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!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Better and better.

Another good night's sleep (thank you, whoever is praying) and another good day at work. Way less tension in my body.

Bueno with Fourthborn on the way to Knit Night, and I got the heel turned on the Frankensock. Single scoop cones with Fourthborn before I took her home, and a safe drive singing along to my Gordon Lightfoot station. My lower range is getting stronger. I'm pretty sure that I'm hitting notes that I couldn't before. I was even able to flip into my head voice and sing along with "You Don't Mess Around with Jim" and let my voice go slip-sliding in an impressively jazzy manner.

I still can't whistle. Or yodel, unless I'm singing along with The Cranberries.

I've taken my meds and am waiting for the muscle relaxer to kick in, because my brain is doing its usual pingety-ping.

Time for a hand or three of solitaire.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Tea for four.


As I breezed past her desk this morning, a friend flagged me down and handed me a box with this tea set inside. Exercising commendable restraint, I only peeked inside and went straight to work. After I had locked down my computer for lunch, I opened the box and took this picture. The large plates are 3.5" in diameter. The smaller plates are 2.5" in diameter. The cups are 2" in diameter, outside edge to outside edge.

The cutlery charms that I bought a few months ago are too small to go with the big plates but just about right for the smaller ones. Middlest and I calculate that everything is in perfect scale for my large (SD) dolls, and that the MSDs could use the smaller plates as dinner plates and the teacups as latte cups. For them, the teapot would be oversized and suitable only for stuffing a dormouse into.

We went to Costco tonight to pick up contacts for Middlest, but they were out of stock and should arrive in two or three days. While there we picked up various things that I hadn't seen when I was there last week. Then we went to Kroger to get things that Costco doesn't carry.

I've been craving salad for two or three weeks, but not enough to remember to buy the ingredients. Tonight we remedied that. Small salads for dinner, because the only clean dishes were latte cups, and then I decanted that ginormous bag of baby carrots into snack bags so that we just have to grab and go. The dishwasher has been fed and is quietly sloshing in the kitchen.

Got my envelopes mailed out for visiting teaching and reported it to the RS. Ordinarily I send out my letters earlier in the month, but most months aren't like the one that Middlest and I just experienced.

In all of the shuffling around over the weekend, I found the January issue of The Ensign. Read a few articles before bedtime last night and am about to do the same tonight, after moving the tea set to a safe and stable location.

Night, y'all.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

I'll ride this winning streak for however long it lasts.

Fourth consecutive night of good sleep, although my dreams were somewhat bizarre. Bits and pieces from various recurring dreams, with new stuff thrown in for good measure. The auditorium dream, the superspy/superhero dream, the working-in-the-not-my-office dream, the going up and down endless stairways dream, with a side order of Downton Abbey and the Bitties getting nabbed by Bad 'Uns, and BittyBubba using a scrap of mirror to signal SOS across the street, where a feisty grandmother (not me, because apparently I'm only a spectator) calls the cops for help.

I spent the morning before church organizing and scanning documents for our tax returns, checking them against my spreadsheets, and building a new shred-me pile on top of the shredder. Middlest's originals have gone into an envelope and been handed over. After church, I disassembled a couple stacks of notebooks and lined them up in front of a bookcase.

Most of the clutter is off  my desk. We inserted the mesh file baskets into the top space of my oval coffee table, and they are holding various envelopes and documents out of the way but still accessible.

I have paper bags labeled with the names of the people they will go to. (Yes, I am ending a sentence with a preposition. I also begin sentences with conjunctions, because I agree with Orson Scott Card who said something on the order of many important sentences in the Bible begin with conjunctions, and if it's good enough for Heaven, it's good enough for him.)

I don't necessarily have any more control over my life than when I came home from work on Friday, but we have less stuff to stumble over, so I'm calling it a win.

If I were a totally responsible adult, I would load the dishwasher before going to bed, but instead I'm going to rinse my plate and empty the sink tomorrow, which will give us a clean kitchen until dinner and also decrease the time it takes for hot water to reach my shower head.

My computer says that it's 10:30, and I'm not in the mood to argue. Night, y'all.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

That's three, three good nights' sleep! Ah! Ah! Ah!

Something like nine hours, all of it restful. As a result, Middlest and I have accomplished much today. My initial goal was to clear two or three small areas and then work on The Albatross, which hasn't seen much attention since I picked up Middlest last summer. Not Middlest's fault; I've just had other priorities. But I've told myself that I can't order the new doll until The Albatross is ready for binding.

What did we do? I sorted through a tub of Beloved's clothing that has been the bottom of a stack by one of the wicker chairs. For the better part of two years, maybe longer. And I was suddenly sick of it. So it's been sorted out, and Middlest has a few new T-shirts, and somebody else will be getting three pairs of cargo shorts, and we threw away anything that was stained or torn. I refilled that tub with painting supplies gathered up from other corners of the living room and out in what used to be the breakfast nook.

Then I started decluttering the area between the other wicker chair and the wall which separates the living room from the kitchen. Drop cloth wound up and stuffed into the trash bag, more painting gear corralled into a second, smaller tub. Next, a shoebox half-filled with minutiae. After that, a bankers box filled with my late mother-in-love's medical records and other documents. There was a lot of interesting juju in that box. Middlest bravely shredded it all in two batches. Finally, I opened a box that said "STUFF @ COMPUTER DESK" in Beloved's handwriting. Inside was my smaller box of missing software (PC Stitch, EQ5, et al), some old bills that needed shredding, and a handful of craft books.

We have been eating all day. The work wasn't particularly physically exerting, except when I was lugging bag after bag out to the recycling bin, or Middlest was holding forth at the shredder. But it required a lot of mental energy to sort things out into keep-recycle-shred piles. I am both wired and exhausted.

