Monday, February 26, 2007

Hmmmm? Am I?

What kind of knitting needles are you?

You are interchangeable.Fun, free, and into everything, you've got every eventuality covered and every opportunity just has to be taken. Every fiber is wonderful, and every day is a new beginning. You are good at so many things, it's amazing, but you can easily lose your place and forget to show up. They have row counters for people like you!
Take this quiz!

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Spinning Q & A

I felt the need to answer a few questions put forth in the comments recently.

In response to Sheepish Annie, I should clarify that this was my first attempt at plying fine singles with a spindle. My early attempts at spindling were much thicker and were knit up either as singles or loosely plied, then knit up as samples. I spent a lot of time working up to this level of control and the early attempts were all pre-blog.

Also, Livnletlrn, I did spindle spin all this yarn but I didn't actually spin these singles over the past weekend. These were some singles I'd had languishing in my stash for a year or so, because I couldn't figure out how to divide them evenly to ply them. It wasn't until I read an article in Fiber Femmes that I figured out how to make the spindle plying work. It was my own dullness that kept me from figuring out that I could use my ball winder to make a center-pull ball. Then I could pull from both the center and the outside at the same time, making sure to use all the single without having to try and divide the single into two even balls first. There were a few snarls toward the end of the process but, overall, it worked pretty smoothly.

As of now, Guinifer, I don't have a project in mind, since my singles are still all ending up different sizes. I bought this wool on the advice of the lady who taught me to spindle spin. It has a nice, grippy texture, making it pretty easy to draft. I also have it in a much lighter color, so I can mix the two together, if I want. Right now, I'm just getting the hang of things. I bought that much because I have 4 kids who all wanted to spin, too, so I figured we'd all get to use it. They kind of got bored with spindling, so I guess I'll have plenty to make whatever my little heart desires, IF I can ever get it all spun. AND I can get a consistent WPI.

I would love to get a wheel, someday, but it's just not in the budget right now. In the meantime, I enjoy spindling, now that I'm back at it again.

On the knitting front, in lieu of finishing Samus as my third Resolution UFO, I've resurrected Shifting Sands instead and am nearly done. I am a few inches shy of 60 inches and am nearly at the end of a skein, so I decided to just knit to the end of the skein and block it to 60". Although everyone else I've seen post about this scarf says that they've had no rolling problems, my scarf is rolling pretty dramatically, so it will need some rather stern blocking. The yarn is also pretty rough and scratchy, so I'm going to treat it with some fabric softener before gifting it. I know it's not kosher to use fabric softener on wool blends but this yarn needs something to make it a bit more bearable against the skin.

No decisions on the next sock pattern. I've a mermaid costume to finish for DD#2's birthday and the stealth project going, so I'm going to let the sock pattern kind of stew in my mind a little while.

On the hockey front, the boys lost their last regular season game. It was a heart breaker because they were even up until the third period, when a couple of penalties cost us some goals and busted the game wide open for the other team. At full strength, the teams were evenly matched but short-handed, we just couldn't hold them. That's where playing a clean game can make or break a team and we paid the price for getting called for late penalties.

Their first playoff game is on Saturday. This is a single elimination tournament, so if they lose, the season is over. However, he is already placed on a spring hockey team, so he'll be starting up again in a few weeks. So the cycle continues, win or lose. Mentally and emotionally, I'm ready to move on to the next season. One of the advantages of being a hockey mom for so many years - a touch more detachment at the end of the season. There is always another season, another team, another tournament, another playoff . . .

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sock photos

And, as promised, sock photos.

The purple socks are based on Grumperina's Roza's Socks pattern in the Spring 2007 Interweave Knits Magazine. Since I had nearly 2 full skeins of purple left over from Hockeyboy's socks, I changed the pattern to a toe-up configuration and decided to just keep going until I ran out of yarn. Ergo, I ended up with knee highs. The yarn is from Knit Picks and is particularly soft. These are very light weight and should be a nice, comfortable sock for spring.

The other photo is of my finished Elfine socks out of Socks that Rock in Nodding Violet, which have been worn and are already needing to be washed. They turned out especially thick and warm. I particularly like the garter ridge cuff on them. It is a non-traditional cuff that really looks sweet with the leaf pattern in the body of the sock.

