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Home > Archive: April, 2007

Archive for April, 2007

Hot Stuff!!!

April 20th, 2007 at 09:05 pm

Well, not me, but my compost! Smile I've never been a real gardener, and have just started getting more into it. I looked into finding a composter and happened to be given a tumbling type from Freecycle.

My first "batch", I followed the directions of the man who gave me the tumbler, but nothing ever heated up. I ended up with a blecky mess. Had to turn it out and just let time do the work.

This time I spent countless hours (well, I could have counted them, but that would have taken up another hour...hehehehe) researching the net to find out the differences between composting in a bin or pile and composting in a "tumbler". Turns out, I had the whole thing way too wet and not near enough browns.

This time I used shredded paper, coffee grounds, a few shovels full of mushroom compost (AKA horse and cow poop), and 2/3 a garbage can full of freshly clipped grass. By the next day, there was steam coming out of the tumbler and and I couldn't even stick my hand inside to touch it! I used a meat thermometer (I know, but I don't have a composting one) and the compost's temperature was up to 150 degrees!!!!! Couldn't believe it! It made me feel so proud that I finally got the right "recipe" to make this thing work.

Now it's on it's second round of heating up, as it stayed at about 115 to 125 degrees for almost a week before cooling off, but didn't break down all of the paper. I put in another 1/2 can of clipped grass and the whole process started over again. *fingers crossed* that the paper breaks down this time.

On the Princess front, I don't think that she's made much progress this week. Her leg still looks really swollen and she appears to be having more difficulty getting up after having lied down for awhile. I'll be taking her back to the vet next week so they can check her out.

I hate seeing her in pain. Frown That's the reason I decided to have the operation done, to stop the pain for her. Doubtful that I'll get the other knee done this year. Have to wait and see the healing of this one first.

Early Mornin' Surprise!!!

April 9th, 2007 at 07:36 pm

Showing off her sexy shaved leg and happy her first follow up is done, Princess resides on her comfy thrown. Smile

What a treat for me this morning! Princess decided that she needed to go "outside" at 4AM!!! She has to be let outside on a leash so she doesn't some how hurt herself by running around. So, we're walking around the back 40 (back 40 feet, for those of you who were wondering), when my puppy starts freakin' out. All of a sudden, Princess bolts toward the back fence, spinning me around and almost dropping me to the ground. Surgery and all, she's one STRONG dog! I had to grab her by the collar so that she wouldn't keep putting pressure on her knee.

And what was she straining to get at less than 8 feet away on the fenceline? One of the biggest, scraggiest, ugliest Mama Possums I've ever seen. Now that's enough to freak you out, get your adrenaline going, and keep you from falling back to sleep once you get in your nice, warm, cozy house. The possum scurried away, but Princess decided that we needed to spend the next half hour looking for it.

Geez, this nursemaid stuff is killing me! hehehehehe Smile

I do have to say that Princess was so cute this morning. After walking around and NOT going, she found one of her tennis balls. She picked it up, dropped it, and picked it up again showing that she wanted to play catch. My heart just breaks for her, knowing that her spirit wants to play but that her knee isn't healed enough for her to do that.

Princess had her first follow up after the surgery today. The vet looked very surprised to see her walking on the leg already. She said that it all looked good, but that the stitches would have to stay in until the next follow up appointment.

Poor Princess was so scared about going inside that I had to physically carry her into the vet's office. (Oh my back!) I'm pretty sure she was afraid that she was going to get hurt again. Frown She'll have 4 more follow ups to get her confidence back. I feel terrible knowing that she needs a second operation. Wish there was another way so she wouldn't have to go through all this pain again.

As for me, I have to start back to work tomorrow. Feel like I haven't even had a break since I've been taking care of Princess. My sister will be taking care of here during the day while I work. That way I don't have to worry about her hurting her leg while I'm gone.

Shoot, hopfully going back to work will give me something else to blog about besides my dogs! Smile

Warning: Slightly Gory Pics

April 5th, 2007 at 07:55 pm

For those who have been asking, here are a couple of pictures of Princess' leg, now 4 days after the operation. The brusing just looks terrible as it's all red like blood clotting just under the skin. Since her skin is so transparent, you can truly see where they held her or pulled back the skin to get to the bones. Frown

On the up side, the seepage is almost non-existant (great compared to how it all was for my other dog 12 years ago). She only has 9 stitches for a cut that's about 7 inches long. Some swelling, but not near as bad as it was the second day. Still, it looks a bit like a large turkey leg. Smile It all appears to be healing nicely. Princess is doing very minimal licking, so I don't have to put the E-collar on her.