I took a bag of stuff to the drop-off place for items which can't be recycled, and I got there two minutes after they closed, so I will have to try again on the second Saturday in February. Which will be here before we know it.

I'm going to download the software and look for an upgrade. And then I'm going to take a shower to sluice off the day's work, take my meds, and call it a day.

Friday, January 27, 2017

That's two, two good nights' sleep. Ah! Ah! Ah!

[insert lightning flash and thunder boom]

And while we are counting, my two W-2's came in the mail today. I've just spent 45 minutes or so playing with my Schedule A spreadsheet, and I think I'll be able to do my taxes tomorrow, once I've gone through the medical receipts to make sure that I didn't leave something off.

Good day at work. I'm almost 100% caught up.

Great fun with Middlest and the doll folk tonight.

Knit also happened.

I'm ready to take my meds and go to bed.

Night, y'all!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

A fantastic night's sleep, followed by a pretty great day at work, followed by knitting.

Probably the best night's sleep in weeks. Because it's either been good sleep but not enough of it, or a long night with several-to-many interruptions, or weird dreams that are probably trying to tell me something, or bits that twitch me awake just as I'm going under, or storm warnings that levitate me three feet up off the bed.

So I was very thankful to wake up feeling unusually rested. Middlest and I got out the door within a minute or two of when we had planned. (I walked out into the living room, fully dressed and in my sweater, with bags and keys in hand, and announced "Ta DAAA!") I dropped my kid off at school, took a different route to work, because a week ago it meant four extra school zones, and on Tuesday it meant one extra school zone, but today there was just the one east of downtown, and I made amazingly good time on Central Expressway. It was like somebody had greased the slide, and I had time for breakfast and a few stitches on the Frankensock.

Work was productive. SemperFi was working remotely, which I'm coming to prefer, but there was one stretch where he called me three times in two minutes, and I answered the phone, "*Yes*, SemperFi?" He left me alone to actually get something done for awhile after that.

I got two answers filed, and the rest of the paperwork done and out for that past-due answer we had about a week and a half ago, and some of the new To Do's done plus some of the older ones. I have no idea what showed up in the mail today for him or The Kid, and I will have to look that over first thing in the morning. But if he will leave me alone tomorrow, I might actually get everything done.

I love my job. I really do. And I love it best when he trusts me to get everything done, if not fifteen seconds after he gives me the task.

Work over, I came back home, picked up Middlest, and we grabbed Chicken Express on the way to the bonus Knit Night. We were the last ones out of the shop. Would probably have sat there just this side of forever if the owners hadn't laughed and flashed the lights as they do in a bar. Knit even happened.

And now it's three minutes until my bedtime, so I'm going to log off, take my meds, and see how quickly I can become horizontal and unconscious.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Things that make me smile


Beloved and me at the sealing of Scuba and his beloved, September 15, 2012. This picture pretty much sums up our year together. And I just now realized it was taken exactly four months before he passed.

Middlest has taken a break from studying German and is reading me jokes off the internet. Best one: "I'm sorry we fought. I hate it when you're wrong."

One of our friends in the doll group posted a picture from a new-to-me doll company in Korea. The guy she liked is a cutie, but this one is calling my name. If you click on the link below, you'll find more pictures of her, surrounded by books. And I love the wig she chose. It's as if she was gifted with masses of hair and no patience for styling it, so she just chopped it off and got back to her books.


I can see her hanging out with Blessing, who has a similar love of books, and avoiding the mischief of my twins and Chutzpah. Deeply shy, as I used to be, but not so far as social phobia. This is Withdoll's "Nana". If I lined up four of her pictures and added a superhero, you'd have an earworm.

I now return me to my regularly scheduled knitting. (Yes, I had a really great day at work, but you probably already figured that out.)

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

"Please, cat, stop bringing me any more dead mice."

"Some days it's just a couple of 'presents' and some days it covers the whole @#$% doormat." Thus spake the Middlest, although there was a tender mercy via email one night last week. My kid was not the only one to be sold the wrong textbook, and the professor sent a link to the old edition that will be manually accessible. Manually. *snort*

Transferring from the college in Virginia to the one here in Texas has been one headache after another. Just when we think we have everything sorted out, their server crashes, or we get confusing information from financial aid. Middlest got that clarified today. All the money went where it was supposed to go. The problem was a coding error.

Middlest rode the bus home today. Two buses, actually, and is very pleased with the quality of service. And the geology class is going well.

I'm working on another Frankensock. Pretty sure that I mentioned that yesterday. I added an inch or so to the cuff at Knit Night. I've been riffing off Boonstra's baby sock pattern, and the last dozen pairs or so I've done mirrored spiraling toes, completely eliminating the need for kitchenering or using a three-needle bind-off at the toes. Forty stitches makes five sections of eight, decreasing down to two stitches per section immediately after doing the last round of decreases.

Middlest started the laundry this evening. I've got a load of whites in the dryer and half of the darks in the washer, because I figured socks, Middlest's underwear, and my work shirts were the most crucial items. I was completely out of socks this morning, so I wore knee highs under my slacks and fought creeping pant hems all day. When I got into my jammies, one of the knee highs was at half mast from all of my fidgeting.

Fourthborn sent me a link to a YouTube video of a woman who constructs doll dishes from paper. I'm going to turn the volume way down on the computer and take a listen. Yes, I know I could go into my room and open the box with the headphones, but I don't have quite that much ambition.

Later, gators.

Monday, January 23, 2017

I went a little nuts at Costco.

Pun intended They've been out of my sliced almonds for the better part of two months, and I like to add a quarter cup of almonds to my granola to ramp up the protein and the healthy fat. So tonight I bought three bags. And one or two of everything else we needed, and a couple of new things to try (instant pho? who knew? hoping that Middlest will enjoy it). Middlest came out and helped me schlep everything inside.

