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!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Knock it off emoji.

This is the best that I could come up with. Pink shirt. Fierce expression. I tied with two others for third place, and I got a stress ball with a particularly goofy emoji face, which is probably more than I deserved for the effort I put into it

Years ago, when I bought Faith, she came with the unicorn head that I use and a spare, fully human head. Soom does not sell body parts a la carte for its dolls. So I've had an unused head tucked away in a box ever since. Middlest was given some odd doll bits and has several floating heads that need bodies.

We found out that there is at least one doll company that will resin-match. One of these nights I'll take the spare head to Home Depot and try to find a paint chip that matches. For about $80 I can get a perfectly serviceable body to be Faith's fraternal twin and save myself about $400 (if the Beyla sculpt were still available). And I learned recently that Beyla is a winged centaur baby, and not a unicorn girl. Could have fooled me. Edited to add: no, the faces were reissued three years ago as unicorns with wings. And they were just precious.

Middlest has been hosting two of Squishy's dolls to see if either of them fits into one storyline or another. Middlest is thinking "yes" for the larger doll and "nope" for the other. I like the elfin ears, but I need to dress the doll and put on his wig before I can tell if he will fit into the crew. Steadfast is my only male doll, and he would probably like some company, but the male sculpts in general do not pull me the way the female dolls do.

I am too sleepy to safely handle a doll that is not my own, so I will set the box aside until tomorrow. I need to take my meds and hit the sack.

Speaking of meds, I got a letter in the mail which said that CVS will no longer be a preferred pharmacy for my HMO as of 2017, so it looks as if I will be signing up to get my meds by mail. I feel a little crabby about that. But if it means that my meds will be even less expensive than they are now, I can probably get over it.

Night, y'all. Where did October go?

Not much to see here.

Sleep, church, more sleep, a little eating, a lot of water, no loss of balance while conducting the music at church, and one really cool thing.

Middlest's shoulder went out yesterday. (That's not the cool thing.) This is something that happens fairly often to Middlest and Fourthborn, and they know how to put things back in place fairly quickly. Middlest remarked that several friends with the same autoimmune problem have airplane pillows (those U-shaped ones) which they tuck into their armpits to partially immobilize the joint, and could we pick one up tomorrow (Monday)?

I mentioned this to the RS president before church, and her face lit up. She had bought one for a trip, didn't like it, and it was just taking up space at their place. After my post-church nap, I called first then drove over to bring it home. Middlest is quietly elated, and we're hoping it does the trick tonight.

In other news, I noticed last week that Middlest's name was not showing up on the roll for Sunday school. I mentioned it to my bishop at the service project yesterday, and he said to get with the membership clerk and it would be taken care of. Said clerk was not at church today, but the financial clerk said that he could help. We found Middlest, linked my kid to my household, and then updated the name change.

I'm not sure how to handle that on Ancestry or FamilySearch, but that's a problem for another day.

It is now past midnight, I've successfully resisted the urge to whip out my credit card and order another doll (who has a tiny mandolin and a right hand in plucking position), and I'm going to bed before my willpower crumbles. I don't particularly want the doll (who is cute but doesn't tug at my heartstrings like the one I might have ordered recently), but I want the mandolin, and it only comes with the fullset.

The thought came to me this morning that if I were to buy this doll, I could name her Praise. She might be able to keep Chutzpah and Grace out of too much trouble by strumming madrigals. Or In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. I just read this to Middlest, who said that Praise would be my bard, and must have a high charisma rate.

Bed. I'm going to bed. Now.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Thursday's project

I've already posted this on Facebook, so please excuse if you've seen it. The colors aren't true; that wall is a much more bluish green. And if you look carefully, reflected in the glass of the shadowbox is the bargello printed upholstery which graces my wing chair.

The two rectangular plates were a Christmas gift from Firstborn and 1BDH. The ceramic tile inside the shadowbox was a handout in Relief Society earlier this year. I thought that my friend B had made it, but she commented on FB that it had been done by the sister in the missionary couple who had served in our ward. I knew the three pieces would work together, and would fit in the space between my large picture of a smiling Savior and the front door.

I have the glass to finish my narrow butterfly print that I bought at Main Street Arts Festival, for which I scored that bargain of a custom frame at an online shop. I had (vaguely) planned to finish putting that together today, but Middlest is finally sleeping, and it's late, so I will defer the hammering and finagling until a more reasonable hour.

In other news, when I awoke from my much-needed nap an hour ago and looked for my knitting bag, it was not hanging on the back of my bedroom door. I looked around my room. I looked around the living room. I looked at the back of the door; it had not magically appeared while I was looking elsewhere. I wondered if I had left it at the restaurant on Tuesday night, so I called them to see if it was in their lost and found. Finally I looked inside a large reusable shopping bag which typically hangs out in the kitchen but was sitting in a corner of my room. Bingo! So now if you will kindly excuse me, I'm going to work on my shawl.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Phone is dead again tonight.

I'll try to remember to post pictures in the morning. It's been a good day. Costco run is over, likewise Trader Joe, and the Tardis is tanked, and I've picked up an Rx, and we had mini pizzas for dinner.

Tomorrow there's a ward service project at 8:30. We are going to help clean up the fire training center. I don't know how useful I'm going to be; I had a charley horse shortly before the alarm went off this morning, and now that I'm tired it keeps threatening to come back.

I got about a round and a quarter worked on the current baby sock, which makes (I think) the first actual knitting since Monday. Or maybe even Sunday.

