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.

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so much to do, so little time to do it

That’s the finished lantern. Mom likes it so much that she’s trying to get me to make another.

My psych doc has added another med. It’s that tiny little coral colored one on the far left. It starts with a “p” but I can’t remember the exact name. The purpose is to help with the tremors. So far so good, though I haven’t hit a large enough dose to completely get rid of them. I am at a point where I can read my own writing more easily. That is EIGHTEEN pills and that’s just what I take at night. Oy.

Me and the most handsome man in the world had dinner with Mom on Friday night at my new favorite Tex-Mex restaurant. Good food and great company, how could you go wrong?

On Saturday we went to the summer art festival and I got some great new jewelry and some wearable art pieces. I can’t wait to wear them this week. We managed to get through it before the heat got too bad.

I do have a ton to do yet. Busy weekends don’t usually leave much time for getting productive things done. And I’m taking a class for work which also doesn’t help. But so far today at work I’ve been kicking ass and taking names, and that’s always good.

 

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.

making the most of it

Lancelot periodically has to work overtime. I kind of hate this. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a common thing and a known hazard and it really doesn’t happen often. And at least he’s hourly so, unlike when I get to work extra, he gets paid for it. So I try (honestly, I try) not to bitch about it too much.

He had to work last night, big ol’ bummer. But instead of pouting and feeling sorry for myself, which honestly does no damn good, I decided to act like a big girl and I’ve been making the most of what we refer to at work as “found time.” So far I have…

  • Taken Mom out for a lovely dinner where we both got tipsy
  • Re-wrote the directions for a knitting pattern because I found them confusing
  • Actually did some knitting
  • Thoroughly cleaned my bathroom
  • Did my food prep for the week
  • Took care of some paperwork for my health care account
  • Cleaned up the laptop
  • Got my outfits and jewelry ready for next week

Might not seem like a lot (or maybe it does) but it certainly helped pass the time and I feel good for having been productive.

Possibly the most exciting news is that I’m not really done with grad school after all. I met with the program coordinator on Friday and got some new information that makes all the difference. I’m going to take at least one semester off, but during that time I can be writing on my own and “banking” material for later. I also found out that I have TEN YEARS from when I started to get this done. That takes a lot of the pressure off.

Lancelot is super excited. He told me that he knew I wasn’t giving up, just taking a break. He’s got a lot of faith in me. Anyway, we’re going to go to the residency this July for a day to sit in on a lecture and see everyone. I want him to get a sense of what the experience is like. And the coordinator wants to meet him.

I’m actually excited to start writing again.

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.

DONE!!!

Do I seem excited? A little? Perhaps? Nah…

Friday night I turned in the last of my school work. I will freely admit that it wasn’t the quantity or quality that I normally strive for but I was burned extra crispy and all I wanted was to turn something, anything, in and get some meager amount of credit. And I did. Based on the feedback I’ve already gotten from my mentor I believe I have passed the semester.

That’s the new look. My hair is ridiculously short and I absolutely love it. The color is very black cherry and it suits me nicely. Lancelot has been playing with it, a lot, and I absolutely love that, too. Speaking of Lancelot…

After the panic of Friday night getting my homework turned in we spent the rest of the weekend in a much more relaxed fashion. We did a wee bit of shopping, watched a few movies, I did a little knitting while he watched some wrestling matches, and then we had craft time. I showed him how to make coasters using 4″ white tiles and alcohol ink. Much fun.

I’m looking forward to having more time to work on projects now that I’m not in school. I have a ton of beautiful yarn just waiting to be used, not to mention beads, and there are still projects that I’d started ages ago that need some love.

These boys need some love, too. I got a text from Mom this morning saying “this is how we do Mondays.” Indeed.

ridiculously goofy

We’ve been taking care of my sister’s dog this week which means the kitties have been a little off their routines. This morning when I went back upstairs to try to make my bed I was met with this. Allegedly they’re the same age. Allegedly they’re littermates. Eric is much closer to 14lbs and Garth isn’t quite 10lbs. They definitely look like a Full Size cat and a Fun Size cat. I just thought it was adorable that they were curled up sleeping the same way.

I’m still working on trying to get my own routines back inline. Today has been odd at work because it’s the “not quite official” end of the semester in that finals will be next week. This means there were some shenanigans today.

I never say no to shenanigans! It was a fun day, and always fun to get to wear a costume. I’ve been productive, too. My inbox is almost empty, YAY!

This morning I finished the shawl I had started when Lancelot and I went to Dublin. That felt amazing. I’m hoping to be able to start working on more projects next week, just as soon as I get that last bit of homework done and out of the way.

Hopefully everyone has great weekends!