Monday, December 29, 2008

Belated Holiday Greetings!

I got a white Christmas and was able to play in the snow with my nephew, Jake. Hope you got everything you wanted this year.

Monday, December 15, 2008

You Can't Make This Shit Up, People

And yet, Mr. Blagojevich, 52, rarely turns up for work at his official state office in Chicago, former employees say, is unapologetically late to almost everything, and can treat employees with disdain, cursing and erupting in fury for failings as mundane as neglecting to have at hand at all times his preferred black Paul Mitchell hairbrush. He calls the brush “the football,” an allusion to the “nuclear football,” or the bomb codes never to be out of reach of a president.

Monday, December 08, 2008

What we won't do for our pets......

The morning before the big surgery.

On the Saturday before Thanksgiving I happened to be at the right angle to see something weird growing in Rey’s mouth. I got him into the vet, and they said it looked like he had a cancerous tumor in his mouth. They scheduled him for surgery the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to have the tumor lasered out and biopsied. I did a little research over the weekend and read that if it is the type of cancer that our initial vet thought (the worst type, of course) that it spreads quickly and the more you cut away the better. The regular vet said that if the tumor came back as positive for cancer that he would have to have half of his top jaw removed. They seemed unsure what they were dealing with, which made me uncomfortable. I decided to get him an appointment with the surgical specialist to get a second opinion. They are our emergency vet and I have been really impressed with them.

So on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving Steve brought Rey to see Dr. Roy at the Veterinary Specialty Center of Tucson. She said that it didn’t look good, but unlike our (now previous) vet, she did a chest x-ray and felt his lymph nodes check if it spread. I guess that if it is in the lungs that there is not use in doing surgery because it is too late. Anyway, it had not spread, so they decided to remove the tumor on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (must have been a popular surgical day) and biopsy it and also do an x-ray of his jaw to see if it had gotten into the bone. We were told best case, it is nothing, worst case he will have to have a small part of his jaw removed. So, so glad that we got a second opinion. Not only are the specialist/emergency vets completely awesome and thorough and competent, but they are cheaper, too! Our vet was going to charge $850 for the surgery, and the specialty vet charged $900, but that includes his visit and the x-rays.

Rey was in and out in one day for the laser surgery and was good to go for the weekend when we went to visit Kali, Shawn, and Kalden in Albuquerque. The x-ray did not show it spreading to his bones, but the Dr. said that if it is a malignant melanoma, that it doesn’t really matter because there will be nothing that they can do. We also learned that his teeth were filthy (we know that) and that his cracked canine on the other side is slightly infected and needs to eventually come out. She said he wasn’t in pain, so we decided that if the biopsy came back ok, then we would schedule him in a couple of months to have the teeth work done. If it came back as bad, we wouldn’t do anything. If it came back as slow growing cancer, that will require part of his jaw to be removed anyway, and they would do the tooth work at that time. Basically his teeth were too dirty to do bone surgery unless they are cleaned first. I guess the bacteria on them would be problematic with exposed bone.

Last Wednesday we got the results back for Rey. The cancer is/was a melanoma…the worst kind…but for some reason he has a very rare type that does not act normally and he has a 90% survival rate if we removed part of his jaw. I guess that the cells were not dividing like a normal melanoma, which is very, very lucky. So, last Friday he went in for surgery. Dr. Roy removed a portion of his jaw bone, including nasal cavity, from between his middle teeth to past his second molar on his right side. They also removed skin from the inside of one of his cheeks to graft over the hole. In all he has 150 dissolvable stitches.

He also had his cracked canine on the left top removed. The doctor didn’t charge us to have his teeth cleaned, which is nice. That saved us some money. During our consultation, she said that the change to his appearance will be minimal and that the only side effect will be a little breathing problem in the one nostril where the nasal cavity will be gone. There is a 10% chance that the cancer has metastasized, but she feels good about it. After Christmas we will go to talk to an oncologist at a different vet to get information about an experimental vaccine that supposedly kills any remaining cancer cells. They are not sure that this will be necessary in this case. We’ll have to see how much it costs.