As you can see from the last couple of pictures, Change is sure happy to have her sister home, even holding on to her paw to make sure she doesn't get away again. Smile

I, myself, am just about exhausted. I would make a TERRIBLE nurse, having to cater to one patient and one pain in the patooty is MORE than enough for me. In addition, the dogs wake me up every hour and a half to two hours to either go outside or rearrange their sleeping locations. Since Princess needs to be helped to stand up so she can get going, guess who has to get out of the bed to do the rump lifting portion? *smile* I'm sure once Princess is feeling better, there will be less of the need to move around to find "just the right" position or location.

I did manage to get most of my taxes done today. Looks like I'll get a bit back to help me save for Princess' second operation. Also, I went online to look up the operation and found a site that had many postings from people like me who have had the operation done on their dogs. Seems there's a BIG difference in cost depending on where you live. Surprise, huh?

One gal posted that she lived "near" Portland (OR or ME, she didn't say), but the cost for her dog was only $1200. There was no additional contact info on her. Frown Someone else had asked in a post where she had it done, but she never responded back. Could call all the vets around both those areas, but seems like a lot of work. The difference in cost is $2,300 though. If it's Portland, OR, I would fly or drive up there to get that done, as the savings are WELL worth it.

Thank you for your warm wishes to Princess. I'm sure that's one of the reasons she's doing so well. Smile

Princess is Home!

April 3rd, 2007 at 06:48 am

Back home, all snuggled up, and enjoying her bed!

She's very groggy and not willing to put up with the "puppy's" antics, but her leg looks good. I'm amazed that they didn't cut as much as they did with my dog who had the same operation 12 years ago. It's the same surgeon too. I'm thinking that's a good thing.

Although she hasn't eaten since the day before yesterday, I have been able to get her to drink water a little at a time. I have some ground turkey thawing out and will cook that up along with some steamed rice, maybe a few veggies. Pretty sure her stomach is sensitive since not having food for a couple of days.

Actually, the "puppy" is doing amazingly well in not buggin' Princess too much. Princess bit Change on the nose when she first got home, letting Change know that she wasn't going to mess around with her. Of course, this morning she's barking at Princess trying to tell her she wants to go play. Guess her only playmate for the next few weeks will be me. Smile I'm making sure that she's getting plenty of attention, since Princess pretty much wants to be left alone so she can rest.

The hardest part for me is lifting Princess up using a folded towel around the lower end of her stomach. It's more for support once she gets walking, but dang, that's one heavy dog (73 lbs). I think I need to find a longer towel, maybe a beach towel, so I don't have to bend so much when supporting her. She did manage to get outside with assistance so she could empty her bladder. Thank goodness she's willing to try to get around!

I'll keep y'all updated on how Princess is doing, how Change is handling not having her usual playmate, and how my back is holding out! Smile Thank you for all of your well wishes.

Princess Update

April 2nd, 2007 at 01:12 pm

Wow, I don't think I've ever posted so much on my blog in one day. Sorry if I'm hogging the space.

I just got a call from my Vet. She said that Princess' operation is done and that she's now awake. The operation went well, and that there was no real sign of arthritis in this knee. The surgeon got the alignment right where it matches the other knee. That means, from what the Vet said, that her knee should be "almost" as good as new when it heals and will be able to fully support her until I get the funds to have the other knee done.

I asked about taking her home, but she said they needed to wait and see how she's doing by the end of the day. They also asked if I had anyone that could help me lift her in and out of the car and into the house. My sister or a friend of mine I know should be able to go with me and help.

Pretty sure that they'll keep her over night. That's what they did with Honie Bear when she had the same operation. I just hate to think of Princess all alone in the clinic overnight. They don't have anyone that stays there to check on the animals. Frown

I'll let you know what happens as soon as I know.

12 Weeks-$3,500?

April 2nd, 2007 at 01:01 pm

The surgeon said that it would be best to schedule Princess' second operation about 12 weeks after this one. So, I'm generating a list of ways I can start getting the $$ together to pay for the second total knee replacement. Thus far, I've come up with:

-my mom's (since passed) Danish Modern Furinture on Craigslist. Too heavy to ship through ebay, I think.

