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!

Friday, September 29, 2017

It was a good day, and I'm knackered.

I got a lot done, notwithstanding having taken nearly three hours of PTO before going to the office. Middlest's monthly checkup, picking up an Rx, hitting Braum's on the way home for more milk, buttermilk, and OJ.

Then dropping Middlest and the food at home, driving to work by way of Costco to pick up a couple of items to help my kid transition from the excessively bland diet that's intended to calm and heal the diverticulosis (we're introducing real food, slowly, huzzah!!)

My sinuses are a little nutsy, and have been for several days. I can tell that the antihistamines are working, and I'm still not entirely sneeze-free.

So I am going to take my evening meds a bit early and go to bed. Night, y'all.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Interesting day.

As soon as I stepped into the Tardis, the barely-there mist that was falling turned into a shower, then another deluge. As there are a couple of spots on my regular drive in where the traffic lights tend to go out after a rain, I opted to take I-75. People were driving with remarkable politeness, and the drive was uneventful until I exited the freeway and approached my first light, which turned yellow when I was about 50 yards away and still slowing from freeway speeds. I very gently pressed on the brake, hoping not to lock up or fishtail, and afraid that I would slide through the intersection anyway.

I stopped. On the proper side of the crosswalk. And I had the impression that I'd had some heavenly help with that, because I was going about 45, and then I was not. I told Heavenly Father, Thank You, and I think there were probably some angels involved in that stop. I was a little more quiet and awestruck for the rest of my drive.

The workday felt blessed as well. I got a phenomenal amount of work done, including the completion of scheduling two mediations out of the four that were on my plate.

From work I drove up to the Church's distribution center to exchange the garment tops I bought week before last. I had sized up significantly, based on my band size, and the shoulders were miles too big. So now I have ones that fit, and I can retire three of the older ones.

In knitting news, I'm about 20 rounds from being ready to work the heel flap. And I can promise you that that won't be happening tonight.

In doll news, I emailed the company a couple of weeks ago, and they said he would be shipped last week, but he wasn't. Last night I emailed again, and as of this writing, there is no response. They're a reputable company, and I imagine that there will be one tomorrow or the next day. I just want to know if he's shipped, and if so, get the tracking number.

In muscle relaxer news, I'm not sure exactly how much it's helping, especially on the days when SemperFi is in trial prep mode, but the joints in my shoulders and back have loosened up significantly. I can pop my shoulders and shoulder blades, plus a good number of my vertebrae, and once in awhile my collarbone. And some days I'm about this [ ] far from being able to pop my sternum. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but it amuses me to walk around in my own little marimba band.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Socks appeal.

When I looked at the photo that I snapped as my phone died last night, all I had was a sad black square of nope. So I took this one before leaving for work.

Mighty pleased with how it turned out. Nice crisp gusset, and the combination toe decrease fits her foot perfectly. When Fourthborn and I left Knit Night tonight, I was halfway to the first calf decrease on the second sock.

Fourthborn had her first bean burrito in nearly five months after I picked her up.

I've taken my meds, and the muscle relaxer is kicking in. Time to go brush my teeth before I fall asleep with my nose on the keyboard. (There was some poor guy dozing off over his laptop while we were at Bueno tonight. My emotions were just about evenly divided among pity, laughter, and empathy.)

Monday, September 25, 2017

First sock is done.

I'd give you a visual, but just as I snapped the picture, my phone proclaimed, I'm faint! and shut itself off. So there may or may not be a picture to share. After I'm done here, I'll go cast on the second sock and see if I can get the ribbing done before bedtime.

It was a good day at work. I touched all of the areas of my responsibilities: incoming mail, inbox, ToDo's, the mediations I'm supposed to be scheduling. Got my guys' calendars caught up. I did not necessarily get all of the signed mail out, but I stayed steadily and productively busy all day without feeling as if I were drowning.

Our office manager was on vacation last week and was out today because of illness. The meetings scheduled for tomorrow and Wednesday have been cancelled. So that's another three or four hours of productivity we will regain while she recovers.

I don't mind meetings on principle, and she always works from an agenda. However, meetings seem to be on the days when crises pop up like mushrooms after rain, and I spend the rest of the day scrambling between tasks that are urgent and tasks that are important.

