Saturday, July 28, 2007

The saga continues...

How is Angel doing? Monday night she started eating her seed again for the first time. Her eyes were still bright and I just knew she wasn't ready to give up. But she was in such bad shape and I hate to see an animal suffer. This was no way for a bird to live. I got in the car Tuesday morning, trying to prepare myself for being told there was no hope. The first thing I hear on the radio is 'when I die, I'll fly away...' I was fighting the tears.
But Angel is still here!!! One of the first possibilities mentioned at the vet was a stroke but apparently vitamin deficiencies can mimic those symptoms. She is calcium deficient and she developed a bacterial infection (I got the feeling that it may be a natural bacteria that just got out of control because of the situation but I'm not sure). She had lost weight but not as much as they expected and I had managed to get enough water in her beginning Sunday night that she wasn't really dehydrated! She had 2 shots: antibiotic and calcium supplement (almost sounded like it might be steroidal also) and I have 2 prescription meds to give her daily, vitamin/calcium supplement to add to both birds' food, and contact lens saline solution to rinse her scratched and raw eye with.
It will be a long road but he thinks she'll make it. He even wants me to call and let him know! A basically wild bird he has never seen before and a bird he may never see again but he'd still like me to call. If you have any exotics (non-cat/dog/tarantula/monkey), Dr. Dahlhausen in Milford is the guy to see. He is recommended by every pet store I have asked, the Cincinnati Zoo, the Cincinnati Museum Center, the local herpetological society, etc.
What he explained is: on a good balanced diet, it takes a month to get enough calcium and nutrients for 1 egg. Angel lays 2 eggs every 2 weeks during season. A total of 18 last year and at least a dozen so far this year. She is behind almost from the start. And when you have a picky seed eater (said 'Angel' or 'Teddy'), it is hard to get calcium in them. They can be deficient for quite a while without showing any signs but then once it hits, it hits hard. It wreaks havoc with their entire system. He recommended using a powdered supplement but to add just a touch of vegetable oil to the seed first so that the powder will stick (almost like butter in popcorn so the salt sticks). We have to rebuild all that she has lost.
Currently she is still not very stable on her feet (she acts drunk all the time) so I have her in a basket in a separate cage to help her stay upright. She is able to catch herself on smaller wobbles and keep from falling over but the bigger wobbles still get her. She stays pretty much where I put her. She still holds her head turned to the left (which seems to be her weaker side and the side with the bad eye from sliding on the gravel paper) though she can straighten and turn right when she decides to. I suspect the different angle and uneven muscle tone is affecting her sense of balance and keeping her from eating much off the floor like normal. I have food in with her but she eats best when I take her out and hold her with a bowl up right in front of her face. That is also how she drinks. I know she does not like the big monster that keeps picking her up and messing with her but she does seem to be accepting/realizing that it's really a good thing. She is not getting as worked up as she used to. I guess 45 minutes at a time snuggled up to me and eating will do that! And I am learning to read her body language about when she is done eating or wants to be put back! Sometimes she will just sit in my hand for a while relaxing. Now, how do I convince her that the oral syringes of meds are really good things too!?!?!?
She has started stretching and flapping both wings but is nowhere near ready to fly. There is a part of me that has hoped she wouldn't be until I at least got all of her antibiotics in her otherwise, how am I going to catch her and make her take it?? I want her to get better and quickly but I don't want to short-change her either and then have her relapse.
Through all of this, the other dove, Teddy, has been somewhat out of sorts. He is usually a very big talker, especially in the morning when he gets to talk with the alarm clocks, etc. Now on some mornings I do not hear him at all. And he seems to be spending most of his time camped on in the one corner of the cage closest to Angel. He is watching her! When I have her out, I hold her up near him so they can see each other. Not sure what they think of it but I'm trying...

