Saturday, 24 January 2009

so.... then we got home. (or Bad news, good news and some Aust. stash pics!)

Did I mention at any point that my b-i-l (father of the alien child) was staying here to look after my boys while we were away? Well (so graciously), he followed through on his Summer promise to do so.

He arrived a few days before we left and the childer and I trailed him as he walked both dogs together at the same time for the first time ever. Halfway through I asked him how it was and he said (promise this is an exact quote) "Like I am walking with my arms stuck out in front of me." Right away I knew it was going to be a hard row for my dogs to hoe (metaphorically typing of course) because he took no joy whatsoever in them, his surroundings, the fresh air, nothing! However I closed my eyes and mind to it all and off we went.

We heard very little from him at any point. He didn't answer when CK rang him with Christmas or N.Y. wishes. He replied to one text. Would you not also take this to mean everything was well? We did. Oh silly, silly us.....

During CK's 'Hi, I'm back home and safe.' phonecall he mentioned that the grey dog was a little wobbly but that b-i-l figured it was a slipped something sustained during one of their long walks in icy conditions plus, y'know he was greatly improved since it had first happened a few days before CK came home!!!!!!!!! WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!

My old dog of pushing 15 years has had trouble standing for a few days and you haven't even spoken to the vet????? Of course CK played the whole thing down over the phone and the full extent of the situation wasn't revealed to me until I saw him for myself a week later. My poor faithful old grey-haired boy had some serious balance issues and was looking a little like a pretzel. His left ear was flicked up and there was something amiss with his left eye, not to mention the serious list to his head.

Friday evening was my only chance of a vet appointment and we took it with gratitude (by we I mean the dog and me as CK had been home for a week and not taken him - do not start me!). Having now watched him for 24 hours I could see all the things that were not right and had a horrible feeling the word 'stroke' may be mentioned. However our lovely vet said that

a) strokes are extremely rare in dogs.
b) for a dog of his age my grey one was in fabulous physical condition (except for the pretzel state and weird eye movements).

He diagnosed 'Vestibular Syndrome' (which I say is akin to Labrynthitis in people and the vet likened to the worst bout of seasickness EVER. )It may be down to a tumour, a brain lesion, an infection or just because and since it seemed to be getting better in the nearly TWO WEEKS since it had happened he would suggest it was just because.

Nice vet man likened it to being an 'anti-stroke' - rather than a burst of blood in the brain there had most likely been an occlusion and insufficient blood got in - and it was all in the area of brain linked to balance and muscle control and such. So he drugged him up with steroids, gave him pills for the next 14 days and we take him back next Friday to see where we go from there. So far he continues to improve, his appetite is back, his mobility is more free every day and this morning for about half an hour his head wasn't even a little bit twisted.

Apparently it could be he goes back to completely as he was before or he could plateau at any point but the vet assures me he is in no pain and the dog assures me he is hungry and ready for a walk anytime I want to take him. So I am happy with that because when you are nearly 15 in people years (= ~100 in dog years) it has to be about quality of life.

Did I mention that for nearly two weeks there was very little eating going on? Certainly on the grey dog's part. And no exercise for either dog? What neither CK nor his brother seemed to notice was the size of the black dog. My 11 y.o. black dog has gone from being a fit, healthy collie to a fluffy black-coated oompah-loompah in the space of two weeks. Quite sensibly my b-i-l has run away to Crete b/c when I next see him there may be some words said!

Enough of my hound sagas. Wanna see SOME of the stash supplies I purchased (won, was given) in Australia????

First up we have two balls of emotional saga displacement activity. The day of the great blogmeet I drove to Ballarat and less than halfway there a stone flew up and chipped my windscreen. In a slight panic about the $2500 (£1250) excess AND the potential explosion of the glass I drove the rest of the way wondering if I could get a quick flight to Paraguay. Lovely Emma at Ballarat Patchwork and Jodie fixed it all for me with a copy of the yellow pages, a phone and a guide to find the Windscreens O'Brien place. The nice man took my freely, gladly given $70 and told me to come back in half an hour. Luckily there was a Lincraft right next door so in I went. And brought out the these two knobbly yarns - very excited about trying to knit with cotton wool on a string!

The third pic is of a ball from the Wool Museum in Geelong. Geelong was THE seaport for wool export and so is now home to The National Wool Museum (Australia being built on the sheep's back and all!). We didn't go into the Museum, just the shop ;-) I asked the lady at the counter if the wool was Australian as the label only said hand-dyed in Australia. Just about bothering to tear herself away from the conversation with co-workers she said to me 'All our wool products are 100% Australian and 100% wool!' 'Except for the 7% nylon in this skein' I suggested. (Snooty witch, don't start with me!)

