- Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!
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...
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
I also closed two cases yesterday. And wrangled all of my To-Do's. Today I will catch up the mail. I have another project that the office manager gave two of us, that will fill in the rest of the time. One of our new hires has been attached to a bunch of cases in our office. We have no idea how that happened. But another secretary and I have been meticulously detaching her and making sure that the proper attorney is attached for notification purposes. I love fiddly projects like these. I am very, very good at what one of my coworkers calls "minushka" (minutiae).
I dropped off two of the new library books after work, picked up the moldy raspberries to return them, got that done (exchanged them for a cheese spreader with a handle that looks like three stacked candy corns, so the store and I both came out winners on that transaction), and hit Costco for much needed staples and to top off the Tardis' tank. The numbers are all entered on my spreadsheet, and the receipts are shredded.
Today is recycling day. The bin with papers was ridiculously heavy, so I decanted some of its contents into the other bin. We do single-stream recycling here, but I like to keep paper separate from everything else while I'm gathering it, as everything lies more neatly in its bin that way.
I remembered to order my new glasses yesterday. Not much of a change from the pair I've worn for the past three years. These have held up very well, and they will go into my drawer with the last pair, for emergencies.
Lawn dudes come today. I'll get home from Knit Night to a yard free of random sprouts that are approaching knee high. I will probably get a nasty-gram from the city anyway. And my next installment of the medallion quilt should arrive at the office today or tomorrow, because there was a pending charge on my bank account this morning.
That's it for now. I need to take stuff out to the curb, figure out lunch, shred a couple more items, and hit the road.
Sunday, September 20, 2015
I do know what I'm going to do with the overtime. It is earmarked for my bicycle.
Notwithstanding my general absence from the homestead, a few things have gotten done. I bought another white fake pumpkin to amp up the fall decor. And a package of brown and cream buttons to rescue my brown T-shirt, which had two spots that did not come out in the wash. In the wee hours of this morning, I sewed them all on and posted the result to Facebook. (Because if it's not on FB, it didn't happen, right?)
I mostly-cooked dinner for the elders and did a drive-by fooding yesterday. And then I came home for a nap that went somewhat longer than expected. I awoke at 12:30 this morning. So, no grocery shopping and no jog through the pool at the gym. Went back to sleep at 4:30 with the alarm set for 7:30 and barely made it to church on time.
The raspberries which I bought at Central Market yesterday were moldy when I opened them this morning. So I will take them back after work tomorrow and make a desperately needed Costco run. I am about out of a whole bunch of things.
I got a nice nap after church. I did not set my alarm, and I kinda hoped that I would not wake in time for choir practice, because I just wasn't feeling it. But I did, and I went, and as usual I was blessed. I am turning into the class clown of choir (OK, one of several). My children will not be entirely surprised, because I'm known in the family for my wacky sense of humor. But I was always the pleaser when I was in school. The idea of acting out, even a little, to get a laugh was light years beyond me at that time. I was firmly in please don't look at me, don't call on me, don't call attention to me mode for twelve solid years.
It wasn't until I was in college for the third and possibly final time, when I was getting my associates' degree in interpreting for the deaf, that I discovered a love of performance.
OK, I think I'm done for now. I have an intermittently interesting home organization book to plow through. I did get one good take-away before choir practice: keep a first aid kit in my toolbox. Most of the rest of what I've read so far is mildly interesting and not particularly useful. I'm making myself finish this book before tackling the Katie Couric book of quotations from sundry famous people, and the book of Folkwear designs. I've bought and made various items from the pattern line over the past 30 years. My favorite was the Afghani Nomad Dress. And I did a couple of smocks for the girls but burned out before I got one made for all of them. (I figure the Katie Couric book will be entertaining, given the range of people she got quotes from, and my belief that even a stopped clock is right twice a day.)
Friday, September 18, 2015
Cue the soundtrack. One of the fun things about being female, is accessorizing. This shirt. That scarf. Those earrings. Back in the day, before multiple surgeries for ingrown toenails, the cute shoes to go with. (Now it's just: brown clogs or black?)
