quickly I shall post for you

Today has been one of those days. I’ve been a little out of sorts and my body hasn’t felt quite right. I’m hoping that this evening I’m able to relax and feel settled.

I gave the last of my “official” workshops today and that will help with some of my stress. I don’t mind doing workshops but I much preferred the days when it was safe to do them in person. I have learned a lot about this method of delivery just by trying things, and that’s how I tend to learn best. The hardest part for me is when I don’t have anyone with their webcam turned on so I don’t get any kind of non-verbal feedback. I didn’t realize how much I adjust what I’m saying/doing based on that.

At any rate, it went well and now they’re done. So yay. And Eric came in this afternoon to chirp at me and give me little head-bops. I love my furkids. Dinner is (shocking!) in the crock pot already. New recipe tonight that I’m hoping turns out well. Last night’s curry was excellent. I’m trying to pull together some “5 ingredient or less” crock pot recipes now so that I can do some truly easy stuff.

life goes goofy

Lancelot and I had a really good weekend, in spite of me not feeling great part of the time. We did get our finances joined – yay – and our errands run, including a trip to a local bee/honey store. That was awesome. On Saturday we went so I could get yet another blood draw (more on that in a bit), we actually got to eat breakfast at our favorite bagel place (because no one else was in the dining room!), and we got our monthly massages. We were supposed to go out for dinner to celebrate our one month anniversary but I was exhausted and decided that there was no way I would enjoy it.

So instead we relaxed the rest of the day and got take out food from our favorite Thai restaurant.

Yesterday I got a call from the doc’s office about the blood draw. Back when I got to go see the special blood doc they had done some test to check my liver and kidney function. Those numbers were not good so I had to have those tests done again. Evidently my liver is ok but my kidneys might not be. I had to schedule an appointment to see the psych doc (GP thinks this might be from the Lithium) and I’m waiting for a call to get an appointment with a kidney specialist.

At any rate, after I found out about that my body decided that it was really not amused and I called it quits at 1pm. I camped out on the couch with the dog and my latest knitting project. I feel marginally better today. I honestly think I’m having issues from a sinus infection. I’ve got a lot of drainage and a wicked headache right where my sinus cavities are. No fun.

On the knitting front, I had L help me wind up yarn for two projects over the weekend. The one I’m actively working on right now is Syyslaulu, inspired by the one that NothingButKnit made. I decided to make mine with yarn I brought back from Ireland last spring; S Twist Wool. The label says that it’s mixed mountain fleece from Tipperary. It’s beautiful shades of soft orange that I think will be wonderful with this pattern. I just wish the yarn itself was softer.

That is the shawl, though that’s a horrible likeness of the actual color. I took this pic this morning at around 6am while I was waiting to go get L from work. This is how I often get to knit in the morning, complete with the little black dog nose. And yes, I tend to keep my current projects in small rigid tote bags. It keeps them mostly safe from critters.

I can’t remember the other upcoming project, only that it’s also a shawl (surprise!) and that the yarn is Knit Picks in some shade of dark purple. Also, it has a lace edge. Yeah totally not like me. Right.

I did order and receive some stunning lampwork beads here recently that I need to do something with. I got a large focal bead and some smaller accent beads that I think I’ll turn into earrings. All I know is that I need to get crafty again soon.

I’ve also been working on the whole meal planning thing.  Tonight’s dinner, meatballs and mushroom gravy, is in the crock pot already. I’m trying to figure my menu out ahead of time so I can order only the groceries we really need.

So that’s where I am right now. Sitting in my office wishing I was knitting instead of working.

time for me to do some things that make me happy

I had a chat with Lancelot last week about how I’m feeling “off.” Actually it was more like the one day I just kind of cried for about an hour, grieving parts of the life I used to live, the life we all used to live before this damn plague scared us out of our minds. The issue, as we finally figured out, is not having things to look forward to, at least not like we used to. But how to resolve that.

What we arrived at was that every month on our anniversary we’ll do something “safe” that we both enjoy. We could go to one of the museums, out to dinner, or like this weekend we went to a bookstore and then to a small local jewelry store. I’m not saying that retail therapy is the answer, but those two places weren’t crowded and were doing a good job with the social distancing and cleaning stuff.

I’ll admit that I was delighted that L decided to buy me a very lovely black onyx ring and an amazing dragon-head bracelet. It was beside the point, but damn does that man have good taste in my jewelry. And I bought books, like normal books for me to read. That’s something I haven’t done in literally years. Three are fiction and the other is a cookbook.

