living my life and loving 99.925% of it

I kind of neglect this blog, eh?

sugar skull ornament I painted in Keystone
panda on the prowl
Heihei!
watercolor fused glass bowl
Eric is way too cool
Garth would like to be outside
presenting to a packed room
washcloth knitting at a baton competition
carrot walrus teeth are the best
extreme closeup kitty nose
the blue batik skirt being worn
orange lilies on campus
pandas in Keystone
he’s behind me again, isn’t he?
all the panda gear
me as a lion tamer
pretty painted glass

It’s been a busy summer. We had a great time at the conference. There was a lot to learn and a lot of fun to be had. We aren’t going to talk about the massive quantities of vodka at the carnival or the kiss from the cute Southern fella.

But speaking of men, I’m giving up again for awhile. I tried talking to someone new and it was just really awful. What’s so hard to understand about women being more than sex objects? FFS. All I’m out is some time but still.

this is almost embarassing

I haven’t actually been doing much digitally after work at all these days, mostly because I’ve been out living a life. A life worth living, as though who know DBT would know. It’s good, really good. I’m creating myself, well and truly, and quite enjoying it.

I’ve done a few glass classes, will be doing another next Tuesday, I finished sewing the skirt I was making, redecorated parts of my bedroom, and installed a new shower head in my bathroom.

Tomorrow I start taking Humira for my skin issues and in November I’m going to India for work. Life has not been boring. Life has been the kind of busy that I find healthy and enjoyable.

glass vase project
hat I embellished for my July road trip
blue Batik print wrap skirt
cutest babies in the world

Aside from being at the end of my rope with the skin stuff I’m in excellent health. I still love my job. My mom is the best. And I have the most amazing little orange boyfriends ever.

Life is good.

where to begin

Obviously, at the beginning.

Life has a way of sneaking up on me, particularly in the spring. Something about the change of the seasons has a tendency to make me lean more towards the manic side of life more than usual. Fear not, I’m taking my meds and seeing the therapist and sleeping and trying to eat. I’m doing the things I need to do, I promise. Wanna see?

homemade air freshener gel stuff
a new recipe one night – chicken enchilada pizza, muy yummo
Eric eating cat grass on the back deck
lilacs in bloom on campus, heavenly
my new boyfriend, I mean 3D printed planter
I got my haircut, drastically, and I am a derp
I should not be allowed to have a Pinterest account
panda earrings, duh

In other news, I’m still fighting with my weight. And the triangle scarf. And the back of the vest that I wanted desperately to wear looks like a lavender nipple.

I can’t win them all.

At Mom’s suggestion I’m making a list of projects I have started and need to finish as well as things I know I want to do. It’s rather impressive honestly. But I had forgotten about some of these supplies so really, I should do something with them.

In that vein, I’m seriously contemplating opening an Etsy shop. I have a ton of materials that I could turn into product to sell. Mom asked me if I’d really want to have that kind of inventory on hand, but it seems to me that it’s not really different than just having the raw goods.

Anyone gone that route? Suggestions? Warnings? Recipes for good margaritas? Bueller?

i might have actually done “it” this time

I’ve worked in IT for my entire adult life, all six months of it. (HA!) The university I work for is at the tail end of a migration from one learning management system to another which means I’ve been spending a whole lot of quality time moving things “by hand” for faculty who aren’t comfortable doing it themselves, or for whom it’s entirely too time consuming.

I don’t mind. They’re appreciative and, let’s be honest, sometimes mind-numbing work is exactly what you need. But this morning I think I pushed it too far. (mostly because I should NOT have done this all over the span of 3 hours)

  • Seven semesters worth of a class
  • 4-5 discussion forums per class
  • approximately 30 students per class
  • scan each board and download the attached files, then upload to a shared drive

To say that I’m in pain is an understatement.

But I love this gig. I live for it actually. I’m a people-person and a problem solver. It’s a rock solid combination.

In other news, I cheated on my knitting last night even more.This is going to become a fused glass garden stake. I went to my local glass studio last night and did a class. I’ve been doing fused glass for several years now but haven’t done much of it lately. I’ll post a finished pic when it’s done.

And now a gratuitous picture of the cutest orange kitties in the world…

Garth is on the left and Eric is on the right

ch-ch-ch-changes!!!

