Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Still here

I've been remiss. These pictures are from.. almost a month ago, I guess. That can't be right. The fiber is from a month ago, at least. Things are crazy and that's normal.

Pilot still isn't "better" yet. We've doubled his insulin dosage now and are rechecking him Friday. The worry is that his glucose will drop too low and then there's the possibility of coma, neurological damage, and/or death. So fun times there.

The Imp is still in a cast (purple - his choice). It may very well come off tomorrow (and the pins out, but I don't like to think about that). I say "may" because I suspect it hinges on the xray and how things look. He still can't flex his index finger or thumb and I find that very worrying.

Look. Pictures.

So why am I so absent? Well, to be honest I have an addiction to a mmorpg and I'd really rather spend all of my free time there than editing pictures or writing about the pitfalls of preteen boys and homeschooling or cranky little kids who want to run around and be crazy but can't due to a purple cast.

I've gotten several concerned friends (thank you, guys) who want to know if I'm okay. There's crazy stress and cranky boys and money troubles. But there are also smiles and cuddles and laughter. I'm happy. Through it all, I'm okay and I'm happy. So thank you for your concern and I will endeavor to update here more often.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

FInal update of the night

The Imp finally went in for surgery at 8pm. Apparently he was done by 9pm (the boys and had left around 8:30) and B joined him in the recovery room shortly after. All reports are of the Imp doing really well. He's drinking huge amounts of water and munching on crackers. I'm even told that he's been laughing at the Pink Panther cartoons I'd dropped off (latest update from B is that he also ate half the Panera mac and cheese I brought him).

I haven't gotten to see him. And that bothers me. But I know he's with B and I still have to take care of my other two monsters. With luck he'll be home tomorrow and things will be easier. Or more normal. Or something.

Today is catching up with me and it's time I eat my dinner of garlic bread (don't judge) and go to sleep.

Imp update

It is broken. And not in a "slap a cast on it" kind of way. He needs surgery.

We (the Elf, the Beast, and I) just got back from the hospital. He's being such a brave little kid. The dose of morphine they gave him has helped to deal with the pain and he's been resting. He's very much not happy - not that I can blame him. We're still waiting to hear from the surgeon about what needs to be done. They aren't letting him eat or drink and the poor kid is desperately thirsty. It's been hours and hours and my nerves are wearing quite thin (as is, I'll admit, my patience).

I suspect that he and B will spend the night at the hospital. It will be the second night in the Imp's life that I've spent away from him (and the third since meeting B that I've spent away from *him*). We're a close little family and this is not an easy thing for us.

Neither B nor I have ever broken a bone. We have no experience with this. And it's our little boy. Our Imp who is hugely brave but also gentle and has his share of fears. I know that parents all over the world have dealt with this and much worse. But that doesn't make it any easier for me.

 UPDATE! (like five minute later)
The doctor has been talked to. The surgery is fairly common and they should have him underway in an hour or so. I'm told something about pins and a cast for three weeks and then the pins come out? I'm unclear and am thinking that Googling it might be a bad idea for me (I Googled diabetes in cats and it was both helpful and terrifying). B is actively texting my updates here, so it's all a little fuzzy.

It's been about two hours since B was told "an hour or so" about the surgery. The morphine is wearing off and my little boy is in pain. Am I allowed to be getting irked at this situation? I realize that there are emergencies and things. But in my world he's the most important thing right now and dammit why haven't they fixed him yet? Ugh. Okay. I feel better now (not really). Carry on.

Imps and Elbows

The Imp is officially our first child to require a trip in an ambulance. This morning he climbed onto the arm of a chair (totally normal despite repeatedly being told not to) and fell off (I'm not convinced he didn't jump - also, sadly normal). His elbow looked.. wrong. Swollen. No blood or bones showing. But I panicked. B came home and decided that we couldn't move him so he called the paramedics. I suspect he's made it to the hospital by now. We're thinking it's dislocated, but it's just speculation.

