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.

building a life worth living

There’s a tenet in DBT that basically says you should be trying to build yourself a life that’s actually worth living, based on what’s important to you. It’s a weird concept for many of us with mental health struggles, but it’s well worth embracing. I’ve been trying to remind myself, a lot lately, that the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel is that life worth living and I alone get to decide what’s included.

More importantly, I get to decide what’s NOT included.

My relationship with my sister has always been tenuous, even back to when we were kids. She likes to have her own way. No, actually, she always insists on having her own way. When we were young she would hit if she didn’t get what she wanted. As she grew older she used words. Mean, spiteful, hate filled words.

I have to stop to insert a bit of happy news. My mom is getting married. She’s known R since they were 9 years old, he’s a very nice man, and I have never seen her this happy before. I am 100% over the moon excited for them, and so is Lancelot. Hell, so is everyone who knows. Everyone except my sister and the kids.

Somehow she’s convinced that it’s possible to cheat on a dead man. I don’t get it. R’s pastor doesn’t get it. “Til death do you part” means that when one of you dies the other is no longer married. But, not in H’s mind.

Over the course of the last week all hell has literally blown up. There’s been screaming, crying, cursing, and declaring people dead. That’s the point at which I blocked her number and decided that I really don’t need this bullshit.

I’m fairly sure that it’ll be a very long time before I see my nieces again, if ever. H has always used them as a weapon, and that’s unfortunate. I just can’t tolerate the hate she keeps spewing. Sometimes walking away is the victorious thing to do.

Pippy says that sitting on people is also victorious.

In other good news, this is my last day of work for a whole week. Lancelot and I had originally had this week off to dog sit while Mom went on a trip, but that was before the world went sideways so now we’re going to use the time to start moving him in officially. I’m very excited about that.

I’m hoping that once life settles into a bit more of a regular routine I’ll be able to start knitting again. Right now by the time I finish working for the day I have just enough energy to make something to eat, watch a little news, and then crawl into bed. Once we get things cleaned out and organized, oh and moved, I think that’s going to help.

On a tangent, does anyone else live somewhere you can now get cocktails to go with your carry out order? L and I did carry out fajitas from our favorite Mexican restaurant a few weeks ago and got blue margaritas to go with them. That is one of the odder, yet nicer, things to come out of The Rona.

out da window

Needless to say, some things just aren’t improving much. It’s getting scarier to go to the store, and even when you do go, they don’t have all of the stuff you’d like to get. Like bread. Or toilet paper.

Seriously, what the actual fuck is up with the toilet paper thing???

But I digress. I’m still trying to get my shit sorted out, both personal and professional. Work is still taking place at home and it sounds like we’re about to the point where we’ll be shutting the campus down officially and entirely for awhile. Suits me just fine. I’m getting used to working in leggings and tennis shoes. Plus, I have a seriously hunky new co-worker.

Lancelot is moving in. Wait, no, that’s not quite right. L has basically moved in. We don’t have all of his stuff here just yet but we’ve started working on that, slowly. He’ll be totally moved in by the end of May.

This is happening faster than we anticipated but we’re both very excited about it. The dog is particularly excited.

Anyway, it’s something good that’s happening but it is change. So much change lately, seriously. Yesterday I had my therapy appointment over something very much like Zoom. It was weird though still fairly effective. Totally better than no therapy at all.

So I’m still working on figuring out what I want my world to look like, but that’s ok. I’m happy and that’s all that matters.

what damn day is it anyway?

Yes, I’ve only been working at home for 8 days, but for fuck sake I have no damn clue what day it really is. Like, is this really Wednesday or did I skip something and it’s really Thursday?

Anyway, I’ve decided that this working from home shit just isn’t for me. I’m glad I still have work and that it’s pretty damn safe, but it sucks. The only real upside, besides not actually having to wear a bra if I don’t feel like it, is that there are a few more opportunities to try silly things, like this…

Snapchat filters on a laptop webcam, yay!

Has anyone else dried out their hands so much that their fingertips have become obliterated? No? Just me? I’m not even kidding here. My hands are so dried out from washing all the time that I can’t unlock my phone with the fingerprint scanner. It sucks.

The good thing about today? I finally feel like I’m getting caught up. When we left our offices to start working at home I was ridiculously behind in my work because there was just so much going on. Now I’m almost 100% caught up on my “normal” tasks. Hell, at this rate I might actually get some project work done this week.

My goal for next week is to get the treadmill setup so that I can get some walking in during the day.

what is normal anymore?

I get up around 4:30am, like normal. I make a cup of coffee, like normal.

That’s pretty much where any resemblance to my old existence ends.

I might watch a little news, though honestly I don’t remember the last time I did. I might get the dishwasher emptied, though often that waits until closer to my lunch break. I shower and put on comfy clothes, something I used to only do on the weekends. I go pick up Lancelot, which is typical, except I never used to have to drive through a check point.

And then I get home and work in my basement, using two laptops instead of one with two additional monitors (so much nicer), and I don’t usually actually see another person in the flesh until dinner time.

This is not a great arrangement for me. I’m not terribly extroverted but I do enjoy the company of people, nice people anyway. I miss my friends. I miss the distraction of someone walking into my office just to shoot the shit for a few minutes. I miss being able to share my happys and sads with them. Fuck, I miss having a reason to wear nice clothes and put on makeup.

I’m glad that I’m safe (so far) and that no one I love has gotten ill, please don’t get me wrong. But I’m going to have to figure out what I need to do to keep from going completely bat-crap crazy. Suggestions are welcome.

my coworkers are jerks

Garth is turning into quite the little micro-manager. I still love him though.

