Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Not more ears to clean!

Yep, that's right. Now we need to make sure everyone gets a good earcleaning at least once weekly. I thought they were supposed to groom each other's ears and leave the humans out of it, but apparently not.

As for Sassy, she gets bathed in a medicated shampoo once a week for the next month. She also, like her humans, needs to lose some weight. I see a lot more veggies in all our futures.

Team Robonia

I just joined the Ravelympics 2008 for Team Robonia. I'm in the Sock Put, and I will be knitting Spring Forward Socks in STR Lightweight, color Rhodonite.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Just give me a cot

since I feel like I'm living there part time. I mean the vet's office.

Tomorrow morning I'm taking Chubbs in since he's still sneezing, and Sassy's going to get her skin checked out. As I've mentioned before, both Shar Peis and labs can have skin issues. I'd like some advice as to what's going on, and what I have to do -besides bathing weekly- to help her heal. I'm really hoping these are my last vet visits for a month or so. We'll probably need to get bloodwork done for Scooter just to see how he's doing, but I think he has another month to go before it's been six months.

Maybe I'll be able to finally schedule my annual checkups soon.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

More babbling

I just had to vent a little about the state of my yard. I went out this morning about 7 a.m. when the Lily alarm went off. I pulled weeds along the curb and swept up the dirt and debris from doing so. We have fire ants, several small mounds, and I had the thrill of being bitten twice while pulling weeds. I took a break, then tackled one of the mulched areas that wasn't so overgrown that when I worked on it you could actually tell something had been done.

It is so warm and muggy already today. I've gone on and showered since I may have gotten into some poison ivy even though I was being careful. The stuff grows everywhere, damn sneaky weed! I think I'll get up tomorrow and instead of surfing on the computer, I'll pull up another bag of yard waste.

I also realized I haven't written about Scooter lately. I read on one of the cat caretaker's boards on Ravelry about how someone's older kitties seemed to withdraw as they aged. That's exactly what happened with Brownie and Pixel, and Scooter is doing that too. I wonder how much of it has to do with the fact that he has arthritis and isn't as agile as he used to be. He spends most of his time when he's not yowling for liver sleeping in the kitchen, although I have seen him basking outside in the sun. That worries me since he can't hear anymore, and when he's out I keep an eye on him. Thank goodness he doesn't stray much further than the catnip rock (I have a small, flat, tile tabletop on the ground with catnip growing all around it. It's in a sunny spot, good for basking and doing some nip.)

We've been having a difficult time getting his herbal arthritis remedy into him, but Keith discovered if you mash it up in liver with a little olive oil, then wrap it in a pill pocket, he gobbles it down. As today is liver day, it will also be mix up some more special arthritis treats. All in all, Scooter is doing very well for his age. He may not be able to hear (except maybe the canopener - or is that cat esp?), but he seems to have all his wits about him. Brownie had gone deaf and kitty senile, while Pixel seemed to have all her faculties until the day she died. I try not to think about the fact that neither Brownie or Pixel lived much past their 18th birthdays, and Scooter's was over a month ago now, yet I can't help thinking about it a little. I think I'll shift gears and think about just how bad the yard looks. At least I can do something about that.

It's Sunday, so it's time for yarn pictures!

I will admit, I've always used my birthday as an excuse for some shopping. This year I shopped for yarn when I probably should have shopped for some new clothes, but yarn's more fun.

From Needle Nook, I have Silk Garden sock yarn and Kureyon Sock yarn.

From Wollmeise, I have these three lovelies, another Lowenzahn, Maria's Deepest Purple and Dornroschen.

From the Loopy Ewe, I present to you Farmhouse Yarns, Hazel Knits and Spirit Trail Fiberworks.

Finally, from Knitch, I have some numma numma.

That's it for the yarn shopping for awhile (yeah, right.)

