Saturday, December 31, 2011


Yes, you need to read that headline with the proper Spanish soccer announcer accent.

This post signifies one of my goals accomplished this year. In January, I set out to post ten times a month. It was relatively easy the first couple of months then it became harder and harder. I did not want to post without having anything meaningful to say but alas I'm sure I did it at least a few times.

Having a posting goal forced me to be more creative. I had to think of things to talk about, I could not just take the easy road out and not post anything. For the most part I enjoyed it. I'm sure now, that you'll realize why the end of some months seemed a bit heavy.

I'm not sure I will set the same goal in the coming year, but I do think I will have some sort of goal that forces me to get creative. I don't want to have a formula that I must stick to, I'm not that straight laced.

Anyways on to other goals accomplished this year. I found and tried many new-to-me yarns. I enjoyed two festivals and stayed within budget. I found a couple of stores while on vacation and bought some yarn, not too much yarn. I found them using knitmap, a nice little push in the yarny direction.

I met some famous knitters. I took classes from Cookie A and Anne Hanson along with my best yarn buddy Kisknit. I also got my books signed by Clara Parkes and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee at Rhinebeck. Quite a joy to be able to meet them all. I just hope I was not totally start struck most of the time.

I donated to Heifer International for the first time. Thanks to Clara Parkes at Knitter's Review for pointing a bunch of knitters to a worthy cause. I bought my first sheep in quite a while. I hope that it thrives and helps an entire community. Makes this farmer's daughter's heart glad.

I tried to make a sock in four days but could not, since I decided to live my life at the same time and not withdraw into the crazy knitting lady. It was still cool to know that I came so close and did not hurt myself either. Knitting benders can be harmful too.

I knit up the yarn that D gifted me with this summer so he will bring me more when he travels. I did not want him to think it goes into the stash and never comes out. If he brings it to me I will knit it.

Speaking of D, I watched him complete his first half marathon. I can not tell you how proud I was when he crossed the finish line. Way to go Hubs! And he was kind enough to walk with me in my first Turkey Trot. I am proud of that goal too!

And lest we forget we celebrated a royal wedding with a tea party breakfast. What a fun day to do what we wanted, together.

So there were a few goals accomplished this year in the Tea Cottage. Yes we have also finally found a fitting name for any house we're in. Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Plugging Away

Well let's see where did I leave you last?

Photo from about a year ago

Gus is still fighting his pancreatitis. He lost about a pound in one week and had his Mommy pretty darn scared. D and I figure that would be equivalent to 200 lb human losing 20 pounds in one week. Dr B said the most important thing we could do was convince him to eat. So over the Christmas break he was spoon fed every few hours. He was not eating a lot but I was dang happy to see him eat anything. This included a few 2 am feedings and at least one 4 am feeding. I was thrilled when he started eating a tablespoon at a time. Dr B also earned a few points back from Gus when he said he could have tuna and boiled chicken if he wanted it. He started off eating just bits of that too, but now we're up to whole chunks. 

I had to learn another new skill, I've been giving him subcutaneous fluids at home. It did not bode too well in the vet's office when I had to lie down while we were talking because I was feeling light headed. Sometimes the smallest things can throw me off.  While it is not something that I want to do all the time, it is not that difficult and it does seem to be helping his appetite. Tonight was not a stellar night because when he moved the needle came out and fluid went all over. Nothing says I'm finished like the turkey timer popping out. 

So while it is not a cake walk, we're managing. Poor Jack does not really understand why Gus is getting all the extra attention, but he is enjoying the extra tuna.

We had a lovely relaxed Christmas. We played a few games, opened some great gifts and enjoyed a nice dinner. I managed to get D's socks finished the day after Christmas but that's OK since they were never intended as  a Christmas gift.

