June/July

This has been an extremely busy summer, due to some things that were going on personally, and some things going on at home. I actually apologized to the owner of my gym the last time I saw her – all my free time has been spent on these other projects, so I’ve been lucky to get there just once a week for yoga!

At work, I’m on this committee meant to plan team meetings, and provide engagement opportunities for the people in our department. (I call it the Party Planning Committee, but it’s actually more involved than that.) We had a quarterly all-site videoconference at the end of June, and someone had the idea that I should make a viral video to illustrate these virtual meeting best practices we’d come up with. Also, we wanted to do a potluck lunch on-site the same day, and guess who was in charge of organizing that? Well, both tasks went great! I wrote up a general script but had an amazing team of actors who really put their own spin on things and made the video hilarious! I took a couple days to edit it, and everyone loved it! Our potluck was also a really nice time, and everyone said it was one of the better “networking” activities we’ve done. And, with my friend JK about to go out on maternity leave, we threw a little baby shower for her, which was also a hit!

For the first time in a long time, I was free on the 4th of July, so J and R came out with their boys and checked out the little carnival my town had set up this year. We didn’t stay for the fireworks, but the weather was beautiful and I really just wanted some funnel cake. Plus it was nice to hang out with friends, and baby J is so cute! (A woman passing by as I held him said, “Oh he is such a little bubble!”)

GG and I had the opportunity to go to New York City for the day – then the opportunity didn’t work out, but we decided to go up anyway! I get free admission to a bunch of museums and stuff thanks to my employer, so we took the subway, walked through Central Park, spent a few hours at the Met Museum, and then got dinner at a place I found online, Cafe D’Alsace (surprisingly generous cheese portions!), before going back through the park, getting the subway back to the bus, the bus back to the car, and driving home. It was a little warm, but overall a really nice day.

Not content with one cheese board in a week, we took the train in to Philly a couple days later to use up the rest of the Tria gift card GG gave me for Christmas. This time we went to their Wash West location, and I think I like it more than the Rittenhouse one! It’s just as easy to get to from the train (maybe easier) and slightly larger and less cramped. Also they have a waiter who looks like Dave Navarro (?).

In the next couple weeks, a lot of the craziness should be over… until new craziness begins, I’m sure. But hopefully we’ll at least get to enjoy the end of our summer!

Anniversary AC Trip

I planned a surprise trip for our wedding anniversary. GG knew he was driving and had a general idea, but until we left he didn’t know 100% for sure to head to Atlantic City, and he didn’t know until we got there which hotel to head to. We were staying at our favorite casino, Revel. We’d been there before, but never to the hotel. It is awesome, very fancy-pants. (Which, for the price, it should be!)

Since I didn’t know for sure when we’d be getting there on Thursday night, I didn’t have anything planned for us. I later found out Rich Vos was performing that night, and actually after we checked in to the hotel and were heading to our room, we saw him walking toward us! We ended up riding the elevator with him, which was a really cool surprise. And that was all we got to see of him that night, because Revel does not sell off their unused tickets before the show. Oh well, their loss. Instead, we walked through the whole place, and got dinner at the Distrito taco cart. (Still need to go to the real Distrito in Philly – those tacos were amazing!) We also went to the Village Whiskey bar, where we got a drink and enjoyed the live band that was playing.

Friday was our anniversary, and the day I did actually have plans for us: we were getting a couples massage at Exhale Spa in Revel! I am a relative spa newbie, and GG has never been to a spa or had a massage before, but I’m afraid now we’re spoiled! They really took care of everything as far as payment right when you checked in, so I didn’t even have to worry about it later, after I was relaxed. They suggested we arrive 20-30 minutes early, but I now realize we could have gotten there much earlier and enjoyed some of the amenities before our massages. We split up to be taken to our respective locker rooms. Each of us received a tour, and it sounds like they mentioned different amenities to each of us, when we compared notes later. The place is huge and a bit maze-like, but even with my horrible sense of direction I was able to find my way around. We met up again in the co-ed lounge, where we chilled out with tea and snacks until our masseuses came to retrieve us and bring us back to the room. After discussing the massage, aromatherapy options, and any trouble areas with each of us individually, they left for us to take off our plush robes and get into the heated beds. The beds were kind of awesome, as different areas adjusted for different parts of the massage.

