About Me

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

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The check really *was* in the mail

And has been deposited electronically. I never dreamed as a kid that someday I would walk around with a smart phone that gives me access to banking, shopping, scripture study, and Sudoku. When I was a kid, I'd never even heard of Sudoku.

At any rate, once the check has cleared, I will throw it on my credit card balance. Today I bought the plane tickets for my birthday getaway.

In knitting news, I added a full two inches to the length of the sleeve before breakfast. I am now going to put my jammies on and finish that sleeve. My goal is to have it joined to the body and the second sleeve cast on before I call it a day.

My sister sent a care package to my office after our talk on Monday: a really sweet card and a cute pair of earrings, which I plan to wear to work tomorrow. Because I can.

Later, gators.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Blogging from my phone.

Yesterday I got the happy news that my promotion and raise have come through and will be effective beginning April 7.

I also learned that I'm getting a sizable escrow refund shortly, because my property taxes dropped so precipitously when I turned 65 last year.

Today on the way to work, my badge leaped out of the pocket on my bag and slipped under the front seat. So I pulled a ticket at the parking garage, knowing that I could get it validated. After I parked, I grabbed the flashlight and started moving the seats forward and backward.

Not only did I find my badge, but also the earring which flew out of my hand a few weeks ago and has been hiding ever since.

Part of my Gudrun order should be here Friday or Saturday. The rest of it around the end of next week. And the book I ordered on Amazon the week after that.

I just finished the sleeve increases on my Carbeth. Now to knit 4.5 more inches before joining it to the body and casting on the second sleeve.

I emailed my sister on Monday night when I was so frazzled about the medical news. She's put a care package in the mail to my office. It should be here shortly.

Overall, my attitude and hopefulness are significantly greater than when I posted on Monday. I awoke yesterday feeling deeply peaceful and with the words of a hymn going through my mind.

Taking my meds and going to bed now.

Monday, March 19, 2018

The bubopsy.

One of my favorite scenes from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"

Apparently it didn't load. The scene where the aunt is talking to the groom's parents about the bump on her neck that got bigger after she went through menopause. And turned out to have teeth in it.

I had a semi-random thought in the past day or so that I ought to be hearing back about that ultrasound. This afternoon, I did. I am checking Facebook while in the loo. Phone rings.

"Hello, Ms. Ravelled? This is J, the nurse at Wonderful Doctor's. Is this a good time to talk?"

Me: "I'm in the loo. I'll try not to make any explody sounds."

J: [helpless snort] "We got the results on your ultrasound, and the radiologist and Wonderful Doctor both think we need to do a biopsy. Dr. N in our practice group does them, but I don't know how you feel about having a male doctor do the procedure."

Me: "I have absolutely no issues with that. One question: does he have small hands?"

J: "I've worked with him for fourteen years, and it's never occurred to me to look at his hands."

Me: "OK, fine, when can we do this?"

Upshot is that I'm set for the afternoon of April 3, conveniently on a day when I'd already be going to Arlington to pick up Fourthborn for Knit Night. Although I'm not sure I'll be fit for company afterward. I'm currently attempting to recognize, honor, and process the various emotions that are playing Chinese fire drill in my mind and body. I've been fidgety all day, even before I got this news. Tonight my feelings tasted like pizza with a few spoonsful of Denali Extreme Moose Tracks for dessert. And now I'm going to go knit.

Prayers and positive thoughts, if you please.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

We are artists, and we leave each other notes.

Frequently our sleep cycles are so dissimilar that we might be living in different time zones, rather than in the same house. Depending on which of us wakes first, Middlest occasionally sets out my vitamins for me. Some notes are more embellished than this one.

Or this one..

This has charming detail, courtesy of Middlest. Note the cat's sharp teeth, perfect for chewing up food scraps and microorganisms. Right now it's waiting on the side of the fridge while the dishwasher runs.

