Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I'm so bad about taking photos...

Half the time I don't update my blog, because it is such a hassle to take photos, download them to my computer, edit them, load them into flickr or such then add them.

So, this blog post is catching up on completed knitting pieces...

First and longest back is Bree's Messenger Bag. It is a Noni pattern and made with 2 strands of Lamb's Pride Nature's Spun Wool and then felted - one strand was purple and the other mallard green. I wanted to "snaz" it up a bit but Bree wanted it just plain - oh well, a mother can dream.. haahha

It turned out really nice - the handle was a 'biatch' - because I wanted it to be sturdy and the pattern just wanted you to connect it up by the flap and I thought it would eventually rip out - so, in the vain of Tim the Tool Man Taylor.. oh, oh, oh... I knit the strap longer. Then hot glued it to the INSIDE of the bag - ALL the way around (provides extra support for the bottom and sides of the bag to stay square/rectangle-ish) and then hand stitched all the edges around the entire strap - so it should be like freaking cement! (My Dad would be proud - hahaha)

She's already used it by taking it to her friend's house to do homework together... Glad she likes it!

It needs a 'shaving' as the felting gave it a little case of the fuzzies!

And anyone who knows me knows that I ALWAYS have socks on my needles. Infact, I cannot remember a time when I didn't. They go everywhere with me, just in case, you never know, when you'll have that 5 minutes!

I picked up this new way of dyeing sock yarn - called "sock blank" - they knit a flat piece of yarn (like a tshirt if you will) and then dye it while its flat (versus a skein of yarn that's in a circle for dyeing) - then to knit it you unravel it (just like a tshirt will unravel if it is snagged) - it was fun to do! And of course, Bree snatched these socks up right off the bat! She loved the colors and wanted knee socks for winter riding - so viola' she has them.

This is what the yarn looked like in the flat and you can see when I finished one sock how the sock turned out compared to how the yarn looked when it was flat.

I wanted to start and the "other" end of the 2nd length but it does not let you as I thought the colors would match up a bit better starting at that end - but they are close - the oranges just started a bit sooner! The pattern is Ruth Greenwald's "Escalator" and it is an easy, nice knit - I love the spiral look!

They should last her a while (ok maybe 6 months they way she is growing). I am still in shock that at 10 (ok in 30 days she'll be 11) that she is wearing a women's size 7 shoe. Holey Schnikes!

And then I wanted to do something nice for my friend who has been helping me rehab Jessie's suspensory ligament injury (which we go back tomorrow for her follow-up - keep your fingers crossed). Stace has just about everything 'horsey' you could imagine and she's not a fan of doing chores in the Chicago WINTER weather...

So, I made her these Alpaca/Wool socks - using a pattern called Thermal Socks by Audrey Paquin - which is an awesome winter looking pattern - It reminds me of the thermal/waffle weave you see in long underwear or those waffle henley type shirts - nice thick and warm!

She normally wears the fat baby boots and these are high enough to work just right! Bree and Stace wear the same size- so measuring works out perfectly! The yarn is a mix of Alpaca and Wool for warmth and yet washable - while having some nylon in it for strength. They are actually pretty soft. It is called "Paca-Peds" by The Alpaca Yarn Company.

And I got to knit socks for someone instead of nding up with a drawer full for myself which always makes me happy! I enjoy making socks for people, just is a tad difficult since they are made to 'specification' and what's worse than getting a great pair of homemade socks that don't fit???

Stace is going with me tomorrow to Purdue with Jessie and since the weather has turned cool here (40's at night and only high of 60 during the day) she is getting these tomorrow in prep for what's to come.

I am now working on a great pair of socks called Mona, by Cookie A with some absolutely wonderful yarn (it's "fierce") from Zen Garden! It's in this rich brown tone on tone. My knitting friends are drooling! Don't you wish you could see a picture? Well, I forgot. And as the first sentence says - you may not see it for a while! LOL!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

They're not fuzzy and cute.. Get it?

We like the comedian, Jeff Dunham... He is a ventriloquist and has one guy named "Walter" - I think he created Walter in the image of my Dad - a grumpy crumudgeon with a big heart - LOL!

Well, one of Walter's favorite lines is "Dumbass" - said in kind of growling, raspy voice...

Walter would tell the yuppyville folks around us that they are King Dumbasses for thinking that the wild bunnies are "cute, fuzzie and adorable". If I hear "awww - look at the baby bunny" one more time, I swear I'm going to assault someone.

They need a slap to the head that these varmints are nothing but destructive, pain in the ass, disease carrying, overpopulated nuisances... And I have the damage pictures to prove it!

This is a picture of our JUST one year old cedar (not cheap) fence. These rats with fur have CHEWED the pickets to widen the gap so they can more easily access our yard.. Now, we have two domestic pet bunnies in the house - that Bree got for 4H. They can squish themselves down to basically shimmy under a door - so WHY do these rats with fur need to chew my new, expensive fence? Because they are freaking LAZY (and born in yuppyville and think they are entitled) and when I sick the 3 dogs on them they feel they might need to get thru the pickets quicker? Then stay out of my freaking yard - you dumbasses.

This is a non-chewed picket - it isn't THAT narrow that they can't get thru..