I bought four new layering tees last night. On sale, of course. And this morning I will wear the pumpkin shirt with the scarf my sister gave me and the shell flower earrings in a slightly darker shade of rust. Hair up in a bun, the better to show off those earrings.
Here's hoping the workday is not so busy that I forget to put on lipstick after finishing my breakfast! I've put in nearly five hours of OT this week and am anticipating more before the special, rush project is over.
Love it. OT is rare in our office. In the spirit of tomorrow's Talk Like A Pirate Day, yarrrrn money!
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
I have done enough shredding this morning to qualify as runner-up for the Rosemary Woods Memorial Document Destruction Award. I've worked through half of the contents of the front third of one drawer. There are five more drawers. I might get the top of the big section of the desk cleared off tonight before bedtime. I'd already made a pass through some of the drawers at one time or another in the past two and a half years. So it's not as bad as it could be. But between Beloved and his mother, I am probably set with office supplies for the rest of my natural life.
It would be ever so much worse if Beloved had been a hoarder like the children's father. Thankfully, he was not. But there is still a whale of a lot to sort through. I entertain myself with the vision of how pretty that corner is going to look with the desk gone and my rocking chair or the chair-and-a-half of my friend installed in that corner.
I'm about half done with the gusset on the second pink baby sock.
And now if you will all excuse me, I'm going to tuck those $2 bills into my purse, knit one and only one round on the sock, and get myself ready for work. This is ward temple night, but there's a distinct possibility that I will be working overtime, instead. I put in an hour and 45 minutes last night on a somewhat urgent special project.
Monday, September 14, 2015
So: church was good yesterday. (We are not surprised.) I was a supportive friend in the afternoon and went to choir practice, even though I didn't want to, because the choir director is my dear friend and my visiting teacher, and I had raised my hand to sustain her when she was called as choir director. We worked on some glorious stuff. Mack Wilberg arrangements of two old hymns. My personal reward for choosing the right? I hit the A below middle C which was only marginally possible earlier this year. I do those Nee-ee-ee-ee-ah-ah-ah-ah-ah scales when I'm driving home and having difficulty staying awake. First I go up. Then I work my way down, exploring the chest voice I've only discovered this year.
After church I took a nap, which helped immensely with the overwhelm. When I lay down, I told Heavenly Father that my body needed to rest, and my spirit wanted to go to choir practice, and that I was not setting the alarm, and to please be in charge. Because I'm bossy like that. I awoke half an hour before I needed to leave for choir practice, feeling a little more put-together, and choir practice did the rest.
During that half hour, I moved my Mormon Bar Cart (bought at a ward member's pre-moving estate sale) into the dining room after moving two chairs away from the wall and relocating them to the dining room table. Which I could do because a couple of weeks ago I had wrangled the underbed wrapping paper holder out into the living room, reorganized it, and put it (for now) under the coffee table in front of the dining room window. It will eventually go under my worktable in my studio, but I can't get to that space, yet.
And I transferred my French laundry basket, which holds my book of remembrance and the two packets of copies of family group sheets from my brother-in-law, from the square yard or so of floor space in the living room where it has been sitting for the past couple of weeks, to a corner of my bed temporarily. I bent the Sabbath slightly and ran the vacuum.
After choir practice, my home teacher / visiting teacher couple came over and settled in for a good visit. I love it that they do not do the obligatory fly-by twenty minute visit. They come. We talk. I get listened to. We trouble-shoot. We talk about our families. We bond. It wouldn't work for everyone, but this is the best of three very good fits that I have enjoyed since marrying Beloved and moving into this ward. They are both creative types, so it is all very simpatico.
I had two family issues that I wanted to discuss with them. One of them is definitely my monkey and my circus, and I have two fresh perspectives to ponder and take to the Lord. The other is definitely neither my monkey nor my circus, and I have lovingly handed it back to its proper ringmaster, which felt wonderful!!! (I'm not sure that three exclamation marks are sufficient.)
In sock news, I finished the heel flap on the second pink Jitterbug baby sock before I went to bed. The case with my crochet hooks is in my bag to take to work, along with the sock and an only slightly diminished ball of yarn. I have a feeling that I will be knitting little pink socks for weeks to come.
