About Me

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

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

It's a lot easier to keep them alphabetized when they're lying on their side.

Middlest said that that deserved a post of its own. We were discussing my impulse to vacuum the living room, and how it was not a sign of mania on my part because the rest of the constellation of symptoms was conspicuously absent.

I quipped, "Yeah, I feel no compulsion to alphabetize the spices, because I did that the last time I was on steroids. It's a lot easier to keep them alphabetized when they're lying on their side." And it is. The bottles are all square-rounds, and they stay put, unlike the constant shuffle among the items which are still in what used to be the spice cupboard before I moved the spices away from the stove.

In other news, I've had my well-woman, gotten a prescription for Robaxin (stronger than the muscle relaxer I've been using, half the price, and does not interact with my anxiety med), sold three bags of books at Half Price Books, for which I got the grand sum of $10.00, and a coupon for 10% off, so the boxed volume of the complete novels of Carson McCullers cost me about $2.50 including sales tax. I began reading while at my belated breakfast, after my blood work was done.

My teeth are clean and happy, and I have no cavities. Same for Fourthborn. I was able to re-book Middlest's appointment for next Monday afternoon. And I've booked our February 2018 appointments.

I've done no knitting, because I took the alternate project and left the doll sweater on my bed and didn't realize it until I had a little spare time and was Not In The Mood to work on the alternate project.

Middlest bought a pair of sneakers and a new pair of insoles, because her favorite flip flops are about to give up the ghost.

We celebrated our clean teeth and ravishing smiles at Cheesecake Factory, and I brought a slice home for Middlest, who is sawing logs in the middle bedroom. (When did Cheesecake Factory start listing the calorie counts on their menus? So inappropriate!)

After dropping Fourthborn off at her apartment, I took the three bags of clothing, etc., and dropped them off at my favorite thrift store in Arlington.

I'm in something of a food coma at the moment, but I'm determined not to repeat last night's mistake of lying down without setting the alarm and waking up three hours past the time to take my meds. I think I will go into the studio and at least cut out the pieces for the quilt blocks, in order to keep moving. If I'm really lucky, I will get them sewn before falling asleep, and if not, I'll be prepared to sew them up tomorrow night.

So, yesterday was weird, and it's carrying over into today.

I got an amazing amount of work done in the three hours I was at the office before leaving for the funeral. The service itself was lovely. Quiet hymns played on a gorgeous black grand piano. Thoughtful-to-laugh-provoking talks from the people who knew him. And a pleasant talk from the pastor, who at one point said, "We don't really know where J is right now, but..." and I wanted to raise my hand and say, "I know! I know! Would you like me to tell you?"

But I behaved myself. I know. You're shocked. I am both bumfuzzled and impressed by the preachers who are doing the best they can with the light and knowledge available to them in theological schools. They bring much comfort to many people, and the good ones (as this pastor obviously was) are willing to share their uncertainty about the details while bolstering the faith of the flock.

Brother Joseph and the prophets who have followed him have truly been a God-send. Latter-day Saints know the nature and character of Deity. We know our relationship to Him. We understand, as much as mortals can, the necessity for both the Atonement and the Resurrection. As Tevye would say, we know who (Whose) we are and what God expects from us. What a comfort.

It was a long haul to get to the memorial service, about an hour and a half spent mostly on the Tollway, then a short drive to a country club in a neighboring town for a reception. (Pretty sure that was my first and last time at a country club.) And then home via Central to the PGBT. I spent four hours in the Tardis yesterday, and I was this [ ] far from being knackered when I got home. Nothing sounded good for dinner, so I ate a little and lay down and was unable to sleep. Got up, snacked some more, noodled around on the internet with no focus and increasingly weary eyes, and was able to fall asleep a little after 7:00.

Woke up at 12:43, almost three hours late for my evening meds, and 43 minutes too late to eat anything because I'm having my quarterly blood work in about eight hours. Middlest is still migraine-y but without the usual sound sensitivity, so I (are you sitting down?) ran the vacuum in the living room.

Yeah. I should probably discuss that with my doctor this morning.

Monday, February 27, 2017

What? I'm not asleep yet?

I've done a lot of puttering today. Two boxes in the breakfast nook emptied before church, and the dishwasher run, because one of the boxes was full of dishes that I'd been wondering about. The second box was full of not-my-dishes, and I found a home for the eight bowls and dinner plates whose rim is exactly the wrong shade of blue (a darker tone of the blue walls in my bedroom in the house I owned with the children's father, a house in which I was so unhappy for so long that for the better part of two decades, just the sight of that family of blues made me anxious and crabby). Turquoise and green and aqua and teal have been my gateway back into the world of blue, gently washing out the last (I think) of any remaining toxicity. I drive a blue truck, for heaven's sake. The seven blue-bordered Corelle plates and the random flatware are sloshing about in the dishwasher as we speak and will go to work with me in the morning.

Middlest and I had words today. Nothing really ugly, but frustrating for both of us. My kid wanted me to move an item to a different temporary spot or a new permanent location, and I was not in the mood to comply. We had a similar incident a couple of months ago, when Middlest wanted a doorknob on that bedroom door, and I was disinclined to dig through various piles to find the new doorknob because I didn't (and still don't) want to install the new doorknob until the inside of the bedroom door has been repainted.

I will cheerfully concede that both of Middlest's requests were completely reasonable on the face of them. I will also concede that I can be as stubborn and irrational as any other human being. When my kid started the new medication about ten days ago, increased reactivity was a distinct possibility. There have only been a couple of episodes, one at IKEA when I backed the Tardis into a parking spot that was not the one that Middlest had located for me, and another this afternoon.

