Monday, March 30, 2009

No needlepoint, nor even any pictures of doggies.

Meh. It’s Monday, so it seems like a good ‘meh’ is in order.

I’ve been on the phone all morning, mostly leaving messages, but at least finally determining that Gary’s MRIs tomorrow WILL be covered by the insurance. (There was some debate as to whether they would cover it or not, because he hadn’t actually seen a doctor, just had a phone consultation.) This is a good thing. Now, if I can just get his meds handled, his neurosurgeon to understand that he has MRIs coming in that he needs to look at sooner, rather than later (later being the June 17th appointment that he’s got with the guy, this being the soonest that he can get in to see him; unless it is an emergency. I think), and an appointment with the dog groomer (Fiona’s hair grows thick and woolly – and FAST – she’s already a shag carpet again), I’ll be good.

It was super windy last night, and while it looks like it has calmed down for now, we are supposed to have a ‘wind advisory’ in effect until 3pm. With last night’s wind, I swear we were going to end up with a pair of ruby slippers sticking out from under the front wheels; the entire coach was shaking with the wind, and we weigh about 36,000 lbs right now (we weren’t actually moving in our spot, but still…). I am POSITIVE that I saw a lady on a bicycle go flying by.

So, with the wind, and Fiona still thinking that she’s this 8lb puppy that we had up on pillow, and Gary having a rough night, pain-wise, I don’t think anyone fell asleep until about 3am. And, of course, the doggies had to go out about 6, and I had to start making phone calls at 8:30ish. So, meh.

I need to swap out purses today; since Gary’s MRIs are going to take For Ever, I am going to bring along some needlepoint (not the Ginormous Project of Doom, because that one actually requires a little concentration, but another one that doesn’t require lots of color changes), and need a purse into which I can actually fit the little project. At some point, I am going to admit Purse Defeat, and carry a big sack, like my mother does. (Actually, she has said Big Sack, and gets my dad to carry it; I don’t think I’m going to be able to convince Gary to carry my purse for me…)

In other ‘meh’, the diet seems to have stalled. Of course, not getting in a lot of exercise (other than jogging with the puppy, and kayaking when there aren’t a zillion power boats on the water), has likely contributed to that. But, I am still filled with a desire to eat pizza for breakfast and say to hell with it all. Of course, clothes are still fitting better, and my body shape has definitely changed, so I really shouldn’t be whining, but I’d be happier if the scale decided to cooperate, as well. Eh, one morning of pizza won’t kill me; I’m just not certain that I can face another bowl of oatmeal.

Okay. One set of Gary’s meds down, one to go. I’m trying to batch all of this so I only have to drive into town once today. Because driving in to town takes away from quality needlepoint time (where quality needle point time includes watching episodes of Stargate SG-1 on because for some reason my Friday Night Lights addiction was cut short when they didn’t put up the first 6 episodes of season 3 – but have episodes 7-11….).

Mysteriously, the front tire of my road bike has gone flat. Sitting on the rack. Actually, the front tire of my mountain bike has also gone flat, also sitting on the rack, but that one I understand; I ride the mountain bike around the RV park and manage to pick up bougainvillea thorns all the time. The road bike tire just mysteriously went flat. No worries. I’ve got 2 other wheel sets with me; I’ll just swap out the front wheel.

If I ever go riding again. Which may happen; Gary has been moving around more, and if I can get him out on a couple of good walks, we might try the biking thing. Assuming, of course, that the neurosurgeon doesn’t call and tell us to get back to Salt Lake (where it is currently snowing) post haste.

All that said, it is a GORGEOUS day; in the 60s right now (actually a little chilly with the wind), CLEAR blue skies (except for the occasional woman on a bicycle/house/little dog flying through the air), and all the weekend people have left, making it a quiet park again. Heh. I am such an old fogey! Speaking of being an Old Fogey, I’ve got a birthday coming up soon. And while I won’t be looking for Envelopes Stuffed with the Cash, like some people I know (whose name shall remain anonymous to protect the guilty – even though You Know Who You Are!), a gift card to a sewing shop of your choice wouldn’t go amiss.*ahem.

Okay. Enough with the shameless plugs; I have to make a decision about something to eat, make a menu/shopping list, and do some needlepoint.

Not necessarily in that order, mind you.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Yes, it's true


But they are so cute... How could I not?!?

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By drliz

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By drliz

As for the next needlepoint project? I think I'm going to actually try something fairly ambitious.

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By drliz

Wish me luck; I'm going to need it - it's big and really complicated. But it looks like fun. Famous last words, I know...

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Yes, you get a break. For today.

