Time to celebrate, now. What am I going to do? I don't know, but it won't involve anything pink!
An update on Mellie: She has been doing pretty good. She decided she doesn't care for chicken nuggets any more, and ground beef is not so much to her liking. Shaved beef (like for cheese steaks) is OK, but now and then she'll just take some scrambled eggs, if you please. I feel bad about all of the food that we are wasting trying to get her to eat, but what can you do.... Just keep cooking things in the hope that something tempts her, I guess. She is generally happy and has her frisky moments when she sees a bird or squirrel, and she's not in any pain, so we're just doing what we can to keep her that way. Thanks, everybody, for sending good wishes and healing thoughts her way.
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Time to celebrate, now. What am I going to do? I don't know, but it won't involve anything pink!
Friday, March 30, 2007
Joey (stray cat who got shot with a BB gun by some horrible person who will, I am sure, find a special place in Hell reserved for him or her) has been doing great. I took his dinner out to him the other night, and brought my camera along. He always flops on his back and rolls around when you're getting his food ready, so I knew I could get a picture of his tummy. Look at all that pink skin - so soft and sweet. How could anyone do that to an innocent little kitty. Actually he's not all that little for a cat - he's just little compared to my dogs!
Here he is getting into position. He likes to eat underneath the boat, and on the strip of rug that we put out for him, thank-you-very-much!
I'm having a great time with the Secret Pal thing. This is my first time joining in, and it is so much fun. I can't say too much, or I might give away clues as to who my pal is, but I had the best time picking out little goodies for her Easter basket. I've also heard from the Pal who has me, and have asked her for clues, and all I got is that she (or he???) has been participating in this since SP7 and is located in the North East. Not much to go on...how about another clue? Please?
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Here is a picture of the same daffs that were in last week's post. Look how happy they are this week, without all that nasty snow and ice. I just love Spring, mainly because it is the END of WINTER!
I also signed up for a couple more sections of a book with Librivox. I completed the chapters I was recording of The Scarlet Letter, and am now working on a chunk of Tom Jones. It's a lot of fun, if you call cursing at your computer screen fun. There definitely is a learning curve with the recording software, and lets just say that I have not yet successfully navigated the highway. Still, I am really enjoying listening to the books on my iPod, (Pride and Prejudice and Emma, so far) and am sure that recording will be fun, too, eventually.
Mellie had a very good week this week. The warmer weather helps. Well...it helps me, so I have to assume it helps her! Many, many thanks to everyone who is sending positive energy and good wishes her (our) way.
Friday, March 23, 2007
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
It all started when I was reading some posts in the socknitters.com forum about "What to do with leftover sock yarn". There a post about a knitter who was making a blanket from all of the leftover bits, with a link to Shelly's website. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was just the thing I have been waiting for. I have been knitting socks like a, well, sock-knitting-fool, for about 8 or 10 years, and have just been shoving the leftover ends into ziploc bags. The ziploc bags were increasing in number, and were full to bursting, and seriously taking away storage area from my stash of sock yarn, but how could I bear to throw it all away? Problem solved - make a blanket out of it all.
Shelly has some great tutorials on how to get started, how to join the squares, and how to do the finishing off with an I-cord edging. The links are posted on the right-hand side of her blog under "Blankie Tutorial." Treat yourself with a visit to her blog - she is a great writer, and her kids are just so darn cute.
I made a small alteration from Shelly's pattern, though. She used size 0 (US) needles and cast on 31 stitches for each square. I tried that, but though it would take forever, so I'm using size 1 (US) needles, and casting on 41 stitches for each square.
I just love the way the yarns are coming together into a lively mish-mash of colors and patterns, and what a great use for all of those odds and ends! Here is a fairly recent picture of it:
And here is a picture of it as the wallpaper on my computer at work. Forgive the messy work area - wow, I'd better straighten up that mess!
Monday, March 19, 2007
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Friday, March 16, 2007
I like all kinds of sock yarn, and generally use US size 0, 1 or 2 needles, if that helps. Any and all fibers. I'm not picky.
2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
5. What's your favorite scent?
6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
13. What are you knitting right now?
14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
17. How old is your oldest UFO?
18. What is your favorite holiday?
19. Is there anything that you collect?
20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
23. When is your birthday?
Thursday, March 15, 2007
.....is positively giving me the berries. I don't know what I was thinking when I started it. There is no pattern, and I NEED a pattern. True, I used the stitch pattern from the body of the sweater, but I need someone to tell me "Cast on ______ stitches and blah, blah, blah." I can read. I can follow a pattern. I cannot make decisions on my own. I know this about myself. Why I ignored this defect in my understanding, I cannot say.
