2014 Week 43 & 44: Rest in peace, Katniss Everdeen Kelsey-Hansen

La De Blog - Leigh, Katniss, & Zack
Me, Katniss, & Z

I’m blogging from Thomas apartment in a sea of boxes. It is Thursday night/Friday morning. We got everything packed up and this should be a fairly quick move tomorrow morning; Friday morning. I believe Z and I are the most tired physically and emotionally that we have ever been. Last night, on the same day that Laini died 7 years ago, Katniss let us know it was her time to go and we drove her to BluePearl, which is our vet Chicago Exotics during the daytime. We talked to the vet and the means to keep her alive weren’t a guarantee and we didn’t want to put her through any stress, so we decided together to have her put to sleep. It was crushing to say those words, but in the end, we knew it was time. She’d had green poop for awhile and when we had mentioned it to Dr. Horton, she said it could happen, but that she was perfectly healthy and happy. She had started losing weight, but was still eating, but in the last week, she took a turn for the worse. She stopped eating, so I had been force feeding her since we had our vet appointment coming up Saturday. When we took her out last night, her butt was cold to the touch even though she’d been on her heating pad. I put her on my belly to warm her up and it didn’t seem to be working like usual, so I gave her a bath and it was clear that she was spiraling downward. While I was crying and holding her tiny barely moving body in a towel, Z said, “I think we should take her in.” I had the sweetest voicemail from our favorite tech at Chicago Exotics this morning. I am glad we took Katniss in when we did, but the timing is just about the worst it could have been. Happy to know she is up in Hog Heaven, as Aimee (David Bowie, Lady Hedgehog’s mom) said: “I am so sorry to see this. Nothing makes this time any easier, but just know that you guys gave her the best little hoglife she could have asked for. She is up in HogHeaven crunching meal worms with David Bowie doing spin class. Sending so many hoghugs. xoxox.” Hog moms are the best moms. I texted in a PTO day to work. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I can’t talk about this without starting to cry. I would have been useless at work, but being home, I slept in and then was working most of the day until 12:30am packing nearly every last thing up. A new chapter in our life starts tomorrow and we are very sad not to have Katniss with us on the page.

Week 43: Took T-dog to vet. Voted. Eliza picked up a onesie. Had a DIY Trunk Show employee pick up my DIY Trunk Show goody bag items! Spontaneous dinner at Smalls with Linsey after going to Lincoln Antique Mall to look for a coffee table. Z’s parents came to town and helped us check off about 18 items off our 20 item bucket list.

Week 44: Dropped off Stacy’s bday present. Picked up money and music that Reckless didn’t buy. Dropped $ off. Dinner with Rani and gave her the plates back that I hadn’t been able to sell. Drink at Rainbo. Sarah J. came by and helped us pack. Next night Jen L. helped us haul stuff over to the new place. Drove Katniss to BluePearl. Pack, pack, pack.

Speaking of emotional, it was really and truly fantastic to see Rani alive and in such better spirits. She drove up to get the rest of her stuff and her beloved cat Mieko. We both got teary a few times, but happy tears. Just so happy to see my friend moving forward in her life. ALIVE. When one year ago, it seemed so bleak, silver linings are showing.

Films watched 43rd & 44th week of the year:

The Lego Movie
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

TLM was really fun and yep, I have the song stuck in my head. I don’t mind because I need things to be awesome. THG:CF was great a second time. I love these films so much and it was fitting I watched this within a week of Katniss passing. <3 <3 <3

2014 Week 42: End Cat Calling Halloween Costume & First Vegan Food Swap Chicago

La De Blog - Feminist Halloween Costume End Catcalling
My Feminist Halloween Costume – End Catcalling

The last few years, my Halloween costumes have been memes, but this year I couldn’t think of anything until two days before our party and came up with this one. Probably the most topical costume I’ve done so far, as the viral video of a woman being catcalled (over 100 times in 10 hours in NYC) has been all over my feeds this week. This year I went as no catcalls/end catcalling. Z and I both have been sapped of energy since it feels like we eat, sleep, and breathe our move these days and we skipped two parties we really wanted to go to.

This week: Boxtrolls @ City North. Made Rhymes with Twee ad for the DIY Trunk Show program. Cooking Up Change event @ Bridgeport Art Center. Made chili for Vegan Food Swap. Z & my Halloween Party. Errands at Home Carpet 1 and then Floor and Decor. Dropped Bean Baby onesies and ‘bean a great year’ cards at Neighborly. Afterwards, I made pierogi for the food swap. Rachel & Adrianne’s Halloween Party. Made truffles for the food swap. Friends helped Z and I carry boxes to our new place – we have the sweetest friends. Vegan Food Swap @ Read/Write Library. Was too freakin’ tired and I ate my ticket to Allo Darlin’ at Schubas. LAME. Cannot WAIT to just be moved already.

La De Blog - Vegan Food Swap Chicago 2014-11 Truffle 01
Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Truffle

La De Blog - Vegan Food Swap Chicago 2014-11 Truffle 02
Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Truffle – inside

For the first Vegan Food Swap Chicago, organized by buddies Alison & Ian, I made the potato&onion pierogi, black bean + butternut squash + kale chili, and the Salted “Caramel” Peanut Butter Truffles from the Minimalist Baker recipe. I was most proud of the truffles and they were fairly time-consuming, actually, but they were my least popular item. I know it to be true that savory nearly always wins, BUT I still like to challenge myself and make something new, which most often is sweet. As I took a first taste of the dates mixed in with coconut oil, my first thought was “oh, man. vegans thinking this tastes like caramel be crazy,” but once you drape the “caramel” in peanut butter and chocolate, it goes a long way in convincing me that it does taste something like caramel. My fave things I swapped for were Betsy’s vindaloo tofu, Reba’s quince preserves, Bob’s cauliflower kalamata olive thing, and can’t remember swapper who brought the elderflower tea. I had multiple lunches/dinners for the week. It was great going to a swap where I knew I could potentially eat everything! Alison, Ian, and I are still taking part in the regular swap, but this is a nice breakout swap for the Chicago vegetarian/vegan community.

La De Blog - Vegan Food Swap Chicago 2014-11 what I swapped for
Vegan Food Swap Chicago – what I swapped for

Films watched 42nd week of the year:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Boxtrolls
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze

Yep, only kid movies this week. I think I watched something without Z, but I can’t figure out what it was. The Boxtrolls was tremendous. I have always been entranced by stop motion films, but this one had a great deal of heart and a nice message of being yourself, even if you’re a weirdo.