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!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

I set myself a goal.

A modest one, but a goal nonetheless. The quilt on which I am working my fingers to the bone is composed of thirty-six blocks in jewel tones with a one-inch wide border and sashing of pale but saturated yellow, and then a wider border in bright teal green to finish it off. The two long borders and the shorter one at the top are all quilted. The bottom border is twice the depth of the others.

I quilted the inner edge of the yellow border as each block was completed. I quilted the outer edge of three sides of that border as I quilted the teal. Yesterday and this morning I turned the remaining two corners of the yellow border, and tonight I finished off that line of stitching.

My left forefinger and middle finger are sore and crabby. There is a small divot in each that would bleed if I were not giving both of them the Mom Look. The quilt is put away for the night, and tomorrow morning I will aim to quilt one small motif before leaving for PT. I don't plan on touching the quilt again until Friday morning. I'm hoping that two days of quilting-lite will be enough to heal my fingers so I can make significant progress on Saturday.

Tomorrow is primarily for knitting. I am hoping to have enough "spoons" to go to the Dallas knit night after work and to stay there until the owners kick us out.

Work went well today. I had rather more emails waiting for me than I would have liked, but in the course of the day I got them all wrangled as well as my ToDo's. Tomorrow I will catch up the mail. The best and funniest thing that happened was that SemperFi got a call from our client, who was due to be deposed in our office. Her babysitter had bailed, so she would be bringing her infant to the deposition. SemperFi was as close to in a panic as I can imagine him being. His paralegal and I were snickering. I told him I was available for grandma duty if need be.

That was until I met the mom and the baby, both of whom were lovely. And ill. I smiled, flirted with the baby, and beat a strategic retreat, telling her that I have a kid at home who is immuno-compromised.

I asked him later how the depo had gone (i.e., if the baby had behaved). He said it went well, except when he told the mom to raise her right hand and swear to tell the truth, the baby raised both hands and smiled. I told him we were all looking forward to when he has a cute little granddaughter and turns into a pile of mush.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Another marginally productive day.

It's 7:39 as I sit down to write, and I have about two and a half hours in which I may eat. I just finished uploading a month and a half's worth of medical bills for reimbursement. I had to photograph some of the receipts two or more times. This was after I couldn't log on, on my phone, so I came over here to log on to the mother ship and discovered that the system has upgraded since I last submitted receipts, and they have a fancy-schmancy authentication system. Which is why the app on my phone was telling me my password was wrong, when I knew darn good and well that it wasn't. Upgraded my password, created a PIN number, and was able to log onto the app. An hour to an hour and a half later, I think I finally made them happy. When the reimbursement is deposited, that will make my credit card balance happy. Meanwhile, I am tired and still a little frustrated and somewhat hungry and wondering what I can eat that will be healthy and stick with me until after I've peed in a cup and given blood tomorrow. I will be heading for IHOP about fifteen seconds after they slap that bandage on my elbow. I've actually gotten some quilting done and will do more before I go to bed. I have no solid idea of how I want to quilt the extra-wide border at the bottom of the quilt. There are a couple of images rattling around in my head, but mostly what I'm processing is, food! now! without any hints as to what my body wants, other than a pint of ice cream, which it's not getting. Because that would require my getting out of the pajamas I've been wearing all day.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

I've also posted this to the doll blog, but since this is knitting...

It feels really good to have this part done. I'll be back at work on the sleeves in the near future.

My talk in church was lots of fun. I used two pages from the Bible Dictionary, three General Conference addresses, and my own experiences. I knew when I left for church that I only had enough oomph for sacrament meeting, so I hugged various people after the meeting, came home, ate a simple lunch, got in my jammies, and took a nap.

Feeling gently tired. Middlest and Fourthborn are watching Mama Mia. I love it but am not in the mood. So I'll have a small snack, take my meds, and call it a day.

Looking forward to a quietly productive day tomorrow.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Strange little day.

Today has been a weird one. Woke up a bit before the alarm would normally go off, grabbed my morning meds, did my PT homework, fixed a healthy breakfast, ate it, knitted one row on Avery's sweater while listening to the Book of Mormon on my phone, finished the chapter and paused my phone, and promptly fell asleep sitting bolt upright.

Whined a little about that on Facebook, went back to bed and slept another three hours. Got up, made a PBJ, washed it down with buttermilk, and got dressed sufficiently to make a run to Kroger and Costco. Schlepped the groceries to the front porch. Fourthborn brought them in. Middlest put them away. I headed for the shower, because it was hot and humid and icky out there.

I got another row onto Avery's sweater and measured it. I think six more rows, maybe seven, will get me to the stopping point.

Have I quilted? Nope. Have I finished my talk for church tomorrow? Nope, but I have made notes and read all of the Conference talks I printed out. I have been so oh-look-shiny today. I could tell you how to craft a bow for an MSD, given the proper raw materials. (I've downloaded the pattern.)