As for knitting, I'm about halfway up the foot of the second Garter Rib Sock. If I finish it by Friday, I can be in this biweekly drawing for Summer of Socks. You bet I'm going to knit like mad to finish up. I've already started another pair of Monkeys in the Claudia Hand Paint I got at Needle Nook, Urban Fever.

(If you're reading this post before 8:30 a.m., you can see I haven't taken my pictures yet. I feel a cup of coffee will help that immensely, and it's brewing while I sit here and type.)
Do you think Chubbs is adapting to houselife?

Here's Lily sleeping above my pillow. Sorry for the blurriness.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fast update

First, thank you for your kind comments about my Grandma. Janice, you are so right about how we lose them before we lose them. Sometimes though, Grandma says some of those things she's probably wanted to say for years but has been too polite to do so.

As for Chubby, I let him back out on Tuesday while Keith was at home working. He didn't want to come back in that night, but as it was about to pour, I grabbed him and brought him back in. He was also out yesterday, and I noticed this morning that he's sneezing again. I think he may really be allergic to something. He's still pretty skittish in the house, and the fact that I've been picking him up and bringing him inside doesn't make him want me too close. However, as he's had 2 abscesses this spring and summer, I'm not sure that what he wants is as important as what I want. Right now he's outside, but he did sneak back in to get some breakfast. I told Keith that we were no longer feeding him outside. At least last night he didn't meow too much, and Lily slept above my pillow without sniffing or chewing on my hair. (We've had to sleep with the bedroom door open the past few nights to keep Chubby quiet. The closed door upsets him. Lily's been thrilled to come sleep with us, but she's been a little active. She's decided that behind my pillow is a great place to sleep. The only problem is that is also Grey's favorite sleep spot. I see a snarling ultimate fighting match a little too close to my head in my future.)

The Wollmeise came in yesterday's mail. I am so excited to actually hold my first order of Wollmeise in my hand. I thought it would cool the thrill of the hunt, but I'm wondering if it's actually made it worse.

On that note, I'll end this quick update.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Odd day

Late yesterday my aunt called and asked if I could come visit my grandmother in Athens. She said Grandma was getting more confused and had a bad day on Monday. As I was off work today, I did as I was asked and went to visit.

She's had a gradual worsening of her memory ever since she started having strokes, but even after the first one or two she was still "there." It just took a little longer to communicate while she searched for words. My aunt told me that lately Grandma's been having trouble remembering names of people and how they're related to her and each other. I'm not talking about cousins here. I'm talking about her daughters and grandchildren. She also forgot that one of her sisters was still alive. Anyway, I was prepared for some of the questions she asked me today, like what was my brother's name. Others I was less prepared for. She asked about my father, who died rather suddenly several years ago. She didn't ask how he was (thank goodness), but where was he now? I told her the truth. He's in Birmingham still. I am so thankful she didn't ask any other questions as I'm not sure how I would have handled them. I figure at this point if she still thinks he's alive and living not too far away it's ok. He was her son-in-law, so it's not like she's expecting him to come visit.

My aunt also warned me not to expect Grandma to be able to carry a conversation. She really can't handle her end of one anymore and gets upset when she has to try. However, she likes people to come visit and talk, but you also have to be careful not to talk about anything that might upset her. I tell you, that's difficult. You have to keep talking and not expect any reply. She does try to, and she has a very difficult time putting her thoughts and words together.

I think my aunt and uncle are two of the most amazing, loving people. They take such good care of my grandmother. I sat there, brain gone blank, without a clue about what to talk about. At least I had my knitting, so I could knit and Grandma could watch. She liked the colors I was using, so I could at least entertain her some.

It is so tough watching someone who used to be so active, creative and smart lose themselves this way. At least she seems happy, most of the time.

I think I'll just make myself at home

Well, you didn't say I couldn't get on the furniture. I saw the other cats doing it. In fact, there's one sleeping on your coffee table right now.

