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

so there I was, hip deep in spent bubble gum wrappers and empty sardine cans listening to polka on an old walkman when suddenly…

Eric occasionally enjoys drinking nice cold water from the running tub tap

Every time I think I’m going to be able to get back to working on a project I find a dozen things that need to be done in the kitchen that all involve either having my hands in water or washing them very frequently, and that means all the good I’ve done with repairing the damage to the skin on the fingertips goes right down the drain. Literally.

I freely admit that I got this idea from Pinterest, right over here

Those are freezer smoothie packs and I think they’re going to be brilliant. Most of the time I don’t mind the extra prep that goes into feeding myself these days, but every now and then I’m running way late or my ambition is ridiculously low but I do still need to eat. Everything but the almond milk is in these and is pre-measured, including the yogurt. They’re seriously fucking brilliant.

I did spend some time yesterday afternoon while Lancelot was sleeping going through my stash of craft supplies and I found some needle felting supplies and kits, including one that’s a picture – like a paint by numbers thing – that’s done on marked felt. That should be easy enough to do, assuming I have time. By the time I could sit down last night to eat it was after 6pm and I was just done. I did also find some coloring books and that made me happy.

This is the face off a woman who desperately needs a vacation

We’re fast approaching my personal one year Rona’versary. I began working from home on March 23, 2020. The university had known we’d be switching to remote delivery of courses so they gave everyone a two week long spring break to get their shit together. L had made big plans to take me out for my birthday and that weekend was when virtually everything shut down.

A lot has changed since then. I was thinking about that this morning on my drive to get L, not sure why. There are things that I miss about “the old days,” but mostly I’m content.

I miss feeling safe just going out in public. I miss feeling safe eating at restaurants. I miss shopping in stores. I miss going to the theater.

But I love that my job is such that I can work from home, and that I have the critters keeping me company, and that the people I love haven’t been sick. The stuff I miss isn’t really all that important.

And I hope that we all put some thought into what we want for our New Normal. We have an opportunity right now to shape our world moving forward in really meaningful ways. I’d go so far as to say that we all have an obligation to make this a better place to live.

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.

the amazing tower o’ yarn

Creative people seem to surround themselves with other creative people, at least that’s always been my experience. So I have a good friend who does photography, like she’s amazing at it. She posted a picture on FB yesterday of a tower of books that she has but has yet to read. I made a smart ass comment about how my tower of yarn could totally beat her stack of books. And that’s how this happened…

That’s almost all of my yarn laid out in the sunroom on a queen sized bed sheet
And that is my 5’6″ self laying in the middle of my (much more impressive) tower

Do I have a problem? Probably. Am I interested in an intervention? Only if you bring me yarn. And truly, this wasn’t quite all of it. There were still a few skeins hidden away, maybe a total of 10 more? I’m not sure. Anyway, I’m going to use this as an opportunity to evaluate what I have in my stash and see if there are balls/skeins that are ready to move on to someone else.

In health related news, I lost another 1/2lb yesterday which was awesome. I got myself back on the treadmill, 15 minutes, and then did the pilates bar thing and various exercise for another 15 minutes. I also totally crushed my goal of getting in 80 oz of water. (before anyone freaks out about that, I drink that much plus some anyway, my change here is to make the majority of what I would drink be water)

There really is something to be said for telling someone what you’re planning to do and that helping you stick with it. Yesterday I made sure to tell Lancelot and my bestie K that I was going to exercise, and I did. So this morning I told my Noom group about that and then also told them, “hey y’all, I’m telling you now that I’m going to exercise again today.” And I don’t feel the least bit weird about that.

My exercise and dinner plans have just changed. As I was typing this, and several other things, I heard the kids from down the street run past our house yelling something about a dog. My dog was outside and I thought “oh fuck, they let her out of the yard and she’s loose.” Oh no, it was WAY worse than that.

The temperature has been warm enough the last few days that the ground is defrosting, and that monster loves to dig.

Needless to say, I just got done taking a shower that I didn’t plan on with a dog who loves water.

Fortunately I am at the end of my work day so it doesn’t matter that I’m sitting here with no bra on, in my work out clothes, mascara streaked all over, and I smell like wet dog. I’m very glad I had already gone out for the mail. I’m anticipating a slightly less involved dinner than home made minestrone and I will likely just spend 30 minutes on my treadmill.

It’s coming up on beer o’ clock, right?

losing track

It feels so strange to think that I’ve been working from home for almost a year now. And it’s even more strange for me to think that I’m fast approaching a second birthday celebrated in a very subdued fashion due to a global pandemic. Not like that’s huge, but it’s huge.

