Friday, December 12, 2014

Knitted Cowl

52% silk/48% acrylic cowl, knitted, washed, and blocked. The top and bottom edges are picot. I'm pleased with  how it turned out. It's about 25" around and 9" high and weighs only 2 ounces.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Handwoven Towels

I finally finished weaving these hand towels. The warp had been on the loom for longer than I care to say.

They came out quite nice. I used unmercerized 8/2 cotton for both the warp and the weft. The warp contains three colors -- sage, caramel, and blue indigo -- which I threaded randomly. I used the sage green for the weft. The pattern is a twill.

I like generously-sized towels. These measure 18" x 29" hemmed.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Sierra's Trip to the Vet

I had to take Sierra to the vet last week, and she traveled in the back seat of my car.

When I fed the sheep last Tuesday, everyone except Sierra hurried out of the barn and rushed to the hay. Worried, I entered the barn and saw Sierra laying down. She looked at me as I approached but didn't rise. As I petted her, I noticed her breathing sounded odd. I went out, grabbed some hay, and returned, putting it in front of her. She didn't eat.

There are only a couple vets within 50 miles that treat sheep. I called the one in Chino Valley. The vet was already scheduled for a visit 35 miles in the opposite direction. They suggested I call an office in Prescott that now has a sheep vet. Their vet was unable to make a farm call but could see Sierra if I took her into the office.

I now had the dilemma of transportation. My truck has a bed liner with no tie-downs and no place to insert stock racks. I started calling friends and acquaintances in the area looking for options. The first two weren't home.

The third person I called offered to lend me a horse trailer, but my truck doesn't have a trailer hitch. (Note to self: remember to get a trailer hitch and tie-downs when I'm not in immediate need of them.) She recommended I try to find an extra large dog kennel.

I called a friend who has large dogs. She said her dog kennels wouldn't be big enough. However, she suggested I transport Sierra in the back seat of my car. She said she's moved livestock that way several times out of necessity.

I called the vet again and arranged to bring Sierra in two hours.

To ready the car, I spread a shower curtain liner on the back seat and put large garbage bags on the floor.

I called a neighbor and asked for help to lift Sierra into the car. I drove to the barn and parked as close as I could. By that time, luckily Sierra was on her feet, so we didn't have to pick her up. I put a dog collar and leash on her. We coaxed, pulled, and pushed and got her into the back seat of the car. I thanked my neighbors, and Sierra and I set off.

She was amazingly good. In fact, she seemed quite interested in the view; I've never taken her anywhere before. I rolled the windows down a few inches, and in my rear view mirror I could see her wool blowing in the breeze.

It's a winding road between Wilhoit and Prescott, so she had a bit of trouble keeping her footing on the turns. But then again, so does Logan, my dog.

We drove through downtown Prescott on the way to the vet's office. While waiting at a stoplight near the courthouse, I heard a woman say, "That's a sheep. That's a sheep!"

When we arrived, I entered the office to check in, leaving Sierra in the car. She baa-ed once as I walked away. It was the first time she'd said anything during the trip.

Two vet's assistants and I pulled and pushed and tugged and got Sierra out of the car. She left a trail of manure on the way to the building's door, which was no big surprise. She stayed in the exam room with the vet's assistant while I parked the car.

As I was about to re-enter the exam room, the assistant warned me to watch out. Sierra had had major diarrhea in several places. Over the next 40 minutes or so that we were there, she continued to have diarrhea every few minutes, including explosive diarrhea that hit the walls. It was not a pretty sight.

They weren't even able to take her temperature. Since Sierra was not having this problem before she walked in the door, I asked the vet if it could just be nerves. She said she didn't think so, considering the extent of the problem.

The vet determined that Sierra had pneumonia. They also took fecal samples (there was certainly enough material all over the floor to sample). She gave Sierra two injections, an antibiotic and pain/anti-inflammatory meds. The vet said she didn't envy my drive home with Sierra's diarrhea problem. I didn't want to contemplate it.

After getting more pain medicine to give Sierra over the next few days, I paid the bill and, with trepidation, pulled the car near the door of the building. We pulled and pushed and got her out the door and headed for the car; she continued to have diarrhea all the way.

We tugged and shoved and got Sierra onto the back seat. The moment she was in the car, the diarrhea stopped. And there was no recurrence the entire trip home. Thank goodness.

Our drive home was very pleasant. Several times Sierra stuck her head between the front seats so I could pet her. She spent the rest of the time looking out the windows. She didn't make a sound the whole way back.

When we got home, I parked near the barn. The other sheep baa-ed at her. She baa-ed in return. I opened the back door, and she jumped out. She trotted over to some grass and started grazing.

I got a scoop of COB (corn, oats, barley, and molasses), which she loves. She gobbled it up and followed me into the pasture with the rest of the sheep. I fed them hay, and she ate.

The vet's office called the next day to say her fecal test came back negative. She doesn't have any internal parasites.

Over the next few days, her appetite came and went. I gave her the pain medication injections, and by Saturday she was eating normally again. She seems fine now, for which I'm very thankful.

We still have no explanation for the crazy intestinal problem at the vet's office. However, I think it's safe to say that the staff there won't soon forget us!