- 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!
Thursday, December 31, 2015
I've finished the first chapter of Mimesis, and I have to say that it's far easier going than the introduction. I read as little as possible of The Iliad and The Odyssey when I was in school. Now, I loved the Greek myths. I devoured Bulfinch's Mythology in fifth grade. I just didn't give a damn about Odysseus/Ulysses, although I had great admiration for Penelope. Still do. No, you bozos*, my husband's not dead. He's just not here, and I have no interest in dating any of you.
*These would be metaphorical bozos. Nobody is hanging around my living room, eating my food, and trying to get me to marry again. Any frogging of knitting projects is due to inattention on my part, and not the unwelcome attentions of one or more men.
When I finished that chapter, I resisted the temptation to start another, and I decided to crowd-source recommendations for good translations of Homer, because Auerbach juxtaposed his analysis of those classics against the Old Testament, and I have more than a nodding familiarity with that after forty years in the church.
It may take me years to read this book, if I keep getting intrigued by the source material.
I also worked a little on the stealth project for next Christmas, and I grabbed the other knitting project, worked a row and set it aside, then rooted around for a size 6 circ because one of my Options ends has a couple of rough spots where the wood might be thinking of coming de-laminated. I've been knitting a 7" wide scarf on 8" DP needles, which means that if I turn my back a few ~ or a lot ~ of stitches fly off one end of the needle or another. Fortunately, I had some size 6 ends in the new(ish) Caspian colorway, and I put a circ together and worked a final row and pronounced it good.
And then I colored a very little, took my meds, and went to bed, hoping for something like seven and a half hours of sleep. I woke about 3:30, near as I can tell (the clock and my glasses are across the room from my bed, and I could not see the one without the other). Since then, I have washed a load of laundry, which is now tumbling merrily in the dryer, made myself some toast, and played on Facebook.
The alarm goes off in half an hour. My toes are cold (it's 40 degrees out in the garage). I'm finally sleepy again, when there's no point in lying down. I am going to assemble my lunch, nuke the bag of deer corn that warms my feet when I go to bed, and go color for fifteen minutes or so. We get to wear jeans and sneakers to work today, and I'm hoping to have enough actual work to stay busy. I'm backing two extra attorneys today, which might keep me a little more occupied than might otherwise be the case.
What I want right now is two vats of hot chocolate. One for my innards, and another for steeping my feet. I may have to stop by Racetrac on the way to work and get a small hot chocolate, or swing by Kroger instead and pick up a half gallon of dark chocolate almond milk, which would be significantly more healthy.
Mmm, yeah. That's a plan. Later, gators.
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
I have a few more pieces in place for my 2015 tax return. Next week I will be able to finalize earned interest, update the spreadsheet, update TurboTax, and be that much closer to submitting my return. I'm thankful that my medical expenses were low enough that I couldn't deduct them. Financially, that's a bit of a pain, but in the eternal scheme of things it's a plus. I spent less than $40 out of pocket on prescriptions. If I hadn't left my Metformin under the car seat, necessitating an emergency prescription when we were in Minneapolis this spring, it would have been closer to $25. I'm a little over a year away from official senior-citizenship. And I am in remarkably good health. And I am so, so thankful.
Work was interesting yesterday. The courts are kinda slow this time of year, so I'm waiting on a couple of dismissal orders before I can close more cases. The mail is lagging because of Christmas. The entire office got something like four pieces of mail yesterday, which makes me wonder if we are going to get a large bucket of oops-this-got-mislaid in the next day or so. I filed an answer on a new case for SemperFi. I worked as many of the To-Do's as I could, given that there was minimal mail. And I sent out a will type for food email, which resulted in a small but labor-intensive project for the office manager that I will finish sometime today.
Last night I attended a ring ceremony and reception for a young sister in our ward. She has consistently been one of the most friendly and affectionate Young Women since I moved in almost four years ago. Always there with a hug. I don't remember if she graduated this spring, or last year. But she's in love, and she's married, and she was radiant last night in a very simple dress. Long sleeved white knitted top. Big floofy white skirt. And a faux or otherwise fur infinity scarf around her neck. I got at least two hugs from her in passing, and I had great visits with several friends in the ward. Then I came home and crunched numbers until I was sleepy.
I have no idea why playing with numbers is so calming and satisfying. But it is. I love watching my mortgage balance go down. I love watching my tithing and other contributions increase. I like sitting down when I get my yearly raise and figuring out how much more to add to my 401K each payday, how much more to savings, and which buckets. It looks as if I will get another tax refund, and I know where some of that will go.
When I inspected the house Saturday night after the tornadoes struck nearby, I saw that the temporary fix that Wes did to my garage door in back, is coming undone. He used interior plywood and screwed a panel on either side of the door. Et voila! No more possum romping in my garage. When I get my refund, the first item of business will be a new back door to the garage. And, depending on how big my refund is, possibly a new garage door in front as well.
Projects for the coming year will include repainting the cabinets in the kitchen, new countertops if my bonus is large enough, and ripping out the carpet in the middle bedroom. When Middlest moves home at the end of spring semester, that room will have to serve as a functioning bedroom as well as food storage central. I want to buckle down and get the new baseboards in place. If all goes according to plan, the kitchen will be done, the middle bedroom will be done, the studio will be reorganized, and I can spend 2017 working on the bathrooms.
This is the part where I pack my lunch for today and get ready for work. Although today it is more like, ready or not, here I come. So glad that I will be off on Friday. I need to go to Secondborn's and pick up the folding chairs we left there on Christmas Day, and spend some time with J so he can practice his driving for his driving test in February.
Sunday, December 27, 2015
We are under a flash flood watch until noon tomorrow (it is 100%-ing out there, again, with varying amounts of Wagnerian thunder) and have been bracing for a blizzard or an ice storm, although the current forecast from the National Weather Service says maybe just mixed sleet and snow, with some quarter sized hail for punctuation, and everything melting away tomorrow.
It has been so heartening to see the people of North Texas offer their homes, their backs, and their pickup trucks to help and comfort the afflicted. I love living in the Bible Belt, where religion is not just a Sunday thing or a Christmas thing or an Easter thing, and so many of our fellow Christians walk the walk.
For me this has been a day of relief and gratitude. Fourthborn and I were safe last night. We actually took counsel and sat in the guest loo for half an hour while the tornadoes went around us. I was able to get her safely home after church (it’s about an hour’s drive on clear roads, and we were driving into the leading edge of the next wave of rainstorms: cats, dogs, little fishes, the occasional rhino as we passed under an overpass with water cascading over its edge) and to return home safely as well.
Bonus: the Relief Society lesson was one of the most serene I have experienced in 40 years of church membership. The wife in our senior missionary couple taught from Neill Marriott's address at the most recent General Conference. The sisters shared pertinent stories about answered prayers and Heaven's timeline and patience. I thought about when it felt as if some of my prayers were never going to get answered in this lifetime, and then they were, and it was always worth the wait.
I feel wonderfully blessed. We didn't sleep well last night. At one point Fourthborn and I were both awake at the same time. I caught a nap after taking her home, and I'm half an hour late in taking my meds, so I'll take care of that and read a few more pages of Mimesis and call it a day, I think. The house appears to be unscathed. Lorelai and the Tardis, ditto. There are still a few stubborn leaves on some of my bushes. I joked last night that we felt pretty safe, because there are so many dead people waiting for me to get their temple work done that they were watching over us, and that may very well be true, but I think the fact that I live about two blocks from the chapel as the crow flies, had a good deal to do with it as well.
Saturday, December 26, 2015
Found a framed print of a Chris LeDoux quote: "Saddle up and follow your dreams." (I miss that man. So gifted.) Purchased a one of those sproingy metal frames for displaying ornamental plates. I already had one, but Firstborn and 1BDH gave me two lovely small rectangular plates with scriptures on them, and they will go up on the wall with all the representations of the Savior. [The plates, not the kids.]
Found my belt sander, which was hiding behind the toolbox on my Mormon bar cart, and roughed up the finish on the frame and doors to the linen closet. Did some prep work on a stealth project for next Christmas. Knitted a little.
Went to IKEA to get one of those Billy bookcases with the yellow shelves, but they've been discontinued (the nerve!), so we came back by way of Costco, as planned, and tanked the Tardis after picking up the last bits of stuff I needed to restock fridge and pantry.
Did a drive-by fooding of the missionaries.
Before the sky clabbered up, Fourthborn got a coat of paint on the moulding for the doors in my room. She brought everything inside when we had the tornado warning, and we hung out for half an hour in the guest loo, making bad jokes and posting them on Facebook.
We didn't get any actual painting done on the linen closet because of the tornado warning, but after the skies cleared, Fourthborn taped off the frame, so next time we just need to jump in with the brush and git 'er done.
