the best laid plans

So that was not really the weekend I had in mind, but it’s all good. No one ended up in jail or the ER, so we’ll call it a win.

In the category of productive things we did get the grocery shopping done, we got our flu shots, we finally figured out the pressure cooker thing, and we had our monthly “big outing” to our favorite Italian restaurant. I finally got to wear the dragon bracelet Lancelot got me. I felt swanky.

We really are kind of cute together.

I appear to have caught the rotten seasonal Fall cold that’s going around. Joy. What that usually means for me is lots of drainage and headaches and sometimes a very upset stomach. I got all of that on Sunday. I was MISERABLE.

I did manage to get some knitting done. I’ve reached the lace portion of the S shawl (I cannot spell it right, sorry) and this is the first time, at least that I can recall, that I’ve done lace from a chart. It scared me, I’m not going to lie. And I’m not really even sure why other than it’s different. I’m also not going to lie and tell you that I haven’t screwed up a bit, but you know what? Who cares. It’s my shawl and no one else will know. So there you have it.

I’ve finished the first 24 rows and have started on the second set. I’d like to maybe do three repeats but I don’t know that I’ll have enough yarn. I am planning to use as much of this second skein as possible.

And I started the other shawl I had lined up on Sunday. It’s called Waves of Happiness, and unfortunately it’s no longer available. If you want to see a picture you can still see it on Ravelry. I had printed a copy of it ages ago and stashed it in my binder. Anyway, I’m using a very lovely dark purple tonal yarn from Knit Picks. L ordered me more knitting needles on Sunday because I realized I didn’t have one long enough to work the body of this shawl. That’s love, let me tell you.

For anyone else interested in what’s to become of the yarn I got last week, the three very pale purple balls of Palette are destined to become the Ennis Lotus Cowl, the two balls of Chroma will become the Caterpillar Shawlette, and I’m thinking the green skein will end up as a Greenfield Shawl. I have no idea yet what to do with that super funky skein – suggestions anyone?

 

the postman bringeth

I may or may not have confessed to buying more yarn. Well, I did, and here it is. The colors are fairly accurate except for the two balls of Chroma on the end. All of this came from Knit Picks. What you see here is three shawls (at least one of these is a for sure) and a cowl. I’m pretty damn excited.

I’ve decided that I’m also going to try branching back out into some of the crafts I used to do. I saw something on Pinterest this morning that was made with seed beads and lamented my lack of motor control. Lancelot gave his usual gentle encouragement and that got me started looking for ideas. What I came up with is decidedly not as complicated as I used to do, but requires only supplies I have on hand and should be completed within an hour or two.

I also found instructions so I can re-teach myself how to needle tat. I never could figure out how to use shuttles, but the needle made sense to me. The only tatted piece I still have is a reasonable size doily I made. I’m not sure if I’ll get back to that level of complexity, but I’d like to give it a shot.

Speaking of shots… More blood work came back goofy so today I had a tele-health visit with my psych doc. The regular doc is worried about my kidneys so she wanted me to talk to the psych doc to make sure it’s not related to the Lithium I take for the Bipolar. Psych doc is not worried but has requested her own blood work which will include a Lithium level, among other things. So for now there will be no changes. Her guess is that the kidney doc will do the same as the blood doc and we’ll keep an eye on this for a while as well. Very exciting.

I’m looking forward to a productive yet relaxing weekend. There are some small projects around the house that need to get done and some craft projects I would like to do, and Lancelot mentioned wanting to watch a few movies. Doesn’t sound half bad.

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.

of invisible giants and small black dogs

The city is taking advantage of the pandemic keeping people mostly at home by doing a TON of roadwork this summer. Lancelot was joking the other day that we’re pretty well surrounded by it, and he’s exactly right. They’ve reached the point where they’re working on something directly behind our house (we back up to a major street).

I’m not entirely sure what’s going on today other than it involves concrete, I saw the trucks, and it’s noisy as fuck. It quite honestly sounds and feels, simultaneously, like a giant is walking around outside our house. The floor is shaking. Not even exaggerating here. I’m waiting to hear someone’s car alarm go off.