Many thanks to Kisknit for pointing D to a local yarn shop for a couple of my Christmas gifts, sock yarn and a sock shaped stitch marker. D did not intend the yarn for himself but it is such a nice manly color that he may just be the eventual recipient. And the bonus is that it is new to me yarn, I've not worked with this brand yet, and it comes with reinforcing thread too, so I get to figure out how that works too.

Last night, we went to our last holiday party of the year. D had fun showing off his new socks to everybody and anybody that would look at them.  I enjoyed people oooing and aahing over my work. They had lots of questions and comments. I even heard the standard saying of knit one purl two (K1 P2). Why is that the comment most non-knitters make to knitters? The odd thing is I don't think I've ever used the stitch K1 P2. 2x2 ribbing of K2 P2, I've done a bunch of times but the classic knitters utterance, never. Does that mean I'm really not a knitter? Do my socks know? 

Work is still crazy but slowly getting better. I keep telling myself that it is like starting a new job but I keep my excellent pay and vacation time.

Well that is all that I can think of to talk about right now and I've got to turn a heel in a sock so I am off. Happy Knitting All!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas Hubby!

A Christmas post for you! As you know I've been a bit distracted and running ragged lately. I know you understand the reasons but I'm sure I can be frustrating at times. This year I decided to take a page from your book and spend time with you rather than spending a lot of money on you. I hope you like our time together.

We already finished a couple of things I wanted to do for you to show you some Christmas love. We played Scrabble as I suggested, and I of course allowed you to win. See how much I love you? See how God made me a bad Scrabble person so you could have that pleasure most of the time? He is cool like that you know.

I spent an afternoon with you making your Mom's Monster Cookies. I even let you bow out early when I saw your exhaustion after your run. I am so proud that you became a runner, I can sacrifice a bit of your time to have you better rested.

Today I hope to spend a nice laid back fun day with you. Christmas means spending time with you. I wanted to give you some tangible gifts and also wanted to give you some intangible ones too. Intangible but symbolic, time spent with you enjoying each other, memories created together and learning new things together (who knew Monster Cookies have three kinds of sugar in them?) I may even finish those socks I've been working on too.

This Christmas is going to be just for us. I know it sounds a bit greedy but I love you and want to have some time with you.

Merry Christmas, now come help me make dinner, please.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I have an idea

Meet my Wisteria socks, they are from my pre-blogging days. You may have seen them in passing when I talked about all my socks and took a photo.  Yep I am pretty sure they're in that photo, top left about four pairs in. 

They were one of my first fancy sock pairs. I think I was the most proud of them because they just seemed to work. I liked the combination of the yarn, color and patterning.

They are also among the first of my pairs to thin out and get pulled from the rotation. I keep thinking I am going to duplicate stitch over the thin/weak spots and keep merrily wearing them.

I have only darned one sock and since it was not a favorite or well fitting sock it has not seen much of the rotation again. So I am not sure about darning or even duplicate stitching. And since I can not throw out one of my favorite socks, I have a plan. A plan that is half done and half successful.

I'll give you a hint.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Half Marathon stockings

I did not get very far in my half marathon before I had to turn around and start again. I don't think you see too many real marathoners restarting.

I measured my leg and at the widest point I am 17 to 17 1/2 inches around. I cast on using 17 for corresponding number in the pattern even after it recommended using a number one to two inches less than your measured circumference. 

Let me tell you that you do need that bit of negative ease to create a nice calf hugging stocking. This one fell down my leg which is not something I like in a stocking.

So I ripped back and am at about the same point again. I can tell you that I am loving the yarn and especially the color. But I am hoping this measurement works cause I don't want to restart another marathon till the other stocking is ready.

Monday, December 19, 2011

On Fire

Now what can I show you on the knitting front. I'm working on another pair of socks. Yeah I am not surprised either. 

The thing I am surprised about is, who these socks wanted to belong to. I thought they were mine but alas the more I worked on them, the more I knew they were not meant for me. D loves the color and really, I never know what color to buy for him, so when I find one he likes I try to go with it. 

