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, 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.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Caught up (for the moment).

I got through all of the mail. I filed this and that. I worked as many of my ToDo's as I could. And I left the office 15 minutes before I did last night, making a beeline for Costco to get more TP, alcohol wipes, cottage cheese, and chocolate muffins.

I grabbed Bueno while on the road. The groceries are put away. I'm about to eat a few bites of mango passion fruit sorbet, brush my teeth, take my meds, and hole up in my room. If I'm still awake at ten, it will be a miracle.

Note to self: reset the alarm for 6:00a.m. It's going to feel almost sinful getting that extra hour of sleep.

Knit may or may not happen. I am one very tired, very happy camper. Night, y'all.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Progress on two fronts.

Breathing a little easier at work. I'm going back at dark-thirty tomorrow morning, as I'm Attorney B's backup (which I've been from time to time for several years), and his secretary is out tomorrow and Friday, and he has two answers due on Monday. So those will be my first priority.

SemperFi also has an answer due on Monday, but I haven't been given the nuts and bolts of the file to work with yet. I've got a file I can close, and I've worked several days' worth of mail for both of my guys.

During my lunch break I finished the I-cord at the armscye. Still need to weave in some ends and will do that after I finish my pizza and give my hands a thorough scrubbing.

I put in three extra hours today. Tomorrow's forecast is a 40% chance of clean desk, with scattered sighs and a chocolate downpour. You should probably grab your wellies.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

In which your intrepid heroine recognizes that she needs some help.

And even admits it. Last week I only worked two and a half days. So while I made a bit of progress today on various fronts, I did not accomplish enough to feel truly productive. We don't generally have the opportunity to work overtime, but while we are short-handed and the four people who have been promoted are growing into their new responsibilities (and one of our staff is going out on medical leave), there are opportunities for overtime as well as overwork.

I'm going in tomorrow at 7:00, and I may stay late as well. An hour and a half before the phones start ringing is prime time for things that require deep focus and attention to detail. I'm hoping to be caught up by the end of the day tomorrow, but if not I will rinse and repeat on Thursday.

I went to Knit Night briefly, left early enough to pick up my prescription and tank the Tardis, and now that I'm home have jam-packed my lunch bag with enough meals and snacks to get me through the day and into the evening if need be. I'm enjoying a few spoonfuls of mango passion fruit sorbet to round off my day, and then I will pick out tomorrow's outfit, take my meds, and see how quickly I can fall asleep. I think this will be a night for lavender oil on my temples.

In knitting news, I got three-fourths of the way around the armscye, and those last few stitches can jolly well wait until tomorrow or whenever I get around to them.

Night, y'all.

Monday, September 04, 2017

It's Labor Day. I labored.

This has been a day for puttering. I looked out the kitchen window while fixing breakfast and decided that this was the day those ugly green "horse apples" from the bois d'arc tree were getting picked up.


I used a big plastic rake to herd them all alongside the edge of the patio. In prior years I've stooped over and picked them up, one by one, and chunked them into the trash bin or garbage bags. It's exhausting and hard on my back. This was phase one, when I raked them into seven or eight small groups.


When I quit this morning, they were loosely gathered here. Raking them up was a cross between field hockey and herding cats.


Middlest and Fourthborn couldn't help, because they both have POTS: if they change positions too quickly or bend over, they run the risk of blacking out. So my plan was to wait until the sun was at least partially behind my neighbor's trees, but before the mosquitoes come out to play, sit on the picnic bench, and have both the horse apples and the trash bin in easy reach.

We modified that plan a little. Fourthborn came out and sat on the picnic bench. She held trash bags open for me and suggested that I shovel the horse apples in. It worked very well three to five at a time, 20 per each bag because those little guys are heavy. So, eight bags only partially filled, and eleven loose anvils horse apples.

That bois d'arc tree really takes the "be fruitful and multiply" commandment seriously. I love that tree for its rugged beauty and the shade it provides. However, at this time of year I'd like to have a word or two with the person who decided, 46 years ago, that a bois d'arc tree in what would eventually be my back yard, was a scathingly brilliant idea. I got everything down to the curb without incident or injury. Ta-daa!

There was also knitting progress. I got the I-cord all the way down the back edge, across the bottom, and up the front. I also picked up stitches for the top edge, but before I work that, I want to knock out the I-cord around the armscye. It's quite fiddly and requires the use of my 4" DPs. I'd prefer not to lose (another) one in the Tardis while sitting at a stoplight.

I managed to get the balance right between food and water, work and rest today. It's been a good day. And my backyard looks almost civilized.

Not much to report.

Nobody had to go to the ER. Fourthborn continues to mend. She's added two hard-boiled eggs per day to her diet and is tolerating them well. We are going to reintroduce dairy a week from tomorrow.

I had a wonderful nap after church. Before that, I spent some time picking out stitches that formed a horizontal tuck across the front of a shirt my friend Beth gave me several months ago. It hadn't hung right on her, so she carefully lifted the front edge by a couple of edges, tapering the tuck to nothing at the underarm seams. And since she hadn't trimmed the excess fabric, with a minimum of effort on my part I now have a machine-embroidered tunic that is very boho and is on a hanger in my studio, waiting to be pressed into service. (ba dum ching!)

Middlest has not had as nice a day. Still battling the kidney stone. Still battling the diverticulosis. And yawned wrong this morning, triggering a first-ever episode of trigeminal neuralgia and instant migraine. I can hear the sound of logs being steadily sawn, with no hint of apnea.

Today is Squishy's birthday and would have been Beloved's 68th birthday. I have no idea what tomorrow might bring, other than a whole lot of sewing, knitting, and napping, but today was very sweet and peaceful. Not a trace of angst in my heart or body. I am two years older than he got to be in mortality.

In knitting news, the I-cord bind-off is all the way down the back edge and around that first, extremely pointed corner. I think I'll turn on my Pandora and see how much more gets done before I'm sleepy again. It was a very long nap...

Saturday, September 02, 2017

A fruitful day.

When I went to bed last night, the three quilt blocks that needed to be done this morning, were about 90% finished. I did my impression of a sensible adult and went to bed so as not to mess them up. Took me a little over an hour to finish them this morning, and I'm glad that I trusted my instincts.

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Current techniques for making flying geese blocks is to cut squares the depth of the block, draw a line lightly along the diagonal of the square (on the wrong side) and stitch along that line. Then you trim off the excess fabric at the corner. I suppose most folks throw those pieces away. They're rarely large enough to be useful. I've been saving mine from this year's series quilt in a spare clear plastic shoebox, and after we got home from the quilt shop today I pulled them out of the box and started chain-piecing them with approximately 1/8" seams. Forty of them. I would give you a visual (I did to one of my groups on Facebook), but my phone has gone to bed without me. The blocks are roughly the size of a half dollar.

I may leave them as-is, after tidying the squares, or I may slice them on the diagonal and sew those halves together to make squares consisting of alternating quarter-square triangles. (They would form an hourglass or X shape in aqua and plum, and probably be about the size of a quarter.) At any rate, the finished blocks will go into another container until I have enough to make a doll quilt. Or quilts.

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In knitting news, I finished knitting the side panel of the second doll vest and began picking up stitches for the I-cord border yesterday. I completed that task earlier today but have not yet summoned up the nerve to cast on and start grinding away at it.

