Okay, it has been almost two months since I have shared with you or even read the bloggers that I follow.   These two months have been very busy, some expected, some unexpected. I am finally caught up on my reading, so now it is time to write.

Before I bore you with vacation photos, my next two blogs will be catching up.

In the last part of April and May we had our usual spring snow storm. Usually we only have one major, but this year we had two followed by a month of rain and more rain and freezing temperatures.

Bloomin’ buckets taken April 28, 2017.

WOW! Check out that grass. Credit goes 100% to the greyt spouse. He manages the lawn. I do the flower beds and veggie garden.

Having a very mild winter brings spring flowers earlier than usually. And this year they looked even better. My crop of tulips were awesome. Check out my blog on ‘Springtime’.

As you can see, it takes some creativity to find enough covers to protect  everything from a very wet and heavy snow. Sometimes you just have to pick what to save and what to let go. So, I picked what was left of the tulips and daffodils and brightened up my kitchen and mother-in-law’s room as we looked out our windows at this,…

Notice the christmas cactus has blooms!?! This silly thing blooms through out the winter months, except Christmas time. And only small sections bloom at a time.  I don’t know much about habits of this cactus, but you would think with the name Christmas  cactus, that it would bloom during the Christmas season. Thanksgiving, yes. Christmas, no. Valentines and St. Patrick’s, yes. April showers, yes, or more like April snowstorm.

And nights of using a broom to knock snow loose so we do not end up wit broken tree limbs.

After a couple of days, we were able to get out and walk the dogs. FYI, most greyhound owners may be offended with this next pic of because Vinny  is not wrapped up in a cute, thick fluffy coat and think I am neglecting my dog. But,…

Vinny loves the snow and loves to lay in it.  Silly dog. He is not a fan of summer heat (which we are now in) and is already refusing to take long walks.  And the temperature is just mid 60s and low 70s with are morning walks. But, walk him in the cold, he is a happy camper. If there is snow, he makes several rest stops in it and happily checks out the neighborhood.

We survived the snow and excessive rain, along with below freezing temperatures. Soon I will share some pics of my summer flowers and gardens.


A Reason for Celebration! You Lucky Dog!

One year ago our sweet greyhound, Vinny, was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. And he was not even 5 years old, yet. It was discovered after a trip to the dentist for some oral surgery, that he had developed a murmur. For those of you with a limited medical background, cardiomyopathy is an enlargement of the heart muscle. This leads to  thickening of the muscle and a weakened pump.  It is a progressive disease that can also cause arrhythmias (irregular or dangerous heart rhythms) or sudden death. No cause could be determined, it was thought to be genetic or just an anomaly.  Being a critical care nurse for the majority of my nursing career, I am quite aware of how devastating this disease can be.

So, the greyt spouse and I came to terms with Vinny’s diagnosis and were ready to give him the best that we could and enjoy him for however long he would be with us.

Yesterday, one year later, we repeated his echocardiogram. I calmly waited to hear from our vet  to call. Vinny has been doing very well this past year. His energy levels were good, there has been no signs of coughing or signs that he tires easily. I was not expecting a bad report, but I did not expect the vet to say that he heart is,….NORMAL! 

What? This is not a disease that returns to normal, normally. The explanation from the vet and cardiologist is that for some unknown reason Vinny developed a viral infection that affected his heart. Most viral infections are self-limiting and the heart muscle will return to normal or near-normal function over time.  However, viral cardiomyopathy is not a common occurrence in humans, even rarer in dogs and the first case my vet has seen in her career.
So gone  are the twice daily horse pills that cost about $100.00 a month. Along with routine trips to the vet for blood work that made Vinny shake worse than the Energizer Bunny on uppers.   He will need another echocardiogram in a few months, just to make sure there are no changes. 

I love kissing big-nosed dogs!
Trying to hide during a thunderstorm
He always crosses he front paws in this manner
Not sure what he is thinking with this look. But I get it often.
Guess how many different beds I have?
The many sleeping positions of a greyhound

The greyt spouse and I now look forward to many, many years with this silly dog whose talks to us, roos at us for taking too long to get ready for a walk and whose tail wags like a broken spring!

Vinny, here’s to many, many years of walks, dreams of rabbit hunting, treats and lots of love! Now if only we could cure Vinny’s corns, so that his walks could be pain-free.

Greyt-full for Knitting and Retirement

WOW! I have a very busy year of knitting planned. Anything else that comes up, vacations, kids, blogging, ladies-night-out, ,,,well I will just have to check the knit calendar first!

