Wednesday, July 24

Five good things.

  1. My husband being kind enough to watch Sex And The City with me all day. 
  2. And pick up Chinese take out for us. 
  3. A cool breeze tonight. 
  4. The instant film community. 
  5. Being able to step out of the pity party today. 

Tuesday, July 23

On saying good-bye.

In loving memory of Rocky.
Rest in peace, my sweet, handsome boy.
February 12, 1999 - July 12, 2013

(This is the last successful instant photo that I took of Rocky.)

Sometimes I still can't believe that Rocky is gone. I can see him so clearly, in my mind, in all of his favorite places. I can see him sitting on the wall, waiting to come inside. I can see him trotting up the driveway with a style that was all his own. I can feel him next to me when I get into bed at night to read. And when I cook bacon or grate cheese. Outside by the grill. Nestled between the plants in the garden. Rocky is everywhere in my heart and in my mind and, I hope that in some way his spirit is still with us.

Rocky has been a huge presence in my life since the moment I picked him up at a laundromat in Pittsburgh. He was a tiny little fluff ball, but no matter, he took over the house. He followed me around and slept with me at night. He saw me through a bad break up, a new love affair, countless bouts of depression, and stayed by my side even when I played records too loud during late night solo dance parties. He moved to Brooklyn with me and then back to Pittsburgh and then all the way to Santa Fe. And he still followed me around and slept with me at night. He gave me so much love and joy and laughter. We still have Simon, another wonderful kitty, but no matter, the house feels so quiet and empty to me without Rocky.

Back when we found out about his tumor, we knew he was going to die, but that knowledge in no way prepared us for the reality of losing him. Even as his conditioned worsened, I think that somewhere in the back of my mind, I still thought he would be around for a much longer time. And then in what seemed like a matter of days, he was gone.

The changes in him were gradual, and really, he was a trooper through the whole thing. He never isolated himself from us and he never struck out at us even though we are quite sure that he was experiencing more discomfort than we were aware of at the time. He was sweet and loving and I think he wanted to stay with us as long as he could. When it got to be more than he could bear, he let us know that it was time.

That morning, he ate a little bit and hung outside for awhile, two of his most favorite things to do. The previous evening, we had made an appointment with an at home vet for a consultation, although when we got up that morning, we knew that it was going to be the end for him. I am grateful that I got to spend so much time with him. That he could still eat some. That he could still go outside. I am grateful that I got to spend that morning with him, telling him how much I love him, what a wonderful kitty he has been, and that I really didn't want to say good-bye, but I knew he needed to move on out of his broken body.

I sat on the bed with him, giving him space, and at one point, he walked over to me and tried his best to nestled his head into my leg. He couldn't settle in one position for very long, but when he did that, it meant so much to me. 

We had never even met this vet before, but she was wonderful. She was so kind and gentle with Rocky and with us. And that is exactly what we all needed. She took one look at him and said that she felt that it was time. (She said that if she didn't think it was time, she would tell us that as well. This is something that I really needed to hear from a vet.) She said that the greatest act of love is being able to let go. I am grateful that she came into our lives right when we needed her and that Rocky never had to be in a car again and did not have to spend his final moments in a place that he hated.

We settled down on the couch with Rocky between the two of us. The vet gave him a sedative first that would knock him out. We pet him and loved him and said our good-byes again while his body slowly relaxed into the medication. Because he was basically gone at that point, the final shot did not bring him pain at all. He died peacefully at home, on the couch, surrounded by love. And as heartbreaking as it is, I am grateful we could help him have a gentle end. I miss him so much, but I know it is better that he is no longer uncomfortable or in pain. He is kitty heaven, frolicking and eating as much as his heart desires.

He will live on in our hearts forever. 



Two Fridays ago, I shared with many of you on Twitter, Flickr and Facebook that we had to say good-bye to Rocky. And then I felt rather odd about it, because I was so deep into my grief, and, well, how much of that do we share on social media? Really, it was for me, and for Rocky, because I shared so much of him with all of you and in my head, at that time, it was important that people know. And I needed comfort from friends even if it only consisted of internet hugs from people I've never even met in person.

And, as I write this post, I wonder if I have shared too much, but in the end, it doesn't matter. It is for me. And for Rocky. And Will and Simon. We all share in the love and the grief, and for me, sometimes that means sharing on this website as well. I have shared so many of Rocky's stories here and this is part of his story. (And certainly not the whole story.) You can find more of his stories in the set dedicated to him on my Flickr. And this is one of my favorite posts about him on this website. I miss him so much and there are so many tears, but I am grateful that I have so many memories via photos that make me smile and laugh. It helps.

Saturday, July 20

'Roid Week - Day Five (Faves)

Another 'Roid Week come and gone. It was a difficult week for me so I did not have my usual enthusiasm, but I still managed to be blown away by all of the incredible photos in the pool. It's always such an inspiring week, though, of course, I shoot instant film almost every day. Here are my Day Five faves. You can check out the group pool here - 3,351 submissions this year! Woohoo!