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Back to quilting news. The only one of us who really liked the options for the next block of the month quilt was Middlest, who was torn between colorway A and colorway B. So Firstborn and Fourthborn will sew colorway A. Middlest and I will sew colorway B. And this time next year Middlest will have 48 blocks, enough to make two quilts.

OK, I'm done. Night, y'all.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Today has been something of a beating.

Don't get me wrong: I got a lot done at work, and I'm reasonably pleased with that. Not everything got done, but the important stuff did.

Remember several weeks ago when I saw that skirt that I fell in love with, and by the time I was in a position to order it, it was sold out?  It was back in stock last night, but apparently not in my size. So I emailed customer service and asked if they were planning to reorder and if so, this is the size I need. I was delighted to have a response this morning that said it was in stock; it's just that my size was not listed where I'd expected it to be. I messaged the kids here at home and asked them to give me the promo code for whichever coupon was on my desk that hadn't expired and would give me the best discount. Bam! 30% off! I ordered that baby, applied the discount, got confirmation, and two hours later received a highly apologetic email. My order was cancelled, because they'd oversold. As a consolation, they gave me another discount code good for 90 days.

You may have seen pictures of the gas lines here in Texas as a result of Harvey. I am ever so glad that I tanked the Tardis when I went to Costco on Tuesday. There were three separate lines vying for entrance to the Racetrac near my house. Blocking lanes. Clogging parking lots. Complicating intersections. It was that way at almost every gas station I passed on the way home. There will be no unnecessary driving this weekend (it's expected to get better after Labor Day). But I will be surprised if it's improved sufficiently for me to get to Knit Night next Tuesday. We shall see.

I came home in need of comfort food, so I fired up the oven and got two individual pizzas ready to bake. When I took them out of the oven, my hand slipped, and it made brief contact with the oven. The good news is that, as a result of Middlest's migraines and Fourthborn's recent surgery, there are plenty of ice packs in the freezer compartment, and I was able to ice it down almost immediately.

In happier news, on the drive home there was a car in the other lane whose driver had the windows open and her left hand up on the soft top, gently tapping out the beat to whatever was on her radio. It was lighthearted and graceful, and it heartened me. I hope she had a wonderful surprise waiting for her when she got home.

Pizza is down the hatch, and my plans for tonight include a couple of loads of laundry (there was a pile of towels on top of the washer when I went out to the garage to wash a load of whites), cutting out most or all of the pieces for the quilt blocks that need to be done on Saturday, maybe sewing a little, and definitely knitting.

Tomorrow I take Middlest to the monthly doctor visit, convey an Rx to the pharmacist, and take it and Middlest home before going in to work. I will be wearing one of my Packers shirts, and last night I polished the earrings I made in the silversmithing class in Fredericksburg. I get to wear my comfy sneakers all day. And it's payday.

This is the part where I put the clean, wet towels into the dryer so I can wash the whites and start being a cut-up.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

First day back at work.

There were 71 emails waiting for me, one voicemail, and three days of mail, plus the usual assortment of ToDo's. I got the emails wrangled in about three hours of concentrated attention, the emails done an hour or so after that, and all three days of mail gone through, plus my ToDo's. Truly a miracle on the order of the loaves and fishes. I am ever so grateful. I have some self-generated subfolders in my ZZ-Secretary folder, which is where I throw things that need to be worked as a result of the day's mail or the ToDo's my attorneys give me. I hope to catch all of them up tomorrow.

My Green Bay Packers shirts were waiting for me as well. I haven't tried them on, but I've held them up against me, and I think both will fit just fine. I'm going to have so much fun wearing one of them to work on Friday.

Made a little more progress on Justice's vest today and will put in a few more rows before bedtime. Before that, I'm going to press all of the fabric for the quilt blocks so they'll be ready to cut out tomorrow night. I have no intention of firing up the sewing machine tonight. But if tomorrow goes as smoothly as today did, sewing will be a great way to cap off the evening.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Two out of three.

Fourthborn is feeling significantly better. I had a ginormous nap this afternoon and am feeling somewhat more rested. Middlest is in the batcave with a migraine.

In knitting news, I've completed the slit in the side panel of Justice's vest. I'm going to tink back a couple of rows and move the last of those central decreases down a smidgen, and then it's a smooth canter to the hem.

I've deliberately kept this day simple. Quarterly diabetes check plus flu shot (in one arm and out the other), breakfast, elevenses, nap, light dinner, and knitting.

I finished The Book of Mormon on Sunday. Yesterday was rather chaotic, and I forgot. This morning I started over with 1 Nephi Chapter 1 on the way to my appointment, realized that my mind kept jumping to mundane things, and listened again, more carefully, on the drive home. For the first time it occurred to me to wonder if the angel who brought the record for Father Lehi to read, might have been Moroni, and if he was the angel who chastened Laman and Lemuel when they were whaling on Nephi and Sam outside the city of Jerusalem on the trip to get the plates of Laban, and if he was the angel who inspired Alma the Younger to straighten up and fly right, and later in Alma's life came to comfort him. Knowing how much Heavenly Father likes the first-shall-be-last and last-shall-be-first principle, it would be fitting if the spirit who became Moroni and wrapped up the record and later loaned it to Joseph Smith, was that first spirit of the twelve whom Father Lehi saw in his vision. None of this is essential to my salvation. But at least I spent some time today pondering, instead of merely listening or half-hearing.

We know from modern revelation that Jesus Christ is the Jehovah of the Old Testament, that the angel Gabriel who announced the big news to Mary, was known as Noah while in mortality, that the archangel Michael was our first earthly father, Adam. Since Noah saved a portion of mankind, I can see how it would be appropriate for Gabriel to announce the coming of a greater Savior. Since Adam ushered in the gift of mortality and the opportunity to choose righteousness, it is only fitting that the great meeting of priesthood brethren, where all priesthood keys are returned to the Savior, should be presided over by Father Adam under the direction of Jesus Christ.

I hope I am still alive to see that day. Oh, how I long for a time when we will not be subject to the whims and wickedness of mortal leaders, when we will have rooted selfishness out of our hearts, when joy and peace and safety flood the earth.

I am sad to learn that the floodwaters from Harvey have breached the Houston temple. I helped to clear brush on the temple site when I went to a singles conference c. 1999. But I am heartened by all the reports of people helping one another, regardless of any differences among them. I hope that much good may result from this catastrophe, that the hearts which are momentarily softened will remain so after the debris and rebuilding are history.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Well, that's done!

Middlest (tired, oh so tired!) Fourthborn sailed through her gall bladder surgery like the trooper that she is. We were stuck at the hospital until she could pee, which required an intervention, but she's managed three times on her own since then. We've got a whole lot of thou-shalt-nots, most of which I remembered from when I had mine out in 2001. Once we were released, we headed to IHOP. Scrambled eggs and dry toast with jelly for her, a full meal for me, as I'd eaten what I thought were all of my snacks about two hours into the day.

Lots of happy knitting and a modicum of frogging today. I finished the shoulder strap on the vest and made a good start on the side panel.

I am still vaguely hungry, notwithstanding having devoured the last of the Fage with a generous spoonful of Nutella stirred in, moments after we got home tonight. I do not think there will be much knitting before bedtime, as my body is screaming for (A) water and (B) sleep. I'm hoping that drinking another bottle of water will suffice to hush my stomach without riling my bladder at 2:00am.

