Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Stitches: 2 Snowmen in a Photobooth

Some progress from last week:

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tales of the Tail: A (hopefully small) Setback

On Friday of last week Kip stopped using his newly repaired knee and went back to hopping around on 3 legs. He had been putting weight on it consistently for about a week at that point, so we were concerned. We were scheduled to see the specialist on Tuesday for his 4-week checkup, but unfortunately the doctor came down with the flu so the appointment was pushed back until Friday.

When we saw the doctor he said it looked as if there is an infection in Kip's knee. There is fluid on the joint from the infection which is causing pain. He said that it is most likely from Kip licking the incision while it was still open and healing. The good news is that the doctor was able to confirm that the repair itself is okay.

We're back on another 10-days of antibiotics to clear up the infection. Hopefully soon he'll be back on the mend again. He is resting comfortably and still in good spirits.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Stitches: Dog Lessons

I finished another cross stitch piece recently. This one was pretty easy, so I finished it quickly.

A detail shot - I should've stitched the dog in tan and white so it would look more like Kip!

And, of course I didn't wait long to start another project! This one is small, so it probably won't take long to finish either.

Any guesses as to what this will be?

Saturday Night Date Night

Saturday night date night started Saturday afternoon at the Carolina game. It was a sloppy game but Carolina beat Boston College 48-46.

 After the game, we headed down to Franklin St. for dinner and then a Sugarland cupcake for dessert.

My cupcake on the left, Double Chocolate, and BD's on the right, Peanut Butter Delight. YUM!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Vaguely Threatening Church Signs, Part 2

"If we run out of letters for the church sign, what are we gonna do??!"

Tales of the Tail: Kip's Favorite Commercial

*Note: Kip does not actually eat Pedigree food; we just like the commercial.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tales of the Tail: Not Happy About It

...but not licking his trying-to-heal scabs either!

Cinnamon and Sugar Pecans

One of my best new recipe finds of 2010 happened right at the end of the year when I found a recipe for Candied Cinnamon and Sugar Nuts on My Kitchen Cafe.

The key to these is to wait until they are really dry before you eat them. On my first batch, BD and I sampled them right after they came out of the oven and were not impressed. Later in the afternoon he tried another one and said they were much better. (That's probably why the recipe says specifically "Cool completely before serving" -- whoops!)

I made a big batch of them to take in the car with us on our trip to Louisiana for Christmas. They are not too messy for the car, but they do make your fingers sticky.

The recipe calls for almonds. I used pecans instead, and I'm sure any nut would work.

not pretty in this picture, but DELICIOUS

1 egg white
1 teaspoon cold water
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups unsalted almonds
½ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line a large (11X17-inch) rimmed baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, beat the egg white until stiff peaks form. Add the water and vanilla and beat again until stiff. Add the almonds to the mixture and stir gently to coat the almonds with the egg white mixture.

In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Add this mixture to the almonds and stir gently to mix well. Pour the almonds out onto the prepared baking sheet and carefully spread them out into a somewhat even layer.

Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for about an hour, stirring/flipping every 15 minutes, until the almonds look and feel dry. To check to see if the almonds were done, I carefully picked one up in my fingers and when I pressed around it, I didn’t get any wet sugar on my hands. The coating on the almond felt hard and crunchy.

Cool completely before serving or packaging.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tales of the Tail: New Bed and Recovery Update

Last week I bought Kip a new bed. His current one was several years old and was worn out and lumpy. We weren't sure if he'd like the new bed, or if it would take him a while to warm up to it. I put it down on the floor and 5 minutes later he was snuggled down and snoozing on the new bed.

That's the old, lumpy bed in the background. We normally don't have blankets all over the floor, but we're trying to protect the new floors/rug from any blood or ooze from the surgery incisions.

The new bed is made of "orthopedic foam" -- which just means it has the egg crate foam stuff inside it instead of the poly-fil stuff.

He really seems to like the new bed, but he's just not quiiiiiite ready to give up on the old one.

His shaved leg and the outside incision are visible in some of these pictures. The incision on the outer leg is not from the knee surgery, but from a lipoma (fatty cyst) that was removed. Dogs commonly get lipomas as they get older and usually they are benign. But this one had grown pretty large and since his whole leg was going to be shaved anyway, we had them remove it during the surgery.

