sharing the love, or maybe these are sand fleas, who knows

One of my all time favorite ways to “curse” someone is to say

may your crotch be infested by the fleas of a thousand camels and your arms be too short to scratch

but this year that just doesn’t seem like enough, ya know?

Lancelot did get to have Christmas Eve off, but then went in to work on Christmas Day (because of overtime) and then Saturday was his day off, but he had slept a good portion of the day and was awake most of last night, and so then today was like a regular Sunday. And if you’re kind of exhausted trying to keep up with that just imagine how I feel.

At any rate, we were able to spend a little time together and it wasn’t too bad. Any time I get to spend with my guy isn’t bad. But ya know what is bad? The new Wonder Woman movie. Seriously, not worth it.

So I’ve been doing some cooking, I’ve cleaned out some cupboards, straightened the pantry, made a run to Target (it’s going to snow this week and I didn’t plan for that, or get enough milk when we went last weekend), blocked two shawls and a scarf and wove in the ends on those, setup another shawl to block, and have done what feels like a metric ton of laundry.

I have also spent a LOT of time being a puppy’s pillow

L and I have been really quite careful about our plague protocols. I wear a mask any time I’m going to come in contact with anyone who is not L, including my mother. I firmly believe that wearing a mask is good for me and it’s good for anyone I’m around. It’s a respect thing if absolutely nothing else. I have been cleared by the doc to get the COVID vaccine as soon as they’re available to the general public and I have every intention of getting it, but that won’t happen for awhile and the mask and keeping my hands washed should stack the deck in my favor for living long enough to get that precious vaccine.

My grandmother is in her late 80s and lives in a nursing home because she’s got issues with dementia.

She was scheduled to get her vaccine next week.

She tested positive. On Christmas Eve.

So please, don’t do it for me, but do it for your grandma. Or someone’s grandma. Anyone’s grandma.

Whoever you do it for, will you please just wear a fucking mask?

channeling my frustrations by becoming a domestic goddess

I don’t know about any of the rest of you but sometimes when I get good and pissed off I need to do something that’s kind of destructive but in reality is very productive. And, sick and this is, I often find that to be cleaning. Or making a plan for something. Or purging things from the house that we don’t need. You get the gist.

So last night after my work holiday Zoom party cocktail wore off I got to work. I had told Lancelot earlier in the week that I want the grocery run this morning to be the last we make until after the first of the year. (might have to go for milk but that’s a really quick trip)

With the upcoming holiday turning stores into battlefields in a normal year, and the rising positivity rates with Rona, and the fact that this is December in the Midwest so we could have major snow any fucking day now, I just want to have a well stocked arsenal of snacks and booze pantry and freezer.

As such I’ve been working on a rather massive undertaking to see what we have on hand already, what recipes I have most of the stuff for, and what other bits do I need to complete those. Lists are how I function.

I now have a list of THIRTY meals, just dinners, and I’ve split them into things I can make during the week and a few that would have to be done when L is home to eat at the same time with me. My grocery list (which is organized by what stuff is geographically close to what other stuff so hopefully I don’t fucking forget anything this time!) is kind of massive but a lot of it is either canned goods or things that start as frozen or things that will go in the freezer until I need them.

I’m not planning to do a ton of prep ahead of time but I know if I have my plan and I have all of the necessary components on hand I’m much more likely to actually make dinner.

I don’t know about y’all, but when I get to feeling down one of the very first self-care type things that goes out my window is cooking for myself. And I know that’s not healthy, so here I am trying to solve that problem. I feel good about this.

Not that I’m going to assume anyone is really all that interested, but in case you find yourself needing some kitchen inspiration, here’s my list.

  • CP tortellini w/ Alfredo
  • CP penne w/ Italian sausage and marinara
  • roasted veggies and sausage
  • goulash
  • CP roast w/ potatoes and carrots
  • spaghetti w/ meat sauce
  • CP chicken enchilada casserole
  • chicken noodle bake
  • CP pork tenderloin w/ pineapple
  • CP sweet and sour chicken
  • rice casserole
  • spam fried rice
  • veg fried rice
  • CP chicken curry
  • CP shrimp curry
  • CP pork chops w/ apples and kraut
  • cheddar sausages w/ mac and cheese
  • meatball soup
  • barley and beef soup
  • quick skillet lasagna
  • cranberry chipotle pork ribs
  • italian pork w/ sweet potatoes
  • beef stroganoff
  • spanish rice
  • gyros
  • tempura shrimp w/ rice pilaf
  • chicken legs in the air fryer w/ veggies
  • nachos
  • chicken sandwiches w/ chips
  • burgers w/ tater tots

CP is my abbreviation for crock pot, just FYI. Some of these I have actual recipes for and some of them are things I’ve been making for so long I just do it. I will happily share my chicken curry recipe with you. The original recipe came with my pressure cooker thing but then I modified the hell out of it.

