Saturday, August 29, 2009

Day out

Today felt like Autumn had decided to arrive. It was rainy, breezy, and there was a distinct chill in the air. A perfect day for visiting an alpaca farm!!!

Audrey, rescuer of damsels with dead cars, aka The Devil, and wunderknitter, arranged a tour of an alpaca farm not far from where we live. It was wonderful. We didn't get lost (much) and the farm was something out of a story book. If you ever get a chance to meet the couple behind Brin d'Alpaga you should take it. They were warm, welcoming, informative and very genial hosts to our small group of knitters.

Their barn was so tidy and clean!! The paddock as well. The alpacas all look to be in great condition with their short summer coats. They eventually got comfortable enough with us strangers there to lay down and chew their cud in serene poses, beautiful eyes half closed but still alert.

We went into their boutique for a visit and not one of us left empty handed. there were items manufactured in Peru from alpaca skins and fiber. Alpaca themed items. Hand knit scarves with the alpaca's name on it to let the buyer know who supplied the fiber for the yarn. I particularly like that touch. I have been to farms like this before and that personal connection to the animal is a very nice feature they had. I was also amazed that they had made so much out of the small piece of land they had. It is possible to have animals without having acres and acres of land. One simply needs the zoning, cash, and the desire.

I came home with two yarn "cakes" of hand spun 3 ply...each ply of the yarn being made of a different alpaca's fiber. In my yarn are the colours of Cortez the white stallion of great grace and gentlness, Poncho the gelding with such a striking black and white coat, and Chanel a two year old female the colour of chestnuts in the autumn sunshine.

On the way home, Audrey and I decided that such a great outting called for a spell at the Brulerie du Moulins cafe. They have great sweet iced tea, baked goods from scratch and fresh roasted coffees. VERY satisfying.

I have been trying to stave off a cold or something for days and almost like clock work every afternoon and evening it makes itself known. Today was no exception. When I got home I changed out of jeans into sweats and passed out on the sofa...then when things got noisy I toddled upstairs to the bed to cuddle with Harley and think about my wonderful day (before the 'sick' started up again). I took more Cold F/X this evening. It really does far the cold has not fully formed. its more a scratchy back of the throat sniffly sensation. Could just be some sort of allergy...

So there is my loverly day. Good friends, great animals, Awesome HANDSPUN yarn to be turned into something amazingly warm...what more could a girl ask for?

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Hman had an interview today that we THOUGHT was going to be for a Halifax position. Wires were crossed and hopes dashed when he went to the interview 3 hours away and discovered that the company WANTS him...just not in Halifax. They didn't see the cover letter to his resume that stated he wanted to head east and thus they were meeting him for a job in Ontario. DOH! So there went that lovely fantasy of moving sooner than next year and with my husband in tow. The Halifax job is totally unsuitable as it turns out (entry level)but since they thought he wanted the Ontario job they never said boo at his salary expectations. I'm somewhat bummed tonight.

He, on the other hand, found it a funny comedy of errors and very flattering that they were so excited to meet with him. They said that finding someone with his skills and expertise is becoming very hard to do and his ego got a nice boost. Thats a good thing because with where he is now its a constant beating of head against brick wall.

So, we will still be moving just not sooner like I'd been so hopeful of. Feeling impatient because the decision has been made and now I just want to get going on it.

Happy news: weighed myself yesterday and was down another pound which makes 11 pounds off since mid-June. YAY. Tonight I had a nice PMS induced Aero bar consumption(Oh Aero, how I love you....). Also, the heat is gone. Last night was 9 degrees. I wore my wool socks to bed (thank you Teri) and my flannel jammies. I think its time to put a comforted back on the bed.

My shrug made of Brooks Farm 'Ellie', a thick and thin 50/50 mix of silk and wool, is motoring along. I have the first sleeve on DPNs now and have started the decreases. I am very excited about it and get many compliments on the colours and texture on the knit fabric. Cannot wait to have it finished!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Vet visit # 2 for Cooper

