About Me

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

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Budgets and blessings

Around the time I wake up tomorrow, my bonus will hit my checking account.  I have had all kinds of wild and crazy fantasies about what to do with the surplus. I did splurge on Tuesday night after I got home from Knit Night, and I ordered a bunch of light-toned laceweight from WEBS. They kept upping the discount, so I kept piling balls and skeins into my basket. I ended up with a 20% discount on most of it, and one deeply discounted discontinued color, and free shipping. In theory, that box will arrive at the office tomorrow.

I plugged numbers into my balance sheet and was pleasantly surprised. My 401K did amazingly well last month, my TI stock is up, and the balances on my mortgage and line of credit are dropping steadily. I'm still waiting to take bids on redoing the master bathroom. I think the first one will happen between Conference sessions on Saturday. And while I would love to dash into the building surplus store after work tomorrow and pick up one or both of the vessel sinks, I've decided (for now) that I will be happier if I repay what I've taken from one savings account or another since the first of the year. The money will be there if and when I need it.

Who is this grownup, and what has she done with Ms. Ravelled?

I have a credit card now, with a modest credit limit, for which I am thankful. I've decided that the sensible way to use it is to put a matching amount into my savings account anytime I use the card. That way I do not overspend, and when the statement arrives it's a simple matter to transfer the funds. I stay out of trouble, I have a credit card for when I travel and need to rent a car, I continue to build my credit score, and a percentage of what I charge is applied to my mortgage. No late fees, no interest charges. The crowd goes wild! (Well except for the crowd at the bank that issued my card.)

I was pleased to see from the credit report the bank ran before issuing said card, that my credit score is up 20 points from when I refinanced the house in late 2013. This will only get better as the line of credit is paid down (and possibly paid off by the end of the year) and the mortgage balance drops.

Work is going well. I did not have to send out a will type for food memo to the other legal secretaries, and we're going to be short-handed enough tomorrow (my friends off spending their bonuses) that I may pick up another attorney or two. It feels really good to be on top of my To Do's, the incoming mail, the outgoing mail, the cases that are ready to be closed, and my inbox. I couldn't do this without the prayers that get answered daily.

Have you seen the meme on Facebook of the Savior sitting next to a little boy (I think it's a Greg Olson print), with the caption, "So, what can I help you with today?" I'm grateful for the days when my socks match, and my shirt is on right side out, and I don't spill lunch on my shirt, and work flows smoothly, and I get to laugh with my coworkers. I'm grateful for time with my kids, and time to myself, and those luscious moments of flow when the project du jour or du soir is behaving nicely.

I get a lot done, most days, and I don't kid myself that it's all me.

Time to take my meds, stitch for fifteen minutes just to keep the momentum going, and call it a night.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

A more Easter-ish Easter

I attended church sporadically after we moved to Boise. In Wilder, we had lived next door to an American Baptist church, and I walked over every Sunday with a nickel knotted into the corner of my handkerchief as an offering when they passed the plate. My mother had grown up around Southern Baptists and found many of their teachings too restrictive of human agency, and there were no American Baptist congregations in Boise, so she kept looking.

For a few weeks after our move, I attended a Methodist congregation that met in the chapel of a mausoleum several miles away. The adults were kind, and several of the children were little snots who went to my grade school. In less than a month, I had had enough, and I told my parents that I no longer wanted to attend.

I remained unchurched until high school, when I began to attend a Friends church to which one of my girlfriends belonged. It was not due to any great religious feeling on my part. I had a crush on one of the guys (who, this being high school, had a crush on a different friend). Again, the adults were kind and welcoming, the kids my age significantly more friendly than the ones at the prior church, but I remained unconverted. I retained enough affection for that congregation that I married FirstHubby from that church, much good it did us.

