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!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Fencing match.

Sign, approximately crocheted onto the fence.

I posted the following on my ward's RS Facebook page: I have a somewhat whimsical ministering request. Could someone with half a dozen spare zip ties come down my alley and fasten somewhat more permanently the numbered sign which the city insists that I post on my back fence, and which I have temporarily crocheted to it? I'll bake you brownies. I'll also bring Blue Bell if you hang it so it's perfectly straight. Because I'm ever so slightly OCD. Please and thank you.

My friend Sandy to the rescue.

This is all the stuff that my lawn dudes removed from the back fence yesterday. It will go bye-bye on Tuesday. It's only about two feet high at the highest, but I didn't want to include any of my neighbors' license plates, so basically it looks like a large pile of Ent droppings.

First finished project. They are now enjoying a leisurely bath in the sink.

Second finished project.

What's next? Tune in tomorrow! I have an idea, but it remains to be seen if the yarn wants to play along.

Friday, June 29, 2018

A remarkably good workweek.

Given that I was out of the office for a day and a half. Two answers filed today, one case closed, and a good start made on the next trial notebook. A blessedly brief tactical meeting for a committee that I'm on.

Before bedtime last night, I finished the heel flap. Since then I've picked up stitches and am working the gusset decreases. There's an excellent chance that I can finish the second sock before bedtime. These socks will be fraternal twins. They are meant for TheKid and his girlfriend, who are having their second child, a boy. I don't think I've ever finished a pair of baby socks in eight days. The baby is arriving next Tuesday, and we didn't even know that they were expecting until two weeks ago.

Fortunately, baby socks are a small, portable project, unlike (say) beading the hem of a me-sized sweater.

In fashion news, I saw something interesting/strange on Pinterest in the past couple of days. Some bright soul has designed short half-slips with deep lace hems (maybe 8-12" from waist to hem), to go under tunics or shirts to visually lengthen them. I have some half-slips that I don't wear, that I could re-purpose to that end (har har), plenty of elastic for new waistbands, and at least one piece of suitable lace. Sewing might happen this weekend, or I might just sketch out some designs.

But for now, I need to get out of this chair and put my feet up and start knitting. There are podcasts stacking up like cordwood on my app. (I need to figure out how to delete them once I've listened.)

Later, gators.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Semi-social butterfly

Took a late lunch, because I had a one-month checkup with my surgeon, primarily to see if the progesterone was working and if I'd noticed any side effects. I told him about the interaction with my muscle relaxer, and that I haven't missed the latter since I stopped taking it, and there have been no further side effects. He okayed me to fill the Rx for the higher, maintenance dose that I will take the rest of my mortal life unless I decide to have them evict my uterus.

LittleBit hadn't been at her job when I stopped by before my appointment, so I texted her a hello and did my adulting. She had the day off, and we met afterward for pizza and conversation. I was a responsible diabetic and ordered a kid-size pizza. It filled me sufficiently, and now that I'm home I'm finishing the fresh fruit cup that I took to work and didn't have room for. The fruit is a little on the shabby chic side by now, but it hasn't fermented, and it tastes delicious.

A little more progress on the second baby sock. In a few minutes I'm heading for my room to finish the cuff and see how many more beads I can add to the hem of the sweater before my body says we're done and I should go to bed now.

Oh, and I bought a dozen rolls of deeply discounted washi tape to see if I like the washi tape manicure I saw on Pinterest, or if it will be my very own spectacular Pinterest fail. Either way, it's not happening tonight, because it's only 100F out there, and I am tired, and learning a new life skill is just not on the agenda this evening.

Be good, and remember Whose you are.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

We played at the dentist's today.

No X-rays, just cleanings x3, so my pocketbook is getting off easy this time. We really, really like the new hygienist. The one we had really, really tried to like decided to retire, and the new one is about this [ ] far from being able to walk on water as far as the three of us are concerned.

Knit happened. I'm a little over halfway done with the cuff of the second baby sock, but as soon as I log off here, I'm heading to my bed to add more beads to the hem of the sweater. I had almost reached the midpoint of the back when I had to stop so we could be on time for the oil change that Firstborn booked last Friday.

