About Me

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

Monday, August 31, 2015

Very very quiet at work today.

SemperFi is on vacation overseas with his mother for a bucket list trip (her bucket, not his). My other attorney's last day was Friday. Today I helped with a lot of little piddly things related to her Outlook case folders and various categories of mail. It was so weird to get all the way through today's mail, not just the reading of it, but calendaring various activities and creating letters for three upcoming trial dates. All my To-Do's are to-did. My inbox and "sent" folder look better than they have in months.

In other news, at this writing I am about halfway done with the cuff of the second sock. My eyes are a little tired, so I'm going to fix a light snack and grab my library book and maybe be asleep in half an hour. I can hope, anyway.

Tomorrow after work I'll pick up Fourthborn to attend the first meeting of a new offshoot of my knitting group that will gather at a place not quite so far south as the current location of the first group. And it meets on not-Monday. I foresee much happy knitting in the weeks to come.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

A quiet weekend.

Fourthborn and I did very little in terms of the house. She got the grille back up on the kitchen ceiling. I noticed that the grille is coming down in the living room. She got up on a chair and determined that there's nothing left of that bit of sheet rock to tighten it up. By using my drill, I was able to get the hardware bits with the stripped screws out of the remaining unpainted hall door. We got the doors off the linen closet and learned that the wood filler in both tubes had dried out. We watched the pilot for this fall's new series, "Supergirl". And we laughed a lot. I finished the first baby sock while at church. That's about it.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Insomnia Fairy paid another visit about 3:00 this morning.

Awoke out of what I thought was a sound sleep, and not from an anxiety dream so far as I can remember. Just awake and thirsty and groggy. Stumbled to the loo, more on general principles than anything else. Drank half a mug of smoothie and am finishing that batch off as we speak. Went back to bed and lay there doggedly. Waves of sleepiness came and went until they finally became strong enough to wash over me.

Now that I'm awake (more or less), I'm wondering if I've absorbed other people's anxieties. It wouldn't be the first time. SemperFi is taking his mom on a two week bucket list trip (her bucket, not his) beginning next week. My other attorney's last day is tomorrow. As for myself, I have the usual assortment of nigglings on my mind: I've covered the bills, but will there be enough fun money if I want to hit Bueno the night before payday? And then there are work concerns. Will I get one of the two new attorneys who will be coming to the office shortly? Will I get half of the docket of an attorney who is already working in our office? If so, I hope it's not one whom I like very much as a human being, but who has been a factor in the last three secretaries who left our office. With the frustrations I have felt since taking on half of the docket of the attorney who is leaving (who has become a dear friend but has one quirk that made my workflow unnecessarily complicated), retirement has been looking more and more attractive.

I want to do a good job for as long as I can. My hope is to have the mortgage paid off in five more years (instead of 13 more years) and then rebuild my 401K from the depredations of the past two years. I like my job. Most days. I'm good at my job. Most days. I look forward to going to work. Most days.

When I was at my sister's last month and remarked that I used to be afraid that I would go nuts during retirement, and that I used to dread the idea, but that now it was looking like something that might actually be fun, she replied, "Oh, you will do just fine during retirement!" It was good to get a second opinion from someone whose opinion I trust.

In other news, Firstborn handed me a friend's sweater a couple of months ago and asked if I thought I could fix a seam that had come apart. Turns out that I could. It was crocheted together, and that thread was unbroken, so it was a simple matter of picking up the loops that stuck up along one edge, and a not so simple matter of making sure that I distributed them evenly along the other edge. Took a bit of trial and error before I got that right, but her sweater is fixed and neatly folded and bagged and waiting by the front door with the penultimate quilt block, for when we get together at the quilt shop on the 5th.

