Monday, September 22, 2014

Remembering Peep

In June we lost our cat Peep to Bobcat Fever.  (Google it)  It was pretty quick.  He came back to the house on a Wednesday, kind of lethargic, and by Friday night I could pick him up without him fighting me.  He refused to eat or drink and even refused catnip.  On Saturday we took him to the vet and they gave him fluids, anti-biotics, and did blood work to confirm what was wrong.  On Sunday morning, he wasn't doing better, so they injected him with plasma from a healthy cat that fought Bobcat fever, to help build his antibodies.  Monday morning we got a call, that he didn't make it.  It was shocking, because Peep, our super spunky, active cat, was taken down quickly.  I had a hard time and cried a lot for the first five days.  We had him cremated and his sits on our bookshelf.  We still miss him and talk about him, but we are glad that he is not suffering and can run wild in Heaven.  So here are some of my favorite Peep pictures.

We love and miss our Peepers Cat.

My Hair is my Favorite Feature

A few years ago I had an experience that led me to start growing out my hair to donate it to charity.  It's been a long time coming, but I was pretty excited to finally get the change going.
Here is the before (sorry fore the blurry selfie, I'm not that good at it).
 And here is the after.  My new hairdresser did and AMAZING job.  It ended up being about 9 inches that were cut off.  I donated it to Children With Hair Loss, because there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the other place.  I love how it turned out.  It is the shortest I've ever had it (at least in the back, only about an inch long).
It has grown out now to my favorite length, and I had some highlights put in it.  This first one was the end of June, before highlights.
 And this last one is after highlights in August.  And my selfie skills are slowly improving.  Although I have to take several pictures to find one that I like. 
I think that I'm going to grow it out again and donate it.  It was such a great feeling to help a child that has to deal without hair for various reasons. 

The Saga of The Foot

Good intentions don't count when you don't actually follow through.  Things around here just have a way of sweeping you away and distracting you.  Some of those things are important, and some of those things are just easier to do than to blog.  Now that the year is mostly over, I'd better give an update as to what's been going on in our neck of the woods, because there has been a good amount.

The Saga of Hubby's Foot: The short version.  He received a puncture wound while using a walk-behind brush mower, while wearing Crocs.  He walked through our natural pond (filled with bacteria because it's an animal watering hole).  And it got infected.  He went to the doctor after much prodding on my part, then left town for 10 days.  It didn't get better.  He went to our Family Care Doctor, he freaked out, sent us to the wound clinic, two weeks of that and no improvement, he had surgery to open up the wound.  I won't gross you out with pictures (because I took plenty).  But I could put my entire thumb in it,with room to spare.  Hubby did REALLY well with staying off it, and letting it heal.  He was released from the wound clinic in time for me to have my tonsils out.  Then it began to swell, and we didn't know why.  He worked up a blister because of the swelling, so we went back to the wound clinic and our primary care doc.  They didn't know what to think of it, and a couple months later, an MRI was scheduled.  We got a call from our Primary Care Doctor and he told us it was either Charcot Foot, or Osteomyelitis (bone infection), and to go to the Hospital to be admitted and for IV anti-biotic treatment (in case of Osteomyelitis).  They were thinking it was the later of the options and were talking for 3 days about amputating his foot, leaving only the heal.  I was devastated, but Hubby kept strong.  Thankfully the Orthopedic Surgeon came in and wanted an x-ray and with that found that it was Charcot Foot (pronounced sharco), which is a degenerative bone disorder caused by trauma and neuropathy.  It's a 1/600 chance of getting it.  He ended up breaking 4 of his 5 metatarsals, 2 of which were crushed.  He was put in a ortho boot with strict orders not to walk on it.  He got a cool knee scooter, and did really well staying off it.  He was in the boot until mid-March and then got custom inserts and boots.  He will always have it, and it will be deformed from the bones healing and growing more bone mass, but at least he still has his foot.  I know that my Heavenly Father is watching over us and heard my prayers.  I am grateful for the medical treatment we received and for a Doctor who wanted more information before taking drastic measures.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Holidays and a Very Cold Winter

This winter was a very cold and crazy winter.  In November we were enjoying 50-60 degree weather and sunny most days.  The animals were very excited to have the blinds and sometimes the windows open.  We also let Porkchop out of her stall.  She LOVES being out and playing with the dogs and just being a pig.  She is always glad to see what treat we are apt to bring her.  She especially loves dairy.  Duke doesn't like that she is out of her stall (although she is in a fenced pen).  He has gotten in and herded her back into her stall, but she comes back out.  She is pretty lean right now, but we will fatten her up come butchering time.  Or we might try and get some piglets out of her to sell.  Who know, right now we just keep doing what we are doing.