Poor Middlest! The recovery room was a black hole. No bars on my phone, and no internet connection. So we were incommunicado for at least six hours. (And Middlest was fearing the worst.) My battery died sometime this afternoon and is still charging.

I have 45 minutes in which to eat or not eat, because tomorrow it's my turn. Quarterly diabetes check, minor Costco run, and I hope at least one nap. I am happy and relieved and knackered.


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Praxis

Practice, as distinguished from theory; accepted practice or custom. I was cleaning out my inbox this evening, and while reading the newest Snippets (from Mason Dixon Knitting) was led to this and from that, to the website 100 Acts of Sewing. And several new vocabulary words. Enclothed Cognition being another example.

I like learning new stuff.

It's been a weird day. I did get the front and back joined at the shoulder and a few rows worked before church. It was lovely and cool, thanks to Harvey. It was incredibly humid, also thanks to Harvey. As a result, my joints began screaming once I got to church, and I left after sacrament meeting. Fixed lunch, took two ibuprofen, set the alarm for 5:00, and slept through it until 5:30, when Fourthborn knocked on my door to say that the home teacher/visiting teacher were here. I struggled into my bra, put on pajama pants, grabbed my glasses, and came out to be sociable.

Fourthborn's surgery is early tomorrow morning. I will be setting my alarm for obnoxious bleeping sound instead of classical music, so that I will not sleep through it.

And now I'm going to fix a healthy snack, knit a little, and go back to bed. Apparently this is one of those weekends that is meant to be spent horizontal and unconscious.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Minutiae

I had a perfectly brilliant reasonably coherent blog post vanish night before last. And last night, all I wanted to do was knit. Went to bed somewhat earlier than usual because I'd made an appointment for a spa day for the Tardis. It was time for her 125K mile checkup, and she needed an oil change, and the indicator for battery strength has been running a little low, and then there was that ladder I ran over two or three weeks ago.

So she got an oil change, new plugs and wires, tires rotated, battery checked (normal), and her front end aligned. As that was nearing completion, the mechanic popped his head into the waiting room to ask if I'd been having any trouble with the A/C lately. No, not trouble exactly, but it's been a little slow to cool off when I first turn it on. Yes, please, check that for me. Eight gulps of freon (I don't remember how they measure it, and I'm not at all interested in getting up and going into my room where I tossed the receipt on my bed to find out).

It was a seriously spendy morning, but the first blessing is that there was room for that expense on my credit card, and I have the means to pay it off. The second blessing is that I spent roughly five hours at the shop, and in that time I nearly finished the front to Justice's vest while having great conversations with the other customers and the shop's general manager.

I came home and took quite a lengthy nap after inhaling my lunch. Then I drove to the grocery store, reminding myself to tank the Tardis before buying any food, because I know how I am. Once the food is in the truck, I am beelining it for home, and any thought of gasoline has long since vanished. I wanted a full tank for the Sabbath and for taking Fourthborn to her surgery early Monday morning.

Here's where the next blessing kicks in. I have a shopper's card for that store, and I get fuel points. Today my card told me I could redeem up to 90 cents per gallon. Did I want to? You bet I did! (As you can imagine, gas prices in North Texas have risen dramatically over the past several days due to Hurricane Harvey and the shutdown of oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico.)

So I'm home, and the food is put away, and I'm enjoying Greek yogurt with mango salsa stirred in, which is a relatively healthy way to have chips and salsa. I double-dip like crazy, minimizing the number of chips consumed and completely eliminating any sense of guilt about the endeavor. (I also had mango salsa on top of an otherwise naked salmon burger recently, and it was amazing as well ~ and part of the blog post that vanished.)

I present for your amusement an exchange a few minutes ago between Fourthborn and me. I thought I heard water running out in the kitchen, where she was microwaving a snack.

Me: Are you running water in there?
4B: Yes???
Me: OK, I thought I was hearing things.
*Pause*
Me: Oh. You were washing the thing I asked you to wash.
4B: What were you expecting me to wash it with? Unicorn tears?
Me: It all makes sense now.
4B: They're stoic lately.
Me: What???
4B: They're stoic lately.
Me: Ah.

This is the part where I hit "post" and go knit some more.

P.S. I bought a Clay Matthews jersey and a more girly Packers t-shirt on Thursday. Can you hear Beloved grinning up there in heaven? We have a tradition in our office that from the beginning of college football season through the Superbowl, we can wear college or team jerseys and t-shirts to work on Fridays, with jeans and tennis shoes. I have Beloved's nearly loved to death Packers sweatshirt and his Superbowl 25 t-shirt, which may or may not fit around my tummy the way I'd like after the stress eating of this summer, so I decided to splurge on the jersey I've wanted for five years. Yesterday I wore his BYU t-shirt, which sometimes doubles as a sleep shirt, so it will probably be in the hamper most Fridays. And besides, Clay Matthews, who won my heart as much as anyone who was not Beloved could, five years ago with his smartphone commercial.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The back part of the second vest is done.

I've got three rows worked on the front part but needed to take a break and fold some laundry.

Had a really good day at work. Steadily busy, and no ugly surprises in my workflow.

Have booked an appointment for dark-thirty on Saturday morning for the 125K mile checkup on the Tardis: rotate tires, check the brakes. She also needs an oil change, and it might be time to replace the battery.

Braum's was out of buttermilk when I stopped in to restock after picking up a prescription. Sigh...

I'm hoping that this weekend involves nothing more complicated than knitting and naps after the Tardis's checkup is done. I'm still recouping my energy after last weekend. Middlest, last we spoke, was feeling lousy, slightly grumpy (but understandably so) and is presently sawing logs while Fourthborn noodles on the laptop and I blog.

In my Book of Mormon listening while I drive to work, I'm almost to the end of the Book of Moroni, and his sadness and loneliness are palpable. I can't imagine being on the run for 20 years, the last surviving member of a once-great nation, pursued by the descendants of his unrepentant uncles. When I meet him on the other side, after I thank him for keeping the records and loaning them to the prophet Joseph for translation, I want to bear-hug him and hand him a brownie.

Because nothing says thank you for saving my life like chocolate with love baked into every bite.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Mithril?

Oh good grief. This is not lavender yarn. It's a lovely rich grey tonal. Why do things skew warmer on my phone? And I think it's going to be chain mail when it grows up. That was Fourthborn's idea, anyway.

I got up at 5:00 this morning to be out the door at 6:00 to be at my desk by 7:00. Going to work an hour and a half early is wonderful on several levels. My choice of parking spots. No ringing phone. No conversations until the time I would normally be there. I got all of my attorneys' mail out before I left the office at 11:00 to come get Fourthborn and take her to her appointments.

Taking this groggy body to bed now.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Not the usual Sabbath around here.

As I was getting ready to go to church, Middlest called. "They're going to discharge me." (About half an hour into sacrament meeting.) So I called/texted a friend to cover for me in leading the music, and I also texted the Bishop. Instead of getting into a skirt, I got into jeans and a T-shirt, grabbed my knitting and a bottle of water, and headed off to the hospital.

We had to wait until Middlest's lunch was delivered, the dietitian brought a sheaf of news we can use, and then I took my kid home.

Mel-Mel-Chan and Squishy had scooped up Fourthborn for a Tinies Brunch at a local restaurant. They brought her home shortly after I had fixed myself a snack and was settling in at the computer. Our friend Andi also came, and we had a nice visit. The non-resident kids took the non-resident dolls we've been hosting during and after their move, so the dining room table is bare except for Celeste, and Harmony, who are looking up at the starscape on the ceiling.

