life goes goofy

Lancelot and I had a really good weekend, in spite of me not feeling great part of the time. We did get our finances joined – yay – and our errands run, including a trip to a local bee/honey store. That was awesome. On Saturday we went so I could get yet another blood draw (more on that in a bit), we actually got to eat breakfast at our favorite bagel place (because no one else was in the dining room!), and we got our monthly massages. We were supposed to go out for dinner to celebrate our one month anniversary but I was exhausted and decided that there was no way I would enjoy it.

So instead we relaxed the rest of the day and got take out food from our favorite Thai restaurant.

Yesterday I got a call from the doc’s office about the blood draw. Back when I got to go see the special blood doc they had done some test to check my liver and kidney function. Those numbers were not good so I had to have those tests done again. Evidently my liver is ok but my kidneys might not be. I had to schedule an appointment to see the psych doc (GP thinks this might be from the Lithium) and I’m waiting for a call to get an appointment with a kidney specialist.

At any rate, after I found out about that my body decided that it was really not amused and I called it quits at 1pm. I camped out on the couch with the dog and my latest knitting project. I feel marginally better today. I honestly think I’m having issues from a sinus infection. I’ve got a lot of drainage and a wicked headache right where my sinus cavities are. No fun.

On the knitting front, I had L help me wind up yarn for two projects over the weekend. The one I’m actively working on right now is Syyslaulu, inspired by the one that NothingButKnit made. I decided to make mine with yarn I brought back from Ireland last spring; S Twist Wool. The label says that it’s mixed mountain fleece from Tipperary. It’s beautiful shades of soft orange that I think will be wonderful with this pattern. I just wish the yarn itself was softer.

That is the shawl, though that’s a horrible likeness of the actual color. I took this pic this morning at around 6am while I was waiting to go get L from work. This is how I often get to knit in the morning, complete with the little black dog nose. And yes, I tend to keep my current projects in small rigid tote bags. It keeps them mostly safe from critters.

I can’t remember the other upcoming project, only that it’s also a shawl (surprise!) and that the yarn is Knit Picks in some shade of dark purple. Also, it has a lace edge. Yeah totally not like me. Right.

I did order and receive some stunning lampwork beads here recently that I need to do something with. I got a large focal bead and some smaller accent beads that I think I’ll turn into earrings. All I know is that I need to get crafty again soon.

I’ve also been working on the whole meal planning thing.  Tonight’s dinner, meatballs and mushroom gravy, is in the crock pot already. I’m trying to figure my menu out ahead of time so I can order only the groceries we really need.

So that’s where I am right now. Sitting in my office wishing I was knitting instead of working.

outing myself

First the easy update, I think the shawl will be done yet this week. For one thing, I’m getting towards the end of the pattern. For another thing, I’m getting frighteningly close to end of the yarn. I’m thinking I might be making a few executive decisions about how many repeats to do. But hey, that’s part of the beauty of a pattern like this, I can be as flexible as I want.

Here’s a totally random update… We picked up a delicious watermelon last weekend and man do I love me some good watermelon. But this sucker was HUGE, like so big I was afraid me and Lancelot couldn’t possibly eat all of it before it spoiled. And that’s when I remembered something from when I traveled over to Delhi and Dubai.

Watermelon juice.

We had already cleaned and chunked up the melon so I just tossed a quantity into the blender and abused the hell out of it. And that was it. No straining, no fussing, no nothing. Pour it in a cup, stick a straw in it, and enjoy. It’s wonderful. And it’s healthy. So yay.

So I mentioned outing myself, something I actually used to do pretty regularly. I have Bipolar Disorder and I’m not at all ashamed to talk about it. FFS, I was actively working on writing my memoir all about it! When it comes up naturally in conversation and it makes sense, I have a tendency to say something.

Today I met with a faculty member who will be teaching an online Social Work class that deals with mental illness. DUH, it made sense to me to bring up my diagnosis. I’m more than 13 years into recovery at this point and I’m in a good place with my treatment so I’m pretty damn comfortable talking about it, particularly since I know that talking openly and honestly helps to fight the stigma associated with mental illnesses.

