sometimes the pieces come together a lot later than you thought they would

Project from this weekend

Lancelot and I seem to have started a tradition of sharing a bottle of wine on our anniversary, and being the sentimental fool that I am, I’ve kept the corks from those two bottles. I wasn’t really sure why, it just seemed right. Yesterday I decided to see if I could make them more visible and that’s exactly what happened. I wrapped the corks with a bit of wire and added some sparkly bits. The other one is the same concept but with different accents. I have them hanging on the plant stand and they’re just perfect. I love projects that combine found objects and supplies I already have on hand.

I have definitely been keeping busy with the crafting lately. I finally finished some ornaments I had started working on sometime earlier this year, because the inspiration for how to finish them finally came to me. And I modified that Dragon Egg pattern to use some Koigu KPPM I had in my stash and ended up with a cozy for a plant jar.

I have no idea how much of a skein I used for this because it had been salvaged from a project of unknown origin and has been in my stash for well over 10 years. I had approximately 90 zillion ends to weave in because of this so instead of weaving them in I threaded them all to the inside and hid them instead. It’ll be our secret, shhhhh…

Keeping with my goal of not buying any yarn this year, and realizing that it wasn’t a struggle, has me thinking about going even bigger (actually smaller) next year. My thinking right now is that I won’t buy any new yarn, kits of any kind, or craft supplies next year. The caveat to all of those is that if I somehow manage to run out then my goal will have basically been met. But trust me, that’s not going to happen. I started making a list of just the bead kits I have and there are 10 on the list so far. So far. That doesn’t count the knitting kits, the crochet kit, felting kits, and other assorted craft kits that I know are lurking in this house. Step one is going to be to find and catalog all of those.

In other news, Lancelot and I took a mini-vacation to Des Moines, IA last Friday and had a blast. We went to the Art Center, Botanical Garden, an art gallery, and had the famous Crab Rangoon pizza at Fong’s. It was great to be able to get away and not spend an entire day on travel. It took less than a full tank of gas for the round-trip, plus we only needed a hotel for one night and L found a very nice place that was smack in the middle of what we wanted to see and was reasonably priced and had a fantastic continental breakfast. On Saturday when we got home we hung out and watched way too much TV and just had a really good time together.

We are sort of adorable together

psych update

There’s actually not much to update right now. I won’t see the doc again until the end of November, though I do see my therapist just about every other week. I think that therapy, like the medication, will always be a part of my life and I’m really ok with that. I feel very strongly that we all need someone to talk to that we know won’t judge us and will help us find solutions to situations that we just can’t talk to anyone else about. It’s just good for the soul.

seasons change and so do i

Doesn’t it frustrate you when you pick just a tiny bit of a song lyric out of thin air that perfectly fits, but you can’t remember which song it comes from? Ugh, bonkers. Anyway, moving on…

Dragon Egg Dice Bag for friend N’s birthday

The gathering of people for N’s birthday this weekend went really well. The food turned out great, there was some great conversation, and for me it was just a lovely opportunity to play hostess, which is something I quite enjoy. And the gift I made him, the Dragon Egg Dice Bag (Ravelry link to free pattern), was very well received. Even better – I already had yarn than worked out perfectly and I got to learn a new stitch to make it.

In general I would say that things around here have been quiet and smooth. We’ve had bumps, yes, but tiny ones. And I feel like we’re in good shape for the coming months. Our Halloween decorating is done, I’ve started working on my plan for Christmas decorating, and I’ve been working on gifts.

Yesterday afternoon I managed to work out a “pattern” for a bead embellished glass ornament and I’m very pleased with the results, especially considering I didn’t use a pattern.

It’s hard to see but there’s a small crystal star suspended inside the ornament

I had a bunch of these clear ornaments and a bunch of beads so, look out world, beaded ornaments for everyone on my list this year!!!

Psych update

Things with the med adjustment continue be going well. I have noticed that I’m not constantly thirsty like I was and I do feel a bit more animated. The other real change right now is that it’s time for the sunlamp. In addition to working to keep the Bipolar under control I also have Seasonal Affective Disorder that I’ve been very effectively treating by using a full spectrum sun lamp in the mornings during the fall/winter months. This was the treatment prescribed by my doc and it really does work. Plus, it’s not a pill and that’s a bonus when you have as many pills to take as I do.

