Merry Christmas!

We’re wrapping up the year at the Barefoot house. The kids are excited about tomorrow, and we are getting ready for Christmas Eve dinner. May your Christmas, Yule, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Festivus dreams come true. Here is to a great year to come.

With that, I’ll leave you with an infographic. Take a look at just how quickly the internet has changed over time.
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via The Roosevelts

Sewing, sewing, tying.

mcgrawHere at the house of the Barefoots, it has been mostly a lazy month. I’ve been dealing with undiagnosed stomach problems that have landed me in the ER a few times, and once overnight for observation. It doesn’t seem to be related to my other diagnoses. That being said, we needed something to keep us busy now that the kids don’t want to venture into the cold or rain. Since we just brought home our own little rescue pup last month,  I naturally gravitated toward animal charities.

Animal shelters are always in need of donations. Of course, money and food top the list. No matter what, though, the animals need to be happy and comfy while they’re in the shelter. Black dogs especially need to be noticed, as well as breeds that are thought of as “bad” or “violent”. In reality, most of the dogs up for adoption in shelters make great pets. They just need some love.

After contacting our local ASPCA, we started cutting and pinning fabric. I started with a two patterns in various sizes that I found on Pinterest. The tiny little coats will fit animals from the size of a rat up to a maltese. The small coats are a little small on our miniature poodle, so I’d say probably puppy or small dog. It was hard to find in-between sizes, so I searched and searched. Finally, a thought popped up in my mind. In the past I used Wild Ginger software to draft patterns for myself. What about for animals? I ended up purchasing Wild Things Pets 2, an easy-to-use drafting software for animal accessories. Since it has beds, sweaters, vests, and all kinds of other outfits and goodies, it was well the cost of $45.

In the past week, we have cut 39 vests out of fun fabrics and fleece. I’ve sewn 17 of the smallest sizes, and have another 16 to sew. Some were cut out sweatshirt sleeve, and will work perfectly as a disposable-if-needed sweater for the tiniest of tiny animals. Kittens, and puppies, and such. Little Miss tied 40 cat toys from fleece scraps. We are looking at delivering the items before Christmas, and then will start on lighter-weight items for spring. Also on the list are “adopt me” bandanas like these,  and “adopt me” leash sleeves. We might even make a few donation vests. I have some awesome fabric with flat sequin material, and it would work great for getting attention at events.

I encourage you to contact your local shelter to see what items they could really use for their shelters. Make sure to ask if there is anything they *don’t* want, as well. For example, some shelters might have rules about what can be used for dog beds, cat cage mats, clothes, etc. This is the season for giving, isn’t it? It will feel great to know that shelter pets are snuggly and warm thanks to your love and devotion to them.

Lots of ideas on my Pinterest board!

Bonus picture: McGraw the wonder rescue, wearing the first coat we made. It is a little funky because a sleeve was used for the neck. The body is two layers of polar fleece, and the outer is made from the same t-shirt. Not the most manly, be he plays dead if I try to take it off.🙂

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Learning with Toes in the Sand

This past July, Little Miss asked to go to the beach in lieu of a party with her friends. We had planned on getting to the beach last March, but had to put off the fun until I was cleared by my surgeon to go have some fun. We made our way down through Vallejo and Sonoma, hoping to see some sign of the earthquake activity that devastated the area. From the highway, not much was visible. We were running a little late and missed out on the chance to go to a kids’ museum in Sausalito, but it was a beautiful day for Fort Point and Chrissy Field.

Watching dolphins and seals play in the surf at Fort Point Pier.

Watching dolphins and seals play in the surf at Fort Point Pier.

I think that this was a first for all of us. Seeing dolphins play and eat in the surf was just amazing. I have seen whales in the bay, but never dolphins. The seals were cute as always.

Did you know that California has a rich Civil War era history? There are several forts in and around San Francisco and Marin. Chrissy Field is next to Fort Point, and is part of the Presidio. We may not be “in session” yet, but the best learning comes from hands-on experience. I’ll leave you with the rest of these.