I make a lot of concessions, willingly, because Middlest is bipolar. In general, we manage to communicate very well. Middlest works around my quirks. I work around Middlest's. Neither of us is willing to walk on eggshells. So sometimes my answer is Nope. Today my answer was, I don't want to discuss this now. Your request is reasonable, and it's not something I'm willing to act on now. Maybe in five minutes. Maybe in fifteen minutes. Maybe in a week. Not. Now.

Middlest did the sane, reasonable thing and went quietly down the hall to the middle bedroom and even more quietly closed the door.

And when I was darn good and ready, I spent a couple of hours sorting through my weird books that might be useful someday bookcase (largely filled with books belonging to my late mother-in-love), finding treasures, and filling three bags to take to Half Price Books one day later this week. I've got half a shelf of conservative biographies that I want to read (someday), and the discord-provoking items have a new, presumably permanent home on one of the shelves.

As Old Blue Eyes sang, I did it my way. And now it's after midnight, and I have a funeral later today, so I'd better go to bed while my knees and hips will lift me out of this chair.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Good day, sunshine!

There's your earworm for the evening. I slept in until 6:30, ate a reasonable breakfast, quilted like a madwoman, and went to lunch with the widows and widowers group. I saw a friend from my singles activities days. We hadn't seen one another face to face in at least 15 years, so it was great to spend time together and catch up.

On the way home, I picked up two cases of bottled water (our city water tastes of lake, and a Brita pitcher doesn't entirely do the job) and more guacamole. Because we were nearly out of both. I got a text message from the pharmacy: do you want us to refill this? Yes, please, that one significantly enhances the quality of my life. Shortly, I got another text that it was ready to pick up.

So I put my shoes back on, grabbed two bags of books to take to Half Price Books (including the meh biography of Porter Rockwell), and fired up the Tardis. There were two cars ahead of me at the pharmacy window, and I must have waited 15 minutes for the first car to get their stuff and go, two or three for the car ahead of me, and maybe five minutes for my own prescription. They must have been short-handed, because I've never had that long a wait before.

From there I drove to HPB, wrangled two full paper grocery bags with failing handles into the store, and browsed happily for twenty minutes while they sorted and evaluated the books of several people who were ahead of me in line.

Funny how twenty minutes sitting in line at a drive-thru is lengthy (especially without phone or knitting), but twenty minutes in a bookstore goes justlikethat. I came home with a biography of Elsa Schiaparelli and a book promising 100 unforgettable dresses (including the one that Carol Burnett wore in her Gone with the Wind parody).

And then I made a batch of mashed potatoes and split it with Middlest, who is still adjusting to the Ritalin and currently trying to sleep off the Two Month Migraine.

I've ordered four pairs of doll shoes from Mint on Card; they should arrive in a week to ten days.

And I've made still more progress on The Albatross. It's amazing what I can get done if I'm well rested and have two or three hours of focused effort.

I just realized that my (bare) feet are freezing, and that I needed to switch the AC over to heater mode. I am going to have to hunt up my deer corn bag and nuke it before I climb back into bed in a few minutes. I took a nap after all the running around was done, with the alarm set to wake me for my evening meds, and it's 40F outside. I'd like to dunk my feet in a vat of hot chocolate, but the heated bag of deer corn seems a much more socially responsible solution.

Night, y'all.

Friday, February 24, 2017

It followed me home.

And I'm keeping it. Water bottle for scale. Faith sitting in her MCM chair, with a giraffe-patterned ball in her lap, and another thingie photo-bombing in the bottom right corner. The doors on the breakfront or buffet or whatever have bits that slide out on the bottom so one may slip in photos back-to-back. I haven't decided what's going in there, yet. If I were to open the doors, you would see a corkboard along the back wall of the piece. Not sure what I'm going to do with that. Maybe a series of necklaces pinned on with silk pins or sequin pins if they still make those. (I remember all sorts of fake fruit from the late 50's and early 60's created with styrofoam balls and sequins held on by straight pins. It was considered chic at the time, at least by the craft magazines.) Maybe I'll weave über-skinny strips of ribbon across it to make a memory board and tuck in fake letters, invitations, and the like.

Something, anyway. It hasn't told me what it wants to be. It just wanted to come home with me.

I've made more progress on The Albatross today. Two circles worked before I left the house this morning, and another four since I came home. My middle finger left hand is a bit sore from being on the receiving end of the needle tip, and my hands are crepey and drying out because I had pizza for dinner. I've made a real effort to drink enough water today, but my body is whining what have you done for me lately? So I gave it a cup of milk and some ginger cookies.

Tomorrow I'm hoping to get some minor maintenance work done on the Tardis in preparation for the sprint back to Tennessee to bring back the last of Middlest's stuff. And I have luncheon with the widows and widowers group.

Good news on the job front. I got my end of year performance review for 2016, I know what my bonus will be, and I know the percentage range of my salary increase. I'll find out the exact details about a week before it all hits my paycheck. There were three suggestions for improvement, two of which I was already aware of, and the third a somewhat pleasant surprise: that TheKid wished he had as close a relationship with me as he does with the other two members of our team. I feel the same. My office manager had suggestions, and I've begun to implement them.

I'm going to take my evening meds and drool over doll shoes and see if I can find a miniature dollhouse on eBay or Etsy. And then I'm going to bed.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Is there a draft in here?

Apparently not. I thought I'd saved a picture from my phone, but the battery may have been a smidgen too low. I bought a small piece at Michael's that will become a sideboard (or something) when I put the dollhouse together. For now, it is resting patiently on the ironing board.

I skipped the Thursday knitting group in favor of running errands, bringing party tacos home to share with Middlest, and finishing the first corner of the border on The Albatross. Tomorrow I'll start stitching toward the next corner. I don't know if I'll make all of the corners the same. I'll figure that out as I get there.

I also bought a thingie that might be intended as a recipe holder, but I'm thinking doll-scale menu board or artist's easel. It's all chippy and rustic looking, and maybe someday there'll be a picture for you to see. I got one for Middlest, another for Fourthborn, and one for me.

