Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Uncle Sam And A Trip To See The Wizard....

What can I say?
It's Tuesday, and Tuesday is close to Monday.....and we all know that me and titles don't mesh on Mondays.....

Anyways - I've been sparser than even "my" normal these days, so I thought I should explain.  Several have also asked for an update on certain things near and dear to my heart, so this will serve a two-fold purpose.

So let's begin....

Once upon a time, I started this Uncle Sam ("Liberty" by Brenda Gervais of With Thy Needle & Thread).   And, yesterday, I finally finished punching it.

 I need to decide how to finish it....Frame it? Make it into a pillow keep? Mount it on a basket? A hornbook???  I truly detest decisions.....
Or, my personal preference, send it to either Marly, Ann, or Cathy for finishing???  Watch out Girlfriends....I think I have all your addresses....)

Back to the story.....
The reason I actually (half-way) finished something?
I've been spending more time in doctor offices and hospitals than I care to again lately.

Yesterday, on the auspicious occasion of Little Crow's 21st birthday, we journeyed to Madison (about 3 hours from Nod)....in search of The Wizard.....
You know....the one who gave the Lion courage, the Scarecrow a brain, and the Tinman a heart???  

Well, we were hoping to find a new knee for Lil' Crow.
Remember this?

Well, it's still "that" two surgeries since November later....'Cept with many more scars now (I'll spare you the photos), and quite a bit more pain.

We found the Wizard.....And I truly felt like someone had pulled my tail walking through those halls, until Lil' Crow reminded me that crows don't have tails....  Thankfully, there were no glass walls.

Unfortunately, the Wizard doesn't know if he has anything in his black bag for Lil' Crow either.  There was a great deal of head-shaking and frowning going on.  Even the Great and Magnificent Wizard apparently had not seen a knee so wayward as Lil' Crow's.  And no balloon in sight

But, the Wizard is recommending yet another surgery.  This one a major reconstruction of the areas both above and below the patella (kneecap) and a complete re-do of the two previous surgeries.  He is still debating the complete parameters of everything, but the plan is for August.  This will mean several pre-op and post-op trips to the Emerald City Madison, as well as in-patient surgery there.  There is some question about where the Wizard will be able to get the necessary ligaments and tissue from, as they already snatched what they could from Lil' Crow's left hamstring for the first surgery.....The right is a possibility, but given that his right knee is also weak (from compensating for his left), the Wizard is thinking perhaps a tissue donor may be the way to go.  Unfortunately, we are only being given a 75% chance of success in returning to Kansas.  The Wizard predicts at least six months recovery time, and a possibility of continued, permanent, pain even if the surgery is successful in stabilizing the knee.

It's going to be a long road....Once again, prayers and good thoughts will be most sincerely welcome.

After 2 hours of hobnobbing with fellow wizards, and  6+ hours of driving, I arrived home, dropped Lil' Crow off with a promise to "make up" his birthday another time (????), and went to the ER as I had gotten several calls in transit that my mother may have had a stroke.  Thankfully, all the tests came back relatively normal and she was released back home.

And so ends another chapter in the Uncle Sam chronicles.....I am truly sorry that I haven't responded to the individual comments and emails.....I so appreciate your concern. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Uncle Sam and a Chick Named Elvis.....

Oh stop already! It's not what you think!!  But you should know by now that me and titles don't mesh on Mondays....or Thursdays.

You see.....the story goes like this.....

My lil' raggedy blog buddy, Angie, has a sister named Farmer Kim.  And Farmer Kim had a chick.  (Here a chick, there a chick, everywhere a chick, chick...)
Anyways, Kim's chick was nameless....(not to be confused with the horse with no name....that's a different story and another post....)
So, a while back, Angie and Kim teamed up for a truly fun giveaway.  Angie posted photos of Farmer Kim's darling, nameless, lil' chick, and asked for name suggestions.   Angie then sent the name suggestions on to Farmer Kim and Farmer Kim and Mister Farmer Kim chose the name they liked best.

And, YEAH!! They chose my name.....well, not "my" name, but the name I suggested.

You guessed it....Elvis!

Come on.....doesn't he look like an Elvis to you????

Look at that pose, and that jaunty hip.....

 Those eyes.....those cheeks.....


So, on with the story.....The winner got to choose between one of Angie's gorgeous hand-painted swans:

Or one of her ginormous (as in 56" of ginormous) Uncle Sams.....It was a tough, tough, choice, but I went with Sam.  After all, "A Painted Swan and a Chick Named Elvis" just doesn't have the same ring to it.... ;o)

The lucky winner (that would be me) also received a year subscription to Folk magazine..... :o)))) YES! (I swear I am the only person who has yet to see an actual copy of this magazine...)

So, that's the story of Uncle Sam and a chick named Elvis.  

Thanks so much Sweet Raggedy Angie (and Farmer Kim and the folks at Folk)!!! I LOVE Sam (and Elvis) and can't wait to spend some quality time with "Folk."  You, dear Raggedy, know how to keep things fun.....Give some lovin' to Elvis for me.....

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The De-nesting

We've been having some down-right scary weather the past several days.
Severe storms.....
High winds.....
And rain....LOTS of rain.  Yes, we needed it, but You-Know-Who can shut off the faucet any time soon.  This morning's offering (all in less than an hour):

We lost power a little before 6 a.m. and got it back around 1:40 p.m.  I had to run to Mickey D's for coffee (yes, I'm that addicted) and saw lots of trees down and flooding (sorry, no photos - being caffeine-deprived, I forgot my camera).  Thankfully, damage here was minimal.  Except from the birds' point of view.  I woke up to a yard full of downed bird nests:

Poor birdies.  Hope the little ones had flown the coop before being sent out into the cruel, cruel, world.

