a quick check of the rear view mirror before we peal out into the sunset

First, let’s just get this big ol’ turd out of the way. The goals I set for myself last year didn’t happen. I tried, mostly, but I can very honestly say that I didn’t put forth the effort I knew would be necessary. That’s 100% on me.

None of this makes me any less of a person and it doesn’t even make me feel bad about myself. I tried, that’s what was important. So, moving on.

Here are some things that I think went really well this last year:

  • I successfully completed a semester of grad school. I doubt I’ll go back to finish the program but that’s because of the price tag, not because I don’t think I can mentally handle it. Very important difference.
  • I have become much more aware of my spending habits and what I could be doing different with my money. I feel confident that this year WILL be better.
  • Lancelot and I grew as a couple and things feel stronger than ever between us.
  • I’ve learned a lot about who I really am as a person, and I like that person.

Over the winter break I’ve gotten a ton of stuff done, and that makes me feel good, too. Mom and I tore the house apart, donated a bunch of stuff we no longer use, reorganized all of the holiday stuff, and I even did a full inventory of my yarn stash. Yes, the entire stash. It’s a beautifully organized spreadsheet that nearly brings a tear to my eye.

Here are some of my favorite projects from this year:

The Stormy Skies shawl seemed appropriate for a stormy day

I finished a scarf this morning that was supposed to be my last project of last year but then I had a glass of wine with dinner and my old butt was in bed by 8pm. And even though it’s a pretty little scarf it kind of looks like unicorn vomit at the moment.

I am still working on the shell shawl (did I ever show y’all that?) but it’s in time out on account of the one needle trying to take out one of my fingers in a very unfortunate laundry incident. I also realized that I don’t have nearly enough yarn to finish it the way I want to so that’s kind of pissing me off. I’ve also started another shawl (quelle surprise!) that’s two different purples (also a big shocker) and will have some super shiny beads. Stay tuned.

So, what does 2020 have in store for me? I’m ever so glad you asked…

  • Keep working on getting my credit cards and other debts paid off. The plan is to have everything except my big card, the CR-V, and the student loans all gone by the end of the year.
  • I’m on the hunt for educational opportunities that are more like certificates (I’ve done a few already for work) that I can get my boss to pay for. I like school, I don’t like the price tag.
  • I’d like to take ONE big trip this year, just one. There are a few possibilities being tossed around.
  • I’m planning to use every last bit of craft stuff I have on hand before buying anything new. (hence the yarn inventory)
  • I will turn 44, not that this is really terribly significant, but hey, why not include it?
  • And, last but certainly not least, I really want to make some healthier habits. This would include eating, exercising, and mental health stuff.

I’ll leave you with this image. It’s speaking to me today, maybe it will speak to you, too.

full speed ahead Scotty!

I feel like I’m moving at turbo speed today, but not the “spinning out of control and bouncing off walls at full speed” kind of turbo that comes, typically for me, with the onset of mania. Bipolar is a little bitch, after all.

Nope, this isn’t that. This is the byproduct of an amazing, albeit short, weekend with Lancelot. Overtime is also a little bitch.

Ok, so this is not exactly the most flattering pic of me. I had been crying, just a little and they were happy tears, but I wanted to capture that moment. That perfect moment of happiness with the man I love. Look at how he’s holding me, protecting me from the sadness.

He has helped me to become the woman I’ve wanted to be. This is going to sound so weird, but I like myself now, honestly and truly. I’ve never been with a man who loved and supported me so unconditionally that I actually feel like I could be myself. But, who am I? Who knows. I’m still becoming “her” but I know that I like her. And he loves her. How cool is that?

Also not a flattering picture, but hey, brown hair! I decided to see what wearing a more natural shade would feel like. It’s not bad. I’m also still figuring out the whole shampoo bar and hair product thing, trying to find a reasonable balance before I leave on the trip. Today I threw in the hair dryer (better than throwing it out?) and that seems to have helped.

