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, February 28, 2016

The Parable of the Linen Closet

For two or three months my daughter and I have been working on the linen closet. Sanding the frame and doors to prepare them for painting.

Filling the routed design with wood filler to make a level surface. Sanding again. Painting the frame and the doors, something like four or five coats each. Removing the poorly-installed crossbar between the linen drop and the space that holds the bins...

... and attaching metal braces to hold it firmly in place.

Reinstalling the three lower doors.

Finishing the top doors and installing them to see if they hung level, in order to bisect a poster I’ve had for years, which I wanted to decoupage on either door.

Yesterday all was ready for me to begin the decoupage process. I folded the poster in half and sliced it apart. We shifted one half up and down the length of the door until we found an arrangement that pleased us both. We marked the placement with strips of painter’s tape bridging the doors top and bottom. I took the poster halves back to my work table and proceeded to slather the first one with Mod Podge. It went into place with little argument, after I had slathered the door with more Mod Podge. I smoothed the bubbles out with fingers, fists, forearms, and my marble rolling pin. On to the second half, which developed an attitude. Much placing, replacing, re-gluing, finessing, only to have a myriad of bubbles crop up.

At this point I was physically tired and more than a little discouraged. I was unsure if I should leave the poster up and hope for the best, or if I should peel it off and try to find another. I thought double sided tape might be a reasonable solution. I decided to seal the poster with Mod Podge. Huge bubbles popped up all over both halves of the poster, and I was almost ready to weep with frustration. I waited half an hour and brushed on another coat. When I checked later, some of the bubbles had disappeared, and others were noticeably smaller. So I put on a third coat. And then a fourth. After the two hour round trip to take my daughter home, there were only a very few, very small bubbles remaining. I gave them all a swipe and went to bed.

This morning I ran my hands over an acceptable, if not flawless, finish. I was reminded of the axiom that far too many people quit just before success would become obvious. I was also reminded that, while I am far more patient than I was as a child or young woman, I am not at the end of that learning curve.

We do think that with the knobs installed, the central figure's leg now resembles a praying mantis.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Oh, hi! Remember me?

It has been quite the week. Monday night I completely spaced about the concert for which I'd bought a ticket. I didn't remember until yesterday.

Tuesday was a whirlwind. Up early to google specialists, then off for my well woman, and to pick up my records from the mammography center that no longer takes my insurance. I made an appointment while pulled over into a parking lot on the way to my well woman. And I have a referral to an internist for my overdue colonoscopy. Inhaled some breakfast, then picked up J for his driving test and to renew my own driver's license. I was successful, and he was not, because the Tardis' brake light on the camper shell was not working. Who knew? It's not like I stand back there when I'm driving. I'll get that fixed in April when I get her safety inspected and renew her tags. He wasn't mad at me, but he was not at all happy about the functionary who said, when he told her that this was the third time he had to reschedule, "Maybe it's a sign."

He bought me a snack because he hadn't eaten all day, and I was ravenous. Again. Took him home, picked up Fourthborn, and we ate dinner. And got dessert at Knit Night. Then went to the movie theatre for the Princess Bride quote-along, which was hilarious. We each came home with a tiny bottle of bubble soap (which neither of us could open), a small bell with remarkably good tone, and an inflatable plastic sword. I spent much of the movie thwacking her on the head as we quoted lines with the rest of the audience. So much fun!

We got home a little after midnight, and I was asleep around 1:00am. Needless to say, I was a zombie at work on Wednesday. Came home, ate a slice of pie, and napped for an hour so I would be safe to drive Fourthborn home and come back again. Four hours in a car that day. Not my idea of a real good time.

I was only half awake yesterday, but last night I got a good night's sleep, and today went far better. Last night one of my church friends came over, and we talked for about an hour before I hugged her and shooed her off so I could go pick up a new prescription. Got the lab results back, and while my good cholesterol is finally up over the minimum, my bad cholesterol is still slightly into the red zone. So now I have Prava-something to take along with my Metformin, and we will re-check in three months to see if it's helping.

I love the possible side effects. Memory loss, decreased concentration, jaundice, anaphylaxis. Just what the busy legal secretary needs, right? So I've told Fourthborn to let me know if I get any weirder than usual, and I've told two of my friends at work to watch as well. I'm hoping that the medicine will either be unequivocably helpful or undeniably useless. Bonus points if I am suddenly more focused and lose thirty pounds, but not the hard way.

It is time for me to start swallowing foreign objects (i.e., meds) and go to bed. Night, y'all.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Ms. Ravelled. In the boudoir. With a gyro.

Just in case you think I haven't a "Clue."

