WTDN?

Outside of work, I spent most of this week trying to relax. I made an intentional decision to not work on craft projects. Sure, I have some new interchangeable needles I want to play with and considered making a quick dishcloth, but decided against starting it.

Sometimes, you just need a break and that’s okay.

I made time for pug snuggles, spent time with my husband, saw my parents, and even managed to get in some exercise. The City of Charlotte opened greenway access down the street from my house last year and I finally made time to go for a walk. I recruited Sister Mary Hubert, of course, because she’s a good exercise buddy.

It’s a little early for things to be in bloom, but I bet this’ll be a fantastic trail once the world is green again. Assuming, of course, that I can still move my legs tomorrow.

It sure doesn’t mean that mentally, I haven’t been thinking about next steps. For instance, I have on my current project list: a Crazy Quilt (a long-term project), my Hexie Quilt (a long-term project), and the aqua baby sweater. Totally manageable, right? I’ll finish off the baby sweater over the weekend. But I also have a list of possible future projects.

I’d planned to start on the Activities Cap/Headband designed by my friend Joe of DoublePointed Designs. I even finally succumbed to the 1,437 ads I’ve seen on social media from Hobbii and found a nice cotton/merino blend to try at a very reasonable price. It took 12 days for the yarn to arrive, and I found it ironic that the yarn I ordered from Denmark was Mayflower brand considering the importance of the Mayflower name to American history.

It’s pretty, right? It has a great feel to it and even came with some free stitch markers! But alas, I’ve decided to hold off on another knit project just now. For one thing, it was 78 degrees here today so there is exactly zero rush for a hat. But also, I need a knitting break.

BUT OMG WTDN? What To Do Next?

Well, chickens, I’ll tell you: CROCHET! I might try my hand at a crocheted cardigan to wear around the house – though I live in North Carolina and it’ll soon be hotter than the armpits of a sinner in the seventh circle of hell in September. If common sense prevails, I’ll consider searching the depths of Ravelry for a smaller, more lightweight project. I can also come up with a new scarf pattern because (fun fact about TommTomm): I have never once followed a crochet pattern for a scarf. It’s much more fun to get started and see what pattern develops! If I had any sense, I’d write them down and publish the damn things.

And, of course, there are two quilts I’m excited to start – one of which I am considering publishing as a pattern if it works out like I expect. We’ll see how that goes when I muster the motivation to start on it.

Until next time,
– Tommy

Friends, Fiber & Friday

I love the idea of cozying up on the sofa on a cold winter day with a cup of tea and the dog, maybe with a quick and easy crochet project, as the rain falls on my quiet neighborhood. It seems so peaceful and idyllic!

But Mother Nature has to ruin everything, the big jerk. It’s pretty much rained for the past month here in Charlotte. I hate the cold, the dogs are constantly tracking in mud and when you deal with depression and anxiety, months on end of cold, wet weather is the pits.

Thankfully, I have good friends that I’ve been able to spend time with this past week. Wednesday evening, I had dinner and drinks with a friend from High School who I haven’t seen in seven years even though we live only a few minutes away from one another.

And, of course, I’ve Zoomed.

Isn’t it funny how “Zoom” has entered the lexicon? We Zoom for work, we Zoom with friends, many of us have a Zoom account… all within the last year because of the pandemic. Sure, we’re all feeling a little Zoomed out (see what I mean?) but having dealt with depression for years, I’ve grown to appreciate how it can help maintain connection when it’s needed.

I’ve popped into the 24-hour Men’s Fiber Crafting Room a few times this week (I confess that I’m not entirely sure what the meeting space is called so that might be incorrect, but I do know that it’s sponsored by our friends at The Perfect Purl). And Thursday evening, I hosted my semi-weekly Zoom Happy Hour with friends. Through both of these activities over the past year, I’ve made new friends and strengthened connections with other friends I may not have seen very often in person.

In fact, one of my new friends is Jamie. She lives in Concord, MA, so obviously she’s not popping in for tea and a chat – though she’d be welcome any time. A while back, she asked me how difficult it would be to make decorative towel holders for her kitchen. “Oh, Jamie,” I said. “Those won’t be hard at all! Piece of cake! I can make you some in no time! What colors would you like?”

