Category Archives: Serious for a moment

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. ~ John Lennon

Mr. Lennon was a wise man.

Before I tell my tale I’ll let you know that at this moment Luka is sleeping at my feet. This will become important in a moment.

Last weekend started out just like I had planned: a long hike and some swimming for the dogs on Saturday morning. By Saturday evening my plans were chugging along (watching a movie and knitting). Then, as midnight approached my plans went off the rails.

At 10:30 Saturday night Luka and I were speeding to town. Our destination: the animal emergency clinic.

He was admitted around midnight and at 4am Sunday he was in emergency surgery for an obstruction in his stomach. It turns out that what I thought was a scattering of garbage can contents on Thursday had really been an all-you-can-eat buffet. The paper products in my bathroom garbage can got stuck in his stomach. The vet said it was the second most difficult surgery of this kind she’d ever done.

That’s my boy: an overachiever.

Luka came home last night and today I’m living a new reality (at least for the next several days).

I’m working from home. (Thank goodness my workplace was supportive when I explained what had happened.)

My furniture is barricaded against Luka jumping on it.

chair

blocked couch

I’m spoon feeding my boy small amounts of fancy pants food several times a day.

food

I’m well on my way to starting my own pharmacy.

meds

The schedule for these drugs is so detailed that I’m using my phone to alert me when it’s time for a dose.

Keeping track of Luka's meds

Finally, my new reality includes living with a cone-head.

Luka is sick of the cone

Luka is also wearing a T-shirt to prevent Sadie from messing with his stitches.

Luka

Luka has accepted the cone and has quickly become adept at moving throughout the house and sleeping in it.

Luka sleeps

Milo, however, is taking no chances. He was nearly scooped up in the cone earlier today and quickly retreated under the table.

Milo under the table

Milo did venture closer to hang out with his buddy.

Luka and Milo

Sadie has been comforting Luka, too.

Buddies

Once this is crisis over I’m going to owe Sadie some special attention. My total focus right now is on Luka (I’m literally not letting him out of my sight) and I know she’s getting the shaft in terms of my time. She’s also sleeping in a crate instead of on my bed. Luka won’t fit in his crate with the cone on and I don’t trust Sadie to leave his stitches alone overnight. She is NOT happy sleeping in there but I’m taking no chances.

Life around here should be back to normal in a few weeks. I have a feeling they will be very long weeks.

I know that most of my readers have dogs. Are your garbage cans out where your dog can get to them? If they are: please, please, PLEASE secure them where the dog cannot get to them. Luka had never eaten garbage before and the first time he did it could have been fatal. Please learn from my mistake and put the cans away where your dog cannot get to them.

Finally, (to end on a humorous note), I have to ask: is Luka happy or is it the drugs?

Is he happy or is it just the drugs?

Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet. ~Colette

I have the best blog readers.  (Yes, I’m buttering you up.)   I’m always aware of how great you guys are, but you’re at your best when I’ve had to say goodbye to a furry friend.  Your comments that you’ve left at those times have touched me and moved me in ways I can’t express.

Since I have nothing for you today, could you please go give Monika some of your comforting words?    Monika had to say goodbye to one of her dogs and I’m sure she could use all the love she can get.   If you’re not a regular reader of hers and are concerned about seeming like a creepy stalker-person, just tell her that I sent you.

The dog that Monika had to say goodbye to was a German Shepherd named Sam.    I’ve always been especially fond of her Sam since I also used to have a German Shepherd named Sam.    I will miss seeing her Sam in her blog posts and reading about his antics.   He was a wonderful dog.

If you have the time, scroll through her blog and check out the pictures of her gorgeous dogs.  Besides Sam, she has a second white German Shepherd (Biko).    Monika adores them and that comes through in her photographs.

Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out of it alive. ~ Elbert Hubbard

Wow.  Long time, no blog.

I am very overdue in thanking all of you who emailed and/or commented your condolences on the loss of my sweet Samantha.  Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know that you care.  Every time I lose a pet (much too often lately) I’m always amazed at the wonderful people who take the time to contact me and let me know that they understand my pain.

As I told many of you:  while the loss of Samantha was awful, it was easier to deal with than the loss of Max.  Samantha lived a full life (13 years is a long life for a large dog) and her degenerative myelopathy never impacted the quality of her life.   For that, I am so very grateful.

I am also grateful that I adopted Sadie when I did.  I never would have if I had known how little time I had left with Sam, but Sadie continues to be the perfect addition to the family.   It’s also comforting to me that Samantha gave Sadie her stamp of approval.

Speaking of Sadie….

So far, she has lost 2 lbs.   That’s not much, but at least the scale is moving in the right direction!

One of the most charming things I’ve discovered about Miss Sadie is her love of sleeping on her back:

She also loves water:

Kishka continues to accept her new sister completely.

