Saturday, September 30, 2006

Ruh Roh II

It's been a bad week for knitting. First, I made the terrible discovery that the Too-Many-Choices Top was turning into the Too-Big-Armholes Top. So I threw it into a corner gently set it aside to focus on the Leaves of Grass sock. I pulled out the sock for a little lunchtime knitting yesterday, knit two needles worth, and then this happened during a k2tog:

I guess my knitting was a bit too tight. Fortunately, Brittany has a 5-year replacement guarantee, so I promptly sent them an email and with any luck, I'll get a new needle in two weeks.

So, what to knit next? I received both books that I ordered and am dying to dye and knit lace. Given that I still don't have a clue about dyeing, starting a lace project seems like a fine idea. But so does picking up the Jenna sweater, although the thought of knitting complex cables isn't very appealing right now (and following a complex lace pattern is?). I could start the Christine sweater (also from Debbie Bliss), which is a Fair Isle pattern. Both sweaters need to be finished by Christmas. I also have that wonderful handspun sock yarn that Heather sent me. I might could do something with that. Or I could pull out the Mountain Colors yarn I bought a while back. Wait! What about the Spirit Trail sock yarn I bought at Maryland Sheep & Wool?

I think I'll satisfy my urge to knit something new by casting on for the Christine sweater.

This week has also been the week of the Jezebel dreams, which has made me feel sad for a good part of the week. In the first dream, she walked into the room and when I called to her and went towards her, she turned around and walked out. In the second dream, she came into a room and this time I was able to hold and pet her (this is the dream that made me very sad). The third dream was rather odd. Jez came in through a window and was looking a bit worse for wear. She couldn't stand up straight and was panting. She jumped up on the table and curled up next to the computer monitor. Another cat came in and curled up next to her. Ordinarily, Jez would not have tolerated another cat in her house, but she let this one stay.

I'm not sure what, if anything, to make of these dreams. Clearly,I'm still working through the grief. I'm tired of being sad.

We have quite a few squirrels living in our yard and at this time of year, they are busy squirreling away nuts for the winter. I came down Tuesday morning to find a chestnut hull balanced on the deck rail. It intrigued me.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Ruh Roh

Last night, as I was knitting on the Lots-of-Choices Top (aka the Too-Many-Choices Top) and decreasing every RS row for the V-neck portion, I came to the realization that something was dreadfully, horribly wrong. I've had this feeling before while knitting on this top, but last night it sidled right up to me and whispered in my ear.

"The V-neck half is going to be longer than the round neck half."

At least it didn't smack me in the face.

Yes, it's true. I've completed about two-thirds of the decrease rows. The top edge is just about even with the lower part of the shoulder slope. I was thinking that I would complete the V-neck half, then undo the bind off edge and the shoulder decreases, and knit to fit. Not the most elegant solution, but I can't think of anything better.

If that was the only problem, I'd be okay. But there's another, more insidious problem and this is a problem that I have no idea how to fix. The fabric is stretching vertically. It's stretching vertically by several inches, which means the modest armhole that dear Sally Melville designed can no longer be called "modest." Garter stitch does that; it's part of its raison d'etre, I think. And I was forewarned. But how does one extrapolate the final stretch factor from a 4-inch swatch? Especially when said swatch didn't show so much stretch?

The good news is that there are no side seams. The "seams" are front and back and are button closures. How do I remediate the armholes? I was thinking about taking the correct length of yarn and threading it through the armhole edge stitches on the wrong side. The yarn doesn't have a lot of stretch by itself; it should help support the armholes. Right? Does anyone else out there have any other suggestions?

The other option is to call it a vest, a la Annie Hall. But that will be a last resort.

No more knitting on the Too-Big-Armholes Lots-of Choices Top, not until I can figure out how to fix it.