Yes, this is Chubby sleeping on the sofa. We let him out to roam in the house, and this is where I found him. Didn't take him long at all, did it?As you can see here, I've turned the heel on the first Garter Rib sock.
I've got the habit of tossing seeds out to the birds when we eat things like squash, watermelon, etc. Sometimes, like last summer's watermelon, we get surprises from doing this. This year I had a member of the squash family pop up, growing at the base of all those sunflowers. I've been trying to figure out just what it is, and I think it may be a delicata squash. This blurry picture is from me squatting down, pulling leaves aside and trying to get a shot of the squash. I know it's too early to be sure, but that is my current guess.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hmmm, outside?

I've spent the evening with Chubby plastered against me. He was raising hell when I left him alone in my office earlier this evening. Keith was in here on the computer, but I was the one he wanted. So I picked him up and took him in with me to watch tv and knit. Chubbs isn't too sure about this being carried around bit, especially since that makes Sassy really want to sniff him. However, he spent 3 hours keeping me company while I watched Nature and Masterpiece Mystery. He didn't even want to chew on the yarn, but instead slept with his head buried into my leg most of the time.

He's sneezing less, but I still think he probably needs to go back in tomorrow. I hope he will not sit in the office and yowl too much tonight. We had some debate last night about letting him sleep with us since he did a lot of yowling and meowing when we tried to go to sleep last night. Scooter, who doesn't hear much of anything, still meows pretty loudly late at night, and he set Chubbs off. Keeping my fingers crossed I drift off before the kitty chorals begin.

In knitting news, I'm turning the heel of the first Garter Rib sock. I should be able to complete the heel and get started on the cuff tomorrow night.

I'm just wondering

if Chubbs will want to ever go outside again. He's adapting a little too well to being inside. Of course, we all know how spacy and yucky we feel with a headcold, and he's probably just so relieved to be inside and safe. I've often wondered about just how comfortably and deeply wild kitties sleep. Lily will go out and roam, then come in and sleep with total abandon. She reminds me of how children will just drop off and sleep like the dead.

He's been a little less demanding today, but maybe it's because we've been making sure to come visit him and pet him.

As you can see, I've not posted any pictures today. I've done a small amount of weeding (2 yard waste bags full, but the yard still looks like crap.) I'll get some up in the next couple of days.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Probably another vet visit

Chubbs is still congested, and he's showing one of the things the vet said would mean another trip. Otherwise, he's doing very well, meowing loudly for company, using the litter box and eating. He's even sat in my lap for a little while.

Adapting okay

Chubbs seems to be ok with being inside the house and stuck in one room. He's been meowing occasionally when he's feeling lonely. I've been visiting him and petting him. He's been sneezing a lot less although he still has the runny nose. The air quality here isn't very good right now, and maybe he's just sensitive to it. At this rate, maybe he'll let me put a compress on his tail tonight.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Home again, home again

Turns out Chubbs had an absess at the base of his tail. No fever or anything, just an absess coming up. The vet said to keep him inside in a quiet place away from other kitties for a few days and make sure he heals ok. If not, he needs to go back on Monday. I have a list of things to watch out for.

I feel so bad for him. He's in my office right now, hiding under the dresser. He just let me start petting him the day before yesterday, and what do I do? Snatch him up, stuff him into a cat carrier, take him somewhere where they shave and clean his butt, then bring him into the house to top it all off. At least he's not where Sassy can sniff him. The other kitties think there's nothing worse that a big cold dog nose rudely sniffing.

As for socks, I'm casting on for a pair of Garter Rib socks from Sensational Knitted Socks. As usual, I'm changing things by knitting them toe up and probably using the PGR heel. I'll post pictures as soon as I have more that one or two rounds knitted up. I had planned to get some of the drudgery done today, but between running back & forth to the vet and having a very pleasant visit with Daphne, much less housework is getting done than planned. I know to be careful what you wish for, but sometimes wouldn't it be great to have a genie or friendly witch who could clean the house with the flick of a wand? Or maybe a few house elves?