I have one more hank of STR in my stash but can't decide on a pattern for it. I'm waffling between Monkey from and another from Socks, Socks, Socks. The disadvantage of Monkey is it is a cuff down pattern and I am a toe-up gal. I like the direction of the stitch pattern in the socks, so I'd either have to switch and knit cuff down on this pair of socks or try to rewrite the pattern. I'm not sure how the chart would work in reverse, so some swatching will definitely be in order. The other patterns I have in mind are not directional, so there won't be any rewrites necessary, so I guess it depends on how lazy I feel.

Decisions, decisions . . . In the meantime, Samus will need to be resurrected and there is all that fleece waiting to be spun and the stealth project and washcloths and a few other ideas for using up some stash yarn whirling around this feverish little mind of mine. In the meantime, I have a date with Casablanca and laundry folding.


Voila! Proof positive of spinning activity this weekend. The ball on the left is approximately 92 yards of 2 ply fingering weight yarn (my best eye ball estimate) with a WPI of 15. The ball on the right is approximately 112 yards of 2 ply sport weight yarn with a WPI of 12. Neither yarn is particularly even but for a first spinning, I'm not too dissatisfied. You can see the original sliver I started with, of which I still have at least a pound, so I will have lots more to keep practicing with, to improve my ability.

After drying under tension, the yarn has lost all it's curliness, so I'm hoping it will not bias when knit. Now I just have to find a couple of patterns to give the yarn a try.

Well, off to get ready for the last hockey game of the regular season. Wish Hockeyboy luck! They won last night, with HB getting the first goal of the night. They could use another win going into playoffs but they're playing a tough team this afternoon - a really tough team. And they're still down a player, who is out for the season with a separated shoulder. Oh, I'm getting nervous already!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Lots of work - no photographic proof

I've been working like a maniac today on a couple of projects. Since there has been a marathon of Academy Award Best Picture Winners on since yesterday on AMC, I've been crafting up a storm. But I haven't wanted to take a break to document any of it with photos.

I've enjoyed a number of classic films that I'm actually ashamed to say I've never watched before, like Ben Hur and Bridge Over the River Kwai. I've also made tremendous progress on a couple of projects.

For instance, I was inspired by Sheepish Annie to pull out my spindle again and give plying a try. I read an article here and got some good ideas to help me figure out how to ply with a spindle. I now have two hanks of 2 ply yarn drying under tension. I fear I may have over-spun them a bit but since it is my first yarn, I'll be a satisfied with it, regardless. Once the yarn is dry, I'll post a picture and give some wpi and yardage details.

I am also plugging away on my first knee-high socks. I'm nearly finished and hope to have FO photos sometime tomorrow.

I am also still working on my stealth project, in little bits of time, here and there, when my hands need a rest from the small needles used on socks.

Well, the second to last regular season hockey game starts in a little more than an hour, so we're off to the rink - again. Time to grab the socks and go!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Grand Prix Kudos

Tonight was our Awana Grand Prix and we had a great night. DD#1 is my only Truth and Training member right now, so she was the only one eligible to make and race a car this year. Since this was her last year in Awana, she went all out, hoping to win in the design category.

Without trying, she came up with a very fast car. It actually made for an exciting night, watching her car consistently place high in the standings and rack up high speeds. Ironically, by the end of the night, she placed 4th in speed. She also took 2nd in the People's Choice voting but didn't win anything in the design competition.

What pleases me most is she designed this car herself, and did almost all the work herself. The only help she received was with power tools that her Dad doesn't allow her to operate, like the table saw and the drill. In fact, she kept me in the dark about the whole design until the day before the weigh in, when she there was a critical problem with her aquarium and she needed a replacement - fast! I had to sacrifice one the drawers from an organizer in my craft room to work as her new tank, but I think it was worth it. We all had a blast watching the races and seeing her joy as she won a medal. You go, girl!

On the knitting front, the Elfine socks are done and have been worn already. I haven't snapped a picture of them yet but will try to get some up soon. I'm already to the gusset shaping on another pair of socks but I'll wait to fill you in on the details until later. After careful evaluation, I came to a tough decision and decided to frog the sleeves of Samus and take out some length. So Samus has been ripped and put back on the needles but I haven't found the pattern (I'm a bit disorganized) so that I can re-work the shoulder shaping. I haven't forgotten my resolution knitting but am so close, I am giving myself permission to continue sock knitting and gift knitting, because Samus is just too big to drag around to dance and hockey anyway.

