About Me

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

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Whew!

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

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

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

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

Friday, July 28, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Been a little busy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Night, y'all.

Monday, July 24, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Nearly done with the front of the vest.

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

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

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

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

⸎ ⸭ ⸎ ⸭ ⸎

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


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


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

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

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Good things that happened today.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, July 21, 2017

Planning a deliberately quiet weekend.

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

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

Over and out, y'all.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

SemperFi took us to lunch today.

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Riding a lucky streak.

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Another really good day.

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

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

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

Night, y'all. The yarn is calling.

Monday, July 17, 2017

An all-round good day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Yes, that's me, out on the porch at 11:30.

Spray-painting the B for Blessing's area. I also zapped the wasp's and hornet's nests with bug spray while I was at it.

It's been a very mellow day. Enough spoons to not simply attend all of my meetings, but enjoy them. I've made some progress on the dolly knitting. Working on both halves of the vest in order to avoid the equivalent of second sock syndrome.

Short nap, not particularly sleep-wrecking, but enough that I'm functional at nearly midnight while I wait for the last coat of paint to dry. I devoutly hope that I'm done, because Fourthborn would like to go to sleep, and I am killing time here at my computer desk, well within swatting range. Not that she would.

Middlest appears to be done with Ritalin-withdrawal, and the new ADD med seems to be doing its job. No doctor appointments this week, but a bunch of them next week, so I am going to enjoy the relatively quiet pace for as long as I can. It's great not to feel so unRavelled.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Sock stash enhancement.

Three completed pairs, with their ends woven in. The stripedy ones had been lurking in the bottom of a knitting bag for several months. They are nowhere near as pink as they look in this photo.

They are gold, brown, and purple. I blame my red plaid sheets.

Sitting here eating a salad composed of 50/50 spring mix and spinach, julienne carrots, julienne extra sharp cheddar, organic blueberries, and one small shard of something that looks vaguely like carrot but has the consistency of a toothpick and tried to shank me in the cheek. It was trying to hide in the ranch dressing; nevertheless, I thwarted its evil plan.

This has been a rather weird day. Slept in until 7:00. That was wonderful, not weird. Middlest was awake. That was kind of weird. We agreed to leave the house at 9:00 so we could be at Costco when it opened at 9:30. (Also not weird.)

We were home, food put away, and ready for naps by noon. (Middlest didn't sleep well last night.) I sewed the last snap onto Avery's sweater and wove in the ends on one sock. I will neither confirm nor deny that I may have played a lot on my phone as well. By then it was 1:30, and I was falling asleep sitting up. I was figuring on a two hour nap and lots of crafting afterward. I slept for five and a half hours, got dressed again, ran to Hobby Lobby before they closed, then to Braums, Racetrac, and Bueno.

I smuggled a bean burrito into the house in my purse, carefully zipped so as not to mock Fourthborn, who has been craving TexMex since she had her kidney/gallstone attack, or to wake Middlest, who was trying to sleep off a migraine. A purse that zips shut is handy not just during rainstorms.

It is now nearly midnight, and I'm not the least bit sleepy. Time to finish this salad and knit until sleep overtakes me again.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Gall bladder eviction notice.

We have a surgery date (late August). Fourthborn has a refill on her Zofran. Doctor recommended an endoscopy after Fourthborn has healed from the surgery. I continue to be impressed by the warmth and professionalism of the people in her new healthcare system.

We grabbed dinner at El Chico. Fourthborn got tortilla soup minus the cheese and the avocado. I inhaled a bowl of queso with a larger bowl of chips. I'm having ginger cookies and buttermilk for dessert because I actually ate two or three small slices of jalapeno.

And I don't want it jalapeno business. Or mine.

The second green baby sock is done. I now have six baby socks whose ends need to be woven in. I did not add the last snap to Avery's sweater. I'll do that tomorrow when I'm rested. And I cast on for a Cat Bordhi vest pattern with 0000's and laceweight yarn. As I think I said last night, it will fit somebody in the resin crew.

Body wants sleep. Brain isn't putting up an argument. I love it when they play nicely.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Avery's sweater is finished. I think.

Middlest might want one more set of snaps on the lower back. I attached four sets at my Dallas knit night this evening.

Work was really, really good today. I had my mid-year performance review, and I've apparently recovered from the lack-of-focus episodes that happened in first quarter. Office manager is pleased. I'm pleased. And so relieved. We discussed a concern I've had since then, and she reassured me on that account.

I'm so sleepy that I'm not making sense, even to myself, so I guess I'm done for the night.

Middlest says one more set of snaps, please. Tomorrow, tomorrow, I'll sew them tomorrow, it's only a day away.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Procrastiknitting.

Because I don't want to sew on a flobbity-jillion half a dozen or so 4-0 snaps onto the back of Avery's sweater. I'm nearly done with the second green baby sock, and I've been fantasizing about designing socks for Justice and wondering what sort of sweater would be both practical and feminine for a crossbow-wielding woman.