Since I'm the closest thing we have to a house elf, I'm down to the basement to do laundry.

At the vet, yet again.

Chubby is at the vet now. I picked him up relatively easily this morning, but getting him into the cat carrier was anything but easy. I did escape unscathed except for my shirt. He must be familiar with cat carriers from his past life before he became a semi wild stray cat. He hissed like crazy and struggled, but he didn't try to bite me. What a good boy he is.

So now he's there in isolation until the vet can look and see what's going on with him. Keep your fingers crossed that it's only a kitty cold.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

First pair for Summer of Socks 2008!

Here they are! I've even ripped out the toe of the first one and re-knit it so they both fit me.
Here are the details.
Wollmeise 100% Merino Superwash in Lowenzahn. I used Addi Turbos in size 1, Magic Loop.
These are the No Purl Monkeys, based on that infamous pattern on http://www.knitty.com/.

Back to the vet

I feel like I'm living there. Chubbs has a drop off appointment tomorrow to have the sneezing and runny nose checked. Luckily he's been a major petting pest, even letting me rub his tummy a little. Keep your fingers crossed that crating him will be just a regular ordeal.


This morning Mr. Chubbikins needed petting before his breakfast! He's on his way to becoming a pet! And for him, even more scary, I'm going to see if I can take him to the vet tomorrow for the sneezing. Just don't tell him a vet visit is in his future.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Second Monkey finished

and back to sock 1. I've undone the toe and started working on it again. I think I will get this finished and posted by Friday, the deadline for this session.

Thanks for the cheers, Kim!

So close and yet so far

I am on the toe decreases for the second Monkey sock, but when I finish with it I need to undo the toe of the first one and knit one more pattern round. I so want to get finished by the 18th so I can post my first pair to Summer of Socks! Will I be able to make it? Who knows?

Yesterday I went a bit cooking mad. I made vegetable soup, veggie pizza, the blueberry cobbler and a pan of fudge. Now we have lunch and dinner until Saturday, along with the all important dessert. The fudge is from Martha Stewart's Everyday Cooking magazine, the latest issue. It is very easy, but not for any of us who should be dieting. Honestly, about one piece is all you need since it's made with butter and heavy cream along with the sugar, chocolate, etc. It is a great basic recipe that can be used for all sorts of extras. I'll admit that I made it without nuts this first time. Most importantly, I forgot to chop them, but then I decided that I'd like the smoothness of plain fudge.

Hopefully first thing tomorrow I can post pictures of a completed pair of socks. Keep your fingers crossed.

More importantly, Mr. Chubby has decided that petting isn't so bad. I've been sneak petting him this past week. This means when he is standing right by me with his back to me, I've reached down and touched him. He'll let me pet him once or twice, then he realizes what's going on. You can see his little brain puzzling it out. "I like this, but that means the human is touching me." Well, last night he decided that petting was quite ok. Ok enough for him to roll over, rub his head on my hand, then decide to grab it for a nuzzle and a nibble. I'm very glad he got his shots when he had that abscess. He was very gentle and didn't bite me, but he hasn't got as great of control over his claws. I came in with a pattern of pinpricks on the back of my hand. I truly think that sometime in his past he was someone's pet. As cautious as he is, I wonder if his owner was cruel to him. He's been acting definitely more petlike this week with walking right in front of me when I go out. You know what I mean. The weaving walking that is meant to stop you in your tracks or trip you. He's been coming when I call him for months now. Let's face it, he's been my yard cat for over a year now. I'm pleased with the progress, especially as I think he's got a kitty cold. He's been sneezing for the past few days, so maybe now I can stuff him into a carrier and get him to the vet. I will admit here that both Keith and I have been stuffy and sneezing too with all the rain we've had recently, so maybe Chubbs is just having an allergy attack. Only the vet will know for sure.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Next for Summer of Socks 2008