One of my own offerings, left for Middlest when I went to work Friday morning.

We have fun, chez Ravelled.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Yarn chicken and a lifeline

Sunday night I put a lifeline in, eight rounds up from the last band of lace, and decided to see how many more rows I could get in plain stockinette without running out of yarn. If I have calculated correctly, I will be able to knit the band as designed, bind it off, and stitch it down, with a couple of yards to spare. So I pulled my needle out, reinserted it in round 14, and frogged away. I have since knit the picot round and two of the eight rounds of stockinette for the hem. I will probably knit a round or two more before bedtime, but I had to get up and do something else for awhile.

I think we have finally come to the end of the paperwork avalanche re: my workers comp claim, my application for short term disability when I missed all that time at work, and Social Security. I read through the SS pamphlet over the weekend, and I was briefly alarmed about a couple of things, but I went to the website and got my questions answered fairly quickly. The first paperwork said I'd be getting my deposit on the third Wednesday of each month, but the most recent information says it will be the second Wednesday. Who am I to argue with that?

Last night, as we ate dinner, Middlest and I had a long and heartfelt discussion. It was very sweet and tender. I sure do love that kid!

Finish-itis has overcome much of my desire for reading over the past couple of weeks. However, I borrowed a book from my office manager this afternoon and am thoroughly enjoying it. In fact, it's calling my name as I type. Later, gators.

P.S. I find it delightfully ironic that a catalogue from World Vision should appear in my mailbox three days before I get my bonus.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

So, that's over with.

I had my "to boldly go where no man has gone" (in five-plus years) ultrasound this morning. The procedure was less uncomfortable than I remembered, perhaps because I had girded myself for it to be fairly awful, and it wasn't. Can't remember if it was the same tech as last time ~ it was the same facility ~ but she was very gentle while being very thorough. I asked her if she saw any space invaders in there, and she cracked up. "Nobody's ever asked me that one before!"

Came home, heated up hamburger patties for Middlest and me, knitted while mine settled, then slept for something like five hours. Weird dreams, and I'll spare you the details, but there was lots of singing, a little dancing, and me telling some guy I've never met "No, because then I'd have to tell my bishop."

Not, "That's morally wrong, and I won't do it." Just the implication that I had better things to do with my time than spend it repenting of that particular sin. My subconscious is a funny, funny place.

In knitting news, I am playing yarn chicken. I have one last band of lace to knit, then fourteen rows of stockinette, a row of eyelets that will form the upper picot edging, and eight more rows of stockinette. My ball of yarn has dwindled to just smaller than fist-sized.

Something tells me that the top edging will end up significantly more shallow than the bottom edging.

I'm trying to wind down for bedtime, remembering that overnight we spring forward, and notwithstanding that nap, I will be an hour short on sleep.

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Musings on Nutella + I got new bras

You don't get a visual with either, sorry. I wish it were possible, when I am approaching the bottom of a jar of Nutella and scraping the last bites out with an iced tea spoon, to wiggle my nose like Samantha on Bewitched and turn the container inside out, or transform it into a wide, shallow dish so that not one atom of choco-nutty goodness would be lost.

