Yesterday Hedy Lamarr had her first swim. In truth, she had her first sink: she ran full pelt toward the ducky she spied and leaped into the water and sank like a stone. There is no documentary evidence per se as I was in will-I-have-to-wade-in-and-save-her mode. I do have "after" photos:
Hedy submerged totally, and after the beat when I wondered whether I would have to save her or not, she surfaced like a submarine, spluttering and dog paddling!!! I made sure to clean her ears and eyes before breakfast.
Gilly does not swim. She wades about doing a kind of canine water aerobics and gets wet up to her chin. Hedy is very vocal and is always making high pitched barks.
I have been poorly on and off and spent more time sleeping. Not much else has happened at our house: a little more knitting and some baking. I baked some Jamie Oliver Lemon Butter biscuits for The Vet today. They tasted lemony and buttery but they were not very pretty and I had run out of icing sugar and I just glazed them with some lemon curd. The recipe did make twenty, though it refused to roll out without sticking. I just rolled 20g balls of dough instead.
As anyone reading my blog knows, I am the world's worst photographer. MrsDrWho bought The Labradors some soft toys at her school fair. Gilly had the toy, and Hedy stole it. Gilly is chasing her trying to get it back. To no avail.
Lorelai Gilmore is very well. She stole Hedy's treat yesterday, much to Hedy's shock and horror. Gilly is bright eyed and interested in all sorts of things out the window now. She even sneaks into the kitchen if we forget to shut the baby gate. We go to The Vet next week for more blood tests.
Hedy Lamarr is in denial. We weighed her at The Vet last week and she is a tad more then 23kg. Gilly is a tad under 27kg. Hedy thinks she is still a tiny puppy.
She is too big to lie sidie-waysie in her crate, or Little Box as I like to call it. She does not let this deter her.
The lady at the wool shop gave me some banana passionfruit. I have frozen the pulp, mixed with a little sugar, in my new freezer. I love freezing things, I have two litres of freshly squeezed lemon juice and six take-away containers of raspberries and loganberries from MrsReno. There is still plenty of room for more frozen things!!!
Last night I went with MrsDrWho, and other lovely people, to see Blackadder. Encore Theatre dramatised three of the Elizabethan episodes: Head, Money and Beer. It was very good, though the seats were uncomfortable. I was glad to go out as I had had a shock. I had had my heart set on something and my hopes were dashed. When I met MrsDrWho I burst into tears. After a lot of Blackadder and a commiseratory glass of wine I had things more in perspective. I did have to listen to Classic FM all day today though. I can only hope that in Australia we see what happens when a country is divided and we don't go down that path. I am glad to live here in a small city, on a small island, where in spite of all our differences, we manage to get along. Still, I Maintain The Rage from 1975, but maybe those Over There will instead maintain their hope in the face of adversity. I shall hope along with them. Together: we can.
Oh and we had a Halloween here, of sorts. There was a great letter in our letterbox inviting us to participate if we wished and a balloon to tie to the letterbox to show assent. The letter also acknowledged not everyone celebrates Halloween in Australia (which is as it should be) And although we didn't participate, I feel a lot happier about it than in years gone by. The Halloweeners were all rather older teenagers and the only interruption to the early evening was their laughter!!
I used my $10 Spotlight Christmas voucher wisely, and bought four sewing patterns and a 6B Wilton piping tip for just $10. I am love a bargain. I saw 8096 on The Curvy Sewing Collective and was smitten, and not just because it is green!! I shall make the third iteration, with the wider gathered shoulder straps. Not so sure about 1102, as it is made in knit fabric, but I might give the version modelled a try.
I saw 8137 reviewed as well, and I am in search of a woven fabric wrap dress, so I will try a sleeveless short dress version. I just love the skirt on Butterick 5982. I am not sure about the dart in the centre front, but there is some discussion here about a full bust adjustment in the comments.