Do you ever find yourself being called by a color? All of a sudden, I want to knit with pink. Not those muted, ashy, mauvy pinks you can find everywhere. I want to knit with screaming, roaring, in-your-face, girlie pink.
That said, here's what I'm using next. Socks That Rock Lightweight in Rhodonite. I tell you, I've been having a lot of trouble finding a good, clear, bright pink. So many of them are muted. Is there an anti-pink conspiracy? Or most likely, it's not the color that's "in" this year. Anyway, as soon as I finish my Monkeys, which will be today or tomorrow, I'm casting this on for the Spring Forward socks from Knitty Summer 2008. Amazingly, the STR is the yarn that she used in the pattern, so I'm being matchy-matchy this time without having to wonder if the yarn will work. (Honestly, not that I ever wonder that much. Thank goodness for gauge and some common sense.)

Here is the yarn I forgot to add to my Sunday post. It's Saucy from numma numma in Stella. Did I mention I'm having pink yearnings?
I did a little post birthday shopping at Needle Nook yesterday. I got some Claudia Hand Paint Fingering in Urban Jungle and some Wool in the Woods Cherub in Color Me Karen. I've had so much fun knitting the Monkeys that I think the Urban Jungle will become another pair of them. However, I've been really curious about the Cherub yarn. It's a little too heavy for fingering, and maybe a tiny bit too light for sportweight. I think I'm going to use it for some basic toe up socks so I can get a feel for how it knits up. I honestly think it would make a really excellent Baby Surprise Jacket too.

This is Sun-Dappled Pond by Dog Lover Yarns. She's an etsy seller who is retiring her business. That's really a shame as this is a lovely yarn. I wish I had found her sooner.

Anyway, Tuesdays have become grocery shopping/food prepping days. I've already run to Publix and found almost everything I needed, so I don't have to go to the Dekalb Farmers Market today. I decided to make a pot of veggie soup so we'd have a quick dinner for the next few nights. You should see all the blueberries we picked off our one lone bush yesterday. As we filled up the colander, Keith said that he saw a blueberry cobbler in his future. I can take a hint as well as the next person (when I want to), so a flaky crusted cobbler is on the menu. I usually get a fabulous foccacio bread from the market, and there's a sandwich in one of my Weight Watchers cookbooks that is wonderful. Roasted veggies, melty cheese, mmmmm. I'm going to try it tonight with the pizza shell, and we may do it as a pizza instead of a sandwich.

Now that you are all hungry, I'm off to start washing dishes. I swear, it seems like every day off lately has too much time washing all those darn pots and pans. I didn't think we'd been cooking as much as those pots and pans seem to indicate.

Gratuitous kitty picture. Here's Monster just days after her lion cut back in May. She's very happy to be bare.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Here are some pictures

First of all, this is what's going on in our yard. We've been having a real Southern summer this year with the heat and humidity. We are still very short on rainfall, but lately we've had some just about every day. The humidity makes those thunderstorms pop up in the late afternoon. Anyway, this is what it looks like under our birdfeeders. I usually go pull up the sunflower sprouts, but this year through being busy and somewhat lazy, we left them. Aren't they gorgeous?

This is another volunteer plant I've got growing.

This is the latest installment from the Nefarious Yarn Club. It's Jim Jones. He truly is a nefarious character. However, the Kool-Aid inspired a great yarn colorway.

These pendants are part of my birthday etsy shopping.

We get a lot of help around our house when we are doing things. For the record, I've found it's hard to get decent pictures of Sassy because she is uncooperative. Here she and Grey help me take photos for today's post.

Here Scooter makes sure the slipcover (that we just took out of the dryer) is ready to be put back on the sofa.

And Lily makes sure the shredder is empty and ready for its next use. (We always leave the shredder unplugged just for this reason.)