Found a stunning mini-frame and cannot for the life of me remember where I put that 2"x3" print of the Savior. In the meantime, it's holding a picture of Beloved at the grill with a blowtorch, one of his handouts from the Project Wife days. That will eventually go into a simpler mini-frame. And both will end up in a room setting with Blessing and Celeste. I will have to check out Greg Olsen's and Simon Dewey's websites to see if I can find appropriately scaled prints for the various dolls. I would love to have a miniature temple print in each "room".

I go quilting, after midnight, I go quilting, just the way I used to do.

I have a bad case of finish-itis, which is extremely premature as I am nearing the completion of the first of four corners on the border. After work tonight I hit Trader Joe's, then Costco, then picked up my prescription, came home, ate the rest of my lunch, and headed right back to my room to work on the quilt.

I had a productive day at work, and I made satisfactory progress on the quilt tonight. Not sure if I'll go to the bonus Knit Night tomorrow or just come home and work on the quilt. That will depend on how tired I am when I log off at work, and how much progress I make before leaving for work in seven hours or so.

Brain is pretty active. Body is winding down. I think I will nuke a mug of milk to relax all but the most stubborn bits of me. Night, y'all.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Not much to see here.

I've worked the doll sweater body to the point where I need to attach the sleeves and work the raglan decreases. I cast on the first sleeve at Knit Night, and while I haven't tried it on the doll, I think it's long enough to join the sweater body. I will, of course, try the sleeve on the doll first.

In food news, Fourthborn and I went to Panera again for dinner and to knit. I had had their mac and cheese a few months ago and was not particularly impressed. Tonight I had it with their creamy tomato soup, and the combination was incredibly delicious.

There was a huge traffic stall on eastbound 30 as traffic funneled down to a single lane through a construction zone at 360. It was too dark to knit while the Tardis was stopped, so I made do with classical music on the radio while my phone charged.

I am now home, medicated, and about ready to hit the sack. The phone is plugged in for the last bit of charging. I've downloaded my mortgage statement and begun the end-of-month update of my financial spreadsheet. My mortgage is less than $40K. Boggles the imagination.

Middlest is quietly sawing logs in the middle bedroom. I hope to be doing the same in 15-20 minutes.

Monday, February 20, 2017

"Mais monseiur, comme vous êtes compliqué!"

Translation: Sir, you are so ... complicated. (The French equivalent of the South's bless your heart!) Taken from a blog post by (Ms.) Max Daniels, a discovery via Mason Dixon Knitting. Caveat: on her blog there is Language. So I take what I need and leave the rest, as she advises.

I think I shall repeat this to myself every time a certain attorney gets wound up because of trial preparation.

Also, Fourthborn told me how to begin to set up shields to keep me from absorbing other people's stuff.

Pretty decent day at work. Excellent lunch with some of the attorneys, because an attorney who left our office for Corporate Law at the mother ship was back in town on business. We went to a really good steak place in the West End, and I had a small, perfect filet mignon while everybody else had some sort of salad festooned with steak or chicken. I did have a small, perfect side salad to go with my steak, and a mound of very dense mashed potatoes. We all had the banana pudding for dessert, and it was excellent, and it may have had a splash of bourbon baked into it. Could have been rum; that would go well with the bananas.

It wasn't like the time I had dinner with Br. Sushi and the cherries jubilee were insufficiently flambéed and I inadvertently got a little buzzed.

Pretty sure that alcohol does not mix with several of my medications, so it's a good thing that I no longer drink.

Also, I frogged the doll sweater (the hat is now perfect) and cast on with the larger needles I used for the crown of the doll hat, and I'm nearly to the armscye.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

"Why are the nuns blind?"

Middlest is migraine-y. Which means light sensitivity and noise sensitivity and mis-hearing of things. (Which is something that most of us in this tribe do on a regular basis, regardless.)

Middlest and Fourthborn were discussing a Tumblr post (hilarious and Mom-friendly), and Fourthborn wondered, Why are we celebrating? (because there was confetti raining down), and then she read the sidebar and discovered that we are celebrating the tenth anniversary of Tumblr. (We being they, because I don't Tumblr.)

And I said, There are none so blind as those who will not see? At which point Middlest asked, Why are the nuns blind? And I said, That's a blog post title.

Middlest reminded Fourthborn that she had milk to drink, then clarified that that was a reminder, not an order, more like an epiphany.

To which I queried, "What about Tiffany?"

And Middlest said, "I dunno."

And I sang, What about breakfast epiphanies?

Word play. It's one thing I miss about my marriage to their father. It was never a competition, more like a verbal Janga that we built together until it collapsed into a fit of mutual laughter.

I wasn't married to Beloved long enough for that to develop, and cancer is a ruthless editor, but I look forward to eternities of mutual discovery like that.

In other news, I get a weekly "you should eat this, it's good for you if you're diabetic" email from my HMO. Today's suggestion was fresh pears. And my response was, "But I don't like fresh pears! Don't make me eat fresh pears!" I loved my mom's canned pears. But canned pears in syrup are not good for me, and as I discussed with Middlest, fresh pears go from rock-hard to overripe in about fifteen seconds, so with one or two rare exceptions they've just gone from the shopping bag to the countertop to the trash.

I left church after sacrament meeting because my left ankle was cranky and inflamed, but not before grabbing my home teacher and another good brother and saying, "I need a priesthood blessing, and I need it now." They are both married to bright, articulate women and didn't even blink. We found an empty classroom, I got my blessing, my eyes leaked a little, I came home, changed into jeans and sneakers, and took Fourthborn home.

I've had a nap, and I've de-nipple-ified the doll hat, and I've put another four rows on the coordinating sweater. Middlest and I had a good, nourishing talk and are currently enjoying one another's company in companionable silence.

