randomly random

This dog is just crazy

It’s been interesting around here. I’m trying to get myself in the right frame of mind to get back to working at work, I’m trying to get back to making healthier food choices, and I’m trying to take care of my health. Some times those things are at odds with each other. But I’m still trying.

The left mitt is DONE

The right one is actually almost done, like within just a few rows. I’m not in love with the pattern, I didn’t feel that it was written particularly well for the way that I knit. But I retyped what I needed to so that it made sense for me and then told myself that I simply could not knit anything else until these got finished. The really fun thing is that I’m fairly sure there’s enough yarn left to make a simple beanie.

Home made spice “packets”

We eat Indian food quite a bit these days, four recipes in particular. And I love it but cooking it is a bit of a chore simply because of how many different spices are used and have to be measured. I decided that the most efficient thing to do would be to make my own spice packet things. I had been doing this just for the curry recipe but that was before I expanded out to making Butter Chicken, Kheema, and Mattar Paneer. On Saturday I got out my tiny containers and my recipes and started measuring. I made four packets for each recipe except the Mattar Paneer, I only made three of those. To make it easy to tell them apart I put each kind into its own labeled storage bag. This should make it very easy to reuse the little containers and the big bags. And it’s going to save me a ton of time when I’m cooking. WIN!!!

My guys are just goofy

I find it difficult to get my folks gifts, especially since they can buy themselves anything they want/need. For Mother’s Day I told my mom to let me know what she wanted for dinner, anything she wanted, and I would cook it for her and R. I also got her a little trinket and a sappy card. I made the same offer to R so he and Mom came over Saturday night for steak, baked potatoes, sauteed onions, rolls, and corn. I also picked up a cherry pie from a local restaurant that has an amazing bakery.

At any rate, we all had a good time. It always feels kind of weird to refer to R as my stepdad because that has strange “feels” to me. He’s this super nice guy who makes my mom happy. I call him Pops. And he thinks I make the best steaks ever. He’s right.

Garth is too sexy for these pillows, but not for the raccoon

so there I was, hip deep in chewed on pansies and lilies trying to fit a tarp over a blow up kiddie pool

The yellow Asian lilies are stunning right now

So the title is partially accurate. I planted pansies in the front of the house and the damn bunnies are snacking on them. And there are lilies, right now the beautiful yellow seen above and some that are more of a copper orange color. I think there are white, pink, and red out there somewhere. There’s also a ton of yellow hollyhocks. Thanks to my mom that yard is full of pretty things.

Now that the Evil Robin has left we can actually get out to the yard and we did indeed setup a pool. I told Lancelot that I want a place I can park my hot old ass when it’s hot and hang out with Dog Blossom. So far we’ve only done it once but it was mostly fun.

There’s a flower on my nose!

I took a picture this morning to send to a friend of mine and figured I’d share it here. I’ve reached a point where I really don’t notice it’s there unless I catch the “shiny” out of the corner of my eye. If I smack myself in the nose or catch it on something then I notice it from a physical perspective, but most of the time I don’t. I’m quite pleased that I finally went ahead and did it.

Ilo!

This is my version of the Ilo shawl. I used Trendsetter Yarns Paradigm in the Golden Flowers colorway. I started this on January 16, 2020 and bound off this morning, June 16, 2021. This is my very first all lace shawl and I am stupid proud of it. I’m hoping to be able to block it soon.

You may recall that one of my goals for this year is to successfully finish all of the “legacy” projects that I started last year and didn’t finish. I have two left. I started a pair of cabled mitts for my friend K on January 20, 2020 and the Sunset Lights shawl on November 23, 2020. Maybe I can get the mitts done by June 20? That would be neato, and they are what I’ve designated as next in line.

I am still working on the feather and fan scarf and the Skewed Shawl but they can chill for a bit. The scarf is my “public” knitting right now. At any rate, I feel amazing that I’m making such good progress.

And I’m back to doing Noom, at least almost entirely. I’m not worrying about exercising just yet. I need to get my shit back together and so far just paying attention to what I’m eating/drinking and logging it is helping. The weight I had gained back is starting to go away again. This makes me happy.

I feel this so much

It’s hot here right now, which isn’t uncommon for this time of year, but that doesn’t mean we have to enjoy it. I’m not looking forward to going back to working on campus in part because of having to deal with weather. But deal I shall. I’m still working on planning and plotting and figuring out how to make the most of the situation. I think I’m doing well. But I still want to curl up on a blanket with my ginger babes.

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.

brevity and levity

When I decided to call it quits yesterday afternoon I was just plain DONE. It’s been a long year this week and I was in no mood. And that was ok because the plan for dinner was to make soup, one of the easiest and hence my favorites. That was it. I needed to make dinner, nothing else.