My muscle relaxer has kicked in. I think I can post this before falling asleep.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Fun with SemperFi (and others)

We were encouraged to wear red white and blue to work today, in honor of Memorial Day, and allowed to wear sneakers. Which meant that I was deliciously comfortable all day. Thankfully, I did not have to fight sleep all day.

I wore my red "keep calm and pick on" (bluegrass, not bullying) T-shirt. No, you don't get a visual.

This is what SemperFi chose to wear. I was really surprised that he let me take a picture for the blog.

The managing attorney loved it. So did I. It's so him.

I volunteered to help muck out the big and little fridges in our break room. Another legal secretary, our IT guru, and I made short work of that. The big fridge is old, and about once a year ice builds up behind the crisper drawers. This model has the freezer on the bottom. If we don't empty the fridge periodically and unplug it over a long weekend, the crisper drawer creeps closer and closer to the door, and it eventually reaches a point where the door won't stay shut.

The small fridge was originally brought in when we had two nursing mothers in the office, and the then-managing-attorney, a lifelong bachelor, freaked out to find bottles of breast milk chilling with the pickles and stale pizza.

This is the first evening of my four day weekend. I've eaten something to which I'm allergic, and my left ankle is inflamed. So I sent down the cavalry in the form of buttermilk and ginger cookies, and I'm about to head into my room and quilt a little.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Looking for dolls in all the wrong places.

I spent some time at the Mint on Card and Alice's Collection websites tonight. Alice's Collection is perhaps the best-organized and most user friendly doll site I've seen as yet. I saw a pair of Docs in three choices of floral patent leather in SD scale. No, I did not buy them.

I'm amazed at how the design aesthetic can vary so much within a company from size to size. There are a couple of companies whose MSD dolls I find very attractive, yet their SD facial sculpts leave me cold. And I am frustrated to find what I think is a sweet, smiling girl's face and discover that it is a boy doll. Not that I dislike boys. I got over that (albeit gradually) once the ashes of my second marriage cooled. I carefully avoided going to FairyLand's website, lest I fall in love with an SD girl that would cost me an arm and a leg and my non-existent firstborn male child.

In knitting news, I've finished the first green baby sock except for weaving in the ends.

In quilting news, there was a morsel of progress before PT this morning, and I look forward to lots and lots of quilting on Saturday and Monday.

And I finally remembered the snippet of song that I parodied when the package of doll wigs arrived on Monday. But I will share that over on the doll blog, tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

My kids are so clever.

They cleared off this little corner of the kitchen, then put the cross stitch done by or for Beloved's late, first wife front and more or less center. My life: closed captioned for the housekeeping impaired.

Wondrous things, indeed!

The following was read to me by Fourthborn. Transcribed by me. I am just sufficiently wiped out that I laughed uncontrollably. Source: incurablenecromantic on Tumblr.

"Being a florist is essentially a lot like what I imagine being a mortician is about. You're basically keeping dead things looking good for as long as possible. You keep the product in the fridge so it doesn't rot and look horrible by the time the family gets a whack at it, and in the meantime you put it in a nice container."

Taking my sorry, not sorry self to bed now.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Licensed, medically prescribed torture

Body is quite crabby with me this evening. Had a good PT session this morning before work ~ best part was hearing my name called, and it was a sister in my Relief Society who is also getting PT ~ but did ask my therapist if she has a special machine for sharpening her elbows between therapy sessions.

I was able to mail the two wigs that didn't suit my newest doll back to the shop. There is a 5% restocking fee, and I had to eat the shipping, but they gave me my choice of refund or store credit. Needless to say, I chose store credit.

No Knit Night tonight. I picked up Fourthborn's replacement birth certificate and came straight home. Kids are up. I've transferred my notes for Sunday's talk into Evernote, and I'm going to try to go to bed now, rather than later.

Tomorrow I'll scan and encrypt the birth certificate and email it to JPS and give them a little push to see where we are in the process.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Poster child for crazy-tired, yet again

Good day at work. Lots accomplished. After work, I got my split ends trimmed off (and lost about 5" in length, but it will grow out again). From there to Costco, home by way of Kroger and Braums. The kids brought in the groceries and helped put them away. I ate dinner at 9:30.

There's doll news; hop on over to the other blog if you're interested.

Tomorrow will be a long one: PT then work, then over to Arlington to pick up Fourthborn's replacement birth certificate (and hang out at Knit Night). On Wednesday I'll scan it and encrypt it and forward it to JPS.

All of that lovely sleep which I got this past weekend has vanished like ice sublimating off the windshield when you've set the defroster on high. So glad that I have a four day weekend to look forward to.

Ms. Ravelled, over and out.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Yesterday's mail

Yesterday's mail, which I did not grab until I was out the door for church this morning. Nissan wants to sell Beloved a truck. Avenue wants to sell me a new wardrobe. And the school that The Bitties attend would like me to donate.

Laughter: it's good for the immune system.

It was a good day at church. Y'all know that I'm the sacrament meeting chorister. Sometimes, because of how incredibly busy they are, the bishopric is unable to get me the topics for the next week's meeting until the Sunday before (so I may pick hymns that align with the topics). This was one of those Sundays.

