an update in photos

This was the unofficial start of our staycation. Lancelot got me that gorgeous necklace, handmade by a friend of ours, and a yarn bowl that reads “I knit because murder is wrong.”

We got to spend a total of almost five uninterrupted days together and it was heavenly. And that was good because now he’s going to be working overtime, and that is not so heavenly. But I’ll be working extra as well, so I suppose it all balances out.

The one museum here in town is having a Jim Henson exhibit right now so I got to “hug” Bert and Ernie. We went on Wednesday at 10am and damn near had the place to ourselves. The exhibit was amazing and damn near made me cry. I grew up with these guys.

We knew that we wanted needed to really make the most of our time off so we tried to have a good balance of doing things that were safe and staying home like slugs. It worked pretty well.

Our big gift to each other this year is art for the house. We have an amazing local art gallery so we went there and got this amazing painting as well as another, much smaller, piece. This is in our living room and makes me feel like I’m outside in a flower garden.
Pippy spent lots of time snuggled up with her daddy. And Thanos.
Eric was actually a little bit playful.
Garth spent a lot of time napping in the sun and recovering from the trauma of having eye drops twice a day for a week. (he’s doing so much better now)
This might be my favorite thing though, custom knitting needles that L got for me. The translation from Gaelic is “Erin’s knitting needle.” How fucking cool is that?

At any rate, I’m really glad we had the time off that we did. L is being told that he’ll be doing overtime the next two weeks and with the way my workload is starting to look I’ll be surprised if I don’t end up working over the holiday break. Fortunately I’m making good progress on the last knit holiday gift and will hopefully get it done in time. Of course I left the most complicated/involved project for last, like a moron…

bits and pieces

Y’all know that Lancelot works overnights, and he didn’t get the Thanksgiving holiday off (he did get holiday pay, which is nice I suppose) so we had our “official” dinner on Saturday. Yes, all of that food was JUST FOR ME! Ahem, I shared. But we had a pot roast, mashed potatoes, gravy from scratch, green bean casserole, my mother’s famous dressing, and my grandmother’s cranberry Jello salad. It was divine.

Part of what we were celebrating was that my little guy, Garth, has just a very minor eye infection that we’re treating with drops. He hates them, but then L isn’t excited about eye drops either. They must be making him feel better though because today while I was having a bite of lunch he climbed up on my chest and camped out long enough to start purring (a rare event with him) and for me to get a few pictures. Last night he got in bed with us and demanded snuggles from me at least three times that I remember.

This will be another short week for me, but an even better short week since this week L and I both have FIVE WHOLE DAYS off work together for a delightful little stay-cation. I’m very excited. I’m also excited that I’m essentially done with my holiday shopping and I only have one gift left to make. I’ve taken a short break today to do some actual work seeing as it’s been hard to get some of my projects done for work given all of the emails people seem to expect me to answer. The nerve.

thanksgiving 2020 – finding things to be thankful for in the middle of a bad relationship with that bitch Rona

Things I’m thankful for right now:

  • We both have jobs and we both have health insurance that’s worth having
  • We’re healthy, and my mom and step-dad are healthy
  • We’re lucky enough to have a very nice, comfortable home to live in
  • We have three ridiculous fur-babies in our lives
  • My job allows me to work from home right now which is providing a much needed relief from excess anxiety and helping to keep me safe from contracting COVID-19
  • I have some truly amazing friends that, even though I don’t get to see them in person, will text or do video calls and they’re helping to keep me sane
  • That Lancelot is so stinkin’ patient with my shenanigans
  • And while I don’t know that anyone is ever really prepared to live through such a prolonged and emotionally draining event like a pandemic, I feel as though mentally I’m the strongest I’ve ever been and in the best position possible to come out the other side of this a better human because of it

I know it’s hard right now, and stuff does kinda suck, but I would like to encourage all of you reading this, whenever you read it, to try to think of at least one thing you’re thankful for. If you can think of more, that’s awesome. I try to do this little exercise every day, usually on Facebook, and it helps. There’s something about intentionality and “priming” yourself to be in a more optimistic mindset that seems to help. (your mileage may vary, but come on, it’s worth a try, yes?)

If that doesn’t work you can always try boozy hot cocoa. This is the way.

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

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?

just make it fucking stop already

Did you know that if you have roadside assistance coverage on your auto insurance policy they will come to your house and jump start your car while it sits in your garage? True story. Do you want to know how I know this? Yeah, probably not. Let’s just leave it at I am now the thoroughly delighted owner of a new car battery. Let’s also leave it at this has not been the greatest of days.

Things being what they are, I had little hope that this day would improve and I’m delighted to say that it has not. Nothing quite like going from bad to utterly shitty. Oh well, tomorrow is Friday, right?

Please, for the love of all that is holy, say that tomorrow is Friday… I can’t take much more of this “work” bullshit.

I was able to get a bit more done in my office, mostly stuff with filing and whatnot. Important but certainly not glamorous. And there’s more left to be done, naturally. But there aren’t any plans for Thanksgiving and Lancelot will have to work his usual shifts, so that will likely provide some time.

It’s sort of ridiculous to say that Thanksgiving will be different this year, as if everything since March has been totally fucking normal. But holidays are a different creature, especially for someone who – up until April – had a fairly tight family and did things with them on a very regular basis.

My mom and R are heading south for a few days and will spend the holiday with my cousin. I think that’s awesome, but I wouldn’t want to be part of it. (my cousin has 4 boys and I’m not exactly enamored of her husband)

L’s family isn’t a known quantity for me, though I’m guessing there won’t be any gatherings. They’re recommending no one really gathers this year because of Rona.