I also picked up two of my Rx's and saved about three dollars over what I'd been paying.

And I just knocked my slice of havarti into the dregs of my buttermilk. I think the proper response to that is pho-oey. Buttermilk down the hatch is yummy. Buttermilk on my fingers is kinda gross.

There's a reason why I'm not a potter.

I've started another pair of Frankensocks, using two balls of yarn, one of which is the Koigu that I bought at Purl Soho last summer. The other is Claudia or Cherry Tree Hill, because I don't think I've ever bought a skein of Jitterbug in that color. I've given away two pairs of baby socks in the past couple of weeks, so it's time to start rebuilding the gift stash. I found out recently that a dear friend's youngest is pregnant with a miracle baby, and the daughter of another longtime friend popped out a daughter last week.

Well, dears, it's past my bedtime, and tomorrow is going to be a long day. Work today went fairly well. I got caught up on SemperFi's incoming mail and didn't touch The Kid's. I did get all of the signed mail sent out or filed with the court. Thankfully, there are no scheduled meetings for me this week, so I have a decent chance of getting completely caught up.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Shropshire Music Foundation

I attended a singles fireside tonight in my old stake in Arlington. (I'm only "single" when it suits me.) The presenter was Liz Shropshire of the Shropshire Music Foundation. It was beautiful, heartbreaking, and enlightening. The Church made a big push last year for us as individual members to find ways to serve and bless the 60 million refugees in the world, but the subject was simmering on a back burner of my mind for awhile before that. Maybe because I've started over from scratch so many times as an adult, because we were (briefly, less than a day) homeless in 1993, and because I know how difficult life can be as a single mother, well, the plight of widows, orphans, children who are forced into the military or sex-trafficking all really gets to me.

At one time or another, I've supported Doctors without Borders, Feeding America, World Vision, and other worthy organizations. I make a modest donation to the Church's humanitarian fund every payday. And still there's this niggling sense that I want/need to be doing more. Finances are tight because of Middlest's medical expenses ~ I'm happy to be in a position to help and until I get a raise or two under my belt, that belt is going to be snug. ~ and ordinary living expenses.

But we've just now talked it over and agreed that we could easily spare $5-10 a month for this cause. As I quipped to Middlest, it's a way to serve children without actually having to interact with children.

And with that, I'll say goodnight.

Friday, January 20, 2017

"Awash in pain."

Thank you, Tan, for that very apt description. I can tell that some or all of you were praying, because today was infinitely better. I am almost caught up on the mail, I worked most of my To Do's, I got important stuff filed for both attorneys, and while I was distinctly stiff in the morning, I popped another couple of Tylenol and soldiered on, nearly pain-free.

Thank you, and bless you. Middlest and I both had good days. After I got home from work, we went a-hunting for headphones (me, for the piano) and a headset (for Middlest's music appreciation and German classes). Best Buy first, then Wally World to comparison shop, then across the road to Target, where I found my headphones, and back to Best Buy, because Middlest's headset was actually $10 cheaper there than at Target.

I am now happily in my jammies, medicated, and eating a few spoonfuls of ice cream before calling it a day. I signed up to help clean the chapel tomorrow, since I utterly spaced on them last Saturday. And then I intend to come home and get back into my jammies and stay there until church on Sunday.

We'll see how that goes.

Thank you all, again. Over and out.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Done-done-done-done. Done-done-done-done-DONE!

If you're old enough, you'll recognize that as the Dragnet theme. I went to the temple after work tonight. More accurately, I fled to the temple. I got a bit more caught up at work, and the meeting that was scheduled to last about an hour and a half lasted only a smidgen more than one hour, and still I felt fraught: worn to a Ravelling. The temple is the only place where the Adversary can't go. So I went.

And as it happened, I went on the night that the local singles meet to serve the Lord together. I saw the sisters with whom I used to serve when I was an ordinance worker, and the wonderful young woman who brought Beloved and me together, and my dear friend Jody, who has been my mentor through Widow 101, and I did a small act of service for a sister who is on Beloved's side of mortality. All of which was delightful.

But my hips and knees and ankles are screaming, and my left ankle looks as if it had been boiled, and I lovingly but firmly told Middlest when I got home a few minutes ago that while I am delighted to be in our home, and happy to see my kid, I am at about a 5 on the pain scale (which is probably a 9 for normal people), and I don't want to talk, or listen, or visit, or hug. I just want to go to bed and pass out.

I'll feel better in the morning. My spirit is floating on air. But this mortal frame is having none of that. I'll take a full dose of Tylenol instead of the half dose that I take once or twice a year, and I'll brush my teeth, and I'll come back out here to read my scriptures.

My friend at work loved the fingerless gloves that I laid on her chair when I got there this morning. I didn't do it for the thanks (and it's nevertheless fun to hear).

Over and out.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

A hell of a day in the neighborhood.

You're still welcome to be my neighbor. Made it to work on time, endured a two hour staff meeting, and actually got quite a bit of stuff done. On the way home, stopped at JoAnn's to look for foldover elastic for one of Middlest's projects. Nothing that would suit. It was either pastel, glittery, or ruffled, and it's needed for a waistband for an Iplehouse EID male doll. From there to Braum's for milk, orange juice, and more buttermilk. Then gas for the Tardis. Then home to an agitated Middlest, who has had nothing but one roadblock after another today in terms of things at school.

So I've mentioned that there was a technical issue, and none of the students were able to log on. Then we found out today that the bookstore told Middlest to buy the wrong edition of a textbook, and while the key to the one we bought works, it does not play well with the class website. And the music appreciation class requires attending at least one classical concert (I've found a perfect one: local and affordable), which is not unreasonable but turned out to be One More Thing.