After sacrament meeting, I approached our bishop. He grinned, because he knew what I wanted. I asked him if we had a topic for next week. He grinned again, deftly avoiding the subject, and remarked that it had been awhile since I’d spoken in church.

I asked if he wanted me to speak in church. He asked if I wanted to speak in church. I asked if he wanted me to speak next Sunday.

He asked if I were willing to speak next Sunday. I asked if he had a topic in mind.

He asked what I thought a good topic might be. I replied, “the power of music in our lives,” and his face lit up. He gave me some counsel as to how to approach that, and then he said, “There’s your topic. Pick the hymns accordingly.”

I love our bishop. He takes his calling seriously. And injects humor whenever appropriate!

Because of Facebook, I've already added notes and references to the Word document that will become my talk. I am really looking forward to studying, pondering, writing, editing, rinse and repeat.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Lazy day ...

... doesn't even begin to describe it. I have eaten, quilted a very little, eaten some more, and slept. A six and a half hour nap, to be specific. Obviously, I needed it.

I've read through a PDF to make a doll-scale corset, noted the author's supply sources in a sidebar on the doll blog, and drooled over a full option doll that costs nearly as much as my first car (c. 1972). Who is, thankfully, too large a doll to shoehorn in among my others. Nevertheless, it's a good thing that she wasn't offered when I got my bonus earlier this year, or I might have been tempted above my ability to resist.

This is the sink that greeted me when I awoke from my nap two and a half hours ago:

Three people who thoughtfully rinse their dishes and wait for whichever of us whose back is spasming the least to empty and reload the dishwasher. Last night it was me. Tonight it will probably also be me, as Middlest is severely migraine-y, and Fourthborn has joints that are popping in and out of socket like pistons in a race car.

Last night I succumbed to the blandishments of Amazon for Samsung and downloaded the app, then a book written by the daughter of a longtime friend, then the most recent book by my friend Sooz. I stayed up until 2:00am reading them both. This morning I bought another book. I don't know that I will ever cough up the funds for an actual Kindle. I don't mind reading on my phone.

First load of laundry is in the dryer. Second load is in the washer. Two chicken pot pies are in the oven. And I guess it's time for me to work some magic with the dishwasher. I'm still feeling distinctly unambitious. The knot in my right calf from Wednesday's charley horse is smaller but lingers. As does my gratitude that I'm not experiencing boils or a plague of locusts.

Friday, May 19, 2017


I am sitting here, reading blog posts and eating fruit leftover from the retirement party for one of the nicest attorneys in our office. I've chewed my way through my share of the cantaloupe. I took my bowl back out to the kitchen to cut the hulls out of the extremely ripe strawberries and thought of Alan Rickman. "Locksley, I'll cut your heart out with a spoon!"

At this rate, it may take me until midnight to finish my "dinner" ~ I have three huge and one small strawberry left, and I haven't even begun on the grapes or the fresh pineapple which is lurking beneath them.

I'm quite enjoying the process. Chew on some food, chew on an idea, delete an email.

It was a good day at work. The vertigo appears to be ambling off into the sunset. I'm continuing to move a little more slowly, a little more deliberately. I feel a bit like the good guy in a 50's cowboy movie: "No sudden moves, podner, and keep your hands where I can see 'em!" The bad guy would be my inner ear, wearing an infinitesimally small black hat.

The most recent upgrade of my cell phone has give me a feature that irritates the fire out of me. When I plug in my phone to recharge (if it's still live), there's a banner that asks if I know that my phone is on silent, and do I want to still get my calls anyway, or is it OK? Yes, phone, I know that I've got you on silent. I do this because I only turn the ringer on when I'm expecting a call that I want or need. I might be a little forgetful from time to time, but I'm not likely to forget that I no longer enjoy visiting on the phone. That joy made like Elvis and left the building after eight years on switchboard to keep food on the table. Text me. Email me. IM me. Sit down and write me a good old-fashioned letter. Or we could meet for dinner and hours of face to face conversation.

I have to make and receive phone calls as a legal secretary. I get that. And I'm good at it. But on my personal scale of want-to-do-this, it's a notch or two below getting my teeth cleaned.

In knitting news, I picked up all of the stitches along the heel flap in order to begin the gusset decreases. There may or may not be more knitting tonight, but it's been an hour since I began this post, and I still haven't finished my grapes. Well, I've finished the ones I brought home from the party, but I haven't touched the ones that I took to work in my lunch bag this morning, nor the last of the grape tomatoes which accompanied them. I feel wonderfully refreshed by all this fruit, and if I don't send down something else to serve as an anchor of sorts, 2:00am may get interesting.

I'm thinking a moderate serving of Fage + Nutella, with maybe a handful of granola thrown in for good measure. Not too heavy for someone who hopes to be in bed in another hour, but enough to remind my body who's boss.

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Turned the heel while waiting for the second half of my temple recommend interview with a member of the stake presidency this evening.

No matter how many times I do this, it still feels like magic.