I will be buying lots of bland, barely-nutritious food for Middlest for the next four to six weeks. We are whole grain heaven in this house, which is incompatible with healing my kid's gut.

I have also done two loads of laundry today, but we had undies in the mire and bedding that smelled (to Middlest, not to me) like I don't know why I'm sick, but I sure feel gross. I had a luscious, long nap after everybody left, so I'll be able to stay up until the towels go into the dryer. Right now I'm drying a fluffy, sheds-all-over-everything blanket separately, on low heat and less-dry.

In knitting news, I've made huge strides on the vest back. I'm hoping to get the longest swathe of stitches onto a holding thread before calling it a day. I'm also getting up at dark-thirty in order to be at my desk at 7:00 tomorrow (an hour and a half ahead of usual) so I may put in four hours before scurrying home to fetch Fourthborn for her two appointments.

Feeling wonderfully blessed, except that my left ankle is taking exception to the hurry up and wait that was this weekend. It's nowhere near as swollen as it was when I went home yesterday afternoon, but it ain't pretty.

Night, y'all.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

In which Middlest and I have adventures.

Middlest has been feeling crummy all week. But not wanting another ER trip that would mean my losing a day of work the following day, my stubborn, wonderful kid minimized the pain until yesterday morning. I went to work knowing that there was a likelihood of an ER trip after work if things didn't magically get better, and I was able to put in a mostly-productive day at the office.

When we went to this ER in April, the doctors were concerned about the presence of air in the abdomen. The hospitalist wanted the surgeon to zip Middlest open. The surgeon said that since there were no visible perforations in the bowel, he advised against it, but if the symptoms got worse, to please come back.

So I came home, wolfed down some leftovers, packed snacks and water bottles into my knitting bag, and off we went.


Since chest pain was part of the constellation of the current symptoms, they checked that first. Heart is blessedly normal. Blood work came back normal as well, so no sign of infection in the body. Also reassuring. This is my kid sporting a Jolly Green Giant condom emesis bag as chapeau, to make me laugh.

They admitted Middlest for observation overnight. I left the hospital about 1:00 this morning, came home and picked up a few things for Middlest, delivered them back at the room, and came home to crash, finally falling asleep about 3:30 and waking five hours later feeling more than marginally human. I went back to the hospital around 10:30 and spent the next several hours waiting with Middlest and updating family as we got more information.

This next picture is from around noon: a portable X-ray machine that to my mind resembles a smiling Transformer. Definitely one of the good guys, because it gave the surgeon news she could use.


While we were waiting for the surgeon (a different one from last time), we amused ourselves with bad jokes and visual puns. My kid on morphine is a hoot, absolutely unfiltered and even more diligent to be kind.

One of the items I took back at ridiculous o'clock this morning was Cloudshine, a gift to Middlest our first Christmas in Fredericksburg. Each of the kids got one of these.


Cloudshine got his name because when he was new, his grey fur glowed like the edge of a raincloud lit from behind. Here he performs downward facing dog.

Because there was a more than slight chance that Middlest would be having exploratory surgery, food and drink were verboten. Which led to this exchange shortly after I got to the hospital this morning:

M: "I was hoping and praying for a break from all the N@zi posts, and now everybody's posting about food. Can I just have the N@zi posts back for a minute?"

You will be amused top know that when I tried to swype "N@zi" on my phone, it offered me "Sashimi" instead. I shared this with Middlest. "Now it's offering fish. I don't even like fish!"

In knitting news, I dropped a stitch on the navy edition of Justice's vest, and despite two crochet hooks and an assortment of needles only managed to make things worse. I did get brave, just before bedtime on Thursday, and compare the new piece to the completed half. They were compatible in size, but the hand of the navy piece was less substantial, almost sleazy. (The yarn itself is most definitely not sleazy, just the fabric I was producing.) So I frogged the navy, picked up the half(ish) ball of green, and cast on the second vest back. As we knitters say, I am now playing yarn chicken. If there is not enough to finish the second half all the way through to the I-cord edging and ties, I have an idea that may work.

Meds are kicking in, and I have church tomorrow morning (after which I will probably head straight to the hospital if I don't also go beforehand).

Thursday, August 17, 2017

My goals for tonight were simple.

Costco run. Wrap the bridal shower gift that I bought last night. Knit.

I'm pleased to report that Fourthborn brought in the Costco stuff, and I put it away.

I spent an hour or so playing with string after wrapping the box my order of doll eyes came in, in paper leftover from First Wife's stash, using all but a narrow irregularly-shaped strip of paper. For the ribbon, I started making I-cord on size 4 needles and decided it would take too long and maybe not look handcrafted (since the gift per se was storebought), so I frogged it and crocheted a sturdy and I hope charmingly eccentric chain with dishcloth cotton and a size E hook. So that's done.

I'm a little afraid to pull the green vest out of where I put it for safekeeping and compare the gauge of the current piece. I have eight rows to go before I'm supposed to put the first batch of stitches onto a holding thread. The darker yarn feels thinner than the green yarn, and the fabric is a lot more drapey. I'm hoping hat I don't have to felt it ever so gently in order for it to match. It would be way too easy to over-felt it and have to start over.

Fourthborn is reading fan-fic and snickering quietly. It's a nice sound.

My muscle relaxer and something else just kicked in. Time to shove all the stuff I shoved onto the side where I sleep, back to the other side of the bed and call it a night.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I got the row count figured out.

And I made a (very) little more progress today. I may have one or two more rows in me before calling it a night, but almost certainly no more than that.

We had our monthly support staff meeting today, and I had enough work to keep me pleasantly occupied until quitting time. Hoping for more of the same tomorrow.

We think Middlest may be juggling another kidney stone. Or two. The response to, "How do you feel?" is a consistent, "Like hell." And there are two small bruises on either side of the spine in the place where they show up. We are hoping that this does not mean the other kidney is jealous of all the attention its cohort gets and has decided to get in on the action. We are hoping that there will be no need for another trip to the ER.

Since Middlest came to live with me last year, I have a deeper respect and understanding of the phrase and it came to pass.

Fourthborn would like to go to sleep, and since my computer chair is a foot from the cot, and I am a loud typist (having learned on a bulky and recalcitrant manual machine shortly after the rocks cooled), I'm going to shut this down and go tend to my knitting.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Funnyside up.

I think I found this at World Market about three months ago. I don't remember why I went in there, but I came out with this.


I have yet to take it out of the box, but one of these days I will be in the mood for slightly macabre eggs, and I will be prepared.

We have several independent dyers in my knitting group, and I asked one of them if she'd ever considered dyeing laceweight. She said, yes, eventually, but right now she's building an inventory of fingering and DK. She also gave me a lovely compliment, that if she gets into one of the local yarn festivals (there are several that pass through DFW) as a seller, she'd love for me to knit some doll sweaters for display, to show what the yarn can do.

Oh, twist my arm.

I was having so much fun talking with my friends tonight that I forgot to mark down all of my rows, and now I need to go into my room, close the door, turn on all of the lights, and count rows. Multiple times. Until I'm absolutely certain where I am in the pattern. Because the whole point of obsessively counting rows and making notes regarding the green vest was so that I could sail through the knitting of the second one. And my little boat is leaking logic, order, and contentment.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Raisins eat the blackboard?