This is excitement that I just didn't need. The last time an ambulance came to my house I was twelve and my mother died. So yeah. Today has not been great. I was meant to be packaging two orders I had over the weekend. Now I'm not sure that the post office will be doable.

I keep telling people that I'm fine. I'm calm and fine. But inside I think I'm still shaking and scared.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Back from the dead

Pilot is doing great! We're down to one injection (of only one unit) once a day!

Those pictures are exactly a week apart. He's gaining weight and acting like a normal cat again - well, as normal as any of my cats ever act.
I'm feeling better as well. Less apathetic about life and beginning to get back into the swing of things. Despite feeling extremely uninspired I've been dyeing and carding fiber. I'll be updating my (sadly neglected) etsy shop in the next day or so. Here's a peek at what I have ready:

I've also managed to create quite the "to do" list for myself. It's the end of the year rush and I always end up thriving on a certain kind of mad chaos.

Friday, November 1, 2013


Just a quick post here.

1. Pilot is doing well. He's eating on his own (not enough yet, but we're getting there). His blood sugar has stabilized but we still need to lower it some so we've upped the dosage and are checking back in a week. Each and every day he acts more like his old self. I can't tell you how much better I feel about his chances.

2. I haven't had a full night's sleep in so long that I feel like a member of the zombie horde.

3. Tomorrow (November 2nd) is the Extra Life event. My whole family will take part (though the boys will only play for a little). There's still time to donate. All contributions go to the Children's Miracle Network and I'm running a giveaway for anyone who donates and lets me know about it (see post here).

4. I'll be live streaming most of my part of the event here.

5. I promise that after this weekend I'll stop posting about the charity thing. Until next year's event, any way.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pilot and Totoro

Pilot is still fighting. I'm (force) feeding him with a syringe every couple of hours and have to give him injections every twelve hours. It's like having a newborn all over again. Except that it's possible that he could die at any time. But he's fighting back when we feed him so that's a good sign. He's feeling well enough to be stubborn.

I'm currently crocheting a Totoro trio for one of B's coworkers. Here's the teeny white one (though this is one I made for the boys) and the blue one's ears.

Don't forget that you can enter my giveaway. The basic idea is that you donate to a great cause (I don't believe there's a minimum amount) and you get a chance to win some stuff from me. It would mean the world to me if you donated.

Linking up with Nicole's {crafting on}.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Extra Life Incentive/GIveaway

Okay, folks. Next weekend (November 2nd and 3rd) I'll be "gaming for the kids" (you know, like "walking for a cure"). Head to Extra Life to read more about it. All donations go to help the kids.

So here's the thing. I'm offering the choice of several prizes to one randomly selected person: $20 off in my etsy shop, handmade fingerless gloves (yarn selection based on what's in my stash), or a knitted/crochet toy (we'll discuss options if you chose this one). Anyone who donates through my Extra Life page is entered into this giveaway (they accept credit cards and paypal). If you join a team or start your own Extra Life page, send me the link and you'll also be entered. Giveaway entries are accepted through the event. Monday, November 4th (my time) I'll announce and contact a winner (so be sure to leave some way for me to contact you!).

This is an amazing way to show the world that gamers aren't antisocial, violent, losers who spend all of their time sitting in the dark. Whether you play tabletop games, iphone games, card games, dice games, pc games, or console games you can join a group of like minded people and make a difference.

Feel free to share these links and information wherever you see fit. It's all about helping the kids.

If we can make it work, I'll also be broadcasting at least part of my gaming spree on Twitch. A lot of people participating in this event are stretching the 25 hours of gaming to both the 2nd and 3rd rather than just the 2nd (plus an hour, obviously). With three kids of my own (and a sick cat in need of force feeding every two hours) I'll be stretching it as well - from the morning of the 2nd to 11:59pm on the 3rd.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Quick Pilot Update

An old picture.

