Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Warm Wednesday in July

There's been knitting.


That's the hat for the Halos of Hope / Buffalo Wool Company collaboration: they asked on Facebook for 25 volunteer knitters who could knit hats and get the hats back to them by July 31 (for presentation at Stitches Midwest). I got the yarn on June 21, and I had the knitted and blocked hat out in the mail on July 1. The pattern is the Brier Toque--nice, mindless knitting.

(No, I never remembered why I knitted a stitch marker into the hat in that spot. I just cut it out before I blocked the hat.)

And there's the finished Wee One Elephant (available in a Craftsy Class) for Sean and Joey's little girl, due in August:


It's a seamless piece. You start with the head. Then you pick up stitches on the head to knit the ears. Pick up stitches on the neck to start the body. Put arm stitches on waste yarn (like a top-down sweater) as you continue the body. Afterthought legs. Finish the arms. And pick up three stitches on the backside to knit the tail. Nothing sewn on, nothing to pull off.


The pattern has three different heads (elephant, hippo, bunny), one body, three different sets of finishing (face and tail). I used very practical Red Heart Super Saver: the whole thing can go through the washer and dryer.

I've also been working on the shop sample of Curiosity. Nothing to see here, though: a long scarf in orangish yarn is a long scarf in orangish yarn--early pictures look much like current pictures. I'm about one-third of the way through the yarn.

There've been dog issues.

I've been feeding raw turkey necks: I'd cut necks in half and each dog would get a half one day, then the other half two days later. The dogs were fine with that for weeks.

So Tuesday I gave both dogs a whole turkey neck each. Silver's been fine, but this evening Sam's backside exploded. (I was planning to go to tonight's SEGC meeting to hear Dr Kellogg, but Sam got sick two hours before the meeting.) For the better part of three hours, Sam whined to go out every 10 or 15 minutes. (Bissell Little Green Machine. Really. Especially if you can get to the stain right away.) The poor boy finally fell asleep about 8pm. I didn't give him any dinner--and no dinner or bedtime meds. We'll see what happens in the morning. I have a package of two turkey necks in the refrigerator. Silver can have some, but I don't think I want Sam to have even a little bit.

And Silver's been having problems: yelping when she tried to stand up after lying down. She saw Dr Bird last week and did a week of Rimadyl, as well as Methocarbamol and Tramadol snagged from Sam's stash. She felt better but I still asked Dr Tison for x-rays yesterday. I wanted to be sure there wasn't a problem that a chiropractor could make worse, and x-rays now will give us baseline films. Mostly, of course, I wanted to be sure there was no sign of serious trouble (like cancer): I've lost two greyhounds, both girls, both 8 years old, and Silver turned 8 in May. (Oreo broke her leg and threw a blood clot in surgery. Cancer didn't show on her x-rays, but why else does a dog break her leg standing in the living room? And Jacey died of immune mediated thrombocytopenia.)

Silver's x-rays showed signs of arthritis in her left shoulder and at the thoracic area of her spine. (Sort of at the back end of her shoulder blades.) This is exactly where Sam's trouble started, although the two dogs have very different backgrounds: Sam never raced, although he has spent years doing the stairs in my condo and getting on and off the furniture; Silver, meanwhile, had a racing career, but hasn't done stairs or climbed on furniture in the two years she's been with me. But Silver now has prescriptions for her very own supply of Methocarbamol (aka Robaxin, a muscle relaxer) and Tramadol--the same meds Sam takes.  (But no Rimadyl. Potential complications from NSAIDs are scary, so I want as little to do with them as possible.) I bought Silver a microwavable heat pack today. I'm concentrating on brushing the teeth of both dogs--since giving the dogs turkey necks is turning out to be a problem (again), and I've signed Silver up for Jen's obedience classes. She's very good with people and might be excellent as a therapy dog--if she'll ever decide that she wants to do what she's told.

(Silver is usually a wuss at the vet's about anything painful, so I was surprised that she didn't let out a peep when Dr Bird was stretching her legs out last week during the exam. But Silver got payback: she nearly nailed the poor vet tech who tried to take her temp on Tuesday. I put Silver's muzzle on her when she went back for x-rays, and they gave her back to me with the muzzle still in place. They're no fools.)

--The router died this morning. I bought a new one and installed it. Netgear advises you to stick with the network name they've pre-assigned your router. Of course. It advertises their product. (And I so wanted to name my network "NSA Surveillance Van.") I've tried to register the router with Netgear, but they insist I've got my email address wrong. Really? I have a request in for tech support. Their email acknowledging the support request said there'd be a second email with a password for me to use online. That email never arrived. I'm considering joining the Luddite movement.

--I looked into getting a new phone and a new phone service: I like Sprint, but I'm tired of losing phone calls at home because my signal reception is so bad. (And when your router dies and your phone can't find a wifi network as a substitute for the mobile signal, you're really screwed. Luddite.) Anyway, the phone contract was up 7/1/2013. The Sprint contract isn't up until 9/29/2013. I put a note in my calendar to remind me in September.

--There are issues with getting Sam a heartworm test--namely that (a) he hates car rides and stresses to the point that his breathing and heart rate get scary, and (b) he's currently suffering from explosive diarrhea. So I've got a written prescription for Silver's heartworm meds, and I'm going to send that to Drs. Foster & Smith, ordering meds just for her, but sharing them with him. He'll get his heartworm test the next time he has to be at the vet's for something else. I'm also ordering some Missing Link Joint and Bone Health formula. Let's keep Silver as limber as possible as long as possible. I have to snail-mail the written prescription to Drs F&S, and I have no stamps. I never have stamps. I pay all my bills online, and every time I buy a book of stamps, the USPS ups the rate immediately afterward. (By refusing to buy a book of stamps, I've single-handedly kept your postage rates down.) I'm going to dig around and see if I can find a couple of old 37¢ stamps to slap on the envelope to mail this out.

--I'm a member of Book of the Month Club. Actually, it's BOMC2. It's no longer the old deal where they'd threaten to send you a book you didn't want unless you returned the reservation card in time. Now there's a plan where you can get a book for $9.99 every month--including postage. You just keep a reading list on their site, and once a month they send you the top book of your list. This is how I've gotten craft books on the cheap for a couple of years. Currently, the website says my next book will ship on June 28. 'Scuse me, folks, but it's July already. (The book on the top of my list is patterns for granny square blocks--500 of 'em.) I emailed the website people and asked what's up with their shipping. They said they'd respond within 3 days. Their 3 days is up late Thursday.

(I'm back-dating this post so that it appears to be a Wednesday night post. After all, that's when I started typing it. I don't want to change the title just because it's now Thursday morning.)

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