not* teaching knitting.
1BDH: No. Really. I'm teaching knitting. Look at this face. Is this the face of someone who is not a knitter?
Girl: I think it *is*. So what are you teaching, really?
1BDH: Car stuff.
Girl: Now that I believe.

We had a hard freeze last night. When I got home, the drop light was on behind the washing machine. It comes on when the temperature drops below freezing. I remembered to leave the taps dripping overnight. And I threw another blanket on the bed.

I think we are finally done with August, here in Texas.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Considering the possumbilities.

So last night I was catching up the laundry. Walked out into the garage to get the first load out of the dryer and put the second one in. Heard something out in the middle of the garage and turned my head just in time to see a huge pinky white tail disappearing over the top of a box.

I've lived in enough substandard housing to know the difference between a rat and a possum. This tail was over a foot long and bigger than my thumb at its base. I did not want to meet up with the bitey end. Especially since I was standing between it and the door. So I beat a hasty retreat and sat on my bed and thought about chocolate and Christmas trees and other happy things.

Then I prayed really hard for its safety and my own and went out to rescue my clothes. I sent out an "Ack! Help!!" message on FB. Mel's mom said to contact animal control. Which opens at 10am. Looks like I will be coming back to the house in the middle of the day or making arrangements for tomorrow.

If I want clean socks today, I have to go back out there. How badly do I want clean socks?

In other news, I used up a bunch of tiny purple beads and some of the larger root beer colored ones to make ornaments for the dolls' tree(s). And I got quite a bit of knitting done during the day. Wonderful to satisfy my creative urge. Not so good in terms of sleep. It was after 1am when I went to bed. And I woke ahead of the alarm.

I think the possum has opened a bowling alley in the attic. And I think somebody just earned his 200 pin.

Monday, November 11, 2013

I made myself be good.

The quilt block was mostly-done when I left for church. I finished it when I got home, before taking my nap. After my nap, I emailed and texted various folks. Wrote a letter for visiting teaching. Read through a book of Christmas decorating inspiration that I bought shortly after separating from the children's father and have come to the conclusion that the book, while lovely, reflects the sensibilities of the first incarnation of Victoria magazine, and not my own. Into the box it goes. Others may follow. I've made a list of what needs to happen, when, this week. Am ridiculously overbooked for tomorrow night and am looking forward to every blessed bit of it. Had a truly bizarre stress-dream just before waking, and it seems to have wrung every last drop out of my system. Wrote a little in the middle of the night and looked up to see the clock reading 2am. Realized that I hadn't bothered to reset it last weekend and probably won't. You get stream of consciousness this morning. Welcome to Monday brain.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Naproxen is my friend.

I kept yesterday blessedly simple. Time with Fourthborn. The driving necessary to pick up the quilt block kits. Eggnog milkshakes for lunch, made with Braum's egg-cellent (couldn't resist) eggnog and their eggnog ice cream and a generous dusting of nutmeg. A slightly roundabout drive home so that I could swing by the jewelry store and have my rings inspected and cleaned.

On an ordinary day, that would not have required nearly six hours. Yesterday it did. By the time I got home, I was ravenous again. So I had a snack and a Naproxen and another bottle of water, and I took a little nap. For six hours. When I got up, I made dinner: garlic toast and the penultimate salmon burger.

I am pleased to report that my knee is no longer cranky. I will swill water all day to wash the Naproxen out of my system, and I will continue to take it easy today, even if my muse is tormenting me with all that I hoped to get done yesterday and what I could get done before and after church if I just pushed myself a little. Peace, woman!

I wasn't far off when I posted on FB that my honey-do list had been decimated. The other 90 percent will get spread out over the next few weeks. I will, eventually, have a finished dining room. I will have a new Christmas tree. Preferably this year, but I have a perfectly serviceable pre-lit tabletop tree out in the garage. I can use that one more year if necessary.

I will get my studio picked up and reorganized. I will finish my closet. (And the one in the dining room.) I will get the other two dressers in my bedroom cleared off and reorganized. One might end up in that dining room closet to hold serving pieces and holiday decorations.

But today? Today I am going to worship, and read, and study, and write a letter or two, and knit, and make more lists. I may or may not get the new quilt block sewn up. The fabric is washed and hanging from the shower rod. It would be nice to check that off the list. And getting it done is not essential to my eternal salvation.

The lists are made for Ms. Ravelled. Not Ms. Ravelled for the lists. Today I am going to focus on being more of a human being and less of a human doing.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

So glad I went.

Opera is cool. Opera-goers are amazingly friendly. A lot of them are knitters, or were before age and arthritis decided otherwise. The seats are wide enough, and the rows above the box seats are too close together. I understand the economics of it, and my knee still hurts like sin. Although it is somewhat better this morning. I will be icing it a lot today.

My honey-do list has gone to the mental shredder. I will drive to Arlington, pick up Fourthborn and her quilt block, drive to Lewisville with her, my block and Firstborn's, pick up the kits for our new blocks, take her home, come home, and go back to bed. Home Depot has the same quarter-tree as Kohl's, for about $10 less. I might check that out along the way, but I will not be buying tons of stuff and schlepping it home.

Old Spanish proverb allegedly says, "Take what you want, says God. Take what you want, but pay for it." I suspect that I will be paying for it all weekend. This is looking like a Naproxen + no grapefruit day.

Still, I am thankful. Last night was glorious.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Opera = Christmas? Really???

When I was a girl, I would wake up ridiculously early on Christmas morning. Three o'clock. Four o'clock. Dad would get up a little earlier than usual and go take care of things at our laundromat. When he came home, we would have breakfast and then open presents. Usually between six o'clock and seven.

This morning I awoke about a quarter to four. I have a tunic to press. And my makeup bag to find. (I've been just quietly not wearing makeup since the memorial service. And I have no idea where my lipstick might be. There's a small pile near my closet door that might be hiding it. Otherwise, I'm going to have to venture into the middle bedroom. In which case, wish me luck.)