Four months later, I finally got around to it.

My hope for you, dear readers, is that your stove isn’t 35 years old and raggedy like ours.

Save your judgment, people – I’m well aware that I should’ve done this ages ago. I’m also well aware that I’m easily distracted. Point is, I found a great tutorial on Naztazia.com and whipped a few of them up for her. They’re a fantastic project for beginners if you’re new to crochet and want a quick and easy project. I did make one minor modification when I made the second one, but that’s because I’ve crocheted enough to know that I’d get a tidier finish doing it my own way.

I have one more to make, and then I’ll get back to some other projects. If you’ve ever made these, let me know how they turned out for you!

Until next time,

-Tommy

Two years later…

I finally decided to write again. I feel like a lot has changed in the past two years while much has stayed the same. I’m still married, still being bossed around by two dogs, and still crafting – but I also completed a Master’s degree, turned 40, Americans seem to have lost their minds over political theater (I use that word intentionally, for that’s largely what it feels like these days), and the world went topsy-turvy as a result of a global pandemic.

Did y’all know I didn’t sew for almost two years? Between school and work, I needed my craft space for office space. Crafting just took a back burner until I finally decided to clean up my act (and my sewing space!) and dive back in. I completed a Queen quilt top in a weekend, then finished off a quilt top I started five years ago as a gift for my then-new husband.

Five years isn’t that long to wait for such a fun scrappy quilt, is it?

I also knit or crochet 20 items to donate to charity! I’d initially set a goal of 25, but time started running out and I decided to donate them before Spring arrived. Not even homeless people would want scarves and hats in North Carolina heat. I also confess that I used these to try new things and so I can’t claim they were all particularly good, but they’re finished. They’ll still serve a vital function keeping people warm during the cold winter months.

Just a sample – the tip, if you will – of some of the scarves I made to donate.

I’ve now moved on to the rest of this year’s project list: four more quilts, some tote bags, and at least one knit or crocheted item each month to donate at the end of the year. I’ll just have to fill y’all in on progress as it’s made, right?

-Tommy

Anna’s Baby Blanket

Several months back, my friend Anna reached out to me with very special news: there was a little one on the way! And then she asked if I’d crochet a baby blanket for “Bean” with the request that it not have typical baby colors and be gender neutral because she wasn’t planning to find out the gender until the baby arrived.

Obviously, I said yes. I’m at the age where it seems like everyone has had children in the past few years. I can’t make blankets for everyone or I’d wind up making nothing but baby blankets – and, you know, I do like having a life that doesn’t revolve solely around crafting. If I have time, though, I’m more than happy to make something special for big life occasions like a birth, especially for a good friend (and I do love me some Anna… she’s like my straight woman spirit animal).

So the planning process began. I had her send pictures of afghans she liked, and then I put together some color combinations for her to choose from. Lots and lots of color combinations:

This is just a sampling of the photos I sent. It was just a matter of letting her see what I had on hand. We were living in Boston at the time and getting to a craft store was tricky, so I figured I’d make do with what was available, and she narrowed it down to two choices and then said to surprise her.

Luckily, we have similar tastes. I spent months working on it a bit, putting it away, working on it a bit… well, you get the idea. When we made the move to Charlotte, though, I made sure to keep it handy so I could work on it while riding in the car or until our furniture arrived.

Then, as fate would have it, Bean came early and I was barely half finished with the blanket! I put a rush on it and finally sent it off last week so that Anna can have warm snuggles with her little guy. Personally, I think it came out well:

I like the color combination and tried to make it sturdy and warm. I sent it with a warning, though: it has to be used. As I pointed out in the letter accompanying the blanket, there’s nothing worse for a crafter to spend ages working on something, only to find out later that it’s been tucked away for sentimental reasons.

Hopefully, she and lil Bean get lots of use from it, and I made sure to point out that the blanket might not be perfect, but it was created and sent with wishes of love, happiness, and all the success Bean can handle.

In the meantime, I’ve started on an afghan for the living room and been sewing up a storm. I’ve made two sets of curtains – the first for my sister. I liked them so much I went and bought the same fabric to make a set for our guest bathroom.