In the afternoon we are going to visit one of the doll folk who lives nearby. She's asked to see two or three of my dolls, and I don't know how many of Middlest's, and it will be fun to see what she collects.

I almost bought another doll tonight. Cute sculpt (another Pukifee) with a costume which includes a wee mandolin. I wish it were possible to just buy the costume, but no dice.

My goal for this weekend, as expressed to my coworkers just before quitting time, was to stay in pajamas until time to get ready for church. I had forgotten about the service project or the dolly adventure. Both of which I truly want to do (because firemen ... and friends). So I'm hoping for a nap between service project and excursion, and maybe another after we get home from our friend's house.

I'm done. Night, y'all.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Finished project goes *here*.

Or it would, if snapping the picture hadn't taken the last bit of enthusiasm from my phone. If you could see what I see, you would see two white rectangular plates to the left of my "smiling Savior" picture, and hanging between them is a shadowbox holding a tile that one of the RS teachers made to illustrate a lesson before she was called into the presidency. And they all look great, and I'll try to remember to show you when my phone isn't sulking.

The other major accomplishment tonight is that I browned a pound of hamburger and added taco seasoning. Middlest added a portion to the leftover chicken and rice. I added a portion to a cup of easy mac, and there was just enough left for me to take to work tomorrow with another container of easy mac.

I closed another case for SemperFi. I didn't knit a stitch all day. I managed to keep my energy level more or less constant. I caught an oversight on a case that we're closing for The Kid (I can't think of anything more clever to call him) before it blew up in our faces. (The Spirit gets credit for that one.) I didn't say anything snarky to the two 30-somethings who were dissing their husbands at lunch. Maybe that was yesterday. "At least yours are mortal and here for you to fight with," would be a real conversation stopper.

The weirdness of my dreams is decreasing slightly. I don't know if they're related to one of my medicines or if I'm picking up ambient anxiety from coworkers or family. Heaven knows I have enough of my own stuff to wrangle. (Hello, Lexapro?)

It's interesting to read the reports that SemperFi sends to claims on a periodic basis and to recognize the names of the medicines that some of the plaintiffs are on.  Ooh, I take that. Middlest takes that, and that, and that one no longer because side effects. I'm thankful to only take three, and at very low doses, and that they work for me.

Speaking of which, I should have taken mine nine minutes ago. Later, gators.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Knit Night, Trunk or Treat, and precious little sleep.

We went to a new-to-us Mexican restaurant last night. I loved the food. I loved the conversation. I loved that both Middlest and Fourthborn had enough spoons to be there. And it made for a very late night, with no knitting because I was so busy talking and listening. We left the restaurant at 9:00, took Fourthborn home, came home by way of the grocery store so that we would have candy for Trunk or Treat tonight. It was nearly midnight when I crashed.

Middlest had a rough night of it. Awoke with an anaphylactic reaction, possibly to the cilantro in the salsa. I'll spare you the details, but I was awakened around 4:00am by my kid violently coughing in the bathroom and struggling to breathe. Multiple carefully spaced doses of Benadryl, the inhaler, and ibuprofen gradually restored some semblance of order. I was able to get back to sleep before the alarm went off at 6:00. Middlest finally felt well enough to fall asleep after I left for work an hour later, and slept through most of the day.

We took two large bags of candy to Trunk or Treat after work tonight, and we passed it all out in roughly half an hour then came home. I've been reading Facebook, eating (too much) ice cream, and tidying my inbox.

Middlest is feeling well enough to try eating the entree from last night, and I am taking my meds and going to bed. Night, y'all.

Monday, October 24, 2016

I learned something really wild (and true) today.

I read it to three of my (female) co-workers at lunch, and we all got a little teary-eyed. This, from the Yarn Harlot. Here I am with five kids, and I didn't know this thing.

So I guess one of the things I might be doing after I retire, is helping women in difficult situations get enough good quality food that their grandchildren will flourish.

Heavenly Father really does think of everything.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Taking upon us the name(s) of Christ.

One of our missionary elders spoke on devotion in sacrament meeting today. One of the topics that he touched on was taking upon us the name of Christ. The most obvious way that we LDS do this is in the name of the church: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. LDS for short, and to avoid the too-frequent repetition of the Lord's name. Just as we call it the Melchizedek (higher) priesthood, to avoid saying The Holy Priesthood after the Order of the Son of God.

The elder went on to list some of the names of the Savior that we find in the scriptures: the Prince of Peace, the Holy One, the Redeemer. And my mind started to drift onto a rabbit trail, so I wrote down a prompt and redirected my focus to his talk.

If you look in the Bible Dictionary under "Christ, names of" there are four subheadings:
  1. Names, titles, and concepts of the Lord Jesus in the Old Testament (25 links, not counting the cross-references to other scriptures)
  2. Names, titles, and concepts of Jesus in the Gospels and Acts (I lost count at 65, and I was maybe a third of the way down that section.)
  3. Names, titles, and concepts of Christ in the Epistles (stopped counting at 30, and there were lots more)
  4. Names, titles, and concepts of Christ in the book of Revelation (42? I got a little distracted.)
And this does not count the references to Christ in the Book of Mormon or the Doctrine & Covenants. You could take just one of those names and keep busy for hours, bouncing back and forth among the scriptures, making notes in the margins, journaling. My favorites are the ones from Isaiah which Brother Handel set to music: Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

How could I take those names upon myself? It will be eons before I have progressed spiritually to a point where my children can call me capital-W wonderful. But I can live a life here filled with wonder and a greater sense of awe. I can take counsel from the Spirit and counsel my descendants in righteousness. I can, with the help of the Spirit and by the power of the Atonement, gradually accrete more of the virtues and practices of godliness, becoming a pearl of great price. I have the promise that, as I honor my temple covenants, learn to subdue the grosser inclinations of mortality, and strive to follow my Savior, I can prepare to live the kind of life my Heavenly Parents have. As a daughter of the King, I have the potential to become peaceful and wise. I am a princess in embryo. As I find my ancestors and provide saving ordinances for them, I bring them even more closely to their Savior than they were during mortality. As I share the gospel in its fullness with my friends when they express interest, I am a messenger of the covenant.

