Saturday, February 1, 2014

Starting over

Truly this is starting over, yes I still have my 3 dogs, Ziggy, Dundee and Finnegan. I have one cat now as my daughter has taken her cat to her home. Other than that life if brand new.

I was downsized or outsized from my job 4 months ago (I don't miss it in the least), we moved from busy Btown to a small country hamlet north west of Toronto on Georgian Bay. I am a grandmother 3 times over now with twin grandsons who are just 2 and a new grandson last December (born on my birthday), they are all so sweet. I also received a new knee a year ago and it has been a wonderful thing to be pain free.

So truly I am starting over. There are somethings that are not so wonderful, my special dog Ziggy has a heart condition and every day I have her is a blessing as I know she can be taken from me at anytime.We have discovered that Dundee too has a heart murmur now I am not sure what that means but at 10 I guess this is to be expected but it is worrisome. Our sweet little deaf Finnegan has lost more of his eyesight and the new home has been stressful for him and now after a few months I think he has mastered the stairs and the floors.

I have 3 spinning wheels, I am down 1 from last year and I sold two of my wheels and bought my last wheel (well for now) a Matchless, Maddie is her name. So I now have Lenny the Lendrum, Gemma the little Gem and Maddie the Matchless. I have been spinning now for 5 years and am finally comfortable in my skin as a hand spinner.

We have the most wonderful yarn shop near where we live called the "Purple Sock" and I just love it, not only does it have great yarn and some lovely fibre, it also has TEA, I love tea and drink many cups a day and the Purple Sock has wonderful tea. It has made moving here so much nicer to know it is just a few minutes away.

We have really only experienced winter here in our new home and I am ready to hop a plane to Cuba and find some warmth, but I don't want to leave my dogs especially Ziggy as I just don't know how many days I have with her.

Life goes on and right now I am unsure of my direction but I am moving forward to doing things I love and finding health and happiness, wish me luck as I start over.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hormones or NO Hormones

So finally in my early fifties the whole menopause thing has started. As always with any new thing that happens in my life I read books and blogs and webpages about Menopause. I talk to friends and doctors and gather as much information as I can. Everyone I talked to and most books I read tell me I should use bio-identical hormones to help with the hot flashes and the foggy brain(only two big symptoms I have). I can deal with the hot flashes, heck it is probably the first time in my life I have been warm instead of constantly cold. The foggy brain though is not fun, not when your still working in a high tech world and having to stay on top of work and life.
So off I go to the doctor and I convince him to prescribe the bio-identical's I am pretty happy the hot flashes disappear my brain feels more on the ball, but there is one problem, and for me it is big. I am gaining weight, fast. I haven't changed my eating habits at all in fact if anything I am trying to be more careful about what I eat.  Its been 6 weeks and I am 8lbs heavier. I don't need these 8 lbs at all, I have arthritis in my knees and my right knee is killing me most of the time. I have 3 dogs to walk daily and that is getting harder for me with the knee. I know it would all get better if I could lose weight not be gaining 8lbs in 6 weeks.
So what to do? More reading I can see for sure, back to the doctors to see if there is a different way I can do this or maybe off the hormones all together and just keep trying the health food store solutions till I find one that works.
I am fortunate cause I am healthy all other ways. Blood Sugar good, Cholesterol good, but I worry that all that will change if this weight gain keeps coming.  Oh what to do....any ideas?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Over a week ago I left a cool southern Ontario for the tropical warmth of Hawaii. My husband and I took our 25 years of marriage celebration to a cruise ship in Hawaii, leaving kids and dogs behind. I wasn't sure about the cruise thing, a little worried about being claustrophobic and bored on a ship full of old people ( not that I am any spring chicken). This cruise was ok, in fact better than ok, we had a great time saw much more of Hawaii than we would have if we had just flown to one island. The ship had a great mix of different ages and people and the stops everyday in different islands was always a new adventure.
For the last 4 days of our trip we have been driving around Oahu, which other than Honolulu, is also an amazing island. Incredible beaches, amazing mountains and every where we look there is another great view to capture a photo of.
Of course I miss my dogs and in each location we visit, we admire other peoples dogs and try to get a few cuddles in from the dogs that cross our paths just to make up for ones we are missing  from our furry friends.
Today in a beach town on the windy side of Oahu, I found a little magazine called Island dog. Very cute, filled with pictures of local dogs and tips on dog park etiquette, what to do if you lose your dog, and breed information. As I browsed this magazine I came across not one picture of an Australian Shepherd but 3 different pictures. Two pictures were in an article about children and dogs, and one in an advertisement. Aussies are becoming a popular dog, one reason is their interesting merle looks make good pictures and two their intelligence often makes them good candidates for photo and video sessions. I have had aussies for over 20 years but never have they seemed as popular as they are now, I  have also never I seen so many dogs in rescue as I have seen lately either.
With breed popularity comes backyard breeders, puppy mills and uninformed buyers. Although I love the pictures of Aussies I see everywhere, I wish I didn't see them as much. Aussies are a wonderful breed of dog, if you have time and energy to train and keep their very active minds busy and not a dog to get just because they come in interesting colours and look cute in advertisements.
In my Hawaii travels I have seen two aussies, both black tri colours like my lovely Ziggy and Dundee. It is nice to see them as we travel but it does make me miss my guys even more.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Back at the spinning wheel again.