I now have one sock done and I must admit that I am worried about running out of yarn. Well thats what happens when you add two inches to each sock. I did weigh the yarn and sock I am reasonably sure that I will have just enough yarn. Hey! Stop lugging, it could happen.

I went to knit night at one of the local yarn shops recently and was delighted to find she had more of my favorite needles in stock, Pony wool needles. I little part of me wishes I had gotten another pack since it has been a couple of years since I found my first set.

The eye of the needle is a soft plastic loop that flattens when pulling the yarn through the fabric. They are great when weaving in ends, much easier to pull through than a bulging hard plastic eyes of needles. 

So that is my cheap treat for myself. I do so love finding great working tools. They make my knitting time more enjoyable!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Well that was a dozy!

This last week was quite a tough one. Work was difficult because we're doing some software and hardware upgrades. So it was moments of flurry while testing something followed by trying to do things without the computers and waiting. I hate waiting, especially when I can not amuse myself with yarn. Felt like I was a car revving my engine, going flat out for 10 feet, slamming on the brakes. I guzzled fuel all the time and did not really get anywhere.

I started off the week battling with myself over giving Gus insulin. Not sure if I could give an injection. I've never liked needles, I was not sure I could put one in another living being. It was way easier than I ever thought it could be and I will be doing it if the situation warrants it.

Then I made the choice and it did not work out well. I checked on Gus and found him unresponsive in the closet. I found out I can keep a somewhat clear head in an emergency, but I would like to be better. The vet told me I did everything I was supposed to do.

Gus seems to have no lasting effects from the trauma but I'm not sure that I have dealt with it yet. I keep feeling like I should be falling apart more than I am. I worry a bit that I am just sucking it all up and will just break down at an inconvenient time. Then again I don't regret any of my decisions or actions so maybe I have already made peace with everything. Bad things happen, it does not mean I need blame myself or anyone else.

I can warn you that there will probably be more kitty pictures appearing here on the blog, for at least a little while. What can I say it makes me happy.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Things I have learned

Disclaimer: This will be a raw post about what can go wrong after a vet visit with a cat. We think everything is OK now but I live under no illusions that everything is fine and dandy. We are now trying to maintain the status quo. If you can not deal with it for any reason please stop reading and come back another day.

Mom, you should not read this not because I don't think you can handle it but because you don't need to. I love you now go away. Really go away now. Thanks!

Things I have learned in the past 24 hours.

I can give insulin injections to my cat. I never thought I could give an injection to anyone.

Giving an injection is much easier to do than I ever thought, especially when I know I'm making someone better.

Once we get home I need to trust my instincts. Even if 95% of me says I have seen similar things before. If 5% of me is flashing a warning light call someone. Even if I have to be the crazy cat lady it has never stopped me before.

Sitting across the desk from a diabetic does not make me any more likely to understand and see the symptoms of hypoglycemia. Even when the vet talked specifically about them.

It is just as easy to think that a tough day at the vet's could be the reason why Gus looks wiped out, not low blood sugar.

Gus gets really glassy eyed when his blood sugar is dropping.

Gus' blood sugar can drop 220 points in 5 hours. Far into the danger area.

I thank God that something woke me up and made me check on him. And that the tired little voice in my head started screaming something is wrong.

Cats can have seizures when their blood sugar gets too low. In Gus it starts off with leg twitches and move into full body rigidness that scare the Holy living day lights out of me!

Non-responsive is my least favorite word, ever.

One way to raise blood sugar in a cat is to give them karo syrup or maple syrup. Doing this while Gus is non-responsive is so very hard/impossible. Rub the syrup on his gums.

Always know who and where the emergency vet is BEFORE you need to know it at midnight with a seizing cat.

Thank God that my husband can stay level headed and drive while I talk to Gus and tell him, he is a fighter he can beat this.

I can pray and pep talk at the same time. God knows what is on my heart!

It is an awful thing to watch him seize and not be able to do anything about it. And alternately when he was not twitching, to be wondering if he is still with me. If we're going to make it in time.