I do have another sock yarn to post a picture of, but I need to edit the photo first. I'll add it later.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Brain melt

Today I taught a class on how to do Judy's Magic Cast on. From experience I know all the toe up cast ons seem a bit like learning Martian, but after you've done something for awhile you forget just how odd it seemed while you were learning it.

I'm really proud of my students. Every single one of them learned how to do it. I'm just wondering how many of them went home and had a drink. Well, I could have been much more cruel to them. I could have taught them the Turkish cast on instead. (When I was teaching myself how to do it, I bet I cast on about 15 times before I could get it right. Even now I would still need to pull out the book and look at it. Judy's Magic Cast on is so much easier and makes a nicer looking toe.)

As for me, my brain feels a bit fried too. Doing the cast on in slow motion on larger than usual needles over and over again had me wondering if I was still doing it correctly. It's amazing how strange things can look in different yarn gauges. I would have to look at mine, look at the student's, then look at mine again to see if it was correct. By the end everyone had cast on several times and knit a few rounds to get the hang of it. There was a lot of "does this really look right?" Yes, it's just like all knitting. Practice makes you better. What people forget is that none of us were born knitting. Those of us who teach knitting have probably made all the same mistakes you're making now. Actually, we still make some of them, and we've had enough practice to make larger flub ups.

As for me, several days ago I realized that we had no white wine in the house. I remedied that while at the grocery store, and I think it's time to open the bottle of Pinot Grigio I've got in the fridge. If my brain is melted, maybe some chilled wine will revive it. (Or we can take bets on how long it is before I'm snoozing on the bed with a cat or two draped over me.)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Fox Richmond update

Read here to see what's going on with all of this. Let's just say that this particular TV station apparently doesn't mind bad publicity.

Momentum on the petition has slowed up a bit, so here is the link again if you want to express your outrage over the bulldozing of the feral cat colony. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/fox-richmond-bulldozes-cat-colony---june-25-2008

I'll take some time on Sunday to blog about my birthday and show some yarn pictures.

The thrill of the hunt

This morning my yarn site stalking has paid off. I ordered some of the Wollmeise. For those of you who are non-yarnies, this is the equivalent of being able to get the first iPhones. I've got bragging rights, which I will try not to abuse.

Thank goodness I can now leave the computer and get some breakfast.

I will mention that over at Project Cat, she's been having a rough week, with an especially rough night last night. Take a minute to tell her that she's doing something wonderful, because she is. Sometimes we just need to have some moral support and know we're not alone out there.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Miscellaneous musings

Tomorrow is my birthday. As I've aged, I've found that I'm much more difficult to shower with presents. The things I want that are in a gift appropriate price range I've probably already gotten for myself (although I will always take hand dyed sockyarns.) The other things I want are not reasonable. After all, probably none of you have a fuel cell Dodge Dakota, extended bed (not a quad cab) with a sliding rear window, Rhino bedliner in the old body style (1999-2000) that you are planning to give me. Or maybe an antique squash blossom necklace. How about an antique concha belt?

Now that I'm sitting and thinking, I realized that through http://www.etsy.com/, I'm showering myself with gifts this year. I've been shopping over the past few days, and I'll be receiving several handpainted sock yarns and some Scrabble tiles that have been made into pendants. Oh well, you only turn 45 once, and I can't afford the present I really want. (Yeah, you know the one. It counteracts some of the affects of gravity. No, not the first face lift. It's a little lower.)

But the other thing I've done is made a donation to http://project-cat.blogspot.com/. Not a huge one, but every little bit helps when you've got a lot of vet expenses. (I've joked with my mother that sometimes all I want are giftcards to my vet's.)

The unbridled joy of liver day

Today was an "every other" day for Scooter. It is the day he gets liver. In fact, he's just finished it up in the kitchen, prompting me to write this post.

Liver day makes Scooter very happy. After all, he's now 18, sleeps a lot, and has lost most, if not all, of his hearing. His nose works very well, thank you. It tells him when his human is obeying the vet and boiling a chicken liver for him. It allows him to remind the same human that the liver is probably cool by now and doesn't need to sit on the counter any longer. (Hurry up human!)