Tonight Ms. Ravelled goes to the opera. Opera is almost my least favorite form of classical music. (That spot is shared by twelve-tone nonsense and fidgety, scratchy violin playing. Both of which inspire me to holler "BLEAGHHH!!!!!" and flip over to the country station to see if there's anything I like better.)

Where was I? Tonight I will be absorbing culture with a capital C. As in "Carmen". And all dolled up. And hoping to stay awake until it's over. And trying not to sing along on the parts I kinda know.

So it's feeling a lot like Christmas this morning. Only I won't get a nap after lunch.

Speaking of Christmas per se, I spent a little time yesterday looking at pre-lit trees. Not cheap! The shortest ones that Costco carries are seven and a half feet tall. I was hoping for something shorter. Not sure if I still have the star I bought fifteen years ago. We purged pretty ruthlessly last year.

One thing I like about the Costco trees is that you can toggle between colored lights and white ones. So I could do a white Christmas one year and a red one the next. Kohl's also has something intriguing; a quarter-tree that you put in a corner. You get the illusion of a massive tree without giving up half a room.

I will definitely check both out. Possibly as early as tomorrow after Fourthborn and I pick up our quilt block kits. The Costco tree weighs 65 pounds. And there's something else at Costco I'm interested in. It weighs almost 70 pounds. If Fourthborn is willing, and I decide they are worth the asking price, we could wrangle both into the truck and then into the house without having to radio for backup. (Otherwise I will have to ask Squishy. Who can probably hoist one in each hand without breaking a sweat.)

This is the part where I turn on the iron and ransack my studio for a pressing cloth. But wait! I think that travel iron I found a few weeks ago is a steamer. That might be even better.

Edited to add that I found my lipstick in my overnight bag, along with the travel iron and travel Waterpik.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Shopping therapy.

My massage therapist has company. And last night was the only time this week that I could go shopping for a nice, dressy top to wear to the opera with my rockstar tuxedo pants. So after my stint at the ward library, I drove to the mall and found one.

My new suburb has one of those open, outdoor malls. They don't make me claustrophobic or slightly paranoid like the big-box malls that started popping up all over the country when I was a (very) young adult. They seem to attract families rather than roving packs of bored teenagers.

On a Wednesday night in North Texas, most families are attending midweek activities at their respective churches. So parking and shopping are a breeze. I left the church parking lot at 7:11 and was on my way home at 7:58. Not bad!

I found a simple, modest, long-sleeved tunic with a bejeweled collar and lightly embellished shirt front. It will look amazing with my rockstar tuxedo pants. I also found a pair of earrings to finish it off, and to bring the total up to where I could use the $25 off coupon.

And then I came home and made a salad for the rest of my dinner. (I'd grabbed a chunk of cheese and some bread before leaving for the church.)

Tonight we are having a Mad Hatter Tea Party at Relief Society. I will be wearing the gorgeous red hat that Fourthborn gave me a dozen or so years ago. I have no idea what to take for a treat to share. Not in the mood to bake. Won't have time after work. Maybe some mini croissants from the nearby grocery? Maybe I should get ready now and swing by when they open, so I won't be too tired to think about it when I get off work?

I've been to only a handful of RS activities since moving into the ward almost two years ago. Thursdays used to be my night to serve in the temple. And this year has been flat-out crazy. I was sick, or uninterested in the activity, or peopled-out near the end of the week, or had something going with one of my kids, or what have you. But I have been looking forward to this activity since they announced it Sunday before last. Just food and friends and sitting around talking and getting to know one another better. This will be the last hurrah for the recently released presidency and a good way to welcome the new one.

So I'd better get moving and find something yummy to share.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Knitting mojo.

Might be back? I wound the last ball from the Seattle trip, grabbed some fat needles, and cast on 19 stitches for a simple garter stitch scarf. The yarn has little blobbies about every two inches plus the hand painted effect. In every bright color you'd find in my closet. So a complicated stitch pattern would be as lost as the Children of Israel in the desert for 40 years.

I am hoping for a scarf that is four to five inches wide by Dr. Who long. If I have cast on too many stitches and this turns out to be an oversized bookmark, it will have to be tinked rather than frogged. The blobbies are about half the size of a TicTac and will not take well to rough treatment.

Yesterday was damp as Monday but not as puddle-y. The drive home from Knit Night was far less exciting. (This is not a complaint.) Work went reasonably well, I think. I ate the last of the potato leek soup for lunch.

Hoping for another calm, quiet, productive day at work. And maybe some thoughtful shopping afterwards. I still haven't figured out what I'm wearing to the opera. And that night is fast approaching. I did check out a dressy top I'd seen in a catalogue last week, but it was uninspiring when examined at closer range.

Breakfast is calling my name. Quite insistently, as a matter of fact. Time to refuel and seize the day.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Maybe I shouldn't have cooked quite so much.

Last night's storm was pretty intense at times. Particularly when I was driving home from Secondborn's and FHE. There was a patch of standing water !!!on the freeway!!!

I hit it at about 45mph. My fellow Texans (I'm naturalized) were being uncharacteristically sensible while driving. No one was trying to go 95, except maybe in his head. I could see the car ahead of me hit the water and keep moving. I hung onto the steering wheel and prayed. When that water hit my windshield, I could see nothing.

Courage really is fear that has said its prayers. I'm glad that mine were answered positively last night.

Still no inspiration on the knitting front. I'm going to wind two balls of yarn and see what happens at Knit Night. (I did get plenty of ideas for trimming a Christmas tree, however. And I need to write them down before I forget.)

Monday, November 04, 2013

Cooking up a storm.

Made a small pot of leek and potato soup. Also a savory mushroom braid from that newest cookbook. Had a bowl of soup while the pie/tart baked. Am about to head out to the kitchen and warm a slice of the braid for breakfast.