Now my time will be devoted to the Leaves of Grass sock. I completed the heel gusset and the third lace repeat, and tried the sock on for good measure. The narrow heel seems to have corrected itself. The instep looks like it is being stretched just a wee bit, but it doesn't look terrible. And given the way the Jaywalkers stretched with wear, I should be okay (says she of the overly-stretchy top). I'm not real happy with the way the lace looks. The ssk and pass stitch is looking much nicer than the s1,k1,psso stitch. The psso bit looks loose. In addition, the pattern is not reminiscent of leaves of grass. Leaves, perhaps, or maybe flowers. But definitely not grass.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Slowly but Surely

I continue to make progress on two of my current projects. Yesterday I completed one pattern repeat on the Leaves of Grass sock. See?

The picture does not do the yarn color justice. It's much greener. The lace pattern is fairly easy to work, although the ssk and pass procedure offers a good opportunity for dropped stitches. I'm finding, too, that the Dale Tiur splits fairly easily. That's pretty annoying. Overall, these socks are going to turn out well (assuming I don't get smacked down by gauge "issues").

I've been measuring every couple of rows as I continue knitting the armscye for the Too-Many-Choices Top. At last measure, I calculated that I had about four more rows to knit before starting the bind-off for the round neck. Well, that calculation has been proved wrong. When I laid the top out to photograph it, it came in at just over five inches. Time to tink back a row or two! Here it is, in all of its blue-y goodness:

Twisted Knitters
Margene is hosting a Twisted Knitters Dye, Spin, Knit Along. Go check it out! I've joined (like I need to join another "along"), hoping that it will force me to start dyeing and improve my spinning. Twisted Knitters will run for six months, which should be plenty of time to get something accomplished. Twisting my logic slightly, I used this DSK-Along to justify ordering The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook. I also ordered Traditional Knitted Shawls in order to take advantage of free shipping. I have a couple of laceweight yarns in stash and I'd like to design my own shawl and this book seemed like it would provide a good jumping off point. This is another bit of twisted logic. I've never successfully knit a lace shawl. Other than the Milanese Scarf, I've never designed anything. So what makes me think that I can design and knit a beautiful intricate lace shawl right off the bat? Am I truly deluded? I like to think of it as "extending my boundaries."

Simple Living
I received an electronic copy of The Simple Living Newsletter. It has an article by a woman who decided not to buy anything than the necessities for one year. It's a very interesting read. (It's also interesting to note that the Simple Living Network's resources are all available for purchase online.)

In the spirit of "Not Buying It," I've decided (for the most part) to not buy any yarn until I've reduced my stash a bit. Now, you must understand that I do not have a large stash. By most knitter's standards, my stash is very small (two boxes). I do not (well, mostly) buy yarn just because I like it. Most of the yarn was bought with a specific project in mind. I do not buy full bags of the stuff. I have enough sock yarn for maybe six pairs of socks, enough laceweight for two shawls, and enough other stuff for a couple of sweaters and scarves. Given how fast I knit, I have enough yarn to last me several years. So this exercise shouldn't be too painful (at least until I go to Maryland Sheep & Wool next year).

In general, I don't think Tom and I purchase a lot of stuff. Most of our disposable income goes to food and wine. We've started using the library more. We wear our clothes until they are no longer serviceable; likewise for our shoes. It helps that we both despise shopping. Shopping is not fun; it's a very painful exercise, made more painful by the fact that it's hard for both of us to find clothes that fit well. Most of our furniture is antique, which we acquired from our families. And at Christmas, we try (but aren't always successful) to give handmade gifts.

Weekend Activities
Tom is off doing a 19-mile run this morning, so there will be some knitting this afternoon. If I'm good, maybe I'll get the first half of the Too-Many-Choices Top done. I need to clean the house, but (and this sounds silly) I don't want to vacuum up Jez's cat hair. That's sort of a lame attempt to keep her "essence" around (I miss that little cat so much.) We'll do a short run tomorrow morning and then meet some friends for brunch. And I really need to make some soups or stews that we can take for lunches.

