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!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Wow. A week?

I am mostly caught up at work. Still picking up speed. Still loving it.

The real news is what's been happening at the library after work. I now have 737 people in my ancestry.com family tree. I added 77 of them last night. Most if not all of them related to George Foidel, my grandmother's brother. I wondered on FB over the weekend if I would pass 1000 by the end of this week. I think that's very likely.

Lorelai is all patched up. I hope to get another year out of her. She's missing a beat occasionally, the mechanical equivalent of sleep apnea. When I picked her up, I left the Tardis for its safety inspection. It passed, but it's still at the shop, because it was in severe need of new brakes. And new shocks. As in, take it home, Ms. Ravelled, and park it on the street, but please don't drive it because we *like* you. It was just easier to leave it. They'll work on it Friday, and the money that was going to buy new kitchen cabinets is going to fix my truck instead.

The funny thing is that, while I am a little disappointed, I'm basically fine with it. Two working vehicles equals a large degree of security. And no car payments. I am really, truly fine with having no car payments.

I hung a few things on the walls on Sunday evening. When I got home from the library last night, I set several cardboard boxes on the curb next to the trash bin. The chairs are arranged in something like a workable pattern. The computer corner is starting to come together. I've done a little more prep work for the big window in the kitchen.

Family history work is definitely taking over. But I did get a little knitting done at the opera on Friday night and again on Sunday. I'm nearly done with the second doll sleeve.

I'm going to see if I can loosen the screws of the mounting brackets for the blinds. There are still a few fragments of wallpaper that I can't quite get to. And I want them gone. This is a job for my electric drill, because I can't budge them by hand. And raising one eyebrow at them doesn't faze them, either.

Monday, March 23, 2015

I don't remember what the second amazing thing was.

Unless it's how little I sleep.

I went back to work today. 102 emails greeted me. I chewed my way through them and worked my calendar and SemperFi's and ... I need a nickname for my new attorney.

Lorelai had a wee tantrum on the way from taking Fourthborn home last night. I was a couple of miles north of 30 on the PGBT when she made a flappy noise and the trouble light came on. I called Squishy and let him know I might need him to come follow me the rest of the way home. She was still going strong when I got to my exit. So I asked him to meet me at the mechanic's, which was closed for the night.

I dropped the key off on the way to work. Got a call late this afternoon. Exhaust manifold, which was covered by the warranty on the catalytic converter that we replaced three years ago. I should be able to pick her up after work tomorrow.

So I made a beeline for the library after work, and I made some good, solid progress on my family history. Merged more duplicates. Added some records. Found addresses and names for granddaughters of one of my first cousins after following leads in his obituary.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

My children are amazed.

First, that I am hungry All. The. Time. It's a side effect of the Metformin, which is an oral hypoglycemic. The thing I have learned in the past year, is to eat often but eat well. It has been so strange to consciously increase my intake, particularly of proteins, and largely eliminate dairy, when for decades I was a bread and milk girl.

They had cereal for breakfast on Saturday. I wanted more, so I bundled up and walked back to Thursday's restaurant for more French inspired deliciousness. Last time I had a gallicized farm breakfast: scrambled eggs, thick crisp bacon, and impeccable toast with seedless blackberry jam.

This time I had the Croque Madame: whole grain French toast, sliced tomatoes, tissue thin ham, béchamel sauce, some sort of cheese, topped with an over-easy fried egg, and served with a fruit cup. I sprung for a small hot chocolate.

Have I mentioned that I love Minneapolis?

After breakfast I walked up the street to the Mary Tyler Moore statue. Came back by way of the Barnes & Noble, where I bought the Steve Tyrell CD that I heard at the Mall of America, and a gastronomic memoir that, so far, is every bit as charming as "Cooking for Mr. Latte".*

It's hard to read with my darlings around (at least they're not fighting over hairbrushes), but I would appear to have a winner for the flight home. And maybe new recipes to try.

I've been knitting a cowl from some gorgeous bright tweed yarns that Tola sent me. I'm loving the fabric, but I think I may have cast it on a little too wide. I might frog it back and start over.

