Wednesday, June 29, 2011


2 trips down, 1 to go.

Our time in VT was really good, but it's tiring as well. As wonderful and supportive as my parents and sister are, they aren't co-parents. Nobody slept well, so I'm just tired.

We're also making the decision to put one of our cats to sleep. I don't think we need to do it tomorrow, but I also think it's probably going to be in the next month or so. I am heartbroken, but it's the right thing. It's just about time. She's just about 18, and I've had her since she was 6 weeks old. She's part of my...not youth exactly, but absolutely my growing up. We had thought we were going to put her to sleep 15 months ago, and then the vet offered some things to try to improve her quality of life. They helped, a lot, but we're pretty much back to where we were.

This is what I wrote (on LiveJournal!) on March 23, 2010 for her, and it is as true today.

We've made the decision, we're putting A to sleep on Saturday. We came close a couple of weeks ago, but I was so deeply ambivalent that I canceled the appointment. I don't think it would have been a mistake then, but I felt wrong about it, but now I don't know. Amazing what a difference even a week makes. She's losing ground pretty quickly, she's losing weight, she's seeming more and more uncomfortable. She seems just...done. We're having a week of lots and lots of love and scritches and purring, which is good.

This is so hard. The waiting is so hard. I know, in a weird way, it will be easier when she's gone. But oh man, I am going to miss her.

I got A on Sept. 11, 1993, from Angell Memorial. She was about 6 weeks old. My sister went with me. I was living in my studio on Highland Ave in Somerville: we took the bus to Lechemere, and the E line all the way to the end and walked up the hill. It was too early, they weren't even open so we went to some random dive bar and had chicken wings. As soon as I saw her, I knew she was mine. KNEW IT. She was so little, so feisty, so funny and cute.

A was definitely weaned too early, she had a lot of the craziness associated with that, but it was okay. I think we fell in love with each other, and she was mine. She loved to sit on my shoulders and suck on the back of my head. It's how I knew N was The One for me - she did it to him the first time she met him (and then never again!).

She had SO MUCH ENERGY! She caromed all over the apartment.

She went with me everywhere I moved. She's lived all over Somerville, San Francisco, Madison, and Littleton.

When I got her, I had just moved to Somerville from Davis (CA) after being dumped by W, my college love. She's THAT cat, you know? She saw me through so much, so many hard times, and so much joy too. She saved my life (she and L), she gave me something to live for that was so hands-on and immediate, when all the other things I had to live for seemed so distant. I had to survive, she needed me. She taught me not just how to receive unconditional love, she taught me how to give it.

She saw me finally get my shit together, fall in love with N and build a family with him.

I am so thankful that she's been with me, one of the great loves of my life (and if the fact that one of the great loves of my life is a cat is pathetic, so be it), and I'm going to miss her for the rest of my life.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Home and then away again.

Back from CA, and then off to VT tomorrow! I don't think I do well with lots of travel, but these trips just lined up this way. (And we get back from VT on Wednesday and head out the Berkshires on Friday.) I'm really tired. I am *so* glad I went to CA. It was wonderful to spend time with my friend, and I think I was actually able to be helpful. And really, cleaning someone else's house is so much more fun than cleaning one's own!

I will say, I *really* enjoyed the travel part! I like traveling in general, and doing it alone was delicious! I read, listened to music (the only bummer is that the Kindle app on the iPhone seems to be a bit of a battery hog), and...KNIT! Yes, I did!!

I frogged my other Swallowtail and decided to try again with a different yarn: specifically, Dream in Color Starry in Midnight Derby. It's gorgeours! I got through 8 pattern repeats of the leaf lace, and I'm definitely excited to keep going! Especially since it's June 24th and 62 degrees! I think a shawl might be in order.

So, one of the things I did (sorry, total subject change there) while in CA was I visited Davis, the town I moved to after I graduated from college. I got to drive around, see my old apartments, where I used to was really trippy. It brought up some really conflicting emotions - in some ways I was happy there, but in many ways, I really wasn't. It's hard to remember how painful life used to be, but also really amazing to see how far I've come, how much it's NOT painful these days! Of course, it's been 20 years (yikes!), so I hope I've grown a bit.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Going Back to Cali!

