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!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Goodnight, my someone.

Remember these little necklaces? I got one as a Secret Santa gift, back when I was single. You wrote a prayer or a wish on a scrap of paper, rolled it up, and enclosed it in the box.

I found this among other pieces of forgotten jewelry over the weekend. My prayer was largely for my children. But at the end, I had added, "please bless my someone." I knew he was out there somewhere, but not his name or his situation. I would pray over him occasionally, asking Heaven to bless him in his marriage, if he were married, and in his search if he were not. Sometimes I would sing Marian's song from "The Music Man".

Three years ago, we were putting the finishing touches on our wedding. That seems so very long ago. Two years ago, I had the privilege of loving and serving that dear man up to his final breath. In two weeks I will observe our anniversary, followed immediately by his second angelversary. I think I will try to spend part of both days serving in the temple.

I'm not sad tonight. Just pensive. I love him more, if possible, than I did during the time we had together. And oh, what a year that was! I still feel his love and watchcare. There are some things stronger than death.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Plans.

The one for mucking off the kitchen table was successful. A little over an hour of actual work, with one knitting break and one snack break. So that's done. (Picture of naked table, soon to make like Elvis and leave the building, below.)

The trip to Madtosh was also successful. I came home with some yummy purple yarn for me, and the grey to knit a hat for a young sister who'll be attending BYU-Idaho.

Got the elders fed in a timely fashion. During the day a cold front moved in, so by the time I met them at the church, they were thoroughly chilled.

I was pretty cold myself, so I jumped into bed and napped for four hours. Knitted until 2am and went back to bed. Lots of lovely rest in two installments.

This morning I attached both sleeves and stitched down the first grosgrain band. I'm debating whether to do the second now or just call it a night.

Spent a significant amount of time with my spreadsheets. Submitted the music for the next two Sundays and penciled in the music for next December and the sacrament hymns for the entire year. Also brought my mortgage sheet up to date and estimated that I could have it paid off at the end of 2020, or approximately eight years ahead of schedule. That would be really, really cool.

Tomorrow I plan to set up another savings account, this one for a piano. By the time I have the money in hand, I should be done wrangling all the excess stuff around here and have some idea if and/or where a piano might fit. I noodled around on a Steinway yesterday. Drool... (I would be equally happy with an Essex or a Boston.)

It's not coveting if I am willing to work for it and save for it.

I am also looking into the feasibility of attending BYU Education Week next year. Maybe I could combine that with the trip I had hoped to make this year to go visit Tan? A lot will depend on how many other people want that time off, and how large my bonus might be. And, of course, on Tan's availability.

And maybe in 2016 I can combine a trip to visit Wes and Sarah in "Joisey" with a visit to Tola and the Church history sites in New York.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Dervish.

It's 9.30am, and I am eating the other half of yesterday's sandwich for breakfast, because I am Not In The Mood To Cook. I've been to the gym and walked 1.77 miles and am revving myself up to excavate the kitchen table. It's about a foot deep in stuff. And I have a new home for the table.

My inner four year old looks at the clutter and whines, It will take *all day* to fix that! To which my inner mom replies, Probably less than an hour. Let's set the timer for half an hour and see how much we can get done. And then you can knit for 15-20 minutes. And when we're done, we can go to Fort Worth and spend the Madtosh gift card. And if you're *really* good, we can have lobster bisque at Lucile's.

My inner mom is pretty tricky.

In knitting news, the sweater body and one sleeve are done. The second sleeve is cast on and the first row of pattern worked. I hope to have it pinned out and blocking when I go to bed tonight. It would be great to finish this weekend with one Pukifee sweater done and the second underway.

Heading out to the kitchen. If you don't hear from me within two or three days, send over a St. Bernard with a cask of hot chocolate.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Perfect.

My amazing sister has done it again. She gave me this art tile, which picks up all the new colors I've incorporated into my home. (I sent her paint chips with her birthday present in October.) This can stand on a shelf or hang on the wall. I'm not sure where it wants to be, but I'll figure that out after I put away the Christmas trees.

Benaya Art Ceramics.

I spent a good chunk of Christmas Eve at Wes and Sarah's. They just texted me an invitation for biscuits and gravy, but I am full to the gills with salmon steak, a slice of Squishy's bread, and my Fage/Nutella jollop. Plus, I need to be sluicing off in preparation for the tribal feast, as I'm leaving the house in an hour and a half.

In knitting news, I was so sleepy on Monday and Tuesday that I dozed off midway through a row of 22 stitches, both nights. I did better yesterday. I have a completed sweater front and one back for Grace or Chutzpah and am a third of the way up the second back. I will probably get both backs attached while at Secondborn's this afternoon.

I am taking 40 oz of Wholly Guacamole, 80 white corn tortillas, and 40 flour tortillas. I realized a few minutes ago that I could divest myself of the limes leftover from the office luncheon last week.

Merry Christmas, all y'all!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Found my Nativity!