I'm pleased to report that there was significantly less vertigo today. It remains to be seen if that's the case once I lie down. I've cancelled my RSVP for the Pie Five meet tomorrow night, in the spirit of driving as little as possible until I've returned to what passes for normal.

My physical therapist made hamburger of my hips today. I asked her if, when she was a girl, she thought she'd grow up to stick her pointy elbow into people's joints. She said no, it hadn't occurred to her at the time. She's very good at what she does. My hips, however, are muttering mutinously and taking her name in vain.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Chicken Little has taken up residence in my head.

Hard to believe this song is almost 50 years old.

Here's another good one.

And one that's good, silly fun.

What's the impetus for all this nostalgia, you ask? Well, it's been quite a day. I awoke about half an hour ahead of the alarm, starting awake from a dead sleep with the sensation that I was going to fall out of bed to the floor on my right. I immediately spun to my left, tweaking my right calf into a charley horse as I did, and the room spun like a merry-go-round. All of the hamstring stretches I've been doing as part of my PT helped me ease out the worst of the knot in my calf, and I was able to sit up and stagger to the loo.

I'm really glad that we installed grab bars last year.

After work, I went to the night clinic to get my ears checked. There's no sign of fluid in the middle ear. The doctor had a wonderfully droll sense of humor. He said the only way to determine that there's a problem in the inner ear, is to do an autopsy, and most patients aren't excited about that.

After determining that I had no pain in my ears, no headache, no nausea, no fever, no sore throat, and that I wasn't feeling as if I were going to pass out, just keel over, he checked my eyes, throat, and lungs, felt my lymph nodes. Nada. He had me flatten my hands and splay my fingers as wide as I could, then resist him trying to push various fingers together. Nothing worrisome there.

Then he said that while I certainly don't look my age, the fact is that I'm 65 and sometimes weird stuff happens as we get older. His best guess is that this is benign something something vertigo, and he wrote a prescription and told me not to drive any more than I absolutely have to until this resolves, probably within a couple of weeks. He also said that, looking at me, he would have guessed me to be 15 to 20 years younger than my age. I asked if I could adopt him. (When I texted this to Fourthborn, she said she thought I had enough kids already. I can't argue that.)

Here's a link to a Johns Hopkins article on benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. So basically, it's all in my head. But we knew that. And there's a physical therapy move that can fix it. I was mildly amused to read that this type of vertigo frequently happens when old people roll over in bed.

I'm planning to set up my nest right smack in the middle of the bed tonight. There's a six-foot hose on my CPAP, and I'm planning to take advantage of that.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

What have I done today? Not a whole lot.

Took Middlest to the monthly checkup at Wonderful Doctor's office.

Physical therapy.

Dropped Middlest at Mel and Squishy's. Squishy had already scooped up Fourthborn.

Ate a lunch composed of orange things: salmon burger, sweet potatoes, mac-and-cheese flavored bean puffs, and orange juice

Spot-treated and laundered some doll clothing.

Took a nap.

Accidentally locked my kids out of the house.

Apologetically let my kids back into the house.

Posted this to Facebook and tagged all four kids:

Played Gunga Din and brought home four more cases of water and three of Mountain Dew Voltage, which is part of Middlest's migraine regimen. (It's like silver or garlic for vampires.) Also gummi candy for Fourthborn and caramel M&Ms for Middlest and me.

Collapsed gratefully in this chair. I need to figure out something sensible for dinner, and then I have a date with the quilt, as I'm definitely on the home stretch quilting the second long side.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Dinner with the empty nesters tonight.

I have missed them enormously, but didn't realize how much until I went back tonight.

In doll news, the custom order arrived today, when I wasn't really expecting it until tomorrow, and it's 99.7% perfect. I've written to the vendor about that .3%, and I have no doubt she can make it right, so that I can then give her a glowing review.

The wig arrived for my newest doll (She Who Has Not Been Named), and it's pretty, and it's not the right one for her. It might be meant for the next one. It's definitely the right color for that.

Leftover tacos for lunch today at work, and that was very nice, not to mention frugal. Tomorrow is monthly checkup for Middlest, and PT for me, and I'm taking the whole day off, and I may spend the rest of it in bed. Knitting, quilting, dozing, reading, whatever. I'm a physically tired but thankfully not depressed Ms. Ravelled.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day

My annual Mother's Day neurosis continues to subside. (Chocolate almost always helps.) Behold the contents of a small but perfect bag handed out to all of the women age 18 and up at the end of sacrament meeting today. I shamelessly ate mine during Sunday School. Hey, I also paid attention to the lesson. Don't judge.

We were in Lesson 17, The Law of Tithing and the Law of the Fast. We spent most of the lesson discussing the finer points of fasting, that it's not just going without food for two meals (24 hours) or paying a fast offering (equivalent to the cost of those meals, or more if we can spare it), but that we need to prepare ourselves to fast, maybe pray over what we should fast for, always fast with a purpose. One sister said that when she was growing up and learning to fast, her mother said that every time her stomach growled, she should say a prayer to bring her mind back to the purpose of her fast.