Finishing this on Monday. Travel is wonderful, but there is perhaps nothing so sweet as waking up in one's own bed and not having to tiptoe because of roommates. I frogged the cowl and started over for what I think is the third time.

*The book is 99% delightful and 1% ick. While we are out and about today, I will pick up a bottle of correction fluid. I will be writing "Nutella" over the F-bombs. Two so far. In a culinary memoir. Really? There are a couple of recipes that I want to try. If they're as disappointing as the expletives, this book is going in the trash. I am definitely not recommending it.

So. Today we are working on the honey-do list and going to see Cinderella. I saw it at Mall of America on Friday night. Yes. It's that good.

Thursday, March 19, 2015


I love it. Very nice mixture of new buildings and really cool old ones. Incredibly wide sidewalks. Reasonably (and sometimes unreasonably) wide streets. Brother Brigham would approve.

I realized, in a minor panic on the plane Wednesday, that I'd gotten away from Texas without the meds and vitamins I had so carefully packed. A flurry of texts back and forth with Fourthborn, who frisked my room, the kitchen, and the loo. Multiple times, coming up empty.

Yesterday, after being on the phone with my insurance provider and the local pharmacy, I finally *finally* remembered that I had stowed the Ziploc bag under the front seat when I dashed into CVS to get a shower pouf and some chocolate (which I will be able to eat, once I pick up my prescription after lunch).

This is a great city for walking. There is a small gallery across the street that I wanted to investigate. It turned out to be a custom printing shop, and closed.

We had breakfast yesterday at a little place called The French Corner. This morning we ate at a tiny crêperie. Lox, dill,  and havarti cheese.

I'm finishing this post from Mall of America. There is no free WiFi at the Hilton. Firstborn, Secondborn and BittyBit are shoe shopping for Secondborn. And I have had quite my fill of walking, so I am resting my feet and listening to (I think) Van Morrison crooning oldies but goodies. I'm about to head over to the record department to find out. It's seriously yummy.

You may not hear from me again until I'm back in Texas. I love this place. I want to come back. But right now I just want to be horizontal and unconscious. That's a ten minute walk to the train, half an hour on the train, and half a mile back to the hotel.

I couldn't have done this two years ago. So grateful.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Packing. Sorta.

My vitamins are divvied up by day, bagged, and labeled. Although I might be reckless and take Sunday's on Thursday, just to keep things interesting.

After work tonight I'll pick up Fourthborn. She will be housesitting for me.

Firstborn, Secondborn, BittyBit and I are flying to the frozen north tomorrow. BittyBit will be singing in a national choir! In Minnesota. In March.

I need to check the weather forecast. But I'm pretty sure the operative word will be "layers" - and thankfully I'm a knitter and have a nice stash of wool socks.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


I finally did get rehydrated. It pretty much took all day. Picked up Fourthborn after work and dropped some kitchen stuff off at its new home.

Yesterday was mostly great. Fourthborn got the baseboards painted. They are resting gently atop the dining room table. I sewed the March quilt block and boxed up my sewing machine. We took it to the Bernina shop for a cleaning and tuneup.

While we were out, we drove up to a cafe in Wylie for pie, as it was National Pi Day. New family tradition. I'm sure that Beloved would approve. That man made a mean pie!

I got the rest of the wallpaper and paint out of the window in the kitchen. We got my computer set up, only to discover that the tower had perished from loneliness after being ignored for three years. We're hoping that her roommate's dad will be able to resurrect it. There's fourteen years of my life on that computer. Reams and reams of writing. Scanned documents, since shredded.

There's Klingons on the starboard bow, starboard bow, starboard bow. There's Klingons on the starboard bow, starboard bow, Jim.

So Fourthborn got Beloved's tower from his desk and set things up. She'll take my tower and my new external hard drive (that I should have bought five years ago) home with her. I'm hoping that Wolfie can fix it or at least retrieve my files.

I'd thought that putting the desk by the front window would be a good thing, but that plug is dependent upon a light switch on the opposite wall. Which will drive me nuts. So that is not going to work for the long haul. But it will make taking apart the Big Ugly Desk in my bedroom much easier.