Puttered a lot yesterday. Went through several boxes. Mel and Squishy came over and took some stuff home for distribution. I set up the long folding table along the short wall. It is now serving as a staging area, but I am planning to set up my computer there, at least until I can turn the middle bedroom into an office and/or guest room.

Most of my tools are in my toolbox. The two grilles that the girls painted are now in place. I have a clear path to the microwave. And a bunch of stuff that's going out into the truck this morning for drop-off at the thrift store. There are swathes of uncluttered floor in the living room.

The finials are glued to the bedposts. And I found the lemon oil. I might rub down the doll bed after work. But first I will need to replace a headlight on Lorelai. I am driving the Tardis to work today.

The sweater front is done. My last conscious act before bed. And the trio went gloriously well at church. Got some nice feedback from our friends, but that was not why I did it. That was my Christmas card to Heaven.

I've mentioned here that I was a little shy about singing around the house when Beloved was alive. FirstWife had a glorious voice. He would never have said anything against my singing. But he never praised it as the children's father did. (I loved singing with that man.) We had far more important things to talk about than whether he liked to hear me sing.

So what I gave my Father in Heaven yesterday was my vulnerability. Because many of the folks in our congregation had heard FirstWife sing. Just typing this, I feel Heaven's love all over again.

Sniff.

This is the part where I get the clean warm stuff out of the dryer so I may load up the back of the Tardis with more stuff.

It's going to be a wild week at work. I will be covering at least two attorneys every day. I was juggling five on Friday.

Gentlemen, start your engines.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Honey-do's

Fourthborn and LittleBit and I made great strides on yesterday's list, as you can see.  I picked them up early in the morning and turned them loose while I prepared to go to a funeral for a sister in our first ward in Texas.

When I got home, LittleBit and I finished the floor inside the coat closet while Fourthborn painted. The flooring is now extended just into the kitchen. I don't want to take it any farther until I've dealt with the cabinets. The grilles for the short wall and the living room ceiling are repainted. I've brought my narrow folding table out to go against the short wall to hold my computer, once I've refastened the grille. But first the table will serve as a staging area while I declutter the kitchen.

I'm thinking that I want to take out the metal shelving unit that Beloved and I so carefully finessed into place. Floor to ceiling cabinets would be ever so much more attractive. And if I extended those cabinets along the window wall, maybe with a window seat, I could have more counter space and be able to get rid of the kitchen table, which is a clutter magnet.

The doll bed only needs the finials glued into place, to be done. I used two shades of wax sticks to touch up the finish. I will need to make a mattress, pillows, and bed linens, but that can all wait.

The big Christmas tree may not get decorated this year. It's in place, and the ornaments are at hand, and I may choose to do that today. I think I would rather knit.

I'm trying to figure out what to eat this morning that will not gum up my voice for singing our trio in sacrament meeting this afternoon.

That would be a honey-don't.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Long day, and I'm tired.

Happy, but tired. Fourthborn's dental appointment ran long, because somebody came in with a dental emergency, and our wonderful dentist did absolutely the right thing when he stopped working on my kid and helped the other patient.

My stomach was unconvinced. I neglected to grab lunch on my way to pick her up, so by the time we were done and could think about feeding our faces, we were both ravenous. Made a beeline for Boston Market and their meatloaf. (Yes, I was just there for dinner last night, and half of that is waiting in my fridge for tomorrow's lunch.) I figured I would eat half and save the rest for later. My stomach thought otherwise. It's been a long time since I ate that much at one sitting. Cleaned. My. Plate.

And then we stopped at Half Price Books, where I picked up BittyBit's birthday present before taking Fourthborn home.

I got about a third of a sweater front done. It helps that the finished piece will be two inches square. Not sure that I have enough energy to add any more rows before bedtime, as it took me nearly two hours to get home.

But I think I will try.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Dolly fun!

I've posted these on FB, but for those of you who don't know my secret identity...

Note to self: what does Wonder Woman go by in civilian life? Diana Something. Fourthborn would know.

Two doll sweaters done. (That's Hope on the left and Temperance on the right.) Measurements taken and a graph made for wee Arans for Grace and Chutzpah.

The swing is new, a gift from a coworker whose husband works for Pier One.

That's all I've got for you today.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Found the rods and brackets.

As it turns out, I'm not using them. At least not for the front window. I got the three new brackets partially secured to the wall on Monday night and ran out of steam. Heavy drill + late hour = tired me. Wes came by on Wednesday night to finish the job so I could hang the new drapes.

I did get four packets of cut up T-shirts assembled before I left for work one morning. They will go out with the Christmas baskets/boxes.

Temperance's sweater is lacking only the snaps. The earlier attempt has its grosgrain reinforcements, and I've deconstructed one seam, removed the sleeve, and shortened it. When I left the ward Christmas brunch yesterday, I was ready to reattach the sleeve. I'll take care of that after I've posted.

My goals for today, bookending church, are to finish both sweaters, decorate the big tree, and finish assembling the Christmas boxes for mailing on Tuesday. Fourthborn and I are both sending stuff to Middlest, and Fourthborn has another dental appointment that afternoon.