After this point, the room was dark and my eyes were closed, so I don’t know if we each got the exact same treatment, but I can confirm that my masseuse was awesome, and GG’s also seemed to do a great job. I could tell because he periodically stopped chattering and just relaxed :o) There are intentionally no clocks around, so I don’t know exactly how long the treatment was, but it was long enough, and when I did get to a clock later, I was surprised to see it was later than I’d expected. The treatment started with a face and scalp massage, followed by a heated face mask; went on to neck, shoulders, and arms; then legs; then I rolled over and she massaged and stretched my legs and feet before wrapping my feet in heated towels; and then of course my back.

They gave us a few minutes to get ourselves together before walking us back to the lounge and making sure we got a drink of water. Then we showered off in the well-stocked locker rooms, before meeting up at the co-ed mineral pool area. We tried the salt room, which might have been relaxing to sit in if we had a book or something to read. Then we hopped into the pool and hot tub, which was nice because again, there was really nobody else around, and the room is beautiful. You actually have access to the facilities to come and go as much as you like all day, but we ended up not being able to make it back in the evening. Overall, it was a fabulous experience. GG went from being vehemently anti-massage, to saying that if I ever wanted another couples massage, he wouldn’t say no :o)

After getting cleaned up back in our room, we went for a light lunch at Yuboka, the dim sum place. We were told that they had some kind of award-winning wings, so that’s what GG got, and I had the dumplings. We walked around outside and checked out all the pools, and even – gasp – left the casino and walked down the boardwalk a bit to a very creepy souvenir shop that sold things like food and computer equipment from the 1990s… This was all just killing time before our 6PM dinner reservation (6:00 on 6/6, get it?!) at Amada, our favorite restaurant!

We had an awesome waiter taking care of us (and another one who stepped in to give GG a spoon to fish the fruit bits out of the bottom of his sangria glass!) Of course we had the cheese plate, and the bacon-wrapped dates. I got the green salad and the asparagus. GG had some prawns and something else. We had some sort of marinated beans. And then they brought out a little piece of olive oil cake for us, with a candle and “Happy Anniversary!” written on the plate! We hung out a little more after dinner, but after such a long day and all that relaxing, I just wanted to go to bed!

We were able to sleep in a little on Saturday, before packing up, grabbing some breakfast, and heading home. It was nice to still have the whole weekend ahead of us when we got back!

“You want me, baby, I dare you, try and tear me down”

OMG, I updated my WordPress theme! I have been wanting to change it for a long time, but never got around to it (see also: the frequency with which I update this blog!). Lots has changed in the last 8.5 (OMG!!) years – it’s way easier now to install and customize a theme. Why did I wait so long?!

While I’m in an updating mood, let me tell you what’s been going on lately. I had my band concert at the beginning of the month. It was fine. Usually there is at least one piece that I’m really excited to play, and even if I don’t like all our selections at the beginning of the season, several more will grow on me. However, that never happened this spring. So I guess it went well, I just didn’t particularly care :o/ Afterward, GG and I took my grandmom out for dinner, which also counted as her Mother’s Day celebration, because I couldn’t coordinate a time with her and my mom to celebrate.

The following weekend, GG and I were supposed to go to this bacon festival, but it’s been postponed until October! (Based on feedback about another bacon festival that took place the weekend before, it sounded like that was a good idea, so they could have enough time to better organize the event.) Then it turned out that my brother was going to be in town on Mother’s Day, so I did end up seeing my grandmom, and my mom, when we all got together for hoagies.