Now, on the knitting front, I ripped out the 3+ inches of sock that I had and have started a new pattern. Beth told me about Marina Piccola by Kate Gilbert. She tried to describe it but... words don't apply, you have to see the picture. And it comes in various sizes and gauges so I should be able to pull of getting a sock to fit without having to re-engineer the whole thing!
Last night I finished the ribbing and worked about 1" of the pattern before falling asleep in my chair. Don't have a full repeat yet but so far, so good. If I can get my card reader back from my son, maybe I can get a picture later...

Monday, July 23, 2007

Rather be knitting a sock...

I'm back. Been trying to get some projects done around the house (finally) such as cleaning out and rearranging a few things (pronounced 'the whole house'). I did manage to pull my yarn out of the mesh file cart it was in and put it in the old 4 drawer dresser that had been out in the garage. Of course, I had to pull the dresser apart and clean it first! Although the dresser drawers are significantly wider and there are 4 instead of 2, I don't feel it holds that much more. In the file cart, I could stand my skeins on end and see many at once. The dresser drawers are too shallow so everything has to lay down. It takes up so much more space that way. I almost bought some plastic drawers when I was out but... why spend the money when I have something perfectly good at home?!?!? (I did get a pair of camera batteries though!) I still need to take care of mountains of laundry and pay some bills as well as filing more probate paperwork for my ex. Tomorrow is knitting night so I guess it will all have to wait till Wednesday.

The file cart is now my husband's but he has not started filling it yet since he read the entire HP7 by last night. He is also a huge Big Brother fan so he is usually hooked up to the computer reading the blogs and watching the live feeds. Someday...

I finished reading Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off (the Yarn Harlot) this weekend. I'm sure my husband is happy since every time I read her I end up laughing out loud and reading it to him. This is when we are supposed to be relaxing and going to sleep! I do love her style and perspective. I own both the Harlot and Casts Off and doubt I will part with them any time soon. Thank you Beth for telling me about them...

I recast on my Tofutsies sock (twice) and knit about 3" before trying it on. Gauge is good but my feet are just plain too big! Although I got it over my heel I'm thinking I need to frog it. Again. It was too tight/too much of a struggle to get on. Argh!
I have knit most of a troop hat as well as 2 itty bitty socks out of some left-over Sockatta in order to make a book mark (I think some call them book thongs when they have the long cord to go between the pages.) I have another I made a couple of years ago and it gets the most use of all the various bookmarks I own.

Update on Angel, the Mourning Dove: She's still hanging in there. She is amazing me. She is definitely not well but she still with us. Best as I can tell, she had a stroke. She has movement throughout her body but she is missing strength and coordination, especially on her left side. She had flopped onto her back a few times early on and we flipped her back. Then she got stuck on her side. She managed to push herself around the floor of the cage, on the gravel paper. She pretty well ground up the side of her face. I could not even tell where her eye was at one point. I took her out of that cage and have her in a basket that helps keep her upright and her eye is healing already. If I hold her, she can drink but she still has not eaten. It's been since Thursday! She does not want to give up. I made a couple of calls today and managed to find a vet that will see her tomorrow. Between being a bird (most vets only see dogs and cats) and then being wild on top of that, most will not even entertain the idea. 9:30 in the morning and $45 to walk through the door + whatever they decide to do from there. I realize they will probably tell me there is no hope and that she needs to be put down but I've probably got my hopes up and will end up being crushed tomorrow anyway. I hate to see her suffer and I know she cannot be happy the way she is right now. I just wish there were more I could do.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

No pics or knitting :(

The camera battery died the other day and I have not gotten a chance to buy another. I've been working, a lot, this week. My boss is on vacation and our other receiver moved to the shipping side. We had a temp start last Monday to replace her and then the buyer trainee finished his 8 weeks of warehouse time. A new trainee started this Monday. And then there's me trying to receive and train. We've had a couple folks come out and help (which I feel guilty about even though I appreciate it tremendously!) and the newbies are catching on some so it eased up a little on me today. I think I only worked 9.5 hours, down from 12+ yesterday. I'm thinking I need to have the boss pick a day for me to play hooky next week, what do you think?!?!?