We’ve decided that, in an effort to make the cooking burden a little less of a burden on me, we would try making some “freeze ahead” crock pot meals. If you aren’t familiar with the concept you prep everything you would need for a given recipe and dump in a gallon size freezer bag that you’ve labeled with the heat and time requirements. That goes in the freezer until the night before you want to cook it. Defrost in the fridge over night then dump in the crock pot and cook.

I picked out something like 9 meals that seemed interesting and got all of the ingredients to make them. We then spent a little more than an hour Saturday night preparing 5 meals, because I wore out.  So there’s 5 dinners (so far) that I won’t have to mess with.

The cookbook I got is for doing essentially the same thing but for the instant pot. It was marked down to something like $7 and has a lot of interesting sounding recipes, so I figured it was probably worth it.

Oh, and I’ve started reading one of the fiction books.

If anyone was taking bets about how long it would be before I started a new knitting project, it was the very next day. And I’ve finished it. It’s the most basic shawl ever, almost, and I did it with a not fabulous ball of Lion Brand “Shawl in a Ball.” Hey, the colors are pretty. I wanted something that didn’t require a single ounce of skull sweat. And it should be nice and warm this winter. Or perhaps tomorrow. We’re about to have a major dip in temps.

She really does prefer to be touching us. That was this morning when the sun was out. The shawl was on my lap because I had just finished the ridiculously long bind-off and her ear managed to get flopped over my ankle.

My plan, though please don’t hold me to this, is to finally move past the cuff of the first mitt for my friend K. I had to retype the directions so that they made sense to me and I have done that and printed a copy. Seriously, it’s fingerless mitts, they shouldn’t take hardly any time at all.

I can’t show a picture of the pooch and not show a pic of at least one kitty. I caught Garth in mid-yawn the other night. Too perfect.

where did I put that brilliant idea? I know I had one just a minute ago…

I can’t lie, I’m getting burned out. I’m trying not to let it happen but it is. I’m bored with being home so much but at the same time the idea of going “out” to do the things are allowed now just kind of freaks the hell out of me. Aside from the weekly grocery run this weekend we did go and get massages, and that was a Very Big Deal.

But the woman we go to is incredibly careful, in all things, and works out of a very small shop. We had to keep our masks on while she did the “face up” bits and then when we flipped over she had a pillow case contraption under the headrest that meant we could take the masks off. Everything thoroughly cleaned even between L and I. And it was heavenly to have a massage again. Yes, I am spoiled, but I was 100% willing to wear the mask and follow guidelines.

My big outing this morning was to campus, which even though it’s closed I was able to get onto because I’m considered “essential personnel.”

I’m not excited about that designation though it appears to come with perks. Not many.

But my trusty little laptop was being a little bitch and I figured it had something to do with not connecting to the MotherShip on campus in too long, and I was right. It had something like 20 Windows updates to run and it finally, after several weeks, fully acknowledged my new password. I was only there for a few hours but it was time well spent. She’s purring like a kitten now.

Wedding stuff is coming along nicely. My attire is all here – dress, shoes, headband, and jewelry – with the exception of what I’ll need to wear under my dress, and I’m not entirely sure how I’m handling that what with not really being able to try things on. I’ll figure it out. Lancelot’s kilt and whatnot have all been ordered and will hopefully be here in plenty of time. My flowers are here and they’re beautiful. We’ve got our application for the marriage license almost done (I need one stinking date!!!). The biggest thing yet is to decide where we’re having it.

I have been knitting some, still on the damn entrelac scarf. I’m starting to think it might actually be legit cold weather wear instead of a decorative piece. I need to see how it looks with my winter coat.

Tonight I’m thinking I might embark on a totally new adventure – quilling. I’ve been seeing all of these amazing things on Pinterest (BANE OF MY EXISTENCE!!!) that I really want to try. I mentioned it to L and showed him a kit I’d found on Amazon, and so the kit showed up the other day. I’m hoping that because it doesn’t have to be quite as precise as origami (I hope?) that I’ll be able to do it. Pics if I can make it work!

I’m still futzing around in the kitchen, trying to use the food we have on hand and not buy a ton of stuff. Are any of you trying to clean out the pantry in creative ways?

it’s a thing I do

I was finally able to get my hair cut today and DAMMIT did I get it cut! The front is way shorter than it was because it had gotten so fucking long that half the time I could only see out of one damn eye and it annoyed me. ANNOYED. So today I told my stylist to hack that shit off, and the shit was hacked, and I’m happy. It’s cute. And Lancelot likes it, so that’s all that really matters I guess.

Yes, it’s May and I’m wearing a sweater. The wind has been blowing like an F5 tornado here and it’s cold. I don’t like to be hot but I’m also not keen on being cold in May.