The weather is very Springy: hot, cold, frosty, snowy, rainy and wind so strong I couldn't open the car door. It has not been terribly hot, but it was hot enough that I didn't want to take The Labradors in the car for a visit to The Vet this afternoon. We are also enduring mosquitoes the size of blow flies and bulbous, loud blow flies as well.
The night is coolish, but we have a new woollen underlay and a new doona so we will be snuggling under the doona and sticking a foot out of bed to cool down. My mum very kindly gave me some money so I could pick up my lay-by early. It is technically too hot for the woollen doona, but I don't care. The old underlay was so old, I had turned it already from top to bottom and in many places there was No Wool Left!! This is a photo taken in a poorly lit room with the iPad, which doesn't have a flash. After disassembling the bed, and making it halfway again, I was too tired to find the camera. Gilly looks so happy, and Hedy sits up very straight to have her photo taken and is very interested in case there might be a treat afterwards.
I have also started answering my blog comments, slowly but surely, and they are not a task or a bother. I like to answer my comments, it is just they get away from me sometimes!! Gilly is lying on the almost finished quilt (and I let her, she's sick) and Hedy is squashed in her little box, so all is right with the world. Time for bed for all Labradors.
This week I went to The Hospital to participate in a pretend ward round for the almost graduating doctors. They have a small replica ward and there were four patients and we all had a scenario to play. I was being me, with a relapse. An actor was playing a dementia patient and caused havoc all around the ward and he even ran away from his doctors!! Though the bed wasn't terribly comfortable, it was a very restful three and a half hours. I changed into my pyjamas and my next door neighbour gave me some honey bear lollies to eat. We had cups of tea and sandwiches at half time.
Last week I did actually feel quite poorly and had a couple of days in bed. Luckily one was Wednesday and we don't go for a walk, and I roused myself to take The Labradors for a walk on Thursday and then I could sleep contentedly knowing they had their exercise. The weather has been typical Spring weather: hailstorms, heavy rain, wind and then warm sunny days. No-one knows what to wear or if they should take their umbrella or not.
Hedy has learned a new trick. When she plays with Sandy, she does evasive roly polys to try and get the better of him. She is so funny, and after all the rolling on the grass also very wet. Gilly doesn't play. She likes to wander about investigating all the smells, and (I am sorry to say) eating wallaby pooh.
Gilly went to see Dr David last week and we had good news again. Her blood results were all in the normal range and this week she only has to take one blue tablet each day, and we don't have to go back for a month!! Lorelai Gilmore is so happy, she wags her tail on her walk and she is naughty at home: I caught her in the kitchen!!!!
She is still very hungry all the time and likes to eat her food up on the step, so she can be higher than Hedy Lamarr. Hedy likes to try and steal Gilly's food.
Hedy is so big now and she can be quite defiant. She knows she mustn't jump up when someone comes home, so she sits perfectly: and barks crossly. If it is later in the evening, Gilly is always waiting at the gate, but during the day they are both there. They are not allowed at the back gate because they bark at dogs going past, but if I am at the car, I let them have a special gate treat!!!
I had meant to blog last week, but on Thursday and Friday my internet was interrupted. Earlier this year I was without a landline for five weeks, and finally my ISP apologised and gave me some compensation and upgraded me to a better plan. I was very pleased, but no-one explained clearly that being upgraded meant an interruption to the internet!! It was all fixed by later on Friday, but I lost the will to bake and blog!!
Our knitting group had a Dessert Degustation. One of our number is undertaking a Hospitality course and she has been cooking with some famous chefs, like Tetsuya!!! We were lucky enough to experience these culinary delights from our talented chef:
Poh's White chocolate ganache tart with raspberries, creme caramel and chickpea brownie with berry compote and whipped coconut cream. I couldn't eat the chocolate brownie, and I couldn't even fit in a second slice of the delicious white chocolate tart!! The creme caramel was so smooth and the caramel so yummy.
The final dessert was Tetsuya's Granny Smith apple granita with apple jelly. We didn't know about the tiny hidden apple jelly cubes so they were a wonderful surprise. This may have been my favourite. To finish we had three truffles, I can't remember what the dark chocolate one was, but the other two were saffron and cumin I think, and then a spiced rum and coconut. It was a marvellous selection of desserts and no-one had room for dinner.
