Friday, November 17, 2017

Two Alarm GF Bagels.

A rushed breakfast this morning, as I had to skedaddle out the door at 7A with both pooches in tow for our trek to the City.  I thought it would be kind to bring Lovey along, seeing as she is usually left behind to fret and we are only in the vet's office for a grand total of 15 minutes.  She whined coming and going.  Two solid hours of whine.  GoD only knows if she kept it up as she was guarding the car - looking all Gangsta, in her saggy grey hoodie.  Better she stays somewhere she feels secure, without adding to the stress of two bouts of rush hour traffic with her lunatic mother.
These bagels are from my very favorite local bakery - local meaning less than three hours away.  They have the BEST GF bread I have eaten.  It is almost like bread!  Unfortunately, they are a good hour+ away and not in a direction I travel often.  I was thrilled, however, to chance upon them in the indoor farmers market in the Capitol Concourse, during my Wednesday trot to the state library a few weeks ago.  This Wednesday, I dutifully trotted back, going through high-level security each way, to stock up.  In our state, I think the security is there mostly to protect them from their constituents - whom they ignore completely until they are up for reelection.  Every time I go through, the half-pound of metal in my ankle sets off the alarm and I am wanded within an inch of my life.

I was, unfortunately, disappointed in the bagels - a little heavy on the vinegar - but their bread makes the scrutiny all worth it!

Monday, November 13, 2017


Peanut Butter is making progress!  When he lifted his leg to pee on a weed this weekend and didn't fall over, I was beside myself with joy!  Apparently, I need a life.  Also, apparently, I need to really keep an eye on him - since he's feeling better, he also feels he does not need to be in a crate.  I finally put his halter on so I would have something to grab onto while he tries to make his escape - otherwise, it's like wrestling with an eel.

Lovey, meanwhile, not only has lost the fun of having a playmate, but has the additional burden of having to wear her hoodie sweatshirt.  Because of her rather odd physique (deep chest with slender-ish everything else), her hoodie is stretched and sagging around her knees within 10 minutes of putting it on.
Waiting outside PB's jail cell.

Oh, mother.
It was a very frigid weekend (ergo, the hoodie sweatshirt - I didn't do it because I was THAT kind of a dog mom.  Really.  Honest.) so my time outside was fairly limited.  Instead, I focused on the Unlist and hand-washed 9 pairs of socks, vacuumed, swept, straightened, cleaned bathrooms, made soup (I'm working my way through my Moosewood cookbooks), made chili and cornbread, baked a big pan of brown rice, and made more headway on clearing out the UCG (unknown canned goods) that are cluttering my canning shelves.  I also forced myself to go to the Laundromat.  I think my sense of dread comes from all those years of living in apartments and, consequently, all those mind-numbing hours sat in dreary, linoleum-floored rooms, watching my laundry go round and round.  It makes me feel like Ratso Rizzo.  However, my washer cannot handle a load of area rugs and the sofa covers.  So, off I went.  It was a great way to get some quiet knitting time in - there were only a handful of fellows (who, I noticed, crammed six loads of dirty laundry into the cheapest/smallest washer they found.  No sorting of darks and lights to be seen.)  I distributed my laundered rugs over the deck railing when I got home, as I am too cheap to ante up the cash for their dryers.  Plus, I can only stand being there through a wash cycle.
Quiet time
I did feel very virtuous, though.  Lots more things mentally ticked off the Unlist. 

Peanut Butter goes to his third vet this afternoon for evaluation as to whether he is a candidate for laser treatments on his back.  I am putting on my Pollyanna glasses for this - he has come quite a way with just confinement and he is young.  I am for anything that will hasten his recovery.  The only appointment this vet had available was at 1 o'clock.  It is in the city, so there was no way I was going to drive in (1 hour), then drive home (ditto), then drive back to the city (ditto2), then drive home, you get the drift.  Feeling like the mother of an infant, I picked up a booster seat for the car and a portable kennel for the office.  I really don't know how women can manage all that paraphernalia - and carry their baby.  I got as far as the office garage (after making four trips from house to car at the get-go) and was stumped.  Luckily, the building super appeared and saved our bacon - he schlepped the kennel upstairs and pushed all the buttons and opened the doors (also turning on the lights).  Then he made a second trip down to retrieve the blankie and leash that I forgot. 
Portable Stir.
I'm hoping the treatments do their job.  I'm too old for motherhood.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

How to put the challenge into your day.

Tuesday morning started out with everything going for it.
Good book, a variety of knitting,
pumpkin spice coffee.  Heaven.
When I schlepped the goober outside for his early morning constitutional, I noticed - to my horror - that his back end was having trouble maneuvering.  As soon as the clock struck 8, I put a call in to my vet and they squeezed us in at 10.  This produced a flurry of emails with my office nobs (one of whom dislikes dogs) wherein I stated confidently that I would be in directly, following the dropping off at home of PB.

