Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Trials and Tribulations

We've spent the last two days running back and forth the the University Vet hospital with Wee Doggie. $900 worth of tests have revealed that his lack of ability to breathe is being caused by lymph fluid in his chest cavity but there is no known cause. The good news is it isn't cancer and it isn't masses or tumors of any kinds. They just don't know. So they drew a bit of it off to ease his breathing and sent him home. We have to watch him and when his breathing becomes labored again, they will drain more and reevaluate. There really is no 'cure' but surgery and even that is iffy. He's deaf, mostly blind, very lame, fecal incontinent, high strung and has dementia. There really is no need to do surgery just to prolong that. We will keep him as comfortable as we can and hope for the best for now. Ah the hard times of Furbaby ownership. The years of joy out weight the pain and you know this part is coming, but it's still difficult.

I will be so glad when I finish knitting this $%^&*(% sweater! Half and arm and the button band to go. I hate it. It's totally not like the other pattern (v neck) by the same publisher. It's sloppy and Grammie isn't going to like or wear it, and there are so many cool projects that I want to do. I don't think I was cut out to knit sweaters. Not enough instant gratification like there is with small projects. Speaking of small projects, I got an email from Blue Moon today saying that the first sock kit for the Socks That Rock Sock Club has been sent. I joined for the first time this year and I can't wait! I need a little bright spot these days and I nearly accosted our mailman when he came today even though I had just gotten the email and knew it wouldn't be in today's post. It's the little things.

I have an appt. with a hypnotherapist tomorrow. New Agey I know, but I did so well after I went to that self-hypnosis seminar, until it fell by the wayside, that I thought I'd at least get the free evaluation that they offered and see if there is a way to get my innate stress levels down. I am a chronic thinker and worrier. If I could get a hold of that, a lot of other problems in my life would be more easily managed like say...I don't know...chest pain! We'll see. Either it will help or Mr. Bee will be amused because I quack like a duck every time the doorbell rings. Who knows.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Satahdee Night Suppah

The blueberries were on the table and the moose, loons, potatoes, lighthouse and Mt. Katahdin were on the buffet; all ready for the Aroostook County Maine Satahdee Night Baked Bean Suppah!

I cooked all day with the fear that no one would be able to come because of the BLIZZARD. That's right! 15" of blowing snow! This 'March comes in like a lion' stuff started a little early this year! But we have the best friends in the world. They all made it! The mailman didn't even show up yesterday and it signed that 'neither rain nor sleet' contract, but they bundled up and made it all the way to our house!

It was so much fun. All of the food turned out edible and we all had a great time visiting. I made baked beans, potato salad (the Maine way where the potatoes are mashed), coleslaw, red Maine hot dogs, biscuits, Maine-shaped sugar cookies and blueberry/raspberry cobblah! We wrapped up a little early because of the snow and bedtimes for little ones, but it couldn't have gone better. I think it will be an annual thing from now on!


We needed a little fun and relaxation for what awaited us in the morning. 15 inches of wet heavy snow and a 5 foot mountain of huge snowballs where the plow came through at the end of the dooryard. Took nearly 3 hours to clear it all away, but it was kinda neat because the whole neighborhood was in the same boat so we all helped each other out. The snowblowers wouldn't go through it so it had to be shoveled first and then snowblowed. I am so lame tonight that I can hardly move. Tomorrow I ought to really be in rough shape. We are supposed to get 2-4 more inches over tonight and tomorrow morning. Not enough for a snow day, but I (and all of the school kids in south central Wisconsin) are praying for a snow day anyway!

Friday, February 23, 2007

I Make Plans. God Laughs

Don't know if my Aroostook County Maine Satahdee Night Suppah will happen tomorrow night or not. I've cleaned, planned and cooked. The potato salad is done, the beans are soaking, the Maine cookies are ready: lobstahs, loons, lighthouses and moose don'tcha know! (Picture is at a wierd angle, but you get the idea. The loons aren't burnt. They have a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar) I even ordered Jordan's Red Hotdogs all the way from Falmouth, Maine. anything for authenticity. And now, we are supposed to get the biggest storm of the season. Up to 13 " most of which is supposed to fall tomorrow night. Figures.