The weekend after that was opening day for our local farmer’s market, plus it was the day of the compost bin and rain barrel sale for our county, so I went with GG and finally got my compost bin (I’ve wanted one for a few years, but was never able to go to the sale)! And we hit up the farmer’s market and checked out some new vendors. On Sunday, MB and I went to New York to see “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” with Neil Patrick Harris on Broadway! She called me after her birthday party to tell me that some of her coworkers had given her a pair of tickets, and I started telling her about the show and what a great time she and A would have. Then she was like, “Actually, he doesn’t want to go… so do you want to go with me?” Um, yes! Besides the craziest blister I’ve ever gotten, we had an awesome day! The weather was perfect, we picked up some gourmet macarons before the show, the show was amazing, we got dinner afterward at a neat Belgian restaurant, and everything worked out with getting the train to and from NYC. Loved hanging out with my chicklet for the day!

So now we’re coming up to the end of May already, which I can’t believe! My goals for Memorial Day weekend are to put my office back together (I’m reorganizing after getting a new desk and rearranging the furniture a little, but I think it’s going to take a little longer than I intended…) and finish some freelance design work (which might also take longer than intended, because I am missing a key piece of info from my client, who is now on vacation). Other than that, I am just relaxing, because June is going to be crazy!

My Third Stitch Fix

I’d been wanting to try another Stitch Fix, but their wait times were redonk (like almost two months!) so I didn’t bother. However, I randomly checked one night and the wait was more like a little less than a month, so I decided to schedule one. If you missed it previously, I’ve tried this service twice, earlier this year. The first time was a total miss, and the second time I kept three out of five pieces (a jacket, a top, and a necklace). For this mid-May Fix, I asked for pieces that I could wear on an upcoming business trip and/or our anniversary overnight trip.

As has become my M.O., I went ahead and googled everything in my box after it shipped, to try to get a sneak peek. I couldn’t find the necklace (but a rhinestone necklace? come on), but I did find all the tops, and it looked like a lot of loose, dolman sleeved, twist front type stuff. I tried to make it abundantly clear that I wanted things that would fit my curves, so I figured I would reserve any judgement until I actually tried everything on.

My first thought upon reading my stylist note and seeing the items in person? I am so happy I finally got a stylist who understands me! Darien referenced the anniversary trip in her note (no mention of my business trip, but that’s fine because it’s since been cancelled!), and understands where I need things to fit! Had everything fit well, I might have kept it all (and gotten the 25% discount)! However, I had to be a little more judicious, so I just made a couple selections. But overall I’m really happy with this box and this stylist!




Tart “Eames Gathered Waist Short Sleeve Shirt” – $58
Best thing in the box. I love the bright blue color, I love the soft jersey fabric, and I love that the waist is nipped in. Of course, it’s also the most expensive thing in the box… Keep.



Loveappella “Janie Cross-Front Dolman Sleeve Knit Top” – $54
Marlyn Schiff “Rylin Rhinestone Teardrop Pendant Necklace” – $42

Not my usual color or style, but I wanted to give it a shot. Definitely needs a tank or something worn under it. For some reason it kind of reminds me of a maternity shirt (maybe the “belly band” part of it), but I do like the way it fits, and I think it’ll be fun for my trip and for going out this summer. Keep.
I love the necklace, and had it been in the $20-or-less range I would have kept it (or if all four tops had fit me, I would have kept it to get the discount), but I am not paying that much for something that feels cheap and I could get somewhere else for much less. Return. (Side note: the chain was horribly tangled when I received this. They maybe need to package necklaces differently.)



Renee C “Malcolm Striped Dolman Sleeve Knit Shirt” – $48
I was actually really excited for this one, it looked like something fun and casual to wear this spring, but the openings of the sleeves are weirdly tight, and there is no stretch to the fabric at all! Since I can’t get the sleeves to the right spot on my arms, the whole thing just ends up fitting very strangely was was kind of uncomfortable. Too bad! Return.



