ways you know you’re an Adult

A list, in no particular order…

  • You pay off all your credit cards because you realize you’re paying out more in interest than you’re earning in savings, and you can do this
  • You’re excited when the car is paid off because you can now save up for a bigger down payment when you eventually need to buy a new car
  • You shop around for the “good deals” on groceries, and that doesn’t mean seeing who has ramen on sale for 19 cents per package
  • You save “good” boxes, just because you might need one (this actually just came in handy because we had a good friend move this last weekend)
  • You appreciate the value of a day spent at home in lounge clothes doing very little
  • You get the subtle jokes in kid movies

Things around here have been a little hectic lately. My best friend’s mom has been in the hospital since Thanksgiving with necrotizing fasciitis and is not doing well. J and I have both been fighting with the cold bug that’s going around. Garth continues to have sporadic asthma attacks and still doesn’t like taking the inhaler treatments. And I’m in the process of trying to cut down on the amount of caffeine I drink while also increasing the amount of other stuff I do drink.

The good news is that we are all still alive and kicking.

That’s Eric “helping” me take a picture of the Saroyan Shawl. The yarn is Cloudborn Highland Worsted Semi-solid in Burano; it’s a green tonal color that doesn’t photograph very well. The pattern was easy to make and has the prettiest leaf border along the edge. It took four days to knit and I am super pleased with how it turned out.

overdue update

I took last week off work and that meant most of my regular routines got put on hold, including posting an update here. I spent a good amount of my time being productive, but a similar amount of time doing very little at all. It was glorious. And I finished some stuff. Above is a pic of the now finished, and also now blocked, Ennis Lotus Lace cowl. It’s beautiful. It’s huge. The size ended up more like a poncho, but that’s fine. Did I mention it’s beautiful?

I finally sat down over the weekend to get this gift for our niece made. This little angel is made primarily of size 11 Delicas and is accented with crystals, silver spacers, and genuine garnet heishi beads – her birthstone. It took me a total of two days and it was 100% worth it. Total size is just about 3″ tall.

psych update

I had my psych appointment this morning and it was good. The doc said that the physical issues I seem to be having now that I’m not taking Lithium are almost certainly related to drinking less fluids, and that makes sense. She wants me to aim for at least 64oz of “stuff” and she wants me to start tracking my food again. Otherwise she said everything looks good and I don’t have to go back until March. No med changes this time and I’m totally fine with that.

ISO – replacement parts

*for those of you who are not internet hipsters, ISO = in search of

That is the Caterpillar Shawlette from KnitPicks and I purchased it long enough ago that I did get the yarn shown in the sample. It’s gorgeous and it is in desperate need of blocking. It’s also the largest all-lace project I’ve made using only charts. There were a few bits that I fought with, but overall I would say it was a wonderful experience. And since the pattern is free, why not give it a shot.

I find myself at a familiar place right now, the place where I want to try to finish all of the projects I have started so that I start the new year with a clean crafting slate. I’m fairly certain that is a total pipe dream at this point. Currently in the works we have:

  • Sugar Stick, a two color scarf using sock yarn
  • Kitty B, a lace scarf using lace weight yarn (this is my travelling project and will for sure not get done)
  • A baby blanket that will go for charity
  • A small-ish cross stitch of a cat
  • Ennis Lotus Cowl – this is lace, and beads, and it WILL be done before Thanksgiving if it kills me

I started it on August 15, 2021, but clearly I didn’t work on it consistently. It’s slow because of the beading and it took me making the Caterpillar to truly get comfortable with charted patterns. I’m now just about half done with it and it keeps getting quicker. The end result should be very subtle elegance, at least that’s my hope.

At any rate, all of this fast and furious lace knitting has me wishing I could shop for a new arm. Biofreeze to the rescue! If you aren’t familiar, it’s like most other topical muscle pain relief treatments, it just happens to be the one I prefer.

why must we do this to ourselves

I can’t even say that I really understand the origins of Daylight Saving Time because really, we aren’t “saving” a damn thing. The earth still takes 24 hours to make a full revolution around the sun. Yes, at certain times of year we get less of the light because of the tilt in the earth’s axis.

DEAL WITH IT.

Adjusting the clocks by an hour is like cutting fabric off the bottom of a blanket, sewing it to the top, and declaring that you’ve just “added” time. (not my original quote, some very wise Native American man is credited with it)

At any rate, the time change in the autumn always fucks me up. And it’s a silly thing really, but my body/brain always has a hard time making that adjustment. I’m like an animal that’s conditioned to eat dinner promptly at 5pm, and I don’t give a fuck if the clock says it’s only 4pm. Feed me, or else.

Hopefully by tomorrow I’ll be feeling a little more like myself again.

creative goodies

Marlene had left me a comment about the beaded ornaments I mentioned so I thought I would try to show you all one of them. Apologies for the less than fantastic photo, I still shake and didn’t think to setup a better photo shoot this morning.

