Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Mixiotes de Noche Buena

with my husband Remi and my twin brothers-in-law Joel and Javier
 A few years ago Remi and I were in Mexico for Christmas.  Dinner for Noche Buena required that he get up at the crack of dawn to kill turkeys with his cousin for dinner.  My Christmas Eve dinner only required early rising for the 18 mile trip to the grocery store in the next town.
his name was Dinner
 Remi's brothers came for dinner and we repeated Thankgiving and ate another multinational dinner for Christmas Eve.  Pollo con chiles y epazote, tortillas, sweet braised carrots, mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, cranberry sauce, spinach salad, and chocolate cake covered in bittersweet ganache with sea salt caramel and Tahitian vanilla bean gelato. 

My brothers-in-law who having been working here for a few years are obsessed with mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce having eaten a few Thanksgiving dinners with us.  I added sweet braised carrots from the Joy of Cooking for a little more traditional American cooking, and they requested mac & cheese.  I had never actually made mac and cheese, but had a great easy recipe for it from Ellen, my bf of 30 years!, which oddly I'd written inside the cover of a Rick Bayless cookbook after eating some at her house a few years ago.  The boys were a little disappointed that I didn't make spicy pecans to top the spinach salad and Remi explained to them that the blue cheese dressing was vinaigrette with queso apestoso (translation: stinky cheese...yes Mom, I know you agree).

Even though they didn't have to kill anything, the guys were in charge of the main dish.  They made mixiotes with chicken with sweet and hot peppers, epazote, and onions en papillote.  In Mexico we would have wrapped it all in the outer skin of the maguey or century plant.  I have had mixiote wrapped in maguey and it is delicious, but also illegal because peeling the outer skin of the plant can kill it. I just read about some sustainably harvested mixiote so I'm pretty sure we won't end up eating our little packets of food with our heads shrouded as if we were having some bizzare dinner of ortolan.
los tres mosqueteros
Javier and Joel are really interested in learning to cook more than eggs. We have been talking about recipes and I'm dying to get Joel's recipe for green sauce which Remi says is fantastic. We have a food exchange going: they teach me the green sauce and I teach them  pierogis with peppers and sausage (you can take the girl out of Cleveland...).  They had pot roast with potatoes somewhere and were asking me about the recipe.  They were pretty into it while I was telling them about browning the meat on all sides and trying to figure out the translations for the various herbs, but put the brakes on when it came to the actual cooking time.  So I guess I know what's for dinner the next time they visit.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pigs and flowers - sure signs of fall

Fall is finally here in South Georgia.  I know this because my neighbors' pigs have arrived for the season and the yard is full of blooming camellias.  The arrival of Peaches and Milkshake each year roughly coincides with Día de los Muertos ( oddly like the monarch butterflies arriving in Michoacán) and they are here for fattening and showing before they become bacon and pork chops.  My neighbors' children have had a succession of Peaches and Milkshakes - each year the same names - which they raise, show, and sell.  And with the same precisely timed arrival, so come the Christmas decoration to the neighborhood.

Here are a few things I have discovered or observed during the past week:

1. No matter how many tiny wooden painted fir trees, illuminated deer, and singing angels my neighbors put in their yards, South Georgia will never look like a winter wonderland.  A thin covering of dried pine straw is a poor substitute for snow.  And when bright pink flowers are actually blooming on bushes next to a Santa, the illusion is interrupted.

2. Yesterday when I checked the mail two lizards were chasing each other on the box.  The road is full of smears from brave frogs who hop across the street oblivious to on coming traffic.  When it rains all the reptiles come out to play.

2. Desiccated frogs and lizards are a reality in my life.  I don't flinch anymore when I find a dried out creature tangled in corgi hair in some forgotten corner.  Yesterday a dime-sized frog mummy was in the middle of the living room floor, probably dropped there by a dog who discovered it and transported it to a spot more convenient for play.  I just scooped it up with bare hands and disposed of it.

3. There is no end to the growing season, the mosquito season, the wasp season, the fly season.  All annoyances continue to grow year round.

4. There is truth in the saying ,"...like a deer in headlights..."  Although few blasts on the car horn will scare away deer standing at the side of the road, it is the ones you can't see before they are running across your path that will nearly give you a coronary.

