About Me

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

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Window wall in progress.

I got a little impatient last night. After spending two productive hours on the computer at the public library, I wanted a big splash of color on this wall. So I skipped the cutting-in and went straight for the roller.

I'm planning to go back to the library after work tonight. Two hours of free Internet, baby! I learned how to link ancestry.com to FamilySearch.

Boy howdy, does two hours of intense mental work make me hungry!

Knit did not happen last night. But if I scurry, I can cast on a sweater sleeve before work. 20% chance of getting more snow before lunch. Driving the Tardis again, just in case.

Monday, February 23, 2015


Finding something good when you weren't looking for it. My e-friend Middleaged Mormon Man posted a link on Facebook that has turned my world upside down but in an astonishingly good way. He posted a link to the BYU Relative  Finder, which you may access through FamilySearch.

I am related to six US presidents, none of whom I was particularly fond of. Thoreau. Two signers of the Constitution. Two signers of the Declaration of Independence. President Monson. Ezra Taft Benson. Franklin D. Richards. Boyd K. Packer. D. Todd Christofferson. And that wonderful old dear, LeGrand Richatds. Several members of the Willie and Martin handcart companies. Mitt Romney. Levi Savage, the protagonist of "17 Miracles". And the kicker?

Joseph Smith.

I sobbed. Buckets and buckets. The most important mortal man in my life, after my father, and the reason I am Beloved's wife. I will probably never again be able to sing "Praise to the Man" without crying.

I had no idea. Every time it crosses my mind, I start crying again. That God would grant me the privilege of relation (in any degree) to the prophet of the Restoration.

I hope the office is closed again tomorrow. I'm going to need some time to ponder this. I have so much to live up to.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Lots of little bits of progress.

Two walls of the breakfast nook are painted. I love it. Right now it's looking a little 80's retro, but furniture in place and art on the walls will mitigate that. Tola calls this Tiffany blue, and in the picture it's certainly a close match, but in real life it's just a smidgen greener.

When I got home from dinner with Brother Sushi and his fiancée, the brain part of me wanted to shove things around in the living room so I could get at the vinyl plank flooring. The rest of me told it to hush. The rest of me won. I went to bed a little after 9:00 and woke a little after 5:00.

So what all got done yesterday? Second coat of paint on the kitchen ceiling. The aforementioned walls. Front porch uncluttered and swept. New doormat in place. The picture I knocked off the wall, reframed. The quilled paper picture of a Vietnamese woman in traditional dress, reeling silk, framed. Paint spatters on my feet and the hem of my good jeans. I mistakenly grabbed them instead of my painty jeans, which are now at least two sizes too big, so maybe it's for the best. The good jeans are about a size too big now. This might have been the universe telling me to demote them.

Today I will be shuffling furniture in my mind, trying to find the best configuration of the pieces I already own. And planning my after work projects for the coming week. I love that my kitchen is more functional than it was three weeks ago. And I want my living room back. That will require greatly improved storage in the breakfast nook. I have three drawers in my kitchen. Three. Drawers.

But for now I need to set that aside and get ready for church, followed by family history work and Downton Abbey with Mel and Squishy.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cutting in, then cutting out.

Which reminds me of the old joke from the 70's: Do unto others. And then cut out.

By using both stepstools I was able to edge all the way around the kitchen ceiling last night. I did not attempt to cut in around the ceiling fan or the lights, as there was nothing to brace myself against. Fourthborn and I will figure that out the next time she's here.

My goal for tonight is to paint the ceiling as close to the lights as prudently possible. I either just-will or just-won't have enough paint to finish the job. I've been pretty lucky so far. Maybe that luck will continue.

Depending upon how long that takes (surely not as long as the living room?), I may even get started on the portion of the walls we've been able to free up. I'm off all day tomorrow, but I'll be attending an acoustic music festival in a neighboring city. I'll pick up my roller again on Saturday.

The kitchen is significantly better lit than the living room. It will be ever so much easier to see if I'm getting adequate coverage or missing a spot entirely.

Knit did not happen yesterday. At all. And I'm a little sad about that. On the other hand, there's a good chance that the kitchen will be completely repainted in the next couple of weeks.

I get my bonus four weeks from tomorrow, which equals new cabinets for the kitchen. I've found glass tiles for the backsplash that pull almost all of the colors I've used.

The kitchen is (knock wood) taking far less time and energy than I had feared. And the payback from all the decluttering we've done has been huge. I actually want to cook. OK, only some of the time, but I no longer feel overwhelmed just walking in there.

That's all I've got for you this morning. Time to figure out what I'm wearing to work today, throw my lunch together, and hit the road.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pushy dead people. And a miracle.

