kicking my own ass

I swear I’m not biting him Momma, honest I’m not…

Garth’s eye infection is back, which doesn’t surprise me but also doesn’t please me. It’s really not going to please him when we have to start the eye drops again tonight. But the vet was kind enough to just talk to Lancelot on the phone and get us a refill of the drops. Poor little guy hates to go for car rides.

But it’s kind of funny, he and Pippy are definitely pals. Lately they’ve been snuggling more, as seen above, and Garth will actually groom Pippy like he would his feline brother, Eric. It’s pretty damn cute.

This morning L and I went and had our monthly massages and that was beyond heavenly. As an added treat we stopped at the coffee shop to get smoothies, and a gift card for our massage therapist. One of the perks to having both of us see the same person is that we each get a solid hour of “personal” time without feeling the least bit guilty. I always take a knitting project with me and today I needed that time. I’ve got just ONE gift left to finish and it’s a doozy. Not hard, but involved. So having that time was good.

I have done some work today, and some house stuff. It’s actually a lot easier to get certain work tasks done when no one from work is wanting my attention. And laundry can pretty well always babysit itself.

That has become the Critter Room rather than a guest room. Pippy is demonstrating just how well she can do that “relax” thing.

Today marks four months since L and I got married. It’s hard to believe it’s already been that long, and at the same time it’s hard to remember a time when we weren’t together.

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.

so there I was, damn certain I’d come up with a witty and brilliant idea for a blog title and it was all just gone…

Am I the only one that happens to? I would swear that sometime earlier this morning I’d come up with something absolutely wonderful to call this post, and now I’ve got a fist full of nada. Well shit.

I have been making some progress with the holiday knitting. The first gift is essentially finished and I’ve started on the second one. All of the necessary yarn is wound. I may, or may not, need to find one pattern yet. But I feel good about how that’s been going, in spite of the help I’ve been getting.

His favorite thing is to “make biscuits” on my leg. Painful at the best of times, annoying AF when I’m trying to knit.

But things in general are good at Casa del Crazypants. We’ve made our plans for Thanksgiving, such as they are, and we’ve started talking about what we want to do for Christmas together. Part of what makes every holiday a little trickier is that Lancelot doesn’t get any extra time off. Christmas and New Year’s are a little better this year since they fall during his normal weekend, but Thanksgiving doesn’t. So I’ll cook on either Friday or Saturday, not sure which yet, and one of our friends is going to join us. He’s every bit as careful about plague protocols as we are.

In other exciting news, I thought I would share my Eggnog Chai Coffee concoction with y’all.

So you start with the cold coffee. I brew a 12 cup pot with 3/4C regular coffee (Folgers right now I think) and add 1tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2tsp ground cardamon, 1/4tsp ground nutmeg, and 1/8tsp ground ginger. All of that goes into the basket together and I brew it like normal. I dump that pot into the clear pitcher you see in the back and add 1/2C Splenda, then pop it in the fridge. That lasts about a week.

In a large insulated cup (that one is 32oz) I put ice, about half way, and then add coffee to cover the ice. Next is the eggnog, a nice glug of it (so precise) and then I top it all off with milk. That’s it. It’s nothing too complicated, it’s not at all expensive, and I think it tastes fabulous. When eggnog isn’t in season (why is it ever not???) I just replace that part with half and half.

I do stop at the coffee shop sometimes but their drinks are smaller and they’re expensive. Plus, there’s usually a line. Making coffee in my own kitchen doesn’t require pants, and I enjoy that.

green? seriously?

The colors here aren’t totally accurate, but close enough

So I think what happened here was I was talking to Lancelot and made some flip comment about how I can wear pretty much whatever color I want to since my hair is silver now.

WTF???

I’m not usually much of a “green” person so I have no real explanation for three of those five. I seriously can’t explain the big ass cake of green mohair. What in the name of all that is holy was I fucking thinking?

At any rate, I’m sure this will be fine. It’s yarn. I like yarn, I can find a way to use this yarn.

If anyone has a pattern or a suggestion for 612yds of mohair, that stripes, can you send it my way? Thanks…

out of my ever loving mind

You missed a spot Dad

Garth apparently thought Lancelot needed some sort of bathing this morning, which is entirely possible since he gets home from work around 7:30am and is frequently in need of a shower. But he’s never done this before. It was rather cute, and at least he didn’t bite.