And the baby sock is coming along. The yarn had gotten chomped in several places since I bought it, even though I'd kept it in a plastic drawer, so there was some ripping and spit-splicing. Yes. I can spit-splice superwash merino. (If I were going to have a headstone, you could put that there, right below the dates on either side of the dash.) Heel flap has been frogged and re-knit, and I'm going to simply weave in ends on the cuff "owie" as I did not want to frog back that far. Today I'll turn the heel, pick up stitches and gallop away toward the toe.

The fabric for this month's installment of the medallion quilt got prewashed Tuesday night. Last night I pressed it. It's hanging out on the ironing board, and most likely tonight I will start cutting out the pieces. There are only five pieces of fabric this time, but I read the instructions, and I will finally get to put together and add another border. Firstborn looks at the sample quilt every time we're in the shop and says variations on the theme of "It's lovely, and no way would I want to sew all those tiny pieces together." If I had to do it all at once, neither would I. But broken up into monthly installments, I haven't found it onerous.

OK. Semi-icky smoothie is down the hatch. Frugality has been satisfied, even if I'm still wrangling bits of pomegranate seed. Time to throw together lunch and then sluice off.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

An exercise in memory.

When I was clearing dust off Beloved's desk last night, I unearthed a box that I didn't remember seeing (between his clutter, now largely gone, and my own, it's something of a miracle that the box has surfaced only 2.5 years after his passing). Condolence cards, from when he lost his first wife. In my pre-bedtime reading there was a passage about knowing when it's time to let something go. So I promised myself that this evening I would read through those cards, and then the cards I received, feel whatever feelings came to me, and release those cards. I've saved a few personal notes for the boys, and a handful of cards from people with whom I want to reconnect, and the rest will go into the recycling bin.

It was a good evening. I read some great stories about her, and was reminded of others about him, and I only needed to cry a very little. What remains is a smidgen more clear physical space, and an equal or greater increase in spiritual and emotional clarity. And peace. Just a wonderful sense of peace and comfort.

My knitting is arguing with me. Again. More specifically, it's the yarn. I bought a bunch of single skeins a few months into the marriage, with the idea of making pairs of baby socks for future baby showers. The current skein has been chomped repeatedly by something that flew in, or crept in, the drawer where it used to reside. And since it's superwash wool, spit-splicing will be less than effective.

It's time for me to take my evening meds and potions, clear off the bed, and call it a day. My brain wants me to frog back to the first break, create a non-bulky join, and work back to where I stopped. My eyes are saying enough.

The eyes have it.

Monday, August 24, 2015

More gems

One of the things that I found, over the weekend, is a large printout of Beloved's family tree, possibly made as a visual aid for teaching a family history class (and possibly by my mother-in-love). Spent a good chunk of time yesterday entering those names into Ancestry.com. In the process I found her profile, but when I searched for it specifically this morning, I was disappointed. It only showed her as "private", with her father, and absolutely nothing else.

Went into FamilySearch and searched for a name where I wasn't sure who the father was, because the printout was a little ambiguous. Found that one and clarified matters. First cousins who married, four generations back from Beloved. Bookmarked that page, because I'll be going back to it. Their daughter isn't listed among the children. This would be the daughter from whom Beloved is descended. So yeah, kind of important to fix that!

In other news, I am nearly done knitting the cuff of the first baby sock, for a baby shower that will take place on Thursday. Last night I knitted while watching a documentary on The Mormon Channel that was filmed in eight to ten minute bites over 5,000 days, following four brothers. I'm ten episodes in, out of sixteen. I'll probably finish watching tonight for Family Home Evening.

This is the part where I get off the computer, carefully roll up the printout that I no longer need, that I may pass it on to the boys, and get ready for work so I may knit until it's time to be at my desk.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

I keep finding stuff.

The big project, for the past several days, has been the sorting, scanning, and shredding of a mass of paperwork which had accumulated atop a storage bin in the living room. I am pleased to announce that, with the exception of a thin stack which prompts phone calls this coming week, it has all been wrangled, the bin emptied and stowed in the garage, and the quilt which it had contained, refolded and displayed in a bookcase in the dining room.