It's been that kind of a week actually. I spent all day yesterday in the ER hooked to various wires and tubing. I thought I might have a little bronchitis or something. Had some pressure in my chest so I called my doctor who told me to either get a ride to the ER or call an ambulance. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. My hero, Mr. Bee, drove me down there and they filled me full of nitroglycerine and aspirin, wired me to the nines and then decided it wasn't a heart problem. So I had to go to Nuclear Medicine to have some radioactive scan to see if I had a blood clot in my lung. When they couldn't find anything there, they said that they were 'fairly confident' that it wasn't anything serious but wanted to do a stress test. I said that I was 'fairly confident' that they were right and that I would be departing before the stress test since I had just had one as a part of my annual exam and it was fine. They gave me lots of possibilites; gastro, pleurisy, esophogial spasm, all of which required its own special torture to diagnose. Since none of those things involved my heart or lungs giving out, I left and decided to just wait it out. These things usually go away on their own anyway. It was my doctor who raised such a fuss! I still have the pressure and now I have welts all over my body from being allergic to the adhesive on the stickers they were so liberal with and bruises from IVs and needle sticks. Shoulda kept my big mouth shut!

Don't think I am going to be able to go to Mrs. SABLE's knit in tomorrow morning which bums me out because I am almost finished with a lace scarf-Branching Out from Knitty. I was so impressed with the ones that Allison at 'Whole Ball Of Yarn(s)' has done that I just had to try one. What a slick pattern. But. alas...something tells me I will be cooking and shoveling all day and no one will be able to make it through the weather. Oy! So it goes. We'll have beans and red hot dogs for a month!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Molly Bee's New Favorite Thing

Went to our friends D&T's house for supper. T worked some culinary wizardry and made a Swiss steak dish that was to die for but everyone knows that the key to Molly Bee's heart can be found on the dessert cart. They found a place on State Street that sells gelato so they bought four different kinds for us to try. I tried a little bit of all four (of course); there was deep, dark chocolate, vanilla-chocolate chip, wedding cake (which tasted like white cake batter-YUM) and my new favorite thing on the planet VIOLET! Not only was it my favorite color (lilac purple0 but it was sooooo good. T said he thought it tasted like frozen perfume but I LOVED it. Very crisp and refreshing. The world is a little better place now that I know violet gelato exists. D said that they got that one especially because it was purple and they knew that was my favorite color. Wasn't that thoughtful? It was a great dinner, delightful conversation, amazing gelato and best of all-spending time with good friends. Now I can go to bed happy. All is right in Molly Bee's world! Goodnight!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Monday, February 12, 2007

In Case Anyone Asks You

Wanna know what it looks like when you grind up 90 Oreos in the food processor, mix it with 16 oz. of cream cheese and then spend over an hour rolling it all up into little one teaspoon-sized balls? (Besides fresh deer droppings? I know. That thought always makes it easy not to taste test at this stage.)

It looks like this....


So now you know.

They'll get popped in the fridge overnight and dunked in milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or pink-tinted, white chocolate tomorrow night. Then they'll recieve a light dusting of pink or red colored sugar crystals, get nestled into little pink foil cups, and placed on a a heart-shaped plate complete with doily . Then they'll be all dressed up and ready for their debut on Valentine's Day! Who luvs ya, Baby!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Woobies

You may know it by one of its other names; blankie, afghan, quilt, ba-ba or binkie. My people call it a woobie (sorta rhymes with cookie). Woobies are very important to my tribe. Mr. Bee, Wee Doggie, Sebastian-the-cat, Sneakers-the-bunny, and I…we’re all nesters. There is nothing like curling up and snuggling in with a good book or the t.v. remote and a nice, soft, warm, woobie. So it is a wonder that it took Mr. Bee sixteen years to mention the fact that the woobies in our various nests were insufficient for a man who is 6’6” tall. He’s a patient man, Mr. Bee is. Lord knows it’s an attribute he’s needed and nurtured living with me, but SIXTEEN years?!?? Good Lord man! Speak Up! I am, after all, the woobie Queen!

So we went to Joanne’s to pick out some supplies to make him a custom-length, man-woobie all of his very own. Now nothing makes me want to crawl up in the turret with an automatic rifle like going to Joanne’s. I love my fellow humans on an individual, case by case basis and deal with them in small doses a whole lot better than in the bovine-like herds that are in that particular store every stinkin’ time I go in there. But Mr. Bee took charge. He picked out his top fabric (a groovy tie-dyed blue, teal and purple, pin-tucked, batik) and his backing (a matching teal fleece) and even stood in a cutting line the likes of which I have never witnessed outside of the madness that is the pre-Halloween and pre-Christmas rush. I got the batting, perle cotton and thread. Every single thing was on sale, so the Gods were with us on that count. We made it out of the store in under an hour which was a miracle given the mayhem inside. Nary a shopper was harmed in the process. I’m pretty proud of myself.