I'm edging into crazy-tired land and am hoping the washer is done so I can toss everything into the dryer and call it a night.
The improvised tackcloth? Numerous sheets of antibacterial wipes to get the dust off, since it was raining dogs and cats and little fishes, and I was not about to dash out in that mess to Home Depot for the real thing. Those wooden bits are cleaner than at any time since Beloved passed.
Sorry. You just get random brain droppings tonight.
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
The gifts for the grandchildren on my side of the tribe are wrapped and gathered up in a tote bag. The adult gifts are mailed out (my sister and Middlest) or boxed up and collected in more totes. The birthday gifts for LittleBit and BittyBit are bought and wrapped. I'm done shopping. I'm done cooking, at least for awhile. I blitzed through Costco last night and picked up a five pound bag of clementines, two ginormous bags of organic tortilla chips (as opposed to the inorganic kind?) and two vats of Wholly Guacamole, all for the tribal feast on Friday.
Work has been going well. We are a skeleton crew this week. Tomorrow I will be wrangling SemperFi, handling both halves of my other attorney's docket, and backing up three other attorneys whose secretaries (and their backups) are out. Only three of those attorneys will be in the office and likely to ask me for something, and the courts are all closed tomorrow, and the post office closes at noon but deliveries and pickup will happen as scheduled. So I may still be looking for stuff to do, and ways to help.
Fourthborn will be coming back with me after Christmas dinner, and we will spend Saturday working on projects. I'm looking forward to that.
I may be picking up a waif-and-stray from the ward and dragging him along to the tribal feast. Yes, I said "him". No, this is not a romantic thing. I do notice him as a disturbance in the Force, for lack of a better term, but I'm not feeling flirtatious toward him, and I'm pretty sure he's not feeling flirtatious toward me, either. But he's a long, long way from home, and I got this prompting, and the next thing I knew I was asking him if he had plans for Christmas dinner. Secondborn has a huge house, and her philosophy has always been "the more, the merrier". There are already 23 confirmed attendees. One more will not mean that we have to hang by our toes from the banister.
If this turns out to be another rich, platonic friendship like the one I have with Brother Sushi, I will be over the moon. Romance would be a Volkswagen-sized spanner in the works, and I just flat don't wanna. I have a job to do, and a mortgage to pay off, and art to pursue and a house to finish and and and and. Not lonely, thank you very much.
Thankfully, I do not hear Moroni tap-dancing on my front porch with this good brother (or any other good brother) in tow, so I think I'm safe.
And now if you will all kindly excuse me, it's time for me to try to wind down and go to sleep. I've already decided that the charming small knitting project will be an excellent start on next Christmas and have firmly instructed the Ooh Good Idea Fairy to knock it off, because la la la la, I can't hear you.
Saturday, December 12, 2015
Note: I drafted this on Saturday night but couldn't scrape together enough internet to publish it. Trying again on Sunday morning. And fed up with trying to change all of the time references. You're on your own.
So Friday was all about traffic snarlups, miscommunications, and Plan Z in general. It started out well (and it wasn't a bad day; just didn't turn out anything like we had planned).
I bought what I thought were the rest of the Christmas ornaments for the grands. Discovered that the T-rex which I bought for Bittiest was severely damaged. So when I got to Arlington, I headed to Hobby Lobby to see if I could find another one. Nope. Two triceratops: one with a broken foot, and one with all four feet but a broken front horn. Apparently it's not been a good year for dinosaurs anywhere in North Texas. Found something else that I think will please him.
From there, off to Container Store to get small boxes to hold the ornaments. From there, off to J's work to pick him up for his driving test. Got to the warehouse. Called him. "Marco." He didn't come out. About 20 minutes later I texted him again, "I'm getting nervous." He texted back, "We have plenty of time." Finally, about 15 minutes before he was supposed to take his test, I see a missed call and call him back.
No, I am not in front of the apartment. I am in the next town over, waiting for him to come out of the warehouse, which he is not in, because he took the day off. I'd been so good about confirming that he was testing at the same location as last time. I neglected to confirm where I was to pick him up. I assumed that, because it was the middle of the day, he'd be at work. He assumed that I knew he'd taken it off.
We know what happens when you assume.
He's rescheduled again for late February, on the afternoon of the day when I have my well woman, because I have no more spare vacation days before the first of June. I have a calendar entry in my phone, with a reminder to confirm where I'm picking him up.
So I took him home, and I picked up Fourthborn and her laundry, and we came home by way of Bueno, because I was ravenous, and I was in bed a little after 8:00p.m., utterly knackered.
I woke up yesterday at 3:30 after nearly seven hours of sleep, but still. Puttered for an hour and went back to bed. We were both up a little after 6:00. I cooked up my first batch from the multigrain oatmeal, which I think I will really like once I get used to it (it was way better than not-bad, just different from what I'm used to.)
Since then I have hung pictures and other stuff on various walls. The second short wall in the living room is completed, and I love it. I also hung a picture on my bedroom wall, replaced one of the switchplates and had Fourthborn replace the other, as it sits smack up against the underside of a shelf on the black bookcase. I was afraid that if I got down on the floor, I might not get back up again.
The eagle shelf is hung on the wall above the pictures of Dad that FirstHubby's dad took on a fishing trip. I've tackled two bags and one pile from the perimeter of my room. I found a flobbity-jillion keys in an old cigar box, and I warned a friend in our stake that I would either hand off a quart ziploc bag to them at the special stake sacrament meeting tomorrow, or drop it on their front porch afterward. Either way, it is leaving the building.
Today (yesterday, and I've given up trying to update the time frame) we went to Home Depot to get more of the replacement rollers for the handy tool we use to cut-in on the walls. Apparently it's been discontinued, or they no longer carry it. So I decided that we should go to Lowe's and see if they had it, and I decided to take the back route to get there and avoid traffic. Hah!
We found ourselves stuck behind a parade by a school on a residential street. I posted that on Facebook as well. I was torn between laughing and swearing.
Tonight was the ward Christmas dinner. I didn't want to go empty handed, and I didn't sign up to make any of the assigned dishes. I am just rebellious enough to not want to be told what to cook or how to fix it. So I nuked four packets of the brown rice and quinoa mixture, put it in an old Tupperware bowl I wanted to get rid of, and took it to the dinner. Just before Fourthborn and I were ready to go (I looked over to my left and saw a good brother scraping the last of the rice onto his plate. Success! Vindication!)
We left before the musical part of the evening. The food was good, and the company was better, and Fourthborn was not the only one of us who was peopled-out. So we scuttled on home, and I can't quite decide if I want to bang a few more pictures onto the wall, or just take my meds and call it a day. I ate sensibly and am vaguely hungry for something but not sure what.
All the stuff that I ordered on Amazon yesterday will be delivered to my office either tomorrow (boo) or Monday (yay). Note to self: once it's all safely here, cancel the free trial of Amazon Prime.
Feeling both wonderfully blessed, and more than a little crabby tonight. What's up with that?
Postscript: still crabby. And it's raining.
Friday, December 11, 2015
I ripped back the current knitting project to almost the first row, because I was doing the yarnovers wrong. Ordinarily, it doesn't matter much how they're done, but for this project they need to lie on top of a slipped stitch, and mine were wrapping around it, creating a faux cable that just looked junky. So I frogged and reknit sixteen rows, and I went to bed a happy knitter.
Today I am helping Fourthborn's roommate (he who was formerly known as Fiance) get his driver's license. Yes, I know we tried doing this month before last, but the VIN number on the Tardis did not match the VIN number on my proof of insurance, and they stopped us flat and told us to reschedule. We drove immediately to my insurance agent's office and got that little problem corrected on our end. I'm hoping that today goes smoothly for him.
I woke an hour ahead of the alarm, happy as a kid at Christmas, because today is payday, and I get to finish buying and/or ordering the Christmas gifts. At least I hope I will be done before the end of the day. I need to make a list so everything gets dovetailed neatly.
Now if you will all excuse me, I need to go drop a small bundle on Amazon.
Saturday, December 05, 2015
Middlest has made the entirely sensible suggestion that we abstain from the tribal Thanksgiving festivities next year, and while I am at least slightly tempted, I want to see my grandchildren. And if being kind to the children's father and his "wife" is the price of seeing my grandchildren, then I will pay that price. We can always come back here and do fun, palate-cleaning stuff when the tribal feast is over.
It's been a mostly terrific day. On the way to the quilt shop, I hit a run of sentimental songs on my favorite Pandora station, and I got a little misty-eyed. There are songs that I've never exactly associated with Beloved (one of which I only heard for the first time this week) that nevertheless bring forth a sweet and tender longing. I'm not sad. I'm definitely not depressed. Nostalgic would probably be the best word for it.
