November 29, 2005

RINY Sweater Debut

I wore my RINY Sweater

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for the first time today, and I'm Loving Every Minute Of It!

This is the best thing I've knit, to date.

Posted by LoriO at 2:50 PM

November 27, 2005

The end of a very long holiday weekend

Thank you everybody for your supportive comments. They really help and I appreciate every one.

Banjo was a very special cat and we miss him terribly. Sean says it all much better on his blog.

We got out of the house yesterday to see the latest Harry Potter movie. We really just needed a diversion. I thought it was a great movie, the best one yet. I can't wait until I can see it a million times on HBO.

Today was another quiet and reflective day. We took the dogs for a walk by the river. It's a gorgeous fall day, sunny, but crisp. Perfect.

I'm about ready to go clean up my yarn room. Got a new project brewing in my head. Hopefully I can get back on topic here soon.

Posted by LoriO at 3:52 PM

November 25, 2005

Goodbye old friend

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Today we had to make the hard decision to put Banjo to sleep. Because he was still woozy and not eating, we took him to the Vet, and as it turned out, he did not have any type of infection in his mouth. He was in end-stage kidney failure.

Goodbye BoBo, you were the best roomate ever.


Posted by LoriO at 4:00 PM

November 24, 2005

Gobble gobble!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates it!

I'm thankful for many things today, especially Gretsky's health. We'll take whatever time we bought with the surgery. Today, he got to go to the park for the first time since the surgery. He's doing really well.

I'm thankful for my Honey, my snug happy safe home, and the food that's cooking right now (not cooked by me...Sean does all the specialty cooking).

I'm thankful that Banjo made it through the night. I was convinced he wouldn't last night. He was not looking good at all. The Vet came out yesterday, and Banjo might have an infected tooth. Banjo is a dry cat. He's difficult to get water into when he's in perfect health. But when he gets sick and starts not eating, he gets dehydrated fast. So combine the infection, which is why he stopped eating, with the not drinking enough water and he went downhill fast.

The Vet gave him fluids, an anti-inflammatory shot, and a shot of antibiotics. He's perked up some today, and is back to being demanding, but he still is not eating much. A little bit of baby food licked from our fingers is about it. He's had a little bit to drink, but I'm thinking that I'll probably be visiting a vet again tomorrow. He's walking proud with his tail held high, yet he's very wobbly and weak. He's 15, and it's not easy to bounce back from an illness.

Then there's the guilt, once again, an animal with a problem in his mouth not noticed until almost too late.

So it was a tense night last night, but a relaxing day today. No knitting, no orgainzing, no anything today. I did take a nap, which was lovely.

Posted by LoriO at 5:31 PM

November 22, 2005

The good, the bad, and the grumpy

The Vet called today, and Gretsky's cytology report from the needle aspiration of his lymph nodes is clear. No cancer cells there. Also, they got all the tumor with clear margins. But, they have confirmed that the tumor was malignant malanoma. This was the best possible outcome from this path, so we're happy. Grets is perking up more and more every day. He's still a little out of it from the pain medications, but he's eating and drinking, and yesterday he even barked! We still have to hand feed him, but the Vet thinks he prefers this because then he doesn't have to move his lip as much. He should be back to eating from a bowl in early December. It only takes a few minutes to hand feed him anyway, so, no big deal.

Not so good is Banjo, our elder cat. He is not eating or drinking enough water. He's getting skinny, and is very, very grumpy. We're not sure what is up with him. The Vet is coming out tomorrow to give Moonie her shots and check him out too. I managed to get him to drink some water this morning by pouring bottled water (he won't touch it if its from the tap, UNLESS he's drinking FROM the tap) into a tall glass. He's more demanding than usual, yet anything we offer him he will refuse. Wet food, dry food, cat milk, water. He started seeming sick after being outside in the front yard on Monday. He almost never goes out in the front, and he is acting like his back legs are sore, or weak. So he might have been fighting. Schmacky attacks him fairly regularly (he thinks he's playing) so that could be it. I'm hoping that's all it is.

I'll be so glad when we get everybody well again.

Posted by LoriO at 1:07 PM

November 20, 2005

Sunday

So, two days after surgery and Gretsky is doing fine. He doesn't look bad at all, just a little depression on the side of his nose, and sometimes his lip gets caught up in his lower canine, and he looks like he's snarling. He seems to be in a fair bit of pain, but he has some powerful meds, one of which is a patch attached to his leg. We have to take him back on Tuesday to have it removed and disposed of properly because it is a controlled substance.

