Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Our Opal

It is with such a heavy heart that I write this post.  Yesterday, our sweet little kitten, Opal, passed away.  You'll probably remember our little announcement and how quickly we fell in love with her.  I mean, how could we not.  She was just precious.
It took us a long time to feel ready to bring a kitten into our world but we knew she was the one when we saw her.  It didn't take long before I starting noticing some odd things with her movements and disposition.  She would sometimes walk with a peg-leg gait and was often much more chill then a kitten her age should be.  Regardless, she was ridiculously sweet, continued to grow, played at her own pace, and ate like a champ.  It wasn't until her first episode that we knew something was really wrong.

Just a week after losing Sammie, Opal's back legs quit working.  Her tail swished about normally and she acted normally but just couldn't get her legs to cooperate.  It was incredibly sad to watch.  Our vet was stumped because things didn't add up and we just couldn't pinpoint exactly what was going on.  We tried a steroid shot and it seemed to do the trick because just 48 hours later, she was the kitten we never had.  It was wonderful and an absolute delight to see her moving about so well and being so active (and so damn entertaining!). 

Things continued looking golden until a few weeks later when she had another episode.  We went with another steroid shot, because it worked so well the time before, and it didn't fail us.  She bounced back within a day and again, seemed to be doing incredibly well.  At that point, we had deduced that something was happening neurologically but weren't sure what exactly was going on. 

I knew it could be a matter of time with her.  She'd been through hell and back.  Coming from a horribly maintained feral colony, being underweight despite our attempts to fatten her up, to random hair loss issues, and then with something happening within her brain, I knew each day was to be cherished with her.  Even though I knew it could happen soon, I just didn't think it would really happen.

This past Sunday, it was obvious she was having another episode.  She seemed to be handling it ok and was eating when presented with food.  I was optimistic because I'd seen her come out of them successfully before.  She did seem different though.  First thing Monday morning, Rio and I rushed her to the vet, hoping we'd leave with a steroid shot and she'd be back to normal on Tuesday.  Minutes after arriving, she started seizing and minutes after that, she passed on the vet's table. 

I am absolutely heartbroken.  Honestly, the end of her life was traumatizing for me.  I've been with many animals through their transitions and nothing was quite like this.  I just wasn't expecting it.  Not then.  Not that way.  After what we witnessed yesterday, we feel that she likely had a brain aneurysm that resulted in a stroke on Sunday.  We don't know if she had a previous injury before coming to us, if this was something she was born with (perhaps due to colony inbreeding), or if it was a fluke happening. 

I was so attached to her, right from the get go.  She slept under the covers with me from day one, was always one step behind me, and helped me through the loss of Sammie.  I'm so grateful for the time we spent together and for the good days that we shared.  I just wish there could have been more. 
 Good night, Opal Bebe.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Three More Days!

Oh, hey there strangers!  You could say I've been a little busy lately with a business move (my family's business), a bajillion house projects, a spunky toddler who has decided to quit napping, and putting the final details of Alliday into place! 

Let's talk about Alliday for today's topic.  I'll fill you in on everything else once I find a minute to kick up my heels!  So the show.  It's THIS WEEKEND and I'm fairly certain that it's going to be all sorts of awesome.  And I'm not just saying that.  Let me tell you why.  First, we've expanded the show to span two days!  Second, we've moved to a new location at Retro Den (cough *vintage heaven* cough).  Third, we've created a more intimate, personalized show of which I'm incredibly proud.  Fourth, it's the FIFTH ANNUAL!   

The show kicks off this Friday at 6 with a ticketed Holiday Preview Party.  We've got a food truck rolling up, a local bar setting up with some libations, live music from three rockin' bands, raffle prizes, folks dressed up in their finest holiday duds, swag for the first 25 entrants, and, of course, the artists!  Tickets can be purchased at Retro Den or on our website prior to the event. 

On Saturday, things get going at 9 with FREE admission, just like we've always done.  We'll be giving away MORE swag to the first 25 in the door, the Tulsa Library will have a story-time at 10:30 complete with a craft for the littles, StreetCats will be providing gift wrapping, and, of course, the artists! 

