Thursday, March 1, 2012

Catching Up

 I haven't posted for a while. I'm not exactly sure what happened. I got busy or didn't want to sit at my computer, or didn't make the time. I find that time is a slippery thing as I age. Most days fly by so fast and the next thing I know it's Friday.

But to my defense when Darryl's schedule changes so does mine. I don't seem to be as adaptable as I used to be. BART eliminated a position in Hayward and the guy that held that position bumped to Concord. That bumped Darryl to Hayward on day shift. Hayward isn't farther but the commute is far worse. There are no back roads to take. So he has to drive over Altamont Pass. One good thing is that he starts at six so he leaves very, very, early in the morning. Like 4am early. Which means he needs to be in bed at 9pm. That's a little early for me to sleep. But D doesn't sleep well until I go to bed. So I go to bed with him and I read or play games on my phone. Then I wake up about 5 or 5:30 in the morning. Crazy! They also changed his days off. Now he has Saturday and Sunday off again. Darryl doesn't take change easily so it has surprised me that he's doing so well on his new schedule. All because he gets home earlier. He's home by 3:30 in the afternoon. That makes him very happy because it's still light enough to work with the horses.

The fiber in the above photo is some lamb's wool that we bought a long time ago. There's quite a bit of it. It does not spin easily and I think I finally have enough skill to deal with it. I've been wanting a bulky yarn and so I'm doing a three ply. I didn't think to take a photo of the yarn after it was washed. It bloomed quite nicely. I'm going to spin it all up and see what yardage I wind up with and knit it up fairly quickly.

 I'm not in any sensible order in this post today but I will try to get it all in. I bought this lovely puzzle at a garage sale, put it on the table in the sewing room, separated out all the edge pieces I could find and now I just don't want to do the puzzle. I am back in fiber mode and want the table for other stuff. So I guess I will put the edge pieces in a separate bag and box it up again. I'm not sure what happened because I love puzzles but in light of the fluid time thing I don't want to waste time thinking I should work on the puzzle when it's something else I'd rather be doing.

I dug out the bison that D had been spinning. I set the twist and wound it into balls. I'm thinking I might cast on some socks for him and surprise him for his birthday. He's very jealous of this yarn but I know he has plenty more fiber for spinning and think he will love the socks and forgive me for using it. He'll just have to spin more.

Let's see what else...ah, yes! Darryl's favorite horse has loose stools and we've been trying to figure it out. The vet gave him a course of action to follow to see if it helps. It involves changing her diet, clearing her gut of any sand, adding probiotics, an intense worming protocol, and some bute for inflammation. It's a little time intensive because we have to separate her from the other horse for feeding but I think we are starting to see some results.

My beautiful cat, Patches, died quite suddenly. We have no idea why. It hit me very hard and I'm not yet ready to talk about it.

Charlotte started leaking urine. A vet visit, complete with a battery of tests, yielded nothing difinative. It could be an infection or she could just be incontinent. I finished the antibiotic and she seems to be doing better but still has the occasional accident in her crate at night. She goes back to the vet today for another urine test. There were crystals in her urine and he wants to see if they are still there. I had an English setter with this problem and was told to add vitamin B to his diet. I'm going to discuss this with Charlotte's vet today and see if he thinks that would work for her too. I need to know what dosage and which B vitamins to add. She's gained a little weight but she's not eating as much and some days very little. Still she's a very slender 112 pounds. Kelly thinks she's taller but I don't think so. I think Kelly is always surprised by how tall she is. She's not heavy boned, just tall. The last time I measured her she was 30" at the shoulder. Let's just say I can stroke her back without bending at all.

I have been watching Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer. His techniques have worked wonders with Charlotte and I'm starting on Vinnie. She's learning that I am the pack leader and I'm learning calm assertiveness. I want her calm when people walk into the house. She's fairly polite but I want her more polite. Humans always go through the doorways first. She must wait patiently. No pulling on a leash, ever. She follows me everywhere. She's starting never to be in front of me unless I give her permission. If she's walking down the hall next to me her front legs are never in front of mine. I ask that anyone visiting me ignore the dogs when they come in. That makes a huge difference. I'm learning they feed off excited energy. No yelling at them at all. It's pretty cool. I tried it on Shannon's dog, Daisy, the last two times I was there. I ignored her when I came in and I claimed the space. She calmed down pretty quickly.

Now I'm working on Vinnie. He piddles every time I put him outside or get him to put him in his crate. That is insecurity. It's the exact same technique and he's getting better. I'm not saying he loves to go outside now but it's getting better and less nervous piddling. I'm still learning and so are my dogs. If you get a chance to watch his show on the Natgeo channel, I highly recommend it.

D is tearing the bike down to do some work before we go to Sturgis this summer. He thought it needed a new clutch bearing and he was right. But there are some other issues and as he gets into it he keeps having to tear the bike down more. I hope to have some photos soon. After he finishes the engine work I want him to have the front forks done. We know a guy who has the same model and he's had some front fork problems. As long as we are into all these repairs, we may as well for the big bucks for the front fork to be done, (this job is best left to those with the special tooling), and the bike will be almost new when we leave. It has over 60,000 miles on it and since we take such long rides on it, I'd rather be as safe as we can. We can't do anything about other drivers or human error but D is an excellent mechanic and will make the bike as mechanically safe as possible.

Kelly was down for a quick visit. She came to join Shannon and I at Stitches West. We got a room in Santa Clara and had a lovely time. A friend of Shannon's gave up her entire yarn stash that had some lovely stuff in it. So we bought fiber, tools, and patterns. I'm hoping Shannon can post about the incredible stash enhancement we all experienced. Kelly had to borrow a suitcase to get it all home.

I think I've touched on most of the happenings here for now. Maybe I'll get another bike post in. Picture of it in pieces. It doesn't really look that bad but I'm impressed with Darryl's skill and care that he always uses when he works on the bike.

Back to the mundane things in life. Gotta get some groceries and do some laundry. It's never ending isn't it?


  1. I can't wait to see the bison knit up into something.

  2. I'm so sorry about Patches and understand the pain you're going through. That's all I'll say because I don't want you to cry. Just know my heart goes out to you.

    We just get regular old TV so I'll look up Cesar Millan and see if there are any of his shows on DVD. I'd love to try with my dogs.

    I understand the blog thing. I went several weeks without writing and got frantic calls and emails from a friend afraid something had happened to me. LOL! It was just one of those, "Life got in the way" periods.

    Here's hoping Charlotte gets better soon.

  3. What a great update post, thank you so much for catching us all up on everything. I had such a great time while I was there, the visit was just a bit to quick for me.

    Those will be super warm socks! Are you going to do a vanilla sock or do you have a pattern in mind?