making the most of it

Lancelot periodically has to work overtime. I kind of hate this. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a common thing and a known hazard and it really doesn’t happen often. And at least he’s hourly so, unlike when I get to work extra, he gets paid for it. So I try (honestly, I try) not to bitch about it too much.

He had to work last night, big ol’ bummer. But instead of pouting and feeling sorry for myself, which honestly does no damn good, I decided to act like a big girl and I’ve been making the most of what we refer to at work as “found time.” So far I have…

  • Taken Mom out for a lovely dinner where we both got tipsy
  • Re-wrote the directions for a knitting pattern because I found them confusing
  • Actually did some knitting
  • Thoroughly cleaned my bathroom
  • Did my food prep for the week
  • Took care of some paperwork for my health care account
  • Cleaned up the laptop
  • Got my outfits and jewelry ready for next week

Might not seem like a lot (or maybe it does) but it certainly helped pass the time and I feel good for having been productive.

Possibly the most exciting news is that I’m not really done with grad school after all. I met with the program coordinator on Friday and got some new information that makes all the difference. I’m going to take at least one semester off, but during that time I can be writing on my own and “banking” material for later. I also found out that I have TEN YEARS from when I started to get this done. That takes a lot of the pressure off.

Lancelot is super excited. He told me that he knew I wasn’t giving up, just taking a break. He’s got a lot of faith in me. Anyway, we’re going to go to the residency this July for a day to sit in on a lecture and see everyone. I want him to get a sense of what the experience is like. And the coordinator wants to meet him.

I’m actually excited to start writing again.

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progress

I had an appointment with the dermatologist yesterday afternoon so I got home early. While I was working on coaxing my personal laptop to finish loading updates I pulled out some of the treasures I got at the bead show Lancelot and I went to. The above pic is the result. Not bad for less than an hour’s worth of work.

I did manage to get the laptop going again, which was good. And I got more tidying done in the bedroom, namely the bottom drawer of the nightstand where some of the knitting stuff lives. I’m feeling really good about all of this.

That is part of lunch this week. It’s a homemade pasta salad with cheese tortellini, grape tomatoes, chopped bell pepper, shredded carrots, black olives, and homemade Italian salad dressing. I’m also having clementines and blackberries for fruit, a hard boiled egg, and two of the little Babybel cheese rounds. This morning I had a smoothie with plain Greek yogurt, a frozen banana, frozen cherries, and cherry juice. Super yum.

The thing I’m most excited about? I actually got on the treadmill this morning!!! I only walked 15 minutes, but still. I’m going to try to keep doing that every weekday morning.

a million things

I’ve been making pretty good progress with getting my life back together. This wasn’t like some of the ridiculously spectacular explosions that I have faced before, but the time between January 1 and now has been, well, I don’t have enough of the right words to describe it.

It was like having to burn all the candles at all the ends.

It was like arguing with a demon in my head who was a toddler and insisted on a bedtime story every five minutes.

It was like watching all of the things I wanted to be doing slip through my fingers like water, and knowing that the water was tears.

But it’s over, and as much as I love what I wrote and as proud as I am of what I managed to do, it needed to be put away for now. And so I did. I cleared out a small drawer in my desk yesterday and put all of the printed materials and my notebooks in it. The memoirs I read are on the bookshelf (except Patty Duke’s shitty book, yuck). Reclaiming my workspace yesterday and getting that area ready for creative things again was crucial for moving forward.

I also went through my room and came up with four bags full to send to the thrift shop. I was ruthless. It felt FABULOUS. And, as usual, I found some things I had completely forgotten about. It feels a lot better in there now as well.

This is maybe a weird thing, but I’m going to share anyway. I’m totally a list maker, y’all know that. But I don’t like writing them on paper if I don’t have to. At work I have a whiteboard mounted on a door and I frequently fill that up. But at home I don’t have that, so I improvise.

Upstairs I keep a dry erase marker in the bathroom and I write my lists on the mirror. Sounds strange, but it works. It’s right there where I look every day and it wipes off super easy. I find that it really helps, and it’s a cheap hack.

Life is slowly returning to the happy place where I really enjoy it. Mom and I did a little shopping last Thursday, Lancelot and I went and had massages Saturday morning and then did a little shopping, we had friends over for dinner, and then brunch on Mother’s Day. And I’ve been knitting again. What more can you ask for?

Apparently you can ask for more treats.

there’s never enough time

The weekend wasn’t really what I wanted, or needed. I don’t have any interest in going into it, not much anyway. The new pasta recipe was delicious, the trip to the artist co-op yielded some amazing jewelry, and Avengers Endgame is phenomenal. Other bits of the weekend were absolute shit. Done and over.

The Dublin Shawl is done. That’s not the name of a pattern, it’s my name for it since the yarn reminds me of Ireland and I started it on that trip. It’s lovely. And now it’s about to be too warm to wear shawls like this. Naturally.

I went on a very quick rampage in the kitchen when I got home from Camelot yesterday. That is a work week of pasta salad, fruit bits, jello with raspberries, and hard boiled eggs. I also did my big batch of cold coffee. I feel fairly well prepared, just no breakfasts.

I also got my room all picked back up, two loads of laundry done and put away, outfits and jewelry are laid out for the week. I need to get back to kicking ass and taking names.