That's all I've got for you, ducklings. My hands are itching to leap off this keyboard and whip out 200 stitches (five rounds at 40 stitches per round) of silk/merino corrugation.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

I needed today.

It seems as if the talks in sacrament meeting and the lessons in Sunday School and Relief Society were just for me.

But the best part happened hours before church began, when a friend from my putting-hubby-through days in Provo commented on one of my posts, "I'm so glad you're back in my world."

What a lovely, kind, meaningful thing to say. We are catching up via FB, and it's fascinating to me to see that the things I appreciated about her when we were young wives and mothers are still part of who she is today.

I know a little bit better how Alma and the sons of Mosiah felt when they were reunited after serving for fourteen years in different parts of their mission field.

I feel the same joy when I'm able to get together with my BFF from my childbearing years, or my BFF from my Arlington years.

I've said for some time that husbands come and husbands go, but good solid friendships with other women help hold my world together.

There is no sewing news today. I wasn't in the mood to sew on any more snaps. Ask me again tomorrow night.

In knitting news, I've done the heel flap, turned the heel, and am about halfway done with the gusset decreases. I need to figure out what sort of toe decreases I want so that I'll know how many rows of plain knitting need to fit between them and the end of the gusset decreases. Chances are pretty good that I'll have a finished sock by bedtime tomorrow.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Adventures!

On the way home from work yesterday, the car ahead of me had two of these, facing one another, on the back of her car. And this. One that just said writer. This one suggests that she might be a librarian. Her license plate said My other car is a Tardis, and I thought, how cool, I'm driving the Tardis! And she had a Starfleet Academy window sticker. Definitely a kindred spirit.

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When I went to bed last night, the blind-stitching was done.

I had also picked out some buttons to decorate the back of the shirt, but since I don't want to commit to all of that stitching until I see if there are new tiny buttons available, you get no picture at this time. We are headed to our friend Lisa's house later this morning, and there is a JoAnn's on the way.

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This turned out to be a "Plan B" sort of day. When we went out to the Tardis, she wouldn't start. She just made a series of clicks like a bionic dolphin. A neighbor tried to jump the battery with no luck. So I called our mechanic, and they sent a wrecker, and I rode in a ginormous truck that was, surprisingly, easier to get into than out of. I should mention that for the past two or three days when I started the Tardis, the door locks jumped up and down unbidden.

She now has a new battery, and it + the labor + the towing bill (which is reimbursable at least in part) came to $2 less than I had in my checking account. I had to chuckle because I did have "enough, and to spare." (And money I could move into my checking account from other accounts, once I got home.) Definitely a tithing blessing when I needed one. I was able to honor my commitment for a drive-by fooding of the missionaries.

I finally chose a color for the buttons on the back of the shirt, and they're all sewn on. I've begun sewing on the snaps. They might be finished before bedtime, but I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you, because I've also had major progress on the sock while at the mechanic's and during the General Women's Broadcast. The calf decreases are long since finished, and I'm galloping toward the heel.

I had a marvelous phone conversation with LittleBit's fiance this afternoon, which he initiated. She is having surgery next Thursday to repair a hernia ~ not the hiatal hernia that she developed in high school, another one that I or we knew nothing about ~ and he wanted to make sure I was in the loop.

He is going to be such a marvelous addition to our family.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Both sleeves are ready to hem.

The sleeve opening at the wrist is narrower than I'm comfortable trying to stick the nose of my iron into. So I finger-pressed it all the way around, using my thumbnail to get a nice crisp edge. Tomorrow or Saturday I'll blind-stitch the facings down, but I've done all I want to do for one evening.

Dinner tonight was orange chicken from Panda Express, with a few bites of the fried rice. I'm saving the rice for lunch tomorrow. My fortune was particularly inane: You've got this one in the bag. To which I replied, "Yes. I do. It's called my dinner."

I put several more rounds on the stocking today, to the point that I think it's time to start the calf decreases. I need to fit it on Justice first, just to make sure.

Work was a little intense today. Both of my attorneys are in trial on Monday, and I only got partway through TheKid's notebook today. I may have to ask my backup to help me finish it tomorrow, because I'm pretty sure that SemperFi's will be even more voluminous. I'm hoping for a continuance on TheKid's trial, as one of the other attorneys has three or four older trials set for the same day.

But I got all the way through everybody's mail, and I got important stuff filed, and if I have to ask for help tomorrow, there's no shame in that.

