Rules for Feeding the Stash

Monday, October 30, 2023

Post-Covid Catching Up

Oh, we have quite a bit to catch up on! I finally tested negative on Day 14, which was just in time for me to go to a conference for work last week. The next three weeks are pretty busy for me work-wise, but I'm giving myself a five day break over Thanksgiving to just read books and play with Coleslaw and knit, and it is the perfect light at the end of the tunnel for me. 

As I mentioned way back on Day 13, I managed to finish two knitting projects while I was sick! Up first is a (Ravelry Link) My Little Secret Crop Top out of leftover Cotton Fleece from my Rhys sample. This is my second My Little Secret, and it was just as enjoyable the second time. 

I started this way back in summer of 2022 and it languished over the course of moving and getting settled in Illinois, but I really wanted to get it off the needles and having lots of time to sit in front of Star Wars cartoons gave me the chance to do so.   

The second project (Ravelry link) Stormborn, which I started back in November because I thought it would be a quick knit. I was right, but again, this got set aside almost immediately as I started packing up my old apartment. I also don't usually use needles this big for large projects, so it took a while for me to find my rhythm with them. I fell in love with this sweater back in 2018 when it was first published, and the finished thing is just as cozy as I hoped. 

After taking several years off from NaNoWriMo and NaKniSweMo, because of grad school and moving, I've decided to try jumping back into both this year. Over the past few weeks I've been really craving a henley for my wardrobe, and I remembered some Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Tweed in Dove Heather in my stash that I think would look great knit up as a (Ravelry link) Dziadzi, which has been in my library for a while.    

I had to order new needles for it—Coleslaw is obsessed with yarn and needles, and she's eaten four sets of circular needles so far. I'm getting better at keeping things out of reach, but she is very smart and very crafty, and I've only managed to find a few spots that remain puppy-proof for longer than a couple of days. The needle I need should be here Wednesday, which is just in time to cast on for the month, so I'm crossing my fingers to avoid any shipping delays. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Day 13

Yes, it's Day 13 since I tested positive, and yes, I'm still positive. My symptoms haven't been terrible, but I do have a sore throat and a cough still, although the fatigue seems to have passed. I've been hoping I'd be negative by now, but ALAS that wasn't in the cards for me. 

I have been reading a lot, and watching lots of tv. I've been on a Star Wars kick for several months now, and am watching through The Clone Wars and reading a bunch of Star Wars Novels. I also finally watched Cunk on Earth, after seeing clips of it shared on Instagram for ages. 

I've also finally gotten back into knitting regularly, and finished two projects that had been on the needles for a while. No photos yet, because my tripod is broken and I need to figure out how to fix it.

Coleslaw is loving having me home full-time—it's going to be a rough adjustment for us both when I'm (finally) recovered and can go back to the office! 

Monday, October 9, 2023


Well friends, it finally got me.

I felt like I was getting a cold on Thursday, and on Friday afternoon I thought, "I should test before going to my retail job this weekend, just to be sure," and sure enough, it wasn't a cold.

Fortunately my symptoms have been mild—a sore throat, a cough, some additional fatigue. I spent the weekend sleeping and reading, and this week I'll work partial days remotely. I've been drinking lots of hot water with lemon and honey and eating lots of breakfast sandwiches (this is the greatest thing I have ever bought for my kitchen).

Coleslaw is having trouble conceptualizing "being sick," and she is Very Begrudgingly giving up some playtime so I can get enough rest (read: she is finding New and Exciting Ways to Get in Trouble in the hopes that it'll make me play "run around the apartment" with her). Fortunately, between bouts of energy, she is still very cuddly, although we are both disappointed that play time is strictly limited to "fetch," "tug," and "tappy paws." 

I have been feeling better since Saturday, so hopefully I'm well on my way to being recovered and will test negative after my five-day quarantine, though I do have Sarah's fourteen-day saga haunting the back of my mind—fingers crossed that I don't have such a stubborn strain! 

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Teething and Mending

It has been a busy couple of weeks! Coleslaw is settling in great, but I perhaps underestimated just a little bit how much time puppies take up. Right now we're in a routine of three walks per day, plus indoor playtime (and lots of cuddles!). She is definitely feeling comfortable and at home, and she has taught herself how to climb on almost every surface in my apartment. My floor is absolutely littered with her toys, and it's incredible how much life she brings to my home.

(Teething is going about as well as can be expected.)