This Sabbath has not been wasted.

This was supposed to be a last-night post.

However, I took a nap at 6:00 or so, slept for four hours, then remembered that I needed to hit the grocery store to replenish our bottled water and Middlest's caffeine source (for migraine relief). I took the scenic route home, by way of In N Out. Once we'd eaten, we unloaded the Tardis, and now it's 1:00am 2:00am, and I'm [still] not quite tired enough to go back to sleep, but I'm getting there.

I delayed taking my muscle relaxer and other meds until after the dash to the store, because I rather like this being-alive thing, and I don't want to harm anyone else, either.

I pre-ordered a doll from Denver Doll Emporium to be the embodiment of Joy. She should arrive in 12-18 weeks, or sometime around Valentine's Day. Another PukiFee to join Chutzpah and Grace. Grace is fully human. Chutzpah has elfie-ears. This new one is a sheeple. I couldn't resist those floppy ears.

The city delivered our new recycling bins late yesterday afternoon. I heard a THUMP-rumble-rumble repeated half a dozen times before I got curious and opened the front door. They put it square in the middle of my driveway, so I had to move it before I ran to the store. This will be a big improvement over the smallish open red bins I've been using. Less chance of wind scattering my recyclables hither and yon. And it's easier to roll a large covered bin to the curb than to schlepp two brimming boxes, especially if one of them is loaded to the gills in paper and cardboard.

I picked up more gold tissue paper in the morning and finished wrapping my sister's birthday gifts and sealed up the box to mail after work on Monday. Also bought the glass for my 4" x 28" butterfly print ~ the one where I ordered the frame online, and it came fully and perfectly assembled. I opted not to use museum glass for this print, nor the non-glare option. Just a UV-resistant clear glass because I want to be done with this and get it up on the wall in the dining room.

Speaking of things up on the walls, I finally hung one of the ceramic plates that Firstborn gave me for Christmas last year. About five minutes ago. I'm waiting to hang the second until I find a shadowbox that I like for the tile I got in RS earlier this year, because I want to hang it above the first plate and below the second.

One last random thought: the problem with ordering clothing online is that I'm now getting all the catalogues. Good thing I now have a large recycling bin.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Wrap session.

Tonight was mini pizzas for dinner, a few hands of solitaire while they baked and while visiting with Middlest afterwards, then into my room to wrap four of the five packages. I found one of my small silk scarves in my studio while looking for the last of the gold tissue paper (which I never found). So there is one box left to wrap after I make a quick trip to the party store in the morning, and then I can run the box to the post office and get it to my sister in time for her birthday. I have one last Priority Mail label and one last Priority Mail box. I've productively used up saved lengths of ribbon and one small bolt. Feeling frugal and creative and at peace with the world.

I've taken my meds and am waiting for the muscle relaxer to kick in. I fought sleep off and on all day, but now that I have an opportunity to give those impulses free rein, they are standing on the corner singing doo-wop and refusing to look me in the eye.

This was my third day of adding songs to my Eva Cassidy station. I'm skipping male vocalists at this point, but I did add one male pianist because I liked his style. So I've added a bit of Adele, a couple of Alison Krauss (skipped a couple of hers as well), decided after hearing two songs that I'm not fond of Colbie Caillat, really like kd lang's version of "Hallelujah," and Fleetwood Mac is a yes, because all I can hear is Stevie Nicks, but I don't really need three versions of "Landslide" thank you very much.

I need to go to Costco tomorrow, because I have one last dose of Zyrtec, and I will not shop on Sunday. I think I will make another pot of potato leek soup and maybe bake some cornbread. But mostly I want to read, visit with Middlest, think, and craft. This week has been more slowly paced than last week, and I'm thankful, and I would like more of the same next week. I think a gentle weekend might help to make that a reality.

And that's a wrap.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


When Middlest and I were at the Container Store a few weeks ago, we spotted something that would be a lovely joke to include with my sister's birthday or Christmas present. I bought it after work tonight and will photograph it for a future reveal, along with the story of why it is so funny.

And I needed a pink shirt for Friday, because we're all supposed to Think Pink, and I'm fresh out. So I went online to my favorite place for layering tops, and they had one in ballet pink. After work I called the local shop to see if they had one in stock in my size. They had one left and set it aside for me. The last batch I bought were two for $30, and there was an extra sale that ends today, where I could get two for $25. So I did. I bought another dark brown shirt to replace the one which got stained a few months ago. The one where I sewed on buttons carefully in a triangular pattern from the neck and shoulders to mid-chest, alternating various values of brown buttons from one of those color-themed packs at Jo-Ann. When I tried the shirt on, I discovered that I'd not been quite as careful with button placement as I had thought. Two big light brown buttons exactly where they should not be. So I hung it up in the back of my closet where it could think about how it had tricked me. I will eventually remove the buttons, cut up the shirt into four sections, and share it with Middlest, Fourthborn, and Mel. (I just realized that if I were to have Middlest or Fourthborn doodle on it, I could say that it was hung, drawn, and quartered. A little gallows humor. Sorry not sorry.)