41Hawthorn “Milano Twist-Front Crew Neck Knit Top” – $54
This was one that I’d seen in other people’s fixes, and I really was not sure that it would not look good on someone who is not a stick. I tried it on by itself, and there were way too many lumps and bumps. So I pulled out a secret weapon (my Ruby Ribbon cami!) and tried again. This helped a lot, but the shirt is still so… strange. And kind of requires a lot of fiddling to get all the foldy parts right. And is really long. And is long-sleeved?! (The fabric is so soft, though!) Seeing it in this photo just sealed its fate for me. Return.



So overall, I kept 2 out of 5 items, which isn’t amazing, but I liked everything and would have kept the whole box if it had worked out.

April

I’ve really got to cut it out with these monthly posts. Oh well, here’s my recap of April.

I think this month really kicked off what is going to be another busy spring/summer. GG was away for A WEEK AND A HALF* visiting his friends in Kentucky, so I was on my own for a little while. I kept myself busy, though. For example, my work friend J came with me to a sex toy party (!). That was an interesting night! The next weekend I went to a Ruby Ribbon party. My side-job director is now a Ruby Ribbon consultant, and I liked it so much, I booked my own party for May!

Also while GG was away, I had a massive cold. I was coughing and blowing stuff out of my nose that I’ve never seen before. The worst of it was over in about a week, but I am only just now getting over the cough. I stayed home from the gym for almost two weeks because I couldn’t do anything without causing a coughing fit, but I’m trying to get back on schedule.

The Saturday before Easter, GG and I went to NJ for MB’s big 30th birthday bash! I think the party she was planning for herself kind of grew out of control, but it was awesome! She rented a historic house in this pretty park, there was a catered dinner, GG and her husband and a couple other friends had formed a band and performed two sets, and everyone had a great time! Love my chicklet!

The next day, my family went out for a late Easter brunch, which was really nice. We went to a restaurant near my grandmother’s house, where we had gone for Easter a couple years ago. It’s so good, and much more affordable (and less stuff/formal) than the hotel where we used to go. Then… it turned out GG’s parents were home and making Easter dinner (we’d thought they would be away all weekend), so we headed over there afterward and ate some more!

The following week, GG and I headed down to DC for the USA Science and Engineering Festival. TMBG were performing there, which was my main draw, and originally we were going to meet up with my coworker M and his family for the day. However, he had to cancel, so I suggested to GG that he call his friend E and see if he and his wife K were around maybe to meet up for dinner. They were! So we had dinner with them on Friday and… surprise, K is pregnant! Like, seven months pregnant! We had a really nice dinner and then walked around Old Town Alexandria – luckily, the torrential rain had ended by then, it’s a really cute place. It turned out that E was volunteering at the SciFest the next day, so the following morning, GG and I got breakfast at a farmer’s market near E and K’s place, then went to their house and drove into the city with E.

The event itself was really neat, but so big it was almost overwhelming! We did end up seeing quite a lot. The booths were mostly “meh,” but some of the presentations were neat. We saw a talk about precision medicine and genomic testing/sequencing (when they opened up for audience questions, GG went first and asked if they were worried about a Gattaca-like situation). We skipped the TMBG kids’ show because, you know, kids’ show. We did try to catch Bill Nye, who came on right after TMBG’s first show, but he probably drew the biggest crowds of the day, and we were far away. He gave a neat presentation, though – including a mention of LASER BEES! Since the crowds were so crazy, we decided we should just stay put or try to move closer to the stage during the next speaker, which was Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs. I wasn’t especially interested in seeing him, but actually he gave a really funny, interesting talk about how Dirty Jobs got started, his upcoming new show (“Someone’s Gotta Do It”), and of course the benefits of learning a trade. Finally, it was time for the adult TMBG show. It was brief, but it restored my faith in TMBG’s fans! (Remember after that last show a few years ago, I thought maybe we wouldn’t be seeing them live anymore?) They performed a lot of good songs, including Spiraling Shape, and You’re On Fire, which I hadn’t seen live yet!

