it’s not my time

I don’t have many “IRL” friends (people I know in real life) which is fine, but it means that my support network isn’t very big. It’s all about quality in my world, not quantity. I would rather have one amazing friend I can call in the middle of the night than a whole stadium full of people who kinda sorta know me but don’t want me to ever call them. I would guess I’m not the only person who has ever dealt with this.

In my friend network I am one of the oldest and I’ve been diagnosed and in treatment for my mental illness longest, all to say that I tend to be the most stable and the most able to provide a shoulder to lean on. I take my Mama Hen role seriously and the majority of the time I enjoy taking care of my chicks.

Right now I’m struggling. I’m not sure why, and it’s not awful, but struggle is struggle and this struggle is real. Lancelot is helping, making sure I’m taking care of myself and doing his best to give me what I ask for. But I can’t rely just on him, that’s not fair. I will admit I’m not the best at asking for help, it’s just not my nature.

Yesterday I sent a text to a few friends saying that I wasn’t doing well. Like in those words. And got no response.

I know that they’re both struggling with their own things, and evidently they don’t need any help or they aren’t asking for any, so I’m just leaving that situation alone.

Maybe some day it will be my time? Maybe?

I’ve been trying to knit amidst taking naps. I’m still working on the Cable it Up scarf and still entirely loving it. The yarn is really nice to work with and the pattern is delightfully straightforward. The pattern is free on Ravelry.

i’m proud to be a survivor

There’s kind of a long story that goes with the title of today’s post, just bear with me.

Piece one – I am a suicide survivor. It’s been a haul to get to where I am, but I have and I’m proud of my fight to get better. I did some less than great things along the way sometimes but I’m working on making up for it.

Piece two – I am a huge Dropkick Murphys fan. One of my very favorite songs of theirs is “Paying my Way.” The lyrics and the beat, it just speaks to my experiences.

Piece three – Lancelot watches a lot of professional wrestling and MMA competitions where the competitors will have specific music playing when they walk out. It’s usually something personal to them in some way, helps get them pumped up. The wrestler I enjoy most is a guy who goes by CM Punk and he comes out to “Cult of Personality.”

Ok, so all of this to say that right now “Paying my Way” is my walk-out song for when I feel like it’s time to kick a little ass, and sometimes just when I need to give myself a little kick in the ass.

Whew!

That’s a pair of beaded earrings I made over the weekend. This is fairly straightforward bead weaving using a free pattern that I found. I’m ridiculously proud of these.

I’ve decided that I want to try to get back into doing more with beads, in part because I have a lot of supplies still. I spent a good part of the weekend reorganizing my craft area to make it easier to find things so that I can hopefully stop buying things I already had at home. Not that I’ve ever actually done that…

The current “primary” WIP

This is a kit that I purchased up in Stillwater, MN when Lancelot and I went last summer. It’s the “Cable it Up” pattern and it’s a completely reversible cabled scarf knit with chunky yarn. I love it.

when life gets better

Tomorrow ain’t looking good either, just sayin’

It’s been roughly 15 years since I was diagnosed, officially, with a mental illness. I was just shy of 30 years old and admitted to my therapist that my plan was to leave her office and OD on meds. I wish I could say that was the low point, but it wasn’t.

I’ve attempted suicide four times since then, once landing myself in the ICU. I’ve done some truly ridiculous things because my brain shouldn’t have been trusted and I almost completely lacked effective coping skills. But because my mom is stubborn as fuck, and I have an amazing psychiatric team, here I am. And here I’ll stay.

Nothing tastes better than being in control of yourself

Here are just a few things I’ve learned on my journey that might help you on yours.

Don’t stop taking your meds without talking to your doctor, please. If you don’t feel like they’re working or that the side effects suck too much, talk to your doctor. There are lots of other things you can try with their guidance.

When you hit rock bottom, put down the shovel and quit fucking digging. We all have that limit; figure out where yours is and then respect it. Reach out for help.

Try to understand that you aren’t the only one who feels this way; there are lots of us who have been there and can empathize.

Also try to understand that just because today sucks does not mean that tomorrow will also suck. Trust me on this one.

If you haven’t already, try seeing a therapist. Just like not all psych docs are created equal, not all therapists are created equal. But there is a good fit out there for you. Trust me on this one, too.

It really does get better. For me it took hitting what turned out to be Utter and Absolute rock bottom and then being helped back up by my mom, some amazing friends, and great psych support. I am very happy to say that for the past five years I’ve been in a place that scares the hell out of me because I had never known “normal” as an adult. Normal is amazing, and it’s boring, and it’s beautiful.

Normal for me is a place where I can be bouncy and giggly and energetic or I can be quiet and a little sad and I can cry, and all of those things are perfectly ok.

If you need something, ask for it. If you never ask the question the answer will always be no.

an interesting thing happened on the way to the symposium…

It’s odd, well maybe not, but I think it is. I’ve essentially quit Facebook. I still have an account but I don’t have the app on my phone, it doesn’t come up on my work computer at all, and I just don’t check it anymore. Once in a great while Lancelot will tell me about something, usually dealing with our new niece or with a close friend, and I’ll go out there just to see that single thing. But that’s it.