Squishy is going to schlepp Middlest to school tomorrow, try to help get the textbook thing straightened out, get my kid to the math test because tomorrow is absolutely the last day, and pick Middlest up after geology class for some quality time.

Middlest just called out that the school website is down, so there's no way to do homework. I think this calls for another handful of cookies.

I have another @#$% meeting tomorrow morning, and I'm that committee's driver, although the office manager will be running the show as we discuss what needs to be added to our PRTs (performance review standards) and what can come off this year.

There is some genuinely good news. The second Fetching just needs its thumb, then the ends woven in. I can slip it onto my friend's desk tomorrow morning before she gets into the office.

Right, then. Cookies first, knitting next, and maybe an early bedtime. The sun'll come up tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar. And maybe Middlest's luck as well.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Much to-ing. Also fro-ing. And the odd miracle or two.

Three round trips to the college. One round trip to Middlest's doctor. One round trip to the pharmacy. Picked up Fourthborn for Knit Night. Grabbed burgers. Nearly finished the stealth project. Reasonably sure that it won't get finished tonight. Took Firstborn's and the eldest grands' Christmas presents to Firstborn. Got ice cream. Took Fourthborn home. Drove us home. It was a good day. I am beyond tired. Going to take my meds and hit the sack.

Tan, yes, massage would help. It is currently not in the budget, timewise or financially. My favorite massage therapist lives in NY, and I don't know anyone else of her caliber, and I just don't have the spoons to make the effort to find a new one.

I drove pretty close to 200 miles today, only the trip home using cruise control. I'm not sure that I have enough energy to peel my socks off.

We are three weeks into 2017, and with the expenses I submitted today, we are almost 10% into what I allotted for medical expense reimbursement for the year. If I'd allotted for this year what I allotted for last year, another month and we'd blow through all of it. And yet we have enough to eat, and a roof over our heads, and gas in the Tardis. On paper it doesn't work at all. On paper it is downright scary. And yet, against all logic and common sense, it works, and we are fine.

Just incredibly tired after a long and productive day. This is the part where I do my impression of a sensible adult, go to bed with or without socks (I'm not kidding), and go back to work tomorrow.


Monday, January 16, 2017

Aspirations.


I posted this on Facebook yesterday and meant to get back to it before bedtime. Obviously, I didn't. Have spent a good part of this long weekend sleeping, because on Saturday I forgot to take my diuretic first thing in the morning, and by the time I was home from the hour drive to the funeral and the hour drive back, my left ankle looked, as Middlest said, as if somebody had blown up my leg with a tire pump. I took my dose as soon as I got home, and I took a nap. When I awoke, my ankle was already better. Middlest said that it only looked as if someone had smacked it with a baseball bat.

Trust me. That was an improvement. It was even better yesterday, and it's almost back to medicated-normal this evening. I've tried to divide my waking hours between sitting up in a chair and sitting up in bed with my legs stretched out, both of which help.

Middlest's mitts are complete, and handed over for class tomorrow. Middlest has been puttering today, getting things ready. We have the monthly doctor appointment first thing, and then we go to campus to pick up books and drop my kid off for class.

Since Beloved's passing, I've tried to spend the day of our anniversary and the day of his angelversary in service, either to the living or the dead. I may have mentioned this on Saturday, but I don't feel like looking back to check. I'm middle-aged. I'm allowed to repeat myself. So, the funeral was service to the living, and progress on Middlest's second mitt was service to the living, and I've begun a stealth project that I hope to complete by bedtime tomorrow, which will be service to the living. Pretty sure that the dear departed are feeling crabby with me, because I haven't given them any of my time for several weeks.

The thing I posted above was a piece of paper that I found in my scripture tote before church yesterday. Judging by the decorative trim at the bottom, I wrote this sometime between 1999 and 2010, before I met Beloved. Now I have a most suitable eternal companion, my two kids who are married and active in the church have been sealed to their sweethearts, Middlest is out of an awful marriage, the bank and I own a house which I hope to have paid off at the end of three more years, my health is stable and should allow me to serve a mission when I retire, my kids know that I tried my best to raise them, and I'm working on the other items.

This is the part where I hit "publish" and go stick my nose in the Good Book(s). Night, y'all.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Five years






SemperFi came to the funeral for our coworker's husband this morning, along with half of the office. He sat next to me, and I remarked that five years ago today he and his wife were sitting in another LDS chapel, waiting for me to say "I do." He replied that that had been on his mind as he drove down to the memorial service.

The closing hymn was one of my favorites, "God Be with You Till We Meet Again," which was the closing hymn at Beloved's memorial service. I didn't entirely trust myself to hit the D in the soprano line, so I sang alto, while our two coworkers to my right sang out in clear soprano voices (one of them is a regular soloist at her cowboy church). As the chapel was emptying, SemperFi smiled at me and said, "We make sweet harmony here, as well as at work." I quipped, "Yeah, I had you pegged as a tenor." He has a good voice, but maybe not a lot of confidence, or maybe it was that some of the hymns were unfamiliar. There's something to be said for home court advantage.

I've had a tradition, since Beloved passed, of spending our anniversary and his angelversary (tomorrow) in service of some sort. So this morning was spent mourning with those that mourn, and this evening was spent finishing the knitting on Middlest's second mitt. I'll wait until tomorrow to weave in the ends, but this project will not be a repeat of Secondborn's wedding gown, for which we are both thankful. And I'll probably hang out with the dead people for awhile.

But for now, I'm going to read a little and hit the sack. It's been a good day, and my heart is at peace.

Friday, January 13, 2017

At the corner of Success and Apathy, waiting for the bus.

