the bandaids are back

“Get back here you little shit, I need to love you!!!”

Today’s title is not meant to alarm anyone, but yes, the band-aids are indeed back. My right thumb and index finger to be precise. It’s not like the weather hasn’t warmed up, I think I’m just still spending a lot of time washing my hands. Oh well.

I’m still having a bit of lingering “something” that is maybe a result of the vaccine, I’m not sure. Morning has always been a better time for me when it comes to concentration, so that’s nothing new if I’m being honest. The unfortunate thing right now is that I’m not feeling at all inclined to exercise and my eating habits are sliding a bit. I’m not gaining weight back but I have certainly stopped losing. And that sucks.

I have still been knitting and I’ve still been doing things in the kitchen, both are good things. Yes, good things indeed.

I’m still trying to do Meatless Monday every week, this was what I made for this week. My protein source was edamame. Very tasty.

The knitting isn’t much to look at just yet, still more of the same really. I am making progress and in order to finish the vest I’m going to need to learn/teach myself a “new” technique. I’m actually really excited, it’s going to result in a beautifully finished edge for the back panel. Plus this is a technique that I can use on other projects.

I’m feeling like today is as good a day as any to revisit my goals for the year.

I will finish all of the fiber projects that are currently in progress – yes, making progress. I finished the cabled scarf for N already.

I will continue to work on my health issues by being more mindful of what I eat and drink – still doing Noom, still doing mostly well with it, down a total of 26lbs so far.

I will work to incorporate more physical activity into my routine by using the treadmill, ultimately getting to 30min/day, 5x/week – this one is a struggle but I am still trying.

I will learn a new creative skill (I have kits here already for quilling and chain maille) – haven’t tackled this one just yet.

Already completed:

I will continue to explore vegetarian dishes and strive to include a meatless dinner at least 1x/week – Meatless Monday is a thing at our house

I will learn at least one new Indian recipe – I now have three in regular rotation

I cannot freakin’ even right now

That is the bracelet I helped to make this weekend

Is that not absolutely stunning? It’s moonstone and sterling silver, and yes, I actually did parts of the construction. It was beyond wonderful to spend time with my friend Saturday morning and see first-hand what goes into making this kind of jewelry. Not only was it informative as hell, but getting to be with another human who I haven’t seen in absolute ages was totally wonderful. So I now know a little bit more about the process of silversmithing, I have an even deeper appreciation for the amount of work that goes into a piece like this, and I have a one of a kind wearable work of art that coordinates with the other beautiful moonstones pieces I have from her.

If you are interested in your own truly beautiful jewelry, and she does custom work too, you should visit her website at https://www.whirlsofpearls.com/.

I also got to see my friend N and deliver his holiday gift, only four months late. He didn’t care. (he got that cabled scarf) We also went for lunch which was a lovely little bonus.

I still don’t feel like I’m totally back on track, but I’m trying. I have my clothes for the week organized, I spent time in the kitchen yesterday doing some food prep, I made cookies (healthy ones), and the laundry is essentially caught up. So yay!

The kids have been a little feisty lately

I do have some fun stuff to look forward to this week. I’m going to do a session at the glass studio and try to make a little something for myself, just as another creative outlet. And on Saturday I’m going with Mom for mani/pedi time. My feet are very excited.

Keep doing what you can to help keep yourselves and your loved ones safe. L gets his second shot at the end of the month and we are excited as hell. WOOT!

keeping it between the lines

Proof that I am still alive and I haven’t forgotten how to knit

It feels like an awful lot has happened since last I could be bothered to blog, and that’s probably because an awful lot has happened. Much of it has been good but there have been a few less than amazing things as well. That’s how life is though, right? Balance.

I am now the proud owner of two Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine shots. Unfortunately I had a fairly common reaction to the second one which was not so swell. I had chills, a headache, very little coordination, brain fog, zero appetite (though I could still smell and taste), and it felt like I had been hit in the arm with a sledgehammer. That lasted two days and then I was fine. If I had it to do all over again you can bet your ass that I would, in a heartbeat.

My handsome and hilarious husband is three weeks behind me, but he says he likes the view back there

I have been knitting, and cooking, and still managing to lose weight. I am now down 26lbs, and as such as the smallest I have been since I was 18 years old. This pleases me to no end. I don’t even mind that I’m running out of clothes that fit.

With the knitting I’m working on what started life thinking it would be a simple shrug and has now decided it wants to be a kimono style vest, maybe with small sleeves. We shall see. But that’s the very rainbow piece up at the top of this post. I am loving the yarn.