The first Christmas and Easter after my conversion and baptism were revelatory. Christmas had always been as much about the music as about the presents, so being in a place where we sang Christmas carols all month long felt like my own little piece of Heaven right here on earth. But Easter? Easter was amazing. It had always been about a new dress and hat (as long as I was attending church someplace) and eggs and chocolate. Very much the secular trappings, with zero attention to the reason why we might be celebrating. (I do not blame my parents for this in the slightest. They were two of the best, and quietest, Christians I have ever known. I was just your basic self-centered child, and I remained in that phase well into nominal adulthood.)

I was baptized in August of 1975, and I began taking Institute classes along with my college classes when school resumed in September. I was hungry for gospel knowledge, and I devoured everything I could get my hands on. So I was definitely better prepared for Christ-centered holy days than at any previous point in my life.

I’ve been in the Church for forty years now, and some Easters have been more spiritual than others. We are blessed to focus on Christ and the Atonement every Sunday: in the sacrament prayers, in the music and the talks, in the Sunday School and Relief Society or Priesthood manuals. Anyone who thinks that we LDS are not Christian, is clearly not paying attention. Still, there have been (too many) years when Easter for me was just another lovely Sabbath, with the bonus of Easter hymns.

I am now blessedly past the years when I had to divide up the color-coded M&Ms to make sure that nobody got one more than a sibling. I’m not one of those grandmothers who goes bonkers creating Easter baskets for the grandchildren. I have the freedom to study as much, or as little, as I choose without interruption.

But I had a prompting either late last year or at the very beginning of this one, that I needed to ramp up my scripture study and deepen my discipleship, and so (me being me) I made a spreadsheet, laying out the lessons for Sunday School and Relief Society. As I’ve completed the lesson for each week, I’ve marked them off by color code. I just finished reading some of the background material I found on Book of Mormon Central (an e-book by the Neal A. Maxwell Institute of Religious Studies on the culture and history of the Holy Land at the time that Lehi and his family left for their own promised land). I’m enjoying the KnowWhy tidbits, although I am seriously behind on those, as the one which led to my reading the lengthy e-book was a link from KnowWhy #6 or thereabouts, and when I checked the other night, we were up to #60.

For years, I’ve been cycling through an audible version of the Book of Mormon on my morning commute. A month or so ago, I decided to listen to the parts that would be the subject of the following Sunday’s lesson in Sunday School, and to listen over and over as often as I could before it was time to move on to the next lesson. It’s weird, but it’s working. I’m definitely being obedient in terms of class preparation, and I’m getting more insights as to personal application. It’s even begun to influence my prayers, which cannot help but be a good thing.

I’ve done the same with the last two lessons for the fourth Sunday in Relief Society, when we study and discuss a talk from General Conference.

I will also say that the veil is significantly thinner since Beloved passed on, and since I’ve resumed family history research. It’s easier to feel the Spirit, and the spirits of my loved ones. And to want to dig deeper into the scriptures or my study materials. I am grateful for a heightened appreciation for, and understanding of, the Atonement: how it’s not just for the big stuff like my personal sins, or the sins which might be committed against me and mine, but also for the spiritual equivalent of pebbles in my shoe: the recurring respiratory nonsense; the financial surprises; the bruise on my arm which is now a ghastly yellow from the second failed IV attempt two weeks ago; the slow-to-heal abrasion from my mammogram last month; the need to take not one, but two naps this weekend; the necessity for a second prescription which I am likely to be taking for the rest of my mortal life; my frustration at having more to do in a given amount of time than is possible for any mortal to accomplish without Hermione’s time turner.

You know: just life. The Atonement covers it all. I am so thankful for His willingness to be a part of the details of my messy human life. And that He shares my joy when something goes right and I’m smart enough to recognize it, as well as being there for me when things go mildly or excruciatingly wrong.

He lives, and while He lives, I’ll sing. (Hymns No. 136)

Saturday, March 26, 2016

It's been a good, weird day.

Woke up to daylight, feeling rested. Ate a leisurely breakfast, then put on my grownup clothes and drove down to the building surplus store for a scouting mission.