One of my last rational acts before bedtime, was to hoist the to-the-brim French laundry basket atop my pseudo-semainier, where it rests like a crown. So all my dead people are hanging out in my closet, but I won't be tripping over them as I navigate the living room.
I posted a picture on Facebook last night. The living room is about 95% decluttered. Mel and Squishy came by and picked up the three bags that I had set aside for them. The floor in front of that bookcase is officially clear. And the morass in front of my closet is about 90% decluttered. My focus for this week will be the top of Beloved's desk, which is littered with some of his stuff, and a whole lot of my stuff. I'm not sure that one week will be sufficient, but I can at least continue where I left off.
As I write, I am uploading my Book of Mormon CD's to iTunes. I'm on disc 11 of 22. I think that's a good stopping point for now.
Andrea, thank you for your kind words yesterday. I had a blessing a couple of weeks ago. The visit with my friends, and the tweaking of this weekend's decluttering, seem to have done the trick.
Sunday, September 13, 2015
I remember when Sarah was working on my body, and she asked if I ever felt as if I were drowning, and I had to answer yes. I feel frustrated because the house is progressing so slowly. I feel ungrateful, because there is so much stuff to wrangle, even after two and a half years of reasonably steady chipping away, and I don't want to make a mistake and throw out something valuable. I feel determined to have a home that works for me, and which is easy for our kids to deal with when my time on Earth is done. I feel tired. I haven't been to the gym in weeks, and I feel guilty because it's a lot of money down the drain in that time, and I feel confused as to whether I should cancel my membership and buy a bike now rather than later.
I feel undernourished. I've been doing so much reading of late that there hasn't been much time for cooking. I felt better when I was eating more vegetables. I feel broke. And a little broken. And scattered, very scattered. I am trying very hard not to be so busy that I cannot feel my feelings, but to be busy enough that there is forward progress around here. I wish I could talk to Beloved, to ask him Where does this stuff need to go? Who could use it? And I wish that I could feel his arms around me.
On the other hand, when I look around at what I have accomplished, either on my own or with Fourthborn's help, I feel pleasure and pride and artistic satisfaction. There are oases of order and calm amid all the unfinished business. There is a smidgen less overwhelm at the end of most weeks. I think part of what I am feeling today is because I wrangled the contents of a small plastic grocery bag that has been kicking around my room for two and a half years. Expired tubes of hydrocortisone cream. A cheapie compass that will go into one of the cars, because it makes me grin. Notepads and index cards he might have taken along when he was having chemo. (There is yet another briefcase which needs going through. I'm not sure that today is the day for it.)
Choir practice resumes this afternoon, after a summer hiatus. And my home teacher and visiting teacher will be coming over today or next week. I'm looking forward to their visit. I wish I could say that I'm looking forward to choir practice. I know that once I get there, I'll enjoy myself, but right now it feels like just one more thing.
I woke up at Weekday Standard Time. I wish there were time for a nap before church. Thankfully, I am not depressed. I think this might be a very subtle wave of grief, and I am just going to roll with it, knowing that it will pass and I will go back to feeling productive and capable and a whole bunch of other Girl Scout virtues.
Saturday, September 12, 2015
Because I am not always kind and forbearing.
Significant progress here at home, last night and this morning. I set the timer for half an hour both times and worked on the morass outside my closet. When I went to bed I was able to hang up the clean clothes that have been on hangers since I washed them, were laid in a neat stack on the bed while I was in the shower, and hung up on the shower curtain rod when it was time for bed. A grocery bag of stuff is ready to go out to the trash bin. The non-recyclable plastic boxes that held the rolls of window film are out in the trash bin. The recycling bin which holds paper is significantly more full. It was thirsty work, so there are more empties in the bin which holds plastic and metal. (We don't have to separate the recycling, but I do so because I can fit more into each bin that way.) There has been some shredding.