She’s even figured out that she’s the dominant dog now and she likes to boss Sadie around.

She also likes to get into mischief with Sadie.  Here they are checking out a bird’s nest:

Thankfully, Sadie can’t get her large butt over the fence and Kishka obeyed me when I told her to not even think about it.

Brace yourselves, I have actually have knitting content.

I’ve finished two washcloths and started a third for Warm The World:

I’ve even started a new blanket:

Details for all projects are on my Ravelry page.

Speaking of Ravelry…..

My love for the Ravelry forums has plummeted in the last few months.  When the forums first started I loved them because they were so different than all the other knitting forums that are out there on the internet.   I never post on any other knitting forum because they seem to be populated by whiny knitters who take themselves way too seriously.

Sadly, that is now my opinion of most of the Ravelry forums.  For example:  there are many knitters losing their shit (on multiple threads) over this article.    I thought the article was pretty funny, but that’s not my point.

I am absolutely amazed at all the people who have whipped themselves up into a frenzy over what someone else (and a stranger to boot) thinks of their hobby.   Are people really this insecure and/or that much of an egomaniac?

It’s knitting, people.  It’s not life or death.  Get over yourselves.

Dogs’ lives are too short. Their only fault, really. ~Agnes Sligh Turnbull

Samantha Grace

Adopted: November 20, 1999

Died: April 25, 2008

Oh, Samantha. My sweet Sammie girl. Gracie. I was not ready to say goodbye to you.

Sam’s story begins, like all my critter stories do, at the Humane Society. I was looking for a German Shepherd and found Samantha. In all honesty, she looked rough. She was about 20 lbs. underweight and her nails were so long that they curled under her feet. She was 3 or 4 years old and was skittish as hell. I soon learned that she had a very strong fear of loud noises: thunder, voices, laughter, etc. I tend to be a loud person (in talking and especially laughing) and if I didn’t lower my voice, Sam would go running from the room.

After a rough start, Sam became best friends with my other Shepherd, Max. Those two did everything together and were rarely more than a couple of feet from each other. Their favorite activity together was playing ‘chase’ and wrestling:

If I had to sum up Sam in one sentence I would say that she lived life with gusto and it was a joy to watch how much fun she had every single day.

Samantha loved fetch more than any dog I’ve ever known.

A few years ago I decided to see how long she could play fetch before getting tired of it. At about 90 minutes into this experiment, my arm cried ‘uncle’, but Sam was still running at full speed. While she slowed down a lot in the past couple of years, Sam was still playing fetch last weekend.

Sam also loved car rides. I’ve had dogs that have liked riding in the car, but usually only sat up for a couple of minutes and then settled in for a nap. Not Sam. She sat at attention the whole time and the look of happiness on her face always made me smile.

Samantha also loved water and loved to play with the water hose in the summer (with my help, of course):

Samantha was a digger. Soon after I moved into this house, she excavated a hole under the deck:

She spent many hot summer days under the deck. She also had a spot in the backyard that she dug on a regular basis. She was a serious digger, too. When the hole in the backyard would get 3-4 feet deep, I would sneak outside and fill it in. In just a day or two, it would be dug out again. Then we’d repeat the dance: me filling in the hole and her digging it out again. I think she enjoyed this routine as much as I did.

To say that Samantha loved toys would be an understatement.

The dog was just bonkers about stuffed animals. After any major stuffed animal holiday (Easter, Valentine’s, etc.) I would hit those 75% off sales and buy up stuffed animals by the dozen.

Samantha could (and would) spend hours just watching out the window.

She always notified me immediately of any danger: the neighbor’s cat in the yard, a loose dog running by or the garbage men stealing our stuff.

Sam was insanely obedient. I had total voice control over her and she always obeyed the first time I gave her a command. When we went on walks she would hear an approaching car and immediately move to the side of the road. Sam started losing her hearing a couple years ago and for the last year or so she’s been almost totally deaf (except for very loud or very high pitched noises). Luckily, I teach my dogs hand signals along with voice commands, so I was able to communicate with her. Sam also taught herself a pretty cool trick. One night she didn’t come inside with her sisters, so I got the flashlight out to find her in the yard. The second she saw the flashlight beam she ran inside. That became my command for her to come inside after dark.

My furry family would eventually include Kishka. Samantha and Kishka weren’t as close as Max and Sam, but they enjoyed each other’s company. Their favorite activity was sleeping side by side:

Sam and Sadie were just beginning their relationship, but it was already off to a good start.

Late last year, Samantha was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy. When that happened, I feared the worst. I’m happy to say that I was wrong. Samantha’s DM never progressed very far. She did stumble sometimes, but she was able to go for walks and play fetch right up until the end. For that, I am extremely grateful.