I don’t care what anyone says, being a girl is complicated.

Speaking of the trip, I’m about 95% packed. I did my practice run on Saturday while Lancelot was sleeping and I decided that since it went so well I’d just leave what I could packed. No sense in duplicating efforts. I feel good about how things are coming along.

Garth feels good about helping Mama with the laundry. He’s not actually much of a help though.

I did manage to finish the shawl from hell (pardon if I’d already mentioned that) and I’m back to working on a shawl for myself using a beautiful multi-colored yarn. It has beads up the edge, a technique I hadn’t done prior to this. I’ve actually been working on it for awhile, it’s on the “goals” craft list, so hopefully it will be done soon.

My trip knitting will be the Shimmer Wave Scarf using that single skein of silk from Darn Good Yarn. I did buy a skein of Koigu specifically for this pattern but I think the other yarn is also a good fit and hey, can you ever really have too many scarves?

all the seasons at once

This part of the country is notorious for having wide temperature ranges within a single day. For example, it was 41F on my drive in this morning and will get to a high of 70F this afternoon. Nothing like wearing jeans and sandals out of necessity. So since the weather is turning colder, Mom and I rolled up the garden hose in the back yard yesterday. Pippy had to help.

She chased and drank the water coming out of the other end of the hose

The weekend was good, nice and relaxing. Lancelot and I had delivery pizza for dinner Friday night and ate our dinner on the couch while watching Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives. We love that show. And that was the Friday evening I needed. Saturday was breakfast at the restaurant where we had our first date and then errands. Our friends came over that night for a UFC pay per view and brought dinner from one of my favorite Mexican restaurants. That was a late night but a good night.

Sunday we went and saw Joker. I don’t recommend it. The acting was amazing and the story was great, don’t get me wrong. But I don’t think I have ever in my life seen a darker film that wasn’t a realistic portrayal of war.

This is a very realistic portrayal of what mental illness can look like, particularly when the person doesn’t have access to adequate medical resources.

It hit L very hard. I was thankful that I was there with him. When we got back to his apartment I told him that we’d talk about it in the car, get it out, but then leave it outside. The darkness didn’t need to follow us. So we talked, and cried, and held each other. By the time I left I think we were both doing better.

A dark puppy who was too many toys in her bed, that’s the kind of dark I want

In addition to hose winding yesterday I managed to get my laundry done (only one load, WOOT! I must be doing better at keeping on top of it), put my miscellaneous stuff from L’s away, outfits and jewelry for the week, plenty of knitting on the World’s Most Boring Shawl, and I mixed up some Chai Tea.

Everything tastes better in a dragon mug

I found the recipe on Pinterest and it was stupid easy. I split it into two jars, one for home and one for the office. It doesn’t compare to what I enjoyed in New Dehli, but it’s not too damn bad. Oh, that blue flower, that’s one of my fused glass creations.

it’s a chocolate chai tea with salted caramel honey kind of morning

Let’s get the unpleasantness out of the way first…

This is the shawl for Mom’s friend. It’s not really a pattern, just garter stitch, slip the first stitch of each row, and on the odd rows I’m doing a kfb on the last stitch. BORING. And because the yarn is just one color, it’s even worse. But this is what she asked for. Don’t get me wrong, the yarn is lovely. It’s soft and smooth and the bit of metallic is quite nice. But it should be used for something more intricate than this.

This, kiddos, is why I don’t do commission work.

Anyway, I think it’s going to go fast. I just started last night and I’m making good progress already. It’s going to have to be blocked, at least lightly, because the increase edge is rolling like crazy.

Once I get this done I’ll get back to working on my own projects. I’d really like to get the beaded shawl done soon. It’s going to look great with some of my black outfits.

Speaking of things looking great with black…

When Lancelot and I went to the art museum this summer I picked up this beautiful hand painted silk scarf. I think it looks amazing with my new purple hair. I decided to go with two shades of the same purple this time instead of the silver in front. I’m digging it.