The inside animals love cuddling with Hubby.  Peep was outside for this picture, but Duke didn't care that Rocky was on top of him, because he was next to his Daddy.  Desi was trying to figure out what was happening.  She is leery of Duke and doesn't like Rocky at all.
 A friend asked if I would make some hats and matching booties for Baby G.  It was fun to get these together for her, and Baby G looked so cute in them.
 Here is our wood stack.  A friend came and split and stacked it for us after we got it delivered.  I think we are down to a 1/4 of what we had.  Like I said it was/is a very cold winter. 
 Here is how the doggies greet us when we get home.  They like looking out the window at what's coming down the driveway.
For Thanksgiving this year Hubby's Sister and her hubby came out to spend with us and their Dad (Pappy).  I didn't get any great pictures, mostly because I forgot.  It was nice though, we went over to Pappy and Fun Mom (Hubby's step-Mom), home, and Pappy cooked.  It was all really good and we had to roll out of the house, with our leftovers.
December brought with it a LOT of snow and ice.  We got about 10 inches at our house the first storm at the beginning of the month.  We couldn't leave the house, even with 4-wheel drive, for 3 days.  I had to travel out one day to get some medicine and it took me an hour to get to the store that normally takes 25minutes.  It was scary to drive with others on the road.  I was fine as long as I stayed calm.  This is the bridge over the river by our house.  There was only one lane across before the snow plows got to it.  It was majestic to see, but sketchy to drive.
 This is our property.  I think the snow and mostly the ice stuck around for a good two weeks.  The schools were closed for most of it.  There was school the week before Christmas and then another storm hit.  Again we were stuck inside for days without getting out.  Thankfully I didn't have to leave for anything unnecessarily.
We had the fire going almost non-stop for the month of December when we were home.  The animals loved it.  We can't figure out if they were more entranced by the fire or the warmth.  Peep would sit like this a lot of the time.  Don't mind the thing on the right side of the picture, that is Hubby's knee walker (story in the next post).
 Here is what the front yard looked like while the snow was melting and the rain began.  It's from driving on the lawn to pick up Hubby at the front door.  I guess I subconsciously made it so I get new landscaping this spring.  The car was always covered in mud and everyone asked if I was doing some off-roading.
One day I passed the corner/guest bedroom and this is how I found Rocky and Desi.  Eventually they laid down and took a nap.  I was just excited to capture this rare moment.
Here is our mantle for Christmas.  I loved having a fireplace to actually hang stockings on.  I eventually want to make some personalized ones, but Hubby protests that he wants the traditional red and fuzzy white ones. (Don't mind the TV in the back ground.  I think we were watching Christmas Vacation while I was decorating.)
The week before Christmas we went out to Utah.  Brent's Grandmother passed and we were lucky enough to make the funeral (delayed for other family, so we were able to make arrangements to go too).  This was at the luncheon after the funeral with the family.  I've deemed it our annual Christmas picture since life was pretty hectic this summer and subsequent months to follow.  It was a crazy week.  While there they got a huge snow storm that left more than a foot of snow on the ground over night and snowed more the next half of the day.  The crazy part was we had to drive to work in it.  It took us 2 hours to drive, where it normally would have taken an hour.  You would think that because it snows frequently in Utah, that Utah drives would know how to drive in the snow.  I passed so many stuck drivers.  Oh well, at least we made it safely to the places we needed to be.  
While we were there we got to see our families.  It was nice to catch up a little with them.  Hopefully the next time we see them, they can make a trip out to our place (hint, hint, wink, wink).  We have lots of fun stuff to offer and it's not smog and overpopulation.

