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Zip - my buddy boy

August 13th, 2016 (04:30 pm)

My buddy boy Zip was a New Year's baby in 1999 and is now seventeen and a half years old. That makes him a very old man in cat years. The last few months have been pretty rough. In May or early June he came upstairs from the basement where he sleeps at night (don't feel bad for him - he sleeps on a velvet West Elm couch in the media room!) and was dragging his hind legs and barely able to walk. I immediately thought he'd had a stroke and got him into the vets. After bloodwork and x-rays he was diagnosed with severe arthritis. His hips are completely shot and his spine where the tail attaches is completely abnormal. The vet thought he'd taken a spill that may have contributed to his sudden loss of mobility. I had been noticing for several months how carefully he lowered himself down to rest so that made sense. We got him on a daily dose of Cosequin and a baby aspirin every other day. He had also lost a tremendous amount of weight - over 4 pounds in the past year and a half. His back end is nothing but skin and bones and that's such a contrast to the giant 16 pounder he was at a year and a half.

For the past couple of months the aspirin and Cosequin seemed to be helping. When Alex and Justin visited a few weeks ago they were stunned by the change in Zip's appearance. They hadn't seen him in two years. Since they were here I've managed to get Zip to put on a little bit of weight - his appetite picked up recently and I felt like he was filling out a bit.

Yesterday Zip took a fall from my bamboo chest. He still tries to jump but his abilities are not what they once were and he often misses. I was a bit afraid that he may have hurt himself. He's also thrown up a number of times this week and when that happens it weakens him in a way that wouldn't have affected him at all as a young cat.

This morning when Zip came up from the basement he could barely walk and his back legs were sliding all over the tile floor. It's been a very rough day. We got his aspirin in though I realized that due to his tummy upset he may not have gotten it in him very regularly this past week. I'm hoping that with a few more doses he'll start to move better, but I'm not very optimistic.

I feel like we're nearing the end of the road for our old boy and it breaks my heart. He has been such a wonderful, sweet companion, and I am his person, for which I'm most honored. I would do anything for him but I can't handle the thought of having to make that very hard decision. I keep hoping he'll go in his sleep but things never seem to work out that way with our furry friends. I'm trying to be okay with that and I'm hoping I will recognize when it is time to let go. Think a good thought for my sweet boy.

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new pretties up on Yarnwench

August 10th, 2016 (08:00 am)

Got a few new things up in the shop.

I've also started dyeing up superwash merino/lurex and corriedale fingering weight yarn.

Now to motivate and fire up the dye pots on this very muggy day!

yarnwench [userpic]


August 4th, 2016 (03:43 pm)

My, but I'm being posty! I've been really busy with the dye pots this week. This is kind of, almost, feeling like the old days of YW. Eh, who am I kidding? It only feels that way! I don't know how I could ever manage creating 60 new items a week, including yarn! I was a younger wench in the day! But anyway, here are two more:

              Riches Wild Card Bling Batt                                   Firecracker Wild Card Bling Batt

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August 4th, 2016 (11:52 am)

Today's Wild Card Bling Batt is called Ferocious. It's an enormous (4.9 ounce) super-chunky, texurtured beast and will make for a wild and bumpy spin. Come visit at Yarnwench!

yarnwench [userpic]

My Girls

August 3rd, 2016 (11:16 am)

It's nice reconnecting with those of you still on here! LJ is not quite the bustling place it was back in the day but I'm glad it's still here. I got asked how my daughters are doing so here's a little update.

Alex visited us recently with her husband Justin and it was so nice to see them. When I started my LJ blog she was 17 and a senior in high school! She graduated from SUNY Geneseo in 2010 with her degree in sociology. She's now 28 years old and got married three years ago in October. She works for the state of New York as an investigator and before that she worked for Child Protective Services.She and Justin live in central New York state in a big old house that was built in the 1820's and that has become the family Christmas gathering spot as we're in Pittsburgh and Rachel is in Boston.Here's a couple of photos from the wedding:

            Alex & Justin                                        Rachel & Alex

Rachel was 13 when I started my blog and she is now 24 years old. She graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the spring of 2015 with her degree in computer science. It took an extra year and a couple of summers to graduate due to taking off 15 months for her surgeries. She lives with her boyfriend Matt in Cambridge,and they are both software engineers.She is healthy and happy! She changed jobs in June and was able to spend a week with us which was such a nice treat

              Rachel & Alex.                                           Matt & Rachel

I'm a proud and happy mom! My girls have grown to be loving, caring, thoughtful, intelligent young women. It's nice to see everyone settled and satisfied. I do miss getting to see them regularly - that's taken some getting used to, but I can't even begin to express how grateful I am that life is good for both of them.They deserve it. 

