Quiet Time

Harnesses
Harnesses

It’s been a fairly pleasant day after a rude awakening this morning.  I enjoy sleeping as long as I can on the mornings that Ronnie is off work because I know he is caring for the dogs and I can take the time for myself, but this morning the dogs were loud way too early and then the pressure washer roared to life on the patio outside my window.  Needless to say, I didn’t get up in a good mood!  Still in my nightgown, I stomped into my kitchen to complain about the noise factor.  Out on my patio in the bright sunlight stood a neighbor who was helping Ronnie get started.  Oops!  Thankfully he never looked up and saw me; I hurried back to my bedroom and dressed.  Then I grabbed up Fancypants and took her for a coffee run to Starbucks.  By the time we got home the bad mood was over and the day had begun.

I didn’t accomplish much today: a bit of laundry and pick-up in the house but I cleaned both fish tanks before Ronnie took me to eat dinner, then watched some Amazon Video before giving up for the night.  There’s not anything worth watching on TV right now due to the religious crap on for Easter–even on The Weather Channel!!!  It’s on every station so we just gave up and went to Amazon.  There hasn’t even been anything to record for watching later; hopefully that will change tomorrow when the new week rolls around.

When we got home from dinner, Ronnie took the dogs for a walk (a few at a time) so they’re all happy and sleeping contentedly at this point.  I wanted to get in the sewing room but things didn’t work out for me to sew today—too many interruptions and too many times I had to wait before finishing a task.  I’ve been working on some leashes and dog collars to donate, and we bought some more pre-made ones at Wal-Mart yesterday that I can embellish for sale, too.  I’ll be dropping off some things this week because Jolie is running low on medications and I’ll have to run over to the vet to pick them up anyway.  So I’ll get some stuff done tomorrow and Tuesday, then pack it up for a run.  No problem!  I did pack up the little sewing machine back into its bag and I’m using nothing but the Ellisimo now.  It’ll be interesting to see how it works on these new leashes since I did the previous ones on the small machine.  The smaller one, the Elizabeth model, has a lot of decorative stitches but the Ellisimo was the top of the line model when I bought it 2 1/2 years ago (there’s a newer one out now for $15,000…….NOT!) and has even more stitch capabilities.  So it should be fun trying out things I’ve never played with on the big machine.

This week I have a cardiac ultrasound and an appointment with the podiatrist (hopefully he’ll release me now).  Fancypants gets her grooming done and I’ll go visit my mom one day.  Then, of course, I’ll make a trip to the vet one day, too.  All-in-all not very ambitious, and, as I always say, hopefully I’ll be able to get in the sewing room and get some projects completed.  LOL

 

No Preference

I didn’t know what to call this post, just felt like posting before I shuffle off to bed.  Tomorrow is my cardiologist appointment and hair appointment afterward.  Today the pest control folks did our quarterly treatment.  I took Fancy to Starbucks, did some laundry, made a cake for Ronnie to take to work and did some sewing.  I cleaned up the sewing room a bit, reorganized what I’d been dumping in there (things I’d bought and just set down for “later”), then worked on a couple of blouses I wanted to restyle.  One had a floppy facing around the neck that I stitched down with a fancy design then cut the excess away.  It was an old blouse I’ve had about 5 years but still comfy; the facing just aggravated me every time I wore it.  It won’t again because I cut the danged thing out today.  The other blouse is a newer one I’d only worn once and decided it was too loose in the neckline and every time I’d bend I’d show my underthings to the world.  So I put in a modesty panel.  Voila!  Don’t have to worry about that one either.  I have another couple of those to fix and a zipper to replace in a sweater (Diego ate a chunk out of the original plastic zipper).  I looked at the design of the zipper in the sweater and decided I didn’t have the energy or desire to rip the damned thing out today, so I took a break instead.  I did get the fabric remnants I’d bought all washed up and folded so they can be put to use.