Got home, washed and dried the fabric, sewed it, flipped it, sewed the flap shut and tied it with the matching perle cotton and wha-la! Mr. Bee has a 2 1/2 yard tall woobie of his very own. He gave it a test run while watching a movie last night. He heartily approves- as does Sebastian-the-cat, who practically dove head first into Mr. Bee’s lap before the fabric had settled over it. Pretty good considering he's going on 17 years old. I’m telling you, woobies are a religious experience around here.

Today we have started spring cleaning. We did our room. I did the walk-in closet a couple of weeks ago so it didn’t take long. Did all of the cabinets and drawers in both bathrooms and Mr. Bee is putting up a new, curved shower curtain in the master bath. Feels good to be so productive on such a cold dreary February weekend.

My weeknights this week will be spent making Oreo Truffles for Valentine's Day at work and Knit Night at The Sow’s Ear. Yum! Except I won’t be able to partake this year. Oh well, it’s become tradition. I didn’t bake at Christmas this year. Seems wrong to not to do some cooking for Valentine's either. I'll just have to be wicked strong and resist. A package of ground up Oreos, creamed together with cream cheese, rolled into balls and then dunked in chocolate. Yeah...doesn't sound bad for you!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Tapping Wee Doggie

Remember our new job as Wee Doggie's body guards against the Big Bad Coyote? Piece of cake compared to our latest task. We took Wee Doggie to the vet last Saturday and she thought he might benefit from some arthritis drugs. She gave us a few and we’ve been giving them to him. Giving being a relative term since he LOVES them and would willingly eat our fingers off to get at them. He woofles them down like they were treats. So she called today to see if we have noticed any improvement in either his wobbly gait or his overall grumpy mood. I told her that I think we have. He seems a little peppier (not that that would be a stretch, he was basically a door-stop before) and though still curmudgeony…he seems a little more ‘with it’. She was glad to hear it and then said that the meds could cause some kidney damage so we need to keep an eye on that. Then she said…get this….(hysterical laughter) she said (giggle, cough, wheeze)…in a normal tone of voice like she was in her right mind (sorry, please let me pull myself together)…she said, “Just bring in a first morning urine sample for a baseline.”

Being a female and having been through the frustrations of infertility etc. my first thought was, “How is MY first morning urine sample going to tell her anything?” Then I realized that she meant Wee Doggie’s urine! Yeah. Right. How does one go about doing that?!?!?! There’s only four inches clearance between the ground and his tummy and his ears aren’t the only thing that ‘hang low’ if you know what I mean. To add insult to injury, because of his bad hips he’s a leaner-forwarder instead of a leg-cocker-upper…Yeah, I know, those are very technical veterinary terms. I can wait while you Google them.

So far, my best Wylie-Coyote-esque plan involves the bottom third of a Styrofoam cup on a coat hanger wire. This ought to be good. I’ll try to hire Mr. Bee as my official photographer.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Par For The Course

Now that Mr. Bee is coming off the injured reserve list after spraining his ankle on New Year’s weekend, the Gods-of-Misadventure decided it was time to give me a try. I walked to the other building in the -17° temps this morning for a meeting. Walking back I hit a tiny patch of ice on the cement. My foot slid sideways until it hit the edge of the sidewalk where my ankle bent in a decidedly unnatural position and pitched me face first onto the ground. I enjoyed the best of all possible landing spots, some concrete, some frozen lawn and some shrubbery. Of course I had my two new kids with me so they got to witness what must have looked like their admin’s drunken, swan dive into the pucker brush on their first day with the department. When I do it, I do it up right. And there weren’t even any goats like in the horrific, Memorial Day extravaganza!

Despite the fact that I had on my long johns and 42 other layers of clothes against the cold, I still managed to take all of the skin off my right knee , which is now the size of a cantaloupe and sprain my left arm; the one that made a futile attempt to catch me and make the whole bad incident just go away. My left arm was clearly delusional…there was no stopping that train wreck.