When we got back home, we went to check out another community band’s concert. I felt like a spy! It was good practice for my own upcoming concert… We’re in the very busy week leading up to our show…

* I have to write that in all caps every time I mention it because it was such a ridiculous amount of time.

March

March started out with a short business trip to CT for a few days. I drove up and back with two of my good friends and coworkers, which was a lot of fun. We were there for our annual all-hands departmental meeting, and it was the most fun one of these we’ve ever had. As of last year, we have an “engagement team” and they organized the meeting and other activities, and everyone seemed to have a really good time. And of course, it was great to see a lot of my coworkers who I don’t often get to see in person.

We got home just in time for our learning event to start, so I was busy for a couple weeks helping out with that. Our contractor C was in town for the first week, so I was out to dinner with her most evenings. And she’s getting married this summer, so we decided to throw her a little wedding shower while she was in the office, which was really fun, and she was totally surprised :o)

My other big work thing was that a major system we use was getting upgraded, and I am on the “change agent” team for my department. That ended up taking over my life for a couple weeks as I did demos (for individuals, small groups, and hundreds of people!), prepared, answered questions, rewrote procedures, etc. I will be so happy when everything is up and running! I got lots of great feedback about my work on the team, though. This is one of the first really “high visibility” things I’ve done, so I’m glad it’s gone so well.

Lots of new places are opening up in our town. MB came out and we went to the new Container Store on its opening day. It was actually kind of disappointing – very crowded (as I’d expected), the products were fairly expensive for things that weren’t really that unique, and there wasn’t really anything special going on for the “grand opening.” We had a fun day hanging out, though! And the new Chipotle is finally open! It’s in a horrible location with almost no parking, so it’ll probably start to frustrate me, but it’s nice to have somewhere that I can get a burrito bowl without having to cross a river.

Also this month:

  • New coworker started (who is also a friend and old coworker’s husband!)
  • I had probably the best annual review of my life at work, and am really excited to see what this year will bring
  • Continued going to yoga; these last couple weeks especially I feel like I’m finally getting the moves down and can now focus on breathing
  • GG and I went to a wine and cheese party, scoped out a friend’s new girlfriend (to report back to his mom), and made some other new friends
  • GG got a mural job at another local business
  • GG’s computer died :o(
  • I got a new computer to replace my current XP tower that I’ll have to take offline soon, as well as my “fun” laptop; it’s been getting to be a pain working off two computers, so I figured a laptop + docking station was a good solution. Now to redo my office!

February

OMG, another month went by without any other blogging! I know February is the shortest month, but seriously it feels like it went by in a flash!

The main theme of February I guess was the nonstop crazy snowstorms that affected everyone! Luckily, our power never went out, but lots of our friends had outages. The power was off at my grandmom’s house for a few days, so she came to stay with us for a little while, which actually was kind of fun. The snow also meant we stayed in more than usual, so I got to watch the Nye/Hamm debate live online over dinner, and we didn’t go out for Valentines Day. Instead, I attempted to make us a really nice dinner at home. It was good, but… did not go as planned. I made steaks with this chocolate/chili crust on them, and I found directions for starting steaks in a pan and finishing in the oven. Unfortunately, these types of recipes do not account for chocolate/chili crusts, so it turned out to be a horrible mess. (It was delicious in the end, though.) Thanks to the snow and power outages and whatnot, GG had several comedy shows cancelled (even one that I went to see!). And, because of the snow and holidays and various days off, I think it wasn’t until the last week of the month that I actually worked five consecutive days from the locations I was expected to work from!

We’d planned this out a while ago, but finally on Presidents’ Day weekend, we went to Ikea and got stuff to clean up and organize GG’s office/studio like he’s wanted. We added a tall bookcase, and swapped out his old desk for one that aligns with his existing desk, so it’s like one continuous surface. Next up: my office!

