About Me

My photo
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!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Observations from the Momiverse

It's weird(er than usual) at the moment, chez Ravelled. The Friday night post didn't get published until after midnight yesterday, and I don't like to post twice in a day. I have no idea what wants to come out, but I might explode if I don't write.

Fourthborn is feeling marginally better. The kidney stone is moving, slowly, towards freedom is out, we think. She surprised me last night by requesting a priesthood blessing, and I caught my home teacher after he'd put on his PJ's but before he'd gone to bed. He grabbed another brother, and they were here forthwith.

I made it to sacrament meeting, only, ate half of a spare bagel with cream cheese and Italian ham that Middlest had made and bagged up, and slept for at least six hours.

I've spent this evening mucking out my inbox. There is nothing in my "social" folder, which is great. I'm not feeling particularly social [insert laugh track here]. My "promotions" folder is down to about 150. I've unsubscribed from a newsletter, read all of the blogs associated with another one out loud to my kids, laughed uncontrollably for about five minutes, and attempted to eat sensibly. I am chomping through a snack bag's worth of baby carrots in between phrases.

Although there was certainly enough time for quilting progress yesterday, there was, in fact, none. Instead, I cleared and rearranged a few piles in my bedroom, enough that I could spread out the hooked rug on the floor just inside my doorway.

I widened the path around my bed so that if Middlest and Fourthborn required a loo simultaneously while I was sleeping, Middlest could safely navigate through my room and use mine. In the process, I banished a whole lot of overwhelm to wherever it goes when it's not hanging about to trip people

There have been exactly two and a half rows of knitting since Friday. Throwing up my hands (but thankfully not anything else) and going to bed now.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

In which the three of us have adventures.

I had just finished my ToDo's on Thursday before lunch and was wondering what I would do to stay awake busy until quitting time, when my work phone rang. It was Middlest, calling to say that Fourthborn was quite ill and was also willing to have me take her to the emergency room. Symptoms strongly indicated a kidney stone. We know a little bit about kidney stones.

So I sent an email to my people, and I went. Having learned my lesson with the charity hospital in Dallas County when Middlest had kidney stones last fall, and a much better experience earlier this month with the local ER, and knowing that the charity hospital in Tarrant County (where Fourthborn lives) would quite possibly be harder to navigate than Parkland, I took her to the hospital closest to her apartment.

(If this post is less coherent than you've come to expect, it's because I got to bed at 3:00a.m.)

It took five hours to get taken aside for blood work, during which Fourthborn wore a trail to the loo and back. She hates to barf. Barfing and sweating are her two least favorite things to do. By the time the phlebotomist fetched her, she was so dehydrated that they had to go in through the back of her hands, and it took three stabs to get (barely) enough to run the tests. The phlebotomist was very kind, very good, and very apologetic.

Once we were settled in an examining room, and the excellent nurse was in charge, I took myself to the cafeteria and had a sandwich, a bag of pretzels, and a fruit cup, washed down with one of those marvelous mango smoothies that Naked makes. Which reminds me, there's half of a fruit cup still in my knitting bag, and I should probably retire it. And there's a bag with another bag of pretzels that I bought for Fourthborn, and a slice of cherry pie which she can't eat. Why? I'm glad you asked.

In a competition that neither of them thought they were engaged in, Fourthborn is currently ahead. Or behind, depending on how you look at it. Yes, the sonogram and CT scans revealed a very small kidney stone, which will pass on its own. They also revealed a significantly larger gall stone. We are now in the process of filling out paperwork to get the latter taken care of at the charity hospital in Fort Worth. Meanwhile, she has pain meds and Flomax to help ease out the kidney stone, and she is camped out in our living room.

The dietary restrictions are different for kidney stones and gall stones. Thankfully, I remember what needs to be done. I wasn't blogging in 2001, but I have several pages in a scrapbook devoted to The Gall Bladder That Ate July. Fourthborn is currently enjoying (ha!) three-fourths of the BRAT diet: no bananas, haven't cooked the rice yet, applesauce reluctantly, and lots of dry toasted English muffins. We (including Middlest) are presently eating something new I brought home from Costco: seasoned sweet potato bites that are maybe a little over-seasoned, but extremely low fat and mostly delicious.

Knit happened. A lot of knit happened. About an inch on Avery's sweater, at approximately twenty rows per inch. I would give you a visual, but Fourthborn's cot is set up behind me in the theoretically open space here in the living room, and stepping around it to take a picture is currently not in my skill set. And my kids are both awake and fighting battles in their video games while making commentary and flinging out bits of pop tunes.

Needless to say, I didn't make it to PT yesterday morning. I took my evening meds five hours late, and three hours of sleep was insufficient to clear the muscle relaxer out of my system, so I left them a message and went back to bed for another three hours. I didn't make it to work either. I spent the day running (loosely speaking) to the pharmacy, buying four cases of bottled water and two ginormous bottles of applesauce, going back to the pharmacy for an emergency refill of Middlest's pain meds, and eating when I remembered. I went to bed at 5:00, set the alarm for 10:00 for evening meds, fired up the white noise machine because the kids were visiting quietly in the living room, slept until 11:00 because the white noise machine also masked the alarm.