But the creative bug had bit me firmly on the ass and so instead of laying around and gathering dust I did this…

It’s not done yet, and I keep changing my mind about what “done” will be, but still

This is a needle felted flower that I think I’m going to add beads to and then attach to a pin-backing. The issue is that I’m not entirely sure yet what else I want to do to the damn thing. But that’s ok because I managed not to make myself bleed while doing this much and that makes me very happy indeed.

The Feather & Fan Scarf, also making me happy

Tonight we are going to go have dinner with some friends. I was going to say that we’re going out for Mexican food, but it’s not really Mexican, at least it’s not at all authentic Mexican. But it was the very first Mexican food I ever experienced and this is the restaurant we always went to with my dad’s family when there was a reason to celebrate and it’s where I had my first taste of margarita. (they do have rather tasty margaritas) So I guess what I’m saying is if you can get past the idea that it’s “Mexican” and just enjoy the bright orange cheese dip then it’s reasonably good food. And the company will be amazing.

Eric just wants more nip and some treats

propping my eyelids open with toothpicks

He hangs out up there a lot these days

I’m still struggling with my eating habits but I’m very pleased to be able to report that staying home and taking it mostly easy last night seems to have finally done something good for my hip. I can’t say that I slept well last night, we had some ick weather, but I am doing quite well with the whole “not limping around like I’ve misplaced my walker” thing.

If we would actually get some sunlight that would stick around for more than 10 minutes I would love to take pictures of the various projects I’m working on to show y’all that I have not actually been a total slug. But no, more rain and now it’s kind of cold. Yuck.

These two crack me up. They stayed cute like this for the exact amount of time necessary to get the picture. After that Dog Blossom began mercilessly chewing on Garth.

Being the super organized and anal retentive human that I am I have already started gathering things for the trip next week. I am not even the least bit ashamed to say that I have my clothes picked out and hanging together in the closet and I’ve started making my packing list. For a two day trip. By car. Yup, that’s me.

Did I tell y’all about the adventure with steel cut oats in the crock pot? I think I did. Anyway, I have decided that I really do love them, especially since I warmed them up this morning. That was a big ol’ “why the fuck didn’t I try that sooner?” moment. At any rate, I decided that having my breakfast made ahead like that, and so damn healthy, is a Very Good Thing indeed so there’s a batch cooking right now.

This time I am trying whole cranberries (1C in place of the blueberry / banana combo from last time) and a blend of the spices I normally use for my chai coffee (cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg, and ground ginger). In true Erin Style I measured only the liquids and the oats. I wing things, it’s what I do.

This weekend I’m making another trip up to campus, this time to retrieve my books. I tore my desk apart this morning trying to make sure there will be enough room for everything. It’s so weird to think that at one point in my life I owned so many “normal” books (ones that were definitely not related to work) that I had a nine-foot tall bookcase that we had made extra shelves for and was stacked double deep. Now my “normal” books all fit in a cubby space above my desk that’s not enough two-foot wide.

But it was a good project because I was able to rearrange some things, make parts of my storage more efficient, and gather some of my treasures together.

Eric slept through all of it.

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.

it’s about the journey, not the destination

Showing off an amazing aquamarine my friend made for me and a cutie pie orange kitty behind me

I haven’t been doing the best lately. My back is still giving me some trouble, my skin still flares up, and I’m cold much of the time. So I’m frustrated. And a frustrated me is a me who snacks, and not just on apples. Needless to say my weight loss journey has kinda stalled out.

I’m not giving up though. I still try to make choices that are at least somewhat healthier, though I will own that on two separate occasions last week I found myself eating a combination of chocolate frosting and peanut butter, once straight out of the tub. So while I have regained a few of the pounds I had lost I have not put the whole amount back on and I still feel good about that.

Still relevant

At any rate, I did have something really pretty fucking amazing happen yesterday that I want to share with you fine folk.

This is an old picture, 2015 era

I used to draw. Nothing fancy or realistic or anything, more like a zentangle/doodle sort of thing. Lots of flowers, some butterflies and whatnot, just fanciful pretty bits. That photo above was when I decided to take a picture I had drawn and turn it into a shrink plastic necklace. I had rather poor luck, but it was fun.

I enjoyed drawing because it was another creative outlet. And then I stopped, because I didn’t enjoy it anymore. Because the lithium caused the tremors to get so bad that I really couldn’t.

Huh?

Yesterday we had this big team meeting thing online and I knew that during the span of two hours I’d need something to do that didn’t look like I was goofing off, and I really did need to be able to pay attention and listen. Being able to do something with my hands helps with that. So I got out an old sketch book and my markers and figured “what the fuck.”

It’s not amazing, and it’s not done, and it’s definitely shaky. But it made me happy and it doesn’t look awful. Mostly though, it made me happy.