Samantha taught me so much about life: how to live life with enthusiasm and to not let past disappointments ruin a chance for happiness in the future.

Thank you, Samantha, for eight and a half wonderful years. You were a complete joy every single day. I will miss watching you eviscerate your stuffed animals. I will miss falling asleep at night to the sound of your soft snores. I will miss how your eyes sparkled when we went on walks. I will miss your anticipation when I picked up a tennis ball, frisbee or the garden hose. I will miss seeing the dirt fly as you dug to China. I will miss arriving home and seeing your happy face pop up in the front window.

Most of all, I’ll just miss you. Your gentle spirit and lust for life brightened every day of my life. You were loved and adored as much as any dog could be. Rest in peace, my sweet girl.

The summer night is like a perfection of thought. ~ Wallace Stevens (1879 – 1955)

Thank you to the ladies who answered my question about the Rush license plate in my last post. Obviously, I am not at all familiar with the band. If I was, the freakin’ names of the band members on the license plate holder would have tipped me off. :)

In the good news department (and really, it’s about time, it’s been a rough year)…a couple of nights ago I took the dogs for their first walk since April! I probably could have walked them a couple of weeks ago, but I wanted to make sure I was healed enough to handle anything that might happen. And, I’m glad I did because Kishka flushed a rabbit and took off running. When she reached the end of her leash, I was able to stop her without causing any pain to my back or hip. Once the weather cooperates (it’s been too hot and stormy to walk the past two days), I plan to get back in the routine of a daily walk with the girls. That will make all three of us very happy.

The newest project on the needles is coming along nicely:

I’ve also been knitting on the felted bag, but there’s not enough progress to really show in a picture.

I’ve owned Kishka for 4.5 years and last night she did something she’s never done before:

She slept on her back. I apologize for the completely undignified and unladylike angle of this photo. I knew that if I stood up and moved she would flip off her back.

Today was a gorgeous day here so the girls and I hit the open road:

Both of the girls love car rides. Samantha sits at attention the whole time:

Kishka enjoys the ride for a bit:

And then she starts looking bored:

Today the sky was bright blue and there were plenty of puffy clouds:

Warm The World is currently looking ahead to winter and our commitments totaling almost 3000 hats and scarves. Can you help us reach our goal? Full details can be found here.

Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people. ~ Abraham Lincoln

 

 

231 years ago, a group of men decided to take a stand against England and declare America’s independence. If they were alive today, I wonder what they would think of the current American government. I have a feeling they would be ashamed.

Today, I celebrate the group of men who took that stand in the sweltering summer of ’76. May the men in power today change their ways and stop making a mockery of everything America stands for.

I’ve been spending an obscene amount of time on Ravelry, but I have managed to do some knitting.

The Summer of Scraps blanket is coming along nicely:

One of the Pink Clouds sock has a partial heel flap:

The Tropical Monkey Socks have turned their heels:

Finally, the storm at sunset last night:

 

 

Edited later in the day……….

A tornado touched down about 10 miles from my house.  I managed to get a picture of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer afternoon – Summer afternoon… the two most beautiful words in the English language. ~ Henry James

This afternoon I had a great session of PT. I’m healing a little bit every day and I’m able to actually do the exercises now. It does hurt, but I have come so far in just a month. I was so happy as I drove home that I took the scenic route and snapped some pictures.

The wide open plains:

A windmill:

Grazing cattle:

A curious group:

Well, hello there, Ms. Cow. (She and I studied each other for a few minutes.)

This fence line stretches for miles:

When I was almost home, I passed a pair of antelope:

The picture taking continued when I arrived home. Here’s Sam in the yard I haven’t been able to mow all year (yikes!):

Kishka was hogging the water dish:

It’s been a stormy week here and a few nights ago I snapped my first picture of a lightning bolt. And not only that, but I snapped three more:

Friday’s Feast:

Appetizer
How many pieces of jewelry do you wear most days?
Two: necklace and bracelet

Soup
What is your favorite instrumental song?
Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.

Salad
Who has a last name that you like?
I like my own name, thankyouverymuch. :)

Main Course
Name a popular movie you’ve never seen.
The Lord of the Rings movies.

Dessert
Fill in the blank: Nothing makes me ___________ like ____________.
Nothing makes me laugh like my dogs.

What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal. ~ Albert Pine

After what seems like forever, I can finally say I’m on the mend. I’m up and around a little bit these days, but am still taking it easy (I’m scared to death of relapsing). I’m amazed at how out of shape I am after the past few weeks on the couch. Just running the vacuum cleaner is exhausting. The important thing is that I’m finally feeling human again and can imagine a day when I’ll be able to live a normal life. My PT is concerned about some pain that I am having so I go back to my doctor tomorrow for her opinion.

