and so it begins

I’ve worked for the same university for 20 years, more if you count the time I worked there as a student. The start of the Fall semester is always busy. Always. It’s indescribable.  All you can do is keep your arms and legs inside the ride and hold on for dear life.

Now, let’s toss in a pandemic, just for fun. More classes than ever are going to be taught online. That means my particular skill set is in HIGH demand.

Now, let’s toss in my health not being great. And my mental health, under control yes, but still tricky sometimes.

Now, let’s toss in my wedding which will take place in FOURTEEN DAYS.

Yesterday I quit work at 6:30pm (I started shortly before 8am) and I ate ice cream for dinner.

I don’t want y’all to think it’s all bad. It’s not bad, it’s chaotic. And tiring. But I am still knitting, slowly. There’s nothing like a top down shawl to make you question your sanity.

Reyna is beautiful but I’m to a point where finishing a single row is an accomplishment.

Lest you think everything is shit… Lancelot found this little headpiece I got in Dubai and we had this moment of pure joy the other day during my lunch break. It’s the pieces of magic like this that make my life worthwhile right now.

Fourteen days…

i can’t find the dog’s stuffed bunny and it’s freaking me out a little

That’s Pippy and Bun-bun. (we are not creative when naming the dog’s toys) Earlier this afternoon she was pouting because Jason had gone to sleep and she was stuck with me. And she was stuck in the office with me because yesterday she had an accident in the other room.

Anyway, a little later while I was on a call I very distinctly remember seeing her play with it. But now I can’t find it. And that’s a little creepy.

I’m still knitting, though I’ve realized that my needle is almost certainly too short. That combined with being at a spot in the pattern where there are close to (maybe more?) 100 stitches and it’s slow going. It makes me very tempted to start the shrug. But I really should just finish something.

Garth has started dragging his toys under my desk and then curling up to hide. Nothing quite like accidentally kicking something squishy and then having your toes bit. He’s tiny but he’s feisty.

That is the teeny tiny flower bed in front of the front door. I haven’t done any planting this year unless you count putting the sprouted potatoes in the dirt rather than the trash, but I don’t count that. These moss rose are volunteers, apparently there because moss rose is what my mom almost always planted there.

It’s not that I don’t want to grow things, more that I haven’t felt like that could be a priority this year. I am nearly always tired and feel like I just don’t have enough time for everything (anything). I told Lancelot how I was feeling the other day and he has been doing things to help make me feel better, like making my lunch yesterday and today. Today he did it so I could knit for a few minutes. He is most definitely my knight in shining armor.

I look tired as hell, but I think maybe everyone is starting to look that way. I am rocking a new necklace today. I would take more credit for making it but all I had to do was attach the chain.

I can’t stress this enough, take care of yourselves. Don’t take stupid risks, wear a mask when you go out, give yourself time for your hobbies. We’re all in this together, and we really can’t do it alone.

four o’clock in the morning

My life is perhaps a little unusual. I go to bed most nights around 8pm and then my alarm goes off in the morning at 4:15am. Part of this is just my body clock and part of it is because Lancelot works 11:30pm until some time in the morning. It used to be 7:30 but then the plague hit and now it’s usually more like 5:30. He takes an Uber to work at night but then I get him in the morning. Sounds way worse than it is.

But lately I’m just tired. Pippy hasn’t necessarily been cooperating with bedtime and my work is getting busier. I’m actually awake and at the computer this morning at… clock says 4:30am… and I’ll be starting to work shortly. There’s just too much to get done with the start of a very unknown semester starting in a little more than a month.

Oh, and did anyone remember that L and I get married in a little less than a month? So anyway, sorry I’ve been absent. I really have missed writing. Here are some pictures to hopefully cheer us all up.

Eric the Red doing a Super Kitty pose in the guest room
I found this bit of filet crochet lace I made years ago and decided it would look great hanging on the wall above my necklaces
Cheap and cheerful supermarket bouquet of flowers
Lancelot hid this behind my laptop yesterday morning. It’s now a contender for being wedding jewelry.
She’s absolutely adorable when she wants to be

better late than never

Life has been ridiculous lately, seriously. I feel like some things are moving a million miles an hour while others are stuck on the back of a sloth moving through a lake of cold molasses. For reals, it’s all or nothing right now. But it’s not all bad.