What came to me, and what I shared with the class, was this. We need food and drink for our mortal bodies. It's a very necessary and very telestial thing. It keeps us in the world. When we fast, we literally run on the power of our individual spirit in tandem with the Holy Spirit. I wondered if maybe we are temporarily lifted out of the mundane, the telestial, into a terrestrial state of being (as Adam and Eve were in the Garden, before the Fall). We subdue our mortality to our spiritual nature, and it's easier to feel the Spirit and hear His promptings. Others commented that when they fast, they think more like Heavenly Father thinks, they feel more like Heavenly Father feels, and they love more like Heavenly Father love.

I miss fasting. Between the diabetes and the medicines which must be taken with food, for me it is a thing of the past. I was one of the lucky ones who did not get headaches. For me it was a joyful thing. Here is the Lord's commandment to His children in the latter days (Doctrine and Covenants 59:13-14): 13 And on this day thou shalt do none other thing, only let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart that thy fasting may be perfect, or, in other words, that thy joy may be full. 14 Verily, this is fasting and prayer, or in other words, rejoicing and prayer.

Mel and Squishy came by in the late afternoon with more chocolate goodness, and lots of hugs. Middlest made chili for dinner. I got a bit of a nap. Life is ever so much calmer chez Ravelled than it was, say, Tuesday through Wednesday. And I am grateful.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

This made me snort. I have really needed to snort.

Sunny side up is not my favorite way to eat eggs. I like mine scrambled, soft-boiled, or over easy. (Anyone who says you are what you eat is gonna get smacked. You have been warned.)

This absolutely begged to come home with me. I may not ever use it, but now I have the option. I also have eggs, but I haven't bought bacon in a couple of years. I'm not sure why.

And now I want soft-boiled eggs over toast.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Things that pleased and/or amused me today.

Picked these up at the post office yesterday, when I was mailing off the Package of Disorganization and Expense (says the woman who still has not located the "safe place" where her will is hanging out.) I would have shared this yesterday, but my phone was sulking in the charger.

I think I will be using some of them to mail out visiting teaching letters this month. Seems a pity to waste them on paying the few bills that require an envelope and stamps.

This greeted me in the top of one of the trash cans in the break room. One of the attorneys brought breakfast tacos from Taco Cabana for the monthly attorney meeting. So of course I had to take a picture of it.

This is what greeted me when I got into the Tardis this morning to go to physical therapy. I've put roughly 40,000 miles on her in the last four years, most of those since I sold off the utterly worn-out Lorelai early last year. Two round trips to Tennessee, a minimum of 150 miles a week just to get to and from work, and all the trips to Knit Night in Arlington, quilt club in Carrollton, and visiting family in two counties.

We had a taco lunch to celebrate Doce de Mayo, since everybody was busy on Cinco de Mayo. I will not need to take my lunch to work on Monday.

In knitting news, I put a few more rounds on the cuff of the not-blue baby sock. After working on Avery's sweater for so long, knitting with 00 needles (as opposed to 4-0's) feels like knitting with telephone poles, or one of those videos that's making the rounds on the internet where people are arm-knitting with tubes the size of my ankles.

In physical therapy news, after five sessions I can tell that it's making a difference for the better. (Side note: when I was done with the lying-on-my-back part, she wanted to check my alignment. And with permission, after rearranging my feet, touched me near my hipbones. At which point I barked a giggle [I don't know any other way to describe it] and came up off the table just a little. I don't think anyone fell off their table or one of the machines. I didn't hear any thumping, skidding, or cussing.)

I came home, made a PBJ, washed it down with a mug of buttermilk, had a handful of cherries for dessert, and headed for the shower to rinse off the ick of the earlier part of this week. I am now hanging out with my kids in the living room, where they are instructing me in the alignment theory of Dungeons and Dragons. [Middlest says I am Chaotic Good; Fourthborn does not disagree.] And 3-D printing of tiny, implantable dialysis machines that might make kidney transplants unnecessary.

I'm going to play a quick hand of solitaire and leave them to it.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

I was right. (I *love* being right!)

First of all, thank you to Anonymous and Sherry for your comments on last night's post. And the rest of y'all? Please keep Sherry in your prayers. She's one of the most patient and Christlike people I know. Good all the way to the bone.

Today was a fairly fractured day at work. Got there on time, worked through my emails and ToDo's, and still managed to get the form filled out for a replacement birth certificate for Fourthborn, a cover letter created, the whole packet for her application for JPS Connection assembled and scanned and password protected and emailed to the hospital.

Office manager graciously approved PTO at lunchtime so I could dash to the post office, buy the money order to pay for the replacement birth certificate, a return Express Mail envelope, and a larger Express Mail envelope to enclose everything, and postage both ways. Got that mailed off. Took a full hour.

Back to the office, where I took a full lunch, starting 15 minutes later than usual. Which meant that I had a whole hour to print off the signed mail, deal with the emails that flew into my box while I was out, and skim the incoming mail before leaving for the funeral. (More on that, later.)