Oh! And because I love instant photos of cats, I made a few galleries for The Cats of 'Roid Week. You can check out all there here. (Rocky should be in them, but you can't put your own photos in a gallery created by yourself.)

1. Trees, 2. It Won't Stop, 3. Sunshine Surrounds, 4. Heaven, 5. Where I Go To Relax, 6. I thought I glimpsed the edge of the Universe., 7. sheep & buildings, 8. 59 Lily, 9. 'Roid Week day 5, 10. wanderlust, 11. camera hater, 12. with my cameras..., 13. into the sun..., 14. polapup, 15. Happy 'Roid Week 2013! (July 19), 16. Bye 'Roidweek 2013, 17. 'Roid Week #9, 18. I just need to put this down and say good bye for a little while, this is consuming me. - Ben, 19. Polaroid Emulsion Lift - Grand Guitar, 20. Let's Play Dead, 21. Untitled, 22. *, 23. Woods Hole Beach Path, 24. A Slice Of Light., 25. Untitled, 26. Untitled, 27. SX70 | PX70, 28. 'Roid Week #10, 29. 'Roid Week #10, 30. Untitled, 31. i let my heart fly away ..., 32. Aimee and Me, 33. St Martins in the Fields - 'Roid Week 2013 day5, 34. Untitled No. 7, 35. On the Precipice, 36. siblings

1. ., 2. Sand Castle PX70 Cool, 3. Let's Scoot!, 4. rat boy...v.1, 5. sunset at Cannon Beach, 6. swiftly go the days, 7. Aimee and the sewing machine, 8. newport bay marina, 9. it's the Mr Giggles show!, 10. huts, 11. american woods, 12. The Vase, 13. The Storm, 14. A Whisper in the Night, 15. Untitled, 16. Flowers, 17. display, 18. Respect for All Creatures Living and Passed, 19. AnneBoleyn, 20. Untitled, 21. Polaroids 1, 22. looking up, 23. #roidweek2013 (day 5), 24. The funeral for a mouse, 25. Untitled, 26. Dawn redwoods (Polaroid transfer), 27. Roid Week Day 5, 28. Blue Ridge Mountains, 29. Lost Wisdom., 30. Untitled

Some of the photos don't show up because they lack the proper permission (to be used with fds flickr toys) from the photographer, but you can follow the links below each mosaic to view each photograph.

[Created by fds flickr toys.]

Friday, July 19

'Roid Week - Day Five

Here are my Day Five submissions. You can check out the group pool here.

[Polaroid SX-70 Model 2 + PX70 Color Shade PUSH film]
"He will always be in my heart."
[Polaroid SX-70 Alpha 1 SE + PX70 Color Protection film]

'Roid Week - Day Four (Faves)

Here are my Day Four faves. You can check out the group pool here.

1. Parrot, 2. Untitled, 3. Dreamy Summer Evening, 4. Untitled, 5. Once upon a time in the west., 6. the dance, 7. Untitled, 8. Creep (I wish I was special), 9. Wildwood Tracks, 10. Polaroid Week 2013 - Day 4, 11. Untitled, 12. tidelines, 13. Untitled, 14. you're not invited, mommy!, 15. On the 4th day., 16. Fuji 3000b - Polaroid Supershooter, 17. fence sitting | 1, 18. Florida, 19. Cloud for dinner, 20. Untitled, 21. coastal fire, 22. Untitled, 23. . Tuk Tuk, 24. Dia De Los Muertos Waitress, 25. LB., 26. Summer Evening Light, 27. So Happy..., 28. Justine, 29. Lil T on InstaLab, 30. Boat on water, 31. The Path Between Good And Evil., 32. Like Twins, 33. Venice, 34. Meredith, 35. Twist and Shot - Massimiliano Muner, 36. Undercover Geek.

1. West Virginia, 2. Aimee's shadow, 3. the cat in triplicate, 4. Broken, 5. Everything's OK... As Long As You're Inside My Blue Veins, 6. Untitled, 7. Untitled, 8. instax001, 9. i'll take a nap anyway..., 10. Kamloops Canada, 11. petrified forest, 12. Fog and the forest, 13. relax, 14. dairy girls, 15. Olive and Babs, 16. Rain in the Fern Canyon

Some of the photos don't show up because they lack the proper permission (to be used with fds flickr toys) from the photographer, but you can follow the links below each mosaic to view each photograph.

[Created by fds flickr toys.]

'Roid Week - Day Four

Here are my Day Four submissions. You can check out the group pool here.

"She kept hoping that someone would need her."
[Polaroid Automatic 250 + Polaroid 100 Sepia film]
"Cow skull."
[Polaroid SX-70 Alpha 1 SE + PX70 Color Protection film]

Thursday, July 18

'Roid Week - Day Three (Faves)

Here are my Day Three faves. You can check out the group pool here.