About that. When we got to the dealership, a gentleman took the key and directed us to the waiting area. Five minutes later, he returned to say that they were really backed up, and the oil change that we had an appointment for would not happen for two and a half to three hours. I said, "Even though we booked an appointment?" He was genuinely apologetic. I explained that this would not work for us, because we had dental appointments beginning at 2:00 and lasting the rest of the afternoon. He had the car brought around. Middlest and I picked up Fourthborn for the grocery shopping that we had planned to do after the dentist and the traditional trashing of our teeth via cheesecake. Middlest and Fourthborn tackled Fourthborn's shopping list.

I walked next door to Hobby Lobby and fell in love with a white shadowbox, about five inches deep, maybe two feet wide and a foot tall. I'm not sure if it is going up on what I call the Jesus Wall, right inside the front door and bearing scriptures and portraits of the Savior, or on the dining room wall above the piano. The shadowbox was 50% off, and I got to the car very shortly after the kids got there with the shopping cart.

We got Fourthborn's food to her apartment and ourselves to our dentist with several minutes to spare.

Later, gators. The yarn is calling.

Monday, June 25, 2018

The dead people are relentless.

My tree now has over 4,000 people. I think I've added about 200 of them in the last ten days.

Great time at dinner with my friend L. and her sister, also an L. At La Madeleine. That's a lot of L's.

Got a bit of knitting done at stoplights on the way to work, and at lunch, and while waiting for my friends to show up at the restaurant. I don't think I can manage a podcast tonight. (I am burping tomato basil soup, and we have a long day tomorrow, so it's time for some buttermilk and my meds and a chapter in my scriptures.

Night, y'all!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

And another sock bites the dust!

All that remains for this one, is to weave in the ends. Its fraternal twin is cast on and waiting for tomorrow.

To my delight, I learned this morning that Linda, who has been a friend for nearly 20 years, and whom we visited in Iowa on the way home from Tennessee year before last, is in the area this week. We're having dinner tomorrow night, and I might get to meet her sister.

I'm really enjoying the podcasts. I'm mixing them with General Conference addresses, my Book of Mormon, and various Pandora stations. Tonight I learned about a young progressive Democrat who is battling the party machine as well as the Republican candidate for a Congressional district in upstate New York. It was fascinating. While I don't share much of his beliefs, I agree that both major political parties are broken. I wish him well.

No progress on beading the hem of the cardigan today. Wonderful nap after church, however, and amusing dreams. Great conversations with Middlest before and after my nap. I'm calling this day a win.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

And the beads go on...

Kinda like Ravel's "Bolero" but with bling instead of measures.

I've worked the right lower edge, around the side, and about halfway to the midpoint of the back. In other knitting news, I'm ready to work the heel flap on the new baby sock.

I was at the mechanic's as soon as they opened, and the car is safety-inspected. I also picked up dairy items and fresh fruit and was home by 9:00am, before the great outdoors heated up. After which, I promptly took a five hour nap.

Just remembered that I haven't refrigerated the breakfast casserole. Time to divide and conquer! Night, y'all.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Car progress, knitting, and quality time with 60% of my kids.

Middlest in the morning for the monthly doctor visit, then two round trips to the pharmacy in a neighboring town, because we have all of those Rx's on auto-refill, and we forgot to inform the pharmacy that Middlest is no longer taking one of them.  Second trip was for a refund.

Tanked the car and drove to Firstborn's, where she and Fourthborn were working on quilt blocks. (Unlike me.) Between Middlest's appointment and hanging out with my other two, I got half a cuff done on yet another baby sock.

We watched "Coco." What a great movie!

Emptied the Tardis so my kids can sell her for me. Cancelled her Tolltag. Knitted some more. It took half again as much time as it usually requires to get home. I am happy and tired. I want dinner, podcasts, and knitting. But maybe I will just make an early night of it, after dinner.

Tomorrow I'm getting the car safety inspected, and then Firstborn will renew the tags. I forgot to give them the key for the Leer cab in the back.