I just picked him up from the vet. He's looking better and his blood sugar is acceptable with just a small dose of insulin in the morning. I'm to go back tomorrow for his dose and a lesson on how to do it myself. Sunday will be all up to me. I'm more than a little nervous. Through it all, the vet (who is amazing, for the record) kept telling me how he'd feel better about Pilot's situation if he'd just eat by himself, rather than being fed with a syringe.

We got him home and in the bedroom (where cats aren't usually allowed) and the Elf brought me a can of wet food (also not usual for our critters). Before I even got the can all the way open Pilot was interested. I won't say that he ate a lot. But he ate (which is more than he did with yesterday's can). And that gives me so much hope.

Who knew that nasty smelling cat food could be the highlight of my day?


I adopted Pilot from the animal shelter more than five years ago. He was huge and terrified of everyone. He warmed to me first and has remained mostly my cat. He'll tolerate B and the Elf and generally runs from everyone else.

Recently he lost a lot of weight. He had a cold and is getting older. We kept an eye on him, but he seemed fine, if more friendly. Hindsight being what it is, this should have been my wake up call. Earlier this week he became extremely lethargic and stopped eating. Then came the exorcist-style vomiting. I took him to the vet the next morning.

He has diabetes. This isn't uncommon in older cats. But the words "far gone" and "might not make it" were used. Frequently. They started him on fluids and insulin but told me they couldn't say that he would recover. It's been three days now. We bring him home at night and love on him, only to drop him back off at the vet in the morning. His blood sugar levels are better. But he isn't improving the way the vet would like. He won't eat on him own and is being "force fed" with a syringe. Today I'm going to be sent home with some insulin and instructions on how to do all of this at home. Monday morning they'll check his blood sugar levels again and then "the talk" will happen.

Pilot is very obviously sick. He's weak and tired a lot. But he doesn't seem to be in pain or suffering - not in the "I give up" way that Maynard was before she died last year. I'm going to fight for this cat. I can't afford the $1000+ specialist, no. But I will baby this cat for as long as he will let me.

This has been my entire week. I haven't read or knit or spun. I've worried. I've roamed the house aimlessly. I've cried. I've washed mountains of laundry.I've gotten lots of hugs from my boys.

Right. I just needed to get this out there. My next post will be less doom and gloom. I'm planning a giveaway incentive to anyone would donates to Extra Life through my personal donation page.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Extra Life

Okay people. I've never voluntarily joined a fundraising thing. I'll contribute, sure. But ask people for money? No way. Enter Extra Life. The short version is that I'm trying to raise $100 for the Trion Worlds Team. This is the least they'll let you sign up for. They say, have four friends pledge $1 an hour and play for 25 hours. Play video games for 25 hours. Torture, right? Find four people to contribute? Well, that may be the tricky part. As a family, we will be donating the money we've collected in our "give" jar. The donations, 100% of the money, go to children's hospitals to help families who can't afford treatment for their kids. The story is on the website and they can tell it better than I can.

The event takes place two weekends from now. I'm going to play at least 25 hours of video games (primarily Rift - a Trion game) between 8am November 2nd and 11:59pm November 3rd. If you'd like to donate you can go here to help me and the great folks at Trion raise some money for a good cause.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


I come here often. I open the "new post" option and stare at the blankness. I think about what I've done lately, sigh, and then close the tab without writing a single thing. I have no beautiful pictures to share with you. We haven't had any amazing family outings to beautiful locations. There have been no great revelations of any kind. We've just been living. Doing our thing.

But that isn't all. Let's be real. I'm depressed. It's a tidal pull of "meh, I just don't care" that comes and goes in my life. I'm not sad or weepy. I'm listless, irritable, restless, frustrated, and utterly without drive to do anything. Inspiration is a thing that feels foreign and unknowable. I realize that I should push myself to do. Mind over body, right? But it's my mind that is stuck in the mud pit right now.