So in less than 36 hours, I'll be on a plane to Northern California. BY MYSELF. The reason for the trip is sort of bittersweet - I'm going to help a friend who needed a total knee replacement. I am so sad that she needed yet another surgery but I'm so, so hopeful that this will change her life and really, really improve it. I'm excited to be able to offer actual concrete help, and I'm really looking forward to the traveling. I actually like to travel and I'll be by myself. Reading. Knitting. Listening to tunes. Sleeping! Should be cool. Sadly, I don't think I'll be able to hook up with my West Coast NoCal peeps, I don't think there's going to be time. I would LOVE to go back to Davis, the town where I lived for 2 years right after college, but I think I may be too busy. I'm there to cook, clean, and drive little kids around.

So, I need a good knitting project. I think my current Swallowtail, while beautiful, is doomed. I lost the pattern I'd made notes, I have no idea where I was, I tried to figure it out and screwed it up, so I'm just going to say SCREW IT. I have some other yarn I'm thinking about trying for Swallowtail. I'm not 100% convinced lace and variegated go together, but I don't love knitting with solid color yarn. So tomorrow, one of the many things I need to do is rummage in my yarn and see what I have. I do want to do Swallowtail, I really love it as a pattern. So, we'll see. MAYBE when I get back, I'll have some knitting for you?? Also, I need to bring a mindless sock to do as well, so I can have some sitting and chatting knitting available.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Food for Thought...

It's a seriously cold and rainy day here in Massachusetts (though no tornados, thank goodness!). I've been reading a book that's really pushing me to think a lot about what we're eating. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle is fascinating, well-written, and a fun read. I'm about half-way through it, and find myself grappling with all sorts of questions about how we're eating. Coupled with the fact that about 4 times in the last couple of weeks, I've had people raving to me about how much a gluten-free/casein-free diet has helped their child (typically spectrum kids, which my son is not...well, not technically, but close, IMO), AND with getting some less-than-fabulous cholesterol results from my recent physical, it feels like the Universe is sending me a big message about how I'm treating my body, and how I'm feeding my family.

The author talks about the idea of food as an ethical choice. Now this is, of course, not an idea that's new to me, but I've mainly thought about it in relationship to meat. Most of the meat we eat comes from our meat CSA, and I love it. But Kingslover also talks about the environmental impact of eating non-local foods, and out-of-season foods. One of the questions I am feeling pushed to answer is "is my preference for something enough of a reason to make an immoral (for lack of a better term) choice?" An example: I'm not a huge chicken breast fan, so I purchase chicken thighs, which I like better. As I'm reading this book, I'm thinking that just the fact that I *like* them better is really not a good enough reason to participate in the mass-produced chicken market.

So, what are some things we can do to make a difference? We're joining a produce CSA for the summer. I'm super-excited about this, because (1) it couldn't be more local, and (2) I think what we'll get will be a better fit than the CSA we did two years ago. (Lovely people on that farm, but it was just too far). We're also splitting this one with friends, so that'll be cool too. I think I'm going to say that for a while, we need to eat only the meat from the CSA. We have a 10 lb share, and we're splitting that with another friend. We need to eat up what we have in our freezer, and I'm going to resolve not to buy any other meat. Hmm, what about sandwich meat? I'll have to think about this. Personally, I need to cut way, way back on my cheese consumption. I love cheese, I really do, but I think I need to remember that my grandfather died of heart disease, my dad had a quadruple by-pass a few years ago, and it's time to really make some changes. For awhile there, I was making myself a salad for lunch every day, and I need to get back to that. I think it's also probably worth it to find out if my son has a gluten or casein sensitivity, since making either of those diet changes will be a large endeavor.

This is hard for me to do. As I think I've mentioned before, I had a very serious and long-term eating disorder, and a huge and important part of my recovery was making all foods allowable and acceptable. I think figuring out how to make these changes without falling back into the eating-disorder mind-trap is going to be hard. Even though it's for good and healthy reasons, that thinking is never too far from me.

Thursday, June 02, 2011


That's how I'm feeling these days. Like I've just gotten off track somehow and I'm not sure what I need in order to get back ON track. I feel like my house is a mess and I am constantly chasing, trying to keep up with it. I know there's a ton of stuff coming up in the next few weeks and I think I've not put it all on the calendar, which is making me anxious. I'm going to CA in 2 weeks from today, to help a friend, which is awesome but also I'm anxious about it, in terms of leaving things in chaos. Money is super-tight right now, and every time I turn around, there's another expense. *sigh*

I know in a few weeks, it'll be so much calmer. School will be out, and I think we all need the break!!