Have a blessed and peaceful remainder of the Sabbath, y'all.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

In which I church x2 and nap.

The program this morning was amazing. Nine RS sisters (or possibly eight, and one YW) came up from Houston to my old stake to put on a musical program aimed to lift our collective spirits and get us to stop being so hard on ourselves. One of the songs was "Everybody Says Don't" ~ the song I used for my lip-synch piece in mime class when I was in the first semester of my interpreting program. My friend Sherry was the one who suggested it, and she loaned me the cassette tape so I could learn the words and work out my moves. When the song gets to the part, "laugh-at-the-king" I stood up and pointed at the director of our program, and the room exploded, as did my facade of being a quiet little church mouse.

Good times.

We had baked potatoes and salad and cheesecake for lunch. I picked up Fourthborn, we picked up some screws and wall anchors, she helped Middlest hang two shelves while I took a nap, I baked mini-pizzas for all, then played online collecting ideas to run through the cross stitch design software to generate rugs for the dolls at some future date, I looked at the time on my computer, changed back out of my pajamas, and dashed to the stake center for a devotional led by Elder Neil L. Anderson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Tanked the Tardis so I could take Fourthborn home tomorrow, bought her a pint of ice cream and a bag of nacho cheese chips for Middlest and a bag of Cadbury dark chocolate mini eggs for an Easter photo shoot with the dolls that may take place anytime between next Saturday and the Fourth of July.

Over and out.

Friday, February 17, 2017

In which we storm IKEA.

Bringing home two long floating shelves and two mid-size floating shelves and one of those open towers (red! on closeout!) and the dollhouse and a bag of Swedish fish and a USB charger.

Before that, Middlest and I went to the doll meet at Pie Five. Peace and her puppy were great hits, as was Middlest's doll. I am finally finding my comfort zone in that group

On the drive home, significant abdominal pain (I suspect reflux), treated with the better part of a bottle of water, and now I am swilling buttermilk and have eaten some ginger cookies. Pain is officially gone, huzzah!

Knit did not happen today, but by the grace of Heaven I had a phenomenally productive day at work and basically finished in, if not quite a blaze of glory, a slightly past its prime sparkler's worth.

Have I mentioned the time I learned that sparklers do not keep from one year to the next? And that it's best to enjoy one's lawful pleasures in their season, rather than deferring them to a later date and finding out they have depreciated into mocking little sticks of uselessness.

This is the part where a sensible person would take her medicine and go to bed. I'm going to eat some ice cream.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

A double scoop of Nope, if you please.

Between the adventures of yesterday afternoon, and this morning's appointment and related errands taking longer than expected, when I left the office I was torn between going to the new Knit Night and just coming home. As it turned out, my innards decided for me: home, buttermilk, and an early bedtime. I've finished my buttermilk and the last corn muffin.

Middlest is finally sleeping, and I don't want to do anything to interfere with that. When I woke up this morning, my kid had been up since noon yesterday and looked like death warmed over. We've added another Rx to the mix, and it should be delivered tomorrow. They're hoping it will fix the exhausted-but-can't-sleep problem and boost the efficacy of the migraine regimen. This migraine has been going for two months now. How my kid can feel so miserable and not be a misery is a miracle on the order of the loaves and the fishes, and a testament to character.

I finished the doll hat last night and wove in the ends this morning, and I think I'm going to pick back the end and accelerate the decreases, because it looks rather as if the doll has a nipple on top of her head. That's been bugging me all day.

I did manage to get a sweater/jacket cast on and a few rows worked, and I'm not sure where I want to go from there. Actually, that's not entirely true. I want to hop in the car and go buy a pint of ice cream and eat the whole thing, but I'm not going to do that. Sleep will take care of much of this unRavelled feeling, and sensible food choices will send me off to bed guilt-free when Brain decides to cooperate and let me fall asleep.

I spent half an hour or so preparing the medical receipts we've been collecting for the past month, photographing them, and submitting them for reimbursement. I love that app. In about a week, there will be a nice fat cha-ching! into my savings account.

I'm also resisting the temptation to pursue retail therapy. I'm tempted to grab one of the last boxes stacked in the breakfast nook from when we mucked out the middle bedroom to make room for Middlest, but I don't see any way to make sorting through that a soundless task. So it will just have to wait.

I guess I will just go noodle around with the doll sweater and see what sort of inspiration strikes.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Comic relief. And dolls.

Middlest:  I just locked myself in the garage without my keys. In my pajamas because I was pre-treating a stain.

Me:  I see this.  Good thing I needed to use the loo. I'll let the office manager know that I need to come rescue you.

Middlest: Okay. I'm sorry [sad face].

Me: Hey, I've done that myself. Is the temperature comfortable?

Middlest: No, it's cold, and I'm wearing shorts and a single long sleeved tee. Feels below 50F.

Me: Google says it's 59. Might warm up a little if you open the back door a crack.

Middlest: Possible. My phone says it's 55F here.

Me: (20 minutes later) Waiting for the elevator. Thank you for saving me from a deadly boring afternoon.

Middlest: Glad to be of service I guess. I feel foolish but I'm thankful you are able to help.

Me: On my way. Love you!

Middlest: Love you too! See you soon.

Me: (31 minutes later) I'm at [an intersection].

Middlest: I'm still by the washer [:P]

Me: Waiting for the light at [three intersections later].

Middlest: Okay. I can't remember how close that is.

Me. Now I'm at [the next intersection]. Listening to Every Breath You Take played on chamber music instruments.

Middlest: That sounds surreal.

Me: Waiting for the light at [last major intersection]. I'm about 20 cats back.

Middlest: Cats. I'm picturing. Feeding frenzy, cat food.

And then I was home, letting Middlest out of the garage, and grabbing the last of my pint of ice cream.

