vacation eve AND evicted (no, not really)

This is my last day of work until July 22nd, ALL PRAISE BE TO THE ALMIGHTY CEILING CAT!!!

Don’t get me wrong, I like my job, love it even sometimes. But I’m ready for a break. Overly ready. And Lancelot is ready for a break from his job, so the time is right.

This isn’t going to be a big trip like when we went to Ireland, in fact we aren’t really going anywhere. And quite often those are the best kind of vacations. We’ll get to bum around and play tourist in our city, sleep late, and spend time with each other. I’m looking forward to it.

But first, I have a list of projects. Well, projects and random things I want to do. Like, the other day when I was out shopping with Mom I got new knobs for my bathroom cabinets. And I have a friend who’s been making beaded bracelets so I’m going to thin out my bead stash and send a package to her. And I’ve got a few shawls that need to be blocked and since Mom is now on her trip I can use her bed to do that.

The plan is to spend tomorrow during the day, while L is catching up on a little sleep, to start tearing into my list. I might actually start tonight depending on how I feel.

So, you’re probably wondering about the “eviction” part of today’s title. If you aren’t, you likely didn’t read the title and then I say “shame on you, you lazy little so-and-so.”

I mentioned that Mom is on a trip. Her bestie, who lives on the west coast, flew in and is going with her. I gave up my bedroom for her to stay in while she’s here. I’ve been informed that I have the most comfortable bed and the most relaxing bedroom ever and I’m going to need to find a new place because she’s taking over.

I may have to frame that and have it hung in my room. It would totally fit with the decor.

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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.

keeping the dream alive

You probably wouldn’t have guessed this about me, but I’m not necessarily excited about traveling for work. I should say that I’m not excited about traveling by myself for work, such as to a conference where I’m the only person going. And really, I just don’t find conferences all that enjoyable. I don’t usually feel that I learn a lot and for all the money someone had to pay for me to go it just isn’t worth it.

But I need to do the whole “professional development” thing. So what’s a girl to do?

Online workshops offered by another university that result in a certificate and Continuing Education credits. Aw yeah!

This morning I got signed up to start a six-week course that covers the fundamentals of online teaching, something I am totally passionate about. I’ve done another course with these folks and absolutely loved it. It’s kind of like the best possible combination of going to school and going to a conference. So yay!!!

Tonight I’m going back to another part of the Randomly Erin dream – I’m taking a class at the glass studio. It was damn near a year ago exactly that I did my last glass project, the lace vase.

glass vase project

This time I’ll be making a lantern. I’m super excited! I’m trying to get back to doing the creative bits that keep my soul happy.

The issues going on in my universe right now have reminded me that life is too short to be unhappy and taking care of myself by making time for my creative pursuits is part of staying happy.

taking out the trash

I’ve mentioned several times recently that I’ve been on this “clean out all the bullshit” kick. I’m loving it. Clothes that didn’t fit or don’t make me happy, jewelry I never wore, some shoes, a few books, candles… I realized just now that there’s another stash of clothes that need to go, hidden under the stairs.

But there are other things that need to be removed. Yesterday I ended up cleaning out my closet at work, the one that primarily houses snacks and stuff. That was a disaster. Today I’m going to spend a little time on my desk. Too much clutter, too much nonsense in the drawers.

I can’t really say what it is that gets me into these moods, but it’s a cyclical thing with me. Kind of like Spring Cleaning on steroids I guess. All I know is that I feel better once it’s all done.

This afternoon I’m meeting with one of the program coordinators for the writing program I just left. I feel good that I was able to finish the semester successfully, but I know that I just can’t take on that kind of workload and stress again right now. I want to finish the memoir one of these days but I already know that my Fall semester is going to be too busy. There’s at least one international trip planned so that right there is enough to make me not interested in school.

I’m going to try to add back in a hobby/creative outlet that I haven’t done in ages. I’ve signed up to take a fused glass class at a local studio where I’ve taken classes before. I’m excited, it should be great. The last project I made, I think, was last summer. Not that the knitting and jewelry making aren’t good enough, but a girl shouldn’t box herself in too much when it comes to being creative.

a plus, a minus

My older niece is doing the National American Miss pageant stuff, and is doing quite well so far. She’s got an event coming up and my sister wanted me to find a picture of Miss E from her second birthday. My dad was still alive then and he took THOUSANDS of photos. Not even kidding. So Mom and I spent a fair bit of time the other night finding the Very Specific photo my sister wanted. We also found this…

My dad was a Shriner and in the Provost unit so at the annual Shrine Circus he put on his police/security uniform and helped people find stuff, etc. This is a shot of him and Miss E at what would end up being his last circus. It’s significant to me in part because there are so few pictures of Dad. He was almost always the one taking the pictures. And there’s just something so precious about this.

So that was definitely a plus. Now, for the minus…

I wanted to scream this yesterday afternoon when I found out but I wanted to wait until I got to see Lancelot in person this morning to tell him. Mom found out first.

I GOT AN A- IN MY CLASS!!!

No, that is not a real bird. Yes, I am that cool. (from the Dubai trip)

Grad school is now over for me, for the foreseeable future. I am signed up for a single class in the Fall but the jury is still out as to whether I’ll stay signed up. I have one more international trip to take plus I’ve been approached about taking on a paid side gig. I refuse to make myself as ridiculously busy as I was in the spring.

so there I was, up to my ears in pop tops and kitten tears when all of a sudden…

I would like to think that this far into my recovery, 13 years post-diagnosis, that I know a few things about myself. Evidently I still have some shit to learn. For example…

Yesterday morning after breakfast Lancelot rubbed my head while I was laying in his lap, sprawled on the couch, and that is apparently the very best way to put me to sleep ever. He confessed to keeping up with the rubbing for a good 20 minutes because I looked peaceful and it didn’t seem to right to stop and possibly wake me.

On Saturday I mentioned to him that I’d seen a bead expo advertised on Facebook. Not only was he willing to go, but he said it sounded like fun, and he then proceeded to help me pick out treasures. I didn’t know that men did this. I also didn’t know how much I could enjoy that.

I’ve also realized that grad school is maybe not the thing for me right now, at least not like this. I’ve been mulling this over for awhile. In some ways the lack of structure and the freedom to work at my own pace is good, but I really am a person who needs (and thrives on) some structure.

I’m also fairly sure that the two big trips this semester haven’t helped with the school issue. My regular routines have been knocked too far out of kilter and life is just, well, it’s just not grand right now. In all fairness, this last weekend, the eight-month anniversary, was better than grand. Good food, lots of laughter, snuggles, massages, just a great time. I love that boy. But I didn’t do any homework this weekend beyond some reading and I know that made a difference.

Sometimes the best thing you can do is be gentle with yourself.

apparently i am not very good at this these days

In hindsight, having two international trips so close together was not the smartest thing I’ve ever done. In my defense, there was no way around it. Also in my defense, I’m still suffering wicked jet lag.

Today is my eight month anniversary with Lancelot. This is very excellent. My relationship with him is the healthiest I have ever had with a man. Not trying to say it’s perfect, but the bits that aren’t amazing are the sorts of things that aren’t always amazing in any relationship. They’re also the sorts of things that can be remedied. At any rate, eight months of mostly bliss is entirely lovely.

Here are some pictures of the trip to Dubai to amuse you (I hope).