Last night’s dinner helps with two of my goals for the year since it’s both an Indian dish and a vegetarian dish. For my first shot at making Mattar Paneer it really wasn’t half bad.

updates and stuff

Birthday dinner!

I ate so much amazing food last week, it’s a legit wonder I only gained 1.75lbs

Sweet babies

3D printed guitar at the museum

Garth is an asshole who happens to like carrot cake

Getting back to “reality” by making salad starter packs yesterday; just add greens, pumpkin seeds, and dressing (and chop the egg)

I finally finished the Seaman’s Knot scarf!!! It turned out amazing

We had a great time last week. There was a ton of good food, two museums, lots of shopping, and a nap every afternoon. What more can you ask for?

This week I’m back to working and my healthy eating habits. I’m having some trouble with my skin right now, likely from eating so much “other” food last week, so I’m not sure if I’ll get on the treadmill today or not. But our “Meatless Monday” dinner is tofu curry and my lunch was a big bowl of salad so I feel like I’m back on track to make progress.

And I do have another knitting project actively in the works. But of course I haven’t taken a picture yet. In my defense, it’s entirely lace so right now it looks like purple spaghetti.

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

five

Short post today y’all, I’m still recovering. The good news is that I am finally starting to feel better. And the even better news is that I’m getting my vaccine shot tomorrow. Super excited about that.

What I really want to share comes from a prompt in my Noom lessons this morning. “Write about five qualities you’re proud of having.” Can’t back away from an invitation like that.

Empathetic – if I haven’t actually walked a mile in your shoes (I’ve been around most of the blocks at least once) then I’ll try my hardest to put myself there.

Strong – you know how they say that women are like tea, you only know their strength by putting them in boiling water? Yeah, I’ve been in some seriously yuck situations and come out the other side stronger because I just don’t have a good grasp of what it means to back down.

Kind – I’m not a religious person, but I follow my own most important rule and I do my best to treat everyone the way I’d like them to treat me. This has lead to being hurt and taken advantage of many, MANY, times, but it’s still the only way I know how to behave. If I have two cookies and you don’t have any, I’m going to offer you a cookie.

Creative – I find solace in creativity. I used to draw and do intricate beadwork, but my hands won’t stay still enough anymore. I can still knit and crochet and I get a little wild in the kitchen. My favorite creative outlets are making holiday gifts for a small group of family and friends and by cooking.

Student of life – I have a Master’s degree, a graduate certificate, a semester of graduate work in a different area, and two professional certificates. I see the world as my classroom and I have no plans to ever stop learning. The day I don’t learn anything new will be the day I’ve stopped breathing.

Garth says that his best qualities are that he’s soft and adorable

shoes

I’m being watched. Or at least I was. He got bored and curled up for a nap.

Am I the only one having issues with shoes? I used to be quite the shoe aficionado and had many lovely pairs. But then The Rona hit and I stopped leaving the house as much and now it damn near hurts to wear shoes, like tennis shoes even, for a whole day. My feet protest. Quite often I end up just putting on house slippers as soon as I get home from picking up Lancelot in the morning. And that’s kind of sad because even though I don’t have as big a collection, I do still have some very cute shoes.

Things have been reasonably quiet around here. I’ve been doing better with my water intake, and that’s good. I had done really good at meeting a goal I set of 5000 steps per day, I did that for a whole 3 days in a row and then yesterday.

Yes, yesterday, the day that should not be named. Or some shit like that.

I’m still not quite sure WTF, but it just wasn’t meant to be a winner of a day I guess. I got close to my step goal, 4200 something, but I almost doubled the number of calories I was supposed to aim for. I did gain a tiny bit of weight, and I expected that, so not a big deal.

But I couldn’t concentrate and all I really wanted to do was shovel sweets in my face as fast as possible.

At any rate, today seems to be better and that’s good. I’m currently nibbling on a bowl of cold blueberries. They are really quite delish. If I had to guess what caused the issue yesterday I would say it was likely related to stress and possibly the fact that I haven’t knit or crocheted in a while. My fingers are still sore as hell. I’m hoping to be able to maybe pick up a project this weekend.

Part of my weekend will be spent redecorating my office. Since Captain Naughty Pants (that’s Garth’s new name) has decided that the top of my desk is his new place to hide from Dog Blossom and take naps I have to relocate all of the things that had been up there. Fortunately L was able to get me some small black shelves that should go up pretty easily and hold the little decorative bits safe from the feline horde.

when life gets in the way

Nope, not dead yet. Not even doing all that bad really, just been busy. I honestly really just love Loki and that meme felt rather perfect for right now.

