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!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

On vacation, part two.

So: Sunday. My dear blog friend, Tola, and her husband picked me up for church. GPS got them thoroughly lost, but my brother in law beamed them in (they weren't far). It was lovely to attend their ward, meet their friends, and sing with them. Tola's voice and mine play nicely together. We even broke on the same note!

After church they took me to see their home, which is charming and nearly 100 years old. I got to meet the cats, one of whom claimed me as his. And I learned how to pronounce two of their names, which are Gaelic and were previously indecipherable to the German one-fourth of my DNA.

Tola got me home well in time for family dinner with my niece and nephew. Grilled salmon, potato salad, and corn on the cob. I flaked out around 8pm and slept for nearly twelve hours.

Yesterday I mostly sat on the couch and read or knitted while rehydrating. I'm using a short glass for my water, which gets me up and moving pretty frequently for refills. I did take a short nap in the afternoon. I didn't want to. I just wanted to be in proximity to my beloved sister, knitting companionably.

The shawlette I've designed continues to please me. I will probably finish it today or tomorrow. And then ~ oh dear ~ we shall have to take a field trip to that fabulous yarn store we visited three years ago.

On vacation, part one.

The adventures began on Friday afternoon, when I got to the airport with oodles of time to spare. Drove around and around the long term parking and was about to exit for the short term when I spotted a couple coming out into the garage proper.

"Are you leaving?"

"Yes, I am," she said (he was splitting off in another direction), "and I'm right over there on the end."

She backed out. I headed in. Made it through security and upstairs toward the gates. Dashed into the loo, got turned around, and accidentally exited the secured part of the airport. Went through security again. Got a snack at a kiosk. Cooled my heels until boarding time.

Discovered that business preferred on Southwest is not all that different from flying coach, except that I got to board earlier. Made my way to the back, for its proximity to the loo.

First leg was to Sacramento. Massive turbulence just east of Sacto, presumably because of the fires. At one point my seat dropped beneath me and my (closed) snack flew down by my neighbor's feet. I thought I was on the Runaway Mine Train at Six Flags over Texas!

Wasn't scary, just startling. Flight from Sacto to Portland was uneventful. Found the car rental booth, which was outside of the terminal and insufficiently air conditioned. Stood behind a lovely family from the UK as they arranged for 15 days with their car.

When it was my turn, I was tired, hungry, sweaty, and decision-fatigued. I opted for the additional insurance, because I couldn't remember if my auto policy covered me in a rental (it does; I called my agent the next morning), which put me significantly overlimit on my credit card.

Shuttle bus driver was utterly delightful. I was his only passenger, and we had a great conversation about classical music.

Once in the car, I started googling motels. That's when I discovered that an modest but decent room that would cost me $60-85 elsewhere was going to cost $165-225, assuming one was available. I almost cried. Finally I remembered that my cousin lived just across the river, so I chucked my pride and called.

Their guest room was occupied, but they had a blow up bed, and I was more than welcome. Cousin Norm brought out the wok and heated up their leftover Chinese food, which I inhaled gratefully. Then I watched an episode and a half of "Shetland" and tried to wind down enough to sleep.

The bed was very comfortable. Getting out of it was not! After a lovely breakfast and a few more hugs, I drove down to meet Wanda, who has been a blog friend since 2006. I am bringing home a wee rosewood drop spindle for Blessing. Wanda fed me lunch. It's always great when you meet someone you've known from online, and they're even better in person!

From there I drove back up to Portland to meet my cousin Jeff (from my German line) at IKEA. He is a hoot and very much a kindred spirit. He and his wife used to sing professionally. I would love to get them together with my kids and sing sing sing.

He went with me to the rental drop off and was prepared to help me do battle if they gave me any guff about turning the car in early, which they did not. He then took me to the Amtrak station, and my sister and brother in law picked me up in Tacoma.

That was Friday and Saturday. Next time I'll tell you about Sunday and today.

Knit has happened. I may have a finished object for you in the next day or so. I'm also reading Malcolm Gladwell. I'm feeling almost caught up on sleep and hydration.

Monday, July 16, 2018

I didn't. But I nearly did.

I spent a good chunk of Saturday covering small stains and splotches on my vintage cotton skirt with beads and Ultrasuede appliques. Technically I have everything properly camouflaged, but it doesn't quite look or feel done.