1. 003 Polaroid SLR 690 x PX 680 COLOR PROTECTION, 2. somewhere in utah, 3. Mistake, 4. Untitled, 5. Roid Week 2013: Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, 6. This way out, 7. And they say pigs might fly, 8. Flowers, 9. I Stood There, 10. Untitled, 11. what we used to know, 12. Untitled, 13. old memories, 14. Polaroid Week 2013 - Day 3, 15. murren, 16. I think I see the light, 17. kara of the corn, 18. 'Roid Week #5, 19. Solo, 20. Prambanan temple., 21. gerbera, 22. ouro preto, 23. Roid Week Day 3, 24. Roid week - Day 3, 25. Glassblowing., 26. Texas Storms, 27. swing swing, 28. Being unlovable., 29. Untitled, 30. Untitled, 31. Fireweed Field, 32. Untitled, 33. Clematis, 34. standing at the edge of the world ..., 35. Still life safari, 36. ...

1. She generally gave herself very good advice, (though she very seldom followed it)…, 2. Untitled, 3. Untitled, 4. 197/365, 5. Untitled, 6. Untitled, 7. Flower, 8. Anna Roid Week Day 3 No.1, 9. Untitled, 10. Doll Haus, 11. Mr.& Mrs. Smit's house, 12. Salvation Mountain, 13. Untitled, 14. Hydrangea, 15. wednesday*, 16. days end, 17. wednesday**, 18. In the clouds., 19. Sea City, 'Roid week summer 2013, day 3, 20. Le temps des promesses, 21. Window Dressing, 22. Heavenly Temple (Polaroid transfer), 23. =^..^=, 24. Untitled, 25. Sunshine Coast Canada, 26. Pond, 27. Tulips, 28. TW_012, 29. Impossible Project 8x10 Color Shade 30. Blank spot

Some of the photos don't show up because they lack the proper permission (to be used with fds flickr toys) from the photographer, but you can follow the links below each mosaic to view each photograph.

[Created by fds flickr toys.]

'Roid Week - Day Three

Here are my Day Three submissions. You can check out the group pool here.

"A girl and her camera."
[Polaroid SLR680SE + PX680 Color Protection film]
"Bird masks."
[Polaroid Spectra + PZ680 Color Protection film]

Wednesday, July 17

'Roid Week - Day Two (Faves)

Okay, so maybe I have too many favorites, but what can I say? There is some incredible work in the 'Roid Week pool. Check it all out here

(Also, I think some of these are actually from Day One, but there is only so much I can worry about trying to figure out who posted what when. Just saying.)

1. baroque, 2. with a tree on top, 3. Untitled Beauty, 4. Apparition, 5. Polaroid 803 8x10 Expired 1996, 6. Polaroid 891 8x10 Expired 1986, 7. Leah Exposed, 8. Unicorn in the Lilacs, 9. orchid, 10. Stop and eat the roses.'Roid Week Day 1. • 2 of 2., 11. Adalie, 12. green house, 13. Reconnecting by disconnecting., 14. cats vs babies, 15. A walk in the forest..., 16. Roidweek 13 #day 2 (Herman --10), 17. Roid Week 2013: Seashore Dreams, 18. A Midsummer Night ´s Dream, 19. dazzling afternoon, 20. fierce light, 21. Untitled, 22. lost in tenderness, 23. Polaroid Week 2013 - Day 2, 24. Polaroid Week 2013 - Day 2, 25. Day 2, 26. tear into the night, 27. Even If Things Get Heavy, We'll All Float On, 28. Untitled, 29. On A Saturdays Afternoon..., 30. Foggy Morning, 31. Silent Revelry, 32. wilting, 33. walkers, 34. world's largest buffalo, 35. Untitled, 36. Untitled

1. dusk, 2. anything less than butterflies, 3. oregon coast, 4. Failed Polaroid #2, 5. day 2, 'roidweek 2013., 6. We are One - RoidWeek13 #Day2, 7. spying stepford, 8. spying stepford, 9. @20Venti - Roidweek13 #Day2, 10. 'Roid Week Day 2, 11. Summer_2013_CP, 12. sunrise over san francisco, 13. hydragneas, 14. rapt, 15. Stixxx., 16. Untitled, 17. image, 18. I'm only allowed to wonder why., 19. Pelican, 20. Indian, 21. just like summer, 22. Ace Hotel, 23. Peony and Butterfly, 24. cat disappearing into dots, 25. the dude awash in green light, 26. Untitled, 27. OHSU Tram Portland [no border], 28. feathers..., 29. An hour before sunrise, 30. Carmen, 31. Bad Hair-Day or Awesome Hair-day?, 32. no direction home, 33. 'Roid Week #4, 34. Windpompe, 35. Tree-nigma, 36. chase

1. Amanda, where once was a confident boy shouting now stands a man on the brink of insignificance. Stifled, absent and lost., 2. Untitled, 3. london, 4. Untitled, 5. City Of Angels From On High, 6. Untitled, 7. vintage horse, 8. Candice, 9. that iconic haystack, 10. negatifpositif, 11. Hatching Trichechus Manatus Rising from its Nest. Double Emulsion Lift., 12. shines to light the way for me, 13. *, 14. Broken sunset., 15. Good Morning, Old-timer, 16. Tiny Bubbles III, 17. Untitled, 18. guardians, 19. Out of the Blue, 20. That Ozzy in the window. - 'Roid Week 2013, Day 2. - 1 of 2.

