Wednesday, January 27, 2010

It Really IS a pretty scar...

WARNING: Scar picture at the bottom... But since it's several weeks (6 to be exact) post-op and since I have ELEVEN days till splint removal, I figured I'd show off what my youngest kid calls, "a scar that makes you look like you were in a really awesome knife fight." Yep. It's a boy... Nice to know you have "street cred" with your kids. The oldest boy kind of turns greenish and doesn't want to talk about it or see it. And the only reason I even emphasize it so much is that both boys are guitarists and practice a LOT. Not that they'll have a woman's susceptibility to basilar joint arthritis or the "zig-zag defect" that my doctor says I have on both thumbs, but still. It's too easy as a guitarist, particularly an avid one, to overwork your hand and then have more problems. My surgeon, out of University of Chicago Hospital, is a really top-notch doctor. He did the repair on my right hand (different injury) and he is known for his plastic-surgeon-like incisions. I don't expect a lot of obvious scarring, but I know it won't be easily hidden. I'm using a product called Bio-Oil on it, since I tried Mederma and it kept sticking to the cotton sleeve I wear under the splint. I guess it's time to call and cancel that hand-modeling contract. Drat. I knew I could've made it big... I think the biggest thing will be the scar therapy - at least that's what I'm being told. Right now, the thumb is still numb and for the most part, my left hand is still swollen. I'd love to wear my wedding ring, but the hand swells during the night and after a day spent at the computer (yep, gotta love my job), I get to a point where I can very uncomfortably "feel" the rings, and then I get panicked about being able to get them off! Anyway, both dogs have sniffed and approved; Hubby is willing to help nudge (read: NAG) me during therapy and both boys are marveling at what I can do while using my left index finger as a thumb! And my guitar teacher has already given me grief about the nail polish. I am reminded now of why I don't WEAR nail polish. The upkeep of the dratted fingernails has kept me occupied - seeing as I can't knit, I may as well be a "Foo-foo" girly-girl. Yes, that is my actual fingernail. I can grow them quite nicely, but choose for the most part not to do so. Too much trouble for a person who doesn't wear make-up and has instructed her stylist to give her "Ten Minute Hair."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dogs on the Run...

So hum the song Band On the Run... and you'll catch the vibe of this picture. Hubby took the girls to the dog park. Seems like Tippi likes to run with River and River's not about to let the "youngster" upstage her! Here, Tippi's on River's blind side. She did that yesterday, too - kind of like she "knew" that being there was a good place. She keeps River from being whacked by stray branches or surprised by other dogs coming up where she can't see them. Hubby has one picture where Tippi's running and you can see the "40 mph" speed limit sign - but all you see of Tippi is a grey blur. I think she exceeded the limit! Of course, both dogs are sprawled in the living room now, having exhausted themselves. I can't wait to get out there with them this weekend to see them do what they do best: run like the wind and totally enjoy being a dog.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lap of Luxury...

I think it's safe to say that Tippi is settling in.
We have been told it could be somewhere between 6 months and a year before she finally "gets" that this is her forever home. And we're prepared for that. This is truly a situation where, if we could have, we'd have taken the female puppy, too. Wish we didn't have "dog rationing" in our town. You can have 2 dogs or 2 cats, but not "four" of any one species.
Of COURSE there are people that flout that. However - it all kind of depends upon your neighbors and their tolerance level. Elkhounds bark. A lot. Long. Monotone. Frequently at "thin air." And if your neighbors aren't able to deal with that, it does become a problem. In spite of the ordinances against nuisances, it's REALLY aggravating to listen to a dog barking its head off. And I'm one who'd object, so I can't really blame another person for doing so.
And then what? The city comes in and says 'get rid of one.' So do you get rid of the half-blind dog that you've had for years? Or one of the ones you've just rescued, who may FINALLY be feeling that humans aren't so bad after all? Maybe I ought to lobby for "4 of species" so that we could legally take in another dog. Though the vet bills would be something to consider! After all, I can imagine someone having more than 4 cats - particularly if they keep them inside.
Anyway, for now, she's adjusting. If her expression in this picture is anything to go by, then I think she's going to be ok!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

February is DONE!

