25 October, 2013

Cropped hair and caterpillars

The past month I have been a shaggy mess in the hair department. I missed my last scheduled haircut back when I was laid up after surgery. When I called, my hairdresser couldn't see me for two weeks. By the time I got there yesterday things were dire.

Remember Cousin It? It felt a lot like that.

Here is me after:

Taking a self portrait is harder than it looks.

I feel SO MUCH BETTER. A haircut is better than therapy, and you don't have to talk about your miserable childhood.

Here is a picture I took in my gardens about a month ago. It is a Parsley Worm, aka the caterpillar form of the black swallowtail butterfly. It is beautiful even in caterpillar form:

They lie along the stems of parsley and similar plants. This one and many of his brethren were all over my fennel, munching away.

21 October, 2013

The Emperor has no clothes, but he feels better

Thursday I went back and got Nero and took him to the kennel where he will live until we find him a new home (or a foster home). He looks better and I think he feels better too. Sadly, I did not remember to take my camera, so no pictures.

He had two teeth removed, and the ones he has left are no longer caked in tartar. His nails are short and his ears have been flushed and medicated and those growths are gone from his face. He's still very doddery and  I think he is partially blind/deaf. He reminds me of Marley, our permanent foster dog who was the Oldest Dog in the World.

I have a soft spot for these old, needy dogs. There was a point where we had only older dogs with issues, and I love helping the oldsters. But I think that Thomas would put my things out in the yard if I came home with an elderly, somewhat feeble dog and said, "Surprise! Meet your new furry family member!"

14 October, 2013

A tiny, broken Emperor

Today was a government holiday. I am not sure that really means anything considering the amazing batshit mess that our elected representatives have made of things, but ANYWAY! Today was a government holiday, so I only worked a half day. There was not enough make work to fill a full day.

What I did with the rest of my day was to pick up the saddest little cocker spaniel and take it to the vet.

He was a stray in Catonsville who was found by a compassionate woman. She took him to her vet for a rabies shot, cleaned him up a little, treated his dry eye, but could not keep him as she is laid off from her job and already has two dogs of her own.

I think I know why Nero (I named him) was an abandoned stray. His teeth are about rotted out of his head and he stinks of decay. He has dry eye, and has this thing, this growth on his muzzle near his right eye. Whatever it is, it is very unpleasant looking, wet and sticky and wrinkled and crusting over.

Right now he is at the vet where they are making a decision about what can be done with the growth and his teeth. Tomorrow Nero may be a toothless emperor.

After I left him I sat in the car for a few minutes and wrestled with a terrible rage. Nero didn't get in this state overnight. He had a red collar on, but no tags, so he "belonged" to someone. Someone who didn't care for him. Someone who let him live with crusty, dry eyes (painful), infected ears (painful), untrimmed nails (painful) and rotten teeth (painful), when most of those things could have been treated easily and not too expensively. What is wrong with people? Who lets an animal live in pain if there is something they can do to help it?

I have to keep reminding myself that yes, the world is a terribly broken place, full of people doing awful things to each other. There is so much pain, casual cruelty, and I can fall into such feelings of despair about it. But that doesn't do anything to make the world better. Doing anything, even the little things I am capable of doing, does help push back the dark. Enough good people doing little acts of kindness helps a lot.

But I am still just so angry about casual cruelty to animals. It is like people hurting children...hurting anything that is small, weak, and powerless just makes me sick.

09 October, 2013

I got your LED light right here

Last night Cheryl Sleboda lectured at my guild. Her talk on eTextiles was fascinating. I had no idea so much was going on out there in fashion and costuming that used electronics in clothes. Rihanna, Katy Perry, and the Black Eyed Peas all wear eTextiles and there were pictures of wedding dresses that light up! The quilts Cheryl showed were fun. I had seen many of them on her blog, muppin.com , but in the flesh (well, in the fabric) they were even more interesting and playful.

Tonight she taught a group of us how to add LED lights to a quilt. Something that had always seemed scary was broken down into a few easy steps, and 10 of us lit up an Artist Trading Card sized quilt. Mine is the single on the bottom with the three little flowers. I think Amy Selmanoff's dragonfly might be my favorite from the whole class but Alice Magorian's lighthouse is a close second. So close it might be a tie.

If you belong to a quilt guild, get them to have Cheryl lecture and teach. Everyone will love it!

07 October, 2013

The penguins are what?

I read a book for Banned Books Week. It was the shortest book I've ever read in celebration of it: And Tango Makes Three. It was a very sweet story about two male chinstrap penguins who build a nest together and when given an egg, hatch it. I find it hard to see what the problem is.

If you really want to worry about homosexuality in the animal kingdom check out what giraffes are up to. Clue: male giraffes get it on with each other on a regular basis. Or sheep! About 10% of male domestic sheep will not mate with females, only with other males. Bonobo apes are considered a fully bisexual species

I have been checking out lots of books lately and they fall into two groups: good, challenging novels and complete and utter trash (especially bad mysteries and Regency romances). I have been reading two works of no redeeming social value for each good book.

Maybe it's because I'm now back on my feet and back to work and I'm tired and hurting. My foot and ankle hurt a lot as the muscles are forced back into action. I was on crutches last week, just to get me over the first, worst pain. Now the pain is steady, but bearable, and improving.

This past weekend Thomas and I went to the Humane Society's DogFest for an hour. That was all the walking/standing I could do, but it was so nice to be there. We took Sparky, who enjoyed it a lot. Not a bit of aggression or trouble from him. He sniffed, and wiggled, and peed on lots of things, but was happy to be there.