I'm going a little nuts: the ward clerk handed me paperwork to prepare for tithing settlement. All my numbers match up, but the totals differ by two cents. I've gone through them three times with the same results. Will have to bring in a second pair of eyes. Maybe when LittleBit is here to paint the trim. She's mathy like me.

Heading to Secondborn's after work for Family Home Evening. I'd better grab that handmade card to enclose her belated birthday gift. I just couldn't get myself over to Fort Worth on Saturday, but part of that was intentional. I didn't want to leave the house until Costco and the clothing stores were closed. So I puttered in the dining room all day until the temptation had safely passed.

That's it for today. Sorry, y'all. Fresh out of profundity. But they tell me it's on backorder.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Woohoos all around!

I finally, finally got the bookcases emptied and out of the dining room. One is in the hall, and the other is partially cluttering up the entryway. Major incentive to finish the job.

I set up the ironing board and pressed the fabric for the quilt block. Set up my long, narrow folding table with my sewing machine, cutting mat, scissors, straightedge, and pincushion. And the bobbin box. Could I find my two Olfa cutters?

Which is why I was marching my cranky self into Wally World at 9:30 last night. Notwithstanding what the Google and Thummim said, the only brand of rotary cutter they did not have, was Olfa. So I came home with an ergonomic Fiskars cutter with automatic blade guard. I have multiple pairs of their scissors. And two of my three cutting mats are Fiskars. They've held up better than my first, Olfa, mat back in the 80's.

Sometime today I will sew up that quilt block. And I might even tackle some of the mending. I have a brown skirt with mesh overlay that's been repeatedly trashed by my rolling chair at work. I've had it basted for months. And last year I bought two pairs of those dressy leggings to wear under it, which would ameliorate the side slits that I keep stitching up.

Yeah. This feels like a Stevie Nicks kind of day.

Friday, November 01, 2013

So I was Frau Blucher yesterday.

There was no whinnying in the office, however. I wish I could say that it was a productive day. It was not. Definitely fun. Definitely unproductive. Costume contest in the morning. Dessert contest as I was creating my goodie bags for the trick or treaters on my lunch hour. (All but nine of which went unclaimed last night. I wish that chocolate didn't bloom when frozen. I would be set for next year. And maybe the year after that.)

Today we have a diversity and inclusion activity that will chew up half the day, and a box lunch provided, which means that I will be having lunch at the same time as the noisies. Quelle joie.

This, after a two hour staff meeting on Wednesday. I think I got more done during the weeks that I was sick.

Today we get to wear our favorite team jerseys and sneakers. It is only because of Beloved that I possess the former. I have a BYU shirt. And a Packers shirt. (And, for colder weather, a Packers sweatshirt.) I think, since this is traditionally a Christian holy day, and since I am a Christian (no matter what some of the Protestants think), I will wear the BYU shirt. Especially since the Y beat UT a few weeks ago and both SemperFi and Mellow went to Texas.

Pit? What pit? Neighbors? What neighbors? I don't know what you are talking about.

Today is also payday. Four more of them and one small extra payment, and the line of credit will be paid off. I love it that today's interest portion is less than a quarter of what it was at the beginning of the year. I am so thankful for the inspiration on how to accomplish this. And the sweet confirmation each payday that I am on the right track, at least in terms of my finances.

I just definitively solved the mystery of the Creature in the Garage. It's the big grey cat that roams the neighborhood. The one who tried to wander in when I was doing laundry earlier this week. Huge cat. Very small meow. If it were human, it would sound like Dianne Wiest. It jumped down from somewhere in the garage and tried to hit me up for breakfast. I gently but firmly shooed it outside.

So relieved that I won't have to hire an exterminator and set traps for a possum or raccoon. Once the new back door goes on, end of problem.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Voice mail hades.

One of the joys of modern life is the experience of trying to short-circuit a company's voice mail loops to get to a human being and arriving just after their help center has closed for the day.

Such was my experience yesterday. I was sitting across the desk from a lovely human being who was genuinely trying to help, and we needed one or two small bits of information from this other source, and I wanted to crawl through the phone and hurt somebody. I could feel my blood pressure increasing, and I was perilously close to childbirth words.

I don't often get as angry as I did in my 20's, before I joined the Church. I know that buried anger played a part in my recent illness. I think I might finally be going through the anger stage of grief, because lately my inner snark has been turning cartwheels, even if I don't say what I'm thinking.

This year has been composed of many tender mercies and one small irritation after another. And it's how we act when we are sick or tired or exasperated that shows our character. So it's obvious to me that the Almighty and I still have a lot of work to do.

How do I get to the point where it's not simply biting my tongue to keep from biting somebody's head off (even if they would seem to richly deserve it), or succeeding in not letting anger become depression only to have it crop up as illness instead?

My mother developed high blood pressure, worrying about my finances when I was married to the children's father. I am trying to resolve my own minor but chronic health issues by dealing with the emotional and spiritual components so that the minor does not become major.

I know that none of us gets out of this world alive. I am just trying to live after the manner of happiness, in a world that is going to hell in a hand basket.

And I still haven't figured out what I'm knitting next.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The second mile.

The good brother did more than pick up the horse apples from the bois d'arc tree. I took a quick peek after getting home from work, a manicure, and a scouting run to Home Depot. He moved the picnic table onto the patio. Which is now so clean that I might be able to eat right off the concrete. (Assuming I could get up again.) I will take a better look when I leave for work today.

The lawn dude should have no trouble doing his job today, weather permitting.

I am eating a huge salad for breakfast. Sliced mushrooms, two hard-boiled eggs, matchstick carrots, grape tomatoes, dried cranberries, sliced almonds, and baby spring mix. I made a batch of buttermilk ranch dressing on Saturday, to avoid the canola oil in the bottled variety.

Still haven't figured out the next knitting project. And tonight is Knit Night.