Chicken Curry

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely diced
  • Small onion, diced
  • Assorted veggies – we commonly use diced bell pepper, sliced zucchini, frozen green beans, and baby carrots – whatever suits your mood

Toss all of that in a slow cooker.

The sauce is:

  • 2 cans of coconut milk
  • 1 Tbs dried basil
  • ¾ tsp grated ginger (I often use the fresh stuff in a tube, either works)
  • 1 ½ Tbs curry powder (Penzeys makes the most amazing curry powder ever)
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

I let all of that simmer at low until the chicken is cooked through, usually a good 6 hours. Serve with rice and naan.

Trust the little chubby chik to know some good food.

Proof that it is not all doom and gloom right now. And yes, there are cats on my t-shirt. That is my Meowy Christmas shirt. My sweater has sparkly snowflakes. My leggings are red with white snowflakes. And that is a big ass flower on my head. And that was all yesterday for the party. ❤

an update in photos

This was the unofficial start of our staycation. Lancelot got me that gorgeous necklace, handmade by a friend of ours, and a yarn bowl that reads “I knit because murder is wrong.”

We got to spend a total of almost five uninterrupted days together and it was heavenly. And that was good because now he’s going to be working overtime, and that is not so heavenly. But I’ll be working extra as well, so I suppose it all balances out.

The one museum here in town is having a Jim Henson exhibit right now so I got to “hug” Bert and Ernie. We went on Wednesday at 10am and damn near had the place to ourselves. The exhibit was amazing and damn near made me cry. I grew up with these guys.

We knew that we wanted needed to really make the most of our time off so we tried to have a good balance of doing things that were safe and staying home like slugs. It worked pretty well.

Our big gift to each other this year is art for the house. We have an amazing local art gallery so we went there and got this amazing painting as well as another, much smaller, piece. This is in our living room and makes me feel like I’m outside in a flower garden.
Pippy spent lots of time snuggled up with her daddy. And Thanos.
Eric was actually a little bit playful.
Garth spent a lot of time napping in the sun and recovering from the trauma of having eye drops twice a day for a week. (he’s doing so much better now)
This might be my favorite thing though, custom knitting needles that L got for me. The translation from Gaelic is “Erin’s knitting needle.” How fucking cool is that?

At any rate, I’m really glad we had the time off that we did. L is being told that he’ll be doing overtime the next two weeks and with the way my workload is starting to look I’ll be surprised if I don’t end up working over the holiday break. Fortunately I’m making good progress on the last knit holiday gift and will hopefully get it done in time. Of course I left the most complicated/involved project for last, like a moron…

bits and pieces

Y’all know that Lancelot works overnights, and he didn’t get the Thanksgiving holiday off (he did get holiday pay, which is nice I suppose) so we had our “official” dinner on Saturday. Yes, all of that food was JUST FOR ME! Ahem, I shared. But we had a pot roast, mashed potatoes, gravy from scratch, green bean casserole, my mother’s famous dressing, and my grandmother’s cranberry Jello salad. It was divine.

Part of what we were celebrating was that my little guy, Garth, has just a very minor eye infection that we’re treating with drops. He hates them, but then L isn’t excited about eye drops either. They must be making him feel better though because today while I was having a bite of lunch he climbed up on my chest and camped out long enough to start purring (a rare event with him) and for me to get a few pictures. Last night he got in bed with us and demanded snuggles from me at least three times that I remember.

