Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Did I kill Ann?! Part 1

I've been working on a few projects for the last six or seven months. Slow being the word of the day when it came to crafting while under chemotherapy.
One of the highlights of my project working is this Ann.

She is a musical doll with a crank placed in her back. I'm not sure what the music box plays but it is a familiar tune from my childhood.

She was in great condition, just a tear in the lower shin which is close enough to make a stitched bend for a knee. Problem one solved.
Her face, specifically her eyes, were dirty. A bath would take care of that.
All of the elastic had stretched out, simple enough to replace. Problem two solved.
I found, via the Internet, that her dress is original but she was missing the apron. Not a issue, how many times had I made her apron! Problem three solved.

Insert screeching halt noise here. C&G Design

Words and photos by Dawn, C&G Design.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cat Scans

Last week I went for my 1 year cat scan, 1 year since my cancer was found. I have always had mixed feelings about this procedure, it doesn't hurt but it is very emotional to alot of people, including me. When I experience my first was full body scan to see if there was more than one tumor. I became in tears while in the large tubular circle machinery that  repeatedly "jur clunked" with every photo, I was  thinking...."Yep, it's checking everything, checking, checking and more checking." The technician told me, (she wasn't to diagnose) that she saw what was indicated on the file, and just that. Whew! Happinnnnnesss!
My scan last week was the same exact scan except with this time...... I looked in the window directly above my head and  my thought was, "Go ahead, I dare you, just dare you."
I will find out the results this week, I didn't expect any word from the tech.

Cat scans (Tomography) are series of 2D x-rays that are computer generated to 3D images. The slices of photos are taken around a single axis of rotation.

 To have a gastric scan the patient must drink a solution of iodine called contrast, it makes certain suspect areas glow as in the one x-ray shown above. It is a cat scan image showing 3 tumors on the kidneys.
This is the 3D image of a skull. MRI's, to the best of my knowledge, already take 3D X-rays. They are not as available as cat scans.
The maximum dose of gamma globules rays (whatever it is!) is 3 per year. A cat scan doses between 3-8 each procedure. I knew one scan equaled 400 chest x-rays but I did not know about the recommended limited exposure formula. 
 I can't tell you how many I've had in the past year. BTW, did you know they cause cancer?

No, really.....C&G Design

Words and photos by Dawn, C&G Design.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Birds, murder and mayhem

How sweet birds are....I've given many thoughts of having a few in my home but the cats put a screeching halt to that whim. Phooey....well maybe someday. Until then I'll enjoy my outside birds who frequent the feeders.
Lately though...I have become concerned about the lower amount of visits to the station. I've had annoying blue jay who keep me busy with peanuts and crackers. If they don't find that for dinner, they tend to eat ALL of the seed........
no BJays though.
My male evening grosbeak was regularly a sight to seed at the feeder,always after we've eaten our own dinner.
But he too is gone.......
Lately I have had a pair of yellow finches, a male with his mate but they soon stopped coming.....

I could always rely on Mr Robin bob, bob, bobbing in my backyard, using it's keen hearing for those purchased earthworms we planted. He or she has been a staple every morning for the last 2 years. Might not be the same one but still....

 Okay....hubs was getting ready for work on Monday and heard commotion, bird screeches and blamo! My Robin was for this....
 A hawk, believing it to be a red-tailed hawk. We watched it make a quick ending of suffering for my Robin.
It was mantling as birds of prey do when it comes to feeding but I also felt it was done for my Robin not to escape while injured. poor robin was gone.
Although I'm impressed with the beauty of this bird, I'm less happy with the quality of freedom for all the little birds. I've removed the attraction of the feeders, although I fear it might be too late.

 He, or she...had her back to us (and back to to my female cat who quietly watched the murder and mayhem from the deck), the hawk flew off within less than a minute clutching my bird, of course.
 He, or she....was a young juvenile and looked more like the photo below, the tail was still banded and not reddened but was most defiantly square. It has amber eyes (another hint of age) and it was smaller the the normal adult.
Wikipedia has all the info
anyone could want to read about when it comes to these raptors. It informs that these are the birds falconers use for their falconing. The falconer is only allowed to take "passage" hawks for training, that is birds under one year are are out of nesting (Hey, I know where one is!). It is to make sure the population of the hawks are on steady numbers. Hawks are protected in the United States and their feathers fall under the Eagle feather law....that is, no feather may become the property of anyone and only American native Indians can apply for a permit to keep feathers, and keep for tribal purposes/uses only. This is ONLY if the proof of the heritage of the applicant is solidly clear.
Wikipedia goes on to say the Red tailed Hawk (chicken hawk) will eat any bird, amphibian, rodent, squirrel, chipmunk, rabbit (which is heavier), groundhog (which is heavier), and has  even been known to ferret out a badger or two (which is heavier), I'm petrified for my cats.....if Wooly get caught he'd be on the menu for the rest of the summer!
These are migratory birds, will nest 4 meters off the ground to higher heights and they sometimes lose their homes to owls as owls aren't into nest building. Relocation of the new nest is within a mile though. This bird reaches a speed of 120 miles per hour while diving in air and can catch a bird in flight by doing so. Grrrr. Nothing I can do to help in preventing other birds from being food. Grrr. The other thing about this hawk......they will siren screech when upset.(apparently my backyard Robin made someONE angry that morning!) They will also be flying free following a falconer as he walks with (dogs?) and the hawk will hunt above the trainers head. When it kills its acquired food, the gourmet dinner will be willingly removed for a traded piece of meat.
Read about Pale Male by clicking here. He is the New York, Red Tailed Hawk, with interesting background history.
Juvenile graphic of a red tailed hawk. C&G Design
Words and photos by Dawn, C&G Design.