The yarn is calling. I must go.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

No pictures. Not even a thousand words.

It was a good day at work. I realized while getting ready this morning that I'd bought the two dozen muffins one week early. Ordinarily this would be the day we have our support staff meeting, but the office manager is on vacation, and we're having the meeting next week.

I knew that theoretically Middlest and I could polish off two dozen muffins in a week or two, but I also knew that it would be a nutritionally stupid thing to do. I kept one dozen here and took the other dozen to work. They were mostly gone by the end of the day.

In knitting news, I added three or four more rounds on Justice's stocking and will add a few more before calling it a day.

In sewing news, I threaded the silk ribbon in through the buttonhole and tacked it carefully at the back edges, then finished the back sections of the binding. I'm quite pleased with how it looks. I also picked out about an inch's worth of stitches on a sleeve seam so I could attach the bias facing with a minimum of awkwardness. I have one facing turned and pinned for basting and no desire to work on the other sleeve tonight. My goal for tomorrow is to finish at least one of the sleeves and possibly both. At which point it will need snaps and maybe retrofitting with darts fore and aft.

The yarn is calling. Gotta run.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

So I changed the wallpaper on my computer.

This picture was taken outside the temple, probably by Secondborn, the day that Beloved's eldest son was sealed to his beloved.


It's still one of my favorite pictures from our brief year together. Can you hear me grinning, still, from where you sit? I got tired of the generic Microsoft picture that came with the alleged system upgrade.

In knitting news, I played hooky from Knit Night. I've worked late, last night and tonight, to catch up my desk. In other knitting news, I'm working on Justice's first knee high stocking. Loving it in the Findley. So soft, and the color shifts are (thus far) extremely subtle, which is what I'm looking for. The yarn picks up the light green of her shirt and harmonizes with the vests.

Hand-worked buttonhole at midnight Sunday night or Monday morning. Because y'all understand that one doesn't argue with the muse. (This is for the ribbon drawstring at the neck.)

Now to stitch up that channel, leaving it open near the back edges so I may insert the ribbon without catching it in the blind-stitching then tack each end firmly before finishing the blind-stitching. I think that will work. There's only one way to find out. I doubt that I'll complete the task tonight, but I'd like to take a stab at it.

Pun intended.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

New and somewhat improved.

I went out onto the porch in my jammies about 7:00a.m. and plunked the new faux foliage (say that three times, fast) into the bucket. After church I rummaged around in the garage, looking for the solid wood blocks that should have been about the right height to boost that Gerbera up a few inches. I finally settled for an empty pint canning jar turned on its head

Toward the end of sacrament meeting, my feet and legs started getting antsy. I think it's probably the angle of the choir seats relative to my bodily hinges, because once I was sitting on the hard chairs in the gym for Sunday School, I was just fine. I love those Sundays when I'm able to stay for all three hours of the block meetings, and this was one of them.

Came home, toasted an English muffin and spread Wholly Guacamole on it, inhaled my lunch, and was in bed by 4:00. Slept until 9:15, so I really must have needed that nap. Right now I'm finishing up a dinner of the last salmon burger (no bun), mashed potatoes, and steamed spinach with a splash of Key Lime juice, all washed down with a mug of buttermilk. I need to grab my evening meds. Be right back.

I cast on a swatch-in-the-round this morning. Forty stitches for a knee high stocking in K2P2 ribbing on my trusty 0000 needles. Turns out I guessed right. I've done five rounds of ribbing and need to grab my 000's to work the body of the stocking, unless I want to start over with 5-0's and 48 stitches. I'll have to see how I like the stockinette portion worked on 000's first.

I have piles and piles of medical receipts and paperwork to sort through, scan, and enter onto my spreadsheets over the next few weeks. Ordinarily I use the living room floor to sort into sub-piles, but the living room floor has been occupied by the cot on which Fourthborn slept, so it's all just piled up on my desk, the printer, and one of the footstools. Avery's sweater, Justice's vests, and various quilt blocks have (pleasantly) occupied my time. I don't have any illusions that tackling the paperwork will give me any more control over my life, but at least I can roll with the chaos in a slightly less cluttered environment, and that's got to count for something.

But for now, I'm going to load and run the dishwasher as my second nod to domesticity of the day. Night, y'all.


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Gather home.