Well, this turned out to be a long, rambling, and disorganized post. Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Slow Progress

I haven't fallen off the earth. I thought I'd take a break from the computer in the evenings this week and actually get some knitting done. And I did. No pics, though; maybe this weekend.

The Lots-of-Choices Top is progressing nicely. I'm working my way up one half of the armscye and am almost ready to start the round neck decreases. And I'm still loving working with the Twize. It has the feel of cotton, but is much softer and doesn't make my skin hurt.

There's been progress on the Leaves of Grass sock, too. I've managed get the heel turned and am now working on the gussets. That means that I'm also working the lace pattern on the instep. I think the pattern was originally worked in cotton and I'm using wool and smaller needles (yep, playing it fast and loose with gauge again), so I'm not sure how the stitch pattern will translate. A slipping-on of the sock proved that it fits, but the heel is a bit wonky. It feels very narrow (probably because I'm playing fast and loose with gauge).

And speaking of socks...I wore the Jaywalkers last weekend! They are very comfy. But they sort of stretched out after a couple of hours on the feet. Very strange, that.

One Skein Update
I'm probably the only One Skein participant who is still participating. What's that, you say? Didn't you sent your pal the final package several weeks ago? I did. But the Post Office appeared to have delivered it to the wrong P.O. box. They must have liked what I sent so much that they decided to keep it for themselves. So the search is on to find the yarn again so I can recreate the Milanese Scarf. It's comforting to know that it will come out better the second time 'round. And next time, be assured that I'm going to send it insured, return receipt requested, delivery confirmation, certified, and any other special mailing options the Post Office offers. Heidi will get this package for sure!

Sailing Away?
Nope, not this year. After looking at the expense (and the expense of having to replace one of the roofs on our house) and how much vacation I don't have (less than two days as of this moment) and the trips that we've already got planned for next summer, we decided we couldn't swing the trip to Belize. It's very disappointing because these trips with Kent and Nancy, James and Gina, and the Mystery Couple are always a lot of fun. Here's hoping that Kent postpones the trip to 2008, when I'll have more vacation.

On the upside, that means that we can get a cat after the New Year!

Saturday, September 16, 2006


So, I was knitting along on my sock at lunch yesterday and hating it. Until the heel flap gets some length on it, the instep needles poke into my hands, usually right in the spot where I ran a knife through my palm while pitting an avocado (but that's a story for another day). Even after three or so years, it's still sensitive. Anyway, I'm knitting along, allowing my mind to wander and then I look down. Drat it all! I forgot to keep using the fifth needle and now need to split up the heel stitches. But wait! I'm not getting poked any more! And knitting the heel flap on one needle is so much easier than knitting it on two needles. Woo hoo! I've invented a new knitting technique!

Actually, the Leaves of Grass pattern has you put the instep stitches on one needle. I thought that was rather odd, so didn't. Could it be that technique was to prevent the poking of the palms?

msubulldog posted a link to Socktoberfest. I signed up. If she can be an enabler, so can I. Just do it!

Of Cats and Sailing
I thought that life was getting easier without our little kitty. But when I came home from work yesterday, we had received two more sympathy cards. One was from the vet who cared for Jez during her final weekend and included Jez's paw prints and a clipping of her hair. Of course, that made me cry. Another was from Keith and Barbara who made a donation to Alley Cat Allies in Jez's memory. This organization is devoted to controlling and caring for the feral cat population, which is sorely needed. I continue to be humbled by the sympathy and support that everyone has shown. Words cannot express my gratitude.

So what about cats and sailing? I think we had both come to the decision to get another cat soon after the holidays. But a couple of days ago we got an invitation to join some friends on a 10-day sailing trip in Belize in March or April. We've done three trips with them so far, the last being a trip from St. Martin to Guadeloupe. If you are so inclined, you can read about it here (ignore the typos). If we go on this trip (and we're strongly leaning in that direction), we'll postpone the cat acquisition until after the trip. I don't want to be without a cat for that long, but it wouldn't be fair to the cat (or kitten).