It is now after midnight on Saturday morning, and I've eaten maybe half of my sweet potato bites, and there is a slice of cherry pie that I bought for Fourthborn which she can't eat, which is probably still safe to eat, and my beloved kids are talking (and talking and talking), so I'm going to put my food in the fridge and pour another cup of buttermilk and fish out my debit card and order a wig for Adela, because I've adulted beyond all reasonable expectations, and I deserve a treat that will not jack with my blood sugar (I'll save the pie for another waking period).

And then I'm going to go hide in my blanket fort, because I am worded out and peopled out. We are not going anywhere today. I will take a stab at my PT homework, and I may knit a little, and I want need to work on the quilt.

Calgon, take me away.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Better than yesterday ~

~ but maybe not quite as good as Monday. Still, I'll take it.

I like my physical therapist. I have homework. And, given that my copayment is $50, I have incentive to do my homework.

I discovered a muscle in my abdomen whose existence was a complete surprise to me. She taught me how to find it by doing a particular breathing exercise. And one of the subsequent moves uses that muscle to strengthen other parts of the body.

I'm going back Friday morning, and probably twice a week for five more weeks.

I wonder if I'll be able to get out of bed in the morning? Tune in tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

A slightly less wonderful day at work.

Still productive, and lunch out with SemperFi and two other coworkers was delicious, even if the service was glacially slow. But I discovered an oversight in scheduling that I cannot explain, and the office manager was freaking out, as I would have been had I not been so infernally weary. I've fixed the scheduling, and I'm sure there will be a private discussion with the office manager in the near future. She's good about praising in public and criticizing in private.

I picked up what turned out to be two prescriptions on the way home, then wholesome beverages (milk, buttermilk and OJ) at Braum's, which is across the street from my pharmacy. Middlest had a three-item shopping list for me, but I didn't have the spoons to deal with it.

First PT appointment is at 7:00, and they want me there twenty minutes early. Le sigh. I can't decide if I want to nap until time for my evening meds and then go back to bed, or tough it out for another hour and a half.

Later, gators.

Monday, April 24, 2017

An amazingly wonderful day at work.

Got all the way through my inbox, the incoming mail, stuff that's been lurking in my ZZ-Sec (pending) folder, and my To Do's. Even had time to start working on vacation letters for SemperFi. Reimbursement for the first half of the medical expenses I submitted last week, hit my account today, so off to Costco I went. The fridge, freezer, and pantry are restocked to my satisfaction, and on the way home I picked up more of Middlest's migraine-battling soda. When I got home, Middlest was zonked out (and is still sleeping as I write); I wrangled everything into the house and stowed it without hurting my back or my shoulder. I have an appointment for my first physical therapy session on Wednesday morning. Am nearly done with the second corner motif on the quilt, and it's calling my name, so this is all you get tonight.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

A mostly wonderful day, with a side order of crabbiness (mine).

Middlest continues to mend slowly from the kidney stones that came to pass.

I had enough energy to make it through all three hours of church today, the first time that has happened in about a month. And not quite enough oomph to keep from coming home with ankles that were swollen into folds that Middlest said looked like cake batter. I tried to sing a line from "MacArthur Park" and only ended up confusing us both.

I've posted the following picture on the doll blog but wanted to share it here as well. Half an inch of progress on both the body and the third sleeve. Hoping for more progress tomorrow.

I got crabby with Middlest a few minutes ago, after I'd sat down to blog and my kid needed a quick favor that was not at all unreasonable. But I was a little tired, and I reverted almost immediately into I just put you to bed ten minutes ago and no, you can't have another drink of water mode. Which Middlest did not deserve, and I need to go apologize before we both crash for the night.

Apparently I haven't outgrown the need for training wheels on this motherhood buggy.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Eating. Sleeping. And not much else.

This has been an unproductive day for the most part. Composed a letter to the administrator for the stock shares I inherited from Beloved, because I got a notice that the unclaimed dividends from when he was so ill are in danger of being forfeited to the state. I spoke with a customer service representative yesterday, who told me what the letter needs to say in order for them to reissue the dividend(s) in my name and to my account number. So that's done. I'll mail it from work on Monday.

I loaded and ran the dishwasher. Middlest accidentally pushed the start button when closing it again after removing something, and we've had a grin over that. Those dishes are now very, very clean. I'm about to empty the dishwasher and load it with the things that didn't fit into the first load. Having a third person in the house, while delightful, uses up dishes exponentially faster than when it's just the two of us. The kids caught up the laundry on Thursday. It was my turn to do something about the sink. We had the doll meet last night. And I am still running on empty from Middlest's latest attack of kidney stones.

We agreed last night, on the drive home from taking Fourthborn back, that today would be pretty much nonverbal and dedicated to rest. I had a decent night's sleep and have since had two long naps. I've been vertical for maybe five hours since waking to take morning meds at 6:00am. Middlest has been napping off and on all day and is currently sleeping.

I took Blessing from where she was looking trapped between her chair and the harp, and set Celeste in her place. I need to get Celeste a proper straight-backed chair in which to sit and play, but she looks as if she were made to play that harp. I've already shared to the two doll groups I'm on, on Facebook, and have gotten good feedback. As well as from my two harp-playing friends on my main FB page.

If you want to see the resin characters who showed up at last night's doll meet, here is a link. They are a group every bit as diverse as their owners.

I need to reload that dishwasher, clear some stuff off the bed so I may work on the quilt at least a little, and listen to my Book of Mormon. I want to wait 45 minutes, take my evening meds, and go back to bed. I'm not depressed. Thankfully, I'm not ill. And my back and shoulder are both mercifully quiescent. I'm just feeling distinctly unRavelled.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Two day work week.

