quickly I shall post for you

Today has been one of those days. I’ve been a little out of sorts and my body hasn’t felt quite right. I’m hoping that this evening I’m able to relax and feel settled.

I gave the last of my “official” workshops today and that will help with some of my stress. I don’t mind doing workshops but I much preferred the days when it was safe to do them in person. I have learned a lot about this method of delivery just by trying things, and that’s how I tend to learn best. The hardest part for me is when I don’t have anyone with their webcam turned on so I don’t get any kind of non-verbal feedback. I didn’t realize how much I adjust what I’m saying/doing based on that.

At any rate, it went well and now they’re done. So yay. And Eric came in this afternoon to chirp at me and give me little head-bops. I love my furkids. Dinner is (shocking!) in the crock pot already. New recipe tonight that I’m hoping turns out well. Last night’s curry was excellent. I’m trying to pull together some “5 ingredient or less” crock pot recipes now so that I can do some truly easy stuff.

time for me to do some things that make me happy

I had a chat with Lancelot last week about how I’m feeling “off.” Actually it was more like the one day I just kind of cried for about an hour, grieving parts of the life I used to live, the life we all used to live before this damn plague scared us out of our minds. The issue, as we finally figured out, is not having things to look forward to, at least not like we used to. But how to resolve that.

What we arrived at was that every month on our anniversary we’ll do something “safe” that we both enjoy. We could go to one of the museums, out to dinner, or like this weekend we went to a bookstore and then to a small local jewelry store. I’m not saying that retail therapy is the answer, but those two places weren’t crowded and were doing a good job with the social distancing and cleaning stuff.

I’ll admit that I was delighted that L decided to buy me a very lovely black onyx ring and an amazing dragon-head bracelet. It was beside the point, but damn does that man have good taste in my jewelry. And I bought books, like normal books for me to read. That’s something I haven’t done in literally years. Three are fiction and the other is a cookbook.

We’ve decided that, in an effort to make the cooking burden a little less of a burden on me, we would try making some “freeze ahead” crock pot meals. If you aren’t familiar with the concept you prep everything you would need for a given recipe and dump in a gallon size freezer bag that you’ve labeled with the heat and time requirements. That goes in the freezer until the night before you want to cook it. Defrost in the fridge over night then dump in the crock pot and cook.

I picked out something like 9 meals that seemed interesting and got all of the ingredients to make them. We then spent a little more than an hour Saturday night preparing 5 meals, because I wore out.¬† So there’s 5 dinners (so far) that I won’t have to mess with.

The cookbook I got is for doing essentially the same thing but for the instant pot. It was marked down to something like $7 and has a lot of interesting sounding recipes, so I figured it was probably worth it.

Oh, and I’ve started reading one of the fiction books.

If anyone was taking bets about how long it would be before I started a new knitting project, it was the very next day. And I’ve finished it. It’s the most basic shawl ever, almost, and I did it with a not fabulous ball of Lion Brand “Shawl in a Ball.” Hey, the colors are pretty. I wanted something that didn’t require a single ounce of skull sweat. And it should be nice and warm this winter. Or perhaps tomorrow. We’re about to have a major dip in temps.

She really does prefer to be touching us. That was this morning when the sun was out. The shawl was on my lap because I had just finished the ridiculously long bind-off and her ear managed to get flopped over my ankle.

My plan, though please don’t hold me to this, is to finally move past the cuff of the first mitt for my friend K. I had to retype the directions so that they made sense to me and I have done that and printed a copy. Seriously, it’s fingerless mitts, they shouldn’t take hardly any time at all.

I can’t show a picture of the pooch and not show a pic of at least one kitty. I caught Garth in mid-yawn the other night. Too perfect.

start of the semester got me like… ugh

Last week was rough. No, ROUGH. On Tuesday I picked Lancelot up from work early in the morning, came home, and crawled back into bed for three hours. I spent my work day in pajama pants and a t-shirt. I’m not sure if I was coming down with a cold or if I’d just gotten too run down or what. But it wasn’t good.

Is anyone else at that point where you freak the hell out any time you sneeze?

Anyway, I finally started to feel better when I realized I actually do need to take care of myself. I started a new shawl, I started eating a little better, and I let myself wear pajama pants a lot. It was good and it helped.

The pattern, not that you can tell a damn thing right now, is Tumbledown Mountain and the yarn is Mille Colori Sock and Lace. The colors are WILD. The pattern is fairly sedate to start with so the stripes are going to be amazing. So far this is just what I need, delightfully relaxing knitting that I don’t have to think about much.

I’ve also been trying to get some stuff taken care of around the house that I’ve been neglecting. I’m not one that normally lets the laundry get out of hand, but I had, so I got that caught up. And we got our wedding pictures printed and framed, which was nice. All in all it was just a very good weekend.

