This is my site where I will be sharing my thoughts, feelings and happenings. In the words of Austin Powers, "It's my happening, baby, and it freaks me out...yeah!" Enjoy!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Minga's Accident

Minga was playing outside 3 weeks ago and Craig let her inside and then looked down at the rug she had walked on. There were bloody paw prints all over it! He found the bloody back paw and saw that she was cut pretty badly on the pad of her foot. The blood kept coming so we called the vet and they said to bring her in. It was an ordeal to get her to the car since her foot was bleeding and we didn't want her to walk on it because it would get dirty. Craig carried her (about 60 lbs then) to the Jeep and I put an old towel on the seat so it would get bloody instead of the seat.

The vet's office is actually located in our neighborhood (that's why we picked that one) so it was handy. Minga's blood got all over the waiting room and exam room floor. We didn't think to put her foot in a bag. Minga needed stitches because the cuts were so deep (you could see the pink flesh wanting to spill out of the gash). She had to stay overnight because it was late in the day and the vet wanted to be sure she was okay after waking up from the anesthesia. It was strange but a little nice not having her around for once. No whining in the morning to wake us up. Craig did miss her terribly though.

The next day we picked her up around noon and paid the vet $267 (services, anesthesia, bandage, 3 medications, etc). We saw that the bandage covered her paw and all the way up almost to the 1st joint in her leg. She hobbled a little, but not much. The vet said we had to keep the bandage dry or it would have to be changed. That meant we couldn't bathe her (she was overdue for a bath and we were going to give her one that night but our plans were thwarted by the accident) or let her play in the creek or spray of the hose. He also said we needed to keep her calm and off her feet as much as possible so the wounds would heal correctly. They are on a critical place for a pooch. If they didn't close up properly she could have trouble walking around outside because she'd have a sensitive spot on her pad. We were only allowed to let her outside for potty breaks and we had to cover the bandage with a plastic bag each time so it wouldn't get muddy or wet (our yard is all dirt right now). It was a tough 3 weeks for Minga (and us!). She was lacking exercise (vet's orders) and got really stir crazy, especially this past week. She is only 7 months and has so much energy. Craig signed her bandage for fun.

We had to give her 3 pills (pain and antibiotics) twice a day and one pill (the big one) she'd spit out if she tasted it. We tried burying it in various foods so she wouldn't notice it. We ended up making a gooey ball of peanut butter and the 2 capsule pills (the 3rd pill was actually a biscuit and she loved that one) and sometimes pieces of treats or her regular food. She enjoyed that so she got that from then on, but it was messy.

It was tiring to watch her like a hawk to make sure she didn't lick or bite her bandage because she certainly tried to do so a lot. At the end of the first week, the vet decided to take her bandage off. We saw that her stitches were pink! They matched the pink collar we just bought her so people would quit thinking she was a boy.

The next day we left her alone for a few hours and did fun things around town. When we came home we saw that she had pulled out 2 of her stitches. The wound was exposed again so we made her a temporary bandage out of Craig's old sock and duct tape. The vet wasn't open until Monday and during the night Minga chewed through the one part of the makeshift bandage that was sock instead of tape so we had to make her another one out of another old sock for Sunday. This time we taped it really really well. We took her to the vet first thing Monday morning and she got new stitches (low profile black ones) and a new bandage. That visit cost us $99 (services, anesthesia, bandage, etc).

By the end of the second week, she had bitten the top of her bandage during the night and it was flapping loose. We went to the vet Monday and he gave us a new bandage for free and ended up taking out a few of the first stitches. Yeah, progress and a free visit! During the third week, she turned from trying to get at her bandage to destroying her old favorite toys. She ripped holes in the stuffed plush toys and pulled out all the stuffing and turned the outer layer inside out. She tore apart her little rope toy so there were wet strands all over the carpet. What a mess! But, at least she wasn't destroying furniture or her bandage.

Then, today (another Monday) we took her to the vet and he took off her bandage and removed all her stitches! She spent all morning licking the sticky stuff that remained on her leg from the bandage. After 3 days we can let her run free and get wet again and things will be back to normal. Sweet relief! May she never be injured again! She cost us a pretty penny! Oy!


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Golden Silk Spider = Banana Spider

Oh wait, Craig got some better pics as the lighting was better. Here is the best one. Look at the scary little "face" on the top of its head.

I read that these spiders are very non-aggressive and their webs are very visible because they are golden/yellow and have an area of 8-36 square feet. They are very beneficial because of all the insects they eat.

Actually, there are 2 species by the same name and the South American banana spider is aggressive and deadly. But this is North America, so we won't worry about that.