I am also nearly done with the cowl. As soon as the current load of laundry goes into the dryer, I'm heading to my room to maybe finish it off. There's less than a fistful of yarn left. (I am suddenly hearing the soundtrack of a spaghetti western. Effigy at no extra charge.)

Work went reasonably well today. I wrangled 1.5 attorneys for the first half of the day and 3.0 attorneys in the afternoon. Everything important got done. The rest will be there when I go back to work in the morning. I'm strangely OK with that. Or maybe just OKly strange.

Hoping for a good night's sleep tonight, because I have lots to accomplish tomorrow, and I want to go to Knit Night afterward.

Later, gators.

Friday, July 13, 2018

I might have a finished object for you tomorrow.

The cowl is galloping along. I will be a little sad when it's done, because that yarn is soft and squishy without losing an iota of structural integrity.

I daydreamed on the drive home about taking a 20 year old skirt that still has plenty of life in it, but needs a bit of refurbishing, and the 25 year old filet crochet lace edging that I made for Firstborn (which she politely declined as being lovely but not really her taste) and seeing if they wanted to play together. After dinner I went to where the lace has been living for the past six years, and it's not there. I think I put it in a "safe place" when I grabbed the copper mug it had been coiled up into so that I could use it (the mug) for something else.

Middlest says the fastest way to find the missing lace is to purposefully launch a mission to find something else. Which won't be hard, because our house is a repository of projects-in-gestation, and if I just pick up enough things that are Not It, the lace will jump out and holler "BOO!" And when it does, I am going to tea-dye it. Maybe. Probably. I bought a box of the darkest, most sinister black tea when I picked up our bottled water on the way home tonight, and I've stowed it in a kitchen cupboard, but I think I will move it to my studio before bedtime after slapping a hot pink sticky note on it that says "for crafting, not for consumption, so no, I haven't gone apostate on you." [In case you're just tuning in, devout Latter-day Saints don't drink tea, unless it's herbal tea. It's part of our health code known as the Word of Wisdom.]

I think it's going to be a lovely, quiet weekend. Tomorrow is Middlest's 35th birthday and it would have been my 45th anniversary with FirstHubby. I'm incredibly tired from a week of slaving over a hot keyboard, and I need to make things in order to restore some degree of balance.

Later, gators. The yarn is calling.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

I loathe trial notebooks.

The past few days have been spent working (or trying to work) on a set of them for one of SemperFi's cases. I worked two hours of overtime last night and came in early this morning to finish the job, because we were #2 in that court. If I'd blown off the trial notebooks, the first case would have settled out of court (because that's how the legal system seems to work) and SemperFi would be sitting on the front line with no ammo.

Thankfully, the #1 case went to trial, and we are prepared to go later this week or should we be reset 90-120 days out. And I do not have to spend the rest of this week working on a new batch for a case that was set for next Monday, because the agreed motion for continuance was granted. Which gives me six working days to whip the notebooks into shape for the case that was set in March, that is definitely going to trial while I am on vacation. I've been working on those notebooks in spare moments since March. The notebooks I just finished consumed over four reams of paper. This other case is at least half again as big. Oye to the veh.

In knitting news, I'm now two-thirds done on the cowl in my German yarn. Pictures maybe tomorrow.

And I'm hammering out more details for my upcoming vacation.

Had my periodic one-by-one with the office manager and feel very good about it. There are a few things I need to work on, but she has the gift of truly constructive criticism.

Drove home in a torrential downpour, and the other drivers were being uncharacteristically polite and mindful of one another. It was lovely to observe.

On that happy note, I'll say goodnight. I left work at 3:30 today because I'd gotten there so early, and I've already had a two hour nap since coming home. I'm ready to sleep again, and I hope that my dreams are as interesting and peaceful as the earlier ones. There was a lot of Alabama Chanin style creativity going on in those...

Saturday, July 07, 2018

My feelings looked like that on Monday morning.

Three very fresh chocolate chunk cookies from the deli in our building, and a pint of milk.

