rolling with the punches

I saw that this morning and it didn’t speak to me, it fucking shouted at me. That’s precisely what I’m going to do today, what I’ve already started doing. I will pull myself out and do what I do best. And I will shine like the sparkly rainbow glitter covered unicorn I am. Hells yeah.

I could waste time and energy on being pissy about going back to campus or I can start laying plans for how I’m going to take over the world.

Step One: New Clothes – I realized the other day that I do not currently own enough appropriate clothing to wear to the office even three days a week without wearing damn near the same thing every week, not that I have an issue with that, but it’s not me. So Friday afternoon I went shopping with one of my colleagues. I found some lovely new pieces that should see me through a few more sizes. Speaking of which…

Step Two: Get Back to Healthy – Here recently I have basically abandoned everything I had learned about eating and living healthier. As such I’ve gained a few pounds back. When I eat healthier I feel better and when I get more activity I feel even better, so, I really want to get back into it. I’m starting this morning by logging my food again and trying to make choices that will fill me up in happy ways. Over the weekend I made a batch of steel cut oats for breakfasts and we stopped at a farm stand over the weekend so I’m currently enjoying delicious strawberries for a snack.

Step Three: Figuring Out What “Back in the office” Looks Like – There are things I take for granted when working from home, like having access to the drinks and food I want. I’ll have to take everything to work again, and now I don’t have a whole office to spread out in. There is a closet back in the office that was formerly mine that we’ll be storing our personal stuff in, but that means figuring out some storage issues. Yesterday afternoon I ordered something that I think will help, I hope. I also picked up an extra phone charger that will plug right into my laptop, and it was only $1, and it looks like a koala. But there are things like that, silly seeming things, that I’ve come to take for granted. Think about it though – I kept those same things for granted going the other direction when I was working on campus full time and never considered that I wouldn’t work on campus. Bottom line with this is that I’ll be back to playing “turtle” and living out of my backpack, and that’s totally cool because I know I can do that.

Step Four: Figuring Out What “Two Days at Home” Looks Like – Working from home like I have has been wonderful for my relationship with Lancelot. We get more time together than we ever have before and than if I had stayed working on campus full time. I feel like this time together has been the best part of the pandemic and I truly believe that our relationship is as strong as it is because of this. L has already told me that he’ll take on more of the chores around the house since I won’t be here as much, and that’s going to help a ton. Every time I start to flip out about all of this and cry he just holds me and strokes my hair and reminds me that we can do anything.

Step Five: Breathe – There’s a lot going on right now and I need to remember to take care of myself. It is impossible to pour from an empty cup. On Saturday we went and got our monthly massages. We stopped at the coffee shop on the way and while L was in having his massage I worked on a knitting project. I refuse to give up that time. And I finished a book and started another, and I’m back to working on the lace shawl. I’m taking care of myself because it’s essential, and let’s face it, I enjoy it.

One day at a time, I will survive this, too.

fun while it lasted

Lots of things have changed during the pandemic, some good and some not so good. Prior to the world essentially shutting down I hated working from home. It always seemed like such a pain in the ass, bringing home my laptop and finding space on my desk to set it up, and then trying to stay focused with so many potential distractions. It was, in my opinion, awful.

That was Garth and I back when this all started, possibly the very first day I worked from home. In all fairness, there was a LOT going on at that time. The pandemic was in the very early days, though we didn’t know that then. My mom was moving out of the house and in with R, my (now) stepdad. And I wasn’t entirely sure what was going to happen with the living situation involving Lancelot.

To say that I had a lot on my mind was a big fucking understatement.

Lancelot moved in, we got married, and I have a dedicated office space to work out of. Often there is a cat, or two, and sometimes a dog that serve as my coworkers. Some days I work in pajamas, some days I do laundry on my breaks, and I don’t typically wear my bra past lunch time. We have a system and it works and we all mostly enjoy it.

So this of course means that my plan to continue working from home has changed. We found out this morning that members of our team are going to be expected to be on campus at least three days every week. Well fuck.

The only thing that ever really stays the same is that damn near everything changes. I’m not sure if that’s true of the corporate world, I haven’t worked in that realm for so long, but it’s 100% true of higher education. Nothing stays the same and you can’t count on anything actually happening until it’s actually happening.