So, the title of today’s post, perhaps it has piqued your curiosity? The weather here is finally turning to proper autumn and that means it was kind of chilly this morning. Like, I’m wearing leggings under my dress and I wore shoes that are much more “shoe” than “sandal.” So I decided I wanted something warm. Tazo makes chocolate chai tea bags that are quite delightful. I’ve brewed myself a nice big cup and sweetened it with Salted Caramel creamed honey from a local beekeeper. Love it.

has it really been a week?

Wow, so I really have to say I didn’t intend to be gone so long. But it’s been quite the week. I managed to

  • finish the blue shawl,
  • weave in the ends on three others that were done,
  • pick up a “commission” from Mom’s best friend to make a white shawl for her,
  • ordered yarn for four more shawls for myself,
  • make a really cool pair of earrings plus a necklace/earring set,
  • make an obscene amount of progress on a beaded shawl I started over a year ago,
  • give two killer presentations at the conference,
  • clean out my closet, dressers, linen cupboard,
  • deposit all of those unwanted bits at the donation site,
  • install lights under the hutch on my desk at work for a little extra light,
  • saw Hamilton with one of my oldest and dearest friends.

I also found out that the Istanbul trip is on hold. We were originally supposed to leave next Thursday but something isn’t happening the way they thought it would so now there’s talk of maybe rescheduling to late November. I’m really ok with this. I love to travel but not when things aren’t well planned.

Speaking of well planned, I’m trying to convince myself not to start any new projects, except for Mom’s BFF’s shawl, until I finish the two shawls I’m currently working on. The beaded one is maybe halfway done and it’s incredibly funky. The other is unusual in that it’s made of shell motifs that will be sewn together with buttons. It’s really lovely. I’m doing mine with yarn that shifts through shades of green and white. I’ll try to take a picture this weekend; it’s going to be my project while Lancelot is watching the UFC thingy.

what happens at Oktoberfest should have probably just stayed there…

just call me Princess Productivity

That is one of the shawls I’m currently working on. Safe to say this is the one getting the most love right now. The others are vastly different, but should start getting worked on soon. There’s something about finishing a project that makes me want to finish even more. Oh, that’s Eric’s tail in the picture.

Garth was busy enjoying the puppy still being asleep this morning. He was turning his little self inside out. So freaking cute.

I’ve been mostly productive lately and I think that’s mostly good. I’ve been powering through stuff at work. Yesterday was super good, especially considering I left early for therapy. Going to therapy helped with the knitting as well. I took the shawl with me and knit in the waiting room before my appointment. It helps relax me and sometimes someone will comment. Yesterday I had a woman comment on how beautiful it was.

Anyway, productivity, yes. I got my pill trays filled, the sheets changed, a load of laundry folded and put away, my stuff for this weekend packed, the dishwasher emptied, and various stuff put away. It felt good.

This weekend this is dinner out planned, massages tomorrow morning, a movie, an Oktoberfest being discussed, breakfast with Mom on Sunday, and then Lancelot and I will be in charge of the homestead.

the only thing that stays the same is that nothing ever stays the same

I feel that urge to change things again. It happens now and then, sometimes in response to external stimuli, but not always. I’m kind of feeling that butterfly feeling right now for no particular reason. And that’s just fine.

My back is starting to get better. It’s a process. One of the things we’re trying is a new (hand me down) standing desk at work. It gives me the option of working while seated or while standing. They’re also working on getting me additional monitors, which will be a huge help for productivity.

The one young man I work with did all of the heavy lifting for me. I had to rearrange some of the bits in my office to make everything work, but I think it does.

Last night Dr. K and I went to the gym and hit the track. I think I love those walks as much for the time to have candid chats as much as for the exercise. It really is more tolerable to exercise when you have a partner like that to keep you accountable and to keep you company.

