Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sick Dog

Coltrane and his hedgie
I've been absent from everything for over a week because Coltrane is sick.  To make a longish story short, our local vet did not know what was wrong with him and made an appointment for us at The University of Florida Vet School's Small Animal Hospital.  We were in Gainesville, Florida last Wednesday and Thursday.  Coltrane was seen by a neurologist and got every possible test from CT scans to MRI's to a spinal tap.  I think my dog got more attentive care than I have ever received. 

He has some as yet unknown brain disease.  It may be an infection or it may be inflammatory/autoimmune.  The initial results from the spinal tap did not reveal the cause so we are waiting for more results this coming week.  Right now he is being treated for another possibility - thiamine deficiency.

The little guy is in sorry shape, but we have had some glimmers of hope.  Yesterday he played with us.  He had no interest or even enough balance and awareness to do this all week.  I have a couple little dreams - to see Coltrane play with his toys again and to take him for a well-visit to the UF vet school.  Still, some of the results we are waiting for could be deadly.  My mom put it well when she said, "it is kind of like waiting for the other shoe to drop as you do the best with the shoe you have."

Saturday, March 10, 2012

La Primavera

I have been reading and grading and driving back and forth to work, and during this time spring has sprung.  There were quite a few false starts this year.  The pine pollen went crazy with the balmy temps in January and the hard freezes continued all the way until just recently. 
what is this?
Now, however, I think the season is flowing out across the fields as it was intended to be.  We have had beautiful warm days reaching into the 80's in the afternoons and chilly mornings and nights.  The last of the camellias still in bloom and azaleas have opened.  Any day the clematis growing on a trellis in the courtyard will have salad plate size blooms.  The yellow red roses, chives, mint, oregano, and thyme are going full strength.  I saw a gerbera daisy too, but they seem to come and go all year whenever they please.
it takes a village
I have a little family of Carolina wrens living on the porch.  The parents built a next of pine straw with a bit of corgi hair for comfort.  They planted themselves on the highest of the corner shelves behind an ugly menorah that is composed of nine rotund people standing hip to hip and holding up their arms.  When the eggs hatched I could hear the babies peeping.  For a few days I watched two parents fly in and out of the porch with insects.  Finally curiosity got the better of me and I dragged a chair over to peek into the nest.  The babies were not alone.  I don't know whether the big bird in the nest or I was more shocked at the moment of discovery.   The next day I got my camera and invaded the bird space again.  This time the babies were unattended and I got some pictures of the four babies with their mouths gaping.  They even peeped at me as if I might have some tasty morsels for them.
feed me
hello babies

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dutch treat

Take a look at the kit my husband bought for my Valentine's Day gift.  This is what I'm working on right now.
from Petersen Beadwear
This gorgeous Sweet Pea Butterfly necklace is a kit from Huib Petersen.  Petersen is one of the handful of men I've run across who are working in beadweaving.  And he is also originally from the Netherlands where I lived for a year as an exchange student, and from where my paternal grandmother's family comes.  It is a small country, but throughout the last 30 years I've made an amazing number of Dutch connections in all facets of my life. But that is another story.

For a long time I felt that making pieces from kits was somehow "cheating."  Then I realized that it was really more like taking a workshop via paper.  Here I am in little Quitman, Georgia.  Where the Georgia governor may come to toss a skillet, but few workshops are held anywhere near here.  I've looked into driving four hours to Atlanta, but they always seem to fall on a day when I absolutely cannot miss work or have to be some place else.
I had such a great time and learned so much from making the Gingko Leaf Necklace by Diane Fitzgerald that I thought I would give another kit a try.  Even if you aren't interested in buying a kit, take a look at all the flora and fauna in Petersen's work.  It is really spectacular.  Petersen also has his Daisy Chain necklace in the April 2012 Bead & Button.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Think Spring Earrings: pink and bronze

sterling silver hand forged earwires, sari silk, white cinnabar, copper, bronze Japanese seed beads
More earrings with Russian leaves.  We had a killer storm yesterday so these photos were taken inside.  You may be able to catch a little of the pinky-red glow that the bronze beads give off.  They look great in the light. I'm starting to like repeating designs.  I have another pair with white cinnabar and deep red Delica leaves.