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!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Family stuff.

Yesterday I found my third great-grandparents, which made me happy and misty-eyed. Today Middlest and I were texting back and forth, discussing what to do when I pay a visit later this year. My child offered to accompany me to a nearby temple and hang out reverently while I served. Raleigh is the closest. I looked at my great great grandmother’s information and realized that she was born in North Carolina. And promptly burst into tears. She has a bushel of siblings whose work needs doing. So I’ve made the goal of taking one of my 2nd great aunts through what would be “her” temple if it had been on the earth while she was alive.

I have been hanging out with the dead people again today. They are most insistent. It is kinda like being sucked into heavenly quicksand, but instead of my lungs filling up with death, my heart fills up with tears. So many of them lost in the Civil War. So many children dying young. So many widows and widowers. So often I tell them, "Oh honey, I'm so sorry."

In the Church we are taught that through baptism we become Abraham's seed, even if there is no direct lineal connection. I have always assumed that I was adopted in through baptism. And I was wrong. I learned last year that Joseph Smith is my 7th cousin 5x removed (via John Denison and Agnes Willie) through my mother; my 11th cousin 3x removed (via William Offley and Elizabeth Dillorne) through my father; my 14th cousin once removed (via John Dinham and Philippe Lovel) through my father; and my 12th cousin three times removed (via Richard Rich and Catherine Cutherey) through my father. There are, no doubt, other connections to discover.

The Candy Bomber (Gail Seymour Halvorsen) is my tenth cousin. Jon Huntsman is my 11th cousin once removed. Cleon Skousen is my 13th cousin once removed. J. Willard Marriott is my 13th cousin twice removed. Mitt Romney is my 14th cousin. Thomas Edwin Ricks is my 8th cousin three times removed (via William Harris and Alice Smythe) through my father. Beloved is also related to Thomas Ricks, but I haven't found the connection, so technically my husband is some sort of cousin.

But I digress. We know from the Book of Mormon that Joseph Smith was prophesied by Joseph the son of Jacob to be the prophet of the Restoration. Joseph Smith was a literal descendant of Abraham, through Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. Which means that I am a literal descendant of Abraham, et al. This does not make me any cooler than the rest of humanity, but it deepens my testimony that Heaven wanted me to be found when I was one of the wandering.

What time I haven't been working on family history, has been spent reading the February issue of the Ensign. And there were two naps. And I ate what feels like a lot but probably wasn't. Meaning that I ate a lot of small meals but maybe not enough to fuel the recuperation, because I ate a couple of hours ago, and I'm hungry again.

I can't decide if I'm also sleepy again, but it's time to take my meds and do something else.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sleep. Eat. Read.

 Somehow I don't think that title will make the New York Times bestseller list.

I hung out with the dead people today. A lot. I finished working my way through the emails from ancestry.com with hints. There are now more than 2800 people on my family tree. And I have over 10,000 hints waiting to be unwrapped.

I haven't knitted. Or worked on The Albatross. That will change shortly. I have two hours an hour and a half until the Sabbath begins, although I doubt I'll be able to stay awake that long. I just want to make a little more progress, while I can, and then I will most thankfully abstain tomorrow.

I've made arrangements for a substitute for church tomorrow. I am not at all sure that I want to get out of my PJs once I wake up.

I probably ought to check the mailbox to see if my W-2s came while I was hanging out with demigods and dead people. (What do you know? They did. Now I just need the stupid 1095C.)

I've taken my third dose of antibiotics. I'm still vaguely hungry. I'll go forage something and work on The Albatross for half an hour or so and call it a day.

Somebody needs to clean my glasses. I suppose that would be me.

Friday, January 29, 2016


Shortly after I woke up yesterday morning, the sinuses on the right side of my head started to misbehave. I stayed up later than I should, finishing the second book in the Heroes series, falling asleep sometime after 11:30, only to awaken a little after 4:00 this morning with a head full of quick-set cement and a warning something in my right ear. Not pain, exactly, but the merest hint of tenderness.

I puttered for a couple of hours. Paid a couple of bills, shifted some funds, planned out my day. When I stopped, it was a little after 7:00. Ordinarily, I can throw myself into the shower, grab my stuff, and make it to work on time. But this morning I thought, Nah, all I want to do is go back to bed. So I called in sick, warmed up the deer corn bag for my feet, and crashed for another five hours.

I spent the day reading, puttering, studying background articles relating to this part of the Book of Mormon to deepen my understanding, and trying to decide whether to go to the night clinic. Finally, at the last possible minute, I did. I have a prescription and have cancelled my plans for tonight and tomorrow.

The doctor said something interesting. He told me that the new research indicates that the most serious part of an infection is not the infection itself, nor headaches, fever, discharges. It is the fatigue which accompanies infection. And that I had been right to sleep this morning, and to take that warning seriously. (I love being right. Not just thinking that I'm right, but actually being right.)

