Thursday, December 17, 2009

And So It Goes

To start, I want to take you back in time for a bit. It's May 25th, 1994 in the auditorium of the Rochester Riverside Convention Center, I'm sitting with my fellow REOC LPN graduates in my black cap and gown. It had been very rainy and chilly that day, even by Rochester, NY standards. It will be a day I will remember long after dementia sets in. I was 28, a mother of 3 young children and had been struggling for the past 4 yrs on public assistance.

Four years earlier, my husband at the time had just had a heart attack at the age of 27 and was cardiac disabled. I gave birth to my youngest son premature, as a result suffered multiple health problems. At the urging of friends, I enrolled in a 12 month LPN program the spring of 1993. I was very apprehensive about this as I have a hypodermic needle phobia. With the help of my wonderful instructors and some fellow students, I struggled through. Good grades had never been a problem for me and weren't for nursing school. Some of things I saw and had to do in clinicals made my skin crawl. Many a day I came home crying I wasn't going back, only to get up and cry all the way back to school to do it all over again.

Being there, that night, was a major accomplishment for me. I was the first in my class to get a job as a GPN(graduate practical nurse) to start that following Monday. I could have taken the summer to study for my boards, but I didn't want to collect one more penny, be on assistance one more day than I had to. My family and friends arrived hours early to make sure they had front row seats in the audience. They knew what a toll the past year had been on me, physically, emotionally and financially. When my name was finally called to get my certificate, I believe they cheered the loudest.

What I remember most about that night, was my thought as I took that envelope and walked off the stage. At last, at last I had the skills to work a good paying high demand job. Never would I have to stand in a public assistance line again. Well, there is a reason for that saying "Never say never." June 4, 1999, I injure my back and what was thought a muscle strain has became so many health problems, some days I'm overwhelmed to be in my skin.

Fast forward to today, we were served with court papers with a date of Dec 23 going for eviction, unless we can come up with the rent plus late fees. The whole amount, they won't take partial payments. Just 2 weeks late. In NY, have to be at least 30 days pass due before court. I don't understand the laws here.

We took the bus down to our local DES office, to be told they would review our application in the next 7 business days and would call us in after the first of the year. It takes 30 to 45 days for cash assistance and food stamps, 60 days for Medicaid. Call the Salvation Army for emergency help. Which we already had and they aren't helping til after January as they are busy with Christmas baskets. We were told to call churches, maybe they would help, which churches they couldn't say.

We came home and checked the mail. In it was a shut off notice for yesterday. The electric company gave me two numbers for assistance, one I got a voice mail when I punched 0 for the operator and haven't heard back. The second number just rang and rang with no answer. Luckily, OH had sold his property he had for awhile on Second Life over the weekend, and a few friends online bought yarn from me. It was just enough to pay the electric.

I have applied for part-time jobs, even though my dr. has me totally disabled. My leg swells double every day now about an hour after I get up in the mornings. However, if I could find someone to hire me, I would work and suffer through the pain.

The stress of everything has had me with migraine headaches the past two nights. I need to be sorting and listing more yarn and fabric, but is so hard with a pounding head and upset stomach. OH found a site, Wish Upon A Hero, he put up a post on. So far, a friend on Plurk and one anonymous person have made donations.

I had said, if I could list $1300.00 worth of stuff and 130 people each spent $10.00, we would have enough for rent, telephone and supplies for the pets. He said, it would be nice if everyone who came across his link would just donate $2, we would probably be able to pay the bills. The site tallies how much the wisher receives from Paypal donations and shows it right on the page. In case, your reading this and haven't clicked the link above. I'm surprised he put up a listing as he is not one to beg for help, but that is how desperate the situation has become.

I called the McDonalds on the corner from us and they said they are hiring and to come in the morning when the manager is there. OH said he would be there with bells on.

The other restaurant job, that was across the street, called him in for a third time just to tell him the guy that was leaving has decided to stay and they didn't need any help. His references spoke highly of him and they would keep him in mind if anything should come available.

If you have been a past reader of this blog, you know how much we love our pets. It's not losing our stuff. It's not being homeless. Though I have nightmares of homeless drug addicts accosting me for my medications. It's the thought of having to call the ASPCA to come pick up our pets, that's just killing us. I've never been a morning person, but the past several years of waking up in horrible nerve pain in my back and legs makes it way worse. If it weren't for the furkids, I doubt I would put my feet on the floor most mornings.

