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.

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.

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?

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.