Over the past couple weeks I've managed to blow out the inner thighs of three pairs of jeans that I wear to my retail job, so this week I started tackling the mending pile. I have the first thigh of the first pair done, and I'm hoping that now that I've figured out my plan of attack the rest will go smoothly. I cut out a large patch from a dollar store fat quarter of quilting cotton and pinned it to the inside of the thigh. I then went in with dark blue sashiko thread (so it would blend in with the denim on the outside) and did a very quick and messy running stitch along the grain and both biases (I didn't go along the cross grain because I didn't want to compromise the stretch in that direction more than necessary). 

It's a thick patch, but quite comfortable, and hopefully it will hold up for a while before it needs reinforcement again. Coleslaw kept trying to get a hold of the thread while I was working on these (she is obsessed with string, and she's constantly tracking down yarn that isn't quite out of her reach) but hopefully I can tire her out enough that she'll just lie down and let me get the other thigh done before I work on Saturday!

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Meeting Coleslaw

I got a puppy!

Meet Coleslaw! She's a two and a half month old terrier mix, and currently about four pounds. So far her favorite things appear to be climbing and chewing, although "jumping in the grass" seems to be moving up the ranks. She is so small—her entire head is smaller than my fist—and endlessly curious.

I sent an application in to the shelter last week, and on Friday her foster mom contacted me to set up a meeting, so yesterday I took a personal day to drive out, and she wriggled into my heart pretty quickly. (She actually wriggles a lot. It's the puppy energy.) (Yes, she picked out her own stuffed toy, and yes, she chose the octopus that's as big as she is.)

I wasn't really planning on a puppy—my mum had brought it up as a possibility, and I was initially hesitant about taking on all the work of training and socializing a puppy, but Coleslaw seemed like such a good fit. It's been so fun watching her explore so far, and I can't wait to see how she grows up. I'm already planning on enrolling us in puppy classes once she's gotten all her shots, and in the meantime we're working on name recognition (the shelter named her, so her foster mom has already been working on that with her) and getting used to the leash right now, as well as "come here." 

Coleslaw is such a tiny joy, and I'm so excited that we found each other. We got Mystic as a puppy when I was a teenager, and I'm really looking forward to sharing that lifelong relationship with Coleslaw as well.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

A Sweater and Organization

I hinted at this sweater last week, and here's proof of life. I love these colors, and I'm really hoping I did the stripe math correctly—I have five skeins of the gold, two of the orange, and just one of the darker mustard-ish color. My plan is a very basic drop-shoulder crew neck. It's not going super quickly, but I am enjoying the process. I've been doing a few rows in the evenings while watching tv—I'm on a Star Wars kick right now—and it's been a nice routine to get back into.

I've also been working on some organization in my apartment. My front closet has been a disaster since I moved in, with things just thrown in there. I got some storage bins to hold old knitting samples, so those are put away nicely, and I got my Christmas and Hanukkah decorations put away in there as well. The closet shelf was missing, so I had Lowe's cut down some six inch planks for me to replace it, which makes the closet so much more functional. There's still plenty of room for other things that I'll need to store in there, so I'm taking my time to make sure I'm making the most effective use of the space. So far I've freed up some space in my bedroom closet, which was very cramped, and I'm glad my clothes have some breathing room now! 

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Lake Time

Well, it has been a few weeks, hasn't it? I spent most of last week at a lake cottage with my family—I read five books, did a puzzle, and watched lots of waterfowl! 

It was a great getaway, and I was able to unplug and leave my phone in the other room a lot of the time, which was really nice. The cottage was perfect, and the lake was beautiful. It was a no-wake lake, so it stayed nice and quiet, and I saw lots of geese and ducks and even a few blue herons. 

I also started a new sweater with some vintage wool I picked up at a church bazaar (maybe last year??). I'm really loving it so far, but I don't have any proper pictures of it yet. I was hoping that starting something brand new and low-key would help me get my knitting mojo back, and I think it's helping. I'm certainly not knitting as much as I did three and four years ago, and I don't know if I'll get back to that level, but I'd like to knit a few times a week, at least. 

Hope August is treating you all well!

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

12 july 2023

So. It's been a rough week. I don't do well without something to take care of, and the truth is, my fish doesn't actually need very much. I keep expecting to see Lee Lee underfoot, and I know it's going to take some time to get used to her being gone. 

Lee Lee required a lot of attention and energy the last several months, and it's weird to turn all that back towards taking care of myself. I've been making burrito bowls and focusing on deep cleaning my apartment, which help some. 