Why, you ask? This may take awhile. SemperFi was (and still is) in trial prep mode. He discovered on Monday, when he was working remotely, that an expert's videotaped deposition had not been uploaded to our electronic file. He needed that depo so it could be edited for use as evidence. He asked me to call the number on the bottom of the invoice and find out if we'd actually received the DVD. Shortly after we hung up, I heard our paralegal discussing the same depo with him. I walked around to her cubicle after she hung up and asked if he'd asked her to work on that video. We decided that he'd asked both of us to do the very same thing, and I got irritated and blew off his request, thinking that she was handling it.

He called me a little later to find out what I'd learned. I told him that C. and I had discussed it, and that she was working on it, and I was working on something else. He got testy and informed me that C. was working on something else related to the DVD, and he repeated his instructions. I told him, "I'm trying to work on your damn trial notebooks." I could hear quiet gasps from all three neighboring cubicles, because that's not my modus operandi at work.

I got off the phone, told C. I was going downstairs to get some cookies and milk, and then I would make the phone call. Called the company. He was pretty sure that it had been sent, and he would check with both of his staffers and get back to me. Meanwhile, I looked to see who had uploaded the invoice to our file, and I emailed her to ask if we'd gotten the DVD. When she got out of her meeting with the office manager, she wrote back to say that it was in our IT person's cubby, waiting to be uploaded, because there are only two people on our staff who are authorized to do so, the IT was out on vacation, and her backup was out for other reasons.

I emailed SemperFi, told him that we did in fact have the DVD and why it wasn't uploaded to the file, and that I would put it on his desk. Then I called the videographer and let him know the DVD had been found.

It took me all day to (mostly) calm down from my outburst. The older I get, the longer it takes to recover emotionally and physically. I was still deeply weary when I got home, and Middlest could feel my crabby, jangly energy as soon as I walked in the door. I ate some leftovers, washed a load of delicates and hung them to dry in the garage, and spent the rest of the evening in my room, listening to podcasts and knitting.

On Tuesday, SemperFi needed me to try to fix a minor technical issue with Word on his laptop. I wasn't able to, but one of the paralegals was. I apologized for swearing at him. He said, "I don't remember you swearing at me." "When I told you I was trying to work on your damn notebooks." (Said with calm, rueful tone.) "Oh, that." He laughed.

He left at midday for an afternoon appointment, and I got some work done. After he left, the managing attorney came by my desk and asked, very quietly, if SemperFi was OK. I murmured to her that he was in trial mode, and that I'd sworn at him the day before. Told her what I'd said. She blinked, then laughed out loud and high-fived me.

I still haven't finished the damn notebooks, but I'm mostly done, and there's a huge trial set ahead of us, so even if that one settles over the weekend, I still have Monday to finish. And then I get to do another set for a different trial, and finish the ones I've been working on, off and on, since an earlier setting in March, in a third case.

I foresee a lot of cookie abuse before I go on vacation later this month.

Sunday, July 01, 2018


You may recall that I've stated that the great outdoors either wants to eat me or make me sneeze. Last night was no exception. I went out at dusk to take the second photograph of the new sign. I wanted to get it over with, so I put on shoes but no socks. Then I came back inside and put my jeans on my bed. Resulting in this.

And this.

I've developed a bad habit of throwing clean laundry onto a corner of my bed. And throwing once-worn but still wearable clothing near that. It took me over an hour, with frequent breaks, to get everything off my bed so I could change the sheets.

Middlest very kindly painted my bites with nail polish to smother the little bozos. It helped somewhat. I posted this on Facebook:

The wonderful thing about chiggers?
A chigger's no wonderful thing.
I'm itching and scratching and itching
Momentarily, life's lost its zing.

Which inspired a number of comments regarding how to get some relief. Nail polish (check). Bath with bleach in it, for 10 minutes. (Middlest said no bleaching the lady bits. I concurred. My lady bits have had quite enough trauma over the last six months without my adding chemical burn to the list.) Chiggerex Benzocaine Ointment (it's the Sabbath). Skin So Soft (ditto, though I know a great Avon lady). Looks like I will be making a run to Wally World on my way to work tomorrow. And washing or re-washing approximately eight loads of laundry over the next several days.

In the meantime, I am cooking up some Trader Joe mini ravioli, because my stomach wants ice cream and I didn't buy any yesterday, so pasta with red sauce will have to do.