nesting material


nesting material


Yesterday, I gathered some nesting materials for the birds and hung it up outside. I used an extra suet box to hold the yarn, wool roving, embroidery floss, cat fur, and dried grass.

one month post plaquenil


a sharp-shinned hawk was here


The other day, I heard a disturbance outside of my window. When I looked up, I saw a mixture of snow fall and feathers. It seems that the resident Sharp-shinned hawk nabbed itself a meal from my feeding station.

I have been off of the antimalarial drug, Plaquenil/hydroxycloroquine, for just over a month now. I’ve had a lot of improvement with regards to weakness and pain. The skin lesions, in the form of discolored scales, that I felt sure were due to the drug are now disappearing. Huh. Imagine that!

from 2.8.2015




from 2.2.2015


from 1.28.2015

kin no neko

from 1.18.2015

kin no neko



house finch

I love Mondays and Tuesdays, which is when I do a bird count at my feeding station for Project FeederWatch. I have fed birds all of my life, but it wasn’t until joining a local birding group on Facebook that I tried to lure in specific species, including Baltimore 0rioles in the spring (they love grape jelly and orange halves) and Red-bellied woodpeckers this winter. I tally the birds that come to a specific corner of my yard and record the conditions. I also have a phenology calendar from the Aldo Leopold Foundation, and in that I track seasonal events, such as the start of the Black-capped chickadees’ two-note song or the Blue jays gurgling and head bobbing.

Most of my blood work has come back negative, I’m glad to report. The biggest thing to happen healthwise is that I convinced my new rheumatologist to let me go off of Plaquenil, which is the standard treatment for Sjögren’s Syndrome and some other autoimmune disorders, like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. While many people have a noticeable improvement, I experienced three years of progressive weakness. Although I’ve only been off of it for a week, I feel loads lighter. Before that, it was as if I was always dragging around sandbags. My limbs were so heavy. While it’s too early to make any conclusions, I have a feeling that I did the right thing.

More and happier updates soon!



Yellow-bellied sapsucker


This juvenile Yellow-bellied sapsucker is out of its range here in my yard this January of 2015. It has been hanging about since late October.

It has been a long time since I’ve published anything here, until now. Look for more updates soon!

happy new year

kin no neko

Right up until the evening of December 31st, I considered letting this space go quiet indefinitely. The struggle for energy is continual and it often leaves me distraught. My house and bits of my life are in a shambles, and that sometimes gives me the feeling that I have nothing worthwhile to document. I find it a struggle to write about the sad realities of my life, but as always I want to be exceedingly honest while remaining optimistic. That isn’t always so easy to put into words. And, well, with my house a wreck, I don’t so much want to put it into pictures either.

All that said, here I am and forward I shall go… taking on the challenge of health issues, new projects, old messes, and all things associated with the preciousness of life.

I don’t make resolutions, but I do really like the freshness of a new year. I think that it is a great time to reevaluate things and initiate change. I have a variety of short- and long-term projects planned and some general life goals. The common themes running through all of these are getting rid of what I don’t need (physically, digitally, mentally), organizing what I do have (again… physically, digitally, mentally) for optimal functionality and enjoyment, and continuing to explore new avenues.

  • I’m doing The January Cure at Apartment Therapy. This will be the four-week version of the eight-week Cure. While I know how to organize, streamline, and pretty things up, I thought that letting go of the control that I usually like to have and just doing what someone else suggests would be a good break as well as a nice way to start off the year. I will to continue to spruce up the house after that, particularly taking advantage of the weather… working on decluttering and organizing through the cold months, painting and gardening and spiffing up the home’s exterior come spring and summer.
  • I have some unfinished objects (the dreaded UFOs) that I would like to complete. FINALLY. This includes 1) crocheting together the circles of Mister Winter, 2) attaching ears to a wolf hat, 3) sewing buttons on a hood, 4) weaving a cat head basket that I just don’t *get*, and 5) embroidering Alicia Paulson’s Daisychain ABCs Crewelwork Sampler.
  • I plan to post more at my Facebook page. In the past, I’ve used it for occasional links and announcing new posts at my blog. I will continue that, but I am going to be more interactive, sharing interesting things that I find and answering any questions. I think that it’s a good way to stay in touch with people, be a bit more personable, because we all know that I’m terrible about responding to comments.
  • Um, respond to comments on a regular basis. *smile*
  • I have once again begun to put up photos at my namesake url and continuing to do so is a goal of mine. Speaking of which, there are a few projects that were sort of left in the lurch, most especially unmasked and the other side. I would like to add to both of these collections and maybe put the latter in book form to sell locally. Of note, the front page of is static, but if you add it to your feed reader, you’ll get regular updates. (Oh, gosh. This is set to forward one to this blog. I’ll try to fix it asap, but I forgot how!) You can also use the cloud tag on the right side of the page to navigate categories. But, *ahem*, this really needs updating as there’s not much to see presently.
  • Being sick is expensive. It isn’t just the medical bills or inability to procure an income. The expense also comes from exhaustion. For instance, whereas I once made everything by scratch and rarely relied on carry-out, over the past few years that has not been realistic… nor cheap. In light of that, one of my projects is feeding myself well despite limited energy and continuing to craft/design despite meager funds.
  • This space is one of my most important projects of the year. I have been blogging for over 10 years, but I have been most inactive during the last 12 months. I would like to update on a more regular basis, perhaps on weekdays as I once did.

Gosh, these sound more like resolutions than I intended. Whatever you call them, I’m up for the challenge of these projects and more.

new grooves, soon

tights on night stand

I can hardly believe that 2012 is drawing to a close. There is this one hearty month left to embrace the last of the year.

Things changed a lot for me and although the circumstances bringing about new ways aren’t always positive, such as death or ill health, the place where I am is good. So good. I see my grandma every single day; I feel so lucky to have her. She is 89. Since March, I have been volunteering as a researcher and archivist at the local museum. The work that I do there is consuming in the best of ways. I am a mix of Sherlock Holmes and Inspector Clouseau. Living with disease is always present and while I deal with it very well, I struggle with the awkward explanation, when necessary, to other people. “I have autoimmune polyglandular failure, with primary Sjögren’s, type I diabetes, and hypothyroidism.” It is difficult to explain what that means, so I am okay with not elaborating. I am very much okay.

However, I am ready to come up with some new projects for myself. December is the month that I declare to do so. I surely don’t know what as of yet, but I think that I will focus on the house, making things, and finding some new grooves.