For example, I will tell you…

  • I take medication every day to help stabilize my moods; 12 pills to be precise (all of my other pills are for other doc prescribed stuff)
  • I meet (via Zoom right now) with my therapist every other week
  • I don’t drink more than 2 drinks in a 7 day period because I know that more is not healthy for me
  • I don’t smoke, anything, because it screws with my mood
  • I go to bed at 8 because if I have trouble sleeping that leaves me enough time to get sleep before I must get up in the morning
  • But I usually get up around 4am and start doing stuff
  • I haven’t been actively suicidal since 2009
  • I don’t like violence of any kind and I wouldn’t dream of hitting another creature
  • It’s taken a long time for me to like myself

But if you just met me under normal circumstances you would likely never guess that my home life was any different than your own. And that is one of my greatest successes I think; being able to “pass” for someone who doesn’t have a mental illness.

a quick check of the rear view mirror before we peal out into the sunset

First, let’s just get this big ol’ turd out of the way. The goals I set for myself last year didn’t happen. I tried, mostly, but I can very honestly say that I didn’t put forth the effort I knew would be necessary. That’s 100% on me.

None of this makes me any less of a person and it doesn’t even make me feel bad about myself. I tried, that’s what was important. So, moving on.

Here are some things that I think went really well this last year:

  • I successfully completed a semester of grad school. I doubt I’ll go back to finish the program but that’s because of the price tag, not because I don’t think I can mentally handle it. Very important difference.
  • I have become much more aware of my spending habits and what I could be doing different with my money. I feel confident that this year WILL be better.
  • Lancelot and I grew as a couple and things feel stronger than ever between us.
  • I’ve learned a lot about who I really am as a person, and I like that person.

Over the winter break I’ve gotten a ton of stuff done, and that makes me feel good, too. Mom and I tore the house apart, donated a bunch of stuff we no longer use, reorganized all of the holiday stuff, and I even did a full inventory of my yarn stash. Yes, the entire stash. It’s a beautifully organized spreadsheet that nearly brings a tear to my eye.

Here are some of my favorite projects from this year:

The Stormy Skies shawl seemed appropriate for a stormy day

I finished a scarf this morning that was supposed to be my last project of last year but then I had a glass of wine with dinner and my old butt was in bed by 8pm. And even though it’s a pretty little scarf it kind of looks like unicorn vomit at the moment.

I am still working on the shell shawl (did I ever show y’all that?) but it’s in time out on account of the one needle trying to take out one of my fingers in a very unfortunate laundry incident. I also realized that I don’t have nearly enough yarn to finish it the way I want to so that’s kind of pissing me off. I’ve also started another shawl (quelle surprise!) that’s two different purples (also a big shocker) and will have some super shiny beads. Stay tuned.

So, what does 2020 have in store for me? I’m ever so glad you asked…

  • Keep working on getting my credit cards and other debts paid off. The plan is to have everything except my big card, the CR-V, and the student loans all gone by the end of the year.
  • I’m on the hunt for educational opportunities that are more like certificates (I’ve done a few already for work) that I can get my boss to pay for. I like school, I don’t like the price tag.
  • I’d like to take ONE big trip this year, just one. There are a few possibilities being tossed around.
  • I’m planning to use every last bit of craft stuff I have on hand before buying anything new. (hence the yarn inventory)
  • I will turn 44, not that this is really terribly significant, but hey, why not include it?
  • And, last but certainly not least, I really want to make some healthier habits. This would include eating, exercising, and mental health stuff.

I’ll leave you with this image. It’s speaking to me today, maybe it will speak to you, too.

i did a thing

I was telling someone at work about the dermatologist and how, quite frankly, I loathe her. She has the personality of a postage stamp, and not an interesting stamp. More like one of those boring ass “forever” stamps with the very non-de script American flags on it. And she’s mean.

But I digress.

Part of what causes this skin bullshit I deal with is weight, and I know that. But it’s difficult to be this age, have a potentially functioning ovary (but just one), and take the gigantic compliment of psych meds that I do. Plus, bad food tastes good.

