The adventures of a knitting grandmother

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She spins, she knits, she blogs about it all.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A Birthday, a Sock, and a Dog on Steroids

Twenty nine years ago today (was it really that long ago?) our oldest son was born. Thus began 29 years of having at least one kid in the house at any given time. And honestly, I don't seem to remember what life was like before having children. Now that new baby of 29 years ago is married and about to present us with a second grandchild.

Time sure flies when you're having fun.

It wasn't a good week for knitting or blogging or much else except work. I shouldn't complain. There hasn't been anywhere near as much overtime as in the past year, but this week saw some extra long days and extra reports to be written up. Every day this week I came home and took a much-needed nap. I don't know who started the rumor that older people don't need as much sleep. All I know is that I can definitely tell when I haven't gotten enough. I can't stay up late like I used to and just toss it off the next day. It used to be a breeze getting up early and being to work at 5:30 or 6:00; now by the end of the week I feel as if it's becoming more and more impossible. How long until I can retire?

When I have picked up the needles, however, it has been to work on Joe's socks. I turned the heel on the first one today. It's the first time I've done a sock with leg shaping and it's working out quite nicely. So far it fits him very well and he's happy with it so far. But I need to convince him that wool nowadays isn't necessarily the itchy stuff he thinks it is. The acrylic is knitting up nicely and I am getting perfect gauge with it, but it makes my right arm hurt after a while since there isn't much give in it. And I don't want to irritate the arm again because it's been feeling really good lately. And besides, it's going to be such a freaking big sock! Those size 13 feet!! It's also my first two-color sock, which has it's own challenges. Anyone care to instruct me on how to join in the new color yarn for a sock? I don't want to knot the ends if I can help it. Right now they are just dangling in place but I'm going to have to do something about them soon. And none of my books seem to have any instructions for joining yarn when changing colors.

Another new technique I'm trying with these socks is doing the heel with both ends of the yarn alternating stitches. Nancy Bush gives this technique in Folk Socks for reinforcing the heel. It's turned out nice but it did slow things down a little bit. And it's a headache trying to pick up gusset stitches in black yarn!

Buddy got neutered two weeks ago Monday. We have always gotten our animals fixed. He came through it okay and was ready to go for a walk as soon as he got home from the vet's, even though he was still groggy from the anesthetic. He came home with beaucoup meds; in fact, the pills cost more than the surgery. In addition to his surgery, he also had an infection in one of his back paws, and we had the vet deal with that as well while Buddy was sedated on the operating table. Seems he picked up something deep in that paw, probably before we got him, and the pad on that paw was swollen and tender. So we had to give him antibiotics for ten days (tucked into meaty chunk dog food) for his surgery, as well as drops and creams on the paw and steroid pills twice a day for all the swelling.

I'm happy to say that Buddy has recovered very nicely. The surgery is all healed and the paw is looking much, much better; he's walking on it normally now. But there has been a side effect. A week or so after the surgery, we noticed that he was starting to eat an awful lot. He was cleaning out the cat food on a daily basis. It got to the point that we had to hide the cat food in the laundry room so that the cats could get it but he wouldn't go in there after it. (He usually won't push open a door that's mostly closed, but the cats can slide through and get at the food.) He was following us around every time we went into the kitchen and would scarf up anything in sight. Lettuce, nutshells, lemon juice, you name it. It finally dawned on us. All the steroids were making him hungry. Buddy was just trying to bulk up. Nothing like trying to buff up for all the girl dogs in the neighborhood. So we started feeding him more. It got to the point that he was eating four times as much as normal. And depositing four times as much in the backyard. It looked like grizzlies were sneaking in when no one was looking. We thought about hiring a dump truck (pun intended) to follow us around the neighborhood when we took him for walks. We were bringing a couple pounds back with us to throw in the garbage can after every trip. It was becoming positively embarassing.

Fortunately we have been cutting back on the steroids since Thursday. Buddy has to be tapered off them over the next couple weeks, so I imagine we will still have some appetite issues for a while, but the situation has started to slowly drift back towards normal. I took Buddy for a walk this afternoon and didn't need any of the plastic bags or latex gloves I brought along. There may be hope that soon the appetite and the poop production will be back to normal.

I'm sure the garbage men will appreciate that too.

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Anonymous Dipsy said...

Oh my, poor Buddy! All these steroids really must have gotten to him - fortunately things are slowly, but surely getting back to normal now! All the best to him!
And wow, I love the socks you're doing for Joe, what a very beautiful pattern!
Happy, happy birthday to your son!

11:02 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

I love Joe's socks too. I also can comiserate with the size 13 problem. They go on forever, don't they? Happy birthday to your baby.

4:59 AM  
Blogger Roxie said...

You are such good pet owners! And Buddy looks so happy! Pounds of poop? Mercy! Good thing you don't have any enemies. Put THAT in a flaming paperbag on the porch! Ghastly.

And Joe is a lucky, lucky man to have you. the socks are stunning!

7:18 AM  
Blogger Margene said...

Great socks! The detail is very handsome. I too need much more sleep. I rarely nap but do get to bed earlier than I like. Happy B-day to your son.

8:21 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Where do I look in Folk Socks for the heel reinforcing info?? I just blew the heels out of my one and only pair of hand knit socks. :(

Poor BUDDY! I hope he's better and you can slow down on the shoveling! hehe

10:51 AM  
Anonymous Kelly said...

Happy Birthday to your son. The socks are looking great. Glad Buddy is starting to feel better!

6:40 PM  

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