Today was a good day, I cleaned my knitting room, got most of my yarn in some sort of order and tided up the books and stuff. Then I gathered up all my roving and wheel and headed off to my friend Lauren's house.
What a great afternoon, working on my spinning skills, while having great conversation and yummy tea.
I don't get that kind of peace and time to spend really learning the craft very often and today was just great. I need many more days like today but I do feel so much better about my ability to create my own yarn.
Finished my day with some great home made spaghetti. All in all a good time. Well except for maybe Finngan's need to lick the soles of my Birkenstock's, yuck..

Friday, March 19, 2010

A most Honorable Mention

There is so much bad in the world that we live in. People are always in a hurry and seldom do they really take the time to care. Every now and then someone really surprises me, they take that special time to care, and then more time to share your pain, to let you know that they understand how you feel.
Today I received an email from Dr. David Wilkie, the vet who cared for Carly, who was going to restore her site. This wonderful man let us know that he had stayed with our Aussie Rescue foster mom and Carly till she passed. Assured us that Carly was happy till she left this world. Let us know that we had done everything we could for her and that she had passed peacefully. He also told us he was impressed with how much we had tried to do for Carly, how impressed he was with us and our care and ARPH's efforts towards Carly.
I was so surprised by his compassion and as we talked via email a little more and he told me he had lost his own dog earlier this year, he even shared a picture with me, of his lovely pet. I realized then that this man was more than a vet but a true animal lover, someone who truly cared and went the extra mile for his furry patients.
Dr. Wilkie is one of the best at what he does. He travels the world teaching animal eye care and surgery, a busy man in demand, yet he took the time to tell us that Carly passed peacefully. That he was impressed with our efforts and that her foster mom did an amazing job caring for her.
I can't tell you how much I appreciated that, how that will stay with me forever. I can truly recommend Dr. Wilkie and his clinic at Ohio State University. If you have a pet that needs a special eye surgeon, think of him, your not only getting one of the best in his profession, your getting one of the best of  human kind there is. Truly an amazing man and Veterinarian.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A sad day for me

I do some volunteer work for Australian Shepherd Rescue, I am an Ontario ARPH Rep. Last spring I brought a dog into my group of rescue dogs named Carly. Carly was not a pure Aussie but when a puppy as little as Carly was comes into rescue we don't always know if she is a purebred or not and she stayed in ARPH care.
Carly was found on someone's front yard in Dayton Ohio. They contacted an ARPH volunteer and Carly made her way to Canada via the puppy train, volunteer to volunteer till the dogs make it to there final stop, an ARPH foster home.
Carly had one strike against her already, she was blind. She had small eyes and was blinded by cataracts. Carly was lucky and ended up in a great foster home (all ARPH foster homes are great), where she was loved and trained and well cared for.
We all raised money to have Carly's sight restored and we were fortunate to have a volunteer who just happened to know one of the best veterinarian ophthalmologists in North America.  Our ARPH volunteer contacted this vet and he offered to help Carly. Dr. David Wilkie a vet and teacher at Ohio State University was going to help Carly get her sight back.
So we fund raised for Carly to have her chance at sight and we send her off to another ARPH foster home in Columbus Ohio, where again she gets the best care a dog could ask for, while she waits for her surgery.
Carly's chance for sight was just not meant to be. On her first visit to OSU, we discovered that she had a blood issue, not enough platelets in her blood, something called ITP. They tried several different treatments but Carly's blood was not responsive,  and yesterday Carly started to crash. He bone marrow stopped doing what it was supposed to do and today we lost her. She was only 10 months old.
Carly had people all over routing for her, she was a wonderful rescue dog and a tribute to what animal rescue is all about. This is the first ARPH dog I have lost, and I know if I keep doing this there will be more. She was such a special dog, happy, confident and loving. She taught us all what it was to be happy when the odds are against you.
                                                                    R.I.P. Carly you will be missed.

On a slightly happier note, Ziggy my special girl, has a slipped disk. She now has some super doggy medicine to help her along and in a few weeks I will take her to the doggy Chiropractor for some special treatment to ensure she gets better fast.
Note: Carly's photo is from Picture your Life Photography, thanks Lisa.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Knitting grrr....

Lately I have been knitting hats, so far I have knit a Wurm, a Gehry and now I am trying and I mean trying to knit a cabled Rangoli hat. I have ripped it out and reknit the ribbing a few times, I have ripped out the increase row at least 3 times, and now I am working the pattern and well thinking about ripping my hair out.
I knit hats in between larger projects, I get bored sometimes and I need to knit something that I can finish in a couple of days. I saw this Rangoli hat and it was pretty, I had some pretty blue yarn, right weight and enough to create the hat. The pattern reads a bit oddly, so I got the ribbing wrong. Thanks to a friend who figured it out, I ripped it out and started again. Then well the increase does not exactly fit as described, fitting 8 increase stitches into 6 existing stitches. I made the stitches fit, but again not quite as instructed.
Working the pattern is sort of exciting and interesting, but I keep finding things I missed as I work it and going back and fixing them Here note a "BIG SIGH". Usually it gets easier as I go but right now I am not sure.

As for my girl Ziggy, we are waiting for the vet appointment on St. Paddies day. She does seem a bit brighter today, I really hope it is not wishful thinking on my part.