Mostly here recently I’ve been trying to stick with my Noom stuff and not throttle Garth. What’s wee little Garth been up to? Oh you mean Captain Naughty Pants…

That’s the hutch on top of my desk, the very top of my desk. And that’s him, peering down at me from behind one of the bits I had thought would block his landing. But no. Straight up like some damn alien and he stuck the landing like an Olympic gold medal gymnast. Little fucker. I had already moved the really fragile things to different (safer?) places but now it looks like I’ll be moving everything and letting him set up a cat-condo up there. Maybe I can charge him rent…

For some reason this shawl looks red on video calls…

We had a wonderful workshop yesterday morning, the last in a series, and I thought it went great. It was the kind of thing that reminds me of why I do this nutty little job in the first place. And I looked pretty spiffy. That’s the Off Kilter shawl I knit, paired with a beautiful shiny purple ribbon rose brooch I got in Branson a few years ago. And new lipstick. It’s called “speak your mind” and it’s perfect.

Today I look like roadkill, so we just aren’t talking about it.

FOOD!

I am still experimenting in the kitchen, sometimes for fun and sometimes for necessity. This one was mostly necessity. I had several Gala apples that were looking like wrinkled little old men and I didn’t want to throw them away. Instead I cored them and cut them in chunks and put them in a sauce pot with some Craisins, white grape juice (100% juice, no added sugar), and the chai spice blend that I love (cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg, and ginger). I let that come to a boil and then brought it down to a simmer. It was probably on the heat for an hour or so and I stirred it periodically.

Last night I took about 1/4 of the mix and topped it with a few tablespoons of low fat ricotta cheese and a drizzle of honey and that was my dessert. It was heavenly. This morning I had some mixed in with vanilla yogurt for breakfast. Also heavenly.

It’s been getting easier to drink as much water as I should be and stick within my calorie guidelines, both of which are wonderful. I’m also working on getting more motivated with the exercise. My goal for this week is to get at least 5000 steps in every day. I started on Monday and hit my goal both Monday and Tuesday. The exercise is also getting easier. Yay!

OMG it’s GREEN!!!

The other thing I’ve done that I basically swore I would never do… A smoothie with spinach in it. I’ve started drinking some form of matcha every day and this was a smoothie recipe I found that included spinach. It was very “earthy” but not terrible. For what it’s worth, I’ve decided that “earthy” is just a polite way of saying “this tastes like dirt.”

the advantages of having your plans go to hell, and other things I’m learning in my 40s

Yes, I ate that with a spoon. No, it is not mayo.

Since I turned 40 I have realized just how odd I am sometimes, and how much I really kind of love that. For example, I saw two things on the interwebs yesterday that prompted the photo above. One was a recipe for making cheesecake parfait things that were healthy and the other was this –

And so, being the dumbass that I am, I thought to myself “CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!”

What I did was mix a small box of sugar free cheesecake flavor pudding with 2C of non-fat plain yogurt. That’s it. I mixed it in a box and then divided it evenly in four little glass bowls.

Follow me for more recipes y’all.

Seriously, after the adventure in dog bathing yesterday afternoon I needed to unwind a little, and what better way to do that than experimenting with food. I ended up putting in 30 minutes on the treadmill, which was amazing for the stress, and then making myself a rather healthy dinner that was super easy. I have to say, I LOVE me some butternut squash noodles. I warmed up a package of those and some naked nugget things (not what they’re actually called but definitely what they look like! here’s a Target link if you’re interested) and called it good. It was good, honestly.

Some days it feels very much hit and miss as to whether I’ll eat too much, or enough, or get enough activity and water, and will I lose or will I gain, but it’s starting to feel natural to live like this and this morning I lost again so now I’m down 18lbs. That makes me feel good.

One of my very dear friends reminded me of something super important. Once I hit the magic 10% body weight gone number I’ll need to reach out to my doctors that prescribe my medication. That much difference in mass can totally throw off the med needs.

Dog Blossom went to the groomers today for a previously scheduled visit. As you can see, Garth did not give a single fuck that she was gone.

Last night’s dinner has now become tonight’s dinner and I’m eagerly anticipating it. I’m trying my hand at home made minestrone without a recipe. It’s soup. I have eaten this soup before. Seriously, how hard can it be?

So far it’s got some veggie broth, tomato juice, two cans of diced Italian style tomatoes (not drained), a can of cannelloni beans, frozen peas, baby carrots, celery, onion, salt, pepper, and Turkish oregano. Lancelot has requested that I add some orzo pasta to it later and I’m planning to toss in some fresh spinach. But honestly, it’s soup, as long as it doesn’t taste like diesel fuel it should be fine.