I found three gorgeous vessel sinks, and if they are still there next weekend, I will mostly likely buy two of them. I'll stick one in my studio until there is time and budget to redo the guest loo. Right now, having two functional bathrooms is a higher priority than having both of them spiffed up. And the sink in the master bath definitely needs replacing. I took lots of pictures, and the crowd went wild on Facebook.

Came home and read for a few hours, then took a nap that woke me just as the Women's Broadcast was beginning.  I missed most of the first video, but I can catch that later online. Right now I'm just so thankful for a charged-up phone and the BYU TV app.

Made a 9:30 Bueno run and tanked the Tardis while I was at it. In my pajamas (with my bra on underneath). I'm practicing to be an eccentric old lady. How'm I doing?

At this point I am spiritually and physically fed, and I've yet to touch The Albatross, although I have researched whether Bueno is a publicly held company (it's not), and what is available to restrain cargo in the back of the Tardis.

One of the things that happened today, is that I stopped at my favorite thrift store and dropped off the standing drafting table that I traded with J after that estate sale that Fourthborn and I hit last year. The pieces have been riding around in the back of the Tardis for months. The bolts and their nuts have been rolling around on the floorboard on the passenger side. While I was rooting around, I found one of the missing 4" DP needles and diligently scrounged for the others, but I think I may have lost both of them in Lorelai, in which case they are sitting in a cube in a landfill, or surprising somebody in a junkyard.

This is the part where I step away from the computer, wash the taco dust off my hands, and give The Albatross an hour of my time, with the timer set so I don't inadvertently wander into the Sabbath. And then I will read (again) until my body says we're tired.

Oh, and I should take my medicine. Like, 45 minutes ago.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Good news, bad news, progress, and a belly laugh.

The good news is that in the next day or so I will get a nice fat reimbursement from my health care savings account. The bad news is that I have exhausted my allotment for the year, and it's not even the end of March! The worse news is that I found out, after the fact, that my HMO pays for a colonoscopy only every tenth year. So it paid for part of last week's procedure, but I will apparently be writing a check to my internist.  And another one in three years, when I go back for a recheck, since they took out five polyps.

On the other hand, it's only money, and I can always earn more of it. This is going to affect my calculations for what I will need to retire in semi-comfort, and when.

Possible good news is that I will join the Medicare crowd next year, and that may give me a few more options. Not holding my breath, but maybe it will help.

In knitting news, I am finally making progress on the sweater for Middlest's doll. I need more colors of yarn, and I just spent a happy quarter of an hour looking at Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace online. It's almost exactly the same weight as the Knit Picks Shadow that I love so much: 429 yards per 50g ball, as opposed to 440 yards per 50g hank.

And I'm making good progress on The Albatross. I look forward to working on it tomorrow, but tonight I'm just going to put everything away, take my meds, and call it a day. Work wore me out, because nearly everything was closed for Good Friday, and we weren't, and I ran out of stuff to do at a quarter to four.

The belly laugh comes from the response to my note to that General Authority's father, with whom I had worked before I married and started a family. He stated very sweetly that no, he did not remember me after 40 years, but was glad that I am still firmly in the Church. Just a very nice note from a very nice man. And my primary purpose had been to thank him for his good example.

Shutting down the popcorn stand and hoping that my cogitation follows in quick succession. I am tired of braining and adulting.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Slipped my leash again.

Took an hour of personal time and deposited my escrow refund, my TI dividend check, and two rolls of pennies to my mad-money bank. Tanked the Tardis. Got an ice cream cone, because Braum's was half a block away. Picked up my second month's prescription for Pravastatin.

Came home and updated my spreadsheets, scanned more paper work, and shredded documents that I no longer needed.

I've finished reading the e-book published by the Neal A. Maxwell Institute regarding Father Lehi's world before he and his family left for their promised land. It was one of the first items I latched onto from Book of Mormon Central. I should probably try to catch up on the KnoWhy's and on research related to Jacob's prophecies.