I could get used to that. I had another wonderfully productive day and I am definitely ready for the weekend. With the exception of picking up a prescription tomorrow, and maybe taking Middlest to Half Price Books, my goal is to stay home in my pajamas and not talk to anyone until church on Sunday. Since Middlest is feeling much the same, I suspect this will be a quietly productive weekend.

I should go to a funeral tomorrow afternoon, but I think I will just send a card and pray like crazy instead. I am all peopled out.

We are under a severe thunderstorm warning for the next hour or so and a tornado watch until 1:00a.m. The sirens went off at the fire station maybe 15 minutes ago ~ five years in this house, and it's the first time I've heard or noticed them. And the weather radio is screaming every five to ten minutes. This may be a very long night...

I'm going to pray that if we really do need to take cover, the Spirit will wake me up and help me to roust Middlest.

Over and out.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Back at the salt mines

This was my first day back after a five day weekend. It went far better than it could have, given that there were 99 emails waiting for me. SemperFi walked in a little after I did and gave me this card:

I save his cards every year, because they're so spot-on.

The repaired/restored harp arrived safely from the Etsy artisan, and I've got it set up on the dining room table for the moment, with Blessing perched in her chair looking distinctly unenthused.

I made a (very) little progress on Avery's sweater today. I did reach my quilting goal this evening. Am hoping that I can finish out a second corner on the border and start working toward a third. We have PieFive with the doll folk tomorrow night, and I have a funeral on Saturday. Another of Heavenly Father's noble sons has gone Home. Comforting his beloved is more important in the eternal scheme of things.

I've just lost half an hour noodling around in settings on the doll blog. Night, y'all.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Quiet, steady progress today. At least for me.

Got the Tardis safety inspected, which involved fixing the third brake light on the back of the camper shell. Not cheap for them to run a line from there to the brake switch, but she's legal, and more importantly, the state cannot object to her being used for J's driving test. I spent a lot of time last year trying to help him make it happen, only to be foiled by picky people at the DMV.

Also paid the light bill (almost forgot to, but then it's been crazier than usual around here for the past week or so) and picked up more milk and orange juice.

I've made respectable progress on the quilt today and added at least eight rows to the body of Avery's sweater. It's now sixteen rows and 7/8 inch long. If my calculations are correct, it will be something like 105 rows long when I reach the armscye. The fabric is gorgeous, but that much stockinette is visually boring, so I'll spare you. If you're that curious, head over to the doll blog for a beauty shot.

When I get to work tomorrow, the reconstructed harp should be waiting at my desk. Tracking says it was delivered at 12:07 this afternoon.

Middlest is still puny. The second kidney stone is out of the kidney and slowly carving a path to the outside world. We can track it by the Morse code of bruises along my kid's upper abdomen.

I've spent the evening in my room with both lamps blazing and the door closed, as Middlest's migraine continues to rage, and that much light would only make it worse.

I've enjoyed my staycation, and I'm ready to go back to work tomorrow. Fourthborn is staying to watch over Middlest, and I haven't decided if I'm going to the Dallas knit night after work, or simply coming home by way of the grocery store for more bottled water.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Why are you giving me a dead person’s sheep?

I originally attempted to post this last night, but there was a glitch and the entire bushel of brilliance nonsense vanished into thin air.

This had to qualify as the most interesting birthday to date. Middlest and I both had irregular sleep and found ourselves up at the same time. Since it was after midnight, I opened my present from my sister: a charming print, a pair of earrings, and a scarf knit up from yarn that I slipped into her Christmas package last year. Here's a beauty shot of the unopened box.

Once we were officially awake, I took Middlest for the monthly doctor’s appointment, then up to the pharmacy in Wylie to fill a couple of Rx’s. We came home, dropped off the things we didn’t need, and headed to Arlington to pick up Fourthborn and begin the day’s festivities. We pulled into Whataburger to get them sustenance while I was having lunch with Fourthborn’s former fiancé who is still a member of this family whether he likes it or not. This is when I discovered that my wallet had gone missing.

We ransacked the truck. I dropped my kids at Barnes & Noble with the snacks they’d brought to while away the afternoon, had lunch with J, and drove back home to check the house. The wallet wasn’t there. I checked the Tardis again. Still not there. So I fired up my phone and discovered that the pharmacy had been trying to reach me for four hours.

Ahem. I drove up to Wylie again, sheepishly picked up my wallet, tanked the truck, and picked up my kids after hitting the drive-thru at In N Out, because I didn’t want to face the nice people at Whataburger again.

I should mention at this point that it had been raining off and on all day, in varying degrees of intensity, and that my left side got a good soaking at the drive-thru. By the time I got a block or two west to pick up the kids, it had subsided ever so slightly. Oh, and Middlest is in the process of ejecting a second kidney stone so is not moving all that fast.

We stopped at Home Depot to use the loo. At which point I discovered that my phone was now missing. After ransacking my purse and the poor Tardis again, we discovered it just over the horizon of the dashboard.

They inhaled their burgers and fries while I hobbled into the party store to order balloons for the dinner. I’d bought a Grim Reaper balloon online because I couldn’t find one locally. I have wanted this particular balloon for twenty-five years, ever since I spotted it just before my 40th birthday.