Tomorrow we have the monthly doctor's appointment for Middlest, after which I will drop my kid off at the house, and Squishy will come by at some point to fetch, feed, and get into mischief together.

I've begun an Eva Cassidy station on my Pandora. I was just in the mood for female voices and mellow tones. So far I've given the thumbs-up to Bonnie Raitt (oh yes, please) and an unusually mellow song by Aretha, and the thumbs-down to one and possibly two songs by Norah Jones. I adored her voice when she first began recording, but not so much in recent years. Much as I love Sweet Baby James, I passed him over, so the only guy currently on this playlist is Izzy and his version of "Over the Rainbow." I love the orchestration. I love his voice. And it makes me a little nuts (hush!) that he scrambles up the phrases. I think this station will be slow to build, because I think I want it to be almost exclusively female voices. I've come a long way from my man-bashing days. The first couple of years after divorcing the children's father, I listened to very few male singers, primarily as an antidote to all the years of unavoidable talk radio when we were married. (Which was probably his desperate attempt to counteract the estrogen-fueled atmosphere in our home.)  [Middlest nodded vigorously when I read that.]

I'm going to see how much knitting I can do before bedtime. I'm trying to re-establish my bedtime routine. I think it's hilarious that going to bed sensibly is referred to as "sleep hygiene." I'm a widow. And I bathe regularly. Come up with your own punchline.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Good day at work. Got my desk back under control.

Put three potatoes, a leek, and a can of chicken broth in the tiny Crock-pot before leaving for work. Middlest plugged it in around 9 or 10. The aroma bowled me over when I walked in the door tonight. All that remained was to stir some cornstarch into some half and half, add it to the pot, and wait a bit. Two generous servings for dinner, and a small one to take for lunch tomorrow.

After dinner, we hopped in the Tardis and hit three game shops for Pokemon codes for Middlest, Fourthborn, Squishy, and M back in Tennessee.

I added maybe two rounds to the current baby sock.

We skipped Knit Night.

And my eyelids are getting heavy, which I take as a good sign.

That's all I've got for you tonight.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Feed His sheep? Sure!

Woke up this morning well ahead of the chickens, to head downtown an hour earlier than normal so that I could meet five coworkers and help serve breakfast at the cafe which is operated by a downtown church in conjunction with the homeless shelter. For a little over an hour, I filled glass after glass of milk. I think I emptied at least a dozen tall pitchers. We fed over 400 people. It was a lovely, tender, energizing, and intermittently hilarious event. I want to do this again.

One guy told me, "Just one more glass, and then no more. I gotta drive, and I don't want to be pulled over for driving under the influence of milk." I told him that I've been really lucky, because I've never gotten caught, and I'm definitely guilty.

At another table, the guy on my left looked up and grinned, "Hey, you gave him more milk than me." I looked down at the two of them, grinned back, and told them they were just like my kids. And then I told them about how, when the kids were little, I had to divide up the Easter M&Ms by color and make sure that nobody got one more than a sibling. (Bonus: I got to eat the extras.)

I should have taken my pedometer (not that I know where it is), because I'm pretty sure that I got my 10,000 steps in. If I had been standing in the serving line, I'd probably be pretty miserable by now, but because I kept moving nothing really hurts, and it was relatively easy to put my sneakers back on at the end of the day.

I also had a reasonably productive day at work. I didn't get everything done, but I got a lot done. And that will just have to do.

I ate breakfast around 5:30, before leaving the house, and by the time I finished my shift at the cafe, I had blown through all of those calories. I got a plate at the deli (eggs, bacon, biscuit) washed down with a pint of orange juice, and that lasted me until lunchtime at 1:00. At which point I went back to the deli and got a single puff pastry filled with (really) spicy beef, because I didn't want a large lunch after two breakfasts. Around 3:00 I inhaled the muffin half that I'd brought to work, and now that I'm home, I'm eating a ginormous salad.

It is wonderful to feel awake and clear-headed at 7:15p.m. I hope that I can wind down enough to go to sleep in two or three or however many hours.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Oh hi! And Plan B.

I really am trying to blog every day, but we went to IKEA last night, and all three of us came home exhausted. Middlest bolted for the middle bedroom, I went into my room and closed the door, and Fourthborn communed with her laptop.

I slept until approximately my usual waking time and woke up feeling human again. Both kids slept until approximately noon. So I had a quiet morning of reading and snacking and knitting. The third section of the Geology Shawl is finished, and when I post this I will commence the fourth section.

I'd been looking forward to tonight's bluegrass festival ever since it popped up on my calendar, but as it rained off and on all morning, and while I ran to Costco and the grocery store early this afternoon, I decided it would be wiser to go to the doll meet with my kids. I took Blessing. Fourthborn took Xavin, and Middlest took Orion and Twinkle. We all had a good time visiting with other doll folk until Pie Five turned up the music around 9:00, when Middlest signed "finish" and we picked up our stuff and left.

I did more or less finish the cuff of the current baby sock while we were out. I will probably finish the sock while at the singles conference tomorrow, or at the adult session of stake conference tomorrow night.

If I were a sensible woman, I'd go to bed right now, but I just finished the last of my pizza, and it needs to settle if I don't want to wake up in two hours with a crabby stomach. So I'll play a hand or two of solitaire, noodle around on Facebook, and go knit until it's safe to be horizontal.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Feeling mischievous.