Work has been almost unadulterated joy this week. I'm on top of the incoming mail, the outgoing mail, my ToDo's, and my attorneys' calendars. This is what work is supposed to feel like. One of the secretaries is being promoted to paralegal (which is what she did at her prior job, but there were no paralegal slots when she was hired here). This leaves us with two secretarial openings, and we have two strong candidates to fill those slots. I'm hoping that the office manager is able to hire one in particular of the four candidates for receptionist that she interviewed a couple of weeks ago. Basically, I just want to wave my nonexistent magic wand and fill all of the slots with people we like as well as the folks who already work here, so all of us can have the kind of days I've been enjoying this week.

Of course, I wouldn't enjoy this week nearly as much if I hadn't had the past two weeks for comparison.

Right. Snaps. I'm on it.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Do you see what I see?

When I took this last Thursday night, I was worn to a frazzle and headed to knit night to maybe, possibly recharge a little.

Clouds were gathering for a storm, but every so often there was a brilliant bit of white peeking out from behind the darker layers. This is what I tried to capture as I was sitting at stoplights.

This one popped up behind the neighborhood ER at Skillman and Mockingbird.

This was at the same intersection, a little to the left (that building in the lower right corner is the western edge of the building in the picture above).

Various phrases popped into my head. "And I, God, said: Let there be light; and there was light." "There is hope smiling brightly before us, and we know that deliverance is night." For me, that brilliant white light shining off the clouds was a reminder of hope. And that if I just hung on awhile longer, the incredible pressure we'd all been under at work would ease up, and I would feel competent again instead of massively overwhelmed. And that God was mindful of me.

Because for the greater part of that day, I had two songs looping in my head:



And this:


Knitting helped. It almost always does. And when I got to work on Friday, the office manager said that if any of us wanted to work some OT to catch up, it had been approved. I left my desk on Saturday afternoon feeling back in control of that particular batch of spinning plates.

After the trial of your faith (and your patience) come the blessings.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Avery's sweater is done.

All that remains is to sew the grosgrain and snaps onto the back edges.


He looks rather pleased. If you're a knit-geek like me and want to see how I figured out the blocking, here you go.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Approaching the finish line on Avery's sweater.

I finished the second shoulder at knit night tonight and picked up the stitches for the neck ribbing. Still need to graft the underarm stitches on the second sleeve.

Work was frustrating. I wanted to knit as much as possible before taking Middlest to the doctor, so I postponed my shower until we were done with that and taking the new Rx to the pharmacist. It was after 11:00 when I got to the office, which I realize is entirely due to my wanting to knit, and I had the requisite hour at switchboard. That left very little time to do the stuff that keeps me in yarn and chocolate.

We will have all but one of our admins back at work tomorrow, and the secretary who has been out after surgery will return on Monday. Maybe then my workflow will resume some semblance of normality.

Meanwhile, I'm feeling uncharacteristically unproductive. At least at the office. And a little crabby about it. I should go knit until the feeling passes.

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Not much to see here tonight.

Had a decent day at work. Not only did I repeat my inspired move to roll my chair to the front desk for my assigned hour, then roll it back, but I exercised a bit of subversion and tweaked the resolution of the monitors to make them friendly for well-seasoned eyes.

There was knitting progress. I just completed another pattern on the second half of the yoke of Avery's sweater. There's a good chance that I might finish it at or after knit night tomorrow. (I don't know why I capitalize Tuesday's knitting group but not Thursday's. A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little [knitters].)

Middlest has the monthly checkup tomorrow morning, which will guarantee at least a little extra knitting time.

We had some pretty spectacular thunder and lightning earlier tonight. I sat up in my bed and knitted and smiled. Body is ready to sleep. Brain has other ideas. Could get interesting.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Much fun today!

Progress on Avery's sweater. Cooking for LittleBit and her fiance, plus Middlest and Fourthborn.

Pre-dinner-party, Middlest polished off the last of the shredding, and Fourthborn helped me gather the ingredients.

I have to be in the mood to cook. I was in the mood today. It was fun.

My problem ankle is a little swollen, but it is not hot and inflamed. It's a cool mess, not a hot mess, and for that I am thankful.

This is the part where I take my meds and call it a day. I rather wish that I could take another day off, but it's only three more days until the weekend.

Monday, July 03, 2017

So we met the fiance.

And while we were all on our best behavior, initial impressions (at least on our end) were cautiously favorable. I think I unnerved him more than a little when he said, politely, "I've heard a lot about you," and I doubled over in peals of laughter. Middlest had to explain that every one of us worked really hard to establish a healthy relationship (parent to adult child) as each of the kids grew up.

They're coming back for dinner tomorrow night. And he said, after the fireworks display was over (I'm not being metaphorical here), "Oh wow. We have to get the moms together. That's scary."

Pretty sure I'm going to like her.

And it's past my bedtime, so I'm posting this and going to bed. Because my words are coming out all sideways.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Mawwidge.

It's what brought a whole lot of us together last night.

The little stickers say "Operation Dallas Storm" ~ his nickname for all the wedding preparations.

His family is Lebanese-American. Her family is Sons of the American Revolution. Appetizers included hummus, guacamole, and patriotic tortilla chips.

Dinner was a further melding of two cultures.


That bottom line reads classic King Ranch Chicken Martinis. (They served the traditional chicken casserole in martini glasses.)

Had the best conversation last night with a couple from his side of the family. We bonded over food and grandchildren.