So I’m trying. I’ve almost entirely given up caffeine, I have maybe one sugary drink a week, alcohol is out, lots more veggies and fruit are in, lean meat like fish and chicken. I swear to Ceiling Cat, I’M TRYING!!!

And then it happened. My good pal Dr. K and I joined the gym on campus. Yesterday we walked. For 30 minutes. And I didn’t die.

I set a goal back in June to lose 100lbs by the same time next year. If I expect to achieve that goal I’m going to have to keep this up, and I know that.

Besides, I want that fucking little doctor off my ass.

so there I was, up to my false eyelashes in chicken feathers and ginger ale bottles

It’s been hot here lately. HOT. Sadly that means my energy levels are super low. I’m having one hell of a time getting motivated to start walking again, even inside on the treadmill with both fans going. And I know I need to get some activity in.

But…

Somehow, and I’m really not sure how, I’ve lost 2 1/2lbs since last Friday. And this baffles me because Lancelot and I didn’t exactly eat super healthy food over the weekend. We mostly ate crap to be honest.

Anyway, I’m excited, super excited, and I’m hoping this helps jump start my walking and activity. So YAY!

In other news, I finally got my new glasses.

They almost perfectly match my hair, they have tons of bling, and the clip on sunglasses are amazing.

With the exception of the weather this week is shaping up well. It’s a short week for me, only three days, and then I have a delightful five day weekend. And then the following week is only four days and then I’m off work until July 22nd. We aren’t going anywhere exotic this time, just taking time off work to relax and enjoy each other’s company. I can’t wait.

things i’ve been learning

  • eating a bowl of ice cream isn’t going to make the world end
  • “traditional” meal prep isn’t necessarily right for me – I get bored too easily
  • variety is crucial; this includes a little junk every now and then
  • my mental health is every bit as important as my physical health; I can’t neglect one in favor of the other
  • this is a process
  • Lancelot thinks I’m beautiful no matter what
  • I lost 1lb since Monday even with eating the ice cream last night

The lighting in my office is horrid. But yes, I’m wearing tie-dye. This is a high-low skirt and kimono style vest over a white tank. I got the combo at the art festival a few weeks ago. I made the jewelry. I think this may be my new favorite outfit.

Mom and I are trying to eat healthy dinners together and I’m trying to have healthy lunches but I really have realized that having the exact same lunch every day is not for me. There will be similar pieces, such as fresh clementines and hard boiled eggs, but I’m going to try for something a little different. If I have a salad I’ll try to put different things on it, you know, stuff like that.

I know for damn sure that if I get bored with the food I’ll drop this damn “healthy eating” thing like a hot rock.

Yes, it’s a pain in the ass to make a lunch every night, but the pay off will be worth it.

One down, 99 to go…

starting small

Stress is a trigger for a lot of people when it comes to unhealthy eating habits. Through many years of therapy I’ve mostly gotten away from binge eating when stressed, though not entirely. I’m working on it.

I’m not following a “diet” right now because, quite frankly, I don’t believe in them. I didn’t gain this weight overnight, I’m not going to lose it overnight. What I need to do is learn, and PRACTICE, healthier eating habits that will stick with me for life.

So much easier said than done.

There are a few things I’ve been trying to do for some time now that I hope will help:

  • avoiding drinks that have sugar added
  • drink only 100% fruit juice and that’s usually just what I need for a smoothie
  • I keep healthy snacks in my cupboard at work so I’m seldom tempted to go get junk food
  • the snacks I keep at work are usually of the “100 calorie” or single serving variety
  • eat small bits throughout the day, loaded with protein typically, so that I don’t ever get super hungry

I also know that taking care of my mental health is crucial right now. I should have walked this morning but I was up for it. Instead I spent time taking care of some tasks I’d been putting off around the house. I feel better for having done that.

The key for me is to just keep trying, keep moving forward, keep making progress. It’s all about one step at a time.

the biggest goal ever

I currently weigh 269lbs. I am 5’6″ tall. Depending on who you ask I am considered Morbidly Obese even though I am constantly told, even by medical professionals, that I don’t look that heavy.

But I am. And I’ve decided that being that heavy is almost certainly the root of my discontent these days.

My body hurts, almost constantly. It just plain doesn’t feel right. And I get tired entirely too easily.

