Saturday, October 31, 2009

Oct 31/09


An update on the Army crest, made more poignant to me after learning that two more Canadian soldiers have died in Afghanistan. One of them served in 1 CER out of Edmonton, my brother's regiment when he was stationed there. So sad for two more families....

And here we are three days post-surgery:

The swelling has gone done quite a lot since the surgery and less fluid seeps out of the corner of the wound now. She has gained a little bit of weight back now that her nutrient intake is not being usurped by the tumour. My family was amazed last night at how well Hayes is recovering and how lively and full of personality she is still. There has been no change in her personality or physical abilities so I am pretty certain that the tumour had not gone into her brain. I am amazed that she had such a big tumour (the size of my baby finger) removed from her eye area and she has had no need for pain relievers nor has she slowed down any. She is still the first to the food bowl in the morning and she runs around the house like a young cat (she is 15 years old!). The girls at work gave me a Chicken Soup book for cat owners as a good bye gift and I am getting quite a kick out of all of the amazing cat stories.

Well, I am off to visit with my favourite goblin who is trick or treating with his dad tonight while they are visiting with Gramma (my mom). Boo!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Oct 30/09

It is Friday night and I feel like a truck has driven over me. No wonder! Today was my last day at my current job and I went to my mom's to have supper only to discover that my mother was at the RCMP detachment filing a missing person report on my sister. Hayes the cat is recovering very well and her antics kept the mood lighter at my mom's house as we dealt with the return of my sister. My sister's story is too crazy to even begin to describe here, but this evening has involved my brother being on the phone for almost an hour with one of her friends (J.) as he told J. in no uncertain terms that he thinks J. is full of crap and he worries about J.'s intentions regarding our sister. Hayes kept my mother smiling by chattering away at her and demanding affection from everyone when my poor mom just wanted to scream and throttle my sister. Oh yeah, and I had a seasonal flu shot and a pneumococcal vaccine done today so my head is aching from stress and the vaccines.

Now, I am off for the next two weeks by choice to chill out between jobs. The only 3 things I have to do are get my H1N1 vaccination done on Tuesday, have dinner with my cousin who will be here from Ontario working for the week and take Hayes to the vet to get her sutures taken out 10 days post surgery.

Happy Hallowe'en to all you ghosts, goblins, witches, pranksters and trick or treaters! BOO!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Oct 28/09

Today has been a very emotional day for me. I took Hayes to the vet this morning to have surgery on her eye. The two courses of antibiotics did nothing so the vet was going to explore the swelling and remove the eyeball. There is an official medical term for this procedure, but the result is "one-eyed kitty" in my parlance. The vet called me this afternoon at work to let me know how the surgery had gone and to discuss what they saw during the procedure. Needless to say, I burst into tears after hanging up and had to leave the dispensary because the terms "carcinoma" and "euthanasia" were part of the discussion. I stopped by the vet office to see how she was doing with coming out of the anesthesia and one of the assistants almost did not let me go into the recovery room in case it upset the other animals in there. The look in my tear filled eyes changed her mind pretty quick so they let me go into see Hayes who was still so out of it that she did not respond to my voice with even an ear twitch.

The vet office called me a couple of hours later to say that Hayes was awake enough to come home so I rushed in to get here. The vet discussed pain relievers and checkups with me before showing me the chunks of tumor that are being sent to Guelph for histology (i.e to determine what kind of cells we are dealing with). Those chunks total the size of my baby finger, causing me to blurt out, "Did you really get all of that out of her head?!" They do not think that she has any other tumors, but the pre-op blood tests did show elevated liver enzymes which could mean her body is starting to shut down or it could be from the 3 weeks of oral antibiotics. Her weight has slipped a bit again as well so I am going to keep a close eye on that during the 10 days before we go back to have the sutures removed from her eyelids which are stitched together.

We spent the evening with Hayes wrapped in a blanket, snuggled into my lap, while I stitched. She was pretty wobbly and shaky when she first came home (think "drunken sailor") so I wanted to keep her quiet and comfortable under the anesthetic wore off. She has already been jumping from furniture to furniture and the purr has returned so things are returning to normal fairly quickly.

My mom said something to me tonight that gives me great comfort. I was telling her what the vet said about the possibility of the tumor growing back and how I figure that I will just take one day at a time until we reach that point that Hayes has a decreased quality of life. Mom said that I should feel good about knowing at that point that I have done everything that I could for Hayes. Hayes has given so much to me in the 15 years that we have been together and we will keep snuggling away as long as we can.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Oct 27/09

I just heard about Bill C-311 on Friday when I was at the opening event of the AGM for the Council of Canadians. Then, I heard something on the news last night about a scuffle at the Parliament in Ottawa so I thought that I should sit down and read this bill to see what the kerfuffle is about. It did not take long to see why the Conservative government is trying to bury this bill being proposed as a private members' bill by the NDP. This government is notorious for its disregard for environmental and climate change issues. As a Canadian, I am horrified at the fact that we are a laggard state when it comes to agreeing to and meeting the targets laid out in the Kyoto Accord. I am further embarrassed to hear that our government and its representatives plan to continue this agenda at the upcoming Copenhagen meetings in December 2009. Maybe our government is so arrogant because we have such a large land mass that we can ignore our environmental disasters like the Tar Sands because they are so far physically removed from us. Maybe having the largest reserve of fresh water makes us feel we can wantonly destroy it. Maybe because we have the financial resources to adjust to and recover from the effects of climate change, we could care less what happens to those countries who can not afford to do the same. Canada needs to step up when it comes to climate change and cooperate with the other countries of the world because climate change affects every person on this planet. Canada should be leading the way on this issue, not behaving like a spoiled brat.