I used the backup camera to ease the new car up the driveway without driving over the landscaping timbers like I did (more than once) in the Tardis. It took me two tries to do it, but I suspect that eventually it will become second nature.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Beads me.

It's a lot deeper in real life. And the big beads are sparkly as all get-out

But both sleeves are now beaded, and they are almost exactly the same circumference, and I am done for the night. Next step is to bead the hem. No earthly idea how long that will take, or how many podcasts I will get through.

Life is good.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

... followed by a really rough night.

I went to bed earlier than usual last night, then tossed and turned for two hours, finally getting up around half past midnight. I spent the next couple of hours trying all the standard tricks: hot milk, lavender oil, lotion on my feet, white noise machine.

Somehow I forgot to set my alarm for this morning. I awoke(ish) to a room that was too light. Quarter to seven. Threw breakfast together, and when I was putting my dishes into the sink, Middlest came out and helped me gather things for my lunch bag.

Made it to work with two minutes to spare. Survived endured the monthly support staff meeting with a modicum of grace and was enabled by additional grace to remain focused and on task for the rest of the day. I did not ~ quite ~ need to break out the last dab of Cherry Coke leftover from that day I sleepwalked through before I stopped taking my muscle relaxer. I blasted zydeco all the way home, just to be safe.

So: dinner is down the hatch, and I've bound off the hem of the sweater while listening to two podcasts. I am (vaguely) trying to puzzle out how to stay awake for another hour and a half so I can take my evening meds on time and crash. I think I might make it another half hour. Feeling very much a mombie at the moment.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

This was a really good day.

I got a lot accomplished at work, ate sensibly, and finished weaving in the ends on the baby socks. Picked up Fourthborn, enjoyed a healthy meal at IKEA with my Knit Night friends, and delivered my kid to her apartment without a scintilla of the drama that made last Tuesday so memorable.

I did not knit, however, because I'd left my size 10 needles at home, and I need them to bind off the hem of the sweater.

As soon as this load of wash is done, it goes into the dryer and I fall into bed.

Mailed off letters to my senators and congressman today. Was pleased to see that Snopes debunked the various Republican spins on how long this "policy" of separating children from their parents at the border has been around.

If it hasn't already been done, somebody needs to revive the Nixon-era bumper sticker: Jail to the Chief.

Monday, June 18, 2018

New hymnal and children's songbook are coming!

And the church solicited input from the members as to favorites, what to omit next time, what we'd like to add in. I commented that I hope that Sister Gladys Knight is on one of the committees. The music will be standardized in every language, which will be great.

I linked a bunch of records tonight. Have yet to solve the mystery of the cousin who married hubby A one month and hubby B a month later. I got those dates from a transcription of that family's Bible.

I'm nearly done with the second baby sock. I didn't touch the sweater today. This is the part where I go do something about both.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Checking in.

I just spent a happy couple of hours linking records to one of my 6th great uncles. The prize was finding a transcription of his family Bible. Lots of names and dates, half a dozen more people on my tree, and more records to link. I was able to confirm the spelling of his first wife's last name, and I have names and spouses for their three children.

In knitting news, I've done nothing on the sweater today. (That is about to change.) While at church, I turned the heel on the second baby sock. Mid-afternoon, I took a five and a half hour nap, which means that I will be up for awhile.

I've told the ancestors "see ya later" and am going to set up my bed for a spate of beading. When I get tired of that, I'll work on the sock. I'll listen to my scriptures first, then pick out a podcast or two.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Quick update before crashing.

Lovely, quietly productive day. I think I've reached the hem on the sweater. Right now it hits about level with my sacral dimples, and I think the beading will stretch it downward a bit without making it so long that I'd sit on the hem. Which, with beads, would be distinctly uncomfortable.

I squinched the stitches away from the tips of the needles and tried it on, which is why I was able to guesstimate the length in back. Then I squinched the stitches differently so that I could see how it hangs in the front. There were maybe two yards left on the ball, and I'm now regretting slightly that I broke off the extra in order to not trip over it while trying on the sweater.