What I said was, "Many hands make light work," but Middlest's fan was on high so yeah, it got a little garbled. When I repeated myself, Middlest nodded and replied, "I mean, I know that grapes are acidic, but that seems a little excessive."

We do have fun with words around here. I'm planning to have fun with graph paper in the near future. I found a website where I can print it in metric or imperial, and I've done a little of both. When I get closer to finishing this second section of vest for Justice, I will peel off her borrowed britches and measure her legs for knee socks, transferring those measurements onto 8 to the inch graph paper that I just created. Once I have the basic shape down I can swatch a little and then superimpose that (or some knitters graph paper) over whatever weird shape I come up with and know where to put the increases and decreases.

In theory, anyway.

I've spent the past half hour listening to Middlest and Fourthborn while trying to type, and I'm not succeeding very well because I'm laughing too hard. This is the part where I tell them goodnight and go bond with my knitting.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

"Bond"ing moment.

Fourthborn wisecracked, "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to dine."


It was delicious, and something of a loaves and fishes experience. After Middlest, Fourthborn, and I had eaten our fill, I portioned out seven small containers of leftovers. Three are in the freezer, and four are in the fridge.

This is the part where I go tend to my knitting.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Can we agree that Pinterest is dangerous?

Here are a flobbity-jillion items we think you might like. They know me so well. I have been seeing Mori skirts and boho this and wouldn't-it-be-great-in-doll-scale that. I asked Fourthborn about Mori style, and she gave me what she knew. I then consulted the Google & Thummim, which sent me right back to Pinterest, as well as to a few websites that were marginally helpful, and another vocabulary word: langenlook. Think Gudrun Sjödrén. Think Tina Givens patterns. Think FLAX. (I have several pieces of FLAX tucked away in a closet, bought when I first went to work for the corporation. I have no idea if any of them fit anymore.

I think my office manager might take it amiss if I suddenly showed up at work dressed like Stevie Nicks. (I know my credit card would definitely take it amiss.) But it would be a fun look for the weekends, when I want to go out in public and not stay home in my jammies.

In knitting news, the green vest is done. It could do with a light blocking, but I think that will wait until the black vest is done. I've cast on part B first and have knitted eight rows.  I also measured out an exceedingly long tail for the long-tail cast-on and have rolled up the surplus and secured it with a locking stitch marker so that when I'm ready to begin the I-cord edging, the yarn will be ready and waiting for me.

It's time for me to take my evening meds and sort out the meds for next week.


Friday, August 11, 2017

Fried rice Friday.

Here are this week's misfortunes, which are actually pretty darn good this time around, at least for Fourthborn and me. At this writing, Middlest is asleep, so we will have to wait and see if they're consistent all the way around.

Fourthborn’s, in the order she opened them:
  1. Invest time and thought in all that you pursue.
  2. You will gain a new sense of confidence this month.
  3. With brains and beauty, you are the complete package.
Mine, likewise:
  1. You will always be surrounded by true friends.
  2. Happiness lies in the road ahead. (Where it will be run over by a semi.)
  3. Delight in a friend’s success.
  4. You are always entertaining and delightful. (Fourthborn says it’s like the cookie thought that, through flattery, it wouldn’t get eaten.
Note: I got the extra cookie because I bought dinner. I asked for half a dozen fortune cookies. They gave us ten.

Middlest woke up and gave us these:
  1. A tempting proposal will soon present itself.
  2. You've got this one in the bag.
  3. Your doubts will turn to happiness soon.
So maybe the string of dubious fortunes has come to an end. And speaking of things coming to an end, I finished the I-cord around the perimeter of the doll vest, wove in those ends, picked out and frogged the tight I-cord around the armscye, and am half done with that. My eyes and brain said enough! so I came out here to finish the post.

Tomorrow's agenda? Cleaning the chapel in the morning. Feeding the sister missionaries in the early evening. And maybe going over to the quilt shop to see the next First Saturday block options for 2017-2018. But mostly knitting, sewing, napping, and the like. I seem to alternate between "catch up on nutrition" weekends and "catch up on sleep". I don't remember which one this is supposed to be.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

This I-cord finish may finish me.

I'd made it all the way down the back edge and rounded that very pointed corner when I took a good long squint at it and decided that the corner needs re-working.

My Thursday night knitting is on hiatus for the rest of the summer. The shop owners want to hold some classes in the evening(s), because classes drive yarn sales, and yarn sales make it profitable to stay open after hours. My once a month (or so) purchases of a single skein of laceweight, and the random purchases of the other knitters, are insufficient to counterbalance the overhead. I will continue to support the shop financially every chance I get.

Of greater eternal significance is the fact that this opens up Thursday nights for temple work. Thursday night was my shift when I served in the temple. Those sister-servants are my peeps.

I found out today that two of the sisters in my ward have family on Guam, and they are understandably concerned about the current tension between the loose screw in Pyongyang and the wing nut hothead in the White House. You're probably already praying over this situation. I've got at least two friends in Hawai'i and one in Oz or Oz-adjacent (she and her family move a lot; sometimes I lose track). Maybe I need to put Kim Jong-un's name on the prayer roll at the Dallas temple. Maybe you could at the temple where you serve. Or put him on the prayer roll in your faith's temple, synagogue, mosque, or congregation. Or pepper him with positive thoughts. A Texas hailstorm of positive thoughts.

I need to go take my meds, and I want to stay up all night and knit this I-cord into submission. The first will happen shortly. The latter, over the course of the next few days. Night, y'all.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Book mug

It followed me home. I'm definitely keeping it


It was a very productive day, I think maybe a little more so than yesterday, and I kept feeling my shoulders and back tense up. Whenever I did, I would stop, take a break, wiggle my shoulders and back, and then get back to work.

I went to the temple afterwards and did initiatories for the three women for whom BittyBit was baptized last Friday. That section of the temple was recently renovated, and it's even more lovely and uplifting than it was before.

From the temple I drove to Costco (I know, sublime to ridiculous, but it needed doing) to exchange the toothbrush heads that I bought on Monday for the correct ones. I hit the grocery store on the way home, picking up a few things for Middlest and a pint of frozen goodness for each of us.

I don't remember if I mentioned that the last batch of fried rice was noticeably more bland than the previous ones. I tried blending the leftovers with Greek yogurt. It was edible but not inspiring. Tonight I did better: the very last of my fried rice with the last of the rosemary ham. Oh. Wow.

I ran into one of my favorite petri sisters (one of the ladies that Beloved dated before and while he was dating me, for those of you who weren't readers since then or before; I asked him once, "How many petri dishes are you running in this Project Wife experiment of yours?") at the temple tonight. Multiple hugs and a "we've got to get together" but she's even more busy than I am, so I don't see it happening until we both retire. But so very nice to see her, and a couple of sisters from my ward, and a warm acquaintance from my old stake.

I forgot to set the alarm last night and awoke only because the Spirit nudged me. So no exercise this morning, and probably only a very little of it tonight, because I don't want to get my heart rate up and be unable to fall asleep.

I picked up most of the stitches around the front and bottom edges of the doll vest today. Pretty sure I won't be finishing that task before I hit the sack, although I might try. Night, y'all.



Tuesday, August 08, 2017

On the other hand...

Today on Facebook I shared this post. There's some language, sorry. I have kids and multiple friends with invisible illnesses. I commented, "Yes. After my bout of vertigo earlier this year, I can testify that it's possible to go from 'normal' (stop laughing) to 'uh-oh' literally overnight. Health is a continuum."

