Wednesday, May 31, 2006

I Forgot Something

I got so aggravated about the things that happened at the dojo last night, that I forgot I'd actually done a sketch at work yesterday. This is my brazing stand, complete with jig and trays.

I had to help Scarlett shed yesterday, too. She had gotten her head off, but couldn't get the rest of her body off and just gave up. So first thing I did was soak her in a tub of room temp water, which she did NOT like. After a few minutes of that, I let her crawl through a damp cloth, which seemed to really freak her out at first. Then I could almost see the lightbulb come on in her head, "Hey, my skin is coming off!" She settled down and came out of her skin right nicely.

In a few minutes, I'm going to get her out, measure her, and give her what I hope to be her last liquid feeding. Then I'm going to switch her and Blaze. I'll put her into his smaller enclosure so it will be easier to monitor her.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Horse Hockey

Don't you just love Colonel Potter from the old M*A*S*H series? He could come up with some of the most colorful colloquialisms. I think horse hockey and monkey muffins were my favorites. And horse hockey describes perfectly well how I feel about what is going on at the dojo.

We'd planned all along for our black belt test to be in May or June. After much negotiation, we'd set the date at June 17th. I was there when sensei called Mr Worbington at the Greenville dojo and requested that date. Mr Worbington said that date was good. So we planned on June 17th. Carole went out and bought her plane ticket for the 15th. She was planning on flying in Thursday and staying through Sunday.

Mr. Bill Pogue had a seminar scheduled for June 3rd. Sensei had originally requested that date, but Mr Worbington said no. He said it would have to be one of the last two Saturdays in June, so we settled on the 17th.

Last week, Mr. Pogue rescheduled his seminar for the 17th. When sensei called Mr Worbington to make sure enough of the board would still be there to test us, he replied, "What are you talking about? I told you the test would be July 15th!"

Horse hockey!

Nobody ever said anything about July. We requested May or June. They said June, so we made plans for June. July never entered into the conversation. Nobody mentioned July...

Last week, sensei had said that if they try to change the date of our test because of the seminar being rescheduled, he would test us himself at our own dojo--which both James and I would prefer anyway, since that's the dojo we worked, sweated, and even bled in to get this far.

Tonight, sensei backed down from that. He said he wouldn't test us himself in our own dojo because it wouldn't be as recognized.

Horse hockey!

So now, I don't know what is going on. I don't know when our test will be, or even if we have one. James said he's not going to test if they keep changing their minds. I'm so fed up with the whole mess that frankly, I don't care if I test or not.

And that's not horse hockey.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day

"I'd like to say to my daughter Carrie, and the children and grandchildren of veterans everywhere, YOU are what we fought for."--Lt Corbin Willis, WWII

Americans and every free nation on Earth can trace their liberty to the white markers of places like Arlington National Cemetery, and may God keep us ever grateful...." --President George W. Bush

"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived." --George S. Patton, Jr.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Memorial Day Weekend

Not much to talk about today. I woke up this morning and the wisdom tooth was still hurting. I've been rinsing with warm salt water throughout the day, but it's never hurt this much before. It may be time to think about having it out. Right before my black belt test, too.

Tongue Out

I've taken it pretty easy today, spending most of the day laying on the couch knitting and watching DVDs. I got this project finished. It is really purple and gold, though the picture makes it look more bluish.

I was going to start a scarf to match, but couldn't decide on a pattern, so I decided to just work on some of my already in progress projects.

Blazie was out last night. showing his pretty colors. He looked so cute propped up on his themometer unit, I just had to get this picture.
I have a new baby cousin born yesterday. These are some cousins I've pretty much lost touch with over the last few years. From the look of things, I'll have another cousin before too much longer.

I got Cody's report card in the mail yesterday. One C, one A, and the rest Bs, and has been promoted to 7th grade. His C was an 82, which in my day would have been considered a B, but they've changed the scale here recently. Hasn't solved the public school's problems, but they did it anyway.

Now I'm off to watch the National Memorial Day concert on PBS. Corny, I know. But I watch it every year. I love it.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

A Bit of Good News

Two bits of good news, actually.

First off, this guy finally ate last night.

He'd been eating mice all his life, but mice aren't enough for a snake this size. I was trying to switch him to rats. He ate the first two I offered him just fine, then refused to eat any more.

For 2 1/2 months.