I've been sleepy-again for a couple of hours now. Rallied a little when I ate dinner, but I can feel myself drooping, and I'm going to do what I normally don't: I'm going to honor that. One of the blessings of my diabetes is that I am learning when to slow down, so that I have a chance to heal before attempting my normal full tilt boogie.

Life is good, and we caught this sinus/ear infection even earlier than the one last year. I am so blessed.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Fun with Fourthborn

One of the things I miss about marriage to the children's father, is our extended wordplay. It wasn't a matter of one-upmanship. No, we would build upon the other's contributions, great soaring spun-sugar jengas alight with wit and affection. Thankfully, Fourthborn has inherited her father's gift. It works best when we are both a little tired and loopy, as we were Tuesday night when I was taking her home.

We were vaguely hungry, notwithstanding a light dinner at Bueno and a shared brownie at Starbucks. So we detoured to Arby's for a junior roast beef sandwich (me) and a junior cheddar bacon sandwich (her). This turned into as scenic route as one can find after sundown. We crossed a street called Endicott, and I started to say, "Endicott? Epcot's slightly snooty older brother?" But she leaped on the first word and offered, "Begindecott?" After which we finished the last bites of our sandwiches simultaneously, and I mused, "Synchronized chewing?" To which she responded, "Better than synchronized other stuff ... but you're past that." Yeah. Six women in the house, all sync'd to either Firstborn or me. Maybe it's no wonder that their father retreated into talk radio.

A little later we spotted a clinic where the southern end of a park used to be: TMI Sports Medicine, which led to, "How did this happen? woah woah woah! [warding gesture] Don't tell me!"

Which pretty much guaranteed helpless laughter until I dropped her off.

I've finished the second volume in the Heroes of Olympus series. I love that Iris has semi-retired to a New Age shop called ROFL with inedible health food cupcakes. And that Amazon is run by real Amazons. I haven't worked on The Albatross all night, but I will go put in 15 or 20 minutes before calling it quits.

But first I need to look up Dyak black nickel modular needles. Night, y'all.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I want to write. Really.

But Monday night and tonight I came home, ate dinner, and worked on The Albatross until I needed to take a reading break. I stayed up much too late, several nights last week, and I'm trying to be sensible about bedtimes this week.

So you will just have to trust me when I say that much hilarity happened on the way back to Fourthborn's from Knit Night, and I had her transcribe notes for me into Evernote, where one day (sooner, I hope, than later) they will rise up out of my forehead like Athena and land themselves smack in the middle of a blog post.

I'm trying to find/feel balance, to move from one good thing to the next. While I worked on The Albatross tonight, I listened to the seven chapters from the Book of Mormon which are the basis for this coming Sunday School lesson. I will want to read them again, and study from the lesson manual, but at least they've made a first pass in one ear and out the other, sticking around long enough to give me plenty to ponder as I fall asleep tonight.

That thing where I got honored at work for third quarter? I was chosen as the overall poohbah for 2015, and there is a small honorarium which will show up in my bank account sometime next week. And I've submitted my expense report for the refreshment prize for the fourth quarter winner. That will show up around the same time. I'm still waiting semi-patiently (you can stop laughing, right now!) for my W-2 and the Obamacare whatsit form to show up so I may file my taxes and cross a few honey-do's off my list.

OK, y'all, I'm done for tonight. I've been helping Percy Jackson try to figure out how he stumbled into the Roman camp, and I'm nearly as tired as he is. You're on your own.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Itty bitty baby steps forward.

Mother, may I? Yes, I may. Another step forward on The Albatross. A small step backward financially while preparing to take a medium step forward. Sensible food for breakfast and dinner, even if I did not pack quite enough of it. Big old salad for dinner, and brownie brittle for dessert, a bite here and a bite there, as I finished increments of The Albatross.

I finished the first book in the Heroes of Olympus series and am going to start the second book in a few minutes. Just a handful of pages to give my dream brain something to chew on tonight.

I had a really, really good day at work today. And I suspect that tomorrow may be even better, notwithstanding the fact that we will have a support staff meeting which was postponed from earlier this month. For one thing, we will announce the fourth quarter winner of an incentive program we've been running for a little over two years. For another, we are not continuing that program this year, which means that I will get to step down as driver of the committee.

Plus, at the end of the day there will be Knit Night, and I have my colored pencil boxes stacked and waiting by the front door, and the trash and recycling will go out tomorrow morning, freeing up a smidgen more psychic energy. That's always good.

Book is calling, and my eyelids are heavy. Night, y'all.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Good Sabbath to y'all!

Weird dreams. I woke up at 5:30 and was ... really? So I puttered for a couple of hours, set the alarm and went back to bed. Woke up to the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture, from my radio. Remembered to reset the alarm for tomorrow morning. Before the waking-up, I dreamed that I was on a bus, and we stopped, and I went into a hotel restaurant to eat, looked down, and saw that I had a briefcase of some sort but had left my bag on the bus, which had disappeared. I spent the rest of the dream walking down wet, messy streets toward restaurants that disappeared, and I woke up hungry.