I don't cry when I'm trying to save Gus, I do shake. Boy do I shake.

I am going to break down soon and cry, till I can not cry anymore.

If you counter act low blood sugar with the proper treatment Gus will come out of everything amazingly quickly. I am talking 5 to 15 minutes of treatment and he stopped having seizures, was up walking and recognizing us.

Once D and I have that much adrenaline pumped through us it is very difficult to get back to sleep for the remaining four hours. We will both be awake three to four times during that time. We're exhausted and elated that he is alright.

My vet will call me on his day off to make sure everything is alright. I still love my vet.

I do want to say I don't blame my vet, diabetes is an amazingly complicated disease. We had one awful night but it is not my vet's fault. (If you disagree with me I ask that you kindly keep it to yourself for the time being.)

Gus is like me when he gets home, walks around to make sure everything is Ok, eat, pee, then finally go to bed exhausted.

This is an old picture not from tonight.

You will excuse me I have a cat to check in on.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Lookie Loo

My fall socks are done and even worn a couple of times, or as I like to think of them slightly broken in. I was not sure about the pooling but sometimes if you just keep going you end up liking the result. As I did in this case.

Don't they remind you of pumpkins somehow? Or is it just me?

This is Decadent Fibers Savory Sock yarn. I bought this skein at the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival a bit over a year ago. 

I am going back through my old socks and starting to thin out the herd since I am adding new socks all the time. It is so hard to take socks from the drawer knowing they may not make it back in there. Ideally I would like to catch holes when they are just thinning and duplicate stitch over the thin area. Since I like knitting my yarn and have a nice selection I may just end up getting rid of some of the just not working anymore pairs. 

I so hate to throw out even socks full of holes, maybe I can stuff them with cat nip and stitch them closed? Think my boys would like to play with Mom's old socks? Especially if they smell like that awesome herb?

I do have another plan for one pair but that will require a whole other blog post. I can admit to being half way done, but without the pictures to tell the story. I will see if I can remedy the situation and inspire someone. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


According to my computer's dictionary a doppelgänger is: 
In fiction and folklore, a doppelgänger is a paranormal double of a living person, typically representing evil or misfortune. In the vernacular, the word has come to refer to any double or look-alike of a person.
The word also is used to describe the sensation of having glimpsed oneself in peripheral vision, in a position where there is no chance that it could have been a reflectionDoppelgängers often are perceived as a sinister form of bilocation and are regarded by some to be harbingers of bad luck. In some traditionsa doppelgänger seen by a person's friends or relatives portends illness or dangerwhile seeing one's own doppelgänger is an omen of death.

Whew I had no idea it would be so ominous! I have met mine, I just don't really see it. But I was trying to take some photos of my new scarf and I got these photos.

I know they don't really show off the scarf very well, I will take others. But back to my story. I was amazed when I looked at the photos because I did not see myself, I saw my sister. The lower one especially. If I had not just taken the photos you could have convinced me they were her.

People have always said we look alike but I don't think either one of us really sees it. We have held jobs together at the same time, three times now. (She is a good sister and I am able to get jobs on my own now.) Once I was asked if we were twins, when I responded "No", the reply was, Are you sure? There are a few years difference in our ages so yeah I am sure! (Why do people ask such silly questions? I think I would know if I was a twin!)

So now what am I to do with the knowledge that we are each other's doppelgänger? And what about the last line of that definition? We share the same relatives are we continually predicting each other's deaths? Freaky!!

I will tell you that the last time we went home for Christmas one of our nephews mistook me for my sister and said You changed your hair. Yeah kid I've changed my hair since the last time I saw you two years ago. Then it hit me. (I am a bit slow on the uptake at times, clearly it runs in the family.)

You could see him look back and forth between us. Then he looked at me and said I thought you were dead!? Nope, I am just the aunt that gets you underwear for Christmas from now on! Wow looks like maybe we should go home more often.