During the past week, I had a "Duh" moment. He's used to eating mice. He might not like rats. I decided to offer him mice at his next feeding, just to see if he would eat them. He did. Well, one, at least. I offered two, but he refused the second one. At least I know there's something he will eat. For now, I'll offer him mice every 4-5 days to fatten him back up, then we'll try to get him switched over to rats. I'll scent the rats with something like Mouse Maker, gradually reducing the amount of scent until he is eating straight rats. Hopefully it will work. He needs to be on rats at his size.

Secondly, Scarlett is blue! In snake slang, that means she is getting ready to shed. Scarlett, if you'll remember, is the one I had so much trouble with her throwing up and have been tube feeding her for the last month. A month ago, I thought she was going to die, now she's going to shed. I'll hold off feeding her until after the shed, and will measure her as well. I don't expect her to have grown much, but we'll see.

Sunset is blue as well. After this shed, I sure hope he starts eating again.

Hmmm, given the tone of these recent posts, maybe I should change the title of this blog to Snakes and More.

So here's a DAUB pencil sampler exercise to get back on topic...

Friday, May 26, 2006

DAUB Drawing #?

Ok I forget what number this is, but it was a really easy--and to my mind senseless--exercise. Trace my hand, then draw a secondary outline around it following the general shape of my hand. Then draw curved lines along where the knuckles would be. I'm not quite sure what the point of the exercise is.

My wisdom tooth has been acting up today. Yes, I only have one. It usually doesn't bother me, but every once in a while it will get sore for a day or two. Not enough to make me feel the need to have it out. Just enough to remind me it is still there.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Lots To Catch Up On

I was getting ready for work this morning when about 6:15 I heard this plaintive little voice--


"What is it, sweetheart?"

"Is school still going on?"

"No, honey. Yesterday was your last day."

"Then why am I awake?"

I felt so sorry for the little feller. He came in and turned on the TV, and I'll bet he napped on the couch a bit, too.

After work, we ran by the school to pick up the horn he was checking out for the summer. That thing is huge. It is almost as big as Cody is, but he's been playing away at it since he got home. Then we stopped and got his hair cut. About the time we got home from all that, it was time to get ready and go to Karate.

So we get to karate, and James and I told sensei about the students walking out on us, and how disrespectful we thought it was. He said he'd handle it on an individual bases. He also said that he wants very soon for the dojo to be his sole means of support, so he has to be tactful and not run anybody off. All this time, I'm thinking that if he doesn't change a lot of things, he's going to lose his dojo anyway. All his good students will quit on him, and he'll get the reputation of having a poor quality program. He won't attract any new students like that. Another thing if he wants to build his school up is to invest in some quality advertising. He can't depend on his students to bring enough new people into the dojo. He needs to advertise on the radio, TV, newspapers... ways he can really REACH people.

He also told us that he got an e-mail saying that Bill Pogue is wanting to change the date of his seminar from June 3 to June 17. That's right, our testing date. He doesn't think there will be enough of the board going to the seminar to affect us testing, but if they do try to make him change the date, he will test us himself at our dojo. James and I are like, "YEAH!!!! We're cool with that!"

The nightmares have already started....

Last night I dreamed two dreams about testing. In the first one, I dreamed that I was having an allergic reaction to something and my left eye was swollen shut and the left side of my face was all swollen up. I was holding a cool, damp cloth to my eye to try to get the swelling down enough I could see to test, however, the board decided they weren't going to wait on me. They started the test without me. One black belt started making fun of me because I was not able to test. He said something, and he and the entire board started laughing at me.

I woke up then, and when I went back to sleep, I dreamed that I was going to my test. When I got there, I pulled my gi out of my gym bag and it was all wrinkled and dirty. They wouldn't let me test with my gi looking like that.

So I've had two dreams in which I failed the test before I even started.

Back to class, when she got there, I over heard her bragging to somebody about how well she could spar. Later in the class, I ended up paired up with her. The drill was for me to throw multiple techniques and she was to block them. Non contact, unfortunately--or fortunately for her because I wore her out. I was throwing stuff so fast that she couldn't block anything. Sensei had to come over and tell me to slow down. Then when she was aggressing, and I was blocking, she couldn't land a thing on me. It's like she was bouncing in slow motion--really telegraphing her moves. For all her bragging, she spars like a white belt. For heaven's sake, she is a PURPLE belt. She needs to act like one. Then again, if she'd truly earned the belt, it might mean more to her.

