letting it all flow

Fused glass vase

I haven’t been writing much lately because I haven’t been spending much time with the computer, and I can’t do this much typing in my phone. I might have mentioned this, can’t remember. Anyway, I’ve been doing the whole “living a life worth living” thing here lately and I have to say, I’m seriously enjoying it.

The finally completed Old Shale Cowl

I’ve been spending most of my free time during the week knitting and then on the weekends after errands and chores are done I’ll tinker with jewelry and sometimes Lego. It’s hard to both mess with the phone and knit at the same time so… Yeah. But I’m really enjoying myself and I still have not purchased any new yarn. I’m very excited about that and about my “making stuff” goals.

Blueberry Breakfast Casserole

One of my other goals is to try at least two new recipes every month and that’s been a huge success. So far we haven’t had anything that wasn’t good enough to tweak and try again. That blueberry thing was supposed to be something else, but I didn’t read the recipe quite carefully enough and then ran out of time to get it fixed, so I massively improvised. It’s a cross between a baked French Toast and bread pudding. It was entirely delicious. And fortunately I did write down the ingredients and quantities, so one of these days I’ll write up the recipe.

Puddle of Kitty

The other “excitement” we’ve had recently is finding out that Garth has asthma. He had been doing this dry cough thing at random times, but it didn’t seem to bother him. And then it did. So the vet did some x-rays and it really looks a whole lot like human asthma. Based on how much fun it was to do the x-rays she recommended we start treatment by giving him a steroid shot. The little buddy would not do well with pills. He seems to be better now, though only time will tell.

I’m a firm believer in Art Therapy, and what that means for me is finding ways to express myself creatively, knowing that the outlet helps me to feel centered and really it just recharges my batteries. I shared a picture of a jewelry set I had made on a social media platform and added the tag of “bipolar” to it. And then someone questioned if it was about bipolar, I’m guessing because neither the image or the actual text mention the disorder and I wasn’t talking directly about medications or side effects or how awful bipolar is or any of the other thousand things people tend to talk about.

I replied with basically what I’ve just said here; the creative outlet is how I recharge and so I definitely do see this as related to bipolar. And I stand by that. But it saddens me that there are trolls in every sub-group.

makers gonna make

I’ve realized recently that I recharge my batteries by spending a sizeable portion of my weekend doing creative things. Knitting, beading, LEGO, cooking – any and all of that counts. And it’s vital. My health and well-being truly hinges on it.

Lancelot got me the pendant for my birthday. It’s resin with pieces of aquamarine and other sparkly bits. I put it on a necklace of assorted crystals and faceted aquamarine beads.
Lentil soup we had for dinner the other night that was absolutely amazing.
This is an Old Shale cowl done with Noro Tabi that I’m working on. It’s much farther along now, almost done actually. The colors are amazing.
Most importantly for me, I made an appointment and got my second COVID booster.

I hope y’all are staying safe and mostly out of trouble.

second verse, same as the first

Some things don’t seem to change much anymore, and for a while that really bothered me. Like, my life is so predictable and stable and normal and WTF??? And then I realized that I actually really enjoy this “normal” thing. Like a lot.

I’m doing pretty well with the whole adulting business. I’ve still been knitting and making jewelry and cooking, and I really enjoy those things. Lancelot and I have a lot more leisure time together and that is just beyond wonderful. We cook together, we watch weird shows together after dinner, it’s like a delightful little version of the alleged American Dream.

And I love it.

It does not, however, make for the most exciting blog posting. So do please pardon me for not being here as often. Know that I’m well and off enjoying the “not digital” world.

now with a side of even more random

Lots going on right now, and I can’t help but feel like that’s good. I’m getting into/back into doing some hobbies that I had put aside for years. I’m branching out more with what I cook at home. I’m really enjoying spending time with my husband. All in all, I have to think that this is what the therapists were suggesting could be my version of a Life Worth Living. (that’s a DBT concept and I think it’s pretty awesome)

Some random things I’ve noticed over the last six months or so...

I stepped away from Facebook in October 2021 because it honestly felt like a cesspool. Lots of nastiness, lots of ads, very little actual interaction among polite and respectful humans. I had a suspicion that it was impacting my mental health in negative way, and it turns out I was right. I uninstalled it from my phone and stopped opening it on the computer. I actually made sure that I can’t open it on my work laptop. The only times I got on were when Lancelot told me there were pictures of our niece.

No posts. No likes. No interaction of any kind.

