Wednesday, April 27, 2016

In which we visit the veterinarian

It's been a while since I had to stop what I was doing mid-task, rearrange my day, and deal with a medical emergency. At least, it had been a while until yesterday.

What am I doing out here?
I was upstairs at my mom's house, drilling starter holes for screws to hold up brackets for window shades, when a voice calmly called up, "Your dog needs emergency surgery."  I paused in my drilling, wondering how much of our family's sense of humor was reflected in that statement.  Did it mean that he had a tick which needed to be removed?  Or had something else happened?  I climbed down from the chair, set the drill down, and called out "Like surgery in town at the vet?" as I headed downstairs.  "Yes," was the answer.

Well, that was going to mess with my plans for doing work at mom's house.  Should I finish up the shades and get the tools put away first, and get the dehumidifier running in the basement again, or was it more emergencetical than that, or...?  I took a look at my dog, standing in the kitchen, and saw a red spot on his leg.  About 2" in diameter, with a nice rebar-sized cylindrical cavity in the center which could well have been an inch deep.  I decided that yes, this was something to deal with right away. 

Happily, I had JUST called the vet on Friday and Saturday, when Bandit's left eyeball was looking like it had rolled back in his head, and we had a fresh weight from getting that unhappy-looking eyeball checked out on Saturday morning.  (Horner's Syndrome.  Idiopathic, harmless, and should pass in a month or two.)  So, I snagged the phone, put my shoes on, grabbed the newly-cleaned water reservoir for the humidifier, and called the vet while heading into the basement.  Yes, we did want to make it an urgent care visit since all the doctors were busy, and we could probably be there in 20 minutes.  I wrapped up the phone call around the same time I got the hose connected to the reservoir, popped it into the dehumidifier, and headed back upstairs to waltz out the door with the dog and my daughter.  And a clean towel.  The wound wasn't bleeding much at all, but I figured a towel would be good for my peace of mind, and give me something to do with my hands.  All my knitting was at home.

Three wood ticks later, the vet agreed that we did need to be there, and that Bandit needed more than a 'slap the edges together with tape or glue' procedure, and that she would vanish into surgery with him.  Abigail and I headed out shopping (to get peanut butter to make those pills go down smoother, and a 4T long-sleeved shirt in case we wanted to give that a try instead of the cone after a few days), and picked Bandit up after an hour.  He faded seriously after I got him into the car, and even kept snoring when I carried him inside.  I think the anesthesia lifted with the reversal meds just enough to get him out to the car, and he was one confused and disoriented pooch most of the evening.  But this morning, he's walking (a bit stiffly), eating, drinking, going outside, and not doing too badly with the cone. 

So yes, that sort of rearranged my day yesterday. 

In other news ... lots of gardening got done on Saturday, which is a good thing because today has a RealFeel of 31 degrees.  My tomatoes and peppers are back inside.  I'm inside, too.  And my bike riding is going to be inside today.  Brrrr.  Friday - or was it Thursday? -  was a good workday at my mom's, and lots of stuff got burned.  Lots of nettles got picked, too, and I am enjoying both the tea and the not-so-fresh-but-rather-steeped greens.  And my allergy symptoms are staying very quiet.  Maybe nettles really do work for seasonal allergies!?!  I will have to put up a good supply while they are nice and young and tender. 

Not much knitting has been happening, what with the vet visits and the lovely weather for being outside.

Until next week!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

In which life continues on

The past several days have been delightful, weather-wise.  So delightful, as a matter of fact, that today's high temperature of 60 degrees feels rather cool and damp.  How quickly we soften!  My garden now sports one fenced bed, transplanted kale and swiss chard, plus seeds of pea, radish, and swiss chard.  Two of the kale seeds I planted a few weeks ago came up too!  And yesterday gave us our first harvest of asparagus.  (I am ignoring the fact that the harvest came from the pepper bed-to-be, and not the asparagus-bed-that-is.  I will be picking lots of asparagus out of the peppers this year.)  Jungle control has also begun at my mom's house.  I've got about 12 wheelbarrow-loads of sticks and weeds to burn, once we have a dry day without gale force winds. 

Thanks to mom's yard, I have a fresh source of nettles.  Nettles do everything, healthwise, except for cure cancer.  (That distinction goes to black seed oil.)  ((At least, if you believe everything you read on the web.))  I thought to myself, "What harm can come from trying nettle tea and cooked nettle greens for allergies?"  (Uncooked nettle greens would be bad.  I can see lots of harm coming from that.)  So, I'm experimenting.  One cup of nettle tea, and I'm still here to write about it. 