After class, Justin brought in his new guitar. Travis was playing it and acting like he could really play. Then Sensei got on it and put Travis to shame. I knew he could play the guitar, but I didn't know he could play that well. We have a multitalented sensei.

Now on a more serious note. Some of you may remember this post. Well, it's worse than I thought. See, I'm kind of like a second mom to a lot of the students in the dojo. They will talk to me about things they won't talk to their parents about. Tonight, one of the students confided in me that she groped his genitals on more than one occasion. I had seen her do it to one student, but apparently there have been others as well. What makes this so bad is that this student is under age. And since I now know, I have the burden of responsibility.

I will have to seek counsel on what to do about this.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I Did It!

I gave Scarlett her liquid feeding tonight by myself! Cody's help was not required. I think she must be getting used to it, because she is much calmer about it than when we started. I've both increased the amount I'm feeding her--we're up to 2.5 CCs now--and reduced the amount of water mixed in to the food, and I believe the little bugger is actually gaining weight! She sure looks a lot fatter than she did a month ago. I'm going to give her a couple more liquid feedings, then try another pinky head. And pray she keeps it down so I can get her back on whole mice. I can't imagine trying to tube feed a 3 foot snake!

The other snakes are doing well. Except for Slider, that is. Ball pythons are known to go off their feed for months at a time, and he has. I've tried everything I can think of to get him to eat, even to the point of opening his mouth and putting the rat's head inside. He just spit it back out. I wouldn't worry so much but he appears to be losing weight.

Sunset has finally started calming down. He doesn't roam his tank as incessantly as he had been doing. I'm hoping he starts eating again soon. He hasn't eaten in just as long as Slider, but Sunny is still plenty fat and sassy. He may have lost a little weight, but he needed to anyway.

Onyx hasn't eaten in about a month either, but he gave me a beautiful shed this evening and I hope he starts eating again, too. I measured him, and he is almost 39"long. He and Snow run neck and neck for being my longest snake, though when they reach full adult hood, I think Snow might just win that race.

Monty's appetite has picked up tremendously. Cody decided to try to feed him for the first time Saturday. I told Cody to wiggle the mouse in front of Monty's hide so he'd strike at it. Well, Cody accidentally dropped the mouse, and Monty grabbed it before it even hit the ground.

Snow has been my best eater so far. She has never refused a meal. In fact, I put her on a diet she was getting so fat. I'm going to start feeding her every 14 days for a while until she slims down a bit. She is just going blue, so she'll shed in about a week.

And baby Blaze is growing like a weed. He shed last week, and I always measure them when they shed. Since switching Blaze to the next size mice, he has grown 3 inches in 5 weeks!

And that's how my snakes are faring.

Sometimes I sit down at my blog, and can't think of a thing to say. That happened a couple of days ago. My one faithful reader may have noticed that there was no post Monday. I just couldn't think of anything to blog about. I'm not real big on talking politics, and haven't done any new sketches...

Speaking of drawing, I've almost worked up the courage to try the Baby Brandon exercise from the Drawing for Dummies book. It is a portrait of the Author's grandson--just a head shot. I've always been intimidated at the thought of drawing people, but I am about ready to try this one. Frankly, DAUB just isn't cutting it for me. The book simply isn't any fun.

Oh, and I started a new knitting project--still using stash yarn. It is a hat (yes, another one) and scarf set done in the colors of my old alma mater, Hardin-Simmons University. That would be purple and gold. It actually looks pretty nice together. And as always, I'll post pictures when it is done.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Sensei was still out tonight, and it's not like he made it a big secret. I mean, he had a sign posted on the door for weeks before tonight and anounced it several times in class. So why do certain students even bother to come if they are just going to walk out when they find out James and I are teaching? They did it again, just like they did Thursday, but this time they took Brian and Alex with them. Now, Brian, I would expect it from. But Alex really surprised me. I figured he was better than that. Yes, I do intend to tell sensei what happened. I think he needs to know. When he is out, James and I are his representatives. If they wouldn't walk out of a class he was teaching, they shouldn't do it to us, either. This shows both us and sensei tremendous disrespect.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


It was introduced as ground cover several years ago. Nobody could guess that it would also cover trees, bushes, bridges, telephone poles....