I'm pleased with how my spreadsheet is keeping my on track in my daily scripture study and in preparing for Sunday School and Relief Society.

I've read until my eyes are tired, so I am going to step away from the computer after downloading the information I will need to vote my proxy for my TI shares. Look at me being a stakeholder in corporate America!

Mostly, I just want some non-argumentative knitting. We'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Better

Stayed productively busy at the office today. Worked a little on my self-evaluation for my mid-year performance review, just before quitting time.

When my Waze updated recently, I lost the commands/directions in Morgan Freeman's voice. (When he was telling my which way to turn, and when, it was definitely more in the nature of commands. One night a couple of weeks ago, he told me to take a particular exit, and I didn't, and I got stuck in traffic for at least half an hour.) So I've reverted to Elvis voice, and I think they've tweaked his recordings as well. I don't remember being called "baby mama" in his prior incarnation.

I haven't been anybody's baby mama in over 25 years, so that made me giggle. When he told me to take the same exit that Morgan had told me to use, I bypassed a huge traffic jam. I have no idea how much time I saved by doing so, but I at least had the sensation of forward progress, which was a definite plus.

Picked up Fourthborn, we grabbed Bueno, and we were almost the only members of the knitting group tonight. Another came, with her truly darling little girl, and hung out for about half an hour, and we left shortly after they did.

I've updated my spreadsheet with my bonus amount, and I've downloaded three bank statements, and I am officially done for the day.

I did get some knitting in.  Fifty-two stitches cast onto 0000 4" DPs, and six rounds of garter stitch worked, to make what I hope will be a successful cuff to a successful sleeve for Middlest's doll Avery. I will attempt some miniature Fair Isle tomorrow, but not tonight. Tonight my eyes are heavy and my hands are weak, I can't seem to stand on my own two feet, who'd a-thought that I'd a-have such luck? I'm too pooped to be all shook up.

Uh-huh uh-huh, uh-huh uh-huh, Oh yeah.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Definitely a Monday.

I left the house significantly earlier than I sometimes do, and without my knitting. Got maybe a mile from home to discover that the crossbars were down on one of the roads I take. Sat there for several minutes until enough people moved out of the backup that I could turn right into a parking lot and make my way to another southbound street.

Same problem.

So I whipped around and took what we laughingly call Central Expressway, which this morning lived up to its name. I made it to my desk with a minute to spare.

I didn't have quite enough work to keep busy (but it was nice taking care of a couple of little things that had been languishing). Sent out a "will type for food" email and got a response from the office manager, who was working remotely. She had a nice stack of filing. One of the authorized people let me into her office, and I knocked that out before lunch.

I got all of my mail read and worked. I closed a case. I also read the Harlot, and Mason Dixon, and Wendy Knits.

I've been significantly more fruitful since coming home. Stopped at the grocery store for a bit of produce, baked three of the tiny mushroom turnovers from Trader Joe's and enjoyed them with a huge salad. When that was done, I cooked up a salmon burger and squeezed half of a small lemon all over it. So. Good.

I knew I needed the protein, because as soon as I'd logged off my computer at work, my stomach started hollering for another steak like the one I enjoyed on Saturday. My debit card thought that was pretty funny. I have sufficient funds to see me through until next payday, but I can't justify using my disposable income for a sit down dinner at a real restaurant.

I've started a load of darks, and eaten a good dinner, and read about half of the March issue of the Ensign, and written my visiting teaching letter, and read an article on lds.org. I am now going to put that load into the dryer, slice some strawberries into a bowl with some Fage and Nutella, and bliss out.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Have been in a funny mood today.