I'm also trying to make myself pick up my knitting more—I started this My Little Secret Crop from Jessie Maed Designs (ravelry link) a year ago, and it just needs straps now (the worst part). I'm using the leftovers from my Rhys sample (ravelry link), although it looks like I'm still going to have a chunk of leftovers still. 

This week I'm planning to start a new sourdough starter—the one I started a couple weeks ago hadn't quite fully established and didn't survive the stress of the last couple weeks. In its early days, it was looking great, so hopefully as long as I can stay on top of feedings I'll have a solid new starter soon! 

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Lee Lee

I first saw Lee Lee on the humane society website about two months after Mystic died. I wasn't quite ready for another dog, but I was so drawn to her. Her description said she liked sleeping on the couch and long walks to her food bowl. I was smitten. I kept an eye on her listing—something in me said I needed to meet her, that she was the one. A month after I first saw her online, I finally went in to meet her in person. I brough her home that day. 

Just a couple days after she came home, she climbed on top of a table and jumped off it, giving me a mild heart attack. Within her first couple months, she climbed on another table to eat a bowl of chocolates. She was fine, and chocolate remained her favorite food (I would sneak her tiny crumbs of it for her birthday and xmas). 

Lee Lee loved being outside. She was all nose, and would happily spend hours sniffing around the garden at our old apartment. She was a huge cuddlebug, too, frequently burying herself in piles of pillows and stuffed animals. She loved having her ears scratched, especially her left one. 

She hated baths. Once she jumped out of the sink while I was bathing her. Whenever I took a bath, she'd anxiously check on me, making sure I was okay. It was extremely concerning to her that I would willingly sit in the tub. I don't know how many baths I took while we were together, but it was a lot, and she never came around to the concept. 

She tolerated her sweatshirts and pajamas, but her winter coat was beyond the pale. As soon as I put it on her she'd lie on her side with her legs straightened out stiffly. Unfortunately for her, I remained unmoved by her protests, especially when it got down to twenty and thirty below zero. 

I often say that Mystic taught me how to love, but Lee Lee taught me that I could love again. I was constantly amazed at how deeply she embedded herself in my heart, and I feel so blessed that I was able to exist in the same spacetime as her for the past few years.

Last week her back legs started bothering her a lot. I thought it was her arthritis flaring up. On Thursday, she'd been pretty much stuck on the ground, unable to stand, and on Friday I took her to the emergency vet for some pain relief. The emergency vet said there was something wrong with her spine, that it could be something like a herniated disc or cancer pressing on her spinal cord. I declined imaging and surgery, taking home meds to keep her comfortable, hoping that whatever was pressing on her spine would resolve itself with rest and time. 

She declined very quickly over the weekend, and the last time I saw any hint of her personality was on Saturday morning. On Monday morning I called our regular vet, and they got us in just a couple hours later to say goodbye. We both knew it was time.

I'm so glad I got to hold her as she died. 

She was such a good dog.

I miss her. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Catching Up

It has been a crazy couple of weeks, but hopefully (fingers crossed) we're on an upswing now. The flooding is now resolved (hopefully permanently—knock on wood!) after several visits from maintenance and some work in the pipes behind my dishwasher. It's been about a week and a half since "the big fix" and I haven't had any more problems yet.

At the beginning of last week I came down with some kind of bug—thankfully I caught it quickly enough that I was only down for a day and a half, and Nurse Lee Lee stepped up to offer cuddle therapy.

As soon as I was feeling better, the coolant leak in my car reached the point where I really oughtn't drive it anywhere but the mechanic, so the past week has been an adventure of learning the bus system and nervously waiting for my car's appointment at the shop this coming Friday. Hopefully it's a quick (and relatively inexpensive!) fix and I'll have my car back for the weekend. 

Obviously this has all been a little stressful, so I decided to unpack a few more boxes and get myself feeling a bit more settled in my apartment. I have a collection of large ceramic and plaster cats that hadn't been unpacked, and it's nice to have them out in my living room now.


I've also done some baking the past couple days, and finally started a new sourdough starter—I had decided to throw away my old one when I packed up my old apartment because I didn't want to worry about moving it and fitting it in my car with everything else that couldn't go in the moving containers, and I just hadn't gotten around to starting a new one yet. The new one is just a couple days old and nowhere near mature yet, but it is starting to smell yeasty!