Hedy has also been using food, but not in a good way. While I was sleeping she chose some plain flour from the shopping bag and then opened it and played with it, in the loungeroom, on the carpet. I am not sure how to remove it as it has set in a crusty layer. The darker spots are where she has tried to nibble the flour. She is still very much a puppy.
But look at her: even when she is lying in wait for Gilly half way up the steps, she is as cute as a giant button!! I think that might be flour on her nose.
I am knitting a hat for WeeJock and Bessie's dad. It will be the Five by Five, Faith Hat and I am using some lovely soft Inca Spun Tweed in grey. I have knitted a ball of wool since lunch time and only have another 5cm to work until the crown decreases. I think I shall finish it tomorrow!!
Hedy always gets a sudden urge to play rough and rowdy rebel games at bedtime. There is an awful lot of refereeing to do and maybe a little cider vinegar squirting. Oh no, now she is blowing bubbles in the water bowl. She is fascinated by the patterns the water makes in the light, and so we have a towel under the inside water bowl now. Thank goodness for Lorelai Gilmore!!!
Oh I am so tired. I am beyond tired. Today we went for a walk and unexpectedly met Rafa and his dad. Hedy played so much she had to have a little lie down.
Then I had my hair cut and this afternoon I went to be a Patient-Partner at the Hospital. Seven people searched for, found and then palpated my spleen. An enlarged spleen is a rarity, so the almost newly minted doctors and their tutors were excited to feel my spleen. I also had to exert myself so that they could hear the murmur in my heart. And get on the bed, off the bed, several times. I want to go to sleep, but I know if we go to bed now, I shall be awake in the middle of the night again.
Lorelai Gilmore is feeling very well. We met a new puppy, Sebastian, but I don't have a decent photo of him. Hedy, Sandy and Rafa played with him. Gilly?? No, Gilly met Sebastian's human and ascertained immediately that she had treats in her pocket. Gilly has never met a pocket full of treats she doesn't love!!
Lorelai Gilmore has her "asking for a treat" face and paw down pat. Look at that face.
Hedy Lamarr never passes up a treat, she also never passes up a muddy puddle.
When Hedy bites Gilly, I squirt a little diluted apple cider vinegar at her. I only had to do this a few times before she realised what it meant. After that I just had to show her the bottle and say "No!". Unfortunately I left the bottle on the desk and Hedy wrought her revenge quickly, chewing off the top.
I have been knitting something from Craftsy's new free Autumn Knit-along . They say Fall, I say Autumn. It is a gift, so I have not shown it as it truly is. I am very pleased though. It was a fun knit and looks great too.
I've also been trying to eat more vegetables. Tonight I had peas, sweet potatoes and potato. Yesterday I had some carrots, Hasselback potatoes with bacon and broccolini (not shown).
I am tired in other ways too. A female politician has said she felt bullied by a male politician. The male Premier has decided there is no case to answer and the male politician apologised for his tone, but not the bullying. Now he is saying that he is the victim. How is it that he seems to have turned the whole thing around and made it about him?? The Premier says there should be mediation, but I think there should be a proper third party inquiry. I don't believe that putting a bully, and the person they bullied together is a good idea. I think it can give more power to the bully. No-one really know what happened, but the male politician threatening to sue anyone who discusses it seems wrong.
It is still a man's world.
Today is International Day of the Girl and a survey released shows that two-thirds of girls believe that gender inequality is a persistent problem in Australia. 40% say they do more chores than the boys in their family and only 16% feel they are valued for their brains and ability. Things have changed, but not enough. It seems that because girls have been given the same opportunities as boys, boys feel they have had something taken away from them. And when women are given equal opportunities to men, men also feel that they have lost out: I am speaking generally. I think of the way Julia Gillard was, and Hillary Clinton is, treated so poorly by men and by the media. I despair of old rich entitled white men. Women and men are certainly different, but deserve the same opportunities and respect. A few weeks ago I found a credit card on the road behind my parked car. I took the card to the police station and I had to fill in a form. The form was all "he", "him" and "his". Not even a pretence of "s/he". I do feel not as equal when simple things such as government forms only have male pronouns. I would like to see all forms with just female pronouns and then tell men that these pronouns are inclusive. I don't feel included.