Meanwhile, Pippy the Wonder Pup is entertaining herself by chewing on a little blue rug I put in my office for her to lay on. I’m not sure what the deal is but she likes to chew on things.

That’s the rug under her, at that point she was chewing on the fabric basket I keep in here for a few toys. She gets bored during my Zoom meetings sometimes, can’t blame her, so I try to entertain her. Anyway, she was grabbing her basket in her mouth and tossing it up and then smacking it around with her nose. Good times.

In an effort to keep her from chewing the edge off the rug I gave her a washcloth I had knit, one of the more unusual things that she’s long been fascinated with. That was great fun.

But still, the giants are out walking around and now I’m getting a headache. One last cute dog pic. At night when I go downstairs and relax she has to be right next to me. (there goes the car alarm!) If I sit out in the sunroom I have to sit in the big chair because it’s got a reasonably sized foot stool.

And hey, that’s a much more accurate picture of the color of the new shawl.

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.

short weeks are always the longest

I didn’t work on Monday because it was Labor Day and for me that means a paid day off. I don’t work tomorrow because Lancelot took the day off and for me that also means a paid day off. We have errands to run and things to accomplish and that’s not always easy given his regular work schedule.

However…

It’s been a bit of a rough week. Pippy appears to have done something to her mouth, though the vet can’t figure out what. Garth looks like his one eye has something going on but every time I go to call for an appointment it looks better again.

Last night I did some “real” cooking and by that I mean I chopped up a bunch of veggies and a package of sausages and threw them in a pan in the oven to roast. And then promptly burned myself.

Today we had a local charity lined up to finally come get the excess crap out of our garage. The same time they were on their way Pippy showed up at the back door absolutely caked in mud. L carried her up to the bathroom where I got to strip down and hop in the shower with her. Keep in mind that this was at like 11am, right in the middle of my work day. And I had a workshop to give this afternoon.

So I hosed down the dog, got her mostly dried off, and got dressed for the second time. I actually pried some rocks out from between her toe pads. I have no idea what the fuck she was digging for out there, but she’s not going to be allowed out unattended while it’s all wet and rainy. At this point I’m not sure there’s a single clean towel in the house.

I got everything lined up for the workshop this afternoon and then it looked like no one was going to show, but at 2:05pm I had two people. It went alright except the one person started asking very specific questions that really didn’t go along with the advertised topic. I love it when they do that. (no, no I do not love it)

At any rate, I’m stuck in my office for about another 30 minutes and then I am DONE. I’ve decided that I well and truly hate the few knitting projects I have going so they’re going in time out and I’m going to start something new. (shocking, right?) I’m just not sure what that’s going to be. (we all know it’s going to be a shawl)

I kind of feel like I say this a lot, but I need to hit my own reset button again.

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.

week in review

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…

Oh wait, wrong story. Let me try again.

For a first week of the semester this hasn’t sucked ass too badly. We did have some serious tech issues to start things on Monday, but that’s been the worst of it. So that was good.

And I got some knitting done. I actually managed a lot of knitting, including this beauty.

It very desperately needs to be blocked but I don’t even care. It’s amazing. Then this morning I pulled this out of hiding and finished it.

It did end up much longer, like scarf length, which was the plan. The next project on the block is either going to be another scarf that’s in pieces and just needs assembled OR  it might be a pair of cabled fingerless mitts for my friend K. Those currently consist of a single ribbed cuff.

It feels good to be finishing some projects. Yesterday I didn’t feel like I had much mental capability so I cleaned up my office. It helped. This afternoon before I wake L up I’m planning on tearing apart the guest bathroom off the main hallway. There’s an overabundance of junk in there.

Lancelot and I have lived together in this house a little more than four months and we’re still working to get everything in place. Sometimes you just have to take your best guess as to how you’ll want things setup and then step back for a while and see how it goes. I’m finding myself at the point where I’m ready to make some changes. The other day I swapped the contents of two drawers because they just weren’t working.

Perhaps I’m mental. Perhaps.

Perhaps I eat a lot of chicken curry. Yes, yes I do. I’ve decided it’s one of the easiest dinners I can cook without really cooking anything. I do everything except the rice in the slow cooker so it’s total minimal effort. And I found the tiny naan at the grocery store. They fit in the toaster so you can easily have them nice and warm. It’s perfect!

