Monday, January 30, 2006

Non-Winter in Michigan
Gloomy front yardIt's January in Michigan. This is the time of year I should be wowing you with pictures of huge snow drifts and beautiful snow covered trees and bushes. Instead, we have this.

The little snow we've had melts because the ground isn't frozen and the daytime temps are above freezing. Over the weekend, the temps were in the 50s (F). Completely weird.

Last week I saw a pair of bluebirds sitting on a nestbox. They aren't even supposed to be in Michigan in January.

It will be interesting to see what the rest of the winter is like. That is if you can call this winter. It's not like any winter I've ever seen before.

Update on Glory for Those Who Care
Glory had her tube removed on Saturday. Two vets looked at it, and I could tell they didn't really want to take it out, but they didn't want to leave it in anymore either.

They reasoned that the ear had grown together as much as possible with the tube still in, and that the tube had to come out for more healing to occur. They didn't give me confidence that everything was going to be OK, but so far everything is OK.

Each day I'm a little more optimistic that it's going to heal without any more surgery.

Isn't this where I knock on wood?

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

B is for Bible . . .
ABC Along Button

My Bible open and showing notes in marginYes, I write in my Bible.

Maybe, since I don't usually mention my faith on Seasons of Violet, I should back up and start this post again -

Yes, I do have a well used Bible. And, I write in it.

I believe the Bible is God's message to me about His nature, His Son, His love, and what I'm supposed to be doing and learning during this lifetime. The more I read it and study it, the more I love it and believe it is the Word of God.

I've been studying the Bible for eleven years now, and have come to the opinion that none of the religious sects and denominations have the total picture. This makes it very difficult to join a church or join a Bible class where they think they know all the answers. I do it, thought, because it helps my study of the Bible to hear others talk about it. I respect my groups by being quiet about the places I disagree.

My Bible bagI've been attending a Bible Church for eleven years. I've done five years of Bible Study Fellowship and two years of Community Bible Study. All three are non-denominational in-depth Bible study organizations where you bring your own Bible.

This is my Bible case. It has pockets inside to hold my Bible in place and a good strong exterior to protect it from the elements. In the midwest there are many Bible toters and most of us use a case. I've had this one for eleven years. It's aging well and I have no plans to replace it.

My Bible needs to last the rest of my earthly life, because I don't want to give it up. I love turning to a passage and finding notes and thoughts that I wrote five or ten years ago.

Some of my very favorite passages are left completely unmarked. They speak to me in different ways and I want them to be fresh every time I visit them.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me
We keep getting older and we are not amused.I've never understood why most people are hesitant to tell their age. How old we are is an important attribute of who we are.

Today is my 61st birthday. That means I am starting my 62ed year of life.

It's important for me to say that, to accept that, and to plan the rest of my life with that in mind.

As for the picture, it makes me laugh. Here's hoping it gives you a chuckle, too.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Free Yarn and ABC Thoughts
Opal Dreamcatcher won on Opal Chatters NewsletterLook what I got in the mail today! Opal Dreamcatcher 1235, beautiful blues.

This is my prize yarn for having Stitches of Violet mentioned in the new Opal Chatters Newsletter. Is that a good deal or what?

I'm ready to cast on a pair of socks as soon as I figure out who will be wearing them. It's time to start John's birthday socks if they're going to get done by March 18. Gail, the dog trainer, has a birthday the same day and I'd like to have a pair of socks done for her, also.

But my birthday is Friday and I forgot to knit birthday socks for myself. How did that happen? Next year my birthday is going on the sock knitting schedule with the rest of the birthday sock recipients.

Time to go Opal stash diving, pick out yarn for the three of us and cast on some socks.

ABC Along ButtonI've been giving some thought to topics for the ABC Along, the 2006 meme where we post a biweekly picture with the subject starting with the corresponding letter of the alphabet. 26 letters, 26 picture posts.

For my ABC Along picture posts I'm going to use the following guidelines, exceptions allowed if I feel like it.

  • No knitting topics.
  • Find topics I don't normally blog about.
  • No people's names. I already made an exception to this guideline when I posted A is for Anne . . . the first two weeks. It was Anne's birthday and I felt like it.

Anne and Sydney Anne in the snowAnd here is Anne again, out in the Idaho snow with nine month old Sydney Anne.

Complete story on Tah Tales.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Lost Weekend
Last Friday Norton Internet Security, my virus protection and firewall, updated my laptop. It looked like a routine update, but afterward I couldn't pull my email and my laptop hung up so severely that I couldn't shut it down without using the power button.

At first I didn't know the problem was Norton, so I spend hours trying this and trying that and rebooting dozens of times. Finally, when I shut off the firewall, I was able to pull email - one time only, and then everything was hung up and I had to reboot.

I couldn't find anything about this problem on the Norton web site and wasn't sure what to do next. Afraid to rush into something while upset, I did one more forced shutdown and went to knit on the front of Aguave.

Thinking that Norton might discover the problem and send out a fix, I just stayed off my laptop all day Saturday and knit. I knit for hours and hours listening to a book on CD. By the end of the day my hands hurt, my arms hurt, and my shoulders hurt but I was happy to be almost done with the front.

The fix did NOT come from Norton. Sunday afternoon DH found the problem being discussed in an online newsgroup and the solution was: Restore the default General and Trojan horse firewall rules.

Detailed instructions for this procedure are here. I hope you don't need them.