So why did I start with that evening back in 1994? Because it's times like this, when I stop for a moment, that memory of that moment walking off the stage comes to my mind and I catch my breath. Dear God, if only it had stayed that way.

If you've read this to the end, thank you. If you decide to help us with even $2, bless you.

Update: I've been calling churches and agencies all morning, it seems everyone is not helping till after the first of the year, as they are giving out Christmas baskets.

It seems we are on our own. OH has applied to McDonalds this morning, but they were too busy to be able to talk to the manager. He will go back tomorrow after the manager might have had time to review his application. In the meantime, I have two more links. If you could/would pass them on, we would appreciate it.

Save the Bunnies and his blog, Son of Modblog

Hopefully, we can resolve this crisis soon and I can get back to posting about what I like best knitting, spinning, baking and most especially the pets.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Hello Insomnia My Old Friend. I've Come To Speak With You Again.

I had planned to post on Thanksgiving, but well crap happens and then some. As far back as I can remember I've suffered from insomnia. Much to the vexation to my mother, I couldn't get my head to settle down either because I wanted to play with my dolls or something scared me. Usually it was the latter. It didn't take much to have me scared and up for nights on end. Then as a teen, I was either worried about school, or again scared of something, and the can't put it down book.

As a young mother it was no longer the imaginary ghosts and monsters that had up scared and worried but very grown up problems. Plus, the very sick child needing soothing. Sometimes it was just that one more row, stitch, needle workers know how it is. Now, in my forties, the children are grown and out on there own. I've fought all my real and imaginary monsters. However, I still often suffer with occasional bought of insomnia, brought on by worry or obsession.

Tuesday before Thanksgiving such a bout of insomnia with just cause. I'll give the bad news before the good stuff so I can leave on a good note. It all started just before we left for Tucson. I'm so sick of companies telling you one thing over the phone and the contract/lease ends up completely different and way more money than discussed. Then they use the bait and switch when you question. Oh, you spoke to such and such well, I don't know why they said, but that's not the way it is. The long and the short of it is between the apartment complex, the movers and vet we $4,000.00 over what we were originally quoted. We could have lived over three months on that money.

Instead we are down to pocket lint. OH has put in over 500 applications. The day after Thanksgiving we got our hopes up. He got a taxi driver job. The supervisor said the least any driver makes $100 per day but more usually $200. Except that OH had to walk a mile to the bus stop, get off the bus and walk another 3 miles to the shop. Work 12 hrs then make the same trip back home. So he would be gone from 4am to 8pm, 6 days a week. Which would have been ok, had he made the money they quoted. Unlike the previous companies he worked, where they split the fare 50/50, this company worked from a lease rate. They charge the driver $79.00 to take the car out, the driver has to pay the gas out of his pocket. Whatever is left over is what the driver keeps.

First day out, he wasn't getting any calls, then he got one no show. At 3pm he went back to the shop to ask what was going on, why wasn't he getting any calls. They checked the car out and found the radio cable was all chewed up, so the radio was shorting out. Fine way to run a business, send a guy out on his first day and make sure the cab is operating correctly. So they credited him his lease for that day. Second day, was the 1st, so he was kinda busy and made 80.00. Third day was very slow, and he only made 20. The problem is there is too many cabs for the business here. This company has ads on Craigslist every day, hiring new drivers. He didn't go back after the third day, it was just too much hassle for too little return, plus he was afraid of not making the lease fee and working all those hours just to get in debt to the company.

Tuesday before Thanksgiving my left leg started swelling up about 3 times its size. I remember checking the pitting edema in the ankles of CHF patients. My ankle when I pressed on it with my finger made a 3++ and took about an hour for the dent to go away. After a week, I figured out it was from sitting at the kitchen table for an hour or more. Once it started it just continued no matter where I sat. It doesn't help that I have insomnia, from worrying and not able to lay flat for a good nights sleep.

I called the Medicaid office to find out about applying so I can see a Dr. The website only states an AZ resident, not how long you have to reside in order to qualify. Back home in NY you had to reside there 6 mo. before they consider you a resident to qualify for assistance. The man told me there is no waiting period and I'm considered a resident the day I set foot on AZ soil. However, due to an influx of applications it takes 60 days to process instead of the usual 30.

The rent is now overdue with high late fees, the telephone needs to be paid by the Dec22 or we lose phone and internet. The electric should be shouting any day. I tried calling the Pima County Emergency Aid services but they just have a recording that says leave your number we'll get back to eventually. I tried the Salvation Army but when they transferred to the assistance line I got a recording they aren't helping anyone until the 28th due to their Christmas drive. They gave another number to call, however, when I called that one I got a diesel repair shop. It's been 3 days and I'm still waiting for the first agency to call back.