We just got back from the vet's a little while ago. I gotta say I really like my veterinarian, Nathalie. A) she speaks ok English which is a BIG plus in dealing with me and B) she is sympathetic and C) she has great common sense.
She took Cooper's temperature and its still elevated (39.5 C this week)so either he is still suffering from an infection OR its the possible you-know-what. His eye is MUCH improved though in her opinion. No infection visible and he has it open wider than before. She is concerned about a cloudy membrane that seems to be coating some of the eye and gave me the number for the veterinary opthamologist for that. A test showed no signs of ulceration. His weight is still 7 pounds 3 oz, so he hasn't gained but he hasn't lost either. I was disapponted but still relieved. She does not find him to be underweight for his size so she isn't worried about his weight unless it drops. He was fairly sniffly today, signs of imflammation in his nasal passages (residual infection? simple rhino related inflammation?) so she asked me to continue his antibiotics for 5 days with whats left in the bottle and gave us anti inflammatories for 5 days as well. He is MOST unimpressed with this torture and has gone into pissed off hiding for now. He'll get over it when the AIs kick in and he has no pain or fever and feels good. We will go and see her in a week to take his temperature again.
While there, I discussed drugs, supplements, and diet with Dre. Nathalie. We will not use anything while he's still feverish for the time being. He is no worse and somewhat improved so we will stay the course. I did invest in some Medi-Cal "Development" kibble to mix in with our usual cat food in the hopes it will give him a boost, being a richer and higher calorie food for developing kittens which he kinda still is. The road to health is paved with good nutrition after all. I also got a couple of cans of the Preventative formula to tempt him (but if untempted the other cats will eat it). She found it odd he is unmoved by the wet food offerings. Quirky little bugger would rather suck on my hair? LOL
So there we have it...status quo in a good way!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cooper talk and knit natter

After discussing Cooper with my superneice, the former veterinarian (though really, once you have your DVM are you ever NOT a vet anymore even though you prefer teaching to sticking your arm up a cows arse at 3 am in January? Really?) I am less frantic about Cooper. YES he did test positive for the antibodies associated with Coronavirus (causes FIP) but not every cat that catches the Coronavirus gets FIP. Sort of like every person who catches Chicken Pox doesn't get Shingles, see what I mean? He might be a lucky boy that doesn't actually have FIP and was fighting off an infection or a bout of that frakking Rhinotracheitis. Only time will tell.
Last night he was almost perky! He chased Harley a short distance and actually came up and slept with the Hman and I part of the night, snuggling close at one point into the underarm area (we both woke up at different times to find that he was there in the arm pit so he switched pits through the night...LOL) though originally he was at our feet. We haven't had a bed cat since Monkey...or maybe Freckles? Best bed cat ever was Eliot...that was a snuggly cat lemme tell you...but I digress.
Today he has looked for some mischief and napped, followed me around, interfered with typing and gotten lots of snuggles when he's willing. He is still eating well, as I have mentioned before. I will be cleaning that eye area again today (did it last night). Its no worse than before but he just looks so much nicer when its clean BUT he is fighting me off more vigorously. Thats a good sign, eh?

I am looking forward to the vet visit tomorrow. I think she will see some improvement in our boy. Lets all hope he's put on an ounce or two and that his fever is gone. That would be a great sign, eh??? Supahneice also reassured me that the usual drugs used in treatment (steroids and maybe Prednizone)are not astronomically priced so that also a relief.

Hippy that I am, I am also interested in what my commenter has said about diet and holistic therapies like Lysine and a raw food diet. I am nervous of making cat food incase I cannot create a food that is nutritionally balanced enough, although I hear great anecdotal evidence promoting it. A website I saw gave some recommended vitamin support information for cats suspected of having FIP and I will be bringing all of these questions to the vet tomorrow.

The other day I casted on yet another project...I just get so bored sometimes and need to start something new and enjoyable. Using my Brooks Farm Ellie I am attempting a shrug. Did I mention this already? Can I just say I LOVE this yarn in a stockingette fabric. Its shows off the slubby texture so well! I loaded an audio book onto my iPod so I have something to keep me in my chair.

I have TOO MANY TOMATOES. Need to try a salsa recipe today. Thats my cue to get back to the kitchen!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Cat Herpes


My friend's daughter singing. HOLY SMOKES.

Got the calll

The vet called yesterday about Cooper, enquiring after his health and then giving us the news. The test came back showing a high antibody count which means we can assume he's positive for PIF/FIP.
According to my readings the only way to truly diagnose this is post mortem. Blood tests can measure the antibody count associated with the virus and then the vet takes that information, along with the cats symptoms and health and makes an educated assumption/guess. Her guess is that he's got it but there are treatments to alleviate his discomfort and maybe prolong his life. Daily meds mainly.