The Fourth of July sucked. Pippy absolutely HATES fireworks. The entire time it was legal to be blowing up the world around here she was a furry little wreck. Lancelot and I went and had dinner with Mom and R that night and ended up just taking her with us. There was no way I was leaving her home alone with just the cats. And yes, I was stopped at a long traffic light when I took this picture.

I finished, and blocked, the Zaffre shawl. (Garth taking a bath for scale) I was sweating bullets when I was finishing this; there’s maybe 24″ of yarn left. I shit you not. Anyway, super satisfying knit and I love the way the colors pooled. This is a pattern I would consider knitting again with a very different yarn.

Speaking of Garth, he’s an opportunistic little fuck. This is the second time he’s jumped on my desk and stolen my food, while I was eating it. Yesterday he licked every single one of my spicy pretzels before eating two of them. He is a consummate asshole.

I’m still working on the blanket for Mom. It has become the “I’m too tired to think about a pattern but I want to do something” project. I’m nearing the end of the second skein of yarn so I’m making reasonable progress. I am going to try to work on something else soon, I just can’t decide what. I’m trying to tell myself that I need to finish all of the other projects I have started before I start something else.

Anyone care to take bets on whether that actually happens?

oh so very done

I just want a nice, round kitty bed to curl up in like Eric does every day. Because I’m done. Are you sure it’s not Friday yet?

Friday is extra special this week because it’s an official holiday so I don’t have to work, and that means extra time with Lancelot AND some time with Mom. She and I are going to get manicures. Lest you think I’m an idiot, we wear masks as do all of the staff at the salon and they’re doing extra cleaning. It’s one of the few outings I’m going on. We’re even starting to get at least some of our groceries online and then pick them up curbside at the store. It’s an interesting paradigm shift.

This is the current state of the shawl. You can sort of barely see where the center point will be, barely. But I’m excited with my progress and with the way the colors are pooling.

That is the stack of eight washcloths I finished earlier this week. That was this week, right? Anyway, that’s them and the color in this pic is pretty accurate even though the light in that room right now is pretty crap.

And that is the current progress on the blanket for Mom. I’m liking this because it’s so easy to pick up and put down when necessary. I still think it’s going to take a while, but it’s coming.

Also, those are my feet and this is my favorite pair of sandals. I believe they were made by Skechers, many years ago.

And this is finally, well and truly, my totally natural hair color. I had my amazing stylist cut it a little extra short last night to get rid of the last bits of the blonde in front. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it, but Lancelot told me this morning that I’m beautiful, and not that I need his approval but I think maybe I’ll stick with it like this.

so much going on right now

Ok, first things first.

That is the shawl as of this morning. I managed to get some sunlight so the colors in this pic aren’t too far off true. I haven’t been working on it too much lately only because lately has been weird.

Yesterday I was knitting a wash cloth, and if you’re thinking that floor looks like generic waiting room tile you would be right. I had my six month mammogram yesterday. Why six month you ask? Well, back in 2017 I had a whole fuck load of medical issues including having my first mammogram coming back sketchy. I had another mammogram, an ultrasound, and then a needle biopsy. They found some tissue that was questionable so I started seeing an oncologist, super nice old guy, and having my girls checked twice a year. As of yesterday’s appointment I have been officially informed that the Great Cans Cancer Scare of ’17 was truly JUST a scare. So yay.

I had the blinds in the one living room window open last night because I was watching for the UPS truck (that still hasn’t fucking come, even though we are on day three of my fucking file cabinet allegedly being delivered) and Garth got all excited. There were bugs outside and he was chasing them. He’s a nut.

Pippy didn’t want to leave my side. She’s a very snuggly puppy. And she’s very perceptive. If I’m upset about anything she comes and sits right next to me, even if Lancelot is in the room and he’s her favorite.