What else can I talk about?? The Plebiscite for Same Sex Marriage. I cannot for the life of me work out why I can have a vote-that-might-not-even-be-worthwhile about same sex marriage, but not one about going to war or the deficit. It does seem now that The Plebiscite might be off. I think couples should be able to be married in a civil ceremony. Everyone should have a civil ceremony and then they can have their marriage blessed, or whatever, in a church if that is what they choose. And churches should be able to refuse if they want to. I don't want to interfere in their religion. I can't think of one good reason why there should not be same sex marriage. The arguments used against it sound oh so familiar to those used against African Americans, against our Aborigines and against women. And saying that children deserve a mother and a father?: even fifteen years ago in my classroom most of the children's parents were no longer together in their original family unit. There were single mums, single dads, people who had remarried, people whose spouse had died, the list goes on. I believe children are better off with two people, or one person, who loves them, rather than with two people who hate being together and make their home an unhappy or unsafe place.
I feel like Hillary after saying all that!!
And I just can't even start thinking about Donald Trump.
There. I've managed to while away an hour. Time for a cup of tea, maybe another episode of Fringe and then sleep. Tomorrow there is no walk, we don't walk on Wednesdays, so I plan to sleep all morning.
The football finals came and went. This was Hedy's first footy party next door and she was not impressed: too noisy and too many new people. Gilly went to the part a few times but there was no barbecue and so no real incentive to stay. It was underdogs winning all round in the finals.
This week I ate somewhere nice: twice. I spent most of the rest of the week sleeping, or lying on my side on the couch watching Fringe from the start all over again. The weather has been typically vernal, with heavy rain interspersed with warm sunshine. Today after our walk we went to bed and I didn't wake up until 5-09pm. The sound of rain on a corrugated iron roof is very soothing, except if it results in floods and we have had floods again in the north and south. The Hydro lowered the dam in expectation of the heavy rain. Even so the dam has been overflowing all week.
I made some teeny tiny Baby Kiwi socks with the wool left over from my socks. I wound wool on, checking the repeats, and had enough left over. I am very pleased. I think the colours work better than an adult sized sock.
I rescued my new Vogue pattern from Hedy. Luckily she didn't tear it up, as she did with an old paperback from the recycling, but it is very grubby on the outside. I plan to make the dress without the gathered pockets.
Gilly continues to improve. She is wicked, she has stolen things from the grocery bags and on our walks she ranges far and wide. She is interested in life again, and maybe there will be some extra food involved??
Hedy has never really played inside the boom gate area, so she was quite worried about finding Gilly. You can just see Lorelai Gilmore in the bottom left corner. Hedy Lamarr heard the noise and leaped towards Gilly.
The Labradors love going for a walk. It has been very wet, but we don't mind the rain. I am a little tired of wet dogs inside. Thank goodness we have plenty of dog drying towels at home.
We always take a toy for Hedy to play with, to encourage her not to bite Gilly. MrsDrWho bought The Labradors two new balls-on-a-rope. Really, only Hedy plays with them, but the first thing to do is to remove the rope!!
And then remove the covering. We are careful to throw out old 'tennis' balls because the ball inside splits into pieces very easily.
This week nine Australian men were arrested in Malaysia for undressing down to their Speedos which were embellished with the Malaysian flag. I shall not say any more, Internet search them if you wish, but the general reporting called them "boys" and basically, boys will be boys, right? Boys??!! They ranged in age from 25 to 29. These are not boys, they are men, and men with responsible jobs. I don't understand why drinking too much and stripping to your undies in a foreign country is dismissed as just boyish behaviour.