I emailed the breeder to voice my displeasure at the situation and her replies are apologetic and somewhat disbelieving the diagnosis. She swears he can't have FIP and that he's still suffering from heat stress from the last two weeks of heat and humidity, and the rhinovirus he had (maybe it wasn't), and the move to a new home. She has offered to take him back and apologised for the expenses we've incurred and that she would never knowingly hand off an animal with an incurable disease. Her actions do speak for themselves in that her house cats are all disabled Ragdolls:blind, semi paralysed...she would rather see a cat rehabilitated than put down so her offer to take Cooper back is genuine but I wonder if he'd be better off with us with no dogs and fewer cats than the breeder's place. Compared to her home and the cattery our mad house is down right tranquil. Also, for all his hair sucking weirdo-ness, I like the little bugger.

Some cats DO recover after having been diagnosed but this is mainly because of misdiagnosis which is very possible. Some respond well to drug therapy and go into remission for months. Could Cooper recover? His appetite is very good even with how sick he is and he has not been dehydrated. Would a deathly ill cat eat and drink so normally? I have been trying to tempt his appetite as well with canned food but he is unimpresed and sticks to the kibble mostly. Harley and the girls appreciate his disinterest in all the dishes of temptings he rejects however! They will probably all get fat on his rejects. LOL In his favor is his undiminished appetite and the fact that when its cool at night he is much more lively and seems a bit recovered compared to last week. No more green snot, much less congestion, when its cooler he's less lethargic and a bit playful and cuddly....SIGH...So hard to tell...we shall see.

I will know more after I talk to the vet on Monday morning. She is going to re-examine him and we will discuss his options for wellness or at least relief of discomfort. We can re-do the blood test in a few months if he's well enough. It could tell us better news.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Just blathering because I have noone to talk to

And who would want to listen to me blather? Sometimes we just need to pour out the brain, y'know? So since todays post is just emptying and reorganising my brain's clutter, you may want to skip it. The hamster wheel is spinning hard, baby.

YARN STUFF: I have decided I have too much yarn. I decided that a long time ago actually but yet I keep getting more. Its a bad habit this feeding the stash. I really need to knit the pile down but now its gotten overwhelming. That and I only have small amounts of most things and not enough for major projects. GRRRRR... Who needs this much sock yarn??? But its so pretty....and if anyone was to abscond with it I would be heart broken and very very mad. Its a territorial yarn thing...ITS MINE. Touche pas!!!!

The Rhinebeck additions from last year are haunting me, especially Ellie. Ellie is a silk/wool blend from Brooks Farm in Texas and is deliciously soft and makes for wonderful texture. I have come up with the idea of a top if I can find a yarn to knit the Ellie with inorder to give me enough yarn. I only have 800 yards of Ellie. I KNOW!! Stuopid stupid stupid.......why did I only buy two skeins???
So, my idea is to maybe alternate rows with another yarn and do the very top part with just Ellie. Or maybe just the front of the bodice rather than the whole. But I have top find a yarn first. If not then Ellie will be cushion covers or hat and scarf. :o(
I am sick to death of the projects I am dawdling on. I have no desire to keep on knitting garter stitch on the Einstein. WHAT WAS I THINKING??? I am way to ADD for that kind of commitment. Maybe I should just knit hats from now one. They are way quicker than socks due to larger gauge (usually).

I am much better at thinking about knitting than getting any actual knitting done. Especially in this heat. Have I mentioned the heat? Its a hot week. I was so hot I skipped knit night last night. For reals! Too Effin' Hot!!

CATS: I am getting attached to the newbies. It was just a matter of time befopre their fuzzy cuteness wore me down. Harley is incredible. He is gorgeous with a capital G. Those big blue eyes!!! Those markings!!! He has a lovely disposition just as the breeder told us. Simple adorable and when he's in the mood for some luvvin's the purr is something to hear. Last night he hopped up on the couch to get double pettings from Hman and myself, rolling over for belly scratchings as usual, paws working at the air, purr rumbling, eyes rolling back in ecstasy. He is a piece of work!

Cooper is still in patient mode. Last night he was limp from the heat. It was a little worrisome but given how sick he is and the heat, not unexpected. He was friskier this morning in the cool. I have been faithfully dosing him with his meds and putting eye drops in his bad eye. If anything the eye is a combination of better and worse? The weepiness seems to darker and crustier but his eye seems clearer. Is that possible? I need to whip up a new batch of boiled and salted water and bathe that craps away again. It was well bathed Thursday night and all cruddiness gone. Then I had done his drops and ointment. Since then I have just done drops to be less traumatic on him but today the eye area must be cleaned up.