This is how I explained it at work. There were two other employees standing in the office manager's doorway, listening to her tell a story about trying to help her aging father replace his appliances. When there was a break, I said, "I need to go home now. My kid is locked in the garage. In pajamas. To be fair, it happened to me when I still had a cat, and I was able to open a window (which is now locked) and snake a chair out of the breakfast nook and climb up on it and through the window." We all laughed, because it's always funny when it happens to someone else, and for me it's particularly funny because I have so been there. I blame Middlest's migraine fog. We are meticulous about unlocking both locks between the kitchen and garage, then testing, before we go out there. Because Middlest has heard my story more than once.

I went back to my desk, sent an email to my team and the extra lawyer I was backing up today, and got the heck out of Dodge. I've been giggly ever since. It had been an excruciatingly slow day at work, so I was glad to escape, and I'd already gotten all of the signed mail out.

Hello, dolly! This is Praise, with the puppy I bought at Daiso a few weeks back.

Middlest's doll Avery. As you can see, he's quite full of himself. The shoes were part of the rest of my order when I put Praise on layaway.

And in financial news, I got an "on the spot" cash award at the staff meeting this morning for being exceptionally helpful last year. Not sure if it will hit in Friday's paycheck or the one after that.

I just finished the knitting part of the doll hat for my small friend at church. I'll save the weaving-in of ends for another time, because I want cookies and milk and bed.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Knit Night

Remember how we tried to meet at Panera last week, only they weren't officially open? Well, this week we decided to try again, and then most everyone started backing out for one reason or another (date night with the spouse, work emergencies, etc.). So Fourthborn and I went, and one other member was waiting for us when we got there, and we had a great visit. Good food, a much quieter venue than Starbucks, and better light to knit once dinner was down the hatch. I would not be heartbroken if we met there every week, although it would be harder on my budget. Tonight was an "eat whatever you want" night, courtesy of my tax refund.

So I'm about halfway done with the crown increases on the doll hat, and I think I may frog them back (for the second time) and try something a little different. I love knitting with this mystery superwash wool. And it frogs extremely well.

At work? I have never been so thankful to get a past-due answer assigned to our team. It kept me happily occupied for a couple of hours, and I'll get the rest of the documents (client letters, discovery to Plaintiff's counsel) to SemperFi pretty much first thing in the morning. We have our monthly support staff meeting tomorrow, so that will eat up a good two hours. There are more new suits coming down the pipeline, and one of our attorneys is leaving for another opportunity at the end of this week, which means that her cases will get redistributed throughout the office.

Driving alertness tip: baby carrots. Healthy, filling, noisy, and inexpensive.

I'm going to eat about six bites of ice cream and call it a night.

Monday, February 13, 2017

I go blogging ... after midnight ... in the moonlight, just the way I used to do.

With apologies to Patsy Cline. It was a good day. Other than waking around 2:00 for a comfort call, then realizing that I was suddenly ravenous, and puttering online for an hour while that snack settled. I got another five hours of sleep, and since I took my shower last night I had the freedom to putter all morning until it was time to get dressed for church.

My appetite is a little funky on Sundays, no matter which block of meetings I'm attending. It always takes me a couple of months to figure out just how much to eat before church in order not to "walk, and not faint". Did manage to get the balance right this time.

Spent some time cleaning up my inbox, finding new and interesting websites, and setting up a couple of Evernote notebooks or pages.

Church was even better than usual. The music fit with the sacrament talks, the teachers were well-prepared, and because I had studied last week, I was able to add mes deux centimes.

My young friend E remembered to bring her doll to church today, and I'm hoping to return said doll to her next Sunday with a hat, jacket or sweater, and pants or leggings. It's a baby doll, so no mature curves to work around, praise be.

I held up a finished baby sock against the doll's head before casting on, and it looks as if my estimation was reasonably accurate. I subsequently measured the circumference of the head and the distance over the crown from earlobe to earlobe, decided what sort of decreases I want and how many rows that will take. I've worked three rounds of K2P2 ribbing and it should be fairly easy to reverse-engineer how deep the ribbing should be.

It's a hair after midnight, poppets, and while I took a short nap this afternoon, my body is saying Done. Be good, and remember Whose you are.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

What I did today.

Slept in until 7:00. Researched doll shoes at Mint on Card, an online shop specializing in items for ball jointed dolls.

Stocked up at Costco. From there to Daiso, where I picked up a little something for Middlest's dolls, Fourthborn's dolls, and my own. No pictures until I've given Fourthborn hers.

Middlest helped me unload the Tardis, then we baked the Trader Joe "Tomato Tiropita Triangles" and ate a couple, so we wouldn't faint from hunger before the ward chili cookoff.

I made two batches of corn muffins, we went to the ward activity, I managed to eat sensibly, and we came home.

I'm nearly done with the gusset decreases on the Frankensock, and I'll probably finish the sock during church tomorrow, or shortly thereafter.

I loaded the dishwasher and ran it, then hopped into the shower for a good long sluice. I've spent the past hour or so combing and de-tangling my hair. It's nearly to my waist in back, and takes awhile, especially if I do what I've done since last Saturday, which is: wash it, towel it dry, comb it about halfway down, twist it, coil it into a knot, and pin it in place.

Tomorrow I can wear it down, or held back with a headband, or barrettes, or whatever. It just feels good to have clean, silky-smooth hair, and I am officially done with this day.

Except to add: Denver Doll charged the last installment on my Pukifee Poppy Zoe (the one with the mandolin), and it's on shipping. Tracking says it should be delivered on Monday.

I would squee, except that Middlest is attempting to sleep off a migraine.

Oh, something else. I went into my studio, where I have the box with the spare doll shoes, eraser food, etc., and brought out a pair of "leather" sneakers for Honor. Same shoes that Steadfast is wearing, but white with pink stripes instead of black with red.