Speaking of my office, not that anyone really cares, but we just got “upgraded” to new laptops at work with Windows 8, and I hate it. For being the resident “techie” person, I’m kind of a curmudgeon when it comes to major changes like this. The computer itself is nice. It’s a touch-screen, which is annoying, but whatever. The Office 2010 software is an improvement over Office 2007. But Windows 8 is really not for the business environment.

We saw Wolf of Wall Street on Presidents’ Day (had wanted to go a couple weeks earlier, but even the movie theater lost power in the snowstorm!). It was so good. Much better and funnier than I’d expected, and I was pretty proud of myself for catching the references to The Graduate.

I’ve been continuing my yoga class at the gym, and I really wish they had yoga more than once a week! I tried a special class they offered called ABsession, which nearly killed me. The yoga is so much more my speed :o)

The month ended with the first of a string of important work events. This was a multi-site meeting that I helped to run at our site. Despite a few technical difficulties, everything went well here and we got lots of good feedback from the senior leaders who attended. Learning Week 2014 Part 1 here we come…

January

So what else did I do this month, besides trying on clothes and putting cats to sleep?

Well, the month (and year) started out awkwardly, at a really weird New Year’s Eve party at which GG was supposed to perform comedy. It was a “black and white” party, so we had to dress in just black and white (I cheated and wore gray boots). The event promoter who organized it did kind of a terrible job, so while it was a beautiful venue with lots of food, a bar, a band, and comedians at the ready, nobody actually showed up until about 11 PM, when just a few people started trickling in. We thought we’d be done well before midnight, so after waiting around for hours, all of a sudden it was time to hurry up and tell jokes (which did not go well), and then we took the other comedian home, and then it was midnight, and then we went home.

As has become our annual tradition, GG and I took a day off work and went to the Farm Show in Harrisburg with our friends L and S. We hit up the food hall first for an invigorating morning milkshake, then toured around the whole complex (we even found a new spot we hadn’t known about before, which was full of vendors!), then went back to the food hall for lunch before heading out. I think we ended up buying more “stuff” this year than we have in the past – GG got some wine, I bought some cheese, GG has these meat sticks and things he likes and has to pick up every year now, they’re now selling nuts so GG got a big bag of black walnuts, I bought some kind of hair accessory… Oh, and the new hot item of the show this year, the bacon? I was a little disappointed.

I got a bad cold (my first one in over a year, maybe?) just in time for this all-day training thing I had to be in at work. I just chugged tea all day and was miserable. I just couldn’t shake it, but luckily we also had plenty of snow days from work so I could get some extra recovery time at home.

I started going to a yoga class that I really like. It’s like regular yoga, except sometimes we hold hand weights.

American Horror Story ended, meh. I mean, I guess the right people lived and died, so that’s good. But it was barely “horror,” and there was nothing really that shocking. I hear the next series will be about communism in the 1950s, so I’m curious to see how that goes. I also binge watched the first two seasons of Girls one weekend while I was sick, and we have HBO for free until April for some reason, so I’ve been watching season 3 as it’s airing now.

My Second Stitch Fix

If you’ll recall, I tried Stitch Fix for the first time earlier this month, and the results were not so great. However, I know that a lot of people had bad experiences the first time around and their fixes dramatically improved once they’d sent in that first round of feedback. So I was able to squeeze in one more fix before the end of the month.

This time, I asked for a jacket and/or cute tops to wear under a jacket, in preparation for a couple work events I have coming up soon. I also gave them a link to my review of my first fix, hoping it would help them to see the pictures and my full feedback (there’s a character limit when you leave feedback for each item on the site).

I cheated again, and when I got the notification that my items had shipped, I went on the site to see if I could get a peek of what I would be expecting. Looking at the names of the items, I was not thrilled. Mixed metals? High-wasted cropped pants? A pea coat? However, as I started googling the items and looking at pictures, I could sort of put together why they had chosen these pieces, based on my previous feedback. The pants actually looked work-appropriate. The loose top came in colors I loved. The pea coat was still kind of random but I liked the style and the price looked good.

