Sunday, April 15, 2007

Another Brownie update and a sock

Here's a picture of Brownie. You can see the cats have ruined the chair seats. I had that fabric for years and redid the chairs a few years ago. I'm going to Ikea to buy new chairs that have removable, washable pillows. These chairs are very badly made, and I understand why the previous owner left them at the house. At the time that was ok with me and Keith, but almost every one of them has come apart. If you see them at the street in front of our house, save yourself the trouble and don't pick them up. I hate to send them to the landfill, but I bet even Goodwill wouldn't want them.

First of all, Brownie went back to the vet on Thursday for more bloodwork. We had to see if the meds are working. They are, but not well enough yet. I received a phone call from the vet with the results at 9:00 am yesterday to tell me that she needs tapazole twice a day instead of once a day. I'll have to get up at least 1/2 an hour earlier to take care of all the cat doctoring! And Brownie had lost weight since she was there 3 weeks ago. The poor cat weighs 5 1/2 pounds! I stuff food into her all day long, but I can't leave it out while we're gone because of this...

This is Monster, weighing in at 17 pounds. (She's freshly shaved in this picture. She has very luxurious long fur that she currently can't groom very well, and she's a bigtime biter who doesn't tolerate brushing for very long.) Keith and I have to referee every single meal to make sure Brownie eats and Monster doesn't overeat. The vet suggested no more dry food in the house to help Monster lose weight. Not a problem! The kitties are loving the canned stuff, but it doesn't have all the carbs of kibble, so they are hungry more often. Oy vey!

Secondly, I turned in my application to work at the vet's office on my days off from the knit shop. These vet bills are costing me a pretty penny, and honestly I've been thinking I either needed to find another job that paid more or add another part time job. I enjoy working at the knit shop, but the jobs that are more fun pay a lot less than the ones that aren't as fun and are more stressful. I mentioned this to the boss, (about working somewhere else on the off days) just in case the vet's office called for a reference, and she offered me another day at the shop. I took it. After all, that is for certain while I have to wait and see if the vet's office wants me to work the front desk. I may still take a day at the vet's just to see what it's like there behind the scenes.
On to knitting. I tried working on the cable wrap earlier this week, and quite frankly, I've had enough. Sometimes knitting projects need to go on vacation while another one comes to the forefront. I picked up the sock I was working on and voila!

A finished sock! This one worked up much more quickly than the ones I've done in the past. Part of it (a large part) was this pattern makes a much shorter cuff that the others I've done. Also, the heel flap and gusset worked up more quickly than the machined looking short row heel. Granted, I love the way the other heel works up, but this was so much faster, at least for me. I started to immediately cast on for the second sock, but it was after 11:00 pm, and Doctor Who was too engrossing. I couldn't count the cast on stitches correctly, so I gave up to watch the Doctor. The ones we are watching (since I just won't pay for cable or satellite - I'd much rather spend that much cash on books) are the ones that PBS has just picked up with Christopher Eccleston. I never watched much Doctor Who when I was a kid, but we've thoroughly enjoyed the few we've seen of the new series so far. I am a bit upset that PBS dumped Red Dwarf and Black Adder for the Doctor, but since I have almost all of Red Dwarf on DVD, I can live with it.

Really, no other news on the home front right now, which is a large part of no blogging this week. I've been a bit too tired for much knitting with going to the gym. After yoga on Wed night I couldn't move as well on Thursday, then I missed the next couple of mornings due to oversleeping in the morning. As I told Honi, each day and even each meal gives you a chance to make sound food and exercise choices, so I won't get too upset with myself for this lapse. Changing habits is a very difficult thing for anyone to do and gives us all an opportunity to practice patience and forgiveness with ourselves (two more things that are difficult for most humans). So I stayed up too late, overslept and didn't go to the gym. Today is a new day, and there is an 1 1/2 hour yoga class tonight.
And that's all for now. Time for the usual Sunday morning breakfast, especially since it's now 9:31, and Keith is finally up and moving.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Finally, pictures

I've been pretty busy this week. Last weekend we had a sale at the shop, so I worked a bit extra on Sat. and Sun. to get it set up and broken down. Then this week was full of appointments on days off. I saw one of the wellness coaches at the gym and had another vet appointment. This time it was for the 2 young cats. Annual exams, rabies shots and shaving. One girl in particular has weight issues that make it difficult for her to keep herself clean. She also has long, fluffy fur that makes her look larger (or so I thought until I saw her shaved!) Poor Monster. I have to clean her rear end with baby wipes until she looses enough weight to clean it herself. Ever try to put a vacuum cleaner cat on a diet? Not easy. She doesn't like the diet catfood although Brownie is more than happy to eat it. The other thing is that Dr. Zook said to let the old ones eat as much as they want and limit the young ones. Ai yi yi! It takes 2 humans to police the cat feeding area. However, Monster likes the cleaning well enough except I really need to warm up the baby wipes before I use them.
Anyway, here are pictures:

This is the only picture either of us took in the cabin while up at the Black Bear Lodge. Keith cooks the usual Sunday morning pancake jamboree. (BTW, we always call in a pancake jamboree in homage to The Brain.)

This is a tree we saw on our hike. I won't mention the trail because on the Tuesday afternoon we were there, it was a lot busier than it used to be when we went there back in the '80's. It's still an uphill hike all the way to the waterfall.