Oh my! Look at the time...I need to get ready to make the weekly farmer's market run.

Have a beautiful Saturday!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Movin' On

There's not much going on here these days besides getting up, going to work, coming home to a cat-less house, eating dinner, knitting (if I'm lucky), going to bed, then getting up to do it all over again.

The sadness is abating somewhat. It's getting harder to remember what it felt like have Jez rub my legs, or to hear her little feet coming into the bedroom precisely at 5:30 a.m. to wait for us to wake up and feed her her breakfast. But I still wish I had her warm, furry, purring body to pick up and hug.

How much do you want to bet we get a kitten (or two) before Spring rolls around?

Yarn Shop News
Well, there really isn't much news on the yarn shop front, other than Tom said last week that maybe I could open a yarn shop only on the weekends. You know, just to make sure that I like it and learn the business before taking the total plunge. It's an interesting concept, but I'd have to bring in a lot of money in a total of eight days in order to pay for rent and utilities (not to mention the initial capital outlay for yarn, books, accessories, notions, and fixtures). A friend has been looking for retail space in town and has been sending me listings that she thinks might work. I haven't followed up on anything yet, but the ears are beginning to perk up. I give the excuse that I'm not ready (my plan is 3-5 years), and we can't afford to lose my salary, but those are simply excuses. It seems like the universe is presenting options to me. I really should follow through.

Knitting and Spinning News
I think I can realistically have three projects going, as long as I don't have a deadline. The sock is the purse project; I'll knit on that during lunch, while sitting in traffic, or any other time when I'm forced to wait. Then I can have the morning knitting project (which requires me to get up at 5:30 a.m.) and the evening knitting project (for after-dinner knitting). So we'll see. I need to start working on the Jenna sweater again. When I stopped it to work on the baby blanket, I was almost finished with one sleeve.

And (drum roll, please) I actually managed to get some spinning in! A little while back, I acquired a bag of roving that had been used as shipping packing (from Brown Sheep). That's my practice fleece. I'm trying to create a light, airy yarn. And I came closer to that goal this weekend. I'm on the second bobbin now, but I seemed to backslide and am back to producing a hard, slightly overtwisted yarn. I'm also going to use this yarn as practice yarn for dyeing. It's white and I've wanted to try Kool-aid dyeing. Why not?

One Skein
Just when I thought it was over...I got an email from my One Skein giftee and she has not received the package yet! It appears that her local post office has misplaced the package. I've got the tracking number that shows that it was delivered and received, but they can't find it! I told her if worse comes to worse, I'll recreate her final gift. If anything, the scarf will probably be better with the second knitting. Sigh...

Let that be a lesson to me: always get a tracking number and always insure the package (I didn't do that).

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Extreme Knitting

Last year, I started an Extreme Knitting Challenge, having been inspired by Extreme Ironing. It went along swimmingly, and then kind of tapered off (I got a bit behind with posting the entries). But then, out of the blue, I got another entry. Extreme Knitting is alive and well!

Check out Rhonda!

She's knitting during the Midwest Express, a 3-day, 184-mile bike ride that she took last month, "just for fun-??" (as she put it). She rode with a friend on her tandem and was knitting a Dublin Bay sock from Fleece Artist merino (color Baadeck Pink), from Baadeck Yarns in Baddeck, Nova Scotia). Thanks for participating, Rhonda!

If you are interested in becoming an Extreme Knitter, all you need to do is send me a picture (in JPG format or some other format that Blogger accepts) of you knitting during an activity that isn't normally associated with knitting (like cycling, diving, climbing, riding a rollercoaster). Pictures should be rated G. And as always, I reserve the right to reject an entry if I don't think it is appropriate.

I hope to get more Extreme Knitting Challenge entries soon!