I discovered the perfect thing for one of the few people who actually gets a birthday gift from me these days. And that's all I'm going to say for now.

Had dinner with one of my visiting teach-ees tonight. Mediterranean, and I brought home hummus (which will go to work with me tomorrow) and the other half of my gyro. It was good to catch up with her. We are planning another dinner in January, after the holiday madness is over.

I am two and a half rows away from finishing this section of the Geology Shawl chart. (There are three rows of garter stitch after every chart. I'm not counting those.) If I'm lucky, I'll finish the half-row tonight. My body is screaming for sleep, and I intend to be in bed before this hour is up.

Work went well. I have four cases this week that are pending closed, and I did the initial tasks on all four over the past two days.

I washed a load of whites this morning and got them into the dryer before leaving for work. I just emptied the dryer and brought the basket inside. Pretty sure that nothing is getting folded before I go to bed tonight.

And that's all she wrote.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Blogging from my phone.

This was not a good night for knitting. I had to slip in extra markers and recount stitches at least three times before I could confirm that I was two rows ahead of where I thought I was in the pattern, mark those lines accordingly, and add one full row of new knitting. Most of my time at Knit Night was spent scowling at or mystified by the chart and the shawl. But finally I got them to agree, put my project in my bag (after triumphantly making the row done, and took my kids to two different game shops to pick up Pokemon cards. It's almost 11:30, I haven't taken my meds yet, and I am even more done than my knitting. Tomorrow's gonna be a long one.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Decidedly delighted digits.

So I've said that I don't knit while I'm up on the stand during sacrament meeting, because I don't want to be a distraction to the congregation. I sit quietly with my hands more or less in my lap, and I listen. Sometimes I pick my hands up slightly and massage one hand with the other, then switch off. But mostly I try to be invisible until it's time to stand up and conduct the hymns.

I noticed yesterday that after two months of a low-dose muscle relaxer at bedtime, there is a greater range of motion in my hands. I can't quite bend my wrists back at a right angle, but my hands go back farther than they did, and my fingers remain straight instead of curling stubbornly. And it doesn't hurt to do this.

In news of the crabby, when I walked out into the parking garage after work, I noticed a big Lexus SUV-type vehicle parked halfway in one space and halfway in the handicapped spot. I determined to take a picture of the license plate and pull into my office manager's parking space on the upper level and go show the picture to security. I got into the Tardis, opened up the camera on my cell phone, and backed out. When I was halfway to the other car, a woman came out of the elevator, around the back of her car, and got in. She did not appear to be handicapped (yes, I know that some handicaps are invisible, but she was walking briskly).

I was slightly tempted to park right behind her and take that picture anyway, but I figured she'd do something unpredictable, so I kept going. And fuming. She followed me up the ramp to wait for the light to change. I was tempted to sit there until it turned yellow, but there was a chance she'd pull around me and go up the downhill side. And maybe there'd be an accident.

So I behaved myself (at least outwardly) and started praying crabbily. First I prayed for her to be blessed for whatever it is that she was doing right (because obviously, it didn't include knowing how to park). And then I started praying for an attitude change, because nobody died and made me her judge. And then I prayed that she would never need to use a handicapped spot, but that if she ever did, she would remember the time that she hogged half of one and reinforced my prejudice against Lexii and their drivers. As soon as I got to a long light, I fired up my Pandora and switched it to my Mormon Tabernacle Choir station.

By the time I got home, I was singing along. And meaning it. I love how music can clear the cobwebs out of my mind and heart, giving my spirit a chance to get back in charge. I didn't want to bring any crabbiness home to Middlest, who is just coming out of an off again, on again week long migraine.

We had a successful shopping trip to Bed Bath and Beyond. Middlest has a manic cat timer, and I have an anxious (or possibly just cross-eyed) ladybug timer. Neither of them are magnetic, so eventually we will want to get some of that magnetized tape and make them so. I used the cat to time tonight's pizzas. Works like a champ.

I am now going to knit for half an hour or so and go to bed like a sensible adult. Stop laughing.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Good Sabbath!

It was! the music went well in sacrament meeting. The Young Women sang a beautiful song with words by my friend Sandy and melody by my friend Bruce. (They reprised it at Young Women in Excellence this evening.) I set the timer for a short nap, got up and added six rows to the shawl, got dressed again and went to YWiE. I'm home again, half an hour earlier than I'd planned, having disciplined myself to eat only one small brownie and a small piece of toffee.

I've looked at the spreadsheet for next payday, and I am going to have to move money around to make everything come out even, and it's all right. I have faith that there will be means to pay for the inevitable surprises.

Speaking of surprises, I signed up for next weekend's singles conference, the General Relief Society president is the keynote speaker, but I will be attending the adult session of stake conference. I've signed up only for the workshops during the day, because two of my friends are presenting, and the topics interest me. I don't plan to go back to that stake center after my evening meeting, even though my yenta's band will be providing some of the music (which means that it won't stink).

There is a tri-stake devotional Sunday morning before the regular session of stake conference, and Sister Burton will be speaking to us then, so I won't miss out on hearing her. I just won't be able to hear her twice. The last time we had a member of the General Relief Society presidency come to a singles conference, I had just been called as the ward relief society president, but it hadn't been announced, and I hadn't been sustained. There was a meeting of all the regional relief society presidents with that good sister early in the morning, which necessitated my telling the sisters that I'd been going to give a ride to, that they needed to find another way there, without telling them why.

Our good RS president sent around a sign-up sheet for drivers and riders for next Sunday. Parking will be at a premium, so they're encouraging us to carpool. The Tardis can only seat two comfortably, so I will be one of the riders.

