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!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A really good day, and I'm knackered.

I don't know if it's the Metamucil we sent down night before last to encourage that stuck pill to ease on down the road, or the applesauce with which I took my meds last night, or the apple dipped in hummus I had for a late afternoon snack, but I have had rumblies in my tumblies for about five hours off and on. No pain, but the same sort of abdominal pressure I used to get on the first day of my period when my digestive system and my reproductive system were battling it out like two Wagnerian sopranos.

I had a phenomenally productive day at work, and I am going to dip my nose into the Gospels, take my meds, and go to bed.

Middlest is feeling somewhat better. My kid on prednisone is something of a trip. But productive, which pleases us both.

One more day of work, and then I can sleep in on Thursday.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Amazing, and amusing.

The yarn I bought a couple of weeks ago, a silk/merino blend in light fingering weight, is nearly identical in color(s) to the Silk Garden from which I made my Knit Swirl. Two different yarn companies, three or four years apart.

I'm frogging the scarf/cowl because the gauge is too loosey-goosey. I think I said that yesterday. I've said a lot of things.

Had an episode of dysphagia last night, wherein my Metformin pill got hung up in my esophagus at the base of my throat. (At least, that's where the ache was.) Middlest rubbed my back gently and made me a dilute solution of Metamucil, OJ, and water to kind of grease the slide. Thankfully, I knew not to panic and that it would eventually come unstuck. I put a query out on Facebook and got all sorts of suggestions that may prove helpful the next time this happens. Meanwhile, I'm going to do what my home teacher does and take my meds with a bit of applesauce. I bought a six pack of unsweetened, organic applesauce at Costco tonight, and it's about time to try the experiment.

Work was fairly productive and only a little nerve-wracking today. Hoping for as good a day tomorrow, or maybe even a better one.

Have completed Day 6 of my bishop's reading challenge and am now going to read for pleasure. A friend from church gave me three books yesterday. One of them is John Bytheway's "Pigs, Pearls, and Prodigals," his explorations of the Savior's parables. It makes for a nice parallel with my scripture study.

My Book of Mormon study is going less well. The last time I tried to listen on the way to work, the audio stopped so often, and so regularly, that it sounded as if the narrator had the hiccups. Not exactly conducive to reverent pondering.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

That's one, one rehabilitated skirt, bwa ha ha ha ha!

I put the new elastic into the waistband, secured the elastic in a way that will be easy to undo should my weight fluctuate, and restitched the waistband at both side seams. Then I hand-washed the soft rayon tunic I bought a couple of weeks ago, rinsed and spun it out in the washer, and have hung it to dry upside down, hoping that the weight of the yoke and collar will be sufficient to discourage any wrinkles from forming overnight. I'd like to wear them to church tomorrow, but I haven't worn that skirt in at least six years, so one more week really doesn't matter.

I've added another inch or two to the scarf (?cowl?) I'm knitting and have decided that I need to gear down another needle size. The fabric is just a little too loosey-goosey for my taste. I want it to be supple, not limp.

Kept the running-about to a minimum today. Blitzed through Costco, picked up KFC for the elders and dropped it off at the church, bringing home some for Middlest and me. After lunch, I went back out and grabbed more water and saltines. That's about it.

Watched a couple of TED talks while knitting. Read my allotted pages for the bishop's 4 Gospels in 40 Days challenge. That's about it.

Night, y'all.

Grandparents Day, and other fun stuff

Today was the annual event at the Bitties' school, wherein we get to see how brilliant our descendants are, and the school bribes us with excellent baked goods so that we'll include the school in our bequests if we can't make a donation outright at present.

BittyBit (who is in seventh grade!) made me a card in Mandarin(!), and the other grands and I got to participate in a pass-along story from a prompt on the blackboard. BittyBubba (fifth grade!) and I danced a Russian folk dance together. And Bittiest (second grade!) had a presentation on his class iPad about his heritage. Really cute picture of the children's father as a toddler. One of me in my late teens in an outfit I'd mostly made that showed off my Tina Turner legs. I'm not sure if he or Secondborn chose that picture. A great one of 2BDH's mother, who is lovely inside and out; BittyBit takes after her in looks, and once we all survive adolescence may well resemble her on the inside. And a nice one of 2BDH's dad and his wife, who is a quiet, gentle soul.

I got back here in good time to take Middlest to the doctor for diagnosis and treatment of the respiratory ick which I unknowingly shared before my own symptoms appeared. We love the doctor's PA, who is a military vet. He asked Middlest how the headache was, and my kid said that yesterday not only was there migraine, but also sinus headache, and he just wanted to punch a puppy. (Metaphorically speaking; Middlest wants me to make it clear that he doesn't "hurt animals, I eat them, but they're already dead.")

PA started to ask, "Do you want me to get you a --" at which point I cracked up, because my brain inserted "puppy" and Middlest, who can generally read my mind (poor kid) knew exactly what I was thinking, and the PA had to wait for us to stop laughing so we could explain what was so funny. And then we had to wait for him to stop laughing so that he could finish taking Middlest's vitals.

After which we drove up to the pharmacy and came home with nuclear-deterrent antibiotics for Middlest (the next step up from the ones I've just finished for my own ick) and prednisone. I asked Middlest if prednisone brings with it the urge to alphabetize spices and organize everything, and his initial reaction was "no" followed immediately with the caveat "not any more than usual. I'm OCD, and I organize everything."

I brought Middlest home, polished off the pint of Moose Tracks I brought home last night, and endured the annual booby-smashing, which should have happened this spring but did not. Came home, read today's allotment of the Gospels (our bishop has issued a challenge to read the four Gospels in 40 days, finishing on Christmas Eve), and my computer crashed or froze three times, and I took a nap.

I woke up full of ands, as you can see.

Knit has happened. I almost forgot to mention the drive-by hugging of Fourthborn, in which I handed off a bag of Bueno for her lunch and a bag of assorted craft supplies so she can make a Christmas diorama for a dolly party which I am apparently hosting next month, and she gave me two finished quilt blocks and the kits for the next blocks and a spare charging cord for Middlest's phone.

I ordered another top from Gudrun Sjödén last night. This one. (The Yelena in teal.) I almost ordered another skirt and one of the basic striped shirts, but I decided to wait until this piece arrives and see what items in my closet go with it and what gaps I need to fill in. I'm kicking myself for not ordering the moss green broomstick maxi from another website when I saw it a few months ago, because that colorway is no longer available. It would have been perfect.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Back at work today. More or less.

I was pretty close to winded by the time I got dressed and ready to go, and I was half an hour late. And my phone was on the fritz. I could hear the receptionist on the other end of the line, but she couldn't hear me.

The day improved rapidly once I got to work. My compatriot who shares TheKid's docket had thoroughly worked the mail both days I was out. Basically all I had to do was read through the mail folder and sign off on the mail sheet, then delete the folder. I thanked her profusely. Basically, she saved me about a day and a half of work.

SemperFi knew that I was going to be scrambling to catch up, so he pretty much left me alone to get on with it. I was able to close one of his Big Ugly Files. And he settled another case at mediation today. I'll deal with that tomorrow.

Attorney B (his secretary is out all week) only gave me two or three things to do. I'm trying to play catch-up on his mail, which was reviewed but not worked by another secretary in my absence.

I got some of my ToDo's worked and we had a brief secretarial meeting and I volunteered to lead one of the committees I'm on again next year and the office manager has given me a crunch-time assignment that needs to be done by the end of the month and when she was leaving for the day I said, "See you tomorrow?" because she frequently works remotely due to some time-gobbling adjunct duties, and Wednesdays are usually one of those days and she said, "Yes, support staff meeting tomorrow!" and my filter kicked in before I said "oh bleep" out loud. (I'm hoping it didn't show on my face.)

I do not need a two-hour meeting eating my productivity tomorrow. Counting today, I have three days to do six days' worth of work, because Friday is Grandparents Day at the bitties' school, and I'm scheduled to be off. I basically went back to work today because it's easier to do six days of work in three days than in two.

I was pretty sure that I would be knackered by the end of the workday. One of those times when I hate being right. So I came straight home and took my evening antibiotic. I've eaten the delicious bean concoction that Middlest whipped up and followed it with a bowl of granola.

My Zulily shirt finally arrived at the office, four days after the post office said they'd delivered it. I don't know if it went to the wrong suite first, or what. I'm about 95% pleased with the shirt. It fits OK, a little more snug in the bust than I prefer, and the notes are printed crisply, but the piano keys are pixilated and blurry on the edges. It looks fine from a distance. I'll just have to remember not to look down at my right side while I'm wearing it.

I cast on for the scarf (?cowl?) I'm making to go with the new Gudrun Sjödén outfit, thinking size 4 needles would give me a fabric that was supple but not too lacy. Not so. As soon as I post this, I'm heading into my studio to grab my 3's, 2's, and 1's.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Moonlight Sonata

This is what greeted me a minute or two after I woke to take my antibiotic this evening.

It was one of the first pieces I tried to learn when I bought my piano in 1976, because the opening movement is slow and forgiving. I was to the point where grace was beginning to infiltrate that section, when I met and married the children's father, and my piano went into storage for three and a half years. I'd taken a stab at beginning to learn the second movement, but the third and final movement was far beyond my ability, even though I could type over 100 words per minute back then.