But I think I've figured out the mystery critter in the garage. I was just out there, throwing a load into the dryer. There's a big grey cat that roams the neighborhood. Probably twice the size of Cricket. He poked his head through the hole in the door and asked me what happened to the bowls. I told him scat and blocked the door with the laundry basket.

Cricket isn't big enough to budge the snow shovel which got knocked over. This cat might be. And two cats playing kitty olympics at midnight would probably have an easy time of it. I like that idea much better than a possum or raccoon, running amok.

I've found a replacement door that I like. That will solve the problem nicely.

Monday, October 28, 2013

A good Sabbath.

I love that I am three minutes from church. I skidded into my seat just as the last verse of the opening hymn began.

Yesterday I spent about an hour sorting a small box of medical receipts circa 2007. Mine, not Beloved's. I found two items worth keeping. One is the invitation to Tola and Mike's wedding. Hard to believe they've been hitched that long! I put the invitation in my "to be scrapbooked" bag in the studio.

The other item was the report from my last colonoscopy in 2008, with the notation to re-test in five years. Oops. Hasn't happened. Will contact my doctor's office sometime this week about that and also about an A1C for my blood sugar levels.

Knit did not happen yesterday. I took the leftover ball of microscopically fine laceweight yarn and my 5-0's to cast on something for Temperance. Cast on four stitches. I would have needed 8-0's to knit that. Which mercifully I do not possess. Ripped that and cast on four stitches with two strands held as one. The yarn did not want to play nicely. Sighed inaudibly and put it all back in the bag. Spent the rest of sacrament meeting writing in my journal.

If that yarn is to be used up, it will have to be another lace project. Or stranded with a much heavier yarn. It is absolutely gorgeous stuff. And more opinionated than a toddler in the candy aisle at dinnertime.

One of the brothers at church just lost his job. I am hiring him to install a new door on the back wall of the garage. It was severely damaged by one of the dogs who used to live here. With Cricket now living elsewhere, I can finally replace the door. He used the hole as a cat door, and there is also an extension cord running through it. I will feel better (safer) with an intact door in place.

This is the part where I hurry up and get ready for work so I may have enough time to run into the home center and price doors before heading downtown.

Doesn't answer the question of what to knit next, but I will figure that out as well.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The dog ate their homework.

It's not often that one gets an apologetic letter from the IRS. I have had two of them this year. So far. There might be another in six weeks. I filed an automatic extension on April 15 via snail mail, not realizing that I could e-file one through Turbotax, because I was only partway through sorting and organizing all of our medical expenses for last year. (I have three fat manila envelopes of receipts. And I found another (small) one yesterday.) I was too busy taking care of an ailing husband to pay my usual level of attention to the paperwork. And I was expecting a modest refund.

When all the numbers were sorted out, I owed them a trifling sum, because of the limitation on lodging expenses for medical travel. I knew there would be a penalty and interest on that. I cheerfully paid it and pointed out that I had filed the extension in a timely manner and should not be subject to a late filing penalty.

It would seem that the current Administration has them so busy with adjunct duties that they are a little behind on their work. "Due to heavy workload, we have not yet completed our research to resolve your inquiry...Please allow an additional 45 days for us to obtain the information we need and to let you know what action we are taking."

In other news, I cooked my own tortillas this morning. I was a little dubious. We have had a package of frozen uncooked tortillas in the outside freezer since I don't know when. I brought them in to the fridge awhile ago. I just warmed three of them on the stove to make the simplest of quesadillas. Oh. Wow. No more store-bought mass-produced precooked tortillas for Ms. Ravelled. (If the stock price tanks for Mission brand, you'll know why.)

Had a serendipitous lunch with Br. Sushi yesterday. I was in town for some errands. He was at lunch at his favorite Indian restaurant. I was craving the cream of jalapeño soup at Rockfish. He joined me after finishing his lunch. We talked for nearly two and a half hours.

We will be resuming our monthly dinners in November. His fiancee approves. Beloved would also approve. I used to say that Br. Sushi was my testosterone replacement plan. But it's who he is and what he represents that I have missed.

I have great home teachers. They are coming today, because I have been unavailable until now. If I needed a blessing at 2:00am, I would not hesitate to call. He's bringing tools to help me complete a small project. I like them and I trust them.

Br. Sushi also holds and honors the priesthood. When I am at church or with my LDS friends, that priesthood power blesses and strengthens me. (This is the same power that created the universe. And I am blessed to be exquisitely aware of its presence or absence in my life.)

I would write more, but I'm supposed to be in the library at church in 16 minutes, and I haven't even started to get ready.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Culture is not just for yogurt.

The classical station has been playing teasers for the Dallas Opera's upcoming production of "Carmen". I bought a ticket yesterday. I already have the rockstar tuxedo pants. Now to find a dressy top and maybe even some outrageously sparkly earrings. SemperFi says if I buy a Little Black Dress, I will be conspicuously overdressed. He says I will see people in jeans and flip flops.

Mom raised me better.

In other sartorial news, I finished the doll sweater last night. All that remains is to figure out what to use to lace it up in front. And then I can put it in the mail to Middlest and get Pan back to Squishy.

Hungry. I should do something about that. Happy Friday, y'all!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

And now we wait.

CT tech said I should have the results in a day or two. He was very kind and respectful. (I bet he just loves having to ask the women if their bras are underwire. Not!) So glad I work as a legal secretary.

Hardest part of the whole procedure was not the fasting beforehand. I just kept moving all afternoon and got pretty close to being caught up after having been out for four and a half days. Yesterday's appointment was right after I normally get off work, so I took my lunch at the end of the day.

Hardest part was holding my breath that second time and wondering if I was going to make it until the machine said I could breathe again. I was afraid I was going to gasp and ruin the procedure and have to do it again. Now I know why the intake form asks if you have any history of asthma.

Yes. But thankfully not active at present.