It’s definitely nice to know that I’ll still be coming home to this goofy little fuzzbutt.

sketchy bananas, coming to a cereal bowl near you

Steel cut oats with blueberries and bananas

I’ve been trying to stretch my culinary muscles by trying new recipes. Sometimes it is an utter fail. More often it results in a total win, like the picture above. I had purchased steel cut oats because I’d never tried them but had heard that you could cook them in a batch and then have multiple servings for during the week. This appealed to me. So yesterday I did a quick search and found this recipe that not only used the oats but also a few bananas that were at a point of needing to pay me some rent money. This is the recipe I kinda mostly sort of followed.

I have to say that I suck at following recipes like this because I improvise. I think I actually used 3 bananas, because I had them, and there’s no way in hell I measured the honey, vanilla, or cinnamon. I will say, based on the reviews I read, I opted to spray the inside of the crock with non-stick stuff before I started and I’m glad I did. Also, mine resulted in five servings that were approximately 1C each. (that’s what my little containers hold) I did the calorie breakdown based on the original ingredients but then divided for five servings instead of four and I get 252 calories. Not bad for a filling breakfast that took almost no effort.

TA DA!

I finished the flowers the other day. Not like this is fine art or anything, but it does make me happy to have been able to do it. I would like to try to work back up to at least feeling comfortable drawing. I don’t know that I’ll ever quite get back to the skill level that I was at, low as it was, but still. I’d like some small piece of that former artist to be back.

Death to the mousie!!!

I am trying getting back to the healthier way of life. I did some food prep yesterday, in addition to the breakfast oat stuff I boiled a bunch of eggs, and I have the menu for the week figured out. I don’t really have lunches figured out but I might do leftovers. Today will be a baked sweet potato, mostly because it needs to be eaten and that’s something I like. Getting the food situation under control is crucial, but I know I need to get back to walking more.

There’s no excuse. I feel better when I make healthier choices in terms of calorie intake and activity. I’m an intelligent person, I understand causation. I know that every choice I make has a consequence, some good and some not so good. And I’ve done it before, so I can do it again.

For realz yo, like a motherfucker

I know that part of my difficulties right now tie back to the pandemic and the way the world has been lately. I had gotten used to traveling and being able to go wherever, whenever. And then we had to stop all of that so that we could all stay safe and be healthy. Totally worth it and I wouldn’t change anything we did. Lancelot and I have talked and in addition to getting the vaccines we’ll continue to wear masks inside businesses even though the mandates are lifting here.

But I’m tired of this house right now, much as I love it. There’s a very aggressive robin that built her nest above one of the lights on the back deck so I can’t get out in the yard without being attacked, and that isn’t helping. And the changes we’ve wanted to do inside the house are pretty well done. Over the weekend we went to my office and retrieved the rest of my stuff. My Master’s degree is now hanging up here in my home office, the first time it’s ever been hung off that campus.

So life is just fucking odd. And I need to escape, so we’re taking a road trip. L and I have only ever taken two trips together; a short road trip to a really cool little town in Missouri called Weston. I totally recommend it if you’re anywhere near the Midwest. Our other trip was to Ireland. It was amazing and I really want to get back there one day. We will.

Lancelot and I at my birthday dinner

This will be a short road trip, up north a bit this time. I’m ready for it, I need it. We’ll have some time to just be together and I think we need that.

I cannot freakin’ even right now

That is the bracelet I helped to make this weekend

Is that not absolutely stunning? It’s moonstone and sterling silver, and yes, I actually did parts of the construction. It was beyond wonderful to spend time with my friend Saturday morning and see first-hand what goes into making this kind of jewelry. Not only was it informative as hell, but getting to be with another human who I haven’t seen in absolute ages was totally wonderful. So I now know a little bit more about the process of silversmithing, I have an even deeper appreciation for the amount of work that goes into a piece like this, and I have a one of a kind wearable work of art that coordinates with the other beautiful moonstones pieces I have from her.

If you are interested in your own truly beautiful jewelry, and she does custom work too, you should visit her website at https://www.whirlsofpearls.com/.

I also got to see my friend N and deliver his holiday gift, only four months late. He didn’t care. (he got that cabled scarf) We also went for lunch which was a lovely little bonus.

I still don’t feel like I’m totally back on track, but I’m trying. I have my clothes for the week organized, I spent time in the kitchen yesterday doing some food prep, I made cookies (healthy ones), and the laundry is essentially caught up. So yay!

