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.

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.

fab friday

I am ridiculously busy right now, but it’s all good. The critters are being their usual cute selves and that always helps.

Mom and R gave us this chair from their living room since they’re getting new furniture. I do love me some hand me downs. The menagerie does too, only the cats aren’t excited about sharing with Pippy. Eric finally gave up.

“I just can’t even with her shit right now, Mom. I can’t. I’ve only slept 22 hours so far today. I’m exhausted.”

I finally got myself motivated enough to run errands on Wednesday, which was good, but it was kind of bad. Lancelot had asked me to run to Michael’s for him to get some picture frames. Michael’s has yarn. Not great yarn, but they have Sugar & Cream, and that’s the cotton I use to make my very favorite wash cloths. I had finally exhausted my supply, earlier this year maybe, and I had been feeling that urge. There’s something about a dead-easy wash cloth that soothes me. So I bought four balls. And a ball of Lion Brand’s “Shawl in a Ball” in a really wild, rainbow-esque kind of colorway. I’m weak. I don’t care.

Mom’s wedding is on Sunday and things are gearing up. I’ve got part of the decorations ready to be printed, hopefully they turn out good. She and I are going tomorrow morning to get our nails done, something I’m really looking forward to. It’s been ages since I had a pedicure and it’s really showing, and not how you’d think. My heels are nasty, even for me. Yikes.

trip to nowhere

I find myself wondering these days, a lot, how I used to do all of the running around I used to do. Granted, at that time my mom lived here and she took care of a lot of the house stuff, but still. I used to actually drive to see my therapist every other week, and to the grocery store on the way home from work sometimes, and out shopping just for the FUN of it. What the hell people? Just thinking about those things exhausts me now.

I do have to say, I’m really glad that I’m still driving to pick Lancelot up every morning. I’m starting to hear stories about people who aren’t starting their vehicles often enough or letting them run long enough when they do having trouble with their batteries dying. It’s not good. But I have my short little trip every morning to go fetch my honey and bring him home. At least once a week we do a grocery run. It’s not much, but it helps.

I talked to one of my faculty friends yesterday and she mentioned how she feels like now that we’re working “remote” (which is fancy talk for working at home) she’s working way more hours than she used to. She said that she’s been working at her dining room table and it’s just too easy to neglect breaks and she finds herself working until much later in the evening.

Where are we going and why am I in this damn basket?

I am not doing that, not at all. I’m taking breaks regularly, I have to, my butt gets numb. I’m also trying to take an actual Lunch Hour every day. That’s usually my last opportunity of the day to visit with L before he goes to bed so that time is precious to me. But I also know how important it is for my mental health to step away from this desk and not stare at a screen.

So for anyone else out there working “remote” right now, here are my tips for surviving having the office follow you home:

  • Find a way to stay connected to your coworkers, particularly the ones you enjoy. Say hello to them just because you can; it’s good for everyone.
  • Keep as many of your regular routines as possible. For example, I get up at the same time and take a shower every morning. I also typically dress very similar to how I would have for the office. I’m not wearing makeup much these days but I do wear jewelry. It makes me feel like I’m working.
  • Another item from the “keeping routines” category – if you used to stop for fancy coffee on your way to work, figure out how to make it at home and then do that. I’m having iced lattes every morning and the only place I stop is my fridge.
  • Set yourself a regular schedule in terms of hours. Stick within the guidelines your employer sets but then make sure you aren’t working a 12 hour day unless that’s what you’ve been told to do. Seriously, unless you’re an hourly employee and they’re paying you overtime, do not do that shit to yourself.
  • Take time every day to enjoy your hobbies or at least something that makes you feel good. I haven’t been knitting much because the skin on my hands is is way too dry, but I’ve discovered that cooking for L makes me feel good and is just another kind of creative outlet.
  • I realize that not everyone has the luxury of having a space that can be dedicated for an office, but I find it helps me a ton. It allows me to quite literally “leave” work at the end of the day or when I need a break. There’s something about that physical separation from the rest of the house that helps. Plus, I have my office decorated in a way that I find very calming while still encouraging productivity. It’s actually one of my favorite rooms in the house.

We’ve been told that our campus will remain officially closed through June 1st at least. My guess is that we’ll be closed the entire summer though it really is just a guess. Fall semester will allegedly be back to at least partially on-campus but I’m not sure how they’re going to make that work. In a way I’m hoping to be given the option to continue working at home, at least for the majority of the time. As much as I found myself fighting this system when we first started I find now that I really do enjoy it the majority of the time.

What are you all struggling with most right now? Let’s see if the power of crowd-sourcing can help find solutions for all of us.

the smell of a plan first thing in the morning

I will make a plan for you Mama! I am good with the computer!

In all fairness, this is not first thing in the morning. First thing in my morning was probably around 3am with Dogzilla woke me up to go out. She was slightly more gentle about it today. We started by squeaking the toy that Garth had thoughtfully left on the bed for us. Once she realized I was half-conscious she put her paw on my shoulder and looked at me.