No repeat yesterday of Tuesday's pain, for which I am both eternally and internally grateful. Thank you for your prayers.

Also no knitting yesterday. Some reading last night. Two books from the Beloved Family Library that were briefly skimmed before going into the "sell" box: one a fictionalized biography of a figure from LDS history written in turgid 1930's prose; the other a book of comic essays written by someone who's not anywhere near as good a writer, or as funny, as Bill Cosby. I'm being merciful and not naming names.

No massage last night. No energy work either. A few rounds of solitaire while dinner cooked. Refueling and rehydrating. Too much time on FB. And then bed.

Hoping to finish the doll sweater tonight. Then on to the next project, whatever that might be. I'm not telling.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Pain, pain go away.

For two weeks now I have had an intermittently aching back. Better at some times. Worse at others. Wearying, but not specifically painful. While I was driving to Fourthborn's last night (after mailing three packages), I got hit by two or three waves of pain (my brain just offered "four amber waves of pai-ai-ain" but I frankly wasn't all that amused; more like red-hot searing up into white) that were reminiscent of when my gallbladder made its last hurrah before being voted out of office. Starting at kidney level and arrowing up almost to the nape of my neck.

Not. Fun.

Thankfully, I have an appointment for a CT scan this afternoon. And as Alison says, if this is a simple matter of kidney stones, they can fix that.

I got Fourthborn's card delivered to her. She skipped Knit Night because she'd been up for something like four days and her body was finally ready to sleep.

From there I drove to Firstborn's and borrowed a tool that is supposed to make putting the quilt block together a whole lot easier. She showed me her finished block. It is OCD-perfect.

Then I went on to Knit Night. By this time the pain had passed, and I was just (I was going to say crazy-tired, but Fourthborn has that covered) worn out but stubborn. A rice krispy treat helped. The friend who took Beloved's sweater off my hands gave me a skein of semi-solid dusky purple sock yarn. I picked up the rest of the stitches for the button band and got half of the buttonholes worked.

I also managed to shank myself with a #14 crochet hook in that little web of skin right where the top of my ear joins my head, but I got myself disentangled without calling attention to that fact or bleeding on my project. I was still shocky from the earlier back pain, which probably helped. My head is barely tender this morning.

I am taking my lunch at the end of the day, since I cannot eat or drink anything after 1:15. Hoping for another productive day and no repeats of that pain. Particularly no more repeats while I am driving. I hope I was driving as carefully as I think I was driving. Because there was no place to pull over.

I got a good night's sleep last night. Not always guaranteed when one is exhausted, and I am so grateful.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

No Cherry Coke yesterday, after all.

Proving that the age of miracles is not past. I even managed a trip to Costco afterwards, and a dash into Kroger for more cat food.

I did too much. I'm paying for it this morning. The most important things on today's list are work, mailing my sister's birthday present, and getting the trash out to the curb. I might have to take a pass on Knit Night. But I want to see Fourthborn and my friends. Her birthday is Thursday. I want to give her her card and a pre-birthday hug.

Breakfast is kicking in, and the ache in my back is beginning to ease. But mostly I just want to stay home and cry in the shower. (It makes sense in my head.)

In knitting news, I got half the stitches picked up for the button bands on the doll sweater. In autofill news, whenever I start to type "sweater" it tries to get me to "swear".

Today I could just about do that. I want my mommy. And a nap.

Monday, October 21, 2013

(insert manic giggle) Wipe(d) out!

Church went well. I was awake, mindful, and so thankful to be out of the house. I was able to serve in my calling, totally pooped when I got home, and slept for something like six hours after lunch.

Went to bed around 1:30, tossed and turned for an hour, then got up and wrapped three boxes to be mailed. Back to bed at 3:30. Awake for at least half an hour, and up for good at 4:45.

This is obviously going to be a Cherry Coke day. My back doesn't hurt now. I hope I can say the same when I come home tonight. And I hope I drink just enough to keep my nose out of the keyboard and my forehead off the steering wheel, without messing up my sleep tonight.

A girl can dream. (I crack myself up.)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Really, really good day. Really.

I filled a fifth box before Mel and Squishy arrived. Showed off the new dolls to Mel while Squishy sorted. Lots of hugs. They loaded up their car, and my truck, and took off. I went straight to Half Price Books and sold the lot for $7, which I used as credit toward a Williams Sonoma cookbook I've been eyeing for the past couple of months. I love getting a $35 cookbook for $3 net!!!

Then I headed to Fort Worth and Madtosh to get my sister's birthday present. That will go in the mail on Tuesday after work. I also have a small package for Tan. And one for one of Beloved's sisters.

That first bookcase is not quite empty, but almost. And the table in front of the dining room window is gloriously bare. I will bring in the empty boxes from the back of the truck after church and line them up for refilling.

I cannot adequately describe how much better I feel at having gotten so much stuff re-homed all at once. It's like that deep cleansing breath after you push the baby out.

I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do for the new flooring in there. Some of the most durable solutions require adhesives. Which would probably trigger my asthma. Squishy says that if I go with cork, I would have to institute a "no rubber soles in here" rule, because rubber soles tear little crumbs off the cork.

If they still make cork tiles that are self-adhesive, I could lay the new floor *myself* and save a ton on installation fees. And I could put one of the small bookcases in the entryway for people's shoes. Not that I am anticipating huge droves of company.

But first I need to get those bookcases out of the dining room and paint the last wall and buy the new baseboards and find the miter box and saw. LittleBit and I reached a consensus on a fair price for finishing the trim. She took a couple of cases (green beans and peas) and some loose cans (high sodium content) off my hands last night.

All this ruminating is not getting my lessons read for church. And I need to be in the library in less than an hour.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Ms. Van Winkle

That would be me. I was standing in the shower yesterday, pretty much ready to charge into work and catch up my desk from Thursday, when it occurred to me that that might not be what my body needed.