Some of the photos don't show up because they lack the proper permission (to be used with fds flickr toys) from the photographer, but you can follow the links below each mosaic to view each photograph.

[Created by fds flickr toys.]

Tuesday, July 16

'Roid Week - Day Two

My submission for day two: "Reflection" and "Peonies."

[Polaroid Automatic 250 + Fuji FP-3000B film]
[Polaroid SLR680SE + PX680 Color Protection film, American Woods edition]

'Roid Week, Day One (Faves)

It's so hard not to favorite practically every photo in the pool. If you want to see more, visit the group pool on Flickr.

1. Stonehenge, April 5th, 2013, 2. Piha, 3. Untitled, 4. Untitled, 5. ocean full of diamonds, 6. Untitled, 7. He fell so far down that an infinity of bricks could not barricade the need to capitulate..., 8. Untitled, 9. Weightless, 10. Untitled, 11. Polaroid Week 2013 - Day 1, 12. Untitled, 13. Herman --02, 14. downtown, kansas city, 15. Flatiron building - New York, 16. UFO over Broadstairs, 17. Fade into you, 18. Tomatoes on the Window Sill, 19. Untitled, 20. tunnelvision, 21. ...and we're back, 22. Big Sur, 23. 100% Refrigerated Air, 24. perfectly-shaped tree, 25. 'Roid Week Day 1, 26. Untitled, 27. Peniche Fortress, 28. Untitled, 29. Ageless Beauty, 30. Untitled, 31. By the Sea, 32. shoes, 33. Artemisia - 6 weeks, 34. Dawn, 35. Brooklyn bridge, 36. Ascent

1. La reine de la mer, 2. Untitled, 3. The journey, 4. Chocolate Oasis, 5. Still a romantic, 6. Laura Beth, 7. Telephones, 8. A New Beach Day, 9. Conversation #1, 10. starshine, 11. the mighty pacific ocean, 12. Where The Sky Meets The Sea., 13. Untitled, 14. Untitled, 15. it's hot, 16. dream, 17. ., 18. Untitled, 19. foxglove, 20. dungeness, 21. splash, 22. Untitled, 23. Delitsch Tower, 24. gravestone angel

1. RL Stars and friends, 2. Kismet/Expired Polaroid Film, 3. Kamikazes!!, 4. Baobab #2, 5. Boabab #1, 6. dark poem1, 7. front yard flowers, 8. he picked flowers., 9. This Side of the Blue, 10. A summery picture for a summery 'Roid week 2013 - day 1, 11. red spot, 12. Old Crow., 13. Isla Mujeres, 14. 'Roid Week #2 - Traveling, 15. 195/365, 16. cooling off, 17. Roid Week 2013, 18. Reflecting on a sugar high

Some of the photos don't show up because they lack the proper permission (to be used with fds flickr toys) from the photographer, but you can follow the links below each mosaic to view each photograph.

[Created by fds flickr toys.]

Monday, July 15

'Roid Week, Day One

I have to admit that my heart is not fully present for this year's 'Roid Week, but nonetheless, it does bring some needed distraction and I still love looking through the pool. In past years, I think I've actually shot most of my submissions during the week, but due to circumstances this year, I am not so sure I will even pick up a camera. Fortunately I have a decent backlog of photos that I have not yet posted anywhere. This morning I started with my sweet boy Rocky in a double exposure with the nasturtium in our garden and a shot from the first polawalk with my Impossible Class back in April. You can check out the whole 'Roid Week pool here.

[Polaroid Spectra + expired Polaroid Spectra Image film]

[Polaroid Spectra + PZ680 Color Protection film]

Thursday, July 11

On my mind.

[Polaroid Spectra + expired Polaroid Spectra Image film]

I wrote a blog post in my head today on my run, but after quite an emotional day, this photo will have to suffice. Perhaps another time I will share the words I composed about long hair and summertime and mixes that soothe the soul.

Tuesday, July 2

Almost four months later.

[Polaroid SLR680SE + PX680 Color Protection film]
It's hard to believe that it was almost four months ago that Rocky was diagnosed with a tumor and the vet gave us the impression that he might only have days left to live. We were terrified. And then relieved that he seemed to keep on keeping on for the most part.

Today I told him that every minute I get to spend with him is a gift. And then I got all teary eyed.

