letting it all flow

Fused glass vase

I haven’t been writing much lately because I haven’t been spending much time with the computer, and I can’t do this much typing in my phone. I might have mentioned this, can’t remember. Anyway, I’ve been doing the whole “living a life worth living” thing here lately and I have to say, I’m seriously enjoying it.

The finally completed Old Shale Cowl

I’ve been spending most of my free time during the week knitting and then on the weekends after errands and chores are done I’ll tinker with jewelry and sometimes Lego. It’s hard to both mess with the phone and knit at the same time so… Yeah. But I’m really enjoying myself and I still have not purchased any new yarn. I’m very excited about that and about my “making stuff” goals.

Blueberry Breakfast Casserole

One of my other goals is to try at least two new recipes every month and that’s been a huge success. So far we haven’t had anything that wasn’t good enough to tweak and try again. That blueberry thing was supposed to be something else, but I didn’t read the recipe quite carefully enough and then ran out of time to get it fixed, so I massively improvised. It’s a cross between a baked French Toast and bread pudding. It was entirely delicious. And fortunately I did write down the ingredients and quantities, so one of these days I’ll write up the recipe.

Puddle of Kitty

The other “excitement” we’ve had recently is finding out that Garth has asthma. He had been doing this dry cough thing at random times, but it didn’t seem to bother him. And then it did. So the vet did some x-rays and it really looks a whole lot like human asthma. Based on how much fun it was to do the x-rays she recommended we start treatment by giving him a steroid shot. The little buddy would not do well with pills. He seems to be better now, though only time will tell.

I’m a firm believer in Art Therapy, and what that means for me is finding ways to express myself creatively, knowing that the outlet helps me to feel centered and really it just recharges my batteries. I shared a picture of a jewelry set I had made on a social media platform and added the tag of “bipolar” to it. And then someone questioned if it was about bipolar, I’m guessing because neither the image or the actual text mention the disorder and I wasn’t talking directly about medications or side effects or how awful bipolar is or any of the other thousand things people tend to talk about.

I replied with basically what I’ve just said here; the creative outlet is how I recharge and so I definitely do see this as related to bipolar. And I stand by that. But it saddens me that there are trolls in every sub-group.

keeping it between the lines

Those of you who knit will likely recognize those as being stitch markers. When working a pattern that repeats or does something every so many stitches the easiest thing to do is mark it, often will a little doohicky like this. Quite handy, really. The one that’s a little different is to mark the start of the round if you working on a project that’s, well, in the round. And these are deceptively easy to make, particularly if you already make jewelry, because they’re basically an earring but instead of the part that goes through your ear you put them on a jump ring. Amazing.

So when I found myself having to scrounge through my knitting supplies to find enough stitch markers the other day I decided that it would be beautifully dual purpose to make more AND give myself that sense of accomplishment. I win, twice. Yay for me!

I took a glass class last week and am eagerly awaiting my finished piece. I’ve been getting back into doing more with glass fusing and finding that I really enjoy it. I’m also doing a fair amount of knitting and beading. Basically I’m just staying fairly busy, but not in an irresponsible / dangerous kind of way. I enjoy having several projects going at once because I will inevitably get bored with something and it’s nice to have another on hand to pick up.

“Mama can’t talk anymore, she needs to snuggle me”

second verse, same as the first

Some things don’t seem to change much anymore, and for a while that really bothered me. Like, my life is so predictable and stable and normal and WTF??? And then I realized that I actually really enjoy this “normal” thing. Like a lot.

I’m doing pretty well with the whole adulting business. I’ve still been knitting and making jewelry and cooking, and I really enjoy those things. Lancelot and I have a lot more leisure time together and that is just beyond wonderful. We cook together, we watch weird shows together after dinner, it’s like a delightful little version of the alleged American Dream.

And I love it.

It does not, however, make for the most exciting blog posting. So do please pardon me for not being here as often. Know that I’m well and off enjoying the “not digital” world.

now with a side of even more random

Lots going on right now, and I can’t help but feel like that’s good. I’m getting into/back into doing some hobbies that I had put aside for years. I’m branching out more with what I cook at home. I’m really enjoying spending time with my husband. All in all, I have to think that this is what the therapists were suggesting could be my version of a Life Worth Living. (that’s a DBT concept and I think it’s pretty awesome)

Some random things I’ve noticed over the last six months or so...

I stepped away from Facebook in October 2021 because it honestly felt like a cesspool. Lots of nastiness, lots of ads, very little actual interaction among polite and respectful humans. I had a suspicion that it was impacting my mental health in negative way, and it turns out I was right. I uninstalled it from my phone and stopped opening it on the computer. I actually made sure that I can’t open it on my work laptop. The only times I got on were when Lancelot told me there were pictures of our niece.