I didn't quite complete my block in time to take it to the shop with me, because when I ironed the white background fabric after pre-washing it, it was a pronounced rhombus, and I lost just enough in the truing that I could only get six of the eight larger pieces out of it. So I paid for the next month's block, and I bought a quarter yard of the white, in case there are other glitches in future blocks.
On the way home, I stopped at Hobby Lobby (Fourthborn: the one with the funky entrance that we went to when we were buying Christmas ornaments last year), and there is now a Trader Joe's in the same parking lot (what a mess that was to navigate!). I picked up the last Secret Santa gift, two boxes of the multigrain crackers I've come to love, and a box of seasoned pita crackers to try (they are delicious, but one serving is eight crackers, as opposed to 14 for the others).
My last stop was at the art supply shop, where I bought another dozen Prismacolor pencils at the 40% holiday discount. I've acquired the last of the greens, I think, and am edging into the brown tones. They're all entered into Evernote.
My own Secret Santa at work gave me a lovely BH&G quilting magazine. My technical skills are way beyond anything used for the featured quilts, but the photos and sketches are wonderful eye candy. I couldn't be more pleased.
I came home from all my gadding and took a shortish nap, maybe an hour and a half? Since then I've polished off the last of the leftover roasted veggies from Thanksgiving, enjoyed some hummus with the pita crackers, read a nice chunk in the Michener autobiography, and finished the November quilt block and the last of the piecing for the current installment of the medallion quilt. I've remembered to take my medicine, and as midnight draws near I am just about ready to call it a night.
After last Sunday's near debacle, when I awoke an hour before church was to start (half an hour before when I prefer to leave the house), I am definitely setting the alarm tonight.
I wish the children's father a happy birthday tomorrow. I am grateful for our children. They wouldn't be who they are if somebody else were their father. And, carefully tucked away, there are any number of good memories with that man. It is painful to see the shell of a human being he has become, although my pain does not begin to approach the pain our children feel in seeing him or dealing with him.
I hope I may be privileged to keep my marbles until my dying breath, and to be lively and feisty and not a burden, but a source of amazement and wonder and joy to our children. Something to strive for, anyway.
Thursday, December 03, 2015
I need to do more of that. I am finding the holiday sweets ridiculously tempting, and I am losing muscle tone. But I did do a couple of good things: I resisted the temptation to hit Bueno on the drive home. I made a simple dinner of salmon burger, spinach-based salad, and the brown rice quinoa mixture I get at Costco. And then I filled a small basin with warm water, set the timer for 20 minutes, and soaked my feet while reading more of the Michener autobiography. Timer went off, and I gently scrubbed my feet with a very soft washcloth, dried them off, trimmed my toenails, and curled up on the bed with some lavender-laced lotion and a pair of white cotton socks
It may not happen again for three years, but I feel as if I have done something deeply nourishing for myself tonight. (And I'm not talking about dinner.) I take my feet for granted. They are battered and scarred, but they do a remarkable job of getting me where I want to go. And I understand, at least on an intellectual level, that as a diabetic I need to be more aware of them, and to take better care of them. I can't stand to have a professional manicure. I didn't mind when Sarah worked on my feet as part of a massage, and I didn't mind if a husband rubbed my feet, but while I've tried on three or four occasions to comprehend why most women like pedicures, I would frankly rather eat cauliflower. Or clean the commode. (The last time I got a pedicure, I also got a resurgence of the athletes foot which had taken two or three years to eradicate. So, no.)
I would love to turn this into a parable for you, but I am tired in both mind and body. I've worked hard all week. Today I got everything done. All of it. A scheduling order calendared. Drafts for letters regarding trial dates in a couple of cases, either already sent, or drafted with tomorrow's date and ready to pop into SemperFi's outbox when I hit my desk in the morning. One case closed. Copies of reports to our clients. Copies of various documents forwarded to claims. All of my To-Do's, to-did, that were doable. I have a running start on tomorrow, and I've made arrangements to leave the office early on Tuesday to pick up Fourthborn so we may attend the Bitties' choir concert in lieu of Knit Night, and I've figured out token Christmas gifts for my attorneys, and delivered the first Secret Santa gift when the recipient finally stepped away from her desk for more than fifteen seconds. When I left the office, I was tired, I was sleepy, and I felt as if I'd earned my keep.
I have not knitted. Not one stitch. I'm going to do something about that: last night while waiting for tithing settlement I bound off maybe a dozen stitches. I'm going to put my library book up, get the bed ready for sleep, take my meds, and bind off at least a dozen more stitches. I'd like to be asleep in twenty minutes, so there's no chance of finishing that cowl tonight.
I think I will be skipping the doll meet tomorrow night in favor of some quality time with my sewing machine. I haven't touched the quilt block that I need to take to the quilt shop on Saturday morning in order to pick up block number three. But I feel well-tended. And maybe within spitting distance of something like refreshed. I wouldn't go so far as to say relaxed. That's not likely to happen until I've been dead for two or three weeks.
But hey, I'll take every scrap of progress I can get. Night, y'all.
Wednesday, December 02, 2015
My new attorney has two trial settings for next Monday. I have been working on trial notebooks. It is fiddly work. The first one was about five inches thick when I was finished. The second one is going to be that size, or possibly a bit larger. I couldn't find a jumbo notebook like I used yesterday, so the second one will be in two parts: I got the main part done this afternoon, and I'll finish the second part tomorrow morning.
SemperFi was on a tear this morning. He loathes technology. Our paralegal and I have been discussing the possibility of getting him a "Rage Against the Machine" shirt for Christmas, or something similar. I sent her one link. She sent another, but I was up to my ears in the trial notebook and didn't have a chance to check it out.
I signed up for the office's Secret Santa exchange this year. Got my name this afternoon and have picked up and wrapped two of the three gifts, which I'll smuggle into the office tomorrow. I haven't done this in several years. First there was the engagement and wedding plans. Then Beloved was dying. And that year I had just enough oomph to put up a tree. Last Christmas there were massive, unexpected expenses toward the end of the year, but this year I have both the means and the desire to participate.
And in knitting news, I am binding off the dark cerise mystery yarn cowl. I started while waiting for tithing settlement tonight. I don't think I'll finish before bedtime. I would rather read a few more pages in the Michener autobiography. The first half covered his life as if he had never become a writer. The second half is written as if he had never done anything else. Right now he's talking about how he figured out what kind of writer he wanted to be, what his native gifts were, how he's worked around his shortcomings. The first half of the book was interesting-to-fascinating. This half is riveting.
As the house draws nearer to organization and completion, I can feel the creative juices starting to simmer, drawing me in multiple directions at once. I am feeling a bit like an amoeba.
A sleepy one, so this is what you're getting tonight, and I'm going to grab a handful of chocolate covered ginger, pour myself a small glass of buttermilk, and go learn something.
Sunday, November 29, 2015
My boudoir, to all intents and purposes, is done. I have several small stacks of Things Which Must Be Dealt With, and a few bags that need to be emptied. Eventually we will need to add the new baseboards. But the flooring is down, the furniture is rearranged, the new (old) drapes are up, and Fourthborn's thumb is not-broken after she smashed it with the rubber mallet while tamping planks into place. We finished the job; she decided she wanted to get it X-rayed; and so her first personal trip to the ER is now a memory. Thankfully, she has her own insurance (such as it is), so the only cost to me is a bit of gasoline, an hour or so of hanging out with her in the triage room while waiting for her thumb to get nuked, and a bushel of mommy-guilt.
Pain meds are utterly wasted on her. They gave her 800mg of Motrin in the ER, and it made no difference in her pain level at all. They splinted her thumb to help her remember to baby it, and they told her it will probably be bruised for a couple of weeks and swollen for half that long. We drowned our sorrows in bean burritos at Bueno.
I am reveling in the spaciousness of my bedroom, even with the little stacks and bags which march around the perimeter of my room. I think I will wait for a few days before hanging pictures. I wrangled one stack after taking Fourthborn home this afternoon. Found a handful of credit reports for Beloved, since shredded, and an envelope marked "honeymoon plans - confidential!" that mostly contained information on the place we stayed, antique shops in the general vicinity, and the like. Mostly. The non-mostly made me grin, then blush, then hightail it for the shredder.
I love that man.
I got another patchwork border attached to the medallion quilt in between other tasks this weekend. While waiting for Windows 10 to stop rebooting (and rebooting and rebooting) my computer tonight, I pieced eight strips together to make four plain strips for the next border. I am not in the mood to cut them to length and attach them. That will happen before or after work tomorrow, depending upon when I wake up, how many errands I need to do after work, and how badly I need to sleep once that is done.
We have gotten rain in Biblical quantities this weekend. A young father died in the flooding locally when his car was swept away. Tola emailed me to check for a pulse, and I reassured her that we were just fine.