Well, it's late and we're all celebrating DD#1's win with ice cream - as soon as I dish it up. Got to go!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Fiber Art Gene

I hope you'll forgive a little parental pride. DD#1 has been taking a Swedish Huck Weaving class through our homeschool cooperative and has just completed the needlework portion of a hand towel she is making for me. Although she wasn't too enthusiastic about taking the class initially, she has fallen in love with the art and is busy planning her next project. I am so pleased with her talent.

I had a delightful afternoon at the Mall of America. It was the site of Knit Out & Crochet 2007.
My girlfriend called last week to invite me to go with her and we really had a blast. First, we got to see Lily Chin, Annie Modesitt and Vickie Howell. We also got a lesson in Free Form Crochet/Knitting from Margaret Hubert and I saw a demonstration on crochet cables, which have always intrigued me. We also saw a fun fashion show of knit and crochet clothing. We also saw the fastest crocheter competition. The winner was Lisa Gentry, with Lily Chin coming in a very close second. Pretty amazing to watch these two ladies' flying fingers!

Then we spend a pleasant couple of hours wandering around, visiting the various vendor booths. It pays to go at the end of a conference because I scored a sweet little bonus. As one of the vendors was starting to pack up to leave, I pointed out to my friend a book I recently checked out from the library that I just loved and hoped to add to my library one day. The lady in the booth said, "I'm giving away books because it's cheaper than shipping them home. Would you like it?" Oh boy, did I want it?!? Guess what book I came home with! This one. Woohoo!

The Knit Out & Crochet events do not allow vendors to sell items (except B&N was selling books by the authors who were there to autograph books), so it was unusual to visit vendors and look at great books, yarn and accessories and NOT be able to buy anything. In one sense, it was a good thing, because impulse purchases were non-existent and the budget was saved. But it was difficult because there were numerous projects that I saw that I would have bought patterns and/or yarn for, had they been available, which I'm not sure I'll be able to remember the sources of later. We did receive a large bag full of free patterns and flyers from many different vendors, so I'm going to spend some time sorting through them yet tonight, to see if some of the projects I fell in love with are included. Otherwise, I'll have to try and write down as much information about the projects while I remember them and hope that I can figure out where to find the patterns and yarn.

Next year, I'm bringing a camera, a notebook and a pen, so I can do a better job keeping track of the great ideas that were displayed all over the Mall of America.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

My knitting has new jewelry!

After seeing this post and then visiting this site, I just had to dig out the jewelry stuff and play around. The set on the right is for me and the set on the right is destined for a certain classy lady who is having a birthday in early March. I'm not good at jewelry making but it was fun to play at something a little different. And I only bled twice.

I'm busily turning the heels on the Elfine socks and have also started a birthday gift for DD#2 from this book. I picked this book up at the library but it is one that I'm seriously considering adding to my library. It has some adorable patterns for children. I allowed my Girlygirl to pick out her own gift and she didn't surprise me at all. She is anxiously watching the progress on her birthday present. I'm having to really drag out the knitting process, since her birthday is at the end of March and it I get it done too soon, she'd be so bummed having to wait to get it until her actual birthday (yes, I can be that mean). So I only work on it once a week or so, since it is a pretty fast knit. If I complete the knitting too early, I'll just leave it unseamed until the momentous occasion.

I've re-blocked the sleeves for Samus, measuring carefully this time. I'm going to baste them up and try them on to see how they fit before sewing them in, then decide their fate. I am going to be heartless. If they don't work, they will be annihilated and replaced! This sweater WILL fit!

It seems strange around here. No black and white kitty, no hockey tournament this weekend and everyone getting sick and grumpy from all the stress of the past few weeks. It's been a real roller coaster of emotion for everyone but I have to say that I am so thankful for one constant in my life - Jesus. He is a lifeline in times of trouble and trials.

I am also thankful for my fiber arts. They are something I can turn to when everything else is out of control. There is something so soothing and calming about the repetitive nature of knitting. It causes me to slow down and breathe for a little while. It is very centering. Some of my favorite verses in the Bible are in Proverbs 31, when it talks about the ideal wife and her love of the fiber arts. I know exactly what it means to select wool and flax and to work with eager hands. The passion for fiber is God-ordained and it brings me great comfort to know that when things are all cock-eyed around me, God provided this blessed gift of knitting to bring peace and order to one small part of my world. And what is more, after reading blogs of many other women in crisis, I know that I am not alone in feeling this way. And that is the greatest blessing of all - knowing that I am not alone!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Comfort knitting, Samus surgery and hockey, oh my!

