30 June 2008

After the Honeymoon

We got home about 2.5 hours ago, and I'm in the middle of sorting through all my e-mails and, according to Google Reader, 454 (!) blog posts. I'm exhausted and we had to break camp in the rain, but we really had a wonderful time. We decided we could happily run away to Canada if the need should ever arise. And now, of course, we're officially and legally married there.

The biggest worry of our trip wasn't the rain. Tuck developed what was thankfully just a mild pneumonia - I think from aspirating a little fluid while vomiting, as the GI signs reportedly appeared first - and had to spend a few days hospitalized. We picked him up from the clinic first thing after we got through Customs, though, and he seems to be, if not 100% normal, at least recovering well and very happy to be home.

A more thorough report, of course, shall be forthcoming. With photos. But with 300+ photos to go through, it'll probably take me a bit to go through them all.

22 June 2008

We Did

The kilt hose got done in the twelfth hour, the weather was perfect, we remembered the rings (and the kleenex), and we had a party in a beautiful place that everyone will remember. Pictures to come (eventually).

17 June 2008

Quick Pic

Since I haven't had many pics lately (except, of course, the gruesome one last week) and particularly no progress pics, I thought I'd give you this one*:


As you can see, it's coming along, but there's still quite a lot to do.

I also baked 8 cake layers today. We're doing multiple smaller cakes in an arrangement, rather than some elaborate monstrosity, and the recipe is actually for a pound cake. Except that I'm doing it in round layers, and it's going to have real buttercream frosting. It may give someone a coronary, but at least they'll die in cake-induced ecstasy.

*The books right at my toes are from the Pure Dead series by Debi Gliori. She has a wonderful blog (in which there is occasional knitting content) right here.

16 June 2008

Storm Clouds Gathering

Not the metaphorical sort, though. Nature has decided that this week would be the perfect time to make up for all the rain we didn't get this spring. And Nature, as we all know, doesn't really care about things like weddings and visitors from out of town. And lawns badly in need of mowing before said visitors arrive.

I suppose it's just as well that there's plenty to be done indoors, too. I spent today rearranging and cleaning the kitchen and feel like I made a really big dent in it, though there's still a fair bit that needs to be done. Of course, there's also a fair bit to be done in the living room, the bathroom, the guest room,... I think you get the point.

I also have cake layers to bake - lots of them. That's right. I'm baking the cake(s). It's a minor modification of a family favorite recipe that I do very well. So now I have 5 pounds of butter, 5 pints of heavy cream, 10 pounds of cake flour, 10 pounds of sugar, and 5 dozen eggs in my kitchen waiting for a couple marathon days of baking. While I'm also working on getting everything else cleaned up.

The decorating part, though, is a bit beyond me. Fortunately, my mother (who does have experience in this regard) volunteered for this duty while we were hunting for someone to hire, which will save us a bit on an already stretched budget. We planned for 60 guests and are getting 90, so the reception expenses have gone up just a wee bit, though likely not as much as they could have.

And the kilt hose moves along, but it's going to be close. The calf decreases are done now, though, and I think I can get it done. If not, I'll just cast off a little early and wear a thin sock under it to cover my toes. And the weather predictions are now calling for the possibility of a little clearing by the weekend. So maybe, just maybe, we can pull all of this off.

12 June 2008

One More Night

After tomorrow night, I will be off for three weeks!

It occurs to me that I haven't posted very many photos lately, and it's been quite a while since I've posted any of gross stuff. Last night at work I managed to get a really good one, though. Since I know some of you are delicate, I'll just put it up here in thumbnail size (You know what to do).

061208Surgery 002

This is a fat, middle-aged weimaraner who had been vomiting on and off for a few days - had been hospitalized here, sent elsewhere for an ultrasound, went home and didn't improve, and ended up back here - and nobody could quite figure out what was causing the problem. So the decision was made to go in and do an exploratory, and I found this section of infarcted bowel.

While this sort of thing isn't unheard of in dogs, I believe it's the first one I've seen in 14 years of practice. At least in a dog who was still alive. This guy was likely within 24 hours of having this rotten bowel perforate. And I do mean rotten - this stuff stinks to high heaven. Had it done so, he would have joined the body count of what was a very. bad. night.

Now, though, the nastiness has been cut out and the rest has been pieced painstakingly back together. We won't know for certain if he's out of the woods for another week, as the repair can always break down and start to leak. I'm paranoid about these things and my track record is actually very good as a result, but I worry about every single bowel surgery I do. Which is probably why I don't like doing them very much.

And no, I didn't have time to work on the kilt hose, but I'm just a few rounds shy of starting the bottom-of-calf decreases.