My day was somewhat bizarre. Not bad. Just wickedly busy, but I got a lot of stuff done, and most of it was important, and by the end of the day I was so tired that I flat didn't care if not everything had gotten done.

Example: ordinarily I am diligent about sending out an "I'll be out, here's what's important, and here's who's backing me up" email two days before I'm out. Didn't happen. I did get the out of office message set up on my email, and I did remember to forward my phone to voicemail.

But I barely touched my inbox all day. I got my To Do's done for SemperFi, and I worked on some for TheKid, and I managed to close out some for the secretary I'm backing up. I was more concerned with emptying out her "work in progress" folder that I had cluttered up, and getting through all three attorneys' mail.

Mid-afternoon we got a case with a past-due answer. The admin got it entered as quickly as possible. I snagged the answer and the vacation letter out of her working folder while she generated the rest of the documents, cleaned up those two items, and popped them into SemperFi's inbox. Let him know, walked a settlement check down to another office, came back and filed the answer with the court. Worked with a paralegal in another office to set a mediation for TheKid. Two others didn't get done.

When I see my doctor next month for the quarterly, I'm going to ask if we can up my muscle relaxer just a bit. The deep muscles are starting to loosen up a little. I can feel (good) unaccustomed movement in my spine and shoulders, but my upper back and neck are still tight as the cables on any given suspension bridge. I actually popped my shoulder blade audibly tonight, and it felt wonderful. But I have cold prickles in my neck, and it's probably going to take all weekend before I can approximate any degree of relaxation.

Tomorrow is my fifth anniversary, and I will be spending the morning at a funeral. Life and death: it's all a big bowl of ramen noodles, like my mom calling the evening I went into labor with Fourthborn to say that my Aunt Sadie had passed that morning. Quoting CSN&Y, We are stardust, we are golden ... and we've got to get ourselves back to the Garden.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Knit happened!

Also, we got a student account opened for Middlest at my secondary bank, the one inside my grocery store. All that remains is to set up electronic statements, which we could not do while at the bank early this evening, nor could we from the computer at home. So if the website doesn't cooperate with Middlest while I am at work tomorrow, we will go again after work, and we will have them call customer service, and the wonderful woman at customer service tonight assured us that it absolutely will happen then. Which will mean free checking for Middlest.

In knitting news, the second mitt is ready for me to start knitting fingers. We got done sufficiently late that we would have had maybe half an hour at the new knitting group, so we opted to stay home. It took me awhile to help talk Middlest down from "livid" to "frustrated" at the glitch on the website that kicked my kid off every blessed time Middlest arrived at part 3 of the three-part verification process.

So proud of my kid for remaining civil while at the bank and, later, on the phone with the woman at customer service. Middlest and I are both late bloomers in terms of social skills, but my kid has blossomed wonderfully in that regard.

I don't have anything else to share tonight, and if I scurry off to bed I can get almost seven hours of sleep before the alarm goes off. So, night, y'all. Don't let the bedbugs bite. (Remember when that was just a saying, and not a minor epidemic?)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

(Bi)Polar Opposite

Today. As compared to yesterday.

Infinitely better. I know that Middlest prayed that I would have a better day, and maybe some of you did as well, and for that I thank you.

I did not need an "I Knit So I Don't Kill People" T-shirt today. Managed my To Do's, filed a past-due answer, cleared a few of the other secretary's To Do's, whittled down my inbox, wrangled the signed mail for three attorneys, and left the office feeling as if I had been productive as well as non-homicidal.

Stopped at the grocery store for buttermilk, bananas, and eggs. Also came home with mini-croissants (to go with the lemon curd I got for Christmas), refrigerated biscuits, little smokies, and two pints of ice cream. Dinner tonight was pigs in blankets + cottage cheese + orange juice. I'm about to grab the banana that was in my lunch box ~

So the morning began at 7:00 with Middlest knocking on my door to see if I was awake and/or alive. You have never seen a middle-aged woman move so quickly. (Unless you were here the other days I overslept, but I digress within this digression.) While I was throwing on my clothes, Middlest surprised me by packing my lunch bag. Banana, apple, baby carrots, grape tomatoes, mini package of hummus, one of my containers of Fage/Nutella, cheese sticks, a whole Costco muffin, multi-grain crackers, and a bag of broken Scoops. Plus I had an uneaten jar of the cauliflower soup in the fridge at work.

Three cheers for role reversal!  ~

Dinner is down the hatch, and while I would like to tuck into that ice cream, I'm going to eat my banana like a good girl, wash my hands, and go put a few more repeats on Middlest's mitt, because classes begin next week.

This is starting to feel like when I finished hemming Secondborn's wedding gown an hour before the ceremony.

Night, y'all.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

A day from the warm place.

First words out of SemperFi's mouth this morning were, "Did you get any of my work done yesterday?" I gave him a frosty smile and one arched eyebrow and retorted, "Yes, but nothing that would show."

And then I went round and round with TheKid via email because we have two cases where the Plaintiff's names begin with the same letter of the alphabet. One case is closing; the other is not. So we had two email strings going, and all of a sudden he's giving me instructions for case A in the case B email. Brain freeze. I remonstrated. He said, basically, that two cases shouldn't be that hard to keep straight. I reminded him that I have half of his docket (and will have all of it tomorrow), plus SemperFi, plus the attorney I'm backing up. She was absolutely no trouble today.

Mid-afternoon I could not tell that I had taken a muscle relaxer last night. My neck, back, and shoulders were one angry Gordian knot, and I didn't trust myself with a sword. I was this [---] far from tears, and I wanted nothing more than to come home, curl up in a ball under my covers, and sleep until tomorrow.

But I reminded myself that after a day like this, I deserved to spend the evening with people I love, and thankfully Fourthborn was ready to be social. Middlest is still getting over an upper respiratory infection and was snoozing deeply when I left the house this morning.