It’s been quite the week and the week ain’t over. I’m almost afraid to see what fresh hell tomorrow has in store for me.

I have started the blood pressure medicine and so far haven’t noticed a difference, which I’m going to take as a good sign. I’m having one hell of a time getting comfortable temperature-wise right now but I’m chalking that up to it being freezing cold outside and dark. Things are supposed to warm back up over the weekend which is good. I’d like to get our outdoor holiday decorating done before there’s a foot of snow on the ground.

The holiday knitting is still moving forward. Today I got a package of yarn in the mail that I kind of remember ordering, but not exactly what projects this is for. (AHA! it just came to me!!!)

The good news is that I think the one skein is for R’s holiday gift. I think. And for some reason there’s another package of yarn being delivered tomorrow, and I really don’t know what’s in that. (seriously, I got nothing this time) There has to be a pile of printed patterns downstairs that will give me some clues…

Apparently these beautiful orchids are dual purpose. L knows damn well what a week I’m having and wanted to cheer me up. Today is also our three month wedding anniversary. And he got to deliver them to me himself (which is a bit of a trick). The florist delivered them while he was still awake so he answered the door and then pretended to be all surprised when he brought them up to me. Slick.

But yes, it’s been a week. Eric even decided to love on his mama last night.

Silly fluff-butt

making progress, I think, maybe… am I?

A rather horrible photo of Off Kilter, and Eric’s butt. Apologies for the photo, the bed was the only fur-free place with a solid color that I could try to spread it out. This sucker needs to be BLOCKED.
The teeny tiny amount of yarn that was left

Yesterday was ridiculously slow for me. I’m going to assume that had something to do with the election, not sure what else to attribute it to. So I took advantage of it and managed to finish a few office-based projects, like the file cabinet. I was basically at my desk and able to hear when the computer demanded my attention so I decided that made it a legit activity. I can’t say as I threw out much stuff, but I definitely got it more organized and that’s always a good thing. Let’s be honest, I’m not really done yet. The file cabinet, yes. The other storage spots, not so much.

It’s a sickness maybe.

Anyway, I’ve started the holiday knitting which has, of course, resulted in the realization that there are more people who need knit things.

I can do all of this, right?

Part of it is I’m trying to distract myself from more medical appointments. I’m still feeling confident that everything is going to turn out to be nothing, but it’s still stressful.

Super Garth does not know what this “stress” nonsense is

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?

stuff and things

I’m trying to keep from losing my proverbial shit, but it’s a struggle some days. Actually, lately, it’s a struggle every damn day, it’s just worse on the days that end in Y. Thank you Rona, you bitch.

Why yes, I did knit that shawl, thanks for noticing!

Anyway, today has been a better day. Oddly enough I have to give thanks for a webinar that wasn’t a webinar (but still sucked) for giving me nearly an hour of time right smack ass in the middle of day during which to knit. I got several rows done and I feel good about that. (the shawl is getting bigger every row so you get the idea)

I’m also at a point in the semester where my workload just isn’t that bad, and I’m always grateful for that. I did some office-y things today that have been neglected during busier times and getting that stuff caught up feels good. I was also able to throw in a load of laundry this afternoon, another bonus. And I have a sorta plan for dinner tonight.

I might just regain my momentum, things are looking promising. The other thing looking promising was today’s delivery…

Ah yes, yarn and dissent… And the goat screams if you press on his stump…

That’s two skeins of Cascade Alpaca Lace, two skeins of Cloudborn Merino Worsted Twist, and a single skein of Cloudborn Highland Fingering. I have shawl patterns picked out for the lace and the worsted, the skein of black fingering weight was kind of a bonus that I’m thinking might work really well with a skein of something wild in my stash.

But none of that for a while. I really do want to (try really hard to) finish the projects I’m currently working on. I’m totally willing to admit that I get bored with projects easily, especially when I get that itch to change something. In a past life it would have been my hair, but there’s just not a ton I can do with super short silver hair. So knitting it is.

snow dog

Our dog, Pippy, is a Goldendoodle and she absolutely LOVES the snow. We ended up getting close to 3″ last night and she couldn’t have been happier. Lancelot shoveled a bit of the back porch off this morning to make it easier for Pippy to get down to the yard. Hilarity ensued.

I was shocked as hell last night when Garth went out on the deck. I thought for sure he’d turn right back around once his little paws hit the cold and wet. Nope. He made a bee-line for the railing and tried to jump down into the yard. Little punk.