If my grammar makes no more sense to you than it does to me, it's because I'm typing a little after midnight on Sunday morning, and Middlest is eating chips and hummus, which is slightly less distracting than when my kid cracks jokes, because I said, "I love you and please don't talk to me, because I'm writing."

There will be no more knitting tonight right now, as I managed to get through the day without taking a nap. And I am blessedly and understandably sleepy.

Had a good long discussion about the car with Firstborn. Paid down my credit card to less than $200 today and will talk to my credit union Tuesday or Wednesday, after it's had a chance to show up on my credit report. We need, in short order, to get the car safety inspected and the tags renewed, and then we can worry about the financing and the title transfer.

OK, y'all, I'm so done for now. Later, gators.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

I figured a few things out today.

While stopped at traffic lights, I learned where more things were located on the dashboard. After work, I was able to adjust the driver's seat more to my liking.

Our system was down at work for almost three hours. I was probably the happiest person there, because I had my knitting. I added at least two rows to the sweater before I realized that I could work on the beast of a series of notebooks for a trial that was originally set for March and is now scheduled for July.

Back in March, I printed off about six reams of documents and had made a good start at organizing some of them. This afternoon I grabbed two empty notebooks and started working on the index sheets that go in the front of each notebook. I filled one notebook and will fill the second one as soon as I have a break from ordinary activities. There is still a 9" or 10" stack of unsorted papers in the bottom of a file drawer. Quelle joie!

Right now I'm boiling some spinach and cheese ravioli that I bought last Saturday at Costco. There's a recipe on the bag for "lazy lasagna" that I might try with some of the rest of the ravioli. I haven't had lasagna in a very long time, and I love it. Maybe I'll get marginally ambitious this weekend.

The ravioli is nearly done, and I am ready to go offline and put my feet up. Hoping for another good night's sleep. Yesterday's massage worked wonders on the tension in my neck and shoulders. I'm still aching a little from a couple of trigger points he released, but my range of motion is about where I'd like it to be.

Night, y'all.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


Tardis update: estimated repairs are, at minimum, roughly half of her book value. at maximum. I have a lead on a replacement, and in the meantime I have a dependable ride while I do my due diligence.

After work I drove straight to Whole Foods for a half hour chair massage. I feel calm inside my mind and heart, and my body is almost as relaxed as it was before the Tardis went blooey. Heaven and Beloved are definitely watching over me. And I am so thankful.

Planning on an early night to make up for getting to bed after midnight this morning. Light dinner, light knitting, and hopefully out like a light shortly thereafter.

To be continued...

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


The AC in the Tardis has been a little weird lately, and I was going to get it looked at on Saturday. But tonight, as Fourthborn and I left Knit Night, there was a sound like a herd of panicky mice and the smell of burning rubber, and then nothing. So I turned the AC off. And by the time we reached the end of the parking lot, I knew I needed to head for Firstborn and 1BDH's. We limped along. The battery light came on. The temperature dial started edging toward uh-oh. The battery indicator started edging toward nope. When we were near our goal, there was a boom! and a puff of smoke to the right of the hood. We got as far as the parking lot of one of the hospitals. My power steering was gone. I did not hit the lady in the wheelchair when I ma'am-handled the Tardis into the parking lot. AAA has towed the her (the Tardis, not the lady in the wheelchair) to my kids' mechanic. I'm driving a spare car. Home and safe and very glad that my kids love me. Apparently when the AC belt blew, it tried to tango with the serpentine belt, and that's when all you know what broke loose. It'll be all right in the end. If it's not all right, then it's not the end.

Monday, June 11, 2018

A satisfying speed bump.

We had lunch on Saturday with friends from Tennessee. The brother of Middlest's best friend, and said brother's best friend since college.

I'd worked a little on my great-great-grandfather's records before the Costco run and was just getting back to it while the pizza baked, when we got the text from our friends that "now" was best. So I shut down the computer, covered up our individual pizzas, and drove to a nearby city.

We ate at a place that best friend from my childbearing years had taken me to some time ago. It did not disappoint. I am not particularly fond of Thai food, and this was a notable exception. I had three small meals' worth of leftovers. (All gone now.)

