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

awkward and paranoid about it since the mid 1980s

I need to start with a total aside here. Why the fuck is the word “awkward” spelled so damn, well, awkward? I mean honestly, am I the only person who has to completely stop typing and force my fingers to punch those letters in that order by using every iota of force I can muster? No? Ok, moving on.

I’m out of it. Still. And I don’t like this. I feel like nothing has been “right” since last weekend and this morning – JUST THIS DAMN MORNING – was able to put my finger on it.

I didn’t feel good because of the shot so I was off work on Monday. On Tuesday there was a chunk taken out of my day to take Lancelot to get his first shot. On Wednesday I went with him for a doc appointment (nothing serious but the kind of thing that I kinda just needed to be there for). Yesterday we had to see our lawyer again to sign papers (again, nothing serious or bad just one of those “adult human” things). Then this morning I got all three of the kids in my office for awhile so we could have a new ceiling fan installed.

At one point Garth had kicked Dog Blossom so many times that he had a big tuft of her fur stuck in his toes

Needless to say, I need a rest. And a drink. But L works overtime again this weekend. So I’ll have to push through a little more before my life goes back to where it normally is. There’s the rub – nothing about this week, not one fucking thing, has been anywhere near normal and my poor little brain cells cannot cope.

As someone who has been living with a mental illness for a LOOOOOONG time, and been in remission for some time, I’ve figured out how to make life work. But a big ol’ piece of that is having routines and being able to rely on those, particularly when life gets wonky.

No routines right now = brains feel yuck = I am a grump = NO DAMN BUENO

On the plus side, tomorrow morning I’m going to visit a friend who does silversmithing and she’s going to show me/help me make a bracelet. That will be super fun. Also, the vest is still coming along nicely. I had a more experience friend confirm that my plan should work. This pleases me. I was also able to acquire a lovely bit of leather hardware stuff to serve as a closure. More on that when it arrives.

For now, I’m going to relax somewhere. Like maybe under my desk. With a cocktail.

keeping it between the lines

Proof that I am still alive and I haven’t forgotten how to knit

It feels like an awful lot has happened since last I could be bothered to blog, and that’s probably because an awful lot has happened. Much of it has been good but there have been a few less than amazing things as well. That’s how life is though, right? Balance.

I am now the proud owner of two Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine shots. Unfortunately I had a fairly common reaction to the second one which was not so swell. I had chills, a headache, very little coordination, brain fog, zero appetite (though I could still smell and taste), and it felt like I had been hit in the arm with a sledgehammer. That lasted two days and then I was fine. If I had it to do all over again you can bet your ass that I would, in a heartbeat.

My handsome and hilarious husband is three weeks behind me, but he says he likes the view back there

I have been knitting, and cooking, and still managing to lose weight. I am now down 26lbs, and as such as the smallest I have been since I was 18 years old. This pleases me to no end. I don’t even mind that I’m running out of clothes that fit.

With the knitting I’m working on what started life thinking it would be a simple shrug and has now decided it wants to be a kimono style vest, maybe with small sleeves. We shall see. But that’s the very rainbow piece up at the top of this post. I am loving the yarn.

Last night’s dinner helps with two of my goals for the year since it’s both an Indian dish and a vegetarian dish. For my first shot at making Mattar Paneer it really wasn’t half bad.

updates and stuff

Birthday dinner!

I ate so much amazing food last week, it’s a legit wonder I only gained 1.75lbs

Sweet babies

3D printed guitar at the museum

Garth is an asshole who happens to like carrot cake

Getting back to “reality” by making salad starter packs yesterday; just add greens, pumpkin seeds, and dressing (and chop the egg)

I finally finished the Seaman’s Knot scarf!!! It turned out amazing

We had a great time last week. There was a ton of good food, two museums, lots of shopping, and a nap every afternoon. What more can you ask for?

This week I’m back to working and my healthy eating habits. I’m having some trouble with my skin right now, likely from eating so much “other” food last week, so I’m not sure if I’ll get on the treadmill today or not. But our “Meatless Monday” dinner is tofu curry and my lunch was a big bowl of salad so I feel like I’m back on track to make progress.

And I do have another knitting project actively in the works. But of course I haven’t taken a picture yet. In my defense, it’s entirely lace so right now it looks like purple spaghetti.

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 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?

briefly

I can’t remember exactly when or why Lancelot and I started doing the Lego Mini-figures together, but we have for as long as I can remember. We haven’t picked any up for awhile but last weekend at Target I grabbed two packages on impulse in the check out aisle. (it worked!) I don’t recall ever getting the exact same figure at the same time, but we did. And it had the ability to be either male or female, so we did one of each. Now we’ll really fly together forever.

Anyone who knows me at all knows that I am an iced coffee junkie, and I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to create the Perfect Iced Coffee. (caps for emphasis and utterly important, I assure you) I’ve done all kinds of variations, everything from mixing in Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup to using hot cocoa powder and doing cold brew coffee or whole milk – seriously, you name it. But I think I might have finally figured it out, thanks to doing the Noom thing.

I’ve realized that regular dairy milk has more calories that I’m comfortable allotting in my daily budget, so I’ve primarily switched to unsweetened coconut milk. I will occasionally use unsweetened almond milk in smoothies, but I can’t drink that stuff straight. Yuck.