They say it can grow up to a foot a day.

Soon it will cover everything.

And I finished a baby hat.

No kudzu on that.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Baby Hat

from a really pretty varegated yarn. I'm getting quite a collection of hats. Now I've got to find a charity or something to donate them to.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Cut Her Some Slack?

Last night, Josh W. started back to class. He had been a student several years ago, then things happened and he had to drop out for a while. In the meantime, he'd been lifting weights and got really buff.

About a year ago, he came back intending to start classes again, but got really embarrassed by the way she was throwing herself all over him. He only came to two classes, then quit again. So last night when sensei said Josh was going to start back, James and I mentioned how much she'd like that.

Sensei said, "Y'all need to cut her some slack. She's young and she's been repressed by her father. "

Yeah, right.

First off, she is nearly 22. Her birthday is only three weeks away. I know because last year on her birthday, she tried to throw herself a birthday party at the dojo. It didn't really go over so well. Point is, she's not THAT young.

Secondly, if a man went around doing the same things to women that she does to the guys in the dojo, no one would say to cut him some slack for any reason. Nooo, he'd be thrown under the jail. People would talk about what a horrible person he is. He'd be called a stalker, a molestor, a sex offender--everything short of a rapist. There might even be demands to have him castrated. He could, and most likely would, be charged with sexual assault and/or sexual battery. If he'd done some of the things I've seen her do.

Yet it is somehow ok if she does it because she's a woman, and she's been repressed.

Go figure.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

A Sketch! A Real Sketch!

I actually did a quick sketch today on my lunch break at work. My techniques are a little rusty, but I think it turned out ok. For a quickie...

Gotta go hit the shower and work on my shodan essay. Sensei wasn't at class tonight because his oldest step son graduated from the GED program. James and I led the class in an open workout. They showed up, and when the realized sensei wasn't going to be there, they left. It ended up being me, James, Josh, and Josh Williams. We went through kata, and that's about it. I did my kata several times. James' mother showed up about 7:30 and made him leave since Sensei wasn't there. He won't be there Tuesday night either.

What was really bad was when I did my kata facing the back of the dojo instead of the front...I messed up on wansu, chinto, and kusanku. I did seisan fine, and made it through niahanchi, sanchin, and seiunchin, but it felt wierd going in the opposite direction.

I did something new yesterday when I took my walk. See, I walk down this dirt road between some cotton fields for about a mile, then turn around and walk back to the house. It's about a quarter mile from my house to the dirt road, making approximately a 2 1/2 mile walk. Well, at the point where I turn around, I stopped and did all my kata back to back before walking back. It was really nice because it's like being out in the middle of nowhere. I messed up most of my upper kata then, too. I get so used to doing them in a certain way, in a certain place that when the scenery is different, I forget what I'm supposed to be doing. So it is good that I'm trying to do them in different locations.

Oh! Before I forget...good news. Cody got accepted into the art program at school. The schools here don't offer regular art classes. The kids have to try out for the art program. I knew he would make it. He's quite the talented little artist.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Old School

I received this e-mail from Mr Tedder a couple of days ago:

The only reason I care about being in the adult class now is for you and James, for moral support if nothing else. I mean I care about the other students too, but they are Wade’s. You and James are the only ones that are “Old School”.

Old School

There are two types of students in our dojo. The serious ones, and the not so serious ones.

You can tell which ones are which.

Students join a karate class for different reasons. Some join just for something to do. Some join to impress their peers. Some join to prove how tough they are. Some join to flirt and throw themselves at members of the opposite sex.

Some join for the exercise. Some join to learn self defense. Some join to become martial artists.

We have all types in our dojo.

You can tell which ones are which.

Old School.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

An Asymmetrical Object

This DAUB project was to sketch an asymmetrical object. While sitting outside the dojo, waiting for class to start, I whipped off my sandal and sketched it. It only took about 10 minutes, if that long.

Mr Tedder came in tonight and worked bunkai with James and me. It was actually fun. Kind of like the way classes used to be all the time.

Tomorrow, I start my official count down...One month until the testing...

I'm gonna go throw up now.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Mother's Day

This is what my beloved son gave me.
He says that I don't have enough pretty things. He also took me out to dinner at Pizza Inn. He asked me if he could borrow some money to pay for it.

I was so full from stuffing myself with pizza, that I sat on the sofa all afternoon and knitted another hat. Slowly but surely, the stash is getting smaller.