This will be another short week for me, but an even better short week since this week L and I both have FIVE WHOLE DAYS off work together for a delightful little stay-cation. I’m very excited. I’m also excited that I’m essentially done with my holiday shopping and I only have one gift left to make. I’ve taken a short break today to do some actual work seeing as it’s been hard to get some of my projects done for work given all of the emails people seem to expect me to answer. The nerve.

thanksgiving 2020 – finding things to be thankful for in the middle of a bad relationship with that bitch Rona

Things I’m thankful for right now:

  • We both have jobs and we both have health insurance that’s worth having
  • We’re healthy, and my mom and step-dad are healthy
  • We’re lucky enough to have a very nice, comfortable home to live in
  • We have three ridiculous fur-babies in our lives
  • My job allows me to work from home right now which is providing a much needed relief from excess anxiety and helping to keep me safe from contracting COVID-19
  • I have some truly amazing friends that, even though I don’t get to see them in person, will text or do video calls and they’re helping to keep me sane
  • That Lancelot is so stinkin’ patient with my shenanigans
  • And while I don’t know that anyone is ever really prepared to live through such a prolonged and emotionally draining event like a pandemic, I feel as though mentally I’m the strongest I’ve ever been and in the best position possible to come out the other side of this a better human because of it

I know it’s hard right now, and stuff does kinda suck, but I would like to encourage all of you reading this, whenever you read it, to try to think of at least one thing you’re thankful for. If you can think of more, that’s awesome. I try to do this little exercise every day, usually on Facebook, and it helps. There’s something about intentionality and “priming” yourself to be in a more optimistic mindset that seems to help. (your mileage may vary, but come on, it’s worth a try, yes?)

If that doesn’t work you can always try boozy hot cocoa. This is the way.

the things this life has taught me

I’m not a fan of this plague bullshit, not at all. We’ve now reached the point where Lancelot and I agree that the less interaction I have with humans who are not him, the better. The community isn’t getting any safer here and our governor isn’t doing fuck-all about it. So it’s time to step up my own personal vigilance even further.

So I guess that’s a big part of what brings me to today’s post. Interestingly enough, there’s a tie within a tie here. I’ll get to that. I want to start with a list of things I’ve learned as a result of living through the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

***Disclaimer: I am not a licensed mental health practitioner, though I play one in my imaginary world. Like everything on this blog these are just my observations. Your mileage may vary.

  • There is immense joy to be found in the small moments, such as an unexpected hug from a loved one or a favorite cup of tea.
  • There is no shame in working in your PJs, provided you work at home.
  • If it takes a village to raise a child, why do we think it doesn’t take a village to keep an adult human healthy and happy?
  • You don’t have to buy new stuff. Move your old stuff around. Get rid of some of it. Put the stuff you really love back in new places. It’s called Shit Shifting and it’s amazing.
  • You might not like Pumpkin Spice. You might think that Christmas shouldn’t appear before Thanksgiving. But it’s been a shit year, and those things make some people very happy, so just STFU and let them be happy.
  • I never would have tried ordering my groceries online for pick-up had it not been for this fucking plague. Now it’s the only way I shop and I love how much time it saves me.
  • I wanted to make sure that I didn’t forget any of my ideas for this post and I knew I didn’t have much time this morning when I went to get Lancelot so I finally learned how to make a voice recording on my phone.
  • Don’t save the good china / your good jewelry / that cute dress / insert appropriate thing here / for a special occasion. Any day you suck oxygen is a special occasion.
  • We’re going to come out of this stronger than we were before, I promise you that.
The hooligans are making me very leery of putting up a tree, but I feel amazing about having some of my snowflake ornaments hanging in the front windows

So far I’ve finished three gifts. I still have two left to make; hopefully I’ll start another one tonight. Today has been super rough so I might just go pass out somewhere. It has snowed off and on all day and it’s just cold. Of course Garth has been sleeping right next to the heat vent in my office all day so that doesn’t really help.

This is what I woke up to this morning. It should have told me everything I needed to know about today.

because I have so much free time on my hands I think I’ll knit a few holiday gifts… that should be fun, right?

Lancelot and I on Halloween, waiting for our friends to arrive

So it’s pretty well impossible to tell from this picture, or any picture we took, that I had on these very lovely monarch wings that looked great with my headband. I picked them up at Target for $10. They were perfect. And the “party” was wonderful. We had three friends come over and we spent most of the evening in the garage. We ate good food and had wonderful conversation. It was precisely what I needed. And we did it in a way that legitimately seemed pretty safe.