It’s amazing how much more free time I found in my day, how much lighter my moods seemed overall. I didn’t miss it.

I posted something yesterday for the first time, but not until I did some major housecleaning. I ruthlessly unfriended people, removed myself from groups, and shut down notifications from pages. But after just one day I can tell you that this won’t be how it was. There’s still so much hate and trash and it’s not really worth it. So maybe I’ll post now and again, but we’ll see.

I’ve started making friends again, like real live, living and breathing humans that I can sit down with and have conversation and laugh and share food and stuff. They share interests with me, they’re respectful where it matters and brazen where it matters more.

It’s so weird making friends as an adult. Everyone is busy with their own lives, jobs and kids and being caregivers for others… But carving out time to spend with friends is part of my self-care and that’s maybe the most important lesson I’ve learned during the last six months.

These critters have helped keep me sane. They are nuttier than squirrel turds. Yesterday morning I was trying to work on troubleshooting an issue and here they all come, chasing each other up the hallway like a demon was after them, bounced across the bed to the other side, and back down the hall. I don’t even try to understand anymore, I just stay the hell out of the way.

not feeling the love

That pendant is the one I made at the glass studio

I’m fine, and I’m doing mostly fine, I’m just not feeling the urge to write much at all these days. I will admit that I’m struggling with some sort of garden variety virus, nothing serious just annoying, but that’s sapping my energy. And honestly, I’m trying to be “out there” living my life as best I can. We’re all struggling some right now, and that’s ok. We’ll do it together.

But I’m still knitting and making jewelry and cooking with Lancelot and trying to be my best version of me.

Eric likes to help with the scarf
Earrings I made
This is a wide scarf sort of thing that has since been finished

stuff that rattles in my brains

Sometimes I am hyper-focused and can get a ton of stuff done. Other times I walk into a room 12 times before I remember why. Most days are somewhere in between, but there is rarely a dull moment in my world.

Except right now there’s a lot of dull. Too much dull. Like “I want a nap because everything is just boring” kind of dull. I’m not fond of this.

To keep myself awake this morning I’ve been brainstorming ideas for creative projects I can do using materials I already have on hand. So far we have:

  • glass globe ornaments decorated with alcohol ink
  • glass globe ornaments decorated with seed bead netting
  • wind chimes using metal washers and beads
  • a mobile using old keys and beads
  • not to mention the knit kits I put together for myself (7 of them)
  • not to mention the two beading kits
  • not to mention the other beading projects I’ve purchased specific supplies for
  • not to mention the cross stitch project I have started
  • and not to mention the 3 knitting projects on the needles

Yikes. That’s a lot of potential. And this weekend I finally get to go back to the glass studio. I have a reasonable sized project in mind for that and I am really excited about it.

I’m doing pretty well with (some of) the goals I set for myself. We’ve been doing much better about trying new recipes. And I’m up to 8 finished projects for this month, so that’s good. I do need to work on making the weight thing more of a priority.

How are you all doing?

Eric the Red, modeling the Cable it Up scarf

things I am proud of

Alright, that title is just kind of goofy because in truth there are a lot of things I’m proud of. Right now though, there are some very recent and pretty specific things I’m proud of. For one, I am now done with the “hard core” portions of the dental work I needed and I was able to do these last two sessions with no sedatives, no pain killers, no numbing agents, NOTHING. The work they were doing was such that none of those were medically necessary and because I felt like I had some degree of control they weren’t psychologically necessary either. YAY!

Friday I was able to spend at the bead store re-learning a technique. I spent almost the entire day there just working and visiting. And making friends. That part was almost better than anything else. I was invited to join their official club and to participate in a class on Sunday.

One of the earrings I finished, before it was completely finished. These are about 1.5 inches long.

I made one of them at the shop with my teachers looking on and then did the other one on Saturday, swearing the whole time. But I did it and they look great and I am seriously fucking proud of them.

Not quite done, but almost!

That is from the class on Sunday. It’s a needle felted brooch that uses zipper for the outlining and is then embellished with beads and charms. I still need to sew the top to the bottom and attach the pin back. That project was so much fun that I bought a kit to be able to make more. I’ve done needle felting before but taking this class makes me feel much more confident moving forward.