I also undertook another big project--decluttering my house. I got way too much stuff. I can't even get my closet doors shut. So I drug everything out, and am going to start sorting through it. Fine time to start something like that when I've got company coming in a month. Yes, Carole is coming down for my black belt test. I finally got a date for it by the way. It will be June 17th. I'm getting shaky just thinking about it.

Friday, May 12, 2006

A Sketch

A real, honest to goodness sketch. I was sitting there at work yesterday on my lunch break, when suddenly I was overwhelmed with the urge to sketch something. So I grabbed an old component identification sheet and my trusty Mainstays ink pen and dashed off this pear. Complete with oil stains and everything.

Kind of makes me want to find my trusty sketch book...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Another Hat

I finished this one last night. This one is the adult size, however, I think if I make more of these, I'm going to make the ribbing band longer. The pattern only calls for 6 rows of ribbing, but on a hat this big, it really needs to be more. They really knit up fast , these hats do, but I'm getting kind of tired of them.

So I started a scarf.

I got the lace pattern from my 365 Knitting Stitches a Year calendar, and just added a stockinette stitch background and seed stitch border.

While digging through my yarn, I found a skein of pink worsted weight that wasn't on my Stash List. It is enough to make a little hat and possibly a matching scarf for a little girl. I know I said I was getting tired of hats, but I think I need to get started on this one...

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

A Full Rich Day

Today we had what is known in M*A*S*H episodes as a full rich day.

It started about 2:00 in the morning, when the storms started. They were some bad storms too. High wind, buckets--no lakes of rain, hail. The works.

I was awakened by the storm, an while laying in bed wondering if my house was going to blow away, I heard a little voice call, "Mom?". Thinking he was calling from his room, I got up to check on him. I opened my bedroom door and there he was! Gave me quite a start. I guess he was getting me back for this.

I got him settled on the couch, after he told me he thought the hail was going to come through the roof. To which I replied, "Well, it never has before." Ok, ok, I could think too straight at 2:00 AM. I looked outside, and we were getting about marble sized hail. However, a co-worker told me it got to golf ball size at his house.

The storms continued for the rest of the night, and I never really got back to sleep. I dozed a bit, but didn't really sleep. Unfortunately, the alarm went off at 5:15 as usual.

When I woke Cody up to get ready for school, I discovered he was broke out in hives. I gave him a Benadryl and sent him back to bed. I went on to work as usual.

Around 9:00, a commotion ensued, and to our dismay, it was storming again. I looked out the receiving dock doors and it was so dark, it looked like night time outside. The storms hit again around noon, which only added to the shock when I got off at 3:00 PM and walked out to bright blue skies and sunshine.

I got home to find a couple of good sized limbs down in the yard,

but no real damage.

We're supposed to have a couple of dry days, but more rain by the weekend. I think my house is going to float away.

I went into the office at work today, and put in for vacation for the rest of the June weekends, since I don't know when the test will be. If you wait too long, the days fill up and they don't let you have them. Once I find out the date of the test, I will cancel the other weekends.

I felt obligated to explain to my shift supervisor why I was requesting every weekend in June off. When I told him about my black belt test coming up, he said, "Black belt? You do karate?"

I replied, "Yes, I've been doing it for three years."

He said, "So if anyone jumps me in here, I should call you and not Johnny Lindley."

I answered, "That depends on whether you want him took care of, or just hollered at. If you want him hollered at, call Johnny. If you want him took care of, call me."

You have to know Johnny Lindley.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

What A Time

to get a groin pull! A month before my black belt test, I have to go and pull a groin muscle. It actually happened Thursday night in class, though I didn't notice it until Friday. I was doing much better until yesterday when I ran through my kata. When I got to the jump kick in Chinto, I thought I'd ripped my leg off. It ended up worse than it was when I first did it. So now I have to take it really easy when I should be preparing for a shodan grading!

I still don't know when the test is going to be. Sensei is going to try to call Mr Worbington tomorrow and let us know something Thursday. James says if they try to have it June 10, he isn't going because he wants to go to the MKA tournament. He's the one who's been fussing about having to stay a brown belt for so long, and now he's going to skip his shodan grading for a relatively minor karate tournament. DUHHH!!!! I doubt his dad would let him do that anyway. I just need to know so I can get the day off of work, and so Carole can make her flight reservations.