Since Samus is recovering from surgery and I needed a portable project, not to mention some comfort knitting this weekend, I started Elfine in Nodding Violet Socks That Rock on Friday. Since Hockeyboy had a tournament in St. Paul all weekend, I had lots of commuting time to spend knitting on socks. I am very happy with the pattern, since it is a pretty simple lace pattern to memorize and it's working up fairly dense and warm in the STR.

I did remove the sleeves on Samus. I haven't re-blocked the sleeves yet, since we've been running around town all weekend but hope to get them blocked yet this evening. I tried on the sweater without the sleeves and modeled it for DH and DS#1, both of which informed me that I just don't look good in vests. Hockeyboy said I looked like a biker chick and it was NOT a good look for me. After a close look in the mirror, I have to agree that this particular sweater is too bulky to be worn without the sleeves (although I think I biker chick look was a stretch - do biker chicks wear lambswool/mohair vests with Celtic braid trim?). Therefore, I'm going to try re-blocking the sleeves first. If that doesn't not remove enough width and length, I'm going to bite the bullet and unravel the sleeves part way down and re-knit with smaller needles. Fortunately, I have one whole skein and two half skeins of yarn left, so if I can't salvage the yarn from the sleeves, I should still have enough to re-do the sleeves anyway.

On the hockey tournament front, we had a good weekend. The boys handily won the first two games of the tournament. However, they were just out-shot today in the championship game. Hockeyboy was a trooper and played all weekend with a heavy heart, so I'm proud of him and the 2nd place trophy he brought home because it was the hardest earned trophy of his young life. When he wanted to stay home and grieve, he got up and played because his team needed him. And he played HARD! He left it all on the ice and that took guts.

Don't tell my Hysterical Mind but I suspect Hockeyboy is becoming a Hockeyman.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

In Loving Memory

Our beloved Rocky passed away this evening. He was surrounded by the entire family and died peacefully of natural causes.

God speed, Rocky! We will miss you.

Samus woes

I've shared in the past that I have problems fitting sweaters. Usually the problem occurs around the bust line, since I happen to wear a D cup and am very short. But this time, the bodice seems to fit fine and the issue seems to be the sleeves.

Granted, this is a poor photograph because I have only finished the applied I-cord half-way around the body, so the front looks a little cock-eyed. But the sleeves! They are way too huge and bulgy. And the weight of them is pulling the shoulders seam way out of line.

So my options are: 1) wait until I finish the I-cord and then wash the whole sweater and try and re-block it in one piece, hoping the sleeves will shrink down because I was too aggressive in my blocking; or 2) remove the sleeves completely and wash and try to re-block to a smaller size; or 3) unravel the sleeves and re-knit to a smaller size; or 4) remove the sleeves, put I-cord around the armholes and make it a vest.

Because there is mohair in this yarn, I am afraid that if I wash the sweater and re-block the whole thing, I won't be able to unseam it. Mohair felts if you breath on it, so it's going to be a challenge to unseam it anyway.

Thus, I suspect that once the I-cord is done, I will be doing some significant sweater surgery. After all, this is a way too gorgeous pattern and yarn to sacrifice because the sleeves seem to have gained all the holiday weight I didn't. The challenge will be to see if the out of proportion sleeves are due to poor blocking or a gauge change from the bodice to the sleeves. And then I'll have to decide it I want a cardigan enough to fix the sleeves or if Samus is just destined to be a vest. Right now, with STR yarn in my stash, waiting for me to finish Samus to complete my New Years Resolution, a vest is sounding mighty attractive to me!

I even have another idea for the leftover sleeves . . .

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Quick picture post

Busy day, hard day, sad day. Rocky's condition continues to deteriorate but he has to know he is surrounded by love. We're busy saying our good-byes because we know it won't be long now, whether nature takes it's course or we decide that he's suffering and it's time to release him.

While holding vigil, I managed to finish the Hockeyboy Socks last night. DS#1 promptly put them on and has not taken them off since. He decided on the length of the cuff and has pronounced them perfect, since he hates long socks. Who am I to argue?

Samus is seamed and I'm busy finishing the applied I-cord edging, in preparation for putting in the zipper. It's a thin silver lining to this cloud of grief and parting but precious to me have been the hours of quiet waiting and watching over this precious pet. The finished cardigan and socks will always be a sweet reminder of the special bond I shared with this most beloved of pets.