I worry about the PIF test. I shouldn't get too attached to him incase it comes back positive. If it does come back positive I am going to be so pissed off.

MOM: Still no test results and her next specialists appointment isn't until the beginning of September. My handy brother showed up last night and mowed the folks' lawn with his big mower and trimmed their hedges. He returned this morning to fix their toilet. The seal had broken apparently and was causing a leak. I will be so glad when I can be there a couple times a week or more to help take care of things like the laundry and helping with the cooking and house keeping. Its just beyond them now though Dad did vacuum the other day. That said, I don't even want to do my own house scrubbing! And truly some of my walls could use it (damn kids). We won't discuss those windows that I haven't scrubbed yet (my bedroom, Ben's bedroom, morning room, kitchen. For the morning room and kitchen I need a ladder to get at the outside filth. That and some bushes trimmed. It will get done before the snow flies though!!!
The folks' house though...omgs...they are chain smokers and the house is stained with the cigarette smoke and reeks of it. Its one thing to go in and scrub but they have to not smoke while I am there and I don't know if they can do that. I really cannot tolerate the smoke, it makes me gag now. When did cigarettes get so STINKY?? I don't remember them being so effing stinky when I was younger...I mean yeah they smelled like cigarettes and that didn't smell good really but now they STINK! To think I smelled like that going to high school because my parents smoked so much in the house. ICK.
And once the scrubbing and freshening is done, its just gonna fill up with smoke again. Like its done before.

MOVING BACK: I am so excited but at the same time worried and sad. I have made some wonderful friends here and it will be hard to leave them behind. If we have to leave Hman here too it will be hard on us all, him being without us and me being a semi-single parent and the kids not having Daddy around all the time. YET, many families are divided due to work etc and they make out just fine and I am sure that we will pull through ok.
I am excited to be back amongst my people again. My family especially. I will also be excited to get a job too! And we are still discussing the maybe's of my having a yarn shop. How does one do market research on yarn shopping? How do I determine if the area can/will support a LYS of its very own. And I have visions of a wonderful shop that caters not just to knitters and crochetters but also some spinning and maybe some weaving too. Thats extremely expensive though and would have to come later . Or maybe I'd win the lottery. I mean, it is still a dream right?
So, moving back home is fraught with nerves and its a year away. Its going to be and interesting year!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday night

Tonight we kicked back with "I Love You, Man", the Paul Rudd/Jason Siegal flick. A bromance. It was pretty friggin' funny.

That is all.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Don't Buy Bottled Water

Especially Fiji Water

Thursday Vet Visit

I took Cooper for his vet appointment. His exam showed he was sporting a fever and possibly had blood in his stool (thanks to the rectal thermometer for that bit of info). He doesn't have any racket in his chest to say that his malady has moved chestward, thank goodness. He tested negative for Feline Leukemia and feline AIDS but we are waiting on his PIF blood test which had to be sent to a lab (Feline Infectious Peritonitus coronavirus is the disease in English). If he has PIF then he is most likely a goner which is very sad. The vet gave us new antibiotics and a a 3 day course of medicine for his fever and any inflamation and right now he seems to be feeling pretty darn good if his following Harley to bat at his tail is any indicator. Too bad the anti inflammatory couldn't be taken longer than 3 days! On the plus side he is eating and isn't dehydrated, somewhat to the vets surprise. Poor wee thing. He's only 7 pounds at 11 months which is quite small for a Ragdoll. I think Harley weighs about that and he's only 6 months old. Hears hoping the next bit of vet news is happy news.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ben has a his own blog

Tiger Lad's blog He doesn't post much but it helps him with his writing when he does.

This morning

Cooper found his patch of sunshine and no amount of foot traffic was going to budge him from it. Harley chose a less illuminated postion on the table next to the same door.

Last night I noted that Coop's nasal congestion is not getting better. He had a sneezy exhale that required the application of Kleenex (EEEEW CAT SNOT!!) I will be calling the vets later to get an appointment. I'd hoped that he'd be on the mend by now but his eye area is still nasty and his cold is no better so I want a second opinion and maybe some stronger medicines. In the meantime, I am enjoying his growing trust.

Finally; The newcomers Harley and Cooper

They don't stay still very well when the camera comes out so I have a lot of blurry shots of tails and asses and disappearing around furniture. Cooper seems to have forgiven me for his bath and is much less stanky. He reeked, seriously.