I'm at the point in this cycle where my mood angers me. Where I throw my hands in the air and demand that someone tell me what to do in order to snap out of this funk. Do I have any idea how/when/why this usually ends? Of course not. Once it's over all I want to do is forget that it ever happened and move back to being active and here
So yeah. I'm still around. Still taking care of my kids (though the homeschooling has maybe definitely suffered). Still baking and knitting and (very rarely, at this point) dealing with fiber. Still reading a slew of blogs each and every day - marveling about how much people get done without letting chemicals/hormones/brain wiring/whatever slow them down.

I'm here. I'm just not here.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


I've been knitting and it's been fun (I'd lost the fun of knitting for a while - it had just become work). I also seem to have caught the dyeing bug again and just added three new braid to my etsy shop.

Knitting Flaming June using my Phat Fiber samples all spun up. So far I'm using the "Under the Sea" patchwork yarn and am loving it.

Rose Tyler fingerless gloves using Noro Silk Garden sock yarn that I acquired from my stepmother.

Would you believe that I'm not reading anything these days? I'm still waiting on a book from LibraryThings's Early Reviewer program. I was trying to catch up with the Kitty Norville books but accidentally read the most recent one before a couple that I'd missed so now I've lost interest.

Linking up with the Yarn Along, I guess.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Life in pictures

Things have been rough around here. Emotional crap and losing faith in my own abilities. This is me not wanting to complain - have some pictures instead.

Sweater for the Imp's birthday. Ravelry notes here.

Two months worth of Phat Fiber sample tags. So much stamping.

Feral mama cat. We're at our wits end with these cats. They aren't adjusting and we can't keep them locked up much longer. We can't get them fixed if we can't touch them to get them into a cat box. It's.. ugh. It's part of the frustration.

Finally finished spinning for the Nerd-along with Hobbledehoy. Ravelry notes here.

Friday, September 6, 2013


I meant to post on Wednesday for the Yarn Along. I took pictures and everything. Oops. At any rate, here's what I've been up to.

Future samples for Phat Fiber. I'm calling the colorway "Thunderhead."

More future samples. These are inspired by the sepia colors in Da Vinci's sketches.

Captain America sweater for the Imp's birthday late this month.

The third book in a series that I devoured.

Dyeing soy and tussah silk. I've also been dyeing banana silk, hemp, tencel, and bamboo. And wool, of course.

This is how the Elf amuses himself these days (when he isn't fighting with a computer to install Minecraft mods).

Linking up with Linda.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Hard at work.

I've been crazily working on fiber. My etsy shop doesn't show it, but I've been busy. I've dyed and carded fiber for October's Phat Fiber box and am working on making it all into sample rolags. I've also dyed fiber for November's rolags but haven't carded anything yet. In non-Phat Fiber news I've dyed fiber for what was meant to be sandy/beach themed rolags, but ended up more bright and sunny as well as lush blues for a water theme and in the dye pot are greens for an earth/forest theme. I'm having a grand time with my blending board - the rolags might not always look "perfect" but I'm ridiculously happy with them.

These are about to go into the shop:

Here's my process (in not-great-light) for the sunny yellow not-beach-themed rolags.

I started with my board, a paintbrush (which I didn't use), two dowels, and the carded batts (polwarth, soy silk, alpaca, shetland, firestar, and some suffolk).

One of the batts unrolled. I love the soy silk bits and the sunny polwarth.

The board loaded with fiber. Instead of using the paintbrush I used my "burnishing" brush (a wire pet brush) to pack in the fibers.

The first rolag is done! Woo!

I got twenty-two rolags from the two batts. About 4.85 ounces of fiber.

Pretty, yes?

Linking up with Creative Friday.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Because I was silent again.

Regular updating is just not my thing right now, I guess.

The Elf's birthday gifts (except for the actual surprise one that he doesn't know about and isn't done yet. Ack!):

Legend of Zelda triforce hat (knit entirely from handspun). Details here.

Halo spartans. Details here.