Yes, I am reading the Heroes of Olympus series. Yes, it is having an influence on what rattles around in my brain while I'm sleeping. Yes, I'm going to keep reading.

I made it to church on time, and a lovely surprise was waiting on the armrest of the chair next to where I sit for sacrament meeting. Last week for our intermediate hymn, our organist and a sister in the ward played a lovely duet of clarinet and piano: “I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus.” After sacrament meeting, I asked him, “Your arrangement?” Yes, it was. “What key is it in?” B-flat. “Could you transcribe it in C for soprano recorder?” Yes, he could. And there it was, waiting for me when I got to church today. I owe him a pan of brownies.

My hands and shins are gradually becoming a little less parched. I'm about to go slather myself and get into my jammies. Episode 4 of Downton Abbey is over. More loose ends are tied up. And I have leftover brownie brittle that survived yesterday and an hour of high toned British soap.

I've made arrangements with Mel and Squishy to get Lorelai to CarMax next Saturday morning, and me back home. I ran the numbers a couple of weeks ago, and what I could get for a private sale above what CarMax is likely to pay me, is not worth the hassle of dealing with people or having Firstborn and 1BDH deal with people for me. She needs to be inspected and have her license renewed by the end of next month, and I just want to be done. I'm a little nervous going back to having only one vehicle, and I may get something else when the mortgage is paid off, but in the meantime the Tardis will do just fine.

Oh, and I borrowed Star Wars 1-2-3 [the prequels] from Mel and Squishy. I've put the DVDs on my to-buy list for when I get my tax refund, but it might be wise to watch the movies first and see if I want to spend the money.

And now if you'll kindly excuse me, I'm going to prepare my overnight oatmeal for tomorrow's breakfast. After which I will jump back into The Lost Hero and see if I can help Percy get found.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

It's been a good day.

Woke up a little after 7:30. Bliss. I know that some people wouldn't think that waking up before 10:00 on a Saturday morning could be delicious, but it was to me. For the past couple of months I've been letting myself sleep until 6:00 on weekdays, and I think it's making a small improvement in my vitality.

I made another batch of brownies to take to T's house today. He recently had a breakup with his partner, and some of us (including Fourthborn) met to help him do some spring cleaning. More on that, later.

The first thing was to get to Fourthborn's to give Roomie some driving time. He took us to the art supply store (I stayed in the Tardis but asked him to blow kisses at the Prismacolors for me), then to check out an apartment complex closer to his work, and from there to a grocery store, which Fourthborn scouted for a possible job, and where he did their weekly grocery shopping and I hit the loo and then bought a package of single-serve Blue Bell cups to take to T's.  Roomie drove back to the apartment, and I drove us to Firstborn's to drop off my spare shredder. T's house is maybe a mile from there.

When we got there T, a friend from Knit Night, and one of his friends from the renfest were dethugging the kitchen. Fourthborn and I tackled the patio doors. Hey, it's the only part of housework that I truly enjoy. I have no idea why I find it so deeply satisfying, but I do. When we were done, the doors were not perfectly clean (there are lots of scratches in the glass from his dog), but they were much improved.

Then most of us sat on the couch and knitted or crocheted while watching the last three-fourths or so of Strange Magic, which is an OK movie with a terrific soundtrack. Anytime you have someone of Kristin Chenoweth's caliber singing the part of the Sugar Plum Fairy, you are by definition in for a good time. At least musically.

Fourthborn worked on her entry for next month's art contest at the comic book shop where Roomie works. I hadn't seen it for a couple of weeks, and it's really coming to life.

At the library, I picked up the first two books in the next series by Rick Riordan. I've placed holds on the next three books. I can only hope that they become available in chronological order, and quickly. I'm a little put off that some of the characters take the Lord's name in vain. They would probably say that they were referring to the Greek or Roman gods, but it still makes me uncomfortable. If I buy my own copies when I finish the series, I will fix that with white-out. It is so unnecessary.

I'm tired, and my hands are parched and itchy. I deliberately left the remainder of the brownies out in the Tardis, so as not to be tempted by them. I'll take them to Mel and Squishy's tomorrow night for Downton Abbey.

I'm going to slip into my jammies, lotion up my hands and my feet, and read until I can't keep my eyes open any longer.

Thursday, January 21, 2016


As I posted elsewhere, Heaven's fingerprints are all over this day. I awoke about 45 minutes after the alarm should have gone off. Oops. Was clean and dressed and out the door with my breakfast, lunch and knitting in less than half an hour. Made it to work safely and on time notwithstanding the damp streets. Worked steadily all day.

Hit Bueno on the way home. Ate dinner sitting up in bed, Percy Jackson #5 in one hand. Washed my hands and worked on The Albatross for awhile. Read some more. Finished a small component of the stealth project for Christmas. Worked on The Albatross some more. It is now 10:45, and my hands are tired but I fear my brain is not.