In other December happenings: while in Utah, we got the flu from one of the siblings.  We didn't know until Hubby woke up on Christmas Eve with a fever of 103.  Thankfully he already had a Dr appointment that day and was able to get some Tamaflu.  I woke up Christmas day, with a similar fever and was also able to get some Tamaflu the following day.  Unfortunately we weren't the only family members to get it.  SIL and her hubby got it and went to the doctor who diagnosed it as the Swine Flu.  So, not only did we get the flu, we got the SWINE FLU, and for Christmas!  It was a pretty miserable holiday season for us.  We basically humidified our bedroom, put on lots of layers and ate lots of soup and drank lots of water, and rubbed each other with menthol.  I really believe that the Tamaflu helped tremendously in getting us over it quicker.  And, thankfully Pappy came over and helped with the outside animals and brought us soup.  Plus it snowed a bunch more.  So, our Christmas and New Year's was less than desirable, but at least we were together.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Winter of Scarfs

 This winter I spent a lot of time making scarves for me and my family.  I started because I needed something to keep me busy while I was at church for a few hours before it started (due to Hubby's meetings).  I saw a beautiful creation on that I inspired me.  Now mine ended up wider and probably A LOT longer than theirs, but I love it just the same.  It ended up being about 14 ft long and 20 inches wide.  I just kept finding colors that it NEEDED to have in it.  I started with the hot pink, followed by baby pink, cream, tan, gray, dark gray, black, navy, and finished with country blue.  It actually took me a couple of months to get it done (mostly because I kept adding to it).  Hubby kept teasing me that I was making a blanket.  I love it, and it keeps me warm.

The next projects were scarfs.  I love scarfs and they are fun to make in different shapes and colors.  I found a super cute tutorial on Pinterest and went to town with it.  It is a chain stitch scarf and I can bust one out in about an hour.  I made 4 this winter, one for my MIL, one for my favorite SIL, and two for me.  I made 3 of the neutral colored one, and one in the hot pink and gray.
For Christmas I didn't know what to get my SIL, so I decided to make her a scarf.  She is the type of person that is hard to shop for.  Plus I wanted to give her something more personal.  Again I was inspired by a pattern I found on Pinterest and made this awesome ruffled purple and gray scarf.  It looks so neat hanging around a neck, without a ton of fuss.

And for the fun of it, I found a pattern for this quick braided one.  I needed a green scarf and busted this out pretty quickly.  It is basically three strands and I just braided them together and then joined the loose ends. It's a simple look with a fair amount of impact.  Hubby thinks I'm silly for having so many scarfs, but I wear them all the time, so he doesn't tease as much.  It's been a cold winter.  And when it's cold, I crochet.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Now There Was the Fall

Fall is one of our favorite times of year (Spring is the other).  We generally get pretty busy, and this year was no exception.  I did a fair amount of sewing, starting with a new purse.  I didn't have a purple one, so I found some purple canvas and a cute print. 
I also had another baby shower and made a cute flannel and cotton receiving blanket, and also some onesies with iron on applique`.  I loved finding and coming up with some cute simple designs for these.  (This is the technique that I used for the shower that I planned and carried out.).
We also took a lot of drives with the dogs.  They LOVE going for a ride in the car.  It was beautiful weather and it helped get all the wiggles out of them too.

And then there is the never ending saga of Hubby and injuries.  He managed to get into some poison ivy and spread it all over his face.  I had to take him to the ER when one of his eyes swelled shut.  They gave him some steroids to help with the swelling.  It was a good learning experience of what exactly poison ivy looks like and where it can grow.

October brought a lot more of the same.  We had Hubby's Mom (MIL) in town and they celebrate Oktoberfest (being German and all).  So I made Hubby and I some traditional German clothing.  I made a Dirndl for me and some Leiderhosen for Hubby.  He was a pretty good sport in wearing them all through dinner and pictures.  I think I'd like to eventually get him some authentic Leiderhosen, and purchase some German fabric for a new Dirndl.

We also enjoyed the weather changing and changing the leaves.  Hubby got some great pictures at home and around town.  We especially loved the half and half trees.                                 
 He also got this amazing picture of a rainbow in our own backyard.
I was also able to go out to Southern Utah to visit my Mom and my Grandparents.  I always love spending time with them.  They have been great examples and influences in my life and I'm always blessed to be reminded on where I come from and the heritage I have and get to pass along.