Want to know what else is huge?

I got to move the big slider one spot to the left this morning and I’m pretty sure I screamed with pure delight

I am officially 249.75lbs and that has been an unofficial goal for a while now. The next actual official goal will be 225lbs. I’m hoping that getting back to the treadmill and starting to use the pilates bar on a more regular basis, along with going back to drinking more water every day, will help get me there a bit more quickly.

Part of this is needing routines. I’ve said it before, I live and die by routines. I’m starting to get back into some of the routines/habits that I used to have that really seemed to help, if nothing else they would help with my mental health.

  • I get a week’s worth of outfits out on the weekend, including any necessary under garments and jewelry; they hang together in the back of my closet.
  • I use pill trays to organize and set out my morning and bed time pills, two weeks’ worth at a time.
  • I have a reminder set on my phone for Monday evenings – that’s when I take my Humira shot.
  • I have other reminders set on my phone for things like monthly cleaning chores, watering plants (weekly), and giving the dog her meds (monthly) – my philosophy on this is “set it and forget it.”
  • I always put my car keys in the exact same place when I get home, on a key rack in our entryway. If I don’t put them there I lose them, without fail.
  • I keep multiple baskets in the laundry room so that I can take the dirty stuff down and sort it every few days. When there’s enough of something to run a load I do it. This keeps me from spending an entire day on the weekend doing laundry.
  • I try to create a menu for the coming week – just dinners – mostly to make sure I have all of the ingredients on hand.
  • I go to bed and get up at approximately the same time every single day. Part of it is my brain not letting me sleep in much and part of it is just that I’m so used to this schedule.

I realize that probably already seems like kind of a lot, but I need a few more. I’m not feeling like I’m doing a very good job with…

  • Making time to do creative things every day
  • Exercising regularly
  • Unplugging before bedtime
  • Planning lunches
This is my little Garth buddy, just because

learning as I go

I think of life as the journey and not so much as the ultimate destination, partially because I think the journey is exciting and partially because I have no clue in hell where the fuck I’m going.

But I also like to keep learning little lessons along the way. It’s rare that I’m not doing some sort of “school” either doing actual graduate work or, more often these days, doing some kind of professional development education for work. I’m also seeing the Noom journey as a kind of education. I’m learning how to eat in ways that are nourishing for my body and my spirit. And I really do enjoy it.

Here is the Friday update that is ridiculously irregular…

  • I’ve lost a total of 16.5lbs which means I’ve hit my first personal milestone of 250lbs
  • I got a pilates exercise bar thing that actually seems to work better than the resistance bands I’d gotten
  • I have been doing better with drinking water (by making it sparking in the Soda Stream and then adding a chunk of lemon)
Sporting my favorite jewelry that Lancelot has gotten me; beautiful moonstone necklace and custom not-matching earrings made by a dear friend of ours

We had some ridiculous cold this week and it’s seeped into my bones. I shouldn’t complain, we could have had it so much worse. But it left me less inclined to do my workouts and craving the carbs.

You either win or you learn

There have certainly been days when I’ve gained back weight that I’ve lost, and I could get all frustrated and pissed and give up. That would be easy. But I don’t take the easy road, ever. I remind myself that every choice I made the day before had an impact on what I see on the scale every morning, and then I have another choice to make – I can get grumpy and throw it in or I can get smart and learn from the choices I made.

Things I have learned:

  • Low fat vanilla yogurt is excellent in oatmeal
  • I really love butternut squash noodles (like strips of squash to use in place of pasta noodles)
  • Not all food prep is a good thing in my world (don’t make a whole batch of pasta salad because I just won’t eat more than one serving)
  • It is 100% worth it to have “snack” bowls prepped in the fridge (fresh fruit along with either a hard boiled egg, a chunk of cheese, fat free cottage cheese, or low fat yogurt)
  • Dairy milk is not as essential to my emotional well being as I once thought (I use unsweetened coconut milk now, almost exclusively)
  • I really do feel better when I exercise
  • I need to allow time Every Single Day to take care of the whole me, not just the food part of me
Garth is a creeper

One of the things I’m starting, and L is helping with, is a “house diet.” There was a thing I saw on FB about decluttering for the 40 days of Lent. We are not religious people but the idea of doing a bit of spring cleaning out and stretching out appeals to me. I’ve started doing bits and we’ll be doing more this weekend. It’s kind of liberating.

why i love avatars, emoji, and bitmoji so freakin’ much

First, I feel like I should do an update of sorts. My current weight is at 251.5lbs. I have been down at 250.5 so I will claim that I have lost 16lbs. Hey, my game and my rules. The weight loss is rather slow and I’m alright with that, mostly because it feels healthy. And I’m still sticking with my ultimate goal of being more mindful of what food and drink I put in my body. Like right now, I have a morning snack of 1/2C of fat free cottage cheese, 1/2C of fresh blueberries, and a clementine. Very tasty and nutritious.