This picture was waiting for me on Facebook when I woke up:



It was taken at my penultimate singles conference, five years ago today. That weekend was a watershed for me. The workshops were good. The speakers were good. The food was good, and at the conclusion of Sunday night's fireside, I had a meltdown. In that linked blog post, I blamed it on the closing hymn, one of my favorites, which nevertheless consistently brings me to tears. Looking back five years later, I'm pretty sure that the deepest reason for my tears was not the hymn, but the realization that I had fallen for Beloved (at the time I was still calling him the new guy, because I didn't know if he was going to get weird on me and/or go away).

Remember, by this time I had already dealt with the Near Date Experience, the Near Fiance Experience, and Br. Abacus a/k/a He Who Shall Not Be Named. I still believed the revelation which Heavenly Father had given to Secondborn when she was sixteen, that He had someone very special picked out for me, and she was not to worry. But I wasn't sure it was going to happen in my lifetime. In the local singles pool, the odds weren't good, and some of the goods were decidedly odd.

I suppose it is fitting that today I had lunch with several of the local LDS Widows and Widowers, one of them my friend who is five years ahead of me in Widow 101, and two of them friends from the singles program (he a widower like Beloved) who married shortly before Beloved passed.

It was good to share stories about him, to hear about the good things he had done for them, and to keep his memory alive outside of the family. It was good to spend time with people who get it, as only people who have lost a spouse get it, and to pick one another's brains, and to laugh together as well as quietly wipe our eyes. It's a club that nobody wants to join, but ah! there are such fine people in it.

Changing the subject slightly, when I was fetching Fourthborn after work, one of the songs on my Pandora station was an Allan Jackson standard that reminds me of my father, even though Dad was not southern. It brings me to tears, frequently a ten-second bout of ugly-cry that is gone as quickly as it comes. And last night I found myself stifling the tears, maybe so as not to embarrass my child. And noticing a few minutes later that my neck and shoulders were stiff as a board. I laughed at myself during my bedtime prayers, when I realized that I had tried to hide my feelings from my child the empath.

Today I brought that up. Had she felt my tears when I got quiet during that song? Yes, she had. I apologized. Next time I'll just let 'er rip. This is the song.



I've had a good cry, the one I should have had last night, and all is well.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Good news ~ mostly ~ and a mystery

Got the report back on my mammogram. The girls have a clean bill of health for another year. So that's one thing taken care of.

Got an email from the mortgage company: too much money in the escrow account (again) this year, so they're mailing me a refund check, and about two and a half times the size of last year's. Presumably they will adjust the monthly cha-ching to bring the numbers into better alignment.

I was part of two presentations at work today, and both of them went well. The first involved our annual Code of Conduct training. I read a paragraph and told everybody not to rob banks or dig a pit for their neighbor. The second involved sharing an application from Who Moved My Cheese? My compatriot addressed workplace issues. I talked about my life experiences. I'll attempt to reconstruct that here.

When I was a little girl, all I wanted was to be a wife and a mother. I did reasonably well in school, went off to college and wasted a year of my life, married and divorced, went back to school while married to FirstHubby and went from academic probation to Dean's List in one semester, joined the Church, married the children's father, had five years of happiness and fifteen years of struggle, got myself free from that, was happily single for fourteen years, met Beloved, waited for him to turn weird but he didn't, got his cancer diagnosis after we had dated about a year, looked up and said, "You send me this really great guy, and he's got a death sentence?" He was brave enough to marry me, and we had a great year.

I started out very much like Hem (one of the four characters in the book). I wanted my marriage and my 2.5 kids [affectionate laughter from my coworkers] and the white picket fence [sketched a box with my hands]. And what I got was change. Lots and lots and lots of change. And I've learned to be a lot more like Sniff and Scurry.

Pretty sure that everybody in this room has some sort of challenge or struggle right now, because nobody's life is perfect. I don't remember the rest of my comments clearly, because I switched into church-talk mode, and I was speaking by the Spirit, and when that happens I tend not to remember the actual words that come out of my mouth. But I had the room spellbound for two or three minutes, and my compatriot came to my desk after the meeting was over and said that it had been absolutely perfect.

