Wednesday, October 18, 2017

In Limbo

Our dog, Max, is almost 14 years old.  He's a Newfoundland mix, a big guy.  Jeff bought him in Germany when he was a puppy; he's a real world traveler.  I came into their lives about 10 years ago, so he's been my dog for a long time too. 

He's been talked about here in the blog several times over the years, most notably last summer, when one of his back legs was broken.  It was a long hard recovery for all of us, but the old man came out of the whole ordeal still smiling

Day before yesterday was a normal day around here.  Jeff decided to go to the beach and fly his quadcopters in the morning, he took Max with him.  They came home, Jeff went to work, Max and I hung out.  When Jeff got home, we noticed that Max didn't come to see him.  Max was in his usual spot in the living room, appearing not to care that Jeff was home, very unlike him.  We also noticed he hadn't eaten his food.  He's always been a bit of a finicky eater, but lately he's been eating very well, even licking out his bowl.  I thought maybe he'd gotten hot; our heating had kicked on for the first time that day. 

Then we thought maybe he'd overdone it at the beach and was just tired or a little sore, that's not terribly unusual these days either.  The two of us had to all but carry him upstairs to go to bed, not just give him a bit of a push up.  We went to bed and later shared that we were afraid what we'd find when we woke up, neither of us slept much at all.  Max was much the same in the morning, yesterday.  He just wanted to lay flat on his side and would barely even lift his head.  He seemed very weak, wouldn't eat anything, not even cheese.  We carried him downstairs on an improvised stretcher and took him to the vet.

At the vet, they took his temperature, he had a fever.  They did blood work, which came back okay.  Palpating his belly, they wanted to do an ultrasound.  The tech then called in the vet midway through, who looked at the screen and said, "Tumor.  So many."  Max is apparently riddled with tumors inside, we had no idea.  The vet said he can't tell if they have spread throughout the body, but being that there are so many in the one area, he thinks it's likely.  He thinks that one of them burst and that's why Max had a fever and was so sick, so suddenly. 

He said that with Max's age, surgery to try and remove the tumors would not be good, we do know that.  He said that he could give injections of antibiotics and steroids to treat the symptoms, we would have to bring Max back in twice a day to get those.  Jeff asked if that would give us a couple of months, a couple of weeks?

"A couple of days," was the reply.

Jeff decided to have the injections done and take Max back home, to say goodbye.  He took a couple of vacation days from work to stay home with him.

Yesterday, after that first vet visit, Max didn't show much of a change, we let him rest.  We had all decided that if he wasn't showing any improvement by tomorrow (today) then it would be time to let him go.  We were trying to prepare for that.  Later yesterday, he started to perk up a bit.  For the evening vet visit, he was laying upright in the car, instead of flat on his side.  He seemed much more aware and interested in his surroundings.  Last night he got up on his own again and walked around the house a little bit.  He also ate for the first time since all of this started, scarfing up a can of prescription high calorie canned food that the vet gave us to try and get something in him.

This morning, he had some trouble going down the stairs (sort of normal off and on lately anyway), but he was able to get around on his own mostly and seemed to be his old self again.  For this morning's visit, he was sitting up in the car when the vet came out. 

When he went into the clinic to let them know we were there, Jeff told the vet how much improvement there had been and he said they seemed skeptical. 

Until they came out and saw him sitting up in the car, looking around like nothing was wrong. 

Waiting and watching for Jeff to come out with the vet

It was a huge difference from 24 hours before, when he seemed to be on death's door.  They took his temperature again and seemed surprised that his fever was gone.  The vet was careful to stress that nothing has really changed inside, as far as with all of the tumors - they are still there.  However, he gave the okay for us to switch to pills for the medications, no more needles twice a day - Max only had to do that for the one day anyway. 

Now we...  aren't sure what to feel.  We went from thinking that we would be saying goodbye to him today to him being back to his old self, but knowing that the clock is still ticking.  We just have no idea how much time is left.  The vet clearly wasn't optimistic to begin with, but Max has surprised us all - again.

It's hard to feel in limbo.  I suppose none of us ever really know how much time we have with our pets (or any of our loved ones), but this is new to me... To go from thinking that we were going to have to suddenly, unexpectedly, make that horrible decision, to 24 hours later it all seeming like a bad dream and now things are "normal" again...? 