Check out these cool facts about spiders:

The spiders that weave webs use silk to do this. They make the silk out of their own bodies and jump from tree branch to tree branch to make their web. Each kind of spider makes a different kind of web. Some of the strands in the web are sticky, to catch bugs, but some are dry. The spider walks on the dry strands so she doesn’t get stuck. The spider usually waits in the center of the web, with one of her legs touching a strand. If she feels the strands jiggle, she goes to find the bug that is caught in the web. If it is just a leaf, or a really big bug that could tear up the web, the spider will cut the strands holding it, so it will fall out of the web. If she needs to rebuild a web, she will eat the broken strands and digest them. This helps her make more new silk. Nothing is wasted.

Spiders don’t chew their food. When they get to the bug in their web, they bite it and inject venom. The venom either paralyzes or kills the bug. Then the venom turns the bug’s insides into liquid. While the venom is working, the spider wraps the bug in silk. She may drink the liquid then or tie the little silk bundle to her web so she can snack later.

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Saturday, October 21, 2006

Banana Spiders

These are the best pics I think I will ever get of these guys with my camera. It's hard because the close ones are always in the heavily shaded part of our property where the flash automatically wants to go off (and so usually without it, it's too dark for the picture to turn out at all).

Profile (and oh what a web!):

Top (the yellow parts reflect the light like a street sign does):

Bottom (look at those dark hairy spots!):

Oh look, they're neighbors (and see our fence going up in the background?):

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Friday, October 20, 2006

Our House - Main Floor Pics

Finally, here are some house pictures as promised....


We bought the white cabinet to hold more dishes (we have so many). It was originally tucked between the pole and the wall on the right side (fit perfectly there) but we had to move it to add the little cabinet which came from above the old stove. We ended up putting up a coat rack beneath the cabinet and it's perfect.


As promised, the former owner replaced the old broken black dishwasher with a new white one before we moved in.

We bought the kitchen island so we could have more workspace and storage space and we absolutely love it. We are going to buy 2 stools for it (it's made for them) when they go on sale this fall.

We had the old fashioned (and messed up) black oven/range replaced for a nice smooth surface white oven/range with a matching over-the-range microwave. In order to accomodate the microwave, the cabinet had to be removed and a smaller one put in it's place (and that one still had to be inched up a little to allow for the safe distance between it and the range top). Luckily we found the same style cabinet in a smaller size at Lowe's (the others were installed 3 years ago). Instead of throwing out the old cabinet we had it moved it to the dining room. Back when we were looking to buy the house, we happened to meet the guys who were in charge of the 2003 rebuilding. We hired one of them to do all these oven and cabinet changes for us. He did a great job and we've since hired him and his partner to build us a fence, etc (more on that in another post).


The Christmas lights are still a work in progress. One of our strings doesn't work anymore (stopped working just before we moved) so we need to find a matching replacement and then we will wrap the lights around the overhead beams on both sides. We like that lighting better for times we are not reading and don't need bright lights.

Yes, we managed to put Craig's tie dye up again in the living room. :)

Oh, how do you like our new couch and matching chair? They are that easy to clean microfiber stuff. We love them! They match the carpet almost perfectly (didn't realize they would) but it doesn't really bother me.

Stay tuned for pics of the other floors....


Colorado People Pics

Kids making crafts while camping near Aspen. The campers (locals) before us were nice enough to leave the table there so we could use it for a few days.

Gracie loves making funny faces.

All the kids loved riding in the Jeep, playing by and in the river and "fishing" with their new poles (either on land or in the river, catching the magnetic plastic fish that came with their poles).

Noah liked putting on the head of Ella's dog costume (came with paws and a tail too) and crawling around on all fours like a dog. So cute!

This oversized lawn chair makes Anna look so small!

We don't normally pick wildflowers (it's discouraged so the land doesn't get picked clean by all the visitors) but Anna picked a few when no one was looking and so Janet picked a few while hiking way up in the mountains where the flowers were abundant and people hardly ever go and made her a gorgeous bouquet.

In John's yard:

The Chases snacking on Copper Mountain and then posing at the bottom:

Renee and cousin Vanessa:

Cousin Jonathan holding his sister's month old baby Chloe:

Male cousins, except for Jonathan:

Uncle Don took these pictures of Craig relaxing:

Aunt Nancy took this adorable picture of Isaac:

Stelle family posing on the great moon-watching rock (it rises from behind the mountain in the background). Minga really enjoyed her first trip to Colorado!

Dave Eland clan posing at The Grottos near Lincoln Gulch campground:

Check out these fabulous pics Uncle Don took during the reunion--he's such a great photographer! He put together a DVD of the event and gave each of us a copy.

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