better late than never

Life has been ridiculous lately, seriously. I feel like some things are moving a million miles an hour while others are stuck on the back of a sloth moving through a lake of cold molasses. For reals, it’s all or nothing right now. But it’s not all bad.

The Fourth of July sucked. Pippy absolutely HATES fireworks. The entire time it was legal to be blowing up the world around here she was a furry little wreck. Lancelot and I went and had dinner with Mom and R that night and ended up just taking her with us. There was no way I was leaving her home alone with just the cats. And yes, I was stopped at a long traffic light when I took this picture.

I finished, and blocked, the Zaffre shawl. (Garth taking a bath for scale) I was sweating bullets when I was finishing this; there’s maybe 24″ of yarn left. I shit you not. Anyway, super satisfying knit and I love the way the colors pooled. This is a pattern I would consider knitting again with a very different yarn.

Speaking of Garth, he’s an opportunistic little fuck. This is the second time he’s jumped on my desk and stolen my food, while I was eating it. Yesterday he licked every single one of my spicy pretzels before eating two of them. He is a consummate asshole.

I’m still working on the blanket for Mom. It has become the “I’m too tired to think about a pattern but I want to do something” project. I’m nearing the end of the second skein of yarn so I’m making reasonable progress. I am going to try to work on something else soon, I just can’t decide what. I’m trying to tell myself that I need to finish all of the other projects I have started before I start something else.

Anyone care to take bets on whether that actually happens?

oh so very done

I just want a nice, round kitty bed to curl up in like Eric does every day. Because I’m done. Are you sure it’s not Friday yet?

Friday is extra special this week because it’s an official holiday so I don’t have to work, and that means extra time with Lancelot AND some time with Mom. She and I are going to get manicures. Lest you think I’m an idiot, we wear masks as do all of the staff at the salon and they’re doing extra cleaning. It’s one of the few outings I’m going on. We’re even starting to get at least some of our groceries online and then pick them up curbside at the store. It’s an interesting paradigm shift.

This is the current state of the shawl. You can sort of barely see where the center point will be, barely. But I’m excited with my progress and with the way the colors are pooling.

That is the stack of eight washcloths I finished earlier this week. That was this week, right? Anyway, that’s them and the color in this pic is pretty accurate even though the light in that room right now is pretty crap.

And that is the current progress on the blanket for Mom. I’m liking this because it’s so easy to pick up and put down when necessary. I still think it’s going to take a while, but it’s coming.

Also, those are my feet and this is my favorite pair of sandals. I believe they were made by Skechers, many years ago.

And this is finally, well and truly, my totally natural hair color. I had my amazing stylist cut it a little extra short last night to get rid of the last bits of the blonde in front. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it, but Lancelot told me this morning that I’m beautiful, and not that I need his approval but I think maybe I’ll stick with it like this.

weekend update

Cool kids wear masks in public. We each have several with different designs so I can make sure we always have clean masks to wear. We went out and ran some errands on Friday night so that we didn’t have as much to do on Saturday. I was shocked and dismayed at just how few people were actually wearing masks and practicing social distancing. We looked good.

So the errands we ran were to a toy store, that was for Lancelot. He’s been looking for this specific building toy thing. We haven’t found it yet but he’s found other nifty bits. After that we went to World Market, specifically for Torani Sugar Free Chocolate Syrup. This is the kind of stuff coffee shops use to flavor beverages. Let me tell you, that syrup in carbonated water (Soda Stream!) and just a little cream, YUMMO!

On Saturday we did the grocery store, went to a veggie stand, and then I embarrassed the hell out of myself at the gas station. It had been so long since I had to put gas in the car that I honestly forgot which side my gas tank is on. Moving on…

This is at least double, maybe triple, the size now. I’m making an afghan for my mom out of yarn that she found. It’s a very basic shell pattern and the yarn is Red Heart. Not my typical project but I have to say it’s fairly relaxing. I have something like SIX projects I’m working on right now and that is not relaxing. I’m more than halfway done seaming the washcloths so that should be done today and I’m on the decrease side of the Koi shawl, so that’s good. I need to finish some things.

Pippy was being very ferocious with Lancelot yesterday afternoon.