I have been knitting. The Pink Clouds socks are moving along and are ready for their heels:

I’ve also been knitting squares:

Please excuse the crappy color in this picture. I forgot to take pictures before the sun went down.

The squares were inspired by last Saturday’s Warm The World monthly meeting. We have a lot of scrap yarn in the warehouse, so June and July have been designated as the months of scraps. I brought home a bag full of scrap yarn so I can make squares.

Warm The World has a warehouse manager now and all I can say is ‘wow!!’. Our warehouse has been totally reorganized and it’s inspiring just to stand and look at all of the yarn and projects.

Here are the finished items (blankets, hats, scarves) that are ready to be delivered:

We have had the good fortune of receiving several large donations of yarn lately. Here is the wall of yarn (isn’t it pretty?):

The wool and wool blends:

More yarn:

The wall of pattern booklets and inspiring projects:

All of these blankets arrived on Saturday:

Here are 100 blankets in the back of Felicia‘s truck:

These blankets are going to be delivered to Fort Carson later this week. All babies born to deployed soldiers are going to receive a blanket. At this point, we have 400+ babies projected to be born this year. This first batch of 100 should give us a good start. We have more blankets at the warehouse that are reserved for soldiers’ babies.

Felicia and I are working on another project for Warm The World and we hope to be unveiling that within the next couple of weeks. To facilitate this project, I am teaching myself CSS. It’s not as tough as I expected, but I still have a long way to go.

The heat has returned to my corner of the world and I’m not enjoying it. However, it does make gorgeous clouds:

Since I’ve spent so much time on the couch, the dogs have been missing out on their usual napping spot. Kishka snagged some sleep time on the couch earlier today:

Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet. ~ Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Well, the good news is that my twisted pelvis is no longer twisted. The bad news is that I also have a disc problem, so my restrictions continue.

This is how I spend the majority of my time:


The Pink Clouds socks are making progress:

A thunderstorm passed to the north of me a few days ago:

Here’s my girls:

Miss Kish:

Here’s Samantha with her poor stuffed bunny. The bunny spent almost a week outside before she brought it back inside:

Parker (the porker):

And, last but not least, shy Romeo:

Today’s Feast:

Appetizer
Fill in the blank: The best thing about where I live is _________________…

The best thing about where I live is the wide open spaces, the bright blue sky and sunshine nearly every day.

Soup
Create a new name for a deodorant (like “Flower Fresh” or “Shower Scent”).

What the hell kind of question is this? Like many things, the names of deodorant are just silly. So, I’d go in the other direction and name a deodorant Public Jackass.

Salad
What was the last piece of software you installed onto your computer?

QIF to Excel to OFX Converter.

Main Course

If you were to receive a superlative award today beginning with the words ”Most likely to…”, what would the rest of the phrase say?

That’s easy. Most likely to have spent the most time on her couch in the last month.

Dessert
What two colors do you like to wear together?

Pink and grey. Yes, I’m still stuck in the 80’s.

If you’ve made it through this long post, you are rewarded with a most undignified picture of Kishka:

If you shoot at mimes, should you use a silencer? ~ Steven Wright

My restrictions continue. I have managed to find a way to knit while lying flat on my back. However, it’s not very fast and my wrists tend to go numb so I usually only knit a row or two at a time. Still, it’s nice to be able to knit just a little bit.

Besides being bored out of my skull because I can’t do anything, I’m also bored with TV. I’ve been spending a lot of time listening to XM Classics. (It’s channel 864 on DirecTV.) The unfortunate (or maybe it’s fortunate) side effect of lying down and listening to this station is that I usually fall asleep. However, I suppose sleeping a lot is good for me right now since it does allow the body time to heal. And believe me, it’s time for me to be healed!

Kishka has been dragging her food dish into the living room and then flipping it before she dines.

Instead of bugging her with my cane (which, I admit, was fun), I’ve been giving her belly rubs with it:

Friday’s Feast:

Appetizer
What do you consider to be the ultimate snack food?
Ritz crackers spread with peanut butter.

Soup
On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 as highest), about how popular is your last name?
I’d say a 3 or 4.

Salad
Who is your all-time favorite sitcom character, and why?
I would say it’s a tie between BJ Hunnicutt and Niles Crane. I can’t really pinpoint why I like BJ so much. I’ve just always loved the character and prefer the BJ years of MASH to the Trapper John years. As for Niles, I think he’s the funniest character on the show.

Main Course
Do you shop online? If so, name some sites you like to browse for goodies.
I do most of my shopping online (including window shopping). My regular stops are: Overstock, Target, Knit Picks, Loopy Ewe, Amazon, LL Bean, Lands End, Etsy and Ebay.

Dessert
Fill in the blank: I think ___________ should be ___________.

I think the media in this country should be reporting on real news and not entertainment fluff.

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