I made sure the alarm is set this time. Phone is charging. Crafty stuff is put away. CPAP has sufficient water. I've read my Sunday School lesson. Prayed about various people. A coworker's husband is about to step through the veil. I pray that he will live as long as life is sweet for him. (That's what I prayed for Beloved, in those last weeks and days.)

This is a tender time of year. I love the growing light, and the memory of Christmas. I was listening to Pandora last night on the way home, and an old Dixie Chicks song popped onto my station: Travelin' Soldier. I'm still mad at the Dixie Chicks for their lead singer's tacky comment in London in early 2003 (which is when I stopped buying their music, and I eventually sold all three of their CDs when I was low on cash several years ago). But they made beautiful music, and that song was one of their best. It was a favorite of LittleBit's. I was seven years away from meeting Beloved when first I heard it, and I had entirely forgotten its existence until last night. The keening chorus opened up something inside of me. Instantaneous sobbing for the length of each chorus, calm bemusement during the verses. I don't think I was crying for myself, although I'm pretty sure I'm "never gonna hold the hand of another guy." No desire to.

Sorry, y'all, you are getting brain droppings tonight. I'm hoping for another productive day tomorrow, and I am looking forward to another quiet night at home.

I've been thinking a little bit about retirement off and on this week. Trying to decide if I want to retire at age 70, with twenty-three years of service, or see if I can hold out two more years and make it an even twenty-five. Fourth of July 2024 might be a pretty good target for declaring my independence, all things considered.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Up much too late last night.

Went to bed a little after midnight, having worked some on The Albatross and read a whole bunch in the fourth Percy Jackson, which I finished a few minutes ago.

I am having a great week at work. When I log off at five, my eyes are ready to do something fun, and my brain is tired. I feel as if I were lifted up on angel wings, and quite possibly I am.

I completed a huge trial notebook for SemperFi today, and I thought I was done with the one for my other attorney, but there are still a couple of things I need to check out and print off. Both of them will be in trial on Monday. And theoretically SemperFi has a trial date in a second case, but we are way down on the docket, and you never know: that one could always settle before we have to show up. I may be putting together a third trial notebook tomorrow and Friday, or not. On the one hand, I'm getting a bit faster with each one that I do, and I genuinely enjoy the process. On the other hand, it would be nice to have a little break. I did get all of the mail read today, and most of my To-Do's worked, but tomorrow I have a trial date to calendar in a different case, and all of the paperwork that goes with that.

Every day is different, and I am thankful to be busy again, after the slow days before and after Christmas.

I'm a little ticked with the POTUS and the bureaucracies. When I got to work this morning, there was an email about a new form that I will have to file as part of my tax return this year, because of Obamacare. I thought I was home free once my W-2's arrive, because I have everything else, but this form will be mailed out by February 1, and it may take a week to ten days to get here. Oy to the veh.

I put in a few minutes on The Albatross this morning before leaving for work. I'm going to work on it a few more minutes before bedtime and hope that I don't get sucked into "one more stitch, and then I'll put it up."

Monday, January 18, 2016

And the good stuff spilled over into today.

There were only 45 emails waiting for me at work, after two days off. I got through all of them, responded to others that popped up throughout the day, participated in an hour-long meeting with the other secretaries, worked my To-Do's, got through three days' worth of mail for both attorneys, chased after a scheduling order that we should have gotten copied on three months ago, ate wisely, and remained focused, even after the text messages from Middlest regarding ER and kidney stone and morphine. Worked so steadily that I forgot to put on lipstick after finishing my breakfast. Oh well.

I was saddened to read of Glenn Frey's death. I imagine he is relieved to be free of a broken body, and I hope he was warmly welcomed when he went Home. I feel his loss far greater than I do David Bowie's, and about on a par with Alan Rickman's. It has not been, thus far, a good month for 60+ year old artists and musicians.

I made some progress on The Albatross before leaving for work, and more while the cornbread was baking. After that, I set it aside to finish book three in the Percy Jackson series. I may work on it for a scant few minutes before going to bed, or I may give some attention to the stealth Christmas presents. They come pretty close to being instant gratification.

I hope my kid sleeps well tonight. I hope Brother Frey's family is surrounded by angels to comfort them, as I was comforted when Beloved died. I am grateful for the moments of inspired silliness that happened throughout my day. There are brothers and sisters on the Widows and Widowers board who lost a spouse to cancer and are now fighting it themselves. When they post, I send a prayer skyward. I might be on to the next thing five seconds after the "amen" leaves my head, but I hope my oh-crap-not-another-one prayers do at least a little bit of good.

Tomorrow night is ward temple night, and part of me wants to go, and part of me wants to come home and do what I did tonight: make stuff, eat comfort food, and read. The singles are gathering for a session on Thursday night.

Random thought: I just realized that I stopped sneezing some time ago. I wonder why? I woke up yesterday morning very early, my CPAP nose-piece aimed a little off and irritating one of the little hairs deep inside my nose (sorry), and all of a sudden my nasal cavity was hollering "invasion from Mars! panic! run in circles, scream and shout!"