Party Animal
I love this picture of Jez, taken about a year or two after we adopted her. It looks like she's enjoyed one Cosmo too many!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

A Tough Week

This past week was decidedly tough. I stayed home from work on Tuesday because I had a mega-headache from crying and eyelids that resembled a lizard's. I was definitely not fit to be seen in public. Fortunately, the grief eases each day, although there are times when I start crying for no reason. Tom is also having a very difficult time. Jez would greet him at the door every night after work and they'd go get the mail together and then he'd feed her. If we went out on Friday nights, she'd be sitting in the front window when we'd get home. The house is very empty and still without our furry little friend.

Thank you for all of your kind words and support. Tom and I are very touched by the concern that everyone has shown us. We are truly fortunate to know such caring people.

One Skein
Despite the sadness of the week, there were a couple of bright spots. My One Skein Secret Pal finally revealed herself on Tuesday (and that was truly a welcome surprise and helped to brighten my day). She is none other than Heather Brack and her final package was chock full of goodies! See?

There was not one, but three skeins of yarn--Lamb's Pride in a really interesting shade of green, a skein of wonderfully pink Capelli from Mango Moon, and a skein of yarn made from corn. It's wonderfully soft and the perfect shade of blue. There was a pattern for felted mandeville vine and flowers from Noni as well as a large and small flower, already knitted and ready for felting. I think they might be a nice embellishment for the bag that Heather knit from alpaca and felted:

I don't know if the yarn is a boucle or not, but the fabric is slightly nubby and the wool swirls around, almost like a not-so-curly mouton. Heather said that a matching hobo bag is going to be in Vogue Knitting on the Go. And last, but not least, there was a bag of Gingerbons tucked inside the felted bag. They're really good. Very, very gingery and not too sweet.

Heather said that her book, Felt Frenzy, is going to be published in the Spring by Interweave Knits. I'm duly impressed and might, just might, have to get the book. Perhaps it's what's needed to get me on the felting bandwagon.

Thanks, Heather! You definitely brightened up my Tuesday!

I did manage to mail the final package to my secret pal. She should be picking it up from the post office today. Here's what I sent her:

Other than the Milanese Lace Scarf and the New Zealand sheep (it has a realistic "baaaaa!"), everything else is local, in keeping with One Local Summer. I sent some Virginia peanuts and some dark chocolate with cranberries. Okay, so chocolate and cranberries aren't locally grown, but it was made locally. Here's a large picture of the scarf:

Other than spotting a mistake while I was blocking it and the fact that the edges still curl in ever so slightly, I'm pleased with how the scarf turned out. This was my first experience taking a yarn and finding a stitch pattern to show it off. I've got the bug now. My next attempt will be to design a pair of socks to complement the beautiful sock yarn that Heather spun for me.

Knitting Progress

There has been knitting. I've completed the cuff of the Leaves of Grass sock and am ready to start the heel. I also had a breakthrough for fixing mistakes. I noticed that I purled when I should have knit, so instead of tinking back six rows, I isolated the offending stitch, then dropped it down to the mistake and fixed it. Woo hoo! It still looks a little wonky, but it doesn't look like a mistake anymore.

I've completed about five inches (out of 11) on the Too-Many-Choices Top. I still like working with the Twize. It's a pretty brainless knit right now (slip stitch and garter stitch), but even so, every now and then I can't seem to count to four and have to tink a bit.

There is one UFO on my sidebar that I feel terrible about, the Felted Kitty Pi Bed. I started it a long time ago for Jezebel and set it aside. Now it's too late. And all those catnip mice I was going to knit? Too late. So, if you are planning to knit your kitty something, don't put it off!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

In Memoriam

Jezebel took a turn for the worse and yesterday evening Tom and I made the heartbreaking decision to have her euthanized. After more tests found blood in her abdominal cavity and lesions on both her liver and spleen, it was very clear to us that her time with us was over. We brought her home and buried her with her three favorite toys underneath Buddha in the herb garden, amidst candles and incense. It was her favorite spot to sit and "hunt" for birds.