-new full figured bras on ebay from my now defunct business

-more books on Half.com, ebay, or Craigslist

-whatever else I can find (CD's, plus sized clothing, etc.) on Craigslist

Turn in collected cans for deposits.

Start doing massages again p/t. Need to build back up my clientele. I have a friend in San Francisco (about 2 hours away) who says he can schedule 4 massages in a day for me to do. At $65 for an hour and 20 minutes, that could start to make a dent in the cost of the operation, if the set it up on a regular basis. That makes for a very long day...4 hours drive there and back, an easy 6 hours of massaging including setting up between each client. That's about $26 an hour total, not including cost of gas or materials (creams). Hmmm, gas up and back should be about $30 now with the rise in prices, so $23 an hour.

I'm going to call the pet rescue organization and see if they can help at all. Then I'll go out to the city animal shelter where I adopted my other dog and see if they have any connections to help me out. It was also suggested that I get ahold of the local pet stores, PetSmart, PetsCo, etc. and see if they know of anything. I'll let you know how it goes. Maybe I should change my $20 Challenge into a $3,500 challenge?

That's all I can come up with at the moment. All help is appreciated.

Both Knees Are Blown Out!!!

April 2nd, 2007 at 11:31 am

I took Princess in for her total knee replacement this morning. Over the weekend she was coming up lame on her "good" leg. I talked to the Vet about it and she said it could be for a number of reasons.

By the time the surgeon got there, I was already home. My Vet called to tell me that both knees were bad and I had to make a decission on which to operate. I had no clue!

My thought would be better to operate on the one that was worse, but the surgeon got on the line to say it would be better to operate on the one that wasn't so bad because it didn't show much sign of arthritis, unlike the other. That way, it should stay strong and not give her any pain after it heals. In addition, if I don't get the funds to operate on the other knee, she'd still have three strong legs to compensate.

He then said, if I had the one that was worse operated on, it could be that the "better" one would deteriorate before I could get it operated on, and she'd end up with two "so-so" legs. Then, if anything happened to one, the other wouldn't be able to compensate for very long without being traumatized. *heavy sigh*

So now, instead of costing $3,500, it looks like by the time she's done it will be over $7,000. Frown I'm trying to think of what I can sell to make up for that difference of what I thought the total cost was going to be and now what I'll need to pay to get the other operation.

I did contact UC Davis Veterinary Hospital ( the closest teaching vet hospital to me at about 5 hours away) and the savings wasn't enough to cover the drive up there, the over night stay, and the folow up care. It would pretty much end up being a wash. Here, the cost is $3,500, up there, $2,900...overall savings $1,200 for both operations. That would entail taking time off of work, or waiting until the summer, gas, hotel, driving up there for follow up care, etc.

The lady who had to give Princess up, I haven't been able to get ahold of. Seems she has new contact information since she moved and I'm not too sure if I feel comfortable in asking her to help foot the bill anyway. She said she wanted to keep in contact and see Princess whenever possible, but the last time I talked to her she mentioned how free she felt not being tied down to keeping care of an animal.

Payment plans? Well, the Vet said that it has to all (each operation) be paid up front as soon as the operation is performed/completed. I'm putting this one on my credit card. Not sure about what to do for the next one. Frown I should have asked if they had a 2 for 1 coupon. *smile* I have to find some humor in all of this or I'll continue to blubber like I've been doing all morning!

Anyway, if anyone has any ideas on coming up with enough $$$ to pay for a second operation, let me know. I'll post a new update after I get her home or find out how she's doing.

Thank you everyone for all of your concern. Smile

$20 Challenge Update

April 1st, 2007 at 12:24 pm

Well, I've been putting some books up on Half.com and have sold six of them for payments totalling $89.29 (minus the extra cost of shipping). I think I'm going to have to up my prices on the coffee table books as the reimbursement for shipping is about half of what it costs me to send them out. The books cost me about $7 to purchase initially. (I LUV Goodwill, although they've now doubled their prices on books here Frown ) The current profit, *drum roll* $82.29. Smile

I really do have way too many books. The plan is to put more up on Half today and a couple of things up on Ebay. I'd like to be over $100 by the end of April.