The kids have been a little feisty lately

I do have some fun stuff to look forward to this week. I’m going to do a session at the glass studio and try to make a little something for myself, just as another creative outlet. And on Saturday I’m going with Mom for mani/pedi time. My feet are very excited.

Keep doing what you can to help keep yourselves and your loved ones safe. L gets his second shot at the end of the month and we are excited as hell. WOOT!

keeping it between the lines

Proof that I am still alive and I haven’t forgotten how to knit

It feels like an awful lot has happened since last I could be bothered to blog, and that’s probably because an awful lot has happened. Much of it has been good but there have been a few less than amazing things as well. That’s how life is though, right? Balance.

I am now the proud owner of two Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine shots. Unfortunately I had a fairly common reaction to the second one which was not so swell. I had chills, a headache, very little coordination, brain fog, zero appetite (though I could still smell and taste), and it felt like I had been hit in the arm with a sledgehammer. That lasted two days and then I was fine. If I had it to do all over again you can bet your ass that I would, in a heartbeat.

My handsome and hilarious husband is three weeks behind me, but he says he likes the view back there

I have been knitting, and cooking, and still managing to lose weight. I am now down 26lbs, and as such as the smallest I have been since I was 18 years old. This pleases me to no end. I don’t even mind that I’m running out of clothes that fit.

With the knitting I’m working on what started life thinking it would be a simple shrug and has now decided it wants to be a kimono style vest, maybe with small sleeves. We shall see. But that’s the very rainbow piece up at the top of this post. I am loving the yarn.

Last night’s dinner helps with two of my goals for the year since it’s both an Indian dish and a vegetarian dish. For my first shot at making Mattar Paneer it really wasn’t half bad.

a bit of an update

I got my first shot. Lancelot is still a goober, albeit my very favorite goober.

The shot was fine, no issues at all. I actually woke up Saturday morning feeling better than I have in a while. So yay. The shot didn’t hurt or cause me any more trouble than any other vaccine I’ve ever had. It was less painful than the MMR, if anyone has an adult memory of getting that one. My only side effect was a slightly sore arm.

Eric has been particularly photogenic lately

I’m doing pretty well with life in general right now. I did a lot of food prep stuff this weekend that I think will be helpful and I have a plan of attack for getting the house in shape for next weekend. For the first time since Lancelot and I have lived here together we are having friends over, in the house, for a meal and a concert.

I am damn near beside myself with excitement.

Everyone in attendance will either be fully vaccinated or have their first shot, with the exception of L. These are also friends of ours that are just as careful about COVID safety precautions as we are. And that will start the week of celebrations. There will be dinner with my mom and stepdad, dinner out with L at our favorite restaurant, museums, I’m assuming Thai food, and my birthday is in there. I need this vacation so damn bad.

Dog Blossom is pooped too

The healthy eating/exercise/Noom stuff is going well. I’ve lost a total of 22.5lbs and now that I’m starting to feel better it’s time to get back to exercising. My goal (once again) is to hit 5000+ steps every day and to drink at least nine 8oz glasses of water every day. It’s just now coming up on 2pm and I already have almost 2200 steps so I consider that good. Thirty minutes on the treadmill will help quite a bit.

The food prep I did was mostly getting together more of the smoothie packs, partly because I had fresh spinach to use and partly because that was a big time saver. This time I used nonfat plain Greek yogurt and only 2.75oz. I also prepped four snack bowls with a hard boiled egg and two clementines and five “salad starters.”

I have these divided container things so I put fresh spinach in the biggest part and then chopped up a cucumber and divided that among the containers and used the smallest spot for shredded carrots. At lunch I dumped all of that into a big bowl and added a hard boiled egg, 1/4C roasted pumpkin seeds (also pre-measured), and my salad dressing (if you guess pre-measured you’d be right).

Having all of that measured ahead of time made my lunch preparation time today almost negligible. It was nice to have a little extra time during my break to do other things. Like laundry.

Mama, laundry is evil

things that make you stay sane

There was a meeting at work this morning, whole department not just my tiny team, that was meant to give us tips for not burning out and staying professional and basically just surviving the whole “you’ll be working from your homes now and no, we really aren’t sure for how long” business.

But we’ve been at this for over a year now.

And they really don’t know how much longer we’ll have to do it.

And yes, that’s a 25lb Goldendoodle on my lap.