I have two days now to finish my homework for the semester. That’s 30 pages in the manuscript and a 6 page essay. Wish me luck.

when it all becomes real

Today I am doing my best to at least look better than I feel. Today I look like a grown up. I am wearing a long black and white skirt, black boots, black blouse, great jewelry, and eye makeup. I look the part, yes? I was informed this morning that I look fabulous. That’s the idea. Leave them wanting more, eh?

I am not feeling so fabulous, though I wish I was. There’s a ton still to do and my energy levels are not as they should be. I am indebted to my friend K for delivering a very yummy breakfast burrito to my office this morning. She’s really rather awesome.

The roads around here are still really rather shitty. Today’s drive was better than yesterday but only marginally. I am very grateful that I have my CR-V with it’s higher clearance, near new tires, and excellent AWD. Thank you cheezuz for helping me find such an awesome little vehicle.

Anyway, in my defense, I was productive yesterday afternoon and so far this morning. The problem is that it’s been little stuff so it doesn’t really feel like much. Oh well.

Part of what’s getting me is that we leave for Dublin in less than a month and I feel woefully unprepared for this. I started my packing list yesterday which will hopefully help. I’ve also started a tiny bit of knitting for the trip. Actually, I started and finished a tiny bit of knitting. I made Lancelot and I both little pouches for our earphones. Super cute and super easy, plus they used leftover bits of yarn from shawl projects. Gotta love that.

That’s the one I made for him. I can’t remember the pattern but I ended up modifying it anyway. It only took about an hour once I figured out what modifications I wanted to make. Yay!

white is my least favorite color

Have I managed yet just how ridiculous fucking sick to death I am of winter? And snow? And snow in the winter? That’s like the fucking worst ever.

We had roughly 10″ of snow over the weekend and the temps are ridiculously cold. Again. Getting around this morning was dicey to say the least. Here’s what I don’t get, and never have really…

WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU THINK YOU CAN DRIVE ON SHITTY SNOWY ROADS IN A LOW TO THE GROUND SPORTS CAR WITH SLICK TIRES???

I can’t even tell you how many cars I saw stuck in the middle of roads this morning, all of them sports cars. Well, there was that one Audi SUV but it was being driven by an idiot.

I digress.

We started watching the Oscars last night. For a tiny bit of time I had a Garth kitty on my lap, which was nice. He was not that excited about the TV though. Sometimes he watches, no shit.

Today I have made myself three days worth of pasta salad for the rest of the work week. Mom gets her other cataract surgery on Wednesday so hopefully she’ll finally be able to see right. I’m trying to get myself back in gear with my eating habits and everything. It’s a work in progress.

Anyway, this pasta is one that Lancelot introduced me to. It’s  made of five green veggies – kale, zucchini, spinach, parsley, and broccoli. I tossed it with an Italian salad dressing mix, grape tomatoes, sliced baby cucumbers, sliced olives, and shredded mozzarella cheese. It looks and smells pretty good. We shall see.

Time to get back to homework, or housework, maybe both. The manuscript is coming along nicely, almost 140 pages. I need to somehow manage to read another memoir in the next day and start writing my critical essay. This packet of stuff is due on Thursday morning.

the best laid plans of mice and me

It’s really not cool to turn in your very FIRST grad school assignment late. It’s not. But my laptop at home completely barfed on me last night and so I didn’t get everything turned in until this morning. My mentor didn’t seem pleased but he also didn’t seem pissed.

In all I would have to say that the last few days have been a little rough. The super cold weather is never good and it just kind of feels like I’ve been struggling. I’m hoping that I’ve gotten past that now and that life will improve.

That was yesterday’s knit thing. It’s a more traditional shawl, my own pattern, using a lovely wool yarn I picked up while on vacation in 2016. I based the pattern on my very favorite washcloth which looks like a flower. No clue at this point what the yarn was but it’s soft and incredibly warm. The design means it drapes around the shoulders and sits in place nicely all by itself.

Today I’m sporting my favorite purple shawl with the big flower pin. And new pink bangs. I rock this shit.

Now on to the goals…

In looking over my list there are several that will be taking place each month. Those are:

  1. Lose 5lbs each month
  2. Write more than 30 new pages for my memoir each month
  3. Craft projects

Just based on the number of projects on my craft list I’ll need to finish at least one per month. This month I’m going to concentrate on finishing one of the shawls I have started, just not sure which one.

I have already been working on adding to my memoir and even though the month technically just started today I’m already up 14 pages, which is almost half of the minimum requirement.

The weight loss thing will be the kicker. I’m trying to modify my eating habits to start with, mainly by adding a healthy smoothie back in to my morning routine. I typically use a single serving carton of low-carb vanilla yogurt, frozen fruit (that I froze myself so I know it’s just fruit), and either 100% fruit juice (no sugar added) or milk. Yesterday I picked up some of the V8 Fusion juice that’s both fruit and veggie juice but just tastes like fruit for even more health benefit.

So I still need to make a decision about the shawl and I need to officially start the health kick thing. I’m thinking Monday.

This weekend I have plans to relax and get stuff done with Lancelot. It’s been amazing giving him rides home from work this week, but I definitely need time for good hugs that aren’t rushed.