OH had an interview earlier this week at a restaurant just yards from us. He spoke to the owner and the head executive chef. They said they had a couple other interviews and would call later in the week. It's Friday afternoon and they haven't called. 500 applications and 3 interviews. I want to climb the mountain across the street and scream, "Won't anyone give him a job? It's that so damn much to ask?"

It's beyond maddening, and when I think about the whole situation I want to throw up and cry at the same time. He listed his two most expensive guitars on ebay. They are each worth $1000.oo but he put them up for a buy it now of 600. and an auction with a reserve. The auctions ended at 200 and 300. No way are we going through the hassle of getting them shipped for that little amount.

I'm listing yarn on Ravelry that I had in my etsy store. I have enough yarn, fiber, fabric and cotton crochet thread to pay the bills even selling them on the cheap. I'll be listing on Ravelry all weekend. I'm thinking about listing the fabric on another blog and call it Knitting Kitties Virtual Yard Sale. There is no way I'm listing anything on ebay and the other sales sites charge fees that I can't really afford right now. What do you think of the idea of listing it on a linked up blog to here? I decided on listing with Create Invent Sell for fabric.

I started this post this past Thursday with the intention of finishing up over the weekend. I took the luxury of relaxing over the weekend, it was a luxury I could little afford. Will put up an updated part 2 shortly.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Who Switched My Bunnies

Something strange happened on the way down to Arizona. Well, many strange things always happens when I travel to Arizona. However, this particular strange thing is, I think somebody switched bunnies on me. They look like the same bunnies, but they sure don't act like them. I had packed all my Led Zeppelin cd's in a small box and set it aside. My son found it, taped it up and sent it on the moving truck. Dammit and I were really disappointed, the van we rented had a cd player and we were planning to make use of it.

Nippit had her spay surgery 12 days before we left. I was expecting, or hoping for a behavior change from her. Except the change I was hoping for hasn't happened, she's still Miss Dominatrix with the other buns. She was bonded with Dammit before the surgery. That has changed since she had to spend 10 days in a cage after the surgery. We let Betty out to run with Dammit, since they get along. Well, Nippit is pissed that Dammit cheated on her with another girl.

Dammit and Betty rode together in the big cage, and Nippit had smaller one to herself, as she just had her staples removed. The night we got in, Dammit decided to hump on Betty something horrible and she whined as there was no place to get away from him. We put her in a cat carrier until we could get a cage the next day. The best OH could find was a dog crate.

The carpet here is new, so we are keeping them caged. Twice a day we let them out for exercise and play time. Dammit and Betty are getting along again, so they are back together in the big cage at present. When we tried to let Nippit out with Dammit she ran right over and attacked him.


It looks much neater than this now that Betty is back in with Dammit.

The strange thing is, after 30 minutes when we chase them to put them back in their cages, they hop back in their cages by themselves. Sometimes they come up missing and when we go look for them they are sitting in their cage. If you would have told me they were going to do that before we left NY, well, I'd still be back there rolling on the floor laughing hysterically.

Dammit got to be a free roam bunny because we could not catch him to put back in his cage. Three days after neutor surgery, he jumped over the back of the couch and hid underneath up inside it to keep from being put back in the cage.

We're wondering who these new bunnies are. They look like our bunnies, but they sure don't act like them.


Mommy tell me a story.


I wonder what is in that room.



I just realized we don't have any recent pictures of Nippit hopping around. I'll have to take some tonight.

Roses are one of my favorite flowers. My favorite colors are pink, lavender and peach. Over the years, I've tried to keep miniature roses in the apartment. They've always died after a week or two. I did research online and figured out they weren't getting enough sunshine on the shelf that I was keeping them.

Bright Eyes has a fetish for roses is the reason I kept them up there. So, I put them in the window for a few hours a day and sprayed Bright Eyes when she tried to nibble them. The plants enjoyed the water spray, Bright Eyes did not. I was able to keep two rose plants alive for 6 weeks before I left. I bought two more and replanted them in another container. They are loving the sunshine here on the patio. Everyday, I'm finding new flower buds, there are about 8 tiny buds this morning. So far only one has bloomed.