No posts. No likes. No interaction of any kind.

It’s amazing how much more free time I found in my day, how much lighter my moods seemed overall. I didn’t miss it.

I posted something yesterday for the first time, but not until I did some major housecleaning. I ruthlessly unfriended people, removed myself from groups, and shut down notifications from pages. But after just one day I can tell you that this won’t be how it was. There’s still so much hate and trash and it’s not really worth it. So maybe I’ll post now and again, but we’ll see.

I’ve started making friends again, like real live, living and breathing humans that I can sit down with and have conversation and laugh and share food and stuff. They share interests with me, they’re respectful where it matters and brazen where it matters more.

It’s so weird making friends as an adult. Everyone is busy with their own lives, jobs and kids and being caregivers for others… But carving out time to spend with friends is part of my self-care and that’s maybe the most important lesson I’ve learned during the last six months.

These critters have helped keep me sane. They are nuttier than squirrel turds. Yesterday morning I was trying to work on troubleshooting an issue and here they all come, chasing each other up the hallway like a demon was after them, bounced across the bed to the other side, and back down the hall. I don’t even try to understand anymore, I just stay the hell out of the way.

not feeling the love

That pendant is the one I made at the glass studio

I’m fine, and I’m doing mostly fine, I’m just not feeling the urge to write much at all these days. I will admit that I’m struggling with some sort of garden variety virus, nothing serious just annoying, but that’s sapping my energy. And honestly, I’m trying to be “out there” living my life as best I can. We’re all struggling some right now, and that’s ok. We’ll do it together.

But I’m still knitting and making jewelry and cooking with Lancelot and trying to be my best version of me.

Eric likes to help with the scarf
Earrings I made
This is a wide scarf sort of thing that has since been finished

stuff that rattles in my brains

Sometimes I am hyper-focused and can get a ton of stuff done. Other times I walk into a room 12 times before I remember why. Most days are somewhere in between, but there is rarely a dull moment in my world.

Except right now there’s a lot of dull. Too much dull. Like “I want a nap because everything is just boring” kind of dull. I’m not fond of this.

To keep myself awake this morning I’ve been brainstorming ideas for creative projects I can do using materials I already have on hand. So far we have:

  • glass globe ornaments decorated with alcohol ink
  • glass globe ornaments decorated with seed bead netting
  • wind chimes using metal washers and beads
  • a mobile using old keys and beads
  • not to mention the knit kits I put together for myself (7 of them)
  • not to mention the two beading kits
  • not to mention the other beading projects I’ve purchased specific supplies for
  • not to mention the cross stitch project I have started
  • and not to mention the 3 knitting projects on the needles

Yikes. That’s a lot of potential. And this weekend I finally get to go back to the glass studio. I have a reasonable sized project in mind for that and I am really excited about it.

I’m doing pretty well with (some of) the goals I set for myself. We’ve been doing much better about trying new recipes. And I’m up to 8 finished projects for this month, so that’s good. I do need to work on making the weight thing more of a priority.

How are you all doing?

Eric the Red, modeling the Cable it Up scarf

my therapy trinity

I have oddly random thoughts at weird times, and this was one of them. In my little world I have a trinity of therapies that keep me doing well, at least most of the time. And most of the time is just fine. No one is fine all of the time. If they tell you they are they’re either selling something (like snake oil) or should be wearing a large Egyptian headdress and referring to themself as Cleopatra.

There’s a lot of stuff going on for me personally right now and during my visit with my therapist yesterday I realized just how much. But, cognitive therapy is one branch of my trinity. I go see a therapist every few weeks and it’s helpful because she’s a completely neutral party that I can talk to about literally anything. I recommend a therapist to anyone who will listen.

Moving on, I get pharmacological therapy in the form of medications my psychiatrist prescribes for me that help to regulate the chemical imbalances in my brain. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder type 2 just a tiny bit more than 16 years ago. It’s been a bumpy ride at time trying to figure out the best combination of meds, but I know that I most definitely need meds. I feel no shame about this.

The third branch of my personal therapy trinity is physical therapy, but not how you might think. I take Lithium as one of two mood stabilizers for the Bipolar. It works wonders for me and I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but I do have hand tremors because of it. It’s a frustrating thing to be 45 years old and not always have fine motor control, but I’ll take the sanity over steady hands any fucking day. So I try to do things like knit and assemble LEGO kits to help. Lately I’ve been doing more with beadwork as an attempt to re-awaken some of my muscle memory.

