Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Survival of Christmas Trees

In response to all the video being shared this year of cats disturbing and sometimes knocking over Christmas trees, I offer photos of Christmas trees I've had with my cats that were relatively undisturbed and survived intact.  I don't count pawing an ornament or rubbing whiskers on branches.

I had one cat with an odd habit.  I kept finding the bottom row of lights pulled off the tree.  Even so it wasn't very destructive just very puzzling.  I bided my time and waited to see what happened.  My cat Jenny pulled the wire with her paw to look at the lights more closely.  She might have been near-sighted and definitely an intelligent cat who wanted to know more than your average one.  Eventually I had to spoil her fun by attaching the bottom row on the tree with florist wire.

This is as close as we got to destruction:



Emily surprised me by admiring the ornaments at a distance.



Christmas 2003

Christmas 2004
I believe 2004 was the year where I added red and white twisted canes with bells on the bottom.  Midnight liked to pass underneath the tree brushing them to make them ring.




Somehow I never took a full photo of the tree in 2009.  Here are a couple close-ups instead. (Yes, I skipped some years.) I had discovered that real Christmas trees emit thousands of mold spores inside and I was allergic to mold.  I found a tree on sale for $37 on-line and ordered it.  I wanted a tree that looked real, and not like a prickly upside down cone. I didn't have much room either. It's sort of Charlie Brownish, but I like it.



Molly decided she liked to run into the living room and leap over the branches of the tree to go behind it.  That might be why that area is a little sparse.  I've always tried to put the more sturdy ornaments on the bottom.  I don't recall any major problems.  It was her tree diving act that was a little nerve wracking and disruptive.  She isn't a light-weight kitty.

Christmas 2010

I changed the theme drastically for 2010.  I had never done so completely.  I decided on a natural theme, no doubt helped by the beautiful fleece deer I bought locally.  I liked it so much I kept it up a long time.  The cats liked it too.



Sunday, November 22, 2015

Getting There

I've had a sore right shoulder since late September 2014.  I knew how it happened and that my job made it difficult for it to heal.  This past week I figured out what was adding to my misery.  Somehow my chair got set lower and I had to lift my arm to use my mouse, which I do constantly.  I also discovered the hydraulics no longer worked.  Think they're connected?

I played Goldilocks with the chairs in my office until I found one high enough to work.  Already my shoulder is better.  My toes just brush the ground and I continue to use the footstool that I brought in after I was assigned a cubicle.  I'm either really a short person (which I am, but there are others just as short or shorter) or I pay more attention to my working ergonomics.

This improvement is just in time. Every day at work I'm reminded that Christmas is coming closer.  I want to knit fingerless mitts for a friend at work. I was lucky enough to find the one remaining skein of yarn in her favorite color in a not-so-local yarn shop.  I favor Amanda Gill's Fingerless Mitts on Ravelry.



I also want to knit fingerless mitts for a cousin who has occasional assignments working outside.  I thought I would be using the black metallic yarn in my stash, but it turns out it's not wool at all.  It has no elasticity.  My next guess is that it's cotton and linen  I had intended to knit it in a shawl and sell it, so I guess I will.  Her husband said black was the color (I guess the love of color is not genetic paternally), and luckily I have some hand-dyed Plymouth Happy Feet sock yarn in black that should do nicely.  I think for her I'll use Julia Davies' Birdie's Mitts.



At the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival I bought the yarn below with the succinct name of "Nothing Says Screw You Like a Rainbow" by White Birch Fiber Arts.  My love of colors got to me, despite the price.


I think I'll knit myself a pair of fingerless mitts for work on days when I need some cheering up. The best part of knitting fingerless mitts is it doesn't take a long time.  A week or two and they're done.  I think I will indulge myself over the long Thanksgiving Weekend.  I have an extra day off too.

I also need to finish up the vests that I've knitted.  I have just the ribbing left. It will probably take longer to find where I put the buttons than to knit the rib.  Looking for them will be very entertaining for the cats.  Molly is a good looker, but not a good finder.

Who? Me?

I had a dream the other night of Susie playing with the little toys she liked. I wished I could have saved it somehow.

At least work is going well.  Management likes me.  I was ranked 13th in the office when it came time for shift bids, so I got exactly what I wanted.  My rank gives me a little more confidence. I'm developing some friendships at work and I'm getting along with my neighboring co-workers.  I am hoping with the New Year I can get back to my historical research.

To respond to a previous post, my cats, especially Molly, seem to like the aquarium lights.  I found two second-hand.  One stopped working entirely.  The other I hope I can change the light bulbs.  They make good night lights too.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

New Saying Needed

I think we need to start a new saying.  I'm sure I'm not the only offended by the saying "crazy cat lady." I have thought of another one and I encourage everyone to start using it, unless you know one better:


Caring Cat Lady


I plan to add permanent information on cat and toxic plants, but my health and spirits have been low.  The time will come soon.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Good-Bye Susie

See these Peruvian lilies?

They are toxic to cats. Susie loved to drink the water they were in and lick the leaves.  I told my mother  I wasn't sure she should be doing that and to ask the vet about it.  I trusted her to ask the vet, and Susie did, too.  I guess she never did because she never stopped buying the lilies and indulging Susie. Today the poor sweet little kitty was put to sleep due to liver failure today.





 Susie was nine years old, one of the sweetest cats in the world. My heart is breaking.