The wages of disorganization are exorbitant, as I have learned in my own life. $23 for the replacement birth certificate. Just under $24 each for two stamps to get it there and back. I have faith that we can get my kid's physical and mental health stabilized. Today I have faith. The past few days I have been just this shy of full-on panic. But it's definitely better today.

I dropped Middlest at school for a final exam on my way to work. As we rode along, Middlest informed me that Beloved has been literally at my back for the past several days, and that since Fourthborn has been staying with us, there is a guardian just inside the front door and another standing at the entrance to my bedroom.

Which makes me wonder, when L spoke about the presences in her hospital room last night, how many of them were assigned to her, and how many to me?

The funeral was lovely. It was my first Catholic funeral, and I have to say that the responses are different from when I was in love with a Catholic boy my first year of college. Not a lot different, but different nonetheless. I stood and sat, stood and sat, declined to kneel, and finally just sat with my arms reverently folded because my knees whined enough already!

I meant to stop at the grocery store on the drive home, to pick up two dozen flour tortillas for our Doce de Mayo party at work tomorrow. And half a block away I had a stupor of thought and drove right past the store, not realizing it until I was three blocks north. I conveniently decided it was a sign that I should just go on home, hug the kids, and take a nap. So I did.

I may have mentioned getting a letter from the company that administers the stocks which I inherited from Beloved, that there were a few unclaimed dividend checks from 2013 (the year he passed) that were in danger of being claimed by the State of Texas. I filled out their paperwork, and when I got home there was an envelope with a check for $19.06 waiting for me.

I love it when the window envelopes enclose "here ya go" instead of "gimme, gimme."

So I woke up around 9:30, have eaten a simple dinner and taken my evening meds, and I think my muscle relaxer has kicked in. Night, y'all.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

In which your intrepid heroine screws up. Repeatedly.

We will take it as a given that I am by nature somewhat tightly wound. Not as tightly wound as SemperFi, nor the brother at church I nicknamed Brother TightlyWound almost twenty years ago. I think I was a happy little chatterbox as a child, but that was way more than twenty years ago. My parents would be the best judges; however, they are inconveniently on the other side of the veil and unavailable for comment.

I learned the fine art of keeping it together while married to the children's father. I was certainly the glue that kept his world together, even when I was falling apart inside. It has been a long slow struggle to recognize and own my feelings instead of stuffing them. The good feelings are fun to share. The painful or ugly ones get told, "I'll deal with you later," so they find a quiet corner of my body and burrow in until I can no longer ignore them.

I've had this knot in my back for maybe a month and a half. It showed up around my birthday, just to the right of my spine and about kidney level, but it's not a UTI. I knew that it was at least partially psychogenic, but I didn't know what incident(s?) had prompted it. I had a flash of what I hope is insight last night and am going to chew on it awhile to see if it makes sense. I may or may not choose to share.

I have been feeling a quiet but growing panic about money the past two weeks. Every time I turn around, I am buying more food, or more medicine, and the kids are emphatically not being piggy. The $50 a whack for PT has been the straw chafing this camel's back. There is simply not an extra $200 per paycheck, and I've been robbing Peter to pay Paul, which is how I found myself last night over-limit on my credit card with barely enough in savings to knock that down somewhat, leaving me at the pharmacy for Middlest's Ritalin this morning with $10 to spare.

The PT is strengthening my body, and I am thankful. But it cuts into the peace of my early morning hours. My scripture study has fallen apart. My study for Sunday's lessons has fallen apart. I don't have time to manage my finances properly. I don't have time to read, or putter. Monday night I wanted nothing more than to come home, eat dinner with the kids, and spend the evening quilting. Instead, I spent three hours on autopilot, hangry after the first two, and just wanting to get everything done so I could collapse in bed.

Yesterday was worse. The office manager called me in for a kind but serious discussion. Since the first of the year, there have been four instances where I dropped the ball. Individually, each would not have been significant. Taken together, they are troubling, both for her and for me.

I wish I could wave a magic wand and heal Middlest and Fourthborn of their physical and mental challenges. Middlest is a considerate housemate. Fourthborn has been a quiet and considerate guest while we are sorting out her paperwork. I wonder how they will survive when I am called Home. I don't need the other kids to bail me out financially. I just need more energy and more wisdom and an extra half-dozen hours in the day to get everything done.

I am feeling a little like I did when my marriage was falling apart: diffuse anger, inertia, frustration. Complicated by forgetfulness, lack of focus, exhaustion like I experienced when Beloved died. It is safe to say that I am going through a soul-stretching period, and at some future time I will be able to look back and be grateful for what I learned. But at the moment it doesn't feel as if I am learning anything. And it's pretty safe to say that the promotion I was hoping for next year will be deferred another year unless Heaven sends me some workplace manna and quail.

I accidentally ran a red light on the way home from the pharmacy this morning. And I found out yesterday that my best friend has cancer. It helped to go to Knit Night last night. It helped tonight to go visit my friend L in the hospital. I am going to a funeral tomorrow afternoon for the mother of a coworker. Each of those things pulls me out of my mental hamster cage and into a brighter part of the world.