On the road to pick up Fourthborn, I blasted my Scott Joplin station on Pandora, which helped. Picked up sandwiches from the newly remodeled Arby's, then my kid, and while I waited for her to come out of her apartment, I checked Facebook to discover that nobody was going to Knit Night, so I followed my "We're coming" post with "Since nobody else is coming, we're going to eat and head to Barnes and Noble."

I got four rounds of pattern done on Middlest's second mitt before losing patience. We left the bookstore and made a beeline for Braum's, opting for single scoops of peppermint chocolate chip. I took Fourthborn home, picked up a finished quilt block (mine) and one to sew (hers). I had originally planned to bring Firstborn's Christmas bag and Fourthborn's block (no, let's be honest, I probably would have forgotten that part), but didn't remember until I was halfway to work.

Texted Firstborn to say that I'd forgotten, so we wouldn't be swinging by before Knit Night, and that I was now officially out of the running for mother of the year.

Had a good visit with Fourthborn, if by visit you mean I knitted and she browsed books and the toy department before settling down with a game on her DS(?) We did talk, a little, like civilized human beings, but mostly it was parallel play.

On the way home I listened to my Eva Cassidy station, and luck of the draw meant that I got a lot of songs about missing someone who's gone away. The moon is full(ish), which always reminds me of Beloved, and Saturday is our fifth anniversary. It's extremely inconvenient that he is out of reach right now, because I need a good cry, and I want to be held while I cry.

Middlest, who had a fairly icky day because the antibiotics rile up my kid's innards, said when we hugged goodnight, "I hope you dream of Beloved tonight, and I hope he gets to spend part of that dream checking you for ticks." First and probably last belly laugh of the day.

Oh, one tender mercy: phone call from one of my new brothers (Beloved's brother). They are going on a cruise in a few weeks and will be overnighting in BigD and want to take me to dinner. They are truly lovely people, and I'm looking forward to that.

And now I'm going to brush my teeth and attempt to read my scriptures. I did it the other way around last night, and I think the cold water from my water flosser was just enough shock to keep me wakeful.


Monday, January 09, 2017

Overslept again. Operator error again.

Middlest checked on me a little after 7:00 this morning, and I'd been awake a minute or so. I was thinking, "It's awfully light out there for 6:00." I managed to get dressed, lunch packed, and out the door in 20 minutes, and I made it to work on time with two minutes to spare.

I think (knock wood) that I have the radio/alarm sorted out.

It was kind of a meh day at work. I know I got stuff done, but I didn't have a lot to show for it at the end of the day. I remembered on the way to work that I'm supposed to be checking the other secretary's To Do's as well as my own, and I haven't. When I left the office, I only had one more of hers to work, and I'd barely touched my own, and I have very little idea what came in today's mail, other than that we didn't get dismissal orders back from the (same) court that I filed a week or more ago. That court is usually one of the more organized ones, so I'm guessing it's all due to end of year vacations, or possibly illness among the clerks.

Middlest got the word that the financial aid has been awarded. I just need to add my kid to my small account (or set up a new joint account) and order a debit card so that whatever money is leftover from registration can go into that account.

You guys know how much I loathe cauliflower, right? I bought a bag of riced cauliflower at Costco trip before last (still quite recently), and it's been mocking me in a drawer of the fridge. Tonight I looked in my files for my sister's cream of cauliflower soup recipe and came up empty. So I went online and found the Pioneer Woman's recipe. I made a vat of soup. It yielded eight pint jars and a generous mugful for my dinner. It has enough butter, half-and-half, and sour cream in it that I can almost forget I am eating cauliflower. For my taste, it is about midway between acceptable and delicious. I'll be glad to get Middlest's opinion on it, but right now my kid has crashed, and as soon as I put the cooled jars into the fridge, I will follow suit.

Ribbing is done on the second mitt. I want to have it finished for the start of school a week from tomorrow.

Overslept. Operator error.

It's a good thing I discovered it last night, instead of later this morning. We had a brief power outage on Friday, which necessitated resetting my radio/alarm. I came home from church a little after 4:00, blissed out and knackered. Made a sandwich with the last of the sliced turkey, washed it down with milk, set the alarm clock for 10:00 for my evening meds, and blithely went to sleep, waking a few minutes before midnight because the time setting on my clock was twelve hours off.

As I said, good thing to have discovered that last night. Since waking, I have baked and eaten some mini-pizzas, gone over a couple of my spreadsheets, hydrated, and I'm thinking that I could go back to bed and sleep until 6:00.

Church was really great. I did another read-through of the Gospel Doctrine lesson in the hours before church. The Book of Mormon, which we studied in depth last year, is one long story, punctuated with editorial comments by Moroni and one flashback to the Jaredites. The Old Testament begins with Adam and Eve and ends a few hundred years before the Savior's birth. The New Testament is a little choppy because of the multiple perspectives (but it's wonderful to have those multiple perspectives).

I think this is the first year in which we've studied the Doctrine and Covenants that the arrangement of the study materials has clicked in my mind. I don't know if there are significant updates from the study guide four years ago. (I'm not feeling inclined to grab an old paper copy and look). D&C is a little frustrating for me, because it's non-linear. It doesn't begin with the first revelations given to Joseph Smith and end with his martyrdom.

If I try to read from Section 1 through to the end (as I've done every time in the past, when I've bothered to read the material for class, or when I'm reading it just because I want to), it's a lot like like Flounder saying, "This is this, and that is that, and then the seagull appeared --"

"Ariel, have you been going up to the surface again?"

No, sir, I'm two fathoms under, and my gills aren't working properly. But the study guide looks like a promising snarfblatt.


Saturday, January 07, 2017

What we did today.