I had a blast wrapping presents after work on Friday and again yesterday.

Did I mention that Wes and Sarah are moving to New Jersey? Tola, they will be in Mahwah, at least to start. Is that anywhere near your neighborhood? I'm trying not to think about how much I will miss them.

She's recommended a massage therapist, and my HT/VT couple will gain custody of my spare house keys. Because when she told me, I immediately tucked the messy emotional stuff into my pocket and went straight into single-mom,  problem solving mode.

In other news, I got the doll bed reglued and the random tiny streaks of white paint removed. I still need to touch it up with wax sticks and enlarge the holes at the top of each post to receive the new finials, which are small ceramic drawer knobs a la MacKenzie Childs.

Projects for the coming week include laying down the vinyl squares in the coat closet so I/we may extend the vinyl plank flooring into it, then moving the paint cans into a back corner. Eventually I will probably install shelving in one or both ends of the closet, but for now I will be content with stacking the paint cans out of sight but still accessible.

The living room is looking mostly civilized. And I am getting antsy to start decluttering the kitchen. I'd like to replace the steel shelving unit with a wall of cabinets. And replace the current cabinets with some I've seen at the Habitat store, moving them a few inches to the right so I may insert a narrow cabinet between the fridge and the wall.

But now? I need to figure out what I want for breakfast, and how to stay hydrated today without drinking our nasty tap water (will fire up a Brita pitcher for later) or breaking the Sabbath. Somebody was having too much fun socializing to take care of the grocery shopping, and I just polished off the last of the bottled water.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

We're calling it a design feature.

We couldn't figure out how to get the blinds down without damaging them. So we painted part of the window frame and left part of it coral. It's close in tone to the new paint on the fourth wall, and it will go with the drapes.

The second shot shows the flooring meeting up in the hall. I left the last two planks for Fourthborn and her OCD. I tried to give you a shot of one of the walls, but apparently Blogger thinks I should only upload two per post. I tried twice. There may be four pictures when this posts.

Tuesday I took Fourthborn to the dentist, and then we went to LittleBit's dance recital at the college. Friday I had my quarterly checkup, and a birthday party for 2BDH. Yesterday we picked up our December quilt blocks.

In between, I've laid a little more flooring, picked up a second floor lamp for the other side of the wing chair, finished the second sleeve of Temperance's sweater and attached it, blocked same, sewed the October and November quilt blocks, window shopped, set up both Christmas trees and placed their respective ornaments nearby, and dealt further with the power outage.

I have not been to the gym. All week. That will change, beginning tomorrow morning.

I found the curtain rods after taking Fourthborn home last night. I've yet to find the supports, but I trust they're in my studio somewhere.

Today there's church and the Christmas choir performance in my old stake. I will probably get the ribbon and snaps attached on Temperance's sweater. I'm picking up LittleBit, as Fourthborn is singing in the choir.

And tomorrow I go back to work, to rest. 

Monday, December 01, 2014

Semi-cyber Monday

So I decided last night that I wanted a duplicate of the swing-arm lamp by the wing chair in the living room. Came to work and pulled up the website. Took me a couple of minutes to find the model. Then I searched for a local store. Apparently I found the last lamp of its type within 25 miles of the house. Tossed that puppy into my cart and locked it up for pickup after work.

One more reminder that Heaven is in the Let There Be Light business.

In knitting news, blocking the two miniature stockings that I made during my Hill Country getaway helped me to figure out my electrical problem at home.

That's the thing I said would be a story for another day. I woke up early yesterday because my power went off, and my CPAP stopped, and I learned that even though I've lost nearly 40 pounds, I still need the CPAP.

I checked inside and outside the house. Eventually realized that I'd only lost power in half the house. Unfortunately, it was the half that reminds me to breathe. I went back to bed and kinda sorta slept, but mostly I woke up a lot.

So I got up for good about the time the sun had committed to a new day. Meanwhile, Older Twin had responded to my FB post with how to find the breaker box and what the problem might be.

Confirmed, as I said, this morning. On Saturday Fourthborn and I will clear a path in the garage so I may call an electrical to switch out a wall plug or two in the relatively near future, and install the hall lights while he's at it. There's a brother in my ward who does good work.

Update/correction: I started this post earlier today and came home to a cooling house and a faintly whining furnace. Mel helped me break a trail to the breaker box.  Wes determined that it was OK. Paul and wife came with his HVAC stuff and determined it was likely a power company problem, as I had one hot line and one cold one.

We locked ourselves in the garage. Wes had to come back with the spare keys. We called the power company on Paul's phone. They came out and did a temporary fix and will do a permanent one when it's daylight.

The house is warming up. I got the sleeve attached to the body. My nose is cold. I'm going to bed. I have to be reasonably alert for two and a half hours at work tomorrow, and then I'm taking Fourthborn to the dentist.

I need a good cry (relief) and to sleep for about three days. But my new lamp is pretty!