They are less nervous and eager for attention in the morning when we get up, especially Harley. he is overjoyed to see us in the morning.
Last night however was what I feel is the biggest breakthrough in getting closer to one another. Cooper got up on the big blue sofa with me for cuddles and his usual weird nuzzling and then settled into the crook of my arm like a bay and went to sleep cuddled between arm and body. it was heart warming. Then afterwards he folloed me from room to room and up to bed. When Hman came to bed later he didn't see Cooper curled up beside me asleep on the light coloured sheets (it was dark) and partially laid on him. Coop spent most of the night sleeping between us with the occassional hair sucking, nightgown licking nuzzle fest which I tried to discourage. I'd say we are bonding, non?

And then there was Vacation time

As you can see we had some heavy fog some times. Most of my pictures from vacation suck due to blurriness etc. This is about all that could be salvadged. Also, we got to see most of the family while at my sister's soiree to welcome her youngest son home for a visit from Calgary where he an his fiancee live. Isn't he a happy lookin' guy? Coulda been the beer. My eldest brother was there as were all my sibs and some other nephews and nieces but like I said....bad camera settings made for wicked bad pictures. :o(

After fishing came the waterfall...

We even picked up a piece of litter to leave it better than we found it. Such a beautiful spot! It would be a perfect picnic place. Its a part of the Pourvoirie's property and they have developed it slightly to enhance its beauty and accessibility.

That Fishing Trip

Such attractive fisher folk and not a single trout was landed. Bummer.

In other Pictures........

Miss Kitty is now getting to be the ripe old age of 13 years old. Wow!! She charms the passers by but annoys the hell out of motorists because she refuses to hurry across the street and will even stop midway to look at the car honking its horn at her.

One day Ben got down with his inner chef and created fantastic Chef's Salads for Hman and I for supper. They were magnificent. He did the prep in the afternoon d then assembled the salads at supper time while we sat waiting at the table. I think we soon need a repeat of this meal.

WWKIP day (World Wide Knit In Public Day) 2009, Montreal : Some of my most favourite people gathered to knit and chat and REPRESENT! in Portugal Park.

Newman's Last Portrait

Monday, August 10, 2009

Socialization progress RE: cats

If you have no interest in hears MORE about those two furballs, then move along. I'm just trying to help you not waste your valuable time. :o)

Cooper, of the nasty eye and uncertain purrrsonality, seems to be coming out of his shell. He was described as "friendly but not people crazy" the way some Ragdolls can be. He avoided being petted but once in my arms he calmly submitted to the hman's desires of fondling his fur. Then he would skedaddle upon being set down.
We really thought at first that his nervous behaviour would be made worse in the mad house that can be our home and planned on leaving him behind. But I just couldn't do it. There was the possibility that he might blossom and come into his own as a cat and pet if given enough love, care, and respect. It seems to be paying off...or not depending on your perspective on hair sucking. And foot biting. he likes to bite feet of people.

Yes, Cooper has decided that in the middle of the night what he really really wants (I'll tell ya what he wants) is to nuzzle up to me purring maniacally and sniffling loudly and then finding the just right place on my head (usually a temple area) and start sucking and chewing on my hair where its shorter than elsewhere on my head. Why, yes I do know that this is nasty and creepy! Thanks for mentioning it but since I was the one with cat spit wettened hair, I am fully aware. I did not so much allow it as could not avoid it. I would remove as much hair as I could from his reach but short of throwing him away or shaving my head, there's not much to be done except discourage him. He doesn't discourage as easily as one might anticipate given his usual personality trait of running away at the approach of people.

Not only this but Harley gets in on it by paralysing me with the cute and needing his belly rubbed at the same time or pinning me down by laying on my chest and rolling and purring and making starfish paws so I am simultaneously relieving Cooper of my hair redirecting his face away from my hair and petting Harley...they are totally tag teaming me!

At 4 this morning we were awakened by the dynamic fur duo racing and wrestling in the hall outside our bedroom and then their pouncings and purrings in our bed (and the hair sucking and noisy nuzzlings..eeewwww). I think its safe to say that after two days in our home Cooper is A) beginning to socialise more positively than we'd hoped in so fast a time and B) he's feeling a lot better than his former listlessness indicated. A repeat of hair suckings and cute attackings happened around 9 AM as well. As my neice Teri Lynn said this morning (she of animal edumacation and smartyness) there is a lot to be said for care thats consistent and remains so until the condition is relieved. Here's hoping his snifflyness and weepy eye can be relieved. I will be staying on it until it is o or the vet says it can't be helped. Speaking of the vet, I don't want to take him in until I have a chance to improve his condition myself.