We hung out at Half Price Books until it was time to pick up the balloons, then crossed over the freeway to the restaurant. They seated us at the table for 16 which I’d reserved, and Fourthborn helped me free the balloons from their protective wrapping. Family started trickling in. Firstborn and Willow, Secondborn and 2BDH and the Bitties and a young cousin who is living with them, 1BDH, LittleBit and her roommate, Mel and Squishy. I took these before everybody showed up, but this is most of the tribe.

We filled every seat prepared for us.

Middlest’s pain crested, so Mel and Squishy took my kid home to their house while I took Fourthborn back to her apartment to pack for a brief stay with us. Lots of hugs. I remembered my take-home, largely because Middlest and I put Fourthborn in charge of it. We had to circle back as we were leaving the parking lot to grab Mel and Squishy’s leftovers just as the staff was clearing the table.

Because it was my birthday, the staff “serenaded” me while I wore an enormous purple velvet sombrero. (My respect for the vaqueros who ride in the Fourth of July parade has gone up tenfold. Those hats are heavy!)

When I got home, I discovered that one of my new earrings had gone walkabout. I put new batteries in the flashlight and checked the Tardis, but it was nowhere to be seen. I almost lost both of them, but I found the other dangling like a pennant from my hair and caught it just in time. This, after crimping the hooks twice while wearing them. The good news is, I have a Murano glass earring (somewhere) in the same colors that was orphaned a decade or more ago, and I can wear them as a mismatched pair.

Oh. The sheep. I almost forgot. LittleBit’s gift to me was a resin sheep that she found at an estate sale. Hence the title of this post.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Utterly defeated by a packing box.

I've got the first lamp (the one that was the floor model) in place in my room with a 100w bulb, and it is glorious. After sitting here and thinking about it for maybe half an hour, I decided to open the other box and get it plugged in as well.

The good news is, I was able to use the box cutter to open the box, without sacrificing any body parts. However, I was unable to get the contents out of the box, because it would have required actual box-slashing, no small amount of grunting, and perhaps a childbirth word or two. Middlest is sleeping. Sleep has been frequent but fragile since coming home from the ER on Thursday, and I have no intention of rudely rousting my kid.

We made it to Costco this afternoon and got out slightly under-budget. We picked up KFC for the elders and for our own dinner and dropped theirs off on the way home, then unloaded the Tardis, ate our chicken (fingers for Middlest, pot pie for me), and sat in our chairs, stupefied.

Middlest went to bed. I grabbed my wallet and keys and made a quick run to the party store, hoping to find something suitable for Easter baskets for the dolls. To my delight, it was not a wasted trip. Came straight home and have been dragging around the house ever since.

I've got a bit of sinus drainage and have been popping the odd Ricola to minimize the hacking, which alarms Middlest every time it happens. Yes, I'm taking my antihistamine faithfully, and it helps. But nothing short of a resurrected body is going to stop this nonsense permanently.

I finished the first stab at the sweater body for Avery by knitting six rows of garter stitch and binding off. It's pinned out on the ironing board, where I gave it multiple shots of steam along its length earlier this afternoon.

My brain wants to do stuff. My hands are itching to create. And the rest of me is struggling to stay awake another 20 minutes so I can take my evening meds and call it a day.

I'm happy. I'm peaceful. I'm even verging on joyful. I'm also sick-and-tired. Night, y'all.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Buzzwords I heard in a business meeting last week.

  1. Full stack technology - this does not involve transferring the entire batch of pancakes on a flattop to one customer's plate.
  2. Accelerator - this is not the gas pedal in the Tardis.
  3. Incubator - this is not a device for hatching healthy chicks.
  4. Quantum computing - this is not Sam Beckett with a calculator.
Google if you care. I did, and I like my "this is not / this does not" definitions better.

We are both a little extremely punchy from lack of sleep. I got through this day at work through sheer bulldog stubbornness and other people's prayers.

Middlest: "I feel like there's something weird along my spine."
Me: "Well, they did pump you full of all sorts of chemicals yesterday."
Middlest: "They sure did!"
Me: "Stand up and turn around. Maybe your derriere is glowing like a lightning bug's!"
Middlest: [gets up, turns around, resists the urge to moon me] "Well?"
Me: "Nope."

This was about fifteen minutes after my giggle-fest when I heard Middlest barking at Shut Up Maggie.

Me: "Are you barking at the neighbor's dog?"
Middlest: "Yes, why?"

In knitting news, I may have mentioned that I got bored knitting 150 stitches per row in stockinette on 0000 needles once I realized the piece was going to be too large to serve as the body of Avery's sweater. So I googled "knitted spiral scarf" and started decreasing. Once I'd bound it off, but before breaking the yarn, I took a good long squint at it and decided nah! and frogged it back to where the decreases began. I'm going to listen to some General Conference addresses, finish picking up the frogged stitches, and complete it as a proper rectangular scarf. At which point it will probably be time for bed.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Adventures with Middlest.

Sometimes CTRL+Z is not my friend. I meant to undo a small change and ended up erasing the entire first draft of this post.

I came home yesterday from work after a productive day, wishing nothing more than a shower, a bite of dinner, and an early bedtime. I was greeted by a very polite Middlest, requesting that I inspect my kid's lower back for bruising and/or a difference in texture between the sides at kidney level. Which I found.

I politely requested time to process the inevitability of an ER trip while the oven heated for pizzas, and more time while the pizzas baked. I was still processing when the pizzas came out, so I put Middlest's on a plate and took it back to my kid's room. I ate mine here at the computer desk, playing solitaire and trying to get a grip.

