Monday, February 20, 2012

actual craftiness

Now that my craft room is more crafty and less storage, I actually felt inspired to sew a bit. Simple, but greatly appreciated by the recipients. =)

I had some flannel scraps:
That worked up into nice-sized pillows stuffed with fiberfill and catnip:
Which were well-received:
Big enough to be grabbed and kicked to their hearts' content. =)

Friday, February 10, 2012

back out of hibernation

Wow, so much has changed since I last posted to the blog. The biggest news? I finally moved back to Washington! I'm back in the Spokane area for now, though it's definitely not going to stick. I'm looking to move a bit farther west in the coming year. Last week, I was chatting with a friend in CA, each of us talking about our future plans and she called me a rolling stone. haha She's right. I don't really put down roots and settle in for the long-term. I'm always looking for what else is out there, what I'm missing. I do have a plan that will play into my gypsy urges. More on that later.

Since my move at the end of July, I've been super busy. I took a second full-time job not long after getting out here and switched to working remote only for my main job (yay, no more last minute trips across the country!) so I was working both jobs in my pjs at home. =) It was great for the bank account, but working 80-100 hrs a week doesn't leave much time for socializing (or crafting). Yeah, think zero. Last month, I finally got completely burned out and quit the second job. I'm SO much happier now. My remaining job has down time every Spring (they both would have, same job/different companies) and this week has been light on work... a welcome change from the past several months! I've been working on seriously decluttering and have been making at least weekly trips to Goodwill (donating, not shopping!) the past couple months and even sold a good amount of yarn last month! The mobile home I bought here (a huge mistake!) is a few hundred square feet larger than the one I had before moving to the Midwest and I could have made things fit with just a little decluttering... but I'm so glad I didn't. My home feels so much... lighter. I smile every time I open a cabinet that's half empty or walk into my newly-organized craft room. That room's been my focus the past few days that I've had off work. I still have a ways to go to get to where I want to be, but the large bulk of it's done and I can now take things slower... and maybe even pick up my knitting/crochet again! I actually started another blog about a month and a half ago and am posting daily what's leaving my house. It keeps me motivated to find at least one thing each day to get rid of. Some days it's a pile or a whole box full, other days just the one item. =)

I do have sad news as well. Feel free to skip this next part. It doesn't have a happy ending.

Two weeks before our drive across the country, my 14yo cat Sebastian was diagnosed with hypertension and put on meds. He'd responded well, but two weeks after the move, he started hemorrhaging into one eye. I didn't even have a vet here yet and of course, it was a Sunday. We headed to the emergency vet. The next morning, we saw an ophthalmologist and then headed to what has become my regular vet here where he ended up having surgery for what the vet guessed was a large collection of cerumen from the ear canal where there was no opening. They were amazed he'd never had a problem before now. He seemed to come through surgery well, but developed complications that evening. Unfortunately, the emergency vet nor my vet could fix what happened and I had to make the decision to let him go. I've doubted myself several times on whether I should have let them do that surgery when they did. Maybe if we'd waited? I wish I'd spent the evening near him rather than letting him sleep on the bed in the other room. Maybe I would have caught the problem sooner? Sebastian had congenital issues (that missing ear) and apparently had something else going on we didn't know about. I'm just so glad to have found this vet clinic. They are the most wonderful, caring group of people and the best clinic I've ever been to. It's so hard to lose a pet when you're not expecting it, but they made it just a little easier.
Mugsy and Sebastian
Unfortunately, the pet-related stress didn't end there. Two weeks after Sebastian passed, I had to make the same decision for my 14yo lab mix, Mugsy. He'd been gradually slowing down the past year or so but at 14, neither I, nor my vet in IN, thought too much of it. Blood work came back fine. He was just getting older. 14 is pretty good for a dog his size. A couple days before that fateful day, Mugsy started losing control of bodily functions and just had no energy at all. A trip to the vet and tests done, he had an issue with his kidneys. Meds and an IV didn't perk him up like they expected so an x-ray was done the following day. He had a growth on his heart causing fluid build-up. Apparently this type of growth is fairly common in labs. I knew I probably didn't have much time left with him at his age, but I wasn't expecting to lose him just two weeks to the day after Sebastian, though when I thought about it, it didn't really surprise me that they went so close together as they were always so close.
Mugsy & Sebastian
Really, I think Mugsy just held on long enough for us all to get out of a very stressful situation. It was almost like he knew I was in a better place and could let go. If there was anything I could have done, I wouldn't have cared what the cost was for either of them. I know in both cases, I made the right decision for them. It doesn't make it easier though. I just pray it's many, many years before I'm in that situation again. 

Sorry for being such a downer. I think that first month here clinched it for me. Aside from the fact that this mobile home has turned out to be a money pit, I have no desire to stay in Spokane. I think even this crappy house was part of a bigger plan. If I had gotten a place I ended up loving or even one I could grow to love, I'd have a much harder time moving on and I really don't believe this is where I belong. As it is, I can't wait to be rid of this place. I'm biding my time for Spring to come and in the meantime, I'm lightening my load to expand my options. I am glad I moved though. I don't think I could have dealt with all that stress and my mother too. Switching to remote work meant I was here for both of them too so they didn't suffer longer than necessary. All that working means my savings is healthy once again even with the unexpected house and vet bills...  though I have to say, I'll never again choose to work two full-time jobs!

Now that my house is less cluttered and I'm not working all the freaking time, I'm actually getting the urge to play with yarn again. And sew. And bake. And maybe even take my good camera out of the bag it's been in since I moved. Yeah, since I moved. Anyone who knows me knows how unusual that is. I've been using my little point-and-shoot for snapshots here and there, but the good one? Hibernating in it's bag. I'm just glad 2011 is over. I can't wait to see what's around the next corner. It's gotta be better... I know this blog's mostly been about crafty stuff and cooking/baking, but sometimes, life throws you a curve ball or tow and gets in the way.