Fourthborn got the routing filled in on the doors for the linen closet, and we bought the new paint. I'm not picking her up next weekend, because next weekend will be filled with church activities. But I hope to complete the painting and decoupage of the linen closet when we get together in two weeks.
I'm sorry that this post is all over the place, but about the only bits that don't ache are my tonsils (gone when I was three) and my gall bladder (gone in 2001). I may have said the same thing after last weekend, but this weekend we worked hard two days in a row, and we're both feeling it.
OK. Thanksgiving. I was able to gracefully excuse myself from picking up the children's father and his "wife" for the family dinner, because I'm not driving Lorelai these days (and will attempt to sell her for a fair but not negligible price before it's time to renew her tags), and it would have been cruel to try and fit them into the jump seats in the extended cab. 2BDH picked them up. We all had plenty of delicious and varied food. As we were about ready to fill our plates, the children's father asked where I would be sitting. My immediate, unvoiced thought was as far away from you and her as decently possible. He followed quickly with, "Because I'd like to visit with you and hear what's going on in your life." To which my inner, unvoiced snark retorted You had the chance to listen to me for 20 years, why start now? But my better self stifled a sigh and sat at the same table with him. It was fun (kind of) to tell him all the ways in which Heaven is blessing me. I think I managed to avoid smugness. I hope so, anyway.
He asked about LittleBit, who apparently comes to see him about once a month, now that she's cleared for driving again. I told him I didn't know, that we're not close. He asked why. I told him, quietly, about her choices and actions which have shattered my trust, and that we are working to rebuild a relationship, but it's very slow going.
As one of the sisters expresses it so ably, LittleBit shares her father's gift for thinking things are perfectly fine, when they're not, or if they're not, it must be somebody else's fault. As much as I have wept over Middlest's choice to join the transgender world, that choice does not feel like a personal betrayal. The relationship that I had with LittleBit, which I had thought was rock-solid, turns out to have been built on quicksand. Time and the Atonement will heal it. I have time. And I trust my temple covenants and the work of the Dear and Glorious Physician.
At another point in that somewhat bizarre conversation, the children's father said something mildly funny and moderately outrageous. I looked at his "wife" and raised one eyebrow. "Do you want to smack him, or shall I?" She raised her own eyebrow and said, "That's my job now." I grinned and said, "Well then, you're falling down on the job."
Thankfully, Fourthborn and I each got peopled-out at about the same time, said our goodbyes, and came home for much needed naps. We both find dealing with him to be heartbreaking and exhausting.
So it's Sunday night, and I think it's raining again, and I hope that when I put out the recycling tomorrow night it does not turn into a big mass of papier-mache. There's a whole bag of shredding, which is in no danger of that, but there are three boxes that contained vinyl plank flooring or the junk tile we put down between the concrete and the planks, and we've had winds strong enough to blow the empty plastic bottles (of which there are a plethora) from here to Louisiana in a heartbeat.
I think I'm going to nuke the deer corn bag for my feet, take my meds a little early, and call it a night.
Sunday, November 22, 2015
The activity at what I lovingly call Chilton Academy was delightful as always. Hard to believe that all three of the Bitties are now in school. From there I picked up Fourthborn, and we came back here and started work on the house.
We had to make another trip to Arlington when I discovered that the transfer I had made on Thursday went into the wrong account. The bank where they'll let you transfer money in, but not out. So we dashed to the grocery store which houses that bank, pulled cash, and drove back to deposit it in my main bank, because it was cheaper to make the round trip than to pay an NSF fee, and there's an automatic debit which should hit this weekend. (Not to mention I wanted/needed to pick up a few things for the house.) So thankful for the ability to laugh at myself.
When we got home, we tried to remove the bifold doors from the closet in my bedroom and quickly discovered that while we could do part of it, some of it would require that vaunted superior upper-body strength that men have. Posted that on Facebook and decided that I would emulate Miz Scarlett and worry about that "tomorrow". Went to bed.
Worked a little on the medallion quilt while Fourthborn snoozed on Saturday morning. Looked at my phone to see that I'd gotten a call and voicemail from an unknown number with the same area code as the third cousin I discovered earlier this year. The one whose family reunion my sister and I attended this summer. The call was from a son of my cousin, in town with his son, and needing the name of a skilled family lawyer. Could I help?
I called him back and told him I'd get in touch with people and get him a list. He asked if there was something he and his son could do for me. Yes, as a matter of fact. Want to come extract a pair of bifold doors? They agreed to come over in about an hour. I rousted Fourthborn from her hobo nest on the living room floor. We put on bras. I started making calls, texts, and emails.
Our cousins made short work of the bifold doors. They helped us (mostly Fourthborn; I'm still convalescing) take the bed apart, get rid of another small section of carpet, and get the flooring down where the new bed would go. They did the heavy lifting to move the bed, which is wider and longer than I had thought. There's a gap of about six inches between the end of the mattress and the footboard. Maybe Beloved could have slept in this bed after all? We all worked together to set up the bed. Then we went to Bueno and grabbed a late lunch and talked for four hours. (Yay for mini family reunions!)
I’ve got the list of possible helpers ready for my cousin. Just waiting for him to get back to me with his email address.
When we were at Bueno, Fourthborn was chatting easily with both of the cousins. This is a miracle on the order of the loaves and the fishes. She freely admits to being the poster child for social anxiety, and there she was, alternating war stories with the rest of us. It was so much fun to compare notes, find out all the ways in which we are similarly broken, similar tastes in music and art, how we cope with stuff. Love those guys.
One extended family, made stronger through mutual service. This, folks, is how we build Zion. It has put the most marvelous glow on my weekend.
Friday, November 20, 2015
Alison had posted all sorts of Trader Joe goodies on her Facebook page, and I already needed to make a TJ run, so that's how I went home from work. Came home with two boxes or packages of everything on my list or in her post and the comments appended thereto. Kind of like the ark, only edible.
When I got home, the final dividend check for 2015 was in my mailbox. This is the packet of shares I inherited from Beloved and got switched over into my name at the end of 2013. Since then, the quarterly dividends have risen from $3.00 per quarter to a whopping $3.80. I noticed that the company was really clever this year. Instead of the usual formatting of the page attached to the check, it's my 2015 1099-DIV. I don't remember it being like that last year, but it may well have been. At any rate, two birds with one stone, and no doubt a massive savings in postage.
I suspect there will be another tax refund for 2015. No idea at this point how much. But if so, I may use some of it to buy another ten shares of the stock. Something to think about, anyway.
I've preshrunk the fabric in the October kit for my medallion quilt. While I was home on Wednesday, I finished attaching one of the borders, but not all at once. I awoke ahead of the alarm yesterday and got the pieces cut out. I may get the plain borders pieced (they are now a smidgen longer than the width of fabric, and from here on out will have to be pieced) and attached before it's time to leave for the Bitties' school.
Secondborn emailed me the class schedules. This year will be a little more complicated, because now all three of them are in school. BittyBit is a fifth grader. BittyBubba is in third grade. And Bittiest is in kindergarten. When I'm done in Fort Worth, I'll pick up Fourthborn, and we will go to town on my bedroom floor. Today we will finish the north end of the room, into the closet. I'm hoping that tomorrow we can finish the rest of the room and set up the bed frame. We will need to be well rested for that, because it is massive, and if we're too tired it would be easy to hurt ourselves.
I've eaten a token breakfast but am still vaguely hungry. Will sluice off and grab a little something on the way. I want to leave in half an hour to beat the morning rush. The fun in Fort Worth starts in two and a half hours. If I'm clever, I can eat breakfast at Ol' South Pancake House just like the good old days. I'll just have to opt for a Dutch Baby instead of the full-on German Pancake.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
We got an incredible amount of stuff done on the house done, last Saturday. Carpet ripped up from the doorway along the just-painted wall to the bathroom door, and down the middle of the room to the opposite wall. Junk vinyl tile laid down on the newly freed concrete. And vinyl plank flooring extended through the doorway to where the closet begins, and into the room far enough that we could have set up the new bed frame on it if we hadn't been so tired that we were afraid of injuring ourselves. That new bed frame is heavy.
Dragged myself to church on Sunday. About the only bits that didn't ache were my tonsils, which have been gone since I was three, and my gall bladder, which went bye-bye in 2001. Skipped choir practice in favor of a nap. Home teacher and another good brother gave me a blessing. We had raised a lot of dust, pulling up the carpet. That didn't make me feel any better, so I took the first steps in getting well by calling in the priesthood.
Monday was a good day at work. Coughed a little but sailed through my work. Came home and emptied out the black bookcase, moved it to the newly painted wall so we may yank the carpet there and in the closet this weekend, and refilled the bookcase. Yesterday I was coughing more. I could tell that the yuck was trying to dig through to China by way of my lungs, so I called my doctor to see if they could fit me in. She was booked all day but scheduled to work the night clinic, so I took off early, picked up my remade glasses (which seem to be, finally, correct), then Fourthborn, who accompanied me to the night clinic with the plan that we'd go to Knit Night from there.
