Wednesday, February 21, 2018

And, WHAM! It was all over.

I really couldn't think of a better intro.  It sounds way more exciting that it was.  Last Monday evening, on my way over the mountain towards the warm beacon of home, the flu struck.  It was that sudden.  I was going along, minding my own beeswax, then WHAM!  Eyes water and itch, the shivers struck.  Good gawd.  And, yes, I did get the flu shot this year.  I was down for the count for a good four days.  Not surprisingly, this was the view of my surroundings for the first three days...
Hot tea, non-challenging knitting.  LOTS of
I always know when I am under the weather - my morning tastes change from coffee to tea.  And I know that I am not 100% until I can think about a cup of joe without gagging.  As of this morning, I am officially cured.

Thanks to the thoroughly bizarre weather, the chicken yard - and all flat or near-flat surfaces - became skating rinks.  Ice and nothing but ice, as far as the eye could see.  Negotiating my way to barn and coop with 5 gallon buckets of water should have made me a contender for the winter Olympics.  I would have scored a gold, no doubt about it.  I have a couple of chickens who have pulled some tendon or other and have been mincing around, poor dears.  The ducks didn't mind the ice one bit, as they sledded on their warm tummies, propelling themselves with their webby feet. 

Because of the ice, the pups were limited to bathroom breaks on the deck.  Oh, joy.  Not that this would come as a surprise, but Lovey did her best (with a worried look) to do her business in the far corners.  PB left me little 'presents' right in front of gates and right on my path to the gates.  Now that our weather has decided to rocket into summer (forecast is 72* today), the ice has receded and I am able to let the dogs spread the 'wealth' in the back yard.  I still tote PB down the steps and do not allow Lovey to run, but at least I am not cleaning up the deck every two hours.

As a total aside, I had allowed myself to be lured into purchasing a snuggly bed for PB for Christmas, as he is a world-class snuggler and manages to roll himself into any fabric at hand.  Not only did it take MONTHS to receive this product, it was way, way smaller than advertised and would be more the perfect size for a grey squirrel.  Countless unanswered emails to the company, followed by the discovery that their phone number had been disconnected, frustrated any attempt to return it.  They have gotten terrible reviews and I am not sure if they are nothing but scammers or a small company that got deluged over the holidays and were totally unable to handle it.  Nevertheless, if you see an ad from Paw Prime, run the other way!
This was the size to fit up to 20#.
I'm back.  Miss me?  :)  By Friday, I was still slogging around, but had gotten more energy and focus back.  So I hurled myself into the yarn stash.  Holey Moley.  Four hours later, I had managed to just get through about 2/3rds of it.  With images of yarn long forgotten dancing in front of my eyes, I decided to do a rough sorting by weight, to be fine-tuned at a later date, when I was not in danger of relapsing.  I culled out two large shopping bags of old circular needles, some patterns I will never knit, and tons of partial, full and bitty balls of yarn.  They are being donated to a woman who does charity knitting - if she ever makes it over to get them.  My biggest gripe about freecycle or any attempt at giving things away for free. 

I then sat down and wound some yarn into balls.  It's official.  I have enough fingering weight yarn to knit 27 pairs of socks.
Sorry for the dark photo - ball
winder is in the foreground,
swift in the back.
These socks will glow in the dark!