I tend to learn physical skills slowly. Witness: killing the engine seventeen times in front of the babysitter's house with her father watching, when I was learning to drive a stick-shift. Or the hours and hours I practiced the one simple line dance I know while washing dishes, and how gleeful I felt when I was finally able to integrate a spin into the stepping-backward part. And then teach others to dance it.

I like to learn physical things when there's no one else around to see me fail. I think this may be the dregs of the shyness I felt as a child, before I discovered how amazing and wonderful people can be. And I think part of it dates back to high school, when the jocks would stand around the trophy case and "rate" the girls as they walked by. (I was never a 10, in case you were wondering, and by my senior year I would go far out of my way to avoid walking past the trophy case, even if it meant walking the length of one hall, outside in my shirtsleeves in freezing weather, and back down the next hall for a class that was 50 yards or less from the class which preceded it.)

But I digress. Notwithstanding my present inability to play it, I love that third movement of the sonata. It's a musical snapshot of what it feels like to be me: the holy fire, the refusal to be silenced, the grit. So many church guys were intimidated or downright terrified. I'm so grateful that Beloved was brave enough to warm his hands at my heart.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

I'm sick, and I have no filter.

As evidenced by the fact that last night, just before I stumbled into bed, and just after one last trip to the loo, I remarked to Middlest, "My tush sounds like that sweet potato I nuked in the microwave at work last week." (The one whose singing I captured on video and posted to FB.) And we both cracked up.

I am on a new-to-me antibiotic (Cefdinir) and industrial strength cough medicine (Virtussin AC). A friend on FB warned me that the antibiotic was likely to clean me out. Which should counteract the codeine in the cough medicine rather nicely. Or possibly set off the 1812 Overture in my gut as they fight for bragging rights. I'm taking my probiotics as usual and will supplement with "lots of yogurt".

At any rate, I am going nowhere this weekend. Middlest dished up my breakfast and vitamins, in self-preservation. I am allowed to load and run the dishwasher but not to empty it. Firstborn and Fourthborn will pick up our quilt blocks this morning.

I did manage to wind two balls of yarn yesterday. The first one fell off the new swift onto the floor and required three to four hours to untangle. The second one was significantly more cooperative. I am retiring the swift to sculpture status and will order a different swift from Ed Jenkins' protege after the first of the year.

Breakfast is down the hatch. The dishwasher is running. At some point this morning I will take a nice long shower, but for now I am setting the alarm and going back to bed.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Knackered. And maybe allergic to my Christmas gift.

Finally got calmed down enough last night to get some sleep. It was after midnight before I lay down, and I slept reasonably well. Woke up, turned on my phone, and it froze. I couldn't turn it off, access any app, nada. Thankfully, Middlest is something of a phone whisperer, and while I took a hasty shower, my brilliant middlest child was inspired with an obscure way to do a hard shutdown and restart. I drove to work with the phone plugged in to charge, and I kept it connected for much of the day. It's still in power-saving mode.

Then I was nearly half an hour late to work because of construction and traffic. First item of business was to warm up the herbal neck and shoulder warmer, and it truly helped un-kink both my muscles and my attitude. I repeated about an hour later and was reasonably functional all day. Just before quitting time I nuked the warmer again and popped it into a plastic bag to schlep out to the car so I could relax on the drive home.

I don't know if it was third time not a charm, or the closer quarters of the Tardis, but while I'd been a little sniffly all day my sinuses ramped up for Sneezemageddon. I took off the warmer, put it back in the plastic bag, and dropped it behind my seat. Every time I hopped out for an errand on the way home, my head cleared a little more. But right now I am feeling tender of beak and the slightest bit wheezy.

Of course it could all just be in my head, har de har har.

In foodie news, I've been wanting to try baking some fish with the last of the mango salsa, and tonight I stopped at Sprouts and invested in a halibut steak. I wanted fish, and I specifically did not want fish from China, and I could have bought a skein of Claudia for what I paid, but that's OK. (I remember when halibut was poor people's food. High-quality, but still...) I rustled up a small covered casserole, spritzed the bottom with olive oil, poured in half of the salsa and smooshed it around, then put the fish on top of that and smothered it in the rest of the salsa. It. Was. So. Good. And I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

A few more rows on the heel flap but nowhere near done.

I finally realized why my truck and then my phone have been on the fritz. I agreed to substitute teach in RS on Sunday, and he who shall not be named is trying to rile me up and keep me that way.

To which I say thbppp!

I'm going to take my crazy-tired carcass to bed. Night, y'all.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

A tale of three stockings.

The past two days at work have been amazing. I've looked up and said, "Lunchtime? Already?" and later, "How can it be 4:00 o'clock?" So that's going well.

I am cautiously optimistic about the compression socks I bought. I wore them to church on Sunday under my turquoise maxi skirt when I attended the stake conference broadcast. The right leg went on like buttah. The left leg was a matter of bend and grunt and willpower, but I got it on. And for the first ten to fifteen minutes I could feel two distinct pockets of crabbiness in my calf where the lymph was all knotted up. I wore the stockings almost all day, and when I took them off my right ankle looked almost normal, while my left ankle was about 50% reduced in bulk. I had also been able to stand and finish cutting the pieces for Middlest's blocks and get them sewn together, all without pain in my ankles, calves, knees, or back.

I ordered another three pairs, in different colors, after work last night. They should be here in about a week.

On Sunday night, after taking the stockings off I dutifully washed them and hung them to dry, thinking I'd be able to wear them to work yesterday. They were no longer soggy, but they were still distinctly damp, so I left them hanging and wore them to work today, under a pair of slacks.

This is how I learned that there was just enough friction between the socks and my slacks that my slacks rode up like jodhpurs and my stockings crept down my calves. I didn't realize how bad it had gotten until I was stuck in the express lane on my way to pick up Fourthborn for Knit Night, felt my calves just below my knees, and couldn't feel the top of the stockings under my slacks. They had slid down to half-mast, and my left leg was getting painful.

Scooped up Fourthborn, dashed to Cacique to see if I could pick up a second pair of socks to wear tomorrow while this pair dries, and they'd sold out. They did let me run back to a changing booth, pull down my slacks and pull up my socks and pull up my slacks again.

Third sock, you ask? I'm working on the heel flap for the current baby sock.

In other news, when we got into the Tardis after Knit Night, a weird noise came from under the hood. I know what tappets sound like just before a cylinder blows. It wasn't that. It was more like the sound you get when you use a clothespin to attach playing cards to the back frame of your bicycle so that they smack the spokes and your bike becomes a pretend Harley.

So I took Fourthborn home and drove to Firstborn's so 1BDH could take a look under the hood. He was still at ju-jitsu when I got there but arrived a few minutes later. We went out to the Tardis. I popped the hood and fired her up. Nothing, except maybe the suggestion of a leaf blowing out from under the hood. At his direction, I revved the engine a little. Still nothing. So I thanked him and came home, feeling much relieved

My only thought is that maybe Heaven wanted me off the road for half an hour. I'm just glad to be home and safe and not facing a mechanic's bill in the morning. I had Middlest work on my neck for a few minutes, and I'm about ready to call it a day.

I also invented a limerick today, but that's a story for later. Assuming I remember. Night, y'all. The buttermilk and ginger cookies are calling my name.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

More DP's, more yarn, and fussy-cutting

I think the real reason that they call it fussy-cutting is because it's fiddly and inspires childbirth words. I have no doubt that the quilt blocks these squares will fit into will be all the prettier because of the time I took to center the floral motifs within a 4.5" square, but my ankles and back are hoping there will be no more of it in the other six quilt blocks. Today I cut enough for twelve blocks, as Middlest is getting everybody's blocks this year, and Firstborn and Fourthborn are working on the other colorway.

I did have a moment of delight when I discovered that I'd already preshrunk the fabric for the last blocks in the quilt club we finished in September. Those fabrics are now pressed and stacked neatly for when the current blocks are done.

Today we went to Costco, and from there to the jewelry store because it was time for my rings' six month checkup and cleaning. After that we went to a yarn store I love but don't get to very often. I needed to buy more 00's in 4" and 6" because the Tardis ate one of my 4" needles last week while I was stopped at a long light. It slipped out of my fingers, did a one and a half gainer, and vanished under the seats. I've gone spelunking with a halogen flashlight, to no avail.

This is why my carbon fiber needles never leave the house.

While at the yarn store I found a skein of yarn that goes with the new clothing which arrived earlier this week. I envision hours of happy knitting once I decide on a design.

But for now I need to go fold all the laundry I did earlier today so I can take my meds and call it a day. I got most of the new blocks cut out before discovering that I'm going to have to Frankenpiece some scraps together in order to get enough 2-7/8" blocks to cut on the diagonal, unless I can find a similar fabric in my stash and Middlest doesn't mind.

Looking forward to the regional? area? broadcast stake conference tomorrow morning.

Friday, November 03, 2017

Able to leap one-storey buildings in a single bound.