We managed to get some stuff done around the house this weekend, which was very good, though it always feels like there’s more to do. I still need to attack the file cabinet in my office and finish the laundry. I would have been finished with the Off Kilter shawl but my yarn cake (what little of it is left) decided to explode and I had to rewind it by hand from the wrong end this morning. With feline help. I’m anxious to have it done in part because I did not end up having enough yarn for all of the repeats of the body; I think I got something like 18 out of 25 done. It should be fine I’m just not 100% sure what the edging is going to look like, but again, not super concerned.

And so now I think I have AMPLE free time to make some holiday gifts. Keep in mind that the holidays are next month. Towards the end, but still. Oh yeah, totally enough time.

In my defense, three of the patterns are ones I’ve made before, quite successfully. All of the gifts go to friends who live here in the metro and can be delivered by me. And I have the yarn already in my possession for all of them.

Also, Lancelot turned 50 this year which means he gets to have super exciting medical screenings (you know the one) and I’ll be taking him in for that on Friday. Nothing as wonderful as enforced quiet time in a hospital waiting room to help make progress on a knitting project.

I do have to ask – has anyone actually spent time waiting for someone like this since the Rona started? I know how I would have done this in the Before Times when I’d take my Mom, and I think I’ll plan what I take on part on what I used to do, but what tips do y’all have?

just make it fucking stop already

Did you know that if you have roadside assistance coverage on your auto insurance policy they will come to your house and jump start your car while it sits in your garage? True story. Do you want to know how I know this? Yeah, probably not. Let’s just leave it at I am now the thoroughly delighted owner of a new car battery. Let’s also leave it at this has not been the greatest of days.

Things being what they are, I had little hope that this day would improve and I’m delighted to say that it has not. Nothing quite like going from bad to utterly shitty. Oh well, tomorrow is Friday, right?

Please, for the love of all that is holy, say that tomorrow is Friday… I can’t take much more of this “work” bullshit.

I was able to get a bit more done in my office, mostly stuff with filing and whatnot. Important but certainly not glamorous. And there’s more left to be done, naturally. But there aren’t any plans for Thanksgiving and Lancelot will have to work his usual shifts, so that will likely provide some time.

It’s sort of ridiculous to say that Thanksgiving will be different this year, as if everything since March has been totally fucking normal. But holidays are a different creature, especially for someone who – up until April – had a fairly tight family and did things with them on a very regular basis.

My mom and R are heading south for a few days and will spend the holiday with my cousin. I think that’s awesome, but I wouldn’t want to be part of it. (my cousin has 4 boys and I’m not exactly enamored of her husband)

L’s family isn’t a known quantity for me, though I’m guessing there won’t be any gatherings. They’re recommending no one really gathers this year because of Rona.

And L really will work his regular schedule and I’ll get my typical Thursday/Friday off. Since we don’t have kids this suits us just fine. I might make a turkey breast in the ol’ slow cooker and I’m going to try to make a big pan of my mom’s dressing. Honestly, all I really need in terms of holiday food is that dressing, my own gallon of gravy, and my grandmother’s cranberry relish. I’m not sure what L is going to eat. (oh alright, I’ll share…)

At any rate, life is getting a little excessively busy around here. I’ve got some doctor stuff coming up, L has a few appointments of his own, our small Halloween gathering (in the garage) is on Saturday, and the election is on Tuesday. We’ll be driving our ballots to the local election commission office this weekend.

I don’t want to give away who I’m voting for, but I will just say that Trump can go suck a rancid zombie dick and choke on it.

kicking it into gear

There’s precious little time left before the holiday and before I leave, and there’s much yet to do. However, tonight is “found time” in that Mom is going to be with my sister making cookies so I’m being left to my own devices to get shit done.

And get shit done I shall.

I saw the dermatologist yesterday and he still assures me that we WILL get rid of this stuff. I’m back up to an injection every week and he’s gotten me a topical antibiotic. Here’s hoping.

I’ve been working on Lancelot’s Christmas present, which will hopefully be finished tonight. I do still have a bit of shopping yet to do but not much. I should probably take inventory of what I have.

Tonight’s plan is finishing some laundry, packing for the weekend (need to drop that bag off tomorrow), mixing up a batch of cookies, and doing my house cleaning stuff. I should probably think about making a batch of coffee. I also need to make sure that my room is ready for the slumber party.

I’m standing up straight. They’re 9 and 11. I will be the short one very quickly. But aren’t they beautiful?