Hooray! Mommy gave me a cake!

What if I put some peanut butter on it?
I'll take it!

Monday brought the most incredible news. Toby’s groomer said he was a good boy! He was such a good boy that she didn’t even charge me a “Dangerous Animal” fee. Everyone decided that with Toby’s weight loss, his calming medicine worked more effectively.

To be honest, I would rather be fat and feisty.

(Yes Toby did get a treat for being a good boy, but only a small one.)

The Scan

They want to do a CAT scan of my brain to see if they find anything. I hope they find a brain! I hope they find a cat!

On Friday, I finally got to go to a doctor to get a referral to see (ha ha) an ophthalmologist. I figured while I was there, I would ask the doctor about a few other things like the dizzy spells I had in February. I mentioned that I had already updated my glasses and thought that maybe I needed to see an ENT?

No, given my cluster of seemingly unrelated symptoms, I was told that it sounds like I have something wrong with my brain, not my ears. The doctor immediately wrote out an order for me to have a CT scan. I asked her if by “wrong with my brain”, she meant tumor or disease, and she said that it seemed that a tumor was unlikely. What I described sounds like MS. Well, that was certainly not what I was expecting when I set out to get some Restasis that morning.

I went home and did some reading about MS, and it does sound like what I have been going through. I had always thought that MS was a terribly awful disease, but from the article I read it seems that if you take medication for it, you can lead a pretty normal life.

Toby has his next grooming session tomorrow, but as soon as we are done, I have a list of doctor appointments and tests that I need to schedule. While it sucks to have a disease, it would be nice if treatment could help me feel better. I want to be healthy enough to spoil my Toby as much as I can.

I could have told you there was something wrong with your brain without the scan.

Toby and the Minion

So what happened to Toby? It seems like he hasn’t been around much. Is he OK?

Yes! Toby is doing great. He is his usual funny self and has turned out to be a very good helper in the garden. The problem has been his dopey mom.

This was me today, doing some gardening.

I am still struggling with eye issues. In an effort to combat extreme dryness, I have taken to wearing swim goggles whenever I go outside. While goggles do make it soooo much more comfortable to blink, I feel beyond dorky wearing them. I had to laugh when I realized that both Toby and one of the little pups I’ve been watching get excited when they see me put my goggles on because it means they might be going for a walk.

I may love you, mom, but I am still going to hide my face in shame whenever we go out.

The good news is that things have been moving along behind the scenes. Soon I should be able to start scheduling appointments with eye doctors to hopefully get back to normal. Then Toby can have more adventures. Yippee!

At Toby’s most recent vet visit, he put on such a show with his talking that the staff there recorded him and put him on the company FaceBook page. My little monster is on his way to being a star!

What do you mean “on my way”? I am already a star!

Hey 19

For the first time ever, one of my pups came in at the right at the right weight during his annual physical. Yippee!

Hooray! Can we celebrate with chocolate cake?

I had asked Grandma and Grandpa to take Toby to his visit for me, so they got to hear all of the praise for his new, healthy weight. (Hopefully it will inspire them to not sneak him goodies.) The vet also said that she is seeing no evidence of the knee issues that had been bothering Toby. All good news. 😊

The Go-Bag

After watching thousands of Ukrainians forced to flee their homes with barely the clothes on their backs, it seemed like the time to finally put together the go-bag I should have created years ago. I know everyone should have one, but it’s just so unpleasant – like setting up a will.

So far, I have the bag. That’s a good start, right? Someone suggested putting some small denomination bills inside. I had some change from the store, so that got added. (Almost done now, right?)

After that I kept getting bogged down thinking about photos and memories and passwords. Some people suggest keeping password written down on paper. Others recommend using a thumb drive. I found a few companies that will give you a small amount of free, secure online storage. I’ve wondered about the risk of storing my passwords there and only having to remember one password to access them. Someone suggested that these smaller companies might be less likely to be hacked than Google. Something to think about.

What about pictures? Many people use Google Drive, but Google mines your photos for advertising. Is it worth having my memories snooped through? Or should I pack a hard drive? A thumb drive? Are paper pictures better in case of a technology crash? How do you decide which life moments are worthy of saving?