Our duopoly supermarkets are complaining that customers using the self-serve option are keying in the wrong codes, saying a mango is a potato for example, and so stealing from them. What did they think would happen when they stopped serving customers?? I am always in a long line waiting to be served by a person. I won't use the self-serve as it takes away people's jobs. I know it is a pointless protest and I am cutting off my nose to spite my face, but apparently that is who I am!!
If it's Thursday, it must be bedtime. Oh look, it is and so it is. I don't think the fact that I slept for seven hours today and seven more in the night, will stop me sleeping again as soon as my head hits the pillow.
I missed my window for Friday Food last week. I baked cupcakes on Friday and we ate them on Saturday night, but by Sunday it was just too late. In good news, it means I have already prepared this Friday's Friday Food.
Hedy has been preparing something. I wasn't quite sure what, but it looked ominous.
What she was preparing was a complete evisceration of her cushion in her crate.
Of course now, she hates it. She tries to find a spot that is comfortable, and there is no good spot. There are just lumps of green filling, so she has to sleep on the plastic base and look balefully at us.
Lorelai Gilmore is feeling very well. She went to the vet with Hedy Lamarr last week, just to have a happy visit where no-one took blood, or put a thermometer somewhere uncomfortable. Gilly had lots of pats and treats and Hedy didn't bark at all: though I did show her the little bottle of diluted apple cider vinegar a couple of times.
Gilly is alert and interested and happy and this week she took off several times on our walk and once ate old bones. Hedy was Not Happy when she couldn't find her sister and she showed her displeasure by trying to fit all of Gilly's head in her mouth when Gilly came back. It is pretty marvellous that Lorelai Gilmore feels well enough to be a bit naughty.
Hedy shows her displeasure by both ignoring me, and woofing at me.
I have started knitting some new socks with my Opal Sweet & Spicy 3 Kiwi. It knits up so beautifully and I am trying a new gusset decrease, where you decrease every row, with no rest rows. I think it will be fine. Here is the first Chinese Gooseberry sock.
I have two new sewing patterns. The first is Cashmerette's Upton Dress. It comes with a full bust adjustment already in the pattern for the bodice. Of course I still want to draft a new Princess Seam bodice with a FBA for this year, but I am eager to try one which might already fit. I bought the paper pattern from Sharon at Stitch56 and she could not have been more helpful. I emailed more than once to ask if the pattern had arrived in the country and then when I couldn't work the Cart, I rang up and she processed the transaction for me speedily and happily. The Upton Pattern is beautifully presented and Sharon wrapped it in pink tissue paper and posted it promptly!! Great Service. I plan to buy Colette's Rue Dress from Stitch56 soon. The second pattern is just a quick dress for when the thermometer goes 'way up, though I will probably do away with the ties at the shoulder.
One of my social outings last week was catching up with Mrs Madcage. She's just back from a long trip up the east Coast of Australia, and she brought me back a lovely gift: fat quarters from towns along the way!! How kind of her and I love them all!!
The days are gradually lengthening and this weekend Daylight Saving starts. I hate the whole "Spring Ahead" part of the "Spring Ahead, Fall Back". It takes us quite a while to adjust to the lost hour, but we love the longer evenings. I don't know an Autumn mnemonic to help me remember, so I have to resort to a USA one. Here are The Labradors outside just before their dinner. It is still light after 6pm.
And now I am half way through the foot of the new sock and I am recording Gruen so I can start watching anon.
Gilly is doing well. Dr David is very pleased with her progress, and my own GP thinks she is doing well too. She has the correct amount of platelets and her Red Blood Cells are below normal, but not terribly much so. I didn't realise how well she was responding until we again met The Golden Retriever with the same thing. He has been very unwell, can't eat, has lot 3kg and has a large sore on his back. Gilly is doing very well indeed.
There are no blood tests this week, but we are going to visit The Vet and have some lovely pats and tasty treats so Lorelai Gilmore doesn't think going to The Vet is a not-very-nice thing. Still, there are Liver treats and Gilly thoroughly inspects the room to make sure she has them all.