And L really will work his regular schedule and I’ll get my typical Thursday/Friday off. Since we don’t have kids this suits us just fine. I might make a turkey breast in the ol’ slow cooker and I’m going to try to make a big pan of my mom’s dressing. Honestly, all I really need in terms of holiday food is that dressing, my own gallon of gravy, and my grandmother’s cranberry relish. I’m not sure what L is going to eat. (oh alright, I’ll share…)

At any rate, life is getting a little excessively busy around here. I’ve got some doctor stuff coming up, L has a few appointments of his own, our small Halloween gathering (in the garage) is on Saturday, and the election is on Tuesday. We’ll be driving our ballots to the local election commission office this weekend.

I don’t want to give away who I’m voting for, but I will just say that Trump can go suck a rancid zombie dick and choke on it.

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.

one day at a time

Today is the day I go for my latest blood draw, get the stuff to do my 24 hour urine collection, and have an ultrasound of my kidneys. You’re jealous, I know you are. At least I don’t have to go to the hospital to have this done, and that’s good. We’re still a red state, and this is a red county, and that goddamn Rona got me all twitchy. And that’s mostly because not everyone around here is taking this seriously.

Moving on…

I’m still working on Off Kilter, 10 repeats of 25 done on the main body, so that’s good. I took the time to print a few more patterns I had saved the other day and put them in my little tote bags along with the yarn I’ll be using. I also spent a few minutes updating my yarn inventory. And now we pause.

Does anyone else have a spreadsheet of their yarn or is that just something odd that I do?

It actually started because Lancelot made an off-hand comment at one point about how much yarn I had and didn’t I have enough already. (and yes, I did still marry him) So by way of proving that I did not actually have too much yarn I did what any reasonable knitter would do and drug every last skein and ball out of storage and cataloged it. (maybe I should mention that my undergrad degree was in Library Science, but I’d have cataloged it anyway)

I seriously recommend doing this, for whatever craft or hobby thing you’re into. You’ll come out with a much better understanding of what you have and you’ll likely notice some trends. Like for me, I have WAY more sock/fingering weight yarn than anything else and a lot of that is from Knit Picks.

That’s a piece of my spreadsheet. Ain’t it purty?

I really do find it helpful. I try to add the information about new yarn when I get it and then once I use a skein I highlight that row and make a brief note about what I used it for and when. Ideally I would love to go back and get pictures of the things I’ve made and be able to tag the photo with what yarn I used and when the project was completed. I know a lot of people do that and I think it’s a great idea. It definitely appeals to my desire for order.

And since we’re talking about new yarn…

Wooly Wonka Arianrhod Sock yarn in Peacock

That lovely yarn arrived earlier this week. Lancelot picked out the color and it’s so stinkin’ pretty. I took the picture right next to the window so the color is pretty close. The two skeins I got of this are going to become a Sunset Lights shawl. I think it’s going to be absolutely stunning.

So yes, I desire order. I think I’ve mentioned this before but I don’t deal well with chaos, not in my physical surroundings and not in my head. And unfortunately the more chaos there is in my physical world the harder it is to control what’s happening in my head. The one feeds the other. This is part of why every morning (except Fridays) I make the bed. I also usually take time to straighten up the house (if I didn’t the night before) and I try to run a load of laundry as soon as there’s enough to do so.

If my home, and now my office at home, are tidy and orderly then it’s easier for me to feel like my head space can be more orderly. Knitting, and cooking to an extent, are also part of that. Having that time to relax with something I enjoy is crucial.

I know it’s hard for all of us right now with everything being different and scary, but my tiny bit of advice is to control what you can and roll with the rest of it.

Or you can be like Eric and bury your head in your paws while you nap

if it’s not one thing it’s twelve others

I’m having yet another medical mystery, and I haven’t written about it because quite honestly I didn’t know enough to really say much. But now, well, I still don’t feel like I know a damn thing but at least I know there will be tests. Many tests.

Something is now allegedly wrong with my kidneys, though the nice young doctor I saw yesterday has very little clue as to what. So now I get to pee into a bottle, for a whole delightful day. I get to have more blood drawn. And I get to have an ultrasound. I am so fucking delighted. Oh, and I get to take and track my blood pressure for two weeks.

For what it’s worth, I feel FINE.

Anyway, yesterday kinda sucked. But it was a special day. Lancelot and I have been officially married for two whole months. And so, late in the afternoon, my doorbell rang…

It has Stargazer lilies, purple roses, dendrobium orchids, and purple hydrangeas. It’s beautiful and perfect and insanely romantic. I love it. That bastard made me cry, and the worst part of that was he was already asleep. They’re making my office smell fantastic.

And then this morning I ordered yarn for a new shawl, because you know, I don’t have any yarn in this house.

The good news, because we can’t end this without a silver lining, is that this morning I was able to kick myself in the ass enough to get all of the laundry folded and put away and the kitchen properly cleaned up. Awesome-sauce.

words are hard, have some pictures instead

I am pretty sure I have some kind of sinus infection. Yesterday I ended up spending the entire day, Monday?, in PJs doing remarkably little. I needed it. I maybe could have used another today, but I’m going to try to get by with just calling it a day early. So the ol’ brain pan isn’t working that well right now, I’ll offer you some pictures in lieu of coherent thoughts.

Her new favorite place to lay at night, right in the middle of my lap.

Finished shawl; two repeats of the lace pattern. I need to block it yet. I had a ton of fun knitting this.

The start of Waves of Happiness. I’m 20 repeats into the lace border. Those are my favorite slippers, by the way. Oh, and L’s feet on the other foot thingy.