I got to the mechanic's bright and early for an oil change. They lubricated the doors, hoping that that might be enough to keep the trouble light and ding-ding-ding from happening. If it doesn't, I have estimates for two ways to fix the problem: replacing a switch ($200) or replacing the entire door-ajar cluster (a bit less than $400). Plus their best guess at replacing lights in the dashboard ($160?). All of which I will take care of before we dash to Tennessee at spring break to bring back the rest of Middlest's stuff.

Knit happened while I got the oil changed on the Tardis. About half of the cuff on the second mitt for Middlest, to be exact. There may or may not be will be no more knitting before I call it a night.

Update on the Tardis: that lubrication worked for the drive home from the mechanic's. And seems to be reducing the frequency of the beeping and trouble light, while not entirely eliminating it.

Got the quilt blocks done and picked up our new blocks. Best surprise? Running into a stepson and his family at Costco. Major hugs, a good if short visit, more hugs, and a peck on the side of the head from him as we split to finish our shopping. I got to play peekaboo with the almost-two-year-old granddaughter, and the grandson was friendly in that disinterested way that almost-four-year-olds have.

The fridge and pantry are full, almost to bursting.

Looking forward to a good night's sleep. I've been sleeping better and longer since putting the flannel sheets on the bed. The flannel clings to the cotton thermal blanket above it, and not once have I had to reach over in the middle of the night and pull up half of the duvet from the floor. With the regular cotton sheets, it was at least an every-other-night experience.

A side benefit is that my joints are less achy, even with the colder weather. I feel remarkably well, even though the past week had more than the usual share of frustrations.

This is the part where I bag up the muffins and stick them in the fridge, take my meds, and go to bed.

Friday, January 06, 2017

I should be sewing quilt blocks.

Instead, I have sent the music for Sunday to various people on that distribution list. Last week threw me for a loop. I did not learn until late Saturday night that Fast Sunday was being postponed a week, so I did not plan for an intermediate hymn. But tonight I only had to come up with the opening and closing hymns, because I had already chosen the sacrament hymn.

It has been colder than a bill collector's heart today. We even got a bit of snow this afternoon. Not enough to stick. Just enough to fill my coworkers and me with delight and send most of them home early because of traffic and road conditions. I worked until 5:00 and noodled about after logging off until about 5:30. The roads weren't bad on my usual route, and people were driving sensibly. I have no idea why everything came to a standstill just south of Royal Lane, but it probably took me 20 minutes to get from Church Street (halfway between Walnut Hill and Royal Lane) to my turn. Maybe more.

Middlest messaged me around lunchtime that the power had gone out for the better part of an hour, and did the furnace breaker need to be turned off and back on again? My kid took care of that for me and also switched out the furnace filter.

I entertained myself on the drive home by inventing a recipe that I may very well try out this weekend. I'll let you know if it is successful.

The house is starting to cool off for the night, and I've nuked a mug of milk. There's a decent chance that I'll be in bed in half an hour and asleep five minutes after that.

First priority for tomorrow is to get the Tardis fixed. Anything else is gravy; i.e., we may be paying for our quilt blocks this month.

Night, y'all. I'm outta here.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

In which the Tardis seems possessed.

Which, while unnerving, is better than its being repossessed. When I fired it up after work today, the door ajar light came on, and the ding-ding-ding began. So I pulled it over, got out and opened and closed all four doors, got back behind the wheel, and drove about 25 feet before it started up again. Whenever I got to a red light, I'd open the driver's door and slam it shut, buying myself maybe a minute's peace. Then the dome light started coming on intermittently. Fine.

Middlest was still under the weather, so I headed to the new Knit Night, putting my right hand up to cover the come light from time to time, so people wouldn't think I was soliciting. Because, ewww.

When I got to the yarn shop, I shut off the motor, did a quick check of Facebook, and was preparing to get out of the car. I'd been stopped for roughly five minutes. The dome light came back on, and there was a clicking behind the dashboard. Not being inclined to dash out of a perfectly good yarn shop every fifteen minutes to make sure that the battery had not run down, I gave up knitting as a lost cause and headed home. Praying, and laughing at the absurdity of the situation, and praying some more. When I was about three-fourths of the way home, I grabbed the phone and said, "OK, google. Auto Zone near me." There was one about a mile east of the light just ahead, so there I went. The guy said it sounded like a bad door sensor, and he very kindly removed the bulbs from the dome light so it wouldn't wipe out the battery overnight. And it was too dark for him to put the lens back on, so the light bulbs are nestled in the lens on the passenger seat like two very opinionated pearls.

I don't know if we will be able to pick up our quilt blocks on Saturday, because I intend to be at the garage when it opens at 8:00a.m., and I don't know if they can fix it quickly. While I'm there, I'll have them look at the instrument panel, which is gradually going dim. The tach doesn't light up at all, and the speedometer is only lit between 40 and 80 mph.

First world problems. I'm glad it's something like this, and not a wheel coming off at freeway speed, or the alternator, or a left-threaded gezornablatt that has to be ordered from Moldavia.

This is the part where I pour another mug of milk and go fix the thumb on Middlest's mitt (that I botched by knitting it at approximately midnight last night and frogged during lunch today). It's been a fairly amazing day, even before the Tardis decided to complicate my life.

Middlest and I went to the college this morning, got some straight answers, got the classes held while we wait to see if the financial aid is awarded (it's been approved but not released to Middlest) before drop day, or if I need to take off a week from tomorrow and help with the payment arrangements, get something wired from my line of credit to be repaid when the grant comes through. Middlest is still fighting the upper respiratory bug and is utterly knackered. I was blessed to get a full day's worth of work crammed into the six hours I was at my desk. I'm tired, but peaceful about my kid starting school week after next. Not sure exactly how it will fall together, but confident that it shall.