On Saturday we were able to pick up our boy. We were really, really nervous to see him. Dr. Roy was right! We could barely notice the difference. He is swollen and has a fentinol pain patch and is on doggy ibuprofen and antibiotics for a while, but you would never know. I took him on a normal walk this morning and have already caught him chewing on tiny rocks in the house. We will go in for a follow-up on the 19th to discuss the results of the biopsy from the bone and tissue that was removed. Hopefully this whole thing ends up being a close call and Mr. Stinks makes it into the Guinness Book of World Records for the oldest dog.

One day after surgery. It is the left side of this picture where the top jaw was removed.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Anyone know what to do with a giant squash/zucchini mutant? We planted our monsoon garden with seeds form native seed search, and this is the crazy shit we are getting. It's like the attack of the killer tomatoes, but green. It also makes people exhibit extreme shyness, as shown by my friend Jessi. She used to be so outgoing, but the mutant has done her in.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Technology has got the best of me

I have been trying to post the sweet kayaking video I have from our trip, but for some reason, it is transfering from the camera to the mac as a .jpg. Anyone have any ideas? I am sure that Steve knows how to fix it, but that may take a while.

So to keep things moving along, I have posted pictures form the trip on flikr.

For those who are intersted in the details, here you go.....

The trip was three days and two nights. There was a local couple in their late 50's/early 60's, another local couple in their late 20's, and a guy from NC in his mid 30's. Our guide was also local and in his mid 30's. It was a fun group.

The first day we met at about 8:30 and went over to where we were putting in, and packed our stuff and packed the boats and learned about kayaking. Then we paddled for a while and stopped for lunch on a little island. It was maybe 1/2 square block in size, but we still saw a momma deer and to babies in the brush. They must have swam. It was pretty far to another piece of land. Kind fo a sucky mom if you ask me, but maybe they like swimming. Really, who am I to judge.

Then we kept going for what felt like forever, probably another 3 hours or so and got to where we were camping on Stuart island. It was cool because you can see Canada, and border patrol helicopters, from our camp site. The border patrol reminded us of Tucson. Not exactly what you are looking for in a vacation, but oddly familiar at the same time. We camped at the same place both nights so we didn’t have to keep unpacking and repacking, which was nice. That night we ate and drank a lot of wine and went down to a dock and splashed our hands in the water and saw the bioluminescence. It looked like the water was full of sparklers whe you agitated it.

The second day you are supposed to paddle around the island, but we were all tired and hung-over so we decided that we would take a little hike on the island and do a sunset paddle instead. The guide stayed back to have lunch ready for us when we got back and we all took off for about 3 hours. The island was much more inhabited at one time. At first I was dreading going because I thought I would get sunburned....seems I forgot that there are trees in most parts of the world. It was great walking in about 70 degree weather with shade.

We got back and ate lunch and then some people played cards and steve and I went down to the docks to take a nap in the sun. I guess we are getting thin blood. At about 5 we ate an appetizer (warm brie with sautéed apples, cranberries and walnuts)and then went on the sunset paddle.

The last day we got up early because we had to work with the tides. At about 4 am the wind was rally howling and was pulling off our rain fly. When we got on the water to head back to San Juan Island, the waves were about 3 feet tall. I thought it was awesome because the front of the kayak was slamming into the waves and water was splashing everywhere. Steve didn't like it so much in the back because some of the waves were going completely over the boat. We were only in that for about 45 minutes until we got on the other side of an island. We later found out from our guide that it was a pretty dangerous situation. I still think it was awesome.

We were ahead of schedule coming back, so we stopped on the little island again for lunch, and then it was only like 20 minute or something to a different harbor where we were getting picked up. We went back to town and we checked in to our hotel and took showers. The rest of the younger people were taking the ferry back that night, so we met up with them at a bar while they waited to leave. Then we went to dinner at a nice place where I had made reservations. I am sure the food was good, but we were a little too tipsy to really pay attention to what we were eating. Probably not wise when your meal costs $100. Oh well.