It felt good to be back in the sewing room again; lately all I’ve managed is some mending.  Today at least I got to do some creative things even if I didn’t get any of the blankets done.  I still have the entire stack to embroider/applique but have been so preoccupied with the computers lately that none have gotten done.  I did manage to get fabric stuck in the little sewing machine 3 times and had to cut the material out to get it out of the machine.  I managed to stick myself in one finger and one thumb with sewing machine needles and had to take the machine apart twice due to the issue.  I think I have done a dis-service to the little machine by doing the dog collars and leashes on it a couple of weeks ago.  The newer machines have plastic gears inside and I now have a thump going on in there that I don’t remember having before.  I told Ronnie tonight I was going to start sewing on the big machine instead of the small one.  I bought the small one (Babylock Elizabeth) to take to classes because it was lighter to transport (my big machine weighs over 40 pounds!), but usually leave it on the small sewing table to have something to do quick jobs.  When I sew on the Babylock Ellisimo I have to change out the presser foot and shank, needle, and rethread in sewing thread every time.  No more than I actually sew, I don’t do the switch; it’s too easy just to use the machine that’s out.  Then, all I have to do is to rethread (occasionally change the needle) and sew.  Sometimes I’m so lazy!

On the good side, all the computers are currently loaded and functioning as planned.  I have my good laptop on Windows 7 Professional, the little laptop on Windows 8.1, and this desktop dual-booting Windows 7 and Windows 10 TP.  All the drivers and software is loaded and working for the first time since January.  That’s when the desktop computer started shutting down randomly.  No more, thankfully.  It cost a total of $700 to fix it and to replace the parts I’d already done before it went to the shop.  I had reloaded all our PCs (Ronnie’s laptop, too) when I had my foot surgery in January so maybe I won’t have to do anything major on them for a while.

I’ve almost caught up on the dog vetting (one more on Friday, then free until June) and now that the computers are running, maybe I’ll manage to get those blankets done.  We got Jolie’s lab results back (some better/some worse but she’s doing better than she has for a while); Doc says to just keep on doing what we’re doing.  She’s lost 3 pounds and acts like a puppy at times.  She wags her tail so big that it just might cause her to lose her balance; this is a first for her to be this energetic and happy.  I used to check on her throughout the day to make sure she was still breathing.  When I come home she now greets me at the door like the other dogs and demands attention.  She climbed up in my lap the other day and pawed me to get my attention; Jolie never asks for attention…never ever.  So this is a red-letter event for her.  Now if we could just get a home for Daisy!!!!!!!!!  Still no leads unfortunately.  I hope the wait is because we’re going to find just the right place for her at last.  Fingers crossed!

Zo-Zo

Today was a Red Letter Day for Miss Zoe.  She turned 2 in January and has always been the tiniest creature in the house.  All the 2-legged and 4-legged family treat her with kid gloves, cater to her, groom her, carry her, play when she wants to play, snuggle her, love on her, cuddle her, etc.  She is our little princess, baby, sweetheart and precious one.  Since she’s always been the special one, she’s always been treated in a special way.

Zoe came to us with her sister, Keira, 2 years ago from Houston.  Zoe weighed just .8 pounds when we first saw her.  She had an infected eye, respiratory issues and sick skin; we just hoped we’d get her to the vet in time.  We got her Sunday morning; she was at the vet Monday.  She is/was somewhat deformed but you have to really look to see it.  Her eyes aren’t even and one is smaller than the other.  Her back legs are very crooked and her stance is timid and a little shaky.  But the most noticeable part is that her mental state is altered.  She’s always been “backward” or “slow” compared to other canines.  She developed very slowly and has taken 2 entire years to get to where most puppies are at about 8 weeks.  She’s just now learning to play.  She doesn’t bark; she screeches.  She’s very shy until she gets her feet on the ground and then she just explodes in happiness and excitement (which is normal).  But she does this to extreme.  At first we were afraid she’d die but after treating an eye infection, skin infection, and mange, we thought maybe everything would be okay for her.  Keira got adopted but before she left I had to separate them in their crates because she would beat up on Zoe all the time and Zoe would cower in the corner in terror.  Not in my house!  So these 2 tiny white girls went into completely different crates while they gained enough strength and size to get out into the real pack.  I was happy when Keira got adopted because my tiny Zoe could finally have freedom from her sister’s abuse.

Zoe Snoring
Zoe Snoring

And Zoe has blossomed even if it has been at a snail’s pace.  Of course, after a few months of getting her and getting Keira adopted, Zoe began to put on a little bit of weight.  She wasn’t quite so frail and not so frightened of everything around her.  All the dogs deferred to her.  Fancy and Mimi groom her and keep her spic and span.  Bandit is the best, most-protective big brother any tiny girl could ask for, and she is welcome in his big crate any time.  One of the first things she learned (on her own, I might add) was when we commanded, “Crates!”, she would immediately run into Bandit’s crate with him, turn, sit and watch for the next command.  It was soooooooo cute!!