I thought about spraying the chewed area with the bunny repellant (when I would REALLY like to sit at my porch door and blast the little suckers to oblivion) but, then because I am NOT a dumbass realize if I close up that chewed picket to them, they'll chew elsewhere ruining my fence even further...

I'm going to have to get a stealth door for Bailey - she points those bunnies in a nanosecond like a radar and is as stealth like as a big cat (as in tiger, panther and the like) to "release the beast" in her to catch just one of these little varmints.

I have to figure out a way that the yuppyville (a friend refers to this town as "hoo-ville - from Horton hears a hoo - because it's just not "real" - hahah) joneses won't figure out if I'm zapping these guys with a pellet gun, pump bb gun or something of the like - I'd have to find a silencer for it - otherwise I'm sure I'd be arrested...

If you agree with me that these rats with fur are nuisances and should be dealt with, send bail money...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Man is Bree's Life...

Bree is an avid Indianapolis Colts fan! She also hates and despises the Bears.. (Weird being a chicagoland family) -

A few times a week, on his way home from work, Bill stops in the 7-11 store about a half mile from our house... In the beginning of August, they put up a display.. He thought Bree would go NUTS over the display...

So, Bill asked the guy who he sees most days when he stops and he told Bill that they would be "done" with the display at the end of the month - he took our phone number down.. Well, sure enough right around Labor Day they called.

Bill picked it up last weekend and set it in the garage and told Bree that one of her "friends" had stopped by and was out in the garage.. She about died when she saw it. She moved furniture around in her room - just to find the "right" place for it.

So, Sunday night's football game was the Indianapolis Colts vs the Chicago Bears. Now, Bree has been talking smack with my Mom (who is an avid Bears fan) all week and they even made a $3 bet... So, Sunday night she brought down her "man" and put her team spirit on and called my Mom and was talking even MORE trash as the game started..

Here's her good friend... Life size,(about 6 feet tall) mind you..

Yeup, It's Peyton Manning - the COOL thing is that if you turn it around, Eli Manning is on the other side - there were points in time during the game that she would "talk" to Peyton, turn it around and tell Eli to tell his Brother to get his act together...

She's eating crow this week since the Bears beat her man and her team...

-sorry for the flash "white-out" in the middle of Peyton the glare was awful!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Jessie's Day...

Well, Jessie finally had her day at Purdue University Large Vet School/Hospital for her lameness exam. It was a long day to say the least! When I made the appointment for 10am - I completely forgot (or didn't realize - take your pick) that West Lafayette Indiana is an hour ahead of us (east coast time) - uggh.. So, up at 3:30am..

She was a champ. The Vet school is top notch in my book. They take their time, evaluate everything, explain things to you explicitly and you can tell they like what they do.

We have a DVM, a DVM Resident, (2) 4th year vet students and a tech all assigned to us - We were there for no less than 8 hours.

They poked and prodded and watched and poked and prodded and watched some more, did ultrasounds and xrays and and and - it was amazing and thru it all Jess was a Champ. Oh my goodness, was she a champ - she even earned more brownie points and rose higher in my mind than I thought possible about how good, smart, willing and just lovable she is.

The bottom line is... her right front lameness issue was not navicular (very good news) but, an unbalance in her hoof / shoeing - and the farrier who works with the vet school re-shoed her and set her foot back, lowered her heel, squared her off in the toe and it was nothing short of amazing how much better she walked in front. Wow.

The left hind issue which all sorts of horse people had varying opinions on - turned out to be something no one had suspected - she has a minor (level 1 of 5) lesion in her suspensory ligament (main ligament that runs up the back of her lower leg). Here's a picture of the ultrasound - the upper left hand shot shows it outlined -

Ultrasounds reflect light - that's the light gray coloring you see in the picture - if there is not tissue there - then the ultrasound doesn't reflect and the signal / pulse goes thru - thus making a 'black' color on the screen. If you look inside the outlined circle-ish area - it is a darker gray than the surrounding area which shows not a complete hole in the ligament but, more like thinning - like fabric gets when it is really worn. You can see where fluid or joint spaces are by the black areas.

The top right picture is a view of the tissue from a different angle - the tissue striations are showing left to right - horizontally - except in the area of the thinned ligament - they call that 'disruption of the tissue' -

As this heals, unfortunately, tissue unlike bone does not heal as naturally as it was originally, it usually heals with scar tissue (just like cuts on humans can leave a scar). Being a level 1, and how I do and will be riding her - it should not affect her in the future..

So, she is on stall rest for 4 weeks with being hand walked 2x a day for 10 minutes. Poor thing - it is amazing she is not nuts when she does get out of her stall for those 10 minutes. But, again, she is a champ and being so good!

We will be taking another trip back to Purdue at the end of September for an update on the healing progress. If things look like they are healing correctly and timewise as to where they think the healing should be after 4 weeks, then I'm guessing they'll step her up to maybe 20 min of small turnout (in a round pen) or something like that. It will take a few more months I'm sure before she is allowed back into work again.

This is the type of injury that can be "nagging" and if not healed well, can cause future issues. So, better to be safe and take the long route (in the short term) then be dealing with this again and again and again..

I'm glad this is something fixable as I just think she is a good one!