I may have to repost this picture - I tried to be clever and blend the pattern with the fabric but I think it may just be a jumble, let me know. The lovely Emma (again) at Ballarat Patchwork offered a door prize for any bloggers who left their blogname in a hat on the table. Even in my frantic car windscreen saga state I knew it would be a good plan to write my details on a piece of A4 embossed and embellished cardstock that vibrated and sparkled when touched - I was bound to get a prize ;-)

So now I have to actually MAKE a quilt! Do any of you know how long a process that is for me??? But it is very pretty isn't it? I can see Princess C-W snatching this one and snuggling with her new puppy some time soon. (when we get one - anyone?)

And for this post finally we have the fabric I found and fell in love with. Hands up who <3s Spotlight? (all of you non-Australian dwellers just put your hands up anyway because you WOULD love it if you could see it!)

While at home my oldest friend sent me an email to say her new boy had arrived into the world safely. And I was unable to stop myself on seeing this turtle fabric from having to bring some home because it will make the sweetest wee cot quilt. I think I bought the spots for the back and the orange for a border and binding. Or vice versa. But how gorgeous?!

Did I tell you we went to Echuca? Princess C-W took her project, we went on the Murray, we touched the Murray, we got extremely hot, we booked two hotel rooms and slept in one, we ate the worst meal EVER in Moama and while they mooched the main street I went and played in a lovely patchwork shop! The nice lady even offered to lock the doors as they walked away to give me enough time!

1. I bought this fat quarter of the housework fairies for a) the irony and b) the chartreuse background (apologies Wonderwoman ;-)
2. This is Australian designed fabric from the nice lady wot organises the quilt thing down at Lock. I did know her name but now cannot remember!
3. the dogs just had to come home with us, I thought Pr.C-W would love it.
4. Spots again by that Victorian designer. I will hunt out her name, promise.
5. And a metre of this fabulous fluffy ball ribbon. I will think of something one day but right then it was just beautiful!

There is more but I figured you could just enjoy a little bit at a time, I wouldn't want to rot your eyes with all that deliciousness!


  1. Bugger abouts the dogs. Hope the grey dog is fighting fit very soon.

    Julie Wallace is the lady who organised the quilt thing at Loch. Beautiful fabrics!

  2. Sorry to read about your poorly pooch .... I wouldn't want to be in your Bro-in-Laws shoes when/if he ever sees you again ....

    I'm loving that snowball yarn eversuchalot and will be intrigued to see how it knits up.

    Those fabrics are lovely too - housework fairies .... if only! (although come to think of it .... Simon in a pinny immediately springs to mind ....)


  3. Re dog situ: *mouth opening and closing but no words coming out*

    Re purchases: love (1,000,000)esp the house fairies!


  4. Crubbish news about the dogs but yummy goodies! I especially love that green pom-pom trim - gorgeous!

    Locket xxx

  5. Glad to hear the senior pup is improving. Wanting food and exercise = "all systems go!"

    (my verification word is "slick," which, if you don't mind me saying, sounds a bit like b-i-l...)

  6. Could you perhaps open a book on whether the BiL will be able to walk by the time you've finished with him? I'll put a fiver on him walking with his knees together, and being very pigeon-toed for at least a fortnight afterwards.

    Poor pooch :-( Hope he continues to improve.

    Such loveliness you've brought back in the shape of fabric and yarn and trimming. Can't wait to see what you do with it all.


  7. Maybe bending brother in law into a pretzel shape and poking him in they eye would be a fair and reasonable punishment...oh and don't bother taking him to the doctor either.

  8. Triple what Jodie said!

    OOh and I love Spotlight! Our shop in Hobart had a fire around xmas time, mostly smoke damage, it hasn't re-opened yet :-(

  9. Look here, about that b-i-l. Send me his address and I'l just send my 2 children round to meet him. There can be no worse punishment than 2 boy children complete with muddy and sweaty trainers who feel the injustice done to a doggy.
    They will sort him out good and proper. See if you can get one of Monkee Maker's headless horses just to worry him a bit!

  10. Ahhhh, what would we do without Spotlight!
    Great fabrics... and that green pom-pom trim... delicious!

  11. what brilliant fabrics - my fav - it has to be the dog one, just brilliant!
    i think b-i-l should be very worried - lots of bad vibes heading his way!!!


  12. Hope your poorly pooch is feeling better. I wouldn't want to be in your b-i-l's shoes when he gets back! Lovely fabrics!

  13. Oh my gawd Trashy! I am speechless (but alone, so no-one here to enjoy the experience ;-))!!!

    I can't believe the b****y w****r didn't take your poor pooch to the vet! I totally concur with Jodie's suggested treatment of the twit!!

    Next time you go away we'll have them! Moog might bite them a bit and shout at them but they'd still do better here!!!


    p.s. my dog enjoyed a few Sunday dinner leftovers yesterday. During the night she managed to lock herself in the downstairs loo (WTF?). She didn't bark once to be rescued (idiot!) but when I opened the door this morning she rushed out looking very green about the gills. Seems the sprouts, cauliflower and leeks she'd had were causing some rather sulphurous windage from her rear end and she'd been trapped with it for four hours!!!

    p.p.s. I would only ever feed your dogs exactly what you tell me gaseous veg unless stipulated.