But she still never barked or made any sound except a fearful cry occasionally.  She shivered a lot (more than Chihuahuas normally do) and didn’t act in any way as boisterous as most of our pack.  She would go along with them in a passive manner but not really have her whole heart into it.  Then, Diego came into our lives.  Diego is a spitfire.  He never meets a stranger, will play with any dog or human no matter what size, weight or how loud they are.  He doesn’t know the word “intimidation”.  He loves to chase a ball, play-fight and bite your fingers until you cry Uncle, run (and run and run…), bark at the dogs next door (on both sides) and run the fences, explore the neighborhood if you’re so careless to let him out the front door, and play-bite on Bandit while he balances on his little hind legs or any other way he can play with Bandit (Bandit is the pack’s “toy” and loves every minute of it).  Diego weighs barely 5 pounds and all of them are packed with dynamite, but the most awesome thing that Diego has done in the past year is to bring Zoe to life.

Diego standing on the drain board
Diego standing on the drain board

At first, Diego’s rambunctiousness was a little frightening; we didn’t know if he was mean or just playful.  Thankfully it was pure happy play and he would try to get Zoe to play with him but she would plant her feet and wait for him to tire of taunting her and then she’d find a crate and hibernate.  Of course, it never slowed Diego down; he’d just find someone else who’d play and he’d be off and running again.  But, after time, Zoe began to understand that Diego wasn’t trying to hurt her like her sister had; he just wanted to be her friend and wanted her to play back.  She began to run the fence with him and really enjoy the outdoors.

Then came the day when Zoe found her voice!  She doesn’t bark.  She doesn’t growl.  She screeches at the top of her lungs; no other volume is good enough for our girl.  She has become the “Lindsey household alarm system”; we don’t need ADT anymore!  When Zoe hears anything whether it’s someone at the door, a bird fluttering in the backyard, one of the neighborhood dogs barking, the mailman, the doorbell or a knock, or any other tiny sound, she lets go a delightfully ear-splitting screech in Zoe-volume that will just about shatter glass.  She has learned to get up and down most of the Chihuahua-oriented steps (to gain access to the couch and loveseat) and just this week is learning to get all the way to the top of the stairway to the ottoman in the office, which is 3 1/2 steps, without help and without begging to be picked up in a pathetically sad cry that is loud enough to wake Ronnie at night.

Since I’ve begun to feel better lately I have also begun to take individual dogs for a ride in the car again.  Most of them have been to the vet for their annual visits and some, mostly the older dogs, go regularly to Sonic or Starbucks, or maybe to the pet store.  Today Ronnie went back to work after his weekend off and it was back to errands and chores for me.  I went to a couple of places, came home and started some Spring cleaning then took some clothing for donating to the car to drop off.

Last year we bought a canine auto booster seat which fits securely on the passenger seat of the car and allows the little dogs to sit and look out the window during our travels.  There is a clasp inside the seat that attaches to the dog’s harness so there are no accidental attempts to escape that may injure them and result in an automobile accident when I tried to save them.  We’d been talking about getting Zoe out for a ride since it’d been a while since we’d tried with her.  Her former reaction was extreme fear and we had to hold her the entire outing.  Today was different.  I put on her tiny pink harness which is the same one she’s worn her whole life; I didn’t even have to let out the straps….she’s still small enough to fit it perfectly.  I attached a pink leash to her pink harness and off to the car we went.  I placed her in the booster seat and started the car, watching her from the corner of my eye the whole time so I could catch her when she jumped back out (I totally expected her to panic).  Her reaction?  She sat down and looked at me.  I smiled at her, said nothing and drove away from the house.  By the time we got to the nearest red light Zoe was laying down in the booster seat not frightened, not shivering, not begging to be let out or to be held.  When she’d notice me looking at her she’d crane her neck and look at me with a puzzled look on her face.  If I spoke to her she’d make a squeak back but was just fine to sit in her seat.  We traveled about 5 miles from home and I stopped at the donation box and opened my door.  Then she squealed in alarm and got really tall in the seat.  I told her I’d be right back and she sat down and watched.  I got back in the car and drove away.  Zoe was fine.  I took her to Sonic and ordered her a child’s size cheeseburger and fed her the meat off of it.  She ate every bit and a few specks of the cheese.  I rolled her window down and her eyes got big.  She found the sounds and smells of the drive-in.  She loooooooked and loooooooked, put her little head back and her nose in the air and smellllllled all the smells…just like every dog in the world would!