OK, I really am done now. The muscle relaxer has kicked in, and I'm thinking it's going to be a good night.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Tax refund hit already!!!

I filed last Friday. I've already done two responsible, adult things with part of it. And I took Middlest and me out to dinner at Cracker Barrel in celebration. I had a lemon pepper seasoned, grilled trout fillet, a cup of steamed broccoli that was almost delicious, and a small, perfect baked sweet potato, from which I knocked off most of the brown sugar. And a biscuit with butter. There is a corn muffin waiting for me in the fridge.

I am sensibly full, definitely relaxed, and incredibly thankful.

Also, I completed the heel flap today and turned the heel at traffic lights on the way home. (Couldn't do that with an adult-sized sock, but it's eminently doable on a baby sock.)

Part of me wants to stay up and knit awhile. Part of me argues that I really should work on the quilt until I can't keep my eyes open any longer. And part of me wants to read. Since I can read while washing that corn muffin down with a mug of milk, I think reading is going to win.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Wig shopping

No, not for me. Daydreaming about finding the perfect wig for the doll I'll buy when I'm done with the quilt I'm not working on. I'm home from Knit Night, slightly chilled, vaguely hungry, but having completed the cuff on Frankensock the second and about half of the heel flap. So I rewarded myself with updating my doll measurement spreadsheets. I'm not sure which MiniFee boy body Steadfast is on, nor which DOC girl body is Honor. I'll have to check with Middlest and Fourthborn, respectively.

Middlest did not come with, tonight, because migraine. Went to class today fueled by determination, came home, and went straight to bed. I hear peaceful (non-apnea) snoring coming from that room.

I need to check the music I sent to our organist to see if those numbers work out, and then I need to forward the whole thing to the usual suspects.

Night, y'all.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Theoretically, I'm quilting.

In reality, I just finished transferring documents from the "doll" sub-folder in the "documents - old computer" folder into the newer "doll" folder on my C drive and my external. Then creating a new spreadsheet for my MSD dolls, populated with the dimensions of my next doll that I cut and pasted into an email and sent to myself at home during a brief lull at work.

I'm not at all sure that that last sentence makes any sense, but it does so in my head. Basically, I want to compare the measurements of Honor and the twins with the Withdoll Nana that I'm going to buy next. Here are two different faceups so you can see how different you can make the basic sculpt. This is the one I fell in love with. This is another version, or actually two if you scroll all the way down. I want my girl to have freckles and a more natural face. I want her to look like a somewhat serious little girl, not a junior geisha. Those were limited edition fullsets (doll + wig + eyes + faceup + ensemble), for which one pays a premium.

What I want is to have a green tunic/sweater knitted up and ready for her when she gets here, probably sometime this fall. And glasses. And a nice stack of books her size. And an easy chair for her to curl up in, because I don't think that the others would willingly relinquish the love seat so that she could sprawl out on it with a novel and a bowl of apples, a la Jo Marsh.

But first I have to finish working on that quilt. I put in about 15 minutes this morning before getting ready for work. And I think I can manage another 15 minutes before bedtime, without staying up stupidly late. Once I get some momentum built up, I should make progress fairly quickly.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Long day. Short post.

Second day in a row where my day ran as smoothly as I'm used to. I even got 99% done with a special project. It felt so good.

Safe travel to pick up Fourthborn for Knit Night. One of the members said that a certain chain was having their soft opening today, grand opening tomorrow, and did we want to meet there? It was "just across the street" from where we usually meet. Well, yes, if by "across the street" you mean kitty-corner across the interstate. We got found it, walked in, and were greeted with, "Ma'am, I'm sorry, but we're closed." The taco restaurant next door had also fed people for lunch, but they were having a friends and family event for their staff and will have their own grand opening tomorrow.

So I posted that Fourthborn and I were going to grab Bueno and head to Barnes & Noble. She browsed the books and toys. I knitted like the wind, Daniel-san, and am about halfway up the cuff of the second Frankensock. On our way in, I saw Tom Brokaw's book on the discount table; it's about his cancer diagnosis. And it was marked down to $6.98. As you might imagine, I bought a copy.

When I got home, Middlest was sound asleep, so I read my scriptures, and then I read 41 pages of Brokaw's book. He writes beautifully. I may have to check out his other books.

If I hurry, I can be in bed by 11:00. Night, y'all.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Marvelous Monday

I don't usually have Mondays as great as today's unless I've had a deeply satisfying Sabbath. Which yesterday wasn't. Got everything done at work, had dinner with some friends whom I hadn't seen in several years, got home safely and had a nice visit with Middlest.

Also a bit of progress on the second Frankensock, and I remembered to bring in the whites from the dryer. They will almost certainly not get folded tonight, but I'll get as far as separating my stuff from Middlest's.

The pharmacy refilled my muscle relaxer, and I picked it up after dinner.

I have no profundities for you today. Just a nice, normal (other-people-normal, not Ms.-Ravelled-normal) day that is ending happily, and the hope of a good night's sleep.

Oh, that pesky shoulder injury is almost healed. One more thing to be thankful for.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

Somewhat weird Sunday.

Slept in nicely, forgot to take my diuretic when I woke up. Re-read the Sunday School lesson from two weeks ago, because I didn't remember reading it, and then today's lesson. Finished the toe on the Frankensock, played a little with my spreadsheets, and realized with embarrassment as I meandered back to my room that I should be at the church in oh, five minutes, and I was distinctly unwashed. So I texted one of my friends, asking her to lead the opening song and maybe the sacrament hymn, and I got busy cleaning myself up.

Sadly, I walked into the meetinghouse just as they were finishing up with passing the sacrament, so I didn't get to partake. And as I walked into the meetinghouse, my left ankle reminded me that I hadn't taken my diuretic, because I could feel stiffness coursing up my shins.