So I’m happy to report that being 42 is every bit as awesome as I hoped it would be. I got to spend time with some friends last week, my work-husband brought me donuts, I completely blew the whole healthy eating thing, my Panda Princess Partner is back from maternity leave, and I’ve decided that my world is well and truly a drama free zone.

There has been some “moving on” because of that, namely with the guy scene. I just have no desire to be anyone’s second choice and I’m implementing some standards. Who’d have thunk?

I’m also taking a stab at round two of making a shawl that turned out to be a heinous disaster the first time. Did y’all know that actually reading the damn instructions makes a huge difference? I meant to bring it with me today since I have a hair appointment tonight and then I could have taken a pic, but alas, I’m forgetful.

In other super exciting news, I turned in my final project for an online professional development course I’ve been taking and I got great feedback from the woman who was facilitating. My #1 Strength according to the Clifton Strengths Finder assessment is Learner and boy do I ever love to be learning new things. That’s one of the perks of working in higher education; there’s always something new to learn and lots of opportunities to do so.

Anyway, what I just finished was considered a certificate. I have a B.S., an M.A., a graduate certificate from the university where I work, and now two professional certificates from other universities. One of these days I should think about a doctorate degree but I’m not ready to commit yet.

Now for some visual distractions…

the fifty-cent garter stitch scarf

That’s the scarf that resulted from my fabulous yarn score at the artist garage sale. The length is good, not obnoxiously long, and the colors are really interesting. It was a nice, relaxing knit.

hanging violet (click for bigger pic)

I absolutely love African violets, and so do the boys. I haven’t had any for awhile because, well, they killed the ones I did have and I hadn’t figured out how to keep one safe. So I got a tiny 2″ potted violet, a plastic cup, some pebbles, soil, and leftover sock yarn. I crocheted a solid base and then did the netting around the sides. It’s lovely.

a friend at work crocheted me a lovely purple blanket which the boys promptly claimed… this one is Eric (click for bigger pic)

long time no write

Not dead yet! Life has been hectic and there have been bits where I’m doing good to keep my head above water. But even though life has been more about the treading than making progress lately, I haven’t drowned yet. I call that good.

While I haven’t done super great with the goals lately, I haven’t done super awful either. I haven’t lost weight but I also haven’t gained. And I spent money on stuff I didn’t truly need, but I haven’t gone beyond the funds I had set aside. And of the the things I did buy, none of it was craft supplies. Mostly it was digital music and a new small set of markers, both of which I use at work.

Work is good these days, and it’s part of what’s keeping me going. There is no shortage of stuff to do. And I love these crazy people. Over lunch today I had one of my faculty friends stop by needing a favor and he was all “I totally owe you coffee for this!” No sir, this is called doing my job. I told him that I’ll take care of him and he can take care of the students.

Honestly, that’s how I measure my success – retention and graduation rates. If we aren’t keeping students long enough for them to graduate then we aren’t doing something right and I feel like that comes back, at least in part, on me.

Anyway, still working on the other goals. I’m trying to get back on the whole healthy eating wagon. I spent time last night getting some lunches and fruit salad made. I’m also making good progress on my latest knitting adventure, a beaded shawl.

the beads are really subtle, they’re along the left edge in this pic

The pattern is simple and I’m loving it. Not sure how long it’s going to take to finish but I have been working on it regularly. And I finished some smaller projects in February so I feel pretty ok about that.

derp!

week four

Coming at you a day early this week, but hey, I’ve got good stuff to share.

Easy one first, the weight. In spite of making the decision to have dinner out last night, and eat a large order of french fries, I managed to lose another 3/4 of a pound. My guess is that it could have been even more if we’d had something healthier for dinner but I honestly don’t feel bad. This was only the THIRD time this month that I’ve eaten out and a girl needs some fries now and then. I’m still considering it a win. I’m down 4lbs for the month. My goal was 5 and I still consider next week part of January. I’m seeing a victory in my future.

On the financial front, I’m doing awesome. I still have cash left in my wallet and in the bank. I recreated my budget spreadsheet (it got lost when the laptop tanked) and then started adding up my receipts and I’m actually in really good shape. Assuming the government does eventually let me file my taxes, my returns are good enough that I’ll be able to pay off one credit card entirely and then start working on the others. My plan is to pay off the highest balance, because it would require the highest monthly payment to eliminate this year, and then put that payment amount with the next highest balance. This should result in all of the cards being paid off well before the end of the year.