I was seen pretty quickly at the clinic, but not by my doctor, and I was able to pick up two prescriptions at a nearby pharmacy instead of at the one around the corner from my home. By that time it was a quarter to eight, so we blew off Knit Night (I did post a message that we wouldn't be there, after all), and I took Fourthborn home.
Have just taken my second dose of both medicines. The cough medicine is a little gel cap with an advisory not to drive or operate machinery. I've called in sick (my voice is convincing testimony of that) and am planning to sleep as the impulse strikes and will hope to be back at work tomorrow, as I'm off on Friday for Grandparents Day at the bitties' school.
I've eaten an English muffin with some Wholly Guacamole. Time to take my vitamins, maybe grab an apple, and settle in with one of my library books. I'm currently reading The Medici Effect and pondering how my life has been lived largely at what he calls the Intersection. Twyla Tharp's book on creativity is next on the list, and the library has notified me that the autobiography of James Michener is waiting for me. I've added the latest dozen Prismacolors to my inventory list on Evernote. If I get really ambitious, I may attempt to shake hands with my EQ7 program and begin entering the last series' finished quilt blocks preparatory to redesigning the sashing strips.
Not holding my breath on that one. (Because that would make me cough.) I crack myself up.
In the time required to more or less proofread this, the sleepiness has kicked in from my cough medicine. So it's likely to be vitamins and a very light snack, then back to bed.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Brought home a book from work a day or two ago. Read it in two nights. No sewing. No knitting. Just quality time with the written page. About 500 of them.
I think if I had not been taking my antihistamine every night for months, I might be feeling pretty miserable now. As it is, I have a bit of drainage but no sign of infection. Which is good, because I have a lot planned for Saturday. Fourthborn will go with me to the doll meet tomorrow night. And I'm hoping to get enough of the carpet ripped up and the flooring down that we can set up the bed. I think I'm also feeling brave enough to try replacing an outlet or maybe all three in my bedroom.
But for now I need to call it a night.
Saturday, November 07, 2015
Today I assembled the first block in what will become Fourthborn's quilt and picked up the kit for the second block. I also assembled and attached two of the four checkerboard strips on the medallion quilt. The third strip is laid out on my ironing board for when I'm ready to sew again.
I've mailed my visiting teaching letters, dropped off the exceedingly boring library book in the night slot. (It was about some weird new theory of architecture and probably better as a textbook than for casual reading. My attention span is recovering from widow brain. I can read longer articles without chasing rabbits in my mind. But my patience for jargon and/or gobbledygook is probably gone for good.)
I am taking my meds and going to bed now, because it is after 10:30 and my left eyelid has begun twitching. I'm taking that as a hint that it would like to lower the shades completely and call it a night.
Very much looking forward to church tomorrow. We have a bonus, broadcast session of stake conference. Something on a regional or area level, because multiple stakes are involved. Our stake will be meeting in three of our buildings. I declined the opportunity to sing in the choir. I want to go, and sit, and knit, and ponder. Sitting in the choir seats would put a definite crimp in the knitting department. (The only downside to my current calling as sacrament meeting chorister is that I don't think it appropriate to sit up on the stand and knit.) What functions as a "quiet book" for me should not be a distraction for the others in the congregation.
Friday, November 06, 2015
Tonight I will sew up the October quilt block so I may hand it over to Fourthborn tomorrow. Which means that I had better stir my stumps and preshrink that fabric.
I made a great, simple dinner last night. Salmon burger, big salad, and one potato, mashed and divided into two portions. A little later I mixed some Greek yogurt and Nutella for dessert.
Big announcement from the Church yesterday, equating same sex marriage with apostasy, and outlining how it will impact the children of same-sex parents. I may very well lose some friends over this, but I stand with the prophets. Children are best served by parents who are in a covenant relationship with one another, with God, and with their children. Same sex unions frustrate the eternal plan of happiness, because they cannot in and of themselves bring children into the world. And children have a right as the spirit children of Deity to be born into the covenant of eternal marriage.
As Cecil B. DeMille said, we cannot break the commandments. We can only break ourselves against them. #mormonwomenstand
Thursday, November 05, 2015
Wednesday, November 04, 2015
Because last weekend's winds and rain have messed with my cable. Again. I was a little too busy at work yesterday to call the cable company and set up an appointment for a service call. Maybe today?
In Elvis is leaving the building news, I have found new homes for the faucet which has been hanging out on top of the bookcase in the middle bedroom since I moved in almost four years ago. The son of a coworker may or may not have broken theirs. And a friend at Knit Night mentioned that she needed to find another memory foam pillow for one of her dogs. I said, "the kind that goes bump swoop bump (gesturing)?" Exactly. I have two. I'll keep one for when Fourthborn spends the night, but the spare will go to work with me as well, because that friend works in my building.
When I pulled the painter's tape around the wall in my room, I also pulled up a bit of the new paint behind the door. That's fixed. And I've decided to use the coral from the short walls in the living room to paint the back of the bedroom door. I think it will be a nice pop against the dark cherry wall. I hope to start that tonight. If there's time, I'll wipe down the door before heading to work.
Played a little with my spreadsheets this morning, particularly the one for 2016-2017. I've eliminated some of the pages from prior years. I don't really need to track the activity in each savings bucket each month when I now have the capacity to check into my work related accounts from home and download the electronic statements to my computer. Just plug in the totals onto my balance sheet page at the end of each month and let those speak for themselves.
Line upon line, precept upon precept.
The knitting, you will be pleased to note, is not arguing with me. I spent a few minutes at Knit Night weaving in ends, so it looks a bit more tidy on my needles.
Lunch is packed. Outfit is picked out. Time to log off, sluice off, and hit the road.
Sunday, November 01, 2015
Came home and sewed. And sewed. And sewed. I made substantial progress on one of the borders of the medallion quilt. When I go back to my sewing machine, I will assemble the checkerboard border, which actually comes before this one. But this one is composed of 60 blocks that needed to have corners attached, turning a 2.5" block on point so that it became a 3.5" block. We are talking 120 2.5" squares that needed to be cut on the diagonal. I broke that up into increments and had cut maybe a third of the triangles that I needed a couple of weeks ago. So before I sat down yesterday I had a bit of a running start. (Would we call that a jogging start?) I did not have all of the blocks sewn and trimmed to a square before crashing last night, but I did quit just after it stopped being fun and started being work. So I'm getting better at that.
I finished sewing those blocks after my post-church nap today. Sixteen of them are not squared, yet, but they are essentially done, and I have emptied the Ziploc bag that was dedicated to them while I was gathering 1.5" squares over several months to begin them. I have the totally finished pieces lined up in four columns on the seat of a chair by the head of the dining room table, so that when the checkerboard border is assembled and attached, I may lay out the next border one side at a time.
My Facebook friend (and distant cousin), Middleaged Mormon Man, has a thing every Sunday night where he asks us to post the best single thing that happened this Sabbath. This was my post tonight:
Three years ago, as my husband was completing his mortal journey, I was dragged kicking and screaming into Primary. For a while, I taught the nine-year-olds, who this year have entered the youth program. Today, the lone boy from my class was sitting in the “gopher” seat behind our bishop. A dear sister, who has been a friend since she lived in one of my old wards, has had a number of health challenges this year. As she slowly made her way to the front of the chapel, “my” deacon quickly walked down the steps and escorted her up them. When she finished bearing her testimony, he escorted her back down them and returned to his seat.
He is going to be an effective missionary if he keeps this up. And he will make some young woman very happy when he's old enough to marry.
I am trying to figure out how much to eat today before I call it a night. Tomorrow is my quarterly diabetes check, and I have to go fasting (ick!) for the blood work, and my appointment's not until 8:50. So yes, there will be cheese sticks in my purse when I leave, and I will head straight for breakfast when they're done stabbing me. I printed out my list of questions to ask, before bedtime last night.
Please keep Middlest in your prayers and positive thoughts. I got a text yesterday: my child was in the ER after blacking out at the cash register from a massive migraine. Diagnosis is atypical migraine on top of the bipolar disorder, with a referral to a neurologist.
At some point in the future we will look back and see how this was part of a series of events intended to bless my child. At present it is an occasion for prayer and pleading on my part, and endurance on Middlest's.
Friday, October 30, 2015
The bag is packed, my costume is on my bed, I've paid my tithing online (!!!) and internet bill as well. I need to mail off a bill, but that can wait until tomorrow. This is the part where I throw various items onto the "to shred" pile, move various bags to the door (remembering to grab the cake from on top of the stove), sluice off, and get the heck out of Dodge.
There will be pictures of the decorated cake later. That part is going to be a team effort.