I've been dyeing like crazy, too. I'm hoping for an update to the shop tonight or tomorrow. Here's a peek:

I've also been dyeing bits for rolags (or mini batts, I haven't decided yet) for October's Phat Fiber box). Sunday is the Elf's eleventh birthday and I have to admit that i'm a little freaked out about all of the emotional (and physical) changes going on there. Next month is the Imp's fifth birthday. I'm working on an intarsia Captain America sweater for him. It's.. frustrating. On top of that I'm participating in a spin along and a test knit. I also need to figure out our homeschool plan for the year. But yeah, I thrive on chaos.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


I'm fairly certain that all of my kids are going through some kind of.. phase. I keep telling myself that they will be calm at some point. They'll stop screaming about everything. Things will "normalize" - whatever that is.

I haven't had the emotional/mental energy to blog. Nothing *bad* is going on. Just the everyday life of three boys. Which is enough, believe me.

Here's what I've been doing when *not* tearing my hair out:

This is a spin along (spin-a-long? I just don't know) from Hobbledehoy. I've started spinning it as a fine single to be chain plied. Mine is the 4th Doctor's Scarf colorway.

I've been making rolags! These aren't great looking, but they're only attempts two and three. Unlike the ones I pulled from the drum carder, these are skinny and long. How am I making them if not on the drum carder, you ask? (Okay, I know you didn't ask.)

B and I finally made a blending board! I've been obsessively thinking about, plotting, and planning this thing. It didn't work out quite how I'd wanted - the keel is majorly hacked. But it works! I wish we'd put the cloth another inch or so from the end and cut the board shorter. But these things are doable, though not high on the list.

This is one of the Elf's birthday gifts. It's my attempt at a intarsia/woven stranded hybrid. It's knit entirely from handspun. Not perfect, but I'm proud. I'm also making him some small crocheted Spartans (not historical but rather from Halo) but couldn't be bothered to take pictures.

In addition, I've been dyeing for the shop. I posted a large (for me) update today. And here's the admission, I've been spending more time than I should playing Borderlands. We finished all the DLC yesterday and started Borderlands 2. Yes, it's an addiction.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Happy Wool Day!

Now today is the kind of Thursday I think I could get the hang of! After a long, hot trip to the grocery store I came home to three boxes of woolly goodness: a roving order for the shop, my Phat Fiber contributors box, and the Phat Fiber fluff box that I ordered. Score! Now I have some lovely Phat fluff to spin for TdF13. I'm getting tired of spinning only my own fibers. Ordering the sample box is a great way to find out what sort of fibers and prep I like the most - it also give me variety.

Two pounds of Corriedale, one pound of Polwarth, one pound of superwash BFL, a quarter of an ounce (I know, right?) of Angelina, and some blue dye.

This is from the mixed contributor box.

More from the contributor box.

Fluff box!

More fluff.


My two littlest ones were just as excited about these boxes as I was. I love that they can share in my passion like that. The Beast instantly absconded with a bag by Fiber Faire and some Falkland roving by Beesybee Fibers. The Imp fell in love with the soap from Three Waters Farm and some Polwarth roving by Shadawyn Fiber Arts. I'm personally excited about the Friends in Fiber "Nautilus" rolag. I've never spun from a rolag before and am anxious to give it a try.

But to be honest, I love it all. This box is absolutely stunning.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


It would seem that I've been neglecting this blog. Here's a smattering of pictures to prove that I haven't been slacking elsewhere, too.

Muddy Rainbows - TdF13 spinning.

Super Heroes and Villains (from the Phat Fiber boxes) - TdF13 spinning.

Batt carding, spinning, and the Beast - more TdF13 stuff.

Campfire batt

Rainbow roving

Larger version of my Phat Fiber contribution this month - Sun Dappled

I've also dyed a mess of things in the last few days, but I haven't edited the pictures yet. Basically I've been wool obsessed (shocked, aren't you?) for the most part. We're working on the Elf's homeschool evaluation, the Imp's amazing transition out of diapers, and all the usual Summer craziness.