About Me

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

Tuesday, 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.