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!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

My goals for tonight were simple.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I got the row count figured out.

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Funnyside up.

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


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

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

Oh, twist my arm.

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

Monday, August 14, 2017

Raisins eat the blackboard?

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

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

In theory, anyway.

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

Sunday, August 13, 2017

"Bond"ing moment.

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


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

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

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Can we agree that Pinterest is dangerous?

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

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

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

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


Friday, August 11, 2017

Fried rice Friday.

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

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

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

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


Thursday, August 10, 2017

This I-cord finish may finish me.

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Book mug

It followed me home. I'm definitely keeping it


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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Tuesday, August 08, 2017

On the other hand...

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

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

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

OK, I'm done.

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

Monday, August 07, 2017

How have I missed this for 16 years?

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


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

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


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

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

Sunday, August 06, 2017

(Mis)fortunes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prayers would be nice, please and thank you.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Quilt blocks are done.

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

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

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

But first I have to fix that shoulder.

Friday, August 04, 2017

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

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

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

The temple, as always, was wonderful.

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

Thursday, August 03, 2017

I've missed y'all, too!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Today. And a culinary flashback.

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

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

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

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