Which was about the only thing that was, at work today. It wasn't a bad day, but I'm still a little slow from Monday's procedure. (That's my story, anyway.) I slept better last night than Monday night, which was a plus. And I got most of my To-Do's done and Monday's and Tuesday's mail read and worked. But SemperFi seemed a little impatient with me, and I may have barked at him. Just a little don't mess with me warning growl.

I did not plan my wardrobe well this week. I have two green shirts, and I wore one yesterday and the other one today. Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day. I don't want to wear Monday's shirt again. I definitely don't want to recycle today's shirt. So I went to CJ Banks and Lane Bryant and Torrid (even though I'm more Tepid) in hope of finding a new green shirt. There was one at CJ Banks, but I didn't care for the fit. So I guess it's green earrings and a green necklace tomorrow.

I hit In N Out on the way home and have inhaled my cheeseburger. Think I will have a slice of pie, then wash my hands and work on The Albatross.

I've lost another 4" DP in the car. I had my knitting pinched in my right hand, waiting for a stoplight, and one needle got loose from the live stitches and disappeared into the black hole which ate a 4" 0000 needle a couple of months ago. I went through all kinds of gymnastics once I got home, feeling around under the seats, lifting up the floor mats, etc. When I got inside, I upended my purse on my bed, because my purse had been right under my knitting. Thankfully, I have a new package of DP's in this size (one of the needles I'm using came from it), so it will be a simple matter to finish the sock.

Needless to say, I will not be risking my Blackthorn needles by knitting in the car with them. Oye to the veh!

Monday, March 14, 2016

You say prep like it's a good thing.

In this case, you might be right. I've begun this post on Sunday evening, two hours into the process of getting ready for my colonoscopy. I've had a priesthood blessing. I've discussed my concerns with my home teacher and visiting teacher couple. I've discovered that I can drink apple juice (which I actually had, tucked away safely in a drawer, but had forgotten about) as well as chicken broth, while allowing the medicine do its thing, and I am feeling significantly less fragile and hangry than I did when I came home from church.

This cleansing solution is much easier to drink, and much easier to endure, than drinking half a gallon to a gallon of Go-Lightly. (To which Holly would never have give her stamp of approval.)

Church was interesting. The veil was very thin, and my emotions were right on the surface. So I cried when the guys from the ward choir sang "Ye Elders of Israel" as an intermediate hymn. And I choked up while pinch-hitting as chorister in Relief Society, for the closing song, "Praise to the Man." The melody is not exactly identical to "Scotland the Brave," but it's close enough that it got to me.

***

Six and a half hours of letting nature and medicine take its course, and I was more than ready for bed. So I prayed to sleep through the night, and that prayer was answered, and I feel remarkably well ~ and ready ~ this morning. Just waiting for my ride to show up. I have my driver's license, my insurance card, my knitting, and my phone. I'll endeavor to stay off Facebook until I've slept off the last of the anesthesia

***

It went well. He took out five polyps, all of which appeared benign. And I go back in three years. He's a young dude, so it looks as if he might last until I no longer need to assume the position.

In knitting news, I am nearly done with the gusset decreases on green sock #2. I've put in a good chunk of time on The Albatross today, and I'll get back to work on that when I have finished my (second) slice of pie for Pi Day.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

Christmas presents/presence of mind/maintenance issues



I've been meaning to share since early December. These are what we gave SemperFi for Christmas, because he so thoroughly loathes technology. If there is barn language (the male equivalent of childbirth words) coming from his office, it's because something has gone amiss with his laptop.

You can just see a green holiday M&M peeking out between the folds of tissue paper in the left cup. He got a good laugh out of our creativity, but he did attempt to re-gift the M&M's. Relentlessly healthy dude, is our SemperFi.