I also investigated the contents of a large rolling underbed box which has been hanging out in the dining room since I turned that closet into an alcove. Wrapping paper. All of it in impeccable condition. I added my own small stash to it, and it will (eventually) go under the table in my studio. I will first need to clear a path, which will involve much more work than I think is appropriate for the Sabbath. Puttering, yes. Bending, stretching, hefting, and possibly swearing, no.

I have frogged the doll sleeve and am winding ball after ball of laceweight, preparatory to swatching for a miniature Kaffe Fassett sweater. But which? I've been paging through my vintage copy of Glorious Knits, and each is more tempting than the last. A couple of nights ago, I wound a mile and a half of yarn. Six balls. They partially fill a plastic shoebox. And there's more to wind. You'll know where to find me for awhile.

Speaking of finding, I rediscovered a small green rag rug and vacuumed it thoroughly. It's now hanging out in front of the sink in the guest loo. This morning I picked up a book from the dining room table. Gifts from A Jar: Soups, Chilis & More. With tear-out recipe cards. I also took the wedding quilt my sister made for us out of safekeeping, and it is airing on a chair in the living room. And I've pulled a ball of sock yarn from the stash. Baby shower on Thursday. I'd best get knitting.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Followed by bittersweet stuff

My wonderful, lovely half-a-docket attorney's mentor from an outside firm made her an offer she couldn't refuse. I am so happy for her, and more than a little bummed for me. She's one of a handful of people in the office who truly get me.

In other news, the house continues to get more orderly. And I've cast on the first sleeve for Middlest's doll's sweater. I'm still learning the pattern I've designed, so it's slow going. But I'm already a lot happier with it than I was with the alpaca swatches.

Work was mostly great today, except for the last hour or two, where I ran into technical glitches due to our Office upgrade, compounded by need-to-eat stupor and the discovery, as I talked in the loo after work with the managing attorney, that the (new) attorney who signed the drafts I had so laboriously created did not, in fact, have authorization to do so, as the boss and I both thought he had. So I will have to create new drafts tomorrow and tweak the cover letters and then upload everything. But I'm going to have about eight spoiled drafts out of a book of fifty, and the office manager will be thrilled about that.

The managing attorney dashed back into the office and retrieved the "carbons" of the drafts, which would have been scanned and faxed tomorrow, thus averting unhappiness with our bank.

I was tired enough, and hungry enough, that I just wanted to sit in a corner and cry for about five minutes. Instead, I put on my big girl sunglasses and drove home with bagpipe music blaring from my Pandora station, and the closest I got to actual tears was during Amazing Grace.

You better believe I hit Bueno on the drive home. I refrained from a side trip to Braum's for their oatmeal raisin cookies, opting instead to find an allegedly healthy recipe online that makes a small batch and even with my "independent as a hog on ice" substitutions is quite edible.

This is the part where I put everything away and go to bed. I've salvaged the day by the grace of Heaven, but I am tired.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Weird stuff

I posted this on Middleaged Mormon Man's page on Facebook but am sharing here, and then I promise that I will email my kids via FB so they do not freak out.

Middleaged Mormon Man has this thing where every Sunday night we post the single best thing that happened that day. The stories are really great, and I look forward to reading them each week. This is what I posted tonight:

Not-falling-over while conducting the opening song in sacrament meeting. There was this brief sense of listing to port, possibly half a second of heading toward sleep or unconsciousness, and then I righted myself and kept on going. I don’t think anyone noticed but me. (It would have made for a memorable sacrament meeting, but not necessarily a reverent one.) My home teacher and visiting teacher couple were already scheduled to come over after church, so I got a blessing (that would be the “single best thing”), and she (a physician’s assistant) asked me a bunch of questions that eliminated any of the really scary stuff. I got the sense from the blessing that this may well happen again, but that I/we will figure out what caused it, and with or without the assistance of my doctor, I will be perfectly fine. I do love a good mystery…

In other news, I finished the current installment of the medallion quilt, and the August quilt block is done, folded neatly, and waiting by the front door for the first Saturday in September, when we'll pick up the final blocks for this quilt. And also decide if we want to do next year's quilt.