Surprise, actual fiber content today. To thank my ex for fixing my spinning wheel, how better than to spin yarn and knit him some nice warm socks. I dyed this last year and forgot to mark what it is. I think it might superwash BFL. I just have to Navajo ply it, yuck. I can do it well enough, it just makes arms hurt, so not a big fan.


I found my cashmere silk and Golding spindle from Rhinebeck last year and started playing with that again. I have plans for the finished lace weight when I get it done. Just not in a hurry to get it spun up, such a luxury I'm savoring it, like the way I chocolate.


I'm in the process of sorting stuff out for sale: yarn, fiber and fabric. I don't want to open an Etsy store just to destash, so I'll list them on my other blog Knitting Kitties 2 and on the appropriate Ravelry forums. Ebay, I don't want to list there unless it comes down to it as I don't like the changes they've made regarding the sellers. I think those that have sold on Ebay know what I'm talking about.

Here's hoping OH finds a job very soon. He's had some good prospects the past couple days, fingers crossed they pan out. I'm working on my endurance to be able to handle working a part-time job. Last night I made it to the grocery store and back without my cane, about a half mile, with no stumbles from my bad leg.

Tomorrow I have a big day trip planned. It will be a surprise as to where I'm going. I'll bring the camera with me. Hopefully, I won't be too wiped out and will blog about it over the weekend.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Two Weeks Gone By

I'm starting on week three, and not feeling homesick this time around. It's not bothering me as much to be 2500 miles away from what I call home and my family. I believe I was better able to prepare mentally by being through it previously. My family never read my blog before, I wonder if they will now, that's when I re give them the site address.

Last week was sort of busy. I've been working on my leg strength. The weather has been great for lessening my chronic pain, sunshine works wonders on relieving depression. Wednesday, I was able to walk around the perimeter of the complex without my cane. Thursday, we had a storm system move in with a huge temperature drop, humidity and high winds. Back home I was a storm barometer and it hasn't changed for down here.

Friday, was a special day as I had spoke to someone on Ravelry and we made plans to meet at The Tucson Yarn Company. The bus stop is a mile from me and I wanted to test if I could make it, then take the bus the other to the store. She offered and I accepted a ride back home. OH walked me up to the stop and we arrived just as one bus was leaving and the next was in a half hour.

We decided to browse around the Whole Foods store while waiting. Half way around the store, I can in contact with something and had a violent allergic reaction. Suddenly my sinuses were on fire and I was sneezing uncontrolably. I felt awful arriving at the yarn store sneezing, sniffling and blowing my nose like I was spread the plague. Great way to make a first impression. I made sure to let everyone know I was fine when I left house, that it was an allergic reaction.

Saturday was spent sleeping most of the day. It was supposed to be housecleaning day. However, OH did the housecleaning while contemplated the back of my eyelids and subliminal thoughts about housework. I did force myself to go for the daily walk later that evening.

This past Sunday was OH's one year anniversary for quitting smoking. He did it cold turkey from a two pack a day habit. I'm really impressed, especially since I've only been able to cut down to 4 cigarettes a day. I found out, yes, I really smoke to keep from killing people. (insert nervous laughter) To be respectful of his choice, I go outside to do it.

After dark, I met this little guy hanging out by the door light.

OH looked it up and apparently it's a desert night lizard. They are very shy and people rarely notice them. I guess, unless, they are standing outside, alone, smoking a bit of cigarette. When I first noticed him, I ran in the house and yelled, "Hon, grab the camera. Look at this." He came outside and said, "Look at what?"

"The lizard, there."


"Right......oh, he must have ran away."

Next time, I saw him, I quietly tip toed back in, and whispered. Yeah, like the lizard was going to hear me inside, behind a close door and down the hallway.

He saw him that time and tried to get a picture, however, the little bugger ran at the first flash. Several tries over the course of a few nights, some photo shopping and we got some pictures of shy guy.

Apparently there are two of them, I saw later. When they ran off, they hid in the crack between the light and the wall. They are hanging out waiting for bugs to come attracted to the light. I watched the bigger one spring out and gulp down a rather large moth.

The pets are all doing great. (I typed the pests at first) Bright Eyes and Butterscotch have gotten more spry and are running around acting like kittens again. It makes me wonder if at 9 and 10 years old, if they weren't feeling a bit arthritic as well.

On the way down, I spoke to a worker at an Illinois rest stop. The electric had went out and he was hanging around the info desk to make sure all the travelers found their way around in the dark. He told me when he was in college he had an 80 yr old aunt that spents winters in Arizona. She went because of her arthritis. He said that after awhile her arthritis seemed to go away and she got around much better. That gives me hope the sun will suck the aches out of me.