Nope, that's not a typo. Since my hand surgery, I am unable to knit. Soooooooo.... I go back to my needlework "roots" and come back to counted cross stitch. I have this series of snowmen. I've done 3 of them now - and I've managed to start 2 more, but I can't find them. Wow - sounds like 2 or 3 knitting projects I have. But we won't go there.
Here's February. He's on a larger-count fabric - 28 count lugana which works out to be 14 sq/inch. Normally, they're on 32-count linen, which I prefer. But since I didn't have it, this guy will be a different size. He's on a soft peachy-colored fabric, which may or may not show up in this picture. I used antique glass beads for the heart on his chest and 3 of the tiny ones. And no, it's not your eyes. He's crooked, but that's because taking a picture one-handed is a little tricky. Particularly since Tippi and River were interested in what was on the couch (where I set this to photograph it).
I have fabric and batting, so he'll be treated like January's guy (who I can't find!!) - a little strip of pieced work around the outside edges and then a backer fabric. I have a dark-ish red patterend fabric that'll be good for that, as well as a lighter, "candy hearts" type design.
December's snowman is framed in plain red half-round. I may end up asking Hubby to do the same for Mr. March, since my local framers don't seem to carry that anymore, and I want to keep them rustic.
I've already tea-dyed the fabric for March - Mr. Shamrock!
I don't know if any of them will end up at the National Counted Cross Stitch Show, but Hubby says I ought to enter at least one in the "One-handed Stitcher" category!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Little Cheese with My "Whine"...

(insert heavy sigh here) OK, so here's what happened in the last 2 months of 2009. I was scheduled for surgery on my left hand for 12/22/09. About a month prior to that, I came down with a doozy of a sinus infection. Which some twinkie at a "minute clinic" (and that's about all she spent talking about MY symptoms - however, I learned in great detail about HER health...) tried to tell me was an "allergy." Well, not unless everyone in my house wears a Persian cat on their heads. And allergy attacks don't produce, in me at least, wracking coughs and post-nasal drip like Niagara Falls... I ended up at my regular clinic 2 days later (I missed Thanksgiving because I wasn't sure WHAT this was, but I did't want to infect my family) and yep - sinus infection. That cleared up. The surgery proceeded. Recovering nicely, thanks. And then my kid gives me a cold. A dripping, hacking, stuffy, blow-my-nose-constantly cold that has me sending my dear hubby out STAT for Puffs with lotion because my nose is a cross between W.C. Fields and Rudolph. No reindeer jokes, please. So I'm on Mucinex, which is a great OTC remedy except for that part where you kind of get wired and can't sleep. Which brings me to my question. WHY do all the antihistamines dry out everything BUT my nose?? I can't blink fast enough to keep my eyes from feeling sandpapery. My throat is a parched patch of land. My EARS even feel dry. My skin is even kind of "lizard-y" (not a good look, let me tell you!). But my nose is as plugged as it can get. (insert another sigh here, followed by a cough) Even "real" Sudafed isn't cutting this. I know - it's a cold. Give it a week or 10 days, stay hydrated (I'm sloshing, already), and rest. Except that the cold meds keep me awake. At least I'm not eating, since I've lost my sense of smell. My neti pot is my best friend lately. So are Halls Naturals, a specific candy called a G-shaft that keeps my tongue from sticking to the roof of my mouth, hot tea, and my 24-oz water bottle. I tried horehound drops. Ick. Spit. Wanted to lick sandpaper to get the taste out of my mouth. Here's another one. The kid that gave me the cold is 26 years old. Can I ground him for that?

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Miscellaneous Pictures...