Now another subject: bathing cats. I am very nervous to attempt bathing the stnkiness that is super Cooper. He smells like cat pee(less than Saturday but still whiffy) and Harley still bears a slight odour of the cattery. The cleanliness liker in me desires them to be cleansed of that place but the human in me fears for my own safety if I try to bathe the cats. That and for their progress in settling into the home and family if I force them to suffer yet another indignity. Have you bathed cats? What do you think? I suppose I could go to a groomer....?

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Just remembered

I realised I haven't mentioned the weight thing , food issues, positive thinking stuffs lately.
I have ups and downs on the NO STARCHES edict I put on myself. Lets face it, bread is really fucking good as is rice and pasta and ohmygods potatoes how I LOVE potatoes. That said I did have some of my forbiddens on vacation.
However I came home from vacation to find I had managed to hit the 8 pounds off mark. Two more pounds to my ten pounds by Labour Day goal.

Now explain this to me my darlings in cyberland. Why is it that when I get close to the goal, or achieve some success, that I immediately desire the forbidden foods in an almost addict like way. I have been eating so healthily for the last 6 weeks (except for the ice cream binges in NS...BUT COME ON! Scotsburn makes the best ice cream I have ever tasted and I can't eat it/buy it here!) and you know I am feeling pretty pleased with my progress. I still eat too much at night but the eating is mostly fruits and veggies, some almonds, or some yogurt. I do love me my yogurt...its like dessert thats good for you!!

So my desire for the forbiddens is way high these last couple of days. It could be withdrawals from having some breads and stuffs over vacation. Maybe thats it and not self sabotage? I hope so. Withdrawal I can do (kinda) but self sabotage is just so sad.

Lets recap shall we? Just because it makes me happy to see the numbers..
6 weeks ago: 214 lbs. 2 days ago: 205.7 (lets call it 206)lbs. Yay me! But my undies is still tight. :o(

ALSO, I got inspired by Crazy Aunt Purl aka Laurie and wrote her an email thanking her for her leafless salad ideas. I am a tad tired of the leafy greens I do admit. For the first time ever, she responded to an email from me. SQUEE! Ok...this may sound real lame to you but for me it was a happy geeked out moment. She gets ALOT of email from her readers.

Now if only emails were like real letters and I could frame it.... ;OP

Cat Chat

Well, we drove to the Joymagic Ragdolls cattery yesterday to check out this kitten that the breeder Jocelyn had recommended to heal our broken hearts. As usual, Harmony (4 or 5 yr old breeding female) latched on to Hman and also another lady named Betty proved to be her equal in the "lovin's" department. They were hilarious and we wish we could have walked out with them in tow so that we could have them pushing each other out of our laps for years to come.
We met the 6 month old seal lynx mitted male that was going by the name Pirate in the cattery and he was everything she said he was. Busy, friendly, affectionate, funny, and charming. His eyes are more of a sky blue than saphire and he is not very shy at all. We have renamed him Harley for the quality of his motorcycle like purr and easy rider personality, not to mention his scarred eye that lends him an air of 'danger'. LOL He has already captured Hman's attention's and admiration by demanding attention and readily flopping over on his back for belly rubs and air pawing.

Also on offer for our perusal was a damaged lilac bicolour male. He had no name. He is 11 months old and at some point had surgery on his left eye due to a membrane that wouldn't retract (I think thats what it was). As a result he has a weepy less than perfect eye that has kept all clients from adopting him. He is skittish and shy but not a complete loss. When I held him in my arms he was quite calm and accepting, if not thrilled by the experience. I felt sorry for him and since she offered him to us free of charge, because she trusted that in our home he would be cherished rather than just be a house cat, I couldn't leave him behind. Its my theory that he may come into his own in a home with affection and constant care. He's much more aloof than Harley and I likened him to the strong silent type so we named him Cooper after Gary Cooper. His good eye is an intense blue but not prominent like many Rags, smaller and more deeply set. His eye is a nasty mess for now but I bathed it in boild water with salt added and applied antibiotic drops and ointment last night. He had a sniffly way about him so Jocelyn sent him home with oral antibiotics too. It is my hope that his eye will get better than it currently is and that the discolouration of the fur around it from the weeping will fade. he has warmed up a bit, exploring the house more and actually coming to Hman and I on separate occassions for some pettings. He even jumped up on the sofa next to me ON PURPOSE for petting. He has adopted the basket with the antique red wool horse blanket that was Blossom's bed in the living room out of the 5 baskets on offer.