Today is therapy day, which is always something I look forward to. I even remembered to bring a shawl with me so I can knit in the waiting room. I inevitably get there early and end up playing with my phone, so why not do something that’s actually productive and enjoyable?

Speaking of being productive, I’ve been trying to get myself into some routines for getting things done at home. Lancelot has his own routines and I think something like that would help me. Plus it would take some of the pressure off, no more waiting and then trying to cram everything into one evening or, worse, Sunday afternoon.

Do you have routines that help you stay on top of things?

don’t ever look at x-rays of yourself, trust me on this

That was not exactly the weekend I had hoped for, wanted, or needed. But it happened, I’ve lived to tell the tale, and I’m getting on with life. Sometimes that’s the best that can be said.

Friday night Lancelot and I went out for a rather amazing sushi dinner. My back felt decent, the food was amazing, and the conversation and company was impeccable. The rest of the evening at home is none of your business and that should tell you all you need to know.

It is near impossible to get a serious photo of him, which is interesting because his demeanor is very often serious.

Anyway, moving on. Saturday morning I could barely get out of bed I was in so much pain. I wasn’t sure what the hell I had done (nothing like that, honest) so I decided it was time for an ER visit. I was afraid I was going to have a full on lock-up and not be able to move at all.

The ER doc was like most, he seemed to assume that since I have multiple mental health diagnoses that I just wanted drugs. Not bloody likely, asshole. They did x-rays, which was the only useful part of the visit, and offered me several medications – all of which would have interacted with things I have to take. So I left with a recommendation of hot showers and a TENS unit.

This little sucker is my new bestie. That little control unit connects to pads that I put on my back and it sends little electrical jolts into the muscles. It works wonderfully for me and was a whopping $33 at Target.

So yeah, now I’m waiting to hear from the chiropractor to see what the next move is. I got a CD with the x-ray images from the ER people and I will happily turn that over to him. I finally, after nearly 20 minutes, figured out how to view them myself. It’s not seeing my bones that bothered me, not at all. It was seeing the outlines of my flesh, all of that extra “me” that I carry around, that bothers me. But I’ve got my walking clothes with me and the plan is to be on the track after work. Slowly but surely, I will get there.

I *will* get there.


My back isn’t getting any better. This is frustrating me and my chiropractor. He can’t get anything to pop because the muscles are just so damn tight. I’m now doing ice, Tylenol, and exercises with a lacrosse ball. And it still hurts.

But I’m trying, and that’s what matters.

This morning, in spite of the ick, I decided it was time to kick myself in the ass again. I managed to do my normal morning chores, including making my bed, and I finished a shawl. No picture because it was dark and I still need to weave in the ends. But still, progress.

Tonight I’m heading back to the gym to walk the track with Dr. K. Lest ye be worried about my back let me reassure you that walking is actually very good exercise in this case. I’ll be gentle.

Lancelot and I are already talking about weekend plans and those plans include getting some projects done at both my house and his apartment. I’m looking forward to it. I may even try making my shampoo bars.

i did a thing

I was telling someone at work about the dermatologist and how, quite frankly, I loathe her. She has the personality of a postage stamp, and not an interesting stamp. More like one of those boring ass “forever” stamps with the very non-de script American flags on it. And she’s mean.

But I digress.

Part of what causes this skin bullshit I deal with is weight, and I know that. But it’s difficult to be this age, have a potentially functioning ovary (but just one), and take the gigantic compliment of psych meds that I do. Plus, bad food tastes good.

So I’m trying. I’ve almost entirely given up caffeine, I have maybe one sugary drink a week, alcohol is out, lots more veggies and fruit are in, lean meat like fish and chicken. I swear to Ceiling Cat, I’M TRYING!!!

And then it happened. My good pal Dr. K and I joined the gym on campus. Yesterday we walked. For 30 minutes. And I didn’t die.

I set a goal back in June to lose 100lbs by the same time next year. If I expect to achieve that goal I’m going to have to keep this up, and I know that.

Besides, I want that fucking little doctor off my ass.