I hung one wall quilt and two decorative items this evening. Have sorted through much of the stuff on the fallow side of the bed and have started to corral the really important stuff by putting it into the giant French laundry basket that's floated from one room to another for the past fifteen years or so. My goal was to have the bed entirely cleared off before bedtime last night. Obviously, that did not happen, but at least there's been progress in that direction.
I took a longish nap after church but am feeling unusually sleepy, so will email the kids, take my meds, and call it a night. Tomorrow's going to be a long one. One of my dear friends is getting his US citizenship tomorrow, and I'm joining the celebration after work. Like me, he's LDS, so the celebration will involve ice cream, not booze. I will try to find some frozen yogurt or limit myself to a single scoop.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Another good day.

Even if it began at 3:45. Really? I've made a lot of progress on the medallion quilt. The stealth project is ready for blocking. So the next item of business, since I've yet to find the modular blocking pads, is to clear off the fallow side of the bed in order to have room to block a couple of projects and let them dry while I'm at work one or more days next week.

I got another small corner tidied and cleaned in the living room this morning. And I got a good nap, which seems to have worn off, so I will bid you all a gracious good evening and turn off the lights.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Busy week.

I am finally caught up at work, from being gone on vacation. My emails are down to a manageable level. My To-do list is more or less current. My pending folder does not make me cringe. This bodes well for the day ahead.

I finished knitting the stealth project last night and have no idea where my modular blocking pads might be. Not in the IKEA cabinet in my studio. Not in the small filing cabinet out in the garage. Not anywhere visible in the studio. Not here in my room. Which leaves the storage buckets in the studio, or random boxes in the middle bedroom or (shudder) out in the garage.

I have most of the bits gathered to take another stab at a doll sweater for Avery, who is one of Middlest's dolls. I found the schematic for the sleeves last night, but have mislaid the schematic for the body.

I think this will be a weekend for general tidying. I'm feeling a little meh this morning. Due, in part, to the finish-itis which ate my Wednesday and Thursday, getting in the way of any meaningful exercise. I'll be back at the pool tonight.

BittyBubba's baptism, rescheduled from last month until tomorrow because of my vacation, has been moved to the 22nd.

The quilt shop will be showing samples of next year's quilt series tomorrow, but I think I'll just wait until we pick up our last blocks the first Saturday in September. I think tomorrow will be spent cooking and cleaning, with frequent breaks for reading. I'm still enjoying the biography of Fred and Adele Astaire.

Sunday, August 09, 2015

All music, all the time

Had a whimsical thought this morning as I got ready for church: wonder if there's a Pandora station for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir? Turns out there is. Added to my burgeoning list, along with last night's Stevie Ray Vaughan station.

For our intermediate hymn today, we had "Be Still, My Soul," arranged by/accompanied by the mother-in-law of our RS president. Singers were the RS president, hubby/MIL's son/seminary teacher, one of our organists, and a relatively new member of our ward. So beautiful. I definitely got misty-eyed. That was one of my comfort songs when everything was going down the tubes in Fredericksburg. It's pretty much guaranteed to make me cry. L's MIL is a new widow. I met her and her husband several months ago when they were doing a lightning-round visit of all their children before he passed from cancer. Lovely people. Lovely music.

I came home from church, more than a little wiped out, and took a nap that turned into a borderline nghtmare. Definitely an anxiety dream. I was in Mom's house, expecting guests for a dinner party, and could find nothing that I needed to make it happen. I didn't recognize the dishes, or the tools and equipment to fix the meal, and people were talking talking talking, and I just needed to think.