I read somewhere that people didn't like reading blog posts more that 500 words. I'm not going to count, though I'm sure I've past that quota by now. Promising to start posting more often, next post is dedicated to bunnies. I'll tell you all about Dammit's newest strange behavior.


Yesterday, I made it walking two miles by myself. I had to mail a package back home and luck was in my favor in that the UPS store just happened to be next TYC. I had fun sitting and chatting with one of the owners while waiting for the bus back. I did ok on the mile walk home. A blister started on my right baby toe at the half mile point. I was limping on both legs then. At the quarter mile point, let's just say, if there were snails in Tucson, they would have ran past laughing at me.

Mom, if you are reading this, notice, I did dye my hair finally.

I'll leave you with a picture of the front entrance. The brightness, that's sunshine. You might not recognize it back home.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Day 10 in Tucson

What about days 8 & 9? You ask. Well, it was the weekend, nothing really happend. Then again nothing really happens during the week either, or even today. Are you going to name every single post day whatever in Tucson? I may. I've said in the past I'm bad about titles. It's substance of the post I think that matters. This weekend I picked up a book that had a great title and cover but when I started read, it was yuck, fizzled out on me in the first paragraph.

I will try to give substance and failing that cute bunny pictures. Today, however, is for the birds. Mr. Bird says, "Everyday should be for the birds."


That is Mr. Bird, resident good sport. I mean, he would have to be living in a home with 4 cats.


For years I've talking about getting a parakeet. Except, I was always talked out of it, because I have all these. It's amazing what family will smile and nod at, when you're depressed out of their minds. So this past March, I bought Mr. Bird. He started out as just Bird, while we waited for him to show his true personality. As time went, Mr. Bird just seemed to fit.

I had ideas of teaching him to talk like the parakeet of my childhood. Who would call my grandfather when he heard him moving around in the morning. I did succeed at teaching Mr. Bird "Pretty Bird".

One night, a gust of wind blew in and knocked Mr. Bird's cage from his ceiling hook. Mr. Bird had been on his swing, fell to the bottom and broke his wing. I called the different bird vets in area and each wanted any where from $79 to $100 just to look at him. He was eating and drinking ok, so we just let it heal on it's own. Duane said, "I'm sorry, I really Mr. Bird too, but I can buy you 5 birds for that price." It's not like he will need to fly in his cage. Even though the cats leave the birds alone, we're not going to let them out to fly around.

While he was eating and drinking ok, for three days he wouldn't chirp. I found You Tube videos of other birds to try to get him to chirp. Nothing until about the fourth or fifth day. Then he went nuts everytime he heard the other birds. Duane decided he was lonely. His lonliness was obvious with the romance he was having with his plastic perch bird buddy. Then came Huey.

I remembered that the top part of the beak is blue for boys, but I forgot what my grandmother told me for girls. So, when I saw this pretty bird that white with a bit of black on top and bright sky blue on the bottom, the top of the beak was a pinkish lavender, I thought maybe girl. Makes sense if blue is for boys then pink has to be for girls.

After we bought the bird and a second bigger cage, did I bother to look it up online. Blue and lavender is boys, brown or sometimes whitish is girls. The white however could turn blue if it's a young bird. The only true way to tell is to have bird in question DNA tested. Um no. We found out for ourselves when we put them together and they each tried to get atop the other. Male birds are also chattier than girl birds.

It took several phonecalls to various pet shops before I got a definate, let me look, yes, we two females. Yet, another bigger cage.

A month before we moved, I bought a third female bird, all yellow, which I named Emily. The white one in the back, we named Ladybird.

Then from left to right is Myrtle, Huey and of course Mr. Bird. His one wing hangs a bit lower than the other.

The line up.

Duane is amazed at how they have unique personalities, being they are such primitive life forms with tiny pea sized brains. I knew otherwise.

Mr. Bird, all around happy guy, is a gigolo. He hangs with all the ladies, Huey and loves sit at the front of the cage, hang on the little bell broom, shake it while wiggling his bottom on the perch. The other birds get upset with him for his broom fetish. Sometimes we sing, "I'm just a birdolo" to him. (For those who didn't get the reference to I'm Just a Gigolo)

Mr. Bird tweets and warbles from the time the sun rises, until late at night when we cover his cage. We forgot once and when Duane got up at 3am, Mr. Bird was sitting there chattering away. He even chirps while he is napping with his head in his feathers.