It's been an absolute pleasure working with the Ashleys of Retro Den.  They are nothing short of spectacular people who I've been honored to get to know better.  I'll be sad when the show is over because I'll miss pestering them constantly!  ;) 

I truly hope you'll come out and visit us sometime this weekend.  I think it'll be worth your while.  But don't take my word for it, see what Tulsa People had to say!  See you on the flip side!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Making and Making

In the midst of it all, I've somehow found quiet moments here and there to spend time making.  And thank goodness (for all of us!) that I have because it grounds me, calms me, and makes me a much more tolerable person to be around.  :)
I've also gotten all of the boxes unpacked in this room and actually put a nail in the wall yet loads of wall art remains leaning against where I maybe, possibly, envision them.  This room was formerly a formal dining room but we're not much into formally dining so we opted to convert it into my lair.  It's perfection.  Once I'm truly settled in here, I'll give a grand tour, complete with those telling before and after photos.  For now, little snippets from our snow day during nap time.
I was truly worried when we first moved that I wouldn't feel like creating for quite some time.  I was just overloaded with house projects and it's all I could focus on.  When we knew we were selling our old house, my workspace was one of the first things I packed up.  I just didn't have the mental energy to make when I had SO many other things I had to accomplish.  I think I was the most surprised when I quickly jumped back into making so soon after moving.  But boy howdy, I'm sure glad I did.  Like I've said before, making keeps things balanced in my noggin.  :)
Not only am I gearing up for a super special Alliday (which is right around the corner!  And for reals, it's going to be something else!) but I'm also getting ready to be a part of Indie Emporium!  I'm actually pretty stoked about my booth this year and have been busy making capes (my first time fully making a pattern on my own!) which I looooove and the craziest, functional jewelry organizers you ever did see.  I'm pretty proud of both creations.  Of course I'll have all sorts of other little surprises there too, because that's how I roll.
Until later, my friends!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Littlest Carousel

Well, Halloween didn't go exactly as planned this year but I did get a costume made for a kid and we did do a little trick-or-treating so I'm calling it a success despite the many bumps in the road!

Many of you already know that Halloween is by far my favorite holiday.  I'm alllllll about making costumes without spending any money and being as creative as possible by doing so!  You can see some of our past Halloweens here.  Life's been a little crazy, hectic, and unexpected lately so I didn't want to overwhelm myself so I kept Rio's ensemble simple this year.  When deciding what to make, I tried to think about what Rio likes to do.  Spin.  This kid loves to spin.  When I thought about what things spin, the first thing that popped in my head was a carousel so, of course, that's what I knew I had to pull off.
It was ridiculously simple and only moderately time consuming.  I took a large embroidery hoop, wrapped some vintage trim around it, tied several toy horses from Rio's toy stash, and finally made suspenders to hang it!  The suspenders definitely took the longest but that's mainly because I chose to hand sew them.  I used elastic to give the hoop some bounce and once I had that in place, I stitched on some other vintage trim to cover it up.  That was that!

To be honest, she wasn't quite sure what to think at first.  She was a little upset that she couldn't remove the horses but then once she figured out that moving her body made them spin, she was sold.  The kicker?  She wouldn't even spin once while wearing it though!  Ha!  She did, however, happily wear it all night while we went to the new neighbors' houses which made this mom pretty happy.
So here's why Halloween didn't quite pan out as planned.  Firstly, we had five trees removed so that day (More on that business later.  Ugh.), I took the mutt and the kid with me to work.  We'd had a bit of battery trouble with the car but my dad was able to get things back working again, or so we thought.  On our way home during rush hour on a Friday holiday in bumper to bumper traffic, the car completely quit working.  Like, not even the hazard lights would flash.  Dead.  I was absolutely panicked.  Brent was working late, which rarely happens, so my dad rushed my direction.  There was really nothing I could do with Rio and Mondo with me so we sat and waited.  At one point, a car stopped in front of me and two young men of the cowboy variety came to save my sanity while my dad sat in traffic trying to get to us.  Tears me up just thinking about it!  They quickly starting trying to figure out why the car just quit and kept cars from getting too close to us.  After my dad arrived, they helped him push the car across three lanes of traffic to a parking lot and then gave him a ride to meet us at the safe location we were waiting.  They wouldn't accept anything but a thank you.  I wish I could tell them now how much their help meant to us!

