Monday, September 30, 2013

One more time

Dear Mom,
The end of last week had its share of emotional gut punches. After a 6 week recovery, Olive's limp had not improved significantly. On Friday morning she had a second surgery to release a tendon and hopefully alleviate some pressure on that joint. While he was in there, the surgeon discovered the cartilage on her humerus bone had been worn away. Olive may always have a limp. We will know more as she recovers over the next 6 weeks and after that we will have to monitor her activity to insure that she does not over-do it and inflame the joint. Her tetherball days may be over. Fortunately, she is not a dog prone to high energy levels, and she lives in a house with "mature" family members. She loves car rides and the rabbits and squirrels in the back yard will be enough entertainment. She just won't be a long walk dog. I've grieved. I accept. I am hoping for a miraculous recovery. And it may be the pain meds, but she is walking better already.

Facing a second surgery was not happy news, but the thought of 2 more weeks of That Blasted Cone of Shame was just about enough to make me come unglued. I decided to spend the extra bucks and try one of those inflatable collars. Assured that I could return the collar should it not work for Olive, I purchased size XL (Olive has a rather thick neck) and brought it home. I inflated the collar, slipped it onto Olive and smeared peanut butter to the inside of Olive's elbow near the site of the previous sutures. She couldn't lick it off. Next, I put Olive with the collar and the peanut buttered elbow into her crate. She and the collar fit. She could turn around. She could lie down. HOOORAY! I left her for about 30 minutes and returned to find the peanut butter still smeared on her elbow.  No more Cone. I can sleep in my own bed rather than on an air mattress in the dining room with the cone-headed dog and the back of our knees will go unscathed. Sutures will be removed on Oct 7.
If surgery weren't involved, I could almost add the Inflatable Collar to my list of Favorite Things Friday!
 Not only am I learning more than I ever thought I would about the anatomy of a canine elbow, I also learned that dogs can get suntanned. (And I suppose get a sunburn.) Olives leg, of course, was shaved again for surgery. This time they shaved a bit more of the upper arm/shoulder area. In the photo below, you can see shades of black to light gray to medium gray. The black, obviously, is Olive's fur. The lightest area is the freshly exposed skin, and the medium gray is the area that is also freshly shaved but had been shaved 6 weeks ago and has been exposed to the sunshine! A tan line!
I know it seems silly to ask, especially when there is so much more important stuff to worry about, but keep Olive's recovery in your prayers. God knows I need her.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Not an Epic Fail

Dear Mom,
I am not sure what to call this, but it turned out exactly as I imagined. A shawl-cardigan hybrid.
A shawl with set in sleeves. or a cardigan with a shawl construction.

I got a deal on this dress (which is more rust than the orange it appears to be in the photos), but it is sleeveless, and I've never been one to sport bare arms. Mine are just Not Pretty. I considered knitting a shawl for this dress, and I LOVE shawls, but wearing a shawl to cover bare arms would require some vigilance and effort to insure that those arms stay covered. I considered a cardigan, but felt this dress was a bit too dress-y for a cardigan. In my mind, a hybrid was born.

I cast on and knit away, knowing there was a good chance that what I was creating would be an epic fail. Still, I had to try. The wool I used (Malabrigo Rios, super wash Merino, Primavera)  is so soft and such a pleasure to work with, that if this Hybrid did not have a happy ending it would be ripped and re-used.

This is constructed from the top down, and all but a fist-full of the yarn was used. It is knit all in one piece, using my own variation of the Contiguous Set in Sleeve. I alternated 2 skeins of yarn on the sleeves to prevent the colors from pooling.
When I began, I was not sure how it would end, and after one attempt, a rip back, and a re-chart, I am extremely pleased with the lace border.
I think this cardi/shawl thing could be worn, and look great, with a pair of jeans and a tee or turtleneck.
I've taken very careful notes as I worked, in the hopes that it would turn out successfully and if so, that it might be something I could publish. Because the sizing is based more on shoulder width and upper arm circumference, I need to do some research and test knitting for sizing. If you see me coming at you with a tape measure, please, just stand still. It won't take long. 


Friday, September 20, 2013

Favorite Things Friday

Honeycrisp Apples.

With my own apples trees crippled under the weight of their apples, it is almost criminal of me to go purchase any apples. But Honeycrisp Apples are not just ANY apple.....

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Quick Knit

Dear Mom,

A weekend road trip allowed for a quick finished hat.
Actually I did most of the knitting on this hat at the Cubs game on Saturday and saved something a little more fiddly for the car. We forgot about the time change and arrived at the game an hour early. So I got an hour's bonus knitting time and My Hero got to watch batting practice. All good.

But you should have heard us before we figured out the time thing. 
ME: Wow. There aren't very many people here.... 
HIM: That's because the Cubs are No Good.
We find our seats and sit down. 
HIM: They are still doing batting practice! I've always wanted to watch batting practice!
ME: (in my head) Isn't this the normal warm up stuff they do before a game? What about the kid fielding the balls? He could get hit by a ball accident. Why don't those birds get off the field? A bird could get hit. Good thing I have my knitting. How soon can I take it out of my purse? How does that lady get her hair to stand up so tall? 
Then I look towards the score board and think the clock has stopped and that that is kind of tacky for a Major League Baseball stadium.....
ME: Are they on a different time here?
HIM: Oh. My.

We celebrated a birthday in Style, met some fun people, and left the Windy City on Sunday morning, very thankful that we live where we do.

 This is Daisy Mason's Tam. I used one skein of Grey Heather Nature Spun Worsted. I love the Brown Sheep Yarns. Made in the USA!
Because this tam looks better on a real head than it does on my hat stand, I attempted to take a photo with the hat on my head- one that would show the hat from front and back. After more attempts than I care to count, this is the best I could do. Taken with my iPad. Yes. I am wearing my pjs, have bed head and no make up on. And that blur in the lower right hand corner is my finger. But the hat is cute.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Dear Mom,
My garden experiments were not exactly scientific- no control groups, too many variables, etc- but I did learn a few things. Like what NOT to do next year.
If you remember, I planted seed potatoes in three different ways: In a large pot, in my compost bin, and in the ground. After harvesting all three, it was obvious that IN THE GROUND was by far the best yield. Harder to harvest, though, but fun if you think of it as digging for treasure. Which it is. The compost bin was easiest to harvest and also had a good yield. The flower pot did have some potatoes in it, but it also contained a bone that Olive had buried. Perhaps the bone and the disruption caused by its burial affected the results.
Conclusion: I will grow my potatoes in the ground next year.

As for tomatoes grown in the bag of soil.....Despite Brother's success with this method, I have to say it was a FAILURE. Very disappointing. VERY. Dis. A. PoINT. InG. For a girl who loves her fresh, garden-grown, EatThemHotAndDustyRightInTheGarden Tomatoes, it was foolish of me to take the risk and grow them any other way.
Conclusion: I will grow my tomatoes in the ground next year.

I think I am going to need a bigger garden.


p.s. good stuff on my knitting needles.

p.p.s Olive is still limping.