I've been accepted to 2 stash swaps which I am pretty excited about. There is an international yarn swap and then a swap where I make something out of my stash and send it. I'm really looking forward to participating in both. I got an email today from one of my partners and it sounds like we were matched pretty well since we have a several similarities in our answers to the questionairre. I have some ideas, this weekend I'll have to make the final decisions and get down to business!

Maybe by then I'll decide on my next pair of socks also. I was really looking forward to making another pair from a ball of Tofutsies yarn I have (my first Tofutsies are one of my all time favorite pairs). I also really wanted to make the Interweave Seduction socks. Thought they would go well together. Until I knit an inch plus. This colorway is too tweedy and was obscuring the stitchwork. RIIIIIIIPPPPPPP....

Searched and pondered. So many patterns but what will be the best for this tofutsies? Finally I cast on for a different pattern and got started. OOPS. K2tog 3x, P2tog 2x around. I worked K2 tog 3x, P2tog 1x over 120 stitches. RIIIIIIIPPPPPP once again.

I've cast on again but have yet to join the round. Was about to till I heard something not right with one of our birds. Went to check on her. It does not look good. She is a Mourning Dove that the boys brought home a couple of years ago. She had broken her wing and could not get away from any of the neighborhood cats or the other boys that were threatening to torture her. I bought a cage, etc. and she healed. I also bought her a companion Diamond Dove since they are supposedly social birds (there is a lonely diamond down at the petstore again waiting to be adopted and given a friend - poor thing). Angel (the Mourning) and Teddy (the Diamond) have done well together and Angel has even learned to accept me some. She is wild after all! For some reason, lately, I have been wondering how old she is and how much more time we would have. She was an adult when she was found, in the springtime, so she has to be at least 3 years old. I think they have a 5-7 year lifespan but I could be off on that. My gut says she may not be with us come morning. :(

Well, hate to leave on that note but the alarm is going to ring way too soon!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Todays' accomplishments

Did a little finishing work today (finally) and finished knitting the toe of the 2nd sock of my latest set.

The baby set is out of 1824 Cotton, with the sweater pattern from Jimmy Bean's Wool. Apparently it was a contest winner and I'm not sure it has a name. The hat was an unrelated pattern that looked like a perfect match to finish up the yarn. The pair is headed off one of my co-workers who is expecting a girl next month. Mom does not like pink so I had to pick something else. Knitting was finished more than a month ago, then I searched for buttons (I resisted the urge to use pink!), and finally put it all together. (7/19 update - she was born, a month early, weighing 5lbs and change, on the very day I finished and posted!)

The blue socks are Panda Cotton, loosely based on the 'Cascade Lace' pattern from Cast On Summer 04(?). the pattern was written for cuff down but I went toe up instead so I would not run out knitting for my monster feet! I started knitting them while we were in Hawaii last month but the toe up pattern I was using actually did not have any gussets. Not good. They sat for a bit until I ripped them out and started over. They're still a bit snug so they waited to see if I would rip again. I finished instead.

And the pink/orange was Sockatta given to me a couple of weeks ago. The pattern is 'Waving Lace' from Interweave's Favorite Socks book. Thanks Bob!

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Here is one of my more ambitious knitting projects. I thought it might be worthy of being my first attempt at picture posting.
I started it a few times and ripped it out, replaced all the yarn and started again. And then, after all that knitiing, I had to cut my first steek(s). Took some time to work up to that but I managed it! Finished it last summer and then found I had gained a little and it did not quite fit like it should. I think I only wore it once or twice. Hopefully I have lost enough to have it fit this year!

Starting out

Well, here it goes...
My entry into the world of blogs.
I really have no idea what I'm doing so hopefully it will work. (Maybe Beth will help me out, please?!?!?)

A little about me:
1 husband,
2 sons,
a serious addiction to knitting,
a slew of geckos,
and a couple of birds.