We made it home later than planned, but we made it home.  I quickly finished stitching the suspenders and Brent got home just in time to hand out candy while us ladies did our first official trick-or-treating.  Rio was down with that!  Taking her out was definitely the highlight of the day.  We were blown away by the amount of kids that came to our door in the new 'hood and actually ran out of candy!  Completely the opposite from our old hood!
My best friend and I were set to do a duo costume for a party Saturday night but one of the hosts came down sick so party was cancelled.  There were other parties we could have hit but ol' bff wasn't feeling the Halloween spirit so for the first time in many, many years, I didn't dress up for the holiday.  Insert major sad face.  Next year I'll be back full force!

As much as things didn't go as planned, it was still a great holiday and I'm thankful for everything that did go well!  At least we had our non-spinning carousel.  :)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Sweet Sammie

I was hoping with all of my heart that we were through huge transitions and events in our world for a while but life apparently has had different plans.

Last Friday, we said goodbye to our dear, sweet Sammie.  While she only lived with us for five years, she immediately became a part of our family.  We took her in after our elderly neighbors at our old house passed away and jokingly called her our 12 year old kitten because, unbeknownst to me, Brent was planning on welcoming a kitten into our home around that same time.  She was part of our world for many huge moments - preparing for a baby, life with a newborn-turned-toddler, and moving into a new house.  With each of those changes, she took it all in stride.  I truly have never met such a laid-back, easy-going cat.  I admired her for her constant calm demeanor.
About a year ago, she was diagnosed with pancreatitis which we learned to manage with quick reaction time, meds, and fluids.  Over the past year, she had many crashes but she was always able to pull herself out of them with our help.  This last one was different.  I knew she was getting close months ago; I could tell by her coat and she had lost her hearing some time ago.  To our knowledge, she was at least 17 years old and even two weeks ago, I caught her playing like she would when we first got her.  I think if she'd had her way, she'll still be around, but her body just wouldn't allow it.

We made the decision to take her in, which I haven't had to do in over a decade.  While it's something I wish nobody ever had to deal with, it's part of having pets sometimes.  I cried buckets that day, along with our torrential rains, but knew it was right.  It will always be hard for me to think about though, as evidenced through my current stream of tears.

Sammie was an absolute delight to share our lives with.  I wish we'd known her sooner.  I'll never forget the first day I saw her.  Hap, our wonderful neighbor, was tending to the rose garden he kept for his wife, Helen.  Beside him as he worked was the most beautiful fluffy kitty I'd ever seen.  As he'd move to the next plant, she'd move along with him.  An occasional back pat here and there was their only form of communication from my view but they needed nothing else.   I'd love to be able to tell them both how much peace that scene still gives me.

While we reflect on the passing of Sammie, we've found ourselves dealing with more kitty crisis.  Our kitten Opal has just had a tough time all around and just within the past 24 hours, her back legs have given out.  We're working to figure out what exactly is happening and how we can make her better.  She's in good spirits and in good hands so for now, we wait.  If you're the type to send out good vibes and the like, we're in the market for all you can spare.