Oh, ha.
What a pair we are, waiting
for the neurologist and a couple
of ibuprofens
The vet took one look at PB and declared "you need a neurologist!"  I scooped him up and trotted out in the direction of my car.  Before I reached it, I managed to trip over an uneven patch and had gone headlong - hanging onto PB for dear life until just before impact, when I sort of slid him forward.  I did manage not to injure him further, but my right knee received the brunt of the impact.  As did my best pair of jeans, dammit.  I gimped him to the car and then gimped back into the vet's office to pay.  They took one look at my knee, sat me down and started to work.  If you're going to take a header, it's better to do it in proximity of people with medical knowledge.  We joked about how vet wrap is to vets what duct tape is to farmers.

After taking off the sticky wrap that
was to make sure the vet wrap
didn't slip.  She is nothing if not

With my knee firmly bandaged, I hobbled back to the car and we headed an hour west to a veterinary specialist.  By the time we pulled into the emergency entrance, the shock had worn off and my knee was throbbing.  And I was getting the little brown stink eye from PB.  Long and painful story short, he was diagnosed with invertebral disc disease and I received an ice pack and two ibuprofens.  And a sizeable bill.  I was happy they didn't charge me for the ice pack or meds.  My only two options, according to them, was to keep PB in strict confinement, on pain meds, for four weeks OR get an MRI done with surgery to follow.  Hmmm.  $168 or $7000+?  Let me think about it - for a nanosecond.  They felt we had caught the problem quickly enough that there was a pretty good chance (65%) that the confinement would work.  By the time we got out of there (after a blow by blow stream of emails to the office, whether they gave a damn or not), we didn't arrive home until 3 o'clock.  We were both exhausted.  I gave PB his pain meds (liquid - citrus flavored.  Why? Why not liver?) which he hates, swaddled him in six fleece blankets and put him in his crate.  I was about to self-medicate, since it was 5 o'clock somewhere, but remembered I had to vote.  This is a small town.  Had I sashayed into the polling place, the Election Ladies would have had their antennae going and the fact that they detected Sauvignon Blanc at 3:30 would have raced through the town like wildfire.

I voted, did my chores and fixed an extra-special doggie dinner.  Then I fixed an extra-special Doggie Mommie dinner that only required one glass.  Sleeping was a little rough, as I kept turning over the fact that I chose the cheaper way out than what may be better for the little guy.  By 2 o'clock, I gave up and got up.  I had pretty much decided that I would find a way to pay for it.  I was not going to have PB end up paralyzed.  He did seem a little, tiny bit more steady this morning, so that gave me a boost.  Then, as I rehashed the day with our office building super (he and his wife have 7 dogs and are super-rescuers), he mentioned laser treatments.  Apparently, there is a third option that has proven highly successful in the treatment of IDD.  At a fraction of the cost, with no meds.  I will be consulting with a third vet tomorrow.  Geezlouise.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Doctor, doctor.

After dragging my sorry behind around for a couple of weeks - self-diagnosing and self-medicating all the way - I finally pulled up my BGPs and called my doctor on Thursday.  Not because I was worried, but because I was b.o.r.e.d. with the wheezy, no energy feeling.

As luck would have it, she had a slot available the next morning at 9.  I like my doctor - she is about my age, maybe a couple of years older.  She is brassy and outspoken.  She is a good listener.  She is a dog owner and a knitter!  Thinking that I would have plenty of time in the waiting room, I schlepped along my latest project:
Basket weave blanket to donate to
an animal shelter - I'm paying forward..
Amazingly, I wasn't in the chair five minutes before I was called back.  "Fine," I thought.  This is how it usually goes - stick you in a cold examining room, way back at the end of a hall, and leave you there.  Once again, I pulled out the knitting.  Two minutes later, the nurse was in for blood pressure and the usual stuff.  Out she went.  Out came the knitting.  In came the nurse again.  EKG.  Out went the nurse, knitting out.  In came the doctor.  I was stunned.  A cursory check up didn't come up with anything definite, so we discussed options.  Off I went for a chest X-ray and blood test.  Longer story mercifully shorter, they are very organized and I didn't get to knit a row until I was waiting for my X-ray.   Then I knit 12 rows.

Saturday started as another slo-mo day, but I did get my Brussels sprout stalk trimmed of sprouts, with the chickens and ducks getting the non-sprout part.
What a beauty!

By the end of the day...

Still trying to lure the girls to his
'treasure'.  They had moved on.
I drove up to Vermont, visited with my parents and sister, then back home to find...a very miserable Peanut Butter.  He had apparently injured himself while I was gone and went from a bouncy pup to a little old man.  A quick call to the emergency vet on call, and we were in the car - back up to the Vermont border.  There wasn't any sign of a spinal injury (common in this breed), but he was hurting.  Two meds and two hundred dollars later, we were on our way home, PB being very subdued and swaddled in his navy blue blankie on the passenger seat.

The Patient.
Sunday was a windy, rainy day, so we all laid low.  I checked a couple of small items off The List - cleaned up the peonies, hung the waterers in the shed and cleaned out the barn -  and started a sock.  It was a perfect day to slog around inside. 
I've got a Green Thang going on...

Last of the onions, in from the barn
This morning, PB was still in geezer-mode, although, with doxies, there is a LOT of drama involved in everything.  He has realized that I will carefully pick him up and set him on his chair, put him outside, move him up and down stairs, wrap him warmly, and deliver his meds in bundles of orange cheez-whiz.  I may live to regret this....