While preparing to go back to work on my great-great grandfather's records, I was briefly distracted by this article. I quibble with its premise that we are simply great apes who do certain things better than other apes, and that's why we've endured. But I wholeheartedly agree with its conclusion that the interlocking webs of connection and relationship are a large part of what make us fully human.

I learned a lot about that great-great-grandfather. He fought for the Union, mustered in in September, when his youngest was three months old, and died of typhoid fever in Tennessee, leaving my great-great-grandmother with a young daughter (my great-grandmother) and a baby.

I've gotten a number of other records connected to other relatives, and I feel pretty good about what I accomplished over the weekend. I linked a few more records at breakfast this morning, and I probably ought to do some more, but sorry, dear ones, I'd rather knit. Before I let myself do that, I will bring in the laundry that I washed at 1:00am and start another load to hang in the garage overnight.

Why was I doing laundry at 1:00am, you ask? Well, I took a little nap around 5:00 yesterday afternoon and woke up at 12:30, ravenous and 2.5 hours past when I should have taken my meds. I got that all wrangled and was ready to work by 1:00. Hey, I kept the Sabbath, and I was so tired on Saturday that I forgot to do some urgent laundry. And then I knitted a lot and listened to my scriptures and other edifying things until I was sleepy again, around 3:00.

It was a good day at work. Took care of the urgent stuff for my people and got through (almost) everybody's mail, including the attorney I back up, and I know what needs doing today.

Duty calls. I figure that I've got about fifteen minutes of adulting, and then I can chill. The trash and recycling are already out on the curb. Go me!

Friday, June 08, 2018

Today? Intense, busy, and verging on wonderful.

I added four rows to the body of the sweater. Filed an answer that was due next Monday. Wrangled ToDo's and mail folders and outgoing. Came home by way of the dairy store for milk, buttermilk, and orange juice. Declared adulting to be officially over and watched two episodes of "Random Acts."

I'm hoping to have tomorrow's adulting done by 11:00am, before the heat is brutal and I melt. That way I can spend the rest of the day alternating between knitting and playing with the ancestors. I remember three years ago when I had something like four hundred hints and felt overwhelmed at the thought. Now I have over 15,000 hints, and it's like trying to figure out how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Why angels would want to dance on a pinhead when there are plenty of good ballroom floors available in this world, has never made sense to me.

For a little while this afternoon I was typing like the wind. It was as if twenty years had fallen off my hands. I broke up that task into smaller segments, and I stretched in between or scratched my traps with my back scratcher to fend off the tension that was starting to build. I've been thinking about taking the smaller dumbbells to work. In a few minutes, I'm going to experiment with the greater and lesser dumbbells and the stability ball, to see if I can do some lightly weighted stretches to open up my chest. And then I'm going to brush my teeth and go to bed and sleep until I've had enough.

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Tuesday was a beating.

Stayed up too late Monday night, then didn't sleep well. First task once I was at work was to polish off the last third of the Cherry Coke that had been waiting patiently in a filing cabinet drawer. Once I'd finished, I went down to the deli and bought another bottle.

I was hoping for an early night after Knit Night, but Fourthborn had a larger than usual shopping list, and I sat in the car for the better part of half an hour with the windows down, playing Sudoku on my phone and scanning the area for malfeasors. Took her home, hit the drive-thru at Bueno for a party taco because it was well after 9:00 and dinner had worn off. I didn't want a big meal, just enough protein, fat and carbs to get me home in safety so I could take my meds and go to bed.

I was almost asleep when the weather radio went off. And it went off again within half an hour. Plus, Middlest was comforting some online friends who were grieving, and even though my kid was speaking as quietly as possible, it was still filtering through the vent into my room. So I fired up the white noise machine on "rain" setting, massaged some lavender oil into my forehead, and hoped that the white noise wouldn't make me have to get up and pee. I ended up getting something like four hours of sleep.

Last night I came home, ate a light dinner, and was in bed a little after 9:00. I was so tired that I forgot to set the alarm, but Middlest woke me this morning, and I've had a great day. Linked a few more records while dinner cooked, then added three rows to the sweater body and eight beads to the second cuff.