The view of Alcatraz from Fort Point.

The view of Alcatraz from Fort Point.

Fort Point was just sort of built around when the Golden Gate was erected.

The builders of the Golden Gate just sort of built around Fort Point, making for some awesome views from inside and atop the fort.

Checking out the rifle slits in the side of Fort Point.

Checking out the rifle slits in the side of Fort Point.

A view of the Fort Point lighthouse.

A view of the Fort Point lighthouse.

Another view of the bridge from inside the fort.

Another view of the bridge from inside the fort.

Peeking out from inside the thick masonry walls of the fort.

Peeking out from inside the thick masonry walls of the fort.

The Golden Gate looms overhead.

The Golden Gate looms overhead.

Cannon rests inside the masonry walls of the fort.

Cannon rests inside the masonry walls of the fort.

This line of cannons stood ready for any Confederates that might try to capture the bay.

This line of cannons stood ready for any Confederates that might try to capture the bay.

Black powder storage.

Black powder storage.

Little miss and my little monkey in the rifle room at the entrance of the fort.

Little miss and my little monkey in the rifle room at the entrance of the fort.

Chrissy Field

Chrissy Field

My view from my beach towel.

My view from my beach towel.

Little Miss fih

Little Miss fighting off the wind.

Despite my warnings about the cold water, both kids managed to get soaked. Right after this, he fell over from the weight of the wet sand that was caked on him from head to toe.

Despite my warnings about the cold water, both kids managed to get soaked. Right after this, he fell over from the weight of the wet sand that was caked on him from head to toe.

Ice Bucket Challenge – Uncensored and Sexy?

 

The Ice Bucket Challenge is everywhere. It has raised millions of dollars for ALS organizations. Please watch this video, and stay for the whole thing. If it doesn’t touch you in some way in the end, you aren’t human. ALS IS terrifying. While you are at it, take some time to watch this documentary about and narrated by Stephen Hawking. He goes into detail about his diagnosis and life with ALS. Please consider donating, even if you can only afford a few dollars.

She’s alive!

The surgery went well. Not counting the first hazy days filled with constant vomiting, recovery has been easy on me. I’ve had bad days, but for the most part the days have been good since getting the staples out. I can only hope and pray that I continue to have more good days than bad, and that the shunt is in place for a good, long time. Below are some pictures of my incisions. Don’t scroll down if you’re sensitive. I don’t think they are that bad, though.

brooke1Waiting for surgery, and getting in some giggles with my niece.

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The best shot that I could get while in hospital.

brook4Resting up on my first day home, and getting some cuddles from my little niece.

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The incision in my head. The flap is covering the reservoir for my shunt.

The single staple in the middle was used to stop bleeding from the device

used to hold your head still during shunt surgery. (Day 8 after surgery.)

The incision was sealed with dissolvable sutures, Dermabond, and staples.

IMG_0435The abdominal incision, made right above my belly button. You can see significant bruising (day 8)

from the catheter being tunneled under my skin. I used sterilized medical honey on the incision.

It worked very well to keep areas without Dermabond moist and flexible.

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The head incision after the Dermabond came off, and staples were removed. (Day 16)

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Belly incision, after staple removal. It didn’t look as pink in person.
The scab is over an area where the edges didn’t meet perfectly. (Day 16)

T minus 13 hours…

Tomorrow at this time, I’ll hopefully be resting and recovering from shunt surgery. These loverly stickers on my head were placed before I had a CT. They help the surgeon navigate my brain. I got them done today, 24 hours before surgery. Some unlucky folks have to keep them on for 3 days. I almost cried the temple stickers off when  my surgeon tried to cancel surgery tonight after his business hours. (More on that another time.)

Like my new look? It is all the rage in Paris this season, I hear.

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This was me last week, during a short stay for observation and a lumbar puncture (or two) in the Neuroscience ward.

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