He had almost llike a partial maxillectomy, 5 teeth removed and part of his palet, but he should recover fully in about two weeks. He's already doing so much better today than he was yesterday. I did not do much housecleaning this weekend, because we were trying to keep him still and quiet. He will follow me constantly from room to room as I go about my regular weekend chores.

So I kept the chores to a minimum this weekend, and just to actually accomplish something, I cleaned and organized our pantry. That way he could stay in one room with me and get some rest, and I could do something that I've been meaning to do for a long time. Here's what I learned:

1. I have far too many boxes of Jello. I never eat Jello, yet I have 9 packages. One of them I distinctly remember having when I lived in Stockton, CA. In 1985. Yet, did I throw it away? No. You never know when you're gonna need Jello. What if I get the flu?

2. I don't need to buy anymore breadcrumbs. Three packages are plenty. Same goes for cans of corn and black beans. (4 cans each)

3. Why do I have three jars of double ground superfine mustard? Why I ask?

4. We need to eat more soup.

In other news, I got my hair cut last Wednesday. I must say, it looked so good when I walked out of the Salon. I tried to take a picture when I got home:

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But of course, I could not for the life of me make it look like that again. And then I cut it myself. And ruined it. *Sigh* I guess all is right with the world again.

Knittingwise, nothing. Not one stitch. But I did buy one last skein of yarn to finish the baby blanket, now that my niece has had her baby. I should be doing that right now, but I wanted to post and catch up on a few blogs I've been missing. It's taken me all weekend to finally get an Internet connection and I don't want to let it go just yet.

Posted by LoriO at 9:12 PM

November 18, 2005

Gretsky update

Thanks everybody for your good wishes!

I just got a call from the Vet and Gretsky came through the surgery fine and is in revcovery. He's had a lot of tumor, teeth and bone removed from his face, but he should recover quickly. He will have a depression on that side of his face, and she warned me three times about it, so I'm wondering if it's going to be horrible. No matter, we still love him.

We can't pick him up until tomorrow. I'm wondering how Picabou is going to be when I get home from work tonight. This is the first day she's ever been home alone, without Grets or us there. Sure, she has the cats, but it's just not the same.

I haven't knit a stitch all week. I don't know what's wrong, other than I am not a stress knitter. I knit when I'm happy and relaxed. If I'm under stress, I just don't. It's the same with food. If I'm happy I'll eat. But if I'm stressed out, eating is just too much effort.

Hopefully things will calm down and get back to normal soon.

Posted by LoriO at 4:24 PM

November 11, 2005

The decision

Thanks everybody for your kind words and good thought about Grets. I really appreciate them.

Grets is scheduled for surgery next Friday to remove what they think is an amelanotic malignant melanoma from his mouth. It's a bad kind of cancer to have. There is a very very very very very slim chance it is not malignant and only looks amelanotic because the cells are too young. But, we can't pin our hopes on that at all.

They're going to take out the tumor and part of his jaw, aspirate his lymph nodes to do another test, and then biopsy the tumor. The surgery is our best shot at getting all of it, and if we do, and we caught it before it has metastasized, he might have even a year. We are told that he should recover from this type of surgery easily, and even though part of his upper jaw will be gone, he won't look really deformed or anything. Although his tongue might poke out a little on the side.

We are, however, not going overboardwith MRIs and CAT scans, chemo and radiation. Gretsky is already a shaky candidate for surgery because of his bad heart, so any anesthesia is risky. We're going to roll the dice this one time and see what happens.

Today we saw the Oncologist, just to get a better handle on what our options were, and we took Picabou with us to the appointment. because it's just so sad to leave her home alone. We weighed her for the first time in about two years. She's at a very scary 134 lbs! That is 10 lbs. over her "normal" weight. And I put "normal" in quotes because even that was really 5 lbs. too much. I guess it's diet time for her.

Posted by LoriO at 4:54 PM

November 7, 2005

Because it just never gets old

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I love my pie.

Posted by LoriO at 4:55 PM

November 6, 2005

Shtuff

Another busy weekend, but it feels good to at least cross a few things off my list.

Since Sean took Grets to his first appointment, I took him to his second one on Saturday. It was a long one, almost three hours.

The Vet got a small sample off the tumor in Gretsky's mouth, and tried to aspirate some from the one on his elbow, took chest X-rays to see if there were any tumors in his chest cavity, and did the general pre-op blood work he needed because he has a pretty bad heart murmer.

The chest X-ray was fine, no visible tumors (although they could be microscopic) but he does have an enlarged heart. The Vet said he probably has a leaky valve and his heart is enlarged to compensate for that. But it's not his biggest problem.