The waterfall starts in what looks like a cleft in the rock from here. You can climb higher to see the actual falls, but it's not part of the trail, and it's pretty steep and slippery. We did not climb up there this time, but we have in the past when we were 20 years younger and many more pounds lighter. The round trip is around 5 miles, so that made up for lazing around the cabin all the day before watching Discover and History channel between hot tub lounges.

We ate at the Troll Tavern while in Helen. It's under the bridge, and we sat right next to the river to eat our lunch. The day was so gorgeous. We were there right before the pollen started, so sitting outside was just lovely. A light breeze under the shade of an umbrella. We would eat at the Troll Tavern again.

So, I've covered cats and our short vacation. On to other things. I've been knitting on the cable wrap, but one night this week I'd had enough. One thing about knitting is that sometimes the big projects get sooooo boring. Hardcore knitters always have more than one project going. Luckily (and Keith is always teasing me about them - he just doesn't get it) I always have a sock going. Even though they can take a long time, I like socks. So I've been working on this one, and I learned how to do the heel with a flap and gusset instead of the machined looking short row that I've been doing. Heel flaps and gussets are quicked, but they do look handmade. Here is the sock.

The colors are deeper and richer than shown here, but I didn't feel like adjusting them to be true. This is knitted on a size 2 Addi Turbo needle in the Magic Loop Technique, just in case you're wondering. I think I mentioned before the yarn is Jitterbug by Colinette, a really wonderful handpainted yarn with a great springiness. It's 100% merino, and knits like a dream. I'm following the pattern that comes with the yarn, so it's knitted from the cuff down. What you see in the lower righthand side is the needle coming out from the foot area.

I'll mention my weightloss here also. I've been not quite obsessively keeping track of calories ingested and exercise done these past 2 weeks while I work on some lifestyle changes. It really helps to keep me on track. I've let go of 3.2 pounds in the past 2 weeks. I'm uncovering the slim, svelte and strong woman beneath all the upholstery. Of course, seeing that I'm really eating half a dozen cheesestraws from the bakery really opened my eyes, as well as seeing just how many calories are in the pancake jamboree once you add butter, real maple syrup and bacon. It all comes down to choices, and I'll eat my pancakes knowing that the rest of the day is devoted to salads. What's nice is knowing that I can also go out to a potluck and make some good food choices. Daphne's birthday party was last night, and knowing that there would be delicious cake, I forced myself to eat smaller portions of things like potato salad and BBQ. It was a fun party, although I did have to get tough with bunch of kids. Daphne has a firepit in her back yard, and you know guys, they have to build a fire. It was really cold last night for April, down in the 30's. The kids were wired and wild and started poking long sticks into the fire, sending up fountains of sparks. Some of the guys just watched this going on. I finally stood up and used that stern tone that I think only women on the verge of getting really mean can get, told all the kids to put their sticks in the fire and not to do it anymore. Suddenly the kids all cleared out, and in a minute the whole area was filled back up with the dads. Hmm, I guess I got to be the villain in this one. That mean woman!
I think I've covered it all for this week. Vet visits, exercise, work and a party. What a wild life I lead. (tongue in cheek).

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Brownie update #2

I know, I haven't posted in over a week. I've been busy this week.

First of all, Browns does have a hyperactive thyroid. We started giving her the supplements and Chinese herbs while we waited to get the results of the test. Those 2 things made a difference. By the time we got the test results back, she was back to a couple of her old habits. Most noticably sleeping on the kitchen table again. I must admit that although I was glad to see her feeling better, that is not one of her habits that I like one bit. However, she's slept on the table most of her life, and as she's aged, she's given up trying to sneak around us. It used to be she would hear us coming and leap down, but now she just doesn't give a sh*t.

I picked up her tapazole on Wed. It was so much less than I had feared. I was worried I'd be spending $100 for the prescription. You know how much medicine costs. She's been taking it for a few days, along with her herbs, and seems to be much perkier.

On to other things. I decided that I would count my calories for a day to see how much I was really eating. I probably should not have started with the day when I was binge eating the most delicious cheese straws in the world (from the Country Bake Shoppe in Helen, GA.) However, this gave me a very eye-opening look at the amount of calories I've been consuming. I made the decision to be pro-active about it, weigh myself everyday and count those calories. Otherwise my weight would continue to creep up the scale. I went to the gym every day from Monday through Friday of last week. I see I still have changes (many small changes) to make, but at least that was progress. I was able to split the emergency frozen pizza with Keith for dinner one night (thin crust, vegetarian) and not blow out my calories for the day. I've even been able to tweak it so I can keep my half and half.

I've also worked a bit extra this week. Beth plays the Celtic Harp at some school every year, so I picked up an extra day there. We've been having a big sale this weekend, and so far I have not been seduced by yarn. I've done some research online about some of the yarns we have for the sale, and I will probably pick up some today. I think it's been discontinued, and from what I can tell online, most places have it on sale and have very small quantities.

I know, I know. I need to get some new pictures uploaded. I'll get to that in the next day or two when I'm not working all the time. Remember, days off from work don't necessarily equal free time. There's always laundry, groceries, errands, etc that don't get done unless I do them.