Halloween is my second favorite secular holiday. Today is going to be so much fun!
And in other news, my knitting is not arguing with me, and I think I put the last coat of paint on the skinny strips of wall by the doors. Looking forward to a long weekend in which to paint and craft.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Yesterday was a good day off. But I should probably begin with Tuesday night. Lark's dog does not like me. He is part black lab, part pit bull, and very protective of her. Apparently he got the 1970's memo "don't trust anybody over 30," except he likes Firstborn and 1BDH. So Lark took him to Willow's to spend the night.
Backing up a little farther, Knit Night was good, and I got Fourthborn home safely. But during that drive, and to Firstborn's house, I realized that the new glasses are still not quite right. The distance adjustment is fine. However, I am still seeing what I call stars, because of the [I am blanking on the word, because it is 5:30 and I haven't eaten breakfast. All sorts of A words are bubbling to the top. Aardvark. Asparagus. Amblyopia. Aha! Got it!] astigmatism. It's not noticeable during the day, but it is quite evident when the sun goes down and the traffic lights and tail lights turn into red and green stars. Most annoying.
So I slept well on Lark's daybed, and I got Batman (he who was formerly known as Fiance and is still her best friend; I'm trying new nicknames for him, but this one might stick, as he draws a wicked Batman) to his appointment for the driving test. Which he did not get to take, because the VIN number on the Tardis did not match the VIN number on my proof of insurance. Two typos. So we drove straight to my insurance agent's office and got that fixed. I should have the new, permanent copies well before Batman's rescheduled driving test. I also called into work and confirmed that I could take that day off. It's in December. Batman is philosophical. I am frustrated for him, but he was gracious about it. We agreed that this was probably a blessing in disguise. He will be even better prepared for the driving test in December than he was yesterday.
I finished reading the book on "play" yesterday and added six more books to my "to read" list on Evernote. [Plus another one this morning.] Also spent the afternoon with Firstborn, who had taken the day off, and we got some chocolate from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Note: the pumpkin truffle is smooth but rather bland, and I could detect nothing pumpkin-ish about it. The dark chocolate caramel sea salt is excellent. So we celebrated National Chocolate Day in style. We also blitzed through the art supply store. I came home with another dozen Prismacolor pencils for my stash. These were all blue, and bought only in the interest of having a full spectrum, though no doubt they will prove useful at some point in the future. She came home with two dozen beauties. It was interesting for me to see her color preferences and compare them with my own.
I have an appointment for a recheck of my prescription on Monday afternoon, after my quarterly diabetes checkup. I'm hoping that third time will be the charm.
The knitting project is perking along. I've mislaid the label, so I don't know the yarn, if it's commercial or hand-dyed by one of my friends, but it is lovely and is playing nicely with the seed stitch. I'm just going to knit around and around until I run out, and if I like it, it will be a cowl. And if not, I will frog it and start over.
Time for me to start getting ready for work. Tonight I'm baking a cake for the cake decorating contest at work tomorrow. Batman drew some cake embellishments for me, and they are perfect. I need to scan them and print them onto paper that looks like granite or sandstone, if I can find some. And I need to cobble together a costume. I have that spyglass from Beloved, and I found my eye patch when I was mucking out a drawer or a box. Pier One has Lolita-style hats attached to headbands for not a whole lot of money. Maybe vaguely goth Lolita pirate? If I run out of ideas, there's always the generic Halloween T-shirt hanging in the back of my closet.
I love my job. But today I just want to stay home and play. Repaint and replace the door moulding. Paint the inside of the bedroom door, and the front of the door to the master bath. Start ripping up the carpet. (Not quite ready to do that, in reality, but seriously aching to begin. Finish-itis has definitely struck, chez Ravelled.)
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
So that's done, and my bank account is reconciled, and it's only a little after 6:00a.m. Time to cobble together my lunch, figure out what I want to wear, and gather everything I will need for today, tonight, and tomorrow. I'm spending the night at Firstborn's after Knit Night, because tomorrow I take Fourthborn's roommate for his driver's test, and crashing in Arlington means I get to avoid morning rush hour and eliminate an 80 mile round trip.
Work went well yesterday. Wrangled all the mail, did my To-Do's, remembered to send my "I'll be out" email to the people affected. Note to self: change the voicemail message, too. I closed one file and finished opening another. I need to come up with a nickname for my new attorney. He's a lot of fun, and he does a spot-on impression of Goofy, but somehow I don't think that's the best code name for him.
On the way home from work, I dropped off two pictures and a bag at Urban Thrift before heading to Costco. I'm slowly filling another bag with stuff to give Squishy. On Sunday I offloaded a box of merit badges to the young men's president, as the Scout-specific people were not at church.
Today there's work, and Knit Night, and Firstborn's. Tomorrow there's schlepping of the roommate, hanging out in Fort Worth until evening, dropping off socks at the home of some dear friends for the sock drive she organized that will benefit the homeless in Fort Worth, with a bonus of getting to see their new house.
Time to pack, and sluice, and scoot. Later, gators.
Monday, October 26, 2015
So I got up, turned on the lights, bound off the toe of the eighth pink baby sock and wove in the ends. Here's how the stats played out:
Sock 1: 16.7g
Sock 2: 16.4g
Sock 3: 16.8g
Sock 4: 16.8g
Sock 5: 16.7g
Sock 6: 16.6g
Sock 7: 17.6g
Sock 8: 17.3g
The last two socks were completed or knitted entirely on Magic Loop, because of the 4" DP that went rogue on the floor of the Tardis. I have no idea why they came out nearly a gram heavier than the other six, but they did. I have 13.4g left, not enough to make another sock, which is just fine by me. That remnant will probably go to Middlest for some doll knitting.
Church knitting yesterday was the start of a cowl I'd begun who knows when, in an Aran or DK weight yarn, lovingly mottled in a deep cerise that will tone wonderfully with a dressy T-shirt hanging in my closet. I frogged the earlier cast-on, frogged a second cast-on, decided on 165 stitches for a final number, and am working seed stitch until I run out of yarn. I don't remember who the dyer was, or when and where I bought this, but it is scrumptious, and it's not ballet pink Jitterbug; for the moment that's the only thing that matters.
I am trying to resist the temptation to put on my painting clothes and slap another layer of paint onto my bedroom wall. I got three rounds of cut-in done before the Sabbath began, and one coat of paint on the wall proper, plus random dabs from when I was loading my foam brush to fill in the gaps between the edging roller and the painters tape at the top of the wall. Right now the wall looks like modern art. I am not adamant about having a perfectly uniform finish on this wall. I think it might look cool with a little variation in the color: something like unto gently worn leather. For a first coat, this looks far less scabby than when we did the salmon on the short walls in the living room, and as I sit on my bed and look across the room, I am pleased with the promise this wall shows. I can picture the headboard up against that wall, and lighting, and various bits of art in place. Right now I am thinking of moving the two teal benches (my bargains from Pier One) into my room to serve as end tables on either side of the bed, to bring in touches of teal from the rest of the house. We shall see.
I spent a little while before my nap, working on Schedule A expenses for my 2015 return. Next month I need to calculate how much to have taken out for my medical reimbursement account. I budgeted 25% more for 2014 than for 2013, because I knew I wanted to replace my glasses, but I won't need to do that next year, so I think I can take it back down to the 2013 amount and come out pretty even. I don't mind if I can't get reimbursed for all of my medical expenses. I would mind if I left more than $10 to $25 in the account at the end of the year.
It feels really great to be making forward progress on the house again. The maintenance aspects (cleaning out and removing Beloved's desk, cleaning out and shifting his dresser to the other side of the room so I could paint) were needful and a huge relief, but less aesthetically satisfying.
Time, I think, to knit a round or two, rub some lavender oil on my temples, and see if I can catch more Z's.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
After eight (!) hours of sleep, yesterday went smoothly at work. I kept up with the mail, my To-Do's, and various other tasks during the day. I had no difficulty staying alert and was able to shift easily from one task to the next. Which left me not-exhausted at the end of the workday, and that much more able to enjoy Knit Night.
After work I dropped off my sister's birthday package at the post office, then a bag of Beloved's clothing plus a rusty axe head and wrench (I have no idea what either of those were doing on a shelf in my bedroom) at my favorite thrift store in Arlington. This would be the one where I found the Jessica McClintock dress with the Neiman Marcus label for $7.57 for Fourthborn when she was baptized at age eight. White cotton batiste dress and slip, dripping in lace, which she loved and wore until she reluctantly outgrew it. Her princess dress.