I am still waiting for the results of my tests - apparently, since no one has raised a red flag - I will live...albeit in slow motion...

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Not much to show.

I had all good intentions of tottering out with my camera (phone) to add a little pizazz to the blog.  It was then I discovered that it's dark until 40 minutes before I have to leave for work, and dark when I get home.

I will leave you with a photo of Lovey-bell, after witnessing a good hour of Mom dancing her bootie off to Motown hits this morning.

"I am too young to witness such

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

October goes out like a dragon.

My life seems to be ruled by Murphy's Law.  I finally got an entire weekend on my own - no obligations whatsoever! - and I lost half of it to Mother Nature.  Ah, well.  I put some hustle in my bustle Saturday morning and fairly burst out the door at sunrise.  Since I had cleaned the coop and duck chalet the previous Sunday, I focused on the sheep.  The unfortunate thing about my sheep (and also the endearing thing) is that they are very, very helpful.  No matter what I am doing, they are there to snoopervise.  Especially Linden, whose soft, lanolin-y head is always in my business.   A large pumpkin was cut into fourths and put at a safe distance from me.  This always works - for about 15 minutes.  You have to work fast!

First on the list was to reinforce the hay racks in the barn for winter feeding.  I had finally Gerry-rigged them onto the pallet fence that (barely) separates them from the hay, using twelve pieces of baling twine.  I cut them down and screwed them to boards, top and bottom, using large washers so they couldn't man/sheep handle the feeders off the screws.  Then I screwed the boards to the fence, using 3" screws.  One poor rack had had bits of it broken off, so that called for some additional ingenuity - I wired the loop-less ends to the boards, then screwed over the wires so that they couldn't rub them off.  Honestly, sheep.

I also walked the perimeter of the fencing and discovered that I will have to replace almost half of it next year.  Early on, in my homesteading adventure, I had a lovely llama who had the very bad habit of leaning heavily on the fence, in order to reach the greenery on the other side.  This was exacerbated by Linden, my sheep-goat, who took advantage of every weakness and wormed his way under various part of the fence.  Luckily, he is too old and fat to do that now, but the damage has been done.  I've patched the worst places, as we have a lot of coyotes and I do not want them getting under the fence, but it really needs to be replaced.  When I delivered the Sunday morning barn baked goods, I talked to the high school kid that helps with the cows and he is interested in doing the heavy lifting.

I then spent the rest of the day battening down the hatches.  There had been high wind and flooding warnings for days before, so I made sure that all small objects were safely closed away.  I took down my wind chimes and my mirror chain.  I brought in the fig tree and stacked buckets in the barn.  I also tied the pergola to the deck rail.  It has a definite list to port.  I believe I will be calling the "architect" back for a look-see in the spring.

Sunday started with misty-type rain and I headed west of the city, early, to do some errands I have been putting off for months.  I made it back just before the heavy rain to hit - let me just say that ALL dachshunds seem to hate rain - and squeezed in a potty break, then we hunkered down to wait it out.  It was quite a storm.  The wind was howling all night, with waves of rain bashing the house, which didn't do much for my insomnia.  There is nothing like hearing a BAM and then BAM-BAM, and running through all the things that could cause it - trees coming down on your car.  Trees coming down on the car port.  I gave up trying to ignore it at 3 and then managed to get a cup off coffee on before the power went off.  It came on an hour later, then went off again.  Then came on.  After the third time, I gave up resetting the clocks and pulled out my inflatable solar lights and started knitting.

Once the wind died down to a low roar, I stuck my head out and checked the car and carport - both okay!  After that, I cleaned the guest bathroom (I had watched an episode of OCD extreme cleaning and got a shot of inspiration!), fed the dogs and took the day off from work.  I suited up and, other than some major tree branches down and a couple of small trees and a truckload of leaves, there was no damage to the buildings.  The fence was another ball of wax.  At least the worst damage was to an area that the sheep are not in.  My dairy farmer neighbor stopped by to discuss my cows and he happened to have his chainsaw in the truck.  Ten minutes later, the tree was off the fence and I had stacked it in a nice, neat pile.  I believe that a chain saw will be going on my list to Santa.

Thursday, October 26, 2017


Lately, I have been making lists of my quirks.  Just for fun - I obviously have too much time on my hands.  I listed the first ten that came to mind:

1.  I always wash the flatware before the plates or glasses

2.  I do everything right to left, except for hanging the wash
on the line

3.  Everything related to my dogs/cats gets an "ie" sound
on the end (blankie, foodie, bisky)

4.  I never tuck in my sheets or blanket at the foot
of the bed

5.  I fold the excess blanket at the foot and the excess
down blanket at the top

6.  I sing to my ducks every morning

7.  While cooking, I place all ingredients on the right, then
move them to the left as I use them

8.  I iron my dishcloths

9.  I order my cards (credit, membership, etc.) by size
in my wallet instead of by type

10.  I always go through the kitchen and dining area
to go to the hall and back bedrooms, instead of
through the living room - which is shorter.

What about you?  What quirks can you share?