That one is a small glass ornament that I’ve done bead netting around using two colors of green size 11 beads, a different green in size 8 for the connecting points, and then I accented the dangles on the bottom with some red bicone crystals. I did a few others in a very similar style but with different color combinations and dangly bits. They take me a few hours to make on average.

I also did a few larger ornaments that are more disc shaped than the traditional globe shape. I used alcohol ink on the inside to give a little bit of color and then made dangle bits that are hung from the holes in the silver part at the top where the hook goes in. These were a lot quicker and quite a bit different than what I would normally do, but I like how they turned out.

I’ve done a variety of things with ornaments over the years, some more successful than others. One of the things I used to do quite a bit, that was reasonably cheap and easy, was to take the larger clear glass globe ornaments, take the top off, and then drip acrylic paint inside. I would use a few colors, usually no more than 3, swirl it around a bit, and then set them upside down in old egg cartons to drain and dry.

Having the paint on the inside protects it from getting scratched off and it helps this to be one of the less messy projects involving paints. It’s also great for people who claim to not be creative, have less than fantastic fine motor control, and small children.

psych update

Things seem to be going reasonably well. I haven’t been getting quite as much sleep as I know I should and I also know that’s contributing to my feelings of frustration lately. My fuse is shorter than I would like at times, but I’m generally able to keep it from reaching the sticks of dynamite, so I consider that a “win.”

I’m trying to dig into my bag of DBT skills and be the best “me” I can be. My self-care habits/routines are still in place and I have still been able to control my temper. I see all of that as positive. I also felt well enough mentally this weekend that I went and met with a group of knitters at the public library. It was good to get out of my safe zone and talk to other women.

oh the places I go

Welcome to Monday. No, I don’t care if you still have your receipt, you can’t get a refund. Buck up, little camper, here we go again…

Tao Silk Scarf – not using silk, maybe alpaca?

This is the “personal” project that I’m working on most right now. The pattern was free from Jimmy Beans Wool and is pretty straightforward; just a 4 row repeat. I’m using a ball of unknown laceweight yarn from my stash. I suspect it started life as “naked” alpaca from KnitPicks that I dyed myself about a thousand years ago but I don’t honestly remember. It’s pretty, it’s easy, and it makes me happy.

Other things that are making me happy include making a few more holiday gifts over the weekend, getting connected with a local knitters group that will happily take the hats and scarves I’ve been making and donate them to their chosen charity this year (I just need to get all of the ends woven in), and Lancelot. I mean honestly, what’s not to be happy about with a partner who gets what “partner” actually means.

Another thing that makes me happy is being a student, and I realized last week that it’s been too long since I wore that hat. I am not at all interested in another degree right now – for one thing I don’t think I can afford it in terms of my mental health. The university I work for covers some tuition costs if you attend one of the system schools, so that would help if I did decide to pursue a program there again, but mentally and emotionally I know that I don’t have what it would it would take to do justice to another full-on graduate degree. Not right now at least.

Instead I’m going to do a professional certificate program, all online and from the comfort of home, and I should be done in about a month. All for $50 and it comes very highly recommended. I’m excited about this. I really am someone who thrives on learning new things.

Goals update

Y’all probably know by now that I set myself some goals every year. I do not believe in the whole “new year’s resolution” thing, but I do believe in pushing myself to do new things and try to do some old things even better. The list for 2022 was (comments for each in brackets):

  • No new yarn (I have only bought yarn once, for a very specific project that was commissioned by a friend)
  • Learn a new knitting skill (I’ve finally learned how to knit with two colors!)
  • Complete at least one creative project every month (so far August was my slowest month with only 7 projects)
  • Learn a new craft skill (I’ve learned several new techniques for beading and jewelry making)
  • Try at least two new recipes every month (we’ve tried far more than this and loved 99% of them)
  • Plant and maintain a vegetable garden (we had tomatoes, two kinds of peppers, strawberries, and assorted herbs growing on the deck; I’ve started clearing space in the existing flower beds to accommodate a proper garden next year)
  • Lose 50lbs (this is the goal that I’ve struggled with the most and haven’t made any real progress with)

I’ve already been working on my goals for 2023, mostly so that I can be prepared. I’m 99.999% confident these are set now:

  • No new craft supplies (unless I manage to completely deplete my stashes of stuff)
  • Finish all of my kits (beading, knitting, etc. including the ones I’ve put together for knitting projects)
  • Read at least 4 books
  • Establish and maintain habits/routines for exercising
  • Complete at least 5 creative projects each month (anything creative counts – drawing, knitting, jewelry, LEGO, etc)
  • No new clothes unless I need new underwear or bras
  • No new shoes
  • Lose 50lbs
  • Post on my blog at least once per week
  • Learn how to bake bread from scratch
  • Earn at least one professional certificate
  • Learn at least one new craft skill

I think those should be both challenging yet absolutely attainable. And, in an effort to be able to tell when I’ve finished all of the kits I have, I’ve started taking an inventory of everything I have in the house. That’s been a great exercise because I’m uncovering things that I had completely forgotten about. It’s like shopping without spending any money.