She came to us from the animal shelter a couple of months after we moved into our house in Leesburg. She was a tiny thing, only four pounds, and very scared and cautious. But after we bonded, she followed us everywhere. She loved to play and one of her favorite games was chase. But she always seemed to want to play that right before we went to bed and we never played it for a long as she wanted. I wish now that I spent more time playing her favorite game.

She filled our lives with so much joy and insinuated herself into the tiniest aspects of our daily routines. Our house feels empty and our hearts are broken. We miss her very much.


Monday, September 04, 2006

A Slight Improvement

There's a little bit of good news chez Libran. Jez seems to be a little more alert and she's eating and drinking a tiny bit. And just a few minutes ago, a dove landed on the deck near where she was sleeping and she reacted almost like she normally does when prey lands within what she considers striking distance. Then the dove flew off and she returned to a lethargic state. At this point, though, we're grabbing on to anything that resembles progress. Yesterday she even sat in my lap for a bit while I was knitting. It was almost like old times.

Thanks to everyone for providing support through this tough period. It has helped.

Knitting Progress
I acquired the required 4mm crochet hook and cast on for the Too-Many-Choices Top and managed to knit almost two inches. The Twize (pronounce twee-zay) is a worsted weight bamboo yarn and is relatively easy to knit. It does split because it's about a kajillion ply. The resulting fabric is soft and drapey. Once again, I'm playing fast and loose with gauge. I did not get gauge with my gauge swatch; the swatch was about 1/4" too small. Going up a needle size didn't help much; the swatch was an 1/8" too small and I didn't like the way the fabric looked. However, it now appears that I am getting gauge, assuming that I'm counting correctly (and that's always iffy). So I'll blithely knit on and see what happens. I'm loving the color of this yarn:

The color photographed lighter than it actually is; the colors in the yarn are turquoise, purple, and black. I think that the Twocean colorway really does reflect the colors of a tropical ocean.

Eating Locally
I haven't been successful at all with One Local Summer. None of our meals recently have been 100% locally produced. And with Jez being sick, I didn't go to the farmers market on Saturday. Last night, though, we had dinner at our favorite local restaurant. The appetizer special was an eggplant salad that was out of this world and contained all local produce. If you can get your hands on Sweet 100 tomatoes, do so immediately! Sweet 100s are tiny little tomatoes that are amazingly sweet. For the salad, Chef Patrick deep-fried them for eight seconds, then removed the skins. He put them in a balsamic vinaigrette that had shallots and a touch of garlic. The tomatoes and vinaigrette were poured over lightly fried eggplant that was so tender it melted in your mouth. The salad was finished with a combination of finely minced herbs: thyme, parsely, and basil. It was outstanding and that easily could have been my entire meal. Tom and I had a very nice evening, which we desperately needed after this past week.

Today we're going to visit his mother so he can do some work on her house. Unless there's yard work to do, I'll get some more knitting in.

Have a great Labor Day!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

It's a Mystery

(This is another sad post about our sick cat, although there is some knitting content at the end. Feel free to go to more cheerful and witty blogs, like this one.)

Cats (and probably other animals) have the strangest behavior when they are sick. They want to be alone, and they don't want to be found. This trait is protective; sick animals are vulnerable to predators, so they try to hide their weakness. And this trait has taken a bizarre turn for Jezebel. She's hiding in her litter box.

I spent the several hours yesterday at the emergency vet. Jez had gone into deep hiding and I couldn't find her. I was very concerned that she hadn't eaten anything for about 12 hours, nor had anything to drink. So after I found her, it was off to the emergency vet to get another diagnosis (nothing new, although the vet sort of ruled out IMHA, saying it was very rare in cats) and subcutaneous fluids. While we were waiting in the exam room, Jez seemed like her normal self. She was alert, curious, and even wanted to curl up on my lap. The vet recommended moving her food and water, litter box, and snug box into a small room. We sort of did that by moving everything into the kitchen. We just can't get used to the fact that Jez doesn't want to be around anyone. We feel that we need to be there to give her reassurance and love. All that she wants is to be alone and be in a small, dark space. And in the kitchen, that would would be her litter box. I think we need to try another space. I don't like the idea of her living in her litter box.