These goofs make me happy too

spring has sprung and all i can do is sneeze

This isn’t what’s making me sneeze. Those are my African violets and I was showing a friend of mine how the new window shelves turned out. I highly recommend this as a way to increase indoor growing space AND keep things away from cats. It’s a win all the way around.

I have been a bit under the weather lately. I did something to mess with my back, and then the allergies around here are crazy, and my energy level has tanked, plus the spring semester ended and summer started today, so I’ve just been at the end of my rope.

However…

I finished the hat for R (the one that was supposed to be for Christmas) and it finally fit right. Last night I even got back to working on the Ilo shawl. Currently it looks like…

It doesn’t look like much right now but I’m really proud of myself because this is the first all-over lace shawl I’ve done like this. It desperately needs blocking but then it also needs to be finished. The repeat is 24 rows and if memory serves I’m working on #9. Judging by how much yarn is left I’ve got several more left I can do. The colors are beautiful and the yarn is super soft.

Garth went on quite the bender the other day

things that start with “f”

FLOWERS – Lancelot had this delightful little bouquet delivered to the house on Friday as a Mother’s Day gift from the critters. For those of you who may be wondering, that boy has a thing for coming up with truly odd sentiments for cards. It’s a running joke at this point.

FASHION – I have a thing for Hawaiian shirts on guys. L is very much a black t-shirt kind of dude. So recently I managed to find a very authentic feeling retro shirt that’s primarily black. I think he looks wonderful in it. This was taken Saturday evening; we had my folks over for dinner for Mother’s Day. Sunday events don’t work great for us because of L’s schedule, but we’ll party hard on a Saturday night.

FUZZBUTTS – Last night I was sitting on the couch trying to watch TV and knit. These days having my knitting out is an invitation for Eric to get on my lap, and Pippy just figures that any time I’m sitting it’s because I want to pet her. For awhile I ended up with Eric in my lap monopolizing my left hand, to scratch his ears, and Pippy laying her head on my right leg and monopolizing my right hand, to scratch her ears. Needless to say not much knitting got done last night.

After I dropped off our ballots last week, y’all remember I was going to do that? Yeah, totally did. I went and did the blood draw (piece of cake, totally normal numbers), visited the nice doctor (don’t go back for a year, yay!), dropped off the ballots and then decided that I knew there was a yarn shop nearby and by golly I was going to find it. And I did. And it was magical and I got two skeins of yarn that are hand dyed by a local(ish) person and will make an amazing shawl. That “f” word is FABULOUS.

things I do not recommend and a recap of sorts

It’s election season around here, I believe just for city/very local stuff. Lancelot and I vote by absentee/mail in ballot because it’s so much easier with our schedules and it’s one of the few “progressive” things this backward state allows. All of that to say that the election is next Tuesday and I have our ballots sealed up sitting next to me to be dropped at the election commission office this afternoon.

While I was saying goodnight to L our doorbell rang, which is not entirely unusual, but it usually goes along with a delivery truck out front. No truck in sight, and then another ring. Highly unusual. L checked the doorbell camera and saw just two dudes. *grumbles of profanity* It was someone canvasing for one of the candidates. Fine. I had Dog Blossom working like hell to break out so I honestly tell this guy that we’ve already voted. He had the brass cahones to ask me if I had voted for his candidate. I did the only proper thing – I shut him on the other side of the door and locked the deadbolt.

“I said good day, sir!”

The eye doc appointment yesterday was not as amazing as I had hoped it would be. For one thing we waited 90 minutes past my scheduled time to see the doc. Not cool. And for another, I am apparently not a great candidate for the procedure because I’m so young. Why yes, 45 is still considered young in certain circles. I guess your eyes aren’t quite as receptive to this treatment until they have a certain amount of pigment in a particular area. What I do know is that I get to try another kind of drops for 6 weeks to see if that makes any difference. I also know that the anxiety and frustration yesterday resulted in my blood pressure being 172/107. Good times.

Last night’s dinner

I’m still trying out different recipes, many of them from other cultures. L and I both have a fondness for Indian and Thai cuisine in particular. Last night’s dinner came from the “Aarti Paarti” cookbook (Amazon link if you’re interested) and it’s called Kheema. I served it over butternut squash noodles with a piece of chatpat on the side. HOLY HELL. It reminds me a bit of an Italian meat sauce, hence my serving it over the squash noodles. It was amazing, truly.

The ingredients were very “standard” and what I mean by that is I had all but like one thing already on hand, and that one thing was fresh cilantro. It was very straightforward to make and was ready in about half an hour. The chatpat was something L and I picked up at a local Indian market and while not essential, I think it helped to complete the experience. I would definitely recommend this and I will for sure be cooking it again.