nothing like the smell of progress

I do love it when a plan comes together, don’t  you?

My office is essentially done. Finally. The only thing I need now is a better chair. And yes, that’s Eric the Red snoozing in his bed. I quite often have him and Pippy in here napping while I work. I’d like to think that’s because they enjoy my company but they could just as easily be taunting me with the fact that they get to sleep while I must toil away.

Lancelot helped me bring all of my files from the desk in the basement up here this morning. I’m sure there’s still stuff down there that should be moved, but this got a good chunk of it. Given what I struggle with in the “scrambled brains” department it’s essential that I have a system to stay organized.

We’re finally at a point where the things we have left to do are pretty much purely cosmetic. I’ve got some new artsy things to put on the walls and a few pictures to frame, but really everything that’s left is little. And that’s good. Because…

Now it’s time to get back to better meal planning and concentrating on my health. L got the treadmill cleared off and setup for me and I found my Fitbit this morning and put it on the charger. I’m seriously hoping that I can get myself on some sort of routine that involves better health.

I was pretty seriously concerned about weight gain when the plague started. I figured there was a very real possibility that I would end up weighing 600lbs. So I started weighing myself, nothing more and nothing less. I wasn’t trying to lose any weight, I just didn’t want to gain any. As of the last time I checked I had gained a total of 2lbs since March 23rd. I think that’s pretty fucking fabulous.

If any of y’all have any good (easy?) recipes to share, maybe slow cooker or pressure cooker, I would love to hear about them.

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.

quick update

I am not yet dead, nor do I plan to be any time soon. I’ve just been busy. In my defense I’ve finished damn near everything I had on my “winter holiday to do” list, including taking an inventory of my entire yarn stash.

Yes, the Entire Stash. Don’t look at me like that. If Lancelot thinks he needs to stage an intervention I want to make sure it’s truly justified. And let me tell you, it 100% is NOT. I have fewer than 100 skeins of yarn and many of them are partials.

But I digress. I will hold to the plan of not buying any more yarn in the new year unless I somehow manage to knit and/or crochet all of what I have on hand before December 31, 2020.

I plan to put together a bit of a “Year is Retrospect” kind of post but today is not that day. Let me distract you with a few choice photos instead.

L and I on Christmas Eve. He’s quite the silly boy, but he’s my silly boy and I love him. He got me some truly gorgeous necklaces this year.

The fuzzballs love to play. Except Eric. Eric is like the grumpy old man of the group.

Garth is ridiculously adorable. He got up on top of the microwave the other morning and was just being cute. I managed to catch him with his little tongue hanging out.

christmas is the time to say i love you

I can’t remember what song that’s from, but it’s catchy.

So I’ve been busy, which is a lame ass excuse but it is what it is. I’ve been trying to get stuff lined up for the holidays, drain my health care spending account, visit ALL the doctors, and not go bat-crap crazy.

So far, so good.

Lancelot got tickets for us to see Jesus Christ Superstar last weekend. It was amazing. We had seats on the main floor just off to the side so our view was phenomenal.

Garth and Pippy have been playing a lot lately. I snapped this the other morning when they were pretending to be good. I finished a sweater for Pippy last night, I’ll have to get a picture of it on her. The pattern was more like a recipe, which was fine, and it was crocheted with two strands of worsted weight Red Heart using a size N hook. It worked up FAST.

I also, sometime since last we spoke, did go through and get all of my yarn collected. I didn’t do the inventory yet but it’s at least in one place and I have an idea of what’s there.

We need a damn intervention.

But that’s fine, I no longer have disposable income. My student loans have to be paid on again, among other things, so I really need to focus on using up what I have on hand. That shouldn’t be too hard.

My last day of work (official work) is this Friday. The university shuts down starting Saturday and we won’t come back until January 2nd. I will likely come in at some point to take down my holiday decorations and take a few bits and pieces home. The rumor about us moving (AGAIN) are true. I want to do a bit of a purge here while I’ve got peace and quiet to do it.

productive at last, thank ceiling cat almighty, i was productive at last!