Gilly is enjoying her walks again and can keep pace, more or less, with Hedy Lamarr if she wants to. This is a terrible picture, but it shows how much Gilly has improved: she trots along, tail wagging, interested in what she can find and see.
There are a lot of smells to be smelled.
And her fur is starting to grow back properly at last.
Hedy Lamarr's friend Rafa the Border Collie is not coming for a walk, he's at The Kennels. Hedy loves to play with Rafa and her pretend stick. Rafa pretends to be cross and barks at Hedy, then they swap and he runs with the stick and it is Hedy's turn to be cross.
While Rafa is away, Hedy is playing with Sandy instead. Sandy has had a sore back, but he is well again.
But Lorelai Gilmore and Hedy Lamarr especially love walking together. Hedy has learned not to bark incessantly in a shrill manner in the back of the car, and she is trying to learn not to bite Lorelai Gilmore. The little bottle of watered down Apple Cider Vinegar is a good deterrent, and most of the time I just show her the bottle and there is no need to squirt the vinegar. Hedy Lamarr is almost as big as Lorelai Gilmore, and she is 8 months old!!!
In the afternoon they snuggle up together on one too small cushion that Hedy has begun to eviscerate.
I haven't done very much, other than look after Gilly and try to keep things ticking along: badly. I have almost finished the 2ply Loop de Loop. I have finished my BoHo not BooHoo socks, which I started on 3rd July. They are lovely, and I have another same-but-different ball of green striped Nako Boho too, and a ball of Kiwi fruit inspired Opal too. I see more socks in my future!!
I should have suspected something when I caught both Gilly and Hedy in the kitchen on Saturday morning. I shooed them out and thought nothing of it. Little did I know they were on a fact finding mission. I baked a delicious chocolate orange fudge cake for MrsDrWho and left it to cool when I went out to dinner on Saturday evening. When I came home at 9pm I realised that I hadn't tied the baby gate shut and that the empty tin just inside the back door meant that they had eaten a whole cake. A cake that had 200g of rich dark chocolate in it. I rang the emergency number for The Vet and Dr Rob was on duty. He said that other than keeping a eagle eye on them, there probably wasn't anything to worry about. If they started vomiting or lost their balance they would need to go straight to The Vet and have a drip. The only drip was me, and now the baby gate into the kitchen is doubly secured with a green occy strap. $2-95 at Woolies, but priceless when it comes to peace of mind.
The reason I baked the cake a day early was because the power was off all day Sunday for power pole replacement. My next-door neighbour had the bright idea of taking the ingredients to MrsDrWho's house and baking it there, and so I did. It is an easy recipe (I didn't bother separating the eggs) and you melt and mix and it bakes in 25 minutes.
The Cake Emergency didn't break any hearts, or bank balances, though I may have just put a new pair of green sandals on lay-by today: new green shoes always cheer me up.
And now we will all do what we have been doing an awful lot of: going to bed and sleeping. Lorelai Gilmore is taking fewer blue tablets, so she doesn't need to go outside so many times during the night, but I think the worry just makes me need more sleep. Hedy Lamarr doesn't always want to sleep, so sometimes we have to throw the Squeaky Toy until she's worn out. Hedy is a lovely girl, and we are so lucky to have her. She loves Gilly, and I think Gilly is glad to have a puppy to snuggle up with, but not one that bites her ears, so we are working on that!!
Today we had some better news about Lorelai Gilmore's health, which was a relief. Her platelets are in the normal range, but her Red Blood Cell count is now low. Dr David lowered her steroid last week and she has been feeling a lot happier.
She played with her plastic cup this morning and ran up the hill (slowly, but it was a run) on Friday. We go back next week for another blood test and she may have to take an extra quarter of a tablet every evening. Dr David was also very pleased that Lorelai Gilmore wasn't a "butterball" and hadn't put on any weight at all. We are vigilant and diligent and she is slim, but hungry. Her fur is growing back too, which is great.