I was very glad to wake up. And quite hungry when I did, which may have been the source of the anxiety. I felt somewhat better after eating, but there was a lingering sense of confusion which only dispelled when I pulled up my Sabbath playlist on iTunes and worked on the medallion quilt for awhile.

Since then, I've added a few rows to the stealth project, finished reading a chapter in the biography of Fred and Adele Astaire, and followed up on a comment my brother-in-law made while I was visiting last month. McMinnville, Oregon is named after McMinnville, Tennessee, where a whole bunch of my family came from. It was settled by a brother of my great-great-grandmother, William T. Newby. I have FB friends who live a short distance from Newby Elementary School. And Linfield College sits on land donated by William T.

End of history lesson. I'm still a little hungry, and it's time to try sleeping again. Tomorrow will be here in a little over an hour, and it's likely to be a busy day.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Craving healthy food last night

Which is pretty amazing, given how hard and fast I worked yesterday. Definitely a "prayers are answered" day. I got through nine days of mail for SemperFi and seven days for my other attorney. (I think I gave her a clever name the other day, and if so I can't remember what it was and am not in the mood to go searching.) When I left the office, I had filed a fourth(!!!) answer that was due on Monday and caught up the mail through 2:00 yesterday afternoon. If more came in after that, I don't know. I didn't work my To-Do's. I just wrangled old mail all day and eliminated a few more emails. If all goes well on Monday, I'll catch up my To-Do's, keep current on the mail, and make great strides on my inbox. Maybe I will be entirely caught up by next Friday.

At any rate, when I left the office, feeling tired but not frazzled, hungry but not for drive-thru, I spent a good part of the drive home putting together dinner in my mind. When I got home, I sliced the faux Vidalia onion and sweated it in a mixture of avocado oil and coconut oil, then added a discounted box of sliced baby Bellas. To finish, I added an entire small clamshell of baby spinach and let it wilt down. That went to the back burner while I fixed a salmon burger in the leftover oils and nuked a package of brown rice and quinoa (from Costco) and sliced a small apple. Made for a pretty plate and about an hour's worth of dining as I read one thing and another.

I finished eating around 8:30, which is later than I like, and dithered for another hour before the debate between feet and eyes got resolved. As I posted on Facebook, my eyes wanted to go to sleep. while my feet wanted to go to the pool. I went to the pool, knowing that while I didn't want to leave the house, I hadn't done any real physical exercise all day, and I needed it. I came home much refreshed. Normally when I exercise late at night, it revs me up again, and I have trouble winding down for sleep. Not last night. Even though my hands wanted to knit "just one more row." I slept like a rock. Something like seven hours.

I will be going back to the local flea market this morning. That's where I bought the corner chair last month. I want to be done with everything outside well before noon, and to spend the heat of the day here at home under one ceiling fan or another, puttering, until it's cool enough to go back to the gym for another jog in the pool. I have the next step on the medallion quilt all lined up on the ironing board in the dining room. I am enjoying the biography of Fred and Adele Astaire. Lorelai and the Tardis are both covered with drippings from the crape myrtle, and I either need to wash them myself or take them to the car wash. I don't think I've ever washed a car by hand. Could be fun and count as exercise if I get right to it.

I think I will begin with a walk around the block. The neighbor's house that provided me with the new black ladder-back chair on my front porch (which I intend to turn into a planter) has a large, nondescript pot set out on the curb. I do believe I shall mosey on by and take a squint at it.

The plants in the front yard are still alive. And my air plant (inside) appears to be happy. Proving once more that Heaven is still in the miracle business.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Progress?

Eye is definitely feeling better. That's a plus.

Filed three answers today that were due in court next Monday. That's another plus. Scheduled a couple of telephone conferences for my attorneys. Wrangled *one* day's mail for SemperFi and that was it for the mail.

I think I probably got more done than it seems to me on reflection.

When I came home, I worked on the sacrament meeting music and got that emailed to our committee. We are going to have another special musical number on Sunday, one of my favorite hymns, sung by a mixed quartet. Looking forward to that. Note to self: put fresh Puffs in the church bag.

