A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I'm sorry.


So, it's been a pretty frustrating year and this bit with Dodger is probably the worst so far. And I'm feeling sorry for myself when I check in and my blog friend Debbi from dubiquilts has left a comment to send good wishes and ask how things are doing. Debbi's blog is listed in my bloglist if you want to go read her story. It's not my story to tell, but I will share that dubiquilts was one of the first blogs I started to follow. I loved the work she was doing with her own hand-dyed fabric, and I checked in often to see what she was up to. Then she disappeared for weeks. Her readers were very worried, and - it turned out - rightly so. Debbi had serious problems with her heart - close to death kinds of problems. Again, it's her story and she has been generous with the deets (she wants us ALL to be forewarned to check those heart attack warning signs and DON'T IGNORE THEM!). I just wanted to thank her here for her concern. By stopping in, Debbi, you have reminded me to keep the puppy's problems in perspective.

His surgery went well. The left leg issues went just as the vet had predicted, but he was not comfortable with the way Dodger was still gimpy with his right leg as well as not standing on the left. The vet "ran him through" a CT scan before surgery just in case he was missing something that he should be taking care of while Dodger was under. Sure enough, the CT scan showed a tiny fracture in the growth plate of the RIGHT tibia, too. It was so small that the vet wasn't really worried about it and opted to leave it to heal on its own. But it explained why Dodger wasn't keen on standing on either leg.

The vet said said he's never seen this happen in BOTH legs at the same time and agreed that it led credence to my theory that when he jumped into the pond (probably at a full-throttle race around our small yard) he hit the metal ex-pen cover I'd put over the top (to keep the puppy out of the pond) and it caught him just right to do mega damage. He warned us that we still may be facing some serious issues with the dog. They had to put three pins through the growth plate to re-attach it. The best news scenario (and it may happen because this is a young puppy) is that the growth plate will continue to grow normally. There are other scenarios, however. The plate may not re-attach (it was, after all, three days before they figured out what was wrong and another day before surgery). If that happens, the tibia will not grow correctly and the leg will be deformed (means future surgery to lengthen the bone). Or the growth plate will function on the side that did not dislodge but the part that did will not and, again, there will be deformity. Or the growth plate will function normally but the pins will create problems and will have to be removed.

Right now we're taking it one stage at a time. The good news is that my husband was able to walk him out to the car (using a sling to help him balance, but on all four feet). He slept and slept the afternoon away and seems to have slept well last night (son slept in the same room so will check with him later). He has to wear The Cone of Shame (because he wants to be licking that incision site, which seems to be superglued together). He has painkillers and sedatives. He must be strictly confined to his crate, only allowed out to toilet, for weeks. We use the sling every time we take him out for at least two weeks. In two weeks he goes back to the clinic for more x-rays, which will determine the next steps.

Considering the first diagnosis was spinal injury, which the next two vets were still sticking with until they started considering torn ligaments, this isn't too bad. We have hope of having a happy, functional dog back in the reasonably near future who will be part of our family for a long time.

There when you need one.

In other news, I have to share something that happened yesterday when I was off trying to find buffalo chews for the puppy. A guy in a truck whipped a left turn in front of me (not even at an intersection, just turning onto a side street from a frontage road). I had to step on my breaks to avoid running into him and was thinking, "Where's a cop when you need one?" when he slides in front of me again. Turned out he wasn't make a LEFT turn in front of me, he was making a U-TURN in front of me. Only my lightening quick reflexes (snigger) prevented me from running into him. Before I could even finish the "Where's a cop...?" thought, one of our CHP motocycle cops was between the offending vehicle and me. CHP officer had him pulled over so fast I didn't even have to slow down as I drove past.


Monday, June 22, 2009

What Next?

Monday - Grand Jury duty
Tuesday - close down classroom (take Dodger but he doesn't like the experience so bring him home at noon).
Wednesday - finish closing down classroom. Let summer begin!