These aren’t part of a larger, more sinister, issue. This is me not having taken proper care of my body for far too long. I will own this issue because it’s mine to own.

So what’s my goal? I will lose 100lbs by June 24, 2020.

Before anyone panics, that would still have me at a healthy weight for my height. I am also doing this at the recommendation of my doctors. I have no intention of doing a crash diet, using laxatives or stimulants, starving myself, exercising to the point of excess, or anything that is otherwise not healthy. I plan to be more diligent about my food and drink choices and increase my activity, namely walking.

I can do this. I will do this. Lancelot and Mom are doing it with me, though I don’t think either of them plan to lose as much. We will support each other.

I’m telling you all about this because I need to be held accountable. And maybe you’re looking for someone to inspire you or make you feel better about your progress. Who knows.

I will share good recipes as I come across them, I promise you that. Sometimes that’s the hardest part.

Here we go… 100 or bust.

finally friday

The end of the week was, for a long time in my world, just the end of the week. I won’t say that it was awful, but it wasn’t amazing. Mom and I would usually spend all day Saturday running around – errands, shopping, whatever other trouble we could find – exhausting ourselves.  On Sunday we might do things around the house, or attempt to recover.

And then…

Lancelot.

How can you not love that smile? Seriously. And that’s little Riley the River Otter on his shoulder. Riley came home with me from the aquarium in the Dubai Mall. It’s not uncommon for L to include one of the “kids” in the pic when he sends me a selfie. He’s adorable and sweet and treats me with respect and I love him.

So now weekends are usually spent doing stuff together like cooking, eating out, going to movies, watching movies on the couch, and lately we’ve been going to the local farmer’s markets with Mom. Good times.

I wouldn’t say that my weekends are necessarily better, they’re different. I always had a good time with my mom, and I definitely have a good time with L. I do look forward to the weekend just a little more, mostly because, well, grown up things. Y’all know what I mean.

Last night I was able to get another necklace pendant put together. I’m planning to wear it next week with a new outfit. I’m still trying to put together new things to wear. I seriously think that part of my Case of the Blahs has to do with my “look.” I want to look like I feel and I’ve been feeling younger lately. I’ll just blame L for that.

At any rate, I’m still doing my best to get my “poo in a pile” as Dr. K would say. I’m trying to do better with the food and I’m making sure to make time for the activities I enjoy. Working my DBT skills like a good kid.

so there i was, wading through a pond full of blueberry jelly and whisky when suddenly…

Evidently what I needed was to get the ol’ creative juices flowing again. And, oddly enough, I’ve done some of that through cooking.

That was actually last week, but we’re counting it. Balsamic marinated chicken with a Balsamic Caprese salad. Super easy and amazingly delicious.

That was just a few nights ago. Salmon, zucchini noodles with caramelized

onions and cherry tomatoes, and quinoa. It was my first attempt at cooking quinoa and only my second time doing the zucchini noodles like that. Oh. My. GAWD.

I’m trying to eat better because I’ve really let that lapse here lately and I’m seriously thinking all of the junk I’ve been putting in my body is taking a toll. Mom is on the bandwagon with me, as is Lancelot. It helps when everyone is trying to get healthy.

And then there’s this…

Miz K and I finally got some pics we’d taken around campus framed and hung in our small consultation room. We’ve only been in this space almost a year, not like we were rushing anything. I took two and she took two. The frames were a donation from Dr. K so there really wasn’t any cost. And the color totally helps. We’ve picked out four more, ones that represent the seasons, that we’re going to hang up later this week.

But wait, there’s more…

That’s one of the shawls I’m working on. The pattern is called Stormy Sky and the yarn is a Knit Picks Stroll Tonal, I can’t remember the name of the color. It’s soft and beautiful and the pattern is super easy. You start with the one corner and work the stripes out from there. This is typically my early morning project.

But wait, one more…

I had ordered some gorgeous lampwork beads from an artist I adore. Last night I decided that I needed an instant gratification project. These two pendants are part of the result of that. I also put together some bits from a bead show L and I went to earlier this year. I’m thinking tonight I might make something else.