He has good days and bad. More good than bad as far as we can tell. There for awhile, he was doing so well, we took him back in for another ultrasound on the chance that there had been a mistake or maybe the tumor had just miraculously disappeared. That was at about the two month mark. Unfortunately, the tumor was still there, but nonetheless, it was good to have a chance to discuss things with the vet a bit more.

Since then, he's mostly been good. He has an appetite. He likes to hang out with us. He finally stopped waking me up all night long! His coat is shiny and clean. He still likes to go outside.

He also still throws up at least once a day. There for awhile, it was mostly just clear, foamy vomit. Now it's been more food-oriented which isn't so good. The puking in general isn't great, but since it's not throughout the day, it hasn't worried us too much. But throwing up food is more worrisome. Not to mention it breaks our hearts that he has to deal with such discomfort every single day.

When he is doing well, it is easy to be lulled into thinking that everything is okay. Not that he's not sick, but that...I don't know...he's going to be around for a good long time. He's definitely a trooper, living all these months with a big tumor in his belly.

And then he has a bad day. Recently, he had a bad week and it was tough. We went through the mourning all over again. Scared. Unable to picture life without Rocky. Worried about being able to tell when he's really in pain since so far he hasn't exhibited the typical behaviors of pain, like not eating and isolating. We spent many evenings just hanging out in the backyard with him.

His appetite has changed, but he still has an appetite. A few weeks ago, he stopped eating dry food. And he got really finicky about wet food. One meal he would love the chicken, the next, he would turn his nose up at it and I'd have to open another can of food until I hit upon something that he would eat.

Last week, after his worst day, I woke up in the early morning and gave him dry food and he ate it! And then he ate more! That whole week he ate some dry food in mornings and then wet food the rest of the day. He got perkier again. He started begging to go out front again. (He had stopped that for awhile.) All signs pointed to him totally feeling better again. It was such a relief.

Today, he is back to running into the kitchen to eat, but then not eating much and being finicky about what flavor he gets. I'll give him as many damn flavors as he wants as long as he will eat something. His eyes are bright, but his energy is slightly off. What worried me the most was his weigh-in this morning. He's been holding steady at around 10.4 pounds and this morning he weighed 9.7 pounds. That's not a great sign.

I'm going to call the vet tomorrow and see if maybe he needs to be on something other than the Pepcid AC. Maybe his nausea has gotten worse, I don't know. And I'm going to keep feeding him whatever he can eat every couple of hours. And loving him with all of my heart. He is my angel.

Sunday, June 30

Enjoy the journey.

[Polaroid SX-70 Alpha 1 SE + PX70 Color Protection film]

We came across the magnetic poetry truck recently. Such a cool idea. I hope I spot it again one of these days.

Wednesday, June 19

Words To Shoot By :: Film

[Polaroid Spectra + PZ680 Color Protection film]

Check out all the submissions for the latest Words To Shoot By here.

Sunday, June 16

List no. 17 :: Things I don't do anymore.

  1. Drink coffee.
  2. Smoke.
  3. Bite my nails.
  4. Pull on my eyelashes.
  5. Refuse to fly.
  6. Throw things in a fit of anger.
  7. Put myself down constantly.
  8. Shy away from talking to people.
  9. Do shots of hard liquor.
  10. Eat hard candy.

Wednesday, June 12

List no. 16 :: Things that haven't changed much since I was young.

  1. Not very good at girly things. (Make up, pretty clothes, etc.)
  2. Not a good sleeper.
  3. Love to read. Love to get lost in a good book.
  4. Talk to the cats. A lot.
  5. The cats are my best friends.
  6. Don't really have anyone to play with in our neighborhood. 
  7. Brother knows exactly how to make me cry.
  8. Hate being tickled.
  9. Don't really like to cook.
  10. Can do the middle splits.

Tuesday, June 4

Words To Shoot By :: Moment

[Polaroid SLR680SE + PX680 Color Protection film (left, right)]

This week's Words To Shoot By brings the 100th post plus a handful of guest submissions. Check it out! 
[Polaroid Spectra + PZ680 Color Protection film]

This shot of Rocky & Will is definitely a favorite moment for me. They both posed so perfectly! Rocky was outside helping Will grill, as usual. I just love these guys so much. (And Simon too!)

Monday, June 3

List no. 15 :: Sleepy times.

  1. When I have multiple restless nights, I start getting really spaced out during the day.
  2. And I have more of a tendency to be a total klutz.
  3. Like this morning, I broke my cereal bowl from childhood.
  4. And over the weekend, I put the clothes in the washer, added the soap, turned it on and walked off without closing the lid.
  5. So when we got home from running errands, the clothes were soaking in gray water.
  6. I leave the house and then can't remember if I locked the back door.
  7. I put perishable items in the cupboard instead of the fridge.
  8. I wander around the house, wondering what it is that I set out to do when I got up.
  9. The other day, I totally forgot that I let Rocky out front and he disappeared down the driveway.
  10. Luckily, when I called him, he came right back.
  11. I trip over my own feet. Over invisible things on the floor. Over the cats.
  12. And it's harder to get things done because my focus is fuzzy and I am easily distracted.
  13. Basically, my brains feel like scrambled eggs much of the time.
  14. Perhaps these are already "senior moments" for me, but I'll keep pretending it's the restless nights.
[Currently behind by two lists, but I refuse to throw in the towel just yet!]