Anyway, it seemed like rather a waste of time to me but what the hell do I know? And I guess that was my frustration; everything they talked about is either stuff I’m already doing (because we should) or avoiding doing (because we should) and I mostly felt like I could have done a better job of the session in part because of that. Well, that and a whole lot of self-awareness that I’ve cultivated over the last 15+ years of mental health care.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I started this post on Tuesday, right before all hell broke loose. So let me take just a moment to catch y’all up.

I’ve been fighting off this icky fatigue, upper respiratory, chills nonsense for a while now. Rather a long while. But I’m stubborn and, to the best of my knowledge, had not been exposed to The Rona. Tuesday afternoon my body decided to toss in some GI stuff and that was it. I changed into jammies and sought out a comfy chair in the sunroom and basically melted into a puddle of cold goo.

Yesterday morning I decided that enough was enough, the symptoms were too close to COVID for comfort. And Lancelot still goes to work every night and his place of employment is kinda “petri dish-esque.” I will say, I feel pretty good that this was the very first time either of us had felt the need to be tested. I feel good because we’ve been following the guidelines from that nice Dr. Fauci.

At any rate, it was not overly pleasant, not gonna lie. And mine has come back and it was negative. So I called my doctor’s office and got setup for a telehealth visit. That nice doctor said the rapid test I had done was not accurate enough for his liking, particularly given my symptoms, so he ordered another test that also included testing for influenza A and B. Fortunately you can do all three of those things with a single brain-tickling swab.

The results from that were all negative. Still don’t know about Lancelot. He feels fine though, which is good. So now I’m waiting to hear back from the doc about what we do next, especially since he mentioned bacterial pneumonia. So much fucking excitement I can hardly contain it.

For now I’m working, as best I can, and trying to stay warm and hydrated.

Garth is just too freaking adorable

In other news, I am down 22.5lbs. I find that sort of miraculous given the last few days I’ve moved less than your average sloth and I’ve eaten more calories than I really needed. But I know that my body is doing its best to fight off whatever this is, plus I have an active cyst issue. Yay.

The other good news, my fingers are good enough that I’ve started knitting again. I had tried to make a hat for my stepdad for Christmas and it turned out too big, so I’m trying again with the kind of yarn I always use. It’s a delightfully straightforward pattern so it’s excellent TV knitting and right now that is precisely what I need.

I am late getting to the party, but smoothie bowls are amazing

losing track

It feels so strange to think that I’ve been working from home for almost a year now. And it’s even more strange for me to think that I’m fast approaching a second birthday celebrated in a very subdued fashion due to a global pandemic. Not like that’s huge, but it’s huge.

Want to know what else is huge?

I got to move the big slider one spot to the left this morning and I’m pretty sure I screamed with pure delight

I am officially 249.75lbs and that has been an unofficial goal for a while now. The next actual official goal will be 225lbs. I’m hoping that getting back to the treadmill and starting to use the pilates bar on a more regular basis, along with going back to drinking more water every day, will help get me there a bit more quickly.

Part of this is needing routines. I’ve said it before, I live and die by routines. I’m starting to get back into some of the routines/habits that I used to have that really seemed to help, if nothing else they would help with my mental health.

  • I get a week’s worth of outfits out on the weekend, including any necessary under garments and jewelry; they hang together in the back of my closet.
  • I use pill trays to organize and set out my morning and bed time pills, two weeks’ worth at a time.
  • I have a reminder set on my phone for Monday evenings – that’s when I take my Humira shot.
  • I have other reminders set on my phone for things like monthly cleaning chores, watering plants (weekly), and giving the dog her meds (monthly) – my philosophy on this is “set it and forget it.”
  • I always put my car keys in the exact same place when I get home, on a key rack in our entryway. If I don’t put them there I lose them, without fail.
  • I keep multiple baskets in the laundry room so that I can take the dirty stuff down and sort it every few days. When there’s enough of something to run a load I do it. This keeps me from spending an entire day on the weekend doing laundry.
  • I try to create a menu for the coming week – just dinners – mostly to make sure I have all of the ingredients on hand.
  • I go to bed and get up at approximately the same time every single day. Part of it is my brain not letting me sleep in much and part of it is just that I’m so used to this schedule.