So yesterday I was the Queen of Puffs. I must have gone through half a box, between work and home.

Tonight was our ward temple night, and I was torn at least three ways. Wanted to go to the temple. Wanted to go to yoga. Wanted to stay home and paint. Absent Hermione's time turner, something would have to give.

I remembered hearing at yoga last week that doing yoga with a sinus infection was not a good thing. I was a long way from a sinus infection. Just obnoxiously loud sneezes in rapid succession. The human equivalent of a Gatling gun.

I decided to prepare for the temple as if I  were perfectly well, with the understanding that if I continued to sneeze, even if I thought it was only allergies, I would take myself home.  Bag packed, name cards organized, spare shoes in Lorelai, and one of my favorite skirts.

You know what? It worked. Not a single sneeze today. So I went to the temple, did the work for my Gram's sister in law, and had the next batch of cards printed up.

I need to do about 15 things before bedtime, but as it's after 11:00, I'm just going to clear a space and call it a night. It's been a great day. I've helped to "hasten the work," and I am *done*.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Good news, bad news, *great* news!

Good news would be the photo showing cleared space in the breakfast nook area. Bad news would be the photo showing what my living room looks like at the moment.

*Great* news is that I finally got to meet Br. Sushi's fiancée. It was a three year process to get her here from Saigon. They are getting married in two weeks. Which completely rearranges my plans for that Saturday, unless I can lay hands on Hermione's time turner.

I have been rather a social butterfly this weekend. I am just about peopled out. I was home only one night last week: Monday was Empty Nesters. Tuesday was yoga. Wednesday I was home. Thursday was the Pepe Romero concert in Fort Worth, my Valentine's Day treat to myself. Friday was the widows and widowers dinner. Last night was the singles dinner in my old stake.

All of which I both needed and enjoyed. But yeah, pretty much peopled out. I plan on spending three nights at home this week. If all goes according to plan, I'll start painting the kitchen after work tomorrow. Yoga on Tuesday. Home on Wednesday and Thursday. Acoustic music festival (the last of its kind, with some of my favorite local musicians) all day Friday and Saturday.

I used to live in clutter and disarray, particularly when I was married to the  children's father. I am still far from perfect in the home management department. But I have made great strides, to the point that huge messes (like the one currently occupying my living room) unsettle me.

So I am going to have to make visible progress every day, no matter how small, in order to remain peaceful and sane. I've kinda gotten used to sanity. They know me there.

Friday, February 13, 2015

New phone. Learning curve.

Most of my apps transferred. I've had to re-install Waze and Blogger and a few others. And I'm teaching it "hippo birdies two ewes".

Last night was one for the books. After work I drove to Fort Worth for the Pepe Romero concert. Wonderful! My tush and legs got restless about half an hour before my ears, heart, and spirit.

But because the Renzo Piano Pavilion was designed for people ahead of profits, my knees did not pitch the screaming fit they do when I'm at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas.

And because I've lost 40 pounds since my first Renzo experience last year (the bluegrass performance where I met my banjo teacher), the seats were even more comfortable than before.

In a lovely surprise, I received paperwork from the appraisal district for my homestead exemption (which I thought was already in place). I filled it out in odd moments yesterday and will mail it in today. That will save me up to 20% on this year's property taxes. And when I turn 65 in a couple of years, there will be another adjustment.

My knitting has been misbehaving this week. It keeps slipping off the needles while riding around in my purse. Last night before the concert I spent a good five minutes getting it back on the needles before I could make a bit of progress.

Tonight I am taking the old phone to Firstborn's on the way to a party my friend Jody is hosting for the widows and widowers. I'll pick up the air mattress, because after the party I'm picking up Fourthborn for a sleepover.

In the morning I'll hit the gym and then the mechanic's for Lorelai's safety inspection. Fourthborn will peel wallpaper while I'm out. Goal for tomorrow is to get the wallpaper down, the ceiling painted, and maybe start on the walls.

I'd like to get the steel shelving unit disassembled as well so we could start on the flooring, but that would mean a lot more clutter in the living room until we get the new storage set up. I'm already a little twitchy from the current state of disorder.

No gym for me this morning. I needed to write, even more than I needed to move. I'll pack my lunch and see if I can sneak in a smidgen of yoga (or at least some stretching) before getting ready for work.

Be good, remember Whose you are, and don't drop any stitches!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Yoga tonight

We did this roadkill swan thing, and in my approximation of a forward fold, I could feel and visualize three of the trigger points along my left shoulder blade. Little nasty white hot polka dots. They were *not* happy with me. I think if I were to consistently practice that asana for two or three months, I might be able to make them go away.

