sometimes it’s just not worth trying to make sense of the nonsense in my brain

I’m generally a fairly organized person and I don’t have too much trouble staying on top of necessary tasks. It’s possible that the dental work plus the holiday last week has thrown me off. It’s possible that being on my feet too much and then having a cyst rupture has thrown me off. It’s possible that the 500lb bull I was trying to hold on to for 8 seconds has thrown me off. Wait…

Some days I just have more difficulty staying between the lines, so to speak. Today it appears that I have categorically denied the existence of the lines at all. And there you have it.

We had an amazing Thanksgiving with our friends. Good food and even better company is just a perfect combination. We all had so much fun that Lancelot and I decided that we’re hosting Christmas.

We actually got to have two Thanksgivings because the plans my mom and R had basically fell through, so I hosted the four of us here last night for a mostly traditional dinner. Again, good food and excellent company. The critters even mostly behaved.

We are not Black Friday shoppers, at least not the type that go out in public. I’m so against crowds anymore that we decided to have our groceries delivered. The only other shopping I did was also online and to support a friend of ours who does silversmithing. Her jewelry is amazing.

Even though Black Friday isn’t a thing for us, Small Business Saturday definitely is. We went to a local shop that sells local honey and my favorite local yarn shop. As a bonus, the yarn shop shares space with an art gallery so I managed to pick up a brass dragonfly in addition to yarn for a project I had picked out ahead of time.

We’ve also decided that we aren’t exchanging gifts this year, but we’ll give the money we would have spent to our local food bank. We certainly aren’t wealthy, but we’ve got more than many people do and I feel it’s vital to help since we’re able to.

Dog Blossom is not keen on having her picture taken, especially when L’s beard smells of turkey

i need cheese, stat!

I’m not one for whining, I’m really not, but sometimes it’s imperative that I bitch lest I blow up. I like to remind myself that whining is not my thing by gently teasing myself that any good whine requires cheese. So here goes…

I’m tired of people thinking it’s ok to disrespect my time. I’m tired of those same people thinking that the extra letters they have behind their names means they’re inherently better people. I’m tired of people thinking they can push blame off on me when projects don’t get done according to a contractually agreed upon timeline. Mostly though, I’m tired of these people thinking they’re going to get away with it.

There are actually a few advantages to having my brain, partially because of the limitations I have. See, I know damn good and well that my memory is utter shit, and because of that I have a fairly elaborate filing system within my email and in terms of how I keep notes for projects.

I. Keep. Everything.

Every email from someone, every email I send them. My calendar includes names and is color coded. I have folders where I keep documents that pertain to each person, to each class I work on. I also use a planning tool where I can link these pieces together.

TL;DR – do not fuck with a woman who has bipolar, just don’t

I think that’s all I need to say about that. I feel better. Thanks for reading that crud.

Cheese isn’t just a great accompaniment to wine, it’s also kind of a way of life for us. Few things perk me up more than a snack of good cheese, crackers, maybe some grapes, and a nice cured meat. I also love cooking with cheese and lately one of our favorite meatless Monday dishes has been Mattar Paneer, a super easy and very yummy Indian dish. Paneer is a fresh cheese that can be made at home using very few, very common, ingredients and is (allegedly) super easy. We shall see. I want to try my hand at making some this weekend.

One of the stops we’ve talked about will be one of the Indian markets here in town. The last time we were there Lancelot found these snack sticks that were out of this world. I also want to spend a little more time just looking around to see what all is available. I think Indian markets always smell amazing, probably because it reminds me of the trip I got to take to Delhi.

These two go at it every single morning

making the most of a monday

“Make it stop, please Mama?”

We woke up at 3:50am this morning because it sounded like the world was finally ending. Turns out it was just your typical Midwestern thunderstorm, but once you’ve been rudely awakened like that the only thing for it is to have a pee and make something warm to drink. Dog Blossom didn’t used to be all that phased by storms, but after the big bullshit we had earlier this summer she’s not at all fond. That picture was her this morning, camped out in my lap. She stayed like that for almost an hour.