 I said it, and I meant it. And I have a slightly different perspective regarding the handicapped stalls in bathrooms. For most of my life I've carefully stayed out of them whenever possible because I've been reasonably fit and reasonably mobile. The strain of Beloved's illness took a toll on both of us, and my body's not been quite the same since. (Shortly before he passed, we were taking turns with the electric cart at Costco if only one was available.) And I discovered that it was far easier to let myself down onto the commode if I held onto the safety rail on the side of the stall, and exponentially easier to get back up again. I defer to the two women on our floor who use canes regularly and the one who uses one occasionally, but otherwise that's my spot, thank you.

I'm tempted to make a sign to tape on the outside of the door. Something along the lines of, "If you wouldn't dream of parking your car in a handicapped space, why are you parking your derriere in the handicapped stall when there are at least four of us on this floor who genuinely need it?"

OK, I'm done.

In knitting news, I finished the I-cord around the top edge of Justice's vest and have picked up all of the stitches down the back and across the bottom edge. Just need to pick up the stitches running up the front and then it's a long, long slog all the way around those three edges.

Monday, August 07, 2017

How have I missed this for 16 years?

No, not Whataburger per se. The decal on the front door.


Answer: because I typically use the drive-thru. This morning, after Fourthborn's lab work, we paused to refuel before heading home.

Which we did by way of Costco. I dropped Fourthborn and the stuff at the house and headed to the craft store, where I found all sorts of steampunk(ish) goodies and a Texas-sized mug.


I shared that to the widows and widowers group's page.

In knitting news, I'm nearly halfway done with the I-cord bind-off along the top edge of the vest. I got sidetracked by a nap, but I'm heading back to my room shortly to listen to Pandora and knit my fingers off.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

(Mis)fortunes.

We continue to be amused/bemused by the fortunes in the fortune cookies. My two latest are: "You shall attain great wisdom with each passing year." (The implication being that maybe I'm none too bright at present.) And: "Look for love in the most unlikely of places." Fourthborn snorted and said, "Looks like Mom's making a trip to the gay bar in the future."

Middlest's and Fourthborn's fortunes were not any better, but I'll spare you.

I love how generous with information many in the doll community are. I was exploring one of the Facebook subgroups, and someone asked about the lace trim used on a ceremonial robe in one of the pictures. The doll owner replied with the name of the Etsy shop she buys from, and I wrote down the name to explore after church.

I've since done so, and I am impressed by the variety and the prices. I wish the vendor sold the items in smaller lengths: 5 yards of this, 20 yards of very narrow trim. Some truly gorgeous eyelets, unlike the run-of-the-mill you see in fabric stores here. I will be able to make petticoats for all of my girls and, should I be so inclined, make extras to sell on the Etsy shop I set up several years ago but have never done anything with.

We are almost done with the most recent round of doctor's appointments for Fourthborn. Lab work and well woman tomorrow, then that's it for a couple of weeks until the pre-op. Gall bladder is being evicted three weeks from tomorrow.

Middlest is migrainey and has an aching back. We are hoping that the second kidney has not decided that it is sinless and about to start throwing stones.

Prayers would be nice, please and thank you.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Quilt blocks are done.

Not in time to take to the quilt shop, so I had to pay for this month's kits, but that's OK.

Middlest is making southwest chili in the kitchen. I've had a nice evening nap, so I'll be up for awhile, and I'll have a bowl as soon as it's ready.

I'm going to rework the shoulder strap on Justice's vest before I go back to bed, and I'll probably cast on the first black section rather than begin what in human scale would be yards and yards of I-cord to finish the edges on the green one. Although I could pick up all of the little bumps around the perimeter of the vest and work I-cord while at church tomorrow. I-cord definitely qualifies as mindless knitting. Church knitting has to be mindless knitting.

But first I have to fix that shoulder.

Friday, August 04, 2017

In which your intrepid heroine is bushwhacked by sriracha...

...and suffers Sinusmageddon.Who puts sriracha in queso? I can only hope that my sinuses have drawn the worst of the fire, and that I will not awaken at 2:00am in an agony of reflux and regret. My salmon taco, however, was delicious, and they honored my request to leave off the cilantro. I gave the restaurant four stars.

I've finished re-knitting the side panel on Justice's vest, and I'm pleased with it. I've begun weaving in some of the ends, and tomorrow I'll fix the shoulder strap.

The temple, as always, was wonderful.

I should be working on the quilt blocks, but I'm just about out of steam. So I'll content myself with pressing the fabric in preparation for tomorrow morning, take my evening meds, and call it a day.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

I've missed y'all, too!

I was a little too tired after a whopping two days of work to sit down and blog, so this is a catch-up post.

You know that I’ve been fiddling with Cat Bordhi’s “Investments” pattern to see if it would work in doll scale. Essentially a rather large, weirdly shaped gauge swatch. I worked it all the way down to the waist and tried it on Justice to see where it fit and where it didn’t. If knitting at human scale, the underarm increases are absolutely necessary to round out the armscye. And on her, they were exactly how much too wide the vest was at her bust line.

At human scale, eight rows of garter stitch are about right for the side slit that accommodates the tie. At doll scale, half that many will do nicely. I could probably get by with just a yarnover eyelet, but a slit will put less stress on the fabric and maybe prevent a pucker where the tie comes through.

I’m improvising the central decreases down the side panel and making notes so that I can replicate them on the second half of the vest or frog back and try again if the fit still needs to be tweaked.

Today we met Fourthborn’s primary care physician, who seems every bit as great as the other folks we’ve met in the system. We’ve confirmed the final pre-op consultation and determined that Fourthborn can still keep the first counseling session we scheduled (for later that afternoon) during the intake appointment on Monday.

I'm so proud of that kid! She is taking brave steps toward opening up her world. I am retroactively grateful for my (one) anxiety attack last year, because I understand better what life has been like for her as far back as she can remember.

From the PCP’s office, we drove to Middlest’s eye appointment. Prescription for contacts is unchanged, and we have a slightly different one for a pair of backup glasses. We came straight home, I baked the last of the individual pizzas, and I took a nap.

Tomorrow there is only Middlest’s monthly checkup and the running of the non-Ritalin Rx up to the pharmacy, to be followed throughout the day by knitting, sewing the quilt blocks, nap(s), and going to the temple in the evening with Secondborn, 2BDH, and BittyBit to begin the work for some of the people I found last year

Our lives at the moment are a whole lot of hurry up and wait. It's made easier by the kindness and professionalism of the staff and experts we are working with. I was amused to read the badge-holder of one of the nurses. At the bottom were three aspirations/admonitions. The first two positive and forgettable, because the last was "don't be a jerk".

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Today. And a culinary flashback.

Work went well. And it was significantly more restful than yesterday, if approximately equally productive. The day went smoothly enough that I had both the energy and the desire to go to Knit Night, instead of coming home and going straight to bed.

I'm nearly done with the body of the doll vest. I haven't tried it on Justice since I started working my way down the side. I should probably do that.

Because I had a big lunch yesterday when we were between Fourthborn's appointments, and a generous serving for dinner (I ate a third of it and brought the rest home), I ate half of the leftovers for lunch and chose a soup and salad at Panera before the others joined me for Knit Night. And now my stomach is shrieking for a whole lot of something, preferably something full of fat and starch with a side order of protein. I've had a mug of buttermilk and a serving of ginger cookies. My stomach is still not appeased. I think it would prefer that I made a late-night Ben & Jerry run.