Time for me to figure out what I'm going to wear to work tomorrow and hang it up with socks and accessories. Buying that little over-the-hanger organizer was an inspired decision. It has made getting ready for work faster and easier for the past three or four weeks that I've been using it. I'm also going to portion out some carrots for this week's lunches.

I'm off on Friday, so I'll be picking up Fourthborn after work on Thursday night to keep Middlest company. They will be picked up for a doll meet Friday night, and I will be going to a bluegrass festival. Sunday they will hang out here and play Pokemon or whatever, and I will be at the singles conference, then stake conference, then home for an early bedtime because we're meeting at the church at 6:00a.m. I will need to figure out snacks to keep my blood sugar stable all morning.

I'm going to spend some time visiting with my kid, and then I'm going to bed.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

In which your intrepid heroine kills her ladybug timer.

So my ladybug timer died. One too many high-dives off my end table. I bought it at Target about ten years ago while shopping with LittleBit, and I figured that I could find another one there, plus a different cute one for Middlest's use.

All they had were utilitarian timers: boring and/or ugly. So it looks like part of Family Home Evening on Monday will be spent at Bed, Bath and Beyond, which allegedly carries them, or shopping online.

On the other hand, we found something on sale that my kid needed, and those sharp eyes spotted the "clearance" sticker on a pint of Ben and Jerry Raspberry Fudge Chunk Greek yogurt for me. So the trip was not a waste of time and gas.

I used the new, on-sale crockpot today, to make a pot of lentils. I'd sauteed a bag of frozen chopped bell peppers and onions in the lemon-infused olive oil from Trader Joe's, then divvied that up into small containers to take in my lunch to jazz up a cup of mac and cheese. The rest went into the crockpot, then half of a pint jar of lentils inherited from my mother-in-love, a can of Costco chicken chunks with broth, and the broth leftover from last night's ravioli, which brought everything up to the 3/4 mark. This crockpot is either plugged-in or off. No messing with Mr. In-Between. And the vessel and lid are both microwave-safe. I got enough to fill a half pint jar to take to work next week, and two nicely filled latte cups. And it was yummy. We will definitely be doing this again.

Middlest and I talked about a rice cooker. I love rice, but I don't eat much of it anymore because I know that white rice is one of the worst things for a diabetic. I don't have the patience to cook brown rice properly, but Middlest has been eating a lot of rice for the past ten years and misses it. So I think it makes sense to get either a stand-alone rice cooker or a microwave version. That way Middlest can have rice as often as the mood strikes, and I can have it occasionally, and I stay healthy, and Middlest has wholesome comfort food.

In knitting news, I completed the second pattern in the Geology Shawl and the first row in the third pattern. We are now going to carefully take my bed apart, because of an incident in which a generous handful of chocolate covered ginger ended up leaping out of its container onto the floor, including between the back of my mattress and the headboard. Plus, I think that Beloved's baseball made a similar leap a week or so ago, because I can't find it anywhere in the perimeter of that side of the room. And occasionally I like to fall asleep holding it in my hand as a tangible reminder of the dear man I've married. (Several weeks ago I'd fallen asleep with it lying nearby on the fallow side of the bed and awoke to find it cupped gently in my left hand.)

K, if you're still reading the blog, every so often I pick up that lovely bell you sent at his passing and give it a good shake, and smile. Thank you again.

It's been a slightly weird day but a mostly restful one. I awoke a little after my weekday time, cut a slice of the pumpkin bread and sorted out my vitamins, poured a mug of buttermilk, and settled onto my bed for a leisurely breakfast. I had washed my hands and was ready to commence knitting when I looked at the notifications on my phone and realized that I was 45 minutes late to help clean the chapel.

You have never seen a middle-aged woman get dressed quite so quickly. I did arrive in time to help with a few last bits, so I feel properly repentant. I spent the rest of the morning re-reading the lessons for Sunday School and Relief Society, alternating with knitting, frequent healthy snacks, and intermittent drowsiness. Mid-afternoon, Middlest awoke from a Benadryl-fueled nap, and we visited for a few minutes before I decided to stop fighting the drowsiness and take a nap.

When I woke up, the soup was nearly ready, and I set the timer for half an hour, and when I got up to do something (I don't remember what) the pillows shifted and knocked the ladybug timer to its doom.

It's almost time to take my meds and think about sleeping again, but I'll sleep better knowing that there are no chocolate covered tempting bits under my bed to invite the attention of bugs.

Sleep well, y'all, and have a blessed Sabbath.

Friday, October 07, 2016

I'm in a holiday mood!

I took an orange artificial pumpkin to work today, along with my shoebox of Halloween things, and I put them up on top of the cabinets in my cubicle. (I used to have a lot more Halloween stuff, but I gave it away when I was living in Fort Worth, because the duplex was so small.)

Had a calm, productive day at work and came home by way of Trader Joe's and Braum's. Ginger cookies, chocolate covered ginger, pumpkin bread mix, those tiny pumpkin cookies I brought home a couple of weeks ago, and some pumpkin spice salted caramels (!). The pumpkin bread is almost ready to come out of the oven. Breakfast tomorrow will be pumpkin bread with cream cheese. I threw in half a cup each of craisins and freshly chopped pecans, as the box suggested, but am passing on the powdered sugar glaze. (As a celebrity who is famous mostly for being famous once said, you don't slap a bumper sticker on a Bentley.)