This morning was my blood draw and it went well. And the kidney doc called and said the ultrasound from last week didn’t show anything they weren’t expecting. So I guess that’s good.

I’m hoping tonight will find me with some knitting time…

trying to get caught back up and then doing something that felt really brave

I have some kind of health care savings account thingy at work that I put money into before taxes come out and then I can use it to pay for doctor type stuff. Don’t ask me if it’s an FSA or HSA because no matter how many times I try to figure it out, I can’t. So whatever. I have this magic Visa card, let’s leave it at that.

My issue is that they get all pissy about the charges I make, charges that are 100% legit. What it means is that I end up having to get digital copies of what I paid and a copy of the explanation of benefits from the insurance company – assuming I have those things. It ends up meaning a bunch of scanning for me. Sixteen transactions worth, so far. Normally I wouldn’t have this many, and normally their website where I have to submit all of this nonsense wouldn’t be powered by a hamster with gout in all of his toes.

Such is life I guess. In the time it’s taken me to write this short bit of text I still haven’t been able to successfully attach and submit the two PDFs necessary for a single fucking transaction. Frustrated does not even begin to cover it. I started doing this yesterday and managed to get almost everything scanned and four transactions submitted. FOUR.

In other, more interesting, news, Lancelot and I are hoping to get new nightstands for the bedroom at the end of the month. Hoping. They’ve been ordered but furniture orders aren’t always timely right now, so we’ll see. But in an effort to get ready I decided to move a few other small pieces of furniture around and am quite pleased with the results. I still have some fussing to do in my office but things are progressing nicely. On Friday I managed to get the closet in here cleaned out and straightened up and that made me feel wonderful. I also got my filing caught up which is always a good thing.

I decided that the best way to keep the “good thing” feeling going was to make some decisions about those lingering projects. In the spirit of full disclosure, my list of projects was:

  • Shell Scarf, knitted but in need of assembly
  • Ilo shawl, started
  • Fingerless mitts for a friend, started
  • Crochet shell blanket for Mom, started and a few skeins in
  • Off Kilter shawl
  • Knit shrug, my own pattern, probably 1/3 of the way down with the first half

I looked at all of them, thought about how they made me feel, what all needed to be done, and whether I was still willing to do it. The Shell Scarf bit the dust.

(the submission I started before this post JUST NOW finished processing everything… oy…)

Anyway, that scarf wasn’t what that yarn was supposed to be anyway. It was supposed to be a shawl but I ran out of yarn and what I’d come up with was a “punt” anyway, and I kind of hated it. I certainly didn’t love it. So it’s in the trash, literally. And I don’t feel the least bit bad about it.

This morning I started working on the mitts for my friend. They should go quick though the pattern involves cables. I don’t mind cables, they just slow down the process a bit. But the yarn is nice and I had worked the cuff of the first one already so that helped. Ribbing is boring.

I don’t think Off Kilter is going to take too much longer. I’m starting the 13th repeat (of 25) and then I’ll just have the edge to do, so I’m pretty optimistic about that one.

I haven’t worked on Ilo since before L moved in with me, so easily sometime in January or February, and I don’t remember how far I got, other than “not too damn far.” The yarn is lovely though, so that will help.

The knit shrug I’m working on is BASIC. I’ve got two balls of the same yarn, I started by having L measure the distance across my back from shoulder to shoulder and then the distance around my arm up at the top (chubbiest spot). I did a provisional cast on of 50 stitches and worked stockinette flat until I hit half of my total back measurement, which ended up being 12″ for me. Then I joined and started working in the round. When I reach a magical number, that I have yet to decide, I’ll switch to working ribbing and incorporating size 6 seed beads. So it’s fun but it’s kind of boring right now. The yarn is beautiful and the beads will look great, it’s going to be a really nifty piece. But the knitting is putting me to sleep.

And last but not least is the blanket for my mom. The yarn is Red Heart Super Saver and the color, I think, is called Desert Paint, or something like that. The pattern is a super basic single row repeat that works up pretty easy and doesn’t require any thinking. It’s a fantastic TV project. But it’s a blanket, and it’s really just started to get cool enough here to work on a blanket. I suspect this will start to see more love here shortly.

Speaking of cool, we’re in line for snow tonight. Not the first snow of the season, but possibly the first measurable snow. I’m not excited.

I don’t think the boys really give a damn about snow. They’ll sleep in any kind of weather.