I slept in until 6:30 this morning. Bliss! I picked up Fourthborn for Bittiest's birthday party, dropped her off at home again, and hit the flea market. Thankfully, I found nothing that wanted to come home with me, but I had a great conversation with the owners of the booth where I bought the corner chair and the table which has become my computer desk. They are very much interested in the church pew that is in my garage. I can't get to it to measure it, although I tried last night, but I've estimated it to be 9-10 feet long. There is only one wall in the house where it truly fits, and I have other plans for that wall. Finding another home for the church pew would open up a corridor in the garage and greatly simplify cleaning and decluttering it.
I really really really want a nap. But I think I will make a dash to Hobby Lobby first. I need a small to medium piece of foamcore board so I may work on a handful of small projects.
I got the toe bound off for the first of what are likely to be an unending supply of pink Jitterbug baby socks. And maybe a dozen rounds worked on the cuff of its mate.
Thursday, September 10, 2015
I took my sweet time coming home last night, first by way of Pier One, where I bought candy corn votive candles and a beaded placemat. From there to Trader Joe's for some chocolate covered ginger. Then to Bueno for a black bean burrito, and Michaels for faux pumpkins to put on the shelf above my wing chair. The pumpkins are up on the shelf and utterly charming. The candles, which I'd thought I would be using somewhat differently, are lined up on the other end of the shelf. I returned the beaded placemat after work tonight, as it was the wrong size for the place I'd had in mind for it.
I realized, amid the reading and the pondering, that I went shopping in order to reestablish some sense of control over my life. I might not have been able to keep that car from pulling out in front of me, but I can decorate a shelf. I might have wanted to eat a pint of Ben and Jerry's, or a slice of cheesecake, but I can choose a more sensible comfort food. I might be shaken at how quickly I could have been gone had Heaven not chosen to protect the other driver and me. I thought I would probably wake up this morning stiff as a board, but I have moved with relative ease all day. I am grateful for the protection we received, and that we did not cause a multi-car pileup, but I am also still a bit rattled.
What I think happened, is that a car pulled out from a side street to my left and cut in, in front of me. There is a side street in the right place, and a cutout, shortly before where it happened. But I don't have a clear picture in my mind, because it happened so quickly. Swerve, skid, curb, TAP, oh bleep.
And everybody in front of us and behind us just kept on going.
I know what didn't happen. I know that I did not black out, that I was not distracted, that I was not speeding or zipping from one lane to another. Thankfully, we were a little bit south of a light which had just changed, and we were not going very fast.
I've prayed to see what happened, but so far no dice. Maybe in my dreams tonight.
In other news, the crickets are going nuts outside. Ick. And I ordered my Christmas present from the corporation yesterday. I'm getting a white noise machine. And the first pink baby sock is on the home stretch. I am going to grab some ginger and take my meds and read for maybe two and a half minutes, and then go to bed.
Tired. Grateful. Amazed. Tired. Did I mention tired?
Wednesday, September 09, 2015
Eye checkup: my eyes are happy. Optomap reveals no signs of diabetes or cataracts. I've picked out new frames. And they will cost less than the current pair, which has lasted three years. My eyes are slightly less astigmatic than they were five years ago. My left eye, which has always been the worst eye, is slightly less near-sighted than it was five years ago. (I was curious. He had time to show me.)
In the most recent bout of tidying, I found four more music CDs. They are uploaded to iTunes, and I'm about to go file them with the others in the boxes in my studio.
My visiting teaching letters and handouts are done for this month. And might even go out in the mail today. Just need to create more mailing labels, put them on the envelopes, and slap on the stamps.
I finished putting together the final block in the 2014-2015 First Saturday quilt. And I've found the manuals for my Electric Quilt 5 program. Now all I need are the blocks from Firstborn and Fourthborn, and the actual CD so I may upload it to this computer. The finishing kit is waiting for my attention in the hall, but since I am making a king size quilt and not a twin or full, I don't need six inch sashing between the blocks. Once I have the software in place, I can truly make this quilt my own.
I also found a printout of a quilt I designed about twelve years ago that begs to be made up. Alternating nine patch and solid blocks set on point, creating a medallion quilt with shifting colors, and the fabric requirements neatly calculated and color coded on the second page.
