Friday, February 25, 2011

Have You Ever Thought You'd Been Accosted!

Mary Anne Oger from one of my favorite machine knitting blogs was accosted in a grocery or so she thought.  A strange person grabbed her to get her attention, because she liked her scarf.  The story reminded me of the time my mom and I were accosted in a fabric store.

Oh it's one of those funny stories that gets told every so often, but at the time we thought we were in mortal danger.

My crafting gene was in full swing by the time I was 14.  My mother and I were on one of our many trips to the fabric store to feed my sewing habit.  I made a lot of my own clothes.  My secret loop hole to the clothing budget.  My parents bought me all the fabric I wanted, because I was of course learning a valuable skill.  Anyhow we were at the sewing store.  Perusing the fabrics.  Chatting about my pattern and what color of fabric I was looking for.  Enjoying a shopping trip... enjoying some mother/daughter time when all of a sudden a creepy old man lunges at us.  His hands are held in front of him fingers curled in a menacing claw like manner.  He was yelling, "Raaaaarrrrrrrrrr!!!!"  My mother and I screamed bloody murder and grab each other in a tight hug.  I had my eyes closed convinced the man was going to strike us or something worse.

Suddenly, it was quiet.  I opened my eyes to see what was coming next and the man was standing in front of us with a smile on his face.  Now my mom and I are puzzled.  He asks, "Well?"  My mom and I look at one another and back at the man trying to understand what the heck was going on.  He asked me directly, "Well, do you still have the hiccups?"  We both suddenly relax and realize he was trying to scare the hiccups out of me.  Yes, he did scare the hiccups out of me and nearly a few other things.

My mom and I gave him a forced smile and went on our way.  We weren't nearly as thankful as I think he thought we should be.  Instead we walked around the corner away from his sight and grabbed our chests and breathed several great sighs of relief.  It was only then we could chuckle at the ridiculousness of the whole situation.  Poor guy thought he was doing a good deed and we just thought he was creepy.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Red Velvet for Valentine's Day

I decided to make Red Velvet cupcakes, so my kids and I could treat our friends for Valentine's Day.  I don't have a recipe for this and did a search coming up with Paula Deen's Red Velvet Cupcakes.

It looked fairly simple.  I had all the ingredients, but buttermilk.  The recipe surprised me that it only had 1 tsp of cocoa powder.  The batter mixed up easily.

My handy dandy cookie scoop always makes filling cupcake tins so easy.

Into the convection oven they went for 20 minutes.

They baked up perfectly.  No mushroom top to fight with when frosting.

I was told to not beat the batter too much and do not fill the cupcake tins too much for that nice flat top to frost.

I used a large star shaped icing tip to swirl on the frosting.

I figured out that I liked starting from the center and working out in a circular pattern.  Better than starting on the outside and working my way in.  Personal preference.  I thought they looked kind of rose like when I started from the center.

To top things off I used a Wilton heart shaped plastic candy tray to form the chocolate hearts.  So, simple.  Melt Wilton red chocolate in microwave in a plastic bag.  Cut tip off corner of bag.  Pipe melted chocolate into plastic heart shape molds.  Stick tray in freezer for about 15 minutes.  The hearts pop right out.

Everyone has cupcakes to treat their friends tomorrow.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Winston the Bionic Dog is Doing Great

He has just one problem... he doesn't look when you call him.  He also doesn't come when you call him either.  I've never met a dog I couldn't get to look at the camera with a number of different word tricks.  He didn't fall for a single one.  Never does.  After he's healed my SIL plans in putting him in obedience lessons to find out how to get his attention from a professional.

Anyhow his pacemaker is working great.  His appetite is better than before the surgery.  His energy is better also.  Although we would have never known his energy was down.  He was always a perky pup.  This type of surgery is done once a week at UCD and is very successful.  My SIL said the scariest part of the whole ordeal was the 3 days they had to wait before the surgery could be done.  They just prayed he didn't die before they surgery.

Here is Winston and his full body Mohawk.  The stitches on his side are where the pacemaker is.  You can feel the wire just under the skin going from it up to the front of the neck where it attaches to his heart.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


People keep telling me Raley's is more expensive than other grocery stores and I didn't believe them.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Bionic Man Series Came To Mind

When talking about Winston yesterday my son said it reminded him of the intro to the "Bionic Man" TV show and he said, "Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first bionic dog. Winston will be that dog. Better than he was before. Better...stronger...faster."

Winston is home.  My brother says the pacemaker is about the size of a ipod nano.  Though it sounds small on his 8 pound dog it is huge.  Winston is eating and wants to be a dog.  Although from the descriptions of his after surgery condition he sounded like he might resemble Frankenweenie.  Very cute movie by the way.
He says the pacemaker is so computerized it is really quite amazing.  One can get a printed report whenever they want to check on the viability of the pacemaker and the recipient.  His dog is starting to sound like a new toy rather than a pet.

Can't wait to see Winston and give him a chuck under the chin.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Winston Is Hooked Up

Our little Pomapoo Winston got his pacemaker today.  He's being held over night to make sure the surgery went well and that the pacemaker is working properly.  The Dr. said that his heart was probably not working properly for several months as the bottom portion and only working part of his heart was enlarged.  Now with the pacemaker all of his heart is beating as it should.  Of course the Vet said they've never seen anything like this in a dog so young.  They are not sure if it's the signal from the brain that's not being transmitted or if the heart is not receiving the signal.

What Winston received was a used human pacemaker with a new battery.  This kept the costs down by several thousand dollars.  They also have doggie medical insurance and it's supposed to be covered.  The pacemaker was placed on his back up by his shoulders.  My brother has no idea how big it's going to be.  He talked about redesigning and sewing a new halter for him so the strap wouldn't rest on the pacemaker.

I asked if Winston was going to have any restrictions and my brother said the Vet wasn't really very clear on that.  That there seemed to be none, but they'd quiz the Vet further on this subject.  My brother said that his wife was probably going to have a heart attack before Winston from her worrying about him all the time.  So, they want to make sure they know what Winston can and cannot do to ease her fears.