This was Fourthborn's lunch on Friday (or what was left of it, anyway). She reached for what she thought was a cup of ranch dressing and poured it on her sandwich, took a bite, and realized immediately (by the pricking of her tongue, something lethal this way comes) that it was tzatziki sauce, which contains cucumber, which is toxic to her. Rather in the same camp as avocado, which is why she calls guacamole "death paste."

Her loss. Definitely my gain, and eaten for breakfast before sunrise yesterday with much appreciation.

We got the lower doors reinstalled on the linen closet, and the upper doors are ready to be decoupaged and hung. My goal is to decoupage the one which will hang closest to the bathroom door, after dinner tomorrow night. We will hang it Tuesday night or Wednesday before I take her home, hang the second, unembellished door, which I will decoupage later in the week. Why the change to our routine, you ask?

At work we get a periodic email from a business collective, highlighting upcoming events in the fifteen downtown districts. Tuesday night there is a Princess Bride quote-along, and I have purchased tickets for Fourthborn and me.

So Tuesday is going to be jam-packed. Well woman in the morning, J's driving test in the early afternoon, Knit Night (which we will leave a bit earlier than usual), and then the movie, which starts half an hour before my alleged bedtime. I will be too pooped to drive Fourthborn home that night, drive back here, and be any good at work on Wednesday. So she will crash here with a honey-do list, which we have already discussed, and I will come home to further progress and then take her home.

Going back to the upper doors of the linen closet. Why am I not decoupaging both at once, then hanging the doors? Because I don't remember if the doors hang straight. They've been off the wall for several months, and I've slept since then. So we'll put one up, hang the other, mark where the other half of the poster I will be bisecting will go, and my need for perfect alignment will be satisfied. I would be eternally cranky if the design were cockeyed. When the children's father replaced a light switch in the bathroom of our house, many years ago, he installed it about 5° off the vertical, and it bothered me every time I saw it. Not everything needs to be perfect. But 5° off the vertical is about 4.9° too much in this woman's book.

Yes, I am the woman who goes around straightening pictures in the passageways at work.

I continue to make progress on The Albatross. I make sure to work on it at least a little (and preferably a lot) Monday through Saturday. Last night was no exception. I was crazy-tired, but I gave it fifteen to twenty minutes then set it aside for the Sabbath with a clear conscience. I am also nearly done with a baby sock to go into the stash for the next baby shower. I have a plethora of pink socks and am evening it up with what I consider boy-appropriate colors.

Yesterday I got the oil changed on the Tardis, got my ends trimmed and my brows weed-whacked, gave J some drive time, and still made it to bed at a decent hour. Speaking of which, notwithstanding the nap I had before going to Mel and Squishy's for Downton Abbey, I am sleepy, and it's half an hour past my usual bedtime. And it's raining outside, which bodes well for being able to sleep all night.

Monday, February 15, 2016


Last year I began to ponder how I observe the Sabbath. I refined some of my choices, and I could feel greater peace, inspiration, and discernment. This year I felt impressed to reorganize how I study, in order to be more diligent in my preparations for, and participation in, Sunday School and Relief Society. This past week went particularly well in terms of study, and I think I am on the right track for now. At odd moments over the past several days, I have gotten promptings and glimmers of inspiration regarding some of the practicalities of daily life. By seeking first the kingdom of Heaven, and striving to be more obedient and more apt to receive guidance, I am seeing ways to become a better steward of the time, talents, and means which Heaven has provided. I am still unlearning bad habits from the years of poverty. I still have much to learn of true principles, but I am encouraged.

Things I am going to try: purchasing more stock in the company whose stock I inherited from Beloved. I will check into that this week. Setting up a plan to purchase US Savings Bonds, as I did a number of years ago. Setting up an IRA to go with my 401K. Studying trends and prayerfully considering other stocks to purchase ~ in a small way. Resuming the support of some of my private charities, even before I finish paying off my line of credit, so that when I am (yet again) debt-free, I will use the increase to bless others as well as provide for my future.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

End of an era.

 I sold Lorelai last Saturday. Took this picture in the driveway before heading to Squishy's and then to the dealership. I had her for nearly one-sixth of my life. I've never kept a car alive that long. More precisely, she lasted four more years than any other car I've owned. So I'm hoping that the Tardis will do as well.

I've been puny again. Monday afternoon my eyes started watering for no apparent reason. Monday night the wind blew all sorts of nonsense around. Tuesday morning I started sneezing as soon as I stepped out the front door, and I was emulating the love child of the 1812 Overture and a Gatling gun until I came home early and went to bed. I'm taking a different antihistamine, and it seems to be working better than the Allerclear. It also makes me a little sleepy.