A couple more honeysuckle pictures. This stuff is everywhere!

When I was growing up, our back yard fence was absolutely covered in honeysuckle vines. The flowers must have numbered in the millions. During the summer, we would be out there every day sucking the sweet nectar from the flowers. Unfortunately, we didn't leave enough flowers on the vines for them to get properly pollinated. Each year, the vine dwindled in size and the number of flowers, until it finally died altogether.

You might say, we sucked the life out of it.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Feeding Scarlett, Round 2

Scarlett got her second liquid feeding this evening. When I tried to get her to open her mouth, she pooped on my leg. Though it may sound gross, it is a good sign that she's still got some spunk in her. I gave her a smidge more, about 1.5 CC this time. It's a good thing, too because some of it spilled out of her mouth. Not that much though. We'll get this thing figured out eventually.

On the other hand, my cheap $20 amel hatchling moved up to fuzzies this evening.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

New DAUB Sketch

I finally got around to doing another DAUB sketch. Of a bottle this time. It isn't quite symmetrical, but pretty good for a freehand sketch. It wasn't hard, and didn't take but a minute or two, so why am I so unmotivated to do these drawings? Could it be that the book is just uninspiring?

Scarlett managed to keep her meal down, though she did something strange. It looked like she was trying to regurge a couple of times Saturday afternoon. Nothing came out, though, not even liquid. I asked on the cornsnake board about this, but no one has answered yet. But she still managed to keep her meal down. This is cause for hope, but she is not out of the woods yet. She still has to be able to eat whole mice and keep them down before I relax. She'll be on liquid meals for the rest of this month, at least. This will give her time to build her strength back up. And I'll gradually increase the amount of food I give her by something like 1/2 CC every other feeding until I get up to 4 or 5 CCs. Maybe. I'm still playing this by ear.

Sensei finally called Mr Worbington to get our black belt test set up. He should have done that months ago. Anyway, Mr. W. nixed the idea of doing it at that seminar (thank you!). There is another lady who is ready to test for her nidan, and they want to do her test the same time as ours. She won't test anywhere but Greenville. Sensei is still requesting June 3. Hopefully, I'll know something soon.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

I Got Poop!

from Scarlett. But no regurge as of yet. Forty three hours, and so far so good. Keeping fingers crossed still.

Friday, May 05, 2006

No Post Today

I didn't get much sleep last night, so I doubt I'd be coherent anyway. Going to try to get to bed early tonight.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Feeding Scarlett

I gave Scarlett her first liquid feeding tonight. I boiled an egg and mixed the yolk with the jar of baby food chicken that I bought the other day. I mashed it through a tea strainer then thinned it with some water. I divided it into 1 CC, 2 CC, and 4 CC servings and froze most of it. What was left became her meal for tonight. Well, part of it. I started her off with ony 1 CC. I thinned it down with some more water, added a generous amount of Nutribac, and the medicine the vet gave me. Getting it into her was a bit more of a challenge. For such a little critter, she was surprisingly hard to hold on to. Cody helped me and we managed to get her fed. Now she just needs to keep it down. Doing that, I finally got a good look at her. She does appear to have lost a little weight, but she is no where near skin and bones. If she can hold down this liquid meal, there is hope for her yet.

I told sensei tonight that James and I needed some attention. We have a black belt test in less than a month, and neither one of us feel ready. He responded with his usual, "oh, you'll do fine." So I said that we feel he is brushing us off when he says that. He said, "naw, naw, it's not like that." I replied, "but that's how we feel." And it is almost like we've become invisible in that class. He needs to be letting Barrett and Josh teach the regular class (they are brown belts, after all) while he works with James and me.

He's still planning on having us tested June 3. There is going to be some seminar in Oak Grove, LA that weekend, and he was going to have us tested there. But after class tonight (!) he finally called Mr Worbington and he told sensei we needed to test in Greenville. Mr. Worbington is going to call around and see if enough of the board can be there then. I'm glad, in a way. I'd pictured us at this big seminar in front of a huge crowd of spectators making fools of ourselves. The crowd would then laugh at us when we didn't get promoted.

There is another lady who is supposed to test for her nidan, and she refuses to test anywhere but Greenville. As it appears, it may just be the three of us there.

I'll let you know.