We are also stocked up on milk, buttermilk, and orange juice for the weekend. My goal is to stay in the house (preferably in my pajamas) until it's time to get ready for church on Sunday morning.

I've worked about half of the second pattern section on the Geology Shawl. As soon as the pumpkin bread is out of the oven and I've washed my hands, I'm going to curl up either in my wing chair or on my bed and knit until I can't keep my eyes open any longer.

For dinner we had the tiny ravioli from Trader Joe's, simmered in chicken stock, with half of the chopped onion I'd been sweating added to the cooked pasta (the other half is helping to wilt a batch of spinach) and a little over half a jar of very simple tomato sauce heated and stirred in. I portioned out one day's lunch, and we inhaled the rest of it.

The pumpkin bread is cooling on top of the stove. A ridiculous amount of objects are soaking in the sink, because the dishwasher is running. The spinach is more or less refusing to wilt, so I think I will pop it into a large glass bowl and into the cooling oven and leave it there awhile.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

My Christmas prezzie is here!

Every year we get to browse through a catalogue and choose our own Christmas gift from the corporation. (There are other catalogues for "milestone anniversaries": one year, five year, ten years, fifteen years, etc. Which is why I own an expensive leather bag that still looks good after two years of being overstuffed with knitting.) This year I chose a Cuisinart Mini-Prep Processor. It was waiting on the chair by the front door when I got home tonight, which means that I can delete an email from my inbox when I get to work tomorrow.

I've already taken it out of the box, because the packing slip said to examine it for damage within 24 hours. And I've completed the warranty registration. I took the cute little rascal apart, put it back together, and ran it (empty) on both speeds. It is now tucked away in a cupboard, but if the weather cools off this weekend like they're teasing, I might use it to slice a mess of onions for some French onion soup. When I bought groceries last weekend, I found a small black Crock-Pot on sale for $10. It's still in its box in the living room.

I do love kitchen toys. Yes, I know I only cook when the mood hits me, but when it strikes I want to have the right tools for the job, and I had been thinking of spending my hard-earned money on a new food processor (the other one did not survive the move from Fort Worth). Now I don't have to.

In knitting news, I've completed the first section of the Geology Shawl, and I'm not getting anything like gauge. I'm using the recommended size 6 needle, because I want an airy fabric. The yarn is a merino/nylon/cashmere blend, a little limp compared to the Jitterbug and Claudia and Koigu that I've been churning through to make baby socks, so I'm pretty sure that I would run out of yarn before getting to the last section. And the lighter shade of blue is not a color that exists in my closet, although it's quite lovely, so alternating sections of light and dark will be harmonious and not outshout the patterns. Of which there are a plethora.

I've listened to my Lindsey Stirling station on Pandora the past two nights. Their computer thinks that bossa nova goes nicely with dubstep violin. And I learned the name of a song I've heard most of my life (Manha de Carnaval). Every so often they'll throw in some Celtic fiddle tune, and then I have to back off the gas pedal.

Today went well at work. I'm going to celebrate with some knitting. Night, y'all.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

When all else fails, communicate.

So, I've been stewing for awhile. Today while I was filing an answer for SemperFi, he came and asked me a question, then as he left my desk remarked, "Don't forget to file the [thing]."

Really? I finished filing the answer, faxed the discovery to opposing counsel, worked on another task or five, then found a moment when he was off the phone and went in to talk to him.

Me: Are you unhappy with my work?

Him: (big saucer eyes) No! I'm very happy with your work!

Me: It was a little embarrassing when you told me not to forget to file the [thing] where anybody could hear you.

Him: I wasn't trying to embarrass you. I was trying to be helpful. You didn't file it yesterday, and I wanted to make sure you filed it today, so I put a sticky-note on it.

Then he shared with me what the next three weeks of his life are going to be like: an endless round of mediations and depositions, some of the latter out of town, and other tasks that fall under his purview because he's so darn good at what he does. [I have minimal sympathy regarding the mediations and depositions, because he schedules his own, but I do have sympathy for how the other tasks only add to the stress.]

He listened to me, really listened, so it was easy to ask if there was anything I could do to lighten the load, and there's not. Then he said, "You have a lot to do, and you do it well, and if I get up in your [stuff], just tell me to get out of your [stuff]." He acknowledged that he's guilty of micro-managing, and I agreed that there was a lot more of it recently, but now I know why. There are five people in various functions who are out of the office indefinitely due to health reasons or training, which adds significantly to the load the rest of us are carrying.

I resumed my tasks with a much lighter heart (and Middlest could see the difference when I walked in the door tonight). Since I'm not willing to say [stuff] unless someone throws up on me accidentally, I came up with a solution. Pulled up a Word document and started typing and tweaking. When I was done, I printed it off and ran it around the corner to our paralegal. She cracked up. So I took it into his office and said, "Wanna have a little laugh?" He answered that he would like to hear something funny. I showed him the printout, in 120pt type with a 150pt emoji:

You're doing it again. :(

He guffawed, said it was great, and that when necessary, I'm to pull it out of my drawer and wave it at him. Mission accomplished.

Tuesday, October 04, 2016


In happy news, Middlest has had two good days in a row. We are both delighted.

There were enough seats together for Knit Night. The noise level was lower than usual.

I cast on the Geology Shawl by Verybusymonkey. Other than the lamination starting to wear on my Knit Picks modular needles, I'm pleased. I have another pair of tips the same size and will transfer the stitches before crashing.