I stayed home from work today but expect to go back tomorrow. I've watched Star Wars 1 and 2, which I brought home from Squishy's a couple of weeks ago. I finished the first baby sock, which needs to be gifted on Saturday, and cast on the second. I worked a little on The Albatross. Very pleased with today's progress on that.

I also finished the first volume in The Work and the Glory and am well into the second.

Trying to figure out if I'm sufficiently sleepy to call it a night. I had a good nap in the middle of the day, and I've resisted the temptation to take another one. 

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Another quick post.

Today was the tiniest bit frustrating at work. I had problems to solve, and solve them I did, just not as quickly or elegantly as I would have liked. Part of it was because I ate lunch half an hour early, since I was ravenous, and I didn't bring quite enough fuel to finish the day in a blaze of glory. Part was because a task that I thought was complete had to be revised. It wasn't anybody's fault, but I don't like having projects that I've crossed off my list, jumping back onto it. It's as if I'd given birth, delivered the placenta, had a sponge bath and a nice nap, nursed the baby to sleep, and then the baby woke up and climbed back in.

I came home, pieced dinner together, and spent most of the evening reading the fifth and final book in the Heroes of Olympus series. I'm maybe halfway through. I took the other four books back to the library on the way home, delivering the third volume to a librarian for a bypass or a kidney transplant or whatever metaphor is appropriate when half of the book comes unglued. I offered to pay to have it repaired, but the librarian just smiled and said no thanks, they'd take care of it.

I didn't just want to dump it down the return chute with its sisters.

I've worked some on The Albatross, and I made a vat of Fage/Nutella jollop to take to work tomorrow for our Super Bowl party. I'm aiming to leave the house early enough that I can stop at the grocery store for some strawberries to go with it. Right now I'm eating some Skinny Girl lime and sea salt popcorn, because my stomach is growling and I don't want it yodeling all night.

Tomorrow night I'll need to set The Albatross aside and make the quilt block to take on Saturday morning. Tonight I need to just stop and go to bed.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Just popping in to say how-do.

I had another good day at work. Kept steadily busy all day. Filed another answer. Got another one ready for SemperFi. Kept up with the emails and the To-Do's. Did not make it through the mail. Will catch up on that tomorrow.

I had already warned Fourthborn that I was not planning to go to Knit Night. I had just enough spoons to go home by way of the pharmacy and two fast food places. Why two? I vaguely remembered, something like 40 years ago, that Long John Silvers had clam chowder. And that I had liked it. Well, if they did, it's off the menu now. I got in the line, read the menu, and changed my mind. Hit Bueno on the way home.

Have spent most of the evening reading from the fourth book in the Heroes of Olympus series. Am going to read a couple more pages before hitting the sack. I did spend half an hour or so working on The Albatross. Am hoping that tomorrow night I will get a generous scoop of inspiration regarding the next segment of it, because tonight I am drawing a huge blank. I'm not liking the start I made and will probably pick it out when the alarm goes off in the morning.

But I do believe I'm tired enough, and sleepy enough, to fall asleep easily and sleep through the night. I think another couple of quiet nights at home will bring me back to what passes for normal around here. I am grateful for the increasing health and comfort. And I would prefer to be charging ahead rather than easing into first or second gear from granddaddy low.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Back in the saddle again (sort of).

I had a really good day at work. Thankfully, there were only a couple dozen new emails to wrangle, and I dealt with those pretty quickly. I got my To-Do's caught up, and my attorneys' calendars, and worked the mail from Friday and today. Filed one answer and did preliminary work for two new cases. Remembered to take my antibiotic on time. Ate and ate and ate.

I had quite the honey-do list when I left the office: file my taxes, pick up some OTC meds, wrap a baby shower gift for tomorrow, find out when the Plano quilt show is (August), get a dab of cash to help buy flowers at work, and do the laundry.

The second and final load is tumbling in the dryer as we speak. I worked for a few minutes on The Albatross. Texted Fourthborn to tell her that I don't think I'm up to a long drive and a late night tomorrow, so we will be skipping Knit Night.

I've nuked the bag of deer corn for my feet, taken my meds, and I'm going to read for about 15 minutes and call it a night. I've touched all of the important stuff, and I am both grateful and wiped out. I don't want to push my luck.

One last, really cool thing. I mentioned that the new female attorney in our office got married a couple of weeks ago. Today she showed me a lovely five minute video of highlights from her wedding. I cried. I hope she and her husband will be as happy as Beloved and I were, and I hope they get to spend many many years together.