Monday, May 27

I've created a monster.

And that monster is named Rocky. He will not let us sleep at night. I'm starting to feeling like I am living with perpetual fog in my head. Not grouchy, but somewhat out of it. Sometimes slap happy. Sometimes just plain exhausted.

The cats waking us up in the middle of the night is nothing new, but over the winter, they were really good and sletp through most nights. In the past, as warmer weather arrived, they would start getting up at 3:00 or 4:00, wanting to go out. Meowing and meowing persistently no matter how long we ignored them. And years ago, Rocky would get up at all hours wanting to eat more.

I don't know how we finally got them to settle down. I think, in part, it was them getting older, they are just more mellow. And during the summer, if they are bad, we end up shutting them out of the room which usually works until dawn when Simon starts rattling the doorknob or body slamming the door.

Ignore, ignore, ignore. Will is good at it. Me? Not so much because it starts to make me crazy after awhile and I have to make it stop.

And let me just say, I am a light sleeper. It is not hard to wake me up. I can have earplugs in, the fans going and the door closed and still hear some of the racket.

So yeah, in a way this is nothing new, but it is a little different. And really, it's my fault. When Rocky was first diagnosed with a tumor, he had days where he really wasn't eating much at all. So if I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom or get water, and he ran to his dish, I would give him food. And he would eat. And I was just happy to get some food in him.

But not he knows that he can get me up in the middle of the night to give him food. Sucker!

And now he eats frequently throughout the day so I doubt he really needs food in the middle of the night.

But he has a tumor, what am I supposed to do? It's hard to get mad at him. I have no idea how much longer he'll be around to wake me up in the middle of the night.

Waking up at 1:00 or 2:00 and then going back to sleep until 5:00 or 6:00 isn't so bad.

Waking up at 1:00 or 2:00 and being kept awake for who knows how long and then waking up again at 4:00, 5:00 and 6:00 is not so fun. It is not restful, fulfilling sleep.

And we don't even really know what he wants. I guess he just wants us to be awake. He nuzzles our faces, licks us, sits on the bed and quietly mews. He wants love. He wants to be pet. He wants to snuggle.

Lately, I've been trying to ignore him. We both used to just pet him, because, well, it's kind of sweet. But now, it's more like, "come on, dude, I want to SLEEP."

So I ignore him. I pretend I am asleep. But HE DOES NOT STOP. Some nights I get to sleep from 1:00 to 4:00. Last night, I think I was awake most of the night. He would curl up under my arm and I would think, "at last, he has settled down." But no, he would stand up, turn around, walk around the bed. So, so restless.

He's pretty restless during the day as well. Of course, there is the possibility that his tumor is bothering him, but we just don't know. It doesn't seem like he is in pain. He's not showing the typical signs of being in pain: not eating and wanting to isolate. He eats and all he wants to do is be with us.

Maybe it's because he used to go outside a lot more than he does now. That's been a big life change for him. We would play with him, but he doesn't really like to play. Chasing toys just doesn't interest him that much.

And yes, I know that cats are nocturnal, but house cats can ultimately learn that their humans sleep at night and so they should too.

I read this earlier:

If you get up and feed your cat, play with him or even interact with him, you will have inadvertently rewarded him for waking you. As a result, he’ll try harder and harder to wake you each subsequent night. Even getting out of bed to scold your cat won’t work well, because negative attention from you may be better than no attention at all.

Every single time that I have gotten up and given Rocky food or pet him or acknowledged his existence in some way, I have basically been telling him that he can just wake me up whenever he wants.

So now what? I still can't even get mad at him. It just is what it is. But we need to sleep. We desperately need to sleep. I have not slept for longer than two hours at a time in weeks.

Because he has the tumor, I feel sort of guilty shutting him out of the room, but I think that's what has to happen. That's the only thing that I can think to do.

And I kind of feel like an idiot, because, yeah, I created this mess. I created the nighttime monster that is Rocky. But when all of this started, we really thought death was imminent so how were we supposed to ignore his need to snuggle in the middle of the night? It was sweet and comforting.

Now, since he is stable, we really have no idea how long he'll be around. The vet doesn't think he'll be around longer than 6 months, but they don't really know. It could be much longer. Which is awesome. Or he could be in this stable phase, feeling good, and his tumor could rupture and then he would likely die. Which is not awesome. But no matter, we need to start getting some sleep.

Well, this was a much longer ramble than I had in mind. Just blame it on the lack of sleep.

Sunday, May 26

List no. 14 :: The week.