A Baby Hat

I go this one done last night. I really like this pattern, and will probably use it again.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Gas Lamps

There is something enormously comforting about the soft glow of a gas lamp. When I was growing up, nearly all the houses in my town had gas lamps in the front yard. It created such a warm light, not like the harsh glare of an electric bulb. I loved riding in the car at night seeing the lamps lit up, like a candle in the window, welcoming those far and near.

But slowly, one by one, the lamps fell into disrepair and were removed. Now only a few homes have them. This one belongs to a neighbor down the street from where I currently live.

And you know, I don't think it's even gas.

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Last Hat

This is the last hat from that particular yarn. This is the smaller size, and as you can see, I had enough left over to make pom poms for this hat and one other. I've now found another pattern, and have started a new hat.

Ok, about Scarlett....I've been posting over on about her condition. This morning, I got this post from Kathy Love.

So sorry you are still having problems...
4 regurges are A LOT. I normally would be really guarded about the prognosis after that many, but the fact that she is still healthy, strong, and in good weight gives hope yet for a recovery. Also, the fact that she did very well until the feeding of 2 pinks is
a good sign too. Since you already have tried just pinkie heads without success, I would go to a few liquid feedings via syringe, along with Nutri Bac. I would use cooked egg yolk (no sense in adding more Salmonella than she already has!), meat baby food, or a cat food pate', or some mixture of those. Strain them through a tea strainer to make sure they will go through the tube, adding a little water to make it go through a little easier. If she is hatchling sized, I would give 1 cc of the mixture (with a pinch of NB mixed in). More if she is bigger. Sit down and put her tail between your knees, holding her upright in a vertical position, and keep her vertical for a minute or two after the feed so it doesn't come back up. Have a friend help if you need it. Repeat every 4 days or so. The liquid should be very easy to digest. If she can't digest even that, then she has some serious problems and the vet may need to do some cultures. If she digests it ok, then keep it up for at least 2 or 3 weeks (with a good pinch of NB each time) before trying another pinkie head. That should give her some strength and maybe get her digestive tract back in balance a little. If you can't find a feeding tube online, maybe the vet can help. If you are nervous about tube feeding, maybe the vet can demonstrate, if he feels it is a good idea. As long as you avoid the opening in the bottom of the mouth (where the snake breathes), and keep it vertical for a minute or two, it should be pretty safe. What you are doing isn't working, so unless the vet has a different treatment, you are likely to lose the snake if you continue on the same treatment plan. BTW, I have never found bloodreds to be particularly susceptible to regurges, although each family line may be different. Hope it helps - let us know what happens. Good luck!


Now, if you're not involved in the cornsnake world, you may not have heard of Kathy Love. Let me clue you in...

Kathy Love is one of the top cornsnake breeders in the world. She and her husband have been breeding cornsnakes for some 30 something years, and are responsible for many of the new color morphs out there. For her to answer my questions is like Bill Gates calling you personally if your PC crashes. My first thought was, "Wow Kathy Love!!!" But I shouldn't think that way. She is not like that. She has answered many a call and e-mail about cornsnake problems--not from me, but from other members of the cornsnake keeper community. My second thought was, "FINALLY!!! Some practical advice!" I took it, too. I found some feeding tubes online and promptly ordered them. I paid the extra for priority mail--though shipping only totalled $5, and stopped by the store on the way home and bought some baby food chicken. I already have eggs in the fridge (I don't know why, I can't eat them), and the Nutribac she mentioned. If this doesn't help Scarlett, well, it's time to begin thinking about putting her down.

You can read the entire thread here. I don't think you have to register just to read, but I'm not sure.

Now, on to more entertaining news....

One day last week, James and I were texting each other on our cell phones. At one point, I tried to type in "YUP", but the autocomplete on my phone spelled out "ZUR". I thought it was funny, so I sent it on to him anyway. He thought it was funny, too, so he sent it on to some other people, including her. She didn't think it was so funny, because when she got to class, she told sensei that James was sending her vulgar things on the phone and harrassing her. Totally rediculous behavior...(Good thing we didn't send her "riddledats".)

Yesterday I sent James the following message:

"Zur! Zur! I'm harassing you! Zur! Zur!"

He responded with:

"Stop! Stop, or I'll tell sensei!"

To which I responded:

"Zur! Zur! I'm not gonna stop, and if you tell sensei I"ll cry!"

Such silly people we are...


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