Lancelot and I did our celebrating on Friday because that was our six month wedding anniversary. We actually got dressed up – that’s the jewelry I wore when we got married – and ate sushi at the dining room table. It was wonderful.

The kids spent most of the weekend sleeping, as usual. In their defense, it’s been ridiculously cold here. As in the windchill yesterday (and again today I think) was something like -32F.

So, my love of avatars and such. There really is something to that, and you’d likely have to know me fairly well to understand it. That or maybe if you ever saw me try to eat soup with a spoon.

I have wicked tremors most of the time and so typing, or doing anything with my hands, sometimes requires monumental effort.

But there are all kinds of really cute little pictures and things that convey what I’d like to say and I can click or tap on one of those and that takes care of it. Besides, my avatars are adorable.

The tremors are caused by the lithium I take for the Bipolar Disorder, but I mostly don’t mind. Even though it’s been 15 years since my diagnosis and the start of treatment I still remember what life was like without the lithium and I have absolutely no desire to ever go back to that place. Ever.

freezing my pieces off

This photo is deceptive; there’s a sunlamp on the desk behind me

It has been crazy cold here recently, like so cold there’s wind chill advisories out. They’re telling people that as little as 10 minutes outside can lead to severe frostbite on exposed skin. It’s no damn good. Fortunately I have a large (LARGE) collection of hand knit shawls to help keep me warm.

I’m still doing well with Noom, really well I think. I’ve been doing the program since January 1st and I’ve lost 16lbs. I feel good about that and just in general I feel good. So yay.

Part of what’s making this easier is that I’ve gone back to spending part of my weekend doing food prep. I had been doing that for awhile pre-Rona but then I had stopped. I’m remembering why it was so helpful. I spent several hours on Saturday getting some things done and now my week is already feeling smoother.

Those are the snack bowls I put together, there are actually two of each. They all have some fruit (pickles are fruit, right?) and they all have some protein. I can’t say enough good things about those divided containers, such a life saver. The oatmeal lump things in the lower right corner are banana oatmeal muffins. (recipe from this site) Super easy and totally yummo. I also made a batch of pumpkin oat cookies that are pretty freaking amazing. (recipe from this site) Please keep in mind that I don’t bake so for me to make these, they must be easy and worth the effort. They are.

I have returned to making a menu for the week, also super helpful. And I’ve gone back to getting my clothes out a day in advance. (just one day, not the full week like I used to do) And in general I’m just trying to take time to take care of myself. It’s wonderful.

Lancelot is helping, a ton. Today I’m making vegetable beef soup for dinner and he took care of carving up the meat for me. Oh yeah, I’m still kind of obsessed with food that can be prepped earlier in the day and then left alone until I’m ready to eat it. Totally.

I need a drum roll right about now…

TA DA!!!

That is home made Indian Butter Chicken over butternut squash noodles, done in the Instant Pot, and it’s the physical proof that I have hit one of my goals for the year. I wanted to try a new Indian recipe and feel like I had mastered it. Done. (recipe from this site)

In news that is not related to food, me cooking food, or me loosing weight… I have been working with yarn again!

Anyone remember the crocheted blanket I was working on for my mom? Yeah, I’m still working on it but it’s a LOT bigger than it was in that picture. I want to say I’m on my 3rd skein of yarn, and those skeins are good sized. I have it sitting next to my chair in the living room so I can easily work on it while I watch TV.

I have also been allowing myself to work on other projects that have already been started, you know, trying to finish a few things up. Yesterday I finished a shawl I had started at the very end of last year using Cassowary yarn from the Queensland Collection. It did some amazing stripes of green. The pattern was just me doing a riff on a standard top down, center spine shawl. I’ll take a picture once I get it blocking.

I have since moved on to once again trying to finish the Christmas gifts. The hat I made my stepdad ended up too big so I need to remake that with different yarn, and the gift I’m making for my friend N is just plain taking way more time than it should. But it’s coming. I should really make myself a list of what all is in the works so I can check them off as I finish things.

Must remember that the key to enjoying a quiet dinner alone is to use the Instant Pot. The critters are not fond of the noise and as such put themselves to bed in the guest room