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Today in the garden

August 2nd, 2016 (05:03 pm)

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Yarnwench update!

August 2nd, 2016 (03:08 pm)

I haven't had a biggish update in a long time. I usually feed items into my Etsy shop as I complete them. Yesterday I woke at 4:30 and had 20 new wool tops dyed up by 9:00! Amazing what insomnia can do for you! Today I just posted these so come take a look!

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July 29th, 2016 (09:38 pm)

A couple of years ago I started sending out milkweed seed with my Yarnwench orders and at that time planted them in my garden with hope of helping out the monarchs. Milkweed is now coming up all over my garden and I finally saw a monarch last weekend and got my hopes up. Today this is what I saw devouring my milkweed:

There are most definitely not monarch caterpillars! They are milkweed tussock moth caterpillars and they feed on milkweed just like the monarch caterpillars to make themselves toxic to bats and birds. I have to say, I'm very disappointed not to have monarch caterpillars. These fellas are eating the milkweed to the ground!

Another disappointment in the garden today was finding my zucchini which was gorgeous and wildly producing yesterday wilted to the ground today. Damn vine borers! I'm disgusted!

Well, that's what happens in an organic garden - some stuff thrives and other stuff dies. I know it's a healthy place for the butterflies and bees and it give me great pleasure.

My hummingbird moths are quite happy here!

More garden in another post.

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I'm dyeing over here!

July 28th, 2016 (02:27 pm)

So, I guess the best way to get back into blogging is to start with today. There's no way I can catch up on the 5 or so years since I was regularly doing this gig!

For those who don't know, I celebrated 10 years in January with my Yarnwench business! I never dreamed when we launched in January of 2006 that it would last so long and I've had such a good time building the business and my connections. That first year was intense. I put in long hours, often 12 or more a day, and I worked 7 days a week. Yup, I didn't really take a day off that first year,as I tried to establish the biz. It was our sole source of income for almost two years and it felt like a weight on my shoulders as I'd been a stay-at-home mom at that point for almost 18 years! But a nice thing happened. I reawakened a side of me that had been neglected during the sweet years of raising children.I'd stayed creative - I made and sold jewelry at a local department store, I did complex cloth quilts, worked on lots of mixed media and political pieces, and I even wrote a book (still unpublished, that one), but somehow fiber got put aside. To me, fiber art meant threading a thousand handspun ends on my loom and somehow I didn't see that happening again until the kids were out of the house.I took to my wheel on occasion and even did demos at the local nursery and elementary school, but it wasn't a big part of my life like it had been when I was first married and a full-time weaver/spinner.

Yarnwench has been good to/for me. It was there to support us when we needed supporting, It was easy to fold up and put aside when my daughter got sick and needed me. It has been both an obsession and a hobby, and it's been there for me when I needed it and waited patiently for me when I didn't. To say it saved my sanity a time or two would not be an exaggeration. To say it brought amazing customers and inspiring fiber artists into my life goes without saying.

These days I'm more of a yarn crone than a yarn wench. I work at my own pace and don't sweat it anymore. It ebbs and flows and that suits me just fine. I've got a long history and can look back on 165 pages of Flickr entries, an old defunct website, an inactive CafePress store, years of Facebook posts, and tweets, and know that I created something I can be proud of - and I am. Proud and grateful and fulfilled.

Today's work

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Alive and kicking

July 26th, 2016 (08:51 pm)

For many years I kept a blog here and every now and then I think of it and then spend an afternoon getting lost in the years of memories I kept. That's what I did today. I'm not sure how I got out of the habit of writing. I think we had a few hard years that were difficult to write about and that felt very private, and so I blogged less and less, until it was no longer something I did every day. About once a year I think to myself, "Gee, I think I'll start blogging again!" and I last an entry or two only to disappear for another year or so.

How do I even pick this up again? For now, I'll leave a butterfly here while I ponder where to start.