By evening she was very calm and laid down to snuggle on the footrest with Eric, and my feet.

And that bring us to today, Monday. Last night I ordered my makeup for the wedding. I’ve never really been one to wear much makeup but I think it could be fun. So I had a friend who is a genius with the stuff give me recommendations. And then this morning I decided I’d see what I could do with what I already had at the house.

There’s very little natural light today, but Lancelot gave me his approval.

well this has been quite the day

This was from yesterday but it’s a nice visual representation of how I feel – like there’s something looking over my shoulder / standing on my back / looking to keep me down. It was actually just Eric being lovey and headbutting me in the back of the head. But you get the idea.

So apparently I have a few numbers that are too high on my last blood test. The one number has been steadily increasing over the last year so I’ll be going to see a hematologist sometime reasonably soon. Not excited. It’s not that I mind seeing another doctor but sick people go to doctors and right now I do NOT want to be around sick people.

I also get to go have another blood draw in two weeks to address the other numbers. Again, not that I really mind but my veins don’t always cooperate so needles aren’t always my friend. I’ll deal.

I did manage to make myself appear competent this morning, just long enough to give a presentation.

I seldom dress up anymore and I decided that’s a shame. I have a closet full of adorable clothes that are getting no love right now. So I got out a cute shirt, put on jewelry and makeup, and then a pair of jeans for the bottom half. No one sees my ass anymore except Lancelot. Now that the presentation is over and I’m back to being a hermit I’m back in a t-shirt and I look like a 12 year old boy. It’s all good.

Garth stole my last few bites of granola bar this morning and proceeded to make a huge mess on my desk. He’s an odd little cat, he actually did eat some of it. Bastard licked all of it so I wasn’t about to finish it.

nothing like the smell of progress

I do love it when a plan comes together, don’tĀ  you?

My office is essentially done. Finally. The only thing I need now is a better chair. And yes, that’s Eric the Red snoozing in his bed. I quite often have him and Pippy in here napping while I work. I’d like to think that’s because they enjoy my company but they could just as easily be taunting me with the fact that they get to sleep while I must toil away.

Lancelot helped me bring all of my files from the desk in the basement up here this morning. I’m sure there’s still stuff down there that should be moved, but this got a good chunk of it. Given what I struggle with in the “scrambled brains” department it’s essential that I have a system to stay organized.

We’re finally at a point where the things we have left to do are pretty much purely cosmetic. I’ve got some new artsy things to put on the walls and a few pictures to frame, but really everything that’s left is little. And that’s good. Because…

Now it’s time to get back to better meal planning and concentrating on my health. L got the treadmill cleared off and setup for me and I found my Fitbit this morning and put it on the charger. I’m seriously hoping that I can get myself on some sort of routine that involves better health.

I was pretty seriously concerned about weight gain when the plague started. I figured there was a very real possibility that I would end up weighing 600lbs. So I started weighing myself, nothing more and nothing less. I wasn’t trying to lose any weight, I just didn’t want to gain any. As of the last time I checked I had gained a total of 2lbs since March 23rd. I think that’s pretty fucking fabulous.

If any of y’all have any good (easy?) recipes to share, maybe slow cooker or pressure cooker, I would love to hear about them.

so much going on right now

Ok, first things first.

That is the shawl as of this morning. I managed to get some sunlight so the colors in this pic aren’t too far off true. I haven’t been working on it too much lately only because lately has been weird.

Yesterday I was knitting a wash cloth, and if you’re thinking that floor looks like generic waiting room tile you would be right. I had my six month mammogram yesterday. Why six month you ask? Well, back in 2017 I had a whole fuck load of medical issues including having my first mammogram coming back sketchy. I had another mammogram, an ultrasound, and then a needle biopsy. They found some tissue that was questionable so I started seeing an oncologist, super nice old guy, and having my girls checked twice a year. As of yesterday’s appointment I have been officially informed that the Great Cans Cancer Scare of ’17 was truly JUST a scare. So yay.

I had the blinds in the one living room window open last night because I was watching for the UPS truck (that still hasn’t fucking come, even though we are on day three of my fucking file cabinet allegedly being delivered) and Garth got all excited. There were bugs outside and he was chasing them. He’s a nut.

