Friday, September 25, 2009

Bad News is...

just that. Bad News. Sad. Devastating, in fact. The kind of bad that makes me want to curl into a ball and shut out the world.

Allegra went to work with me today and was given a thorough neurological exam. Diagnosis...she has a lower brainstem lesion. She will never get better. She will only get worse. Because of the rapid progress thus far, I fear she won't be with us much longer.

It was raining on my drive home. I imagined the raindrops to be tears from heaven.

I am going to take some time off from blogging.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


So. Because Allegra hasn't been eating well, I had substituted in canned food for her dry food. I've been making meatballs out of her food and she is able to take them out of my hand and (mostly) eat them okay. She still isn't moving her tongue, so it's messy. But, she's eating more food. Weight loss is another issue...right now, she's at 36 pounds. Gotta get some weight back on her. She's a small girl, anyway...weighed about 42-44 pounds in her prime. As I said, a small girl. (But beautiful, right?)

I'm taking Allegra to work with me tomorrow...she'll be looked at by two services...internal medicine and neurology. The neuro service will want to see how she eats/drinks. I am very curious to hear what they have to say.

I'll let you know what I find out.

Not much sewing going on this week, what with my worrying about Allegra & the fall season of television shows starting. I missed the NCIS premieres, but it couldn't be helped. DWTS, ya know. Saw "The Good Wife" Julianna Margulies. Saw "CSI:NY" last night...that was a good one. "The Mentalist" is on tonight...really love Simon Baker!

I did manage to sew this block. Today. Amanda Jean, over at crazy mom quilts, asked for help making blocks for Quilt of Valor quilts. I volunteered to make a block and this is it...I like it much better than my 'practice' one.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pearly Whites

Allegra is home. Claire did a thorough oral exam...found no tumors, masses, lumps, bumps. BUT, she did find a very inflamed (almost to the point of ulceration) epiglottis. What is that, you ask? The epiglottis is the little flap that keeps food from going into your trachea...thereby directing it to your esophagus. Claire couldn't find any reason for her to not be using her tongue...when she pulled on it, Allegra retracted it. All cranial nerves were good. Now, in addition to the Baytril that she is on for her pyelonephritis, she is also on Antirobe. Thankfully, she takes pills well.

AND, her teeth are the whitest they've been since she was a few years old. Collies are notorious for having bad teeth. I brush them all the time, but the tartar buildup was bad. Really bad.

So, I am relieved. We shall see what happens with her tongue once she's had some days on this new antibiotic. I am really hoping that this is the cause. Though, not really sure. At any rate, she had a dental and she's being treated for something I didn't know was there.

She was a very good girl at the clinic. Like, you know, I wasn't really worried about that. She is always a good girl.

Okay, that's it for today. Just wanted to let you all know that the little Princess made it through the day.

Thank you so very much for all the prayers, well-wishes, good thoughts, and everything else. I appreciate you all so much!

Monday, September 21, 2009

One More Finish...Manley...Allegra.

I tried to post this yesterday, but my satellite speed internet was down. It was raining. Clouds and interference, ya know. I hate it! The SSI, not the rain. Well, sometimes I hate the rain. You know.

I actually got a lot done this weekend, which makes me very happy. AND, I sold my little 'animals & alphabets' quilt. YAY!

I finished the doggie blanket I started last weekend. I say doggie blanket, not because it is made with fabric prints of bones and dogs and pawprints and doggie commands (though it most certainly is!), but because it's for a dog. Look at those cute pups. The pups and the bones fabrics are from Erin, my 'we double rock' swap partner. Thanks, Erin! I quilted this with circles, not depicting pebbles or stones (though that could be very fitting in this case ~grin~) but to depict balls. This blanket was specially ordered by Manley...paid for with his allowance that he earned by helping his mom pick up sticks and pine cones. He must have worked really hard...he sent me $29.00!

I have always hand stitched the binding of my quilts to the back, but in this case, I machine stitched it. Turned out really nice. Easier than I thought, too. Fold it to the back, stitch in the ditch on the front!

I suppose you're wondering who Manley is.

Remember this photo?
Here's another one...

The basket measures approximately 16x22 inches. The dog is a full-grown Golden Retriever weighing about 70 pounds.

