Friday, May 19, 2006

Happy birthday!

The new girl's three years old today.

And she spent too much of the day in a crate--mom had a long work day.

But she did very well in the crate. Yay!

Happy birthday, Jacey.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Someone had a bad day...

We've been mugged!

I had a nice one, though. Bathed the dogs (thus, their outrage in this picture), took some pictures of views outside my condo (same set as the dog pictures), worked on a baby afghan, watched some movies on TCM (watching Tarzan right now, The Old Maid and Elizabeth and Essex later tonight).

Flickr has redone their site today. The new version isn't bad, but I haven't used Flickr all that much and I was just getting used to the old format.

Jacey and Sam

Monday, May 15, 2006

The letter carrier arrived today.

Instead of parking at the end of the block and walking, as he usually does (my street's too narrow and there's no place to turn around), he drove down to my place to drop off a parcel.

The Contents: Details
Originally uploaded by KF-in-Georgia.
Part of the contents of the Hug Basket.

More photos here.

Thank you very much Alrescate, Deenbat, Texaswren, Bookczuk, Shadie, and Buffra. I'm not entirely certain who sent what. (Alrescate sent BookCrossed books, and Buffra sent a book with a card. And I can make a good guess about the t-shirt.)

The castles in the book from Buffra are beautiful. The photos in Prince And Other Dogs; 1850-1940 have made me teary. (Hey, there's a greyhound on page 25! And there's one grim-faced lady on page 90...pictured with her ancient, stiff-legged, white-faced old dog; the two are sitting about a foot apart, each ignoring the other in favor of the camera, but you know that each of them is completely aware of the other. It's lovely.) The Friends Forever book is charming and a lovely reminder of the friends I've made on-line.

Thank you so much for your kind thoughts. I value your friendship so much.

Friday, May 12, 2006

There but for the grace of god...

From today's Atlanta Journal-Constitution, on-line version:

Alleged serial yarn thief leaves owners tangled

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 05/12/06

There are a million yarns in the big city.

This one comes with knitting needles.

A 68-year-old woman, described as a serial yarn thief, is facing a felony shoplifting charge in Fulton County Superior Court after what yarn store owners claim has been a long skein of stealing from knitting stores from Cherokee County to Dunwoody to Buckhead.

Audrey Yandel pulled the wool over shopkeepers' eyes for so long because she looked exactly like the average yarn store customer: "A sweet old lady — harmless," said Julie Elledge, the owner of the Dunwoody Yarn Shop who collared Yandel and turned her into police May 1.

She said she recognized Yandel from a photo another shop owner had circulated on the Internet the week before. "I saw her sticking knitting needles in her Louis Vuitton bag," said Elledge.

"They were all double point needles. I guess she planned to knit socks."

Monica Champion, the owner of Why Knot Knit in Buckhead, circulated the photograph of Yandel after Champion said she caught her on April 23 shoplifting $150 worth of ebony wood needles and skeins of hand-dyed wool from her store.

"It's outrageous," said Champion. "I think she has about $2,000 worth of knitting goods from my store alone. She told me 'I have them stacked up to the wall at home.' But police haven't gotten a warrant to search the place."

Yandel's court date has not been scheduled, according to Erik Friedly, spokesman for the Fulton County district attorney's office, who said she was charged with a felony because there's more than one incident.

Yandel could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Elledge said she's not certain what a search of Yandel's home will prove because the woman — whom she described as "looking like my entire client base" — was not just a shoplifter, she was also a devoted customer to her store, and others.

"How will we know what she stole, and what she bought?" asked Elledge.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The birthday boy

Sam is 6 today.

We've had a lazy, wet day. I was off work, Jacey has been a nightmare, but Sam got to meet a workman at my neighbor's and got petted and fussed over.

We spent a long time out in the rain waiting for Jacey to pee (which she stubbornly refused to do), so a soggy Sam is now curled up on the sofa next to me.

Happy birthday, sweet boy!

Saturday, May 6, 2006

I'll strangle her...

...if she doesn't choke herself first.

I went upstairs to do some chores. Jacey, in full-on don't-lose-sight-of-mom mode, followed. She settled on the dog bed to watch me put sheets on my bed. Then I got out the vacuum cleaner.

Not being totally crazy, I got her off the dog bed and up onto my bed. (I needed to move the dog bed, anyway.) But when I started the vacuum, Jacey decided the bed wasn't safe enough, and she fled from upstairs. I didn't give that a second thought. (My bad.) Almost immediately, Sam came upstairs and bravely stood there and watched me vacuum. I wondered if he'd come upstairs because he was worried when Jacey came down.

No. He was establishing an alibi.

When I came down, I saw evidence that Sam had been in the kitchen. He's dumb enough to take his stolen treasures to his favorite bed--the bed Jacey never goes near. I collected his loot--all items from the trash can--and went in to tidy up the kitchen, right the trash can, get up bits of cellophane. And I went through the kitchen into the breakfast room.

There was Jacey, frantically trying to finish the entire loaf of bread before I caught her. I snatched bits of the last six slices right out of her mouth. I yelled--and the dog couldn't get her legs under her fast enough to flee...

So she went into the crate, and I went out into Saturday afternoon grocery store traffic to buy a replacement loaf. (I just bought the damned thing last night, and it was supposed to be used for sandwiches for lunch starting tomorrow.)

I'm back home. The glutton is sleeping on the dog bed--and I have to watch her for stomach trouble, now. (She could bloat.) I'm sure she's going to be uncomfortable. And she won't be getting much dinner. (I have to give her something because she has more pills to take tonight.)

Let's just say the Valium and Clomicalm aren't leaving her too sedated...