There’s nothing fancy about them (they’re just basic panels), but they work well in the room and have just enough subtle pattern to it that it’s not obnoxious. I’m slightly jealous that they look better in my sister’s revamped bathroom than they do in mine, but I’ll survive it. ūüôā

I also bought some really cute fabric to be used in our dining room and kitchen – I’ll be sure to post the results once I finish.

Until next time…

 

Crochet! Knitting! Laziness!

I think we can all agree that I’ll never be a famous blogger. Famous bloggers post more than every few months and I’m just not meeting that expectation one bit. This is fine with me – I’ll just get started on my long procrastinated Great American Gay Novel. There’s such a thing, right?¬†

Anyway, the past few months have gone well. I’m slowly adjusting to Boston. Did you know that there is an entire city outside my apartment? And did you know that I can, in fact, drive around the city without feeling as though my heart is going to stop? Amazing.¬†

My days right now are spent job hunting (I need full-time work, folks), crafting, occasionally doing housework, and playing with Rocco and Perry.  

photo (3)

The summer weather has been pretty nice here in Boston. I’ve been enjoying it while I can, because I know that it won’t be long before Fall arrives. I’ve managed to get out and see some of the city with friends, plus Jose and I took a day trip to Ogunquit, Maine, last month that was pretty fun. We’ve also traveled to Charlotte to visit family, and though it was a fun nine days, it was good to get home.¬†

While we were in Charlotte, in fact, I finished up a throw I was making for my friend’s new little brother (assuming, of course, that my friend isn’t too lazy to deliver it!). It turned out great!

Helms Blanket 2I did have to block the blanket, though, because I made the fatal error of assuming that I had enough yarn. Well, I didn’t. So I went to the Stitch House¬†in Dorchester, MA, and they were super friendly and helpful! They helped me pick out some yarn that would work well with the Red Heart that I’d started with. It was a slightly lighter weight (3-ply versus 4-ply), but the stitches worked up just fine and the blanket turned out well.¬†

I also managed to finally (FINALLY!!) finish the scarf for my friend, Diana. She had wanted to learn crochet and I’d wanted to learn to knit, so we made a deal that we’d make scarves for each other using our new crafts. I received mine months ago, but kept putting hers down and coming back to it.¬†

Big mistake, folks. Eventually, I lost track of what seemed to be a simple pattern and it was a mess! I finally unraveled it earlier this week and just started from scratch with a basic garter stitch. It’s not fancy, but it’s wearable!¬†

Stahl scarf

So, now I have numerous projects in the works: 

Beverly’s blanket

photo 3¬†This will be my version of an aran blanket. I hate crocheted cables, though, so we’re just getting some interesting textures (basket weave, bobbles, etc.) using some really awesome yarn we picked out at Hobby Lobby.¬†

 

 

 


Shari’s Blanket

photo 4¬†My sister Shari picked out the yarn and when I tried crocheting it, I just did not like the way it was working. I picked up some size 15 bamboo circular needles and went to town! Loving it – and it’s working up fairly quickly, which always makes me happy!¬†

 

 


Jason’s Stashbuster Blanket¬†

Benfield blanket¬†I have four skeins of this green yarn. I also have no idea why I have so much of it! When tidying up my stash, though, Jason said he liked the color so I figured I’d use it to make a throw for him. I’m doing a center panel all in one pattern and then I’ll work around the edges to make it larger and add some decorative stitching. It should be nice and cozy, although this yarn seems really stiff to me.¬†

 


Anna’s Knit Shawl

photo 2Since I’m working on so many blankets, I wanted some smaller projects I could work on to break up the monotony of the blanket patterns. My lovely cousin Anna will be the recipient of my first ever shawl – and to top that, it’s my first ever KNIT shawl! So far, it’s coming along okay. I selected a black and gray variegated yarn from Caron that’s surprisingly soft and (as requested) neutral. Because I’m still getting a grip on knitting needles, it’s all garter stitch but I think that works well with the color variations in the yarn.¬†

I also have to say that it is the easiest possible shawl pattern that may exist. Start with a slip knot and basically add one stitch at the start of every row. Magical, I tell you, magical! 