That dog is my doodlehead, Manley. That's where the word doodlehead comes from, by the way. Cuz he is such a doodle. He belongs to my sister, Julie. She used to live in Madison in the apartment behind me (now lives in Colorado). When Julie first got Manley, I worked nights and she worked days, so we worked together and quickly got him housebroken. He is 6 months older than Tag...they used to be great playmates! I special ordered this print of Manley and for me and one for Julie. I'm not sure why I never got an actual photo. But, this picture shows exactly how they used to play. Okay. Anyway. The basket. When I would go over (down the hall 30 feet) to visit Julie, Manley would always come and sit in front of me. So, I would play with his ears, holding them in different breed ear positions..."this is what you would look like if you were a collie", etc. I would blow in his ears. And in his nose. I would play with his flews.
He let me do whatever I wanted with him. Didn't really enjoy it, but would keep coming back for more. One day, Julie had the empty laundry basket sitting on the floor. So, I asked Manley to get in. He did...cuz he's a doodlehead. ~grin~ Then, I asked him to lay down. Now, really...he's much too big for that basket. But, determined to please his Auntie Jacque, he scrunched down in it and even managed to look somewhat comfortable!
I sure miss Manley. I hope he can come back to WI sometime when Julie visits. I know he won't be coming this year...~sigh~
I originally planned to say much more about Manley, but I am very distracted today.
Allegra, though doing better, is not completely normal. She's having a difficult time eating and drinking...isn't using her tongue. Seriously. Not. Using. Her. Tongue. How, you ask, does she not? That's the question of the day. So, she's going to the clinic tomorrow and Claire will anesthetize her and give her a thorough oral exam, a dental cleaning and whatever else might need to be done. Needless to say, I am very worried about my little girl.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Water Boy

Miss Princess Honey-Do Allegra was busy hogging the water bucket I have hanging on the fence. Thirsty girl.

Tag was thirsty, too...& getting tired of waiting for his turn.

I got him his own little bucket of water.

After drinking (and then spilling most of what was left), he decided to carry his bucket around with him...keeping it away from Allegra. That's my boy.

He would make someone a great service dog. Ohyeah...he already does. Me!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A No-Show!

...cannot show you the other project that I finished today. It's for one of my be given at our upcoming Sisters Weekend! At least I got one more thing crossed off my list!

Gonna read and that's it for this evening.

I'll leave you with this photo...will tell you all about it in a few days. Promise.

Block Party!

Nothing but blocks far, anyway.

Here is my first block for the Bee Addicted 3 group. A wonky house in a forest clearing.

This quilting bee is so much fun already and we're just in the first month. Here's how it works: There are 12 members in this started this month and goes for 12 months. Each of us chose a month. At the beginning of each month, everyone (whose month it is not) gets a package (from the one whose month it is) with fabric and instructions on what that person wants. For example, September is Becca's month. She sent many different fabric scraps and stated that she wanted wonky houses and/or trees. We are to make one or more blocks. By the end of this month, we'll all send our completed block(s) to her and she'll have several blocks, including whatever she made herself. It's going to be a great experience!!!

Did you catch the lady bug in the window...the window with gingham curtains? I thought it was a great idea!!! Makes me smile!!
April 2010 is my month...I'm going to use either the Authentic or Kashmir III collections of fabric. Love them both! Thinking blocks with stars or whirlygigs, but there is lots of time to change my mind.

Also completed my next BOM...this is block 8. I had 2 to do this month and completely messed up the first one. Since I'll only be using 9 of the blocks for a lap size quilt, I will still have 11 to choose from. This block is much prettier in person...and that paisley? It's also a border fabric.

Time for lunch and then back to more sewing. More to show later.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The Chocolate Pup...and Tag E Butt

I've been thinking about selling some of my handmade items online. For awhile. For one reason or another, I chose to not go with eBay or Etsy. What I did instead...I created a blog to use as my selling forum. At the top of my sidebar on this blog, there is a photo of a brown dog with a sewing needle and thread...this is my logo for my little shop. Isn't it cute??? This is actually a logo I used about 10 years ago in another life. Designed for me by Lori Bush...who, I think, was a bit surprised when I told her that the brown dog had to be a boy. Anyway. Just click on the logo of "The Chocolate Pup" and you'll get there. And, by the way...because I have a very small reading audience, any help in getting the word out will be much appreciated. I'll be adding a few things over the weekend and who knows what might end up there?
Must tell you...
Tonight when I fed the dogs, I grabbed Tag's water bucket out of his crate and filled it with fresh water. I hung the bucket inside his crate and, apparently, neglected to shut his crate door. I was sitting here at my computer and in walked Tag...carrying his empty stainless steel food bowl. Through the dining room, down the hallway, wagging his tail the entire time. As if to say, "hey Mama, I cleaned my I get dessert now?" He cracks me up. Can't help it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

OOPS! I forgot!

I never did post photos of what I accomplished yesterday...completely forgot. ~sigh~ Here they are...

This is my second wonky quarter log cabin block. I'm liking these a lot!

Here are the two wonky quarter log cabin blocks side-by-side. Ya know, I try to do random and it just doesn't work. I deliberately did not look at block #1 while putting together block #2...wanted no influence over what I was putting together. So. I think this clearly shows how my mind works. No such thing as 'random' in my mind is too orderly, methinks. It cracked me up when I saw them together. See how all the colors/strips are the same color/pattern? Even the placement of the 'odd' piece in the middle of a strip? I need help. Seriously. LOL
Since I am making 4 of each of the four patterns of this quilt along (for a total of 16 blocks instead of 25 blocks most others are doing), I think I'll make the remaining two of this pattern similar...either as these two are, or use opposite colors and place them diagonally from each other. Know what I mean?