Filed two answers, closed another case, got through everybody's mail, worked my ToDo's and fought sleep until lunchtime. Thoroughly surprised my friend who runs the deli by ordering a cheeseburger, with onions, and fries, then squirting half a cup of ketchup into my to-go box.

I did OK for the rest of the workday. Came home and fixed a salmon burger and a batch of mashed potatoes. Updated my financial spreadsheet. Tried to play Sudoku on my computer, but it kept defaulting to the main page. Something must be bent or broken or bruised on the AARP website.

I've started preshrinking the fabric for Middlest's quilt blocks and plan to sew them up tomorrow. Goal is to not leave the house until Sunday morning for the special, regional broadcast stake conference. We had one of those last year as well. It will be interesting to see what's up.

Maybe while I'm sewing tomorrow I can figure out how I want to finish Justice's skirt.

My face still feels (fairly) amazing after Wednesday night's facial. I might remember to do that again some year.

This is probably enough random nonsense for one night.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

More stuff comes home with me.

I've been wanting to try a pair of trouser socks, and I needed to double-check my bra size, so I stopped in at Cacique on the way home and found a pair of brown compression stockings that might not squeeze my feet off at my ankles. They weren't as expensive as the pair I bought at the drugstore a few months ago that I couldn't get on past my heel. Also brought home more Ricola and two boxes of saltines for Middlest, a package of hard-boiled eggs and more muffins from Costco. I think that's it. I didn't go nuts in the produce aisle tonight.

I wore the embroidered tunic to work today, and because it was a little more sheer than I'm comfortable with, I tossed on the cream fringed vest and felt like Jenny from Forrest Gump. (Well, minus the drugs and the tragic death.) Calling that a success.

I juggled two and a half lawyers today, and I think everything crucial got done.

My face still feels wonderful from last night's facial. Middlest gave me the science behind that, then laughed because I hadn't actually asked. My kid has a gift for learning all sorts of obscure things and sharing them without coming off as a know-it-all.

I took a video at lunch of my sweet potato shrieking in the microwave. It's posted to FB, but there was no way to link it to the blog, and I didn't think it was YouTube-worthy.

I thought I was ready to go to bed, but my stomach had other ideas. Hey up there! We're not done! Which is why I am downing half a mug of milk and half a muffin at 10:00pm.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Spa night.

I had another good day at work. I'm not quite caught up, but I'm getting there. I picked up two more cases of water on the drive home, a ready-made salad, a big stalk of organic fennel (as opposed to the carved-from-marble kind), and a few other fruits that I hope to eat before they wither from neglect on the counter or in the fridge.

Plucking my eyebrows these days consists of ruthlessly going after the white hairs while trying not to uproot any of their brunette neighbors. Eventually I will have no eyebrows, and I can draw them on to suit the mood of the day.

So: eyebrows have been weed-whacked. I've subjected my poor unsuspecting nose to a Biore strip. I've waxed my lip, cheeks, and chin and plucked the hairs that staged a sit-in. And now I have electric turquoise Dead Sea minerals drying on my face. I'm typing with my glasses off. I can see the little red squiggles under words that the blog thinks I've misspelled or knows that I've run together. When the mud is dry I'm going to take a nice long poach in the shower, and then I'm going to baby my feet. I did slather them with lotion last night before going to bed, and they're feeling a little less like trilobites.

Hey, don't judge. My hips are crabby, and I have a belly that would make Rubens swoon. Ergo, it's almost impossible to get my feet close enough to my eyes and my hands to care for my feet the way that other women take for granted. I have tried to like pedicures, but on principle I don't like having anyone else touch my feet. Plus, the last one I got, about five years ago, revived the athletes foot I had so carefully doctored into submission and required at least two rounds of medicine to banish it permanently. I was significantly more flexible five years ago.

Remember how I said last night that I didn't have enough spoons to press the new clothing? I caught my second wind as I was ready to fall into bed, so I stayed up until a little after midnight and got 'er done. Another error: I said the scarf my sister gave me was Pucci. It's Gucci. And it goes perfectly with the copper shirt and rusty plum skirt.

Face is dry. I'm off to go soak my head, and then my feet. Night, y'all.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Empress has new clothes.

My first order from Gudrun Sjödén arrived at the office today. The tunic and the blouse need pressing, but the skirt is pretty much ready to wear.

Skipped Halloween in favor of dinner with Fourthborn and hanging out at Panera with our respective projects. She's remaking an old T-shirt into a shirt for the American Girl doll our friend Lisa rescued and rehabbed for her. I added several rounds to the current baby sock.

I want more of the skirts. Lyocell with a bit of spandex, smooth and silky to the touch, and they go all the way down to my ankles. The coppery color of the shirt and the warm burgundy of the skirt remind me of a favorite outfit that I made in the early 70's. A warm gold (verging on pumpkin) sleeveless tunic with a wide stand-up collar, worn over a fire engine red mini skirt, back when I had the legs for it. Both made from a poly-cotton blend that I think we called hopsacking. I've slept since then. I've got a vintage Harvé Benard scarf picked out to wear with it, but the floral Pucci scarf my sister gave me would look great as well. And I have an enameled bangle that Br. Sushi brought me from one of his travels

The tunic is gorgeous as well. Hand-embroidered in India, so it will need some babying if I don't want it to shrink so much that it would fit BittyBit.

I have another tunic on the way, my first purchase from Zulily. It's music-themed.

The rayon plaid tunic that I bought at Cato is already starting to show some wear. Apparently the yarn is very loosely spun, because there is a narrow swathe of tiny pills where the shoulder belt rubs it when I drive.

I go through periods where getting dressed is simply a matter of comfort and coverage, with style being an afterthought. There are other times when I am passionately interested in clothing, and it's easy to find things I like that suit both my body and my spirit. I seem to be easing into one of those.

Night, y'all. If I want to have as good a day back at work tomorrow as I did today, I need to go to bed now.

Monday, October 30, 2017

The "rest" of the story

I was mostly ready for work this morning when I decided to stay home and sleep instead. My sinuses and nose were still a little crabby, although the thunderous sneezes of yesterday were only a memory. Thank goodness! I wasn't sure if the bodily calm would continue or if it were merely the calm before another storm. So I did the sensible thing and honored my body and called into work.

I was back in bed by a quarter to nine and slept for five solid hours!!! It was good quality sleep, too. Happy, peaceful dreams. Since then I've been alternating between scanning documents, playing the occasional AARP game, and eating.

After 5:00, I moseyed out to the car, because Middlest had consumed the last of the meal supplements that have bringing my kid a measure of comfort and nutrition, and I needed to deliver the four cases of water I'd taken to church yesterday for our project to comfort the homeless this winter, but which I'd completely forgotten when my head started exploding. Went to Costco, bought the absolute necessities, tanked the Tardis, and brought everything home by way of the pharmacy, because I had a refill that was ready to pick up. Completely forgetting to cross the street and get us some more OJ and milk.

I did stop ~ briefly ~ at the party store with the intention of picking up some of those little paper parasols that I've loved since I was a kid and bought them for my Barbies. Completely forgetting that this was Halloween Eve until I walked into the store and found the aisles jammed. I made my way up one aisle, down the other, and out the door again. As Middlest would say, I noped right out of that store.

Forgetting seems to be the theme of this day and of this post. Once I'd gotten home and put the groceries away, I hopped back in the Tardis and drove to a different Braums and got what we needed. I need to take the meds that I should have taken an hour ago, check to see if the T-shirt I want to wear to work for Halloween is still presentable or if I should go with Plan B, and hit the sack.

Later, gators. I'm pleased to report that my head seems clear (except for the forgetting part) and my nose and lips are only a little chapped from yesterday's adventures.

Sunday, October 29, 2017


Behold the moose au natural. He really is the most jolly little fellow. One of the things I did was to sew his eyes on more firmly, using black thread instead of the white thread he came with.


Moosey goes to Hawaii.

And last of all, the first items I finished. Hey, there's a precedent (1 Nephi 13:41-42). Don't judge!

Isn't that the dearest little face?

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Hoping to have pictures for you tomorrow.

Not sure where the battery charger is for my camera, or a spare USB cable. I think my phone might be dying. I had it charged to 80%, it took one picture (maybe) and said seeya.

Moosey's hula skirt and lei are done. The superhero cape is done. The leg warmers and scarf are done. I want to take pictures of him in each of them so I can do a little photostory.

I'm going to miss the little rascal when he's gone.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Flow. Flow. Flow. Flow. Zot! Zot! Zot!

It was rather nice to spend an entire day in the office. For the most part, the day just rolled smoothly along, task after task getting crossed off the ToDo list. About 4:00pm all you know what broke loose. A mediation that opposing counsel was trying to reschedule to an earlier date. A client who was scheduled for deposition tomorrow who woke up at dark-thirty this morning feverish and barfing. Another client whose attorney I back up, who thought her deposition had been rescheduled for February ~ it was her trial date ~ and was not available to be deposed tomorrow. I remarked to a friend that if I were still a drinking woman (which I haven't been for 42 years), today would be a day for a nice cold margarita.

Drive home was uneventful. I've spent a good chunk of the evening researching Mississippi River cruises and Alaska cruises and making notes for maybe-after-retirement.