Garth soaks up the sunshine every chance he gets

week two – second verse, same as the first

Today is the last day of my second week of the Lithium taper, which means that this week I took my normal 600mg nightly dose but nothing in the morning. So far I’m not really noticing anything one way or the other, and I honestly think that’s fantastic. I’m very hopeful that this is a good sign and that I may indeed be able to come off of, and stay off of, the Lithium.

I feel compelled to remind anyone reading this that I am doing this under the supervision of two doctors and that I have my entire village of family and friends keeping an eye on me. I would not ever encourage anyone to adjust medications like this without consulting their doctor first. Medication, particularly psychiatric medication, is nothing to trifle with.

But I’m feeling good, getting good sleep, trying to eat better, and starting to exercise a bit. I have more energy and motivation right now, but this doesn’t feel like that creep of hypomania sneaking in. This honestly feels like me but without the tinge of depression that can sneak into any of our lives. It’s a nice feeling.

week one check in

I started the taper last Tuesday which means that today I took my last morning dose of Lithium. So far so good. I’ve had a reasonable amount of energy – not too much – and things seem to be going well. This long holiday weekend (Labor Day in the US) has seen me trying to capitalize on the motivation I have and get some things done outside that I’ve been putting off, among other things. So, since I got off work on Friday we have:

  • Gone to two grocery stores (standard for us)
  • Went to the farmer’s market
  • Cleaned up most of the flower beds in the yard
  • Fell and hurt myself (not badly)
  • Cleaned up the garage and swept it out
  • Cleaned up and organized the storage space out under the house
  • Screamed when I found a dead mouse
  • Had my mom and step dad here for dinner (and they loved the Indian red lentil dish I made!)
  • I made a Christmas gift for a friend
  • Finally hemmed a pair of pants
  • And I cleaned up the closet in the guest room so it could actually be used by a guest

There has also been a reasonable amount of knitting. And this morning Lancelot was kind enough to start work on our skull army. I think this has been a pretty good week.

from the depths, she emerges…

Proof that Garth and I are still alive

It’s interesting how priorities shift over time. Once upon a time it was crucial to me to write on my blog on a very regular basis. It helped to keep me centered and grounded and it was Very Important to me.

These days I find that I spend less and less time with technology in general, and apparently it’s been more than a month since I’ve blogged. Perhaps this is good, perhaps it’s not, and perhaps it’s one of those things that Just Is.

I will say that I’m spending a fair amount of time working on creative projects and hanging out with Lancelot. We took a road trip a few weeks ago, something that is becoming an annual thing, and had a wonderful time together.

The weather was lovely, the scenery was fantastic, and the food was awesome

It’s kind of an odd time of year to be thinking about doing some introspection and contemplating what kinds of life changes I’d like to make, but here I am. I know that my health, and L’s health, aren’t fantastic and that changing some of our habits would be helpful for both of us. So that’s certainly something I’m working on.

I’ve also been trying to work with what I have in terms of supplies for my creative projects. I’m working on stash busting with the knitting/crochet projects and I haven’t purchased any new beads for a while. I really would like to make use of what I have before I just blindly add to what’s here.

Not at all made with things on hand

That’s been my most recent, large scale project recently. Maybe this year. That is a fused glass serving tray that is slightly larger than one of our placemats. I hand cut most of it – except the circles and the dragonfly – and I think the result is fantastic. The ladies at the shop were impressed.

I am hoping to get some of the glass I have here at the house cut so that I can fuse it in the little microwave kiln L got for me. So many projects, so little time.

Until later, I do hope that y’all are doing well. Please be kind to one another.

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.

2 down, 10 to go

I didn’t necessarily plan it this way but hey, it’s the end of February! I am not too disappointed that I haven’t been posting super regularly because it’s been because I’ve been involved with doing other things, like life. And adulting. Generally I would say that “life” is much more enjoyable than “adulting,” but not always. But I digress.

Ignore the black lines

I managed to get back to the glass studio this past weekend and had a delightful time. That flower thing will be a “pretty” that sits in a frame on a table. It was fun to make, especially now that I’ve figured out how to work with the glass and work around my hands not wanting to cooperate all the time.

Dinner last night! Red lentils and chicken thighs

Lancelot and I have been cooking together, pretty much every night, and it’s wonderful. We’ve decided it’s probably time to start getting to work on my whole “lose 50lbs by the end of the year” thing so I’m opting for even more health recipes. Never a bad thing really.

I am also happy to report that this month I completed no fewer than 13 creative projects, and that makes me very happy indeed.

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.