I’ve been realizing lately that my routines are still majorly screwed up and it’s causing me to feel more than slightly off kilter. I’m trying to figure out how to unscrew them and get things a little more organized. I have no delusions that I will ever have my ducks in a row. The best I can, and will, ever hope for is that my army of squirrels all end up attending the same rave on the same day. It’s good to have dreams.

Lego!

This is the Lego Bonsai kit I had picked up when we went to Minneapolis earlier this summer. I had forgotten how much I enjoy doing these. I believe Lancelot is going to be getting me a few more of the botanical type things. I also spent some time making three pair of earrings and finally getting my creative spot in the sunroom setup the rest of the way.

I have been realizing that taking time to do these kinds of projects is super vital for me. L and I took a 3-day weekend together and were able to do a little shopping, watch goofy TV, and just hang out together. It was amazingly restful. I think it’s far too easy to forget how much we need to take that time for ourselves until we do take some and then remember how good it is.

i finished reading a book and other things that really aren’t exciting to anyone but me

Before I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder back in 2006 I was a voracious reader. I’ve always loved books and a good story is actually one of my preferred drugs. Back then I was only sleeping a few hours a night because I was almost always hypomanic so I would read a full length novel every few days. There was a book case in my living room that was easily eight feet tall and four feet wide. My husband made extra shelves for it and pretty much all of them were stacked double deep. I had read 99% of those books.

The medication to control the symptoms of Bipolar made it so that reading wasn’t enjoyable, it felt more like a chore. Books no longer held my attention. In the time since 2008, when the second husband and I divorced, and quite recently, my book collection had dwindled to few enough that they all fit on a single shelf.

Now you kind of see why actually finishing books is a big deal in my world.

If I’m counting correctly, the book I just finished is the fourth book I’ve read this year. (don’t trust my math, I never do) I can concentrate again and I find myself getting very into the stories, which is amazing. I’ve found a few authors that I hadn’t heard of before and I’m totally loving this. Yay me.

Still life with scarf and dog

I am still knitting, mostly on this scarf, though the dog makes it hard some times. She thinks I should sit on the couch at night so that she can rest her head on me. There are several things about this that make knitting difficult. First, I end up all contorted with the arm of the couch on my left and her very solid self on my right, making it hard to get the wings to work. Second, she puts off body heat that is roughly equivalent to the temperature of the surface of the sun. And finally, she expects me to pet her. Constantly.

Don’t get me wrong, I love her, she’s a good pup. But I have realized that for any knitting progress to be made I have to sit in my chair. I am starting to wonder if this scarf is going to be mine or be gifted to someone. I’m waiting for it to tell me.

propping my eyelids open with toothpicks

He hangs out up there a lot these days

I’m still struggling with my eating habits but I’m very pleased to be able to report that staying home and taking it mostly easy last night seems to have finally done something good for my hip. I can’t say that I slept well last night, we had some ick weather, but I am doing quite well with the whole “not limping around like I’ve misplaced my walker” thing.

If we would actually get some sunlight that would stick around for more than 10 minutes I would love to take pictures of the various projects I’m working on to show y’all that I have not actually been a total slug. But no, more rain and now it’s kind of cold. Yuck.

These two crack me up. They stayed cute like this for the exact amount of time necessary to get the picture. After that Dog Blossom began mercilessly chewing on Garth.

Being the super organized and anal retentive human that I am I have already started gathering things for the trip next week. I am not even the least bit ashamed to say that I have my clothes picked out and hanging together in the closet and I’ve started making my packing list. For a two day trip. By car. Yup, that’s me.

Did I tell y’all about the adventure with steel cut oats in the crock pot? I think I did. Anyway, I have decided that I really do love them, especially since I warmed them up this morning. That was a big ol’ “why the fuck didn’t I try that sooner?” moment. At any rate, I decided that having my breakfast made ahead like that, and so damn healthy, is a Very Good Thing indeed so there’s a batch cooking right now.