Have you ever just known that a dog was looking you square in the face even though it was near pitch black in the room? It’s a scary thing, even if that dog is a 21.6lb black puppy with very curly hair. And it’s scary because it’s the look that means “I will pee on this bed if I have to, try me.”

I digress, as usual.

I would love to have a plan today but it’s Monday and I’m still a little wore out from the weekend. We had dinner with Mom and R on Friday night, mostly so I could deliver her Mother’s Day flowers a little early.

She loves fresh flowers and this big ol’ arrangement had a little bit of everything in it. What you can’t see in this picture are the cluster of Stargazer Lilies on the other side. She’s carrying a bouquet of those when she gets married next month.

His smile really is what I fell in love with. He’s such a gentle soul, and a good son-in-law. Those flowers were overly full of cold water and he wore a significant amount of that on the drive over.

Anyway, Saturday we took the pup to the vet for an allergy issue, ran errands, then I ran all over the neighborhood because the pup got out and was being obstinate. Good times. And then on Sunday we did brunch here at the house. I made a breakfast casserole that my mom and L really like and a batch of peach bread pudding. It was a lovely morning.

Aren’t they adorable together?

So are we. And yes, now that my hair is short in front I’ve decided it can be curly because I’m not interested in fighting with it. I’ll leave you with one last delightful little image…

This is my kitty and I loves him lots.

it’s a thing I do

I was finally able to get my hair cut today and DAMMIT did I get it cut! The front is way shorter than it was because it had gotten so fucking long that half the time I could only see out of one damn eye and it annoyed me. ANNOYED. So today I told my stylist to hack that shit off, and the shit was hacked, and I’m happy. It’s cute. And Lancelot likes it, so that’s all that really matters I guess.

Yes, it’s May and I’m wearing a sweater. The wind has been blowing like an F5 tornado here and it’s cold. I don’t like to be hot but I’m also not keen on being cold in May.

I’ve still been doing my meal planning stuff and apparently doing a good job. L has loved every meal I’ve made. Granted, he has kind of low standards if you ask me, but still. I’m doing my own invention tonight and I have high hopes. I’ve got pork chops in the crock pot with a can of Coke Zero (it was lingering in the fridge, don’t judge). I’m about to go add a healthy amount of chunky cherry jam to it. I’m thinking it would work well with sweet potatoes but I don’t know if I have any.

Wish me luck!

These two are lazy. This is where they spend damn near every afternoon. Once L goes to sleep they get bored and hang out with me.

my coworkers are jerks

Garth is turning into quite the little micro-manager. I still love him though.

So things are getting interesting around here. In the “petty nonsense” category I spent the better part of my team meeting this morning prying my solar nails off with the file attachment on a pocket knife. I also have no fingerprints left, thank you obsessive hand washing. And right now I can’t really do the work I need to be doing because the system I need to access has pretty well tanked. Thank you global pandemic.

Saturday Lancelot and I stayed at my house and watched the entire first season of The Mandalorian. I had watched most of it so I let him get caught up and then we watched the last two episodes together. I can’t wait for the next season.

Being here meant he got to spend time with Dog Blossom. He loves that pup, and she loves him. I do not necessarily love sharing the bed with him, and the dog, and both cats. That’s a lot of creatures in one queen sized bed. But it was a good weekend.

This is week two of working from home for me. I still don’t love it, but I’m managing. I have been tracking my weight, just to make sure I’m not putting any excess on. I think I’m going to see if Mom will help me get the treadmill setup so that I can walk in the mornings before work. A little more activity will be good for me.

I honestly can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this or not but I’ve been taking a picture of myself, or having L take one, every day since my birthday. I’ve been referring to it as “Day # of Being 44” and I post it on Facebook. I honestly don’t give a shit what anyone else thinks, or if they bother to think anything at all, I’m doing this for myself. This year is going to be odd, to say the least. My birthday happened in the middle of a fucking pandemic. So yeah, things will change. Plus, there is personal change coming. Knowing all of that I want to document what the change does to the outside of me.

Will I smile less at the start and then more when I’m closer to 45? Will I ever wear makeup again? Will I keep my hair this short? I don’t know any of these answers any more than y’all do, and I’m curious. Besides, it’s a minor distraction from the chaos that we are literally surrounded by right now.

 

working from home

I am not super excited about working at home, it’s just not my thing. But I’m trying to make the best of it.My coworkers are kind of jerks sometimes, but it’s nice that they’re spending more time with me.

My biggest issue is that I miss my friends on campus. I chat with them off and on but it’s not quite the same. I’ve been able to see Lancelot the last two mornings and that helps, a ton. I know he’s worried about me, and I know why. He’s sweet.

The birthday wasn’t what either of us had planned, but I really thought it was good. L got me two gorgeous necklaces and a really cool resin skull with Celtic knot designs all over it. Mom’s friend R got me a baby Yoda coffee mug.

It’s not the stuff or the place that makes an occasion, it’s the people you’re surrounded by.