A little more progress on Moosey's stuff. I'm about to hop off the computer and get stitching.

And in other good news, a replacement water reservoir for my CPAP was waiting for me when I got home.

Is anyone here familiar with Quirk Books? An ad popped up on my FB feed for Star Wars VII rewritten in iambic pentameter with woodblock illustrations. William Shakespeare's The Force Doth Awaken: Star Wars Part the Seventh. I'm intrigued. And slightly appalled that the Kindle version costs more than the indie-printed hardcover. But since I haven't seen the actual movie, I'm holding off for awhile. I did download his Dickens/Shakespeare "A Christmas Carol" and will get back to you.

But for now, Moosey's stuff is calling my name.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Let me explain...

No, it would take too long. Let me sum up...

Middlest rode into work with me this morning. That part went fine.

When I got to my desk, I logged on with the new password that I created yesterday and started cranking out the work. After about an hour, I forwarded my phone, locked my workstation, and took a comfort break. When I got back to my desk, my computer would not recognize my password. Eventually, of course, I made enough attempts that the system said NOPE. So I called the IT number, worked my way through three security questions and a couple of other hoops, and got a temporary password.

Logged on with the temporary password, finally came up with a password that the system liked: not too long, not too short, not too complicated, but complicated enough. And then I needed to leave my desk again to do something, I forget what. When I came back, guess what? My computer would not recognize my new password, NOPEd me out, and back I went to the IT number. Three different security questions and two alternate hoops gave me another temporary password. Logged on, created yet another password that was decidedly more snarky than any other password I've come up with in the eighteen years I've worked for the corporation, and attempted to get something done before it was time to leave for our dental appointments.

By this time I had lost somewhere between half an hour and forty-five minutes to stupid technical issues and was midway between simmering and seething. This is when I discovered that one of the letters I created yesterday was not yet necessary, because one of my attorneys had granted a discovery extension to opposing counsel and forgotten to tell me about it.

I cleaned up and e-served the other letter (hey, your discovery responses are late, don't make me have to file a motion to compel), only to get a phone call from opposing counsel that my attorney had granted them an extension as well. She'd also emailed me, so I forwarded that to my guy with the comment, This was a surprise to me. And a frowny face. I marched myself to the loo, stood in a stall, and literally tried to shake it off.

Back to my desk.

At which point it was time to shut down my workstation for the day, grab my lunchbox from the fridge, fetch Middlest from the atrium on the plaza level, and go get Fourthborn. I warned Middlest as I walked up, "I've had an extremely frustrating morning, and it's not your fault. I'm going to the loo before we drive away, and I'll try to adjust my attitude while I'm in there."

By the time we got to Fourthborn's I was in a decent if not stellar frame of mind. And by the time we got to our dentist's, I was nearly myself again. I knitted (baby sock, sigh...) while waiting for our hygienist to finish setting up. We were early. I drive faster when I'm crabby. The knitting helped a lot, and while I waited for Middlest and Fourthborn to get their treatments, I worked on the waistband for Moosey's hula skirt.

Middlest was right about the spelling. It's Moose + Y.

I got a bit of financial good news at the dentist's today. Since there were no X-rays this time, the tab was about 40%, each, of what I'd braced myself for, which further improved my mood. We zipped over to Cheesecake Factory for the traditional desecrating of our teeth, and our server sang Happy Birthday to Fourthborn without the usual pandemonium which happens when patrons admit to a birthday in a chain restaurant.

We took Fourthborn's leftover cheesecake back to her place, and I gave her the strawberries that I'd taken to work yesterday, which had stayed in the fridge overnight. Waste not, want not. And then we went to Knit Night and hung out for maybe an hour and a half. I knitted a very little, and I mostly finished the waistband on the hula skirt and started the neck binding on the superhero cape.

And now we are home. Middlest has retreated to one bedroom, and I'm heading shortly to my own. Life is sweet again, and I'm hoping for a good night's sleep and a productive and blessedly uninterrupted day at work tomorrow.

We did a lot of laughing in the car to and from, and in the waiting room at the dentist's office. There was a lovely woman there with her nearly grown autistic son, and because of Middlest's training I knew how to behave in an appropriate and non-scary manner. Middlest recognized the woman from church several years ago and said, "You know Firstborn." The woman said yes, yes she did. Middlest said, "That's her mom over there, and we are her siblings." The woman grinned broadly and said, "OK. That explains a lot about Firstborn." At which point all three of us cracked up.

My endorphin levels are approaching what passes for normal with me. Night, y'all.

PS. Aren't you glad that I only summed up?

Monday, October 23, 2017

Somewhat less wasted day.

For which I am grateful. Reasonably productive day at work. No difficulty staying awake. Minimal purchase at Costco on the drive home. Semi-sensible dinner and dessert. Altogether too much time on Facebook, but time well-spent listening to TED talks. Definite distraction by the Zulily website, when they showed a tunic that had piano keys marching down one side of the front and musical notes all over the other side.

I bit.

And was almost instantly irritated by pop-up ads on a page I had open, and by my receipt coming via Facebook Messenger. Oye with the poodles already.

Depending upon how impressed I am with the tunic, I may be disengaging from Zulily once my order arrives.

Knit happened. The gusset decreases are almost finished.

Middlest is awake, and it's time for me to take my meds and go to bed.

I remembered to use my discount code and order a ticket for The Forgotten Carols.

That's all I've got for you tonight. Oh wait, one more thing. George Will, a political writer I loved and respected even when I was a young Democrat, parted ways with the Republican party after they decided that #45 was the best possible man for the job. My esteem for him (G.W., not D.T.) has only grown.

Night, y'all.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Semi-wasted day.

I did not sleep well last night. Middlest and I think it probably has to do something with the CPAP issue, which should be resolved around the end of the coming week. I had enough energy to stay for all three hours of church (but just barely) and was richly rewarded by the time spent in Sunday School and Relief Society.

Came home, made a big pot of black beans, corn, Ro-Tel, and chili, all portioned out for lunches this week after putting two scoops into a latte cup. Nuked a cup of easy-mac and stirred it in. Filled my tummy and cleared my sinuses in one non-fell swoop.

And then I went back to bed and slept for something like six hours. It will be interesting to see if I get any more sleep tonight, but while my dreams were colorful, they were not anxiety-driven. I'll take that as a win.

I've listened to two TED talks since arising. Dinner was some leftover mashed potatoes with a big glob of Greek yogurt and a generous grating of Tillamook extra sharp. Carbs, protein, and happy fat. I also took two overripe bananas, a whole lot of hulled strawberries, two cups of apple juice, and the last of the buttermilk plus half a bottle of water and created four bottles of smoothies to take to work this week. Now the new bananas can go onto the banana hanger, further reducing the minute amount of clutter on a different counter.

I also emptied and reloaded the dishwasher, which is humming happily in the background. That dishwasher was one of my first adult purchases after becoming a widowhood. Firstborn helped me a little with the research, and I've been pleased with my choice ever since.

We have three different sets of healthcare appointments this week. Dental cleanings for the three of us on Tuesday, and I only remembered this morning how that was going to impact my budget. I am working really hard to whittle down my credit card balance, and I don't want to just put them on plastic. Then an appointment for Fourthborn at a new facility on Thursday, and she would like me to take her. (I probably won't need to the next time she goes, because it is, I think, closer to her apartment than where her GP practices, but I'm happy to help. She is making small, determined, steady strides in dealing with her anxiety, and I am so proud of her efforts.) Middlest has the regular monthly appointment on Friday morning, and then we trek to the pharmacy because the Rx has to be hand-carried. But so worth it for how it helps my kid focus.

Friday night is the monthly doll meet. Saturday I'm feeding the elders since I completely forgot yesterday and going from there to a friend's house for Girls Night Out with soup and rolls and desserts and lots of happy conversation.

There has even been knitting today. I got the baby sock back on its needles and am working the gusset decreases. It's been good to take a break from baby socks and work on things for Moosie, because I've actually enjoyed working on the sock today.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

In which your intrepid heroine has a brainf@rt.

I was supposed to feed the missionaries tonight. I even had a reminder on my phone. But since my phone has spent most of the day in the charger, and I forgot to take it with me when I took Middlest to the doctor and the pharmacy, I completely spaced on this. Instead, I went to the 50th wedding anniversary celebration for friends in my ward.

I have since sent a text of apology to the elders, who assured me that all was well, because the missionary couple in our ward fed them.

I went back to bed after breakfast and morning meds, and I slept until an hour before Middlest needed to be at the doctor's. So I haven't needed a nap this afternoon or evening, and I'm ready to go to bed as soon as I post this and take my evening meds.

I finally broke down and bought a shirt/jacket, tunic, and skirt from Gudrun Sjödén's website. I have no idea if they will play nicely with one another, but each will go with something that I already own. I will now be in "the club" and eligible for a good discount on any future purchases.

Knit did not happen (again) today, but I got a good start made on a superhero cape for Moosie.

Night, y'all.

Friday, October 20, 2017

It was a good day, and rather a long week.