Seriously though, there is always time for a ladies-night-out!

After having to frog (rip out, completely) the first sock a couple of times, I think I am now gettting the hang of it. For those not familiar with knitted socks, they are usually custom fit. That means no twisting, bunching  on the foot or crunching of toes. I have been told that once I start wearing my custom knit socks, I won’t want to wear anything else. I am anxious to test this out. The frustrations of trying to fit them will pay off, I hope. 

My Not-S0-Vanilla Socks
The pattern is a combination of  Toe-up Socks With a Difference,  by Wendy D. Johnson and Zigzagular Socks, by Susie White. The gusset increases are on the bottom instead of the side. I will let you know if I like this once I get the chance to wear them. Complete details are found at http://www.ravelry.com  by frazzldknitter.
More sock yarn!
 Now that I have the kinks worked out, I definitely have plans for more socks in the future. The greyt family has been warned  that their turn is coming!
Deb’s Striped Journey
 This is the Itineris Shawl by Hillary Smith Callis. The triangular wrap has three sections. Once I complete the first section, I then start knitting  the stripes at a right angle. I think the shading of the grey yarn adds special interest,  the red is a merino/silk/cashmere blend. Again, the details are under frazzldknitter at http://www.ravelry.com.
Plum Silky
 I started this a couple of months ago and have set it aside.  I won’t bore you with the detailed frustrations (putting it mildly). But they can be read at Ravelry. I have modified the bottom with garter stitch instead of a rolled edge, which gives the piece a less casual look.  I also plan to increase the length for more of a tunic look and then modify the cap sleeve. This pattern is ETCH by Shubui. The yarn is also Shubui using two strands. One is linen, the other a blend of mohair and silk.
I’m Lost Scarf
 This is will be my third Let’s Get Lost Scarf by Veronika Jobe. The two previous have been for the greyt daughters. I ended up like this so much, this one is for me. The yarn is Madelinetosh Light. I love working with Madelinetosh. I will usually check out this yarn for my projects before looking at other brands. These colors are similar to the one I made for my daughter in Boulder, but the dark blue is a different shade. 
My favorite knitting spot
 Right now the temperature is 9 degrees with an expected high of 24. Yesterday, the high was about 5 degrees. We were lucky with only about 5 inches of snow, while 20 miles away, in downtown Denver, they had about double and in Boulder (60 miles), 12 inches of snow. While others were fighting the cold, cars that wouldn’t start or dodging accidents, I was cozy in my favorite knitting chair. I love retirement!
Vinny, following the sun!


Greyt Vinny and his beds

Greyhounds are boney dogs. They have very little fat or padding. Therefore they need a soft spot to lay. None of the greyhounds that have shared my life would be caught dead laying on a bare floor of wood or tile. There must be at least a rug between them and the hard floor. However,  just a rug is rather insulting to a greyhound.

Our Vinny has multiple beds, just count them, . . . 
I let our first greyhound sleep on the bed with me at night. This is not a mistake  I made the second time.  When greys take their share of the bed, they most always stretch out their full length and spread their legs across the bed. There is no curling up in a cute ball for a greyhound, no sirree. Even in a king size bed you are likely to find yourself on the very edge while your greyhound has the remainer of the bed.

This is were he sleeps at night.
The office bed, greyt for morning naps.
Tried the back of the sofa a couple of times. But getting comfortable can be a little dangerous!
Good grief, he even has his own pillow!
Vinny’s daytime bed is greyt for afternoon naps.
This giant comfy bed is next to the toy basket , a window he can look out and close enough to the chair of the greyt spouse for the occasional pet.
The front porch is a greyt place to take up guard position, between the occasional naps.

And of course the back of the SUV is loaded with old soft blankets for those road trips.

The bed with the Disney blanket and the one next to the toy basket are beds I made. If any of you have priced dog beds, they are not cheap, especially for larger dogs, and they can be lacking in comfort. And it is important for the grey to be comfortable.  So I have been making dog beds for several years.  I can make the bed big enough for our greyts to lay on and of course they have plenty of stuffing. I found a place on the internet that I can get shredded foam. I stuff an old sheet with the foam. Then I cover this with a mattress pad that can be removed and washed.  Lastly the cover is also removeable for washing.  Just a couple of shakes daily will fluff it up again and it is lightweight  enough for transport. 

AND LAST IS MY KNITTING WIP – Work-in-progress

More info coming soon. (Also, just finished the last WIP and will it will be ready for show-n-tell soon)