I’ve decided that the next step is going to be increasing what I pay on my vehicle loan. I moved that to my credit union, where I do all of my banking, late last year so it’s ridiculously easy to pay extra on it via their website. Once that’s paid off I’ll start putting money aside for the down payment on the next vehicle.

I totally sound like a grown up.

there’s a really funny story with this pic but all you really need to know is that no, it was not my birthday, but it’s stuff like this that makes it hard for me to think of myself as a grown up

I am starting to use my Google Assistant more often. I even figured out how to have it set reminders for me, and then promptly felt foolish because it’s stupid easy. I am quite enjoying it though.

And last but not least, the “bigger than a washcloth” craft project to be completed. I am probably 95% done crocheting the pieces and parts for the kitty cocoon/bunting thing for K’s bambino. Next comes assembly. Lots of little parts that will make for an adorable baby kitty. My plan is to get that finished this evening.

So YAY! I feel like I’m making really good progress with everything and because I’m not focusing all of my attention on just one thing it seems to be easier. It’s lots of baby steps that are all taking me in the direction I want to go.

gratuitous cute kitty picture

laugh until you pee

I spent a good part of this morning in the basement cleaning up/out my desk and surrounding areas. When I moved upstairs (movin’ on up to the west side, fo reals yo) I didn’t take too much time to worry about the space I was leaving behind in the basement, space that had included my bedroom and an office area. But something about the upcoming surgery, and the difficulties lately in finding things, put me in a frame of mind to get down to it. We’re also getting ready for my mom’s new treadmill to be delivered tomorrow so the floor needed some attention. All of this explanation to finally explain why I am laughing until I pee (this time).

Garth has a little stuffed squirrel toy that is his absolute favorite. He carries it around in his mouth even though it’s nearly the size of his head. His favorite thing to do is throw it up in the air and then catch it. I lovingly refer to it as his Squirrelfriend. Tossing her around is even more fun to do on the wide open basement tile floor.

Anyway, I’m feeling a bit like there’s a ticking clock looming over my shoulder. Not in an “end of my life, Grim Reaper” kind of way, more in a “holy fucking hell, I’m having surgery in only slightly more than TWO WEEKS” kind of way. Wait, maybe that is the fame feeling…

I’ve been working diligently to make sure that everything is as ready as possible before S-Day. The amazing thing about having a surgery in December is that you’ve almost certainly met your health insurance deductible. The horrific thing about having a surgery in December is that convalescing time is almost certainly going to wreak havoc with Christmas preparations.

Wish me luck.

killing time, putting in my time, nothing but time on my hands

I finally got a call from the oncologist’s office on Friday, but not the call I wanted. The nurse was letting me know that the doc I was scheduled to see was going on a leave of absence and they’re bumping my appointment from Thursday to Friday. Not horrible, but still.

Friday night I did get to go take a blown glass ornament class which was beyond amazing.

the ones on the far left were mine

I managed to get 12 ornaments successfully made and had a hell of a lot of fun doing it.

Yesterday I finished putting together my fused glass 3D Christmas tree.

amazing, yes?

And I finished a shawl I’ve been working on that I had planned to wear to a play I was going to head out to see today.

I get by with a little help from Garth

But then this morning was the time change and I got up and started doing stuff and that was great but when it came time to get ready to head out I just couldn’t do it. I was honestly afraid to leave the house. While this isn’t unheard of for me, it sure as hell hasn’t happened in a good long time. Rather than beat myself up I decided to just be gentle and take care of myself today.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to see what other appropriate mischief I can get myself into while wearing pjs.

let me distract all of us with some pictures, eh?

I still haven’t heard anything from the oncologist so Mom has been doing her best to keep me busy. She’s done a great job. And so have the boys. Nothing like little balls of fluff to keep you distracted.

handsome orange kitties sleeping on my bed
baton competition on Saturday meant lots of knitting time for me between the girls’ performances
we must check out this counter mama, much important
“but moooooom! we gotta chase this bug!”
3D fused glass tree, some assembly required (and still needed)
pumpkin carving
Yoda Cat
weirdest aunt ever

This afternoon I have an appointment with my therapist which is good. I just wish I would hear something soon. As Tom Petty once said, the waiting is the hardest part.