forgive me, my followers, for I have strayed…

Since last we spoke I have…

  • Bought 3 new pairs of knitting needles, because they were on clearance, and they’re bamboo
  • Bought 3 new pairs of shoes
  • Bought clothes – for work
  • Gained some weight and lost some weight
  • Did a pretty thorough clean-out of most of my crap
  • Got confirmation that we will be moving office space at work; I get to see the new digs tomorrow
  • Taken a week off work
  • Started a sewing project
  • Finished some smaller projects
  • Realized how amazing sugar free chocolate syrup and club soda mixed together are
  • Discovered why zoodles are so exciting, and yummy

I’m doing alright, keeping busy mostly. The cats like to help which isn’t really much help at all, but I love them.

I’m also still single, which is still just fine. I ended up needing to help a guy on campus that I had a prolonged, and mostly painful, “thing” with and it was sad, but not how you’d think. Damn near every gift I had ever given him was in his office, prominently displayed. I’m not sure if that was for my benefit that day or if he’s got a new woman going to his apartment regularly who isn’t interested in seeing that shit laying around. Who knows. With him anything is possible. Regardless, it was purely professional. Yay me.

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?

proof that I knit and that my body still hates me

This is the vest I’ve been working on. We dog sat again this weekend and let tell you, repetitive garter stitch is perfect for watching movies. I used Rebecca Hope Obsorn’s Nebula Medallion Vest pattern and, as usual for me, did it my own damn way, mostly because I used only a little handspun yarn but not bulky and then three other commercial worsted weight yarns. The two solid purples are (I think) Cascade 220 that’s been in my stash for years. The aqua collar is a new acquisition but of course I can’t remember what it’s called. That gorgeous stuff in the middle is the handspun. One of my good friends who happens to be a librarian here made it for me before I had the cyst removed in December. Look her up on Instagram, she goes by @teaspinning. I plan on wearing this tomorrow. YAY!!!

I have gotten back to work on the triangles shawl/scarf thing. I’m going to try to get it done before the weekend because this Saturday my nieces have a big ass competition and it’s close enough that Mom and I will go to it. We’ve been to enough of these that we have it down to an art.

We’ll be taking:

  • bleacher chairs
  • a knitting project for me
  • all 3 of Mom’s tablets
  • large insulated drink cups
  • those little sticks of drink mix
  • snacks that don’t make messes or get fingers dirty (for the girls)

Most of that goes in my backpack. I don’t mind going usually. Inevitably someone will strike up a conversation about whatever project I’m working on. And my nieces are amazingly talented so it’s fun to get to see them in action.

Okay, time for the “body hates me” news…

Last Thursday night I taught a class. While I was up front talking I noticed that the middle finger on the right hand hurt and was swelling. That’s the finger I wear rings on so I got those off and kept going. I had apparently blown a blood vessel. The finger hurt like hell until Saturday morning.

Sunday afternoon Mom and I were doing stuff in the yard, nothing major. I stopped to get a drink and the index finger on the left hand popped, like I felt something pop, and it started turning black and blue and got hard. It’s starting to feel better now but I gotta tell ya, this is just weird.

In the “my body hates salad” news… I lost FOUR POUNDS last week. I am pleased.

entirely unfaithful

I’m wearing fat jeans today. There is no body shaming here; I’ve been a fat girl for a long time. These are not the jeans I seek.

I actually said “no thank you” to a donut this morning. It was probably chocolate, I didn’t even look. I ate a salad, a banana, a yogurt thingy, and some tiny oranges and grapes for lunch. I’m going on a trip this summer for a work conference and I have some really cute summer clothes that currently would not fit on my fat ass.

I want to cheat on this diet like I’m currently hooked up with Danny DeVito and Matt Damon is knocking on my front door.

What I am cheating on are my knitting projects, all FOUR of them. This is so unlike me. Well, it’s unlike the “today” me. It’s totally like the “2006” version of me.

I have that cool triangle scarf going, or at least I did until Eric grabbed the yarn in his little kitty mouth and broke it. Nothing horrible, totally workable, but it made me fall out of love with it.

I have that super neat looking beaded shawl in the works, but having to stop at the end of every other row to use a tiny crochet hook and put a bead on is making progress kind of like using an Ez-Bake Oven to crank out a wedding cake to feed 500 guests.

There’s the awesome circular vest that I haven’t shown y’all yet.

It’s way bigger than that now and the colors are a million times more amazing. But now it’s big enough that I need to start the collar which means deciding what color yarn to use. Plus, provisional cast on. Not interesting. But I totally want this done because it’s beautiful.

And that leaves the last project, the one that I might work on today. Maybe.

Yes, that’s a washcloth. I have roughly 142, 321, 796 of these already. I must have one more.

Hmm, decisions, decisions…

all the things, all the time

By way of a quick “goals” update, it was not a great week. I ate more junk food than I should have and was not quite as stringent with the budget as I should have been. On the plus side, the Visa has been paid off and I sent a hefty chunk to another card. But this super cold winter weather is just dragging me down.

At any rate, I have still been doing my best to keep moving forward, even if more slowly these days. I’m approaching my 42nd birthday and my 12th year in active treatment for Bipolar Disorder. I feel totally justified in slowing down.

There was a time in my life when I really did think I could do all the things all at the same time, which is utter crap. But I felt bullet proof and I was out to prove that I was. Oh how wrong I was…

Getting enough sleep, eating healthy food, and taking the right medications have made a huge difference in my world, as has having the world’s most amazing mom.

I live with my mom and honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. We take care of each other, we do stuff together, and she helps to keep me on the straight and narrow. I can’t even imagine how lonely I would be if I lived alone.