Bonus yarn - for every skein
sold, a tree will be planted in Africa!
By Sunday I was feeling almost 100%, having managed to break my chronic insomnia!  I drove to a trendy and picturesque town about 40 minutes south of me, to meet one of my besties for breakfast.  We managed to get there early enough to beat the horde of weekenders who manage to suck all the beauty out of the place, Thursday-Sunday.  After breakfast and a thoroughly wonderful catch-up session, I found myself inexplicably drawn into the local yarn shop.  I needed an intervention!  I did, actually, pretty much behave myself.  But I am a victim of lovely yarn - just as I am a victim of lovely books in a bookshop.  And lovely cookware in a cookware shop.  I went in with a list and stuck to it.   (Pardon me while I dislocate my shoulder, patting myself on the back...)  My cousin - who has mysteriously vowed to make everyone in my family a handmade quilt - nicely accepted the offer of two pair of hand knit socks as a thank you.  The problem is, she is very conservative and wears only navy, grey, dark brown, and *gasp* sage green.  Why is this a problem?  100% of the sock yarn in my weighty stash is represented by the yarn you see above.  I mean, really?  If you are going to spend hours laboring over a garment, why not make sure it stands out?  Nay, shouts out its presence in a loud, clear tone!  I did manage to find some nice grey, marled yarn and that is about as conservative as I can force myself to be.

Monday, being a holiday, allowed me to work myself into a complete lather over the prospect of having to capture and contain Slimmie for his vet appointment.  He has not been to the vet since the vertigo incident, a couple of years ago.

I had made the appointment for late afternoon, thinking that it is the time for his fifth or sixth nap in his self-warming bed.  My plan?  Creep on him - all nonchalantly - spring on him, towel at the ready, and quickly wrap him like a burrito and stuff him in his crate before he knew what was happening.  Things didn't quite work out as planned - he refused to take his late afternoon nap and I had to lure him onto the kitchen island with a pile 'o treats, THEN I  rolled him quickly in a towel and stuffed him unceremoniously into his crate.  There was much screeching and howling.  There was continual screeching and howling - for the 45 minute drive to the vet and the 45 minute drive home.  He was quiet as a mouse during the visit.  My ears are still ringing.  I was very happy that he didn't need extensive dental work - my vet, bless his heart, is very hands-on and flicked the tartar off.  He does not believe in unnecessary surgery or any other treatments requiring anesthesia.  We discussed Lovey's torn ACL and I got out of there for under $150! 

I had a nice hot cup of tea when we got home to quiet my nerves, and was treated to the cold feline shoulder for about 10 minutes.  I think we were both thrilled it was over.  (Black cats are so hard to photograph!)
The cold shoulder
The warm shoulder
Now I am back to work, shoveling my way through hundreds of emails and piles of paper.  But I have something to brighten my workday - thanks to the very-talented Kristina of Pioneer Woman at Heart.  I had seen these cup mats on her blog and HAD to have one (or four)!  They were even more beautiful in person!  Even my coffee tastes better!
So pretty!

And beautifully crafted!!
Now I have to go and catch up on all the wonderful blog posts I've missed.  Perfect lunchtime reading!


jaz@octoberfarm said...

wow...what a week! glad you are on the mend though! winnie still gets car sick. i sure hope she outgrows it! it is a challenge taking her anywhere. she gets spayed on march 4th! i am nervous!

Tewshooz said...

I am so sorry you were fun. How much yarn do we have to have to officially be considered to be a hoarder?

Susan said...

Poor Winnie! I know she'll be fine, but I am always a wreck with any surgery, no matter how minor.

Susan said...

Oh, I would say just a titch more than either of us have....ever... :)

Susan said...

You are one tough woman feeding the critters while flu ridden and still shaking it off in four days. How about a small band of red around the ankle of the cousin's socks, ease her in to the joys of colour one strand at a time.

Susan said...

It's a good thing you didn't have to listen to all the whining...that's one thing about livestock. No matter what, you have to feed and water them. I think I might sneak in a pattern or two - if they have to be plain vanilla colors, they don't have to be plain vanilla knitting! Besides, it's not like she'll be wearing them with shorts.

Theresa said...

Oh pity you couldn't grab the Tamaflu, I hear it does work quite well But here's to being on the better side of getting better. Have you a pair of ice skates?
Seems like you have numerous opportunities and heck, there is so much inspiration at the Olympics right now. I swear they even fall gracefully on ice but OMG, it's gotta hurt.
Glad you and Slimmie survived the vet. I had my own round up yesterday.
Stay well, listen to more Firesign Theater (Don't Crush that Dwarf, Hand me the Pliers or maybe, Waiting for the Electrician might be appropriate) and pets to the crew.