Always, always, always be very careful with plants and flowers around cats.  If you don't know, ask!  Don't assume everything is all right.  If you have an elderly parent, you need to double check what they say and do, even if s/he thinks you're being obnoxious. Your parent may be not wanting to listen to you and not be as sharp as they used to be.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Arvel Bird, Indian Summer Showcase

This video gets the official Molly Paw of Approval.


I haven't been very creative this year.  I was given an older camera that broke.  I'm still waiting for my right shoulder to heal.  It's difficult when you use a computer continually for eight hours a day at work, I keep having setbacks, like my doctor testing it to see how badly it was injured (not much).  It sure hurt afterwards, though. Sometimes even my hand hurts from work. I've had to cut way, way back on knitting. I haven't beaded since I lost Midnight.  She liked to help me bead.

People have called this year's allergy problems a pollen tsunami or supernova.  It got me from spring to fall.  The most irritating part is it makes me foggy-headed and tired.  I don't know how much was caused by medicine I became allergic to, though.

On the very first day of my vacation in June I sprained my right ankle, my driving ankle.  I'm still waiting for that to heal as well.  At least the doctor didn't test that, too. I had to give up my daily walks.  I couldn't go to outdoor activities and walk around.  I've been using a support bandage and icing it.  I also discovered that minimizing climbing stairs and putting my foot up right after I got to work has helped too.

A few weeks ago my body decided it was allergic to Benadryl and all the different over the counter antacids I'd been using.  It was not a lot of fun trying to find a way to calm the fire in my stomach without an antacid. I barely got any sleep. I switched over to Zyrtec and my doctor gave me a prescription for an antacid.  Fortunately for right now, that problem is over.  

I am cautiously optimistic that my minor physical problems will resolve themselves soon.  I might even be more clear-headed, too. Wouldn't that be wonderful?  I wonder what I'll do first to catch up on things.


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Yarn Ode to Kay ten Kraft


Dalegarn Baby Ull Violet
Dalegarn Baby Ull Pale Violet
Garnstudios Baby Ull Green
Garnstudio Baby Ull Royal Blue                                                       
Knit Picks Palette Edamame
Knit Picks Palette Ivy
Knit Picks Palette Blue
Knit Picks Palette Semolina
Knit Picks Stroll Twinkle Heather
Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock Purple Club
Plymouth Yarn Encore Colorspun in 7129 (turquoise, greens, purple)
Unknown gray heather alpaca metallic silver fingering
Unknown black cotton and linen (?) metallic silver fingering
Unknown turquoise merino, possibly sport weight
Unknown spring green cotton tweed yarn with flecks of yummy colors like pink, purple, dark blue and green

               
On behalf of her generous partner:

Sliver Moon denim fingering
Sliver Moon superwash merino fingering sock yarn in Amazon
Sliver Moon merino lace yarn in lavender
Sliver Moon black merino fingering

Unknown thick and thin hand-painted wool in dark red, blues, and purple

I thought this was a decent tribute to a dear late friend since I can't write poetry. It's the yarn I bought from my late friend's stash at a sale her family had recently.  I think it will be reminding me of her through most of the seasons.  As I looked through the yarn, I couldn't help but wonder what the stories were behind the yarns.  Usually she had one for each yarn she shared with the knitting group.  Her former business partner Laurie said she thought of stories she knew as she saw the yarn throughout the day. I'd rather there was more time and more stories, and less yarn.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

An Open Request to American Physicians

An Open Request to American Physicians

When you are with a patient, please give the patient the courtesy of giving them the benefit of the doubt, that they may know what they’re talking about, and not immediately rely on your own pre-conceived ideas.  If physicians had done so in my earlier, more productive years, I may have been able to obtain a career that would have given some satisfaction and financial stability.  You are not only affecting people’s physical health, but their mental, economic and social health as well.

Unfortunately I’ve had too much experience with physicians who would not listen to me. 

  • The first was an intern at my college, who thought the allergic rhinitis I was developing was all in my head.
  • The second was the emergency room doctor who also worked at a local urgent care center. I went there because of cervical radiculopathy.  All he did was tell me not to use my arm, not even anything about using cold or heat to treat it.
  • Then I decided to see the colleague of my friend’s brother-in-law as a primary care physician.  He would not listen to me.  He would not believe that my stomach got worse after I ate, not before.  I guess he didn’t bother to learn about food allergies.  Despite sinus infections, congestion and migraines, he never referred me to an allergist, even though I’d been through two rounds of allergy shots. His physician assistant diagnosed me with asthma.  I was at least forty then.  What topped it off was the severe pain I experienced during the pelvic exam he gave me.  He never stopped and never gave any indication of wanting to find out why it hurt me so much.  Right then and there I decided to quit the practice entirely.
  • Three physicians failed to pay attention to my migraines, that they may have been due to an allergic trigger.
  • I went to one allergist, at the practice I was sent to before in the past.  She told me that if it was below the head she couldn’t treat it.  Didn’t she know the mucus membranes did not stop past the throat? And what about food allergies?
  • A gynecologist failed to give the sore cysts in my breasts and the continuous vaginal discharge any serious consideration, leaving me to fret, pursue a mammogram and use many fungal applications to try to stop the discharge.  Both symptoms improved after I started getting treated for my allergies.
Thankfully I now have a primary care physician who listens to me, as well as a good allergist who treats allergies as a result of the whole picture.  I only wished it hadn’t taken me at least twenty years to find them.  I don’t know what I could’ve done with those twenty years, but I bet it would've been more than I did.