My DD#1 also managed to snap a picture of Koda enjoying the new pet bed. She likes to experiment with the camera and arranged the blanket and stuffed animals in the background to make it artistic. You can't see much of the pet bed itself but you can tell by the look on Koda's face that she's very happy with it.

This post is kind of scattered but that's kind of how I feel. Life is going on as usual around this little whirlpool of pain and grief. It leaves me a little dizzy and discombobulated but there is a small amount of comfort in the idea that tomorrow will come and life will go on. In the meantime, all I can do is go with the flow.

Monday, February 05, 2007

10 reasons I'm a Bad Mom

A friend posted this meme on her blog, so being the typical, guilt-ridden mom, I thought I'd share some of my darkest doubts about my own mothering abilities. Here goes:

1) I tell my kids that I don't have to be "fair" and I use the Bible to back me up. Every time my kids object to my apparent lack of fairness, I ask them to research the Bible and show me where God commanded parents to be "fair" to their children . I admit it. I am not "fair" and I don't have to be. Each child has different needs at different times and I do what is necessary to train them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord at that moment. Fairness isn't possible and trying to be "fair" would just make me insane and leave them in the custody of Child Protective Services.

2) I lack the gift of hospitality and it extends to the friends of my children. I just don't enjoy entertaining and I really don't enjoy entertaining children. I'm lousy at scheduling play dates for my kids and dread birthday parties.

3) I believe in whole foods but I don't practice whole foods. I came late to my belief in health food and vitamins and my family was already used to junk food, convenience foods and fast foods. Although I've made brief attempts to convert my family to a healthier diet, I just gave up because I don't have the emotional strength to fight the battle. I am in the process of introducing gradual changes, like switching to hormone-free, organic milk and whole grain breads but I can't just force a wholesale change because I'm a wimp.

4) I'm easily distracted and get off task during school. If the phone rings or an e-mail comes in, I can lose track of what the kids are supposed to be doing and they'll take advantage of my lapse and wander off. I spend a lot of time herding them back to their respective spots because I lack focus. Believe me, there is little I can do to change this because it is part of my natural personality. It drives me crazy and my husband absolutely bananas but the kids seem to like this quirk of mine. If I ever figure out how to control it, they'll be totally bummed.

5) I don't check for hats and mittens or socks before we leave the house. I tell the kids what to put on, often multiple times. They get impatient with me telling them three or four times to put a hat and mittens on. But I'll find out when we're on the way that someone has left without some article of clothing. DD#3 has even left without shoes before and we've found out only after arriving at our destination. Why I can remember to tell them but not actually check them baffles me.

6) I don't dress my kids, meaning I don't put together pretty, coordinating outfits for them. I buy their clothes and will buy coordinating outfits but once the clothes enter the house, I pretty much let the kids mix and match them however they like. The only exception is on Sunday and holidays. I get to pick out what they wear for special occasions. This means that my kids can be seen in some pretty wild combinations. I am an artist and always preferred to put my own outfits together as a child and I give my children the same privilege. But they often look strange to outsiders who may not appreciate their artistic viewpoint.

7) I let my kids run around barefoot - all the time. I believe that shoes abnormally restrict and constrain the foot and that natural foot development depends on being barefoot. But it drives people crazy to see my kids barefoot in the winter, especially grandparents. Now, my kids own socks and slippers, so if their feet are cold, they can put something on. But they usually choose to go barefoot because they prefer it.

8) My kids don't drink milk. We barely use one gallon of milk a week. Again, it was a lack of gumption on my part but my son hated milk from birth and wouldn't touch it. I didn't push it and found alternative ways to give him dairy products. My daughters will drink a little milk but I am just not in the habit of serving it.

9) I don't read aloud to my kids nearly as much as I'd like or I should. It is blasphemy in homeschooling circles to admit it but I spend a fortune on books on CD instead. Reading aloud makes me yawn - a lot! Not because I'm bored, though. It must be an oxygen/CO2 issue but it's annoying.

10) My kids watch too much t.v. I have tried to reform them and we've gone entire summers without television but it always creeps back into our lives. It doesn't help that my DH is addicted to news programs and I have an penchant for old movies and musicals and HGTV and craft shows. It just seems so hypocritical to say we can watch but the kids can't.

Whew! Do you all despise me now?