Michelle said...

You haven't taken a page from Papa Pea's playbook and taken to using a plastic sled to haul water? Woman, who will help you after you fall and crack a hip carrying those full 5-gallon buckets??? I live too far away!!!

Toni said...

I have to go take a nap after reading your post! What a Wowzer Week you had.

Glad all is well and love the cup mats.

Rain said...

Susan...maybe I'm a conspiracy theorist (no maybe's about it lol)...when I got my flu shot in 2010, I got the flu...I haven't had a shot since and I haven't had the flu since!!! I'm glad you're feeling better!! That's so funny about the cat cold shoulder lol...we get that too, they are so funny. The vet bills are piling up for you! That's crazy about the dog bed...I would return that one!

Ed said...

Give me obscene amounts of snow any day over just a thin layer of ice.

Susan said...

I have never heard of Tamaflu, but I will stock up for next year. I do have ice skates but, as I haven't skated in years, it would be deadly. I have resorted to Yak Traks for all things outside. I think we will have to add yet another Olympic sport - multi-dog/terriers transport!

Susan said...

I have a plastic sled, but I need something with much higher sides. The last time I used it, the bucket keeled over. Making more ice.

Susan said...

Hi, Toni! I did do a lot of napping - something of which I have little talent. Isn't that cup mat pretty? She is very talented!

Susan said...

Rain, I did not get the flu for years and years, then got it badly about four years ago and have gotten it every year, shot or not. The difference with the shot (in my non-medical, highly unscientific opinion) is that, while it did take the stuffing out of me, it lasted half the length of previous bouts and there was little respiratory trouble this time. I'm on the fence.

Susan said...

You and me, both, Ed. Although snow on top of ice is pretty frightening, too.

Kristina said...

SO glad you love the coasters. Sickness has been terrible this year here too. Had to laugh at the cat photos. Our cats hate going to the vet.

Theresa Y said...

Glad you're feeling better and all is well with the four legged beasties.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Sorry to read you were so sick. But you're back in fine form now! And Slimmie's aversion to carriers sounds suspiciously like HRH's. It was always a battle to get her to the vet too. But once at the vet's, she would turn into a total sucky-baby. She was always happy then to get in the carrier to go home, lol!

Florida Farm Girl said...

So sorry you were afflicted with the creeping crud and glad you're recovering. I don't understand folks who only wear black, grey or brown either. Take care of yourself.

Susan said...

Thanks, Theresa! It is such a relief to have it over.

Susan said...

Slimmie is a porker, which is why it's a challenge to stuff him into his crate - I'm sure his dignity is bruised, along with other bits. My cat, Tippet, used to wail so ferociously that I had to let her out in the car out of self-defense. She would then sit on my lap and look out the driver's side window, the picture of serenity.

Susan said...

Kristina, they are just so lovely! I wish I could crochet like that, but then I would have two obsessions. Knitting is bad enough.

Susan said...

FFG - Seriously, if you can't have fun with your socks, why bother? :)

Sandy Livesay said...


You poor thing having to deal with the flu it's no fun. I'm happy to hear you took time away from work to take care of yourself. I mean knit!!!! LOL😁. Tea is definitely your friend when your not feeling well along with plenty of rest.

Ordering stuff over the internet and not being able to get a hold of the company is just frustrating. I have to agree with you on PB's bed, it's made for a tea cup size dog.....not a normal size small dog.

Sending hugs and love your way.

tpals said...

How do you store your yarn stash? I love to look at mine, but it's not organized, by any stretch of the imagination.

Susan said...

I'm working on that. Right now, it's all in big storage tubs by yarn weight. I'd like to make it more accessible, but still organized. It's vexing.