I’ve still been doing my meal planning stuff and apparently doing a good job. L has loved every meal I’ve made. Granted, he has kind of low standards if you ask me, but still. I’m doing my own invention tonight and I have high hopes. I’ve got pork chops in the crock pot with a can of Coke Zero (it was lingering in the fridge, don’t judge). I’m about to go add a healthy amount of chunky cherry jam to it. I’m thinking it would work well with sweet potatoes but I don’t know if I have any.

Wish me luck!

These two are lazy. This is where they spend damn near every afternoon. Once L goes to sleep they get bored and hang out with me.

fun in the kitchen

The meatball experiment was highly successful. I enjoyed them last night and Lancelot finished them today. I’m realizing that the Crock Pot really will be saving my ass.

I don’t consider myself much of a cook though Mom and Lancelot enjoy what I make. I am definitely NOT a baker. Things that involve precise measuring are just not my thing. I’d much rather cook and toss random stuff in a pot and hope for the best.

Today’s experiment is Hawaiian Chicken. I found the “recipe” on Pinterest and it seems like it should be as easy as the Easy Peachy Pork Chops the other day. (those pork chops were supposed to be chicken but they’re both white meat, right? and damn were they tasty) This time it’s chicken breasts, BBQ sauce, and a can of pineapple. Stupid easy, right? I’ve got the chicken cooking now and I’ll add the other ingredients after my work day is done.

Eating 99% of our meals at home now has got me thinking about cooking and food a little different. We’re trying really hard not to waste anything and I’ve even gone back to trying to come up with menus. I might do the whole menu thing different from most people. I look at a week, seven days, and make sure I have all of the ingredients for eight possible meals. Based on what I know about myself (I am LAZY!) I know that if I have everything I need to cook in the house I am way more likely to actually do it.

It’s weird, maybe, but we don’t eat out near as much as we used to. For us that might be because of COVID-19 but it also might be because of living together, I honestly don’t know. I do know that a lot of the people I work with are eating a lot of takeout right now, but I don’t know if that was normal for them in the “good ol’ days” or what.

Lancelot and I have done takeout twice, not counting fast food drive thru a few times, and both times were from a local Mexican restaurant we like to go to. It’s been wonderful; they’re offering family packs that are enough for two meals for us. Plus, take out margaritas. But it’s not something we’ve done often.

At any rate, I’ll try to remember to get a picture of today’s dinner experiment.

why is meatball tuesday not a thing?

While I was trying to get the dog to come in the other morning, something that’s becoming more of a challenge, I managed to get this picture of a bumblebee in the grape hyacinths. And that’s good because those flowers are being destroyed by the dog. If she’s not digging in the beds she’s laying on the flowers, sunning herself. I’m not exactly impressed.

In other news I have pretty well lost track of how long I’ve been doing this “work from home” thing though my research this morning suggests it’s been since March 23rd, so that’s roughly 1000 weeks, right? Don’t get me wrong, I feel very fortunate to still be employed and earning a salary, totally. I’m not exactly excited that we’ve been told we’ll be operating like this likely the whole summer. Not thrilled.

I have to admit that it’s nicer now that I have a proper office space to work in and I have an extra monitor for my laptop. That’s actually helping a lot.

The house is coming along nicely. The only area that’s still being worked on is Lancelot’s man cave, formerly known as my office in the basement. He’s got a LOT of DVDs and books and we still haven’t moved everything in yet. It’s a process. But progress is being made.

So here’s something those of you who have never been in a relationship with someone who does shift work have thought of – meal planning, how? Consider… I work days and so eat my final meal of the day around 6pm. He works nights and so eats his final meal of the day around 10am. I hate cooking for myself and I don’t want him to have to cook for himself.

My new criteria for “dinners” are that they make enough for both of us to have at least one meal, preferably two, are considered at least a little healthy, and that they reheat well. I am not finding this as easy as I had hoped I would. Enter the Crock Pot.

Some of you may know this culinary wizard as a slow cooker, same thing. And it is my new best friend. Right now I have a batch of meatballs cooking that I will later throw over mashed potatoes. These are frozen meatballs taking a bath in beef broth, cream of mushroom soup, and Lipton’s beefy mushroom soup mix. I have high hopes for this.

all the seasons at once

This part of the country is notorious for having wide temperature ranges within a single day. For example, it was 41F on my drive in this morning and will get to a high of 70F this afternoon. Nothing like wearing jeans and sandals out of necessity. So since the weather is turning colder, Mom and I rolled up the garden hose in the back yard yesterday. Pippy had to help.

She chased and drank the water coming out of the other end of the hose

The weekend was good, nice and relaxing. Lancelot and I had delivery pizza for dinner Friday night and ate our dinner on the couch while watching Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives. We love that show. And that was the Friday evening I needed. Saturday was breakfast at the restaurant where we had our first date and then errands. Our friends came over that night for a UFC pay per view and brought dinner from one of my favorite Mexican restaurants. That was a late night but a good night.