Last night, when I mosied for my middle of the night peepee, in slunk two kitty ghosts. then they followed me to the bedroom, exploring and making noise. Later a purry fluffy mass climbed into the bed for some snuggles and I am assuming it was Harley due to the purr. Cooper did purr today durring our sofa session, so I now know he is capable.

So there we have it. We got a twofer "deal" and now the house will be cat hairier than ever. Although thanks to Teri Lynn, wonderneice, I have a FurBuster now. I just need to get them to appreciate the joys of being brushed and groomed.

Pictures when I can get them to stay still long enough for for the capture to work. Its amazing how fast they move between the click and the capture!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

It came,etc

Fall Interweave Knits dropped into my mailbox today. Its just as awesome as I thought it would be.

My mom had an ultrasound today. No results yet as to what the mysterious swelling is.


Last night I attended knit night in NDG and got to fondle and drool over the St.Denis yarn company's support magazine (available at LYS that carry St. Denis yarn). When i open my still imaginary yarn shop some years in the futuire I am totally stocking this yarn. Not just because it is the brain child of my friend Veronik Avery, supah stah knit designer, but because it is truly a very fine yarn. The magazine is magnificent. The sizing of garments is for many sizes INCLUDING MINE!! Gasp! Shock and awe abound! Some go EVEN LARGER and are still stylish not frumpy. Y'all know my issues with the frumpy big girl fashions...grrrrr. Just because a woman is larger than the fashionista norm does not mean she wants to have her beauty hidden under a tent of fabric. Most big girls look best with a figure skimming look (do not read that as skin tight clothes...thats nasty) just like any other figure type does. This magazine and, in particular Oona's Hoodie, makes me very happy. Check out the whole collection on Ravelry and prepare to drooooool. By the way, Customs, y'll are dickwads for holding YARN at the frikkin' border. What is wrong with you people!? Although my husband may think it should be listed as a controlled substance at the rate I sniff and fondle it...

Demand this yarn and its magazine at your local yarn shop. The colours are to die for.

Also last night I FINALLY cast off the first sleeve of a certain garment that I cannot describe here because its intended recipient visits. As soon as its gifted you will know all. I thought it would never end! Now for sleeve two, seaming, finishing work... Its actually a very fun wlittle knit and I look forward to making another in the future (I have the yarn already ). I finally feel like I am making some progress in my projects. the Einstein coat/jacket is a never ending piece of garter stitch that feel like it will never end no matter how long I knit. At a nice big gauge I really thought it would go faster. My sister's Xmas gift has only been mildly worked on because it has lots of time.

As for other Xmas gifts....I was toying with the idea of little dresses for two girlies and maybe arm warmers for the older ones but now I am smitten with the valentine cabled hat in the current Knitscene. Its so cuuuuute!

The Fall Interweave Knits looks like its going to be a big winner. I have seen some of the pictures on Ravelry and they have set me to feeling covetous. Likewise the Vogue Knitting this Fall. Autumn issues are ALWAYS the best!!!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

I want this book

AlterNation by Shannon Okey and someone else... Its a book that give tips and tricks to alter thrisft store finds into one of a kind garments for the crafty individual. I love thrift store shopping but the finds are generally not so stylin' y'know? Especially the big girl sizes. This book could help me save money and be a little more fashion forward, if possible. Wants it, I does.

In other stories..........

Our trip home to NS was not precisely disappointing but it wasn't a funfest either. There are pluses and minuses to being on the coast. the pluses are beaches and beauty but the minuses are rain and fog. When you are camping rain and fog suck. Everything was damp and smelly eventually (10 minutes in?) and the grown ups kept getting irritated with the discomfort. Luckily to get cleaner and drier I have a sister near by. THANK GODS! Plus she has TV.
Our one beach trip consisted of trying Lawrencetown (too rocky) and Martinique. We spent about two hours on Martinique and even though it was a foggy cloudy day I eneded up with a sunburn on my face. Nothing says white like a sunburn in the fog. Cameron was our little surfer dude with his wetsuit and boogeyboard. He was in the water almost constantly. It was awesome. The surfers at the other end of the beach were entertaining to watch as well. Ben was unimpressed with Martinique. He refused to don his wetsuit and try the waves, preferring to futilely search for beach glass (3 pieces).
WE found the perfect beach for us just 15 minutes from my sister's home (Rainbow Haven) and not once did we get to swim there. It pissed us off to no end. Rainbow Haven is one of those best kept secrets of NS. Even though its a provincially maintained beach it gets almost no press or placement on maps. Its beautiful, lightly wavey when we were there, with snorkelling opportunities. Plus the water was not ice cold.
We did swim at Caribou after a visit to my parents which was far too brief and consisted of idle chit chat and taking them to their doctors appointment. My mom is not well at all and the doctor's tests are slow in happening and sometimes inconclusive.
The BEST day we had was Wednesday. It was warm and sunny! Hman and Thing One went golfing with my wonderful visiting from Calgary nephew who we all miss, and I got to hang out with my neice and her BFF, THE Deb Barnhill. Thing Two spent the day with my grand neices and their dad. he really enjoys his cousins when we go home.