I told myself firmly, we do not have time to be sick. We have a talk to give, and we have family to visit, and you're not sick, you're just having a nasal hissyfit. Apparently my nose finally got the message. (When I sneeze it's kinda like the cannons in the 1812 Overture, only timed like a gatling gun. Ark! Ark! Ark-ark-ark! And approximately C#. Just in case you wondered.)

OK, I'm done.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

One hatchet, buried.

I had a lovely visit with OlderTwin and his family tonight. Mel and Squishy were also there. The spirit was one of quiet and peace. I could detect nothing of hypocrisy or set-up.

I am so thankful. I have dutifully prayed for them since they became a part of my life four years ago, more often than not without any real hope. It will be ever so much easier to pray for them now.

OlderTwin said that it will take longer for his brother to come around, that it always has. But he seemed to feel it would happen.

My heart is full, and my eyes are heavy, and I'm heading off to bed shortly. I am invited back again when they host the family dinner next month.

Night, y'all. I have some blessings to count.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

It's Greek to me.

In The Lightning Thief, one of the characters uses ergo in a way that seemed unusual to me. I knew it from cogito ergo sum, "I think, therefore, I am." So I googled it and learned that it is both Latin (which I knew) and Greek (which I did not), and in Greek it relates to work. Which got me to thinking: ergonomics to economics to ecology. Which led me to wonder, what is a nomic, and what is an ec?

Nomic: relating to a musical nome, melody, custom (what on earth is that?) and maybe related to nimble; having the force of natural law or generally valid; from the Greek nomikos ~ usage, custom, law. (From the Merriam Webster online dictionary, which did not want to let me back in to link after I'd done the links below.)

Eco: habitat or environment; from the Greek oikos, home. (Ditto.)

So, ecology is the study of habitat or environment. That one's easy. Economics = "a social science concerned chiefly with description and analysis of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services". Which, naturally, benefit the home.

Ergonomics = an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely. Yeah. I just did a redneck chiasmus. I know a (very) little about chiasmus, because the Book of Mormon is filled with it.

Yesterday I read the second book in the Percy Jackson series. I also worked on The Albatross, and I took myself to lunch at La Madeleine, where I had a cup of tomato basil soup, quiche Lorraine, and strawberries Romanoff. Then I came home and played with the dead people for about four hours, ate a very little, fought chill (I don't think I'm sick; I think I just didn't eat enough yesterday!), and threw an extra quilt on the bed after praying that I would would be able to keep my commitment to help clean the meetinghouse this morning and go to a family thing tomorrow evening.

I didn't cry once, yesterday, because it was Beloved's angelversary. I did cry a little upon receiving a text message from Older Twin, inviting me to their son's birthday party tomorrow. I have been persona non grata with that part of the family since shortly after Beloved died.

And now if you will all kindly excuse me, I'm going to make a huge cheese omelette in the hope of  (A) having enough fuel to ma'am the vacuum or whatever and (B) warming up. Thankfully I don't feel ill. Just cold. I can fix cold.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Happy anniversary to us!

Four years, three of them in a distinctly long-distance relationship.

I crack myself up.

Today I have worked on The Albatross, read my scriptures like a good girl, and spent hours upon hours hanging out with the dead people. Who have strangely forgotten that mortals need to eat. I finally had to say, "No more, dudes! I'm so hungry that I'm getting crabby, and I'm no good to you if I'm crabby, so we're done for now."

I made a vat of soup for the missionaries and delivered it in a giant disposable loaf pan resting in the cardboard box bottom that came with my dozen cans of chicken broth. Plus two crisp apples and the last four snickerdoodles that I bought on Tuesday after Knit Night.

I went to Half Price Books and spent part of my gift card. The Percy Jackson books in paperback, and a Nigella Lawson cookbook. Dinner was four party tacos and a mug of pumpkin cheesecake ice cream, and I'm still vaguely hungry with no idea what sounds good.

I've read the first 103 pages or so of the first Percy Jackson book, and I really like it. Riordan's style is very American, very conversational, and I snort with laughter about every other page. This guy is good.

Facebook tells me that a year ago I made a field trip to La Madeleine. I was vaguely thinking about it today but only got out of my jammies in time to do the drive-by fooding of the elders. Maybe I will go have brunch there tomorrow before firing up the computer and playing some more with the dead people.

Successes: I found my Uncle Kenny's second wife's maiden name and the name of her parents. I have a surname for her first husband, but no hints yet as to anything more. I mostly worked on the kids of one of my great great grandmothers, and it got a little teary from time to time. I think she's happy to be remembered, and to have them found and connected together. I've started a spreadsheet, color-coded, to keep track of whose work is finished, who is still alive, whose work needs to be done, and whose work needs to be done but has been reserved by FamilySearch. (I don't know what that's about.)

I am now officially more than vaguely hungry. Time to forage, make one last dash through Facebook, and call it a night. Tomorrow is the angelversary, and I will probably need to have my wits about me.

There's your straight line...

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Chick time.