My friend Melissa made the folk art piece on the left. On the right is a print of a pencil sketch by Edward Hopper that I fell in love with at an exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art in late 2013 or early 2014. I bought it because it reminded me of Dad. Its hanging wire has been looped over the back of my spinning chair since I framed it

It's been a lovely, mellow day. I woke up roughly the usual time, came out to the living room, and swept up the feral dust bunnies that had accumulated under the cot while Fourthborn stayed with us. Then I brought in the three drawers that have been sitting out on the black chair on the front porch since I liberated them from my neighbor's front yard a month or more ago. Those went into the garage. They will emerge at some future date to be upcycled.

I swept the porch, dusted off the chair, and brought out two white artificial pumpkins that have been hanging out just inside in the front door since I went on my mad pumpkin buying splurge. I also grabbed the French flower bucket from the alcove in the dining room, et voila!

Took me less than half an hour to significantly improve my curb appeal and my spirits at the same time. I will eventually get rid of the broken Christmas lights.

Attended a birthday brunch for a friend with whom I used to serve in the temple. Afterward I stopped at Trader Joe's for more ginger cookies (we were almost out) and Hobby Lobby for some autumnal additions to those forsythia. The new silk foliage is currently taking over the fallow side of the bed.

When the children's father and I owned the home in Irving, I fell in love with Chinese lantern plants, but he nixed them because they are so invasive, subject to disease and pests, etc. (This is what happens when you marry a man whose undergraduate major was biology with an emphasis in botany.) So now I have silk ones, and big red faux berries and one ginormous silk Gerbera daisy. I have zero interest in traipsing out to the porch in my jammies and tweaking the arrangement tonight. Maybe tomorrow after church, or maybe one night after work. (Or, me being me, possibly one night next spring, when it's bluebonnet season.) Meanwhile, what's there is already pretty nifty.

Earlier in the week I ordered a handpainted rayon jersey tunic from a shop I'd seen online. It arrived on Friday. Tomorrow I'll figure out what I want to wear with it to work on Monday. It looks like what eating raspberry ice cream with big chocolate chunks tastes like.

I also got myself measured for new temple garments, because of the weight I've regained and because I've been guesstimating the fit for the last 40 years or so. It's occurred to me that maybe one of the reasons my ankles swell when I'm stressed is because the elastic in my garment bottoms is just that much too snug. I don't know if this will help, but I'm willing to set ego aside and find out.

In knitting news, I'm cranking out another baby sock and wishing it were the first of a pair for Justice.

In doll news, I emailed the company in Korea this week, and Valor will ship out next week.

In laundry news, for people who are not Goths, we sure do have a lot of dark clothing. I'm washing the first load as we speak. Full disclosure: Middlest and I both like richly colored T-shirts, which means that they get washed with the darks so as not to make my bright pastel shirts crabby and surprised.

OK, gotta go see if it's time for that second load. And then I think I will work on the hem facing of Justice's shirt. Two rounds knitted on the baby sock and a porch spiffed up do not equal sufficient creativity for one day.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

In which Fourthborn gets to eat real food.

We celebrated the "all clear but don't be stupid" with lobster bisque and Caesar salads at Lucile's this afternoon. Hit two yarn shops on the way home, and then I crashed.

It is entirely possible that the combination of lobster bisque and Caesar salad has psychedelic properties, because I woke up from a four and a half hour nap and spectacularly colorful dream-turning-into-movie with a screaming bladder. I have since eaten all but one bite of a PBJ washed down with milk. The bite I didn't eat, leaped from my fingers, ricocheted off my thigh, and hit the floor. At which point I intoned Let the sandwich hit the floor. And Fourthborn cracked up.

I cast on yet another baby sock while we waited for her appointment, and by the time our lunch arrived the cuff was 25% done.

That's all I've got for you today. I'm going to wash the PBJ off my fingers and go back to blind-hemming Justice's blouse.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

In which I ate butternut squash soup.

And I actually enjoyed it, which is strange because I generally loathe squash (pumpkin does not count as squash, as I only eat pumpkin which has been thoroughly wrangled into submission). This was my dinner at Panera last night. I find it amazing that the "croutons" in my salad are dried slices of Fuji apple. The one improvement I could suggest for the salad would be to add diced fresh apples, but then I guess they'd have to call it double-Fuji-apple salad.

