Thursday, November 20, 2014


Grover, fresh from last night's bath.  Of course he had to be bathed since tomorrow, Friday the 21st, is our debut agility trial!  I don't know how we will do, I just hope we don't mess up too badly.  I hope I don't trip over Grover or my own 2 feet.  We are running in 2 classes on Friday and 1 on Sunday.  Each course will have about 15 jumps/obstacles and I will have 8 minutes prior to the class to walk the course and memorize it and plan where I will make turns, etc.  In class we have done up to 9 or 10 obstacles and sometimes it takes us a couple times through to get it right.  And we will be in a place Grover has never been before.  Lots of distractions (and people to jump on, probably including the judge).  I am looking forward to it, despite what I write.

We seem to have gone straight from dry fall weather to coverall/heated bucket weather here.  Mind you, that is not a complaint.  Because in doing so, we have detoured around MUD season.  I prefer nicely frozen ground to mud, as do the alpacas.  When it is rainy and muddy, they spend most of their time in the barn and that means lots of scooping.  And even after scooping, the barn floor is a nasty mess.  Notice I said "detour" around mud season.  It is way too early to think we will miss it altogether.  In fact, I think it will arrive just in time for Thanksgiving next week.  But for now, with daytime highs only around freezing, I have also had to plug in the heater for the automatic waterer, which is always smelly until the summer's accumulation of mouse droppings on the heating element burn off, and pull out the heated buckets for the boys.  The heated buckets are always a challenge because most of them look alike and some of them do not work.  The only way to find out if they work is to plug them in, fill them with water, and see if they are frozen the next day.  If I have something with me with which to cut the cords off the non-working buckets, I do so and then they become regular buckets.  But most of the time I don't have a tool with me to do that and the bucket gets put back in the building and the next year, when faced with a stack of buckets, I go through the process all over again.  You'd think I would learn.  I also had to put a coat on Bodhi, the butt farthest to the right in the photo above.  He is 15 and the cold really seems to get to him these days.  He just does not produce the incredibly dense fiber he used to.  

Tonight is the second meeting of the Monroe Arts Council's Fiber Arts and Textiles group.  I need to do a short presentation at that (which is why Grover got bathed last night instead of tonight).  I will be doing that on different ways to do knitting in the round.  I still need to finish preparing for that.   All the knitting I have been doing has been Christmas gift knitting, so I won't be posting about it for some time.  I did, however, get 2 more rugs off my rug loom, though I still have to finish the hems on them and I warped my new loom for the first time.  It was a bit different from the other looms I have, so I had to work a few things out and have not yet started to weave on it, so we will see how that all goes soon.

Very much looking forward to Thanksgiving a week from today.  Sam and the dogs and I will travel to Dayton to my mom's.  We will be joined there by my brother Mike, his wife Jean and daughter, Krista, with her husband Paul and baby Blake.  I think that is it this year.  We are used to a whole house full of people on Thanksgiving and it is just going to be weird to have less than 10 people.  The rest of the family is in Michigan, Phoenix and of course Portland.  Life is change.  

Rowdy took his last dose of meloxicam this morning.  He stays off it for a week and I need to e-mail the orthopedic vet at OSU and let him know how he is doing.  Then we will take it from there.  Rowdy has done so well on this.  He and Grover and I played with tennis balls in the house last night.  No more "Stairball", but we can play fetch on the flat.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

No Surgery!

Rowdy and Grover jumped tandem through the tire on Sunday!
Rowdy and I had our appointment last week at Ohio State's Veterinary Hospital where we met with an orthopedic specialist.  It was a long day, especially for Rowdy, who is not a very social dog.  He was taken into the depths of the clinic around 11:30 and I did not see him again until 5 pm.  X-rays were taken, joint fluid was extracted and analyzed, and he was thoroughly examined.  While there is significant damage to the hock joint from osteoarthritis, likely resulting from trauma (car incident 6 years ago), surgery is not indicated at this time.  We are trying him on meloxicam, another NSAID which supposedly has less incidence of liver side effects, for 2 weeks.  Then we take him off for a week and see how he does.  Let me tell you, I noticed a difference within 24 hours.  He is like his old self.  He plays with Grover and no longer moves from place to place and lays down.  I will have bloodwork done after he has been on it a while and see how it looks.  There are other options yet before surgery, so my fingers are crossed and double crossed!

Grover's and my first agility trial is coming up so quickly!  It is less than 2 weeks away now.  We are doing 2 runs on Friday and staying home Saturday and doing 1 run on Sunday.  I have since sent in my entry for the December trial, which is also in Zanesville on Dec 27 and 28, and we will be doing 2 runs each day at that trial.  I am excited, but also very nervous.  I made a new tire  for the tire jump yesterday and have moved the home course (again) to a larger space, which was the maternity pasture this summer.  I just have to watch for tree stumps.  I now have the tunnel, tire, teeter, 4 jumps and 8 weave poles.  I think this year's Christmas list will be mostly agility equipment.  Grover and I even did a demo for my mother's book club on Sunday.  So we had 8 women standing in the field with us applauding and Grover did just fine.  Good practice for the trial.  I just know he will go over and greet the judge in true Grover fashion. 

The dogs and I went and checked out the beaver pond again yesterday.  It has really expanded.  Everywhere there are tree stumps that have been gnawed and cleaned of bark.  

And where it is not pond-like, it is very swampy.  Unfortunately our exploring was cut short by the dogs' discovery of a deer carcass, so I didn't find the dam which is obviously downstream of the first dam they built.  

As for fiber-y stuff, my knitting has been limited lately to Christmas gift-knitting, so I have no photos.  But I have finished off the hems on the 2 rugs I posted last time:

The hems are hand sewn instead of machine sewn and I am much happier with the result.  This white rug is 28"  X  42" 

and this black rug is  28"  X 35"

The loom is re-warped for 2 more rugs.  I am using a striped warp in gradiant colors and solid color weft.  The first one is a fawn weft and I am debating what color the second one will be.  It will be a shade of brown, I am just not sure if it will be a dark brown or a shade between the fawn and dark brown.  I will have to decide soon since the fawn one is almost finished.

Our weather has been typical of early November : warm and lovely one day and cold and damp the next.  We have enjoyed the 60's and plenty of sun the last 2 days and our highs are supposed to drop into the 30's by Thursday.  The dogs and I have been making the most of the nice weather when we can.  I just love fall.  

Check out this awesome fungi I noticed growing on the end of a cut log on our walk yesterday.  I do not think I have seen fungus in such a lovely blue and tan pallet before.  Love it!