Had a good day at work yesterday, in the four hours I was there before leaving for our dental appointments and my eye appointment. Only 25 emails waiting for me, as opposed to the 177 that greeted me when I came back from vacation in July. I got my email wrangled, my To-Do's to-did, and the mail for last Thursday calendared. (Scheduling orders: the bane of a legal secretary's existence.) I'll need to polish the drafts for the letters to our clients and claims and get one of the attorneys to sign them. SemperFi is still out of the country on his mother's bucket list trip.
I'm hoping for another good day at work today. At the very least I should be able to get through Friday's and yesterday's mail, blow through my To-Do's (which at this point are tasks related to cases which are in the process of closing), and keep up with my email.
Last good thing: I have a huge ball of pink semisolid Jitterbug that has tried to be one thing or another. I am turning it into baby socks, to be set aside for future giving occasions. It's perfect church knitting. Yesterday I finished the cuff, worked the heel flap, turned the heel, and completed the gusset at Knit Night. Loving the new venue. I did not need to take Fourthborn home afterward, so I was home in about 40 minutes, as opposed to the hour and a half it used to take from the prior venue. And even when I brought her with me last week, I was home in a little over an hour. If she and her roommate move to an apartment on the east side of town, that will shave off even more time.
Life is good, and I have stuff to put away, and I want to tank the Tardis before work, so I'd better get moving.
Monday, September 07, 2015
I've printed off the Relief Society newsletter and the message for this month, and I created a letter and printed it onto the back of the handout I brought home from RS yesterday.
Ward picnic was a blast. So glad I went, and glad that Fourthborn was willing to go with me. She got some good pictures of my participation in the pie eating contest, even if both of us were laughing so hard it's a miracle they were not all blurry.
I made killer brownies and quite happily left them at the picnic when we were ready to leave.
We did not get anything done on the house this weekend. And that's all I'm going to say about that.
It's time for my Rx and bedtime. If there's any justice in the world, I will sleep like a rock tonight.
Sunday, September 06, 2015
We met at the quilt shop, picked up the final blocks for this year's quilt, and signed up for next year's. Fourthborn gets all twelve blocks. It's in navy and green, and the sample block they showed was luscious.
I finished sewing the last of the flying geese blocks and laid them out to stitch into strips for the next border on the medallion quilt. If Fourthborn were not asleep in the living room, and if the light and noise would not disturb her, I'd be seeing how much more that I could get done before church. I got distracted by family history after my friend's wedding and a much needed nap, so only two pieces from each of the four strips got sewn together before I went to bed for good. Those four bits look really good.
I need to figure out breakfast and get ready for church, which starts in an hour. So I wouldn't get all that much done, even if Fourthborn were awake on her own and not because I'd been inconsiderate. And I need to figure out my church knitting.
Remind me to wax contemplative on strapless wedding gowns.
Saturday, September 05, 2015
So what did get done? Wrote checks for all the bills. Ran the dishwasher. Took all but one of the library books back to the library and did the grocery shopping. Mailed the other video about China Lake (they were not two identical videos, but parts one and two) to my sister-in-law. Bought the birthday gift card for Bittiest and a wedding gift for my friend. Took my Isiah stitchery out of its frame, smoothed it more firmly to the adhesive backing, and put it in a frame that had been holding a generic architectural print which I bought after the divorce. It's now hung on the wall by the front door next to the other prints about the Savior.
LittleBit came for dinner after she got off work. I made bread cheese pudding, salads, and my Fage/Nutella jollop for dessert. We talked and laughed, almost like old times. I showed her the results of my BYU Relative Finder search. The Spirit was with us, sweet and strong.
I read a (very) little after she left, and I slept like a rock. When I went out to the kitchen this morning to make breakfast, I discovered that I'd left the last dab of cream cheese out overnight.
I'm still vaguely hungry. I want to work on the quilt, and I need to make a card for the wedding and wrap the gift properly. I guess I will set the timer for an hour and see how much sewing I can get done in that time. Because right now I need to Make Stuff more than I need to be logical, or organized, or a host of other virtues. I'm feeling a bit more scattered than usual.