Hedy Lamarr has grown, she is almost as tall as Gilly now. Hedy is also growing in wickedness. She sits when you come home, but now she woofs. And she barks crossly if she doesn't get her way, or things are not to her liking. She has to be squirted with the watered down apple cider vinegar squeezy bottle. She totally wrecked the treat pocket and zip of my dog walking zippy-uppy top. The top was over the computer chair, and when I put it on and tried to zip it up this morning, I realised that there was something wrong. I quickly sewed it up, but I shall have to do something about it: either buy a new zip or a new top.
Gilly can put Hedy in her place, but not very often. I encourage her to bite Hedy back or growl, but she doesn't want to.
Hedy is in love with The pretend Stick. She plays with it all the time on her walk, and especially loves to play Chasings with Rafa.
And when we walk by ourselves it is my turn to throw The Stick and Hedy's turn to be very playful. She waits until you get close then tries to grab The Stick and run away!!
There has been very little crafting. I have started a Mohair Bias Loop: Loop de Loop, for Auntie Dutch. I am using Naturally Delight 2ply and 6.5mm bamboo needles. I did an invisible provisional cast on and though I missed knitting two stitches, I caught them a few rows up. This is nice and samey, it needs very little thought and I can just count the stitches every few rows and adjust the slant if I need to. I could have worked out the pattern, but I was happy to pay for someone else to do the thinking for me, with everything else going on - and it is also the right thing to do!!
And a while ago I sewed Tote Bags #89 and #90. I used the last of the Peri Naughty/Gilly material and I found a Doctor Who fat quarter for Uncle Dutch.
Our local bakery is always right up to date with what is trending: it was first in town with Nutella doughnuts and now: Pokemon biscuits!!!
The Labradors are asleep, and soon we will all be in bed. Going to The Vet takes a lot of energy and it was especially hot there today. I might even knit a few rows of Loop de Loop. I have until the end of October, but I might finish before then!!
Spoiler: if you have never read Little Women, there is a spoiler below. So, why not just enjoy this short video of an echidna outside the back gate at our house yesterday. In suburbia. Waddling along to next door's garden and a safe hiding place.
In the episode of FRIENDS, The One Where Monica And Richard Are Just Friends, Rachel lets slip that in Little Women, Beth dies. In order to ameliorate the pain, Joey and Rachel put the book in the freezer, and then, nothing bad can happen to Beth.
I would like to have put the last two weeks in the freezer. No-one has died, but it has not been a very happy time at our house. Lorelai Gilmore went for her Dental Check with Hedy Lamarr and the vet found one of Gilly's big back teeth was fractured, it needed to be extracted ASAP.
Hedy sits to attention in all the photos at the vet. She is on her best behaviour, when she isn't barking with excitement. We are working on that. Gilly's tooth came out and though her face was a little swollen, she seemed happy.
It all seemed to go well at her post extraction check-up, but then last Friday on our walk her mouth was filled with blood.
We went immediately from the dam to the vet, and after a day of tests and poking and prodding, we found out that she had an auto-immune reaction to something, and had no platelets, so her blood wasn't clotting. Maybe it was the anaesthetic, or the long operation, or just the shock of the tooth coming out, as it took almost an hour to remove it. Dr David was also worried about a tumour being the cause. Poor Lorelai had to start taking steroids and more tablets to stop her feeling poorly after she had eaten. She had another blood test on Sunday. We had to go for a walk while we waited and we met Auntie Dutch, so it was immensely exciting!!!
Today she went back again to have x-rays and scans. When I went in to see Dr David I thought, at first, he said it was bad news and I wondered why he was smiling and looking relaxed. As he spoke, I realised there was some good news. Lorelai Gilmore doesn't have any cancer or tumours, and so all we have to deal with is the auto-immune reaction. Dr David seems pleased that her platelet levels have risen and we go back again next week for more blood tests. He hopes that over time the dose of steroids can be reduced to nothing, and she will be as well as can possibly be expected.