Sunday we went and saw Joker. I don’t recommend it. The acting was amazing and the story was great, don’t get me wrong. But I don’t think I have ever in my life seen a darker film that wasn’t a realistic portrayal of war.

This is a very realistic portrayal of what mental illness can look like, particularly when the person doesn’t have access to adequate medical resources.

It hit L very hard. I was thankful that I was there with him. When we got back to his apartment I told him that we’d talk about it in the car, get it out, but then leave it outside. The darkness didn’t need to follow us. So we talked, and cried, and held each other. By the time I left I think we were both doing better.

A dark puppy who was too many toys in her bed, that’s the kind of dark I want

In addition to hose winding yesterday I managed to get my laundry done (only one load, WOOT! I must be doing better at keeping on top of it), put my miscellaneous stuff from L’s away, outfits and jewelry for the week, plenty of knitting on the World’s Most Boring Shawl, and I mixed up some Chai Tea.

Everything tastes better in a dragon mug

I found the recipe on Pinterest and it was stupid easy. I split it into two jars, one for home and one for the office. It doesn’t compare to what I enjoyed in New Dehli, but it’s not too damn bad. Oh, that blue flower, that’s one of my fused glass creations.

the ridiculous expense of convenience

I have the most unusual thoughts while driving myself to work in the morning. For example, you can’t swing a dead cat in this town without hitting a fucking drive thru coffee shop. Seriously, they’re in every parking lot and on every goddamn corner. It’s utterly insane. And for what? Overpriced coffee drinks in cups that will end up in the landfill and typically aren’t that great for your health.

UGH.

Maybe it’s because I’m sleep deprived right now but it seems to me that not going to the coffee shop every morning would be a great way to start saving some money and some calories. Now don’t get me wrong, I have my own particular, and peculiar, caffeine addiction but I take care of it on the cheap. And yes I’ve probably babbled about this before but I’m going to do it again.

On Sunday I brew at least one, sometimes two, 12 cup pots of coffee depending on how much I used the week before. I use good quality flavored coffee. I’m lazy so I just use a regular old drip coffee maker. I let it cool and then pour it into a gallon plastic jug, purchased just for that purpose. I also add sweetener, either powdered Splenda or sugar free Torani flavored syrup.

In the morning I get my 32oz insulated metal cup and fill it half with my cold coffee, a splash of cream, and the rest with milk. Sometimes I add ice. This costs me next to nothing but a little time to make the coffee.

I’m also not waiting in line at the coffee shop, wasting time and gas. That’s super important to me in the summer.

Now, where I will spend money for “convenience” is on single serving snack stuff. I have a terrible time with portion control so the 100 calorie packs of snacks like Pringles are a savior for me.

It’s all about picking your battles, kiddos.

Speaking of battles…

My mom got the boys a cat tree over the weekend. They love it. Garth won the battle for King of the Top Sleepy Spot this time.

In the dessert battle category…

Quinoa with creamed lavender honey and blueberries. It was an experiment since there was extra quinoa, but not enough to save. Rather tasty.

My pea plants are doing much better this year. I’m hoping they’ll keep going for awhile yet.

I meant to take knitting pics this morning but was running way too late. I brought the shawl that had been living at L’s place home to work on. It’s turning out lovely.

the biggest goal ever

I currently weigh 269lbs. I am 5’6″ tall. Depending on who you ask I am considered Morbidly Obese even though I am constantly told, even by medical professionals, that I don’t look that heavy.

But I am. And I’ve decided that being that heavy is almost certainly the root of my discontent these days.

My body hurts, almost constantly. It just plain doesn’t feel right. And I get tired entirely too easily.

These aren’t part of a larger, more sinister, issue. This is me not having taken proper care of my body for far too long. I will own this issue because it’s mine to own.

So what’s my goal? I will lose 100lbs by June 24, 2020.

Before anyone panics, that would still have me at a healthy weight for my height. I am also doing this at the recommendation of my doctors. I have no intention of doing a crash diet, using laxatives or stimulants, starving myself, exercising to the point of excess, or anything that is otherwise not healthy. I plan to be more diligent about my food and drink choices and increase my activity, namely walking.

I can do this. I will do this. Lancelot and Mom are doing it with me, though I don’t think either of them plan to lose as much. We will support each other.

I’m telling you all about this because I need to be held accountable. And maybe you’re looking for someone to inspire you or make you feel better about your progress. Who knows.

I will share good recipes as I come across them, I promise you that. Sometimes that’s the hardest part.

Here we go… 100 or bust.