Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's My Party...

...and I'll slack if I want to. ;-)

I'm taking the vast majority of today off from cleaning, chores, and the internet. Why??

It's my birthday!

For those of you in the know, Katie and I are the same age... but I don't talk numbers. ;-)

Anyway, I'm off to a guild meeting and then to Little D's soccer game. After that perhaps some dinner with FH. We actually had my birthday dinner last night at our favorite pub while the Packers game was on. (We lost.) It was a good game though and the food and drink flowed all evening.

Oh and before I go my fiber friend, Michelle over at Bouldeneigh, is having a rough couple of days. Her lovely husband had a coronary yesterday and needs some well wishes.

Catch you all later!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Tuscan Sampler, Such As It is...

The last time you all saw the Tuscan Sampler was August 28. Since then I have only worked on it in small snatches of time. Here's what it looks like currently:

Real life had gotten in the way of most fun projects, and continues to do so. We're expecting overnight company next week and my sewing room/guest room needs a good cleaning as does the rest of the house. Today and tomorrow we'll be doing chores and Tuesday I am going to a guild meeting so I shall be stitching there, but I don't know what will strike my fancy.

Back to cleaning I go!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Pumpkin Project

A few weeks ago I was out shopping with a friend and we saw some really cool fabric pumpkins for sale. We looked at them and decided we could make our own and wondered if any of our stitching guild members would like to play along.

We figured out how to make the actual pumpkins but neither of us had the time to design leaves. So we bought a copy of McCalls 6178 for the leaves. Then we made mock ups.

This is the mock up I took to show everyone to see if they wanted to play. Everyone loved the idea, so we're getting together next month to play.

I used most of a fat quarter sewn into a tube for the pumpkin's body, the stem is covered with some fine whale corduroy. The ribs are made with some one-ply wool I had in my stash. The leaves are felt and cotton fused with interfacing. I used chain and blanket stitches to accent them instead of the machine stitching the pattern used.
Right now I'm working on some smaller ones in different colors and varying fabrics. My friend made hers out of tan velveteen (batik leaf) and a luscious gray wool (double thick golden felt leaves), but I don't have a picture of hers.

Once I get my army of smaller pumpkins finished, I'll get pictures up. I may not get most of them finished until next month when we all get together. There will be pictures provided I remember the camera.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Update on Critters

Anna from Random Thoughts of a Stay at Home Mom popped by and asked how Castor is doing. She read about him a while back when I made him his sweater. I'd given a link to the sweater post to the original designer's blog and Anna has just made a sweater for her kitty, Flake. If you've got the time check out the sweater on it's adorable model.

It occurred to me that I've been not only neglecting the blog, but in my sporadic posts I've only hinted at how the animals are doing. So since I find myself with some time today, I'm going to remedy the situation. Here we go:

First a look at Pollux. As you can see he's completely relaxed. Besides that his last checkup labeled him with fantastic dental health and great body condition. There have been no flare ups of either his irritable bowel disease or the sterile bladder infections that have plagued him in the past.

He has slowed down a bit, but he's 11 and we've had odd weather for a few weeks. If I'm starting to creak around he's got to be creaking around too. His favorite place to sleep is the cat condo next to the door to the deck. Sunlight streams in those windows all day.

The mice did not cooperate with a recent picture. Ada is starting to look like an old mouse, but she is still doing well. Alana keeps her warm and makes sure she eats, so life is good for two ladies who were in danger of becoming snake food.

Tempie and 'Bert are doing much better now.'Bert has recovered beautifully from the sudden episode of gut stasis/skin infection last week. He's back to eating normally and running around the family room, kicking up his heels. His round of antibiotics fir the skin infection will be done next Tuesday.

Tempie's mouth has healed from her dental-work. She's giving us more ammunition in thinking she's a carnivore in bunny clothes by wolfing down her food every night. Since she can't get to the cats' food anymore, she makes due with obliterating hers... and 'Bert's if she can reach it.

Finally Castor has put some weight back on thanks to a combination of steroids and probiotics. However he started having seizures about a month ago. He's on medication for them and it appears to be working. Other than having no memory of his favorite game/toy, fetch with a paper ball (which was his favorite for eleven years), the two seizures we can verify did not do any major damage.

We think the seizures may be related to some developmental issues he showed as a kitten due to complications during birth. [I adopted him from friends of a friend who owned his parents. When his mother was giving birth he was stuck in the birth canal for a bit. It took about a month after I brought him home for him to walk normally and he's always been both a klutz and a little dumb.]

