Author Archives: Kelli

Herd Health–An Update on Puppycat and Ruby

A post from Kelli–

A few months ago, I was petting Puppycat and found that she had a fatty lump on her belly.  I took her into the vet and we ended up opting to have it removed and sent to Iowa State to be tested.  It came back begnign with no concerns.  Our vet told me that older dogs often get these fatty tumors or fatty lumps as they age and if she had one, she would probably have more.  She said that if they happen to appear quickly, aren’t moveable, or cause hair loss to bring her back in as those can be signs of malignancies.

Well last week, Jason was petting her and found another one, only this time, it seemed more attached rather than free floating, so I knew it was time to take her back in.  She also had a skin tag sort of thing attached to her face on the one side that I wanted to get looked at.  I called and we scheduled her an appointment for this past Monday.

One of the days I worked last weekend, Mom called and said she scheduled Ruby an appointment on Tuesday because she looked at my schedule and knew I didn’t work.  She said that she had been kind of yelping for no reason, kind of forgot about personal space again, and was acting very odd and timid…..and she had the sick eyes.

I ended up calling to reschedule Puppycat’s appointment to Tuesday morning with Ruby’s and headed off to pick up Ruby after a longer-than-I-thought-it-was-going-to-be day of work on Monday.  When I got there she definitely had the sick eyes and was super timid, but I knew that we were working on getting her to where she needed to be so that was the goal!

Once we got back to my house, she pretty much just laid on the cough after a bunch of coaxing and encouragement.  I grabbed this picture right before we left for the vet on Tuesday–I just hated to make them get off and drive to the vet!  It’s super cold this week in Iowa and I knew that Ruby would be crying and scared, and that’s never fun!

Once we got to the vet though, we got down to business.  Ruby needed to get her thyroid tested again, but it seemed that more was happening.  She happened to nervous pee when I picked her up and we were able to get a sample from that.  It showed that there was a small amount of blood in her urine, which is suggestive of a UTI.  We looked her over a bit more and it seems that she was running a low grade temp, but that can also happen when she is anxious.  After a bit, her thyroid levels came back normal–Which is a good thing, but doesn’t explain her most recent issues.  We then tried to get another urine sample, but I got some snow in it.  They ended up doing a different kind of test in it because it had snow with the sample, but it did show that there was also bacteria (which a small amount can be normal) and white blood cells.  With all of that information and realizing that her yelps are usually when somethign touches or bothers her hind end, our vet Sarah decided that it is likely she has a UTI.  So she’ll be on antibiotics and pain meds for a while.  If that doesn’t seem to do the trick, there is another vet in Decorah that has a thermo-imaging procedure that we can have her scanned relatively cost effectively to see if there are any thermo changes that may lead us to what seems to be an irritant for her.  We also discussed X-rays just to check for any tumors, but cost wise the thermo-imaging will be cheaper and a better way to start.  So now we wait for the antibiotics to kick in and make our girl start feeling better!

As for Puppycat, we did decided to do a needle aspirate biopsy and will send that off to Iowa State.  We are pretty sure it’s just a fatty tumor with a stalk, but hopefully will know more by the end of the week or early next week.  As for the thing on her face–It’s an old dog wart and since she doesn’t need to get groomed, we can just leave it.

I snapped this picture just before Sarah came in with results one time–Needless to say, I think she was ready to go home!

She does this pretty regularly when she thinks Jason might be coming in sometime soon!

And here’s Ruby–She was definitely ready to go home!  As we were walking out, one of the other vets stopped by to pet the crazy dogs and made a comment about how I must like beagles to have two–I commented that actually Kalissa has one too and I once took them all to the vet at once and called it herd health!  So today was just a partial herd health day!


Kelli’s Stash Report!

A post from Kelli–

I usually don’t go fabric shopping very often, but this past week has been a bit different.  I don’t really think its the new year, but maybe just a drive to get some things cleaned up and finished.  This next year, I really want to work on doing things that I like, not just something to tide me over until the next thing.  I also want to be more purposeful, so rather than doing something I kind of like, I want to do things that I really like, even if they cost a bit more money, take more time, or make me step out of my comfort zone.