Oh yeah, I did some stitching and there has been some progress on the Army crest. Also, my cat has been to the vet again and she will be having surgery tomorrow to fix the mess of her left eye. The vet made sure that I understand that I will have a one-eyed cat after tomorrow.....

PS. Editing this post to add that I took my indignant environmental self out for a walk after posting the C-311 link and collected 2 bags of garbage in the 0.5km that I walked from my house and back. My workout was carrying those 2 bags back home. I had thought about leaving them at the end of someone's driveway to wait for garbage pick up, but thought better of it in case the bags started a neighbourhood war about the dumping of garbage. The amount of garbage along the road makes me mad because so much of it goes down into the brooks and then out into the marsh. Several other people walk along the road as part of their daily walking route and I am amazed and saddened by the fact that they blithely ignore the garbage. I am angered by the idiots who chuck it out their vehicle windows.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Oct 25/09

After spending a good part of the evening at a Trivia Night held by my Rotary Club, I came home and stitched to unwind. The Canadian Army crest is coming along slowly, but surely. The colours and the pattern are very basic compared to most projects I stitch so it is not the most exciting project I have ever stitched. When I stitch, I use a throw pillow as a little desk for my lap to hold the pattern and floss. Now, I have to balance the pattern on Hayes who has taken to sleeping on the aforementioned pillow while I am stitching. Because she is still battling her eye infection, I am allowing her to be a pest like that.

We received over 100mm of rain last night so I am most fortunate to not have been mopping up a wet basement this morning like my mom and many people around town. You know, there were no storm warnings or media hysteria like there was in August and September when a couple of hurricanes swept up the East Coast and yet, the winds and rain were just as bad if not worse last night than with those earlier storms. There are many homes flooded in this region and I heard that at least one road is closed because it is washed out in places. Where were the warnings and the media on this one? Just curious.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Oct 15/09

Here is an update on my HAED Iris project:

When I first started out, I was a little overwhelmed by the pattern as it switches colours frequently and there is just so much pattern! Now that I am underway and can landmark my way as well as count, the stitching of this design is becoming quite fun as it comes alive under my fingers. No, I am not one of those people who do that count and thread grid thing before they start complicated designs. Yes, I make mistakes and do not rip them out unless it is glaringly obvious because part of the challenge to me is how to incorporate the mistakes into the final piece and make it all work. The colours in this piece are rich and gorgeous which also makes it fun for me to stitch.

The demon of depression has let go of me so now I am catching up and grabbing hold of my life again. It is so hard to remain optimistic when in the throes of it even though I know well now that it will pass sooner rather than later and that I just have to hold on to get through the days and weeks of feeling worthless and useless. Now I am enjoying everything about my life again and better able to cope with the every day challenges. Part of the reason why I was stitching ornaments was because I just could not face the challenge of the HAED pattern or any of the stocking projects that I would like to get done for my family. Stitching small projects gives me immediate results and pleasure which is helpful in coping with depression when it grabs hold of me. When discussing some of the issues I have been sorting out recently, one of my closest friends said, "Vee, you always land on your feet somehow." So true. I am blessed with a good network of love around me and somehow I bounce back every time.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Oct 14/09

Whew! It was only 1.5km, but the walk from work to the garage was tough on the shins! I am such a country kid that walking on sidewalks hurts my shins. Mind you, walking in dress shoes was probably not much help either.... Oh well, I got to add 1.5km to my ticker nonetheless. 1000km really was a lofty goal,but I will keep plugging away nonetheless. I have to, none of my favourite dress pants do up without fancy button fastening manoeuvres. Oh yeah, and my snow tires are now on my car. It snowed a little bit here last night so it was most fortunate that I was already booked into the garage for other reasons and asked them to also do the tires so that I beat the crazy rush that inevitably happens after the first big snowfall.

Some progress has been made on the HAED Iris design. I have picked it up again now that I am finished the stitching part of all of those ornaments. Perhaps tomorrow if I remember, I will post a progress picture. Between work,the general daily needs of the three critters and the specific health needs of one of them, family stuff and drama and my own stuff of laundry, groceries and exercise, my stitching time is uber precious and mindsaving! When I raffled off the "Wreath of All Seasons" at work this past spring, I had so many people tell me that cross stitch stresses them out when they have tried it. I could not understand that because it is so relaxing to me. There is something almost zen about me, some threads and a piece of fabric. I shut out the rest of the world and focus on the stitching, clearing my mind of all the crap of the day.