I had started a load of laundry before dinner prep (such as it was), so I fed the dryer and the dishwasher, then sluiced off in the shower to rid myself of any remaining negativity. Middlest packed snacks for us and bottles of water. I gathered what I thought would be enough yarn to get me through the night. By 8:00pm, we were on the road to the local ER which had cared for Beloved before he passed, Fourthborn on Black and Blue Friday year before last, and me when I drove myself there about three years ago because of a symptom that scared me a little. No more Parkland for us after the frustrating experience with their billing office last October.

The first CT scan confirmed a kidney stone that was still bouncing around in the kidney, unwilling or unready to come out and play. And a probable pocket of air in the abdomen that shouldn't have been there. So they did another CT with contrast, which confirmed the anomaly but didn't show any perforation(s). And they decided to admit Middlest for observation and possible exploratory surgery. At which time I asked what I should do, and everybody told me to go home and go to bed.

Since I'd now been up for 22 hours, I did not argue. I'd taken my usual evening meds at 10:00, except for the muscle relaxer, and I took that when I got home and slept through my 6:00am alarm for morning meds, waking an hour later. (Sleeping through the alarm is possible because I awaken to classical music, not heart-stopping electronic screaming.) Took my meds, checked the phone for messages, turned on the ringer, and went back to bed for another three hours.

I had run out of contrast yarns for the Fair Isle sleeves on the doll sweater while at the ER. I guesstimated how many stitches I'd need for the sweater body in plain knitting, figuring that if I'd guessed wrong, one of our dolls would be getting a monochromatic scarf in Doctor Who proportions. Before heading back to the ER this morning (a room hadn't opened up overnight, so Middlest was still in the isolation room), I wrapped the knitting around Avery and discovered that it was going to be a scarf and not a sweater body.

When I got to the hospital, I learned that the surgeon and the floor doctor had been wrangling decorously for two hours regarding the necessity of surgery, the surgeon wanting to keep his knife in his pocket rather than split Middlest from sternum to pelvis (neither Middlest nor I had envisioned major surgery with the prevalence of laparoscopic surgery nowadays), and the floor doctor wanting to leave nothing to chance.

I'd like to buy that surgeon a cheeseburger. Especially since Middlest related in a quiet moment that the surgeon had said my kid would have a zipper-like scar down the mid-line if the wound healed. If. Not a prospect that either of us enjoys contemplating.

We are home with prescriptions for pain relief and two antibiotics, as the lab tests revealed blood in the urine, indicating that while one stone (that they saw) is still waiting to pounce, another one passed. The home teachers have come and given each of us a priesthood blessing. Middlest is snoring quietly in the middle bedroom. I have had a four hour nap and am half an hour overdue for my evening meds. My back is still tight but not currently howling at me. Since I did not post last night, I haven't shared that I am getting a referral to physical therapy.

I have two or three weeks' worth of medical receipts that I need to upload for reimbursement, and tonight is not going to be the night for that. I'm about ready to go back to bed, and I'm looking forward to going to work tomorrow (and cramming two days' worth of work into one) to prepare for being off three days next week in celebration of my birthday.

Feeling blearily thankful for the prayers and positive thoughts offered up by our friends and family over the past 24 hours. Over and out.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Oh, my baking yak!

There is a knot in my back, just to the right of my spine and about three fingers up from my waistband. I had T check it out at the end of Knit Night, after everyone else had gone. It's musculo-skeletal, and it's pulling my spine out of alignment, so I will be making an appointment with a chiropractor ASAP, because if I don't, it will only get worse.

I'm not sure how this happened, if it's trapped emotions or leftovers from when I hefted that industrial vacuum up the stairs to the stage while helping to clean the chapel a few months ago.

In other news, I've bought two floor lamps to supplement the light in my bedroom. I found them at World Market after the nice man at Bed Bath & Beyond said his store doesn't carry lamps, and to try JoAnn (OttLite at $300, no thank you) or World Market. I found a bronze metal lamp, and the clerk told me it was on closeout and half off. She had another in the back. I bought them both.

Tomorrow I'll figure out how to get it plugged in. I haven't been able to quilt in the mornings before leaving for work, and that's frustrating. So, if not tomorrow morning, then tomorrow night.

I took my Robaxin about an hour ago, and I can still vaguely feel the knot in my back. Time for some ibuprofen and lights out.

Monday, April 10, 2017

A very mixed day.

The plumber came at 9:00 as promised, with an associate or apprentice. They worked quickly, quietly, and carefully. We have two functioning loos again, which means that Middlest will not have to tread softly through my room in the middle of the night to use mine, and I can sleep with the bathroom light off.

When I got to the office, it took 20 minutes of driving around and around to find a parking spot in which to insert the Tardis. My first stop was the deli for a bottle of milk and three chocolate chip cookies. When I eat my feelings, I don't mess around!

My Etsy order was delivered today as promised, and the box appeared to be in good shape. The artisan had swaddled everything in bubble wrap and stuffed newsprint into odd corners. The bookcase was intact. The harp, sadly, was not. I have no doubt that she will make things right. We are exchanging emails as I work on this post.