I went home after sacrament meeting, took my medicine, finished the mug of milk that I'd left on my desk, and half a bottle of water on my bedside table, and the two full bottles that I promised Middlest I would drink before lying down.

Drinking that much liquid guaranteed that I would not sleep for five or six hours and wreck my sleep tonight.

Since then I have read a week's worth of days in my chronological Bible, eaten and snacked and eaten again. Sundays throw my eating schedule all out of whack, but I think I've sufficiently remedied that.

Middlest is home from a visit to our friend's house and informs me that, in case anyone asks me tomorrow who won the Superbowl, the Patriots came from behind and won. I hope that's not a spoiler for anyone who actually likes sports.

I took my last dose of muscle relaxer last night. Tomorrow may be interesting. I will definitely be calling the pharmacy to see if I have a refill. If I don't, I may call my doctor to see if she will prescribe Robaxin instead. My VT, who is a physician's assistant, says that it's stronger and does not interact with my anti-anxiety medicine.

Time for me to take (most of) my evening meds and call it a day.

Minutiae, Saturday Edition

Wake ahead of the alarm.

Take morning meds, rejoicing that this month's antihistamine can be taken with fruit juice if I choose.

Collect the fabric for the quilt blocks from the hangers where they've dried overnight. Deposit on ironing board.

Turn on lights in dining room and studio

Grab phone from charger and water bottle from bedside table. Deposit both in studio.

Turn on lamps in living room. Discover that one bulb has given up the ghost. Replace bulb. Make small noise of triumph

Call-out from Middlest's room: Mom, are you OK? Explain that that was a noise of triumph, not distress.

Make myself a no-brainer breakfast. Cottage cheese and cherry pie. Ask a blessing on the food. Sit down at computer and pull up solitaire.

Middlest politely and reasonably interrupts: Would you mind logging onto our bank and verifying the deposits and withdrawal for PayPal? Of course not. Middlest's doll luck has held, and my kid has won both doll lotteries for our friend Andi. New bank account must be verified. I'm a doll collector, and I have my priorities straight.

Middlest apologetically departs for bed, having been awake all night for no explicable reason, but helpfully depositing my dishes in the sink before retiring.

Press fabric. Make quilt blocks. Finish eight minutes before we said we were going to leave. Middlest has slept through the alarm. Wake Middlest. Get dressed. Leave house about five minutes after we had planned.

Firstborn and Fourthborn are having breakfast inside a little cafe on the square. Firstborn buys us hot chocolate. I buy ginormous cherry Danishes for Middlest and me. We go over the details of the phone plan.

We walk over to the quilt shop, show our finished blocks, and pick up the February blocks for free. (I love free.) I pay for the finish kit in the largest size, enjoying my discount card. I put my name on the waiting list for a pattern that's been ordered (one huge strip-pieced star; I live in the Lone Star State, so it seems apropos).

Firstborn invites us to follow them to her house, so we can knock out the new blocks together. Middlest and I demur, because our bodies are screaming for sleep. They go their way. We go ours.

On the drive home, I inform Middlest that we are stopping at Trader Joe's to replenish our supply of all things ginger, because Middlest loathes surprises and would be startled and confused if I turned off our usual route with no explanation. I am wearing Beloved's Packers sweatshirt, because it is chilly out, and not because I love football. Guy staffing a register finishes taking care of his customer, and comes to help our checker bag up our stuff, making small talk about how he wishes that the Packers had made it to the Superbowl (which I think is tomorrow?), and I said that I was just glad that they'd beaten the Cowboys.

There is a Hobby Lobby in the same shopping center. Middlest wants to see if they have fold-over elastic to finish those EID shorts. I am hoping not to find anything that wants to come home with me. Neither of us gets what we hoped for. No elastic for Middlest, and an MSD-sized table in a soft teal for Steadfast, Honor, and my twins. Not on sale, but I decide that that will be my splurge for this payday.

When I get to the checkout counter, the clerk quietly scans their 40% discount coupon as if I'd brought one.

The table is now sitting on my dining room table. The small plates are on it, with the silverware I bought in the scrapbooking department at Michael's two or three months ago, and a very old drawn-work handkerchief as tablecloth. I need napkins and drinking glasses in the proper scale.

I go online, searching for "1/4 scale doll dishes" and get a lot of 1/48 scale items (because 1/48 is one-fourth of dollhouse scale, which is 1/12). I search again for "MSD doll dishes" and find no dishes, but I do find a lovely pair of harlequin leggings that will fit Honor. $11 and free shipping if I am willing to wait a couple of months for them to arrive on a slow boat from China. Which I am. (See I love free, above.)

Make a cup of easy-mac for myself. Embellish it with halved grape tomatoes and a slice of rosemary ham.

Middlest wanders out to the kitchen for something, sees the ham that I've left out, and puts it away, saving me much chagrin.

Middlest lies down for a nap and promptly falls asleep.

I finish the mac and cheese, dispose of the cup, set my phone to update nine apps, and lie down with the covers over my head.

I wake five hours later, too late to make a Costco run, and vaguely hungry. I fix a snack.

At this point, sensible people are making dinner. I am deciding what needs to come first: loading and running the dishwasher, because the sink is reaching critical mass in terms of carefully rinsed dishes; starting the first load of darks, because the hampers are also reaching critical mass; run to Kroger for more bottled water, bananas, guacamole, etc.; preshrinking the fabric for the next quilt block; reading the lessons for church tomorrow, because that has not happened all week.