It is hotter than the hinges of Hades outside, and the forecast is for even more of the same through the weekend. Possibly 107F on Monday. That's actual degrees, y'all, not heat index. Heat index would be "medium well". Every ceiling fan in the house is running, on medium, because when some of them are on high, they shimmy. Or yodel.

I am now going to assemble what I plan to wear tomorrow, slip into something significantly cooler, and knit until it's time to crash. Have messaged Fourthborn not to expect me to pick her up this weekend. I will miss her. But I will be staying inside as much as possible. Possibly not leaving the house except to jog in the pool after dark and go to church on Sunday.


Wednesday, August 05, 2015

If thine eye offends thee...

Call your eye doctor. Which is what I did yesterday, as soon as I got to work. Thankfully, his office is open late on Tuesdays.

I have a stye. (Not the same as the sty which is the area in front of my bedroom closet, but every bit as annoying.) Last night I improvised a hot compress by wetting a chamomile teabag, then a white washcloth, and binding them to my head with the aid of a hand towel and the chin strap for my CPAP. The CPAP harness itself provided the last of the anchoring. I probably looked like a scary space monster ~ more so than usual ~ but I slept reasonably well, and the itching is less this morning.

I am beginning to make headway on the backlog from when I was on vacation for six consecutive days plus this Monday for my diabetes check. I am doing this only by the grace of Heaven, because there is far more work than any one human being could reasonably manage, and I am too stubborn to ask for help. Well, maybe not that, in this particular instance, because I'm the only one who can navigate the depths of my inbox. My backups handled the mail quite ably in my absence. Yesterday I dealt with the dregs of two days' worth of mail for both attorneys. I am hoping to accelerate that when I get to the office today.

And I just made a Draconian purge of my personal email, which had over 300 items. It is now down to 77. I'm not done, but I'm also not cringing when I open my inbox.

The stealth project is coming along nicely.

Time to pack my breakfast and lunch, sluice off, grab my bags, and GIT!

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Friday was better-than-OK.

I came home and picked up Elder Bednar's Increase in Learning, my scriptures in book form (mostly I just read them on my phone, or listen while driving to work), and bounced back out in to the living room to grab a volume of talks from a BYU Women's Conference many years ago.

This weekend I've preshrunk the fabric for the medallion quilt and got all the pieces cut out. I knitted on the stealth project until I reached the point where it is time to add another series of beads. I have no idea where my crochet hook case is. In my room, yes, but it could be buried under the clean laundry on the fallow side of the bed, or it could be in the piles that are slip-sliding away at the entrance to my closet. At any rate, knit did not happen today.

I roasted a pan of vegetables on Friday night and have enjoyed some of them yesterday and today. I did some experimental cooking today. A variation on almond-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon, wherein I added some Greek yogurt cream cheese and used turkey bacon and did not have enough toothpicks to break in half to hold the wrapped bacon shut. So visually I had a large pan of Pinterest fail, but they taste sublime. I'm already thinking of variations on variations for next time. These will be an intelligent and tasty treat for the next week or so.

I've preshrunk the fabric for this month's quilt block and may get that cut and sewn tomorrow after my quarterly diabetes checkup.

Thursday and Friday were exhausting. I am not necessarily looking forward to Tuesday through Friday, but I hope to make sufficient progress each day that by the time Friday rolls around I will have my desk more or less under control again.

I did not have to do trial notebooks on Friday, and my other attorney's case settled, so I won't have to finish those, either.

My stomach thinks my throat's been cut. I've been eating healthy, delicious things all day, and as of the top of the hour I'm not supposed to eat anything else until after my bloodwork tomorrow. But I think I will grab one last bacon-wrapped date and savor it before brushing my teeth and calling it a night.

Have begun a biography of Fred Astaire and his sister Adele. Thus far it is interesting and enjoyable.

Night, y'all.