I also hit the art supply store for another dozen Prismacolor pencils, and when I got home from Knit Night added those to my inventory list on Evernote. If I buy them a dozen at a time, they are 30% off, which makes them a little cheaper than buying the collections in tins and way cheaper than buying them individually. The discount will increase to 40% for the holidays. I am tackling this the way I did my DMC floss collection, a few items at a time each payday. I have enough clear stackable plastic bins from earlier projects to corral the pencils by rough color themes. There was a clear bin on the bookshelf in the hall that I appropriated last night. Reds, oranges, yellows, and pinks are now in the first box. Everything else is in the second. There is a third one in my room, currently containing two or three pieces of silver flatware that need to be polished and put with the rest of my silverware. And I bought silver polish last week, so there's light at the end of that particular tunnel.
I am nearly done with the eighth pink baby sock, and I am heartily sick of this ball of yarn. There is nothing wrong with it; it's just that there was so much of it, and I got
I priced plane tickets to Middlest's when I got home last night. The date that I want to fly out is beyond the reach of the airline's booking calendar, but I got a decent estimate and will transfer that much from my tax refund to my vacation savings account.
I will have a couple of funny stories from work to share with you in the near future. You might have to remind me.
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
The weekend did not get any better, in terms of sleep, but it was still wonderful and blessed. I came home from work two hours early and slept on Friday night, then went to the fireside, the workshops the following day, the evening session of stake conference, and the general meeting on Sunday morning. I got to see friends old and new at one meeting or another. I learned (not from personal experience) that it is possible to have a charley horse somewhere other than one's calf. I have a friend who gets them in her side. Oye.
One of my 4" DPs went rogue and is somewhere on the floorboard of the Tardis. I switched to magic loop and whipped out sock #7 in no time at all. I am on the home stretch of sock #8. And I think I am officially done with that ball of yarn. There might be enough left for another sock. Maybe two. But I am ready to knit something else, and I don't much care what.
I got two drawers emptied in Beloved's dresser. I got the top mostly cleared off. I hung a few items on the south wall of my bedroom. The dolls are dusted and relocated. I like how that part of the room looks. I've calculated how much flooring I will need for my bedroom. I'm hoping to have Beloved's dresser moved to the east wall by the time I go to bed on Saturday night. I've found the bottle of Chomp in the breakfast nook. A little more sleuthing will uncover the tool we used to score the wallpaper there and in the kitchen. I'd like to repaint the west wall in my bedroom over Halloween weekend. I'm off that Monday for my quarterly blood work.
I did not sleep well night before last. Down at 10:00, up at 1:00, down at 2:00 and right back up again, down at 3:00, up at 5:00. It made for a very long day, but was capped off by dinner with another widow at my new favorite Mediterranean restaurant. And I was in bed by 9:00 and slept until nearly 5:00 this morning!
I did put the time to good use yesterday morning. I wrangled two loads of laundry, wrapped my sister's birthday present and the shipping box, gathered up stuff to give Fourthborn when I pick her up for Knit Night, and tossed a few more items into the donation bag.
This morning I ordered my AncestryDNA kit. (Last day to get free shipping.) That was a prompting while at the family history conference on Saturday.
I'm going to wear my Knit Swirl to Knit Night. Huzzah!
Susan, in answer to your question, yes. I am friends on Facebook with several of my blog friends. If you know Tan or Tola or Alison or Ruth, you can find me through them. If not, send me another comment with your email address (which I will harvest but not publish), and I will tell you how to find me. Thank you for asking.
Friday, October 16, 2015
I finally gave up around a quarter to four and played on Facebook for awhile, then got out the scissors. This is going to be one exceedingly long day. Tonight I have a family history fireside.
On the other hand, my paycheck and my tax refund have both hit my bank account. I paid my tithing online (huzzah!) and have the check made out for the utilities. My lunch is packed, and I know what I'm going to wear, so it's just a matter of sluicing off and scooting out the door to be there when the drive-thru opens at 7:00.
I'm hoping to have just enough oomph left when I finally get home tonight, to decommission #5 and #6, which would leave the last one for tomorrow. I'm not sure how everything is going to get done this weekend. I have a family history conference during the day tomorrow and the evening session of stake conference.
I need Hermione's time turner.
But I'm grateful for Beloved and the opportunity to serve him in a small way by taking care of something that he probably meant to do before he passed. Somebody will be getting a couple of nice pairs of walking shorts, and my hands will move on to the next task.
Thursday, October 15, 2015
The dresser is also dusted. The four "tinies" (Faith, Hope, Charity, and Temperance) have been dusted, as has the American Girl settee upon which they sit. Chutzpah, Grace, the zombie keychain doll that Squishy gave Chutzpah, and the tiny bear that Beloved gave Chutzpah, are dusted. All of them are hanging out on top of the dresser.
There's a (very) small pile of books by the front door, along with a couple of pictures. A couple more items got tossed into the current "give to Squishy" bag, which is not very full. It's pretty easy to get rid of my stuff. It's harder to know what to do with Beloved's stuff and his mother's. My next big project is tackling the big dresser that was his. It has about a six inch layer of my stuff on top (rather like the desk used to be), and I am dreading the process. I've cleaned out a drawer here and a drawer there, over the past two and a half years, but I need to gird myself and finish the job. It's standing between me and a repainted wall.
I'm home again tonight and hope to make noticeable progress on it. But for now I think I will set the timer for fifteen minutes and tackle something smaller. I love those days when I go to work already having crossed an item or two off the list. I picked up eighteen more Prismacolor pencils on the way home from work last night, and this morning have added them to my inventory on Evernote, in the process discovering that I bought two in the shade they call Pomegranate. Given how much Beloved loved pomegranates, I suspect that was his little joke.
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
In the smaller basket was a folio with the dregs of a collection of Mary Engelbreit postcards and stationery. And the draft of a poem from 2004, six years after my divorce from the children's father.
The fulcrum of my dignity, as a former wife,
was assurance that his spurning was impersonal,
a cool poultice of illness and rationalization
applied to the running sore of my longing.
He had evolved, he thought, above the common need to touch
and lived as contemplative spirit
in a house of breath and bone.
Forsworn, he stands before me now,
telling me of a kindred spirit
whose quiet companionship is present joy,
seeking my blessing.
Eleven years later, I can still remember how devastating that was, though it grieves me no longer. Time, the Atonement which heals not only sin but sorrow, and the love of a most excellent man have done their work. And I am grateful.
Monday, October 12, 2015
Got an amazing amount of stuff done on Saturday. Attended my young friends' sealing and saw a dear sister from my first ward when we moved to Texas. Was definitely the best-dressed person at the flea market, on my way home. I scored two, two-panel shutters, somewhere between six and seven feet tall. They will go on either side of my bed, once that wall is repainted and my bed is set up. I will attach sconces or wall lamps to them and run the cords behind them to the plug. Saw that on Pinterest and fell in love with it.
From the flea market I went to the grocery store, which is between there and home. Picked up a number of things that I needed. Brought those home, put them away, and headed out again to Central Market to tank the Tardis cheaply and to pick up the glucosamine and a few other things. Stopped at the Lowe's which is across the freeway from Costco and got the switch plates for my bedroom. Came home and put that stuff away. (The shutters are still hanging out in the back of the Tardis, safe from the weather and not re-cluttering the decluttered parts of the house.)
On the way to the wedding reception, I mailed the box to Middlest, dropped off the bags to Fourthborn, and grabbed a quick bite at Arby's in case there was only cake at the reception. I needn't have worried. They kept it simple, but there were all sorts of things that were delicious and safe for me to eat. I did not stay long enough for a piece of cake. I did eat one cookie. I am on something of a cookie kick these days.
It was wonderful to be in my old, Fort Worth ward again, and to see people I hadn't seen since the wedding or the memorial service. There are days when I wish I could scoop up the house, Mel, Squishy, and my easier commute, and plop it all down in a corner of Tarrant County. I know my kids would like it if I were closer.
On the drive home from the reception, I hit three more Lowe's until I had picked up the rest of the switch plates I will need for the middle bedroom, my studio, and the master bathroom. I suspect that this style is being phased out, and given all the colors I am using throughout the house, matching switch plates will help tie it all together.
Tonight is dinner with the Empty Nesters, and I need to call my eye doctor and break the news that my new glasses aren't working. It was hard to keep tail lights and street signs in focus on the drive home Saturday night, and I wasn't that tired. And yesterday, when I was conducting the music in sacrament meeting, I couldn't see the hymnal. I had to pick it up and hold it in my left hand, which made my hand ache. I've been doing business with the eye doctor for twenty years or so, and I have faith in his integrity.
The dishwasher is humming, my lunch is packed, and my bags are at the front door. I know what I'm wearing to work. I am going to set the timer for five minutes and read until it goes off. Thoroughly enjoying The Happiness Project.
Saturday, October 10, 2015
I like doing fiddly stuff, so even though there were mind-numbing, eye-crossing moments, yesterday was productive and mostly enjoyable.