When my box came, I excitedly opened it, thinking all my comments from the previous fix would have been addressed. However, the note from the stylist (a different one this time) didn’t really mention anything from last time, and barely touched on my request for business casual clothes for work events. Here’s what I got:

Tulle “Glenn Front Pocket Pea Coat” – $58
I’m not really a “red pea coat” girl, but I liked the looks of this one (loved the pockets, collar, and cinched waist), so decided to give it a try. When I put it on, I actually laughed out loud. Not only could I not button it, I couldn’t even get the two sides to touch while I had it on. I also could not move my arms. Immediate return.




Margaret M “Emer High Waisted Cropped Trouser” $98
When I was doing my little preview search, I decided these pants didn’t look horrible, and assuming I got them in a color like black or gray, I could totally wear them to work. I was even willing to overlook the high price. Well, the pants I got are Burgundy, and they’re a little more cropped than I would like. They actually fit pretty nicely, but I felt kind of like I was wearing clown pants, and I definitely didn’t want to spend $100 for that experience. Return.



41Hawthorn “Mission 3/4 Sleeve V-Neck Blouse” – $48
My first thought upon taking this out of the box was that it was very sheer, but I added a cami underneath and it was ok. The real problem was that it was a tiny bit tight over my chest. And then the v-neck really puts it all out there. And the puffy sleeves. But… as I wore it, it kind of grew on me. I even put together a whole outfit, as suggested on my card. I decided to keep it!



41Hawthorn “Benson 3/4 Ruched Sleeve Blazer” – $78
This is the piece I was most excited about. It’s a jersey material blazer and I’d seen it in other people’s fixes; and as long as I got one in a reasonable (i.e. boring) color, I could use it for work. It came in gray! Now… it is a little tight when I button it, but I can button it. I have another jersey blazer, but it has these peplum ruffle things and sometimes I feel a little silly in it. This one is more of a classic blazer shape… and I don’t have to button it if I don’t want. Keep.



Bay to Baubles “Janet Mixed Link Necklace” – $28
I was a little concerned when I saw the name of this because I thought it meant it was mixed metals, and I really do not do goldtone. I was pleased to see that it was actually a mix of two types of (silver) chain! Turns out I really like it, and the price is right. Keep.



As predicted, my second experience with Stitch Fix was not perfect, but was a definite improvement over the first time. As I said in my feedback to them, they seem not to understand breasts and how things fit over them. I will probably hold off on scheduling another one for now, but the next time I have something coming up, or am just feeling dissatisfied with my closet, I will definitely set one up.

I wrote this review as a customer, nothing was provided to me by Stitch Fix or anyone else. However, the links above do use my referral ID, and if you choose to give the site a try, I’d love if you use my referral link!

Read about my first Stitch Fix experience here!

Katrina

As I mentioned before, Katrina had been sick for a little while. She had stopped eating and was throwing up a lot several months ago, but I got some anti-nausea medicine from the vet and that seemed to take care of the problem. She’d lost weight, wasn’t eating as much, and she just wasn’t herself, but they couldn’t find anything else wrong so we just chalked it up to her getting older and her appetite and attitude changing.

Even though she had gone back to eating mostly normally, she continued to lose weight. I got her some supplements to help her put on weight, fed her extra meals, and asked about it at the vet. They said I could bring her in some day and just put her on the scale to check her weight. So I brought her in one afternoon in mid-December, and asked if maybe while we were there, the doctor could just take a look at her again. This time… the vet noticed something. There was some kind of mass in her abdomen. It wasn’t there when she’d been to the doctor a few months before, but just as a cat’s lifespan is compressed compared to a human’s, things that could take months to develop in a human could develop in weeks in a cat. They referred us to a specialist for an ultrasound to see what it was and figure out next steps.