I realize that probably already seems like kind of a lot, but I need a few more. I’m not feeling like I’m doing a very good job with…

  • Making time to do creative things every day
  • Exercising regularly
  • Unplugging before bedtime
  • Planning lunches
This is my little Garth buddy, just because

sharing the love, or maybe these are sand fleas, who knows

One of my all time favorite ways to “curse” someone is to say

may your crotch be infested by the fleas of a thousand camels and your arms be too short to scratch

but this year that just doesn’t seem like enough, ya know?

Lancelot did get to have Christmas Eve off, but then went in to work on Christmas Day (because of overtime) and then Saturday was his day off, but he had slept a good portion of the day and was awake most of last night, and so then today was like a regular Sunday. And if you’re kind of exhausted trying to keep up with that just imagine how I feel.

At any rate, we were able to spend a little time together and it wasn’t too bad. Any time I get to spend with my guy isn’t bad. But ya know what is bad? The new Wonder Woman movie. Seriously, not worth it.

So I’ve been doing some cooking, I’ve cleaned out some cupboards, straightened the pantry, made a run to Target (it’s going to snow this week and I didn’t plan for that, or get enough milk when we went last weekend), blocked two shawls and a scarf and wove in the ends on those, setup another shawl to block, and have done what feels like a metric ton of laundry.

I have also spent a LOT of time being a puppy’s pillow

L and I have been really quite careful about our plague protocols. I wear a mask any time I’m going to come in contact with anyone who is not L, including my mother. I firmly believe that wearing a mask is good for me and it’s good for anyone I’m around. It’s a respect thing if absolutely nothing else. I have been cleared by the doc to get the COVID vaccine as soon as they’re available to the general public and I have every intention of getting it, but that won’t happen for awhile and the mask and keeping my hands washed should stack the deck in my favor for living long enough to get that precious vaccine.

My grandmother is in her late 80s and lives in a nursing home because she’s got issues with dementia.

She was scheduled to get her vaccine next week.

She tested positive. On Christmas Eve.

So please, don’t do it for me, but do it for your grandma. Or someone’s grandma. Anyone’s grandma.

Whoever you do it for, will you please just wear a fucking mask?

the things this life has taught me

I’m not a fan of this plague bullshit, not at all. We’ve now reached the point where Lancelot and I agree that the less interaction I have with humans who are not him, the better. The community isn’t getting any safer here and our governor isn’t doing fuck-all about it. So it’s time to step up my own personal vigilance even further.

So I guess that’s a big part of what brings me to today’s post. Interestingly enough, there’s a tie within a tie here. I’ll get to that. I want to start with a list of things I’ve learned as a result of living through the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

***Disclaimer: I am not a licensed mental health practitioner, though I play one in my imaginary world. Like everything on this blog these are just my observations. Your mileage may vary.

  • There is immense joy to be found in the small moments, such as an unexpected hug from a loved one or a favorite cup of tea.
  • There is no shame in working in your PJs, provided you work at home.
  • If it takes a village to raise a child, why do we think it doesn’t take a village to keep an adult human healthy and happy?
  • You don’t have to buy new stuff. Move your old stuff around. Get rid of some of it. Put the stuff you really love back in new places. It’s called Shit Shifting and it’s amazing.
  • You might not like Pumpkin Spice. You might think that Christmas shouldn’t appear before Thanksgiving. But it’s been a shit year, and those things make some people very happy, so just STFU and let them be happy.
  • I never would have tried ordering my groceries online for pick-up had it not been for this fucking plague. Now it’s the only way I shop and I love how much time it saves me.
  • I wanted to make sure that I didn’t forget any of my ideas for this post and I knew I didn’t have much time this morning when I went to get Lancelot so I finally learned how to make a voice recording on my phone.
  • Don’t save the good china / your good jewelry / that cute dress / insert appropriate thing here / for a special occasion. Any day you suck oxygen is a special occasion.
  • We’re going to come out of this stronger than we were before, I promise you that.
The hooligans are making me very leery of putting up a tree, but I feel amazing about having some of my snowflake ornaments hanging in the front windows

So far I’ve finished three gifts. I still have two left to make; hopefully I’ll start another one tonight. Today has been super rough so I might just go pass out somewhere. It has snowed off and on all day and it’s just cold. Of course Garth has been sleeping right next to the heat vent in my office all day so that doesn’t really help.

This is what I woke up to this morning. It should have told me everything I needed to know about today.