So at 6:50 I was in line at the city's drive-thru to pay my utility bill, and at 7:05 I was on my way home, having called in sick. I ate just enough breakfast to not have hunger dreams, and I went right back to bed. I slept another four hours, was up for three more, and back to bed until 8:00. At which point I made a quick run to Braum's because I was out of milk and nearly out of juice. Both literally and metaphorically. Back to bed around 2:00, and asleep until almost 7:00.

Not a lot to show for yesterday. Finished reading a slim volume of essays by Bill Cosby. Started another by Virginia Hinckley Pearce. Finished the last doll sleeve and began the raglan decreases. Filled a fourth box with mostly cookbooks and found a shelf to hold the ones I want to keep.

I'm about to leap up (leap being a relative term) and search for more cookbooks. Squishy and Mel will be here in a couple of hours to sort through those boxes and load what they don't want into the back of the truck for me. LittleBit will be here later today, after her gig, to pick up some of her stuff that I've found, and for us to figure out what it would be worth for her to finish painting the trim in the dining room.

Between naps, I'd like to finish emptying at least one of the bookcases in the dining room. Yes, I know I had hoped to work on it a little every night this week. We see how well that worked out.

The Santa suit is gone. After waiting over a month and a half for one of the twins to come get it, I found it another home. At the moment, neither twin is returning texts or emails. They're grieving. I respect that. They would have preferred that I go quietly back to Tarrant County after their father's passing, instead of standing up for my legal right to inherit the house. I understand that.

One of them is cranky because he did not get the truck at a fire sale price. (They tried to convince me that Beloved agreed to pay more than it's worth. I checked the Blue Book value while putting numbers together for the refi. My faith in Beloved's good sense, and his sister's integrity, remains unshaken.)

One of the reasons I have a kidney infection is because I have been quietly p'd off at the twins for their rudeness. The anger went inward, instead of outward. Part of the healing process is to let that anger go. So I'm increasing my prayers for their healing, and I'm no longer waiting for them to tell me what they'd like to have, or for them to come get it.

And now if you will kindly excuse me, I've taken an hour to write this, and the kids will be here before I know it, and I need to feed the cat.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Aughh! And ick! And other stuff.

Yesterday was really, really hard. I had an amazingly productive day (and am thankful), but physically I felt awful. I am going back to the doctor this morning for more labwork and sundry poking and prodding.

Getting a massage last night was out of the question. But we did some energy work, and I got some of last weekend's impressions confirmed about the spiritual and emotional sources for this year's bouts of illness. When I understand the metaphor, I can work on healing across the board.

Sometimes illness is just illness. You get bitten by something venomous? There are natural consequences, regardless of personal righteousness or good mental health.

But for the past 25 years, since the children's father began chiropractic school, I have been a quiet student of the mind-body-spirit connection, especially as it has played out within my own skin.

Last night I found more pieces of the puzzle. I know the next two or three steps I need to take. Which will make it easier to work with my wonderful doctor to get me over this kidney infection.

My back aches less this morning. I slept fairly well and woke when my alarm would have gone off, had I set it. And I expect to feel even better when I go to bed tonight.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Two down. And two, to go!

No. I haven't suddenly forgotten that there are five days in my work week. I had another good, productive day at work. And I bought both of Fourthborn's dolls last night and brought them home.

They are enchanting. And as yet unnamed. She did a beautiful job with their faceups. She also fixed Temperance's slightly wandering eye. I got a little knitting done. But I was definitely distracted.

Too much salt in last night's dinner. My back was seriously aching when I went to bed, but it's much better this morning. I'm hoping to be well enough to get a massage tonight.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled knitting.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

One down.

Yesterday went well. I got the mail caught up for both attorneys. I got most of my to-do's worked. At the end of the day, I headed off to Empty Nesters with a feeling of accomplishment and no small sense of relief. Hoping for more of the same today.

Knit did not happen, but other than too much cheap pizza for dinner, I ate sensibly all day. I did not, however, drink responsibly. The better part of a 20oz bottle of Cherry Coke went down the hatch. Am hoping to do better today. Am also about to take my last dose of antibiotic, huzzah!

Temperance is going to work with me and on to Knit Night. One of her eyes has shifted slightly, and I'm going to ask Fourthborn to fix it. It ooks me out to take the head apart and mess with the eyes. That's why I have kids in the hobby, right?

Temperance may come home with two new sisters or cousins. Fourthborn is looking to rehome twins. I get first right of refusal.

To my more conventional children, I have two words: Coach bags.

Monday, October 14, 2013

I need more Sabbaths like that.

I could use another one today. Stake conference was excellent as always. I got in a catnap beforehand and a longer nap afterwards. And I feel better than I did when I woke up yesterday.

I made several more birthday cards. Also finished the first revised sleeve at stake conference and got a good start on the second one. Finished that at home while semi-watching Sense and Sensibility. Discovered that I'd put in one too many rows, three pattern repeats down. Attempted to tink back and gave it up as a lost cause. Pitched the sleeve but did not quite pitch a fit.

I think the cat may be trying out for the Olympic soccer team while I sleep. Every morning there are more random items on the garage floor. I will be so grateful when he is happily installed at Mel and Squishy's.

It's raining steadily outside, which we desperately need. Time to figure out what I'm wearing, make breakfast, and pack a lunch. Cheap pizza tonight at CiCi's with the Empty Nesters. SemperFi is on vacation today, which improves  my chances of getting caught up from two and a half days of being sick last week.

I need Hermione's time turner.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

A steadily productive day.

And I'm paying for it. I have most of the books that were jumbled on the floor in the dining room sorted into boxes. Three small wash basins hold items that I think will be of interest to the boys. There are three large boxes of cookbooks on the table by the window. I filled four large paper shopping bags with VHS tapes and mass market books and schlepped them to Half Price Books. Which leaves that bookcase still about half full. But it's progress.