A couple days later, we took Katrina for her ultrasound. They shaved her entire belly and a good portion of each side. The vet there came back and gave us the news: she had the feline equivalent of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a tumor, her liver and kidneys were enlarged, and she had fluid in her chest. Treatment would be chemotherapy, but the chances for success were not good, and even if the treatment were successful, the cancer would come back. GG and I talked about it, and decided not to pursue this treatment, and instead keep her as comfortable as we could for as long as we could. We spoke to our regular vet later that day and she confirmed that that would be the best thing to do (in fact, she didn’t even mention going forward with any other treatment).

So we tried to enjoy Katrina as much as possible over the holidays. The nice thing was that GG and I were home a lot, so we could be with her and keep an eye on her. She went downhill pretty quickly, though. She’d already not been herself, but it got worse. She slept in random (seemingly uncomfortable) places, she couldn’t jump up onto furniture anymore, she ate less and less (despite drugs to help her appetite), her weight continued to drop (petting her was basically like petting a spine with fur). The vomiting had pretty much stopped at this point, but the amount of bloody diarrhea went way up. So we got other drugs to help with that, and they worked, but she continued to avoid using the litter box. Then I guess the fluids in her chest kicked in and she started sneezing and wheezing. It was all the time, but especially when she ate or drank (maybe leaning her head forward made it worse?).

The vet hadn’t told us how long we might expect Katrina to live, but I don’t think she was too optimistic. She gave us medicine about a week’s worth at a time. Finally, on Friday, 1/3, I made an appointment to take her to the vet the following Monday. I figured we’d let them check her out one more time; if there was something that could be done to improve her situation, of course we’d do it. But most likely, we’d be saying goodbye. She was barely eating, and I don’t know if she was drinking. I was worried we’d come home one day and find her dead. And most importantly, I know she was not comfortable. She was all bones, and she couldn’t even do her favorite thing: eat.

On Monday, 1/6, I ended up working from home so I wouldn’t have to rush home from work to get her to the doctor. So I got to spend one more day with her. GG met us at the vet’s office, where she was examined. The vet said she was dehydrated, which confirmed my theory that she wasn’t even drinking anymore. We could all just tell it was time. I’d been planning to stay there while they gave her the shot, but by that point I was crying and GG said he couldn’t be in the room and I didn’t want to just be there crying by myself, so we left her with the vet staff. Everyone who works there is so nice, I didn’t feel bad about it or like we were abandoning her. I just wanted my last memory of her to be a good one.

Everyone immediately asked if we were going to get another cat, like we need to maintain a level of three cats at all times. I think we will just enjoy being a two-cat family for a while. I’m pretty sure Katrina was the reincarnation of my childhood cat, Harry. They were both fat ladies who did their own thing, but when they felt like being snuggly, they were such loves. Harry used to suckle on my pajamas (we think because she was taken from her mom too young as a kitten), and while Katrina never did that, she came so close a number of times, like one little lick. Also, she would have been born around the same time we had to put Harry to sleep. So my theory is, someday, I will meet a cat that was born in January 2014 with that same cat spirit.

As for the boys, I don’t think they really noticed at first that Katrina was gone. She had pretty much checked out in those last few weeks, and they weren’t really spending a lot of time together. For a long time, the saddest thing I could think of was the fact that Ivan and Katrina were so close, and one of them would have to die first and the other would be so lonely. But I don’t think Ivan really realized she was gone until a week or so later. Then he started walking around the house meowing, and he seemed very concerned. I think both he and Sacha are ok now, though.

Katrina, you were my little love and my beautiful girl. You shed more than any cat I’ve ever known. You were the only cat who would willingly let me pick them up and carry them around. You had an attitude, but when you were in the right mood, you were so very sweet. And of course you were a good sister to Ivan. You were kind of the worst cat, but I love you and miss you, my little baby girl >^..^<