I'm not really sure how to feel.  I'm grateful that he is doing better and I hope we will have even more time with him, but I'm trying not to be too happy, this could be very temporary.  We just don't know.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Motivation Monday - Be A Legend

Happy Monday!  After a week of adventures out and about - traveling, hiking, taking in the beautiful fall colors, seeing horses, and making big future plans - I am all charged up and ready to (really) get to work!  

As always, I hope these help and I hope you have a great week!  

Friday, October 13, 2017

Friday Funnies - Cool With It

This week has been a whirlwind.  I've been on not one, not two, but THREE adventures that I intend to blog about.  However, so far I haven't been able to stop adventuring, or working our business's recent rush of...  business to blog about them.  I hope to remedy that this coming week...  after I have another adventure - this weekend.  Whew!

Anyhow, I hope these give a chuckle or two.  This edition is a blend of horses, introverts, chips and salsa, and cats...  always cats.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Quick Post: Travel Tuesday Preview

We are at the end of what was a 4 day weekend for Jeff and we did some adventuring during that time.  I had planned to do a full travel Tuesday post with some of the pictures, but our help was requested to assist in baking a BUNCH of cupcakes at a friend's house for a function tomorrow.  It's now 1am here and I didn't get my planned travel post done.  I'm hopeful that I might be able to get it posted tomorrow, still technically Tuesday for my U.S. readers.  If not, then on Wednesday.  ;)

For now, here's a quick preview.  We rode up into the mountains and saw some stunning fall colors.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Motivation Monday - One Day Closer

Happy Monday!  I came up with a bunch of pictures to share this time around.  I've got big plans for the week ahead and I know I can certainly use the boost from these.  I hope they help you too.  As always, I hope you have a great week and are able to get closer to your goals.  You can do it!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Next Big Project - Clydesdale Makeover

MEPSA has a Makeover Contest every year where they pick a mold and then to enter the contest, you have to give one of them a makeover.

I've been wanting to try one of these contests for a few years now, but didn't have the mold on hand and ran out of time (two years ago), or just didn't really have any ideas (last year). 

This year the mold is the Breyer Clydesdale mare and, well, I have 4 of them in the body herd, so...

Here's the victim, er, patient:

Anything goes in these Makeover contests, from a simple repaint, to a complete overhaul. 

My thing has always been drastic customs, so I'm fairly sure that's what I'll be doing here.  But...  what?

For the last couple of hours I've been going through some of my extensive reference picture collection to brainstorm some ideas.  After this first round of brainstorming through my digital pictures, I do have an idea.  I think over the weekend I'll go through some of my other references, like the hard copy stuff, and see if anything else jumps out at me.

Does anyone else have an idea for what I might do with her? 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Friday Freebie on Facebook

I'm doing a spontaneous little giveaway over on my Facebook page and wanted to make sure my blog readers knew about it too, if you aren't already following my page there.

Here's what I've got up for grabs: winner's choice of the two purple trimmed blankets from my latest batch of Stablemate blankets.

They were made on the G3 Stockhorse and will fit similar sized molds.

If several people enter, I'll most likely draw two names and give the both away.  :)

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Quick Post: Command Center

The other day, while surfing Pinterest, I came across the idea of a "command center".  Apparently, it's a central location in the house to help organize your life.  Boy, could I use that!  Jeff and I talked about it and he liked the idea too.  So yesterday we bought a big cork board and a dry erase calendar to kick things off.  We ended up hanging them in the downstairs hallway, just inside the front door.  It'll be easy to see when coming down the stairs in the morning.  I think we'll add some bins to sort the mail in and possibly another calendar block so that we can track two months at a time. 

In related studio news, inspired by my friend Holly, who's much more organized than I am, I had bought a big white board for the studio room to serve as its command center (before I was familiar with the term).  When we got the cork board for the house, I grabbed another one for the studio.  I also have a dry erase calendar board for that room.  I'm hoping once I have them set up they'll help me keep track of things!