5. Try to find a grocery store that doesn't stock Kilz-Em-Dead rat bait right next to the fried pork rinds.  However, if you find yourself there because the only other grocery is out of something you need for dinner and a 36 mile round trip to the next town seems excessive, do not look into the meat case.  I repeat, do not look into the meat case.  Feet, intestines, and stomachs from all manner of birds and beasts abound.  And who says the pull-date is really a deadline?!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Nice t-shirt

I had a parent conference today afterschool.  The mama was a little late so I got a nice, clear view of her walking into the room.  She was wearing this t-shirt:

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Party: Reveal 2

This is the 4th time I have participated in Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Party.  The first time BSP was held, I saw the list of participants who had already signed up and was too intimidated.  The next time I just held my breath when I clicked the send button and hoped for the best.  Here I am a couple of years later and I couldn't be happier that I decided to take up Lori's challenge and work outside my comfort zone.  The BSP has morphed into a worldwide event - 400 jewelry artists from 25!  The BSP has grown so large Lori Anderson divided the reveal into three separate dates so that it would be possible to travel around the virtual world and visit all of the blog.
my soup
This BSP my partner is Emma Todd of A Polymer Penchant.  Emma sent me a beautiful selection of beads she made and added some seeds, stones, and crystals to the mix.
El Pavo Royal

I used some of the sari silk to make a bail and used 16g brass wire to attach it to the necklace
I knotted the beads with regal purple waxed Irish linen
the clasp
finally I added brass chain and lentil beads to complete the earrings.

Take at look at the others participating in today's reveal.
Hostess, Lori Anderson, Pretty Things

Adlinah Kamsir, Dream Struck Designs
Adrienn Lukacs, Raszputyin Designs
Agata Grygiel, Cytherea Bijoux

Alenka Obid, Pepita Handmade
Amy Dickerson, Damyjo Designs

Amy Schmidt, Amy's Treasure
Amy Severino, Amy Beads

Andrea Trank, Heaven Lane Creations
Anke Humpert, Anart Island Studios
Ann Rishell, My Critical Eye
April Grinaway, Brooklyn Bead Goddess
Ashley Bunting, Miss Ashely Kate
Astrid Boyce, Astrid Boyce Beads
B.R. Kuhlman, Mixed Mayhem Studios
Barbe Saint John, Saints and Sinners

Beata Benkone Meggyesi, Beahobbi
Bryna Lumb, Bryna's Bead Box
Carmen Lau, Little Maketto

Cate van Alphen, Fulgorine
Cathie Carroll, Cathie Carroll's Studio
Cathy Khoury, Touch Jewelry
Christina Stofmeel, Feng Beads

Courtney Breul, Beads by Breul
Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
Cynthia Abner, Created Treasures
Deana Hager, Just Deez'Art & Life
Debbie Phenes, Deb Joy Sing
Dhea Powers, Java Bead

Diana Welte, Lilyweeds
Dita Basu, alankarshilpa
Dorota Zeranska, gdymamczas
Dot Lewallwn, Speedie Beadie
Elisabeth Auld, Beads For Busy Gals
Ema Kilroy, Ema K Designs
Emma Todd, A Polymer Penchant
Eva Sherman, Eva Sherman Designs
Evie and Beth McCord, EB Bead and Metal Works
Francy Inman, Francy's Studio

Ginger Bishop, lilmummy likes...
Giorgia Rossini, Jo in Wonderland
Ine Vande Cappelle, Jewels by Ine
Iveth Caruso, Creative Atelier
Jackie Ryan, Kydo Jewellery
Jeannie Dukic, Jeannie's Blog
Jelveh Jaferian, Jelveh Designs
Jenna Tomalka, Twin Birch Studio
Jenni Connolly, Jenni's Beads

Jennifer Van Horn, Jennifers Jewels and Junk
Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
Johanna Rhodes-Nash, Fire Phoenix Creations
Joyce Blair, Bent Wire West Coast
JuLee Wolfe, The Polymer Penguin
Karen Vincent, Swallow Tail Jewellery
Karin Slaton, Backstory Beads
Kayla Potega, The Eclectic Element
Kim Dworak, CianciBlue
Kris Lanae Binsfeld, Cherish Designs by Kris Lanae

Kristen Latimer, MJM Jewelry Designs
Kumi Fisher, Malie Kai Designs
Kym Hunter, Kym Hunter Designs

Lennis Carrier, Windbent
Leslie Wayment, AA Beads & More
Linda Murphy, Bonita Bead
Lisa Johnson, Whimsey Wonders