I finished the decreases on the charity hat tonight, and tomorrow morning I will weave in the ends. I also did the tiniest bit of sewing tonight. It turns out that when the package of bias binding said "wide double fold bias binding" they weren't kidding. It's almost two inches wide, opened out. To finish the back edges of Justice's shirt I cut a section slightly longer than the shirt, carefully pressed it flat, sliced it lengthwise into two 7/8" wide pieces with a mere sliver left over, and stitched those to the back of the shirt, graded the seam, and edge-stitched the binding.

Both back edges are currently pinned for basting, after which I will press them thoroughly. Then I will fold the raw edge under, baste it, and press it within an inch of its life. After which I will blind-hem the facing to each back. When the back edges are finished to my satisfaction (I do a lot of basting and pressing when I sew), then I will repeat the process for the bottom edge, the sleeve hems, and the neck.

I do wish that I'd had the bias before I sewed the sleeve seams. It would have been ever so much easier to attach the facings when the sleeves were flat. I still haven't decided how I want to bring in the fullness at the neck edge. Or if I want to retrofit the bodice with darts front and back. I underestimated how much fullness I would need at the bust for this to fit like a proper peasant blouse. It's a little loose for a tailored shirt and nowhere near roomy enough for a peasant blouse.

I've had two really great nights' sleep, back to back, and am aiming for another, so I bid you all a gracious good evening. Tomorrow Fourthborn has her post-op evaluation over in Fort Worth. Lots of driving for Ms. Ravelled.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

I'm not biased.

But I think this ready-made tape is a remarkably good match. I went into JoAnn's after getting my eyes checked but before going to dinner, in hopes of finding a nice neutral cream color with which to finish the back, neck, and lower edges of Justice's new shirt.


I think this was the only package in this color, or maybe that was the slightly darker package of piping that I also picked up. The tape is a closer match in real life. I'll let you know when the shirt is done.

Eye checkup went well. No sign of cataracts, glaucoma, or macular degeneration. My eyes are very slightly less near-sighted than last year, the right eye having changed slightly more than the left. Not enough change to require new lenses, and my frame is holding up well, so I think we're good for another year.

I'm nearly done with the crown decreases on the charity hat, and if I go sit down for about half an hour, I think I can go to bed with a finished hat. Well, maybe not the weaving-in of ends, but the part that requires more than half a mind.

Monday, September 11, 2017

I now know where the pruning saw lives.

While loading the dryer, I happened to look up and to the right, behind the second refrigerator (which we do not use). And there it was.

In work news: I stayed busy all day. Not swamped. Not looking for stuff to do. Just steadily busy, which is the way that I prefer it. Whittled down my Sent folder and my inbox. Got all the way through SemperFi's mail and was (finally) able to delete several days' worth of mail folders that TheKid had not signed off on. Tomorrow, all things being equal, I will get his incoming mail handled.

Came home and ran a load of laundry plus the first of two loads in the dishwasher, which has a really slow cycle. We let things pile up over the weekend, and I'm the only one well enough to do the nuts and bolts of housekeeping.

Fourthborn ate a small amount of Greek yogurt this evening and seems to be tolerating it well. Middlest thinks that the kidney stone might have passed sometime today but is having sufficient internal distress from the enforced bland diet that it's hard to sort out what hurts, and why. And as for me, I am doing some deathbed-repentance knitting on a charity project that needs to be finished by Thursday evening, when our stake is holding an interfaith dinner.

This is the part where I go to my room and see how much progress I can make on that hat.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

BittyBubba was baptized today.

I need to write down my feelings during 1BDH's talk on baptism and the Holy Ghost, but it's after 10:30, and I have work tomorrow. Suffice it for now to say that it was amazing, and it even included a surprise visit by Lark, who moved to Chicago a few weeks ago. One of her grandpas sent her a plane ticket.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

The vest is done. And sewing happened.

I've plastered it all over the various groups I'm in on Facebook. But if you're not on FB, and you're curious, here's a link to the other blog.

I also made Justice a pair of bloomers and began a peasant blouse before, suddenly, running out of steam. I'm going to fix a healthy snack, take my meds, and call it a day. It was a good one.

Friday, September 08, 2017

Yeehaw crawdaddies! It's the weekend!