Normally I can't feel a trigger point until someone pushes on it. Much less see it from the outside looking in.

I did something brave and scary at work today. I've mentioned that another secretary and I have been training two of the admins to generate the paperwork involved in opening a case. We are also responsible for creating the how-to manual and the workflows, so that if someone nowhere near as sharp as these two cookies needs to know what to do, and when, the process will be idiot proof.

Office manager was working remotely and wanted a phone conference to discuss the editing. Fair enough. But I was already scheduled for a meeting at that time, and the other secretary's attorney had finally signed a bushel of mail that had been piling up in his outbox. Plus, I was digging out from the emails and to-do's that had accumulated over the weekend and while I was off yesterday. Neither of us had the time to read her revisions, much less discuss them.

So I emailed back, citing my previous commitment and proposing another time. After a few more emails, we found a time that would work for all three of us.

I've worked for the company for nearly 16 years, 14 of them in this office. This is the first time I can recall ever pushing back.

I'm just hoping that sometime before lunch tomorrow I will have enough time and enough synapses to read through the revisions and be able to comment intelligently. We have worked and reworked this verbiage until we can't see straight. Word word word blahdy blahdy word.

I connected the dots last night on a first cousin that I'm not sure I ever met. I bear you witness that she knows I found her, and that she wanted to be found. She was hanging out with me in the car on the drive to work this morning, and I got a little soggy. I don't know if she'll come back when I go work on some of our mutual cousins in a few minutes. If I start sobbing again, at least I don't have to worry about running my bed off the side of the road.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

And he wrote back!

There was a lovely email waiting for me when I got home from church, and an invitation to friend him on Facebook. Which I did.

I've spent a couple of hours today organizing my boards on Pinterest. Because my kitchen is in disarray (again), and it's the Sabbath, so the only progress I will allow myself in that quarter today will be the running of the dishwasher once I've finished dinner.

I'm getting a new phone this week, courtesy of Firstborn, who called while Fourthborn and I were out and about yesterday afternoon.

Fourthborn and I went back to Working the Flea to pick up the turquoise picture frame we spotted last weekend. I am going to turn it into something awesome.

We got the metal shelving unit angled out from the kitchen wall and a good chunk of two layers of wallpaper removed. We hope to finish that next Saturday.

Choir today was amazing. We sang in sacrament meeting. The other alto was AWOL due to illness, so my VT sang my part with me while she conducted. I'm hitting notes I never could, before. And at choir practice this afternoon I began learning the alto for three of my favorite hymns: If You Could Hie to Kolob, I Saw A Mighty Angel Fly, and Adam-ondi-Ahman.

And at choir practice I learned that one of our recent move-ins teaches voice.

In other news, I had a phone conference with a health coach on Friday and signed up for an exercise challenge. I also started using the Healthy Now app to track my protein and carb intake. It confirmed that I am still undereating, but at least now I have a way to track that and bring everything into better balance. I have been working on a good sized salad for the past hour or so. And I need another 125g carbs and 73g protein and 400+ calories. All of which must be in the pipeline before 11:00pm, as my well woman is tomorrow at 9:00, and they want me fasting for 10 hours.

I'm getting a massage tomorrow afternoon, from Pearl, whom I used to see when I lived in Fort Worth before marrying Beloved. She hasn't seen me for nearly two years. This is going to be fun!

OK, salad is now down the hatch. I'm going to see what some hummus and whole grain crackers do for my totals. And maybe a salmon burger?

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Make that a *third* cousin.

We share great great grandparents. I wrote him a letter last night after yoga and will mail it today.

Skipped the gym this morning in favor of sleeping an extra hour (which didn't happen) and some puttering in the kitchen. I ran out of food at work yesterday and had to buy lunch.

Work was challenging. And that's all I'm going to say, at least for now.

Heading to the family history center after work today, to see if I can flesh out some details on various people.

Am also going to try to score a ticket to see Pepe Romero in Fort Worth next week.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Found a fifth cousin tonight.

A live one. Who might know all kinds of neat stuff about our tribe.

Trying to settle down enough to sleep.

Knit happened today. Not much, but some.

Two file boxes of miscellaneous glassware went to the thrift store. And a young sister picked up three dozen quart canning jars, some lids, some rings. I kept the pints. She left me a jar of blackberry jam in thanks.

I got some more numbers entered for my tax return.

Work was frustrating because of technical issues, but I think we got them solved.

My eyes are ready for sleep, but my brain is still going pingity ping. Wish me luck.