Knitting. Right, then.


Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Smoother day than yesterday.

I felt as if I had accomplished a reasonable amount of work today. My energy level stayed fairly constant, I was clear-headed, and I got all the way through my guys' mail and most of the way through the other attorney's. I know what needs to be done tomorrow, and my desk is looking tidier. Working with SemperFi has rubbed off on me. I will never have a pristine desk, but I'm happiest when it's not a hodgepodge of this and that.

Picked up my prescriptions tonight. Had to make a return trip after opening the bag, because they didn't know to put a non-childproof lid on the containers. I smiled nicely at the tech and told them that not only was it non-childproof, it was non-Ravelled-proof, and she smiled nicely right back at me and fixed things, then noted my file. I think I'm going to like these people, once I get used to driving a little farther to pick up my meds.

My 2017 spreadsheet is updated with Middlest's stuff and mine for this week, and I just finished uploading all of the receipts for reimbursement.

I picked up all sorts of frozen veggies at the store, because I wanted some of the pre-chopped peppers and onions to mince and throw into my meatloaf muffins, which I just took out of the oven. I got a bag of stuff I can no longer eat, for Middlest's pleasure, and things to make meals for us over the next week or so. Including a squeeze bottle of cream of coconut so that I can make that coconut rice chicken recipe I got from Real Simple several years ago.

Middlest did two loads of laundry today, notwithstanding feeling wibbly. I certainly didn't expect that, since I could have done it on Saturday but chose to read instead. I think I have just enough oomph to finish the ribbing on the thumb of that mitt before calling it a night. Dishwasher is whispering out in the kitchen. House smells heavenly. After half a bowl of soup that Squishy sent home with my kid, and a serving of "Veggie Tots" (a theoretically healthy substitute for tater tots), I am still vaguely peckish.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Missed it by *that* much.

Text message from new pharmacy during the day: Rx's are ready. So I told myself, while on the way to this Knit Night for the first time in over a month, I'll leave at 7:30 and be home in plenty of time to pick up my meds and still get to bed before 10:00.

Not!

The conversation was just so interesting that I forgot to check my phone until it was 8:11, and even though I was able to drive 70 almost without interruption to my exit, I needed another five to ten minutes to get to the pharmacy without being that twit who shows up at closing time. I'll get my meds after work tomorrow. The only one I'm out of is my anti-cholesterol medicine, which I don't want to take anyway, and a second missed dose should not affect me much more (if any) than last night's missed dose.

While knitting, I got all of the ends woven in and the finger joins tidied on Middlest's braided cable mitt. I also picked up stitches for the thumb and am nearly done with it. Maybe I will get it finished tomorrow.

I am severely done with this day. Middlest is getting mixed messages from the college about financial aid, and I am at a loss for how to help. My kid is too ill to leave the house, doesn't have a phone to make calls from, and while I am not frustrated with my kid, I am frustrated for my kid, so I am going to go to my room and stick my head in my Book of Mormon and count blessings until I get my attitude adjusted.

Monday, January 02, 2017

So this was my day off.

Woke up, read a lot, took Middlest to the doctor, drove to my new pharmacy to transfer my prescriptions and get Middlest a flu shot, then to Middlest's pharmacy for ninja-grade antibiotics (where we discovered that we could have gotten said flu shot for $12 less), bought a large blank book to write down impressions and inspiration while studying the scriptures this year, bought more milk and orange juice, dropped Middlest and everything off at home, went to Walmart in a neighboring town to pick up a LEGO kit that Middlest bought online with proceeds from selling a computer game, stood in line for at least 15 minutes waiting for somebody to show up and check me out, got crabby while waiting and complained on Facebook, came home and took a nap.

It is now nearly midnight, and we've snacked, and I'm about ready to go to bed. Back to the salt mines tomorrow. Night, y'all.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Good Sabbath!

I took the last of my antibiotics today. I resumed taking antihistamines last night. Tomorrow (I am off work), I'll take all of my regular medicines to the corner of happy and healthy, as that pharmacy is on the preferred list, while the one I've used for roughly 20 years is not, and have them transfer the prescriptions and request a refill on the one for cholesterol. I took the last one of those tonight. I don't know if my doctor's office will be open tomorrow, but skipping that particular medicine for one night should not be a huge issue.

Today my grudging patience was rewarded. I began reading the new chronological Bible. It doesn't have the poetry of the KJV, but the footnotes frequently refer to the Hebrew and Syriac versions, from whence we get the poetry. Took a few notes on my reading in it and in today's chapter of the Book of Mormon. Tomorrow I will hie myself to Half Price Books for a new journal, which will be used exclusively for scripture notes, inspiration, counsel from the Lord as to how each day's reading applies to me, etc.

I am thoroughly enjoying a book that has been waiting patiently in the bookcase for me to get around to it: "The Simeon Solution" by Anne Osborn Poelman. It's 20+ years old and presumably out of print. It tells of her conversion, her growth in faith and testimony, and how she handles things that could become spiritual stumbling blocks, but aren't. This was Beloved's first wife's book, given to her by her mother, and it will go to the boys when I'm done savoring it.

I'm planning to read a little in the Gordon B. Hinckley bio before bedtime. Knit has not happened, yet, but it's not out of the realm of possibility.

The best thing that happened today? Bitty-Bit is now in Young Women's, and I made it to sacrament meeting in their ward in time to see her presented to the congregation. They do things a little differently in Secondborn's ward: in my ward, and most of the wards that I've lived in, the graduate has to recite a favorite Article of Faith. (Wisely, most of them plead the First.) Her Bishop teased her a little, that she was going to recite the Thirteenth, backward. Her eyes got huge as saucers, then she shook her head no.

I love that kid.