A while back, mom and I found cross stitch patterns by Lizzie and Kate.  I think there were three separate patterns with three stockings each.  I had some cross stitch fabric that would maybe have worked for some, but we decided that we wanted them all to look similar, so we bought the fabric.  At the time, it was on back order so we had honestly forgotten about it.  We got to talking about projects we wanted to work on and that got back up.  Around the same time I got an email that the fabric was back in stock–So we bought it!  Being the nice daughter that I am, my plan is to get it cut into the proper size for 1 stocking all at once.  That way I know that it’s for that specific project and partially because cutting cross stitch fabric can be a real pain!

Last Saturday, I took a class on bullet journaling and on my way to the class in West Union, I was talking to mom and she mentioned that she might run over to West Union.  We got it figured out that she would meet me in West Union and we would grab lunch and check out the quilt store there, One Block Over to see if they had some batiks to finish our On Ringo Lake quilts.  Side note–My bullet journaling class was awesome!  If you have any resources or you bullet journal, let me know!

I ended up doing a little stash enhancing with some neutrals and this lovely green?  Isn’t it great?

Then–As if I haven’t bought enough yet–Yesterday I had a dentist appointment at 8am.  I have been really bad about going to the dentist in the past few years (many while I was in nursing school) and so I have always just put it off.  When Mom chipped her tooth in November, I happened to schedule myself an appointment as well.  Now, that appointment has turned into three under my belt and another three that are scheduled out.  I really hate coming off of the numbing medication and get pretty nasty headaches, so I try to schedule them after I work an overnight so that I can just wake up after falling asleep and feel pretty good.  This time it didn’t work quite as nicely!  I ended up finishing around 9 and started making the rounds in Decorah as it seemed that if there was an errand to run, yesterday they were all getting done.  I headed off to the Depot and Spectrum thrift stores and found these cotton men’s shirts.

At the Depot, shirts are $2.00 each, so I usually look at the Large and XL sections first.  I pull anything that is a unique color from there because they are a bit more spendy.  Then I go to the Small and Medium sections and pulled anything green as I really want to make Criss Cross Applesauce out of Bonnie Hunter’s Scraps and Shirttails II book.  I got all of the ones in the box–close to 17 I think.

Then I headed over to Spectrum.  They are currently having a $5.00 bag sale–but have been for a few months!  There, I pull anything 100% cotton.  The nice thing is that sometimes if they have a bigger bag, it’ll still be only $5.00.  I didn’t have quite enough to fit in one bag, but I did find some good ones for sure!

One of my last stops before heading out of town was Red Roxy.  When I made the On Ringo Lake mystery, I didn’t have any batiks.  At the same time I also started making garlic knots and wanted something to use as a constant for my cornerstones.  I cut a few strips off of my fabric for On Ringo Lake so I ended up short when cutting for the mystery.  I was at a place that if I needed to substitute a new fabric in it would be okay and had planned on doing that, however I happened to find the exact same batik at Red Roxy!  They have an awesome selection of batiks that would read similar to a solid in batik world and I was able to walk right over and get what I needed.  And I couldn’t leave without a few little extras!

I even found a brown that I’m going to use as part of a shashing and for the binding.

Now for the not so easy part–getting it all cut up and into it’s proper place!  That’s the hard part!

What I’m Working On–Kelli Style!

A post from Kelli–

Just like many of you readers, I’ve been working on Bonnie Hunter’s Mystery quilt–On Ringo Lake (

I’ve been trying to keep up, but with work, it’s been a bit hard.  Also, I decided to make mine in batik’s and since I don’t have much of a batik stash, I’ve needed to go out and buy what I was planning on using for the quilt.  I had made one shopping trip with Mom, Connie, Jody, and Kalissa and bougth some great fat quarters, but didn’t have quite enough for all of the yardage that Bonnie said was needed.  I also decided to change my colors around a bit.  I decided to substitute purple scraps for blue and use a constant pink in place of the melon/coral colors.  I bought enough of the constant pink that I planned on using, but then dipped into it for a few inches to finish up another project.  I also wanted to make sure that I used creams more so that whites, so I bought a few but didn’t have quite enough.  I was planning on picking up a few somewhere, but then life happened and I didn’t.

I think I got through part 5, but haven’t had quite enough of the neutrals (or time) to keep up with the rapid fires.  I did sit dow the other night though and cut out what I have fabric for so that I know what I need.  Because I borrowed from Peter (Pink fabric) to pay Paul (Garlic Knot cornerstones) I need to pick up about a yard of a pink.  I’ll probably use another constant and I’ve decided that if I can’t find something that is an almost perfect match, I’ll probably try to find a piece that is 2 shades or so darker to finish the larger half-square triangles.