Jose’s 2014 Winter Scarf

photo 3Last year I made a faux knit scarf for my partner using the tunisian knit stitch. It turned out very well, but since I do have some yarn to use and cold weather will be here before we know it, I decided to knit him another scarf. To challenge my newbie knitting skills, I figured out a basic cable and will use it in the scarf. 

¬†I confess that I’m unreasonably proud of myself for managing to make something that’s¬†not in garter stitch that looks somewhat decent. We’ll see how this turns out, though! ¬†

So those are my current projects. Although working part-time from home is terminally boring, at least it affords plenty of craft time! Best of all, there’s an A.C. Moore about 30 minutes from me that’s closing down at the end of the year and I got some killer deals on yarns:¬†

photo (2)

Now, let’s be honest: I didn’t¬†need those yarns. But they were all 40 percent off! I spent $44.36 but¬†saved $34.32 in the process. Deal enough for me! There’s also two sets of knitting needles in there – also 40 percent off. Paying rent is so overrated, but¬†seeing this makes my heart fill with joy:¬†

photo 2 (1)

Combined with the yarn that’s stored in the drawers underneath, I’m starting to feel pretty proud of my stash! ¬†

So that’s a quick and dirty update on my¬†life and crafting. Lots of projects to jump between so that I don’t get bored with any one thing, and hopefully it won’t drive me crazy in the process! ¬†

Until next time…

Where has the time gone?

Before I get started, let me wish all the mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, aunts, family friends, or anyone else who’s fulfilled the role of mother to a loved one a happy Mother’s Day. Moms deserve more than one day a year, but it’s nice to know we at least set aside one day a year for a little well-deserved recognition, and since this is the first Mother’s Day I’ve not spent with my mom I’m feeling a bit sad. I did have a good conversation with her earlier, though.

It’s been a long while since I wrote! My last post was about how I’d started back on anti-depressants. It’s not a big leap to figure that the depression did settle in, I effectively turned into a slug for a while, and am now oozing, slug-like, back out of the hole. I haven’t knit or crochet anything in months. I just haven’t felt motivated to do so, although I do need to get started on a few projects that I want to complete by Christmas – namely, some afghans, because you know those things take entirely too much time. Makes me wish I had magical powers so I could just churn them out, Harry Potter style.

I have, however, been busy lately doing some design and illustration work. My good friends at the Gay Men’s Chorus asked me to create some artwork for their upcoming season, and I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. I think that as I get older – and especially lately, that I’ve had some time to really focus on the aesthetics of design – I become happier with my work. I’m not doing any award-winning work, but I’m enjoying it nonetheless. I can’t show that work, mind you, but my full portfolio is on behance, if you’d like to view it.

I have done a few projects for myself, though, just to stay busy and to attempt a little creativity: Lady in Tophat Working with senior adults, I tend to get caught up in making things large and focusing on contrast so they can view things easily. I wanted to explore the use of white space, and this is what came to mind. Personally, I love it and am considering having it printed just to hang in the house. Colors of Life 5 This is obviously not fancy (ha!), but I’ve been trying to figure out what I wanted to hang over the bed for a while. Our house has a ton of angles since we’re essentially in an attic, and I wanted something angular and colorful (color makes me happy). This is definitely being printed and placed above the bed. I’ve thought about selling prints of it on Etsy, just because it’s pretty versatile – there’s no denying it would go with just about any decor and, who knows, it might be a good way to make some extra income.

Otherwise, I’ve been exploring Boston some. Now that it’s warming up, the city seems to be coming alive – which also makes me happy. Boston from Quincy Boston So that’s it. Not much happening – just some graphics and copywriting work, wandering around the city occasionally to see what’s interesting, still working on getting the house together, and playing with the rotten puppy and kitty: 10302455_10154051611135109_2166787070031685056_n I’ll try to stay in touch better. Until next time…

Be gone, winter blahs!

I started back on my happy pills yesterday.  

I’ve had (as my doctor once said) “a ‘touch’ of chronic depression” for years, made worse by seasonal affective disorder during the winter months. ¬†Most of the year, I don’t even take anti-depressants unless it settles in and just won’t let go. ¬†During the winter, though, I have to or else I wind up a miserable mess. ¬†

One of the big concerns about our moving to Boston was how the winter weather would impact me. ¬†Last winter, the depression was worse than usual and I wound up supplementing my normal anti-depressant with a low dosage of a second antidepressant. ¬†It helped a lot and once spring arrived, I tapered off of them both. ¬†So far, I haven’t felt like the Boston weather has bothered me too much.