So things are getting interesting around here. In the “petty nonsense” category I spent the better part of my team meeting this morning prying my solar nails off with the file attachment on a pocket knife. I also have no fingerprints left, thank you obsessive hand washing. And right now I can’t really do the work I need to be doing because the system I need to access has pretty well tanked. Thank you global pandemic.

Saturday Lancelot and I stayed at my house and watched the entire first season of The Mandalorian. I had watched most of it so I let him get caught up and then we watched the last two episodes together. I can’t wait for the next season.

Being here meant he got to spend time with Dog Blossom. He loves that pup, and she loves him. I do not necessarily love sharing the bed with him, and the dog, and both cats. That’s a lot of creatures in one queen sized bed. But it was a good weekend.

This is week two of working from home for me. I still don’t love it, but I’m managing. I have been tracking my weight, just to make sure I’m not putting any excess on. I think I’m going to see if Mom will help me get the treadmill setup so that I can walk in the mornings before work. A little more activity will be good for me.

I honestly can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this or not but I’ve been taking a picture of myself, or having L take one, every day since my birthday. I’ve been referring to it as “Day # of Being 44” and I post it on Facebook. I honestly don’t give a shit what anyone else thinks, or if they bother to think anything at all, I’m doing this for myself. This year is going to be odd, to say the least. My birthday happened in the middle of a fucking pandemic. So yeah, things will change. Plus, there is personal change coming. Knowing all of that I want to document what the change does to the outside of me.

Will I smile less at the start and then more when I’m closer to 45? Will I ever wear makeup again? Will I keep my hair this short? I don’t know any of these answers any more than y’all do, and I’m curious. Besides, it’s a minor distraction from the chaos that we are literally surrounded by right now.

 

working from home

I am not super excited about working at home, it’s just not my thing. But I’m trying to make the best of it.My coworkers are kind of jerks sometimes, but it’s nice that they’re spending more time with me.

My biggest issue is that I miss my friends on campus. I chat with them off and on but it’s not quite the same. I’ve been able to see Lancelot the last two mornings and that helps, a ton. I know he’s worried about me, and I know why. He’s sweet.

The birthday wasn’t what either of us had planned, but I really thought it was good. L got me two gorgeous necklaces and a really cool resin skull with Celtic knot designs all over it. Mom’s friend R got me a baby Yoda coffee mug.

It’s not the stuff or the place that makes an occasion, it’s the people you’re surrounded by.

 

trying to find normal

Pretty much everything around here is closing. Restaurants, bars, churches, schools. I’m thinking it’s just a matter of time before I start working from home. And then this morning when I picked up Lancelot they had blocked a section of the parking lot because they’re going to put in tents and screen everyone before their shift starts.

I’ve been screened twice, once before each doc appointment I’ve had this week, so I get it. We’re worried, rightly so, and checking for a fever is a fast way to help reduce the spread. But it’s a little scary.

So I’m trying to keep things as normal as I can.

I’m taking silly pictures of the kitties. Garth has been picked up by Penelope a lot so he’s taken to hiding on top of the linen cupboard in my bathroom.

This morning I spent a little time with my fella watching the Dropkick Murphys concert from last night. If you missed it you should definitely go out to YouTube and watch. It was phenomenal.

As much of my life as I can keep the same I am. I’m having to make a few adjustments like everyone is, but I refuse to let this get me down. My 44th birthday is this Saturday and I’ll be damned if I let anything fuck with that.

 

insert catchy title here

I had my first date with Lancelot on August 12, 2018. It was  pretty much love at first sight for me. Those big blue eyes, that gentle smile, the sarcasm. I was sold.

We’ve had our share of rough times since then. I’ve left the country three times, started and then stopped a second graduate degree, and he’s worked a fuckton of overtime. But we’ve stuck together because we love each other.

Life around here has been interesting. The university has decided to give students an extended spring break and then everyone is moving to online. I think it’s only a matter of time before the campus is shut down entirely.

I don’t necessarily object to working from home. I would have the boys around.

And I could for sure pick Lancelot up every morning.

I would miss my friends though, and the structure of work. I think that’s something a lot of people aren’t really thinking about yet. Kids, and people like me, need that structure. When we don’t have our regular routines we eventually suffer.

I can already see it happening with me.

I have a serious backlog of laundry, the sheets desperately need to be change, the plants need to be watered, pills need to be filled, and I haven’t knit in what feels like forever. Today I’m at work but I’m in jeans, no makeup, and the only jewelry is my ring from L. Kind of feels like a rock bottom to me. And that can mean only one thing.

forgive me gentle readers, I haven’t died yet…

Life around here is just 100% BATSHIT FUCKING CRAZY, to put it mildly.

Y’all might have heard of that rotten little COVID-19 thing that’s going around. Since I work for a university everyone here is trying to scramble to make sure that we can continue to operate as close to normal as possible when the inevitable happens and we end up closing the campus. They call this stuff “disaster preparedness” and what you tend to realize is that you really aren’t very prepared at all.

So I haven’t been knitting or really doing much of anything recreational because by the time I get home I am entirely exhausted and incapable of anything more complicated than drooling on myself. It’s amazing.

But no, I’m not sick. I’m as healthy as I ever am, just totally wore out. I miss writing, I miss knitting, and I miss Lancelot. I haven’t been picking him up every morning and I didn’t realize what a difference that would make. Honestly, I HATE not seeing him every day.

I will survive.