I got all three answers filed today, two for Attorney B and one for SemperFi. And various other things accomplished. And today's ToDo's to-did. And a whole lot of emails cleaned up. And I have no idea what is going on in anybody's incoming mail folder.

But it's the weekend, and I don't officially care about it until Monday morning.

In knitting news, I've woven in most of the ends on the second vest and worked most of the first tie end. Taking a break to blog, and then I'll go back, add however many rows on the free range I-cord are necessary, then attach it to the upper edge and start slogging working my way across the top of the vest.

I have zero intention of finishing that job tonight, but I'm pretty sure that sometime tomorrow the second vest will be done.

In irony news, after two nights of short sleep and long workdays, when I finally had a chance for a normal(ish) night's sleep last night, my body woke me at 3:00pm and said what do you mean you want to go back to sleep? You've had five hours. Isn't that the new normal?

I did manage to fall asleep again, but it took awhile. Hoping to be in bed before 11:00 tonight and to sleep until my body has had its fill.

Yarn's calling. Gotta go.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Caught up (for the moment).

I got through all of the mail. I filed this and that. I worked as many of my ToDo's as I could. And I left the office 15 minutes before I did last night, making a beeline for Costco to get more TP, alcohol wipes, cottage cheese, and chocolate muffins.

I grabbed Bueno while on the road. The groceries are put away. I'm about to eat a few bites of mango passion fruit sorbet, brush my teeth, take my meds, and hole up in my room. If I'm still awake at ten, it will be a miracle.

Note to self: reset the alarm for 6:00a.m. It's going to feel almost sinful getting that extra hour of sleep.

Knit may or may not happen. I am one very tired, very happy camper. Night, y'all.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Progress on two fronts.

Breathing a little easier at work. I'm going back at dark-thirty tomorrow morning, as I'm Attorney B's backup (which I've been from time to time for several years), and his secretary is out tomorrow and Friday, and he has two answers due on Monday. So those will be my first priority.

SemperFi also has an answer due on Monday, but I haven't been given the nuts and bolts of the file to work with yet. I've got a file I can close, and I've worked several days' worth of mail for both of my guys.

During my lunch break I finished the I-cord at the armscye. Still need to weave in some ends and will do that after I finish my pizza and give my hands a thorough scrubbing.

I put in three extra hours today. Tomorrow's forecast is a 40% chance of clean desk, with scattered sighs and a chocolate downpour. You should probably grab your wellies.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

In which your intrepid heroine recognizes that she needs some help.

And even admits it. Last week I only worked two and a half days. So while I made a bit of progress today on various fronts, I did not accomplish enough to feel truly productive. We don't generally have the opportunity to work overtime, but while we are short-handed and the four people who have been promoted are growing into their new responsibilities (and one of our staff is going out on medical leave), there are opportunities for overtime as well as overwork.

I'm going in tomorrow at 7:00, and I may stay late as well. An hour and a half before the phones start ringing is prime time for things that require deep focus and attention to detail. I'm hoping to be caught up by the end of the day tomorrow, but if not I will rinse and repeat on Thursday.

I went to Knit Night briefly, left early enough to pick up my prescription and tank the Tardis, and now that I'm home have jam-packed my lunch bag with enough meals and snacks to get me through the day and into the evening if need be. I'm enjoying a few spoonfuls of mango passion fruit sorbet to round off my day, and then I will pick out tomorrow's outfit, take my meds, and see how quickly I can fall asleep. I think this will be a night for lavender oil on my temples.

In knitting news, I got three-fourths of the way around the armscye, and those last few stitches can jolly well wait until tomorrow or whenever I get around to them.

Night, y'all.

Monday, September 04, 2017

It's Labor Day. I labored.

This has been a day for puttering. I looked out the kitchen window while fixing breakfast and decided that this was the day those ugly green "horse apples" from the bois d'arc tree were getting picked up.


I used a big plastic rake to herd them all alongside the edge of the patio. In prior years I've stooped over and picked them up, one by one, and chunked them into the trash bin or garbage bags. It's exhausting and hard on my back. This was phase one, when I raked them into seven or eight small groups.


When I quit this morning, they were loosely gathered here. Raking them up was a cross between field hockey and herding cats.


Middlest and Fourthborn couldn't help, because they both have POTS: if they change positions too quickly or bend over, they run the risk of blacking out. So my plan was to wait until the sun was at least partially behind my neighbor's trees, but before the mosquitoes come out to play, sit on the picnic bench, and have both the horse apples and the trash bin in easy reach.