No more meetings! Go nap!

never enough time

We had a really nice weekend, and that was good. We managed to get a very nice balance of being productive and being sloths. Heavenly really. Though I will say, I won’t be putting off grocery shopping until Sunday afternoon again any time soon. But here I am with very little time because, quite frankly, I’m realizing what bits of my life really are the priorities.

That’s a queen size bed in our guest room

I can’t remember when I finished those three, and I can’t be bothered to look, but I can tell you that they’ve been hanging out in the closet for entirely too long. We’re anticipating having a house guest around New Year’s so I figured I should probably get this done before she arrives. I also managed to finish the last gift and that baby will also require blocking, so…

Rectangulum in the wild

I wore Rectangulum to work one day last week with a black tunic and black leggings and it was just lovely. The ability to customize the look with the buttons and button holes is really kind of genius. And I still believe that this yarn is absolutely perfect.

My goal now for the rest of 2021 is try to finish what I can of the existing projects. I’ve moved on to a lace scarf that’s been in the works because it’s probably closest to done. There’s also still the beaded lace cowl, the kitty doll, and the mohair shawl. I’m well aware that those won’t ALL be done before the new year, but I’ll try. I did start a new charity scarf this morning because I wanted something mindless to work on sometimes.

Garth is not pleased that today is Monday

let it be

I’m still very excited about Lancelot only having FOUR MORE SHIFTS to work. Not that anyone would notice or anything. I’ve been trying to behave myself, I promise. And in that vein, my last order of yarn for the year arrived yesterday. It took everything I had not to just start a new project right then and there, especially since the one yarn came with a free pattern that looks lovely.

At any rate, I’m still knitting diligently on the last holiday gift that needs to be finished. There’s two other small-ish things I want to do, but if they don’t get done it’s not the end of the world. The gifts I had ordered have all been delivered so I’m not worried about that either. The only thing left to “ship” will be cards, assuming I decide to mail any. I suspect many of them will be delivered in person.

Had a bit of a conversation this morning with a friend at work about the upcoming holidays. She already has her trees up and decorated, and another friend has already turned on her holiday lights. I say good for them. We haven’t gotten that far yet, and I prefer to not turn anything on until the day after Thanksgiving, but I’m also of the opinion that if it makes my friends happy to have their stuff up and lit already then who am I to judge.

Garth will judge everyone and everything from his nap perch in a basket of clean, warm towels on top the dryer

so there I was, hip deep in yarn bands contemplating the virtues of bamboo needles versus metal when suddenly…

WTF?? This is most certainly not what I want

Garth is of the opinion, like most cats, that anywhere he plops down for a nap is his bed, and good luck telling him otherwise. He doesn’t share. He also has a tendency to find where Eric is napping and steal that spot from him by just being obnoxious until Eric gets up and leaves.

As I was sitting in my chair knitting on a relatively boring cowl, drinking my tea and watching the news this morning I realized that all of “this” – my morning routine – is likely going to change when Lancelot is working from home. But then, maybe it won’t. It got me thinking about routines and that maybe this is a perfect opportunity for me to re-evaluate some of mine to see if they really are still beneficial. I see the difference between “routine” and “rut” as pretty damn subtle, though highly significant.

It’s still going to be important for me to have consistent “go to bed / wake up” times because sleep is so crucial in managing my Bipolar. I feel like it’s also going to be important to have some time in the mornings to do a little knitting and enjoy my cup of tea. That’s almost more of a ritual at this point, and I feel that it does serve me exceptionally well.

Some of the things I do that feel sort of standard like menu planning and getting my outfits together for the week will certainly stay, though I’m hoping to be able to get L more involved with the menu because I think it would be great to get him more involved with cooking. (he has expressed an interest in this, so yay) I also anticipate some of the household chores will either stay the same or at least be pretty similar.

I honestly think the biggest difference will be with my nighttime routines. For a while I had been trying to shut down all of my electronics at 7pm and then pick up a book and read until 8pm when I went to bed. That lasted until I finished the book I was reading and sadly I have yet to get into a new book. I’m hoping that I can shift my bedtime until 9pm (since I won’t need to get up quite so early anymore) and then come up to my office at 8pm and read. I anticipate that time would allow L a little extra time in the evening to wind down how he prefers so that we both get better sleep. I hope anyway.

Today I love… hot tea with honey and cream, I love that there are no external meetings today so I can be a little extra casual, I love that today is chicken noodle soup day, I love that the cowl is coming out beautiful and I’m glad I decided to go with a non-pattern to let the beauty of the yarn shine through