Lisa Sittniewski, Love, Yesterdays
Lois Moon, Que Onda, Q'Town? -----you are here
Lola Surwillo, Bead Lola Bead
Lorelei Eurto, Lorelei's Blog
Lori Bowring Michaud, Artfully Ornamental
Lori Finney, Using My Beads
Margareta Saari, Mags-koruja
Maria Horvath, Horimarika Beads
Marian Hertzog, M's Place

Mary Ellen Parker, BeeTree by m.e.
Mary K McGraw, MK's Creative Musings
MaryLou Holvenstot, time2cre8
Martha Aleo, Ornamento
Maybeline Tay, The Jewelry Larder
Megan Collins, Churchy & Her Sailor
Melissa Meman, Art. Life. Love.
Melissa Mesara, One-Eared Pig Beads

Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs
Pam Farren, re-maker
Pam Hurst, Pam Hurst Designs
Patricia Handschuh, The Color of Dreams
Patty Miller, CabariBeads
Penney Klapoth, Faerie Acres
Regina Santerre, Regina's Writings
Rhea Freitag, starrgazer creates

Rochelle Brisson, A Creative Chelle
Sabine Dittrich, PerlenDschungel
Sandra McGriff, Creative Chaos
Sandra Neights, Petalo Azul
Sandra Young, It's a Bead Life!
Sara Oehler, SoftFlex Girl

Saturday Sequins, Saturday Sequins
Shanti Johnson, Sunshine Bliss
Shari Replogle, Plays With Paper
Sonya Stille, Dreamin' of Beads

Stefanie Teufel, Stefanies Sammelsurium
Tammie Everly, TTE Designs
Tania Spivey, Moobie Grace Designs

Therese Frank, Therese's Treasures
Tina Holden, Polymer Clay Bytes!
Toltec Jewels, Jewel School Friends

Tracey Nanstad, A Beadiful Mess
Tracy Choy, BumbleBeads Designs
Valerie Norton, Hot Art

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Summer Lovin' Challenge

At the end of May, just before school was out, Amy Severino of Amybeads announced she was hosting the Summer Lovin' Summer Chanllenge.  This was perfect timing for me because I was looking for a few projects for my summer free time.
the start
As soon as I saw the Summer Lovin' Challenge Kit I knew I wanted to participate. I love the Tree of Life pendant from Penny's Lane Polymer Clay.  I thought I was going to stitch little herringbone ropes with little fluted ends to hold pearls, but somewhere along the way I purchased some gold leather and Jamie Cloud Eakin's book Beading with Cabochons.  So the piece became bead embroidery.
The pendant is just under 2.5"
the result
This is my first bead embroidery piece.  I've played around with stitching on leather before, but never have I actually seem anything through from beginning to end.  My edge stitching is a little wonky in a couple places, but I think that I'm getting a feel for how to better space beads so that I don't finish and need to leave a gap or squeeze a last bead into a space.
Take a look and see what the other participants made:
Amy Amybeads --- our hostess
Renetha LampLightCrafts
Lori B.
Lois ¿Que Onda Q'town? ----- you are here
Lucy K. -------see Amy's blog
Debbie Beechy Beetique

Sunday, July 29, 2012

leather and beads

I had to give the style a try, but the bead weaver in me finished this bracelet with a picot edge and a woven toggle clasp.  I started with a beautiful strand of aqua  Czech roundels, added a layer of silver 6/0's that look like mercury glass because they are not holding their finish, and ended with a row of warm gold picot.  I'm about to see if rubbing on some Renaissance Wax will hold the finish on the silver beads.  
I distressed the leather and used 8 lb. Fireline

Monday, July 23, 2012

Soups Exchanged

Although I haven't been posting much, I have been beading.  I'm just about done with my piece for the Amy Beads Summer Lovin' challenge and I'm working on my Bead Soup Blog Hop piece.
the reveal is August 1st

Emma Todd of A Polymer Penchant and I exchanged beads.  As Emma mentioned in her post, Lori Anderson, our BSBP hostess, must have a crystal ball to work some kind of beady magic when she pairs off beaders.  Here is the gorgeousness I received from Emma.  I adore the focal and am loving those three-lobbed teal beads which I believe were also made by Emma.  I've been looking at (and buying) some larger beads this year so this soup is perfect for me.  We reveal on August 11th, but there are actually three reveal dates and the first is July 28th - this Saturday!
from Emma's blog - find Emma's beads here on Etsy
Here is what I sent off to Emma in Canada.  The soup started with the ceramic focal by Tracee Dock at The Classic Bead.