  1. Enjoyed spending almost a week alone while Will was at the beach with his folks.
  2. It was nice to discover that I no longer get scared at night when he is away.
  3. My sleep schedule is totally screwed right now and it's not much fun, but I'm not sure what I can do about it.
  4. Cleaned the house from top to bottom, more or less. Not fun, but it's kind of nice to have a really clean house for the moment.
  5. It won't last. The cats bring in so much dirt + the wind + our house is just old and crumbly.
  6. The weather suddenly turned very hot. It feels like summer.
  7. It's already too hot to be running at 8:30 or 9:00, but I can't seem to get out any earlier.
  8. Had my last Impossible Class and it was so much fun.
  9. Both boys happened to be absent and the girls are so much more focused. It made things easier.
  10. Not that I have anything against boys. It just worked out that way.
  11. Had dinner with an old friend and her best girlfriend before picking Will up at the airport.
  12. It was so nice to hang out with some ladies. With other human beings. 
  13. I enjoyed it so much; it really makes me wish that I had a lot more of that going on in my life.
  14. No idea if I will ever have a good girlfriend in Santa Fe. It's been six years already.
  15. I watched Lip Service every night while Will was gone even though most of the characters annoy me. I didn't love it, but it was entertaining.
  16. I also ate lasagna and salad just about every night, because I was too lazy to actually cook anything for myself.
  17. Finally found two new dresses for the summer. This one and this one.
  18. I really wanted a long dress but nothing at the usual chain stores suited me.
  19. And I still need to find a new skirt.
  20. Having lunch with my parents and my brother and his family today.
  21. Will's parents arrived on Tuesday and will be here through the weekend.
  22. Rocky is stable and as restless as ever. He's got summer fever for sure.
  23. I didn't do last week's list and I need to catch up.
  24. Oh and I really DO NOT like the new Flickr, but I am bearing with it because I don't really know what else to do.

Friday, May 17

The Impossible Class - Emulsion Lifts

My students really enjoyed learning how to do emulsion lifts. Check out some of the results over on the Tumblr.

Wednesday, May 15

As time goes by.

The days pass quietly for the most part. Today is not much different than last week. Or the weekend. Or yesterday.

But everything seems hard right now. My heart feels heavy most days even as I try to convince myself that there is joy to be found in each day. In each moment.

I smile when Rocky is in a deep nap and looks so peaceful. Or when he is asleep at the foot of the bed and I reach down to pet him. He still stretches out so I can gently rub his belly. And then my heart breaks a little bit because I don't know how much longer we have together.

Some might envy all the free time that I have. Most of the time I am grateful that I have so much freedom, but there are days that the empty hours seem to stretch on endlessly. And I have to wonder why I made certain choices that have led me to this particular time and space.

Too melodramatic? Perhaps.

The lack of sleep certainly does not help, but I don't like to harp on about it too much. In the past, I struggled greatly with insomnia and I finally learned that the more I complained about it, the more power I gave it. And actually, I don't necessarily have insomnia right now. I have a cat that wakes me up a lot. (Last night he kept putting his face right up to mine and tickling me with his whiskers.)

And so I think therapy to myself:

Feelings are feelings. Thoughts are thoughts. Neither are necessarily reality.

Best to acknowledge the feelings though. Acknowledge and accept but don't dig in too deep.

Be kind to myself. Be compassionate with others.

Love. Laugh. Smile.

This too shall pass.

Be present in each moment.

Phrases that often make me cringe because they are so cliche, but truth be told, they do help most of the time.

Take pictures.

Get out of the damn house.

Those things usually help too.

And sometimes writing things out helps as well. I think I already feel better.

Monday, May 13

Impossible Class update.

Another update over on the Tumblr: on learning experience and the pets of the Impossible Class.

Sunday, May 12

List no. 13 :: A few of my favorite things.

  1. Impossible film
  2. Sandwiches
  3. Kitty cats (especially mine)
  4. Running
  5. Oceans and palm trees
  6. Perfectly ripe strawberries
  7. Red velvet cake
  8. Bacon
  9. Vintage cameras
  10. Fields of flowers
  11. Crime shows on television
  12. Cool nights and warm days
  13. Road trips

Saturday, May 11

Words To Shoot By :: Cinco

[iPhone 4 + Hipstamatic App]

Check out all the submissions for "cinco" here.

Sunday, May 5

List no. 12 :: I forgot.

  1. Yep, I forgot about writing this week's list.
  2. Last night we had some beers at our local pub.
  3. So breakfast burritos were a necessity this morning.
  4. Will saw Hilary Swank at the restaurant when he picked them up.
  5. He couldn't remember her name and neither could I even though I knew who he was talking about, "you know, the woman from that boxing movie." 
  6. I know she is an Oscar-winning actor, but I always remember her as Steve's girlfriend on Beverly Hills 90210.
  7. Vacuumed, mopped, and did laundry.
  8. Then we went to see Iron Man  3.
  9. I am a sucker for action/superhero movies and I love Robert Downey Jr.
  10. Now we are home and having margaritas. It is Cinco de Mayo after all.