I was so proud of her!  She’s become a little dog, not a little “special” dog, but a little sweet dog all of her own.  I don’t know if she will always have this reaction to rides in the future but I do know there will be lots more rides in her future!

And just of late she has started playing.  She will bite at my fingers like Diego does and has learned to run and jump at Diego and then run away.  He chases her back and the game is on!  She makes little happy sounds and does her squealing sound which has become quite the ordinary background noise in our house now.  The other dogs may bark or even howl but they don’t fault Zoe on her own special sound.  She is fine by them any way she wants…and fine by us, too.

 

Time Change

Tonight we turn our clocks ahead an hour, so we put that hour in the bank and take it back on November 1st.  When you don’t work, it’s not a deal breaker: in the morning I’ll set the clock in the living room, microwave and oven; done!  I can’t believe how upset we used to get over something so trivial on our level.  To shift workers it was a big deal.  Some people worked 11 hours, some 13, depending if we were turning back or forward.  There was no equity; you just worked whatever was required of you and then complained when supervision didn’t pay you correctly.  If you had children at home you had to arrange child care, transportation, etc.  At least by making the change on a Saturday night/Sunday morning it doesn’t affect the traffic, etc., for workers on Monday morning.  What a big deal for no reasonable purpose!

I’m still working on medication changes.  I have worked myself off of several, most of the ones that caused side effects and made me feel bad most of the time.  I didn’t bargain for the doctor getting on the boat and making her changes, too.  So I’ve gone through some lows while working those down and now back up with different meds.  I’m feeling better with the last increase but still not quite “with it”.  I have some good days at least now.  I haven’t had any “sleep sitting up in my nightgown all day” lows in the past week, so I guess that’s a start.  I’m not sewing either, so I’m not up to where I want to be.  I have managed to “manage” everything else lately.  The bills are paid, the pets are cared for, errands done, the housekeeper’s been in and has done her miracles, etc.  Still not cooking much, but I never did (I hate to cook!)   This week I only have one dog scheduled for the vet so I hope I see some positives for myself this week.  My next doctor visit is with the cardiologist since I’m still having erratic heartbeats.  I wore a 24-hour halter monitor for a check and they’re still there so I’m going in for a recheck, then a last visit to the podiatrist and he’ll release me (Yay!!!!!!!!!).

I have my desktop computer back in the shop; second time in 8 days for the same thing.  The shop couldn’t make it fail.  Brought it home last Friday and it failed after an hour.  Changed out hard drive, video card, RAM memory, keyboards, mice, serge protectors, power cords, power outlets.  Bought a desk fan and blew it inside the open case for hours.  Still shutting down.  Not showing to be running hot on any software I have, no way I have to check the voltage so back to the shop it went yesterday.  I’ve reloaded the system 3 times so it’s not the OS either.  Usually hard to stump me and the shop I use but we’re scratching our heads over this one.  We’re down to it being either the power supply, CPU or motherboard.  I’m hoping it’s the cheapest one!

I’m in the process of putting Windows 10 Technical Preview on my good laptop; I think it’s stable enough at this point to give it a shot.  I have the recovery disks in case I have to reload it.  It’s up and running now (I’m on it) with no issues so far.  I have this laptop, a desktop, and a smaller laptop to “play” with that I try out software on, etc.  But this is the first time I’ve tried to put 10 on this laptop.  I had it on the desktop both as primary OS and dual-booting with Windows 7.  It worked perfectly with no issues until the desktop started its issues.  It’s time-consuming to use more than one computer in order to test another OS, so I’m trying to run them side-by-side on one.  Unfortunately the partitioning on this computer is AFU and I can’t run it the way I want to without reformatting the HDD.  So I backed this laptop up (I do that several times per month anyway) and went for it.  I hope I don’t regret it.  Tomorrow I may be reloading Windows 7 Professional.  LOL  What-the-hell?  Worth a try anyway.