Pippy didn’t want to leave my side. She’s a very snuggly puppy. And she’s very perceptive. If I’m upset about anything she comes and sits right next to me, even if Lancelot is in the room and he’s her favorite.

Speaking of Lancelot…

That’s me, Mom, R, and Lancelot at Mom’s wedding. I thought the boys looked quite spiffy and Mom was stunning in her blue dress. I didn’t look too bad either I guess.

and still I’ve got nothing to show you

So I guess that’s not entirely true, I just have no knitting to show you. I’ve been knitting, I just don’t seem capable of remembering to take a picture of what I’ve accomplished. Not that I’ve been knitting on the shawl a ton, but I am making progress. But there are washcloths to knit, too.

Pippy would much rather I scratched her ears than knit, but she’ll put up with me being distracted. It’s kind of funny, the cats are interested in the yarn and she’s interested in the knitting needles.

I did want to show you where I spend my days now.

That’s the wall behind me. There is an interesting mix of things that had been in the basement, in my old bedroom, and at the office. The photos on the closet door are from all of my international trips. I’ve brought almost everything that had been in my office on campus back home. I figure I spend most of my time in here now I might as well have it setup the way I like. And I really do think it helps having this one room where I basically just work and can shut the door and walk away at the end of the day.

The house in general is just about done and that makes me very happy. I’m ready to have some nice relaxing weekends. This last weekend was actually quite lovely. We had our monthly massage appointments, went to a specialty tea shop so I could stock up on loose leaf tea, and did our grocery run. Our date night take out was from a MediterraneanĀ  restaurant and it was amazing.

the importance of self-care during a plague

My guess is that we’re all struggling right now, some more than others. For those of us working from home there are some parts of our lives that are now easier, pants being completely optional would be one of them. But there’s also the whole issue of losing track of time and working a 12 hour day when you didn’t intend to. Balance is crucial, and damn is it hard.

And even when we know these things, we don’t always practice them. I am not ashamed to admit that I got overwhelmed and stopped doing all of the things I know help, and that lead to feeling even more overwhelmed. Sometimes you have to hit your own reset button. Hard.

Pippy and Eric realized that Mama needed some love and declared a truce long enough to snuggle with me. Of course then Eric decided that biting me on the arm, back in that really tender area, was a great idea. Little brat.

This is the lamp I was telling y’all about. It makes me happy to see all of my little baby yarn balls because I remember the projects I used them in. The lamp and shade came from Target and weren’t overly expensive. And yes, a million years ago I crocheted the doily it’s sitting on. I haven’t tried doing that in so long I’m not sure I can anymore.

Pippy finally got to see the groomer this week and she looks like a whole new puppy, like half of a puppy. She’s very long and lean and will never be too big to sit on Daddy’s lap. And that smile on Lancelot’s face? That’s part of why I fell in love with him.

I do spend a good chunk of my week days in my office so I frequently end up having Eric and Pippy in here with me. Yesterday they were having a debate over who got to have some ribbons that came on a package I got.

I have also been knitting, which is definitely one of my self-care activities. I’ve got two wash cloths done and I’m continuing to work on the shawl. But for two nights I didn’t really cook much of anything and the laundry is much further behind that I would like. However, my sanity is much more intact than it was and that’s more important than damn near anything else.

and now, on to our next adventure

Mom’s wedding went off without a hitch. She looked like the queen she is, R was very dapper, and my Lancelot looked amazing.

There were tense moments on Friday when the dry cleaners couldn’t find the clothes I had dropped off for him on Wednesday, but that resulted in taking him shopping for a new dress ensemble that very much fits his personality. I neglected to get a photo of us together in all our finery so this is as good as it gets. I didn’t look too shabby, I must say.

We’re still working on getting the last bits done at the house though we’re getting close to done, yay! Most of what still needs doing is some decorative bits. And now we have a pool to setup. It’s an above ground setup, I think something like 30″ deep. R had several he was needing to get rid of so we took this one. Gotta love hand me downs! I’m excited to get it setup and spend a little time out there with L and Pippy.

Somehow I don’t think the boys would be that excited about a pool.

I’m still making knitting progress, and I still keep forgetting to take another photo. I also need to show y’all the lamp I got for my knitting sitting area. It’s totally cool.