Just when you were thinking, "Oh my Gawd, not ANOTHER needlepoint pattern; does this woman have NO LIFE?!?" you are spared. Although the answer to that question would be, "No, she doesn't." But that's just in case you were wondering.

At least for a day. Because I'm almost done with the one I'm working on. It's really simple, but very cute. And is dog-related. But I'll keep you in suspense until I'm actually done. It makes me giggle.

And since I have run out of Boston Legal episodes to watch (until my DVDs of season 5 arrive - which won't be until May 5th), I am allowing my brain to turn into gelatinous goo via Hulu (yes, Alec Baldwin, start salivating now....). For some reason, I decided to start watching Friday Night Lights - all episodes from all seasons available (as far as I can tell - I'm only into the middle of season 1). I'm not exactly sure WHY this grabbed me, other than maybe I don't have to pay super close attention while I'm focusing on the cross-stitching. It amuses me, and frankly, I haven't found any really good audiobooks to capture me at the moment.

But all of that is neither here-nor-there. Gary is still having nerve pain, so I've finally managed to get him in to the local hospital for an MRI next week. I doubt that they have the diagnosticians to read the thing here, so we'll have to get copies sent up to his neurosurgeon in Salt Lake to get the news; good, bad, or indifferent. At least we're doing SOMETHING. Because, frankly, it looks like his left thigh, not just his calf is starting to atrophy, and that is what we in the health care support industry (i.e. professional patients) call A Bad Thing.

In the meantime, it the temps have dropped back into the 70s (although we'll be back in the 80s by the end of the week), and it is gorgeous, if a bit windy. Which makes for perfect puppy-ball-chasing weather. And that is good.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Yet another one

I've been a little stressed lately, what with familial health (on a couple of fronts) not being at an all-time high, so when stressed, I need to occupy myself somehow. And needlepoint is just the thing; enough to keep the brain occupied, but not so daunting that I don't do it.

This one is actually for some friends of ours here in Parker who are returning to Washington state next Tuesday. I'll get it framed here and mail it to them, since it won't be totally done before they leave. They've been very helpful with animal issues, and have two cats who have been known to leave their 5th wheel in the throws of chaos from time to time. So, this one seemed very appropriate for them.


In other news? Dogs and cat are doing well; TaiChi (the 17 year old miniature poodle) is holding her own with her kidneys, and Bufus the cat seems to be holding his own with his diabetes and the inoperable tumor. TaiChi gets subcutaneous fluids every day, and Bufus gets insulin twice a day, so we've got a mini animal hospital going here. Fiona is fabulous as ever; full of bounding energy. So all of that is good.

Gary is still a mess; we are looking to see if we can get his neck and back MRI'ed down here to see if we can target the debilitating nerve pain that he's been experiencing. As an aside, the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale apparently doesn't do orthopedic/neurologic diagnoses - I called them to see about an appointment, and they were ready to cut if he came in with MRIs and a diagnosis, but didn't do it on-site. I thought that's what the Mayo Clinics DID, but apparently not this one. I think the local hospital can do the MRIs, and then from there we could see what could/should be done. In the meantime, he's in a great deal of pain, and is generally not having a lot of fun. (Lying in bed all day taking medication when he could be kayaking/cycling/playing his guitar is not his idea of a good time.) Again, hopefully the local hospital can start to help us on the diagnostic front.

Anyhoo, that's all the excitement here. Stay tuned for more needlepoint updates! ;-D
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Monday, March 16, 2009

Another day, another pattern


I haven't quite decided yet if this one is morbid or not. Regardless, I find it quite funny - especially the rather satisfied look on the cat's face. I was also debating on whether or not to add the 'you are what you eat' part, but when I couldn't think of anything more clever to put in its place, I went with that.

Next? I'm going to start on a pattern for some friends of ours here in Parker. They have been very helpful on the cat front; they've loaned us one of their cat carriers numerous times, sacrificed their 'maple syrup' when Bufus had extremely low blood sugar, scoured the park for real sugar (in case he needed that, instead), and offered to go to Lake Havasu with me when I took Bufus in on his emergency visit, where it was unclear whether Bufus was going to live or not. So, to thank them for all their help, I am going to do a pattern called 'A Tale of Two Kitties' with these two cats innocently sitting on a windowsill, having left mass destruction behind them. This couple has two kitties, and I think they'll find it amusing (as their cats have been known to go on rampages throughout their 5th wheel). It won't be done and framed and everything until they get back to Washington state, so I'll be mailing it to them - hopefully it will be a nice surprise for them.