Anyway, the coconut milk has the right texture, just a little coconut flavor, and way fewer calories. So I’ve been using the following procedure…

  • Brew a 12C pot of coffee; lately it’s been a light roast Toasted Coconut flavor from Target
  • All that to cool and then pour into a pitcher with 1/2C Splenda
  • Chill in the fridge until ready

I do this at least once a week, sometimes twice. When I’m ready to make my drink it goes something like this…

  • 1 1/2C unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 1/2C cold coffee
  • 2Tbsp half & half
  • Pour over ice in a large insulated cup

That’s it. Super simple, very yummy, and a whole 90 calories for a little more than 3C of coffee nirvana. Ain’t gonna get that at the coffee shop, especially for the price. It’s waaaaaaaay cheaper to make at home.

One last picture for today. This is a shawl that I made last year but haven’t worn yet. I really am trying to wear my pretty stuff because who the hell knows when the opportunity is going to legit present itself. Anyway, I can’t remember the pattern or if I was even using a pattern, but the colors are just so amazing. And since the weather here today is so utterly cold that the power utilities are doing mandatory, scheduled, rolling blackouts it seems appropriate to wear something bright. Fake it ’til you make it darling.

variations on a theme

I never did quite figure out how I wanted that shawl arranged today so right now it’s artfully arranged in a heap on my desk

Once again it is ridiculously cold outside (though sunny today) and once again I have the ambition of a geriatric sloth. It’s just not pretty folks. What I’ve realized more than anything else is that it is high time to make a PLAN.

All of those snack boxes I made over the weekend have been coming in handy not necessarily as snacks but as components of my lunch. Tonight I just might grab a few of them and call it dinner, we shall see. It has been wonderful having them prepared though.

But I feel like I’m struggling right now and that always just makes things harder. I moved away from eating quite so many fruits and veggies and got back closer to “normal” eating for me and that hasn’t had welcome consequences. I also have had to stop my exercise temporarily because I’m having pains in unpleasant places and I’d rather not make that any worse.

This would be the point at which, in the past, I would have thrown my hands up and claimed defeat, going back to my old habits.

That was the “old” me. The “newly remodeled” me believes that sometimes we must fall back for a brief opportunity to rally even stronger tomorrow. Or something like that.

What it really means is that once my work day is over I’m going to take my self down to the dining room, bust out my notebook and my collection of recipes, and make myself some plans. And those plans are going to include building time for exercise into every day and building time for meal prep into every week. I will also be “budgeting” time for craft stuff like knitting. And making sure that I have time without a screen before bedtime so that I can unwind a little better and hopefully sleep better.

When you get right down to it there’s a hell of a lot that goes into the proper care and maintenance of a human body and most of us don’t have the first clue what the fuck we’re doing and we’ve gone and thrown out the damn owner’s manual

I might have mentioned this, but bear with me, I’m old. This Friday will be my six month anniversary of being married to Lancelot, and since Valentine’s Day is Sunday (work night for him) we’re just going to do it all at once on Friday. Our date night take out is going to be sushi and we’re even going to get dressed up for it. Very swanky.

In anticipation of that I’m going to try to get as much of normal house stuff and meal prep stuff done ahead of that. More time to spend with my fella would be a great thing. And more time where we aren’t running around trying to pretend we’re responsible adult humans is even better.

I would really like to try making one of the jewelry kits I got to make chain mail, or possibly even crack open the quilling kit L got me. I’m feeling empowered to try tackling another of my goals since I feel like I did so well picking out and successfully making my new favorite Indian recipe. I also feel like I’m doing well with the whole “exploring vegetarian dishes” thing.

Stir fry tofu with sweet onion, sugar snap peas, shredded carrots, and quinoa… So good

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

progress is sometimes slow

I’m 44 years old and I’ve been looking for this bobblehead for ages. While I’m trying very hard not to let my office be overrun with Baby Yoda stuff, there are some things I just NEED.

This has been a WEEK. And yes, I know that today is only Wednesday. But our semester started on Monday and it’s been ridiculously busy so far.

It doesn’t help that I’m feeling rather like something you’d scrape off the bottom of your shoe. I’m not one for naps, I have a hard enough time sleeping at night, but yesterday after finishing my one and only meeting I got into bed and slept for three hours. I just felt wiped out and I couldn’t get warm.

Before you get too worried let me say that I am pretty well positive that this is NOT The Rona. I think I just have a wicked head cold, maybe a mild case of the flu. I’m achey, cold, only a little congested, and tired. Very tired.

So I’m resting, I’m kind of ignoring the diet right now, and being as gentle with myself as possible. And it seems to be helping. Today I’m starting to feel better. I’m fairly sure I’m doing the right things because in spite of eating with not-quite-reckless abandon yesterday I lost 1.5lbs. I’ll take it. Today I splurged on a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast. I need to feel better before I stress myself out over this.

I haven’t even been knitting the last few days, and that was the first sign that I wasn’t feeling good. This morning I had to take Lancelot for a quick blood draw and I took the shawl I’m working on with. It felt good to knit.

So I’m here, alive, still trying to fight the good fight. Mostly fighting with the dog, actually. It’s been warm enough here that the back yard is muddy and yesterday she came in covered in it. So me, not feeling good, had to wrap her in a towel, carry her up the stairs, get clean towels from the linen closet, and give her a shower – all while making sure L stayed asleep.

And yes, I pulled it off.