I’ve just wrapped up well, shoveled out as needed, and gone about my business. ¬†

But over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed a few of the telltale signs that it’s time to start back on my medications: sleep patterns awry, general apathy, the occasional misty eye for no reason…¬†

And, you know, being inside so much because of the weather is only part of it this time. ¬†Working from home has meant a lot of time at home with limited social interaction (and I’m a pretty social person). ¬†When we have gone out, we’ve not met many people or felt the places we went were all that much fun and it’s not encouraged us to bother going out more. Plus, not working full-time has meant a lot of free time and, honestly, I don’t exactly feel useful. ¬†Since that’s impacted my income, I can’t even buy supplies to work on projects around the house. ¬†

But hopefully, I’m starting back on the medications before it becomes too much of a problem. ¬†

So, enough of the gloom and doom.  At least the lack of work gives me plenty of time for some crochet and knitting projects, right? 

I received some yarn as a gift a while back and promptly put it away when I saw “CAMO” on the label, but when I came across it again I realized it has some really pretty colors in it. ¬†I’m not usually a fan of variegated yarns, but this one seemed like it had potential if I could just figure out what to do with it. ¬†I tried a stockinette stitch:¬†

Image

 

(I’m not sure why that’s sideways, but WordPress won’t let me rotate it so we’ll just move right along.)¬†

I also spent some time trying different variations of slip stitches, just to see what I’d come up with:¬†

Image

My, but that’s some professional looking knitting right there. ¬†Don’t judge – I’m new to this! ¬†

I finally settled on a honeycomb stitch. ¬†Of course, I’ve botched it up already but the combination of variegated yarn and the stitch pattern is pretty forgiving:¬†

Image

I also decided around Christmas that I’d crochet an afghan for my mom. ¬†My first thought was granny squares, but I’m feeling indifferent toward the granny squares these days… so I decided to go with hexagons. ¬†Being the stubborn thing that I am, I decided to see if I could come up with a basic hexagon and then make it my own. ¬†Who needs a pattern, right?!? ¬†

So far, I’m kinda so-so about them. ¬†Oh, and take a look at the rather interesting color combination I used:¬†

Image

Again, don’t judge. ¬†Orange is my go-to (read, favorite) color, I have a ton of white yarn, and the pink was just handy. The actual colors would be different, but this is something to work with while I figure out what I want to do. ¬†It is rather sad to see someone with marketing and graphic design experience abuse colors in such a way, though.¬†

So, until next time…

Boredom breeds creation

I’m bored. ¬†

There, I said it. 

I’m bored because I’m not working full-time, which is hard on both the checkbook and the soul. ¬†Like everyone else, I fuss about having to work (don’t we all wish we had unlimited money?) but ultimately, I like to work. It keeps me busy and challenges me. I’ve been looking for full-time work, but it’s a process that takes a while. ¬†

In the meantime, I’ve carried on with life! ¬†It does keep moving along, doesn’t it? ¬†

Jose and I traveled to the Carolinas for Christmas, which was great. We had a great time seeing family. ¬†It also gave me time to finish the scarf I was working on for Jose using the Tunisian knit stitch. ¬†If you crochet but haven’t worked with the Tunisian stitches, you should try it! ¬†You can make a variety of thick, warm fabrics that are quite a bit different than what you’ll normally see. ¬†The only downside is that it takes longer, because you work one row back and forth so it takes two passes to finish one row. ¬†The scarf turned out well, though:¬†

Image

What’s great about it is that it looks like it was knit but done with only one needle. ¬†And since he picked out the yarn and saw the progress as it happened, I knew he’d like it. ¬†

When we got back, we spent New Year’s Eve with our friends Mike and Carlos. ¬†Jose was, with my styling, quite the figure of festivity:¬†

Image

 

Otherwise, I’ve had a lot of time to work on crochet projects! ¬†For instance, I started working on a throw ages ago. ¬†I made two color changes on it and decided that I didn’t really care for the vintage color combinations. ¬†I finally revisited it, thinking I could maybe work it into a passable scarf by weaving some colors through it. ¬†I personally don’t care for it, but have had so many people say they like it! ¬†

Image

It just goes to show that you never know what’ll resonate with people. ¬†I’m trying it with some other colors, too:¬†

Image

This one I’ll actually wear. ¬†Once I finish it, of course.