Not happening. heading out to the kitchen to find something plausible that will give me neither weird dreams nor reflux. Wish me luck.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Whew!

For a day in which my primary goal was to stay in my pajamas as long as humanly possible, we sure got a lot done. Fourthborn and I made two back-to-back grocery runs. The first was to Costco, and we dashed into the vintage costume shop for five to ten minutes on the way home, because we had salmon burgers and three tubs of fresh fruit that we didn't want to go bad.

Once we unloaded the Tardis, we hopped back in and ran to Kroger for the rest of the essentials. Fourthborn and I are what I call kamikaze shoppers. We know what we want. We know where it is. And we can do a good-sized Kroger run in about 20 minutes if enough of the checkstands are manned.

I've done a lot of knitting today. Nearly done with the second large section of the doll vest. It's going a lot faster than the first section, because now I know what it's supposed to look like. And I'm better at not getting lost in the directions.

I've also filled and run the dishwasher (once) and washed four loads of laundry. The last load will have to wait until Monday, but we all have clean underwear, so I'm calling it a win. I'm not in the mood to empty and reload the dishwasher. Instead, I'm going to fold the stuff I just took out of the dryer, maybe knit another row or two, and call it a day.

Friday, July 28, 2017

In which your intrepid heroine does mortal combat with a waterbug.

I was all mellowed out, ready to crash. Lights were mostly turned off. Pajama bottoms (worn only when I need to be out of my room) tossed onto a corner of the bed. I had just grabbed a catalogue and was headed for a comfort break when there was an unearthly shriek from Middlest's bathroom. Then a call for Fourthborn to bring a flyswatter. Stat! Then, when Fourthborn declared no flyswatter in sight, and she doesn't do flying things, a call for mom.

It was not my finest moment. I hollered, "Putting my pajama bottoms back on! Putting my glasses back on! Going for the bug spray!" in a most unRavelled tone. Middlest opened the bathroom door for me, pointed out the miscreant, and I zapped it with with two or three direct hits.

Waterbugs are not very bright. They don't know when they're dead. This one kept moving, up the cabinet, across the front of the cabinet, thunk! to the floor, and out the bathroom door, disappearing somewhere in the hall. We gingerly pulled all of the laundry out of the closet and found no nasty surprises.

I am not going to win Mother of the Year this year (again). Middlest wanted to talk until the panic attack subsided. I snapped that I wanted to write, thank you very much, until my heart rate from the unexpected activity and the ambient anxiety settled down enough to make another stab at going to bed.

It is at moments like this that I really wish Beloved were still mortal and among us. I don't need him to kill bugs for me. I'm pretty consistently lethal in that department, having had years and years of practice. It just would  be nice to have him here to calm Middlest down and soothe Fourthborn, who is [probably] freaking out silently. I checked just now. She says she's fine. Not calm, but fine.

Pretty sure that waterbugs were invented by Lucifer before he got himself booted out of Heaven. Either that, or they contain a cure for cancer, in which case I wish it could have been discovered when we were living in substandard housing all those years.

I could really use a pint of Ben and Jerry's about now.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Been a little busy.

Kidnapped Secondborn last night. Took her to Cheesecake Factory. We sat and talked and talked and talked. It was really great.

Tonight I had somewhat the same with Middlest and Fourthborn. Different topics, some of them quite tender but lovingly discussed. Lots of laughter, some of it inappropriate (because that's what we do). A modicum of knitting.

I got home quite late last night. Left Fort Worth around 10:00 and messaged the two here at home so they wouldn't put out a silver alert on me. Got home about 11:30 and in bed a little after midnight. I've been fighting sleep all day. Came straight home from work and jumped into bed for an hour and a half. It was wonderful!

And now we are approaching midnight. My muscle relaxer has kicked in. Fourthborn is reading fanfic. Middlest is heading back to the middle bedroom. I am hoping to sleep through the night.

I am caught up at work. It's almost annoying. SemperFi won his case yesterday, as did TheKid (on the other half of his docket). The one on my half of the docket is being continued, which is what happens when I have prepared an impeccably exhaustive set of trial notebooks.

Hoping to have enough work to stay productively busy tomorrow. I've done the preliminary stuff on SemperFi's new case, and TheKid had one assigned to him a few minutes before the end of the work day. With any luck I can file both of those answers tomorrow.

Night, y'all.

Monday, July 24, 2017

"and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."

This was one of those days. The tiny bust of Beethoven arrived from the vendor in Canada (eh!). And my umbrella swift, which is gorgeous and looks to be well-made.

So when I left the office, I had my large knitting bag, with my lunch bag dropped into it, and my purse gathered up in my left hand (because I'm taking no chances with my right shoulder; it gets light stuff, only, until it has recovered from the last time I strained it), and the large but lightweight shipping box tucked under my right arm and resting on my hip.

I got us out to the Tardis, loaded in, and on the road without mishap. Picked up a couple of Rx's, ate the last of my mango sorbet while the pizzas cooked, and spent a happy evening knitting and noodling around on Facebook.

I'm eleven rows in on the second piece of the vest. Body is winding down for the night, but Brain still has other ideas. Am hoping that the cup of mac and cheese I just downed will tip the scales toward slumber.

Meanwhile, I'm going to look for a miniature bust of Pallas Athena. (Insert James 1:5 citation here.) One of my heart-sons thinks it would be cool to have a tiny Raven perched on Beethoven. I think it would be even cooler to stay true to the source. Wish me luck.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Nearly done with the front of the vest.

(Since this is more knitting-related than doll-specific, I'm posting here rather than on the doll blog.)

Less than ten rows remaining, and my tush was going to sleep. So I'm taking a break. I've done a little measuring, a little calculating, and a whole lot of head-scratching. My gauge is way off. I think it's due in part to the lesser elasticity of the alpaca yarn. The main portion of this piece is half again as wide as it "ought" to be, if dividing by one-third the measurements for the small size on the schematic drawing in the book. The vertical proportions are not half again as tall. So the piece is skewing wide.

I have not compared it to Justice's body, or to the modified American Girl doll that Middlest got as a birthday gift. Middlest is about halfway done passing (another) kidney stone and is resting at the moment. I'm not going in there and waking my kid up for something that can wait until Middlest is both conscious and relatively comfortable. I might grab Justice when I go back to my room and give myself a good laugh.

I've been good today: have eaten generous servings of blueberries, strawberries, and Rainier cherries. Also polished off some leftovers, eaten a reasonable amount of mango sorbet, and remembered to hydrate. I made sure my post-church nap was only a little more than an hour in length, so I should be able to sleep when I go back to bed in a couple of hours.

⸎ ⸭ ⸎ ⸭ ⸎

Curiosity got the best of me. I grabbed Justice (whose wig and cap decided they wanted to hang out on the dining room table) and took this picture:


It's not a bad fit after all. This is what it looks like in the book:


I think it's going to work! It will be a little more "Annie Hall" than the designer intended, but that's fine by me. So glad that I won't have to frog this and start over. Heading back to my room shortly to do those last few rows and cast on for the back half.

PS. I am inordinately proud of myself for coming up with that row of symbols and figuring out how to snag the HTML that centers my pictures so I could center it as well.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Good things that happened today.