Speaking of crap, I still smell like bleach from my cleaning job of my old toilet which is sitting in pieces on my side lawn. I scrubbed it down with bleach this afternoon so that I can take it into the Habitat ReStore in Saint John. Besides needing a couple of bolts that rusted out and caused the leak that led to its replacement by a dual-flush toilet, the old one works perfectly well so I am recycling it instead of garbaging it.

So there you have it, snow tires, raffles and toilets. I so live a rock'n'roll lifestyle! NOT!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Oct 11/09

Happy Thanksgiving! Here is a little poem shamelessly stolen from this blog:

May your stuffing be tasty

May your turkey be plump,

May your potatoes and gravy

Have never a lump.

May your yams be delicious

And your pies take the prize,

And may your Thanksgiving dinner

Stay off your thighs!

Happy Thanksgiving

Some stitchy thoughts tomorrow, once I finish digesting all of the turkey and veggies I ate today!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Oct 8/09

Hayes the cat is slowly improving. She was sitting on the bathroom scale a few minutes ago and I took a peak to see her current weight. Fuzzybutt is now a whopping 9 lbs, up 4 lbs from the night she wandered home after a 19 day walkabout. The fleas are almost gone, but the eye infection is still a battle which is why you are getting a rear view of her because her left eye is pretty yucky looking. She is getting oral cephalexin twice a day and idoxuridine drops every few hours. The other drops I was using were completely ineffective and I probably waited too long to start the oral antibiotics. I do see some improvement in the huge cyst that is sitting where her kitty eyebrow should be and which has grown so big that she can not see much out of her left eye. She is tolerating all of the medications better than I had thought. I can not describe her as being wildly enthusiastic about all of these eyedrops and she does put up a bit of a fuss about them, but she does not run away when she sees the bottle come out so that makes the process a bit easier. Surprisingly, she likes the taste of the cephalexin which I think stinks to high heaven! I mix it into some canned food and then feed it to her because I am not crazy enough to try shooting it down her throat! She might be half the cat she was, but she is not declawed.

My cats sure keep me entertained and busy! If I am not medicating Hayes in some way then I am laughing at the latest crazy spot in my house that Penelope is using to sleep in (she is currently sleeping in the recyling bins behind where I sit at the computer) or chattering away with Gabby. My house would be so boring and quiet without them!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Oct 4/09

Alrighty, finally some stitching photos:

I like the final results of this kit (sans finishing), but as has happened a few times before, I can short on some of the threads. Fortunately, there were threads in my mystery thread box that matched well enough to be useful. I assume that this is a fairly new kit as I just bought it from the most recent Mary Maxim catalogue so I should write a complaint to Dimensions so that they are aware that they goofed when doing up their thread packs.

On a more fun note, I saw this design in the JCS Preview issue and really liked it. Then I saw it done up on another blog and liked it even more so I had to stitch it! The design is "Trimming the Tree" by Sharon Crescent done on 28 count Charlescraft Irish linen. I used the DMC suggested colours as I have not invested in any overdyed threads yet. Because I like the design so much, I am going to stitch a couple more with different coloured balls (working on blue at the moment and planning on doing purple as well). Finishing is not my strong point so I am undecided about whether I will finish these as flat ornaments or perhaps use them in the Christmas themed photo insert cards that I bought recently. To be honest, I am love the stitching part and really could care less about what happens after I am done stitching. There is something captivating to me about taking a pile of skeins and a blank piece of fabric and watching a design come to life under my fingers. Once the design is stitched, my fascination ends. Being part of the blogger community has motivated me to do more finishing as I view the beautiful results of all the other stitchers, but finishing is more of a necessary evil to me.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Oct 2/09

Ok, so I decided to add one of those cute little ticker tape things that I have seen on other people's blogs. My weight has jumped up as my running/jogging/walking has dropped off so I have been trying to figure out strategies to get myself going again on the road to both fit and fabulous. One thousand km my be a little ambitious for 6 months as a goal, but I figure that I may as well aim high and go for it! At 210 lbs and 5 foot 6, I need to do something before heart disease and diabetes start to rear their ugly heads. Plus, exercise helps to keep my demons of depression and anxiety away! I am also thinking about buying those toning shoes from Skechers or Reebok, but I can not seem to find a local store (I live in the retail boonies) so I may just have to order a pair on-line and hope for the best. Hopefully these new approaches will help to inspire me!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Oct 1/09

No stitching pictures to post just yet so instead you get the view from the window beside my computer desk. Autumn has arrived. Sigh. The colour of the maple tree leaves makes it official. I bought my house from my best friend and that tree was planted by her father for her and her husband when they moved into this shack as newlyweds in 1993. This photo has so many elements to it that represent my life: the pharmacy ornament that my mom bought me, the Support the Troops cardboard ribbon that I have in the window to show my love and support for my favourite soldier, the maple tree,and the geraniums that used to be part of flower boxes that used to sit on my front step (represents my love of gardening). I had to move my computer a month ago when my high speed modem was installed and I must admit that I much prefer being able to look out both this window and the patio door instead of just the patio door (that view is important to see the cats who want in and out....constantly!).

Upon review of the preview, I just realized that you can not see the pharmacy ornament, but you get the idea!