Work was amazing today. Just amazing. I got through the To-Do's, the mail, kept the inbox in line, and toward the middle of the day was caught up through tomorrow. When I looked at the To-Do's for Friday, I discovered three trial notebooks that need to be done. I emailed SemperFi about two of them, for trials scheduled to start the same day, asking if either was likely to settle, and which one he would like me to do first, and that until I heard back, I would be working on the notebook for my other attorney.

I'm out for the next two days, but I've nearly completed the innards of that notebook, and I am poised to finish with a big huzzah when I get back to the office next Monday. I also had my end of year performance review, and I am pleased. I won't know how that translates into raise and bonus for a few more weeks, but there will be some of each, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Met a friend from my ward for ice cream after work, and we talked for two hours, and it was wonderful. She's the Gospel Doctrine teacher, is freshly divorced, and is a hoot. We've agreed to get together once a month for something like this. Like me, she has a job that she enjoys that she's been at this side of forever. (Her chunk of forever is two decades shorter than mine; I'm just barely old enough to be her mother.)

So that was good, and I grabbed a burger at In N Out on the way home, and that's settled, so I will post this and turn off the lights and go to bed. If I were a betting woman, I'd lay odds that I'll wake up within half an hour of when I normally would (assuming that the Insomnia Fairy does not decide to grace Chez Ravelled with her presence).

Tomorrow is my fourth anniversary. I plan to spend a good bit of the day hanging out with the dead people. They've been somewhat neglected of late. And I'm doing a drive-by fooding of the elders tomorrow night.

Later, gators.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Happy teeth. Happy dentist.

We were budgeted for an hour apiece, Fourthborn and I, but the cleanings went so well that we were both done in a little over an hour. So we ate some Bueno, went to the art supply place, stopped in at the comic book shop where Fourthborn has an entry in their art contest, then to her place briefly so she could walk her dog, and maybe an hour walking about in an antique mall where we saw several lovely bits but nothing that needed to come home with either of us.

We found ourselves strangely hungry after our stroll, so hit Arby's on the way to Knit Night and picked up kid-size sandwiches to stave off the jumbies. Stayed until about 8:00, headed back to her place by way of Braum's because snickerdoodles sounded good, and we could get a dozen to split for about what we'd pay for a single brownie at Starbucks.

Dropped her off, and alternately prayed and sang my way home. Spent an hour working on The Albatross, took my meds, and am about ready for bed. Brain would like to stay up and read awhile. Eyes and body-at-large are insistent upon being horizontal and unconscious as soon as decently possible.

It's been a good day. Tomorrow I have a full day of work, and then I'm meeting a girlfriend from church for ice cream and to get to know one another better.

Over and soon to be out.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Another short one.

Work went well. I have a couple of interesting tasks waiting for me in the morning. I managed to stay busy all day, even if some of that busyness involved researching places I might like to go on vacation.

Dinner with the Empty Nesters tonight. Applebee's. The food was generally good. The service was not quite as we might have wished, and the parking was abominable. I didn't foresee a problem when I parked the Tardis, but there was another truck parked behind me, on the other side of a narrow passageway, and I had to back and file half a dozen times before I was clear to leave. Not. Fun.

A little over an hour's work on The Albatross tonight. Hands are tired. Eyes are tired. Have just read one article regarding the status of women in Israel in the time of Lehi and Nephi, so my mind and spirit have something to chew on overnight.

Speaking of overnight, last night I was sufficiently weary when I went to bed that I forgot to change the alarm from 6pm to 6am. I awoke from a slightly frustrating serial dream to find that I was forty minutes past my usual hour. It made for an interesting scramble to get ready, but I made it to work on time, and I had a tender experience while listening to the Book of Mormon on the drive in. More on that later, if I remember. Which is not necessarily likely. A couple of weeks ago I asked Fourthborn to text me three words as a cue to tell her a funny story. I am still trying to figure out why I thought "LittleBit" "zombie" and "bee" would be enough to do the job.

Night, y'all. The bed is ready for me, and I am more than ready for the bed.

Sunday, January 10, 2016


Yes, I know it's nearly 11:00pm.  Yes, I know that that is an hour after the time I try to be in bed. I had a short nap this afternoon, and I've been waiting to feel sleepy, which I now do. Am hoping that I got just enough nap to be useful and not so much that sleep is a laughable concept. Knock wood, I think I'm OK.

It's been a lovely, restful Sabbath. I made brownies to take to Mel and Squishy's to watch the second episode of Downton Abbey. It's fun to see various bits of plot begin to be tied up in neat little bows. Anna is no longer in danger of false arrest and imprisonment. There's about to be another wedding. Mary has shed much of her queen bee attitude and is becoming a modern woman in nearly the best sense. There's an outside chance that poor Edith may find happiness and escape her middle-child neuroses. Thomas is being his usual crabby self. Daisy is no longer the little mouse that she was in the early years. Education and opportunities have opened up her world, it it's fun watching her learn how to be assertive without being overbearing. The Earl's sister, who was rather a pain early on, appears to have softened and mellowed. She had a particularly poignant line tonight about the dangers in being comfortable, living alone. I thought to myself, right on, sister!