So I do it all, a little bit at a time. Fill and start the dishwasher. Preshrink the fabric and hang it to dry on my shower rod. Start the darks. Make a shopping list. Throw the darks into the dryer. Start the lights. Make a batch of mashed potatoes, because I am inexplicably hungry again. Extract the darks and put the lights in to dry. Start the whites. Fold Middlest's stuff and put it on the table in the hall. Throw my socks onto my side of the bed, so I will have to deal with them before bedtime. Put on leaving-the-house clothing and make the grocery run. Come home at 10:00p.m. (how did that happen?) to a wide-awake Middlest. Empty the dryer again. Fill it with the whites. Make pigs in blankets. Listen to Middlest. Complete the straightaway on the Frankensocks. Read my Book of Mormon (after midnight, but I'm designating it as Saturday obedience, because I plan on reading more of it when I wake up again. Come to the computer to finish this post. Answer a question from middlest about my circulatory system as compared to my kid's. The answer being, chiefly, I don't know. Finish this post.

Good night, Gracie. (Although it's nearly 1:00a.m., and I didn't properly study the lessons for tomorrow.)

Friday, February 03, 2017

Taxing my patience.

 (The government, not my kid.) I got most of the way through my tax return for 2016 this evening, but I won't be able to complete it until Middlest can give me an exemption number regarding healthcare. I'm getting a $10 discount on TurboTax through my mortgage holder.

Update: Middlest is used to wrangling with the government re: the exemption number and was able to walk me through it and get all of the boxes checked, so we don't need an actual number. I've filed my return, and I'm getting a refund, and all the fiddly bits of record management and spreadsheets is now officially worth it.

Am nearly done with the gusset decreases on the Frankensock and will curl up with that shortly. We had pizza for dinner in celebration of the fact that today was my best day at work in weeks. Each day this week has been reasonably good, at minimum, but today I touched all the aspects of my job and am officially caught up.

I'm going to celebrate by window-shopping IKEA's website and getting the measurements for their dollhouse, prior to a field trip tomorrow. I've been decorating it in my head on the drive home for the past two or three days.

And then I'm going to knit.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

All that, and a free TV.

Today was pretty consistently good. Work went well. The diversity and inclusion presentation put on by corporate, on Black History Month, was fascinating and touching. Six or seven individuals shared stories of their experiences, or their ancestors' experiences. I am so thankful that I was not raised to be prejudiced, but to take people one at a time, as individuals, and I'm grateful for church doctrine that emphasizes our Divine parentage and gives us tools to beat our swords (personal weaknesses) into plowshares (compassion and Christlike love).

Middlest's contacts were ready, so I dashed (metaphorically, if not literally) up to Costco after work, blitzed through Daiso for two bags with llama motifs, a small box that will make a good bookcase for the dolls, and some brightly colored rubber bands to corral my yarn balls. Brought all of that home, delighting Middlest, and we went off to pick up my Rx and the Otter Box for Middlest's phone. Did I mention last night that they gave us a $200 coupon for a TV, and we did not have enough spoons to figure out which ones matched the available SKUs? We took that coupon in with us, and we walked out with a 32" smart TV.

Middlest will set up the old TV and VHR/DVD player in my studio, and I will give my kid the VHR/DVD player that was my 10th anniversary gift from corporate. So I guess I will no longer be able to say, "I don't even own a TV."

I was dragging all morning, a physical and emotional hangover from last night. By lunch I was feeling pretty OK, and the diversity event ran until 3:00, which made quick work of the afternoon.

If I post now, I have a fairly decent chance of being in bed before 10:00 and asleep well before 10:30. The Frankensock is coming along (I'm mostly done with the gusset decreases), but I'm not even tempted to stay up and finish it.

Good grief. I appear to be turning into a grownup.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Divine intervention in the form of a seriously irritating stumbling block.

Last thing that I'd heard from Firstborn was that they were seriously thinking of dropping the family phone plan with the provider I've used, directly or indirectly, for 20+ years, and going with a WiFi phone system. Middlest has a WiFi number that is only slightly better than useless. So tonight's goal was to go to the Sprint store and set up an account in my name ~ I've been on Firstborn's plan since shortly after Beloved died, as an economy measure ~ and add a line for Middlest.

I came home from work. We went to the nearest Sprint store. There were two customer service reps, and both were assisting customers. A woman came in with her grandchildren. She told me they'd been in earlier in the day, but something wasn't quite right. A man came in, looked over the phones, and left. Another guy came in and did something with one of the displays that caused it to sound a sharp alarm every ten to fifteen seconds or so. If looks could kill, he'd have been a goner, because Middlest has had a migraine for several days (it almost went away), and I am in momma-bear mode.

We left after one of the women at the counter told the grandmother that she and her friend had been there for three hours. Middlest and I looked at one another, and I said, "Let's go." As we were leaving the store, Middlest was able to think clearly enough to share an inspiration: Best Buy has a wide range of phones and excellent customer service.

They now have a loyal customer for life. I was able to call Firstborn, who was at the Sprint store (a different one) upgrading Willow's phone, learn that she was keeping the family plan, and get the information that Best Buy needed to add a line for Middlest. We now have a shiny new phone for Middlest and will go back tomorrow night to buy the Otter Box. I set up a transfer between my credit union and bank this morning, and it won't hit until tomorrow, and I'd already paid for a prescription.

From Best Buy we drove straight to In N Out for burgers and an order of fries to split, because I was so hungry that I could barely sign my name. (When we were still at the Sprint store, Middlest could feel my agitation as a prickly pear in my gut.) I calmed down almost completely at Best Buy, but I was Done.

It was only a few minutes ago that I realized that the whole frustrating mess at the Sprint store was really divine intervention that saved us from a needlessly expensive two-year commitment.

I have eaten dinner (at roughly 9:30) and devoured the rest of my pint of ice cream. I am as grateful as it is possible for a person who is visibly wilting to be. I will endeavor to be more coherently grateful tomorrow, but my prayers tonight will be of the "Please bless Heber, he is so very tired" variety.

Later, gator. I still have two more pills to swallow, and I've drunk all my water.