What we find so very funny about liver day is the yowling. He dashes over to eat his liver which we have cut into little pieces for him. He gobbles most of it, then stops for a minute or two to yowl like mad. Sometimes he doesn't even stop - he just yowls with his mouth full. Honestly, we have yet to figure out what this means, but what we think is that he is just so happy to get his liver that he has to thank us. After some yowling, he finishes it off and looks around to make sure there's no more. There is some rare post munching yowling, but most of the time it's back onto the chair for another nap.

Anyway, it's gone all quiet in the kitchen now. That means it's safe to go back in there.

By the way, Sassy makes short work of the liver broth. She loves liver day too.

Monday, July 7, 2008

It had to be snakes

Over the years I've become pretty good at catching snakes. I've had to develop this skill as my kitties like catching snakes. And yes, I know what the poisonous ones look like too.

Yesterday, Keith left the garage door open at cat's height since they prefer to use the garden instead of the litterbox, and we quite agree with that. I was sitting outside, enjoying the coolness after a brief storm, when I heard an odd squealing. Those of you with kitties know that sound. It's a happy and excited cat talking with her mouth full of prey. "Look mom! I've brought you a goodie! I'm taking it inside for you!"

Keith and I translate this into "run like hell and block off all other entrances so we have a chance to catch whatever the present is this time." I race to the basement, yelling to Keith as I go, "Lily's got something, and she's bringing it in!"

Lily had caught a snake. What I'm pretty sure was an Eastern Kingsnake. Keith got Lily, and I got the snake. I first picked it up with a dustpan, but it was one active snake. As I got near the back door, it wiggled right over the edge of the dustpan and into a pile of extension cord. Great. Well, it's not poisonous, so I grab it with my bare hand and put it back on the dustpan. I'm sure it would still hurt if I got bitten. I raced outside, but the darn thing wiggled off the dustpan before I got it as far into the backyard as I would have liked. It didn't appear to be injured. I didn't see any puncture marks like I do see on snakes sometimes after they've been caught. I think the snake was fine after it's adventure. As for Lily, the minute we opened up the basement again, she was down there looking all around for her snake. Poor kitty. I really didn't want to spend time at the emergency animal clinic having a snake bite treated. I've been there, done that with Scooter - twice. (He really loved to catch snakes in his younger days.) As for me, while snake catching is not a hobby I really enjoy, I'm not too bad at it. I'm just so thankful it wasn't a poisonous one. I'm not ready for that.

Here's another cat trapper

You can read the exploits of another new cat trapper who is doing TNR at her apartment complex. http://project-cat.blogspot.com/

I'm so glad that I don't have that many cats to TNR. I would never have time to knit!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

More firsts

Keith and I had a couple more firsts on July 4, 2008.

We successfully got our first item listed on ebay. I had tried and tried to get it listed last weekend, but for some reason ebay just could not find the photos on my computer. I gave up, but Keith tackled it on Friday and finally got them to load. I'm very excited as we have 2 people watching it. We plan to get a few more listed today. This is a great way to earn a few dollars and clean out the house.

Second first. I planted 4 blueberry bushes many years ago. From several things like bad location, getting moved, having tree limbs fall on them, and possibly being mowed over, we ended up with only one bush. One poor little bush that has few berries, and the birds get them before we ever did. This year is different. We picked about a pint of berries off the bush on Friday, and we'll go get more ripe ones today. That is very exciting to know that we can have blueberry pancakes for our usual Sunday breakfast with berries we picked from our own backyard.

As for knitting, I had completed almost 2 lace repeats of my second Monkey when I compared it to the first. Major change in gauge. I had gone back to my stranglehold on the yarn. (I knit socks at a very tight gauge.) I ripped it all out and started over. I might finish 2 pairs, maybe 3 for Summer of Socks, and I'm okay with that.