And, I found this adorable baby cardigan pattern at Selina Green’s blog (you should visit it here) and decided to give it a shot. ¬†It turned out great, was easy to work up, and is super cute! ¬†

Image

 

Otherwise, I’ve taught myself to knit! ¬†It’s slow going and still feels somewhat awkward, but I’m finally making some progress. ¬†If you’re a knitter of just about any experience level, check out Staci Perry’s site at http://www.verypink.com. ¬†Superb tutorials and she’s a great teacher. ¬†

Once I had the basics down, I decided to try making a scarf for Jose using some gorgeous yarn he’d picked out ages ago. ¬†

Image

Overall, it turned out pretty well, although it’s obvious I’m not an expert knitter! ¬†I did make one huge mistake, though. ¬†I did the entire scarf in stockinette stitch. Of course, the sides rolled up. I did some research online and saw a suggestion for crocheting a border around the edge, which I did using a big ol’ crochet hook. ¬†

It still rolled up!  

So then I did a bad thing. I completely bypassed the yarn label and decided to try steaming it to see if I could get it to lie flat.  Big mistake. One end of the scarf is now flat and shiny, and so the scarf is basically unwearable. It was good practice, though, right?  

So now, it’s on to a few more projects (baby booties, baby dress – provided I can find a decent one that I like – and a granny square afghan). ¬†Oh, and Rocco says hello:¬†

Image

‘Till next time…

 

When life attacks…

Howdy, folks!

We’ve survived about two and a half months in Boston, including our first snowfall. ¬†It was a little snowfall for this area, but I’m counting it. That amount of snow in Charlotte would’ve shut down the entire city.

No, I’m not kidding about that. An inch of snow in Charlotte results in a rush on grocery stores for bread and milk, because, you know, bread and milk will keep you alive in the event of Snowpocalype.

Considering my absolute dislike of all things cold, you’ll be surprised to hear me say this: it was even kind of pretty.

Image

Image

But enough about this wintery nonsense. ¬†Let’s get on to more important things!

I finally finished the baby blanket my friend (and mother of my best friend) Wendi asked me to make. ¬†It turned out pretty well, but I admit that it’s not very decorative and girly… and that’s just the way I wanted it. ¬†Babies can be¬†are messy, and every new parent I’ve ever known seems to need durable items to help with baby’s care. ¬†So I made the blanket white and kept it fairly simple so the new mom can bleach it when baby spits up (or worse) on it. ¬†I’d rather make something she can get real use out of than something that has to be set aside for use in photos. ¬†I love the stitch pattern, though:

Image

So, I hope that her friend gets good use out of it.

I’m feeling like a bit of a new parent myself these days. ¬†This past weekend, Jose and I drove to West Virginia to pick up a new addition to our little family, Rocco, and his sister, Lola, who’s a Christmas present for his kids!

Image

I confess that I’m smitten with them. ¬†They’re entirely too cute for their own good! ¬†Just look at these little faces:

Image

And, of course, one of the first things I did was start working on little sweaters for them.

What? ¬†It’s cold in Boston, people! ¬†Really, really cold – and it’s only December so it’ll get¬†worse.

Image

Sorry for the ends hanging out, y’all. ¬†I made Lola’s first and wanted to make sure it fit right – and snapped the picture while she was actually sitting still. ¬†They’ve been woven in now and she looks, well, as pretty as a picture in it.

Image

My sister, Kim, told me that Clorox wipes would be my new best friend when we picked up the little cuties from her. ¬†She was not lying! ¬†I have gone through more paper towels and Clorox wipes than I care to admit.¬†And don’t even get me started on how many times I’ve mopped the kitchen floor.

That Pine-Sol lady can stick it.