This week’s cheap and cheerful grocery store bouquet. I’ve decided that having fresh flowers makes me ridiculously happy and is well worth the small price tag.

outing myself

First the easy update, I think the shawl will be done yet this week. For one thing, I’m getting towards the end of the pattern. For another thing, I’m getting frighteningly close to end of the yarn. I’m thinking I might be making a few executive decisions about how many repeats to do. But hey, that’s part of the beauty of a pattern like this, I can be as flexible as I want.

Here’s a totally random update… We picked up a delicious watermelon last weekend and man do I love me some good watermelon. But this sucker was HUGE, like so big I was afraid me and Lancelot couldn’t possibly eat all of it before it spoiled. And that’s when I remembered something from when I traveled over to Delhi and Dubai.

Watermelon juice.

We had already cleaned and chunked up the melon so I just tossed a quantity into the blender and abused the hell out of it. And that was it. No straining, no fussing, no nothing. Pour it in a cup, stick a straw in it, and enjoy. It’s wonderful. And it’s healthy. So yay.

So I mentioned outing myself, something I actually used to do pretty regularly. I have Bipolar Disorder and I’m not at all ashamed to talk about it. FFS, I was actively working on writing my memoir all about it! When it comes up naturally in conversation and it makes sense, I have a tendency to say something.

Today I met with a faculty member who will be teaching an online Social Work class that deals with mental illness. DUH, it made sense to me to bring up my diagnosis. I’m more than 13 years into recovery at this point and I’m in a good place with my treatment so I’m pretty damn comfortable talking about it, particularly since I know that talking openly and honestly helps to fight the stigma associated with mental illnesses.

For example, I will tell you…

  • I take medication every day to help stabilize my moods; 12 pills to be precise (all of my other pills are for other doc prescribed stuff)
  • I meet (via Zoom right now) with my therapist every other week
  • I don’t drink more than 2 drinks in a 7 day period because I know that more is not healthy for me
  • I don’t smoke, anything, because it screws with my mood
  • I go to bed at 8 because if I have trouble sleeping that leaves me enough time to get sleep before I must get up in the morning
  • But I usually get up around 4am and start doing stuff
  • I haven’t been actively suicidal since 2009
  • I don’t like violence of any kind and I wouldn’t dream of hitting another creature
  • It’s taken a long time for me to like myself

But if you just met me under normal circumstances you would likely never guess that my home life was any different than your own. And that is one of my greatest successes I think; being able to “pass” for someone who doesn’t have a mental illness.

start of the semester got me like… ugh

Last week was rough. No, ROUGH. On Tuesday I picked Lancelot up from work early in the morning, came home, and crawled back into bed for three hours. I spent my work day in pajama pants and a t-shirt. I’m not sure if I was coming down with a cold or if I’d just gotten too run down or what. But it wasn’t good.

Is anyone else at that point where you freak the hell out any time you sneeze?

Anyway, I finally started to feel better when I realized I actually do need to take care of myself. I started a new shawl, I started eating a little better, and I let myself wear pajama pants a lot. It was good and it helped.

The pattern, not that you can tell a damn thing right now, is Tumbledown Mountain and the yarn is Mille Colori Sock and Lace. The colors are WILD. The pattern is fairly sedate to start with so the stripes are going to be amazing. So far this is just what I need, delightfully relaxing knitting that I don’t have to think about much.

I’ve also been trying to get some stuff taken care of around the house that I’ve been neglecting. I’m not one that normally lets the laundry get out of hand, but I had, so I got that caught up. And we got our wedding pictures printed and framed, which was nice. All in all it was just a very good weekend.

Garth approved. Garth usually approves, unless Pippy is chewing on his tail. He actually snuggled with me most of last night. It’s nice except he likes to bite. I did get a really nice surprise yesterday from my stepdad.

A Child of my very own. And he likes Prickly Pear Red Bull Refreshers from the coffee shop. We’re going to need all the caffeine we can get. Today is the first day of the semester for us and there have already been some massive technical issues that have impacted a vast portion of the planet. Nothing like starting off having one of your most critical tools take a shit right in the middle of your breakfast.