Thursday AM - take Dodger for walk. Start redecorating project in my room.

Thursday PM - 4:30 I have a few minutes before I have to get ready for the Board of Trustees meeting. What shall I do? I will use the carpet shampooer to clean this area of carpet where someone was sleeping when Dodger had to go out and use the toilet facilities. As I start the machine, he comes over to investigate. As I start moving the machine, Dodger gets excited and runs outside. It takes less than 60 seconds to complete the small section of cleaning and turn off the machine.

I hear a sound outside and go out to see what the puppy has gotten into. He is standing chest deep in the pond. I go back into the house to grab a leash, towels and shampoo. As I get back to him he is climbing out of the pond. I grab his collar and snap on the leash, turn on the hose and take them all to the wash tub where he gets the gunk shampooed off. Then I put him into the dog run. I get myself cleaned up for the meeting, then take a bowl of water out to Dodger. As I open the run door to put the water in, he runs out. He comes back when I call him. I grab his collar again and put him back in the run. I leave for my meeting.

Thursday, 8:30 PM. Home from my meeting. Husband greets me with, "There's something wrong with Dodger." It appears his hind legs are paralyzed.

Thursday night spent at the Pet Emergency Clinic. Vet suspects spinal damage, although his tail still wags and he can raise himself to pee. Dodger is settled into clinic for the night, we return home.

Friday morning, 7:00 AM. Pick Dodger up from emergency clinic, take him to personal vet. She observes him for several hours, also suggests possible spinal trauma and refers him to a large emergency clinic in Ventura.

Friday afternoon. Dodger is admitted into the Taj Mahal of vet clinics (kaching!) Beautiful facility, wonderful people. Preliminary discussion with Dr. Robles (looks like she's about 16 - how are they getting younger when I'm getting older? Oh, yeah.) She is also leaning toward the spine trauma theory, maybe some disc injury. Dodger stays, we leave.

Saturday AM. Dr. Deppe calls. He has been observing Dodger all night and disagrees with spinal injury theory. Thinks perhaps Dodger has suffered some ligament damage. Recommends ortho vet specialists, who do not come in on weekends. Dodger will stay the weekend so they can continue to watch him.

Saturday PM. Dr. Deppe calls again, more convinced this is not a paralysis, but that Dodger does not want to stand because he is in pain.

Sunday, AM. I go to Simi for Father's Day breakfast. When I get back, three of us go to visit Dodger. Son gets in cage with much happier dog. We leave feeling hopeful.

Monday, AM. I have jury duty just a couple of miles from clinic. Call and get permission to visit at lunch. Change into puppy cuddling clothes and head to clinic, only to learn that there is too much commotion in the wards so I cannot visit, and although he has finally had an ortho specialist take x-rays, there has been no evaluation as yet so they still don't know what's going on.

Monday, PM. DH texts my phone that the evaluation reveals Dodger has a partially dislodged tibial growth plate and a fractured fibula. After jury duty I return to the clinic to sign the $$$ papers authorizing the surgery. They let me visit him and I crawl into his cage with him. He has just had his pain medication. His leg is splinted and wrapped. He has double cones to keep him from chewing on all the tubes and tape. I get him to settle down next to me. I can't see his face but can pet him and talk to him and get him calmed down. He snuggles close and sleeps until the noise of the other dogs and the humans wakes him. Surgery tomorrow.

Today was my 58th birthday. It gets the trophy for the worst ever.

I hope.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I should be happy dancing.

But I'm just too tired.

Some random updates.