In the middle of all this I had the most horrid sinus infection that the first batch of ordinary antibiotics couldn't fix. My next-door neighbour had to drive me to the doctor again a few days later as all my teeth were aching, my face was throbbing, the glands in my neck were swollen and I was a pitiful mess really. It was a relief when the doctor said that I was actually very unwell and gave me the giant horse sized antibiotics. It has taken five days, but I am beginning to feel like myself again.
Poor Hedy Lamarr has been left to her own devices. Luckily she has been busy with a new toy, a present from her Auntie BionicKnitaWoman:
She is happy to go into her little box (crate) and sleep while everyone else is at the doctor or the vet. Or lie outside in the sun.
Poor Lorelai Gilmore has been struck down with something akin to my weird and not-wonderful illness, but at least hers may be easier to treat. We aim to be positive, since I have managed to live for fifteen years when the doctors held out little hope. The vets seem to hold out quite a lot of hope for Gilly, and we are happy to grasp any straw right now.
Well, that escalated quickly. Life is going along smoothly and then it all goes to hell in a handbasket. There has been no new knitting: The Betty Spencer Hat was finished before the hell in a handbasket started, and WeeJock&Bessie's Mum likes it very much.
So on we go. And after all, tomorrow is another day and we are being grateful that there is another day to be going on with.
Let there be much more cheery news to come and maybe even some sweet Friday Food this week.
In between the snow and rain and wind, we have had some sunny days, and there is nothing a Labrador enjoys more (well, apart from eating and walks) than lying in the sun soaking up the Winter warmth.
All went well when Hedy went to the Vet to have her stitches removed. We went straight into a consulting room as there was a very barky unhappy-to-be-there dog in the Waiting Room. The nurse whisked Hedy out to the surgery and Gilly waited for her. Waited and waited, even though it was only five minutes. She was quite worried.
Hedy cared not one jot, she was ready to run and play again.
Instead of being like an angry giant parrot on the end of a stick, Hedy was allowed to run free at last. I am not sure Gilly was so happy, she liked being Boss of the Walk. You can just see Gilly, being Boss of the Walk, far away up the hill. She was rather naughty to run up there, but since Hedy was on the lead, she took the opportunity when it arose.
Now things are back to normal, with Hedy Lamarr at Lorelai Gilmore's heels.
We all went to bed yesterday and most of today as I had a migraine. The DVR in the lounge-room has decided not to Timer Record any more, so I had to use the others. I have two old DVD recorders that can only tune in SD stations. The remote control may have been on the bed so I could turn the news on. Late this morning I was awakened by a strange noise.....
Oh dear, this is Hedy's first official Naughty Thing. Gilly was shocked, shocked and horrified. It can not be all Hedy's fault as she had access to the remote. It still works, but intermittently. What good luck it is the remote for the DVR that is broken. Household appliances know when your Tax Return is expected. They know. So far we need a new DVR, a new Rice Cooker and a new mixer. The Rice Cooker costs less than $20 and works very hard almost every day, so I am not so bothered by that.
I am knitting WeeJock&Bessie's Mum a hat in some soft and luxurious Debbie Bliss Andes: mulberry silk and alpaca. I have only made the ribbing, twisted ribbing, thus far and I need to buy some more short 4.5mm ends to do the actual hat. This will be the not so slouchy version.
I am also sewing a Star Spangled Jacket. Here is a tip: always cut sequinned fabric out on a sheet or some other protective covering. Ask me how I know. There are sequins from dawn till dusk all over the house. The jacket doesn't have a full lining, and the spangled fabric is not solid, so I needed to make my brain work extra hard to figure out how to work the full lining and facings. I am almost to the putting it all together stage. When you are about to take a photo and you say "Wait" to The Labradors, this is what happens: Gilly waits patiently and Hedy just rolls on into the picture.
Our Sewing night has changed this term, so I have to be organised and sew this fortnight's block and bake some cakes for tomorrow night. I am thinking of baking the Cherry Ripe cupcakes from this month's Taste magazine. I bought some fresh cherries to tizzy them up. I am not sure about the overflowing chocolate ganache. Sure, it looks great, but it is not very eater friendly.