I also bought a very small plane, and between that and the sander we got 99% of the lip in the hall taken care of. And a medium jar of Mod Podge for a future project.

If I look at the things we got done on an intentionally low-key day, I am grateful. But the computer problem leaves a bad taste in my mouth (rather like the water at the restaurant yesterday; Wylie is even closer to the lake than we are). This morning my glass is half full. But it tastes like lake water.

Friday, March 13, 2015


It's spring. The trees are all yelling, "Hey sailor!" I remembered to take an antihistamine last night and am now in the process of rehydrating my eyeballs. They and my kidneys are not too happy with me right now. I woke up feeling as if I had been wrung dry. Stiff neck. Aching back. I've drunk half a litre of water in the last 15 minutes and am heading out to the living room to grab another bottle.

Solved the mystery of where that partial bottle had disappeared to. I had set it on a table in the living room.

I went back to the library last night and worked on genealogy for my two hours of free Internet time. Did not connect a lot of records. Spent the time entering or correcting data and linking profiles to FamilySearch. Merged a couple of duplicates. When I got home, I spent another half hour or so pursuing hints and linking records from my phone.

When I finally went to bed, I had basically tithed my time for the day. That felt pretty good. I can see myself, after retirement, spending great swathes of my day preparing names and serving those people in the temple.

Right now I just want to drink a vat of water and go back to bed for a couple of hours.

I'm picking up Fourthborn after work. I don't have any major projects in mind for tomorrow, but I'd like to consolidate our gains of last weekend and make the house more habitable for her when she house-sits for me next week.

Note to self: now that we've found the computer peripherals, call the cable company and find out when they can come set up.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The ugly part of furniture Tetris.

I'm there. For about fifteen minutes, there was a semblance of order in my living room. I had done significant decluttering in the morning (as well as ironing the fabric for the March quilt block) and came home from two hours of transcribing names and dates into Ancestry.com ready to clear and move the table so I may set up the computer.

Clear, clear. Shuffle, shuffle. Grunt, grunt. Mumble mumble rassen frassen. I have a short cable coming out from the wall under the front window. It makes sense (to me at least) to set up the computer *there* where there are also two outlets in reasonable proximity. But where to put the two chairs that I've displaced that gives them access to adequate lighting and does not tump any theoretical guests into my lap when I'm sitting in the wing chair?

I was sufficiently tired that I gave up, played on Facebook for a bit, worked a Sudoku, and called it a day.

I moved a few more things this morning, chiefly so I may get out the door and go to the gym. And if I don't scoot, that effort will have been wasted.

I need another 24 hours between now and breakfast.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Fun stuff. No, really!

I just finished an English muffin with real butter (lips that touch margarine shall never touch mine) and some of the blackberry jelly that Secondborn made and gave us 3+ years ago. Yes, I've been hoarding it in the fridge all this time, indulging weeks apart.

The house is coming along so nicely. I don't know if we've reached the tipping point, but we are making visible progress at what feels like an increasing rate. Fourthborn carved a path to the window in the middle bedroom after I came home from stake conference. We found the box with my computer peripherals. I skipped the gym this morning in favor of puttering in the living room, preparatory to setting up the computer and regaining home Internet. Most of the kitchen stuff is back in the kitchen. I'm about to head back out there, set the timer for 15 minutes, and see how much more I can accomplish before I have to get ready for work.

Work. Work just got better. I have another half a docket, and I really like her. SemperFi was a little quiet yesterday. He's a good man, quite generous, but doesn't like the need to share his secretary. I'm just grateful that I'll no longer be looking for stuff to do.

I have a new microwave. Nothing fancy. But it's red! The old one had the electronic equivalent of a hissyfit on Sunday night, about ten seconds into a bag of popcorn. Lights strobing, mechanical whimpering, one useless bag of vaguely warm popcorn. Squishy went with me to Wally World last night and did all the schlepping. He also got the blinds down out of the kitchen window so I may finish painting.