I made it to the family party last night. I'm glad I went. I slept well last night. And I'm thankful for that. But my back aches, and I'm so tired. The plan for today is to attend stake conference and nap as much as possible.

While it's tempting to try to finish emptying at least one of the bookcases in the dining room, I think the sensible thing is to wait until tomorrow night after work and clear another shelf or two. If I could do that each night, building on the momentum from yesterday and truly keeping this Sabbath holy, then there would be very little left to do next Saturday, and I might even be able to shift those two bookcases and paint that last wall.

Thst would be really, really cool.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Going in.

We'll see how it goes. Still have a faint backache but am ready to chew off a paw. Have asked Firstborn to give my ticket to Time Out for Women to someone. I think a day back in the saddle is going to be all I can handle.

I will miss the bonding time with her and Secondborn. And I think having sufficient oomph to drive to the family party tomorrow or, alternatively, to attend both sessions of stake conference this weekend, takes precedence over a commercial activity.

I dashed out for an hour last night to pick up more milk and a handful of fresh groceries. And tater tots. I wouldn't exactly have killed for them, but I was feeling a little desperate for some crunchy goodness. I also brought home some microwave potatoes and one microwave sweet potato.

In between Braum's and the grocery store, I picked up a few more card making supplies, in case I was too pooped to pop this morning. Lifting two 24-packs of bottled water left me totally knackered. One was a new purchase last night. I bought the other last weekend, and it had slid all the way to the front of the pickup bed. I used a plastic rake to scootch it within reach.

I need to take a look this weekend and figure out what my options are for setting up a barricade so the next 24-pack doesn't shift while I'm driving home.

Breakfast is calling my name. I must obey.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Somewhat to significantly better.

It's hard to judge. My brain wants to go back to work. My body still wants to sleep. I slept from midnight until 5:30 and again from 7:00 to 8:30.

I rolled some coins yesterday. Updated my spreadsheet. Played a lot of Freecell. Emptied the Dread Box Under the Desk. Shredded most of its contents. (I do want to ask why we were keeping a Daily Universe clipping circa 1971 about the resignation of Dr. W. from BYU.) Read my French BOM. Made a bunch of birthday cards. Finished reading the specialty cookbook I bought last month. Ate small, sensible meals throughout the day. Napped at the drop of a hat. Washed three small loads of laundry.

There is so much that needs doing around here. And it's mostly stuff that if I had the stamina to tackle it, I would be well enough to go back to work. I'm about ready to suggest that Firstborn find somebody to take my ticket to Time Out for Women. Not sure I'll be up for the Friday night session. Not sure I'll be up for the Saturday session plus the family birthday party plus the Saturday night session of stake conference. Maybe the most sensible thing is to be a hermit until Sunday.

Bleagh. I think I feel another nap coming on.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Kidney infection.

And a new antibiotic that seems to be working. (She wanted to prescribe Cipro. I told her, "No! No! No! No! No! Not Cipro! Projectile vomiting!")

I took my first dose of whatever at 7:00 last night and went to bed as soon as dinner had settled. Already my back is less achy. I don't want to cry. And my normally-suppressed sarcasm has once more gone into remission.

I don't want to knit. (Yeah. I know.) And I think there's a decent chance of going back to sleep. Cover me, y'all. I'm going in.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Interesting times.

I spent a good chunk of last weekend in tears. Not sadness or self-pity or depression. Simply the natural (for me) result of hanging out where the Spirit could teach me. But I was starting to get a little annoyed with myself.

Don't get me wrong. I worked hard, and paid good money, to get to a point where I could recognize and experience a full range of feelings. I am grateful.

When I went home after the final session of General Conference, I was spiritually replete and physically worn out. I had a small snack and slept for four hours. Which wrecked my sleep for Sunday night. I was up till 1:00am cooking and baking. Slept till 2:30. Physical symptom in a new/unusual place. Up for half an hour or so. Then back to bed.

Not rested when the alarm went off. Vague sense of pain in my midsection. Called my doctor's office once I got to work, and I have an appointment this afternoon. Went to Secondborn's for FHE and got a priesthood blessing. Got very specific counsel and the assurance that if I follow my doctors' (plural, repeated) instructions I would be healed.

OK then. So no need to worry, because whether this is trifling or serious, I am going to be fine. That in itself is a huge relief. One of the uncertainties of middle age is whether a particular symptom is a speed bump, a detour, or a major construction project.

In knitting news, I joined the sleeves to the body and knitted one row. It didn't look right. I went back to my notes and realized the sleeves are ten stitches too wide. I think. I am going to have to wait until I am not distracted and recalculate. But it looks like I am going to have to knit two new sleeves. I can save the current ones and incorporate them into another project.

Meanwhile, I need to figure out breakfast and pack a portable lunch, because I'm leaving the office at 1:00. There are things I would like to eat but will not, because they interfere with some medications. And since I do not know what I am dealing with, or what I might be taking before the end of the day, that limits the culinary possibilities at least a little.

So: your job is to send up prayers and/or positive thoughts. And not to worry (I know how some of you are). Because we already know that the good guys win.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Nothing to see here. Just keep moving.

Picked up the fabric for quilt block #1. Also $30+ worth of fabric for Halloween outfits for the dolls. And three sets of closet rod sockets for my brainstorm of how to reconfigure the bedroom closet: $9, thus saving me $2287 at the Container Store and significantly less at IKEA. 1BDH cut down my closet rod into three smaller chunks post-afternoon session of General Conference.

Next step is to preshrink my fabric. I will save the installation of the sockets for FHE tomorrow night. Because emptying the closet and removing the rickety wire shelf both qualify as labor, and I would far rather knit or make more birthday cards.

I finished the first doll sleeve to the armscye yesterday and cast on for the second. And there they sit, because I had neglected to bring my other needles along, and both needles were filled with live stitches.

General Conference was sublime, and tear-provoking. I nodded and wept through Elder Bednar's address. I sobbed through Elder Holland's. (Poor 1BDH. He had a crying woman on either side.)

