10

This morning’s selfie

I’m not getting a pic taken quite every day, but more often than not I do. My hair is getting long enough on top that it will happily curl if I don’t tame it with the blow dryer. And I have officially lost 10lbs.

That might not seem like much, I mean I have been at this since January 2nd, but it feels like a whole lot and it feels healthy. I have had days were I gained back a little but then I lost it again, with an overall downward trend. I’ve never lost more than 2lbs in a single day. All of this combined with not feeling deprived makes me one very happy camper.

And Lancelot really is in this with me. Yesterday he helped me prep fruit salad bowls for both of us and he has happily agreed to eat whatever I cook for him. And he helped me figure out a menu for the week that’s going to be easy and healthy. That makes life a hell of a lot easier.

A very lovely dinner last night consisting of penne made from red lentils, garlic, onion, bacon, wilted fresh spinach, and canned diced tomatoes

I’m still fighting with the skin issue, and that makes getting enough activity a big problem. Fortunately that is finally subsiding so I was able to get a short walk in yesterday, just 15 minutes, but it felt good. I’m going to try to do that again today. I’ve also decided that water would probably be good for me. Shocking, right? But I don’t like water, not at all. I do, however, like water that has had fresh lemon in it. So…

Meet Llulu the Llemony Llama. I had purchased this bottle quite some time ago and decided that it just wasn’t my thing. But I had paid way too much to just ditch it. Now that I work at home and can refill this as often as necessary I’m thinking it will work perfectly for my water. And I’m even going to try to remember to track how much I drink with this thing. That’s a 1L bottle (little more than 16oz) so I would need to drink four of those to hit my “daily water recommendation.” The volume is no problem, it’s the taste. We shall see.

In other exciting news we are in the middle of yet another nasty winter storm. We’re in for 10″ of snow and nasty winds. Travel is not advised. Snow day for pretty much everyone in the area.

Garth will be staying in bed sleeping all day. Like every day.

before you throw out the bath water consider the continuing usefulness of that baby

I’ve been thinking a lot here recently about changes. Why am I wanting to make changes? What changes do I really want to make? Why now?

Part of what I realized is that some of the changes I want to make now are ones that I’ve tried to make before, but wasn’t successful. Why? Is that important to know?

HELL YES!

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result each time. I’m done being insane.

me! chubby me!

This is my official “before” picture. Yes, I want to be healthier. I want to be able to ditch some of the meds I take because I want my body to be in better physical condition. But let’s face it, I’m doing this in part because I want to look better.

So why do I think things might be different this time? Because of Lancelot. He supports this decision to make a change, he’s doing parts of this with me, and when I get frustrated he asks what he can do to help.

That right there is love.

I realized this morning that I’m starting to feel overwhelmed. Let’s be honest, this is a whole lot of change and it’s happening kinda quickly. Plus there’s that whole changing of the guard thing going on in D.C., I’m still fighting some kind of sinus crud, the skin issues continue to be an issue, and I am seriously thinking about chocolate right now. That’s an awful lot.

I’m not sure if my need for routines is something tied to my mental illness or some personality trait or what, but I live and die by routines and that is the flat out truth. Change brings about the need for new routines, which is wonderful. But just like it takes some time for new habits to form, it takes some time to work out new routines. And right now I’m trying to do both.

Part of what I need to do, as I see it anyway, is to start by prioritizing. I’m learning about (relearning a lot actually) a ton of things that will all help on my journey to “healthy.” But if I try to take on too many of these little changes at once they’re going to overwhelm me.

You can drown in a thimble-full of water just as easily as in a swimming pool.

I have started to make some changes that are sticking. I’m wearing my Fitbit every day and aiming to get at least my minimum step goal set by Noom. I’m trying to get on the treadmill for 30 minutes every day, but some days that just won’t happen. So I will at least hit that minimum. I’ve decided I really want to get up to busting 10k every day. But not today.

Activity is starting to change; good. I just need to figure out what the routines are that go with my activity to make it easier to maintain those good habits. Now onto food.

Part of what I do every day is log my meals and snacks, and my drinks if they have calories. Y’all know how I feel about my iced coffee and I was Not Willing to give that up, and I haven’t. Now when I make it I measure everything and my milk is unsweetened coconut milk. It’s actually quite tasty.

I will honestly tell you that I’m not feeling deprived with this new way of eating, though it too is a little frustrating. It isn’t second nature to me and so I keep feeling like my “meals” are really just these odd collections of ingredients that never quite made it into a dinner. Does that even make sense?

For example, I have found myself eating pickles, roast beef lunch meat, a hard boiled egg, and an apple – as a meal. It’s fine, those are all foods I enjoy, but… Yeah, it’s weird. I’m getting there though. Breakfast has been the easiest because I typically have my coffee, a fruit smoothie, and overnight oats. That “feels” like breakfast and the stuff goes together. One meal down at least.