That was quite the whirlwind of a long weekend for me, but in a good way. Lancelot and I got the grocery shopping done, I made a simple but yummy dinner Friday night, and then we snuggled while watching the Food Network. So romantic. ❤

On Saturday we went to my office and picked up the orchid, miniature rose, and spider plants to take back to the house. Those all have light requirements that can’t be satisfied here easily. We also were on call for puppy-sitting.

He looks miserable, doesn’t he? Pippi loves him, almost as much as I do I suspect. And he loves playing with all the critters. This was his part of helping while I was rearranging plants.

Eric is still not at all interested in playing with Pippi, but he’s getting to the point of tolerating her. Most of the time anyway. Pippi and Garth will roll around together, bite ears, and when Garth has had enough he rolls onto his back and “bunny kicks” her under the chin.

In addition to my greenhouse duties, I was able to get my laundry done, including putting fresh sheets on my bed, I made both Jell-o and pudding for lunches, and other miscellaneous stuff that I’d neglected. Honestly, I’m considering bringing L to the house with me on either Friday night or Saturday morning for a bit like this more often. He loves the critter time and I love being so productive while having him there for drive-by kisses.

My nieces came over on Sunday to hang out for a bit and I decided to try making jewelry while they were there. This was the result – four pairs of earrings, a necklace/earring set, a pendant, and a brooch made of buttons. I’m pretty pleased. Being creative, making things, is part of self-care for me. I even knit this weekend and I have to say, it felt amazing.

#truth

vacation eve AND evicted (no, not really)

This is my last day of work until July 22nd, ALL PRAISE BE TO THE ALMIGHTY CEILING CAT!!!

Don’t get me wrong, I like my job, love it even sometimes. But I’m ready for a break. Overly ready. And Lancelot is ready for a break from his job, so the time is right.

This isn’t going to be a big trip like when we went to Ireland, in fact we aren’t really going anywhere. And quite often those are the best kind of vacations. We’ll get to bum around and play tourist in our city, sleep late, and spend time with each other. I’m looking forward to it.

But first, I have a list of projects. Well, projects and random things I want to do. Like, the other day when I was out shopping with Mom I got new knobs for my bathroom cabinets. And I have a friend who’s been making beaded bracelets so I’m going to thin out my bead stash and send a package to her. And I’ve got a few shawls that need to be blocked and since Mom is now on her trip I can use her bed to do that.

The plan is to spend tomorrow during the day, while L is catching up on a little sleep, to start tearing into my list. I might actually start tonight depending on how I feel.

So, you’re probably wondering about the “eviction” part of today’s title. If you aren’t, you likely didn’t read the title and then I say “shame on you, you lazy little so-and-so.”

I mentioned that Mom is on a trip. Her bestie, who lives on the west coast, flew in and is going with her. I gave up my bedroom for her to stay in while she’s here. I’ve been informed that I have the most comfortable bed and the most relaxing bedroom ever and I’m going to need to find a new place because she’s taking over.

I may have to frame that and have it hung in my room. It would totally fit with the decor.

the ridiculous expense of convenience

I have the most unusual thoughts while driving myself to work in the morning. For example, you can’t swing a dead cat in this town without hitting a fucking drive thru coffee shop. Seriously, they’re in every parking lot and on every goddamn corner. It’s utterly insane. And for what? Overpriced coffee drinks in cups that will end up in the landfill and typically aren’t that great for your health.

UGH.

Maybe it’s because I’m sleep deprived right now but it seems to me that not going to the coffee shop every morning would be a great way to start saving some money and some calories. Now don’t get me wrong, I have my own particular, and peculiar, caffeine addiction but I take care of it on the cheap. And yes I’ve probably babbled about this before but I’m going to do it again.

On Sunday I brew at least one, sometimes two, 12 cup pots of coffee depending on how much I used the week before. I use good quality flavored coffee. I’m lazy so I just use a regular old drip coffee maker. I let it cool and then pour it into a gallon plastic jug, purchased just for that purpose. I also add sweetener, either powdered Splenda or sugar free Torani flavored syrup.

In the morning I get my 32oz insulated metal cup and fill it half with my cold coffee, a splash of cream, and the rest with milk. Sometimes I add ice. This costs me next to nothing but a little time to make the coffee.