There was a modicum of knitting during Sunday School and Relief Society today. More grist for the Christmas boxes.

I suspect that tomorrow morning I will wake a little ahead of the alarm, and my hands will reach for The Albatross. I have dinner with the Empty Nesters to look forward to, and then more work on The Albatross, and then bed.

But I mustn't get ahead of myself. I did a little reading in supplementary material after coming home from the kids' apartment. It's an online book that was referenced in one of the KnowWhy links at Book of Mormon Central.

Night, y'all.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Much progress.

Fourthborn worked on the door mouldings for my bedroom and the smaller doors for the linen closet, plus several coats on the framework for the linen closet.

I worked on The Albatross. I am beginning to feel greater affection for it. The most fiddly bit is done. I have gone back over previous portions and improved a few of them. Before I took her home, I had begun a section that was entirely new territory. I was even hopeful that when I got back I would have the energy and the inclination to finish that bit, but no.

My hands ache, my neck and shoulders are stiff, my eyelids are drooping, and I have no wish to do anything more ambitious than sleeping. So that is what I am going to do. I'm very pleased with what we accomplished today, and enough is enough, and I'm ever so thankful that tomorrow is the Sabbath. When I awake on Monday morning, I can pick up where I'm leaving off, with a clear conscience and a rested body.

Night, y'all.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Taking a little break.

Because I was turning into a pretzel, sitting in bed, working on The Albatross. Yes, as in Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Only not as stinky. And I am making progress. As soon as I get my back and neck stretched out, I will get back to it.

I was able to calculate my sales tax deduction for last year. It is a very nice number, and it does lovely things to my refund, assuming that I haven't forgotten something crucial. I'm basically done until the W-2's and 1099's roll in and I can check my numbers.

Had another good day at work today. Got all the mail worked, and all the To-Do's worked or touched if I couldn't complete them. Did a quick special project for the office manager. Completed one item of mandatory annual training and began another. I'm hoping to finish the second one tomorrow.

Cousin emailed me the date of this year's family reunion, so I can now calendar that.

One of the women in the Knittin'Tiny group on Facebook posted a link to a really cool cast-on. It's called the Chinese Waitress Cast-On.  It was published in a book by Cap Sease (who is not the person in this video, but she credits her). This video is kinda talky, but in this case I think that's helpful.

OK, I'm done, except to say there's also a Chinese Waitress Cast-Off, but I haven't checked it out.

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Inching forward.

A little progress on one of the stealth projects for next Christmas.

I listened to the first seven chapters of 1 Nephi while working on a different project. I also hauled four books out of the bookcase to serve as supplementary reading material, and I also checked out Book of Mormon Central.

I figured out the hymns for next Sunday and the one after that, and mailed the list to the powers that be.

I ate leftovers. Huge salad followed by about half of the purple potato and red onion jollop that I made last weekend.

My brain would like to color. I'm going to appease it by knitting to the next decrease on the stealth project. Something like two or three minuscule rounds. Because my eyes and my hands are crazy-tired.

It's been a good day.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

More stuff made like Elvis and left the building.

I love Tuesdays. Trash goes out to the street. Every other Tuesday (this is not one of them) recycling also goes out. I dropped off a bag of miscellany behind Salvation Army on my way to work. I dropped off three pairs of glasses at my eye doctor's before picking up Fourthborn for Knit Night. Squishy picked up the affidavit of heirship that I signed for him so he can get Beloved taken off the title to his car. A friend from church is picking up the ice cream dishes. That was supposed to happen today, but did not.  If the box is still there when I get home tomorrow night, it gets donated.

I spent about twenty minutes this morning working on the resurrected project. I'm too tired to work on it tonight, but at least there was some progress today. There will be more tomorrow. I plan on giving it another 15-20 minutes before work and however much I can stand before bedtime.

Fourthborn and I are going to have to tweak her pickup and delivery this weekend. As I now have midday church, taking her home immediately afterward will interfere with a social commitment she has made. She needs to be there by 1:00. I will be zipping down the hall from Gospel Doctrine to Relief Society at that time. What we're both hoping is that she can hit the floor running when I bring her here on Friday night, work steadily beginning early Saturday morning, and then go home Saturday night (but not too late for me to make a safe round trip).

OK. I've nuked the bag of deer corn that warms my feet during the cooler months. I've topped off the reservoir in my CPAP. The phone is plugged in for the night. I don't want to read, or knit, or color. I just want to be asleep fifteen minutes ago.

Night, y'all. I'm handing over the baton.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

So I crunched the numbers.

Came home from watching Downton Abbey with Mel and Squishy, and remembered to open up Lorelai (who has been sitting idle at the head of my driveway for a couple of months now), fire up the engine, and take down her mileage.