a slightly internationally flavored bead soup

I had a bit of trouble deciding if I wanted to accent the blues or the greens in the pendant, but I realized maybe I was not the one who should make that choice.  I sent along beads to pull out both colors and also really liked them together. The pink Czech beads with gold accents came from Two Scoops in Sweden, the Czech faceted olive beads (which I called matte crystals above) are from Yashmacreations in London, England.  The amazonite rounds are from a stash I used to made a pearl, amazonite, and sterling rosary for my mother-in-law.  The rest of the amazonite now lives in Mexico and is in the hands of one devout lady.  The blue quart came from Marcie Abney Carroll's (La Bella Joya )destash shop and I loved it so much I search and found some more.  It is a pretty good kyanite imitation.

Marcie was my first BSBP partner and I'm pretty sure Lori partnered us because we both seed bead and we are both Spanish teachers.  The party is definitely great for sales because I've been buying patterns and beads from Marcie since then.  Although I don't sell on-line, the BSBPs have helped me to pick up blog followers.  I think I had a grand total of nine going into the first party.  I can't for the first reveal on Saturday. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012


I found this bookmark pattern on Pinterest and turned it into a bracelet.
a very friendly looking dragon
Here is the link to the pattern which I completed in peyote and brick stitch instead of completely in brick stitch.  Here is a link to my Pinterest board which has loads of peyote, brick, and other flat stitch patterns.

I was motivated to get this baby done because of all the jokes about pinners never making anything they pin.  I think I'll stick with making jewelry from Pinterest ideas because the few recipes I've tried have been total fails - including the peach cobbler I tried yesterday (recipe already deleted from my food board).  I usually make peach galletes, but I was looking for something a little different.  If you have a great recipe for a fruit cobbler or crisp, send me a link.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bead Soup Party Season

Emma Todd's Poppy Beads

Our wonderful hostess Lori Anderson has finished the monumental task of pairing beaders from around the world for the 6th Bead Soup Blog Party and beads are being exchanged.  This will be my fourth BSBP.  A few years ago I had just started blogging about jewelry designing and making when I spotted an invitation to join the very first BSBP, but I was too intimidated by the big names who had already thrown their hats in the ring to give it a go.  The next time around I decided I was ready.  I have been paired with three fabulous  artists and my current partner, Emma Todd of A Polymer Penchant, is wonderfully talented. You can find her work on Etsy.  Reading her blog, I discovered Emma and I share a love of poppies and peacocks.

Emma Todd's Peacock Beads

Here is a little sneak peek at the soup which is on the way to Canada.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Russian sakura

five tiny petals and a pearl
I've spent a few hours working on sakura blossoms I found on Pinterest.  Yes, I'm making something I discovered on Pinterest!  The conversation in my head went something like this, "make just one pattern before you spend anymore time collecting [hoarding]  more patterns and pictures...I'm begging you...just one thing."  So with that ultimatum I had to bite the bullet.  If you are looking for the pattern you can find it HERE [¿or maybe I managed to link the photo?]
none of my husband's Russian friends are in town for the summer
a lot like making Russian leaves - is it diagonal peyote?

I found a gorgeous version at irosperlen.blogspot.com

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Snakes on the Coastal Plain


Before I started beading, I wrote a blog about my life here in the South.  Since I started beading, I have written far less and have also gotten used to many, many more aspects of daily life that once seemed so different from the life I lived in a land where it actually snows and nothing which lived in your yard could eat you whole.

Snakes are frequently on the tip of my tongue, metaphorically, because of the large number where I live in SoGa.  I have never liked snakes of any kind (it must be from seeing the movie "Sssssssss"), but was never afraid of them until I moved to this area which is full of poisonous varieties.  We have diamond back rattlesnakes, pigmy rattlers, cotton mouth moccasin, copperheads, and coral snakes.  We also have a great slithering bunch of nonpoisonous snakes, but I'm not great at telling the difference because my reaction is to scream, turn tail, and run away.  So if I see a king snake, a white oak snake, or a rat snake I haven't looked at it long enough to know whether I was actually in any danger. It really is hard to tell when you are waving your hands above your head and running full speed in the opposite direction. I long ago gave up turning my compost pile because the snakes love to burrow into its warmth.  Fortunately the heat and the humidity here make black gold for me as long as I continue to pile in my scraps and clippings.