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Onward and Upward

Nothing picture-worthy to report - yet. Samus is in the process of being seamed. I still have to set in the sleeves and purchase the zipper and grosgrain ribbon but am hoping to finish those steps (and hopefully, the whole sweater) this weekend.

Hockeyboy Socks are progressing, with several more bands of colors having been added last night during some great Oscar winning musicals on TCM last night. I got to enjoy both Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire in the same evening because Cover Girl and Funny Face were shown, back-to-back. What a delightful combination of movies!

I am wondering, though, how long to make the cuffs on the Hockeyboy Socks. I'm assuming a good long crew is the way to go but is there a standard measurement for that in men's socks? Or should I just eyeball it? This slip-stitch pattern tends to want to bunch a bit, so I'm concerned that it's going to want to scrunch down around his ankles. I may end up buying a sock blocker and blocking the daylights out of these socks to eliminate the sagging tendency. I'm also mulling over the possibility of adding a little elastic to the ribbing to add a little insurance. With a little hard work, however, these socks should be finished within the week, so my resolution will have been fulfilled and I'll be ready to move onto something totally new and exciting.

I'm still dreaming about what that new and exciting may look like and have a whole bunch of ideas floating around my head. A pair of socks from my STR is definitely in the cards, but which pattern is still open to debate. And I'm searching high and low for the perfect pattern for the Shimmer. I have a strong candidate in the book Luxury Knits but it requires two strands held together. Given the color changes in Shimmer, I don't want to use two strands of it held together. So I'm pondering the idea of mixing it with yet another color. Perhaps a pure white, to bring it into a more pastel shade, or a color that is in the yarn that will push it more in the color direction I want it to go. Or I may just swatch with a single strand and see how it turns out. My goal is to make a garment that is shawl-like in it's appearance, without being a shawl. Still need to let this one simmer on the back burner.

It is so much fun just to dream. And I need dreams right now. Rocky is holding his own but still needs frequent care to keep him comfortable. It is difficult but pouring through knitting patterns and fondling yarn while keeping vigil helps - a little.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

FO's a-flying off the needles!

Samus is off the needles, washed and blocking as I type. I'm pleased as punch with the finished units and am waiting with baited breath to seam everything up and try it on.

I've had issues with fit in the past. Blocky sweater styles don't ever seem to work for me, being a full-figured gal. But I took a chance on this pattern, hoping that if I made it a bit snug, it would compensate. Since it has a zipper, I don't have to worry about that ever annoying gap that button-front cardigans inevitably have. Keep your fingers crossed for me, friends!

My DS#1, a knitter himself, wandered in as I was pinning the sweater out and commented that he really liked the sweater. He asked how I made the cable band on the bottom go sideways. A quick answer on my part sufficed. I am so proud that he understands enough about knitting to comprehend a brief explanation. He is currently trying to master cables on his own, disdaining to use a pattern and trying to concoct his own free-form design. Both the older kids knit while listening to history CD's and read-alouds, so they get plenty of practice on their knitting.

On the kitty front, Rocky continues to deteriorate, with additional symptoms showing up daily. I won't gross you out with all the nasty details of the veterinary attention that I am providing on an hourly basis. Since he has hated the vet clinic and strangers all his life, we had opted a number of years ago to stop taking him into a clinic. Instead, with the help of a sympathetic vet, we have been treating him at home for progressive kidney disease. Today, I was blessed to get the help of a vet that makes house calls in our area. She did not end up coming out today but was able to talk me through a procedure to make Rocky more comfortable in the time he has remaining. It is definitely a struggle providing such intensive care for a beloved pet but I am so thankful for a vet that understands our wishes to let our pet die in his home instead of a pet hospital.

Thank you, everyone who has posted here and e-mailed me with your gracious support and encouragement. It helps, immensely.

Ironically, Rocky won't have anything to do with the new kitty bed. My DH insists it is because it is pink. Koda, however, loves it. She has spent a lot of time sleeping in it, while keeping vigil by Rocky's side. Whenever she can sneak into Rocky's haven in our bathroom/closet, she curls up in the kitty bed and stays near him. We've had to lock her out at times because we've needed to medicate some of Rocky's food but I think that her devotion to her companion is so sweet. So having her claim the kitty bed for her own doesn't bother me a bit. She deserves a reward for being so faithful to her old buddy in his last days. Besides, she looks very pretty in pink.