In knitting news, I discovered while posting side-by-sides of the two sweater sleeves that I had made a mistake with one of the pattern, and the second sleeve was almost a centimeter longer than the first. I've cast on a third sleeve and will decide what to do with the first one later. It could become a lumbar pillow or the start of a sweater for a different doll or simply a gauge swatch. Meanwhile, I am nearly done with the garter stitch band at the base of the sleeve, and I really need to feel successful at something, so I am going to call this a post, fire up a Conference address, and let my fingers do the walking.

Tomorrow, as Miz Scarlett was fond of saying, is another day.

Edited to add: she can fix it! I've swaddled it within an inch of its life, and I'm shipping it back to her after work tomorrow!

You gave me a dead person's sheep?

It has been a memorable birthday. Took Middlest for the monthly checkup. Drove up to the pharmacy in Wylie to get a couple of Rx's filled. Came back home to drop off stuff we didn't need. Dropped off some misdirected mail at my doctor's office. Picked up Fourthborn. Stopped by Whataburger to buy lunch for my two kids so I could have lunch with Fourthborn's former fiance, who is still a heart-son. Discovered that I did not have my wallet. Dropped the kids at Barnes & Noble. Had lunch with J. Drove back to Garland and ransacked the house. Checked the truck again. Decided to call the pharmacy. Discovered that they had been trying to get hold of me since 9:30 (my ringer was off, as it usually is). Drove back to Wylie and got my wallet. Drove back to Arlington and picked up In N Out for my kids. Picked up my kids. Drove over the freeway to the party store. Arranged to pick up my balloon order at a quarter to six. Drove back up Cooper to the nearest Half Price Books. Found three more books for the dolls and two for me. Picked up the balloons. Drove to the restaurant. Had dinner. Middlest started to pass another kidney stone. Mel and Squishy brought Middlest back to their place so that I could run by Fourthborn's so she could stay with Middlest possibly through Thursday, when I go back to work.

Got neat stuff from my kids. Handmade cards from the Bitties and their cousin who is staying with them. Donegal yarn from Secondborn, who was in Ireland last week. And a good-size resin sheep that LittleBit found at an estate sale. Hence the title of this post. Chocolate. And more chocolate.

My sister gave me a lovely print, a pair of earrings that I wore to dinner and seem to have lost one of already, and a scarf knitted from some of the yarn I tossed into her Christmas box last year. I've replaced the batteries in the flashlight that lives in the Tardis, and I saw no sign of the missing earring. I will carefully take apart the gift bags after I have slept. Sleep is crucial at the moment. I've driven roughly 200 miles today, and I was planning to drive to Oklahoma tomorrow, but I've messaged my newfound cousin that Middlest is ill again/still, so we need to reschedule. (Middlest keeps insisting that I should go, but I just don't have the spoons for nine hours in the car after the extra time I spent driving today.)

Oh, and there was a point where I couldn't find my cell phone. I finally noticed that it had slipped past the horizon of the dashboard. Today has been a comedy of errors, but I've brought Middlest home, and I've taken my evening meds, and I'm about to fire up the white noise machine and call it a day.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Another dream in the house that is not my house. And other stuff.

Written before breakfast, in the hope that writing it down will help me make sense of it. There is a house which recurs in my dreams. It has aspects of my sister's first house in the Seattle area, the two houses I lived in with my parents while growing up in Boise, the house I shared with the children's father when the kids were little, the duplex I rented before marrying Beloved, and this house, plus additions which are solely the product of my imagination. Sometimes family members are part of the dream. Sometimes they are not.

Early in this dream, my friend Speed was visiting, and he asked if we wanted to take our relationship to the next level. (We have never had that sort of a friendship.) I told him only if he wanted to investigate the church and be baptized. He said OK. I think it was at that point that I started looking around the house for a spare Book of Mormon and noticed that a particular dresser (which does not exist) was missing from my room.

I walked into another room to find the children's father sleeping in my father's bed, having just come home from work. I tried to talk to him but got nothing but sleepy murmurs. I walked out of that room, closing the door rather loudly (ahem!) and walked into another part of the house. Moments later, I found the children's father up and dressed and wide awake, shoving furniture around in the back bedroom of the house we shared. He told me that the new bishop (we don't have one) had called, and I was supposed to take in my brother-in-law.

In this dream, Middlest (invited to live with me in real life, and most welcome!) was was off doing whatever my kid does while I'm sleeping and dreaming. The children's father had somehow taken up residence in a different room and was appropriating my stuff. And I was trying to get to the app which contains our ward directory to verify that there had indeed been a change of leadership in the ward, but was stuck in an endless Facebook loop. I wandered into another room full of my Relief Society sisters from various wards I've lived in, and one of them pulled me in for a hug and told me I just needed to let all of this stuff go. I stood there and sobbed in her arms.

Yeah. I have no idea. But maybe I should pack a spare Book of Mormon when I go to the family reunion this summer.


In other news, I posted to FB about the sticks in my freezer, and a friend from the singles program shot me an email. I paraphrase with his permission:

I once owned 20 acres near [a lake] - a neighbor cut a lot of brush on his parcel, piled it and set fire to it.

Another neighbor (Asian) told him "You just burned up $100,000." The resourceful Asian cut the same brush on his parcel and built a steamer from used oil drums. He hired women to steam the branches to kill off critters, then sort and bundle them to be sold to flower shops and craft stores for floral displays etc.

This is just one of several businesses the Asian was involved in. His land was improved with a large house and a tractor, etc. He was an interesting example for the rest of us.