Margot de Taxco vintage pieces: source

In my yard I don't use insect spray or any type of weed killer other than boiling water (it really takes care of those weeds better than round up...just get an electric tea kettle, fire it up, and pour).  This really helps make it a healthy place for for lots of creatures including snakes.  We have so many trees, bushes, and birds that the snakes love it.  The house is on an acre right in front of about 30 acres of swampy woods.  For the most part, my fear of the snakes comes from wanting nothing bad to happen to my dogs.  I did not know until a student told me, but dogs do not react to snakes.  Mine have walked right over many, and I was warned by the vet that one bite will kill them.  If they were smaller, I would also have to worry about birds of prey swooping down and plucking them from the yard.  Maybe you heard about a hawk dropping a puppy into a California yard recently.  It is like that here.  One of the coolest things I've seen on my ride to work was a hawk taking with a snake in its talons, then dropping it to the ground to kill it.  It is a regular wild kingdom.

My friend recently sent me a link to a story that would appear to be in the category of fake news, but it turns out to be frighteningly true.  Check out what Jon Stewart said about my a snake new to the area on The Daily Show.  Last fall I saw a story about a python found close to me.  Holy moly, Burmese pythons are on the loose!  This has definitely awakened the primal fear I have of snakes.  Forget all the Ssssssss junk about being turned into a snake, now I can worry about being attacked by one.  At least the local alligators don't try to eat adult deer.

This sent my into a panic.  I found articles confirming the python feeding frenzy.  The first one shows a dead python after it tried to eat an alligator, and the second article says that the projection for the Burmese python migration across the southern US is incorrect.  I'm going to hope this is true because I can't stand the thought of looking out for 12-foot long snakes hanging out in my backyard.

Of course in my search for more info on the freed-pet-pythons-now-taking-over-the-Everglades, I discovered that a guy in Mississippi who runs an alligator zoo is missing 50 of his creatures after recent flooding enabled them to swim over the six-foot fence.  He had 250 alligators, but 200 of them escaped during Hurricane Katrina.  I don't need to worry about his 14-foot gators because we already have plenty around here.  But a 12-foot long snake, now that would stick out like a sore thumb.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Excuse me stewardess, I can order in Chinese

A real scene from my classroom.  Keep in mind I am a high school Spanish teacher.

Student 1: Ask her.
Student 2: No you ask her.

Student 1: I don't need to because I know she does.

Me:  What's the problem guys?
Student 1:  He says you don't speak Chinese.
Me: That's right.  I don't.
Student 1: No, I know you do.  Can't you just say a few words for us.

Me: Well, I just told you I don't know Chinese.
Student 2: I told you so.

Me, thinking that Student 2 is being a little snotty and needs to be taken down a peg: Okay, you got me, I do know some.

Student 1: Go ahead; let's hear.

Me: Egg foo young, kung pao, ma po tuo fu, moo goo gai pan.

Student 1: See, I told you she did.
Student 2: That's so cool.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

...and then she fell out: my latest Southernism

My students were all excited when they returned to class after lunch today, and not just because you only need two hands to count the number of days left in the school year.  A group of students was walking the track and a girl, who is also pregnant,  fell out.   The students said she was walking with a friend and then, as if in slow motion, she just fell out.

I was particularly horrified because I couldn't figure out why a pregnant girl would be fighting - you know - falling out.  To me it made sense that falling out was just a twist of the expressing to have a falling out.  And of course I learned pretty quickly after I moved here that to show out means to make a fool of oneself.  But even after ten years here, I've discovered another Southernism.

To fall out means to faint.  The poor girl only pretended to faint which is why it was all in slow motion; her friend caught her and lowered her gently to the track (which my students acted out).  After some adult attention she got up under her own power.  That was it.  Over and done.

The students, however, felt cheated.  The school has recently instituted a protocol in case someone stops breathing or their heart stops, and we have been practicing with Code Blue alerts.  They wanted to see all the AED and CPR trained faculty and staff run out to the field and get to work.  They wanted to see a body jump under defibrillator paddles.  It is a good thing we are winding down for the year; I think they might be out for blood next!