Friday, May 3

Impossible Class - Railyard Polawalk

Finally got some photos that the kids took posted over on the Tumblr. I am so impressed by their work!

Thursday, May 2

Six weeks later.

[Emulsion Lift - PX680 Color Protection film]
 It was six weeks ago yesterday that we found out that Rocky has a tumor. It's hard to believe that so much time has gone by so quickly.

And that nothing has really changed. Which is a good thing, of course, but it also leaves us feeling confused much of the time. Because it's easy to get lulled into thinking that they must have made a mistake, that he's not really sick.

But unfortunately, no matter how normal he seems, we can still tell that he is a little bit off. Whether it's because he throws up sometimes or because he looks so uncomfortable at times. And he still takes Pepcid AC twice a day which he probably wouldn't have to do if he didn't have the tumor.

He still likes to go outside. He has an appetite although he doesn't eat as much as he used to. He continues to hang out with us and seems to enjoy being around us. He hangs out in the kitchen every time we make a meal, waiting for treats. He doesn't seem particularly lethargic.

[Polaroid Spectra + PZ680 Color Protection film]
And we are so grateful that he seems to be doing so well in spite of his diagnosis. He has been a little grumpier than usual, but that could be due to his outdoor restrictions. And he's lost weight. I've been weighing him every week and he had been holding steady at 11.2 pounds, but this week he weighed in at 10.4 pounds. That's a lot to lose in a week. So then I worry that I'm not feeding him enough.

(We can't leave his food down all of the time so he can snack at will because Simon eats it instead and now Simon has gained weight. Constant cat monitoring, that's what we do.)

It's been tough too though. Some days he looks absolutely miserable and we don't really know if it's because he's experiencing pain or because he's depressed about not being able to go on his regular outside adventures. Maybe it's a little of both. We just don't know.

He definitely gets depressed about his outdoor restrictions and it makes us feel so bad. He is allowed in the backyard since we can close the gate and he can't get out. And we've been allowing him out front but only when one of us can keep an eye on him. The minute he starts heading down the driveway, we have to lure him back inside by giving him a treat. We can just see in his eyes how badly he wants to take a walk around his usual neighborhood spots. Spots that we know and that aren't very far from us. And he most certainly does not like us following him around in the front yard. But we don't know what else to do. Sometimes I am tempted to let him go do his thing, but I know if something happened - if he got in a cat fight and the tumor ruptured or if he collapsed away from home - I would feel so awful. So guilty. So as much as he hates his restrictions, I think it is the responsible thing to do. At least he isn't completely housebound.

The outdoor monitoring can be taxing on us as well. Sometimes I have things to do, but I'll end up outside so he can get his front yard wanderings in. It can be stressful, but then again, some days it's a nice excuse to sit on the porch and read a book.

The early awakenings are wearing us out as well. He's been getting up at 5:00am. Not totally unusual, but now I have to get up and feed him whereas before I just ignored him or let him outside. But since he doesn't eat as much as he used to, I basically feed him whenever he wants food. He just eats a little bit at a time instead of gorging himself. (Which is much healthier, I am sure, but new for him.) And we have to give him his pills on schedule twice day. So one of us has to be up before 7:00am for his morning pill and we have to be around in the evening for his second pill. Not a huge deal, but it does make it difficult to go out for dinner (we tend to eat early so normall would be out at 6:00 or so) or to make evening social plans. Or vacation plans. We're going to miss my niece's college graduation because we don't really have a catsitter and even if we did, I don't think I really trust anyone to cater to his every need like I do.

I know I sound like I am complaining, but I'm not. I don't mind doing any of it, I am just saying that it is tough sometimes. (And frustrating. And tiring.) But we love him and we'll do whatever we need to do to keep him eating and not vomiting and enjoying his life.

We're doing the best that we can.

Sunday, April 28

The Impossible Class - First Polawalk

Some pictures of me and the kids in action taken by Will with his iPhone are over on the Tumblr!

Friday, April 26

List no. 11 :: Travel dreams.

  1. Dallas and/or Los Angeles for a Polawalk.
  2. New York City and The Impossible Project.
  3. Spain. Always dreaming of returning to Spain.
  4. The Northwest road trip. Drive to Seattle to Portland and then down the coast to San Francisco and then San Diego.
  5. Joshua Tree and The Harmony Motel in 29 Palms.
  6. The Salton Sea and Palm Springs.
  7. National Parks in Utah.
  8. New Orleans. Because I have never been there.
  9. England. So I can meet all my lovely Twitter friends who live in there.
  10. Pittsburgh. Always Pittsburgh.
  11. And honestly, right now I would take a night at the local Motel 6 so I could sleep through the wee hours of the morning without any disruptions caused by the cats.

Thursday, April 25

Tuesday, April 23


[Polaroid SLR680SE + PX680 Color Shade film, Holden edition]