Huey is all around cage bully and can't figure out why the girls avoid him and sometimes Mr. Bird does as well. He likes to push the birds off their perches, and somehow gets Mr. Bird to hang upside on the bottom of the perch, Huey then takes his foot and steps on Mr. Birds stomach. Mr. Bird squacks and I come running to give Huey a squirt with the water bottle. Then I give him a long lecture on playing nice.

Ladybird, the all white one, is quite refined. Since getting Emily, she has now decided to take up with Huey occassionally. She is guard of the broom, and has her set distance of personal space. She will make a rasping noise if another bird gets too close. She occasionally likes to back warble for the boys.

Myrtle is green and yellow with a teal botton. Her butt, around the base of her tail is dark teal, I kid you not. Myrtle is for the most part quiet. She has a distinct squak when she is upset. It sounds like the car horns on the kiddy ride at the fair. You know the one that is like a small merry go round with cars. We call Myrtle and Ladybird biker chicks, because nobody messes with them. They will whip around and give the offending bird a good hard peck if they get out of line.

Emily, she was a baby when I bought her. One of the cashiers had hand raised a batch and just brought them in that night. She was so thrilled I was buying one of her birds. It was the pet store across the street, and I kinda hung out there over the summer. You know to talk to the animals and keep them company while waiting for homes. Just because some of the sales people started hiding when they saw come in doesn't mean anything. They probably had something to do. I'm betting they miss me now.

So back to little Emily. She's a sweetie. Poor thing, her first night Huey was the first to say Hello by knocking her off the perch. After a day of that, Myrtle and Ladybird got after him. Emily is now Mr. Bird's girlfriend, when he's not occassionally chatting up Myrtle or riding his broom. They are so sweet together, preening eachother and sometimes pretend they have babies in the nesting box. Mr. Bird sits on top of the box, Emily in front of hole, Mr. Bird feeds Emily and she pretends to feed babies in the box. It's empty, the box, I checked.

So, now I've bored you to death about my birds. If you're still here I'll tell you why the birds are important to day 10 in Tucson. When I lived here 7 years ago, I noticed the first week that I never heard birds outside. They are there, I've found out. They are just hard to hear over the traffic, the area has been so urbanized.

Like the song says, You don't know what you got till it's gone. One of things I missed most about NY was the birds chirping. There are other things I miss too. This time around on day 10, I hear the birds chirping from sunrise until I put towel over the cage and say good night Mr. Bird, Huey, Ladybird, Myrtle and Emily.

In the next day or two, I'll make a video for You Tube and post on here, so you can see and hear them in action.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Seventh Day In Tucson

Wow, it's been almost 11 months to the day since I last posted. What a wild time it's been those months. It started with bitter cold weather that made my pelvic and muscle pain sky rocket. Most of the winter was spent in bed on a heating pad that my mother mercifully bought for me. I couldn't concentrate on my needlework, so I went back to much reading. Many hours, many days, weeks, etc. equals many books read. I should make a list sometime.

The spring didn't get any better. On my birthday, my mom had a minor heart attack and my Happy Birthday phonecall was from step-father to tell me my mother was in the hospital. It was good thing I didn't have any plans to celebrate. Later that evening my beloved bunny Lexi passed away. It was expected, she was eating and hopping less and less. The finale was when MY kitty Bright Eyes comes up on the bed to console me, turns around and she has a good size lesion on her bottom. I flipped out thinking she had colon cancer. It was fitting due to age of 9 years and the way the day was progressing.


We'll miss you, Lexie.

Luckily, a trip to the vet and crisis everted. She had only blown out her rectal gland. A frequent occurance according to our vet, and just required a good wound cleaning. I've had cats and known people with cats all my life and never heard of such. Well, you learn something new everyday.

Dammit bunny went into a deep depression after Lexi died. He ate less and less and moped around. Very un-Dammit like. After two weeks I was sent on mission to find him a baby female bunny. I surprised how hard it was being late spring. None of local pet shops had young bunnies. An internet search brought up a breeder in Syracuse, Snow Shoe Bunnies. At first she e-mailed back that she didn't have any available, then after some thought she e-mailed the next night she had a bunny she was going to use as a breeder we could buy. So after several e-mails later we met up on a the thruway exit near me at a truck stop while she was on her way to a bunny show that weekend. Thus Nippit entered our lives and hearts.