I felt productive at work, by the grace of Heaven, and it was very very nice to shut down the popcorn stand at the end of the day and come home by way of JoAnn's. My first thought was to buy half a yard or so of aqua tulle to make a tutu for Moosie, but I found some (non-lunatic) fringe that will do well for a grass skirt, and some flower passementerie. I bought six inches of each and brought home a roll of the passementerie in another color, quite possibly for Justice's unfinished skirt.

I thought I had some fairly wide aqua or turquoise silk ribbon that I could use to cover the header on the fringe and to protect the edges of the braid, but I've come up empty. I do have some turquoise silk broadcloth that I bought roughly 30 years ago to make myself a blouse, and I could cut a small section of that. Or I could take a side trip to Fort Worth tomorrow before my friends' anniversary party and go to The French Knot and see what they have. Or I could broaden my palette and use a different color that I have on hand. I'm not going to do anything tonight, except maybe traipse back into my studio and rummage through the drawer that has my silk embroidery supplies.

Knit did not happen today. At all. But I listened to a TED talk, and I made myself a healthy dinner instead of eating out, and there's still time for knitting before bedtime. I woke nearly an hour before the alarm this morning because my bladder was yodeling. As soon as it was happy, my stomach chimed in, "Hey! You're vertical! You should go out to the kitchen! Like, five minutes ago!"

I think this is going to be a mostly-sleeping weekend, as opposed to a mostly-eating weekend. But I am determined that it will be both restful and restorative.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

So, the plan was to keep it simple this evening.

And for the most part, I succeeded: pick up two cases of bottled water on the way home, mend a little spot on the shoulder seam of my red corduroy jacket (turns out there were two small spots, but both are properly mended), and knit on the scarf for Moosie.

The only complication was that when I parked near the store to fetch the water, I had an impulse to go inside Cato, where I've never found much to my liking in the past. But I left with a rayon twill buffalo check shark-hemmed tunic that appears to be reasonably well-made and feels so good to the touch. Of course, it hadn't been properly steamed, so I spent half an hour carefully steam-pressing it on the wool setting with a new pressing cloth between the iron and the tunic.

I'm quite pleased with how it came out after a little attention, and I'm wearing it to work tomorrow.

In knitting news, I'm ready to check Moosie's scarf and figure out how much longer it needs to be. I'm hoping that I have a small button the right color, and then I can just work a buttonhole at the right spot so it will stay on him.

I still don't know what to make to cover his torso, but I suspect inspiration will strike once the scarf is done. Hop to it, Ms. Ravelled!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Kind of a weird day.

In spite of setting my alarm, I napped too long after breakfast and was slightly late to stake conference. Came home, ate a quick bite, and took Fourthborn home.

I've been fighting sleep all day. Notwithstanding that, I've finished knitting the legwarmers and armwarmers for Moosie and am trying to figure out what to do next. I think probably a scarf of some sort.

Last thing I did before hitting the sack last night was to attempt sealing up the CPAP reservoir which I dropped while taking it out of the box. Woke up to Lake Ravelled on my bedroom floor this morning, which only added to the weirdness. I'll call the company and request a new reservoir tomorrow.

I missed very little of stake conference this morning. I definitely heard what I needed to hear, which is that once the temple reopens, I need to attend it regularly (taking my kindred dead along, naturally). Not sure that I've ever been chided so gently but unmistakably.

I'm giving up on staying awake. Time for meds and sleep. Later, gators.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Valor, standing for the right

We'll get his arms all tricked out another time. Took forever to get him dressed like this, and nobody here has enough energy to wrestle with partially restringing his arms, plus I need to make thin skin-colored sleeves for his upper arms, because the black elastic on the whatsits made dark smudges on him, which Middlest removed, and we don't want a repeat.

Clear as mud, right?

Can't go to bed without saying how great the Saturday evening adult session of stake conference was. I felt the Spirit so sweetly, particularly during one of the hymns. Looking forward to tomorrow's general session. And if I don't get to bed soon, tomorrow will be here and I won't be sufficiently rested to enjoy the meeting.

Pleased to report that I did not over-schedule myself today. Three activities only, although there were other things that need to be done. I helped clean the chapel in the morning. Drove Middlest and Fourthborn to a party at our friend Lisa's house that was billed as a pre-Halloween celebration that Fourthborn gets to eat real food again. (Which we celebrated with junk food and pizza.) Lisa had found and rehabilitated an American Girl doll for Fourthborn, which we knew was happening but Fourthborn did not. Third activity was stake conference, unless you count the catnap I took between the party and the meeting

Night, y'all.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

I've spent the evening surfing "lagenlook" and "dark mori"

Until my brain is "mori"bund. I just want to go stash-diving and whip up some wonderfully eccentric clothes. I found a pattern line I liked while having some downtime at work, and tonight I stumbled onto a review that savages the patterns as being inadequately and confusingly drafted. Given that the printed patterns are $20-plus, I don't want to throw my money away.

Might be time to dust off Mehitabel (the dress form that Secondborn found for me, which I have yet to use except as a display for my bellydancing scarves and veils) and see what kind of mischief I can draft using the brainpower that Heaven gave me.

But for now I'm just going to brush my teeth and go to bed.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

New phrase, thanks to Pinterest: mori girl

You know how on Pinterest they suggest boards you might be interested in? And you click on them and find another part of yourself? This is one that popped up recently. And here is a how-to. So apparently I am standing at the crossroads of Mori and Boho. I want more color in my life than Mori provides. But I love the juxtaposition of layers and textures that both looks offer.

And now if you will excuse me, I think I have just enough oomph left to patch my turquoise crinkle skirt that I accidentally ran over and shredded with my rolling chair. If featherweight interfacing does not fix it, I bet I can come up with a boho solution.

Night, y'all.

Monday, October 09, 2017

Weird day at work, with a side order of good news.

You would think that a day with the courts closed and no mail service would mean playing catch-up on my workflow, and you would be right. My desk was looking almost civilized when I left the office today.

I'm hoping for more progress tomorrow, between bouts of checking EMS for tracking information on Valor, who is shipping out from Korea. I have a tracking number, but it's not active yet.

After work I went to Trader Joe's for a few things, Costco for a few more, Braum's for orange juice, and Kroger for the rest of the items on my list. Home around eight. Tardis unloaded forthwith. Bean burrito inhaled with much gratitude and washed down with a mug of buttermilk.

I have a handful of items on my honey do list, and I doubt that they are happening tonight. (Knit did not happen, either.) I think I'm just going to brush my teeth, take my meds, and call it a day.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Too much doing yesterday = nothing doing today.

I went to bed feeling pretty pleased about how the day had gone. Lots and lots and lots of running, loved ones seen, barest of necessities purchased, and the Tardis tanked for the Sabbath. Had a good night's sleep, got to church on time, frogged the sock heel flap before sacrament meeting started. No difficulty getting up to conduct the music, or to sit down again.

Today was fast and testimony Sunday. The testimonies borne were sweet and tender, and they barely registered because I couldn't find a comfortable position for my legs, which were in nearly constant motion. No pain whatsover, just "get us out of here" restlessness. I have no explanation.

So I made my excuses and left after sacrament meeting. Ate leftovers from yesterday's birthday celebration and other remnants in the fridge, played two or three games, and went to bed.

Since waking, I've prepared my spreadsheets for next year and the year after that. I do a two-year budget bundle; this will be the fourth one since marrying Beloved. I was able to eliminate a couple of columns that no longer apply, and all of the sheets which have dates on them (paydays, mortgage installment days) have had those cells populated. I've picked out color-coding for the next two years.

I do this because I've been too cheap to buy Quicken and keep it updated. That may change for next year. I'll have to think about that.

I haven't knitted, other than the frogging of the baby sock, nor have I sewn anything for Moosie. I think I'll go listen to a Conference address and whip up something quick on my needles, just to feel that this day has been a waste that neither fed me spiritually nor blessed anyone or anything but this quirky body. I'd like to have something to show for it when I go back to bed in a couple of hours.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Knit happened; however...

There was a mistake that I might not be able to finesse, which would require frogging the entire heel flap and re-knitting the four stitches which precede it.

We picked up our quilt blocks, and the family party for Willow and Lark was wildly joyful. We took Fourthborn home, as she was on the way from the restaurant, then brought Middlest home and drove back to the quilt shop, because I'd forgotten to grab Justice's skirt to find coordinating fabrics so I may finish it to my satisfaction. I came home with three half-yard pieces. Home by way of JoAnn so I could pick up packages of single-fold bias tape in two plausible colors, then off again to buy two cases of bottled water and take myself to see Victoria and Abdul, which I thought was well worth my time and money.

I'm now an hour and a half late to take my meds, but the bottled water is stacked neatly beneath the last few bottles from the previous batch. I've had an ice cream cone. My eyes are heavy, and I think I should be able to sleep well tonight.

Over and out!

Friday, October 06, 2017

This, from Middlest.

"His vacation is the Metamucil that makes your workflow go smoothly." I was laughing so hard inside that it was hard to walk down the hall to wake up my computer and get this written down.

