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Feb. 8th, 2014

[Semi] Daily Photo

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Caena being a silly pupper this morning. Feb, 2014



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Dec. 30th, 2013

Random from the last week.

Tuesday of last week (Christmas Eve) we headed up to New Jersey. Had chinese for dinner that night. Very good food at the Fortune Cookie in Medford Lakes.

Spent a nice Christmas with Mark's family, his uncle and aunt from California cooked a great dinner for us, Mark's parents and his Grandpop. We ate too much, as per usual.

Thursday, trekked over to Cherry Hill to visit a Wegman's grocery store (well, Marketplace they call it) for the first time ever. Discovered two things- we don't like Cherry Hill people- rude, snobby types, and we don't care for Wegman's either. We liked the deli side where the cafe and seafood was, but the rest we don't care for. Also went by Woolbearer's in Mt Holly, to see about a tabletop loom. They didn't have what I wanted on hand and I wasn't comfortable leaving my credit card number and not knowing the exact cost (they couldn't/wouldn't tell me shipping), so we left empty handed- I don't need more yarn after all. I know, it shocked Mark too.) and came home, whereupon, after a snack of meats and cheeses with the Parents In Law, I found one on sale online and ordered it, for cheaper than it would have been through Woolbearer's- even with shipping, it was still less than full price. Yeah. It should be here this Friday and I'll get to spend the weekend cursing it as I try to learn to set it up.}:P

Friday, Mark and I went to Philly and visited the Italian Market (again), where we went to DiBruno Bros (again), got cheeses - Mark got a wedge of Gorgonzola Piccante- all his, I hate blue cheese, I got a wedge of Capricho Cabra Plain- sooo good, and we'll share the half log of Homemade Sweet Soppressata. I also got a slab of Italian Noughet. We also went to the Spice Corner (again), and picked up at least half dozen more herbs and spice mixes. Then we found the Fante's store, where Mark got a 1lb of coffee (that I promptly forgot to put in the cooler yesterday morning and that his sister will be bringing back for us, along with my bookmark, since I finished my book and it fell to the floor when I got up to put my book in my bag. Yeah.) and I got a manual ravioli mold for overstuffed 2" ravioli. On the way back, we stopped in one of the butcher's there and picked up a whole rabbit, which I had quartered and Wednesday, I'll braise half of it for dinner. Wandered South Street for a little bit after that.

Friday night, the SiL, BiL, and niece arrived with their dog, Ashe. That night the FiL grilled out some very tasty ribs. Caena and Ashe could not get enough of playing and chasing each other in the backyard.

Saturday, we had Grandpop's 100th birthday party. Yes, 100th. The man is an android. He'll likely outlive us all. Heh. Crown Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill- so posh and elegant. I have photos, I just need to upload them. 100+ people at this party, almost all related to each other in some way. We knew maybe 15. Yeah. Mark got to catch up with a couple cousins he hasn't seen since they were all teenagers and grew up together- roughly 30 years. They moved out to California and lost touch. It was nice putting faces to the names, finally. All in all, it was a very nice birthday party. Lots of awards and letters from various officials and organizations for Grandpop.

Sunday, we came home. In the pouring rain. Yup. Apparently, Aries decided to go on a semi- hunger strike and didn't want to eat for Alex while we were gone. He did eat though, as he hasn't lost weight and has no mouth issues. It appears, he did not approve of the dry food we left for them, in addition to the raw. So we got a bag of the regular dry food and he chowed it right down. He was also typical very clingy kitty last night. Morrigan was Morrigan. She hacked up a hairball on my desk while we were gone in retaliation for leaving them. Yup. Typical Morrigan.

Ok, that's the good stuff.

Tuesday, we got news straight from Mark's parents that his mom has been diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's. They've known for a few months but wanted to tell us all in person. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest, for severity, she's currently a 2. They have her on meds to hopefully slow it down some. But they realize, there is NO cure. There is NO miracle drug that can stop this. It will, eventually, kill her. Hopefully, it's in another 20 years or so.

Called my mom last night tolet her know we made it home safely and found out my dad had another A-Fib episode yesterday. He is currently in the hospital for observation, as they could not find a cause yesterday and wanted to run more tests, as well as check out his defibrillator for malfunctions. Mom will be calling later this evening, hopefully with updates.


And that was my week. How was yours?



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Nov. 22nd, 2013

[Semi] Daily Photo

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Cookie, my parents' dog and Caena in my parents' backyard. Michigan, Oct 2013



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Nov. 14th, 2013

[Semi] Daily Photo

Caena

Caena being silly. She reminds me of Dante a lot, sometimes. Nov 2013



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Jun. 27th, 2013

So. This will be fun. Right?

