things to celebrate

For all that she is a raging pain in the ass sometimes, Dog Blossom is a good pup and pretty damn adorable

Let’s see, where to begin…

  • I’ve had four days in a row of 5000+ steps
  • I’ve tried some new recipes that were mostly successful
  • we’re having a small group of friends over tomorrow night to celebrate a late St. Patrick’s, early birthday, and the start of our vacation
  • I have now lost 24lbs
Spaghetti squash cooked in the instant pot and then mixed with a little butter, olive oil, garlic, grated Parmesan, and low fat ricotta

I’m quite excited about how things are going with the weight loss. I have been trying to make sure that I not only get my steps in but I also pay attention to my calories and eat a good variety of food, including healthy fats, and that I’m getting plenty of water. It’s a process, to be sure, but there are definitely pieces of this that are just second nature now. And that, probably more than anything else, makes me ridiculously happy.

Well, also, my pants are starting to be way too baggy. That makes me pretty fucking happy too.

Tomorrow morning I’m going with Mom to get a manicure, something I haven’t done since right before Lancelot and I got married last August. I certainly don’t feel like having the one shot is going to magically make me bullet-proof, but it gives me hope. I do feel like there are a few more things I can do, still carefully, and that I don’t need to worry quite constantly or quite as much. It will still be many months, if not until next year, before I feel safe to travel anywhere other than by driving our car. I’m just not ready for planes yet.

I am ready for restaurants, and that’s pretty exciting. We’ve done a lot of take out in the last year, generally just once a week but still. There’s just something about actually going in somewhere and enjoying a good meal. I’m even going to get spiffed up. For my outing on Sunday with my folks I have a black dress that I’ve never worn that actually fits very nicely now.

He’s fucking adorable when he’s sleeping. When he’s awake he bites leaves off my plants and then go racing off with them in his mouth. Captain Naughty Pants indeed.

a bit of an update

I got my first shot. Lancelot is still a goober, albeit my very favorite goober.

The shot was fine, no issues at all. I actually woke up Saturday morning feeling better than I have in a while. So yay. The shot didn’t hurt or cause me any more trouble than any other vaccine I’ve ever had. It was less painful than the MMR, if anyone has an adult memory of getting that one. My only side effect was a slightly sore arm.

Eric has been particularly photogenic lately

I’m doing pretty well with life in general right now. I did a lot of food prep stuff this weekend that I think will be helpful and I have a plan of attack for getting the house in shape for next weekend. For the first time since Lancelot and I have lived here together we are having friends over, in the house, for a meal and a concert.

I am damn near beside myself with excitement.

Everyone in attendance will either be fully vaccinated or have their first shot, with the exception of L. These are also friends of ours that are just as careful about COVID safety precautions as we are. And that will start the week of celebrations. There will be dinner with my mom and stepdad, dinner out with L at our favorite restaurant, museums, I’m assuming Thai food, and my birthday is in there. I need this vacation so damn bad.

Dog Blossom is pooped too

The healthy eating/exercise/Noom stuff is going well. I’ve lost a total of 22.5lbs and now that I’m starting to feel better it’s time to get back to exercising. My goal (once again) is to hit 5000+ steps every day and to drink at least nine 8oz glasses of water every day. It’s just now coming up on 2pm and I already have almost 2200 steps so I consider that good. Thirty minutes on the treadmill will help quite a bit.

The food prep I did was mostly getting together more of the smoothie packs, partly because I had fresh spinach to use and partly because that was a big time saver. This time I used nonfat plain Greek yogurt and only 2.75oz. I also prepped four snack bowls with a hard boiled egg and two clementines and five “salad starters.”

I have these divided container things so I put fresh spinach in the biggest part and then chopped up a cucumber and divided that among the containers and used the smallest spot for shredded carrots. At lunch I dumped all of that into a big bowl and added a hard boiled egg, 1/4C roasted pumpkin seeds (also pre-measured), and my salad dressing (if you guess pre-measured you’d be right).

Having all of that measured ahead of time made my lunch preparation time today almost negligible. It was nice to have a little extra time during my break to do other things. Like laundry.

Mama, laundry is evil

so there I was, damn certain I’d come up with a witty and brilliant idea for a blog title and it was all just gone…

Am I the only one that happens to? I would swear that sometime earlier this morning I’d come up with something absolutely wonderful to call this post, and now I’ve got a fist full of nada. Well shit.

I have been making some progress with the holiday knitting. The first gift is essentially finished and I’ve started on the second one. All of the necessary yarn is wound. I may, or may not, need to find one pattern yet. But I feel good about how that’s been going, in spite of the help I’ve been getting.

His favorite thing is to “make biscuits” on my leg. Painful at the best of times, annoying AF when I’m trying to knit.