Monday, October 6, 2014

The First Gathering

Regardless of how crazy our worlds may get, our lives still move on and people still age.  Even those little people that feel like they were born just yesterday.  Last week, Rio turned two.  Sane people who had just moved probably wouldn't have opted to invite over a ton of people but, as we all know, we're not that sane so decided to throw a party and invite the masses.
Even though we invited a crap-ton of people, we kept things mega simple.  And it helped that only a small portion of the crap-ton of people we invited actually came, making survival that much easier.  We opted for a late afternoon fiesta so the kid could get her nap in (which, of course, she played and sang through) but since I pay no mind to football, I didn't even realize I was scheduling right in the middle of game time.  Football played while presents were opened and a few hours later after the game was over, wave two of guests showed up just in time to welcome the evening.   To those who joined us, thank you SO much for making it such a fantastic time.
For actual party business, I did very little.  I took the '1' banner that I made last year and updated it for this year's birthday.  After unpacking the banner and realizing that this party would be super low maintenance, I made the decision to have this banner be a recurring decoration for Rio's birthdays to come.  Literally an hour before the party, I unpicked the '1', quickly eyeballed a '2' about the same size as the previous number, cut it out, and sewed it on.  I foresee one day putting together the 1 and 2 to create a 12, when that day comes too soon.  This was the extent of our decorations.
For grub, I went along the same lines as last year's build-your-own-grilled-cheese theme.  This year, it was build-your-own-personal-pan-pizza!  I thought it up last minute, bought everything even more last minute, and crossed my fingers it would all work out...and it did, even better than I expected!  I already knew I wouldn't be making my own dough (who has time for that business?!) and thought that these sandwich rounds would hopefully suffice.  As luck would have it, they were perfect AND they were on sale!  Score!  We used those for our crust, had all of the stereotypical toppings for pizza, and encouraged everyone to build their own pizza on a cookie sheet.  After that, we popped them in the oven for about 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees and, voila, personal pan pizzas!  We will DEF be doing this again, with crazier ingredients and suggested combinations.  
This particular gathering officially made this new house feel like a home.  For the first time in weeks, I kicked my heels up and thoroughly enjoyed hanging out at the new abode, dreaming of what it will become in the coming years.  I mean, if we love here this much already, just think how it will evolve even more to truly be our home.  Sitting outside, watching friends play hilarious rounds of basketball and shooting the shit was pure perfection. 
The night was so wonderful that several of us decided that it had to continue the next morning so we planned a brunch for the next day.  After a very filling and delicious brunch turned lunch and some frisbee out back, I bid adieu and took a nap while the kid slumbered as well.  Lord only knows when the last time that happened was.  After awakening, our family of three said goodbye to the sky while doing some hammock lounging, tree scouting, and lazy memory making.  I think we're going to like this place.  I think the memories will be plentiful and profound.  I think we'll have many wonderful birthday parties here.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Moving Along

I'm not even quite sure where to begin.  The past few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster of goodness, sadness, and just pure exhaustion.

Let's start with the house.  A week ago today, we officially said goodbye to our first house and passed it along to a dear young couple just starting their years together.  I shed tears reflecting on the memories we made in that house (a proposal, Rio's first home, to name a few) and shed a few more thinking of leaving Pimmy there.  We worked long, hard hours packing up our (my) many possessions, taking carload after carload to the new digs, and cleaning until our first home was sparkling clean.  It was sad to say goodbye to but we were also very ready to be on the other side of buying and selling homes.  Plus, we really, really liked our buyers so we knew we left it in good hands.  Yes, I was emotionally attached to this house.

During all of this, we were working on replacing all of the floors in the new house, figuring out the new place's quirks, and trying to maintain our heavy workloads (I should have gotten a sub!) with a toddler nipping at our ankles throughout it all.  Then, not even a week before we were set to move, the death of my former boss turned mentor turned friend knocked me, and everyone else who had the pleasure of knowing him, flat on my ass.  It's still very, very hard for me to think about and is still hard to believe.  That week I cried more than I've cried in a long time due to so many huge life changes.

Another change that we're also in the midst of right now is my family's business is moving locations after being in the same space for 30+ years.  You may remember that I work in the office there (when I'm not teaching) with Rio by my side and that my mister also works there.  In fact, just a few weeks ago, he passed a massively important technical exam also thrown into the moving madness.  Leaving a place that has been a second home to me my entire life is a little crazy as well, to say the least.  All of my home bases are changing and it's a bit surreal.

And finally, I turned 35 two days ago and the kid turns 2 next week.  I don't know where the time has gone for either of us.  It just feels like lately, everything has been huge.  Birthdays, deaths, family surgeries, bizarre trials, two moves, tests, stressful work loads, and just keeping our heads above water.  But here's the deal, we're through most of that now.  We ARE breathing easier.  We're not constantly going and have even taken a few evenings off to not do a damn thing.  I even have a haircut scheduled for today.  That, my friends, is huge in a different way.
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