I ordered two new bras about ten days ago. They arrived yesterday. Things I like about this:
  1. I got to throw away my old bra, with the broken-but-not-quite-poking-out-through-its-casing underwire.
  2. These hook in the front, and I bought them in a larger band size and smaller cup size, hoping that I'd guessed right on both volume and support, and that I would no longer have to chase after bra straps which were heading for my elbows. I have small, sloping shoulders. Band size is one problem. Cup size is another. Spacing of the straps has been a nightmare for years.
  3. They're not ugly.
  4. I did not, in fact, have to wrangle my bra straps today. They pretty much stayed put once I was hooked in and fluffed.
  5. I have cleavage. Nobody gets to see it, but it's there.
  6. They don't bunch up the top of my temple garment like the old bra did.
Things I'm not crazy about:
  1. They're not molded and slightly padded like the old bra, so every time my shoulder harness slides around as I drive, my right boob hollers, "Hey, you don't know me that well!" I spent most of the drive home tonight with my right hand tucked inside the shoulder harness, holding it slightly out from my body about midway between boob and waistband.
  2. Minimal lift. I'm not sure how the catalogue models manage to look demurely perky, but on me the look is more like a souffle after you've taken out a serving or two.
  3. I thought I was buying a posture bra, where the back section rises several inches above the band, but apparently I did not.
If I were going to design a bra for myself, it would have lightly molded cups, underwires, a posture back, and be available in nearly-A, nearly-B, nearly-C, etc., cup sizes. Maybe that's a second career for me, once I retire: Bespoke Brassieres - Get those puppies off the floor.

In other news, last night I asked for recommendations for a house painter, and I had three leads by the time I went to bed. I don't know if the gallons upon gallons of green paint that Beloved bought on deep discount are still any good. That would be a tender mercy. I like the current color, so I could easily live with it until the house needed repainting again.

But for now I'm going to shut down this popsicle stand and go knit until bedtime.

Monday, March 05, 2018

Tree dudes came (before and after pics)

Front of the house, with stump, pecan, something behind it that I'm keeping for now, vastly overgrown crape myrtle, miscellaneous volunteer trees, and a Texas sage that is staying because it's so pretty when it blooms. Even though I'm probably allergic to it.

Here you can see the poor pecan tree. That branch extending to the right is going, as is the one reaching out to you in front, and probably the one extending to the left.You can see the "something behind it that I'm keeping for now" more clearly in this photo, as well as one of the small crape myrtles that will get topped off at about 5' high. The rolling tractor seat has been shoved up against the pecan tree to keep it from rolling down to the retaining wall. The Lawn Dudes never put it back in the right spot, so I'm going to have to figure something out that establishes its home.

Profile of the trimmed tree. The birds were cussing me out this morning.

This the second crape myrtle.

And after its haircut.

This is a dwarf Burford holly, and it's getting trimmed and shaped.

Like this.

Au revoir, Stumpy. It was great while it lasted.

The guys pitched my little planter. I made them put it back.

This is the front of the house now, with all of the trash trees gone.


This is that little crape myrtle bush that was hiding behind the pecan tree in the second picture

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

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Stake conference weekend

Wow, the adversary *really* didn't want me to share this. First my phone battery died, then the Facebook page fritzed and rebooted on my laptop.

I went to the Saturday evening session yesterday, which is usually the best session for me in terms of ability to concentrate. And even when it isn't, it sets my mood for the general meeting on Sunday. It was great to sustain President Nelson as our new prophet, seer, and revelator. The visiting general authority did not disappoint. (They never have, at least for me.)

But my big take-away was when our second counselor shared the inspiration he'd had to purchase a new Book of Mormon, refer to the threefold purpose listed on the title page, and start going through his new copy, highlighting each instance he found of each purpose in one of three colors.

My "new" Triple is almost 30 years old, and I'd been thinking it was about time to replace it. I was slightly amused to see that sometime in the past, I'd highlighted the keywords of those purposes on my current copy. I don't see that I ever tried to do my own scripture chase regarding these purposes.

This is a small and simple thing I can do to enrich and deepen my understanding and application. Color me (😜) excited!

My bonus hits in two weeks, and I've added "large-sized quadruple combination" to my spreadsheet and pasted the URL of the page to order it. I'm a little sad that the only color options are black and brown. I bought my current Triple Combination and Holy Bible in 1992, and they have burgundy covers. Back then, you could get your scriptures in burgundy, teal, or green as well as black and brown. I understand that reducing the color choices means that no out-of-fashion colors will be languishing at the Distribution Center. But I was kinda hoping to get a teal quad this time around. This will be a stay-at-home set of scriptures, for when I want to chill in bed and dive into the Word.