We modified that plan a little. Fourthborn came out and sat on the picnic bench. She held trash bags open for me and suggested that I shovel the horse apples in. It worked very well three to five at a time, 20 per each bag because those little guys are heavy. So, eight bags only partially filled, and eleven loose anvils horse apples.

That bois d'arc tree really takes the "be fruitful and multiply" commandment seriously. I love that tree for its rugged beauty and the shade it provides. However, at this time of year I'd like to have a word or two with the person who decided, 46 years ago, that a bois d'arc tree in what would eventually be my back yard, was a scathingly brilliant idea. I got everything down to the curb without incident or injury. Ta-daa!

There was also knitting progress. I got the I-cord all the way down the back edge, across the bottom, and up the front. I also picked up stitches for the top edge, but before I work that, I want to knock out the I-cord around the armscye. It's quite fiddly and requires the use of my 4" DPs. I'd prefer not to lose (another) one in the Tardis while sitting at a stoplight.

I managed to get the balance right between food and water, work and rest today. It's been a good day. And my backyard looks almost civilized.

Not much to report.

Nobody had to go to the ER. Fourthborn continues to mend. She's added two hard-boiled eggs per day to her diet and is tolerating them well. We are going to reintroduce dairy a week from tomorrow.

I had a wonderful nap after church. Before that, I spent some time picking out stitches that formed a horizontal tuck across the front of a shirt my friend Beth gave me several months ago. It hadn't hung right on her, so she carefully lifted the front edge by a couple of edges, tapering the tuck to nothing at the underarm seams. And since she hadn't trimmed the excess fabric, with a minimum of effort on my part I now have a machine-embroidered tunic that is very boho and is on a hanger in my studio, waiting to be pressed into service. (ba dum ching!)

Middlest has not had as nice a day. Still battling the kidney stone. Still battling the diverticulosis. And yawned wrong this morning, triggering a first-ever episode of trigeminal neuralgia and instant migraine. I can hear the sound of logs being steadily sawn, with no hint of apnea.

Today is Squishy's birthday and would have been Beloved's 68th birthday. I have no idea what tomorrow might bring, other than a whole lot of sewing, knitting, and napping, but today was very sweet and peaceful. Not a trace of angst in my heart or body. I am two years older than he got to be in mortality.

In knitting news, the I-cord bind-off is all the way down the back edge and around that first, extremely pointed corner. I think I'll turn on my Pandora and see how much more gets done before I'm sleepy again. It was a very long nap...

Saturday, September 02, 2017

A fruitful day.

When I went to bed last night, the three quilt blocks that needed to be done this morning, were about 90% finished. I did my impression of a sensible adult and went to bed so as not to mess them up. Took me a little over an hour to finish them this morning, and I'm glad that I trusted my instincts.

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Current techniques for making flying geese blocks is to cut squares the depth of the block, draw a line lightly along the diagonal of the square (on the wrong side) and stitch along that line. Then you trim off the excess fabric at the corner. I suppose most folks throw those pieces away. They're rarely large enough to be useful. I've been saving mine from this year's series quilt in a spare clear plastic shoebox, and after we got home from the quilt shop today I pulled them out of the box and started chain-piecing them with approximately 1/8" seams. Forty of them. I would give you a visual (I did to one of my groups on Facebook), but my phone has gone to bed without me. The blocks are roughly the size of a half dollar.

I may leave them as-is, after tidying the squares, or I may slice them on the diagonal and sew those halves together to make squares consisting of alternating quarter-square triangles. (They would form an hourglass or X shape in aqua and plum, and probably be about the size of a quarter.) At any rate, the finished blocks will go into another container until I have enough to make a doll quilt. Or quilts.

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In knitting news, I finished knitting the side panel of the second doll vest and began picking up stitches for the I-cord border yesterday. I completed that task earlier today but have not yet summoned up the nerve to cast on and start grinding away at it.

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Back to quilting news. The only one of us who really liked the options for the next block of the month quilt was Middlest, who was torn between colorway A and colorway B. So Firstborn and Fourthborn will sew colorway A. Middlest and I will sew colorway B. And this time next year Middlest will have 48 blocks, enough to make two quilts.

OK, I'm done. Night, y'all.