I need to talk to my doctor about upping the diuretic. I came home right after sacrament meeting, because my lower legs were doing the "get me out of this meeting" twitch for the latter part of the meeting. I didn't feel sick, just swollen and achy and tired. So I bummed two ibuprofen from Middlest, ate a light lunch, and slept the afternoon away. Knit has thus far not happened. I'm not sure that it will, although I do need to step away from the computer and put my legs up. I think I will wash a latte cup full of grapes and curl up with a good book.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

A most excellent day.

I made a huge pan of lasagna and a slightly smaller bowl of salad for lunch. We had a visit from L and her daughter. Middlest is mighty handy at re-stringing dolls, and L had two that needed attention. Middlest also tightened up the stringing on my twins, and we determined that Honor was doing just fine.

I did a search for "virtues that are also women's names" and found this list:
Trinity (nope)
Faith (check!)
Hope (check!)
Charity (check!)
Temperance (check!)
Grace (check!)

I was somewhat amazed to find Constance and Joy on the list of boy's names. And who would name a poor innocent baby Rogue or Rebel? Might as well call him Lucifer and be done with it.

I got notification that the harp and the alchemist's bookcase have shipped.

In other news, I took two bags of dead light bulbs, dead batteries, and dead electronics to the toxic drop-off today. And Fourthborn was able to change out the light bulb in the garage with me standing there to spot her. No more doing laundry in the dark, at least for another year or so.

I made a few more rounds of progress on Avery's second sleeve, and I did a bit more quilting. I'm going to work on the latter until bedtime

Friday, April 07, 2017

Doll is here!

No picture on this blog until we find a wig for her. If you want to hop over to the doll blog, you can get a peek. I'm not sure what her name is. Hoping that my creativity will shake hands with my subconscious while I'm sleeping and come up with something appropriate.

Fourthborn had an outfit that suits very nicely in terms of fit, color, and coverage. It's been in storage, so it needs a little TLC.

I am crazy-tired and ridiculously happy. That's all I've got for you tonight.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

So much better than yesterday!

Yesterday was a beating, and today was more like when you have an itch in the middle of your back that you can't reach with either hand. Irritating but not painful. The meeting which I was responsible to plan, but not authorized to conduct, ran 15-20 minutes long because the office manager got held up by another meeting, so we started a little late. That was the irritating part. We got through the agenda, came to a consensus on some things, got overruled on others, and had significantly more time remaining in which to do the things we get paid for, than yesterday.

In knitting news, the orange tabard has its ends woven in and is ready for blocking. About 75% of the stitches on Avery's second sleeve had slipped off their needles, which involved about 20 minutes of fiddling (and mental muttering) while at Knit Night 2.0 this evening.

I've revamped the formatting of the doll blog. I liked the colors of the previous incarnation but not the layout.

FedEx has notified me by multiple means throughout the day that Adela will arrive tomorrow. Can't wait to meet her.

In technology news, my phone somehow figured out how to change the screen brightness to "total eclipse" mode. I discovered this after listening to a chapter in the Book of Mormon while driving to work, when I wanted to pause the app so I could ponder it and pray the rest of the way to the office, as is my habit. CouldNotFind the pause button, so I ended up hearing half a dozen chapters with increasingly less focus and increasingly more frustration. I wasn't sure that I'd be able to shut my phone up so I could take it into work. While I am all for being a member missionary in theory, I doubt that my coworkers would find Abinadi's exchanges with wicked King Noah and his apostate priests as interesting as I do, particularly if they were trying to communicate with a court coordinator or one of our clients.

Once I was in the parking garage, I managed to access the settings button and discovered that my brightness was dialed down to near-zero. Fixed that, exited out of my Book of Mormon, and took my cranky self upstairs to start my day. That was quite possibly the most counterproductive study session I've attempted since the kids were toddlers.

It will be funny someday. Today is not that day. In typing this, my angry cough bubbled up. I am going to swill some water, eat a square of Ghirardelli, and knit a little before bedtime.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

A day from the warm place. And I don't mean Houston.

It began well enough, with a visit to Middlest's doctor to pick up the Rx which must be hand-carried to the pharmacy, thence to the pharmacy, then home to drop Middlest off and head into work. Everything went smoothly, and I even found a parking space in the garage when I got downtown. That part was not the problem.

TheKid was back from his mediation with the news that we are set for trial in two weeks. It's a consolidated case, and while the Co-Defendant's counsel graciously provided all of the documents we requested, neither he nor Plaintiff's counsel had remembered to forward the trial notice to us when we were brought in a month and a half ago. This necessitated some research on my part, a flurry of emails among the attorneys, and the blessed decision by Plaintiff's counsel to request and file an agreed motion for continuance. Which meant that I did not have to clean up the blank documents I had just created, and could delete them in good conscience.

Then we had a two hour live streamed meeting with other offices who do what we do, and me without any lunch. When the meeting adjourned, there was a mass exodus to the loos, and I walked across the street to McDonald's and got a double cheeseburger, the smallest possible order of fries, and a bag of sliced apples. I was back at my desk at a quarter to four. I leave at five.

I think I've mentioned the wonderful attorney who has been out on medical leave for much of the last year. He handed in his resignation a couple of weeks ago and today was in the office packing up the last of his stuff. His paralegal sent out an email that everything was gone except a rolling side table and his (absolutely breathtaking) bronze statue of two rams butting heads.