My phone dying for the second time today means that I can show you neither the before-and-after post of my front yard that is halfway written and illustrated, nor pictures of knitting progress from last night and today.

I hope your Sabbath was as blessed and peaceful as mine.

Friday, March 02, 2018

So much to say. No idea where to begin.

Yeah, I've missed you, too. OK, I'll start with the good news.

This was my first week working with the new attorney, and it went well. I'll have a new case to open for her on Monday, but right now my half of her docket equals six cases. When I left the office today, I had long since wrangled all my ToDo's, gotten her mail and SemperFi's mail out, and reduced the emails in my inbox to approximately twenty. I had also winnowed out my pending folder for SemperFi, worked all of her mail and part of his, and left with a desk that looked functional and organized.

I like my new chair. It's a little wider in the seat than the one which bucked me off, and I think I've got everything adjusted reasonably well.

I've been drowning in paperwork for the workers comp claim and the short term disability request. I mailed off a packet to the workers comp administrators today, and I also got confirmation that all the days of disability I had requested, have been approved, and my PTO bank has been restored to happy levels.

Middlest's doctor's appointment on Monday went well. The dosage level of both the migraine med and the ADD med have been tweaked upward, and my kid is in the throes of adjusting to that. The migraine med now provides about a five hour window wherein Middlest's ambient pain level drops from an 8 to a 3. (This is on the Middlest pain scale, wherein a 3 is probably somebody else's 8.)

I have spent most of my evenings this week in my room with the door slightly cracked open in case Middlest needs me, but mostly hiding and knitting. I need to wind two balls of the bright yellow laceweight yarn so I can resume banging out my Carbeth. I learned midway through the first ball that doubling the yarn on itself and doubling again did not guarantee that all four ends would finish at the same place. So for the next bit I will have two separate balls and pull strands from inside and outside on both, to make up the four strands I need to approximate the girth of two strands of DK held together. I love how the stitches look. I have about three inches of sweater body done.

Tuesday morning I had my quarterly blood work, and all of the numbers came back in acceptable ranges. This was the closest I've gotten to a proper score on my HDL, and my overall score was 149, so I have to concede that the Pravastatin is doing its job.

After that, I drove back to Dallas for my appointment with Social Security, and the cha-ching is a few dollars higher than the guesstimate they gave me when I made the appointment. I was able to set up withholding, so I won't have to remember to file quarterly estimates with Uncle Sam.

We (Middlest, Fourthborn, and I) had our every-four-months cleaning at Wonderful Dentist's, and none of us had any cavities, and we celebrated as usual at Cheesecake Factory.

Now for the less exciting news. When I was at the doctor's Tuesday morning, I let her know that the blood in the urine that made me think "kidney infection" in mid-December had returned, exactly eight weeks later. Apparently one of my ovaries has been playing Rip Van Winkle and decided to wake up, because I had a three day period last weekend. So next Saturday I am having another high-tech ultrasound, quelle joie. And maybe the cause will be non-scary and easy to fix. (That procedure I had four years ago was supposed to take care of things.)

In happier news, the tree dude is coming over tomorrow to go over the yard with me. I've taken a few "before" pictures and need to take more, because I think the "after" is going to be amazing, other than the fact that the need to repaint the exterior is going to be that much more obvious with the jungle cut down. Lawn Dude texted me today and asked me to let him know when he needs to start up again. I thanked him and told him I would.

It was a beautiful day today. Our paralegal and I took SemperFi to lunch for his birthday, which is Sunday. I had the best quesadilla I've eaten in years. We ate at the Owner's Box in the Omni Hotel (the one they built in that $4 parking lot I used to use when I was taking the train from Fort Worth but needed to drive in). The service is glacial, but the food is so good.

Tomorrow we pick up quilt blocks, and I have a small project in mind. If it works out, I'll blog about it. If it doesn't, you'll never know.