I am torn when it comes to packing things like ”extra socks” or ”extra shoes”. I don’t really have extras of those lying around, ready to not be used. Yet, would I have the presence of mind to grab spares before fleeing a tornado?

Is anyone out there more prepared than I am? Do you have a favorite book or cherished item already packed for an evacuation? Do you have pet food set aside and rotated regularly? I can’t picture being able to store food for Toby where it would be handy for me yet inaccessible for him. (That boy can climb like a monkey when food is involved.)

My head hurts just thinking about this. I am going to go to bed and hope no disaster finds me while I sleep.

As long as you pack me, you’ll have everything you need!

Gone Baby (Blanket), Gone

Today my dad announced that his church secured a shipping container and was taking donations to be sent to Ukrainian refugees in Europe. I told some neighbors, and we all scrambled to gather what things we could to help. I donated these baby blankets that I had made. My mom asked if I were sure that I wanted to do that. Sure, ’cause now I have an excuse to make more!

Years ago, as an exercise, I read a children’s book in Chinese. It was about Anna from the Ukraine, and it followed the story of her scarf. Her childhood scarf moved with her through her life…sometimes functioning as her babushka, later as a picnic blanket when dating her soon-to-be-husband. Later it was her shawl as she and her husband moved to America. When they started their family, it became the baby’s blanket. Eventually the scarf was so worn that the now-grown daughter made it into a quilt that she used for her own baby. It makes me wonder if one of the modest blankets donated in the coming months might someday have a similarly interesting story to tell.

Would of the puppies in Europe like some of my baths? I would gladly donate them.

Cookie Aftermath

Image 1: Woman sitting on couch eating cookies. Small puppy in green sweater comes over, puts his ear against her ample stomach and asks: “So, when is the blessed event?”

Image 2: Puppy in green sweater sails backwards after a Pow! Right in the kisser!

Hey, where are all the Bitey images? Sorry I don’t have any today. We’ll have to make do with imagination.

February 2022 came in with neither a bang nor a whimper but dizziness from the first day to the last (but as far as I can tell, not vertigo even though my ears ring loudly). As a companion it brought along such horribly cloudy thinking that I could barely function. I spent many afternoons asleep on the floor because I couldn’t do anything else. One day I woke up surrounded by tennis balls and a sleeping puppy. Even the Tobester found this condition annoying.

Post shut down in this area, it generally takes 2-6 months to get an appointment with a doctor. I decided to make my first with an eye doctor to see if my glasses were at fault. By the time I could get in, the calendar had turned to March, and my dizziness slowly started to fade. The brain fog hung around long enough to make sure I thoroughly embarrassed myself trying to talk to the doctor, though.

The take away from the appointment was that one eye had changed but the other was basically the same. What concerned her was the bad state my eyes are in and the transient drooping/numbness I have on one side of my face. She recommended I research Myasthenia Gravis to see if the symptoms matched my condition. If so, see a neurologist right away. In the meantime I desperately need medication for my eyes that I can’t afford.

When I got home, I was a dutiful patient and started the supplements the doctor recommended and stepped up the eye drops/ointments I use. I researched the conditions she suggested, then I started looking into assistance and grants to get the medication I need. At the moment, I am still waiting to hear what I might quality for. After that, I will better know which treatment to seek.

While I’m upset that I have lost so much time that should have been spent working, I’m hopeful that March will bring better news.

Then maybe I won’t have to spend another month drowning my sorrows in cookies.

Don’t look at me. I’m not going to say anything.

End of an Era?

After seeing the small piggy quilt I recently made, a friend asked me to make a larger one for her. As I was putting it together I realized that making it had used up all of my muslin and batting. My first thought was to start watching for sales to stock up again, but then I wondered if perhaps the time to retire hadn’t come. After all, how often can one make a clean break from something without having leftovers to deal with?

Piggy Bank


When Pigs Fly

So little piggies, run free and be happy knowing that you might be the last of your kind.

If they’re not real bacon, I really couldn’t care what you do with those blasted pigs.

Cairn terrier puppy tears up box of tissues.

If you think you are going to do something other than pay attention to me, you’re crazy.

I will make you stop working!


Dream Our World

Come join the boys on an adventure at the Museum of the Imagination where they explore the world of art from a canine perspective and enjoy a day of unsupervised fun!

Dream Our World is available from my shop at L Bowman Studios.