I’ve realized that this has freed up a remarkable about of time for other things. Like knitting. Like watching shows I enjoy. Like talking to my husband.

I am still posting photos on Instagram, and I keep up with a few people that way. But I’ve decided that I’d really rather talk to the people I care about and spend less time just randomly on the internet.

The one real downside to that is I’m spending less time with my personal laptop turned on and so less time reading blogs, and less time writing here. These are trade-offs I supposed.

I feel like an update is in order, so here goes…

I am still knitting and making progress, which is good. We’ve been working on trying new recipes and it’s been more like once a week as opposed to every other week. And I’m still working on various Lego kits that continue to arrive. I think today I’m going to make some tulips and sunflowers. The next “big” kit is a typewriter.

One of our favorite meals for Meatless Monday is Tofu and Black Bean nachos

I read the script and the costume fits, so I’ll play my part

I don’t think I got that quite right, but it’s a lyric from a song that just sort of speaks to me. I’ve taken to making notes in my phone when I hear something that just strikes me. The other one, that I’m pretty sure came from a cooking show was “we are all ancestors in training.” Talk about profound.

My newly “remodeled” office

I decided last week that I needed a Change. This happens with me sometimes, so I wasn’t all that surprised. In the past this Change has taken the shape of everything from a new haircut/color, a tattoo, embarking on a new project, or what my family affectionately refers to as Shit Shifting. I might have talked about this before, but in essence the idea is moving the furniture/accessories/artwork/etc to different places in the same room or different places in the house. It involves $0 and it taps your creative side. I ❤ Shit Shifting.

So we took the hutch off my desk and moved that down to the basement for Lancelot’s desk and then put my desk right in front of the window. I am loving it so far. I did loose some storage space so we decided to go ahead and purchase a bookcase for the office that has a very small footprint.

Amen.

I suppose part of it is that we’re all still trying to do our best to stay home and not spend so much time out and about, so I’m at home more and have time to really notice and think about the things I’d like to change. And most of those changes really are a matter of cutting down on the “things” and finding ways to make what we have work better for us. I enjoy the challenge.

I would be delighted to hear what you all are up to right now. Like, what is your favorite budget friendly tip?

life is what happens while you’re busy making plans

I’m a planner, y’all know that. I like a good amount of structure in my world, in my day, and when that doesn’t happen it takes me a bit to bounce back. And my world has been more chaotic than not lately, in good ways, but it’s taking a bit longer than normal to bounce back.

A rare photo of all three kids. This period of behaving and getting along lasted maybe 90 seconds.

I have been busy knitting and working on other creative projects. I have two scarves and an adult hat knit for the charity collection, which I think is a good way to start the year. There’s plenty of yarn for more, and I’m planning to start making baby hats as well. I had one for our new niece and realized that they’re really quick to make and don’t use much yarn, so they’re an excellent project.

Tiny baby hat for our niece

I made this hat using some Koigu I had in my stash. The color is much more of a light, tonal lilac purple. I think it’s a lovely little hat for a lovely little girl.

I’ve also been making some random jewelry, doing some small Lego kits, and planning some future projects. One of my unofficial goals is to do as many of these projects as I can without having to buy additional supplies. I have all of this stuff, I really should use it.

starting off proper

One of the goals I had set for last year was to explore vegetarian cooking and try to incorporate that into our lifestyle. I actually found that I really enjoy it. We have not switched to an entirely vegetarian diet, but we do make a point of having at least one meatless meal every week. And because it’s catchy (and I think something they did during WWII?) we go with Meatless Mondays. Tonight’s dinner will be an delish vegetarian chili made in the Instant Pot. It’s tasty, healthy, and really quite filling.

Now where is that recipe for BBQ squirrel?

On Saturday Lancelot helped me with a project that’s really needed to be done, and especially not since I’m going to be trying to expand my recipe horizons. That mess spread all over the table was the contents of my recipe box, my mother’s recipe box, and my grandmother’s recipe box. It was hard to find anything because there were duplicates, cards with very sketchy info, and names that didn’t always make sense to us. So instead of filing things in alphabetical order we decided to group them by type, like “Appetizer” or “Drink” or “Breakfast.” It’s in much better shape now and should actually be useful. And yes, there is actually a recipe for BBQ squirrel. My mom said it was pretty tasty.

Aronia cowl made with Sweet Georgia Yarns Tough Love Sock in “Tapestry”

The cowl is gorgeous. I was a little concerned about doing lace with yarn that has so much color, but I think it looks amazing. I’ll be wearing it later this week. Right now I’m focusing my attention on getting the big mohair piece done. I’m envisioning a wide, long shoulder wrap type piece that will have three large buttons and multiple ways to fasten them. Yes, this is kind of a riff on Rectangulum but I have high hopes that it’s going to be amazing.