Speaking of Lancelot…

That’s me, Mom, R, and Lancelot at Mom’s wedding. I thought the boys looked quite spiffy and Mom was stunning in her blue dress. I didn’t look too bad either I guess.

the importance of self-care during a plague

My guess is that we’re all struggling right now, some more than others. For those of us working from home there are some parts of our lives that are now easier, pants being completely optional would be one of them. But there’s also the whole issue of losing track of time and working a 12 hour day when you didn’t intend to. Balance is crucial, and damn is it hard.

And even when we know these things, we don’t always practice them. I am not ashamed to admit that I got overwhelmed and stopped doing all of the things I know help, and that lead to feeling even more overwhelmed. Sometimes you have to hit your own reset button. Hard.

Pippy and Eric realized that Mama needed some love and declared a truce long enough to snuggle with me. Of course then Eric decided that biting me on the arm, back in that really tender area, was a great idea. Little brat.

This is the lamp I was telling y’all about. It makes me happy to see all of my little baby yarn balls because I remember the projects I used them in. The lamp and shade came from Target and weren’t overly expensive. And yes, a million years ago I crocheted the doily it’s sitting on. I haven’t tried doing that in so long I’m not sure I can anymore.

Pippy finally got to see the groomer this week and she looks like a whole new puppy, like half of a puppy. She’s very long and lean and will never be too big to sit on Daddy’s lap. And that smile on Lancelot’s face? That’s part of why I fell in love with him.

I do spend a good chunk of my week days in my office so I frequently end up having Eric and Pippy in here with me. Yesterday they were having a debate over who got to have some ribbons that came on a package I got.

I have also been knitting, which is definitely one of my self-care activities. I’ve got two wash cloths done and I’m continuing to work on the shawl. But for two nights I didn’t really cook much of anything and the laundry is much further behind that I would like. However, my sanity is much more intact than it was and that’s more important than damn near anything else.

firsts

There are certain things in life that I wasn’t sure I would experience. Some of those things make me quite happy to miss out on, like child birth. Some of those things had made me sad. Today I need happy things so we’re going to focus on all sorts of firsts that are making me smile.

I am officially a first time home owner. The paperwork is all done. And, of course, they raised the value of the house so next year I’ll get to pay even more in taxes. Yay!

I will get to see my mother happily married to a man that she loves, and I’ll be the one walking her down the aisle. After my father passed away I wasn’t sure she would find love again. I am quite pleased to see my mother acting like a teenage girl for the first time in my life.

Lancelot and I bought artwork, picked it out together, to hang in our living room. He’s been helping me figure out where to put our pictures and whatnot, but this has been the first piece we’ve selected together. I can’t wait for it to arrive.

Our wedding will be the first time I’ve been with a man who was interested enough in the wedding to have opinions about how things go. He isn’t trying to run the show, but he’s got ideas and I’m enjoying this.

And this is the first time in my life that I’ve ever been this happy.

Cheating never felt so good

That’s four repeats of my new best friend. The yarn is Knit Picks Stroll Fingering in Koi Pond hand painted. I am in love with this shawl.

Lancelot is officially out of his apartment. It was the tiniest bit emotional, but totally good. There’s still some work to be done at the house but we’re making progress.

I suppose I should say something about all of the violence going on right now. I don’t condone violence of any kind. I’m not a religious person but I live by my own set of rules that seem in keeping with being a decent human. And I would like to ask, can we please all try to be kind to each other? Please?

and then this happened

Sorry for the absences lately. This is well and truly the busiest fucking week of my whole year. There’s a literal fuck-ton of stuff going on.

But, it’s not all work. Lancelot and I have been planning this for awhile…

My ring is an aquamarine, my birthstone, and his is a custom Celtic piece with a bear. (my nickname for him is Bear)

Let me be clear – we are not getting married, not in the traditional sense. There will be no change of name for me, no moving boxes. We’ve made a promise to each other to love, respect, and care for each other for the rest of our days. And that’s all we need.