Hopefully, this will work. Top down(this program keeps shuffling the picture order!):
The cross-stitch snowman project I'm working on. Hey, I can't knit for a few more weeks, so I may as well do SOMETHING to keep me out of the Christmas cookies!! I've almost got his body done, and I will work on that tomorrow.
Tippi and River stretched out in the living room. We've since gotten Tippi her own bed, and she's learning some new tricks. River, however, remains ABOVE tricks, thank you. It's enough for her to "be" and enter a room with her personality and dignity intact.
And finally: "Speed Scarf" that I crocheted for my oldest son. He lost his - Heaven knows where - and asked me to do one for him - BEFORE my hand surgery. So here's a weekend scarf, in half-double crochet on a size P hook using chenille yarn. Beggars can't be choosers so he got the colors I had handy. I did it side-to-side, and it takes about 7 rows when you chain about 105 stitches and just go back and forth for a while.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

This is what you do with...

...crappy yarn that isn't worth knitting. And when you don't want the knitting gods to smack you for wishing this garbage on an unsuspecting knitter...
I created this little "diorama" if you will in a corner of my office. I bought the yarn thinking it'd be good for chemo caps. It's from Hobby Lobby. It's nasty.
I'm having a knitting withdrawal attack. On December 22, I had an arthroplasty on the basilar joint of my left hand and a fusion on the joint just up from that. I'm in a splint for SIX WEEKS and I'm not allowed to do anything remotely resembling knitting. Or crocheting. But I can cross-stitch, so I set up a little project - monthly-themed snowmen, and I'm working on February. I am almost done with his body; just have to backstitch and then do the beading. The pattern doesn't call for it, but I don't care. It's done in Flower Thread, which is a pain in the butt to work with, but it's lovely when it's done.
As I talk to my knitting friends who are moving along on new projects, all I can do is sigh. Once therapy is done, I'll be all fixed - no pain and hopefully able to do all the things I was having trouble with before. In the meantime, I wound up the crappy yarn and made it LOOK like I was doing something!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Tippi is Home...

Yep. One look at where she was at, and I pretty much told my husband, "If the dog's not nuts, we're taking her out of here!" She and our husky did the "doggie data exchange" (i.e. sniffing personal parts) all night. There was a little bit of "I'm the top dog here" by our husky, and Tippi seems cool with that. I think she's happy. She ate a good dinner tonight and is sprawled out with the husky in the middle of the living room. Twin Tripping Hazards!! Here's a picture of her "guarding the door." Once she's able to consistently respond to "come" she will go with hubby to the dog park. She's getting better at being more responsive to commands, so we have hope that she'll come along just fine. She's a BEEFY little thing: 53 lbs!! She's solid, but still - the vet would like her to lose about 12 lbs or so, and she also thinks that some of it is related to the pups Tippi had about 9 weeks ago. She'll be spayed next month, after some of the swelling has gone down, but the vet said that she's basically healthy. She did well in the office and got herself a pedicure while she was there! It turned out that 01/02/2010 was a special day after all. We're calling it Tippi's New Birthday.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Meet Tippi...

Well. You always think that things happen for a reason. And maybe they do. After we lost our Elkhound, to cancer in early December, we knew we'd have to get another dog. Our husky has been in the doldrums, and we always thought dogs should be in pairs, even when they "own" their own humans!
I contacted a gal from the Norwegian Elkhound Rescue Association. Luckily, Elkhounds are kind of an unusual breed - not very popular, thanks, and rescues are sparse compared to, for example, huskies and mixed breeds.
I expected several weeks at least. We're going to Wisconsin tomorrow to meet Tippi... They say all things happen for a reason. Today is 01/02/2010 - a palindrome date. One maybe endowed with mystical powers, since it's the same forward as it is backwards. And maybe I was meant to contact the rescue coordinator. And maybe Tippi was supposed to be where she was.
And maybe we'll give a lovely dog a forever home.