I’m definitely learning to do what you can when you best can. ¬†Once they’ve run around for an hour and a half and then crash, I mop the floor. ¬†When one wakes up, he or she immediately goes outside before the other one wakes up. ¬†Carrying two squirming puppies down from the third floor is not easy (nor safe), so I either take them individually or plop them into a basket with the first lapghan I ever made (hideous thing, too… green and white stripes that was relegated to cat carrier usage years ago).

Two seven week old puppies are rambunctious as hell, but they’re such smart little dogs! ¬†Rocco is already picking up that he’s supposed to poop outside and whines to let me know he needs to go. ¬†Lola is incredibly good about going on the training pads. ¬†We still have some trouble with peeing, but that’ll improve with time. ¬†Poor Rocco (boy that he is) needs to work on his aim, as he makes the effort to use his puppy pads but most often pees on the corner of it.

Guess what? ¬†Puppy pee rolls downhill. ¬†Gotta love a kitchen in an old Victorian that isn’t even remotely level. ¬†But little puppies have little bladders, right?

And, ultimately, at the end of the day it’s impossible not to fall in love with cuteness like this:

Image

Sorry if the picture quality isn’t all that great… iPhones can only work so many wonders. ¬†But that’s my update… see y’all next time around!

The trouble with settling in

If you own a cat, you’ll understand perfectly what I mean when I say that cats – though sometimes wonderful companions – can be the most stubborn animals on earth. ¬†Although we’re settling into the new apartment in Boston fairly well, Perry seems to be having some issues adjusting. ¬†

Here’s why: on Saturday, while either in or near his litter box in the bathroom, the shower curtain and rod fell. ¬†After that, he absolutely refused to use his litter box. ¬†We found kitty poo in the dining room (twice), kitty poo in the guest room (twice), and never found any evidence – visual or smell – of kitty pee anywhere until he peed on the side of a box on Tuesday night. ¬†

I don’t need to tell you how troubling¬†that is.¬†

But kitty waste all over the house simply won’t do. ¬†Upon researching the issue, I discovered this article from the ASPCA. ¬†Since he’s been to the vet twice in the past month and had an antibiotic shot two weeks ago, it seems unlikely that it’s a medical issue. ¬†Stands to reason that it’s stress, related to the move and the shower curtain scaring the poop right back into him, so I opted for the boot camp. ¬†

Here’s the thing… Perry is stubborn. ¬†I moved his litter box to the other side of the bathroom and, though it seemed completely cruel, he spent a full 24 hours in the bathroom. ¬†I checked on him regularly, played with him, petted him, and about 12 hours into it, he’d pooped in the box. ¬†

But he held his urine for¬†twenty-four hours. ¬†There was nothing indicating he’d peed in the litter box, the sink, the tub, or even the toilet (though I’d have loved him for that feat). ¬†That obviously isn’t healthy and I decided the remedial litter box training simply wasn’t for him. ¬†There’s now a litter box in the guest room, although I’ve no idea how we’ll handle this when someone visits. ¬†

Otherwise, he seems to be doing okay and is rather enjoying being able to venture out onto the catwalk: 

Image

That said, I’m bored beyond belief (but obviously not bored beyond words). ¬†I’m close to resuming work, but am waiting on a revision to my work contract. ¬†Until we buy the rest of the furniture we need, I’m at a stopping point with unpacking. ¬†The end result will be amazingly cute, but right now I’m tired of rearranging boxes. ¬†

So, while digging through my craft items, I realized that I have four skeins of this horrible green yarn. ¬†I’ve no idea why I have so much green yarn, nor where it came from, nor what I might have ever used it for. ¬†Since there’s no point wasting it, I put it to use by making a cat bed. ¬† ¬†

I know, right? ¬†I’m turning into an old cat lady! ¬†

Image

The only measure of success with this ugly green pet bed will be whether His Majesty actually deigns to curl up in it to sleep or not.  

I’m sure he’ll hate it and I’ll wind up selling it on eBay or something. ¬†

But it gave me a break from working on the baby blanket and occupied a few hours of time. ¬†It’s amazing how quickly things work up when you’re using four strands of yarn at once. ¬†

So now, back to watching Bones on TNT. ¬†Until next time….