This time I am trying whole cranberries (1C in place of the blueberry / banana combo from last time) and a blend of the spices I normally use for my chai coffee (cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg, and ground ginger). In true Erin Style I measured only the liquids and the oats. I wing things, it’s what I do.

This weekend I’m making another trip up to campus, this time to retrieve my books. I tore my desk apart this morning trying to make sure there will be enough room for everything. It’s so weird to think that at one point in my life I owned so many “normal” books (ones that were definitely not related to work) that I had a nine-foot tall bookcase that we had made extra shelves for and was stacked double deep. Now my “normal” books all fit in a cubby space above my desk that’s not enough two-foot wide.

But it was a good project because I was able to rearrange some things, make parts of my storage more efficient, and gather some of my treasures together.

Eric slept through all of it.

things that start with “f”

FLOWERS – Lancelot had this delightful little bouquet delivered to the house on Friday as a Mother’s Day gift from the critters. For those of you who may be wondering, that boy has a thing for coming up with truly odd sentiments for cards. It’s a running joke at this point.

FASHION – I have a thing for Hawaiian shirts on guys. L is very much a black t-shirt kind of dude. So recently I managed to find a very authentic feeling retro shirt that’s primarily black. I think he looks wonderful in it. This was taken Saturday evening; we had my folks over for dinner for Mother’s Day. Sunday events don’t work great for us because of L’s schedule, but we’ll party hard on a Saturday night.

FUZZBUTTS – Last night I was sitting on the couch trying to watch TV and knit. These days having my knitting out is an invitation for Eric to get on my lap, and Pippy just figures that any time I’m sitting it’s because I want to pet her. For awhile I ended up with Eric in my lap monopolizing my left hand, to scratch his ears, and Pippy laying her head on my right leg and monopolizing my right hand, to scratch her ears. Needless to say not much knitting got done last night.

After I dropped off our ballots last week, y’all remember I was going to do that? Yeah, totally did. I went and did the blood draw (piece of cake, totally normal numbers), visited the nice doctor (don’t go back for a year, yay!), dropped off the ballots and then decided that I knew there was a yarn shop nearby and by golly I was going to find it. And I did. And it was magical and I got two skeins of yarn that are hand dyed by a local(ish) person and will make an amazing shawl. That “f” word is FABULOUS.

things and such

Dog Blossom enjoys sunbathing in the back yard

Since last I bothered to write some things have happened. In all fairness my brain is like a sieve that’s lost the strainer part and is now just an open hoop. Nothing sticks or stays around long. I 100% live and die by my routines and the lists I make. I even went so far as to TYPE OUT a schedule for myself last week. Desperate times and all that rot. Of course I have yet to actually stick to it…

For whatever reason it’s gotten incredibly hard to get back to exercising since I was sick and I’m not entirely sure why. I posted something in my group this morning and someone mentioned getting up earlier to get a workout in and I swear y’all, it was all I could do not to respond. Why?

I get up at 4:15 in the fucking morning as it is, and pretty much every minute of my time between then and 6:30 when I leave to get Lancelot is accounted for.

This belly ain’t going to pet itself

Anyway, I’m still trying. I have kind of stalled out at 27.75lbs, but I will freely admit that I’m not trying as hard as I could. I will also tell you that I’m doing some other things that are helping my mental health, and that is equally important. For example, the TV now gets turned off at 7pm and my phone is only used for music/keeping track of my pattern if I happen to be knitting. It’s just as likely that I’m reading a book. This has helped the sleep and stress significantly.

Meet my new friend, Edgar

In one of my moments of yarn buying weakness I purchased a single ball of Lang’s Mille Colori Baby, not realizing that it’s only 190 meters, or not really enough to make much of anything. But it’s lovely and soft and so it’s becoming a very narrow version of Edgar. It’s a delightful little pattern, written for Noro yarn, but it’s doing very well with the color changes in this yarn too. It will end up as an accessory rather than a piece to provide any real warmth, but I foresee loving it.

This last weekend I was also able to get to the glass studio and make a few pieces. I’ll share pics once I get them back. It was really fun to be able to do that again.