Unfortunately the glory of the day was marred by the fact that I accidentally stood up my darling Barbara and that we were so late returning to the city that my family could not go to the beach before my sister's soiree. I was so in the dog house Wednesday. I had to fondle my new yarn a lot to help me through. And my beautiful diagonal rib (Ann Budd pattern)socks made with Paton's Kroy that Teri Lynn made for me. I love my neice.

Thursday saw more rain and fog and a trip to the movie theater so the boys and our darling Heather (my oldest friend's daughter) could take in G-Force in 3D. This gave Hman and I a whole 1 1/2 hours of childleesness. We went to Boston Pizza and Canadian Tire and then I had him drop me off at Michael's craft store to peruse the yarn while he gathered the young 'uns. I got two colourways of Kroy. Its very soft and pretty sock yarn and not badly priced as sock yarns go.

We decided we were DONE. No more wet dismal camping. Friday saw us leaving NS with tears in my eyes at leaving my family and the ocean behind AGAIN. We stayed at Fredericton's new Best Western and it was heavenly. Arrived Saturday evening at Vacartier's camping area for a Sunday of waterpark fun. We left early to arrive home Sunday night instead of Monday because the camping park is cramped (but the amenities are great)and guess what? It started to rain AGAIN.

The rest you know...arriving home to an ailing Newman.


Friday as we drove through NS with my sadness, Hman developed an idea. Something tells me he had been ruminating on it for awhile because it sounded a little too thought out to be spontaneous. At first I resisted it. Yet, he made a compelling argument that played on my worries for my mom and how much I miss my family. Thus a decision was made that the kids and I would move back to NS next summer, with Hman joing us as often as he could. He has a plan for that too. Plus I will be holding Lunasea hostage which will at least bring him east in sailing weather. ;o)

Maybe I will get to have a yarn shop in the future.....?

Monday, August 03, 2009

Back Home

We are back home from vacation, such as it was. It was a tiring experience, camping in damp conditions.
There were highs and lows to the trip and it will take maybe more than one post for it all, but right now I don't feel like posting. You see, when we arrived home Last night, Newman was showing signs of respiratory distress which meant a late night trip to a 24 hour veterinary hospital. A trip he didn't come home from.
His lungs and the area in his chest where the lungs are was filling with fluid due to some sort of cardio episode. Lacking thousands of dollars to pursue treatment ( over a thousand dollars for overnight hospitalization and an examination by the cardiologist...then would come treatment and its costs), I had to let him go. It was sickening. Horrifying. Debilitating. My Newnie-Noo gone because I am not independantly wealthy. It was like a nightmare. You know the kind...where people are talking but suddenly you can't understand what they are saying? I I was at the vet because maybe my cat had a cold? Pneumonia? Give him some antibiotics and home we'll go! Only THAT wasn't what this lovely woman was telling me. She was telling me my furbaby was dying because his lungs and heart weren't functioning properly and that perhaps I should say goodbye. WTF? I had to keep getting her to repeat herself and asked the same questions over and over..yes like one of those stupid people because I was not comprehending what was going on.
Now to be fair to the vet and myself, it was somewhat recommended to take this route. Best case scenario would have him seen by the cardio guy, cured and live a long healthy happy life. That wasn't the prognosis though. Given his young age for this to happen, it was possible and maybe probable that even with treatment and lifelong medication he would not live a long healthy life and he would most likely suffer relapses. It was deemed that euthanasia was going to be the only road I could take.
Anyways, bear with us as we sort through our grief and of all the insane ideas ever, visit Newman's breeder this weekend. Its only been the first day and our home is so empty. Hman is feeling particularly bereft and wants this so I am going along with it. Newman's breeder was so shocked and sad by my news and has offered an older cat or kitten to help us in our sadness. We shall see.

More another time with better spirits and lots of news.