my body sounds like a bowl of rice krispies cereal, is that a good thing?

It’s no secret that getting older comes with some icky shit, like your body popping and sputtering at odd moments. Right now my back is reminding me that being on my feet, like I was last night at the glass studio, is going to result in being punished. I tried to mitigate it by wearing sandals that had a lot of cushion and support but evidently it wasn’t good enough.

Oh well, that’s why Ceiling Cat gave us Tylenol.

But hey, I am going to be rewarded for my pain. May I present to you the first phase of the Beautiful Purple Flower Lantern that also includes the Biggest Pain in the ASS Blue Butterfly…

The sample piece at the studio was more elaborate but it wasn’t really my style. I was going for a very clean, almost Japanese, kind of aesthetic. And then my dumbass decided I wanted to do a butterfly. Not sure what the fuck I was thinking.

I had wanted to share a picture of the new blue shawl I started but I left it in the car, so that ain’t gonna happen today. Let me, instead, show you the new hair…

The front bit is kind of coral and blonde and the rest is my standard dark purple. It feels much more “me” if that makes sense. And I’m totally grooving on the super short cut still. This takes zero maintenance, and for whatever reason that front bit insists on having the wave. But that’s perfectly fine. My dad’s hair had natural wave to it, so I’m wearing it proudly.

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keeping the dream alive

You probably wouldn’t have guessed this about me, but I’m not necessarily excited about traveling for work. I should say that I’m not excited about traveling by myself for work, such as to a conference where I’m the only person going. And really, I just don’t find conferences all that enjoyable. I don’t usually feel that I learn a lot and for all the money someone had to pay for me to go it just isn’t worth it.

But I need to do the whole “professional development” thing. So what’s a girl to do?

Online workshops offered by another university that result in a certificate and Continuing Education credits. Aw yeah!

This morning I got signed up to start a six-week course that covers the fundamentals of online teaching, something I am totally passionate about. I’ve done another course with these folks and absolutely loved it. It’s kind of like the best possible combination of going to school and going to a conference. So yay!!!

Tonight I’m going back to another part of the Randomly Erin dream – I’m taking a class at the glass studio. It was damn near a year ago exactly that I did my last glass project, the lace vase.

glass vase project

This time I’ll be making a lantern. I’m super excited! I’m trying to get back to doing the creative bits that keep my soul happy.

The issues going on in my universe right now have reminded me that life is too short to be unhappy and taking care of myself by making time for my creative pursuits is part of staying happy.

so there i was, up to my chin in empty gin bottles and old popcorn bags, wearing a fluffy squirrel for a hat when suddenly…

Oh if only my life were that dull right now.

Life here has been very interesting but not in the “gee that sounds very interesting” sort of way, more in the “gee that shard of glass sticking out of your eyeball really does make it sparkle” kind of way.

There has been some family drama, which isn’t mine to tell but has certainly been taking a toll. There has been a bit of drama with Lancelot, but that’s so wee that I don’t even want to go into it. (and we’re seriously doing oodles better with the whole effective communication thing, it’s fabulous) And then there’s been the weather drama; some parts of these parts got FIVE MOTHERFUCKING INCHES OF HAIL this morning. I shit you not. Tonight isn’t looking much better on that front.

Anyway, I have been knitting. The Garden Shawlette got finished over the weekend and then this morning I cast on another shawl. It’s going to be delightfully easy and that makes it delightful. The shawl I’m leaving at L’s to work on during weekend TV time is also coming along quite nicely. This Thursday, that’s two days from now, right?, anyway, I’m taking a fused glass class that evening that I’m looking forward to. I haven’t done any glass stuff in ages.

Does anyone else get completely screwed up about what day (or year) it is when you have too many days off work? No? Must just be me.

In other news that no one really gives a rip about, I’m going back to having purple hair. The red was mildly interesting but not enough to stay. Oh, and I shaved L’s head Saturday morning. That was interesting and very fabulous. Nothing as relaxing as rubbing a freshly buzz cut head on the man you love.

He has the most beautiful smile in the whole wide universe.

making the most of it

Lancelot periodically has to work overtime. I kind of hate this. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a common thing and a known hazard and it really doesn’t happen often. And at least he’s hourly so, unlike when I get to work extra, he gets paid for it. So I try (honestly, I try) not to bitch about it too much.

He had to work last night, big ol’ bummer. But instead of pouting and feeling sorry for myself, which honestly does no damn good, I decided to act like a big girl and I’ve been making the most of what we refer to at work as “found time.” So far I have…

  • Taken Mom out for a lovely dinner where we both got tipsy
  • Re-wrote the directions for a knitting pattern because I found them confusing
  • Actually did some knitting
  • Thoroughly cleaned my bathroom
  • Did my food prep for the week
  • Took care of some paperwork for my health care account
  • Cleaned up the laptop
  • Got my outfits and jewelry ready for next week

Might not seem like a lot (or maybe it does) but it certainly helped pass the time and I feel good for having been productive.