He also rolled the trash can to the curb while I schlepped the recycling boxes. Another reason to love Monday nights: trash day is Tuesday, and every other Tuesday the recycling gets picked up. There's just this little sigh of relief as more stuff goes away. Lorelai's trunk is full of donations as well. I'll drop them off either going to work or coming home.

I don't want to get rid of stuff, just to be getting rid of stuff. I want it to go where it is needed, or where it belongs. (I found plaster handprints of the twins from when they were little. The mom in me went Awww! The practical me delegated them to Squishy for delivery to his brothers, along with other stuff.)

We found my book of remembrance on Sunday night. It's about two inches thick. I will be spending time at the library this week, transcribing that information into Ancestry.com. Names. *Dates*. Spouses.

But I have used up that extra puttering time.

Saturday, March 07, 2015


Squishy and Fourthborn and I got the Kallax assembled this morning. He went to work, and we filled in the blanks. Then we moved the little orange piece under the window. We made an abortive trip to the Dallas Flea, but the line was down one block and around the corner. We came home. We moved a few more bits around. Then she started in on the remaining wallpaper while I got ready for stake conference. The Saturday night session is my favorite. When I got home she had finished the cutting in on the ceiling and was nearly done with the wallpaper. We also moved the microwave (again). I think she's already asleep. I've reset the clock for DST and will probably be asleep fifteen seconds after my head hits the pillow.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Snow Half Day.

Office opened at noon. So this morning I emptied the small folding bookcase, moved it into the kitchen, and filled it up again.

Watched a YouTube and learned how to use my sander. Went through several strips of 220 grit sandpaper, smoothing down the lip that Wes sawed off for me a few months back.

Bought a variety of precut strips on my way home from work. 60 grit does a pretty fair job of whittling down an edge in a hurry.

I got more of the paint and wallpaper off the sides of the large window.

Work went well. I may have an announcement tomorrow. It's been a good day. I cooked orange roughy in almond milk for dinner and made a nice salad and had some of the leftover corn muffins.

Night, y'all.

Monday, March 02, 2015


That's how fast the hints are multiplying on Ancestry.com. Something like 1200 of them the last time I checked. It's probably pretty exciting for the people I'm linking up. But I'm feeling the way I used to when I would open the pantry door: not sure what was in there, or how to make sense of it, but intimidated by the sheer volume of it.

Gives me a fresh perspective on the blessing of so much there isn't room to receive it. I do hope that at some point the data will be all properly linked, and the numbers will dwindle down to a trickle. As a palate cleanser, I spent some time loosening up the baseboard in the kitchen. It's a long way from being free, but at least there's visible progress.

I'm going to take the last few minutes of conscious and add a row or two to three doll sweater. Mostly, I just want to sleep.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Brother Sushi gets hitched!

I drove two hours on icy roads to get there. And two more to come home. Best possible use of my day.

I am so happy for them. He's a good man. She's as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.

I should have taken pictures of the food. Her family took care of everything but the cake. His aunt made the cake. It was all very simple, and perfectly wonderful. Caprese on a stick, for one thing: little bamboo swords strung with grape tomatoes, basil leaves, and tiny mozzarella balls. The bamboo swords are available at the restaurant supply place just down the road. (Chutzpah and Grace with swords = scary!) This may be my next contribution to a potluck dinner.

The cake had three layers: chocolate cherry, vanilla something, and mango. The mango was the top layer, and had smaller slices, so that's what I went for. It did not disappoint. I need to email him and ask him to have his aunt forward the recipe.

So I came home thoroughly happy and utterly wiped out. (Beloved made a brief appearance at my side during the opening song. The man likes weddings.) Had a little snack and went to bed. Woke up seven hours later.

There will obviously be no further work on the kitchen until tomorrow or later in the week. But I am without excuse if I don't study the Relief Society lesson and the Sunday school lesson. And I will probably get the February quilt block stitched up sometime today.

I've taken my Metformin, three hours late. And I'm a little hungry again, so will grab another small snack and go back to bed.

Yeah. I know. But it's perfect sleeping weather, even without Beloved sharing the bed.

I do miss that man.