I want my mom. I want my husband. I want the Savior to come and heal all the people I love. I want to see (or at least feel) the angels that are standing between me and the abyss. Side note: when I was visiting L, she remarked that there were presences over by where I was sitting, and another over by the door. I couldn't see them (nor could she), and I couldn't feel them. I'm pretty sure that mine are working overtime.

I've taken my meds. I'm going to bed. Knit only minimally happened today, quilting not at all. But I made and ate spaghetti with my kids, and I spent time with a friend, and I sent up a lot of random prayers throughout the day. Today was better than yesterday, red light notwithstanding, and tomorrow will be better than today.

Monday, May 08, 2017

I definitely need more light in the dining room.

And in my studio. The yarn which I thought was some shade of blue, by dawn's early light was clearly green. I've cast on for a baby sock and worked two rounds.

This is what I did after work:
  1. Trader Joe's for more ginger cookies.
  2. Sprouts for more fresh fruit; specifically, grapes, bananas, and cherries!!!!
  3. Dry cleaners to pick up my scarf.
  4. Pharmacy to pick up three Rx's.
  5. Braum's for half a gallon of orange juice.
  6. Home to put things away and inhale some dinner.
  7. Costco for TP and Middlest's contacts and two boxes of mandarin orange cups.
I am so done with this day. Remind me to tell you about how a spider and SemperFi both scared the dickens out of me today, hours apart. It's pretty funny.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Progress and regress

Behold a finished block. It was supposed to be finished yesterday, but wasn't. I put this together before church this morning. There's a second finished block now, and it looks roughly the same on the front, but all of the blue/white half square triangle blocks are Frankenblocks. The white parts are intact, while the blue bits are cobbled together because I didn't cut out enough of them, and I had to get creative with my remnants.

I had to frog about half an inch on the body of Avery's sweater, because I dropped a stitch several rows down. There wasn't enough give in the fabric to use a crochet hook to ladder it back up and slip it onto the needles. I'm letting the frogged yarn rest for a day or two before resuming work on the sweater.

So I grabbed the blue sock yarn I bought at Fleece a month or so ago, with the idea of casting on a pair of baby socks. My vintage umbrella swift refused to stay clamped to the table. I draped the hank around two chair backs and wound a cake in something like half an hour. If the swift had cooperated, it would have taken maybe five minutes. Maybe.

Church today was pretty awesome. The testimonies of my fellow Saints were instructive and moving. I was able to lead the music in sacrament meeting without any squawking from my shoulder. Zero pain. It's twinging a little now, but I've just given it a half hour workout, winding the blue yarn and rewinding a ball that a shop had wound for me when I bought it, but more tightly than I like to work with. I was able to attend all three hours of meetings and go visit a friend after church.

After which, I came home, had a PBJ washed down with a mug of buttermilk, and took a moderate nap. I would really like to sit down and knit on Avery's sweater, but it's better if I don't. So I guess I will cast on a baby sock and knit until my muscle relaxer kicks in.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

A deliberately low-key day. With a side order of oops.

I woke up early enough, and throughout the morning I alternated between quilting on the big project and cutting out pieces for the blocks that needed to be done for show and tell today, so we could get the next blocks for free. I got the blocks mostly put together, as Middlest and Fourthborn took turns pressing seams for me, but along the way discovered that I'd mismatched some of the bits, so I set the blocks aside and paid to pick up our new ones.

Picking those half-square triangles apart and resewing them to their proper mates is going to take time. Lots and lots of time, as the stitch length is set to Oh My Heck What Was I Thinking?

 From the quilt shop we went to Arlington, as this is Free Comic Book Day. Ordinarily, Fourthborn would be one of the artists drawing for tips, but the kidney stone and gall stone put paid to that. She's feeling significantly better but still sleeps a lot. Fourthborn and Middlest got to see (or meet) friends, and we all got hugs from J.

We hit Costco on the way home, for more things that Fourthborn can safely eat. I'd picked up a few items at Braums after dropping the kids off at Wild West, and we made short work of a package of grissini before proceeding to the samples at Costco.

Once we got home, the kids unloaded the Tardis. I had a mug of buttermilk and a handful of gingersnaps and set my alarm for when I normally take my evening meds. I've made a late night run for four cases of bottled water and some steamable veggie packages, and Fourthborn unloaded and stacked the water while I shoehorned the veggies into the freezer compartment. Fourthborn has been subsisting largely on bread in all its permutations for over a week, and only now occurred to me that frozen veggies would be a healthy choice for all of us. (I even found some sriracha green beans for Middlest, who is currently snoring quietly in the middle bedroom.)

It's an hour until the Sabbath begins, and I've started a load of laundry. I'm also now an hour late to take my meds, so I'm going to take care of that, eat something reasonable, and quilt until I turn into a pumpkin.

Friday, May 05, 2017

PT had unintended consequences today.

I'm there to strengthen my back, primarily, and loosening up my hips will help that, as will strengthening my knees. Apparently the "shoulder needs work, too" did not make it into the Rx for physical therapy. One of the (new as of today) exercises intended to strengthen my back and hips has thoroughly peeved the shoulder I banged up a few months ago. It is currently not speaking to me. It is, however, yelling (childbirth words) and throwing ninja stars at me.