Speaking of health, a week ago yesterday, it was time for the annual girl-smashing. New facility, because the old one no longer takes my insurance. When I got ready for bed last Saturday night, I had pain in the crease underneath the right one. I lifted her up, and there was an angry red racing stripe running across almost the entire width of the crease. A smaller one under the left side. So I dug out the Desinex powder and dusted both of them. The left one was nearly healed when I woke up before church. The right one was slightly improved. I dosed them again and couldn't wait to take off my bra after church. I wore my sports bra over to Mel and Squishy's to watch the series finale of Downton Abbey.

I dosed the girls again before bedtime, and then morning and evening every day through yesterday morning. I hope it is not going to be like this every year until I am safely dead. One week later, they are finally, properly healed.

I had really weird dreams during my after church nap last week. A mishmash of horror and science fiction, involving possession, mangled bodies, and near drowning. I was very glad to wake up and find myself mostly intact.

On a happier note, the Sunday session of stake conference was marvelous. I haven't been in the stake long enough (at four years) to know many people outside the ward, except for those I know from working in the temple. I do know enough to have a testimony that the new stake president and his counselors are exactly the right people to lead us for the next several years, and that they were chosen by inspiration and revelation.

In knitting news, I completed the cuff of the baby sock I was working on during the Saturday evening session and got the heel turned while at church. This is the sock whose ends I wove in Wednesday night. I have since cast on its mate and am several rows along on the cuff.

Yesterday I attended a funeral in the same small country town as Fiber Circle, the wonderful yarn shop where I bought the yarn for my Knit Swirl. I took in the dibs and dabs remaining from making baby socks, in the hope of finding semisolid yarns that would coordinate, so that I could mix and match them to create socks with contrasting toes and heels, and thus use up every last scrap.

I was pleased to score a second skein of one of the yarns, a plausible match to another, and two full skeins of a third colorway, from which I should be able to get three full pairs. She also discounted the yarn at checkout, because she'd had them for so long, and because she is an incredibly generous person. (When I bought the yarn for my Knit Swirl, she tucked two extra balls of Silk Garden into my bag so I would have enough, and didn't tell me until after I'd counted when I was ready to cast on and had freaked out, thinking that I'd cheated her.)

The funeral was my first experience in an almost entirely African-American congregation. There was a lot more audience participation than I'm used to at church, and the music was loud and exuberant. My mother, who loved the old spirituals and passed that love and respect on to me, would have enjoyed the service. I have to say that what was missing in hushed reverence was more than made up for in joy and faith and enthusiasm. This was the funeral for the mother of a church friend who was an adult convert and is now a counselor in our bishopric.

The population of Farmersville is officially 3300. I think there were at least a tithe of them at the service yesterday.

Today is going to be interesting. I'm doing a medical fast preparatory to tomorrow morning's colonoscopy, which is three years overdue. I'm not worried about the procedure; this is not my first rodeo. I'll get a priesthood blessing after church. I do have three not-worries-but-concerns: how will the fasting interact with my blood sugar and cholesterol, since I'll still be taking my meds at bedtime tonight? Is my blood pressure going to alarm the anesthesiologist tomorrow, as it did before my biopsy/D&C year before last? Are there going to be any polyps for the surgeon to take out, because I'm three years overdue for this? So the priesthood blessing will hopefully address all three of these and give me strength to successfully complete the cleansing process, which has changed slightly since eight years ago, and is at least theoretically less difficult.

Tomorrow is Pi Day, which I only became aware of a year or so ago. After I took Fourthborn home last night, I stopped at the store and picked up a buttermilk pie to enjoy after the procedure.

I hope that my innards do not yodel loudly while I'm at church today. I already provide enough comic relief during class as it is.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

5th Serqet Court of Appeals

No, you don't want to take your case there if you lose. A truly brutal venue. Why? Egyptian scorpion goddess. Quite possibly the inventor of rough justice. Take your we-wuz-robbed no-negligence verdict and get on with your life. If Serqet upholds the lesser court's verdict, there'll be nothing left of you to file an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Yes, I've finished The Kane Chronicles. I own the first volume in the Norse series but am reading The Demigod Diaries, in between spurts of creativity.