Monday, April 23, 2012

On my bead tray

rock star sized cuff - 67mm wide
I'm working on a super-sized peyote stitch cuff.  I found a great pattern for this peacock feather cuff - Pavo Real - from the Fairy Factory.  Right now a number of the cuff patterns are on sale so go and take a look.  The pattern is easy to follow and written for brick stitch also (2 for 1).  I switched out one of the listed colors - the background was designed as clear crystal ab, but I'm using a white ab satin.  I was a bit afraid that I would see the thread through the clear beads (Delica 51...anyone tried those?).  Maybe I need to buy some and try them out myself because I've seen a couple patterns using them for background.
this baby really sparkles on the wrist
I'm all of 80 rows into the piece and have something like 120 more to go!  When I get closer to the end I will be able to decide how to close the piece.  I have a few concerns because of how wide it is, but I know I will be able to design something workable.

My neighbor is thrilled that I've given up my desire to keep peacocks in the yard and have channeled my energy toward recreating their feathers in beads.  Their screams can be ear splitting.  We actually have some in the neighborhood, but they are hidden away on a farm so we only get to see a wayward one once in a blue moon.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Win an awesome cuff from NEDbeads...

Check out this amazing cuff from NEDbeads...and it is in one of my favorite colorways!  Are you drooling yet?
Lisa Peters made the gorgeous focal button
of course I love the floral motif!
Check out the NEDbeads shop at Etsy and this great bracelet tutorial that uses Twin beads.  I've been wanting to give these a try since they debuted. 
give Twin beads a whirl!

Check out what Lori is giving away at Pretty Things

win this set of letter stamps from PJ Tools and...

this hammer made just for stamping metal!
Hop over to Pretty Things to enter.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Loads of work in progress & dog on the mend

sweetpea butter fly designed by Huib Petersen
I've been doing just what I try to avoid - working on multiple projects at the same time.  My life outside of beading is filled with half finished project and things I can't quite get going so I love focusing on weaving a piece and seeing it through to the end, then starting a new one.  I need that boost I get from a sense of accomplishment upon completion.  Here are a two of the many pieces hanging about:
drop three peyote tube beads with a messy wrapped loop - only 12 more tubes to wrap
Coltrane has also been making strides.  He picked up a toy and brought it over to play, he started doing more steps, both up and down, he rolled onto his back in a stinky spot, and he is cleaning himself again!  It took ten days on all his drugs to get him this far.  He is on the taper down side of his prednisone and has 20 more days, and has 12 more days of antibiotics.  The poor guy was 28.6 lbs. on March 21st and only 26.6 lbs. on Friday. I started giving him some little snacks during the day and in the evening after dinner which seem to be giving him a little more energy.  He is is particularly fond of yogurt, corn tortillas (actual tortillas - not chips so there is no salt), and anything with peanut butter.
Mingus (red) sharing the couch with Coltrane (black) for a nap

Friday, April 6, 2012

Coltrane update

I'm sleeping - go away
Coltrane is doing much better this week.  He had his last seizure on March 28th, his 8th birthday, and finally went on medication.  The radiologists at UF vet school decided that the hydrocephalus was probably an active process so we began treating him for a brain infection.  Still, no one seems to know what sort of infection he has.

Of all the tests he received, everything from blood work, to CTs, to MRI's, and a spinal tap, the only thing which every showed up anything but normal were the images on the MRIs.  They revealed the hydrocephalus and two areas of his brain with problems.  We spent a week waiting for spinal tap results which we hoped would show if he had an infection or autoimmune/inflammatory disease.  Each test came back negative.  Finally he wasn't making enough progress and had his birthday seizure so the vet neurologist put him on prednisone and an antibiotic.  He is still taking thiamine (B1) and he gets a Pepsid AD to make sure all this stays down.  

Lots of pills!  The crazy little boy comes trotting in the room each time he hears the pill bottles rattle.  He wants peanut butter.  I really don't have to put much on each pill and he gobbles/sucks it down.  The fastest he moves all day is at feeding and pill time.
Coltrane & Mingus
He is walking much better. He is much more sure-footed and can walk a bit faster and even trot.  This week he started jumping up on all the furniture again and going down stairs sometimes, but he still doesn't want to go  up stairs.  His hind end seems to be a bit weak still and we think he may still have a vision problem.  To help him out I shaved the fur from the bottoms of his paws.  He had some big tufts growing between his pads and I thought this might make him lose traction on the wood floors.  He really didn't like the shaver at all, but it was Mingus who ran around barking and barking while I worked on Cole.  When I was done Cole grabbed Ming's leg and pulled to try to bother him into playing.  They had a great time playing much like they used to play.

I'm hopeful that he will recover.  Right now I'm concerned that when he comes off the meds the problem will come back.  For now, he still has almost two weeks of antibiotics and something like 22 days of prednisone so I will put off any serious worrying until then.