Garth approved. Garth usually approves, unless Pippy is chewing on his tail. He actually snuggled with me most of last night. It’s nice except he likes to bite. I did get a really nice surprise yesterday from my stepdad.

A Child of my very own. And he likes Prickly Pear Red Bull Refreshers from the coffee shop. We’re going to need all the caffeine we can get. Today is the first day of the semester for us and there have already been some massive technical issues that have impacted a vast portion of the planet. Nothing like starting off having one of your most critical tools take a shit right in the middle of your breakfast.

 

 

 

here we go

This was the last creative thing I’ve done, and that was on Sunday. That should tell you something, not only about how busy I’ve been but also a little about the state of my mental well being.

It ain’t good.

I guess cooking counts. I whipped up a batch of curry earlier this week. I like to make this in the slow cooker because I can dump everything in and walk away for a few hours and come back to delicious. These days if the cooking isn’t happening while I’m working, it just isn’t going to happen. I’m afraid to say that my health in general is suffering these days.

Last night I had Pippy and Eric curled up with me on the couch. My evenings tend to involve having a little dinner around 6:30 and then watching a little TV with the furkids. I just don’t have it in me to knit or do laundry or anything much. I’m exhausted.

We’ve had a fair amount of rain lately and this morning it was rather horrible. We had thunderstorms so bad that the dog got freaked out, and storms seldom bother her. I didn’t hear quite how much rain we got but my guess is that it was several inches.

So our semester starts on August 24th which means part of what I’m dealing with in terms of being so busy is just normal start of semester stuff. Part of it though deals with the plague. I’ve been working with more faculty moving courses online that ever before. It’s been exciting but well and truly exhausting. I’ve been starting my days around 6am and not quitting until at least 6pm. My days are lots of meetings which¬† means the actual “work” has to get done outside the normal hours when people expect to meet. Today my last meeting is at 4pm. It’s been rough.

Wish me luck y’all, I’ve got a few more days to get through…

 

monday morning update

Good news first… The hematologist was very nice and not concerned that I have some scary blood disorder. He ran a few tests just to be sure but his opinion is that I’m just fine.

Other good news… We’re less than 2 weeks from the wedding. I would tell you exactly how many but me and math, it’s just ugly.

COVID friendly wedding favors. (and no, his name isn’t really Lancelot)

Prototype decorations to line the path from the driveway up to the garden. I think it needs more green tulle.

My bouquet is wood flowers, that I purchased already assembled, so I made the flowers for Lancelot, Mom, and R. Not horrid.

My assistant this morning, performing vital paperweight duties.

I spent a few hours Saturday morning working, another four or so yesterday, and then today got up and started around 5am. And now they’re doing some damn email migration nonsense so I can’t get in to my email. Not good.

 

i’m weak

This will become a shawl.

I think this will, too.

I got two balls of this so I’m thinking this becomes a shrug with beads around the ends of the sleeves, because I maybe went to the tiny local bead shop and got some Japanese seed beads to match this. Maybe.

Garth was not overly impressed. He scares the hell out of me every time he does this, especially when he starts playing with his own tail.

One of my friends is sewing masks and selling them on Etsy, very reasonably priced. If you like Disney you should check out her shop, she’s got a really nice variety of prints. I really like this purple flower one.

We had our first guest since the plague started. On Saturday night my friend K came over and we did a practice run of makeup for the wedding. Not bad. It was amazing to see her.

Meet Blanche, my new African violet. Mom gave me this antique tea pot and it just seemed like the perfect vessel for a violet. She has taken up residence in the office.

I’m still trying to knit every day and get things done. Today is almost wall to wall meetings, which sucks. Zoom fatigue is a very real thing, and when you combine that with a mental health issue it’s a pretty unpleasant thing.

four o’clock in the morning

My life is perhaps a little unusual. I go to bed most nights around 8pm and then my alarm goes off in the morning at 4:15am. Part of this is just my body clock and part of it is because Lancelot works 11:30pm until some time in the morning. It used to be 7:30 but then the plague hit and now it’s usually more like 5:30. He takes an Uber to work at night but then I get him in the morning. Sounds way worse than it is.

But lately I’m just tired. Pippy hasn’t necessarily been cooperating with bedtime and my work is getting busier. I’m actually awake and at the computer this morning at… clock says 4:30am… and I’ll be starting to work shortly. There’s just too much to get done with the start of a very unknown semester starting in a little more than a month.

Oh, and did anyone remember that L and I get married in a little less than a month? So anyway, sorry I’ve been absent. I really have missed writing. Here are some pictures to hopefully cheer us all up.

Eric the Red doing a Super Kitty pose in the guest room
I found this bit of filet crochet lace I made years ago and decided it would look great hanging on the wall above my necklaces
Cheap and cheerful supermarket bouquet of flowers
Lancelot hid this behind my laptop yesterday morning. It’s now a contender for being wedding jewelry.
She’s absolutely adorable when she wants to be

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.