It is not fun to try to shift the Tardis into park. It is not fun to raise my right arm. (I'm sure.) Middlest has offered to rub IcyHot on the affected bits if I can't reach them. I'm calling the pain a 3 on the Ravelled Scale, which is probably a 7 or 8 for ordinary mortals. Remember: I'm the one who walked around on a broken femur for two and a half months. This would probably fell an ox. For me it is more like hugely annoying with a side order of holy cow!

 Time for me to change into my jammies, pop an ibuprofen, and knit or quilt until I can take my evening meds and call it a day. Sometime between now and 1:00 tomorrow afternoon, I need to sew two quilt blocks. I have zero interest in doing that now.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

I slept so well last night!

And I woke up again this morning, so all the meds appear to be playing nicely together. No weird dreams, and no feeling drowsy at work. It was maybe not my most productive day, but it was nowhere near as frustrating as Monday.

I've been watching a new Sprouts go up on the route I take to and from work. Their grand opening was yesterday. They specialize in really good produce, quite a few bulk items (flours, nuts), and a respectable bakery, plus the usual assortment of healthier-than-thou vitamins. It's a nice blend of uptown grocery store and health food store, with prices somewhere between Kroger and Walmart: i.e., very affordable. I shopped at the one in Fort Worth a lot when I lived there, and when I first moved here, I would drive several miles to the one in Murphy before life got complicated and it was just easier to buy everything at Kroger.

On the way home from my knit night in Dallas, I stopped in and bought a pound of strawberries, a two pound bag of clementines, and a small bag of grapes. We have devoured the strawberries, and Fourthborn and I are enjoying some of the clementines as I write. Middlest has a hellacious migraine and has gone to bed.

I will be doing that shortly, as I have PT in the morning, which seriously cuts into my knitting and/or quilting time. I don't think I have enough oomph to quilt another small unit on the border of the quilt. But I did add another six rows to Avery's sweater today. So that's something.

Night, y'all.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Riffing off a FB post

In which your intrepid heroine discovers another heretofore unsuspected muscle group and that that which physical therapists refer to as "your core" is largely composed of cotton candy, barbed wire, and leftover snippets of yarn.

I am there, in theory, to strengthen my back and my shoulder. Turns out that there's a lot of peripheral stuff which goes into it. Remember the juggling acts on the old "Ed Sullivan Show"(?), in which a guy would stand on a board balanced on a barrel, rocking sometimes frantically from side to side to keep his balance, and then complicated matters by juggling balls or pins, or by having another acrobat stand on top of his shoulders?

I got to try that today on a much smaller scale. Balance board (there's probably some nifty jargon for it, but I'm calling it the Wobbler from Hell) with the rolling part firmly attached to the board and parallel to my hips and/or shoulders. My goal? To stand on said board, find my balance, and rise up and down while keeping my core straight. I was allowed to touch the half-wall in front of me. I did fairly well.

Then she added the flaming chainsaws: I was to stand on the board, keeping it level, without using my hands to stabilize myself. This is when I discovered that my core is largely a Fig Newton of my imagination. I didn't know whether to laugh or to cry. The best I can say about that little experiment is that I did not fall off the board. My goal for Friday's session is to fail better.

My goal for this evening is minimal interaction with my beloved children, and an early bedtime. I managed another two rows on Avery's sweater throughout the day. Fourthborn is reading quietly behind me. Middlest is snoring softly in the middle bedroom. As soon as the batch of rice is done for Fourthborn's meals and snacks tomorrow, I am heading for my jammies and my bed.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

What I wrote + what I said + what Fourthborn wrote.

It's been an altogether weird day. I was three minutes late to work. This is what I sent to my office manager: "Middlest overslept, and it’s a school day, and I forgot to turn right where I usually do on those days, so we drove through three school zones. This day can only get better."

It did, and it didn't. I was reasonably productive, and I fought almost all day to remain awake. About two hours into the day it occurred to me that I should go to drugs.com and check for interactions, as I switched my antihistamine yesterday. Bingo! Moderate interactions between my antihistamine and my muscle relaxer, between my antihistamine and my anti-anxiety med, and between my muscle relaxer and my anti-anxiety med.

This was not noticeable when I was on fexofenadine, which keeps me awake at night if I take it with my other meds. Which is why I was taking it with my morning prescription. It is extremely noticeable when I am on Zyrtec. So I messaged Fourthborn: "Next time you bubble to the surface please write or print me a note that says 'don't take the @$%# Zyrtec in the morning, wait until evening meds' and put it on my bed. Thanks!" [I used symbols instead of swearing. If I knew how to pronounce them, I'd use them in real life in lieu of childbirth words.]

This is what my polite child wrote and left on my bed.

I trust that she's taking her meds with greater compliance than she's taking dictation.

PT in the morning. Body is screaming for sleep. Brain is going pingety-ping. Wish me luck.