I struggled with PTSD for eight of the twenty years I was married to the children's father. Our kids grew up with a severely depressed mother, and each of them has fought depression at one time or another. For at least two of them it is a nearly constant companion. How much of it is biochemical, or situational, or learned, or inherited, I cannot guess at present.

Time, the removal of my chief source of stress, effective counseling, study and prayer, priesthood blessings, and the Atonement have healed my brokenness. And I am a better person for having struggled through that mess.

My two who are active in the Church seem to be doing well. My three who are not, are carving their own pathways through. I grieve for them far more than I grieve the loss of Beloved. I love them dearly. I enjoy their company. I pray for them. And I respect their agency, just as my parents did when I joined the Church.

I am looking forward to today's Conference sessions. I hope they will be less soggy.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Apparently I want to cook?

Last night I simmered a cup of food storage macaroni in a can of low sodium chicken broth with some herbes de Provence. Stirred in the last of the alfredo sauce that was in the fridge. Grated in some dill Havarti.

Intended to use about half as much cheese as I did, but the lump fell into the sauce while I was grating it, and I didn't feel like rinsing it off. Poured it into a small foil pan (the size Beloved used for sauces and rubs when he grilled) and topped it with panko and put it in the oven at 350°F for half an hour.

While it baked I ate a tuna fish sandwich. After the sandwich was history and the casserole was out of the oven, I made a quick run to the store for more raw ingredients. Came home with salad mix. I haven't been eating enough greens lately, and that is fixin' to change.

Also a pound each of ground lamb, bison, and relatively lean beef. I am going to make meatloaf muffins and maybe some meatballs. I used to have those Texas-size muffin pans. They were just the right size for individual servings of meatloaf. I may only have standard-size muffin pans now.

I do have a bajillion foil mini loaf pans that would give me two nights' worth of meat. And I have a small bag of matchstick carrots that need to be used up or thrown away. Not sure which at this point: they have been languishing in the fridge for quite awhile. But if they are still fit to eat, I could chop them into confetti and add them to the meat for color and flavor. Or throw some into a pot of minestrone or black bean soup. Or all of the above.

I bought one huge russet potato. I want some potato soup, and the last 3# bag of Yukon Golds went bad because they were all the size of a Roma tomato, and I never got in the mood to peel them. Such a waste. So I'll peel a really big one in a flash and get on with it.

Meeting two of my girls in three hours to pick up our first quilt block kits and have lunch or at least a quick bite to eat. It's General Conference weekend, and I also don't want to miss any of the talks. I'll bring my fabric home and preshrink it. That's probably as close to actual sewing as I'll get.

I am excited about what this day holds.

Friday, October 04, 2013

In which your intrepid heroine has adventures.

So: Heaven knows me very, very well. I know this does not surprise you. Nor does it surprise me. But I do get surprised, retroactively, when I see how neatly events have dovetailed to make something happen. Case in point:

Last night I tanked Lorelai instead of waiting for before work. And my morning routine involves unplugging the phone from the mother ship and checking email and FB while in the loo.

Message pops up while I have one eye open and am contemplating opening the other. Cognition is running at maybe 15%. Maybe. Belly is whining for breakfast. Feet, ankles, hips are high fiving one another for having gotten me into the loo without incident. Bladder is sighing with relief. (If you are middle aged, I am preaching to the choir.)

So, message pops up. Dear friend has missed her shuttle to the airport. To go to Utah. Where her child is going through the temple. This afternoon. Is there any way I can get her to the airport, because the taxis won't come without an appointment. And there won't be another shuttle available for two hours.

Yes, as a matter of fact, I can. Thankfully, it takes no brains to get dressed. Or, apparently, to drive.

Two hours in the car, before breakfast. Through construction. I dropped her off at the airport an hour and a half after I got the word, or about the time I'm hitting the shower when I've spent too much time online and need to scramble if I want to be to work on time.

I took another route home, grabbed breakfast at JITB and sat down and ate it before sluicing off and packing up for work. I drove the Tardis in. If I'd driven Lorelai, I wouldn't be able to walk. And pretty much nothing hurts at the moment.

So many people are or have been answers to my prayers. It was really fun to be the answer to somebody else's for a change.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Good massage last night.

And almost entirely on the biomechanical end of the continuum. Yesterday was a weird day, foodwise. I left my breakfast and lunch sitting in a bag here at home. So breakfast was from the deli in our building. And lunch was from the fast food restaurant across the street. By late afternoon I felt as if I were containing a food fight. I wasn't ill, but I was distinctly uncomfortable. Dinner was the last of the cheese puffs and half a glass of milk. Followed, after the massage, by dried apricots dipped in Nutella.

I'm starting off better today. Irish oatmeal with raisins. And my lunch is not only packed, but the bag is tucked safely in my knitting bag. I've figured out what I'm wearing to work.

I got my first utility bill in my own name yesterday. It's about half what we paid  last September. (I need to call the city and find out if it's too soon to set up average billing.) This is because I don't have a garden. And because I am not experiencing the wildly fluctuating internal thermostat that Beloved did in his last few months. And because as far as I know I have a healthy colon, so I am not flushing several times each hour.

I would rather have Beloved here, than economic predictability.

My massage therapist asked if I thought I would ever want to remarry, for companionship. Emphatically not. Before I remarried, the only element missing in my life was the love of, and for, a good man. I have that now. He's just not here, where I can hug him. Aside from chaste hugs from my handful of dependable, trustworthy male friends/family, I don't want another man touching me. Ever.

She quipped that God would have to tell me to be standing on a certain corner at a certain time and the man would show up. Yeah, pretty much. I wouldn't refuse Elijah the last of my oatmeal. But other than a direct inspiration, or more likely a commandment, no thank you.

I'm already married to the perfect man for me. Any other man would suffer by comparison.