I followed the restore procedure. My laptop is functional again. I would hate to know how many hours were spent finding and fixing that nasty software glitch. At least it wasn't my hardware gone bad again.

Since I knit so much on Saturday, I needed to take a few days off. When I picked up the Aguave front on Tuesday, I noticed immediately that I had done the stitch pattern on the edges backward. The right side edge was on the left side and the left side edge was on the right side.

I frogged it. Yes, I frogged fourteen inches of the front. So, instead of starting armhole shaping on Tuesday, I cast on the front and started over again. (Frog = rip it, rip it!)

One of my favorite knitting books is Knitting in Plain English by Maggie Righetti. Maggie says "Admire your work often."

If my subconscious hadn't been busy trying to figure out how to fix my laptop, and if my conscious hadn't been busy listening to a great story on CD, I might have taken that advice and seen the mistake before repeating it for six hours and fourteen inches.

Glory Update for Those Who Care
Glory had her one week check up last night. Dr. B. expressed amazement at the amount of fluid she is producing, but assured me the ear is starting to heal. It's just going to take a while.

He guessed about two more weeks of draining and then he can remove the tube. I'm to make the appointment after she has been dry for three days. The staples holding the skin to the cartilage come out a week after the tube.

Meanwhile, Glory seems to be happy and feeling fine. She's off the sedative as of today, but I have plenty left if she starts shaking her head or pawing at her ear or rolling in the mud.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A is for Anne . . .
ABC Along Button

Anne and Sydney Anne taken August, 2005. . . and Anne is my wonderful daughter-in-law, wife of Son John, and mother of Sydney Anne. This picture was taken in August when Sydney Anne was four months old.

When my son was a very young man, approximately 20, he moved to Las Vegas to find work in the hotel industry. He did.

For over five years his sister quizzed him, "Are you seeing anyone yet?" "Have you found someone yet?" The answer was always, "No".

Then one day we were surprised and excited to hear that he was bringing someone to Michigan to meet the family. Mother (me) started holding her breath at that news and could hardly wait to meet the "someone" he had found.

It was almost ten years ago that their plane landed and John stepped out with a beautiful, smiling, tall girl named Anne. I exhaled. Son had taken his time and chosen well.

Daughter Heather and I had a private giggling session where we said things like "She's just perfect for him!" and "Isn't she wonderful?"

Now, ten years later, John and Anne have been married for almost seven years. We still think Anne is perfect for him and we know for sure she is wonderful.

Happy Birthday Anne!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Six Feet High and Rising
Creek over the banksIn Michigan we expect January to be frozen and snowy. Instead, I'm beginning to wish I was married to Noah.

Every day it rains. When it's not raining, it's drizzling and misting. Our creek is the highest it's been in the fifteen years we've lived here. Maybe that's because the ground is frozen and the water can't seep in. Or maybe it's because there were huge piles of snow melting to provide extra water to go with the water that keeps falling from the sky. Probably some of both.

On a normal day, a limber person (not me) could jump over the creek. Today it was about twelve feet wide, running fast. Fortunately our house is way up from the creek. In fact, there is a spring fed pond between the house and the creek. If the creek overflows its banks, it will flow into the pond, so we're well protected from flooding. For now. Unless this never stops.

Someone who lives far away from here, please assure me that there still is a sun?

Glory Update
Glory came home late this afternoon. Everyone, human and canine, was happy to see her. She was happy to be home. Now she can rest up, drain, and recover. It's going to take about a month before the tube comes out.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Quick Update on Glory
Glory had her surgery this morning and it went well. She is spending the night at the vet clinic under sedation and pain meds. We miss her.

We're hoping to pick her up tomorrow, but if Dr. Vet thinks she should stay longer, that's OK. All the people who work there are kind and love animals. We trust them to take good care of her. But, did I mention we miss her?

Monday, January 02, 2006

Dreary Days
Just before the thunder and hail stormI'm trying to remember last time we saw the sun here in SW Michigan. It was before Christmas and surely we're about due for some rays.

It wasn't a white Christmas. In fact, when I took the dogs out for their Christmas morning walk it was raining and we got soaked.

This picture was taken about three this afternoon, just before the thunder started.

By the time we got in the car to take Glory to her vet appointment, it was pouring rain. Before we reached our destination, it was pouring little hail stones. At least they weren't big enough to dent the car, but they did turn everything white. Then the precipitation changed back to rain and the hail all melted.

Glory has an ear hematoma that is hot, swollen, and painful. She doesn't feel well at all. And the poor girl is afraid of thunder, which was loud and plentiful.

The vet appointment was so quick we didn't even have to go into the examining room. One look at her ear and she got scheduled for surgery in the morning.

For those who are concerned: Glory has seen the vet for this hematoma before. She does not have ear mites or an ear infection. She probably broke her ear by banging it on something when shaking her head. There was a good chance it was going to heal with no treatment, so we were watching it. This morning it waved back at us.

ABC Along ButtonHow The West Was Spun came up with new type of meme. At least I've never seen one like this before. It's the ABC Along!

Every two weeks in 2006 we are to photograph and post a picture of something starting with the corresponding letter of the alphabet. 26 letters, 52 weeks. Isn't that convenient?

So, sometime before January 14 there will be a post titled A Is For . . ..

I think it sounds like fun. It doesn't take much to excite Michiganders who haven't seen the sun in weeks.