Recovery Update: Kip's staples were removed yesterday. He is beginning to bear weight on the leg, which is great progress. Since his staples are gone, we can now begin to take him for short walks to help with his rehab. As he gets stronger, we'll add distance to the walk each week. I took him out for his first one earlier today. We only went about 200 yards out and back again, but he was thrilled to be outside of the back yard. As long as we take it slowly he uses all four legs, but the minute he spies something interesting he starts going 'tri-pod' on three legs to get there quickly. We're aiming for 2 or 3 rehab walks a day.

We're also still doing massages and passive range of motion exercises (make him straighten and bend the leg while he's laying down). He is finishing up the round of antibiotics tomorrow and is no longer taking the Tramadol (pain med). The doctor advised that we continue with the Carprofen for now. Carprofen is an NSAID and can be taxing on the liver, so we don't want to continue with it any longer than we have to -- but we also don't want him to be uncomfortable.

He'll go back to the doctor again in 10 days for them to check his healing progress. We still have him confined downstairs for now, which means BD and I take turns sleeping on the couch each night. That gets really old as you can imagine, but his leg is not strong enough yet to handle a full flight of stairs. Hopefully he'll be able to come upstairs for bedtime in a few days.

Thanks to all of you who have commented/emailed/asked about him!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

BD's Four Seasons

Spring Golf
Summer Nascar
Fall Football
And the current season: Winter College Basketball

Friday, February 4, 2011

From the Archives of the Memory Card

This year for co-worker holiday gifts, I used an idea I saw in Southern Living magazines and made Spice Bags. These were simple to make and not super time consuming. I still made my usual holiday candies for some people (mostly the guys), but the spice bags were also a big hit. Plus our house smelled great during and after I made them!

First I started off with some orange peel,

and then some fragrant spices,

put them all together in a square of cheese cloth (tip: buy cheese cloth at the fabric store, not the grocery's much cheaper!),

wrap it up with pretty ribbon, attach a gift tag, and you're done!

There are several different ways the spice bag can be used - hot cider, syrup, etc - so I included the instructions on the back of each tag.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tales of the Tail: Oh, Happy Day!

Last night we all slept from 9pm - 3am, then up for meds and potty break, then back to sleep from 4am - 7:15am.

Kip started to feel better yesterday, much more like himself. Then he slept well last night which was just icing on the cake.

We made a few changes yesterday, so I'm not sure exactly which one worked, or maybe he is just feeling better in general, or maybe it is a combination of everything, but still...SLEEP, GLORIOUS SLEEP.

Today is day 5 since the surgery, and we're down to 2 Tramadols (pain) every 8 hours, 1 Carprofen (pain, inflamation), and 2 Cephalexins (antibiotic) every 12 hours.

He's starting to lick at the incision, which means it is starting to heal, but also means we have to stop every 3 seconds and physically make him stop licking. We have an inflatable e-collar, but he hates it so much that I don't want to put it on him unless I absolutely have to do it. He is scheduled to have the staples removed on Tuesday.

Right now, I'm working on my laptop in the den with him laying on his bed facing me.

Kip: lick, lick, lick
Me: Stop licking, Kip
Kip: (pauses mid-lick to look at me) lick, lick, lick
Me: Stop licking, Kip
Kip: (staring straight at me) lick, lick, lick
Me: STOP IT, Kip
Kip: lick, lick, lick
Me: (getting up off the couch) Kip, you can't lick the incision.
Kip: lick, lick, lick
Me: (two feet away from him) Seriously, Kip. STOP.
Kip: (looks up, as if he's just now heard me) :deep sigh: (lays head down)

Repeat scene.
Repeat scene.
Repeat scene.

LA's Boss: Why aren't you getting any work done?

What is this..."Internet"...that you speak of?

Oh how far we've come in less than 20 as Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel try to explain the internet in January 1994.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tales of the Tail: Kip Art - Coming Soon to a Fine Art Gallery Near You

He calls this piece "Big Dog Small Rug"

(Picture taken before last week's surgery.)