But things in general are good at Casa del Crazypants. We’ve made our plans for Thanksgiving, such as they are, and we’ve started talking about what we want to do for Christmas together. Part of what makes every holiday a little trickier is that Lancelot doesn’t get any extra time off. Christmas and New Year’s are a little better this year since they fall during his normal weekend, but Thanksgiving doesn’t. So I’ll cook on either Friday or Saturday, not sure which yet, and one of our friends is going to join us. He’s every bit as careful about plague protocols as we are.

In other exciting news, I thought I would share my Eggnog Chai Coffee concoction with y’all.

So you start with the cold coffee. I brew a 12 cup pot with 3/4C regular coffee (Folgers right now I think) and add 1tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2tsp ground cardamon, 1/4tsp ground nutmeg, and 1/8tsp ground ginger. All of that goes into the basket together and I brew it like normal. I dump that pot into the clear pitcher you see in the back and add 1/2C Splenda, then pop it in the fridge. That lasts about a week.

In a large insulated cup (that one is 32oz) I put ice, about half way, and then add coffee to cover the ice. Next is the eggnog, a nice glug of it (so precise) and then I top it all off with milk. That’s it. It’s nothing too complicated, it’s not at all expensive, and I think it tastes fabulous. When eggnog isn’t in season (why is it ever not???) I just replace that part with half and half.

I do stop at the coffee shop sometimes but their drinks are smaller and they’re expensive. Plus, there’s usually a line. Making coffee in my own kitchen doesn’t require pants, and I enjoy that.

the amazing tale of what I did for my weekend

So last week was kinda odd. On Thursday I had more blood tests and a visit with the hematologist. That was fine except my blood pressure appears to legit be high. The nurse who checked me in about flipped. Yay, I get to start taking a new med.

Friday was Lancelot’s 50 year fun. The prep for that stuff is just utterly horrible, at least judging by the faces he was making and how miserable he appeared to be. But the procedure itself took almost no time and in spite of the kind of restrictions I’ve gotten used to with the pandemic, I was able to go back to the room where they got him ready and then I got to stay in that room until he was ready to go home. So that was nice. And he was back to normal by the time we were back to the house.

The weekend was fairly quiet, which was wonderful. We had a few friends over to watch a concert in the living room, we had sushi delivered, and then yesterday I tore part of the kitchen apart. Good times. We also finally put up the Celtic tree of life decal we bought.

It’s about 24″ in diameter and the color is actually black. I was trying to take a picture for my mom this morning and the light here today is just awful. Anyway, in spite of it being rather a bitch to get up it turned out great and I think it’s going to be a great foundation for that wall.

I am still knitting, trying to make progress, but progress is hard with Pippy being so damn needy lately. If I’m sitting down she wants to be in my lap. The snuggles are nice but it makes it hard to do anything.

because I have so much free time on my hands I think I’ll knit a few holiday gifts… that should be fun, right?

Lancelot and I on Halloween, waiting for our friends to arrive

So it’s pretty well impossible to tell from this picture, or any picture we took, that I had on these very lovely monarch wings that looked great with my headband. I picked them up at Target for $10. They were perfect. And the “party” was wonderful. We had three friends come over and we spent most of the evening in the garage. We ate good food and had wonderful conversation. It was precisely what I needed. And we did it in a way that legitimately seemed pretty safe.

We managed to get some stuff done around the house this weekend, which was very good, though it always feels like there’s more to do. I still need to attack the file cabinet in my office and finish the laundry. I would have been finished with the Off Kilter shawl but my yarn cake (what little of it is left) decided to explode and I had to rewind it by hand from the wrong end this morning. With feline help. I’m anxious to have it done in part because I did not end up having enough yarn for all of the repeats of the body; I think I got something like 18 out of 25 done. It should be fine I’m just not 100% sure what the edging is going to look like, but again, not super concerned.

And so now I think I have AMPLE free time to make some holiday gifts. Keep in mind that the holidays are next month. Towards the end, but still. Oh yeah, totally enough time.

In my defense, three of the patterns are ones I’ve made before, quite successfully. All of the gifts go to friends who live here in the metro and can be delivered by me. And I have the yarn already in my possession for all of them.

Also, Lancelot turned 50 this year which means he gets to have super exciting medical screenings (you know the one) and I’ll be taking him in for that on Friday. Nothing as wonderful as enforced quiet time in a hospital waiting room to help make progress on a knitting project.

I do have to ask – has anyone actually spent time waiting for someone like this since the Rona started? I know how I would have done this in the Before Times when I’d take my Mom, and I think I’ll plan what I take on part on what I used to do, but what tips do y’all have?

i’m weak

This will become a shawl.

I think this will, too.

I got two balls of this so I’m thinking this becomes a shrug with beads around the ends of the sleeves, because I maybe went to the tiny local bead shop and got some Japanese seed beads to match this. Maybe.