It ain't pretty. 215,303 of intermittently-maintained miles, dings and dents and peeling plastic from the rear bumper and a big gash on the driver's seat where my shoulder blade has rubbed along it for nearly ten years as I slide down into the car. Fair condition is probably a stretch. Looking at a trade-in value range of $287-792 (likely value $540). About three times as much if I sell her to a private buyer.

I want to empty her out and offload her before I have to re-license and reinspect her. Firstborn and 1BDH are willing to help me sell her privately. I am sorely tempted to forego the additional cash and have a friend follow me down to CarMax and take the $500 just to be done with it, as I did with Earl, her predecessor (as in, Earl's in the trunk; I used to be a Dixie Chicks fan until they got tacky about W after 9/11).

In other car news, I have a quitclaim deed to sign on Beloved's behalf for the car that he co-signed with Squishy, so they can get Beloved's name off the title. I'll get that notarized tomorrow and take it over tomorrow night after work.

I've written my visiting teaching letters, stuffed the envelopes, and need to weigh them so I can put on the postage. Pretty sure they will all require an extra stamp. I bought some of those last month. They have penguins on them! (Yes, I am easily amused.)

First episode of the final season of Downton Abbey did not disappoint. Spending time with Mel and Squishy is always the best part.

In other family news, a friendly tag on Facebook by one of the twins, and a brief, civil response from the other twin to a group text I'd sent to all three of the boys.

I feel as if I had been eating all day (I haven't), and it's nearly bedtime, and I'm ravenous again.

I need to buy spray starch tomorrow. They warned us at the quilt shop yesterday that the next three blocks have many, many long bias-cut edges, and that spray starch and careful pressing will be the only way to complete the blocks with any semblance of sanity intact. Heading out to the kitchen to nuke a mug of dark chocolate almond milk, take my meds, and call it a night.

I managed to avoid a nap after church, but it was a near miss. I leave everything in your capable hands.

Saturday, January 02, 2016

What the grownup does on the second day of the year.

Procrastinate. Big time.

There is something I need to do, and I don't want to do it (but I will). Instead of working on it today, I have spent six hours scanning and organizing paperwork and files on my computer and external drive. A worthy project, and it needed to be done, but perhaps not today.

I also cleaned the silver earrings that I made in the silversmithing class in Fredericksburg in 1992 or early 1993, when I was teaching community education classes and taking them in an effort to stave off despair.

I re-glued the amber heart into its setting. Those earrings were Beloved's last Christmas gift to me, and I haven't worn them in months. I'll let them lie fallow for two more days, and then I should be able to wear them safely again.

I picked up the January quilt block for Fourthborn's quilt and the penultimate monthly kit for the medallion quilt. I bought two silver Verithin pencils to mark quilting lines.

I confirmed with Mel what time I should show up tomorrow for the lead-in to the final season of Downton Abbey.

I tweaked my 2014-2015 and 2016-2017 spreadsheets.

I thought about my assignment for Gospel Doctrine class tomorrow.

After I publish this post, I am heading over to the shredder to eliminate all of the paperwork I have scanned today. My desk is looking pretty good at the moment. There's a half inch sheaf of papers on the floor just behind me to my right. It won't be there much longer.

And then I am going to head into my room and climb up on my bed and spend at least 15 minutes working on The Thing, after which I will have the satisfaction of having begun. When it's well and truly done, which is not likely to be for several weeks, I will 'splain, Lucy. In the meantime, you may expect intermittent grousing, as this project involves not only my creative skills but some spiritual deep cleaning.

Friday, January 01, 2016

What the grownup does on the first day of the new year.

Add year-to-date interest from the credit union to my spreadsheet and to TurboTax. Attempt to do the same for the primary bank, only to be foiled by end-of-year number crunching on their end and the suggestion that I try again after 10:00a.m. Remember to add the new name of the primary bank to TurboTax. Add up the medical mileage, put it on the spreadsheet and into TurboTax. Put the log book into the storage box along with the 2014 log book. Eat a piece of Godiva in celebration.

I had a very quiet New Year's Eve, just the way I like it. Leftovers, a bit of knitting, pressing the fabric for the monthly quilt block, some coloring, and a modicum of reading that I think will have to be redone, as I brained very hard at work yesterday.

What am I doing today? In a moment, I will lay out my clothes (still in jammies at 7:24, woohoo!), sluice off, then head over to Fort Worth to visit with Secondborn and family, and to pick up the chairs I left there on Christmas Day. Thence to Arlington to give J some driving time. When I get home, there will be more knitting, some sewing, a bit of laundry, and I might even run the vacuum. I'll change the filter on the AC unit.

I bought two on the way to work yesterday, and when I change the filter in three months, I'll buy two more, repeating until I have a year's supply stashed in that closet. I also created an updated reminder system on my phone, as these filters do not need to be washed monthly, just switched out on a quarterly basis. If I have the next one here, and I change it on the first of each month, then my wonderful new AC will reach its maximum life expectancy. I don't know that I can expect it to last 44 years like the previous one, which was original to the house, and which was obviously the beneficiary of tithing blessings, but we shall see.

That's all I've got for you, for now. Happy New Year!