Here’s hoping y’all have a good week.

month one – official wrap up

Sorry y’all, this is likely going to be a shorter than usual post. I’m not feeling so fabulous today and so sitting in this desk chair is not a good thing. But, accountability is a good thing, so here goes.

  1. Weight – I have lost exactly 5lbs since I started tracking this on January 1st. Yay!
  2. Money – I stuck to my budget last month. I ate out exactly 3x, I kept every receipt, and I didn’t even suffer for it.
  3. Eating better – I paid much more attention to what I was eating. Part of that is because of the food prepping I do. (hopefully more on that in a future post)

All in all, I’m counting January as a very good month and I’m proud of the progress I’ve made.

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

week one

This was my first week back to work after having been out on medical leave for a month. It was exciting and exhausting at the same time. But this wasn’t my first rodeo so I knew pretty well what to expect. And I planned accordingly.

I decided that my eating habits would be the best place to start with my goals, in part because I know that you get out of your body what you put into it.

One thing you should know about me is that I am a heavy drinker, but I seldom drink alcohol. I take Lithium Carbonate to control some of the symptoms of Bipolar Disorder and, since it’s an elemental salt, it makes me perpetually dehydrated. It’s pretty rare to find me without a beverage by my side. To make things even more interesting, I pretty well detest plain water. Time to get creative.

I often use Crystal Lite Peach Tea mix, or a Cherry Pomegranate flavor, or packets of True Orange crystallized orange powder. I’m also fond of fruit flavored seltzer waters. Lately I’ve been wanting drinks that are a little more sweet but still not totally unhealthy.

I’m not typically one to drink hot beverages but the high temps here have been negative numbers lately. Desperate times and all that. So my latest obsession is this…

Plus a nice fat teaspoon of this…

with a splash of cream.

Yes, honey is added sugar, but it’s not a refined sugar and honey has good stuff in it. The fact that this is both local and chocolate flavored makes it even better.

The other beverage tip I want to share with you has to do with coffee. Lots of us have a coffee addiction, be honest with yourself about it, there’s no judgement here. My biggest issue is the expense. If you stop at a coffee shop every day, even if just to get a regular cup of hot coffee, that’s likely going to set you back at least $2. No bueno.

Again, I’m not a fan of hot beverages but I love iced coffee. And I’m cheap. So here’s what I do.

Instead of shelling out sheckels every day I buy a quality bag of flavored coffee grounds. My current fav is Pear’s Chocolate Raspberry. I brew a nice strong 12C pot of that, add about 3/4C Splenda, and then let it cool. I typically brew two pots like that because that’s what my designated Coffee Jug will hold. I stash that in the fridge and it lasts at least a week.

I’m not one to drink black coffee so I have to dress that shit up. I have a 24oz insulated cup that I fill half with the cold coffee. I add a splash of cream and then top it with milk. Voila! Delicious iced coffee with far fewer calories and significantly less expensive.

What are your favorite money saving tips and tricks?

an update of sorts

Since the last time I visited with y’all I’ve had a slumber party with the nieces, gone for manicures with the girls and let the older niece pick out my colors, done a little shopping, changed some of the hardware in my bathroom, and taken an alcohol ink class. Oh, and I finished the one shawl.

So, YAY!

Eric hanging out inside a Panera bag during breakfast
You truly cannot go wrong letting a 9 year old fashionista pick out the colors for your manicure
Eric modeling with the nearly finished shawl
Alcohol ink projects – peacock painting on Yupo paper, purple rose, bluebells, and (alleged) pink lily, and then a wild drip art piece – all of those on 4″ white ceramic tile (click to see a huge image)

Quite possibly the most exciting is that since the last time I bothered to weigh myself I’ve lost 3lbs. Small victory, but still.

I’m still working to find my groove and figure out what it is that makes me really happy so that I can make sure to do more of that, whatever “that” is.

But as I sit here with a wild kitten under my desk playing soccer with his ping-pong ball and head-butting me every time he goes by my legs, I have to wonder if maybe hanging out with the fluffy kids might just be what makes me happiest of all when it comes to a leisure time activity.

little known fact – sad has a taste

I’m going to whine, about food, so if that ain’t your thing you might want to leave now.

My mom is helping me with this diet thing and she’s really amazing, she is. The most amazing mom ever. She’s just beyond amazing.

(you read that in the Donald’s voice, I know you did)

But I’m kind of a picky little thing and I’m not really enjoying this. For example, my morning snack today was 10 macadamia nuts. TEN. If you’re wondering whether I picked through the container to find the 10 biggest, you’re damn right I did. But before the Great Nuts Fiasco of ’17 we had to deal with the Sad Smoothie Situation of ’17.

I’ve never been one to put unusual things in my smoothies. They generally consist of fruit, yogurt, and either milk or fruit juice. Some of those yummy things are verboten right now though, so I got a little bit of fruit and some Plain Greek yogurt and Almond Milk. I really kind of despise almond milk. The only thing worse than almond milk is protein powder, and I got some of that, too.

It wasn’t quite the nastiest thing I’ve ever drank and I did actually finish it, but it left me with a serious craving for powdered milk cut with whiskey.

However…

I know that this diet stuff is good for me. I’m easily 100lbs over weight (or 4ft under tall) and it’s nothing short of a miracle that I don’t have hypertension, diabetes, or any number of other weight related health concerns. The skin issue is what got this started, but this morning the universe sent me another message and I’m too smart to ignore it.

So I’ll whine a little and use my dark sense of humor to get through this. I’m in the process of writing a version of “Sound of Silence” that’s an ode to granola.

If you’ll excuse me, I need to go lick a paper plate.