I’m also not waiting in line at the coffee shop, wasting time and gas. That’s super important to me in the summer.

Now, where I will spend money for “convenience” is on single serving snack stuff. I have a terrible time with portion control so the 100 calorie packs of snacks like Pringles are a savior for me.

It’s all about picking your battles, kiddos.

Speaking of battles…

My mom got the boys a cat tree over the weekend. They love it. Garth won the battle for King of the Top Sleepy Spot this time.

In the dessert battle category…

Quinoa with creamed lavender honey and blueberries. It was an experiment since there was extra quinoa, but not enough to save. Rather tasty.

My pea plants are doing much better this year. I’m hoping they’ll keep going for awhile yet.

I meant to take knitting pics this morning but was running way too late. I brought the shawl that had been living at L’s place home to work on. It’s turning out lovely.

so there I was, up to my false eyelashes in chicken feathers and ginger ale bottles

It’s been hot here lately. HOT. Sadly that means my energy levels are super low. I’m having one hell of a time getting motivated to start walking again, even inside on the treadmill with both fans going. And I know I need to get some activity in.

But…

Somehow, and I’m really not sure how, I’ve lost 2 1/2lbs since last Friday. And this baffles me because Lancelot and I didn’t exactly eat super healthy food over the weekend. We mostly ate crap to be honest.

Anyway, I’m excited, super excited, and I’m hoping this helps jump start my walking and activity. So YAY!

In other news, I finally got my new glasses.

They almost perfectly match my hair, they have tons of bling, and the clip on sunglasses are amazing.

With the exception of the weather this week is shaping up well. It’s a short week for me, only three days, and then I have a delightful five day weekend. And then the following week is only four days and then I’m off work until July 22nd. We aren’t going anywhere exotic this time, just taking time off work to relax and enjoy each other’s company. I can’t wait.

things i’ve been learning

  • eating a bowl of ice cream isn’t going to make the world end
  • “traditional” meal prep isn’t necessarily right for me – I get bored too easily
  • variety is crucial; this includes a little junk every now and then
  • my mental health is every bit as important as my physical health; I can’t neglect one in favor of the other
  • this is a process
  • Lancelot thinks I’m beautiful no matter what
  • I lost 1lb since Monday even with eating the ice cream last night

The lighting in my office is horrid. But yes, I’m wearing tie-dye. This is a high-low skirt and kimono style vest over a white tank. I got the combo at the art festival a few weeks ago. I made the jewelry. I think this may be my new favorite outfit.

Mom and I are trying to eat healthy dinners together and I’m trying to have healthy lunches but I really have realized that having the exact same lunch every day is not for me. There will be similar pieces, such as fresh clementines and hard boiled eggs, but I’m going to try for something a little different. If I have a salad I’ll try to put different things on it, you know, stuff like that.

I know for damn sure that if I get bored with the food I’ll drop this damn “healthy eating” thing like a hot rock.

Yes, it’s a pain in the ass to make a lunch every night, but the pay off will be worth it.

One down, 99 to go…

starting small

Stress is a trigger for a lot of people when it comes to unhealthy eating habits. Through many years of therapy I’ve mostly gotten away from binge eating when stressed, though not entirely. I’m working on it.

I’m not following a “diet” right now because, quite frankly, I don’t believe in them. I didn’t gain this weight overnight, I’m not going to lose it overnight. What I need to do is learn, and PRACTICE, healthier eating habits that will stick with me for life.

So much easier said than done.

There are a few things I’ve been trying to do for some time now that I hope will help:

  • avoiding drinks that have sugar added
  • drink only 100% fruit juice and that’s usually just what I need for a smoothie
  • I keep healthy snacks in my cupboard at work so I’m seldom tempted to go get junk food
  • the snacks I keep at work are usually of the “100 calorie” or single serving variety
  • eat small bits throughout the day, loaded with protein typically, so that I don’t ever get super hungry

I also know that taking care of my mental health is crucial right now. I should have walked this morning but I was up for it. Instead I spent time taking care of some tasks I’d been putting off around the house. I feel better for having done that.

The key for me is to just keep trying, keep moving forward, keep making progress. It’s all about one step at a time.