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.