Here's my practice 'maverick' star. It's supposed to be wonky, but I think it might be a bit too wonky.

I have a list of projects a mile long (nothing new for most of us, hey?) hoping to get more done today. Soon, I won't be able to show you everything that I'm working on. With Christmas coming fast, I have lots of projects to work on. Seems like half of my family has birthdays in November and December, too.

Have a great Sunday!

Friday, September 11, 2009

All Better!

Allegra's chemistry profile came back...everything is normal! YAY!

So. Pyelonephritis that we caught early enough. The little Princess Honey-Do Allegra will be on antibiotics for a month, but that will ensure that she is completely free from infection.

Thank you, once again, for all your good wishes for my little girl.

If I get my butt in gear, I'll have several things to show you by tomorrow night. I hope. I hope.


Wanna see a cute puppy?
Hop on over to Bren's HERE.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Allegra is feeling better.
She's eating and has gained a bit of weight.

We're thinking pyelonephritis.
Here's information:

She found her barker...
I now wonder why I was so upset
when she wasn't barking?

I managed to get one wonky quarter log cabin block done today.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Better Days are here...for now, anyway.

An update on Allegra...

Her fever is gone.
She's on antibiotics.
We're waiting on lab work.

I don't think we're in the clear, yet.
She still has some very distinctive yet puzzling signs/symptoms.
Once we get the chemistry profile back,
we should have the rest of the pieces.
Hope so, anyway.

Thank you so very much for your prayers and good wishes.

I will let you know when I have some answers.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Couple of Things...

Most importantly...Allegra is not feeling well. She has a fever and has been having a few problems. The last few days, she has been exhibiting some bizarre (yes, even for her) behavior. She's not barking, either. For those of you who know her, you'll understand how much she doesn't feel good by that statement alone. I took her in late this afternoon and we're sending blood and urine off to the lab. I'll keep you very worried about my little girl.

Other news...I got the quilting frame all set up on my spare table in the sunroom today. Here's when I had the frame and track all set to go. The leaders are on the poles (just muslin...the top and backing are pinned on to them).

In this photo, the Big Bad Boy is all set up and rarin' to go! See how it works? Rollers ride the tracks and rollers of the piece the machine is on rolls forward and backward. With a ~9" throat, I'll be whipping these quilts out faster than you can say "Big Bad Boy Janome"!!!
See the paper pattern? There's a laser to follow the lines of the pattern. It'll take some doing to get that under control. haha. One doesn't need to have a pattern...just if you want.

The quilt that's on the frame is not came with the set up, so I'm using it to practice.

See this cute Scottish Highlander baby??? Larry (of Larry & Lois that I bought this set up from), sent me this photo...his son and DIL (or is it his daughter and SIL?) have a farm where cattle, sheep, chickens, etc., etc., are raised. See their Christian ministry here.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Big Bad Boy has arrived....

Meet my new (to me) machine...the Janome 1600P DB.
He just does straight stitch - up to 1600 stitches per minute
(though I hardly think I'll be going that fast)!
He brought all of this with him.

I should have everything set up tomorrow.
Hopefully, I'll get in some play time!

That's all for tonight.
It's been an exciting but long day.
Time to sit and relax.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Great Afternoon...

for a motorcycle ride!

My son, Matthew, and his wife, Jesika, stopped by to replace my tv's converter box, which had gone kaput a few weeks ago. Wasn't that nice? Course, I had begged and begged for two weeks...telling him he was the only one who could do it for me. ~grin~

Here they are...just arrived! Matthew has a Honda GoldWing (his Harley-riding Grampa would roll over in his grave if he knew his grandson was riding a Honda!)
Cracked me soon as they got off their ride, they both checked their phones for messages.
And, while they were here, they helped me move some furniture around. I had just found out that I'll be getting something new (to me) tomorrow, so the timing was great! It was so nice to have two strong young people to help. Course, you know, about all I did was say, "I want the sofa sleeper here, the antique dresser in the office (more on that at some other time), and the table in the sunroom."

So. That's that.

Now for the quilting news. I cut and sewed and trimmed and ironed all day yesterday. Got a quilt top about half done! woohoo! Sorry, no photo, yet.

Today, I started on my wonky log cabin quilt. It involves a lot of cutting/pressing/trimming, but it is a lot of fun! And, one can be as 'wonky' as one wants to be. (I think I'm kinda medium wonky.) Here's my first block...
That's all I have today. Be sure to check back tomorrow for some really fun and awesome news!! (for me, anyway...~grin~)