It didn't hit me how far down I am until we went to our friends' house for dinner last night. Jim and Lynda are a lot of fun and great hosts. But all I could think about was Jezebel and compare how she is now to Jim and Lynda's dog, Pete the Dog. Petey is a sweet little dog and so cute. But he wanted loves and Jez didn't. He played with his toys and Jez doesn't. I've lost several pounds in the last week because I have no appetite. My eyes frequently "leak." (This is actually not unusual; my mother wouldn't let me watch Lassie when I was a young child because I would get very upset whenever Lassie got hurt, which she did on every show). I think I'm exhibiting all the signs of classic depression.

There is some good news. Jez ate three little kitty treats when we got home last night and she ate four treats this morning before retreating back into her litter box. Our friend Leigh gave her a homeopathic remedy yesterday and that seemed to help a little bit. We'll try it again today. I'll probably make another trip to the emergency vet tomorrow for more fluids. I just want our little cat back to normal.

There has been some knitting. I continued working on the cuff of the Leaves of Grass sock and have about two more inches before I start working the heel. I'm wondering if it's a good idea to continue this project, given that I'm working on it in such a sad state. If Jez doesn't survive, I'll never wear the socks. I could work on my nieces' sweaters, but one is complicated cables and the other is Fair Isle and I'm not sure I've got the appropriate amount of concentration to do justice to either sweater. The Too-Many-Choices top is a simple stitch pattern and isn't intended for me. I might cast on for that today, after I obtain a 4mm crochet hook. The pattern calls for a 4mm/US F, but the pattern is wrong. The F size is only 3.75 mm. The moral of that story? Pay attention to the metric size, not the US size.

Okay, that's about it. Hopefully I'll be able to get back to a cheerful state soon. If you've read this far, thanks for hanging in there with me.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

A Rollercoaster of a Week

Thank you all for your kind comments about Jezebel and a quick recovery. Tom and I greatly appreciate it. This has been a very difficult week for us; she's still sick and we still don't know what's wrong. The vet has thankfully ruled out feline leukemia and FIV and now would like to take xrays to rule out tumors. The one thing that we do know is that she is anemic. The vet is concerned that she has immune mediated hemolytic anemia. The prescribed treatment is prednisone, which if I understand correctly, suppresses the immune system to allow the blood cells to regenerate. The literature says it's a swiftly progressing disease and can be fatal, but there's no definition of "swift." In the meantime, we're giving her an antibiotic to take care of any other infection that she might have and she's scheduled for xrays and additional bloodwork on Wednesday.

So, as you can well imagine, we're pretty sad. We've seen Jezebel go from being an affectionate, alert, playful cat to one who is lethargic and wants only to be alone. This is normal behavior for a sick cat, but it's heartbreaking to see. Tom describes her as being insane because the personality change is that radical. There are times when we see the faintest trace of her old self and that sparks hope. But mostly, we're very, very worried.

Add Ernesto to the mix and life becomes even more discouraging. We've collected about 15 gallons of water from the hole in the roof in the sunroom. This is par for the course, although we had to upgrade from a bucket to a large trashcan to catch the water. This storm, however, caused additional roof leaks and that's very worrisome. One is in the upstairs hall bath, in the center of the house, with a full attic above it. I'm worried that we've got a major leak in the main roof. The third leak is in the back guest bedroom and was most likely caused by the lifting and stabilization of the foundation. Evidence on the ceiling and walls indicate that that section of roof has had problems before. Fortunately, the basement has remained relatively far.

Knitting Progress
In a word, none. I haven't had the heart to knit, although I suspect it would help ease some of the worry, if only temporarily.

And finally, Tom thanks you for the comments you left about his trip report. You've made him feel like a celebrity!