Our back door still opens, and the vacuum cleaner, put back together with a new belt, actually WORKS!  I vacuumed every carpet in the house.  Now I'm wondering how long the belt had been broken.  I remember picking dog hair and string off one piece of carpet by hand last summer, since the vacuum wasn't getting it.  Yesterday, it cleaned up in a jiffy with just two passes. 

Knitting ... has been delightful.  The Nattroyer has grown a bit, but not too much.  One piece of stealth knitting is done, and another has begun.  The begun one is going to be DELIGHTFUL to knit.  I am looking forward to it.  It's the sort of delightful knitting that makes bedtime a chore.  "But I don't wanna!!!"
Assessing the drape of an unblocked swatch
And so that I can get to the knitting ... I shall leave you here.  Until next week!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

In which I learned many new things

Is it possible to plant a seed upside down?

Behold, a flat of seeds.  Basil and Parsley and Zinnias, and Comfrey, Oh My!  And behold the poor, upside down Comfrey seedling.  It's doing nicely now -- I dug out under the roots so those first two leaves could get free, managed the sun exposure carefully so the leaves would head in an 'untangled' direction, and it is now happily heading upwards without restraint.  But really -- roots up, leaves down?  How did that happen?

On the knitting front, we have my Nattroyer.  It's looking good!

And for household repairs -- I decided the back door handle really needed to be fixed or replaced.  When it takes 2 minutes, two hands, and several attempts to open the door, something needs to be done.  The obvious issue was that turning the handle didn't retract the latch/bolt at all 90% of the time, and about 1/3rd of the way the remaining 10% of the time.  Once I got the assembly off, it was pretty obvious that it was going to be replaced instead of lubricated. 
That rectangular hole, comprised of 3-4 pieces of metal, is supposed to be a square inside one piece of metal.  Oops.  Our door now opens!

And since I was on a roll with a screwdriver, I thought I would clean the vacuum agitator and such, replace the bag, etc, to see if perhaps it would work a bit better.  The bag wasn't half-full yet, but it did have a lot of drywall dust in it -- so perhaps that was the problem.

More likely, the problem was the belt.  While I was turning the agitator, the belt came off in one piece, all nice and flat.  Belts are supposed to be round.  Oops.  But, while I had it slightly apart, I figured I may as well get it more apart, so it could be more clean. 
Are the fan blades supposed to look like that?

With help from Filia, who found a manual for the vacuum online, I was able to disassembled it down to the last two parts, which simply would not separate.  I did get the power cord entirely off, though, so everything except the motor had a journey through or across the kitchen sink, with soap, water, and scrub brush.  I'm looking forward to seeing how it works once I get a replacement belt! 

Until next week ...

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

The anticipation of spring

Spring is flirting with us this year.  It was in the mid-70s on Sunday, then dropped back into the 30s and 40s.  We will see 60 again on Sunday, then drop back into the 40s for a while.  Yet another reason to look forward to Sunday!  And 40 isn't really all that bad for yardwork, which at the moment consists of picking up things the wind blew down and/or over. Pinecones, leaves, branches... that sort of thing. 

I am delighted to report that my comfrey and lupine seeds have germinated, as have the pepper seeds I saved from last year's last pepper.  I can say I'm a seed saver!!!  I'm wondering about the other pepper seeds I planted, though.  Several days after my saved seeds shower their leafy little first leaves, only 2 of the other 8 cells (16 seeds) are showing any signs of life. Hmmm. 

Now to figure out where to put the lupine and comfrey.  And zinnias.  Everything else has a place in the garden, but not those.  Do I need to keep them from rabbits?  (Or rather, keep the rabbits from them?  I don't imagine that the rabbits will be bothered by hungry lupine.) 

In my reading yesterday, I came across a wonderful quote about Greek oratory ... "a sea of meaning in a drop of language."  What a delightful picture to ponder!  Especially as regards the word which it was introducing -- Τετέλεσται.

I've been continuing to work on my sweater, and have made good progress.  If I don't get carried away cleaning today, inside or outside, I may well finish the front, leaving me with just two sleeves.

And a bonus picture!  I took a quite photo of my Pfeilraupe while I was at the yarn store yesterday.  I worked it up last month, but neglected to get a picture of it at the time.