Work was beyond frustrating today. It was not due to my attorneys. Both were out of the office. It was not due to my coworkers. They are great people. We had technology issues. Which is like saying that Titanic hit an iceberg. A task that would normally have taken two or three minutes took the better part of half an hour. Maybe longer. I was too busy twitching.

I did get in a bit of knitting between the increments of progress on several tasks. About half of a heel flap, to be exact, and by the time I sat down to dinner said heel flap was ready for the magical, mystical turning of the heel. Still gets me, every time.

After work I was knackered and in need of self care. Left a voicemail on Middlest's phone and an IM on Facebook, telling my kid that I was going to get a haircut and dinner and maybe catch a movie. Thank you, Supercuts and Panera! My hair feels and smells wonderful. (I wish Beloved were here to appreciate it.) My tummy is a happy camper: clam chowder and Caesar salad each did their part.

I decided to skip the movie for tonight, hit Braum's for milk and buttermilk and OJ and apple juice, then come home and hop into my jammies.

I want to see the new Judi Dench movie about Queen Victoria (12th cousin, twice removed). And it doesn't need to happen tonight. I have the slightest bit of a headache and am going to drink a little buttermilk, eat a handful of ginger cookies, take my meds, maybe read for a few minutes, and call it a day.

Night, y'all. Have fun storming the castle.

Thursday, October 05, 2017


No, I'm not going anywhere other than to bed in about an hour. That was the license plate on the car in front of us on the way home from Costco. I was listening to Middlest with about 90% of my brain and giggling at BCNYA with the remaining 10%.

I brought my coworker's daughter's Moosie home tonight. Daughter's favorite color is aqua-to-turquoise. Just so happens that I have a plethora of yarn scraps in those colors, and fabric scraps to boot. My goal is to crank out several small projects over the weekend and present her with all sorts of options for Moosie mischief.

The yarn is calling my name, so I'm going to play a couple of online games and go see what wants to be the first project.

This is going to be so much fun!

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

I've spoken with the Cyclops, and...

The walls are thin at the clinic where we went for Fourthborn's post-op appointment. We're pretty sure that the doctor in the next room over said, "I've spoken with my boss, and..." because, as Fourthborn pointed out, Cyclops is an imaginary creature.

I will be stringing together several drafts into what I hope will become an entertaining post.

The weeks-long remodeling of the restrooms on our floor is done. We will get to view (and utilize) the finished work tomorrow. I was riding down to the sixth floor until they had to cut holes in the ceiling at one point. It did not inspire confidence to look up and see crawl space and pipes and stuff and to wonder what, if anything, could see me. So for the past three or four weeks I've been going to the second floor.

When L sent out the memo this afternoon, I replied-all, "Skip, skip, skip to the loo my darlings." Crickets, except for one coworker. (A wise-cracker is not without honor, save in her own office.)

Christmas came early, chez Ravelled. This is what I ordered from the company catalogue. I'm not sure how many imaginary creatures they had to skin to make the covering, or why it was necessary for it to be fluffy instead of something smoothly textured. But it's filled with twelve herbs, and it can be nuked for a minute or stuck in the freezer for an hour or two, depending upon whether I want a hot pack or a cold one on my neck and shoulders.

It's going to work with me tomorrow, because the microwave there is larger than the one here at home, and because I have greater need for it there. If worse comes to worst, I can always thwack people with it. That would be a huge stress reliever on Friday afternoons.

I wore this outfit to work on Tuesday. Can't be bothered to figure out how to take full-length selfies like some of my friends do. This is a skirt that is approximately 20 years old (and needs to have its elastic redone so it will not slip down over my belly as I change positions) plus a shirt I bought a year or so ago and a vest from my friend B's fortuitous weight loss. She has great taste, and sometimes I'm the beneficiary.

I love how the points of the vest in front strike the hem of the shirt. One of my friends teased that I looked like an angel, and I cracked up. I would love to find a pair of ecru or lightest brown boots to wear with this. Or a pair of boots that had cream, caramel, and black all swirled together like a s'more. I would almost certainly have to have them made to measure. I've always wanted a pair of cowboy boots. Maybe next year when I get my bonus?

I forget how much I love to read until I step away from my handwork for a couple of evenings and dive headfirst into a good novel. I just finished reading Madeleine L'Engle's A Live Coal in the Sea. This is Tola's fault. I downloaded it onto my phone for $1.99.

I may have solved the design challenge of the next segment of Justice's skirt. Will have to see what I think about it after I've slept.

That's all I've got for y'all tonight. I have some pictures to post to the doll blog, and then I'm out for the count.

Monday, October 02, 2017

A good weekend, and a good day at work.

General Conference was everything I could have wished. I've been catching up on a few talks that I missed. Internet issues, mostly, that interrupted one talk or another, and I slept through the priesthood session but will catch up on that one talk at a time. Elder Bednar's talk was the one that gave me the most to chew on.

I finished Justice's second sock on Saturday and her shirt yesterday. I have about half of a skirt put together. Not sure how I want to develop it further. I tore through my stash of lace and trims after dinner tonight, and nothing's quite right.

Our new admin started this morning, and the office manager is continuing to interview legal secretaries. We are once more approaching fully staffed and up to speed, and it's a lovely feeling.

Going to bed now, because I woke an hour ahead of my alarm this morning, and notwithstanding all of the sleep I got between Conference sessions, I'm feeling it. I'd like to have as good a day at work tomorrow as I did today, and for that I need a rested mind and body.

Friday, September 29, 2017

It was a good day, and I'm knackered.

I got a lot done, notwithstanding having taken nearly three hours of PTO before going to the office. Middlest's monthly checkup, picking up an Rx, hitting Braum's on the way home for more milk, buttermilk, and OJ.

Then dropping Middlest and the food at home, driving to work by way of Costco to pick up a couple of items to help my kid transition from the excessively bland diet that's intended to calm and heal the diverticulosis (we're introducing real food, slowly, huzzah!!)

My sinuses are a little nutsy, and have been for several days. I can tell that the antihistamines are working, and I'm still not entirely sneeze-free.

So I am going to take my evening meds a bit early and go to bed. Night, y'all.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Interesting day.

As soon as I stepped into the Tardis, the barely-there mist that was falling turned into a shower, then another deluge. As there are a couple of spots on my regular drive in where the traffic lights tend to go out after a rain, I opted to take I-75. People were driving with remarkable politeness, and the drive was uneventful until I exited the freeway and approached my first light, which turned yellow when I was about 50 yards away and still slowing from freeway speeds. I very gently pressed on the brake, hoping not to lock up or fishtail, and afraid that I would slide through the intersection anyway.

I stopped. On the proper side of the crosswalk. And I had the impression that I'd had some heavenly help with that, because I was going about 45, and then I was not. I told Heavenly Father, Thank You, and I think there were probably some angels involved in that stop. I was a little more quiet and awestruck for the rest of my drive.

The workday felt blessed as well. I got a phenomenal amount of work done, including the completion of scheduling two mediations out of the four that were on my plate.

From work I drove up to the Church's distribution center to exchange the garment tops I bought week before last. I had sized up significantly, based on my band size, and the shoulders were miles too big. So now I have ones that fit, and I can retire three of the older ones.

In knitting news, I'm about 20 rounds from being ready to work the heel flap. And I can promise you that that won't be happening tonight.

In doll news, I emailed the company a couple of weeks ago, and they said he would be shipped last week, but he wasn't. Last night I emailed again, and as of this writing, there is no response. They're a reputable company, and I imagine that there will be one tomorrow or the next day. I just want to know if he's shipped, and if so, get the tracking number.

In muscle relaxer news, I'm not sure exactly how much it's helping, especially on the days when SemperFi is in trial prep mode, but the joints in my shoulders and back have loosened up significantly. I can pop my shoulders and shoulder blades, plus a good number of my vertebrae, and once in awhile my collarbone. And some days I'm about this [ ] far from being able to pop my sternum. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but it amuses me to walk around in my own little marimba band.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Socks appeal.

When I looked at the photo that I snapped as my phone died last night, all I had was a sad black square of nope. So I took this one before leaving for work.

Mighty pleased with how it turned out. Nice crisp gusset, and the combination toe decrease fits her foot perfectly. When Fourthborn and I left Knit Night tonight, I was halfway to the first calf decrease on the second sock.

Fourthborn had her first bean burrito in nearly five months after I picked her up.

I've taken my meds, and the muscle relaxer is kicking in. Time to go brush my teeth before I fall asleep with my nose on the keyboard. (There was some poor guy dozing off over his laptop while we were at Bueno tonight. My emotions were just about evenly divided among pity, laughter, and empathy.)

Monday, September 25, 2017

First sock is done.

I'd give you a visual, but just as I snapped the picture, my phone proclaimed, I'm faint! and shut itself off. So there may or may not be a picture to share. After I'm done here, I'll go cast on the second sock and see if I can get the ribbing done before bedtime.

It was a good day at work. I touched all of the areas of my responsibilities: incoming mail, inbox, ToDo's, the mediations I'm supposed to be scheduling. Got my guys' calendars caught up. I did not necessarily get all of the signed mail out, but I stayed steadily and productively busy all day without feeling as if I were drowning.

