Monday, March 31, 2008

It's Monday

My dog, Scully has now had two semi-bad days. She hasn't eaten anything yet today and gets very short of breath after she's been outside. Her hind legs aren't working as well as they were a couple of days ago. She is anemic and weak and getting thin and trying to find food that she'll eat is becoming harder and harder.

I still can't see myself taking her into the Vet's office and putting her down. She is a part of our family. She is my buddy. She loves me and the entire family unconditionally. I know that some people think that an animal shouldn't suffer, but neither should people and yet we aren't allowed to put people out of their misery or pain. Scully is my baby and the thought of taking her to the Vet's office and knowing that I'm basically killing her is something that I just can't do right now.

Right or wrong, I have to listen to my gut.

My husband did pay for her 2008 license, and he'd put it off until after our youngest son's 24th birthday on Saturday. We aren't superstitious people but there are certain things, like renewing a license for a year that just might mean that Scully isn't going to make it beyond this week.

Already today, I've had a couple of crying sessions on the floor with Scully. Our son doesn't want to find her dead in the morning as he found our other dog three years ago and I don't blame him. I want to spare him of that, but we did talk about it. We'd decided that seven bad days were our limit and yet she did eventually eat last evening. She is still able to get up to go outside.

I seem to be carrying on my life around Scully. If I have to leave the house, I try to limit the time I'm out. I went to get some more tins of chicken, turkey and even bought some liver for her today. My grocery shopping is basically for her.

I do need to do a big grocery shop at Costco this week, but it will depend upon when my son has some time to help me. Trying to push a heavy cart, lifting heavy items into the cart and then putting all the products in the trunk are very difficult for me due to my bad back and having fibromyalgia.

Thus, my knitting is slowly getting done. I'm almost finished with the triangle shawl made out of Fleece Artist Goldielocks and once I get closer to the end of a project, I just want it finished.

The Lacey hat that I made for a friend fit her and the new Fountain Hat that I'd cast on for her seems like it will fit. She doesn't want me to make her two hats, but I know how much she liked the Fountain Hat that was far too huge for her.

Depression is setting in only because of Scully. Other that her being so ill and dying, I'm very positive about life and trying very hard to be gentle with not only myself but with others.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Another So-So Day

I finished this beaded scarf that I'd begun in March, 2006 over the long Easter weekend. I worked on it in March, 2006 until I got bored and got tired of moving the beads. Then for two years, I took knitting classes and learned different knitting techniques.

However, my daughter is back into working with beads and making bracelets, key chain dangling things, etc so I pulled out my beaded knitting last Tuesday evening when she was at the house to give a piano lesson and suddenly the urge to finish this project hit me.

I wasn't sure about how to end it as I was reading too much into the directions, as usual, so I phoned the woman who'd given the beaded scarf class and we chatted for a bit and she reassured me that I was doing it correctly. I had to K1, Drop 1, and then K1 at the end of the last row. I wasn't sure whether than meant to K1, D1, K1, D1, etc and end with a K1 or just D1. Of course I did analyze the scarf and figured out that I needed to drop every other stitch, but it was nice to be reassured that I was doing it right.

It is blocking right now but I will add a picture of the finished project. It looks so different than what is shown above. I can't wait to try bead knitting again with some beautiful Handmaiden that I have. This scarf was made out of cotton but I can just imagine how much more I'll enjoy doing the same scarf but in some silky yarn.

My dog, Scully did have four good days. It was nice to see her wanting to go for a walk again, although I made it a very short one on Saturday, see her eating but still only people food and see her begging for food and just being herself. It's amazing how the small things like her knocking on the patio door can fill my heart with love and joy that she is still with us.

Today is a bad day for her. She can still get up to go outside, but she's very weak and is mostly just lying on her bed and eating a bit of chicken and rice and drinking her water from a lying down position.

We celebrated our daughter's 29th birthday on Easter Sunday and it was fun and relaxing. She wanted pizza and a Dairy Queen ice cream cake so there was little or no work for any of us. She'd picked up her grandmother, who is 90, took her flowers and also brought me some Easter flowers. I really don't know what I did right to have such a wonderful, beautiful, and kind and gentle daughter. We've had our ups and downs, but lately it is a joy to have her at the house every Tuesday evening. She fixes dinner, gives her piano lesson and then we curl up together and watch American Idol. Not something I enjoy watching, but she does and since she has her ARCT in music, she can definitely hear when one of the contestants is off key or pitchy. I still don't understand what pitchy is, but that's why I need her to listen with me. I do have my grade 7 from the RCM but finding the time, energy, and patience to work on my grade 8 is beyond me right now. I'd tried a few years ago but the amount of time that I had to spend at the piano was cutting into my knitting time.

I still have several UFO's but I'm continually searching for a new pattern or wanting new yarn to start something else. However, I decided to work on my Kukka last night. I'm still working on my triangle shawl made out of Fleece Artist Goldielocks but it is mostly my on-the-go project.
I gave my daughter the Freedom Spirit beret and scarf that I'd made for her even though they are really for winter. She loved them. But then she loved all the stamps, paper, beads, and other card making and bead supplies that I'd bought her.
Next Saturday is my son's 24th birthday so we'll be doing it all over again. My husband can't understand why our adult children actually enjoy spending their birthdays with us, but I told him that we should be grateful that they want to share their special day with us.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Meeting a fellow knitter.