I woke up with aching hips and knees. So that sort of set the tenor for the day. SemperFi has been stressed and micro-manage-y (which he usually isn't), and by the time I went downstairs to have lunch with Middlest I was wound tighter than a tick. I need to go in his office, close the door, and have a talk, but workflow does not permit it at the moment. I've had an extra attorney for three days.

I needed both my anti-anxiety meds and my muscle relaxer at lunchtime, nine hours ahead of schedule. But as Middlest pointed out, the reason I take them at bedtime is so I don't face plant into my keyboard or drive drugged.

Lunch with Middlest helped. By the time I logged off at 5:00, I wasn't sure if I would make it to the loo on time, but I did.

On the way home tonight, Middlest observed that I'd been quietly agitated all day. Would it help to talk? After establishing that Middlest was not the problem, I was able to discuss my concerns with another loving, sensible adult. And I felt better.

But I'm feeling rumblies in my tumblies again, so over and out.

Monday, October 03, 2016


I know quite a bit about being single. Married at 21; divorced at 23. Married to the children's father at 25; divorced at 45. Married to Beloved at 59; widowed at 60. Thus far, 40+ years of being single, with varying degrees of happiness about it.

But that's not the kind of single that I'm thinking about. When I was listening to 3 Nephi 13:22 this morning, the word jumped out and bit me. While I was stuck at a long stoplight, I paused the narrative and punched the footnote. Doctrine & Covenants 88:67, Topical Guide: Dedication. (See also Commitment; Consecrate; Diligence; Obedience; Steadfastness. Each with its own hyperlink.)

Why do I get the feeling that if I followed every one of those leads it would take me weeks and weeks and weeks?

Turn signal on now for a change of topic: when I got home tonight, I made myself a ham and cheese sandwich. [Poof! You're a ham and cheese sandwich! Never mind. Too hard to type without fingers and thumbs.] And I sat down at the computer, intending to scan the rest of the piles and make an early night of it, after watching one of the Conference talks that I missed on Saturday afternoon.

Instead, I noodled around on Facebook and Bloglovin' and Pinterest while whittling down the "social" and "promotions" folders in my gmail. Saw a couple of neat ideas for finishing the kitchen and saved them to Pinterest. Caught up on the blogs that I follow. Finally settled down and got rid of several piles and maybe half the volume of paper that remains to be scanned.

Middlest spent the day chez Squishy and just got home. Did have enough spoons to help me decant the shredder into the bag and wrestle the bag closed so it can go out on the curb tomorrow.

I also had high hopes for winding yarn and starting a shawl from the yarn my sister gave me last Christmas. But it's still sitting here on my computer desk, where I can pet it as the mood strikes. What I am going to do is post this, shut down all my windows, play one hand of solitaire, take my meds, move the boxes of sweaters off my bed so there's room for me, and declare this day finished.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Happy and knackered.

Yes, it's possible to be both. The sessions of General Conference today were wonderful. Between them I started sorting and scanning paperwork that has piled up for the past couple of months. I'm not done, but I'm a whole lot closer.  I also caught up my spreadsheets, thus reinforcing the illusion that I am at least somewhat in control of my life. (Go ahead and chuckle; I'm laughing, too.)

I finished the baby sock and gave the rest of the yarn to Middlest, because I am flat tired of it.

I have neat(ish) stacks of paper on the living room floor, to encourage me to finish this, because they make me twitch ever so slightly.

The new leggings fit like a dream, and are only for wearing at home.

I still haven't found my darker turquoise dressy T-shirt.

But I ran the dishwasher. And I didn't eat all of the ginger cookies.

I'm going to gather up the last pile for the shredder for today, turn off the lights out here, take my meds, and crash.

You should go find the new Piano Guys video on YouTube. Thanks, Tan!

Saturday, October 01, 2016

General thoughts about General Conference

We caught all of this morning's session, and the last fifteen minutes of the afternoon session because we went to visit our friend who lost her dad. It was one of those "the Sabbath is made for man, not man for the Sabbath" moments, in which I felt I would be a better Christian by loving on my friend than by staying home to listen to talks that told me to go love on my friend. Besides which, the afternoon session already available online, so I can catch up before tomorrow morning's broadcast.

Tonight, I took advantage of the fact that the Priesthood session is now broadcast to the general membership, instead of being something the brethren went to the stake centers to listen to, as it has been until very recently. I think April conference was the first time, but it may have been a year ago. Old habits die hard, and I know that last time I wasn't particularly interested in listening to the Priesthood session when I knew I could read the talks when they were printed in May's copy of the Ensign.

This time I had the impression that by not taking advantage of the opportunity, I would be putting myself in the same stinky boots as those who say, "A Bible, a Bible, we have already got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible." So I listened, and Middlest listened until the evening meds threatened a TKO (technical knock-out, for those of you who did not grow up watching prize fights with your father).

I woke up a little past 5:00 this morning, ate a very light breakfast and took my vitamins, and went back to bed, waking up at 10:00, which gave me time to put an Alsatian onion tart from Trader Joe's into the oven and take it out before the morning session began. After that session, I sluiced off in the shower, and we hopped into the Tardis to meet Firstborn and Fourthborn at the quilt shop to pick up the first blocks in the current series. From there to a Hallmark shop to buy a condolence card, then over to our friend's.

It's been a long, full, rich day, and I feel wonderfully blessed. I not only finished the cuff on the second fourth pink baby sock but got the heel flap worked as well. After the Priesthood session I hopped into the Tardis again and made a run for bottled water (because Garland water is vile to drink) and another bottle of distilled water for my CPAP, and a few other things. I am sleepy, and I am going to bed.