2021 in review

Hey y’all! Nope, not dead yet. I’ve just been busy and haven’t taken time to write in a really long time. I’ve been knitting, cooking, spending time with my friends, and today I finished a rather large Lego-type project.

The secret holiday gift for Miz M
I hated the mohair shawl I was making so I ripped it out and have started a new project with the yarn
I played with jewelry one day
That’s the most recent brick build, a giant swallowtail butterfly

I’m also working on a lace cowl (that doesn’t have beads) and another charity scarf. I stay pretty damn busy these days. And having Lancelot home makes it even more enjoyable.

I’m not a “new year’s resolution” kind of person, they seem destined to fail right from the start. I do, however, like to set goals for myself for the coming year. These are what I set for last year…

  • I will work to incorporate more physical activity into my routine by using the treadmill, ultimately getting to 30min/day, 5x/week
  • I will learn a new creative skill (I have kits here already for quilling and chain maille)
  • I will continue to explore vegetarian dishes and strive to include a meatless dinner at least 1x/week – Meatless Monday is a thing at our house
  • I will learn at least one new Indian recipeI will finish all of the fiber projects that are currently in progress
  • I will continue to work on my health issues by being more mindful of what I eat and drink

I feel like I did really well with some of those, completed them even, but not everything. So for 2022 I’m planning to…

• No new yarn (unless I somehow manage to use everything I have in the house)
• Learn a new knitting skill
• Complete at least one project every month – doesn’t have to be knitting, just something creative
• Learn a new craft skill (like actually use the chain maille or quilling kits)
• Try at least two new recipes every month
• Plant and maintain a vegetable garden
• Lose 50lbs

We’ll see how it goes. I have already kind of started by picking out yarns to go with patterns and putting them in project bags in my office closet. Hopefully that helps.

Hoping you’re all safe and having a wonderful holiday season. Be good to each other.

never enough time

We had a really nice weekend, and that was good. We managed to get a very nice balance of being productive and being sloths. Heavenly really. Though I will say, I won’t be putting off grocery shopping until Sunday afternoon again any time soon. But here I am with very little time because, quite frankly, I’m realizing what bits of my life really are the priorities.

That’s a queen size bed in our guest room

I can’t remember when I finished those three, and I can’t be bothered to look, but I can tell you that they’ve been hanging out in the closet for entirely too long. We’re anticipating having a house guest around New Year’s so I figured I should probably get this done before she arrives. I also managed to finish the last gift and that baby will also require blocking, so…

Rectangulum in the wild

I wore Rectangulum to work one day last week with a black tunic and black leggings and it was just lovely. The ability to customize the look with the buttons and button holes is really kind of genius. And I still believe that this yarn is absolutely perfect.

My goal now for the rest of 2021 is try to finish what I can of the existing projects. I’ve moved on to a lace scarf that’s been in the works because it’s probably closest to done. There’s also still the beaded lace cowl, the kitty doll, and the mohair shawl. I’m well aware that those won’t ALL be done before the new year, but I’ll try. I did start a new charity scarf this morning because I wanted something mindless to work on sometimes.

Garth is not pleased that today is Monday

monday got me like…

Run Forrest, run!!!

Ok, so it’s not quite that bad. But I did just explode a container of vanilla yogurt because I was fighting with the package. Two valuable lessons learned from that, so not all bad. One, the dog really seems to like vanilla bean yogurt. Two, white yogurt on a greet shirt leaves an unusual yet hilarious visual. Use your imagination.

Anyway, the weekend was great. We did very little that would be considered “productive” and it was delightful. I did manage to finish a project I’ve been working on.

Rectangulum

This is what happens when you cannot be bothered to check your damn gauge. It should have been much narrower and much longer. However, it does “fit” and I like how the placement of the buttons/buttonholes makes for a lot of versatility. And that fucker is WARM.

I also managed to get a good amount of work done on the one remaining holiday present. I would say I’m now at least half way done, maybe more. Unfortunately this is one of those patterns where I’ll have to guess when I get close to the end and see how intense a game of Yarn Chicken I want to play. But progress is being made and that pleases me.

In other news, I found a really interesting show on Discovery+ called “Good with Wood” and it’s turning out to be something that both Lancelot and I enjoy watching. I think it’s probably a good break from all of the holiday baking competition shows I’ve been watching.

Having Lancelot here is slowly but steadily feeling more normal. (for everyone I think) It’s definitely nice to have meals with him and to have his company in the evenings. I still firmly believe that it was the right decision for him to leave that job, and he doesn’t appear to have any regrets.

We are fast approaching the end of one year and the start of another. I am not a person who does resolutions. I’m not broken, in need of fixing, so that just seems silly to me. But I do like to set goals for myself. I can’t find where I wrote down the goals I set for this year, but I feel like the ones I didn’t complete were 1) learning a new craft, and 2) exercising more.

I’m still thinking about what all would make sense for next year. I’d like to get back to posting about it more often, making more progress hopefully.