Possibly the most exciting news is that I’m not really done with grad school after all. I met with the program coordinator on Friday and got some new information that makes all the difference. I’m going to take at least one semester off, but during that time I can be writing on my own and “banking” material for later. I also found out that I have TEN YEARS from when I started to get this done. That takes a lot of the pressure off.

Lancelot is super excited. He told me that he knew I wasn’t giving up, just taking a break. He’s got a lot of faith in me. Anyway, we’re going to go to the residency this July for a day to sit in on a lecture and see everyone. I want him to get a sense of what the experience is like. And the coordinator wants to meet him.

I’m actually excited to start writing again.

taking out the trash

I’ve mentioned several times recently that I’ve been on this “clean out all the bullshit” kick. I’m loving it. Clothes that didn’t fit or don’t make me happy, jewelry I never wore, some shoes, a few books, candles… I realized just now that there’s another stash of clothes that need to go, hidden under the stairs.

But there are other things that need to be removed. Yesterday I ended up cleaning out my closet at work, the one that primarily houses snacks and stuff. That was a disaster. Today I’m going to spend a little time on my desk. Too much clutter, too much nonsense in the drawers.

I can’t really say what it is that gets me into these moods, but it’s a cyclical thing with me. Kind of like Spring Cleaning on steroids I guess. All I know is that I feel better once it’s all done.

This afternoon I’m meeting with one of the program coordinators for the writing program I just left. I feel good that I was able to finish the semester successfully, but I know that I just can’t take on that kind of workload and stress again right now. I want to finish the memoir one of these days but I already know that my Fall semester is going to be too busy. There’s at least one international trip planned so that right there is enough to make me not interested in school.

I’m going to try to add back in a hobby/creative outlet that I haven’t done in ages. I’ve signed up to take a fused glass class at a local studio where I’ve taken classes before. I’m excited, it should be great. The last project I made, I think, was last summer. Not that the knitting and jewelry making aren’t good enough, but a girl shouldn’t box herself in too much when it comes to being creative.

progress

I had an appointment with the dermatologist yesterday afternoon so I got home early. While I was working on coaxing my personal laptop to finish loading updates I pulled out some of the treasures I got at the bead show Lancelot and I went to. The above pic is the result. Not bad for less than an hour’s worth of work.

I did manage to get the laptop going again, which was good. And I got more tidying done in the bedroom, namely the bottom drawer of the nightstand where some of the knitting stuff lives. I’m feeling really good about all of this.

That is part of lunch this week. It’s a homemade pasta salad with cheese tortellini, grape tomatoes, chopped bell pepper, shredded carrots, black olives, and homemade Italian salad dressing. I’m also having clementines and blackberries for fruit, a hard boiled egg, and two of the little Babybel cheese rounds. This morning I had a smoothie with plain Greek yogurt, a frozen banana, frozen cherries, and cherry juice. Super yum.

The thing I’m most excited about? I actually got on the treadmill this morning!!! I only walked 15 minutes, but still. I’m going to try to keep doing that every weekday morning.

a million things

I’ve been making pretty good progress with getting my life back together. This wasn’t like some of the ridiculously spectacular explosions that I have faced before, but the time between January 1 and now has been, well, I don’t have enough of the right words to describe it.

It was like having to burn all the candles at all the ends.

It was like arguing with a demon in my head who was a toddler and insisted on a bedtime story every five minutes.

It was like watching all of the things I wanted to be doing slip through my fingers like water, and knowing that the water was tears.

But it’s over, and as much as I love what I wrote and as proud as I am of what I managed to do, it needed to be put away for now. And so I did. I cleared out a small drawer in my desk yesterday and put all of the printed materials and my notebooks in it. The memoirs I read are on the bookshelf (except Patty Duke’s shitty book, yuck). Reclaiming my workspace yesterday and getting that area ready for creative things again was crucial for moving forward.

I also went through my room and came up with four bags full to send to the thrift shop. I was ruthless. It felt FABULOUS. And, as usual, I found some things I had completely forgotten about. It feels a lot better in there now as well.

This is maybe a weird thing, but I’m going to share anyway. I’m totally a list maker, y’all know that. But I don’t like writing them on paper if I don’t have to. At work I have a whiteboard mounted on a door and I frequently fill that up. But at home I don’t have that, so I improvise.

Upstairs I keep a dry erase marker in the bathroom and I write my lists on the mirror. Sounds strange, but it works. It’s right there where I look every day and it wipes off super easy. I find that it really helps, and it’s a cheap hack.

Life is slowly returning to the happy place where I really enjoy it. Mom and I did a little shopping last Thursday, Lancelot and I went and had massages Saturday morning and then did a little shopping, we had friends over for dinner, and then brunch on Mother’s Day. And I’ve been knitting again. What more can you ask for?

Apparently you can ask for more treats.