Mom named her Missy, I wanted to call her Honey and Duane said Ginger. However, when on day 3, she shot across the room and took a large chunk of fur out Dammit's but as he was hopping away. We realized she was Nippit.


Sad little Dammit getting a snuggle from his Pop.


Baby Nippit, day 1. Looks so precious.

We did bunny dates on our bed, however they weren't going very well. So, I bought ferret harnesses and we took them out in the courtyard. One good thing about the complex management being cheap. They won't pay for weed killer sprays.



A few seconds of nice. Immediately after, Dammit goosed Nippit and then she pounced him.


I am Nippit, who are you looking at? She's such a pugnacious little being.


Luckily, they became friends just in time. A group of guys the owner hired to replace the roof, came along. They ripped off all the old shingles and tar paper. Left the roof to bare plywood during several days of this.


Which led to this.


This is section that landed on my head on that Friday evening. Duane was carrying my dinner out of the kitchen. I heard water suddenly dripping next to me. He yelled move, as the ceiling came down.


It took over an hour for their so called emergency maintenance to show up. One of them said I should call an ambulance because I was acting dazed. Well, duh, a 3 X 4 section of wet dry wall hit me on the head. Duane said he didn't realize I was hit, because he was moving stuff and pets out of the way. Nippit and Dammit had to live in the big cage together for several days.

I sustained whiplash and a cucussion, was pretty out of it the three days we put up in a hotel. The ceiling had come down in all four upstairs apartments. Tuesday, they moved us back in to the mess, ceiling still not fixed, until that Wednesday morning. All they did was put up drywall and left it like that. Very ghetto looking. The maintenance broke my spinning wheel when they rammed Duane's recliner into it. My children's father fixed it for me days before we moved to Tucson. Three months later, I still have periods of neck pain and severe head aches.

We couldn't find a lawyer to take the case, I'm already disabled so no lost wages and my neck wasn't broke or paralyzed. It wouldn't have mattered anyway. They went into receivership and then forclosure for 400,000.00 to the bank. So, if we went to court and won, I would have to wait a very long time to see a dime.

I spent the summer in a deep depression. September, while visiting the pet store we came across a little black bunny they claimed was purebred Netherland dwarf. To my surprise, he bought her for me. We named her Betty. After much thought we realized she really looks like a Shmoo. So here is Betty Shmoo.

We took Betty with us to the vet, when we took Nippit in for her spay. The vet agreed Betty does indeed look to be a mix breed. Possibly mixed with a mini Rex. She has very large feet compared to Nippit, and the longest toes. The vet was even surprised at her feet.

Duane came into a small inheritence which he used to move us Tucson when our lease ended in October. We made the decision on the fact that last winter was so hard on me. Duane, who made fun of me for having a blog, started his own. You can read his blog for posts about our trip. He is a professional writer, so much better to read. He also has many interesting stories about the bunnehs.

Tuesday morning I woke up and thought day 4 in Tucson and wished I kept a diary some week prior. There wasn't much time, if I had tried. So here I sit, day 7 of my new life in Tucson.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Happy Birthday Mr. Jimmy Page

We here at Chez Knitting Kitties are all enthusiastic fans of Mr. Page of Led Zeppelin. We hope he has a wonderful 65th birthday, doing what he most enjoys. May you have many more to come.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Yet Another New Year

I haven't celebrated New Years for quite a few years and must be getting cynical with age as I'm no longer optimistic about changing calenders be full of promise. I just get new pictures to change to every month.

No New Year's resolutions here. The very last New Year's resolution I made is the only one I've been able to keep and that is; No more New Year's resolutions. I find that resolutions are easier to keep when the need and urgency is at it's strongest. Like Scarlett, in Gone With Wind, swearing her oath, in the garden, on her return to Tara.

A review of the past few weeks since my last post. I dyed 10 skeins of merino/silk fingering yarn for the shop. I just need to upload them. There is still over a pound of BFL combed top to dye, however, the dying came to a stand still with Christmas candy making, then the storms after Christmas. If you've been reading this blog lately, you know what weather changes do to me. Time to force myself to get back at it.

I made 15 pounds of chocolate fudge, 5 pounds of maple walnut fudge and 2 1/2 pounds of peanut brittle. Believe it or not, that is tiny compared to what I usually make and had planned. Lots of supplies left over. I would say Valentine's Day candy, but the supplies will get munched up as snacks by various persons. No, not me, really. I can eat just one M&M and make a bag last for months. Go ahead, hate me.