The vet suggested an MRI, which I'd really like to get, but FH and I had to weigh the options and costs. For the price of the MRI we can get him all the medicines he needs for at least five years. That includes the steroids, the probiotics (which aren't cheap), and the cans of tuna and wet food we mix the probiotics in. Given the news in the next paragraph, you'll know why we decided to skip the MRI.

The steroids did in fact stop helping his guts behave normally (or rather as normal as they ever got), and therefore the vets and I are fairly certain he is developing bowel cancer. But the drugs make him hungry, so we're keeping him on them for the time being. If this was just a bad flare up of his irritable bowel disease the steroids would have worked and kept working. FH, the vets, and I agree that we do not want to put an 11 year old cat through a biopsy of his intestines so we're just going to ride things out. It may be a year, maybe two. More if we're lucky, less if we're not.

Recent blood tests (within the last month) show his numbers look good, so I'm hoping that we're in the extremely early stages. We also know that his teeth are still in fantastic shape (which will help with his overall health) and he's developed arthritis in his hips. These last few mornings have been stiff ones for him, but he solves that problem by sleeping in sunbeams on the window seat in my sewing room.

Castor is still extremely vocal with his demands to go out onto the sun porch and to get my attention while I'm working on something. At night he comes and cuddles with us on the couch and tries to nose his way into our dinner dishes. So other than a mess (understatement) around the litter boxes and him forgetting what paper balls are for, he's the same spoiled, lovable, sweet kitty that looks like he's been helping with one too many projects involving white paint and glue.

Speaking of projects, I've got a in the works currently, and one if them is of the miniature variety (finally!) and I hope to start posting again with more regularity.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Better Buns

Just a quick post to let everyone know 'Bert and Tempie are doing much, much better today. They both ate all of their regular food on their own overnight which means I can drastically cut the amount that I had to force-feed them. [In case some folks don't know this tidbit about rabbit care, if a rabbit stops eating for any reason their digestive system can ultimately shut itself down and they will die. To keep this from happening rabbit owners much literally force-feed them a set amount every day along with giving a medication to stimulate the guts to make them hungry.]

Now all I have to do is give them their courses of medicines and keep an eye on them. I'm more worried about 'Bert since he is the most recently sick and was actually closer to death. Tempie just had to get over the soreness in her mouth from having three teeth pulled. She's currently face down in her dish munching away.

Monday, September 13, 2010

On the Road Again

...or at least the bunnies and I are.

FH and I discovered 'Bert laying on his side last night, quite listless and unhappy. Somehow he's gotten an infection and had stopped eating. Luckily it was early enough in the evening that we could call our vet's emergency cell phone and start making plans. Even more lucky Tempie had some dental work done last week and we had some specific medicines on hand to get him through the night.

My mom is on her way up here to fetch the three of us down to St. Louis (again) so 'Bert can see our bunny vet (again) and hopefully we will be home (again) no later than Wednesday. I say (again) since we were just at the vet's with both bunnies last Tuesday. 'Bert had a physical and was given a clean bill of health. So something got to him between that last appointment and Saturday night. Ugh.

Tempie's still nursing her three molar extractions from last week and thus needs more constant care during the day, so she gets to come too.

FH will be staying here to work and take care of the cats and mice. He's got the cushy deal I think...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Headed Home

FH, the critters, and I are finally headed home today. While we're on the road for three hours and then unloading critters and their necessities here's a picture of Heller House framed.
See you again soon!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Stitching Done!

I'll be framing it tomorrow but don't know if I will have a chance to post about it since we're headed south for the party.
Now to go collapse in bed.

More Stitching

Here's where I am as of this moment on Dad's birthday gift.
I've just got a bit of back stitching to do on the right side and need to put the name (Frank Llyod Wright) under the quotation. With any luck I'll be washing and blocking this piece Thursday evening.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Today is what would have been Confetti's 9th birthday. Here's to the happy memories.
Today I'm taking the cross stitched gifts to the vet's office. These pictures aren't the greatest due to lighting, but I will try and get better ones taken after the sun comes up.We're going to have her favorite, tequila-lime chicken wings with mac'n'cheese for dinner. Then we're going to play with Castor and Pollux.

It's going to be a good day.

**edited to put in better photos of the stitching