Sunday, November 28, 2010

An Awful Anniversary followed by Weather Weirdness

I still can't believe that last week already marked one year since one of the most painful weeks of my life. On Nov. 18, 2009, following a routine afternoon dental appointment, my precious "dog of a lifetime", the wonderful and wooly Great Pyrenees Heidi, 3 weeks short of what was to be her milestone 12th birthday, collapsed in our kitchen -- and unlike a few other recent instances, this time, she never got back up. What followed were 3 days including a vet appointment (where we were told there was a "small chance" the pills he prescribed would help) and my spending most of my time in our "great room" where my girl remained, feeding her broth and water with a turkey baster, and remaining in denial to that last moment, at 9:45 p.m. on Sat. the 21st, that she would recover. I remember my "swatgirl" (whose swats to get my attention always caused me to drop whatever else I was doing) with undying affection and gratitude for the 7 years and 10 months we had together following our adoption of her at age 4. Everyone needs to have a "dog of a lifetime", and I thank God every day for Heidi -- and despite wishing our time together could have been extended, I am thankful she didn't go through a long illness, and that she passed in the room with me at home, not via the vet's needle the day before.

I also thank God for darling little Susie, who joined our family last year on what would have been Heidi's 12th birthday (Dec. 9) and who becomes increasingly more dear to me each day -- as well as for our beautiful big boys Archie and Jesse who, though they may never be buddies, are now (usually) able to be in the main part of our home together without an altercation.

According to the calendar, winter begins each year on Dec. 21, though the entire month of December can be quite wintry, even here in the comparatively moderate Pacific Northwest. I join thousands of others in beautiful western Washington in hoping we have not had a sneak preview this past week of the winter to come! It has been predicted to be much more like the severe winter of two years ago than last year, but raised its ugly head much earlier than anyone expected. Last Sunday the 21st, a fine snow fell throughout the afternoon. I thought nothing of it, assuming it was too early in the season to be a problem and would pretty much melt into the ground. But Rex awoke me Monday to say the roads were bad and that he would drive me to the ferry. Snow continued to fall throughout the day, and at 4:15, my boss Chris confirmed the roads were bad and that everyone should leave the office, which we did. The winds were very cold and strong, and I was glad to get a ride to the dock with my coworker, Tara. The short walk from her car to the dock was unpleasant to say the least. I just KNEW we would have a tree fall into our power line at home, and hoped I could at least have a hot dinner before that happened.

The walk from the Southworth dock to Rex's car was downright scary. The wind was so strong that though I am not a petite person, I literally envisioned the wind picking me up and depositing me into the ice cold water. But I made it to his car and I did have a chance to eat some dinner before our power went out at 6:40 p.m. As it turned out, it was "only" out for 26 hours and about 17 minutes. But there were some major differences between this and the usual power outages. The temps got down to about 14, very rare for this area. Despite wearing a sweatshirt, two sweaters, winter coat, hat, scarf and gloves, it took me almost a day after the power returned to feel I could begin peeling off the layers. Our water pipes froze, so we had no water till Rex finished fixing the pipes yesterday. Our cell phone tower was mostly non-functional Tuesday and part of Wednesday, so I didn't learn till I finally reached Chris Tues. night that the entire town where I work had no power from late Monday till midday Wednesday. I was home (and uncomfortable due to the cold and dark) Tues. and Wed. since the roads were a sheet of ice till Thanksgiving (not to mention no power in our office). We had Cornish hens for dinner when Rex got home from working at the dog kennel Thanksgiving evening, and I worked the full day Friday (not originally scheduled) due to the two involuntary days off. My sinuses and body clock are still messed up from this ordeal, and I hope and trust the coming weeks will prove much less eventful!

As for crochet projects, I recently completed two blue and yellow baby boy afghans using Caron Simply Soft (one using the Fairfax stitch pattern and the other with diagonal brick stitch). The first one was bought by Elfi (boss mom)'s sister and the other for a future sale or gift or charity. Next, I used purple Sensations Angel Hair yarn to make myself a winter scarf in the Mayfair stitch (which I use most often for scarves), which felt very good in the recent severe weather. Then I crocheted Christmas presents for Dianne and for Elfi and Heide at work, which will remain nameless till after Christmas, and today I completed a star shaped red/green table mat (or large dishcloth) as part of an online exchange. Not sure what will be my next project. I'm way overdue in taking pics of my latest projects for the new crochet blog I'll be starting (which will eventually replace my crochet pages at; maybe next weekend if it's more normal (which shouldn't be hard to do after the past week!).