Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Not Every Body Must Get Stones

Our Sweetness, Miss Molly, just passed another milestone, so to speak.  She turned twelve just over a month ago, and life has been a series of challenges for her, but she faces them with a smile. Her latest bout with what seems like a neverending trip to the vet (no matter where we are) was for problems with bladder stones.  This has been a recurrent issue with our little girl.  In spite of feeding her special diet, (read that as costly), her metabolism is such that stones keep building up in her urinary bladder.  Last Wednesday, she underwent her fourth (Yes 4th!) surgery for the flushing out of her waterworks and removal of her stones,  She had been passing them along with what seemed like a considerable amount of blood for about ten days, and so upon consultation with a couple of vets, and weighing the pros and cons of her compromised health and slightly advanced age (she is diabetic and blind, and very prone to infections) we decided that we should go ahead.  All things considered, we had three choices...(a) do nothing and let her suffer intermittent passings of stones, blood and be in obvious discomfort and in jeopardy of a bad rupture in her urinary tract; (b) do the unthinkable and put her down  or (c) opt for surgery for the fourth time. 

I need to go back one day before her surgery, a week ago Tuesday, to make the story 'complete'.  DH and I were on pins and needles, anticipating the surgery and its outcomes.  Given Molly's diabetic condition, the surgery was a little riskier than normal, but the vets at Power Road Animal Hospital and the staff described how her glucose levels would be monitored during surgery and we took a supply of insulin (they do not carry the brand she takes) to administer just in case things went awry. Of course, the cost was discussed and we had been given high and low estimates of the entire procedure.  That too was a very mindful thing for the vets and staff at Power Road. From about four oclock on during that Tuesday, neither one of us could rest easy.  I tried to work on some polymer clay (things would not go well) and Himself decided to go to Fry's, the local supermarket, to get milk. 

Almost all of Monday and all of Tuesday, the divine Miss M had been staying in her crate a lot, because otherwise she was very anxious and just wanted to 'go pee' every five minutes, without success.  She would squat, but very little would come out, maybe a trickle of blood, or a few 1/4 inch stones.  But when she was in her crate, she seemed more comfortable, especially in the car because she associates that with going for a ride, which she loves.  So, when DH went to the store for milk, Miss M. was in the back seat of the van. 

I sent them off, and expected them back within a quarter hour.  After half an hour, they hadn't returned.   During the interim, I heard several sirens from police cars, ambulances and fire trucks, and four helicopters overhead, and of course, I was fearing the worst.  The sirens kept on bellering and soon, I was in the driveway, watching squad car after squad car driving down the thoroughfare that heads for Fry's.  People were gathering on the road, wondering what was happening.  At that point, I got a call from a local cell phone (Dan doesn't have one) and it was him.  He told me he wouldn't be home for some time, as he and all the other shoppers at Fry's were in a lock down inside the store because there was a shoot-out going on in the parking lot.  He had previously headed out to put the groceries in the car, but the uniformed officers told him that he was in the line of fire and he had to go back into the store.

He witnessed the shooting of one bad guy (dead), several others (guys and girls) and also one officer. They were superficially wounded,  all except for the one that the cops had been following who was dead at the scene. He was the one who initiated the shooting. And to think that Miss Molly (who could have witnessed it, except she is blind) sat through the whole episode just a few cars away.  I wonder what she thinks of rapid fire gun shots!!!

When they returned home about an hour later, they each got a huge hug.  I told Molly, that if she could live through that, there was not going to be any problem with the surgery the following day.  That made me sleep a little better that night. 

The rest, as they say, is history.  Her procedure came off without a hitch, and the little girl, although tired and groggy after the anaethesia, was home by six p.m.  We fed her a little, and then she rested quietly all night.  By the next morning, you'd never have known the dog had been in distress. She was back to her old self, eating, peeing without incident, and doing all the other things our dear pets do, including drying me off after my morning shower.

The picture above shows how she is joking about the size of the stones she was passing.  She must have felt they were as big as geodes, all ragged and scratchy inside her.  But she's smiling now that this is all in the past.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

When Life Deals You Lemons

Well, things haven't been altogether sour this first month of 2012, but let's just say that the daily grind has been quite a grind.  Since arriving at our winter repose, we've experienced marvelous weather with very comfortable temperatures. It has been a wondeful season for lemons, as you can see.  They range from the size of ordinary oranges to these giant behemoth, almost mutant ones, which are over 5 inches in length and about 3 inches across the middle.  They are plenty juicy and  needless to say, we add the juice to nearly everything.  I am not particularly one for lemonade, but it does add a nice touch to the odd Bloody Caesar, vodka tonic, sangria, or martini. 

My favorite use for them is  salads which I have been shaking up in plastic bags.  I add the juice of a lemon, about 2 tablespoons of regular bottled dressing, a bit of balsamic vinegar, some crumbled feta or bleu cheese, along with  half a chopped avocado, and several leaves of spinach, romaine and then half a bag of 'store bought' greens mix.  That, combined perhaps with a few croutons serves four as a salad and it's much more 'goumandise' than just dumping the lettuce out of the bag and pouring dressing on top.  By shaking it in the bag, the dressing coats each of the green leaves so you don't get a glob on one piece and nothing on the others.  I guess the only determining factor would be that everyone enjoys the same type of bottled dressing.  And my rule of thumb here, is if you don't like it at first, it will grow on ya.

Polymer clay wise, I have made some freaky buttons and am working on a massive cane.  For our guild swap in February we have to come up with at least thirty six inches of 3/4 to inch wide cane to be distributed among the swappers.  With this amount of materials, I have been making small prototypes to see if I like the components, because I don't want to waste  pounds of clay on some end product that I dislike.  I find that is the main drawback to making huge canes.  Because my work is so varied, I cannot possibly use five feet of one type of cane, no matter how you slice it.  My work calls for a great deal of color variation so any canes I make are usually 6 - 8 inches or less in length unless I am making just a caned article, which is not very often.

I am also going to be making a raft of light switch covers.  I think I will go with palettes of limey to avocado greens, and another group in rusty-terracotta blends.  Hopefully I can get my Blackberry to download pictures onto this computer....one of the things that lately  has not been working to my satisfaction.  Since I got a new Blackberry desktop application, the danged thing has not been compliant with my wishes in the downloading pictures area.  I can take the pictures easily enough, it's just transferring them to the laptop has been problematic.  Maybe I will spend a night and figure out how to do it.  In the meantime, I will rely on the digital camera to take pics and even though it's a bit of a hassle, I know it works.

Still too cool in the early mornings to work in the shed, where the natural light is incredibly good, so I will continue on page 228 of Ann Patchett's  State of Wonder.  Thankfully, my years in the Science faculty make the pharmacological and botanic terms not such a mystery.  Now, if I could only read faster, lol.