We were also finally able to get the insert for our fireplace, and get it installed (thanks to Hubby and a couple of friends).  It has been such a great treat to have a fire in the fireplace after more than a year in the house.  I think Hubby burned a fire in it every night the first week, even though we didn't really need one.  He just opened the window to compensate for the extra heat.
And the kitties have been their usual selves.  This is how I usually find them.  They LOVE the guest bedroom.  I can't blame them it's peaceful and bright from the sun in the windows.  And they assume that I put those pillows on the bed for them.  This is as cuddly as they get with each other.  At least they aren't causing a ruckus.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Catching Up: Summer Edition

The summer found us overwhelmed with Hubby's injury.  After he got the injury he left town for 10 days, and craziness ensued.  I got stir crazy so I when from blondish brown to RED.  It was a fun change (although the bathroom looked like a murder scene when I was done).  Thankfully it cleaned up well.  The animals were also stir crazy from not having Hubby around to play with and cuddle with.  I guess I'm an okay substitute when there is nobody else.
Duke took to sleeping in the laundry basket since he was mopy and missed his Daddy.  Rocky was all about cuddling (as per usual). 

And Rocky started greeting me like this when I'd come home.  I laugh every time he does it.

The Cats were pretty comfortable chilling with me especially if I had the windows open.
After Hubby got back from his trip, doctor visits and more doctor visits began.  He had surgery close to the end of June to help get his would cleaned up, for it to heal better and they hoped faster.  The dogs enjoyed lots of cuddle time.  
During all this we were blessed to have a neighbor come over and cut the hay in our pasture for us.  It was nice to have it cut down, and not so many critters in it. 
 By July Hubby didn't want to be so cooped up.  He was feeling a little better and decided since it was my birthday, he needed a present.  Humorously named 'Homer', we got a 4-wheeler.  It has actually  been a great blessing for me with taking on ALL the chores, and especially hauling stuff for the animals.  Hubby was able to at least get outside and drive around.  The dogs love running after it.
August found us with even more changes.  I had been struggling with chronic strep throat since Sept, and finally was able to get into an ENT specialist.  He took one look at my tonsils and stated they needed to be removed.  Thankfully Hubby was on the mend and was actually released from the Wound Clinic a week before my surgery.  
Now, hindsight, it was a great error on thinking I knew what to expect with the recovery.  I knew it would be hard, and I knew it would be long, but I didn't know the amount of pain and extreme discomfort it would bring.  I don't think I had anything to eat or drink except water to swallow pills, and applesauce because I could basically pour it down my throat.  I am a big baby when it comes to ear pain, and all my pain from my surgery presented in my ears and not my throat.  I couldn't talk for nearly a week (Hubby didn't know what to do with me).  I even had him call the Dr to see what could be done about the pain in my ears.  NOTHING, there was nothing they could do, I'd just have to wait it out.  Hubby was very supportive.  And I also want to say that the stuff they tell you about eating all the ice cream you want.  TOTAL LIE!  I couldn't eat ice cream for over a month because of the mucus it caused, making it harder to swallow.
Also, in preparation for the aftermath of that, and getting ready for our second round of adoption stuff, I got busy on the house.  I was able to get the corner bedroom cleaned out and painted (same colors as the rest of the house).  It was such a great improvement, and brightened up that room significantly.  I have since put together a night stand and a dresser, and for now, it's our guest room/cat room (they love hanging out in there).

We also saved up and got a bunk bed set to put together in the middle bedroom.  We had a coworker of Hubby's and a couple of his kids come out for a visit before my surgery so they broke in all the new changes.  It's nice to have furniture in these rooms instead of boxes from moving.
I also took the decorating kick even further and put together a second book shelf in the living room, which meant moving things around.  I took down all our family pictures and rearranged them (leaving room to add when the time come).  I like having access to all of our books now.  I even managed to fit all the ones that were by the TV and decluttered that area as well.

I think our biggest and a little more exciting then painting, was getting a new member of the farm (although her stay is temporary).  We had a friend get us a pig to raise for meat.  I named her PorkChop for one of the the cuts she will give us.  She is huge now, we're guessing near 150lbs.  She was 30lbs when we got her.  She is a riot to have around and take care of.  The dogs aren't sure if they should bark at her or play with her.  She LOVES playing with the dogs.  Although she is fun, I do remind myself that she is food, NOT a pet.
August also found Hubby with another injury.  His foot began to swell for unknown reasons and he got a blister on his heal.  So once I got better, he was back at the Wound Clinic.  September presented to be another exciting month in our house.