The fudge this year was the best ever, very creamy. I follow the ingredients on the back of the large container of Fluff. Older containers call for 12oz, 3/4 of 16oz jar, this years tub said to use the whole container. Yes, I still had a container from last year to refer to. But that small difference was not the reason for the creamier taste, I don't believe.

Who knew bad legs could be benefit? I believe the creamier texture was because I was unable to babysit the pot, standing over the stove, due back and leg pain. So, I put the first five ingredients in the pot, set in on med low, then sat down, checking on it occasionally and giving it a stir. I use a candy thermometer, so when it was about 10 degrees to soft ball stage, is when I turned it up to medium and babysat til it reached proper temp. I believe it was the very slow cooking that made it creamier. No, it didn't stick to the pot with the infrequent stirring.

For maple walnut fudge, I replace the chocolate chips with white chocolate ones, add one teaspoon of maple extract along with the vanilla. You can make any flavor of fudge using the white chocolate with a teaspoon of whatever flavor extract you want. I have also cut different flavors of fudge into inch squares, set on a wire rack over a cookie sheet and drizzled with chocolate ganache for a chocolate coating. I was going to take a picture, please forgive me for being lazy.

I had a nice surprise on Christmas Eve, my youngest stopped by for a rare visit. He graduated this past June and is now working as an apprentice in a machine shop. I thought of knitting him a nice pair of wool socks to keep his feet warm while standing on cement floor at work.

His calf measures 18 inches and his foot is a size 11 1/2 EEE width. I knew better than to have him take his boot off for a foot measurement. If a Google search doesn't give me the measurements maybe a call to a shoe store will give me approximates. I thought about spinning the yarn for this endeavor until I took those measurements. It would probably take about 8 ounces for a pair. I can knit myself a small sweater with that much. Someone on Plurk said to use sport weight yarn. I have an 8 oz skein of SW merino sport weight, I bought awhile back, so I think I will go with that. He did say his boots are a little loose on him as they are size 12, the sport weight should work out.

Did you finish your Christmas knitting? What Christmas knitting??? I make Christmas candy. Go back, see above.

Here I was on Christmas eve with Mom's leg warmers, four inches. This is the first time I've used the two socks on circular needle method and I'm not a fan. The two needles not in use flopped around, got in the way and was just too fiddley for my tastes. Not to mention, hard it is to figure out where you left off if you don't finish knitting both the socks on the needle in use before you set it down.

I love the way the yarn changes colors like Kauni, only softer in texture. Strange thing happened with this fiber. I rinsed all the excess dye out before spinning, and had no problems while spinning the singles, but when it came to the plying my hands turned blue. Even with a thorough rinse when I set the twist, my hands turned slightly blue while knitting. I'm going to wash them and soak with cold water and bit of vinegar before I give them to her. Here's hoping she doesn't get blue legs. Here they are finally finished over the weekend. Bootsie is checking for errors.


I'm almost to the point of starting the sleeves for Mom's Kauni sweater. Just a couple more repeats left on the body before I attach the yet to be knitted sleeves. I've decided to part from the instructions and knit the sleeves as one unit, then, gasp, steek them. The purpose of this is to make them both matching. This will be a first time at steeking and I'm not afraid of it. It's just yarn, knitted yarn. Not at all like attempting surgery on say, one of my pets. (click for a bigger picture)


Christmas, we had a quiet dinner at my Mom's. Duane made lasagna with a side of Italian sausages in a bed roasted red peppers and onions. Mom was happy she only had to make a salad and I believe she got my step-father to do that.

I gave my step-father his yearly large container of peanut brittle. While he was crunching away, I told him that Wegmans was selling 3oz squares of peanut brittle for 3.99. Duane looked at him and said, "You have about 50 to 60 dollars worth of brittle there, and it's homemade." My step-father just looked considerately at the piece he was holding, grunted a hmmph, and continued crunching. Why do I feel he might have been more impressed if I had forked over $50.00 for store bought?

GD loves to run and sit in Duane's and mine chairs whenever we get up. So, Mom and I went in together to buy her, her own little recliner. She still steals my chair whenever she gets the chance, however, I now have retaliation as I fit more comfortably in her little one. Yes, I am tiny, go ahead hate me.

Bootsie believes it is really her chair.


Bootsie says, "What do you mean it's not my chair? harumph."


That was about three or four posts in one and I even left some stuff out for later. I really should blog more often. If I were the type to make New Year's resolutions, I guess blogging more often would be one.