I took my mom to Disneyland. She had a great time. We went on Soarin', then over to DL for lunch at Carnation Cafe. The Refreshment Corner piano had "Michael" listed as the player so we had our hopes up that we would get to see Michael Pollock, our favorite Disneyland piano player. But it was the first of several cruel jokes of the day. We did see him walk by one time but never knew where he was playing. Instead we listened to Eric who has no charm and poor technique. Then we checked the program to see when the Billies were playing. Turns out that after decades of five shows daily, the park has them alternating with a comedy show and the Billies weren't playing at all that day. Later we got on the train (no small feat for Mom) and rode around the park once, then halfway to get off at Toontown so she could watch another favorite, the Princess Fantasy Faire Coronation and storytelling. Closed up. Castmember said that was only for the "Year of a Million Dreams" promotion. Finally we settled on Main Street (again, hoping Ragtime Michael just might make an appearance but instead enduring Eric) in time for the parade. After three years of the Parade of Dreams, this cheap knock-off on the Block Party Bash from DCA (without the great floats) was another disappointment. Still, Mom is perfectly happy enjoying the flowers, music and people-watching, so she was happy with her day.

This is the view from my window. Cecile Brunner survived her late straightening and pruning and is rewarding me with a full flush of blooms. The miniature roses are blooming, as are the hydrangeas (which are in pots under my window.

Unfortunately, I can't see any of that from where I sit at my computer. This is what I see from here:

Same old same old.

I moved into this room when my oldest moved out for good (we think). At first it was just to be my office/sewing room. Then I got tired of listening to my husband complain about my snoring (he snores, too) and decided to sleep in here. It was, after all, to be a very temporary arrangement since we were planning to move to Utah - uh - last year. The economy has halted all plans for that move and I can't stand this cell any longer.

I need to create a "nest" instead.

So that's the summer project. I've been analyzing and evaluating and planning for weeks and I think I'm ready to get started. I'll be in town through July 31 (last day of criminal grand jury duty) and am hopeful that I will be able to finish it before I leave.

So, some "before" pictures.

This whole table - out. All it is is a drop spot. It fills so much with "stuff" that I can never work here. Today's plan is to sort and store - temporarily - the stuff that's on here. And under here. The printer has a space - temporarily. This is where my bed will go.

This cupboard is full of stuff I never use. (The bottom section is full of doll greenware. I was partially finished with several dolls when the teacher closed up shop. I love porcelain dollmaking and am hoping to find someone to fire for me - I've done it for years and don't need lessons, just a kiln. ) Because I never use it I parked a couple of scrap-n-store cubes in front of it. Plan is to put the greenware into permanent storage in our rented storage unit until I find someone with a kiln. I'll move the bottom cube of the storage unit elsewhere, then use the bottom part of the cabinet for sewing and stitchery project storage (which is part of what's being sorted today.) The upper part of the cabinet has a doll and several decorative boxes that I plan to use in the final nest. I'm going to put the top scrapbook storage cube (it can be divided into sections) in that closet, then put the Iris plastic project boxes with projects in there. I'm thinking my BOM quilt projects maybe?

Part of the challenge is deciding what will stay and what will go. Claire Bennet will stay, but I think I will hang her behind the door since she doesn't really "go" with the planned decor. The Marjolein Bastin stuff stays, although my current plan is to buy some Ikea cabinets with glass doors as a display case for this collection. Tinkerbell stays, but I think the fairy pieces may make their way into the fairy garden where they belong. The wallpaper goes.

Walt goes (sorry Walt) and the DL mugs will be put into use. The DL 50 Thomas Kinkade print will stay. Somewhere.

The fairy display stays (isn't that cute?) but the rest of the stuff on this wall will go. This is the wall - in fact, this whole wall, corner and five feet onto the other wall) is where I am adding new storage - wall cabinets and scrapbook storage - and desk area. Haven't quite decided on the desk arrangement yet. I might have to make something, but the rest has pretty well come together in my mind. I have a little extra $$$ coming my way this summer from my union stipend, grand jury payments ($25 a day plus mileage - oooohhhhh) and BTSA mentoring stipends. If I'm careful, I should be able to make it work.

Work being the operative word. I'd better get to it.

Saturday, June 06, 2009


Does anyone have any experience with Ikea kitchen cabinets they could share with me. They're just what I want for look and price, but I don't want something that's going to fall apart on me.