I had to go to a local hospital today to swallow some radioactive stuff for a laser scan of my thyroid. The parking lot was full, and I must have gone around it several times trying to find one simple parking spot. I'd given myself plenty of time as I know that the parking for this hospital is always full. Since I have a disability sticker due to having fibromyalgia, I finally found a disability spot that was open. I don't generally use those spots unless I'm in a lot of pain, know that I'm going to be walking for a long period of time or shopping and carrying heavy bags. However, I needed a parking spot very badly so I used it. I wasn't there for long as all I had to do was drink this liquid which tasted like water. I was reassured that I wouldn't be radioactive.

As a nurse, or somewho who nursed for 25 years before having to stop due to fibromyalgia, I did like how I was treated. I couldn't eat or drink anything for an hour, and of course all I wanted when I got into the car was a nice glass of water. But I did hold out.

When I walked into the nuclear medicine department, I saw a very nice lady sitting in a corner knitting. The joy that I felt to find someone else who knew the value of having a bag of knitting with them during waiting for appointments or waiting for someone else was instant. It was quite dark in the room so I did ask her how she could see. She said she didn't need much light and of course I pulled out the shawl that I'm making as it is my favourite mindless item to work on in such situations.

We found out we live in the same area and of course we both love knitting. I loved the yarn that she was using and it was nice to finally be able to touch some yarn from Knitpicks. I rarely purchase yarn online anymore unless it is something that I know and it is at a great discount. I buy all my yarn from 88 Stitches in Langley now as it is my home away from home.

We exchanged 'knitting cards' and her son was the type of young man who was polite and interested in someone else who knits as much as his mum does.

Since I'm working on the Fountain Hat, free from Knittingdaily for the lady who does the threading of my eyebrows in Cloverdale, I worked a few more rounds on it while tending my very ill dog.

Scully most likely has a tumor on her liver. There was no point in having an ultrasound since at age 11, we weren't about to put her through a very dangerous surgery. Even if the tumor was in a place that could have been easily removed, the surgery probably would have killed her. Her liver enzymes are up plus she's anemic. She did want to go for a walk on Tuesday after dinner but I didn't take her as far as we usually go even though she seemed eager to do it. The past two days have been hard on both of us. She's not eating anything except people food and her treats which are very soft. She's weak when she gets up and very shaky on her legs. She has some shortness of breath after going outside for a brief period of time, and it is breaking my heart.

We're just trying to keep her comfortable, give her a lot of love, and I'm going to make a hamburger patty for her tonight in the hopes that I can get some protein and calories into her.

She's turned her nose up at her regular food, all dry food and even the canned food now.

I'm not good at having an animal put down, but if she does continue to be so short of breath and isn't eating anything, I'll have to discuss it with my husband. I'd rather that she just go quietly in her sleep. She isn't crying out in pain, but I know that she's uncomfortable.

I've been lying on the floor with her at times and crying. She likes it when I'm in the room, so you'd think that I'd get a lot of knitting done. I'm not. Mostly I'm trying to find things that she'll eat.

However, the fountain hat is coming along. I've started the lace pattern. I just hope that it will be big enough for Sarb. Her head is 23" and the pattern says that the ribbing will be 20". I used Debbie Bliss cashmerino dk and 3.75mm needles. When I'd done a gauge with 3.5mm needles, I was close to gauge, but I need this hat to be bigger. I was helped out by ravelry and someone who had done the hat in dk weight and used 3.75mm needles and she said it fit her and she had a big head.

We'll see. If it is too small, I'll just frog it and start again. The fingerless gloves that I'd made out of the same colour of yarn is what she wants and the hat and gloves are a paid project. I like to do my very best work when someone asks me to make them something and wants to pay me for my time and the yarn.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Not one of my better days

My 11 year old shepherd/lab isn't doing very well. She's on prednisone for arthritis but I swear that the prednisone is making her sicker than the pain of having arthritis in her spine and no disc cushioning in her hind legs. So my days have been mostly spent worrying about Scully, giving her love, and helping her up to go outside to pee. So far, she's managed to get up with some help, and she did eat some canned dog food today. She's never had canned dog food, but she doesn't seem to want to chew anything rough. Even a couple of biscuit treats have been sitting by her bed for two days now.

Of course I've done some knitting during this time of watching her and nursing her. I finished the Ingaborg vest from a Noro pattern book, by Jane Ellison. I had problems understanding how to do the short rows for the collar, but I used the wrap and turn method and it did work out just fine. I reblocked it and it is still drying but I probably should have made a size small rather than a medium size. It seems a bit loose on me. Oh well. It looks funky, and will be nice for Spring days when it isn't raining.

I did start a romper outfit for my grandson, but I was going to do the legs in the round rather than have a seam. However, I realized that since I have to change colours about every 6 rows, it will be easier to sew up a seam and get all of those tails into the seam.

I started a long awaited sweater for my husband out of guilt as I spent far too much money on Handmaiden when it came into 88 Stitches. I now am trying not to buy any more books or yarn for two months, but it is very hard. I did pick up some Debbie Bliss Cathay and a book of hers on discount from I was able to use up some vouchers so basically my taxes were paid.

More guilt for me of course, but the purple that I bought will be perfect for a Spring/Summer top. That is if I can finish up some UFO's that are still lingering. The Wavy Scarf, a free pattern from Handmaiden is slowly getting worked on now as it seems to be the only thing that is holding my interest right now.

It must be the weather, my sick dog, and just generally tired of winter that is making me restless and tired. I'm sure that I'll feel much better tomorrow when I take my dear mother-in-law out to lunch. If not, I'll take a nap before dinner. Friday is my knitting day at 88 Stitches, and although I don't want to leave Scully alone for too long, she did all right when my son and I went to Costco this afternoon. I figure a couple of hours without me hovering over her will probably be a welcoming rest for her.