I did also get a shawl finished this weekend. It’s for me and it’s one of those “non-pattern” things. The important part about this piece is that I’ve had the yarn for 16 years. It was a gift from some amazing friends as a way to encourage me to get back to feeling better after I was diagnosed.

my therapy trinity

I have oddly random thoughts at weird times, and this was one of them. In my little world I have a trinity of therapies that keep me doing well, at least most of the time. And most of the time is just fine. No one is fine all of the time. If they tell you they are they’re either selling something (like snake oil) or should be wearing a large Egyptian headdress and referring to themself as Cleopatra.

There’s a lot of stuff going on for me personally right now and during my visit with my therapist yesterday I realized just how much. But, cognitive therapy is one branch of my trinity. I go see a therapist every few weeks and it’s helpful because she’s a completely neutral party that I can talk to about literally anything. I recommend a therapist to anyone who will listen.

Moving on, I get pharmacological therapy in the form of medications my psychiatrist prescribes for me that help to regulate the chemical imbalances in my brain. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder type 2 just a tiny bit more than 16 years ago. It’s been a bumpy ride at time trying to figure out the best combination of meds, but I know that I most definitely need meds. I feel no shame about this.

The third branch of my personal therapy trinity is physical therapy, but not how you might think. I take Lithium as one of two mood stabilizers for the Bipolar. It works wonders for me and I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but I do have hand tremors because of it. It’s a frustrating thing to be 45 years old and not always have fine motor control, but I’ll take the sanity over steady hands any fucking day. So I try to do things like knit and assemble LEGO kits to help. Lately I’ve been doing more with beadwork as an attempt to re-awaken some of my muscle memory.

No more meetings! Go nap!

Belgian waffles covered in crème anglaise, fresh fruit, and whipped cream

This may well be the most unusual title I’ve ever used, but probably not. And yes, as always, there’s a story here. Picture if you will – two adults looking for love but not sure they’ll find it. One has a “standard” schedule and the other works overnight. They want to go on a first date, but how does one accommodate such vastly different schedules?

You go for breakfast and get waffles that might as well be dessert and keep you looking over your shoulder for Wilfred Brimley to pop up and start talking about the high price of “diabeeetus” supplies.

And that’s what we did. Lancelot and I had that first date and it was the very last first date I have had. That makes me happy.

This lil guy also makes me happy

That is JB. When I told Lancelot his name I got “the eyebrow,” presumably because those are Lancelot’s real initials. But in this case it’s the initials for Junior Bear. He’s utterly precious.

We’ve already done our Valentine’s Day stuff, mostly anyway (damn you FedEx!!) because we did want to go out for a nice dinner but did not want to deal with many MANY other people who also wanted to go out. Today will hopefully be fairly laid back and chill, at least as much as is possible while working from home.

Jewelry!

Part of yesterday was spent doing creative things. L worked on some LEGO kits and I made jewelry. The flower-esque earrings were from a pattern and the skull necklace and earrings were all me. The more I do this kind of jewelry making the more I remember how much I enjoy doing it.

I am still knitting, though right now I’ve mostly been working on one of the charity scarves. Those are super important to me but do not make for the most exciting photos.

May your day be filled with enough food to nourish your body, enough sleep to nourish your brain, enough comfort to nourish your soul

it’s not my time

I don’t have many “IRL” friends (people I know in real life) which is fine, but it means that my support network isn’t very big. It’s all about quality in my world, not quantity. I would rather have one amazing friend I can call in the middle of the night than a whole stadium full of people who kinda sorta know me but don’t want me to ever call them. I would guess I’m not the only person who has ever dealt with this.

In my friend network I am one of the oldest and I’ve been diagnosed and in treatment for my mental illness longest, all to say that I tend to be the most stable and the most able to provide a shoulder to lean on. I take my Mama Hen role seriously and the majority of the time I enjoy taking care of my chicks.

Right now I’m struggling. I’m not sure why, and it’s not awful, but struggle is struggle and this struggle is real. Lancelot is helping, making sure I’m taking care of myself and doing his best to give me what I ask for. But I can’t rely just on him, that’s not fair. I will admit I’m not the best at asking for help, it’s just not my nature.

Yesterday I sent a text to a few friends saying that I wasn’t doing well. Like in those words. And got no response.

I know that they’re both struggling with their own things, and evidently they don’t need any help or they aren’t asking for any, so I’m just leaving that situation alone.

Maybe some day it will be my time? Maybe?

I’ve been trying to knit amidst taking naps. I’m still working on the Cable it Up scarf and still entirely loving it. The yarn is really nice to work with and the pattern is delightfully straightforward. The pattern is free on Ravelry.