Random picture of my cat putting her seal of approval on a box that I'm currently packing to send to a friend (no, the cat is not being packed):

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Quick Post: Vision Board

In a group I joined here locally, we started making vision boards last week.  Yesterday we finished them.  The idea was to use it for things that we hope to do, or see, or want to keep in mind over the next 3 months - until the new year.  Limited to a pile of magazines (most of them mine, because: horses) here's what I came up with:

The highlights of what I want to work toward: an organized studio, and making more model horse stuff (Arabian presentation and costumes, pads and saddles, etc.).  I want to get my little collection of plants, Bonsai,  and sprouted seeds, all organized for the winter.  In money matters, I want to get set up to make the studio a "real" business next year (after thinking about it for years now).  I want to work on my energy crisis (being tired all of the time) and related to that: work on health and fitness. 

My long range fitness goal is top right: the Tevis Cup.  It is something I have wanted to do ever since I was a kid and first heard about it.  I had actually just decided to go for it and started conditioning myself and Bo for trying endurance..  right before we found out we would be moving to Japan.  I can't really do anything about getting my own horse ready for it while we are here, but I can work on myself and I hope to do that.

Overall, I want to remind myself that I am enough.  I feel almost constant pressure (self imposed, mostly) to do more, more, more.  While I never want to stop learning and doing and always want to work towards being a better version of myself, I think it's important not to lose sight of being "enough" at any given time.  It's a balancing act and one I'd like to get better at. 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Twenty-Two Count Tuesday

Last July I finished up my first set of cross stitched panels for an Arabian costume.  

Here's how they look now:

I've gotten the edging done and gotten them shaped and ready to put on a saddle - which does not exist yet.  I was really happy with the results of the stitching and knew that I wanted to do more cross stitched panels in the future.  

It took me a while to revisit the idea, but a couple of weeks ago I decided to take the next step in the evolution of my saddle pad adventures.  This would be to start on a 22 count saddle pad.  

As a warm up, I decided to start on another set of panels first.  Here's what I got done during the first long day of working on one of them:

I'm really excited about this pattern!  The first set that I did was adapted straight from a narrow strip of cross stitch pattern that I'd come across.  This next set is modified (heavily modified in the case of the smaller side panels) from part of a larger, beautiful pattern that I'd found.  

After getting confirmation on size from the new owner, I started on my first ever 22 count saddle pad.  It is a commission, and is a scaled down version of a real saddle pad.  I'd been thinking about doing my first 22 count pad since this past spring, when I drew up a few patterns for them.  However, it wasn't until this project that I took the plunge.  I decided this was the only way to do justice to the original intricate pattern on the real pad.

Here's where I am so far:

The pattern has six rows of the larger oval shapes on it, so I'm "almost" there...?  Certainly closer to the end than the beginning.  I'm tracking my time on this project and so far I'm at 15.5 hours (and I'm sure I've missed a couple of hours tracking along the way, since I haven't been super diligent about tracking my time - it's a new thing for me).

After this pad is finished, I'll rotate back around to the blue and yellow panels.  Oh and I already have the pattern drawn up for a THIRD set of panels.  I think I enjoy coming up with the patterns as much as actually making the projects.  It's certainly faster to do the patterns than the actual stitching!

Monday, October 2, 2017

New Addition - A Wee Vanner Stallion

Last week another member was added to the herd. 

He is Grantchester, from Horsing Around in the UK.  I found a "second" copy of him on the sales pages and snatched him up.  There's something about him I really liked.  It took him a little while to make the journey 'round the world, but when he got here, I was delighted to see him in person!

I'm not sure yet what color he will be.  As a Vanner, I first thought of the classic black and white tobiano, but there are SO many more colors to choose from that would work; I could have all sorts of fun with this guy.

I really need to stay away from the sales pages...


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Quick Post: Pom Poms

There is an "Arts and Crafts Center" here on the base.  They have a store that sells supplies and some projects.  I like to go in there and now and then to check out the (ever changing) inventory.  One fairly steady thing they carry (maybe because I keep buying them, haha) are tiny pom poms.  They are only sold in small, assorted packs.  Here's what's in one:

I usually buy one or two packs when I'm in there, then when I get home I sort them into my favorite little bead boxes:

I think I have enough now to make something with pom poms one of these days.  ;)

These are roughly Traditional scale, I would say, for Marwari or Arabian costume uses.  Occasionally they have had TEENY tiny pom poms for sale, they are maybe even Stablemate scale.  I have a small collection of them now too.