Caena had a vet appointment this morning. Normal,, 6 month check up type dealio, but with bonus blood draw at our request to do a full thyroid panel.

Why? Because we figured out that she has Excessive Skin Yeast- it's where the natural yeast in her stomach goes haywire and starts attacking her skin, making her want to chew it raw, loose fur, hyperpigmentation (dark patches on the skin), an odor, eventually working up to rough, scaley, hardened skin if left untreated.

(See- http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_yeast_infection_of_the_skin.html
http://vetmedicine.about.com/od/diseasesandconditions/a/CW-Dermatitis.htm )

This started in Dec 2012.

We ruled out mites in Jan, did a round of antibiotics and Prednisone. That cleared it up for about a month. Yay, we thought, she's fixed!

Only, not so much. It came back, with a vengeance. This time, it wasn't relegated just to her legs, it spread to her entire body. Twice weekly baths with Malaseb shampoo were the only thing keeping it in check, but she was still so unhappy, what with having to wear a cone of shame almost all the time. And take Benedryl 3 times a day.

We tried switching out her food- taking out one protein for awhile, if that didn't work, taking out a different one, and so on. She's already as grain free as we can get her as well as poultry of any kind free (she's definitely allergic to chicken). Nothing worked.

Then about a month ago, another Akita owner mentioned on the Akita Rescue list that their Akita had ESY and they were looking for an article by Barbara Bouyet about it, where they had briefly read about Apple Cider Vinegar in the food and water helping. The symptoms they described were almost exactly what Caena was experiencing.

So I started researching it and found that Caena has almost every, single symptom. The only one she didn't have was the hardened skin. Suggestions were to add greek yogurt to the food and ACV to the water and we found that in the 3 weeks since we've started doing that, the ESY has diminished back to her legs, a few patches on her face and her tail. She still has angry pinker areas on her flanks and neck, but the majority of the lesions are gone. Yay, right?

Well, not really. Because she STILL wants to chew herself raw. She still has to have the cone of shame on. She still takes the Benedryl. It essentially halted the ESY but it didn't completely fix it.

Hence, the vet visit. Research had also suggested a thyroid panel to rule out anything wrong there. The main vet website we looked at stated that adding yogurt and ACV were quick fixes but by no means cures. That if the cause was not found and corrected, the ESY would come back repeatedly.

So now, we are trying a food trial. Starting Monday, Caena will be on a strict diet of hypoallergenic food and nothing but for the next 6 weeks. If the ESY clears up, we know it's a food allergy that we haven't figured out yet- the only protein we hadn't swapped out was beef, so we'll feel really bad if it turns out to be that. Unfortunately, this means we may have to take her off the raw diet. She may end up on hypoallergenic food for the rest of her life.

But like Mark said, we'll do what we have to. And I say, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

For now, Prednisone for the next few weeks and hypoallergenic food for the next 6 and then a return trip to the vet. Assuming of course, the thyroid panel comes back clean. And that we'll find out tomorrow.

With her genetic issues and chrondodysplasia, it honestly would not surprise me if it's a simple food allergy. Well, at least, that's what we're hoping it is.}:)


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Jun. 11th, 2013

So there I was...

On a nice, albeit longer than we planned and hot, walk with the husband and Caena.

We cut through the park so she could walk through the creek to cool off and Mark crossed first. Mind, it's been rainy here. So I went to cross, lost my balance, missed grabbing him and twisted as I landed on my knee and hip.

At the time, my only pride was hurt, but now that we're home and cooling down, I figured out I managed to wrench my back, scrap the side of my knee and bruise both palms of my hands. And my elbow ain't feeling so hot either.

Guess I'm done doing beadwork for the night. Heh.

Go me.

Ow.


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Apr. 10th, 2013

So, this and that.

Got around to doing the April Daring Cooks Challenge last night. It wasn't as difficult as it seemed. Only took 15 minutes to do the main part. And man was it good too. No, I can't tell you what it is for 4 more days.

I have all my windows open and have had them open, day and night, for the past two days. This is nice. Aries and Morrigan are loving it.

The forsythia out back is in full bloom. The mock oranges are leafing out. The Wisteria vines on the fence, that I can see from my desk, are loaded with flower buds that get larger by the day. Most of the irises have all come back and several of the daffodils and narcissus have either finally bloomed or will soon.

Whatever was causing Caena's skin issues seems to be ever so slowly clearing up, finally.

Almost finished with a new cuff. Just doing the last of the beadwork, then it can get photographed today for listing this evening. This was a fun cuff.

Hee!


Mark got me a real Mah Jongg set. Hee. Now I just need to learn how to really play.

And I turned 40 today.


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