At any rate, there ya go. I’m going to work on activity and just getting the hang of this food stuff first. There’s lots of other stops to make on this journey but those two seem like they belong together, and like they’re going to form the foundation of my success.

you take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have a really interesting collection of veggies

Eric is here to judge you, and me, and really everyone

Life has been interesting lately, hasn’t it? My personal life has been fairly quiet, though very busy with work. I put in 10+ hours over the winter break and last night I was still in my office working at 8pm. I’m not fond of times like this but it’s not a constant so I just sort of deal with it. I have started a new shawl, only because I needed something to keep myself occupied with in a waiting room, and it’s a non-pattern sort of thing with a ball of yarn that I honestly don’t know why I purchased but am finding myself loving.

And then I did a thing. A purely for myself kind of thing. I started Noom. And so far I have lost 4lbs in less than a week. I love it.

What I don’t love is the bullshit that happened in the US capital yesterday. It was cowardly and that jackass president just kept pouring gasoline on a grease fire. Those people were not protestors they were domestic terrorists and they should be dealt with appropriately. And the same for Cheeto Mussolini. That kind of behavior shouldn’t be tolerated, let alone spurred on by the leader of a country.

I don’t talk politics much because I don’t feel qualified to do so. I have my opinions, you have yours, and as long as we can agree to treat one another respectfully then I don’t too much care if your opinion is vastly different. But this shit? Oh hell no. The last thing I’ll say about this is that I am very eagerly awaiting Joe Biden taking over and having the opportunity to set some things right again.

Tell me when it’s over, I can’t look anymore…

2020 24 hours to go

Ok, so it’s less than that now, but if you don’t get that reference, you should maybe move on to someone else’s blog. Just sayin…

I am not even that excited right now

I’ve been keeping busy, which is fairly typical around here. Although this morning Lancelot dropped some good news on me. He works tonight, New Year’s Eve, but isn’t working overtime this week so he’s off tomorrow and Saturday, so we get a truly normal weekend. That is something to YAY about.

That was not at all exciting

On Tuesday we got 8″ of snow. Fortunately it wasn’t too shitty when I had to go get L from work and it stopped in time for him to get to work that night just fine. Now it’s just mostly a mess, but not a hard to drive in mess. I expect snow during the winter, this is the Midwest, but it doesn’t mean I have to love it.

Dog Blossom LOVES snow

I do feel very fortunate that our laundry room is in the same basic area as the back door the dog goes out to get into the back yard. When she heads out I put “her” towels in the dryer to get them nice and warm so that getting her dried off when she comes in a little bit easier. Yes, she is spoiled.

Those are two of the shawls I knit earlier this year. I hate blocking.

I still need to weave in the ends, but that’s the last of the stuff that needed to be blocked. I consider that to be a victory. We won’t talk about all of the half-finished projects still on the needles that need some love. But we will talk about how awesome L is – he helped me take an inventory of my needles this morning. Such a good boy.

Sometimes these two can be good, but not usually

This is probably the point at which I should make some kind of profound statement about how I’m going to focus on being a better human next year, as if I’m not a good human right now. But that’s not my style. I’m more of a goal setting type human. So here goes…

  • I will finish all of the fiber projects that are currently in progress
  • I will continue to work on my health issues by being more mindful of what I eat and drink
  • I will work to incorporate more physical activity into my routine by using the treadmill, ultimately getting to 30min/day, 5x/week
  • I will learn a new creative skill (I have kits here already for quilling and chain maille)
  • I will learn at least one new Indian recipe
  • I will continue to explore vegetarian dishes and strive to include a meatless dinner at least 1x/week

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.

and now I’m SAD

Among the many other things I deal with I have Seasonal Affective Disorder, lovingly referred to as SAD. This time of year when there’s less sun I get lethargic and depressed. No bueno.

Fortunately the treatment is simple enough – a full-spectrum light that sits on my desk. I’m supposed to use it every morning for a few hours. Amazingly enough it really does help.

And right now I need all the help I can get. It feels like every time I open my mouth I stick my foot in it, clear up to my hip. I’m afraid I’m doing damage to my most treasured relationships.

On the plus side of things I’ve got enough yarn to keep my busy for possibly the next several years, so I’ve got that going for me. Over the last few weeks I’ve gone on a bender buying yarn from Etsy. There’s a purple skein with a metallic silver thread, white with a metallic silver thread, a skein that’s the prettiest combination of pale blue, pale purple, and very light pink. Oh, and then there’s the mini skein pack that has five coordinating skeins in shades of dark pink.

I’m going to be a busy girl.

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…