Avocado Toast with Eggs

So I decided to try the whole Avocado Toast thing yesterday since everyone has been raving about it. Not gonna lie… I don’t understand this. I used prepared guacamole because that’s what I had, so it had some stuff in it, but even with that I didn’t think it had much flavor. And I love the bread I used, so it wasn’t that. Of course I tried a Golden Milk Latte yesterday and found it gritty as hell, and my forays into the world of Matcha have been spotty at best.

I guess maybe I’m just not destined to love some of the trendier foods. What I do know is that I’ve got curry in the crock pot for tonight, and since today is Meatless Monday I’ve left out the meat and will be subbing in tofu instead. Not sure if that’s trendy, but it will be tasty.

I cannot freakin’ even right now

That is the bracelet I helped to make this weekend

Is that not absolutely stunning? It’s moonstone and sterling silver, and yes, I actually did parts of the construction. It was beyond wonderful to spend time with my friend Saturday morning and see first-hand what goes into making this kind of jewelry. Not only was it informative as hell, but getting to be with another human who I haven’t seen in absolute ages was totally wonderful. So I now know a little bit more about the process of silversmithing, I have an even deeper appreciation for the amount of work that goes into a piece like this, and I have a one of a kind wearable work of art that coordinates with the other beautiful moonstones pieces I have from her.

If you are interested in your own truly beautiful jewelry, and she does custom work too, you should visit her website at https://www.whirlsofpearls.com/.

I also got to see my friend N and deliver his holiday gift, only four months late. He didn’t care. (he got that cabled scarf) We also went for lunch which was a lovely little bonus.

I still don’t feel like I’m totally back on track, but I’m trying. I have my clothes for the week organized, I spent time in the kitchen yesterday doing some food prep, I made cookies (healthy ones), and the laundry is essentially caught up. So yay!

The kids have been a little feisty lately

I do have some fun stuff to look forward to this week. I’m going to do a session at the glass studio and try to make a little something for myself, just as another creative outlet. And on Saturday I’m going with Mom for mani/pedi time. My feet are very excited.

Keep doing what you can to help keep yourselves and your loved ones safe. L gets his second shot at the end of the month and we are excited as hell. WOOT!

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.

things to celebrate

For all that she is a raging pain in the ass sometimes, Dog Blossom is a good pup and pretty damn adorable

Let’s see, where to begin…

  • I’ve had four days in a row of 5000+ steps
  • I’ve tried some new recipes that were mostly successful
  • we’re having a small group of friends over tomorrow night to celebrate a late St. Patrick’s, early birthday, and the start of our vacation
  • I have now lost 24lbs
Spaghetti squash cooked in the instant pot and then mixed with a little butter, olive oil, garlic, grated Parmesan, and low fat ricotta

I’m quite excited about how things are going with the weight loss. I have been trying to make sure that I not only get my steps in but I also pay attention to my calories and eat a good variety of food, including healthy fats, and that I’m getting plenty of water. It’s a process, to be sure, but there are definitely pieces of this that are just second nature now. And that, probably more than anything else, makes me ridiculously happy.

Well, also, my pants are starting to be way too baggy. That makes me pretty fucking happy too.

Tomorrow morning I’m going with Mom to get a manicure, something I haven’t done since right before Lancelot and I got married last August. I certainly don’t feel like having the one shot is going to magically make me bullet-proof, but it gives me hope. I do feel like there are a few more things I can do, still carefully, and that I don’t need to worry quite constantly or quite as much. It will still be many months, if not until next year, before I feel safe to travel anywhere other than by driving our car. I’m just not ready for planes yet.

I am ready for restaurants, and that’s pretty exciting. We’ve done a lot of take out in the last year, generally just once a week but still. There’s just something about actually going in somewhere and enjoying a good meal. I’m even going to get spiffed up. For my outing on Sunday with my folks I have a black dress that I’ve never worn that actually fits very nicely now.

He’s fucking adorable when he’s sleeping. When he’s awake he bites leaves off my plants and then go racing off with them in his mouth. Captain Naughty Pants indeed.