I'd admired but not coveted it for years, and I am an Aries, even though I don't believe in astrology. I wheeled a cart into his office and loaded the statue into the top rack, then rolled the cart back to my desk and sent an email saying "dibs" and "is anyone willing to help me schlepp this out to my truck?" One of my girlfriends helped me get it out of the office, into an elevator, out through the service doors, down the ramp, around to the elevator for the parking garage, and all the way to the back of the garage where the Tardis was parked. Then she waited for me by that elevator while I moved the Tardis to a better parking spot, and we reversed our trek to put the cart away.

By this time it was 4:30. I had to re-file a document that I'd filed yesterday because a party's name was misspelled in the style of the case (after first making sure that that couldn't happen again). I got a packet of documents moved into SemperFi's outbox, and then it was 5:00.

Into my driving shoes and on to the loo, just in case, where my badge popped off the hem of my shirt, and I pinched something internally (in my abdomen) when I bent over to pick it up off the floor. Good thing I was the only one in there, because I was apologizing out loud to my tummy as I rubbed it, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry." Got that calmed down, gathered up my stuff, went down to the car, heaved a weary sigh of relief and uttered an even more weary "thank You" prayer.

Took the scenic route home. Container Store for something that Middlest needed, then the Big Main Store of Half Price Books, then the store between Belt Line and Spring Valley on the I-75 service road. Got two more books for the dolls' collection and a $3 bargain for me, stopped at the grocery store long enough to buy two pints of ice cream, came home and unloaded everything but the statue (which is behind the driver's seat and not likely to go flying anywhere), started the last load of laundry and threw pizza into the oven.

Dinner is over. I've eaten a few bites of ice cream and put a nearly-full pint back into the freezer. Time to put the clean stuff in the dryer while there's still light enough to see. (Did I mention that the overhead light in the garage burned out on Monday night?) And then it's a bit of quilting and hopefully an earlier night than last night, and maybe I'll finish the orange tabard.

Maybe. I am so done with this day.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Fun at Knit Night, and afterward

There were eight of us at Panera tonight, which made for good conversation as well as good eating. I've yet to be disappointed with the food at Panera. Tonight I had a small bowl of French onion soup and half of a chicken almond sandwich.

I made a few more rounds of progress on Avery's sweater and got more ends woven in and trimmed off.

Work has gone well for the past two days. I closed another suit and kept up with things in general.

After dropping Fourthborn off at her house this evening, I popped in at the Half Price Books in northern Arlington and scored another five books for the doll bookcase. Then I drove home while listening to fairly awful classical music (not a huge fan of Ravel, which I find ironic given the name of this blog).

I've put most everything away and am about ready for bed. In a flagrant example of mind over matter, I've pressed the fabric for the next quilt blocks and moved it to my work table along with the instructions. Body was muttering I just want to go to bed, while Brain was countering, Not until you press that fabric and move it to the studio, missy!

So that's done. I also need to fold the clean laundry, but frankly I think I will just shove it to the fallow side of the bed and deal with it tomorrow morning. I didn't sleep as well last night as I do most nights, and I'd like to try to make up for that.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Spiritual feast, with a side order of knitting.

General Conference is adjourned for six months. I worked on Avery's sweater as I listened today. When I put my knitting away a few minutes ago, I was about a third as far along on the second sleeve as I am on the first. There's a picture of it taken midday over on the doll blog.

I finished the second quilt block before Conference began. (The one where I had to pick up a small piece of extra fabric, just large enough to cut four 2.5" squares.) After the final broadcast, I preshrunk the fabric for the new blocks. It's not quite dry enough to press, but it will be in the morning, even if I don't necessarily have time to do that before going to work.

Last night I started adding links to doll sites to my other blog. I'm thinking of reformatting it, as it looks awfully sparse, even though I like the colors that I chose eight years ago.

There's a painting on the inside back cover of April's The Ensign that appeals to me. I'm going to see if I can get a copy in people scale and a smaller one to frame for the dolls. It just occurs to me that I need to find prints of the temples in doll scale for the room settings that I'm planning.

Who says I can't use my hobby to do missionary work?

Feeling thankful that the deluge earlier today did not drag a tornado along in its wake. At one point the rain was falling so noisily that I had to carefully open the front door and look at the driveway to make sure there wasn't hail mixed into it.

Feeling happy, and productive, and more or less rested in spite of all the spiritual blessings that poured out of my computer screen during this weekend's broadcasts. Someone wiser than I once said that listening to General Conference is a lot like trying to get a drink of water from a fire hose. So I'm thankful that the talks will be printed out and arrive in my mailbox next month, and that videos are already up on the Church's website.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Did I show you this?

This is the doll sweater that I made for my young friend at church, with the hat which served as a gauge swatch, and the bloomers from my stash of quilting fabrics. Pattern from DGRequiem / Requiem Art Designs on Etsy.

Today turned out nothing like I'd planned and was blessed by happy surprises. Dear friend and I rarely get to see one another. She came over this afternoon and brought her new granddaughter.

Pulled up at Costco one minute before closing and went on to Daiso, where I hoped to score miniature Easter baskets for the dolls. They had nothing that spoke to me, so I took an alternate route home because of an accident that was clearing on southbound Central Expressway, and I bought a few items at the grocery store, getting home just as we began to get a few sprinkles. We're supposed to have another nasty storm coming through in the near future.

I've started another tabard using leftover yarn from the above sweater. I've tweaked the design slightly from the Koigu one I finished a couple of days ago.

I am a happily tired mommy, and I am going to bed.