The lump on his arm is not a fatty lipoma as I was led to believe, but it's hard to say what it is without sending the sample off. Even though we don't know what it is, it is slow growing and, again, not his biggest problem. And even if we do the surgery for the mouth, they wouldn't want to do the elbow at the same time because they wouldn't want to have him under anesthesia that long because of his heart condition.

The tumor in the mouth is a big problem. And getting bigger every day. It has almost doubled in size since we noticed it, so that tells me that it hasn't been around very long.

We want to get it taken off as soon as possible, but there are complicating factors. One is that they might have to take part of his jaw to get the whole thing. This horrifies both of us. I don't even know how they could do that because it is on the upper. If we put him through surgery, and they don't get it all, it could come back within a month. But it all depends on what kind of tumor it is. Poor old guy. We're both depressed about it, but I'm not going to freak out until I know more. We'll know more later this week when we get the test results.

The rest of yesterday was taken up with general errand running.

Today, I spent the entire day cleaning the house, and I'm only about half done. I've been a little slack lately, but that's kind of good. It certainly feels more productive to clean the house when it's absolutely filthy, than when it's just a little untidy.

I haven't been knitting at all, but I think tonight I'm going to start back working on the baby blanket. My niece is gonna have that baby any day now.

In other news, last weekend I went to an estate sale and found this:

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It's a strange poncho thing, but will be really nice to have when I'm sitting on the couch knitting. I've wanted something like this for awhile. The best part? This:

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Cool. Vintage Manos. It's woven, not knitted.

So that's about it. I'm about to have a little dinner, read a few blogs, knit a bit, watch Rome and go to bed.

Posted by LoriO at 5:35 PM

November 4, 2005

Iím a frayed knot

So I thought I might tie up a few loose ends.

In chronological order.

1. I got my new glasses. It's so nice not to look through scratched and practically opaque lenses anymore.

I had originally purchased a pair of new glasses from the large chain where I also had the eye exam. In the last installment of this story, I had the new glasses and they werenít working out.

I exercised their 30-day guarantee and returned them with no problem. Then I went to the optical shop where I got my last pair, and they made me a new pair using my existing frames. Since my frames consist of nothing more than two earpieces and a nose piece, they could cut the shape of the lenses to anything I wanted. They look similar to this:

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Very cool, and a fraction of the cost. They are the lightest glasses I have ever worn. I sprung for the good scratch resistant coating and the snap-on sunglasses (which I wonít be able to pick up until Nov. 12th)

But the best news is my new contact lenses. Iím so glad I was finally able to check out some other options. At first I thought daily wear lenses would really do the trick and feel great, but they were awful. Then I tried the new Acuvue Oasys, and they are the most comfortable lenses I've ever worn. I really recommend them if you have any sort of dry eye problem.

2. The Garage Sale was excellent! I sold a lot of yarn and got to hang out with some old friends, and made some new friends. Marie even came by to say hi and buy some yarn! Thanks Marie! I made about $80.00, which is not too shabby. Which is also why I didnít feel guilty about buying this:

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Some Trekking sock yarn, a skein of Collinette Prisim, two Addi Turbos that I didnít have (one is a #2 40-inch so I can try out the Magic Loop technique), and a pin cushion in the abstract shape of a chicken.

But Iím a little ahead of myself.

3. Last week I attended a conference in Monterey, and really, attended is not quite the right word. I helped set it up, which was why it was extra stressful. There were issues not resolved even as they were happening. I donít want to go into it in detail, but, whew! Iím glad itís over.

I had hitched a ride to Monterey with my boss and his wife, so Sean drove down on the last day so we could spend Saturday hanging out in the area. Our favorite place was Pacific Grove. Nice little town, beautiful views, and, what? Whatís that? A yarn store!

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Monarch Knitting in Pacific Grove is a very nice store, with a good selection. Thatís were I bought the aforementioned items. There is also a store dog, and a store bird.

We came home Saturday evening and I just crashed. I slept for 12 hours straight that night.

On Sunday, we shaved Gretsky into his Halloween costume (Lion) and gave him a bath. While I was drying him I noticed that his face was lopsided. On closer inspection, he has a huge tumor on his upper jaw. Oh boy. I felt like such a bad dog owner. If only we brushed his teeth regularly, we would have noticed it sooner.

So he went to see the Vet, and will see another Vet this weekend to be scheduled for surgery. Weíll know more after the biopsy.

This week has just flown by. I hope I can update more regularly now that things have calmed down a bit.

Posted by LoriO at 8:19 AM