Anyway, I cast on 360 stitches, thinking that would make a nice size blanket. Wrong...360 stitches makes a honkin' huge blanket. I used a provisional cast-on, thinking that I could worry about the border later. Well, later is NOW. For weeks I've been looking through my meager library of stitch dictionaries, flipping right to the edgings and borders, made a few samples, and promptly frogging them. My problem is the corners. What to do with the corners. I don't want an awkward break in the border pattern.
Last night, I did this little sample:
It's a simple picot edging that I have used on socks before, and I experimented with doing increases and decreases to go around a corner. Not bad. Not bad at all. Then I read Jennifer's blog today, and saw the border on her alphabet blanket. Wow. Look at the corners - they look great. That border is so much better than my piddly little picot edging. Last week I ordered the Debbie Bliss book with the pattern in it, and am anxiously waiting its arrival. If I can make that border fit, wouldn't that be so much better? Plus, I would have a pattern! In truth, if I hadn't spent so many mind numbing hours on the endless pink blanket, I would frog the whole thing and make the alphabet blanket. Thanks for the post Jennifer - you are a lifesaver!
Now for an update on the pets - Mellie is doing good. She ate maybe 6 or 8 chicken nuggets this morning. Whenever she eats, and it stays down, it's a good day. When I went home at lunchtime, she was wiggling and waggling that little tail of hers, and barking at people who have the nerve to walk by HER house. Both excellent signs! Joey is doing great, too. His wound looks much better, and he doesn't mind the taste of the liquid antibiotic (it smells like ripe bananas - yummy).
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Lovely cat, don't you think? He has been hanging around the property for several months now, and, much to my dismay, I think we have an "outside" cat. Joey is a nice cat, as cats go, and I don't have anything against cats, but we can't have an "indoor" cat since my sister is terribly, horribly allergic, and...well...the dogs would eat him. Not a pretty thought. Even though I am 100% against having outside pets, what were we going to do, not feed him? He was such a straggly, pathetic looking thing when he first started coming around. Now look at him!
Well, as a responsible (albeit reluctant) cat owner, a few weeks ago we made an appointment for Joey to lose his manhood. That's right...no "little Joeys" running around. We made an appointment with our vet to give Joey the full treatment. Being dog people, we had a vague idea that it would be shots and tests and then, you know, "SNIP SNIP." Honestly, I don't really want to know all of the details. It needs to be done, so just do it, right?
Well, it was Joey's lucky day - he had already been neutred. Lucky for him... really, really embarrassing for us. Mom said "Didn't you girls looooook before taking him to the vet?" Of course we didn't do that. Pulling up his tail and oogling at his private parts - that would be rude. Anyway, he got his shots (rabies and something else, I forget what it was) and was tested for leukemia and HIV (negative, hooray!) and came home no worse for the wear.
Now, I'm not really a cat person. I don't have anything against them, really, but they just can't compete with dogs. Some would say that it is a flaw in my nature that I have the need to be loved and adored by my pets. Do cats love you? Maybe, maybe not, who can tell with those aloof creatures? Do dogs love you? Hell, they just about turn themselves inside out when I come home from work. Dogs are the only beings I have found that offer unfailing, unconditional love. Who wouldn't want that?
But I digress...we're talking cats here. Last week Joey wasn't coming around for his meals, and believe me, that cat does not normally miss a meal. One night S saw a couple of drops of blood by his food dishes, and we knew something was wrong. Anyway, even though I have different feelings toward cats, that doesn't mean that I want them to be SHOT WITH A BB GUN. Yes, little Joey was shot. Don't get me started on guns and the fact that there are irresponsible people out there who have them and buy them for their children to take pot shots at innocent animals. Sheesh.
This is a picture of poor little Joey the day we caught him and took him to the vet for the second time in as many weeks. You can't tell from this picture, but there is a BB shaped hole in the middle of his chest. He licked all of the hair away from it. Poor little guy.
Fortunately he had just had a clean bill of health, and they felt around and didn't find a BB, so they gave him a shot of antibiotic, three shots of fluid to hydrate him, and sent us home with 10 days worth of antibiotics to give him. He is doing much better now. He should be - he's getting "people food" shrimp and crab and tuna and herring in addition to his regular cat food. I'm beginning to wonder if he shot himself just to improve the menu options. Cats are sneaky little beasts and I wouldn't put it past him...
P.S. Why do my paragraphs switch line spacing like that? It's reallllly annoying. I'm helpless at html. Sorry if it annoys you as much as it annoys me.