Anyway, that was it in a nutshell.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

It took a car, a plane, another plane, another car, and a ferry to get to this little kayak, but it was well worth it. I hope to download pictures tonight and get some of the details up here for everyone to puruse. This picture is courtesy of one of our trip companions, Kirsten. Don't we look so Sporty Spice?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

This is why I hate doing yard work in Tucson. I had a little run in with a century plant. All this from a teeny weeny pin prick. I guess I can say that I put my blood, sweat, and tears into the yard and not be exaggerating.

Monday, September 01, 2008

What I did on my Labor Day vacation

Well, I didn't pull weeds. Not that it wasn't needed. We just wanted to do some things that were non house related for once. Whoever said that owning a house was awesome is a big fat liar. I know that I should be grateful, starving kids in China don't have houses, blah, blah, blah, but when you have water leaking from somewhere on your roof and THROUGH the cracks in your newly painted cabinets that took three months to finish, and said roof leak can not be found one the outside, you start thinking that those kids in China kind of have it ok, especially with all of the CG Olympic fireworks to watch.

Anyway.....Saturday I finally bought a memory card for the camera after two years and we went to Mt. Lemmon. Sunday we went to the store to get some last minute outdoorsy things for the upcoming kayaking trip, and a couple of the neighborhood girls came over for knitting and various TJ's chips and dips. Today I went shopping with a friend, then we went over to another friend's in the neighborhood to celebrate labor day. I only took pictures of the exciting things. The following photo essay is a brief yet delving visual of our Mt. Lemmon excursion. Enjoy.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


There is lightning and thunder and everything! I think the last time it rained was in February. It is not technically the monsoon because the dewpoints are too low, but you could have fooled me! YAY! The shit in my yard will live to fry another day. Want proof?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Let's pretend like nothing happened.......

Hello to all four people who read this! Actually, I know it is a few more, but you know how I always like to look on the slightly dim side of life. I am feeling a little pressure to post. We have done a lot of things lately, but none of it has been documented by the shitty camera. BUT, today is your lucky day because I just happened to take a picture with my phone on Sunday.

Can you guess what that is? It is a watermelon! At the time this picture was taken, it was the size of a lemon. Last night I checked on it and it was the size of a bigger lemon. This is evidence that you can indeed have a garden in the desert. We also got a couple of yellow tomatoes and a pepper out of it yesterday. We planted a square foot garden in early May. Way to late to get a lot of the tomatoes, but we are good on the melon/squash front. Too late for the peppers, too. Even though we effed up the planting schedule, the whole process is so easy that we are going to become the ultimate dorks and try to start growing all of our own produce. Big, big plans people!

We were spending the equivalent of $22 a week on the CSA. Although I fully support CSA's, by having our own garden we will get more of what we like and at the same time be a little more environmentally friendly because the food will be coming from our yard and not Phoenix. Down with Phoenix!

Monday, June 02, 2008

This thing on?

I am debating ending the whole blog thing. Life is busy, and although I should be documenting it, I am essentially a lazy ass.

I also feel like no one really looks at this thing anyway.

SOOOOOOO...I am taking a vote. Yay or nay? Leave a comment and tell me what you think.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Laziness, 100; Motivation, 0

Ok, well that is not totally true. Things have been moving along, just not on the blogging front. Since the last time we saw our heroine (moi), A visit from dad, the gem show, and a crapload of yard work has taken place.

Dad came for the gem and mineral show, which was awesome. I got a whole flat of zeolites for only $40! Put that in your nerd pipe and smoke it. In addition to some other things like pyrite and aragonite, the "good" aka "I didn't find these" mineral collection in the front room is coming along nicely.

Besides shopping for a box of rocks, dad also fixed our non-venting bathroom vent. Fortunately, I have a picture of dad in action. unfortunately, it is the only picture I have of him from when he was here.