Friday, July 4, 2008

One Monkey down

and one to go! I finished my first Monkey sock, which is also my first sock for Summer of Socks, this morning. Well, I do have one more end to weave in, but I'll get to that in just a minute.

For those of you here in the States, have a happy and safe 4th of July. As I mentioned at Knit Nite, it's a typical American holiday. You know, drinking, grilling, and explosives (fireworks.) At least we don't live in the part of metro Atlanta where they celebrate by shooting their guns up into the air. As for me, I think I'll stick to the drinking and knitting. I'll let Keith do the grilling, and let someone else handle the fireworks.

ETA Here are Keith's finished socks finally! I'm not sure how long I've been knitting these socks. It seems like forever! I am very happy to be finished with them today. They are knitted very densely with a gauge of 11 stitches per inch. They should wear like iron. The cuff is a 2x2 rib that stretches quite nicely. In fact, I've been using the 2x2 rib as my basic sock that I make for myself. I had almost finished the first Meanie sock I am making for myself. I had knitted a stockinette cuff, but when I tried it on, I didn't like it. I ripped out the cuff and reknitted it. I'll have it finished and posted in the next few days. However, I plan to cast on that second Monkey tonight so I can finish at least one pair for Summer of Socks.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Yay! Not diabetes

The vet called today to let me know Monster's bloodwork came back okay. She has incipient cataracts, which sound like pre-cataracts to me. I'll spend some time surfing and researching. As for the food, Monster needs to stay on the Diabetic Management food to lose some weight, and Scooter most definitely needs to stay away from it. Please don't think Scooter is neglected when I keep him away from Monster's food. Today is liver day for him, and as Keith and I are having flounder tonight, I'm sure Scoots will get some of that too.

I've got to get some knitting done before Keith gets home. He kept muttering things about housework before I escaped today.

Have a happy fourth!

Wollmeise Monkey #1

This is No Purl Monkey number 1. These are for me, and I'm knitting them as part of Summer of Socks 2008. If I can get some quality knitting time tonight, I'll have it finished by Saturday. Then I can cast on number 2.

Monster seems to really like her Diabetes Management catfood, but I do have to feed her away from Scooter as he wants to eat it also. I usually want to let my ancient kitty eat whatever he wants, but I need to make sure it's okay for him. Well, this also costs more than the holistic food they normally get, but then again, my Scooter is over 18, and I think he's worth it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The vet again

Today I took Monster and Grey for annual checkups and vaccinations. There was nothing serious wrong; they just needed shots and a quick look in their ears. Yes, I have lots of cat ears to clean.

Monster doesn't like going to the vet, and she usually lives up to her name. It has been suggested to me that I change her name, but I haven't found one I really like for her. Today Margie, who I've known for years, told me that she distinctly heard the name Madelaine while she was working with Monster. Madelaine sounds ok to me, so I'll try it out and see if that's her real name. Yes, I know that makes me sound like a wierdo, but that's how I've found names for the dogs. A name would just pop into my head and be right.

As for Madelaine, she probably has diabetes. She has cataracts starting to form, so I've gotten a new cat food to try out. We tried last year to put her on a different food. She refused to eat it while Brownie would gobble it up. As Brownie needed every calorie she could get, and Madelaine does need to eat, I returned what was left of the food. She needs to go back next week, then we'll have to take her in to see what insulin levels she needs. I said as I was leaving today that responsible pet ownership is not cheap.

I've also got to get Madelaine up and moving more. She spends so much time sleeping on the coffee table under the fan. (Did I mention that she's seriously overweight?) We've got to make her get up and play some. I see my knitting time diminishing right before my eyes. Thank goodness I've turned the heel of the first Monkey sock.

ETA: I'm not sure about calling her Madelaine. I think I'll stick with her long time nickname of Wooly Bear. I call her that most of the time anyway.