I was rummaging around in the black bookcase in my room, and I discovered where my will and marriage certificate had gotten to; they'd slipped behind a magazine folder.


This is a photo of the two vest halves in progress, taken late Thursday night. As you can see, they are not quite the same size. The light green yarn, whose merino smoothness contrasts so nicely with the slightly more rustic dark green alpaca, is ever so slightly thinner. When I first cast on both halves, it looked as if they'd be equal in size. This disparity will only increase as each half approaches completion.

There are multiple solutions. I could cast on another light green half and use 000 needles, hoping that that would increase the half just enough, but not too much. I could cast on another dark green half using 00000 needles to tighten up the gauge and hope it would do the trick. One of my new Knit Picks yarns is almost exactly the same tone as the light green, and my experience with mixing the two yarns when I was knitting Avery's sweater suggests that the KP yarn might be just enough bigger in diameter that it would match the dark green.

I could block the heck out of the light green. I could block the dark green a little smaller than it's knitting up. I could use the black yarn that I found last night and knit a second half that would absolutely match the dark green in gauge (because it is the same yarn base) and also make it visually lighter in comparison.

Am I fussed about this? Not in the slightest. I cast on vest halves because I wanted to see what sort of gauge and fit I would get using laceweight. I haven't tried the fit as yet, because I haven't knit enough of either half to figure out what goes where, much less if it's too big, too little, or just right.

What else has gone right today, you ask? Drive-by fooding of the sister missionaries. Yes, I could have them in our home, but they don't have a car, and I don't want to subject either of them to the jump seat behind the passenger seat (where Fourthborn rides when there are three of us) because the sister missionaries are in dresses.

I have been thinking more and more about buying an inexpensive four-door car when I start drawing Beloved's SS next year. It would slow down my paying off of the mortgage, but I would once more have the flexibility of two working cars. And I could pick up the sister missionaries, or give Fourthborn a more comfortable perch when the three of us are out together.

Inspiration strikes in the most unlikely places. There was a lovely teenage girl at Costco this morning. A pair of white shorts peeked out under her long-ish T-shirt. The shorts had a lace hem. I complimented her, and she smiled. As I drove home I thought, Ms. Ravelled, you have that yard of vintage eyelet fabric at home, and you could probably make Justice a nice pair of bloomers with it.

Now I just need to figure out the "safe place" where I put my 10 to the inch graph paper. Because while I'm measuring her for bloomers, I might as well measure her for the sweater that is taking shape inside my head.

Gotta go. The yarn is calling, and I must obey.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Planning a deliberately quiet weekend.

The only items where I need to be someplace at a particular time, are feeding the sister missionaries, and going to church on Sunday. There will be a small Costco run in the morning, but once I'm home, it's back into jammies until late afternoon. And back into jammies again once I'm home.

I've spent an hour or so this evening rounding up my stash of laceweight yarn, sorting it roughly by color, and re-stashing it into clear plastic shoe boxes. Most of it was already stashed like that, but the colors were all jumbled. I am pleased with my efforts. And I am knackered. Looking forward to a good night's sleep and lots of happy knitting tomorrow.

Over and out, y'all.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

SemperFi took us to lunch today.

The reason? Celebrating my friend C's twenty-five years with the company. We went to a restaurant in the Bishop Arts District called Cretia's. The food and vibe are inspired by New Orleans. The service is leisurely. I've not had any of their desserts, because I usually take half my lunch back to the office for later. I had the crab cake salad (Ritz cracker crust, avocado, grapefruit, sweet corn, grape tomato and honey mustard dressing). It was amazing. I also burned 45 minutes of PTO beyond my allotted lunch break. But my desk was caught up, and the company was excellent.

Went to my Dallas knitting group after work and only stayed until a little before 7:00, because I was starving and didn't want to buy dinner somewhere.

Heading into my room to work on the doll vest and put my feet up.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Riding a lucky streak.

Third really great day at work in a row. I'm sure that I wouldn't appreciate this nearly as much were it not for the frustration and overwhelm we were all feeling earlier this month.

Steady progress on the doll vest. Nothing worth picking up my phone and snapping a picture.

Looks like I'll be getting to bed much earlier than usual tonight. I'm not complaining. I love it when Brain and Body are on the same page.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Another really good day.

For which I'm immensely grateful. My Knit Picks order arrived, and I've ordered a wooden umbrella swift to replace my 33 year old plastic and metal one. I've made progress on the doll vest.

I was the only person who showed up for Knit Night, which on the one hand was a bummer, because I really like my knitting friends, and on the other gave me some much-needed solitude, fueled by tomato soup and a side of mac and cheese. I like Panera way better than our old venue, a cramped and noisy Starbucks across the freeway from where we're now meeting. I like Panera nearly as much as Bueno, and that's saying something.

I was mulling over how a long-term knitting project such as Avery's sweater is a pretty good metaphor for repentance and the Savior's Atonement. It's still bouncing around inside my head, but if it ever decides to come out and play, I'll share it.

Night, y'all. The yarn is calling.

Monday, July 17, 2017

An all-round good day.

All of the kids' appointments for the next two months are in my phone and on my calendar at work. The time off has been approved. I've made myself a couple of reminders for one thing and another.

The most recent order from FiniRibbon on Etsy arrived at the office today. It's gorgeous, as usual.

The vests continue to behave themselves. I'm 34 rows into the light green and 25 into the dark. I'm hoping to hit 37 or 40 before bedtime, but I am suddenly feeling very relaxed, and I may not make it that far. I'll play catch up on the dark half tomorrow.

I'm listening to 3 Nephi on my drive into work. I'm noticing how often the Savior repeats an idea three times to make sure that we get it. "How often would I gather you, how often have I gathered you, how often will I gather you." It reminded me that He called me at least three times before I cooperated.

When First Hubby and I had been married about a week, there was a knock on the door one Sunday morning. I was not exactly in a state to answer the door, so he did, and because he was raised to be polite, and to get the missionaries off our doorstep so we could return to the matter at hand, he said they could come back in a day or two and give us the first discussion.

I was mildly intrigued with their presentation, but he was not at all interested, and he told me I had to tell them not to come back. So I did.

The second time they showed up on our doorstep, we'd been married about a year and a half, and there was trouble in paradise. I'd gone back to school and picked up a nasty case of radical feminism. I think I was beginning to process the rape, which had happened a couple of years before, and I proceeded to inform the elders how misogynistic their church was, and I wanted none of it, and by the way, men stunk.

The third time was after my divorce from First Hubby. I was subsisting on morning coffee and evening alcohol, quitting a job that was the last thing a grieving divorcee should have been attempting (tax auditor trainee; those tax lawyers chewed me up and spit me out alive), and imploding emotionally. I made a plan and called my favorite professor to say goodbye. He was smart enough, or inspired enough, to realize that I wasn't contemplating a hike along the Appalachian Trail, and he quite literally saved my life.

The third time, I asked for the missionaries, and I was baptized by my professor, ten days after I'd called him to say goodbye. That was the summer Elton John's "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" was playing, and for me it means something entirely different than the story in the lyrics.

I thank Heaven, often, for sending the cavalry, for not giving up on me, and for helping me to make something of this life I've been given. My capacity to love has blossomed over the years. I have learned all sorts of neat things about how the world really works.

Still learning. Still loving. Still falling down and picking myself up. And hope to be doing so for many more years to come.