I have lost my ever-lovin' mind...

I had a coupon from Herrschners for free shipping--coupon due to expire on 31 May.

So I took a favorite afghan pattern of mine--one that's based on a log-cabin quilt pattern--and figured out how much yarn it would take to make a bedspread. The sucker'll weigh 20+ pounds--nearly 9 kilos!--but at least you crochet individual tiles, then assemble them, so you're not holding all that weight for most of the work. I ordered the yarn today. Some of the yarn is out of stock until early June, but that's fine. I've still got a baby afghan to finish.

The yarn is Red Heart knitting worsted--nothing fancy. (For this much yarn, who could afford fancy?) The colors are Soft Navy, Country Blues, Dark Sage, Light Sage, Medium Brown, Warm Brown, and Buff, and they're pretty accurately represented in this sample of an individual tile:

Quilt TileQuilt Tile
An individual tile in the bedspread-to-be

There are a few variations in how you can assemble the tiles; you get different patterns depending on how you rotate the pieces. I think this is the one I'm going for:

Quilt-like Bedspread-to-beQuilt-like Bedspread-to-be
The spread will be finished with border stripes outside the patterned squares.

I've guessed at the number of squares I'll need to make (168!); the actual count will depend on the size they turn out when I make them. I'm usually off on the gauge, but I'm not sure I want to increase the hook size too much to hit the correct gauge, because I'm not sure I want stitches that large. (The pattern calls for a J hook--6.5mm.) I estimated 8-inch squares, where the pattern calls for 9.5-inch squares. I'm likely to have a lot of yarn left over, but these are good, standard colors, and I can make something else with them--maybe a mini-version of the afghan.

Thursday, May 4, 2006

Day 7

Day 7: NO BATH! She peed a very little bit in the crate, and it was soaked up by the shredded puppy pad. And she was certainly in a hurry to get outside to pee.

Two Valium, one Clomicalm at breakfast; one Valium, one Clomicalm at dinner. A short day: 10am-7:30pm (9.5 hours).

She's still not using the water bottle, despite another dollop of peanut butter on the nozzle today.

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

Another day...

I finally wrote the letter to the vet insurance company about Oreo. The bills totalled nearly $2300 (not counting the cremation); wonder how much they'll pay.

I was off today, so Jacey stayed uncrated. The poor girl gets baths, now, almost every night. She's starting to dread having Mom come home--maybe that will help reduce the separation anxiety? But I work 11am-7pm tomorrow; I won't get home until nearly 8pm, and that's too late for a bath. (And I work the same shift Friday.) So she'll be able to avoid baths for two nights. I just wonder if I can make her smell clean enough that I'll let her in my bed. (Hint: Rub and wipe her down with a damp paper towel. Then repeat with a damp paper towel that has Listerine on it. The Listerine helps kill any remaining smell, does not leave a strong smell of its own, and isn't toxic if she licks at it. And it's much cheaper than those waterless shampoos...)

Jacey and Sam are enjoying their Kongs, but I've modified the "recipe." If I just mix the cottage cheese and kibble, then freeze it, the mix sometimes packs too tightly in the Kong, making for a pair of frustrated dogs. So now I'm filling the Kong two-thirds of the way with kibble, then just topping it off with cottage cheese, then freezing. (Another hint: Stand the Kong in a coffee cup while you fill it and put cup and all in the freezer...keeps the goodies from falling out of the Kong.) So the dogs get to lick the frozen cottage cheese (which is on the end of the Kong with the bigger hole); then they roll the Kong around to spill the kibble out. Sam's Kong got away from him while we were outside this afternoon (we were outside keeping the birds out of the carport). He was tethered and couldn't chase the Kong, and he was really worried until I went and fetched it back for him. (Sam's the bright spot in the situation with Jacey: he's nice to her--though he sometimes sleeps half on her, and he's behaving himself very well at home just now. Although that praise is probably the kiss of death: he's liable to eat the front door tomorrow.)

Oh, re Jacey: The vet had warned that Valium is a mood altering drug...and that I might not get the mood I wanted. She hasn't turned snappish, or anything like that. But I think I've lost the smiles. She used to come over to me, wagging her tail and smiling--not all the time, but sometimes, in the evenings. That hasn't happened in a while: maybe the Valium, maybe just that she's not feeling like smiling at the woman who keeps subjecting her to baths all the time.

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

Day 6

Another day, another bath. She's starting to hate it when I come home. Is that going to be the key to getting her over her anxiety?

Day 6: Two Valium, one Clomicalm at breakfast. One Valium, one Clomicalm at dinner. A long day: 6am-7pm (more or less).

Shredded puppy pad, she peed (thus, the bath). Still no progress on the water-bottle front. (Gotta call Sidney...) She enjoyed the Kong.

(Gotta find a good whitening shampoo. The poor dog is turning yellow...)

Day 5

Day 5: Two Valium, one Clomicalm at breakfast. One Valium, one Clomicalm at dinner. I was gone from 6am-4pm.

Shredded puppy pad. Urine in the crate and on Jacey. (Another bath with the not-so-great shampoo.) I don't think she's actually rolling in the stuff; it's just there in the crate, with a shredded puppy pad that can't contain it all, and she's getting it on her.

She hasn't figured out the water bottle--as far as I can tell. I'll have to glob peanut butter on the nozzle tomorrow morning.

The Kong is a hit--with both dogs. They spent about 40 minutes this evening working their way through the Kongs before dinner.

She's asleep on the sofa, with her head hanging off the front, nearly to the floor. Sam's asleep on the sofa, with his head propped up on her butt.

I think I need to e-mail Sidney to ask about UTIs.