I’ve considered going back to doing goals on a weekly basis; not quite sure about that yet. I will say I feel there’s a lot to be said for it in terms of keeping accountable. For now, it’s Monday and it’s time to see where today takes us.

Eric and Froggy are trying to hide from Monday, unsuccessfully

no catchy title today, we are sold out

I’m going to guess that I’m not the only one starting to see shortages at the grocery store again. It’s possible that this is something different than the issues we were experiencing in the height of the pandemic, but whatever it is I find it a bit troubling. Because of that Lancelot and I have decided to “beef up” our pantry and freezer staples just a bit. No, I am not hoarding toilet paper or cans of tuna. I’m trying to shop the store sales and have a few extra cans/packages of the things we normally use, just in case.

I’ve also started gathering holiday supplies because last year I waited too long and then wasn’t able to get a few things I really hoped to have. So far I’ve ordered a few gifts and some Christmas decorations. I also picked up a rather large skeleton decoration. I have learned that if I see something I really want, that fits the budget, I should just freakin’ get it.

Alpine Meadow hat

I had to buy yarn this weekend, and yes, I really did have to buy it. My friend’s sister is fighting cancer for the second time and is anticipating losing her hair, again. And the weather here will be getting cooler. I love this pattern but didn’t have any bulky yarn, nor anything in the preferred colors. So Lancelot agreed that this would not mean I was going against my own goal of not buying new yarn because in a way this is a commission. (no, I am not planning to accept payment for this – the yarn was not expensive and I’m enjoying this)

The hat pattern (Ravelry link) is one I’ve knit at least three times before and is just lovely. I actually purchased it because they had the suggested yarn and a sample on display at my LYS several years ago. I find it to be well written, easy to follow, and it’s a quick knit.

Psych Update

In other news, last night I took my last Lithium capsule. This taper has taken four weeks and was done under the supervision of my psychiatrist. Please keep in mind that I would not ever suggest anyone muck around with medication doses, of any kind, without talking to the appropriate doctor. I would suggest that having frank conversations with your medical team periodically to see if what you’re taking (for any condition) is still the best thing and the best dose. Medical science advances every day.

I’m feeling pretty good really. I would say my motivation, concentration, appetite are all about where they usually are. I am experiencing the full range of normal human mood in a normal kind of ebb and flow. Nothing feels too hurried or too cumbersome. I do feel like I’m experiencing more enjoyment and excitement at times, but those are what feels like “appropriate” reactions to specific situations. I’ve discussed this with Lancelot and some of my support network and no one has noticed anything untoward.

I have an appointment with my psychiatrist Wednesday morning to follow up on all of this. I anticipate having blood work done sometime soon. Probably the biggest bummer from all this is I have five rather large bottles of Lithium capsules in the cupboard that I almost certainly won’t be needing. I plan to ask doc what’s the best way to safely dispose of that quantity of unneeded medication.

critter update

Sleepy baby

Garth has a visit with the vet lined up for tomorrow. He’s got a few tiny “naked” patches that I’m concerned about. There are two little spots on his face above his whiskers and another one behind his ear. Truly it looks like the fur just fell out; the skin that’s exposed looks healthy, no signs of scratching or trauma, no ringworm or anything like that. Who knows. So we’ll go get him checked out.

Eric the Red continues to be the most mellow kitty in the universe. His latest trick is to “steal” the critter bed positioned between the chairs in the living room where Lancelot and I normally sit, and where Dog Blossom normally conducts her neighborhood watch shifts. Dog is not pleased by this. Cat has no fucks left to give.

Talk to the peet

a slightly different kind of thing

One of the classic symptoms of mania is starting All The Things, All At Once, and then not finishing a damn thing. I freely admit that I am notorious for having multiple knitting projects on the needles at once, mostly because I’m not sure what mood I’ll be in when I sit down to knit. This tendency stuck with me and we’ve decided it’s just a part of me, so we leave it alone.

Lately rather than starting a bunch of projects I’ve felt compelled to try to finish as many of the things I have started as I can. I’m enjoying this, honestly. I’ve recently finished two knitting projects – the Carmine cowl and the Japanese Leaf Lace Shrug – and I’m feeling determine to get the rest of the knitting projects I’ve started this year finished before the new year rolls around.