Garth was not overly impressed. He scares the hell out of me every time he does this, especially when he starts playing with his own tail.

One of my friends is sewing masks and selling them on Etsy, very reasonably priced. If you like Disney you should check out her shop, she’s got a really nice variety of prints. I really like this purple flower one.

We had our first guest since the plague started. On Saturday night my friend K came over and we did a practice run of makeup for the wedding. Not bad. It was amazing to see her.

Meet Blanche, my new African violet. Mom gave me this antique tea pot and it just seemed like the perfect vessel for a violet. She has taken up residence in the office.

I’m still trying to knit every day and get things done. Today is almost wall to wall meetings, which sucks. Zoom fatigue is a very real thing, and when you combine that with a mental health issue it’s a pretty unpleasant thing.

what is normal anymore?

I get up around 4:30am, like normal. I make a cup of coffee, like normal.

That’s pretty much where any resemblance to my old existence ends.

I might watch a little news, though honestly I don’t remember the last time I did. I might get the dishwasher emptied, though often that waits until closer to my lunch break. I shower and put on comfy clothes, something I used to only do on the weekends. I go pick up Lancelot, which is typical, except I never used to have to drive through a check point.

And then I get home and work in my basement, using two laptops instead of one with two additional monitors (so much nicer), and I don’t usually actually see another person in the flesh until dinner time.

This is not a great arrangement for me. I’m not terribly extroverted but I do enjoy the company of people, nice people anyway. I miss my friends. I miss the distraction of someone walking into my office just to shoot the shit for a few minutes. I miss being able to share my happys and sads with them. Fuck, I miss having a reason to wear nice clothes and put on makeup.

I’m glad that I’m safe (so far) and that no one I love has gotten ill, please don’t get me wrong. But I’m going to have to figure out what I need to do to keep from going completely bat-crap crazy. Suggestions are welcome.

working from home

I am not super excited about working at home, it’s just not my thing. But I’m trying to make the best of it.My coworkers are kind of jerks sometimes, but it’s nice that they’re spending more time with me.

My biggest issue is that I miss my friends on campus. I chat with them off and on but it’s not quite the same. I’ve been able to see Lancelot the last two mornings and that helps, a ton. I know he’s worried about me, and I know why. He’s sweet.

The birthday wasn’t what either of us had planned, but I really thought it was good. L got me two gorgeous necklaces and a really cool resin skull with Celtic knot designs all over it. Mom’s friend R got me a baby Yoda coffee mug.

It’s not the stuff or the place that makes an occasion, it’s the people you’re surrounded by.

 

insert catchy title here

I had my first date with Lancelot on August 12, 2018. It was  pretty much love at first sight for me. Those big blue eyes, that gentle smile, the sarcasm. I was sold.

We’ve had our share of rough times since then. I’ve left the country three times, started and then stopped a second graduate degree, and he’s worked a fuckton of overtime. But we’ve stuck together because we love each other.

Life around here has been interesting. The university has decided to give students an extended spring break and then everyone is moving to online. I think it’s only a matter of time before the campus is shut down entirely.

I don’t necessarily object to working from home. I would have the boys around.

And I could for sure pick Lancelot up every morning.

I would miss my friends though, and the structure of work. I think that’s something a lot of people aren’t really thinking about yet. Kids, and people like me, need that structure. When we don’t have our regular routines we eventually suffer.

I can already see it happening with me.

I have a serious backlog of laundry, the sheets desperately need to be change, the plants need to be watered, pills need to be filled, and I haven’t knit in what feels like forever. Today I’m at work but I’m in jeans, no makeup, and the only jewelry is my ring from L. Kind of feels like a rock bottom to me. And that can mean only one thing.

everything is perfect just as it is

Anyone who has done a round or two of DBT knows that phrase all too well. Radical acceptance. Being able to accept that life is not perfect but that it is as it must be and it will improve.

It will improve.

I really don’t feel crazy most of the time anymore. I know I still have Bipolar Disorder and Seasonal Affective Disorder and sometimes issues with Anxiety, but I rarely identify with those anymore. I take my meds like I need to, I try to eat decent, and I sleep. But I’m definitely in maintenance mode these days.

And that feels fucking fantastic.

Just over ten years ago I had my last suicide attempt. Some jackass boy had broken my heart and I thought my life was over. WRONG. It was the most serious of my four attempts and they weren’t sure I’d make it.

But I did, and I’m still here kicking ass and taking names, and I’m stronger than ever. It got better, mostly because I have an amazing tribe and because I’m stubborn as fuck.

For all of us fighting the good fight, I’m with you. Some days are hard and we struggle just to get out of bed. Some days are easy and no one realizes how hard life can be for us. But still, we rise.

We are in this together. ❤