When I got home, the property tax notice was waiting for me. This is not bad news. My taxes get paid from my escrow account, and earlier this year I completed the homestead exemption paperwork that I thought had been done when I refinanced two (!) years ago. I will be paying 27% of what I paid last year and the year before. Which suggests that there will be another escrow refund check come spring, with an accompanying downward adjustment to my mortgage payment.
I got all the clean laundry folded and put away before work yesterday; I was too sleepy to do it when I went to bed Thursday night. I wanted to start my day with a smidgen more progress on tidying my room, so I gathered up the plastic bags that had been stuffed into larger plastic bags and were blocking the doorway to the master bathroom (which I don't use, for other reasons). They are now consolidated into one ginormous bag and waiting patiently by the front door for me to drop them off at Fourthborn's on my way to a wedding reception tonight.
I also found the cassette organizer that I used when I was in college. It is filled with tapes for fingerspelling practice. I texted Middlest: would these be helpful, and do you own a cassette player? Yes, they would, but sadly, no. So I will be packing up my boombox, which I no longer need now that I have all of my music uploaded to iTunes, and the tapes, and a few other things. And I might even get them mailed on my way to Fort Worth this afternoon. I do know where the bubble wrap is. And the packing tape.
I was rather tired when I left the office, and imperfectly nourished. (Hello, three chocolate chip cookies in the afternoon? Must repent.) So on the one hand, pizza with the doll folk was not quite what I needed nutritionally. On the other hand, I sat across the table from two of my favorite doll friends and had a good long visit and worked on the sixth pink baby sock. Came home, read a little, and went to bed.
I woke up a little before 5:00 this morning. Apparently 4:45 is the new 5:30? I am going to look for something large enough to mail the stuff to Middlest, and then I am going to forage breakfast and get ready to attend the sealing of my young friends. I hope to hit Urban Flea after that, and there are a handful of items I need from the grocery store, and I need more glucosamine from Costco. This is shaping up to be a jam-packed day.
I wonder if I can squeeze in a nap?
Wednesday, October 07, 2015
The biggest and best news is that I have finally e-filed my 2014 tax return. I was expecting a modest refund. By the time I finished with deductions and credits, I was astounded to see that I will be getting approximately three times that amount. I've gotten notification that Uncle Sugar has accepted my return, and somewhere a computer is comparing apples and oranges, chewing its cud, and preparing to give me a nice fresh bucket of moolah.
I also submitted the invoice for my new glasses, for reimbursement from my medical spending reimbursement account. Next month I will have to decide how much to fund the kitty for 2016. (I seem to be overrun with critter metaphors tonight.)
The two library books which are due on Saturday, are waiting by the front door. I'm about to go try to finish a third book. I've started a "to read" list on Evernote. When the author of a book I'm reading, recommends another book that sounds interesting, onto the list it goes. I could probably stay busy for the next six months just reading books that Brené Brown has mentioned in the two books of hers which I've read.
Might not finish that third book tonight. It's getting harder and harder to stay awake while I type. Maybe just a couple of stories and then lights out.
I cannot adequately express how freeing it is to have that desk gone, a chunk of my room uncluttered, and my taxes filed.
Oh, and I officially got half of a second attorney's docket this afternoon. I was about ready to chew a paw off, which would have made typing difficult.
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
That desk was huge. The main part was 30" x 60" and the extension 18" x 40". I have, theoretically at least, reclaimed somewhere between 20% and 25% of the floor space in my room. Although you wouldn't know it for the piles, but they will be disappearing over the next couple of weeks. I now feel hopeful that we can get my bedroom repainted and the new bed set up before Christmas.
I vacuumed that corner in my bedroom quite thoroughly last night. It took awhile to find a plug that wasn't at least slightly loose and in need of replacement, but one stretch of carpet is cleaner than it's been since Beloved and I were newlyweds and he was vacuuming regularly. It's going to take me a couple of days to rearrange all the stuff that I shoved into the closet so that we (they) could take the bed apart and lift the big part of the desk over the frame. I'm going to try to scoot out the door early enough that I can swing by Lowe's for the new switch plates before work, but realistically that may have to wait until after work tomorrow or Thursday.
However, the most pressing task is to complete my 2014 tax return. My desk was so daunting in April that I filed for an automatic six month extension. Tonight is Knit Night (huzzah!), but I will be home tomorrow night and Thursday night, which ought to be enough to finalize my deductions and file the return. There's a doll meet on Friday, and I may hold that out to myself as a reward for diligence and responsibility and any other adult virtues I pull out of my hat. Or a corner of my room.
Now to brag about superior customer service. I ordered EQ7 before leaving for work on Friday. I had an electronic receipt almost immediately, and a shipping confirmation by the end of the day. The package was in yesterday's mail at work. I haven't opened it yet because hello? Tax return. If I don't go to the doll meet on Friday night, I'll stay home and install it on my computer and play with pixels.
The fifth pink baby sock is finished, and I've made a fair bit of progress on the sixth. I'm looking forward to Knit Night and some quantity time with Fourthborn and my friends. Just wishing I could squeeze in a catnap before leaving for work. I slept well, almost until the alarm went off, but am still feeling a little like Oliver Twist, "Please, sir, may I have some more?"
Friday, October 02, 2015
Tuesday was Knit Night, and Fourthborn was able to join us. She has been battling insomnia for weeks and had to reset her sleep clock to ordinary people time. I also picked up two handheld pencil sharpeners for my new Prismacolor pencils.
Wednesday I had dinner with one of the sisters I visit teach, in a Mediterranean restaurant that recently moved to a larger space. The food was sublime. I had the leftovers for dinner last night while I stayed (blissfully) at home, noodling around on Facebook in a new group for knitters who specialize in clothing for tiny BJD's.
I have no idea why I awoke an hour ahead of the alarm this morning, but I've not been idle. I organized my growing Evernote collection and updated a couple of programs on this computer. Today is payday, and once my paycheck shows up at my bank (that's the one thing I don't like about the merger; the old bank would show my paycheck a little after midnight, and the new one sometimes shows it after I get to work) I will pay my tithing online (!!!) and my internet bill and move money into various buckets.
I found an Electra bike that I like, and it's relatively affordable, and I can get it in red. I could buy it right now, but I think I will simply put a nice chunk of cash into a savings account and order Electric Quilt 7 instead. I've yet to find my CD for EQ5, and I want to redesign the sashing and borders for the quilt blocks we just completed so that I can finish the top, pick out backing fabric, and send it off for quilting. Yeah. I know. I've always been a purist about hand quilting, but there are only so many hours in a day, and I want to sleep under that quilt sometime before I kick.
Very much looking forward to General Conference this weekend.
Saturday, September 26, 2015
That is all. Going to bed now.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
As I worked on yesterday's special project, I realized that the most satisfying part of it was drawing a line through each case as I worked my way down the list. So I took a roundabout way to Knit Night: instead of driving down I-67 to I-20 and exiting in Grand Prairie, I continued southwest on I-67 to Cedar Hill to one of the many Michaels stores I patronized when getting ready for my wedding. There was a display of adult coloring books just inside the front door, right where I couldn't miss it. It took me a few minutes to find the colored pencils, because I was distracted by another white pumpkin.
There are now four white ones and a tiny silver one on the shelf above my wing chair in the living room. Last week I bought a big rough-hewn one at JoAnn's (when I got the buttons to rescue my brown T-shirt). It and the newest one are perched on the nesting tables by my front door; this new one is all lumpy bumpy and blazoned with green stripes. I tried it up on the shelf with the others but brought it right back down again. Rounding out that display is a framed printable I found on Pinterest and popped into the red frame I bought at my friend's estate sale when I got the herringbone covered armchairs for the dining room table. I need a little something to prop up the printable, because the last line or so is obscured by the lumpy bumpy pumpkin.
I bribed myself before bedtime. Picked up the last dab of junk from in front of the closet in my bedroom and ran the vacuum. I colored for maybe ten minutes and shoehorned the coloring book and box of colored pencils into the bookcase by my bed. I bought "The Time Garden" by Daria Song, an English translation; she's a Korean artist. It's very detailed ~ like my medallion quilt ~ so maybe too fiddly for some people's taste.
The plan for tonight is to pre-wash the fabric for the medallion quilt, if I don't have time to do it after my shower and before leaving for work. If I do, then I'll start cutting out fabric. In this step I will assemble the border which is composed of 1" finished squares. I think all the squares are sewn together into two-patch blocks. If not, there aren't many left to put together, and then I'll take over the dining room table to arrange each of the four strips.
In knitting news, I worked the heel flap, turned the heel, and began the gusset on the current pink baby sock. The ball of yarn does not seem to be getting any smaller! I wonder how many socks I will end up with? This is the yarn that doesn't end, And it goes on and on, my friend. Somebody started knitting it, not knowing what it was, And she'll continue knitting it forever, just because...