In other house news, spring is springing and we are planting. Part of the dad projects was getting the drainage away from the house. Dad figured out the piping situation. Steve dug a little drainage area. I pulled a gagillion weeds this past weekend and planted some sedum and bulbine.

Rey helped by catching the baby horny toads in his mouth and relocating them to other places. This was followed by us yelling "release!" and putting them back where they belong. Our dog is a pervert who likes to have lizards wiggle in his mouth. Moving on.

I also planted some sort of something that I can't remember...delphinium? gigantor planters we got from Costco. Pretty sweet.

Another sign of spring is the oklahoma redbud is blooming. yay!

And Steve started on the daunting and time consuming task of sanding and repainting the kitchen cabinets, but blogger won't load that picture, so it will have to be for another time. The end.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Plants, Fish, and Weather Whatnots

We had a nice visit with our friend, JB, this weekend. He came to work on a study with Steve for a few days and we had a good time taking some small hikes and eating out. The best part, though, was with Steve being busy, I was left to my own devices. This usually means trouble in the yard sense. The weather is starting to warm up ever so slightly, but it is still too cold to start pruning things back and planiting new stuff (except of course for a few cacti and succulents I got at Mesquite Valley Growers). Need proof? This was taken mere minutes ago. SNOW!

The cure? Terrariums! I made two little ones for the kitchen......

And then one for the bedroom.....

And then a super sweet one for our friends' housewarming gift.......

They were so much fun to make and the cats can't really get to them, so I am quite pleased.

I also worked this past week on some bathroom art. I ahd an idea in my head and ran with it. I frame was from a mirror I found at Goodwill last week. It was black, so I primed it and spray painted it with a white hi gloss paint. Because there was no glass, I decided to give it a paining look by gluing textured paper to a pices of cardbard and then gluing the other stuff on top. The fish and the collar were both things I found online. The mustache is all me. I covered everything wiht glue at the end to help along the painting look and to attept to seal it from the damp conditions of the bathroom.

I bet you can tell that my inspiration is the guy from the Muppets that throws fish, no?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What's that you say? Two posts in the same week?

Yes, it is true. I promised pictures, people, and I came through for once. Don't get used to it.

Knock knock.

Who's there?

A shit load of dinosaurs.

In the past month, I have officially made a shitload of dinosaurs if four qualifies as a shitload. My friend, Rich, welcomed baby Georgia (GiGi) in december. I let him pick his present. He wanted a dinosaur like the one i made Kevin's kid. But he wanted a family. Ask and ye shall recieve. Here is the dinosaur family made with Debbie Bliss cotton cashmere and cotton angora yarns. I overstuffed them a bit, but oh well. This is right after I pulled them from the dryer and glued the eyes on. I am not too, too thrilled, but I figured a non-knitter would still appreciate them. I once again used the X-treme knitting dino patterns.

And then because I was in a dino mood and I promised Sarah that baby B wouls get a dino, I sewed another one from a sort of felted cashmere sweater and some actually cool fabric from Jo-Ann. Presto-chango! Viola! Dino-mite!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Abscess Makes the Fart Go Honda

That is the punch line to a joke that I thought was dumb when I was a kid. Now that I am an adult, I understand it, and I still think it is dumb, but not dumb enough not to use it.

Obviously updating this blog has not been a priority. We have been extremely busy, and still are, but you have got to start somewhere. One of the reasons we were/are busy? We drove home to Chicago for Christmas. Two adults, one dog, a Subaru, and the open road for 27 hours. Although the drive sucked ass it was worth it to go home, see some friends, and get green chile from Hatch, NM on the way back. Best part was the day before we left, it finally snowed.

The snow was short lived and didn’t affect our travels so we were able to stop in ABQ on the way back and see Kali and Shawn and their new bambino, Kalden. Of course, we had to subject him to the wonders of the road and brought him a baby sombrero that we picked up along the way.

More soon. I still have to show you guys the patchwork scarf I made, some knitted and sewn baby things, and new bathroom art.