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!

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.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

It's interesting, sitting here in my body.

Although I don't know where else I'd be sitting. Left hand is cool and a little tingly because I've been holding my phone so long. Muscle in my neck started twitching because I had shifted position, and it was putting pressure on my elbow. I shifted again, and it stopped. Range of motion in my neck is reduced but not painful. (Quite an improvement from last week.) Knees are still a little achy from the two and a half hour drive to get home through construction after Knit Night.

I sang hymns almost all the way home. Even better than Vivaldi as a road rage preventative. I know a lot of hymns. And last night I sang them in my own key, to accommodate the restricted range of one very tired middle-aged body.

Before I leave for work this morning,  I need to fetch the trash can from the curb. I refilled the cat's bowls before I crashed, but that's as far as I got in terms of social responsibility.

So grateful not to be wrestling my personal demons this morning. Time to put down the phone and get ready for work. Massage tonight. Can't wait.

(I split an individual pizza with Fourthborn last night, and a brownie at Knit Night. Got us both a hot chocolate when I stopped for gas while taking her home. I was seriously rethinking that 20oz chocolate by the time I was ten minutes from home.)

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Dodged a bullet.

I am so glad that I married Beloved. He was so easy to love, and so easy to get along with. And he made it easy for me to be easy to get along with.

Some of you will remember that shortly before Beloved came along, I was dating a long time friend. Who is a very rough diamond but nevertheless a diamond. And a living example of the good is the enemy of the best. Once I determined where he should fit into the friend/boyfriend continuum, there was room in my life for Beloved, who was also making room for me.

If I had married the other man, we would be having words right now. (I would be waking him up, if necessary.) I just hid a post of his on FB in which he and one of his sons were bickering with another man. All three of them grown men, holders of the Priesthood, and behaving badly. And my friend started it.

So very, very glad that that man is not the head of my household, and that Beloved is. If he were here I would give him the world's biggest hug in sheer gratitude for his strength of character.

In musical news, I went to the nail salon and had my nails cut down to fingertip length but not filled. They're still too long for me to properly fret my banjo, but in another couple of months they should be all grown out, except maybe the thumbs. I think I might try the vinyl applique manicure in the meantime, if only for Halloween. I don't like how my hands look without long nails. I'm going to try to get used to it. Because I'm not completely happy without music. It helps me to feel whole and connected.