About Me

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

Sunday, August 10, 2014


Probably stirred up by cleaning out the third bookcase. Lots of dust. And a surprising amount of Gracie fur that had sifted in behind the notebooks. I started sneezing on Friday. I am the new sacrament meeting chorister. Church is in six hours. And I don't think these people have ever heard me sneeze.

I sneezed during my mechanical drawing final, my senior year in high school, and almost all of the guys jumped so hard that they snapped the lead on their pencils. Definitely not something you want to hear during moments of reverence and quiet contemplation. (Although there would likely be less, or less audible, cussing in reaction.)

So I went on the hunt. Somewhere in this house is a Ziploc with the last of the Mucinex. What I came up with, under Beloved's sink, were two tabs of Alavert. After researching possible drug interactions, and getting multiple reassurances that I would not keel over, I took one. It's not supposed to make me drowsy.

Wish me luck.

In other news, the bookcase is emptied, dusted, and moved. I had just enough painter's tape to mask off the area above my studio door and the east wall of the hall. It felt great to go to bed last night with that accomplished.

I've cleared most of the bags out of the living room. The largest but not heaviest will go to church with me. Squishy will get the last two after I get home from Empty Nesters tomorrow night. And that will be that until the next batch.

Because I'm in this for the long haul, and there is always going to be another batch.  However, I have a functional bathroom, and the dining room looks great except for the quilt block clutter. I hope to deal with that sometime today.

(Painting a wall counts as "labor" in my book. Not so much the actual painting, but I haven't done the cutting-in. Cutting-in has a high PITA factor.) Sewing a quilt block doesn't seem like work to me. And is therefore Sabbath-appropriate. At least in my world. Whereas sewing together an entire quilt block would probably be work.

Hrmm. This is beginning to sound like "you can only walk so many steps on the Sabbath before it turns into work and you're going to hell". I might want to rethink this. As I'm sewing the quilt block?

One hour. No sneezing. This could work.

I've commented before that I have an impressive collection of cookbooks, because everyone needs a rich fantasy life, and I like to keep mine G-rated. Last night I brought home a book on home management. It is wonderfully well-written. Except for my teenage years, I've never felt that housework was beneath me. I have frequently felt that it was beyond me.

On the trip to Nauvoo, one of the sisters commented about how we women base our self-esteem on how our house looks and how our children behave. I cracked that I must be a man in drag.

Housework has been both a battle of wits against the forces of entropy and a lifelong battle of wills with my mother (even 16 years after her passing), who quite reasonably expected me to be a participating member of the household, while I wanted to read or play or daydream.

Chores were something to be gotten through. I learned the mechanics, but I never gained a testimony of housekeeping. I read Daryl Hoole's books on the domestic arts, and she might as well have been speaking Sanskrit. I bought "Sidetracked Home Executives" and made the index cards. But I rapidly reached the point where there were more people making messes than there were cleaning them up, and everything fell apart. For years. I would feel frustrated and guilty and depressed, and I would make forays into order. The good guys would win for awhile, and then *meh*.

This woman (Cheryl Mendelson) and her book (Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping House) make sense to me. It's a huge book, 894 pages. And it's written for rank beginners as well as seasoned homemakers.

That clean, fresh scent? Hope.

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