In other news, it's in the 80s - possibly to hit 90 today - and, unfortunately, Gary is still sick. Since the weekend is done (and the big powerboats have gone back to California for the week), I'll probably take a kayak out for a while, and then take Fiona out on a jog when it cools down. It'll be nice when Gary gets healthy enough that we can start cycling again. In the meantime, I'll be a cross-stitching fool!
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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Just for fun


Another gratuituous Fiona picture. This would be her RegalDoodle pose. And yes, she's posing. When the camera comes out, she either poses, or hides. I think the hiding thing might be on Bad Ear Days. But I could be wrong!

And just in case you doubt her goofball-ability...

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

It's finally done...

Here is the finally finished cross-stitch pattern that I've been working on. I really like it because it reminds me so much of Fiona, including the goofy look in her eyes. Because, let's face it, Fiona is such a goofball!

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By drliz

When I ordered it, it was described as being a pattern 'for those people who don't have a lot of time' and for beginners. Where not having a lot of time means that if you (personally) can create the world in seven days, this will be a snap. And beginners being those of you who will no longer be beginners by the time you are done, because about 50% of this is half stitches. So maybe I am not quite the stitching goddes that I thought I was, if this is for beginners. Makes me feel a little more trepedation about some of the more ambitious patterns that I've got....

And why does this seem like it's become a needlepoint only blog? Probably only because there's nothing else exciting going on at the moment. And in all truth, no excitement is a good thing. Really.

Actually, thanks for the kind thoughts on Bufus. He seems to be carrying on life as usual; he's not exactly a wildly active cat at this point in his life, so the fact that he's eating and sleeping as usual is all a good thing. And he's still keeping the puppy at bay, so all is good on that front.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009



The 18.5 year old Maine Coon cat is back from his overnight/all-day stay at the vet's. His blood sugar is back where it should be. For now. We've got to make sure that he is eating regularly. Particularly since the vet found a tennis ball-sized growth in his abdomen that is pushing his intestines around, pressing on his stomach a bit, and possibly other organs in the middle of the body that are generally considered essential.

Given the size of the mass, the location of it, and the age of Mr. Bufus, we are electing to do nothing but keep him comfortable (it doesn't seem to cause him pain) and make sure that he's got plenty of food and water. If he stops eating regularly, or has issues related to the result of regular eating, we'll have to re-evaluate. As it is, we've got to make sure his blood sugar level stays where it should; which means that the bottle of 'maple syrup' (i.e. flavored corn syrup) that we 'borrowed' from the neighbors will stay with us, and I'll replace theirs when I go to the store next.

Given that I thought we were going to lose Bufus yesterday, I'm glad that he's alive, and generally acting like his old self. We have no idea how long the mass has been there, or how fast it is growing. It could move very slowly, and essentially have no bearing on his life, or it could be more drastic. Regardless, every day we've got him is a lucky one; we were preparing to not bring him home from the vet when I left him last night. The fact that he's up and down off the bed, hanging out with Gary and 'acking' at Fiona is all good.

It's just been a rough several months with the animals. In future, we get a new child every 4-5 years so we don't ever find ourselves again in the situation of having a very geriatric crew (our miniature poodle is 17); it's been difficult to see 3 animals nearly die, and 1 of them ultimately succumb in a period of 6 months.

But I wouldn't trade the rough parts for all the fantastic parts. Not in a million years.

The bullet point version of life.

Because I've obviously been too busy lazy to post anything, here's my life in bullet points:

1. I'm working on a cross-stitch pattern that isn't super complicated but has A LOT of stitches. Like every single hole in the material gets a stitch. Note to self: in future, don't just look at the difficulty of the pattern, but also at the actual area that the stitching covers. Good thing I really like this pattern.

2. The weather has been very warm (90 yesterday), and I'm loving it. We went on a bike ride yesterday that was (in my mind) just perfect; sleeveless jersey and shorts. Ideal.

3. Gary is recovering from bronchitis/pneumonia, so the bike riding has been a bit curtailed.

4. I've been kayaking a bit, but the river is running fairly fast, and it is a ton of effort to get upstream. Going downstream, however, is a breeze.

5. The 18 and a half year old diabetic Maine Coon cat was hospitalized last night after complications related to very low blood sugar.
I learned several lessons with this one:
a) always keep corn syrup on hand if you've got diabetic animals,
b) a cat going in diabetic shock is a pretty horrifying thing to experience,
c) I hate driving in the dark, especially on 2-lane roads with signs that say 'watch for animals', and
d) even though neither Gary nor I are particularly social at the RV park, we have very good neighbors who are willing to do anything in a pinch (including sacrificing their pancake syrup for our cat), and that is really cool.

6. If things go well, Bufus the cat will be able to come home tonight.

7. Having a house with multiple older animals is stressful. A puppy is a must in situations like ours.

8. My husband is a very handy guy, even if he likes to hide this fact.