What I have left currently on needles:

  • Sugar Stick scarf – it’s my first two-color project and I love it, but I decided to use sock yarn so it’s SLOW.
  • Ennis Lotus Cowl – I love this, but it’s a beast. Also sock weight yarn, plus it’s lace, plus there are beads. This one was actually started last August.
  • Lace scarf – again, this is a scarf and I’m using lace because that’s what the pattern calls for. It’s pretty, it’s portable, and the pattern is pretty straightforward.

I’m also working on a small counted cross stitch of a cat with flowers and I’m trying to figure out how to make two old glass plates and some random beads become yard art.

In the “next on deck” category there are six knitting “kits” that I’ve put together for myself, plus a variety of bead related kits, and then a bunch of other random stuff I’d like to do.

Plus the holiday gifts.

I should probably go get started…

Close up of the leaf lace, desperately needs to be blocked

numb, but not like that

It’s not a secret that I’m not a fan of the dentist. Dentists, the human beings, are just fine. They’re generally delightful people, actually. It’s the profession and what they want to do inside my mouth that I take issue with. But I’m trying to get back to doing the regular, big kid sorts of things I should do to take care of my teeth so this morning found me in a dentist chair getting a filling. I’m very proud to say that it only took the addition of nitrous to get me to tolerate the shots. But now one side of my face is well and truly numb.

I’m also trying to get on top of some other health issues, like my weight and my sleep and the fact that the nephrologist thinks the lithium I take for the Bipolar may well be causing kidney disease. Yeah, super not excited about that. So I’ve had a bunch of blood work and now tomorrow Lancelot and I are going to talk to my psychiatrist to see what can be done.

I am also working on my diet to improve it and I bought one of those fitness tracker things to help keep track of activity and sleep. Hopefully the combination of all this will make a difference.

I continue to work on creative projects, though a little slowly it seems. Over the weekend I finished the Crest of the Wave shawl which turned out lovely. I also started working on a Sherlock Holmes LEGO kit that is almost done. I definite need a balance of “productive” time and “play” time. And I think I’m going to try to get back to some of my old hobbies, like blogging. I’m going to try to write once a week.

Garth says it’s all about him anyway

from the depths, she emerges…

Proof that Garth and I are still alive

It’s interesting how priorities shift over time. Once upon a time it was crucial to me to write on my blog on a very regular basis. It helped to keep me centered and grounded and it was Very Important to me.

These days I find that I spend less and less time with technology in general, and apparently it’s been more than a month since I’ve blogged. Perhaps this is good, perhaps it’s not, and perhaps it’s one of those things that Just Is.

I will say that I’m spending a fair amount of time working on creative projects and hanging out with Lancelot. We took a road trip a few weeks ago, something that is becoming an annual thing, and had a wonderful time together.

The weather was lovely, the scenery was fantastic, and the food was awesome

It’s kind of an odd time of year to be thinking about doing some introspection and contemplating what kinds of life changes I’d like to make, but here I am. I know that my health, and L’s health, aren’t fantastic and that changing some of our habits would be helpful for both of us. So that’s certainly something I’m working on.

I’ve also been trying to work with what I have in terms of supplies for my creative projects. I’m working on stash busting with the knitting/crochet projects and I haven’t purchased any new beads for a while. I really would like to make use of what I have before I just blindly add to what’s here.

Not at all made with things on hand

That’s been my most recent, large scale project recently. Maybe this year. That is a fused glass serving tray that is slightly larger than one of our placemats. I hand cut most of it – except the circles and the dragonfly – and I think the result is fantastic. The ladies at the shop were impressed.

I am hoping to get some of the glass I have here at the house cut so that I can fuse it in the little microwave kiln L got for me. So many projects, so little time.

Until later, I do hope that y’all are doing well. Please be kind to one another.

quiet whispers

I haven’t been writing much because, quite frankly, I don’t feel like I’ve got much to say. There’s so much going on right now in this country and everyone seems to be screaming about how they’re right, and I just don’t like trying to have to talk over people, ever.

I’ve also been keeping to a fairly quiet lifestyle right now. We go out some, but not much. This weekend we went out with some friends, but that isn’t a regular thing right now. I actually have even stepped outside since we got home from dinner last night and it’s now after lunch here. It’s not all that uncommon for me to not to leave the house for several days, sometimes if I do it’s just to water plants on the back deck.

So what am I doing? I’m cooking, knitting, making jewelry, and doing LEGO kits. I’ve actually completed two holiday gifts already and have plans for several more. I’m still working to “bust” my yarn stash by not purchasing any new yarn and I’m doing very well with that. I purchased and knit Romi Hill’s “Autonomy” pattern last week with a lovely skein of olive-y green Koigu I found in my cupboard.

Garth kitty is doing well with his asthma treatments. We’ve reached a point where I can just hold him while Lancelot administers the medicine; we don’t have to wrap him in a towel like a kitty burrito anymore. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that he gets his lysine gel after the inhaler, which he thinks is a treat.

“Autonomy” in progress