Our office manager was on vacation last week and was out today because of illness. The meetings scheduled for tomorrow and Wednesday have been cancelled. So that's another three or four hours of productivity we will regain while she recovers.

I don't mind meetings on principle, and she always works from an agenda. However, meetings seem to be on the days when crises pop up like mushrooms after rain, and I spend the rest of the day scrambling between tasks that are urgent and tasks that are important.

That's all I've got for you, ducklings. My hands are itching to leap off this keyboard and whip out 200 stitches (five rounds at 40 stitches per round) of silk/merino corrugation.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

I needed today.

It seems as if the talks in sacrament meeting and the lessons in Sunday School and Relief Society were just for me.

But the best part happened hours before church began, when a friend from my putting-hubby-through days in Provo commented on one of my posts, "I'm so glad you're back in my world."

What a lovely, kind, meaningful thing to say. We are catching up via FB, and it's fascinating to me to see that the things I appreciated about her when we were young wives and mothers are still part of who she is today.

I know a little bit better how Alma and the sons of Mosiah felt when they were reunited after serving for fourteen years in different parts of their mission field.

I feel the same joy when I'm able to get together with my BFF from my childbearing years, or my BFF from my Arlington years.

I've said for some time that husbands come and husbands go, but good solid friendships with other women help hold my world together.

There is no sewing news today. I wasn't in the mood to sew on any more snaps. Ask me again tomorrow night.

In knitting news, I've done the heel flap, turned the heel, and am about halfway done with the gusset decreases. I need to figure out what sort of toe decreases I want so that I'll know how many rows of plain knitting need to fit between them and the end of the gusset decreases. Chances are pretty good that I'll have a finished sock by bedtime tomorrow.

Saturday, September 23, 2017


On the way home from work yesterday, the car ahead of me had two of these, facing one another, on the back of her car. And this. One that just said writer. This one suggests that she might be a librarian. Her license plate said My other car is a Tardis, and I thought, how cool, I'm driving the Tardis! And she had a Starfleet Academy window sticker. Definitely a kindred spirit.


When I went to bed last night, the blind-stitching was done.

I had also picked out some buttons to decorate the back of the shirt, but since I don't want to commit to all of that stitching until I see if there are new tiny buttons available, you get no picture at this time. We are headed to our friend Lisa's house later this morning, and there is a JoAnn's on the way.


This turned out to be a "Plan B" sort of day. When we went out to the Tardis, she wouldn't start. She just made a series of clicks like a bionic dolphin. A neighbor tried to jump the battery with no luck. So I called our mechanic, and they sent a wrecker, and I rode in a ginormous truck that was, surprisingly, easier to get into than out of. I should mention that for the past two or three days when I started the Tardis, the door locks jumped up and down unbidden.

She now has a new battery, and it + the labor + the towing bill (which is reimbursable at least in part) came to $2 less than I had in my checking account. I had to chuckle because I did have "enough, and to spare." (And money I could move into my checking account from other accounts, once I got home.) Definitely a tithing blessing when I needed one. I was able to honor my commitment for a drive-by fooding of the missionaries.

I finally chose a color for the buttons on the back of the shirt, and they're all sewn on. I've begun sewing on the snaps. They might be finished before bedtime, but I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you, because I've also had major progress on the sock while at the mechanic's and during the General Women's Broadcast. The calf decreases are long since finished, and I'm galloping toward the heel.

I had a marvelous phone conversation with LittleBit's fiance this afternoon, which he initiated. She is having surgery next Thursday to repair a hernia ~ not the hiatal hernia that she developed in high school, another one that I or we knew nothing about ~ and he wanted to make sure I was in the loop.

He is going to be such a marvelous addition to our family.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Both sleeves are ready to hem.

The sleeve opening at the wrist is narrower than I'm comfortable trying to stick the nose of my iron into. So I finger-pressed it all the way around, using my thumbnail to get a nice crisp edge. Tomorrow or Saturday I'll blind-stitch the facings down, but I've done all I want to do for one evening.

Dinner tonight was orange chicken from Panda Express, with a few bites of the fried rice. I'm saving the rice for lunch tomorrow. My fortune was particularly inane: You've got this one in the bag. To which I replied, "Yes. I do. It's called my dinner."

I put several more rounds on the stocking today, to the point that I think it's time to start the calf decreases. I need to fit it on Justice first, just to make sure.

Work was a little intense today. Both of my attorneys are in trial on Monday, and I only got partway through TheKid's notebook today. I may have to ask my backup to help me finish it tomorrow, because I'm pretty sure that SemperFi's will be even more voluminous. I'm hoping for a continuance on TheKid's trial, as one of the other attorneys has three or four older trials set for the same day.

But I got all the way through everybody's mail, and I got important stuff filed, and if I have to ask for help tomorrow, there's no shame in that.

The yarn is calling. I must go.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

No pictures. Not even a thousand words.

It was a good day at work. I realized while getting ready this morning that I'd bought the two dozen muffins one week early. Ordinarily this would be the day we have our support staff meeting, but the office manager is on vacation, and we're having the meeting next week.

I knew that theoretically Middlest and I could polish off two dozen muffins in a week or two, but I also knew that it would be a nutritionally stupid thing to do. I kept one dozen here and took the other dozen to work. They were mostly gone by the end of the day.

In knitting news, I added three or four more rounds on Justice's stocking and will add a few more before calling it a day.

In sewing news, I threaded the silk ribbon in through the buttonhole and tacked it carefully at the back edges, then finished the back sections of the binding. I'm quite pleased with how it looks. I also picked out about an inch's worth of stitches on a sleeve seam so I could attach the bias facing with a minimum of awkwardness. I have one facing turned and pinned for basting and no desire to work on the other sleeve tonight. My goal for tomorrow is to finish at least one of the sleeves and possibly both. At which point it will need snaps and maybe retrofitting with darts fore and aft.

The yarn is calling. Gotta run.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

So I changed the wallpaper on my computer.

This picture was taken outside the temple, probably by Secondborn, the day that Beloved's eldest son was sealed to his beloved.

It's still one of my favorite pictures from our brief year together. Can you hear me grinning, still, from where you sit? I got tired of the generic Microsoft picture that came with the alleged system upgrade.

In knitting news, I played hooky from Knit Night. I've worked late, last night and tonight, to catch up my desk. In other knitting news, I'm working on Justice's first knee high stocking. Loving it in the Findley. So soft, and the color shifts are (thus far) extremely subtle, which is what I'm looking for. The yarn picks up the light green of her shirt and harmonizes with the vests.

Hand-worked buttonhole at midnight Sunday night or Monday morning. Because y'all understand that one doesn't argue with the muse. (This is for the ribbon drawstring at the neck.)

Now to stitch up that channel, leaving it open near the back edges so I may insert the ribbon without catching it in the blind-stitching then tack each end firmly before finishing the blind-stitching. I think that will work. There's only one way to find out. I doubt that I'll complete the task tonight, but I'd like to take a stab at it.

Pun intended.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

New and somewhat improved.

I went out onto the porch in my jammies about 7:00a.m. and plunked the new faux foliage (say that three times, fast) into the bucket. After church I rummaged around in the garage, looking for the solid wood blocks that should have been about the right height to boost that Gerbera up a few inches. I finally settled for an empty pint canning jar turned on its head

Toward the end of sacrament meeting, my feet and legs started getting antsy. I think it's probably the angle of the choir seats relative to my bodily hinges, because once I was sitting on the hard chairs in the gym for Sunday School, I was just fine. I love those Sundays when I'm able to stay for all three hours of the block meetings, and this was one of them.

Came home, toasted an English muffin and spread Wholly Guacamole on it, inhaled my lunch, and was in bed by 4:00. Slept until 9:15, so I really must have needed that nap. Right now I'm finishing up a dinner of the last salmon burger (no bun), mashed potatoes, and steamed spinach with a splash of Key Lime juice, all washed down with a mug of buttermilk. I need to grab my evening meds. Be right back.

I cast on a swatch-in-the-round this morning. Forty stitches for a knee high stocking in K2P2 ribbing on my trusty 0000 needles. Turns out I guessed right. I've done five rounds of ribbing and need to grab my 000's to work the body of the stocking, unless I want to start over with 5-0's and 48 stitches. I'll have to see how I like the stockinette portion worked on 000's first.

I have piles and piles of medical receipts and paperwork to sort through, scan, and enter onto my spreadsheets over the next few weeks. Ordinarily I use the living room floor to sort into sub-piles, but the living room floor has been occupied by the cot on which Fourthborn slept, so it's all just piled up on my desk, the printer, and one of the footstools. Avery's sweater, Justice's vests, and various quilt blocks have (pleasantly) occupied my time. I don't have any illusions that tackling the paperwork will give me any more control over my life, but at least I can roll with the chaos in a slightly less cluttered environment, and that's got to count for something.

But for now, I'm going to load and run the dishwasher as my second nod to domesticity of the day. Night, y'all.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Gather home.