These little guys survived fine.....(Mama Robin wisely chose a build site behind our satellite dish):

 And this little lady has been industriously building anew.....

Wanna peek at her construction skills?

 (I didn't have the heart to tell her she's building in not such a good neighborhood.....right next to the snake tree.....)

As for this bird, I put some thread in my needle and made a new start as well while the power was out:

And now I'm tending to the "disposal" of some half-melted ice cream bars.....


Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Snow Dog's Gift....

Some folks have a gift for gifting.....and some have that and a heart of gold to boot.  One of my favorite prim creators, Marie (fondly known as "Olde Lady Morgan") from Primitives by Olde Lady Morgan, is one those.....

A special gift arrived in the mail from her yesterday for the Snow Dog:

(He whips it from side to side so it hits him - and it's just a blur of black and white fur.....)

I never knew a dog could love a "thing" so much.....Wish I could show a video of him playing with it....oh my heck......
It hasn't left his sight....even when he went sleepy night:

....And he was still laying on it this morning.....

I thought I was an OLM addict fan....but I think, as of yesterday, the Snow Dog has me all beat in that regard....From the bottom of my heart, and the tip of the Snow Dog's fluffy tail, thank you Missy Marie!  ;o)

Happy Flag Day!

(Miss Libby is also an OLM original....Pinkeep in her lap was a gift from my dear friend Shirlee.)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

They're Back.....Again....

Babies like this.....

That grow into monsters like this:

For you twisted souls non-squeamish types, you can read more of my personal hell saga here
and here.

Lord help me. 

(Anyone wanna get my sheets off the line???)

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Snow Dog

Several have asked about The Snow Dog....

This is for those several and anyone else who cares to read along.

If you're not familiar with the story, The Snow Dog is our 2-1/2 year old Siberian Husky.  About a  year ago, he became very lethargic, coughed persistently, gagged, and sneezed.  Initially we were told he had acid reflux and, much to his delight, he was given mega-doses of Pepcid AC Extra Strength mixed with canned dog or cat food.  But, alas, he did not improve.  Ultimately, I demanded he be tested for blastomycosis, and the test confirmed my suspicion.  Blasto is a fungal disease caused by inhaling the spores produced by a fungus that grows as a mold in soils near waterways such as lakes, streams, creeks, beaver homes, and high-risk endemic areas (such as Nod).  When the ground soil where the organism lives is disturbed, the infectious spores are released into the air.  The dog breathes it in and it then travels to the lungs and the infection begins.  From there it travels to the vascular system, lymph nodes, and lungs.  Treatment involves a (very long) course of (very expensive) medication.  Unfortunately, even then, many cases are fatal.

The Snow Dog had been treated with the (very expensive) meds for 4 months, but not getting any better; in fact, he was getting worse.  We were told he needed to be tested again, and that involved a urine sample.  Now this was no easy feat since he was wise to that little urine collector machine after being frightened surprised by the the sound of his tinkle in the little plastic collector for the initial testing.  After several months of running around our yard in my no-longer-fluffy, faded-hot-pink, bathrobe, dress-for-success polka-dot socks, and clogs (are you visualizing?) at strange hours of the morning with the infamous pee catcher in hand, I gave up for fear that I would be committed, and we simply continued the medication for two more months.  Still no improvement.  So, back to the urine sample.  I once again donned my no-longer-fluffy, faded-hot-pink, bathrobe, dress-for-success polka-dot socks, and clogs, and took up the pee catcher.  After several weeks of this, I surrendered the pee catcher contraption, opted for a dixie cup, and success!

The vet informed us that our liquid treasure tested negative for blasto this time.  YEA!! But why, then, wasn't The Snow Dog any better?  Well, I'll spare you the rather lengthy version and summarize by it by saying that after MANY vet appointments (to which we had to literally DRAG a 70# dog), and many vet bills later, we received no less than 5 different diagnoses.....in the following order:

(1) Laryngeal paralysis (no cure, just costly surgery that has more risks than benefits);
(2)  Bronchial infection (for which The Snow Dog was treated to mega doses of Benadryl - YIPPEE! More canned cat/dog food for TSD!!);
(3) Congestive heart failure due to damage to The Snow Dog's heart and lungs caused by the blasto. This diagnosis was accompanied by a prognosis of 2-3 months life expectancy and fits of hysteria and tears on my part.  Subsequent x-rays, however revealed scarring, but that TSD's heart was not enlarged; in fact, it was abnormally small, leading to diagnosis number:
(4) Addison's Disease (or hypoadrenocorticism, in which there is a decreased production of two hormones from the adrenal gland).  This was treated with steroids (Woo Hoo! Even more canned cat/dog food for TSD!!) and resulted in a panel of  blood and other testings.....leading to....you guessed it.....me once again running around our yard in my no-longer-fluffy, faded-hot-pink, bathrobe, dress-for-success polka-dot socks, and clogs at strange hours of the morning trying to trick this now-very-wise-to-me Siberian Husky into a poop sample, and diagnosis number:
(5)  A pancreatic disorder of some sort, making TSD unable to digest his food properly and necessitating yet another medication that I have to mix with his food 20 minutes before he eats (like I really know when he's going to be hungry and eat?????)

So there you have it.
For all of you who extended well wishes or sent up prayers, The Snow Dog and I thank you.  Oh, and The Snow Dog sends wet, sloppy, kisses.