Because I had witnesses, I had to fill out an electronic, company ‘incident report’ detailing the entire matter for those who couldn’t attend the actual event to enjoy. The report asked what caused the accident, but there wasn’t a checkbox for ‘stupidity so I checked ‘ice on sidewalk’. The Vice President of Horribly Embarrassing Situations was at my desk before my pointer finger had completely lifted from the ‘submit’ button. Guess what he wanted to know? How I was? No. If anything was broken? Did I need hot tea and sympathy? No. He wanted to know what color the concrete was on the part of the sidewalk where I slipped. (No, no, I’m fine, thanks for being concerned!)

Our company has an artsy-fartsy colored sidewalk installed out front a few years back with black and white concretes. The black has been notorious for being slicker than a smelt when it gets any kind of moisture on it…and ice? Fuggetaboutit! This coupled with the fact that the facilities department was told not to salt it the first year for fear of ‘ruining the finish’ has made for some nasty spills and all sorts of ill will. Despite the fact that it has been cleared and salted ever since then it still has a nasty reputation. Anytime anyone hears about a fall with in a 20 mile radius of the building , the first comment made was “I’ll bet it was on the black!”

I told him that despite the fact that I had seen the concrete EXTEMELY up close and personal-like, I had no idea what color it was. After all, I had been a little shaken up and hadn’t noticed, what with trying to regain some sort of dignity (didn’t happen) and trying to dig the packed snow, bits of grass and pieces of coniferous shrubbery out from up my nose, out of my left ear and behind my sunglasses. He seemed disappointed that I hadn’t been more observant. Maybe I’ll go back to the scene of the crime and check to make his day. Or he could go look himself; there’s a big Molly Bee-shaped hole in the junipers.

In other news, Mr. Bee is 99.9% sure he saw a coyote in our back yard on Saturday night. He had just let Wee Doggie out to read his pee-mail when it came between our house and the one next door. It kept going, but it makes you think…Wee Doggie would make a convenient tasty snack given half a chance. What with being completely deaf, mostly blind, very lame, and at least two crumpets short of a proper tea, he wouldn’t put up much of a fight. If I was a coyote, I would eat him on principle-even if I wasn’t hungry. He’s just too easy a target to pass up. So now on top of the other eight bajillion other silly things we have to do for our furbabies, we can add bodyguard to Wee Doggies list of demands. At -17°, we must really love that furball!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Such A Lot Of Fuss Over A Lousy 'R'

Mr. Bee and I went to Walgreen’s after work. We were checking out and the cashier said, “What school do you kids go to?” I turned my 41-year-old eyes to the nearly 40-year-old Mr. Bee and then we both looked incredulously at the cashier. She looked so earnest that I said, “I love you” and grinned; flattered, the same way I used to when I was 25 and got carded at a bar. Then I said, “I’m 41 so I guess I’ve been out of school a while.” I was pretty smug about being half of such a young-looking couple. The cashier, who was in her sixties, looked puzzled and then said, “Oh, I saw the Valentines…”. I had purchased a box of kid’s Valentines to give my ‘kids’ at work like I do every year. I explained that they were for my work. Then she said that she was just asking everyone because some of the local schools weren't allowing Valentine candy at their parties so she was letting folks know which schools did and which ones didn’t. It was then that I realized that what she had actually said was, “What school do your kids go to?” Not YOU kids….YOUR kids. I felt like a colossal knob. What she must have thought, asking an innocent question and having some crazy lady, first profess her love for her out of the blue, and then blurt out her age. (I’m Molly Bee and I’m this many-fingers flashing 4 sets of 10 and then a one). Bet she’s wondering why I wasn't wearing a helmet and thanking her lucky stars I didn’t latch onto her for a big ol’ sloppy smooch and hug. Mr. Bee claims to have actually heard her correctly the first time and was contemplating throwing his hands up and telling her that he wasn’t with me. I don’t blame him. Maybe it’s time to start buying grown up Valentines or get a hearing aid....

I am working on a pair of socks for Mr. Bee out of Lang’s Jawool Sport #82-155. I only have two skeins and one on hold at The Sow’s Ear. Don’t think that’s gonna do it since I want them to be boot socks and have at least an 8” leg. Do you think I can find one more lousy skein anywhere? Of course not. Maybe I’ll make the toe and heel a solid color and then I would have enough. Any ideas?