While knitting, I listened to the youth fireside put on by President and Sister Nelson on Sunday night. It was well worth my time. I also listened to today's portion of the Book of Mormon (Abinadi's last hurrah).

I've cleared the knitting away. Part of tomorrow's lunch is pre-packed. And I'm going to take my meds and go to bed. I'm planning a simple weekend. Adulting, knitting, reading, family history research, and self-care. Not necessarily in that order.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Linked more records tonight.

I'm still frustrated at not being able to find my great-grandparents' marriage in Germany in 1854. I looked at my great-uncle's date of birth and worked out that she was about five months pregnant when they arrived here. That is one voyage I would not have wanted to make. But I'm glad that she did.

My poor little beak is so sore. I'm not sure what is blooming right now. The trees seem to be done. But the pollen count is high, and I rotated my antihistamine on Friday, and I'm not sure that it's working. I checked. It's grasses. 23ppm. No trees, and too early for ragweed, thank goodness. It's supposed to get worse as the week goes on. This is one of those days when my resurrected body cannot show up a moment too soon.

I've picked up the stitches at the bottom of my sweater. Spent so much time linking records that I  have zero interest in adding beads to the cuff of the second sleeve. I think I will just mosey into my room, listen to my scriptures on my phone, and work a couple of rows on the body. I'd like to be asleep as close to 10:00 as I can manage, since the dead people kept me up late last night, and I have Knit Night tomorrow.

Friday was my 19th anniversary with the company. Boggles. The. Mind.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Kept it simple today.

1. Followed through on my assignment to help clean the meetinghouse.

2. Picked up all four quilt blocks, because Firstborn was out of town and they hadn't sewn the May blocks, Middlest had a migraine, etc.

3. Figured out how to decline the money that Firstborn had sent via FB Messenger to reimburse me for her block and Fourthborn's. There have been sufficient belatedly-revealed debacles that I don't trust FB with my card numbers or a link to my PayPal.

4. Picked up three cases of water and had a minor brainfart, wherein I looked at the DP flavors and thought "they don't have the one that Middlest uses as part of the migraine regimen," forgetting that it is not DP but Mountain Dew. So I bought a pint of ice cream for my kid, with the promise to go out after the sun went down and acquire the Mountain Dew.

5. Ate sensibly. All day. I know, right?

6. Went out and got the Mountain Dew.

7. Saw the text from my bishop once I got home, asking kindly about the lack of an email with tomorrow's sacrament meeting music. Gack!!! Repented. Checked my email archives (since my spreadsheet is on my other computer, which is still at Secondborn's house) and eliminated a couple of choices. Sent the email.

8. Five rounds left on the second sleeve. Hoping to get one or both of them bound off, incorporating beads, before calling it a day.

Friday, June 01, 2018

Best workday in weeks. Maybe months.

I was well and truly blessed. And focused. And productive. And non-drowsy. At one point, I could feel my neck and shoulders starting to tense up, so I stopped what I was doing and spent a couple of minutes stretching out.

There are twenty-four more rounds to knit on the second sleeve, and then we get to see if the two sleeves are the same length.

I spent the best two and a half hours tonight, watching "Be One" on my phone and weeping for joy. Forty years ago today, I was (hugely) pregnant with Firstborn and working as a temp. One of the other secretaries burst into the room where I was working and announced, with eyes big as saucers, "The prophet has just had a revelation!" I remarked mildly that that was his job. Did she have any details?

Forty years ago today the priesthood was extended to all worthy brethren, regardless of race. Which meant that blacks of African descent could now serve missions, receive the ordinances of the temple, and be sealed in forever families. Their children could be born in the covenant, as mine were, and as Beloved's were. I was thrilled. (If any of my friends were not, I never knew.) The children's father was equally ecstatic.

I love President Nelson's teaching that racism, sexism, and other isms are not appropriate for members of the church. That we need to be building bridges and not walls. (I hope that was heard in Washington DC.) That we are all beloved children of the same Father, and that we need to follow the Savior and love God first, and then our neighbors.

Night, y'all. Play nice.