I am tired. (In part because I stayed up far too late night before last to finish the third volume in the Egyptian series.) I am hungry. I have drunk significantly more water than usual the past couple of days, and I don't know if it's the new medication or just my allergies. I'm not worried. I don't feel sick. Just observant, and curious. And strangely unsatisfied.

Speaking of which, I had the start of one of those dreams a couple of nights ago. Beloved and I were smooching madly, and I woke up well before there could be any natural conclusions. I remember muttering, "What, did they notice you were missing?" and praying, "I hope he misses me as much as I do him. That was so unfair!" before falling back asleep.

In the fourteen years before I remarried, I got very good at sublimating my Heaven-sent natural desires into channels that would not cause trouble for me or anyone else. Those chaste habits will serve me well until I am reunited with Beloved and we get our resurrected bodies and the all-clear.

Interesting random factoid: my Gram and I were about the same age when we lost our husbands.

And I am finding new cousins right and left because of the AncestryDNA thing. Got a response from a second cousin once removed, who has four kids who live around here. It will be interesting getting to know him.

I'm outta here. There's a tiny green sock that needs its ends woven in, and I want to read a smidgen before calling it a night. My focus at work today was not as sharp as I would like, or as it was last week, and I'm hoping that a solid night's sleep will improve my prospects tomorrow. I did a good job today, and I'm thankful, but it was rather more of a slog than I'm used to.

Tomorrow is my next to last day at the current salary. Raise kicks in next week, huzzah! Something I have no wish to appeal.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

J. Golden is my cousin.

That would explain a lot. Jonathon Golden Kimball was a son of Heber C. Kimball, one of the early prophet-presidents of the Church. He is one of the more colorful characters in Mormon history, having spent many of his early years working as a muleskinner, and has always been a favorite of mine since learning about him. Last night I was noodling around on Relative Finder and discovered to my delight that he is my tenth cousin four times removed. I am probably still more like him than his more famous relative, Spencer W. Kimball (eleventh cousin, three times removed).

Orrin Porter Rockwell is another fascinating character. Among other things, he served as a bodyguard to the prophet Joseph. He is my ninth cousin five times removed. I'm wondering if that is nearer, farther, or about the same as J. Golden. I have a biography of Porter Rockwell sitting a shelf in my church bookcase, waiting for me to get around to reading it.

I was on Relative Finder to see if there is a connection with one of the General Authorities who is here to reorganize the stake this weekend. There is not. But I worked with the father of one of them, forty years ago in Boise, and I wrote a note for him to forward to his father.

The most important thing that will happen today is the reorganizing of the stake at the general session of stake conference, where we learn who the new stake presidency will be. (Our leadership is chosen by revelation and sustained by the members. They will serve without pay until they are released. And work their regular jobs. And honor their family responsibilities.)

My first Sunday at church was a week before my baptism. A modern apostle of the Lord presided, to reorganize that stake. For the curious, that was Bruce R. McConkie (thirteenth cousin). As an investigator of the Church, I got to sit in one of the front rows at that stake center with my missionaries, and I got to shake his hand. It was like shaking hands with an electric fence. (The Force was strong with that one!)

I have since met several more General Authorities, back when the Church was smaller, and they were able to visit the stakes more often. I have shaken the hand of Boyd K. Packer (tenth cousin) and Neal A. Maxwell (tenth cousin once removed). These men are truly called of God. And it is no accident that Heaven found my cousin, my grandmother, and me, and gathered us into the fold.

(I am also related to a host of other people that I'd rather not claim: Butch Cassidy, Jesse James and Hanoi Jane, to name a few. More proof that you can't choose your relatives.)

I found out that I might be related to my friend Tan. That would be even cooler than being related to all sorts of famous LDS dead people, not to mention the infamous gentiles. I'll research her lead in the near future, but for now I need to get ready for church.