Mystery (293x400)

My goal is to have the top done by the end of the month, but with my work schedule it’s going to be dicey–But I’m still going to try!

I’ve also been working on making Bonnie’s Moth in the Window quilt from her newest Addicted to Scraps quilt book.  I have been collecting shirts forever, but haven’t been able to make a quilt completely out of shirts yet.  I originally planned on making this one my first one, and so far, I’m right on track. I had started cutting it out last summer at our quilt retreat, but once I got home from the retreat, I needed a break from quilting and put it away for a while.

I have recently drug it out and realized that I should have arranged it slightly differently so that it wasn’t quite such a hot mess, but I didn’t so now I’m trying to sort it all out.  I think I’ll end up with enough parts and pieces that I’ll be able to get all of the blocks made, but with just a little extra effort.

Moth in the window (400x300)

Regardless, I’m going to keep working on it.  I think that once I get it done, I’ll really like it!  I like the darkness of it and am hoping that the colors I’ve chose will work.  If not, I now have plenty of shirts that I should be able to make a few new blocks too.

As for now?  I’m off to battle some nasty virus that I’ve contracted.  I have felt crappy for a few days, but have worked every shift and put in quite a few hours over the last few days so just thought I was feeling run down, but when I woke up this morning, I knew I had something because I felt like I got hit by a bus.  I ran into the clinic to get tested for influenza because that’s what it felt like and I’ve been exposed, but the test came back negative so that’s good.  The nurse, doctor, and I were all surprised, but they said that I might have tested too early for it to come back as positive or it just might be a nasty virus.  Either way, I’ll be spending some high quality time on the couch hanging with my bestie–Puppycat!

The Saran Wrap Ball

A post from Kelli–

You’ve probably seen videos on Facebook that feature a saran wrap ball with little gifts inside.  It probably looks like a hot mess and is quite loud.  Believe it or not, both of these things are very true!

This is the second year that we’ve done the saran wrap ball and it was a fun time both times.  The ball can be as cheap or expensive as you would like, but beware that the cost can accumulate quickly.  If you know ahead of time that you want to make a ball, you could purchase things over a period of time or even ask everyone to bring a few things to be added in.  This year, mom had accumulated a few things and given them to me to add to the ball.  I also grabbed a few things that we used to complete it.  Things like gum, giftcards, socks, chapstick, etc are perfect.  Last year, we did it as a last minute thing and mom had a few gift cards that she didn’t know the balance of that we added in.  Because I’m a bit last minute, I ended up making the ball on the way down to Christmas in Cedar Rapids.

Ball 1 (400x300)

Also–As far as how much saran wrap you’ll need?  I’d start with a 200 foot roll and see how far that goes.  Maybe another 100 foot roll will be needed, however it depends on how many goodies you have to include and how tight you wrap the ball.

I started with a little bit bigger item-In this case, a package of Ghiradelli chocolates–Caramel ones that Jason picked out.  I wrapped them up pretty tight with a few different pieces of saran wrap.  One important thing to keep in mind is that when adding goodies to the ball, it is important to use shorter pieces of saran wrap, otherwise once someone starts unwrapping, they’ll end up with all of the goodies.

Ball 2 (300x400)

I kept adding things in–Cough drops, gift cards, lighters, you name it–and wrapping and wrapping.  I thought that I was about done, but then realized that we had no dice.  After talking to Buck, he told me he didn’t have dice either, so we were on the hunt.  We stopped at a gas station and had no luck.  We ended up driving through a town just a few miles north of his house that had a Dollar General right off of the road, so we stopped in and I grabbed a few more things–Extension cord, lotion, etc–to add in.

And I kept wrapping!

Ball 3 (300x400)

Finally, it was done!  The way we play is that the person behind the unwrapper has two dice and once they roll doubles, they get the turn to be the unwrapper.  We’ve done it before where you had to wear gloves, however it was a bit harder this year, because Buck had an oven mitt and a hot pad holder that we were going to use.  While they were grippy, they were a bit harder to use, so we went without which was good because it was difficult as it was.  Another thing that is nice about hte ball is that everyone gets a few goodies and is able to have fun.

Even Jason who can be a bit of a fuddy duddy thought it was fun last year and wanted to do it again this year!