My friend Melissa made the folk art piece on the left. On the right is a print of a pencil sketch by Edward Hopper that I fell in love with at an exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art in late 2013 or early 2014. I bought it because it reminded me of Dad. Its hanging wire has been looped over the back of my spinning chair since I framed it

It's been a lovely, mellow day. I woke up roughly the usual time, came out to the living room, and swept up the feral dust bunnies that had accumulated under the cot while Fourthborn stayed with us. Then I brought in the three drawers that have been sitting out on the black chair on the front porch since I liberated them from my neighbor's front yard a month or more ago. Those went into the garage. They will emerge at some future date to be upcycled.

I swept the porch, dusted off the chair, and brought out two white artificial pumpkins that have been hanging out just inside in the front door since I went on my mad pumpkin buying splurge. I also grabbed the French flower bucket from the alcove in the dining room, et voila!

Took me less than half an hour to significantly improve my curb appeal and my spirits at the same time. I will eventually get rid of the broken Christmas lights.

Attended a birthday brunch for a friend with whom I used to serve in the temple. Afterward I stopped at Trader Joe's for more ginger cookies (we were almost out) and Hobby Lobby for some autumnal additions to those forsythia. The new silk foliage is currently taking over the fallow side of the bed.

When the children's father and I owned the home in Irving, I fell in love with Chinese lantern plants, but he nixed them because they are so invasive, subject to disease and pests, etc. (This is what happens when you marry a man whose undergraduate major was biology with an emphasis in botany.) So now I have silk ones, and big red faux berries and one ginormous silk Gerbera daisy. I have zero interest in traipsing out to the porch in my jammies and tweaking the arrangement tonight. Maybe tomorrow after church, or maybe one night after work. (Or, me being me, possibly one night next spring, when it's bluebonnet season.) Meanwhile, what's there is already pretty nifty.

Earlier in the week I ordered a handpainted rayon jersey tunic from a shop I'd seen online. It arrived on Friday. Tomorrow I'll figure out what I want to wear with it to work on Monday. It looks like what eating raspberry ice cream with big chocolate chunks tastes like.

I also got myself measured for new temple garments, because of the weight I've regained and because I've been guesstimating the fit for the last 40 years or so. It's occurred to me that maybe one of the reasons my ankles swell when I'm stressed is because the elastic in my garment bottoms is just that much too snug. I don't know if this will help, but I'm willing to set ego aside and find out.

In knitting news, I'm cranking out another baby sock and wishing it were the first of a pair for Justice.

In doll news, I emailed the company in Korea this week, and Valor will ship out next week.

In laundry news, for people who are not Goths, we sure do have a lot of dark clothing. I'm washing the first load as we speak. Full disclosure: Middlest and I both like richly colored T-shirts, which means that they get washed with the darks so as not to make my bright pastel shirts crabby and surprised.

OK, gotta go see if it's time for that second load. And then I think I will work on the hem facing of Justice's shirt. Two rounds knitted on the baby sock and a porch spiffed up do not equal sufficient creativity for one day.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

In which Fourthborn gets to eat real food.

We celebrated the "all clear but don't be stupid" with lobster bisque and Caesar salads at Lucile's this afternoon. Hit two yarn shops on the way home, and then I crashed.

It is entirely possible that the combination of lobster bisque and Caesar salad has psychedelic properties, because I woke up from a four and a half hour nap and spectacularly colorful dream-turning-into-movie with a screaming bladder. I have since eaten all but one bite of a PBJ washed down with milk. The bite I didn't eat, leaped from my fingers, ricocheted off my thigh, and hit the floor. At which point I intoned Let the sandwich hit the floor. And Fourthborn cracked up.

I cast on yet another baby sock while we waited for her appointment, and by the time our lunch arrived the cuff was 25% done.

That's all I've got for you today. I'm going to wash the PBJ off my fingers and go back to blind-hemming Justice's blouse.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

In which I ate butternut squash soup.

And I actually enjoyed it, which is strange because I generally loathe squash (pumpkin does not count as squash, as I only eat pumpkin which has been thoroughly wrangled into submission). This was my dinner at Panera last night. I find it amazing that the "croutons" in my salad are dried slices of Fuji apple. The one improvement I could suggest for the salad would be to add diced fresh apples, but then I guess they'd have to call it double-Fuji-apple salad.

I finished the decreases on the charity hat tonight, and tomorrow morning I will weave in the ends. I also did the tiniest bit of sewing tonight. It turns out that when the package of bias binding said "wide double fold bias binding" they weren't kidding. It's almost two inches wide, opened out. To finish the back edges of Justice's shirt I cut a section slightly longer than the shirt, carefully pressed it flat, sliced it lengthwise into two 7/8" wide pieces with a mere sliver left over, and stitched those to the back of the shirt, graded the seam, and edge-stitched the binding.

Both back edges are currently pinned for basting, after which I will press them thoroughly. Then I will fold the raw edge under, baste it, and press it within an inch of its life. After which I will blind-hem the facing to each back. When the back edges are finished to my satisfaction (I do a lot of basting and pressing when I sew), then I will repeat the process for the bottom edge, the sleeve hems, and the neck.

I do wish that I'd had the bias before I sewed the sleeve seams. It would have been ever so much easier to attach the facings when the sleeves were flat. I still haven't decided how I want to bring in the fullness at the neck edge. Or if I want to retrofit the bodice with darts front and back. I underestimated how much fullness I would need at the bust for this to fit like a proper peasant blouse. It's a little loose for a tailored shirt and nowhere near roomy enough for a peasant blouse.

I've had two really great nights' sleep, back to back, and am aiming for another, so I bid you all a gracious good evening. Tomorrow Fourthborn has her post-op evaluation over in Fort Worth. Lots of driving for Ms. Ravelled.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

I'm not biased.

But I think this ready-made tape is a remarkably good match. I went into JoAnn's after getting my eyes checked but before going to dinner, in hopes of finding a nice neutral cream color with which to finish the back, neck, and lower edges of Justice's new shirt.

I think this was the only package in this color, or maybe that was the slightly darker package of piping that I also picked up. The tape is a closer match in real life. I'll let you know when the shirt is done.

Eye checkup went well. No sign of cataracts, glaucoma, or macular degeneration. My eyes are very slightly less near-sighted than last year, the right eye having changed slightly more than the left. Not enough change to require new lenses, and my frame is holding up well, so I think we're good for another year.

I'm nearly done with the crown decreases on the charity hat, and if I go sit down for about half an hour, I think I can go to bed with a finished hat. Well, maybe not the weaving-in of ends, but the part that requires more than half a mind.

Monday, September 11, 2017

I now know where the pruning saw lives.

While loading the dryer, I happened to look up and to the right, behind the second refrigerator (which we do not use). And there it was.

In work news: I stayed busy all day. Not swamped. Not looking for stuff to do. Just steadily busy, which is the way that I prefer it. Whittled down my Sent folder and my inbox. Got all the way through SemperFi's mail and was (finally) able to delete several days' worth of mail folders that TheKid had not signed off on. Tomorrow, all things being equal, I will get his incoming mail handled.

Came home and ran a load of laundry plus the first of two loads in the dishwasher, which has a really slow cycle. We let things pile up over the weekend, and I'm the only one well enough to do the nuts and bolts of housekeeping.

Fourthborn ate a small amount of Greek yogurt this evening and seems to be tolerating it well. Middlest thinks that the kidney stone might have passed sometime today but is having sufficient internal distress from the enforced bland diet that it's hard to sort out what hurts, and why. And as for me, I am doing some deathbed-repentance knitting on a charity project that needs to be finished by Thursday evening, when our stake is holding an interfaith dinner.

This is the part where I go to my room and see how much progress I can make on that hat.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

BittyBubba was baptized today.

I need to write down my feelings during 1BDH's talk on baptism and the Holy Ghost, but it's after 10:30, and I have work tomorrow. Suffice it for now to say that it was amazing, and it even included a surprise visit by Lark, who moved to Chicago a few weeks ago. One of her grandpas sent her a plane ticket.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

The vest is done. And sewing happened.

I've plastered it all over the various groups I'm in on Facebook. But if you're not on FB, and you're curious, here's a link to the other blog.

I also made Justice a pair of bloomers and began a peasant blouse before, suddenly, running out of steam. I'm going to fix a healthy snack, take my meds, and call it a day. It was a good one.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Yeehaw crawdaddies! It's the weekend!

I got all three answers filed today, two for Attorney B and one for SemperFi. And various other things accomplished. And today's ToDo's to-did. And a whole lot of emails cleaned up. And I have no idea what is going on in anybody's incoming mail folder.

But it's the weekend, and I don't officially care about it until Monday morning.

In knitting news, I've woven in most of the ends on the second vest and worked most of the first tie end. Taking a break to blog, and then I'll go back, add however many rows on the free range I-cord are necessary, then attach it to the upper edge and start slogging working my way across the top of the vest.

I have zero intention of finishing that job tonight, but I'm pretty sure that sometime tomorrow the second vest will be done.

In irony news, after two nights of short sleep and long workdays, when I finally had a chance for a normal(ish) night's sleep last night, my body woke me at 3:00pm and said what do you mean you want to go back to sleep? You've had five hours. Isn't that the new normal?

I did manage to fall asleep again, but it took awhile. Hoping to be in bed before 11:00 tonight and to sleep until my body has had its fill.

Yarn's calling. Gotta go.