10 June 2008

Two Things I Learned Tonight

Thing the first: When the cookbook says that the skins will slip off of your beets easily after cooking, what they leave unsaid is that the beet is liable to flip up into the air and then roll right down the front of your clothes and onto the floor, leaving a red mess everywhere.

Thing the second: Tuck, apparently, likes beets.

Because Several People Have Asked

I hadn't really mentioned it because it felt odd putting it out there to a lot of people I don't know, but we do have a wedding registry on Amazon. It's not big and most of the items have already been purchased for us.

Since David & I have been around the block a few times and aren't kids just starting out, we actually didn't need very much, but we thought it would be a good opportunity to get a set of matching plates to replace the hodgepodge we have and upgrade a few aged small kitchen appliances. Now I just need to pull out all the old stuff and rearrange things neatly before we have visitors next week.

08 June 2008

A Random Drive-By

There have been a lot of things happening lately on a lot of different fronts. Since there's no good way to incorporate them all into a cohesive post, I figured the best way to write about them would be in bullet format*.

  • Plans are coming together nicely for the wedding, which takes place in less than two weeks! We still have to write our vows, though, which is a form of writing that, I think, most people are ill-practiced at.

  • I still have a good bit to get done on kilt hose #2, but I should be able to get it finished in time. The vest, unfortunately, has been set aside. I had to come to the cold, hard realization that I am a process knitter and have to be very realistic about my production speed. If the wedding day turns out to be as hot as it is today (just shy of 90ºF), this could be a blessing in disguise.

  • When the kilt hose are finished, I shall be casting on for a Baby Surprise Jacket in Debbie Bliss Prima for friends who won't be making it to the wedding because they're expecting baby number one at about the same time. I also need to plan one for a cousin who won't be making it to the wedding due to similar circumstances (baby number 3).

  • For the person who asked about the needles I'm using for the kilt hose, I'm working them on two 12" Addi circs. The rigid portion of the circs is kind of short, which some people find a bit problematic, but I rather like doing them this way.

  • We planted nasturtiums this weekend at my grandmother's childhood home. The seeds I had ordered came too late, and I forgot the replacement seeds I had bought before we left, requiring the purchase of even more when we got there. Now I have four packets of nasturtium seeds, so I suppose we'll have plenty around here, as well.

  • The week before last, I finalized my application to start an online certificate program in field epidemiology at the University of North Carolina in the fall. Because the application deadline for the fall term isn't until late July, I didn't expect to hear anything for a while. I was notified of my acceptance in less than a week.

  • I plan to incorporate this coursework into a Master of Public Health degree, which UNC also offers online. The plan would be to move out of clinical practice almost entirely, though considering this degree will take a few years to complete, there won't be any big changes for a while.

  • I only have three more shifts to go at work before I'm off for the wedding. Not having taken a proper vacation since we went to Hawai'i two years ago and given all the extra shifts I worked over the past year, this three weeks off is badly needed.

  • I don't know if I mentioned it, but the kilt arrived a bit ago and looks wonderful. It's a box-pleated kilt, which aside from being an older, historical style, uses half as much fabric (natural Scottish thrift, as opposed to the Victorian extravagance of the 8-yard kilt). This lighter weight will be a good thing, especially if, as mentioned above, temperatures decide to soar.

  • As at Rhinebeck, there will be too many people at the wedding who will want to look under my kilt. With that in mind, I bought new underwear especially for the occasion. Black briefs, for both comfort and modesty.

  • In exactly 10 days, we will be having an open house here for both wedding guests who might be en route to the venue and for folks in our extended network of friends who might not have gotten an invite due to the economics of the thing (We're already 50% over our anticipated number of guests. I'm trying not to think of what this means for the wedding budget.) This, of course, means that we have to clean house. Frantically. I'm thinking maybe we should just hire a dumpster.

  • Remember the prayer shawl I knat last year for my great-uncle's widow, Carol? Well, Carol has a (non-knitting) project of her own these days. She is spearheading a drive to dig a well for a community in Haiti which is in desperate need. To find out just how desperate, click the link in the sidebar or just click right here. Please help if you can. Because this is being done through her church, donations are tax-deductible.

Okay, that's all I can think of for now. It's hot and I need to get ready for work. Hope you're having a spectacular weekend!

*As popularized by Sheepish Annie.

03 June 2008

Just Wondering

For all the angry women who vow they'll vote for McCain if Hillary doesn't get the nomination, I have this question: How would voting for a man who, on at least one public occasion, called his wife a "cunt" do anything to advance the position of women in our society?