Friday, March 9, 2007
To the untrained eye, this may look like an ordinary doggie coat, but alas, it is not. It is a super hero cape. Mellie has been sporting this cool "caped crusader" look since having her belly shaved for her ultrasound two weeks ago. You are probably asking what her super power is, so I'll keep you in suspense no longer. She has the ability to keep fire-breathing dragons out of the backyard. Truly. We have not have a single fire-breathing dragon in the yard on Mellie's watch. Here's another shot of her menacing "NO DRAGONS ALLOWED" stance.
Hey, I'm scared! She has had a really good week - breakfast every day, and only declined dinner once. She thinks vanilla ice cream (melted) is very tasty, and doesn't mind the fact that there are crushed-up pills in it.
As far as knitting this week, the mitred square blankie (3 squares only, I am sad to report) has taken a back seat to an experiment. At the forum on socknitters.com, one of the discussions is debating the use of reinforcing thread in the heels and toes of socks. I have always used regular old cotton/poly sewing thread, thinking that it gives the heels and toes a little something extra. One knitter asked whether the thread was too tough, and actually wears the sock out faster by rubbing against the soft wool. My efforts to extend the life of my socks may, in fact, be hastening them to an early demise. Horrors! Anyway, I have knit up a pair of Grumperina's Jaywalkers, one using thread in the heel and toes, and one not. I finished them last night, and will being trying to wear the heck out of these suckers in the interest of scientific experimentation.
Wish me luck!
Monday, March 5, 2007
Here is a picture of my funny-faced Scarlett that Kristin used for the painting. She asked for several pictures of each of the dogs, and wanted to know all about their personalities, and it really comes through in the painting. Even though Scarlett will be gone three years next month, I still miss her each and every day. She really left a hole in my heart.
Saturday, March 3, 2007
That's my sister S. on the way back from taking Mellie for a special ride. She loves car rides, and lately it has been all to Doctor's appointments, so as a special treat she got to go to the post office. You do realize I'm talking about Mellie, not my sister, don't you? It would be pretty pathetic if my sister were to run around in circles and whine and "wooo-woooo" at the prospect of going for a car ride. She's been eating really well - chicken nuggets or cheese omelets, and vanilla ice cream (melted in the microwave) for her crushed up pills. Again....I'm talking about Mellie, not S. Ha!
This week I have discovered the joy of audio books - I downloaded Pride & Prejudice onto my iPod, and have been listening to it while knitting, cleaning, and riding in the car. It's fabulous. Yes, I have read it about a half dozen times, and have a couple of versions of the movie, and practically have the 1995 BBC production (Colin Firth - be still my heart) memorized, but one can never get enough of Jane Austen.
Thursday, March 1, 2007
Yes, just last week we were told that sweet Mellie had 8 weeks left. We saw our family vet (have I mentioned how much I love him? He's the greatest!), and he said to get that number right out of our heads. There are so many variables. And we don't have conclusive proof from a biopsy (which we are not going to subject Mellie to - knock her out, tube down the throat, take a piece of her stomach...). How can they give such a definite diagnosis, even down to the time frame, without lab work to back it up?
Am I kidding myself? Do I think she is perfectly fine and has many, many, many years ahead of her? No. I know that they are right in the general diagnosis. It is what we all have been suspecting, but as our vet said, they are giving us a "definitive prognosis on a presumptive diagnosis." He said to continue the meds and food as usual, and send her positive energy, and to love her while we have her. You just gotta love him.
In an effort to make every day as good as it can be, and send as much positive energy to sweet Mellie as possible, I will concentrate on only good things every day, and just let the bad roll away like water off a duck's back, or grease through a goose, or something not quite so disgusting.
The good part about all of this is that it takes very little for me to have a good day, now. My standards are pretty low. In fact, they are in the toilet, so to speak...you'll see what I mean. As long as Mellie is eating, poo-ing, and is not in pain, it's a good day. Car won't start? That's OK. Didn't win the lottery? That's OK. Roof blew off the house in a hurricane? That's OK. It could all be worse.
Today, for example. She ate 12 (count 'em, TWELVE!!!) chicken nuggets for breakfast this morning. Wolfed them down. Did not hesitate for a second. Plus, she ate two milk bone treats when I left for work. Now that's a good day. Who cares if the car repair bill is in the hundreds of dollars this afternoon. Hey, it could be in the thousands for all I care (as long as they take Visa). Mellie ate her breakfast. I feel like shouting it from the rooftops! MELLIE ATE HER BREAKFAST!!! That's what I'm talking about.
(The fact that I took a fistful of Prozac this morning really does not enter into it in any way.)